This week the Science Channel, part of the Discovery family of networks, premiered a new series, helmed by producer Ridley Scott (Aliens, Blade Runner), celebrating the scientific foresight of masters of classic science fiction literature. Prophets of Science Fiction will explore both the literary accomplishments of authors such as Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, and Philip K. Dick, as well as their influence on ongoing scientific advancement. Here is the trailer for the show:
The series begins with a profile of Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), credited with creating the science fiction genre as a whole. With commentary from Shelley scholars and historians, the series premiere offers parallel storylines of Shelley’s life and literary career, the plot and themes of her seminal novel, and the scientific underpinnings that inspired her immortal work. Interviews with scientists on the cutting edge of electrical medicine, genetics, and artificial intelligence round out the episode, with Shelley’s tale of science-without-responsibility providing the cautionary undercurrent.
A centerpiece of Science Channel’s rare original programming, Prophets of Science Fiction is getting due attention on their website. Check out interviews with contributors including Ridley Scott, historical notes on the authors, and an episode guide, showing eight episodes that will air at least through February.
Future episodes will profile Jules Verne, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and borg.com favorite George Lucas. Although the series begins with genre progenitor Mary Shelley, Episode 2 will feature Philip K. Dick, so it appears the series creators don’t plan a chronological exploration of their subject. Watch on Science Channel Wednesdays at 10 pm (Yes, borg.com is aware this is the same time as Psych. That’s why you have a DVR.).