An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Will Fictional Alum Save Earth on CBS's Salvation?

  • Nancy DuVergne Smith

A CBS TV suspense thriller launched July 12 thrusts a MIT-educated character into a new leading role. This time, “Liam Cole,” identified as an MIT graduate student, battles to save the planet from catastrophy. The action begins when Cole realizes that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth and seeks help from tech billionaire Darius Tanz. The pair race to solve the problem during Salvation’s 13 one-hour episodes this summer in a plot complicated by romance and government intransience.

A fictional MIT grad student, left, discovers an asteroid heading toward Earth in CBS's Salvation. A fictional MIT grad student, left, discovers an asteroid blasting toward Earth in CBS's summer thriller, Salvation.
Courtesy: CBS.

Cole and Tanz, played by Charlie Rowe and Santiago Cabrera respectively, take their discovery to a Pentagon official. Although the government knows about this impending disaster, it is keeping quiet, very quiet, while working on the problem. Cole and Tanz, an Elon Musk-type character, say the solution lies in technology that has yet to be invented. Sound familiar?

What would you do in Cole’s shoes?

On the CBS site, take an online quiz including questions like “Which scientist would you want to have around when the rocks hit the fan?” Your choices, by the way, are fictional scientists—unlike astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who makes an appearance on the show as himself. Other quiz questions include how would you save Earth and which group (scientists, anyone?) would you choose to repopulate Earth. The big boom would likely cause an extinction-level event.

Earlier MIT fictional moments on camera include Iron Man Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., and the newer Marvel Comics iron person, Riri Williams, as well as numerous brass rat sightings on screen. A few years ago, MIT and Cornell staged a fictional alumni face-off on social media and the results favored MIT.

And if you really want to know about asteroids, MIT is a great source:

And to find out what MIT graduate students do when they are not saving the planet, check out the Grad Life posts on Slice of MIT.

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