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The Official Space Cases Bible


      All of our students are, in terms of their race's personal development, roughly adolescents. However since they're aliens, they develop at different speeds. So, in point of fact, the age range of the actors playing them range from about eight to eighteen. We list them here from youngest to oldest as a guide.

Although all of them have roots outside of the Sol solar system, they are all (with the exception of RADU) several generations removed from their roots and think of themselves purely in terms of the planets of their births.

If Eeyore were humanoid, you'd have Bova.

Perpetually with a chip on his shoulder over the fact that he's the smallest, Bova is able to see the downside of every situation. His small forehead antennae mark him as being from Uranus, the most chronically depressed race in the solar system ("You'd be depressed too if people kept making fun of your planet's name.")

Bova is the eternal pessimist. When things are looking hopeful, he'll predict eventual--even immediate--doom. When things are looking down, that's when he's most in his element. Convinced Murphy's law was written just for him, he's only happy when events fail to pan out, because it reaffirms his downward view of the universe. However, he is incapable of letting the happiness show. At one point he tells Harlan that, because of the hopelessness of their plight, he is "ecstatic." It's impossible to tell. We have to take his word for it.

There is a usefulness to his attitude. If some strategy is being formulated, you can count on Bova to discern promptly what's wrong with it. He's not just fatalistic; he finds calamity an endlessly interesting science. He's certain that events will go cataclysmically wrong, and he derives a degree of interest in figuring out just how they will go wrong. If you can develop a plan to the point where Bova says, "Well, it'll still go wrong... I'm just not sure how," then you've got yourself a damned good plan.

Hailing from a Mercury colony, Rosie is fond of saying that she's always trying to look on the sunny side of life.

Rosie is perpetually upbeat. She is certain that everything happens for a reason, and whenever the Space Cases come through some sort of catastrophe (usually by the skin of their teeth) Rosie will be the first to say, "You know what we've learned from this?" and then make some tortured point that is, more often than not, utterly irrelevant to her peers and to the proceedings.

Rosie doesn't quite understand why the others get depressed. To her, life is an endless voyage of discovery, and won't it be exciting to find out what the purpose of it is. She's easily the most sociable, always trying to draw the others out to tell her what's on their minds. Sometimes they'll be inclined to shoo her away, but sooner or later they'll usually tell her what's bothering them... partly to take advantage of her uncanny ability to find an upside they hadn't considered, and partly just to get her out of their hair.

Her skin is red, and her body is hairless. She wears a skull-cap on her head to prevent the heat from escaping. Part of her "sunny disposition" is due to her real need to avoid getting upset about anything. Because if she does get upset, angry or frustrated, she does a literal slow burn. She starts radiating heat, driving up the room temperature substantially... and, invariably, setting off sprinkler systems.

Radu is our resident Andromedan. He is extremely odd looking to our heros, with long pointed ears that dangle inelegantly, somewhat like Dumbo, as well as other physical quirks (for instance, venting steam out his ears to adjust for local atmosphere... that sort of thing). At first he is teased mercilessly, until he loses his temper... and displays incredible strength, 10 times earth norm. So he and the others regard each other with much suspicion, and will have to work hard to overcome those misgivings.

In many ways, Radu is something of an outsider. All the other kids, despite their alien backgrounds, have uniformity of experience growing up in the Sol system. Since Radu is genuinely alien, even to the aliens, he is always concerned about what they think of him.. almost painful in his desire to be accepted. He's the first to volunteer for anything, no matter how undesirable or even dangerous, in hopes that it will earn him the trust and friendship of his colleagues.

He also envies the others for having parents, since he was born in a hatchery and never knew his folks.

His personal fear is running into the Spung again, for fear that he will be brought into slavery.

Flamboyant, outgoing, aggressive, and under the impression that she's the natural leader. She was born on Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. But Catalina is the only one who makes a big deal of her family's lineage (CATALINA: "Please! I'm not Titanian! I'm a Titanian of Rigelian descent. I'm Titanian-Rigelian. I'm--" HARLAN: "A complete whacko.")

Catalina has rainbow-striped hair which--along with her behavior--gets her the nickname of "Ringhead." Her credo: Enough about me. Let's talk about you. What do you think of me? She also has an invisible friend named Suzie... or at least, claims she does. Suzie is alleged to be a resident of another dimension whom only Catalina can see. Catalina would seem to be the brains of the group, except she never attributes her intelligence to herself, but instead to Suzie. "I just pass on what she tells me," claims Catalina, and no one is ever quite sure what to make of this.

