This Week In Science Fiction History: July 9 – July 15

Science fiction ain’t only Soylent Green.  It’s more than just people, you know.  It’s places.  It’s events.  It’s an inspiration for all things futuristic.  And now it’s time for another installment of celebrating the benchmarks in sci-fi for this week.

July 9

On this day in 1982, the Walt Disney Company truly entered the digital age, delivering Flynn and TRON to theatres. In 2010, the Stephen King inspired series, “Haven,” premiered of SyFy. Auspicious birthdays include Linda Park (1978) of the rebooted “Battlestar Galactica” fame. So say we all!

July 10

Telstar, Earth’s first geosynchronous communications satellite, broadcast its first signals from space. From Wikipedia: “Telstar 1 relayed its first, and non-public, television pictures—a flag outside Andover Earth Station—to Pleumeur-Bodou on July 11, 1962.” Auspicious birthdays include SERENITY’s Ron Glass (1945), and one-half the creative team who spawned Superman – Joe Shuster – was born in 1914.

July 11

So few folks have seen Jim Caviezel in OUTLANDER – which premiered on this day in 2008 in Latvia , of all places (no offense, Latvians).  I hope this brief blurb encourages more to find in on DVD. It’s a terrific B movie with lasers, dragons, and Vikings, no less. Jodie Foster tried to make CONTACT on this day in 1997. Auspicious birthdays include AVATAR’s Stephen Lang (1952) and the lovely genre babe Serinda Swan (1984).

July 12

What would science fiction films be without sound? Thankfully, we’ll never know, as on this day in 1948, Ben Burtt was born. The world of STAR WARS would be a very lifeless place without Burtt’s contributions, and, for that matter, so would the worlds of E.T., INDIANA JONES, WALL*E, STAR TREK (2009), and JOHN CARTER. Other auspicious birthdays include Michelle Rodriguez (1978) and Anna Friel (1976).

July 13

What kind of alignment does there have to be in the cosmos to score not one but two great genre birthdays? Back in 1940, a newborn Patrick Stewart was delivered unto us, and who would’ve guessed the infant would eventually boldly go where no one has gone before? And how about Han Solo, eh? Rick Deckard? Indiana Jones? No less than Harrison Ford himself owes his allegiance to July 13’s most auspicious birthdays.

July 14

Marvel mutants unite! The legendary X-MEN film franchise launched in theatres on this day back in 2000, introducing audiences to the likes of Wolverine, Jean Gray, Professor Charles Xavier, and more. Auspicious birthdays include writer Christopher Andrews (1970) and the legendary Sid Haig (1943).

July 15

On this day in 1965, “Mariner IV” sent back to Earth the first pictures of the planet Mars.  Auspicious birthdays include ALIEN’s Harry Dean Stanton (1926), PREDATOR’s Jesse Ventura (1951), and novelist Clive Cussler (1931).

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