Archive for May, 2010

Trekathon 250: Babel (DS9)

May 9th, 2010

The good old ‘epidemic sweeps the station’ one. There’s a nice twist here with the virus being the responsibility of Bajoran terrorists, but that’s never used for anything particularly interesting.

There’s a bit too much ‘plot convenience’ going on, with Sisko, Kira and Bashir all among the last to succumb, and Odo and Quark the only ones immune. I don’t mind a bit of good fortune in writing, but that buys you one character, not five.

Not bad, just ‘OK’. Or, to put it another way, better than anything Next Generation had managed to this same point.

250 down, 487 to go. And a quick word about my schedule – I’m pretty much taking May off, other than the episodes I plan to watch on the plane to/from the US later in the month. And then I need to finish up a bit earlier, due to another holiday at the end of the year. Don’t worry, I’ll still get there.

Trekathon 249: A Man Alone (DS9)

May 9th, 2010

I love a good locked room mystery.

But while there was a locked room involved, this one wasn’t that good. The mystery relied a little bit too much on silly technobabble, and it just didn’t feel realistic that the population of the station would turn into a mob so quickly.

Not a terrible episode by any means, but certainly weaker than the others so far. If Deep Space 9 is going in any direction, you’d hope this isn’t it.

249 down, 488 to go.

Trekathon 248: Past Prologue (DS9)

May 9th, 2010

This episodes seems out to prove a point – this is not the old Star Trek. This is the new Star Trek, where characters have a past, where sometimes they disagree with each other on fundamentals, and the plots aren’t just wrapped up at the end of the previous episode.

The major failing is that we simply haven’t gotten to know the characters well enough, particularly Kira. If we’d seen a few more episodes of her, to understand her background and past a bit more, the tension in this episode would have been far more apparent. But as it stands it’s simply too soon in the series for us to understand the background.

But there’s still a lot of promise here.

248 down, 489 to go.

Trekathon 247: Emissary (2) (DS9)

May 1st, 2010

Unusually for a two-part episode, this one is actually pretty even in quality (the last to manage that was Encounter at Farpoint, which was uniformly bad). Well, it was originally a feature length pilot I suppose.

The plot picks up station-side, with the character introduction coming to an end, and switching instead to some fairly simple action. Sisko gets a lot more character development, but there just isn’t enough action. The wormhole alien segment drags on way too long – the “what is this” questions are interesting at first, but just become repetitive and dull after about 5 minutes.

But overall, I think that Star Trek fans would be rightfully optimistic at the start this new series is off to.

247 down, 490 to go.

Trekathon 246: Emissary (1) (DS9)

May 1st, 2010

Another era of Star Trek starts, with the first spin-off (Next Generation is more of a reboot than a spinoff).

The first half of the pilot episode spends a lot of time establishing a setting and set of characters who are very unlike previous Star Trek. These are people who can be a bit of a prat (Bashir), strident and uncompromising (Kira Nerys), and the lead is uncertain and dispirited (Sisko). Compare this to the group of perfect people who we get in the first episode of TNG: clearly this is a new way of doing things.

We also see a lot of plot threads set up, more than usual: Bajoran religion, the orbs, the celestial temple, the conflict with the Cardassians, Sisko’s past. While partly the conclusion is with the benefit of hindsight, this is a show pointing towards a more serial, less episodic story.

The first half doesn’t really get a lot of plot – it’s almost entirely setup. That makes it hard to judge in isolation, but it’s certainly a more promising introduction than the start of TNG.

246 down, 491 to go.