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1997-11-30 00:00:00 - New Lease (SPOILERS) / Cryonics Q. - (Peter Petrisko <ptp@primenet.com>)


Wow. All I can say is "Wow". Not that that will stop me from saying more, mind you, but that is my first reaction. What an episode. Television rarely moves me, episodic television even more rarely. But this ep, being technically proficient, well acted, and very well written, touched on death, life, and the "little things" in so many ways that one walked away after the hour was over feeling like he was punched in the gut. The first half hour set up the character of the main doc, Houghton (sp?) so well - his hopes & his flaws. You couldn't help but root for the guy when Mr. Reynolds was brought back, until Reynolds says, "Why did you do this to me? Why didn't you just let me die?" And as Houghton's tunnel vision took over, you couldn't help but start to despise the guy (Charlie, to Houghton: "You can't call what we've given him 'life.!" Speaking of Charlie, he was played in a downtoearth fashion by M. Ontkean, whose work I've enjoyed since 'Twin Peaks'. Some great low-key everyman work here.) Then, the pivotal scene, where Jason Priestley goes out of his way to break the clean-cut Brandon Walsh mold (and does a decent job of it, surprisingly). When, soon, Hougton's own words come back to haunt him... "If you were in his (Mr. Reynold's) position, wouldn't you want everything done (to keep you alive)?" Then, the realization just how short life can be, when Houghton rises and thinks he has only 24 more hours. "How do you make up for 10 years of neglect in just one day?" Again, wow. At this point, there is a scene similar to one in "Last Supper". Houghton, by chance, sees the man he thought he'd never see again. In this case, his killer. Unlike in "Last Supper" it doesn't seem as forced, perhaps because its more of a face-to-face encounter, instead of a sound bite tv interview on one of a hundred channels in a thousand (or more) cities. Add to that, the fact Hougton is on an outing, that he and his killer live/work/exercise in the same general area, and that a followup scene shows Houghton tracking the man down, instead of him just appearing at the guy's door later. And, in more general terms, the writers make us care about Houghton (again) and make us understand his motives. I never did understand why the ASSISTANT in 'Last Supper' cared, 20 years later. Heck, he wasn't disfigured & bitter, the doc was. But anyway, back to this week's story. Yes, as Mike Horne points out, you did know what would happen next, but it was done well & the suspense held in such a way that you still wanted to know HOW the shoe would drop, even while pretty much knowing it WOULD drop. Great line of foreshadowing, after Houghton plugs his killer... "Now we're both dead." Yes, in more ways than one. Like the old phrase goes, 'your life ended when you took his'. It worked both ways in this ep. as the bittersweet ending showed. "New Lease" goes to the top part of my BEST OF list, it is one of the best of the nOL. _________________________________________________________________________ There is a side issue that this ep brought up that I would like to throw out. It has to do with cryonics and, to a certain degree, cloning. When a person dies, that part of them that is called "the soul" or spirit leaves the flesh/body.(IMHO, anyway.) Then, in cryonics, the body is frozen until a cure for whatever killed them is found. Some of the medical ethics issues are addressed in "New Lease". But I have always wondered what will happen when the first person is brought back, "defrosted" and cured, when their spirit has left years (decades?) earlier. Or, alternately, when a clone is made from the cells of a living person (still using their soul, obviously). I think, and this is just my theory, that scientists are going to have a bit of a shock when the first cryonics client is revived. The person won't be quite right, maybe they will even be unresponsive and in a continual stupor. A living zombie, to get b-movie like here. The 'thing' that made them them will be missing. And, sure, scientists will have some theory for why this is, some kind of fancy 'cryonics damage' name for it, but in truth it will be that the soul will've moved on long ago, it wasn't 'trapped' by the procedure (i hope not, anyway, that would be like a living hell, trapped in your body, frozen in a tube) and did not return when the body was revived. The same thing would apply with human clones (you can't clone a new soul too) - automatons. Since, in the charter for a.t.o-l, it stated this ng was also "to discuss the scientific theories & ideas behind the eps" I thought I'd throw this out. Comments?

