Tripping the Rift: Computer Shorts: Love and Darph
This is the fist cool sci fi animation since The Tick or Aeon Flux and thank goodness Sci Fi Channel have seen fit to reward the makers with a short series.
I godda say though, after the first three seconds of the pilot, I wasn’t impressed. The asteroid whizzing across the screen and the candyfloss background music of a woodwind ensemble reminded me too much of Voyager and my first reaction was a sigh. Then the main title appeared and all was saved. Lets face it, this is such a bloody stupid name for a sci fi show – I think most of us suddenly felt encouraged.
As the seconds ticked away we would find ourselves gripped by a strange and unique group of characters, some wonderful voices, truly excellent animation…… but not alas, the story. The makers had under 6 minutes to show the world what they were capable of and that’s wasn’t going to happen in 348 seconds.
Nevertheless, as we squinted at the ugliness of our hero’s spaceship desperately trying to make out the words, ‘Overnight Delivery’ on the hull, we knew we were in for a treat.
The show opened aboard a brick shaped transport ship called the Free Enterprise. Captain Chode, a purple….. thing with three eyes, strange floppy cranial protuberances (quite phallic looking actually) and a big mouth was trying to dictate the shops log. He mentioned that the cargo contained prophylactics that were to, “be delivered to the over-sexed…”
He was cut of by another member of the crew, a surly robot named Gus, “Er…. er… Who’re you talking to?” It says while attempting to fix something on the other side of the bridge. This ship was no Andromeda. It looked a little shabby and from the look on Chode’s face, inefficient.
“The ships recorder.” Answers the Captain.
“Oh. It’s broken.” Replies Gus.
Possibly resigned, but certainly pissed off, Chode asks the robot what he has been fixing for the last few days.
“The trans-digital-freon-converter.” Answers Gus without taking a breath.
And when the captain learns that this particular gadget is only used for making ice cubes, he blows his top. “You mean to tell me that the with all the crap that’s broken on this ship, you start with the fucking ice-machine!”
Gus is equally antagonistic, “Listen to me you fat, purple dung pile….” Clearly Gus has no respect for authority, “As the ships engineer, I decide what gets fixed first. So if you don’t like it, go screw yourself.”
Chode is singularly unimpressed with Gus’s bravado and insists that since he is the Captain, Gus should do as he’s told. However, Chode’s style of discipline centres on the capable use of his baseball bat.
Gus quickly takes stock of the situation and, for some strange reason believes that he can take-on the big purple guy – armed only with his cigarette lighter/ blow-torch contained in one of his fingers. Chode proceeds to beat the living diodes out of the Ships Engineer.
Suddenly, the third member of the crew slides gracefully onto the bridge. Six of one is an especially beautiful woman with long legs, unusually large firm yet wobbly breasts and amazing white eyes. She gives a resigned sigh as Chode screams to Gus, “Now fix the fucking hyper-drive!”
The Captain returns to his chair and Six joins him, “Captain, hyper-drive is essentially useless since we are entering the edge of a hyper-smiley.” I’d swear she said ‘smiley’. Six has a beautiful husky voice and an air of scientific knowledge). But she notices that Chode is sulking and asks sweetly, “ohh, would you like a hand job.” Welp! It’s not one of the classic sci fi lines of all time, but I’LL certainly remember it.
Strangely enough, Six’s offer of relief didn’t cheer up the big purple dude at all, “No. No, thank you Six, that would be nice, but I’m too pissed off to enjoy it anyway.” Wimp!
But Six is insistent and proceeds to delicately stroke Choke’s…. Phallic purple cranial protuberances. So that was what Six meant by ‘hand job’. How disappointing, I almost felt sorry for Chode.
Meanwhile, As Six strokes and Chode ‘ahh’s’ Four humanoid shapes materialise (slowly) onto the bridge. An evil looking clown and three guards.
They are facing the wrong way. That’s VERY cool by the way. Bloody Star Trek never had that insight. How could they always guarantee that when they beamed on-board another ship, they would always face the right way?! The evil clown, called Darph Bobo shouts to the wall, “Now I’ve got you!”
