emma_in_dream: (bucky)
1.9 A Rose from the Ashes

First aired 27 November 2000

Dylan and Andromeda are imprisoned on a penal colony where no one is allowed out; even the inmates' children are forced to remain. As the ship's avatar's power source runs low, Dylan looks to an intelligent woman to help them escape. Meanwhile, with the help of Trance, the crew tracks down Dylan and Rommie's location, but discover the colony's defenses would easily destroy the Eureka Maru. Dylan stages an uprising against the android warden of the prison and tries to shut down the defenses so that the Maru can rescue him, but is no match for the brutal warden. Rommie, knowing Dylan is in trouble, is able to use an improvised power source to recharge herself and destroys the warden, but runs out of power before she can do anything else. Dylan manages to shut down the defenses in time and the Maru safely rescues him and Rommie, but Dylan is left perplexed at how Trance randomly picked the right prison planet.

I don’t have much to say about this episode, so lets talk about the introductory quotes.


I am intrigued by the quotes that preface each episode. There is a temptation to dismiss them as pretentious, but they do add depth to the Andromeda universe by hinting at a whole body of alien literature. The quotes and the lengthy and rather allusive titles remind me of J Michael Stracsynski’s strong efforts in Babylon Five to define himself as an auteur rather than a hack. Overnight titles in SF seemed to change from the bland – ‘The Fall’ – to the literary – ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’.
emma_in_dream: (BTTF)
Season 1, Episode 8 The Banks of the Lethe

Originally aired 20 November 2000

Dylan discovers a way to communicate through a black hole with his former fiancee, on a ship sent to rescue the Andromeda in the past, but when faced with a possible reunion by transporting through time, he must decide whether to leave the future behind and abandon his mission to reform the Commonwealth. Resolving to time-travel back to the rescue ship, then return to the future with his lover, Dylan finds himself on the bridge of the Starry Wisdom just in time for a Nietzschean attack. The crew of the Wisdom trick their attackers into thinking the Andromeda is fully functional by nudging its orbit around the black hole, as Dylan sends a gravity-warped transmission threatening attack. The ruse works and the Nietzscheans leave, but Harper informs everyone that he can only lock on to Dylan to bring back. Dylan says goodbye and returns to his own time. Upon his return, he learns that while the efforts to alterAndromeda's destiny failed to free him in the past, the "nudges" made it possible for the Eureka Maru to save him in the present, so Sarah saved him after all. Guest stars Sam Jenkins, Kevin Sorbo's real life wife, as Dr. Sarah Riley, his lost love.




I really appreciate the way Dylan and Sarah are given a chance for farewells. And the character of Sarah is – technically – so interesting with her determination and strength in getting this wildcard project going while the Commonwealth was falling apart. And yet, the actress, was so whiney and petulant that it is hard to like her.

Also, the people in the past are curiously incurious about the future. Once the radio line was open, I would be bursting with questions about what happens, and, if worst comes to worst, where the best places to hide out are. Yet crickets.

Also, some very funny lines. ‘The deck drips with the blood of the unworthy’.
emma_in_dream: (obbit)
Today I have:


Negotiated an extension of my appeal against the ATO’s refusal to relodge my 2012 and 2013 tax returns.
Represented my boss at a hierarchical meeting where we had to sit by rank.
Attended a meeting with Pearl’s teacher about her ongoing issues and never-quite-diagnosed Autism.


I have adulted enough. I think now a cruise of some crystal blue ocean in a flying boat is in order.
emma_in_dream: (BTTF)
To quote another critic, , ". . . in the Himalayas of junk turned out by writers of juvenile fiction the Elsie Books stand like Everest as the worst ever written by anybody, and that Elsie Dinsmore is without peer the Most Nauseating Heroine of all time."
emma_in_dream: (CaptainAmerica)
Season 1, Episode 7 The Ties that Bind

Originally aired 13 November 2000

Beka's brother and his friend come aboard, with her brother claiming to have converted to Wayism. However, it soon becomes clear that they have an agenda of their own, connected to the 'Restors', a group of environmentalists attempting to prevent all space travel.



