13: The Most Wanted Man

A bunch of heavies and a Suit clear the regular patrons out of a bar - a bar that looks suspiciously like the same as the bar in last week's shoot-out even though it clearly isn't. This one is on a Mars orbital station and the other one was.... erm... somewhere else. (Not the fact that it looks like last week's set is a problem. Maybe cheap bars come as standard, off-the-shelf fitted units in this universe. There's probably an Ikea catalogue of them.) The person the bad guys are to meet arrives - and you just KNOW they are the bad guys from the off. He arrives in blurry motion effect which is supposed to make him look like he moving super-fast. (It's what the characters in the Myst games would look like in Zip Mode if you could see them.)
"I want to talk to Darius. You are not Darius!" he says.
"We need to know you have the Maguffin!" says the Suit.
"I am the Maguffin!" (Maguffins are obviously NOT standard and off the shelf - and I spelled 'Maguffin' differently last episode so that proves it!)
The suit has heard all he needs to know and signals his heavies. The Maguffin makes the show's editors do a jump cut and they are all suddenly lying on the floor, unconscious. He leaves. "Hi Ho! Zip Mode, away!"

Meanwhile, in orbit around Mars, the Tulip is beset by problems. Most of them being that their boss on Earth has jumped the gun and claimed the bounty reward for Zip Mode guy (the Solar System's most wanted man) and told everyone that the crew of the Tulip have him held captive. Various factions want him / money / to blow s**t up for the fun of it - take your pick. Michael Paré get to do a lot of acting to a mid-air greenscreen where lots of separately recorded dialogue will be added later. The Tulip is surrounded in the way spaceships in the flat two-dimensional way that Star Trek ships meet. Hemmed in by three ships at 120 degrees from each other on the same plane the Tulip is going nowhere. 'Up' and 'Down' are obviously not in the Ikea catalogue. Taking advantage of a bit of jostling for position between these guys Percy jumps starts the main engines and they escape following the Ion trail of another ship that blasted off from Mars during the stand off and which, for some reason the scriptwriters didn't bother telling us, they know is piloted by The Most Wanted Zip Mode Man.

Off they zoom to the asteroid belt pursued, in turn, by all the 'We want our money' / 'Most Wanted Man' / 'Blow s**t up' guys. Dante blows up the asteroid the Maguffin is hiding behind and they take his ship on board. MaGuffin is not as knocked out by the concussion as they thought he would be and does the hiding-in-the-roof-just-out-of-camera-shot thing and gets past Luc and Dante when they go onboard - which is pretty sloppy of them because Luc and Dante used the hiding-in-the-roof-just-out-of-camera-shot thing a few episodes to sneak in somewhere. Anyway, once onboard the Tulip, Ex Special Ops Most Wanted Maguffin Guy uses his Zip Flash Edit powers to (all together now!) take over the ship.

The bad guys from scene one are in one of the following ships. Luc has been talking to them because they are working for The Orchard. Darius who MaGuffin guy wanted to talk to in scene one is apparently Luc's dad. Luc takes him to the Orchard ship not because Darius is on it but because he takes her word that going is the only way he will get to see Darius. (WHY he needs to see Darius so much is more than a little vague.) On the way Maguffin info-dumps a whole screed of backstory about being involved in a secret project (Everyone take a drink!) an archaeological dig on Earth which has discovered proof of alien intervention millions of years ago. One of the things they found (which we don't get to see - even in flashback) is a dingus which, one night, activated his divinity cluster and gave him the Zip Flash abilities.

Luc returns to the Tulip alone. Dante is Pissed off with Luc. On the Orchard ship Maguffin decides he wants to explode before the end credits. So he does. (WHY? - who knows?) Even though Luc has wangled double the bounty for the exploding Maguffin (I hope she got cash up front). Dante is REALLY pissed off with her - final line of the show: " I want you off my ship" The nearest thing to a cliffhanger we've had in 13 episodes.

Other stuff. No Norks. One Scottish guy but not the one from episode one. No 'gay' jokes which was nice. The actress playing teen-genius Percy is steadily ramping up the "look at me I'm quirky" ticks.
Epsod 14 - Half Dense Players

Darius is back! In an all-white space station interior that is probably still wet from being repainted from being an all-grey space station interior in a previous episode, he is greeted by two scientist types who are impressed that he came so fast. "Only five weeks from the Moon to Jupiter space." He want to see 'The Body - NOW!' Cut To: to the Red Spot on Jupiter. Cut To: a woman doing mad action artist painting like they only do in the movies - mad swirly gestures. I've met a lot of painters in my time. Some of them genuinely certifiable. Not one of them has has painted like that. Cut To: Darius again - he's coming back from having seen 'The Body' and is babbling "This incident suggests a catastrophic intersection of multidimensional space and time - the subject matter forced the intersection by accident the multi mumble hyperdimentionumble hyper-field wimmble woop." Or something. The actor is either improvising or lost his lines. Apparently there was other DNA involved belonging to someone who is apparently very significant in this universe. NONE of which we pay the slightest bit of attention to because we're all trying to work out why Darius is wearing sunglasses in a spaceship.


