Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Eureka

I just saw the first in the new Sci Fi channel series, Eureka. It was every bit as good as the best episodes of Battlestar Galactica and the Stargate shows. Given how last season's Stargate shows had deteriated into Star Trek remakes and Battlestar Galactica had turned into a soap opera, I'm looking forward a lot more to Eureka this season than those shows.

The acting in Eureka was very good and the directing was perfectly paced, providing just the right sense of wonder and unfolding mystery. It was funny too, with odd but engaging characters and the humor never got in the way of the story.

Of course I'm always going to be more critical of the writing than the rest. The story could have been more original. It had your autistic mathematical genius, your law enforcement officer who can't balance work and family, your scientific disaster that can only be solved by finding the right equation in a hurry, your auto mechanic who is working on an anti-gravity device in his garage ... oh wait ... that part was pretty original. There was a stereotypical teenage daughter who did a great job of annoying me, and a stereotypical woman warrior who did as good a job as it is still possible to do in that role. If female fighters were even remotely unusual, this woman on Eureka would have done a fine job. But come on. Can't anyone write an adventure story any more without including a woman that has completely unbelievable fighting skills? It was a cute device when it was unusual. Now it's just trite.

There was still some great stuff. The villain managed to surprise me. There's a mystery dog running around and a mystery dog catcher. And there's a mystery left over from the very beginning of the show that they never resolved. If they don't resolve it soon, I'm going to think it was a bogey and be annoyed. Competent sci fi writers don't just thow in wierd things for effect and then never explain them.

I'm a little worried by the previews. The first show was about a scientific experiement that goes wrong and has to be fixed by the intrepid sheriff. The previews made it look like the next ten shows are each about a scientific experiment that goes wrong and has to be fixed by the intrepid sheriff. There may be an alien thrown into the mix, but if it's just one disaster show after another, I'm going to get bored.

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