Blessed Are The Geek


Before he gave his life to the service of the Church, the Reverend Peter Organ dedicated his passion to spaceships, sticker albums, orcs and laser-swords. Now married with two children of his own, he’s yet to find a cassock which covers the geek completely, and wonders how he’s going to explain his Warhammer collection to the Bishop…


Several factors have delayed my next instalment of The Great Star Trek: TNG Rewatch. Moving house and job has taken up quite a bit of time and effort. Also, along with the Star Trek rewatch, I now have Blake’s 7 and Babylon 5 rewatches on the go, thanks to the fabulous Shake & Blake and Babble On Project podcasts, and I'm also dealing with a Chuck addiction thanks to the InsideOutcast. But the biggie was the fact that I knew the next episode was Angel One, a story I have rather less than fond memories of.

But a rewatch is a rewatch, and if I ever want to watch more Star Trek of any generation again I need to get to the end of All Good Things. For them’s da rules. Arbitrarily selected, self-imposed rules, but rules nevertheless.

Remember: Each episode is gets rated from 1 monkey (as bad as a Wesley jumper) to 5 monkeys ("I am Locutus of Borg"). And so we come to...

 

 

Angel One

A search for survivors of a freighter that disappeared seven years ago (why wait so long?), leads the Enterprise to planet Angel One, home to a not very welcoming oligarchical civilisation. Whilst the away team are discovering why the Federation has picked up a bad name for itself, an illness spreads through the ship’s crew (again!), and there are rumours of Romulans in the Neutral Zone (but best not get too excited about that just yet).

I remember thinking when I first saw this story that it seemed like a ham-fisted effort to overcome the sexism of the original series. For a change my memory has not cheated me. Addressing sexual inequality by switching the gender roles ought to be more fun than this, but all we get is a load of dull scenes of people discussing the issues, peppered with a feeble B-plot which boils down to Wesley, in his most tragic outfit yet, giving everybody a bad cold. Blink and you’ll miss the resolution of the main plot.

There is some amusement to be gained from the amount of man-nippleage on display, especially when Riker gets to show off his chest-rug (sans medallion- he’s no Gil Gerard, clearly). Kirk wouldn't be seen dead sporting such a look, unless it was as a result of getting his shirt ripped, and whilst one ought to applaud the First Officer modelling such a fine, upstanding example of 80s progressive man, the dullness of proceedings makes you wish for some Shatner-style fisticuffs and snogging1.

Riker: "It’s not my function to seduce or be seduced by the leader of another world."  Definitely not Kirk then.

 

 

110010012 

The Enterprise computer is having an overhaul, provided by a species called Binars, but they may have more drastic plans for the ship. Meanwhile Riker is chilling in the Holodeck, which has created an attractive looking woman with an equally alluring personality to hear him blow his horn. Then Picard joins them to be gooseberry.

Yeah, that description does this story no favours at all. Unlike the previous episode, I did have fond memories of 11001001, but that has more to do with the shots of the Enterprise in the beautifully designed "mushroom" space-dock from Star Trek III. Watching it now, I sadly realised that they’re exactly the same shots with NCC-1701 D pasted over the movie Enterprise, but the footage still looks good.

The plot now strikes me as a bit creepy in the way Riker designs his perfect audience, but that’s nothing to what Ensign Barclay will be getting up to further down the line. The Binars are an interesting race, relatively well visualised. The music, incorporating some mellow Jazz is a nice change, and there is actual jeopardy in the plot. Quite how the entire crew evacuate the ship without checking where the Captain and First Officer are is probably best not dwelt on, and how only two crewmen can fly the ship on their own when there is normally a crew of hundreds is also blooming odd.

But those quibbles aside, I really enjoyed this episode (and not just because it followed straight on from Angel One). It had charm, excitement and spaceships. Win!

Picard: "Oh, I'm sorry Number One - I didn't mean to interrupt." The Captain says what we're all thinking.

 

 

Too Short A Season

Federation ambassadorial staff have been taken hostage on Mordan IV, and the its shouty, shouty ruler Karnas insists that only elderly Admiral Jameson can negotiate their rescue. But thanks to some crazy, mixed-up medicine, the Admiral appears to be getting younger.

From the bad to the good, and now the average. There’s quite a bit wrong with this episode; the guest acting is ropier than a scout meeting (Karnas is shockingly-over-the-top), the ageing makeup on Jameson looks less realistic than tan from a bottle, and the conclusion relies upon not just the Captain, but the blinking ailing Admiral beaming down with an away team. And why doesn’t Karnas recognise the young-looking Jameson considering he knew him many years ago?

On the upside, the reaction of Jameson’s wife to his de-aging is interesting, there are some nice revelations, and a fun phaser battle. Oh, and it’s not Angel One. An okay story, let down by some of the execution.

Data: "Their phasers sir: set on kill."

Picard: "Thank you Mr Data, I have heard the sound before."

 

 

 

1. Lothario Kirk is a myth and you bloody well know it! - Grumpy Trekker Ed.

2. Binary for "Riker is a letch after all".


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The Great Star Trek: TNG Rewatch continues next week (for real this time)!