Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

There's alien and there's different

We caught some of the Radio 4 adaptation of Lem's Solaris yesterday. I know it's a dramatization of a translation but the wilfull refusal to put any information in some of the dialog sounded like the inspiration for every Pinter play I've ever heard. And I'm not sure I find an alien life form with an Essex accent convincing (sbisson sugested it's the equivalent of a Leningrad argot but it just has other connotations for me).

And personally, if I met the re-incarnation in alien plasma of someone I used to know and they asked what was happening, I like to think I'd tell them they were a re-incarnation - but I guess that's rather a postmodern plot.

I like postmodern. I like Dexter, because it plays so cleverly at the edge of what's acceptable and what's sympathetic. It also does tone shift, from serious to trivial, in a way I find intensely pleasing and funny and ironic ('some would say God was in this room. If he was, I'd ask him if he's brought a power extension.') But given that the character is a sociopath and possibly a psychopath too, those oh-so-witty changes of register could be part of his lack of affect rather than a pomo sense of humour. I can't watch the episodes back to back - more gore than Lucky Number Slevin and too much of the register is played in dark rather than dark but funny - but it's enormously compelling.
Tags: science fiction

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