Top 10 Best Star Trek TNG #9: Ship in a Bottle

shipinabottleThis is an episode that I think isn’t talked about much, and I have to ask why. It’s well-crafted, and it has a great premise.

Before I start talking about this episode, I have to talk about a couple episodes that precede it. First is “Elementary, Dear Data”. In that episode, Data and Geordi are playing Sherlock Holmes on the Holodeck with Dr. Pulaski, who replaced Dr. Crusher for the second season. Geordi got sick of Dr. Pulaski constantly ribbing Data about his only following the script of what normally happens in a Sherlock Holmes mystery and not doing actual detective work. (Dr. Pulaski, just because Data doesn’t have emotions doesn’t mean he has to put up with your attitude. I can totally understand why Geordi was annoyed with you. Man I hated Dr. Pulaski) So to prove a point, he asked the computer to create an opponent based on Professor Moriarty for Data to defeat. The result is a completely self-aware version of the brilliant criminal. He’s like the Holodeck on God Mode. The only reason he stops is that Picard convinces him that it would be in his best interest, that someday they may learn a way for him to leave the Holodeck. This would lead some elements that would be explored with Star Trek Voyager’s Emergency Medical Hologram.

Continue reading “Top 10 Best Star Trek TNG #9: Ship in a Bottle”

Advertisements

Couch Potato: Duck Tales Reboot Recap

ducktalesLast year, I blogged about the pilot episode of the Duck Tales reboot. Now that season 1 is over, I thought I’d talk about my thoughts so far.

First of all, I really like what they’ve done with the nephews and Webby. Huey, Dewey, and Louie each have their own individual actors. This is important because the writers want us to think of them as individual characters rather than a trio. (In fact, no one is doing voices for more than one character this time around.) Huey is the leader and the planner, the smartest of the three. Dewey is the bravest and most heroic. Louie is a bit on the selfish side and greedy. This is not the first time this has been done (it was also done on Quack Pack, but I feel that wasn’t as successful.), but I think it really works here. Webby has also been changed. I want people to understand something. I never hated Webby like some fans apparently did. (I didn’t even know she was hated) I just thought she was bland. She moved the story along. Maybe bland was a better word for how I felt about her. But now, she’s been changed to an energetic girl who seems to enjoy danger a bit too much. I like this new change, and it makes her much more engaging than the original.

David Tennant is doing great work as Uncle Scrooge. He doesn’t seem all that different from the original portrayal, and that’s good. If it worked before, don’t change it.

Donald Duck is much more a part of the show than he was in the original. I love this idea! I hated that he spent so much time with the Navy in the original Duck Tales. I like him being this overprotective substitute father, as it’s a more favorable portrayal than he usually has with the nephews. They seem to have more respect for him this time, which I like.

Continue reading “Couch Potato: Duck Tales Reboot Recap”

Couch Potato: The Return of Duck Tales

duck tales

This August, an old favorite cartoon of mine is getting a new lease on life. Duck Tales is returning to TV on August 12, and will start on September 23. I thought this would be a good time to introduce the cast. The show was based on comic books created by Carl Barks, who originally created Donald Duck’s nephews while working at Disney’s animation studio. However, he eventually branched out into what he is most famous for–creating comics featuring Donald Duck and his family. All the characters live in the town of Duckburg.

Continue reading “Couch Potato: The Return of Duck Tales”

Worst Star Trek Episodes: Spock’s Brain

spocksbrain

And here it is folks, my #1 pick for the worst Star Trek episode of all time: “Spock’s Brain”. This is a legendary episode, and in every bad way possible. There’s a story around that Gene Coon, who produced Star Trek along with Roddenberry, and wrote many of the episodes, wrote the script of “Spock’s Brain” as a joke because he didn’t like the idea of Fred Frieberger replacing Roddenberry as producer. Prior to working on Star Trek, he was on Lost In Space. Personally, I have to disagree with this. Yes, Lost in Space was less serious than Trek, but I still consider it part of the sci-fi genre.

