Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Starhyke (2009)

In the 31st century, humanity has spread to the stars, waging a series of genocidal wars that have left dozens of alien races extinct.  Our latest victims/adversaries are the Reptids, who hatch a desperate, time-travel based plan to prevent their own annihilation.

Huamnity's star wars success, you see, is largely attributable to the fact that we've eliminated all emotions.  This has allowed us to wage century after century of implacable, merciless war.  Now I'm not sure I buy the idea that "let's commit genocide" is a rational, non-emotive thing to do, but let's assume for the sake of the show's premise that it is.  The Reptids plan to travel back in time to the 21st century and detonate a compassion bomb, preventing humanity from ever extinguishing its own emotions.

Frankly, a compassion bomb sounds like something the world could do with, right now, and it pretty clearly establishes the Reptids as the good guys in all this.  They could after all, have just gone back to the 21st century and blown us up.

The only thing that can thwart the Reptids plan is the dreadnaught Nemesis, which is fitted with an experimental timeslip device.  The dreadnaught and its crew thus make the jump back to our time - but as they do, they're hit with a smaller version of the compassion device.

And you know, there's a solid concept here: with good writing you could get considerable mileage - either dramatic or comedic - out of the Nemesis crew's efforts to pursue their mission while suffering unfamiliar emotions themselves.

Alas, the Starhyke writers are the kind who think that flatulence is the pinnacle of comedy.  So what we get here is characters with names like "Captain Blowhard", hoary old canards like "emotional women binge on chocolate!" and "the only emotion men feel is lust", and fart jokes.  So many fart jokes.

If you feel a need for SF comedy, just go re-watch the better parts of Red Dwarf again, instead.

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