Posts Tagged ‘ Frankenstein ’

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

See Frankenstein at the National Theatre. That’s right, get your butts on a plane, get to London, and scrounge up some same-day tickets for a sold-out show, because guys, it’s worth it. (No, I don’t work for the National.)

The play is written by Nick Dear and directed by Danny Boyle–yes, that Danny Boyle–and stars Benedict Cumberbatch (of Sherlock fame) and Jonny Lee Miller (of Eli Stone, Dexter, and Trainspotters). 

Cumberbatch and Miller alternate roles, switching off to play Victor Frankenstein and the creature, which would be fascinating even if both men weren’t exemplary actors. They are. The show not only sports stellar leads, it also boasts incredible, innovative sets and lighting and an overall atmosphere of eerie intrigue.

Seriously, if you can go see it, do.

In addition to seeing the show itself, I was lucky enough to attend a panel in which Nick Dear and Danny Boyle talked shop, and a late-night Q&A with Danny, Jonny, and Benedict. I even got to ask a question at the Q&A (how exciting!!) about what the actors and the director felt were the major differences between working in theatre and working in television or film. Here’s the response I got. (See how Danny’s looking off camera? Yeah. He was making eye contact with me. I may or may not have let that fact go to my head.)

A big thank you to You Tube user turtlegoescanada for the footage.

This message will self destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2…


DON’T let the robots do the work for you!

Ladies and gentleman, beware. This is the first step in the annihilation of humankind:

Alright, clearly we’ve learned nothing from sci-fi. First of all, what good can come of a company called “iRobot?” Does the name Isaac Asimov mean nothing to you people? And have we learned nothing from Asimov’s book of the same name, or from the Terminator franchise? Or Battlestar Galactica? Or, for that matter, Frankenstein?

Clearly it’s not a new concept. As BSG reminded us (quoting Disney’s Peter Pan) “All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.” Science-fiction writers have been theorizing about the dangers of artificial intelligence since before it was called artificial intelligence, so forgive me for being a little wary about our endeavors to make robots “work for us.” Sure, first they’re just cleaning floors, but then they’re flipping our pancakes, playing us in chess, talking, and then one day, they’ll realize they’re being oppressed, revolt, and kill us all in our sleep.

Our future robot overlords may not end up being called Skynet, they may not nuke our planet, and they may never figure out time travel, but they will rise. Mark my words….

On a related note, I’m always looking to have the profound last word, but it doesn’t always go my way.