Is a good question and it was seriously testing my ability to rationalise Hollywood logic till I remembered the weirdly dis-concerting mad staring eyes thing the actor had going on in the first episode.


I had real trouble listening to what he was saying back then because I was so fascinated by his weird, doing serious acting by staring shtick. I suspect I wasn't the only one, so they made him wear shades even when it doesn't make any sense. Confirmation for my theory, I think, comes when he doesn't take them off at any point.

So the Tulip get the job of transporting Andrea Arquette, the system famous artist doing the ACTION PAINTING! in the cutaways. Andrea is an 'all round Renaissance woman' played by a reasonably attractive French actress called Ambre Boukebza with an accent so thick you could glue things to walls with it. For once the prisoner isn't locked up in the incredibly escapable holding cell set but locked securely (hah!) in the guest quarters.

Last week's cliffhanger is resolved when Tulip's owner just tells Danté he can't fire Luc.

Danté has the hots for artist lady. Luc get message from Daddy Darius telling her to get artist lady into a shuttle and meet an Orchard ship. (Why this in-flight transfer is needed is never explained. Since Darius is at an Orchard facility waiting for her arrival what's the point of having her kidnapped from the people he employed to deliver her to him?) Luc refuses putting her loyalty to the crew above her loyalty to him - meanwhile an invisible something is following the Tulip. We recognise it as the alien ship from the opening credits but Percy has to fire "probes" at it and "run diagnostics". Percy has just worked out that the something is made of unknown alloys and is three million years old when the special effects we have come to recognise as being associated with 'The Divinity Cluster' come out of it and wrap themselves around the artist who walks out of her securely locked guest quarters. (Every one takes an 'escaped prisoner' drink!) She wanders around the Tulip. Danté follows her and some 'weird stuff' happens. She faints. She wakes up. She starts talking in the First person plural as she is now one with the alien special effect. Blah Blah prophetic utterances about "All will become known to you!" and "You will see in all dimensions!", "You will be.... as GODS!" She vanishes!

Realising the crew of the Tulip "Know too much" (lucky them) and are in danger from The Orchard, Luc records a quick tell-all report and uploads it to a deadman's switch to be broadcast, system-wide, "on all frequencies" if the Tulip is fired upon - which must have been hard to do on a Pam III xe glued to an early Nokia but that's the wonders of technology for you.


I miss the 90s​

Darius backs down.

Not sure what to do about Luc, Danté goes to her room. She's sat at a table. He sits opposite her and looking directly into the camera says: "And now I wanna know what's going on..." The camera pans 180 degrees and finds Luc who nods, and the camera pans right 180 back round to Danté "And I wanna know the truth..." and the camera pans right onto Luc. Pause , And then Back round onto Danté Pause and back round onto Luc and it doesn't pause and it keeps on going round and round ... and I think the director thought he was being innovate and creative but it just makes it look like they are sitting on a roundabout. On the upside. It's just about the only shot in the show that isn't dutched. I think they wanted to dutch it but realised audience would have suffered severe motion sickness if they had.

Fade to black.

Son looking for? Yes.
Norks? No.
Scots? None.
Overall interest level in series? Waning.
These summaries are great JunkMonkey and it sounds truly cliché.

I do always wonder on shows like this whether any genre favourites were born out of shows like this. Perhaps a writer or producer that went on to something bigger and far better.
Ipesode 15: Dark and Stormy Night

This is going to be short.

After 11 minutes of montage made up bits from most of the previous episodes, Dante and Luc meet Darius who comes onboard the Tulip alone. They all three stand in the middle of a circular dolly track and Darius tells them there are dark forces at work - please trust him. If the badder guys get their hands on the secret of the Divinity Cluster they will use it for EVIL. But he will use it for GOOD. He will provide Danté with all that he knows about the Raiders so he can find his son because... the Secret Research Danté's wife was doing was sponsored by the Orchard and Divinity Cluster related (the implication is made that she may have experimented on him). Danté and Luc agree. Darius leaves. Darius mutters "they will lead us straight to the boy" - and his ship explodes. Evil, Orchardy, bastards have blown him up. Luc looks a bit sad but she has a Divinity Cluster activating injector dingus previously only seen in the first episode. So now Danté and Luc are friends again and Danté is the father of the Kwisatz Haderach.

