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Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)

Started by Lemming, May 11, 2021, 02:05:41 PM

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The Culture Bunker

Quote from: bgmnts on October 24, 2021, 11:57:04 AM
I remember the episode but I can't remember why being cleverer makes him a better actor.
He's also (if I remember right) more confident and assertive, which would help with his acting.

MojoJojo

Quote from: Lemming on October 20, 2021, 11:39:36 PM
S04E18 - Identity Crisis
I'm not exactly sure what it is I don't like about this episode, but there's something about it. The most I can say beyond that is that I don't think it's very entertaining, it's just the usual methodical "things are getting worse and worse until the miracle cure arrives" stuff that Braga has written quite a bit of for Star Trek. I want to give it 3/10 but I don't think I could explain why beyond just saying that I don't like the episode, which is pretty naff if I'm meant to be reviewing these, but I don't know what else to say.

I think you touched on it earlier in the review - the story doesn't really go anywhere. Geordi gets sick, they try and work out why, then Bev cures him. The one sci-fi idea - it's how some aliens reproduce - doesn't alter the story in any way.

I think the climax demonstrates how there isn't much of a story. Leijten has to convince varicose Geordi to come back and be cured.
- this hasn't been built up. Leijten was desperate to go to the planet, but Geordi was just a bit shake before he ran off. His emotional conflict is brand new in this scene.
-Leijten doesn't feel established enough to be having this talk, we're told their old friends, and the script does work to make that seem believable, but it doesn't feel like they've kept in contact or anything.
-it's a pointless drama anyway, just stun Geordi and teleport off.

MojoJojo

As an aside, it amuses me how ridiculously ambiguous the instructions to the teleporter room are.

Leiten and Geordi are hugging.

Bev: transporter room, lock on to Leijten's communicator. Two to beam up.

Bev and Leijten beam up. Geordi wanders off.

Ambient Sheep

Heh, that's bugged me ever since I was a little kid watching TOS.

"But how do they know which ones to beam up?"

"Hush dear."

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

Quote from: MojoJojo on October 25, 2021, 08:43:47 AM
-Leijten doesn't feel established enough to be having this talk, we're told their old friends, and the script does work to make that seem believable, but it doesn't feel like they've kept in contact or anything.
This bothered me about the episode as a child (!!!!!! good god this show and I are old). Data's Geordi's best friend. Should be Data talking to him. Buuuut that doesn't really work because even though "Data Understands Humanity Better Than He Thinks And Is Closer To Experiencing Emotion Than He Realises" is a running theme of the show (see earlier in this very episode), he still doesn't have the right level of intuition or emotional intelligence at this point to reach Geordi in that way. Hence the old friend.

MojoJojo

I almost suggested Data should have done it! It's partly setup with Bev's talk with Data earlier. But the problem is Data's not supposed to emote, so he can't do the emotional climax scene.

Just realised that's how a large number of tng scripts work - everyone works together to solve a conundrum logically, but it seems unsolvable, but then someone (usually Picard) gets a bit passionate and emotes and fixes everything in 5 minutes.

Lemming

S4E20 - Qpid

Q returns to the Enterprise and whisks the bridge crew away into a recreation of Robin Hood.

- Picard's been invited to give a lecture, presumably on how to nearly lose your ship every week.

- Troi tells him that his terrible speech is fine and that it's bedtime. Picard finds Vash in his room and doesn't ask too many questions about how she boarded the ultra-secure flagship without anyone knowing. Instead, they have dinner.

- Bev arrives, decked out in one of Wesley's jumpers, and turns everything stomach-rendingly awkward.

- Vash goes to Ten Forward where Riker leers at her strangely from the bar and then walks over to talk to her about eternity or something. Bev cruelly strands her with him. Vash learns that Picard told nobody about his weird Ferengi-punching adventure on Risa, and never mentioned her to anyone.

- After Vash tells Picard to go fuck himself for the above grievance, Picard strops off to his ready room to discover Q there. Q tells Picard that he feels indebted to him for saving his life, and Q has therefore planned a nice surprise.

-
QuotePICARD: I've just been paid a visit from Q.
RIKER: Q? Any idea what he's up to?
PICARD: He wants to do something nice for me.
RIKER: I'll alert the crew.
As with the last Q episode, it feels kind of odd - he's a sitcom neighbour now and we never mention the 18 people he indirectly killed in "Q Who?". It makes sense to reinvent the character this way and it plays into DeLancie's style better, but it does still feel jarring if you take past episodes into account. To be fair to this episode, it does treat him as somewhat threatening and Picard reacts to him with a bit of gravity.

