Archive for the ‘Starhunter (2000-2001)’ Category

Science Fiction Puns   3 comments

  1. One must have a warped sense of humor to crack a joke about a starship’s nacelles.
  2. Is a man who brawls while wearing a cravat a tie fighter?  Did I force this pun?
  3. Was Percy Montana predestined to be on the Tulip?
  4. It would behoove you to watch more Doctor Who and therefore be more enterprising.  You might even decide to embark on a great trek.  That would certainly be the logical decision.
  5. A Jedi knight who conducts music is Obi-Wand Kenobi.
  6. Every seven years a Vulcan must travel a great distance to tell double entendres.  This is the pun farr.
  7. Watching old episodes of Doctor Who makes me crave cereals.
  8. Is a picture of Mira Furlan a Mira image?
  9. Is a drink favored by a Ferengi junior officer in Starfleet egg nog?
  10. If H. G. Wells had written a novel about herbs, might he have called it The Thyme Machine?

Guide Post to Starhunter (Series 1) Episode Reviews   1 comment


Title Card for Starhunter


This post should simplify then process of navigating my episode guide.




The Divinity Cluster:


Family Values:

Siren’s Song:

The Man Who Sold the World:

Peer Pressure:


Past Lives:


Cell Game:

Black Light:

Goodbye, So Long:

The Most Wanted Man:

Half Dense Players:

Dark and Stormy Night:

Super Max:

A Twist in Time and Eat Sin:

Bad Girls:

Bad Seed:




Posted July 16, 2013 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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Starhunter–Resurrection (2001)   7 comments

The Pensive Percy Montana


I have conducted many Internet searches regarding Starhunter.  There is a consensus that this is “hard science fiction,” my favorite variety of that genre.  Indeed, Resurrection, the final episode of the 2000-2001 series, contains much “hard science fiction.”  It is also replete with human moments.  Dante and Travis learn how to deal with each other, finally achieving an equilibrium.  Travis learns how to adjust to his new situation, in which he is no longer the pirate king.  And Percy, who dislikes Travis, wonders how her cousin’s presence will affect her relationship with her uncle.  We see also how much Dante has forgiven Luc for her deceptions in the first part of the series.

The major story threads come to a head in Resurrection.  Unfortunately, the episode ends in a cliffhanger, leaving major questions unanswered.  On the other hand, at least I care about what might have happened since.  I recall some tepid cliffhangers from later seasons of Star Trek:  The Next Generation; Starhunter is much better at dramatic tension.

Resurrection begins with Eccleston staggering into a bar on Mars.  Eccleston disappeared into another dimension at the end of The Divinity Cluster, at the beginning of the series.  But he is back, looking and sounding much worse for the wear.  The emcee invites him to sing.  So Eccleston performs a harrowing version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

The Emcee

The Emcee is an Orchard informant.  He informs Navarre of Eccleston’s return.


This is the emcee’s final act, for Eccleston vaporizes him with a touch.


In the next scene, Tosca listens to the emcee’s transmission to Navarre.  She says “Wing a ding-ding” to herself in a Southern accent.  (Actress Angie Hill did grow up in Virginia.  Most accents in Starhunter are Canadian or British, so a Southern accent stands out.)

Meanwhile, Raider ships pursue and fire on the Tulip.  The former luxury liner is in a particularly bad state, having developed a crack in its reactor and depleted its supply of torpedoes.  The Raiders could board the ship easily, if they want, but Seneca orders them to break off the attack.  The Raiders return to their headquarters, where we, the viewers, see Seneca’s side of a long-distance transmission.  The Raiders are about to begin the final stage of what they call Operation Barbarossa, and he sends the other party coordinates of the Tulip, for picking up “the chosen one,” that is, Travis/Zephryn.


Back on the Tulip, Travis says that the Raiders are headed toward Earth.  Now he realizes that Seneca had lied to him; the seeds will not heal Earth’s atmosphere.  No, they will kill all life on the planet.  Granted, Earth is barely habitable, but millions of people–mainly scientists, engineers, and their families–live there, trying to rehabilitate the planet.  Percy, who is moody, does not believe Travis.  And Luc, at Dante’s suggestion, returns to her quarters to retrieve the communication code required to contact Navarre.  Luc might not trust Orchard communication channels, but this is an emergency.

Percy leaves the Bridge to do some welding in the engine room.  So father and son are alone.  Travis needs to rest, so Dante escorts him to designated quarters.  And, for the first time in this episode, Dante decides not to receive a transmission from Rudolpho.

Percy and Luc

Percy tries to restore the engines, at least partially, when Luc visits her.  The security officer seeks to comfort Percy, who wants nothing of it.  “We’re not buddies.  Just go,” the engineer retorts.


Dante is glad to have Travis back.  This a man who has spent the last eleven years and few months seeking his son.  Yet Dante is unsure about how to deal with Travis, who is a stranger to him.  Travis, likewise, does not know how to relate to his father.  He is rude to Dante in one scene, but does apologize shortly thereafter.


Dante checks in with Percy.  She cannot repair the engines, but she might be able to fix the communications system.  That is her next scheduled task.


Percy returns to her quarters, where she keeps the parts required to restore communications.  While there, she sees Eccleston appear before her then vanish.


Seneca completes another transmission.  Afterward he says to himself, “They seem so eager for our mission to succeed.  There is some subterfuge at work here.  We must be diligent.”

On board the Tulip, Percy tells Dante about Eccleston’s brief appearance, but her uncle does not believe her.

On the Bridge of the Tulip

Luc, after finding the communication code, sends an urgent message to Navarre.  She asks him to arrange for the Orchard to meet the Raider ships at Earth “with deadly force.”  Tosca overhears this transmission, too.

Percy and Travis

Travis visits Percy in her quarters.  She says that she will leave the Tulip soon, now that he is here.  Percy accuses her cousin of using the others on the ship for something, not that she cares what it is.  Travis does not deny this, but replies that everybody uses other people.

Caravaggio reminds Dante about Rudolpho’s transmission.  Dante says, “Not now, Car.”  Immediately, Navarre sends a transmission in which he invites Luc to join him on Mars; he is sending a shuttle.  Dante convinces Luc to accept the invitation, for she will serve the greater good.

Immediately before Luc departs the Tulip, she has the following discussion with Dante:

LUC:  Well, Captain Montana, it’s been quite a ride.

DANTE:  Take care of yourself.  Keep me posted.

LUC:  I’ll report back as soon as I can.  My one regret is that I had to lie to you in the beginning. I’m really sorry about that.

DANTE:  Don’t apologize.

Eccleston and Percy

Eccleston materializes in Percy’s quarters.  At first he is disoriented, but he explains that he has returned to this dimension for a reason “important beyond all measure.”  There is no sensory input as we know it where he has been; there is just a “terrible beauty.”

Travis and Dante

In his quarters, Travis explains to Dante what it is like to have a perfect memory.  It is as though his head is always full of noise.  Only self-discipline prevents Travis from going mad.

Raider Ships Approach Earth

Luc joins Navarre on Mars.  They agree that it is imperative to stop the Raiders from seeding the Earth.  All they need to do is figure out how to do it.


Eccleston tells Percy that “something terrible is about to happen…in all of us.”

