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Fact Or Fiction: How Plausible Are These Sci-Fi TV Shows?

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Science fiction is meant to take a magnifying glass to our society and examine it, rather than teach us anything real about science. But it begs the question: is this even plausible? While it’s all ultimately fake, it must be rooted in reality in order to be believable. Let’s see if we can find any real science in these sci-fi shows. Grab your laser gun and let’s go at warp speed!

‘Altered Carbon’

Altered Carbon is a cyberpunk TV series based on the novel of the same name from Richard K. Morgan. Taking place in the late 24th century, humanity has developed the tech to move their consciousness to another body, space travel, holograms and much more. In real life, it is highly unlikely we will ever be able to transfer consciousness. However, hologram advertisements and video calls done by cybernetic implants are not too far away from what we have today. Transfering consciousness may be a bit farfetched but what about a robot gaining one?

Westworld

Science fiction stories about robots created to serve and then rebelling against their creators are quite common. What Westworld does correctly is the idea that the Hosts obtain consciousness through retaining memories. What is a human except for a collection of memories that have formed our personality? While sentient robots are 50-100 years away, we do have robots in the real world that are designed to adapt and learn. Who knows how this will affect us in the future. Now get ready for an examination of what it means to be alien.

Farscape

Realism isn’t the aim of Farscape, but instead a completely alien feel. The intention of the series was to show the endless possibilities of an ever-expanding universe. What it gets right is the look of the alien races. With the exception of the Peacekeepers, none of the aliens look exactly like us and many are not bipedal. The infamous “forehead of the week” problem that Star Trek suffered from is thankfully avoided. Now we go from alien to painfully human.

Babylon 5

Babylon 5 is set in the mid-23rd century and was an attempt to create a realistic setting both in feel and tone. The humans are new to the galactic community, with lesser technology that doesn’t even have artificial gravity. Humanity also hasn’t gotten rid of its problems, which makes for a realistic future. The space physics of the show are so realistic that NASA even asked for permission to use the design of the Starfury as a forklift in space. What could be more realistic than this masterpiece?

The Expanse

The Expanse is a TV show based on a series of novels by James S. A. Corey, which is a pseudonym of Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham. Both the books and show have been heralded as one of the most realistic pieces of science fiction ever made. From the way gravity works by affecting the growth of the human body to the idea of what close quarters combat would be like in a spaceship, it ticks all the marks.

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