Three centuries in the future humanity has colonized the solar system, and spread beyond it. There are a number of nation states in the Solar system, with the 'Raiders' living at the fringes.Starhunter
(2000-2001, 2003-2004) follows the adventures of a group of bounty hunters as they travel through the solar system.
In the first season Dante Montana (Michael Paré) is the captain of the ship; with him is his niece, Wrench Wench
Percy (Tanya Allen); Lucretia Scott (Claudette Roche), The Lancer
(who has an agenda of her own); and the AI Caravaggio (Murray Melvin) for crew. Dante is looking for his son Travis who was kidnapped as a baby by Raiders. They work for Rudolpho deLuna (Stephen Marcus), hunting bounties as a way to earn money, and have a legal reason to go after the Raiders.
There is a plot running through the season concerning the Divinity Cluster, which Travis may be linked to through his genes; an Ancient Conspiracy
called The Orchard, which may not be that ancient; and possible alien lost technology.
Dante is lost at the end of the season in an incident involving the Divinity Cluster and hyperspace. Percy, Caravaggio and the ship are thrown into hyperspace and presumed lost.
They return next season about twenty years later, long enough for Travis to have grown up, left the Raiders and to have started searching for his father. Travis, his engineer sidekick, an ex-Matrian cop and Dante's old employer, Rudolpho, all end up on the ship with Percy.
As in the first season, they end up taking bounty hunting jobs to pay the bills and have a reason to fly around the solar system.
Not a bad series, though somewhat harmed by the CGI effects. The second season actors all do a good job with what they have to work with. Tanya Allen is rather good as the somewhat paranoid, heading for a breakdown Percy.Cowboy Bebop
has a better sound track but Starhunter
is still worth a look.
The second season, re-titled Starhunter 2300
, is currently (5/30/2012) available on Hulu
Starhunter provides examples of:
- 2-D Space: It's as bad as the Wing Commander movie with nobody ever thinking to "climb" or "dive" to avoid a 2D shockwave/anomaly/whatever.
- The Alcatraz: One Job of the Week involves transporting two convicts to a prison on the sunny side of Mercury tended by robots. This involves landing the shuttle on the dark side, then taking a robot-driven car to the prison.
- Ancient Astronauts: Possibly, there seem to have been aliens involved at one point in the distant past.
- Ancient Conspiracy: The Orchard.
- Artificial Gravity: One bounty actually comments she can tell Percy wasn't raised on a planet but in an environment that used grav coils because of the way she walks.
- Badass Longcoat: Dante and Lucretia.
- Captain's Log: Duh, it's a space show. Dante is a bit more blunt than the average captain though, and there aren't stardates, just a narration segment.
- Casual Interplanetary Travel: Interplanetary travel is semi-realistic but casual; push on the gas and you go faster, but it does take a couple of days to get from the moons of Jupiter to Mars. Interstellar travel exists (via Hyperspace), but is very new, cutting edge, rare, and dangerous.
- Cool Starship: The Tulip.
- Cosmopolitan Council: the Ancient Conspiracy, the Orchard.
- Conservation of Competence: kick-ass bounty hunters who frequently ignore their boss.
- Crusading Widower: Dante won't rest until he finds his missing son.
- Dead Man Switch: Lucretia sets one up, to broadcast everything about Orchid if they are fired upon.
- Energy Beings: They even have a ship.
- Energy Weapons: In one episode Dante has had a particle beam installed on the Tulip.
- Enlightenment Superpowers: As a result of the Divinity Cluster.
- Exty Years from Now: Season One - set in 2275 - made in 2000.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: Present but usually ignored. The Tulip travels from place to place at relativistic, but very definitely sublight, speeds. Which makes the rare instances of FTL quite notable and directly plot-relevant.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: "Twist in Time"
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Percy does some interesting things, notably blowing up the ship twice (it's complicated) without a second thought.
- She also adds a machine gun to one of the rooms just for the heck of it.
- Hologram Projection Imperfection: Dante's dead wife, Penny, who invented the VR projection technology.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Percy frequently falls for any cute prisoner who comes aboard ship.
- Karma Houdini: Five, a psychopathic killer, is able to create time loops and escape through them.
- Mystery Cult/Scam Religion: The Va'huti religion finds followers in the hundreds, and then the leader convinces them (with his creepy mind-wipe powers) to fly into the sun while he escapes.
- No New Fashions in the Future: Aboard ship Dante's usual costume is a t-shirt and cargo pants. Dirtside, he'll add a Badass Longcoat.
- Omniscient Council of Vagueness: the Ancient Conspiracy, oh so much.
- Planar Shockwave
- Planet Looters: The Raiders.
- Phlebotinum Breakdown: The Tulip is a bit of a junker. Percy in one episode sends a probe and directs it by voice. She has to scream "Left! Left!" because it heads in the opposite direction of her voice command.
- Virtually every episode has something major in the ship breaking down or getting virus hacked, etc. making Percy earn her keep.
- The particle beam they got in one episode? It fried after one use.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Travis
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Rudolpho is frequently telling inappropriate stories about his sex life.
- Projected Man: Carravagio the AI takes the form of part elderly British gent; part skeleton.
- Recurring Character: The guy they met on Mars later appears having stolen a painting.
- Space Friction
- Subspace or Hyperspace (the latter)
- Suspended Animation (The Martian 'blank' clones used for organ replacement)
- Talking to Themself/Literal Split Personality: Carravagio gets reprogrammed to attack the crew in one episode, and splits into a "yellow" and a "blue" Carravagio. He starts arguing with himself.
- Time Dilation: A couple of examples, some of which result from the fact that ships in the series accelerate to relativistic speeds to get from planet to planet.
- The "relativity is a pain in the neck" joke gets used at least once in the first series when Rudolpho complains that they're a couple weeks behind on their bills, and the crew responds that from their point of view they've got a couple of days still.
- At the end of the first season the protagonists end up being trapped in Hyperspace, and at the beginning of the second season one of them comes out 15 years later the same age, and much of the season is her searching for her uncle, who is still trapped there. At one point it's suggested that by the time they find him his son maybe be twice his age.
- One episode features a middle aged man who hires the bounty hunter protagonists to rescue his kidnapped parents, whose kidnappers had been traveling at very fast speeds for 50 years causing them to age only 8 months, meaning he's now twice their age.
- Unnecessarily Large Vessel: The Tulip is a former luxury liner, but her crew complement currently consists of three people and an AI, and she has so much unused space that the crew hasn't even explored the entire ship. Meaning there's ample opportunity for weird turns of events such as a Human Popsicle thawing out in an unexplored corridor.
- Used Future: The Tulip is a decommissioned luxury liner and resembles an abandoned hotel on the inside.
- Wrench Wench: Percy.