Bigger, Badder, Balder: Revisiting Star Trek: The Next Generation - Music Banter Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The MB Reader > Members Journal
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-18-2023, 07:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,970
Default

Well technically she was just a one-night stand with Data, quick bang, wham bam thank you android, and gone. Dont' you remember: "Data, I'm only going to say this once: It never happened!"

Not much chance for hearts and flowers there.

Data did have a realtionship with a girl in a later episode (can't recall the name, was it "Data's Day"? Not sure but I don't think so) and when it turned out he was clearly using her as a sort of test programme, studying her and trying to adapt to her needs, she ended it. His mic drop was the best.
Data: "Is our relationship over then?"
Girl (can't remember her name): "Yes, Data. it is."
Data: "Then I shall delete the appropriate files."

BOOM!
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2023, 08:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
Zum Henker Defätist!!
 
The Batlord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Beating GNR at DDR and keying Axl's new car
Posts: 48,216
Default

Lulz I haven't seen the show in years so I'm operating on vibes. I do remember that other woman being a one episode thing but I guess the Tasha thing loomed larger in my mind cause she was a regular member of the crew.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien
There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
The Batlord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2023, 08:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
Zum Henker Defätist!!
 
The Batlord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Beating GNR at DDR and keying Axl's new car
Posts: 48,216
Default

Wait why did Data's creator give him functioning junk?
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien
There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
The Batlord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2023, 08:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,970
Default

Episode title: “Code of Honor”
Season: 1
Importance: 0
Crisis point(s) if any: Yar being captured I guess, though why they didn’t just leave her there… oh yeah, there’s that nasty plague they need the vaccine for, isn’t there?
Original transmission date: October 12 1987
Writer(s): Katharyn Powers, Michael Baron
Director: Russ Mayberry, Les Landau (why two directors? Oh I see; because the first was fired by Roddenberry for the racist casting, and quite right too)
Stardate:* 41235.25
Destination: Ligon II
Mission (if any): To negotiate for a serum needed to treat a virus on another planet
Main character(s) in Plot: Picard, Riker, Troi, Beverly, Yar
Main character(s) in Subplot (if any):
Not Appearing: Worf, O’Brien
Villain/Monster (if any): Lagon and the Laigonians (sounds like a name for a band, huh?)
Deaths: 2 (technically - the guy in the audience at the fight who has the misfortune to catch the weapon in the stomach, and Jarina, though she is brought back from the dead. Meh, let’s count her.)

Locations:

Shipboard:
Bridge
Cargo bay
Sickbay

Space:

Other:
Laigonia

Ships/vessels: 0
Space battles: 0
Bodycount

Historical
0
Incidental
1
Direct
1
Total: 2

Running total: 83

Make it so: 0
Engage! 1
Combat factor: 0
Planets visited: Ligon II
Mysteries: None
Patients in sickbay: 0
Data v humanity: His humour falls flat and he pisses Picard off about the French language, so a big fail for Data here.

Data 1 - Humanity 1

Character scores (episode):

Picard 15
Riker 10
Troi 15
Bev 30
Geordi 10
Data 10
Worf 0
Wesley 0
O’Brien 0
Yar 235

Earl Grey: 0
Shuttlecraft: 0
Admirals: 0
Starbases: 0
First contact: 1
Humour: 1

Rating: 1/10

And having stumbled badly with the last episode, the writers now pitch all the way down the stairs and crash to the bottom, with the most openly racist episode of Star Trek until we get to “Up the Long Ladder”. African Americans must have hated it. Given that their race, as it were, had first been properly represented (though not really) in the original series, this was a hell of a kick in the teeth to all black Trek fans, and Will Wheaton remarked later that, had the show not had the power of the fans and the legacy of the original series behind it, this would almost certainly have caused it to be cancelled. I have no idea what the hell these people were thinking. I’m assuming both the writers were white. Yeah, doesn’t show pictures of them and I guess it doesn’t matter, but you’d have to wonder how a black cast of actors would agree to perform in such an episode?

Not only is it racist, it’s very sexist, with the Lagonians (read, Africans) openly dismissive of and borderline abusive to the women on the Enterprise, a real male-dominated society, the kind of thing that we were told did not, should not and would not exist by the 24th century. It is somewhat amusing, the way you can feel the women, particularly Troi, holding back their anger at the way the aliens consider them inferior; you can tell she just wants to go up to them and say “Yeah? I come from a fucking planet where women rule, dude! You wouldn’t last ten seconds on Betazed, let me tell you! My mother would put you in your place double-quick!” But they, ah, don’t. The tension is palpable.

