Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-05-05 Entry: "Yet More Of The Same"

Tuesday night, and there's one episode of Dark Angel to finish the disc, "I And I Am A Camera" and Max gets backup from a vigilante superhero-fan who wears mechanical leg braces that allow him to jump higher and run faster than others. He also carries a camera with which he gets Max's photo.

But that's only half the story, as people keep getting mysteriously murdered, and no-one knows how... but there's something suspicious going on with Logan's uncle's hoverdrone business. It seems they've modified one to reocognise people from a photograph and then kill them (they've added a couple of machine guns to it).

Things end rather badly for Logan's uncle, and the government seize all the company assets, so Logan's suddenly without the financial support he once had... but at least he still owns his apartment... I can't remember how long that lasts though!

Then on with the Buck Rogers, and the second season kicks off with the feature length "Time Of The Hawk" which is where the decline in to silliness begins. First, what on Earth happened to Twiki's voice? Gah, it's a good job he barely appears in it... and then we have the annoying doctor, and the crazy robot with the superiority complex. And then there's Hawk, last of the Bird people from Easter Island (huh? what bird people? left before Atlantis sunk? who's writing this insanity?). And they're out on a search for the Lost Tribes of Earth... now, wasn't Earth itself the lost 13th tribe? Or is it just that they've stolen their plot from Battlestar Galactica?

Of course, they don't do much Lost Tribe searching in the second episode (also feature length), "Journey To Oasis" which almost has a Wizard of Oz theme with an ambassador whose head comes off and a funny blue dwarf who talks in riddles... It has one redeeming feature - the Ambassador is played by Mark Lenard, who's slightly more famous as Spock's father Sarek. It's not the world's best performance, but he manages to survive the ignominy of being hidden inside rocks and pedestals to do his "head being set down while his body changes" scenes.

No, to be fair there's nothing redeeming about it, and there's another 9 episodes of this drivel... but fortunately the disc finishes here, so it's a change of show for Wednesday, and we're back with The Greatest American Hero... although we're no longer in completely off the wall episodes, which was pretty much what I requested.

"Dreams" sees Ralph helping a teacher at the school who appears to be being pushed out... there's something else going on here as well, but I was clearly not paying attention to it as I can't remember what happened three episodes later!

In "The Good Samaritan" Ralph is trying to find better things to do with the suit, other ways to help people, and he saves a whole bunch of people here in various ways... but he does have to come up against an ex-convict who's determined to get revenge on the flying guy who put him away.

"There's Just No Accounting" sees a kidnapping extortion ring being dealt with, but Bill, Pam and Ralph's investigations get sidetracked by an overzealous IRS agent, determined to get to the bottom of their taxes. Of course, Ralph loses his cancelled cheques during a car chase, and then when he's found to be in possession of a quarter of a million dollars (the ransom payment) he's in real trouble!

Finally in "Captain Bellybuster" Ralph gets caught on camera by a reporter, Bill is trying to get to the bottom of a bogus drug smuggling tip, and a burger store mascot is giving tips to the FBI about his criminal bosses. It's all in a days work for Captain Bellybuster and his sidekick the Tummy Tickler! Okay, yes, this last episode is pretty silly, but it's not off the wall ridiculous, and they're allowed a little slack after the pretty good accountant episode preceding it.

So, disc finished, it's on to Wonder Woman. And Diana is undercover as the titular "Light-Fingered Lady" in the first episode. She has to masquerade as a bank robber with a knack for disabling security systems so that she's accepted by the band of crooks working for some mastermind called Caribe.

Wonder Woman proves she can charm dogs to do whatever she asks them in this episode, and there's a slightly odd change from Diana to Wonder Woman to Swimming Costume Wonder Woman where the background disappears in the intermediate step! Oh, and those swimming scenes are extremely obvious as a pool.

Then it's on to "Screaming Javelin" but beyond a crazy guy with a parachute and a bomb being delivered to Diana's door, the rest will have to wait for tomorrow, as I need some sleep if I'm going to be up til all hours watching election coverage.

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