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William B
Sat, May 2, 2020, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Things Past

@Elliott,

You are, I suppose, probably right about Garak -- even as I dislike him being flattened a little in season four, I think a part of me still wants him to be The (morally) Good Cardassian, rather than The Good Cardassian (in the sense of being a true believer in Cardassian ideals). It's even possible for Garak to oppose the Occupation and subjugation of Bajor (which, SPOILER, he seems to believe at least by the series finale) while believing that Bajorans are still more suited to servile work; Sisko et al. don't want to subjugate Cardassians but still believe them to be generally brutal, for instance.

I wonder about the reason for the particular choices about who accompanies Odo on this mindscape. I think the basic idea is that it must be people Odo has some attachment to, so as to drive home that he is not so objective, so he both feels more shame at being seen as unjust by people he cares about and that it would be more difficult to see them executed than strangers. And it can't be Kira or Quark, the people most frequently paired with Odo, because it has to be people who wouldn't know about this period of his life. Otherwise I'm not sure. I guess they are all people Odo might "look up to" in some way -- Garak's special knowledge of Odo's vulnerabilities isn't really used, but he is highly intelligent and worldly, Sisko is a CO who has gone to bat for him before, and Dax is ancient. O'Brien might seem too provincial, Bashir too young and Worf too much of a rival for Odo to feel the same sting from their seeing him at his worst, possibly. Or maybe it's just a grab bag and they had to fit into other constraints (they wanted to show Dukat womanizing so needed Dax, they needed Bashir to do the medical technobabble, etc.).
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William B
Fri, May 1, 2020, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Remember

@Elliott,

All right, since you said you missed my comments I'll chime in!

I was taken with this episode too and I agree that Dawson is excellent. One of the things that occurs to me, rereading your description of the episode, is how much the episode plays on Romeo & Juliet. Not just the general star-cross'd young lovers trope, but also the way in which the genial, friendly father turns frightening and violent quite suddenly, the way Capulet goes from "hey let that Montague kid crash our party, let's relax" to "IF YOU DON'T MARRY WHOM I SAY YOU WILL GO INTO THE STREET YOU WRETCH." The key differences are, naturally, that Anna Karenina (sure) only rebels so much; and more importantly, the "two houses" (or societies, or peoples) are not really "alike in dignity" i.e. power -- while we only get part of the story, necessarily, there's a pretty extreme imbalance between the two sides here, which makes the violence that much harder to oppose; and, well, also there's still the possibility that she really would have died had she tried to go against the herd.
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William Nitschke
Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 12:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Harbinger

Well, judging by ST:E latests episodes, I'm clearly not in the supposed "demographics", and neither are most of the ppl commenting here
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William B
Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Court Martial

Yeah, I am with Chrome on much of this one, though my final rating would be much higher. I've always been distracted by the strangeness of the court proceedings (and some of the other plot elements) every time I've watched it. As I've grown older I've come to appreciate it much more, actually, because the themes resonate more maybe, but also because I've grown used to the things in the episode that don't work for me. I like how intently this episode zeroes in on what incredible responsibility it is to be a starship captain, more than almost any other episode, and the consequences of failure, and it does the man vs. machine story in a way that does not simplistically pit Kirk against an evil computer (not that that's necessarily bad, but it happens often) but instead asks us how we define value, trustfulness, etc., in a world in which apparently infallible devices can be manipulated in ways which had been unexpected. Elisha Cook Jr.'s performance as Cogley is magnetic.

But I never really stop being distracted by elements of the trial that seem strange, as Chrome mentions, nor the way in which the camera angle of the internal recording changes dramatically from moment to moment in the playback for the court, nor the way in which Kirk suggests that they will enhance the audio recorder "on the order of one to the fourth power," nor the whole premise that the audio recorder can hear everything on the ship but only is playing back heartbeats and not the loud dialogue the characters are engaging in, and so on. This stuff I just mentioned is all material that genuinely does not matter for the episode's big ideas; to enjoy this episode I should become the ship's audio sensor and automatically, without explanation, filter out all the noise but the beating, passionate heart of the show. I'm better at that now and the episode does have an impressive heart, but I still find the other noises very distracting.
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William B
Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

