Essential Viewing: Our Review of ‘James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction’ on Blu-Ray

Posted in TV, TV On DVD by - August 12, 2020
Essential Viewing: Our Review of ‘James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction’ on Blu-Ray

There’s nothing quite like being able to sit at the foot of the learning tree…

With James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction now available for the masses on Blu-Ray we get something that is incredibly insightful in its basic nature as we look at the core values in the genre.

A uniquely intimate look at science fiction’s roots, futuristic vision and our fascination with its ideas through interviews by James Cameron with A-List storytellers, stars and others whose careers have defined the field.  The series includes sit-downs with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Sigourney Weaver, Will Smith, Arnold Schwarzenegger and a myriad of others.  Cameron takes us on a journey of discovery and exploration; helping us understand where science fiction’s ideas came from and where they are ultimately taking us.

At first glance you might think that this set is just a visual Coles notes for the genre, but it’s so much more.  What Cameron has done here is not only provide a pop culture primer for the genre but he’s allowed the themes of it all to play out on not only a historical level when it comes to the creative works but their ultimate impact on the world on a societal and philosophical way.

In a lean and mean 6 episode arc this doc series takes us through the debates we’ve all wrangled with.  Like are we alone in the universe looking at the importance of Aliens in the genre, the genuine power of Space and how the concept of space exploration has given man the ability to reach beyond his perceived boundaries, while we enjoying being scared by those unimaginable monsters that we see on the screen, getting to live and understand things about our own human nature when we see a dark and dystopian future presented before us, how technology may either save humanity or be it’s very undoing and the idea of time travel and if correcting past mistakes is really the way to learn to make sure we don’t make new ones.

The presentation of it all is incredibly slick but it has purpose as we navigate some pretty lofty ideas with a kind of care that would work for a novice of the genre as well as someone well steeped in the lore and importance of science fiction in the creative history of humankind.  As much as we can geek out over some of the bigger moments in the canon of the genre, that’s not what this series is about.  It’s about knowing how to genuinely appreciate how important the genre has been in shaping so many different artists and everyday people on a truly tangible and almost awe inspiring level.

Where this series really jumps off the screen however is in the special features on this Blu-Ray set.  With extended interviews from Guillermo del Toro, George Lucas, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, getting to simply sit and witness these things is worth the price of the Blu-Ray set alone.

Is James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction going to be for everyone?  Probably not, but for anyone with any kind of critical and deep thinking eye, this really is essential viewing.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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