Well that’s odd. When Lutan takes Yar prisoner in the cargo bay and beams off with her (PLEASE don’t bring her back!) Picard just turns expressionlessly to the camera and calls a red alert. He doesn’t seem shocked, surprised, aghast, anything; almost as if he was expecting it to happen. And here! What’s that expensive new archaeological artifact he just bought? How can he afford that on a captain’s salary? Hmm. As he possibly tries to cover his collusion with Lutan by threatening to blow his planet up (come on! It’s only Yar! The guy’s done you a favour!) he says “We insist you return our message. Oh, and we’ll have our Chinese horsey statue back too. That cost a bundle.”


"Damn it! Picard has the high score AGAIN!"

It’s sort of easy to see where the racism comes from, not that anyone would have any trouble recognising it. At its heart, this is a story about a perhaps less well-developed civilisation - who all just happen to be black - who have somehow created a vaccine others need but who are only prepared to share it with those who deserve it or those who meet their expectations. Naturally, Starfleet would ensure any needed vaccine was shared with anyone who required it (chortle) but these guys want the Enterprise to play ball. Next, they show how backward they are by not recognising the value the men of the 24th century put on their women, and then, in a real “where the white women at?” move, they kidnap one, leaving Picard, the ultimate white authority and stern father figure, no choice but to (sigh) teach these savages a lesson. It’s all but an attempt to justify colonial aggression on a planetary scale, but worse, it teaches the very clear, and completely incorrect, message that black people can’t be trusted.

I love love love Beverly but by god I will never forgive her for floating the idea of her son joining the crew! Here she tests the idea with the captain, who surely would never have come up with such a notion himself otherwise, and to see Wesley emerge from the turbolift like a mouse coming out of its hole is puke-inducing. I do love however how Data gets on Picard’s wrong side by referring to French as an obscure Earth language! Oops! The faces of the others are priceless, a real “Oh fuck he did not say that, did he?” sort of look. It’s one of the scenes, very cleverly written and well played, where we see that, despite all his pretensions to humanity, Data is still very much at sea when it comes to the little nuances of ego and pride. Let’s just hope he doesn’t start going on about how bald heads were never in fashion!


There was acute embarrassment when it became clear the Lagonians did not understand the rules of Musical Chairs...

I mark the serious similarities - at least, planetside - to classic Trek. The music, the lurid red sky, the setting, the overall atmosphere; all tropes used whenever Kirk’s landing party visited a planet inhabited by another culture. I particularly recognise the one with the Orion slave girl (“Wolf in the Fold”? Not sure) and elements of “Who Mourns for Adonais?” as well as “Errand of Mercy”. In fact, the set could have been taken from an old episode of TOS. For all I know, it was. Look at the picture below; is it hard to imagine Kirk, Spock and McCoy in the place of Picard and Troi, Spock with his hands in his lap looking around and commenting on how “fascinating” this “savage society” is, while Kirk smiles his boyish smile and assures his science officer that this is how “certain cultures” on Earth used to be, and McCoy makes some off-colour joke about hoping they don’t end up in a cooking pot?

It’s a bit sudden how Geordi and Data become friends. I mean, this is episode three. In episode one, the pilot, he hardly knows or talk to him, in episode two he’s totally pissed with the virus thing, so not exactly going to be going over his family album with the android, yet here, without any preamble, Data is calling him his friend, has access to his personal quarters and is helping him to shave? When did all that happen? Sure, as the series goes on, the friendship between the two is the writers’ vain attempt to try to make Geordi more interesting, and becomes an integral part of the show, but surely, unless there’s previous history between the two, we should be shown how they became friendly? Data’s woeful attempts at human humour are not funny here, they never were; just so strained you can hear the groans in the audience.

