Sunday, 29 March 2015

My Random Journey Through Trek #29

Star Trek
Errand of Mercy

The political situation between the Klingon Empire and the Federation is breaking down and hostilities are imminent and the Enterprise has been assigned to make contact with the people of the planet Organia and secure it's strategic advantage for Starfleet. Soon after they arrive a Klingon fleet is detected and Kirk leaves Sulu in command with orders to retreat and rendezvous with the fleet and return when the numbers are more evenly matched. Spock and Kirk meet with the Organian council who seem unconcerned about the threat of the Klingons but once they "invade" the council open their world to the Klingons but go along with the ruse to hide the identity of the two Starfleet officers. Of course Kirk and Spock are not going to idly stand by and let the Klingons get away with anything they want so they destroy a munitions dump and even though the interrogation of Spock reveals nothing the surveillance installed by Klingon security eavesdrops on the council and they and the Captain have their fundamental difference of opinion on how to handle the Klingons.
Kor the Klingon commander arrests these two "rebel Organians" and is then surprised when their true identities are revealed and he himself shows respect for his Starfleet opponents and disgust at the Organians for revealing them. It then comes as a surprise when Ayelborne the council leader releases Kirk and Spock which results in the execution of 200 of the native population and that provokes the boys to launch an attack on the Klingon base of operations and capture Kor.

Faced with the slaughter of many on the planet and the fleets of the two factions about to engage the truth of the Organians is revealed, they are not what they seem and change from their physical form to beings of energy who take control of all military assets and proclaim to both the Klingons and the Federation that they will not be allowed to fight. Kirk and Kor both express their right to determine the path their people will take but it seems the Organians have taken the ball with them and for now there will be no galaxy wide conflict.

I'll openly admit that Errand of Mercy is one of my favourite episodes of Star Trek pretty much from when I first watched it on the BBC (exactly when that was I don't recall) right through to having watching every episode of the franchise most more than once. I like the idea that a galactic wide conflict is a sum of it's parts and events around one planet has the potential to alter the path of events. It was also gratifying and it won't be the only time we see that there are worthy opponents for Kirk amongst the rival powers and while they may operate with different moral and ethical codes they have merit. Kor for example respects the capabilities of Kirk and Starfleet and would love to face the Enterprise in open battle but of course he is also capable of slaughtering hundreds of non-combatants (as is the Klingon way). John Colicos is fantastic as Kor and while we don't see him again in the original series he dons the ridges for three appearances as Kor on Deep Space Nine.
We have the right....
Errand of Mercy is just a good episode of the original series, yes we have to overlook a few things to make everything work but nothing new there although the bouncy cell floor was a laugh and the strange looking crates the Klingons used to hold weapons. I wasn't quite sure what to make of the Enterprise and her sensor suit, the initial Klingon vessel get to within weapons range before the automatic defences systems engaged, however Kirk, Spock and Kor all deliver and we even get some decent screentime for Sulu in command of the Enterprise. The episode also gets raised above it's compatriots as the Organian Peace Treaty is referenced further both in the television series and in the novels and for me having extra content always adds to a televised episode.
Rating 10



Saturday, 28 March 2015

Starship Enterprise NCC1701-A

I've had this Diamond Select beauty on pre-order for quite a while and it finally arrived from Forbidden Planet yesterday, bask in the glory that is the Starship Enterprise NCC 1701-A.


Saturday, 21 March 2015

My Random Journey Through Trek #28

Enterprise
Vanishing Point

Trip and Hoshi are investigating some ruins on an alien world that is devoid of all life, as a diamagnetic storm approaches the risk to the two crew members and the shuttle provokes Archer to make use of the transporter. Trip is beamed up first and then Hoshi and all seems well but Hoshi doesn't quite feel right with herself and soon begins to feel as if she is being ignored and then suddenly two other crewmen are taken by the planets inhabitants and she is unable to communicate them or even enable the universal translator, she is relieved from duty. She learns later that she has been replaced on the bridge and then her very body begins to fade in front of her eyes and then it's as if she isn't there at all. Phlox believes she has pretty much dissolved but being invisible and incorporeal she learns that aliens have boarded the ship and intended to detonate an explosive and during the struggle she steps onto a transporter pad and is energised...

