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The Black List: "General Ludd" OAD 11-11-13

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by TomCat, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    OK, I know I just posted in another thread saying that you have to ignore continuity errors and things that don't make a lot of sense.

    But there is a line.

    Two things I have trouble tolerating:

    1) when the writers go to the trouble of introducing a character and then establishing their motivation, and then have them do something that undermines that.

    2) when the laws of physics are significantly violated.

    The Black List is not guilty of #1, to my knowledge, but this episode all but flaunts #2, which kind of makes the whole episode "#2", if you get my drift.

    Things that fall from a great height
    with appreciable mass do not drift to earth like a snowflake. Also, things that come from the same catastrophic event at the same time do not fall at different rates. Third, those that fall slower, which is not even possible, do not hit the ground first.

    There is a little thing called acceleration, and another called terminal velocity, both of which can't be ignored.

    I guess it is due to creative license, but it still irks me. The producers wanted to make the opening scene dramatic, and violated the laws of physics to do so. Sorry, I have a problem with that.

    Not as flagrant as Marvel's AOS trying to plug a hole in an airplane with an inflatable plastic life raft, but still irksome.

    Of course in Star Wars explosions in space have corresponding audio, even though there is no medium to transport audio in outer space. I guess I cut them a break on that one; it would be difficult to tell the story if reality gets in the way.
  2. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    NY Hudson...
    Yep the dramatic effect definitely took priority over science. But in this case, I vote the dramatic effect was the way to go. As having everything plop almost simultaneously, while also dramatic would have been too costly.
  3. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    Even the movie Gravity, which does 1000 things right, took liberties for the story.
  4. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    Hmmm. When something inside an object blows up, different pieces can be sent in different directions. Thus when an object is in the air moving at some significant speed something may be sent up first while something else may be sent down at a high initial velocity. Other pieces may be shot left, right, back or even accelerated forward.

    Hence in the very extreme case of the Shuttle Columbia rentry disaster:

    So to me the incident portrayed was sufficiently within my acceptable limits that only require mild suspension of disbelief.
  5. cj9788

    cj9788 Hall Of Fame

    May 14, 2003
    I was more intrigued with Lizzie's dad. Did they mention she was adopted from the beginning? It does give more of an indication that Red is her father but I would like to think there is more to the story than a father connecting with a long lost daughter. Either way I am enjoying the ride and could careless that parts of a blown up plane landed at different times ignoring the laws of gravity whopty freaking doo.

    Sent from my iPhone using DBSTalk
  6. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    Oh yeah. It's a really great show, and probably the best of the fall crop. And yes, a show that makes up for any small issues by being pretty fantastic buys them a loooooooooot of license. But when your show is a popcorn summer throwaway where a dome falls and cuts a cow in half and the inside of the cow looks nothing like the inside of a cow, you don't have as much license to get away with that.

    The father theory seems to be falling into place more all the time, but it just feels too obvious, and too on the nose. They are much more clever than that, and I would not be surprised by it being a complete head fake, and the story taking an abrupt left turn somewhere regarding that aspect.

    What we know is true is that Red has an emotional attachment. His connection with Lizzie is not just opportunistic, making the most opportunistic person on earth enigmatic, and just that much more interesting. And what a tour-de-force for James Spader. Just hand him the Emmy right now.

    Phre, I love ya, but your example undermines your point. It illustrates a debris field several hundred miles long, but all that implies is that stuff sprayed out in many directions, some being with the wind, some being against the wind, and all falling to earth in concert with the laws of physics.

    In "General Ludd", we see a shoe fall, and pretty slowly, straight down and making a tiny plop, followed by a passenger in his seat, again falling straight down, and hitting the ground with about the same intensity, at a velocity equivalent to being pushed off a garage roof. Next we see an entire multi-ton landing gear drift gently straight down to earth like its in slow motion, and with all that mass still only partially crush a vehicle. A few seconds later lots of shrapnel comes straight down at a very much higher velocity. All of that happens in a 100-ft radius, not a 1000-mile debris field, and none of that makes any physical sense, and none of the timing of what hit when and what hit first and last and how much energy each object displayed concurrent with its mass and velocity, makes any logical sense either.

    I've read that if you parachute out of a plane and your chute does not open, you will create a "bathtub", a depression in the ground that may be several feet deep. A 200-lb man at terminal velocity would probably do that. Why? Because falling objects always follow the laws of physics.

    The opening scene was dramatic, I'll give them that. But I feel that just plain crazy disregard for the physical world undermined its effectiveness. That's all.

    But I got over it pretty quickly.
  7. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    As I said, for me it only required a mild suspension of disbelief. I understand that for some any suspension of disbelief in a show that, while obviously fiction, doesn't purport to be scifi or fantasy is difficult.

    I appreciate the love by the way. I need all I can get, as we all do.
  8. tsmacro

    tsmacro Hall Of Fame

    Apr 28, 2005
    I thought they were being so obvious about this in episode #1 that I figured by the end of that episode we were going to get the big reveal and then part of the premise of the show was that Lizzie was going to have to deal with getting to know a father she never knew and trying to deal with all the horrible things he's done and if he's capable of such things, what does that say about her, does that mean she could be too or something along those lines. Well they didn't go there and the fact that they have been so obvious about that premise that not even a blind man could miss it I'm also thinking they're going to throw us some kind of curve and Red isn't her father but there's some other story that links them.
  9. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    There is more to the story. Why is the scar/brand on her hand and wrist similar to the engraving on the box found hidden under her apartment floor and what do they mean?
  10. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    C'mon, Phre; you"re the heart and soul of this forum.

    I did not sum up my point earlier, which is that I don't take issue with a large debris field which I think is normal. My issue is with the timing of when debris lands and what velocity it has appropriate with its mass, wind load, and height. We were shown a very small part of this debris field, but expected to accept the odd timing and lack of velocity. A purely vertical trajectory also seems a little thin.

    One thing about the father theory that rings true is that Red may not want to reveal this, because knowing her father has done terrible things may hurt Lizzie. So him playing this close to the vest is not unexpected.
  11. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

    Dec 18, 2006
    Apparently someone running things on this show does not know objects follow the 9.81 m/s^2 acceleration of gravity. When I saw the show, I told my wife of this error, and she know I'd mention it, me being an engineer. The objects of this plane explosion would fall at essentially the same rate to the ground and hit around the same time... with the exception of parts that were shot out upwards vs. downwards from the event.
  12. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Apr 21, 2007
    Elizabeth, CO
    I guess I am just lucky that while I know and understand the science it doesn't even hit me when I watch the show. I am not a regular watcher of the Black List but I saw this episode and this scene just hit me as good drama. In hindsight I agree the science is way off but at the time i did not even think of it. It is like hearing spaceships explode, while that is impossible I dont think about it when watching the show.

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