Masters Of Science Fiction brings to the screen celebrated short stories from some of the world's most highly regarded science fiction writers. Host Professor Stephen Hawking introduces the one hour films adapted from the works of Harlan Ellison, Howard Fast, Robert Heinlein, John Kessel, Walter Mosley and Robert Sheckley amongst other luminaries in the genre.
A pre-eminent roster of writes and directors offer their interpretations of these legendary authors' bold and compelling stories. Participating directors include Harold Becker, Jonathan Frakes, Darnell Martin, Michael Petroni, Mark Rydell and Michael Tolkin. Petroni and Tolkin direct from their own scripts; Ellison and Mosley adapt their own short stories. Other screen writers include Sam Egan and Josh Olson.
A Clean Escape: A dying Dr. Deanna Evans refuses to believe that her patient, Robert Havelmann, cannot remember the last 25 years of his life. It remains unclear why she has been so obsessed with this particular patient until the final, shocking conclusion.
Jerry Was A Man: Mr and Mrs Bronson Van Vogel are the seventh-richest couple in the world. Pleasure is their only work; mundane or dangerous chores are done by anthropoids. All the anthropoids - a few strands of DNA, grown into a baby and fused with plastics - are named "Joe". Somehow, Mrs Van Vogel's dormant compassion is awakened by a Joe names Jerry. What traits would prove that Jerry is, indeed, a man.
The Awakening: In the middle of a ferocious firefight outside of Baghdad, US soldiers discover a mysterious body - one that they can't even identify as human. Swiftly, all over the earth, more such creatures appear and begin to communicate. With this contact, the world is forced to choose between peace and destruction.
Little Brother: In a future world where courtrooms exist without human judges or juries, automated justice is the law of the land. Sitting before a kiosk which is itself the judge, jury and executioner of the future, Frendon must find a way to convince the machine of his innocence - or find some other way to save himself before time runs out.
Watchbird: It seems the perfect solution to a ballooning crime rate - filling the skies with flying robotic droids that can prevent murder before it takes place. However, nobody told these Watchbirds that all life depends on a formula of carefully balanced killing. Robert Sheckley's renowned story examines one of the most important questions of out time - is it wise to sacrifice our liberty in the name of our security.
The Discarded: The ultimate story of despised minorities forever adrift in the darkness of outer space. As a last resort - born out of their loneliness and despair - they are forced to make an ominous pact with those responsible for their plight, in the hope that they will finally be offered refuge at home on Earth.