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

Peer Pressure/Peer Pressure (Redux)   1 comment

Above:  Dr. Nasreen

A Screen Capture

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SEASON 1, EPISODE 6

MAIN CAST

Michael Paré as Dante Montana

Claudette Roche as Lucretia “Luc” Scott

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

SUPPORTING CAST

Laura Landauer as Dr. Nasreen

Jazz Mann/Jasbir Mann as Ajit

Peter Pacey as Dr. McIntyre

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = S. Philip Jackson

Writer = Julian Filkus

Composer = Annie Ingham

Length of the original episode = 0:47:23

Length of the Redux episode = 0:44:05

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Ajit

A Screen Capture

  1. Laura Landauer is a singer and comedian who impersonates both Celine Dion and Elvis Presley.
  2. This was the first filmed episode.  The original episode from 2000 plays like a pilot episode.  The Redux version does not.
  3. We see the end of Rudolpho’s opening transmission from the original episode.
  4. The storytelling in the Redux episode is tighter than in the original episode.
  5. Dr. Nasreen, an expert in psychological traumatic stress, is insane, dangerous, and cruel.  She also has an unhealthy interest in her son.
  6. Caravaggio is a wonderfully sarcastic artificial intelligence.
  7. Dr. Nasreen developed a method of controlling hardcore criminals:  manipulating their magnetic fields to make them docile.  If they want to live, they must obey orders.  If a prisoner disobeys, his or her cerebral cortex self-destructs.  The delivery method is a red light flashed into the eyes.
  8. Dr. Nasreen is the suspect in the murder of one Dr. McIntyre.
  9. Percy is cute.
  10. Percy and Ajit flirt and have mutual puppy love.
  11. Percy does need to get off the ship and find more people to whom to talk.
  12. Dr. Nasreen orders Dante, under her control, to kill Luc and to enjoy doing so.  Then Luc, immunized from the red light zapping by Caravaggio, seizes control of the association and forces Dr. Nasreen to reverse the procedure on Dante, back at Mimas, from which Dante picked up Dr. Nasreen and Ajit.
  13. Mimas is a moon of Saturn.
  14. After Caravaggio humiliates Percy in front of Ajit, she reduces the AI’s intelligence so much that it begins to sing “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?”
  15. Ajit understands his mother’s character.  He stops her by spacing himself.
  16. Nasreen zaps herself.  Then she, back in a holding cell aboard the Transutopian, rocks back and forth and says, “Tell me what to do.”
  17. Percy mourns Ajit alone in her quarters.

REGARDING EARLY EPISODES OF THE FIRST SEASON

Above:  Percy Montana

A Screen Capture

The first season has a story arc in two parts:  the Divinity Cluster and the search for Travis Montana.  Some of the early episodes merely seem disconnected from each other, in the style of episodic television.  A few of them are so disconnected.  The relationships among many of these early episodes become clear in the fifteenth episode, Dark and Stormy Night, possibly the only good clip show ever.

Next:  Frozen, in which we see the Orchard and Etienne (from Family Values) again.  The Orchard is, overall, an assembly of amoral, sick bastards (including some female ones) who think that the ends (which are impossible) justify the means.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 20, 2019 COMMON ERA

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Advertisements

The Man Who Sold the World/The Man Who Sold the World (Redux)   1 comment

Above:  Dr. Novak, also known as Mr. Kavon

A Screen Capture

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SEASON 1, EPISODE 5

MAIN CAST

Michael Paré as Dante Montana

Claudette Roche as Lucretia “Luc” Scott

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

SUPPORTING CAST

Michael Halsey as Dr. Novak/Mr. Kavon

Noémie Kocher as Belle

Simon Fenton as Billy Ray

Timothy McNabb as Chorsky

Barry Hatt as Rusty

Kenn Hong as Buyer

George Harris as Darius Scott

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Luc Chalifour

Writer = Julian Filkus

Composer = Donald Quan

Length of the original episode = 0:47:23

Length of the Redux episode = 0:44:06

RUDOLPHO’S OPENING TRANSMISSION (OMITTED IN THE REDUX VERSION)

