BBC America gathers HUGE all-star cast for history of sci-fi documentary

Contributed by
Mar 10, 2014

The stateside home of the BBC just announced an ambitious new documentary series, and a horde of sci-fi legends are along for the ride.

Next month, BBC America will premiere a four-part documentary series titled The Real History of Science Fiction, which will chart the development of the genre we all know and love through four major concepts, the sci-fi stories that embody those concepts and the creators who told those stories. Here's the official synopsis from the network's website:

"The Real History of Science Fiction delves into the real history of science fiction with filmmakers, writers, actors, and graphic artists looking back on their experiences and on how their obsession and imagination has taken them into the unknown.

"From Star Wars to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and from Jurassic Park to Doctor Who, each program is packed with contributors behind these creations and traces the developments of Robots, Space, Invasion and Time. Narrated by Mark Gatiss, Doctor Who writer, actor and co-creator of the BBC’s Sherlock, the series determines why science fiction is not merely a genre… for its audience it’s a portal to a multi-verse – one that is all too easy to get lost in."

Having someone like Mark Gatiss to take us on this ride through sci-fi history might be enticing enough, but things get even more exciting when you see the truly massive list of stars who are contributing to this project in some way or other. So, who's on board? Take a look at this list of writers, directors and actors:

"Among those taking part are: William Shatner (Star Trek), Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Star Trek), Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Chris Carter (The X-Files), Ronald D Moore (Battlestar Galactica), John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, Schlock), David Tennant (Doctor Who), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner), John Carpenter (Dark Star, The Thing), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Stardust), Kim Stanley Robinson (Mars Trilogy), Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Enterprise), Ursula K Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness), Syd Mead (Blade Runner), Kenny Baker (Star Wars), Anthony Daniels (Star Wars), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek), Peter Weller (Robocop), Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner, Battlestar Galactica), and many more."

With that list, this went from intriguing documentary to star-packed must-watch fangasm. The stars are certainly not the only reason to watch, though. Sci-fi is a field that just keeps expanding, so it's always nice to get an in-depth refersher course, especially if it comes to us from this many greats of the genre. 

The first episode of The Real History of Science Fiction, "Robots," will air Saturday, April 19, at 10/9C on BBC America, followed by the "Space" episode (April 26), the "Invasion" episode (May 3) and the "Time" episode (TBA). Hopefully we'll get a trailer for this potentially epic project soon. In the meantime, you can check out detailed episode synopses over at BBC America

(Via The Mary Sue)

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