Wednesday, 22 October 2008
The One thats an insult
Sometimes, you're better not screening an episode. This is a fucking travesty. As the writers have said, it was written in 3 days as the writers strike was looming and it shows. Made up of clips from Rikers POV (even when he's not in the scenes? Man, that's just lazy) it's the only "clip show" in star trek history.
It's bad, obviously a hash job and puts a sour taste in the mouth for a finale. When will they learn? (next season actually with the Borg)
Simply put, Riker injured. He go to sleep. Erotic dreams bad. Nightmares good. He wakes up.
Anyway, that's Season 2 and Pulaski's swan song. She never really fitted in with the crew, though the writers are to blame for that, but she became a bit more likable in later eps. Still, next season is what I consider the Official start of the Star Trek phenomenon. With the uniforms, stable cast and great storys and effects, its good. Season 2 was better than I thought and actually produced 3 5/5's so it can't be all bad. But I'm glad it's finished.
Never watch this episode.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 379/650
Beverly Crusher Appreciation Corner
As this is the last BCAC I thought i'd put a picture of her first day. To be fair, Pulaski actually came good at the end, but she's no Bev. Welcome back.
The One with the Oirish.
Fucking hell, this is bad. A race that have spurned technology become rural Irish folk people. The other race become white suit wearing weirdos. I don't know who's worse?
There's a story about cloning, the dangers of inbreeding and taking DNA without permission, but you were never going to get me back after that opening. There might be a message in here that could change someones viewpoint about science, but I ain't watching it again to find out. Avoid.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 370/640
Beverly Crusher Appreciation Corner
We're really getting into a period where the writers and cast had settled down and could produce genuinely good shows that anyone could watch and enjoy, not just Trekkie's. This is one of the best.
Monday, 20 October 2008
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 357/620
The One with the Casino in space
Acknowledged as one of the worst TNG episodes to be produced, I actually thought this was just bad, not awful. I mean, the concept alone, of God like beings creating a Casino based on a book an astronaut had in space, has TOS written all over it. I'm not sure anyone could save this basic terrible idea. But it has a cheesy charm, or maybe I was in a generous mood watching it.
Riker, Worf and Data have to try and escape from their strange prison by pretending to be characters in the book. The whole episode is bizarre and actually becomes watchable as you watch in awe at the fact it was commissioned and made.
A bad idea that no execution could save, but strangely enjoyable.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 354/615
Beverly Crusher Appreciation Corner
There's not a lot to say about this episode. Wesley falls in love with a girl who's destined to be a leader on a war torn planet. It's not that Wes is bad, but the actual storyline does not interest me in the slightest. Wil Wheatons still too young for a story like this and he can't carry it. Add the fact that there is no B story and you've got an episode that struggles to hold your attention. Anya's true form is also unintentionally hilarious.
There are a couple of decent moments as Worf continues to be the funniest character on the ship with his romantic advice and Guinan once again steals Troi's scenes. If there's one thing I've noticed this season it's that Troi is barely in these episodes. I think the writers could not see a way of having her and Guinan onscreen at the same time, so punted poor Deanna.
Not bad, but unless you're a huge Wesley fan, skip it.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 349/605
The One with the Court room drama
A genuinely gripping hour of TV. It boils down to a simple question. What is Data? An android who can mimic humans impressively or a new life form with a soul of it's own?
Maddox wants to take Data apart to learn how he ticks. When Data refuses and decides to resign, Maddox tries to claim he is Starfleet property. Picard refutes this and is forced to go ahead a reluctant Riker who has been drafted as prosecutor with Data's very existence at stake.
There are so many great pieces in here. Having Picard and Riker work against each other is a masterstroke. We see Riker doing his research and almost enjoying the challenge, before remembering it's Data he's trying to deconstruct. His excellent prosecution speech and his internal anguish at having to do it are well portrayed.
Picards defence is also good, though relies more on the human emotive touch and Maddox getting flummoxed. His core argument is sound though and while there was no real doubt he would win, his closing statement made sense and was convincing. Having a history with the presiding judge, Phillipa and there obvious attraction to each other, makes for another layer of interest. Also his scene with Data when he considers Maddox's pffer and is ashamed is Patrick at his best. The rest of the crew don't really get a chance to shine or react to the situation. Wes seems perfectly fine with Data resigning and Geordi is moody and sulking, which doesn't really make the character come across well. Worf and Pulaski have a couple of good one liners, though O'brien gets the best lines at the poker game and is almost an official part of the crew even this early in Season 2.
