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Welcome to Classic Sci-Fi

The pioneers of science fiction. These films may not contain the computer generated special effects of today, but the story lines and the effects were ground breaking for their time and it is from these acorn pioneer films that the whole genre was built. If you haven't seen these films, we recommend clicking on the covers and getting them, you're missing a treat. If you think I've missed a classic, let me know.

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)

A hallmark of the science fiction genre as well as a wry commentary on the political climate of the 1950s, The Day the Earth Stood Still is a sci-fi movie less concerned with special effects than with a social parable. A spacecraft lands in Washington, D.C., carrying a humanoid messenger from another world imparting a warning to the people of Earth to cease their violent behavior. But panic ensues as the messenger lands and is shot by a nervous soldier. His large robot companion destroys the Capitol as the messenger escapes the confines of the hospital. He moves in with a family as a boarder and blends into society to observe the full range of the human experience.

FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956)

This 1956 pop adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest is one of the best, most influential science fiction movies ever made. Its space explorers are the models for the crew of Star Trek's Enterprise, and the film's robot is clearly the prototype for Robby in Lost in Space. Walter Pidgeon is the Prospero figure, presiding over a paradisiacal world with his lovely young daughter and their servile droid. When the crew of a spaceship lands on the planet, they become aware of a sinister invisible force that threatens to destroy them. Great special effects and a bizarre electronic score help make this movie as fresh, imaginative, and fun as it was when first released.

BLADERUNNER (1982)

The core of Blade Runner is real classic science fiction and set a whole new course. Harrison Ford’s Deckard (the Blade Runner of the title) is on the trail of four ‘replicants’, cloned humans that are now illegal. And he does so across an amazing cityscape that’s proven to be well ahead of its time, with astounding visuals that defied the supposed limits of special effects back in 1982.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey was the biggest box-office hit of 1968, remains one of the greatest science fiction film yet made and is among the most revolutionary, challenging and debated work of the 20th century. It begins within a pre-historic age. A black monolith uplifts the intelligence of a group of apes on the African plains. The most famous edit in cinema introduces the 21st century, and after a second monolith is found on the moon a mission is launched to Jupiter. On the spacecraft are Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Poole (Gary Lockwood), along with the most famous computer in fiction, HAL. Their adventure will be, as per the original title, a "journey beyond the stars". Written by science fiction visionary Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, 2001 elevated the SF film to entirely new levels, being rigorously constructed with a story on the most epic of scales.

BARBARELLA (1968)

If there was ever a film that reflected the nature of the 60's hippy revolution then this is it. It has that much lovin and nude frolicking that you might think that this is a dirty movie but as the film progresses you start thinking that this is a pretty good film and the fun frolicks are just a bit of fun! It has all the things a good sci-fi movie should have and more, including an excellant bad guy called 'Duran Duran!'

THE TIME MACHINE (1960)

In 1960 producer-director George Pal's The Time Machine reshaped HG Wells' thoughtful, ironic novel into a two-fisted action movie, but one that still appeals to children and adults immensely and deserves its classic status. In the first week of 1900 a group of fussy Victorians gather in Taylor's chintzy, overstuffed parlour to hear him tell of his expedition to the future, where the world is divided between the surface-dwelling, childish, beautiful Eloi and the hideous, underground, cannibal Morlocks. The time travel sequence remains a tour de force, with a shop window mannequin demonstrating a parade of fashions as the years fly by in seconds and charming but still-effective stop-motion effects. The future is a wonderfully coloured landscape with properly gruesome cave-dwelling monsters and a winning Eloi heroine in Yvette Mimieux.

