Mark of the Archanon

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Mark of the Archanon

Post by Magnus Greel on Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:09 pm

This one is not really bad enough to have fun mocking it. The idea of the frozen people buried in the Moon, completely unconnected with the Moon's current situation, is interesting. If I were they, I'd also try to expand the base underground... pressurized underground caves were an unexpected idea when I first saw this though. I think about how to expand the base while watching Sp99.... it can't be as impossible as they seem to think. With artificial light and expanded hydroponics, maybe in those caves, or under filtered sunlight in pressurized surface farms, these might let them expand the population. Maybe they're too conscious of how the base could disappear tomorrow, to expand it.

The father and son have an early Earth civilization look to them. *** I wonder if the script, that bit with Alan and the kid in the corridor that is, was written with English football in mind, soccer... then maybe an American props person got an American football by mistake.

"There is always someone left to kill." How'd they know the motto on my business card?!

Kid, after choosing to stay on Alpha despite the killing sickness: "They will do what they have to do." Mature decision. They both control these terrible urges pretty well by the way, for people with a "killing sickness".

End poignant, and not too much so. Not heavy-handed, I mean. It's like an average Next Gen or Voyager episode, it doesn't "soar", nothing great, but it's competent, and I don't even remember anything embarrassing in this one.
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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by Andrew Kearley on Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:36 pm

I thought this one was a great concept - and a breath of fresh air in
series 2 to have aliens who were not just monsters or inherently
belligerent. I could have done without the football and "cobber"
dialogue, but overall a bit of a success. Could have worked in
series 1 with a tiny bit of stylistic tweaking. Good performances
generally - I thought the kid was very good for a young actor.
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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by CHAS1999 on Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:04 am

This another episode that takes me back to July 1978 and is not one of my fav episodes.

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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by SPACE 1899 on Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:27 am

Magnus Greel wrote:I don't even remember anything embarrassing in this one.
Except for Pasc and Etrecs dress sense
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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by SPACE 1899 on Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:36 am

Magnus Greel wrote:I wonder if the script, that bit with Alan and the kid in the corridor that is, was written with English football in mind, soccer... then maybe an American props person got an American football by mistake...Kid, after choosing to stay on Alpha despite the killing sickness: "They will do what they have to do." Mature decision. They both control these terrible urges pretty well by the way, for people with a "killing sickness".
If they ever do an updated remake, Alan could invite Pasc and Etrec to play some rounds of Playstation 'Call of Duty' and thus they could get rid of all that killing urge by directing it at the game. Problem solved.
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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by CalgaryAlphan on Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:01 am

Absolute worst episode ever! "The Mark of Archanon" is virtually unwatchable in my opinion.

The Good: Barbara Bain; mineral mining on the Moon; ancient aliens buried beneath the lunar surface; the Archanon space cruiser; and a decent turn by John Standing despite his horribly unconvincing beard, pointless make-up and cardboard costume.

The Bad: tin-foil asteroids in a shockingly low-grade effects sequence; the careless script is full of characters acting uncharacteristically or performing the wrong jobs (Carter leading a geological survey team? Verdeschi performing scientific analysis of Archanon equipment? Are there no geologists or scientists left on Alpha, so the pilots and security guys are doing their jobs?) Why do the Alphans allow the Archanons to freely wander the base (doesn't anyone remember Balor?), and why don't the Alphans not think to ask the friendly aliens (with their giant space cruiser) to help them find a new planet?

In utter disagreement with Andrew's prior post, I think Michael Gallagher as Etrec is wholly unconvincing, and his badly dubbed voice is even more annoying than that of Cantar in "The Exiles".

Alan Carter is made into an Aussie caricature and the trip down the hallway for hamburgers is a serious low-point in the series. The supporting actors are the worst in the series: John Alkin and Anthony Forrest (Johnson and Carson) are apparently dueling for worst performance and most stilted dialogue delivery.

The jokes are wince-inducing, subtlety has gone out the airlock (as when Etrec strangles a dove - the symbol of peace), and embarrassingly melodramatic and overacted scenes abound, like Pasc's strangling of Carter.

I've said it before: hot daggers in my eyes would be less painful than this junk.

(Now, would you like to know how I really feel? ;-)
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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by CHAS1999 on Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:31 pm

CalgaryAlphan wrote:Absolute worst episode ever! "The Mark of Archanon" is virtually unwatchable in my opinion.

The Good: Barbara Bain; mineral mining on the Moon; ancient aliens buried beneath the lunar surface; the Archanon space cruiser; and a decent turn by John Standing despite his horribly unconvincing beard, pointless make-up and cardboard costume.

The Bad: tin-foil asteroids in a shockingly low-grade effects sequence; the careless script is full of characters acting uncharacteristically or performing the wrong jobs (Carter leading a geological survey team? Verdeschi performing scientific analysis of Archanon equipment? Are there no geologists or scientists left on Alpha, so the pilots and security guys are doing their jobs?) Why do the Alphans allow the Archanons to freely wander the base (doesn't anyone remember Balor?), and why don't the Alphans not think to ask the friendly aliens (with their giant space cruiser) to help them find a new planet?

