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Wert's Star Trek: The Next Generation rewatch (now in added HD!)


320 replies to this topic

#1 Werthead

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 05:29 AM

Whilst others engage in our second rewatch of DS9, here's my take on the original series. This is going to take some time, as CBS/Paramount are releasing each season only a short while after completing the remastering process, which takes ages. Season 2 will not be out until around Christmas, with Season 3 following around a year from now. So this is going to be an ongoing thing.

101/102: Encounter at Farpoint
The newly-commissioned Galaxy-class USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) is proceeding to Farpoint Station to rendezvous with the rest of its crew when it is confronted by a powerful alien entity known as Q. Q believes that humanity is a dangerous, savage child-race but is willing to give it a chance to prove itself worthy of survival by solving the mystery waiting for the crew at Farpoint Station.

Back in September 1987, 25 million people tuned in to watch this pilot episode. I suspect that they were not expecting Gene Roddenberry's attempt to rewrite Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The use of the same music, the same musings on the technological capabilities of a new Enterprise and even the same relationship between the up-and-coming first officer and an exotic, alien female crew member are all rather familiar.

Of course, for all its faults Farpoint is a lot more fun than that movie. Some of the cast immediately impress, especially Patrick 'gravitas is my middle name' Stewart, whose ability to keep his dignity and keep monologuing brilliantly even in the most dire of episodes with the ropiest of scripts is extraordinary (and probably single-handedly saves almost half of the the first season from being too dire to watch). Brent Spiner is also great from the off. It's fair to say that Frakes and Dorn are starting out a little broad here but get a lot better as the series proceeds. LeVar Burton is lost a little bit in this first episode and indeed in the first season, as it takes a while for him to be given an easily-definable role in the series (his promotion to Chief Engineer in S2 solves this problem). Everyone else is okay, though Denise Crosby has a tendency to flip between being too passive and over-acting badly.

The stand-out from this pilot episode is John de Lancie. Like Stewart he treats everything he's given with seriousness, no matter how ludicrous, and this keeps the episode moving whenever the script - a hodgepodge of ideas from DC Fontana and Roddenberry, with numerous rewrites from other writers - flags. The merging to two separate ideas into one story actually works in keeping the episode's momentum going for two whole hours, with the first hour's focus on Q and the second on the mystery at Farpoint ensuring there's a fair bit going on. However, it's rather odd that Q is wailing on humanity specifically and puts them on trial when, of the five people present at the trial, only two are human (the others being Klingon, Betazoid and android).

The special effects are impressive, with the modern HD re-editing of the series losing the cheesy matte-lines and dodgy bluescreen issues of the original master tape. The Enterprise's confrontation with the second alien entity is particularly impressive, courtesy of the guys at ILM (who did the model work for the first episode, as the show's own internal model team was not ready yet). The sequence where the Enterprise is chased by the Q forcefield and separates the saucer remains fairly tense, if completely nonsensical: Q can teleport on board at will and the saucer is not capable of warp travel, meaning that when the stardrive turns around to confront Q the saucer is limping off at about 1 billionth of the speed it was going five minutes earlier.

Visuals aside, the pilot episode is well-paced but a bit stilted. The actors haven't found their feet yet, and act inconsistently with how they would later in the series. Some of the dialogue is ripe and there's way too many oddball 'character' scenes which are inserted into the episode with no regard for tension. And of course the episode suffers from too much time spent on Wesley 'creator substitute stand-in' Crusher and his tedious antics.

Conclusion: moderately interesting for historical reasons. The effects look spectacular in HD and Stewart, Spiner and de Lancie lift the quality of the episode a bit, but overall it's stodgy and odd compared to later episodes. Nice cameo from DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy though.

103: The Naked Now
The Enterprise rendezvouses with a Starfleet vessel monitoring the collapse of a red giant star, only to find the crew dead and a strange infection present which makes people behave as if they are drink, with all inhibitions removed and sense of self-preservation lost. Plus, Data bones Tasha Yar.