Luc and Navarre

Navarre informs Luc that “the Resistance has never fully recovered since the death of Darius.”  He says that giving into despair is not an option; neither is failure.


Tosca and armed guards barge in.  Then a guard kills Navarre.

Percy brings Eccleston to Travis and Dante, both of whom are surprised.  Eccleston says, “I was wrong, terribly wrong.  The Cluster isn’t about freedom.  If triggered in enough people, it will begin a process that guarantees the extinction of the entire human race.”  He continues by explaining that he has seen those who are waiting to be resurrected–reborn–in us.  He wants to prevent this, but he needs help, for he is too weak to do this on his own.

Eccleston, Travis, and Dante

Travis is skeptical, so Eccleston grabs his head and says, “Know what I know, see what I see.”  Travis touches Travis, and blue light glows.  Afterward, both Montanas realize that Eccleston speaks the truth.

Tosca and Luc

Tosca denies being involved in the plot to murder Darius.  Besides, she says, Luc’s father was more valuable to her alive.  Tosca says that Darius a great man, for he was the first to realize that Travis Montana was the first naturally occurring instance of the Divinity Cluster and that Luc’s father was the architect of the plan to capture Travis.  This is the plan Tosca seeks to complete.  So Tosca transmits a message to an Orchard vessel:  “Begin extraction of the chosen one.”  That ship approaches the Tulip.

(Yep, Tosca has been in contact with Seneca.)

Eccleston, Travis, and Dante

Eccleston tells Travis and Dante that some Orchard members “crave the transformation.”

Eccleston, Travis, and Dante

Eccleston asks Travis, who has always been exposed to the Divinity Cluster, and Dante, to whom Tosca introduced the beginning of the Cluster, to grab his hand and visualize Earth.  Eccleston tells Percy not to join in, for nobody has introduced her to the Cluster, so her life might be in danger; he does not want her to die.  A blue light results in the transfer of the Tulip from Mars orbit to the outer threshold of Earth’s Moon.


Thus begins the process of Tosca’s plans going awry.  She is angry when she learns that the Tulip has moved so suddenly and quickly.  She suspects that this is the work of Eccleston and Travis.


Seneca is angry, too.  He suspects Orchard intrigue.  Tosca replies that she is as surprised as he is.  She continues, “Proceed with your mission…”

The Raiders, at Earth

Eccleston says that Travis must stop the Raiders; Dante’s son must “see the seeds then see them somewhere else, like the sun.”  Then the Raiders target the Tulip and fire a weapon that disables the ship’s systems, including Caravaggio.

Tosca and Luc

Tosca sends a transmission to the Tulip.  She says to send Travis to the Orchard or else Luc will die.  Travis remains on the ship, and Dante knows that he can do nothing to help his former security officer.  Next, Tosca sends a transmission to the Orchard Moon base:  “Extract the chosen one immediately.  Destroy the Tulip only after Travis is safe.”

Percy and Dante

Dante and Travis prepare to leave the Tulip, but Percy insists on remaining behind, to reboot Caravaggio.  Dante says he will be back, and uncle and niece embrace.

Dante and Travis, in a shuttle, follow the Raider ships into Earth’s atmosphere.  Travis tries to see the seeds then see them somewhere else.  Then the shuttle runs out of fuel.

Dante’s Shuttle

Then the Raiders fire on the shuttle.


Seneca gives the order to release the seeds immediately.

Travis tells Dante that he could not see the seeds then see them somewhere else.  As Seneca watches the shuttle fall toward Earth, he says, “Goodbye, Zephryn.”


Tosca is angry to learn that Travis is aboard a shuttle falling toward Earth.  Luc asks, “Something go wrong?”

The Raiders target the Tulip. Percy reboots Caravaggio just in time to learn this fact.

Eccleston and Percy

Eccleston asks Percy to take his hand; he will protect her as best he can.  She agrees.  His final words to her are, “Remember what you love.”

Where is the Tulip?

The Tulip vanishes.


Tosca is having a very bad day.  “What do you mean it disappeared?!” she asks.  Frustrated, she points a gun at Luc and pulls the trigger.

Meanwhile, the shuttle is about to crash.  Travis says, “I love you father.”  Dante replies, “I love you son.”  They hold hands, and Dante tells Travis to “see home.”

On board a deserted Tulip, Caravaggio views Rudolpho’s transmission.  Rudolpho is out of the bounty hunting business, now that he has won a court case.  So he gives the Tulip to Dante.  “Use her well.  Use her to make every dream you’ve ever had come true,” he says.

Dante with Young Travis

Dante awakens on Titan, in November 2264.  Penny is alive, and Travis is a small boy.


Warning sirens wail.  The Raiders are attacking.  This is the day that the Raiders killed Penny and abducted Travis.

So ends Starhunter.

There are some unanswered questions, among them:

  1. Did Travis save Earth?
  2. Will Dante be able to save Travis and Penny this time, now that he is back in the past?  (Starhunter has established the ability to move back and forth in time.)
  3. Where did Percy and Eccleston go?
  4. Where did the Tulip go?
  5. Did or will Eccleston succeed in his mission to prevent human extinction?
  6. Is Luc alive?
  7. Will the Resistance within the Orchard triumph?

I know; some people will mention Starhunter 2300.  As I have written in previous posts, that series takes place in a parallel universe.  It seems that the universe of Starhunter 2300 is one in which 2300 minus 2276 equals fifteen years.  (The year 2276 comes from the Starhunter episode Black Light, and Rebirth, the first episode of Starhunter 2300, opens on January 3, 2300.)  And Rebirth opens with Percy on board the Tulip, which has been in hyperspace, where it is not at the end of Resurrection.  Furthermore, the Travis Montana of Rebirth has never met Dante (after his abduction, that is), has just met Percy for the first time in 2300, and has never heard of the Divinity Cluster.  I suspect that the writers of Starhunter 2300 did not watch Starhunter closely.

Besides, Starhunter is the better series.  Its characters are more interesting.  Even Percy, who is in both series, is more fascinating and prominent in the older series.  Also, the stories in Starhunter are edgier and generally better than those in Starhunter 2300, a series I have watched on Hulu.  (Not that Starhunter 2300 lacks merit.)

I close this post by encouraging you, O reader, to watch Starhunter again and again in a method consistent with copyright laws.



I used the Power DVD program to acquire screen captures from a legal DVD.

Posted January 18, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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Starhunter–Travis (2001)   4 comments

Travis Montana, a.k.a Zephryn


Dante Montana’s quest for Travis, his long-lost son, recurs throughout Starhunter.  And finally, in episode #21, Travis, they reunite.  But Travis is not what anyone–especially Dante–expects.  I was surprised the first time I watched this episode, in the Summer of 2007.  I had purchased the complete season set from my local Best Buy location.  Eagerly I watched all the shows, especially those I had not seen yet, which is to say, everything after Dark and Stormy Night.  It is sufficed to say that Travis Montana proved to be far more interesting than I had anticipated.

The penultimate episode opens almost a day after Bad Seed ends.  Dante has launched a probe to follow the Raider shuttle’s ion trail.  He has not slept or rested, due to his concern for Percy, whom he will not lose to the Raiders.

