"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Friday, September 11, 2020

Raised by Wolves 1.4-5: Halfway to Dune

I thought the 4th and 5th episodes of Raised by Wolves were really good, especially the 5th, because it gave us a nice big origin story about Mother - how she was created, and endowed/programmed with her mission.  Her maker tells her she's humanity's last hope, a nod to Star Wars mythology.

But maybe because I saw the trailer for the new Dune movie the other day, maybe I would have thought this anyway, maybe both factors are at play, but Raised by Wolves really felt to me tonight to be deeply indebted to Dune.  The sweeping sand dunes, the monsters hidden in and under the sand, the boy - with the two possible candidates - as the savior, all these speak Muad'dib on Arrakis.

Meanwhile, Travis Fimmel's Marcus, now leading the pack of Sol true-believers, seems increasingly like Ragnar in Vikings.  Not only because Fimmel's mannerisms are the same in both narratives - which I don't mind and in fact find appropriate in both - but the characters both are subject to visions, seek advice from strange characters, and have the same reactions to women.   In other words, the Marcus character played by Fimmel was deliberately designed to recall Ragnar, and that's also fine with me.

One of those characters also resonates with the Count of Monte Cristo and his mask.  Except this mask was put on the character because he raped women in hibernation over the long voyage.  His reason: Sol commanded him to populate the species, though he doesn't deny the carnal pleasure he obtained from following Sol's commands.   Since he's in a mask, that can't help but raise the question of who he is?  I'll make a wild guess: maybe the master programmer of androids who created Mother back on a dying Earth?

Anyway, these echos of Dune and Star Wars, not to mention of course Blade Runner, point to the depth of Raised by Wolves, not that it's too derivative.  An important science fiction series should be standing on the shoulders of giants, and I'll be back here next week to tell you how Jack and the Beanstalk fares with these giants.

See also Raised by Wolves 1.1: Fast Action and Deep Philosophy  ... Raised by Wolves 1.2-3: More than Meets the Eye

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