“Alien” and “Blade Runner” director to explore how the work of Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick and others inspired technology
Ridley Scott is about to space out with a new series for Discovery's Science Channel.
Discovery announced Monday that the director of "Alien" and "Blade Runner" will host a new series, "Prophets of Science Fiction," to premiere on Science on Nov. 9.
Each episode will explore the work of a science-fiction visionary, and how their work affected the world at large.
The first installment, which will revolve around "Frankenstein" author Mary Shelley, will delve into how Shelley's best-known work provided inspiration for the technology of organ transplants and heart defibrillators, among other technologies.
Other authors to be profiled include H.G. Wells, Robert Heinlein, Jules Verne and Philip K. Dick — whose "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" served as the basis for Scott's 1982 film "Blade Runner,"
“For years I have been fascinated with the connection between creative inspiration and scientific progress,” Scott said in the announcement. “Often there is an attempt to separate the worlds of art and science, when in reality the two are inseparably linked. I am thrilled to work with Science on'Prophets of Science Fiction,' which will be the definitive exploration of science fiction’s ability to spark real-world genius.”
See the full schedule for "Prophets of Science Fiction" below.
Premieres Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Mary Shelley set out to create a monster–along the way she created a masterpiece. In 1816, teenager Mary begins stitching together a patchwork of ancient legend, modern technology, and personal tragedy — giving life to her novel, "Frankenstein" — and the genre of science fiction.
Premieres Nov. 16 (Tentative)
H.G. Wells’ self-penned epitaph underscores a lifetime of grim — yet uncanny — prophecy. With stories like "The Time Machine," "The Invisible Man," "The World Set Free" and "The War of the Worlds," H.G. Wells established himself as a sci-fi writer of almost clairvoyant talent. But these tales of hi-tech adventure hold an ominous warning: beware the dark side of progress. Our greatest innovations could very well become the tools of our own destruction.
Philip K. Dick
Premieres Nov. 23 (Tentative)
Literary genius, celebrated visionary, paranoid outcast, writer Philip K. Dick lived a life of ever-shifting realities straight from the pages of his mind-bending sci-fi stories. His books have inspired films like "Blade Runner," "Total Recall," and "Minority Report" and his ideas have influenced the development of real-life breakthroughs in everything from robotics to law enforcement. The brilliant, troubled sci-fi legend’s work confronts readers with a deceptively simple question; “What is reality?”
Arthur C. Clarke
Premieres Nov. 30 (Tentative)
Some sci-fi storytellers are content to merely predict — but Sir Arthur C. Clarke creates. The writer is single-handedly responsible for the cornerstone of modern telecommunication technology – the satellite. Clarke’s collaboration with director Stanley Kubrick on the iconic "2001" predicted videophones, iPads, and commercial spaceflight – all while redefining science-fiction cinema for a new generation. His sci-fi legacy inspires us to unveil the mysteries of the universe, confident in the knowledge that science is the new magic.
Premieres Wednesday, Feb. 1 (Tentative)
Isaac Asimov dreamed a better future where we need not fear our own technology. His "I, Robot" stories of a sci-fi future where robots can do our jobs for us led to the creation of real-life industrial robots–and paved the way for a robo-friendly world. Today, droid doctors save lives performing delicate spinal surgery, and automaton astronauts repair orbital stations in the vacuum of space. And it all started with Isaac Asimov’s futuristic sci-fi vision: a robot in every home.
Premieres Wednesday, Feb. 8 (Tentative)
He put a man on the Moon in the Victorian era. He criticized the Internet…in 1863. Jules Verne is the ultimate futurist, with a legacy of sci-fi stories predicting everything from fuel cell technology to viral advertising. The extraordinary voyages of Jules Verne span from the center of the Earth to the surface of the Moon, inspiring art, industry, culture and technology.
Premieres Wednesday, Feb. 15 (Tentative)
Science fiction legend Robert Heinlein is a walking contradiction. His stories address themes of patriotism, and duty — while stressing the importance of personal freedom and expression. Heinlein’s groundbreaking sci-fi stories like "Starship Troopers" and "Stranger in a Strange Land" continue to challenge readers with the enduing question: “What is freedom?”