Episode 24


2016's Passengers, starring Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and Hollywood heartthrob Chris Pratt should have had an easy journey to sci-fi greatness. Its script was championed in the 2007 Hollywood Black List, it enticed an Oscar nominated director and Sony believed in it so much they upped the budget to $120 million. There was a lot riding on the success of the Starship Avalon's 120-year voyage to Homestead II.

The problem is..... it's meant to be romantic, but just ends up feeling, well, really creepy.

Passengers is a movie with a lot of promise. It wants to be a cautionary tale on our reliance on technology and trusting of big corporations, the social and class divide between the rich and the poor, for us to ask questions about moral quandaries, to empathise with a character’s isolation and loneliness and the broader implications of artificial intelligence but it kinda takes all these interesting and rich discussions and bookends them with “yeah, but they’re both really hot” and never really satisfactorily answers any of the moral questions it asks of itself. 

It's a shame. The thing is, it could very easily be fixed with a few choice edits....

I would love to hear your thoughts on Passengers! You can get in touch on

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or you can email me general hellos, feedback or suggestions:

verbaldiorama [at] gmail [dot] com

Thank you to our Patreon Producer Sade, and also our new patrons Simon and Jardiel for supporting Verbal Diorama! To support the show on Patreon from just $2 a month, have a look over at https://www.patreon.com/verbaldiorama and choose your Keanu.....

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My website is at https://verbaldiorama.com

Thanks to the following for their contributions to this episode:

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Erik Carlson

Theme Music: Verbal Diorama Theme Song

Music by Chloe Enticott - Compositions by Chloe Facebook

Lyrics by Chloe Enticott (and me!)

Production by Ellis Powell-Bevan of Ewenique Studios.

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About the Podcast

Show artwork for Verbal Diorama
Verbal Diorama
The podcast on the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't.

About your host

Profile picture for Em .

Em .

Hi! I'm Em. I created Verbal Diorama in 2018, and launched the podcast in February 2019 to rapturous applause and acclaim.... from my cat Jess.

The modus operandi of Verbal Diorama is simple: movies are tough to make! The coming together of a team of people from all walks of life to make something to entertain, delight and educate us for 90+ mins is not an easy task, and yet so many succeed at it. That must be something to celebrate.

I'm here to do just that - to celebrate movies. Their history and legacy, and why they remain so special to so many of us.

I mostly host solo, but often you'll hear my cat Jess in the background (she's 17 years old, and very loud!).

I love podcasts and listen to many, but never my own.

I unashamedly love The Mummy (1999) and Grease 2. I'm still looking for a cool rider.