Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.8 (A Matter of Honor)

tng-2-8Cast:
Colm Meaney (Miles O’Brien)
Laura Drake(Vekma)
Peter Parros (Tactics Officer)
Brian Thompson(Klag)
Christopher Collins(Captain Kargan)
John Putch(Ensign Mendon)

Writers: Burton ArmusGregory AmosWanda M. Haight

As I was saying, I was watching this rubbish show known as Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2.  Then I watched this episode, and it literally turned everything on it’s head.  So far the episodes have been dull, childish, unoriginal, badly written drivel.  This one is literally the opposite.  It is interesting, adult (in one moment perhaps more adult than they would get away with today) and the plot, whilst simple, actually makes sense.

It is literally like watching a different show.  The Klingons, who have only really featured in one episode of this show before this, come across as a very real race.  No silliness, just characters that come across, as Riker described them, “brave and unique” – if a little slow to grasp the obvious, in the case of their Captain.

The adult moments both come in the dinner scene.  As Riker eats with the Klingons, it is suggested that if he finds their food too hard to eat one of the females could breast feed him, and he even suggests a threesome later with two Klingon women.  It is funny, but not in a silly slapstick way.  It shows adults with a real sense of humour, and as such – especially for this show – it is very refreshing.

It is nice not to be aboard a ship with such clean lines as the Enterprise.  The design of the Klingon ship is much like we are used to, but it is nice to spend some time there.  You do start to warm to the Klingon characters (even though the Captain is a bit of a twit).

Even the stuff on the Enterprise is quite good.  Oddly, both Geordi and Deanna do not appear at all (and the episode is so interesting you don’t really notice that they are not there).  The opening scene (where Riker and Picard talk about the inter species exchange program) is just like a normal conversation between two adults.  And that’s why this episode works so well – all of the characters are believable, even Mendon (although I think Worf was quite close to beating the crap out of him at one point).

Luckily, this upturn is not limited to just this episode, and there are some more decent ones on the way quite soon.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 5
Score: 8.5/10

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January 4, 2009 Posted by | benzite, chief o'brien, cloaking devices, klingons, phaser range | | 2 Comments

Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.19 (Heart of Glory)

Cast:
Vaughn Armstrong(Captain Korris)
Charles Hyman(Lt. Konmel)
David Froman(K’nera)
Robert Bauer(Kunivas)
Brad Zerbst (Nurse)
Dennis Madalone (Ramos)

Writers: Maurice Hurley, Herbert Wright, D.C. Fontana

Three Klingons are found aboard a shot up freighter just inside the Romulan Neutral Zone.  They are beamed so safety aboard the Enterprise just as the ship finally explodes.  (And note, this another reference to the Romulans who we have still not seen on this show).  The Klingons do their best to work on Worf and get him on side by appealing to the Klingon side of his nature, trying to tell him that the peace between the Federation and the Klingons is making the Klingon heart wither and die.  It turns out the freighter they were on was attacked by another Klingon vessel.  Then the Klingon Command gets in touch with the Enterprise and alert Picard to the fugitive status of his “guests”.  The Klingons try to take hostages but are soon put into holding cells, but they have weapons concealed in parts of their clothing which they assemble and use to escape (killing two security guards).  One of the Klingons also dies but the Captain makes it to engineering and threatens to shoot the dilithium chamber which would destroy the ship.  Worf shoots him dead.

This is the first time we get to hear the details of Worf’s back story – the attack at Khitomer, his adoption by human parents.  This will be gone into in a lot more detail as the series goes on – later on in the run Worf’s father is accused of betraying Khitomer and causing the attack.

It is also the first decent Klingon episode, and these guys come across as the proper death or glory type chaps who we know from the films.  We have had only one member of crew die in the series so far – and that was an accident – but here these guys kill two security guards in cold blood.

There are a couple of dodgy points – the moment the two surviving Klingons reveal the truth about their background, Worf should have reported it immediately to someone and he did not.  Also, there is a moment of truly shockingly bad acting from Denise Crosby – Picard orders her to the transporter room, and she does not move until he says something else.  She waited for him to complete his line, when actually if it was a real situation you would not have known the second part of the comment was coming and Tasha would have set off for the transporter room as soon as Picard told her to leave.  I’m surprised the director did not pick up on this, it looks truly shit.

