Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-05-16 Entry: "A Chunk Of Sleepwalkers"

More Jetsons... I might just finish this if I'm diligent. So we kick off with "The Little Man" and we've got the rivalry between Spacely and Cogswell kicking it in to high gear. Spacely has a machine that shrinks things (so he can reduce shipping costs), but there's still some bugs in the reversal process... which is unfortunately for George when he gets sent through!

"Las Venus" sees George and Jane on holiday at the Supersonic Sands in the future's equivalent of Las Vegas. Of course, when Spacely calls telling George he needs to get a contract signed by a beautiful woman while he's there, things get complicated.

"Jane's Driving Lesson" sees Jane fed up with having to get the bus, and deciding to take driving lessons. She, however, isn't much of a student. After thoroughly scaring her first tutor, she appears to switch instructor. It turns out though that she's picked up a bank robber by mistake.

"G.I. Jetson" sees George called for military duty, and it sees the return of Uniblab as the new commanding officer. After setting up George to get chewed out by Spacely, George and Henry come up with a plan to deal with the infernal machine.

"Miss Solar System" sees Jane buying a new dress that she wants to impress George with, but he's distracted by the current holder of the titular title. So Jane decides to enter the contest. Unfortunately for her, George has been asked by Mr Spacely to judge the competition... which might make for a conflict of interests!

"TV Or Not TV" sees George and Astro think they've witnessed the robbery of an armoured car, and going on the run to prevent being rubbed out by the criminals. However, what they really witnessed was the filming of a TV show, and because they were caught on camera, the director now needs to get George's signature to allow the show to be broadcast.

On to the final disc, with "Private Property" seeing Cogswell construct a building right next to Spacely's, and their rivalry heats up. George discovers that Cogswell's building is six inches over the plot boundary, encroaching on Spacely's land. However, is he reading those blueprints correctly?

"Dude Planet" sees Jane stressed out, and forced to go on holiday by her doctor. She ends up on a dude ranch, herding cattle and riding horses, trying to avoid worrying about what's happening to George and the kids back home. George meanwhile tries to cope with running the house and not calling Jane for help.

Finally, "Elroy's Mob" sees Elroy get his report card, but the class dunce swaps reports with Elroy, and when George goes ballistic over the bad grades, Elroy and Astro run away. They encounter a couple of criminals and their monkey, and end up helping them with their robbery.

Finished with that, we'll now go on to Doctor Who, with the second doctor's story, "The Mind Robber." Escaping a lava flow by taking the Tardis out of time, they end up in a world of imagination that's determined to lure them out of the Tardis in to the mist outside.

Of course, it's at about this point I give up cataloguing, which is unfortunate, as I then go on to watch "The Claws Of Axos," a third Doctor story with a bunch of plant creatures and the Master.

Then, it's back to Star Trek, and the season 2 of the original series kicks off with the excellent "Amok Time" which sees Spock exhibiting strange behaviour. This episode introduces the Vulcan seven year mating cycle (which is strange considering how open about it some of them are in Enterprise) and Spock going in to Pon Farr. Unfortunately his future wife has decided she no longer wants him, so she's going to force him to fight for her... and she chooses Kirk as her champion.

"Who Mourns For Adonais" is a weaker episode, with the crew having to deal with the greek god Apollo, who's determined to get them to worship him!

Sunday kicks off with the rest of the Star Trek disc, with "The Changeling" seeing the Earth probe NOMAD showing back up after being apparently destroyed and lost many years before. It seems it's been repaired, improved, and reprogrammed by some other computer, and now it's not only seeking out new life, but sterilising it if it's imperfect. Fortunately, it suffers from the usual flaw in AI programming... lock it in to a logic loop and get it to destroy itself.

"Mirror, Mirror" introduces the mirror universe, much seen in Deep Space Nine. Here they're supposed to destroy a peaceful planet on orders from the Empire, and good Kirk is struggling to play his counterpart when half the crew are out to kill him. At least Spock is his logical self, even with the goatee.

