A Conversation for Science Fiction and Fantasy

Science Fiction Britannia

Post 1


Hello Science Fiction fans. I just wanted to give you a heads up and let you know that BBC Four is running a Season of Science fiction programmes in mid November called Science Fiction Britannia.

In addition to the TV programmes listed below there is the www.bbc.co.uk/mysciencefictionlife site (goes live 8th November); an ambitious online project that will mix editorialised content (a linear timeline of all the major creative endeavours in British Science Fiction), with the audience’s own personal stories and unexpected connections. The project will run for a 6 month period beyond the season, becoming its own fascinating repository of science fiction.

At the centre of the BBC Four season is Random Quest, a science fiction romance drama based on a short story by John Wyndham. Adapted for TV by Richard Fell (Quatermass, A For Andromeda), Random Quest tells the extraordinary story of Colin Trafford, played by Sam West (Cambridge Spies), a research physicist who, when knocked unconscious in an experiment which goes wrong, wakes to find himself in a parallel world. In this other world Colin finds he has another life including a beautiful wife Ottilie, played by Kate Ashfield (This Little Life, Shaun of the Dead) who he proceeds to fall in love with. Pulled back into his own world he is told he has been in a coma since the accident but Colin believes the other world and Ottilie exist and he goes in search of her.

In The Cult of… Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf) goes in search of the origins and stories behind the starriest shows in the television universe. He meets actors, writers and set designers to talk about some of the best loved British science fiction series including Adam Adamant, Doomwatch, The Survivors, Blakes 7, The Tripods and Starcops.

Examining the lighter side of being in a British science fiction TV series, Nigel Planer (Young Ones) plays classically trained "actawr" Nicholas Craig in How To Be Sci-Fi, which looks at the perils and pitfalls that lie ahead of anyone brave enough to grapple with that most demanding of mistresses - "outer space acting". Nicholas supplements tips for the aspiring thespian with clips from classic British sci-fi series and offers invaluable advice and guidance on how to wear a roll neck, gain motivation for playing green slime and master that all important look of horror, to name but a few.

The season begins with a three-part series of films, The Martians and Us, which traces the history of the genre. Each of the three films looks at one of the central driving themes of British Science fiction. Apes and Aliens explores the fascination with evolution in all its forms. Trouble In Paradise examines the British tradition of Utopias and Dystopias whilst the third film The End Of The World As We Know It reflects on the British fascination with catastrophe and the end of the world.

Also in the season is Timeshift: Parallel Worlds. The film looks at the belief which pervades so much of British science fiction - that there is another world sitting shoulder to shoulder with Earth but with a difference. Does each of us have a doppelganger out there in a far away world? The strand examines how the idea unfolded from its origins in religion and mythology, got transformed by the theory of quantum mechanics and multiplied trillions of times into multi-universes by modern science fiction writers.

Other programming in the season will include films and TV archive including A For Andromeda, Adam Adamant, Ian M Banks The Crow Road, Red Dwarf plus many, many more.

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Science Fiction Britannia

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