Sci-Fi 5 is a short-form, today-in-history podcast on which I am a co-producer, frequent writer, and voice artist, released every weekday by Roddenberry Entertainment. I wrote, voiced, and edited all of the completed shows in this demo.
Middle Aged (35-54)
North American (US General American - GenAM)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
I'm Earl Green and this is your sci fi 55 minutes of science fiction history for october 1st, today is the day that Star Wars finally finally topped the charts. Now it had already risen to record setting dominance of the box office. But getting to the top of the billboard charts was a whole different matter and it would arrive there in a completely different style than anyone expected. Now, not to knock john Williams iconic original soundtrack album, but as popular as it was. And as much as it was a flashpoint memory for an entire generation of movie music enthusiasts, it still didn't dislodge. I'm your boogie man by KC and the Sunshine Band from the number one slot. So how did Star Wars topped the charts by turning a record producer named Miko Menard Oh, into a Star Wars fan overnight. He stood in line to see the movie repeatedly and at some point he came out of the theater thinking to himself, you know, the relatable, universal archetypes and the groundbreaking visuals are great. But what Star Wars really needs is more disco. He pitched the idea to a couple of different labels, landed a record deal and enlisted a couple of other producers to help him bring this unlikely dream to life. Harold Wheeler, one of the junior producers began transcribing and rearranging portions of the soundtrack, a feat of musical virtuosity that he reportedly accomplished in only four hours, which is quite something when you factor in the lengthy stretches of original music that had to be created to link together pieces as different as the main theme, the Cantina band theme, Princess Leia's theme and the throne room music. The other producer, Tony bon Jovi went through his Rolodex and called up some world class session musicians adding up to a 70 piece orchestra. The goal was to cut the entire record live with everyone in the same studio with as little time consuming multi tracking as possible. In only two days, with the best of the best of new york city's session musicians crowded into one studio and with electronic music pioneers Suzanne Ciani, coaxing laser pew, pew sounds and R two D two sounds out of her analog synthesizers. The mission was accomplished. The record was pressed and rushed into stores in just a couple of weeks. Find out what happened right after this. In the first season of a bomb, we launch a zombie apocalypse Seplating three kids from their parents, whatever that was. It's not mrs Krasinski. Yes, this action is getting closer and narrow escapes but there's more to it. We talk about all kinds of stuff like water and we feature stories from history, the greatest human adventure story of all time, The midnight ride of paul revere. She is a new show that will blow your mind. The fruit of Miko wheeler and bon Jovi's efforts was a mammoth instrumental medley running nearly 16 minutes way too long for radio. So a shorter at it, combining only the main Star Wars theme and their deliciously funky rendition of the Cantina Band music was ready for radio Landing at 3.5 minutes. And it was this single that topped the charts for two weeks, starting with the week of october 1st 1977 only to be knocked off its throne by Debby Boone's You Light Up My Life. But that's not all the album sold a million copies, going platinum and the single sold two million copies and still holds the Guinness World record for being the best selling instrumental single ever. To this day. More copies of Star Wars, Ala Miko have sold than the original john Williams soundtrack. Mikko continued to disqualify the next two movies in the original trilogy and did disco cover versions of plenty of other soundtracks, close encounters of the third kind, The Black Hole, The Wizard of Oz and Star Trek. The Motion picture All got the Miko treatment, Tony bon Jovi took his portion of the proceeds and built a legendary recording studio called the power Station, where he collaborated with Miko again, just a few years later on the Star Wars christmas novelty album. But that is a story for another time. For right now, on this day, in 1977 Star Wars was number one with a bullet or maybe a blaster. This has been five minutes of science fiction history, your daily sci fi five for october 1st sci fi five is produced by Roddenberry Entertainment executive producer Rod Roddenberry, I'm Earl Green and this is your sci fi 55 minutes of science fiction history for october 15th and today's show is a show of firsts. As in this is the first time somebody ever tried that. It's also a story of hostile flying Saucers, a nimble rocket or to some artfully shaped fiberglass and a glowing control panel. Well let's just spoil the surprise. It's the story of computer space, the first mass produced arcade video game which made its debut today in 1971. By this point in 1971 the video game had already been