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Painless/Painless (Redux)   1 comment

Above:  Roan Gerick

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 2, EPISODE 9

MAIN CAST

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

Graham Harley as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)–in Starhunter 2300

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)–in Starhunter Redux, Season 2

SUPPORTING CAST

Nigel Bennett as Roan Gerick

Kathryn Winslow as Captain Dalyat/Bliss

Daniel Petronijevic as Frankel

Brendan Wall as ?

Dean Copkov as ?

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Colin Bucksey

Writer = Denis McGrath

Composer (Theme–Starhunter 2300) = Peter Gabriel (Darker Star, arranged and mixed by Richard Evans and David Rhodes)

Composers (Episode–Starhunter 2300) = The Insects (Bob Locke and Tim Norfolk)

Composer (Theme–Starhunter Redux, Season 2) = Donald Quan

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:47:56

Length of Redux episode = 0:44:24

BACKGROUND AND OTHER GENERAL COMMENTS

Above: Frankel

A Screen Capture

Neckties came back into fashion between the two seasons, fortunately.  (I approve of neckties.)

As I have written, there are two Travis Montanas.  The Travis Montana of the second season is NOT the son of Dante and Penny Montana.  If we take the Clive Robertson version of Travis at this word, he does not know that he is not the son of Dante and Penny.  Neither do Roan Gerick and most of the crew members of the Transutopian.  Perhaps Percy still harbors suspicions.  If so, she keeps them to herself by this point in the season.

We learn that Travis Montana (Mark II), the Clive Robertson model, sold drugs when he was a Raider.  He apparently has a guilty conscience.  As Rudolpho tells Travis (Mark II), the former Raider is trying to please some dead people.

The anti-drug message in this episode is more effective and less “You see, Timmy” than the awkward Nancy Reagan “Just say no” speech from Symbiosis (Star Trek:  The Next Generation, 1988).

This episode also offers another timeless lesson:  Beware of scoundrels who hide behind cover stories as they distract attention from their crimes by casting insinuations, seeding unfounded doubts, and blaming the innocent.  (Yes, I just made a political statement.  Those who read this weblog should know which way that statement turns.)

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) serves me poorly regarding much of the second season.  I derive my episode information, as much as possible, from DVDs with unaltered episodes and from the Redux episodes.  I still do not know, however, who Brendan Wall and Dean Copkov played in this episode.  My best guess is that one portrayed Xerc and the other one played an unnamed thug.

Nigel Bennett, whom I know best as the vampire LaCroix from Forever Knight, plays a grieving father well.  His performance is a highlight of this episode.

Rudolpho continues to be adamant about making as much money as possible.  He even refers to having three former wives.  An observant viewer may recognize the reference to the previous episode.  Rudolpho’s attitude is not without merit, for these bounty hunters do need all the credits they can earn.

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Captain Dalyat/Bliss and Rudolpho DeLuna

