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This very low budget TV show (which was shot on video, as opposed to film, as most regular TV shows are) involved a giant spaceship called THE ARK which was composed of hundreds of domes, each of which (supposedly) contained a sample culture from the planet Earth, which had long since died out due to some thing or other (If memory serves, it was pollution). Any way, this giant space ship had an accident somewhere along the way in an asteroid storm which killed the crew that was piloting it, so now it's careening toward -get this- an UNCHARTED SOLAR STAR ! The character played by Keir Dullea (who was DAVE in 2001) gets forced out of his dome and goes roaming around the ship with his 2 friends, trying to set the course correct so that they don't hit this star.Written by
Andrew M. Somers <email@example.com>
Like all of Harlan Ellison's writing, the original concept is staggering.
Take dozens of disparate cultures (Amish, old Chinese, Futuristic, etc.) and isolate them in self-supporting domes 100 miles in diameter. The domes represent the various cultures of Earth, and are intended to be planted onto a new planet because Earth is dying out. Each culture is just one part of a huge spacecraft on a multi-generational sublight trip to another star system.
Now comes the problem. During the voyage, something breaks down on the steering mechanism and the ship veers off course. The people in the domes forget they're on a starship.
Hundreds of years later, an Amish child is hoeing in the fields and accidentally strikes the door-opening mechanism, and he finds his way into a hallway which connects the domes! He can't explain what he's found to his fellow Amish because they have no A Priori experience with something like this.
Added to which, the ship is now on course for a black hole! Somehow, a way must be found to awaken the various cultures, teach them about the nature of reality, and save the ship.
Done properly, this could have been an amazing show! Regrettably, the TV executives decided (as TV people often do) that "audiences are basically stupid" so they dumbed it down, gave the computer an artificial personality (that sounded like a telephone operator on quaaludes) and basically ran the show into the ground.
Harlan Ellison changed his name on the credits and bailed out, refusing to compromise his integrity. Bravo for him!!!
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