When Will Doors Start to Look Like Their Sci-Fi Counterparts?

We’re currently finishing season 3 of The Orville, which is excellent. As much as I enjoyed the humor in the first two seasons, the show really seemed to take of this season, doing what sci-fi does best: It addresses important modern questions in a futuristic setting. The stakes are also raised significantly this season with some interconnected plotlines, and almost every episode is over an hour.

Like many shows and movies set in the future, the doors in The Orville are the stuff of imagination. I don’t think there’s a single hinged door in the show–they’re always one or more sliding panels built within the walls that seal tight.

I really like this style of futuristic door, yet I wonder if it’s the type of sci-fi trope that doesn’t make sense in reality. Hinged doors require far fewer moving parts, no internal mechanisms, and they can be built into the frame (opposed to embedded into the walls). They can be designed to seal tight to create an airlock when necessary.

It’s just one of those things that I notice in futuristic shows that seems to have too big of a gap between the current infrastructure to make sense for widespread adaptation. I hope I’m wrong, though!

What do you think it would take for the future of doors to be as they’re depicted in science fiction? Or do you think we’ll always use hinged doors, at least on Earth?

5 thoughts on “When Will Doors Start to Look Like Their Sci-Fi Counterparts?”

  1. We watched the season 2. I enjoyed it a great deal, even if it did lose a bit more of the humour than I’d have liked, I felt like a lot of this returned in the second half in the season. My wife, who prefers more levity in her media, only half watched some of the episodes, but I appreciated the length. They were almost self-contained films!

    I really appreciated the episode revisting a certain character’s “gender identity journey” (I’m being deliberately vague here to avoid spoliers). The great thing about this episode, and the show in general, is that I feel it adds much-needed nuance to some discussions that are becoming more and more polarised in our own world. I appreciated how one of the primary antagonists to this journey (a parental figure) — here representing traditionalists in a society — was depicted not as a bigoted monster beyond redemption, but as a product of cultural context who had to undergo a journey of learning and change just like broader society must. The reunion between these characters was one of the most emotional moments of the season for me.

    As for the doors. I suspect they might be right up there with metallic silver jumpsuits in terms of never-really-eventuating. If we ever get these doors, it’s essential that they come equipped with the satisfying combination of pneumatic and hydraulic noises as they open and close — otherwise, what’s the point? 🙂

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  2. Lots of grocery stores have these types of doors, some houses have doors inside the walls, as well as hidden trap doors you didnt know were there. Accordian doors work as well, or flexible doors that wrap around corners. A lot of windows have the sliding mechanism standard it seems, but I have some hinged windows on my house 🤷‍♂️.

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