December 22, 2013

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, issue 4 "Stellara's Choice"

The Royal Guard have caught up to our heroes, cornering them between the Perilous Cliffs and the Sea of Acid Rain. Mantor uses his "sorcery" to create a distraction while the others scale the cliffs, and our heroes get away.

December 14, 2013

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, issue 3 "Treason"

Dargon is exchanging gunfire with the Royal Guard while Pinsor drags a captured and struggling Regent Galken to the hidden chamber beneath the throne room. There, Galken is shocked to learn that Mantys - now revealing his real name of Mantor - is a Keeper, as Ancient technology is activated which shows the throne room in the capital of the Dark Domain, where Devora plots against Prosperon. Galken is stunned, but comes to believe these men, who are using the cover of treason so they can investigate and fight the Dark Domain while allowing Galken to publicly brand them heretics to maintain the peace. Galken begrudgingly agrees to do so, and he plays his part as he directs fresh guards after the running trio.

December 8, 2013

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, issue 2 "The Deadly Fog"

Dargon, Pinsor, and Mantys are making their final preps to set out and investigate what happened to the farming village. Zak insists they let him join, but they want to keep the party light, and his fiance, Belana, is fearful for his safety. Regent Galken then intrudes, furious the Prince would put himself in danger, and continuing to spout the council's stance that the Keepers are to be blamed for the storm and peace negotiations with Devora are to be respected. He's hit with two surprises: 1) that Dargon has his father's sword, 2) that Pinsor lost family in the town which was sacked, and witnessed the atrocities committed by the Dark Domain. Galken then orders them to go ahead with the investigation, but to take no action against the Dark Domain until any evidence they gather can be presented to the council.

December 1, 2013

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, issue 1 "Upheaval"

On the planet of Symbion, where humanoid life has evolved from insects, slaves toil in the Dark Domain, where Empress Devora rules from her capital city, Synax. The last piece of land left for her to conquer is the collection of free kingdoms known as the Shining Realm. A treaty exists between the two sides, but Devora is already testing the waters of resistance by invading small border towns under the guise of cleansing them of heretics known as Keepers. One such village is the hometown of Pinsor, a proud knight visiting his friends and family just in time to witness them fall under Devora's forces, led by General Spidrax and his faithful lieutenant Waspax.

November 24, 2013

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, episode 5 "Battle of the Hyve"

Our heroes pick themselves up out of the avalanche that hit them, all largely unharmed. They spend the next 3 days wandering through snowy, wind-swept crags. Dargon tracks down some food, but cooking it attracts a pair of giant scorpions. Our heroes fight the creatures off, but lose the food.

November 16, 2013

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, episode 4 "Trapped in the Acid Desert"

Our heroes fight off the Viper Vines, but Zak collapses, poisoned from a bite. He tells the others to go on without him, but they decide to sidequest to a healer, the Medicine Beetle atop Mount Sectaur in the heart of the Acid Desert. Spidrax is pleased at this news and sidequests himself to keep attacking the heroes while they're at their weakest. Our heroes keep winning.

November 2, 2013

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, episode 3 "Valley of the Stones"

His men and beasts desperate for a brief rest, Dargon agrees to stop at a nearby inn/tavern run by a slovenly man named Ranko, whom Pinsor recognizes as the former magistrate of the Valley of Stones, who was deposed for being corrupt. Just as Ranko tries to angrily defend himself, Spidrax's forces raid the place. Our heroes fight valiantly, but with their insectoids locked in the stables out back, they're at a disadvantage, and Pinsor is taken captive with the threat to stop their pursuit if they want to see their friend alive. Out back, Ranko is paid off by Spidrax for having laced the Sybionian insectoids' hay with a potion which prevents telebonding.

