Elevator Pitches: Time for Focus-Group Input

By Sean Carroll | December 10, 2008 12:00 pm

If you spend a lot of time in the MGM Grand in Vegas (and who doesn’t?), you will have walked by Television City. It’s a fun place to get some free entertainment if the craps tables have been unkind (or if you had a great meal at Joel Robuchon), but it’s serious business for CBS/Viacom: this is where they show clips and pilots of prospective shows to average Americans, to gauge whether they should be picked up for seasons to come. Apparently it’s easier to find average Americans in Vegas than over here in LA.

So here’s your chance to chime in on our contest to choose a science-themed TV show. Recall that the idea behind the elevator pitch contest was that you had bumped into CBS bigwig Les Moonves, and taken the opportunity to quickly pitch a TV idea that made use of science in some way. While you might have thought that Mr. Moonves was just humoring you, in fact he took some of the ideas very seriously, and ultimately picked six of them to make pilots of each. Sadly, we don’t have clips from the actual pilots; something about intellectual property rights. But here are the original descriptions of the six finalists; note that CBS has tentatively assigned names to each show.

Below the fold there is a poll, where you can vote on which show you like the best! Voting will be open for the next week. For the winner, a T-shirt, and who knows? Some people in high places read this blog.

  1. New Horizons (Jason Dick)

    Takes place about a century from now. Humanity has discovered planets around other stars harbor life. We send out a generation ship, where multiple generations of intrepid explorers will be born and die before it reaches its destination. This show follows their journey, where they are faced with mechanical failure, collisions with small dust grains that cause lots of damage, and people who crack under the stress of their situation. Mostly it’d be about a human drama of extremely driven people who are in a difficult situation, and whose children are forced to carry the torch of their parents.

  2. Three Geeks in Boston (Naveen)

    Three guys share an apartment in Boston: a freelance writer training for an ultramarathon, a chemistry student who wants to work in a Michelin star restaurant, and a disillusioned theoretical physicist in grad school. The runner views himself as a lab rat and writes about his experiments with the latest training gadgets and techniques. The chemist hopes that molecular gastronomy will be his path to a dream job with Heston Blumenthal or Grant Achatz. The theoretician realizes how his math can be applied to topics ranging from tracking flu epidemics to studying the sociology of Facebook.

  3. The Parameters (astromcnaught)

    An enormous laser experiment blows a hole in local space-time. Things start to behave strangely, and hilariously, the world over. Young Ruford with the assistance of a mysterious mechanics professor has to adjust the parameters of reality back to normal. Different parameter each week. E.g. speed of sound drops to 1 meter a minute. Something electromagnetical causes clothes to start becoming transparent. Gravity becomes stronger…the world starts spinning faster…the moon draws closer…air becomes thicker…ice sinks. The dog’s called Rhombus.

  4. The Scientific Inquisitor (Matt)

    A lapsed cardinal with a rigorous scientific background is called back into service by the Pope. When the vatican is under pressure to bestow sainthood on a politically inconvenient deceased priest, they dispatch the show’s hero. Our cardinal has secret instructions to debunk the would-be saint’s requisite “miracles”, thereby denying sainthood. He does so with scientific acumen and great aplomb. Each week, he struggles with being used by an organization he doesn’t respect, as well as his own emotional desire to believe in something beyond the cold materialism he practices. Both cynical and hopeful, the show illuminates the boundary between evidence and faith, in a (perhaps Sisyphean) struggle to find a balance between the two.

  5. Friends with Experiments (Peggy)

    Friends in a top university molecular biology lab. Three young men and three young women – a couple of postdocs, grad students, a Sigma sales rep and a departmental administrator – find love and laughs as they run gels, hang out in the departmental lounge, attend conferences, and interact with the other wacky lab denizens. Plenty of opportunity for sight gags, such as an unbalanced ultracentrifuge “walking” through a wall or the noob grad student accidentally setting her bench on fire. And lots of opportunities for romantic situations: all-night sample collecting in the cold room, working closely in the darkroom, or a mixup that puts our male and female postdoc in the same hotel room at the AAAS conference. And what holds them together is their love/hate relationship with their research.

  6. Apocalypse Tomorrow (Dr. Free-Ride)

    The economy has tanked and modern infrastructure (utilities, highways, food supplies, schools) is decaying – “pre-apocalypse”. We focus on a couple who left science a decade ago, moving to a small town for a new start. Their kids keep stumbling into sciencey situations, drawing their parents into them. Their town has a distinct anti-science vibe — science and technology didn’t hold off the decay gripping the community, and (we find out) the town is still scarred by tragic events due to mad scientists. Despite themselves, our family uses scientific reasoning and keen observation to rebuild the community and their own lives.

