Star Trek

All posts tagged Star Trek

Sometimes, a story–whether it’s a movie, a book, or an episode of television–is so bad you don’t know where to start. Sometimes it so so bad that you can start at the start and ride it all the way through to the end.

If that wasn’t clear, “Galaxy’s Child” is one of those stories. When the episode literally says the lesson, but then rewards a character for refusing to learn that lesson, your Aesop is broken.

I can’t think of an episode of The Next Generation where the illustrated lesson is more at odds with the actual words people are saying. Sure, some episodes contradict later episodes–“Journey’s End” and Insurrection pitting obedience versus principal, “Sarek” and “All Good Things” confronting aging versus respect, and “The Price” versus literally any episode where Riker is a petulant child because Troi is getting some.

Guernica is the Spanish town where Francisco Franco bombed civilians with German help in 1937, just prior to WWII. Picasso famously painted a mural of it.

The Beige and The Bold updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT. It is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms.

The last four episodes of The Beige and The Bold are also available to add to your Stellaris soundtrack via Steam Workshop Mod. The mod also includes one 17 to 01 track and a rough copy of next week’s episode. https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1660256436

What I’m trying to say is that we appreciate Lanel’s initiative and drive. They are virtues, and they’re rare ones. Just not virtues in a biblical sense, I guess.

We gloss over a lot of this episode and that’s probably because it’s such a solid, meat-and-potatoes episode. It covers the balance of conservative and progressive thought, mass hysteria, and the problems that we as a people face with the possibility of encountering extraterrestrial intelligence.

Also, I don’t mean to dismiss all unexplained phenomenon out of hand. I remember something about lights over Mexico City in 2017 that were apparently rare rocks with negatively-charged oxygen pairs breaking down to release electricity that could create plasma.

I mean, I generally understand those physics, but I’m 75% sure Tommy Lee Jones used that line in one of the Men In Black movies. Regardless, I’m sure that the same way straight people miss LGBT news because they aren’t reading it, there’s got to be a lot of mysterious news I miss because I don’t read it. Please feel free to enlighten me.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT. The six most recent episodes are also available in a Stellaris mod.

Clues

It’s a solid episode and we’re being mean. It’s not “about” anything in the Star Trek sense. We don’t have a debate about whether Data’s loyalty to Picard is based on its own merits or obedience to the chain of command.

We don’t discuss the ramifications of keeping the existence of a dangerous planet hidden, of how Starfleet can’t keep this secret, or of how Ensign Jeffers on Deck 21 won’t consent to have his memories wiped and will hide a note in a bulkhead.

I believe Derek was talking about Elrond, who probably has a stronger brand than Gowron (RIP). Also, my comment about getting “them off of their tractors” is a reference to Futurama’s jab at Hollywood’s underestimation of Middle America, not a jab at Middle America.

But is this the limit of Patrick Stewart’s acting or is this just excellent bad-acting?

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

No surprise this one was a reworked Phase II story, which I’m surprised that I–having read the Phase II scripts–didn’t catch. It makes a lot of sense when you view this through the lens of The Original Series. Or maybe just through the lens of TOS’ lowered expectations.

Making legal quibbles might be criticizing deck chair colors on a sinking ship, but that’s my specialty. They call “jury trials” “jury trials,” but they call “judge trials” just “trials.” That’s my only point–THEY HAD A JAG OFFICER IN SEASON TWO!

This episode isn’t bad, it’s just goofy nonsense that’s not really goofy enough. It’s a good concept too–this is basically the plot of Watchmen a thousand years on, with sleight-of-hand instead of a giant, exploding, telepathic squid.

Of all the takes, “Devil’s Due” is the least cynical, but they’re based on a reality of our own actions. Does global warming reflect poorly on humanity, or just our most powerful members?

Reminding you that if you’re listening to a Star Trek podcast you are–statistically–one of those members.

Also, Constantin Stanislavsky was a real actor, Stella Adler was a real lady, and Garnav is made up, so exactly what we thought.

Link to the opening credits of “Dawn of the Dead”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdddUJWIj_M

And link to Mitchell and Webb’s “Remain Indoors”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WsuaYh_hkg&list=PL3Dx8Yxab-uFpPdulB4g2rw5bpJIFlcPU

It’s also the plot of South Park’s “Nobody Got Cereal?” episode, which WAS goofy enough. http://southpark.cc.com/clips/t83thg/just-plain-rice

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

We’re finally out of the war and Star Trek: Discovery has set a completely different tone with Science Officer Douchenozzle, Engineer Barzan Lady, and Captain Cool Dad.

Derek and I both were hoping for a season with a little more focus than the last, but it looks like Captain Cool Dad was right, “if you don’t get your expectations up, you can’t be disappointed.” On the other hand, we give the complete absence of first-Klingon-in-Starfleet Voq nineteen Klingon chromosomes out of twenty three.

