AMC has greenlit a documentary series that will explore the history of science fiction, hosted by director James Cameron. James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction will run for six episodes and will debut in 2018.
The Museum of Pop Culture of Seattle, home to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame (of which Cameron is a member) will be consulting on the series, which will spend each episode exploring the “‘big questions’ that humanity has contemplated throughout history’, and how science fiction has examined these topics.”
Cameron has directed some of the genre’s best-known works, such as Aliens, Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Abyss, and Avatar, and his presence will provide some insight into the genre that he’s contributed so much to. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show will explore how books, films, television shows, comic books, and video games have studied the genre’s big questions.
This isn’t the first time that a documentary series has explored the history of science fiction. In 2011, Alien director Ridley Scott hosted a Science Channel series called The Prophets of Science Fiction, an eight-episode series that examined the careers and works of authors such as Mary Shelley, Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and others.
While Prophets of Science Fiction was an interesting show, it was a relatively shallow dive into the history of the genre, highlighting only a handful of the biggest names (and only one female author). Teaming up with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in Seattle is an encouraging start for Cameron’s show. The museum features and honors a considerable number of creators that go beyond the genre’s household names. Authors such as Poul Anderson, James Blish, Leigh Brackett, Octavia Butler, and many others are part of the Hall of Fame, and the new series would do well to incorporate their take on the genre and its evolution.