How much legit does the science have to be in your sci-fi TV/movies?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Skipper, Feb 11, 2024.

  1. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    (the idea for this thread came to me when the scientific inconsistencies in the one dedicated to Space 1999 were discussed)

    We all know that works of fiction take liberties in the name of creativity (because, rightly, they are not documentaries). We as viewers know this, but in the name of suspension of credulity we accept these liberties in exchange for being entertained.

    So obviously the James Bond films are not accurate portrayals of the world of international espionage. The F&F saga films have a very tenuous relationship with the laws of physics. The Perry Mason series is not used as study material in law school courses. Because the authors deliberately decide that being close to reality would prevent them from telling interesting stories.

    And here we come to the field of television and film science fiction, where the problems concern the "science" part. Compared to its literary counterpart, science fiction was not considered a "serious" genre until recently. So scientific verisimilitude was not a top priority. But "recently" (last 50 years?!?) "visual" science fiction has also become a mature genre, so authors have tried to be, well, a little more in line with scientific principles.

    But how much should this "little more" be? Obviously everyone has their own individual threshold. And we tend to judge Star Wars (which is practically a fairy tale with a dressing of spaceships and lasers) and The Expanse, which tried to be most realistic possible, differently.

    But in any case, at least I want a minimum of credibility even in these two very different works. And in fact both, for example, acknowledge the difference between a star and a galaxy. And they both take it for granted that if you want to travel to another solar system and return the same day you need some kind of FTL gizmo.

    This brings us to Space: 1999. This TV show has obviously always positioned itself as "serious". And the influence of 2001: A Space Odyssey (a film which, LSD trip aside, is scientifically impeccable compared to what came before) is evident. But Space 1999's relationship with science is that of two sworn enemies ready to kill each other.

    For example in an episode Koenig (the Moon Base commander) says "This is Triton's galaxy. This is Triton's star system. This is Triton's universe. This is Triton's sun." One has to wonder if the writers paid a little bit of attention at school when they explained the difference between an universe, a galaxy and a star. TOS managed to make clear the difference years before. It was information available to anyone who could reach out for an encyclopedia, or rather, a dictionary. There isn't even a dramatic need that could justify such a mistake. It would be as if in the aforementioned James Bond films the concepts of city, nation, continent and world were used interchangeably in the screenplay. It wouldn't be artistic license, it would be plain ignorance on the part of the writers.

    But for some reason ignorance of basic concepts that in other genres would be inexcusable in science fiction becomes perfectly ok, even a source of pride.

    Gerry Anderson (one of the creators of Space 1999) said on the subject:

    Regarding scientific accuracy and a critical review of Space: 1999 by Isaac Asimov, Gerry Anderson commented: ‘I think that a show that is absolutely scientifically correct can be as dull as ditch-water. But I think the point he was making was that, if you are going deep into the universe, then you can say whatever you like and that’s fine; but if you’re dealing with subjects that we have up-to-date knowledge on, like the Moon, then you ought to be correct. I think that was a reasonable criticism. But I think the problem with scientific advisors is that if you had a scientific advisor in 1820 he would have told you that it was impossible to fly and to travel beyond the speed of sound. And today they’re telling us that it’s impossible to travel beyond the speed of light. I think, therefore, they are inhibiting to a production, and since the heading is science fiction – underline the word fiction – I don’t really think there’s any place for them.’

    But who knows, maybe he's right?

    All of this long introduction of mine is to ask you, what is your personal limit of scientific credibility that you expect in a science fiction film/TV series? Is there an absolute minimum (such as using terms like "galaxy" or "star" correctly)? Or could it also be that it has absolutely no relation to our scientific knowledge as long as the story entertains us (I admit that I had a lot of fun with Armageddon, another scientifically problematic film)?

    Tell me your opinion!
     
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  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't draw any absolute limits; scientific accuracy is like anything else in fiction, an ingredient that can be used to a greater or lesser extent in different stories. But what's always disappointed me is how rarely it's been used in film and TV compared to prose. As a fan of hard SF in prose, the near total absence of it onscreen for most of my life left me feeling like my interests were unrepresented. So I don't need it to be used all the time, but it's refreshing on those rare occasions when it is used. And there have been more uses of it in recent years, in movies like Gravity, Interstellar and The Martian, and TV series like The Expanse and For All Mankind.