It's a bit odd for a show to, in just its second episode, turn the entire cast into a bunch of drunks and reuse a storyline from a show made twenty years earlier (The Naked Time, in the first season of the original series). Oddly enough, it almost works. Patrick Stewart heroically gives it his all when asked to 'goofy drunk acting' and somehow doesn't manage to completely destroy the character, with Brent Spiner managing to do follow in his footsteps. Others don't come off as well. There's some nice character interplay (notably Worf and Data's shared bafflement over a filthy limerick) and particularly successful is the depiction of the Enterprise as a functioning environment of more than a thousand people outside of the regular cast. The chief engineer and her assistant's interactions with Riker and Wesley suggest these are people who have been around all along, which gives more of a sense of community to the ship. There's also some continuation of some (briefly) amusing running gags, such as the crew trying to indulge Data's curiosity but then getting bored of it after ten seconds, and everyone for some reason being extremely pedantic (Picard correcting Troi calling the phenomenon an 'infection' and then calling it an infection himself ten minutes later).

Otherwise the episode falls into the 'so bad it's actually good' category. Again, the special effects have been hugely improved by the HD upgrade. The stellar fragment hurtling towards the Enterprise and the science vessel and the latter blowing up simply look light-years beyond the original effects, which is stunning considering no new CGI or effects have been added, merely the original elements being re-combined with modern editing equipment and some of the colours changed to something more realistic. This episode also amusingly fails the, "Is the premise too goofy to work as an episode of Red Dwarf?" test (and not for the last time).

Overall, surprisingly fun, if not in the way the writers intended.

104: Code of Honour
The Enterprise arrives at a planet populated by African stereotypes, who kidnap Tasha Yar for the sheer hell of it and threaten to withold a vital vaccine if the Enterprise crew try to rescue her. Picard, somewhat bizarrely, initially demonstrates his displeasure by blowing the living shit out of the atmosphere with photon torpedoes (note that in the Star Trek universe, photon torpedoes detonate in the megaton range, creating explosions comparable to nukes) and then spends the rest of the episode wangsting over the Prime Directive. The situation is resolved by Yar and another female alien fighting in an arena and the alien 'dying' but then being saved by Dr. Crusher, which briefly threatens to extend the episode when this is called 'witchcraft', but then the writers give up and mercifully resolve things.

The first cheerfully shit episode of ST:TNG, which really doesn't make sense and is rather racist into the bargain. It's also self-contradictary: women are described as being inferior in society throughout, but then it turns out the leader is only leader because of his wife's vast properties, which she flounces off with at the end of the episode, leaving him without a job. Huh?

Overall, a spectacularly awful episode. The best things about it are the matte/model shots of the alien city, which are genuinely impressive, and the hugely impressive 3D model of the planet as the Enterprise orbits it (this may be a new definition of damning with faint praise).

105: The Last Outpost
The Enterprise pursues a Ferengi ship to a remote system, trying to recover a stolen energy converter. When both ships are caught in an energy field from the planet and shut down, the two crews have to work together to survive.

Originally Roddenberry didn't want to reuse too many of the original series aliens and created the Ferengi as a new foe (and also his satirical take on the more ultra-capitalist aspects of American society). This doesn't really work, as the small, monkey-like Ferengi are too comical to be a serious threat (despite some good prosthetics work). Some aspects of the episode are effective, but there's a lot of weirdness. Bridge crew chatter to one another whilst Picard is engaged in tense negotiations, and Data starts a craze for Chinese finger puzzles which the crew follows even mid-crisis. Totally inexplicably, at one point Data uses a badass 3D holographic projector to carry out a briefing on an ancient alien race. The projector never appears again. Even more randomly, the episode is a very close reworking of the Blake's 7 episode Duel (and both are heavily inspired by the original series episode Arena).

Overall, a very random episode. Worth watching just for its strangeness and the character of Portal who appears near the end, whose WTFness factor is extremely high.

Edited by Werthead, 30 July 2012 - 05:30 AM.


#2 The hairy bear

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 05:58 AM

It never ceases to amaze that TNG was renewed after his first season. With a pilot that weak, a second episode completely missplaced (what's the point in seeing the characters acting weird if you still don't know the characters), and many awful episodes afterwards.

