Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fiction/Science: Series 2, Prolog 0.5 - Confessions in Purgatory

Nurse Ratknee, portrayed by Adriana Róze, steps outside for a smoke.

Space Hospital Season 2 is GO! Yesterday we launched the prolog to Season 2, which you can watch on YouTube or in Koldcast’s high-definition player.

In Season 1, the discovery of a television on an archaeological dig exposed the crew to such subversive programming as “The Andy Griffith Show,” sparking an anti-technology revolt that led to an assassination and a surprise inspection by Prince Plodd, sent by The Centrality to determine the ship’s fate. Nurse Ratknee made sexy moves on Prince Plodd in a valiant effort to save their jobs but learned afterwards that the Destroyers were already on their way.

As Season 2 opens, the Destroyers have yet to arrive, and the hospital drifts in space, awaiting word of its fate. On the upside, Nurse Ratknee received her long-awaited promotion to Chief Nurse, which enabled her to have her adversary, Nurse Barbara, transferred off Space Hospital. On the downside, boredom and uncertainty create a perfect storm of anxiety that drives Nurse Ratknee outside to smoke her first cigarette in 7 years.

Space Hospital combines two significant sources of stress – a poorly managed work environment in which employees are under constant computer surveillance and the awesome, unknown terrors of deep space travel.

NASA suggests that teamwork is an excellent way for astronauts to manage stress.  Smoking is another excellent method of stress reduction. Although its health merits have been touted and challenged through the years, smoking is a solid alternative in environments like Nurse Ratknee’s where teamwork is not possible due to low morale and the imminent threat of death.

Stress management techniques will only become more important as private corporations move into the exciting new frontier beyond Earth’s atmosphere, and we see “space smokes” as a promising area of R&D.

Adriana Róze simulated her space walk on a stage at The Victory Theatre Center in Burbank. One of the most crucial components of her wardrobe are the striking anti-gravity boots she wears that enable her to light one up in the most awe-inspiring smoking sections ever. The boots were made for R.O.N.A.L.D., a remote-operated, nocturnally aggressive lizard-robot with rage issues featured in the visual-effects-driven feature “Diamonds of Metro Valley,” written and produced by Mary McIlwain and directed by Aaron Arendt (whose name will be popping up again in next week’s episode, “The Great Ape Race.”)

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