    However, sometimes the problem with using good science is that it makes the exceptions to the good science stand out more. If the production sets itself a higher bar of credibility, it's harder to excuse the breaks with reality. For instance, I love how well Gravity handles free fall and the lack of sound in space, but it exaggerates the hazards from orbital debris to a laughably cartoonish level, not only vastly exaggerating the frequency and intensity of debris collisions but having the debris field act like a predator actively pursuing Sandra Bullock. And while most of The Expanse is great from a science standpoint, I can't get over the ridiculous wrongness of its use of magnetic boots to take the place of gravity, which is just nonsense on multiple levels. (It wouldn't let you walk effectively any more than strapping weights to your feet and walking on the bottom of a swimming pool; it would interfere with sensitive electronics; and it wouldn't work in the first place since spaceships would built largely of lightweight, non-magnetic metals.) I'd be happier if The Expanse just posited black-box artificial gravity; it's easier to believe in some as yet unknown future scientific breakthrough (like the Epstein drive) than it is to buy a known technology like magnets working in a way that we know for a fact it wouldn't work.

    Similarly, while the hard science in For All Mankind is glorious, and it's great to see orbital mechanics not only being done right for a change but used as an integral source of difficulty and peril in the plots, it annoys me that they leave out the lightspeed time lags for Earth-Moon and Mars-asteroid communications, while keeping it for Earth-Mars communications. The fact that they get everything else essentially right makes that stand out more. There's also the way people walk pretty normally indoors on the Moon (I guess because it's hard to set up a wire rig with a ceiling) and everywhere on Mars, but I can kind of buy that, since I gather that walking in lower gravity wouldn't look that much different if you do it at a slow or normal pace; the reason astronauts on the Moon hopped around, I remember reading once, had more to do with the stiffness of their spacesuits than anything else. And FAM did the exterior Moonwalking scenes quite convincingly.

    Another downside of the realism of FAM's science is that it conflicts with the exaggerated frequency with which deadly mishaps occur on the show's space missions, far more often than they'd plausibly occur in real life. I find that easier to buy in a more fanciful setting.


    As for Space: 1999, at least season 1, I realized the last time I watched it that it's a category error to worry about its scientific accuracy, because it's not trying to be a realistic show. It's more in the realm of The Twilight Zone, a surreal, philosophical show using space as a fantasy allegory. The whole point is that the characters are flung into a realm where their understanding of how the universe works breaks down and is proven to be inadequate. As with Stanislaw Lem's Solaris, the intent is to illustrate the limitations on human knowledge, to present the universe as fundamentally beyond our comprehension. So yeah, there are a lot of science gaffes, but ultimately the show isn't trying to make sense. (Season 2 doesn't have that philosophical excuse, though; it's just dumb.)
     
  3. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    None at all to be honest. I have long ago accepted that in mainstream Sci Fi entertainment the science is not important because they are entertainment shows that use the future and its trappings just to distinguish itself from contemporary drama/action. It enables shows or movies to show images that are not possible on Earth and sometimes allows stories to happen that would be impossible on current day Earth due to advanced technologies.

    Some shows try though, such as The Expanse, really do try and i applaud each effort to keep it scientific but in the end the story needs of the show will always trump scientific accuracy and i'm not getting worked up over it.

    I want to see hard science i'll watch a documentary.
     
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  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Realism is overrated. :shrug:'

    Seriously. I could give a shit. As long as a show or film entertains me, I don't consider myself obligated to care about how realistic it is. For all I care it could be WORSE than Armageddon (a film I happen to love, BTW).

    If I want hard science, I'll take in a :censored:ing physics lecture at MIT or something like that. :rolleyes:

    This is, of course, not to say I dislike scientific accuracy. 2001 is, after all, my favorite movie of all time. I just don't consider it. Why the hell should I? This is entertainment, not a damn classroom!
     
