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View Full Version : Extreme Nerdery: Star Trek Edition


Torgo
06-19-2007, 10:35 PM
Ah Star Trek, one of the truest geekdoms. I am something of a fan: I've watch most of the shows, seen all the movies (barring the first one, which I am told is a boring, unmitigated disaster), and played a few of the games. My breakdown (tl;dr version at the bottom).

The Original Series
Still a great show. People can make fun of Shatner's acting all they want, he's perfect. Yeah, the whole thing is all kinds of cheesy, but considering the time it was made and all, the show is nearly perfect.

Next Generation
For me TGN is kind of the middle of the road series. Firstly, the first season or two are just this side of awful. The music is cheesy, and not in a good way. Worf is a bubblehead. Wil Wheaton is a regular. Despite a mostly strong cast and fairly well-defined characters, the first couple of seasons were trying too hard to evoke the original show, and it's the poorer for it.

Fortunately, as the show aged and developed its own personality it really ironed things out as the seasons passed, and it ended pretty solidly, if unspectacularly.

Also, there's the Q.

Deep Space Nine
My favorite in the franchise. The show had an even more awkward start then TGN. Avery Brooks and Armin Shimerman aside (I don't count Colm Meany since he'd been playing the Chief as a bit character for years already), none of the main cast really had much of an idea of their character's personalities. Nana Visitor just isn't that good of an actress. We know that Kira is supposed to be a hot-headed firebrand, but that doesn't give you license to overact and shout three-quarters of your lines.

Fortunately, where the show does succeed early on is what the show would eventually depend on: It's secondary cast. Characters like Gul Dukat and Garak, and Zek are fantastic and well-realized from their first performances. Later semi-regulars like Martok, Demar, Weyoun all provide great support for a cast that would eventually become strong and well-realized in their own right.

It's a shame then that the last season is almost a complete train wreck. It isn't so much that the individual episodes are bad. A lot of them are actually pretty good, but when there's supposed to be a war raging across half the galaxy, episodes about the cast playing baseball or Ezri Dax's trouble fitting in seem kind of trifling. And the finale? We're all probably better off not discussing that. Thanks for sort of leaving plotlines open but disassembling the cast so that actually coming back to them is nearly impossible.

Voyager
Third times the charm for awkward starts. The cast here is pretty well-realized from the get go, but they're just not all that interesting. The Maquis/Fed crew angle they hashed for is boring, as are the main villains, the Kazon. No one really stands out and there isn't a lot of personality.

The show doesn't hit it's stride until the latter half of the third season. The characters start expressing a lot more personality and their relationships are much more defined. The ultra-boring Kes is ditched and Seven is picked up instead.

The show has the strongest ending in the franchise. Aside from providing closure to the show's overarching question of 'Will they get home?' (SPOILARZ: they do), there is a lot of wrapping up for characters and a final showdown against the Borg, all wrapped up in confusing, time-travelly goodness. The plot device for Neelix staying behind was totally lame, though. Also, on the whole there wasn't enough Species 8472 or Hirogen.

Enterprise
I didn't watch this one passed its second season. I moved to Hawaii and there is no UPN affiliate there. From what I can tell, I didn't miss much. The show seemed to drive itself into the ground, which is completely plausible: Never minding the continuity mess that the show's place in the timeline could create, they had to go ahead and make excessive time travel part of the overarching plot. Good job guys.

It's a pity really, because I always felt Enterprise started off fantastic (a stark contrast to the previous shows). Great, well-defined cast with lots of personality, a fairly interesting plotline, and c'mon, for anyone vaguely into Trek, the potential for seeing this place in the timeline could've been awesome. Instead it flubs it. I would still like to see the rest of the show one day, though.

The movies
I'm tired of typing. Watch 'Wrath of Kahn' and 'First Contact' and all it a day. While there are other good ones, in my book those are the only two essentials.

Discuss, if you will. The next film is set for Christmas '08 and is going to focus on a young Kirk and Spock. I'll see it, but uh... yeah, I'm not too sure on how well that's going to go over.

tl;dr version
Talk about Star Trek. I think Deep Space Nine is pretty rad but had a crappy ending.

Schmidt
06-19-2007, 10:40 PM
Voyager was never as good as you make it sound.

Sarcasmorator
06-19-2007, 10:48 PM
Would add Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country to the essentials list; it's very good.

Enterprise had the worst theme song in the history of music.

Torgo
06-19-2007, 10:50 PM
VI would be my third choice for a film. I was going to list it, but it's been years since I've seen it, and even then I only saw it once, so I only remember bits and pieces of it.

Voyager was never as good as you make it sound.
I agree that the first third of the show is a complete drudgery. It's cornier then DS9,* but it was still pretty good.

*This is keeping in mind that Star Trek is inherently corny to begin with

poetfox
06-19-2007, 10:51 PM
I'm all about Next Gen, but I have a soft spot for it, since when I was young my parents would let me stay up just to watch the show with them. Also, my brother spent the who the hell knows how much money to get EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of it on DVD, so I've seen most of the episodes many times. But, yes, the first two seasons are pretty damn terrible. Still, it's by far my favorite.
DS9 I haven't seen all of, but from what people have made me watch, I've enjoyed quite a bit. I don't really feel I know enough to make a complete judgement, though.
I can't watch Original Trek. I just... I can't. It's just so... yeah.
Everything else, I never really tried to watch.

Parish
06-19-2007, 11:00 PM
Star Trek VI was the first time I'd ever witnessed a theatre break out into spontaneous applause. I mean, sure, opening night, but come on! Lubbock, Texas! There aren't enough nerds to fill a room. But when that gas-sniffing torpedo turned around and made a beeline for Christopher Plummer's face everyone raised the roof. What a satisfying conclusion to the classic franchise...