Percy’s Message

Then Dante receives a seventeen-hour-old message from Percy, among the Raiders.  She says:

Hey, Dante.  I asked them to let me send you a message to let you know that I’m okay, and I’m okay.  I’m sorry I made such a mess in your room, but you should clean your lockers more often.  You might find something you aren’t even looking for.  In the meantime, I’m going to be finding something that you were looking for.  See ya.

The Seeds

So Dante goes to his quarters, where he finds a mess, discovers that his virtual reality device is missing, and uncovers a small container of what he and Luc eventually realize are the coveted atmosphere-altering seeds.

Percy and Salomea

Meanwhile, back at Raiders headquarters, Percy hears about Zephryn, the leader of the Raiders.  He has “extraordinary gifts,” according to Salomea.  He can, for example, see time.  Percy must pass a DNA test (to confirm her identity) before she can see Zephryn.  She says that all she wants to do is see her cousin.


Shortly thereafter, an authoritative young man enters the room.

PERCY:  Travis?

TRAVIS:  I’m not called that anymore.


PERCY:  Are you Travis or not?

TRAVIS:  My Raider name is Zephryn.

PERCY:  If this is some kind of Raider joke, I’m not amused.

TRAVIS:  I am your cousin, Percy.

PERCY:  Well then, why don’t we do a DNA test on you, and then we’ll talk about it?

TRAVIS:  Yes, of course, if that ‘s what you want.

Percy and Travis

Then Travis asks a fellow Raider to send a for a technician from the Medical Bay and proceeds to convince Percy that he is who he claims to be by recounting childhood memories involving her.  “I remember everything,” he says.  When a Raider brings a DNA-testing device, Percy does not insist that Travis use it.

Travis believes that Penny experimented on him, thus granting him powers such as an extraordinary memory.  This is why he must speak to her via the virtual reality device.  Percy reveals that Dante has a disk that makes the device work, and that he keeps it on his person.  Travis thanks her for that information.

Seneca and Salomea

Seneca is the man Zephryn calls “father.”  He is also the leader’s adviser.  Salomea is Zephryn’s protector.  Seneca and Salomea oppose each other in this episode, for the former is an opportunist who cares nothing for Travis/Zephryn.  Salomea, however, is loyal to her leader.

Seneca is upset that Zephryn did not inform him of Salomea’s recent mission to the Tulip.  He thinks that it indicated poor judgment on the parts of both Zephryn and the protector.

SENECA:  Oh, and what could you possibly protect him from?


The Tulip Approaches the Raider Gathering

Dante, realizing what he has, decides to attempt to trade the seeds for Travis and Percy.   Both the Orchard and the Raiders want those seeds, and they might even be cooperating.  He suggests that Luc contact Navarre for information about the seeds, but Luc says that she does not trust Orchard communication channels anymore.  So she will search Orchard files herself.


Dante knows that he must put himself at risk, but offers Luc a way out.  She says, however, that she is in.  Her loyalties are to the Montanas, and she understands the cause of retrieving family members.  Luc says that she has worked for the Orchard and her father in a cause she did not understand, and thereby placed Dante and Percy at risk.  She wants to do the right thing now.  So she does.

Salomea and Seneca

Seneca knows that Dante has the seeds.  The adviser plans to use Percy and Travis as bargaining tools to acquire them.  Salomea criticizes Seneca for being so unfeeling, to no avail.


Seneca hails Dante, who offers to exchange the seeds for Percy and Travis.  Seneca says yes, that will happen.  He sends a shuttle to pick up Dante, to whom he has promised safety.  But Seneca is not a man of his word.


Salomea speaks to Zephryn/Travis in private.  The leader tells her to join the welcoming committee for Dante.  Seneca does not fear the protector, but he is afraid of Travis.  So her presence will keep Dante safe.  She obeys the command, and Dante is thereby safe.


On board the Tulip, Luc is reading a scientific journal article about using seeds to change atmospheres and terraform planets.  She notes that nowhere do the authors indicate that the seeds useful for this purpose are the same kind Dante has in his possession.  So she requests all germane Orchard files.

Aside:  Consider the information in the previous paragraph foreshadowing.

Navarre calls Luc to warn her to Tosca knows where Dante and Travis are, and that she has dispatched a heavily-armed vessel on a mission to capture Dante’s son.  “Dante is in serious danger,” the Orchard contact says.  So Luc prepares to take a shuttle on a rescue mission.

Percy and Dante

Dante and Percy reunite in the War Room.  Percy says, “I found Travis, but I don’t think he’s what you expected.”

Travis and Dante

Travis meets Dante for the first time in over a decade.  Travis has called Seneca “father” for most of his life, so he asks Dante for permission to call him by his first name.  Dante agrees.

Dante is shocked to learn that his son is the leader of the Raiders, a group he despises.  How would you feel if you were learn that a long-lost relative were the pirate king?

Dante hands the seeds to Travis, who gives them to Seneca.  The Raiders say that they want to recolonize the barely habitable Earth; they are tired of their nomadic lifestyle.  First, however, they must change the atmosphere to make the home planet of the human species more habitable.  Percy is skeptical.

Dante and Travis

The room clears, leaving Dante and Travis alone to speak to each other.  Travis reveals that there has always been a psychic link between father and son; he has always known where Dante has been.  The Raider leader has not made contact previously because “There were things I had to do.”  He knew the seeds would lead to a reunion at the right time, he continues.

Seneca and Two Junior Raiders

In a corridor, Seneca tells one Raider to kill Luc after her shuttle docks.  Then he tells the other Raider, “Then we’ll deal with the Montanas; they can’t be allowed to leave.”


Salomea overhears all of these comments.


In the War Room, Travis tells Dante that he knows about the Divinity Cluster.  He knows that Penny worked for the Orchard and thinks that she experimented on him.  Darius said as much to Dante in Dark and Stormy Night, but the captain did not believe Luc’s father.  And he does not accept the word of his son, either, even after Travis reveals that he has all of Penny’s Orchard files.

Luc’s Arrival

Luc arrives, only to find an armed Raider.

Salomea and Luc

But Salomea comes to Luc’s rescue and escorts her to Percy’s quarters.

Travis asks Dante to hand over the disc that makes the virtual reality device work.  Dante refuses, saying that Travis is not ready yet.  But Travis says he is ready.  “I have experienced multi-dimensional space,” he tells his father.  He continues, “I have abilities you can’t imagine.”

Dante and Travis

So Travis turns his eyes blue, thereby rendering Dante unconscious.  He removes the disk from one of Dante’s pockets and begins to use the virtual reality device.

Travis Using the Virtual Reality Device

Travis touches Dante’s hand so he and his natural father can speak to Penny together.

A Family Reunion

Travis uses one of his Divinity Cluster powers to bring Penny out of the dimension she inhabits.  The three family members converse, and Dante learns from Penny herself that she did work for the Orchard.  Penny never experimented on others, just herself.  The effects passed to Travis when she became pregnant with him.  Dante feels betrayed, and Penny is remorseful.  Travis forgives her before sending her into the Fourth Dimension, where she will find peace.

Meanwhile, Percy, Luc, and Salomea compare notes.  They work on a escape plan involving Dante, and Salomea realizes that she must warn Travis that the Orchard is coming for him.

