No article should start with Sub Rosa, so let’s dig in for the winter of Trek episode writing and tackle Force of Nature first…
Episode: The one about global warming [warp drive hurting space]
Season: The one where everyone was thinking ahead to their next project/Stargate/unemployment
Plot: Two sibling scientists [one okay, one a complete knob] tell Picard that high warp [anything over warp 7, I think] is damaging sub-space. Picard tells them to talk to the hand [Data] and keep plugging away until they can actually prove what they’re saying. After sulking for 15 minutes, the sister scientist flies a shuttle into an already damaged area of space and kills herself, thus proving her bullshit. Picard tells the Klingons and the Romulans to limit their usage of warp 6 + [they can use that speed for emergencies or movies, but nothing else] and completely against character, the Klingons agree. The Romulans don’t.
Why is it so bad?
Like most analogy/metaphor episodes, it’s dull. Remember the one about gay rights? Riker kissing a girl who was supposed to be gender neutral but looked much more like a woman than a man?
That was bad, and so is this. Not just because of the drama in the episode itself, but mainly because of the stupid analogy it dumps on the script.
Remember: ANALOGIES are the biggest fraud of debate. They often seem accurate, and are very persuasive [which increases their danger], but are mostly full of shit.
Right, let’s get into this:
1] Humans are not the first species in space Read more…
‘Anslem’ wasn’t the only masterpiece in the Jake Sisko trunk. He didn’t talk about it as much, but there was also this…
The anti-anti-hero stumbles into the final chamber, gun in hand, ready to shoot anything that looks like it might shut this whole crazy nightmare down.
The final chamber is huge. There are around five hundred cloning pods, all of them empty except one.
The anti-anti-hero walks towards it, raising his gun.
The glass of the pod is covered in condensation. There’s the shape of a face, but it’s impossible to tell who it belongs to.
Behind the anti-anti-hero, a man with a gun appears. It’s COPENHAGEN.
COPENHAGEN: Damn you, Quaidie. You’ve really fucked up my plans here. Read more…
…the opening voiceover reminds us that something exciting happened in the previous episode, the shit with the Romulans returning and telling everyone about it, and then we zoom in on the Enterprise flying through space at Warp nine and onto the bridge where…
…Picard is sitting in the Captain’s chair reading Borges ‘fictions’ while everyone else sits around doing nothing and a minute or so passes until finally Riker asks him what he’s doing and Picard looks up from the book, checks the bridge for academics or book critics, sees none, smirks then quotes a famous Borges line back at him but Riker doesn’t know what he’s talking about so Picard tuts like Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and lectures Riker on Borges and fake realities and then in the background the turbolift makes a whooshing sound and Troi comes onto the bridge in her miniskirt and sits in her little chair and looks at them both until Riker mouths Borges to her and Picard turns, notices the ship’s prostitute and repeats the earlier quote and the ship’s prost-…and Troi looks at him like he’s a guest star so Picard has no choice but to stand up and lecture the whole bridge on the genius of Borges and how no one knew he was a genius for five minutes back in the twentieth century but then he was published and everyone said he was great and other writers read his stuff and said hey, I can write wacky dream shit too, and they did and eventually we got writers like Burroughs, says Picard to Worf and Worf doesn’t know what to say so he pretends to understand but Picard sees through him and says, fuck’s sake, to the whole bridge, even the janitor, and then wanders off towards the turbolift, telling Riker to drive the fucking ship until season 2…
OPENING CREDITS Read more…
Genre: Action drama
Characters: Jason Statham [Himself], Olivia Wilde [Herself], Meryl Streep [Herself], Ed Norton [Mark Ruffalo]
It starts fast, with Statham running down an alleyway, stopping at the end, looking both ways, then turning quick and shooting the guy climbing out of the trash can behind him. The director shouts cut and Statham drops the gun and walks away, shaking a little.