A Screen Capture

  1. Anesta is a relatively new drug causing 17 or so deaths daily in Titan City, Titan, Saturn Federation.  The drug causes people to cease to fell pain.  To be precise, anesta prompts the release of dopamine, causing people to feel more euphoric the worse the more severely they become injured.  People of anesta feel indestructible.  Then most of them prove that they are destructible, and die.
  2. The episode opens with two men, one named Sasha Gerick, beating each other to death while laughing.
  3. Boredom reigns on the bridge of the Tulip until Roan Gerick, father of Sasha, hails the ship and calls Dante.  Travis (not the one who is the son of Dante and Penny) answers.  Gerick hires the bounty hunters to arrest Bliss, the drug lord of the anesta in the Saturn Federation.  Gerick has little money (20,000 credits to spare), but Travis accepts the case, much to the dismay of most of the other bounty hunters, especially Rudolpho.  Callie seems more humane, though.
  4. Captain Dalyat, who has been a narcotics cop for about a decade, is handling Sasha’s case.  She immediately begins to try to discredit Travis in Roan Gerick’s mind.  Then she insinuates that Frankel, the Mars Federation’s chief anti-drug official, is Bliss.  Dalyat also claims to have lost a daughter to drugs.  The police captain also refers to Bliss as “he.”  Dalyat is Bliss, however, and she did not lose a daughter to drugs.  Dalyat’s plan is to kill the bounty hunters and Frankel, then to expand her drug business into the Mars Federation.
  5. We learn little about Frankel.  We know that he and Callie served together in Special Forces, and that he supported her when she had to leave the forces.  We also learn that Frankel effectively suppresses the illegal drug trade in the Mars Federation and, on occasion, travels to the Saturn Federation under a pseudonym.  Furthermore, we learn that Callie (not a bleeding heart liberal) considers his tactics to be too harsh.  We do not know, however, if they are too harsh.
  6. Travis, initially unaware that Dalyat is Bliss, cooperates with her.  He goes undercover and reunites with Xerc, a former Raider who now works for Bliss.  Roan Gerick interrupts this reunion.  Travis, without blowing his cover, saves Gerick’s life.  Later, in private, Travis consoles Gerick and advises him to forgive Sasha.
  7. Travis transports samples of anesta to the Tulip.  He asks Percy to run a chemical analysis.  Perhaps a clue will point to a particular laboratory.  Percy, who perceives that she is wasting her life, takes the drug.  Marcus, who also thinks he is wasting his life, does not take the drug.  He helps Percy, to the best of his ability, instead.
  8. When Travis, Callie, Rudolpho, and Frankel confront Dalyat, she admits to being Bliss.  She also claims to have a clear conscience, for she argues that she has not destroyed any lives.  No, she insists, people destroyed their own lives.  Dalyat has no conscience, actually.
  9. On the Tulip, Gerick holds a photograph of him holding a one-day-old Travis (the real Travis).  Gerick loans the picture to Travis (the fake one).

Next:  Skin Deep, about, among other topics, plastic surgery and standards of beauty.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 10, 2019 COMMON ERA

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This is post #1850 of SUNDRY THOUGHTS.

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2020: Best Wishes   2 comments

Above:  The Middle Oconee River at Ben Burton Park, Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, December 8, 2019

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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I find myself at the convergence of turning points as 2019 comes to an end.  On the personal front, I deal with two deaths.  Professionally, I look to the future with a combination of confidence, hope, and uncertainty.  The result will be better than what it will replace, I affirm.  However, I do not know what will happen between now and then.  How long should I remain in Athens-Clarke County?  What I do not know outweighs what I understand.  I know, however, that I must not make rash decisions, especially while I grieve and adapt to my “new normal.”

Experience is a fine teacher.  A wise pupil heeds it.  One lesson experience teaches me is that a grudge is a burden one should never impose on oneself, regardless of how righteous one’s indignation may be.  I acknowledge objective reality.  (Why should I not?) I know that a particular professor at The University of Georgia (UGA) fired a torpedo into the bow of my doctoral program and sank it like the Lusitania.  I also understand that my anger over that example of academic abuse burned out years ago.  Whenever I walk on the UGA campus, I feel simultaneously at home, in a familiar place, yet on virgin territory different from a place I have ever been.  The area does look different than it used to, due mainly to construction on campus.  It is a place I want to call home again.  A relationship, however, has more than one party.

My congregation, St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, keeps providing incentives to remain in town.  I am active in the parish, in which I have found my niches.  The emotional and spiritual support members of the congregation have been providing to me since Bonny’s death has become a source of much gratitude.  I can never repay them.  Perhaps I will have opportunities to “pay it forward” in time, not that I seek grief for anyone.

Praying for one’s needs is not sinful, but being selfish in prayer is.  With that in mind, I issue the following prayer:

May God’s best for each person be that person’s reality.  May you, O reader, receive all the help you need and provide all the aid you should.  May the light of God shine in your life, attract others to God, and strengthen the faith of many.  May 2020, by these standards, be a better year for you than 2019 has been.  May it be a better year for all countries, nation-states, peoples, and refugees.  May 2020 be a better year for the planet.  Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 10, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL BARTH, SWISS REFORMED MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR; AND HIS SON, MARKUS BARTH, SWISS LUTHERAN MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF HOWELL ELVET LEWIS, WELSH CONGREGATIONALIST CLERGYMAN AND POET

