Starhunter–Cell Game (2001)   2 comments

Dante and Rex


The universe of Starhunter is gritty, corrupt, and amoral.  Cell Game, in which we take a brief break from the Divinity Cluster arc, makes this point plainly.  This is a disturbing episode, for many of its characters are desperate prisoners living in hellholes.  Fortunately, there is a rewarding payoff in the end, as we, the viewers, see poetic justice dispensed.

The episode opens as Dante and Luc pick up a prisoner from the Oberon Police Station, located in orbit of Oberon, a natural satellite of Neptune.   Unusually, Percy is with them, as Dante has decided to let her off the Tulip.  This is very bad timing, for Rex, who runs the Oberon Police Station, detains Percy on a trumped-up technicality.  She is blackmailing Dante into breaking her brother Goran, who is serving a life sentence for murdering an ambassador and his family, from the Nereid prison, where Dante has to take the prisoner he has just collected.

Dante, Regretting Taking Percy to the Oberon Police Station

The legal system at Oberon is notoriously corrupt, for there are not even courts; they are allegedly too expensive.  So police officers function as judges.  And bribery is an accepted practice.

Percy in the Oberon Prison

The Oberon prison is a well-maintained and high-tech facility, a fact which makes it no less of a hellhole.  Cell Game, without stooping to overly graphic scenes, makes clear that guards rape female prisoners.  And Rex plans to sell Percy to the highest bidder, for Rex figures that Dante will never return from the Nereid Prison.  Percy’s two cellmates are desperate women, who beat her from time to time and one of whom has suffered a severe burn on one wrist and hand.

Dante in the Nereid Prison

Dante plans to break Rex’s brother, Goran, out of Nereid, where no one has escaped, by posing as a prisoner.  Luc, meanwhile, monitors Dante’s movements from her perch on the Tulip.


Percy uses her technological skills to escape from her cell.  But security guards kill one of the cellmates and return the two survivors to their cell.


Dante meets Goran, who is king of his corner of hell in the Nereid prison.  Dante tells him that he (Dante) plans to break them out.  Goran is skeptical.

The Nereid Prison Guard

Luc devises a plan to convince the main prison guard at the Nereid Prison to let Dante and Goran out.  She says that she has just analyzed blood work and discovered that Dante has tuberculosis and is contagious.  So she is supposed to take him to a medical facility at Triton.  The guard insists on a bribe, which Luc promises him but never delivers.  Meanwhile, the prisoners, who have heard the word “tuberculosis,” insist upon Dante’s removal.  The guard, fearful of a riot, permits this.  And Luc uses the health excuse to take Goran away, too.

Back on the Tulip, Dante and Luc set course for the Oberon Police Station and investigate Goran’s crimes.

Dante and Percy, Reunited

Back at the Oberon Police Station, Rex returns Percy to Dante, and Luc brings in Goran.  Then Rex tries to have Dante arrested for assisting in the escape of a prisoner.  But the police offers point their guns at Rex and say that her sentence will be fifteen years.


Apparently, Goran did more than kill an ambassador and his family.  The criminal also stole three million credits worth of art and jewelry, and he knows where he has hidden it.  Dante has bribed the police officers with the promise of this wealth.

So Rex and Goran stay on the Oberon Police Station–as prisoners–and Dante, Luc, and Percy leave on board the Tulip.  They are one happy family.  This relationship will break down very shortly, as Luc’s two roles as crew member of the Tulip and intelligence collector for the Orchard become increasingly difficult to balance.  And when, as Rudolpho puts it, the “droppings hit the radiation unit,” the drama is spectacular.



I used the Power DVD program to capture images from a legally purchased DVD.

Posted December 31, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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2 responses to “Starhunter–Cell Game (2001)

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  1. Pingback: Guide Post to Starhunter (Series 1) Episode Reviews | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

  2. Pingback: Cell Game/Cell Game (Redux) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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