Starhunter

Lonewolf89

Fear is the mind killer.
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Did anyone ever watch this show? I keep seeing on TV late at night. At first I thought it was some lame Outer Limits episode but after an internet search I found out it was an actual show! How long was it on?
 

HeyLynny

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I don't know, but I keep bumping into this show late at night too. I keep meaning to set my tape but keep forgetting. It doesn't look that bad. I'll try to remember to tape it and find out.
 

Lonewolf89

Fear is the mind killer.
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I don't think so. There is some information on it in the latest SciFi magazine. It seems as though they're still making episodes, so it's fairly new.
 

JunkMonkey

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To revive an old thread...

It lasted two seasons. I have watched the first two episodes on Amazon (a 'redux' re-edited version with 'improved SFX' ). I'm surprised it made it to the end of the first season. It's AWFUL! I can't work out if it's awful enough to continue with - like Lexx was for a couple of seasons.

I knew the show was in trouble at the two minute mark. Over an on-screen caption, '3 million years ago', a ponderously slow Arrival / 2001: A Space Odyssey alien monolithy mashup arrives through a glowy spacewarp does something sparkly to what we presume is the planet Earth before disolving into nothingness. Fade (two minutes in) to what is definitely Earth and another caption, 'Present day ... 2285 AD'

- erm... so which is it? The present day or the year 2285?

To distract you from this puzzle the next shot is of a rather attractive semi-naked young woman lying on a bed and, while the audience waits to see if the camera pulls out far enough to see her tits (it does), there is some dialogue. After that it's all very 'WTF is going on?' for 40 minutes. As people explode in toilets, the villain has a threesome (evil lesbian trope box ticked), a Scottish bounty hunter (kilt and hipflask and the best SF comedy eyebrows since Freddy Jones's in Dune) has a brain tumour... and then he doesn't, a mysterious organisation has one of those standing around in a circle taking it in turns to have a light shone on them meeting (Babylon 5's Grey Council but EVIL! but in business suits and with the sort futuristic hairstyles last seen in Duran Duran videos), the mysterious appearance of a shuttle (the dialogue clearly stated the ship only has one - then the plot suddenly requires two so... erm... oh hell, they just land in a shuttle ok? No one will notice. Before there is a shoot out in a warehouse full of empty cardboard boxes(dead lesbian trope box ticked) at the end of which the villain of the piece yells something like, "Behold the awesome power of the Divinity Cluster!" while standing barefoot and Christlike on a computer before dissolving in a rather underwhelming display sfx pyrotechnics.

The next episode was slightly more coherent - though the Scottish member of the crew seems to have vanished without mention and there's another case of the inflatable spaceshuttle when our heroes, marooned on Mercury, suddenly just take off in one because the plot required them to be somewhere else.

Our hero is played by Michael Pare - and he wears a cardigan.

Starhunter-Eat-Sin-0052[1].jpg


That chair he's sitting in is where he steers the ship - with those control panel things down the side. It's very hard to take seriously any sequence where the ship is being piloted by someone lounging in a comfy armchair.

I may just have to watch some more.
 
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JunkMonkey

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Episode 3 and the crew of the Tulip (I kid you not - this ship is called 'The Tulip') rescue the leader of a suicide cult which has just plunged its ship into the heart of the sun (their ship was pyramidal in shape - I think there was an attempt a Pink Floyd reference here but I may be straining) The cult leader nearly takes over the ship using glowy hand staring eye things and makes reference to 'The Divinity Cluster' that played such a baffingly prominent part of episode one. (Hints at a story arc?)

Three episodes in and we've had two charismatic religious leaders (charismatic, that is, to the characters - in both cases the actors played them in full-on nutcase mode without an ounce of magnetism) who take over the ship and a pair of convicts in transport - one of whom was so charismatic he talked the most gullible of our three person crew into giving him (in his cell) a programmable 3D holographic projector - with utterly predictable results... who attempt to take over the ship..

I'm beginning to detect a pattern here.

Still no sign of Scotty McEyeBrows.
 

