roses and thornsInto the wasteland of Malaysian ‘free’ TV comes FIRST WAVE. Produced by Chris Brancato and Francis Ford Coppola, it shows promise.

The theme of the series is not new. The hero, Cade Foster, discovers that it is his destiny to warn humankind of the invasion of the Gua, an alien race bent on taking over the world. Their ”first wave” had already landed.

Yes, this is but the most recent reworking of the “Invaders” story line. But good sci-fi always carried with it the capacity for significant reflection on the human condition.

I was pleasantly surprised therefore when the hero made the following observation as he walked onto the sunset at the close of the second episode. He noted that the aliens were taking the form of very attractive human beings. He concluded that this was done on purpose. The human race was obsessed with physical beauty.The aliens knew that if they came in the form of attractive human beings, it would be less likely that they would be suspected.

I thought this was a profound observation, coming from Hollywood of all places. It is less surprising when it comes from the pen of C.S. Lewis. In the first of the Narnia Chronicles, “The Magician’s Nephew”, the male protagonist, Digory, is very taken by the beauty of the queen Jadis, only to discover later that she is horribly cruel.

There is this human propensity to confuse beauty with goodness. In the light of day, it sounds totally illogical but we do tend to assume that what is beautiful is necessarily good.

Hence the apostle John warns us in 1John 2:16, to watch out for “the desire of the eyes.” And the model wife in Proverbs 31 rightly concludes that: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (v.30).

It seems prudent then, in a world that is obsessed with physical beauty that we cultivate a healthy discernment, a healthy scepticism even, of things beautiful.

Otherwise we may find that what is a “delight to the eyes” is actually forbidden fruit.

I am looking forward to seeing how this theme is worked out in subsequent episodes of FIRST WAVE.