Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
When a planet blows up, don't visit it the day before
I hear a lot of complaints about time stories. I'm tired of seeing them actually, cos lots of shows have dealt with aspects of time. Quantum Leap, Time Trax, Time Tunnel, Voyagers. But Trek is the proper place to have stores about time.
But this episode is more or less about an aspect of Kes' abilities. To tell us about it, there has to be a story "that never happened". This is probably the first Voyager episode where the whole crew is acting like a crew.
As far as the conundrum used, it surprised me. This is also one of the first Voyager Planet Based Eps, and Tom Paris and Janeway get caught up in a planet's politics.
Some new energy source was created by Andre Bormanis, with brand new backward-flowing Time Radiation. So that's how this story is told. How to get the Principles into the Past? We've seen all kinds of gimmicks in Trek, a malfunctioning Romulan Cloaking Device, a Neutron Star, a Regular Star, a bad Injector on a Runabout Nacelle, and even a good Ole Bajoran "Orb of Time" But here, we basically have holes in the continuum, which Paris gets sucked into. The thing we get shown is that Tom Paris, faulty as he is, is good with Children, even one he scares the Bejesus out of by "appearing out of nowhere"- And he is not above risking himself to save someone. And we get reminded that Janeway is a scientist. Picard was the Diplomat, Kirk used Fisticuffs, The Sisko had The Prophets. Here, we have Janeway's scientific Method, and probably the best 1st Season example of it in action.
The question is, how to get what Janeway figures out 24 hours into the Future? If it can't be done, it's "Future's End" once again.
This was my favorite 1st Season Voyager Offering. It is a cyclic episode, exploring Time's circular Arrow. As O'Brien would say: "I Hate Temporal Mechanics!" Here, we have Kes in the Future working with Janeway in the past to find the solution, and the payoff is, they do not have to get vaporized, and Voyager gets to continue on hiding from the Kazon Nistrum and Oogla and Viidians until season 3 or so.
Happiness is a Worf Gorch
With a possible Treaty with the Klingons on the Horizon, Klingons are now coming back to The Station... Namely Grillka, who comes to visit her ex-husband Quark.
Unless you had seen "House of Quark", this episode will make not a whit of sense. But in fact, circumstances had already brought Quark to Qonos and to the former "House of Kozak", which would have been the "House of D'Ghor" had not Quark discovered, D'Ghor had brought down the House of Kozak- By using Filthy Money! And thanks to Quark, it is now the "House of Grillka".
But Worf gets one good look at Grillka and almost develops a Gorch (Or some other adolescent "growth"!). He thinks just because he's a Klingon, he can use Klingon Methods to attract her. Nope! Sorry, Worf.
His advances are doomed before he even tried them. Mainly we can say "Poor Worf"- Here is one really magnificent Klingon Woman, but she's not on the Station to have Worf dribble and drool and deliver a fresh Lingta.
There is one man on DS9 who can Bring Home the Lingta - Quark. But he doesn't know a groat's worth of Klingon Mating Rituals. So who do you think he has to ask? Of all the... We know Worf, although denied any romantic involvement with Grillka, he has no reason to do what he does next- He gives Quark every detail he needs to have a romantic, candle lit evening of listening to Klingon Opera over the Lingta Haunch.
While Worf is demeaning himself to help Quark get a date, who is stewing in the background other than Jadzia Dax? It's up to Worf to realize as magnificent as Grillka is, there is someone on the station even now, who is more suitable for him. It's a match made in Sto'Vo'Kor! Will Worf figure it out?
But during Quark's Advances, he is Challenged once again, a fight to the death using Battehl's- He can't simply get out if it the same way he did on the Klingon Homeworld- Sometimes, you can't just Ferengi your Way out of a Fight!
One thing I had forgot to mention, this episode has the first ever real musical sample of any Klingon Opera.
Babylon 5 within Deep Space Nine
Bashir's Uniform is "A Little Brighter"- Obviously, because DS9 started using the new First Contact uniforms.
