Archive for the ‘Starhunter 2300’ Tag

Starhunter Redux   Leave a comment

Above:  The Title Card for Starhunter Redux

A Screen Capture

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About fifteen years ago, when I lived near Dublin, Georgia, I purchased two DVDs containing the first fifteen episodes of Starhunter (2000-2001) from the video section of a discount store in Dublin.  I watched those episodes again and again for years.  I purchased the full season set in the summer of 2007.  Then I learned what happened after Dark and Stormy Night.  I thrilled to watch the remaining seven episodes and see Dante meet his son at the end of the season.

I purchased and watched the DVD set of Starhunter 2300, the second season, a few years later.

Then, in 2010 and 2011, I watched all the episodes again and blogged about every episode.

The first two seasons hang together better as Starhunter Redux, which is generally the best way to watch the series.  The main exception to that generalization pertains to the first season.  I still recommend purchasing the first season DVD set, if only to see all of Rudolpho’s opening transmissions, most of which are absent from the first season of Starhunter Redux.  Some character information that pays off in the second season is in those opening transmissions.

Starhunter Redux is a rewarding viewing experience for a detail-oriented geek, such as yours truly.  Despite a few flubs, such as calling a nearly thirteen-year gap (January 3, 2300, minus late 2286) between seasons in-universe a fifteen-year gap, the attention to details is evident.  Events in earlier episodes frequently come up in later episodes, whether in passing or as important and relevant to the plot.  Lesser episodes of Starhunter Redux are superior to better episodes of some other series I have watched and choose not to name in this post.  Needless to say, better episodes of Starhunter Redux are vastly superior to most episodes of certain series I watched and do not name in this post.

I, having seen all the episodes again, perceive that most of the very early episodes in the first season did world building well as they laid the foundations for character development.  For that reason, I enjoy them more than someone new to the series may.  I watch the earliest episodes in the context of the rest of the series.  Yes, they are slow, compared to middle and late first season episodes, but we could not have the middle and late first season episodes without the early first season episodes.

I have another critical (in the highest sense of that word) statement about the first season.  Dante’s monologue, present in the opening credits sequence of Starhunter (2000-2001), should have remained in the opening credits sequence of the first season of Starhunter Redux (2018).  That monologue explains much succinctly.  The monologue fills in viewers, especially new ones, efficiently.

I anticipate season three, or SolSys.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 21, 2019 COMMON ERA

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Opening and Closing Credits

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Starhunter Redux Season Two   2 comments

Above:  Callie Larkadia in Hyperspace II

A Screen Capture

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The second season of Starhunter Redux (2017) is superior to Starhunter 2300 (2003-2004).  Reediting, remastering, and adding a little new material does much to improve the season by making the first and second seasons look as is they form a set.  There is still the matter of retconning the bridge and galley sets, but c’est la vie.

Now that I am rejected my former theory of the first and second seasons occurring in parallel universes, I enjoy the second season more.  Now that I focus less on the exterior of the Tulip and on the question of whether that really is Travis (It really is not.), I enjoy the character development more.  I also enjoy the internal continuity of the second season more as I notice links between the seasons.

I do have one critique (in the highest sense of that word, not in the sense of “everyone is a critic”) of the second season, though.  It should have been more unified, with the Orchard providing the glue.  That menace underlay most of the first season, from the first episode to the final one, to great effect.  In the second season, in contrast, the Orchard is present, explicitly or implicitly, in a few episodes, all of them in the last half.  The second season seems somewhat disjointed, compared to the first season.

I hope you understand my intention, O reader.  I have no interest in participating in toxic fandom.  I do not want to offer half-baked and poorly-informed ideas and insist that you must respect them.  No, I seek, as much as possible, to operate based on objective reality and to offer well-reasoned opinions.  I do not preface obviously subjective statements with redundant statements such as, “in my opinion.”  Of course, it is my opinion.  I do not pretend that it is anything else.  If someone feels the need to become offended and rebut, “That’s YOUR opinion,” I do not want to relate to that person.  Life is too short to deal with easily offended people unnecessarily.  Grow a thick skin, people.

I understand just enough to realize that there is much I do not understand.  Consider this statement from G. Philip Jackson, one of the creators of the Starhunter series:

On both seasons, for totally different reasons, there was a struggle for creative control, reflected in unintended mysteries, in addition to intended mysteries.

–November 9, 2019

Actually, Jackson may have been generous in his description of the “struggle for creative control.”  Based on my reading of such struggles behind the scenes of series, from Galactica 1980 to Firefly, assuming that people who interfere are creative may have no basis in reality.  There is just a struggle for control, not creative control, much of the time.  Perhaps that is an accurate description of what occurred behind the scenes of Starhunter (2000-2001) and Starhunter 2300 (2003-2004).

