Catch up on Silver Surfer
What was this 90’s cartoon from Marvel Entertainment and Saban Entertainment about? What is Silver Surfer about? Who stars in Silver Surfer Season 1, Episode 4?
This is a review and recap for “Silver Surfer” – Season 1 Episode 4, ‘The Planet of Dr Moreau.’
Viewer beware – Spoilers below!
Missed our Silver Surfer Episode 3 recap? Head here.
Silver Surfer Season 1, Episode 4: Recap
There’s no recap this time, probably because this is our first real ‘standalone’ episode. Now to just cross fingers and hope we don’t get any clips from the first three episodes filling up time.
We open with Silver Surfer doing a pretty great impression of Darth Vader’s ‘noooo!’ as he portals into some new part of space, before lamenting his new freedom but without Zenn-La or Shalla-Bal. His sorrow quickly turns to anger, which he decides to take out on some space rocks just floating by and minding their own business. Then Surfer gets upset with himself for getting so angry with the space rocks, especially when he realises he caused one to hurtle towards a nearby space station.
We then meet a pair of cosmic entities, a brother and sister, that are watching on as they discuss the Silver Surfer and his suitability as a hero of the universe. The brother seem very much pro-Surfer based on recommendations by the Watcher, while the sister has a little less faith in his ability to save everything (using his whole ‘endangering a space station in anger’ thing as evidence).
Silver Surfer doesn’t do the best job of saving the station as he decides to just blast the rock, which then shatters into lots of smaller rocks that pelt the station. Still, better than getting hit by the big one. He then heads inside to check on the people that live there, only to find a crowd that isn’t so happy to see him.
He then learns that a blind woman lost her entire family because of him. Surfer uses the power cosmic to heal her eyes, but the crowd thinks he’s just attacking her (but also does nothing to stop him except shout). The woman is only made sadder by her renewed sight, since she cannot use it to see her family, and the crowd continue to express their distaste for our hero. We then get a clip from the last episode (of course) of Galactus explaining that even in freedom Surfer is cursed to be seen as a monster by those he tries to save. Having had enough he takes his board and walks off.
Surfer heads to a bar to try and learn what people know about Zenn-La, only to discover the brother of Husserl (the Skrull from the first episode) is there and is not too pleased to learn exactly how it was Zenn-La escaped Galactus’ appetite. Husserl’s brother does some Skrull shape-shifting, but it’s completely useless against Silver Surfer even without reacting. So the brother declares vengeance against Silver Surfer and Zenn-La (as you do).
The bartender then mentions that they heard about a person from Zenn-La on a Kree controlled planet, and is really happy when that information makes Surfer leave. Our hero heads to the planet mentioned and is surprised to find it so primitive with no signs of civilization, if you ignore the multitude of satellites that surround it and produce a force field strong enough to stop Silver Surfer. He manages to find a way around the field by pushing one satellite away to make a gap, but they don’t like that and the rest shoot him from the sky.
We then jump to Nova, who is enjoying the sights of the galaxy. We finally get a name for her friend, Amber, and learn that unlike Surfer Galactus let her keep her memories. She has a moment of sadness over her lost life, but swiftly turns to revelling in her new power. Frankie then reveals that her parents died in a car crash that she mysteriously survived, which could simply be due to her ‘find what she seeks’ power but seems odd to dodge around it. Could be a mystery for later. Galactus then calls on her to find his next meal and we learn that Nova isn’t exactly the most professional or driven herald.
Silver Surfer awakens to two residents of the planet building a wall of bricks, Pip and Kili. Kili informs Surfer that he now belongs to campo A, and he recognises them as the Kree slave force known as Trolls. Pip doesn’t take too kindly to that and points out that Surfer is a slave as well, and our hero discovers the collar around his neck.
Silver Surfer doesn’t like that his newfound freedom has already been taken away, naturally, and so decides to dispose of his collar. This doesn’t go well and Pip has to help him to stop the shocks from possibly killing Surfer. While he is shocked Surfer finds that he hears the voice of the Master of Zenn-La, from the collar of all places. Kili then gives Surfer a quick breakdown of how the collars work, including that they project voices into everybodies heads.
