The Titan: Netflix can still make terrible, awful, no-good movies

Last night, while I was scribbling away at grading, I put on a brand new skiffy movie from Netflix as background noise…something that wouldn’t be too distracting, because it didn’t look very good. I was wrong. It was terrible.

The movie was The Titan. Don’t bother watching it, unless you enjoy stupid premises. Below be spoilers.

The movie starts with terrible news. Nuclear fallout is fueling sandstorms? Los Angeles is declared uninhabital. A bit of exposition explains that populations have grown out of control, resources are depleted, and it’s predicted that half the world’s population will starve to death in 10 years.

What to do, what to do. Apparently, the writers follow the Elon Musk school of thought, so the answer is…move to another planet. One we haven’t wrecked. Well, obviously, right?

But what planet? They’ve decided that the only alternative is the distant moon, Titan. It’s got an atmosphere, you see, one that’s even a little more dense than Earth’s.

One catch: that atmosphere is over 98% nitrogen, and the remainder is mostly methane. The movie sidesteps that by simply insisting that it’s also 4% oxygen, against all evidence, which still doesn’t help — that’s a poisonous atmosphere.

OK, two catches: the mean temperature is -179°C. The movie avoids this by…ignoring it. It’s just cold. You know, maybe like living in Minnesota? That’s all you need to know.

But these are small obstacles, given that the Earth is about to become uninhabitable (nothing in the movie reveals any environmental problems of a magnitude to make this planet less habitable than Titan.)

The plan is to colonize it by bioengineering humans to live under those conditions, which is a rather interesting idea. However, we later learn the cost of making these Titanoids is 300 million dollars each. What happened to the depleted Earth resources? Along those same lines, the movie takes place at a training facility which is all beautiful blue skies, shimmering lakes, lush forests, like a little slice of paradise. It doesn’t look like a planet in crisis.

Furthermore, the human engineering is risky. Much of the movie is about first dozen heroic volunteers going into the program, getting shot up with chemicals, and dying in bloody seizures or going into homicidal rages. Most of them die. This is OK with the mad scientist running the project — he says they only need “one or two” subjects to send to Titan.

What? How does this do anything to save humanity?

Also, you might be asking what they’re doing to make humans able to live on Titan. They are “injecting them with enzymes to change their DNA”. They are giving them “Bat DNA” which “resulted in membranes”, according to a helpful scribble in a notebook. They spend a lot of time sitting at the bottom of swimming pools, surviving for a long time without breathing. Their skin is peeling a lot. There are a few illustrations of Homo titaniensis, which shows them looking like ordinary people, only bluer and more muscular. They get sick a lot, vomiting up blood and goo, and as mentioned above, many go into seizures, or get all scabrous looking, and die horribly.

None of this is quite sufficient to live on Titan, a world with a nitrogen atmosphere where it rains liquid methane. But, as the mad scientist says, “a few minor enhancements will enable humans to live there.” You might say there a few minor problems with changing one’s biochemistry to somehow metabolize N2, but have no fear, the writers seem to have thought long and hard about this, and they have an answer, repeated a couple of times in the show.

“Nitrogen which can be used to generate breathable oxygen”…

The biologists were already pissed off at the level of ignorance on display, but now the physicists and chemists can join in the fun.

What about the cold? Also taken care of, with a scene where the hero, Rick, sticks his hand in a bucket of ice water, and is just fine. He doesn’t feel the cold.

Remember, -179°C is a little different from 0°C.

They also fill the swimming pools with 20% liquid methane. I don’t know how that works. Water and methane have rather different boiling points.

Now forget most of the “science”. The bulk of the movie is a monster movie. Most of the subjects die horribly, while two survive, a man, Rick, and a woman, Tally. They can’t talk to humans anymore because they’ve changed to communicate on a higher frequency than we can hear. They’ve also lost all their hair, their skin has turned beige, their faces have developed latex appliances, and they’ve grown retractable tentacle/spikey things in their hands that they use to kill people, which, naturally, they start doing.