This one’s a corker. I found you a piece of work called Novak. Crimes against humanity. They don’t get bigger than that.Civil war on Callisto. They’re still killing each other over differences. I guess we’re still the same old species even out amongst the stars. Hatred still the tie that binds.
But today that human bond, love, has reared it’s lovely bottom, and I am off to “The Love Derby.” Of course, I might actually only taking about lust. Nope. No. No. No. No. I am actually talking about the messy stuff. Well, actually really what I’m talking about is deceit. Whoever really knows what lurks in the human heart. Well, I know, now that you ask. Along with all that sunshine and puppies and kittens and pretty coloured balloons, crap. There’s also the dark nasty bits of creepy crawly things, that scatter away when you flip that rock over. Your heart carries it all. It’s the only sure thing I know. And anyone who doesn’t believe that our hearts are filled with eternally warring angels and devils is leading with their glass jaw just waiting for a round house right.
Another great truth from my tower of wisdom is you get your heart broken then you gotta pick yourself up and make sure the next time you get them before they get you. I mean, who out there thinks that it’s better to be on the sharp end of the love stake as it plunges into your heart?
Gotta nasty piece of work coming your way. So quick step, stay sharp, ’cause this evil evil bastard Novak hasn’t a shred of love in his black, black heart.

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Belle

A Screen Capture

  1. The crew of the Transutopian has been eating the “same slop” for a week.
  2. Percy, who dislikes studying history, has been skipping Caravaggio’s tutorials.
  3. Rudolpho dispatches the Transutopian to Pluto, to capture Dr. Novak (now calling himself Mr. Kavon), the “Butcher of Callisto.”  Novak/Kavon has been selling ores on Pluto and keeping the company of Belle (his girlfriend, whom he pretends to love, but really tolerates) and Rusty (a bodyguard).
  4. The settlement on Pluto is possible because of Core Magnetic Resonating Technology, or the projection of electromagnetic domes, beneath which terraforming is possible.
  5. Belle remains in denial about her boyfriend (for whom she kills bounty hunters) until the second half of the episode.
  6. Novak/Kavon has devised a way of fooling DNA identity tests.
  7. Callisto is a moon of Jupiter.
  8. During the Callistian Civil War (2254-2257), Novak, a member of the Hand of God, a group of scientists obsessed with purity and with accelerating the pace of human evolution, experimented on more than 20,000 victims.  As Novak told Luc, “I once had a very different calling, bioengineering.  I was going to create the new man, something divine.”  Later in the episode, Novak said, “The Cluster lives.”  Subsequently, Novak, speaking to Luc, described the Divinity Cluster as “the most important, most deadly game that’s ever existed.”
  9. Luc, as a young Ranger, helped to liberate a concentration camp on Callisto when Martian and Lunar forces ended the civil war.
  10. I have been pondering the internal chronology of Starhunter.  The main story opens in 2275 (in the original version) or in 2285 (in the Redux version).  In The Divinity Cluster, the first episode, Darius told Luc that Eccleston had discovered the Divinity Cluster three years prior, so in 2272 or 2282.  Yet Novak was working on the Divinity Cluster in 2254-2257.  He even isolated the genes for telepathy and consciousness before he had to flee.  On the other had, as Darius told Dante in Dark and Stormy Night (episode 15), early research on the Divinity Cluster was underway for at least two decades prior to the first season of the series, and the Orchard did not use the term “Divinity Cluster” yet.  We could have a case of retroactive continuity (retconning).
  11. Speaking of internal chronology, how old is Luc.  She was 20 years old in 2257.  If we accept the Redux timeline, she is 48 years old.  She looks closer to 38, though.   Perhaps Luc takes care of herself and ages gracefully.
  12. Simon Fenton was delightful in Matinee (1993), one of my favorite movies, one with a charming movie (Mant–“Half man, half ant, all terror”) inside the movie.  As the Elvis-aping Billy Ray computer virus, however, he is annoying.  This plot is the weaker part of the episode.
  13. An Older Wave, or an electromagnetic wave which one Dr. Older predicted, intersects with the orbit of Pluto every 28,693 years.
  14. Belle kills Luc.  Either Dante or Luc kill Belle.
  15. Rudolpho receives double the bounty for Novak.  Dante has become a better employee in Rudolpho’s estimation.
  16. Michael Halsey portrays the evil Dr. Novak very well.
  17. The special effects for Pluto and the Older Wave in the Redux version are better than those in the original version.  A good story, however, is not about special effects.