Having watched Starhunter 2300 a few times and the second season of Starhunter Redux once, I recommend the latter.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 21, 2019 COMMON ERA

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Opening and Closing Credits

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  1. Rebirth
  2. Star Crossed
  3. Biocrime
  4. Chasing Janus
  5. Spaceman
  6. Becoming Shiva
  7. The Third Thing
  8. Torment
  9. Painless
  10. Skin Deep
  11. Supermax Redux
  12. Pandora’s Box
  13. A Stitch in Time
  14. The Prisoner
  15. Kate
  16. Rivals
  17. The Heir and the Spare
  18. Just Politics
  19. Negative Energy
  20. License to Fill
  21. Hyperspace I
  22. Hyperspace II

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Hyperspace II/Hyperspace II (Redux) Analysis and Review Coming Soon   1 comment

Above:  My Setup for Watching Both Versions of the Episode, December 20, 2019

The Starhunter 2300 episode from 2004 is on the left.  The Starhunter Redux episode from 2017 is on the right and on the monitor in the middle.

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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My project of blogging through Starhunter Redux is nearly complete; I have one episode left.

The greatest amount of alteration (for the better, by the way) in an episode is evident in Hyperspace II (Redux), on which I have ten pages of notes (including transcripts of the original and altered versions of one scene) in a college ruled notebook. My obsessive nature, which makes me detail-oriented, has paid off nicely in my notes, from which I will write the post of Hyperspace II/Hyperspace II (Redux).

That post will be longer than any of the previous posts in the Starhunter Redux series of posts, which I started publishing in October.  I look forward to creating that post and incorporating new screen captures.  The hour is getting late, however, so I choose to wait until after I have slept then consumed breakfast.

I offer this brief statement for now:  After seeing the modified episode, I am more excited than ever about seeing the third season, SolSys, whenever it will be available.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 20, 2019 COMMON ERA

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Posted December 20, 2019 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter Redux Season 2

Tagged with , ,

Licence to Fill/License to Fill (Redux)   2 comments

Above:  Percy Montana

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 2, EPISODE 20

MAIN CAST

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

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

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

SUPPORTING CAST

Nancy Palk as Senator/Judge Skaylon

Jeff Seymour as Senator Morgan Rendell

John Vine as Senator Vidal Calder

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Roger Gartland

Writer = Roger Gartland

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

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

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

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:47:54

Length of Redux episode = 0:44:13

BACKGROUND AND OTHER GENERAL COMMENTS

Above:  Morgan Rendell

A Screen Capture

This is a clip show.  Clip shows are rarely good.

Dark and Stormy Night, the clip show from the first season, tied up many loose ends well early in the second half of that season.

Licence to Fill is mostly tedious, however.

The title of the original episode of Starhunter 2300 is Licence to Fill, according to good Canadian English.  The title of the episode of Starhunter Redux is License to Fill (Redux), according to good American English.

What is the structure of the government of the Mars Federation?  We know that the government has ministries, a president, senators, and a military.  Why do senators double as middle-level bureaucrats and moonlight as judges and attorneys?  The government seems not to have much separation of branches.

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Senator Vidal Calder

A Screen Capture

Goof:  The screen identifies Calder as being from the Jupiter Federation.  This error also occurs in the Redux version of the episode.

  1. The episode title is probably a play on Licence to Kill (1989), the second of two movies in which Timothy Dalton portrayed James Bond.
  2. In this episode the crew’s bounty-hunting license/licence (Whatever; I am an American.) of the Tulip has lapsed.  The ship is docked at Mars Orbital One, and the application to renew the license is in process.  Also, the crew is almost out of money.
  3. The crew of the good ship Transutopian has fallen out of favor (or favour) with the government of the Mars Federation since Just Politics.  I can’t imagine why. :)
  4. Senator Calder, from the Internal Affairs division of the Security Division, has authority over the licensing of bounty-hunting vessels.  He impounds the ship and convenes a tribunal intended to have a rigged result.  Calder (the prosecutor) and Senator Skaylon (a judge) conspire to make the proceedings seem fair.
  5. Senator Morgan Rendell, a family friend of the Larkadias, volunteers to defend the crew pro bono.  He replaces the intended, substandard public defender and frustrates the plans of Calder and Skaylon.
  6. A standard courtroom story unfolds.  Caravaggio serves as a witness, providing plot cover for playing clips from previous episodes, usually out of context and cherry-picked.  The in-universe problem with this is that many of the clips show scenes that played out off the ship, therefore beyond Caravaggio’s recording devices.  Calder commits character assassination of most of the crew members, one-by-one, while Callie Marcus, and Rudolpho watch from the bridge and Travis sits in the courtroom.
  7. Percy returns.  Mars Federation officials are holding her in a mental hospital.
  8. Calder argues that the crew of the Tulip constitutes a menace.  He is insincere, of course.  Calder has an axe to grind.
  9. Rendell discovers that axe.  An old photograph shows Calder with his arm over one shoulder of Devak, a disgraced former member of Citadel Squad, from Chasing Janus.
  10. This case was always about Calder taking revenge on Callie for being honest and for insisting on honesty in the military.
  11. Judge Skaylon has no choice but to dismiss the charges and have Calder arrested.  Rendell tells Skaylon that he will pursue this matter against her.  He wants to know why she was eager to bring the case to tribunal.
  12. Percy reunites with her shipmates.