Eventually, after some pointless thrashing around, Tally is gunned down by soldiers and killed, and Rick is wounded and surrenders. They launch him off to Titan.

“Rick changes everything. He gives us hope.” Final shot is Rick plodding around naked on a rocky landscape. He’s got membranes, so he takes off and flies. The End. Humanity is saved somehow, I guess?

Tom Wilkinson plays the mad scientist behind it all. He’s totally wasted. In this movie, his emoting is limited to sternly pursing his lips.

Rick is played by Sam Worthington, who isn’t wasted at all. He’s very good at being bland and boring, and as a real bonus, he isn’t able to speak in about the last quarter of the movie, so he doesn’t even have to drone any lines.

Netflix is clearly making way too much money, if they can throw it away on worthless trash like this.

But on the bright side, I did get a bunch of papers graded, and my students are looking all right.


  1. Les Dawson says

    I don’t get it? Why the hate for this bit of fun fluff?

    Please don’t ever watch Spiderman (spider bites man, man turns into hybrid), you’ll have a fit.

  2. says

    Leaving aside the logistics (Okay, not leaving them aside: There are somewhere between two- and three-hundred babies born on this planet every minute. If we’re trying to save everyone (please, please say we’re trying to save everyone, not just a few lucky (read: “rich, privileged”) escapees), then that defines our lower limit on the rate at which we need to biologically re-engineer and shift people off-planet. But yeah, leaving that aside…) surely, if if were possible to re-engineer human beings to survive Titan, the Earth would have to be really screwed up before we’d reach a point where it would be harder to re-engineer them to survive a now-changed Earth.

  3. Matrim says

    I mean, yeah, it sounds silly, but so do the premises of a lot of movies. I probably wouldn’t watch it, but there are people who would enjoy it.

  4. says

    Les Dawson:

    Why the hate for this bit of fun fluff?

    So all bad reviews are hate now? Someone is over emotional here, and it’s not PZ.

  5. Les Dawson says

    Caine, thank you for taking my straw (“Why the hate for this bit of fun fluff?”) and spinning it into a man (“So all bad reviews are hate now?”).

    Oh, sorry, not “thank you”. Fuck you. Yeah, that’s the phrase I was looking for.

    From the OP: “worthless trash like this”.

  6. brett says

    Why did they stick an apocalyptic set-up on to this? A mission to Titan and freaky monster experiments seem like they’d be enough.

  7. Reginald Selkirk says

    0:56 Unrealistic pipetting. For more precise placement, you want to rest your pipetting wrist on something. If the benchtop, microscope stage, etc. are not convenient, you can put your opposite arm on the counter and use it to rest your pipetting wrist on.

  8. Reginald Selkirk says

    It’s worse than I thought. She’s not even resting her elbow on the benchtop, it’s by her side.

  9. Knabb says

    @Les Dawson #1:

    The standards are different there. Spiderman is a superhero movie where the origin of the superpowers is a largely irrelevant detail and the actual narrative is largely about the decisions Spiderman makes after his life is changed by the power, plus the conflict with whichever supervillain is used for this particular iteration of Spiderman.

    This is presenting itself as hard science fiction. The narrative is fundamentally about scientists and engineers solving a science and engineering problem with science and engineering. Extensive time is spent on giving specific details of how they do this, as opposed to one ten second montage in what is basically the prelude. The standards are higher here, the science far worse.

  10. Holms says

    Even if we buy the premise that Earth was becoming uninhabitable, surely the better colonisation prospect would be Mars? It’s only something like a quarter of the distance away than Saturn, and far warmer.

    #1, #3
    For me, a movie or other work can ask the viewer to ‘just roll with it’ on the basic premise, but from there it needs to have some sort of adherence to logic in order to be believable. Even a highly unreal of fiction like the Wheel Of Time series can become quite easy for the reader to accept by having some rules that it consistently adheres to for the length of the ride. By the sounds of it, this movie takes much more of an ad hoc attitude to logic and fact, asking the viewer to accept more and more things of increasing silliness in order to stay ‘in’ the movie. At some point, the viewer’s willing belief will become overburdened and collapse.

