11 episodes

Putting your favorite sci-fi and pop culture to the test! Join hosts Hakeem Oluseyi (How The Universe Works, NASA's Unexplained Files, Baking Impossible) and Tamara Krinsky (Scirens, Marvel's Red Carpet, Girls Gone Greek) as they put your favorite pop culture concepts to the test and determine once and for all if they're possible in the real world.

From Roddenberry Entertainment, the heart of fandom! Roddenberry Entertainment provides thought-provoking, quality genre entertainment that sustains the legacy of founder and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. We are devoted to producing viewer-centric properties that actively recognize the integral role that audiences and storytelling play in the betterment of society. Roddenberry's productions promote experience over observation; encouraging audiences to think, question, and challenge the status quo of the world in which we live.

For business inquiries please contact:

doesitfly@roddenberry.com

Does It Fly‪?‬ Roddenberry Entertainment

    • TV & Film
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Putting your favorite sci-fi and pop culture to the test! Join hosts Hakeem Oluseyi (How The Universe Works, NASA's Unexplained Files, Baking Impossible) and Tamara Krinsky (Scirens, Marvel's Red Carpet, Girls Gone Greek) as they put your favorite pop culture concepts to the test and determine once and for all if they're possible in the real world.

From Roddenberry Entertainment, the heart of fandom! Roddenberry Entertainment provides thought-provoking, quality genre entertainment that sustains the legacy of founder and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. We are devoted to producing viewer-centric properties that actively recognize the integral role that audiences and storytelling play in the betterment of society. Roddenberry's productions promote experience over observation; encouraging audiences to think, question, and challenge the status quo of the world in which we live.

For business inquiries please contact:

doesitfly@roddenberry.com

    The Boys’ Starlight: The Most Realistic Superhero Powers?

    The Boys’ Starlight: The Most Realistic Superhero Powers?

    You wouldn’t believe the number of potential topics surrounding Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys that we discussed before settling on this one…and that includes some that were absolutely (in the spirit of the show itself) NSFW. But ultimately, we decided to go with breaking down the secret of Starlight’s powers.



    For those of you who might not know, Annie January, known as Starlight, is a member of The Seven, a group of superheroes funded and managed by Vought International. Generally speaking, Starlight is one of the only members of the Seven with selfless, benevolent motivations, but becomes disillusioned when she sees the dark secrets of Vought and her teammates. Starlight can fly and manipulate light. Her trademark power is electricity conversion: she can absorb the ambient electricity from her surroundings in order to fuel her powers which can often manifest as focused blasts of light from her hands. It is unclear if these blasts are made out of plasma or pure light energy. They can manifest as either heat, concussive force, or blinding light.



    Why Starlight? She’s the most central character on the show with powers who also isn’t morally reprehensible, for one thing. But more importantly, we felt her power set was the one that would provide the most interesting discussion points to start us off. We may get to some of your other problematic faves from The Boys in future episodes, so don’t worry!



    SUGGESTED VIEWING



    Ordinarily, we’d direct you to specific episodes of The Boys that deal heavily with Starlight’s powers and origin (similar to how we gave you episode recommendations in our episodes on Star Trek’s Transporter or Doctor Who’s TARDIS). But since The Boys is so heavily serialized, and individual episodes might not make a ton of sense in a vacuum, you may as well watch the whole series. And if you haven’t watched The Boys on Amazon Prime Video yet, just what the heck are you doing reading this? Go! And THEN watch our latest episode!



    FURTHER READING



    Do you want to delve a little deeper into the facts, concepts, and stories Hakeem and Tamara referenced in today’s episode? Here are a few recommendations!



    Oh, and before we get into the scientific concepts that help generate Starlight’s powers, you might already know that The Boys TV series was based on a comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darrick Robertson. The entire series has been collected in some handy omnibus editions, and it’s just different enough from its TV counterpart that you should check it out!



    Electric Fields

    “In order to understand electric fields, there’s a related thing called electric charge. The fundamental units of electric charge are found in matter. Those are electrons, which have negative electric charge and we use that as the standard of one unit of electric charge, and the proton…which has positive electric charge that’s equal in magnitude to that of the electron which to me is a crazy coincidence because the electron is just one single thing but a proton is a composite system of quarks and gluons.”

