CBS Made a Show About a Real Rocket Science Pioneer Who Practiced Sex Magick

Where’s my invitation, sex cult party?
Image: CBS All Access (YouTube)

The first trailer has arrived for the Ridley Scott-produced Strange Angel, a quasi-biography about one of the founders of modern jet propulsion and rocket science technology—who totally fucked for magick.


The trailer for CBS All Access’ new summer series, Strange Angel, tells the story of Jack Parsons, the founder of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the leading center for robotic exploration of the solar system. Only thing is he wasn’t just a pioneer in space exploration, he was also into the occult—specifically, sex stuff. After meeting famous occultist Aleister Crowley, Parsons was drawn into the world of sex magick, something he attributed to his astronomical success but eventually led to his downfall.

The series, created by Black Swan writer Mark Heyman, looks visually stunning—even if the trailer includes yet another slowed-down introspective rock song cover, this time in the form of Aerosmith’s “Dream On”—but it also appears to be lacking in history. As of now, there’s no indication that the series will include Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, who was a major figure in Parsons’ life.

Hubbard joined Parsons’ sex cult and quickly became part of his inner circle, which ended up screwing Parsons over big time. After Parsons lost his military clearance, heavily damaging his career, Hubbard embezzled $20,000 from him and made off with his wife. The money was returned, but his wife stayed with Hubbard. Soon after, Hubbard started Scientology, and Parsons accidentally killed himself in an explosion.

It could be that they haven’t announced Hubbard’s casting, or they want to save him for a possible second season. However, it’s just as possible that CBS wants to avoid a lawsuit from the Church of Scientology, as they are known for filing lawsuits when they feel Hubbard or their organization are being maligned.

Strange Angel launches June 14 on CBS All Access. In the meantime, there’s a funny recap of his story on a recent episode of Drunk History if you want a bit more info, but be warned it’s NSFW. Shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.



If you aren’t listening to the American history podcast “The Dollop” (and really you should), check out the episode they did on Jack Parsons:

It’s all researched, true and crazier than a snake’s armpit. Prepare yourself for what’s revealed about ol’ Jack in the end of the episode...there is NO way they will put that detail in a TV show.