    An excellent example of this would be the idea that liquid methane was added to the pools for cold temperature training. Methane boils at -164C, meaning in order to be liquid it must be that tmeperature or lower. But the water to which it is being added freezes at 0C. Why the hell should the viewer accept that this makes sense? We might accept this sort of weirdness if this was some sort of multiverse-hopping sci-fi movie, as that is a setting that primes the viewer to believe all sorts of physical laws might be different.

    Instead, it is set in a fictional version of Earth that is chock full of disaster porn tropes, in an otherwise normal universe. A premise that just does not offer any justification for throwing the laws of physics out the window, and so they just feel like plot holes. Many many plot holes.

    The only explanation we are left with then is that it is badly written dreck with a big budget.

  11. Porivil Sorrens says

    I’m not sure if I agree that “being about scientists and engineers solving a science and engineering problem with science and engineering” is a sign of Hard Sci-fi, given that describes like a third of all Star Trek episodes.

  12. says

    I already watched this and… Yeah.

    Scientist: We’re going to make drastic changes to your husband’s biology.

    Doctor Wife (and real main protagonist): Okay.

    Scientist: *makes drastic changes to husband’s biology and many of the volunteers die as they were warned could happen*

    Doctor Wife: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!?!?

    The bad science aside, that’s what bothered me the most.

    Also, of the last two surviving experiments, the woman still had human-looking ears while the man didn’t. I don’t know why.

    Spoiler Alert: The man also now gets to spend the rest of his life alone on a moon millions of miles away from any other living being. Happy ending?

  13. Nathaniel Tagg says

    #1: I think nearly everyone is capable of enjoying science fiction. Nearly every piece of science fiction posits at least one new phenomenon that isn’t present in our universe. (A spider can bite a man and transfer it’s powers. FTL is possible. etc.) Then, having created this new phenomenon, the interesting stuff is how everyone in the world reacts to it. How does it change people? How do societies react? What’s fun? What’s terrible?
    We can swallow one hedgehog, or maybe a few related ones (there’s a Ringworld / demons are real and they’s a slayer / it’s the far-future and teleportation and FTL are both possible) and then watch how characters play with this reality. But the more hedgehogs we’re asked to swallow, the harder it gets.. particularly if there’s no good stuff at the end of it!

    The Physics Of Superheroes by Kakalios plays this game well in an educational setting. Imagine we had something like spider web – would it snap someone’s neck if you used it to arrest their fall? Would the world recoil if the Hulk jumped off it? That sort of thing. You first allow a bit of magic, and then ask – what would happen as a result of that magic?

  14. cartomancer says

    To be fair, it would be a lot cheaper to let the Elon Musks of the world experiment themselves to death here than blast them off somewhere cold and expensive.

  15. vucodlak says

    I enjoy a good creature feature, but this one looks like it takes itself far too seriously. The Titan really sounds like an unworkable mess. It doesn’t look fun, any message it might have had looks like it’s bogged down by a great heaping pile of unrealistic premises, and I’ll just bet they use CGI too much.

    As a coin-a-sewer of bad movies, my definition of “good” in cases like this is based entirely on how much fun the movie is to watch. For example, Hideous!, a film about dead biological oddities fished out of the tanks of a sewage treatment plant to be sold to eccentric rich collectors, is a good movie. Naturally, one of the oddities isn’t as dead as it appears to be, and hijinks ensue. The film doesn’t pretend to have a deeper meaning, or that it has anything to say about the human condition; it’s content to just be a movie about a bunch of weird people being chased around a castle in Romania by a rubber fetus-monster.

