Science/Fantasy Monday: Happy New Year the Science Fiction Way
Happy New Year to everyone!
On Saturday night, as I was waiting to welcome the new year, I kept thinking about my two favorite science fiction new year’s events: The pilot episode of Futurama, and the Doctor Who made-for-tv movie from 1996. And I suddenly I found myself trying desperately to remember what other tv shows featured an important New Year’s Eve related episode. I could only come up with a couple more. Here’s what I came up with:
In this movie, the only on-air portrayal of the 8th Doctor by Paul McGann (though he is featured in many radio dramas and in the comics and tie-in books), the 7th Doctor is killed while attempting to bring the remains of the (supposedly executed) Master back home to Gallifrey, and the 8th Doctor awakens in a hospital on New Year’s Eve in 1999. While the Master (in the form of a strange ooze) takes over the body of an EMT with plans to eventually take over the Doctor’s body instead, the Doctor finds himself working with a medical doctor, Grace Holloway to stop the Master and save the world (again)… just in time to ring in the New Millennium.
This, the pilot episode of Futurama, began us on one of the greatest animated televisions shows of all time, as Philip J. Fry, hapless pizza delivery boy, falls into a cryogenic chamber on New Year’s Eve 1999 and awakens on New Year’s Eve 2999. Having found himself alone in the future, Fry quickly befriends the smart-ass robot Bender and the tough one-eyed woman Leela, and finds a new job of a delivery boy working for his Great-great-great(ad infinitum)-nephew Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth. And thus, a legend was born.
This was a BIG episode, folks. It was the finale of the first season of Babylon 5, and almost every single scene in this relentlessly paced episode was vitally important to the complex main story arc. This is the episode the kicks off all the major events that will comprise the main conflicts of season 2 and onward. Mollari makes his infamous devil’s deal with Morden, leading to the deaths of 10,000 Narns, and leading G’kar to leave the station to investigate. The President of Earth is assassinated, making the corrupt Vice President Morgan Clark President. And Delenn enters the cocoon that will eventually lead to her transformation from a pure Minbari to a Minbari-human hybrid. Like I said, folks: this was a BIG episode.
And speaking of big episodes: this episode of X-Files was big for a couple reasons. First, it was a cross-over episode with Millennium, Chris Carter’s other big conspiracy theory mystery tv show, which followed ex-FBI agent Frank Black as he investigated the mysterious criminal actions of the shadowy Millennium Group. This cross-over was important because Millennium had been unceremoniously canceled and Chris Carter wanted to give the show some kind of closure. But the REAL importance of this episode, as all true fans know, comes from the ending of the episode. After the events have been wrapped up, with Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve playing on a television in the background, Mulder and Scully share their first on-screen kiss. The thing we’d been waiting for practically since the pilot episode in 1993.
I keep thinking there have to be more science fiction episodes that feature New Year’s Eve, but I just can’t remember anymore! If you can think of any I’m missing, please let me know!
In other New Year’s news:
2011 was an interesting year for me. After graduating with my Master’s degree in 2010, failing to get into a PhD program that year, and going through a bad depression cycle in the second half of 2010, I entered 2011 with very few expectations and quite a lot of bitterness and cynicism. But 2011 proved an important year for me. I traveled a lot to visit friends one of whom I had not seen in 3 years! I went to Disneyland for the first time! I got my footing in blog-writing, and was even featured on WordPress’s front page “Freshly Pressed.” I was FINALLY accepting into a PhD program in the Spring, and then began the coursework for that PhD program in the Fall. Two of my papers were published in a brand new small academic journal at University of Houston. And over the summer, I did something I had begun to fear I would never do I finished a whole draft a novel.
I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am to the Powers That Be that 2011 ended up being a much better year than I thought it would be.
And now I have big plans to make 2012 just as good, or even better. the Spring 2012 semester will be the first big sign of whether I can actually survive the PhD program or not. One of my papers will be published in a larger, fairly-well-known academic journal in Summer 2012. And I plan to finish revisions on the second draft of the novel I finished writing last year. And that’s all for starters.
Now, if only I get a date on occasion, I’d be all set… ^__^
In any case, I have high hopes for 2012, and I hope you all to do. Hope can be difficult, and sometimes silly, but sometimes it makes all the difference, and sometimes it’s the only thing we have. So here’s hoping!
If you’d like to share some of your hopes/plans for 2012, please feel free! I’d love to hear about them!