Next:  Peer Pressure, with perhaps the worst mother since Medea.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 19, 2019 COMMON ERA

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Siren’s Song/Siren’s Song (Redux)   1 comment

Above:  Percy and Ire

A Screen Capture

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SEASON 1, EPISODE 4

MAIN CAST

Michael Paré as Dante Montana

Claudette Roche as Lucretia “Luc” Scott

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

SUPPORTING CAST

Vincent Winterhalter as Petrakist

Kai King as Billy Tsunami

Nazneen Contractor as Ire

Neil Dickson as Major Wayne Bartlett

Darell Meshaeau as the Captain of the space yacht

Cheryl Quiacos as Attractive Woman aboard the space yacht

David Green as Prisoner #1

Seth Van Horne, Michael A. Durley, and Terry Mortlock as Commandos #3-5

Max White as the Steward aboard the space yacht

Edward Leslie as Dr. Slade

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Patrick Malakian

Writer = Nelu Ghiran

Composer = Donald Quan

Length of the original episode = 0:47:23

Length of the Redux episode = 0:44:05

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Petrakist

A Screen Capture

  1. In Rudolpho’s opening transmission, omitted in the Redux version of this episode, he opines about monsters coming in various shapes and sizes, being everywhere, and always waiting.
  2. Prisoners escape from a maximum-security prison on Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter.  A few of these escapees seize a luxury space yacht and kill most of those aboard.  The Transutopian answers a distress call from the yacht.  Besides, Dante owes Rudolpho five years’ back rent.  Dante owed four years’ back rent three episodes ago.
  3. Officially, Luc is aboard the Transutopian to make sure that Dante does not foul up his missions.  Her presence does not prevent him from fouling up this mission, in which three escapees die and only Petrakist becomes a prisoner with a bounty on his head.
  4. Dante, discouraged, vows that this will be his last mission.  He encourages Percy to pursue a real life elsewhere, go to school, et cetera.
  5. A special forces black operations shuttle, with Major Wayne Bartlett and some other commandos aboard, intercepts the Transutopian, which Bartlett seizes.  He has a prisoner, a young woman, Ire, who escaped from the Phoenix research station, in orbit of Miranda, a moon of Uranus.  As we in the audience eventually learn, the Miranda sector has been under quarantine for at least thirteen years, due to the outbreak of the deadly Omega 47 virus.  The quarantine has prevented that virus from spreading, but Ire escaped the Phoenix station via a ship until special forces captured her.  She insists that she must get to Earth.
  6. Bartlett and his commandos, who insist that they follow orders, make no pretense of being charming and diplomatic.  Percy has contempt for them.  She calls them “stupid thugs” and asks them if they can count as high as four.  Even Luc, a veteran of special forces, has contempt for them.
  7. This episode is the first one in which Kai King plays Billy Tsunami, Percy’s favorite singer.
  8. Most of the Transutopian is abandoned and lacks gravity.
  9. Ire kills most of the commandos.  Petrakist kills Bartlett and one other commando.
  10. Ire says she has “enough pain to fuel the universe.”  She even regrets killing commandos.
  11. Ire sets the Transutopian on course for Miranda and the Phoenix research station.
  12. Ire has no life signs.
  13. Ire reveals that she must go to Earth (the opposite direction than the way to Miranda) to tell the story of what happened, not to hurt anyone.
  14. Ire resembles a young woman who died thirteen years ago, when the Omega 47 virus reached the Phoenix research station.
  15. Ire to Bartlett:  “Such hatred.  Contact with you changed us.  Colonists needed water.  Melted ice set us free.  Mixed with your DNA.  Give us your anger, guilt.  All new, thrilling.”
  16. After Bartlett merges with Ire, Miranda explodes.
  17. Caravaggio (doing his best Victor Bergman impersonation):  “Amazing, a deadly virus that was sorry.  Guilt really is the engine of the universe.  And it seems to have chosen not to infect any of you.  How discriminating of it.”
  18. Rudolph is livid with Dante until the captain pays off the back rent with the special operations shuttle.
  19. This episode made no sense to me the other times I watched it.  That has not changed.