    Now, if you want a fun rubber-monster movie that actually does have something serious to say, there’s always C.H.U.D.. Unlike Hideous!, it’s not a funny movie (nor is it intended to be), but it’s… actually pretty good. C.H.U.D. actually has some genuine things to say about the way we treat the most vulnerable populations, and how it’s liable to come back and bite us in the ass someday… but it doesn’t let that get in the way of the monster mayhem. And most important, while the outcome in the movie is unrealistic, the precipitating event for the creation of the monsters is all too believable.

    Lastly, while I don’t really recommend this one, I know of at least one rubber-monster movie set on Titan that is slightly more entertaining than this one looks: 1985’s Creature. That one rips off both Alien and Planet of the Vampires, both vastly superior movies, but it’s mildly entertaining if your expectations are low enough. How long? Well, when you hit rock bottom, grab a pickax. Apply it repeatedly to your skull. Now you’re ready to enjoy Creature!

  16. chrislawson says

    Les Dawson@1 —

    There are different grades of hardness in science fiction from Star Wars at one extreme to Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy or Hal Clement’s Mission of Gravity at the other and most sf falls somewhere in between. There is nothing wrong with sf that’s just using the trappings of a scientific world to tell a non-scientific story, but I don’t like it when a story uses stupid science and dresses it up as real. (Incidentally, this is one of the reasons I really disliked Interstellar — it was full of scientific BS but made such a show of being scientifically accurate.)

    In Spider-Man — clearly NOT an attempt at hard sf — the origin of his powers was given a 1-page treatment with no magic gobbledygook other than “radiation” with no further detail to the explanation. And even then, the point of the story is not how Peter Parker’s powers can be best explained but the personal dilemmas they create and how he deals with those. Imagine if the first Spider-Man comic had devoted 90% of its content to meaningless (or even anti-scientific) technobabble in a failed attempt to make the superpowers more plausible. It would have bombed.

    The Titan is similar to another Netflix fiasco called Spectral, which actually worked OK when it looked like a ghost story (see, it’s perfectly fine to suspend disbelief) but became a soggy mess when it tried to give a scientific basis to its story. In a nutshell, it turns out that the “ghosts” that are attacking people are humans cooled to liquid helium temperatures, which allows them to walk through walls. Now this shows that someone in the creative process had read about the weird quantum behaviour of liquid helium, so props to them, but it never seemed to occur to anyone that supercooled humans walking around the streets of Budapest would survive a few nanoseconds at most, and the biggest threat they would pose is exploding as soon as they leave the laboratory. Suddenly they’re not so threatening. This would have been a much better film if it had just been a straight-up ghost story.

    Same for The Titan. If they wanted to make a film about bioengineering humans to survive on alien planets, good for them. It’s a great premise. They could have adapted Frederick Pohl’s flawed-but-excellent Man Plus about engineering humans to survive on the surface of Mars and the psychologically distancing effect it has on the subjects. And they would have had a film that was both more interesting AND more scientifically accurate despite its source being written >50 years ago. Instead they make a film where the effort to survive on another world suddenly turns in to a cheap and lazy sub-Crichton thriller because the creative team couldn’t think of a way to make the story dramatic without inserting homicidal mania.

  17. fozollie says

    Gah! Not *if* but *of* – and I even previewed the comment to check my tags… :(

  18. komarov says

    Huh, according to the trailer, half the Planet will be uninhabitable in ten years. Therefore the other half would not only be bigger than Titan, it will also be more comfortable and, er, accessible. Even if the environmental degradation continued it should be a lot easier to preserve what remain both of the ecosystems and the population. Or, plan B: a no-longer-human solitary male, who’ll preserve non-humanity and its knowledge for the next few decades until his death. Or hours, if he has one of those seizures PZ mentions. Let’s mull over those options for a bit and figure out which one’s best, shall we?

    Re: Daz: Uffish, yet slightly frabjous (#2)

    surely, if if were possible to re-engineer human beings to survive Titan, the Earth would have to be really screwed up before we’d reach a point where it would be harder to re-engineer them to survive a now-changed Earth.

