BBC America: The Real History of Science Fiction

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shatbbc BBC AMERICA delves into the real history of science fiction with filmmakers, writers, actors and graphic artists looking back on their experiences and on how their obsession and imagination has taken them into the unknown

The new original documentary series is a BBC AMERICA and BBC Two co-production. The Real History of Science Fiction premieres Saturday, April 19, 10:00pm ET.

From Star Wars to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and from Jurassic Park to Doctor Who, each program is packed with contributors behind these creations and traces the developments of Robots, Space, Invasion and Time. Narrated by Mark Gatiss, Doctor Who writer, actor and co-creator of the BBC’s Sherlock, the series determines why science fiction is not merely a genre… for its audience it’s a portal to a multi-verse – one that is all too easy to get lost in.

Among those taking part are: William Shatner (Star Trek), Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Star Trek), Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Chris Carter (The X-Files), Ronald D Moore (Battlestar Galactica), John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, Schlock), David Tennant (Doctor Who), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner), John Carpenter (Dark Star, The Thing), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Stardust), Kim Stanley Robinson (Mars Trilogy), Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Enterprise), Ursula K Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness), Syd Mead (Blade Runner), Kenny Baker (Star Wars), Anthony Daniels (Star Wars), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek), Peter Weller (Robocop), Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner, Battlestar Galactica) and many more.

On one level, sci-fi can deliver a ‘white knuckle-ride’ – jaw-dropping special effects, and thrills that have cinemagoers flying out of their seats. But also, it is possibly the only area of pop culture that engages with big ideas. Good science fiction engages audiences on a deeper level than mere spectacle; it becomes a place to discuss not just the universe and how it works – but what it means to be emotional, sentient human beings.

EPISODE SYNOPSES:

SEASON PREMIERE
EPISODE 1 – ROBOTS
What if our creations turn against us? The idea of creating life has fascinated society since the earliest days of science fiction. The first installment of the four-part series, Robots transports viewers from the first steps of Frankenstein’s monster to the threat provided by the Terminator and the world of Cyberspace. Find out how Rutger Hauer created one of the greatest speeches in all of science fiction for Blade Runner. Discover from Kenny Baker the challenge of acting in Star Wars while inside the body of R2D2, and learn how Anthony Daniels was drawn to the role of C-3PO by concept art modeled closely on the robot from the silent classic Metropolis. Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner) discusses how he managed to create a whole new approach to robot design. The creators of the original Robocop describe how its hidden depths have given it enduring appeal and William Gibson reveals the origins of his seminal novel Neuromancer. From HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey to the Cylons of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and the world of The Matrix, this is a journey that asks – what does it mean to be human?
Episode 1 premieres Saturday, April 19, 10:00pm ET

EPISODE 2 – SPACE
What if we could explore the vastness of Space? Science fiction has always fed upon our need to explore – to wonder what is out there. Space journeys from Jules Verne’s earliest ideas about attempts to leave our planet, to the Star Wars far away galaxy through to Nichelle Nichols revealing how her groundbreaking role as Lt. Uhura in Star Trek led to her participation in the recruitment of NASA’s astronauts. It explores the deep sea inspiration for Avatar, finds out why Ursula K Le Guin wrote The Left Hand of Darkness and discovers how Stanley Kubrick was able to make 2001: A Space Odyssey seem so believable. In addition, the program looks at the way Dune and The Mars Trilogy embraced the challenge of world building and discusses the appeal of the beaten up ‘dirty space’ of Dark Star and Firefly. From the horrifying scenes of Alien, to the epic spectacle of Star Wars, this is a journey to the stars and the alien encounters that await us there.

Episode 2 premieres Saturday, April 26, 10:00pm ET

EPISODE 3 – INVASION
What if aliens landed on Earth? Much of science fiction explores the moment of first contact – what will people do when the aliens land? From H. G. Wells’ pioneering The War of the Worlds to Independence Day, Men in Black and District 9, Invasion deals with our fears of alien invasions of earth. David Tennant explains the appeal of Doctor Who’s Daleks and Cybermen while John Carpenter and Chris Carter explore the rich appeal of the paranoia fuelled by hidden aliens with The Thing and The X-Files. It also asks, what if the monsters were our own creation? With the aid of rarely seen animation tests, Phil Tippett takes us behind the scenes in the creation of the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. But not all invasions are hostile. Peter Coyote and Richard Dreyfuss discuss the creation of Spielberg’s spellbinding classics E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. There is more than one kind of invasion.

