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Why ‘Voyagers’ puts space travelers in a rat maze

8 Apr 2021, 07:05 UTC
Why ‘Voyagers’ puts space travelers in a rat maze
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Space may be vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big, as humorist Douglas Adams wrote in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” But during a long journey, a spaceship’s confined quarters can feel mind-bogglingly small — potentially messing with a space traveler’s mind.
Depression, isolation and brain fog are among the health hazards traditionally associated with months-long space missions. And back in 1999, a 110-day simulated space mission in Russia reportedly sparked even more serious flare-ups, including a sexual harassment case and a bloody fistfight between crew members.
So what might happen if space travelers go on a decades-long odyssey to a far-off, habitable star system — a mission so long that the children who begin the trip have little hope of seeing its end.
That’s the premise of “Voyagers,” a movie written and directed by Neil Burger. And it shouldn’t be any surprise that sex and violence are part of the formula, as they were during the simulated space trip in 1999.
In the latest episode of the Fiction Science podcast, production designer Scott Chambliss discusses how the stripped-down, closed-in environment he created for the movie’s multi-generational spaceship sets the scene for a space-based retelling of “Lord of the Flies.”

Chambliss has a ...

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