Rossum's Universal Robots

Rebooting “Rossum’s Universal Robots” for the 21st century

“It is over three hours long, and it is like a cross between Noel Coward and The Terminator” – Ivor Benjamin describing the original version of “R.U.R.”Last Wednesday I went to see an adaption of Karel Čapek’s play “Rossum’s Universal Robots”, presented at the British Library. | There was one question from the audience that suggested Benjamin had gone too far in the adaptation. “This [play] is more about philosophy…

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‘Star Trek’: The Story of the Most Daring Cliffhanger in ‘Next Generation’ History

Around 1990, when I was studying for my MA at the University of Virginia (and also working as a writer/editor for the engineering school), I sometimes had 30 people over at my place for “Star Trek parties.” The local TV station aired the show at midnight Sunday. My friends and I would rotate through different locations, but I seem to remember the group had gathered at my place for The Best of…

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Computer Interfaces in Star Trek’s “Assignment Earth”

I was watching classic Star Trek with my son a few days ago when I came across this scene, from Assignment Earth, which is set on Earth during the 1960s (when the original show aired). This episode featured the adventures of a human raised by apparently benevolent aliens who want to stop Earth from destroying itself. As a kid I remember being thrilled at how much NASA footage they worked…

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Notes on watching “Aliens” for the first time again, with a bunch of kids

“This movie has so many cliches in it,” a boy said when Colonial Marines disembarked the drop ship and made their way through rainy darkness to enter the alien-infested colony. My son told him, “This movie was made in 1986. It invented all the cliches.” Another of his friends was impressed by the “personal data transmitters” implanted in the colonists—impressed that someone had thought of that back in 1986. —MZS |…

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Lego signs multi-million-pound deal with BBC to create Dr Who set

The concept for a Doctor Who set came from the Lego Ideas website where fans can submit suggestions, which are then put to the vote.The winning design created by Dr Who fan, Andrew Clark, featured a mock-up of various doctors, including David Tennant and Tom Baker, alongside Billie Piper, K9 the robot dog, and versions of the Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping An via Lego signs multi-million-pound deal with BBC to…