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This episode missed on several points. You have a young Winston Churchill at approx age of 26, who finds himself in his room allegedly passed out from a drinking binge. His friend is found dead in the same room with Churchill having no memory of what happened.
While most of Murdoch episodes do stick to historical truths, this episode swerves off into political correctness, having Churchill praising the equivalent of modern-day Islamic extremists. While on their bar hopping, he discovers that he made a speech, shaming the treatment of Muslims regarding their religion. This was not the case factually as Churchill was not an admirer of Islam.
But it ends up being an episode where Churchill and Murdoch go from place to place finding out what trouble the former got himself into. Churchill is portrayed as a pompous bore and a drunk.
Dr. Ogden (who can't seem to decide what she wants to do these days) pops in to try out her new found psychology to save the day. Murdoch is elated when she tells him that Darcy wants to get the annulment over and they are going to court today. All they have to do is lie to the judge and tell him the marriage was never consummated.
Later Murdoch finds that she can't bring herself to lie to the judge. But when he brings up the issue of divorce conflicting with his beliefs, she curses God and basically expects Murdoch to give up his Catholic beliefs for her. They are obviously unequally yoked as he is profoundly religious and she's, at best, agnostic. But, like Adam, he gives in to his Eve and decides in matters of love, any love has to be right. I liked their budding romance up until then.
Boring and Contrived
The more I think about this movie, the more irritated I get that it wasn't better. Passengers is neither a good sci-fi nor a good romance. There are also way too many plot holes. It's Castaway meets Titanic.
Jim is an engineer who has a budget class ticket to the Homestead Colony planet that will take 120 years to reach. The ship holds 5,000 total passengers, plus a crew, all in suspended animation. After a meteor shower takes some of the systems down, his pod wakes him up prematurely--90 years prematurely.
As a castaway on the ship with only a robot bartender to talk to, he spends the first year trying to fix his pod and then trying to get to the crew, who are unfortunately behind a fortress he can't breach. And he's drinking...a lot of drinking to the point he almost walks outside the ship without a suit to end it all. Then he sees Aurora in her pod and falls for her. He reads her profile and fights his desire to wake her up, knowing it's an eventual death sentence since they're decades away from their destination. Of course, he succumbs, but tells himself and the bartender that he'll tell her that he's the reason she awoke prematurely...eventually.
After the shock of waking up 89 years early, wears off somewhat, Aurora hits it off with Jim. She's a writer who planned to travel to round trip to Homestead and then back to earth, even though she would arrive home some 250 years later. Just as everything seems to be going great, she finds out what Jim did out of loneliness and wants nothing to do with him (understandably).
And that's one problem: Jim was so selfish, he was willing to destroy someone else's life just for his need to have a human companion.
Another problem is why anyone would want a trip that would take 120 years and your family and friends back on earth will be long gone. Aurora's father has died, but you see a video of a going away party her friends gave her, sad in the knowledge they'd never see her again. You don't get much backstory on Jim, except that he wants to be needed for his skill set instead of living in the throwaway society of Earth.
Unlike the audience, Jim seems to be too preoccupied with winning back Aurora to notice that the ship's systems are starting to fail. Suddenly Gus (Laurence Fishburne) appears, who's the ship's engineer and also a victim of a pod malfunction. Almost immediately, however, he is in medical distress because of his early awakening and his sole purpose seems to be to give Jim and Aurora a bracelet that will allow them access to the ship's restricted areas so Jim can fix the problem before the ship explodes.
The first part of the movie is extremely monotonous and it doesn't take much to make Jim start to go off the deep end. You've got to wonder why the robot bartender is activated when it's supposed to be 90 more years before the first people wake up. The rest of the movie stretches both physics and imagination as Jim and Aurora try to fix the ship before it blows up.
Star Trek: Voyager: Prey (1998)
Why hasn't the crew mutinied?
Janeway is the worst captain. You'd think the priority would be to get back to the alpha quadrant. I can understand some exploration along the way, but Janeway keeps insisting that they stop and involve themselves with species that are known to be hostile instead of getting the heck out of their space. First it was the Borg and now it's the Hirogen and species 8472. What happened to the prime directive?
In this episode, Seven was clearly right--both of these species are extremely dangerous and no doubt the winner of the "hunt" would then turn on the helpful crew who healed them. What gets me is Janeway is acting in a reckless manner. But it's amazing that the crew, particularly Tuvock, Belanna and Tom Paris who are logical and/or have been renegades previously put up with a captain who acts like this. Especially now that they've heard from home! But they act like drones. Only Seven is making sense.
Even Burgess Meredith can't help this one.
Meredith plays an absent-minded heavy who is saddled with two sons who are dumb as a box of rocks. As much as I normally love WWW's crazy plot twists with megalomaniac world conquerors, this one falls as flat as Orkney Cadwallader (Meredith)'s plot to seize control by causing earthquakes.
In addition to his sons, he has a daughter who is clever, but is also preoccupied with finding a proper suitor. She spends most of her time either fawning over West or wanting to kill him. There's no love lost on her father, either, whom she sees a limiting the number of potential beaus.
Most of the early episodes were well written, but this one fizzles out like wet dynamite.
Cheyenne: The Mutton Puncher (1957)
You're a Whole Lot of Woman Too, if You Don't Mind My Saying So
So says Cheyenne after meeting Thora Flagg, once widowed and once divorced from a gambler as she explains. Cheyenne has just gotten off the trail as foreman with his friend Ben Creed. He refuses to continue on because he realizes Creed is a scoundrel who pays his men a bonus, but then buys drink and holds poker games where he cheats his men out of their wages, forcing them to sign up for another drive. Creed tricks Cheyenne by having him waylaid and then coming to the rescue, so he feels obligated to Creed.
