TNG

All posts tagged TNG

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.

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.

Legacy

I usually bring up when TNG goes for some of the harder-edged stuff folks accuse it of never going for, but while this one has some real elbows out, it feels softer-edged than other instances and I don’t know why.

We need to stop catsuits and start bras. When Carrie Fisher died, lots of newspapers reported that she wanted her death reported as “drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra” because of a ridiculous conversation she had with George Lucas about there being no bras in Star Wars.

Wookiepedia says differently, of course: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Brassiere

Are we off in seeing the potential for class playing into the “chess vs poker” debate? Could 3D chess be a set of tools like a deck of cards and not one game, like conventional chess?

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 don’t mean to seem ungrateful because no sooner do we start getting Troi doing her job than Wesley’s throughline starts unraveling. Really? “See past the numbers”?

Are the crew justified in assuming that everyone from Tau Alpha C is a Traveler? It always seemed like a really big jump. I get that it’s far away, but it seems like they’re adding dragons to a place on the map because they haven’t been there yet.

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 don’t mention it in the episode, but I think the internal contradiction of xenophobia and taking alien babies is an internal contradiction that makes the Telarians a little more real. What it is that separates that from inconsistent characterization of an alien culture is something I can’t define.

This is definitely one of the weakest episodes of season four, but that conversation between Picard and Troi is a shining beacon of humor and characterization.

My one gripe is making Picard such a singular figure in Starfleet. Do you prefer Picard be a guy who’s ordinary but has worked hard to become a captain or do you want Picard to be someone who has dedicated himself singularly to becoming a Starfleet captain, to the exclusion of even having a normal childhood?

I guess I also skipped over saying explicitly that Jono was imagined by Tommy Westphall and that there’s a lot to unpack there. The Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis is detailed more under Tommy Westphall’s Wikipedia page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Westphall

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.