Strangers & Aliens

Strangers and Aliens: Science Fiction & Fantasy from a Christian Perspective

By Ben Avery


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May 29, 2022

There are a lot of opinions about the latest Marvel movie, DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Most of them are valid and understandable, whether extremely positive or extremely negative. Case in point: Ben really liked the movie, and Evan really did not. That’s NOT the reason Evan is …


Reflections on Easter – SA382

April 15, 2022

This is the weekend we celebrate Easter, and in this episode we release an episode that is meant to encourage us to take the time to reflect on Easter, Good Friday, and the Last Supper. Ben is joined by his family in a series of readings and writings about some …



April 07, 2022

MORBIUS has arrived! Finally! Ben goes solo on a spoiler-free review . . . Sort of a preview of his thoughts on the movie, Evan and Steve told Ben they couldn’t get to this movie, and Ben told them that it was ok. There wasn’t the same kind of urgency …



March 30, 2022

What happens when . . . Ben, Steve, and Evan have a hard time getting together to record? Ben’s been rewatching Lord of the Rings? Ben’s been studying Simon of Cyrene? Ben wants to get some episodes out? Ben has a huge editing job with his and Evan’s THE BATMAN …


Watching MOONFALL with John Harju – SA379

March 02, 2022

The moon is falling . . . and they made a movie. Was it worth seeing? Was it worth making? Ben, Evan, and John Harju went to see this disaster flick. They were all surprised. John was surprised it wasn’t a comedy…Evan was surprised that he loved it so much…Ben …



January 27, 2022

In the early 2000s, Marvel tried an experiment – restart the stories of fan favorite characters in a new universe. A universe that does not have all the baggage of decades and decades of thousands of issues. A universe that is accessible to new readers and attractive to young readers. …


2021 In Review – SA377

January 15, 2022

2021 was an interesting year for pop culture. We take a look at the movies we saw and some of the other pop culture items (TV and books) we took in during the past year. We used Letterboxd as a partial guide for this, taking Evan’s movie diary list for …


DUNE PART ONE review (re-upload) – SA376

December 09, 2021

We moved to a new server, which resulted in the loss of this post . . . we apologize for any inconvenience. DUNE hit screens big and small, and it made a huge impact on us! Ben and Steve discuss the movie, and its story, music, history, and style.


DUNE Part One (2021) Review – SA376

December 09, 2021

Ben and Steve got together to talk about DUNE Part One! Conversation topics include:DUNE 1984The Sci-Fi Channel’s DUNE mini-seriesThe BooksFoundationBen’s emotional reaction to the end of the movieSteve’s initial viewing without sound . . . on purposeJohn CarterStar WarsThe call to lamentation Is this the best sci-fi movie ever made? …


ETERNALS Road Trip – SA375

December 03, 2021

Ben and Evan take a road trip to see the latest MCU movie, ETERNALS!!! It’s a movie that tries hard to go big, but does it succeed? PART ONE: The Trip There – talking about expectations and other random thingsPART TWO: The Parking Lot – spoiler free review of the …


CELEBRATING 10 YEARS: “Why Sci-Fi?” (SA374)

November 22, 2021

To celebrate 10 years of the Strangers and Aliens podcast, we’re reposting our first episode! In this episode, Dr. Jayce, Steve, and Ben talk about the question: “Why Sci-Fi?” This is the episode that started it all. Well, started it all in this corner of the woods, anyway. This is …


Watching the CUBE Franchise with John Harju – SA373

October 21, 2021

The CUBE franchise consists of three movies from the 90s and early 2000s. Each of these movies features strangers . . . moving through a strange setting consisting of rooms that are CUBES . . . and so



September 23, 2021

Steve and Ben explore Venus via the second book in C.S. Lewis’ celebrated “Space Trilogy,” Perelandra. Published in 1943, Perelandra is the story of a man, Ransom, who is transported to Venus and thru


SHANG-CHI Road Trip – SA371

September 10, 2021

A road trip to see Shang-Chi, featuring Ben, Evan, and Evan’s sister-in-law! Road trips include three segments: spoiler free discussion on the trip to the theater about what we’re expecting; a spoiler


FREE GUY Road Trip! – SA370

September 02, 2021

Ben and Evan reunite for a good ol’ fashioned ROAD TRIP EPISODE!!! The movie this time? FREE GUY! An original concept, science fiction movie? In the summer? More importantly . . . is it any good?


