Wednesday, August 21, 2013


*** (3 stars out of 5)
Emory Erikson: Father of The Transporter is the book that made Chuck Tucker grow up to be an engineer.  No doubt Dr. Erikson inspired generations of obsessive tragic engineers like Richard Daystrom, and obsessive drunk engineers like Montgomery Scott. Dr. Erikson takes some time off from his Tinker work for the Great and Powerful Oz to invent a long-range transporter. Zap between Earth and Vulcan in an instant with sub-quantum teleportation! Warp engines will be tossed in the garbage! It's a forgone conclusion... since the audience already knows this is going to go fzzzzzt---pop, crackle, and/or ka-BOOM!

Heading out into The Barrens, a starless void, where if anything goes wrong there will be no one around to hear... we learn that Captain Archer was friends with Emory's kids, that Cochrane taught Erikson to drink heavily, and in the days when the beaming cycle took a full 90 seconds and felt like a year, drinking heavily was a necessity. And back then, son, taking all your molecules apart only cost a nickel!

Emory poo-poos the people who said the transporter would cause cancer, psychosis, and Jeff Goldblum's dingus to fall off, but Emory's own messed-up spinal column and paranoid, deluded ramblings say different. Also, some poor nearby slob gets a disrupted face from a g-g-gh... Zuul!

Breaking the transporter distance record is all very well, but do we go further: 15 years into the past and beyond the grave? Can poor Daedalus bring back his son Quinn... and the wax wings that sent his boy to subspace hell?

"Daedalus" is part 'The Ultimate Computer' part 'Realm of Fear' and part 'Jetrel'. It's like a shambling, mangled, transporter mash-up. But I'll forgive ten times as much derivative writing when I get performers like Bill Cobbs. He actually makes me sympathize with a man so loopy that he knowingly tested his faulty transporter on his own son, and then can't trust anyone enough to ask for help! Enjoy him even more in Demolition Man, won't you?

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