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

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

Previous topic - Next topic

Wonderful Butternut

I know the Riker criticism is at least partly for the lulz, but you're overreaching in a few places here, imo:

Quote- It begins immediately - Shelby's set up an away team, and Riker's mad because he already set up a dream team.

Riker is mad (and not even that mad at this point) because Shelby is automatically assuming that she's now the Enterprise's First Officer and he's just there to clean out his things and she can just ignore his existence entirely. This is a valid reason to be mad.

Quote- Shelby comes up with a good idea at a meeting. Riker panics and snaps at her and demands that the meeting end immediately.

Shelby wanted to pull an all nighter, and initially all the crew pull it with her, before she backs down to just her and Data when she's reminded that humans need to sleep. So she'd either be falling asleep in Troi's chair, or be full of stimulants, the following morning when the Borg attack for the sake of going through reams of technical data, which given how far the Borg area ahead of the Ent-D technologically will probably do fuck all for them. Riker is correct.

Quote- Look at the look Shelby gives Riker after he reminds her that the Borg have the ability to adapt. Yeah, really, I bet she didn't know that, being the Federation's foremost Borg specialist.

Shelby is smugly congratulating herself about how the Enterprise's shields have the Borg's tractor beam confused, when Riker reminds her about the Borg adapting about 2 seconds before the Borg successfully do just that. As you say, the NEW DEFENCE CAPABILITIES lasted all of 5 seconds. Roles reversed you'd be saying "ha ha ha Riker is such a dumbass here. The writers must really hate him."

What's interesting about the Riker / Shelby dynamic is the one time you see them off duty, in the Poker game, there's no problem. Riker is completely relaxed around her and doesn't seem remotely bothered about being beaten by her. Riker's problem with her is strictly that she's trying to edge him out, nothing personal. At this point, before their arguments about separating the ship and such, this is realistic. Compare that to how he deals with his transporter duplicate a few seasons later, which I sort of don't get, tbh.

One of my favourite bits of acting, at least I assume it's acting and Stewart didn't just swallow a fly or something, is when Hansen is telling them about the ship that reported contact with the Borg, and Picard orders Data to go to the Bridge and set an intercept course. Listen to Stewart's delivery, the hurried, slightly cracking voice, subtly shows that Picard is likely shitting himself as there's a good chance he's ordered Data to set course for their death.

The only thing that bothers me in this episode is the Admiral is all like "SHELBY WILL BE A GREAT FIRST OFFICER!", further backed up by
Spoiler alert
Riker making her First Officer in Part 2
[close]
. Ok, let's assume Riker has accepted the Melbourne and is going to leave. Why is it assumed that Shelby will automatically get his job? What about that super intelligent android who presumably has been in Starfleet longer than Shelby, and whom Picard already knows and trusts? Aside from when Jellicoe comes on board, Data doesn't get his shot until Nemesis more than 10 years later. Always seemed unfair to me.

Quote from: kalowski on September 04, 2021, 11:35:45 PM
Evil Cube who attack you on sight is beautiful. These fuckers seemed unstoppable. That's why I love this episode. Resistance really is futile.

Ditto. It's more apparent in the next part
Spoiler alert
when they don't even bother blowing the Enterprise up after their deflector shot doesn't work. Yeah, you're irrelevant now lads. Bye bye!
[close]

Spoiling out of principal as we're going to be discussing Part 2 in a couple of days. I'm sure everyone knows what happens.

Lemming

I do think Shelby is a ridiculous person, the culmination of which is her giving Worf an order that contradicts Riker's immediate prior order (I still can't get over how Worf actually appears to obey this), and that Riker is, at least in the first half, very forbearing towards her in a way that she doesn't earn. I suppose we're meant to see her as someone who takes initiative and gets things done, but she comes across more like she thinks she's the captain of the ship.

It's refreshing to have someone who's not scared to speak up and isn't mindlessly obedient to the chain of command (Pulaski is the only other person I can immediately think of, maybe very occasionally Bev and very occasionally Wesley), but if anything, Shelby goes way too far in the other direction. She's also really nasty to Riker in the turbolift, but that's at least partly justified I reckon given that Riker was the one who decided to lock them both in a small lift in a really naff attempt at intimidation.

Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on September 05, 2021, 12:22:56 AM
Shelby wanted to pull an all nighter, and initially all the crew pull it with her, before she backs down to just her and Data when she's reminded that humans need to sleep. So she'd either be falling asleep in Troi's chair, or be full of stimulants, the following morning when the Borg attack for the sake of going through reams of technical data, which given how far the Borg area ahead of the Ent-D technologically will probably do fuck all for them. Riker is correct.

It's maybe down to the direction, but I think he comes across badly here. Riker asks for ideas, Geordi and Wesley say they can't think of anything, Shelby then raises an idea, and Riker suddenly snaps at her insists that no, despite him asking for ideas about twenty seconds ago, he's decided that it's actually bedtime now and the meeting must end immediately on his orders. Doesn't even mention that he'll take a look at her suggestion or leave it with Data or anything.

It seems that the original script has Shelby argue with him in a way that would make his response make more sense, but the final version used in the broadcast goes like this:
QuoteRIKER: Is there anything we can do here to adapt to our current defence systems?
GEORDI: We'll have to go through the specs again, but I don't know. My mind's turned to clay.
WESLEY: Mine too.
SHELBY: I think we should look at modifying the plasma phaser design.
RIKER: Commander, I think we should call it a night. That's an order. We'll reconvene at 0500.
Which makes his turnaround inexplicably sudden, and Frakes delivers the line pretty aggressively.

Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on September 05, 2021, 12:22:56 AM
Shelby is smugly congratulating herself about how the Enterprise's shields have the Borg's tractor beam confused, when Riker reminds her about the Borg adapting about 2 seconds before the Borg successfully do just that. As you say, the NEW DEFENCE CAPABILITIES lasted all of 5 seconds. Roles reversed you'd be saying "ha ha ha Riker is such a dumbass here. The writers must really hate him."

I didn't get the impression she was being smug - the new shield thing was said to be Geordi's idea and implementation, I think, not Shelby's. It seemed more like a classic Riker-states-the-obvious moment, reminding everyone in earshot (one of whom is apparently a leading specialist on the Borg) that the Borg can adapt and that the shields and new weapons might not work, which everyone surely already knew given that it was the topic of the meeting they'd had a couple of minutes beforehand.

Cloud

I always like Geordi doing a barrel roll under the UNPAUSABLE Engineering safety door.

I'd try it, not have the right momentum to do more than half a roll and die in the radiation or whatever.

Zetetic

Quote from: mothman on September 03, 2021, 06:16:49 PM
An Earth-set drama about humanity Subliming - to use the Banksian term for evolving to a whole new plane of existence - but baseline humans trying to stop it out of sheer cuntery might be interesting. Similar things have been done of course, but usually they fall into the following categories:

a) It's not immediately clear what is happening, or it's being done forcibly because of aliens or something, or scientists meddling in Things They Don't Understand.
b) The state into which people are evolving is one of being utter cunts themselves and they want to either force others to do it before they're ready, or alternately just exterminate old humans.
Is the position of The Culture basically b) ? Insofar as subliming, at least on a civilisational scale, is seen as a bit of a cop-out?

But then I suppose it's a bit of an open question of cunty The Culture is.

Chairman Yang

Quote from: Cloud on September 05, 2021, 01:58:45 AM
I always like Geordi doing a barrel roll under the UNPAUSABLE Engineering safety door.

I'd try it, not have the right momentum to do more than half a roll and die in the radiation or whatever.

That's the best case scenario, knowing the Federation the door would gently come to a stop resting against your supine form as the warp core explodes pissing antimatter all over the ship.

daf

073 | "The Best of Both Worlds - Part 1"



Great Borgs! Oh, Fie! . . Arrgh!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Picard --> Riker : "What the Hell are you still doing here?"
• Shelby vs. Riker Turbo-lift Pissing contest
• Red Hot Poker #4 : Wesley Folding Flopper
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Guinan's Midnight Picard Pep-talk
• Dust Cloud Hide & Seek
• The Early Idiom Confuses the Data
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score :

the hum

Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on September 05, 2021, 12:22:56 AM
One of my favourite bits of acting, at least I assume it's acting and Stewart didn't just swallow a fly or something, is when Hansen is telling them about the ship that reported contact with the Borg, and Picard orders Data to go to the Bridge and set an intercept course. Listen to Stewart's delivery, the hurried, slightly cracking voice, subtly shows that Picard is likely shitting himself as there's a good chance he's ordered Data to set course for their death.