    See also: Straight Line Motion and Rotational Motion


    Light-Matter Interaction

    “If I have a wall, the light does not pass through it. So that means that the light is actually interacting with those atoms and those molecules in that wall and the light is being absorbed, it’s not making it out the other side. But if I have a window, which is also made of matter, but it’s transparent. But why is it transparent? It’s because the matter, which is primarily the electrons, are…I’m going to use a word that isn’t really appropriate but makes sense…I’m going to personify matter…they choose not to interact.”



    Ion Pumping

    “Every cell in your body has the ability to create an electric charge and just become a tiny little battery. They do this thing called ion pumping where they kick sodium and chlorine ions out of themselves. Ions have a positive

    • 48 min
    How Close Are We to a Real 3 Body Problem Headset?

    How Close Are We to a Real 3 Body Problem Headset?

    Wait…don’t we already have VR headsets? Not like the ones in Netflix’s 3 Body Problem, we don’t! We’re diving headfirst into one of the most talked about sci-fi TV hits of the year to unpack just how close to reality wearable tech like this show’s (dangerous) headset might be. Spend some time with us as we look at parallels with modern neurotechnology, and stick around to learn who Hakeem and Tamara’s favorite scientists are. And what does Copernicus have to do with all this, anyway? All this and more in the latest episode of Does it Fly? now available everywhere.



    SUGGESTED VIEWING



    We’re switching the order up this week, because, really…we’re assuming you’ve already watched 3 Body Problem on Netflix. But just in case you haven’t…get going! We’ve already spoiled chunks of it for you!



    Anyway, you’re lucky the viewing section is so light (compared to the massive amounts of homework we assigned for our Planet of the Apes episode last week) because there’s some cool reading to go along with this week’s episode…



    FURTHER READING



    Do you want to delve a little deeper into the facts, concepts, and stories Hakeem and Tamara referenced in today’s episode? Here are a few recommendations!



    If you enjoyed the show, you’ll want to check out the books that it’s based on, known as the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy Liu Cixin. Those books are The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death’s End. A perfect way to pass the time while you wait for future seasons of 3 Body Problem on Netflix!



    Now as for the science end of things…



    Three-Body Problem (physics)

    “We’re not talking about that today!” (OK, fine, it’s the wrong three-body problem, but it’s still pretty cool, so check out the link.)



    Neurotechnology

    “That [VR headset as seen in Netflix’s 3 Body Problem] falls under a somewhat mature now, but definitely super-active field of research and development called neurotechnology. These are brain-human interfaces that occur in numerous ways. And right now, they’re being used mostly for good, not for planetary invasion….”



    “...There’s basically three ways we can interface with the brain: magnetic fields, light, and magnetic resonance imaging [see also: MRI] The thing here is the wireless ones are all high resolution/large volume, but they don’t have the same degree of specificity as the implants [see also: Neuralink]. So that’s where we exist right now, where you can modulate brain activity. This is really good for paraplegics, where they have a system that’s mounted on their skull [see also: BCI].



    SQUID (superconducting quantum interface device)

    “Squids are these amplifiers, or incredibly sensitive detectors. They can detect something like a single photon of very low energy.”



    Copernicus

    “Branded as a heretic for daring to suggest that the entire universe does not revolve around the Earth, but that the Earth revolves around the sun, which I think is a great metaphor for humanity, which is discovering that the Earth is not figuratively the center of the universe and that there are other folks out there.”



    Rosalind Franklin

    Winner of the inaugural Tamara’s Favorite Scientist award on DiF! See also: The Harvard Computers



    Ibn al-Haytham

    Winner of the inaugural Hakeem’s Favorite Scientist award on DiF!



    And here’s some bonus reading for you that deals with the tech as it appears on the show…



    3 Body Problem's Headset Is Not the VR We Want – It's Our Worst Nightmare



    3 Body Problem’s VR Tech Got a Big Glow-Up from the Books



    3 Body Problem VR Headset Review: Magical Tech In Need Of More Apps





    WANT MORE FROM DOES IT FLY?



    The new era of Doctor Who is in full swing on Disney+ right now, so in case you missed it, now would be a great time to revisit our Who-centric episode about the TARDIS!



    And for everyone keeping up with Star Trek: Discovery every Thursday (as well as Trek fans of all ki

    • 48 min
    Is Planet of the Apes Our Future?

    Is Planet of the Apes Our Future?

    What would it take for our future to look like the one depicted in the Planet of the Apes franchise?