Salomea and Seneca

Travis has kept the War Room locked all this time.  So when Seneca wants to enter it, the computer says that only the protector can do that.  Salomea refuses initially, but a weapon pointed at her proves persuasive.  Travis leaves the War Room to return to his quarters, leaving Salomea, Seneca, and Dante.  The adviser says that Dante may leave with Percy, but not Travis.

Seneca and Dante

Dante head butts Seneca and flees with Salomea to the airlock, where Percy is waiting.  (Luc is already in the shuttle.)

Salomea, Travis, and Dante

Dante and Salomea intercept Travis in the corridor.  She begins to warn him about the Orchard and Seneca, but the latter shoots her before she can finish.  Dante and Travis flee to the airlock, where Percy is waiting.


So Travis, Percy, and Dante are at the airlock, with Travis standing in the corridor.  Seneca points a gun in their direction.

SENECA:  Think about what you’re doing.  We have an empire to build, you and I.  These people are nothing compared to the destiny that awaits you.

TRAVIS:  Your destiny and mine are not the same, father.  I know that now.  Whatever destiny you say you believe in, killing these people will only bring harm.


SENECA:  You must trust my judgment, son.

TRAVIS:  I know now that you will kill them no matter what I say.  But you won’t kill me, will you, father?  Without me, you have little power, even among your own people.

DANTE:  Travis, let’s go.  Come on, let’s go.

SENECA:  Zephyrn.

The three Montanas leave for the prepped shuttle.

SENECA:  (More emphatically) Zephryn.  (Even more emphatically) Zephryn.


SENECA:  You can’t leave!

The shuttle returns to the Tulip.

Roll the end credits.

There is some question in certain websites where people discuss Starhunter whether Zephryn is really Travis.  Some people refer to a scene in the U.S. broadcast version of the final episode in which there is a voice over of Zephryn’s thoughts.  They think I am Travis, he supposed to say inside his head.  This voice over is not present on the DVD version of that episode, however.  Others point to the Starhunter 2300 series, in which Travis has not met Dante and does not encounter Percy until the first episode.  Furthermore, the Travis of Starhunter 2300 has no idea what the Divinity Cluster is.  But Starhunter 2300 is set in a universe parallel to that of Starhunter, so Zephryn is Travis, at least in the reality of the first series.

Keep you seatbelts buckled, for Resurrection, the last episode of Starhunter, is next.  It is quite a ride.  Unfortunately, it is also a cliffhanger.  Anyhow, Tosca, my favorite Orchard baddie, will be back, and Seneca will not let Travis go without a fight.  The true purpose of those seeds will become clear, too.



I used the Power DVD program to obtain screen captures from a legal disc.

Posted January 15, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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Starhunter–Bad Seed (2001)   2 comments



The previous nineteen episodes have contained various plot threads, including the Divinity Cluster, Dante’s quest for Travis, the Orchard’s search for Travis, the Raiders’ quest for atmosphere-altering seeds, and the Orchard’s search for the same seeds.  All of these continue in the three-part Starhunter finale, the first part of which is Bad Seed.  It is a dramatic ride.  Why not follow it with me?


Orchard troops, commanded by Tosca, board the Tulip, which is in orbit of Jupiter.  They disable then reprogram Caravaggio, lock Percy and Luc in their quarters, flood those quarters with a nerve agent, and remove Dante from the ship.  Most high-ranking Orchard members are well-dressed and groomed, and most of them are villainous.  This constitutes evidence of the cliche which states that one should not judge a book by its cover.


Aboard space station Epsilon 187, also in the Jupiter system, Tosca argues with Navarre.


The two Orchard members disagree about the best way to proceed, given the manifestations of the Divinity Cluster.  Navarre wants to gather more information, but Tosca thinks it best to act immediately.  She issues a thinly-veiled threat when she says that Navarre sounds like Darius.

Tosca and Dante

Elsewhere on Epsilon 187, Tosca begins to experiment on Dante.  She tells him that she wants to find Travis, and that Dante will lead the Orchard to the long-lost son.  Travis, is seems, has the ability “to unlock the greatest mystery of all,” the Divinity Cluster.

So Tosca injects Dante with a serum, Eccleston’s handiwork, in hopes of establishing a psychic link between father and son.

Tosca and Dante

This does not work, for Dante sinks instead into his subconscious mind, where he sees an image of Penny, his late wife.

Navarre Approaching the Tulip

Meanwhile, Navarre takes a shuttle to the Tulip.


He uses his Orchard password, “Cassandra’s Warning Heeded” to order Caravaggio, who has a split personality due to the recent reprogramming, to replace the atmosphere in the quarters.


Percy and Luc awake.

Then Navarre boards the ship.


Percy, locked in her quarters, begins to hotwire the doors to her quarters.  Bad, reprogrammed Caravaggio taunts her and triggers the ship’s self-destruct mechanism.  She tells bad Caravaggio that she ‘s “a vindictive little person,” opens the doors, and runs into the corridor.


Simultaneously, Navarre overrides the controls to Luc quarters.  The doors open, revealing Luc, who points a gun at Navarre.  He says that he knew Darius then shows Luc some capsules for Eccleston’s injection device.  Navarre states that Darius said Luc would know what they are.  Luc looks at the capsules and asks, “Eccleston?”

Percy meets Luc and Navarre in the corridor.  Navarre says they all must go, but Percy replies that she must stop the self-destruct countdown.  So Luc and Navarre depart for Epsilon 187.  On the way, Navarre reveals that, although there is no evidence that Tosca was involved in Darius’ death, she did “abruptly cancel” the investigation.


On the Tulip, Percy aborts the self-destruct countdown and restores Caravaggio, but only briefly.  Bad Caravaggio returns and begins a new countdown, both of which she ends by rebooting the computer.  First, however, she discovers the much-coveted atmospheric seeds in her kaleidoscope.  Plot threads from episode #12, Goodbye, So Long, return.


A Raider shuttle docks as Percy saves the Tulip from bad Caravaggio.  The unexpected visitor is Salomea, one of those rare Raider women.

Salomea and Percy

Travis has sent Salomea to retrieve Dante’s virtual reality device for speaking to an image of Penny.  It seems that Travis has known that Dante has been searching for him.  Furthermore, Percy must come with Salomea to show how to use the device.

Space Station Epsilon 187

Navarre and Luc arrive at Epsilon 187, where Navarre administer an antidote to Dante, whom they break out.  Luc and Dante leave, to return to the Tulip, while Navarre feigns ignorance about what has happened while a skeptical Tosca listens.

Salomea and Percy

Percy completes the reboot of Caravaggio immediately before she leaves with Salomea.  Percy asks the A.I. to tell Dante that she will be back soon.


Dante and Luc return to the Tulip shortly after Percy departs.  He finds the ion trail of the Raider shuttle then orders Caravaggio to follow it.

The Raider Shuttle

Aboard the Raider shuttle, Percy says, “So, tell me about Travis.”  Salomea replies, “What do you want to know?”  Percy answers, “I don’t know.  How about we start with everything?”

Thus the episode ends.  We will meet the long-lost Travis in the next installment.  This three-part finale keeps getting better.  Not only will we learn more about Dante’s son, but we will discover the true importance of those seeds and why the Orchard is so interested in Travis.



I used the Power DVD program to obtain screen captures from a legal DVD.

