sci-fi follies

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 12:57 AM

Originally Published 2005-03-28 00:11:23

Why is it that every space ship has an auto-destruct mechanism? Now, this is believable on, say, the USS Enterprise, because it's the flagship in an organization that is basically militaristic, but what about every silly little freighter that floats across the sliver screen? Or the television screen, for that matter?

I'm watching Alien -- the first one -- for the first time (yes, it's true... c'mon, it came out roughly the year I was born), and I find it strikingly absurd that a commercial vessel with a complement of seven people and a house cat would have an auto-destruct device.

It's not like we put the damn things on our oil platforms or non-military sea vessels. Sheesh!

Alien, btw, is incredibly well done. It's stood the test of time remarkably well... Except for the fact that the alien looks like a man in a rubber suit in a couple of scenes, it's definitely as good as any sci-fi thriller I've seen in quite awhile -- not even accounting for the fact that it's as old as I am. The special effects are adequate even by today's standards, and there's not enough science mentioned to laugh at anything (a good move on any sci-fi writer's part).

Except for the stinkin' auto-destruct, that is. :-)

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