Ironically, we have to remember something about Bashir, or rather, the "Bashir" who was wearing the new uniform in this and the next three episodes. Because Bashir is also still wearing his Old DS9 uniform- Maybe I should stop there, and wait until everyone has seen "In Purgatory's Shadow" - Then it will become clear how and why Bashir could be wearing a new uniform and an old uniform at the same time. And it is one of those typical things from this show that causes the jaw to drop.
Now, it offends me when people unfairly pan episodes simply because they are exploring something about Faith. And Worf says it here: During a discussion about the Bajoran's Religion and The Emissary in particular, Kira is being ribbed by O'Brien and Dax. But Worf tells her to take heart, not because he shares the same religion with Kira, but because he believes in FAITH. And if you consider Worf for one minute, if you consider the character from all of The Next Generation, you will realize he is one of the most religious people in the Trek 'Verse. He rigidly adheres to his Klingon heritage, while at the same time religiously adhering to Starfleet's Principles- His Faith allows him to retain Personal Honour even when his own countrymen consider him a pariah.
But that is because he is a man of Deep Faith and convictions, he never makes fun of anyone Else's religion, be it an Earth religion, or the religion of Bajor. But he won't put up with Hypocrisy, either.
And the point of this episode is mainly "The Sisko", he has started to accept that he IS "The Emissary" of the Prophets to Bajor, but until now, he was maybe not willing to do everything they are requiring of him.
Most people of real Faith struggle with this all the time, they question: "Is Ghod/Buddha/Krishna/YWHW/Moroni/etc, really asking me to do this?" - Most of the time, I can tell you from experience, probably not. If you have to think twice about it, it's NOT HIM. It's my personal belief that if Ghod wants something from us, we'll know it- There will be no question about it. The way to tell is that it will be something 180 degrees in reverse of what the person would expect to be asked to do.
The thing about Trek is that it treats religion with RESPECT, Trek explores our Terran religions by these episodes which tell us about The Emissary, the Prophets and The Bajoran Religion. They even dissect the concept of hypocrisy, in such a way as to not pan any religions of Earth, but to simply ask people, if they are really doing God's Will, or their own, in Ghod's Name? This is something I ask people who wish to put restrictions on me, whose will is it? Gods, or yours? Usually it's their agenda only and God enters into it not.
The Religion of Bajor also delves into the concept of Prophecy, which most people think has something to do with seeing the future. That's only part of it, Real prophecy is a bit more complicated.
As far as the DS9 story goes, The Sisko is being shown some of the things that will happen soon, he just doesn't know what it all means. Yet. Some of the blanks are just not filled in. It was a clever way to foreshadow the last episodes of season 5, in the form of Visions from The Prophets.
If there are any fans of the great J Michael Stracynski show "Babylon 5", you might see a parallel to when Ambassador Mollari is beaten up by G'Kar and sees a vision of "The Shadows" landing on his home world of Centauri Prime. The only difference between B5 and DS9 is that on B5, this is actually SHOWN "as a Vision" that Mollari has. It might have been more effective to show what The Sisko was seeing, but even without any visual cues we understand what will happen.
Somehow, I felt that Babylon 5 and DS9 were telling a parallel story, many of the same things happen, The Centauri and The Cardassians: They both make the same mistake and both suffer similar consequences.
Trek has no problem with digging right into sociological problems
I talked briefly about the politics beneath this pair of episodes, it was something that almost happened in Los Angeles. Actually, the "Riot" portion of it did occur there, in 1992, and in 1995, the aftermath of those riots were still visible. Writer Ira Steven Behr took something basically from his newspaper and wrote it into what we have here. What I will say is I love that guy, he was not afraid to hit the nail right on the head and he is even a fan of Iggy Pop, who was supposed to be in this episode. Iggy of course appears as the Vorta "Yelgun" later in "The Magnificent Ferengi".
Mainly, nobody wants a "forced welfare" state, but they don't want a "No Welfare State" either. In the 24th Century, Earth is an alleged Paradise: There is no need for money, people work for pleasure. It occurs to me that this is not explored much in any of the Trek series, we get a small glimpse of how Life on Earth was in the 2nd Season Voyager Episode "Non-Sequitor", but we've never had a good long look at how this "Perfect Society" will appear.
