Archive for the ‘Torchwood: Children of Earth’ Tag

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

Generational Experiences, Memories, and Knowledge   Leave a comment

Tomorrow I will begin to teach my Fall Semester 2018 sections of United States History I (through 1877) at the Oconee Campus of the University of North Georgia

Whenever I prepare lessons, I think about generational experiences, memories, and knowledge.  The birth years of my students range from 1995 to 2001, with the greatest concentration of in 1999 and 2000.  Given that my memory reaches back to the 1970s, I am beginning to feel relatively old.  I find that PowerPoint is not a useful tool for teaching history; besides, most people who give PowerPoint presentations seem just to read their slides.  (I can read slides; why are people reading them to me?)  Neither do I teach from a script.  No, I teach from skeletal notes.  This means that, after I prepare and as I teach, I speak not quite extemporaneously.  I understand the material, but have no prepared comments.  This means that I have to watch my references.

Technological and cultural references are especially tricky.  I recall that once I confused a student when I said “typewriter.”  My Saturday Night Live references from the Dana Carvey-Phil Hartman era fall flat as nobody recognizes the reference to the Church Lady.  (“Isn’t that special?” “Could it be Satan?”)  These students have no memory of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Most of them have little sense of historical perspective; the 1990s might as well be ancient history for them.  If they do not remember it, it is ancient history, by their standards.  Books seem to be objects of curiosity for many of my students, who are addicted to screens anyway, and who mistake searching via Google for conducting research.

I come from a certain bookish background and a particular time.  Nine thick dictionaries and a thesaurus are on my desk.  I do not need nine dictionaries, but I like them.  The smell of old paper inspires great joy in me.  I like to hold a book. read, and turn pages.  I have no television or streaming service, and want none.  Days pass without me turning on my television set.  I enjoy screening foreign art movies as well as Marx Brothers films.  The original, British version of House of Cards (all three miniseries) is superior to the American version, I know.  Torchwood:  Children of Earth breaks my heart every time I watch it.  Tom Baker is the best actor to have played the Doctor; that is obvious.

I perceive the world differently than my students do partially because I have more and different experiences than they do.  My students are, for better and worse–hopefully more of the former than the latter–part of the future.  I hope to contribute to the shaping of that future, for the better, as I pass on to my students much of what I know.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 19, 2018 COMMON ERA

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