Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.25 (The Neutral Zone)

romulamCast:
Gracie Harrison (Clare Raymond)
Leon Rippy(Sonny Clemonds)
Anthony James(Sub-Cmdr. Thei)
Marc Alaimo(Cmdr. Tebok)
Peter Mark Richman(Ralph Offenhouse)

Writers: Deborah McIntyre, Maurice Hurley

Odd episode, this.  For the first two seasons, we don’t get the big two part story split over the season break.  At the end of season one, we get this.

Describe it, and it sounds rather dull.  Firstly, there are three people from 1990’s Earth who were frozen after their deaths and shot off into space.  Data finds a capsule full of people like this – most are decomposed, but three are not, so they are revived and cured of what killed them.

It is quite interesting as these characters are used to show the difference between the enlightened 24th Century and the backward 20th.  Of the three, the most sympathetic is Clare – her husband, she assumes, has her frozen as she knew nothing about it.  Sonny Clemonds, a drug taking heavy drinking guitar player doesn’t seem to care too much (he actually gets the best line – “We won’t be inviting these Romulans so our party, will we”) and Ralph who can’t get his head around the fact that capitalism has been and gone.

Woven around this is a mission to go to the Neutral Zone near the Romulan empire where several Federation outposts have been destroyed.  We are re-introduced to the Romulan Empire (one is played by Marc Alaimo, who will later become Gul Dukat on Deep Space Nine) and we find out that some of their outposts have also been destroyed, revealing that bigger things are going to come…

It’s not bad at all, considering it is such a simple idea.  The thought that there is something out there bigger and badder than the Romulans that is capable of scooping whole cities up is interesting, but it is not until much later that we find out who is behind it…

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 4
Score: 7/10

September 10, 2008 Posted by | people from the past, planetary population destroyed, romulans | | Leave a comment

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Cast:
William Shatner (Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
DeForest Kelley (McCoy)
James Doohan (Scotty)
Walter Koenig (Checkov)
George Takei (Sulu)
Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) 
Bibi Besch (Doctor Carole Marcus)
Merritt Butrick (Doctor David Marcus)
Paul Winfield (Captain Terrell)
Kirstie Alley(Saavik)
Ricardo Montalban (Khan)
Ike Eisenmann (Peter Preston)
John Winston (Cmdr. Kyle)

Writer: Harve Bennett, Jack B. Sowards

The USS Reliant accidentally comes across Khan, from the season one episode Space Seed.  He takes control of the ship, hell bent on only one thing: getting revenge on the man that abandoned him on Ceti Alpha V.  To do this, he steals project Genesis – a new device that will turn a lifeless moon into an instantly terraformed world.  If you happen to use it on a world that already has life, it will replace that life with the new matrix.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise is no longer doing missions, it is being used as a training vessel under the command of Captain Spock.  The ship picks up a confused message from the head of project Genesis, Doctor Carole Marcus, and so StarFleet send them out to investigate.  When they come across the Reliant, they assume she is friendly, until she fires.  As the shields are not up, the Enterprise is very badly damaged, but Kirk manages to find a code that enables him to make Reliant drop her shields.  Enterprise badly damages Reliant, then moved on to find the surviving Genesis staff in the bowels of the planet their research station is orbiting.  They trick Reliant into thinking the repairs will take a lot longer than they actually will, then make a break to hide in a Nebula.  The Reliant and Khan follow, but Kirk has the upper hand and virtually finishes off the Reliant.  So Khan stes off the captured Genesis device, which the Enterprise has no chance of outrunning as the repairs that need doing are in a radiation flooded compartment.  Spock carries out the repairs so they can escape, and dies as a result, his coffin left on the new Genesis planet.

This is an utterly superb movie.  I am not sure if it is my favourite one or not, I am in the process of watching them all, but it is great.  The acting is excellent – Saavik is a great new character, and she is played really well by Kirstie Allie in this film.  It is such a shame that she is played by someone else.