Is it meant to be funny though when, as Geordi and Data arrive on Ligon II and stand in front of a wall of bladed weapons, Picard uses the words “cutting edge” and Data asks if he has “any particular point” he wants him to concentrate on? A typical Jerry Springer situation here, where two women, who should be turning on the man who has set them against each other, instead fight each other. Jesus had a little cry in the corner! They even end it like “Amok Time”. Poor, very poor. I suppose there’s some small redemption for it at the end, when it turns out that despite appearances being to the contrary, it is in fact the women who wield the real power here. Meh. And oh dear god! They couldn't’ even be bothered to come up with a proper name for Lutan’s wife, just stuck an “eena” onto Yar to make Yareena. Says it all really.
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2023, 08:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,970
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
Wait why did Data's creator give him functioning junk?
It's a good point. Possibility (didn't you hate how they had Data talk originally?) - he might have been expected to mingle with the colonists and have to repopulate the ah I got nothin'. It makes no sense. Suung made him pale so that he wouldn't be mistaken for a human, so why give him a dong? No clue. I think it was just for cheap sexual laughs. After all, he never used it again, and in that episode I was talking about, there's never any suggestion he gets his end away or anything.
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2023, 09:49 AM   #16 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,970
Default

The chart then after three episodes:


Although she won't be here for all that much longer (spoiler alert - not!) Yar consolidates her lead, to surely nobody's surprise, as this episode was all about her. She scored a staggering 235 points, becoming, at this early stage, the first character to even break the 100-point barrier, never mind shatter the 200 one! Talk about destroying the glass hyper-ceiling!

So it will probably be some time before she can be dethroned, though of course after "Skin of Evil" she'll begin to fall, if she hasn't before that, as she will be unable to earn more points and others will just overtake her by virtue of her not being there. Still, it's a very respectable showing for someone who ended up being, in the context of the series as a whole, quite a minor character.

How is everyone else doing? Well, Q of course has slid again, having a similar problem of basically not being there to do anything, but sure he will be back, bigger, badder and, um, Q-er than ever, so that may change. Right now though he falls to number 4, a drop of two places. Still fairly decent for someone who hasn't been seen since the pilot episode. The only other dropper is Data, who also slides two places to number 6 from number 4.

There are small gains for Picard, who climbs one to number 4, With Beverly ahead of him at number 2, also moving one place, the other female member doing well too and getting to number 5, again a rise of one place. Everyone else stays where they are. Let's face it: Yar had this episode all but to herself. We'll see what happens after the next one, but that's how it stands for now.
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2023, 10:38 AM   #17 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,970
Default

Episode title: “The Last Outpost”
Season: 1
Importance: 3 (for the introduction of the Ferengi)
Crisis point(s) if any: Enterprise is without power and everyone on board will die if it’s not restored. That sort of thing can really put a crimp in your day.
Original transmission date: October 19 1987
Writer(s): Richard Krzemien (teleplay by Herbert Wright)
Director: Richard A. Colla
Stardate:* 41386.4
Destination: Delphi Ardu IV (not actually the destination, just where they catch up with the Ferengi ship)
Mission (if any): Recover stolen energy monitor from Ferengi ship
Main character(s) in Plot: Riker
Main character(s) in Subplot (if any):
Not Appearing: O’Brien, Wesley
Villain/Monster (if any): Ferengi and then the Guardian
Deaths: 0
Lives saved (episode): 0
Lives saved (cumulative): 1
Locations:

Shipboard:
Bridge
Observation Lounge

Space:

Other:
Delphi Ardu IV


Ships/vessels: 1 (unnamed Ferengi ship)
Space battles: 0
Bodycount

Historical
0
Incidental
0
Direct
0
Total: 0
Running total: 83
Make it so: 1
Engage! 0
Combat factor: 0
Mysteries: The force field holding the Enterprise and the Ferengi vessel captive
Patients in sickbay: 0
Data v humanity: The Chinese finger puzzle eludes Data. Chortle.
Data 1 - Humanity 2
Character scores:
Picard 10
Riker 190
Troi 10
Bev 10
Geordi 20
Data 20
Worf 20
Wesley 0
O’Brien 0
Yar 10

Earl Grey: 0
Shuttlecraft: 0
Admirals: 0
Starbases: 0
First contact: 2 Ferengi, the Guardian of Forever sorry the T’Kon outpost guy
Humour: 3
Episode rating: 3/10
Episode score: 140

Correct me if I’m wrong - and I may very well be - but doesn’t that Ferengi ship look a lot like the later biological life form Tin Man, in the episode of the same name? Kind of like a shell? Okay, well, from behind anyway. This is the first we actually meet a Ferengi, and while they were still a work in progress - made to seem more cunning and nasty than what we came to know them as - it’s still good to see them, as they will of course form a major part of the entire Star Trek universe, and provide some of the best, or at least funniest episodes in at least two of the series in the franchise. The episode is another bit of a damp squib, but I’ll do what I can to inject a little interest into it.

