Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Initial Review of Episode 3 - Me Looka, Me Laika

This is an initial review, just to get my thoughts out on the page before they fade. I'm not going to bother recapping, because if you can read this it means you have an internet connection and can watch it for yourself.

Out of the gate I want to say I loved this episode.

Watching this episode I got that feeling when you work somewhere for a few months, and then get to know your work colleagues and you realise what motivates them. Without descending into soap opera, we get to see extra sides to Taylor, Walzer and DiLeo. In Taylor's case we see his (ex-?) girlfriend and his aspirations there. For Walzer I enjoyed seeing his somewhat naive view of what the situation was about, especially after decades of frustration with the US view of manned Mars missions. We literally got to see a new side to DiLeo in learning his first name, taking him out of the realm of being predominantly comic relief (not that there's anything wrong with comic relief).

Another star of the show here was Jane, or rather the chemistry between her and Yuri. Laura Graham's depiction of an overwhelmed Jane attempting to apply things she knows in an extraordinary situation was genuinely moving. Somehow Yuri, who sits up once, screams once and says only one word manages to convey something meaningful in his attitude towards Jane, maybe because we know its possible that this is the only female he's ever seen apart from his mother.

The music in this episode was still beautiful but the quality seemed better and more integrated somehow. Just from having seen it once, I'm guessing any Easter Eggs here were mainly audio rather than visual. I'm primarily talking about the intentionally-unsubtitled Yuri's word which means 'Firebird', suggesting he speaks at least some English.

That said, and I'm far from an expert in these matters, the visuals seemed more proficient as well. More establishing shots and pans or something, I don't know.

"I can't imagine what your life has been like". With those words it occurred to me this is in some ways a series about human-alien contact, it's just that the alien both human and Martian (like the protagonist in Stranger in a Strange Land), and that communication is almost as difficult as if he weren't human.

Also nice to see Laika, Walzer's dog, enter the P1 canon, although readers of this blog would already have known about this. ;)

Each episode in this series -which started out great- has got stronger and stronger. If this trajectory is continued in episode 4 in three weeks I'll be a very happy man. I really hope they get the funds together to tell the story the show deserves for episode 5 and 6. But if you're reading this you've already donated for those episodes, right?

1 comment:

  1. I loved this episode, as well, and I'm really enjoying all your commentary.