Sci-fi shows and films based on books that’ll take you on a journey across the galaxy
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Sci-fi shows and films based on books that’ll take you on a journey across the galaxy
Shilpa S
Oct 09, 2021

Science fiction may be one of the few genres where filmmakers can let their ideas run unfettered. But the genre isn’t unbound by facts. It instead takes the present ideas of scientific revelations and pushes it as far as the filmmakers can. From alien races to AI to human colonies across different planets, creative minds seem to make an attempt at predicting the future of humanity through their sci-fi works.

Way before the silver screen was as prominent as it is today, authors were tasked with dazzling readers with reality-defying sci-fi works, many of which went on to be etched in pop culture as fan favourites. As the cherry on top, filmmakers have taken inspiration from such works to bring the rich storylines to life on screen.

For all the geeks and sci-fi lovers out there, here are a few films and shows adapted from books that’ll take you on an interplanetary odyssey...

7.3OTTplay Rating
Based on a series of books by Isaac Asimov, this Apple TV+ show tells the tale of a professor who discovers a way to predict the future. When he realises that the future does not hold well for his galaxy, he allies with an unlikely group of exiles to save his people. Asimov’s works were long taught to be unfilmable, due to the complex nature and length of his stories. Created by David S Goyer, the series brings Asimov’s awe-inspiring inter-planetary world to life through some stunning visuals and set designs. Foundation became a hit with fans, and was renewed for a second season.
The Martian
8.2OTTplay Rating
The 2015 film The Martian is inspired by Andy Weir’s novel of the same name. The movie tells the tale of an astronaut who is left stranded on Mars while on a mission, after his crew leaves, presuming him to be dead. The story narrates his struggle to survive the harsh planet on his own, using his resourcefulness and intellect to sustain himself until help arrives. The film was appreciated for its scientific accuracy and realistic depictions of the subject matter. Not only is it a fun watch due to its unique story and phenomenal visuals, but it also features a thoroughly enjoyable performance from its lead star Matt Damon.
2001 A Space Odyssey
Helmed by visionary director Stanley Kubrick, this epic sci-fi film is based on a short story titled The Sentinel, written by Arthur C. Clarke. As the name suggests, the movie tells the tale of an epic voyage undertaken by a crew of astronauts to Jupiter, to trace the origins of a mysterious extraterrestrial monolith. Regarded as a pioneer in visual effects, the film features the individualistic style of Kubrick supplemented by a compelling storyline. The film made its way into many lists of the greatest films ever made and developed a large cult following.
Blade Runner
8OTTplay Rating
Regarded as one of the best science fiction films of all time, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is adapted from Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Set in a future dystopia where humans have colonised space, the film tells the story of four androids who illegally make their way to Earth and the police officer who has to hunt them down. The neo-noir film went on to become a cult classic, although it was subject to mixed responses at the time of its release. The film’s narrative and themes were the subject of widespread discussion and analysis, especially its depiction of the dystopian future world. A sequel titled Blade Runner 2049 was released in 2017.
The Expanse
8.9OTTplay Rating
Based on the series of novels of the same name by James S. A. Corey, the story of The Expanse takes place well into the future, after the human race has converted the entire solar system into a colony ruled by three superpowers- Mars, Earth and its Moon and an Outer Planets Alliance. The show takes the concept of geopolitics and applies it to an inter-planetary setting, depicting the strenuous relationship between the different ‘nations’. The series was the subject of widespread adulation for not only its visually stunning sequences and characters, but also the well thought out storylines. The sixth and final season of the critically acclaimed show will premiere towards the end of the year.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
6.9OTTplay Rating
This 2007 comedy sci-fi film is based on Douglas Adams’ series of novels, which in itself was inspired by a BBC radio broadcast. The film follows the story of a human being who joins his alien friend on a journey across the galaxy, when Earth is scheduled to be destroyed to make way for a space bypass. The duo’s expedition, initially to work on a guidebook of their galaxy, led them to cross paths with some quirky beings across the nebula. With a talented cast, a rich premise and moments of genuine hilarity, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a film with a lot going on. Thus, it makes an entertaining watch for geeks and non-geeks alike.

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