Starhunter 2300–Rebirth (2003)   3 comments

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

EPISODE #1

Starhunter (2000-2001) was one of the great science fiction series.  Its dark and gritty depiction of a human civilization sprawled across the solar system in 2275-2276 was convincing.  And the way in which Dante Montana’s quest for his abducted son, Travis, overlapped with the struggle to control the Divinity Cluster, if possible, raised the tension level and unified that series, which lasted one season.  It ended on a cliffhanger, with Dante and Travis disappearing into space-time, Earth being on the verge of its final ecological catastrophe, and Percy and Eccleston disappearing into another dimension.  And did Lucretia “Luc” Scott survive Tosca’s plan to kill her?  We never discovered the answers to these questions, and we probably never will.

Starhunter 2300 is set in a reality parallel to that of Starhunter.  There is no other explanation, other than disregard for continuity, for the gaping inconsistencies between the two series.  Yet the fact that I have begun a series of episode summaries and reviews for Starhunter 2300 indicates that I like the show and seek to interest others in it.

So let us continue where I left off, having written similar summaries and reviews for all Starhunter episodes at this weblog.

Percy Montana

The Tulip emerges from hyperspace.  The only person on board is Percy.  As she regains consciousness, she asks, “Dante?  Eccleston?”

If you are nitpicker, you will notice that the red highlights in Percy’s hair are fewer than they were at the end of Resurrection, the final episode of Starhunter.  FYI.   See that post here:  https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/starhunter-resurrection-2001/.

Percy checks the computer and discovers that the date is January 3, 2300.

Caravaggio

And Caravaggio, the ship’s Artificial Intelligence, no longer resembles actor Melvin Murray.  Now it looks like actor Graham Harley.

Percy explains to the new Caravaggio that she has just spent fifteen years in hyperspace.  All that time seems like a dream to her; she cannot remember anything.  So 2300 – 2276 = 15?  I’m just saying.

Meanwhile, in Syn City, on Io, Jupiter Federation, bounty hunters Travis Montana and Travis Fagen are eating Chinese food.  (Travis, FYI, is a former Raider.)  They need to kill two hours before the next shuttle to Clarke Station departs.  Travis is not feeling well, a fact that Marcus attributes to too much MSG in the food.

Marcus and Travis, Enjoying the View

A beautiful woman walks up, buys some food, and walks away.

Callista (Callie) Larkadia, Bounty Hunter

Then another woman, Callista Larkadia, walks by, looks around, and walks away.

Travis collapses, but not because of MSG.  He has the ability to travel into his past, but he cannot control when he does this.  We viewers know that his mother, Penny, worked with the Orchard and experimented on herself as part of an effort to understand the Divinity Cluster.  So, when she became pregnant, she passed Divinity Cluster powers along to him.  But he has no idea–not in this Starhunter universe.  Of course, the Travis of the previous series understood this well by the final episode.

Travis flashes back ten years, to the day that he ceased being a Raider.  He was leader of the Varren Clan then.  But, on the day he and his friend Jimmi Zavras, who was like a brother to him, were supposed to abduct a boy and kill the parents, Travis, or Dazzik, as the Raiders called him, refused to complete the mission.  So Jimmi ordered the parents killed, shot Travis/Dazzik, and left the former clan leader to die.  And Jimmi became the new clan leader.  The abducted boy was supposed to grow up to become the next leader of the clan.

Of course, in the previous serious, Travis was the leader of all Raiders, and his name was Zephryn.  This is a parallel reality, as I have written.

Jimmi Zavras and his First Officer

Meanwhile, Jimmi tells his first officer about the traitor and bounty hunter who calls himself Travis Montana.  They plot to draw him out, for the purpose of killing him.

Clarke Station was smaller and of a different design in Half Dense Players, episode #14 of Starhunter.  See that post here:  https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/starhunter-half-dense-players-2001/.  It must be a parallel reality issue.

Travis Montana and Marcus Fagen

Meanwhile, at Clarke Station, Travis and Marcus arrest a black market dealer who happens to be an incredibly gorgeous woman.  Callista Larkadia is upset, for she has been tracking this target for months, at her own expense.  Now she has nothing to show for all her work.

The Pandora Terraform Research Facility Under Attack

Jimmi’s plan to draw out Travis entails attacking the Pandora Terraform Research Facility, on Pandora, in the Saturn Federation.  The facility’s leader, Dr. Daniel Rochaz, is a good friend of Travis Montana.  Jimmi kills 312 people just to get Montana’s attention.

