Science Fiction goes Canadian

Well, I haven’t written much recently as I have been busy. I survived yet another trip to Amsterdam and have been working a lot. Mostly for the Sci Fi channel. The combination of brain-battering in both places fused together to make me wonder about something that would not bother most. At least I hope not, or humanity really needs to focus.

What I noticed was that alien planets in the fictional future of my childhood look different from alien planets in the fictional future of today.

Vasquez Rocks or Alien planet?

In my youth they were rocky desert but today they are lush green woods. To be specific, in my youth they looked like the Vasquez rocks outside LA and now they look like a Canadian forest. The former strikes me as more realistic as most extra-terrestrial planets (not the gas giants obviously) are desert-like in appearance. Look at Mars. Or Venus. I should stress that this probably won’t bother most people but it does me and this is my site. If you do care and you want proof, here goes.

Here’s proof:

Star Trek Original series. Arena.

Star Trek Original series. Arena.

In a classic episode of the old Trek, James T. Kirk is beamed down to a planet and made to fight a green lizard thing that is the captain of another ship.

They are placed there by an alien intelligence to see which species should be allowed to survive. It’s a fight to the death and Kirk brilliantly manages to make gunpowder and shoots a diamond at the alien with a piece of bamboo proving that we monkeys rule!

Which is exactly what I’d have done. He refuses to finish the alien off and humans turn out to be er, more humane and we’re let off.

Notice the background?

Same episode but with alien

Same episode but with alien

In the highly under-rated Futurama, there is a familiar scene:

Futurama does Star Trek

Futurama does Star Trek

Buck Rogers even went there in the 25th Century:

Buck Rogers

Buck Rogers

There’s a funny sequence in Bill and Ted where they watch the Arena episode and then a few minutes later get thrown off the very same rocks. I couldn’t find a photo of this but here they are in preparation:

From fantazone

From fantazone

Evil Bill and Ted meet Good Bill and Ted

Evil Bill and Ted meet Good Bill and Ted

Ok so it is all to do with budgets and nearness to the studio. It’s just that my youth has been filled with images of these rocks. The Flinstones movie has these rocks behind Bedrock. A godawful movie called Shockwave features them. In Friends, Joey is going to be in a low budget Sci Fi film that is set here.

Here’s Airwolf episode 1:

Airwolf!

Airwolf!

Austin Powers!

Austin Powers!

So there I am watching old Sci Fi juxtaposed with new Sci Fi. The difference is glaring. New Sci Fi looks like this:

Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

Stargate

Stargate

At the risk of belaboring this point – in my youth, space was the desert just outside LA; in my adulthood, it is in the woods of Canada. It is obviously about budgets and this entry is making no point whatsoever. Except maybe don’t go to Amsterdam and then watch the Sci Fi channel for three 12-hour shifts in a row. Especially if you’re pedantic and notice crap like this.

If you don’t care then I apologise. Just look at the pretty pictures.

I found it all mildly interesting anyway. Out of the corner of my eye, I could tell what era the programme came from just by the colour – green or yellow.

Hopefully soon, some big budget movie will come along and return to space planets of my youth. My eye will fill with a nostalgic tear and I will love whatever I’m watching. It will mean a return to the classics. Actually… that’s happened. Guess what movie? In a joke that would appeal to sad Trekkies, JJ Abrams’ brilliant new Star Trek film featured a picture of Vulcan.

It looks familiar and god bless him:

Vulcan in the new Star Trek. Genius.

Vulcan in the new Star Trek. Genius.

 

One thought on “Science Fiction goes Canadian

  1. paul

    yes but in Canada we do have aliens living in the forest. They are friendly and make for wonderful unpaid extras.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to paul Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *