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Old July 8 2009, 02:37 PM   #16
Christopher
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
They could just use the regular excuse: that 99% of the viewers don't know any different, so what justifies even the miniscule additional cost of getting the science right?
Basic professionalism justifies it. You just shouldn't do sloppy work when you're capable of doing better. Also there's the recognition that some of your viewers will know the difference and there's no reason to alienate them. You want to make your story as satisfying as possible for everyone. Using good science won't make the experience any less satisfying for those who don't know the difference, and it will make the experience more satisfying for those who do. Why should educated viewers be penalized for their knowledge?

Besides, SF can be a great vehicle for teaching. What better way to improve Americans' abysmally poor understanding of basic science than to sneak some real science in with their entertainment? There are shows that do this already. Numb3rs does a good job of conveying legitimate mathematical principles in the context of an entertaining show. Their producers care enough to do the research and get it right even though 99% of their audience won't know the difference. And ER is generally pretty conscientious about getting the medical stuff right, I gather. Lots of shows use technical consultants and take care to research things and pay attention to details even though most of the audience won't know the difference. So there's no excuse for failing to do so with a space show.

I'm just monumentally sick of film and TV treating outer space as some magical fairyland with arbitrary rules. It's a real place and we know a lot about it. "Most of the audience won't care" is just a lame excuse for lowering one's own standards, for being lazy and sloppy and irresponsible. If you're creating a work of fiction, then you should care about doing it with the highest possible quality, whether most of your audience notices or not.
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Old July 8 2009, 05:23 PM   #17
Temis the Vorta
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

I have a strong feeling that any professionalism or willingness to teach will quickly take a back seat when the ratings on this show start to slide because they've misjudged their audience, which really doesn't want the astronauts to spend half their time talking about their tangled relationships, and go into panic mode, throwing space monsters and lesbian subplots at us a-plenty.

We are still talking about television, after all.
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Old July 8 2009, 06:44 PM   #18
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

^Actually, considering that all 13 episodes of the first season have already been shot, I'm not sure it's valid to make that kind of assumption about network interference. Sure, maybe networks could make requests about subsequent seasons, but this show is being marketed internationally. It's not the kind of television production that's dependent on the approval of a single network for its survival. And who's to say that the different networks in the different nations where the show is marketed would agree on the kind of changes they'd want to see? This seems like the kind of model where the producers make what they want to make and the various networks can either take it or leave it.
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Old July 9 2009, 07:18 AM   #19
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

with virtuality down, i hope this series succeeds. it'd be nice to see a mainstream space based show out there.
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Old July 9 2009, 12:29 PM   #20
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

I'm interested in this series, but I'm wondering how they'll explain away the gravity issue.
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Old July 9 2009, 12:51 PM   #21
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

J47 wrote: View Post
I'm interested in this series, but I'm wondering how they'll explain away the gravity issue.
It really depends on the drive system. If you're using a simple rocket, then you have to stick to short burns and no "gravity" simply due to limitations on available reaction mass.

However, anyone planning a nontrivial trip around the system may have figured out a better system. And if you have the endurance to do extended burns, then the most reasonable course of action would be to accelerate continuously (at 1 gravity) for the first half of the trip, then flip around and decelerate (again at 1 gravity) for the second half. This leaves you with only a brief null-grav period.

Well, at least that would make sense in deep space. In an orbital system, you'd be much more biased towards acceleration for moving "outward", and much more biased towards deceleration for moving "inward".
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Old July 9 2009, 02:43 PM   #22
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

Lindley wrote: View Post
However, anyone planning a nontrivial trip around the system may have figured out a better system. And if you have the endurance to do extended burns, then the most reasonable course of action would be to accelerate continuously (at 1 gravity) for the first half of the trip, then flip around and decelerate (again at 1 gravity) for the second half. This leaves you with only a brief null-grav period.
Accelerations at a full gee or anywhere near it are unrealistic to ask for over an extended period. The fuel demands would be ridiculous, and you'd need really advanced technology to keep the engine from melting under the kind of sustained heat you'd need.

It also doesn't fit the series description. This is supposed to be a 6-year tour of the Solar System. With the capacity for sustained 1g acceleration, a tour of the Solar System would take only a month or two. In fact, I gather that the entire first season is about a trip to Venus. At a sustained 1g thrust with turnaround, such a trip would take only a day or two.

The best option would be to do the same thing Virtuality did and include a rotating "carousel" habitat.
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Old July 9 2009, 03:38 PM   #23
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

Any idea when this might come out? Saw my first commercial on tv tonight for it, and it just said "coming soon"
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Old July 9 2009, 04:45 PM   #24
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

Christopher wrote: View Post
Accelerations at a full gee or anywhere near it are unrealistic to ask for over an extended period. The fuel demands would be ridiculous, and you'd need really advanced technology to keep the engine from melting under the kind of sustained heat you'd need.
Maybe I've just been reading too much David Weber lately....still, the same basic effect could be applied to get moon-like gravity, which would still be easier to film than zero-G.

The best option would be to do the same thing Virtuality did and include a rotating "carousel" habitat.
There is that option as well, although it presents its own challenges.
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Old July 9 2009, 06:43 PM   #25
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

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Maybe I've just been reading too much David Weber lately....still, the same basic effect could be applied to get moon-like gravity, which would still be easier to film than zero-G.
Actually I think it would be harder. Simulating free fall is pretty easy; you just hang people on wires. Correctly simulating the way bodies move and fall in low gravity as opposed to microgravity is much harder to do, as the Mythbusters demonstrated when they tested the myth that the Moon landings were faked. I've seen filmic simulations of microgravity that were reasonably convincing (I think The Black Hole did a surprisingly good job, for one), but simulations of lunar or Martian gravity, when they're attempted at all, just look like obvious slow motion.
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Old July 9 2009, 11:40 PM   #26
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

Scout101 wrote: View Post
Any idea when this might come out? Saw my first commercial on tv tonight for it, and it just said "coming soon"
Facebook says end of July.
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Old July 9 2009, 11:56 PM   #27
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

First time I've even heard of this series. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Sean
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Old July 10 2009, 12:37 AM   #28
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

eh there's a promo of it on youtube, and well... from the producer of grey's anatomy. i don't think this is going to be as heady as ron moore's virtuality.
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Old July 10 2009, 02:48 AM   #29
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

watermelony2k wrote: View Post
eh there's a promo of it on youtube, and well... from the producer of grey's anatomy. i don't think this is going to be as heady as ron moore's virtuality.
I figure that promo would put off many scifi fans. It's not even worth mentioning.
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Old July 10 2009, 10:35 AM   #30
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Re: “Defying Gravity" 13-episode ABC sci-fi astronaut space series

I'm watching Space Odyssey now, and while it seems somewhat silly that they'd design a single mission that would explore every planet in the solar system, I quite enjoy the concept of the series.

That said, the trailer just shows a lot of... well, screwing, to use a PG13 euphemism. Which I suppose is what you do when you throw Grey's Anatomy (and curiously not Ugly Betty, since that's what the producer did after GA) in the teaser. Still, I hope that it's a minority.

The reason why I found Virtuality a bit silly is that it seems unlikely that you'd have married couples who are world experts in two different fields. But the idea that single people would suddenly start bumping uglies in zero-G is about as preposterous. Yeah, it's 5 years... but how long have Russians stayed up on the ISS? Oh well.
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