2057 (TV series)
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|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||3|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Original network||Discovery Channel|
|Original release||January 28, 2007|
2057 is a Discovery Channel television program hosted by theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. It premiered on January 28, 2007, and attempts to predict what the world will be like in 50 years based on current trends. The show takes the form of a docu-drama with three separate episodes, each having informative stories ingrained into the plot. All three episodes aired on January 28, 2007.
Episode 1 The Body
The first episode, "The Body", predicts medical advances from robotic surgery to flying ambulances. The show's presentation plot shows a man falling out of a window (from tripping over a Roomba) on to the street below, and being cared for in a futuristic hospital.
The surgeons discover that his out of date artificial heart has been damaged in the three-story fall. A heart that is completely compatible with the patient is "printed" using an ingenious device that combines the biology of building new organs and the technique of computer printers. Before the surgery can take place, the hospital finds an abnormality in his urine samples. The samples that were taken from the hospital did not match the ones that the toilet in his home analyzed that morning. The man was previously insured with a premium policy, which was canceled when the hospital discovered he had been using clean urine samples to hide the fact that he had been drinking. Insurance policies generally raise premiums when they discover clients use alcohol, and people hide this fact with clean urine samples.
Once the insurance company analyzes the data and discovers that the patient tried to essentially scam them, his policy is immediately dropped. He is placed in the non-insured ward of the hospital, and his expensive surgery is canceled. The only person to come to his aid is a crafty female surgeon who performs the operation anyway. By tricking the system into thinking that a deceased patient with a premium policy is still alive, she is able to perform the surgery using the deceased patient's insurance policy. She then tells the system that the deceased patient died two days later, making it look like they died on the operating table during the surgery that she actually performed on the fall victim.
Episode 2 The City
"The City", examines the advances futuristic technology will bring to the home such as humanoid robots and holographic pets. The storyline has Paul, a thirteen-year-old boy accidentally releasing his holographic shark friend into the city's computer program, halting major city functions and electronics...
The year is 2057. Everything is computerized from cars to buildings to clothing. One of the main characters is young Paul Gator, son of a female police officer Georgina Gator. John Gator, Paul's grandfather, was born at the dawn of the internet (around 2000) and has been writing computer code ever since. Paul is somewhat of an apprentice to his hacker grandfather, and is already manipulating code at a very young age.
Holograms are commonplace in 2057, and most children have holograph projectors embedded within their clothing. These devices project images of anything, which act like GPS devices to guide children around the city of the future safely. When his grandfather creates a hologram shark to replace the dolphin that he currently has, Paul decides to go one step further. He uses his laptop to hack into the city's network in an attempt to display his shark on advertisement boards across the city.
Not only does the laptop project the shark onto every holographic video screen in the city, it overloads the entire network and cripples the entire city. The laptop also carried with it an ancient virus that the future city had no protection against. The virus attacks the operating system that the entire city is run on...an operating system that has been in place, untouched for decades.
The only possible suspect to Georgina is her father, who had moved out of her house earlier in the day after a fight about his computer hacking. An APB is put out on him, and it's a race against time to stop the virus while Paul and his grandfather try to evade the law. When Georgina discovers that Paul was actually the one who released the virus into the city, she protects them from capture and allows them access into the old, unused central hub of the city.
Once inside the hub, grandfather and grandson immediately connect John's laptop into a connection that can communicate with the operating system that the city is built on. Paul's grandfather erases incriminating personal information about Paul that was transferred to the system, then codes a few lines before the police burst in the room. Brave Paul stands in front of his grandfather, protecting him from the guns the police are pointing at them as he finishes the last lines of code. When his grandfather presses enter, the city's power ominously flickers off.
A few moments later, the power is restored and the city jumps back to life. The virus and shark are gone, and life in the city goes back to normal. Realizing that her father is a hero, Georgina makes amends and all is well in the city of tomorrow.
Episode 3: "The World"
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"The World" is probably the most complex episode of the three, discussing topics as varied as satellites that transmit data at extreme speed using lasers, to more political topics such as probable future geopolitical scenarios involving China and the United States as two opposing superpowers and the ramifications of a worldwide energy crisis with solar power positioned as a likely candidate to relieve the world's energy needs.
It features an American and a Chinese man, both chemists, in a space elevator laboratory discovering how to make more efficient solar panels but being disrupted by their respective countries' political friction mirroring a Cold War. With only weeks to go before their program is shut down, the two chemists discover what they are looking for by accident (similar to the discovery of penicillin), but by this time tension between the US and China over the possession of Central Asian oil fields has almost reached the point of war. Each side attempts to coerce their representative to release the formula for the new solar panels to their side only: The Americans tell their representative to bribe the Chinese chemist into hiding the discovery from the Chinese, while the Chinese abduct the wife of the Chinese chemist, hoping that will convince him only to reveal the new discovery to them.
In the end, the Chinese and American chemists both decide that the future of the world is more important than their respective countries' political aspirations. They instead use a laser signal to leak the new discovery to the media and every scientific institution in the entire world. The Chinese chemist also makes a point of thanking his government for looking after his wife while he is away, thus ensuring that no harm will come to her without the prospect of public scrutiny, while afterwards the Chinese and American scientist both begin to comment on what the world will be like in 2107. The new discovery is then celebrated all over the world.