Tower of Babylon 008: The War Prayer

September 18th, 2022

A confession – as is obvious from the date stamps I’ve been away from this project for a while. As a result I’ve been watching a largish batch of episodes before writing up the reviews. And when I sat down now to write about this episode I could barely recall what it was about or very much about it. Thankfully I did take some notes while watching, but it’s a fair indictment of the episode. Not that great, not that bad. Just middling and forgettable.

One thing I’ve noticed recurring a few times is that there is some very rough dialogue in exposition scenes – “I want these scum, I want them bad”. It’s a strange anomaly, as the rest of the dialogue is great.

A lot of the show is really starting to settle down. Relationships are becoming more clear, particularly Garibaldi/Ivanova in this episode. And Mira Furlan is getting a chance to try out a lot more of her range – she goes from the subtle companionship with her friend to full-on diplomatic warrior without losing the underlying character. The biggest rough spot is the music stings, which are at times very awkward.

(And as an aside – look at the sweater on screen at 09:30 – it is a masterpiece…)

Tower of Babylon 007: Mind War

September 18th, 2022

This was one of the ‘major’ episodes in my memory, and I was glad to see it stood up to scrutiny after all these years. It’s not quite as subtle as I remembered – George Takei as Bester must have put on quite a few kilos with all the chewed scenery. But it’s a combination of an interesting story, some great world development, and writing that (romantic dialogue aside) is really starting to find its footing.

There is a degree of a bit of undelivered promise in the episode – Talia’s developing abilities never show up again, and there’s not really much more on the idea of developing super telepaths. Some of that is a product of the actress leaving the show, but I think it’s also a reflection that these are stories that are hard to make work on screen.

(As an aside – Bester’s namesake, Alfred Bester, has an incredible novel called “The Demolished Man”. It’s a great story, but it’s unfilmable as so much of the story relies on telepathy and the complex way that telepaths communicate).

Tower of Babylon 006: Parliament of Dreams

September 18th, 2022

This is a fun but ultimately low calorie episode. None of the plot threads really do anything incredible in terms of moving things forward. And there are some bits that are a bit on the nose.

For instance, yes, it’s nice to see Earth has diversity of beliefs. But do none of the other aliens have similar diversity? It’s established in later episodes that there are different belief structures on Narn, for instance. It’s a cute message, but it relies on a very old trope of SF to get there.

The main redeeming features are a bit of progress in characterisation – despite the lousy romantic dialogue we end up with a bit more of a rounded picture of Sinclair. And G’Kar has a chance to be something other than a comic cartoon villain which is a welcome development.

Trekathon 867: Room for Growth (LD)

September 18th, 2022

Not sure there is much more room for growth in Star Trek series at the moment. Spoilers.

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Treakthon 866: Mining The Mind’s Mines (LD)

September 12th, 2022

Ah, finally the sequel to the sea shore selling season. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 865: The Least Dangerous Game (LD)

September 6th, 2022

If Man is the most dangerous game, I’m guessing the least dangerous game is some sort of amoeba?

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Trekathon 864: Grounded (LD)

August 29th, 2022

The brief Trek hiatus ends and Lower Decks returns. Spoilers.

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Trekathon Season Review: Strange New Worlds Season 1

July 9th, 2022

Star Trek’s first five season year comes to an end. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 863: A Quality of Mercy (SNW)

July 9th, 2022

Season 1 of Strange New Worlds ends. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 862: All Those Who Wander (SNW)

July 3rd, 2022

I wonder who wanders. Spoilers.

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