Archive for February, 2012

Trekathon 293: Dark Page (TNG)

February 23rd, 2012

Q: How do you make a tolerable Lwaxana Troi episode?

A: Make it not a comedy. Oh, and make her unconscious for at least half the episode.

I don’t want to go over board here – the episode isn’t great by any means. The conceit of ‘what happens when a telepath suppresses a trauma’ is way underdone and buried in technobabble. And the trauma itself was a bit underwhelming – bad, but not really crippling.

The only real thing of note is an appearance by a very young Kirsten Dunst as the alien girl.

293 down, 444 to go.

Trekathon 292: Melora (DS9)

February 22nd, 2012

Deep Space 9 has to adjust to the Aliens with Disabilities Act.

This episode was well constructed technically, but something rubbed me the wrong way. I think that we’ve moved a long way in our understanding of disabled and disadvantaged groups, and so now Bashirs naive attempt to ‘cure’ Melora comes across as more arrogant, and the conclusion seems more inevitable. And with any empathy killed for that part of the episode, the rest falls down with it.

The Quark subplot is very underdone, and ends up just being the setup for the final act. Quark’s criminal past (and present) deserved better.

292 down, 445 to go.

Trekathon 291: Phantasms (TNG)

February 21st, 2012

Data’s nightmares show that something is going very wrong, with the ship or with him.

I loved a lot of this episode. The dream imagery is wonderfully filmed, and it has that kind of stra be menace that nightmares often have. And there are some good moments, like Picard hovering a bit too much during repairs, or Worf agreeing to look after the cat.

But I found the reveal to just be too prosaic. Dreams aren’t that straightforward, so it all just seemed a bit too easy. And everyone gets over Data stabbing someone way too easily.

Overall a miss, but a worthy one that at least has a good idea to begin with.

291 down, 446 to go.

Trekathon 290: Cardassians (DS9)

February 20th, 2012

An emotional story of war orphans is tied up, as it often does, in espionage and intrigue.

I found this episode nearly flawless. The only downfall was the slightly arch ‘drawing room reveal’ with Bashir at the end, but that’s a minor quibble at best. The story of the Cardassian orphan confused over their identity would have been enough to carry an episode alone, combining it with “plain and simple” Garak’s intrigues made for a great story.

Garak is a wonderful character – his line at the end was a good summary of him: “I never tell the truth because I don’t believe there is such a thing”. He made a good initial showing in Season One and then disappeared. It’s a good thing he’s going to be back a little more often now,

290 down, 447 to go.

Trekathon 289: Gambit, Part II (TNG)

February 19th, 2012

Riker and Picard play pirates as they try to stop a renegade Vulcan.

Once the Macguffin gets upgraded from ‘pot shards’ to ‘world destroying weapon’ things pick up a lot. With something to care about in the plot, it begins to make sense that Riker and Picard stay on the ship rather than making a plan to escape, and the renegade vulcan is played well.

The best bit is Data’s turn at command of the Enterprise, which he manages surprisingly well, even with a bit of insubordination from Worf. He has his own approach, which feels right for his character.

Better than part one, but not exactly a classic for the ages.

289 down, 448 to go.

Trekathon 288: Invasive Procedures (DS9)

February 18th, 2012

Someone wants to steal the symbiont that makes up half of Jadzia.

For about 10 minutes I was afraid this was going to turn into ‘Die Hard on a space station’. So the ‘symbiont kidnapping’ angle came as something of a relief.

This episodes take a bit of Jadzia’s character that hasn’t been much examined, a good science fiction premise of a strange alien race. It makes for a nice story, with a few interesting turns along the way. Add some great moments like Quark and Bashir saving the day, and this is a great little episode overall.

288 down, 449 to go.