Retronauts Episode 561: Blade Runner

"It should be called Robot Chaser!"

Warner Bros thought they had a slam dunk: The director of Alien paired with the star of Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark in an adaptation of a noted science-fiction author's work. Instead, the studio released Blade Runner in the crowded summer of 1982 to mixed critical reception and lukewarm ticket sales.

Yet for a film that only mustered $27 million at the U.S. box office, Blade Runner proved to have long legs. Seemingly everyone who saw it fell in love with its production design, its soundtrack, and its vision of the far-flung future of 2019. In particular, Japanese writers, animators, and game designers spend the rest of the 80s and 90s borrowing or outright stealing elements from Blade Runner to round out their own creations.

Host Bob Mackey speaks to a roundtable of Retronauts regulars Henry Gilbert, Stuart Gipp, and Kevin Bunch about Ridley Scott's troubled film, the many changes the story went through, and its legacy 40 years later. Enjoy this conversation while you practice your origami!

Description: Ridley Scott's 1982 cyberpunk classic came into being as a total flop, yet managed to claw its way into our collective psyches as the definitive portrayal of a dark future that would shape all sci-fi (and reality) to follow. Over the past 40 years and multiple revisions, this former cult favorite has become a respected part of the canon, but does it truly deserve its lofty status? On this episode, join Bob Mackey, Stuart Gipp, Kevin Bunch, and Henry Gilbert as the crew dons their snazzy raincoats to explore the very wet and very influential world of Blade Runner. Turtles will be flipped!

Retronauts is a completely fan-funded operation. To support the show, and get exclusive episodes every month, please visit the official Retronauts Patreon.

MP3, 46 MB | 1:39:35 Direct download Retronauts on iTunes Retronauts at Audioboom

As with all of the episodes Bob produces, this week’s cover art is by Nick Daniel. Check out his Twitter, or patronize his Patreon!