10 May 2009

Super heroes and their mothers

Sci-fi and adventure movies are not usually my cup of tea. But yesterday we went to see StarTrek XI at a cinema in town. I had vague recollections of watching StarTrek on TV as a child, and thought it would be interesting and fun to see what the 21st century producer did with a 20th century classic. It was lots of fun, if a little violent, and as far fetched as a cup of tea from Pluto. Well, I suppose that's what sci-fi is all about.

Have you ever noticed that the villains in sci-fi movies almost always have dark-coloured space ships with all sorts of grotesque-looking projections all over them? Aero-dynamic principles don't seem to apply to villains. The inside of the ship is equally dark and grotesque.

Villains seem to feel the cold a lot. They get around in heavy overcoats or capes when the heroes are dressed in thin, body-hugging lycra. Even Dr Who has shed his coat and scarf in recent years in favour of a well-fitted suit.

For some reason, villains and aliens are always intent on destroying the earth, and they always land in London or some large American city to do so. Perhaps it's because aliens throughout the universe speak perfect English, whereas they might have trouble with Chinese or Swahili. It's convenient for the heroes who always just happen to be in London or New York at the right moment.

The heroes' spaceship is smooth and clean and shiny. Even when it's breaking up under attack, its computer systems continue to operate, and you never see oxygen masks descend from the ceiling. It has the power to fly away from black holes and the speed to dodge a barrage of missiles. It has no kitchens, bathrooms or laundries, since heroes never need to eat, wash, or take a leak.

The heroes are as tough as their ship. After being beaten up by the villain several times in one day, they don't even have a headache, and never suffer from brain injuries, internal bleeding or broken knuckles.

Since the heroes are always so healthy, the doctor on the heroes' spaceship has nothing to do apart from deliver babies and give vaccinations. Since the women on the space ship all look like supermodels as well as being highly intelligent, it's not surprising that babies happen. Even young Mr Spock has a romantic streak to him, it seems.

And since it's Mother's Day today, note that the toughest space heroes can be brought to their knees by talking to them about their mother. Who would have guessed?

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