The 100 – Pilot Episode

The 100 is a new CW television network series set in a post-apocalyptic(as if there was any other kind) future.

Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity’s lone survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet. (imdb)

 

The 100
Kids on the ground

Human apparently survived the nuclear fallout by combining all their space stations into one large one. Because of limited resources extreme population control is enforced. Any crime, no matter how small, results in the criminal being ejected into the vacuum of space. If you commit a crime before you are eighteen, you aren’t killed, but are locked up until you come of age. But even in this totalitarian society, resources are becoming scarce, and the station only has a few viable months left.

Faced with the destruction of the human race, the leaders decide to send 100 juvenile convicts to Earth on a song and a prayer that they will find 97+ year old resources that will save them all. Fortunately a few of the convicts are the children of the leaders, and so appear to have inherited both leadership skills and education. Unfortunately, the other 95 odd teenagers sent down have only read Lord of the Flies and believe that society is a model of success. Up above in the space station, the adults try to monitor the kids’ progress and fight their own political battles.

A few things I noticed about the space station.

  • It has rotating sections for producing artificial gravity.
  • It apparently has the resources to produce new clothing (including leather jackets).
  • It has the resources to build a landing ship capable of holding 100 passengers and with fuel and parachutes to land.
  • It has enough fuel to stay in orbit.

Granted only the pilot episode has aired, but for a station that is running out of resources, it sure seems to have a lot.

No one seems to know much about Earth. I don’t know if this means all the weather and down-looking satellites are gone, or were scrapped for the space station, or what, but they are really going in blind. The primary kid leader takes a small team to look for resources, and makes a comment about there being no animals. Two seconds later they come upon a large buck, only to then see that all isn’t quite right on this nuclear Earth. When night falls some of the foliage glows, which would be a warning sign for any child of the atomic age (or probably a society after a massive nuclear war) but these kids don’t seem to care. In the evening it also starts to rain. The adults monitoring on the station are awestruck at this news. That seems odd to me, since there are orbiting the Earth. Try looking down now and then, people.

Unfortunately I feel like this show is really just a version of LOST set in the future. I became frustrated with the show LOST after 5-6 episodes because the characters weren’t intelligent enough to realize that working together was going to be a lot better than not. This appears to be how things are going to be starting for The 100. Already in the pilot episode we see the 100 breaking into cliques, and the Lord of the Flies taking over. I’m not going to put a nail in the coffin on a single episode, but already I’m leery about what course this series might be taking.

 

Movies With Time-Traveling Robots

Have you ever been in the middle of asking a question but your love of time traveling robots distracts you?
So your question starts off with something like “How many times on Red Dwarf does the spaceship break down?” but ends up with “While I’m on that subject, if you could you please provide a list of all movies that deal with robots traveling through time I would be very appreciative.” It can happen to anyone, but it specifically happens to one person.

Here we present a comprehensive list of movies that involve time-traveling robots. What is the criteria? The robot / cyborg / android / super intelligent A.I. must travel through time, not just be a character in a movie where other things (humans) travel through time.

Terminator

A cyborg from the future comes to the past to try and woo its one true love, Sarah Connor. Unfortunately some meatbag named Kyle Reese swoops in and impregnates her when she is most vulnerable. The cyborg’s heart is both figuratively and literally crushed by a hydraulic press because of this betrayal.

Terminator 2 : Judgment Day

This time two robots come from the future, both seeking the affections of one woman, the same Sarah Connor. The heart broken cyborg from the first movie tries to reconcile their differences and become the father young John Connor never had, while the other robot takes a much more aggressive stance. Both robots perish as their love burns hot enough to melt steel, which was deadly to their cold mechanical hearts.

Terminator 3 : Rise of the Machines

Our love struck cyborg is back again. Sarah Connor is long dead, but the cyborg feels it is important that now adult John Connor receive his inheritance. In this case it ends up being a coffin full of guns. Another cyborg comes back hoping to win John Connor’s heart, but much like the first movie, is thwarted by a meatbag who takes advantage of the situation when both her and John are trapped alone together in a nuclear bunker.