In utter disagreement with Andrew's prior post, I think Michael Gallagher as Etrec is wholly unconvincing, and his badly dubbed voice is even more annoying than that of Cantar in "The Exiles".

Alan Carter is made into an Aussie caricature and the trip down the hallway for hamburgers is a serious low-point in the series. The supporting actors are the worst in the series: John Alkin and Anthony Forrest (Johnson and Carson) are apparently dueling for worst performance and most stilted dialogue delivery.

The jokes are wince-inducing, subtlety has gone out the airlock (as when Etrec strangles a dove - the symbol of peace), and embarrassingly melodramatic and overacted scenes abound, like Pasc's strangling of Carter.

I've said it before: hot daggers in my eyes would be less painful than this junk.

(Now, would you like to know how I really feel? ;-)

OUCH! Hate to see what ya think of Space warp.

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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by SPACE 1899 on Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:20 pm

CalgaryAlphan wrote:Absolute worst episode ever! "The Mark of Archanon" is virtually unwatchable in my opinion...the trip down the hallway for hamburgers is a serious low-point in the series.

Yes, but CalgaryAlphan, to enjoy Year 2 one has to accept certain things - eg
OUT with grandiose philosophical musings and seriousness and
IN with lots of fun, trivia and witty banter, as well as lots more colour and action.

Swallow that, and the watching of Year 2 is a lot less painful
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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by CalgaryAlphan on Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:29 pm

SPACE 1899 wrote:
CalgaryAlphan wrote:Absolute worst episode ever! "The Mark of Archanon" is virtually unwatchable in my opinion...the trip down the hallway for hamburgers is a serious low-point in the series.

Yes, but CalgaryAlphan, to enjoy Year 2 one has to accept certain things - eg
OUT with grandiose philosophical musings and seriousness and
IN with lots of fun, trivia and witty banter, as well as lots more colour and action.

Swallow that, and the watching of Year 2 is a lot less painful

Oh, I understand that. And I enjoy a lot of Year Two episodes - there is a lot of fun to be had watching them. Some of the best that spring immediately to mind include "Journey to Where", "The Seance Spectre", "The Immunity Syndrome", "The A B Chrysalis", "The Lambda Factor", "The Metamorph", etc... But "The Mark of Archanon" is purely awful. It doesn't even have the bug-eyed monster sci-fi silliness aspect to make it appealing, like episodes such as "Space Warp" and "The Beta Cloud".
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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by CalgaryAlphan on Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:37 pm

CHAS1999 wrote:
OUCH! Hate to see what ya think of Space warp.

Actually, I think "Space Warp" is a lot of fun. It's hurt by the divided plotline, with the events on Alpha being far more interesting than John and Tony's boring time on the alien ship, but it's always good fun to watch. It also boasts some beautifully lit cinematography in the darkened Alpha, and great performances from Barbara Bain, Nick Tate, Catherine Schell (in the first part of the episode at least) and Zienia Merton. And of course, there is the classic scene of destruction in the hanger bay when Maya tries to take off in an Eagle - beautiful miniature effects work!
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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by s99fan on Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:03 pm

I concur with CalgaryAlphan that this is another abysmal episode. There are so many truly horrible episodes at this point in series two that it is hard to pick my least favorite, but this one and The Taybor are definitely amongst the leading contenders. If THIS had been all of the legacy of Space:1999, then I would have never kept the passion for the series I have nurtured over the decades. The second season of Buck Rogers (it in itself a pitiful parody of its first series) is stellar Shakespeare compared to this run of episodes.
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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by Magnus Greel on Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:50 am

Odd, now I wonder if I've softened my attitude too much on s2 with this viewing. I was all set to have no mercy on it, then realized I had to be careful because of all the s2 fans.... now I practically look like a s2 apologist, and everyone else is ripping it to bits!
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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by Commander Koenig on Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:27 am

Magnus Greel wrote:Odd, now I wonder if I've softened my attitude too much on s2 with this viewing. I was all set to have no mercy on it, then realized I had to be careful because of all the s2 fans.... now I practically look like a s2 apologist, and everyone else is ripping it to bits!
lol!

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Re: Mark of the Archanon

Post by Senmut on Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:28 pm

CalgaryAlphan wrote:Absolute worst episode ever! "The Mark of Archanon" is virtually unwatchable in my opinion....


The Bad: tin-foil asteroids in a shockingly low-grade effects sequence; the careless script is full of characters acting uncharacteristically or performing the wrong jobs (Carter leading a geological survey team? Verdeschi performing scientific analysis of Archanon equipment? Are there no geologists or scientists left on Alpha, so the pilots and security guys are doing their jobs?) Why do the Alphans allow the Archanons to freely wander the base (doesn't anyone remember Balor?), and why don't the Alphans not think to ask the friendly aliens (with their giant space cruiser) to help them find a new planet?.....


Good points. I wondered about no one asking the Archies if they know where to go, to take the Alphans home.
As to Carter in the caves, overspecialization with such a limited population could be disasterous. Moving folks around to acquiant them with other tasks just made sense to me. (Besides, how could Alan find them, in an Eagle?)
Actually, the worst part of the ep, bar none, is when Etrec declares that "an Archanon can only kill", and whirls around to face the camera. Way way over done. If it were any hammier, I could make sandwiches.
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