@Chrome, yeah I agree. Part of the reason I said it was good for Bashir is that I think not only does Garak benefit from Bashir's friendship, but Bashir benefits from Garak's, partly because Bashir's adventurousness, his own secrets, his own mind, his quick thinking, etc make him someone well suited to play the dangerous but rewarding game of being Garak's friend. The key thing is not that it's not rewarding but that it's not without dangers, and I think Bashir is eventually clear eyed about that. I think we often have to make smaller stakes cost benefit analyses with friendships, and decide when it's worth taking a chance on someone once we've found some evidence that they might be dangerous to be around under certain circumstances when our goals clash. This is a more extreme version of that. Something similar with Sisko in this ep (with aliance rather than friendship).
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William B
Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

It may be that, except for Our Man Bashir (and I think some other cases with Bashir), Garak is fine to be around as long as you never let him near a situation where he might betray you for some large goal, and if you can keep the social and professional interactions with him wholly separate. Broken Link is a case where they really don't, though; Garak comes on board the ship for "official" (seeking out the truth about Cardassia) and social (helping Odo while away the hours) reasons, and I suspect that it's partly the latter that lulls them into a sense of security on the former.
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William B
Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 1:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Remember Me

I'm doing a partial The Twilight Zone (original) rewatch and watched And When the Sky Was Opened (season 1) recently. I recommend it for fans of this episode; it is similarly predicated on the "people are being forgotten, and only one person is aware of it" SF premise. It plays more as an alien conspiratorial cover-up than the aging/mental illness themes Remember Me seems to be dealing with, and so is quite different in final effect, but I think it's an interesting case for comparing similar starting material.
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William B
Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

I'm going through a partial rewatch of The Twilight Zone (original), and rewatched The Last Flight (season 1) the other night. I recommend it for fans of this episode; it has a pretty similar premise and plot mechanics, though its thematic weight is a bit pared down to personal courage and sacrifice rather than the collective courage and sacrifice of the Enterprise-C.
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William B
Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

@Jason,

I agree with much of what you say and I think that Garak does have a conscience. I think I'd say that he doesn't have a fully coherent "moral code," in that I think he's still kind of consciously operating on the Obsidian Order moral code some of the time but that he has compassionate impulses which interfere with what he thinks he should do. I think that his discovery in The Die is Cast that he can't really be a good agent anymore, and arguably his working through in In Purgatory's Shadow that much of his OO persona was from wanting Tain's approval and acknowledgment free him from this code and allows him to start to develop another one, though I still think he's still working on developing it.

I disagree a bit with your last claim. There are lots of occasions where Garak puts himself into situations he "shouldn't" have been and pursues his own agenda, using friendship or information he overheard in social settings as a result. Profit and Loss, arguably; definitely Our Man Bashir, where because he's friends with Bashir he decides to illegally break into Bashir's program and then attempt to kill the DS9 crew trapped in the program to save their hides and to prove a point to Bashir. I'm not saying this is pure evil or anything -- he did the right thing seemingly in Profit and Loss, and he has a point in OMB -- but the latter especially shows that there are real dangers to having Garak as a friend, and Bashir had to be willing to shoot him in the face to get him to back down. That is, oddly, a great friend for *Bashir* to have, at least by this point in the series, but it's a risky proposition for anyone who isn't willing to shoot their friends in the face if a crisis comes up.

This is in addition to times like Improbable Cause or Broken Link where Garak has some plausible official goal (investigation, talking with the Founders about the OO) which when new information arrives leads to Garak doing wildly dangerous or destructive things (torturing Odo, attempting to genocide the Founder's homeworld with the Defiant blowing up too). Odo never really lets his guard down around Garak much so the former is a bit of a wash, but the latter I think that the crew treating Garak as a friend/ally rather than a dangerous criminal who should be watched carefully around WMDs when in a sensitive situation was part of what almost led to a big problem. And again, this isn't even that Garak is evil. He has a point in Broken Link, and in The Die is Cast he can't go through with the torture as much as he wanted to. But dangerous? Absolutely.
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William Nitschke
Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 8:16am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Acquisition

The most amusing part of this episode was trying to figure out what was Neelix doing disguising as a Ferengi. The least amusing part of this episode was seeing he wasn't
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William
Mon, Apr 6, 2020, 8:01am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Human Error

