The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Warped9, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or like on TNG when the away team has to constantly describe to Picard what they're seeing, even though by that time you'd think they'd just be transmitting live video feeds directly to the ship.

    Yeah watching the old 50s Superman TV series, it always cracks me up how it wasn't until the last minute when someone was finally able to get ahold of Clark by telephone, to tell him where the bad guys were hiding out, that he was able to spring into action and fly off to save Lois and Jimmy. :D
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    As kid watching "Lassie" I was always confused on why Timmy's parents, to use the phone, had to pick it up and ask whomever was on the other end to make the connection. "Can't they just dial the number?!" I would ask. I wonder how much 80s/90s movies and TV will confuse younger generations on stuff like this on being ignorant on the technology and how it worked at the time.
     
  3. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    It was even worse than that, there were Party Lines back then, which meant you had to share your phone line with someone. So, if you wanted to make a call, you had to first make sure the phone wasn't in use already. (And you could listen in on other people's conversations)

    I Lived out in the desert in the early 1980s and they still had Party Lines out there.
     
  4. cbspock

    cbspock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I started watching the series again. I am up to the first half of season 3. It is a lot of fun watching the show after so long. Be sure to check out the new comic book series that started, Chris Carter is involved with the IDW series, X-files season 10.


    -Chris
     
  5. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Yeah, my mom grew up for a time in an area using party lines and she told me about it. :lol: Even stuff like that blew my mind that technology was once so "quaint." ;)
     
  6. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Even in the late 1980s, my parents built a place on the St. Lawrence River in NY and when they had the phone installed - the newfangled one with buttons instead of the rotary - it was a party line.

    That lasted at least into the early 90s.

    As for the difference between the 90s and new tech ... it's kind of like the break between Steampunk and the rest of the 20th century. New suspense and mystery and occult stories can certainly be done well, with current tech, but the writing has to evolve, too.
     
  7. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kind of like Star Trek's transporter.

    In the classic 1959 film Pillow Talk (the first of three pictures starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day), the whole story is based on two people who can't stand each other having to share a party line. However, it takes place in Manhattan, where there hadn't been any party lines since the 1930s. Oh well, screw accuracy -- it's a comedy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I'm now near the end of Season 4 and one thing I find quite amusing is Scully's stubbornness in light of all she's seen already. Her seeming inability or unwillingness to make conceptual leaps beyond what she knows is proven.

    Mulder even remarks occasionally on this, on how so many things we now accept as fact and take for granted were once seen as science fiction or simply pure fantasy.

    The show itself does blur the line, though. While it does invent or present various forms of monsters in evolutionary terms it also presents myths and such without any scientific grounding whatsoever. Of course this makes it easier for people like Scully to dismiss aliens and extraterrestrial spacecraft as just more of the same even though those would actually be the most likely to be scientifically plausible.

    That said Scully's presence effectively made the X-Files more legitimate (in universe). She kept Mulder honest even though he'd already been at it for some time before she came along. Mulder could sometimes lack tact in how he presented things. He rarely appeared willing to sugarcoat what he saw as the truth to help ease the skeptical into considering apparently unlikely evidence.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Party lines! I'd forgotten! "Oh, I'm sorry Mrs. Stelzer! I'll try again later."
    And the phone was permanently mounted to the wall and rented from the phone company! And our phone number started with letters! :eek:
     
  10. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And you thought you were a big deal when you had an extra long phone cord so you could walk from room to room or even go outside with the phone.
     
  11. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Not a party line, but my parents house still has one of the big Bell Telephone wall phones with the rotary dial. Still works after it replaced the black unit about 35 years ago.
     
  12. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Come to think of our bedroom phone is the some Princess phone my wife had in her bedroom before we were married (34 years now!). It is, at least, modern enough that it's a pushbutton phone.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I remember how modern those phones looked back in the '70s. But over time (particularly if you had white or ivory coloured) the coloured plastic would fade and yellow. They looked so modern and now they can look quaint.