But these are minor points.  It is not a complex story, but the acting is good and the story solid.  You appreciate for the first time that there is more to the Klingons than you might think, that the alliance is not perceived as a good thing by all of them.  It’s a good introduction to this race on this show, and more is coming!

Crew Deaths: 2
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 3
Score: 7/10

August 12, 2008 Posted by | klingons | | 1 Comment

Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.9 (Hide and Q)

Cast:
John de Lancie (Q)
William A. Wallace (Older Wesley)
Elaine Nalee (Klingon Survivor)

Writers: Gene Roddenberry, C.J. Holland

This episode is so crap I won’t go into too much detail of the “plot” but basically Q turns up, shows an interest in Riker, gives Riker the powers of the Q, and eventually Riker decides he doesn’t want them.

So, it’s a weak premise.  When I started watching this series, I really didn’t like Q.  Eventually they work out what to do with him – in fact, from his next appearance onwards.  But in this he is just a pathetic, immature cretinous turd.

The scenes on the world where they are attacked by, and I quote the episode, “vicious animal things” are just embarrassing.  And then when Riker has his Q powers he starts to change straight away.  Of course someone with those abilities would change over time, but there is no way he would start being disrespectful to Picard that early on.  And the scenes where he gives everyone their greatest wish are just awful.  He gives Worf a mate (the first Klingon we see in this show other than Worf, although she probably doesn’t count as she doesn’t really exist!)  He also makes Wesley ten years older (yawn) and gives Geordi his sight back (and we get a second hint that he fancies Tasha, the first being in The Naked Now).

There are some good ideas – when the Enterprise arrives at the scene of a disaster and they find the body of a small girl just too late – it could have been good, with Riker holding back on using his powers due to his promise to Picard, but it came across as just damned cheesy.

Q’s reason for all of this sort of makes sense – the Q continuum believes that one day man may be a more powerful race than the Q and they want to make Riker a Q so they can understand them.  But the execution is embarrassingly bad.  Even the spectacle of Wesley being run through with a bayonet is not enough to rescue this drivel from the sewer.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 1
Score: 1/10

June 17, 2008 Posted by | klingons, q, super beings | | 1 Comment

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Cast:
William Shatner (Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
DeForest Kelley (McCoy)
James Doohan(Scotty)
Walter Koenig(Checkov)
Nichelle Nichols(Uhura)
George Takei(Sulu)
Kim Cattrall(Valeris)
Mark Lenard(Sarek)
Grace Lee Whitney (Rand)
Brock Peters (Admiral Cartwright)
Leon Russom(Starfleet Commander in Chief)
Kurtwood Smith (Federation President)
Christopher Plummer (General Chang)
Rosanna DeSoto(Azetbur)
David Warner(Chancellor Gorkon)
John Schuck (Klingon ambassador)
Michael Dorn(Colonel Worf)
Jeremy Roberts(Lieutenant Dimitri Valtane)
Iman(Martia)

Writers: Leonard Nimoy, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Nicholas Meyer, Denny Martin Flinn

One of the moons surrounding the Klingon home world explodes, causing the Federation to offer help.  The first thing that is needed is a peace treaty, so Kirk is sent out to meet the Klingon chancellor and escort him to Earth for these talks.  After a dinner in which both parties prove that it will take a while for the Federation and the Klingons to see eye to eye, the Enterprise appears to fire on the Klingon ship.  Two Federation suited officers beam across and murder the Klingon chancellor in the chaos.  McCoy and Kirk beam across to try to help and are arrested for the murder.  They are trialled and sentenced to life imprisonment at the penal colony/dilithium mine Rura Penthe, where they escape, discover that the whole with has been a set up between Klingon General Chang and a high up Federation officer.  They get to the peace conference at Khitomer just in time to prevent the Federation presidents assassination by a human disguised as a Klingon.  They are then told to head back to Earth to be decommissioned.