OLD: a spoiler-free review, plus thoughts about M. Night’s filmography – SA369

August 26, 2021

Ben wants to talk. Ben wants to talk about M. Night Shyamalan. He wants to talk about M. Night’s style. M. Night’s risk taking. M. Night’s filmography. M. Night’s twist endings. And he wants to talk a


Watching THE ESCAPE ROOM Franchise with John Harju – SA368

July 22, 2021

John Harju is back and that means we’re talking about horror . . . or at least suspense thriller . . . and for this episode that means we’re talking about the “not-quite-Saw-but almost” franchise, or


Jackie Brown’s Four Loves: An exploration of the characters and relationships of Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown through C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves – S&A367

July 18, 2021

A few years back, Ben had the chance to write an essay for the book “Tarantino And Theology” (edited by Jonathan and Jerry Walls). The result was a chance for Ben to dive into his favorite Tarantino m


SHADOW and SUBSTANCE 2: “Probe 7 Over and Out” and “The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross” – SA366

July 11, 2021

We continue our series about THE TWILIGHT ZONE (that started in 2013 . . . and only has one other episode in the series) by covering two season five episodes of the show: “Probe 7 Over and Out” and “T


“Cold Equations” by X-Minus 1 and STOWAWAY by Netflix – SA365

May 28, 2021

This episode is why we created Strangers and Aliens! In this episode we: Explore a classic sci-fi story (“The Cold Equations” by Tom Godwin)! Review a new sci-fi movie (STOWAWAY, on Netflix now – don’


Epic Stories from the Bible that Should Be Movies – SA364

May 21, 2021

Evan, Steve, and Ben take a look at some of their favorite stories that should be big budget motion pictures, and in the process explore some of their favorite stories . . . and there just may be a co



May 16, 2021

Ben and Steve are joined by frequent guest host Nathan Marchand to battle each other about how good Godzilla Vs. Kong was! Where did they watch it? (At the BOX OFFICE, or the HOME Box Office???) Did t


Disney’s 2020 Corporate Announcements – SA353

December 11, 2020

Just before we started recording about another topic, we became aware of some HUGE announcements Disney had made about upcoming Disney Plus series and also some movies and some interesting Hulu series. So we called an audible and switched our plans .


THE THING (from Another World) Franchise – SA352

October 28, 2020

Ben is joined by John Hart for their semi-annual Halloween exploration of some classic horror movies! This time: THE THING. Starting with THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD and then going into the remake THE THING from 1982 (the most famous in the franchise)...


TOP FIVE THEME SONGS (from Science Fiction/Fantasy TV Shows’ Opening Credits with Lyrics that Are in English) OF ALL TIME – SA351

October 13, 2020

A good theme song may not save a TV show from being bad, but it definitely makes it more memorable. For this episode, we nominate our favorite themes songs and bring in some listener nominations, and we tally the votes to come up with the official Stra...



September 30, 2020

Ben and Evan ventured to the theaters to see Tenet, the movie they THOUGHT would be the first movie back in theaters. Instead, Ben had already seen a few movies and Evan went to a movie theater on the east coast . . . so Tenet was not the road …


BILL AND TED FACE THE MUSIC: Ben’s Road Trip Trilogy Part Two – SA349

September 11, 2020

Ben heads out on what could be an excellent adventure . . . or a bonus journey. This road trip has almost as many twists and turns as the movie he’s seeing, from the question of if he will even GET to the movie to the possibility of not seeing …


NEW MUTANTS: Ben’s Road Trip Trilogy Part Two – SA348

September 09, 2020

Ben heads out to the first new release movie he’s seen in theaters since the beginning of the shut down for the pandemic. After seeing The Empire Strikes Back (and The Greatest Showman), he gets to see a new movie that has been waiting for release for ...


THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Ben’s Road Trip Trilogy Part One – SA347

September 03, 2020

Ben heads out to his first movie in theaters since the beginning of the shut down for the pandemic. It’s a different experience, with the masks requirements and the like, but it’s also a familiar experience, being a movie he’s seen many, many times .


Stuff We Consumed During the Pandemic – SA346

August 28, 2020

For some, the pandemic has given the opportunity to read and watch more things than usual. In this episode, we discuss some of the new (to us) media we have read, watched, and listened to.


EARTH ABIDES by Escape! (OTR) – SA345

July 28, 2020

Strangers and Aliens returns to old time radio with this presentation of Earth Abides, a classic novel turned into a classic episode of the radio series Escape. This episode features an Old Time Radio show that adapts a classic novel, Earth Abides.



July 18, 2020

Ben and Steve explore Mars via C.S. Lewis’ science fiction novel, the first book in his celebrated “Space Trilogy”, Out of the Silent Planet. Published in 1938, Out of the Silent Planet is the story of a man, Ransom,


KING KONG (1933) Road Trip – SA343

June 25, 2020

“From the vault,” so to speak, this episode is actually a couple months old and was the last movie Ben saw before theaters closed down. King Kong (1933) was a movie that changed everything and the results are still being felt today.