...too bad Generations had to muck it up.

Sanagi
06-19-2007, 11:00 PM
Just yesterday I watched Star Trek IV with commentary by Nimoy and Shatner. It was interesting and fun, although as usual with commentaries there are some dull stretches.

My abridged feelings toward the various TV incarnations:
TOS: Spock!
TNG: Data! Picard! Borg!
DS9: Awesome! Except Leeta and the Ferengi!
VOY: Hate!
ENT: Snore!

Sheana
06-19-2007, 11:07 PM
Never watched the rest, so my heart belongs to Original Series.

Also how can you not include Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home? That movie is gold. Spock pinching punks, the crew wandering around '80s San Francisco, nuclear wessels, et cetera.

thomp538
06-19-2007, 11:17 PM
The first third of voyager is indeed the worst, except for the middle and last thirds.

Enterprise had a promising first season, a second season that was total crap, a third season that ranks as one of the best seasons in Star Trek history and a 4th season that was pretty good.

Deep Space Nine is definitely the best, and if you take out the fluff episodes from the final season, its pretty damn compelling television. I don't mind the ending so much because you knew the show was going to end and never be touched again. It had become more about bringing peace to the known universe and in that it definitely wrapped things up nicely with some of the most epic space battles you will see on any Star Trek show. The ending may suck for those that really wanted the show to go on (and I wish it would have) but when you consider the circumstances and the underlying theme of the show and the characters that they had developed it was a fitting end. Totally agree that the supporting cast made that show though.

And for those who hate the original series, why is it that I can watch the shows over and over again? I can't say the same about the next generation, even though I thought that was a quality show.

Figure Four
06-19-2007, 11:55 PM
I used to be a pretty big Star Trek fan. Unfortuneatly, Voyager and Enterprise drove the trekkie right the hell out of me. Enterpise was such a disappointment. One of my favorite themes in Sci-fi (hell, or any medium) is the idea of exploration. The idea of going out farther than anyone's ever gone before just for the sake of seeing what's there.

How can you have that premise and Scott Bakula as the lead and still manage to fuck it up? Sigh...I think I'll just watch "Darmok" again.

PS: Did anyone ever play the old Next Generation CCG? I remember it being really fun but taking super long (like almost an hour) to set up a game.

Sanagi
06-20-2007, 12:07 AM
I know the exact moment I stopped calling myself a Trekkie. It was when Tom Paris hooked up with Belanna Torres. How could anyone, of any species, consider Tom Paris date-able? I mean, at least Janeway had the excuse that he had turned into a salamander, thus marginally improving his personality.

Schmidt
06-20-2007, 12:22 AM
PS: Did anyone ever play the old Next Generation CCG? I remember it being really fun but taking super long (like almost an hour) to set up a game.
Oh man, I've got a couple shoeboxes of cards still in my closet at my parents' house.

Schmidt
06-20-2007, 12:24 AM
I know the exact moment I stopped calling myself a Trekkie. It was when Tom Paris hooked up with Belanna Torres. How could anyone, of any species, consider Tom Paris date-able? I mean, at least Janeway had the excuse that he had turned into a salamander, thus marginally improving his personality.
And how could anyone of any species get past the freaky way Belanna's eyes were crooked?

thomp538
06-20-2007, 12:31 AM
And how could anyone of any species get past the freaky way Belanna's eyes were crooked?
I still thought she was cute

Peach
06-20-2007, 12:43 AM
I actually just watched the Search For Spock tonight (wow, it's not very good, but it's pretty integral to the overarching plot). I'm going back and watching all the movies, in fact. I was debating whether or not would include the fifth in "all of them" - until I remembered there was a Rifftrax for it.

Sarcasmorator
06-20-2007, 01:07 AM
What a satisfying conclusion to the classic franchise...

Plus! Sark was the leader of the Klingons! Way before he was a Cardassian torturer.

thomp538
06-20-2007, 01:13 AM
Plus! Sark was the leader of the Klingons! Way before he was a Cardassian torturer.
And after he was a drunk Human ambassador to the "The Planet of Galactic Peace" Nimbus III in Star Trek V ;)

Sarcasmorator
06-20-2007, 01:19 AM
Every man has a secret pain.

The first issue of EGM I remember buying was the one with a review of Star Trek V in it. Seriously.

Parish
06-20-2007, 01:37 AM
And after he was a drunk Human ambassador to the "The Planet of Galactic Peace" Nimbus III in Star Trek V ;)
I always figured his role in VI was offered as an apology for having been cast in V. "You're too classy for that crap, man. Sorry about that."

Red Hedgehog
06-20-2007, 01:46 AM
Yeah, so Trek is probably the fan thing I nerd out about most. Beware, for that means this post will be long.

Both my mom and dad were people who were aware of Star Trek (TOS) and found it enjoyable. Like many woman, I'm pretty sure my mom had a thing for Spock. My dad, while he will rarely admit to liking any television show, will often watch trek when he comes across it. So it was pretty much a given that I would get into Trek in a big way.

My opinions of the shows in order of most favorite to least favorite:

DS9 probably had the best storytelling of all the series. It was the first Trek series to take the show in more of a serial rather than episodic direction and it did it extremely well. The first couple of seasons weren't great, but by the time the writers were more set in where Cardassia, The Dominion, etc. were going, the show totally clicked. Because there was great connection between the episodes, the very good stories (In The Pale Moonlight, yes!) hit so hard. It also had a wonderful supporting cast and pretty good acting (Colm Meaney and Rene Auberjonois being the highlights of the regular). The last season fell off severly in quality. There were still some good episodes, but having to introduce a new character and get to know her stilted the progress of the show and the introduction of the Prophet/Pah Wraith conflict didn't pan out well. The final episode was a let down as it was poor. It was more of an epilogue than a finale and featured the unspectacular Prophet/Pah Wraith conflict and montages of characters remembering their life on the station except that Worf didn't think about his wife at all! Rant over, my favorite of the Trek shows.