JunkMonkey

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Episode 4

The crew of the Tulip capture a psychopathic criminal and are returning him to space prison when they are commandeered by a Special Ops unit with a prisoner of their own. When some (totally unexplained, out of nowhere) energy burst shockwave something hits them and makes everyone do Start Trek lurching, the prisoners escape. The Special Ops' prisoner is a girl in a body-stocking who uses the now familiar glowing-hand-to-forehead thing this show is so fond of to bump off some puddingy bad actors pretending to be elite fighting troops. She sets the Tulip on course for a quarantined research station orbiting the Uranian moon Miranda. There, after a lot of wandering up and down the same three corridors, it transpires she is the re-incarnated daughter of the head of the research base combined with some unfrozen-from-the-moon's-surface, intelligent, hive-mind virus that feeds on hate and emotion.... and then the moon blows up for no other reason than the show only had a couple of minutes' running-time left and no one could think of a proper ending.

I'm sure the directors of this show knew the how to do the standard walk and talk, 'we've got a shedload of boring dialogue to deliver so we'll have the characters walk down a corridor as they deliver it which is slightly less boring than them standing in a row' shots - but they don't get used in this show. There are various possible reasons for this:
1 They require a set long enough to sustain more than a few seconds of dialogue at a normal walking pace. (Which I'm not sure this show has.)
2 They require equipment which may not be readily available, or costly in time and money - such as steady-cam or dolly tracks
3 They require expensive rehearsal time and then extended shots are more likely to require several takes to get right and are then more difficult to cut away from and into than static close ups of the actors delivering the same dialogue.
4 They requires actors who can deliver more than two lines at a time.

Instead of the walk and talk shots we get lots of dialogue in cheap-looking, medium close-up, one and two shots which are a lot easier to stitch together and reshape in the cutting room. But are soap opera dull. To take the edge off this relentless rigidity just about every shot is dutched. The camera is tilted at every opportunity. No one is ever quite vertical. It's very annoying.

I'm starting to suspect that Eyebrows McScott was a figment of my imagination.
 

JunkMonkey

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Esipode 5: The Man Who Sold the World - the title of which tells us the writers of this show have heard of some SF books even if they have obviously never read any.

The crew of the Tulip go to Pluto and get to leave the confines of the studio for a couple of days as some of the action takes place in a very 1980's Doctor Who-looking quarry. They are there to arrest a war criminal. He does not want to get arrested. He uploads an annoying referring to themselves in the third person floaty head hologram to destroy the Tulip while our heroes Dante Montana and Luc Scott are left to the tender mercies of his girlfriend. (Who has really nice teeth. Seriously impressive set of gnashers.) Our villain was involved in horrible genetic experiments during the 'Callisto Rebellion' and it turns out was doing research on... the Divinity Cluster! Though what he was working on, or what he discovered isn't really explained. I suspect The Divinity Cluster! isn't really a story arc at all but a thing to be dropped into every other episode to make it look like there is a story arc before being pulled out of a hat for some final episode showdown that will end generating more unresolved loose ends than it tidies up. (Not that there are any at the moment.) To add some impetus to the proceedings all this is happening at exactly the same time as a once in 28,693 years 'electro-magnetic anomaly' is due to hit 'in this part of the Solar System' and makes things explode. The floaty head AI is defeated when the Percy the sulky teenage girl left in charge of the Tulip gets fed up with everything being sh*t and having off-set grips squirting fire extinguishers at her, pushes a couple of buttons and automagically makes everything all right - just in time to collect our heroes. The villain ended up dead because he dumped his girlfriend and in a fit of pique she shot him. The girlfriend was then shot in turn by the secondary hero.

Suddenly finding themselves a few minutes short of their allotted adventure time the three person crew take it in turns to stare into middle distance as their inner monologue voice overs unconvincingly waffle on about destiny and the meaningless of existence.

End

The cameraman, fed up with merely dutching his angles, gets inventive and starts off at least two shots with the camera (or at least the image) upside down.

Canada probably has has two quarries within driving distance of Vancouver as the quarry used here was not the same one that appears in every other episode of Stargate.

Scotty McNot has obviously been written out of the show as has any mention of our hero's main motive (as expressed in the original opening credit voice over) of searching for his son "stolen from him ten years ago", mentioned vaguely in episode one not not referred to at all since.
 
