ICYMI: it’s your Saturday content recap! Because I thought I was impressed with Grace Jones before.
Column: I talked about love and girls and boys and fighting and fucking and Eva Green and 300!
Blogging the Next Generation: I blamed "I Borg" for everything from Seven of Nine to Star Trek Into Darkness (and I felt pretty good about it)!
Watched: Catching up with Veronica Mars, White Squall and Saoirse Ronan’s The Host!
All this and more can be found at tederick.com.
(Gif is from Boomerang.)
“We are Hugh.”
I fucking hate the Hugh the Borg episode. I always have. Everyone else loves it; I absolutely loathe it. As you’ve probably realized by now, a) I was a huge fan of the Borg as they were originally conceived in “Q Who,” and b) I couldn’t stand watching them get thoroughly de-fanged by Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: First Contact, and Star Trek: Voyager.
Fuck, they were such a good idea at the beginning. But the writers chickened out completely on just letting the Borg be the Borg, preferring instead to simultaneously bring them down to our level (an understandable side-effect of needing, pragmatically, to find a way to defeat them every time they showed up) while upping their “cool” factor as one of Star Trek’s signature villain races. They accomplished the latter by massively expanding (and thereby de-mystifying) the Borg’s entire tech-noir backstory. Nanoprobes, assimilation tubules, the Borg Queen, Unimatrix One… all of this explain-the-Borg claptrap was the Midichlorians before there were Midichlorians. Don’t even get me started on Seven of Nine.Read more
“Who she is changes when the next man comes into the room. And I find myself hoping the next man won’t come in.”
Space whore! The Next Generation! The oldest profession comes to Star Trek c/o a deeply skeevy premise wherein an alien empath naturally, willingly turns herself into the perfect woman for whatever male she happens to be in front of. And she happens to be in front of Captain Picard.Read more
“For humans, the sexual act brings a closeness, an intimacy. It can be a very pleasurable experience. Inseminating a husk…”
“The Outcast” is Star Trek: The Next Generation’s LGBTQ episode, and it has aged well by aging badly, if you will. People hate this episode. It is very dated in its conception of the gay struggle; but then, it also earmarks such a specific time and place in the evolution of that struggle that it remains a memorable piece of television. It achieves very little, and makes a few serious mistakes. But Jeri Taylor writes, all in a row, four exceptionally great dialogue scenes between Soren and Riker, and they carry the balance of the episode for me. The rest is historical window-dressing.Read more
“It was I who committed Captain Kirk to that peace mission, and I who had to bear the responsibility for the consequences to him and to his crew.”
Anyway, yeah, I love Star Trek VI. It was kind of the holy grail of my Star Trek love at the time, the culmination of the original crew’s adventures and the first major crossover event between Star Trek and The Next Generation. The bonds that tie “Unification” to The Undiscovered Country were, of course, wildly exaggerated in the marketing (there is no element of the plot of the movie that is more than tangentially relevant here) but it was an exciting warm-up act to the feature film in December, nonetheless.Read more
“Indeed, you have found him, Captain Picard!”
Ah, this whole thing. Yes, it was a really big deal that someone as central to the original Star Trek franchise as Leonard Nimoy / Spock was finally going to bridge the gap from TOS to TNG; and yes, as an (ultimately, entirely trivial) teaser for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which was due to be released to celebrate the Star Trek’s 25th anniversary just a month later, “Unification” was kinda candylicious. But as an actual episode of this series, “Unification” is bland and overcooked, not earning its two-part running time and scarcely having enough fun with bringing Spock and Picard together (and underground on Romulus, to boot!). In terms of the bridge between Star Trek and The Next Generation, it worked a lot better in the other direction: Worf and the other Next Gen references in Star Trek VI were way more fun.Read more
“Impudence is pretending to be Fek’lhr of Klingon!”
Is this the last episode from the treasure trove of (usually terrible) unproduced Star Trek Phase II scripts used on Star Trek: The Next Generation? I think so. I have a weird relationship with “Devil’s Due,” in that I’ve never particularly thought it was very good, but it’s so peculiar and memorable that it ends up in my head a lot when I think back on Next Gen in general and the fourth season in particular. Appropriately, it’s a highly “Old Star Trek” idea, with a premise that straddles science fiction and historical mythology (and courtroom drama). And one can’t help but wonder if Ardra – the Ventaxian devil figure who returns to trouble a superstitious people, and the Enterprise – and the poser “God” that Captain Kirk and company discovered at the centre of the galaxy back in Star Trek V ever get together to play cards.Read more
The wealth of information and the care that was taken to create every edition of Cinefex is simply amazing. Unfortunately, many of these magazines are either out-of-print or so rare as to be almost impossible to locate. There are now several digital options which put all the Cinefex magazines directly onto your iPad. You can view some free editions and purchase the others at Cinefex but even there…some editions are out of print or unavailable. That brings me to Mark Christiansen and his Kickstarter to offer the entire Classic Cinefex collection from episode 1 to 126 in a searchable, hi-rez digital edition for the iPad. To purchase the physical 126 magazines on eBay… the prices are around $2500…if you can find them at all!
To give you a taste of Cinefex magazine… Here’s a PDF of the out-of-print NUMBER 1 edition of Cinefex from March 1980. It includes comprehensive coverage of of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Alien, both which came out in 1979. It’s mind-blowing! (NOTE: for educational purposes only). Also…if Blade Runner is of interest to you (!!!) here is the out-of-print NUMBER 9 edition from July of 1982. Thanks to Cinephilia and Beyond for the link. I visit that site every day…and if you love Cinema…you should too. The entire Cinefex catalog is an indispensable resource that every filmmaker can use to learn from and revisit the memorable special effects movies of the past, present and give you ideas for the future. —Vashi Nedomansky, vashivisuals.com
“Well, it’s time for the long pants.”
Star Trek: The Next Generation concludes the third season with what is essentially a graduate thesis on how completely the storytelling formidability of the series had evolved over the course of the year. Spinning off the introduction of the Borg in the exemplary “Q Who” last season, Michael Piller delivers a season finale in “The Best Of Both Worlds” that has gone on to become, perhaps, the most memorable event in the series’ history. There is only one downside to this: having created a mega-event by torturing Trekkies worldwide with a summer’s worth of anticipation about how the cliffhanger of “The Best Of Both Worlds” would be resolved, Next Gen – indeed, all of the modern Star Trek series – would never again conclude a season without a cliffhanger. This, at least in part, misunderstands the power of this episode: “The Best Of Both Worlds” worked, and still does, because its jaw-dropping final movement came out of nowhere.Read more