REVIEW: AMERICAN PSYCHO 2

CAST

Mila Kunis (BLack Swan)
William Shatner (Free Enterprise)
Kim Schraner (Saw 7)
Geraint Wyn Davies (Forever Knight)
Robin Dunne (Sanctuary)
Kim Poirier (Dawn of The Dead)
Lindy Booth (Odyssey 5)

The film starts with a 12-year-old girl whose babysitter is on a date with serial killer Patrick Bateman. After Bateman kills and starts to dissect her babysitter, the girl stabs him with an ice pick. Fast forward to the present day and the girl, who is named Rachael Newman, is now a college student studying criminology under Professor Starkman, a former FBI agent. Rachael aspires to join the FBI and is determined to get the teaching assistant position under Starkman, which would make her a shoo-in for the FBI training program.Tough competition for the position stands in her way, and Rachael proceeds to kill off classmates one by one. During her killing spree, she decides to see the school psychiatrist, Dr. Eric Daniels. Realizing that Rachael is a textbook sociopath, Daniels tries to warn Starkman, who mistakenly thinks the psycho student is Cassandra Blaire, with whom he had an extramarital affair. When Cassandra reveals that her affair with Professor Starkman has guaranteed her the TA position, Rachael decides to murder her as well. After she does so, Professor Starkman discovers Cassandra’s body and calls Daniels to tell him that “she’s dead”. But he does not identify the victim, and Daniels assumes it must be Rachael. Distraught, Professor Starkman leaves his teaching position, which angers the obsessed Rachael. She reveals that she is not Rachael Newman; she killed the real Rachael at the beginning of the semester and assumed her identity.During spring break, Rachael stays on campus and confronts Starkman, who had taken Valium and alcohol, and tries to seduce him to get the job. However, Starkman sees she is wearing a dress and necklace he had given to Cassandra. She then confesses her crimes to him, her “crush” on him, and that she knew about his affairs with various women (which included her former babysitter, whom he indirectly killed, since he had told her about Bateman and she decided to track him down), as he backs up towards the window in a state of confusion and fear. Rachael blows him a kiss, and he falls out the window to his death. As she leaves, Rachael realizes a janitor has witnessed Starkman’s death, and she murders the janitor, too. Driving away from campus with Starkman in her car, Rachael is stopped by campus security, whom she stabs to death with an ice pick.As the film reaches its conclusion, Daniels and two cops pursue Rachael in a car chase, started when she sped by the cops who had Daniels in the car. It ends with Rachael driving off a cliff, resulting in the car exploding. At this point, she is presumed to be dead by the cops who witnessed the event and the media. Two years later, Dr. Daniels is giving a lecture on Rachael’s mind and how he wrote a book about her. When he looks up from speaking with a student, he sees Rachael, who has not died after all; she indirectly reveals that she killed Starkman’s last assistant, Elizabeth McGuire, and stole her identity to get into Quantico. She allows Dr. Daniels to know because she believes there is no point in committing the perfect crime if no one knows about it and that she is proud of his success. The body that was in the car was the real Rachael. As she walks out of his class, Dr. Daniels is obviously disturbed and rattled.A very poor sequel that didn’t do any justice to the original… more like a comedy, and even that did not work

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REVIEW: THE SKULLS II

CAST

Robin Dunne (Sanctuary)
Nathan West (Bring It On)
Ashley Tesoro (The Wereolf Reborn)
Lindy Booth (Cry Wolf)
James Gallanders (Bride of Chucky)
Christopher Ralph (Animorphs)
Aaron Ashmore (Smallville)
Andrew Gillies (Mutant X)
Simon Reynolds (Saw IV)

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Picking up several years after the first film, Ryan Sommers (Robin Dunne) is a student at an unnamed university, believed to be Yale University by the sports teams logo and various New Haven, Connecticut, imagery seen throughout the film. He and lacrosse teammate, Jeff, are tapped for the elite “Skulls” society. Despite his friend Jeff’s zeal for being tapped, Ryan is ambivalent toward admission into the Skulls seeing it as a form of control from his older brother, Greg (who is a member), and its distraction from his beautiful, socialite girlfriend, Ali (Ashley Tesoro).

