Monday, May 23, 2011

K9 - ''Mutant Copper''

Spoiler Level: High

The Good:

* The story has a very good premise. One of the CCPCs has been implanted with human DNA.  The implantation doesn't take well and the CCPC goes rogue, becoming an unlikely ally to K9 and company.

* We get a good look at the future totalitarian England, as it's announced the CCPCs now have the right to enter homes without permission and to search without a warrant, "to make the world a safer place for everyone who isn't guilty," and we actually see citizens protesting.

* The "mutated" CCPC has some amusing dialogue, as he continues to talk in the stereotypical "English Bobby" style and actually has quite a few amusing scenes.

* New character Marcus, who also believes in rebelling against the system.  He's likable and adds a nice mix to the Starkey-Jorjie-Darius love triangle; it's even nice to see Starkey and Darius allied in their mutual jealousy of the newcomer's closeness with Jorjie.

* We get some explanations as to what the CCPCs really are and how they work.

The Bad:

* Just as I suspected, the people making this show don't understand the difference between a cyborg and a robot. I'm gathering they think "cybernetic organism" means an artificial organism made out of cybernetics, as opposed to a living organism fused with cybernetics. This mistake wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so crucial to the plot.  By infusing a CCPC with human DNA, they really have turned him into an actual cyborg.  The real problem with this is when they keep discussing whether or not to remove the human elements and return him to being a cyborg, which kept driving us nuts, because if you remove the human elements then he's no longer a cyborg!  And this wasn't just one or two lines, this was all throughout the show.  Thorne even refers to K9 as a cyborg at one point. Once I hit on the "artificial organism made out of cybernetics" theory I tried really hard to rewrite my brain to process their use of the word "cyborg" to mean that, but I didn't have much success.  So the lack of understanding basic science fiction terms totally undermined what was an otherwise good premise.  (It also shows a lack of understanding of the term "mutation," but I won't even get into that.)

* The "mutant" copper's voice is on a ridiculously higher pitch, so I had to strain to understand anything he was saying.

* Marcus's eventual betrayal was way too obvious; halfway through the episode I just thought out of the blue, "this guy's going to turn out to be a traitor."  And he was. He didn't do anything obvious to tip the viewer off; it was just the obvious formula. On the plus side, at least he wasn't evil, just more of a hypocrite.

* The biggest sin of all: When trying to decide what to do with him, K9 and crew come to the conclusion that the attempt to fuse human and robot hasn't worked, and they need to make him completely one or the other.  Since they can't make him completely human, they opt for returning him back to a completely robotic state.  (Which of course they keep referring to as "make him a cyborg again."  Arrrrghh!)  Then just as Professor Gryffen is ready to start, Thorne shows up at the door.  Now that the bad guys are here, everyone starts shouting "We're not going to let you take him and turn him back into a [robot]!"  Hello?!?  That's exactly what you were about to do!!!  There's absolutely no reason given for this.  It's this complete and total reversal defying all logic that pushes this episode over the edge.  I could overlook the other flaws in the episode (if I tried really hard, and believe me, I did) but this point just sunk it.

The Ugly:

* K9 laughs again.

This one does have a lot going for it, so I really wanted to put this one in the win column, but I just can't.  So K9's total to date is 11 wins, 7 losses.

Sadly, K9 is still not available in the US, but Amazon has now started listing import DVDs. While they are region free, these are in PAL format, so you'll need a player that can convert them to NTSC to play them here in America. Oh, and they're out of stock. But hey, it's a start.

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