She collapsed because she wasn't regenerating for like 2+ cycles. Anything other than that is a psychobabble cop-out.
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William
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Body and Soul

Wasn't ponn far supposed to happen every 7 years or so? It seems Tuvok is having his every other week...
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William B
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Chute

@Elliott, agree about this episode. It's a surprisingly good Kim vehicle and lots of interesting stuff, and I remember being floored by the censor-skirting queerness. I'm glad also for your comments about Janeway. This is one of those eps where I could not tell what I was supposed to be thinking about her and sort of gave up and moved on; too much too fast is a good descriptor. It's a shame because in fact it should parallel the Kim/Paris stuff (which could still work if the episode story were decompressed into a few episodes), on the question of how brutal one should become to survive and protect one's loved ones. The Zio position is particularly interesting because he does seem to be arguing for brutality in order to protect one's soul and independent thought more so than/in addition to one's life, and that's really a very Janeway story.
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William Matheson
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 1:17am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I think it was a Star Trek story in the end, but perhaps not one of the best ones.

We've had characters die and come back before - most notably Spock in the second and third Star Trek films. (The prime universe ones, of course.) This was... meh, I dunno. I mean inasmuch as you need Leonard Nimoy and Patrick Stewart to continue the roles, you've got some constraints. (Doctor Who is smart to eliminate these.) But the Spock return made sense, as the Genesis Planet was making his growth and aging go at super-speed anyway. With Picard it's more like... um, really? Why make a synthetic replacement body that of an old man? Now I'm still very young of course, but if I were a copy of an older person, like let's say a friend of mine who's 38, I would want to be in a younger body, and be quite willing to deal with any necessary awkwardness if the alternative is being older and having fewer years in hand.

While I would say Picard 2 is a copy, like the consciousness of Lise in The Winter Market, or the people living in servers on that episode of Black Mirror, "San Junipero". in a sense you could argue that when people are beamed from one place to another they are essentially "killed" and then reassembled, and then the reassembled person has all the memories and thinks everything is normal, so I dunno. Some really hardcore people think this type of discontinuity applies to *any* loss of consciousness, including sleeping! I don't go that far, but I suppose it doesn't matter whether I do or not.

Maybe I should have a cup of coffee.

Ok, the ships. They all looked the same. They all looked weird and cheap. And CGI cheap is worse than real cheap. And there were hundreds of them on both sides. It defied all reason. Weren't the Romulans and the Federation torn almost to shreds? And they're out in the boonies! Why didn't they just put a D'deridex-class against a Galaxy-class? (Do the 3-nacelle version like the Enterprise-D from the anti-time future if you must!) That's all the drama you need.

Also, "Planetary Sterilization Sweep Number Five?" How many of those do you *have*?

And why the heck did Riker's task force just leave everything to Picard? Some Starfleet presence should have stayed by to secure the area and investigate.

And, you know, I thought Borg cubes were *big*. Like bigger than the Enterprise-D kinda big. It seems awfully funny that you can just *walk* wherever you need to go and find who and what you need to find so easily when it's crashed.

And what happens to Narek? Is Harry Treadaway signed up for Season 2? I can't find a straight answer. His name comes up in a bunch of "articles" but it's all guesswork.

And did Soong kill Sutra or just deactivate her? Are there going to be any consequences for that? If you're going to consider synths to be people, to the point where before you found out Sutra killed Saga, you were willing to go along with the extermination of organic intelligent life to protect them, how can you just unilaterally decide to end Sutra? I mean, not that you've got a legal system on your idyllic little colony, but still.

And are these synthetic exterminator beings not sophisticated enough to trace where the partially-open portal went? I mean, I guess a follow-up visit from them leaves something for Season 2.

And what about everything with Commodore Oh and Jurati? Incredibly convenient that Riker's fleet just took off - otherwise, Jurati would have a chance to spill everything to Riker and something would be done about Oh for putting Jurati up to murder. Are we just going to forget about all this shit and go off on another space adventure?

And why did Seven find it so hard to fit in somewhere, anyway? Heck, in the alternate future for Voyager, didn't she marry Chakotay? Hah, now there's a character to bring back! Or how about Ensign Kim? He's probably a Lieutenant Junior Grade by now.

Sigh.