Other parts that are fantastic are the fights between the Enterprise and the Reliant.  This is the first time that we have seen ships in Star Trek blowing each others guts out, and the corresponding shots inside the vessels as they are hit are excellent.  The other effects that are great is the film that Kirk and company watches to inform them about Project Genesis – you see a moon transformed into a living, breathing planet.  Brilliant for it’s day.

The performance of the main cast is also brilliant.  The scene where Scotty loses his nephew is really good, as, of course, is the death scene for Spock.  Also, I really like the uniforms – that was something I forgot to say about the previous film, the one thing I didn’t like were the ghastly seventies uniforms.  These ones are much better, and last for all of these movies, as well as any flashback sequences from future series.

The music is also great.  In fact, I can’t think of anything bad to say about this movie.  It is interesting that Khan recognises Checkov, as Checkov was not in the series that Khan featured in.  I suppose we can assume that he was just on board, just not a member of the bridge crew.

I am not sure how many Enterprise crew are killed in this, I can only confirm two -Preston and Spock.  The amount of damage to the ship would suggest many people died, but there is no confirmation of how many deaths in any status updates given by anyone, so I am going to assume that there were many injuries but only two deaths.

Love this film, and also it kind of serves as the first in a trilogy.  This is Trek at it’s best.

Crew Deaths: 2
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 58
Score: 9.5/10

May 29, 2008 Posted by | david marcus, death of regular character, destruction of a starfleet ship, exes, family members, inside another stafleet ship, khan, mind meld, people from the past, saavik, set on earth | | 2 Comments

Star Trek 3.19 (Requiem for Methuselah)

Cast:
James Daly (Flint)
Louise Sorel(Rayna Kapec)

Writer: Jerome Bixby

Yes, we have another piss poor episode as this once great series lurches onwards towards its tragic cancellation.  The premise seems to be okay – the deadly Rigellian Fever is rampant aboard the Enterprise – three crew are already dead, most are infected and things are looking grim.  Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a planet where an unprocessed mineral (Ryetalyn) can be made into a cure, the problem is that the planet is occupied by Flint – and old chap, and Rayner, a girl he claims to have adopted.

Straight off, this episode pisses me off.  The crew are dying, and Flint clearly finds the “relationship” between Rayna and Kirk annoying.  Spock points this out to Kirk – Flint stands in the way of them and the cure but Kirk cannot resist trying to take her away from Flint, even though there is a strong chance it will cost the lives of everyone on the Enterprise.  For Gods sake stop thinking with your libido, man!  Rayner turns out to be an android made for Flint by himself – the reason for this is he is immortal.  (In a nice crossover, the story he tells of the way he didn’t die from an injury sounds exactly what we see in the Highlander films).  It turns out he was Brahms, and Moses, and a lot of other people from history.

He also has very advanced science – in a scene reminiscent of the scene that pissed me off from Catspaw in season two, he shrinks the Enterprise down and sticks it on a table.  And with all of this shit going on, he still tries to take Rayner away from Flint – this time by arguing that she is as human as any real human and thus has the same right to choose.  YOUR WHOLE CREW IS SITTING THERE IN A SHRUNKEN ENTERPRISE DYING IN FRONT OF YOU YOU UTTER TIT.  FORGET HER.

Then, at the end, as Kirk mourns her, Spock erases the pain from his mind with a mind meld.  Without permission.  Aren’t there rules about that sort of thing?

Drivel.  Utter drivel.  Still, not that many to go now!

