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Mark & The Beanstalk

So is episode eight, "Giant", as bad as all the others? Yes. That's probably the only bit of the whole entry that you need to read.

The submarine that Mark works out of really is pointless. Annoying and pointless. I've come to hate it with a burning, fiery vengeance. I hate Mark being captain of it for starters (although he does have an awesome captain's jacket). I hate how he has a completely different personality whenever he's onboard, to allow for him being captain. I hate the poor sods who crew it, who have to rank as the most pointless additions to any TV show cast ever. They're not extras. They have names, and they even have small amounts of dialogue, so they can't even hide behind namelessness to explain their complete lack of plot or purpose. They just sit there every week and push buttons, and say "Yes sir," to Mark. And, right in the middle of them, is Elizabeth. She doesn't say "Yes sir," but that's the only thing that distinguishes her from those other pointless saps. I didn't like Elizabeth from the beginning, but I can't help but feel sorry for her now. And the sub! I hate it. Every week it drives Mark some place, and he gets out and goes and has an adventure. And every week they watch him. There's cameras on the sub, and wherever Mark is, they manage to have a camera pointing directly at him, so he's right in the centre of the monitor screens. Even when he's behind a rock. It's stupid and annoying, and why is the sub there? Who in their right mind would give a submarine to a water-breathing man? And then give over five minutes worth of every episode to watching it perform interminable manoeuvres? I hate that damned sub.

But anyway. This week, praise be, there is no Schubert. I don't know where he is, and I don't care. What there is instead is the start of a new occaisonal trend on the show, of Mark swimming through a hole in some rocks, and finding himself in a completely different world. In this one there's a gold mine, a large man, and an annoying human con-man, who introduces us to the start of another new trend for the show - Mark spouting chocolate box philosophy, and introducing the viewers to a new moral lesson every week. For the con-man is interested only in gold, and not in people; but under Mark's guidance he discovers that he has a heart. Aw. Or probably 'ow' would be more to the point, as it's all done with a sledgehammer instead of any attempt at subtlety. There's nothing wrong with having a TV character espouse their version of morality to the viewers, of course. Plenty of them do it. The secret is in doing it well.

Anyway, then Mark mucks about for a bit before going home. Which is the sum total of the plot, pretty much. The problem with this episode is that there's no actual bad guy. The 'giant' of the title is just a large man who owns a gold mine. He's accidentally sucking all of the water out of Mark's world in order to sluice out his mine, because their two worlds are accidentally in alignment. Why that requires all of the water from Earth, I don't know. It's probably best not to ask. Anyway, he apologises and stops doing it, and hey presto, all is right again. I guess I usually like a bit more adventure than that, but this is Man From Atlantis, not The A-Team, and by now I've come to accept that I have to get my excitement elsewhere. And fair enough. It's not much of a story, though, is it. All of the water is being sucked out of the world! Oh no! But it's okay because the man in the other world that's hidden behind some rocks has said sorry. The end.

Global water shortage dealt with, Mark goes back to the pointless submarine, having accidentally left the (also largely pointless, as it turned out) con-man behind, because he'd got himself distracted by gold, and didn't jump down the magic well quickly enough (don't ask). Then, after having spent the entire episode not knowing what poker is, Mark makes a joke about it that requires him to have a greater knowledge of its terminology than most ordinary people. Elizabeth smiles at him gently, which at least gives her a little more to do than just press buttons. And after that the episode just stops. Actually I think it had already stopped thirty minutes before. It was just that nobody had got around to noticing it yet.

This episode really is frustrating. Holes in rocks leading to other worlds should be a good thing, surely?! How is it that in the hands of the Man From Atlantis crew it just turns out to be unremittingly dull?

Comments

( 3 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
ladygretchen
Apr. 12th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
What, you loved the sub?? LOL. I get your point loud and clear!! I found the backup crew pretty pointless, Jomo could have been an even cooler character if they gave him more stuff to do. Did you deliberately forget to mention that the water in the Giant's world is 'INVISIBLE' hahahaha. I didn't know what to make of that. But i do know that the basketball player can't act.
swordznsorcery
Apr. 12th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
That invisible water thing was so pointless. It was clearly just their way of making the whole thing easier to shoot! Mind you, nowadays they'd probably do it with CGI, and it would look even worse...
ladygretchen
Apr. 12th, 2011 08:14 pm (UTC)
Patrick Duffy is wonderful. So wonderful that he subjected himself to pantomiming being ambushed by tons of water. That must have been a crazy time on the set. Now I understand my acting classes, and why they made us pantomime. You never knew when you would need it! LOL.
You're right, I'd rather it be invisible, can't stand CGI water.
( 3 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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