It’s 2020 and humanity is still standing. For decades, storytellers have imagined and reimagined the doom of society and the world. An intrepid group of panelists convened on-screen at Dragon Con Goes Virtual on Saturday at 12AM, Fan Track channel, to chat about “Sci-Fi Apocalypses We Avoided So Far.” Moderator J.C. De La Torre led the discussion with input from Michael G. Williams, Jonathan Williams, Gary Mitchel, and John Hudgens.
Going back to the year 1995, the panelists began with A Clockwork Orange. Though we may have avoided the event that caused the dystopia, the panel joked that they’re not so sure they can differentiate between the “droogs” and some people of today.
Moving on to 1997, the panelists visited Escape From New York, which they said could possibly reflect the current environment.
The panelists decided to take this opportunity to make some clarifications between types of apocalypses. In a social apocalypse, they said, only people are affected. In a world apocalypse, on the other hand, everything is affected.
The next question put to the panel, what is your favorite apocalypse movie, was widened to television and books for a list including The Terminator, Max Headroom, Mad Max, Dawn of the Dead (both the original and the remake), Cloud Atlas, Children of Men, 28 Days Later, Waterworld, 12 Monkeys, A Canticle for Leibowitz, and Thundarr the Barbarian.
One panelist mentioned The Jetsons, which led the rest to ponder since we never see the ground in The Jetsons if Thundarr the Barbarian is happening down there.
Next, the panelists were asked to share something they enjoy that is not necessarily apocalyptic but could be apocalypse adjacent. Answers included A Boy and His Dog, Highlander II, and Brazil.
Several questions the panel discussed ended up being answered by, “It depends on the story.” For example:
- Do you prefer a happy or grim ending?
- Should the apocalypse itself be the villain or do you prefer others taking advantage of the protagonist?
- Is it better to know what happened to cause the apocalypse or just be tossed in the middle of it?
Before sharing more favorite apocalypse stories, the panel considered whether Red Dwarf could be considered a post-apocalyptic story. They determined it was a personal apocalypse that only affected the crew of the Red Dwarf.
Finally, a list of more apocalyptic entertainment:
- Where the Wind Blows
- The Day After
- Damnation Alley
- A Quiet Place
- Battlestar Galactica