If you didn’t watch “The Lost Room” at Sci-Fi Channel last night, sit down and watch it tonight again (along with its second part following at 9 PM — third and final part on Wednesday). “The Lost Room” stands up well on Sci-Fi’s original mini-series quality that we all have come to expect every December with other mini-series like “The Triangle” and “Taken”.
The plot: a detective investigates a mysterious motel room, which acts as a portal to alternate universes. The motel room originally had many ordinary items in it, but these were strip out from some people over the years. Each item has a special power when used outside of the room, some times useful, sometimes not (e.g. a wrist watch that can boil… eggs, or a pencil that can kill via microwaves). Here are the best (sarcastic) lines from the first part of the show:
Bad Guy: What does the gun do?
Detective: It shoots bullets. Really fast.
Another thing I realized a few days ago is that trying to be original when creating a TV show –even on sci-fi grounds, where imagination can be limitless– is a very difficult task. I was thinking for months that it would be really cool to have a sci-fi version of “Lost”. Like, a young man in a society of an older era, who wants to explore beyond his island, an island that no one ever left. There would be some mysterious (hi-tech) objects that the “elders” of his town are possessing and he would want to learn the origins and truth about them. He would travel to some caves to find more of these objects, only to get lost in there. When he finally finds his way out, he is not on his island anymore, but on a seemingly completely different world. As the series progress, he will find two more civilizations (with different technological gaps each), all distinct, different and separated than the previous ones. Only at the end of the series it would be revealed (by a fifth group that knows the truth and have the ability of doing “magical things”) that they are all actually living in a huge spaceship with 4 different biospheres, traveling the stars. All 4 civilizations were supposed to be settlers, the last hope of mankind, that were sent out to space to colonize a planet that was over 1,000 light years away from Earth. They were divided in 4 different biospheres, just so at least 1 of them survives wars, sickness and everything else that auto-destructs communities of people. Over the years and the pass of the generations they forgot that they were on a big ship and they accepted that their world is just as small as an island. The fifth group are simply a small group of technologically-capable humans who managed to keep their numbers small along with the knowledge of how to maintain, control and navigate the ship, and also control the 4 civilizations from reaching critical points (e.g. the last thing you want is having people experimenting with rockets on their finite holographic sky). At the very end, they arrive at the planet and (happily) colonize it. Tadaaaa!
All good and daddy so far, but the idea was already used in 1973. Not exactly as I envisioned it (their goal is to gain control of the ship that heads for a sun, and the knowledge that this is a starship comes very early in the series), but pretty much the basic idea is the same. Innovating and being original is very difficult. There are over 6 billion people on this planet, chances are, someone else already thought of what you have.