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2000-04-04 00:00:00 - Dead man's switch [spoilers] - (al51@nospam.cornell.edu)


Really annoying episode. Decent concept, good writing, decent acting and what Roger Ebert refers to as an "idiot plot". That is a plot which would fall apart were it not for the fact that everyone in it is an idiot. Aliens coming, unknown intentions, a doomsday bomb is set up to destroy the world if one of five buttons doesn't get pressed at irregular intervals. After going through all the trouble to set up 5 bunkers with 5 people (one in each) any one of whom can stop the doomsday device from going off they then cut them off from all news of the outside world? I mean it might make sense to have no calls out but no CNN? They can all see each other over monitor though. Particularly stupid in hindsight, in light of the fact that had they had access to the outside news they would have known that the aliens had taken over, and probably that they could control bodies ala "the puppeteers". And if the object was not to panic them, why? They didn't have a button they could hit to set off the doomsday bombs and they would all have to wait until the next random time for hitting the "stop" button came, and then each one of them not hit it. To put a time limit in, all power, and water will shut off in one year so if no one comes to rescue them in that time they die and the bomb goes off. Then the aliens land and the people in the bunkers get informed that the general who set the thing up is going to meet the aliens. That is the last they hear from the outside world until the last scene. They start dropping dead of equipment failures (implication that the aliens are behind them) and at least one case of the aliens digging into a bunker and killing one of them. (The stop button is keyed to palm-prints and retinal scan and if the person pushing it is dead they don't work). Apparently the aliens are just as stupid as the humans. They have people cut off from all communication, willing to keep hitting those buttons without any outside contact until time runs out and instead of leaving them to it the aliens kill 4/5 of them, leaving one guy they puppeteer the general into ordering to "keep hitting the button, the aliens were hostile but we won. We need time to figure out how to get you out and shut down the system" (over a monitor from Washington). I suppose I can forgive the guy for falling for that (due to lack of sleep) even though hostile aliens would make the general one of the first casualties since he was going to meet them. Still, plot holes that big always spoil a show for me. -- ___________ Adam Littman / ^ \ AL51@cornell.edu /\ / \ /\ /__\__/___\__/__\ / \( ) ( )/ \ \ /\ o /\ / \ / \( )/ \ / "Four minutes twenty-two seconds, \/____\_/____\/ Baldric, you owe me a groat" \ \ / --Blackadder \ / \ / ---------