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Soon after being tapped, Ryan (having received inside information from his older brother Greg) stages an accident during one of the Skulls’ secret initiation rituals by faking that he has been accidentally stabbed, only to reveal that it was a sophomoric joke. Not amused, the senior leadership led by Parker Neal (Nathan West) decide to punish Ryan and Jeff by making them clean the attic of the Skulls tomb. While cleaning the attic that night, both Ryan and Jeff hear someone on the roof, only to discover it is fellow Skulls member, Matt “Hutch” Hutchison and field hockey team captain, Diana Rollins. While peeping on Hutchison and Rollins as she begins to disrobe, Ryan notices her drinking from a flask that Hutchison gave her. Soon thereafter, she starts to become dizzy and then falls off the roof of the Skulls tomb. Trying to alert the other members in the tomb, Ryan is told that nothing is wrong and he must have been seeing things.the-skulls-ii

Ryan later goes to his brother Greg about the incident, believing that the Skulls have covered up Diana Rollins’ death. Greg agrees to give Ryan a key to the tomb, so that he can investigate further, but this later turns out to be a ploy in order to lure Ryan there. Ryan is told the supposed truth about what was really taking place. He is fed a story by Parker Neal that, due to Ryan’s sophomoric joke during the initiation ritual, the Skulls staged Diana Rollins falling off the roof as they had staged (years earlier) the death of a former member’s roommate when he too was not taking membership seriously. This was all a test to see if Ryan would remain loyal to the Order by not going to the authorities. The former member’s roommate story is a direct reference to the first film and the death of Will Beckford, Lucas McNamara’s roommate. Not convinced by this ruse, Ryan begins to do research, and later discovers from Beckford’s parents that their son was killed by the Skulls for doing an expose on the secret society and breaking into the tomb; this was the storyline from the first film.

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That evening, Ryan receives a phone call from his brother Greg that Diana Rollins was killed in a car accident while returning from a supposed ski trip in New Hampshire. At this point, Ryan knows the entire scandal has been a cover-up to protect Matt Hutchison and the Skulls from public humiliation. Due to his digging around, the Skulls turn Ryan’s life into chaos. His brother Greg is fired from his high-level position as an attorney at Skull member Winston Taft’s firm, Ryan’s girlfriend Ali accuses him of assaulting her, and he is pursued by the Skulls at every avenue. Through his friendship with Ali’s roommate, Kelly (Lindy Booth), he later discovers that his apartment is bugged, and the Skulls will stop at nothing to cover up Diana Rollins’ accidental death, even attempting to run him and Kelly down in the streets of New Haven.the_skulls_II_big4Ryan and Kelly believe that the only true way to expose the Skulls is by getting their hands on the coroner’s report, showing that Diana Rollins did indeed have drugs and alcohol in her system, and that she had been dead for days, not hours. Ryan’s brother, Greg, uses his acquaintance, county coroner Dr. Phillip Sprague, to gain inside information — Sprague was offered a prostitute by the Skulls to switch the coroner’s reports. Later, breaking into Sprague’s office, Ryan steals the real report and goes to the police. In the meantime, Jeff has already come forward stating the Skulls covered up Diana Rollins’ death and that Matt Hutchison was responsible. Hutchison is taken into custody; Parker Neal narrowly escaping arrest himself. Back at the Skulls tomb, Skulls chairman senator George Milford states that shame and disgrace has been brought to the Order by this scandal. Believing that Ryan will be expelled from the Order, Parker egotistically states that he believes casting out Ryan is a smart move, only to discover that he is the one being expelled. Parker is seized by members of the Order and his brand of membership is removed from his wrist as he screams out in pain. Ryan casts himself out of the Order. The final scene show he and Kelly kissing in her car as they begin a new life together.the-skulls-ii

This film is just as good as the original. The actors are certainly no less charismatic. The plot is a great sequel to a good film.

