As far as I am concerned, Saturday night television, has often been synonymous with my favourite kind of drama – science fiction.
But science-fiction can take many forms, as can be seen from this week’s BFI DVD release of the surviving episodes of BBC2’s classic anthology series, Out of the Unknown. BBC2 is currently screening a four part documentary series, hosted by the historian Dominic Sandbrook, which looks at some of the themes covered by this genre.
This week’s second episode – showing at 9.45pm on BBC2 - deals with a common science-fiction theme – the invasion of earth by beings from other planets. As the first programme prominently featured Star Trek in it, it is only fair that this week the emphasis is on Doctor Who. This is not surprising as through the years, the Time Lord has defeated many extraterrestrials intent on taking over the earth. The first group to do so was the Daleks. Their second Doctor Who story, was set on the earth of the future, after a Dalek invasion.
Clips from this epic story will be included and while the special effects are relatively primitive compared to the ones featured in the programme today, the stories back then were always of a high standard. Tenth Doctor David Tennant and current show runner Steven Moffat will be appearing in the documentary.
The programme will also be looking at other extraterrestrial invasions from books, radio, films and television. Other contributors to this episode will include: John Carpenter the director of The Thing; special effect designers Phil Tippet and Doug Trumbull; and Richard Dreyfuss, one of the stars of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This is series which can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in science fiction.