Whups! Totally forgot about this show, and missed reviewing it “Live” last night. Sorry. My bad. Watched it on a friends’ DVR today, however, so I’m loaded for bear and ready to go.
You know what would be nice? Notice how this episode was entitled “Episode 2” and it is, in fact, the second episode? They did this with “Survivors” as well. Dull. Wouldn’t it be nice if “Episode 2” was in fact the third episode, or “Episode 5” was actually the eighth? Yeah, I know that’s stupid, but I got to thinking about that while I wasn’t being engaged by the story.
Another thing that struck me while I wasn’t being engaged by the story is that in many ways, this series is an unofficial sequel to the Ronald D. Moore Battlestar Galactica. Basically, it takes place 10 minutes after that series ended, with everyone being on a new world, there was a war and they can’t go home again, they haven’t got any ships, there’s cloney things about, and they’re living in shantytowns, with the entire colonization scheme just reeking of bad planning. You can even pretend that Jamie Bamber from last week was Apollo, having gone crazy eight bonkers and thus needing to be taken down. Or, if you like, President Tate can be an older Apollo.
Oh, last week I finished off by saying Jamie Bamber was killed, but it was ok because there was another Jamie Bamber in the escape pod, right? Wrong: Bamber was just a guest star, one episode only, dead, dead, deadidy dead. The guy in the pod was merely a Jamie Bamber-looking actor. (Who, like Bamber in Galactica, was pretending to speak with an American accent. And who, like Bamber, didn’t really pull it off.) There’s another Bamber-looing guy in this one, too. Bamber-oid? Bamb-inos? What do we call ‘em.
PLAY BY PLAY
Oh, right: the story.
So one of the pods is on the ground, and there’s dead bodies strewn around for no observable reason. A tween girl clambers out, and is immediately captured by a Jamie Bamber-lookin’ mofo, who takes her to a cave where there’s a sick baby, and says “Keep the baby alive or we’ll kill you.” Meanwhile, back at Forthaven, the various survivors are trickling in, and Stella wants to go out and look for her daughter (The plucky tween from earlier), but Tate won’t let her. One of the survivors from the ship is Julius, an old friend of Tate and Stella from earth, who organized most of the evacuation. He looks more than passingly like Jamie Bamber, and is American (Or possibly Canadian), and has found God en rout to the planet. Everyone finds this a little odd, but no one’s willing to openly mock him. Still, since he’s prattling about religion, and this is a British SF show, you know he’s gotta’ be bent to the core, right?
Meanwhile, Cass runs afoul of Jack, best buddy of Mitchell (Jamie Bamber) who got deadified last week. Seems Jack (Who doesn’t look like Jamie Bamber) is upset at Cass (Who also doesn’t look like Jamie Bamber) for killing Jamie Bamber (Who does, in fact, look like Jamie Bamber). Cass didn’t do it, but Jack doesn’t believe it. The two of them and Fleur head out to find the remaining pod, and do so without any real trouble. They find a bunch of dead bodies, some freshly dead, and they meet up with “Rudy” the leader of the gun totin’ hilljacks. He says his people will kill Lilly the Plucky Tween if they don’t throw down their weapons, so, being English, they do. They take ‘em back to the cave, and eventually work out a deal whereby Fleur will take the baby to Forthaven, and come back with the president Tate and (Eventually) a cured baby (Preferably the same one as she left with.)
So she brings Tate out, and Rudy tells him face to face that he’s gonna’ kill him someday and destroy Forthaven and blah blah blah. These are the people that Jamie Bamber (Played by Jamie Bamber) was supposed to have killed at some point in the past, but he let them go. Turns out they’re called “Aces” and they’re genetically engi…eh. Cylons, Replicants, whatever. It was thought that they were somehow responsible for a plague that killed most of the children in Fort haven - evidently a side-effect of their artificial biology - so Tate wanted ‘em dead. Turned out later that the virus was unrelated. Rudy tells Tate “What if whatever caused that strikes again?” Tate says it was just a virus. “How do you know? There’s plenty about this planet we don’t know.” Turns out that Mitchell (Jamie Bamber), crazy though he was, was the only think keeping the Aces reasonably pacified, and evidently they were secret from even the other trackers since Jack’s never heard of ‘em. This was a genuinely interesting scene, and Rudy actually seemed….not quite concerned, but interested in whether or not the disease was an accident, or…something else. Something he clearly didn’t cause.
