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Science Fiction Friction

I’ve had occasion to watch some tv and the odd film and have some thoughts about what I’ve been watching. and no particular order I’m just going to put it out there.

Dark Matter, Ex_Machina, Humans/Äkta människor, Stitchers, SuperGirl, Mr.Robot and Utopia.

Dark Matter.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 6.44.12 pmThe spaceship makes this manoeuvre to ‘fall’ rapidly ‘downwards’ to avoid a missile. In doing so the ships ‘gravitational processor’ would not be able to compensate adequately. So in this scene all the characters from the 100lb to the 300lb ‘floated’ ‘weightless’ as the ship ‘fell’

Moments later the spaceship makes an FTL leap, that’s Faster Than Light wherein none of the characters suffered compression injuries due to rapid acceleration from going zero to extremely quickly instantly.

Secondly. Why is it that in every space ship show and film ever all the spaceships fly along the same place in the same orientation. All of them. With few exceptions like in this episode of Dark Matter and one episode of classic Star Trek do you ever see spaceships on different planes of travel.

They never approach from 90 degrees, of directly from above, or below or some oblique angle. Always head to head, face to face. Always the same orientation.

Thirdly. Guns, why so many guns?


Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 6.43.41 pmA female robot is programmed with self will and though.

There were some interesting themes in this, like the accumulation and endowment of knowledge based on the capture of internet searches and phone communications.

But it’s not a startlingly good movie, given that the robot has figured out how to overload the power system by feedback I wondered why it was content to wait to escape by conning a guilliable male into helping it.

Anyway the robot escapes, without a worry about how it’ll recharge itself, money, identification, destination or means.

Humans the English Version and Real Humans (Äkta människor) the swedish version.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 6.57.41 pmRobots have been given AI. “Science has created a robot that looks like a human being and is considered a perfect substitute.”

Perfectly articulated robots are programmed for specialist roles in the domestic and workplace, from domestic help, aged care workers, to warehouse stores pick and pack and labourers.

Except some of them have been given freedom of thought, just a few.

Set ‘now’ this is an interesting study in human and machine interaction. One of the good things is that the robots don’t have cellular communication or are internet connected, and they require charging regularly.

One of the strange things is just how well articulated and mobile they are, and just how good they are at things like cooking, which is sometimes a judgement call, they don’t posses super sight, super strength, or any other extra powers. Some of them can drive cars, but not many.

‘Real Humans’ is a movement to avoid or discriminate against ‘hubots’ in society, and there are plenty of stickers and warnings about where they are welcome or not.

It’s a very good theme and it’s well acted and scripted, the tribulations of teenage angst and infatuation with the overly pretty house bots, the ‘hubots’ becoming sexual partners for some, and the anger that some humans have towards being inferior to ‘hubots’ in some situations.

Then there are the different group, who are free-thinkers and have different personalities, from a psychopath, a religious one, one who wants to be loved and have children, and one that got away with being a police officer, only I have no idea how they passed the medical for that since there are special ‘hubot’ readers that can pick up identification and ownership ID quite easily. Still it makes for a great plot angle.

Then….. one of the different ‘Hubots’ uses it’s standard USB port to hack into a security network. You knew it was coming, along with the leaping of the car.


Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 6.56.34 pmJump into the memories of a recently dead person and discover why or how they died. Female lead has emotional detachment and the nerds are pretty second rate.

Throw in that the lead has to wear a skin tight suit that covers some of her body and protects her when shes in the swim pool, it’s particularly odd. I might not be getting it but when you assume someone memory I’d have thought that you also gain their perspective and not be an observer in their dream, you’d see things in the first person as you are now, not be standing behind you looking at you.

It’s not overly different to any number of soft detective shows that are or have been on from Sherlock, Person of Interest, and others. It’s not particularly good on story, script or procedural accuracy.


Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 6.58.41 pmThis is particulay vexing.

In this new paradigm Super Girl is facing other aliens who happen to be in the same town, and want to cause distruction and mayhem.

Not acts of bravery. So essentially it’s a monsters of the week show. Hugely disappointing and rather average thinking.

Mr. Robot.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 6.59.17 pmIntrovert hacker with extraordinary skills ‘hacks’ people to being them to a justice.

Was doing ok, and is quite interesting, realistic perhaps and at one point he used the acronym AFK (away from keyboard) to explain why he was meeting someone in real life and not just via email. Of course gets caught up with some major league conspiracist and mysterious hacking group that disappear, the hunt is on.

Of course gets in a corporate jet to fly to a data centre where he is the only one ….

Has a lot of potential if it stays true to itself and not one of those stupid tap the keyboard hack pastiches, which it will be eventually.


Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 6.57.04 pmOne of the best and quirkiest programs in the last while is the TV series Utopia. Just 12 episodes.

Jessica Hyde on the run and hiding a secret contained in a manuscript that foreshadows or is as a result of and experiment to end or change mankind for good and forever.

It is strange and it is compelling if you can get into it.

Too odd for the network TV people they stopped it sort of stopped it mid story with might of course be a blessing since look what’s happened in “Orphan Black’ that’s turned into a bit of a shambles.


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