Flash…and he’s on the red carpet, with a small crowd watching him, and only one or two reporters trying to pull him towards their mics. He interviews with one of them and says, ‘sure, I loved working with Don, he’s a great guy.’
Flash…he’s in a video-store looking at his own movie cover. On the front he’s holding a gun, and Jet Li is next to him, a little smaller, with his leg in the air. ‘It’s good, isn’t it?’ he asks no one in particular.
Flash…he’s in a bar with Ed Norton. He’s being talked at and he doesn’t know what to say. Norton stops talking and asks him if he ever went to college. ‘Sure, the college of hard knocks,’ Statham says. Norton goes back to his drink, unimpressed.
Flash…he’s waiting in bed for a woman. The bathroom door is open and we can see the reflection of Olivia Wilde, naked except for a headband. He asks her if she’s coming and she says, ‘wait, I’m just taking off my headband.’ He lifts the blanket and checks his body. It looks okay, pretty tight. Olivia comes in and climbs on top of him. They have sex. When it’s over they lie there in silence. After a minute or two, Statham turns to her and asks, ‘did you ever go to college?’ Read more…
Most people agree, ‘Masks’ is shit.
Sun Gods and Moon Gods and pieces of foam jungle lying around the ship…Picard, Troi and Worf standing on a cheap temple set for ten minutes, talking about the meaning of things we don’t care about.
Worf: This moon shaped object could represent the moon, Captain.
Picard: [Percy Jackson face] Yes…yes…The Sun is hunted by the moon, day is hunted by night.
Worf: So…when the moon is in the sky, the Sun is not in the sky. Because it is night time.
Picard: My God, I think that’s it. [Pause] Look at this, here it is again.
Picard points to a moon on the wall.
Picard: And again.
Picard points to another moon drawing.
Worf: Here’s another one.
Worf points to a moon drawing somewhere else.
Troi: Captain…I believe we are in some kind of temple. Read more…
Episode: Pen Pals
Season: The one that wasn’t quite as bad as Season 1. Also referred to as ‘the one with the angry doctor’.
Plot: Data checks random frequencies for someone to talk to [24th Century version of online dating] and comes across a small girl who lives next to a volcano. Picard forgets about 40′s noir and picks up a new hobby – horse riding. Riker prepares for the line, ‘what a perfectly vicious little circle’. Dr. Polaski disagrees with everyone and everything. Troi shows off her counselling skills by terrifying a small child. Wesley skips being an ensign and goes straight to commanding a group of superior-ranking adults who have all been through the academy and got where they are on merit instead of just hanging around the bridge and having the ship’s doctor as a mum and being called a child genius by everyone even though he’s emotionally and mentally still very much a child and my God they must be fuming they must think the whole ship is a joke I know I would and where are all the admirals don’t they know what Picard’s doing with this fucking kid? Worf trips over some wires.
How is the Prime Directive broken?
In myriad ways.
First of all, Data keeps talking to the girl on the radio. You can’t do this in Starfleet, not unless the girl knows about warp and nacells and Star Trek V. Read more…
There was once a theory put forward by cultural theorist Skadoj Capper [1871-1812], that all you needed to read of a book was the first 106 pages. What happened on page 107 was unimportant. All the other pages, including the ending, were unimportant. Most disagreed, but Capper was adamant. The only thing that annoyed him was a book less than 106 pages long. Like Automatic Assassin. Or The Brothers Karamazov. These books he would not read.
Ubik [106 pages]
1] Joe Chip is introduced in the third chapter. Why? Is he not the main character? Yes, but the world must be established first.
World > characters
2] The old Fitzgerald trick is used in Chapter Two – instead of following Runciter from the end of Chapter One into the beginning of Chapter Two, we are put into the headspace of the moratorium owner, who thinks about irrelevant things for two pages before Runciter comes into his world. Then we switch back to Runciter. Why?
- it establishes a world separate from the main characters’ world Read more…