I do not watch a lot of television but I do watch some sci-fi occasionally, and series like stargate and the like...
One of the things you see a lot is the characters faced with something impossible, and coming up with some cunning way around it. Happens all the damn time. And you wonder if ever things would be like that for real in such scenarios. Of course then then explain the bullshit techno-babble with a silly analogy just for fun.
Well, what got me thinking was the FireBricks. Sadly I have not worked out a way to use one to construct a working wormhole or time machine yet, but they are a product we know a hell of a lot about.
What strikes me is what you can do when do do know a system inside out. We have had people do the craziest things with them, and then worked out a way around the problem. This is especially the case where people would otherwise have to go drive somewhere. Things like working out what IPs would be allowed and engineering for the right traffic from the right interface remotely so as to let us get to the web control pages or command line and make some change to fix the problem. Some times jumping through convoluted hoops and reconfiguring DSL lines remotely and routers and so on. I think last time we did something like this was for a member of staff who had DSL lines and 3G backup and complicated firewall rules.
Then suddenly you realise you are doing something just as crazy as they would be doing on some sci-fi series stuck in the back end of the galaxy with nothing more than a pack of bubblegum and a sonic screwdriver.
So maybe, if they had engineers that really knew their stuff, it would be like that!