Watch Prophets of Science Fiction

"Prophets of Science Fiction" is an American documentary series that was made in 2011. It profiled eight science fiction writers and filmmakers, and explained how they predicted and even influenced future advances in science and technology. They did the latter by inspiring people to actually try to develop the technologies depicted in their works. For example, Isaac Asimov wrote dozens of robot stories, some of which inspired engineers to make real industrial robots. Mary Shelley, the author of "Frankenstein" is often said to be the first science fiction writer.

Discovery Channel
1 Season, 8 Episodes
November 9, 2011
Science Fiction
Cast: Jonathan Adams, Michio Kaku, Ridley Scott, David Brin
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Prophets of Science Fiction Full Episode Guide

  • The legacy of George Lucas ("Star Wars").

  • The legacy of Robert Heinlein ("Starship Troopers").

  • The legacy of Jules Verne, whose works predicted viral advertising and fuel-cell technology.

  • Author Isaac Asimov ("I, Robot") and his impact on robotics are discussed.

  • Some sci-fi storytellers are content to predict - but Arthur C. Clarke creates. His collaboration with Stanley Kubrick on 2001 predicted videophones, iPads, and commercial spaceflight. His sci-fi legacy inspires us to unveil the mysteries of the universe.

  • With stories like The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells established himself as a sci-fi writer of almost clairvoyant talent. But these tales of hi-tech adventure hold an ominous warning - beware the dark side of progress.

  • Philip K. Dick lived a life straight from the pages of his mind-bending sci-fi stories. His writing inspired Blade Runner and influenced the development of robotics and law enforcement. The troubled sci-fi legend questioned the definition of reality.

  • Mary Shelley set out to create a monster--along the way she created a masterpiece. In 1816, she begins stitching together a patchwork of legend, technology, and personal tragedy- giving life to her novel, Frankenstein - and the genre of science fiction.

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