TNG set the tone for DS9 by starting with a rocky two season, getting totally awesome in the third season and staying that way until a slight dip in the last season (DS9's last season dip was more pronounced, but its first two seasons were better). TNG was great episodic television and had some wonderful stories. It also had Patrick Stewart who was by far the best actor in any Trek series. Brent Spiner was pretty amazing as well. TNG probably also had the best recurring villains in all of Trek. Q, The Borg, and the Romulans always seemed to come off well. TNG had some amazing stand alone episodes (The Inner Light is one of the best episodes of television ever) and the best finale of all the Star Trek shows. It is really my preference for serial television with a story I can get into that puts this below DS9.

TOS had some really great stories. Despite the uneven acting and low budget, the shows had heart and it really came through. Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley really made a great trio to base the show around. There are some stinkers, but I find I can watch almost any episode of TOS and be happy.

Voyager was, well, mediocre at best. Obviously the better writers were working DS9 and it showed. In seven seasons, there was very little development in half the main characters. Janeway was written incredibly inconsistently, such that you never knew how she would act from episode to episode. The Doctor was probably the best character on the show, but only so many episodes could be devoted to him. Tom Paris and Seven of Nine are probably the only other characters on the show with any depth behind them. That said, about a third of the Voyager episodes are worth watching. Every so often, the writers would strike home. Despite my personal feelings that time travel is a bane of science fiction, it was usually handled well in Voyager and produced some of the better episodes. Voyagers finale was, like the show, mediocre.

Enterprise I put below Voyager, not necessarily because I liked it less, but because I am less familiar with it. It too never rose above mediocre. Scott Bakula, as much as I loved him in Quantum Leap, never seemed comfortable in his role. Indeed, there are very few of the main cast that I found very consistent, save perhaps Trip and Phlox. The first season of the show was up and down. Like Voyager, probably about a third of the episodes are worth watching. The second season was fairly bad from what I watched, though I didn't get to see much of it. The third season never really grabbed me with its Xindi storyline and I found it okay at best. The final season was total fanservice, exploring issues in the trek universe that would appeal to fans. It was good fanservice, but I'm not sure if I'd call it good television. The finale was probably the worst of the shows that had finales. Unlike DS9, it was trying to be a true finale, but it teased a great speech that was never heard and killed off a main character for no apparent reason.

The movies, also in order:

II: The Wrath of Khan is clearly the best. It's a great adventure movie with good pacing, action, heart, and story. It has some unforgettable moments - the Kobayashi Maru, the battle in the Mutara nebula, and of course Spock's death. One of my favorite movies of all time.

VI: The Undiscovered Country is my next favorite. It is a great send-off to the original crew. It has a wonderful feeling of people who are a bit too old to be doing what they are doing getting back together for one last adventure. It has a good villain and good story.

First Contact is a good movie on its own, but the Star Trek fan in me can't appreciate it as I should. On its own, it is a well down sci-fi/horror film. The borg are totally spooky and the lighting lives up to that. Picard's obsession with the borg is handled very well. As a fan, I have nitpick's about the Borg's motivations (and am uneasy about the introduction of the Borg Queen, especially in hindsight of what Voyager did with her), the history they set up for Earth, and the way Picard acted, but I can't deny this is a good movie.

IV: The Voyage Home is really a comedy, not a drama like the other Trek films, but it does it well. The fish out of water (pun not intended) aspect of the movie come across nicely and the humor totally works within the context of the characters. Chekov talking about "nuclear wessels" and his capture by US forces, his escape from the hospital, Scotty dealing with the primitive computer, and Spock dealing with the 1980s culture are all great. The story is kind of stupid when you think about it, but the overall quality of the movie forgives it.

III: The Seach for Spock is... okay. I mean, the story isn't bad, but it's nothing special. The movie was obviously made to placate people unhappy about Spock's death. Despite some good moments, the movie often feels like it's going through the motions. It is nice to watch and to see the rebirth of Spock, but it isn't necessary.

Nemesis is also okay. It shows some flashes of brilliance, but also some flashes of "What the hell were they thinking?" I really wanted to like this film, because the Romulans had been one of my favorite Trek races. And it certainly makes sense that they would be exploiting another people, but the sudden introduction of the Remans seemed unnecessary. Fan issues aside, the movie just seemed like it was trying to be too full of action. Shinzon and his chancellor made good villains and the scenes of tension, drama, and interest were generally those when there wasn't a big battle going on.

Insurrection was not so good. It had its moments - Picard's romance with Anis, Riker and Troi getting back together, Picard singing Gilbert and Sullivan - but it just wasn't very impressive. The villains weren't that great. The main idea of the story was fine, but not executed very well. It just didn't very well thought out.

I: The Motion Picture was boring. It feels like half of the movie consisted of pans over the super-cool models and special effects that had been put together for the movie. Still, at least it was just boring, unlike...

Generations which was plain bad. If the TOS cast had only been in the beginning and the movie had played out without the Nexus, it would have seemed like a mediocre to poor Next Generation episode. Data's emotion chip was handled incredibly poorly. Tolian Soran was a decent villain, but could have been so much more with more development. All we are told is that it is perfection and happiness in the Nexus and this is why he will stop at nothing to get back. But why does he have such an obsessive personality? Why does he need that happiness? Guinan is okay by just trying not to think about it. And when Picard and Kirk are in the Nexus they have no trouble deciding they want out from the supposed perfection and happiness. And Kirk's death, despite being rewritten to seem more heroic, comes off unsatisfying.

