Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-04-16 Entry: "Bloodsucking Wonder"

One more episode to finish disc one, "Hog Wild" and we could do with a return of Pam, who's only been seen on the end of a telephone so far. But so far all we have is Bill and Ralph arguing in the car, and then being harassed by a motorcycle gang.

Ralph's got a problem with Bill's anger, especially after they get beaten up by the bikers because of it. Of course, when they're captured by the bikers and forced to tell them how the suit works, one of the biker's suffers from Maxwell's subterfuge (jumping off the roof of the barn and breaking his arm).

Ralph is forced to go along with the biker's attempts to take over a small border town or they'll shoot Bill (who's being held in the barn by the guy whose arm he broke, at the other end of a walkie-talkie from the head of the gang and Ralph).

But because I'm feeling like a sucker for punishment, I'm not going to immediately go on to disc two, and instead watch the Vampire High disc - it's supposed to be the first four episodes edited together into a feature length show. And lets see, synopsis - The vicious Fury and the enlightened Elders are at war over ruling the undead, and a bunch of young vampires are sent to Mansbridge Academy to learn to temper their instincts and live amongst humans. It's an elaborate boarding school, so while you've got the regular students upstairs studying (including the very cute Meghan Ory), you've got the five vampires living in the basement and taking lessons at night.

Of course, one of the vampires is going to fall for one of the students (Meghan Ory, obviously). Well, there are four vampires, two male, two female (including Karen Cliche), and if we can get past the nasty rock soundtrack we might see a few of their powers (other than speed - which we see when one of them pulls the chair out from under one of the others as she's about to sit).

Okay, apparently they can pick up people's thoughts - or else the vamp wouldn't know Meghan was looking for someone. Okay, one of them can read minds. Carl is the dimwit of the bunch - at least scholastically, as he can hack in to the closed circuit camera feed of the school.

Meghan's ex-boyfriend keep trying to get back together with her, but she doesn't want anything to do with him... of course his actions nearly get him bitten by the vampire with a crush on her (Drew). Instead he's pushed through a window, which exposes Drew to sunlight.

Episode two, and one of the vampires has been caught on camera... actually, all five of them have - we get another vampire (bad boy Marty). Merrill (the mindreader) is showing an interest in Drew (who's on probation for his stupidity in the previous episode).

Carl's only been a vampire for a year. Karen Cliche plays Essie, and Marty is interested in her, although she seems to be more interested in her clothes.

Marty persuades Carl and Essie to go out for a night. Unfortunately, it's the same night Meghan's roommate persuades her to sneak out to a road house, so obviously Drew will go along with the trip. Marty can move objects from a distance...

Of course, they meet the requisite stupid goth chick at the bar who thinks vampires are cool, and who they bring back to wine cellar for tasting. Marty and Drew fight over whether to take her. Essie proves she can put the whammie on someone.

Part three sees Drew dreaming of Meghan (who I should really start calling by her character's name), and dancing with her in the main hall of the academy. There's apparently something in vampire lore about vamps falling in love - and the person they fall for being called "The One."

Of course, Drew starts sending love letters and sneaking flowers and ice cream to Meghan. Unfortunately, Meghan thinks it's the ex-boyfriend.

Okay, apparently Merrill can "dreamslide" allowing her and others to enter people's dreams. So we get Meghan the ballerina. And Sherry the little girl (played by someone other than Meghan). And then they have to go to class... will we get more?

Young Sherry gave a marble to Drew... and he managed to leave the dream with it... and now Meghan is stammering (because some speech therapist used the marble to cure the stammer). When he goes back in to return it, little Sherry is evil, so he gives the marble to Meghan, and then there's a whole dawn sequence where Drew doesn't burst into flames. Oh, and evil Sherry? Marty followed Drew and Merrill in.

Final episode and Carl has "The Chill" which they'll hopefully explain shortly... and can they stop with the stupid cryptic names. Okay, he's having trouble giving up his human life and wants to go back to it... Murdoch talks him out of it, saying that their vampire experiment would give him the chance to go back if it's successful. Except the school geek knows him (and overhears their conversation).

Oh dear, the geek's posted the sighting on the internet. So the vampire hunters turn up - a government agency (the BPDA or Biomorphic Predatory Disease Agency) who investigate vampires, werewolves and other paranormal entities.