Anywhoo, then it’s back to dullsville. Rudy lets Tate go, Fleur brings the baby back. Things go horribly wrong and several of the Aces die, Cass is upset about literally having blood on his hands, but Tate tells him to get over it. So now they’ve got the baby, too. Tate tells them to study the kid, and says that he intends to give it back to the Aces and hope to broker a peace, and then reveals that the birthrate is dropping rapidly, but somehow the Aces are managing to reproduce.
Meanwhile, in the subplot, Julius is revealed to be a liar who butted his way onto the landing pod, keeping another survivor from…uhm…surviving. The dead survivor’s daughter meets up wfith the druggie guy, steals a knife, and attempts to kill Julius, but Druggie stops her. Julies says “I can’t ever trust you again,” which freaks the girl out. Druggie informs Stella, who confronts Julius. Julies denies he had sex with the girl (Odd that he’d go right to that conclusion, huh?) and that’s that.
The pacing is glacial, made worse by all the scenes outside of town basically being Roger Corman “Walking” sequences. Wouldn’t the colony ships have brought jeeps or golf carts or something? Or, for that matter, wouldn’t they have brought some horses? What, nobody on Carpathia liked Firefly? Seriously: If you’re colonizing a habitable planet, horses are a good idea. Cars break down or run out of fuel, horses seldom break down, and it’s fairly easy to make a new horse.
Rudy was implying there may be aliens on the planet, and last week, when Cass and Fleur got attacked by something in the woods, that clearly wasn’t the Aces. Aliens?
Evidently the colonization began *before* the war started, albeit only barely.
We’re told that Stella had been waiting fifteen years for her daughter and husband to arrive. Ok, ten years on the planet, five years for the trip, that’s fifteen. But the girl didn’t look that old to me, and of course that would mean that her daughter’s ship would have left earth TEN YEARS after the first colony vessel. Ignoring that continuity impnderable, what are we to make of a refugee agency that’s able to keep evacuating people for a decade after WWIII? I mean, any way we slice it, that’s the case, right? The ship from last week said it was the last, and there hadn’t been one for five years, but still…it implies a lot of stuff, all unlikely.
Interesting that the clones might carry or generate viruses that can be pased to humans fatally. Or at least it was suspected that they could.
Stella is asking the survivors if they knew her daughter, and everyone looks like “Huh? Daughter? What? No.” How is that possible if they were on a ship for five years? The ship wasn’t that big. Even if there were a thousand people aboard, in five years, you’d get to know everyone. Are they using suspended animation? Unlikely, since Stella didn’t recognize Lilly, her daughter, because she’d grown so much. Relativistic time dilation? Again, unlikely. Just wonky writing, I guess.
What’s Julius’ game?
Holy crap! I just looked him up, and the guy who plays “Julius” is, in fact, an American actor and professional Jamie Bamber impersonator (He does weddings and stuff). He has the fakest-sounding authentic accent I’ve ever heard. Shane Rimmer sounds more American than this guy. Wow.
Again, I can’t help thinking how much better this show would’ve been if the planet *hadn’t* been habitable.
Uhm, yeah, that’s all I’ve got. It’s not a bad show, but there’s little here to keep people interested, apart from Fleur/Amy Manson
But she feels kinda’ wasted. Better than the material.
WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?
Tricky question. You’ve got a government that kills people by mistake and on little provocation, which on the one hand justifies our occasional right wing paranoia, but on the other hand it just angers us, you know? And of course introducing a religious character (Albeit a new agey one) and immediately making him out to be a lying evil manipulative bastard is going to annoy most of us, since we tend to be a fairly religious people. On the other hand, if you’re a conservative Scot, you’ll probably love it since it shows that Scottish people survive, and are highly regarded as cops. Woo-hoo!