Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.10 (The Dauphin)

Colm Meaney Miles O’Brien
Whoopi Goldberg Guinan
Paddi Edwards Anya
Cindy Sorenson Animal Anya
Jennifer Barlow Ensign Gibson
Mädchen Amick Anya as Teenage Girl
Peter Neptune Aron
Jamie Hubbard Salia

Writers: Leonard MlodinowScott Rubenstein

After a pair of excellent episodes, The Dauphin is a bit of an anticlimax.  It’s not that it’s horribly bad, like most of the first seven episodes of the season, but it’s not that great either.

It’s a basic plot.  The Enterprise is taking the next ruler of a planet from a planet (Salia) where she has been hidden until she is ready to rule.  Her only company on this world has been her protector, an old woman called Anya.  Anya, it turns out, is a shapeshifter and will do anything to protect Salia – even if the threat is relatively minor (for example, she orders a crewman with a mildly contagious disease to be killed).

Meanwhile, Wesley and Salia seem to like each other.  Wesley, not having had much experience with the opposite sex, goes around asking people for advice on how to approach her, and this gives us two of the best scenes in the episode.  The first is when Worf describes Klingon mate attraction techniques (complete with roar) and seems to get rather carried away.  The second is when Riker uses Guinan to demonstrate his chat up lines, but they both get so carried away they ignore Wesley who leaves in disgust.

We do not initially know that Anya (and later Salia) are shape shifters, but it is not a major shock.  Anya is very well played, and although she is a small woman you seriously get the impression that she could take on Worf.

The scenes between Wesley and Anya are quite nice, but it is still not all that substantial an story for the character.  Wesley is hard to use well, and they very rarely manage it.

So, an average tale, made slightly better by the couple of humorous scenes in the  middle.  It is something this show can sometimes do very well.

Oh, and in case you don’t know, the episode title is a French historical allusion – in France, the Dauphin was the title given to the heir apparent of the throne of France from 1350 to 1791, and from 1824 to 1830.  See, you learn something from this!

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 5
Score: 6/10


May 17, 2009 Posted by | chief o'brien, formless creature, guinan, monsters, shape shifters | | 4 Comments

Star Trek 3.14 (Whom Gods Destroy)

Steve Ihnat(Garth of Izar)
Yvonne Craig (Marta)
Gary Downey(Tellarite)
Keye Luke (Donald Cory)

Writer: Lee Erwin, Jerry Sohl

Since I have been writing this blog, I have been categorising the episodes by the “Trek Cliches” that they contain.  With some episodes they contain none that I have used so far (which means I have to try and think of a new one).  Then there are episodes that contain cliches that I have seen before.

Then, there are episodes that contain so many it is almost funny.  Such is this episode.  Interestingly, this was the second episode that the BBC never showed (well, not until 1994) due to the torture scenes.

The premise is simple: the lunatics take over the asylum, including a former Starfleet Captain, Garth.  He is able to shape shift, so when Kirk beams down he initially disguises himself as Cory, the Doctor in charge of the asylum.  And so we get something that is rather similar to Plato’s Stepchildrena few episodes ago – the only difference is that the people in charge are literally insane.  (The point of this particular asylum, by the way, is to completely eliminate mental illness.  They don’t seem to have quite managed this yet!!)

Garth takes on Kirk’s appearance and tries to beam back up to the Enterprise, but luckily Kirk has put in a code the person beaming up has to respond correctly to.  Garth pretends that he was just checking that Scotty was following his instructions, then tries to get the correct response out of Kirk.  He goes quite far to do this, including torturing Cory, then Kirk himself.

When the torture doesn’t work, Garth disguises himself as Spock to trick Kirk into giving up the code, which, of course, fails.  He then does something far nastier – one of his fellow inmates (one of them green women) is driven outside (into the toxic atmosphere of the planet).  As Kirk watches her choke (someone he was snogging not that long ago) Garth tells Kirk that he has planted an explosive in her necklace, he then blows her up.  It is a genuinely nasty moment in an otherwise average episode.

