Monday, April 10, 2017

Cult-TV Theme Watch: Hieroglyphs

A hieroglyph is a stylized image that symbolizes a word or sound; some aspect of language. 

Hieroglyphs are usually associated with Ancient Egypt.

However, hieroglyphs have also appeared frequently in cult-TV history, usually as a representation of some alien tongue or language.

Every episode of Filmation's Saturday morning series, Secrets of Isis (1975-1976) began with a view of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, which describe the heroine's divine-like powers.

In the Space:1999 (1975-1977) episode "Space Brain," an alien intelligence attempts to communicate with Alpha by hijacking the computer's communication systems, and transmitting, essentially, hieroglyphs.

Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979) featured a strong Egyptian design motif, from the look of the viper helmets to the very language that the Colonials spoke. In the two-part episode "Lost Planet of the Gods," Commander Adama (Lorne Greene) searched a planet-side tomb to decipher the hieroglyphs he found there. His hope was that they would help him find the location of Earth, the location of the lost Thirteenth Colony.

The short-lived series Otherworld (1985) featured several stone totem with hieroglyphs carved into them; signposts through the alien provinces.

Recently, hieroglyphs of a Kryptonian design have appeared on Smallville (2001 - 2011), while cave hieroglyphs recorded the arrival of the deadly Originals on American shores, in The Vampire Diaries (2009 - 2017).

1 comment:

  1. John, interesting subject:hieroglyphs.
    I am glad that you mentioned Space:1999 "Space Brain" and Otherworld which had so much potential as a series, as did Fantastic Journey.