Next:  Hyperspace I, the first part of the two-part season finale.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 19, 2019 COMMON ERA

Negative Energy/Negative Energy (Redux)   5 comments

Above:  Executive Chief Inspector Tibbitt

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 2, EPISODE 19

MAIN CAST

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

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

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

SUPPORTING CAST

Michaela May as Jay Beckers

Carin Moffat as Karina

Jake Simmons as Orchard Buyer

Simon Williams as Executive Chief Inspector Tibbitt

Dan Willmott as Maintenance Guy

Carol Schulte as Bartender

Neil Davison as Thug

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Colin Bucksey

Writer = Eitan Arnusi

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

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

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

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:47:54

Length of Redux episode = 0:44:03

BACKGROUND AND OTHER GENERAL COMMENTS

Above:  Karina (“Goldilocks”) and Rudolpho (“Papa Bear”)

A Screen Capture

Does fake Travis Montana think he is the son of Danta and Percy Montana, and the cousin of Percy Montana?

Percy Montana is still on vacation.

The Transutopian is one of the few ships in the solar system to have an antimatter drive.

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  A Functional Antimatter Drive

A Screen Capture

  1. This episode contains references to Pandora’s Box and Just Politics, among other episodes.
  2. Carol Schulte returns to play the bartender again, as she did in Pandora’s Box.
  3. Callie and Travis getting closer to each other romantically.  She wants him to share secrets, to talk to her–really talk to her.  He tells Callie, however, that she may not want to know his secrets.
  4. The episode opens with the crew of the Tulip pursuing shipjackers and much-needed bounty.  The shipjackers activate the stolen ship’s antimatter drive and get away, however.  They admit that maybe they could have caught up with the vessel and earned that bounty had Percy been around, for only she knows how she has modified the ship’s propulsion system over the years.
  5. The crew asks Caravaggio to apply for the required Change of Energy Source Permit, despite the cost of 20,000 credits.  When the Tulip arrives at Io, Executive Chief Inspector Tibbitt, an extremely officious official with no sense of humor boards the ship and conducts an inspection.  He can cite regulations the way a classically-trained actor can quote Shakespeare.  Callie and Travis remain on the ship.  Callie keeps Travis away from Tibbitt as much as possible.
  6. Unfortunately, Percy’s unorthodox rewiring may lead to stiff fines.
  7. Rudolpho and Marcus go in search of Jay Beckers, a scientist (whom they presume to be male) with connections to the late Keres Group.  Beckers deals in both legal and illegal energy sources.  Surely Dr. Beckers will have Duranium 237, the energy source from Just Politics.  Rudolpho visits an old flame (Karina), who seems to know everything and will certainly be able to tell him where to find Dr. Beckers.
  8. Rudolpho on Karina, whom he met in jail:  “She lied, cheated, and stole from me.  It was the best relationship I ever had.”
  9. Executive Chief Inspector Tibbitt, who insists that people address him by his full title, is corrupt.  He plans to condemn the Tulip, presumably to have it destroyed, but really so he can sell it to the Orchard for a large profit.  Marcus learns, however, that Tibbitt’s inspection is not official; the Jupiter Federation has yet to process the application for the permit.  When Tibbitt calls in troops to try to expel Travis and Callie from the ship, combat ensues and Tibbitt flees deeper into the vessel.
  10. Jay Beckers is a woman.  She does have Duranium 237, but she also wants to enslave and modify Marcus.  Rudolpho pretends to play to along with Beckers, but he returns shoots her, rescues Marcus, and takes the Duranium 237.
  11. Marcus and Rudolpho return to the Transutopian during the firefight.  Meanwhile, an Orchard ship approaches the Tulip.  Tibbitt tries to prevent Marcus from placing the Duranium 237 into the antimatter drive, but other bounty hunters subdue Tibbitt.
  12. The Tulip travels from Io to beyond Neptune almost instantaneously.
  13. The Transutopian travels at normal speed back to the Jupiter Federation, which posts a 100,000 credit bond for the return of Tibbitt.
  14. Does the crew of the Tulip ever get that permit?