I'm starting to think, if I want to watch Star Trek, I should watch The Orville. I haven't seen any of its Season 2 yet, and I found the first season rather enjoyable. But I will tune in for Season 2 of Picard, because there's no reason this show can't get better, and it offers just enough of a real Star Trek feeling to make me want to come back.
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William B
Sun, Mar 22, 2020, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Trials and Tribble-ations

@Elliott, this is the smallest of points to mention, but the Arena thing can be kicked down the road a bit to earlier in the series. Kassidy is from Cestus III, which is because the writers wanted to reference Arena before, but we can also say that Ben feels a personal connection to that "adventure" because of his, er, currently imprisoned lady love. The "real" reason is more likely that Behr or Moore or someone really likes Arena and so brought it up both when Kassidy first showed up and here, rather than that Yates is particularly on Sisko's mind.
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William Wehrs
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 9:20am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Just wanted to apologize to everyone for mixing up the planets in my earlier comment. I think that they were both desert worlds threw me. However, there is still an issue with the planet. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pCoBVhnUaNE
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William D Wehrs
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@dom. I completely agree about it being similar to the SW sequels. In both cases, we are just meant to accept things, rather actually be allowed to see things. A glaring example in Picard is Picard's resignation. An act that arguably the whole series hinges on, and we are denied the opportunity to see it.
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William D Wehrs
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 12:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

A dismal episode if there ever was one. Random thoughts on it.

Picard says in the newest episode "Anyone who treats me like a dying man, runs the risk of pissing me off." This is something Dr. McCoy would say, not Picard. And I'm sorry but appropriate dialogue for characters matter. It's what gives them an identity and makes them feel real

We see on the planet plenty of vegetation and the characters seem to walk around with squinting. How the heck could that be possible when the planet is flanked by eight suns!!!

The show seems to trying to craft a father son dynamic between Picard and Elnor, but it just falls flat. All we have is one montage of when Elnor was about five and that's it in terms of emotional grounding. Picard saying he's proud of him makes little sense since what has Elnor accomplished? He killed a Romulan senator which led to Picard berating him, he failed to protect Hugh or most of the drones, and is entirely dependent on Seven of nine.

The show also seems to want to suggest that Seven of Nine has some deep personal attachment to Picard but provides zero reason or explanation for this. This is the same problem, Discovery had. Emotional scenes with zero grounding for said emotional scenes.

If the Romulans can muster 218 ships to destroy roboplanet, why couldn't they have evacuated Romulus themselves rather than depend on a hastily assembled armada?

Wait . . . Soong had a son! You think that would have come up at some point in TNG!!!

Picard and Raffi saying "I love you" to one another again comes across as forced. Why do they love one another? What do they have in common? What has Raffi that makes him feel so strongly for her? What has Picard done that makes her feel so strongly for him?

Picard tries to communicate to Starfleet for help, and I'm just left thinking, "this is maybe why you should have actually waited for that fleet you asked for last episode instead of completely forgetting about them"!
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William B
Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

@Peter, I agree with what you say. My comment is more directed at Andy's Friend and takes his approach to TNG in which the characters are more archetypal with regard to their opposition to "Federation values" in mind. I actually don't mind whether Nechayev represents Federation values or not, though I do think Descent could have benefited by having Picard's arc be clearer.
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William B
Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 1:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

Without getting into the I, Borg thing at length here, the other question at hand is whether the Borg really are an enemy race -- in which Picard's position is correct -- or if this is a misunderstanding of the Borg, and that they are essentially a viral malevolent force. The latter seems to be Nechayev's POV, in which case Nechayev may be consistent with Federation ethics, just that Picard makes a category error with the Borg. My feeling overall is that Nechayev is out of bounds of standard Federation ethics, but not insane, mad with power, deluded, etc., but believes that standard Federation ethics are inappropriate when dealing with an enemy as powerful and destructive as the Borg, which places her closer to Pressman (or to Sisko in ITPM) than to Jameson or Maddox.
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William B
Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

@Andy's Friend:

I don't disagree with the general thrust of your argument. I think the key thing that distinguishes TNG's "Evil Admirals" from the DS9 pragmatism is that TNG's evil admirals were generally shown to be wrong, whereas the DS9 ones were generally shown to be "ambiguous" in a way that often tacitly supported their actions.