invented by ralph Baer who jotted down the diagram for the first home video game apparatus in september 1966. And even before that a computer game called Space War with an exclamation point at the end had been a fixture on the M. I. T. Campus since 1962 spreading to other colleges with similar computer hardware as a tech demonstration that just happened to be a lot of fun. It was Space War that inspired the creator of computer space. He thought engaging flying saucers in zero G. Combat was so much fun that college kids and bar patrons would line up to drop a coin in a slot to play. The problem was re implementing the game from the ground up with analog circuitry because the computer hardware needed to play Space War was even in 1971. Very expensive. There was a reason the game was limited to colleges that had their own mainframe computers on campus. Computer space was an analog of space war very literally with an off the shelf black and white TV as its display. Not that anyone was judging the cheapness of the T. V. Because where nutting and associates the makers of computer space did splash out a little bit of money. Was on a futuristic cabinet for their futuristic game molded out of fiberglass. The cabinet containing computer space, a screen and circuitry made it look like it was grown rather than built like something that belonged in a sci fi movie. Hold that thought in the first season of a bomb we launch a zombie apocalypse Seplating three kids from their parents whatever that was. It's not mrs Krasinski. Yes, this action is getting closer and narrow escapes but there's more to it. We talk about all kinds of stuff like water and we feature stories from history, the greatest human adventure story of all time. The midnight ride of paul revere. She is a new show that will blow your mind. Computer space pitted one or two players controlling armed rockets against pesky flying saucers. A battle that would play out over a starry backdrop for 100 seconds after that. Well the war is over until someone else walks up with a quarter. The ultra modern curved fiberglass cabinet made the first mass produced arcade game a movie star, you can spot it in the opening moments of 1971 Soylent Green as Charlton. Heston's character arrives to begin his investigation in the movies vision of a future earth with dark secrets. The game fits right in as something he would find in a futuristic apartment. Computer space is now a very rare thing to find in. Even the best stocked retro arcades at this point, the game is 50 years old and fiberglass doesn't always age well, depending on the conditions in which it's stored to say nothing of what was inside each game and the game wasn't the hit, it was predicted to be in its 1971 sales literature. Something about it's complicated thrust and directional controls wasn't actually a great fit for people who had had a few beers. The ambitious designer behind computer space, Nolan Bushnell went on to co found his own game company, a little southern California outfit called Atari. But that's a game changing story for another time. This has been five minutes of science fiction history. Your daily sci fi five for october 15th sci fi five is produced by Roddenberry Entertainment Executive producer Rod Roddenberry. Welcome aboard. Captain Star Trek. I'm Earl Green and this is your sci fi. 55 minutes of science fiction history for March 21st the day in 1983 that Sega introduced the video games, Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator to american arcades. Star trek was always a favorite among early computer and arcade game programmers. It kind of makes sense that generation of programmers had geeked out on the original series and with Star Trek's Wilderness years in the 19 seventies, it made sense that these programmers would design things like the Star Trek mainframe game popular on college campuses or the first Star Trek arcade game, which not only didn't license the Star Trek name, but it also didn't license Space War. The game that was copying in 1976 no less. A major game manufacturer than Atari turned out a game called Starship One featuring a ship that was either an upside down enterprise or a prediction of the U. S. S. Reliant depending on how you looked at it. Atari even used a visual interpretation of the enterprise and jerry Goldsmith theme as the title screen for its 1979 home computer game Star readers. Why not Star Trek wasn't coming back, was it? Oh, except that it did also in 1979 which puts us on the road leading to Sega's 1982 arcade game founded in the 19 forties Sega was acquired by Gulf and Western Industries in 1969. Gulf and Western had also acquired paramount Pictures in 1966 and a thriving little tv studio you may have heard of called Desilu Productions in 1967 turning it into paramount's tv division with the 1979 release of Star Trek, the Motion Picture. What had previously seemed like an abandoned trademark, even though it never actually was abandoned was very much back on the consumer market and with video games thriving as the seventies turned into the eighties. Making a properly licensed Star Trek game made all kinds of business sense to the various companies under the gulf and western umbrella. But who do you get to design and program the game? Well, we kind of already told you, but we'll remind you in a moment, he's the captain of the Starship Enterprise 1982. Hit arcade games. Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator may have been the product of corporate synergy with paramount and Sega both owned at the time by the same company, but the game design and programming was down to sample a nick, a self confessed super fan of the original start series. Sam has also said that this was the last game he was involved in at the coding level. He later became a game producer serving as the creative guide for numerous games at both Sega and Disney Interactive, but he still remains proud of the Star Trek game to this day. Arcade aficionados and Star Trek fans alike also harbor very fond memories of the game with its heavily processed speech synthesis intended to sound like Spock and scotty and its rapid fire game play that gave players a taste of their own kobayashi Maru test for just 25 cents. Klingon cruisers converged on defenseless star bases, leaving the player at the helm of the enterprise to take them on in combat, refuel and repair at any surviving star bases and then resume the battle in the next sector. All of this fighting took a toll as the player had to keep an eye on shield strength and the number of photon torpedoes they had left. The game had a beautiful upright cabinet. But its best form factor was what Sega's sales material called. The captain's chair, modeled after Kirk's command chair from the movies and closing the player inside the simulator and really putting them in the hot seat. No, really all of the games processor hardware was located under the seat. It may be very cold in space, but the captain's chair managed to remain strangely warm. Home versions of the game followed later for every eighties game console and computer under the sun, some better than others. But today we're celebrating the arcade game that marked star trek's official arrival on the video game seen. This has been five minutes of science fiction history. Your daily sci fi five for March 21st sci fi five is produced by Roddenberry Entertainment. Welcome aboard Captain Player one or player to start the events will follow will occur in rapid succession under the control of the onboard software. I'll report these events as they are expected to occur. Imagine it's july 4th 1997 and instead of having a cookout, you and your colleagues who have spent the better part of the last decade preparing Nasa's first mission to land on MArs in 20 years are waiting for time delayed confirmation that the spacecraft you helped speck design and build has survived its journey to the red planet. I'm Earl Green and this is your sci fi. 55 minutes of science fiction history. In the 21st century we take MArs rovers for granted. It seems like there's been a moving set of wheels cutting a path through the martian dust since 2003 when the MARS exploration rovers, Spirit and opportunity landed. But even their way was paved by a daring technology demonstration launched in 1996. The MARS Pathfinder mission carried the first wheeled rover as part of its payload. But path itself was more than just a safe cocoon in which that rover could hitch a ride. It was in itself a testbed for a new way to land on MARS. The heavy viking Landers of the 19 seventies had to take enough fuel to slow themselves down for a safe touchdown. Every ounce of fuel that has to be carried to the surface of another planet means one less ounce of scientific instrumentation is being taken there slowing down rapidly because of parachute deployment. The heat shield separated about 3210 seconds. As for those parachutes, the atmosphere of MARS is very thin compared to Earth's. So MArs, Pathfinder used an unprecedented system to land still connected to the back shell of the capsule that carried it to MARS by a lengthy series of cables, airbags deployed around the entire vehicle as rockets mounted to the back shell slowed its descent. Lander separation That should occur in about five seconds. When that occurs, the lander will descend in about 10 seconds down the bridle with only 20 m to go before touchdown. Those cables were explosively severed and the airbag covered pathfinder became a kind of martian bouncy castle. Eventually coming to a stop bottom face of the foresighted pathfinder was weighted so once it arrived at the correct orientation, the airbags deflated and pathfinder opened its pedal like faces to take a look if you think this sounds like an early test run of the kind of landing system that would deliver much heavier. Later rovers like curiosity and perseverance, You're not wrong, like the missions to the moon before them. Each MARS mission built upon the engineering experience gained by its predecessor with incremental advances in technology is barely visible, very good sign. Everybody mounted inside one of those pedals that opened was the Sojourner rover and a ramp that would roll out and allow it to drive to the martian surface. Hours later setting a trend