THE FEAST OF JOHN ROBERTS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF PAUL EBER, GERMAN LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MURRAY, CANADIAN PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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Torment/Torment (Redux)   2 comments

Above:  Serena and Rudolpho DeLuna

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 2, EPISODE 8

MAIN CAST

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

Graham Harley as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)–in Starhunter 2300

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)–in Starhunter Redux, Season 2

SUPPORTING CAST

Lindy Booth as Serena DeLuna

Von Flores as Darnell

Richard Blackburn as Arthur Santiago

Debra McCabe as Vayla Tambur

Jacqueline Pillon as Gina

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Colin Bucksey

Writer = Peter I. Horton/Peter Zorich

Composer (Theme–Starhunter 2300) = Peter Gabriel (Darker Star, arranged and mixed by Richard Evans and David Rhodes)

Composers (Episode–Starhunter 2300) = The Insects (Bob Locke and Tim Norfolk)

Composer (Theme–Starhunter Redux, Season 2) = Donald Quan

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:47:54

Length of Redux episode = 0:44:04

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Callie and Percy, Putting on Their Best Faces

A Screen Capture

  1. Callie is my favorite character unique to the second season.  Dawn Stern’s performance is the main reason for my choice.
  2. Lindy Booth, playing the 16-year-old hellion, Serena, was 24 years old at the time of filming.
  3. Von Flores (Darnell, with interesting eye makeup), portrayed agent Ronald Sandoval, one the best-dressed antagonists in science fiction, for all five seasons of Earth:  Final Conflict, a series that diminished with each season.  (Watch the first season and ignore the other four seasons.)
  4. We meet Vayla Tambur, first seen in Biocrime, again.
  5. This story contains comedy gold.  For example, Rudolpho tells Travis, “I bet you made out like a bandit.”  Travis, with a straight face, replies, “I was a bandit.”
  6. Percy on adolescents:  “Teenagers are psycho.”
  7. We open at Syn City, Io.  Darnell contracts Arthur Santiago and demands ransom for Santiago’s parents, abducted from the jungles of North America nearly a half-century ago (from Santiago’s perspective) but about eight months prior (from the parents’ perspective, due to time dilation).   This is the only instance of time dilation in Starhunter Redux.
  8. Santiago hires the crew of the Tulip to rescue his parents, “just kids.”  The crew ultimately succeeds, of course.  The really interesting material pertains to Serena.
  9. Rudolpho is inappropriate.  This is no surprise to anyone who has been watching Starhunter (especially the pre-remastered versions of episodes, still available for purchase on DVDs) from the first episode of the first season.  In this episode we see him watch a NSFW video only he can see while on the bridge of the Tulip.  He may as well be Chewbacca’s father watching Diahann Carroll in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special (1978).
  10. Back, prior to the first season, Rudolpho met a stripper named Gina.  He married her.  They had a daughter, Serena.  Rudolpho filed for divorce when Serena was two years old.
  11. Gina is one of three ex-wives to whom Rudolpho makes court-ordered payments.
  12. Gina, angry that Rudolpho is delinquent on 50,000 credits of child support, cannot afford to send Serena to correctional camp.  So she sends the “hell cat” (as Rudolpho refers to his daughter) to the Tulip.  Serena drives everybody crazy.  She tries to seduce Marcus.  Callie restrains herself from killing the young woman.  Furthermore, Serena is openly contemptuous of her father for most of the episode.
  13. Serena has worked as a stripper, for the money, needed when Rudolpho did not send child support.
  14. Darnell tries to abduct Serena.
  15. Vayla, an old friend of Marcus, provides Travis with information crucial to rescuing Serena.
  16. Father and daughter reconcile at the end of the episode.

