Tread Perilously — Supertrain: And a Cup of Kindness Too

Tread Perilously’s month of TV Horrors continues with a return trip aboard Supertrain for an episode called “And a Cup of Kindness Too.”

When Jack Nordoff (guest star Larry Linville) helps Waldo Chase (guest star Dick Van Dyke) up from the steps of the train station, he offers to kill Jack’s soon-to-be ex-wife. Jack laughs its off, but Chase books a seat on Supertrain to meet Myra (guest star Barbara Rhoades) and remind her of better times with and without Jack. But is Chase really the Specter of Death? Meanwhile, Supertrain’s nurse (Nita Talbot) deals with the hellion grandchildren of Supertrain owner Winfield Root. Pranks are involved.

Erik and Justin discover a true TV horror as Dick Van Dyke brings a chilling edge to his performance. Justin takes a few more shots at the show’s romantic lead Dave Noonan (Patrick Collins), who happens to look like a baby man. Erik appreciates the panicky performance of guest star Larry Linville. Justin outlines a Manimal/Supertrain crossover. Erik points out a character he calls “Alpha Texas.” Gaslighting appears once again as a character’s superpower and the pair attempt to figure out why Jack and Myra decided to get divorced in the first place. Erik also reveals he cannot tell the difference between Patrick Dempsey and C. Thomas Howell.

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Tread Perilously — Manimal: Pilot

Tread Perilously starts a month of TV horrors with the second worst television show NBC ever aired: Manimal.

When Officer Brooke McKenzie’s spots a panther on the night her partner gets shot, she is referred to leading criminologist and veterinary researcher Dr. Jonathan Chase. He gives her the runaround as she’s stumbled onto his current case. For when trouble strikes, Chase turns into the Manimal! A wondrous hero with the ability to turn into any animal he chooses, though it’s typically a large cat species or a hawk. He’s on the trail of a crooked colonel selling arms to a mysterious group of terrorists. Will Manimal, his Black Partner and Brooke foil the colonel’s plans to steal a shipment of nerve gas?

Though intended to be a horror situation, Erik and Justin find Manimal a delightful romp of bad choices featuring guest star Terry Keiser. They arbitrarily decide the panther is a “pyuma” for reasons that eventually become clear. Erik praises character actor Ed Lauter. Justin defines the role of Black Partner in 80s TV shows. Both point out that Manimal’s main ability is gaslighting. He also has separate rooms for scarves and robes. Justin points out that Manimal’s clothes are fine when he transforms despite being depicted as ripping and Erik spots the Howling Mad Murdoch costume on a random goon. Also, Erik and Justin witness the greatest scene in Tread Perilously history.

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Tread Perilously — Andromeda: The Sum of All Its Parts

Tread Perilously joins up with one more starship the episode of Andromeda called “The Sum of All Its Parts.”

When the Andromeda Ascendant encounters a debris field, the crew meets an ambassador of The Consensus of Parts. They have heard of Dylan Hunt’s mission to restore the Federation and offer an alliance of sorts, but their true interest is in adding Andromeda to their Consensus. After the ship’s AI rebuffs the advances of a Consensus general, the Ambassador resurfaces as a subroutine in Andromeda’s consciousness. Can Dylan Hunt negotiate with the Ambassador and the General before all the “bio-units” on board are de-rezzed?

Erik and Justin discuss what the Phoenicians might have looked like and the choice of casting Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Erik also praises actor Lexa Doig. Justin decides he needs a Blue Lagoon cinematic universe. Erik lodges a complaint against saccharine whimsy. Justin recalls the worst film he and Erik have ever seen. Erik’s hatred of Trance leads to a long discussion of Andromeda‘s metaplot and the behind-the-scenes battle between developer Robert Hewitt Wolfe and star Kevin Sorbo. Erik determines the difference between a space demon and a demon in space while the pair also face the worst piece of dialogue they have ever encountered on Tread Perilously.

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Tread Perilously — Farscape: Taking The Stone

Tread Perilously continues its tour of duty among the stars with the Farscape episode “Taking the Stone.”

