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The Raising Of Lazarus

An episode that manages to be highly entertaining without actually doing much of anything. This is the air vents episode. Air vents are what made America great, you know. It's the only country with an air conditioning system that you can hide an army in, and still have enough room inside to hold a tea party when the skirmish is over.

There is nothing that can be done in a room that cannot be done equally well in a large tunnel hidden in the walls. Everybody who has ever watched American television knows this. Apparently the aliens know it too.

Some men in fluffy jackets talk in the snow. They've been digging, and have found something buried that worries them.

It appears to be some kind of vehicle, with a strange being inside.

Some other people in fluffy jackets turn up, also in the snow, to examine the strange vehicle. These people are Ironhorse, Suzanne and Harrison, although they might as well be anybody.

Ironhorse is less than delighted to see the alien ship. In fact he gives it the sort of look usually reserved for Russians. Harrison's over the moon, though. What could be better than an actual alien, inside an actual alien ship? It's probably been buried in the snow since the 1953 invasion, so the alien might be dead or it might not be. This makes it even more exciting still!

This man has had similar thoughts. He's part of a secret military taskforce, trying to use alien technology for secret military secret things. He has arrived with full authority to take over the operation.

Harrison and co are delighted.

For the duration of this episode, everybody will be standing as dramatically as possible, in patches of blue light whenever they can possibly manage it.

This is Colonel Somebody. Colonel Somebody is dramatic and dangerous, and immediately orders the Blackwood team shut up in a small room until he finds them something to do.

Ironhorse paces and glowers, and Suzanne sits and grumbles, whilst Harrison is Harrison. They're summoned soon enough though, as the bad guys are completely incapable of opening the alien ship without their help. Warning everybody that the alien inside could rip their faces off in an instant, before they've even had time to realise it's still alive, Harrison opens the ship.

He then follows his own advice about being careful by getting as close as possible to the alien, as soon as the door comes off.

The alien, needless to say, is still alive, although it doesn't tell them this just yet.

Later, under cover of darkness (and dramatic blue light), Colonel Bad Guy sucks some gloop out of the alien's head. He plans to inject himself with it, because he figures that it sounds like an awesome thing to do, and what the hell, it's snowing outside, so he can't go out to play.

Harrison and co have meanwhile been confined to quarters again. This trip is not turning out to be quite as much fun as Harrison had expected. Just for a change.

Whilst the good guys pace and grumble, the alien has discovered the air conditioning system. And a nice patch of dramatic blue light. Are air vents always lit? Why?

Colonel Stupid plans his self-experimentation. Injecting alien cells into his head in order to create the next stage of human evolution is an idea with no obvious drawbacks.

Meanwhile the alien still lurks in the air conditioning system.

Why have the good guys changed clothes? Is it the next day? There's no sense of time passing in this episode. There's just blue light, and the alien padding up and down in the tunnels.

There he goes, look. Back the other way this time.

Probably. It's a bit hard to tell.

Norton, whose passion for peculiar little caps just gets weirder and weirder (was that actually a fashion in 1988, or just a Nortonism?) is back at the safe house, doing a bit of typing. Norton isn't allowed to do exciting things, like have adventures, or leave the house ever.

Elsewhere, the alien lurks in yet another bit of air conditioning tunnel.

It grabs a fistful of wires, and uses some sort of telepathic control (probably) to get into Norton's computer system as he talks to Harrison. This allows it to download the team's entire alien database into its brain. Mostly because Norton just keeps talking about how he ought to turn everything off, without actually doing it.

Meanwhile, Colonel Improbable has injected himself, and is waiting to see if anything cool happens.

The alien blows stuff up, to kill outside communications. It then nicks some radioactive material, which the raid on Norton's computer has told it will keep it safe from Earth bacteria.

Then it goes back into the tunnels. They've built that set, and they're going to get their money's worth out of it, damn it.

Everybody else goes and stands by the nuclear control room, to talk about dangerous levels of radioactivity, and watch the pretty, blinking danger lights.

Whilst the alien wanders about in the air conditioning system a bit more, in another patch of blue light.

Then Ironhorse goes in there too, because it looks like fun.

The alien goes one way, he goes another.

My computer has glowing blue fans like that. They're awesome. Thing is, though, they're visible. What the bloody hell's that one lit up for?!

The alien drops by for a visit with Colonel Loony, and after some dramatic standing around in blue light, takes him over.

Harrison then stops by for a chat, but the alien colonel refuses to talk to him. You'd think it would kill him, since it knows from Norton's computer that this is Harrison Blackwood, who has devoted his entire life to taking the aliens down. But no. It just says to come back later, which is nice of it.

Sure that something's up, Harrison uses his tuning fork to help him figure it all out.

I'm not sure why he's on the phone to Norton, because surely the alien blew up the communications? But anyway, he and Suzanne and a temporary Norton substitute do some of the obligatory computer screen gazing. This will help somehow. It's sure to.

Ironhorse runs about in the air conditioning system a bit more, just in case there's a bit he missed.

To be perfectly fair, he does have a reason for it this time. Sort of. It's because the alien nicking the radioactive matter from the lab has flooded most of the building with radioactivity, so the corridors are no longer safe. The air conditioning vents apparently are, presumably because the architects thoughtfully chose to make them lead-lined. Or something.

Using computers, Harrison tracks the alien as it escapes from the building in a funky snowmobile.

Ironhorse then uses a massive laser from one of the labs to home in on the location that Harrison has found for him. These are awesome labs. Massive laser guns?! I've never been in a lab that had one of them. No fair.

The alien explodes. Everybody breaths a sigh of relief. Except the alien.

I enjoyed this episode. Once again it's almost ridiculously improbable, and a good half of it is taken up with scrabbling about in blue tunnels. It's still good, though. I wish more had been made of Colonel Moron and his Big Bad status, rather than just having him inject himself with alien gloop and die. More could have been made of the alien, too. It needed to be handled in the same way as the hospital episode, I think, with some nice tension and atmosphere to go with the dramatic lighting. Still perfectly entertaining, though. Mind you, if I was Norton, I'd have quit by now. He's nearly as surplus to demands as Suzanne's pointless daughter. You'd think they'd find him something to do in the space of twenty-three episodes, but so far one quick bit of staff fighting has been it. It's not exactly positive use of minority casting, is it. They might just as well not have bothered.


( 1 fierce growl — Growl fiercely )
Mar. 11th, 2012 12:28 am (UTC)
As I read the previous review I was just thinking the same thing about poor Norton, he's confined and pretty much a useless character that stares at screens all day. At least he got some action in Highlander the Series. And what a way to drop the ball with the commander and the alien goop. They could have made the injection work temporarily, I thought he as going to mutate or something. That would have been pretty darn cool. But I'm sure they knew there was only going to be one episode left. No sense creating even more unfinished plot threads.
( 1 fierce growl — Growl fiercely )

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