Posted January 14, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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Starhunter–Bad Girls (2001)   2 comments

Percy (Really, do I need an excuse to post images of her?  Of course not!)


The Orchard is back, creepier than ever, in Bad Girls, the tale of a desperate father in over his head and trying to protect his two adolescent daughters from the consequences of his mistakes.  Not only is the Orchard back in all its amorality, but so are those genetically-modified, atmosphere-adjusting seeds from episode #12, Goodbye, So Long.  Yes, O observant reader, we are on the short countdown toward the series conclusion, which involves those seeds and the Orchard, and, unfortunately, ends on a cliffhanger.

But, you might say, what about Starhunter 2300?  That series is set in a parallel universe.  Compare the final scenes of Starhunter, episode #22, and the first scenes of Starhunter 2300, episode #1.  Pay very close attention. Then you will know what I mean.

Now for Bad Girls….


Percy is installing Percy’s Internal Defense System (PIDS) in the large room outside the airlock at the shuttle bay.  PIDS consists of automatic weapons triggered by motion sensors.  The purpose is to kill invaders.


Unfortunately, Percy has not checked with Dante first.  He discovers the existence of PIDS quite by accident, when it shoots at him.  Then he tells Percy to dismantle the system.  She does not want to comply, so she takes her time “working” on dismantling it.

Rudolpho’s First Message

Rudolpho calls to tell Dante to transport Stephen Hamilton and his daughters.  Hamilton, who works for a large biochemical corporation, is an old business associate of Rudolpho.  But Luc knows that this corporation, which is developing new terraforming technology, has ties to the Orchard.  So Dante is essentially a taxi cab driver for the Orchard.

Stephen Hamilton

Elsewhere, Stephen Hamilton communicates with Peter, an Orchard spokesman.  Peter says that Hamilton’s corporation took Orchard funds and did not deliver the expected result.  Hamilton replies that he “did not realize how dangerous these people could be” and requests Orchard protection for himself and his daughters from his corporation.  Peter agrees, in exchange for data files and “something more.”  Hamilton agrees, saying, “Whatever you say.”


Meanwhile, back on the Tulip, Percy is still “working” (or so she says) on dismantling PIDS.

Ayla and Cordulla Hamilton

The three Hamiltons arrive on the Tulip.  Ayla and Cordulla, the daughters go to their own quarters, and Stephen to his.  Ayla and Cordulla, being approximately Percy’s age, seek her out in her quarters.

Percy, Wearing a Dress

This wardrobe includes a dress, which Percy wears briefly before reverting to her former attire.  The dress, she says, “is not practical.”

Luc confronts Hamilton, who admits that he is a broker between his biochemical corporation and the Orchard.  His employer needed funds, so he arranged a meeting with the Orchard.  He is initially mum about further details.

Rudolpho sends another transmission, in which he informs Dante that an Authority Marshal will dock soon.  Dante is to turn Hamilton to this marshal.  Rudolpho explains that Hamilton owes a large sum of money to an unnamed party, which is willing to pay to have him arrested.  And Rudolpho is willing to oblige, of course.

Stephen Hamilton

Dante and Luc inform Hamilton of the warrant.  He is not entirely surprised, and he takes the news calmly–at first.  Hamilton says that both daughters should be present, so Cordulla goes to retrieve Ayla.

Cordulla and Ayla Hamilton

Cordulla is delayed, however, as Ayla is high on a drug called Charge.  So is Percy.  Dante goes to retrieve the daughters.

Stephen Hamilton and Luc

Hamilton and Luc are alone briefly.  He explains that he owes a large sum of money to the biochemical company, and that the Orchard is really after Luc, not him.  He is supposed to turn Luc over to the Orchard, which has agreed to pay off his debt to the biochemical corporation.  Darius had powerful enemies within the Orchard, and a shadow of suspicion has fallen over anyone associated with him.

An angered Dante returns with Hamilton’s daughters and tells the father to keep the girls away from Percy.  Next, Dante returns to Percy’s quarters and confines her to them.  Then he walks back to Hamilton’s quarters, where the wanted man explains that the alleged Authority Marshal, whose shuttle has just docked, is not really a marshal.

Carl, the Fake Marshal

Carl, the fake Authority Marshal, arrives.  Dante and Luc, armed, meet him and demand to see the warrant.  Carl refuses, saying it is not necessary.  Hamilton, also armed, confronts Carl, who pursues him through the corridors of the Tulip.

The Hamiltons

Hamilton takes his daughters to a secure place on board the Tulip.

Stephen Hamilton

He contacts Peter, of the Orchard.  The spokesman says that the Orchard knows Hamilton does not have the data files on the atmospheric seeds.  So Hamilton’s last chance to protect himself and his daughters is to “terminate Lucretia Scott immediately.”

Carl the fake Authority Marshal takes Percy, whom he finds wandering the corridors while high, hostage.  Carl, thinking that she is one of Hamilton’s daughters.  The faux marshal demands an exchange of Percy for Hamilton in the large room outside the airlock at the shuttle bay.  Carl takes Percy to that room, where Luc is waiting, armed.  Dante, armed, escorts Hamilton to the same room.  Carl dies when Dante shoots him.

Then an unauthorized shuttle, containing an execution squad, docks.  At the same time, Hamilton takes Luc hostage (briefly), and his daughters arrive at the scene of the action.

The Execution Squad

The execution squad arrives, just in time for PIDS to kill every member thereof.  Aren’t you glad Percy disobeyed orders?

Bad News for Stephen Hamilton

Dante tells Hamilton to prepare to go to the brig.  The bounty hunter will drop him off at Mars.  After that, Dante does not care what happens to the wanted man.  The daughters, we are led to believe, will be okay.

And Percy agrees to dismantle PIDS, but says that she has another idea.  Dante is wary.

There are some foreboding hints, however.  The Orchard is not through with Hamilton.  Neither is it finished with the crew of the Tulip.

Next we have the three-part finale.  Each of these episodes is momentous, so I will devote one blog post per installment.  The seeds will play a crucial role, and Dante will reunite with his son, Travis.  But will all of it mean?

Don’t expect an artificial, happy ending.



I used the Power DVD program to obtain screen captures from a legally purchased DVD.

Posted January 13, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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Starhunter–A Twist in Time and Eat Sin (2001)   3 comments

The Tulip


Starhunter is well-written series with interesting characters, so a non-science fiction fan can find it a rewarding experience.  It is also a science fiction series, so a person fascinated by speculative fiction can find the series attractive.   Episode #17 (A Twist in Time) and episode #18 (Eat Sin) are among the most sci-fi-ish installments of Starhunter.


A Twist in Time opens with Percy asking Caravaggio about Five, the insane prisoner locked up in the brig.  Caravaggio replies that Five’s crimes are “heinous” and “unspeakable.”  We viewers gather that the prisoner’s crimes entail the gruesome use of knives, but learn no details, not that we need any.


The Tulip approaches Triton, site of a secret research facility, contact with which has ceased.  Rudolpho hopes that the recovery of any survivors, if there are any, will result in the payment of huge fees.  The scientists at the secret lab were working on gravitons, which apparently can create an infinite number of bubble universes, which intersect with each other.