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  5. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Historically, if a sci-fi TV series or movie was the effort of someone who handled the material at other points in his career, then I had an expectation on what kind of sci-fi I would be exposed to. In the Space: 1999 thread, I compared Gerry Anderson to Irwin Allen, as both were motivated to create fantastic adventures and spectacle (Allen more than Anderson on that last part) more than trying to create accurate application / views of theoretical science. So, going into any Allen or Anderson production, one would never find himself caught off guard, inspiring, "That's just wrong! It cannot work that way!" kinds of complaint, because the productions were never intended to sell the idea of being Hard SF.

    For example, there's no way Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea's Flying Sub would be able to fly at oft-mentioned supersonic speeds, then nosedive back into the ocean without that being the final trip for its pilots; Lost in Space was clearly on the level of speculative believability found on The Jetsons, while Time Tunnel was one of TV's earliest examples of nonsensical technobabble, but the point is Allen and his cohorts were fine creating those visually bombastic, intellectually suspect adventures, because that was what their audience came to expect. They were not looking for the classic Star Trek, or 2001: A Space Odyssey, but Dr. Smith screaming while surplus "computers" exploded or implausible, giant mer-men manhandling the Seaview. Again, expectation of scientific credibility greatly depends on the producer's known reputation (if he or she has one), and in knowing that, if a viewer still watches a TV series or movie from a purveyor of loud, cartoony explosions, bangs and action, there's not much of chance of disappointment.
     
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  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    In response to Gerry Anderson's quote that "I think that a show that is absolutely scientifically correct can be as dull as ditch-water," I think that's a common misconception that shows like For All Mankind have proven wrong. People often assume hard SF requires giving science lectures, but as Gene Roddenberry said regarding Star Trek, the star of a police show doesn't stop to explain to the audience how his car or his gun works, he just uses them. What's important is that the writers know the science, not that they explain it to the audience. It's no different from, say, writing a story set in Atlanta and doing the research to get the geography and local culture right. The audience members who don't know the difference won't care, but those who do know won't be dragged out of the story by a gross error.

    Also, I find that scientifically literate fiction can be more interesting, because the non-literate stuff just keeps regurgitating the same old tropes used in previous films and shows, whereas knowing the science can reveal new possibilities that never would've occurred to you otherwise. There's so little good science on TV and movies that telling stories based in good science can be fresh and excitingly new. The whole purpose of the scientific process is to uncover facts and phenomena that weren't previously known, to answer questions in ways that lead to new questions and new answers, so naturally it can be a source of fresh, innovative ideas for fiction.

    A great illustration of both points is the solar storm sequence in the season 2 premiere of For All Mankind. When the radiation from the coronal mass ejection hit the Moon's surface, they somewhat accurately depicted the effect it had on the lunar regolith, the electric charge imparted by the impacting high-energy protons making the dust grains repel each other so they swirled and danced and seemingly boiled in an eerie, beautiful way unlike anything I've ever seen on TV. It was excitingly different because it was grounded in a real scientific fact that nothing onscreen before it had ever made use of. And yet there was never a scene where the characters explained why it did that. The why didn't matter to the story, so it was left unaddressed. (Though apparently they have science-lecture aftershow segments following the credits, for those who are interested.)

    Yes, working within realistic science creates limitations that you don't have in more fanciful fiction, but working within limitations can be good, as any writer of haiku or limericks could tell you. It forces you to be more creative and more careful than if you're free to do whatever you want. And putting limitations on characters is good for the story, because it gives them more challenges to overcome. For instance, since Avengers: Endgame used a scientifically plausible model of time travel in which altering the past only branches off a new timeline that coexists with the old, instead of the usual utter nonsense of time-travel stories where the original timeline is "erased" (a logical self-contradiction and physical impossibility), that created the dilemma that the Ancient One spelled out to Bruce Banner about the consequences of taking the Infinity Stones without returning them. It also created an opportunity as well as problems, since it allowed an alternate Thanos and Gamora to be brought forward from 2014 without affecting the original timeline's course of events due to their removal from the past. So in both respects, getting the science (relatively) right benefited the story instead of impeding it. It also benefited the story by letting it do something different from the overused cliches of time-travel fiction.