October 27, 2013

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, episode 2 "Slave City"

Dargon and the Knights of the Shining Realm run for cover as they're fired on by Spidrax and the Dark Domain forces. The two sides duke it out until Spidrax's forces retreat. Dargon's pursuit is delayed by Pinsor hanging from a cliff. When they finally do give chase, they're then sidetracked by a giant wasp who seals them into its giant hive. Attempting to escape, Pinsor breaches a wall only to catch everybody up in a flood of golden fluid. Dargon and Dragonflyer are separated from the others and find a way out. The others hook themselves into roots over a waterfall feeding into the boiling Sea of Acid Rain. Unable to hold on much longer, they position themselves over a large log and jump, riding it on the current while worrying about how rapidly it's dissolving.

October 19, 2013

Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, episode 1 "Spidrax Attacks"

According to the opening titles, our story is set on a distant world called Symbion (cryptic name, that). It's unclear if this is a human-like society or a future human colony, but constant biological engineering escapes scientific control, leading to rampant mutations and fusions between species. Over time, a new species evolves: the Sectaurs, a fusion of human and insect. Dargon is the leader prince of the Shining Realm, fighting an endless fight for dominance of the world with the forces of the Dark Domain, led by General Spidrax.

October 12, 2013

Starhunter, Season 1 Final Thoughts


Here's the thing about Starhunter... for a period of nearly two years, it was a short-lived show. It had been cancelled, the cast had been let go to find other work, the sets had either been tucked into storage or slated to be re-used on other low-budget scifi affairs. This show had ended. And there's a very simple reason why...

Starhunter is a bad show.

October 6, 2013

Starhunter, episode 22 "Resurrection"

We open on a video of Rudolpho, actually summing up where we are in the plot for once instead of just thinking out loud.

At a karaoke bar on Mars, a pale Eccleston (still half-dressed from when we saw him last in The Divinity Cluster) stumbles up to the stage and growls out "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". The maitre d' sneaks away to contact Navarre, but Eccleston is suddenly next to him. With a touch of Eccleston's glowing hand, the man vaporizes. In her office on a battle cruiser, Tosca listens to the intercepted call.

September 29, 2013

Starhunter, episode 21 "Travis"

We open on a Rudolpho video about how life is full of surprises.

On the Tulip, Dante is raging, Luc and Caravaggio using probes to try and find the path of the shuttle which took Percy. They receive a transmission from Percy, who drops clues which lead Dante to search his room, discovering that the VR device is missing and that the Seeds have been put in their place. They don't know what's in the vial at first, but eventually pour through enough research to figure it out. They pick up the shuttle's ion trail, following it to another hastily assembled Raider station. Dante is all set to go in alone, but Luc insists that she wants to fight this fight with him.

September 21, 2013

Starhunter, episode 20 "Bad Seed"

We open on a Rudolpho video where he talks about secrets and lies.

In an office somewhere, Orchard official Navarre fiddles with an injection canister while pondering an upcoming choice he'll have to make.

September 15, 2013

Starhunter, episode 19 "Bad Girls"

Dante and Luc receive a message from Rudolpho that they've been hired to transport Stephen Hamilton, an engineer and financier, to his summer home on the moon. Along for the ride are his two daughters, Ayla and Cordula, who introduce Percy to all the latest fashions, as well as a designer drug named Crash.

It turns out Stephen is actually on the run from the Orchard for embezzling money, and a faction is willing to call off the debt if he'll spy on Luc and find out what information her father may have passed along. The debt is still out, though, and a repo agent catches up and invades the ship. On the down side, Percy is stoned and the agent mistakes her for one of Stephen's daughter, taking her hostage. On the plus, Percy's experimental internal security system, wherein Caravaggio is armed with machine gun turrets, is fully operational, as it takes out a covert Orchard strike force which invades the ship with orders to kill everyone on board.

September 7, 2013

Starhunter, episode 18 "Eat Sin"

Sorry we missed a post last Saturday. Between the Minnesota heatwave, the State Fair, and a looming move, Noel's time was tight so we decided to skip a week.

We open on a video where, with the Tulip and her crew now missing, Rudolpho waxes about how he once got lost as a child.

Following the TIME DAZZLE (they don't really clang this time around) of the last episode, Dante is alone on the bridge, but checks and finds out that their prisoner, Five, is still in his cage. Five talks about how his mission is to eat the universe's sins, and how only he knows the true future of events. When Dante leaves, the time ripple appears in front of Five and he greets it. After a TIME DAZZLE, the cage is now unlocked and empty.

