“Dr. Who: The Impossible Planet & The Satan Pit” (2006)

dr-who-the-impossible-planet-the-satan-pit-2006Second series of Doctor Who, Episodes 8 and 9: The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit

Frasier Season 8


In the fourth episode of the eighth season of Frasier (November 14, 2000), Frasier offers to tutor his boss on the finer things in life saying that he will be the Virgil to his boss’ Dante.

Contributed by Charlie Russell-Schlesinger (Bowdoin, ’08)

“Get Smart” TV series (1965-1970)

get-smart-tv-series-1965-1970“The pilot episode of ‘Get Smart’ (1965) features agent Maxwell Smart trying to rescue one ‘Professor Dante’ who has invented a weapon of mass destruction known as the ‘Inthermo.’ At the end of the episode it is revealed that Dante meant to name his invention the ‘Inferno.'”    –Joe Henderson

Contributed by Joe Henderson (Bowdoin, ’10)

ABC Series “Lost”


“In the most recent episode (aired March 14) one particular bit of dialogue rang particularly true to me of Dante’s ideas of Purgatory and Paradise:

Kate: Why would you want to come back?
Mikhail: You would not understand.
Kate: Try me.
Mikhail: I misspoke, what I meant to say is you are not capable of understanding.
Kate: And why am I not capable?
Mikhail: Because you are not on the list.
Kate: What list?
Mikhail: The man who brought me here, who brought all of my people here, he is a magnificent man.
Mikhail: I will try to make this as simple as I can. You are not on the list because you are flawed, because you are angry and weak and frightened.

Much like the virtuous pagans who died before Christ and those whose souls have not been purified by the purgation process cannot comprehend Paradise, it seems as if, at least in the minds of “the Others” those who are not on the list, which seems to be comprised of only those who they deem good, cannot comprehend the goodness of the island. Of course, this would make the island some odd hybrid of Purgatory (since the inhabitants do seem to relive their past mistakes and, in some way, atone for them) and Paradise, since the others view the island as their paradise. Of course the others are no angels (wow that was a bad joke)–they seem to be willing to go as far as murder to protect their paradise. Perhaps this bit of dialogue is evidence that the writers were inspired by aspects of the Divine Comedy.”    –Charlie Russell-Schlesinger

Contributed by Charlie Russell-Schlesinger (Bowdoin, ’08)

“Monk” Season 1 (2002)


Adrian Monk says of speed dating: “that’s like Dante’s Seventh Circle of Hell.”

Contributed by Lisa Peterson (Bowdoin, ’07)

Star Trek’s First Pilot Episode, “The Cage” (1966)


Captain Pike says he feels like he is in Dante’s Inferno.

Contributed by Lisa Peterson (Bowdoin, ’07)

“Infernal Entertainment”


Found at: The New Yorker, October 16, 2006 (retrieved on Oct 13, 2006)

Contributed by Peter Schwindt