How Early TV Shaped Are Views About Space-Kelly Sechler

It was hard for me to figure out exactly what I wanted to write about this week because I am so focused on my final project but in the end I decided. I have great interest in how early television has shaped the ways we now view the world. We already talked about in class the influence that Star Trek has made in terms of our modern views of space. It is important to note that Star Trek also inspired many high tech inventions. There was actually a documentary made called “How William Shatner Changed the World”. I couldn’t find the whole video online but for part of it you can go to this link and watch it on Youtube: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGyQVO62QM0&gt; The documentary claims that inverters were inspired by Star Trek to invent everything from flip phones and ipods to medical imaging. The show makes some interesting and convincing arguments if you have a chance to watch it.

One of the other early television shows that had a very important influence on our views of space is Rod Sterling’s, The Twilight Zone. This show was extremely revolutionary for its time and explored human interaction with outer space, aliens, robotics and computers, to name a few. The above picture is from one of the most famous episodes of The Twilight Zone titled “To Serve Man”. This episode, along with many others, deals with our fears and hopes of the outer reaches of space.  Other episodes such as “I Sing the Body Electric” by Ray Bradbury bring up the ideas of robotics and bioengineering.  Also, it is important to realize that a good percentage of film and sci-fi films today are based on original Twilight Zone episodes. Even the Simpsons have based many plot lines on this classic.  Southpark even has a episode that refers to how the Simpsons steal plots from The Twilight Zone. The episode is called “Simpsons dis it” and can be watched at http://www.southparkzone.com if you haven’t seen it. This also brings up another idea that we’ve talked about in class: can we ever delete information once its out there?  How much can one TV show create a domino effect into what we think about science today?

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