August 24, 2013

Starhunter, Episode 17 "A Twist In Time"

We open on a video of Rudolpho arguing he deserves a second chance after trying to sell the Tulip. While eating.

Our crew are transporting Five, a vicious psychopath and highly prized bounty. They've been diverted to a lab on Triton, where "graviton research" is being conducted in an attempt to break the speed of light. The head scientist is also noted for a theory about multiple universes. Contact with the lab has been lost, so Tulip has been asked to scope out the scene and hold it before an official investigation squad can arrive.

August 18, 2013

Starhunter, episode 16 "Super Max"

We open on a video where Rudolpho defends greed.

While his ship is docked at Reno-7 station for repairs, Dante is hit on at the bar by Zelda, a vampy and bored rich trophy looking for some action. Amused but uninterested, he joins Luc and Percy, only for them to get a sudden emergency call from Caravaggio. They arrive at the Tulip to find Max, a hyper-eager businessman, and his crew of men loading prison materials into the docking bay for a retrofit. It turns out Rudolpho just went and sold the Tulip to Max, who's looking to turn the ship into the first of a fleet of mobile prison vessels as part of his aggressive start-up company, Super Max. Dante is of course befuddled, even when Max offers to hire him as the ship's warden and even keep the other two on board. Looking into things, they find out the sale is fully legal and Max continues his pitch, only for Dante and Luc to pull their guns and force him and his men off the ship. They then try to take off, but Caravaggio has been reprogrammed to be loyal to Max, and the station operators are authorized to shut down Tulip's systems, which they do and Max and his men re-enter with armed guards.

August 10, 2013

Starhunter, episode 15 "Dark and Stormy Night"


We're skipping a full synopsis this week because "Dark and Stormy" night is largely a clipshow, and since I'm first at bat, I figure I can sum up what few relevant threads we get within my review.

August 3, 2013

Starhunter, episode 14 "Half-Dense Players"

We open with a video where Rudolph waxes on about destiny and stuff.

On a station, Darius has been summoned to see an oddly disfigured corpse, which, he tells the Orchard scientists, does tie into their research in multidimensional warping of time and space. They reveal that DNA on the body ties to celebrity artist Andrea Arquette, who we flash to as she furiously paints the Great Red Spot of Jupiter.

July 27, 2013

Starhunter, episode 13 "The Most Wanted Man"

We open on a video of Rudolpho talking about risk and how he's not nearly as rich as people think he is.

In a bar on Mars, a group of heavies (we later learn they're Orchard agents) walk in, take up a perimeter, and chase away what few regulars are around. In walks Harman, a casually intense man, who meets the lead Orchard agent at a table for a drink. The agent goes into a spiel about how all of the requests are being met and Harman's security will be assured, but Harman interrupts him by saying he was supposed to meet with Darius (Luc's dad). The agent says Darius is tied up at a conference, and he's been entrusted to hold the negotiations. He wants to know the location of the "Rosetta stone". Harman smiles, lights a cigar, and says he himself is it. The agent is angered and his men move in, but a sudden pulse erupts in the room, knocking them all to the ground, unconscious. Harman nods to the bartender, then zips out of the door at the hyperspeed of one with an unlocked Divinity Cluster.

July 20, 2013

Bonus Review: Cybercity, aka The Shepherd


We'll be back to our regular schedule next Saturday, but to fill the gap this week, I decided to slip in a little bonus review. Before creating and producing Starhunter, Daniel D'Or and Philip Jackson produced (and occasionally wrote and/or directed) a handful of low budget scifi films for Canadian television, many of which were distributed down here by Roger Corman's New Horizon label. Curious to see something else by these guys, I picked up the dvd of Cybercity on a whim, which, like Starhunter, was put together at Danforth Studios for The Movie Network, and was written by Nelu Ghiran, the initial head writer of the series.

