Fan Columns

Let’s get the preliminaries over…

It’s 7.30am Sunday morning and I’m snuggling down amid the duvets with my Dark Angel DVD box set. Why so early? Don’t know. Can’t sleep. Anyway, not often that I get to watch these babies anymore. Usually because I can never decide which ep to go with, so I end up watching none at all. This morning is different. I pour cold water into my mug of Nescafe (doh!) and figure where better to kick of the first TBW Editorial than with Dark Angel’s pilot episode?

Now, let me first tell you I’m feeling slightly zombie-like and my brain has not quite realised that this whole being awake business is real, and not some kind of realistic feeling dream, so I will no doubt babble aimlessly (more so than usual). In fact, if you manage to get through a page of my writing, you’ll find yourself reaching the bottom and asking yourself “what the hell was that all about?”. But then, anyone who’s ever read one of my fanfic’s will have experienced that feeling already, so bear with me and let’s just get on with it.

From the moment those bare feet hit the snow running, I recall the magnetism I felt when I watched DARK ANGEL for the first time. The pilot takes me back to what DARK ANGEL is about – what made this show rise above all the general hodge-podge choking up TV land. Kids escaping a military facility… Genetically engineered and on the run from a covert black ops organisation… And those Manticore flashbacks were an intriguing lure if nothing else.

Admittedly, Jessica Alba’s awkward, inexperienced voiceovers as she tried to talk us through America’s sci-fi post-Pulse history reminded me a little of someone reading for a class speech test, and between that and my total inability to decipher anything the gay African-American chick was saying, I nearly gave up on the show altogether. But the deep dark mysterious Manticore and the concept of transgenics striving to live beneath the radar in post-Pulse America was too tempting, and what the show initially lacked in Alba’s acting credibility, it made up for with great ass-kicking action and a fantastically original post-apocalyptic storyline.

Watching the pilot for the umpteenth time, I grudgingly admit some of those one-liners need work and at times continue to do so throughout the show, but Max pulls out a few goodies to store away in the head for future use. (“I don’t know how to break this to you, Normal. We’re all looking for another job.” How I’ve longed to use that one in the workplace from time to time.)

I can forgive some of the more worse-for-wear one-liners, however there is one particular moment that really puts a damper on the Pilot’s credibility for me. You know the scene where Max poses as Sketchy’s girlfriend Natalie to confront his bit-on-the-side, Lydia? Max dangling a girl twice her size off a third floor balcony by her ankle I can handle. It’s Lydia herself who grates my nerves like the scraping of cheesy acrylic nails down a chalkboard.

“You’re a very understanding person. You’re also a fool.”

Yeek. It never fails to make me cringe.

Asides from that, I love how Manticore is introduced in a series of flashbacks. I also like how Max gives Theo’s wife a warmly sympathetic hug when she find out he has died, and then after she stands and walks away her expression hardens into that stoic mask we learn to know so well. Despite how ’human’ Max may appear to be, she’s a soldier underneath it all – a military weapon who has been finely honed to deny emotion. You have to wonder, which was the mask?

I haven’t yet touched upon two other key figures of Dark Angel which the Pilot makes a fantastic job of introducing: Lydecker and Eyes Only. But I’ve run out of time and I’ve probably also run out of readers.

Let’s just wrap this up by saying if you haven’t watched the pilot recently but you have the box set handy, I urge you to watch it again. If it doesn’t inspire you to fall in love with the show all over, it’ll at least teach you how to deal with the nastier forms of human life .

Serve them coffee. 😉

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  1. Cherrel

    Yo man u’r soooooo deep. So I’m sittin here on a school night and i’m killin for that adrenallin rush i got last year when i first dicovered dark angel on the sci-fi channel. I know i’m late but beter late than never, but they took it off this year and i almost died because i went 11 years livin a life of Manticore in my home country Trinidad. But now that I live in Canada I really feel bored, just waitten for somin big to happen and dark angel fulled that need. But long story short, my mom baught me the both seasons, but I’m not allowed to watch it till christmas, and reading this article gave me that rush again, so thanks:P

  2. Thanks Cherrel, I’m glad my ramblings have helped with the DA cravings, roll on Christmas huh?! 😀

  3. Hey Sorrow!

    We were talking about you the other day (did your ears ring???) me and Black Rose that is. Talking we never get to see each other anymore, the old bunch. Can you believe she turned 18 alraeady! But we catched up a bit, and did so to with Jessie and Linda a couple of weeks ago.

    So I figured I would just go through all my bookmakrs to find some site of yours to leave a message. Which would be this little rambling!

    I wish we could just fdo it all over again, one episode a week just like it’s completely new to us 😀 Maybe if i have time i just put one one of those eppies today. I miss the DA feeling all of it, the fanfics, the boards, the chatting, the total craziness.

    Why is that that is just so hard to let go?

    Hope you find the time to log in once again on MSN or so.

    Miss you!

  4. Sorrow

    Heya Astra!

    Ah the craziness of the good old days. I miss them too. The days and days without sleep or food because chatting on MSN and writing fan fic was far more important… It’s just not the same without it all is it? Will send ya an email and catch up 😀

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