Several years ago I was able to to find a name to a particular genre of science fiction I liked. That wonderful combination of pulp and future that embodied moon bases, jetpacks and hover cars. I know I’m not the only one possessed of an interest in such Jetson based storytelling, one glimpse at the comics collection should assure you of this, but it wasn’t until I happened across a Flickr account that this term became known.
Essentially an oxymoron used for describing the dreams of the future between the 20’s and the 60’s. Back when rockets were phallic and nobody cared. When ray guns shot expanding hula hoops of destruction. Where science ventured into Asimov’s theory of magic and suddenly the future looked like we would all be wizards that rode to the stars and had sex with women who were green.
Naturally the future advanced down a different road and the discussions being waged upon this are being held by humans of exceeding brilliance so I shan’t stumble into them like a football fan at 3 am. Suffice to say, google “spime” someday and see what you get.
Probably some kind of porn and/or real estate.
Problem is, while Paleo-Futuristic encapsulates this genre of science-fiction well, its far from a term that rolls off the tongue. It only grips those who understand the potency of such wordsmithing or who, like me, were looking for a name for a wondrous imaginative world in the first place. And so, for those still searching. For those still trying to identify that voice in your head when it screams at you. For those who want to know what it says, I give to you…
As a catchcry, SCIENCE! has been making its rounds across the internet and amongst the various cliques of nerds and geeks. Triumphantly yelled as a declaration of intent or as a cry of victory, let us add one more application to this term. Say it loud and let its name invoke the dream of a world that moved us into the one we live.
Changing Paleo-Futuristic to SCIENCE! is what I’m saying here.
And on that subject, I’m watching the second season of Torchwood. Wow I feel a little dirty for saying that.
With the exception of two episodes, that series disappointed on every measurable level. I expected humanity’s response to the aliens the Doctor fought and I suppose some of a cynical bent might say that I got what I wished for. Because every response was for humanity to try and fucking sleep with it! I swear that for an agency charged with the protection from and collection of aliens, this team of pyschos damn nearly ended the world more times than they saved it. It was adult so that means that guys can kiss guys, girls can kiss girls and people can swear a lot. Kids, this is what the big deal about growing up is apparently. Enjoy your childhood while it lasts.
Everyone fucking cries and everyone goes through so many mood swings that I’m sure if you looked at their personnel records you’d find they all have Sybil as their middle name. It was god awful television that ended in the most abysmal fashion and then Captain Jack Harkness went over to Doctor Who and suddenly became oh so very cool again. And I watched every damn episode hoping to be proved wrong.
Well I wasn’t falling for that again (actually if you look up two paragraphs prior you’ll see I did, but bear with me). Then I learned that James Marsters and Freema Agyeman were appearing, so I thought, “What the hell”. Yep, only takes Martha Jones and Spike to make me recant, God I’m cheap.
It turns out that that’s okay though as somebody must have spoken to Chris Chibnel (head writer) or, as I like to hope, gave him a swift kick up the bum. He proved he could write a decent episode during Season 3 of Doctor Who and now he’s on a roll with the first episode of Torchwood. Granted, its hard not to fail when you’ve got Spike in the first episode but props where they are due. The episode moves at a swift pace, plenty of action and science (SCIENCE!) to keep it moving and the cast prove that not only can they act like Goddamn Professionals but also that they don’t need to fucking cry anytime emotion is written into the script.
I’m not saying its without flaws. I mean, I’d compare it to an average episode of Babylon 5, but its proof that things are improving.
Just in the interests of SCIENCE! I watched the second episode to see that it wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t. The Spike training wheels came off and the little show was able to keep on peddling, though, to be anal about it, the security around the nuclear weapons facility was a bit weak and hang on, didn’t Britain say they got rid of those during the first Christmas Invasion? For that matter, why go for English rockets when America has so many and aren’t as “In the Know” about the alien menace? Possibly because they saw Torchwood as the bigger threat to their plans for conquest.
And for the first time in this series, I actually believe it.