VR5 – tape 2095

OK, let’s have a look at some more from VR.5. The first episode here is Love and Death. A man’s family dies in a car explosion. So Will Patton, who appears to be Lori Singer’s boss now, wants her to do her VR thing – phone him up and go into his mind.

He seems to be expecting her, sitting in a high-backed armchair in what looks like a cut-price Sherlock mind palace.

Mind Palace

Also, it seems that every time Sydney VRs into a mind, she suddenly gets a slinky costume.

She’s also still worrying about her mother’s breakdown (Louise Fletcher). And on another trip into the man’s head, he sees her own father – David McCallum (as we glimpsed in the earlier episode).

David McCallum

The man in question is an assassin, and when Sydney learns this she tells Will Patton she doesn’t want to continue. He tells her about her father, and his research into VR. “I’ve modemmed a file into your computer” he says. He’s arranged to meet someone he trusts there to tell them more, bit it’s the assassin, and Patton is stabbed and killed. I’ll admit, apart from the cheesy choral music, this was quite a shocking turn of events.

She tries to read the file, but it starts vanishing in bits, not helped by her habit of reading by waving her hand in front of the screen a lot.

Reading by Touch

The next episode, 5D, opens with Patton’s funeral, and Sydney taking a baseball bat to her computer. But Anthony Head turns up as Oliver Sampson, her new liason to the mysterious committee, and replaces all of her equipment. He’s definitely not cuddly, like Giles.

Anthony Stewart Head

They’re trying to find the man who killed Patton.  Dan O’Herlihy appears as an old colleague of Sydney’s father.

Dan O'Herlihy

She tracks down the assassin, and just as he’s about to tell her everything about The Committee, Sampson kills him. This is really plastering on the conspiracy theory schtick.

She also discovers that Patton wasn’t buried, but was taken to a cryogenic storage facility.

The next episode is Escape. Sydney is in some kind of facility. She’s not wearing skimpy clothes so my first assumption is that this is real life and not VR. But it’s all very fractured. Sampson is the one interrogating her, about whether her father ever experimented on her.

Sydney’s goldfish are called Steed and Mrs Peel. This foreshadows a VR sequence where Sydney is Diana Rigg and her long-haired friend is Patrick Macnee.

Avengers Lite

After some excruciating VR roleplay, longhair finds out where Sydney is, and he finds her unconscious, after a road accident, with Sampson waiting by her bedside. He’s suddenly very sympathetic, so I don’t know what to think. Is the Sampson that Sydney was seeing her imagination?

Seems like it is, as the real Sampson explains to longhair guy, she’s placing his face onto what she’s seeing because he’s the only Committee person she knows.

The final episode here sees longhair guy back in the simulation (judging by the state of his hair).

Crazy Hair

“Maybe VR.12 turns you into Fabio.” Too late for that, mate, you were there weeks ago.

This episode is Parallel Lives, and looks like an alternate reality story. Will Patton make a reappearance, Sydney is dead, and her sister Samantha is alive.

Penn Jillette plays a friend of Samantha. He has no purpose in the plot, so I can only assume he’s appeared in previous episodes or something. (iMDb only lists him in the pilot, not in this episode, so I guess we saw him before.)

Penn Jillette

Sampson in this reality is having a bad hair day

Sampson's bad hair day

And if I’ve fathomed the plot, at the end of this episode, we’ve learned that both Sydney’s father David McCallum and her sister are both still alive.

Father Bloom

And that was the last episode in the ‘current series’. Going by iMDb it was the penultimate episode ever. But there’s five episodes between this episode and Escape (including the one we saw earlier). I wonder if Sky bailed on the series a few episodes early. But it’s a bit crappy to end on an episode that Lori Singer isn’t even in.

According to Wikipedia, this was indeed the last episode that Sky broadcast, and it was never broadcast in the US on the original network. Also, Sky broadcast the episodes in a different order. I wonder if the series’ attempts at continuity survived this treatment.

After this episode, there’s the start of an episode of COPS, during which the tape ends.

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