Saturday, April 30, 2011

Writing the Future

I turned on the TV (I'll admit hoping for an episode of Johnny Test) and came across the original Buck Rogers serials being played on TMC.

It's fun to watch, seeing one of the influences on George Lucas to create the Star Wars Saga.  Even his expository remarks at the beginning receeding into space at an angle is an homage to these old space adventure shows.  I'd been aware, naturally, (though not specifically about the moving words!) and have seen the serials before.  But it doesn't stop it from being a treat.

I'd also seen the 1979 Buck Rogers movie as well as enjoyed the TV series that followed.  Not sure if that would still be the case, I might roll my eyes at my younger self for liking it.  Not sure.  But again, it's quite fun to re-experience the origins.  How things evolve, eh?

What prompted me to post however, had been a particular incident.  A man uses a teleportation tube of some sort, phazing in like he's being reconfigured atom-wise  (which, by the way, Star Trek borrowed for their transporters) to hand in a report to a head honcho.  It got me to thinking...  Interesting that in this ultra-futuristic 25th Century they don't have a way to send a report without a person hand delivering it.  They do have communication devices (like a future phone/intercom) though.  Sure, it could be the case that the reports are very secret or something and they need to be handled in person.  But in this part of the story that didn't seem to apply.

Obviously the writers didn't think up something like a fax machine, or even a text message.  I don't mean that as a slam or an admonishment.  There's no reason they should of conceived of them.  They had enough to dream up, no?

That's the part that got me thinking.  It's often the storyteller's job to invent the future. Suppose the writers had thought of data pads and wireless transfer of information.  They might have planted the seed for us having them today.  For as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells have demonstrated, tales of the fantastic will give rise to reality.

Stories don't just entertain, they inspire.

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