6.9/10
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41 user 4 critic

Strange Angel 

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1:51 | Trailer
A rocket scientist in 1940s Los Angeles is secretly the disciple of occultist Aleister Crowley.

Creator:

Mark Heyman
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Popularity
1,652 ( 196)

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3   2   1  
2020   2019   2018  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Jack Reynor ...  Jack Parsons 17 episodes, 2018-2019
Bella Heathcote ...  Susan Parsons 17 episodes, 2018-2019
Peter Mark Kendall ...  Richard Onsted 17 episodes, 2018-2019
Greg Wise ...  Alfred Miller 17 episodes, 2018-2019
Rupert Friend ...  Ernest Donovan 15 episodes, 2018-2019
Michael Gaston ...  Virgil Byrne 15 episodes, 2018-2019
Keye Chen ...  Gui Chang 14 episodes, 2018-2019
Amara Zaragoza ...  Joan 13 episodes, 2018-2019
Karl Makinen ...  General Braxton 13 episodes, 2018-2019
Rade Serbedzija ...  Professor Filip Mesulam 12 episodes, 2018-2019
Laine Neil ...  Patty Byrne 12 episodes, 2018-2019
Veronica Osorio ...  Marisol 11 episodes, 2018-2019
Dan Donohue ...  Professor John Tillman 8 episodes, 2018-2019
Kerry O'Malley ...  Mrs. Byrne 8 episodes, 2018-2019
Rob Zabrecky ...  The Minder / ... 8 episodes, 2018-2019
Zack Pearlman ...  Samson Hunt 7 episodes, 2018
Hope Davis ...  Ruth Parsons 7 episodes, 2018-2019
Randy Oglesby ...  Father Shelby 7 episodes, 2018-2019
Joslyn DeFreece ...  Brigitte Kramer / ... 7 episodes, 2019
Marquise C. Brown ...  Betty 7 episodes, 2019
Brandon Scott 7 episodes, 2019
Matthew Barnes ...  Agent Wallace 7 episodes, 2019
Travina Springer ...  Alice 7 episodes, 2018-2019
Kassie Thornton ...  Sam / ... 7 episodes, 2019
Brenna Otts ...  Angela 7 episodes, 2019
Alex Diehl ...  Joseph / ... 7 episodes, 2019
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Storyline

Based on the life of Jack Parsons, a brilliant real-life rocket engineer hired by the US government in 1940s to help with the rocket program, which he saw as the starting point for future space exploration. In 1938, curious by nature, Parsons meets and quickly befriends his new next door neighbor Ernest Donovan, a follower of the infamous English occultist Aleister Crowley, who proceeds to seduce him into his way of thinking which includes the motto "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" as the only principle in life as well as other tenets and practices of Crowley and his Thelema religious movement that include secret orgies which produce 'sexual magic' and occult rituals meant to establish contact with 'the other side.' As Parsons slowly becomes part of this strange secret world, his newfound beliefs and lifestyle jeopardize both his marriage and his job.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-MA

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

CBS [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Strange Angel See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Scott Free Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Episode titles for Season 1 are all from sections of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Season 2 titles are all Tarot cards. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent sociological study of genius, 1930s California, with a dash of western mysticism
25 June 2018 | by jaonealSee all my reviews

The is an excellent show that I desperately hope finds its audience. It is an excellent portrayal of late1930s/early 1940s California--as well as the seeds of the counter-culture movement and the ground-work for the evolutionary technological leaps made in California's aerospace industry (and ,later, silicon valley). It is told through an examination of Jack Parsons, a 'real-life' founder of the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) at Cal tech that would go on to become the center of the intellectual world for all things related space exploration.

Much like Kerouac's New York of the 1950s, California in the 30s was chafing against the "High Church" Protestant paradigm of what it meant to be 'American'. It was a hotbed of spiritualist movements, with reading groups and acolytes of Blavatsky, Gurdjieff, and a variety Rosicrucian/Kabalist/Hermeticist, teachings, popping up on every corner.

Into this mix, add the influx of serious intellect from Europe as it sought to escape Hitler's rise, and you have an extremely fertile ground for open-minded questioning of 'established truth' and important intellectual break-throughs. You also have the ingredients of what may become a ground-breaking tv show.

One thing that truly sets this series apart is that whenever this period of exploration into the Western mystical tradition is treated at all (in TV or Movies), it usually turns into a cheap excuse for regurgitating tired "Manson Family" tropes. Eastern Spiritual traditions = Good; Western Spiritual Traditions = satanic/bad. This show offers hope for avoiding this dichotomy as it explores the spiritual yearnings of occult seekers as essential to their creativity in the non-spiritual (real-world) realm.

I do worry a bit it will eventually play up the sensationalist, 'manson family/satanic panic', trope; If for nothing else, simply to attract more eyeballs. But at least the first handful of episodes are truly an excellent exploration of a unique cauldron of sociological, historical, and spiritual ingredients that work in California at the time.


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