I don’t have a great deal to say about this episode otherwise. I like Tyr training Trance in the background, doing a better job at team bonding than Dylan at this point. I love Trance’s kiya.

But I find the whole plot boring and kind of pointless. Why does Dylan need to intervene every time he goes past some random person? It’s as though he has no big picture that he is aiming at.

I am interested that only Beka and Harper have families of origin. Is there any mention of Hunt’s family other than Sarah?
emma_in_dream: (steve)
Season 1, Episode 6 Angel Dark, Demon Bright

Originally aired 6 November 2000

When a slipstream error throws the Andromeda back in time to the climactic battle of Nietzschean-Commonwealth war, Dylan and his crew must not only decide whether or not to interfere, but which side to interfere on. Ultimately, it is discovered that the Nietzscheans arrived at the Witchhead Nebula with 1,500 ships, three times more than was said to have been in the battle. The crew realize that their intervention is necessary to preserve history, and Dylan devises a strategy to decimate the massive fleet. When this plan succeeds, Tyr reveals that he knew the truth about the fleet size discrepancy all along--from a Nietzschean legend in which Andromeda's actions were attributed to "the Angel of Death"--but that no one at the time knew what really happened. With history back on track, Andromedareturns to her own time.

I had missed this episode the first time around and it is pretty powerful stuff.

I’m impressed at how they made it seem like there was a massive battle, without taxing their special effects too much. I like the way you get insight into the characters at the same time as major political events occur. Harper’s gung ho blood-thirstiness is fascinating, as he often seems to be toned down and made cuter in fanfic. Whereas in the show he’s all, here’s a weapon of mass destruction, let’s go for it.
emma_in_dream: (Corellia)
I can’t remember the technical term I’m looking for. Is it aporia, a deliberate hole in the argument? Or paralipsis, where an idea is suggested but most points omitted? Or is there another term for what Stevenson does in *Treasure Island* where he completely ignores race while making the entire book about slavery?

When the explorers arrive at Treasure Island they see an animalistic brown figure, running parallel to the ground. Based on readings of *Coral Island* or *Boys Own Adventures* one might expect this to be a native of the island – but it is Ben Gunn. His skin is so burnt by the sun that “even his lips were black; and his fair eyes looked quite startling in so dark a face”.

The whole story is about a group of white men battling it out on the island, competing for the pirate treasure trove. Not a black person in sight.

And yet it is the story of Jim Hawkins leaving Bristol on the Hispaniola to make his forture.

Jim Hawkins - Jim Hawkins name points to the historical figure of Sir John Hawkins. In 1562, sponsored by a “syndicate of London merchants and investors”, Hawkins sailed to Sierra Leone, where he “stayed some good time, and got into his possession, partly by the sword and partly by other meanes, to the nomber of 300. negroes at the least, besides other marchandises, which that country yeeldeth”. With this human cargo in the holds of his ships, Hawkins sailed to Española—Hispaniola—in the West Indies. The profits were so huge that after loading his own three ships with gold, silver, pearls, ginger, sugar, hides, and other goods he collected in trade, Hawkins found that he had “more than he could conveniently carry home”.

Hawkins’s voyage the first English slave-trading expedition, and its success prompted Elizabeth I to invest in others; in effect, Hawkins and his investors inaugurated the British slave trade. (Incidentally, a biography of Hawkins came out the year before *Treasure Island* was written).

Bristol – The port owed its wealth to the slave trade. Bristol was one of the three major slave ports in England, along with Liverpool and London, and moved perhaps 500,000 people in the eighteenth century.

Hispaniola – Ground zero of the slave trade, the first place reached by Columbus (1492), the first place where the modern slave trade was implemented (1493), site of the first slave uprising (1522) and the first successful slave uprising (1804).

The novel invites further consideration of the slave trade – the pivotal moment when Hawkins finds out that Silver is a pirate is linked back to slavery.