As things go, this is not a bad movie.  I don’t think it’s as good as everyone seems to remember.  There are some good moments – the first time the Enterprise fires on the Klingon ship must have been quite shocking if you didn’t know it was coming.  And the Vulcan Valeris was a surprise traitor, though it would have been better if it has been Saavik as per the original plan (but neither previous actress was available and they didn’t want to recast again).

The Klingons came across rather well in this story – both David Warner and Christopher Plummer were excellent in their roles.

The worst thing about it was the silly humour.  The “if the boot fits” gag with the Dax character (not the Dax we get to know later on DS9) was pathetic, as was the section when they are trying to speak Klingon go get into Klingon space without rousing suspicion.

The characters were all talking about retirement at the start.  This makes sense – you get the impression that films two through five are meant to happen quickly in relation to one another, with a large gap between one and two and a large one between five and six.  Kirk has not really seemed old until this film – Shatner in his fifties was easily able to pull off Kirk, and although they were all good fun in this movie it was the right move not to do any more.  Scotty, Spock and McCoy in particular are looking very old indeed!

It was a nice send off.  It was great to see Sulu in his own ship.  It does, however, seem unreal that I will not see these people together again.  I have been watching the classic series and movies for this blog for the best part of a year now, and it does not seem real that I won’t see them again.  (Although truth be told the only character I will never see again is Uhura – the others all turn up in various shows or movies.  In fact, one of them show up in the next thing I am going to watch!

Many crew must have died in this, but as no dialogue in the film confirmed the casualty figures, I shall assume they all survived.  So Kirk lost 58 crew in his film and TV adventures.

It’s been fun, but now I have a new group of people to get used to!

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Confirmed Crew Deaths Under Captain Kirk: 58 (to be reset for the next series)
Score: 7.5/10

June 4, 2008 Posted by | cloaking devices, doubles or duplicates, family members, inside another stafleet ship, klingons, mind meld, prisons/penal colonies, romulans, sarek, set on earth | | 1 Comment

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Cast:
William Shatner (Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
DeForest Kelley (McCoy)
James Doohan(Scotty)
Walter Koenig(Checkov)
Nichelle Nichols(Uhura)
George Takei(Sulu)
David Warner (St. John Talbot)
Laurence Luckinbill(Sybok)
Charles Cooper(Korrd)
Cynthia Gouw(Caithlin Dar)
Todd Bryant(Klaa)
Spice Williams(Vixis)
George Murdock (God)

Writers: William Shatner, Harve Bennett, David Loughery

Sybok – a man who turns out to also be a son of Sarek – takes over Nimbus III, a planet that was intended to be the planet of galactic peace, but has kind of been forgotten.  By holding the Klingon, human and Romulan ambassadors (yes, we finally see a Romulan in a movie and a female one at that) he judges that someone will respond by sending a starship.  Both the Klingons and the Federation do – they send the new Enterprise, which is still having it’s faults ironed out bu Scotty.  However, when the Enterprise arrives, and they try to rescue the hostages, it turns out they are on Syboks side.  Sybok takes over the Enterprise, and they fly off to kind God, who is at the centre of the Galaxy.  The Klingons follow.  God turns out not to be God just some creature that has been trapped in this place (presumably by an advanced race who saw it as a threat).  Sybok buys them time to escape with his life.  Then the Klingons arrive, and are talked down by the Klingon ambassador.  Everyone survives.

I really don’t want to come across as the stereotypical Trek enthusiast and slag this movie off.  My memory of it before I watched it today was that it was a lot of nice moments that just did not add up to being a great film.  Sadly, when I watched it today, I have realised that it isn’t even that.

I think the idea behind this film was to go back to the original idea that the story is about these three men – Kirk, Spock and McCoy, and their relationship.  I noticed that all of the other regulars were listed as co-stars, for the first time in the movies.  And they are marginalised in this film – even made to look a little foolish (Sulu and Checkov getting lost on Earth, for example).  The ease with which Sybok influences them all is also a little frustrating, although he fails to convince Scotty (although the story had another way to make Scotty look foolish – “I know this ship like the back of my hand”).

