Thursday, June 07, 2007
Another new sf show is CBS's Space Rangers, about a motley crew of law officers out on the frontier. We have the standard stock characters here: the disillusioned yet macho hero, his butch female first officer, the gun-happy rookie, the prissy bureaucrat, the prisoner who'd rather kill himself than talk, the ugly weird-talking smuggling bad guys, and the robot which self-destructs when faced with something illogical. And of course, the know-it-all, see-it-all, zen-spouting alien (who actually said in the first episode "Captain, I sense danger!") Combine this characters with the now-overused Aliens look (grimy, gritty, dark lighting, big guns), and the patented "Battlestar Galactica Take-off Tubes™," and you have a show that should be avoided at all costs.
Okay, so there a couple of dim sparks: when the engineer hits a piece of faulty equipment in frustration, a computer voice replies, "Please don't strike the equipment;" and the sfx involving an alien that could disassemble itself were very good. (They killed this alien, who had an ultraviolet radiation nervous system by the way, by shooting it.) Pen Densham, responsible for that recent pseudo-epic Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves, created this mess. The only cast member of note is Linda Hunt who plays our heroes' commander. She spends most of her time looking lost and befuddled.
Go out of your way to avoid this.
Originally published by Under the Ozone Hole Number Three - February, 1993