A new race of alien on the TV series Earth: Final Conflict, which appears in the show's fifth season. During the show's fourth season finale, the show's previous alien races, the Taelons and the Jaridians, entered special chambers that would combine a Taelon and a Jaridian together into one being, so that the races couild survive. The season finale made it look like it was a very spiritual event, leading you to assume that the two primarily evil races would be angels, Zen Buddhists from Mars, or something similar.

Instead, out came the Atavus, a race of vicious aliens that want to take over the planet, and are a perfect combination of what the Taelons and Jaridians were: Machievellian evil (Taelons) and aggressive, militaristic evil (Jaridians). In regards to humans, the Atavus either eat them as food or use the combining chambers to turn them into hybrids, which are essentially a human being that has been possessed by an Atavus and has some of the Atavus's abilities, such as climbing up walls and ceilings and making light saber claws protrude from their fingers.

Basically, the Atavus are a sci-fi metaphor for vampires, which I only came to understood just last night when the show hinted at it, commenting that the combining chambers "were like big standing coffins". Like vampires, they have three reasons to choose from for killing humans: for food, to turn them into a vampire/hybrid, or just for fun of it. In fact, the recent episodes have actually become a lot like vampire movies and episodes of vampire TV shows. Innocent people, with some connection to the enemies of the Atavus, are assaulted by an Atavus, turned into a hybrid (by being brought to a combining chamber), and then promptly forget about the experience. From there, they begin to feel sick, until they suddenly "feel better", when the hybrid side of them completely takes over their consciousness and they become an evil minion of the Atavus, complete with most of their powers. The direction of the episodes even closely resemble Dracula movies.

The metaphor really brings the point home, though, in the form of Howlyn (pronounced much like, and with a serious nod to the meaning of, the word "howlin'", as in "what a wolf does"), the leader of the Atavus. The guy is Dracula, no doubt about it. He has a strange sexual attraction to Renee, the fifth season's main character, and even has those weird vampire powers unique to Dracula (at least in most vampire shows/movies/stories), like hyponotizing people with his eyes. He's also, like most pure Atavus, almost completely immortal. At the time of this writeup, they haven't figured out how to kill an Atavus in the show yet, but it's probably going to be some convoluted and strange method, much like how vampires can only be killled by sunlight, a stake through the heart, and just a few other convoluted ways.

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