Silver Surfer realises he has lost his board, which is stuck in the ground a short distance away, as Pip and Kili lead him away. Inside the mountain where they live and work we learn that the Kree move the Trolls from planet to planet in order to mine the substance required to make the slave collars. This does bring into question why Pip and Kili were building a wall outside, since it seems completely pointless to their task on the planet. It also seems the planet is a tad bit unstable from the mining as everybody falls out of the mountain as a side collapses.
Surfer hears the Master’s voice again and learns to accept the collar, which allows him to absorb it into himself. It seems that the teachings of Zenn-La might be a bit of a deus ex machina. It then turns out that all of the Trolls were hearing the Master’s voice the entire time. Surfer frees Pip and Kili, but can’t free everybody even as they are shocked as they try to fight back. Surfer summons his board and heads for the main Kree base on a nearby planet to find the Master.
Turns out Kree are just really good at stopping Silver Surfer as he is captured in a bubble and brought before a Kree combined intelligence. He then engages them in a moral debate over owning sentient beings as property, and they compare the Trolls to Surfer’s board or lamps. The Kree combined intelligence decides that this group of Trolls, who are shown on a screen seemingly unaffected by their ongoing shocks, is disposable and fires off a massive shot of energy.
The Master seizes control of the Kree combined intelligence and frees Surfer, revealing that he is a part of the organic hive brain. The Master then reveals that he was inspired by Surfer’s sacrifice and bravery, so left Zenn-La on a pilgrimage with some others that went badly when they were captured by the Kree and he was made part of the combined intelligence. Silver Surfer manages to stop the energy blast by transmuting it into rain, the power cosmic also a bit of a deus ex machina. The Master commits himself to freeing the Trolls in order to atone for all of what he was complicit to under the Kree and detonates the facility.
Silver Surfer decides to continue his search for Zenn-La, and Pip decides to join him. Surfer is happy to have one that views him as a friend so they fly off together, which raises questions of how the board exactly works in relation to the physics of space travel.
Silver Surfer Season 1, Episode 4: Review
This episode is interesting, being the first that isn’t a part of Surfer’s origin trilogy. Ultimately I think it works, showing us what we can expect as Silver Surfer goes on adventures across the galaxy. I’m also really glad they quickly gave Surfer a travelling companion since I fear without Pip future episodes would have been a lot of Surfer being sad about Zenn-La, having Pip will help his character by having someone consistent to bounce off.
I do find the choice of title ‘The Planet of Dr Moreau’ really interesting, largely because it avoids most of the common choices used in stories inspired by ‘The Island of Dr Moreau’. It focuses more on the thematic aspects of the story, namely moral responsibility, while most others focus more on the human/animal hybrids. It is also lacking a specific ‘Dr Moreau’ figure, except perhaps the Kree combined intelligence, and instead pushes that role more onto Kree society as a whole. Though it also keeps these elements simple enough that they shouldn’t fly over the heads of kids watching who are more interested in cosmic fights.
My only real issue moving forward is how much this show likes to add side stories, seemingly at random. Too often we suddenly cut to other characters and are given some story hook or mystery that then goes away and looks like it may not come back for several episodes. This can be good for maintaining momentum and interest, but may also cause the story of the show to bloat and soften pay-off. I hope this won’t be the case.
Who are the Silver Surfer Voice Actors?
The voice actors who appear in this episode of Silver Surfer include:
- Paul Essiembre as Norrin Radd /Silver Surfer
- James Blendick as Galactus
- Colin Fox as Uatu/The Watcher
- Aron Tager as The Master of Zenn-La
- Tara Rosling as Frankie Ray/Nova
- John Neville as Eternity
- Elizabeth Shepherd as Infinity
- Robert Bockstael as Pip the Troll
- Elizabeth Hanna as Kili the Troll
What did you think of this Episode?
Did you enjoy this Silver Surfer episode? What did you think of the fate of the Master of Zenn-La?
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