Science Museum opens new Blockbuster Exhibition

Science Museum Exhibition
Science Museum Exhibition

Science Museum has opened a new exhibition, Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination, placing visitors at the heart of an interactive science fiction story filled with objects that explore how scientists and science fiction creators have inspired each other through innovation and imagination.

Science Fiction invites visitors to boldly go and explore strange new worlds, as they embark on an adventure through the cosmos aboard an extra-terrestrial spaceship accompanied by an AI guide, be transported to an unexplored world, and gaze over planet Earth. The immersive experience, featuring a specially-developed alien language, is designed by award-winning creative studio, Framestore, in collaboration with P&P Projects, and curated by the Science Museum Group.

Science Fiction uncovers fascinating connections between significant scientific innovations and celebrated science fiction works through over 70 objects, brought together in the UK for the first time. On display in the exhibition is classic literature that has imagined and inspired new understandings of the world around us, set-pieces and props from iconic films and TV that envisioned new forms of life and other worlds—from a screen-used Lieutenant Uhura costume from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, to the Dalek from Doctor Who and a Darth Vader helmet created for Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back—and contemporary artworks from across the globe that explore alternative futures for humanity.

Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group said, “Science fiction invites us all to be explorers, venturing across time and space while reflecting on the deepest existential question there is – what makes us human? Our ambitious exhibition is unlike any other and I cannot wait for visitors to join us on this immersive and interactive journey through the extraordinary worlds of science fiction and scientific discovery.”

Dr Glyn Morgan, Lead Curator for the exhibition said, “Science fiction offers us the chance to observe our own planet and consider our impact upon it. Visitors will see bright futures the genre has imagined and be confronted by some of the biggest threats to our existence—climate change, ecological devastation and nuclear war—as we invite them to consider how often-dystopian imaginings could give us the intellectual and emotional tools to imagine and create more utopian futures.”

Gavin Fox, Creative Director at Framestore said, “Framestore have been taking people to fantastical worlds for many years and our dedicated immersive team’s work in theme parks and attractions has raised this to new levels. Working alongside P&P Projects, one of the foremost scenic design and build companies in the world, we’re delighted to take our immersive work to new heights, to outer space even, to bring this ambitious, innovative and exciting concept to life for the Science Museum.”

Once inside the exhibition, visitors will explore the vast Exploration Deck of the spaceship, filled with iconic items that the AI Guide has identified from science and science fiction that delve into our human drive to journey beyond our world. Whether through the technologies we imagine and create to take us there, including a scale model of a radio telescope used by scientists at SETI in their attempts to detect intelligent life, a model of a Saturn V rocket and a replica of the Apollo 17 Space Suit worn by Gene Cernan, the last man on the moon, or literary and cinematic musings on space travel and the other intelligent civilisations we might find, from Daleks to an alien from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Visitors will also see a first edition of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, a replica model of the U.S.S. Enterprise from Star Trek signed by Nichelle Nichols and George Takei, a hypersleep chamber from Prometheus, a gold spacesuit from Sunshine and a Pan African Flag and Traveller Suit from artist Larry Achiampong’s Relic Traveller series.

The exhibition is designed by BAFTA and Academy award winning creative studio Framestore, in collaboration with P&P Projects. An alien language developed specially for the exhibition will adorn the different sections of the ship, evoking the sensation of having left the familiar behind. The alien language – Bhaux – looks mechanical, as if the language was generated by a machine intelligence, has a unique vocabulary of a few thousand words, its own grammar structure and is unique to the exhibition. Bhaux phrases also feature in the soundscape for the exhibition and are woven throughout the design, enhancing the immersive feel of Science Fiction.

Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination is accompanied by a richly diverse events programme that explores the impact of science fiction literature, TV and film on the modern world. Live events include a science fiction themed Lates, a popular adult-only after-hours public event on Wednesday 26 October, where attendees are encouraged to take part in a best-dressed science fiction competition, discover the winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, join expert panel discussions and watch live music performances. A series of Science Fiction Astronights, the Science Museum’s popular sleepovers for children, will also take place from October and run into 2023.

Exclusive discount for UKinbound members:

Science Museum is offering UKinbound members a 20% discount off tickets to the Blockbuster exhibition by using the code SCIFILONDON20 (online or in person).

Click here to learn more about the exhibition.