Masters of Science Fiction: Season 1, Episode 4

The Discarded (25 Aug. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Sci-Fi
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 264 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

Based on a short story by seven-time Hugo Award winner, three-time Nebula Award winner and Science Fiction Grand Master Laureate Harlan Ellison ("A Boy and His Dog," "Star Trek"). Story of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself - Host (as Professor Stephen Hawking)
...
Samswope
...
Bedzyk
...
Barney Curran
...
Annie
...
Harmony Teet (as Lori Triolo)
Donny James Lucas ...
Steve (as Donny Lucas)
...
Frenchy
...
Bucky
Leanne Adachi ...
Sharon
...
Smiler
...
Samswope 2 (voice)
...
Sis
...
Nate
Ken Kramer ...
Schmool
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Storyline

Based on a short story by seven-time Hugo Award winner, three-time Nebula Award winner and Science Fiction Grand Master Laureate Harlan Ellison ("A Boy and His Dog," "Star Trek"). Story of despised minorities forever adrift in the darkness of outer space. As a last resort born out of their loneliness and despair they are forced to make an ominous pact with those responsible for their plight, in the hope that they will finally be offered refuge at home on Earth. Written by Anonymous

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Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

TV-14
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Release Date:

25 August 2007 (USA)  »

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Trivia

In her discussion of Malthus, Annie says, "Too many people on Earth. No place to stand. The sheep look up." Scriptwriter Harlan Ellison was likely thinking of the 1972 dystopian science fiction novel by English author John Brunner entitled "The Sheep Look Up." The phrase comes from the poem "Lycidas" by Engish writer John Milton: "The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, But swoln [swollen] with wind, and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread: Besides what the grim Wolf with privy paw Daily devours apace, and nothing said, But that two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more." Ellison got it slightly wrong: the problem with the sheep (to overlook Milton's political and religious subtexts) is not that there are too many of them, but that they are starving, and with starvation come disease and the wolves that can easily prey upon them. The shepherd (the "two-handed engine") can't feed them, but can only try to fend off the wolf. Science fiction author Henry Kuttner also took a title from this verse for his 1955 story "The Two-Handed Engine," co-written with his wife C.L. Moore; that story is very different from Ellison's, but shares the themes of a minority of people who may be wronged, and of guilt. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Annie: Somebody clean that up and blast it out the garbage port!
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User Reviews

 
The Discardable
11 March 2008 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

I guess the first installment of this series was about being nice to people (and not blow them up). Come to think of it, so was the second one.

Now the third one was, well, about being nice to people, whereas the fourth – I'm sorry. It's just too much being nice.

At least JERRY WAS A MAN had an edge to it. This is pure mush.

It's all about these mutants, but of course we all know it really isn't, but just to be on the safe side, we get a lecture on AIDS. It's about society being beastly to some people we could mention, this is a story about society being beastly to the less than perfect, the voice-box of Stephen Hawking tells us, and it's very beastly – just so we know.

They're all aboard this spaceship (so you see, it really is science fiction) and everybody's having a hard time. BRIAN DENNEHY at least gets a big hand, and JOHN HURT is reminded that two heads are better than one, even though the other one is very small and seems to have originally belonged to KLAUS KINSKI.

Of course, anyone not applauding such a noble intention, whatever its literary and cinematic qualities, is an insensitive brute, and here I go being beastly to a less than perfect piece of - Saturday evening entertainment. So sue me.


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