July 7, 2013

Starhunter, episode 12 "Goodbye, So Long"

NOTE: We're gonna take a brief break following this post. Noel had a sudden family medical emergency pop up, on top of another family medical emergency he's already dealing with, and his work schedule is all over the place as a result. It'll just take a week or two for the situation to settle, so we don't plan on being absent for very long.

We open on a video from Rudolpho, where he waxes about how friendship is more important than family.

On High-Node (at least I think that's what was said), a merchant bazaar station, a dealer named Marco chases off a few thugs who try to free him of a kaleidoscope which isn't for sale, and they move to the next stall to rough up a dealer named Ike, to guarantee he follows through on his end of an upcoming deal. When the thugs move off, Marco helps Ike up and it turns out they're business partners.

June 29, 2013

Starhunter, episode 11 "Black Light"

We open on a video of Rudolpho, with a moll on his lap, talking about how people (including the Raiders) keep grasping for immortality through their children, but he intends to remain childless as all he cares about is the here and now.

Dante and Percy grin in laid-back amusement as Luc shows them some card tricks before dealing out a round of poker to see who gets stuck with kitchen duty. Percy wins. Rudolpho calls, congratulating them on their latest bounty: Electra, a young, female, arms-dealing Raider. Percy head down to holding to feed their prisoner, but Electra kicks the food away.

June 22, 2013

Starhunter, episode 10 "Cell Game"

In an opening video, Rudolpho rants about how hard it is to find a good bounty hunter, how many people sign up without a clear understanding of what it takes, and how it's the best training ground to learn human nature.

Transferring a prisoner to a station in orbit around Oberon, a moon of Uranus, Dante, Luc, and Percy are confronted by Rex and Maks, a husband-and-wife pair of bounty hunters with a history of poaching already captured bounties. There's a tense standoff over the prisoner, during which Dante tells Percy to return to the ship, but she instead sneaks back and plugs Maks with a stun round. Our heroes have the upper hand, but then the authorities arrive, and instead of arresting Rex and Maks, the ruling local militia reveals the two have recently signed on as members, and Percy is taken into custody for assault, which has an automatic sentence of five years.

June 16, 2013

Starhunter, episode 9 "Order"

We open with a Rudolpho video, wherein he rages about how much he hates the very concept of religion.

Despite warnings from border guards, a large pyramidal ship plunges toward the sun. It's filled with the praying worshipers of the cult of Vahooti (sp?), led by the charismatic and towering Brother 13, with his devoted teenage bride Marina at his side. A worshiper, Jacob, expresses momentary doubt, but when he passes a test of faith, Brother 13 gives him a "rejuvenation" - literally transferring energy into the other man through the laying on of Brother 13's hand - and Jacob becomes zealous in his devotion.

June 1, 2013

Starhunter, episode 8 "Past Lives"

We open with a video from Rudolpho, in the midst of a wild party, in which he admits he's never been married.

At a station in orbit around Saturn, a dude named Eric loses his latest bet at a gambling machine, and walks right in the arms of two thugs who remind him of the debts he owes. He's instead taken to a lab, where he finds out his debt has been bought off by an organization represented by a female doctor who injects him with a solution, then reveals everyone else she's injected has died with 48 hours and she's trying to figure out why. Eric feigns unconsciousness long enough to steal a gun from a guard and shoot another, and when the doctor tells him there's no antidote, he makes a run for it, getting past security and stealing a shuttle.

May 26, 2013

Starhunter, episode 7 "Frozen"

In an opening vid, Rudolpho reminisces about his father.

After waking up from a nightmare, Dr. Devon is being told he's no longer allowed to have access to his teenage son, Ryan, at this medical facility. After politely signing a waiver, he ducks down a corridor, dons a biohazard suit, and slips into the room where Ryan is being held. He's forced to kill a technician in order to free the boy, who has scars on his temples and doesn't remember his father.

May 18, 2013

Starhunter, episode 6 "The Man Who Sold the World"

Rudolpho opens with a video, where he opines about love, lust, deceit, and other afflictions of the heart as he sets out on a vacation where he hopes to get laid.

