We join the Journey Through Sci-Fi podcast to talk about Escape From New York and Blade Runner 2049
Often, during the last couple of years, it’s felt like we’re living in the darkest timeline. Plague, war, terrorism, civil unrest – the 21st century has all the makings of a grim dystopia. At times like this, some people might turn to movies for comfort and escapism. Not us. We like it when movies tells us how things might get even worse.
Thanks to the Journey Through Sci-Fi podcast run by James and Matt, we recently had an excuse to rewatch Escape From New York (John Carpenter, 1981) and Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017). We dived deep into both movies and what they mean to us, but also more widely discussed dystopian fiction and why it’s such a big part of science fiction.
You can listen to the episode below, or find it here online.
Together In Dystopian Dreams
Journey Through Sci-Fi is a podcast looking at classics of science fiction. Each week, the hosts discuss two movies in the company of guests. The podcast is organised into series and each batch covers a different sub-genre. James and Matt have already covered such staples as artificial intelligence and time travel.
The current series is all about dystopias – from the Greek words for “bad place”, a dystopia is an imagined society where things are about as rough as they can get. We’re talking post-apocalyptic worlds where everybody is in distress, civilization and the environment have collapsed, and fashion designers have gone insane.
You haven’t heard new Robby The Robot’s Waiting episodes for a while (we’ve been super busy, but season three will be along soon) but in the meantime we love being guests on other sci-fi shows. So it was with great pleasure that we joined James and Matt on their series to discuss our favourite “bad places” on screen. They even gave us a chance to talk about how Robby The Robot’s Waiting came about and some of our favourite sci-fi experiences.
In this episode of Journey Through Sci-Fi we talk about a version of America where the crime rate is so high that the entire city of New York has been turned into a prison, and then about the very essence of life and identity in a burnt-out, cyberpunk LA.
Escape From New York is a 1981 action film co-written, co-scored and directed by John Carpenter. It stars Kurt Russell, Donald Pleasence, Ernest Borgnine and Isaac Hayes, among others, and is set in the then-future year 1997. When Airforce One is hijacked and brought down inside Manhattan, which has been turned into a maximum-security prison, ex-special forces commando Snake Plissken is sent inside the walls to rescue him. It’s currently available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime.
From New York to California
Secondly in this episode we talk about Blade Runner 2049, the 2017 sequel to Ridley Scott’s moody thriller Blade Runner. It’s directed by Denis Villeneuve and stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Jared Leto and many more. We see a dark, polluted future Los Angeles and San Diego, in a story about a replicant cop searching for proof that a female replicant has been able to reproduce. It’s currently available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime.
At the time of writing, Journey Through Sci-Fi has published 15 episodes in the series about dystopia, of which the one featuring Robby The Robot’s Waiting is number 14. Other episodes cover films such as Mad Max, V For Vendetta, Brazil, A Clockwork Orange, Soylent Green, Equilibrium and loads more.
Listen to this Escape From New York (1981) & Blade Runner 2049 (2017) episode with us in it either at the embedded player above or find it on the podcast's hosting page.