Matrix Rip-Off?

Dave

Non Bio
Staff member
Joined
Jan 5, 2001
Messages
20,144
Location
Way on Down South, London Town
Re: matrix rip-off

Only in respect that the people inside the Matrix think they are somewhere else i.e. living in the real world. But The Matrix didn't invent that idea, so you can hardly say it is being ripped off.

I can think of several other films and TV series with that premise apart from The Island:
The Prisoner, Logan's Run, Vanilla Sky, Total Recall, The Truman Show and most probably Lost when it reaches a conclusion.

I can think of several books: Destiny's Road by Niven, Man in the High Castle by PKD, Slaughterhouse Five by Vonnegut, Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro. If I thought longer I could come up with many more as it is a very common theme.

The philosopher Plato wrote about the concept of people living in a world of relative ignorance, comfortable with that ignorance, because it is all they know, in his most famous book The Republic. He decribes a cave where the prisoners only see puppet shadows. Everything they experience is merely a reflection of the real world outside the cave.

It is a well worn philosophical concept. People who are ignorant of the truth will run and hide from the truth, even deny it, because it upsets what they are comfortable and familiar with. However, once they taste the truth they cannot let it go and must have it all. Then they can never go back.
 

iansales

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
3,447
Re: matrix rip-off

I can think of several other films and TV series with that premise apart from The Island:
The Prisoner, Logan's Run, Vanilla Sky, Total Recall, The Truman Show and most probably Lost when it reaches a conclusion.

I can think of several books: Destiny's Road by Niven, Man in the High Castle by PKD, Slaughterhouse Five by Vonnegut, Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro. If I thought longer I could come up with many more as it is a very common theme.
And I'd just like to add that - Vanilla Sky is a remake of Abre los Ojos, and both Logan's Run and Total Recall were adaptations of books (well, a short story in Total Recall's case).

Thinking further, I wonder if the earliest example is possibly 'The Tunnel Under the World' by Frederik Pohl, first published in Galaxy magazine in 1955?
 

Dave

Non Bio
Staff member
Joined
Jan 5, 2001
Messages
20,144
Location
Way on Down South, London Town
Re: matrix rip-off

I wonder if the earliest example is possibly 'The Tunnel Under the World' by Frederik Pohl, first published in Galaxy magazine in 1955?
If it's a competition :D then how about Arthur C Clarke's short story 'History Lesson' first published in 1949?

It deals with an Ice Age on Earth when reptilian Venusian explorers come to decipher the meaning of a message from the past found at the end of an old film, taking the film as a truthful depiction of ancient Earth society.
 

iansales

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
3,447
I thought we were doing stories in which the characters discover that they're not living in the world they thought they were? (Having said that, I don't think I've read 'History Lesson', so perhaps it's on-topic :))

A couple more: Orphans in the Sky, Robert Heinlein (1963), and Non-Stop, Brian Aldiss (1958).
 

Harleyquin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Messages
77
Anddddd in the Blue corner weighing....


:)

Philosophically Metropollis with people believing in one thing then discovering the truth predates all these :p ok not a direct comparison but I never pretended to have a vast littery knowledge
 

iansales

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
3,447
According to IMDB, The Island doesn't claim to be a remake.
 

Dave

Non Bio
Staff member
Joined
Jan 5, 2001
Messages
20,144
Location
Way on Down South, London Town
I thought we were doing stories in which the characters discover that they're not living in the world they thought they were?
Yes, I guess the characters themselves must believe they are in the alternative world.

I have a few other examples of this genre in film: a film called Hibernatus (1969) in which a man comes out of hibernation and is fooled into believing it is still 1905.

And The Village, of course.
 

Winters_Sorrow

Unreg. Mutant Moderator
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
2,956
Location
Newcastle, UK
I'm surprised no-one's mentioned Dark City.
You could argue that Planet of the Apes had elements of the "true world" being hidden as well but that's possibly more of a stretch.
Oh and The Island doesn't claim to be a remake of The Clonus Horror but the makers of that movie successfully sued them for copying their ideas so...
 

judge_mel

Active Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Messages
35
Let us not forget the Doctor Who serial 'The Deadly Assassin' in 1976 where the Doctor spends time battling enemies in a virtual reality environment called 'The Matrix'.
 

Ghost of Harrenhal

The Ethereal Apparition
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
341
There's a book I read a while back in school called Off The Road. I can't remember much about it except that the world in which the main character came from, a clinical and conservative world with many strict laws and such, was just a way for the people on the outside of that world, living in rural areas and small farming communities, to keep them controlled and out of the way.
 

Quokka

wandering
Joined
Mar 26, 2005
Messages
1,403
There's also a lot of similarities between The Matrix and PK Dick's The Maze of Death (1970).

*spoiler*

The whole twist of The Maze of Death is the use of a virtual reality world in order to keep people distracted. In this case a crew that is stuck on a space ship with almost no hope of rescue and so they continually subject themselves to the alternate reality in order to distract themselves and stop or delay anti-social/violent behaviour. I can't remember for sure but I think once they enter the world they no longer realise it isn't 'real'.
 

koose

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
15
The main difference was that the island was terrible. The matrix was amazing!!!!!!
 

fseoer2010

Science fiction fantasy
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
3
Location
fseoer2010
I am new here!I thought we were doing stories in which the characters discover that they're not living in the world they thought they were?
 
Top