Monday, January 28, 2013

The Killing Game

*** (3 stars out of 5)
What the what? Janeway's a Klingon? And stabbed? What can the Hirogen be playing at?

They really are playing. They captured the Voyager, and true to form, they cut the geeks up for fish bait. Everyone's dead and the series is over.

No? No. Instead, their too-clever leader must have seen the movie 'Dark City' and decided to do that instead. He's rigged the crew up with neural interfaces so they all believe themselves to be holodeck characters. Their Nerd Slave Harry Kim has been tasked to expand the holodecks. He's wallpapered the whole ship in holo-emitters from the spring collection, as you do. Now they'll be killing: not for real-real, but for play-play.

They've been at this for weeks. At least one crewer has died, despite the Doctor's non-stop efforts to keep everyone alive in this Hirogen blender.

Why, you ask? "Species that don't change... die," the commander insists. He wants to re-build Hirogen civilization before they spread themselves too thin and die out. Play Nintendo Duck Hunt instead of Hunt Actual Ducks. His men would rather shout the Hirogen equivalent of 'yee-haw' and splatter all the guts, but what are you gonna do.

So they hang out with brain-hijacked Janeway as Rick from 'Casablanca' in a French Night Club in September 1944, taking pot-shots at Neelix while he peddles around on his baguette bicyclette. It is both absurd and horrible. Absorrible!

The Doctor and Harry manage to re-set Mademoiselle Sept de Neuf back to Seven of Nine. Apparently she never assimilated a chanteuse, because she immediately forgets how to sing. Can she succeed against a box of action figures like 'Tommy-Gun Tuvok' and 'G.I. Maquis Joe'? The fire-fight in Sainte Claire blows a hole through the holodeck walls and angry brainwashed crew spill into the real ship.

"The Killing Game" is visually interesting, and does actually have a better SF premise than the previous Nazi alien outing "Patterns of Force". But it's also got more explosions than brains. So turn off the brains and enjoy the pretty explosions.

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