REVIEW: BBC America’s “The Real History of Science Fiction”, Part 2
by Jennifer Kenobi1985 Havard
As promised, here is part two of my review of the BBC America mini-series “The Real History of Science Fiction”. The second episode aired on Saturday, April 26th and was all about space travel as it is portrayed in novels, television, and movies. My apologies if this seems less like a review and more like part of an English paper or something; it kind of got away from me.
Much like the fantastic travelers’ tales that came out of Europe’s search for other lands across Earth’s vast oceans prior to the Industrial Revolution, science fiction’s wide array of stories about space travel have tapped into our feelings of eternal wonder and fear of the void that exists beyond our planet, out there in the “Final Frontier”, and our desire to know what else, if anything, is out there, waiting for us, or perhaps coming for us, whether it be peaceful or threatening.
From the clean lines and (mostly) professional crew members of the various incarnations of the U.S.S. Enterprise to the gritty, professionalism-be-damned scenes aboard Firefly’s Serenity, the portrayals of what it means to explore and travel through space run the gamut, as do the motivations of the characters themselves for being out there in the first place, concepts that again parallel our real-life struggles as we’ve spread across the globe, whether by sailing-ship or wagon-train, or by more modern means, airplanes and automobiles. Whatever the setting, time, or characters, real or fictional, those parallels create a sense of familiarity and identification that wouldn’t be possible without our relentless desire to explore our world and beyond.
Along with the robots and cyborgs featured in the previous episode, our fascination with space travel is a part of our ongoing attempt at providing an answer to the question “what if?” And as with our explorations into the power of technology and artificial intelligence, there is no telling how far or in what direction our push into space might take us, or what (or who) we might meet along the way. The power of our imagination is only the beginning but it has been and always will be our strongest driving force.
Until next week…
About Jennifer Havard:
Jennifer “Kenobi1985” is a graduate of Lyndon State College, with a B.A. degree in English Literature and Cultural Studies. She’s been a fan fiction reader and writer since high school, with an interest in a wide range of fandoms, from anime to sci-fi.