Sunday, September 02, 2018

Final Episode of Excellent Prisoners of Gravity Documentary Now Online

The team at Radio Free Krypton has now posted/aired the final episode of its excellent documentary on Prisoners of Gravity!

Part four of "Inside the Orbit of Prisoners of Gravity" talks about the show's legacy, and asks the question of whether it could be done today. Interviewees include the PoG host and producers, author Robert J Sawyer, and fans — including me. For my part, I think, at least as far as Canadian fans go, the legacy of PoG is every sf-related, interview-oriented podcast and video log/Youtube show. Whether these shows follow the PoG template or go in their own directions, Commander Rick and his producers showed us that it could be done (nearly 30 years ago), and so all of us have escaped the world to our own little broadcasting/podcasting/vlogging space stations. We're all the children of Commander Rick (although I can only wish that I had his hair).

Thanks to Radio Free Krypton for putting this documentary together. As important as Prisoners of Gravity was 30 years ago, it's just as important now for fans to celebrate what the host and producers accomplished for the speculative fiction community — especially the Canadian sf community (though not exclusively so, since the show contained many interesting interviews with American and British sf and comics creators too) — and the legacy it created. It was the first time (at least in this country) where our community had a voice that showed the significance of its work, it was a voice that further connected our community, and it was a voice that could be heard/seen by people outside of our community. For Radio Free Krypton to document this achievement, and explore its ongoing relevance, is also important to our sf community. For that, the RFK team deserves an Aurora Award. And I'm not just saying that because they invited me to participate in this doc (although being part of this group does tickle me immensely) — I would have endorsed it anyway. It's that good.

Lastly, I think it's also important to thank TV Ontario for airing the show in the first place. During the first half of my childhood, in Ontario, I devoured TVO's programs (Hey, TVO introduced me to Doctor Who! That's why Tom Baker will always be my favourite.), and even after moving away and growing up, I can still see them for the quality shows they were. It's also important to thank BC's Knowledge Network for picking up PoG from TVO — without Knowledge, I wouldn't have seen the awesomeness of Prisoners of Gravity in its original run back in the late 1980s and early 90s. The value of public broadcasters is incalculable.

If you haven't listened to "Inside the Orbit..." yet, head over to Radio Free Krypton and do so! And if you've never seen an episode of Prisoners of Gravity, what are you waiting for? Punch it up on Youtube and watch one, or three, or all of them! Thirty years on, it's still as relevant, thought-provoking and entertaining.

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