It came from the Shadows
A Postcard from the Future
A ‘what if’ piece of speculative fiction, contemplating how the combination of a world of ever increasing video consumption and ever increasing computing power might play out.
// 2029. Two engineers sit at computers in a dimly lit office.
Hedy turns to Beulah with a mischievous grin - “Hey Beulah, you love the TV show Dark Shadows, right?”
Beulah sighs - “Yes, I love Dark Shadows, the gothic soap opera from the 1960s. I wrote a book on it. I go to conventions for it. I traveled to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion in Connecticut to see where parts of episodes were filmed! You haven’t yet let me live down talking about it in my ‘Welcome to the Team’ presentation.”
A sheepish grin spreads over Hedy’s face - “Yeah, I am really sorry about that. I felt so bad that I and the team have been working to make amends. You mentioned the lost episode of Dark Shadows. After a lot of digging on the dark web… we found it.”
Beulah’s eyebrows nearly explode off their head - “You found it?!? What? How! Yes! I want to watch it!!”
<90 minutes later after much rewinding, fast forwarding, and frame by frame advancing>
Beulah vibrates in their seat - “I thought you might be pulling my leg, but holy cow, this is real! It’s amazing to finally see it! I can’t believe you found it! We’ve always had the original audio from the episode, but none of the visuals. There is going to be a riot at the con this year!”
<Video stream ends from a hacked webcam in the room. A shadowy figure halfway around the world begins typing>
<Log Entry> Fake Dark Shadows episode successfully deployed via Honeypot. The fake episode was created using Deep Learning reconstruction from the existing 1,224 episodes and authentic audio from missing episode. Fake episode viewed by two subjects. Analysis of subjects’ eye motion, body language, and voice cues all check out; they are convinced it is real, including the subject matter expert. Full pass on all major areas: digital actor motion and voice; camera motion and cuts; digital sets, environmental lighting, and props. Tell Cave, we’re moving to Phase 2. </End Log>