The Tulip

The Tulip suffers engine failure, causing it to fall toward Triton and placing the ship at risk of crashing within fifteen minutes.  Dante says he will get the engines back online, orders Percy to remain on the Bridge (in the event a manual override is necessary), and tells Luc to transfer Five to the shuttle and to prepare the shuttle (in case they have to abandon ship).  Yet Percy disobeys orders and heads for the engine room.  She cannot arrive, however, due to damage and radiation.

Five and Luc

Luc transfers Five to the shuttle, where she secures the prisoner and preps the vessel for a possible evacuation.

Warp Anomalies

The Tulip, falling toward Triton, crosses paths with warp anomalies coming from the secret lab.  These cause damage to the ship.

Meanwhile, Caravaggio restores engines, just in time.


But it is too late for Percy.  She dies on the Observation Deck, where she flees in search of breathable air.  Dante cannot reach her because Caravaggio seals off that section of the ship due to lack of pressure.  Dante seeks another route to the Observation Deck, but runs through a time portal, which takes him back in time a few minutes.

Thus A Twist in Time begins to become repetitive, as Dante repeats the same few minutes three times, each recurrence being slightly different as he tries to get everything right.  Percy dies again the second time.    Dante saves Percy’s life the third time, but Luc dies.  Finally, everybody lives the fourth time.

Dante, Luc, and Percy

Dante tells Luc and Percy what happened.  They conclude that the Triton scientists had discovered how to use gravitons to manipulate space and time, but not how to control the process.  Dante gets up to refill his cup of coffee, turns around, sees that he is alone.  Where did Luc and Percy go?

Thus ends A Twist in Time.

Our main characters are isolated with Caravaggio and a copy of Five in bubble universes aboard the Tulip in Eat Sin.  How would you like to be stuck with a psychotic mass murderer?

This episode is also repetitive, with Luc, Dante, and Percy asking similar questions in their bubble universes, and with Five making nearly identical statements.  It seems, too, that a copy of Five from one bubble universe can move into another bubble universe.  So, although Five dies in each bubble universe, he keeps reappearing.

Five explains that he consumes the sin of people and returns evil to the universe, as it deserves.  He also reveals to Luc that he knows Darius, who is not dead in all universes.  So, what is Five’s connection to the Orchard?  He never reveals this.

Percy, being a technical genius, discovers how to use warp anomalies to move from one bubble universe to another.  So, as a copy of Five pursues her, she escapes that bubble universe and transfers to the one where Dante is.  Before she leaves, however, she tells Caravaggio to destroy that copy of the Tulip.

Bye-Bye To a Copy of the Tulip

One more copy of Five bites the dust.

Percy uses the same trick so she and Dante can escape his bubble universe, thereby escaping another copy of Five.

Bye-Bye To Another Copy of the Tulip

Caravaggio destroys that copy of the Tulip, too, and kills that version of Five.

Luc, Percy, and Dante

Our three heroes are now in the same universe, their original one.


They check, and Five is secure in the brig.

The Tulip Destroys the Secret Lab

Luc, Percy, and Dante conclude that Five learned how to escape from one bubble universe to another.  So who knows how many people he killed and how many copies of him there are?

Dante orders the destruction of the secret lab, or, to be precise, the one in this universe.

Later, Percy goes to bed.  She dreams that Five emerges from her closet and attacks her.  Then she wakes up and discovers that she is safe.  But, in a bubble universe, her closet door cracks open and Five laughs.

The concept of parallel universes, rooted in quantum physics, blows my mind.  It seemed to make sense when Neal Degrasse Tyson explained it with graphics on a PBS show, but that was a few years ago.  Whatever the reality of parallel universes is, it is a concept ready made for science fiction books, movies, and episodes.  A Twist in Time and Eat Sin are among the most effective uses of this idea.



I used the Power DVD program to obtain screen captures.

Posted January 12, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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Starhunter–Super Max (2001)   5 comments



Most Starhunter episodes are serious, and the three installments immediate prior to this one are grim.  So it is time to lighten up, even if for just one episode.  Hence we have Super Max, the tale of an insecure businessman, his frustrated and manipulative sexpot wife, and and how Dante, Percy, and Luc deal with them.  It is a fun episode.

The Tulip, Docked at Reno 7

The Tulip is docked at Reno 7, which an announcer claims is the “biggest space station in the universe.”  Dante and his crew are there to purchase spare parts.

“Are you a real man?”

Dante is at a bar, as is a flirtatious blonde, who asks if he is a real man.  She says that she is married to “less than half a man,” a businessman who has dragged her all the way from Saturn City so he can see “some crappy old ship” he has just bought.


Dante turns around to see Percy and Luc sitting a table, watching him.  So he walks toward their table.  Just then Caravaggio calls, complaining of some unscheduled visitors on board the Tulip.

Max and Dante

Dante, Percy, and Luc return to Tulip and discover the unscheduled visitors, led by Max, who has purchased the ship from Rudolpho.  Max, owner of Super Max Corrections, plans to convert the Tulip into a private prison ship.  He offers to hire the crew, but our favorite characters refuse.

Percy, Luc, and Dante

Percy, Luc, and Dante go to the Bridge, where they receive a transmission from Rudolpho.  He confirms selling the Tulip, and advises Dante to work with Max.  They are not interested in Max’s offer to “become part of the Super Max vision,” especially after Max reprograms Caravaggio into a bean-counting “fiscal engineer.”

Max, Unwelcome on the Bridge

Luc forces Max off the Bridge at gunpoint, and Dante tells Max and his employees to depart the Tulip.  Max says to go.  But Dante cannot take the Tulip, for Max has placed it under a no-go order, and the Reno 7 staff cuts non-essential power to the ship when Dante, Luc, and Percy try to steal the Tulip.

Max reboards the Tulip and forces Dante off.  Luc and Percy join him shortly thereafter.  The three decide upon a plan:  Percy will arrange a “technical accident” while Dante and Luc pretend to work for Max.  Luc tells Dante that this will be easy for her.  She states, “How hard could that be?  I’m already pretending to work for you.”  Dante agrees, “That’s true.”  Then Percy says to Dante, “She’s a weird one.”

This exchange reveals the changed relations Luc has with Dante and Percy since the previous episode.  They are a family of sorts again, but with no more secrets.  Nevertheless, Percy admits in subsequent episodes that she does not like Luc.

Max and Dante

Dante and Luc massage Max’s ego, thereby convincing him to hire them–with Dante as warden.


Zelda, Max’s wife, comes to the Bridge.  She is the woman from the bar.  Max asks her to return to their quarters before the ship departs Reno 7.  Zelda whispers to Dante, “I hope this thing can achieve lift off faster than its new owner can.”

The relationship between husband and wife is rocky.  Max is chronically insecure, thus he speaks most of the time and makes himself the center of attention.  Zelda insults him sexually, calling him a “three-second wonder” and such.  She also says he is not a real man, and Max tries desperately to demonstrate to her that he is.

Meanwhile, Zelda spends much of the episode making advances at Dante, who has no interest in her.  She does this during an unpleasant dinner, which ends with her storming off after shouting at Max.


Meanwhile, Percy is hard at work engineering a “technical accident” involving the number one reactor.  This causes a costly delay for Max, who has a schedule to keep.

