It's really true. You can narrate anything in a smooth English accent, and it sounds awesome. It's like spreading brie all over your frontal cortex, eliminating all of your B.S.-detectors. Someone with an English accent is saying it, so it must be brilliant. Right?

Top: X-Men:

Patrick Stewart could tell us to jump off a cliff, and we'd probably do it naked, just because that voice is so velvety. He wants to explain evolution to us? Sure, that sounds splendid. If only Mohinder could be this stentorian and convicing. O, for a genome of fire!

Underworld:

There's a war between vampires and werewolves, and it all sounds mysterious and special, like a fantasy episode of Masterpiece Theater.

Dune (TV miniseries):

This poor woman has got to pack a huge amount of backstory about spice and the Empire and Dune and the reasons why everybody is freaking out in funny outfits, so we can get to the action. Good thing she's got a voice like Devonshire cream, and it all sounds lovely.

Dune:

Virginia Madsen, by contrast, doesn't have a real English accent, she just sort of has English diction. Her speech is a bit more poetic, though, with all that stuff about the fragility of beginnings. Let's call her an honorary Brit. Which Dune intro do you like better?

The Golden Compass:

There are many universes, and they're all sort of swirly and filled with fairy dust. This intro would be total tommyrot, if it wasn't spoken in such a lilting voice. It's like camomile tea.

Lord Of The Rings

Actually this really is a fantastic opening, even though it's technically not science fiction. You just have to love the way she makes the backstory of the rings sound epic and massive, even before the movie's properly started.