Tripping the Rift appeared in 2004 on the Sci-Fi Channel. I remember sampling the first episode, when it first aired. I also remember not thinking much of it. It’s not that I didn’t like it, nor was it that I did like, or whatever, I just felt indifferent to it. Now I have the opportunity to peruse the entire season.
After watching all 13 of these episodes my reaction remains near the indifferent mark on the entertain-o-meter. There were moments where the needle jumped up on the scale, with the average being in the moderately entertained area.
The basic thrust of the show has a motley crew aboard a sentient spaceship trying to avoid the those who seek to do them harm, and the adventures that they stumble into along the way, whether they want to or not. Hmmm, sounds like I just described Farscape. Anyway, these are the adventures in comedy had by this crew of creatures.
The crew is comprised of the sex-aholic, constantly in trouble captain, Chode, his sex slave/science officer android, Six, the alien engineer T’Nuk, gay robot Gus, and Chode’s nephew, Whip. Then there is Bob, the agoraphobic ship.
As they travel the universe each week, they run into a number of different groups of people, all while trying to avoid two. On one side they don’t to get caught by the Confederation, the complete conformist group led by the Captain Kirk-like Adam 12. The Confederation has a large number of warrants out for Chode’s arrest. On the other side there are the Dark Clowns, led by the evil Darph Bobo. They are out to control the universe.
Among their adventures include a trip back in time where they kill god, changing the face of the universe, a beauty pageant with T’Nuk, plus a matchmaking between Adam 12’s son and Darph Bobo’s daughter that leads to unexpected results.
I don’t really care to describe the episodes. I will, however, tell you what I like. Any scene with Darph Bobo, or the Dark Clowns in general. They are among the best of the series, for a reason I cannot adequately explain. I also enjoy the youthful goofiness of Whip. Then there is Chode, the sexist, abusive leader of the band. He is like a gruff version of Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin, and Eric Cartman.
The show is good, it is worth watching, but it is not a classic. Not yet anyway; things could change down the line. The animation is mediocre, the characters are pretty good, and it has some good jokes too.
Video. The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. It looks good, it is bright and colorful, looks better than broadcast!
Audio. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0. Nothing spectacular, nothing to complain about.
Extras. Bah, you call these extras? This is a glaring weak spot in the set. There are two art galleries, one is character design, the other is backgrounds used. The only good extra is the DVD-ROM content, this has all of the teleplays for the episodes.
Bottomline. Not great, there is definitely some good entertainment in this. It has the potential to be a lot better, it will be interesting to see where it goes.