Cult-TV Theme Watch: The President
In cult television history, as in life, we’ve had some really great United States Presidents and some bad ones.
On Star Trek, the third season episode “The Savage Curtain,” broadcast on March 7, 1969, saw the U.S.S. Enterprise encounter the image of President Abraham Lincoln (Lee Bergere) above the volcanic planet Excalbia. Although sent by the planet’s inhabitants to determine the nature of good and evil, this image of Lincoln looked and acted like President Lincoln, a hero of Captain Kirk’s.
A riveting and terrifying early episode of The Outer Limits, “The Hundred Days of the Dragon” features President William Lyons Selby (Sidney Blackmer), a candidate who is secretly replaced by a Chinese imposter before his election. Only Selby’s daughter and vice-president, Theodore Pearson (Phillip Pine) begin to suspect that that something is wrong with the new Commander-in-Chief. Incidentally, this creepy episode aired only weeks before the assassination of President Kennedy, on September 23, 1963.
By 24’s second year, Palmer had ascended to the Presidency, and had become (in this timeline/universe) America’s first African-American President. President Palmer retained the presidency in season two, but dropped out of his re-election bid in season three.