- Picard's lecture is unthinkably awful. Luckily, everyone is suddenly teleported to a forest and dressed in medieval gear.

- GUY OF GISBORNE shows up and fires arrows at the party, so they flee into the woods. Q, as the sherriff of Nottingham, arrives and tells Picard that Vash will be executed tomorrow unless Picard and his team can effect a rescue. Q says he can't control the fantasy, so the stakes are real.

- Worf destroys Geordi's lute or whatever it is, then Troi shoots Data in the chest. Best scene in the episode. Incidentally, I like how everyone's outraged about being forced into this weird scenario, but everyone bar Worf also willingly keeps wearing the stupid hats.

- Vash is being held captive in a castle. She manages to charm Guy of Gisborne into being on her side. Picard enters the castle dressed as a pilgrim or some shit and reaches Vash, who refuses to be rescued because Picard's a knob and his escape plan is trash. While Picard is captured by guards and taken away, Vash attempts to get a message out to the rest of the bridge crew. Q intervenes but is impressed with Vash's SKILLS.

- The morning of Vash and Picard's execution arrives, but the bridge crew have come dressed in ultra-conspicuous robes. Data turns one of his own components into an explosive which provides the distraction for Picard and Vash to resist the guards.

- In the ensuing melee, Geordi and Riker manage to win swordfights against normally-built adult men, which is possibly the most unbelievable thing ever to happen on-screen in any episode of Star Trek. Also, Troi and Bev don't get to engage in combat, they just knock people out with vases. I guess neither of them know how to shoot bows, as demonstrated with Troi earlier.

- Q ends the game and sends everyone back to the lecture hall, where the crowd have wisely absconded long ago. Q and Vash decide that, since they're both arseholes, they'd make good travelling companions and so they teleport away together into space.

Bit of fun, not really much else you can say about it. The episode doesn't take itself at all seriously, which is nice for TNG. The only real complaint is that it takes until about the halfway point for the adventure to actually start, and the first half is mostly a pretty dull exercise in Vash talking to people about Picard. 6/10


Mr Trumpet

I think this is the most successful comedy episode of the show. Worf's merry man line is a classic.

I remember either Sirtis or McFadden complaining about the fight scene, and how the director wouldn't let the women fight with swords. Apparently they were the only two actors with stage fighting training! Apart from Patrick Stewart presumably.

daf

093 | "Qpid"



Everything I Do, I Do it For Q

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Worf : "Sir, I protest! I am not a merry man!"
• Worf : "Nice Legs . . . for a human!"
• Worf's Mandolin Mashing : "Sorry."
• The Sheriff of Getknotted Q!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Flustered Picard : "Beverly . . . Dr. Beverly . . . Dr. Beverly Crusher"
• Riker's Chat-up Masterclass
• Dull plodding Picard's horrible lecture
• Data : Armed and Dangerous
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score :

mothman


The Culture Bunker

Worf's lute-smashing is a little tribute to Animal House, isn't it?

That's about the only part of the episode I can remember without going back and re-watching, which does suggest the comedy didn't really work for me.

petril

this is the episode where even the English accented ones get made to say Robinhood

mothman


Wonderful Butternut

6 posts discussing QPid without posting the merry man clip is too many: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zmK-Sn2Ss0&ab_channel=ChrisYoung1741

Instead of telling Q to fuck off, pity Picard didn't think to have him check would there be a point in the future where he'd really need the favour. Like if his brother and nephew burned to death in a few years time something. Although Q would probably find that boring and not co-operate.

daf

Quote from: mothman on October 27, 2021, 09:56:34 AM
Is that the first ten we've had?

I've given out a couple previously :

028 | Elementry, Dear Data *
063 | The Offspring

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
* (Which was immediately followed by the thread's only "0/10" - so far - for : 029 | "The Outrageous Okona")


Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on October 27, 2021, 11:49:50 AM
6 posts discussing QPid without posting the merry man clip is too many: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zmK-Sn2Ss0&ab_channel=ChrisYoung1741

Instead of telling Q to fuck off, pity Picard didn't think to have him check would there be a point in the future where he'd really need the favour.
Picard doesn't agree with the notion that the future is already laid out.

petril


mothman



MojoJojo

Quote from: Mr Trumpet on October 27, 2021, 08:15:14 AM
I think this is the most successful comedy episode of the show. Worf's merry man line is a classic.

