Tread Perilously — Global Frequency

Tread Perilously’s Failed Pilots month concludes with a look at the 2005 attempt to bring Warren Ellis’s Global Frequency to the airwaves.

Ex-cop Sean Flynn finds a mangled corpse and a tricked out mobile phone in a San Fransisco alley. Soon, he is recruited by the enigmatic Miranda Zero into a vast open conspiracy of do-gooders known as the Global Frequency. Partnered with theoretical physicist Dr. Katrina Finch, he must stop a refugee from a Soviet superpowers experiment before he absorbs all of the Bay Area’s electrical power and explodes. Will they find the missing man? And will Miranda Zero be able to use her attitude to break into a top secret NSA black site?

Erik and Justin immediately get lost in a discussion about comic books and comic book creators. Vancouver’s Chinatown once again plays San Fransisco’s Chinatown (and fails). Erik questions why the episode wasn’t just set in Vancouver. The presence of Michelle Forbes leads to a discussion of her career and, maybe, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Justin becomes convinced the pilot script was a workshop project. Peeta Mellark makes a cameo appearance and Justin continues to deny the existence of The Vicar of Dibley.

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Tread Perilously — The Robinsons: Lost In Space

Tread Perilously’s failed pilots month continues with 2004’s ill-considered attempt to revive Lost in Space with The Robinsons: Lost in Space.

When Space Force colonel John Robinson decides to retire, he convinces his wife and children to move from Earth to a farming colony on the other side of the galaxy. At their going away party, daughter Judy meets Lt. Don West, a character who will definitely not matter in the slightest … except he’s also headed to the farming colony! And when John’s old foes, a race of poorly defined aliens, attacks the ship, the Robinsons and West end up caught on the other side of a wormhole in their Jupiter excursion module. Will they find their way back home or be lost in space?

Erik and Justin lament the fact John Woo directed this slow, plodding pilot. They also disagree on the best John Woo film. Erik tries to pitch a Defenders of the Earth film. Justin attempts to figure out the enduring appeal of Lost in Space as he never watched it as a child. Adrianne Palicki’s presence in the cast leads to some serious story issues. A discussion about cheesiness as a legitimate tone breaks out. Peter Facinelli becomes their Dr. Smith fan-casting choice and Justin warns listeners to never eat the leaves.

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Tread Perilously — Tagteam

Tread Perilously’s Failed Pilots month continues with a look at the ABC television pilot for Tagteam.

Pro wrestlers “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Jesse “The Body” Ventura star as thinly fictionalized versions of themselves ousted from the wrestling circuit and train as cops in the LAPD. Their training officer becomes their captain, their “bully” a black partner of sorts, and their first case may prove you sometimes need cops who can bodyslam crooks. But will their skills help them prevent special guest star Jennifer Runyon from getting killed before she can testify to a mob hit? Also, will the show attempt to make her a love interest for Roddy?

Erik and Justin decline to attempt Jesse Ventura impressions, so Erik compensates by trotting out his Gene Simmons, Tommy Wiseau, Steven Segal and Ace Frehly. Justin admits to not being a big wrestling fan even as he extols the virtues of Roddy’s on-screen charisma. Robin Curtis becomes the pair’s favorite Savvik and Jennifer Runyon receives “show favorite” status. Erik tries to determine San Diego’s prime cultural artifact and his wrestling persona. Paddy’s Pub from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia makes a special cameo and Justin stumbles into a version of Cagney & Lacey¬†starring Robin Curtis and Shannon Tweed.

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Tread Perilously — Generation X

Tread Perilously enters a month of failed television pilots with the 1997 Fox TV Movie/backdoor pilot, Generation X.

When Jubilation Lee blows up a SEGATM Virtua Fighter arcade cabinet with her weak mutant powers, she soon finds herself headhunted by Emma Frost and Sean Cassidy, the headmasters at Xavier’s School for Gifted Children. There, they train the next generation of mutants to fight for a world that fears and hates them. But with an incoming class of reprobates and a new villain on the scene with the ability to enter their dreams, can the White Queen and Banshee get the kids to come around to the Xavier philosophy and wear hideous uniforms?

