Archive for January, 2013

Trekathon 630: Q2 (VOY)

January 25th, 2013

Q’s back, looking for some baby sitting.

Q must be the most unreliable plot device in Trek. Some episodes are great (All Good Things in particular), some are quite bad (Qpid). This episode recapitulates that in microcosm – it veers from good (Q’s final test of his son) to dull (the extended training montage) and the bad (various bits of sulking). With a bit more space Q-Junior could have been an interesting character – but that would have taken multiple episodes, just not possible in this show.

But there isn’t enough Q. The real charm of these episodes is the scenery chewing antics vs Janeway (or Picard), and we spend too much time with Sulky-Q, not nearly enough with real Q. What we do see is just enough to make me wish for a different Q episode to this one.

(I agree with Q-junior: I would have failed Icheb too, but for not keeping to the time limit more than anything else. And I thought turning Engineering into a night club was genuinely pretty funny).

630 down, 107 to go.

Trekathon 629: Human Error (VOY)

January 24th, 2013

Seven tries to learn how to be a real girl.

Or, to put it another way, Seven of Nine does exactly the same thing that Barclay got in so much trouble for (making holographic replicas of crew members). Except this time rather than freaking out, the Doctor encourages her to keep her holodeck program. Seems like a lot of a double standard to me.

There’s a nice callback to a previous episode, and Seven’s developing relationship with holo-Chakotay is nicely done. But it’s fatally undermined by the fact that it’s a hologram, and hence simply does not count. But I loved the piano music, a great change from the usual soundtrack, so I’ll be a little more forgiving than usual.

The B-Plot was pretty underwhelming. Missiles fired at them. And then they stop it.

629 down, 108 to go.

Trekathon 628: Workforce, Part 2 (VOY)

January 23rd, 2013

The Voyager crew stumbles towards rescue.

The idea of using the aliens to drive the action in this half of the episode was a good one. But it’s a decision that makes it more difficult for us to really care about what’s going on, as everyone pretty much gets rescued without having to do very much. Well, Janeway gets to use her ‘skill’ of nearly blowing up the reactor, I suppose. But I enjoyed the alien investigator discovering the vast conspiracy.

But opportunities are missed. We could have learnt something about B’Elanna as she recovered her memory. But instead we just get a recapitulation of a few things about Tom. She does have a life outside her husband, you know. And Janeway’s farewell to her temporary boyfriend was strangely unemotional.

628 down, 109 to go.

Trekathon 627: Workforce (1) (VOY)

January 22nd, 2013

Almost all the crew is kidnapped and brainwashed to work in a factory.

I’m a sucker for ‘in media res’. This episode has a great mysterious start, with Janeway, Seven, Tuvok and Tom all working in a strange alien factory, with a good 10 minutes before any explanations start. The truth, it turns out, is a bit dull – there’s a labor shortage, so someone is going around kidnapping additional workers.

But what do we learn about everyone? Tuvok has no sense of humor. B’Elanna and Tom love each other even when brain wiped. And Janeway no longer in command can relax and live, just a little. That is, nothing.

(I do have to apologise – someone did remember the Emergency Command Hologram after all…)

627 down, 110 to go.

Trekathon 626: The Void (VOY)

January 21st, 2013

Voyager gets stuck in a hole.

The plot’s nothing to write home about, but well delivered. In short, Voyager finds itself in a bad situation, and Janeway builds an alliance that allows them to escape. Along the way there’s the unreliable ally, the implacable foe, and the misunderstood aliens. It’s a little sad that this episode is mainly elevated by the fact that it doesn’t make any of the unfortunate detours like B’Elanna’s history or Icheb’s feelings. But the episode delivers on the plot cleanly, and the subtext of ‘this is what its like in the Alpha quadrant’ was a nice reminder that Voyager is still trying to get home occasionally.

(But the good old ‘should we stick to the rules or act as necessary’ thing: didn’t we work through that in Season One?)

626 down, 111 to go.

Trekathon 625: Prophecy (VOY)

January 20th, 2013

In a refreshing change of pace, rather than B’Elanna coming to terms with her Klingon heritage, Klingons come to terms with B’Elanna.

Well, not refreshing. More ‘not as bad’. It’s mainly Klingon warriors wandering around shouting ‘Grraah’, along with a small touch of ‘mysterious prophecy people are manipulating turns out to strangely true’. And the final act attempted takeover is really the final proof we ever need that Tuvok should be sacked, because his job of securing the ship is entirely inadequate. Have they never heard of passwords on the transporters?

Still, a mostly fun story that doesn’t dwell on the annoying territory of most of the Voyager Klingon episodes.

(But: “You have two choices, kill her or mate with her” – yuck. Ditto Neelix’s booty call).

625 down, 112 to go.