Episode 3 premieres Saturday, May 3, 10:00pm ET

EPISODE 4 – TIME
What if we could travel not just through space, but through time itself? If you could travel through time, would you change the past or the future? What if you found it couldn’t be changed? What price does the time traveller – and the people they are closest to – pay? This is a journey from H. G. Wells The Time Machine through ideas like The Grandfather Paradox and The Butterfly Effect to the professional time traveller that is the ever popular Doctor Who. Steven Moffat, David Tennant, Karen Gillan and Neil Gaiman offer a unique perspective on the Doctor. Edward James Olmos reveals the hidden meaning of the language he created for the vision of the future that is Blade Runner. Bob Gale and Christopher Lloyd take us behind the scenes of Back to the Future, while Ed Solomon describes the joy of solving a time travel conundrum for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. But what would be the physical and emotional cost to the time traveller? Audrey Niffenegger explains what inspired her novel The Time Traveller’s Wife. And what if someone from the future tried to travel back in time to warn us? Would we believe them? From the apocalyptic tones of 12 Monkeys to the drama of Quantum Leap and the comedy of Groundhog Day, time travel is a subject that has been irresistible to the creators of every type of science fiction.

Episode 4 premiere TBC.

BIOGRAPHIES:

BRIAN ALDISS – AUTHOR

Brian Aldiss is one of the most respected British science fiction authors and historians. He has been extraordinarily prolific, writing over 20 science fiction novels and 320 short stories. He has edited a great deal as well as writing serious criticism about the genre. His novel Super-toys Last All Summer Long was the basis for Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg’s movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence. He has published a history of science fiction entitled Billion Year Spree – latterly revised as The Trillion Year Spree. Aldiss has given both intellectual rigor and critical nuance to the genre of science fiction. Aldiss has also published other non-fiction and fiction outside of the genre.

CHARLIE JANE ANDERS – AUTHOR/COMMENTATOR

Charlie Jane Anders writes about science fiction for io9.com as well as other science fiction anthologies. She is also a published novelist. io9.com is a daily publication that covers the latest developments in science and science fiction.

KENNY BAKER – ACTOR

Kenny Baker is a British actor who has starred in all six Star Wars films portraying the robot R2D2 in live action sequences. Baker was also in Terry Gilliam’s 1981 film Time Bandits.

SCOTT BAKULA – ACTOR

Scott Bakula is an American actor known for his role as Sam Beckett in the television series Quantum Leap and for the role of Captain Jonathan Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise.

DONALD P. BELLISARIO – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER

Donald P. Bellisario is an American television producer and screenwriter who created and wrote for the science fiction TV series Quantum Leap, about a man who leaps through time.

JOHN CARPENTER – DIRECTOR

John Carpenter is a film director, screenwriter, producer and composer most commonly associated with horror and science fiction films from the 1970s and 1980s. John Carpenter and his co-writer Dan O’Bannon began their careers in 1974 with the science fiction dark comedy Dark Star – now considered central in the science fiction canon. Dark Star paved the way for Carpenter’s later film The Thing and proved an important testing ground for O’Bannon who went on to write Alien.

CHRIS CARTER – WRITER/PRODUCER
Formerly a freelance journalist and editor of Surfing magazine, Chris Carter began his career as a screenwriter in 1985 at The Walt Disney Studio. In 1992, Carter began developing projects for Twentieth Century Fox Television, creating The X-Files during his time there. Carter went on to receive three Golden Globes® for The X-Files.

RICK CARTER
– PRODUCTION DESIGNER

Rick Carter is an American production designer and art director. He has worked on seminal science fiction films A.I. Artificial Intelligence, War of the Worlds, Jurassic Park, Avatar, Back to the Future part 2 & 3 and Avatar. He has worked with Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, George Lucas and James Cameron.

