Archive for March, 2012

Trekathon 325: Emergence (TNG)

March 26th, 2012

The Enterprise evolves into another life form.

It’s another strange symbolic episode, only this time with an even less enjoyable ending as rather than resolve the problems on their own logic it’s external technobabble that saves the day. It was nice to see the Holodeck back as it’s been a while.

But there was never any interesting character moment in the entire show. It was entirely a procedural, A then B then C plot. Other than a brief moment at the end there isn’t even any discussion of the implications of the Enterprise systems becoming self aware. Wouldn’t it have been a lot more interesting if those strange programs on the Holodeck knew the crew, and assigned them roles based on their perceptions of them.

325 down, 412 to go.

Trekathon 324: The Wire (DS9)

March 25th, 2012

‘Plain and simple’ Garak has a complicated medical problem.

Fantastic stuff. Not much I can add really. It takes the pieces set up earlier in terms of Garak’s mysterious past, and while it looks like resolving everything ends up opening up as many questions as it answers, and then some. And has the courage to be ambiguous in the ending.

324 down, 413 to go.

Trekathon 323: Bloodlines (TNG)

March 24th, 2012

Picard’s son is threatened by the Ferengi. Hang on a minute…

Strange that there’s been a kind of family trilogy here – Crusher’s son, Worf’s son, and now Picard’s ‘son’. It wasn’t a huge surprise to see that he wasn’t really his son, but the development of the relationship worked pretty well. A lot of that rests on Patrick Stewart’s acting. Even Dai Mon Bok worked fairly well, one of the more convincing Ferengi villains in TNG.

But it just doesn’t ‘pop’. The story was just a bit flat, and the resolution a bit too ‘reset button’. The parts of a good episode were here, it just didn’t come together on the day.

323 down, 414 to go.

Trekathon 322: The Maquis (2) (DS9)

March 23rd, 2012

The fight against the Maquis continues, although it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Unusually for a Trek 2-parter, this episode actually delivers. It all gets messier than before, but there’s a nice story told, particularly the parts involving the enigmatic, and always slightly suspicious, Gul Dukat.

But the thing I liked the most was the ending, where it was made perfectly clear that this wasn’t going to be a nice simple ‘reset button’ ending – there are troubles in this world far from the centre of the Federation, and they can’t be solved in the course of a 60 minute TV show.

322 down, 415 to go.

Trekathon 321: Firstborn (TNG)

March 22nd, 2012

Worf’s son Alexander struggles with his future.

In general, Klingon stories work best when it’s about politics or battle. Simple interpersonal stories just don’t fare as well. The story tries very hard, but falls down. A lot of that is due to the fact that the actor playing Alexander just isn’t that good. So we never get a real sense of his own thoughts, or struggle with his identity. It’s just a child reflexively refusing what comes his way. I think the story would have worked a lot better with an older child, where the idea of actively choosing their own path would make more sense.

The packaging is also pretty lackluster, from the Picard’s ‘bugger this, I’m off to dig things out of the ground’ in Act I, through the painful and pointless Riker scene, and the overly drawn out ‘detective’ story.

321 down, 416 to go.

Trekathon 320: The Maquis (1) (DS9)

March 21st, 2012

The recent Cardassian treaty isn’t going down well with some colonists.

And hey, it’s that plot thread from the previous episode of TNG being picked up in another series, and one that is very important for the background of Voyager. Unfortunately it’s the only time this is done – there’s only a few episodes of TNG left, and the setup of Voyager prevents this kind of trick. But it’s also another step down the road towards a less ‘story of the week’ show.

As is standard for 2-part episodes, this is a nice setup. It does drag a little in the middle, but not too badly all things considered. The only real nit I have to pick is that this ‘settlers in the DMZ’ thing has come out of nowhere, but that’s a minor quibble.

320 down, 417 to go.