Monday, June 22, 2015

Cult-TV Theme Watch: Einstein

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) is the Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist who helped develop the general theory of relativity and is responsible for what is, at least arguably, the world’s most well-known equation.

Einstein has been a near regular player in cult-TV history. 

His equation, E=MC2, was seen weekly, at least for a full season, on the opening montage of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (1959 -1964). The equation appears when Serling observes that the Zone is a dimension of “mind.”

The physicist has appeared in person in many series, especially those involving time travel.

In Voyagers! (1982 – 1983), he met time travelers Phineas Bogg (Jon-Erik Hexum) and Jeffrey Jones (Meeno Peluce) and they saved him (and his wife) from an accident.

In the era of the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) on Doctor Who (1963 – 1989), Einstein was enslaved by the Rani, a Time Lord renegade, who had traveled to Earth to attempt to build a “time brain” in the 1940s.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 – 1994), Lt. Cmdr. Data (Brent Spiner) played poker with Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Sir Isaac Newton – or at least holographic representations of them – in the seventh season cliffhanger, “Descent.”

Einstein has also appeared on Family Guy, on a poster in South Park, and was even terrorized and tortured by the Warners on Animaniacs.

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