Next:  The Man Who Sold the World, with space Mengele, hiding out on Pluto and selling ores.  We will return to the Divinity Cluster story arc.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 17, 2019 COMMON ERA

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Family Values/Family Values (Redux)   4 comments

Above:  Jeb with Dante Montana

A Screen Capture

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SEASON 1, EPISODE 3

MAIN CAST

Michael Paré as Dante Montana

Claudette Roche as Lucretia “Luc” Scott

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

SUPPORTING CAST

Heidi von Palleske/Heather Belle-Matmor as Penny Montana

Philippe Simon as Etienne

George Harris as Darius Scott

Joseph Clark as Brad

Marc Belliveau as Telus

Denis Theriault as Jeb/Vincent Taylor

Cavanaugh Matmor as Baby Travis Montana

Paula Dawson as Cynical Onlooker

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Henri Safran

Writer = Nelu Ghiran

Composer = Donald Quan

Length of the original episode = 0:47:23

Length of the Redux episode = 0:44:06

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Dante and Vincent, in a wonderful scene

A Screen Capture

  1. The Redux version of this episode incorporates nearly all of Rudolpho’s opening transmission.  In the original version, the transmission is distinct from the rest of the episode.  In the Redux version, however, we see the transmission broadcast throughout the Transutopian.  Rudolpho, between laughs, philosophizes about families as sources of both hope and pain.  The Redux version of the episode omits the end of the transmission, in which he brags about an imminent sexual encounter.
  2. The special effects of the surface of Mars, of outer space, and of virtual reality are better in the Redux version.
  3. The heart of this episode is character, however.  Let us not be so superficial as to focus on style over substance.
  4. I have never understood who or what Dante was talking to and seeing in virtual reality.  VR Penny, the simulation of his late wife, dead for a decade or so, seems self-aware.  But how can that be?
  5. Virtual reality Penny is breaking down after a decade.
  6. Penny Montana was a scientist.  As we learn in a future episode, Dante was a farmer on Titan.
  7. After nearly a century of terraforming and colonization, Mars remains a “dump.”
  8. Dante knows that Luc has a secret agenda, that she is not merely someone Rudolpho sent to keep Dante on task.  Luc tells Dante that she has not secret agenda, though.
  9. Etienne and Brad are partners in life and in grifting.
  10. Etienne takes pride in his crime.  He objects strenuously when learning that his reputation is that of a minor criminal.
  11. Brad is a walking negative stereotype of a homosexual.
  12. The bickering of Etienne and Brad provides comic relief.
  13. Percy tells Caravaggio that she has never been to Earth.  An observant person may recall that she was aboard the Transutopian in The Divinity Cluster (1.1) when the ship flew over New Los Angeles.  Percy did not walk on the surface of the planet, though.
  14. Percy has a fine sense of sarcasm.
  15. Dante has arrested Etienne four times.
  16. Cortex moderation, first degree, is an alternative to arrest in this case.  This alternative renders the subject a “drooling idiot” for a year.
  17. Luc is a veteran of military special forces.
  18. Mars is supposedly clear of Raiders.
  19. The origin of the Raiders:  Military leaders experimented on some soldiers, rendering them sterile.  So Raiders increase their numbers via abduction.  One may wonder though, how long these experiments have continued, given the existence of Raiders for generations.
  20. Somehow the forced crash of the first Raider vessel on Mars killed Brad.
  21. Denis Theriault, who played Jeb, the Raider boy, was 14 years old.
  22. The Transutopian, far past its prime, is full of obsolete technology.
  23. Percy encounters VR Penny via Dante’s virtual reality headset.
  24. Dante thinks that Jeb is Travis.  Jeb is actually Vincent Taylor, abducted from his family on Oberon nine years prior.  Vincent gets to go home.
  25. Darius Scott is all business with his daughter.
  26. Weight limits on the shuttle prevent Etienne from going with Dante and Luc when they decide to take Jeb with them back to the Transutopian.
  27. Etienne distracts Raiders with shell game con while Dante, Luc, and Jeb get away.
  28. In the sweet closing of the episode, Vincent, afraid on the way home, sits next to Dante as both of them gaze into outer space and Dante helps the boy to feel less afraid.
  29. Etienne escapes, to appear in another episode.