But this episode sits in the aftermath of those 1992 Riots, and can be revisited today with the Baltimore Riots. Which makes this a difficult episode to talk about, The Sisko is basically holding several people Hostage and incites a full scale riot, even one that will be named after him in a way.
The ingredients of the Riot are already mixed. There is always that one incident that pushes people over the edge. The Sisko, Bashir and Dax had landed on Earth right at the moment one of these incidents was about to ignite. The Sisko tries to avoid becoming involved in it, but in true Trek fashion, he becomes practically the central figure of the whole incident.
Mostly this episode deals with the issues of Homelessness and Repression, several characters are shown who "don't care" - As long as "they don't have to see it". Jadzia confronts several of these people at a 2024 "Party" in her rich savior "Chris Brynner's" Office (Played by Jim Metzler who was, appropriately, the City Councilman in LA Confidential). She is able to show Chris Brynner *why* he should care and this becomes an important plot point later.
On a humorous note, O'Brien and Major Kira (with a "Broken Nose") have to visit a San Fransisco Alleyway through several historical periods as they search for what era the Away Team had been spirited off to, in one era, it's the entrance to a Speakeasy, in another, they confront stoned Hippies, in each case the decor is perfect, especially the 60's- Ironically, I used to work in the Print Shop on Dore Alley where those 60's Rock Posters for The Fillmore were printed.
Regardless of how I feel about Trek Time Travel episodes, this pair of episodes are a nice mid 3rd season distraction from the upcoming and developing Dominion storyline. One thing I liked about these 90's Trek series, was that most of the seasons had a full 26-episode contingent, which gave plenty of time per season for all kinds of tangential stories. Most series these days are only allotted 22 episodes per season.
Deep Space 9's Version of "Future's End"
It's not that Time Travel stories are *explained* well in the Trek Universe, it's that they are *performed* and Produced well.
Every time travel tale has a gimmick or a gadget. I should say, every "Unwanted Time Travel" tale because in Trek, these are all accidents. Twice in the Trek Universe has time travel been done deliberately, in 1968's The Original Series episode "Assignment Earth" and in 1986's "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home".
As far as I can recall, these are the only two instances that were deliberate, maybe The Original Series "All Our Yesterdays" - Which had Kirk deliberately setting up a time portal for Spock and McCoy. Although, the original time travel was an accident because Mr Atoz (Ian Wolf) accidentally let Kirk jump into the "Atavacron".
Whether in TOS, TNG (Time's Arrow), Voyager or on DS9, Trek has a style when it comes to Time Travel stories, there is always some gadget that caused it, be they the Walls of the Cave on Dividia II, or in this case, a malfunction of the Romulan Cloaking Device which had been installed on The Defiant.
What interests us here, is that in our world, this story almost happened - In Los Angeles, where creation of something like what we see here, a "Sanctuary District" almost happened, by bean-counting reactionary politicians in that city whose solution to the Homeless problem is to not see them and then refuse to acknowledge their existence. One thing I will say, is that this so-called "Forced Welfare State" will never happen, it is always the choice of the Citizen to use Welfare, or to not use it. Most people who are on it, don't like the necessity of being on it. But it is better for it to BE there so we CAN choose to use it or not, I won't have someone else "Choosing For me", by denying me the right to choose it - By Eradicating it.
Fortunately, this concept was shouted down by the public in our world, it never happened. However, in our Trek story, this is going to happen in 2024, about 9 years from now.
What is great about Trek is that they can foresee future technology, sometimes getting it right - We already have communicators (iPhones) and things like Tricorders. What I like here are the Future "Internet Terminals", which look like a cross between a 1980 Dynagraphyx Dumb Terminal and a 80486 or maybe even a Pentium system, with extra displays and a Stylus. One thing was done right, the security cards used to access the terminals, I don't think USB had been put into use back when this was made, but today we have security chips flashed into USB drives, I use one for Pro Tools to enable my Plugins, it holds my I-Lok User ID and my Account Info.
