Top 5 Sci Fi Episodes Centered Around Religious Figures
This was actually far more difficult than I anticipated. Boo on sci-fi for not addressing this critical influence (for good and ill) on humanity more often. In the end, I could only come up with four choices, and one is a bit of a cheat. Perhaps the peanut gallery can lend a hand?
1) Passing Through Gethsemane (B5). I heart Brother Theo and want him to be my priest. And I will always appreciate JMS’s respectful attempt to portray atonement and forgiveness as they are viewed in my faith. As for the role of memory – amusingly, the writers for SG1 apparently thought the theme was good enough to copy. *g*
2) Kobol’s Last Gleaming (BSG). Mom and Dad fight about religion and the kids have to choose sides – a conflict that is resolved for the time being, but hopefully not forgotten. Power struggles between equally intelligent, human, sympathetic characters is a kink of mine.
3) Rapture (DS9). Mad Cap’n Benji goes euphoric and accepts his position in Bajoran society – and Jake loves his father and prefers that he live rather than die a religious martyr. I’m a sucker for this one and I’m not really ashamed of it. It was the turning point for the fifth season – the moment the writers realized there was an enormous arc swimming under the surface. And while I don’t really share my f-list’s passionate Winn-love, I do think her scenes with Kira in this episode were fabulous. “I can remember each and every beating that I suffered. And where you had weapons to protect yourself, all I had was my faith… and my courage.” AWESOME.
4) Serenity. Not an “episode,” true – and only an acceptable answer if you believe literal gods need not apply – but the Operative, I believe, is deliberately written as a religious figure. Actually, as I watched the film, I couldn’t help but wonder if we were looking at a proto-Book. Book does seem to know an awful lot about the mindset.