Next episode:  Siren’s Song, which has never made any sense to me.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 15, 2019 COMMON ERA

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Trust/Trust (Redux)   1 comment

Above:  Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

A Screen Capture

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SEASON 1, EPISODE 2

MAIN CAST

Michael Paré as Dante Montana

Claudette Roche as Lucretia “Luc” Scott

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

SUPPORTING CAST

Mark Pegg as Alistair McNaughton

Gideon Turner as Jeremy McNaughton

Federal Agent #1 = Paul F. McCarthy

Federal Agent #2 = Robert A. Corbett

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = George Medeluk

Writers = Nelu Ghiran and Peter I. Norton

Composer = Donald Quan

Length of the original episode = 0:47:23

Length of the Redux episode = 0:43:19

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Tanya Allen as Audrey and Ken Finkleman as George in The Newsroom:  The Campaign (1997)

A Screen Capture

  1. This is a well-named episode.  Can Dante and Luc trust Percy?  Can Percy trust Jeremy?
  2. The Redux version of this episode benefits from tighter editing than in the original version.  Rudolpho’s opening transmission offers little information we do not learn during the course of the episode.  Furthermore, the cutting of the sparring practice scene between Percy and Luc, followed by the confrontation with Dante, does not hurt the episode.
  3. In the original version of the episode, we learn that Rudolpho has four bounty hunters under contract.
  4. In the original version of the episode, we learn that Percy, without Dante’s knowledge, had planned to compete in a sparring competition on Mars Orbital.
  5. How old is Percy?  She seems to be in the late adolescent years.  Tanya Allen was 24 or 25 years old when she filmed the first season, though.  That she was no longer a teenager was evident whenever the camera filmed her face from certain angles.
  6. Tanya Allen is cute.  She was cute in The Newsroom (1996-1997), in which her character, Audrey the intern, could never find a bran muffin.  She was cute in Starhunter (2000-2001) and Starhunter 2300 (2003-2004).  She has been cute in movies and in episodes of other series.
  7. Percy is brilliant.  She is a fine engineer and mechanic.  She is also immature and naïve.  Percy, boy-crazy, lets her guard down when she receives male attention.
  8. Alistair and Jeremy McNaughton are guilty armed robbery and attempted murder.  Jeremy attempts to convince Percy that he is a victim of a corrupt legal system.  Then he and Alistair try to kill Dante and Luc.
  9. Alistair and Jeremy become the first two prisoners at an automated prison, Mercury Correctional One, on the side of Mercury that faces the Sun.  They have life sentences.
  10. The new effects for Mercury, the Sun, and Mars Orbital are beautiful.
  11. Percy’s sparring, which angered Dante at the beginning of the episode, helped her fight the prisoners at the end of the episode.
  12. At the end of the episode, Dante and Percy have stopped arguing and reached an understanding.
  13. Dante is very protective of Percy, his niece.  He has one other surviving relative, Travis, his son, whom Raiders kidnapped years ago.
  14. The Transutopian is Percy’s home.
  15. The set design of the interior of the Transutopian is excellent.  The faded elegance is obvious.

