February 25th, 2017
|01:51 pm - Season 1, Episode 8 The Banks of the Lethe|
Season 1, Episode 8 The Banks of the Lethe
Originally aired 20 November 2000
Dylan discovers a way to communicate through a black hole with his former fiancee, on a ship sent to rescue the Andromeda in the past, but when faced with a possible reunion by transporting through time, he must decide whether to leave the future behind and abandon his mission to reform the Commonwealth. Resolving to time-travel back to the rescue ship, then return to the future with his lover, Dylan finds himself on the bridge of the Starry Wisdom just in time for a Nietzschean attack. The crew of the Wisdom trick their attackers into thinking the Andromeda is fully functional by nudging its orbit around the black hole, as Dylan sends a gravity-warped transmission threatening attack. The ruse works and the Nietzscheans leave, but Harper informs everyone that he can only lock on to Dylan to bring back. Dylan says goodbye and returns to his own time. Upon his return, he learns that while the efforts to alterAndromeda's destiny failed to free him in the past, the "nudges" made it possible for the Eureka Maru to save him in the present, so Sarah saved him after all. Guest stars Sam Jenkins, Kevin Sorbo's real life wife, as Dr. Sarah Riley, his lost love.
I really appreciate the way Dylan and Sarah are given a chance for farewells. And the character of Sarah is – technically – so interesting with her determination and strength in getting this wildcard project going while the Commonwealth was falling apart. And yet, the actress, was so whiney and petulant that it is hard to like her.
Also, the people in the past are curiously incurious about the future. Once the radio line was open, I would be bursting with questions about what happens, and, if worst comes to worst, where the best places to hide out are. Yet crickets.
Also, some very funny lines. ‘The deck drips with the blood of the unworthy’.
February 23rd, 2017
|05:21 pm - daily life (alas)|
Today I have:
Negotiated an extension of my appeal against the ATO’s refusal to relodge my 2012 and 2013 tax returns.
Represented my boss at a hierarchical meeting where we had to sit by rank.
Attended a meeting with Pearl’s teacher about her ongoing issues and never-quite-diagnosed Autism.
I have adulted enough. I think now a cruise of some crystal blue ocean in a flying boat is in order.
February 22nd, 2017
|04:09 pm - Elsie Dinsmore|
To quote another critic, , ". . . in the Himalayas of junk turned out by writers of juvenile fiction the Elsie Books stand like Everest as the worst ever written by anybody, and that Elsie Dinsmore is without peer the Most Nauseating Heroine of all time."
February 18th, 2017
|05:22 pm - Season 1, Episode 7 The Ties that Bind|
Season 1, Episode 7 The Ties that Bind
Originally aired 13 November 2000
Beka's brother and his friend come aboard, with her brother claiming to have converted to Wayism. However, it soon becomes clear that they have an agenda of their own, connected to the 'Restors', a group of environmentalists attempting to prevent all space travel.
I don’t have a great deal to say about this episode otherwise. I like Tyr training Trance in the background, doing a better job at team bonding than Dylan at this point. I love Trance’s kiya.
But I find the whole plot boring and kind of pointless. Why does Dylan need to intervene every time he goes past some random person? It’s as though he has no big picture that he is aiming at.
I am interested that only Beka and Harper have families of origin. Is there any mention of Hunt’s family other than Sarah?
February 11th, 2017
Season 1, Episode 6 Angel Dark, Demon Bright
Originally aired 6 November 2000
When a slipstream error throws the Andromeda back in time to the climactic battle of Nietzschean-Commonwealth war, Dylan and his crew must not only decide whether or not to interfere, but which side to interfere on. Ultimately, it is discovered that the Nietzscheans arrived at the Witchhead Nebula with 1,500 ships, three times more than was said to have been in the battle. The crew realize that their intervention is necessary to preserve history, and Dylan devises a strategy to decimate the massive fleet. When this plan succeeds, Tyr reveals that he knew the truth about the fleet size discrepancy all along--from a Nietzschean legend in which Andromeda's actions were attributed to "the Angel of Death"--but that no one at the time knew what really happened. With history back on track, Andromedareturns to her own time.
I had missed this episode the first time around and it is pretty powerful stuff.
I’m impressed at how they made it seem like there was a massive battle, without taxing their special effects too much. I like the way you get insight into the characters at the same time as major political events occur. Harper’s gung ho blood-thirstiness is fascinating, as he often seems to be toned down and made cuter in fanfic. Whereas in the show he’s all, here’s a weapon of mass destruction, let’s go for it.
February 6th, 2017
|06:32 pm - Treasure Island (1883)|
I can’t remember the technical term I’m looking for. Is it aporia, a deliberate hole in the argument? Or paralipsis, where an idea is suggested but most points omitted? Or is there another term for what Stevenson does in *Treasure Island* where he completely ignores race while making the entire book about slavery?
When the explorers arrive at Treasure Island they see an animalistic brown figure, running parallel to the ground. Based on readings of *Coral Island* or *Boys Own Adventures* one might expect this to be a native of the island – but it is Ben Gunn. His skin is so burnt by the sun that “even his lips were black; and his fair eyes looked quite startling in so dark a face”.