Luc enlists the Orchard’s aid in investigating Max and Zelda.  It seems that Max is on the verge of bankruptcy.  The Orchard leans on his creditors to call in his loans.


Max does not take this well.

Meanwhile, Dante charges expensive items to Super Max Corrections.

Max suspects that Dante, Luc, and Percy are behind all his recent problems.  So he has Luc detained.  Max walks in on Zelda and Dante immediately after Zelda has thrown herself at Dante, so another hero goes to the brig.  Max cannot locate Percy, however.

The Tulip

The Tulip arrives at a correctional facility, yet must wait to collect its first twenty-two maximum-security lifers.  There is a riot in a cell block.  In the meantime, Max decides to honor his wife’s request to kill Dante–for allegedly attacking her.  A Super Max guard gases Dante and Luc.  The gas is lethal only in large doses, which is Max’s plan.  Fortunately, Percy frees them in time.

Max and Zelda

Luc, Dante, and Percy take back the ship and confine Max, Zelda, and the guards in the brig.

Max and Zelda

Max and Zelda begin to bicker immediately, and Zelda attacks her husband physically.

Dante, Percy, and Luc

Our heroes are on the Bridge, watching Max and Zelda.

Words are inadequate to communicate the fun of Super Max.  So I encourage you, O reader, to view this episode in a manner consistent with copyright laws.  This entertainment should be legal, after all.

Next we have a two-parter, A Twist in Time and Eat Sin, which take place within a time loop and parallel realities (bubble universes) aboard the Tulip.



I used the Power DVD program to obtain screen captures.

Posted January 11, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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Starhunter–Dark and Stormy Night (2001)   8 comments

Dante Asking for the Truth


Dark and Stormy Night picks up where episode #14 leaves off.  This is a combination of three-person drama (Dante, Luc, and Darius) and clip show.  The clips come from all but three of the previous episodes, the exceptions being Trust, Siren’s Song, and Peer Pressure.  This is, however, an effective clip show, for it connects the dots and reveals the conspiracy, including one aspect which shocks both Dante and Luc.

The clip show nature of this episode is a mixed blessing.  On one hand, it does make Dark and Stormy Night an essential reference piece for most of the previous fourteen hours.  In fact, I watched it more than once in preparation for previous summaries and reviews.  Yet the repeated use of clips between original scenes can prove irritating to one with an encyclopedic (or nearly so) knowledge of the series.  I am among these individuals, and the clip show element is the sole factor restraining me from declaring Dark and Stormy Night the finest episode of Starhunter.

One definition of irony in drama is that the audience knows facts some characters do not.  By that standard, Dark and Stormy Night erodes the irony greatly.  We, the viewers, know already that Luc really works for the Orchard, which she distrusts, that she has a strained relationship with Darius, her father, and that some of the bounty hunting assignments have originated with the Orchard.  We know also that the Orchard, which is dangerous, is trying to control the Divinity Cluster, and that the Orchard is divided into at least two factions:  those of Pacquette and those of Darius, both of whom are ruthless.

Pacquette, from The Divinity Cluster

Pacquette, however, is more ruthless.  She wanted to kill Eccleston in The Divinity Cluster; Darius wanted to capture and question him.


Dante learns most of this from Luc and the rest from Darius, when the latter boards the Tulip.  The captain is angry to learn of the conspiracy that has been playing out under his nose while he was oblivious to it.  He feels manipulated (justifiably) and objects to the fact that Luc has lied to him repeatedly.  She has even placed the Tulip, Percy, and himself in danger.


Luc apologizes.  She says that she did not think or know that her work for the Orchard, done at the behest of her father, would lead to such consequences.  “I made a mistake,” she says.

She tells Dante what she knows about the Divinity Cluster.  We, the observant viewers, knew all these details already.  But only now is Dante beginning to understand the big picture, at least partially.

“But,” as Ron Popeil says, “there’s more.”

A shuttle arrives from the nearby Orchard ship.  The airlock doors open to reveal Darius.


Darius says he is there to apologize and to ask for help.  He claims not to be Luc’s assassin, despite the events of the previous episode.  And he denies involvement in the death of Eric, Luc’s ex-husband.  Darius also explains that the Divinity Cluster entails the ability to move backward and forward in time, thereby bestowing immortality.  And, he states, the seeming deaths of Eccleston and others were really disappearances into other dimensions.  So Eccleston is really moving across dimensions, and Darius seeks help from Dante and Luc in locating Eccleston before Pacquette and her people do.  Darius, you see, O reader, wants to suppress knowledge of the Divinity Cluster.  But Darius wants to share this knowledge with humanity in time.

There is just one problem:  The Orchard needs Eccleston’s injection device, and does not know where it is.

And Darius drops a bombshell:  Penny, Dante’s late wife, was an Orchard scientist involved in the earliest stages of research on the Divinity Cluster.  She might have discovered the Cluster had she lived.  Eccleston built on her research to discover said Cluster.  Then Darius asks a telling question:  “Did Penny ever experiment on you, Captain, Montana?”  She did not, but did she experiment on Travis?  At this point the Travis and Divinity Cluster story arcs merge.

Darius offers to help Dante find Travis in exchange for assistance in foiling the plots of Pacquette and members of her faction.  Can Dante trust Darius, the man who was willing to kill him just a few hours ago?

As Darius departs it is obvious that the relationship between father and daughter is quite cold.

Eccleston’s Injection Device

Back on the Bridge, Dante tells Luc that he does not believe much of what Darius has said.  Then Luc shows Dante Eccleston’s injection device.  She has concealed this from Darius all along.  She can trust Dante, but not her father.  Luc will play along with the Orchard, obtain information from them, and maintain her cover as a bounty hunter.  But she will work for Dante from now on.  The two of them establish a mutual understanding and peace.


Back in his shuttle, Darius speaks to a computerized voice.  He has placed a tracer program on board the Tulip.  “They will lead us to the child,” he says.  The Orchard wants Travis Montana because they suspect that Penny experimented on him.

The Death of Darius

The shuttle explodes.  It is not an accident.


Luc, on the Bridge of the Tulip, says to herself, “They murdered him.  Cold-blooded murder.”

Thus we have one of the most devastating episode finales.  Luc has lost her estranged father.  She grieves for him, yet she could not trust him in life.  Which emotions is one supposed to feel at such a time?

Certain plot threads, other than the nature of the Divinity Cluster and the struggle to try to control it, remain for exploration at this point in the series.  One is the purpose of those genetically-enhanced seeds from Goodbye, So Long.  And there is the continuing search for Travis, of course.  Those two threads become one, by the way.  Starhunter is a nicely integrated series in terms of plot threads.

Next, however, we have a standalone dramedy called Super Max, which is more comedy than drama.  It is time to lighten the tone for one episode.



I used the Power DVD program to obtain screen captures.

Posted January 10, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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Starhunter–Half Dense Players (2001)   3 comments

“All will be known to you; you will be as gods.”


The opening credits to Starhunter feature the following voice over by actor Michael Pare, in character as Dante Montana:

I’m a bounty hunter, but that’s just something that I do.  I’m really looking for something that was stolen from me.  Ten years ago they took my son.  As I search, there are signs that something is happening, that humanity is about to change.  But I wont’ be distracted.  How do you find one small boy in a lawless universe?  I’m not sure, but I have to keep trying.

