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October 7th, 2005

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11:16 am - There's a dog loose in the woods

I do enjoy the strategies of fighting, and there was a very enjoyable strategem towards the end of 'Serenity' which was lifted wholesale from 'Galaxy Quest' (yay!).

My private term for this is 'There's a dog loose in the woods' from the Watership Down sequence where the same strategem is used by the rabbits. Incidentally, these words are spoken by Fiver, who is the River of Watership Down. I think the similarity of names is just a coincidence, but it's a satisfying one.

The strategem is this. One faces a massively superior enemy in front, and there is a dangerous predator or weapon behind. This unpromising situation is turned to advantage by throwing the enemy behind onto the enemy in front. Using one enemy as a weapon against the other. Worth bearing in mind.

In Galaxy Quest they lead a load of magnetic mines onto the evil baddy. In Serenity they lead the reavers onto the Operative. I realised what was happening this time, but this hardly blunted the thrill, and that moment when the reavers bust through the cloud into view was a real pleasure. In both cases, incidentally, the baddy is intelligent enough to appreciate the strategy immediately, which adds to the fun.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 7th, 2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
I adore Chiwetel's one hammy, over-the-top, comic moment in that scene: "Somebody fire!"

And isn't it cool how badass those Reaver ships look, all burning and radiation-emitting and nasty?

That whole battle scene gets better every time I see it, because from a storytelling as well as a CGI perspective, it's incredibly complex. I was six viewings in, I think, before I figured out that a specific Reaver ship chases Serenity all the way through to the end of the line.

I saw "Galaxy Quest" two or three times (and loved it), but strangely, I don't remember the stratagem being used. Glad to know "Serenity" contains a tribute--however unintentional--to that movie, because it's probably the last sci-fi flick until "Serenity" with any real heart.
[User Picture]
Date:October 7th, 2005 05:58 pm (UTC)
I think it was intentional. Might be intesting to check out Galaxy Quest, I think the similarity is quite striking (though I'm relying on my unreliable memory)

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