Why is it that Picard thinks that blue, white and red is a better combination in a flag than red, white and blue? Is it merely because this is how the French flag was arranged? Or was he subtly hinting that there really is no reason for Americans to have red, white and blue on their flag? We know that on the French flag, blue represents the royalty, white peace and red the blood that was spilled to attain that peace, but the USA? Okay that's wrong, how embarrassing. Apparently blue and red were the colours of Paris. Well that's no fun. My idea is better. Well, I can still have fun at the Americans' expense, can't I? Here goes. While yes you have red states and blue states, why? Not sure if that’s the point he’s making but it could be. Data’s childish petulance, when Picard says that’s enough and he says “It was you who started it” is quite funny in its way.

"Hah! Look how small and puny these hyoo-mans are! I could eat them in one bite!"

This is the first time we get to see the ship’s warp core, and the second time that Picard is ready to surrender! Also the first time he calls Riker by his first name, Will. This doesn’t happen too often of course; usually he’s Riker or more usually Number One, sometimes Commander. Of course, from what we later know of the Ferengi, they would certainly not “fight to the last man”. In fact, in a hopeless situation they would be more than willing to bargain their way out of trouble. Interesting that the first Ferengi we ever see is played by the man who will make us love them, the man who will play Quark, Armin Shimerman, though here he is not Quark but Damon Tar. Okay I’m wrong there: always pays to read ahead before you write, Trollheart. Shimerman plays one of the Ferengi all right, but not the first one we see. Boo.


"Mr. Data, would you please tell Number One that when he is ready to apologise for calling me a bald excuse for Kirk I will be in my ready room? "

"Data, tell the captain please that I'll eat a plate of fresh ga'akh before I'll apologise."


Humour in Data’s getting somehow trapped in a Chinese finger puzzle and seeming quite at a loss, until Picard sorts it for him in irritation. You would certainly have to give Picard points for his diplomacy in dealing with the Ferengi; again you can see he’s really holding his temper back. Look at Riker! Has to be the big man. The other two - including Data - go down with one shot from the Ferengi energy whips, he has to be hit a second time. He’s so hard! I do like that the idea Ferengi have that to “force women to wear clothes” is unethical, as it encourages the males to undress them. I mean, yeah, there’s a certain sick sense about this, and it is something that ends up being perpetuated through the Ferengi culture, where women are all naked.

I think we’re possibly supposed to think these are either the first Ferengi to travel outside their star system (on the face of it, unlikely) or that at least these ones have not travelled before (slightly more likely, though stealing from the Feds as your first off-world action is neither very clever nor in any way representative of the Ferengi) but it’s odd how they classify all the Away Team as “hyoo-mahns”, given that there is a Klingon present. Data they could be forgiven for thinking is just a very pale human, but Worf? Surely they know of the Klingons? And of all the races, are not his the closest in superficial outside resemblance to the Ferengi?


"All together, boys, now: just like we rehearsed it - Oh, Fer-en-gen-ar, the mud and the rain..."

It will be some time before Riker gets that stick removed from his ass, and he is standing ramrod straight and defiant as a good officer should, but my god does he look pompous! Give him his due, he’s had the odd smile break through, but overall the sense of being up themselves was strong with these ones for almost a season, wasn’t it? Again you have to say, Kirk would never take that stance. Yeah but the episode just fizzles out doesn’t it? “Oh, fear is the enemy, is it? Okay then, let’s you and I discuss Tsun Tzu.” Sigh.
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2023, 12:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,970
Default

How does the chart look, then, after now four episodes? Hmm. Well, kinda a lot like this, really.

After all his actions in this episode, Riker is making serious gains on Tasha, and strides to the number two spot, up one place. He is in fact the only riser, with Yar remaining, for now, at the top, everyone else either falls or remains where they are, though there is a slight change at the bottom, as we'll see.

Q is the biggest drop, not surprisingly, falling to 7 from his last position of 4, making this a drop of three places, while the other ladies on the crew drop one place each, Troi from 5 to 6 and Beverly from 2 to 3. Wesley drops two places from his previous position of 7, which makes him the first to occupy a number 9 slot, while O'Brien goes one better (or worse) dropping two also to make this, finally, an actual top ten, with him at number 10.