VERONICA CARTWRIGHT – ACTOR

Veronica Cartwright is an English-born American actress who has worked mainly in American film and television. Cartwright acted in Alien and was present during the legendary “chestburster” scene, which is one of the most horrifying moments in cinematic history. According to Cartwright neither her nor the other actors really knew what would happen when the alien erupted from John Hurt’s chest. The scene was done in just one take – all the actors were genuinely terrified.

PETER COYOTE – ACTOR

Peter Coyote is an American actor with a background in radical political street theatre having joined the San Francisco Mime troupe in the mid 1960s. Coyote was also a founder member of the anarchic group The Diggers. He was cast by Steven Spielberg to play the mysterious scientist Keys in the 1982 film E.T. Keys famously tells Elliot that he wished an alien had come to him when he was a little boy.

ANTHONY DANIELS – ACTOR
Anthony Daniels is an actor and mime artist who played the android C-3P0 in all six of the Star Wars feature films. Given the difficulties of the proposed costume, George Lucas was interested in Daniels because of his combined acting and mime skills. However, Daniels was initially uninterested in the part but a concept painting of C-3P0 painted by Ralph McQuarrie captured his attention. He found the script incomprehensible but liked the golden droid so he took the part. Daniels also voiced C-3P0 in the Star Wars radio serial based on the original trilogy and voiced C-3P0 for three animated series.

JOE DANTE – DIRECTOR

Joe Dante is a director and film critic who began his career writing reviews for Film Bulletin before editing trailers for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. Dante has directed numerous B-movies including the worldwide hits Piranha and Gremlins. He directed a segment of The Twilight Zone: The Movie along with Steven Spielberg and John Landis. Dante has directed various episodes of the science fiction TV series Amazing Stories and Twilight Zone. He has also directed several science fiction films including Explorers and Innerspace (a remake of the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage). Dante is a science fiction and horror fan and a creator. He also produces the critically-acclaimed webisode/mobile phone series Trailers from Hell.

RICHARD DREYFUSS – ACTOR

Richard Dreyfuss is an American actor who rose to prominence in the late 1960s and 70s starring in films such as George Lucas’s American Graffiti and Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. Steven Spielberg cast Dreyfuss again in Close Encounters of the Third Kind because of the childlike sensibility he brought to the role.

KEIR DULLEA – ACTOR

Keir Dullea is an American actor best known for portraying the astronaut Dave Bowman in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey – a film that changed the status of science fiction forever. Although it’s not known as an “actor’s film”, Dullea’s all-American, handsome visage brought this enigmatic film some humanity.

ROLAND EMMERICH – DIRECTOR

Roland Emmerich is a German film director, screenwriter, and producer. His films, most of which are Hollywood productions filmed in English, have grossed more than $3 billion worldwide. He is famous for creating spectacular science fiction invasion epics such as Independence Day and Godzilla .

NATHAN FILLION – ACTOR

Nathan Fillion is a Canadian-born actor who gained critical acclaim and a large cult fan base when he starred as Captain Mal Reynolds in Joss Whedon’s science fiction TV series Firefly. When Firefly was cancelled in late 2002, the show’s cast and creator resurrected it as a feature-film entitled Serenity in 2005.

NEIL GAIMAN – AUTHOR/SCREENWRITER

A revered British fantasy, graphic novel and science fiction writer, Neil Gaiman made his name with his Sandman series. He went onto write bestselling novels Neverwhere and Stardust and to win both Hugo and Nebula awards for American Gods, Anasi Boys and Good Omens. Gaiman has also written episodes of BBC AMERICA’s hit series Doctor Who.

BOB GALE – SCREENWRITER/PRODUCER

Bob Gale is a screenwriter, producer and director most famous for co-writing and co-producing the Back to the Future trilogy with his writing partner Robert Zemeckis. Bob Gale came up with the premise for Back to the Future when looking through his father’s old high school yearbook.

