Starhunter–The Man Who Sold the World (2000)   5 comments

Rudolpho During the Opening Transmission


Starhunter explores the very dark side of human nature while resuming the Divinity Cluster story arc in this excellent episode.

I begin with the text of Rudolpho’s opening transmission:

This one’s a corker. I found you a piece of work called Novak. Crimes against humanity. They don’t get bigger than that.Civil war on Callisto. They’re still killing each other over differences. I guess we’re still the same old species even out amongst the stars. Hatred still the tie that binds.
But today that human bond, love, has reared its lovely bottom, and I am off to “The Love Derby.” Of course, I might actually only taking about lust. Nope. No. No. No. No. I am actually talking about the messy stuff. Well, actually really what I’m talking about is deceit. Whoever really knows what lurks in the human heart? Well, I know, now that you ask. Along with all that sunshine and puppies and kittens and pretty coloured balloons, crap. There’s also the dark nasty bits of creepy crawly things, that scatter away when you flip that rock over. Your heart carries it all. It’s the only sure thing I know. And anyone who doesn’t believe that our hearts are filled with eternally warring angels and devils is leading with their glass jaw just waiting for a round house right.
Another great truth from my tower of wisdom is you get your heart broken then you gotta pick yourself up and make sure the next time you get them before they get you. I mean, who out there thinks that it’s better to be on the sharp end of the love stake as it plunges into your heart?
Gotta nasty piece of work coming your way. So quick step, stay sharp, ’cause this evil, evil bastard Novak hasn’t a shred of love in his black, black heart.


On board the Tulip, Percy contemplates really bad food.  It is the same “slop” she has had to eat for a week because there are no other options on the ship.  She spends much of the episode repeating this complaint.


As Percy complains about “slop,” Rudolpho sends the Tulip to Pluto, the new home of Dr. Novak, a notorious war criminal.  In the 2250s he had lived on Callisto, a moon of Jupiter, and, during a civil war, had authorized grotesque medical-genetic experiments that victimized over 20,000 people.  He was part of a research team called the Hand of God, which intended to speed up the rate of human evolution.  Eventually, combined Lunar and Martian forces ended the war and sent Dr. Novak packing.  And now, in 2275, he calls himself Mr. Kavon and mines and sells ores on Pluto, living in safety under electromagnetic domes.  The warrant says that Novak is wanted dead or alive.

Dr. Novak

Dr. Novak, a.k.a. Mr. Kavon, receives a steady stream of visitors other than people interested in purchasing ores.  Bounty hunters keep calling on Novak and dying.  Another bounty hunter, Chorsky, attempts to arrest Novak early in the episode.


Belle is Novak’s companion on Pluto.  He has a security guard, too, but Belle loves Novak/Kavon.  When Belle offers Chorsky a drink, he rebuffs her, calling her a “stupid bitch.”  Then she puts down the drinks tray and shoots him.  She asks next, “Who’s the stupid bitch now?”

Note:  Do not insult Belle when she holds a gun.

The Tulip Above Pluto

The Tulip arrives at Pluto, and Dante and Luc pose as people interested in purchasing some ores.  Novak invites them down but knows that they are really bounty hunters.

Dante and Luc need to work quickly because the outer edge an electromagnetic anomaly will intersect with Pluto in less than a day.  This is a rare event, one that occurs once every 28,693 years.


Percy is enjoying her work on the Tulip when Novak sends a holographic computer virus up to the ship.

The Billy Ray Virus

The computer virus is Billy Ray, which speaks in the style of Elvis Presley.  Billy Ray interferes with Caravaggio, the A.I., and disrupts ship’s operations until Percy finds a way to purge it.  This subplot is the only annoying aspect of the episode.

Dante and Luc Confront Novak

Dante and Luc overpower Novak’s security guard and Belle and make their way to Novak’s office.  Novak denies being a war criminal, but does reveal that he used to have another vocation, “something divine.”  With this, Luc realizes that Novak was working on the Divinity Cluster at Callisto.

Dante and Luc arrest Novak and head for their shuttle craft, but Belle and the security guard attack Dante and Luc on the surface.  Novak convinces Luc to take him back to his office, where he will reveal what he knows about the Divinity Cluster.  Luc, the double agent for the Orchard, must learn what Novak knows; it is part of her job as a “collector.”  Yet she despises Novak, whom she keeps calling a “bastard,” especially to his face.  (The label is accurate.)


On the way back to his office, Novak tells Belle to go away, for he does not want to see her anymore.  Distraught, she fires her weapon at Dante, who hides behind a structure that takes the bullets.

The Anomaly

Meanwhile, in orbit, the anomaly approaches Pluto.

On the surface of Pluto, Dante convinces Belle of the blindingly obvious fact she has refused to believe previously; Novak is a monster and a war criminal.

Novak, Unrepentant

In his office, Novak tells Luc,

You have to know the Cluster won’t give up its secret for free.  I was so close….I was able to isolate two genes–telepathy and consciousness.

He also complains about having to live at the edge of the solar system and in Belle’s company.


Then Dante and Belle enter Novak’s office.  Belle leaves briefly and returns with a tray full of drinks.  She asks, “Did I really fall in love with a monster.”  Novak says that she did.  Then she shoots and kills him.

Novak and Belle Dead in His Office

Luc then shoots and kills Belle.  Dante and Luc head for their shuttle quickly and return to the Tulip just in time, but not without damage to the shuttle.  And Dante learns shortly thereafter that he has received double payment for Novak.  Now the crew of the Tulip will be able to eat something other than the same old slop for a while.

The episode ends with the thoughts of our major characters.



I hate the world.  Every history lesson condemns what happened on Callisto.  Bull!  That ugly, dark thing that happened on Callisto is inside everyone.  I’ve met enough people to know.  I see it every time Dante collars some jerk.  I hate people.  I believe they’re all stupid.



Lots of garbage out there.  Sometimes I wonder if I make a difference.  I don’t know.  I’m just looking for Travis.  Maybe there’s progress, maybe not.  But maybe if I make a difference the Travises and Percys of the world will have a better place–just a little better.  I worry about her, isolated from the worlds on this ship.  I see what’s happening to her.  I see Percy growing up cynical, too smart for her own good.  Then I think of the worlds out there, the noise and chaos of the universe, the bloody foolishness of my fellow humans.  It’s almost too much.  I’ve just got to believe there’s something better, something redeeming at the end of the day.  I don’t know.  God, I hope so.



Sometimes there are no clear answers.  Sometimes all we have are questions.  So our past creates our present while our lives forge the future.  Will the ends justify the means, no matter what?

Star Trek was my first science fiction experience.  Among my earliest clear memories are original series episodes.  Gene Roddenberry created something of great and lasting value, but his vision was naive.  The 23rd-Century humans of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek were more evolved in that they were better and less prone to vengeance, murder, and conflict than we are.  But human nature is constant in both its positive and negative aspects.  The writers of Deep Space Nine understood this, which is why it was the best of the Star Trek series.

I admit it; I like dark science fiction.  Babylon 5 gets pitch black, especially early in the fourth season.  The Dominion War arc in Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine is well-executed, and Ronald D. Moore’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica improves with each viewing.  Each of these series is more famous than Starhunter, so I write these summaries and reviews to spread the word about this excellent series.



I used the Power DVD program to obtain the screen captures in this post.

Posted December 15, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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