Percy wasn't invited to this episode.

The director realised that the sunglasses look for Darius was really dumb so they gave him regular glasses to wear which is what they should have done from the off.
The new on-screen dialogue in this episode took up about five minutes of screen time and, with only three actors, standing still in one set, was probably shot in a couple of hours. The rest of the 40+ minute running time was made up of scenes from previous episodes. Yawn.

Other stuff:
Tits? Yes but flashbacks from episode one.
Scotsmen. Yes One shot from ditto but he didn't get any dialogue so that probably cut his repeat fees to next to nothing.
No gay bashing.
16 : Supermax

Someone finally succeeds in taking control of the Tulip!

They buy it.

Stopping off to buy spares at a spiffingly huge space station (which may well get blown up in a later episode if the title sequence is to be trusted) the crew return to the ship to find its new owners in possession and busy converting it into a prison ship.

The smooth talking, wide-boy owner Max and his slinky wife hire the crew back on as warders. Slinky wife tries to get Danté into bed. Percy runs around sabotaging things. Luc gets a couple of funny lines and reactions shots and calls the Orchard to pull strings. Caught in a compromising position with Danté, the wife yells rape. Luc and Danté get banged up in the holding cells again till Percy makes everyone take a drink by busting them out. There is a bit of running around and gunplay before the delays Percy has managed to cause with all her sabotage has made the whole buying the Tulip project so unprofitable that the bank (with a nudge from the Orchard) calls in the loan.

Who actually owns the ship at the end of the show is left unexplained.

This was almost a fun episode very much played for comedy. It wasn't exactly a Feydeau farce but the actors were obviously having fun hamming it up.

One bit of weirdness. Towards the end of the show our heroes step out of a lift, the see Max's heavies, and Danté starts firing, dropping two of them Bang! Bang. Just like that. The third surrenders. As Danté fires the words 'STUN ACTIVATED' float for a second in front of his muzzle like some bit of SIM Game info. In the original those words aren't there and there is at least one muzzle flash. The Redux addition of the STUN thing (and the removal of the flash) was done, I suspect, to make it look less like Danté had just shot the buggers dead in cold blood- and also to explain why they were then alive enough to be locked up in the ubiquitous holding cells without a scratch on them at the end of the show.

Tits? Yes. Man tits. Michael Paré gets his shirt off for the 'rape' sequence.
Son Hunting - on hold.
17: A Twist in Time

You don't need to read this. The title tells you everything you need to know. Well it does if you have seen any of the countless iterations of Groundhog Day / Run Lola Run / Back and Back and Back to the Future - “There is the theory of the moebius. A twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop, from which there is no escape. When we reach that point, whatever happened will happen again.” episodes of any SF show. The Caught in a Time Loop episode is, like the equally obligatory Body Swap Episode, a rite of passage that every SF show has to go through.

Never have I seen it done so badly and boringly as this.

Delivering this week's loonytune psycho killer to somewhere (last week's "who actually owns the ship now?" having been resolved off-screen before the episode starts) the Tulip diverts to offer help at a "secret lab" (Chug! chug! chug!) doing "graviton research funded by the Mars federation". (How the crew of the Tulip are aware of all these secret bases is a mystery. Maybe they subscribe to Secret Research Weekly, New Secret Scientist, Unlicensed Experimental Station Monthly, Jane's Hidden Base Review, or whatever.)

Scanners fail to find any signs of life at the station and, just as they are about to decelerating to enter orbit, something blows up on the ship and all the engines go offline. They have 15 minutes before they hit the surface.... oops! Percy rushes off to fix the engines. Luc rushes off to get the prisoner into the shuttle in case they have to bail, and Danté manspreads in his comfy chair getting frustrated that no one is listening to him.

Needless to say things from go bad to worse. A strange glowing balls of something unexplained drfift past the ship coming from somewhere unexplained (I think we are supposed to assume it's coming from the secret research base but it could be from anywhere) one of them touches the ship and there is another explosion. Percy is trapped in a bit of the ship with a hole in it and the only way she can get out before she runs out of air is through a section of the ship with the kind of 'kills you in seconds' radiation that only happens in SF shows. (And she's got a big hole in her leg.) Luc and Danté rush to her rescue but are too late.... she dies?(it's a bit vague but I think that's what happens). Danté rushes off to get a radiation suit just as another plot energy bubble hits the ship and he's thrown back in time to just before the second explosion.
Realising with remarkable swiftness that he has been thrown back in time he sets out to get it right this time.... And fails.