It's also surprising how much the actors improved in their roles. Who could have predicted that grumbling Worf, charmless and beardless Riker or invisible Geordi could grow to be such great characters.

#3 Jon AS

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:00 AM

Wasn't The Naked Now done because of some writer's strik situation? As in, they couldn't write an original story and therefore adapted a TOS script or something like that? Of course even if true, it's still weird that they'd choose that one. As The hairy bear said, what's the point of showing us characters we don't know acting out of character?

How was the Code of Honour situation a Prime Directive case, anyway? The PD is ostensibly there to prevent the Federation from becoming an imperialist power, how does it apply to trying to get a kidnapped crewmember back?

As to The Last Outpost, I just don't understand how anybody could come up with the Ferengi when trying to create a creditible adversary for our heroes. But then Rodenberry clearly had some strange ideas.

#4 Werthead

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:08 AM

Wasn't The Naked Now done because of some writer's strik situation? As in, they couldn't write an original story and therefore adapted a TOS script or something like that? Of course even if true, it's still weird that they'd choose that one. As The hairy bear said, what's the point of showing us characters we don't know acting out of character?


That was in Season 2. The opener, The Child, and three or four other episodes were adapted from unused scripts for the Star Trek: Phase II project from the late 1970s (which transformed into the movies instead). S1 was all original material.

#5 Jon AS

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:24 AM

Ah, guess I mixed that up. Then the writing staff was obviously drunk themselves when they decided on that episode.

#6 Nukelavee

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:00 AM

Between teh pilot, and 104, I pretty much gave up on the show. Every few months, for the whole series, I'd give it a shot again, and be disappointed all over.

#7 Bronn Stone

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:46 AM

Acquiring the new editions is not in my budget at this time. But I can remember the excitement of waiting for Encounter at Farpoint.

At the time, I was just out of college and a big enough fan of TOS to where I was in no matter what crap they threw at me. The first season proved it to me. I recorded all the episodes on VHS and rewatched them during the week. I remember not being a fan of Picard at the time. I thought the character was too boring and the actor seemed to much like a caricature of a Shakespearean Actor, posing with his hand out and making speeches, rather than actually interacting with his colleagues.

I also thought the early Ferengi were even worse than the (Google's for the name) Ligonians from Code of Honor in terms of racial stereotyping. Let's just say I don't think it is coincidence that a great many of them were portrayed by Jewish actors. Greedy and small of stature, practically hunched over, with giant ears, noses and foreheads and an amoral attitude toward anything save profit, they seemed to come straight out of Goebbels guide to culture. I really don't see how they could have inspired Picard's comment in Encounter at Farpoint suggesting they had a reputation where they ate associates. Cheated them as bankers, perhaps. But ate??? I am only partly surprised that it wasn't made clear that they also lack foreskins.

DS9 somewhat redeemed the species, but in retrospect, they are still the Franchise's worst major alien race.

#8 Conor

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:58 AM

I find it very hard, if not impossible, to watch TNG anymore. I find it has aged dreadfully and the heavy handed political correctness that pervades every episode is just mind boggling.

For me the end came a couple of months ago when I came across the episode where Ryker comes across his double after a malfunction in a transporter, several years earlier, split them. There was a scene, early on, where Ryker is playing Jazz in 10 forward that was like something you would come across on a 'romance' channel and then we had a love trail with Dianna (god bless her) searching for love notes, from the double, and ending up in engineering!

God and I did not mention the bleeding Tai-chi.

Anyway it is nearly 6:00 which means Classic Star Trek. Near the end of Season three but compared to TNG even season 3's nadir is golden.

#9 Werthead

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:04 PM

106: Where No One Has Gone Before
An engineer and his assistant arrive on the Enterprise, claiming to be able to boost the engine efficiency of Federation starships despite not being able to provide any proof, technical specifications or compelling arguments about why this is so. Potentially as a continuity-satisfying early nod to his later, alternate-future medical condition (the Alzheimers-like Irumodic Syndrome), Picard inexplicably agrees to let them dick around with the Enterprise's warp engines regardless. The Enterprise ends up almost three million light-years away in M33. A further attempt to return home lands them a billion light-years away in some sort of weird stellar cloud where thoughts become reality. It turns out that the engineer's assistant is some kind of super-alien who can manipulate time and space etc. Just before disappearing in a puff of convenient plot logic, he informs Picard that, terrifyingly, Wesley Crusher is fated to become some sort of engineering paragon. Picard, continuing to show early symptoms of his potential later brain-eating disorder, promotes Wesley to Acting Ensign.