Everyone else remains where they are, for now.
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2023, 11:41 AM   #19 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,970
Default

Episode title: “Where No One Has Gone Before”
Season: 1
Importance: 5 (first introduction of the Traveler, who will feature later in quite a spectacular way)
Crisis point(s) if any: The Enterprise goes beyond the known galaxy? I’d call that a crisis point, wouldn’t you?
Original transmission date: October 26 1987
Writer(s): Diane Duane (based on her TOS novel The Wounded Sky), Michael Reaves
Director: Rob Bowman
Stardate:* 41263.1
Destination: Unknown and unplanned
Mission (if any): Originally just an upgrade of the engines by a so-called Starfleet expert. It of course goes wrong.
Main character(s) in Plot: Wesley
Main character(s) in Subplot (if any): Picard, Riker
Not appearing: O’Brien
Villain/Monster (if any): n/a
Deaths: 0
Lives saved (episode): 1 (The Traveler)
Lives saved (cumulative): 2
Locations:

Shipboard:
Bridge
Engineering


Space:
M33 Galaxy; way way way beyond any charted space

Other:
Earth colony ++


Ships/vessels: 1 (USS Fearless)
Space battles: 0
Bodycount

Historical
0
Incidental
0
Direct
0
Total: 0
Running total: 83
Make it so: 0
Engage! 1
Combat factor: 0
Planets visited: 0
Planets mentioned: 1 (Tau Alpha C)
Mysteries: 1 (What in the name of James T. Kirk are we doing out here and how do we get back?)
Patients in sickbay: 1 (The Traveler)
Meetings: 1
Data v Humanity: n/a
Data 1 - Humanity 2
Character scores:
Picard 10
Riker 10
Troi 10
Bev 10
Geordi 20
Data 10
Worf 10
Wesley 95
Yar 10

Earl Grey: 0
Shuttlecraft: 0
Admirals: 0
Starbases: 0
First contact: 0
Humour: 0
Episode rating: 5/10
Episode score: 240

Interesting that in the previous episode it seemed Geordi was chief engineer (as he will be) but here we have a guy called Argyll, who is clearly Scottish in no doubt an attempt to pander to fans of TOS (let’s be honest here: at this point fans of the classic show are probably in the vast majority of those watching this; it has not yet really had a chance to gain its own following, so you can’t blame them for the constant callbacks to Kirk and Co.) - maybe LaForge is off-duty? Still, considering these adjustments to be made, even if off-duty you would think he would want to be involved. Actually no, I see now he’s at the helm. Maybe he was just in engineering that last time. Anyway, who do I hate more in this episode? Kosinksi or Wesley? Hard to choose, so hard. But I think in the end it comes down to pure arrogance and Kosinksi has that in spades, or quantum shovelling devices, or whatever the hell they use in the 24th century.


"How dare you! I did NOT fart!"

Hey, why does Picard not even raise an eyebrow when Geordi tells him they’re passing Warp 10? Isn’t that supposed to be impossible? Or at least, far beyond the capabilities of his GALAXY CLASS starship? Also, is there some reason the Traveler is dressed like a refugee from a Nazi concentration camp? Funny though how he does exactly the reverse of what Picard wanted. “I asked for fucking reverse, not to slam your foot down on the god-damned accelerator!”

This is, in my opinon, the first episode where TNG showed what it was capable of. Using the grand traditions of TOS it nevertheless managed to throw off the shackles of its parent show and walk unaided into a bright new future. We had great effects, an interesting premise, lots of interaction between the crew, and the old slogan was finally justified. I could have done with less Wesley and more Beverly, but that’s how it is.
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2023, 07:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,970
Default

And so on to the chart. Any major changes? Well, yes..

The biggest one is a stunning climb for Wesley Crusher, who leaps a full six places and, perhaps rather rudely and ungratefully, and in a move which might earn him a clip on the ear, pushes his mother down one place. Wesley is now at number 3, one of only four characters to have broken the 100 point mark at this stage.

But one's rise invariably means the fall of others, and apart from the woman who bore him (as he bores all of us, sorry) Wesley also displaces his captain, who falls one place to number 6, Data, Q, Geordi and Deanna, who all fall one place as well, and even poor old Worf drops a place to number 9. Miles O'Brien, still without a name, miserably props up the table at number 10, how appropriate for an Irishman! Someone wake him up: it's chucking out time!

This, interestingly, gives Yar her fourth week, as it were, at the top: she's been there since "The Naked Now" and has retained that position through "Code of Honor", "The Last Outpost" and now "Where No One Has Gone Before."And she's not even here anymore! In fact, the only one likely to catch her is Riker, and he's a good 70 points behind her. Could be there for a little while...
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



© 2003-2024 Advameg, Inc.