V: The Final Frontier is the worst and makes me cringe to watch it. Much of the dialogue is absolutely awful. The story makes no sense whatsoever. I would generally choose not to watch the three movies above, but I can mostly go through them without recoiling in how awful they are. This is a movie that deserves to be MST3ked.

So yeah, can you tell I'm a Trek fan?

Red Hedgehog
06-20-2007, 02:33 AM
PS: Did anyone ever play the old Next Generation CCG? I remember it being really fun but taking super long (like almost an hour) to set up a game.

Yes.

And I stuck with through when it was putting out like an expansion a year until they finally resolved their differences with Paramount and got the rights to future movies and shows (and eventually TOS and its movies) and became the Star Trek CCG.

And I was really into to it, especially competitively, going to tournaments as regularly as I could. I attended its world championships from 1998-2003 and placed as high as 10th. I got to know many of the people who made the game and am still friends with them (and my fellow competitors) to this day. They are working elsewhere because Decipher (the company that made it) had some pretty serious financial difficulties and no longer makes CCGs from what I can tell.

The game itself was perfect for a Star Trek fan. It was sort of like writing your own Star Trek fan fiction. You assembled the characters and ships that you liked, got them together, and made them do all sorts of interesting things in the Star Trek universe. Unfortunately, the actual gameplay was very poorly designed. There was no "cost" mechanism so it was as easy to play a main character with tons of skills as it was a scrub with only one. Also, you were only allowed one card play per turn which really slowed things down. And many of the cards in the initial set were way too powerful. So in later sets they had to shoehorn in fixes to these things and the game ballooned into a huge behemoth with extremely complicated rules that required a 60 page "glossary" in order to explain even seemingly simple terms.

But for those who just wanted to "do cool stuff in the Star Trek universe" the game was very fun. And for competitive people looking to break the game, there were many ways to do so.

In 2002 or 3, they decided that the rules baggage had become far too bloated and basically reset the game with a second edition. There were all new cards, some of which were "compatible" with the first edition, but which made up a similar, yet more refined game. And as a game, it was certainly better. All cards had a cost to play, the game moved faster, and it was easier to expand without adding new rules. Unfortunately, though they removed the "seed phase" (which could take almost half the game and involved no interaction with the opponent, even if it was perhaps the most strategic part of the game) which most casual fans thought the worst part of the game, they also removed the feeling of doing what you wanted in the Trek universe. That, plus the calculated alienation of people who could no longer use their first edition card competitively and the general loss of popularity of CCGs meant that second edition was never as popular as the first one.

Vahn16
06-20-2007, 03:18 AM
This thread is oddly coincidental, since I just watched a Star Trek episode for the first time yesterday. Now, I'd seen episodes before, but I'd never watched them. I didn't think I'd enjoy them, so I didn't pay attention. I was hanging out with a friend (who happens to be big into Star Trek) and it was on. I know the episodes were from the Original Series, and that's it. I don't know where the episodes fell into the timeline; but my friend was able to explain things pretty well, since he's seen every episode a hajillion times.

The point of all this is that I enjoyed the show. I've been thinking about trying to catch it more often, but does it work well stand alone? Would I be able to enjoy episodes (say, on G4 or Spike) without following them in perfect order? Also, which series are even in syndication right now?

Makkara
06-20-2007, 04:22 AM
I'm in complete agreement about DS9: best Star Trek ever. Personally, I quite like the regular cast, (Quark, Bashir, Kira, even Odo when he's not being all emo) but it's definitely the Cardassians that steal the show. Dukat and Garak are just excellent characters, with actual depth and moral complexity. Such things are nearly unheard of in Star Trek.

mr_bungle700
06-20-2007, 04:26 AM
This thread is oddly coincidental, since I just watched a Star Trek episode for the first time yesterday. Now, I'd seen episodes before, but I'd never watched them. I didn't think I'd enjoy them, so I didn't pay attention. I was hanging out with a friend (who happens to be big into Star Trek) and it was on. I know the episodes were from the Original Series, and that's it. I don't know where the episodes fell into the timeline; but my friend was able to explain things pretty well, since he's seen every episode a hajillion times.

The point of all this is that I enjoyed the show. I've been thinking about trying to catch it more often, but does it work well stand alone? Would I be able to enjoy episodes (say, on G4 or Spike) without following them in perfect order? Also, which series are even in syndication right now?

I've spotted episodes of The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine on Spike, and those are both pretty easy to jump into. TNG is almost purely episodic, so you can watch pretty much any random episode and not get lost. DS9 has more in the way of overarching plotlines, but the episodes still tend to be self contained and tell complete stories of their own. The whole Trek franchise in general seems pretty good about being accessible to new viewers, so I wouldn't worry too much about tuning in to any of the shows without being caught up on the story. I'll give you fair warning though: the good Trek series (the original one, TNG, DS9) have the tendency to be very addictive, and once you've seen a couple of episodes you'll probably want to watch as many as you can.

ArugulaZ
06-20-2007, 07:03 AM
Dig that Deep Space Nine! I actually appreciated the comic relief that Quark brought to the show, and I found myself forming attachments with a lot of the other characters, particularly Odo. Even the teenager trying to cope with his parent's career as a high-ranking Federation officer was likable... Cirroc Lofton may not have the geek cred of Wil Wheaton, but at least he didn't stink up HIS Star Trek with a lot of petulant whining!

(If only I could say the same for Nana Visitor...)

Two words best describe Voyager... stupid and desperate. I swear, the Voyager crew has got to be the most brain-dead in Star Trek history. In one episode, they had to quarantine their captain on another planet along with Chakotex-Tampons because they had a non-lethal but infectious disease. So they're puttering along through space like some futuristic castaways on the S. S. Minnow, and suddenly they come across some evil organ harvesters.