Yeah...not TNG's finest hour, despite some nice ideas. Blasting the Enterprise millions of light-years away from home into unexplored regions of the universe is a cool idea, and perhaps would have been better-explored as part of a longer, multi-episode arc. Of course, such things were unrealistic for a 1987 episodic TV show, so instead we get only a surface skimming of the concept. Riker and Chief Engineer Argyre (the latest in a line of chief engineers for the Enterprise; what the hell happened to them, did they all get sucked into the warp core or something?) spending the whole episode ripping into Kazinsky for being a dickward is quite amusing, but it does beg the question as to why they'd let him fiddle around with the engines in the first place.

There's some nice visuals, but the "Hey, Wesley is awesome!" schtick is getting tiresome already. What saves the episode from total mediocrity is an excellent performance by Stewart in the scene where his mother appears to him, and the enjoyment he and Data get from being way beyond where any human being has gone before before pulling themselves together and trying to get home. It's also interesting to watch knowing the eventual outcome of Wesley's story arc, which is rather unexpected given where it starts here.

107: Lonely Among Us
Somewhat more interesting, the Enterprise plays host to two feuding alien races and must attempt to forge a peace between them at the same time an alien energy entity is on the loose, jumping from person to person and system to system on the ship.

Another one of Star Trek's frequent, "Hrngh, there's something rather vague on the loose Captain!" episodes, but pulled off better than most thanks to some good direction, genuinely creepy music and yet another solid performance by Stewart (who at this point is doing more than his fair share of work in holding the series together).

108: Justice
The Enterprise arrives at a planet inhabited by Jogging Aryans who are noted for their fondness for sexing and hugging random strangers. It turns out that their paradise-like existence is possible because of a ludicrously ruthless law which makes death the punishment for the most trivial of offences. When Wesley treads on some flowers, he is sentenced to death. Picard, possibly suffering a relapse of his brain condition, decides to try to save Wesley rather than high-fiving Riker, chest-bumbing Data and ordering that they get the hell out of there. A powerful interdimensional god entity alien thing shows up, apparently the guardian of the planet for no discernible reason. Picard argues that the Jogging Aryans' legal system is totally batshit insane and, like, the most retarded thing anyone's ever heard of. The alien god entity surprisingly agrees (by Star Trek standards, definitely one of the more reasonable alien god entity things around) and lets them leave unmolested. Which is kind of refreshing, but destroys any dramatic tension that could have been salvaged from the concept. Which probably wasn't very much, so that's okay.

This is one of those episodes where every single person involved seems to have been on some sort of medication. A horrendous premise, a bad idea and even the writer seems to give up halfway through and lets the situation resolve itself by having Picard basically say, "Fuck this shit, I'm violating the Prime Directive in this case because these aliens suck." Dire.

109: The Battle
The Enterprise rendezvouses with a Ferengi starship and receives a gift, the USS Stargazer, Picard's former command, which the Ferengi found drifting in a nearby system. The crew smell a rat when the Ferengi captain refuses to demand a price from the Federation for the return of its starship, shocking his own subordinates. Picard, suffering from headaches, begins to relive the battle in which he lost control of the Stargazer and ultimately tries to use it to destroy the Enterprise, before it's discovered he's being manipulated by the Ferengi captain. The Ferengi crew rebel against their captain, who is operating with no desire for profit, and arrest him.