One of my favourite scenes in the whole series is that, the level of foreboding is almost unbearable. Watching this on first broadcast aged eleven, when Hansen delivered the "the Lalo reported contact with an alien vessel, described as cube shaped" line I'm pretty sure I started visibly shaking.

Lemming

SEASON THREE MEGA-SUMMARY

Evolution - me 4/10, daf 2/10
The Ensigns of Command - me 7/10, daf 4/10
The Survivors - me 9/10, daf 5/10
Who Watches the Watchers - me 8/10, daf 6/10
The Bonding - me 9/10, daf 4/10
Booby Trap - me 3/10, daf 7/10
The Enemy - me 7/10, daf 4/10
The Price - me 2/10, daf 3/10
The Vengeance Factor - me 4/10, daf 2/10
The Defector - me 9/10, daf 4/10
The Hunted - me 3/10, daf 3/10
The High Ground - me 7/10, daf 3/10
Deja Q - me 4/10, daf 8/10
A Matter of Perspective - me 3/10, daf 5/10
Yesterday's Enterprise - me 6/10, daf 9/10
The Offspring - me 6/10, daf 10/10
Sins of the Father - me 7/10, daf 8/10
Allegiance - me 4/10, daf 4/10
Captain's Holiday - me 2/10, daf 6/10
Tin Man - me 5/10, daf 4/10
Hollow Pursuits - me 3/10, daf 8/10
The Most Toys - me 5/10, daf 4/10
Sarek - me 7/10, daf 5/10
Menage a Troi - me 6/10, daf 7/10
Transfigurations - me 4/10, daf 2/10
The Best of Both Worlds Part 1 - me 6/10, daf 6/10

Apparently my favourite episodes were The Survivors, Who Watches the Watchers, The Bonding, and The Defector. Fair enough.

My average rating was 5.3, while daf's was 5.1. So, despite the variance in individual scores, we ended up with very similar averages again, and yet again with a 0.2 difference! For reference, for S1 my average was 3.5 while daf's was 3.3, and our averages for S2 were 4.9 and 4.7.

According to these ULTRA-SUBJECTIVE ratings, S3 is a step up over S2, but not the meteoric rise in quality that it's generally considered to be. I think that sounds right to me - S3 hits it out of the park with a collection of very strong episodes, but the bulk of it is pretty middling, which is pretty much exactly how I'd describe S2 as well. However, at least S3 doesn't have The Outrageous Fucking Okona, so it takes the lead easily.

daf

My Series 3 | Top 3 :

1. The Offspring
2. Hollow Pursuits
3. Yesterday's Enterprise

It's tricky scoring these - as, despite giving Hollow Pursuits an 8 and Yesterday's Enterprise a 9, on reflection, I think I prefer Barclay's rich holo-deck fantasy world slightly more than an alternative 'heroic' death for Tasha - which, aside from Guinan (possibly?), nobody on board will remember!

Also, when's O'Brien going to get his episode - are we going to have to wait till DS9?

mothman

Quote from: Zetetic on September 05, 2021, 10:33:11 AM
Is the position of The Culture basically b) ? Insofar as subliming, at least on a civilisational scale, is seen as a bit of a cop-out?

But then I suppose it's a bit of an open question of cunty The Culture is.

It's something I'd have to look into, refresh my memory. Sublimation was looked into from various perspectives but I don't think there were any attempt to stop it. The Sublimed usually seemed to eschew relations with the physical universe, excepting the race in Look To Windward.