Our heroes are short on supplies, with Percy complaining about the quality of the mush they're stuck eating. Caravaggio counters her by mentioning the schooling she's skipped out on, so Dante orders her to learn. Rudolpho calls, sending the team to Pluto to retrieve war criminal Dr. Novak - aka "The Butcher of Callisto", a main player in government led genetic experiments on thousands of victims in a quest to further human evolution, which led to a massive civil war on the moon Callisto - where he's been mining and dealing iridium under the name Kayvon. Rudolpho warns them that Novak's identity has already leaked and a brutal mess of a hunter they all know named Chorsky may already have beat them there.

May 11, 2013

Starhunter, episode 5 "Siren's Song"

In a drunken video, Rudolpho drones on about dreams and monsters.

Rudolpho then contacts the Tulip, telling Dante than there's been a meltdown on the ultra-prison on Ganymede, and that 32 prisoners have escape... all of which offer pricey bounties for their capture. Dante's not interested, but he owes Rudolpho 5 years back rent on the ship.

May 4, 2013

Starhunter, episode 4 "The Divinity Cluster"

Rudolpho has a video where he say some crap about how he runs his business, molesting a woman, and how things are rarely as they initially appear.

Earth in the present is a smog drenched cesspool. A beautiful, naked blond named Lily is in a hotel room with the drawn and captivating Eccleston. She says it's time for everyone to know the truth, so he injects her with a solution and tells her she has two hours to complete her task. As she leaves, Eccleston suddenly goes into spasms. He swaps out the vial on the syringe and injects himself.

April 28, 2013

Starhunter, episode 3 "Family Values"

Sorry we're a day behind getting this post up. Igor's been soaking in the sights at C2E2, and you can see his photos here.

In an opening video, Rudolpho tries to say something about families, but it's buried by his eating and laughter.

The Tulip is approaching Mars for its latest mission. In his quarters, Dante has Caravaggio give him half an hour of "maximum privacy" time, which he spends hooking up to a virtual interface headset. It's the anniversary of his marriage, and in the interface, Dante speaks to the digital ghost of his wife, Penny. Her mind was transferred to a computer board just before she died, but it wasn't complete and she's degrading. She sense their son, Travis, is near and tells Dante to hurry and find the boy so she can see him one last time. Back in reality, Percy hacks her way into Dante's room and sees her unconscious uncle hooked to the interface. "Whoa."

April 20, 2013

Starhunter, episode 2 "Trust"

We open with a transmission from Rudolpho to an unknown party, as he rants about bounty hunters after having just dismissed Dante from his office. He ends by saying it all hinges on trust.

In a cargo hold on the Tulip, Caravaggio keeps score as an armored up Luc and Percy duel with staves. Just as Percy lands poorly and injures her arm, Dante bursts in, ripping into Luc for injuring his niece, and into both because he'd banned sparring on his ship. When he learns Percy had asked Luc for training for a tournament she'd entered, he flares up even more, saying Percy's betrayed his trust and confining her to her quarters.

April 13, 2013

Starhunter, episode 1 "Peer Pressure"

We open on a video of a husky dude named Adolphus joking about his "first time" before he gives our heroes a mission to recover a mother and son. We then cut to a video of the beautiful but piercing Dr. Nasreen, standing over a man who's been strapped to a table with a device wrapped around his head. Blood is crusted in his nose. She asks him a series of control questions, focused mainly on the unconditionality of "A mother's love is never wrong." She then orders him to stand up, but when he tries, his expression turns pained and he starts to thrash. He then goes still. She turns back to her work, saying, "A mother's love is never wrong." Through a window on a door, we see the eyes of her teenage son, Ajit, turn away.

April 10, 2013

A Slightly Longer-Lived Showcase: Introducing Starhunter

NOTE: Technically, Starhunter doesn't fit our criteria for a Short-Lived show, as it ran for two full seasons instead of just one. It's side a project I've wanted to do for a while with Igor, and now, with the Showcase in hiatus, it seemed like the perfect time to take it on. And since it didn't fully fit the regulations of this site, we were going to host the project at Made of Fail's First Impressions and Second Time Around blog. But I kept looking at the Showcase, which had been the most successful and widely read of the blog projects I've created, and how it just suddenly cut off with its future still up in the air, and I figured, why not. No, this series isn't Short-Lived, but I figure exploring it for the next 44 weeks* is just what the Showcase needs to keep running while we sort out that eventual future. Igor is a great writer, and I hope you all enjoy him as a new member of the team. And while Tony's currently in the middle of a bunch of stuff at the moment, I won't give up on gently tugging him back, so we'll see where he's at once things are settled.