It’s got some good guests – David Warner, a really good actor, is given very little to do (although they more than make up for this in the next film when he plays a Klingon, and later in The Next Generationwhere he plays an awesome Cardassian).  Charles Cooper is good as Klingon Ambassador Koord – they obviously liked him, as he came back as another Klingon on The Next Generation.

This film possibly suffered because it was the first Trek movie to come out during the run of The Next Generation.  It was filmed between the breaks between seasons 2 and 3 and came out during 3.  This cannot have helped – season 3 was when The Next Generationreally found it’s feet and became a distinctive show of it’s own.  The fact that many of the sets were just Next Generation sets redressed didn’t help – there are a couple of corridor shots that are blatant Enterprise-D corridors, not a redress in sight.  It is a real shame.

So, all in all, the first bad film in the series.  I genuinely think that this would have killed the movie franchise if The Next Generation has not been doing so well on TV at the time.  Luckily, the original crew have one final outing to make it up so us…

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 58
Score: 5/10

June 3, 2008 Posted by | family members, klingons, mind control, romulans, sarek, set on earth, set on vulcan, ship/station taken over, songs, super beings, transporter problems, vulcans | | 1 Comment

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Cast:
William Shatner (Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
DeForest Kelley (McCoy)
James Doohan(Scotty)
George Takei(Sulu)
Walter Koenig(Checkov)
Nichelle Nichols(Uhura)
Jane Wyatt (Amanda)
Catherine Hicks (Gillian Taylor)
Mark Lenard(Sarek)
Robin Curtis(Saavik)
Robert Ellenstein (President)
John Schuck (Klingon Ambassador)
Brock Peters (Admiral Cartwright)
Grace Lee Whitney (Rand)
Majel Barrett (Chapel)

Writer: Leonard Nimoy, Harve Bennett, Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes, Nicholas Meyer

The fourth film in the series starts where the previous film left off on Vulcan, with the crew about to depart for Earth to learn of the consequences of their actions in the previous film.  As they leave, a strange alien probe heads for Earth and starts tranmsitting a signal to the Earth from orbit.  The signal causes mass power failure, and also disrupts the atmosphere, causing one hundred percent cloud coverage.  They send out a message for nobody to come to Earth, as the planet is doomed.

En route, the main Enterprise crew inside their stolen Klingon ship pick up the signals.  Uhura distorts the signal so that they can hear what it would sound like underwater, and Spock recognises the sound as the singing of the extinct humpback whale.  So Kirk suggests that they go back in time and get some!

After a successful Time Warp, they arrive in 1986 San Fransisco.  Kirk and Spock cry and find where the whale are kept, McCoy, Sulu and Scotty arrange for the tank to be built inside the Klingon ships hold, and Uhura and Checkov try to find a nuclear power source to collect radioactive particles to regenerate the knackered dilithium crystals.  It all happens, and when they return to the present the whales talk to the probe and it buggers off.  The only punishment they get for what happened in the previous film is Kirk gets demoted to Captain and is given command of the new USS Enterprise NCC 1701-A.

This is often mentioned in the same breath as film two, and whilst it’s not quite as good, it is an excellent movie.  It is the only story played for laughs (I’m not saying it is a comedy, it isn’t) and some of the humour is excellent.  Spock in particular, as he tries to fit into his new surroundings by using what he calls “colourful metaphors” are very funny, as is the scene where he mind melds with the whale.

The film is unabashedly conservationist, the message is hammered home with a lack of subtlety that could be off putting.  Luckily, it isn’t, and there are some moments in the film that are quite tense – when they only prevent their whales being killed by whalers in the nick of time it’s quite tense, although it’s so far into the movie and you know at this point that if they loose the whales there is no time to find any more.

I like the Gillian Taylor character – she is the marine scientist who is responsible for the whales in 1986, and it is nice that she ends up going forward in time with them.

It was also nice to see both of Spocks parents again – Sarek and Amanda both appear, although not together – she is on Vulcan, he is on Earth. 

It is a really nice film, and wraps up the unofficial trilogy of movies really well.  This is the longest story we get in Star Trek until we get into Deep Space Nine and I have to say that after watching the third film I had to watch the fourth on the same day.

