From the opening 'chords' of the decidedly hypnotic electronic score (a cinematic first), crisp confident special effects and smart narrative undertones that faintly evoke Shakespeare's 'The Tempest', 'Forbidden Planet' eludes science-fiction sophistication. It was generally considered the first serious 1950s sci-fi film, and one that ditched the rudimentary 'Cold War' paranoia preoccupation for something with a little more spark and originality; a psychological tale concerning mysterious monsters lurking in the hazy subconscious. It's not a stretch to say the movie single-handedly changed the face of sci-fi forever; without it there would be no 'Star Trek' or 'Star Wars', no '2001: A Space Odyssey' and certainly no 'Alien', 'E.T' or even 'Avatar'. Heck even the term 'hyperdrive' is first coined here and the use of a teleportation device that beams the crew around the ship makes Scotty look like an intergalactic plagiarist. The mission of space cruiser C577-D is clear from the outset: to search for survivors of the spacecraft Bellerephon, which crashed on deserted planet Altair-4 a couple of decades ago. Commander Adams (a straight faced Leslie Nielsen) and his crew arrive to discover the planet is home to brainy but arrogant scientist Dr Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), his virginal nature-affiliated daughter Alta (her friends are animals you see) (AnneFrancis) and versatile android companion 'Robby' (Robby the Robot - debuting!). But there is a mysterious ambiance surrounding the trio. We soon learn Altair 4 was previously occupied by a pre-historic super race, the Krell, who have left behind large laboratories that the good doctor has been tinkering away in. Then events turn eerie when a benevolent invisible force attempts to attack the ship and does away with various crew members. But where does this creature stem from and what us Dr Morbius keeping from Captain Adams and his crew? All the elements that make for familiar but intriguing sci-fi are here: cutting edge special effects and cavernous sets, iconic appeal of a robot character with personality (Robby is surely an ancestor of C3PO), a thought-provoking ideology that explores the inner struggle between heart and the thrust for knowledge, a creature creation whose aesthetics are largely left to the imagination (predating 'Alien'by a couple of decades) and the concept of a militarised Starfleet (no doubt influencing 'Star Trek'). And that's not mentioning the fascinatingly ambitious scale of the production design - the Krull's laboratories are so beautifully expansive it teases the mind with limitless scope and possibilities. While the film's topic, concerning the plight of humanity over technology, remains startlingly prescient even today. There are faults of course, including corny dialogue (mostly delivered by Nielsen who is impossible to take in any 'serious' role without sniggering, given hindsight) and (bar Pidgeon) wooden acting but this is outweighed by some considerably knowing digs at events and character. Locked up in hyperspace for 378 days the crew's libidos are set racing by Francis' soul female character; a considerable distraction all too known by the commander who warns that he will have her "run out of the area under guard - and then I'll put more guards on the guards!" While the suggestive competitive interplay between crew members on an 'IQ' machine, where the commander struggles to 'get it up' (metaphorically speaking of course!) certainly suggests that the director wasn't taking events too seriously which helps to buy into all the interplanetary hokum. 'Forbidden Planet's' already triumphant aesthetic merits are beautifully enhanced in Blu-ray; the translucent colours are notched up to pleasing kaleidoscopic levels of cinematic indulgence while the equally innovative sound design is given audio justice in Dolby Digital 5.1.