This is not the first Trek episode involving Time where something got changed and our Principles must needs change it back, Harlan Ellison wrote "City on the Edge of Forever"- Which is the same as we see here, future is changed, something very bad has to happen to change it back. Or rather, something bad did happen, was accidentally prevented, and it changed the whole future.
These episodes are basically iterations of "The Butterfly Effect", or in Fringe science, "The Firefly Effect", but it is all the same thing, the idea that if time travel can occur, would changing very minor things result in a drastic change in our history? This is a premise that cannot be tested - YET.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
I had an epiphany about this movie today
And its Tea-Party roots.
Basically, this movie was a tool used to inject poison. I'll get to that in a bit.
This film was released at virtually the Nadir of some of the worst years, not of just my life, but of this nation.
If we look at the events surrounding the year of it's release: US is embroiled in basically a war which our then-president caused over OIL. The Housing bubble had burst, and one year later, Bush's first attempts to privatize our social security system was put into effect, namely "Medicare Part D" which privatized a function of Social Security, took it AWAY from the State, and handed it directly to private entrepreneurs and Insurance Sharks. Many of our elderly went without medication for up to three years. If Part D were put on the table today exactly as it was in 2004, it would be rejected, because it is supposed to be "Federal". The reason why this I bring this up is because it was an issue during the time this movie was being made, it's director and writer believes in it, and mainly this movie attacks the idea of Social Security.
So I watch this movie, and it actually did have some good things in it, ergo my 5 rating. For the first half at least, some of it was very good, because Chair-Talking' Clint actually is a talented director. But I thought I was watching a movie about a girl who liked Boxing and became a woman boxer. And it was interesting as that movie... Until Clint decides to speak to that empty chair for the first time.
Suddenly, the film is no longer about a budding girl boxer, suddenly she is disabled, and her "evil" mother is fighting with Clint over her money (The mother who just so happens to be worried about losing her Social Security benefits because she is given a HOUSE).
If a Disabled person, meaning a person dependent on Social Security to do things like get Medical Care, EAT, find transportation, etc (In other words, those things that people who are not disabled take for granted) - If suddenly were given a HOUSE like that, well for a fact there would be serious and instant consequences- They COULD lose their Social Security. Now, the mother is no angel, and has problems: But to be worried about losing Social Security is a dread fear for all people who get it. However, the woman did receive and act on bad advice from other family members. But Clint uses this one dysfunctional family to make all of Social Security look bad, attacking the recipients of it, in order to state his political views on not liking the system. Well, to hell with you, Clint! Basically, this film is a war about a girl's inheritance money - Should it be given to her Family, who does not seem to give a rip about the girl, or should her "beloved" trainer get it? The Problem is, regardless of how bad the mother appears, she was justified in being worried over losing her benefits. Simply put, Clint is not a valid person or director to put these elements into a movie, he's never had to LIVE on Social Security. Maybe at times he's had to get California Disability, but that's not the same thing- a person who is on Social Security can own a house, but to just be GIVEN a house is a serious problem.
Perhaps if Clint had not made such a big deal in the movie about the mother's fear of Losing Benefits, but it just seemed to me, he went out of his way to make it into some kind of "statement". I mean, if the mother is a B****, then just have her be a B****. The whole thing about fear of losing Benefits had no place in this film.
Now regarding the relationship Clint has with his Boxer played by Hilary Swank, I could believe that a bit. But that was at the very end of the movie, where his true feelings came out (He tells her what the Irish Slogan he had sewn on her robe meant). It would have been a better ending for a better movie had not Clint used the Anti-Medicare Detour to get there. Now, I've never read the stories that this is based upon, I don't know if the reactionary ideas were in the stories, or if Clint simply put them in. All I know is that this film uses those unfortunate events to make a system we depend on look bad.
But this is just Par for Eastwood Movies these days, he is no longer interested in making any good Drama, he actually used to make films that supported the underdog, lately he makes films to support radical right wing reactionary ideas. But mostly he creates these huge canvases where he basically justifies telling a lie as the truth, like his latest sniper movie which gives his stamp of approval to the War in Iraq. I'd rather see him stick to Fiction.
This episode is reminiscent of the Philip K Dick short story put to film in the late 1990s, "impostor" starring Gary Sinese.