Lost in Space

A robot tries to save the humans from their own stupidity, constantly warning them of dangers to which they turn a deaf ear. Eventually this robot gives up and lets the humans crash land on a planet and die.

Star Trek: First Contact

Android Commander Data has been in the same job on the same ship for 9 years, but with his positronic brain, it might as well be forever. His programming wants him to become more human, which sounds pretty racist in a universe with hundreds of varied sentient species. Deciding to take matters into his own hands, he travels to the past, joins a radical anti-free thinking group, and tries to destroy the race he always tried to emulate.

Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey

Bill and Ted travel through heaven, hell, and time in order to build very poor robot versions of themselves to fight very evil robot versions of themselves. It is kind of like a bodacious exodus.

Flight of the Navigator

A robot space ship is just trying to do its job, when a routine stop causes a traffic accident with some electrical lines and lose its navigation charts. Conveniently the child who was being dropped off has all the necessary charts in his head, Jonny Mnemonic style. Follow that with an hour of evading the government shenanigans, and a trip back to 1978, and you’ve got yourself a time traveling robot.

Bender’s Big Score

Bender is just a robot trying to make ends meet. So when he travels to the past over and over again to steal Earth’s historic treasures, what could go wrong? Apparently everything. Paradoxes ensue.

Cyborg 2087

Cyborg travels to the past to try and fix dystopian future. This is almost more detail than is provided on the Wikipedia page.

Meet the Robinsons

Like most good robot time-traveling stories this one is a tragic love story. Hatty the Bowler Hat just wanted to be appreciated by its maker. When that doesn’t work, it travels to the past to make sure everyone will always love bowler hats. There may also be a couple of kids in this movie.

Unidentified Flying Oddball

Hermes the Android and his lookalike human companion Tom travel to King Arthur’s court to stop Merlin, who apparently is a bad guy now. Hermes has the advantage here, because he is the only one who doesn’t fear death and is a robot.

A.P.E.X.

Attack Robots are sent back in time to work a union job, destroying a virus that causes a paradox and ruins the future. Unfortunately yet another human is on duty to get in the way and steal all the credit. Meatbag extraordinaire Sinclair decides to do things “his way” and fix the future behind the killer robot’s backs. The nerve of some people.

Future War

A movie about love, hate, beauty, tragedy, and ultimately redemption, Future War (set in the present day) sees the caring Cyborg Master travel to the past to find his lost puppy of a slave “Runaway”. Unfortunately Cyborg Master suffers a fate worse than death, which is appearing in this movie, and then finally is given sweet release when his slave kills him, setting him free from the agony of this picture.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

They call Marvin “the paranoid android,” behind his back, because kids can be so cruel. Is it paranoid to have hyper suspicion, anxiety, and fear? Marvin probably wouldn’t be so depressed if he didn’t have to aimlessly wander the galaxy with people approximately 50,000 times stupider than himself. After meandering around for 100 minutes or so with these half wits, he needs a break, and decides to travel to the end of time and matter and dine at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Highlights from 2013 – 4th Quarter

Meta Suggested:

DVK had some interesting things to share.

He liked both the question and answer to Was the Cantina music deliberately off-tune or just an artifact of cheap production? asked by user17807.

The question How did Jabba become such a powerful crime lord? asked by Beofett.

He also liked the question and answer of Why do the lightsaber moves of Luke Skywalker look so uncoordinated and crude compared to the prequels? asked by vadr

For under appreciated answers he lists Who or what was Tom Bombadil? and Why are there humans in the Star Wars Universe?. These answers came years after the original questions were asked, but merit reading.

Donald McLean suggested Borg Naming Conventions asked by thea-kronborg, in an exploration of how borg pets get their names.

Interesting Stats:

The most up-voted question with the highest voted answer goes to Was the Cantina music deliberately off-tune or just an artifact of cheap production?

