Want to know what E.J. and Eric and their guests are talking about on the How Sci-Fi Saves the World podcast?
Well, of course, you should listen to the podcast—*wink wink*. But you can also get an overview of each episode’s topics here, so you can find your favorites and tune in. This is where you’ll find quick summaries, helpful links, and a little humor from Recursor’s editor to keep everyone on their toes.
SPOILERS: Most of these episodes reveal something about something. You’ve been warned.
EPISODE 10 — Listen here
In this episode, E.J. and Eric discuss current and upcoming sci-fi productions, both traditional and out of the box:
- A quick look at First Man and the controversy over its reception
- The Meg — Does it live up to its goal of being “the second best shark film ever”?
- The Flash Gordon remake and whether the original really is a “great cast, awful movie”
- Upcoming productions such as The Mandalorians, Replicas, Twilight Zone, Arctic, and the Halo series
- Why you should ABSOLUTELY SEE The Lady Killers— and not just because Eric is in it
Then, E.J. and Eric take a deep dive into the burgeoning landscape of OTT (over-the-top) content providers and how they are impacting the creation and distribution of sci-fi.
- Why is sci-fi so popular as a genre?
- Who’s creating content? Everybody?
- What does OTT mean in terms of new formats and new filmmakers breaking through?
- Tons of proofs-of-concept are being turned into features — and a lot of those proofs-of-concepts can be seen here on Recursor! View Bag Man, Strange Beasts, Seam, Temple, Hyperlight and other short films today.
EPISODE 9 — Listen here
This episode, E.J. and Eric talk to the ever-cool, insightful actor/director Bill Duke of PREDATOR, COMMANDO, and so much more. Included in this week’s discussion:
- WorldCon76, N.K. Jemisin’s third Hugo win in three years, and how diversity brings out puppies
- Sci-fi TV show/film updates — Galaxy Quest, Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone, Apple TV’s Foundation series, First Man, Clara, Kin, and Extinction
- Eric name drops his cousin, actor Peter Shinkoda
- E.J. name drops his favorite SETI scientist, Seth Shostak
- Bill Duke shares his long-range perspective on the film industry as a black actor/director
- The work of Bill’s nonprofit Duke Media Foundation
- The democratization of content, media, and how good storytelling always wins the day
- The autobiography, Bill Duke: My 40-Year Career on Screen and Behind the Camera, available Nov. 15
- The continuing need for more representation in the film industry
EPISODE 8 — Listen here
It’s the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and E.J. and Eric are celebrating with a look at Shelley’s work and more. Included in this week’s discussion:
- The latest sci-fi news from ComicCon
- Thoughts on upcoming movies like Shazam!, Wonder Woman 1984, Aquaman, and The LEGO Movie 2
- Glass by M. Night Shyamalan — can it possibly live up to our expectations?
- Star Wars 9 casting and whether we’ll see Luke as a Force ghost
- The genesis of sci-fi — Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Hugo Gernsback, the Lumière brothers, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others
- Netflix’s support of sci-fi these days — Altered Carbon season 2, Tau, Anon, and more
EPISODE 7 — Listen here
This week, E.J. and Eric are joined by guest William Sandell, production designer for RoboCop (1987), Total Recall (1990), Outbreak (1995), The Perfect Storm (2000), Paycheck (2003), and many others. Included in this week’s discussion:
- Billy Dee is back as Lando for Star Wars 9
- All. The. Remakes. — Oh, there are so many remakes, reboots, and sequels right now. Predator, The Matrix, RoboCop…
- William Gibson’s script for Alien 3 (which never got made) is being turned into a graphic novel by Dark Horse
- Bill Sandell shares what it was like working on the sets of RoboCop and Total Recall and collaborating with people like John Woo and Paul Verhoeven
- How most of the directors Bill has worked with like to “blow things up”
- Making Philip K. Dick stories into movies — loose adaptations a lot of times, but still cool
EPISODE 6 — Listen here
E.J. and Eric chat about:
- The latest sci-fi news — Harlan Ellison’s passing, Jordan Peele’s Weird City series on YouTube, Star Wars episode 9
- First contact films — E.J. and Eric share their Top 5, consider whether aliens would ever have a reason to stop here, and talk about The Man Who Fell to Earth, Contact, Arrival, Starman, Close Encounters, A Quiet Place, Signs, District 9, and more
- A few more spoilers for Westworld season 2
- What the guys are watching —
- Ant-Man and the Wasp — Should we worry about the physics of shrinking cars, because F=ma?
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom — Is it a spoiler if you know, *cough*, that the dinosaurs get out? When’s the franchise going to do the inevitable, and star the Rock?
- Fahrenheit 451 — Is the remake any good?
- Independence Day — Is it a classic? What movie did Randy Quaid audition for?
EPISODE 5 — Listen here
This week, E.J. and Eric are joined again by Ethan, as they all discuss:
- 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is in theaters for its 50th anniversary
- The space opera soundtrack
- How well the film holds up after 50 years
- Its visual design and how that’s influenced sci-fi films ever since
- Ethan name-drops Stanley Kubrick and then explains why he doesn’t like 2001
- Top indie sci-fi movies—E.J. and Eric debate their favorites, including Upgrade, Primer, Arrival, The Fly, Ex Machina, Monsters, Predestination, Children of Men, i Origins, Another Earth
- Ethan embraces his role of hating everything
- Netflix’s Altered Carbon cyberpunk noir series
- The great production value
- Solid acting
- The backlash regarding casting
EPISODE 4 — Listen here
Featuring special guest Greg Cebulski of the Film Radio podcast, and Ethan Dettenmaier.
T\\he guys chat about:
- Their favorite episodes of Black Mirror—including “The Entire History of You,” “Arkangel,” Be Right Back,” “USS Callister,” “Nosedive,” and “Fifteen Million Merits”
- Why E.J. is dubious about the concept of “sci-fi comedy”
- What qualifies as good examples of “sci-fi comedy”—touching on Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Galaxy Quest, and several other films
- Why Ethan thinks Transformers and Phantom Menace qualify as comedy, intentionally or not
- More discussion of Westworld (with spoilers about Bernard)
EPISODE 3 — Listen here
This episode contains spoilers about Solo. Which means there are spoilers in the notes here.
This week, E.J. and Eric open up the mic to Brigade Radio One’s Ethan Dettenmaier to create an E3 equation. Among the topics they cover:
- SOLO —
- “B” movies with “A” concepts — E3 share their lists of sci-fi movies that should have better than they ended up being, like Defcon 4, Starship Troopers, Dune, Species, Flash Gordon, I Am Legend, The Hidden, and more.
EPISODE 2 — Listen here
This episode contains spoilers about WestWorld season 1.
E.J. and Eric take a look at a variety of sci-fi TV series and their influence, including:
- How well season 2 of WESTWORLD delivers on the promises it made in season 1
- James Cameron’s STORY OF SCIENCE FICTION SERIES
- Why Cameron isn’t the greatest interview but E.J. and Eric love him anyway
- Elon Musk’s fascination with sci-fi
- TV sci-fi series these days – Future Man, Stranger Things, The OA, Altered Carbon, Black Mirror, Electric Dreams
EPISODE 1 — Listen here
E.J. and Eric share their 10 most influential sci-fi film lists and debate the big questions, such as:
- Why METROPOLIS is the film everyone talks about but no one has seen
- Why E.J. is a time travel skeptic
- Which is more depressing—STAR TREK 1 or SILENT RUNNING
- Whether it’s good to trust Siri and Alexa when they sound so much like HAL9000
- And a whole lot more