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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com
The Matrix: Goliath The Matrix
"Goliath"
Matrix Comics Vol. 1
Story by Neil Gaiman
Art by Bill Sienkiewicz and Gregory Ruth
1999

 

The machines turn to a human in the Matrix to save the world from an extraterrestrial threat.

 

Read the story at Slideshare

 

Didja Know?

 

This illustrated short story originally appeared on the official Matrix website in 1999. It was later printed in The Matrix Comics, Vol. 1 published by Burlyman Entertainment, a comic book publisher founded by the Wachowskis.

 

The writer of this story, Neil Gaiman, is a well-known and bestselling writer of comic books and novels.

 

Characters appearing or mentioned in this story

 

Goliath

Agent

Sandra (mentioned only)

Goliath and Sandra's two kids (unnamed, mentioned only)

Susan

Goliath and Susan's son (unnamed, mentioned only)

 

Didja Notice?

 

The story opens in virtual 1977 inside the Matrix.

 

Goliath remarks he was turned down by the RAF and became a bookkeeper instead. The RAF is the British Royal Air Force.

 

Goliath says he lives in Edgware near the top of the Northern Line. Edgware is a district in the London borough of Barnet. The Northern Line is part of the London Underground.

 

Goliath remarks on the world melting away around him, including the News of the World Topless Calendar. News of the World was a British tabloid newspaper published 1843-2011. I think Goliath is confusing the topless calendar he has on the wall with something from fellow British tabloid newspaper The Sun, known for its topless "Page 3 models" (though a calendar was not published by them as far as I know).

 

After his world is rebooted, Goliath has a sense of déjá vu for about 20 minutes as he goes through his morning. "Déjá vu", is French, meaning "already seen". Déjá vu as a term is the sensation of having experienced a current event previously.

 

Goliath relates getting a job on Tottenham Court Road selling computers. He recalls being excited by the arrival of AT computers with 40 megabyte hard drives. Tottenham Court Road is a market street in Central London known for electronics and appliances. AT stands for "Advanced Technology", a branding term used by manufacturer IBM for modern personal computers.

 

Goliath reads the Evening Standard on the train heading home from work, when the train stops unexpectedly in the middle of the tunnel in Euston. Euston refers to Euston tube station in Central London.

 

When Goliath meets the Agent again, he thinks the suit the Agent is wearing might be Armani.

 

The Agent tells Goliath that aliens have attacked Earth with missiles. He speculates that the aliens followed back the track of one of the seed-probes the machines have been sending out into space for the past couple hundred years.

 

Goliath seems to believe that the podded humans are being used as memory chips for a worldwide computer. But, according to the Matrix movies, the main purpose of the pods is for humans to act as power batteries for the machines. Perhaps they perform both functions, though it makes much more sense the machines to be using humans as "memory" or "processors", as the human brain can process much more random information than the fastest computer and scientists also estimate that the brain is about 100,000 times more energy efficient than a computer. Also, the law of conservation of energy shows that you can never get more energy out of something than is put into it, so just keeping the sleeping humans alive would cost the machines more energy than they get out of them if their goal was energy generation.

 

In his rebooted timeline, when he was 16 in the Matrix, Goliath visited the RAF recruiting office on Chapel Road. Chapel Road is an actual road in London.

 

Goliath lives with his wife Sandra in a house near Dartmoor in his rebooted timeline.

 

When the Agent walks into Goliath's house in 1985 to tell him it's time to pilot a special air and space vehicle called the PL-47, Goliath is in the middle of watching a TV show called The Tube on Channel Four. The Tube was a music program in the UK from 1982-1987. The PL-47 is a fictitious space vehicle.

 

Goliath remarks that the PL-47 flies like something out of Star Wars. Star Wars, of course, is a hugely popular space fantasy movie (and other media) franchise featuring incredible spaceship battles.

 

The Agent tells Goliath that the aliens have taken out most of Australia.

 

Goliath remarks the alien spaceship was the size of Tasmania. Tasmania is an island state off the southern coast of Australia. It has an area of 26,410 square miles.

 

After successfully destroying the alien ship and realizing he's being left to die in space, Goliath thinks, Do not adjust your set. Reality is at fault. The "Do not adjust your set" statement is a paraphrasing of the opening narration of the 1963-1965 science-fiction analogy TV series The Outer Limits.

 

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