Trekathon 872: Trusted Sources (LD)

October 22nd, 2022

Welcome to the only trusted source for my opinion on Star Trek. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 871: Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus (LD)

October 18th, 2022

Even numbered sequels are the good ones, right? Spoilers.

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Trekathon 870: A Mathermatically Perfect Redemption (LD)

October 8th, 2022

Finally a sequel to the great TNG Redemption I and Redemption II? Spoilers.

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Trekathon 869: Hear All, Trust Nothing (LD)

October 6th, 2022

Cerritos goes to DS9. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 868: Reflections (LD)

September 23rd, 2022

Reflections is pretty much the name of the game for this blog. Spoilers.

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Tower of Babylon 013: By Any Means Necessary

September 18th, 2022

Union struggles come to SF. It’s nice to see the difficulties of actually running a space station, and the realities of a world where money requires hard choices between things and tight budgets. I’ve never liked the utopian money-free future of Star Trek, it just doesn’t feel like a real possible future.

There’s a bit more of the over dramatic characters, but less. And it’s nice to a short blonde woman as the union boss rather than the usual stereotype. The middle of the episode is padded with a bit too much interminable back and forwards between the parties, and the ending is a copout. But it’s still a fun episode to watch.

The B-plot was great fun, and showed just how well the Londo/G’Kar relationship has established itself. There’s also an opportunity for G’Kar to show wants and interests of his own, and to develop a more rounded character. Not sure I was a big fan of the whole ‘inventive theology’ thing from Sinclair, it felt disrespectful.

Tower of Babylon 012: Survivors

September 18th, 2022

This episode showed something of an ongoing flaw in the season to date. There are some good stories and good characters, but the characterisation is turned up to 11. So we get a lot of scenes of angry people shouting past each other, totally unwilling to engage in give or take. It’s ultimately a bit of a cheap way to tell a story, as everything is done as unsubtly as possible.

Still, the relationships involved all feel real and grounded. There are some strong stakes in driving the plot forward. And we finally ge to learn some more about Garibaldi and his past.

And at the same time there’s some further forward momentum on the big plots around Earth politics, the coming election, and the tensions between factions in play.

Tower of Babylon 011: Believers

September 18th, 2022

Finally an episode that really underperformed my memory. I remembered this as being quite a strong story about medical ethics, with a dark ending Trek would never touch. And while those are both true, I didn’t remember the terrible characterisation on Franklin required to get there, and a weakfish child actor.

Franklin is borderline irredeemable from this episode. He’s arrogant well past the point of fault, obsessed and unwilling to listen. The episode would have done better to turn all these traits down a little – could have got to the same conclusion, but with more of his character intact. Why would a character fascinated by different alien races be so unwilling to listen to their beliefs?

The best part of the episode is the sequence with visiting all the different ambassadors. There’s good writing and performance in all of these scenes, and while they don’t tell us anything new about the characters we at least get some good reinforcement of what we already know.

Tower of Babylon 010: Deathwalker

September 18th, 2022

One that from memory was quite weak, but surprised me for the most part. The story is a good example of the kind of SF concept that would be difficult or impossible to make work in Star Trek, but feels natural here. The various manoeuvring and compromises among the different races and factions is interesting and well produced.

My only criticism is that Jha’Dur is just too much of a comic book villain. If she’s a speciesist supremacist then it’s hard to imagine her caring very much about ‘they became me’ or sowing chaos. It would have been nice to try and grapple with the version of the character who sees herself as a tragic hero, rather than a villain taking revenge.

The B-plot if interminable – Talia and Kosh makes no sense, goes nowhere, and isn’t fun to watch. Just a bad use of screen time.

Tower of Babylon 009: And The Sky Full of Stars

September 18th, 2022

Just as great as I remembered it. The fist time Babylon 5 really shifts into a higher gear in terms of the big arc.

Michael O’Hare’s performance as haunted and scarred so far exceeds everything else that he does in this show. Knowing the back story that’s quite tragic. But he also brings a core to what is going on here that is essential. This episode relies on his reactions and his feelings, so it’s important that it works.

Production is also really great – the lighting through the interrogation sequence and the flashbacks works very well, and the music builds tension and feeling appropriately.

But – if you’re defending a 3-dimensional planet, is a ‘line’ really a great way to go?