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.