REVIEW: RELIC HUNTER

 

MAIN CAST

Tia Carrere (True Lies)
Christien Anholt (Adventures Inc)
Lindy Booth (Odyssey 5)
Tanja Reichert (Poltergeist: The Legacy)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Tony Rosato (Real Gangsters)
Damon D’Oliveira (Earth: Final Conflict)
Michelle Nolden (Red)
Ron Gabriel (To Die For)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie)
Don Francks (La Femme Nikita)
Dylan Bierk (Andromeda)
Thomas Kretschmann (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Mark Lutz (Angel)
Louis Mandylor (The Quest)
Douglas O’Keeffe (Sanctuary)
Adrian Hough (X-Men: The Last stand)
Romona Milano (Due South)
Katheryn Winnick (Vikings)
Carlo Rota (Jane The Virgin)
Anthony Lemke (Mutant X)
Malin Akerman (Watchmen)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Jane March (Clash of The Titans)
James Faulkner (X-Men: First Class)
Blu Mankuma (Tin Man)
Robert Joy (Amityville 3)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)
Noam Jenkins (Earth: Final Conflict)
Nigel Bennett (Andromeda)
Andrew Gillies (Mutant X)
Peter Mensah (Sleepy Hollow)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Daniel Kash (Goosebumps)
Peter Stebbings (Never Cry Werewolf)
Peter Williams (Stargate SG.1)
Nazneen Contractor (How I Met Your Mother)
Adrian Paul (Highlander: The Series)
Claudia Christian (Babylon 5)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
Roger Cross (First Wave)
Chyna (Sabrina: TTW)
Noah Danby (Bitten)
Louis Ferreira (Stargate Universe)
James Callis (Battlestar Galactica)
Ian McNeice (Dune)

Sydney Fox is a professor but primarily a globe-trotting “relic hunter,” looking for ancient artifacts to return to museums and/or the ancestors of the original owner. She’s aided by her linguistic assistant Nigel, and occasionally by her somewhat air-headed secretary Claudia. She often ends up battling rival hunters seeking out artifacts for the money.

I needed to watch several episodes of this show to decide its qualities and I’m glad I waited as my initial response was not a favourable one.It takes a while to buy Tia Carrere as adventuress extraordinaire Sidney Fox but it did not take long for this beautiful and talented actress to make the role her own and she has superb chemistry with her excellent foil Christien Anholt who brings much of a Hugh Grant type persona to his part as the hapless Nigel.Their globe-trotting adventures are the stuff of 30’s serials and are highly derivative but handled in a never over-played tongue in cheek fashion which makes the series ever more enjoyable as it progresses. May not be the best show in the world, but is sure as hell fun.

REVIEW: WRONG TURN

CAST

Eliza Dushku (Bring it On)
Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory)
Emmanuelle Chriqui (100 Girls)
Desmond Harrington (Ghost Ship)
Kevin Zegers (Transamerica)
Lindy Booth (Cry_Wolf)
Julian Richings (Urban Legend)
Yvonne Haudry (Street Time)
Wayne Robson (Cube)

In the remote forest of West Virginia, Halley Smith (Yvonne Gaudry) and Rich Stoker (Joel Harris) are rock climbing on a cliff. As Rich prepares to help Halley, she witnesses his sudden murder. Someone begins to pull Halley up the cliff so she cuts the rope and falls to the ground. Halley then attempts to escape to her car but trips over a piece of barbed wire before being pulled back into the woods, screaming, by one of the three cannibalistic mutant mountain men.
Medical student Chris Flynn (Desmond Harrington) drives through the mountains of West Virginia. A chemical spill in the road ahead forces him to take a different route. He stops at a rundown gas station and meets an old man (Wayne Robson). The old man is not helpful, but Chris sees a map detailing another route heading to his destination. Chris decides to take the road, but on his way, he collides with a Range Rover stopped in the middle of the road. The car belongs to a group of friends on a hiking trip: Jessie Burlingame (Eliza Dushku), Carly (Emmanuelle Chriqui), her fiancé Scott (Jeremy Sisto), and a couple, Evan and Francine (Kevin Zegers and Lindy Booth). Their tires have been punctured by a piece of barbed wire.
Evan and Francine stay to watch the cars as the others go to find help. Evan goes to the woods to investigate a strange noise. After a while, Francine goes into the woods to look for him. She finds only his sneaker and his severed ear before she is killed with a strip of barbed wire by Saw Tooth (Garry Robbins), the oldest of the cannibals. Chris, Jessie, Carly, and Scott find an isolated cabin. After entering, they are surprised to find human body parts. Horrified, they attempt to escape, but they are forced to hide when they hear the occupants coming back. Three disfigured, cannibalistic mountain men (“Three Finger”, “Saw Tooth” and “One Eye”) enter the cabin, bringing Francine’s dead body. The four silently watch as her body is messily eaten. The four quietly escape after the cannibals fall asleep. However, Saw Tooth awakens, alerts the other cannibals, and begins to chase them through the forest. The group climbs up to a nearby clearing with many cars of the cannibals’ victims. Chris is shot in the leg by Saw Tooth, and Scott saves him by distracting the cannibals, allowing Jessie and Carly to steal one of the trucks. Chris gets into the truck, and they drive down a nearby path in search of Scott. Scott starts to make his way to the truck, but Saw Tooth kills him with arrows and takes his body back to their cabin.

