7 comments on “Where Silence Has Lease

  1. If “The Child” was ostensibly about Troi, I think we can read “Where Silence Has Lease” as a venue to characterize Worf, and “Elementary My Dear Data” as a venue for Data. Wonder if season 2 meant to give everyone in the main cast an ep.

    I appreciate that they used the “Klingon Space Legend” to flesh out somebody else’s culture instead of referring back to Kirk yet again. It’s unfortunate that (with Tasha dead and Troi being underwritten) Worf is the only one with a distinct cultural background; even TOS at least made token attempts to differentiate the crew.

    Worf’s overzealous security is a great meme. Obviously springs from the same well as the Klingon penchant for violence-as-scientific-method. Not that I want the whole cast to be one dimensional, but I feel like it might’ve been easier to add more dimensions later on if their initial dimensions had all been as strong as Worf’s.

    I was thinking the beetle guy in Worf’s calisthenics might be the ancestral Klingon form Worf reverts to in season 7’s “Genesis,” but no.

    Seaman! “The Sims” for body-horror goldfish, narrated by Leonard Nimoy.

    The “look at a thing and go crazy” is 100% a Cthulhu RPG trope and 0% a Lovecraft story trope. It’s always super, super weird trying to talk to Cthulhu fans about this.

    The beacon’s pinging noise fading away and then growing back was a nice bit.

    HAH, I didn’t realize that the dead helmsman was sitting in Acting Ensign Death Magnet’s seat. It’s kind of interesting that Nagillum is aware that Picard is in command, decides to kill the nearby ensign, and discusses more deaths with Picard… I suppose that makes “Time Squared” a ‘fixed’ version of (and sequel to?) this story. Wonder why they decided to revisit it so quickly.

    “I do indeed concur wholeheartedly” – how long can you delay the self-destruct by talking to the computer? Can you cycle indefinitely through its dialogue menus? Wouldn’t mind seeing an episode make a running gag of tricking the computer into doing something as slowly as possible.

    I appreciate how reluctant Picard is to cancel the self-destruct. I hate it when shows don’t adequately address the Inception problem. Like, I was convinced for a while that the episodes following Matt Smith’s “Dream Lord” ep were all still part of the dream; and then there’s Capaldi’s first finale “Death in Heaven” which has every mark of dream-logic about it yet isn’t a dream…

    This isn’t the first or last time the Enterprise runs into an unreal/doppelganger ship (Q puts them on one in “Hide and Q,” they accidentally create one in “Remember Me,” plus they’ve visited “a place where time and space and thought aren’t separate things”), and I’d really like to see the crew gradually create a persistent field of work (alongside warp fields, transporters, holodecks, etc) that they can try to leverage against the problem of the day. Would also be nice to hear what stories and superstitions the lower decks have about these extra-dimensional ghost ships, as a window into how the crew more generally views its own experiences and passes on the ship’s culture.

    September 10th, huh? Guess I have twelve days to learn Twitch. (Don’t hold your breath.)

  2. You’re setting me up by talking about Moffat-era Who operating on dream logic, aren’t you?

    I didn’t think of individual character episodes (probably because Troi’s “episode” was so not focused on Troi). I did realize that early DS9 does what I call “Spaghetti Pairs,” where it randomly pairs crew members to see if anything sticks. Kira/Bashir in “Crossover” and Dax/Odo in “Shadowplay.”

    I think it’s fine for characters to be one-dimensional. Adding the kind of depth that real people have is what makes a character. Some people are stock…salesmen, but they still have to decide what breakfast cereals to choose. That’s the interesting thing.

    All I can think of is a YouTube video that starts, “This is life hacks with Will Riker and today we’re going to stop a starship auto destruct with a thesaurus and a glass of water!!! Like comment and subscribe!”

    Despite the context, “Night Terrors” gives us a view of how the rest of the crew sees the shenanigans of the week from up in the nosebleeds. A few sleep cycles separate them from full mutiny every time this bullshit happens.