WILLIAM GIBSON – AUTHOR

William Gibson is a leading American-Canadian science fiction writer. Gibson has the rare ability to preempt global trends and advances in technology in his fiction. His novel Neuromancer imagined the internet and cyberspace years before its invention, as well as the effects of prosthetics and technological augmentation of the human body. He was an early proponent of the ‘cyberpunk’ genre, a term that was ascribed to him latterly. He refuses to acknowledge the label. He is however a fan of punk and recognizes its influence on his style. Gibson also guest wrote episodes of The X-Files.

KAREN GILLAN – ACTOR

A Scottish actress best known for playing Amy Pond in BBC AMERICA’s hit series Doctor Who, from season 5 in 2009 to season 7 in 2013. She initially appeared in a guest role in 2008.

RUTGER HAUER – ACTOR

Rutger Hauer is a Dutch actor, arguably best known for his portrayal of replicant Roy Batty in Ridley Scott’s science fiction masterpiece Blade Runner. Hauer famously improvised the unforgettable “tears in rain” soliloquy at the end of his character Batty’s life. Hauer expressed that he wanted to add human qualities to his robot character, giving Batty a sense of poetry, sexuality and soul. Because of Hauer, Roy Batty is amongst the most iconic characters in science fiction history.

GALE ANNE HURD – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Gale Anne Hurd is responsible for producing The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Aliens. She is also series producer of the hit TV series The Walking Dead.

RIAN JOHNSON – DIRECTOR

Rian Johnson is an American writer and director. Johnson wrote and directed the time travel action thriller Looper. Looper was Johnson’s first time travel movie and his most successful film to date.

DR. MICHIO KAKU – SCIENTIST

Dr. Michio Kaku is an American theoretical physicist, best-selling author, acclaimed public speaker, and popularizer of science and self proclaimed science fiction fan.

ALAN LADD JR – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Alan Ladd Jr. is an executive producer responsible for green lighting Star Wars and Alien. In 1973, Ladd became Head of Creative Affairs at Twentieth Century Fox and within three years was President. Two of the classics he produced during his tenure at Fox were Star Wars in 1977 and Alien in 1979. In 1979, Ladd left his position as President at Fox to found his own production company, The Ladd Company, which produced Blade Runner in 1982. Ladd joined MGM/UA, eventually becoming Chairman and CEO of Pathé Entertainment. Ladd reformed the Ladd Company with Paramount Pictures in 1993. He is now producing independently with The Ladd Company.

JOHN LANDIS – DIRECTOR
John Landis made his first film at 21 – Schlock – an affectionate tribute to monster movies. Clad in the Rick Baker-designed gorilla suit Landis starred as ‘Schlocktopus’ – the monster in his own monster movie. Landis went on to make his name as a comedy and horror director with films like An American Werewolf in London but his affinity for science fiction remained – directing episodes of Weird Science, Sliders and the film Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

URSULA K LE GUIN – AUTHOR

Ursula K. Le Guin is an American science fiction writer receiving both Hugo and Nebula awards for her writing. One of her best known novels is The Left Hand of Darkness, which is among the first major works of feminist science fiction. The Left Hand of Darkness marks the point when science fiction came into its true political strength. In Le Guin’s story the world of Winter is a world unlike any other, its inhabitants neither male nor female. The construction of identity – of gender, race and class – is at the heart of today’s political and social struggles. Le Guin’s aim was to show how science fiction could be a powerful tool for dissecting and reconstructing those identities.

CHRISTOPHER LLOYD – ACTOR

Christopher Lloyd played the unforgettable Emmett “Doc” Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy. When Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis were looking for the right actor to portray Dr. Emmett Brown, their first choice was John Lithgow – who was unavailable. Instead they chose Christopher Lloyd, Lithgow’s earlier co-star from the science fiction film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and as the Klingon Commander Kruge for the motion picture Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Christopher Lloyd first made his name on the hit TV series Taxi.

SYD MEAD – CONCEPT ARTIST/VISUAL FUTURIST

Syd Mead is a ‘visual futurist’ and concept artist best known for his designs for science fiction films such as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner, Aliens, Tron and most recently Elysium.

NICHOLAS MEYER – SCREENWRITER/DIRECTOR

Nicholas Meyer is an American screenwriter and director best known for directing the Star Trek feature films: Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country. Meyer also wrote or re-wrote aspects of the screenplays for Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (2), The Voyage Home (4) and The Undiscovered Country (6). He also wrote and directed time travel feature film Time After Time.