    I think that's a false dichotomy. I've always found that science fiction can be a great vehicle for learning about real science. It was Star Trek (which was relatively more accurate than the rest of '60s-70s SFTV) that got me interested in science and astronomy in the first place, and I've learned a lot about science from reading SF. Heck, Greg Egan's fiction gave me a better understanding of quantum mechanics than being a physics major in college did, since the college course was mostly just calculus and I never quite got a handle on what it meant the way I did from the fiction.

    That's one reason it frustrates me that so little mass-media SF is remotely plausible -- they're missing a grand opportunity to be informative. There's no reason a story can't be both entertaining and educational, since the entertainment value can enhance the learning experience. (I once read about an experiment where they showed students a Gilligan's Island scene of the Professor explaining how to turn citrus fruits into batteries, then showed a conventional science-class lecture on the same principle, and the students who saw the Gilligan scene retained the knowledge better.)
     
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  7. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Incidentally, I don't even understand what precedents his statement was based on. Before "Space: 1999" the only science fiction show that could be called at least a little "scientifically correct" was Star Trek and, well, if one called it "dull as ditch-water", well, I think you'd meet the strong dissent from a considerable number of people.
     
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  8. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How accurate? Zero, I've watched some old 50s sci fi that was 100% rubish. Still enjoyable to a point.
    Recent examples like Armageddon, or Moon fall. just horrendous. People point to Gravity as being accurate, except for being weightless and soundless, it aint right at all, no chance of the shuttle being in the same orbit as the ISS, and negative 10,000 percent chance of the Chinese station also being in the same orbit.
    Even some stuff in Trek of late, where they could have said "Ion Storm" and we wouldn't blink a eye, but they said "Solar Flair" or Supernovea and I'm like.. What? Uh. No.. ( why i don't really care for the 32nd century stuff because the writers for it.. Suck)

    Still, Trek has used real science for episode ideas, like parallel universes, black holes, etc. to good effect. and has served as inspiration for countless scientist etc.

    As for Space:1999 after the first episode, science reality kind of takes a back seat to the story.
    For me, I like the thing of, when your making a story, you create the Rules for that universe, How one goes FTL, do they have Transporters, do they have artificial gravity, if so what type, how fast can they go, do they have ftl communications, stuff like that, then they STICK as close as possible to the rules, and if they break them in an episode, give a reason why.

    For 1999, there were really no rules set, They explosion didn't hurl them FTL, so how are they going from system to system? Were they self sufficient for water, food, etc. Practically no world building behind the scenes, just, tell a story.
     
  9. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Science Fiction in it's "original" variation, be it Jules Vernes, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, used the future to tell stories about us, disguised in the cloak of futuristic elements so i don't think they have an obligation to be teachers of science, that's what documentaries and actual science teachers are for. SF literature and shows/movies primary purpose is to tell a story, the setting just differs from the usual earthbound stories that we can immediately connect to.

    As i said some shows do try to use hard science as much as possible and work the explanation into the story but they are rare because usually the way something works out in reality is much more boring and unexciting for an audience ( safe perhaps for scientists and science nerds who get excited over some numbers on a screen).

    However as you said they can inspire to dig deeper and spark a curiosity that was not there before. It has been well documented that many aerospace engineers in the 70s-90s were inspired by Star Trek and made it their lifes' career at NASA and other similar organizations but this is just a fortunate byproduct, not the intention of such shows.
     
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  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, two years before S99, in 1973, there was a 6-episode BBC One miniseries called Moonbase 3, created by Doctor Who's Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks as a more adult, scientifically realistic SF drama. I saw it once, and I don't think I'd call it dull, but it was definitely a more sedate drama than the kind of action-adventure stuff Anderson made.

    There was also Men into Space from 1959-60, which was fairly accurate for its day, and did get broadcast in the UK in the same time slot that Doctor Who would later fill. I haven't seen that, though.

    But yeah, I think Anderson, like most people who voice that opinion, was basing it more on preconceptions than actual evidence. It sounds like he was assuming that if you limited your concepts to real science, it would preclude you from telling many kinds of stories, e.g. you couldn't depict interstellar journeys taking less than a lifetime. Of course, the problem there is the straw man of "absolutely scientifically correct." The goal of hard SF is not to limit oneself to existing science, but to conjecture plausibly beyond it and present the improbabilities with enough realistic grounding that they at least seem plausible enough to suspend disbelief about. I often cite the old saw about sincerity: "If you can fake that, you've got it made." For instance, FTL travel is unlikely, but at least warp drive is derived from the principles of general relativity, so even though it's a break from reality, it's a far more believable one than the Moon drifting between star systems on a weekly basis.