A much better episode, definitely one of the stronger ones so far, again mainly down to some excellent direction and an acting masterclass from Stewart. Frakes starts to impress a little more as Riker, who uses some stealthy back-channel communications with his opposite number on the Ferengi ship to help resolve the situation, and it's good to see the crew operating as a team to resolve the situation. We also get - if only vaguely - a sense of how effectively the Ferengi could have been used as serious villains if they'd kept up with the idea. It's also laudable that the Stargazer is a new starship design (a Constellation-class vessel) rather than a reuse of an existing movie model (as all other Federation starships so far have been). The only let-downs in the episode are the feeble props for the mind-control devices (which are a huge balls, and it's unclear why two of them are needed), the blatant use of a stunt double when Picard is blasted through the air by an explosion, and a weak performance by the actor playing the Ferengi captain, Bok. Oh yes, and Wesley saving the day (sort of) through some rather idiotic business where he spots something that the more experienced officers (one of whom is a super-advanced android) miss.

110: Hide and Q
Q's back! This time around he gives Riker the powers of the Q, in an attempt to corrupt him and lure him into joining the Q, allowing them to understand human psychology better. Initially this seems to work, with Riker starting to become as much of an arsehole as Q himself, before Picard helps him realise the dangers of the situation. The rest of the Q Continuum, suddenly realising that 'our' Q, is a bit of a prat, whisks him off to be punished, allowing the Enterprise crew to get on with business (and based on what Q does to the crew the next time he meets them, severely pissing him off in the process).

Returning villain episode! De Lance is back as Q and having a whale of a time, sparking off the other actors with fun and glee. The highlight of the episode is a masterful exchange in which Q ill-advisely gets into a Shakespear quotation-off with Picard, which ends with Picard curb-stomping Q with the tactical deployment of Hamlet (Q is so furious at being out-Barded that he vanishes in a huff). Elsewhere, the episode is let down by Frakes (who later in the series could have done good work with the concept, but here is out of his depth) and, sadly, Wesley being resurrected after we get to see him being stabbed through the chest. But better than Encounter at Farpoint.

111: Haven
Troi discovers that the time has arrived for her arranged marriage (the reaction of the viewers and crew: "Say what now?") and has to rendezvous with her fiance, whom she's never met, and her overbearing mother, played with zeal by Majel 'Mrs. Gene' Barrett-Roddenberry. It turns out that her fiance wants to meet someone else and some aliens show up who might be plague-bearers, but are actually quite reasonable people and it all ends up okay and Riker gets to chill out so he can marry Troi instead fourteen years later.

A fairly diabolical episode. Barrett is actually a good actress and Lwaxana Troi does get some interesting shades of grey added to her character in later episodes (and on DS9, where her relationship with Odo is unexpectedly effective), but the character here is written far too harsh and bullying to be sympathetic. The situation with the plague ship never becomes interesting - the Enterprise crew forget about it for several scenes of light comic relief in a row - and the resolution is ludicrously neat. The episode is saved by a couple of nice comedy beats from Stewart (Picard chivalrously volunteering to carry Lwaxana's insanely heavy bag to her quarters backfires disastrously) but is otherwise feeble.

112: The Big Goodbye
Enter Dixon Hill, private investigator. Picard, Data, Dr. Crusher and a redshirt enter the holodeck to take part in a fantasty re-enactment of a 1940s crime novel. The Enterprise is struck by an alien probe beam thing which of course results in the holodeck going haywire (and the safety protocols being switched off, as is always the case). Picard has to solve the case for real or risk everyone in the holodeck being killed.

An interesting episode, making maximum use of the budget to depict a busy, populated San Franciso street in the 1940s (these scenes seem impressive before you realise that there is a permanently-standing street on the Paramount lot that Paramount productions can use for free, and will be reused again several times on both TNG and DS9). The film noir elements are not fully-developed, however, and, not for the first time, the premise bumps into the 44-minute time restriction before fully exploring its potential. The end of the episode feels particularly weak. And of course, the 'malfunctioning holodeck' trope rapidly becomes one of the most boring and predictable in all of Star Trek. As usual Stewart and Spiner have a whale of a time, lifting the episode above the mundane.

Edited by Werthead, 30 July 2012 - 06:30 PM.


#10 Maltaran

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:28 PM

And of course, the 'malfunctioning holodeck' trope rapidly becomes one of the most boring and predictable in all of Star Trek.


