A big hello and welcome to this week’s Spectrum Spectator. I’m Lars Gonall and with me as always is the indomitable force that can only be described as Daisy Wences.
Daisy: I’m basically the Human equivalent of the Retribution.
That explains all the blown up Vanduul ships I keep finding outside.
Daisy: It’s important to have a hobby.
But who’s got time for a hobby when there’s so many vids to watch.
Daisy: Good segue. You’ve been practicing.
Everyday. I take this hosting stuff seriously. Speaking of practicing —
Daisy: Two for two!
— GSN premiered Make It Count last night, a brand new show that goes behind the scenes with the Croshaw Jumpers and offers a glimpse into the week-to-week drama of an SBPL team. Rather than match highlights or anything like that, the show focuses on the struggles and triumphs of practices, the locker room and homelife of the coaches and players. I’m curious what you thought about this one, Daisy, since I know you hate sataball.
Daisy: You are 100% correct. I am not a fan of the sport, to put it mildly, so I was a little reticent going in, but when Duncan Mellen complained about someone parking in his landing pad for ten minutes or Thudder Gaterson hurt his knee during the practice skirmish, I found myself genuinely wrapped up in the Jumpers’ lives. I think because the focus was on the people rather than the game, this was definitely the most I’ve ever enjoyed watching something sataball-related.
Wait. Even more than Rough and Tumble?
Daisy: Even more than Rough and Tumble.
Okay, let’s slow up right there, Rough and Tumble is one of the greatest movies ever made, underdog sport genre or any genre. “Get to the hole, Tommy!” Hits my heart every time.
Daisy: Please. Bantuk the Banu’s accent? Lata Gravely’s supposed ‘uniform.’
I’m not saying it’s perfect, I’m just say that it redefined cinema history for all time. The first time I saw it was on my tenth birthday. Sat in the second row with all my friends. Ate such a big bag of Hot-Go-Jing that I was stained red and smelled like cuttlefish for the rest of week. It was amazing.
Daisy: As much as I’m sure everyone loves to hear how you used to reek of fish, how about we move on to what everyone actually wants us to talk about, the Lost Squad series one finale?
Lost Squad? Are you sure you wouldn’t rather talk about the Fake Outs season premiere?
Daisy: No, definitely not. I can’t believe you made me watch it.
For all of you out there who think we have the best jobs, just remember that for every Lost Squad there’s hours of shows like Fake Outs. Hard to believe it’s been on the air for twenty years, but there you go. I have clear memories of watching it with my dad, and remember trying to figure out why the hell it made him laugh so much.
Daisy: If you’ve seen any episode of Fake Outs then you’ve seen this one. An escape pod full of spiders. A surprise visit from Ellroy Cass. A swimming pool that turns you blue. All the same stuff you seen before but in a slightly different combination. Expect 22 more episodes of this. There. Reviewed. Now can we talk about Lost Squad?
Okay, okay. Go ahead.
Daisy: It was amazing! Hadrian Weir, who was the lead writer on the infamous ‘Tiger in the Night’ episode, came back in full force for this one. That “Quiet Fury” speech Callum Robb delivered when the proximity sensors triggered gave me chills. And after the build up all season long, to finally get to the point where Blair was going to tell Fader that he wanted out of the Navy just as the Vanduul entered Caliban. Don Cinloa really performed the hell out of the moment. I think both of them should probably start making room on their shelves because award season is just around the corner.
There was definitely a lot to like about this episode, and this season overall. The details they put into the historical ships. The chase through Darkwater in particular was well staged, but in general a lot of the drama felt like filler to me. We all know the Vanduul are going to attack. We know that Blair isn’t really going to quit. We know that most of the squad is going to be wiped out. So to not have the big attack start till the final episode just felt like the producers trying to ensure they’d get a second season.
Daisy: I think by giving us a full season of getting to know these pilots as people, it has set the stage for the battle that’s going to come. They’ve done a great job of taking a story that most people know as “that time the Vanduul kicked our ass” and transformed it into this epic fight — not against faceless aliens, but against their own flaws and weaknesses.
It was nice seeing Fader coming to terms with the struggles of command after Captain Hest got court-martialed, but I guess it just felt like they could have done the same character development in half the episodes. I mean, did we really need that whole fight between Blair and Scuff? Did we need Scuff at all?
Daisy: All right. I do agree about Scuff. Them trying to insinuate that anyone in the Navy might sympathize with the ’duul is a bit of a stretch. Though speaking of ‘duul, how about Tandy Farkis playing the Vanduul ace?
I still can’t believe that was Tandy. Kudos to the effects team on the transformation. Probably the best Vanduul I’ve seen on the spec.
Daisy: I think the real Vanduul might have to up their game after Tandy’s performance.
Okay, we’re going to take a quick break there. When Daisy and I come back we’re going to make our predictions for season 2.
Daisy: Ten creds say Reese is pregnant!
And we will break down five other historical retellings to check out until you can get your Lost Squad fix again. All that and more —
Daisy: On Spectrum Spectator.