The whole story is about a group of white men battling it out on the island, competing for the pirate treasure trove. Not a black person in sight.
And yet it is the story of Jim Hawkins leaving Bristol on the Hispaniola to make his forture.
Jim Hawkins - Jim Hawkins name points to the historical figure of Sir John Hawkins. In 1562, sponsored by a “syndicate of London merchants and investors”, Hawkins sailed to Sierra Leone, where he “stayed some good time, and got into his possession, partly by the sword and partly by other meanes, to the nomber of 300. negroes at the least, besides other marchandises, which that country yeeldeth”. With this human cargo in the holds of his ships, Hawkins sailed to Española—Hispaniola—in the West Indies. The profits were so huge that after loading his own three ships with gold, silver, pearls, ginger, sugar, hides, and other goods he collected in trade, Hawkins found that he had “more than he could conveniently carry home”.
Hawkins’s voyage the first English slave-trading expedition, and its success prompted Elizabeth I to invest in others; in effect, Hawkins and his investors inaugurated the British slave trade. (Incidentally, a biography of Hawkins came out the year before *Treasure Island* was written).
Bristol – The port owed its wealth to the slave trade. Bristol was one of the three major slave ports in England, along with Liverpool and London, and moved perhaps 500,000 people in the eighteenth century.
Hispaniola – Ground zero of the slave trade, the first place reached by Columbus (1492), the first place where the modern slave trade was implemented (1493), site of the first slave uprising (1522) and the first successful slave uprising (1804).
The novel invites further consideration of the slave trade – the pivotal moment when Hawkins finds out that Silver is a pirate is linked back to slavery.
“It was a master surgeon, him that ampytated me, out of college and all—Latin by the bucket, and what not; but he was hanged like a dog, and sun-dried like the rest, at Corso Castle. That was Roberts’ men, that was…”
Corso Castle was a purpose-built ‘slave emporium’, a British fort on the Gold Coast with underground cells for 1,500 slaves (kept underground to prevent uprisings). It was the administrative centre towards which the surrounding slave forts reported.
The pirate Roberts to whom Silver refers is Bartholomew Roberts, who started out as a slaver and became one of the major pirates of the eighteenth century. Stevenson’s immediate source was *A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates*, from which he also borrowed the names Israel Hands and Ben Gunn. Roberts and his crew were captured and hung at Corso Castle and their bodies displayed at various forts.
The Master surgeon he references was a real person, with a connection to the slave trade and mutiny. Captured and on the way to his trial at Corso Castle, Scudamore attempted to organize an uprising among the prisoners. He “endeavoured to bring over the Negroes to his Design of murdering the People, and running away with the Ship”. Scudamore justified the prospective mutiny to his fellow pirates by saying that “it was better venturing to do this, run down the Coast, and raise a new Company, than to proceed to Cape Corso, and be hang’d like Dogs, and Sun dry’d”.
I am fascinated. There’s not a single direct reference to slavery in the book and yet it feels like it underpins everything, lurking beneath the pages like a whole other novel trying to get out.
February 4th, 2017
|06:17 pm - Season 1, Episode 5 – Double Helix|
Season 1, Episode 5 – Double Helix
Originally aired 30 October 2000
The Andromeda finds a Nietzschean colony conducting pirate raids on a nearby Than planet. Dylan hopes that saving the Than will win support for his cause, but Tyr's loyalties are divided when the colony presents him with the opportunity to have a mate and a home if he gives them the Andromeda.
I like the insight into Nietzchean society, though frankly I find the emphasis on reproduction so extreme that it makes no sense for women to do anything but follow their men, hoping to produce kids. So why does she not go back to the ship with him?
February 2nd, 2017
|05:17 pm - Elsie Dinsmore|
The great literary critic of the Elsie Dinsmore books writes: “it is the intersection of these two themes [that produces] an idealistically Christian, sadomasochistic, incestuous-erotic work for
children which, in spite of being a thoroughly bad book, gives Elsie Dinsmore its compelling and
abiding power, which elevates it to the supreme height of a great bad classic”.
February 1st, 2017
|04:13 pm - January books|
Here are the books I read this month. The best was the overview of Opus Anglicanum, very fine medieval English embroidery.
Mary Kelley Private Woman, Public Stage: Literary Domesticity in Nineteenth Century America 1984
Horatio Alger Ragged Dick 1868
Oliver Optic Little by Little: Or the Cruise of the Flyaway 1860
Robert Louis Stevenson Treasure Island or the Mutiny of the Hispaniola 1883
Joe Bennett Where Underpants Come From, From Check Out to Cotton Fields 2008
Opus Anglicanum: English Medieval Embroidery 2016
Frank Dicksee, 1853-1028 2016
Jan Marsh Pre-Raphaelite Women Artists 1997
The Rough Guide to Travel with Babies and Young Children 2016
Peter Kort Zegers Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad 1941-1945 2011
Detlev Peukert Inside Nazi Germany: Conformity, Opposition, and Racism in Everyday Life 1982
Jean M Auel The Clan of the Cave Bear 1980