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OtterMommy

Strange Angel

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In 1930s Los Angeles. Jack Parsons works as a janitor at a chemical factory by day, but, by night, he nurses a secret ambition: to build rockets that will take mankind to the moon. The pressures of his double life are further complicated when Jack and his wife Susan are confronted by a mysterious new neighbor, Ernest Donovan, who appears to be leading a double life of his own.

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I guess as is inevitable for this sort of thing, I'm distracted by wondering how much of this is based on the real story, which is pretty crazy, and how much is "dramatization".

Things that seem invented to me:

1) Jack tailing Earnest to the Satanist service and being seen spying at a dramatic moment

2) The last minute change to liquid fuel, that works surprisingly well

I realize that real life does not provide the dramatic beats that TV shows thrive on, so some invention/combining/intensification is needed, but both of these seem to be somewhat cliche and also somewhat unrealistic to me.

I'm on the fence about Susan's devout Catholicism, that seems like it could be invented or exaggerated for future drama, or it could be real, I'm not sure.

I suppose I can look into the real story to answer these questions, but I'm holding off so until at least a few more episodes.

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On 6/18/2018 at 11:19 AM, CoachWristletJen said:

Strange Anachronism.

Modern paint on the road and a modern highway sign in the background.

 

Maybe not that strange...considering the budget?

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Now that's just beyond ridiculous. Testing a rocket engine, on campus, right next to a bunch of buildings.

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On 7/12/2018 at 10:17 AM, 100Proof said:

Now that's just beyond ridiculous. Testing a rocket engine, on campus, right next to a bunch of buildings.

Yes, according to this, there were complaints/safety concerns raised that got them kicked off campus, but apparently much earlier than a full scale test:

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Von Kármán later recalled that some of his colleagues on the Caltech faculty “grumbled about the danger of rocket work in the laboratory.” Other students not associated with the project started calling Malina’s group the “Suicide Squad.” Hearing the complaints, von Kármán counseled the group to conduct their experiments as far away from campus as possible. After considerable scouting, they chose an ideal spot in the Arroyo Seco (“Dry Stream”) canyon on the western outskirts of Pasadena, near the present location of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 
Read more at https://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/how-suicide-squad-became-one-worlds-first-rocket-companies-180962548/#tDsGOhck2cc7JyuS.99

 

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33 minutes ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

Yes, according to this, there were complaints/safety concerns raised that got them kicked off campus, but apparently much earlier than a full scale test:

Initially I wrote what I did as a gripe about lazy writing without even considering whether or not it was historically accurate. However if I read you right and going over that article, I take it they never did do such a test on campus. I suppose then the scene was to dramatize, but it was a dumb way to express it.

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1 minute ago, 100Proof said:

Initially I wrote what I did as a gripe about lazy writing without even considering whether or not it was historically accurate. However if I read you right and going over that article, I take it they never did do such a test on campus. I suppose then the scene was to dramatize, but it was a dumb way to express it.

Yes, that's the way I read it too, they were "encouraged" to get the hell off campus much earlier than depicted in the show. The thing is, they did show Jack's earlier lab tests of fuels, which were already provoking the other researchers and students, and seem to fit the facts pretty well, so the big trial run that blew up on campus was a silly embellishment.

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I'm currently binge watching this and I wonder about a seeming anachronism. In the episode where Ernest goes to the gay bar, the cop asks someone if he's a friend of Dorothy. But in the following episode, Richard and Marisol are watching The Wizard of Oz in the theater, so the movie can't have been around very long. Mistake, or did the expression actually predate the movie and come from the Oz books?

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The timing of the later episodes, when the military takes interest in the rocket and propulsion engines, is during the early days of World War Two. 

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In gay slang, a "friend of Dorothy" is a term for a gay man. The phrase dates back to at least World War II, when homosexual acts were illegal in the United States. Stating that, or asking if, someone was a "friend of Dorothy" was a euphemism used for discussing sexual orientation without others knowing its meaning. A similar term "friend of Mrs. King" was used in England, mostly in the first half of the 20th century.

Source: https://educalingo.com/en/dic-en/friend-of-dorothy

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