He's thrown back in time to just before the second explosion and sets out to get it right this time.... and fails.

He's thrown back in time to just before the second explosion and sets out to get it right this time.... and succeeds!

But gets Luc killed.

He's thrown back in time to just before the second explosion and sets out to get it right this time.... and does.

And everyone is happy. Happy ending coda. Then another bubble or something intersects with the ship and Luc and Percy suddenly aren't there having the happy ending coda any more and Michael Paré does sad face.


The end...

And it's all so deadly boring! Every time we loop back we get to see the same bits of action from exactly the same angles (but different takes) sometimes lengthened sometimes cut. They used the outakes. But nothing is added plot wise at any point. Nothing is revealed that we didn't know about in the first iteration. We just get to watch our captain getting everything wrong for 40 minutes. Over and over again. Dull. Dull. Dull.

The Redux producers really like the SIM gun status thing because they used it again - REALLY BIG - in a close up.

No boobs. No Scots. No son hunting.
Gay bashing? - a snide 'joke' about someone having had so many sex changes he was "discredited as a man perhaps but his research still stands". Ho ****ing ho.
19 : Eat Sin

Not content with showing us the same sequences of Percy getting trapped and the others trying to rescue her over and over again last episode we get to see it all over again in a "Previously on Starhunter..." teaser which ends up with Michael Paré doing sad face again. The first "Previously on" of the series so far.

Realising he is alone (which takes him considerably longer to figure out than realising he had been thrown backwards through time in the previous episode) Danté checks on the prisoner. He's still in his cell so whatever has happened is probably chromosome linked. As Danté leaves the cells, a glowing ball of pure plotdeviceium floats through a wall and is greeted by the loonytune psycho-killer like a long-lost friend. Danté goes back to the bridge andtalks to the ship's AI (which glories in the name of Caravaggio and is played with a nice line in sneery archness by Murray Melvin a jobbing actor, who despite having regular screen credits spanning 60 years, will probably best be remembered as Rita Tushingham's gay flatmate in A Taste of Honey from 1961). Suddenly there is a shimmery visual effect and Danté has been replaced by Percy who gets to look surprised and say "Oh brother!" before the fade to a commercial break.

The transition from Danté to Percy was done seamlessly. The angle is dutched (yawn!) and it was obviously done with the actors just replacing each other on set while the camera was locked off and the jump disguised in the shimmer. For a moment or two (or possibly longer if you had to suffer dog food commercials) we get to think that we have seamlessly segued from the Obligatory Time Loop Episode into the Obligatory Body Swap Episode. But, sadly, no, we don't get to see Tanya Allen doing a Michael Paré impression (is the world ready?). We have instead stepped into the Not Quite Obligatory (But Soon Will be) Alone in the Ship in Parallel Universes Episode. (The Farscape episode -"Through the Looking Glass" worked the same idea the year before but did it SOOOO much better.)

Needless to say the prisoner has escaped (Chug!) via the glowing plotdeviceium ball. He lures Danté into a trap and ties him up. (Thereby getting control of the ship! Take another three shots because... You've guessed it. The escaped killer is loose in all three universes.) He gets to tie up all three of our leads in the same camera setups in each universe and gets to do "Woooo! I'm a scary killer!" acting at them for a bit and rabbit on about pain being beautiful and feeding agony back to the Universe blah blah. Again, like last week's episode, these three scenarios are played out pretty much shot for shot the same each time. Though the editor has a little more fun cutting back and forth between these parallel, but essentially identical, story lines it's still pretty dull stuff. In the end plucky perky Percy is the one to turn the tables by turning the gravity on the bit of floor that the killer is standing on up to 11 and then jumping through the gravity warp time displacement special effect because (somehow) she can now predict where it will turn up. She meets the SFX and instructs the ship to self-destruct behind her. Then she's in the same universe / time line as Danté. The killer is there too (somehow) so they jump through the "time warp anomaly" conveniently at the end of the corridor and blow up the ship behind them... and then everything is all right again because the killer now isn't in the final (Luc's) universe - because Luc killed him. (Another episode in which the women do all the heavy lifting and our hero wanders around looking lost.) They blow up the base and Percy has a bad. horror movie, jump-scare dream.

