If you’re going to get someone to head up a multi-part documentary series about the history of sci-fi cinema, you could do a lot worse than James Cameron.
The Oscar-winning King of the World is steeped in the genre, from his very first short film, Xenogenesis in 1978, through to his breakthrough with The Terminator (1984), then The Abyss (1989), Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), Avatar (2009), and those sequels we’re sure to get any year now.
Cameron’s love of science fiction is evident even in his non-genre work – he approached the sinking of the Titanic with the technical nous of a Starfleet engineer, and even his espionage actioner True Lies (1994), with all its superspy gadgets, spoke to his fascination with technology.
Now, with James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, the revered director and futurist gets to talk directly to the audience about what he loves so much about sci-fi. It’s a deep dive, but a rigorously structured one; each episode tackles a specific theme or subgenre, from the opening ‘Alien Life’ to ‘Space Exploration’, to ‘Dark Futures’, ‘Time Travel’ and ‘Intelligent Machines’. Cameron has explored all these areas in his work (indeed, the last three are very much in his wheelhouse), but rather than just ranting straight to camera for an hour every episode, he’s opened his little black book (or its digital equivalent) and called in the heavy-hitters.