I said I would give Transformers: Armada some chance to establish itself before I gave up on it completely. I'm regretting that. 'Comrade' was rife with bad animation, horrendous plotting and pacing, and riddled with continuity errors. From the previous episode. I'm not claiming the original series was high art, but at least it didn't solely feature a desert/canyon scene for the first four episodes. Plus it had some actual robot battles, rather than having characters stand around letting themselves get shot. Okay, I'm not in the target audience anymore. But it looks cheap and nasty when compared to Justice League, which immediately follows Armada on the Cartoon Network. Where's the explosions? The mass destruction? A plot different from Hunt The Mini-Con? I probably won't be seeking out any more episodes.
Today also saw the premiere of the new season's most hyped shows: Firefly. Other shows claim to be a Western in space. Joss Whedon actually delivers. The first episode was a fairly understated affair, introducing us to the main cast via a train robbery. Yes, a Train Robbery. We're not being secretly ironic. Disappointingly, this then develops into the standard Star Trek Moral Dilemma scenario, but there's enough going on with the crew and the toned-down, but still sharp dialogue to keep you interested.
Refreshingly (and I imagine Warren Ellis will be pleased), the crew don't all want to hug and love each other like in most versions of Star Trek; there's a good deal of mistrust among the various crew members, mainly centred around one character who hates everybody. As you've come to expect from Whedon, there's a Big Mystery which will mostly likely form the spine of the series, but it's wisely confined to a few scenes in this opening episode.
The show reminds me of Cowboy Bebop, although without the jazz influences. My sister will probably hit me for saying this, but I think there's a little bit of Blake's 7 in there as well. It's not the second coming of sci-fi drama (at least not yet), but it was a good debut, light years (do you see?) ahead of the turgid Enterprise.