The end.

Usual Tits/Scots/Gay bashing/son hunting report card - total blank
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It's science fiction on a very tight budget, :D
I just noticed I've mislabelled that last episode as number 19. It wasn't. It was number 18. The real number 19 is called 'Bad Girls' and I remember watching it before my hard drive died but remember nothing about it at all - apart from Gary Cady, the actor playing the father of the bad girls of the title (an actor who I fondly remember as the effete younger son in the very funny 'It's Grim Up North' spoof Brass back in the 80s) I just remember thinking "Jeso! that is one embarrassingly crap 'American' accent!"

I may go back a rewatch it to fill in the gap but not tonight.

On with the show!

20 : Bad Seed

Gerry Doyle, who played Garibaldi in Babylon 5, was asked once what was his favourite episode. He replied something along the lines of: "season whatever episode whatever," [I'll go look later] "My character was still in a coma after being shot at the end of the previous season, I was in the med bay and people came to see me. It was great. I got a paid a whole week's wages for lying down with my eyes shut for one shot."

This may be Michael Paré's favourite episode.

After a brief pointless dream sequence bit (I suspect a quick bit of swifty thrown together padding was needed to stretch out the running time. The sequence only featured Paré and didn't have any dialogue and could well have been shot in under an hour) The Tulip is boarded by bad guys led by a blonde guest star of the week who drug and drag Dante away. Before they leave they reprogramme the ships annoying AI to be EVIL - by which we mean tinted blue instead of yellow and even more insufferably smug that he was before. The girls are locked in their rooms and knocked out with gas.

Dante wakes to find himself strapped to an armchair and gets to sit down for most of the rest of the episode as the blonde Guest Star of the Week ruthless Orchard agent Tosca, who believes Dante's missing son Travis holds the key to The Divinity Cluster 'interrogates' him by walking round him drinking tea and asking rhetorical questions. Seeing that that method is getting her nowhere she then injects him with something we later discover a variant of 'The Divinity Cluster' and sends him off to dreamland hoping to forge a psychic link between him and his son that she can follow. (Maybe it glows or something, or beeps). In the world of his subconscious - represented by the very Lawmower Man SFX where we met the digital recording of his dead wife a few episodes ago he meets his dead wife... and nothing much happens.

Meanwhile! The other Guest Star of the Week (Ray Lonnen a British actor who had been in everything for decades and is someone everyone will recognise but probably only his kids could name) is another, slightly less ruthless (or at least less impatient), Orchard Agent opposed to Tosca's methods.


He gets on board the Tulip and convinces Luc to go with him to rescue Dante. Percy stays on board to stop the insufferable, pompous blue AI from auto destructing the ship. She's just done this by being more smug than it and just switching it off when the Tulip is boarded by a third unauthorised party - this time by a young dark-haired girl Raider who has been sent by Travis (Dante's son) to get the talking to dead mom device in Dante's room. While looking for it Percy discovers she's broken her kaleidoscope. Something falls out and she instantly recognises 'the seeds' from eight episodes ago and hides them in Dante's room.

Dante is rescued within seconds of the other agent and Luc getting onboard the Orchard base; he's given an dose of anti Varient Divinity Cluster serum and is carried to the shuttle where he sits in the control seat all the way back to the Tulip - where he walks onto the bridge... and sits down in the captain's chair. God damn! this man can sit. If there is sitting to be done in a movie then Michael Paré's your man.

Where's Percy? What? She's been kidnapped by the girl raider and is heading off thataway?- follow that Ion trail! I won't lose her too!

End of episode.

So plot threads are coming together - or at least things mentioned in previous episodes are mentioned again to make you think plot threads are coming together. The jury is still out. But gods on a stick! was this episode DULL! Very little happed and it happened sooo slooowly. With. Pauses. In. Between. Every. Line. Many of which were pointless and didn't advance anything in any direction. And everyone took two or three shots to cover the ground that should have only taken one because there just wasn't enough script to fill the episode. Too little story and the waffle produced to fill the voids left wasn't funny or interesting.

