Friday, 9 January 2009

You don't have to be an expert - that'll just annoy you even more.

There are a few things that really shit me about most science fiction, and that includes the new series of Doctor Who. I'm not talking about the big things, like having force fields or faster than light travel. I mean the easy bits of physics (and other sciences), the little bits of detail that just plain aren't necessary to break:
  • "200%": the point to 100%, you see, is that it's ALL. As in, EVERYTHING. If it's possible to ever "Go to 200%!" or record a reading on anything over 100%, then you haven't built your equipment properly.
  • "An unknown element!": No, actually, we know all of them. All the stable ones, anyway (we can create elements that have a half life shorter than the human mind is any good at comprehending). Unless they get suddenly stable at really BIG atomic numbers (which I believe has been suggested), you're not going to be meeting any new ones. Previously unknown compounds, well, that's easy.
  • Sound effects in space. I mean, come ON! Sound requires a medium through which to travel. Space has, roughly, an atom per cubic metre. So, no sound.
  • Explosions in space. There is a reason why you don't get fires in zero gravity, I believe - something to do with needing a gravity gradient. However: you don't get a fire if the reactants aren't mixed and in close proximity, either. How long is that going to last, in a vacuum?
  • Spaceships sharing a common 'down' and having the same orientation as each other when they meet. Hello? Zero gravity? What's your reference point?
  • Making up strange radiation or "particles". Isn't there enough weird physics in the world already? And how do you even get new types of radiation? Apart from changing the frequency?
  • Casually passing off psychic powers while everything else has an explanation. No, sorry, you can't slip that past while nobody's looking. Try again.
  • Nobody ever needs to go to the toilet onboard the TARDIS. Okay, that's just picky.
Any other ones you can think of?

2 comments:

Oldfool said...

Sword fights in space. What is even worse are sword fights with high tech laser swords.

Dubito said...

Now, this one is a bit complicated to me.

I don't mind sword fights in space, provided they can explain themselves. lightsabres are just fucking stupid, but swords being rediscovered in the Dune universe because personal force fields have catastrophic interactions with lasers and prevent the passage of high-velocity bullets, well, that was a work of genius and very cool.

Steampunk in space gets a free pass here - anything that is so fantastic that no attempt at veracity will be made gets a free pass at pretty much anything

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