Day: May 7, 2014

TV Black Hole: Alien Invasions

If you’re following me on twitter, you might know that I got cable installed last week! In the four years I’ve lived in this building, this is the first time it’s been available to us. I’m super excited to play around with On Demand and live tweet again. After Orphan Black this weekend, I got stuck in one of those cable black holes and caught a very interesting program on BBC America: The Real History of Science Fiction. It brought up so many things I love, and reinforced how much I really love this genre.

The episode that played this weekend, Invasion, chronicled the history of alien invasions in our science fiction. It all started with the H.G. Wells story, “The War of the Worlds” and the radio broadcast that made it so famous. This plays on the fear of an alien invasion of earth and inspired movies such as “Independence Day.” The episode touched on a couple of my favorite shows, Doctor Who and The X-Files.

It never hurts to see David Tennant on TV!

It never hurts to see David Tennant on TV!

In Doctor Who, we have maybe the only example of aliens that do not look like humans in costumes: the Daleks. The iconic Daleks are virtually indestructible, ruthless killers without a shred of humanity. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Doctor Who gives us the Cybermen. Cybermen want humans to become them— they replace everything that makes you human until you become a Cyberman. This is a similar concept to “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

This idea of science going too far ties in with Godzilla, and even Jurassic Park— why isn’t that on Netflix? I want to watch Jurassica Park now! This was one of many Steven Spielberg movies brought up in this program, as he sort of pioneered the next generation of the invasion movie with “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” This explores the concept of aliens as a friendly pursuit, not for malicious invasion purposes. This was explored from a child’s perspective with “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial,” a little alien far, far from home.

The show brings up another movie that I randomly loved to explore the idea of aliens living peacefully among us, “Men in Black.” I didn’t realize how much this concept of invasions was integral to the science fiction genre I love!

I’m thinking I’ll be watching this program again next week. If you like Sci Fi, I recommend you check it out.


{photo via BBC America’s website}