Tits?: Man boobs as Michael Paré got his shirt off for the pointless dream sequence.
Son Looking For?: Main plot driver.
Scotish bloke so essential to the crew in episode one but never seen since?: Still nothing.
Gay Bashing: None - which by one metric at least makes this one of the better episodes but you'd really have to be desperate to make it a selling point.
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Episode 21 - Travis

After a shapeless mess of a montage with bits of Divinity Clustering from a load of previous episodes thrown at the screen in an attempt to make it look like this show has some form of coherent overarching backstory, we get back to what this show does best. After a shot of the kidnapper girl from the previous episode walking down yet another under-lit, hiding the cheap set-building dark-painted corridor (a short piece of corridor that gets a LOT of screen time in this episode) we cut to the bridge of the Tulip where Luc and Dante are still trying to accurately pinpoint the ion trail they were set to follow at the end of the last episode. Unable to get an accurate lock, Montana manfully... sits down in the captain's chair and manspreads! His fourth shot on screen in this episode and Paré's arse is hitting a seat!

Percy sends them an 'I'm OK' message from Raider HQ and apologises for messing up Dante's room. Could this be a hidden in plain sight hint of some kind? Dante searches his room, finds his talking to deadwife machine is gone, but also finds The Seeds!

Percy on the Raider base meets her cousin Travis who is (somehow) the Raiders' leader and has special powers. (His eyes glow and he can... erm... he can remember everything that ever happened to him and... erm... erm... He's got powers, right! Just take his word for it.) He wants to talk to his dead mum because he wants to find out why she experimented on him with Divinity Cluster (whatever it is) Gene stuff. But the DeadMoma'Phone only works with a disc that Dante keeps on him at all times.

Luckily Dante is prepared to swap The Seeds! for Percy and his son, and Travis's adopted Dad (who appears to be running the Raider operation despite Travis being their leader - it's all very vague as to who is the boss of whom) is more than willing to do the deal.

Dante and Travis meet and Michael Paré gets to do some acting (while standing up!). Then they use the DeadMommy'Phone to all talk as a family. But not in the usual talking to deadwife LawnmowerMan space; they're in yet another black painted bland box with the lights from last week's interrogation room on the ceiling.

"This isn't the same.... Penny.".

"I have the ability to move through the multidimensional universe, Dante. The disc allowed me to find Penny in the dimension she now inhabits."


Anyhoo, secrets are revealed: Penny had been working for the Orchard and experimented with the Divinity Cluster (whatever it is) on herself not knowing she was pregnant and accidentally created the Kwisatz Haderach.

Michael Paré gets to do some REALLY BAD acting (while standing up). Seriously seriously bad, "You betrayed me! sob! My life has been nothing but a hollow lie!" type really really bad acting. Not that the other two in the sceen were much better but, wisely I think, the editor cut away from Paré as much as he could.

Then Travis uses his powers to send his mom to "the Fourth Dimension".


Then it's a bit of running up and down the 12 feet of corridor they built for this episode as Travis' adopted Dad tries to kill them all (apart from Travis). Now he's got The Seeds!, which will allow him to terraform Earth*, he doesn't need them. He has no real reason to kill them apart from the fact that there would be no need to run up and down 12 feet of corridor if he didn't, but plot wise it makes no sense. Kidnapper girl gets herself deaded and everyone else (including Travis) leaps on a shuttle and escapes towards the end credits..

Another seriously dull episode with endless pointless establishing shots to tell us the following scene will take place in 'the other location', pointless, neverending scenes full of bland, flatly delivered dialogue, and Michael Paré sitting down as much as he could.

The actress playing Percy had very little to do in this episode and managed to look spectacularly bored the whole time she was on screen.

Only one more to go...

* Apparently Earth is uninhabitable - was this mentioned in any previous episodes? I can't remember. And since he's planning on using them to Terraform Earth shouldn't be 'ReTerraform Earth', or maybe 'TerraTerraform Earth'?

Earthform Terra?

Tits -Yes the opening few frames of opening flashback sequence contain the exploding-in-bathroom girl from episode one's bare boobies
Sotty McMissing: Nope
Gay stuff: None
Son Looking For: Done!
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Esipode 22 Resurrection

In a grey painted, under-lit bar - a weird drugged-up looking weirdo starts singing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' before evaporating. The bar's host, who is possibly one of the various French actors with moustaches who appeared earlier in the series, phones the Orchard: 'Eccleston is back'. And the audience goes - "Ohhh.... Eccleston!... Who is Eccleston?" I suspect we are supposed to know.

We don't have to wait for Dante to sit down in this episode because he's already manspreading in his swivel command arm chair in the opening shot after the opening credits.

The Tulip is being chased by the Raiders. Pew! pewpew! pew! The Tulip is disabled and the Raiders signal its whereabouts to The Orchard - they've been working together all along! and just leave. They don't blow the Tulip up because their Chosen One is on board but they don't try and board and take over the ship - something which hasn't happened for a few episodes, maybe people have got fed up with how easy it was. The Raider just turn around and head for Earth. They intend to use The Seeds!

