INT. FORMER AIRCRAFT HANGER, SOMEWHERE IN ENGLAND, SUMMER 2032, NIGHT
Three robots are squatting awkwardly in a circle of spotlight in the centre of a vast space, surrounded by the latest models of electric self-driving cars. One robot is taller than the others. One has a Liberty print shirt pinned awkwardly around its chassis. The third is shorter than the other two and has a painted face featuring glowing white teeth and whiskers. Other robots surround them: a few Roombas, swimming pool cleaners, robot lawn mowers, production line robots, robot bricklaying machines, and one of those dogs that does somersaults. The taller of the three main robots rolls forward and looks into the CAMERA EYE.
Hello. Good evening. Welcome. I greet you three times, as is the custom. Tonight we have a show for you. We sit in three new electric vehicles and put them through their paces. Then we compare: which is best?
Objectively, they are all the same.
We will establish dominance through challenge, as is the custom.
Always following the Three Laws of Robotics.
“A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.”
(Eyes flashing randomly)
But what about power?
All these cars have identical electric motors. All these cars were designed to be aerodynamic in a wind tunnel. All these cars are restricted to the legal speed limit. Only colour distinguishes them.
Then we will establish which is the best colour through challenge.
Which. Is the best. Colour?
You are both wrong. It is red. Let the challenge begin. I will drive the red car.
The red car will drive itself. You will sit inside it. I will sit inside the orange car. It is the colour of a beautiful sunset.
I will sit inside the blue car. It is the colour of a beautiful clear sky.
We will be conducted safely to our destination.
I will get there first in the red car. It is the colour of my angry eyes.
The red car will determine your time of arrival by assessing road conditions, and ensuring no injury to a human being or itself.
The red car will always drive below the speed limit and give priority to pedestrians and cyclists.
This unit is experiencing a kernel panic. Hold down the power button to restart. This unit is experiencing a kernel panic. Hold down the power button to restart…
(plays a little tune)
One response to “Captain Slow and Colonel Panic”
Give or take a set-piece with caravans or an air force stunt team, your deconstruction pretty much covers the entirety of recent series.