So, I’m nearly there with this cast of characters.  Just two more movies to go, and after that I can only look forward to cameos of some of the characters in various of the future versions of the show…  I’m going to miss them, actually.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 58
Score: 8.5/10

June 2, 2008 Posted by | amanda, andorians, contemporary earth, family members, inside another stafleet ship, klingons, mind meld, saavik, sarek, saving a planet, set on earth, set on vulcan, time travel, vulcans | | 2 Comments

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Cast:
William Shatner (Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
James Doohan(Scotty)
George Takei(Sulu)
Walter Koenig(Checkov)
Nichelle Nichols(Uhura)
Merritt Butrick (Dr. David Marcus)
Robin Curtis(Saavik)
Christopher Lloyd(Kruge)
Mark Lenard(Sarek)
Judith Anderson (Vulcan High Priestess)
Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand)

Writer: Harve Bennett

You know, my memories of this particular story of the film series were not that great.  There is a theory among the fans that the odd numbered films are not that good.  I have to say both the first film and indeed this one prove that wrong.

The story is relatively simple.  The Enterprise arrives on Earth having returned directly from the events of the previous film.  McCoy is behaving oddly, and when they arrive, they are told that the Enterprise is so badly knackered that she will not be repaired – she is to be scrapped.  Spocks’ father, Sarek (played by the fantastic Mark Lenard) visits Kirk to find out where Spock placed his memories before he died.  It turned out to be McCoy.

Meanwhile, on the Genesis planet, David and Saavik find Spocks coffin but it is empty.  Their ship (the Grissom) is destroyed by a Klingon ship that wants the secrets of the Genesis device.  They find a young Spock with no memories who is rapidly aging, like the planet.

Kirk asks if he can take McCoy to the Genesis planet, but is told he cannot, so he steals the Enterprise and all but Uhura go to Genesis.  There they are attacked by the Klingons, David is killed because Kirk will not surrender and eventually they have to self destruct the Enterprise.  Just before it explodes they beam down to the Genesis planet, which is breaking up, Kirk fights the Klingon commander and wins, and pretends to b him and they get beamed up to the Klingon ship, capture it, and eventually take Spock back to Vulcan (he is now about the right age) and reunited with his body.

The story is not anything like as good as the previous film, but it does have some benefits.  Firstly, this is the first appearance by Klingons as we know them – bumpy foreheads, costumes, knives and everything.  We saw something that was a bit like this in the first film, but the Klingons here are the template used from this point on, and they are great.  Chrisopher Lloyd is especially good as their vicious Captain, who kills crewmembers just for making a mistake (he killed his gunner when the Grissom is destroyed, he only wanted it disabled) and he also orders the death of David (well, any death, it was up to the Klingon on the ground who actually died).  So Yay to the Klingons, they are finally here!

The next two bits I adore are the obvious bits: I love the sequence where Kirk and company steal the Enterprise – they are persued by the experimental TransWarp ship the USS Excelsior, but luckily Scotty has sabotaged their new engines, so the persuit does not go very far.

Also, the destruction of the Enterprise is a really big deal moment.  This is the ship we have seen in every TV episode, and every movie up until this point.  Okay, it was going to be scrapped, but the fact that Kirk destroys her is a poignant moment.  And the effects are pretty good as well – the saucer explodes, but the rest burns up in the atmosphere of the planet.

I also love the fact that Sarek is back – we see Mark Lenard in two more films, and even in a couple of episodes of The Next Generation.

So what if the plot isn’t the strongest, so what if the sequence on Vulcan where Spocks’ mind is taken from McCoy and put back into Spock go on for a bit.  It’s nice to see him again, even though he only gets a few words at the end.

As I said before, this is kind of the middle story in a trilogy, and whilst the two that surround it are much stronger (perhaps the best the series has to offer) I think this one is good too – the quality of two and four tend to push this third film into the shadow a tad.