What's the first thing to go through their tiny little minds? Nope, they don't blast them into atoms or warp out of that sector, but they alert the creeps to their position, asking them for a cure to Captain Janeway's not-at-all life-threatening ailment. Naturally, the organ harvesters do what earned them that name in the first place and try to hijack the ship so they can use the crew for spare parts. Gee, who saw THAT coming? Maybe you dumbshits should have left well enough alone instead of needlessly risking your own lives to bring back your commanding officer with the grating Gone With The Wind accent, and her equally annoying boyfriend with all the personality of a bowl of cold oatmeal.

When you have a show that moronic and devoid of all logic, the best thing to do is to replace the bad writers with good ones in the hopes of salvaging it. Not Paramount, though! They just kept piling on the nerd-riffic cameos and big breasteses in the hopes of distracting the audience. First came the fourty seven million guest appearances by Q. Then came Kes' replacement (yay!), the Borg wetnurse Seven of Nine (boo!). Then came the bewildering cameos by LeVar Burton and Jonathan Frakes, who only agreed to be on the show so they could direct some episodes. By the time those brain donors finally reached the Alpha quadrant, the show was a Gordian knot of tangled plot twists thanks to all the guest shots. Nobody complained though, because just knowing that the scourge of the Star Trek series was finally coming to an end was closure enough.

JR

Jeanie
06-20-2007, 07:20 AM
Oh man, I love DS9 as well. Like all the shows, once you get past the first season and all the actors get their characters and they're not beating over the head with what the character is (we get it Kira, you're not Starfleet and you hate the Cardassians), it gets so good.

Plus it has some of my favorite moments from any of the shows. Like when Q comes onboard and puts Sisko and himself in a boxing ring, Ben punches him the face and Q cries "You hit me! Picard would never hit me!". Sisko's reply: "I'm not Picard!". Or the episode "Trials and Tribbleations" where they go back in time to the "Trouble with Tribbles" episode from TOS, those Time Guys, or Odo teasing Worf about the Klingon Empire declaring Tribbles a mortal enemy of the Empire, or asking what's up with the Klingon foreheads in TOS, or Dax's crush on Spock. My personal favorite part though was Bashir instancence that the cute girl he met was his great grandmother and he had to stay behind otherwise he would create a Grandfather Paradox and never be born. "You'll be sorry when we get back to the 24th century and I cease to exist", man that was funny.

Also "In the Pale Moonlight", when Sisko talks about how he brought the Romulans into the war, best acting anyone on a Star Trek set has EVER done, although "The Inner Light" from TNG is very close. And at the end, when he tells himself he can live with what he did, gives me chills.

My problem with Voyager was that every other week was either Borg or time travel. Boy it's a good thing those Time Guys from DS9 never met HER after complaining about the size of Kirk's file.

Oh fun fact. When a show gets better after a season, the oposite of "jumping the shark", it's called Growing the Beard, refering to how after Riker grew his beard on TNG, the show got better.

ArugulaZ
06-20-2007, 07:24 AM
V: The Final Frontier is the worst and makes me cringe to watch it. Much of the dialogue is absolutely awful. The story makes no sense whatsoever. I would generally choose not to watch the three movies above, but I can mostly go through them without recoiling in how awful they are. This is a movie that deserves to be MST3ked.

Evidently, Mike Nelson agrees with you.

http://www.rifftrax.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=41

It's not MST3K (and it ain't free either), but it's as close as you're going to get to it. Feel free to paste some robot silhouettes on the bottom of the television screen if it helps complete the illusion.

JR

sraymonds
06-20-2007, 07:33 AM
I like the Star Trek series, but mostly TNG. I saw First Contact in theatres, and I loved it. My girlfriend loves most of the shows, but hated how Enterprise ended. Making the series finale just a simulation or something was lame. She's never really seen the original series.

Also, what the hell is with the 100 plus cost for a DVD season of Star Trek? The show's aren't that great, but they're charging so much for them.

Excitemike
06-20-2007, 07:45 AM
Also, what the hell is with the 100 plus cost for a DVD season of Star Trek? The show's aren't that great, but they're charging so much for them.
Because the fans will pay for them.

Looks like I got a little late to the party to add anything new. I'll just say the first movie is actually pretty good. It's a re-imagining of the classic series for the big screen, with a design pinched from 2001 and Star Wars. I can actually remember seeing this one in the theater which I realise makes me hell of old.

Yay TOS, yay TNG, yay DS9, boo VOY, meh ENT.

My least favorite part of Voyager was the half Klingon woman, because her eyes were so off center she looked like Alfred E. Neuman or maybe Sloth.

Torgo
06-20-2007, 07:51 AM
I am pleased that I am not the only one that thinks 'In the Pale Moonlight' is the greatest episode in the franchise. Avery Brooks' performance is unparalleled.

Also, what the hell is with the 100 plus cost for a DVD season of Star Trek? The show's aren't that great, but they're charging so much for them.
Actually seasons of TOS, TGN, and DS9 all carry a much more reasonable fifty buck price tag if you shop smart. Only Voyager and Enterprise carry one hundred dollar tags. (THE IRONY!)

Balrog
06-20-2007, 07:53 AM
I liked everything up until Voyager. I don't remember if I quit watching because I started getting laid or I started getting laid because I quit watching it. It's a mystery.

TheSL
06-20-2007, 07:55 AM
As much as I enjoyed the old stuff, I really think Firefly outclassed anything Star Trek has put out in the last decade or so. In both cases, though, its a shame that there doesn't seem to be enough public interest to keep a space exploration series on the air these days.

