Please welcome D.L. Richardson to the blog! When D.L. contacted me about guest posting, all she had to say was “Space 1999” and I was in! I know you’ll enjoy her post.
“The Evolution Of Sci-Fi” – The Movie
By young adult fiction author D L Richardson
Space 1999 is a British science-fiction television series that ran for two seasons and originally aired from 1975 to 1977. That’s the Wikipedia description.
The truth is that Space 1999 was the coolest TV show on Earth because it featured a character named Maya (Catherine Schell) who could shape shift into anything – bug, monkey, monster, mouse. In one episode she shifted into a black panther, which was the most magnificent thing my seven year old brain had ever seen.
From that moment on I was hooked on sci-fi, even though I didn’t realize it.
Since Space 1999 aired during the day, I only got to watch it when I was sick, yet that brief introduction was enough to make me a loyal fan of shows such as The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, and Lost In Space. These shows aired after school, so my backside was firmly planted in front of the TV and no homework was done till the glorious adventure ended. And still, I didn’t realize I was addicted to sci-fi.
My transition from sci-fi on TV to movies was seamless because the movies I saw were on TV. Our family wasn’t the type to go the cinema or even hire videos. TV was it! The first sci-fi movie I remember watching was Logan’s Run. I absolutely loved the twist at the end. Not long after, I saw Planet of the Apes and the twist at the end blew me away. Westworld became my favorite movie ever for a while, even if it did give me nightmares.
I didn’t begin going to the cinemas till I started earning my own money. My first date, at fourteen years of age, I went (chaperoned by my older brother) to the cinemas. We saw Return Of The Jedi. And still, if you’d said I was a sci-fi fan I would have called you crazy. Sci-fi fans were…weird, right? Besides…
Why would a fourteen year old girl who thought she was tough and cool choose to see a sci-fi movie on her first date?
Unbeknownst to me, and the rest of the planet it appears, the clever geeks (all of them geniuses but not necessarily evil) at Hollywood movie studios had been preparing for years and years a unique kind of world invasion. But not the kind humanity was expecting.
The attack came without resistance from anyone.
In 1993, Universal Studios launched their global attack on humanity by releasing a movie called Jurassic Park. This movie hit the screens with superior digital effects and lots of action. It grossed over $900 million worldwide, surpassing E.T which was released 10 years prior and which had surpassed Star Wars in sales almost ten years prior to that. Jurassic Park wasn’t merely a movie about dinosaurs. It was the launching pad for a mild-altering chemical that would turn an average movie-goer into a crazed sci-fi geek. And what was the most evil-genius bit about this global invasion? The movie-goer wouldn’t even realize they were watching sci-fi.
Today, movies like Jurassic Park, Independence Day, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, I Am Legend, The Terminator, Iron Man, and Avatar have become the most popular blockbuster action movies of all time, and you’d be hard pressed not to find a lot of these DVDs in an average person’s collection. So it seems as if Hollywood has created the ultimate sci-fi story – “The Evolution of Sci-fi” the movie, coming soon to a cinema near you, although you may not realize it’s sci-fi even while you’re watching aliens in space, or the end of the world, or genetically engineering lizards, or cyborgs, or androids, or any number of uniquely science fiction characters.
How did Hollywood alter our minds so easily? Simple. They created a new genre called Blockbuster.
My personal preference is for classic sci-fi tv shows and movies, but I do also enjoy modern sci-fis. What do you prefer?
D L Richardson is the author of young adult speculative fiction. Her current novel Feedback is a story of 3 teenagers who receive the organs of a dead spy, and when they are abducted for information only the spy knows, his memories awaken with them. You can check out this, and other great books by D L Richardson at her website www.dlrichardson.com.
16 thoughts on “Guest Post: The Evolution Of SciFi with DL Richardson”
Charlee it would be refreshing to have blog guests who stated more than the obvious about the evolution of the genre– and didn’t have any financial or career objective to gain from it. Ms. Richardson is clearly blogging to promote her work.
Hi VJ. Thanks for letting me know this is a concern. To be fair, probably 90% of guest bloggers have something to promote. I generally don’t have a problem with that as long as the whole post isn’t a book promo. In DL’s case, she did a great job of complying with my guidelines (maybe the title of this post sets expectations a bit high) so maybe it is my guidance to guest bloggers that is causing the problem. I’ll give that some thought. I generally ask them to keep posts short, light, and to throw out an idea or two for discussion. That way blog readers can take the topic deeper if they choose. Mostly, I aim to keep the blog fun and accessible. I hope we have something for both newbies to the genre and the most die-hard fans, but there are other blogs more suited to in-depth analysis of the genre. For that I go to the Galaxy Express (http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net/). Heather has great insight into the genre. If you haven’t been there, you should definetly check her out.
If you have suggestions for guest bloggers, I’m hapy to recruit them. Suggestions and feedback are welcome via the feedback form on the “about the blog” page.
Hi DL! I loved your trip down memory lane. I watched many of those same shows! I think my first movie date was “Something Wicked This Way Comes” so you out geek me there. LOL I like both classic and modern scifi. SciFi is much ‘prettier’ now with all of the cgi and effects, but the story still has to be there for me. That’s most important.
Thanks Charlee. What I love most about classic sci fi movies is the story, plus the insight into a world that could be real. Oh, and the twists. Classic sci fi movies have such great twists. Thanks for featuring my post. D L
BTW I love the new look LOL.
Hi DL! One of my favorite television shows was Space: Above and Beyond with marines from Earth sent into space to battle aliens and AI. Also enjoyed many episodes of Star Trek. Love the classics and all the new shows and movies, too. This year promises to be a great year for sci-fi movies. 🙂
Hi Jessica. I’ll have to check out Space:Above and Beyond. Sounds like my thing. I could have written an essay on the shows I love. Star Trek is on that list. I’m looking forward to the latest round of ST movies.
Thanks for visiting D.L.! Personally, I think I tend towards the classics or at least they are classics now. But I even appreciate early early Forbidden Planet and campy ( Barbarella). Space 1999 I almost forgot about. Glad you mentioned it.
Hi R.K. Oooh, Barbarella. What a classic.
Hey,I love the classics. Never tire of the twilight zone episode and the quote “it’s not fair…It’s just not fair.” Writing a new sci-fi on my own blog, I try to keep history in mind. loved your post.
Hi Patrick. Glad to hear you love the classics. I’m a bit partial to Twilight Zone myself.
Jurassic Park continues to be one of my all time favorite movies and I think it still stands up to the test of time (much better than some other Sci-Fi) because it uses science to capture the imagination with unknown possibilities. I love any sci-fi that pushes my imagination. Thanks for the great post 🙂
Jurassic Park certainly changed the way movies are made, that’s for sure. It’s funny. One of the reasons I wrote this post was because my nephew recently said to me, “You like Star Trek and Star Wars” as if it was a bad thing. Didn’t have the heart to tell him many of his DVDs were big blockbuster sci-fis.\Thanks for dropping by
D L xoxo
Well one of my favorite movies is Jurassic park I saw it in middle school and it led me to other manipulated monster then SciFi movies….enjoyed your post:)
Glad you enjoyed this post. Bit of fun for me to write and a nice trip down memory lane too. I can see a sci-fi marathon coming up for me.
D L xoxo
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