THE PLANET OF THE APES COLLECTION (1968 - )

The Planet of the Apes was released at the height of racial and political unrest in America, adding resonance to its story of a NASA astronaut (Charlton Heston) stranded on a planet where superior apes dominate inferior human slaves. The film's final image, in which a horrified Heston realises the fate of humankind, remains one of the most indelible in all of science-fiction cinema. Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) continues the original's distant future scenario, pitting militant apes against mutant humans. Its phenomenal success spawned Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), in which simian scientists Cornelius and Zira (Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter) travel backward in time, setting the stage for the ape supremacy of the first two films. McDowall returned in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) as Caesar, the son of Cornelius, leading an ape revolution that bridges the historical gap of the previous films. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) ended the five-film cycle with McDowall again playing the chimpanzee leader Caesar, defeating gorillas and human mutants to establish the hierarchy introduced in the original film.

METROPOLIS (1927)

Fritz Lang's Metropolis is perhaps the most famous German film of all time, and certainly one of the most influential of all silent films. In its lifetime it has been: drastically re-edited (shortly after release); unseen for decades; revisioned with a modern music score in the 1980s; and thanks to the work of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung and a network of archives all over the world, restored in 2001. This restoration of Metropolis is almost certainly the most complete and authentic version possible of Lang's original 1927 vision.

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (1951)

Academy Award-winning story, highlighting the massive panic on Earth when it is discovered that a runaway star is heading for this planet, triggering off a desperate race against time to build a spaceship to carry a limited number of people to another planet...and safety.

WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953)

After the success of 1950's Destination Moon and 1951's When Worlds Collide, visionary producer George Pal brought the classic HG Wells story of a Martian invasion to the big screen, and it instantly became a science-fiction classic and winner of the 1953 Academy Award for Best Special Effects. It's a work of frightening imagination, with its manta-ray spaceships armed with cobra-like probes that shoot a white-hot disintegration ray. As formations of alien ships continue to wreak destruction around the globe, the military is helpless to stop this enemy while scientists race to find an effective weapon. Gene Barry and Ann Robinson play the hero and heroine roles that werede rigueur for movies like this in the 50s, and their encounter with one of the Martians is as creepy today as it was in 1953. It finally takes an unseen threat--simple Earth bacteria--to conquer the alien invaders, but not before War of the Worlds has provided a dazzling display of impressive visual and sound effects. This is a movie for the ages, the kind of spectacle that inspired little kids such as Steven Spielberg and still packs a punch.

FIRST MEN IN THE MOON (1964)

An adaptation of H.G. Wells' famous science fiction novel. A group of United Nations astronauts are alarmed at the tales told by a scientist who claims to have been attacked on the moon. The next planned mission to the moon may be under threat from ant-like creatures.

THEM ! (1954)

An early entry in the 1950s cycle of creature-feature pictures, Them! is the one about hordes of ants mutated to a giant size by the first A-bomb test. An exciting, persuasive exercise in paranoid science fiction.It begins as an eerie desert mystery, with New Mexico cop James Whitmore investigating disappearances and deaths: a mobile-home and a general store are crushed as if tanks have rolled over them, a shopkeeper is found dead of a huge injection of formic acid, quantities of sugar have been stolen and a catatonic little girl is shocked into shrieking "them, them!". FBI agent James Arness takes charge and a plaster-cast of a strange imprint summons a father and daughter investigative team. Law-enforcement, military and scientific experts deduce the nature of the problem and take swift, decisive action to counteract the danger.

STAR TREK (1966 - )

Season one contains all the episodes from Series One of the original Star Trek series first broadcast between 1966 and 1967. Season two contains all the episodes from series two first broadcast between 1967 and 1968. Season three contains all the episodes from series three of the original Star Trek series first broadcast between 1968 and 1969.

BABYLON 5 (1994 - )

In 1994 STAR TREK had to take a backseat to this science-fiction series, created by Michael Straczynski. The Babylon 5 space station has become an interplanetary peaceful negotiation centre in the 23rd Century. Humans and aliens attempt to settle differences in a reasonable fashion here under the stewardship of President John J. Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner). This comprehensive boxed set contains every exciting episode from the show. Plus the series 'Crusade' and six feature films.

BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)

Three features. In 'Back To The Future', Marty McFly, a teenager from 1985 commandeers the time-travelling DeLorean invented by Doc Brown, a wacky scientist friend, and is accidentally sent back in time to the 1950s. But the real problems start after he inadvertently disrupts the first meeting between his future parents - and his mom ends up falling for him instead. Eliciting help from the inventor of the time machine (who is now 30 years younger), Marty must untangle the reverse oedipal knot he's created, or he will never be born. If he can't influence them to fall in love, he might never exist! And if he somehow manages to succeed, he must then find a way to get 'back to the future'. Also includes: 'Back To The Future' Parts 2 and 3.

THE QUATERMASS COLLECTION (1953 - )

Three features. In 'The Quatermass Experiment' Earth must prepare itself to deal with an alien life form as a spacecraft crashes into its atmosphere. Also features 'Quatermass II' and 'Quatermass And The Pit'.

SPACE 1999 (1975 - 1978)

On September 13, 1999, a massive explosion at a lunar nuclear waste dump sends the Moon out of Earth orbit. Without warning--and with return to Earth impossible--the 311 men and women of Moonbase Alpha find themselves on a perilous journey to the far reaches of space...

DUNE (2000)

David Lynch's Dune is the brilliant but fatally flawed would-be epic feature film version of Frank Herbert's novel of the same name, the bestselling science fiction novel ever written. It is a complex but too heavily simplified version of a far more elaborate book, a darkly Gothic far future space opera revolving around an imperial, dynastic power struggle on the desert planet of Arrakis. With what was in 1984 an enormous $40 million budget, Lynch retained a surprising amount of the industrial/Victorian feel of his previous features,

SILENT RUNNING (1972)

By the year 2008, all that remains of the Earth's plantlife is preserved in space, maintained under huge Geodesic domes on board three ships orbiting the planet Saturn. Botanist and crewman Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) is horrified when the order comes from home to destroy the greenhouses, and kills his three human crewmates in order to prevent them from carrying out the termination. Injured in the process, Lowell is forced to rely on his three service robots as he goes on the run in the one remaining station, determined to preserve what is left of his home planet's ecology.

THE FLY(1958)

A scientist (David Hedison) is obsessed with developing a molecular matter transmitter. When he attempts to test the invention himself, he is unwittingly joined by a companion - a fly that has sneaked into the transportation pod with him. The consequences of the experiment soon become clear, as the scientist begins to take on fly-like characteristics.

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978)

Alien spores land on Earth and slowly start taking over the people of America when they are asleep. The plants take over the bodies and souls of their victims so that no-one can tell who has been corrupted and who has not. Donald Sutherland takes on the role played originally by Kevin McCarthy, who appears in a cameo.

WESTWORLD (1973)

A lawyer and businessman (Richard Benjamin and James Brolin) take a dream holiday to the newly opened technological paradise Westworld, a resort offering its visitors all the thrills, but none of the dangers, of the old Wild West, which is recreated by supposedly harmless robots. However, when one of the computerized gunslingers (Yul Brynner) malfunctions, the two city slickers find themselves in a battle for their lives. Directorial debut of 'Jurassic Park' author, Michael Crichton.

DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (1962)

The Day of the Triffids is an entertaining sci-fi movie based on the classic John Wyndham novel. Following a meteor shower, Bill Masen (Howard Keel) wakes up in hospital after an eye operation to discover that the rest of the world has been subject to comprehensive blinding. This chaos results in the escape of some Triffids: experimental plants that are capable of moving themselves around and attacking people. A genuine British classic sci-fi movie, with special effects that build-up the suspense in certain key scenes to make the triffid creations truly fiendish and frightening.

LOGAN'S RUN (1976)

Sometime in the future, the inhabitants of a city are forced to undergo 'renewal' when they reach the age of 30. A member of the security forces (Michael York) becomes intrigued about the fate of a young woman (Jenny Agutter) and decides to aid her bid to escape from the city...