    [not very serious] Well, there are sandstorms. You can’t modify people to breathe sand.* That would be silly. Methane and Nitrogen at -179°, on the other hand…

    *Although there is oxygen in sand (SiO2). Maybe a good starting point for a sequel?[/not very serious at all]

    Re: Reginald Selkirk (#8,#9)

    It looks like an autopipette is being used for a microscope slide, but why? I haven’t prepared a microscope slide in ages but if I had to I’d probably go for the cheap plastic pipettes. They just don’t look as sciency. Come to think of it, most lab kit doesn’t look all that sciency but instead comes in boxes of a thousand and is labelled “single use”. Maybe that’s not impressive enough for the average movie director.

  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As a chemist, the nitrogen to oxygen conversion is pure and utter bullshit. Nuclear reactions are required to convert nitrogen atoms to oxygen atoms. Don’t see that happening on Titan.

  20. ridana says

    Looks to me like the writers saw the anime Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet.

  21. says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls #26:

    As a chemist, the nitrogen to oxygen conversion is pure and utter bullshit. Nuclear reactions are required to convert nitrogen atoms to oxygen atoms. Don’t see that happening on Titan.

    Why, it’s easy! All you have to do is technobabble handwave bad-analogy madeupium-crystals technowaffle cut-swiftly-to-action-scene-so-the-audience-doesn’t-have-time-to-think-about-it.

  22. billyjoe says


    As a chemist, the nitrogen to oxygen conversion…

    Well, “the nitrogen and oxygen conversion” is not “a chemist”.
    And “Nerd of Redhead” is not “a linguist”.


  23. arbor says

    I watched it. He’s kind of cute. The “science” was atrocious, though not as bad as The Core. I like to think of Titan as a documentary on how truly bad education is in this country. I loved the mixing of liquid methane with water, the induction of “evolution” in individuals through enzyme injections, and the convergence of “evolution” in two individuals. The conversion of nitrogen to oxygen surely would take place in the mutants because… Enzymes. I think some interesting science could be taught by having students tear films like this and The Core apart under PZ’s (and others of his ilk) subversive guidance. Mea culpa – he’s kind of cute, at least for the first half of the film. I’m really not into rubber.

  24. yknot says

    Since Pharyngula is a blog about things biological, I had expected its readers would have been more upset about the fundamental biological inanities flaunted in the movie. I agree with PZ; “Titan” starts out with a dumb premise, and goes downhill to become just another stupid monster movie. It’s a major disappointment from Netflix.

  25. Porivil Sorrens says

    Not all of us are bothered by any kind of movie science. I have a pretty rock solid suspension of disbelief, so I care a lot more about internal consistency than I do about scientific accuracy (of which I don’t care at all.)

  26. andyo says

    Goddamit, Netflix. You were (supposed to be) the Chosen One.

    This, and that Will Smith movie, and that shit Yakuza Jared Leto White Savior movie, and the other recent Netflix original movies (except Okja, which is more a directors’ movie). It appears that they weren’t flops per se and Netflix is purposely going the CBS mass appeal way, proudly basking in the huge disparity between critics and audience (awful direct-to-video quality movies that for some reason huge numbers of people like just enough to watch). Cancels Sense8, makes idiotic CBS-like comedies, only difference is they can say fuck. At least they’re keeping Arrested Development.

    I mean, at least some balance here, you can hire David Ayer, but get Bong Joon-ho another deal.

  27. prae says

    The part about the radioactive spider is BY FAR not the most ridiculous thing to happen in Spiderman:

  28. says

    Reginald Selkirk way back there at 8 (Oh! And 9) deserves at the very least an internetz for observing the most salient element of the movie.
    I salute you sir!!

  29. =8)-DX says

    “Why the hate for this bit of fun fluff?”

