Saturday, 14 November 2015

My Random Journey Through Trek #57

Genesis
TNG

The Enterprise is field testing a new weapons system and day to day events around sickbay are in full swing, Reg is complaining of just about everything but Crusher does spot an anomalous reading on her tricorder. She injects Reg with a compound which will activate a gene which will help fight an infection and so life goes on. A photon torpedo goes astray so Data and Picard go to fetch it in a shuttle, they do not return for three days and the Enterprise is not at the agreed location, they search for the ship and find it a couple of light years away but something is seriously wrong.
During the time that the shuttle has been searching for the torpedo the crew have been struck down by a mysterious malady which has affected each one differently, Worf for example has become aggressive and primal, Riker forgetful and indecisive and Troi is always thirsty and cold and after three days no one is what they once were.

Picard and Data are able to identify the problem thanks to the fact that Spot (now a lizard) has given birth and the kittens seem fine and lucky for them Nurse Ogawa is pregnant and her amniotic fluid will provide the elements required to create a retrovirus for the crew.

Well what can you say about Genesis?
We kick off with Riker seemingly letting the whole sickbay know who he was fooling around with and so much for 24th century uniforms if a quill can penetrate them. Reg is once again his hypochondriac self and being a total pain in the backside, I still don't quite understand how he survived the rigors of Starfleet selection. Crusher to be fair is doing her best despite a room full of people and no semblance to privacy at all which I can assume may have led to her slight mistake when dealing with T- Cell's (cue Resident Evil flashbacks). Anyhow she gives Reg an injection to turn on a gene which is normally active and in walks Data with Spot who is due to give birth any day now. Yep in Starfleet the vet is the doctor, for a ship with so many specialists experts in veterinary medicine would not have been a surprise to me, the lack of is. We also get a very 20th and 21st century joke at the expense of the human male and dealing with pregnancy, oh how we laugh.
The Enterprise is field testing new weapons and targeting systems, could be fun but why in the middle of nowhere, these are not next-gen developments and they would have been thoroughly tested before even getting put into the flagship. I also laughed myself silly at Worf claiming he created the targeting systems, seriously these would have been designed by very intelligent and specialised personnel at Starfleet, not a bridge security officer with every day education. So a torpedo goes astray, they chat a bit and then decide to detonate it but oops it's out of range (ok maybe a good idea to be in the middle of nowhere) but the Captain goes to fetch the LIVE WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION, oh dear.
So Picard and Data are off the ship and thus begins the transformation of the crew beginning with small behavioral changes, Worf is hyper Klingon which is quite entertaining and Troi wants something salty (snigger) and Worf later is happy to help, funny enough Troi looked quite fetching the bathtub.
We get to see most of the regular crew undergoing some changes but obviously they have to limit these since they can not show everyone after the transformation so we get caveman Riker and fish face Troi and battle tank Worf but the best has to be Spot the lizard:)
Ah yes the kittens save the day, knew there was a reason why animals were kept by crew members, sorry but it was stupid on Enterprise and still stupid on TNG, mind you the whole crew are animals at the moment so what do I know. It was indeed lucky that Nurse Ogawa announced she was pregnant, an excellent way to make the story work but very heavy handed, she did look funny as a primate but even with 70% DNA match I think she should have looked very different.

I had some major issues with the episode, first off it didn't really work, the setup felt haphazard and amateurish, the reasoning behind the transformations far fetched and the solution and total reversal of the condition the oh so typical scifi reset. We also had the Captain stating he was adjusting attitude control which seemed kind of pointless and the shuttle sensors were getting a visual image from two light years away, that's freaking impressive. The sickbay door seemed to be made out of fabric and Data in the close up looked very very old (HD doing the makeup no favours at all). The real twist of the knife was the almost happy and cheerful finish to the episode, people died on this ship and certainly more than the guy at the con, there would be bits of people all over the place as the crew turned on each other. Oh and Crusher, your incompetence should have you struck off, kinda your fault my arse! They also ducked the issue of Ogawa's unborn, she should have lost the fetus, yes it was immune to the virus but her body chemistry would have seriously compromised it.

I could easily have switched this episode off after ten minutes, yes I consider it that bad and the rating will reflect that but credit where it is due, some of the cinematography was very nice, the use of the subwoofer was perfect and ambient sound effects were spot on (award winning). Marina put everything into playing an amphibian and Riker did remind me of Oddbod from Carry on Screaming so points:)
Rating 1




