We’ve all watched the scene. Maybe it’s the scientist character trying to provide a huge dollop of exposition to the rest of the team, maybe it’s in a montage as the cast grope towards the breakthrough that will drive Act II.
Whatever it is, it features a blackboard / whiteboard / cave wall covered in equations that supposedly relate to the situation at hand. Some shows—such as Numb3rs—really try to match what’s on the board to the plot. Others just pick science equations at random, or delegate a junior props guy to scribble a grab-bag of greek letters and math symbols on the board. But can people really tell the difference? What follows are some equations (and hints) that relate to classic science-fiction scenarios — see if you can identify them. Answers and explanations tomorrow.
Some of the characters on Battlestar Galactica have been tooling around on a sewage recycling ship recently. Not surprisingly, the onboard accommodations are less than four star. Still, however the characters might feel about it, whenever I’m watching a show with scenes set on a spaceship, the messier the interior looks, the happier I am. Unless a spotlessly clean spaceship is being used for specific plot point (“A key member of the crew offends the obsessive-compulsive plant people of Nebulan Six by failing to use a coaster when ritually offered a glass of ice-cool Krotj”) the problem is that spic and span spaceship interiors break down my suspension of disbelief just as quickly as watching a cardboard background tremble at the approach of a castmember. Read More