Saturday, September 1, 2012

Heroes and Demons

**** (4 stars out of 5)
What to do when your holodeck starts eating people? Send in a holographic hero!

While playing a Viking adventure in the role of Beowulf, Harry Kim vanishes. Tuvok and Chakotay can't shut the game down, and also vanish while investigating Hrothgar's Hall.

Captain Janeway sends in her guy for whom vanishing is as regular as breathing: the holographic doctor known (for today) as Schweitzer.

Schweitzer's first away mission gets him in a one-sided sword fight. An easy win for a selectively intangible man! He wins an enemy in sceptical Unferth, and an amorous ally in shield-maiden Freya. Also he eats a 4 foot long elk drumstick.

Speaking of big drumsticks, the EMH is not exactly equipped to be a romantic lead, which is why I love him so much.

Grendel's now a goblin made of light, not like in that Angelina Jolie movie, but more your basic flying spaghetti monster.

In true Star Trek fashion, the application of scientific investigation and a dollop of compassion
allows for a win in a first encounter with
strange sun-dwelling lifeforms. But not without sacrifice.

"Heroes and Demons" is a personal favourite. I love the crap out of Bob Picardo's nameless doctor. Nerd vs Viking is a classic battle, after all. For a delightful example, please see the cartoon 'How To Train Your Dragon'. But more than ever, I praise the contribution of supporting actress Marjorie Monaghan as Freya. I love that she is essentially an NPC created for exposition in a futuristic video game, but effortlessly graduates to romantic heroine. First, I dig powerful ladies, and second, I enjoy the continuing holodeck theme that fictional characters can step up with a validity their creators never intended. Much thanks to writer Naren Shankar.

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