Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TVOD: The Dance of Kali

Maybe we need a more specific term for this growing subgenre of sci-fi that explicitly reinterprets ancient religious concepts in the service of technobabble-driven storytelling. Seeing how this take on 'Kali' is yet another example of sci-fi's return to its Theosophical roots (which itself has sci-fi roots), how about 'Theosophiction'?

I'm not exactly sure what to make of Sanctuary and I'm not exactly sure it does either. Sometimes it comes across as Torchwood's Canadian cousin/knockoff, and sometimes it exudes a bit of a Warehouse 13 whiff. It's certainly the lesser of the former and the greater of the latter. But it also has a fascinating connection to the Stargate constellation in the person of producer/star Amanda Tapping, though I much prefer its tone to the SG-1 and Atlantis (which no matter how hard I've tried are simply too goofy for my palette). Stargate: Universe is more promising, but I'd really prefer they drop the BSG handheld camera routine.

This two-part episode was probably my favorite of the series so far, with gods and demons interacting with humans on a backlot Bombay. The Bollywoodian dance of Kali (towards the end of part 2) is impossibly ridiculous but is performed with such conviction by male lead Robin Dunne that you buy every single minute of it.

What can you say about a series in which Bigfoot is a regular cast member and Kali is a guest star? Where Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper drop in thanks to the aid of some ill-explained godtech? Where a team of MTV Real World wannabes track down monsters whose provenance is never truly established?

I'm not sure, but this season finale made for some pretty entertaining television.

Non-US readers try this.

UPDATE: And then there's this.


  1. This sounds like physicists searching for the AAT:


  2. Seeing as you mentioned BSG...

    Nicki Clyne as 'Cally' Henderson Tyrol

    or for the "420' people
    THC (LOL)


  3. Hi Chris,
    Theosophiction is a neat word but hard to say. I thought of Godological or Godology, but it doesn't sound such a refined(Greek)word.
    I'm halfway thru watching the Kali episodes of'Sanctuary'.
    Interesting stuff about feeling sorry for Abnormals and a scene with a statue of Siva as the Destroyer of Worlds/Cosmic Dancer in the background after information that Kali wants to be danced with.
    The Mackree is an abnormal and the 'Sea-Spirit' called Bertha is an abnormal. Actually, I was shown a gender-free version of The Lord's Prayer once, and it began: "Our birther, whom art in .....

  4. I thought you were going to explain the secret behind the 456, Chris! heheh ever since I saw the mini-series I tried deciphering it and I just don't know, do tell!

    I've also been watching the new show 'Demons' on BBC America. Its pretty good but it doesn't take itself too seriously, like Sanctuary. Especially its theme song, its really hokey..blah. If you haven't heard of it: http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/391/about-the-show.jsp

    Lastly, for a while now Amanda Tapping has reminded me of an Isis character. She plays roles as a healer, protector, mother (the latter in real life). Even her name 'Amanda' (I looked it up) means 'loveable.'

  5. ....theosophabula...

    not very catchy but all i got

  6. Anony134- We'll get there- stay tuned.

    Strangey- You stumped me, brother...

    Flossy- Practice it- it will roll right off the tongue. Our birther? It had to be an Anglican church right?

    Grey- The 456 is coming- stay tuned. Good call on Tapping, btw.

    Caleb- There's always Theosophiction!