Archive for June, 2012

Trekathon 421: Tuvix (VOY)

June 30th, 2012

Harry Kim’s incompetence maims Tuvok and Neelix.

This could have been a lot, lot worse. The concept of merging Tuvok and Neelix into a single person could have been played for comedy. Instead this episode takes a much more difficult philosophical path.

Unfortunately the decision made at the end rings false. No matter how justified, it’s hard to believe that Janeway would ever commit murder, or the crew would sit by as it was done.

421 down, 316 to go.

Trekathon 420: For the Cause (DS9)

June 29th, 2012

Sisko’s girlfriend could be an agent for the Maquis.

Did not see this one coming. OK, the Eddington thing I saw a mile off. But the Kassidy Yates thing was out of left field. And, honestly, it still feels a little arbitrary – we’ve never had a reason to suspect she might be on the side of the Maquis.

This whole season has been a bit off kilter though. We see episodes like this which rely on the tension of the existing war situation. But then we have other episodes which don’t seem to notice that the war exists at all, like the previous DS9. It’s a show without a clear direction – but I’d like more like this one.

420 down, 317 to go.

Trekathon 419: The Thaw (VOY)

June 28th, 2012

Voyager tries to rescue some people from a bizarre virtual reality.

Not since The Royale have we had to put up with such an annoying, pointless ‘allegorical’ world. I have never understood the Comedia dell’arte obsession that American writers have, it’s incredibly obscure and yet comes up all the time in shows like Studio 60.

Here it’s just a waste of an hour, as stupid characters behave in stupid ways. We learn nothing about anyone. And then there’s a particularly stupid bit at the end to just say ‘Janeway is awesome’. Yuck from start to finish.

“When your only reality is an illusion then illusion is reality”? Dear oh dear.

419 down, 318 to go.

Trekathon 418: The Muse (DS9)

June 27th, 2012

Lwaxana Troi again. Excuse me, I just need to go get my nail gun.

OK, that’s probably a little harsh. This is more a story about Odo than Lwaxana, and making the story about a character care about rather than hate makes things much more palatable. For once the relationship Lwaxana is thrown into during the episode seems real, and not forced. Ironic, given that the plot suggests the reverse for once.

As for the B-plot, with Jake ‘seduced’ by a predatory alien? Yuck. The subtext was too blatant, and the acting of the alien was creepy without a hint of attractive. Possibly a good story with the right delivery, but it does not work here.

418 down, 319 to go.

Trekathon 417: Shattered Mirror (DS9)

June 26th, 2012

Back to the mirror universe again.

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. The mirror universe started out as interesting and refreshing. But by now it’s just silly. The only new element is the mirror universe Worf, and frankly that gives us absolutely nothing interesting at all. Other than that, it just raises more questions than it answers about the apparent ease of moving between the dimensions.

They were trying to do something a bit bolder with the Jake/Jennifer thing. But it doesn’t have real depth or feeling – we don’t have enough time to really appreciate what this situation must be like for Jake. And so it falls flat, taking what little hope for quality the episode had with it.

417 down, 320 to go.

Trekathon 416: Hard Time (DS9)

June 25th, 2012

O’Brien tries to recover from 20 years of implanted memories of a prison sentence.

Most of the time Star Trek is a pretty B-grade show. It does some fun action, but it’s not that deep or special. And that can make this Trekathon a bit of a grind at times.

But every now and then, about once every 50 episodes, it does something really special. This is an absolutely riveting episode. Difficult to watch, but also compelling. Fantastic performances. And it rests on a science fiction premise such that the story could only really be told in something like Star Trek. Right up there with the best 4 or 5 ever for Trek.

416 down, 321 to go.