I came back from the pub, remembered this was my next episode and then it starts with the captains log:

QuoteCaptain's log, stardate 44741.9. We have arrived at Tagus Three where the Enterprise is to serve for host of the Federation Archaeology Council's annual symposium. I look forward to giving tomorrow's keynote address with great anticipation.

It's great.

Apart from having the most actual funny bits, it's a really good mocking of earlier tng. Picard has love interest - they share an interest in archaeology! A godlike being offers him a favour - Picard tells him to leave him alone so he can just give his lecture on archaeology!

And Vash fucks off with Q. I'm very glad Picard is basically fine with this, and there was the setup about Picard not telling anyone about Vash, otherwise it would be a winning the girl story. Instead it's basically an acknowledgement that Star Trek tells stories like an accountant parent explain that the Prince really should have got a pre-nup before marrying cinderella.

Lemming

S4E21 - The Drumhead

Fear of a possible Romulan spy leads an admiral to conduct a witch hunt aboard the Enterprise.

- There's a Klingon guy aboard as part of an exchange program, and he's accused of Fookin' Aboot with the dilithium chamber. He accuses his interrogators - Troi and Riker - of racism. Troi pulls out her trump card. Aha, our chief of security is Klingon! Checkmate!

- Troi is here to read the Klingon's thoughts/emotions. As always, it's interesting to wonder what the laws and ethics are around this kind of thing. Presumably the Klingon didn't agree to be mind-probed like this.

- Admiral Nora Satie, retired, is here to assist in the investigation. Apparently she was instrumental in taking down the conspiracy in "Conspiracy", oh god no.

- Satie checks out footage of the alleged sabotage, and quickly becomes very alarmed. Theories begin to circulate about Romulan-Klingon collaboration.

- Worf has discovered the tool used by the Klingon exchange guy to steal information from the ship, and it's some wacky device that lets you inject information into people. Satie is enthusiastic about Worf's skills and commitment, and places him in charge of parts of the investigation.

- The Klingon guy breaks down under questioning and admits he admires the Romulans and has sent them information, but denies any involvement with the dilithium chamber fuckup. Everyone starts panicking that someone else was involved. To convey the gravity of the situation, Patrick Stewart looks directly at the camera as we go to the ad break.

- Picard and Satie have tea. Picard admires JUDGE AARON SATIE, Satie's father. Satie regales Picard with tales of what an absolutely insufferable knob Aaron was, and how he held his own kids hostage at the dinner table until they finished an agonising mandatory dinnertime debate. Nora says that she loved this shit.

- Satie says she was initially irritated to be assigned to work with Picard, because she works better alone, but she's now warming up to him. Worf and Satie's assistant, meanwhile, bond by masturbating each other over ideals about SECURITY.

- Random people from the Enterprise are getting dragged up for interviews. One of them is a guy called Simon Tarses. He claims to have Vulcan heritage. Satie's assistant - also Betazoid - says that Tarses is covering a significant lie.

- Picard takes Satie to the ready room to tell her that no action is to be taken against Tarses just because a Betazoid says he's shady. Satie starts suggesting all kinds of stupid measures to hassle Tarses, and heroic music plays as Picard rejects them.

- In Engineering, Geordi and Data have been staring at the dilithium chamber hatch all day. They determine that the explosion was just an accident.

- This is the point where the episode derails IMO: a briefing is called. Picard, obviously correct, says that the investigation might as well now be closed. Satie insists there's still a vast conspiracy aboard the ship. Everyone in the room starts suggesting things that are obviously wrong, such as continuing to investigate Tarses, and Picard walks around reminding people of obvious things such as the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

- Satie has opened Tarses' next interview to spectators. Tarses has been assigned legal counsel... in the form of Commander William Riker. Uh oh.

- Satie, who is going mental, infers that Bev may be involved in the conspiracy. Her assistant yells over Tarses a lot. He's also discovered that Tarses has Romulan heritage, not Vulcan heritage. Riker advises Tarses to refuse to answer, and MURMURS erupt around the room, because we all absolutely hate Romulans to the point of being scandalised by someone having 1/4 Romulan heritage.