“It was a master surgeon, him that ampytated me, out of college and all—Latin by the bucket, and what not; but he was hanged like a dog, and sun-dried like the rest, at Corso Castle. That was Roberts’ men, that was…”

Corso Castle was a purpose-built ‘slave emporium’, a British fort on the Gold Coast with underground cells for 1,500 slaves (kept underground to prevent uprisings). It was the administrative centre towards which the surrounding slave forts reported.

The pirate Roberts to whom Silver refers is Bartholomew Roberts, who started out as a slaver and became one of the major pirates of the eighteenth century. Stevenson’s immediate source was *A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates*, from which he also borrowed the names Israel Hands and Ben Gunn. Roberts and his crew were captured and hung at Corso Castle and their bodies displayed at various forts.

The Master surgeon he references was a real person, with a connection to the slave trade and mutiny. Captured and on the way to his trial at Corso Castle, Scudamore attempted to organize an uprising among the prisoners. He “endeavoured to bring over the Negroes to his Design of murdering the People, and running away with the Ship”. Scudamore justified the prospective mutiny to his fellow pirates by saying that “it was better venturing to do this, run down the Coast, and raise a new Company, than to proceed to Cape Corso, and be hang’d like Dogs, and Sun dry’d”.

I am fascinated. There’s not a single direct reference to slavery in the book and yet it feels like it underpins everything, lurking beneath the pages like a whole other novel trying to get out.
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
Season 1, Episode 5 – Double Helix

Originally aired 30 October 2000

The Andromeda finds a Nietzschean colony conducting pirate raids on a nearby Than planet. Dylan hopes that saving the Than will win support for his cause, but Tyr's loyalties are divided when the colony presents him with the opportunity to have a mate and a home if he gives them the Andromeda.


I like the insight into Nietzchean society, though frankly I find the emphasis on reproduction so extreme that it makes no sense for women to do anything but follow their men, hoping to produce kids. So why does she not go back to the ship with him?
emma_in_dream: (Corellia)
The great literary critic of the Elsie Dinsmore books writes: “it is the intersection of these two themes [that produces] an idealistically Christian, sadomasochistic, incestuous-erotic work for
children which, in spite of being a thoroughly bad book, gives Elsie Dinsmore its compelling and
abiding power, which elevates it to the supreme height of a great bad classic”.
emma_in_dream: (BTTF)
Here are the books I read this month. The best was the overview of Opus Anglicanum, very fine medieval English embroidery.




Mary Kelley Private Woman, Public Stage: Literary Domesticity in Nineteenth Century America 1984

Horatio Alger Ragged Dick 1868

Oliver Optic Little by Little: Or the Cruise of the Flyaway 1860

Robert Louis Stevenson Treasure Island or the Mutiny of the Hispaniola 1883

Joe Bennett Where Underpants Come From, From Check Out to Cotton Fields 2008

Opus Anglicanum: English Medieval Embroidery 2016

Frank Dicksee, 1853-1028 2016

Jan Marsh Pre-Raphaelite Women Artists 1997

The Rough Guide to Travel with Babies and Young Children 2016

Peter Kort Zegers Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad 1941-1945 2011

Detlev Peukert Inside Nazi Germany: Conformity, Opposition, and Racism in Everyday Life 1982

Jean M Auel The Clan of the Cave Bear 1980
emma_in_dream: (CaptainAmerica)
Season 1, Episode 4 D Minus Zero

Originally aired 23 October 2000

Dylan and the crew of the Andromeda face off against an unknown enemy when they discover a ship's recorder, forcing Dylan to deal with the tensions between him and his new crew.



This is the first time I’ve seen this episode.

When Andromeda first aired I used to get it through a network of kind American fans who would tape them and post them to Australia. Australians with the right sort of video player could then show them to their friends, copy them and pass them on.

Sometimes the transition from NTSC to PAL video did not go smoothly. The first time I saw *Sports Night*, for instance, we had audio but no video. Nonetheless, the dialogue was so sparkling that it was worth listening to.

It was another time, back when you used to have to order zines from the US, using bank cheques, to receive fic sight unseen.

Truly we now live in a golden age of fandom, where it is possible to see and read a whole lot more.

Or, at least, a silver age.

