Archive for February, 2013

Trekathon 659: Vox Sola (ENT)

February 23rd, 2013

A strange goopy alien sneaks on board.

To summarise the episode: T’Pol is kind of a jerk to Hoshi, Hoshi is a bit uncertain of herself. Most of the rest are stuck to a wall. Hoshi and T’Pol work together and the day is saved.

It’s flat and relatively dull writing, but enlivened by what is some fairly effective direction and camerawork. And there’s a showdown between Phlox and Reed that informs us quite well about their respective characters.

Callbacks: the first proper force field we’ve seen.

659 down, 78 to go.

Trekathon 658: Detained (ENT)

February 22nd, 2013

Star Trek Masterpiece Theatre presents: The WW2 Japanese Internship Camps.

In case you couldn’t guess, this is one of those episodes where they didn’t exactly go for subtlety in hiding their theme – it was even namechecked at one point. That doesn’t necessarily make for a bad episode, but it doesn’t help.

The content was disappointingly by the numbers though. There was no attempt at nuance, and as it turned out that there were good guys and bad guys. When you’ve got shapeshifters around it’s almost criminal to not try and establish some kind of sense of menace and uncertainty using them.

The low point was the ‘aren’t you the real racist’ bit from Merriweather. It’s predictable, and it cheapens the plight of the detained population. Maybe they have a right to a bit of mistrust?

658 down, 79 to go.

Trekathon 657: Oasis (ENT)

February 21st, 2013

Enterprise finds a haunted ship.

I was worried about yet another ghost story, and so I was quite relieved when it went in a different direction. But that different direction doesn’t supply enough plot to fill an episode, so there’s far too long a stretch to the main plot elements. And then the reveal happens about 10 minutes before the end of the episode, and we get a way too long ‘what was really happening’ explanation.

I suspect that if I watched a TOS episode, I’d find the pacing is quite similar. But that’s simply not appropriate with today’s television.

Callbacks: the reference to a ‘Holographic Doctor’. Made, incidentally, by the distractingly familiar Rene Auberjonois (Odo) in a poorly judged guest star role.

657 down, 80 to go.

Trekathon 656: Acquisition (ENT)

February 20th, 2013

No, not the Ferengi. Anything but that. Couldn’t we find a way to include Lwaxana Troi instead?

Things this episode did wrong:

  • Had Ferengi at all. Seriously, it conflicts with the timeline, and I don’t like them.

  • Forgot that torpedoes weigh quite a lot, and so probably can’t be easily pushed by a single person.

  • They stole the chair. Seriously. The chair. Not even the Captains chair, either. And they raided the larder.

  • Despite being in Sick Bay, Tucker doesn’t think to just try a quick stimulant to revive people (until its too late).

  • Bringing the Rules of Acquisition in to the story.

  • Saving the ship revolves around the world’s stupidest Ferengi, with a healthy dose of ‘make them turn on each other’.

  • Tucker spends half the entire episode in his underwear.

  • Apparently the entire plot revolves around the crew being so stupid that they pick up a mysterious artefact and don’t exercise any kind of quarantine around it.

  • The dog interrogation sequence.

  • The old ‘fake fight between allies’ ploy.

  • More of that ‘stroking the lobes’ rubbish.

Things done right:

  • The opening sequence actually made the Ferengi seem pretty menacing when they were talking their own language without translation. Surprisingly enough this continued even when it became clear that antics were being performed. Music helped a lot with this, as ominous music was used rather than the normal ‘Wacky Ferengi’ music.

In case you couldn’t guess – this was terrible, and I hate it.

656 down, 81 to go.

Trekathon 655: Rogue Planet (ENT)

February 19th, 2013

Some of the crew go hunting with some aliens.

Bleh. Dull and predictable. It’s established so early on that the aliens are hunting something a bit more sentient than they’re letting on that it’s mysterious. The siren that appears to Archer doesn’t so much seduce as make us question her judgment. And the final resolution basically comes down to just being annoying.

But my real objection is criminal waste of a premise. We start the episode with a ‘rogue planet’ – a planet not in any solar system, but able to support itself from the heat it generates internally. Pretty whacky, but an interesting SF pitch. The episode then proceeds to do absolutely nothing at all with it. They could have established an interesting social situation, but instead they act as if they’d rather just get rid of the awkward setup they had before their ‘main’ plot.

655 down, 82 to go.

Trekathon 654: Fusion (ENT)

February 18th, 2013

Enterprise meets a ship of Vulcans who reject the teachings of logic.

Boring, and fails to deliver on the small sliver of promise. We’ve always had hints at the ‘primal nature’ of Vulcans (along with some very inconsistent explanations about how this primal nature if controlled). Here it’s reduced to someone being a little bit rapey, and a lot of an asshole. It just isn’t ‘big’ enough to justify the response, either in general or in this episode specifically. Other than that the Vulcan crew come across as a bunch of relatively inoffensive nerds.

I could go a very long time before I ever had to sit through something like T’Pols dream again. Simply horrible.

Callbacks: The Vulcan mind-meld, which turns out to be little known in this time period.

654 down, 83 to go.