Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sci-fi Implausibilities

I thought the list below was about Star Trek when I first heard it. It comes from a recent episode of The Dollhouse. The scene begins with a character rattling off the list, but you don't hear the category until the list is complete. I believe the way they phrased it in the episode was "common sci-fi errors."

Of course, if they wanted to pick on Star Trek specifically, they could have added

time travel whenever the plot requires it
transferring matter to energy and back in defiance of Heisenberg

American English as a permanent lingua franca

But you protest "What about the Universal Translator? They aren't all speaking English, the translator just makes it seem that way." In which case, we can add to the list:

instantaneous, flawless machine translation

And for that matter

conducting any meaningful communication with aliens.

Understand, I'm not hating on Star Trek. I've been delightedly rewatching TNG episodes. I will be seeing the movie. But I think I would most enjoy seeing it with two of the great nitpicking fans, Phil Farrand and Joss Whedon.

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