Tuesday, July 31, 2007

John Kessel, Master of Science Fiction

The Masters of Science Fiction series kicks off on ABC this Saturday night with John Kessel's Nebula Award-winning story "A Clean Escape." (8/7c)

ABC.com says:
In "A Clean Escape," set not too far in a post-Apocalyptic future, psychiatrist Dr. Deanna Evans (Judy Davis) interrogates a distinguished, if befuddled, man (Sam Waterston) who appears to be suffering from a lapse in memory. Why can't he remember - and why is it so important that she uncover the secret he holds deep inside?

***

[Holding secrets deep inside is very bad for your digestion and uncovering them may require a very painful surgical procedure. -Ed.]

The series is comprised of four episodes with all-star casts, written by real sf writers, and filmed by reputable directors. They're going for a Twilight Zone/Outer Limits kind of feel, with Stephen Hawking narrating (voice/delivery seem appropriately deadpan/robotic).

The series finale is based on Harlan Ellison's "The Discarded." Harlan co-wrote the screenplay and has a much-enjoyed cameo under an impressively weird faceful of latex prosthetics. Other stars include Brian Dennehy and John Hurt, with Jonathan Frakes (a.k.a. Riker, Jean-Luc Picard's "Number One") directing.

Finally saw the Masters of Horror version of Tiptree's "The Screwfly Solution." Creepy and surprisingly faithful to the text. A little sexed-up, but hey, it was for cable.

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