The Seven Ages of Sci-Fi

This programme has been specially commissioned by Sci·Fi as part of the fifth birthday celebrations this is a highly entertaining, yet penetrating hour-long insight into the most popular genre on the planet.

This programme takes you on a trip back in time with presenter Matthew D'Abaitua to the moment sci-fi was conceived and charts its progress from birth, through adolescence, to global phenomenon.

Matthew is helped by giants of the genre including Ray Harryhausen, Nigel 'Quatermass' Kneale, Gerry Anderson, Steven Spielberg and Iain M Banks as well as "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" creator and writer of "Alien Ressurection" Joss Whedon, who talk about the different stages of SF's development.

Star of sci-fi past and present join in the fun with contributions from Anthony Daniels who played C-3PO in "Star Wars" telling us what it is really like to be the 'twit in the gold suit'. Malcolm McDowell ("A Clockwork Orange" and "Fantasy Island") reveals how 'Singin' in the Rain' changed his life while Paul Darrow (Avon from "Blake's 7") shares his experiences of acting opposite monsters resembling chicken kormas, not forgetting his bondage queen girlfriend, Servalan.

Meanwhile teen heart-throb Angel from "Buffy" is set upon by a thousand screaming female fans and Dame Diana Rigg and Honor Blackman, a duo of ass-kicking lovelies from adventure fantasy sci-fi series "The Avengers", talk about leather, lace and lashings of violence.

Bringing things up to date and helping us to answer that old chestnut 'what is science fiction?', we've also got award-winning SF fan and "Fast Show" comedian Charlie Higson who speculates on why John Steed's pet cat was called Emma. And there's Jed Mercurio, writer of hit sitcom "The Grimley's", "Cardiac Arrest" and "Invasion Earth", who confesses that for the first twenty minutes of "2001: A Space Odyssey" he thought he was watching "Planet of the Apes". Comedian Mark Gattis, star of "The League of Gentlemen" also admits that his childhood obsession with "Dr. Who" twisted him for life.

So what of the future? Best-selling SF novelist Iain M Banks thinks it will be a computer-controlled technotopia full of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Renowned SF expert and commentator Kim Newman believes the future's dark, the future's agent orange as he identifies an apocalyptic strain in SF full of deserted cities ravages by nuclear contamination.

Featuring interviews from some of the UK's hottest SF commentators, clips and stunning animations and title sequences from heavily SF-influenced collective Shynola (Natwest, UNKLE, Grooverider), "Seven Ages of Sci-Fi" is a funny, fast-paced insight into the most popular genre on the planet.

Presented by : Matthew D'Abaitua

Genre: Documentary

Running Time: 60 minutes (approx)


Matthew D'Abaitua...Presenter