Next:  Licence to Fill, a clip show in which Percy returns.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 19, 2019 COMMON ERA

Just Politics/Just Politics (Redux)   4 comments

Above:  Mars Federation Minister of Trade Andras Kolzig

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 2, EPISODE 18

MAIN CAST

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

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

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

SUPPORTING CAST

Kai Wiesinger as Andras Kolzig

Sara Stockbridge as Gaynor Schon

John Boylan as Reasoner

Kerry Segal as Jophie Henrik

Colm Magner as President Moreland

David Ingram as Hakin Dircott

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Roger Gartland

Writer = David T. Reilly

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

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

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

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:47:54

Length of Redux episode = 0:43:54

BACKGROUND AND OTHER GENERAL COMMENTS

Above:  President Moreland of the Mars Federation

A Screen Capture

The absence of Tanya Allen as Percy Montana hangs over this episode.  Percy’s absence is crucial to the plot, and she appears only in recycled footage.

My best guess is that Tanya Allen was filming Anyone’s Game/Chicks with Sticks.

Duplicitous government officials, some of them willing to let innocent people suffer and perhaps die to save their political skins, are staples of fiction.  Mars Federation President Moreland is one of these.  He is not quite as bad as the evil and opportunistic British Prime Minister from Torchwood:  Children of Earth, but Moreland is bad enough.  One may also think of the murderous Prime Minister Francis Urquhart from the superior, original, British version of House of Cards and its sequels.  Another member of this elite club of fictional villains is William Morgan Clark, the Earth Alliance Vice President who conspired to assassinate President Luis Santiago then created a police state that stokes irrational fears of aliens and pursues an “Earth First” agenda in Babylon 5.  (1993-1998).  One may remember that Clark committed suicide and tried to wipe out the planet as guards arrived to arrest him and the rescue fleet was in orbit, saving the planet.

Such duplicitous government officials are not only characters in fictional works, unfortunately.

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Marcus Fagen and Jophie Henrik

A Screen Capture

  1. The episode opens with the Transutopian at Mars.  The crew’s mission is to transport Trade Minister Andras Kolzig and his party to secret negotiations in the Mannheim Asteroid Belt, near Neptune.  Travis thinks this mission is odd.  Besides, the Mars Federation government has official spacecraft.  Rudolpho likes the prospect of the payment of 300,000 credits for the mission.
  2. Kolzig arrives with aide Jophie Henrik and security officers Gaynor Schon and Hagin Dircott.
  3. Schon almost immediately reprograms Caravaggio to identify her as Percy Montana.  This action causes computer malfunctions relevant to the plot of the episode.
  4. Jophie is far more than the cute girl next door.  She, daughter of a ship’s engineer, is a technology geek.  She and Marcus become suspicious because of malfunctions in Caravaggio.
  5. Schon uses Caravaggio to murder Dircott then to diagnose the cause of death as a heart attack.  Travis and Callie find evidence of the murder, though.
  6. Caravaggio’s self-defense program attacks Marcus and Jophie, killing her.
  7. Rudolpho, suspicious of Kolzig, finally realizes who the man.  Kolzig is actually Carter Berkhan, a murderer and a fugitive responsible the deaths of 57 people, including some of Rudolpho’s relatives.
  8. The Tulip arrives at its destination.  A miner, Reasoner, arrives on the ship and meets privately with Kolzig.  The Trade Minister, who “made” Moreland, pays Reasoner 20 million credits to delay the delivery of Duranium 237 and somehow cause Moreland to fall to from power.  Kolzig wants to be the next President.
  9. A hellstone is an asteroid that has entered our universe through a black hole.  The hellstone in this episode is a rich source of Duranium 237, which one can use to produce negative energy, which allows one to enter hyperspace.
  10. Is the Orchard working behind the scenes in this episode?  Dr. Edward Murchison wants to get into hyperspace.
  11. Schon has been spying on everyone, via Caravaggio.
  12. Schon reports to President Moreland.  She confirms that Kolzig is a traitor and hints at a darker secret with the potential to destroy Moreland.  The President authorizes Schon to do “whatever it takes” to keep the secret and preserve his government.
  13. Schon uses Caravaggio to destroy the hellstone and kill Reasoner.
  14. Rudolpho confronts Kolzig in a corridor.
  15. Then Schon tells the truth to everybody.  The mission was really to prove whether or not Kolzig was a traitor.  A trial, however, would destroy the Moreland Administration.  Schon sets the Tulip to self-destruct and plans to escape via a shuttle.  Everybody else may die.
  16. Callie prevents Schon from departing while other crew members try to terminate the self-destruct process.  Travis reasons with Caravaggio, who terminates the countdown.
  17. One may reasonably assume that Kolzig and Schon spend the journey back to Mars in the brig.
  18. The crew decides to blackmail President Moreland into paying them the promised 300,000 credits.
  19. A corrupt miner and two innocent people died during this episode.
  20. President Moreland had a reputation as a softy by Mars Federation standards, and Kolzig kept a relatively low profile.
  21. We may understand why the Trade Minister kept a relatively low profile.
  22. If President Moreland, who was willing to let innocent people die to save his career, is a softy, I do not want to meet a hardliner.
  23. I wonder what President Moreland did to Kolzig after the Tulip returned to Mars.

