Saturday, January 11, 2014

Space Pilot 3000: What the Future Beholds in Futurama

After viewing the pilot episode of Futurama, the first thing that I noticed was that the creators hold the same idea of alien invasion as with many science fiction films and shows which forces civilizations to rebuild their societies and strengthen their fortresses so that they can withstand any sort of attack by foreign invaders. The first science concept or idea that the show tries to illustrate is that aliens exist and there is a possibility of a space invasion.

Also, from the earlier parts of the episode, we are introduced to the possibility of “time traveling” by using the technology of cryopreservation, which may be likened to hibernation, where the people are subjected into a state of unconsciousness or simply frozen to sleep for a set period of time, after which they will be thawed and awakened in the future. So the show somewhat introduces the idea of “time travel” as compared with the idea of a time capsule through applied cryogenics.

When the main character, Fry, found himself in the future, we see that after a millennium, the science and technology of man is so far advanced that it has even affected culture as seen through the futuristic architecture, fashion, transportation, and communication. We also see that in the world of Futurama, artificial intelligence or talking robots and aliens exist alongside humans and that they only differ from humans in appearance. So the advancement in science and technology also gave rise to the advancement of culture which can easily be adapted by other beings.

However, despite being far advanced in culture, science, and technology, there are still some human foibles evident in that society such as the influence of alcohol and the socioeconomic stratification imposed on people, aliens, and robots alike where jobs or careers are chosen for them instead of having to pave their own way in life so here we see that there is a loss of freedom in life, having to be subjugated by those of higher rank and the idea of bureaucracy in this society still persists in their system.

With regard to other aspects of society, it is shown that transportation systems become more efficient since they use hovercrafts which somehow reduce congestion in traffic and teleportation tubes which can get individuals from one place to another in a matter of seconds. They also introduce a way of preserving knowledge and culture by preserving the heads of influential people like the past presidents of America and famous figures like Leonard Nimoy.

The show also introduces more advanced space travel where the characters eventually ride off in at the end of the show. The show also opens up the possibility of a faster and more stable way of intergalactic travel. So basically the show gives us a sense of what the possibilities may be for the future of our society and how we are all affected by it.

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