And finally Drew explains the Chill - one year to the day after their death, they're called back to their grave... but this isn't a good night for it, what with the federal agent turning up and vapourizing gravestones with some laser weapon.

Now watch me come up with a plan that makes it look like I'm making absolutely no inroads into the boxed sets on the shelf. I have five old shows that need to be gone through, and I'm going to rotate discs. The Greatest American Hero has already gone, so next up is Wonder Woman season 2.

I'm liable not to stick with this plan very long, but it's only four episodes of a show at a time, so I might manage it... anyway, on with the plan and "The Return Of Wonder Woman" kicks us off, with no Nazis in sight as we've jumped forward quite a few years to 1977 but there's still a Steve Trevor working for government security (presumably the son of the former Steve Trevor).

And we're dealing with terrorists... and trying to build a nuclear power plant in the imaginary country of Samarra... has somebody got an appointment there. And someone is spying on their flight - from Dr. Solano's secret lab in Washington DC. Of course, they have to fly over the Devil's Triangle and Dr. Solano has a plan to capture the plane, but it goes wrong and the plane is going to crash.

Of course, the magnetic field around Paradise Island prevents a nasty crash and they bring it in to land. Diana gets there first and finds the crew unconscious and then discovers Steve, who she obviously recognizes, but can't understand how it could be the same man. Cue flashback to the old Steve Trevor.

Diana clearly wants to go back to the outside world as Wonder Woman, but her mother the Queen clearly doesn't want her to... but she's overruled by the council... until her cousin challenges Diana to bullets and bracelets over who gets to go... haven't we seen this before?

Except they're only trying to block bullets from a bit of statuary this time rather than from themselves... they've gone soft in the last 30 years.

When they've hypnotised everyone into believing Diana Prince is Steve's aid, and sending them on their way, they find that two days have passed with them missing! Considering they think no time has passed, they're slightly confused.

Okay, and the episode has descended in to farce - they're going to airlift a nuclear power station in to the country! Diana has to deal with an intractible computer (IRAC, or Ira) to get her identity set up, and then sell some rare coins to get her starting capital. Of course, she's being spied upon by Dr. Solano's aid and they believe, because she's paying for everything with cash, she's an extremely important person, whose apartment needs to be bugged.

Heh! Her crown turns in to a boomerang. And she's 2526 years old. Oh, and Dr. Solano has a robot that can fence... that'll be useful if they're ever attacked by pirates! Okay, now the crazy doctor has a Steve Trevor look-a-like - is that the robot? Or some other double?

"Anschluss '77" sees Wonder Woman making the front page of Tempo magazine (which looks a lot like Time), although the press are skeptical of her. Called to a secret briefing room, they find out a top Nazi is still working in the South American country of Cordova (you know, keeping all these fictional countries in order could be a complicated affair).

When Steve's wallet is stolen, Wonder Woman has to put in an appearance to drive off the thugs. Of course, we're talking cell regeneration, cloning, secret nazi bases, bringing Hitler back to life, Diana having to get out of a tricky problem in a cave with some dynamite.

And now she's trying to stop a tank! Well, okay, Wonder Woman is. Meanwhile, Steve's stealing a uniform and pretending to be a Nazi. Of course, he has to go to a rally where they unveil the new Hitler clone.

One to go, "The Man Who Could Move the World" and there's a scientist in trouble, his assistant getting trapped in a time-locked vault and a japanese guy with ESP or something. Fortunately for the mystery, the scientist always records his experiments, so they have a tape of the events.

The scientist was working on a brainwave amplifier, which allowed the Japanese guy to move things with his mind. He then decided he'd take the machine as he had plans for it which the scientist didn't want... but that's where the tape ends.

Wonder Woman goes to Ishida's house, where she finds what is almost a shrine to her. Or at least, when Steve turns up and explains it, a shrine to her death.

By typing letters allegedly from Wonder Woman and then taking control of Steve's jeep, Ishida gets him to the deserted internment camp that Ishida's parents were kept at during the war.

Ah, Ishida and his brother tried to escape the camp but they were running through a live target area for artillery fire. Wonder Woman went in to try and save them and the elder brother was hit. Ishida blames Wonder Woman for that (even though she took the elder brother back to the camp and he survived). And now she's being forced to walk in to a mine field...

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