For a specific example of another case of a TNG admiral who doesn't fall into either camp you listed, Admiral Nechayev argues that Picard should have used Hugh to genocide the Borg, and while she's painted as an antagonistic character whom Picard dislikes, she's also not portrayed as crazy or unhinged and does not get any kind of comeuppance. Now of course this is in very late TNG, when DS9 has already premiered, and she's written by Ron Moore in this episode (and appears in both series) -- so we can put her in a similar category to Pressman, of being a development late in the series. Part 1 of Descent presents a conflict in which Picard may have done the wrong thing, and looking at the way the Borg in that episode behave suggests that Picard's actions with Hugh had unintended bad side effects, which further undermines the rectitude of Picard's initial choice and so calls into question whether Nechayev was right. Picard not only questions whether he did the right thing to do by doing the moral thing, but even agrees to Nechayev's order that he genocide the Borg if he gets another chance ("Yes sir").

I think that Descent Part 2 is meant to have Picard's values supported when he tells Data that Data's Lore-influenced position that one must kill several individuals in order to produce a good outcome is wrong (how can one do right by doing wrong?), though it's a bit lost in the shuffle of the scattershot script. By linking Nechayev's pragmatism to Lore and the emotion-mad addict version of Data, I think the two-part story Descent is meant to still validate Picard's POV and the general TNG ethos. That means that I think that Descent overall, in terms of intent anyway, falls within TNG bounds. Of course it can happen that good actions can have unintended negative effects, and Picard's appropriate self-examination as a result of seeing what the Borg have become leads him to the conclusion that he still did the right thing, but must now attempt to rectify the unintended consequences from his correct act, at least by encouraging Hugh to take on a more active leadership role and by removing the cult leader Lore who has taken the place of the old Collective for these Borg. I think it's (arguably) more a failure of the scripting rather than intent of part 2 that Picard does not more explicitly reject Nechayev's philosophy (i.e. by telling her that he will refuse to commit genocide, under any circumstances, and that Starfleet can remove him from his position if they wish but he will not violate his ethics, in contrast to part 1 where he says "yes sir"); however, I do think it's in line with late TNG/contemporary DS9 (e.g. Pressman) that Nechayev herself is never convinced by a Picard argument of the wrongness of her ways. It feels like a bit of a dangling thread -- for Picard to agree tacitly that he made the wrong choice in not destroying an enemy is a big enough moment that an ending in which Picard re-affirms his position *more explicitly* rather than in dialogue midway through the episode in an unrelated scene would probably be desirable. (Or, if the story actually went to prove that Picard should become more pragmatic -- which I don't believe that Part 2 is arguing -- it should commit to this point more strongly.)

Arguably this *is* a period of greater serialization in which the story is not entirely resolved at the end of the two-parter, and Picard can spend several episodes mulling over Nechayev's requests and only by acting against *Pressman* can he effectively resolve the conflict created by her orders. I'm not sure how much this really came off.
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William B
Mon, Mar 2, 2020, 5:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

And indeed, congratulations to Jammer!
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William B
Mon, Mar 2, 2020, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

"It reminds me of something Elliot or William said on these boards: Trek started off as Twilight Zone, but morphed into Lord of the Rings."

It wasn't me, though I like it. Though of course Lord of the Rings is not "realistic fiction," either. Part of what I like about TNG is that it's where you can see the transition happening in real time, and All Good Things seems to me to be partly about the fracture between the eye-popping highly abstract mythic narrative and the realpolitik political one, where the crew in the future have to put their "grown-up" realistic jobs on hold to go have a weird adventure to save humanity, but also to use what they've learned in those grown-up jobs to get things done (they need the politicians, professors etc.). A lot of the best TNG episodes have one foot in both models -- The Defector is a fantastic political drama that also functions as a one-off, e.g., and The Measure of the Man uses elements of the series' history to date to tell its powerful one-off story. TOS and DS9 also do have elements of both models, though TOS is far more TZ and DS9 far more on the serialized end.