The episode ends on a bit of a tired cliche when Garth changed himself into Kirk and good old Spock has to work out which is the actual Kirk, they then fight and you cannot tell which is which so Spock is unable to shoot.

It’s not a bad episode, but it is very slow and very similar to other episodes that we have already seen in the run.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 46
Score: 6/10

May 13, 2008 Posted by | andorians, disease/sickness, doubles or duplicates, mad captains, prisons/penal colonies, shape shifters, tellarites, torture | | Leave a comment

Star Trek 2.26 (Assignment: Earth)

Robert Lansing (Gary Seven)
Teri Garr (Roberta Lincoln)
Don Keefer (Cromwell)
Lincoln Demyan (Sgt. Lipton)
Morgan Jones(Col. Nesvig)
Bruce Mars (Charlie)
Ted Gehring (Policeman)

Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Art Wallace

This episode was actually meant to be a pilot for another show, starring Robert Lansing as Gary Seven.  The Enterprise is sent back to 1968 to gather some information covertly, but they intercept a long distance transporter beam from a far off planet to Earth in 1968.

Gary Seven is there to prevent Earth from destroying itself, on this occasion the USA is launching a nuclear weapon into space, and he wants to stop it.  But due to the Enterprise interfering, it almost crashes in Europe and causes a war!  They sort it all out, and the Enterprise leaves.

It’s not that it’s terrible (although it isn’t that good either) but the Enterprise crew are in the episode an awful lot less – it really is Gary Seven’s episode, the actor even gets a guest star credit at the start.  Of course, it never made it to a series, and it’s easy to see why – it’s quite bland.  The Gary Seven character is rather like an inferior version of Doctor Who– he even has a device that looks and is overused just like the sonic screwdriver.  Being set on modern day Earth resembles the Pertwee era, only without the military backup, so perhaps he was actually working for Torchwood NY!

So, rather bland, and a silly bit at the end with the shape shifting cat.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 43
Score: 5/10

April 23, 2008 Posted by | contemporary earth, shape shifters, time travel | | 3 Comments

Star Trek 1.6 (Mudd’s Women)

First Aired: October 13, 1966

Roger C. Carmel (Harry Mudd)
Karen Steele (I) (Eve McHuron)
Maggie Thrett (Ruth Bonaventure)
Susan Denberg (Magda Kovas)
Jim Goodwin (Lt. John Farrell)
Gene Dynarski (Ben Chilress)
Jon Kowal (Herm Gossett)
Seamon Glass (Benton)
Jerry Foxworth (Security Guard)
Writer: Stephen Kandel
Oh dear. After run of good episodes, along comes this one. Mudd’s women have this immediate effect on the men of the Enterprise – possibly because they can only see them in soft focus. There is something distinctly unsexy about these three women, possibly due to the fashions and what was considered sexy in the sixties. The mens’ reaction is sleazy, stereotypical crap.
We also have a couple of Trek cliches appear here for the first time – McCoys dislike of the transporter as a means of travel, and the “the ship they were on has exploded but they haven’t quite materialised yet” nonsense. Later they call it the pattern stuck in the buffer or some such nonsense.
Kirk confines Mudd to quarters but notes that the women are having an almost hypnotic effect on the men. But at no point does he think of confining them to quarters? No. And why not? Because apparently men from the 23rd century are only capable of thinking with their dicks.
At one point Harry Mudd uses an Enterprise communicator to talk to some miners in advance of arriving. So why didn’t Uhura (who is wearing yellow instead of red for some reason and it really doesn’t suit her!) pick up on this?
Oh, and the women aren’t all they appear to be. Didn’t I see that five episodes ago?
Harry Mudd was probably a great character in his day. Sadly he, like the episode in general, have dated rather badly. This really is not one of the best.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 17
Score: 4/10

July 29, 2007 Posted by | harry mudd, shape shifters | | Leave a comment