I have always been a fan of science fiction, ever since I sat down as a small child in front of the TV watching Star Trek and Thunderbirds. The 70’s brought the phenomenon that was Star Wars and the 80’s didn’t disappoint either.
More recently, in the late 90’s, there was Stargate SG-1.
You would think that all this nonsense would be beyond someone of my age – I am fast approaching 41 – but there is more to science fiction than ray guns and spaceships.
Scratch the surface of any Sci-Fi show or film and you will begin to see comments on society, aspirations, dreams and nightmares. Sci-Fi is a narrative tool that allows us to visit the darker corners of human kind and peer into what lies ahead for us. Sci-Fi also projects clear religious theologies and moral lessons in a way that no story book can manage.
Science fiction also mirrors – or catalyses – science fact.
In the late 60’s Captain Kirk spoke to members of his crew through a small hand held communication device. The device could also show the face of the person he was talking to. Only a few decades later and we have mobile video phones that can surf the net, take video, play music and even call our crew.
In 1968 Stanley Kubrick directed a film called 2001 a space odyssey. In it, a group of astronauts travel in a shuttle craft to a space station orbiting the Earth. It was described at the time as being farfetched. The film even had a super intelligent talking computer called HAL. As if that could ever happen! The author of the book – Arthur C Clarke- is credited with inventing the communications satellite, another author, Isaac Asimov, is the man that set out the three rules of robotics that are still quoted today.
As Sci-Fi progressed, it was able to tell moral and even religious stories on a grand scale.
Stargate SG1 is the story of how a group of people travel the galaxy destroying serpent like creatures that believe themselves to be gods. Mmmm… now, where have I heard that before?
Sci-Fi is more than just good stories told with alien characters in far off lands, it is a narrative on the human soul and the spur that allows mankind to embrace its dreams and aspirations.