Next:  Negative Energy, an episode with plot ties to this one.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 19, 2019 COMMON ERA

The Heir and the Spare/The Heir and the Spare (Redux)   3 comments

Above:  Percy

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 2, EPISODE 17

MAIN CAST

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

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

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

SUPPORTING CAST

Victoria Adilman as Officer Eva Halperin

Philip Craig as Wilkes Halian

Tam Williams as Alex Arroyan

James Faulkner as Jaten Sarat

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Colin Bucksey

Writer = Stephen Lowe

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

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

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

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:47:54

Length of Redux episode = 0:44:14

BACKGROUND AND OTHER GENERAL COMMENTS

Above:  Jaten Sarat

A Screen Capture

Percy Montana is not a well-adjusted person.  This is not news to anyone who has been watching the series since the first episode and paying attention.  In this episode, however, she dials it up to eleven (“This one goes to eleven.”  I chose to quote that movie.) and leaves for a vacation.  I do know the real-world circumstances that prompted Tanya Allen to be away for the next two episodes, but I know that Percy’s absence for those two episodes pays off a line from Resurrection, in which the real Travis Montana agrees with her that she has been on the Tulip too long.

We learn the origin of Marcus Fagen, who grew up in an orphanage.  He is of the former royal family of Europa, the Endolas.  We learn that, a quarter of a century ago, after the Sarats executed the royal family at a wedding, the Sarats began their tyrannical rule.  We also learn that Wilkes Halian, a servant of the royal family, rescued an egg, which had divided, and had the eggs “hatched” via test tube technology.  Furthermore, we learn that Antony (who grew up to become Alex Arroyan) grew up with Halian, who placed Octavius (who became Marcus Fagen, meant to be the spare/blank), in an orphanage.  We also learn that Jaten Sarat, concerned about quashing opposition on Europa, plans to kill and clone Alex, and to make Marcus the blank he was supposed to be.

Rudolpho has sex on the brain.  This is no surprise to any observant viewer, especially if one has watched the unaltered first season episodes on disks.

Speaking of unaltered episodes, I recommend purchasing the original, unaltered episodes on DVDs.  I intend no disrespect to Starhunter Redux, but watching both versions of each episode augments the Starhunter viewing experience.

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Wilkes Halian, Alex Arroyan, and Marcus Fagen

A Screen Capture

  1. Percy continues to argue against Marcus’s obsession with getting into hyperspace.
  2. In engineering, Percy puts to somethings together quickly (“slowish,” she explains), causing the Tulip, causing blue sparks, an immediate threat to the ship, and a 37% decease in the ship’s power.  Then Percy and Marcus separate the somethings.
  3. Percy spends much of the rest of the episode trying to “find a good vein” in the old vessel–to increase the ship’s power.
  4. The crew, using Callie as bait, apprehends Alex Aroyan, a con man who has wooed women and stolen their money.  Finding him is somewhat challenging due to his frequent plastic surgeries.  Alex turns out to be the twin brother of Marcus Fagen.  Exposition dumps follow.
  5. Capturing Alex is personal for Officer Eva Halperin.
  6. Two armed vessels intercept the Tulip.  Jaten Sarat, a Europan warlord, hails the Transutopian and demands that the crew hand over Alex Arroyan.  Travis refuses.  Besides, Marcus and Alex are in a shuttle headed for Io.  Sarat pursues.  Marcus meets Halian and learns the truth.
  7. Alex is not one to lead a revolution.
  8. Marcus thinks of himself as Marcus Fagen, not Octavius Endola.  He has no interest in leading a revolution either.
  9. Halian dies defending Marcus and Alex and from Sarat.
  10. Travis rescues Marcus and Alex from Sarat by pretending to be as ruthless as the warlord is.
  11. Travis refuses to hand Alex over to the spurned Eva Halperin.
  12. Percy leaves the Tulip for a vacation.