Are we asking too much of this show? I feel like I’m being very fair. Is Derek now a real Star Trek fan now that he’s saying new Star Trek Thing isn’t Star Trek? I’m so proud!

Season 2, Episode 1 of Star Trek: Discovery is currently on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rvMqRrtmkY

Don’t read the comments.

Her Name Is Michael Get Over It is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

The Loss

I kinda forgot to do this one two weeks ago, but we’re up to speed now.

Derek and I talk about the trinity of wasted potential in this episode, say a few words about its merits, remind everyone that Guinan has a Schlorblax in psychology, and pitch the greatest episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation since Season 8.

We’ve talked before about the fine line between remembering that Geordi is disabled and basing his character on it. Is wanting him to play a larger part of that episode leaning on that second half? I didn’t feel that way during the episode, but on reflection I’m having second thoughts.

Next week: CBS put the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery’s second season, “Brother,” up on YouTube for free, so we’re calling an audible and doing that one. We’ll get to “Devil’s Due” in time. “Brother” is the first episode of Discovery for both of us, so wish us luck.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rvMqRrtmkY

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

It’s a Chief O’Brien episode about passion and reason and pain and understanding. It cuts to the quick because the pain from Bob Gunton as Captain Maxwell is very grounded. It’s a weighty episode and it works.

While TNG has flirted with continuity before, “The Wounded” feels like a moment where it really begins to spread the black wings of “Last time, on Star Trek,” and commits the franchise to creating The TNG Era of Star Trek. Or am I being dramatic?

Also, I was 100% wrong about the ending of X-Men sharing a line with this one. Close, but no cigar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWDDVuxFboI

This week’s guest host is John, the host of Trek Profiles Podcast. You can find him on Twitter as @TrekProfiles. Trek Profiles can be found on its website, https://trekprofiles.com/.

The alternate episode with Derek is here: http://www.vanvelding.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/The-Wounded.mp3

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

It’s finally “Data Has Feelings but The Writers Won’t Acknowledge It: The Episode.”

“Data’s Day” is such a good slice of life episode. There’s the phenomenon where some folks who grew up with The Next Generation credit it for being a family to them when their upbringings didn’t give them a family. No episode shows that as well as this one.

I gripe about continuity, then turn around and demand better characterization. I think “Data’s Day” beautifully exemplifies how those two things, when they’re done well, go together. The touches that include things like Worf shopping for a wedding gift before he starts work in the morning show us good things about Worf’s character and about how the Enterprise works.

We learn the Enterprise’s shift rotations and I know it’s only here to support the literal day-in-the-life perspective of this story, but I like it. Does it really matter though? Does this minutiae make TNG better or is it just an indulgent scene for nerds, providing content which neither tells a story nor enriches the viewer, but exists just to provide visceral satisfaction?

This week’s guest host is Shauna, from the Bunny Trails Podcast. You can find her on Twitter as @BunnyTrailsPod and on the podcast’s Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/bunnytrailspod. You can find the Bunny Trails Podcast on many platforms, including iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bunny-trails/id1371929032?mt=2

The alternate episode with Derek is here: http://www.vanvelding.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Datas-Day.mp3

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

I know a lot of these episodes are just delivery mechanisms for Patrick Stewart to give a speech, but we need to aim a little higher than “Final Mission.” We deserved–

Wil Wheaton deserved more than a flimsy B-plot separating him from the Enterprise while he went through the motions of an A-plot until Patrick Stewart could act a goodbye at him.

And then, after decades of Star Trek trying to use real physics, they ignore Newton’s First Law to make one story happen and use magical bullshit for the other one.

I get angrier about this episode the more I think about it. What makes me consistently, clearly, irrationally angry is that this episode introduces Boothby, a character that other nerds obsess over to the point that I’m ready to burn shit down.

Scale of one to ten, how infuriating is “Final Mission”?

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

Man, Riker’s head is kind of terrifying. Or maybe I should say that the way the writers picture us picturing the inside of Riker’s head is terrifying.

In talking with Derek, he says that nothing happens in this episode. Given the multi-tiered nature of this story and its fiction-within-fiction, is it fair to mention that there’s a third layer where none of Star Trek actually happens?

If Borash came up again, would this story be more relevant? I have a healthy disdain for continuity, but I think he’s right. Even when the literal events don’t happen, Star Trek usually shows us an idea, or a character, or a moral paradigm that are real.

The ideas are real, as Benny Russell might point out. In that “Future Imperfect” doesn’t have those ideas or paradigms, and in that it barely has any characterization of Riker or Borash, there’s nothing relevant about this except for a few dramatic turns and a fun look at possible futures for our crew.

Kuhan’s website is http://iamkuhan.com/ and he can also be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kuhan.

The alternate episode with Derek is here: http://www.vanvelding.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Future-Imperfect.mp3

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.