Well what can you say about an episode of Enterprise that is Hoshi centric, too little too late perhaps since the character certainly had a lot of potential when introduced in the premiere episode and it has to be said that the age old transporter issue has been done to death on the franchise. I'll admit the twists and turns of the episode were not that bad and I think I liked the idea that like in dreams so much happened in the space of a heartbeat and no question that if such technology ever comes into existence the medical community will probably have to write a whole new book on the physical and psychological issues that come along with it.
I didn't quite understand why Enterprise was spending time examining long abandoned ruins, scans from orbit would have located anything of significant interest and only two people, nah sorry it served the plot but didn't make sense. The scene with her father was weird to say the least, of course once we learn this is all in her mind then perhaps yes her issues with a father who may not truly understand or appreciate her and maybe a mother than isn't around a lot could explain the rather head banging against the wall conversation Archer was having.

Overall an average episode from the second season of Enterprise, good to see Hoshi front and center but it wasn't really strong enough to really give Linda something to get her teeth into.
Rating 5



Sunday, 15 March 2015

My Random Journey Through Trek #27

Star Trek
Metamorphosis

Ambassador Nancy Hedford (Elinor Donahue) is being transported to the Enterprise for some critical emergency medical treatment but the shuttle is intercepted by some sort of energy field and dragged off course and is left on a small life bearing planetoid. On this world they find a lone human who greets the crew with joy and offers the crew and the Ambassador his hospitality, he claims he crashed on this world many years ago and built his home with the wreckage of his ship and was able to cultivate some food. He is eventually identified as Zefram Cochrane (Glenn Corbett) the inventor of the human warp engine who was reported to have been lost in space over a century ago. During this time the energy "being" makes an appearance and it seems it and Zefram are in a symbiotic relationship but to the crew it seems more of a loving and caring partnership. The Universal translator is retooled and used to communicate with the energy being and it is interrupted to be female and it turns out it was alone and found Zefram in space, sustained his life and together lived in peace and tranquility but Zefram is horrified at the alien being having so much interaction with him.
As Nancy continues to succumb to her disease Kirk tries to explain how he sees the relationship between Zefram and the "Companion" to both parties and how sacrifice is one of the most fundamental aspects of being in love with someone. The Companion infuses Nancy with it's life force to save her life and in that moment Zefram understands that he has nothing to fear and eventually "her" sacrifice and her inability to leave the planetoid opens his eyes to the possibility of living out his life with someone he can love and will love him in return.


Metamorphosis kicks off with a nice looking new CGI shuttle effect before cutting to the interior where we get strangely enough the Ambassador serving the coffee, you would never have got a male ambassador handing out coffee that's for sure. It was also interesting to note how often the term "The Starfleet" was used as opposed to simply Starfleet, interchangeable I guess but the use of "The" feels more at home on Star Wars. I had to laugh when Cochrane should surprise that the crew were speaking English and he was corrected, Federation Standard came along a little later I guess. We has some great emoting from Bones and it's always cool to see Scotty in charge, in fact the minimalist bridge scenes worked very well and Uhura actually got some solid screen time.
The Universal Translator got some fleshing out and while the basis of a universal constant isn't exactly backup throughout Star Trek and the franchise overall I was quite prepared to let is pass. I really like the almost rabid response by Cochrane when he learnt he was the "plaything" of an alien entity, he suited the mood of the US at that time and his embrace once ignorance was put aside was an important message. Alas Nancy going on about how he could turn his back on being loved and the Companion needing the man took some of the shine off the message but overall it was played very well and rates rather highly in my opinion.
Nancy & Companion
Rating 8





Saturday, 14 March 2015

Con Man



Not a single moment of hesitation when it came to backing this project :)