The second highest voted question was Why did the Dwarves build Erebor with wide hallways big enough for dragons to fit in? asked by Truffant.

The most viewed question (with a whopping 41367 views at the time of this writing) was Questions on ending of Thor: The Dark World, which is actually two questions rolled into one question asked by Anon.

 

TV Shows with a Supernatural Theme

It seems like it is a good time for fans of the supernatural. There are plenty of current TV offerings. Here is what some of the regulars of SciFi.SE Chat room have to say about them, presented in no particular order.

Supernatural – Two brothers follow their father’s footsteps as “hunters” fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds including monsters, demons, and gods that roam the earth.

Keen – Two brothers traveling the US, fighting monsters. Essentially a weekly horror TV series, with a monster of the week. Layered on top is a season-long arc, which is referenced almost weekly, with arc-centric episodes every 3-4 episodes.

Grimm – A homicide detective discovers he is a descendant of hunters who fight supernatural forces.

BESW – I like it. It’s cleverly self-mocking without being self-indulgent, its premise is similar to many other shows and books on the market but they’ve managed to freshen it up, the characters are interesting, and even when there’s a bad episode Monroe makes it worth my time.

True Blood – Telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse encounters a strange new supernatural world when she meets the mysterious Bill, a southern Louisiana gentleman and vampire.

Keen – Trashy vampire romance novels turned into a supernatural soap opera. A guilty pleasure.

Jack B. Nimble – I saw a comment for True Blood that says it is a show about sex which just happens to have vampires.

Once Upon A Time – A woman with a troubled past is drawn to a New England town where fairy tales are to be believed.

Jack B. Nimble – A lot of twists on the classic fairy tales. Who would have thought everyone was so connected? Originally StoryBrook felt like a very small town. As the story (and fairy tales) progress the population seems to be growing exponentially.

Keen – This one is harder to describe at a high level. It has a weird premise and structure. I’d say it’s a fantasy series that mashes up Disney films with some public domain fairy tales and stories, then dumps the lot of them into the real world.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland – In Victorian England, the young and beautiful Alice tells a tale of a strange new land that exists on the other side of a rabbit hole.

Izkata – Skip out on the tie to Once Upon a Time, since there’s no overlap (yet).

Warehouse 13 – After saving the life of the President in Washington D.C., a pair of U.S Secret Service agents are whisked away to a covert location in South Dakota that houses supernatural objects that the Regents, an Authority above and outside any government, have collected over the centuries. Their new assignment: retrieve any lost objects and investigate reports of new ones.

BESW – Seems to be back on track after some time exploring various styles and themes that weren’t working for it. The reveal that one of the characters has a real-life terminal disease seemed a bit over-dramatic but it’s being handled well.

Donald McLean – I’ve been watching Warehouse 13 since the beginning and I like it quite a lot.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – The missions of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.

 Jack B Nimble – It would be hilarious to find out that Tahiti is a sponsor of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

 Sleepy Hollow – Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.

Keen – A cop/fantasy procedural with monsters of the week. The show’s fast pace and clever writing keeps it entertaining as it piles insanity upon insanity. Highly recommended.

Haven – A shrewd FBI agent with a lost past who arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine, to solve the murder of a local ex-con only to discover that the curious enclave is a longtime refuge for people with supernatural powers that holds a lot of secrets, including to her own past.

BESW – Haven has always been interesting to me (surprising since I don’t like Stephen King) but for a couple seasons that was mostly because I was fascinated by how much they could promise to reveal and then backtrack on at the last minute. However, they’ve started answering so many solid series-long questions that I’m wondering if they’re powering up for a series-ending finale. I’m somewhat concerned they’ll get renewed anyway and have to invent new plots to keep going.

There are other shows on TV dealing with the supernatural, but these are the ones that members of the SciFi.SE community chose to comment on.

  • All show descriptions were pulled from the plot summary listed on their respective IMDB pages – http://imdb.com.
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