Next:  Family Values, an episode relevant to the Travis story arc.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 10, 2019 COMMON ERA

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Divinity Cluster/The Divinity Cluster (Redux)   4 comments

Above:  Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

A Screen Capture

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SEASON 1, EPISODE 1

MAIN CAST

Michael Paré as Dante Montana

Claudette Roche as Lucretia “Luc” Scott

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

SUPPORTING CAST

George Harris as Darius Scott

Mark Powley as Eccleston

Ron Donachie as MacDuff

Charlotte Weston as Pacquette

Helen Latham as Lily

David McAlister as Professor Renfrew

Nikki Grosse as Carmel

Anette Shaffer as Lapis

David C. Wade as Middle-Aged Man #1

Richard H. Wade as Middle-Aged Man #2

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Patrick Malakian

Writer = Nelu Ghiran

Composer = Donald Quan

Length of the original episode = 0:47:23

Length of the Redux episode = 0:44:08

FORMATTING CHANGES FROM THE ORIGINAL VERSIONS OF STARHUNTER TO STARHUNTER REDUX

FORMAT OF AN ORIGINAL EPISODE

Opening credits

Opening transmission from Rudolpho DeLuna

Story

Closing Credits

FORMAT OF A REDUX EPISODE

Teaser

Opening credits

Story

Preview of the next episode

Closing credits

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

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

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

Above:  Rudolpho and His Big Sandwich

A Screen Capture

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

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

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

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

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Divinity Cluster 09

Above:  George Harris as Darius Scott

A Screen Capture

  1. The current year in the original episode is 2275.  The current year in the Redux episode is 2285.  That change helps to synchronize this season with the second season/series, Starhunter 2300.
  2. The most obvious differences between the original and Redux versions of this episode are special effects; the new effects are better.  Now Eccleston’s eyes glow green when he is under the influence of the Divinity Cluster.  The screen on the tracker Pacquette gave MacDuff to locate Eccleston is different.  Some backgrounds and foregrounds are more detailed.  New Los Angeles looks better.  We see the domes on the Moon.  Some of the members of the Orchard attend the meeting via holograms in the Redux version.
  3. The Orchard, with a few exceptions, is an organization of amoral men and women.  Some members have a sense of right and wrong, but others are quite willing to betray each other and to sacrifice the lives of innocents casually.  The vain quest to control the Divinity Cluster and to guide human destiny is the ultimate goal.
  4. Eccleston discovered the Divinity Cluster three years prior to the episode.  This detail seems to contradict certain subsequent episodes.  However, we of the audience learn that the term “Divinity Cluster” did not exist back then, before this episode.  One may harmonize the seeming contradiction by asserting that the discovery of the Cluster resulted from decades of work.
  5. George Harris, who portrays Darius Scott, has gravitas to spare.  The combination of his voice, posture, and acting with his eyes is always impressive.  Darius, one of the more sympathetic Orchard characters, is a recurring character during the first season.
  6. The new effect of a holographic tree turning above a table in the middle of the Orchard conference room is a nice touch.
  7. The “killer earthquake of ’56” devastated Los Angeles.  New Los Angeles is next to old Los Angeles.
  8. The dry dock at the Moon looks different in the original and Redux versions of the episode.
  9. The new effects for the alien vessel from three million years ago are quite lovely.
  10. If this episode had a movie rating, that rating would be PG-13.  However, most of those elements could be absent and the plot of the episode would lose nothing.
  11. Eccleston enjoys the company of women.  At the end of the episode, when he leaves this dimension, those pleasures cease to be an option for him.
  12. The Divinity Cluster sets up the series well.  We learn of Dante’s single-minded search for his son, Travis.  We of the audience also learn of what Dante and Percy do not know yet–the Divinity Cluster.  These two plot threads merge later in the first season.
  13. Percy has been stuck aboard the Transutopian too long.   She is brilliant, but not well-adjusted.
  14. Earth is a polluted wasteland in the late twenty-third century.  Most of the human race lives elsewhere in the solar system, but a few million people remain on the home planet and work to restore it.  As the season progresses, we learn of various federations (Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) in the solar system.
  15. Last night, when I watched both versions of the episode simultaneously, I kept having to synchronize a scene in the original version to its counterpart in the Redux version.  Seldom did synchronization within a scene translate into the continuation of synchronization for long.  The editing of the original version into the Redux version started with the cutting of Rudolpho’s opening transmission and continued with a few brief cuts and addition of new effects throughout the episode.  Pauses became shorter, I noticed.

