ABC’s Masters of Science Fiction-well, maybe not Masters

What is Science Fiction? It is taking something in the present and thinking about what the future will look like if things keep going the way they are. Science Fiction writing must also contain a strong element of real science, which makes movies about robots science fiction movies and movies about dragons fantasy movies.
ABC’s Masters of Science Fiction is following in the footsteps of The Twilight Zone, a show that was not just great science fiction, but was great television. It might help to remember that TV in the late fifties and early sixties was full of anthology shows. There were weekly movies and playhouses and short stories abounded. Science Fiction television shows were just like most normal television shows. Now I am all for any new science fiction TV, movies, or radio programs for that matter. Heroes and Lost are really good shows. Masters of Sci Fi, well, it is a summer replacement show, isn’t it?
The episode last night was called The Clean Escape and is clearly a cold war story in the mold of Fail Safe and Dr Stragelove in that it says very plainly-hey, nuclear war is bad! The story has been tweaked a bit, since the Cold War is over and great science fiction is always topical as well as scientific. The acting is good , Sam Waterson and Judy Davis do the best they can with what they have to work with. Sam’s character has one of those short term memory problems that were all the rage in sci fi for a couple of years and Judy is trying to get him to remember what he has done.
Science Fiction writer John Kessel’s story is interesting, but it seems so dated twenty years after it was written. Is anyone really worried about a nuclear holocaust at the moment? Maybe we should be, but I don’t think we are. I normally like end of the world stories, cosy catastrophes, where only a handful of people are left alive. These are usual great science fiction stories. But this one wasn’t.
Maybe it was the fact that Stephen Hawkins was playing the part of Rod Serling and even then we just heard his computer generated voice, which lacks the emotional quality of Rod’s deep smoky throat. But hey, it’s free science fiction! And this was only the first show. I will watch the rest of Masters of Science Fiction and hope that the best is yet to come.
BuzzSugar thinks the show never had a chance, and they may be right.

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

Latest posts by Jon Herrera (see all)

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

Posted in abc's masters of science fiction, john kessel, science fiction, science fiction television

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