Monday, November 14, 2016

Cult-TV Theme Watch: Writers

Another word for writer is author. A writer is someone who pen book or articles for a living. 

Writers have often appeared as major characters in cult-TV series and episodes.

One of history’ greatest writer, for instance -- William Shakespeare – has sometimes been a guest on genre programs.  In “The Bard,” an episode of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone (1959-1964), for example, he is summoned using black magic by another writer, Julius Moomer (Jack Weston), in hopes that he can help the would-be author create a successful screenplay.

The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) also encounters Shakespeare in the Doctor Who (2005 - ) episode, “The Shakespeare Code,” and finds that the writer is open to inspiration, but also under the influence of Carrionites.

Journalists are writers too, and cult-TV history has seen the appearance of prominent journalists such as Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) in Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974) and Jack McGee (Jack Colvin) in The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982).  In both cases, these writers are personified by their dogged pursuit of the truth.  

The Superman mythos – from the 1950s to 2011 – similarly features writers, journalists such as Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Chloe Sullivan.

In the Star Trek universe, the EMH (Robert Picardo) fancies himself a writer in Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001), and Jake Sisko (Cirroc Lofton) of Deep Space Nine (1993 – 1999) also grows up to become a writer, a destiny viewers see fulfilled in the episode “The Visitor.”

Rod Serling’s Night Gallery (1969-1973) often features writers, sometimes as Gods (“Midnight Never Ends”) and sometimes as stubborn investigators of the unknown (“Fright Night.”) 

In one of the best episodes of The X-Files (1993-2002), “Milagro” (by Chris Carter), a writer named Phil Padgett (John Hawke), seeks to write a great novel and is inspired by Scully. However, his own dark creation – a psychic surgeon – also is brought to life.

Other writers in cult-TV history include mystery writers Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote) and Richard Castle (Castle), and blogger and novelist Hank Moody (Californication).

The Following (2013 – 2015) concerns two writer, former law enforcement official Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and author/cult-leader Joe Carroll (James Purefoy).

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