The Tulip

The Tulip docks at Clarke Station for refitting.

The ship looks quite different from the outside than did the vessel from the original Starhunter series.  Consider this post, for example:  https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/starhunter-black-light-2001/.  And look at pictures in this one, too:  https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/starhunter-the-man-who-sold-the-world-2000/.

Rudolpho and Percy

Rudolpho meets Percy at the airlock.  He acts if he still owns the Tulip.  He tells her that she will still a job on his ship.  But Percy knows that she owns the Tulip under Jupiter Federation salvage laws, and Rudolpho confirms that he is broke.  She asks Rudolpho to leave, and he does.

Shortly later, at a bar on Clarke Station, Rudolpho asks to lease the Tulip.  He is desperate, he says.  Percy agrees, given that she receive half of his bounty money.  He agrees.

Percy Montana

Then Percy meets Travis–for the first time since childhood in this reality.  For their first encounter in years in the previous series, see this post:  https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/starhunter-travis-2001/.  He asks to lease the Tulip.  Percy schedules an appointment at the airlock.

Callie and Rudolpho

Rudolpho advertises for a bounty hunter, and Callie answers the call.  She is a veteran of Mars Federation Special Forces, a child of privilege who has rebelled against it, and, as Rudolpho says in a later episode, a woman with “too much testosterone.”  It is sufficed to say that Callie can defend herself quite well in hand-to-hand combat.

Percy Montana

The four bounty hunters–Callie, Rudolpho, Travis, and Marcus–arrive at the airlock at the appointed time.  Percy is conducting a bidding war, with 50% of bounty money as the opening bid.

On board the Tulip, the five work out an agreement.  They will track down and arrest those responsible for the Pandora attack, Percy will get her cut, the others will split the remaining half, and then all five will decide what to do next.

Pay close attention to the steps in the back of the picture.  They did not exist in the original series.  This is only one example of internal ship redesign in Starhunter 2300.

Percy is initially unconvinced that Travis is her cousin; she has only his word on this, and she just met him.  (I wonder if a printed out birth certificate from the State of Hawaii would work.  This is a jab at Birtherism I chose not to resist.)

Percy Montana

It becomes clear, as Marcus states, that there is a difference between owning the Tulip and commanding her.  Travis and Callie, for example, take a shuttle (without authorization) to the surface of Pandora to search for evidence.  So Percy transfers ship control away from the Bridge.  Then she transmits this message:

To whom it may concern:  I’m taking my ship the hell away from here.  Why?  Because I’m in command.  No  pretend cousin, big fat sleaze, little buddy, or mystery slut.  Nobody runs this ship but me.

Then Jimmi’s ship, the Guardian, approaches and fires upon the Tulip.  He demands Travis Montana, who is in a shuttle craft with Callie.  So Travis fires torpedoes at the Guardian’s reactor and damages the Raider ship severely.  The Guardian withdraws, and Travis and Callie reboard the Tulip.

Almost everyone aboard the Tulip is angry with Percy.  Travis, however, is more understanding.  As Percy sulks Travis speaks to her in private.  During this conversation he learns about the Divinity Cluster and of the link between it and hyperspace–a fact which will be important later in the series.  And he and Percy agree on the need to find Dante, presumed lost in hyperspace.  Furthermore, Percy accepts Travis as her cousin.

Then Jimmi’s first officer sends a transmission.  He wants to meet with Travis.  This is a trap, but Travis and company know this.  So they are prepared.  Travis and his fellow bounty hunters make the meeting and apprehend Jimmi and his first officer, who was the boy Jimmi abducted ten years prior.

Back on the Tulip, Jimmi and and his ward are in custody, but who will pay the bounty?  The case is still in jurisdictional dispute.  So the five heroes decide to “give it another try.”

Rebirth fulfills its job, which is to get the band together and establish the goals of the season:  to seek Dante, to find a way into hyperspace, and to explore the implications of the Divinity Cluster further.  Starhunter 2300 lacks the ever-present Orchard threat that looms over the original series, but the Orchard will return in subsequent episodes.

The next few episodes will develop characters and establish the dark and dangerous environments of Starhunter 2300.  They are riveting viewing.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 4, 2011 COMMON ERA

All images are screen captures I took via the Power DVD program on my computer.

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