Torgo
06-20-2007, 07:57 AM
As much as I enjoyed the old stuff, I really think Firefly outclassed anything Star Trek has put out in the last decade or so.
Despite the fact that I am clearly too forgiving a Trek fan (I mean, I like Voyager after all), I totally agree.

That said, what there is of Firefly+Serenity is great plenty. It's a shame it didn't catch on, but I'm glad for what's there and that it gained enough word of mouth for me to eventually find out about it.

sraymonds
06-20-2007, 08:01 AM
That said, what there is of Firefly+Serenity is great plenty. It's a shame it didn't catch on, but I'm glad for what's there and that it gained enough word of mouth for me to eventually find out about it.

But I want more Firefly! Honestly, I'll eat up anything Firefly related. I even have the pen-and-paper RPG books, even though I don't play.

Excitemike
06-20-2007, 08:14 AM
Of course, the best thing to ever come from Star Trek was Trekkies. (http://www.trekdoc.com/) I can pull qoutes from that movie all day.

Schmidt
06-20-2007, 10:45 AM
Galaxy Quest was a pretty great side effect too.

"Could they be the miners?"
"Sure, they're like three years old"

JCDenton
06-20-2007, 11:03 AM
I'm all about Next Gen, but I have a soft spot for it, since when I was young my parents would let me stay up just to watch the show with them.

That is pretty much my life story, though I did watch a fair amount of DS9 and Voyager. TNG had my favorite cast and storylines, though I haven't watched it much in the past few years. I can't really comment on the first two seasons since I was too young at the time to be a discerning viewer and am not a big enough fan to identify the season of the individual episodes I watch now.

Excitemike
06-20-2007, 11:06 AM
Galaxy Quest was a pretty great side effect too.

"By Grapthar's Hammer.... what a savings."

Sheana
06-20-2007, 11:31 AM
Galaxy Quest was a pretty great side effect too.

There's a red thingie moving towards the green thingie. I think we're the green thingie.

Jeanie
06-20-2007, 12:17 PM
I have ONE job on this ship and this is it! Will you let me do my job?

Torgo
06-20-2007, 03:18 PM
Galaxy Quest is sublime. Every time I happen by it on tv (which ends up being once or twice a year) I wonder how I've gone this long without buying it.
"By Grapthar's Hammer.... what a savings."
One of the greatest lines in any film ever.

ArugulaZ
06-20-2007, 05:56 PM
I am pleased that I am not the only one that thinks 'In the Pale Moonlight' is the greatest episode in the franchise. Avery Brooks' performance is unparalleled.

Gonna have to challenge you on that...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Visitor_%28Star_Trek:_Deep_Space_Nine%29

This is the episode where Captain Sisko gets trapped in time and his son spends a lifetime trying to retrieve him. It brings a great deal of depth to the characters and features an appearance by Tony Todd, who instantly reverses all the bad karma he earned with his appearance in those tacky Candyman films. On top of it all, it was immensely satisfying to discover what the characters were doing ten, twenty, and thirty years later. It actually offered more closure than the series finale, and it came years before the show ended!

JR

Squall
06-20-2007, 06:36 PM
I hate to interrupt this nerd thread, but..
Babylon 5 wins.

Schmidt
06-20-2007, 06:49 PM
Nah. The first season and a half of modern Battlestar Galactica wins.

Sarcasmorator
06-20-2007, 07:11 PM
By a frakkin' mile.

Really, MOST of the second season is good. Black Market, no. Scar, eh. And the finale was a bit mixed. But everything else was golden.

Jeanie
06-20-2007, 07:21 PM
Gonna have to challenge you on that...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Visitor_%28Star_Trek:_Deep_Space_Nine%29

This is the episode where Captain Sisko gets trapped in time and his son spends a lifetime trying to retrieve him. It brings a great deal of depth to the characters and features an appearance by Tony Todd, who instantly reverses all the bad karma he earned with his appearance in those tacky Candyman films. On top of it all, it was immensely satisfying to discover what the characters were doing ten, twenty, and thirty years later. It actually offered more closure than the series finale, and it came years before the show ended!

JR

That one was pretty good but IMO In The Pale Moonlight was better. I liked the way we got to see Ben twist and agonize over everything he did. Plus Garak's perfomance was just... wow, you know. His pure joy and delight at being the sneaky bastard just was great. Add in the unique way the episode was presented to us as Ben filling out his captain's log. It just clicked with me and it will easily be my favorite episode in DS9 and a strong contender for best in any series.

Sanagi
06-20-2007, 07:25 PM
I hate to interrupt this nerd thread, but..
Babylon 5 wins.
I gave Babylon 5 a chance, but I just couldn't get interested in the cast... Most of them are so bland. And then there's Londo, clearly the most interesting character on the show, but every time he's on screen I have the urge to sneer, "Why do you think I have this outrageous accent, you silly king?"

Squall
06-20-2007, 08:03 PM
Londo does definitely steal the show. Behind that, Vir (his assistant), G'Kar (eventually) and Geroubaldi (bad speelin) were all fantastic.

I saw the 1st season after the 4th, so it took a while for the first Captain to grow on me. But in the end, I really liked him.

Red Hedgehog
06-20-2007, 10:00 PM
I hate to interrupt this nerd thread, but..
Babylon 5 wins.

Yeah, no. Maybe if they could have afforded some actors with talent. I mean, I like Babylon 5. And I was crazy for it back in the day. But after a recent rewatching, I wonder how I could have overlooked how poor most of the cast was. The actors who played Londo and G'Kar were the only really good ones.

I do love the story and I still like the show, but I'd take DS9 or TNG over it. Now if there were a decent novelization of the show, I'd pick that up in a hot minute.

Red Hedgehog
06-20-2007, 10:03 PM
Nah. The first season and a half of modern Battlestar Galactica wins.