Click to get to the poll and cast your vote…

Which science-themed show would we like CBS to pick up for next season?
New Horizons
Three Geeks in Boston
The Parameters
The Scientific Inquisitor
Friends with Experiments
Apocalypse Tomorrow
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Note the real lesson here: it’s not easy to come up with a show idea that’s interesting, dramatic, and can be pitched in 100 words or less! (HP’s The Uncertainty Principle had promise, but Mr. Moonves was not convinced that a season-long struggle for funding would maintain interest.) I was happy that we came up with so many good choices.

  • Jorg

    A sad day, being forced to choose one of the oldest sf tropes. Everything else sounds so much worse, even accepting the essential tongue-in-cheekiness of some of the concepts. What happened to imagination? And don’t these people read any modern science fiction?

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/sean/ Sean

    Did you seriously just slam the existing suggestions after not bothering to create an entry yourself? Pretty weak.

  • http://whenindoubtdo.blogspot.com/ Eugene

    Awww I voted for the Scientific Inquisitor, but I guess New Horizons and its promised SFX bonanza trumps all.

  • CW

    New Horizons intrigues me the most. But I think it would have to be a 10-12 episode season. And each season could bring about a cast change, that represents the next generation of crew members/passengers.

    As a season 1 cliff hanger, the ship can pass by (or see from a distance) a massively large asteroid/comet – to which they calculate is heading straight for the Earth.

    A season 2 cliff hanger, the ship can find remnants of an alien spacecraft – and frozen bodies of alien life drifting in space – upon closer inspection, they see they very closely resemble humans beings (are they aliens? or humans from the future? or did humans have the ability to travel in space long before this expedition).

    Wow! My imagination is going into hyperactive mode.

  • CW

    @ Eugene

    Scientific Inquisitor is really good too, and it probably would be the most successful. However, I couldn’t help but think of Dan Brown’s novel, “Angels and Demons.”

  • Lawrence Crowell

    I can see that the New Horizons is leading the pack. I went with Friends with Experiments, since I tend to mostly watch comedies as it is, then found I am in a serious minority. Space opera programs get too tracked in a thematic vein IMO.

    L. C.

  • Randall

    I don’t know, I don’t see where you’d get more than three episode’s worth of plot for “Scientific Inquisitor”; I mean, how many politically inconvenient would-be saints are there? And would the Church really risk going out of its way to debunk miracles, when the same techniques could be used to debunk “approved” miracles?

    New Horizons looks pretty awesome, though; it’s not just “existing show, with Science tacked on!” (though to be fair, that actually worked for The Big Bang Theory). It has the potential to have whole episodes revolving around the human drama of the situation, which means it won’t be relying on different science each week (since that sort of thing runs through the widely-palatable sciences quickly). I think it would share some tonal elements with the new BSG (drama in space!), while being a different enough premise to stand on its own. I’m not sure about swapping out the cast each season, though; if the starting cast consists of the 50s-ish main crew (who started the expedition when they were in their 20s-30s), and their now-twentysomething children (who were all really young or maybe not yet born when the mission started), I think there’d be enough generational drama to last more than one season with the same cast.

  • Elliot Tarabour

    Since my top 2 choices didn’t make the CUT, I went with Apocalypse Tomorrow. Seems like the one that has the most potential IMHO.

    e.

  • timur

    I went with The Parameters, since it can be interesting to see how things behave under parameter change. There is a Russian children novel that I read a long time ago, in which 4-5 high school students imagined/constructed a device that can change physical laws locally. They first reduce friction and found out they cannot walk and trousers cannot hold up, and then change the speed of sound, increase water density to save somebody drowning and so on. Finally they switched off the energy conservation law so almost destroyed the Earth, because a slight movement of theirs was amplified to move mountains.

  • Metre

    I aslo voted for Parameters. I think it was George Gamow who wrote a book many years ago entitled “Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland” or something close to that. (Not sure if this the book timur refers to). The book changed the values of h bar and other constants so that quantum effects occured at the macroscale of the everyday world. People diffracted as they walked through doorways, tunneled through walls, etc. Lots of opportunities to teach, and lots of parameters to play with. It would be fun to watch.

  • Sili

    Mr Tompkins in Dreamland was what I thought of, too.

