Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Our Man Bashir

***** (5 stars out of 5)
Ah, to be back in 1995 again! And also a space-station doctor of the future who has a fully immersive RPG playing a thinly-veiled (make that not veiled at all) version of Cold War superspy James Bond.
When the holosuites malfunction again... WAIT! This time it's not the holosuite's fault even a little. This time it's a near-miraculous SAVE feature when the transporter explodes and our main characters are transferred into the computers for safe-keeping.

The supporting cast of Bashir's diverting program, for good and ill, have been replaced with the images of his friends and colleagues. But though the story was designed for the hero to kill the villains, Julian must devise a way to complete the adventure without ending anyone's life. Not sexy Kolonel Kira Komananov- KGB. Not the shifty Klingon croupier. Not the deadly One-eyed O'Brien or the mad Nehru clad Dr. Noah, bent on drowning the Earth and starting over with the elite. Not Dax as Honey Bare, and not even Garak, who had nothing better to do than tag along just to mock Bashir's spy fantasy.

"Our Man Bashir" came out just after the release of Pierce Brosnan's Bond debut in 'Goldeneye'. I thoroughly enjoyed MGM's offering as well as Paramount's TV Land pastiche. Just when I thought the holodeck adventure story was played out forever, along came the fun, frivolity and fervour required for repeat viewing enjoyment. Over-the-top scenery-chewing bad guys, a clever high-stakes SF concept, and Nana Visitor's Russian accent. If the ludicrous prospect of "Mousey Dax" doesn't appeal to you, it might be worth the price of admission just for a Cardassian in a turtleneck.

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