Anyway, Trek! Woo! Now, I've always gone against the prevailing wisdom in preferring BoBW pt. 2. Couldn't tell you why. Maybe it's that I saw 2 first and it's the episode that made me want to watch TNG at all. I find the whole Ford v Ferrari Shelby v Riker thing tedious. As others have said, Shelby seems to assume the Exec job is as good as hers. And I also find it very amusing that
Spoiler alert
her one useful tactical suggestion - "separate the saucer section, assign a skeleton crew" was an alliterative line Elizabeth Dennehy later reported struggled with - is ultimately subverted and used to trick the Borg, who knew about it because she went behind Riker's back to brief it to Picard!
[close]

This is also the high point of Dennehy's career. Daughter of the late Brian, the only other thing I ever saw - or noticed - her in was a two-line part in Gattaca. Her character though has had a new lease of life, in Peter David's New Frontier series of books.
Spoiler alert
She does get to be a first officer (actually getting passed over for command) and eventually a captain and then admiral.
[close]

MojoJojo

Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on September 05, 2021, 12:22:56 AM
I know the Riker criticism is at least partly for the lulz, but you're overreaching in a few places here, imo:
I basically agree with this.
Quote from: Lemming on September 05, 2021, 01:44:26 AM
I do think Shelby is a ridiculous person, the culmination of which is her giving Worf an order that contradicts Riker's immediate prior order (I still can't get over how Worf actually appears to obey this), and that Riker is, at least in the first half, very forbearing towards her in a way that she doesn't earn. I suppose we're meant to see her as someone who takes initiative and gets things done, but she comes across more like she thinks she's the captain of the ship.
It's a bit of an issue with the cuddliness of TNG crew mixed in with the military feel it inherited from TOS. The chain of command is very fuzzy - we often have Riker and Picard taking turns to bark out orders during battle, with no clear separation of responsibilities. In reality it would be chaos with Riker charging phasers while Picard wants to talk, but because it's TNG they always agree and work as a perfect team without talking or working anything out before hand.

So with Shelby it's impossible to know who's in the right or wrong because we don't know what her role is and we don't know if she's supposed to be subordinate to Riker or not.

mothman

The first and second officers are there to oversee the running of the ship, sweating the small stuff basically so the captain doesn't have to. It helps in this case that the second officer is also the Operations officer (which given he also acts as effective Science officer - despite not being in the Science division - may be a reflection of the Ent-D's Science mission; that said, Voyager was notionally a Science vessel too and yet Harry as Ops officer wasn't second officer, in fact he was the junior officer on the bridge). This is why you'll often hear Riker ordering shields raised, though it does beg the question, suppose Picard as overall commander didn't want shields raised in case it escalated a tense situation?

Wonderful Butternut

I think the writers did run into an issue with Riker in that he's just First Officer whereas Spock was also Science Officer. So in a tactical or crisis situation, by definition Riker has less to contribute than someone who has an actual station, and just supplements Picard's orders or crosses over with them. Sometimes they get it right, Picard gives a general order which Riker translates into specific instructions for the crew. But other times they use him to provide or facilitate exposition to the audience, which can make him look a bit thick.

Quote from: mothman on September 06, 2021, 08:02:08 PM
The first and second officers are there to oversee the running of the ship, sweating the small stuff basically so the captain doesn't have to. It helps in this case that the second officer is also the Operations officer (which given he also acts as effective Science officer - despite not being in the Science division - may be a reflection of the Ent-D's Science mission; that said, Voyager was notionally a Science vessel too and yet Harry as Ops officer wasn't second officer, in fact he was the junior officer on the bridge). This is why you'll often hear Riker ordering shields raised, though it does beg the question, suppose Picard as overall commander didn't want shields raised in case it escalated a tense situation?

Data was apparently supposed to get a blue science division uniform (they hadn't overthought Ops as a station at this point) but they didn't like how it looked once they settled on the yellow make up. Idk how true that is.

As for Voyager, Janeway was a science officer prior to being a captain, and sometimes she does the sciencey stuff herself, especially in later episodes.

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on September 06, 2021, 08:42:26 PM
Data was apparently supposed to get a blue science division uniform (they hadn't overthought Ops as a station at this point) but they didn't like how it looked once they settled on the yellow make up. Idk how true that is.
I find it a bit strange that yellow is used for both engineering and security while blue is medical and, uhm, "all other science"? I suppose? Tbf we do see Data in engineering a lot and dealing with that area of science so at least it's consistent.