When Chiana learns her brother is dead, she arranges to escape her grief on a cemetery planet. There, she finds a civilization of cave dwellers who die when they turn twenty-two, but somehow stave off death by taking part in “the Gathering.” Considering that the ceremony will either kill her or help process her brother’s death, Chiana decides to take part in the Gathering. Crichton discovers that the magic science behind the Gathering may actually be the reason they perish so young. Can he save the planet’s inhabitants and Chiana at the same time? Meanwhile, Rigel is warned not to steal from the dead, but gives into his desire for treasure. It appears to unleash a specter upon the ship.

Erik compares Farscape‘s production values to some of the worst art direction on the new and old Doctor Who. He also refuses to address Rigel as anything but a Koozbanian. Justin asserts that most sci-fi series feature space whales. He also tries to imagine an Orc/Dalek hybrid. Both take a bold stance against the Union of the Snake. Erik creates Deadbrew — an alcoholic beverage made with the remains of the dead and Justin tried to explain why one character on Farscape has too much design.

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Tread Perilously — Star Trek Voyager: Living Witness

Tread Perilously’s attempt to tread safely continues with the Star Trek: Voyager episode called “Living Witness.”

Seven hundred years after the Voyager encountered the Kyrian civilization, an archeologist tells the tale of how the Federation warship unleashed a bio-weapon on the planet in exchange for a way home. The incident led to lasting tension with the nearby Vaskan civilization as the latter now occupies the former’s homeworld. And just when it seems the Kyrian archeologist has learned all he can about the Voyager incident, he discovers a back-up of the Emergency Medical Hologram. The reactivated Doctor presents a substantially different version of their shared history. Will he dismiss the Doctor as fake news?

Seven of Wine‘s Jacqueline Lopez joins Erik and Justin to discuss the notion of the Dark Federation, smiling Vulcans and why Tom Paris sucks in all realities. Justin makes fun of the aliens with nipples on their foreheads. Jacqueline explains the different pronunciations of “Chakotay.” Justin considers the horror of waking up 700 years in the future. Erik tries to find the source of his Tom Paris hatred. Jacqueline introduces the term “Bragadocious” and reveals her favorite single hour of Voyager. Also, Erik avoids calling out Rick Berman for a change.

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Tread Perilousy — Star Trek Enterprise: Similitude

Tread Perilously attempts to tread safely with the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Similitude.”

It goes poorly.

When Trip is gravely injured after a Warp 5 experiment, Dr. Phlox devises a way to clone him and harvest parts of the clone’s brain to heal Trip. But in order to do it, the clone must live four or five days growing to Trip’s approximate age. When he begins to remember Trip’s childhood, Archer is faced with with a classic Star Trek moral dilemma. T’Pol, meanwhile, is faced with unwanted advances from the Trip clone. Mayweather pilots a shuttlepod.

Erik and Justin determine Trip was the most popular Enterprise character and, by season three, the star of the show. Erik suggest an ugly tension between Scott Bakula and Jolene Blalock. Both credit the series with a great credit sequence despite its ruinous theme song. A prominent shot of T’Pol’s ass leads to a discussion of fan service on Star Trek. Erik invokes Frank Miller’s feature film debut, Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Justin pitches a better version of the episode, but Erik suggests its similarities to The Next Generation‘s “Inner Light” boxed the writers in. He also determines that T’Pol is the star of the Vulcan Love Slave holosuite program.

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Tread Perilously — Fringe: Unearthed

Tread Perilously jumps to another reality with the abandoned Fringe episode known as “Unearthed.”

When Lisa, a recently deceased young woman, suddenly comes back to life on the organ harvesting table and blurts out nuclear codes, Olivia Dunham and the Fringe Division arrive on the scene. When Lisa starts speaking Russian, the group investigates a missing Naval officer with access to the launch codes. Meanwhile, Walter Bishop begins to suspect the girl somehow caught the Navy man’s soul as he lay dying. This doesn’t stop her from noticing how handsome Joshua Jackson is. Unfortunately, the Navy man figures out a way to possess Lisa and plans his revenge.

Sarah Madden joins Erik and Justin for a look at the season one Fringe episode FOX held back and burned off in season two. She deduces star Anna Torv is Australian almost immediately. Justin points out the Oz actors on the show. Erik points out the Law & Order veterans. The two points converge with Erik’s “favorite” actor, Kirk Acevedo. Erik determines Anna Torv’s Elvish origins. Justin professes his love for Diego Luna. Sarah drops truthbombs about Katie Holmes and cream soda. She also learns about Fringe’s fantastic and convoluted meta-narrative.

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