Archive for October, 2012

Trekathon 538: Drone (VOY)

October 25th, 2012

A transporter accident creates a Borg drone with advanced technology.

One of the problems with there being 537 stories before the episode you’re writing is that it’s very tricky to come up with a story that hasn’t been told before. This episode is basically I, Borg, with a bit of The Offspring mixed in, with even a hint of Tuvix as well. That would be OK if the writer had had something new to say, but they don’t.

Nothing is particularly done badly, though. The new Drone never comes alive as a character (as Hugh did in I, Borg), but we do see some interesting development from Seven as she convinces him to follow her path. The Doctor is unusually annoying this week, but fortunately this is mainly limited to the opening sequence. And there’s a nice moment between Chakotay and Kim early in the episode.

538 down, 199 to go.

Trekathon 537: Take Me Out to the Holosuite (DS9)

October 24th, 2012

Sisko is challenged to a game of baseball by an old rival.

This is an awful episode. It’s based on understanding and enjoying baseball (witness the around ten percent of the episode spent simply reading the rules at different points). The premise involves a racist Vulcan, which seems inconsistent with everything we’ve seen about Vulcans (unless the writers are saying racism is logical. They wouldn’t be saying that would they?). And the plot is largely a rote sitcom ‘father takes everything too seriously, but ultimately learns how to chill out’ plot so standard that I wouldn’t be surprised if I could find an ‘I Love Lucy’ episode that’s the same.

There are a small handful of grace notes – the Federation anthem is a nice touch, Worf’s version of smack talk, Odo as the umpire. But they’re offset by a number of stupid small moments – Ezri talking about the Olympics (pretty sure the Trill don’t do that as well), the ‘all Vulcans look the same’ bit, everyone signs their name in English, not their native language.

537 down, 200 to go. Not quite the home stretch, but getting there.

Trekathon 536: Night (VOY)

October 23rd, 2012

Voyager goes through a region of space with no stars, and everyone goes a bit wiggy.

The scientific contortions aside, the ‘becalmed patch’ thing they were trying for here was potentially interesting. It doesn’t work, because they give up and head into the action story far too soon, and Janeway appears to strangely overreact.

I’m not saying all the reactions don’t make sense – I think it makes sense that no stars would drive a few people mad. It just seems quite odd for Janeway to be one of them.

(Captain Proton is one of the few times I’ve ever liked the stupid Holodeck cutaway stories. Fun, and it makes sense as something that would exist on the Holodeck).

536 down, 201 to go.

Trekathon 535: Afterimage (DS9)

October 22nd, 2012

Ezri Dax comes to terms with herself.

This story fell quite flat with me, and I’m not really sure why. The performance is pretty good, although I would’ve liked to see a bit more ‘Jadzia’ in Ezri (as there was in the previous episode). The real problem might be that the story is simply too soon – we don’t know her yet, so the inner conflict doesn’t resonate enough.

The rest was a good attempt to make an interesting story out of a ships counsellor, but that generally makes for poor TV. Garak’s inner conflict was interesting but was given short shrift. And I don’t like the ‘you know what’s bothering you and now everythings OK’ motif that seems to come from a limited view of what psychoanalysis is about.

535 down, 202 to go.

Trekathon 534: Shadows and Symbols (3) (DS9)

October 21st, 2012

Sisko turns out to be the child of a wormhole Prophet.

Yeah, that’s about how I reacted too. That is an incredibly silly plot development. OK, maybe that’s going too far, but it comes out of left field, and it doesn’t seem to actually add anything to the story. The ‘Sisko thinks he’s really Benny Russell’ stuff was also a bit strange.

The rest of the episode is quite good. Ezri Dax is kinda fun as the new, and slightly confused Dax. It’s clear that there’s an association between her and Jadzia, but also that they’re different people. And the attack on the Dominion ship yard is a nice mission – but why bother bringing Quark along?

534 down, 203 to go.

Trekathon 533: Image in the Sand (2) (DS9)

October 20th, 2012

Sisko soul searches, and nothing else moves forward.

This is a strange episode, which spends most of its duration just paddling in place, doing nothing. The main revelations are that Sisko’s mother wasn’t who he thought she was, and has something to do with the prophets (by which I mena – C’mon…), and the last minute reappearance of Dax with a new host, which we knew was going to happen.

So nothing much interesting happens until the end. Eveyrthing else just gets a bit worse – there’s some conflict with the Romulans, the war isn’t going that well, there’s a new sect on Bajor. The only interesting thing is Worf dealing with his wife’s death, which wasn’t given nearly enough prominence in the story.

(Sisko is using a PADD in the opening sequence that looks so much like an iPad that its quite eerie).

533 down, 204 to go.