StarTalk All-Stars host Bill Nye and co-host Chuck Nice in studio.
StarTalk All-Stars host Bill Nye and co-host Chuck Nice in studio.

Science Fiction on TV, with Bill Nye

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About This Episode

Bill Nye the Science Guy is back as host with “world wide citizen of the wide world” co-host Chuck Nice to answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about science fiction on TV. As a Trekkie himself, Bill warps right into discussions about phasers, teleportation, Nichelle Nichols, Mr. Spock, warp drives, Star Trek’s optimistic depiction 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 sub-space 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 StarTalk All-Stars episode commercial-free here: Science on TV, with Bill Nye.

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  • ottoyummi

    I’m surprised to hear how lackluster Bill talks about science fiction. There are numerous examples of science fiction inspiring science fact. Those deep thought sessions about how Rick’s portal gun works may someday breed amazing technology that we can’t even conceive of today. Good engineers are usually pretty bad at dreaming up impossible technologies and good writers are not grounded in reality. This dichotomy allows writers to dream it up and engineers to critically analyze it to the point where they start finding ways to make it work.

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