Science · Fiction · Fernsehen

"Things to Come" in the Mediathek Fernsehen (Television Media Library) at the Deutsche Kinemathek

30 June 2016 to 14 May 2017


How many of us can actually say, “I once went to the moon.”? And yet, many television viewers still recall the feeling of having been right there during the moon landing in 1969. The live broadcast was an epoch-making event worldwide – also for television.

In the context of the exhibition Things to Come. Science · Fiction · Film the Mediathek Fernsehen (Television Media Library) presented six individual themes that show how intensively, playfully and inquisitively German television has dealt with the subject of science fiction for decades. In close correlation to the main themes of the exhibition – “Space,” “The Society of the Future” and “The Other” – selected broadcasts were used to trace both small and larger strides in German television history.


Infinite Frontiers

Station 1: Adventures in Space

RAUMPATROUILLE (FRG, 1966) is the German version of STAR TREK (USA, began in 1966) and OPERATION GANYMED (FRG, 1977) is a dramatic response to the technological euphoria brought about by the age of space travel. Space has been a popular setting for fantastic adventures in movies and series on German television since the 1960s.


Daily Life in Space

Station 2: Space Travel on Television

Television decided the outcome of the super powers’ Space Race with live images from the moon. Even today, astronauts, who do somersaults in zero gravity to prove where they are, belong to the fixed components of outer space. However, a question posed by conspiracy theorists still lingers in the air: Was the moon landing actually filmed on earth?


What would happen if …?

Station 3: Dramatic Future

The picture of the future that is painted by entertainment television is anything but bright: Lavish dramatic productions, set in the near future, warn us about mass epidemics, obliterated landscapes or a society, in which those in need of care are sent to Africa to save costs.


The Robots are Coming

Station 4: The Future Explored

In 1974, journalists in the sciences predicted that by the turn of the millennium there would be a “wireless household control desk” for teleshopping. What has actually come to pass among the utopias and prognoses from back then? And will intelligent machines really take over thinking for us in the future?


Visitors from Outer Space

Station 5: Strangers from Afar

In one scenario a UFO lands in Ludwigshafen; in another viewers encounter a family of extraterrestrials at a language course in France; in a third, the mysterious delegation is part of a dreamscape by Rainer Erler. How German television deals with “the other” is often a rather idiosyncratic affair.


The Messiah in Space

Station 6: Signs from Outer Space

Jürgen Domian broadcasts a live phone call with an extraterrestrial on his show; in another program Alexander Kluge talks to the writer Peter Berling about aliens. Between these poles in the spectrum are television experts who, with genuine seriousness, continue to speculate about the existence of UFOs and other matters of faith.

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