Movies and television programs are very effective and entertaining ways of telling science fiction stories and making the genre appealing to a wide ranging audience.
In the past, directors and producers used physical props and models to create scenes that showed space ships and alien planets. Today, things have changed dramatically with the advent of computer generated imagery, three dimensional filming, and digital recordings. While the improved visuals are important, the real thing that keeps people coming back for more are the story lines that captivate people’s imagination. One only has to look at the effect that legacy science fiction productions such as Star Wars and Star Trek had in the late 1970s and early 1980s, to see that if the story lines are good, people will come back for more.
It is also interesting to note that some science fiction productions were extremely popular in the black and white era of television featuring Star Trek, Land of the Giants, and Planet of the Apes.
Some of these were remade in the modern era, but some die hard fans actually prefer the originals. One of the incredible things about early science fiction is how writers and directors such as Stanley Kubrick, accurately foresaw ideas that we take for granted today. In fact, science fiction has accurately predicted many things, and it will be interesting to see what today’s productions have got right, such as spaceships travelling at warp speed, hibernation during space travel, and of course, weapons such as phazers – not too different from tazers really – photon torpedoes, lasers and more.
Aliens are of course, another recurring theme in science fiction, and the many weird and wonderful characters truly reflect the depth of imagination that writers have when they dream them up. The link between science fiction books and video productions is also an important link in translating ideas into film.