Sunday, 13 January 2013

Space Brothers - Episode 40

The dangers of space exploration don't really need to be extrapolated on, but there's something terrifyingly human about the predicament Hibito and Damien find themselves in after the accident which closed last week's episode of Space Brothers.

With their buggy left careering down a ravine, both astronauts are thrown clear - not good news in this case as they find themselves separated in pitch darkness with no idea just how deep the hole they've fallen into goes, both literally and figuratively.  After some initial panic, Hibito's sense of logic kicks in and he goes about figuring out what to do in a calm, collected fashion, while the alarm bells ringing at NASA mean that the other members of the team on the Moon are quickly clued in on the fact that contact has been lost with their comrades.

Once Damien fires off his emergency flare, it seems as if all is going to be well - everyone now knows where the two missing astronauts are, and Damien is clearly not only alive but conscious.  However, once Hibito rushes to Damien's aid, things are rather less rosy - the buggy is in a non-operational state, and more importantly Daimen's in-suit temperature regulation is malfunctioning; couple that with a leg injury and in Damien's eyes the only thing for it is for Hibito to leave him behind and save himself.  Needless to say, Hibito is having none of this and sets about a rescue plan for his colleague and friend... a plan which could be about to plunge him into lethal danger as things go from bad to worse.

Having sung the praises of Space Brothers for so many different reasons over the course of the series so far, the show proves itself to be adept in some entirely new ways this week.  There's a primeval terror to the thought of being lost and dying a slow death alone many thousands of miles from people you know and love, and this episode taps into it incredibly well while still tying it very much to the human element of the series, yet without losing sight of the science and technological reality that its near-future setting dictates.  With another agonising cliffhanger to deal with to boot, Space Brothers really has been firing on cylinders

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