From the very beginning, we have struggled to understand time, matter and the infinite universe; who we are, where we are headed, and if we are alone. Great minds — and some of the genre’s most legendary writers and directors — have now imagined the most wonderful and terrifying answers to these questions. Join host Professor Stephen Hawking for these six expeditions into the outer realms of scientific imagination, starring such award-winning actors as Sam Waterston, Judy Davis, Anne Heche, Malcolm McDowell, Clifton Collins Jr., Terry O’Quinn, Elisabeth Röhm, John Hurt, Sean Astin, James Denton, Brian Dennehy, James Cromwell and more.This collection features all six episodes of the acclaimed series, including the two ‘lost’ episodes — Little Brother and Watchbird — never broadcast during its original network run.
A wealth of Hollywood talent brings to life six thought-provoking short stories by legendary authors of science fiction in this criminally underrated anthology series. Produced by the same team who brought Masters of Horror to television, Masters of Science Fiction takes a decidedly literate route with its stories--though production values are top-notch, it's the material, and the message behind them, that drives the episodes. The moral complexities of war are examined in Robert Sheckley's "Warbird" (one of two episodes on the set making their debut on this DVD) and "The Awakening," by Howard Fast, while Robert Heinlein's "Jerry Was a Man" and Harlan Ellison's "The Discarded" challenge the definition of humanity. Elsewhere, Walter Mosley explores justice in a draconian future ("Little Brother"), while Nebula winner John Kessel's "A Clean Escape" delivers a Twilight Zone-style sting with its story of a psychiatrist (Judy Davis) attempting to uncover a truth hidden in the mind of her patient (Sam Waterson). The cast in the latter episode is indicative of the level of talent in front of and behind the camera for Masters of Science Fiction; among the other players are Terry O'Quinn (Lost), James Cromwell, Brian Dennehy, John Hurt, Anne Heche, Malcolm McDowell and Sean Astin, while directors include Mark Rydell, Harold Becker, Michael Tolkin and Jonathan Frakes, and scripts are penned by Ellison, Mosley, and Hugo winner Sam Egan. The emphasis on strong and evocative stories and performances over special effects does much to draw parallels between Masters and such classic genre anthologies as the aforementioned Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits; it's unfortunate that the program wasn't given more of a chance to develop an audience during its brief network run. Equally disappointing are the lack of any supplemental features in the two-disc set. --Paul Gaita
Color; DVD; NTSC