Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DS9 Season One Recap


With Deep Space Nine, the Star Trek franchise has boldly shifted tone and setting, creating a world quite unlike the previous Roddenberry-helmed television shows. The results in season one of said show are... mixed.
Maybe it's the acoustics in here. Did everyone not hear "Smile!?"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Would that constitute a "joke"?

So, the official synopsis for the forthcoming reboot sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, is out.

First, let me get this out of they way. I hate the title with the absence of colon. "Into Darkness" is obviously a subtitle, and grammatically should be treated as such. If it's not, it's just stupid. Read that phrase as a whole. It just doesn't make any sense. What does it mean to trek in a star-related manner, into darkness? Nothing. It can't just be going into space. It's already dark. If it's a reference to a metaphysical darkness, the subtitle becomes even more necessary. It's Star Trek, and the story is about going into some form of darkness. Title:subtitle. It's not hard. What it's really about is further trying separate this iteration of the franchise from it's predecessors. The "Star Trek n: Subtitle" where is the movie we're on is how the old Trek did it, so we have to do it a new way. It's the hipster version of a movie title. Why not just put some superfluous umlauts on some of the vowels. "Stär Trëk" looks pretty awesome, I have to say. Quite metal, really.

Moving on. Here's the synopsis:
In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness.
When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.
With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.
As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
So another action film then? I mean I assume the use of the words "explosive" and "detonated" are meant literally and not figuratively, so expect the first twenty minutes to be loud and full of explosions (and lens flares if history is any guide).

"Personal score," "manhunt," "war-zone," and "weapon of mass destruction" all in the same sentence give me pause. I have no reason to think this won't be, again, a monolithic, crazy-person villain with crudely drawn motivations.

Now, that's not to say that a single, monolithic bad guy can't work, TWOK is pretty good, and Khan and his pecs are nothing if not monolithic, but nothing in this blurb makes me think the story will be grounded in themes other than "explosions are cool" or "credible character motivations are boring." TWOK is anchored by a familiar, well-developed set of characters really questioning their futures and an interesting twist on the "weapon of mass destruction" in the Genesis device. The use of a nemesis to Kirk served to explore and expand on the personal problems he was having at the start of the film. Rather than serve in lieu of a plot, the action and the villain served to advance the plot.  I have (and will again) argued that movies do require a slightly more focused villain to work given the particular constraints of movies, but you still need to do the work to tell a good character and/or idea driven story. 

Ultimately, though, even if they make this a good movie, there's nothing here to make me think it will be a good Star Trek movie, and that, more than even lens flares, makes me really sad. I don't want to pre-judge the film (a lot), and I will go see it and give it a fair shake, but would be nice to be excited rather than dreading what the film has in store.

Also...."pioneering director"... really? Did he invent complex set-ups that eventually over-rely on flashbacks and never resolve into a cohesive conclusion? cough....Alias...cough...Lost...cough...Heroes...cough 

Oh, maybe he did.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Oh my....

So in case you haven't heard, there's a kickstarter campaign to fund reconstructing the bridge set of the Enterprise-D. And to be clear, this is not some mere recreation of the set, but the actual set pieces which were on the verge of being scrapped for parts by CBS. The set pieces are now in private hands and being lovingly restored to their former glory, with the addition of actual working touchscreen videos and panels, to serve forever as a shrine and pilgrimage site for Trekkies everywhere.

I'll be honest. I would seriously consider getting married there. I'd marry a woman if I had to, to make that happen.

At the suggestion of a friend, I looked at the various packages for what you get based on your donation, the Trek equivalent of the PBS tote bag, if you will. At the $3,000 level, you get, in part, the following:
You and a guest will be given a private evening for 2 on the bridge. This includes a 3 course dinner, with your choice of food, drink, flowers and movies of choice. 
Now that sounds lovely, doesn't it? I would almost prefer to eat in the ready room where it would feel a little more intimate, and have an actual table, but that's nitpicking. What concerns me is the next sentence in the description:
Complete privacy until the next morning.
This concerns me. A lot. I'm not a prude by any stretch, but even I, with my hedonistic Risian values, am concerned about the consequences of someone being given carte blanche to have sex in the Captain's chair or over the tactical console. Thoughts? Comments?

Deep Space Nine, Season 1: In the Hands of the Prophets

Deep Space Nine, Season 1
"In the Hands of the Prophets"
Airdate: June 20, 1993
19 of 173 produced
19 of 173 aired


A religious leader and potential new Kai comes to the station and objects to Keiko O'Brien teaching her students about the wormhole as a scientific phenomenon and not a religious one. An increasingly heated debate ensues that eventually threatens to erupt in outright violence and to undo the progress that DS9 has made over the last year.
Sometimes the Prophets ask us to sacrifice otherwise interesting characters for no good reason, my child.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Deep Space Nine, Season 1: Duet

Deep Space Nine, Season 1
Airdate: June 13, 1993
18 of 173 produced
18 of 173 aired


Kira is forced to reevaluate her reflexive hatred against Cardassians when an apparent Cardassian war criminal turns out to be more than he first appears.

Sooner or later, Coach will put me in for real.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Deep Space Nine, Season 1: Dramatis Personae

Deep Space Nine, Season 1
"Dramatis Personae"
Airdate: May 30, 1993
17 of 173 produced
17 of 173 aired


A Klingon ship mysteriously returns early from its Gamma Quadrant mission. Shortly after clearing the wormhole, it explodes, and one survivor beams aboard. The senior staff begin to act very strangely. Sisko appears bored at the idea of running the station. and Kira, while butting heads with Sisko is a normal day, has begun openly plotting his overthrow. The only crew member unaffected is Odo. Can he figure out what is going on? Will he be able to stop them?
When you demand satisfaction, call Samuel T. Cogley & Associates, Attorneys at Law.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Deep Space Nine, Season 1: The Forsaken

Deep Space Nine, Season 1
"The Forsaken"
Airdate: May 23, 1993
17 of 173 produced
17 of 173 aired


An alien probe threatens to overrun the station's computer system. Meanwhile, Dr. Bashir escorts some annoying visiting dignitaries on a visit to the station. Lwaxana Troi, one of the dignitaries, gets trapped in an elevator with Odo.

Never let them see you sweat when you're being sexually harassed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Deep Space Nine, Season 1: If Wishes Were Horses

Deep Space Nine, Season 1
"If Wishes Were Horses"
Airdate: May 16, 1993
16 of 173 produced
16 of 173 aired


Crewmembers' fantasies and imaginary characters start appearing on the station. A famous baseball player walks off the holosuite, and a Dax suddenly very interested in Bashir's advances walks into sickbay. Rumplestilskin appears in the O'Brien's quarters as he is reading Molly the bedtime story. Meanwhile, a spacial anomaly is growing nearby and threatens the station. Are these incidents related? (Spoiler alert: Yes.)

Does it say something weird about me that my first thought during this scene was "Is that a real tattoo?" and my second was "What woman in 1993 has a tattoo like that?"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Deep Space Nine, Season One: Progress

Deep Space Nine, Season 1
Airdate: May 9, 1993
14 of 173 produced
14 of 173 aired


When Kira is tasked with relocating a colony's residents whose home will be transformed into a power station, she is forced to weigh her duty to her government against her duty to a people who have suffered similar fates at the hands of their former occupiers.

Kira flashes Mullibok a bit of her Bajoran undies. Mullibok is unimpressed.