This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.

Rupert Friend‘s performance as Peter Quinn, the CIA agent with a heart, had us on the edge of our seats in the groundbreaking Homeland (2012-2017) and now we’ll be getting more of him on our TV screens.

Friend has just been cast in the forthcoming CBS All Access drama Strange Angel, opposite Jack Reynor (Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams). The series is set in 1930s Los Angeles, and follows the life and escapades of rocket scientist John Whiteside Parsons (Reynor), who, after his death, was revealed to be a disciple of English occultist Aleister Crowley.

It sounds made up, but the series is based on science journalist and author George Pendle‘s 2006 non-fiction book, Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons.

Publishers Weekly gives a good synopsis of Parsons’ double life in their review: “Pendle vividly tells the story of a mysterious and forgotten man who embodied the contradictions of his time. Throughout the 1930s, John Whiteside Parsons (1914–1952) was a pioneer of rocket science, a fixture at Caltech with an uncanny ability to understand and control the dynamics of explosions, though he’d never completed an undergraduate degree. At the same time, Parsons was a key figure in the Los Angeles occult scene, presiding over a world of incantations, black magic and orgiastic excess.”

Now that we have a handle on who Parsons was, what role will Friend be taking on? He’s set to play the mysterious scientist’s neighbor, Ernest Donovan.

In the official description, it sounds like Donovan is the one to introduce Parsons to the occult, becoming “the young scientist’s tour guide into the illicit underbelly of 1930s Los Angeles,” reports Variety.

We should note, the TV series is based on the book and “inspired by” Parson’s life, so some bits may be fictionalized to help propel the story along.

Series creator Mark Heyman (Black Swan) will be working with Ridley Scott (Alien: Covenant) as executive producer. The series premiere is predicted for later this year, but the exact date is yet to be announced.

If you’d like to see more of Friend, you can re-watch 2009’s Young Victoria, where he plays Prince Albert opposite Emily Blunt‘s Queen Victoria. Or, look for him in something more recent like 2017’s The Death of Stalin, in which he play Vasily Stalin, son of Joseph Stalin.

Is Strange Angel something you’ll be able to get into? 

Read More
By Brigid Brown