I am still annoyed by shows that are only released in Region 1 format or that are stripped of extras before being sold in Region 4. And don’t get me started on the Australian Netflix which has approximately 10 per cent of the content of the American one. The way Amazon won’t ship DVDs to Australia.

But, still, relatively speaking, this is a good time for fans.
emma_in_dream: (steve)
My name is Ruby and I read McElligot's Pool by Dr Seuss. Just like the Lorax book I like it because you get to imagine what happens after the end. You have to imagine the end.


This book won Seuss's first Caldicott medal in 1947, thus fulfilling the 'medal winner' category in our picture book challenge. I had not read it as a child and loved everything about it except the use of black and white illustrations on alternate pages. I had not realised there was a post-war publishing crisis in the USA as well as in Europe and Australia - I assume this would be the cause.
emma_in_dream: (CaptainAmerica)
Season 1, Episode 3 – To Loose the Fateful Lightning

Originally aired 16 October 2000

Dylan is manipulated into unlocking powerful weapons stores when the Andromeda discovers a Commonwealth space station populated by children who believe that he is the legendary "High Guard" who has come to bring peace by destroying their enemies.


This is the episode where Dylan confronts what the world has become and how hard it will be to work towards his vision. I find the choice to have him interacting with children an interesting one. A more simplistic approach would have been to have had cynical, war weary adults and some children hinting at the possibility of change over time.

So, Dylan does some learning in this episode and we also get some background on Harper’s traumatic childhood.

I read Harper as the entry character of the show, the one whom we are meant to identify with. He dresses like Xander from Buffy or Wash from Firefly, and he is ‘less attractive’ than the actors playing Tyr and Hunt. In that special Hollywood way where less attractive means amazingly attractive but in a baggy shirt and not as tall as the other two. Also, of course, we all like to think we are clever, so his genius is a way of flattering the audience.
emma_in_dream: (Brookes)
Yesterday we went to an indoor playground but had to leave early because two boys kept following my kids around and pushing them.


The boys were bullies who did not stop even after I spoke to them in front of their fathers (who did not reinforce me but sat in complete silence).


But what is so much worse is those boys were swimming around in rape culture. They called the girls a series of very odd names which I suspect were all the bad names they knew – 'sexy girl', 'penis' and 'poobomb'.


I feel so sad that the girls have encountered this, especially as all the techniques I had to teach them proved not to work. There’s no point in confronting them, just move to another part of the play ground. Avoid them. Speak to authority figures. Talk to a trusted adult.


I feel so much worse when I think that it will only get worse for them as they get older. All the creepy groping on public transport and being followed down the street, etc, etc.


Ray of sunshine: After we left one of the staff ran out and gave us free passes to come back because she said she could see we were being harassed by those naughty boys. She said she had also spoken to them about pushing and also abusing the toys by disassembling them but they had ignored her. Their parents = total fails but at least we got backdoor support from the staff.
emma_in_dream: (Buffy)
I’ve elected to read Horatio Alger Jr on the grounds of his enormous popularity at the turn of the nineteenth century. Some very clever and diligent researchers have taken the circulation records (1891-1902, with a gap 1892-4) from the Muncie Indiana Public Library and cross referenced them to the census. They can actually analyse who was borrowing what!

It turns out that a lot of people were reading Alger. He was the single most circulated author - Horatio Alger, Jr. (9,230), Harry Castlemon (7,339), Oliver Optic (5,208), Martha Finley (4,609), Edward S. Ellis (3,004), Edward R. Roe (2,991), Louisa May Alcott (2,976), F. Marion Crawford (2,120), Rosa N. Carey (1,992), and Eugenie John (1,823). The list is dominated by juvenile fiction writers I have never read.

By way of contrast, Mark Twain barely registered with 877 circulations, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn which was borrowed 149 times. The three most often borrowed Alger books eclipsed Twain’s total circulation – The Young Adventurer (422), The Telegraph Boy (364), The Young Circus Rider(359).

I read Ragged Dick (circulated 308 times). This was Alger’s big break, first serialised in a newspaper in 1867 and then, due to its success, printed in 1868. While the story would be described as ‘rags to riches’, it is really more rags to middle-class security. The protagonist, Ragged Dick, uses his quick wits to move from boot black to clerk, gaining an education through night school, Sunday school and perseverance.