    Heh. Some people. You write an entire article explaining why you don’t like something, why it breaks your particular bar for suspension of disbelief, how its full of unoriginally bad science and writing and tropes that you in particular find boring.

    And someone is still going to ask why?

    Sheesh, I or PZ or anyone can dislike crappy films that other people enjoy, it’s that simple. Someone not liking a thing doesn’t mean you can’t like it or enjoy it!

  30. rcurtis505 says

    Better treatments of the same theme: “Man Plus”, by Frederik Pohl; “Sight of Proteus”, by Charles Sheffield; and “The Architects of Fear”, a season-one Outer Limits episode.

  31. jerthebarbarian says

    if if were possible to re-engineer human beings to survive Titan, the Earth would have to be really screwed up before we’d reach a point where it would be harder to re-engineer them to survive a now-changed Earth.

    This would be a better movie, actually. Make the Earth uninhabitable by humans, have a handful of survivors in a bunker under the Rocky Mountains, and turn this into a desperate attempt to re-engineer the remnants of humanity into something that can still live on the Earth. That clears up about 90% of the problems with the script (because you don’t have to worry about how cold Titan is or the fact that there’s no oxygen there) and allows you to focus on the drama of a group of people with no good choices left, what kinds of bad choices they make, and how those bad choices destroy them.

    The space travel piece of this was probably the piece they started with, but it seems like the least important piece of a good version of that kind of story.

  32. Chris Capoccia says

    If you’re looking for a Sci-Fi about a moon of a gas giant, I liked Europa Report… or Moon was pretty good too. Netflix originals are hit and miss across all genres. Lately I’ve been finding a lot of interesting foreign movies on Netflix. This does mean, though, that you have to pay attention and read subtitles.

  33. Richard Smith says

    Another story along the same lines, chapter IV – “Desertion” – of Clifford D. Simak’s “City”.

  34. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I guess it’s good to be reminded that all production companies can HIT or MISS.
    Netflix HIT with “Stanger Things”, sounds like “Titan” is a MISS.
    oh well

  35. petesh says

    Netflix can actually produce something worth watching, even if a bit, um, non-sciencey. May I strongly recommend “The Santa Clarita Diet,” just on its second season, which (in Netflix style) you can binge-watch. Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star, and Liv Hewson plays their daughter. The set-up, copied from wikipedia, where it is laughably called a “plot” is:

    Joel and Sheila Hammond are everyday suburban real estate agents in Santa Clarita, California. The couple face a series of obstacles when Sheila has a physical transformation into a zombie and starts craving human flesh. With Joel and the family trying to help Sheila through the trying time, they have to deal with neighbors, cultural norms and getting to the bottom of a potentially mythological mystery.

    Oh, and there is a certain amount of blood. Well, more than you ever saw. She does not just “crave” …

  36. frog says


    Spoiler Alert: The man also now gets to spend the rest of his life alone on a moon millions of miles away from any other living being. Happy ending?

    –>My guess is they hope to make a sequel wherein Titan-dude returns to Earth somehow, and he’s pissed off. Maybe he’s found a way to asexually reproduce (seems no sillier than anything else in this film) and is coming back with a bunch of children who need a home (children who are adapted to life on Titan, but SOMEHOW crave the green fields of Earth, because More Bad Science is how they roll in this film).

    Too bad this is on Netflix and not Syfi (or however they spell it), because this really needs a crossover with Sharknado.

  37. microraptor says

    Doesn’t sound any worse than that buddy cop disaster they released last year with Will Smith, Bright.

    A racist but noble white cop learns to appreciate his black partner, who nobody on the force likes. The black partner learns how to be a good black cop on an all-white force and that the white cop is the one who does all the heroics while he’s just there to assist.

    The only difference is that Will Smith is the white cop and the black partner is an orc.

  38. says

    After a long day of travel and a busy session at the Smithsonian, I finally get a moment to check in here, and I’m happy to say…


  39. says

    I watched this last night. It was terrible. But it was fun in its terribleness.

