Science Fiction has produced some incredible works by some hugely talented writers and artists.
And we all hope they continuum.
But there’s a little more to them than mere stories, as will be explored in “the most ambitious exhibition ever staged at The Science Museum” when it launches this October. That’s right, this isn’t going to be some old fashioned show involving a whole lot of wandering, gazing, and quiet contemplation. No. This will be a cutting-edge immersive exhibition, in which you get to play the protagonist.
Now, before we dive into the show itself, your first thought, surely, will be that the museum deals mostly with science fact, does it not? That’s why they call it a museum. Well, this exhibition is set to explore the wonderful interplay between inspiration and reality, as feats of fictional imagination kindle the ideas for real technological marvels, which in turn fuel further leaps of creativity. They’ll show how real scientists have drawn water from the HG Wells, and try to find the point “where science meets fiction”.
The show all begins in the exhibition’s ‘departure lounge’. From here, you’ll step aboard a “unique and vast spaceship” helmed by an artificial intelligence of alien origin, who you’re supposed to try and teach about humanity. You’ll see how visions of machines from Maria in Metropolis and HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey have shaped today’s AI, and its future, particularly the way our own biases creep into its algorithms.
You’ll visit the ship’s bio lab and see how stories like Frankenstein and Star Trek helped inspire medical inventions like the pacemaker. You’ll answer a distress call from another planet, and explore the strange landscapes (that look eerily familiar). You’ll check out the engineering deck, with its warp core and spacesuits (from movies like Sunshine). And finally you’ll end up gazing down at our own planet from the window of the Observation Deck, where you can have a moment to reflect on our place in the universe, before touching down and completing the mission.
Along the way, you’ll see the vivid imaginings of Jules Verne, mediations on Star Wars, Daleks from Dr Who, Xenomorphs from Alien, a huge model of the starship Enterprise, and a scaled down version of the actual telescopes that the SETI researchers use to scan for extraterrestrial life.
All told, from beginning to end, you can expect the experience to last roughly ninety minutes.
About as long as a decent sci-fi film.
NOTE: Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination runs from 6th October 2022, until 4th May 2023. You can find out more, and book your ticket (£20) at the website right HERE.
The Science Museum | Exhibition Road, SW7 2DD
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