STEVEN MOFFAT – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER

Steven Moffat is a Scottish television writer and producer. Moffat wrote numerous episodes of BBC AMERICA’s hit series Doctor Who before taking the position of showrunner at the beginning of the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith’s) era. Moffat was the show’s most award-winning writer and is known for creating some of the show’s scariest monsters, such as the Weeping Angels, Vashta Nerada and The Silence. Moffat is a lifelong Doctor Who fan.

RONALD D MOORE – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER

Writer Ronald D Moore has taken science fiction television to its most challenging places. In the 1990s, thanks to bleak multi-episode arcs on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, he earned a reputation as the go-to guy for war, despair, and Klingon angst in the Star Trek universe. He is best known for recreating Battlestar Galactica in 2003, rebuilding it into one of the most critically acclaimed reboots in science fiction history. The plots were clever, the characters morally ambiguous, and the galaxy full of spaceships and killer robots.

ED NEUMEIER – SCREENWRITER

Ed Neumeier is an American screenwriter best known for his work on the science fiction movies RoboCop and Starship Troopers. Neumeier came up with the idea for RoboCop when walking through the Blade Runner set.

NICHELLE NICHOLS – ACTOR

Nichelle Nichols is an American actress and singer – she sang with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before acting. Prior to being cast as Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek, she appeared on Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s first series, The Lieutenant. Nichols was later cast on Star Trek and initially considered leaving the show only to be convinced otherwise by Martin Luther King, who told her she was a vital role model for young black women in America. Needless to say, she stayed with the show and appeared in the first six Star Trek movies. Nichols became an ambassador for NASA, helping recruit women and minorities for the Space program.

AUDREY NIFFENEGGER – WRITER/ARTIST

Audrey Niffenegger is an American artist and author. She trained as a visual artist at the Art Institute of Chicago and received her MFA from Northwestern University. She has exhibited artworks, drawings and comics at the Printworks Gallery in Chicago since 1987. In 1997, Niffenegger had an idea for a graphic novel about a time traveler, but eventually realized she could not visually depict her character’s sudden shifts in time with still images – so she began the project as a novel – and published The Time Traveler’s Wife in 2003. It quickly became an international bestseller and was made into a feature film. Her book offers a new perspective on time travel – time travel as a genetic disorder.

EDWARD JAMES OLMOS – ACTOR

Edward James Olmos is an actor who played William Adama in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and Detective Gaff in Blade Runner. The character of Bill Adama is a dutiful, prideful protector of the last survivors of the human race. In Blade Runner, Adama created Detective Gaff – a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual character armed with a vocabulary of his own known as “city-speak”.

HALEY JOEL OSMENT – ACTOR

Haley Joel Osment is an American actor who came to prominence as a child star in the 1990s and early 2000s. Osment starred in Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg’s 2001 film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, that was based on British science fiction author Brian Aldiss’s story Super-toys Last All Summer Long.

OWEN PATERSON – PRODUCTION DESIGNER

Owen Paterson is an Australian production designer who was chiefly responsible for the design and look of The Matrix trilogy. Paterson continued to work with the Wachowski siblings on V for Vendetta. Paterson has most recently worked with director Gareth Edwards on the highly anticipated 2014 Godzilla remake.

JANET PEOPLES – SCREENWRITER

Janet Peoples co-wrote, with her husband David Webb Peoples, 12 Monkeys – a film inspired by Chris Marker’s 1962 French short film La Jetee. 12 Monkeys displays themes now associated with the People’s oeuvre – characters fighting against all odds amid ruined futures, struggling against malevolent bureaucracies.

DAVID WEBB PEOPLES – SCREENWRITER

David Webb Peoples is an American screenwriter, best known for his work on the classic science fiction films Blade Runner and Twelve Monkeys. As well as his work in science fiction, Peoples has had a varied and successful career. He earned an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay of the critically acclaimed western, Unforgiven starring Clint Eastwood.