    We love it when one of our topics needs no introduction. Certainly, you’ve seen at least one movie in the Planet of the Apes franchise, right? One of the most venerated film series in sci-fi history, and with good reason! So in this episode, we’re diving into the central question of the entire franchise: is it possible that apes will evolve far enough to match humans in intellect, reason, and more?



    Hakeem will take you through the evolutionary and physiological questions posed by the franchise, as well as some compelling studies that indicate that some elements might just be possible. Tamara breaks down the central concept of ape evolution through the lens of three films in the franchise: the original classic Planet of the Apes (1968), Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake (2011), and series reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). Get your bananas ready, because we’re (sorry) going ape this week!



    Remember that you can join in on the conversation in the comments on our YouTube page, so be sure to like, subscribe, and come back for more!



    FURTHER READING



    Do you want to delve a little deeper into the facts, concepts, and stories Hakeem and Tamara referenced in today’s episode? Here are a few recommendations!



    Evolution

    You can’t discuss anything related to the Planet of the Apes franchise without first understanding the concept that human beings evolved from these relatives of ours. How far we’ve come is another story.



    Macaque Speech Experiment

    “The narrative my entire life has been that [primates] just don’t have the physiology [for speech]...But it turns out [that macaques] do have all the physiological qualities necessary for speech. But what they don’t have is the brain. If they had a human brain in their physiology, they would be speaking.”



    Upright Walking

    “Look at the ape behavior in Planet of the Apes. Clearly, it’s a brain change. If you think about it, there’s really three different things. One, they’re thinking like us using emotion and logic. Two, they’re speaking. And three, they’re walking upright, they’re no longer knuckle-walkers. That last one to me is actually the most difficult one, because the research seems to show that if they have the brain change that we’ve already had, and of course we’re relatives, then they could be speaking, being rational, and reasoning the same way we do. But how do you go from knuckle walker to upright walker? That’s another piece of recent research.”



    La Planète des singes

    You guessed it, this French novel by Pierre Boulle is better known as the source material for Planet of the Apes! Sometimes you’ll find it under that title, other times as Monkey Planet. Either way, it’s not the exact same story as the film, and features its own twist ending.



    SUGGESTED VIEWING



    The Planet of the Apes franchise is VAST and might seem a little intimidating to folks who aren’t familiar with it yet. But for the purposes of what’s discussed in this episode, all you need to watch is Planet of the Apes (the original 1968 classic starring Charlton Heston), the 2001 remake directed by Tim Burton and starring Mark Wahlberg (which is better than you’ve probably heard, but isn’t the most essential entry), and 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which serves as both a reboot of and prequel to the original series of films…and whose sequels lead directly up to this summer’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (in theaters now).



    However, for those of you who want to go ape (sorry, sorry, we’re trying to delete it) on the Planet of the Apes franchise, here’s the official Does it Fly? approved viewing order. As a general rule, we firmly believe in watching things in the order they were released, rather than where they take place on the timeline. The franchise begins with five films:



    Planet of the Ap

    • 48 min
    The Problem With Red Dwarf’s Central Concept

    The Problem With Red Dwarf’s Central Concept

    This episode of Does it Fly? is presented by ScreenUK. ScreenUK is a free discovery platform celebrating the very best of UK-produced film, television, animation and gaming and sharing it with audiences around the world. ScreenUK is the go-to place to discover your next favorite movie, show, or game and features tons of exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews and all the info you need to find out how and where to watch or play your newest obsessions, wherever you are in the world. Make ScreenUK.org your next stop.

    The very crux of beloved sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf comes from how Dave Lister was kept in time stasis for three million years (yes, you read that right) emerging only after a radiation leak killed the rest of the crew.Thus, the series follows Lister—the last living human—as well as a hologram of his old coworker (Rimmer), a humanoid creature who evolved from the offspring of Lister's smuggled pet cat (Cat), the sanitation android (Kryten), and the ship’s computer (Holly).

    At its most functional, the Stasis Booth from Red Dwarf and related technology is meant to keep people from dying of old age during long interstellar voyages. We look at the scientific feasibility of placing living beings in states of suspended animation for long periods of time to slow down or prevent aging, a concept that you probably already know well from when it has appeared elsewhere in popular culture, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, and Futurama. What parallels are there to hibernation as we know it in nature? How does Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity factor into this? And what unique combination of sci-fi high concept and cult appeal has made Red Dwarf such an enduring success? Oh yeah, and we might as well discuss what a “red dwarf” actually signifies, too, while we’re at it!