As to the literary merits of the book, I will defer to Carl B. Roden, assistant librarian to Chicago Public Library in 1880, who described them in as fast food:

That is the substance of the indictment which librarians bring against the widely known and ravenously devoured writings of the redoubtable Oliver Optic, of Horatio Alger, of the Elsie [Dinsmore] books [written by Martha Finley] and all of that ilk; their transparent tawdriness and falsity of plot; their cheap and paltry “written down” style; their general tone and aspect of insubstantiality; like a stick of chewing gum, tickling the palate for the moment with their fleeting flavor, only to turn into a nubbin of sticky nothingness in the end, to be cast out and forgotten.

I think this is a fair call. No one would read Alger for his style. But clearly there is a satisfaction to reading his plots, essentially the same one written again and again, of upward mobility.



* In case you want to know more about who was reading Alger in turn of the century heartland America, there were 1,361 patrons. 45% were blue collar and 55% white collar readers. 27% were female, which would tie into other evidence of his popularity with girls such as a 1899 survey of Californian students. The 665 girls who responded listed Louisa May Alcott as their most often read author, followed by Sophie May, Martha Finley, and Horatio Alger.
emma_in_dream: (Lotr)
Season 1, Episode 2 – An Affirming Flame

Originally aired 9 October 2000

Dylan must protect the Andromeda from the mercenary crew as it is tugged away from the black hole's time-distorting gravity, while Beka and her friends on the Eureka Maru discover they may be fighting for the wrong person.


This episode pretty deftly brings all the main characters together on board the Andromeda. Hunt’s motivations for wanting them are clear – he’s just lost everything and is in massive denial. In order to try to rebuild the Commonwealth, he needs some crew and he must be clinging to the only people he’s met so far.

Trance sees it as an adventure – and, knowing her character arc as I rewatch, I assume she angled for the job with Beka in order to get to this point. Harper points out the luxuries on board the Andromeda and is also, as he says, ‘in love’ with the ship. Beka’s less sure of it, but willing to go along as long as she retains the Maru. Tyr’s motivations are, I think, deliberately not fully addressed in his dialogue with Hunt. It seems plausible that he would want to upgrade from working as a mercenary and the ship certainly offers opportunities he would not otherwise have.

Neatly plotted, all ready to go into the main plot arc in the next episode.
emma_in_dream: (BTTF)
A question for minds with a better grasp of 3D rotation of objects than mine.

Would a couch that is 90cm deep fit and 97 cm high and 155 cm long fit through a 70cm wide door? It seems like it wouldn't but I note our old couch is 80cm deep so it must be possible to do a bit of wiggling. Yet not too much because of the stairwell. But I don't remember bringing it over the back fence which used to be an option but no longer is because of the shed.

Any thoughts?

Training

Jan. 9th, 2017 05:34 pm
emma_in_dream: (Corellia)
We went to the maritime museum in Fremantle on the weekend.


Plus – The girls were very interested and well behaved (though strangely louder than every other child there – I can always tell where my kids are just by cocking an ear to the loudest noise around). We went to the park and had lunch and they played while I read *Treasure Island*.


Minus – Ruby still struggles with walking so far, about two and half kilometres altogether I’d say. She was flagging by the end. And I found carrying all our food and water troublesome, since we can’t eat at cafes. Perhaps a backpack in future.
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
When I arrived at work it was to discover that there was a massive leak in the adjoining office. We’re lucky it’s not us, as the meaning of ‘massive’ is that water leaked all weekend through the roof, through the third floor, through the second floor and onto the ground floor. I don’t know what the ground floor looks like but the second floor had about three inches of water on it when I arrived, plus water flowing down the walls. I expect that an awful lot of electrical equipment is toast. I hope they backed up.


I had a splitting headache all day, as we operated to the sound of industrial vacuum cleaners extracting the most foul brown water from the carpets next door. How I hope they replace those carpets rather than leave them there to inevitably moulder.

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