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worthwhile of Heinlein
jstq585 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I haven't read this particular short story yet, but I am a fan of Heinlein's works and this does a worthwhile portrayal of the themes of his works. Set in a future where today's definition of wealthy is their upper middle class(a man of 500 million dollars is luckily to join the upper society), the story exhibits the dangers of making engineered organisms and the folly of the wealthy. Malcolm McDowell, who plays the chief engineer and designer for the scientific-created 'Joes,' goes on an entertaining, though random, rant about the purpose and justification for his work that illuminates the problems with a idle upper class. The key point of the story climaxes where the special Joe, named Jerry, is proved to be human by proving not that he possesses the noble characteristics of man, but the baser elements of humanity, such as lying and cheating. Dr. Hawking's poignant conclusion sums up the main point of good science fiction, and that is to show and warn about the worst parts of mankind.
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A witty look at the rich of tomorrow
iskrahol22 August 2008
What will home help be like for future rich humans? This episode will attract you if you appreciate an almost complete absence of noisy super-fast computer graphics. Instead you have a focus on acting and the spoken word such as you would have met 20- 30 years ago. No music will tell you what to think or feel.

No -one can dispute Robert Heinlein's vision that increased leisure will produce some weird results. The sharp focus and rich colours of the interiors depict perfectly a future for a rich class. The moral dilemmas are provided in the courtroom case concerning Jerry.

A huge corporation is represented by three humans, with Malcolm McDowell's wonderfully explosive character dominating. Whether you favour Doglas Adams's or Isaac Asimov's more cautious view of such a future institution, you will not be disappointed. If you listen carefully, some of the questions we all have to be asking ourselves, which concern the nature of future mechanisms which come into contact with humans on an everyday basis, will be answered.

This episode is the first that I have watched from this series. Thank goodness it IS possible to translate on to the screen some of the absorbing questions about robotics and related developments and how they will affect society in the future, in the amusing way that written sci fiction deals with them. I await other developments from this Masters of sci fiction series with much less scepticism than I would have thought possible!!
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Lighthearted and empty ...
Vic_max19 August 2007
This episode was mildly amusing to watch because of the zany characters. However, the story was dead - I didn't really care what happened at the end and that's a bad sign for a movie like this.

Basically, the story takes place in the year 2077 and involves a rich (almost retarded) woman's attempt to save a biological robot's life. This eventually becomes a legal fight.

I think the goal of the story was to examine the legal rights of genetically created humanoids. This could have been interesting, but it wasn't. The efforts to build sympathy for the humanoid didn't really work well enough. Furthermore, the legal arguments were kind of a letdown - weak and not very thought-provoking.

The only mild entertainment was watching crazy people talk for duration of the show. It was good acting, but brainless chatter. It never amounted to anything.

There's plenty of sci-fi on TV, you can spend your time better elsewhere.
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Doctor_Phil16 August 2019
Heinlein was a great writer, so I suspect he didn't write much of this preachy and vapid story. Fiction is interesting when it makes you think, not when it tells you what to think. To make you think, fiction must raise some question whose answer isn't obvious. This, instead, preaches messages that are either self-evident and not disputed, like, "Using people as expendable minesweepers is wrong;" so biased that they're stupid, like "Rich people are all stupid;" or so cynical that they're stupid, like "what makes people human is their nastiness".
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