I don’t get it.

The new TV series Falling Skies is all about a ragtag bunch of resistance fighters trying to turn the tide in a seemingly hopeless battle against an overwhelmingly powerful, vastly more advanced alien invading force. It has promise.

But they keep bringing religion into it.

There’s a single character who is constantly doing Goddy stuff. It’s pretty much her schtick. Whether it’s praying for the people who are missing or leading others in grace before a meal, it’s quickly becoming obvious that there won’t be a scene that she’s in where she’s not doing something God-related.

Here she is, facing the reality that the universe was not made especially for human beings, that there’s clearly nobody watching over humanity and keeping it safe, and yet she’s talking about how her heavenly father is watching out for them and crossing herself in prayer. Every day more people die or more kids are kidnapped and turned into mindless worker drones by the aliens, but here’s this girl deluding herself into thinking that the Big Guy’s up there watching out for them. She even admits that her prayers aren’t for anyone else – that they’re just to help her cope.

And she gets praised for it left and right! Why on earth would someone like this be treated as respectable in an apocalyptic battle for the survival of our species? What good could her superstitions possibly do?

Regardless, she’s a minor character so far, so it’s more of a weirdly out-of-place annoyance than a real cause for complaint. The show is a pretty decent bit of TV sci fi, and I just hope it doesn’t go the way of “V” before it, which also took a decidedly god-centered turn with the idea of the aliens trying to build a machine that could remove the human soul… and was canceled after two seasons because of terrible writing.

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One thought on “I don’t get it.

  1. Marc Barnhill

    I've noticed this double strand of religion in sci-fi television as well: either it gets integrated uncomfortably into the plot of the show ("Lost") or it's concentrated in a single minor character and seems to serve no clear narrative purpose ("Firefly"). I'm usually fine with the symbolic overtones of religion being adopted for symbolic resonance ("Doctor Who") or with its exploration in a way that reveals something about character and connects meaningfully with theme ("Babylon 5"), but I also find it irksome when it's there for no apparent reason. How do the other characters on "Falling Skies" react to Goddy Woman?

    Reply

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