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The Real History of Science Fiction 

The series heads to the very frontiers of space and science to produce the definitive television history of science fiction. The story of one of the liveliest and most stimulating genres in... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
Charlie Jane Anders ...  Herself / ... 4 episodes, 2014
Mark Gatiss ...  Himself - Narrator / ... 4 episodes, 2014
Dominic Sandbrook Dominic Sandbrook ...  Himself - Presenter 4 episodes, 2014
Keir Dullea ...  Himself / ... 3 episodes, 2014
Neil Gaiman ...  Himself / ... 3 episodes, 2014
Rutger Hauer ...  Himself / ... 3 episodes, 2014
Gale Anne Hurd ...  Herself / ... 3 episodes, 2014
Michio Kaku ...  Himself / ... 3 episodes, 2014
Edward Neumeier ...  Himself / ... 3 episodes, 2014
Adam Rogers Adam Rogers ...  Himself / ... 3 episodes, 2014
Phil Tippett ...  Himself / ... 3 episodes, 2014
Douglas Trumbull ...  Himself / ... 3 episodes, 2014
Kenny Baker ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2014
John Carpenter ...  Director: The Thing (1982) / ... 2 episodes, 2014
Anthony Daniels ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2014
Richard Dreyfuss ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2014
William Gibson ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2014
Karen Gillan ...  Herself / ... 2 episodes, 2014
Rian Johnson ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2014
John Landis ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2014
Christopher Lloyd ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2014
Steven Moffat ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2014
Ronald D. Moore ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2014
Edward James Olmos ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2014
Haley Joel Osment ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2014
David Webb Peoples David Webb Peoples ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2014
Janet Peoples Janet Peoples ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2014
Kim Stanley Robinson Kim Stanley Robinson ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2014
Zoe Saldana ...  Avatar / ... 2 episodes, 2014
William Shatner ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2014
Ed Solomon ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2014
David Tennant ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2014


The series heads to the very frontiers of space and science to produce the definitive television history of science fiction. The story of one of the liveliest and most stimulating genres in popular culture will be told through its impact on cinema, television and literature. Each episode will explore one of the enduring themes of science fiction: time travel; the exploration of space; robots and artificial intelligence; and aliens. It will be made with the help of the genre's greatest pioneers: the filmmakers, writers, actors, and graphic artists whose obsession and imagination has taken them into the unknown. Having explored the future, the past, parallel universes and galaxies far, far away, they are now ready to report back on their experiences. Written by BBC America

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tv mini series | See All (1) »


A journey to the edge of the imagination.







Release Date:

19 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Real History of Science Fiction See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Bristol, BBC America See more »
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User Reviews

Slightly Misleading Televisual History of a Popular Genre
23 December 2014 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

This four-part series, produced to mark the BBC's science fiction season, is slightly misleading in tone; it is not a history of science fiction, but rather a history of modern science fiction adaptations on film and television. Presenter Dominic Sandbrook pays scant attention to the major antecedents of the genre: Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Mary Shelley et. al. He is far more interested in looking at popular works of film and television such as STAR WARS, DOCTOR WHO, FRANKENSTEIN, and their effect on contemporary popular cultures. Some of the assertions he makes are quite suggestive; the STAR WARS and STAR TREK epics, for example, he sees as contemporary rewritings of the old naval narratives (e.g. Hornblower) popular in the mid-twentieth century, while futuristic epics such as BATTLESTAR GALACTICA return us to the age of progress and enlightenment characteristic of the Victorian era.

Interspersed with Sandbrook's presentation are a series of interviews with personalities from the world of SF - novelists such as Neil Gaiman and Ursula K. Le Guin, and actors such as David Tennant, Richard Dreyfuss and Keir Dullea, and technicians such as Douglas Trumbull. All their reminiscences are interesting enough; but do not help to dispel the suspicion that Sandbrook isn't really interested in SF as a genre working across a transmedial platform embracing print and online as well as cinematic and televisual cultures. Rather he is interested in compiling a series of programs giving viewers the chance to take a nostalgic wallow in their favorite memories from their youth, and how such memories continue to shape their present lives.

As a series of celebratory programs, TOMORROW'S WORLDS is watchable enough, but a serious history it certainly ain't. Sandbrook cuts a pleasant figure on screen, but he lacks the panache and wit of some of the real masters of television documentary presentation such as Andrew Graham-Dixon.

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