I don't think you're allowed to only take part of a show. Not that I disgaree that section of Battlestar Galactica was amazing. And I think I'm the only person on earth who liked Black Market. I did think Scar was awful, though.

Excitemike
06-20-2007, 10:32 PM
Yeah, no. Maybe if they could have afforded some actors with talent.

That's a silly thing to say. The special effects were much worse than the acting.

Squall
06-20-2007, 11:48 PM
I recently re-watched it and found the actors quite passable.
Of course, most my acting reference the past few years has been found in video games, so I think I might even be impressed by Keanu Reeves nowadays.

I did enjoy DS9 a good bit though. But Starfurys are the win.

Sarcasmorator
06-21-2007, 12:18 AM
And I think I'm the only person on earth who liked Black Market. I did think Scar was awful, though.
I liked what they were trying to do with that episode, I just thought they flubbed the execution. Especially how Lee got drawn into it what was with the whole hooker girlfriend angle? They could have found a better way.

Scar was a throwaway episode, but not terrible. Good action. I've only seen the first, uh, third of the third season, and it drags a bit in the first few episodes, but the rescue mission a few episodes in was incredible. Waiting anxiously to finish off the season and I already found out a few things I didn't want to.

/tangent

Makkara
06-21-2007, 01:47 AM
Babylon 5 was good, but not as good as DS9 or even TNG. For me, though, Farscape wins. Or, more recently, Stargate Atlantis. Mainly because of McKay.

spineshark
06-21-2007, 02:51 AM
I am WAY too big a fan of Shatner, the original series is great. Like all the series, it's quite hit and miss, but I adore the '60s future aesthetic, especially regarding uniforms and such.

TNG was also a great show, after a while. So many great ideas, which eventually really paid off. Amazing finale, season cliffhanger episodes were all insanely awesome, and a lot of other great episodes through the years. I felt the way the final episode sort of sets a definitive "ultimate" challenge for Picard without just cutting the story off after it's completed was excellent.

DS9 is probably my favorite, largely thanks to the strength of the Garak character. Sisko, Worf, Odo and Dukat were also great, but Garak's cheerful anti-hero quality was inspired. Like the previous shows, there were great moments and awful ones, but when DS9 tripped, it fell down the stairs. I can't think of a single comic-relief sort of episode that I could even imagine watching again, much less liked. The good episodes though are far too plentiful to mention. Of course The Visitor and In the Pale Moonlight are awesome, but I also loved the season 5 two-parter where Worf, Bashir, and Garak are trapped in the Dominion prison.

Voyager...made it "almost there" occasionally. I watched seasons 1-4 and a bit of 7, and there were a handful of episodes that could have been great if there weren't minor (or sometimes major) annoying aspects. Year of Hell was probably the breaking point for me-the episodes were thrilling, totally absurd and impossible, but most of all awesome until Janeway yells out some stupid "witty" line and everything goes back to normal. Not that they could've continued the show like that, but I've been told the "nothing happened" angle became totally commonplace on the show which is frustrating. Most episodes were out-and-out bad, but now that I think about it, I did like three of the episodes..."Projections", "Author, Author", and "Living Witness"...each of which featured a lot of out of character acting on the part of the cast. I don't think that says good things about the show, personally.

Enterprise I watched a couple episodes and couldn't stand. I should probably give it another chance sometime, but at the same time I can't imagine why I should bother. =/

As for the movies, love Wrath of Khan, I like The Voyage Home, First Contact and The Undiscovered Country a lot. I thought Insurrection and Search for Spock were slightly better than tolerable, and have not much good to say about the others.

sraymonds
06-21-2007, 05:08 AM
Babylon 5 was good, but not as good as DS9 or even TNG. For me, though, Farscape wins. Or, more recently, Stargate Atlantis. Mainly because of McKay.

Yes, Stargate Atlantis, though I like both McKay and Sheppard. The original Stargate is a great show too. It's got Angus Macguyver!

Torgo
06-21-2007, 07:53 AM
The success and awesomeness of SG-1 and Atlantis should never have happened considering the movie they're based on is, at best, 'okay'. While I enjoyed the film well enough, I glossed over the show for years because I was pretty convinced that a show based on Stargate was one of the stupidest ideas ever.

Ultimately I was proved very, very wrong.

Nicholai
06-21-2007, 09:16 AM
Just thought I'd throw in my opinions on the series.

TOS: A classic and still deserving of respect despite the budget, effects, and some acting. It created a believable world that fueled the juggernaut to come. Some really great episodic storytelling.

TNG: My personal favorite because I prefer my Star Trek (not necessarily my sci-fi) to be episodic storytelling rather than a serial type of storytelling. Though it started off weakly in the first two seasons even in those weaker seasons you can see the beginnings of a great show and a few gem episodes. Seasons 3-6 were fantastic and though season 7 was a bit weak the finale was exactly what it needed to be.

DS9: A good series, but it doesn't interest me as much as TNG because of the the serial nature of the storytelling and the setting of the show. I enjoy my Trek most when it is about exploration, but DS9 did not value exploration as much as the other series. Still, the show had great characters, several strong seasons, and had good writing too.

VOY: Although the series returned to the episodic-exploration style storytelling seen in TNG and missing from DS9, I feel much of the series is a complete failure. Part of the charm of Star Trek is while there is much exploration happening there is also the established universe and Empires (ie. Romulan and Klingon) to deal with. VOY attempted to bring some familiarity back with the Borg, but more or less botched that too. The series was plagued by thin characters, uninteresting antagonists (The Kazons were just wannabe Klingons), mediocre acting, and too many repackaged stories from earlier series/other sci-fi. The show was hurt by the fact that the best Star Trek had to offer had gone to DS9 after TNG. The show wasn't a complete loss or anything though as it could still be entertaining and had a few good episodes.

