Archive for June, 2012

Trekathon 415: Innocence (VOY)

June 24th, 2012

Tuvok crash lands on a moon, and finds a small group of children also recently crashed.

They say there are only seven basic plots. So it seems, as Star Trek has a lot of ‘Die Hard in a …’ episodes, so why not ‘Kindergarten Cop with a Vulcan’. It’s entirely by the numbers, with the exception of a last minute twist that makes no sense at all in the context of everyone’s actions.

As is depressingly common for Voyager, it’s not bad. It just misses the mark in a very frustrating way.

415 down, 322 to go.

Trekathon 414: Rules of Engagement (DS9)

June 23rd, 2012

Worf goes on trial for destroying a civilian transport

It’s nice to see some narrative courage. The ‘turn to the side and answer during flashbacks’ was a bold thing to try. I found it clunky and annoying, but hey, they tried something at least.

On the other hand, there was a Klingon culture thing here that worked really well. The idea of Klingon lawyers is a bit strange initially, but once we see the lawyer treat the court as a substitute form of one-on-one combat, it really works.

414 down, 323 to go.

Trekathon 413: Deadlock (VOY)

June 22nd, 2012

A spatial anomaly creates another Voyager. But only of them can survive.

This is a good example of what Voyager does best. There’s a fantastic action sequence in the opening sequence, taking advantage of the two ships to kill off quite a few people in surprising fashions. The remainder of the episode takes full advantage of the uncertainty in having two of everyone around, adding up to just about the highest ‘featured cast’ death toll ever seen in Star Trek.

Two things bugged me – firstly, Janeway (and really the whole crew) are so quick to go the self-sacrifice route that it suggests suicidal tendencies. And secondly, the philosophical implications of the ending are pretty weird, and I think get short shrift. I’d love to see a future episode that looked into that a bit more.

413 down, 324 to go.

Trekathon 412: Investigations (VOY)

June 21st, 2012

Neelix uncovers a spy on board as he tries to do the “Good Morning Vietnam” thing.

All that careful plot laying of the last few episodes gets used up all at once, as we find up what Paris was up to, and the traitorous crewmen is discovered. The main payoff is in the misdirect, where Paris’ recent behaviour makes the first half story of his leaving the ship at least a little more plausible than it otherwise would be.

The main problem here is the choice of protagonist. Neelix is annoying and dull, and his over-enthusiasm grates. He has the potential to be a much deeper character, but he just can’t escape the comic character event horizon.

412 down, 325 to go.

Trekathon 411: Lifesigns (VOY)

June 20th, 2012

The Doctor falls in love with a patient.

Don’t date your patients. It’s a pretty fundamental rule of medical practice. I’m pretty sure it applies to holograms too. But it doesn’t get mentioned once, so keen is everyone to do the ‘hologram learns how to love’ plot. It’s a nice plot, done well, but not dealing with that issue kind of killed it for me.

The B-plot is made up of a few pieces of the strange ongoing treason that’s been happening with broadcasts from the ship, and Paris’s rapidly deteriorating attitude. Neither go anywhere here, and it’s a far more clumsy approach to building an ongoing plot than is seen in DS9. Points for effort, but that’s all.

411 down, 326 to go.

Trekathon 410: Accession (DS9)

June 19th, 2012

Sisko’s position as the Emissary is challenged.

The ’emissary’ arc is an interesting one, with Sisko’s acceptance of his role growing. But here rather than come from internal growth, greater acceptance is ‘forced’ by the external events. His reactions all make sense, I just don’t see how we get from ‘I have to be the Emissary to stop these things happening’ to ‘I’m now happier being the Emissary’ – they seem like different tracks the same train might have gone down.

The B-plot is a nice development in the Bashir/O’Brien bromance. It’s remarkable to think that they were so far from being friends back at the start of the series, and now you can write a whole story about their problems adjusting to being apart that doesn’t feel forced or false.

410 down, 327 to go.