"Spaceballs" manages to get itself on the watchlist next, and this has held up pretty well over the years, although there's some weak moments (especially the Mega Maid ending, which has always been weak).

Feeling stupid, I'm now going to watch "Sleepwalkers," the short lived series that sort of got released on DVD in the UK a while back. I say sort of, because ILC have followed their usual strange policy of combining two episodes into a single movie, so the three discs here really have six of the show's nine episodes, but working out which one is which without titles is a bit difficult. At least we start with the pilot though...

We're on an underground train, and Jeffrey D. Sams has just awoken. The raven flying through the compartment is pretty freaky, but not quite as bad as the faceless guy with a knife in the next one. Amazingly, jumping from the train appears pretty painless though. Then, while he's laying on the tracks, the faceless killer comes out of a pool of water in front of him... and he wakes up - clearly disturbed by his dream.

And then we're in another dream, this time Naomi Watts is in the driving seat, but she's got a companion with her - there's apparently something to do with a mine shaft that she's not willing to face, and her boss, Bruce Greenwood, isn't too happy with them pushing too far when they come out of the dream.

So Sams is going to the Morpheus Institute to get answers. And he thinks he's only got a short time to live, as the dreams are slowly killing him... but they have the technology to send Kate (Ms Watts) and the guy she was with earlier (Steve) in to his dream to find out what's going on. After nearly getting run down by the train, Kate and Steve see Ben (Sams) is trapped on that train, and they now need to find him.

The second episode, after Ben has joined the team, sees a murderer being shot... but the police still need to find his last victim. So Kate and Ben have to go into the murderer's dreams (before he dies) and find her... and Kate has to play the victim.

So we have Kate and Ben in the dream, feeding directions to the police (and Bruce Greenwood) back in the real world, directing them where to go. And everything is going smoothly until the murderer realises he's dreaming and can control anything around him.

Episode three opens with Bruce Greenwood hiking over some rocks in the desert, before seeing his wife (Gail) walking out on to a frozen plain, and him trying to get her to stop. When he catches up to her, she turns in to some guy, before that guy (McCage) and Gail watch him fall through the ice into a lake.

Ah, and now we can see that the episodes are out of order, because Steve has just come out of the hospital after the pilot, and is upset that Ben will be taking over from him in going in to the dreams... which makes no sense when Ben was already doing that in the last episode!

The episode concerns a young boy suffering from night terrors. He gets up in the middle of the night (about three times a week) and wrecks his room, yelling about a church, but waking up unaware that this happens.

When they enter the dream church, they meet Harry Groener playing The Smiling Man, who gives the boy a toy, before starting to question Nathan and Kate... and he seems to be very interested in Nathan... which might explain him turning in to McCage. Is this still the boy's dream? Or Nathan's?

Okay, McCage drowned a couple of years ago, but what is his connection to Gail? Nathan could ask her, considering he occasionally enters her dreams (she's in a coma). The young boy, after they discover his fear comes from water rather than the church, gets up in the middle of the night and stabs his mother's side of the bed.

The fourth episode is the succubus one... all the men in a mining town are falling in to a paralysis after having a nightmare about meeting an attractive woman in the mine, who then turns in to a wolf and chases them through the woods.

The Jonny Quest episode "The Robot Spy" kicks off the second disc in the series, with an alien looking spider robot being brought back to Dr. Quest's lab. It's really a spy sent by the evil Dr. Zin to get information on Quest's new laser gun.

Tonight's Charmed might be the penultimate episode... there's only one more this season, and there's no sign of a renewal for next year yet. Zankou is forcing the sisters to face up to their failures, sending innocents they've failed to save back to taunt them in zombie form. Of course, by making them question their own actions, the protections on the Book of Shadows is weakened, allowing Zankou to snatch it...

"Double Danger" sees Dr Zin sending a double of Race Bannon to infiltrate Dr. Quest's party in Thailand to get some formula that will help extend space flights. Bandit is having to deal with an interfering monkey.

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