Before there was Star Wars there was Doctor Who. This is the sci-fi story that got the wheels in my head turning before anything else. This series got me talking to my grandmother about ideas that transcended traditional religion.
Fairy tales and fiction were all they were according to my father. He may not remember ever saying that to me but I remember. I remember being just a boy, not even ten years old. The bible and church was real but not those science fiction stories.
My grandmother and I would talk about those things so often and though it would be years before I would realize the significance of those ideas we discussed until I was nearly thirty years old. This idea that religion and its version of facts could be incorrect would transfer over to government shortly.
Tales from the Crypt
This television series was a late night scare fest for me. I didn't like watching it but I just couldn't turn away when I was able to stay up late enough to see it. One episode in particular got to me and I remember its lesson well.
It was about wishes being granted and the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law. It was the first solid lesson I learned about specifics and word play. A woman recently lost her husband and was so distraught about it that when she stumbled upon a granted wish she used it to bring her dead husband back to life.
When he arrived he wouldn't stop screaming. The woman had no idea what was wrong. In the end the man wouldn't stop screaming and wished to be dead again because the woman was tricked.
Her husband was brought back to life as he was after the embalming process. He was wrought with pain and suffered more than ever before.
I remember thinking how cruel that was and wondered why the entity that granted that wish did that. It wouldn't be until later when I realized that people twist words around and seek to profit themselves at the innocent ignorance of others. That is why the wish went sour for the woman; and that is why politics typically go sour for the voters.
Star Gate SG1
I was fascinated with the movie that spawned this series and fell in love with both. This series introduced me to politics and military actions.
Though it was fictional and dealt with fictional entities, the way the various political entities fought for control over new tech, ideas, and so on that might give them an edge in power over their rivals still rings true in reality.
This series got me thinking about the inner workings of government, why people continue to support it, why people don't support it, and introduced me through my own contemplation of the idea that government supporters seem to always contradict themselves. Oddly enough it was this series that got me wondering about how taxation is theft.
With all the banter about expenditures, disgruntled voters, and poll numbers that affected the fate of the SG facility and teams to explore and defend earth, something from this series trigger a thought about these teams missions interfering into the lives of others without their consent; for good or ill.
Of course this series also built upon the ideas that I discussed with my grandmother about humanity's origins, religion, and our collective future.