There's a quite amusing nod to this in DS9 - Worf is reminiscing about how great things were on the Enterprise, and says something like "We could accomplish anything!", to which O'Brien responds "Except keep the holodecks working right".

#11 Werthead

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:31 PM

There's a quite amusing nod to this in DS9 - Worf is reminiscing about how great things were on the Enterprise, and says something like "We could accomplish anything!", to which O'Brien responds "Except keep the holodecks working right".


There was a standing rule on DS9, written in big pen on the writers' room whiteboard, that said, "NO MALFUNCTIONING HOLODECK EPISODES". When someone came in with the James Bond episode with Bashir, in which the holodeck is fine but the transporter malfunctions and dumps the patterns into the holosuite matrix instead, Ira Steven Behr apparently hugged them for coming up with a clever way of getting around it.

#12 drawkcabi

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 01:17 PM

105: The Last Outpost
The Enterprise pursues a Ferengi ship to a remote system, trying to recover a stolen energy converter. When both ships are caught in an energy field from the planet and shut down, the two crews have to work together to survive.

Originally Roddenberry didn't want to reuse too many of the original series aliens and created the Ferengi as a new foe (and also his satirical take on the more ultra-capitalist aspects of American society). This doesn't really work, as the small, monkey-like Ferengi are too comical to be a serious threat (despite some good prosthetics work). Some aspects of the episode are effective, but there's a lot of weirdness. Bridge crew chatter to one another whilst Picard is engaged in tense negotiations, and Data starts a craze for Chinese finger puzzles which the crew follows even mid-crisis. Totally inexplicably, at one point Data uses a badass 3D holographic projector to carry out a briefing on an ancient alien race. The projector never appears again. Even more randomly, the episode is a very close reworking of the Blake's 7 episode Duel (and both are heavily inspired by the original series episode Arena).

Overall, a very random episode. Worth watching just for its strangeness and the character of Portal who appears near the end, whose WTFness factor is extremely high.


Also notable about this episode is Armin Shimmerman (sp?) plays the lead Ferengi in the first episode we see Ferengi and then he of course goes on to further develop the species by playing Quark on DS9.

Edited by drawkcabi, 30 July 2012 - 01:20 PM.


#13 Derfel Cadarn

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 01:18 PM

Ironic that the jury-rigged (with eating utensils) DS9 holodecks were more reliable than the Federation flagship's.

I was about 11 when the UK first broadcast TNG in 1990, going from the pilot to Best of Borth Worlds without a break (I think). I remember being very sceptical of it, as I was a big fan of the original series. So I was biased against it from the start, and the first season did nothing to change my opinion. I kept watching it though, and it was Best of Both Worlds that turned me around on it (I'd missed the season 2 Borg intro and Yesterday's Enterprise). The BBC lost the right to it, in favour of Sky, who eventually got it, and started it again from the beginning. Luckily the BBC showed Best of Both Worlds part 2 despite it being the season 4 opener.

Troi seemed to be wooden one minute, then over-acting her empath abilities. So much so I thought she was another android at first. The Enterprise did go through some amount of Chief Engineers. I cant remember the episode, but someone (Picard?) makes reference to their being numerous chief engineers.

I wonder if Geordi got the job because he sucked so badly at the helm. In the Conspiracy episode with the parasites taking over Starfleet Command, Riker tells him to increase warp speed and he replies "Aye sir, full impulse."

Also, how did Data go nuts with the water virus? Even if he has organic components, it wouldnt affect his programming.

#14 Independent George

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 01:33 PM

There was a standing rule on DS9, written in big pen on the writers' room whiteboard, that said, "NO MALFUNCTIONING HOLODECK EPISODES". When someone came in with the James Bond episode with Bashir, in which the holodeck is fine but the transporter malfunctions and dumps the patterns into the holosuite matrix instead, Ira Steven Behr apparently hugged them for coming up with a clever way of getting around it.

Ironic that the jury-rigged (with eating utensils) DS9 holodecks were more reliable than the Federation flagship's.


