Monday, April 29, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: Meridian

 Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"Meridian"
Airdate: November 14, 1994
53 of 173 produced
53 of 173 aired

Introduction

The crew of the Defiant discovers a strange planet in the Gamma Quadrant that appears for only a brief snippet of time in our dimension. Dax must make a momentous life choice when she falls in love with one of its residents - should she continue on with her life and career and cultural obligations as a joined Trill, or join bloody Brigadoon after dating some schlub for three days? Her answer may surprise you...
Oh no! Boyfriend... fading! Just like any memory of this episode!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Best of Both Worlds: The Movie

I saw Best of Both Worlds in HD in a movie theater on Thursday and it was pretty much as awesome as you would think it would be. I was happy to note that the theater I was in was pretty much sold out, and with people of all ages. This wasn't just people 30-something and above re-watching a show from their past. That was encouraging.

Like seasons 1 and 2, they had some behind the scenes stuff. My favorite part of that was an interview with Elizabeth Dennehy. She talked about how young and stupid she was when she auditioned and how she was able to stare down Riker because she had no context of the show to tell her she shouldn't have been able to, so her character was good at being the outsider because the actress was as well. She did note that some of the treknobabble was burned on her memory. In the interview she recites the line about how much of the Borg ship would have to be disabled before it shut down, and they overlaid the shot of the character saying it in the episode, and it was spot on, and pretty funny. There were also the standard blooper-reel stuff, which I'll be honest, only does so much for me. It's worse with movies in general, where I really don't care to see the cast I just watched stand around and laugh, but at least for TNG, it helps reinforce the sense of fun and family the cast had. It also is a neat way to see scenes that got dropped. One of the bloopers was a shot of Riker and Shelby (failing at) having a conversation in a corridor that was not in the final episode.

Now onto the episode itself. Obviously, the transfer was gorgeous. I'm just going to run through some random thoughts:

- The matte shot of the hole in the ground in the New Providence colony was stunning, as was the planet work.

- The nebula scenes looked amazing. The way the light diffused around the Enterprise was gorgeous.

- The interior shots of the Borg cube benefit less from the upgrade than you would think simply because the scenes are so dark. That being said. whenever there is light, the small details really pop. Things like Locutus' viewscreen on the cube looked great with bright icons popping off the screen rather than being mottled by the composite process.

- The shot through the window of the shuttle of the drive section, saucer, and cube almost made me cry openly in the theater. It was that good.

- The lab scene was great. All the panels in the background really popped. The close-up of Data's circuitry was stunning. There's a lot more fine wire work than you could see in the original.

- The graveyard scene was really great. You could make out decals on the nacelles of the ships, and the redone lighting effects were great as well.

- The thing that struck me the most was the Borg make-up. It's far more nuanced than in the original airing. Particularly on Locutus, it looks more gray and white, and more necrotic. It makes the eventual make-up in First Contact make more sense. The appliances also looked better in more detail, not worse as I initially feared. The tube on the side of Picard's face doesn't just attach to jaw, it looks like there is more hardware under the skin, and it looks great in close-ups.

- They redid completely the pass of Saturn by the cube and the Enterprise, and it looks like they used photos from the Cassini probe to make the planet look as real as possible. You can see gas swirls on a far more nuanced planet, and the rings looked less sharp, but thus more realistic.

- The explosion of the cube was redone for the Bluray, and it still uses the original explosion but fleshes it out a little with some additional layers behind it to make it more realistic, and I think they succeeded.

One small complaint, and I suppose this is aimed more at the standalone release of this episode. They aired as a feature length, single episode, and only played the opening credits after the first teaser. The only real problem with this was we get Riker saying, "Mr. Worf....fire," and literally the next frame is the deflector discharging. So we didn't get the awesome To Be Continued... music cue and dramatically speaking, that line  really needs a moment to breath. I hope on the actual discs, they are maintained as two separate episodes. Just like when they split Encounter at Farpoint or All Good Things or Way of the Warrior into two episodes for reruns, the point of the split always feels slightly off, like it's not really a cliffhanger. Here skipping the cliffhanger was a little jarring. Even a fade to black and a quick return, sans Majel Barrett's recap, would have worked. It's a small quibble, but other than that moment, the entire project has hewed so sucessfully to the original intent of the creators that it seems odd no one caught that when planning this.

