Cosmic Queries: TV Sci-Fi with Bill Nye

Kirk and Spock at the “Guardian of Forever” time portal in “City on the Edge of Forever,” from “Star Trek: The Original Series.” Credit: © CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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About This Episode

Bill Nye the Science Guy is here with “worldwide citizen of the wide world” co-host Chuck Nice to answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about science fiction on TV and in the movies. As a Trekkie himself, Bill warps right into discussions about phasers, teleportation, Nichelle Nichols, Mr. Spock, warp drives, Star Trek’s optimistic outlook of the future, and why the show was, and still is, vital to the women’s empowerment movement. Don’t worry though; it’s not all Star Trek shoptalk. You’ll discover whether the key to astronauts using hypersleep involves studying bears and squirrels. Next, find out if there are serious possibilities of using science fiction technology in the real world such as force fields, inertial dampers, and subspace radio. Chuck and Bill share critical thoughts on stormtrooper armor from Star Wars and Bill reveals his true feelings about Lost and The Blair Witch Project. Bill also sets the record straight on time travel when a fan asks what Back To The Future’s “flux capacitor” would be like in reality. You’ll hear whether seawater and coconuts could be used to power gadgets like the Professor did on Gilligan’s Island, and Bill reflects on how underutilized Dr. Maureen Robinson’s skills as a biochemist were on Lost in Space. All this, plus a conversation on climate change that weaves its way throughout the episode, and the one item Bill would show an intelligent species from another planet to sum up the human race. (Warning: Adult Language.)

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Cosmic Queries: TV Sci-Fi with Bill Nye.

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