The Divinity Cluster/The Divinity Cluster (Redux)   12 comments

Above:  Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 1, EPISODE 1

MAIN CAST

Michael Paré as Dante Montana

Claudette Roche as Lucretia “Luc” Scott

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

SUPPORTING CAST

George Harris as Darius Scott

Mark Powley as Eccleston

Ron Donachie as MacDuff

Charlotte Weston as Pacquette

Helen Latham as Lily

David McAlister as Professor Renfrew

Nikki Grosse as Carmel

Anette Shaffer as Lapis

David C. Wade as Middle-Aged Man #1

Richard H. Wade as Middle-Aged Man #2

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Patrick Malakian

Writer = Nelu Ghiran

Composer = Donald Quan

Composers = The Insects (Bob Locke and Tim Norfolk)

Length of the original episode = 0:47:23

Length of the Redux episode = 0:44:08

FORMATTING CHANGES FROM THE ORIGINAL VERSIONS OF STARHUNTER TO STARHUNTER REDUX

FORMAT OF AN ORIGINAL EPISODE

Opening credits

Opening transmission from Rudolpho DeLuna

Story

Closing Credits

FORMAT OF A REDUX EPISODE

Teaser

Opening credits

Story

Preview of the next episode

Closing credits

REGARDING THE OPENING TRANSMISSIONS FROM RUDOLPHO DELUNA (FIRST SEASON ONLY)

Each first-season episode of Starhunter opened with a transmission from Rudolpho DeLuna, the owner of the Transutopian (the Tulip).  The recipient of this transmission was frequently uncertain, but the transmission usually provided an exposition dump, frequently with some levity.  This was nice, given the dourness of Dante Montana.  One learned that Rudolph enjoyed the pleasures of life, often to excess, and not always for his own good.

These opening transmissions, mostly absent from Starhunter Redux, were frequently absent from syndicated broadcasts of the original Starhunter years ago.  Cutting these segments allowed for selling more advertisements.

Above:  Rudolpho and His Big Sandwich

A Screen Capture

RUDOLPHO’S OPENING TRANSMISSION FROM THE DIVINITY CLUSTER (ABSENT FROM THE REDUX VERSION)

You see, it’s like this; I run a good operation–not the best, but not the worst.  But it’s a hard business I’m in–long hours, low cash flow, high risk, ungrateful employees.  But nobody said I had to be in the bounty hunter business.  Nobody put a gun to my head.

Well, actually, that did happen once.  I was at some lowlife Martian bar.  These drunk terraforming engineers thought I–I–had improperly touched this cute little hydraulics expert.  Which, of course, I had.  Later that night, it was nothing but improperly touching till the sun rose in that pink Martian sky.  No, don’t get me started talking about my love life.  You won’t have the stomach for it.  Believe me, I barely do.

But, if I have learned anything in this sorry life, it’s that nothing ever is what it first seems.  It doesn’t matter if it’s tracking down or bringing in the scum of the solar system or trying to mend a broken heart by falling into the arms of the first little cupcake that comes your way.  Uncertainty rules everywhere, friend, but the mysteries out there pale in comparison to the mystery that is about to explode in all of us.

