by Jason Nelson @dragonwolftech
Strange Angel is the fictionalized story of John Whiteside Parsons, aka Jack Parsons. Rocket Scientist, Occultist, and American Pioneer based on the book “Strange Angel” by George Pendle.
When we first meet Jack, played by Jack Reynor, he is working for a powder company by day and by night building and (attempting to) launch rockets with his friend, Richard Onsted, played by Peter Mark Kendall. The latter is a student at the California Institute of Technology, also known as CalTech.
Jack’s wife, Susan, is played by the fantastic Bella Heathcote. The Parsons meet their new and strange neighbor Ernest Donovan, played by Rupert Friend, who introduces Jack and in turn, Susan to the religion of Thelema, and it’s creed:
“DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW. LOVE IS THE LAW, LOVE UNDER WILL.”
This creed drives Jack to push forward on his quest. The quest to make rocketry a reality and a part of the scientific landscape. Not just the work of fiction.
Ernest, ever-present, acts as a guide to Jack and Susan, testing them on various levels. Susan’s journey is fascinating because it shows her going from a devout Catholic to a member of Thelema. This journey is essential because it indicates that Susan was looking for something. For answers that she could not find in The Church but was able to find in Thelema.
As the season progresses, Jack’s quest begins to bear fruit as doors begin to open. Both in the scientific community as well as the military as the United States prepares for World War II.
Strange Angel also shows how those around the characters view their involvement with Thelema. Ernest’s wife, Maggie, played by Elena Satine, who has been a part of the Agape Lodge, which Ernest belongs. May only be doing so because her husband wants to and not because she does.
There are hints that Susan’s relationship with her father has a dark backstory. This story is addressed in the second season and did spur Susan to get involved with the Lodge.
If you are a fan of American History, Los Angeles History, and the Occult, you may enjoy Strange Angel.
All episode of Strange Angel now streaming on CBS All Access