Friday, May 31, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: Heart of Stone

Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"Heart of Stone"
Airdate: February 6, 1995
59 of 173 produced
59 of 173 aired

Introduction

While chasing down a Maquis raider, Kira becomes trapped in small fissure filled with a mysterious crystal substance. The crystal begins growing, eventually threatening Kira's life, despite Odo's best attempts to stop it. Meanwhile on the station, Nog has an intersting request for Captain Sisko.

You put your right foot in, you take your... aw, **** this "Hokey Pokey" Bull****!



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: Life Support


Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"Life Support"
Airdate: January 30, 1995
58 of 173 produced
58 of 173 aired 


Introduction

When Vedek Bareil is injured in a shuttle accident, he must decide whether to undergo a dangerous therapy in order to maintain his obligation to assist Kai Winn in delicate negotiations. He must also weigh his love for Kira against his desire to help Bajor.

It was when I realized how boring you are that I knew it was love...


Saturday, May 25, 2013

All of Star Trek is now available to watch free (with commercials) on StarTrek.com

For those cheapskates out there who have somehow resisted either purchasing Star Trek on disc or subscribing to Netflix or Hulu Plus, do we have news for you!

StarTrek.com now has every episode of every series online for free (commercial supported) viewing. The quality varies pretty widely based on your internet connection (but looks quite nice when locked in), and the navigation is atrocious, but hey. You get what you pay for, right?



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: Past Tense, Part II

Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"Past Tense, Part II"
Airdate: January 9, 1995
57 of 173 produced
57 of 173 aired

Introduction

Sisko, Bashir, and Dax are still trapped in 21st century San Francisco and Kira and O'Brien are trying to find them and restore the timeline. Sisko must somehow manage to keep all the hostages safe and that history unfolds as he remembers. He's taken Gabriel Bell's place in history thus far. Will that include dying during the crisis as well?

At least they didn't break out into a Vulcan salute...


Monday, May 20, 2013

Popularity has its price...

Apparently our Star Trek Into Darkness podcast is so popular that the podcast links have been suspended by Dropbox temporarily due to traffic. This will affect the second half of TNG, DS9, and the movies after Final Frontier. I will try to house the STID podcast somewhere else, at least temporarily, so the link works.

Star Trek Into Darkness

 Star Trek Into Darkness
Released May 16, 2013

Introduction

First things first. THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS AND ASSUMES YOU HAVE, IN FACT, SEEN THE MOVIE. There will no further audio warnings about the spoilers or the self-destruct device.

Kirk runs afoul of Starfleet regulations one time too many and is relieved of his command. He is brought back to the center seat, though, when a mysterious villain engages in acts of terrorism against the Federation.

McCoy discovers the cure for consequences.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: Past Tense, Part I

 Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"Past Tense, Part I"
Airdate: January 2, 1995
56 of 173 produced
56 of 173 aired

Introduction

On a trip to Earth, a powerfully dumb transporter malfunction sends Sisko, Dax, and Bashir back in time to early 21st century San Francisco. There, they must avoid making changes to the timeline that might destroy the future world they know and love.

Jadzia wonders: has the "mickey" been invented yet?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek (2009)
Released May 8, 2009

Introduction

The Star Trek franchise, despite having produced five live action television shows, one cartoon series, ten movies, hundreds of novels, and dozens of comic books, and induced thousands of people to pay good money for costumes, toys, and convention tickets, was declared dead. Nemesis had not done well in theaters, and Enterprise had fizzled out on UPN (!) after 4 seasons. It was decreed by Paramount that new blood was needed to invigorate the franchise. It was also decreed that this now movie would return to the roots of the Original Series, recasting the roles of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, et al. J.J. Abrams of Felicity, Alias, and Lost "fame" was brought in to direct. Abrams tapped his frequent collaborators and self professed Star Trek fans Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (they of such respected reboots as Hawaii Five-Oh) to write the script. All would be right with the world... or would it?
Seven actors and a Star Wars fan invade the Apple Store.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: Fascination

 Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"Fascination"
Airdate: November 28, 1994
55 of 173 produced
55 of 173 aired

Introduction

Lwaxana Troi is aboard to see the Bajoran Gratitude Festival, and her presence on the station heralds the usual respect for her character and the viewer. Take that as you will.

Pictured: the way all right thinking people feel when this episode is on screen.




Friday, May 10, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: Defiant

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

Introduction

An unexpected visitor claiming to be Commander William Riker visits the station and charms the crew. Things go awry, though, when it turns out that he is in fact Thomas Riker, Will Riker's ersatz twin from a transporter accident, and that he is intent upon stealing the USS Defiant in service of the Maquis rebellion.


So here's a scene that really didn't need to happen...


Monday, May 6, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 3: Civil Defense

 Deep Space Nine, Season 3
"Civil Defense"
Airdate: November 7, 1994
52 of 173 produced
52 of 173 aired

Introduction

While working to convert the station's ore processing facility, Sisko, O'Brien, and Jake accidentally trip an old Cardassian security program. Believing the station to be under attack from Bajoran workers, the station's computer begins using increasingly lethal tactics to the subdue the ersatz rebellion. Eventually, the station's self destruct device is activated and the crew seems powerless to stop it. And just when things can't get any worse, Gul Dukat arrives.

It... is green.



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Before and After

Matt and I have Season 3 of TNG on Blu-ray, and it's pretty special. Even low effects episodes are delightful, like Who Watches the Watchers with all its outdoor splendor look great in HD. Anyone who hasn't gotten to Booby Trap yet is in for a real treat when they see the Promellian battle cruiser. Some more specific comments on each episode will be forthcoming, but I wanted to share this now. I watch the discs on my computer, so it's easy to pull up Netflix and look at before and after shots. I was watching The Defector, and captured these screen grabs. The top is from Netflix and the bottom from the Blu-ray transfer.


In case anyone was sitting on their hands until the comparatively more awesome Season 3 to get the Blu-rays, what in the name of sanity are you waiting for? It's not just the detail itself on the ships themselves, though that is awesome. The engine on the bird of prey and the individual windows on the warbirds look particularly good. It's also that the black is so much blacker since the background wasn't degraded by multiple composite layers. The lighting is also less harsh, particularly on the bird of prey wing in the forground and on the drive section of the Enterprise. I don't know if that was a result of the transfer or some kind of manipulation of the original image, but the magical omnipresent light source in deep space looks softer and much more uniform. 

What struck me the most is how much better the scene looks as a piece because of the detail and lighting improvements. The SD version looks like what it is, several two dimensional images layered on top of each other. The HD looks like a three dimensional scene you could fall into, which could reasonably happen given the amount of time I spent staring at the picture. 

So for anyone who hasn't gotten the Blu-rays or just not season 3 or is having any hesitation about buying a series they have already purchased at least once, enjoy this image, then go buy it. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The most delightful thing you'll see, possibly ever.

Gates McFadden is the Artistic Director of Ensemble Studio Theatre of Los Angeles and she maintains a tumblr blog consisting of photos of her action figure in various poses and situations, and it is the most interesting and hilarious thing I have ever seen in my life. Given that several of the shots are at conventions, at a convention table, and one with Brent Spiner, I am reasonably certain she is actually doing this herself.


Part of my joy in this is the whimsy, obviously, though I really love that the photos have real narrative in them.  These are thoughtful and laid out and as a result, oddly compelling. I also think it shows a healthy relationship with the role the show has played in her life, neither running from it nor taking it too seriously. Here's a few of my favorites, but you should really go check out the whole thing.






Seriously, between this and chicagopast.com, I am getting no work done today.