james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
In which we return to the running theme that all scientists are a menace and should be locked up.



Devon, Rachel and Garth are understandably concerned to hear what sounds like an artillery barrage pounding the Ark. They eventually find their way to Farthing, the Ark's head astronomer, who is happy to explain what is going on: the Ark is doomed because it is heading into a cloud of debris at the center of which is a large comet. When Garth and Devon comment that it seems rather unlikely that the Ark should run into a comet in the depths of space, Farthing admits that it is no coincidence at all. Farthing himself used some secondary propulsion systems to alter the Ark's path once he realized that doing so would let him examine a comet up close. The fact that plowing through a cometary coma at one third the speed of light might be hazardous does not appear to have occurred to him until after he burned out the propulsion systems.

Although Farthing reassures everyone that nothing can be done and that everyone is doomed, the trio insist on seeing what they can do to repair the secondary propulsion system. For various reason, Farthing's engineer companion McBride cannot join the trio as they use Farthing's personal rocket ship to attempt repairs but she will guide them once the trio reaches the propulsion systems. What McBride actually does is run away to join her family once it becomes obvious how doomed the Ark is and it is only with great difficulty that Farthing persuades McBride to return to duty.

Devon is the lucky man who gets to go EVA. Guided by McBride, he repairs the drives, which fire long enough to save the Ark. When Devon tries to return to the rocket, the trio discover that the airlock seal has been damaged and if the outer door is opened, all the air will escape from the ship. If Rachal and Garth had bothered to put on the space suit which are stored in convenient locations all over the Ark all would be fine but they didn't and so Devon cannot re-enter the space craft without killing his friends.

Garth does his best to repair the airlock but even though he presses a button by the airlock several times, he does not manage to fix the problem. Eventually they realize Devon can ride the EVA cable until the ship gets back to the space dock. Devon recapitulates the air-lock scene in 2001, following which his friends dock safely.

Curiously, the trio do not then kick Farthing into a shapeless jelly for endangering the ship, no doubt because by this time they expect this sort of behavior from the Ark's scientists.

Comments: You may wonder whether the trio keep using Farthing's rocket or McBride's knowledge of Ark propulsion systems to help save the Ark in later episodes. The answer is "no." On the plus side, I don't recall anyone claiming the Ark was still in danger in the next two episodes.

Yeah, I really believed Garth was trying to save his romantic rival by pressing a button over and over again with the enthusiasm of a small boy eating brocolli.

It's odd given that Earth had the technology to build the Ark that no comet was ever examined prior to the Ark's launch.

Date: 2009-03-17 06:15 pm (UTC)
seawasp: (Arrival HKF)
From: [personal profile] seawasp
I see that you have retained memory of these episodes rather than burned out the portion of your brain that holds them. Why would that be?

Date: 2009-03-17 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abidemi.livejournal.com
It doesn't work that way. The memories burn in; they don't burn out.

Date: 2009-03-17 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] poeticalpanther.livejournal.com
In letters of fire, several metres high, I expect. If we could put a nice boiler over top of them, whee, perpetual motion!

Date: 2009-03-17 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abidemi.livejournal.com
An interstellar engine powered by a bad science fiction television series would be an excellent gimmick for a bad science fiction television series.

Date: 2009-03-17 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] poeticalpanther.livejournal.com
Quick! After them! Throw on a couple of Lost in Space DVDs!

Date: 2009-03-17 08:57 pm (UTC)
ext_196996: My avatar (Default)
From: [identity profile] johnreiher.livejournal.com
I'm sorry, but First Season LoS was pretty darn good. It was when the series was renewed that it lost some of its edge.

Date: 2009-03-17 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] poeticalpanther.livejournal.com
My apologies for having insulted something you liked - honestly.

I submit it was pretty much impossible to make the joke without having this response from someone that I'd managed to gore their particularly-favoured ox; I am nevertheless sorry to have offended. Perhaps I need a deeper education in some truly terrible old sf to get the right perspective. :)

Date: 2009-03-17 09:33 pm (UTC)
ext_196996: My avatar (Default)
From: [identity profile] johnreiher.livejournal.com
No worries, no insult was received. Irwin Allen had this ability to do great first seasons of each of his series and then he'd get bored and let others do the work. And he'd let the network retool them.

And there can never be a worst episode of ANY TV series than "The Great Vegetable Rebellion". Trust me, it's the absolute worst episode ever made.

Date: 2009-03-17 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] poeticalpanther.livejournal.com
Or...

Captain: Mister Bulu! Warp Factor Starlost!

Engineer (in bad fake Welsh accent): She can't take that strain for long, Captain!

Date: 2009-03-17 06:44 pm (UTC)
seawasp: (Default)
From: [personal profile] seawasp
"Drop her down to Quark, but no lower! We have to catch them!"

Date: 2009-03-17 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] poeticalpanther.livejournal.com
I'm surprised you didn't get dinged for dissing Quark. I did, last time I did it. :)

Date: 2009-03-18 04:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rwpikul.livejournal.com
The Credulity Drive from _Tank Vixens_ works along those lines: Pop in a tape of star travel, (generally from a sci-fi show/film), and the passengers' belief that they are travelling moves the ship.

Of course, it didn't really have to be sci-fi, as the use of _Gone With the Wind_ by the Vole Imperium to counteracte Udda's posing disadvantage[1] demonstrated.


[1] Itty bitty mousey titties.

Date: 2009-03-17 06:33 pm (UTC)
seawasp: (Goji-sama 2)
From: [personal profile] seawasp
This is James. I'd presume he could eliminate the memories with a hand-drill and a soldering gun and just have another amusing story to tell... "... I find that brain surgery using improvised tools to remove memories is not nearly so fun to experience as it may sound, although the convulsions were quite spectacular and amused the cats..."

Date: 2009-03-17 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bunsen-h.livejournal.com
Another reason I kept snarling at the TV: Farthing and McBride kept snarking at each other instead of paying attention to little details like the trio of farmers on their first flight / repair mission, the clock ticking down, ...

Rachel got to continue her important job of repeating what the computer said.

I couldn't figure out why Devon couldn't just stay on the tether until the ship was back in dock and everything was repressurized.

Date: 2009-03-17 06:55 pm (UTC)
ckd: (cpu)
From: [personal profile] ckd
Rachel got to continue her important job of repeating what the computer said.

"I have one job on this lousy ship, it's stupid, but I'm gonna do it!"

Date: 2009-03-17 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimjim.livejournal.com
I can't rationalize the seeming stupidity that minor course correction at a third of lightspeed to steer through a comet wouldn't enable the Ark to avoid collision course with a star. The Sun G-class star isn't that big a target.

Doesn't the presence of a cometary coma imply the Ark is within a few AU of a star? At that speed, direct collision course toward the star would end the Ark within an hour.

Date: 2009-03-17 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] james-nicoll.livejournal.com
It's not at all clear Farthing didn't accidentally save the ship by redirecting it and if Devon managed to aim the ship back at the star, this is never made explicit.

Date: 2009-03-17 07:17 pm (UTC)
seawasp: (Airwolf)
From: [personal profile] seawasp
I'm sorry, am I to understand that you are trying to make scientific sense of a Starlost episode?

Date: 2009-03-17 07:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimjim.livejournal.com
Yes. It's remarkable how far exercises in futility can be taken.

In the past, I also estimated the population count on Moonbase Alpha over both seasons.

Date: 2009-03-17 07:43 pm (UTC)
seawasp: (A wise toad)
From: [personal profile] seawasp
Would you care to reconcile the Doctor Who timeline as well?

Date: 2009-03-17 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimjim.livejournal.com
Oddly, that never occurred to me. It appears I prefer to stick to shorter series that popped up on CBC.

I ran across one attempt at a Doctor Who timeline on Geocities which was intimidatingly detailed, though.

Date: 2009-03-17 07:57 pm (UTC)
seawasp: (Default)
From: [personal profile] seawasp
Okay, how about making sense of Star Trek:Voyager?

Date: 2009-03-17 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimjim.livejournal.com
An excuse to parade Barbie of Borg?

Date: 2009-03-17 08:57 pm (UTC)
seawasp: (A wise toad)
From: [personal profile] seawasp
That would mean they knew they were going to insert 69 of Borg into the cast before they knew it, though.

Date: 2009-03-17 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimjim.livejournal.com
Given overuse of time manipulation plots, anything is possible.

Date: 2009-03-18 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mmcirvin.livejournal.com
Behold The Canon-Keeper's Guide to Doctor Who, which incorporates not just TV canon but (optionally) tie-in novels and audio dramas too. It is profoundly obsessive.

I don't think you can do this any more, but an earlier version allowed you to view all listed events in external calendrical order, instead of from the Doctor's time-traveling perspective. The whole first page was just a long list of contradictory descriptions of the creation of the universe.

Date: 2009-03-18 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeffreyab.livejournal.com
Which was?

Date: 2009-03-17 07:41 pm (UTC)
ext_6388: Avon from Blake's 7 fails to show an emotion (Miffed Sperm)
From: [identity profile] fridgepunk.livejournal.com
are all the characters either welsh or played by john barrowman's teeth by any chance?

Date: 2009-03-17 07:44 pm (UTC)
seawasp: (Default)
From: [personal profile] seawasp
Torchwood is vastly more fun than this.

Date: 2009-03-17 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] poeticalpanther.livejournal.com
Much more. To get close to Torchwood, Garth and Devon would have to fight and kiss a *lot* more.

Date: 2009-03-18 04:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/krin_o_o_/
Oh. Now that's just fighting dirty!

...

Not that I mind a good rough-n-tubble-in-the-mud, carry on.

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