Next:  Just Politics, about corruption in the Mars Federation.

THE TRANSCRIPT OF PERCY’S VIDEO MESSAGE TO THE CREW

Heir and the Spare 23

Above:  Percy’s Farewell

A Screen Capture

Hi.  It’s not going to come as any great surprise to anyone, but it seems that I’ve gone a bit bananas.  So, I’m gonna take off…for a bit.  I don’t want you to come after me.  I have lived my whole life on this ship and I think I’m due a vacation.  Now this is very, very important:  Do not think that you have just scored yourselves a ship because I will always, always be able to find the Tulip.  I do care about you guys though for some reason, so take care of yourselves.  Bye.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 18, 2019 COMMON ERA

Rivals/Rivals (Redux)   2 comments

Above:  Captain Christopher Judson, Callie, and Jeffers

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 2, EPISODE 16

MAIN CAST

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

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

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

SUPPORTING CAST

Marc Danbury as Jeffers (Seattle)

James Gallanders as Captain Christopher Judson (Seattle)

Santino Buda as Maxim Vendel

Rogue Johnston as Bellboy

Joe Matheson as Nestor Grant

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Michael Cocker

Writer = David T. Reilly

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

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

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

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:47:51

Length of Redux episode = 0:43:58

BACKGROUND AND OTHER GENERAL COMMENTS

Above:  Travis and Callie

A Screen Capture

A recurring theme during the second season has been family, formal or informal.  We know that the man claiming to be Travis Montana is not the son of Dante and Penny Montana.  He seems not to know that.  Whether Percy accepts him as her cousin by the time of this episode is an open question.  The crew members of the Tulip have only each other.

Where does Callie belong?  Is she wasting her life on this broken down, old ship?

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Maxim Vendel

A Screen Capture

  1. Callie is having an especially bad day.  Bolger, the prisoner, attacks her.  She drops her key on the floor.  He uses the key to escape.  Callie, while recapturing Bolger, nearly electrocutes him. Furthermore, most of the corridors in use on the Tulip are dim because of power conservation mode.  Callie has no hot water in her shower.  Finally, the near electrocution of Bolger damages the system that would enable the Transutopian to get out of the way of an asteroid.
  2. The Seattle, a modern, well-equipped and well-lit bounty-hunting vessel under the command of Captain Christopher Judson, destroys the asteroid and saves the Tulip.  Judson also sends a doctor over to save Bolger’s life.  After all, the bounty is for Bolger alive, not dead.
  3. Judson works for Fugitive Containment Systems (FCS), which has corporate backers.  Employees of FCS have good salaries, benefits, and spiffy uniforms.  When Judson offers Callie a commission, she accepts it.
  4. The crews of the Tulip and the Seattle compete for the capture of one Maxim Vendel aboard Clarke Station.  Travis and company desperately need the 200,000 credits.  Vendel is a hardened career criminal who has escaped from Ganymede Maximum.  Vendel is planning an assassination, and the government of the Jupiter Federation wants to prevent that killing.  Unfortunately, no images of Vendel are available.
  5. Callie joins FCS at Clarke Station.  Her absence from the Tulip is evident.
  6. Vendel kills then impersonates a bellboy at Clarke Station.
  7. Callie learns quickly that that FCS is not what she thought it to be.  FCS has procedures and paperwork.  Judson’s failure to heed her advice regarding capturing Vendel costs Jeffers and two other bounty hunters their lives.
  8. Callie alerts Travis and company to look out for Vendel.
  9. Marcus recognizes Nestor Grant, a prosecutor who once put him away for six months.  Could Grant be Vendel’s target?  FCS intercepts Travis’s request for information about Grant.  Judson and Callie intercept Grant.  Callie leads the prosecutor away to safety; Judson sits down.
  10. Vendel approaches Judson, who had arrested the criminal years prior.  Judson is the target.  Callie and and Travis save Judson’s life.  Vendel dies via his own murderous technology.  The warrant said dead or alive.
  11. The Jupiter Federation pays the crew of the Tulip 300,000 credits.
  12. Callie returns to the Tulip.