Next:  Painless, about illegal drugs.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 7, 2019 COMMON ERA

The Third Thing/The Third Thing (Redux)   1 comment

Above:  Matilda

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 2, EPISODE 7

MAIN CAST

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

Graham Harley as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)–in Starhunter 2300

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)–in Starhunter Redux, Season 2

SUPPORTING CAST

Richard Zeppieri as Julian Sanders

Carla Collins as Matilda

Shanly Trinidad as Nasdeen

Marqus Bobesich as Tremayne

Billy Otis as Brent

Malcolm Younger as Griffin

Jerry Getty as Man

Martha Ferguson as Woman

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = David Wheatley

Writers = Michael Allcock and Roger Gartland

Composer (Theme–Starhunter 2300) = Peter Gabriel (Darker Star, arranged and mixed by Richard Evans and David Rhodes)

Composers (Episode–Starhunter 2300) = The Insects (Bob Locke and Tim Norfolk)

Composer (Theme–Starhunter Redux, Season 2) = Donald Quan

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:48:24

Length of Redux episode = 0:44:01

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Nasdeen with Julian Sanders

A Screen Capture

  1. The frequently seen street in Syn City, Io, Jupiter Federation, is a standing set.  Producers must have spread the costs of constructing it over at least half the season.
  2. This episode includes a mention of the Lunar-Terran Federation of attempts to renew the Earth.
  3. Carla Collins is a successful comedian, “the Queen of Comedy” and “Canada’s Tina Fey.”
  4. I like Tanya Allen’s deadpan delivery of lines, from “That’s not my job” in The Newsroom (1996) to “Because we’re cute and funny” in this episode.
  5. We hear a name drop of Lou Tove, from Star Crossed.
  6. Holovision, an evolution of television, is a popular form of entertainment in 2300.
  7. During a lull in good bounty hunting jobs, the crew of the Transutopian (minus Travis, who takes an easy job, to keep his face off holovision), earns six months’ worth of money by appearing in a “documentary,” actually a weekly episode of faux reality program called The Third Thing.  The audience is on Mars, but the studio and host are in orbit of Jupiter.
  8. Callie insists physically and in vain that her face stay off the broadcast.  Travis also asks in vain that his face stay off the air.
  9. Most of the crew and staff of The Third Thing are dodgy characters.  Matilda, the host, makes up what she does not know.  For example, she invents a family dynamic for Callie.  Anyone who remembers Chasing Janus knows that what Matilda is false.  Also, Julian Sanders lies repeatedly and shamelessly.  He and Matilda conspire to spice up the episode, and cause two people, including staff member Nasdeen, to die.  Nasdeen is the only sympathetic staff member of the show.  She needs the job to afford to take care of her child.
  10. Percy and Marcus get off the Tulip and assume the lead roles in the next bounty hunting job, the rigged one.  They wind up pursuing Tremayne, an ex-raider and an assassin.  An unnamed woman becomes the first person to die after Tremayne and Marcus recognize each other, and a shootout ensues in a bar on Clarke Station.
  11. According to Mathilda, in this episode of The Third Thing the first thing is the antagonist, the second thing is the antagonist (Tremayne), and the third thing is Callie (abducted, to raise the stakes).
  12. A cortical implant turns one into a human camera.  Julian Sanders, Marcus, Nasdeen, and Tremayne each have one.
  13. Rudolpho, who helped to arrange the appearance on The Third Thing without knowing how badly matters would go, rescues Callie.
  14. Callie and Percy terminate the broadcast with weapons.
  15. The settlement at the end of the episode entails no side filing charges against the other.
  16. Travis returns from his “baby sitting job” and asks how the broadcast went.

Next:  Torment, or dealing with Rudolpho’s adolescent daughter.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 7, 2019 COMMON ERA

Becoming Shiva/Becoming Shiva (Redux)   1 comment

Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.

J. Robert Oppenheimer, quoting the Bhagavad-Gita, following the Trinity Test, July 16, 1945

Above:  Nailson and Salvatore

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 2, EPISODE 6

MAIN CAST

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

Graham Harley as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)–in Starhunter 2300

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)–in Starhunter Redux, Season 2

SUPPORTING CAST

Jonathan Sagall as Salvatore

Elisa Moolecherry as Nailson

James Carroll as Detective

Hayden Baptiste as Arun

Don Willmott as Opening Space Station Worker

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Colin Bucksey

Writer = Denis McGrath

Composer (Theme–Starhunter 2300) = Peter Gabriel (Darker Star, arranged and mixed by Richard Evans and David Rhodes)

Composers (Episode–Starhunter 2300) = The Insects (Bob Locke and Tim Norfolk)

Composer (Theme–Starhunter Redux, Season 2) = Donald Quan

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:48:04

Length of Redux episode = 0:44:09

BACKGROUND

Above:  Nailson

A Screen Capture

Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction and one-third of a triad.  The other two-thirds of the triad are Brahma (the creator) and Vishnu (the preserver).  Shiva’s destruction is part of a cycle, for the purpose of re-creation.  This understanding is applicable to the mindset of the ecoterrorists in this episode.