For what it's worth, I value The Twilight Zone and I also value The Wire (to use a more obviously "realistic" example). The problem I have with the "realistic" model is less the model itself and more the idea that realism is the only mode art should have.
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William I. Lengeman III
Sun, Mar 1, 2020, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

My peak Star Trek watching years came in the seventies. Those of us who were too young to catch the show when it first aired in the mid-sixties could gorge ourselves on seemingly endless reruns of three seasons worth of shows. It was a far cry from Netflix and calling up any episode any time but we made do.

As the seventies wound down my interest in Star Trek waned and I wasn’t really cognizant of what came along later — four more TV series and a heap of movies. I sought to rectify this in the early years of the new century, watching as many TV episodes as possible and some of the movies, but my intake of the latter was sporadic.

So with the recent announcement of yet another Star Trek TV series I decided it was as good a time as any to rewatch the movies. What better place to start than with Star Trek Movie: The Motion Picture, the one that kicked it off. I’d seen bits and pieces of it over the years but as it unfolded I realized I had never seen it all the way through.

Even though it was the first instance of live-action Star Trek in more than a decade, the first movie doesn’t have a particularly good reputation. Of the original cast movies, only The Final Frontier ranks lower, as measured by the thoroughly scientific and foolproof method of Rotten Tomatoes rankings. The only other movie of the bunch to rank lower than The Motion Picture is Nemesis.

My aim is not to be a contrarian, but I actually liked TMP quite well. Which is not to say that it didn’t have its share of shortcomings, because it did. Yes, those endless shots of the Enterprise were well done but they got to be a bit much. Yes, those interminable shots of the Enterprise making its way through the innards of the big dumb object were very well done, especially by 1979 standards, but they too were a bit much. And that’s just for starters. But for the most part I thought the good outweighed the bad.

The history of TMP has been covered elsewhere much more capably than I could hope to so I’ll summarize very briefly. Suffice to say that after the original series was axed, ideas for another series and a movie were tossed around and the movie finally won out. Which surely had nothing whatsoever to do with the success of late Seventies SF hits like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

To summarize the plot in the broadest terms, Earth finds itself threatened by the aforementioned big dumb object. Coincidentally the Enterprise is the only starship in position to be able to save the day. The audience is treated to long, lingering glances of the ship in drydock before Admiral Kirk comes aboard, wrests command from the existing captain, gathers the old gang about him and sets off to make things right. There’s a decent twist at the end of it all this which explains what the BDO is and what it was up to and there’s a halfhearted romantic subplot that’s resolved at about the same time.

As I’ve already suggested, there’s an okay movie at the heart of all this. The BDO (which is pretty knowledgeable, mind you, but lacking in street smarts) is a promising concept, as far as these things go, and is presented in a manner that conjures up all that stirring science fictional sense of wonder type stuff. In terms of concept (and pacing) I’d venture that TMP isn’t that far removed from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. But while Kubrick had a way of transforming the glacial pace of his yarn into something stylish and gripping, TMP director Robert Wise seemed to lack that rare skill. It should be noted that he took another crack at it some years later, with a director’s edition, but this was not the version that I watched.

I’ll close with a few random observations.

The theatrical release debuted on the 38th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Make of it what you will.

Dr. McCoy’s first appearance here — sporting a spiffy Grizzly Adams beard and growling like a cranky grizzly bear — livens up the proceedings considerably. He’s used to good effect elsewhere, especially when he’s acting as Kirk’s conscience and daring to actually question his motives. The more TOS I rewatch the more I like the doctor.

Spock’s first appearance — ice ice, baby.

The uniforms weren’t much of an improvement over the TV show but at least they ditched those absurd mini-skirts. Except for Ilia, who sports the mini-skirt to end all mini-skirts and high heels, to boot. Why ask why.

Seeing a large group of crew members in one place once again raises the question of what they all do. One assumes that automation must be very sophisticated this far into the future. So what need is there for 400 or so crew members? I shouldn’t skip ahead but let’s note that in The Search for Spock a handful of the core cast members manage to operate the Enterprise quite nicely by themselves.

Klingon 2.0. The vaguely “Oriental” and “swarthy” Klingons of yesteryear have now given way to big imposing types with sporty body armor and latex headpieces.
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William Matheson
Sat, Feb 29, 2020, 12:51am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

Not bad. Some genuine excitement / suspense near the end. Am more looking forward to next week than I was looking forward to this week, last week.
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