- Worf has lost his shit and is assigning random security personnel to do extreme deep next-level background checks on Tarses, even contacting school friends. In case you couldn't figure out that this is bad - even with the scary music - Picard grandiosely tells you that all this is bad. Worf's counterpoints are all nonsense that exist just to be knocked down by Picard's fridge-magnet-tier quotes:
QuoteWORF: But we know there is a traitor here. J'Dan has admitted his guilt.
PICARD: That's true, and he will stand for his crimes.
WORF: Tarses has all but done the same.
PICARD: How?
WORF: He refused to answer the question about his Romulan grandfather.
PICARD: That is not a crime, Worf. Nor can we infer his guilt because he didn't respond.
WORF: Sir, if a man were not afraid of the truth, he would answer.
PICARD: Oh, no. We cannot allow ourselves think that. The Seventh Guarantee is one of the most important rights granted by the Federation. We cannot take a fundamental principle of the Constitution and turn it against a citizen.
WORF: Sir, the Federation does have enemies. We must seek them out.
PICARD: Oh, yes. That's how it starts. But the road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think. Something is wrong here, Mister Worf. I don't like what we have become.

- Picard invites Tarses up to his quarters for a Nice Chat, which is odd considering the insane levels of security supposedly imposed on Tarses. Apparently, Tarses lying about his genetic heritage on his application has doomed his Shitfleet career.

- Satie's gone bananas and is conducting background checks into Tarses' brothers' cousins' friends' nieces' classmate. Picard takes her aside to the ready room and we get another scene of a cardboard cutout villain saying disagreeable things so that Picard can counter her by dramatically saying things we agree with.

- Satie is expanding the hearings, and has invited Admiral Henry from Starfleet security. Picard discovers that he is to be interrogated next.

- The interrogation begins. The camera spins around Picard while he explains to us that this is bad.

- Satie says Picard has violated the Prime Directive nine times. I can think of Symbiosis (sort of), Pen Pals, Who Watches the Watchers?, and after that I'm coming up blank. Satie goes on to bring up a couple of past events - the gigafuckup with the Romulan spy in Data's Day. Worf begins to realise that this is bad, and is immediately accused of being involved in The Conspiracy.

- This is bad. Satie brings up Picard's borgification, which doesn't appear to have anything to do with anything. Picard responds with his own tangentially-related-to-current-proceedings line:
QuoteWith the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie as wisdom and warning. The first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we're all damaged.

- This t-shirt worthy quote is from Satie's father. This sends her into an immediate public meltdown and she completely loses it in the court and starts screaming at Picard. Everyone in the court looks mad at her, and Admiral Henry calls an end to proceedings.

- Worf goes to apologise to Picard for getting swept up in all the bollocks. Picard reminds Worf that "villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged." Rich talk from Mr. Let's Let Millions/Billions Of People Die Because I'm Absolutely Certain That Stopping These Volcanoes From Orbit Is The Wrong Thing To Do Because Of Cosmic Fate, Though I Can't Explain Why.

Mentioned in the Measure of a Man review that I hate this one, which I thought was a controversial opinion but a quick look around the internet suggests that at least some other people have the same issues with it. Even the prestigious Tor.com! It's absolutely dull, Satie is a thinly sketched strawman who exists purely for Picard to say things at, things that literally everyone agrees with. She might as well have just come in wearing a t-shirt that says "KILL INFANTS" on it, and Picard could have spent 45 minutes saying "kill infants? No. No, we can not allow ourselves to stoop to that. I will never kill infants. It is wrong." The heroic music would swell, and we the audience could nod sagely.

The final courtroom scene is a laugh, Satie goes full Maddox. She's sat there, Picard confidently says a barely-related pithy quote to her, and she falls apart immediately so we can wrap up the episode.

Wouldn't it have been better if there was actually a tangible Romulan threat and Satie's arguments arguably made sense from a security perspective? Wouldn't it have been better if we as viewers could have the opportunity to get swept along with Worf into increasing paranoia, only realising too late the reality of what we've been cheering on?

Instead we get something that's about as complex as a fairy tale, that repeats your own views back at you - or at least, what you think are your own views, because virtually everyone would like to think they support fair trials and oppose draconian authoritarianism -  without ever actually challenging you. 3/10



Tune in next week when Picard theatrically reacts with horror to a cardboard cutout with "MURDER IS GOOD" written on it.

daf

094 | "The Drumhead"



Tarses with the Blame Brush

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Worf's backhand face-smash
• Simon's Shameful Secret [two bumholes?]
• Picard's Tea Masterclass : "Would you care for some lemon?"
• Satie's Nutty-room Meltdown
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Spy Syringe Sabotage
• Picard's "Required Reading" : Judgements [boring bastard!]
• Riker's useless advice : The Seventh Guarantee [deffo guilty!]
• Picard's Prime Directive Death Details
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score :

MojoJojo

Do we hear much else about the seventh guarantee? I like how they've made a legal right sound like something a used car salesman might say.

bgmnts

It's basically just the fifth amendment isn't it?

