If we faced a countdown to destruction, could we build a spacecraft to take us to new and habitable worlds? Can we Evacuate Earth? This documentary special examines this terrifying but ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Caleb Scharf ... Himself - Director of Astrobiology Center, Columbia University
Kelvin Long ... Himself - Physicist & Vice President, Icarus Interstellar
Hakeem Oluseyi ... Himself - Professor of Physics & Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology
Karl Stapelfeldt ... Himself - Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
David Bartell ... Himself - Science Fiction Author
... Himself - Professor of Media Studies, Fordham University
Heather Gautney ... Herself - Professor of Sociology, Fordham University
... Herself - Visiting Professor of Physics, University of Maryland at Baltimore
Les Johnson ... Himself - Physicist, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Jason Kring ... Himself - Professor of Spaceflight Human Factors
Paul Falkowski ... Himself - Professor of Geological Studies
Fernando I. Rivera ... Himself - Professor of Sociology, University of Central Florida
Sara Seager ... Herself - Professor of Planetary Science and Physics, MIT
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
A.J. Bruno ... Country Boy
... Country Girl (as Hunter Denoyelles)
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If we faced a countdown to destruction, could we build a spacecraft to take us to new and habitable worlds? Can we Evacuate Earth? This documentary special examines this terrifying but scientifically plausible scenario by exploring how we could unite to ensure the survival of the human race. Written by anonymous

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2 December 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Evacuer la terre  »

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"Starship City" was filmed at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. See more »

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In the opening sequence, we see meteor showers in Jeju Island, South Korea, in Marfa, Texas, and in Chile; there are also clear, starry nights. However, South Korea and Texas are 10 time zones apart. If it was dark enough for amateur astronomers in Korea, then dawn should be beginning in Texas and their star fields washed out by the dawning sun. See more »

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Under Investigation
Written by Johan van der Voet
Performed by Johan van der Voet
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Cheesy and preachy propaganda for spacetravel enthusiasts
29 August 2014 | by See all my reviews

Can the human race create an arkship that will allow a selected number of refugees to escape a doomed Earth? Apparently so, according to this documentary. The thought experiment involves a roving neutral star on a collision course with our solar system. We've got 75 years before Earth is destroyed, and we must reorganize society, revolutionize our manufacturing capacity, and maintain social order in the face of certain doom for all but a few lucky people.

It's a rather mixed bag, but the concept is definitely intriguing. The worst problem is that this documentary is laughably bad. The dramatic sequences are probably the weakest element; they are horribly melodramatic and very poorly acted, but I suppose they have a certain "so bad it's good" charm. The science is actually better than I expected. I guess if you're a stickler, there will probably be several issues that you can't forgive. For example, as the neutron star approaches Earth, there really isn't much gravitational effect. They do discuss this, but it generally doesn't happen until pretty late in the scenario. Seems a bit unlikely to me. Then again, I slept through most of my physics lectures.

Anyway, as the Earth adapts to this threat, we face several critical questions. Each of them are answered rather quickly and simplistically, perhaps to make way for more dramatic sequences. The balance was all wrong. A few well-placed sequences to underscore the drama would have been much better than the constant use of stock footage, melodrama, and bad CGI. Also, I really don't know that I agree with their story-based approach; I would have preferred something a bit more analytical. They could have asked and explored really deep questions instead of repeatedly showing people unconvincingly panicking in the face of bad CGI. For example, society could go in several different directions, such as dystopian or utopian responses to the threat. It seems as though the creators of this documentary had a specific vision for humanity, and they weren't really interested in exploring any other ideas. I'm not saying that I necessarily disagree, but it's kind of intellectually lazy and preachy.

All in all, this is propaganda for spacetravel enthusiasts. If you're one of them, you'll probably love this, as it will reinforce all your beliefs and congratulate you for forward-thinking vision. If you're not an enthusiast, then you'll probably find it cheesy and preachy. The intriguing questions are answered unsatisfactorily, and any entertainment value is strictly unintentional.


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