Salvatore misquotes J. Robert Oppenheimer, though.  According to Salvatore, Oppenheimer said, “I am become Shiva, the destroyer of worlds.”  The portion of the Bhagavad-Gita Oppenhiemer quoted is in the mouth of Krishna, in the guise of Arjuna’s chariot-driver.  I am a Christian (an Episcopalian, to be precise), not a Hindu.  Yet I know from sources that Krishna is not Shiva.  According to what I have read, Krishna is an incarnation (the eighth incarnation, actually) of Vishnu, who is not Shiva.

Salvatore does not care about historical accuracy in quoting people and about details of Hindu theology, apparently.

Tanya Allen and Elisa Moolecherry worked together during the 1996-1997 season of The Newsroom, a superb comedy series.

What is the state of the Earth since Resurrection (1.22), set in late 2286?  The events of this episode exist in the same universe as the events of that episode.  I conclude that the seeds must not have destroyed all life on the planet and that they did not restore the atmosphere either.  Did those seeds change anything?  The Earth is, according to Rudolpho, who spent part of his youth there, “a sewer.”  We also learn that people who live on Earth are the only humans who can die of cancer.

Jeremy, Nailson’s son, died of cancer at age seven.

We will hear more about conditions on the mother planet in the next episode, The Third Thing.

Percy tells Marcus that Dante saved the Earth.  That may be her recollection, but it is inconsistent with the events of Resurrection (1.22), for Dante did not prevent the Raiders from releasing the seeds into the atmosphere.  As I recall, Dante could not even save himself and Travis (Mark I, the actual Travis).

Percy also tells Marcus that she has been to Earth.  I wonder if she referred to the events of The Divinity Cluster (1.1) or those of Resurrection (1.22).  One may recall that, in Family Values (1.3), Percy said she had never been to Earth.

I do not assume that characters in works of fiction always speak accurately or truthfully.

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Percy would still rather punch Nailson in the face.

A Screen Capture

  1. Ring Shepherd, Saturn Federation:  Nailson and Salvatore, leader of Terra’s Children, plant a bomb in restricted area of the space station still under construction.  They say, “For Terra.”  Then they depart.  Two workers enter the area shortly thereafter.  Nailson and Salvatore, getting away in their ship, hear sounds of human activity.  Nailson is concerned, but Salvatore does not care.  The bomb explodes and the men die.
  2. Terra’s Children, an Earth First organization active for about seven years, has targeted structures, not people.  Until this episode, that is.
  3. Syn City, Io, Jupiter Federation, two days later:  A detective informs Travis of a message from Terra’s Children; there is a threat of an attack in Syn City in one day.  The detective hires the crew of the Tulip to bring in Salvatore.  We get an update on Gus and Arnot from Biocrime, three episodes ago:  They cashed out after the Father Abode mess.
  4. Callie and Marcus remain on the Tulip and tap into Syn City (What a sin city it is!) surveillance cameras.  Marcus, Callie, and Rudolpho pound the pavement in Syn City.  Salvatore plants a bag containing a bomb.  Nailson removes the bag and disarms the bomb.  After Percy and Marcus alert their colleagues to Nailson’s whereabouts, Nailson becomes a prisoner quickly.  Salvatore gets away, though.
  5. Salvatore returns to Adrastea, the smallest moon of Jupiter, and the site of a base.  He has a plan to use the Transutopian to push Adrastea (with bombs on it) into the gas giant planet and cause an explosion that will destroy the Tulip, create a radiation wave, and kill three billion people.  Salvatore sends two of the groups members to Ring Shepherd, where they kill two security guards and, in the guise of security guards, board the Tulip.
  6. Nailson contemptuously calls Percy a “can dweller” and refuses to answer questions.  Percy eventually persuades Nailson to reveal details by turning the gravity in her cell to nine times the gravity of Earth.
  7. Marcus has never sat under a tree or stood under an open sky.
  8. “Gone to Terra” is a euphemism for having died.
  9. Members of Terra’s Children die while attempting to seize control of the Tulip.
  10. When Travis, Callie, and Rudolpho go to Adrastea, Salvatore and other members of Terra’s Children surrender–or do they?  Salvatore and those with him constitute the second wave of ecoterrorists who try to seize control of the ship.  That leaves the three members Callie and Rudolpho guard until the bounty hunters flee, due to the polonium explosives.  Callie and Rudolpho, in a stolen terrorist shuttle, pursue Salvatore, in a shuttle he stole from the Tulip.  Callie uses a particle beam to damage Salvatore’s engines.  His fate will be that of the three billion people he wants to murder.
  11. Salvatore orders the increasingly radicalized Nailson, standing on the Tulip‘s bridge, to abort the plan.  She disobeys; it is too late for that, she says.  Percy points a gun at Nailson, who points a gun at Percy.  Then Travis enters the bridge.  Nailson points her gun at him, and he kills her.
  12. Marcus frustrates the terrorists’ plan by shutting down the Transutopian‘s engines.
  13. I guess the other three terrorists remained on Adrastea.  The episode does not answer that question.
  14. The Tulip heads for Ring Shepherd, to turn Salvatore over to authorities.
  15. Travis asks Percy is okay.  She replies, “No.”