    Incidentally, looking at Anderson's quote -- "if you are going deep into the universe, then you can say whatever you like and that’s fine; but if you’re dealing with subjects that we have up-to-date knowledge on, like the Moon, then you ought to be correct" -- I realize that's just what I was saying about magnetic boots on The Expanse. It doesn't work for me because we know for a fact (they've actually tried it) that magnetic boots wouldn't be useful in space, whereas a more fanciful form of artificial gravity would be more acceptable because it can be presumed to be science we haven't discovered yet. (Of course, the best thing would be if they could replicate free-fall motion accurately in all the free-fall scenes, which is something For All Mankind has managed relatively well, but it would probably be too logistically difficult to do it as regularly as The Expanse would have needed to.)
     
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  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's an invalid generalization, and Verne is the worst possible example you could've cited for your assertion. As with any field of human creativity, individuals do it differently and it's facile to generalize. Whereas H.G. Wells used science fiction as social allegory and felt free to make up whatever fanciful science he wished, Jules Verne strove to ground his "scientific romances" in the most credible and accurate science of his day, for all that we recognize its flaws in retrospect. Apparently, Verne had a low opinion of Wells's cavalier approach to science.

    The difference between Asimov and Bradbury is comparable. Asimov tended to be toward the "hard" side of the scientific spectrum; indeed, he was arguably more of a science writer than a science fiction writer over the course of his career. He tended to employ his share of fanciful elements like hyperdrive and telepathy (though that latter was presumably because his main editor John W. Campbell believed in psychic powers and encouraged his writers to include them), but he tended to do stories that focused on science, technological nuts and bolts, and intellectual problem-solving. Ray Bradbury, on the other hand, was very much a "soft" SF writer and frequently an outright fantasy and horror writer; his work was driven more by emotion, mystery, and the poetry of the language, with the scientific and technical elements being superficial and arbitrary.


    I've already established that I reject this reductionistic binary. There is no single "correct" way to tell a story, and no single "correct" way for audiences to enjoy stories. And there's no sense building artificial walls between categories. Categories are meant to describe, not proscribe. They can always overlap. Entertainment can absolutely be educational; I grew up in a generation when it was expected to be, when children's shows were actually required by the government to have a certain amount of educational content, and though I'm uneasy with that kind of government regulation of creativity, I feel I benefited as a child from being raised with entertainment that was designed to teach me things. That's why I choose to make my own science fiction plausible and informative.

    I mean, really, where's the sense in saying that education shouldn't be entertaining? Defining learning as a chore just makes it harder for people to learn. I mean, good grief, play itself evolved as a form of learning, a way for juvenile animals to learn and practice adult behaviors. So it's outright unnatural to insist on a separation between entertainment and education.


    I already explained why it's a complete fallacy to assume the use of hard science requires including explanations. The point is not to lecture those who don't know the science, but to get it right so that those who do know the science aren't pulled out of the story.


    Again insisting on a completely arbitrary dichotomy. Why can't it be both? Indeed, it essentially was both. Roddenberry specifically set out to make Star Trek more grounded and believable than other shows, to consult with scientists and engineers so he could depict a believable future, one that could be as respectable and edifying as the best adult dramas of the era rather than being fanciful kids' stuff. That's why you saw people inspired to become scientists or astronauts by Star Trek instead of by Space: 1999 or Battlestar Galactica -- because Star Trek did the work to build a universe that felt real, that made audiences think "That world could exist someday" and inspired them to learn how to work toward its creation.
     
  12. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    When it comes to shows being both entertaining and education there's trend with show on places like History and Netflix where we have fully scripted and acted dramatic scenes intercut with interviews about what's going on in those scene, we see it with shows like The Men/Food/Whatever That Built America, and The Lost Pirate Kingdom.