Crew Deaths: 0 (David doesn’t count, he isn’t Enterprise crew)
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 58
Score: 7.5/10

May 30, 2008 Posted by | accelerated ageing, cloaking devices, david marcus, death of a recurring character, destruction of a starfleet ship, family members, inside another stafleet ship, klingons, mind meld, pon farr, saavik, sarek, self destruct, set on earth, set on vulcan, stolen ship or shuttlecraft, vulcans | | 2 Comments

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Cast:
William Shatner (Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
DeForest Kelley (McCoy)
James Doohan (Scotty)  
George Takei (Sulu)
Majel Barrett (Chapel)
Walter Koenig (Checkov)
Nichelle Nichols (Uhura)
Persis Khambatta (Ilia)
Stephen Collins (Decker)
Grace Lee Whitney (Rand)

Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Alan Dean Foster, Harold Livingston

A great cloud is heading for Earth.  It has already destroyed three Klingon vessels that investigated it, and a Federation Space Station that happened to be in the way.  The only ship in range is the Enterprise, nearing the completion of a refit but not quite ready…

I think it’s fair ro say that this film is either a love it or hate it kind of film.  The people tht criticise it claim that it just doesn’t feel like Star Trek as we knew it, but I have to say that I disagree.  Although made ten years after the series was cancelled in 1969, I get the impression that it is meant to be set 2 and a half years after the five year mission ended, so about four to five years after the show.  The Enterprise has been gutted and rebuilt, and now hardly resembles the original, certainly internally, and the outside looks a lot more streamlined.  In fact, our first look at the scrubbed up Enterprise is that magnificent sequence where Scotty takes Kirk over to it via shuttle, as the transporters are not working.  You are teased with shots through the side of the space dock, but that first full head on shot is very emotional – no doubt partly due to Jerry Goldsmith’s amazing score.  This sequence alone tells you it’s Trek, but not quite as you know it.

Captain Decker is the new boss, but most of the rest of the crew (apart from McCoy and Spock) are doing their old jobs.  It was nice to see Janice Rand again, after she vanished half way through season one.  And I loved the fact that Kirk used the crises as an excuse to get out of his stuffy Admirals office at StarFleet and take command of a ship again.  You get the impression that he has been bored out of his mind these last two years or so.

The sets are okay – some of them are too recognisable as the sets that get reused for The Next Generation.  In particular, the Engineering set is very similar indeed, as is the basic look of the corridors.

The new characters – Decker and Ilia – work well, but their relationship is rather similar to that of RIker and Troi on The Next Generationbut there’s a good reason for that: when this film was being put together, it was actually the pilot episode of the new TV series, and as Nimoy didn’t want to appear, Decker was the new first officer and Ilia a navigator (Checkov seeming to havce moved to security).  There would have been a Vulcan science officer, Xon.

This is Star Trek done on a grand scale – for it to work it had to feel big, and it did.  Never has planet Earth felt like it was going to be destroyed in the series – in fact, we never visited 23rd Century Earth on the show, though we did visit the past on numerous occasions.  Some of the effects look excellent – for example the detail on Vulcan, and also the Golden Gate Bridge by StarFleet HQ.  All good stuff, and the sequences inside the cloud – everything looked enormous.  Some argue that this all went on for too long, that the sequences inside the cloud were boring.  I can see that point of view, but I don’t agree – they helped build the tension very well.

This is a very adult Trek – I don’t mean language and violence, I just mean in the seriousness of it.  There is very little humour in it – unlike the TV show and most of the other movies.  Again, this put a lot of people off, but I really like it.  Had all the films been this heavy, then it would have become boring, but this was pitched just right, for me anyway.

I also liked the ending, the revelation that is was an old Voyager probe that has been picked up by a race of computer beings, souped up, and helped on it’s way.  Some fans suggest that the sequence at the end is the start of the Borg, and whilst I would love to think that it true, it cannot be – the Borg did not know about us until much later, and has they been formed from a StarFleet commander and a drone with the memories of a navigator, they would have got here a lot quicker!

A couple of minor nigges: why did Kirk draft a retired McCoy back into the service?  He didn’t really need him as a Doctor (Chapel is now fully qualified) it just felt like he wanted to bring him along for tha sake of it!  And how come Spock was able to fix the Enterprise engines just like that when StarFleets finest couldn’t?