Lemming

You can kind of see the dynamic that's maybe intended to exist - Picard is unapproachable and aloof, while Riker is the friendly face of command who the crew can interact with freely and raise concerns with, and then Riker is able to give Picard a picture of where the crew stands. The crew should feel like Riker's their best mate and that he's the person who speaks on their behalf in command meetings. Doesn't work at all and never comes across on screen for many reasons, but there's still the occasional line telling us about Riker's famous "joviality" and the crew's fondness for him, both of which we virtually never see.

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

Riker does the crew evaluations with Troi and co-ordinates reports from the department heads before sending them to Picard.

mothman

They're not always consistent with whom they have doing what and in which division colour they're wearing.

There's a canny way of thinking in which the red uniformed "engineering and security" personnel of TOS became the gold "Operations Division" people. The line between engineering and science can be nebulous, especially with Medical lumped in with the latter.

It's Command division that's really all over the place. We've seen all sorts in gold and (later) red. The only not-actual-command people we can consistently nail down in terms of role are helmsmen (and, briefly, navigators). The assorted Enterprises and Voyager were helmed by Command types; but all sorts flew the Defiant. And DSC is the worst offender of all - all the secondary bridge crew (Detmer, Owosekun, Rhys, Bryce) are Operations (bronze originally, looks like back to gold in the upcoming season). But If they're trying to embrace a stricter definition of "Command Division" then why isn't Tilly, on the "Command Program," in gold (originally) or red (in season 4)?

Wonderful Butternut

Quote from: Lemming on September 06, 2021, 09:49:43 PM
You can kind of see the dynamic that's maybe intended to exist - Picard is unapproachable and aloof, while Riker is the friendly face of command who the crew can interact with freely and raise concerns with, and then Riker is able to give Picard a picture of where the crew stands. The crew should feel like Riker's their best mate and that he's the person who speaks on their behalf in command meetings. Doesn't work at all and never comes across on screen for many reasons, but there's still the occasional line telling us about Riker's famous "joviality" and the crew's fondness for him, both of which we virtually never see.

I agree that Riker is rarely shown to be jovial on the bridge. But that's not the place for it, I suppose and it seems that they angled for something of an 'action man' hardass on the bridge. You'd wonder why they mention the 'jovial' command syle though. We really only see his joviality in poker games or when Troi's giving him shit over his trombone playing.

That being said the only times I thought he was a dick are in "Second Chances" and "Lower Decks" (the episode, not the AIDS filled cartoon). And Troi does pull him up a bit in the latter.

Quote from: mothman on September 06, 2021, 10:35:42 PM
It's Command division that's really all over the place. We've seen all sorts in gold and (later) red. The only not-actual-command people we can consistently nail down in terms of role are helmsmen (and, briefly, navigators). The assorted Enterprises and Voyager were helmed by Command types; but all sorts flew the Defiant. And DSC is the worst offender of all - all the secondary bridge crew (Detmer, Owosekun, Rhys, Bryce) are Operations (bronze originally, looks like back to gold in the upcoming season). But If they're trying to embrace a stricter definition of "Command Division" then why isn't Tilly, on the "Command Program," in gold (originally) or red (in season 4)?

Again, allegedly command being swapped from gold to red was a decision made after doing screen tests with the TNG crew. Red suited Stewart and Frakes better than yellow, so they swapped the command division colours with engineering / security. Incidentally, a lot of sources suggest the TOS gold uniforms (or at least Kirk's) were actually green and a combination of the studio lighting and the type of film used made them appear gold on broadcasts. His 'alternate' uniforms - his dress uniform and the 'wraparound' style tunic - do appear green.

Lemming

S04E01 - The Best of Both Worlds Part 2

With Picard assimilated, it's down to Riker to take command of the Enterprise and save Earth from a Borg attack.

- You have to love the absolutely limpdicked conclusion to "Mr Worf... FIRE"! Oop, the shot didn't do anything, that's that. Locutus tells everyone that resistance is futile. It's time for an emergency conference room meeting. Starfleet has sent 40 starships to Wolf 359, and made sure to place Jennifer Sisko directly beneath the most collapse-prone ceiling. Riker gains a field promotion to Captain.

- Riker and Worf walk into Engineering. "Just the man I need!" Geordi enthuses, followed immediately by, "I could really use your help, Worf." Brutal. Also, Barclay namedrop.

- