Episode 4 – Blade Runner

Blade Runner is a 1982 Ridley Scott film based on the 1968 Philip K. Dick novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”. Kinda. Not really at all actually. There are bioengineered beings with short life spans and their nemesies the Blade Runners, who are government agents that “retire”/kill illegal these replicants. Beyond that there’s not much similarity. It won the prestigious Hugo award and is still considered a cornerstone in neo-noir film.

The Plot

By 2019, replicants are rebelling from their off world slave labor and banned on earth. Harrison Ford stars as Deckard, an agent brought back from retirement in to track down 4 Nexus-6 model replicants. Their life spans are only 4 years long, but these rogue replicants have returned to Earth to try to to extend their lifetimes via the inventor at Tyrell Corporation. Deckard goes to Tyrell and meets his “niece”, an experimental replicant with memories of Tyrell’s real niece implanted. This gives her a better ability to defeat the Empathy test, a test meant to measure emotional response. Love at first cyborg.

The Franchise

Blade Runner 2049 is set to come out in later in 2017 and, somehow, Harrison Ford will be in the movie reprising his role as Rick Deckard.
Novel based on script
Comic book

The Science

1. Bioengineering
2. Cyborg rights

The Spirit Animals

Anyone else notice how every replicant had an animal associated with them? Roy / doves… Pris / racoons… Rachael / Owls… Leon / turtles… Zhora / snakes… Deckard / unicorns… We recognize those critters as nonhuman, and guilt by association, the replicants.

The Production

Lots of product placement – Cuisinart, Coca Cola, Koss, Panam, etc
Use of darkness with lights to give a space feel to the dystopian future, neo noir
Lead actor was meant to be Dustin Hoffman but Harrison Ford was just coming off Indiana Jones and came highly recommended when Hoffman fell through.
Roy Batty was made for actor Rutger Hauer, which Philip K Dick praised.
There are seven official versions of this movie

The Good

Philip K Dick’s blessing
Imagery and character development

The Bad

Almost universally panned by critics at the time… Flop at the box office, too. It took ten years for this movie to pick up steam and start to become a cult classic

Oh, those computers were bad. The photo scanner hooked up to the 6inch color tv? Saying ENHANCE, ENHANCE, ENHANCE… and somehow the image quality of a crap photo could see a freckle on a butt cheek a quarter mile away. And changed perspective, like 3-D magic!

Blade Runner Umbrella

The theme music in this episode is URBAN JUNGLE 2061 by Eric Matyas www.soundimage.org