Crew Deaths: 3
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 52
Score: 2/10

May 20, 2008 Posted by | androids, disease/sickness, doubles or duplicates, historical characters, immortals, mind meld, people from the past | | 6 Comments

Star Trek 2.9 (Metamorphosis)

Cast:

Glenn Corbett (Zefram Cochrane)
Elinor Donahue (Commissioner Nancy Hedford)
Writer: Gene L. Coon
An old man is rejuvenated and held on a planet by a gentle force called the Companion, but he is lonely so it ensnares the occupants of a passing shuttle to keep him company. The old man is Zephram Cochrane, the occupants of the shuttle are Kirk, Spock, McCoy and an annoying ambassador (Nancy Hedford) in the middle of a peace conference being rushed to the Enterprise for some emergency medical treatment.
Cochrane is an interesting character – like Spock’s father Sarek, he is one of the few characters to make it it into various forms of Star Trek (albeit played by a different actor). He also gets to meet Picard and co (in his past, in Star Trek: First Contact) and even has a cameo in a couple of episodes of Enterprise.
It is a bit of a hokey love story bewteen Cochrane and the shimmering being Cochrane calls the Companion. Although he only finds out that it adores him when the Enterprise crew build a translation device and it turns out to be female. I am torn as to whether Cochranes initial reaction makes sense or not – this thing has sustained him for 150 years and yet suddenly when he finds out it has a crush on him he gets all pissed off? Then again perhaps he saw it as a betrayal. I don’t know. Anyhow, the resolution is that is merges with Nancy (who, as it happens isn’t too ugly even by 60s standards) and suddenly as the Companion is in a sexy female body as far as Cochrane is concerned it’s game on!!
Too long, dull and wordy, and the few scenes featuring the Enterprise seem thrown in just so you don’t forget they exist, they are incidental to the plot. (Nice to see Scotty in command again though).
So all in all, very very average, only elevated by the fact we see Cochrane again.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 33
Score: 5/10

March 28, 2008 Posted by | formless creature, people from the past, super beings | | Leave a comment

Star Trek 1.22 (Space Seed)

First Aired: February 16, 1967

Cast:
John Winston (Lt. Kyle)
Ricardo Montalban (Khan Noonien Singh)
Madlyn Rhue (Marla McGivers)
Blaisdell Makee (Lt. Spinelli)
Mark Tobin (Joaquin)
Kathy Ahart (Crew Woman)
Writer: Marc Daniels
Of course, this episode has taken on a greater significance since the eighties when the second movie The Wrath of Khan revisited the character. In 1996 apparently World War III was all about eugenics, and the survivors escaped in a space vessel, the SS Botany Bay. Of course, I will ignore the fact that this little piece of history never came true – perhaps it was something that happened that certain people knew about. Perhaps certain terrorist outrages that happened before 1996 were actually down to the so called “super men”. I am rationalising it too much: in Star Trek history this actually happened.
So, what was bad about this episode. Well, for a start, Marla McGivers (the crew historian that boards the Botany Bay with Kirk and company) falls for Khan when he is asleep, before she has even spoken to him. I know if you are interested in history then the chance to interact with it would be very exciting, but to interact horizontally (which is clearly her intent from before he even awakes) is just not going to tell you much about the past.
In fact, this character is the weak link in the episode. She just falls into Khan’s spell far too easily, he almost has to do nothing. I cannot believe that anybody serving in StarFleet would be that easy to influence. Then, later, she has a change of heart and saves Kirk. Puh-lease!
Oh, and the two stuntment playing both Kirk and Khan are obviously neither actor. It is just rubbish.
The standoff between Kirk and Khan on the other hand is superb – both intellectual and physical, they both rise to the occasion and deliver some solidly and believable characters. Yes, even Shatner!
Montalban’s performance is utterly compelling – you can see why the producer of the second film chose to revisit this character. He plays the part wonderfully – he has a kind of delivery that apparently the actor developed for the character, and he also used the original episode to try and work the character out fifteen or so years later, and he did a wonderful job. The character is portrayed the same way in both episodes, and you can only congratulate Montalban for that.
At the end, they dump Khan, his followers and McGivers on the planet Ceti Alpha Five. And we all know what happens next!
McGivers doesn’t die in this episode, so I cannot include her as a crew death, even though she is dead by the time everyone meets again in the film.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 25
Score: 8/10

August 31, 2007 Posted by | khan, people from the past | | 2 Comments