Trekathon 827: Anomaly (DIS)

November 26th, 2021

Five light years is more than massive. Just saying. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 826: Terror Firma (PRO)

November 19th, 2021

On to the day’s second episode. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 825: Kobayashi Maru (DIS)

November 19th, 2021

Two episodes of different Trek series on the same day – it’s been a long time since that happened. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 824: Dreamcatcher (PRO)

November 13th, 2021

Is this anyone’s idea of a dream? Spoilers.

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Tower of Babylon 005: Infection

November 13th, 2021

Possibly the worst Babylon 5 episode? Certainly every bit as bad as I remembered, from the rough performances from the guest actors, the pointless action sequences, and a terrible ending.

The only positive to note is that there are good ‘bones’ to the story here – it moves along well, has good beats and could have been a better episode. But nearly everything else goes wrong. When the supposedly intelligent adversary just lumbers around shouting ‘Protect’ it’s hard to get a sense that it’s a major threat.

And then to top it all off we have a ‘expose the logical fallacy in the alien’s reasoning leading to a self destruct’ ending, which was terrible when Star Trek did it in the 60s, and it’s terrible here.

Well, at least it’s up from here.


Tower of Babylon 004: Born to the Purple

November 13th, 2021

For me a mixed episode (my brother liked it a lot more). I found the basic plot to be very by-the-numbers 1950s pulp, with very little in the way of surprises. But Londo’s performance across the episode is wonderful, and it’s the saving grace for the story. Sinclair, on the other hand, feels like he’s from another series entirely. There’s little character continuity with the Sinclair that we’ve seen to date, and little justification for the way he runs off or acts during his helping of Londo.

(As an aside – why does the Centauri Republic have an emperor? Seems like a strange mix of terms).

The B-story, with Ivanova secretly getting in touch with her father, is a very strange one. Surely an officer of her seniority can arrange something more formal for cases like this. And Garibaldi’s quest to nail down the anomaly was never very well justified either. Just seemed like a plot line that added little to the episode, and didn’t really advance characters notably.


Trekathon 823: Starstruck (PRO)

November 13th, 2021

Shakedown cruise. Spoilers.

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Tower of Babylon 003: Soul Hunter

November 4th, 2021

Ooof, very nearly as bad as I remembered. The ‘monster of the week’ episodes were never a highpoint, of the show, and exposition heavy monster of the week is even worse. I’m not sure if the idea could work better with a different approach to the implementation, or if it’s just a bad idea, but the bottom line is it just doesn’t work.

The only redeeming note is the use of even this fairly silly story to advance the plot, this time around what’s going on with the Minbari. But even that is honestly pretty heavy handed, and maybe overloaded. It would have been nice to have a slightly slower roll on some of it.

One other note of interest is the alien ‘fixer’, N’Grath. It’s a nice idea to show aliens who are something other than humans with clay on their nose. Ultimately it’s a bit too ‘puppet’ like, and again falls short. But the attempt was worth the effort.


Tower of Babylon 002: Midnight on the Firing Line

November 4th, 2021

Season one starts with an episode that I remember as being relatively strong, so I was pleased when it mostly held up. There’s a lot of adjustments that need to be done here to move on from the pilot, but they’re pretty smooth for the most part. Some smart moves, like not bringing in all the new cast at once, make that a lot better. Claudia Christian in particular is great as Ivanova, a character who is given much better characterisation than Takashima. There’s still some clumsy bits (the interactions with Talia for instance), but overall the writing is much stronger.

I was most interested in the G’Kar/Londo relationship and characterisation, knowing where everything would go. Londo works well – the sad clown who will go on to be a monster, and then redeem himself. You can look at him here in the knowledge of where he will go and feel satisfied. G’Kar works less well for me (although my brother suggests it’s an intentional mislead) – he’s simply too scenery chewing and one note, there’s not even a glimpse of the later complexity.

Finally, on the CG. It doesn’t hold up, and with the benefit of hindsight the models used by some other series have lasted better. Although the CG will improve over the years. But it has two great strengths. First, the designs. The Star Fury is one of the great SF ship designs – practical and beautiful. And second, the use of ‘show don’t tell’ – it’s really obvious compared to other series that this is a show that’s going to put the action on screen, not in dialog. It’s compelling and enjoyable, and is ultimately only possible because the CG makes every second a little cheaper. I wish more shows would learn from it.


Trekathon 822: Lost and Found (PRO)

November 2nd, 2021

Peak Star Trek continues, with the new young adult oriented animated series. Spoilers.

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