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BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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Ive seen a few episodes, Pretty dire stuff.
 

JunkMonkey

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Eipesod 6: Peer Pressure.

Our crew pick up a mother and son from a research facility on one of the moons of Saturn. The mother is wanted for murder. Who has charged her with murder; who she has (possibly) murdered; who arrested her and handed her over to our crew are mysteries that the budget didn't run to answering. So mother and son are locked up in the now familiar cage set. But not before it is made plain that the lad and the crew's teenage girl member really like the look of each other. The son is let out of his cage. The son is put back into his cage . The son is let out again. The son is locked up again. The Mother - during one of the times the son is wandering free around the ship discovering the joys of snogging a 25 year old woman playing a teenager - gets out of her cage by using a rinky-dinky mind-control device to take over the captain's higher brain functions and turn him into her drooling slave. This means Michael Pare gets to do even less than usual, apart from "Pain! Captain Kirk!" acting when she gets pissed off with him. The third member of the crew whose accent and acting chops keep making me think she's wandered in from an episode of Eastenders * gets her higher brain functions tamper-proofed by automagical handwaveium tech and forces the mom scientist to restore the captain's noggin to its previous state. During the procedure the son decides his mom has to be stopped and the best way to do this is to kill himself by going out an airlock without a spacesuit - WHY???? - who knows? The Mom is so upset she uses the mind-control device to turn herself into a drooling cabbage.
Everyone goes home. Teenage girl gets to have a sad moment with a hologram recording of dead boy before the final end credits.

Best bits:
The moment where the young lovers are sitting in the observation deck looking out at the rings of Saturn. The camera dollies forward and the stars behind the rings shift in relation to them. Okay guys, you're not actually looking at Saturn there. You're looking at a cardboard cut-out about three meters in front of the glass. But since this shot was CGI they didn't even have that excuse.

Watching the Mom's voiceover slipping out of sych with her lips. The actress was either not very good at ADR or another actress was bought in to replace her voice entirely because she looks incredibly dubbed for the whole show.

Having said that there were a couple of almost okay moments in this episode. The editor got to flex his muscles and do some groovy jump cutting. Tanya Allen (the teenage Percy) got to prove she is probably the best actor on the show - certainly the most watchable and the one who looks like she's having most fun. And the final shot of Mom rocking in her cell was not exactly ground-breaking but would have worked well as the final 'haunting' shot but they went and buried it fumbling their way to the lost love teenage sadness ending.

* (I think it's the way she gets to say, "What is going on?" at least once every episode - I keep expecting one of the Mitchells to tell her to "Leave it! - You don't wanna know.")
 

Rodders

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But are you enjoyong it, JunkMonkey?

Sounds like it could be a "So Bad it's Good" kinda thing.
 

JunkMonkey

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I
But are you enjoyong it, JunkMonkey?

Sounds like it could be a "So Bad it's Good" kinda thing.

I am enjoying it's awfulness. (I'm sure there's a long German word for that.) Like Baylor says it " had the potential". Watching them squander what they had is fascinating. I have since discovered that there was more than the two original seasons. In 2017 a three episode 'mini-series' was shot.


The producers have, as yet, not found a buyer/airtime/distribution deal. You have to wonder how bad things have to be for that to have happened given the drek that makes it free to air (ish) on Amazon Prime.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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I am enjoying it's awfulness. (I'm sure there's a long German word for that.) Like Baylor says it " had the potential". Watching them squander what they had is fascinating. I have since discovered that there was more than the two original seasons. In 2017 a three episode 'mini-series' was shot.


The producers have, as yet, not found a buyer/airtime/distribution deal. You have to wonder how bad things have to be for that to have happened given the drek that makes it free to air (ish) on Amazon Prime.

Here's what the producers should do but won't likely do . Keep the cast and over all premise but hire a a big name executive producer and let that person in their own writers and directors and editors and, increase the special effects budget.
 

