The Howling Review: David of Prometheus

June 11, 2012 § 2 Comments

“The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts”.

~ T.E. Lawrence as played by Sir Peter O’Toole

Peter O'Toole as Lawrence of Arabia

As I sat on the edge of my seat, my mind slipped effortlessly into the infinite blackness of space stretched out to relative proportions onto the silver screen. The cold and distant reality of 2093 loomed before me; the chill of fear and an instinctual wariness iced my core. The only moment where I found myself at ease was watching the scenes of David 8, alone, awaiting the Prometheus crew to awake from stasis. What endeared me to this imperfectly/perfect human replicant was his admiration and imitation of none other that the Great Peter O’Toole whom I adore as well. Lawrence of Arabia is an all time favorite of mine and to see him being revered 81 years later was comforting.

Lying in bed, remunating about what I saw and relieved the waves of nausea had ended (I’m a tad too sensitive when it comes to guts & gore), my mind drifted to the dualities of both Lawrence & David. Obviously, the infamous match scene from Lawrence was a clever hommage to that of Prometheus, that naughty God who gave us humans fire. Perhaps after many a millenia Prometheus, having his liver eaten daily by a great eagle, gives his former counterparts no satisfaction by not minding that it hurts.

The physicality of both characters is clearly highlighted with David watching the match scene with peroxide at his roots, repeating O’Toole’s lines with perfect pitch. Looks aside, don’t be fooled by either characters cool, flawless exteriors. Make no mistake, each ‘man’ is in fact a raging storm waiting to be unleashed. “Doesn’t every child want to see their parents dead?” Yikes.

Lawrence was assigned to the cartography division in Cairo until they realzied his use in the field thanks to his knowledge of the Bedouin. Once unleased onto the desert, he became a force to be reckoned with, disobeying orders and orchestrating suprise attacks. Both characters embraced their desolate wastelands as an adventure which to me is rather charming.

Imitation is flattery, but it can never hold up against the real deal; David’s plight in a nut shell. Desperately wanting to be respected, admidered and even revered for his programmed superiority, he reverts to jealously and revenge instead. My sympathy wanes for any robot who is not in alignment with Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics (listed below). The engineers at Weyland Corp who created this ‘clanking, clattering collection of cogs’ did too good of a job. David 8’s deceit, vindictiveness and arrogance made him a formidable saboteur on Prometheus. But I thought he was supposed to better than us…

The 3 Laws of Robotics

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
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