Next:  Most of the crew of the Tulip faces another potentially lethal challenge, “reality” programming, in The Third Thing.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 24, 2019 COMMON ERA

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Spaceman/Spaceman (Redux)   1 comment

Above:  Mishkin and Percy

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 2, EPISODE 5

MAIN CAST

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

Graham Harley as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)–in Starhunter 2300

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)–in Starhunter Redux, Season 2

SUPPORTING CAST

Michael Filipowich as Mishkin

Frank Moore as Commander Orlando

Neil Girvan as Soldier #1

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = David Wheatley

Writers = Nelu Ghiran and David Wheatley

Composer (Theme–Starhunter 2300) = Peter Gabriel (Darker Star, arranged and mixed by Richard Evans and David Rhodes)

Composers (Episode–Starhunter 2300) = The Insects (Bob Locke and Tim Norfolk)

Composer (Theme–Starhunter Redux, Season 2) = Donald Quan

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:48:01

Length of Redux episode = 0:44:12

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Colonel Orlando

A Screen Capture

  1. Michael Filopowich and Frank Moore previously appeared in Earth:  Final Conflict (1997-2002).  Filipowich portrayed Judson Corr, the assassin, who, on orders of Ronald Sandoval, murdered Kate, William Boone’s wife, in the first episode.  Moore played Hubble Urich, an advisor to U.S. President Andrew Thompson, in twenty-two episodes from 1999 to 2002.
  2. The Transutopian, on the edge an uncharted debris field near Saturn, detects life signs in a very small escape pod–barely large enough for one person.  The debris is that of a large freighter that imploded.   Rudolpho is the only member of the crew of the Tulip to voice caution, which turns out to be prophetic.
  3. The escape pod, taken aboard the Tulip, contains a man, who turns about to me Mishkin.  Percy’s attraction to him is obvious before he touches her.  Then he touches her.  She really becomes attracted to him.
  4. Mishkin, who recovers from amnesia during the episode, has the power to affect adversely the judgment of anyone he touches.  Percy has sex with Mishkin.  Marcus returns to his Raider ways.  Rudolpho, claiming to be the rightful owner of the Transutopian, plots to sell it.  He also strands Travis and Callie aboard a powerless shuttle in the debris field before retrieving a fighter, which he also intends to sell.  When Marcus, under Mishkin’s influence, becomes suspicious of Rudolpho, he locks the older man in his (Rudolpho’s) quarters.  Rudolpho resorts to using a weapon to burn through the doors.
  5. Mishkin’s effects are temporary.  They wear off in about a day.
  6. Marcus grew up in the Raiders.  He does not remember his parents.  We will learn about his family in The Heir and the Spare.
  7. The Varran clan hangs out near Io.
  8. Colonel Orlando contacts Travis and Callie, but does not rescue them.  His mission takes him to the Transutopian, which he and a small team of soldiers board.  Orlando is Mishkin’s father.  Mishkin is the prototype of a military experiment code named Trojan Horse.  His official purpose is to infiltrate groups and cause them to sabotage their causes.  Mishkin, however, cannot control whom he influences, friend or foe.  His touch causes a change in the subject’s brain activity–namely, bad judgment.  Mishkin escaped because he was too dangerous.  Orlando has been pursuing his son.  The colonel understands his sad duty to be to destroy his son.
  9. Percy tells Mishkin she never felt alive before she met him.
  10. Mishkin tells Percy he must leave the Tulip, or else people will die.  He returns to the escape pod, which she launches.  Orlando and men pursue him, but collisions with debris in the debris field destroy their ship and kill them.
  11. How long can Mishkin live?  Orlando said that Mishkin was dying.
  12. Travis and Callie continue to await rescue, soon to be on the way, when the episode ends.
  13. Mishkin’s power seems to entail accentuating some aspect (frequently negative, that which the best angels of one’s nature keep in control) of a person’s character.  Percy is lonely and emotionally withdrawn.  Unfortunately for her, she can never find a good boyfriend.  Rudolpho is greedy.  Marcus has a background in the Raiders; he is somewhat violent.

