Questions of Progress: Scary Sci-Fi Hits and the Sacrificial Human Body

dr who one
The Doctor and Madame de Pompadour

Well, it happened.  I finally sat down to watch an episode of Doctor Who –an episode that Michael promised me was horrific enough to write about for my blog.  And he was correct about that. The episode under examination, “The Girl in the Fireplace,” was at least moderately unnerving—I’ve seen scarier, of course, but it was pretty unsettling—but what excited me the most about the episode was the connection to other science fiction classics it provoked.  I have become interested, to that end, in a prevalent motif that I see in contemporary/semi-contemporary science fiction: the fear of sacrificial embodiment.  So what exactly do I mean by that?  In a lot of contemporary science fiction, we’re afraid that our physical bodies will be sacrificed as vehicles to further technological progress.  Underlying that fear, I think, is a perceived incongruence between the so-called “natural” body and the man-made technology that runs off it.  But, to further explain my point, let me delve into three science fiction works that elucidate it: Doctor Who’s “The Girl in the Fire Place,” the popular classic The Matrix, and Black Mirror’s “Fifteen Million Merits.”

Continue reading ” Questions of Progress: Scary Sci-Fi Hits and the Sacrificial Human Body”

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 Questions of Progress: Scary Sci-Fi Hits and the Sacrificial Human Body

Just Dreadfull Talks Penny Dreadful: Season One, Episode 1

Penny Dread 1There is a strange sort of titillation that comes with watching Penny Dreadful – for the first time, to be sure, but also for the second, third, or fourth time, or any time thereafter.  The show’s introduction foregrounds a juxtaposition of unusual images that mean little to the new viewer but that accrue significance as one becomes more familiar with the series.  A mosquito spasms and jilts to a stop, a crimson, blood-like liquid flows over the edges of a quaint, antique tea-cup, and the viewer is, upon seeing these images, quickly catapulted into the mid-late 19th century –into a world rife with class divisions and scientific positivism, ornate dresses and ostentatious houses – into a world with decorum, colonialism, and, best of all, naked, green-blue, thick-skinned, bloodsucking vampires. Continue reading “Just Dreadfull Talks Penny Dreadful: Season One, Episode 1”

Just Dreadfull Talks Penny Dreadful: Season One, Episode 1

Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Six): Who’s the Real Villain Here?

Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller

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Photo Credit – AMC’s The Walking Dead

As a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead, I spent the past week re-watching Season Six to get ready for this Sunday’s impending Season Seven premiere.  So much of the undercurrent of last season was devoted to slowly building the tension (and anxiety!) surrounding the Saviors and the introduction of their boss, Negan.  In the final moments of “Last Day On Earth” we finally meet The Walking Dead‘s ultimate villain.  This profanity spewing, motorcycle jacket wearing, bat swinging, vision of dread certainly radiates menace.  And, from what I understand, he’s to be the Joker to Rick’s Batman.  But, if I’m being honest, he’s not the character who scared me the most last season, nor is he the one I fear the most going forward. Continue reading “Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Six): Who’s the Real Villain Here?”

Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Six): Who’s the Real Villain Here?

Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Four): Things got DARK…

Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller

Walking Dead 1
Photo Credit – AMC’s The Walking Dead

It seems redundant to say that a show about surviving after the zombie apocalypse, a show known for its graphic violence and bloodshed, is a little dark.  In fact, it seems like a completely needless observation.  It may even seem like – GASP! – filler.  However, as Kalie and I binge-watched The Walking Dead back in November (something I wouldn’t recommend unless you like intense, free-floating anxiety), I felt Season Four took the darkness of the show to a whole new level.  It forced me to ponder, is this the cost of survival in this world?  Could I become what I’d have to survive if I lived in this sort of a setting? Continue reading “Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Four): Things got DARK…”

Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Four): Things got DARK…

Point – Counterpoint : Grooming in the Zombie Apocalypse

Guest Writers: David Miller and Michael J. Miller

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Photo Credit – The Walking Dead

A few weeks ago, Kalie began her “Walking Through The Walking Dead” series and in her first article, she briefly commented on how the characters in the show have a surprising amount of mousse/hair gel for a post-apocalyptic dystopia.  There’s also a lot of shaving of the face for men and legs/armpits for the women too.  Basically, there’s an odd amount of modern grooming happening in a world gone to hell.  This has generated a great deal of heated debate (particularly between my brother and I).  So, below David and I have written short, opposing opinion pieces about grooming in the zombie apocalypse.  Please read and please, please, please (yes, I’m begging but sibling debates will generate this) leave your opinion in the comment section about whose side you’re on!  We are seeking some Internet aid in settling a debate that has filled too much of our free time already. Continue reading “Point – Counterpoint : Grooming in the Zombie Apocalypse”

Point – Counterpoint : Grooming in the Zombie Apocalypse

Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Three): The Characters

Walking Dead Season Three I love watching The Walking Dead before bed.  I have coined the term “Dead ‘til bed” for nights I set aside for a Walking Dead marathon.  Nothing says nighty-night like slaughter, zombie guts and involuntary bloodletting.  Indeed, I just finished season three, and I started watching the show a couple weeks ago, so I’m catching up quickly.   But if mindless zombie hacking was all the show was about, I would have already stopped my viewing, and the show wouldn’t be in its sixth season.  Much of The Walking Dead’s intrigue lies within its characters.  The show presents us with complex, dynamic characters who evolve and adapt to a disorienting apocalypse, many of them with admirable gusto.  We warm toward them and cheer for them.  Season three, in particular, is rife with captivating character development. Continue reading “Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Three): The Characters”

Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Three): The Characters