Catalina is certainly the most paradoxical member of the group. She may be, at heart, tremendously insecure, and uses her bravado (and Suzie) to cover it. Or she might be just a bit nuts, particularly since she claims that Suzie first showed up shortly after Catalina was orphaned at a young age (implying she invented Suzie to deal with the trauma). Or, for all we know, Suzie genuinely exists (a notion that is hinted at, but never actually flat out decided. The better to keep viewers guessing.)

The true leader of the students, except he doesn't really want to admit it. He has a natural instinct for tactics and is able to command when the need arises... but he has little respect for authority, and doesn't want to become an authority figure because then he'll feel like he's becoming that which he most despises.

Harlan has the most daunting history of the group. He was a tremendous admirer of his father, and wanted to grow up to be just like him. But his father, Commander Band, was killed in the Sol/Spung War. Two years later, his late father's commanding officer married Harlan's mother. At that point Harlan--a promising student--promptly began to punt his courses and grade point average. The downward spiral landed him with the Space Cases.

At first he is smugly certain that he is innately superior to the others because he's there "voluntarily," as it were. But it will quickly become evident to him that his compatriots actually have a lot going for them, and slowly he's going to be concerned about earning their respect. He is brashly confident, and quick to make a decision. He can also excel at convincing the others of the efficacy of his plans, and get them to join in. This can be of great use when it's the right decision... but if it's the wrong one, it can land them in big trouble very quickly. His credo: "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

Thelma looks like an exotic 20 year old human. But her name is actually an acronym for Techno Human EmuLating MAchine... in other words, she's an android. She's in charge of on-board services, and came with the ship.

It may be that Thelma was supposed to be a source of aid and information for the Space Cases. We will never know, however, because something happened in the voyage (through space? through dimensions? through time? Until the end of the series, we'll never know for sure) that addled Thelma's circuitry. A chunk of memory was simply lost, and her operating systems and logic circuits were scrambled. Consequently she's a bit... flaky.

She tends to talk like a cross between a pilot and a hostess at Disneyland. She's always smiling. She's always up. She's always pleasant. Since she's not truly alive, she is incapable of understanding or acknowledging the concept of personal jeopardy.

She does remember bits and pieces of her personal history. And that's a lot, since she's logged over a million light years, and has had a variety of previous owners (not to mention an endless array of modifications, such as soda fountain attachments). Her fetching personality helps make up for such moments as her responding to a desperate question about an alien invasion by flourishing a deck and saying, "Pick a card."

The assistant principal who couldn't stand the remedial students, and who winds up being in the worst place at the worst possible time. Now she's stuck with the students that she can't stand, and the man with whom she constantly finds herself at loggerheads, namely Seth Goddard.

Davenport, a tall, s=oing woman with a British accent, has a brusque exterior that hides a brusque interior. She has an endless demand for perfection which she expects not only from the students, but from herself. In both instances she is invariably doomed to disappointment. For Davenport's flaw is that, although she has a superb theoretical grasp of how to survive the rigors of space, she tends to come unglued when confronted with real life and death situations. When the students rise to the challenges thrown at them, Davenport slowly starts to see the potential in them... but will not, of course, openly acknowledge it. Her development of grudging admiration will enable her to--under certain circumstances--even act in an almost maternal way, towards the younger kids in particular... before she quickly retreats behind her ice queen exterior once more.

Goddard's aggressive command style and cowboy nature drove him up through the S.T.A.R.D.O.G.S. ranks to a captaincy. However, in so doing, he put so many noses out of joint that any botched command decision was going to wind up costing him dearly.

And it did. While pursuing a space pirate named REAVER, Goddard knowingly crossed stellar borders into non-I.N.S. territory. The incident caused an interstellar political flap. The opportunity was taken to bust him in rank to Commander and consign him to teaching positions.

A bluff and perpetually frustrated style covers his own gnawing self doubts, and also his determination that his charges do not repeat the same mistakes that he made. Like Davenport, he slowly becomes fond of the students. And, like Davenport, he won't admit it. He feels it's his duty always to remind the kids that space is an unforgiving environment where one mistake can cost you everything.

On the rare occasion that he does commend one of the kids on a job well done, it's like getting a pat on the head from God. And Goddard knows it, which is why he'll usually follow up any compliment with a quick, "Wipe that grin off your face. Space hates grins." (His running phrase, really. Confronted with anything he doesn't like, he'll say that space hates it. "Space hates sentiments." "Space hates luck." And so on.) But space is where he loves to be, and the longer he's out there, the more we see evidence of him becoming his old, heroic self.