KIM STANLEY ROBINSON – AUTHOR

Kim Stanley Robinson is generally acknowledged as one of the greatest living American science fiction writers. Collectively, the three novels of his Mars trilogy – Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars – have won major science fiction and fantasy accolades, including Hugo and Nebula awards. Kim Stanley Robinson is known for using science fiction to address social issues such as history, politics, sexuality and gender – arguing that science fiction is an inherently political genre because it offers the possibility of alternate futures and histories. In the Mars trilogy, Robinson used Mars as a template to create a credible utopia.

ADAM ROGERS – COMMENTATOR

Adam Rogers is senior editor at Wired magazine, a publication covering latest developments in science and technology. He is a science and technology journalist, cultural commentator and science fiction fan.

DANNY RUBIN – SCREENWRITER

Danny Rubin is an American screenwriter, perhaps most famous for writing time travel classic Groundhog Day, for which he received a BAFTA.

ZOE SALDANA – ACTOR

Zoe Saldana is a Dominican-American actress. She plays the young Lieutenant Uhura in the 2009 film Star Trek and the 2013 Star Trek: Into Darkness. She also plays Neytiri in James Cameron’s Avatar and its upcoming sequels.

WILLIAM SHATNER – ACTOR

William Shatner is a Canadian actor, musician and singer. He gained worldwide recognition and became a cultural icon for his portrayal of Captain James T Kirk, Commander of the Federation starship USS Enterprise in the TV series Star Trek from 1966-1969 and in seven subsequent Star Trek feature films.

ED SOLOMON – WRITER

Ed Solomon came to form one half of the writing duo that created the 1989 film Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and its sequel with Chris Matheson. Ed Solomon went on to faithfully adapt Lowell Cunningham’s comic book The Men in Black, which became a huge blockbuster hit starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

DAVID TENNANT – ACTOR

David Tennant played the tenth incarnation of the Doctor in BBC AMERICA’s hit series Doctor Who. Tennant played the Doctor for three seasons as well as nine specials between 2005 and 2010.

PHIL TIPPETT – VISUAL FX

Phil Tippett, founder of Tippett Studio, has had a varied career in visual effects spanning more than 30 years. He has won two Academy Awards, one BAFTA and two Emmys. He was initially inspired by the work of special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen. Tippet created stop motion miniatures for Star Wars: A New Hope as well as modeling and casting alien heads and limbs for this first Star Wars film. By 1978, Tippet brought to life the sinister Imperial Walkers and the alien hybrid Tauntaun for The Empire Strikes Back. In 1983, he began work on Return of the Jedi, designing Jabba the Hut and the Rancor Pit Monster as well as animating the two-legged Walker. The Tippett Studio went on to create top-notch stop motion animations for various television and film projects including Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the RoboCop trilogy, Jurassic Park and Starship Troopers. Both Jurassic Park and Starship Troopers marked Tippett’s departure from stop motion to computer generated animation.

DOUGLAS TRUMBULL – VISUAL FX SUPERVISOR/DIRECTOR/INVENTOR

Douglas Trumbull is a film director, visual effects supervisor and inventor – responsible for the special photographic effects on 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Blade Runner. He also directed the movie Silent Running. He is the son of Donald Trumbull who created visual effects for The Wizard of Oz.

PAUL VERHOEVEN – DIRECTOR

With RoboCop, Total Recall and Starship Troopers, Paul Verhoeven established himself as the maestro of the subversive science fiction blockbuster – he successfully married big-budget populism with stealthy but trenchant satire. These movies delivered spectacle and thrills but consistently targeted corporate greed, unbridled militarism and the perils of allowing escapism and propaganda to dominate public discourse.

PETER WELLER – ACTOR

Peter Weller is an American actor who played the lead in Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop, a part initially intended for Rutger Hauer. However, it was the lithe Weller who got the part, he was previously known for playing the lead in 1984 science fiction oddity The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Weller prepared formidably for the role, spending four months in training with the New York mime artist Moni Yakim to perfect Robocop’s movements.

ALEX WINTER – ACTOR

Alex Winter is an English-born American actor, director and screenwriter, best known for his role as Bill S. Preston Esq. in the 1989 film Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and its 1991 sequel Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.

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