Next:  The Heir and the Spare, an episode in which Marcus is central.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 18, 2019 COMMON ERA

Kate/Kate (Redux)   2 comments

Above:  Percy and Katherine (Kate)

A Screen Capture

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

SEASON 2, EPISODE 15

MAIN CAST

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

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

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

SUPPORTING CAST

Deborah Odell as Kate

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Michael Cocker

Writer = Farrukh Dhondy

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

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

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

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:47:53

Length of Redux episode = 0:44:01

BACKGROUND AND OTHER GENERAL COMMENTS

Above:  A Contact Mine

A Screen Capture

The character of Percy Montana has a troubling aspect:  sometimes she behaves in ways that endanger the Tulip and those aboard it.  An observant viewer may cite examples as early as Trust, the second episode aired.  That pattern continues in this episode, in which she, while entertaining herself during her boring life, creates a replacement AI that is both inadequate and dangerous.

Deborah Odell as had more than one career.  She has been a backup singer for Julio Iglesias and has performed musical theater.  Her acting credits, as listed at the Internet Movie Database, spanned 1997-2013.  She has become a registered psychotherapist, with a practice in Toronto.

This is one of the least memorable episodes of the second season.  Its reliance on tropes about differences between men and women, combined with some ham-fisted dialogue, relegates this episode to a lower tier of quality.

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Damage to the Transutopian

A Screen Capture

  1. The episode opens with Percy becoming upset with Caravaggio.  First, he fails to consult with her regarding the timing of weekly maintenance that temporarily cuts off the supply of water, specifically hot water.  Not only does the AI refuse to admit error, but he/it (whatever) notices a contact mine until too late for the ship to avoid hitting it, while arguing with Percy.
  2. The mine, a Mars Federation Special Operations model, is in the service of pirates, who eventually board the ship.  First, however, the mine damages the Tulip severely and causes Caravaggio to malfunction.
  3. Percy creates a new AI, Katherine, or Kate, complete with female intuition.  Unfortunately, Kate cannot scan beyond the Transutopian.  Kate is also fixated on Travis and jealous of Callie.
  4. Although Marcus finds Kate distracting, Travis, our hero, does not find her distracting.
  5. Kate sabotages the ship and attacks crew members.  She causes life support systems to malfunction, sabotages Caravaggio, and attacks anyone who tries to deactivate her.
  6. When heavily-armed pirates with breathing masks attack the Transutopian, crew members must fight them and try to survive as Kate withdraws oxygen.
  7. Travis saves the day, shoots the pirates, and deactivates Kate.  He uses a piece of technology from a pirate ship to accomplish the last task.
  8. Caravaggio is back and somewhat intuitive at the end of the episode.
  9. In one scene, Percy refers to Caravaggio as “the old fart.”  This reminds me of The Man Who Sold the World, in which the Billy Ray computer virus calls the AI an “old fart.”

Next:  Rivals, an episode in which Callie is the main character.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2019 COMMON ERA

The Prisoner/The Prisoner (Redux)   5 comments

Above:  Jane Doe/Maria Geddes

A Screen Capture

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

SEASON 2, EPISODE 14

MAIN CAST

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Clive Robertson as Travis Montana

Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

Paul Fox as Marcus Fagen

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

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

SUPPORTING CAST

Allison Burn as Georgia (Orchard)

Greg Allwand as Dr. Edward Murchison (Orchard)

Georgie Johnson as Tristan Catchpole (Orchard)

Dean McKenzie as Soame (Orchard)

Tracey Ferencz as Jupiter Federation Official

Jacklyn Francis as Dr. Alora Kir

Carli Norris as Jane Doe/Maria Geddes

Michael Sinnott as David Geddes

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = David Wheatley

Writer = David T. Reilly

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

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

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

Composer (Episode–Starhunter Redux) = Donald Quan

Length of original episode = 0:47:53

Length of Redux episode = 0:42:35

BACKGROUND AND OTHER GENERAL COMMENTS

Above:  Tristan Catchpole

A Screen Capture

This episode takes us back into the realm of the Orchard, reintroduced two episodes ago, in Pandora’s Box.  In this episode we see the de jure grand opening of the Orchard (Mark II), the previous version of the Orchard having torn itself apart in 2290.  Yet, as one who recalls Pandora’s Box understands, the Orchard (Mark II) was already functional de facto.

This episode contains some exposition, for the benefit of certain characters and many viewers who, back in 2003 and 2004, had not seen or had vague memories of the first season (2000-2001).  Binge watching this series leads to a different, negative experience of such clunky dialogue than one would have watching one episode a week, missing the series some weeks, and having years pass and memories fade.  Consider also, O reader, that I have a details orientation, so I know many of these details already.

This episode includes name drops of Dante Montana, Penny Montana, and Eccleston.