Sunday, 8 November 2015

Bloodletting Part 2: The Affinities Cycle Book 1 Part 2

Bloodletting Part 2: The Affinities Cycle Book 1 Part 2Bloodletting Part 2: The Affinities Cycle Book 1 Part 2 by Peter J Wacks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The second novel in The Affinities Cycle "Bloodletting Part 2" continues with the youngsters who survived the massacre and destruction of Jaegen by the mysterious Oroc be they imprisoned by these beings of the woodlands or supposedly safe in the heart of Castle Drayston. Events however continue to unfold and shed new light on the barbaric attacks against both Human and Oroc settlements pointing to a bigger picture as forces are played against each other but to what end remains a mystery.
I picked up the first novel in the series as part of a Bundle deal (you know the type) and after reading and totally enjoying the world and characters created by Peter and Mark I've patiently awaited the second installment and it was well worth it. The story and characterisation are both stronger in this novel perhaps because the overarching narrative is weaving into the events binding them all together where as in the first it was more scene setting and world building. Of course the down side of finishing this type of novel is the wait for the next installment but for now we have two of the series ready and waiting your attention:)

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Thursday, 5 November 2015

Superhero Soundtracks

Thanks to La La Land Records I got copies of The Flash season 1 and Arrow season 3 soundtracks both signed by the composer Blake Neely.



Sunday, 1 November 2015

Ladies of Kirk

My book of the Ladies of Kirk arrived from the US the other day, many thanks to Kelley and of course Kickstarter and CBS who could have been dicks about this project but weren't.


My Random Journey Through Trek #56

Ferengi Love Songs
Deep Space Nine

If life isn't hard enough for Quark without his business licence an infestation of voles has put his bar off limits and so like a good boy he goes home to mother for the love only she can give, well that's the plan anyway. As usual it's raining on Ferenginar and Ishka seems a little disturbed the Quark has just turned up and the reason soon becomes apparent as the Grand Negus and his guard are hiding in the closet. This confuses Quark who is at best paranoid but in his current mental condition he's utterly confused until it becomes clear that his mother and Zek are having an affair which is being kept quiet from the glare of Ferengi society.
DS9 in HD please :)

Ah, old wrinkly love
As you would expect Quark isn't totally happy about all this, he still has issues with his mother wearing clothes etc but he eventually comes around after all having Zek as a friend of the family is just good business. Zek however isn't going to return Quarks business license and Ishka agrees, Quark has to accept the consequences but much to his surprise he then finds Brunt hiding in his closet and he offers Quark a deal, disrupt the romance between Zek and Ishka and the FCA will return his license. Quark the opportunist he is wrecks the romance but then finds that Zek is having memory issues and Brunt knew about it and the fact that Ishka was helping to stabilize the Grand Nagus. The political moves are now in motion to remove Zek and make Brunt the Negas but Quark reveals his part in the plot and together they allow Zek to survive the FCA examination and retain his position. Quark then reveals to Zek his part in breaking up the romance and when he admits the truth his mother and his Nagas are reunited, Brunt allows Quark to retain his license knowing he will get a chance to destroy Quark sooner or later.

The "B" plot to this episode dealt with Rom and Leeta and the interference of many of the staff of DS9, the couple broke up and then got back together with plenty of angst and misunderstandings all around.
Brunt FCA
The episode begins with the chaos that is a vole hunt, lots of noise and confusion but still the question remains why sensors and transporters can't handle the infestation, ah yes Cardassian technology always falls short when the plot requires it:)
Quark is depressed, not surprising so the joy of Rom and Leeta getting married doesn't quite hit the mark, kudos for the spectacular cleavage shot of Leeta, the directors were never shy in showing off the beauty that is Chase on the show and it is in character for a dabo girl even one in a serious relationship. I also liked the idea that when Quark is at his lowest he goes home to mother even if it's chucking it down (as usual) on Ferenginar and I never really noticed how "Hobbit" like the dwellings were. It was hilarious how Quark was indignant over the missing action figures and how much later he laments his lack of foresight when taking them out of the original packaging.
As for the closet, never have so many people hid or beamed into such a small space for dramatic impact, that was wonderful and worked so well throughout the episode. I also liked the story of how Zek and Ishka met and you have to say that Zek has a little bit of a kinky side after all a strong relationship with a clothed female is far outside the norm for this culture. You also have to wonder about Brunt and his obsession with Quark but in this case the plan to depose Zek made a lot of sense and would have gotten Brunt a lot of credit even from Zek supporters if the "rumours" were believed. It was also revealing to hear Quark go on about Human ethics and morality as a form of brainwashing and yes we do see in DS9 the social structure of the Ferengi begin to alter thanks to the influence of outside forces not through direct military or political pressure. When push comes to shove Quark does do the right thing, I don't think we ever had any doubt and great to see Ishka and Zek living life to the full even if it makes Quark squirm a little:)

Meanwhile on DS9 we have fun as Rom and Leeta listen and take advice from their friends, well intended but their relationship is based on Rom moving well away from his traditional roots so an equal 50/50 marriage was never going to be their thing. That said when Rom finally figures out that Leeta is not after his meagre profits his choice to donate all of his money to the Bajoran Orphan fund and start the marriage with nothing was a grand gesture and pretty much sealed the deal.

Ferengi Love Songs was a fun episode and DS9 once again proves the Ferengi are a good species when you have the right actors and good scripts. Wallace Shawn Jeffrey Combs and Cecily Adams were all outstanding.

Rating 8