Next:  Becoming Shiva, which is about environmental terrorists.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 24, 2019 COMMON ERA

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Reflections on the Possessions of the Deceased   2 comments

I have helped to clean out two apartments of deceased people since the middle of August.

Last August, in Americus, Georgia, I did much of the cleaning out of the apartment of my maternal grandmother, Barbara Futch, who died at the age of 89 years.  My grandmother was aware that she was leaving much–especially clothing, as well as tubes and bottles of various creams and pills–for others to go through.  However, she lacked the energy level to dispose of more of it than she did.

I knew Bonny Thomas for over a decade.  I also understood that she had a mental illness.  Bonny, under the influence of that illness, became the fifth victim of a police-involved shooting in Athens-Clarke County, since March 2019.  I also knew a compassionate, vivacious woman who had a whimsical side and enjoyed watching films noir with me as we ate pizza and drank coke, and who liked to watch Columbo episodes with me as we at Hamburger Helper.  When she died, on October 14, one pillar of my world collapsed.

Yesterday, a few members (just enough to be about right–not too few, not too many) of my parish and I emptied Bonny’s apartment.  (Her family had taken the last of what they wanted a few days prior.)  Bonny had died, never to enter her apartment or mine again, but her possessions remained.  Most of them have gone to benefit a local charity that helps battered women.

Life is short and precious.  Much of it consists of that which is intangible, which is more important that the majority of that which is tangible.  Nevertheless, packing up and deciding what to do with the possessions of the deceased is an uncomfortable task.  It is also a tangible reminder of that person’s departure.  Completing that task can simultaneously be comforting and sad.  On one hand, the task is done; one can move on from no-longer unfinished business now.  Yet the emotions of loss can come to the fore.

I understand the Roman Catholic fixation on relics of saints.  After all, I keep relics of friends and relatives.  I have two chests and one tall bookcase full of photographs, school annuals, documents, books, et cetera.  That which is tangible, despite being less important than that which is intangible, has power.  The deceased have moved on, but an object one can hold has sentimental value.   Now my archives include relics of Bonny Thomas.  But if I could have her back, I would, of course.

One day (not any time soon, I hope; I love life) my turn to be the deceased will come.  Others will have the responsibility of disposing of my worldly possessions.  I am preparing for that day, with the intention that their task will require just a few hours–the more the helping hands, the fewer the hours.  I live comfortably in about 600 square feet.  My abode has relatively large empty areas in it.  Yet I review my possessions periodically and ask if I should donate to a thrift store or give to a person.  After all, they should be possessions; they should not possess me.  I do not want them to become a burden to anyone, including me.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 22, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ROBERT SEAGRAVE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF DITLEF GEORGSON RISTAD, NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, HYMN TRANSLATOR, LITURGIST, AND EDUCATOR