The un-undead. We don’t think the future has to have zombies, vampires, nuclear holocaust or alien invasions to be interesting. At Gateway there’s no Armageddon. The lights stay on and the arch doesn’t fall into the river. That’s the stage for Gateway. HOWEVER, Gateway is also a machine for virtual experiences – kind of like Star Trek: the Next Generation’s Holodeck. Our hero crosses over to monitor and patrol a number of “altered St. Louis realities” and returns to connect the dots that rewrite history for the city, the nation and the world. You’ll have to tune in to find out just how “real” the zombies, vampires and aliens are, but real or not, they are part of the stories hidden within Gateway.
When it comes to other problems in the future, here’s a list of things that our characters might have to deal with in 2064 and from now until then on the road to Gateway:
- Proliferation of eugenics (especially in China)
- Rise of pseudo science
- Low-probablity apocalyptic events (blackholes, quasars, asteroid impact, comet impact, mega volcano, etc.)
- The Singularity
- Devices getting in the way of reality
- Search engines becoming the arbiters of truth
- Rising fascism
- Data disenfranchisement
- Science and research funding decreases
- Anthropocene defaunation – mass extinction
- Cultural extinction
- Language extinction
- Old technology extinction
- That we’ll stop dying
- Rise of anti-intellectualism
- Lack of understanding quantum phenomena
- That we will literally lose touch with the physical world.
- The gaping psychological chasm separating humanity from nature
- That the internet will end up benefiting existing power structures and not society in general
- The ongoing “graying” of the world population
- The growing dominance of the Fourth [pop] Culture
- A scarcity of water resources
- Lack of education
- Augmented reality
- That big data and new media will mean the end of facts
- That we will spend too much time on social media
- That idiocracy is looming
- That the gap between news and understanding is widening
- That we will get our hopes up for interstellar space travel, because it’s not going to happen
- That global cooperation will fail
- That synthetic biology will spiral out of control
- That we will outsource too many skills to machines
- That online silos will continue to make us stupid and hostile toward each other
- The surplus of testosterone caused by a gender gap in China
- The lose of the formal and informal bridges between different intellectual, mental and humanistic approaches to seeing the world
- the growing gap between the “scientific elite” and the vast “scientifically challenged”
- The prospect of collective amnesia
- The unavoidable intrusion of sociopolitical forces into science
- The posthuman geography that will result when robots have taken all our jobs
- That humankind’s social and moral intuitions will stifle technological process
- The illusion of knowledge and understanding that can result from having information so readily and effortlessly available
- The end of hardship inoculation
- The exploding number of illegal drugs.
- That historically entrenched institutions will prevent technological progress.
- That in one or two generations children will grow up to be adults who will not be able to tell reality from imagination
- Not population growth, but prosperity growth—the prospect of the entire world consuming resources like Americans and Westerners do
- That we’ll begin to treat technology like magic
- The rise in genomic instability
- That authorities and companies will soon be able to read people’s brains
- That because of climate change, resource shortages, drones, or other unanticipated reasons, a major war will arise
How do we train the focus of the lens of our cameras on the future? Obviously, budget will force us to show sparingly pieces of the visual future we imagine. Also, we believe our cameras we will be shooting mostly at human scale in anthropometric dimensions. Our characters will be mostly in walkable urban villages or neighborhoods. Our -50 | 0 | +50 careful futurism predicts that much will look the same in 2064 as it does in today. Just as much of St. Louis – at human scale – looks the same today as it did in 1964. That will leave a lot of city locations for us to use. This careful futurism strategy will keep our creative conceits in check and be an interesting challenge for producers, writers directors and actors.
Yes, we also have a social point of view. That is that systemic change in our economic and political systems are necessary if we are to survive the clear and present dangers of our times — global warming and biosphere destruction; the new gilded age, and the massive inequality of wealth and opportunity it imposes; corporate capitalism and the plutocracy it has created; and the destruction of our delicate representative democracy.
All the world’s a “sustainable” stage. In developing the series concept, we asked: What would it be like to live in a future more like Roddenberry’s Star Trek than Huxley’s Brave New World? What would life be like in a sustainable city? What would it be like to live in a place that practiced good old fashioned conservation of resources and at the same time developed advanced technology to do the same? A place that practiced “New World Business.”
Stories, film and television can help people bridge the gap between what is now and what is possible. Gateway: the City’s Reason envisions a future with mostly positive outcomes – where good old American optimism touches everyone. That’s the stage on which Gateway stories take place. And we think it’s a stage that citizens should see more of today.
A series Bible is a reference document used by writers, directors, producers and actors for information about characters, settings and other elements of the show. In many ways, we are only beginning our research into what a sustainable city will be like in 50 years. Even so, we’ve decided to publish portions of the Gateway-TCR bible in order to share the foundations of Gateway: the City’s Reason with you. We want to describe “the stage” upon which our stories will be told and we welcome your ideas.