Erik tries to recall his dim memories of the Generation X comic book series. He and Justin profess their love for artist J.H. Williams III and their occasional dread of his wild page layouts. The dismissal of DC Comics former co-publisher Dan DiDio gets discussed. Justin suggests installing Bernie Sanders as his replacement. Finola Hughes is named a show favorite. The terrible mid-90s fashion choices get skewered. Erik dubs the Latinx character “Flex Alvarez” while Justin tries to figure out why Husk is missing from the cast. They also examine Chris Claremont’s dependency on cultural catchphrases and produce better Irish accents than the person playing Sean Cassidy. Also, Justin recreates Wolverine as a “typical” Canadian and Matt Frewer makes a big impression.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction

Tread Perilously closes out Doctor Who month with the earliest story they’ve watched yet — “The Edge of Destruction” aka “Inside the Spaceship.”

When The Doctor’s attempt to steer “the ship” back to 20th Century Earth, they end up at the beginning of the universe — or the Solar System if The Doctor is to be believed. The TARDIS knows it’s in trouble, but it has a hard time conveying this message to its passengers. Meanwhile, Susan decides she needs to stab people with a dangerous pair of scissors, The Doctor becomes quite suspicious of his human captives, and Ian is reduced to a child-like state. Can Barbara interpret the TARDIS’s message and save the day?

Justin experiences what he calls “mezozoic” Doctor Who. He also finally meets Susan Foreman, The Doctor’s granddaughter, and, of course, compares her to Zoe. They also discuss the new previous Doctor played by Jo Martin. It leads to a discussion of “The Other,” and parts of the Cartmel Masterplan. Erik reveals his dislike of the genetic looms. Justin learns to dislike The Doctor’s original mission statement. John Nathan-Turner comes up again and it turns out a young William Hartnell looked like Tom Hiddleston. The color-coded bandage becomes a favorite part of TARDIS tech and Hartnell’s tendency to flub becomes an infectious spirit.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: Earthshock

Doctor Who month brings Tread Perilously to “Earthshock,” the infamous Fifth Doctor episode in which we learn who really killed the dinosaurs.

When Adric and The Doctor have a fight about teenage angst, the TARDIS lands on 26th Century Earth, where the group encounters an army detachment investigating the recent deaths of paleontologists. Somehow, it all connects to a freighter light years away and crew worried about losing their bonuses. But is their cargo the real power behind these events? And will Adric chart his way home or will tragedy claim him?

Justin’s opinion of the Fifth Doctor remains unchanged. He also learns the truth about Tegan’s accent. John Nathan-Turner’s decision-making once again creates problems. Nyssa gets compared to Zoe. Her fashion choices also come into question. Erik defends Tegan and Peri as good characters. He also presents a new philosophy toward remakes. Justin is excited to see a quarry. The future guns and armor get positive remarks. The Room gets invoked to explain a point about directing. Justin comes to hate Adric and agrees with Steven Moffat’s opinion of the character. Erik’s “In the Year 2525” joke fails to land. He also learns about “insectivores.” Fridge logic gets applied to certain aspects of the story and the Cybermen make a special appearance.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: Arachnids in the UK

Tread Perilously’s Doctor Who month continues with the recent “Arachnids in the UK.”

When the Doctor brings Yaz, Ryan, and Graham back to Sheffield, she meets Yaz’s family and discovers a mystery under the city. Large webs and giant spiders are infesting the area and it all seems centered near a new hotel built above a former mine. Yaz’s mother is to be the general manager of the new resort, but billionaire developer Mr. Robertson feels differently after he experiences her can-do spirit. Will the secret under the hotel kill them all before her sacking takes proper effect?

Erik and Justin try to name the Scottish exit from the United Kingdom while Justin tries once again to crown Karen Gillan as queen of a free Scotland. It leads to an oddly political discussion about Western Europe. They also get lost in memories of various creature features. Pulp proves not to be the Sheffield band Justin wants to hear. Erik tries to review “Planet of the Spiders” without revealing too much. Missing storytelling elements in the episode lead the pair to make certain conclusions about underwritten characters. Justin compares Chris Noth’s performance as Robertson to 30 Rock‘s Jack Donaghy. Erik tries to convince Justin he’s seen Noth before. The pair also imagines the Jedi Afterlife as a place where you keep your worldly injuries and accidentally pitch a Goop article.

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