A Century of Science Fiction

A Century of Science Fiction

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

Tonight’s viewing: A Century of Science Fiction, hosted (sort of) by Christopher Lee. Lee introduces each episode with about ten seconds of spooky meta-observation, and then a predictable voiceover artist gives the narration over footage from science fiction films on various themes — the end of the world, monsters, computers, inventions, aliens, that sort of thing.

The footage and the history is interesting; I’ve discovered numerous weird B-movies I’m dying to see. The presentation, however, is crappy and the footage terribly transferred. It is not good.

The first episode I watched was on the end of the world. It is the best of them given that it’s mostly trailers — B-movie trailers are one of my not-so-guilty pleasures. For the rest of the episodes, it’s just footage from B-movies, totally out of context, some great, some kind of dull and weird, with a bland voiceover stitching it together. It therefore does not have the rabid maniacal unpredictable hyperbolic glee of the movie traler, which is usually about ten times better than the movie.

I have no idea how many episodes of this thing there are; I’ve watched five. the Amazon page informs me that this dog is 676 minutes; in fact, I am watching this series on Netflix Instant Viewing, and (thank God!) it’s more like 100. Which leads me to believe the five episodes I’ve watched represent one disk, and there are four more disks, with five episodes each, to go. Whatever.

This series has some fascinating stuff in it and is enjoyable for total B-movie freaks, but the presentation and the low quality makes it hard to follow and sort of exhausting. Good for you, maybe, but not a lot of pleasure to take. It’s like a dose of medicine, and not the kind you swallow.


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