    The Scientific Inquisitor sounds like that film with … Antonio Banderas(?) as an organic chemist turned pastor – Stigmata, I think it was.

  • Jamie

    If any of these appeal to you, you may want to watch…

    1. Battlestar Galactica meets one of those bad Star Trek: Next Generation shows focusing on the kids on the ship
    2. Big Bang Experiment, minus the “hot girl”, plus the guy from Numb3rs.
    3. Eureka
    4. Take Scully from the X-files, except all the X-files are fakes and she wants to believe in them.
    5. House/Grey’s Anatomy/ER, any other medical drama, but without interesting patients. Or The Office, in a lab.
    6. Jericho

  • Jason Dick

    Wow, I really didn’t expect to see my show in the lead! Thanks everybody!

    CW,

    Well, the problem is that a lot of the “obvious” things that you’d think of to make for drama in a show like this are just exceedingly implausible. For a potentially Earth-destroying object, for instance, the only way they’d notice an asteroid or similar would be if they noticed it before leaving our solar system, and even then it’d be obscenely unlikely. The only sort of thing that they could notice a little ways out that might be threatening would be a brown dwarf or a black hole set on a collision course with the solar system. Though that’s exceedingly rare, and though the most they could do is send back a message to Earth saying, “Hey, it looks like you guys might get destroyed in a few million years,” this might be a good show starter: imagine if we found such an Earth-destroying object coming towards us but still a few centuries out or so. This might be the entire motivation for building the ship in the first place. Still, it’s an unlikely possibility, so it might sacrifice the science of the show.

    So if the writers want to make the show interesting, but keep it close to the science, they’d have to be really careful to reign in their imaginations, and not let the influences of a few decades worth of science fiction creep in. Meeting up with a derelict or occupied alien vessel? That’s out: the ship would have no realistic way of stopping along the trip. We could imagine some interesting things once the ship reaches its destination, but I think most of the time these sorts of traditional sci-fi ideas would be tackled by the cast saying that those things just don’t happen in reality.

    Thus, the writers/producers of such a show would have a choice: they could either stick to the science, and thus make it primarily a human drama with an interesting backdrop, where all of the conflict would have to come from the cast of the ship and the ship itself. Or they could abandon some part of the science and add in a few traditional sci-fi mechanisms, such as the ability of the ship to stop along the way to investigate strange things.

    And I really do like the idea of recycling the cast every season or so. I thought that the miniseries Taken really used that to tremendous effect by swapping out the cast every few episodes.

    As for some conflicts that would be very realistic, and could be quite interesting, here are a few ideas I have:

    1. They don’t plan ahead far enough, and only take a few types of antibiotics on board. They have a rash of sicknesses early-on, and overuse the antibiotics. Once the early illness is over, they find that the antibiotics stop working, and they just don’t have the materials to develop new ones. Over the next few episodes, then, more and more people fall ill, and simple infections become deadly. Eventually the microbiology lab develops a bacteriophage treatment that essentially solves the problem.
    2. Some people go nuts from the confinement. This should mostly be early-on, but we could have something fun like an otherwise normal, well-adjusted crew member develops a second personality that is quite destructive to the ship. His attempts at sabotage are partially successful, and he nearly destroys the ship (but is, of course, stopped). This could have a tie-in with the above situation where he is actually instrumental in exposing the bacteria to sub-therapeutic levels of the antibiotics, intentionally evolving their resistance.

    Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for the moment, but if the show is to stick to the science as closely as possible, I think that the above is going to have to be the general direction: we have a group of people who are completely isolated. The fact that they’re in space sets the theme, but doesn’t have a whole lot of input into the plot. It’s mostly the complete isolation that does that.

    I hope I haven’t damped anybody’s imagination too much :)

  • jls

    Three guys share an apartment in Boston

    Fergawdsake can’t we make these three women for once?

  • gopher65

    I think that “Scientific Inquisitor” sounds the best, but I also think that it would be better as a 10 episode (or so) mini-series, with each episode bringing a new “miracle” that the cardinal has to debunk.

    It sounds like a very intriguing concept to me – far moreso than any of Dan Brown’s (rather similar) work. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone steals this idea and turns it into a book.

    The Parameters – sounds like a combination of “Fringe”, “Primeval”, and “Eureka”, but with a slightly different setting. I’m not a fan of any of those shows, so this would be a no go for me. However, I can see how others might enjoy it.

