This Canadian TV show aired for two seasons in 2000-2001 and then 2003-2004, following the adventures of a bounty-hunting crew traveling through space in a retired luxury cruise ship known as Tulip. The series aired on American television starting in fall 2002.
The series was retooled between the first and second seasons, discarding most of the original actors. Season one featured Michael Paré, Tanya Allen, Claudette Roche, Murray Melvin and Stephen Marcus. In season two, Clive Robertson, Dawn Stern and Paul Fox were added to the cast; of the originals, only Allen and Marcus remained. Overall, 44 episodes were produced.
The plot: Dante Montana (Paré), bounty hunter, searches the galaxy for criminals in the year 2275 at the behest of his employer, Rudolpho DeLuna (Marcus). Montana has a personal vendetta against certain enemies, called the Raiders, who have kidnapped his son Travis to be brought up as the Raiders‘ new leader. His crew includes ship's engineer Percy Montana (Allen)--his niece, and security officer Lucretia Scott (Roche). Scott, a former Marine, has her own agenda, which involves a battle by covert forces to unlock the secrets of the Divinity Cluster, a group of human genes implanted by aliens that gives them superhuman abilities.
In the second season, which aired several years after the first season and was re-dubbed "Starhunter 2300," at least in Canada, Percy emerges unaged from hyperspace. Travis Montana (Robertson), Dante's son and Percy's cousin, joins her crew along with a new pail, Marcus Fagen (Fox). DeLuna and bounty hunter Callista Larkadia (Stern) also join the crew. Their quest? To find Travis' dad, Dante, while investigating the secrets of the Divinity Cluster. The Raiders still play a role, as some of them are rather disgruntled that Travis has left their group, and seek revenge.
The show did air in the United States in syndication, and a third season was preordered from broadcasters in several countries, but "Starhunter" ended on a cliffhanger, leaving Tulip trapped in hyperspace in an attempt to return to the regular universe.
"Starhunter" was created and produced by G. Philip Jackson and Daniel D'or, but they both left the series during the second season of differences with the parent company, Greystone Studios International Inc. This may or may not have had something to do with the retooling of the series between the first and second seasons, including the firing of cast members such as Paré. Other production companies involved in the show’s creation and distribution included SpaceWorks Studios, Chum Television and Danforth Studios.
Public opinion is split over which season was better, though more fans come in on the side of the second, "Starhunter 2300" season. Even defenders of the first, however, do admit that the visual effects and lighting were not at its best during the first few episodes of the show, and that the acting was never first-rate. The show had issues of continuity between seasons one and two, as is to be expected, but the concept, the writing and the characterizations saved the series from being universally panned. Nudity and sexual situations made the show less than family-friendly; some also complained about cheesiness and overall low production quality.
Some would say that this is a series that deserved to be forgotten, although the universe was original and the series had potential. Currently, the run of both "Starhunter" and "Starhunter 2300" are available on DVD, separately, and you can view all episodes at hulu.com.
Episode List: Season One
“The Divinity Cluster” (11/1/2000)
“Family Values” (11/15/2000)
“Siren’s Song” (11/22/2000)
“The Man Who Sold the World” (11/29/2000
“Peer Pressure” (12/6/2000)
“Past Lives” (12/20/2000)
“Cell Game” (1/3/2001)
“Black Light” (1/10/2001)
“Goodbye, So Long” (1/17/2001)
“The Most Wanted Man” (1/24/2001)
“Half Dense Players” (1/31/2001)
“Dark and Stormy Night” (2/7/2001)
“Super Max” (2/14/2001)
“A Twist in Time” (2/21/2001)
“Eat Sin” (2/28/2001)
“Bad Girls” (3/7/2001)
“Bad Seed” (3/14/2001)
Season Two: “Starhunter 2300”
“Star Crossed” (8/16/2003)
“Chasing Janus” (8/30/2003)
“Becoming Shiva” (9/13/2003)
“The Third Thing” (9/20/2003)
“Skin Deep” (10/18/2003)
“Supermax Redux” (10/25/2003)
“Pandora’s Box” (11/3/2003)
“Stitch in Time” (11/8/2003)
“The Prisoner” (11/15/2003)
“Heir and the Spare” (2/28/2004)
“Just Politics” (3/6/2004)
“Negative Energy” (3/13/2004)
“License to Fill” (3/20/2004)
“Hyperspace, Part 1” (3/27/2004)
“Hyperspace, Part 2” (3/22/2004)