May 24, 2020

Pilot Season – when studios create the first episode of a new show and shop it around in hopes that a network will pick up the series for a full season . . . For us, it’s a fun exercise in checking out a new series and exposing ourselves to …


Hobbit Tales from the Green Dragon Inn Live Play – SA341

May 16, 2020

Ben, Steve, and Evan play Hobbit Tales from the Green Dragon Inn, a game by Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello and published by Cubicle 7 Games. Join Benbo Baggins, Korg, and Mr. Dark . . . Black(?) . . . Dark(?) . . .


Superman v Kaiju (with Nathan Marchand) – SA340

May 04, 2020

Ben, Evan, and guest host Nathan Marchand take on some appearances of Superman in comics and animation, wherein HE takes on some giant monsters. From the comics of the 90s to the cartoons of the 40s to the animated series of the 90s,


Watching COLOR OUT OF SPACE with John Harju – SA339

April 18, 2020

Ben is joined by horror aficionado and frequent guest host, John Harju, to take about the new HP Lovecraft adaptation, COLOR OUT OF SPACE. Is Nicholas Cage bonkers in the GOOD sense? Is the movie good sci-fi horror, or cheesy b-movie stuff?



April 07, 2020

Recorded a while ago and lost in the shuffle, this episode completes the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths mega-crossover. It’s a game changer in many ways, and not just how the plot affects the CW’s series. There’s more cameos and more surprises and more...



March 26, 2020

With Frozen II being released early to Disney+, Evan, Ben, and Steve decided that this was as good a time as any to check out the franchise . . . especially since Evan has been wanting to do a Frozen episode for a long time and Ben was just dragging …



March 08, 2020

Ben, Evan, and Doug (Ben’s youngest) head out on a roadtrip to see SONIC THE HEDGEHOG the movie . . . Is it as bad as so many videogame movies tend to be? Does it rise above? Is Sonic able to outrun the bad press that came with those original …


2019 and the ENDING Effect – SA335

February 18, 2020

And so the day has come to talk of LAST year. From 1979 to 2019, we’ve taken a look at sci-fi and fantasy cinema over the decades and while we didn’t know the focus or the title of this episode until it developed in our conversation, last year still had …


THE MANDALORIAN series review – SA334

February 07, 2020

The promised follow up to episode 328 – when we talked about just the first episode of The Mandalorian. It’s thumbs up all around, but some are more enthusiastic than others as Ben, Evan, and Steve discuss the merits of this western in space . . .


UNDERWATER Road Trip – SA333

January 15, 2020

Ben and Evan are joined by occasional road tripper Hudson to see this Alien-inspired Cthulhu pastiche, Underewater!


2009 and the SPECTACLE Effect – SA332

January 04, 2020

Venturing to just a decade ago, Ben, Evan and Steve reminisce about Avatar, Star Trek, Transformers, Terminator, 2012 and MORE big movies . . . along with some of the smaller movies that were made possible because of the lower cost for effects like the...



December 20, 2019

The Skywalker saga comes to an end with a movie that has to wrap up a trilogy and also wrap up a trilogy of trilogies, while also living up to fan expectations and tie up loose ends . . . In a Road Trip episode, we record about our expectations …



December 15, 2019

The CW has aired the first three episodes of the world’s biggest television crossover and we’re taking a look! From the CW’s current series to Christopher Reeves/Brandon Routh’s Superman to the 1990’s Flash,


1999 and the CGI Effect – SA329

November 24, 2019

We take a look back to 1999, a year filled with BIG money makers with BIG special FX! From The Matrix to Episode I to Toy Story 2 to Wing Commander to The Mummy, we take a trip down memory lane in a year that wasn’t the first year to …


THE MANDALORIAN Ep 1 Review and Disney+ First Impressions – SA328

November 16, 2019

NOTE: This episode starts with non-spoiler discussion of The Mandalorian. The spoiler-filled discussion is clearly marked . . . by our usual spoiler organ. Disney+ has arrived, bringing with it an open vault of old and new television and movies.


1989 and the FRANCHISE Effect – SA327

November 03, 2019

It’s a look back at 1989, a year filled with big money makers in the theaters – and a LOT of franchise connections: from the beginning of the Batman movie series to the fifth Trek film to the third in the Indiana Jones series to Ghostbusters and Back t...


THE VISITATION, THR3E, and HOUSE: 3 Christian Horror Movies – SA326

October 28, 2019

Ben is joined by guest host John Harju to talk about three horror movies based on books by Christian writers Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker: THE VISITATION – by Frank Peretti THR3E – by Ted Dekker HOUSE – by Frank Peretti AND Ted Dekker They talk about w...


Co-hosted by Ben Avery, Steve MacDonald, & Evan David