[* There's a good chance this may only run 22 weeks for the moment, as Season 2 has suddenly become incredibly elusive, with DVD sets out of print and going for wild collectors' prices and legal streams suddenly pulled offline. Either way, we'll see Season 1 through.]

April 6, 2013

Stay Tuned

The Showcase has languished long enough, so we'll be ending the hiatus next week with a new (slightly different than normal) project and a new contributor for you all to meet. See you soon! :)

February 19, 2013

Site Hiatus

We can't elaborate on why just now, but events in our personal lives require us to put the site on hold until they can be sorted out. Thank you to all our readers for their support over the last two years, and we hope to return, in some form, in the near future.

February 16, 2013

Computer Warriors: The Adventure Begins, a One-and-Done Special

One-and-Done is an occasional special we'll use to showcase shows that never went beyond a single pilot episode.

A top-secret government facility, hidden in the wastelands of an American desert, hides Paralax, a massive supercomputer the size of a skyscraper which stretches deep into the ground. A technician is operating a mechanical arm to replace circuit boards. When one falls, he leans over, accidentally moving the claw of the arm into the open socket on the motherboard. A power surge erupts, triggering an unauthorized core dump into the network.

February 9, 2013

Final Thoughts on Pole Position...


Have you ever used A1 steak sauce? Powerful stuff. It doesn't so much enhance as overwhelm what you pour it on. Pour it on a steak, it tastes like A1. Pour it on a shoe, it tastes like A1. Nostalgia can be a kind of mental A1 sauce, covering our memories with its pleasant tang until we can't taste the real thing anymore. That is, until we go back 20-30 years later for some leftovers, only to find the bottle is empty. That first fork-full can be rather unpleasant, and it usually doesn't get any better. I make this culinary comparison to illustrate just how blind-sided I was by Pole Position. While it never occupied the upper strata of my childhood favorites, I had (and will always have) very fond memories of watching it on Saturday mornings while eating a big bowl of Fruity Pebbles. I knew it would never live up to the promise of excitement and adventure made by its undeniably awesome theme song, but I also never dreamed it would be this awful.

February 2, 2013

Pole Position, episodes 9-13

Episode 9 “The Bear Affair”


“The Bear Affair”? I’ve totally seen this! It starts off with these two big, hairy lumberjacks out chopping wood, and one of them is all, “My muscles are so sore,” and the other one is like, “I’ve got a cure for that,” and the first one says, “I bet you do!” ... [five minutes later] ... and then their boss shows up and says, “What’s going on here?!” ... [three minutes later] ... and he’s like, “No, I said grab my axe!

January 19, 2013

Pole Position, episodes 4-8

Episode 4 "Strangers on the Ice"


Well, Tony, it sure fits our luck that, right after we publicly dismiss the series and alter our entire blog format just to get through it quicker, we hit an episode that I actually find to be pretty decent. Not good, mind you, nor anywhere approaching great, but "decent" is a definite raising of the bar from where we've been until now.

January 5, 2013

Pole Position, episode 3 "The Chicken Who Knew Too Much"

While our heroes put on a stunt show, Professor Barney Morrison is running for his life outside the sports arena, a caged chicken in his hands. On his tail are Byron and Shelly, a pair of young goons on motorcycles. They ditch the bikes when they have to enter the crowded arena, where they catch up with the professor, but he paid a kid to take the chicken to the Pole Position team. Shelly catches up with the kid, but not until after the boy puts the chicken in the hands of our heroes with a message that it's for Dr. Zachary. Our heroes call Dr. Zachary, who says Morrison is an old friend and one of the world's pre-eminent archaeologists, and that the chicken must be of vital importance.