Musings from Jim Sorenson and a few guest bloggers about Transformers, character models, science-fiction, comic books, and whatever else is on our minds.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Review: War of the Worlds, the series ep 29
The twenty-ninth episode of War of the Worlds, the series, is titled Seft of Emon. The Morthren power supply is running low, prompting them to raid some nuclear material. Unfortunately for them, what they stole doesn't play nice with their existing systems, prompting them to bring out of stasis Seft, high priestess of the planet Emon. She is a crystal master, able to transmute raw materials into energy-generating crystals. Her species was conquered, then obliterated, by the Morthren, though they kept her and her son on-ice in case of emergency.
Perhaps sensing a kindred spirit, she reaches out telepathically to Blackwood and they form a bond. Eventually, she conspires to make physical contact with him by convincing the Morthren that she needs to select her materials in person, then slipping away. This contact puts strain on the relationship between Harrison and Kincaid, who is rightfully distrusting of non-human life. Seft gets recaptured (or goes back willingly, the story's a bit of a muddle), and is released again as a ploy by Malzor to find her human contact. His plan works, and our team is pinned down by Morthren fire. She and her son transcend to a higher plane, which allows our heroes to escape.
The Good: There's some. I rather like the aliens in this episode. It's cool to find out that, indeed, they've done this sort of thing before. As always, the performances are solid, especially from Julian Richings, Catherine Disher, and Denis Forest. Richings had a nice moment during the battle where he gave the order to fire and crouched, while his men let loose.
Harrison has now made peaceful contact with a non-human life form, one that wasn't based on deception as was the case with Katya and Quinn. Over the course of this season we'll see Kincaid, Suzanne, and Debi each do the same. It's nice to see, and will pay off in the final episode of the series.
It was fun to see the old alien costumes trotted out, in flashbacks and dream sequences. However, points off for reusing footage from The Second Wave.
The confrontation between Kincaid and Blackwood near the end of the episode was well done. Kincaid's perpetual distrust and Blackwood's optimism were bound to come into conflict sooner or later.
The Bad: This story seemed jumbled and confused. Seft's first contact with Harrison must be a dream or a telepathic outreach, but there's nothing actually in that sequence to suggest so. Seft slips away, then gets recaptured, but it isn't clear how she accomplishes this.
There's also a bit early on where the aliens are cloning someone who can lead them to more radioactive material, but it's not sure who that someone was or where they got him. He fried anyway, so perhaps this isn't a big issue. However, Kincaid is asked by one of the market folks to help him figure out who's raiding radioactive supplies. The story just doesn't seem well constructed, like there were a few too many revisions in there. The scenes with payoff are still in, but the transitions got lost along the way somehow. Bad editing, perhaps, or bad story editing.
Suzanne gets shot in the arm during the final firefight, but her injuries are minuscule, just a tiny patch on her shoulder. I've heard of glancing blows, but that's crazy.
Finally, Harrison's 'love' with Seft seems way too fast. They dream of each other, meet, he plies her for information... there's no soul there. I do like the crystal she gives him in the end, though sadly I don't think it shows up again.
The Ugly: It's not all that ugly, but the Morthren nutrient tubes are kind of cool and alien in a weird way. Unless my subconscious is completely fabricating this, I seem to remember an interview with Disher where she talks about pushing for stuff like this. I'm glad she did, the strange and bizarre are one of the fun aspects of this show.
So, Seft of Emon. An episode with plenty of potential, but it seems to have gotten lost somewhere on the editing room floor. Had they been a bit less ambitious, I think this could have been a quite good episode, but as it is it doesn't really hold together.