    All these questions and more will be answered (or at least discussed) in the latest episode! Remember that you can join in on the conversation in the comments on our YouTube page, so be sure to like, subscribe, and come back for more!

    [EPISODE VIDEO PLAYER EMBED]

    FURTHER READING

    Do you want to delve a little deeper into the facts, concepts, and stories Hakeem and Tamara referenced in today’s episode? Here are a few recommendations!

    Red Dwarf
    “Well, that’s the show, but the red dwarf itself is the smallest type of star, and the most common type of star in our galaxy. There are tens of billions of them.”
    See also: The Transit Method.

    Mass-Energy Equivalence
    “When Albert Einstein figured out E=MC2, he said there isn’t really this thing called mass, there’s just all energy. So the existence of mass means the existence of energy. But here’s where I’m going to go out on a limb…to me, saying energy exists is the same as saying time exists.”

    Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
    “Right now, you and I are at rest relative to each other. We’re both sitting here on our computers. Which means that together, we’re moving through space at zero, and we’re moving through time at the speed of light. But if you were to take off in the Red Dwarf going 90% of the speed of light relative to me, everything on board is still in the same time zone as you are. But now you’ve put so much motion through space that your motion through time, relative to me, has been reduced, but not to the things traveling with you in the spaceship.”

    The Hibernation Gene
    “According to genetic evolution studies, the ancestor of all mammals hibernated and there is a hibernation gene in all mammals. Humans, apparently, 400,000 years ago appear to have had the ability to hibernate.”

    Nematode Worms
    “These nematodes [are multicellular organisms that were recovered from permafrost] and they’re tens of thousands of years old.”

    No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre
    The source of the famed “hell is other people” which Tamara references in discussion about the themes of Red Dwarf.

    SUGGESTED VIEWING

    Virtually everything discussed in this episode c

    • 46 min
    The Scariest Thing About the Alien Franchise

    The Scariest Thing About the Alien Franchise

    This episode of Does it Fly? is presented by ScreenUK. ScreenUK is a free discovery platform celebrating the very best of UK-produced film, television, animation and gaming and sharing it with audiences around the world. ScreenUK is the go-to place to discover your next favorite movie, show, or game and features tons of exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews and all the info you need to find out how and where to watch or play your newest obsessions, wherever you are in the world. Make ScreenUK.org your next stop.



    In space, no one can hear you…put hideous alien monsters up for this kind of scrutiny! Perhaps the most iconic extraterrestrial terror in cinematic history, the titular aliens of Ridley Scott’s masterful Alien and its subsequent franchise are recognizable not only by their distinct look, but their uniquely terrifying properties.



    We’re asking all the big questions in this episode. Just how worried should we be about the kinds of parasites that can do, well, what these aliens so famously do? Is that gestation period something seen elsewhere in (terrestrial) nature? And what the hell is up with their acid blood, anyway? And while these are very specific fictional bio-horror creatures with roots in nature, what was their inspiration and how were they designed for the screen? Like the film, this episode of Does it Fly? is not for the faint of heart.



    And that’s only the beginning of the fun in our latest episode! Remember that you can join in on the conversation in the comments on our YouTube page, so be sure to like, subscribe, and come back for more!



    [EPISODE VIDEO PLAYER EMBED]



    FURTHER READING



    Do you want to delve a little deeper into the facts, concepts, and stories Hakeem and Tamara referenced in today’s episode? Here are a few recommendations!



    Parasitoid Wasps

    “The alien life cycle [as depicted in the movies] in part mimics parasitic or parasitoid animals here on Earth like parasitoid wasps who lay their eggs in caterpillars. But it’s different!” See also: Insect Life Cycles and Horizontal Gene Transfer



    Tongue-eating Louse

    “You know what this reminds me of? It’s so gross. Are you familiar with these arthropods that eat a fish’s tongue, replaces it, and then lives there as its tongue? They attach themselves to the base of the tongue they just ate and live life and eat with the fish. So the fish catches the food [but these creatures get the benefit].”



    H.R. Giger’s Necronom IV

    “For those of you who may not be familiar, H.R. Giger is an artist and his work is biomechanical. It combines mechanical forms with humanoid forms and it’s really creepy. It’s dark and it usually has sexual overtones. It’s reptilian, it’s insectoid, it’s really scary. And the actual design from the fully-grown Xenomorph is pulled directly from his work Necronom IV.”