Chris, Jessie, and Carly reach a dead end and have to continue on foot. They find a radio in an old watchtower and use it to call for help, but do not get a response. Later, they see the cannibals armed with torches, searching at the foot of the watchtower. The radio starts responding to their call, alerting the cannibals. The cannibals set the tower on fire. Chris, Carly, and Jessie escape by jumping out of the window into a nearby tree. As they escape from the tower, Three Finger (Julian Richings) catches Carly and decapitates her. After escaping, Chris and Jessie hide in a cave near a waterfall until the next morning. Just as they find a road out of the woods, the mountain men find them, pushing Chris down the hill and taking Jessie back to their cabin. Chris survives the fall and meets a police officer, but before Chris is able to convince the police officer of what is happening, the man is shot with an arrow. Chris attempts to drive away in the police truck, but cannot find the key, so he instead hitches a ride underneath the truck as it is driven back to the cabin. At the cabin, Jessie is tied to a bed and gagged. As Jessie is about to be killed, Chris, now driving the police truck, breaks through the cabin and runs into One Eye. Chris unties Jessie and they fight the cannibals. They escape as Chris manages to kill the cannibals by blowing up their cabin with a shotgun. Chris and Jessie, driving the cannibals’ truck, stop back at the gas station. Chris, badly injured, gets out of the truck and takes the map from the gas station while the old man (who was implied to be in league with the mountain men) hides in the store.The credits are interrupted by a scene showing a deputy sheriff investigating and picking over the remains of the destroyed cabin. Three Finger, who survived the explosion, kills the deputy. His insane laughter is heard, as the credits continue to roll.

All in all, this is a well-drilled and highly accomplished horror tale, with lashings of juicy blood and gore, but far more importantly, with appealing lead characters and memorable baddies. It’s very easy to see why this polished flick spawned a succession of sequels. Highly recommended

