I call this the Golden Age because in these early years of the genre cinema, science was looked upon as fundamentally beneficent. Indeed the spirit of many of the literary and film works in the first half of the century is that of a wondrous expectancy that the new pure religion of Science will ultimately deliver mankind from the darkness of ignorance, oppression and poverty. There were prophets of doom to be sure, Wells for example, yet even he was one of the strongest advocates of the view that the only hope for the future lay with science, both in terms of technological advancement and sociological advancement. Though we now shudder at the thought of eugenics and designing a perfect human race, such things were openly embraced in the years before the rise of the Nazi regime. This was a more innocent time, and the general view was that knowledge would, of its own accord, naturally lead to enlightenment. It would take the horrors of a second world war to refute finally the notion that humankind could be delivered from its violent tendencies by science. And by the dawn of the Atom Age, the fears of just what science might unleash upon a hapless world became foremost among the thoughts of the Western world.