Sunday, 23 April 2017

Golden Age Alien Films

In my history of science fiction we have reached what is known as the Golden Age of Science Fiction, and are looking at the films. Alien films increased in popularity, like Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Howard Hawks' The Thing from Another World (both 1951).

Forbidden Planet (1956) was the first big-budget feature film set entirely in space, and paved the way for the Star Trek TV series in the sixties. It included the most famous robot, Robby. William Shatner, who played Captain James T Kirk in Star Trek, says that science fiction “appeals to a mythological need in people.” Forbidden Planet also had the first all-electronic music score.

Here are the plot summaries:

The Day the Earth Stood Still
An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) land their spacecraft on Cold War-era Earth just after the end of World War II. They bring an important message to the planet that Klaatu wishes to tell to representatives of all nations. However, communication turns out to be difficult, so, after learning something about the natives, Klaatu decides on an alternative approach.

The Thing from Another World

Scientists at an Arctic research station discover a spacecraft buried in the ice. Upon closer examination, they discover the frozen pilot. All hell breaks loose when they take him back to their station and he is accidentally thawed out! Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a bloodthirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Forbidden Planet

A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.

[adapted from imdb and Wikimedia]

Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at

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