REVIEW: MUTANT X – SEASON 1-3

MAIN CAST
Forbes March (As The World Turns)
Victoria Pratt (Cleopatea 2525)
Lauren Lee Smith (Lie With Me)
Victor Webster (Wishmaster 4)
John Shea (Lois & Clark)
Karen Cliche (Flash Gordon 2007)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST
Tom McCamus (Ginger Snaps Back)
Douglas o’ Keeffe (Dark Angel)
Cedric Smith (X-men: The Animated Series)
Andrew Gillies (Odyssey 5)
Michael Easton (Coldfire)
George Buza (X-men: The Animated Series)
Dylan Bierk (Andromeda)
Laura Vandervoort (Bitten)
Yannick Bisson (Beauty and the Beast 2012)
Monique Ganderton (Smallville)
Anthony Lemke (Robocop: Prime Directives)
Mark Lutz (Angel)
Greg Bryk (Reign)
Anne Openshaw (Izombie)
Guylaine St-Onge (Highwayman)
Sarah Gadon (Dracula untold)
Larissa Laskin (John Q)
Callum Keith Rennie (Memento)
Louis Ferreira (Stargate Universe)
Krista Allen (The Final Destination)
Lindy Booth (Cry Booth)
Noah Danby (Painkiller Jane)
Sandrine Holt (Underworld Awakening)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)
Melinda Deines (Earth: Final Conflict)
Frank Moore (Rabid)
David Sutcliffe (Lie To Me)
Jenya Lano (Xena)
Alan C. Petersen (Stargate SG.1)
Rachel Hayward (Jingle All The Way 2)
Steve Bacic (Blade: The Series)
Gary Hudson (Cold Case)
Sebastian Spence (First Wave)
Alan Van Sprang (Reign)
Lauren Collins (Degrassi: The Next Generation)
Euegne Robert Glazer (La Femme Nikita)
Peter Stebbings (Bates Motel)
John Ralston (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
 Mutant X was a brilliant, and totally original, syndicated series that had have genre fans tuning in faithfully week after week. Drawing from the timely topic of genetic research and engineering and experimentation on human DNA, Mutant X tells the completely original story of a group of outcasts with genetically engineered super-human powers and abilities and their attempts to evade capture or destruction by the ultra-secret, evil government agency which created them.
Mutant X  created by comics veteran Howard Chaykin (writer for Earth: Final Conflict and Viper) and Avi Arad (executive producer of X-Men, X-Men 2, and every other Marvel comic to movie adaptation in the pipeline from Daredevil  to The Fantastic Four). With a totally straight face, they insist that this new show has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the X-Men. Both of these guys know the comic industry and Arad obviously is familiar with  X-Men, and yet they expect us to believe that cashing in on the popularity of the X-Men wasn’t in their minds at all while developing this series. They can’t even seem to recognize the similarity.

The main difference in plot line deals with the fact that the powers that the Mutant X mutants possess were a result of human intervention through science rather than a naturally-occurring genetic mutation, as in the X-Men. Apart from this very minor difference, the sky is the limit when it comes to Mutant X – X-Men similarities.
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The leader of the Mutants is Adam, a wealthy scientist who headed up the government project that created the Children of Genomex (a.k.a. the Mutants). He has seen the error of his ways and now is engaged in a crusade to locate, protect, and train the Mutants. He doesn’t actually own a school or have mutant powers himself, but this is the Professor X of the group.371266752_640The leader of the evil, covert government agency is Mason Eckhart, played by Andy Warhol as himself. This guy, complete with white hair and chunky glasses, wants to either use the Mutants for evil purposes or see them all destroyed. He’s sort of the Magneto of Mutant X without the overwhelming desire to see the Mutants rule the earth. Eckhart doesn’t have any super powers, unless you count just plain being evil, but his right hand man has telekinetic abilities.
a great series that lasted 3 seasons and only ended because the tribune company came to and end

REVIEW: CRY_WOLF (2005)

CAST

Lindy Booth (Wrong Turn)
Julian Morris (Pretty Little Liars)
Jared Padalecki (Supernatural)
Jon Bon Jovi (New Year’s Eve)
Sandra McCoy (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Kristy Wu (End of Watch)
Gary Cole (Chuck)

Owen Matthews arrives at Westlake Preparatory Academy. That night Owen’s roommate, Tom, tells him they are sneaking out. A group of students consisting of Graham, Mercedes, Lewis, Randall, Regina, Tom, Dodger and Owen play a game called Cry Wolf, where someone is marked as a “wolf” and the group tries to figure out who it is.After meeting his new journalism teacher, Mr. Walker, Owen and Tom meet everyone for lunch. They discuss the police finding a girl’s body, Becky, after it was dragged through the woods by a wolf. The group considers who could have murdered Becky, when Dodger proposes expanding Cry Wolf to the entire school. Owen suggests creating a fake e-mail telling everyone about a serial killer who goes from campus to campus killing students. They describe the killer as wearing an orange ski mask, a camouflage jacket and brandishing a hunting knife. That night, they send out the e-mail.  The next day, the entire school has spread the story in the e-mail. Owen receives an instant message from someone using the name “Wolf”. Tom and Owen accuse Dodger, but she claims she was studying with Regina. Tom and Owen find their dorm room trashed. When the instant messenger comes up on Owen’s laptop, they find a piercing stud and blood on Owen’s keyboard. Tom blames Regina, who has a recipe for fake blood. When accused, she insists she was on a field trip. Believing Dodger is lying, Owen confronts her. Dodger informs him that she was visiting her mother. Deciding that Randall is behind the odd behavior, Owen tries tracking him down, to no avail. Owen once again seeks out Dodger, and finds her kissing Mr. Walker.