    New Horizons – sounds moderately interesting, but kind of slow and dull, rather like BSG2003. Still, there is a fairly large market for shows of this kind, even though they don’t appeal to me, personally.

  • David

    New Horizons has been done already. Back in the 70’s there was a short lived TV series with this exact same premise called The Star Lost.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Starlost

  • Alan French

    Odd that there is so much good science fiction, yet very little good science fiction on the tube or at the movies. I fear none of the plots outlined caught my attention. Perhaps a show that presented a variety science fiction stories, rather than being stuck with the same formula from week to week.

    Larry Niven’s “Tales from Known Space?”

    A movie more firmly based on Harry Bates’ “Farewell to the Master?”

    Clear skies, Alan
    (Nervous about seeing the remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” on Friday – the previous have not been promising, IMHO.)

  • Alan French

    Oops, that should be “Tales of Known Space.” Getting too old…

  • Alan French

    And “the previews have not been promising, IMHO.”

    Better go do something else!!!

  • timur

    Please vote for Parameters!

  • http://scienceblogs.com/sunclipse/ Blake Stacey

    Alan French:

    I believe the Sci-Fi Channel had a series called (thinks back) Welcome to Paradox, which adapted a different short story every week, setting them all in or around the city of “Betaville” (a Jean-Luc Godard shout-out, of course). It didn’t last very long, but of course, that doesn’t say anything directly about the concept of an anthology show itself.

  • Low Math, Meekly Interacting

    The Parameters had me with the transparent clothes.

    What???

  • Imam Yahya

    “The parameters” is obviously unscientific. How can the speed of sound change? It’s a dimensionful parameter.

    Note: this is a joke.

  • Matt

    Dan Brown?? Come on! A little credit, please. Sure, he’s a priest, which is rather brown-esque, but i daresay my three sentences have more character arc than all of Brown’s novels put together. Which isn’t chest thumping, as the same goes for the freaking phone book. Plus, it’s just the elevator pitch, the show would have far more to it than simply debunking miracles every week.

  • http://groupaction.blogspot.com Nick Ernst

    My vote went to Apocalypse Tomorrow.

    Three Geeks in Boston and Friends With Experiments have the potential to counter painful geeksploitation shows like Big Bang Theory, but these look like they’ll quickly fall prey to the tired tropes of tv comedy (“Friends” promises to do so!). When that happens the show isn’t funny or interesting.

    The Parameters sounds ridiculous and amusing, but somehow sounds like the characters won’t have any room for development. Yet it isn’t really a pop-science show like mythbusters – it’s supposed to have some story. I don’t know, it just doesn’t sound appealing to me after a few episodes.

    New Horizons sounds like a promising one! I like the idea of exploring the children’s perspectives. But what’s the scope of what the show can do? You’re limited to watching this one ship for at least a season! Concerning my personal preferences, it sounds like this show would be very stressful, and provide little room for wonder.

    The Scientific Inquisitor also sounds very interesting! But as someone else noted, how are you going to make more than a miniseries out of this? Also, I think the audience will be about the same one that watched the (Fantastic) John Adams miniseries. This is too small an audience, and too short a show for CBS.

    Apocalypse Tomorrow is by far the best. The concept of the show necessitates character development, and the world is wide and full of options. Moreover, the conflicts sound both extremely interesting and absolutely relevant! Our world is rapidly being transformed by technology, and readers of this blog are well aware of the anti-intellectual tensions raised by “Luddites”. The premise of this show provides a great opportunity to explore tensions with science and society, and the value of science. Along with “Inquisitor”, this show can present subtlety, but with a much less constrained plot (and larger cast, with more complex relationships). These are the two shows that can both reach the human heart and best reward the mind, and “Apocalypse” is best of the two for T.V.

  • melior

    I really like The Scientific Inquisitor, and think it could be built to amazing levels of popular hype if it was presented with appropriately dramatic music as an earnest search for miracles, as seen on every random religious channel I surf past. The only difference (cleverly never revealed until the last minute) is that each one of the miracles always has a earth-shatteringly mundane natural explanation when examined scientifically.

    Possible spinoffs: similar shows about psychics, and magic herbal medical potions.

  • http://groupaction.blogspot.com Nick Ernst

    My worries about New Horizons were connected to the idea that the ship and crew are smallish. Someone at the forum for Dresden Codak pointed out that I made that assumption without reason.

    Then he mentioned some neat space habitats: The Bernal Sphere, The Stanford Torus, and The O’Neill Cylinder.