ENT: Personally I still find the show suffers from "prequelitis" in that it doesn't seem all that exciting with the future already mapped out. It wasn't wholly bad though, as the characters were interesting and the show began to pick up in good stories in it's final two seasons. I still think they should have waited a bit after VOY and then started a new series on a new ship (not Enterprise) that would have followed the VOY timeline and perhaps had a familiar face or two from TNG, DS9, and VOY if possible.

Also the movies in order for me without explanation:

Wrath of Khan
Undiscovered Country
First Contact
Voyage Home
Search for Spock
Generations
Insurrection
The Motion Picture
Nemesis
The Final Frontier

Red Hedgehog
06-21-2007, 10:09 AM
Year of Hell was probably the breaking point for me-the episodes were thrilling, totally absurd and impossible, but most of all awesome until Janeway yells out some stupid "witty" line and everything goes back to normal. Not that they could've continued the show like that, but I've been told the "nothing happened" angle became totally commonplace on the show which is frustrating.

Yeah, Voyager was a huge fan of the 'reset button' episodes. Which could be good when the purpose of the episode was to hit the reset button (see episode with LeVar Burton), but too often it seemed more of a Deus Ex Machina because the writers had no idea how to get out of what they had put themselves into.

thomp538
06-21-2007, 11:30 AM
Of course, the best thing to ever come from Star Trek was Trekkies. (http://www.trekdoc.com/) I can pull qoutes from that movie all day.
I have a few minor quibbles with this post

Sanagi
06-22-2007, 05:45 PM
While digging through my bookmarks I found this site that summed up my feelings about Star Trek Nemesis.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Nemesis/Pictorial-1.html

Red Hedgehog
06-22-2007, 07:31 PM
Yeah, I guess I'm the only person in the world who preferred Nemesis to Insurrection. I mean, neither are good movies, but I can enjoy certain parts of Nemesis while Insurection leaves me feelink somewhat icky at the end. Or maybe I just need to see Nemesis again since I liked Insurrection a lot less the second (or third) time I saw it.

Jeanie
06-22-2007, 08:28 PM
Yeah, I guess I'm the only person in the world who preferred Nemesis to Insurrection. I mean, neither are good movies, but I can enjoy certain parts of Nemesis while Insurection leaves me feelink somewhat icky at the end. Or maybe I just need to see Nemesis again since I liked Insurrection a lot less the second (or third) time I saw it.

Well my thing against Insurrection is that I felt it could have been an episode of the series. Not really a hit against it but to have it as a movie was unnessary. The four wheeler bugged the hell out of me though.

Torgo
06-22-2007, 09:33 PM
I guess another thing that outs me as some sort of Star Trek apologist: I enjoyed both Insurrection and Nemesis.

And Generations.

I fail at good taste I guess. At least we can all agree that V totally, totally, totally sucks.

Sanagi
06-23-2007, 02:37 AM
The comparison of Insurrection and Nemesis is much the same as the comparison of Voyager and Enterprise - Annoying or boring? Which is worse?

Although I think the outcomes are different. I don't actually hate Insurrection, but I do hate Nemesis. In the case of Enterprise, though, it seems clear that its dullness was more of a failing than Voyager's obnoxiousness. Voyager's characters may all be smug, talentless bastards, but at least they have personalities.

BTW, the #1 thing I hate about Nemesis is that Data's sacrifice is totally unbelievable. It would only take .03 microseconds for him to think up a million better plans than the one he actually chose.

Torgo
06-23-2007, 08:24 AM
Data's sacrifice also has a little less punch considering since Brent Spiner was one of the film's head writers, it mostly comes off as one or both:

a) He tried to make himself the big, ultimate hero of the franchise (or at least the TGN cast)
b) He was writing himself out because he's sooo sick of Data (after fifteen years though, I'm not sure I could necessarily blame him for this).

I mean, yeah, there were other writers, but it's something that's always hung around in the back of my head about it.

ArugulaZ
06-23-2007, 08:52 AM
I believe the answer to your question was B. Brent Spiner was looking for way out of the Star Trek franchise but didn't want to cut his ties to it completely, so the producers killed off Data 2.0 (the first was Lore, of course) and left the undeveloped, child-like Data on board in case the actor had second thoughts. It works out great for the cast and crew, but not so well for fans who were still reeling from Shatner's lame-o death in Generations.

Spiner was wise to keep that window of opportunity open, because if his role as the farting villain in Master of Disguise is any indication, the man doesn't have much of a future in non-Star Trek acting roles.

JR

Red Hedgehog
06-23-2007, 12:40 PM
I remember Spiner saying in an interview that he just didn't think he could keep doing Data. He also mentioned that, as an android, Data should age but he certainly was.

I thought Data's death was... okay. It certainly could have been written better. He should have gone over to the ship planning to get both Picard and himself back and something should have happened so that only one could return.

I like the boring/annoying comparison between Insurrection and Nemesis (it's also the comparison I make between Star Trek I and V). I can't really remember why I dislike Insurrection, just that it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Nemesis had moments I really disliked (God, the dune buggy chase!) but also moments I enjoyed (Romulan political machinations!)

I think the real reason I like Nemesis better than Insurrection is because I've only seen Nemesis once. Will all the Next Gen movies, I like them less the more I see them. First Contact went from great to good, Insurrection went from okay to poor, and Generations went from bad to godawful. Nemesis sits at below average for me right now, but I could see it going down if I watched it again.

Jeanie
06-23-2007, 11:33 PM
After reading all of these, this (http://echosphere.net/star_trek_insp/star_trek_insp.html) was brought to mind.

Enjoy.