Say what you will about the Ferengi, apparently they at least know how to keep a Holodeck working properly. My meta-theory is that since crewmen could only enter the holodecks while off-duty, Starfleet had all kinds of liability waivers in place that shielded them from liability. The Ferengi, meanwhile, have all the incentive in the world to keep them operating properly, as failure more or less means a facing down a fleet of angry Klingons. The free market works!!!

Just about everything that was wrong with Voyager can be summed up by the early realization that, despite being stranded on the other end of the galaxy with no hope for re-supply, they were still going to keep the holodecks running 24/7.

Edited by Independent George, 30 July 2012 - 01:53 PM.


#15 Harry the Heir

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:48 PM

John de Lancie's performance as Q strikes me as much more impressive now that I've seen him in a very different performance as a conflicted father on Breaking Bad. The man has more range than I realized.

Say what you will about the Ferengi, apparently they at least know how to keep a Holodeck working properly. My meta-theory is that since crewmen could only enter the holodecks while off-duty, Starfleet had all kinds of liability waivers in place that shielded them from liability.


I wonder what "liability" means in a society where everything is provided for you anyway. Maybe this is why the holodecks never work--no lawyers to sue for millions of dollars when a redshirt dies because of shoddy holo-workmanship. The Ferengi, meanwhile--surely a very litigious society--keep their holosuites in working order because they don't want to face seven-digit damages awards.

There was a standing rule on DS9, written in big pen on the writers' room whiteboard, that said, "NO MALFUNCTIONING HOLODECK EPISODES". When someone came in with the James Bond episode with Bashir, in which the holodeck is fine but the transporter malfunctions and dumps the patterns into the holosuite matrix instead, Ira Steven Behr apparently hugged them for coming up with a clever way of getting around it.


What a hilariously legalistic way of thinking. Very Trek-ian, if you think about it.

Edited by Harry the Heir, 30 July 2012 - 02:55 PM.


#16 Bronn Stone

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:54 PM

John de Lancie's performance as Q strikes me as much more impressive now that I've seen him in a very different performance as a conflicted father on Breaking Bad. The man has more range than I realized.



I wonder what "liability" means in a society where everything is provided for you anyway. Maybe this is why the holodecks never work--no lawyers to sue for millions of dollars when a redshirt dies because of shoddy holo-workmanship. The Ferengi, meanwhile--surely a very litigious society--keep their holosuites in working order because they don't want to face seven-digit damages awards.


It is hard to imagine a Ferengi justice system wherein torts are not decided in favor of whichever side has the deepest pockets.

#17 Harry the Heir

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:56 PM

It is hard to imagine a Ferengi justice system wherein torts are not decided in favor of whichever side has the deepest pockets.


Sure, but bribes are expensive, perhaps more expensive than regular maintenance.

#18 drawkcabi

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 03:03 PM

John de Lancie's performance as Q strikes me as much more impressive now that I've seen him in a very different performance as a conflicted father on Breaking Bad. The man has more range than I realized.


When TNG first aired I recognized DeLancie because he was on soap opera my grandmother watched. He was a hippie side kick to one of the main characters, I remember being surprised he could pull off being a villian so well. Then when he did that role in Breaking Bad I was not overly surprised he could do it but happy he got the chance and none-the-less still impressed by his performance.

I remember being at a Trek con and while most of the con goers were all in the convention area I snuck out to the hotel lobby for a little peace to read a book I just bought. At one point I look up and a few feet away is DeLancie and James Dohann (Scotty) meeting up for a brief social exchange before they appeared in the main convention area.

I stayed quiet and tried to be invisible not wanting to bother anybody as I just watched these two interact in "normal life". One of my fondest convention memories.

#19 Jaxom 1974

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 03:30 PM

When you lay out the first season like this, Wert, it's remarkable how much it seems to just template a lot of what the Original Series was about.

That being said, even bad Trek is still better than a lot of stuff out there...for what that's worth... /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' />

#20 drawkcabi

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 03:31 PM

It is hard to imagine a Ferengi justice system wherein torts are not decided in favor of whichever side has the deepest pockets.


The Rules of Aquisition - only justice system of relevance to Ferengi
http://www.sjtrek.com/trek/rules/



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