Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-05-02 Entry: "More Catchup!"

I appear to be on catchup duty again, so lets kick off with Friday's watchings. It started with the last of the Quantum Leap episodes, "Animal Frat," which sees Sam as a fraternity member trying to save a Vietnam protestor from planting a bomb which ends up killing someone. Of course, she wants nothing to do with a frat jock so he's got his work cut out just getting her to listen to him.

Then I watched Blade Trinity... and started with the unrated version. There's barely any difference between the two cuts - a few minutes of character scenes culled here and there and a different ending. The ending is rubbish though and I was so disappointed I ended up watching the theatrical cut directly afterwards!

Anyway, overall it's quite a good film, but there's a couple of oddities in it - like why the dog vampires look like the super vampires from the second film?

Saturday started with the last episodes of Buck Rogers season 1, with "Space Rockers" (which has quite the guest cast), "Buck's Duel To The Death" (in which Buck is the 500 year old savior for a planet suffering under a ruthless thug) and finally the feature length "Flight Of The War Witch." This last has a new title sequence and sees both Buck and Ardala summoned to a parallel universe where the planet Pendar is under siege by the war witch Zarina. Of course, Ardala isn't all that enthused about helping out, but she's not going to be given the way back home unless she helps!

Oh, and plot-hole you can drive a bus through? The Pendarans have the technology to vapourise the enemy but that would be bad. However, allowing Buck to blow the ship up by having it fly into the energy shield around the planet? Perfectly okay!

Then there's more silliness in Greatest American Hero. Starting with "The Shock Will Kill You" and we have a space shuttle that needs to be brought in to land. Unfortunately, it's carrying a power draining space alien which gets loose in the power grid. Ralph has to deal with his suit becoming extremely magnetic.

"A Chicken In Every Pot" sees a trip to the Caribbean interrupted by voodoo rituals and murder. Having the kids and Pam along help keep the tension up as there are plenty of potential victims for the crazy voodoo people, and Pam gets to flex a bit of legal know-how after Bill and Ralph are gaoled for trying to arrest the President.

"The Devil In The Deep Blue Sea" sees Ralph trying to get to the bottom of ship disappearances in the Devil's Triangle. Of course, he's convinced it's a plesiosaur, but doesn't tell that to Bill to lure him down there. It turns out there might be a couple of things going on, what with a prison warden and his English henchman hijacking boats and chopping them up for resale. Of course, Bill gets the bust, but Ralph fails to find any evidence of his dinosaur.

"It's All Downhill From Here" sees Ralph helping a downhill skier defect when he finds that he skis much better with the suit on. It's the first episode in a while that hasn't had some silly element (beyond the guy in the suit), and it's good because of it. There needs to be more Bill and Ralph fighting crime and less magic, aliens, sea monsters, etc!

Which brings us to Sunday, which starts with some television, including S.W.A.T. which is quite a good action film if a little predictable. And then, after taking a glance at a couple of other films (which were rubbish and I didn't stick with) it was back to the DVDs. And we're on to Wonder Woman.

In this case, the two parter "Mind Stealers From Outer Space" which sees the return of Andros (the son... who I don't remember from season 1 but they apparently met then), and Earth being invaded by some aliens in shiny green outfits who steal people's thoughts and memories. They've also got a big ugly creature that stalks anything covered in silver glitter.

Admittedly, these are the first people to notice that Diana and Wonder Woman look exactly the same and, hey, maybe they're the same person!

And the bunch Andros is with is again giving an arbitrary and ridiculous time limit before they do something bad to Earth... in the first season they were just going to destroy it, whereas here they're going to cleanse it of aliens, which will just send a small percentage of the population permanently insane... so the usual problems!

Then there's "The Deadly Toys" and android duplicates of top scientists have infiltrated a secret project. Diana has to hunt down the creator of the androids which is made a little easier when a duplicate of Wonder Woman is made...

Knight Rider is next in rotation but there isn't very much that's notable here... there's a young Daphne Ashbrook (she of Doctor Who: The Movie fame) in "A Knight In Shining Armour" and a treasure hunt for a cave full of shiny crystals. I was barely paying attention to "Diamonds Aren't A Girl's Best Friend" which isn't very memorable, but things pick up a little in "White-Line Warriors" where Michael tries to clear a street racer of robbery charges and we have the usual litany of corrupt sheriffs and dangling over cliffs (and KITT gets a stealth mode).

Finally, "Race For Life" sees Michael and KITT tracking down a guy who's a bone marrow match for a young girl. There's a lot of stormy weather making the search difficult, but there's a little silliness when they need to cross a river and can't turbo boost over it... but this is the second time in a couple of episodes that they've completely forgotten about the aquatic mode from earlier in the season. And is KITT's wheelbase really the same size as a railway track?

Finishing up allows the watching of the new Charmed, which is a fairly silly affair - Paige gets a new charge who can travel at super speed, and Phoebe gets switched with a homely looking sorceress woman in the underworld.

And then a single episode of Quantum Leap, with Sam playing a divorced mother of three in "Another Mother" and having to deal with the disappearance of the son, whose body was never found in the original timeline. Al has to care for the youngest daughter, who can see both Sam and Al and needs to be told the truth about who they are and why they're there. And we get the first evidence of Sam's martial arts prowess.

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