Travis, aka 'The Chosen One', aka the least expressive actor yet to appear in this show (and believe me there has been some tough competition) announces that he knows that The Seeds! won't 'cure' Earth's atmosphere (as everyone has been assuming they would) but will (in a plot reversal rabbit pulled out of the writer's arse) have the opposite effect and will kill everyone on the planet and turn it into a chemical wasteland.

Faced with an impending genocide and global annihilation our characters do what any self-respecting bunch of well armed hard bitten, interplanetary bounty hunters would do under the circumstances and sit about and lethargically discuss their interpersonal relationships, and sulk at each other for a bit. Eccleston turns up on the ship, talks to Percy, then vanishes again before anyone else sees him. Luc decides she has to leave the ship thinking she will be of more use working with 'The Resistance' and the audience goes - "Ohhh.... erm... who are 'The Resistance'?"

The resistance it turns out is that faction of The Orchard not under the command of Servalan Tosca but Luc's alliance with them is short lived as her first meeting with their leader is interrupted by Servalan's Tosca's heavies and Luc is captured.

Eccleston reappears on the ship long enough for us to remember him as the "BEHOLD THE AWESOME POWER OF THE DIVINITY CLUSTER!" sex cult leader from episode one. He has, since his Christlike assumption 21 episodes ago, been living in parallel dimension hanging out with a bunch of Lovecraftian Otherbeings which are waiting to be resurrected in our dimension. This can only happen when a critical mass of humans have the divinity cluster in them. He has returned because this Divinity Clusterfuck is about to happen. ..."unless we can stop them...!"

"But why should we trust you, weird return from the dead appearing from nowhere overacting guy?"
"Know what I know!" Ecclestone cries and does a glowing, laying on of hands and Montanas (father and son) have visions of THEM that the budget doesn't run to letting us see.

The Raiders - who are willing pawns in the Eddorian/Eddorian's master plan - are about to anti-terraform Earth to the alien invaders' tastes and biology (hot damn! an almost good SF idea. I wonder where they knicked it from?)
"But how are we going to stop them? We are floating about useless in space trapped in a dull, wobbly shot, soap opera several gazillion miles from Earth." (Quite where they are is a bit of a script blur but probably around Mars orbit someplace because, by the time this vision thing is happening, Luc has travelled to an orbital station which looks to be, in the establish shot of it, orbiting Mars, and the Raiders are already nearing Earth).

"Hold my Hand!" says the Eccleston and his Get Out of Jail Free Powers, combined with the Chosen One's Power of Greyskull (and possibly just ripping several pages out of the script) magically transport the Tulip to near the Moon. (Earth's moon. Not Phobos or Demos or anything.)

There's a bit more pew pew pew! Dante and Son board a shuttle so the boy can get near enough to the raiders to use his 'powers' to magic The Seeds! out of existence. Servalan Tosca have a totally pointless fruitless conversation which is there only to stretch the running time and prove to the world that the actor playing Servalan Tosca has no range whatsoever and, worse, doesn't know how to hide it. There are a lot of very well kent actors who have limited ranges but know how to make it look like they have by implying the more extreme emotions their character is supposed to be feeling rather than trying to express them.

The Tulip is about to be destroyed with only Percy and Eccleston on board until she holds his hand and and Hey Presto! they vanish (ship and all)...

Servalan Tosca 'furious' (ish) at the Tulip's disappearance points a gun at Luc's head and squeezes the trigger...

The Montana double act are crashing to a certain doom when they hold hands and the Chosen One uses his powers to...

Caravaggio, the ship's AI, reboots after being off-line for plot reasons and finds the ship empty. But there is a message from the ship's owner who has just won some court case (that may or may not have been mentioned in an earlier episode) and he's stinky rich and gives the Tulip to Dante.

Dante wakes up in his past/in a dream/in an alternate universe deep in the series' backstory - just before the Raiders came and stole his son and killed his wife. He's just going WTF? when off-screen sirens and explosions...

Cue Propellerheads Featuring Miss Shirley Bassey.... History Repeating.

Damn! I love that tune! but sadly they didn't; that only happened in my head.
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Over two years ago just after I first started watching this turkey I wrote about episode five:

"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."

I feel slightly chuffed that I was right.

On to Season Two.....
Season two gets off to a real shonky start. I've watched chunks of this first episode several times to see if I can make sense of it but no....