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

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 9, 2019 COMMON ERA

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Starhunter/Starhunter 2300 and Starhunter Redux: Opening and Closing Credits   Leave a comment

Above:  The Title Card from Starhunter (2000-2001)

A Screen Capture

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I’m a bounty hunter, but that’s just something that I do.  I’m 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 won’t be distracted.  How do you find one small boy in a lawless universe?  I’m not sure, but I have to keep trying.

BACKGROUND

Starhunter (2000-2001) and Starhunter 2300 (2003-2004) have become some of my favorite viewing.  In fact, I have written an episode guide to the series.  That episode guide is available at this weblog.   That is old news from 2010 and 2011.  This post exists and at least 44 other posts will exist because of Starhunter Redux (2017), available via Amazon Prime.

I have had some difficulty finding much background information about Starhunter and Starhunter 2300, for they seem to be cult series.  I have, however, learned that series creators Daniel D’Or and G. Philip Jackson had some “creative” differences with executives.  I wrote “creative” in quotation marks because I do not assume that executives necessarily possess creativity.

As I have written in my episode guide, the visual differences between Starhunter and Starhunter 2300 are impossible to miss.  The same space station looks quite different in each season.  The exterior of the Transutopian (the Tulip) is quite different in each season, and the bridge area seems to have gone through a renovation while in hyperspace for 15 years.  (The steps off the break room/dining area, absent in Starhunter, are impossible to miss in Starhunter 2300.  Also, some windows are different, with different sometimes meaning present.   Furthermore, the exteriors and interiors of shuttlecrafts and the shuttle bay are different.)  In Starhunter Redux, however, the visual design of Starhunter 2300 takes over in the altered versions of first season episodes, except in the bridge area and the interiors of shuttlecrafts.  The two series/seasons feel cohesive, mostly.

Above:  The Transutopian, from Starhunter (2000-2001)

Screen Captures

Above:  The Transutopian, from Starhunter 2300 and Starhunter Redux

Screen Captures

I prefer the original appearance of the Transutopian, given the backstory that the vessel is a former luxury liner long since relegated to a junkyard and converted into a bounty hunting ship.  The unused sections of the ship that lack a hull help to sell that backstory.

I plan to write a series of posts comparing the original and altered episodes.

CREDITS

The opening credits of Starhunter (2000-2001) are here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGbiOACX9Qw.  The narration explains the backstory:  Bounty hunter Dante Montana is really looking for his son, whom Raiders abducted some years prior.  Meanwhile, the human species is changing.  These two plot threads merge throughout that first season.

The opening credits of the first season of Starhunter Redux retain that theme yet feature a different  arrangement of it. Dante’s exposition is absent.  The visuals also differ; most scenes come from both Starhunter and Starhunter 2300, and some are new.  The opening credits of the second season of Starhunter Redux are similar to those for the first; the differences are most obvious in scenes depicting the cast.  The Starhunter 2300 theme (an arrangement of Peter Gabriel’s Darker Star) is gone.  (Darker Star does work well for a science fiction series, though.)  The opening credits for the second season of Starhunter Redux also differ from those for Starhunter 2300 in that the opening credits for Starhunter 2300 do not show the actors.

The closing credits music for Starhunter 2300 is here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dfiJllkhaw.

A slightly extended version of the end credits music from Starhunter plays over the end credits of both seasons of Starhunter Redux.   (Start playing at about 4:29 for the original end credits music.)  Donald Quan is a talented composer.

Next in this series of posts:  Season One, Episode One:  The Divinity Cluster.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 7, 2019 COMMON ERA

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++