Blumf

I don't know, the claims of strawmanning don't seem to hold up when we saw the US go crazy ten years later. Gitmo is still open.

I quite like this idea though:

Quote from: Lemming on October 29, 2021, 02:06:22 AM
S4E21 - The Drumhead
...
Wouldn't it have been better if there was actually a tangible Romulan threat and Satie's arguments arguably made sense from a security perspective? Wouldn't it have been better if we as viewers could have the opportunity to get swept along with Worf into increasing paranoia, only realising too late the reality of what we've been cheering on?

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

...There was a tangible Romulan threat. J'Dan was passing information to the Romulans. Hey remember the fucking plot of the fucking episode

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

By the way this episode's themes are sadly still relevant today so your review is objectively wrong

Lemming

Quote from: Blumf on October 29, 2021, 11:30:13 AM
I don't know, the claims of strawmanning don't seem to hold up when we saw the US go crazy ten years later. Gitmo is still open.
Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on October 29, 2021, 11:50:20 AM
By the way this episode's themes are sadly still relevant today so your review is objectively wrong

Poiroit I feel like I'm in the Picard-interrogation-chair whenever you review my reviews. I'm still hoping to find the 20-word quote about freedom that will vanquish you.

My problem isn't that it's not conceivable that such a witchhunt could take place, it's that the episode presents it as so simplistic. There's no way to ever side with Satie or get swept along with the frenzy like Worf does. Even those crazy right-wingers who sometimes pop up in Star Trek comment sections to say shit like "didn't like Kirk's actions in this episode. He should have nuked the planet. The Federation is too weak" can't get taken in by Satie, because the show plays gloomy scary music whenever she speaks after a certain point, and heroic inspiriational music when Picard gives his responses.

Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on October 29, 2021, 11:49:28 AM
...There was a tangible Romulan threat. J'Dan was passing information to the Romulans. Hey remember the fucking plot of the fucking episode
It's not tangible to the audience, because we've never seen anything to suggest this before, plus:
- Data and Geordi, who we obviously trust, assure us there was no sabotage on the dilithium chamber.

- We're encouraged to empathise with and trust Tarses very early on, culminating in the Picard-and-Tarses dinner scene which removes any doubt the viewer may have had about him (not that many viewers would suspect him to start with).

- There's the scene just before the halfway point where Picard says - and we're primed to agree with him, because we know from previous episodes that there simply is not a far-reaching Romulan conspiracy aboard the ship - that the investigations should now end as the culprit, the Klingon exchange officer, has been caught. The audience essentially knows for a fact this is true, and just in case there's any lunatics watching who think the witchhunt should continue, Satie's suggestions begin to go off the deep end very quickly to ensure you don't accidentally end up siding with her.

To quote the Tor review[nb]I had to stand alone for "Measure of a Man", but now the respected KEITH FROM TOR is on my side on this one. If you want to get me, you have to go through KEITH FROM TOR.[/nb], "the deck is stacked" against her to protect even the most insane viewer from being pulled into Satie's paranoia. I honestly don't believe anyone would watch this and, at any point, think Satie was correct about the potential of a deep-rooted conspiracy aboard the ship.

Again, I really wish the potential was offered for us to follow Worf's journey here, to accept more and more clearly unacceptable breaches of rights in order to combat the plausibly-real threat. Instead of Picard being portrayed as very obviously right, he could be portrayed more ambiguously, so that some viewers may perceive him as weak and unwilling to do what suppoesdly "needs to be done". The scene at the end where Worf hears the T'Pel situation being warped into evidence against Picard could have been one of the most effective moments in the whole show if this had been the case - the moment where the viewer has the same exact realisation as Worf, where something they already know to be an unavoidable mistake is turned against them, and that this is what they've been supporting the whole time.

Mr_Simnock

Quote from: Lemming on October 29, 2021, 03:27:32 PM
My problem isn't that it's not conceivable that such a witchhunt could take place, it's that the episode presents it as so simplistic.

I think given the constraints of the format and time they did quite well, I often get the feeling when watching TNG that they had to make everything as simple as possible, the watcher can grasp it in a flash hence the simplicity. I doubt the writers had a choice.

I would love to see this episode made again but in 2 parts and by Adam Curtis, "What Picard realised was that Starfleet had become corrupted by paranoia and he believed he could deal with it, what he did next was revolutionary" etc etc etc