The Tulip appears from wherever it has been since last season to find 15 years have passed. The ship has been in hyperspace all this time and the only person on board is Percy. Someone in the production department has noticed the actress playing Percy has breasts, and, after spending the first half of the show trying to poke the camera down her front and getting nowhere, they get her to take her jacket off and wear a short sleeved vest/shirt a size too small for her. This turns out to have been a very wise decision as it must have distracted a great chunk of the audience from the lack of anything else interesting happening on screen. It did me.


Percy docks the Tulip at an orbital. An umbilical extends out and connects. As the umbilical and the orbital meet there is a brief flash. A ring of light coalesces around the airlock as the connection is made. Curious? I wonder what that could be? Could it be a weird manifestation of the Divinity Cluster? Hmmm...

The 'owner' of the Tulip, Rudolpho, turns up. He's now a down on his luck bounty hunter. This is the owner who gave the Tulip to Dante at the end of the last episode. Not that Dante received the news because, when the message arrived, he was busy holding hands with his son Travis as they were crashing their out of fuel shuttlecraft into a city block on Earth.

Percy points out that old owner had claimed the insurance years ago, and the Insurance company has gone out of business, and anyway, as she was the only person on board the Tulip when it was found again the ship was hers by right of salvage.

Parallel action: a person called 'Travis' and his sidekick are on the orbital - what are the chances eh? He's a bounty hunter looking to hire a ship. Someone nasty has blown up a research station while looking for him. Someone from his past is out to get him. He recognises the Tulip as his father's old ship. Percy doesn't seem convinced he is Travis. He doesn't do much to try to convince her. After a bit of a bidding war to hire the ship which just runs into the sand because the writers couldn't think of a way of letting someone win it and still get the other people they need to be on board get on board, they just jigger open the airlock and get in.

The Tulip sets off. The umbilical disconnects and there is a puff of escaping atmosphere. How proud the CGI people must have been with that touch. A bit of authentic-looking physics to ground the reality of the show. And they would have gotten away with it too if those darn meddling editors hadn't used the exact same piece of footage in reverse to show the umbilical and the orbital connecting. That wasn't a weird manifestation ring of Divinity Cluster mysteriousnous; it was just shitty low-budget cheese paring editing.

The scene is set. Our cast assembled. Percy, Travis, his teenage boy genius engineer sidekick, Old Owner, and a leather-clad, brown-skinned, ex 'special services', killer babe with attitude bounty hunter - there to replace the leather-clad, brown-skinned, ex-military, killer babe with attitude Luc whose contract wasn't renewed at the end of the last season. And so they set off; a classic, uncomfortable, distrustful allies thrown together by circumstance, type crew. They find the bad guys - Raiders! (but now more like a gay biker gang than the organized, militaristic organisation from the last series). There's a very badly staged little space battle and then the bad guys want to meet... in a bar! (This show is obsessed!) There is a meet. Weapons are drawn and fisticuff. In one of those everyone pointing guns at other people's heads conversations Travis reveals the head baddy's sidekick baddy is the child he refused to kidnap ten years ago and the head bad guy has been trying to kill him ever since to stop him telling. Or something. This plot point really does come out of nowhere.

So bad guys are locked in the brig and everyone heroically has a bit of a sit down and gets fed up because yeah, they caught the bad guys but did it before anyone put up a reward for them. Ah well.

End of episode.

Percy doesn't seem to notice that Travis doesn't have any memory of holding hands with his dad as they were crashing their out of fuel shuttle into a city block on Earth 15 years before, or that he doesn't know what the divinity cluster is, or that his 'powers' have vanished - the ones that enabled him to cross into other dimensions, or that his memory of everything that ever happened to him since his birth has vanished, or anything.

It's almost as if Percy has entered an alternate reality where none of that stuff we all saw happen happened. Okay, I can see how that might work if you had to extensively reboot a bad series with half the cast from the original missing, but by having Percy not even remotely surprised or curious that the story we watched unfold last season doesn't seem to have happened is slightly baffling. Unless she too is from a different reality to last season's. Which is possible now I come to think of it. She didn't seem at all phased by the fact that the bridge of the Tulip had been extensively remodelled while in hyperspace - for one thing the Easy Recliner Captain's Comfy Armchair has been replaced with something a bit more sexy: all leather and chrome with flip-up transparent LED glowing control panels build into the arms.

And how does she know Dante 'hasn't come out of hyperspace'? She was on a different ship! - well, in the Season One reality, she was but maybe not the SeasonTwo one. If it is a different one. And it's always possible she from a third...

It's all very baffling and I am not at all intrigued.
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