Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Expanse

**** (4 stars out of 5)
And everything was getting so boring, too! Thankfully, here comes the worst, most exciting thing our heroes have ever seen. A suicide bomber aboard an economy-sized Death Star blasts an awesome mile-wide trench from the bottom tip of Florida to the sunny shores of Venezuela. Cuba now comes in two convenient sections. Nobody is thanking the cowardly attacker for livening up the Caribbean... what with the seven million senseless deaths. At least he only wrote "I". In Fantastic Four comics, the invader Terminus once signed his entire name across the USA. Or, as you'll recall, Chairface Chippendale got partway into signing the moon with a laser, and for a year or so the lunar surface read "CHA".

Anyway, the mainly American crew of Enterprise are exceedingly pissed off and they don't much care whose necks they have to step on to get revenge. Archer brushes that pesky vengeance-seeking Klingon Duras aside on the way back home to pick up a thousand guns and bombs, and kills him for good measure on the way back to war. Screw 'em! You're either with us, or against us!

Based on the dodgy word of the Evil Shadowy Figure From the Future, the culprit was a Xindi: mysterious aliens who believe Earth will destroy them if they don't shoot first. The Xindi might be from the Delphic Expanse, but they block their Spacebook pages and screen their calls, so another two months are spent going there. "The Expanse" is avoided by anyone with any sense. It's full of violent lunatics and weird goings-on. The TV programs are pretty terrible there, the food has too much cholesterol, and every day is more likely to be Event Horizon than Silent Running.

There are those, my BFF included, for whom Season 3 AKA "All Xindi, All The Time" was really the last straw. And I can't say I blame them, except every day and every night when I want to be watching new Star Trek episodes. Still, even in my seething, impotent rage I can totally see their point of view. Emmy nominated effects and music can't win back an intelligent family audience when the addled, desperate showrunners double down on 18 year old boys and sad old die-hards.

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