Thursday, August 11, 2011

Classic Serials: Undersea Kingdom, Chapter Three

In last week's "Faster-Paced" repost, I mentioned that Chapter Two has one of those notorious "cheat" cliffhangers.  To see how they work, compare the end of last week's full-length installment with the opening of this week's.  (I re-edited them in the faster-paced versions to play more fair, just because I could.)

Last week, we saw "Crash" Corrigan (or a model thereof) plummet to his death.  This week, not only is he not dead, but, in the recap, he grabs the edge and never plummets at all.  Like, probably, many of the viewers of this serial over the years, I cry foul.  How can we generate much concern for a hero once we learn the only way he can win out over overwhelming odds is by employing do-overs?

You have to wonder about a people who worship a foot-tall plaster idol that breaks upon falling onto sand from the awesome height of about fifteen feet.  I could go there with one of those cheap metal horses I used to win at the horse race pinball game at the Lake Forest Day carnival, and rule the place inside of a week.  "Behold the electroplated god who goes oopsies, yet does not break!"

We learn something else about their culture at about 15:31.  They can hold off the immense pressure of miles of water in Atlantis, but they're still working on antiperspirant.

Speaking of keeping out the water, Crash's sword sure isn't made of the same orichalcum (yes, I had to look the word up) as the dome.  It seems to me he could have saved himself a lot of trouble by going ahead and trying to kill his opponent.  The sword obviously can't cut butter, and would have snapped before it could do much damage. You'd think Crash would know this, or he wouldn't try to break it over his knee.  (I suppose the scene wouldn't have played as effectively with Crash hopping around in agony, having cut holy hell out of his leg and hands, but it's funny to think about.)

Now, it may sound like I'm dissing my blood Crash, but I enjoy this serial.  Getting to nitpick it is just a bonus.

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