JunkMonkey

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Iepsode 7 : Frozen

While transporting a gay art thief the crew pick up a mayday signal from a shuttle. On the shuttle are a scientist and his son fleeing a secret research base.... (big deja vu from last episode - just how many family-friendly, secret research bases are there in this solar system?). The son has the unconscious ability to make people see dead relatives. While the rescuing is going on the art thief lets himself out of his cell using a getting out of jail free gizmo he smuggled onboard knowing, after last week's episode, that the crew of the Tulip have no idea that searching their prisoners for concealed weapons or devices with teeny flashing lights might save them an awful lot of time relocking up people they thought were safely behind bars.

'Raiders' turn up wanting the son because... that's what Raider do - steal sons. Our captain remembers his primary goal in life and tries to find out from them what happened to the son they stole from him ten years ago in "2265". (Which was 'ten years ago' if you believe the original opening credits but twenty if you believe the Redux's.) As well as the captain remembering his raison d'être, his sidekick Luc discovers she's working for the secret organisation behind the secret research base and that the secret gay art thief secretly works for them too. Seven episodes in and people are starting to get the story arc into gear. The son projects an image of himself into the Raiders' minds and they go away thinking the image is him. Gay art thief is released because.... they're trying to set him up as a recurring character? Father and son are dropped off on Titan where they will be safe because Titan has been "Raider-free for years". There's probably a sign on the door with a counter in it.

"Titan. Proudly Raider Free for [1],[5][8][5] days."

Other news:
The film crew seen to have fixed the dodgy camera head - there were hardly any dutched angles this episode. They probably fixed it on the day they shot all the holding cell shots; they were all very very hand held. "Jesus this thing's heavy! What time did they say they'd have it fixed?"

I think I'm going to start counting the number of times people say "What's going on?" at crucial moments. I suspect it's this show's equivalent of the "Captain's log supplemental..." quick recap after an ad break.

"What's going on!"
"The Raiders are still there - waiting for the dog food commercial to finish!"
"Look out! They're firing again!"
 

JunkMonkey

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Epidose 8: Past Lives

One of those 'Just how small is this Solar System?' episodes The crew of the Tulip are JUST in the right place to intercept a shuttle fleeing from a secret research base orbiting Saturn (I am Getting Very Deja Vu here) The only person on board is - da da daaaah! - second in command, ex Black Ops, hard woman of the crew, Luc's ex husband! (What are the chances eh?) He has been injected with some experimental drug that will kill him in 48 hours. Doing a bit of research of her own Luc discovers the research base is probably owned by the powerful cabal which may or may not be headed by her dad - he may not be the boss but we saw him taking part in the Grey Council meeting in the first episode being very adamant and dominant.

This cabal by the way glories in the name of 'The Orchard' which makes me think that at some point they got the advertising / image consultants in.

"Well we've looked at all the metrics and held extensive focus groups in our secret advertising research base orbiting Saturn and we've identified your core problem. Basically your plans for Universal Domination will continue failing to reach their full potential unless you rebrand. 'Mega-Z-Death Corp.' has to go. For some reason people just don't warm to having their loved ones slaughtered and their civil liberties infringed by any organisation with a Z in its name. We suggest you rename yourself something a little more organic, classical, and friendly like 'Apple', or 'Meta', or 'The Orchard'...."

The captain, not wanting to be left out, has a ex wife too. He keeps her in a chipset and has to wear groovy 3D glasses to accesses her. Apparently she was a research scientist in a blah blah blah and just developed a method of storing people's entire personalities onto hardware when the bad guys arrived and blew everything up apart from the dying-wife digitizer (every home should have one!).

There was a moment of possible tension in the episode when the sudden need for a specific circuit/memory board component to get the ship's reactor back online (so they could make it to some medical facility in time to blah blah blah...) And the audience thinks "Oh no - the captain's's gonna have to sacrifice the interactive wife chip to save his friend's husband! What convoluted and ironic agony!" The audience may have thought that - well I did - but if the writers did they managed to forget to include it in the final script. (That or it was Reduxed out of existence since the first broadcast.)

The head's gone on the camera rig again and it was back to flopping Dutch angles about all over the place.
But only one shot started upside down.

Mentions of Divinty Cluster - Zero.
Big-hearted, hard-drinking Scottish Stereotypes - Zero
Topless Women - Zero (unless you count one of those flashback sex scenes where people make love with the sheets taped to their chest whenever the camera is anywhere but DIRECTLY BEHIND YOU). The boobies used to distract us from the plot in episode one obviously got the money in to make the show - but not enough to pay anyone to do it naked.
 