In his journalism class the next day, when Owen reaches into his bag for supplies, a hunting knife falls out. Mr. Walker escorts Owen to the Headmistress’s office. Owen tells Mr. Walker that he knows about his relationship with Dodger, and that he will tell the headmistress if Walker reveals the knife. Mr. Walker agrees not to say anything. On the night of Halloween, “Wolf” attacks Owen. Thinking Tom was trying to prank him, Owen goes to leave with Tom’s car, but sees Wolf behind him. The attacker ends up being Mercedes, who was trying to prove that attackers can be women.


The following day, Owen and Mercedes meet with the headmistress, who decides that Owen’s fate will be decided over the weekend. The rest of the group is forced to stay at school over the weekend. Owen contacts them to meet in the chapel. Owen, Dodger, Tom, Lewis and Regina meet and try to get to the bottom of the attacks. While Lewis is on the phone, Mercedes is apparently attacked in the bathroom by Wolf. Owen unsuccessfully tries to call for help.

The rest of the group finds Randall’s body in a confessional. After the group scatters, Owen runs to the parking lot to see that Mr. Walker is still on campus. Owen runs to Mr. Walker’s office as his phone starts ringing. Owen answers to Dodger crying on the other end; she has found Mercedes dead. Dodger tells Owen she is coming and can see him through the window. He looks out to see Wolf kill her. Suddenly Mr. Walker enters the room. After noticing that Mr. Walker has a jacket, an orange mask and a knife, Owen shoots him. The door is suddenly opened by Dodger, Tom and Regina.
Owen is arrested for murder. The group admits that it was a prank to get Mercedes and Owen back for making them stay on campus. It is discovered that Mr. Walker was involved with Becky, the gun in his desk being the same one that killed her. Dodger visits Owen, and says that she would never have played the game if she knew that Mr. Walker was cheating on her, revealing she had organized everything. She had killed Becky because she was jealous of Mr. Walker’s relationship with her. She had set up the game, knowing that Owen would blame Mr. Walker for the killings, thereby killing him and making her happy. Owen threatens to report her, to which she replies that no one would believe him.The complexity doesn’t really show up until the finale, when the seemingly simple plot turns around and pulls all its strings tight. Hardly a plot hole to be found. People you thought were dead aren’t, and a childish prank turns out to be far more sinister. Writer/director Jeff Wadlow soaks the movie in a tongue-in-cheek atmosphere, and a sense of intellectual horror as well as visceral thrills. It also takes a few minutes out to mock slasher flicks, like the “so cliche” idea of a killer hiding in the backseat. The cast seems like a typical slasher cast, but more realistic — the slut is flirty but not actually slutty, like a girl who is still getting used to her own attractiveness. The brainiac doesn’t flaunt her intelligence, the chubby kid isn’t funny, and the jock isn’t a lunkhead. Julian Morris gives a subtle, understated portrayal of a troubled young boy with a checkered past. Owen is essentially a good kid, but led into trouble by that classic downfall — he’s trying to impress the hot girl with his intelligence. Morris’s finest acting comes in the final scenes on the movie, where his expressive eyes show terror, desperation, numbness, and finally frustrated horror. “Cry Wolf” is a far smarter, creepier movie than most satires, and it also manages to be a clever flick in its own right. Solidly acted, wonderfully written.

