Two brilliant scientists. A slightly unhinged enemy from the future.
That’s the tagline for an entertaining short film series I have just started watching on Amazon Prime, Nikola Tesla and the End of the World. I enjoyed the first two episodes so much I thought it worth recommending to Amazing Stories readers.
Basically, if you’re a fan of the low-tech earlier Dr Who, you’re bound to enjoy this series. Like Dr. Who, it favours fun and adventure over-earnestness and has well-considered pseudo-science at its core (or real science if you happen to believe Tesla’s theories)
The storyline goes like this:
When physicist Sophie Clarke builds a strange machine from long-lost scientific plans she unwittingly transports Nikola Tesla to modern-day London. Unfortunately, Tesla brings another historical figure along with him: an autocratic automaton.
Opening in documentary style, we meet Sophie talking to camera, explaining the discovery of the blueprint of an unrealised Tesla project. After building and activating the device she somehow opens a time portal that brings Tesla into her own world…but also inadvertently sets off a chain of events that threaten to bring about the end of the world. Weird celestial events and exploding buildings are just the start of it.
Tesla’s introduction to the modern world has moments of great hilarity (I don’t want to give any spoilers but I laughed out loud at the moment when he decides whom he first needs to meet).
Writer/director Ian Strang wanted to find out if there was an audience for an epically geek sci fi vision, so he filmed the first four episodes with a talented group of London actors. Gillian MacGregor won Best Actress for her role as Sophie at the 31st Valencia International Film Festival. Her performance is naturalistic and convincing, and her portrayal of a geeky, clever Scottish scientist is perfect for for the series. I also enjoyed Paul O’Neill’s charming performance as the bemused, anachronistic but mission-focused Tesla.
Strang also enlisted award-winning songwriter Connie Kaldor to compose the soundtrack.