Sunday, May 24, 2015

At Flashbak: You Have Been Summoned to Galactic Court (Space Heroes on Trial)

At Flashbak this week, I remembered ten instances in which TV's space heroes stood trial.

"Even in space, the ultimate enemy is…the court system.  Throughout science fiction TV history, the greatest heroes of all time have faced this litigious menace, standing trial and running up against a judicial system bent on destroying them.

To put it another way, the success of Perry Mason (1957 – 1966) has had an undeniable ripple effect on space adventure TV, as odd as that seems. 

Even in the final frontier, there are judges, juries, witnesses, and attorneys.  Even in the distant reaches of space and time, viewers are fated, it seems, to hear such exclamations as “objection, your honor!” or warning phrases like “this is highly irregular….but I’ll allow it.”

Gazing across the space TV canon, one can see how every space hero worth his or her salt has been wrongly accused of a crime, and cast into alien and draconian brands of justice and punishment. Seeing so many episodes featuring space age heroes standing trial, decade-after-decade, franchise after franchise, one sees that these entertainments are pondering the shape and breadth of justice in a new setting; one of technological breakthroughs and new morality.

Below are at least ten occasions in sci-fi TV history in which heroes went before a jury of peers to stand judgment for their “crimes.” 

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