Space Age Occultist

(Above: ‘Strange Angel.’ Source: YouTube screenshot)

Strange Angel, based on the unusual life of American rocket engineer Jack Parsons, debuts this Thursday, June 14, on subscription streamer CBS All Access.

The 10 -episode series is based on a book about Parsons by George Pendle. In the show, Jack Reynor plays Parsons, who, as a janitor at a chemical factory in 1930s’ Los Angeles, “had fantastical dreams that led him to birth the unknown discipline of American rocketry.”

Parsons’ other pursuits included sex magick rituals and the occult philosophy of Thelema. He was an acolyte of Aleister Crowley whose teachings about self-actualization drove his scientific imagination.

Strange Angel’s cast also includes Bella Heathcote, Rupert Friend, Peter Mark Kendall, Dan Donohoe, Michael Gaston, Greg Wise, Randy Oglesby Zack Pearlman and Keye Chen.

The real Jack Parsons was one of the founders of both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Aerojet Engineering Corporation. Notably, he later became involved with Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard who ran off with $20,000 of Parson’s money and his girlfriend Sara.

Parsons died at the age of 37 in a lab explosion, which subsequently became the subject of speculations about suicide and murder.

After the June 14 premiere, new episodes will drop every Thursday.

CBS All Access offers two subscription plans — $9.99 per month with no ads in on-demand content but commercials presented in live-streaming CBS network broadcasts; and a $5.99 plan with commercials, except for “CBS Classics,” which includes such series as Frasier, Cheers and CSI: Miami.

CBS All Access is available online at, on mobile devices via the CBS App for iOS, Android and Windows 10, and on Roku Players, Apple TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Chromecast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

You can find more details at CBS All Access.

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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