When I first heard of HBOs new series Raised by Wolves, I yawned. It looked like yet another blast of anti-human brainwash (or "the Agenda") in the guise of "science fiction." It also looked incredibly dated and rather desperate, as it posits a universe in which human-like androids and interstellar space travel are actually possible.
Sad, isn't it?
But as I watched the pilot I was very pleasantly surprised. While the first episode of Raised by Wolves incorporates all the tedious and exhausting tropes of Transhumanist SF, it brilliantly undermines them and shows what absolute nonsense they all are.
(SPOILERS FROM STEM TO STERN, MATIE)
The premise is pretty simple: two androids crash-land on a planet orbiting Kepler-22 (in the Cygnus system, of course) with equipment to rebuild the human race, which had been devastated by civil war. The androids' apparent enemies are the Mithraics (seriously), who arrive some years after the androids do.
The androids seek to raise their children as atheists while the Mithraics are religious militants. Why you would have sun-worshippers x-number of light years away from the Sol system is a bit of a head-scratcher.
Of course, it's utterly irrelevant since nobody with a fucking brain in their skull still believes that humans will ever travel to other star systems in the first place.
The setup all feels quite Isaac Asimov: the virtuous, self-sacrificing atheist robots versus the barbaric believers. A fresh start in the stars after the whole planet goes kerblooey.
Keeping in the Asimovian vein, the Mithraics come across like they wandered in of the set of Vikings and act like it too. As opposed to the virtuous, self-sacrificing atheist robots bla bla bla bla bla.
Only one problem with this scenario, however...
...the virtuous, self-sacrificing atheist robots absolutely fucking suck at taking care of children, so most of the poor kids are stone dead by the time the Mithraic Vikings show up.
Not only do the robots totally suck at taking care of kids, the "Mother" is a pile of jiz-spurting, malfunctioning circuits, and is also completely insane and evil.
Sorry, Mr Asimov, wherever you are. Reality has caught up to those ridiculous, outdated science fiction fantasies. People have wised up to the grift: no one's going anywhere and nothing would change even if we could.
This hard realization has probably come too late to save us from your spiritual progeny, but still. Don't feel bad: you and Clarke and Bova and Heinlein and the rest had a great run. Chin up.
(Incidentally, hard luck you raised the world's foremost purveyor of the ol' Chuckee-Cheese for a son, sir. We all make mistakes).
I don't want to mis-pronoun Mother there (do robots have genders?), so let's just say that soon after Mother starts spurting jiz from her their nose there, they freak the fuck out and kill Father. In a very weird and more-than-vaguely-vaginal fashion, I should add.
Which is interesting considering their tubesteak spaceship crash-lands into what almost looks like a giant space-colon.
Which Father almost seems to reference when he makes a joke about a "backside."
I said "almost." Chill.
Where was I, now?
Oh, right: Anyway, Mother freaks out again and up and kill off the Mithraic soldiers and then steal their kids. Having let all their original kids die, apparently Mother needs more, apparently to satisfy some glitch in their programming.
Or maybe they'll just kill all of them too. Haven't gotten that far yet.
You might have noticed that "Mother" looks like an anorexic Ivan Drago. Come to think of it, they look a lot like me in 10th grade.
Mother is/are played by Danish actor Amanda Collin, who might have sprung from the same vat as the recent Terminatrix (who we'll get to shortly).
Seems to be a bit of a trend casting people with this particular look for androidette roles lately. Why do you suppose that might be?
I must admit I kept visualizing late 90s Marilyn Manson every time "Mother" came onscreen. Considerably less feminine, but still. You get the idea.
As I mentioned, the 5'10" Amanda Collin is a dead ringer for fellow female-identifying android MacKenzie Davis, star of the recent Terminator franchise-terminating disaster.
Davis also played a replicant in Blade Runner 2049, so maybe there's a bit of typecasting going on.
This was another female-identifying replicant in Blade Runner 2049.
Phew; looks like that skin-job eats her/their/xer/herm Wheaties. Ripped.
Strictly for reference's sake, this was the previous female Terminatrix from The Sarah Connor Chronicles, played by America's sweetheart Summer Glau.
Of course, MacKenzie was probably cast because MacKenzie has the lean, lanky look that's currently in fashion.
Like supermodel and actress
Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran Cara Delavigne...
...pop superstar Taylor Swift, who must have a devil of a time shoe-shopping...
...porn star Stormy "Sasquatch" Daniels...
....and Mummy star Sofia Butella, who has some very sturdy shoulders for you to cry on.
Even considering all of that, I must admit scenes like this almost came across as inversions (give or take) of...
...scenes like this. Just a passing thought, nothing more.
Don't arson my house, bro.
Even so, the birthing scenes harkened back to the halcyon days of 2017 when we saw a lot of stories like this.
But who would ever want to replace women, right? The Future is Female. Of course, what qualifies as "Female" is merely a question of opinion these days, isn't it?
Sure it is. You're not some kind of TERF, are you? Yeah, not if you know what's good for you.
One thing I do find interesting, given the science-worship and the Transhumanist pseudo-science in Raised by Wolves, is the fact that Mother and Father kept talking about their "creator."
Seeing this is all about robots seeding a new Earth with test-tube babies, I can't help but wonder...
...who their "creator" might actually be.