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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

London in the 23rd century (via Star Trek Into Darkness)

I’m a little bit obsessed with the futuristic London skyline the trailers for Star Trek Into Darkness have been teasing us with:
London skyline Star Trek Into Darkness

(Click here for a larger version.)

I think maybe it’s because 1) I love this city, 2) I’m here, and 3) I’m here just at the moment when London is developing a recognizable skyline, not just thanks to the Shard but because of a whole bunch of other really tall (for London) buildings that are going up now, with “the Cheese Grater” and “the Pinnacle” and “the Walkie-Talkie” joining “the Gherkin” in The City alone.

Londonist, from which I grabbed the image, notes:

The clip shows a city much-altered from our own day, with at least a dozen Shard-height towers. Some buildings have survived. St Paul’s nestles among the skyscrapers, its ‘protected views’ long overturned. In the distance, both Waterloo Bridge and the Golden Jubilee footbridges remain. We also know from the poster that the Gherkin and the London Eye have also survived into the 23rd Century. Was our city unaffected by the nuclear wars of the mid-21st Century? Have these landmarks been rebuilt? Or are we in yet another alternative timeline? Much for hardcore Trekkers to debate, and we’ll leave them to it.

I got nothing deep to add. I just wanted a reason to post this image so I could keep looking at it.


posted in:
movie buzz
  • Bob Devney

    Cool, thanks. But — can’t find the London Eye here. How could I miss it?

  • Joanne Howe

    London has to be a world-leader in finding derpy nicknames for buildings!

  • Rob

    It isn’t in this shot. According to that quote, the Eye is visible on one of the film’s posters.

  • Captain_Swing666

    Somebody else got to “Empire State” first. Actually I think there’s a whole article about the difference in naming ethics between America and the UK. Car names are particularly interesting – we get “Golf” and “Cortina” or “Focus” – the Americans get “”Cobra” or “Mustang” and (my personal favourite) “Crossfire”.

    We did get the “Probe”, which I think is too homoerotic even for the Brits.

    Do the Americans choose phallic names for buildings too?

  • Take a look at this high-res of the poster:

    http://i.imgur.com/YdoFW.jpg

    If you look directly left from Cumberbatch’s left foot, you’ll see the Eye in front of a building that look like an old-fashioned Blitz bomb. To Cumberbatch’s right is the Gherkin.

  • There is of course Trump Towers in New York – the only building I know named after a Northern term for a fart.

  • I’m sure this has been suggested before, but this poster also works well if you look at it as Sherlock’s belated return after Reichenbach.

    “It’s been three HUNDRED years!”

    “I had no idea that you would be so affected.”

  • MisterAntrobus

    Well, as New York is the Empire State, the Empire State building is a pretty straightforward name. As for other buildings . . . Well, there’s the Sears (now Willis) Tower, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center . . . uh, I can’t think of any famous skyscrapers on the West coast, besides the Space Needle. I guess that one might be phallic, but it’s a bit of a stretch. There are a few with nicknames, like the “Batman building” in Nashville. But no, the naming is usually pretty boring and just represents whatever company put it up in the first place.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Given the number of historical landmarks in London, one would think that London needs a “recognizable” skyline as much as Paris needs a chain of fast food restaurants.

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