DNE: Do Not Erase is perhaps one of the last works of the recently deceased Richard Hatch (1945-2017). The writer, producer and actor best known for his role as Captain Apollo, in the 1978 series Battlestar Galactica, has only a few minutes of screen-time but with a run-time under ten minutes, it is still one cerebral hell of a ride.
As a writer of speculative fiction, it is easy to forget just how nuanced science fiction can be and to become jaded by the incredible ideas which underlie those stories. DNE: Do Not Erase is such a work.
It encompasses a temporal nugget of a man’s ambition; what he wants versus what he needs. This is not a new theme; “what might have been” are likely some of the first stories Humans ever sat around the fire discussing. This particular execution offered a nuanced approach with multiple threads taking place while we watch.
We get a glimpse of parallel worlds aborning, each more horrific, based on Brian’s inability to decide what’s most important to him. This simple science fiction theme brilliantly captured the nature of Human greed, frustration, power, escalation, manipulation and ultimately sacrifice.
Hatch’s appearance is subtle and yet filled with the good humor of a man who realizes where real value is to be found in life. Perhaps the perfect dichotomy to Starbuck’s impetuous youth, still saving the world in the background out of the limelight.
What I liked best about this piece was: all of this pontification about the nature of humanity, our future, a man’s ambition, and what is the meaning of life, are all handled without ever leaving the room. Embedded in the thematic elements of each time-travelling Brian underlies signs of an incredible script by Rudy Jahchan and Nar Williams (who also plays Brian).
A perfect fusion of science fiction themes, subversions on quantum mechanics, time travel stories, the nature of time and the Many Worlds Interpretation. This is the science fiction we need to see more of in the future (pardon the pun…)
DNE: Do Not Erase won in the Best of Science Fiction Category at the Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival and was nominated for the Best Sci-Fi Category at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. It was produced by Kevin R. Grazier and Rudy Jahchan. It’s production companies were Internext Studios and Otting’s Place Productions.
Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.