This is the episode in which Dante realizes that he cannot ignore the signs that humanity is about to change, for those indications will find him.  Or, as Howard Zinn said, “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.”  In Starhunter, the train has not been in the station for a long time.


Half Dense Players opens with Darius boarding an Orchard research station located on a moon of Jupiter.  Two scientists await him.  There has been a death, resulting in a severely disfigured body, of which we only hear.  Darius explains that this death “suggests a catastrophic intersection of multi-dimensional space and time” and that the dead man “might have crossed the intersection by accident.”  He is surprised to learn that the only other DNA at the scene of death belongs to “THE Andrea Arquette.”

Rudolpho Calling

Rudolpho calls the Tulip and orders Dante to head to Clarke Station, pick up Andrea Arquette, and transport her to Ganymede for questioning in a suspected murder case.

Clarke Station

Andrea Arquette, as Percy knows very well, is a media figure.  Percy describes her as “the Renaissance woman of our time,” a person who has excelled in art, music, and dance. Percy is especially impressed that Andrea used to be the lover of pop star Billy Tsunami, whom Percy idolizes.


Percy is excited about the opportunity to meet such a famous and impressive person.  Yet she knows that Andrea Arquette is innocent because “she’s Andrea.”  Percy also insists that “Rudolpho is probably just being paid” in this matter.  She is correct.

Rudolpho also denies Dante the right to fire Luc.  Neither Dante nor Percy are happy with this.  Dante says that Rudolpho’s decision is consistent with the Golden Rule:  He who has the gold makes the rules.  Despite his lack of mirth with reality, Dante takes it relatively well, telling Luc to cease her packing and saying that they need to learn to continue to work together.

Darius contacts Luc in her quarters.  He says that he will send further instructions when the Tulip arrives in Ganymede orbit.

The Tulip arrives at Clarke Station, and Dante and Luc leave to collect Andrea.

The Ion Trail of the Mystery Ship

Percy, on the Bridge, notices something odd on the scanner in diagnostic mode.  Only there does an ion trail for a invisible ship appear.  She decides to investigate this matter.

The Mystery Ship

The mystery ship appears to be orbiting Clarke Station.

The Same Vessel from The Divinity Cluster

Eagle-eyed viewers with excellent recall recognize this profile.  It belongs to the alien ship seen briefly at the beginning of The Divinity Cluster.

Andrea Arquette is the last person one would suspect in a murder case.  She is extremely polite, non-aggressive, and very sweet.  So she agrees to go with Dante and Luc without an argument; all she requests is a little time to pack a few items.

Andrea Arquette

Percy greets Andrea at the airlock and takes her to locked guest quarters.

That Ion Trail, Again

The Tulip heads for Ganymede, the mystery ship in pursuit.

Luc receives instructions from Darius.  When the Tulip arrives in Ganymede orbit, Luc will receive a transmission providing instructions to deliver Andrea Arquette to Ganymede Correctional.  This signal will really come from agents of the Orchard, and the alleged Ganymede Correctional vessel will be an orchard ship.

Andrea’s Obsession

Meanwhile, Andrea draws the Great Red Spot of Jupiter while locked in guest quarters.


Percy launches a probe toward the hidden ship.

The Probe and the Ship

The probe does a one kilometer pass near the alien ship…

…and sends back the above scan.  This is a ship of unknown configuration.  Furthermore, the telemetry indicates an age of three million years (the same age as the alien artifact from the previous episode) and hull alloys unknown to humankind.

Andrea Arquette

Dante visits Andrea in guest quarters.  She explains that she cannot explain recent events in any way that makes sense to anyone.  Not even she grasps them.  For years she has lived in an apartment with a view of the Great Red Spot.  Only recently, though, has she become obsessed with that storm.  Strange events have begun to occur.  She has begun to experience skewed perspective, for her surroundings appear to be different sometimes.  And she loses time, ranging from minutes to days.

The dead man was Harvey, a friend.  The two of them were about to eat out, and Andrea was standing in his living room, admiring his view of the Great Red Spot while waiting.  Then she seemed to be somewhere else and “everything stopped.”  Next, she found Harvey on the floor, with his legs and one arm missing.  There was no blood.  She could feel yet not see the missing limbs.


Luc informs Darius of the three-million-year-old ship.  Immediately her father understands the significance of this information.

The Mystery Ship

The alien mystery ship destroys the Tulip‘s probe.

Then events become really interesting.

Swirling lights leave the alien mystery ship,…

…pursue the Tulip,…

…and enter it.  Percy uses evasive maneuvers, to no avail.  The swirling lights disable the navigation system,…

…sending the Tulip tumbling toward Europa.

Percy gets to work rebooting the computer and getting the back-up systems back online while Dante goes in search of Andrea, in case everyone has to evacuate the ship.  Luc returns to her quarters, where Darius tells her to evacuate just herself and Andrea, who has manifested multi-dimensional sight and might be a conduit.  But Luc refuses to sacrifice Dante and Percy.

The swirling lights unlock Andrea’s guest quarters and lead her down a corridor, where Dante finds them.

Dante, Experiencing the Unexplainable

Dante is at a loss for words to describe what he sees and experiences.

Andrea Arquette, Possessed

Dante takes Andrea to the Bridge, where he and Luc witness the swirling lights possess the famous prisoner.  She speaks with a different voice, saying,

We see all dimensions.  We travel among them.  We bring you this gift that you might escape the bonds of time and space.  When the cycle is complete, you will be as we were.  All will be known to you; you will be as gods.

Then Andrea disappears into the swirling lights,…

…which leave the Tulip and return to the alien mystery ship.

The Orchard Ship

The Orchard sends a ship to destroy the Tulip, out of concern that the crew knows too much.  Dante, however, thinks that he understands nothing.


Dante is quite angry.  He does not care what Rudolpho cares; he wants Luc off his ship.  Luc replies that the Orchard will destroy the Tulip if she leaves, and that she wants to save the lives of Dante and Percy.  She hands Dante a disk and leaves.  The computer is rebooting–just in time–and, when this process finishes, in a few minutes, they should install the program on the disk.

Back in her quarters, Luc and her father, Darius, have a shouting match via technology.  She knows that Darius is willing to destroy the Tulip regardless of whether she is on board.  He says, “I don’t see that you leave me much choice.”  Luc informs her father that there is now installed on the Tulip a program set according to a dead man’s switch.  If the Orchard vessel fires on the Tulip, the bounty hunter ship will transmit on all frequencies the secrets of the Divinity Cluster.  Darius, protective of that secret, orders the Orchard ship to turn around.

Luc and Dante

Dante visits Luc in her quarters.  She is crying.  He says, “Your friends have decided to leave.”  She replies, “Thank God!”


Dante sits down.  “And now I want to know what the hell is going on.”  Luc nods in the affirmative.  Dante continues, “And I want to know the truth.”

Roll to end credits.

Half Dense Players is the most tense episode of Starhunter.  All the stakes are high, and every choice has major consequences.  So this is my favorite episode of the series.

The truth is more complicated than even Luc knows, as we learn in episode #15, Dark and Stormy Night.  Until later….



I used the Power DVD program to obtain screen captures.

Posted January 9, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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