“ALL HANDS, ABANDON SHIP! REPEAT! ALL HANDS, ABAN—“
Here’s the episode of Star Trek that taught a generation about a key trope in time travel fiction: the recursive time loop. (Remember, this was a year before Groundhog Day.) For some reason, this seems like the episode of Next Gen that pretty much everyone, everywhere, has seen. I don’t know why. But if I ask the noobiest Star Trek noob who ever noobed about Star Trek: The Next Generation, he’ll probably pull out the one where the Enterprise blows up four times – possibly, in fact, because the Enterprise blows up four times. Once, even, before the credits!Read more
This BBC timeline of the far future (like, really, really far future) is fascinating.
First, we brought you a prediction of the forthcoming year. Then we brought you a timeline of the near future, revealing what could happen up to around 100 years time. But here’s our most ambitious set of predictions yet – from what could happen in one thousand years time to one hundred quintillion years (that’s 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 years). As the song says, there may be trouble ahead…
Another one from the slush pile, Time After Time falls into the “always wanted to watch it” category, not the “recommended by psychiatric professionals” bin. It’s Nicholas Meyer’s first feature film as a writer and a director, so it was always part of the conversation around his credentials to direct Star Trek II; and besides, I find that whole notion fascinating, and always have: that you could direct one or two loosely-connected other projects and be handed a major franchise picture. (A major franchise picture in dire need of bailing out, in Wrath of Khan's case, but whatever.) As premises go, Time After Time's is so goddamned loopy, I find it legitimately adorable. Jack the Ripper steals H.G. Wells' time machine and travels to 1979, and Wells follows. Remake. Remake. Remake.Read more
“LaForge remained below…!”
I’m writing this on November 25th, two days after the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, so it’s perhaps inevitable that the Doctor Who parallels that passed by completely unnoticed when I saw “A Matter of Perspective” back in ’91 now ring clear as a cloister bell. Not that “Perspective” is much of a gloss on Who beyond its basic premise – a goofy time travelling professor in a goofy time travelling pod, visiting the Enterprise – but hey, if the Eighth Doctor were going to be American back when they rebooted in ’96, Matt Frewer would have had my vote.Read more
I’ve probably expanded upon this previously on the blog, but I play mental Butterfly Effect-style games with my own personal history quite a lot. I like time travel and “what if” scenarios generally, and alternate universes fascinate me. (I’m on the fence about whether Blog Space Nine will follow Blogging the Next Generation, but either way, I’m gonna take a victory lap through DS9's mirror universe anthology, because it's just so much effing fun.) On premise alone, then, The Butterfly Effect is built for me. I never tire of mentally altering a single detail of my cummulative past and seeing where the cause-and-effect ripples take me.Read more
“It is a time to celebrate! For tomorrow, we all may die.”
As of the start of its fifth season, Star Trek: The Next Generation was officially past its heyday. The fifth and sixth seasons still contained some of the series’ best overall episodes, but the intermediate adventures in between those high points began to show signs of staleness; and of course, the seventh season is pretty much a wall-to-wall disaster (except for that series finale). Tellingly enough, then, the Season Five premiere, “Redemption II,” is a real stinker – in spite of how warmly I welcomed it at the time. I was fifteen when it first aired, and still quite besotted with Tasha Yar; and one cannot accuse “Redemption II” of failing to move the Tasha/Sela arc as promised. But looking at the show again now, I’m astonished that anyone took this episode as a credible conclusion to the Season Four cliffhanger… in that it pretty much doesn’t conclude anything.Read more
It wasn’t until a few hours after I watched “The Day of the Doctor” that my mind cycled back over that last scene and realized, in addition to it being that last scene, i.e. the best kept secret in the world wherein the youngest living and oldest surviving Doctors met onscreen to cap off the rather wonderful 50th anniversary of Doctor Who… it was also, right there, my Doctors. Tom Baker and Matt Smith, Four and Eleven, the one who sent me running behind the couch as a boy, and the one who brought me back out. That’s just a bit of luck, of course, but it personalized the experience gigantically. No knock against Five to Ten, or Twelve or Thirteen or the War Doctor, but those two up on screen shot a beam of time straight through me. “I grew up!” Amy Pond objected in “The Eleventh Hour,” to which the Doctor replied, “I’ll soon fix that.” Well, mission accomplished.Read more
"Like, is this really my life? Is it happening right now?”
I have so many more things to say about this that I’ll probably never say any of them. Also, Before Midnight is no longer my favourite movie of 2013 but there’s a compelling argument that says that the Before Trilogy is one of the three or four most significant filmmaking projects of all time.
Anyways, go watch this.