Review by Chris Pavesic
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.
Two brilliant scientists. A slightly unhinged enemy from the future.
This could lead to the end of the world.
Review (Potential Spoilers)
Nikola Tesla and the End of the World is an entertaining series of short films based on the premise that the historical Tesla left blueprints behind after his death to create machine that generates a Tesla Wave. Dr. Sophie Clarke, a teaching fellow at London University, discovers the blueprints and assembles one of the inventions. This pulls Tesla from his own time period into modern-day London. It also displaces another figure from history—one with a very bad French accent.
Humor and history mix in this short series. A viewer who might not be aware of Nikola Tesla’s achievements will learn a great deal about the man who designed the alternating-current (AC) electric system that is still used worldwide to this day. Viewers will learn about the Tesla coil, which is still used in radio-technology. And the theory about Tesla waves.
Tesla: Above certain frequencies the ether is no longer bound by inverse-square laws. One need only find the threshold values to erect a transmitter emitting a wave-complex of special characteristics, and then incorporate my unique method of telephonic control over any amount of energy.
Sophie: Actually, the ‘ether’ as you seem to understand it was disproved in your own time. We know there’s no such thing as a pure Newtonian vacuum, but…
Tesla: Without the ether a Tesla wave would not be possible.
Sophie: A Tesla wave is not possible. Particles do not travel faster than light. Your system has to work using relativistic principles, we just need to figure out…
Tesla: I have constructed a functioning special magnifying transmission system. You can speak all you wish of your theories.
But humor is also evident throughout the short films. As Tesla and Sophie scramble to save the world, she suggests that he ally himself with the British Prime Minister or the professors at her college. Tesla scoffs at this. Politicians and bureaucrats do not have the necessary vision. He needs entrepreneurs who can understand what needs to be done and act quickly. After researching the current state of society on Sophie’s tablet, Tesla decides that the only hope to prevent the destruction of the world rests with the Kardashian family.
The films, which are set in London, remind me a bit of Doctor Who with a dash of both Sherlock and Torchwood thrown in for good measure. Tesla, as the time-traveler, knows far more about his inventions than Sophie. However, she knows more about modern technology and the way that science has progressed since Tesla’s era. And they are both working to solve the mystery of Tesla’s fellow time traveler. Why does he want to destroy the world? And why is his French accent so bad?
Ian Strang, creator and producer of the series, explains in an interview for First Glance Film Festivals:
“I love science fiction and I knew that I could make something amazing—amazingly geeky” (http://bit.ly/2jb8sN9).
The film stars Ben Keenan, Gillian MacGregor, and Paul O’Neill. It has won several awards, including:
Valencia International Film Festival
Best Actress (Gillian MacGregor)
TO Web Fest
Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy
NYC Web Fest
Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Geek Film Fest at Fan Expo Dallas
Best Web Series
The full series is available to watch on Amazon. It is free if you have a Prime account. It is also available on YouTube. Check it out if you have about 22 minutes to spare. If you are a fan of steampunk and alternative histories, you won’t be disappointed.