But that film had a gimmick, whereas this episode also uses the exact same gimmick, but that gimmick is not revealed until the very last scene, which gives this episode a more eerie landscape.
All we know here is that Ò'Brien comes back from a mission and everything is just off kilter slightly, enough to raise his alarm level. His daughter won't touch him, neither will his wife. That right there is enough.
Even so, if that had been all that happened this O'Brien might have shrugged it off eventually. But that wasn't the end of it. Miles had been put in charge of high-security preparations for an upcoming visit by some Gamma quadrant dignitaries, "The Paraden". When The Sisko pulls him off of that detail and orders him to do basically a "clean the toilets" job on Deep Space 9, that's when Miles calls all bets off.
This episode shows why Miles Edward O'Brien is just as good an engineer on Deep Space Nine as Geordie Laforge was on the Enterprise D or Scotty was on the original "Enterprise" (NX-01 does not count).
When it seems like the entire Ops crew of Deep Space 9 is about to cave in on Miles, he widgets his way out of a tough situation and escapes to the Gamma quadrant.
But why go to the Paraden home world? Why? What is there that is so damned important?
Look for Leonard Nimoy's wife as the Admiral O'Brien speaks to on his way out, seen earlier in the episode "past prologue."
The main premise of this episode is extremely similar to the main premise of the Gary Sinese character from "impostor", in fact the same thing is happening to O'Brien here that happened to the character in "impostor."
I think a lot of the reviews I have been reading lately that have just been popping up in the last year especially, are completely missing the point of Deep Space 9. Deep Space 9 was not an episodic television show. No- it was one story from start to finish. That is how I watch it, and that is how I rate it. Not one episode is more important or less important than any other episode, because the storyline is entwined into every single episode. If you miss one episode, or dismiss casually one episode, then you will definitely miss something very important that will come up later in the series. Because a lot of the small details from the so-called "filler" episodes may come back in a later episode. And because I can honestly say that I enjoy All of this epic tale.
Science Fiction used to make a statement about Faith
I saw this in the Theatre, so my first impressions were from that perspective. I always enjoy movies more when I see them big.
I understand why people react to this film, but it's from misconception. Mainly, that this is a science fiction movie. It is, but it is not. I'll get to that in a bit, why the "Science Fiction" aspects are plausible within that genre. The more I watched it the first time I understood that this was a story about a man, a Priest even, who after a lifetime of being a pillar of Faith for his small town- the one person who everyone depended on to bolster their own Faith, has lost his own Faith.
This is a Man who hates his God, for the loss of his Wife, maybe other things. He has quit his position as Leader of his local Diocese, but even in that resigned position, his 'constituents' still look up to him. This is shown in one scene as he takes his family into town and is approached to give advice. He is still called "Father", they still confess their sins to him.
As a decent man he still gives 'fatherly' advice to whoever asks- It's as if they don't accept that he has quit his church and his God. And his Faith. But old 'habits" die hard, he still will not curse and he still acts as an impromptu confession booth. I must address the misconception that as a Catholic Priest, he "would not be Married". Whoever thinks that, is living in the 1950's, Catholic Priests have been getting Married as far back as the 60's and Rome even made changes in doctrine to allow it. So it was not unbelievable that this man would be a Married Priest with a family- Of course, it is not common, but it is within reality. Actually he could be an Episcopalian Priest, but whether Catholic or Episcopalian, it's believable either way.
As far as the fabric of Alien Invasion which underlies this story about Loss of Faith, Crop Circles and Abductions are referred to. What is given are the basic beliefs by Ufologists about what Crop Circles might be, and the two theories about why an Extra Terrestrial would visit Earth: Observation or Hostility. The first half of this film dissects some of those theories, and even refers to the wearing of "Tin Foil Hats", which I thought was a great jab at conspiracy theorists.
But these Aliens are shown to have a weakness: Water. So, the question rises up as to why Aliens would invade a Water-based planet. Well, the answer is right in the movie; they are not invading but collecting.
