Numerous fictional characters have ‘flawed’ bodies or some disablement. The Devil has a limp, in some stories. The whole world is flawed, especially us humans, according to some ancient myths.
In Arthurian legend, the FISHER KING, also known as the ‘Wounded King’ or ‘Maimed King’, is the last in a long line charged with keeping the Holy Grail. Versions of the original story vary widely, but he is always wounded in the legs or groin and incapable of standing.
Doctor Strangelove – the mad scientist and ex-Nazi (in the film of the same name) is in a wheelchair and has a hand with a mind of its own.
DARTH VADER – “Star Wars” villain who relies on an artificial breathing apparatus that covers his head.
DAVROS – creator of the time travelling Daleks in “Doctor Who”. Davros depends on a life-support chair in place of his lower body. The mutant Daleks are each hidden inside an individual artificial protective shell.
PROFESSOR X – wheelchair bound paraplegic founder of the “X-Men”. He is a telepathic mutant.
JEFF JEFFRIES in the film “Rear Window”. Jeffries has a broken leg so is in a wheelchair. To pass time he watches his neighbours’ activities through their windows with binoculars, like some ‘All Seeing Eye’ of God.
JEROME EUGENE MORROW in the sci-fi movie “Gattaca”. Morrow was genetically designed to be a kind of perfect human (‘demi-god’) and live for a long time (“the guy’s practically gonna live forever”). But Morrow ends up in a wheelchair; paralysed from the waist down.
DOCTOR ALBERT MEINHEIMER is in a wheelchair in the comedy movie “Naked Gun 2 ½”.
“Islands In The Sky”, novel by Arthur C. Clarke. The Commander of a space station has lost both legs, though in zero gravity he has no mobility problems.
Series 3 Episode 12 “War of the Coprophages” – Doctor IVANOV is a creator of robots. He sits in a wheelchair and has an artificially enhanced voice that makes him sound like a robot/android.
“Surrogates” (2009) – Sci-fi film in which people live their lives vicariously through avatar/surrogate androids, whose creator is in a wheelchair.
HOUSE – American TV series drama about a brilliant but rebellious doctor (Gregory House) who needs a walking stick for his damaged leg (a hole in his leg). The Fisher King? House says “God doesn’t limp” in response to his colleague who had said that he didn’t want House to think that he was God “…and I was worried your wings would melt” (Series 3, episode 2, “Cane And Able”). Like the Devil, House has much pride: “We both know that my pride far surpasses my instinct for self-preservation” (episode “Merry Little Christmas”). Someone says to House sarcastically: “Jesus walks, huh? Merry Christmas” (episode “Merry Little Christmas”). House is often described by his colleagues as a child (See my articles on children in the New Age section). His boss calls him “a stubborn adolescent idiot” (series 3, episode 11). House rejects the physical in favour of the mind, according to his friend WILSON who says: “The only way you could come to terms with your disability was to some way make it mean nothing. So you had to redefine everything. You have dismissed anything physical, anything not coldly, calculatingly intellectual.” (series 2, ep 24). House questions reality when hallucinating: “How can I tell what’s real and what’s not? Everything looks the same, sounds the same, tastes the same…You’re obviously not here. I’m obviously not here, which means this is a creation of my mind, which means I’m really just asking my mind.” (series 2, ep 24).
There are websites on this subject, e.g. DISABILITY SUPERPOWER and GENIUS CRIPPLE. Click here to see:
RED DWARF – episode “Cured” – a scientist in a wheelchair purges the evil from evil people, reminiscent of the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ story.
“Igor” (2008) – animated movie about a hunchback assistant to an evil scientist.
More to come…