Sam Hidaka (samhidaka) wrote,
Sam Hidaka

SF on network TV

It's been a while since I've posted here -- mostly because I didn't have anything of interest to say.

But I watched the first episode of "The Masters of Science Fiction" earlier tonight, and I now have something to say.

I was so glad network TV is doing a science fiction anthology based on stories written by real science fiction writers. But if I didn't have a vested interest in the success of SF, I doubt I'd watch another episode after seeing this one.

If this is the best "The Masters of Science Fiction" has to offer (and one would think they'd debut with one of their strongest episodes), the series will tank rather quickly.

And sadly, it's going to have a net negative effect on the perception of science fiction within the general public (which is mostly unaware of written SF). It will simply confirm their belief that SF doesn't have anything meaningful to offer.

Couldn't the people who put this series together have chosen to debut with a story that's less than a quarter century old?

Or if they were determined to choose such an old story, couldn't they have chosen one that wasn't so woefully dated?

I got the distinct impression that John Kessel wrote this story during the first couple years of the Reagan administration. (His naive rant against Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative has been thoroughly discredited by history. And far worse, he hadn't yet mastered his storytelling skills.)

The actress playing the psychiatrist was emotionally unconvincing. Sam Waterson is a superb actor, and he did the best he could do with the material he had -- but it wasn't nearly enough to carry this weak story.

I only watched it to the end on the hope that it would close with something fresh and original. I was sadly disappointed at how utterly predictable it was.

On a scale of 1 - 9 (8 or higher meaning I recommend it), I'd give this episode a 3.
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