As far as the concept that this film is trying to "preach" some kind of specific Christian message, I don't see that. Faith is the same, regardless of religion. I'm not talking about the Christian concept of "Faith vs Works", that's a whole other issue. What is being reflected is basic Faith, all Faith is a working Faith, regardless of what it is applied to, even Science. Basically, you have Faith in a certain thing, and that Faith causes you to follow through in a certain way, because you have expectations based on that Faith.
But what is Christian here, is the concept of "Miracles" in the form of "coincidences". When added up, if they hadn't happened that way, then something worse would have been the result.
This is something I understand, I think many people do. How many times, after a string of unfortunate events, has it turned out that in the long run, they proved beneficial? For instance, you get held up in Traffic or by any other delay, and something bad had occurred at your destination? Had you been on time, it would have happened to you. The film provides its own fictional examples of this phenomenon, but regardless of the fictional aspects, things like that do happen.
I don't think many people initially gleaned this from the film at first viewing, focusing more on this "Water" vulnerability, and of course, if these beings were intent on taking over Earth, it would have been a big mistake for them. But the fact that this is not what they were doing at all only becomes apparent if you watch the whole film through.
And of course, this revelation occurs in the film as one of M Night Shyamalan's famous reversals, one that sets the whole Alien Invasion scenario as the thing of secondary importance, showing that the Reverend Graham Hess's return to Faith as the main point- An issue that had been affecting his family and interpersonal relationships. And in that light, my favorite part was when Hess confronts "Ray Reddy" (played by Night himself) as the man who had accidentally killed his wife, it was one of Night's best Hitchcockian "Cameos".
I just felt that this film had more positive things to say, it did not show mass destruction and vaporization, which are blatant in films like Independence Day or War of the Worlds (Both versions). But the whole "Invasion" aspect was done as something Subtle, which I myself believe is how it would happen.
My review has probably spoiled that for first time viewers, which is why I hope that it is read after viewing. Other than that, this film impacted me because it hits home several key aspects about Faith.
It was as if the film were speaking right to me, not just me, but the people I was with, we all agreed on this. So I think anyone who has difficulty with this film may be having a Faith crisis the way Reverend Hess was at the start of the film- And generally, I've found that when we kick against an issue which is being brought up, we are having trouble with it.
The Village (2004)
Lots of great things here
This is not just some film about some kind of Amish colony, or any group of religious society shut-outs. If there is any religion proffered by this "Village", it is not mentioned. It is not important.
It's also not any kind of "Horror" film, which is what it was promoted as. Although it has it's suspenseful moments. These people are basically normal, except for a few things: They will not ever return to "The Towns" which is what they call the outside world, and they won't wear Red, or go into "The Woods".
Or else, "Those we must not speak of" will come. Whoever or whatever they are, becomes something we in fact focus on, but in true M Night fashion, this is not what the film is about.
What we have is a basically idyllic home for a group of people. The Elders have their secrets, and the young people are being given a set of "Traditions". But one kid, Noah (Adrien Brody) is a little different. He is referred to as "An Innocent" but it is clear even before we start seeing what is happening, he is not an innocent. He rocks back and forth in his chair as if Autistic, but he has speech. So, this character may have his own world in his mind which he lives in. We don't know much about that at first, but it is clear that Noah is a more complex individual than he lets on, and he is more intelligent than he is given credit for.
The bright light in this film is mainly Bryce Dallas Howard, this was the first time I saw her in a film. She pulls off the Blind girl fairly believably, except her eye movement don't track a blind person's. A Blind person would not focus on anything- But that is a hard thing to duplicate if in fact you can see. Actually, Lili Taylor does a believable Blind girl in the 5th Season X-Files episode "Minds Eye", the closest portrayal I have ever seen - Her eyes wander off camera, never looking directly at who she is speaking to.
The elder characters talk about people in their lives who had suffered violence, people who had been killed in various violent ways. There is more to this talk than just remembrance, it is an important point.
In their artificial idyllic village, these people live as if in the 1800s, sans any modern medical technology. This is a point brought up a couple of times, by the character played by Joaquin Phoenix "Lucius" (Which may or may not be a reference to the film Gladiator where he had a nephew by that name) - He wants to go to "The Towns" to get Medicines. But the Elders give him all kinds of reasons why he can't do it.