that would continue with many of the later MARS missions operated by jet propulsion laboratory MARS Pathfinder and the Sojourner rover operated for three months. When the original mission plan expected they would last anywhere from a week to one month while weather and atmospheric observations were gathered by the instruments on Pathfinder. The public was captured by the first new pictures from the martian surface in two decades and those pictures were released as soon as possible over the web, keeping the public glued to their screens for their next glimpse of mars. Pathfinder and Sojourner are iconic enough to have turned up in science fiction, from the opening credits of Star trek Enterprise to the novel the martian and the movie based on it. But in the summer of 1997 science fact really was giving us the best show in the solar system. This has been five minutes of science fiction history. Your daily sci fi five for july 4th sci fi five is produced by Roddenberry Entertainment. This is Voyager launch control the t minus 28 minutes 57 seconds and counting the chill down to the center's propulsion system with extremely cold liquid, helium has been completed emerald green and this is your sci fi 55 minutes of science fiction history for september 5th prepares the center's pumps to handle the super cold or cryogenic fluids which the center stage uses as propellants. The Voyagers Space probes were launched in 1977 after years of development and even before that, a lengthy effort to get NASA and Congress to see the merits of the Grand Tour, an audacious mission to the outer planets, all the outer planets with a fleet of spacecraft that included atmospheric probes to taste each planet's atmosphere. A few years of haggling over budgets and what early 1970s technology was capable of delivering, scaled that down to just two spacecraft without atmospheric probes. And the original plan for one of the spacecraft and its tour at Pluto was dropped. Still, it was the most daring robotic space mission ever conceived and it had to be launched during a narrow window in the late 70s, when the outer planets would be in a rare alignment, allowing both spacecraft to catch gravity assists at each planet, an alignment that only occurs once every 175 years, mere months before launch. The mission got a name change from a mouthful of mariner jupiter, Saturn 77 2, Voyagers one and two, Voyager two launched on august 20th 1977 and Voyager one followed on september 5th. The countdown continues to go well at this time, Voyager one, like a sister spacecraft. Voyager two carries a phonograph record called sounds of Earth on the chance that intelligent beings might someday capture the spacecraft as they continue on their voyages through interstellar space. The 12 inch copper disc contained greetings from Earth people in 60 languages, samples of music from different cultures and eras and natural sounds of surf, wind and thunder birds, whales and other animals. These records contain electronic information that an advanced technological civilization could convert into the diagrams, pictures and words from the Children of much of the public's imagination was captured by the notion of the Golden records, a kind of electronic message in a bottle attached to each Voyager and science fiction authors and filmmakers latched onto the notion of these messages leading aliens, Earth for good or ill. The truth is, we may never know for ourselves that these messages are ever seen by eyes other than those of the humans who created them. Because the time scale involved for the voyagers to actually pass relatively close to other stars is enormous. About 525,000 years after launch, Voyager one will approach within 1.5 light years of a star in the constellation Taurus. Some 147,000 years after launch, Voyager two will pass into light years of a star in the constellation Sagittarius, a light years about six trillion miles. It's getting closer to launch time. Remember you're hearing the launch on this day 45 years ago of the first human made vehicle to leave the solar system. Voyager one is the first starship launched by the human race 987654321. We have ignition. We have a liftoff. The program is in on time vehicle responses normal. The success of Voyagers one and two would help to bring some of the other parts of the original grand Tour plan to life gradually Nasa's Galileo probe would take an atmospheric probe to jupiter. While cassini early in the 21st century, would drop a probe into the dense atmosphere of Saturn's giant moon titan, giving us the first glimpse of its organic rich surface. Even without people aboard Voyagers one and two were every bit as important as the first manned moon landing. They vastly expanded our knowledge of earth's own solar system, the space surrounding it, and maybe someday they may be the last evidence that the human race ever existed. We have confirmation that this has been five minutes of science fiction history. Your daily sci fi five for september 5th sci fi five is produced by Roddenberry Entertainment. This is a Roddenberry podcast for more great podcasts, visit podcast dot roddenberry dot com.