‘Trivial Games and Paranoid Pursuits’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

It’s time for another ‘Star Cops’ episode! How far have our main characters progressed by this point? Have some of them grown past their differences and started to like each other? Well, let’s find out!

This episode ‘Trivial Games and Paranoid Pursuits’ is once again by series deviser Chris Boucher. Except this time, the episode is directed by Graeme Harper. The DVD seems to have made an error.

According to the back of the DVD cover, it says the episode’s director is Christopher Baker for the first four episodes. Why the makers of the DVD made the mistake, I’ve no idea. It’s all so very confusing.

Graeme Harper is well-known to ‘Doctor Who’ fans for directing classic and new series episodes. ‘The Caves of Androzani’, ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ and ‘The Stolen Earth’/’Journey’s End’ are examples.

I’ve met Graeme Harper in real-life of course at conventions and comic cons. Next time I see Graeme, I’ll have to talk to him about his work on ‘Star Cops’. I’m sure he had an interesting time directing this series.

In this episode, a woman, Marlena Mackey as Dilly Goodman, reports that her brother, Harvey Goodman is missing. But the Ronald Regan space station he’s stationed at knows nothing about him.

Meanwhile, Nathan Spring visits the Ronald Regan space station in an attempt to persuade the sceptical Americans to allow him to open a Star Cops office there. This isn’t an easy endeavour here.

Nathan meets Daniel Benzali as Commander Griffin, who is in charge of the Ronald Regan. Griffin is this smarmy, smug person who thinks he can control everything even when Nathan gets to see him.

Daniel Benzali is a Brazilian-American actor who was in the James Bond film ‘A View To A Kill’ with Roger Moore. He also played a surgeon in the ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ episode ‘Samaritan Snare’.

Nathan soon gets asked to investigate the disappearance of the scientist Harvey Goodman from the Ronald Regan when Pal Kenzy comes over to see him. This is something Nathan’s unhappy about.

Following the previous episode, Nathan tries to keep Pal Kenzy desk-bound in taking calls for the Star Cops and doing ‘the secretarial role’. This is after she gets reinstated due to an impressive press stunt.

There’s bitterness between Nathan and Pal, as he’s clearly being unfair to her and she wants to impress him. Nathan tried to get Pal fired for being corrupt and still doesn’t want her to be around.

It was interesting to see how Nathan and Pal work together as colleagues and try to put aside their differences. Sometimes it’s a struggle, especially when the two of them don’t really like each other.

This episode also introduces us to a new character in the series. Jonathan Adams makes his first appearance as Alexander Krivenko, who is the Moonbase’s coordinator, scientist and medical officer.

Alexander Krivenko comes in rather late at this stage of the series. I do think it would’ve been better to have had all of the main characters introduced in the first episode instead of having it all spread out.

There’s also tension between him and Colin Devis in the episode. This is especially when Colin conducts his investigation and Krivenko is looking over his shoulder before the screen’s switched off.

Krivenko meets Nathan at the episode’s end. He also catches two space pilots, Russell Wooton as Marty and Angela Crow as Lauter, from opening a dangerous container from space. He seems to be one step ahead.

Robert Jezek, who’s also been in ‘Doctor Who’ both on TV and audio (he played Frobisher in the audios), guest stars as Pete Lennox in the episode. Pete Lennox is Commander Griffin’s right-hand man here.

It’s interesting how the station personnel of the Ronald Regan deny Harvey Goodman’s existence in the episode. I did get pretty bamboozled in terms of some of the characters’ motivations at the end.

David Theroux does some investigating of his own when he calls at Dilly Goodman’s house on Earth, but he soon gets knocked out by Pete Lennox. I don’t think David had a very strong role in this episode.

‘Trivial Games and Paranoid Pursuits’ is a pretty decent episode in the series. It highlights Nathan and Pal’s working relationship in the series, but I did get rather baffled by how everything was resolved.

‘Trivial Games and Paranoid Pursuits’ rating – 7/10

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