Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-02-15 Entry: "Film And A Half"

And, after the end of the commentary for "Thirdspace" (it had a bunch of the actors in it so it wasn't very insightful, but I'd started it last night so I thought I'd better finish it), we move on to possibly the worst of the B5 movies - "River Of Souls" whose only redeeming features are Tracy Scoggins in her underwear and a really poor performance by Martin Sheen... okay, that second one isn't really a redeeming feature, but I'm stuck for a number two here... at least Thirdspace was a big goofy mess that you can laugh at... this is just horrible!

Anyway, being about souls, it obviously has the return of the Soul Hunters in it, last seen in... War Without End? Soul Hunter?! It was quite a ways back anyway. Oh, watching the intro, it's also got Ian McShane in it... which still isn't a selling point.

Okay, so on with the film... big CGI temple... with architect Ian McShane toiling around in there... he'd have been better off sticking to selling art... oh, that was Lovejoy... well, it would have saved him getting his team killed by Soul Hunters...

Okay, it's set after the end of season 5 (well, after Objects At Rest anyway), as Sheridan and Garibaldi have both left the station... although Garibaldi seems to be visiting...

Ah, right, Garibaldi is there to meet Lovejoy - who was apparently being funded by Edgars Industries for research... research into eternal life.

Okay, Corwin's present to Lochley is very, very silly - a love bat?! What does he get up to on his off hours?

Okay, Richard Biggs gets a brief cameo, although he has to put on a stupid accent... wow, they're really putting their cast through crap during this aren't they?!

It's interesting that Corwin gets a bigger role here than any time since Ivanova had to interview him to see if he should be brought in to the War Council... oh, and he seems to have picked up a few of Ivanova's strategies over the years as well - if they attack, shoot once; if they don't attack, shoot twice because they're probably hiding something!

Strangely though, when Martin Sheen sees Lochley inside the soul globe at the end, Tracy doesn't have to put on a dumb accent... so why did they force Richard to do it?

Oh, and Lochley's modifications of the Love Bat are probably the best moment in this...

Okay, and although I really should go to bed, I'm going to attempt "A Call To Arms" instead... as then I can watch the commentary tomorrow before starting in on Crusade, which this is the backdoor pilot for.

And so off we go... the fifth anniversary of the InterStellar Alliance, and the destroyer class ship that was mooted during the 5th season finally comes to fruition... although this seems to be set after the telepath crisis, whatever that might be... and we'll probably revisit in Crusade (partly because there must be mention in one of the commentaries about the unfilmed script involving Bester).

One of the White Stars, carrying Garibaldi and Sheriden go to visit the construction, and the President is assured of their secrecy as nothing can keep up with a White Star at full burn... nothing that is, except a technomage. Cue Galen...

And new jumpgate effect... they've obviously updated the CGI at this point. And we get our first two destroyers - the Excalibur and the Victory. But the chief engineer... or whatever Mr Drake is, seems determined to hold them back until everything is absolutely perfect! He hasn't even taken it out for a test flight!

And when they do try, the engines fail... Sheridan gets a message from Delenn... well, it's supposed to be Delenn, but it looks more like one of Garibaldi's cryptic messages from Bester in season 4. Of course, 20 minutes of staring at gibberish might impart a little information, but he's going to have to sleep on it.

Meanwhile, on B5, Dureena arrives - she's a thief, and she's carrying rather a lot of weapons, which Zack looks suitably stunned by at customs.

The President is having very vivid dreams... and Galen appears to be in them. They're on a dead world - a destroyed world - that was part of a test of a weapon. It's Daltron 7 and presumably it's important to the plot.

On B5, Dureena's following mysterious signs on the walls - and she's being followed herself. And the music in this film is very discordant and overblown. She gets knocked unconscious and starts having visions of Daltron 7 herself. She initially believes it to be her world, which (according to Galen) was destroyed in the same way... she also sees the President, and a Drakh. On waking, she manages to make contact with the Thieves Guild, of which she's apparently a member.

And then, back with the testing, we get to see the big flaw with these destroyers... they've got a really big gun, but once it's fired, it takes a minute to recharge, during which time they've barely got enough power for gravity.

So, another vision, a chat with Galen, and then they're off to B5.

Ooh... Tony Todd makes a guest appearance. And his ship, the Charon, is also on its way to B5, against their standing orders...

Ah, a hint... Dureena is from Zander Prime - a world destroyed by the Shadow Planet-Killer towards the end of the Shadow war... and Dureena is one of the three faces that Sheridan has drawn. Tony Todd is number two. And then we've just got a drazi to find.

You know, there's a lot of incidental music in this that sounds like Lexx.

There they are over Daltron 7, and a bunch of weird looking pizza delivery trucks turn up... oh, maybe they're Drakh ships... fortunately they don't recognize the extremely human looking (and obviously human named) ships... but then they're new ships. And that's a familiar looking guest star on communications...

And with 24 minutes to go, I'm going to call it a night!

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