    Space Engineering question for the CV readers: How big an effect would the shape of a large ship have on its speed and stability? There’s cosmic dust to deal with in the least.

  • Jorg

    Sean: ‘Did you seriously just slam the existing suggestions after not bothering to create an entry yourself? Pretty weak.”

    Oh, I apologize, actually. It was early in the morning and I was not aware this was an open contest; only that I was allowed to vote! Hang on, I’ll come up with something, even if I steal it from a more famous author…

  • http://www.cthisspace.com Claire C Smith

    Did I read Sean’s former post on The Elevator Pitch idea with great any great depth? Nope. Ddi I also read it slowly? Nope. Did I only read the first sentence, one middle sentence, then the last sentence just to get a jist? Yep. Should other people do this? Nope. Was it because I was in a hurry? Yep. Is this comment starting to resemble a flow chart? Yep…if no then go to…

  • Marc Humpert

    Actually it is pretty easy to come up with a hundred word elevator pitch, hence the reason why they exist as elevator pitches; a quick way to hear a bunch of ideas. The problem is that these all suck and problem belong on the Disney channel with Phil of the Future. The Scientific Inquisitor sounds like Contact, except without a character one can identify with. A cardinal?

    I did like the pitch for “Darkest Dreams”

    Civil war looms in a solar system containing 7 habitable planets. Four estranged siblings: two brothers and two sisters, live on separate planets. As problems escalate, they struggle with the vagaries of their personal lives and their own physical and emotional disparities from one another, within the context of a looming civil war. In a drama spanning the vast solar system, they learn that life is not so simple as they are forced to make choices that affect themselves, each other and the whole solar system.

  • http://gerusz.freeblog.hu Gerusz

    New Horizons: immediately got my attention. But to make it an enjoyable show, the ship must be allowed to stop, so they could gather technology from the said alien vessel and it should be a bit more “fi” and less “sci”.

    Three geeks in Boston: It’s too hard to find the balance between SF and sitcom IMO

    The parameters: this is the direction Eureka should be heading. The premise is a lot more “fi” than “sci”, so would be the solutions, but the accurate physical description of the changes would be funny. Sonic booms caused by people talking and walking in the same time… clothes getting to be transparent… I’d love it. :)

    The scientific inquisitor: either miniseries, or something should cause more and more “wonders” to happen.

    FWE: See above (Three geeks in Boston)

    Apocalypse Tomorrow: can be interesting, if the town would be very very mysterious. Also, devices left in the town by the mad scientist should turn on causing problems to solve.

    I voted for New Horizons, but all of them sounds interesting, if they could find the balance between science, fiction and comedy.

  • http://www.tevong.co.uk/adlib.php Tevong

    I like the Friends with experiments idea, I can imagine it more in a Scrubs style though.

    Shame I didn’t see the original competition, I’ve been thinking about how great the TV series House would be if, instead of a famous doctor and his three attending solving problems each episode, House could be a famous physicist and his three grad students solving problems ranging from problematic experimental setups to theoretical problems. There’s limitless potential for plots and relationships with other professors, students, funding agencies, head of department, teaching duties etc.. in House’s inimitable style. Though he’d be more of a Feynman type in my show..

    Even if they don’t understand the physics talk people like to see things being solved cleverly, no one really cares what medical talk House is spouting, they just know it’s correct and fixes the issue. And it’d be great to turn the public’s perception of science as dry and boring into something like House/Scrubs.

    Sorry this comment turned more into a late entry! Sean feel free to delete if it doesn’t belong here..

  • CW

    @ Matt

    My apologies. LOL I didn’t mean to disparage your suggestion by comparing it to a Dan Brown novel. I think it has the chance of being the most successful show, due to the popularity of similar-themed shows such as “The Night Stalker”, “X-Files”, and “Fringe” (the latter of which, almost has as much science as ‘Futurama’)

  • Low Math, Meekly Interacting

    I guess I’m leary of giving biochem lab life the House or ER treatment, because, just as emergency rooms are not churning cauldrons of near-constant drama and hot sex, the day-to-day life of your average bio-researcher is (if he/she is lucky) generally a pretty low-key affair. I mean, do you guys want realism or not? If so, just be prepared. When there has been “drama” that I’ve witnessed, it’s usually of the sort that gives “science” a bad name, e.g. tyrannical senior investigators reducing underachieving grad students and post-docs to tears and chronic anxiety attacks, or petty arguments erupting between normally repressed and painfully awkward individuals, sort of the emotional equivalent of dropping a can of Coke down the stairs and cracking it open. You have bursts of joyful excitement when things go very well, but, experimental science being what it is, that’s not terribly often. Everything else is a lot of very meticulous, laborious, often tedious work, punctuated with friendly banter and gossip of the sort you’d expect in any workplace. To make lab life recognizable, yet interesting on the level of entertainment, I fear you’d wind up with something akin to what “The Office” or “Dilbert” does for corporate life. It’d be a legitimate perspective, but if people want to produce something that’s not only edutainment but also some sort of pro-science propaganda, you might not want the primary focus to be life at the bench.