According to Dr. Edward Murchison, head of the Orchard (Mark II), Eccleston went insane because he activated his four Divinity Cluster genes artificially.  This account is inconsistent with what I recall from The Divinity Cluster and Resurrection.  I do not expect Murchison to know everything or be entirely truthful, though.  I recall that Eccleston recalled vaguely some experiences he had in other dimensions.

There are two Travis Montanas.  The Clive Robertson model is not the son of Dante and Penny.  If he knows this, he does not let on that he does.  Nobody at the Orchard (Mark II) seems to know it, either.

The Redux version of this episode omits early scenes of Jane Doe shooting at Travis on Clarke Station.  This cut does not hurt the reedited version of the episode, for we hear about her rare act of violence.

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Dr. Edward Murchison

A Screen Capture

  1. “Jane Doe” has had amnesia and multiple personalities for a few years as she has not been confronting a trauma.
  2. The crew of the Tulip, always in need of credits, is accepting jobs transporting mental patients and their counselors.  They are transporting “Jane Doe,” in the company of Dr. Alora Kir, to Ganymede Neural.  No, make that Ganymede Maximum, after “Jane Doe” sees Travis and recognizes him, shouts that he should die, and shoots at him.  She shoots another man instead.
  3. While Travis and Callie are on Clarke Station, Travis bumps into Tristan Catchpole in a corridor.  Catchpole turns around and pays attention.  Travis and Callie move along.
  4. Travis (the fake one) is a good man.  He is also a guilt-ridden man who says he has hurt too many people.  In this episode he is usually a very moody man, too.
  5. This episode occurs about fifteen years after the events of The Divinity Cluster, so characters speaking of the passage of fifteen years makes sense, mathematically and in context.  Recall, O reader, that the first season of Starhunter Redux spans late 2285-2286.  This episode occurs in late 2300.
  6. Dr. Alora Kir, an assertive advocate for her patient, contacts “Edward,” a psychiatrist and her superior, more than once.  Edward is Dr. Edward Murchison.
  7. Meanwhile, in Penrose Interstellar Research City, Mars, Murchison presides over the formal opening of the Orchard (Mark II).  The Orchard is dedicated to getting people into hyperspace.
  8. Tristan Catchpole is the first human (as far as Murchison knows, at least) to activate three of his four Divinity Cluster genes naturally.  He can travel through hyperspace to planets in other solar systems.  He can also track down other naturally-activated subjects via a psychic link.
  9. Travis (the fake one) is one of these naturally-activated subjects.
  10. Percy defends Travis to her crew mates.
  11. When Dr. Kir observes “Jane Doe” touch Travis and phase in and out with him, she does not understand what just happened.  She does grasp, however, that the patient recalls her name (Maria Geddes) and that fake Travis (or whatever he was calling himself in 2285, when the real Travis was ruling the Raiders), as a member of the Varran Clan, killed Maria’s husband, David.  Dr. Kir tells Murchison what she saw.  Murchison is very interested in this report.
  12. Unanswered question:  Does Percy, in this episode, think that the fake Travis is her cousin?
  13. An Orchard vessel with Catchpole on board intercepts and grapples the Transutopian.  Catchpole and two guards board the Tulip.  Percy immediately recognizes them as being from the Orchard.
  14. Catchpole takes Travis through hyperspace to a planet 400 light-years away.  Travis does not buy what Catchpole is selling.  The two men struggle and return to the Tulip.
  15. The Orchard personnel return to their vessel, which ungrapples the Tulip and leaves.
  16. Maria forgives fake Travis for killing her husband.
  17. Maria is no longer headed for Ganymede Maximum, but for Ganymede Neural.
  18. On Mars, Catchpole tells Murchison that Travis (the fake one) will eventually come to the Orchard of his free will.
  19. Murchison, a psychiatrist, should not be casual about killing people and having them killed.  He is a Machiavellian person, fit for the Orchard.

Next:  Kate, or why one should never replace Caravaggio.

A FINAL NOTE

Above:  Dr. Alora Kir, Callie, and Marcus

A Screen Capture

The Orchard was the glue that unified the first season.  Most episodes related to that cabal.  Perhaps more did than I, a detail-oriented person, know.  Was the Orchard also behind the scenes in Peer Pressure, A Twist in Time, and Eat Sin?

If so, I would not fall over in surprise.

The second season needed for the Orchard to be more prominent more often.  This is my strongest critique of the second season.

I have become fonder of the second season since beginning to watch Starhunter Redux, which does much to unify the two seasons.  The explicit statement (strong in the remastered and reedited version of Hyperspace II) that the Clive Robertson Travis is not the son of Dante and Penny Montana does much to improve the second season for me.  Resolving that plot point may yet prompt me to rank the second season higher than the first season.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2019 COMMON ERA