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Customer Review

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe not compelling, but pretty engaging atmospheric sci-fi, April 16, 2005
This review is from: Starhunter 2300: The Complete Series (DVD)
Having caught a few episodes of both the original Starhunter and Starhunter 2300 on grainy low power UHF, I kind of knew what to expect; still, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this Starhunter 2300 set. The original season of Starhunter was strictly "B" level material; Starhunter 2300 is, just as others have pointed out, much much better. Its not top level, this is definitely not Farscape or B5, but it is a really solid production that has a flavor all its own.

I thought there were a few things that made this series work well. Its universe is interesting; its dark, gritty, and atmospheric, but not hopeless. The interplay if the various planetary federations and factions provides enough scope that the setting of the solar system (well, mostly the solar system) doesn't feel confining. The cast is quite likeable. The performances may be on the low key side, but I thought they fit the milieu pretty well, for the most part. Strangely enough, Percy Montana who may have been the best character in the original series, didn't come across too well for me - a little too catatonic and with a weird attraction to risky behavior. The rest of the crew is great: Caravaggio the dry acerbic AI, the lively optimistic Marcus, the somewhat questionable Rudolpho, and the controlled uber competent Travis. My favorite character, though, is Callie - tough as nails with a lot of depth and breadth. Not to mention that Dawn Stern is a flat out goddess. Finally, there's the ongoing subtext of hyperspace and the "Divinity Cluster". You really get the impression of impending breakthrough; that the human universe is on the verge of major changes - good and bad - and that the breakthrough has as much to do with genetic and emotional factors as with technology.

The episodes are consistently good for the most part. I thought there was one real clunker, one borderline clunker, and two or three mediocre efforts. These are more than balanced out by good or excellent episodes. I'd say 75% of the episodes fall into the latter category; at least half a dozen, as well as the finale, are taut and gripping - close to the level of the best TV sci-fi. I didn't think there were any glaring weaknesses with Starhunter 2300. Sure the dialogue is not up to Firefly standards, there are better FX, and maybe there could have been more "whoa" factor and less repetitiveness in the storylines. With a little improvement in these areas this show could have been special. I really got the impression that this was a first year type of series; one in which the universe was being defined, the characters were being established, and the foundations for the future were being set.

The DVD set is nicely put together; six DVDs in a streamlined book style box. The package contains the episodes only; absolutely no extras. The price is definitely right. Since the series was cancelled, you will be left hanging; I'd love to at least see a resolution to the two part finale, but I guess that's the lot of the sci-fi fan - you're left hanging as often as not. Its too bad that this show didn't get more traction, but at least this set is available. I actually had some withdrawal symptoms when I finished watching this; I think most sci-fi fans, casual to rabid, would enjoy this.
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Location: Rochester, NY United States

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