REVIEW: ODYSSEY 5

MAIN CAST

Peter Weller (Robocop)
Sebastian Roche (The Originals)
Christopher Gorham (Ugly Betty)
Tamara Marie Watson (Cold Squad)
Leslie Silva (Fools Rush In)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kenneth Mitchell (Minority Report TV)
John Neville (Harvard Man)
Lindy Booth (Cry Wolf)
George Buza (Mutant X)
Sonja Smits (Videodrome)
Damon D’Oliveira (Earth: Final Conflict)
Barry Flatman (Defiance)
Gina Clayton (Fever Pitch)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Raven)
Jim Codrington (The Border)
Rick Worthy (The Vampire Diaries)
Cle Bennett (Flashpoint)
Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects)
Dominic Zamprogna (Stargate Universe)
Bronson Picket (Wild Card)
Ted Raimi (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Fiona Highet (Bitten)
Kyle Schmid (Arrow)
Michael Flipowich (Earth: Final Conflict)
Sherry Miller (The Virgin Suicides)

Image result for odyssey 5Before Manny Coto took over as head writer of Enterprise in the fourth season, he had his own SF show on the air. Odyssey 5 was Coto’s brain child, and it was an intriguing program that lasted for only one season on Showtime. (Less actually… it took Showtime a couple of years to broadcast the last four episodes which are included in this set.) It certainly deserved to go on longer. This show about a group of five astronauts who have only five years to save the Earth from destruction was creative and engrossing and had some wonderful actors in the lead roles. The US space shuttle Odyssey was performing a routine mission, snagging a satellite for repairs before docking with the international space station when something very unexpected happened. The Earth imploded. In a matter of moments the Earth went from a blue/green planet to a swirling cloud of dust. The only people who were left alive were the five members of the Odyssey: Commander Chuck Taggert (Peter Weller) and his son Neil (Christopher Gorham), Nobel Prize winning geneticist Kurt Mendel (Sebastian Roche), newscaster Sarah Forbes (Leslie Silva) and shuttle pilot, Angela Perry (Tamara Crag Thomas.) With no place that they can go to they resign themselves to their fate and wait to run out of oxygen.

Moments before the end comes however, the Odyssey is taken aboard an alien spaceship. There they meet The Seeker, an ancient being (machine?) that has been searching for intelligent life. He’s found evidence of many advanced cultures, but whenever he gets to the planets he’s detected, all that’s left is a swirling cloud of dust. The Seeker offers to send the five astronauts back in time five years, so that they will have a chance of averting whatever it was that caused the Earth to die. Naturally they accept but five years isn’t a long time, and they have very little to go on.

They soon discover that there are incredibly intelligent entities living in the internet called Sentients. They have no bodies, since they are just computer code, but they have designed artificial people to carry out their bidding. These ‘Synthetics’ are stronger and faster than real people and can be programmed just like a computer. The only external difference from humans is that they are cold blooded. Trying to discover what the Sentients and Synthetics are up to is hard and dangerous, but it’s even worse than that; there’s no evidence that they are responsible for the Earth’s destruction. It could very well be related to a military project that was on the satellite the shuttle was adjusting, related to the covert group inside NASA known as the Cadre, or something else all together.Image result for odyssey 5This is one of those shows that starts off a little slow, but really draws you in. One of the things I really liked about the show was that they didn’t forget that the Odyssey 5 have home lives. When Taggart skips out on a party his wife had been wanting to go to (in order to stop a Synthetic plot), he not only ends up in the dog house but she also thinks that he has a mistress. Sarah spends a good amount of time taking her son to doctors so they can cure the stomach cancer that killed him in the original time-line. The only thing is that it hasn’t shown up yet and her husband and doctors think she’s crazy. It’s touches like these that add a lot to the feel of the show.

Image result for odyssey 5The ensemble cast is responsible for that to a large extent. All five of the main characters do a very good job portraying their idiosyncratic characters and make them seem like real people. Peter Weller (Buckaroo Banzai, Robocop) has the temperament and attitudes of a military pilot down pat, probably because his father was a pilot (as he discusses in the commentary), but in any case he really nails the part and gives the show it’s focal point. Sebastian Roche also does well as the goofy but brilliant scientist, walking that fine line between making him a caricature and a believably irreverent character. The one person in the cast who impressed me the most though was Leslie Silva. She was magnificent as a mother who had seen her child waste away and die, only to get him back again. You could tell what she was thinking by just a look, and the scenes where she would break down were heart wrenching. This is an enjoyable show. The acting is very good and the plots are engrossing. Though there isn’t a lot of continuity in the first few episodes they refer to past events more and more as the show goes on, which makes the program even more interesting. A fun show that deserved a longer run.