Aang and Katara go penguin sledding afterward; racing through the varied terrain, they eventually enter a tunnel in the ice. Emerging on the other side, they find themselves on a wide, icy plain dominated by an old abandoned shipwreck, which is elevated by a rough outcropping of ice. Aang asks what it is and Katara tells him it is a Fire Navy ship, the source of a dark episode in the tribe's history. Aang makes as though he would investigate the ship, but Katara, afraid, expresses her reluctance to do so. When Aang tells her that being a bender involves letting go of fear, she joins him and they walk toward the ship, making their way inside. As they explore the ship, Katara explains that the ship is as old as her grandmother and that is was a part of the Fire Nation's first assaults on the tribe. As they investigate a room full of spears, Aang stops her, saying that he has friends all over the world, the Fire Nation included, and that he never saw any war at all. Katara asks him how long he was in the iceberg and Aang, unsure of his own words, guesses that it could have been a few days. Astounded, Katara tells him that it must be around a hundred years. When Aang objects to the suggestion, Katara clarifies that, since he has no knowledge at all of the war with the Fire Nation that has been raging for nearly a hundred years, it only makes sense that he must have been trapped in the iceberg for that time. Horrified, Aang collapses to the metal floor and Katara tries to comfort him, telling him there might be a bright side to his situation. Aang, perking up upon hearing this, says in a somewhat happier tone that he got to meet Katara. He takes her hand and they walk back to the hallway. As Aang investigates another room, he accidentally triggers a tripwire. The booby trap imprisons them in the room by obstructing the doorway with metal bars and fires a single flare high into the sky above the ship. Noticing a hole in the ceiling, Aang grabs Katara and, telling her to hold on tight, launches them with airbending through the opening.
The combination of terrestrial and extraterrestrial aliens perhaps takes on its most "awesome" form in Tom Graeff's 1959 "thriller," "Teenagers from Outer Space", in which the "generation gap" heralding the 1960's was emblematized in low-budget terror. In this classic, a group of alien teenagers (who appear to be at least in their late 20's) land their saucer in California. "Thrill-crazed space kids blasting the flesh off humans!" reads the movie poster, referring to the ability of the aliens' death rays to turn our species instantly to skeletons. 1 There also seems to be Red Scare paranoia running through the film, as one of the spacemen, Derek (David Love) rebels against the collectivist onslaught of his pals and falls in love with the very terrestrial beauty of Betty Morgan (Dawn Anderson). Is this a rather tame prototype for the invasion of the Borg, and the expectable "human" revulsion for their hive mind, in "Star Trek: The Next Generation"? If so, Middle America is here treated to yet another dimension to the aforementioned deconstruction of humanism: post individualism. The horror of this invasion is perhaps best represented by a scene when the invaders skeletonize a suburban housewife (Sonia Torgeson) as she swims in the sanctum of her private suburban pool. She is rather literally "x-rayed" so that perhaps her most private domain, her pearly bones, are exposed in an attack recalling the intrusive panopticon of medicine. As General Jack Ripper in Dr. Strangelove might say, this is worse than Flouridation! The evil Thor (Brian Grant) leads the inevitable counterattack on Derek's attempt to practice family values. The hominid invaders have brought along a crustacean food supply (offering only temporary relief to Californians who, if they are not immediately on the alien menu, are soon to be repast for their livestock): ominous crawfish called Gorgons who can grow to 1,000 times their current size - picture creatures filling a goldfish bowl who are to become hungry crawdaddys the size of houses. Luckily, Derek manages to blow up his comrades, their superlunerary lobster and, unfortunately for the young couple, himself before this gets out of hand. So, we only get to see the shadow of one full-grown monster before Derek electrocutes it, the budget being what it was, but the sentiment is clear: the upswing of techno-culture in the late 50's, including no doubt the rise of Sputnik, was enough to inspire the vision of American teens, "the next generation," as alien invaders of the traditional culture. 2b1af7f3a8