|Index||3 reviews in total|
Between 1990 and 1993 TVO had the two best shows about literature ever produced, anywhere. Imprint was the "serious" lit show which (at its best) enjoyed the strong interview skills of Daniel Richler and Guy Lawson. But Prisoners of Gravity was the real groundbreaker. For the first time, it allowed for serious examination of sci-fi/fantasy as socially relevant literature. It was layered and highly intelligent, yes -- but also huge fun. It taught me huge amounts about all kinds of literature and never ceased to surprise. TVO should invest in the lawyering required to get this thing into syndication on cable.... Its format and themes would have aged beautifully and I know it would be seriously successful if re-released.
I remember seeing this show one night on the local PBS station. The
at the time, dealt with the topics of clones and cloning. (This was back
before cloning became the hot topic it is now). The host had various
authors discussing how they used the issue of cloning in their novels,
how possible it is for cloning to become a reality.
Let me tell you, from this first episode, I was HOOKED!!!
Later episodes focused on the appeal of dinosaurs, time travel, alternative history fiction, and comic book themes. Unfortunately, the show was only on for a short time, then it was taken off the air, and the host would go on to be part of the cast of the Red Green show.
But thanks to this show, I realized that sci-fi is more than just aliens or spaceships.
It is amazing that the massively popular themes of SF, fantasy and
comics have received so little coverage on TV. And that the meager
existing coverage has been so abysmally bad.
Prisoners of Gravity was the one shining exception.
This series crammed a mass of ideas and observations into a format that was fast-paced yet scholarly, lively yet never condescending. It introduced me to endless new ideas and new creators, and let me get a first-hand glimpse of authors I'd known only by their creations.
My favorite episode by far was the one that focused on the great Jack Kirby. This one man did more to influence our culture than almost any other creative talent of the 20th Century. Yet I've never seen him interviewed anywhere else. Prisoners of Gravity was the one TV series that not only recognized Kirby's importance, but managed to capture a portrait of the warm, wonderful human being behind so many iconic creations that continue to dominate pop culture into this new century.
But that was just one episode. Sadly, the complete series does not seem to be available for purchase. However, many partial episodes can be viewed on YouTube. Hopefully, they'll remain there until a full commercial version appears. This series includes unique material that has become priceless, as many of the people it interviewed pass away and become inaccessible to posterity.
If you have the remotest interest in science-fiction, fantasy, comics, futurism or related topics, you owe it to yourself to seek out Prisoners of Gravity.
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