Let's say you are watching television, on a flat-screen active-matrix LCD screen that just hit the marketplace, or just on an "old" color set, fed its five hundred channels by a digital satellite service that sprang into being and signed up its first million customers within months, and either way the set is attached to a videotape recorder, not Betamax, of course, because that format was obsolete almost as soon as it was born, but Dolby-capable, and not just old Dolby but Dolby Surround, Dolby Pro-Logic, in fact Dolby Digital AC-3, ready for DVD and HDTV, bypassing altogether the dead end of the laserdisk player-- anyway, you are watching TV, and you are not fiddling with rabbit ears, because you barely remember what rabbit ears were, and, whoa, this is black and white! The opening titles roll, a spaceship is about to take off for planets unknown, the mission control room is teeming with people, and the date appears on the screen in bold type. It is a year far, far in the future: 1997.