Troi is strangely missing again and Picards scene with Guinan again highlights the fact that this should really be the ship counsellors job, though Whoopi is a better actor and the obvious slave parallels with American history make her a better choice for the scene than a Greek sex bomb.
Data's final scenes with Riker, who is tortured at the fact he nearly won and with Maddox, who finally sees Data as a man are both excellent and nicely played.
This is Trek at it's best, asking big questions and almost delivering the answers. Maybe the best Data episode ever made.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 347/600
The One where Riker joins a Klingon Ship
This is why I'm doing this. I had extremely vague memories of this episode and thought it would be standard clash of cultures and Riker would be finally accepted as "one of the guys" And in a way, that IS what happens. But apart from a plot flaw which I'll discuss later, I though this was excellent, one of the best I've seen so far.
Riker is taking part in an exchange programme with a Klingon ship, serving as it's first officer (though no Klingon comes the other way now I think about it). He discovers the programme when Picard tells him while they're playing a cute Tron type shooting game in the Holodeck, which visually is a nice change. His preparation is hilarious as he tries different Klingon foods. Jonathon Frakes really excels in this episode, showing he can carry an episode and also has a nice line in humour.
When he gets onboard, his scenes interacting with the crew are fascinating. My favourite is in the dining room when he is challenged to sleep with a Klingon female, who may be too tough for him. "One or two?" replies Riker (actually, I'm paraphrasing here, but you get the gist - Kirk would be proud)
Unfortunately,we come to the extremely obvious plot device where the writers have said to themselves, "we've got Riker on board a Klingon ship, how cool would it be if it attacked the Enterprise?" Why would it attack the Enterprise? Well, it's got a strange metal eating bacteria on its hull, that the Captain thinks the Enterprise planted it, so he goes off to destroy it. Riker says that makes no sense, the Klingon 3d in command says it makes no sense, we say it makes no sense, but the Captain plows ahead. It's a very weak premise and makes the Klingon captain look stupid, foolish, incompetent and his crew weak for not having dispatched him earlier. If there had been a bit of back story of the crew grumbling about his bizarre decisions, then I could maybe buy it. But it doesn't really work.
Rikers solution is clever though and he gets a grudging respect from some of the crew.
The B-plot has a lovely bit of continuity as Wes meets Mendon, a similar alien to Mordock. His over eagerness and blunt assessments of the ship are cringy to watch (in a good way) and Worfs reactions to him are priceless. It's also a nice touch as being a newbie on the Enterprise is just as hard as on a Klingon ship (almost).
This is a really good episode that really make the most of it's idea. I'm not wild about the Klingon captains moronic behaviour, but I can forgive it that, And Frakes really shines here. Good episode
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 342/595
f you're a big Data fan, it's worth a watch, but I was struggling with this.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 332/585
Sunday, 19 October 2008
The One with the greasy Han Solo wannabe
Not good this and only a semi interesting B plot and decent acting from the regulars saves the day. Okona is a fly by night rogue, who charms the pants of women and is a bit of a Lad. He manages to pull Teri Hatcher and 2 other women and he's only been on the ship 20 minutes. The problem is, he's not charming, funny or especially likable, but the whole cast react to him as if he's the best thing since sliced bread. The Romeo & Juliet plot twist at least shakes up the plot slightly, but it's poor fare.
Data and Guinan isn't much better, but there's a novelty in seeing Data's continuing search for humanity. He is trying to make people laugh this week and generates a comic (from the 20th Century, natch). I was getting ready to cringe at the these scenes but they're decent and rather amusing at times. The only thing I would say is that Deanna should really be involved in these moments and I suspect Guinan is going to steal a lot of lines from her. Oh yeah, Pulaski's missing. Good.
Watchable fare, but I wouldn't visit this again.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 327/575
The One where the Holodeck malfunctions (no.2)
Actually, that's not fair. It's not so much that the Holodeck misfires as that it takes Geordis command to the ultimate end which in turn endangers the ship and crew.
Data and Geordi decide to play as Sherlock Holmes on the Holo deck, but when they realise that Data knows every Holmes story ever, they decide to get the computer to crate an adversary for Data, Moriarty, who becomes more than a holodeck creation.
Couple of things. Geordi is really surly in this episode, storming out the Holodeck without explaining why he's so miffed. Data also rushes off without saying anything. These are dramatic exits, but I don't think they are really in character. Also, Pulaski is so fucking annoying with her whole "Data isn't human" obsession. I mean, if she was indifferent to him, fair enough, but she follows hims and eavesdrop on his conversations. She's a stalker really. Sooner she leaves the better.
