Hot and Cold

A short time ago I was discussing Soylent Green’s original contribution to science fiction. It wasn’t so much the famous instances of  secretive forced cannabalism, but that this appears to me to be the first film to mention anthropogenic global warming (though  some other films do talk about warming caused by nuclear strikes or asteroid collisions, etc).

So, I was wondering about the other films and tv episodes that depict a world of extreme heat, and the opposite (extreme cold).

I immediately thought of the Twilight Zone episode, “Midnight Sun.” Here we are told that for some unknown reason the Earth is spiraling in to the Sun. And boy is it hot. We see a few people with sweaty brows, sweat stained clothes, and what looks to be a sunny and  dust abandoned city. People are going mad and wiling to kill for just a bit of water. But wait…turns out it was all a delusion in the head of woman who had fallen sick when Earth started getting freezing cold as it spiraled  AWAY from the Sun. By the way, this explanation, probably the most understandable by a lay audience is not the likeliest way either scenariowould go down. It’s more likely that something like a strike from a large asteroid would cause the Earth to have a more extreme axial  tilt, thus probably leading to more extreme summers and winters.

Another hot one from the Twilight Zone is the 4th season 1 hour episode, “On Thursday We Leave for Home.” Here we see a group of colonists from Earth who escaped Earths ills to settle on a hot distant planet. Here the heat is caused by a double Sun.  A similar scenario is set up in The Outer Limits episode “”The Mutant.” Although here no mention is made of a double Sun, though we are told that it’s always sunny on Annex I. Perhaps it has multiple suns or perhaps it’s tidally locked with one Sun.

Ill continue with some cold spots tomorrow..let me know about some…I recall two chilly Star Trek examples in particular.

Steve Bloom

please take a look at my book, The Physics and Astronomy of Science Fiction, published by McFarland.







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