    As for the original question, I like it when shows at least make an attempt to get the basic stuff right, but it's not a deal breaker for me. I can enjoy stuff like both The Expanse and Moonfall at the same time.
     
  13. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There rests the problem with filmed sci-fi: producers dating back to the dawn of cinema realized audiences were attracted to spectacle, which was considered the antithesis of a creation trying to adhere to real world scientific principles--one of the central reasons less than a handful of movies/TV series attempting it (to varying degrees) were successful, while the rest were served with collective yawning. That may say much about the failing in the way of science was exposed / taught to people, but its also evidence of audiences simultaneously being trained across generations to embrace (not across the board) the loud, bangs and crashes of spectacle (in superhero adaptations as well as sci-fi), rather than anything stemming from a more thoughtful inspiration or source.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except I wouldn't put much faith in the educational value of shows on commercial networks, which tend to be driven by ratings and thus trend toward dumbing things down to the lowest common denominator. There are so many cable channels that started out educational but degenerated into reality trash and pseudoscience about UFOs and whatnot. Which is why public television is so great to have, because it's not about the profit motive and the educational content tends to be better. While still often being quite entertaining.


    If there were a good balance of both approaches, that would be fine. The problem for me has always been the near-total lack of anything in TV or film that even tried to have decent science, though fortunately there is somewhat more of that these days than there used to be.

    Then there's the occasional bizarre thing like Apple's Foundation, which occasionally has bits of pretty solid hard science and astronomy -- what happens with the space elevator in the pilot is pretty much lifted directly from Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy -- yet puts them alongside a wealth of dreadfully bad science, like people on a planet surface being able to see spaceships in orbit with the naked eye and a ship without hyperdrive somehow being able to make what's explicitly a 30,000-light year journey in just 2-3 years. It doesn't at all do justice to Asimov's work, which, despite its fanciful elements like hyperdrive and psionics, was pretty accurate when it came to known science (at least by the standards of the time it was written).
     
  15. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I blame Star Wars for normalizing this sort of thing.
     
  16. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    A little of everything for me. I like good hard science fiction, such as a story that postulates a scientific advance and examines its effect on society. I also like a rousing space opera with aliens and robots and space warps. I also enjoy a pure fantasy with magic and gods and monsters and dragons.

    Oddly, tho, I don't like fantasy novels, I prefer my fantasy visually - in either graphic novels or film.
     
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  17. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't think you can blame entertainment for raising its audience to want to have spectacle, i believe it's ingrained in ourselves to want to have something visually stimulating to feel excitement so one thing leads to the other. The way science usually works is far less exciting, it's rows of data and tons of lab equipment and people are watching certain gauges to determine reactions etc. Unless you specifically design experiments to be spectacular ( those you see in talk shows when they have science week or something like that) actual science is pretty boring to an outsider because they don't have a connection to it like a scientist.

    Then again there's movies like Arrival that are far more cerebral, so it can be done but it takes really good writers and actors to pull it off and they are a minority in current Hollywood where mediocrity is enough nowadays to churn out profitable movies.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's a very strange way of looking at it. A story doesn't have to be about the work of scientists in order to get the science right, any more than a story has to be about city planning to get the geography of Paris right. Like I said, it's not about focusing the story on something, just about getting the details right so that knowledgeable audience members aren't distracted from whatever the story is about. The research is something the writer does backstage, not something the characters have to do onstage.

    There's no reason you can't have scientifically plausible spectacle. For All Mankind has done it -- I cited how the solar-storm sequence used accurate science to create a very spectacular image (the "boiling" Lunar regolith) that has never before been seen in less scientifically accurate productions. The Martian did it. Gravity did it superbly, aside from the farcical exaggeration of the debris hazard. The universe is a spectacular place, and the more you know about it, the more opportunities you can find for spectacle. Without scientific knowledge, movies and shows generally just rehash things they've seen in earlier movies and shows. Keeping up with current discovery lets you introduce striking new ideas, images, and settings.


    The fact that something isn't done often enough is an argument for doing it more, not for giving up trying.
     
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  19. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Aside from not accurately representing Martian gravity.
     
  20. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just because someone looks at things differently, doesn't mean that it's strange. Well, maybe strange to the person disagreeing with it. But not as a definition.
     
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