Meanwhile, they come across Thora Flagg who's wagon has overturned with her underneath and help the crusty gal out. Cheyenne soon believes Creed and Thora have a lot in common, especially after she wins Cheyenne's help with her herd in a poker game. She tricks Creed into thinking she's a novice poker player and then cheats him at his own game.
But while Cheyenne admires grit and cleverness, he is floored when the herd he's suppose to help get to market isn't cattle, but sheep!
This story is one of the best of the series...and you must watch until the end to see the final plot twist.
Delightful Episode with an All-Star Cast
In this episode, Angela Lansbury is joined by a group of classic movie and TV actresses, including former child actresses Margaret O'Brien and Jane Withers.
Jessica Fletcher has just gotten off a book signing tour in Dallas, TX only to hear her name in a news report stating that she had been arrested and released in a nearby town. She travels there only to have to prove to the gruff, suspicious Sheriff Tanner (Earl Holliman) that SHE is the real J.B. Fletcher by buying a drugstore paperback with her photo on the back. She finds out the name of the impostor's friend who bailed her out and finds they are both members of the J.B. Fletcher Literary Society. It turns out one of the women owns a print shop and made all the members fake photo IDs for fun with J.B. Fletcher's name. She learns the impostor's husband is a state senator whom she didn't want to embarrass with the arrest and so used the fake ID.
It gets worse when the impostor makes an accusation to the wrong person and is killed, causing the news to announce the death of Jessica Fletcher. In addition to realizing friends and family are going to think she's dead, the real Jessica has to deal with her credit cards being canceled as well as solving the mystery of what turns out to be three deaths. Helping her, of course, are her exuberant fans from the J.B. Fletcher Literary Society, sometimes with means that aren't totally legal.
Max Baer makes a short, but well done, guest appearance and you realize it's a shame he was type-cast as Jethro.
Waste of Wynn's and Klemperer's talents
This is a Halloween themed episode that falls flat. Keenan Wynn and Werner Klemperer are guest stars in a very hokey episode about devil worshiping cultists who are after Sally. The episode has no redeeming value and is a total waste of Wynn's and Klemperer's talents. It's not campy or funny and it's certainly not scary; there are no real plot surprises or twists. It starts out when Mildred opens a door at the hospital only to see someone being strangled, but when others arrive to her screams, no one is there. At first, it seems like Mildred's being "gas-lighted," but then the plot jumps to satanic cults, past life regressions and other nonsense. At that time in the 70's, scary movies involving witchcraft and satanic cults were becoming popular. Later that same year (1973), The Exorcist was released. Unfortunately, this was an overall poor and unbelievable plot for this show.
A Disappointment for Jessica Fletcher Fans
Angela Landsbury makes a brief appearance and then disappears. We are left with the character of Dennis Stanton, insurance investigator. Even with Keith Michell and Roy Dotrice, the story falls flat. It revolves around a forged manuscript, allegedly written by Mark Twain, (ridiculously entitled 'Wild, wicked wench'). The manuscript is authenticated and on display, about to go on auction when it's conveniently destroyed by a fire. Dennis Stanton (Michell) investigates since it's his company that insured the manuscript for 5 million.
I don't know if Angela Landsbury had to be absent for another commitment or they were trying to create a spin-off. But it doesn't work.
A Great Episode for Eastwood Fans
Wishbone gives Rowdy money to purchase 150 replacement cattle before Mr. Favor returns. (Now as to why you would purchase more cattle, unless you think you'll make a good profit on them in the end is a bit odd to me as you're going to lose some on a trail drive. But maybe something happened to lose that many that they don't know want Mr. Favor to know about.)
Rowdy comes to a town where the saloon seems to be more of an English pub and Rowdy quickly becomes a fish out of water with their expressions and mannerisms. When asks about the whereabouts of the man, Ashley, who is the owner of the herd he wishes to purchase, he is told Ashley won't sell the cattle to him. Undaunted, he runs into Ashley's daughter Laura (played by the exotic looking Debra Paget) who has heard of his interest and is eager to make the sale so she and her father can travel back to England. She takes him to their home, which is a huge Georgian style mansion.
Ashley turns out to be a very nice English gentleman who welcomes Rowdy to his home, but who seems unwilling to sell him the cattle without talking to his foreman, Winch (played by John Ireland). Ashley, however, insists on Rowdy dining with them and staying the night. Since the herd will meet them near there, he reasons business discussions can come later. There's a very funny scene where the butler insists on helping Rowdy dress for dinner in a loaned black tux and white tie while his own dirty clothes are being washed and *shudder* pressed!
From there, the show becomes a mystery of what hold a foreman has over the old gentleman. I won't give anything away because it's well worth watching.
Remington Steele: Elegy in Steele (1984)
Lame 10 minute plot stretched into 60
I'm a big fan of the show, but they sure missed on this one! Major Descoine spent time in jail because of the Remington Steele detective agency, while his wife committed suicide rather than do jail time and wants revenge. While Mildred is on an early lunch date, Descoine shows up and tells them they will be dead by noon. He then pitches a smoke bomb and runs out the office. They see him in the elevator as the elevator doors close, but instead of one taking to the staircase, while the other calls the police (as anyone sensible would do). They spend time analyzing the scarf that he left behind as a clue and that leads to a country club.
From then on, the show becomes an unexciting game of cat and mouse with Descoine being aided by his daughter, Minor. Descoine is always one step ahead and has, even more unbelievably, managed to steal one of Laura's childhood diaries. This gives him the location to a childhood hideout, a drainage area that seems unlikely for Laura to have played in considering her reaction to the rats they find. They also seem to have the idea that if they just make it to noon and stay alive, they will somehow be free and clear. It's all very contrived and not remotely believable, even for this show.