    You should be able to just go to Twitch and watch the marathon. The real challenge is if I can learn Twitch in eleven days.

  3. Me? Set you up? Never….

    “Spaghetti pairs” seem like such an obvious tactic for a series trying to find its footing, it’s a wonder we don’t see it sooner in TNG. Explains why we don’t get Worf/Troi teamups until the last seasons though.

    I can see Barclay doing that youtube channel.

    But Starfleet has never had a mutiny~ Maybe this goes along with what you’re saying about one-dimensional characters. It’s not so much that I want to know the crew’s attitude as I’d like to see their collective character developed beyond being set dressing.

    Good luck on your end. I only have to deal with slow internet and unhappy browser settings; haven’t had a reason to sort it out yet because the Twitch stuff I watch–Hyper RPG and The C Team–also post to youtube.

  4. I can totally see Barclay doing that.

    What is Dwight Schultz doing these days?

    I don’t know about characterizing the whole crew; the nature of a ship that size means folks are going to rotate out more quickly than we can learn about them (despite the idling careers of the senior staff).

    I know both have become running gags, but “bad at their jobs” and “tend to ignore dangerous phenomenon that leave line of sight” are some of the most consistent characterization of her crew we’ve seen so far. I’d like to see Enterprise compared to other Starfleet ships more than just “the best of the best.” I’d like to see more development of their organizational structure (I don’t know if we’ve started the ‘Worf should have an office’ rants, but they’re coming). I want to see more Federation culture.

    I’d also like to see the crew become better at their jobs.

    I’ll check those videos out (and also try to fix the links and whatever setting I have that automatically messes them up). I kinda dropped off of PA a while back. Don’t know why, exactly.

  5. Cool. I never followed Penny Arcade as closely as my other friends did, because I basically don’t play video games anymore, but as a game design enthusiast I enjoy having the bite-size window into contemporary game mechanics. I’ve only very recently started looking into their other content. (Sorry for linking Death From Above‘s four-hour finale, but I’m enjoying the series, and couldn’t remember which of their shorter episodes show it off as well.)

    Holy cow, Dwight Shultz was on the A-Team?!

    I guess Barclay is one example of a crewman getting less bad at their job, and the quickly-cut Ensign Sonya Gomez probably would’ve been another, earlier one. Is that what you mean by “become better,” or were you aiming more for the background crew to be more competent to begin with?

    Agreed about organization and culture; I wonder how much their absence is intentional, how much the writers hope or assume the audience can fill in the blanks, and how much is dictated by the one-hour, episodic story structure.

    Potentially related to the link issue: the video embed in your It May Not Be For Everyone post doesn’t work right for me either.

  6. Dude, we’re same age. I don’t pull this out often because it’s a condescending and presumptive thing to say, but “How did you not know” that Barclay was Howlin’ Mad Murdock!?

    I don’t know 100%, but I remember him being one of the first actors from one thing that I saw in another. It was a real eye-opener to understand what actors did and how they played drastically different people.

    In terms of the crew developing, I’m sure their characterization is 100% incidental to the writers up until “Lower Decks.” Given how bad Picard is at training, it creates this idea that “Q Who” is the real turning point for tightening up this whole Starfleet thing. That ‘kick in the complacency’ transforms Starfleet from nerds playing explorer and Picard basically gladhanding his way into making his “dream crew” of sycophants and novelties into folks who’ve seen hell and are now suddenly responsible for stopping it.

    It tracks well with the series’ subsequent development and even comes to a head neatly in the season three finale.

    Fixed the embed. You can now listen to a mid-range Gilbert Godfrey bit. Thanks for the heads-up.

  7. It is possible that I am, um, deficient in Vitamin A-Team. I think I’ve only ever seen one half of one episode. For sure I’ve seen more total minutes of spoof than actual show.

    I like the Starfleet complacency concept, not sure how the Cardassian War fits into it. Maybe the Klingons carried most of it.

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