The New Professionals

Episode 10 - Orbit

       "Oh gods, not the obligatory UFO episode..."

       Well, that was my immediate reaction about 30 seconds into Orbit. Didn't last long, though!

       What a rollicking good episode! It became clear, very early on, that this wasn't going to be an X-files take. And I loved the suspense - I really couldn't work out what was going on (apart from the fact that it obviously wasn't an alien invasion) until more than half-way through.

       I'm going to keep this brief - it's late, and I think I've averaged about 3 hours sleep in each 24 for the last five days, and my brain is hardly at it's most alert or productive (but at least I made my first deadline with two days to spare - the second one shouldn't be a problem...) So I'll just mention some of the more striking 'good bits'...

       Backup in granny glasses as a New Age reporter! She was just so sweet! And then she got the glory of catching Shabadi! Excellent stuff...

       Keel actually admitting he's seen a UFO. Wow... A bit unexpected, that.

       Malone doing a good impersonation of Cowley at his grouchiest! (Still wish he wouldn't wear those 'orrible striped suits, though.)

       The 'car banter' is coming along, though it's still not terribly funny or witty. Problem is, right now I can't think how it could be made more so. The days are long past when TV could really get away with the kind of outrageously non-PC repartee that was such fun in The Professionals - The Original Series. Still, it's a step in the right direction...

       I rather like the way CI5 is taking on the clearing up of old mistakes (first we had WW2 gas in Samurai Wind, and now a hangover from the SDI.) The original series did the same: it creates a thematic coherence that makes me, at least, feel comfortable - the old ideals are still there, it's just that the scale of the problem has grown.

       But best of all is the absolutely extraordinary character of Stoner. Perfectly content to slowly murder the man who fired him and then took the credit for all his work, as Malone points out: not at all averse to providing the means to kill (tens of) thousands of people - as long as they are soldiers (in other words, paid to kill and working with the full knowledge that they may also be killed. Bit like CI5, actually...): but who will not target the Eiffel Tower because it will cause the deaths of ordinary people. Of course, concern for his daughter may have had something to do with this last: my knowledge of geography is appalling and I've no idea how close the Sorbonne is to the Tower. But I guess flying iron girders can travel a long way in any event... The main thing is, Dr Stoner has quite rationally sorted human beings into different categories - those he is prepared to kill, and those he is not prepared to kill (though I suspect the full spectrum goes much, much further than this) - and feels no remorse about doing so. A peculiarly childlike attitude. No doubt some would call him evil. I think he's just honest. (But also not a terribly safe person to have running around free...)

       Finally, just in case anyone's interested, I've quickly checked through all ten "Centuries" of Nostradamus' Prophecies, and have come up with just two 14th quatrains (in Century One and Century Seven) that make any sense in context (and the first of them is a bit doubtful, at that): -

De gent esclave chanson, chants et requestes,
Captifs par Princes et Seigneurs aux prisons:
A l'avenir par idiots sans testes,
Seront rešus par divines oraisons.

From the enslaved populace [rise] songs, chants and pleas
While Princes and Lords are held captive in prisons:
In the future, by headless idiots
These will be received as divine prayers.

Faux esposer viendra topographie,

Seront les cruches des monuments ouvertes:
Palluler secte saincte philosophie,
Pour blanches, noirs, et pour antiques veres


He comes to expose the false topography [landscape?],
The urns of the tombs will be opened.
Sect and saintly philosophy to thrive,
For whites, blacks, and for the old, the new.

Sorry, I've had no time, again, to create an animation. However, I do have a couple in mind, so assuming the next few days' work goes well (Oh joy... Freud, Jung, and the Physiology of Dreaming...) I should be able to do at least one for next week. With a bit of luck, I'll also have shifted out of manic mode and into something more closely approaching the rational. Oh, I don't know, though... Why stop when I'm enjoying myself?...

I've tried to like the X-files, honest I have. But every time I try to watch it, all that goes through my mind is 'been there done that [...yawn...]' while struggling to stay awake. And Mulder and Scully are always so grim - no sense of humour or fun at all, at least in the episodes I've sort-of-seen. Personally, if I want grim, I'll watch Millennium. There's a morbid fascination in seeing how unrelievedly evil the human race can be when it tries. (Besides, I think Lance Henriksen is one of the best film actors on the face of the planet. The man can do no wrong. Well, OK, House II wasn't so hot... And Pumpkinhead wasn't quite as chilling as it could have been... But apart from that... Damn, I've lost the thread. What was I on about...?) (Back)

Some less good bits: 1) We still aren't finding out enough about the characters. OK, Keel admits to seeing a UFO; doesn't believe in astrology (can't say I'm surprised...) Curtis obviously has no patience with New Age fakes (don't blame him.) And Backup can act like a complete bimbo in the line of duty. But it's not enough. I want to know more of their background, their likes and dislikes, their hobbies, their families...

2) Curtis and Keel's truly hideous sunglasses. I'm sure they're horribly expensive and monstrously fashionable, but to me they just look like bugs-eyes. I hate them. They're ugly. I want them gone. (Please.)
I'm sorry I can't remember exactly which episode they were in - Miss Hit I think, but I don't have the time to check - but while I'm on the subject of fashion, please can we see Keel in those fetching white pants again? Very nicely... uh... tight, they were...

It's a similar sort of personal honesty to Hannibal Lecter's. I admire the character of Lecter - not for what he does, which I find pretty nasty, but for his wonderfully objective acceptance of what he is, and his refusal to compromise his unique personal integrity. Well, I did say I was difficult to live with, didn't I!? (Back)

My Old French isn't as good as my Anglo-Saxon, but I'd suggest an alternate reading for these last two lines could be: "In the future these will be seen as divine prayers by the ball-less idiots..."
Just a suggestion...... (

© 1999 WordWrights.

Miss Hit (Episode 9)

High Speed (Episode 11)

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