Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-06-11 Entry: "A Weekend Ago"

Saturday sees the rest of Voyager's season 3 and it's the usual mix of good and bad leading up to a reasonable two parter split over the season break.

We start with "Rise," which is a Neelix and Tuvok episode.

"Favorite Son" sees Harry Kim take center stage when he starts having a serious sense of deja vu about the area of space they're travelling through. Then he starts exhibiting mysterious genetic changes and takes on the characteristics of a race they're passing. It seems the children of that race are seeded throughout the galaxy and their natural traits remain dormant until they find their way back hoome. Of course, when 90% of the planet's population is female and extremely attractive, most of the males decide to stay... but they're hiding something...

"Before And After" is a Kes episode, and she suddenly finds herself bouncing backwards through time. At the start she's an old woman being put in a bio-temporal chamber to prolong her life, but the procedure awakens chroniton radiation in her and causes the problem. So she goes from being married to Tom Paris, with Harry married to her daughter to slowly returning to the present time (through the Year of Hell... nice bit of foreshadowing here) and then back to when the Krenim attack the ship and she gets dosed with the radiation. Unfortunately, the Doctor's treatments don't work perfectly, and she keeps getting younger...

"Real Life" has the Doctor trying to understand people better, so he creates a holographic family to allow him to experience a home life. But when B'Elanna and Kes find that it's too perfect, they introduce some reality in to it. A good episode, with a touching ending...

"Distant Origin" sees a reptilian scientist challenging the orthodoxy of his people that they originated in the Delta Quadrant by tracking down Voyager and kidnapping Chakotay. He believes that they originated on Earth (and Janeway and the Doctor discover that they're descended from Hadrosaurs... I think they might have been better going with Raptors but what do I know?), and Chakotay postulates that they survived the extinction event on an isolated landmass, developed spaceflight and left Earth to escape another disaster that destroyed their continent. Silly... but these people do have transporters that can transport all of Voyager inside their spaceship!

"Displaced" sees the crew being replaced every seven and a half minutes by a very surprised alien. Of course, as the crew gets replaced, they're slowly outnumbered by the aliens and it's clear they're going to take over the ship. The crew find themselves in a perfectly suitable habitat which is clearly a zoo or prison... of course, with the help of a friendly alien from the next cell over, and by modifying the Doctor's mobile emitter, they find the hidden door and escape... allowing them to use the aliens' tranporter technology themselves...

"Worst Case Scenario" has the crew messing around with a holodeck programme about a mutiny of the Maquis shortly after arriving in the Delta Quadrant. Unfortunately, the programme is incomplete and no-one knows who wrote it, until Tuvok volunteers that it was his. Tom wants to finish it, but Tuvok doesn't like the direction his ideas are going in, so they agree to collaborate, and when they open the programme for edits, they accidentally trigger a booby trap set by Seska who then proceeds to try and kill them...

"Scorpion Part 1" finishes the series, and the Borg are back. Voyager finally encounters Borg space, and they're being thoroughly beaten up by Species 8472. Fortunately, Voyager has a weapon against them (or at least the beginnings of one in the Doctor's modified Borg nanoprobes), so Janeway wants to make a deal. She'll help the Borg build a weapon, in return for safe passage through Borg space.

"Scorpion Part 2" picks up in Season 4 and of course, everything has gone wrong. The Borg have tried to take over the ship, sucked it in to fluidic space, and demanded the weapon. Of course, Voyager has now found that the Borg started the war against Species 8472, but there's more pressing issues, like the fleet of killer ships coming at them. They have to use the weapon, but fortunately the Borg drone remaining on Voyager is unlinked from the Collective so can't get them to come and assimilate them.

With Voyager temporarily finished, I watched some comedy, with Eddie Izzard's show, "Glorious" - it's not the best of his live performances, but it does have a good bit about computers and printing.

Heathers finished up the night - it's been an age since I saw this last, so it felt like seeing it fresh. It was weaker than I expected, and I thought I remembered all the Heathers dying, but was watchable nonetheless.

Sunday kicks off with the extremely battered Danger Mouse. I'm not sure what happened to the shipment, but it was clearly bashed to hell and it was therefore probably faulty... so we watch until it fails...

"Rogue Robots" sees flying robots attacking all the secret agents and world leaders, and Baron Greenback behind it. The flying things with teeth aren't the only robots to deal with though - there's a pair of boots, and a robotic tom cat with six arms all tipped with deadly weapons to deal with as well.

"Who Stole The Bagpipes?" sees Baron Greenback stealing all the bagpipe herds in Scotland, and then using them to make a sonic ray gun that will destroy stuff. Of course, DM and Penfold are there to stop him, but they've got to deal with a mechanical Loch Ness monster first.

"Trouble With Ghosts" sees Greenback holding Colonel K at gunpoint to claim that Greenback has given himself up and DM can go on holiday in Transylvania. Of course, it's a trap and Greenback has populated the castle with his mechanical ghosts, ghouls, vampires, and other beasties.

"Chicken Run" sees a giant chicken terrorising the nation, when a scientist's growth serum is stolen by Stiletto and Baron Greenback. The giant chicken chases DM and Penfold, but they're saved by a pidgeon, before being captured by Greenback and stuck in with the chickens. Penfold manages to save the day when he gets himself immersed in the growth serum.

"The Martian Misfit" sees Greenback build a mousehunter that looks like it's from Mars. It starts out by destroying Number 10, before DM and Penfold get on the case, although it does manage to take out the Telecom Tower. Of course, chasing the robot allows Greenback to go on a crime spree, stealing a big diamond called the Eye Of Hercules.

"The Dream Machine" proves what I suspected... the discs are faulty... but then they got bashed to hell in transit considering the bent and buckled shape of the cases... so this'll have to go back...

With Danger Mouse out, I switch to Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, which has been sitting on the shelf for a while. It's pretty satisfying as a series wrap-up, although they kill one of the cast completely out of the blue, they spend too much time with the silly "Rygel is pregnant" story, and the Sikozu plot thread comes completely out of the blue. Other than that, the explanation of where the Peacekeepers came from explains a whole lot very elegantly, and where's the feature film?

With that over with, I move to Batman: The Animated Series. Now I've got the complete show on the shelf, I should be able to go through it in a short period...

"On Leather Wings" sees Batman with a bat problem - Man Bat - and the police out to get whoever it is who's breaking in to pharmaceutical companies looking like a bat!

"Christmas With The Joker" sees the Joker escape from Arkham on Christmas Eve, and the first appearance of Robin in the series.

"Nothing To Fear" sees Batman facing off against the Scarecrow, who induces the worst fear in everyone who get zapped by him. The Scarecrow was apparently a professor of subliminal psychology at the university and now he's out to stop the university who fired him. Bruce is apparently afraid that he's shamed the family name.

"The Last Laugh" sees April Fools Day in Gotham... and demonstrates that these episodes are presented slightly out of order - Christmas to April in two episodes? And the Joker is back, this time with a barge on the river that's not only full of rubbish, but is giving off laughing gas that affects everyone it passes.

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