Darph is embarrassed and makes and turns. He challenges an unfortunate (and doomed) guard geezer by blaming him for their embarrassing directional fo-phah. When the guard has the bad taste to deny his incompetence, Darph uses some pretty hefty and seemingly magical power to mangle, misshape and eventually explode the insolent guards head.
“Hello Chode.” Greets the evil clown with a menacing smile. Seemingly a lot cheerier after killing the guard.
“What do I want?” Says Bobo, “Oh, yeah….., BLOODY VENGENCE!”
When Six asks where Chode knows Darph from, he replies that they me in prison. Isn’t it so refreshing to see the hero of the show as a criminal (aside from being a purple geezer with four wobbly horns and three eyes)? Gus suggests, “Oh, don’t tell me. Judging from his size I’d say that you were the bitch. Am I right?”
Chode looks as though he’s been found out, Six looks beautiful and Bobo looks at Gus and says, “Who are you?” (It wasn’t a request; it was more of a bark).
“Nobody.” Replies Gus trying desperately to melt into the fabric of the background.
Chode, mildly annoyed with the pleasantries, asks Bobo to get on with it and the Evil Clown obliges with a dazzling display of fireball throwing. Chode, sensing his imminent destruction, asks, “Why don’t you fight without using your faggot clown power son?”
Bobo agrees, but not without quietly instructing one of the guards to shoot Chode if it looks like he will win. Bobo then fires up his light sabre and the fight heats up. Unfortunately, Bobo’s aim is pretty poor. What he makes up for in cool weaponry, he loses in poor swordsmanship. Pretty soon, Bobo has sliced (to death) his two remaining guards in parry’s that missed their intended target.
Chode, sensing that he is on a winning streak, grabs hold of Gus’s feet and uses him as a club. But with one swing of his light sabre, Bobo cuts the Gus-club in half and the top half of the disgruntled robot flies over to the other side of the bridge. “Bastard.” Says Gus. I’m not sure if he was talking about Bobo or Chode.
“Never underestimate the power of a dark clown.” Says Bobo triumphantly.
Then, just as things are looking desperate for the purple geezer, Six (standing by the airlock door) says with her sexiest voice, “Hey, Mr. Clown. I know better ways for you to occupy your time.” She then proceeds to unzip her dress and reveal a pair of firm but pleasantly wobbly boobs.
“Madam.” Says Bobo (demonstrating far too much respect). “Clowns are quite disciplined when it comes to…” Bobo pauses as Six turns round to reveal her naked bum painted with a clown face and …. in the erm …. mouth area a … party trumpet. Using what can only be described as magic (coz women don’t fart right?!), Six managed to blow the party trumpet.
This is more than we… erm I mean Bobo can take. He (and his now limp light sabre) are distracted enough by Six’s party piece to allow Chode to open the airlock.
Six manages to grab onto the airlock door but Bobo is sucked (or should that be suckered) out.
Chode manages to hang on and when he closes the hatch, both he and Six are safe. Gus fortunately managed to get his arm trapped in the airlock door, but his body clearly remained outside.
The resultant loss in air pressure causes Bobo to expand and explode.
The show ends when Chode, clearly in a good mood after dealing with Bobo, decides to take Six up on her offer of a hand job. The credits appear to sounds of joy as Chode gets his bumps felt.
Wadda cracker! For the last couple of years people have been downloading this video cartoon from Chris Moeller’s excellent website. Now we learn that based on this episode, Sci FI channel have agreed to produce 13 new episodes to be shown in 2003. Can we wait that long!?
I’d rate this pilot episode a trumpet blowing 47,338 out of 10.
What did you think? Was this pilot a piss-take out of good-wholesome TV and Cinema Sci Fi such as Star Wars and Star Trek? Or was it just a story written by a bunch of tallented and stoned geeks?!
I hope it was the latter.
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Tripping the Rift reviews are © 2002 – 2019 Tony Fawl.
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Tripping the Rift names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of Chris Moeller, Chuck Austen and Dark Bunny Productions.