Saturday, June 2, 2012

University Academics Link PROMETHEUS to DOCTOR WHO

Well, of course Prometheus links to Doctor Who.  Anything worthwhile in the universe certainly does.

Those lucky, lucky Brits are already able to see director Sir Ridley Scott's prequel to his 1979 science-fiction horror classic Alien and some university academics have made a few interesting observations after seeing the film.

According to the Conventry Telegraph Geek Files column, Dr. Jack Cohen, Honorary Professor of the University of Warwick, and one of the authors of Evolving the Alien: The Science of Extraterrestrial Life, says he's glad the film avoided the usual design of extraterrestrials as humanoids with ridged brows.  "The Alien universe," he said, "which Prometheus may also be part of, at least avoids the more preposterous fictional universes where most of the aliens look exactly like humans, but with slightly different types of bumpy foreheads.  Aliens are likely to be much more alien."

Dr. Nicolas Pillai, a researcher at the University of Warwick's Film and Television Studies department, remarked, "While its trailers promise spectacular special effects, Prometheus follows a very traditional science-fiction narrative pattern.  Archaeologists with conflicting agendas unearth a Pandora's Box -- the curse of Tutankhamun by way of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Erich von Däniken."

However, it seems Dr. Pillai is also a bit of a Whovian, correctly observing Prometheus' connection to a classic Doctor Who character from the Jon Pertwee era.  "Raised in Teesside, Scott was a young BBC designer in the early days of Doctor Who and narrowly missed the chance to design the Daleks.  By calling Rapace's character Dr. Elizabeth Shaw -- also the name of a Doctor Who companion in 1970 -- the screenwriters slyly reference a road not taken in Scott's past."

In addition, Pillai makes a connection to a Doctor Who story from the Patrick Troughton era.  "While previous prequels have been restricted by an inevitable narrative end point, Scott's new film draws upon a wealth of transmedia artefacts -- philosophical tracts, Egyptology, a 1967 Doctor Who serial called 'Tomb of the Cybermen' and the current thirst for TEDtalks."

"Tomb of the Cybermen" involved the Doctor's TARDIS arriving on the distant planet Telos, where an Earth archaeological expedition is trying to uncover the lost tombs of the advanced race known as the Cybermen.  With help from the Doctor, the archaeologists seek the origins of the Cybermen, but instead discover the threat of the Cybermen is still very much alive.  Prometheus' plot, meanwhile, centers on the crew of the spaceship Prometheus as they follow a star map discovered among the remnants of several ancient Earth civilizations.  Led to a distant world and an advanced civilization, the crew seeks the origins of humanity, but instead discovers a threat that could cause the extinction of the human race.

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