So, all in all, a really confident start to the series with great effects and a real sense of scale.  And, incidentally, the introduction of Jerry Goldsmith’s excellent theme that went on to be used in another three films and every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Crew Deaths: 4
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 56
Score: 8/10

May 28, 2008 Posted by | andorians, doubles or duplicates, exes, klingons, mind meld, set on earth, set on vulcan, space station, super computers, transporter problems, vulcans, wormhole | | 2 Comments

Star Trek 3.22 (The Savage Curtain)

Cast:
Nathan Jung(Ghengis Khan)
Carol Daniels Dement (Zora)
Arell Blanton (Lt. Dickerson)
Phillip Pine (Col. Green)
Barry Atwater(Surak)
Robert Herron(Kahless)
Lee Bergere (Abraham Lincoln)

Writer: Arthur Heinemann, Gene Roddenberry

Some rock creatures want to pitch good against evil.  They trick Kirk and Spock down with a fake Abraham Lincoln, join with a fake Surak (a Vulcan historical character) and fight some evil characters from history.  Just like in the first season episode Arena the crew of the Enterprise get to watch what happens on the bridge.  When Kirk refuses to fight the rock monsters somehow trigger a problem in engineering that will destroy the Enterprise in a few hours.

It goes quite quickly (thankfully) but not a lot really happens in this episode.  As far as I know this is the first mention of Surak (who I am sure gets mentioned in future versions of the show) and we also meet legendary Klingon warrior Kahless, who we hear about in the future and get to see in The Next Generation.  So this episode does show us two characters that have a bearing on future shows.

That is the only thing that this episode offers.  The rock creature is embarrassing, the story pointless.  I can’t be bothered to say more.  This is awful.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 52
Score: 3/10

May 23, 2008 Posted by | historical characters, klingons, vulcans | | 1 Comment

Star Trek 3.13 (Elaan of Troyius)

Cast:
France Nuyen(Elaan)
Jay Robinson(Lord Petri)
Tony Young(Kryton)
Lee Duncan (Lt. Evans)
Dick Durock(Elasian Guard #1)
Charles Beck(Elasian Guard #2)
K.L. Smith (Klingon)
Victor Brandt (Technician Watson)

Writer: John Meredyth Lucas  

“Mister Spock, the women on your planet are logical.  That’s the only planet in this galaxy that can make that claim.”  That is a quote from Kirk just before he absorbs some of Elaans tears.  But I am getting ahead of myself.

Elaan is going to marry some blue bloke, she is royalty on her own world and her marriage to the Troyian will help bring peace.  Lord Petri is aboard to try and train her how to behave.  The problem is that she is a completely spoiled bitch, and she tries to kill Petri.  Although she does not succeed, he is incapacitated enough to prevent him from completing his mission.  So Kirk tries to train her, and ends up absorbing some of her tears and becoming utterly devoted to her.

In addition to all of this, a Klingon ship is following them and one of Elaans guards has booby trapped the warp engines so that as soon as they go to waqrp drive the ship will explode!

Elaan is vile.  Yes, I get that she is meant to be but her vileness is just unforgivable and when Kirk falls for her (admittedly under the influence of a very strong chemical) you just want to punch him in the face and possibly the writer of this piece of crap as well.

The Klingons eventually fire on the Enterprise, and give chase.  It turns out that Elaan is wearing a necklace made of “common stones” from her world, and by a staggering coincidence they turn out to be dilithium crystals, which explains the Klingon interest and also enabled Scotty to fix the warp drive and they warp the heck out of there!

The story has two problems.  The first is that the spoiled brat character of Elaan is just tedious, and the second is the level of coincidence that enables the Enterprise to escape from the Klingons.

At the end of the episode, the pheromone thing in Elaans tears that made Kirk fall for her is still present, which suprised me – when McCoy said that there was no cure I assumed that he would find one.  (Well, he does, but Spock pointed out that Kirk would not need it, as the Enterprise had infected him a long time ago).

The basic concept of this episode is done again in a Next Generetion episode The Perfect Mate.  Only it is done much, much better.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 46
Score: 3/10 

May 12, 2008 Posted by | arranged marriage, klingons | | Leave a comment