Overall, it was an awesome episode presented beautifully and a good time was had by all. I kind of hope they do this again for Season 4 and use Redemption, so we get to see both season 4 and season 5. I have already preordered my copy of season 3 as I assume Matt has. As soon as we get them, we'll start re-reviewing them for the blog.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: The Abandoned


Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"The Abandoned"
Airdate: October 31, 1994
51 of 173 produced
51 of 173 aired

Introduction

Quark buys some salvage found in the Gamma Quadrant from a friend and makes an unusual discovery in the wreckage: a baby. The child grows very fast, to adulthood in a matter of days when it becomes clear what he is: a Jem'Hadar. Starfleet wants to take advantage of the opportunity to study him, but Odo, remembering his own experience in a lab objects and tries to help the Jem'Hadar be more than a soldier of the Dominion.


Hey, buddy, are you watching the table, or the girl?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Resistance is Futile


As part the release of season 3 of TNG on Bluray, they are showing Best of Both Worlds in theaters tonight. I am going with some friends and I highly recommend you do the same.

Here's the website to find a theater near you that is playing it.

I am so excited I can barely contain myself. The promos on the season 2 disc looked great, so I imagine the whole episode must be pretty awesome. I'll have a full report in the next couple of days.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: Second Skin

 Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"Second Skin"
Airdate: October 24, 1994
50 of 173 produced
50 of 173 aired

Introduction

After she is lured onto the surface of Bajor by a mysterious claim that she was interned at a prison camp, which she does not remember, Major Kira wakes up on Cardassia to find that she is someone entirely different - a Cardassian double agent named Iliana Ghemor. Now she must determine whether her life as she thought she knew it is an elaborate lie.

 Major Kira is absolutely beside herself...


Friday, April 19, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: Equilibrium

Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"Equilibrium"
Airdate: October 17, 1994
49 of 173 produced
49 of 173 aired

Introduction

Tinkering at a piano, Jadzia stumbles onto a melody that she is certain she has heard before but can't remember where. The next day, she begins to manifest personality changes and suffers a terrifying hallucination on the Promenade. Whatever is causing this is also harming her symbiont. She now must return to the Trill homeworld to find out what is going on.


Oh, who am I kidding? The boat house was the time!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: The House of Quark

Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"The House of Quark"
Airdate: October 10, 1994
48 of 173 produced
48 of 173 aired

Introduction

Quark is pulled into an intrigue involving Klingon society and politics when a drunken warrior falls on his own blade at his bar.

How do you solve a problem like Grilka?


Friday, April 12, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: The Search, Part II

Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"The Search, Part II"
Airdate: October 3, 1994
47 of 173 produced
47 of 173 aired

Introduction

The crew of the Defiant is brought back to the Alpha Quadrant, where treaty negotiations with the Dominion are already well underway. At first the crew is pleased at the success of their mission, but soon it seems the Federation is willing to give up too much in the name of peace. Meanwhile, Odo is exploring his home world, where Kira discovers that not everything is as it seems.

The Nechayev in your mind has an answer for everything.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: The Search, Part I

Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"The Search, Part I"
Airdate: September 26, 1994
46 of 173 produced
46 of 173 aired

Introduction

Several months have passed since Sisko's first encounter with the Jem'Hadar, and he has returned to DS9 with some battle reinforcements in tow - the USS Defiant. Now he and his crew must ventuure back into the Gamma Quadrant in search of the mysterious Founders of the Dominion.


On Romulus we have a saying: He who smelt it dealt it, Commander.



Friday, April 5, 2013

Thank you, Ron Moore...

for saying what Matt and I have been saying for years, but far more diplomatically and without screaming.

http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/scifi/ron-moore-tv-star-trek-movie-star-trek.html

Truth be told, his point about Star Trek being better suited to a TV show than a movie and the movies ultimately being more action heavy and focused on one character apply to even the good TOS and TNG movies, including the one RDM wrote, but still. Matt makes a similar argument in his post about why Star Trek is better than Star Wars (sorry, Andrew), but it applies here as well. I do miss the weekly morality play/character exploration you get in the TV show. I like that he cites Data's Day and Lower Decks, as those are episodes we loved, but just would never be the movie version of a franchise.

So, yes, do more Star Trek on TV. I know television shows starting or getting new life directly to Netflix seems to be in the experimental stages, and the costs of an hour long sci-fi drama might kick it out of that realm, but I can't think of a better way to hit your target audience without the stress and pressure of a television network.

Also, while I'm wishing upon a star, hire Matt and me to write it. We would be awesome at it. Just saying.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

DS9 Season 2 Recap

Introduction

Season 1 is mercifully a thing of the past. Season 2 bursts into full swing with an action extravaganza three-part episode. Can it sustain its momentum?
No! Don't make me watch Season 1 again! Anything but that!