Archive for April, 2012

Trekathon 360: Prime Factors (VOY)

April 30th, 2012

Voyager finds a race with the power to send them halfway home.

For the first 15 minutes or so this felt like an unwelcome step back to the bad old days of TNG Season 1. Something about the staging and set design of the planet rubbed me badly the wrong way. Super-advanced aliens are hard to write, and generally a bit boring. There was something creepily decadent about the alien society here, but that gets no exploration.

But once this became a story about the crew, and the divisions within the ship, it became a lot more interesting. The idea of ‘what are you willing to pay to get home quicker’ is one worth exploring. Tuvok’s decision to help out was a bum note, though.

The one cop out was the ‘catastrophically incompatible’ nature of the technology. That’s it, really? Surely there was at least the potential for a bit more investigation.

360 down, 377 to go.

Trekathon 359: Emanations (VOY)

April 29th, 2012

Harry Kim is dying to get back to Voyager.

I enjoyed this. It was a pretty successful attempt to look at a trickier issue, and for once didn’t feel like all the answers had to be there for the episode to be complete. And it was nice that the solution came from Harry’s actions and taking a chance, rather than technobabble speech no. 147.

The one thing it didn’t really do is further any of the characters. Really any of the role here could have been played by any others, or the story transplanted to TNG or DS9. Or even TOS. That’s ultimately a sign of weakness, as it gives the story a too generic feel.

359 down, 378 to go.

Trekathon 358: Ex Post Facto (VOY)

April 28th, 2012

Tom is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. So he says, at least.

This fell pretty flat. The science fiction element (the ‘relive the victims last moments’ thing) didn’t get a lot of use. It would have been nice, for instance, for the repetition to cause Paris to start to doubt his innocence. And the rest is a fairly dull procedural investigation, with a small side helping of ill-defined medical drama.

The final resolution is pretty clever, but it isn’t enough to carry the rest of the episode all on its own.

358 down, 379 to go.

Trekathon 357: Visionary (DS9)

April 27th, 2012

O’Brien becomes unstuck in time.

Time travel episodes are pretty tricky to get right. It’s a fun story when you write it down in 200 words, but once you have to start working out the internal logic it’s very hard to do something that has strong internal logic without spending half the episode in exposition.

This episode threads that needle very nicely. While the final act starts to lose coherence, it makes sense as a time travel story. And there’s also a nice link between the main story and the (apparent) B-plot. The only jarring note is that it felt odd to be seeing Romulans again when the Voyager episode just did that as well.

357 down, 380 to go.

Trekathon 356: Eye of the Needle (VOY)

April 26th, 2012

Voyager finds a way home. Maybe.

This is a good story, although I would have preferred to have a bit more of the Doctor’s B-plot than some of the slow development in the main story. But I felt that the emotional content was a bit lacking. The crew goes from having a 70 year journey home to almost being there, only to lose it again. And all we get is a plaintive look from Janeway. There is still just a lack of concreteness to the situation they’re in.

The Romulan also bothered me – 20 years ago the Romulans were in isolation (remember that it was their first appearance in a while back in Season 1 of TNG). Couldn’t that have at least been mentioned, rather than the idea that seeing Star Fleet vessels is routine enough that a remote scientist knows all about them?

356 down, 381 to go.

Trekathon 355: Prophet Motive (DS9)

April 25th, 2012

Grand Nagus Zek tries to change all Ferengi culture.

So, whose bright idea was it that the first reappearance of the wormhole aliens since the pilot should be in a ‘comedy’ Ferengi episode? That takes my normal annoyance at Ferengi episodes to a whole new level. It’s better than some of the other Ferengi episodes, but not by a lot.

The sub-plot was kind of nice, with Bashir trying to not become too attached to winning a prize he can’t win. At least until I found out afterwards that the whole thing was an extended metaphor for TNG’s Emmy nomination, which kind of coloured my view of it in retrospect.

355 down, 382 to go.