Starhunter

Tagged: TV

Canadian tv series (2000-2001, 2003-2004; vt Starhunter 3200). SpaceWorks Studios/The Danforth Studios Ltd/Alliance Atlantis Communications. Created by Daniel D'Or and Philip Jackson for The Movie Network, Canada. Directors included François Basset, Luc Chalifour and Patrick Malakian. Writers included Julian Fikus, Peter I Horton, and Nelu Ghiran. Cast includes Tanya Allen, David Fournier (season 1), Paul Fox (season 2), Stephen Marcus, Murray Melvin (season 1), Michael Paré (season 1), Clive Robertson (season 2), Claudette Roche (season 1) and Dawn Stern (season 2). 44 45-minute episodes. Colour.

2275 CE. Earth can no longer support life to any great extent; humanity has spread through the solar system (see Colonization of Other Worlds). Interstellar travel via Hyperspace is under development but remains experimental. Dante Montana (Paré) is a bounty hunter operating from the former luxury Spaceship Tulip, named for the letters of her former designation "Trans-Utopia Cruiseship HHS" still visible on the hull. Dante's crew, comprising his niece Percy Montana (Allen), Lucretia "Luc" Scott (Roche) and the ship's AI Caravaggio (Melvin), receives assignments from shipowner Rudolpho deLuna (Marcus) as message transmissions at the start of each segment; these prologues were cut for the US syndication. Over and above any current mission, Dante hopes to find his son Travis (Fournier), abducted by the Raiders, a renegade human alliance with whom a War was fought some fifty years previously. Lucretia is secretly working for The Orchard, an organization aiming to unlock the powers of "the Divinity Cluster" – Alien genes implanted into many humans some years before, potentially conferring enormous powers which the Orchard plans to harness. Dante eventually locates Travis, now leader of a Raider Colony near Saturn (see Outer Planets). The reunion is interrupted by violence at season's end; Tulip escapes into the hyperspace Dimension and Dante is hurled into the past via Timeslip.

Season two begins fifteen years later as Starhunter 2300 (title unchanged in the US). Percy escapes from hyperspace, no older thanks to Time Distortion effects; Dante remains lost in time; the only other cast member to return is deLuna (Marcus). The now-adult Travis (Robertson) has become a bounty hunter; after Percy reclaims the Tulip from its seizure by an insurance agency, the crew is augmented by two more bounty hunters, Callista "Callie" Larkadia (Stern) and Marcus Fagen (Fox). Their subsequent adventures are much the same as in season one, including a renewed battle with The Orchard and efforts to fully develop Hyperspace travel (a few of the nearest Stars have by now been reached). A battle with a criminal leaves Tulip and its crew again stranded in hyperspace in a series-end cliffhanger occasioned by the show's unexpected cancellation.

Besides Space Flight and a largely colonized Solar System, Starhunter featured many standard sf tropes including Alternate Worlds, Psi Powers, Superpowers and Time Travel. Plans for a third season were announced in 2014. [GFi/DRL]

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