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Man From Atlantis: Not Very Killery Spores

Following on from the last episode's death scouts that were neither scouty nor deathly, we have here some spores that aren't really spores, and certainly aren't killers. Or at least, if they are, they must have done their killing while I was blinking or something. They take over Mark briefly, inspiring some peculiar behaviour; but aside from provoking him to go take a stroll in the desert, they don't really seem to have any bad intentions towards him. They just want to go home. In many ways, therefore, it's the same plot as "Death Scouts", but with little fireflies instead of lumbering scaly monsters.

There's really not a lot that happens in this episode, which makes it rather difficult to write about. Mark goes for his stroll in the desert, Elizabeth and Miller chase after him, and there's lots of worrying about the heat and lack of water. Mark flops about a bit, doing his dying fish act, and then they fly him to safety. Sort of. Actually they airlift him out of the desert, and dump him into a swimming pool. He can breathe in chlorine?! Not something I'd like to put to the test. I'm sure they could have flown him back to the coast just as easily, since they were driving along it just a short time before. Also, half of the neighbourhood seems to have witnessed the crew of a rescue helicopter throwing a patient into a swimming pool, strapped to a stretcher. That's bound to lead to one or two awkward questions. Mind you, the show never can quite seem to make up its mind about how secret Mark is.

That's it, pretty much. They talk lots about the fireflies, and then Mark gives them a lift to a rocket that's about to blast off into space, so that they can go back where they came from. Hopefully. He doesn't actually shut the door after putting them inside though, so probably they died as the rocket left the atmosphere. Or fell out. And can little fireflies pilot a human space rocket anyway? And one designed for an unmanned mission at that, so presumably without any controls? Because if not, they're not actually going to go home, are they. They're just going to float about in space for a bit, and then come back to Earth when the mission's over.

I really have my doubts that this one spent much time in the planning stages. Still, on the plus side, Mark continues to be an interesting and engaging lead. I like that he can't drive, and is still finding his way in human society. I like his empathy with the little fireflies, and his attempts to understand them. I like Miller, too. As Elizabeth's assistant he has even less to occupy him than she does, which is practically nothing. He's nice, though. She's such a drip, so it's good to have somebody on the team who's a stronger character for Mark to play against. I'd like to see more of Mark working with Miller. They make a much better team than Mark and Elizabeth do. Mind you, with a script as uneventful as this one, I don't think it much matters who's in it; there's so little for any of them to do. A shame. I was hoping that by episode three the show would be showing more sign of finding its feet. Rather than hitting the ground running, it seems to have tripped over its toes, and is now lying on the floor hoping that somebody will pick it up.

Sadly I don't think anybody's going to bother any time soon.

Comments

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ladygretchen
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
GROWL!!! You didn't even write about how the killer spores took over everyone's body. LOL. Making them act all weird then look like background zombies from Night of the living dead. I found that part of it the most fascinating.

I do agree..just how secret is Mark's secret? Everyone is going to wonder, and I thought about the chlorine too, I guess as long as its water. You're right they could have so easily dropped him over the ocean. I think they just wanted to give poor Elizabeth something to do. I wish Miller would have stayed on the series, it would have gave the sub crew a little more life. They are like cardboard cut-outs pushing buttons unfortunately.

If they are going to remake it, they need to re-invent the whole concept and start from scratch. I still don't know if they'll find anyone as engaging as Duffy, but that's just my bias. :D
swordznsorcery
Mar. 31st, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
I honestly have no recollection of a scene where everybody got taken over! Guess I'm going to have to kiss that career as a TV critic goodbye, huh. ;)
ladygretchen
Mar. 31st, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
Did you miss parts?? That's not just a scene, that's like, a whole twenty minutes worth of stuff before Mark gets them on the rocket! lol. I know you would have brought it up if you saw it, that's why I went..'hum..' something in this review sounds off..because you are very sharp! :D
swordznsorcery
Mar. 31st, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
No, I didn't miss any bits. I do sort of remember the bit that you mean now. I'm afraid it just made so little impression.

It was all rather hurried, which I think is the main problem with all of the telemovies. They're not much longer than normal episodes, but they're trying to tell bigger stories, so everything is very rushed. Consequently we never get any sense of scale with Schubert's operation, the 'Death Scouts' don't get much chance to show us what they can do, and the 'Killer Spores' get very little opportunity to do anything. If it had been longer, they could have really gone to town with 'zombie' humans under the control of the spores; and perhaps given the spores themselves more depth. We never really learn anything about them. So many corners seem to have been cut with MFA. It's such a shame.
ladygretchen
Mar. 31st, 2011 11:14 pm (UTC)
LOL, after I commented back I thought hard about it and had a feeling you would say this! It was just that much of a blur. haha.
I just got my MFA novelization in the mail, and you are right, it is much better, it's great actually, I can't put it down. I'm expecting Killer Spores and disappearances soon too. It really expands upon the story in the Pilot movie, but then again having the pilot movie and seeing clearly who's who makes it an even more entertaining read.
Killer spores was my favorite of the movies. The tele-movies should have been two movies each. That would probably would have really been good and allowed more character development, at least for everyone else, because Mark will always be a (?) for as long as he has amnesia.
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