Doctor Who is just one of many sci-fi programs I watch. This time around I will talk about a program called Eureka, which played on the Syfy Channel for 5 seasons, focusing on the character of Kevin Blake.
I suppose I should start by explaining the premise of Eureka. It’s about a town founded by the scientists who participated in the Manhattan Project that is now populated almost exclusively by geniuses. The only non-genius person is Sheriff Jack Carter, the main protagonist.
Jack’s romantic interest is Allison Blake, who has an autistic son named Kevin. At first, we learn that Kevin is a math savant. In the pilot episode, he figures out that he and Jack were born on the exact same day of the week. Later, in the same episode, he’s the only person who can complete an equation that will thwart a major crisis that is causing things to disappear.
Kevin is portrayed very well by child actor Meshach Peters in the first two seasons. He gets a major story arc in the second season, when it’s discovered that he has a mental link to an alien artifact. When the arc is over, he is absent from season three. Apparently, he was absent because they were getting a new actor, Trevor Jackson (who also played Young Simba in the Broadway version of Lion King)
With the new actor and new season came a retcon. When the main cast went back in time to the town’s founding, they change history. As part of this new timeline, Kevin is no longer autistic.
I really don’t like the direction of the final two seasons, and Kevin is one of the reasons. He was fine just the way he was. Autism is not, nor should it be, something you can just turn off. This can send a bad message to autistic children who may be watching the show (it actually is very family-friendly), that they would be better off if they were “normal”.