Space Vampire vs. American Fundamentalist

Originally published on October 31, 2020 on Medium 

A showdown in the heartland starring religious fundamentalism and Buck Rogers

I know lots of you have been baking sourdough bread during lockdown, but I found a channel in London that shows American television shows from the ’70s and ’80s, so I’ve been rewatching some classics — or classics — instead. Among them, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

My family watched this show almost every week during its run. The weeks we didn’t watch were whenever it looked like the wicked temptress Princess Ardala was making a guest appearance, at which point the TV would be firmly turned off. A heavy click of the dial signaled our disapproval of her space bikini wardrobe and her longing for Buck.

Many TV shows were altogether off limits in my fundamentalist, evangelical Christian household. We definitely didn’t watch anything scary, but I got all the fright I could handle straight from the pulpit anyway. We believed in a literal hell, a physical place where you could be sent to burn for eternity. But re-watching the space vampire episode just in time for Halloween this year reminded me of the most freaked-out I ever was as kid...

You can keep reading over on Medium (not a trick, just, that's where the whole thing was originally published in 2020, including a vintage clip from the Buck Rogers show).