Archive for September, 2012

Trekathon 513: Change of Heart (DS9)

September 30th, 2012

Worf and Dax go on a mission together.

A long buildup to an interesting scene, but we’d have been far better served with less build up, and a bit more time establishing the dilemma. The ‘Worf and Dax have a bumpy, but fundamentally good, relationship’ stuff is way too long. Once we get there it’s interesting, and the consequences for Worf are serious. That is, they’d be serious if I thought the show had any intention of ever following up on it.

And as for the ‘Bashir and O’Brien play Tongo’ b-plot – again, overly dull. But one good scene, the actual Tongo scene between Quark and Bashir, that was worth the setup.

513 down, 224 to go.

Trekathon 512: Retrospect (VOY)

September 29th, 2012

Seven recovers a memory of an assault.

Yikes, what an uncomfortable hour of television. It’s not bad, by any means, it’s just really difficult to watch. It’s especially awkward given the recent (in Australia) stories in the news from Melbourne. The question of recovered memories is a very very difficult one. The show doesn’t stray away from the difficult questions.

But – it’s ultimately a bad tonal mismatch. It feels more like CSI: Special Victims Unit than Star Trek. There are a lot of preachy monologues in the show, and the actors feel a bit ‘after school special’ when dealing with the material.

512 down, 225 to go.

Trekathon 511: Honor Among Thieves (DS9)

September 28th, 2012

O’Brien goes undercover with the Orion syndicate.

This episode rests on a knife point. On the one hand, it’s ridiculous that O’Brien would be chosen for this mission – he doesn’t really have the skills or background, there must be a hundred more qualified people than him, and even within the DS9 crew Bashir would be a better fit. But on the other hand, he’s the only character who could make the story of befriending the gangster real and emotive.

It worked for me, but I can easily see the suspension of disbelief being a big problem for others on the other side. It’s a simple story, but well told. There’s absolutely nothing about science fiction in here, it’s just an age old undercover story.

511 down, 226 to go.

Trekathon 510: Prey (VOY)

September 27th, 2012

Voyager runs into two old friends at once – the Hirogen and Species 8472.

You know that thing I said a couple of episodes ago, about how the Hirogen wouldn’t support any interesting stories? Wrong, as it turns out. While the Hirogen themselves are still disappointingly one note, the conflict between Seven and Janeway is nicely played out. But a lot depends on the follow through – remember when the Doctor lost his memories? Because the show doesn’t.

Species 8472 is also used a bit more interestingly than last time – making them a physical presence, rather than just ships, increased their threat quite nicely. I thought going so quickly to accommodation with them, as Janeway does, was a mistake – but an interesting, in character one.

510 down, 227 to go.

Trekathon 509: One Little Ship (DS9)

September 26th, 2012

A runabout gets shrunk down to a tiny tiny size, and then they rescue the Defiant.

I did not have high hopes for this episode from the opening sequence – the ‘shrunk down’ story is so old, and usually played for (bad) laughs. But with the exception of one silly sequence, everything works out very well. It’s helped along by some of the better special effects Trek has done, integrating the tiny runabout into the various scenes.

But there’s a terrible scene with O’Brien and Bashir rewiring the ship – once out of the runabout it stopped being cool and became silly. And there are some terrible inconsistencies from shot to shot about the size of the ship – they seem to go with ‘what’s coolest’.

509 down, 228 to go.

Trekathon 508: Hunters (VOY)

September 25th, 2012

Voyager gets some letters home. Oh, and some vicious alien hunters.

A strange, meandering episode with no clear tone, and that serves little purpose that couldn’t have been achieved using 30 seconds of the previous episode. We’ve already set up the new alien menace, and the ‘communicate home’ Macguffin could have been blown up last time. So all we really get here is messages from home, and a bad technobabble action sequence.

The Hirogen are not shaping up as interesting enemies either. Kazon Mk II, they seem to be a ‘we kill and that’s it’ race. And a pretty blatant ripoff of Predator as well. I don’t see them supporting many interesting stories.

508 down, 229 to go.