    Hydrofluoric Acid

    “Speaking of the aliens’ acid blood…you can’t tell hydrofluoric acid apart from water. You could pour it on your hand and you wouldn’t feel a thing. It consumes calcium. When you go into training they show you all of these horrible training movies about what happens when you don’t do the proper care. What you’re supposed to do is wash it with water for a long time, and then there’s a cream that contains calcium that you put on it, because [the acid] migrates to where the calcium is. If you don’t do that and you go home that night, you’ll wake up with mangled limbs because the hydrofluoric acid consumes the calcium in your bones.”



    SUGGESTED VIEWING



    While the Alien franchise is as vast and ever-expanding as the cosmos itself, we only focused on the first three films in the franchise to get into the (gross) specifics necessary about alien incubation for this episode.



    Alien



    Not only one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time, but one of the greatest horror movies of all time! The word “masterpiece” is thrown around a little too freely these days, but in

    • 46 min
    Attack the Block: The Question of Alien Pheromones

    Attack the Block: The Question of Alien Pheromones

    This episode of Does it Fly? is presented by ScreenUK. ScreenUK is a free discovery platform celebrating the very best of UK-produced film, television, animation and gaming and sharing it with audiences around the world. ScreenUK is the go-to place to discover your next favorite movie, show, or game and features tons of exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews and all the info you need to find out how and where to watch or play your newest obsessions, wherever you are in the world. Make ScreenUK.org your next stop.



    The film that launched the careers of a Star Wars star, a Doctor, and even a DC superhero (albeit a deep cut)! Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about cult classic, Attack the Block, this week. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure yet (and seriously, this movie is a blast, so if you haven’t seen it, go check it out right now!), Attack the Block is a 2011 science fiction/horror film written and directed by Joe Cornish and starring future Star Wars franchise hero John Boyega and historic Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker. The film follows a group of teenagers living in a South London housing estate who defend their neighborhood from an alien invasion.



    So what flies and what doesn’t? Well, these aliens have come from the outer reaches of space and crash-landed on Earth, with the females spreading their pheromones and attracting a horde of ferocious males from across the solar system to Earth, so Hakeem takes a look at everything from the basic concept of pheromones to how the sun’s magnetic field allows for things like “solar sailing” to take place. Tamara unpacks not only the aliens themselves, but also gives everyone some background info on how the unique look of these terrifying creatures was realized onscreen.



    And that’s only the beginning of the fun in our latest episode! Remember that you can join in on the conversation in the comments on our YouTube page, so be sure to like, subscribe, and come back for more!



    FURTHER READING



    Do you want to delve a little deeper into the facts, concepts, and stories Hakeem and Tamara referenced in today’s episode? Here are a few recommendations!



    Pheromones

    “Pheromones are chemistry and biology. Chemistry and biology have something in them that physics doesn’t have. Do you know what that is? Nasty! Bodily fluids and things like that.”



    ‘Oumuamua

    “We know it came from outside of our solar system, for one reason only: the speed at which it was moving.”



    Oort cloud

    “There is allegedly a spherical distribution of comets called the Oort cloud that surrounds the solar system, so sometimes comets do come in from over the poles of the sun or something like that, so it’s not in the plane of the orbit.”



    Parker Solar Probe

    “As far as traveling through space on solar rays, that is something that can actually be done. There’s different forms of propulsion. There’s electric sail propulsion. You can have a physical sail. You can have an electric sail, where you create an electric field, and because the particles streaming away from the sun and other stars are electrically charged you can get a thrust out of that. Or you can have a magnetic sail [which] is pretty clever.”



    Attack the Block’s Aliens Were Just as Terrifying Behind the Scenes

    Tamara gives everyone some info on alien performer Terry Notary but there’s all kinds of additional fun info here for you to help fill in the blanks on just what made these creatures so convincingly scary.



    SUGGESTED VIEWING



    Attack the Block is so much fun very much because of the unique sensibility of writer/director Joe Cornish. And first of all, we must once again ask, if you haven’t seen Attack the Block yet, what are you waiting for? This movie is a treasure! Go watch!



    Cornish wrote (along with Edgar Wright and Stephen Moffat) 2011’s criminally-underrated The Adventures of TinTin film (where’s the trilogy we were promised?!?) But you can also see his i

    • 45 min

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