19 December 2013 | sedativchunk
I'm a big Science Channel fan (and scientist in general), majoring in computer science and having my fair share of astronomy and astrophysics classes through my way up in college. I get hooked on shows like "Futurescape" pretty easily, especially when they got some great scientist like Michio Kaku backing them. To top it off, I love when they get celebrity host to do these shows because it adds another dynamic to it. James Wood is pretty awesome on this show and has a cool, dark voice that keeps your attention. With that being said, as of now I'm finding "Futurescape" to be an average science/educational TV show so far. An average episode is about 45 minutes or so (with commercials) and the premise of this show is to introduce the viewer to ideas and technology of the future. For example, computers that can record and save your brain memory, tapping into the human DNA to create the perfect human, and etc. are some of the ideas talked about on this show. Typically the show will introduce us to scientist and other important people doing research in that field to back the ideas and claims they are talking about happening in the future.
The problem with this show is that, the combination of the topics and delivery of the topics are a bit clunky. They give us a great deal of factual information combined with cutscenes to the future. The problem is, the delivery is just awkward and often they reuse the same clips over and over while James Woods talks over them. A perfect example; a recent episode I watched where they talked about humans using robotic body parts, they kept using this scene of a guy helping walk an old lady up the stairs who was carrying grocery bags. They must have reused the same clip about 15 times in the episode. They also stuck around the question "will we lose our humanity?" a bit too much in the episode rather than talking about more exciting research in the field. but at the end of the episode I just say to myself "well, that's cool I guess." Lastly in this episode, Dr. Michio Kaku's appearance felt very forced. You could hear it in his voice that he was taking stabs at the subject and the material really wasn't written well. He's a theoretical physicist and as crazy as it sounds he is not an expert in every subject this show talks about and you can hear it in his voice. I'm not sure if he does the actual research for the show/ideas, but it doesn't feel like it. This feels like a show he is taking a paycheck for more than actually giving us something interesting to think about.
I know I picked at one episode here, but I've watch pretty much all of them and they are in the same format. This show currently doesn't grab my attention or challenge my thinking the way that programs like "Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking" does. And it doesn't quite meet the quality of Morgan Freeman's "Into the Wormhole", other similar Discovery/Science Channel series. Amongst this, some of the ideas of the show are rinse-and-repeat ideas (like the warp bubble space travel and living on Mars, these are just kind of reused ideas from other shows). With all of that being said, I do like this show and I do feel that it has potential. But I think they need to give it a more generous budget and not force Michio Kaku into it. I love Dr. Kaku but there are other scientist in these fields that they should share the spotlight, he's one of hundreds of well known physicist in the world. Get some more interesting ideas into it with less reusing of certain clips and this could jump up to a 9/10 show for me. But at this time, I'm going to have to give it a 6/10.