Continue reading “Worst Star Trek Episodes: Spock’s Brain”

Worst Star Trek Episodes: Plato’s Stepchildren

plato1

Gene Roddenberry wanted Star Trek to be an inspiration to the future. In fact, it’s one of the few optimistic visions in science fiction. It is a future in which all colors and creeds of the human race come together to explore the final frontier.

“Plato’s Stepchildren” is probably Star Trek’s most controversial episode. It features TV’s first interracial kiss. So, why do I place it here? Because I cannot let controversy make me give it a pass. I have nothing against the scene personally. But how we got to it is a path I did not like.

The story begins with Kirk, McCoy, and Spock beaming down to a planet, investigating a distress call. They are greeted by a friendly dwarf named Alexander. They meet the planet’s inhabitants, (called Platonians) who have created a society based on the ideals of the Greek philosopher Plato. These Platonians are ageless, and with the exception of Alexander, all are telekinetic.

The Platonians have actually lured the crew because their leader, Parmen, is ill. Parmen isn’t alone, but Kirk objects. The Platonians demonstrate their abilities on Kirk and McCoy, making them dance like jesters and imitate horses, with Alexander riding Kirk. This was the moment that made me hate the episode.

Continue reading “Worst Star Trek Episodes: Plato’s Stepchildren”

Dishonorable/Honorable Mention Star Trek Episodes

Before I unveil my top 3 worst and best Star Trek episodes, I thought I’d unveil what didn’t make the cut for worst and best. So, this post will be my “dishonorable” and honorable mentions for the countdowns. We’ll start with the ones that weren’t bad enough to be in the worst countdown.

mantrap

  • “The Man Trap”–when NBC started its run of Star Trek, they had three choices for the premiere episode: “Charlie X”, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, (the true pilot, after “The Cage”, which was reworked into the two-part episode “The Menagerie”)and “The Man Trap”. The first two episodes would have been good choices, but instead “The Man Trap” was chosen. This had a bad monster with bad make-up on top of it.

catspaw

  • “Catspaw”–This was meant to be a Halloween episode, with all the trappings: a creepy castle, sorcerers, and monsters. In short–nothing that should be in a Star Trek episode! To be honest, this is really “so bad it’s good”.

dayofthedove

  • “Day of the Dove”–An entity powered by hate traps the Enterprise and Klingons. To eliminate the entity, Kirk proposes a wary alliance. And no, this has nothing to do with how the Klingons are actually allies in the Next Generation version.

The next three are my “honorable mention” for the best episodes.

piece

*”Piece of the Action”–The Enterprise finds a planet with a society that finds a book on Prohibition-era Chicago. This episode is silly, but in a good way.

sideofparadise

*”This Side of Paradise”–The Enterprise finds a planet on the brink of destruction, however none of the inhabitants wish to leave because they’re enthralled by plants that spray spores that make you content to remain on the planet. It’s another great story from DC Fontana, and one of her best character studies for Spock.

errand

*”Errand of Mercy”–This was actually a contender for my favorite Klingon episode, but I liked the uncertainty in “A Private Little War” better. The Klingons made their first appearance in this episode, and it’s a great introduction.

 

Best Star Trek Episodes: Journey to Babel

babel

As I said in my review of “The Way to Eden”, DC Fontana was one of Star Trek‘s best writers.  So many great stories came from her, including this one.  It’s also one of two episodes starring Mark Leonard.

This episode was a glimpse into Spock’s character and introduces his parents, Sarek (played by Mark Leonard) and Amanda. Sarek would later go on to appear in Star Trek: The Next Generation, in fact he was one of three characters from TOS to do so. (the others being McCoy and Scotty)

We also get some great world-building in this story, particularly in the introduction of the Andorians. While the Andorians did not appear in any more episodes of TOS, they did appear in the prequel series Enterprise. There is tension between the Andorian ambassador Thelev and the Tellarite ambassador Gav, leading him to assassinate Gav.

Sarek seems cold towards Spock, as if he rejects his joining Starfleet. Amanda, however is more compassionate towards her son. This dynamic is a great glimpse into Spock’s character, especially when Sarek goes into cardiac arrest and Spock is asked to donate his blood. He refuses because Kirk was attacked when he confronted Thelev.

Continue reading “Best Star Trek Episodes: Journey to Babel”