1997-11-30 00:00:00 - Lots of OL musings (was:Re: New Lease (SPOILERS) / Cryonics Q.) - (stoodin101@aol.com)


> Wow. All I can say is "Wow". Not that that will stop me from saying >more, mind you, but that is my first reaction. What an episode. That's interesting. I believe you are the one who thought little of two of my favorites, "Dark Rain" and "Last Supper" --- now this one knocks you out while I found _it_ mediocre and predictable in the extreme, just a sci-fi rewrite of the old Twilight Zone ep "Escape Clause". There it was a deal with the Devil, here it's a new technological device, but both lead to the same downfall for the protagonist. Not outre enough for the Outer Limits. I preferred Egan's "Second Thoughts" quite a bit more. > "New Lease" goes to the top part of my BEST OF list, it is one of the >best of the nOL. It wouldn't make my top 10, but just for the heck of it, I think I'll make a top 10 new OL list: 1. Dark Rain 2. Second Soul 3. Afterlife 4. A Stitch in Time 5. Beyond the Veil 6. Inconstant Moon 7. Last Supper 8. The Deprogrammers 9. Quality of Mercy 10. The Light Brigade There are actually too many topflight eps at this point to make a "top 10" list! What of Second Thoughts...Music of the Spheres...The Message...Vanishing Act...many more good ones than bad ones. >When a person dies, that part of them that is called "the soul" or >spirit leaves the flesh/body.(IMHO, anyway.) If you accept that (and it is my own belief as well) then consider the people raised from the dead in the Bible. THey weren't automatons or living zombies (though Zamyatin's horror story "Lazarus" takes that concept as its premise), they had their souls. Christ tells the thief that he will be with him "in paradise": Paradise implies a waiting state, in a literal translation of the Greek a garden in which people spent the time until they were brought before the King. Paul, John and Peter indicate that neither Heaven nor Hell are attained until after the resurrection. So why couldn't a soul be returned to the body? Likewise, a clone would have its own soul, not that of its "parent". If people can be creatd in that fashion, then my theology (and when you get into this territory it is theology, not science, that is being discussed...science will never weigh or measure a soul, it is purely a matter of faith --- as the investigator says, concerning other matters, at the end of "If these Walls could Talk") states that God is aware of them, and knew them before their conception, no matter where that conception takes place. nOL has done several episodes with a very fundamentalist Christian approach to such matters: White Light Fever ends with a nasty surprise for Harlan Hawks and the implied idea that the thing that has been chasing him is not Death, but the Devil; Second Soul ponders whether humans and aliens go to the same place when they die; in Afterlife the victimized Lyndon Stiles hangs on to his sanity by repeating "They can change my body but they cannot touch my soul" and he is definitely depicted as a Christian character (note his pose as he stands before the firing squad). This, in fact, was one of the contributing factors to David Schow's hatred of the new series --- that and the fact that they rewrote the one script he sold to them, according to a letter by Jonathan Glassner in SCI-FI UNIVERSE in which he constantly spelled Joseph Stefano's name wrong. But the new show is a success, it has outlived its predecessor by 2 1/2 seasons, so that speaks for itself. Some eps are good, some bad, but the same held true for the original series. For my money, this show and BABYLON 5 are the only really surprising, enjoyable SF on TV (though i havent seen the new Roddenberry thing). Certainly the Trek franchise will never bring us anything to equal the power of these programs' best eps....whichever those may be, to each of us. NECRONOMICON, all-instrumental electronic music inspired by H.P.Lovecraft, now available on c-60 cassette. E-mail StoOdin101@aol.com for details.

1997-12-19 00:00:00 - Top Ten - (was : Lots of OL musings (was:New Lease (SPOILERS) ) - (acutabov@ix.netcom.com)


> StoOdin101 <stoodin101@aol.com> wrote:...<snip>... > ...but just for the heck of it, I think I'll make a top 10 new OL list: > 1. Dark Rain > 2. Second Soul > 3. Afterlife > 4. A Stitch in Time > 5. Beyond the Veil > 6. Inconstant Moon > 7. Last Supper > 8. The Deprogrammers > 9. Quality of Mercy > 10. The Light Brigade Mine would be (in no particular order): 1. Tempests 2. The Light Brigade 3. Sandkings 4. Inconstant Moon 5. Dark Matters 6. The Deprogrammers 7. The Camp 8. Dead Man's Switch 9. Feasibility Study 10. Quality of Mercy I haven't seen 'Afterlife' or 'Beyond The Veil' yet.