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Divinity Cluster 09

Above:  George Harris as Darius Scott

A Screen Capture

  1. Rudolpho lives on and works from the Moon.
  2. The ship is the Transutopian.  In Starhunter 2300 and Starhunter Redux, the name on the vessel is “TRANSUTOPIA CRUISE SHIP HHS,” with most letters faded.  On the original version of the ship, the name is “TULIP.”  The interior of the Transutopian includes a tulip motif.
  3. As far as I can tell after consulting science websites, the continental arrangement for Earth three million years ago is accurate.  Also, hominids existed at that time.  This was apparently before the emergence of Australopichecus africanus.
  4. The current year in the original episode is 2275.  The current year in the Redux episode is 2285.  That change helps to synchronize this season with the second season/series, Starhunter 2300.
  5. The most obvious differences between the original and Redux versions of this episode are special effects; the new effects are better.  Now Eccleston’s eyes glow green when he is under the influence of the Divinity Cluster.  The screen on the tracker Pacquette gave MacDuff to locate Eccleston is different.  Some backgrounds and foregrounds are more detailed.  New Los Angeles looks better.  We see the domes on the Moon.  Some of the members of the Orchard attend the meeting via holograms in the Redux version.
  6. The Orchard, with a few exceptions, is an organization of amoral men and women.  Some members have a sense of right and wrong, but others are quite willing to betray each other and to sacrifice the lives of innocents casually.  The vain quest to control the Divinity Cluster and to guide human destiny is the ultimate goal.  Darius, one of the more sympathetic members of the Orchard, is slightly less Machiavellian than his peers.
  7. Eccleston discovered the Divinity Cluster (four genes) three years prior to the episode.  This detail seems to contradict certain subsequent episodes.  However, we of the audience learn that the term “Divinity Cluster” did not exist back then, before this episode.  One may harmonize the seeming contradiction somewhat by asserting that the discovery of the Cluster resulted from decades of work.
  8. George Harris, who portrays Darius Scott, has gravitas to spare.  The combination of his voice, posture, and acting with his eyes is always impressive.  Darius, one of the more sympathetic Orchard characters, is a recurring character during the first season.
  9. The new effect of a holographic tree turning above a table in the middle of the Orchard conference room is a nice touch.
  10. The “killer earthquake of ’56” devastated Los Angeles.  New Los Angeles is next to old Los Angeles.  Given the addition of a decade to background dates (such as 2275 becoming 2285), I suppose the earthquake occurred in 2266 instead.
  11. The dry dock at the Moon looks different in the original and Redux versions of the episode.
  12. The new effects for the alien vessel from three million years ago are quite lovely.
  13. If this episode had a movie rating, that rating would be PG-13.  However, most of those elements could be absent and the plot of the episode would lose nothing.
  14. Eccleston enjoys the company of women.  At the end of the episode, when he leaves this dimension, those pleasures cease to be an option for him.
  15. The Divinity Cluster sets up the series well.  We learn of Dante’s single-minded search for his son, Travis.  We of the audience also learn of what Dante and Percy do not know yet–the Divinity Cluster.  These two plot threads merge later in the first season.
  16. Percy has been stuck aboard the Transutopian too long.   She is brilliant, but not well-adjusted.
  17. Earth is a polluted wasteland in the late twenty-third century.  Most of the human race lives elsewhere in the solar system, but a few million people remain on the home planet and work to restore it.  As the season progresses, we learn of various federations (Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) in the solar system.
  18. Last night, when I watched both versions of the episode simultaneously, I kept having to synchronize a scene in the original version to its counterpart in the Redux version.  Seldom did synchronization within a scene translate into the continuation of synchronization for long.  The editing of the original version into the Redux version started with the cutting of Rudolpho’s opening transmission and continued with a few brief cuts and addition of new effects throughout the episode.  Pauses became shorter, I noticed.
  19. Darius tells Luc that a human being has 100,986 genes.  According to the Human Genome Project (1990-2003), that number is actually about 30,000.
  20. Lily to the unfortunate Dr. Renfrew:  “You will not suppress the Divinity Cluster.”
  21. Rudolph to Dante:  “Relativity is a damned lousy excuse for not paying your bills.”
  22. Eccleston cured MacDuff’s brain tumor with neuronanoprobes.
  23. Dante harbors suspicions regarding Luc.
  24. Luc has Eccleston’s injector.
  25. MacDuff has magnificent eyebrows.
  26. Eccleston is alive in another dimension at the end of the episode.

Next:  Trust, an episode in which the Divinity Cluster is not a plot point.  Percy is prominent, though.  That is always good.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 9, 2019 COMMON ERA

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