Another day, another SyFy original.

I have to admit, I saw the opening few minutes of High Moon earlier this summer and was not impressed.  I had never read the source material (John Christopher’s The Lotus Caves), so I didn’t really know what to expect.  But because it is a SyFy original, I kept my expectations low.

For the first 20 to 30 minutes, I was wincing a bit.  Too much exposition packed into too little time, and too many pieces of real science thrown out the window.  Good example: Eve is wearing a special force field that automagically replenishes her oxygen.  That’s all fine and dandy, but what about protecting her from lunar heat/cold differentials?  Radiation?  Cosmic rays?  And (as dramatically cool as it might have been) are you REALLY going to wear those shoes out in the regolith?  The last thing you want to do is track regolith back into your ship.

Also, was it just me, or were there gobs of stalactites and stalagmites in the lunar caves?  The stalactites and stalagmites that we’re so used to in terrestrial caves are formed by water action.  There’s no water on the moon.  Okay, clarify: there may be water ice deep in dark lunar polar craters, but there is no amount of liquid water on the moon that we are aware of that could create stalactites/stalagmites.  So then why are there any stalactites and stalagmites in the lunar caves?  Especially in the tunnel where we first see the Russians – according to the dialog there, that is a tunnel that they built/mined/dug out themselves, however the ceiling is far higher than it should be and there are obvious stalactites in the long shots.  In digging tunnels or mines, the diggers only dig out what is necessary for them to function.  There’s no reason (at least none identified by the dialog) that they would’ve tunneled out a huge room with a 30 foot ceiling.

However, in spite of my quibbles, I actually ended up liking this.  Quite a bit more than I expected.  It’s not great, but it’s certainly not bad, and after I finally stopped wincing it really did keep me entertained.  A few random thoughts:

I love that the Russians speak Russian, and I absolutely love how they displayed the subtitles.

“Leak detected” … “leak contained.”  Very nice touch.

“Sergeant, he asked you a question.”  POP!  Very very nice touch.

So moonchick gives up her access card, but in the very next scene she still has an access card.  Eh?

Mechagodzilla roaring – um yeah – there ain’t no atmosphere to propagate sound on the moon, so his roar won’t make anything vibrate.  And we’re not going to hear him stomp on the moon buggy.  That we’d probably feel, but we certainly would not hear it.

“Lunar Japan welcomes you.”  I’m lovin’ it!

“You seem pretty cool with the fact that your liver might be choking on lunar hemlock right now.”  Absolutely love that line!

Overall, it’s not bad check-your-brain-at-the-door sci-fi, almost a throwback to old pulp sci-fi.  The dialog got snarkier as the show went on, and I have to say I’m kinda disappointed it wasn’t picked up for more episodes.  I rather doubt it would’ve worked as a long term series, but I certainly would not mind watching a little more of it (maybe one or two follow-up movies or a six episode miniseries to finish off the storylines that they left hanging).

 

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