Recently, I had a chance to see “The Space Between Us,” the story of two star-crossed lovers, a boy who was born and raised on a Mars colony, and a girl from Earth caught in the foster care system. The story was somewhat mediocre and nowhere near the quality of “The Martian.” Gary Oldman, who is a much better actor than his performance in this movie suggests, seems to have phoned it in.

However, the question we need to delve into now is how much the movie adhered to science and how it depicted the world when flights to and from Mars are common? The answers, in brief, are not very well and not at all.

Real-time communications between Earth and Mars, not.

The first big blunder came early in the movie when the two teenagers are depicted as communicating with one another in real time. Unless some kind of subspace radio has been developed, this is clearly impossible. Light and radio waves take on average about 20 minutes to travel between Earth and Mars. At best, the two teenagers would be able to exchange video emails.

The world of tomorrow has a lot of present-day technology.

The producers of “The Space Between Us” were somewhat slipshod in depicting what the world would be like in, say, the year 2045 or so. We saw driverless cars, transparent tablets, and single stage to orbit space shuttles, along with a Mars colony. However, present-day tech could be seen as well, including 2017 vintage motor vehicles, handheld devices, and so on.

To be sure, a serious attempt to recreate an Earth of 30 years from now would be quite an expensive undertaking. If one is serious about doing such a thing, one would have to sit down with a panel of futurists to determine what people will be using. Driverless cars, implantable computer devices, smart homes, 3D monitors and so on would be standard in the middle of this century.

The bottom line for cinema science fiction.

Besides having an engaging story that will capture the attention of the audience, the primary quality of a successful science fiction film is to get the Science And Technology right. A significant percentage of the audience of a movie about Mars colonies are going to be people who are interested and knowledgeable about the subject.

If you get it wrong, either through ignorance or, more likely, just sheer laziness, your audience will punish you without mercy on social media and your movie will fail. Let's hope that future movies about Mars fare better in terms of accuracy.