JunkMonkey

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Epicsod 9: Family Values

Our hero plugs his wife in and has a wee chat with her in her Lawnmowermanny cyberspace. Apparently she's dying again, her digitized form is breaking down 'on a sub-molecular level', thus adding extra imperative to the whole "find our son" thing. Personally I would have thought a "run CHKDSK for errors and make a backup" thing would have been first on my list but then I'm not a successful TV scriptwriter*.

The Tulip goes to Mars to arrest a small time con artist (doesn't anywhere in this universe have any local law enforcement?). The conman is played by a small, moustached, round faced, French-accented actor. His character is gay, has a boyfriend, and for the first few minutes of his screen time I'm convinced my suspicion that they let the gay French-accented, round faced, moustached art thief go in episode seven so that he could become an established character was justified. But I was wrong. This was a completely different character.

Just as our heroes are about to make the pinch out in the Martian desert where the couple have fled so the show's designers don't have to come up with a set, they are attacked by a Raider! Pew! Pew! Pew! Hopelessly out-gunned our heroes and their captives cower behind some rocks until a teenage girl, sitting in a comfy chair on their mother ship, drops a spy drone onto the bad guy's ship and knocks it out of the sky.

In the wreckage they find the raider is still alive and so is a 12 year old boy. "This could be my SON!" The French con man's boyfriend died - somehow, we're not sure how. Other Raiders are on the way. Facing unsurmountable odds our heroes decide to run away taking the boy with them. The French conman says he will stay behind and hold of a hoard of evil bad guys. Our heroes, forgetting he is the only person they have an arrest warrant for and with a past history of letting Frenchmen with moustaches go free immediately say 'yes' and leg it back to their shuttle-craft. The bad guys arrive. French guy says, 'Hi bad guys, look at meeeee!'. His eyes glow and in a really weird piece of SFX seems to embody the whole of the universe for a few seconds (like the Eternity character from the early Steve Ditko Dr Strange comics). All the bad guys die... for some reason. (Because it says so in the script?) They just drop dead. And the audience are totally baffled - because this really did come out of absolutely nowhere. Right up till this moment the character has been your typical three-time loser, snivelling failure - then he pops up from behind a barrel and suddenly he's GOD!

Back on the good ship Tulip a DNA test proves the boy isn't our hero's son but they do now know who he is and will take him home.

Everyone is a bit sad.



No Scots. No tits. No Divinity Doo-Dah! (unless the French drop dead guys thing was a manifestation of it, and if it was it didn't look anything like its previous, "Behold the Awesome Power!" manifestation and no mention was made in the dialogue.

I am becoming increasingly bewildered by this show.

Other matters:

So far this show has had five Gay/bi characters in eight episodes - which is pretty good going considering it took Talia Winters and Susan Ivanova nearly two whole seasons (of Babylon 5) to even get the suggestion of a kiss. Trouble here though is that every one of them has been on the 'wrong' side of the law, three of them ended up dead, the other two French.

Mars we are told is a wasteland "A hundred years of Terraforming and Trillions spent." I dunno but a breathable atmosphere, fluffy clouds in the sky and puddles of standing water after only a hundred years sounds pretty good going to me. (None of these clouds BTW are visible from space. The establishing shots of the Tulip in orbit look like current NASA maps.)

Our Special Ops, tough lady hero doesn't know how to wear a surgical mask. The white water-absorbent side goes next to the face, the coloured water-repellent side outside. I only know this because of the current pandemic - and the fact that my wife works in a medical facility and is fed up with telling people how to wear them... BUT during the course of this episode there is mention of a killer 'Black flu' epidemic which rendered lots of men sterile (that's why the Raiders steal baby boys), so how to wear a surgical mask properly would be part of the basic world building.

Like a lot of episodic TV the running order of this show in open to debate. Family Values in the Redux version (as presented on Amazon Prime) is episode eight. IMDb lists this as originally being episode three. So whatever attempt at a story arc there may have been in the original has been well and truly mangled even before each individual episode was re-edited.




*'success' here defined as 'getting something you wrote filmed'.
 
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