  • astromcnaught

    Good job PZ didn’t enter, what with his poll-busting skills and all that.
    “In first place, with 147,346 votes – PZ Myers with The Octo-twins, in second place with 135 votes…”

    I thought the simple tactic of entering as many times as I could would stack the odds, but rather belatedly now realise that 100 ideas just don’t add up to one good idea. On the other hand, you never know until aferwards, and 100 bad ideas is still probably better than no idea!

    I vote for t-shirts for the top 3 :)

  • Nick Ernst

    How about “24 Experiments” where Kiefer Sutherland stars as a science professor (general title), the show takes place in real-time, and he and his students/colleagues have to run around mixing chemicals, reading books and calculating things to make groundbreaking discoveries before other scientists do? They can also consistently break the school “rules” to make them more rebellious. And for good measure, there can be comic relief in the character of “Pythagoras”, a grad student who sells things like safety goggles and bunsen burners for real cheap on the black science market?

  • http://groupaction.blogspot.com Nick Ernst

    (That last comment wasn’t left by me! Not that I disagree with the joke, but that was almost certainly Marc Humpert causing trouble.)

  • CW

    @ Matt

    Ok, I DID mean to disparage your suggestion by comparing it to a Dan Brown novel, but it was a total joke because I’ve never actually read “Angels and Demons”. So don’t be offended! I really think a lot of these ideas are great though, and I’m glad you all took the time to write them.

    @ Nick Ernst

    If they used any of those structures (they’re all so similar so it doesn’t matter which), I was thinking the story could even be slightly different, like these people are testing these new facilities in space and maybe something goes wrong. You really got me thinking though!

    And whether you posted that “24” story or not, I thought it was hilarious, LOL!

  • Loki

    What about some adaptation of The Culture of Ian Banks? E.g. i’m sure that the novel “State of the Art”, where Culture Ship visits the Earth and crew members spend some time on the planet (and are generally appaled by our wicked ways), can be a base of a good TV serial.

    Several Culture citizens – kind of human-like people with lots of extra glands and abilities that come from millenia of genetic tinkering – spend time on Earth living among us. Also, they regularly return to the Ship to take a rest, discuss things etc. Worth to note that Culture Ships are extremely powerful AIs and have rich personalities, usually viewing the Universe with sarcastic wit. Also they usually have funny names like “Oops i did it again”, “Don’t bother” or “I told you i’m a bad guy!” (warship).

    Crew members have very different temperament, ideas about whether to involve Earth into some improvement program, level of antypathy towards humans etc. In the end the Ships is leaving solar system. One of the crew abandons his extra abilities and stays on Earth, the other is dead. The Ship decides to let Humanity evolve by itself.

  • CW

    @ Loki

    I just thought, wouldn’t it be funny if the theme song in the former ship was a special version of Britney Spears’ hit song “Oops I Did It Again”? That would add some sex-appeal to the show too!

  • Loki

    Max Raabe version? :-)

  • CW

    LOL, you DIDN’T!!!

  • http://www.cthisspace.com Claire C Smith

    Hey,

    Who ever wins this, well good for them. Lets hope it’s a hit!

    I dunno, maybe astromcnaught’s idea is ok? Just… who ever, then that’s great news. I am just really no good at stories, especially SF or fantasy etc. Will keep an eye on the show!

    Claire

  • http://www.americafree.tv Marshall Eubanks

    I wonder if the creator of “The Scientific Inquisitor” knows what a Devil’s Advocate (advocatus diaboli) is ? Every canonization proceeding for centuries had one, until John Paul the Second decided the Church needed lots of new saints, and no inconvenient roadblocks.

  • kdormuth

    I voted for Parameters, picturing the mechanics professor as a zany, Doctor Who-type character. Think of all the ridiculous scenarios the characters could get themselves into. =)

  • Pingback: New Horizons | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine()

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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .

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