    Best Netflix film I’ve seen: El Camino Christmas. Only film I know of that manages to quote Hobbes in the correct context.

  40. chigau (違う) says

    I’m sckeptickal, PZ.
    How much attention were you paying to grading
    if you were also noting subtleties like:
    “his emoting is limited to sternly pursing his lips”?

  41. andyo says

    #46, don’t forget: “fairy lives don’t matter”.

    #43 the problem with Netflix is that they seem to be doubling down on the misses (Bright 2 was almost immediately greenlit after all the scathing reviews but good audience rating), and cancelling the (critical) hits (Sense 8). Let’s see how long something like Stranger Things can coast along 80’s nostalgia. It’s a well made series, but I don’t know if it would have been as popular without the nostalgia factor.

  42. andyo says


    Moon was pretty good too

    Netflix just released a movie from the same director (Duncan Jones, who also did Source Code), but they apparently completely bungled it, it’s got the same level of scathing reviews as other high-profile NF movies like Bright and The Outsider. Apparently David Ayer is also supposed to be a good director but I don’t know what’s going on at NF that they just completely wreck the end results. He had an excuse of studio meddling with Suicide Squad, dunno if the same can be said about NF. Like you said, probably the only remaining quality programming for Netflix are the foreign creators. I hope they get more high-profile Korean directors though, those guys are on a roll.

  43. microraptor says

    andyo @50: On the “plus” side, that line did let you know what the quality level of the movie was going to be right away.

  44. says

    point of distinction:

    science fiction — stories that hew to established science. while the premise(s) might exploit contemporary mysteries, known principles are obeyed.

    science fantasy — stories that purposely ignore established science. these often take place in alternative universes or histories.

    there is no hard line between the two. that said, nothing can save a crappy script.

  45. says

    chigau @ 57:

    no cites, but i find this distinction useful. batman is science fiction; superman is science fantasy. spider-man made his debut in a mag called “amazing fantasy”.

  46. cartomancer says

    The Classicist in me sees what they were inspired by with the title. It’s about the moon of Saturn which we call Titan, but it also alludes to the Titans of Greek myth. Such a shame they didn’t allude at all well.

    “Titan” isn’t just a synonym for “really big and powerful”. The Titans were the generation of gods who ruled the universe before the Olympians, their children, overthrew them and established a stable cosmic order. In some versions the Titans were overthrown because they were immoral, chaotic and bloodthirsty, in others because it is the natural fate of the older generation to be supplanted by the newer, and the Titans tried in vain to prevent this. The classic image is Cronus devouring his children, so they never grow up to usurp him as he did to his father Uranus. He was eventually overthrown by Zeus, who escaped.

    So I can see the notion that humanity as we know it are the Titans – the old, immoral, bloodthirsty generation whose wars and poor stewardship of the universe have created ruin – while the new generation we have given rise to are the Olympians, who will inherit and set the universe right. But if that’s what they’re after then the Titans have to fall. The humans should be trying to prevent their replacement by their newly created progeny, and should deserve to perish. Or, at least, to be sealed away in suffering in Tartarus where they have all eternity to ponder their crimes.

  47. birgerjohansson says

    So, people are modified to cope with an awful, post-apocalyptic environment? That sounds like what Dr. Davros did to the Daleks.

  48. birgerjohansson says

    Better film idea: Humans arrive on Titan, pissing off the sentient, cryophile life forms already there. Now you have a war with entites backed by better technology.

  49. kaleberg says

    I can’t understand how you think you could possibly spoil that movie. It sounds great, like absolute garbage. When one is in the mood for garbage, nothing else will do. Go Netflix. Who says they don’t make them like that anymore? When movies were movies, or something ….

    (It actually sounds like something inspired by JBS Haldane, the great Marxist biologist, who suggested that mankind’s future was on other planets, and that bio-engineering would be necessary. I tend to cut him some slack because no one knew squat about what it was like on other planets back when he was writing.)