So we think this film is about these kids being raised to not depend on modern gadgetry and to avoid offending those that can't be spoken of, who live in the woods, so that is another taboo place. The entire younger generation of the village has been raised to believe in a set of Absolutes, you can't wear Red, you can't speak of the things that will come, and you can't go into the Woods. And, things happen that appear to validate these restrictions. So this false facade is upheld by a thin veneer of what Elder Walker (William Hurt) calls "A farce".
A farce that if the kids knew about, it would destroy whatever sociological experiment is being conducted in The Village.
And we think this film is about Lucius, who wants to marry Howard's character "Ivy"- Until M Night's famous "Reversal" happens.
It's at that point, Night slides in the reasons why the village exists, who the elders really are, and who the unspeakable creatures really are. But mainly, it's how a young blind girl can save the life of the one she loves, without the elders breaking any previous oaths they had taken. It's "Yellow Riding Hood vs the Big Bad Wolf" all over again, and "Nothing is as it Seems" as usual in Night's films.
There are things Night likes to do as a Director, characters being shown in reflections in an object, which he does at the beginning of "Unbreakable", many other little trademarks, they are all here. Mainly there is wonderful imagery and rich character development, but the Village itself and the lifestyle of the people therein is the focal point of the film, it paid off that the whole cast was actually trained how to live in such an environment. You believe that they made all of their own clothes, they husband their own animals, they grew all of their vegetables, they made their own homes. If you can believe that, then the rest of the film falls into place.
"Take a Chance: A Jack Colquitt Adventure"
Sometime around or before "The River of Stars" episode, a Major, "Jack Colquitt" approached "Coop"/Cooper with a proposal: Do this secret mission with me, and I'll sign over Honorable Discharge papers for you. You may recognize the name, because "Jack Colquitt" was the name of the proponent in "The Cigarette Smoking Man's" "fictional" short story "Take a Chance" which he sold to an adult magazine, in the Morgan/Wong 4th Season X-Files Episode "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man". Here, it's the name of a "Non-Fictional" Major, who is looking for a partner to accompany him on an assassination mission. So right away, you can see the common threads in Morgan/Wong's writing and producing. I am writing this up now, because it took me all of these years to realize the connection of the name "John R. Colquitt", and it is a very appropriate that the name was used again here, in another series.
However, when I first saw this, it was on Fox during the abortive run of this series, and it had been shown practically right after the Pilot episode. I didn't get it, the Pilot Episode was a majestic Space-Opera built around a squad of young Marines, who had proved themselves effective fighters. But then suddenly, in the second broadcast episode of the series, the arena moves from Space Battle to Planet-Based assassinations. I liked it, but the continuity of the series suffered greatly at the hands of Fox, who would preempt the show with no warning whatsoever.
Nevertheless, this is a great episode when shown in the proper order and context of the series. Time-wise, this episode occurred sometime around November of the same year "The River of Stars" happened. So when the DVD set was released, for some reason they put this episode after River of Stars.
Regardless of when it was supposed to have happened, this was a great Coop-based Episode. The action shifts between Dale Dye as Major Colquitt approaching Coop after seeing him perform during target practice on the Saratoga, to a Planet much like Vietnam, connected by waterways with heavy foliage, finally showing Coops' "Birth" as a "Tank"/In-Vitro Humanoid and his early classes in how to kill with his bare hands- Which was put into unexpected practice during both his training and this mission.
Basically Coop is stuck in the middle of Hostile Territory with no commanding officer and he uses his wits - And his previous experiences to survive. And as we know Coop is hung up on Shane Vanson, she appears to him in the role of "death", both helping him and hindering him at the same time. You know it's in his mind's eye, it's part of his Subconscious, a part that's looking out for him, while also tempting him to give up.
This episode was the one that really brought out Rodney Rowland's talents as both an actor and a stuntman, and for a while he was part of the small staple of actors that Morgan/Wong would cart around from show to show, along with Morgan Weisser, Kristen Cloke, James Morrison, and even guitar-toting Tucker Smallwood.