Watching Science Fiction with Rachel the Great, Page 3

And that is why I’ve only seen “The Trilogy” once. Go ahead, take my Geek Cred. If that’s what passes for good sci-fi, I don’t want it.

I have always wondered why we write sci-fi shows about cultures that all speak the same language. You could make much more interesting (and likely) stories if you either accepted the communication barriers and wrote about people overcoming them (something humans have to do among themselves already, thus upping the relevance of the story) or created a conceit, like “telepathy devices,” that would up the technological capabilities of the culture that wields them. I mean, if you can build a ship to travel through space, surely you can make a device that transfers thoughts! Sheesh.

By dodging these realities, science fiction becomes pure fiction.

  • williamthebloody

    there are TWO science fiction thingies which DO have translation conceits of which i am aware.
    1. Dr. Who. the TARDIS ship has a telepathic translation thingie which gloms onto you, even if you stray far away from it. but even this device isnt perfect in its conception.
    2. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. the babel fish: put in your ear and it translates for you.

    have you tried Firefly? it’s a little better as far as the science fiction problems go. no sound in space, for starts! also, no aliens and everyone is a human from earth, so no big language barrier (just about everyone speaks a mixture of english and chinese). and NO LASERS. well, there was one, but it was a big deal collector’s item.

    but yeah, overall i can see your point. there are certain things i am willing to suspend my own disbelief for and some things i’m not, so you are definitely entitled to the same. good for you :)

  • Rizu

    Hitchhiker’s Guide is by far my favorite sci-fi series, though I’ve been meaning to give Dr. Who a try. Douglas Adams’ writing is brilliant, and much of the hilarity is in the narrative. I strongly recommend it.

  • Trekkie

    Dr who awesome show!! But I would like to add that Star Trek does have a translation device! Therefore voyager is the only show in the Star Trek continuum that messes that up since those are undiscovered races. Next gen even had a theory why they all walked on two legs and looked similar.

  • Lauren

    Gotta say I liked Firefly too… And I check Netflix streaming every day to see if the new season of Doctor Who is up yet. ~_~

    I’m wearing a Doctor Who shirt in this Blog entry, actually:

  • xero

    star trek all star fleet officers and crew have an implanted Universal translator in there ears as a matter of fact the technology for it is so common my Next gen that most ppl have one as a mater of fact Quark Rom and Nog never spoke a single word of English during D29 they were speaking ferengi the whole time in star wars what they were speaking was galactic standard they simply used english in place of it since everyone was speaking it

    @Trekkie actually Voyager reenforces that, the ancient message said they seeded this GALAXY with there dna the whole of star trek only takes place in the milky way galaxy each quadrant is 1/4th of the milky way

    @William you forgot about the translator microbes from Farscape symbiotic bacteria that would allow your brain to process other languages

  • http://IWISH! Reese76

    Plasma Canons, RAIL Guns, and Matter/AntiMatter bombs should work in space operas. LASERS, Nuclear Fission/Fusion bombs and Non Ionizing Energy Beams should Not.

  • Lala

    I don’t care about geek cred. I saw LOTR and Hitchhikers’ Guide, but I never read the books, and a few Star Trek movies, but I am currently avoiding the whole Star Wars thing so I can wait until i have a following established to listen to my rants. Take that, brother dear.