The whole concept of Moriarty becoming a real person is interesting and opens up a whole can of worms which is never really explored as the idea that every creation of the Holodeck could ultimately be sentient eventually and you have a situation where they are creating life instead of amusement. Moriarty would come back in a few seasons in a cracker, but here he simply allows Picard to win.
I've never really been a big fan of Holodeck episodes. It seems to be whichever genre that writer is interested in can get crowbarred into the series by setting it in the Holodeck. And the Holodeck is still incredibly unsafe. I can't believe people really use it and the fatality rate must be through the roof all over starfleet. But I like Data and Geordi's friendship blossoming and the change of scene is good for the show and actors.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 325/570
Beverly Crusher Appreciation Corner
Friday, 17 October 2008
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 322/565
So, Season 2 and there have been some big changes, which are more interesting than this episode.
The first big change is that Dr Crusher has left and Dr Pulaski is now on board. Apparently, the writers wanted to shake things up and decided to bring in a Dr McCoy type character who would be more grumpy and not so familial with the crew. This was a mistake. Beverly's character was weak at times and her relationship seemed to be solely as a mother and potential attraction with Picard. But dammit, she created a different dynamic on the ship and I would want to be treated by her before any of the other Docs. And frankly, she was a MILF and this new Doctor is not. The fact we know that Pulaski lasts one season and Crusher is back for Season 3 means it's probably going to be hard to invest in her as a character, but she didn't really annoy me this episode, it's just that Bev had to go for her to come on board. And why is nobody bothered by Beverly's leaving? Surely Picard would have mixed feelings about it?
Anyhoo, Guinan makes her first appearance as does Ten Forward. This set is excellent, the lighting especially and it's a mystery why every starship doesn't have something similar in later series. Guinan's relationship is very mysterious and she comes across okay as a sage but we never really find out WHY she's so important to Picard. Surely these dialogues could have been assigned to Bev or Troi? In many ways, Guinan devalues their characters slightly as Picard seeks her opinion over there's. But that's for the future (and my memory is hazy) Her scene with Wesley is nice (though his acting is suspect at times here - he's not quite unannoying yet) and at least raises the issue of Beverly.
Worf now has head security officer rank and gets the yellow uniform as does Geordi who is now Chief engineer. It was a sensible move for the writers and gives his character more to do, but I think they always struggled with him at times beyond being a nice guy. Riker is sporting his beard and the uniforms may have been tweaked slightly (this could be my imagination) but Troi is now wearing her purple jump suit and her hair is less severely styled. Sadly, TCW is on hold as her betazoid assets have been put away, but don't worry Troi fans, they pop up again in the next costume change (where the writers appear to decide that if Troi is going to get dodgy storylines for the next few years, she may as well have a bit of sex appeal to pull in the punters, IMO)
The story is a never-used TOS script and it shows its age. Troi is impregnated by a light and gives birth at exceptionally quick rate. The annoying wee bastard gives of a radiation that threatens a deadly component the Ship is transporting (which is quite interesting but really doesn't join well with the A story). He tops himself and turns into a light and leaves. Nobody really comes across as believable in this episode and the reactions to the child are bizarre, plus all the characters seem to have reversed into early season 1 mode with Picard being cold and aloof. Pretty dire and I fell asleep for 5 minutes watching it, so tells it's own tale.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 319/560
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
1.2 - Where no man has gone before
1.3 - The corbomite maneuver
1.4 - Mudds Women
1.5 - The enemy within
1.6 - The Man Trap
1.7 - The Naked Time
1.8 - Charlie X
1.9 - Balance of Terror
1.10 - what-are-little-girls made of
1.11 - Dagger of the Mind
1.12 - Miri
1.13 - conscience-of-the king
1.14 - galileo-seven.html
1.15 - court-martial.html
1.16 - The menagerie-parts-i-and ii.html
1.17 - shore-leave.html
1.18 - squire-of-gothos.html
1.19 - arena.html
1.20 - The alternative-factor.html
1.21 - tomorrow-is-yesterday.html
1.22 - The return-of-archons.html
1.23 - taste-of-armageddon.html
1.24 - space-seed.html
1.25 - this-side-of-paradise.html
1.26 - devil-in-dark.html
1.27 - errand-of-mercy.html
1.28 - city-on-edge-of forever.html
1.29 - operation-annihilate.html