this week's episode breaks at least three rules established by the show so far, and I'm sorry, and I'm sorry to have to be the one to point that out:
1- "Star Cops writers can't write action scenes" - That turns out to be false. The initial scene was great! The pace was great, there was tension and even, why not, explosions! Not that a TV episode has to have explosions, but once in a while it's nice to have a break from the talking heads. So, finally we have a significant and memorable scene, and it's not just two guys talking in a room. On the downside, I feel that the show also blew all of its remaining budget in that scene, but I hope I'm wrong.
2- "Star Cops wants to be either a television play or a radio serial." - Well, color me shocked! This is actually beginning to look like a television show! We had the great initial scene, and the use of cutesy little toy models for the moon scenes, which was a great addition. You see, effects don't have to be perfect, but practical effects always get a good reception from the viewers, and the important thing is that the producers really tried hard this time.
Add to that, the extra scenes with the channel tunnel personnel, which were well written and improved the pace by breaking from the usual characters in focus, and the addition of two interesting characters to the regular cast. And it almost sounds like the writers read my criticism, concerning the crew of the Daedalus, in which I said that showing the ship traveling and having disembodied voices alone to develop the dramatic part was way not enough. This time, instead, we could see the actors expressions, how their mood changed when the characters realized the chemical plant was going critical, how they attempted to escape and the effects the explosion had on the stunt people. What an improvement to a scene that other wise could've been left for the viewers to "use their imagination" to fill in the gaps.
3- "Star Cops is realistic" - OK, here it's "yes" and "no." The pilot showed a space shuttle not so different from the ones we already know and a space station, which is just like a bigger version of the ISS, which I thought was perfect to describe things in 2027. But now the production got access to models and went overboard. Suddenly, the moon is full of different installations and facilities and I could no longer connect with that reality, so I wish they had remained simpler.
Also, the whole AI thing is something I'm ambivalent about. On the one hand, I'm very glad Chandri's listening and AI interpreting system was a fraud, as this kind of technology is way ahead of ours, but at the same time we have this Box thing which is just too smart to be credible. The fact it is a "prototype" helps explain why it was such a novelty item to Theroux, but this "prototype" TV trope is misleading. A prototype doesn']t mean it's something fantastic and way more advanced than anything we've seen in the market. It can mean that, but more often than not, it isn't. A prototype just means it's an interesting concept but which would be too costly to develop commercially. And it's still full of glitches, this is why a commercial product overcomes these pesky little problems by the fourth or fifth improved version.
4- "Star Cops writers had no way to know what a computer virus was." - Last week I mad an incorrect comment. I said, when referring to the message the killer had sent Lee, that the writers had no idea what a computer virus was because the concept was new or even nonexistent back then. That is not true, and in fact, the writers showed to be very aware of our current reality. The only "glitch" in their theory was in the fact that they thought that a computer virus, or a "worm" needed a piece of hardware to work, so it seems that a virus that existed purely in software form and which can be downloaded infecting any computer was a really new concept even for them.
Anyway, I'm very, very glad no-one stepped in a promptly "corrected" me when I said Star Cops didn't know anything about viruses. I'm glad I could learn that organically by watching the show, not by having someone tell me what would happen in the following episodes. This is how we watch TV critically: we watch an episode, formulate a few theories and hypothesis, watch more episodes, our beliefs get confirmed or we stand corrected. So, even if the commentator concludes something "wrong," the comment is still valid.
And finally we have two new characters to form the Nathan's 7 team. (By the way, nice nod to Blake's 7
in the name of that "poet"
ha! ha! And shame on you if you believe I was being serious right now.) The characters are interesting, and we can almost say there was a real the sexual tension between both of them, which is the closest we'll ever get to sexual tension in this show. The way these characters were introduced and what we've learned abou their character show us their conflict potential with Nathan is quite high.
Of course there's still room for improvement, even if this never gets to happen. Setting the scenes on the moon is better than trying to simulate the fake microgravity in the space station. Perhaps Devis thought that by moving to the moon he would finally feel lighter and defter with only one sixth of his weight, but not he seemed just as heavy and pudgy as he ever was on earth. And the fact he explicitly pointed out how much heavier he felt on earth didn't really change that impression I got.
Some of the effects are still laughable. The "laser" looked like one of those toy props we get when we buy a nice and shiny Star Trek phaser and all it does is blink alight and play a recorded sound. That was exactly what Kenzy was holding: a toy prop.
OK, in reality, lasers do not have visible beams. But that works for low-energy laser beams such as the ones used in laser pointers. I believe a highly powerful laser which could be used as a weapon, on the other hand, may have a visible beam. But its effect on the victim would be much messier, since it would just slice the poor fellow in half.
A glitch in the Star Cops story-telling process still lies in its tendency to make long scenes. the scene in which Kensy and Devis meet on the space ship is basically the same camera angle for 2 minutes and 34 seconds of dialogue, but it feels much longer than that. Consider that a commercial can tell an entire story in 30 seconds and have multiple things happening. But if all remaining episode sstay like this, I'll have nothing else to complain.
This episode gets 8 racist weapons used by people out there, not up there