Monday, November 03, 2014

Cult-TV Theme Watch: Bubbles and Suds

Next time you take a bubble bath, take a really close look at those suds…

Because bubbles, foam and suds have often been a serious threat to protagonists in cult television programming.

On Doctor Who in the era of the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton), one 1969 serial “The Seeds of Death” found the time-lord battling ever-expanding foam (really a fungus spawned by the Martian Ice Warriors…).

One of my all-time favorite episodes of Space: 1999 (1975 – 1977) is called “Space Brain.”  It reveals an alien brain’s antibodies flooding Moonbase Alpha in an attempt to crush the intruder in its space.  The antibodies are depicted as, you guess, it soap suds.

An early episode of Blake’s 7 (1978 – 1981), “Space Fall” also uses foam as a visual threat. One a crewman gets caught in a spaceship bulkhead that has been punctured, foam fills in the gap so as to prevent de-pressurization.

And in one episode of The Brady Bunch, 1973’s “Law and Disorder,” soap suds run wild in the Brady House, thanks to an overflowing washing machine.

Of course, soap suds aren’t always evil. In “Hollywood A.D.,” an X-Files (1993 – 2002) episode that takes Mulder, Scully and Skinner to Tinsel Town, the three FBI agents enjoy bubble baths and champagne, not to mention a conference call.

Bubble baths of this non-lethal variety have also occurred on Farscape (1999 – 2003) and The Vampire Diaries (2009 – present).

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