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Hawks and hosepipes and more besides

In which I attempt to tackle two episodes back to back, in the hope that one of them won't be truly dire. And very quickly learn the error of my ways.

Lucky me. Immediately after driving me to distraction with his cartoonish nonsense in the last episode, Schubert's back, and being even worse. In "Mudworm" he builds a deep sea excavation device that randomly develops sapience, and decides that it wants to break free. Mark helps it. That really is all that happens. There's some squabbling over it, and it shuffles about a bit looking like a slightly wobbly vacuum cleaner, but there's not even the suggestion of any of it being exciting. Schubert has given up all pretence of being dangerous, and Mark is certainly not bothering to treat him as if he is. Instead he clearly views the man as a mild annoyance. A mild annoyance who occasionally attempts to destroy humanity when he's bored, but who can't possibly be taken seriously regardless. And this is supposed to be his nemesis?

Also, Elizabeth is utterly pointless. The sub is too. They waste all this time showing us its shiny buttons and comfy seats, when we could be watching something interesting. Mark is a sea creature. He breathes water, and he swims incredibly fast. He doesn't need a sub. Get rid of it, and then we can watch him in his home environment. It's a show about the sea, so show us the sea! Or dispense with the 'getting there' part of the story altogether, and give us some action. But no, instead we're treated to five minute long docking procedures, and bored looking bit part actors pressing buttons. Elizabeth sits at her station and watchs her career drift sadly by outside a porthole. Did she offend the producers, or did somebody honestly think that this was a good way to employ the show's leading lady? Truth is, they probably didn't think about that at all. Despite having a genuinely terrific premise, this whole series seems to have been sketched out in five minutes during somebody's lunchbreak. Rarely have I found watching the television to be so completely frustrating.

And then it all gets worse. Much worse. In episode seven, "The Hawk Of Mu", things reach their lowest point yet; for not only is Schubert back with yet another rubbish plot, but he's brought his even more rubbish daughter along with him. Two Schuberts for the price of one. You can probably sense my joy.

So, we have Schubert and his useless assistant, and they're trying to come up with yet another plot to be pathetically unthreatening with. They rope Mark into unwittingly assisting them to gain possession of a statue of a bird, for no readily apparent reason. For equally little reason it winds up turning real, and wrestles him on a beach. By now I'm beginning to get used to the fact that this show is incapable of being remotely exciting or dramatic, but I really didn't expect to watch the hero wrestling a small bird as the climax to an episode. Even if it is a small bird that can randomly shoot laser beams. The rest of the story is taken up largely by Mark chatting to Schubert's daughter, a character so dreadful that she makes Schubert himself seem like a good idea. Not only is she a total wet blanket, but she also seems to be completely unaware of what kind of man her father is, or what sort of thing he gets up to. I'm not sure if she even has any real point, either; but since 95% of the cast of this show has no real point, I suppose I can't hold that against her. Whilst the crew of the submarine float about somewhere pointlessly, doing sod all, Mark gets set up by Schubert and arrested, which leads to him being locked up in jail. Obviously he can't breathe water there, so for a brief moment things look bad for him; then he misbehaves in order to get sprayed with a hose pipe. So, whereas before he had to immerse himself in water and breathe it, being that he's a water-breathing creature, now suddenly he just needs to get a bit soggy to be able to a: breathe properly again, b: regain his strength in an instant, and c: bend the steel bars of his prison cell and escape. Yet again the writers prove determined to prevent the show from ever being in any danger of becoming exciting.

Still, it was nice to briefly have something that could almost have been tension. Patrick Duffy does a good job showing Mark's more vulnerable side, when he's trapped in prison and barely able to breathe; which makes it all the more frustrating that the writers are so very determined never to allow him to be vulnerable. Maybe somebody on the production team was secretly working for a rival channel? It's the only explanation I can think of for why they'd be so anxious to hamstring their own show. It's certainly the only thing that could possibly explain Schubert's daughter.

Not sure that anything can explain that wretched submarine, though.


( 4 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Apr. 9th, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
I don't remember the show being this dire when I watched it - was I really that young? Perhaps I was distracted by homework or something.
Apr. 10th, 2011 11:06 am (UTC)
Or you've blocked the memory. :D
Apr. 9th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
LOLLOLOLOL! I barely know what the point of 'Mudworm' was about. But they unfortunately lost a 'redshirt' on the sub crew thanks to that cardboard box with arms. All the sub floating and button pushing did bore me too.

I *liked* the Hawk episode, but my opinion was if Schubert was going to inexplicably have a doting daughter, she should have been a hot babe. Kinda like Batman's nemesis Ras al Ghul has Talia. (In the comics anyway) But no, she has to be dowdy, whiny and off-kilter...but then again, her father is too.

But then the ending was like..What the…??? What was the point of this Hawk? What kind of menace was it really besides the fact that it short circuit like the circuits in my apartment? Love how they TRIED to give Elizabeth something to do with the scuba diving and the cave grotto, but again, no real danger there either. Not even when she pulled a short-round and pushed in the cave wall.

I love when Mark is vulnerable, I would have to reasonably say that water would give him a little lift, but you're right, based on the movies he needs a big dunking for a few minutes. Still, the scene in prison was pretty fun and Mark is lovably earnest when he apologizes to her later for beating her senseless with pillows. haha.
Apr. 10th, 2011 11:29 am (UTC)
Based on the movies he needs quite a lot more than a dunking! We're even told in the pilot that his strength when out of water is nothing special at all. Why the writers are so scared of letting him show his vulnerable side, I don't know. A hero who has weaknesses is a lot more interesting than one who doesn't.
( 4 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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