Starhunter 2300–Licence to Fill (2004)   2 comments

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana


I take civics seriously.  Among the principles near and dear to my heart is the presumption of the innocence of the accused.  A prosecutor, no matter how honest or well-intentioned he or she might be, is still human and therefore prone to error.  So a prosecutor ought to have to bear the full burden of proof, or else lose the court case.  Then there are the malicious prosecutors, such as Senator Calder in Licence to Fill.  They manipulate and cherry-pick their evidence for personal reasons.  They are disgraces to the legal system.

Licence to Fill

Starhunter 2300 is a Canadian series.  The linguists among you, O my readers, know or ought to know that Canadian English is closer to British English in many ways than to American English.  So, for example, I have a Georgia Driver’s License yet I would need a driver’s licence in Canada.

I presume that the episode title is a tip of the hat to the 1989 Timothy Dalton movie Licence to Kill, one of the better James Bond films.

This is a clip show, so my analysis will be shorter than it would be otherwise.  It is sufficed to say that the use of clips from previous episodes is the least interesting part of this viewing experience.  Clip shows save money but to bore viewers, with a few notable exceptions.  The Seinfeld clip show was far better than the final episode of that series, for example.  And Dark and Stormy Night (, the Starhunter clip show, is essential to holding that series together.  More often, however, clip shows are like Shades of Grey, the excruciating and boring last episode of Star Trek:  The Next Generation‘s second season.  Watching Counselor Troi emote while I have to view the same series of clips yet again does not interest me.

Licence to Fill is neither the best nor the the worst clip show.  Instead, it occupies the middle ground in this subgenre.  Its main redeeming aspects are (A) its continuation of the implications of Callie Larkadia’s past and (B) the return of Percy Montana.  Percy and the Tulip are really inseparable, as we learned during the previous two episodes.

Now I begin the recap.

The Tulip docks above Mars.  The crew, badly in need of money, must wait a couple of days before working because the bounty hunting license has expired, although the application to renew the license is in progress.

Senator Vidal Calder

Senator Vidal Calder calls Travis.  Calder, from the Internal Affairs division of the Security Department, has recently come to be in charge of licensing vessels for bounty hunting.  He knows of the lapse of the Tulip crew’s license.  So Calder, who is hostile, latches onto a technicality in Martian law.


Calder, accompanied by Mars Federation security guards, boards the Tulip, declares the crew in violation of Martian law, confiscates their weapons (since they are no longer licensed bounty hunters), and confines our heroes to the ship.

Senators Calder and Skaylon

There will be a tribunal.  Senators Calder and Skaylon (prosecutor and judge, respectively) agree upon the need to preserve the appearance of impartiality without providing the substance thereof.  Since the crew of the Tulip cannot afford an attorney, Calder arranges for the appointment of one Jensen, who is respectable yet far from being the sharpest knife in the drawer or the brightest crayon in the box.

Senator Morgan Rendall

Fortunately for our heroes, Senator Morgan Rendall, a Larkadia family friend and capable attorney, takes the case pro bono.  He has “an abiding love of fairness.”

Now I digress to ponder civics in Starhunter 2300.  We know that the solar system is divided into planetary federations, such as the Saturn Federation, the Jupiter Federation, and the Mars Federation.  There is some sort of solar system-wide authority, for, in Negative Energy (, Caravaggio mentions transfederation laws.  We know also that a warlord state exists on Europa, within the Jupiter Federation (, but that there is a common authority within that federation.  There are also seems to be a monetary union across federations, for currency is always in credits.   As to the Mars Federation, we know that it has a president and a cabinet composed of ministers (, suggesting a hybrid of presidential and parliamentary democratic models.  However the Mars federal system works overall, senators have other government jobs, such as judges, lawyers, and sub-cabinet ministers.

Back to our regularly scheduled program…

Senator Rendall

Senator Rendall visits the Tulip and briefs the crew.  They have the right to send one of their number to court as a representative, so they choose Travis.  Caravaggio, the A.I., will be in court as a witness.  A bare-bones computer system will maintain basic ship’s functions (minus communications in or out) during its absence.  And there will be a court-arranged audio-visual feed to the Tulip so that those bounty hunters confined to the ship can watch the proceedings.

Rendall also says that Calder “goes nowhere without his ulterior motive.” Calder’s goal, Rendall says, is nothing less than to declare the crew members of the Transutopian unfit bounty hunters and to deprive them of the ship.

Marcus, Callie, Rudolpho

Marcus, Callie, and Rudolpho spend much of the tribunal sitting on the Bridge and reacting.  Meanwhile, in the Martian courtroom, Calder manipulates evidence, omits vital facts, and takes evidence out of context to argue that the bounty hunters of the Tulip are untrustworthy menaces to each other and anyone who comes into contact with them.

Percy Montana

He even calls Percy, whom he has tracked down and apprehended, as a witness, not that she has a chance to say much between Calder’s questions and the director’s use of clips.

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Rendall has been doing his best to defend the crew of the good ship Transutopian yet without the resources available to Calder.  The system is rigged in Calder’s favor.  So Marcus finds a way to hack into the Mars Federation crime logs.  He discovers that Calder and Devak ( were friends.  Devak, of course was hip-deep in Mars Federation Special Forces Citadel Squad corruption, which a younger Callie exposed, thereby ending her military career.  (  (The Mars Federation government is quite corrupt.)

Calder’s Secret Exposed in Open Court

Marcus downloads the damning evidence into Caravaggio, who reveals it in open court.  This forces Senator Skaylon, hardly a paragon of judicial fairness, to dismiss the case.  Security guards take Calder into custody.

Senator Skaylon

Skaylon says nothing as Rendall announces his intention to investigate why she brought this case to tribunal.

Callie, Rendall, and Travis

There is celebration aboard the Tulip.


Percy reveals that Calder had kept her in a mental hospital, but that she got used to and stopped minding the “strappy jacket” after a while.  She is much better now, no longer wigging out, as in The Heir and the Spare (  The owner of the Tulip leaves the Bridge to unpack while Marcus accompanies her.  We still do not know where she spent her vacation, though.

Next we have the two-part series finale, Hyperspace, which ends of a cliffhanger.  O well, we enjoy what we have.



All images are screen caps I took via the PowerDVD program.  Consistent with previous practice, I encourage the viewing of Starhunter and Starhunter 2300 episodes only by means consistent with United States copyright laws.

2 responses to “Starhunter 2300–Licence to Fill (2004)

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  1. Pingback: Guide Post to Starhunter 2300 Episode Reviews | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

  2. Pingback: Licence to Fill/License to Fill (Redux) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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