Sunday, 16 June 2013

"My God, It's Full of Stars": Upcoming BBC SF Documentary

BBC America announced that they're planning a four-part documentary on science fiction, to be made in co-production with BBC Two. No word yet as to when it will air, but perhaps before the anniversary year is over; the working title is "My God, It’s Full of Stars: A Journey to the Edge of Science Fiction". The BBC's press release on the miniseries is here. Funnily enough, the picture that BBC America used to accompany the press release is the one below.

To quote, "The series heads to the very frontiers of space and science to produce the definitive television history of science fiction. The story of one of the liveliest and most stimulating genres in popular culture will be told through its impact on cinema, television and literature. Each episode will explore one of the enduring themes of science fiction: time travel; the exploration of space; robots and artificial intelligence; and aliens. It will be made with the help of the genre’s greatest pioneers: the filmmakers, writers, actors, and graphic artists whose obsession and imagination has taken them into the unknown. Having explored the future, the past, parallel universes and galaxies far, far away, they are now ready to report back on their experiences...From HG Wells‘s War Of The Worlds to The Terminator, from Doctor Who to Star Wars this series will guide viewers through a rich, thought-provoking and endlessly exciting genre."

No mention of a presenter; from the sound of it, the main focus will be on allowing various SF-knowledgeable interview subjects to chat about their own area of expertise. The press release offers a few hints; the first episode is undoubtedly going to play to the BBC America audience and talk about "The Time Machine" before segueing into Doctor Who. The BBC Two Exec Producer for the project is one Michael Poole, who's simultaneously overseeing one of Mark Gatiss' horror documentaries. So, odds are that Gatiss will pop by for a few comments on Doctor Who and how wonderful the show is. (Gatiss is doing a programme about MR James, which he hopes to have ready in time for Christmas ghost story fun; you can read about it and the other BBC arts programmes here.) Richard De Croce and Rachel Smith are in charge of the BBC America side of things. With a title like that, presumably "2001: A Space Odyssey" comes into the picture somewhere, so are Stanley Kubrick visuals in the offing? Given that three of the mentioned subjects aren't written media, the series will probably lean more towards the televisual side of science fiction. Which presumably means plenty of coverage for "Doctor Who". In fact, given that the show involves time travel, space exploration, robots and aliens, they could reasonably include clips from it in all four episodes...

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