Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Ark Addendum - Pointblank's Transform (and Farscape continues)

Welcome, faithful readers, to another edition of The Ark Addendum.  I've been endeavoring, with long-time reader Martin's help, to finish off some gaps in my previous postings.  With that in mind, here's the Transformation for Pointech, AKA Pointblank.

My favorite part of this drawing is the underside of the car, in step 2A.  It seems very Back to the Future somehow.

And while we're on the subject of other Sci-Fi, let's examine some Farscape, shall we, as my Geekwatch continues.

We're up to the mid-season three-parter, Look At The Princess, S02E10 - S02E12.  The story kind of dragged, truth be told.  Originally this was a two-part episode that got expanded.  I think they would have been better off keeping it tight.  The Scorpius stuff is great, and we get our first look at the Scarrans, but the local politics winds up tedious.

Lots of great genre references, though.  When D'Argo leaps through the air to catch a plummeting Chiana and knock her away from boiling acid, John's reaction is an earnest "how Batman was that?"  As John contemplates the downside of 80 years spent as a sentient statue, he lists out all the people who will be dead when he's revived, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  John also likens a floating probe to the one used by Obi-Wan in Star Wars. Prince Valiant is namechecked. Finally, when Crichton finds out that he is to wed the princess, because only he is genetically compatible for siring children, he calls himself the reverse King Arthur.  "I'm the one who can put the sword INTO the stone!"  Cute.  (Non genre references include Blazing Saddles ["Get back, or the white boy gets it. Oh, man, don't let 'em kill me!"], Apocalypse Now, and John Wayne Bobbit.)

S02E13, My Three Crichtons is much stronger.  Crichton gets hit with a probe and a prehistoric and highly evolved version extrapolated.  Two good sci-fi references here.  John refers to the probe which duplicates him as a 'body snatcher', a nice nod to the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Perhaps more fun is a confused Crichton stating that he's "in Bill and Ted land here," referring to the amusing time travel parody Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.   Other pop culture references include The $64,000 Question and My Three Sons

S02E14, Beware of Dog, is a fun little story about parasites on the ship and the Vorc the gang buys to try to help deal with them.  Hardly profound, but an enjoyable outing.  Good genre references abound.  Crichton calls the parasites body snatchers (a better use of the term, though a bit repetitive.)  He refers to the Vorc as an "Ewok gone bad" (because it's cuddly and cute) and as "The Incredible Vorc" (due to its ability to Hulk out).  John also employs the Riddler's catch phrase, "riddle me this."  Non-sci-fi references include Lassie ("Look, Lassie here is trying to communicate with us,") and some dialog paraphrased from Caddyshack.

I'll end with S02E15, Won't Get Fooled Again.  This is a terrific episode, where John wakes up seemingly on Earth.  Since they played this beat last season, the audience isn't buying it and neither is John.  It turns out that the scenario isn't designed to fool him, just to drive him bonkers.  I love John opening the door to a woman's room and seeing... a woman's room.  It's also clear the production team had a ton of fun putting the gang in unusual costumes and situations.  Crais as a police officer in red high-heeled shoes? Priceless.  Getting the girls to dress up in fetish outfits is fun too.

Reference-wise, there are a TON of Wizard of Oz references.  (Let's see... John thinks he's got it all figured out, and it's a plot to "show you how I create the giant blue twister that sucks me down to Oz." Crais as a police officer calls a dog Toto.  John calls the Scorpius neuro-clone, which manifests itself for the first time here, "the man behind the curtain."  John says he feels like he's been hit by a house.  And John's rhyme, "Come out, come out, wherever you are, and see the young man who fell from the star" echoes a similar rhyme from the Good Witch.  Other references include Hamlet, Dirty Harry, The Beatles, and The Who (the eponymous song, naturally.) I find it amusing that it's between two Jimmy Stewart movies that Crichton picks the Scorpius Clone's name from.  Harvey is an invisible rabbit from the film of the same name, Clarence is the invisible angel from It's a Wonderful Life.

Farscape: The Complete Series is available for purchase on Amazon, and everyone should watch it.


Anonymous said...

Ooh, I do like that underside car view. Reminds me of the car/sub from The Spy Who Loved Me.


Anonymous said...

I really need to watch Headmasters all the way through: I thought his J-name was Blanker, not Pointech.

Pointblank rivals Crosshairs for my favorite Autobot Targetmaster design, and that second step is indeed awesome. G1 media needed more flyin' cars besides just Tracks.

When I got my first '87 checklist, Blanky became a personal source of confusion for months. The first 4 Scramble City teams were in the pre-Movie 'toon, but didn't show up until the '86 catalog. So when that TFTM-centric '86 checklist didn't have Arcee in with the 3 new Autobot cars, I assumed she'd show up next year, next to Hot Rod, Kup, and Blur. In other words, Arcee HAD TO be one of the 3 new Targetmasters in the box with them...and Pointblank's transformation looked so similar, what with skinny arms unfolding from fenders that became shoulders. Even after I saw him in the Headmasters comic that summer, it didn't completely sink in that his toy wasn't repurposed, or that Hasbro just plain wasn't doing an Arcee toy.

Has anyone seen a Pointblank toy used for an Arcee kitbash? Sorry this got so far off topic.