CULT FACTION

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Cult TV Essentials: Welcome to Paradox

Debuting in 1998 and running for thirteen episodes, Welcome to Paradox was an anthology show where all the stories took place in the fictional future city of Betaville although the stories were actually adapted from older works by famous science fiction writers. Betaville appears to be a Utopian city with no signs of illness, crime, or violence, yet it does have a major problem with technology with simulated reality becoming more popular than the real thing. Each story dealt with certain issues dealing with that and through the series Steven Bauer, Roma Maffia, Ice-T, A Martinez, Nicholle Tom, Rodney Rowland, Justine Priestley, Mayim Bialik, Lochlyn Munro, Channon Roe, Henry Rollins, Alice Krige, Justin Lazard, William McNamara, and Dana Ashbrook all featured.

In the first episode, Our Lady of the Machine, a fully 3D hologram of the Holy Madonna is being used by someone to extort money from the citizens of Betaville. Luckily Detective Angel Cardenas (Bauer) is on the case. His intuition comes in handy at what looks like an easy case, but in reality he will soon discover that the hologram is not a hologram at all and the Holy Madonna may be real. This was followed by the second episode Research Alpha where at a secure facility for genetic research the scientists are getting bored with the simple and unexciting new genetic therapies they have come up with. That is when one of the scientists decides to test his human evolution acceleration therapy on himself…

In the third episode, The Winner, we catch a look at the maximum security prison of the future where the prison needs no bars. Pain inducing implants can control the prisoner’s will thus locking the prisons inside their minds any time they try to leave the electronic perimeter. But like all prisons there is always one inmate that has a plan to get out!

These technology themes continue up to the final episode, Into the Shop, where The future of law enforcement – “Lawagons” – have arrived in Betaville. These black artificially intelligent vehicles patrol the streets with their human partners dispensing justice throughout the city. Federal Police Marshal Stu Clemens’ (Ashbrook) Lawagon however has developed a glitch in its systems and now at the behest of his human partner has become judge, jury and executioner…

 

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Founded Cult Faction in 2014; previously crawled out of the Black Lodge in 1976, only to find himself in the Village.

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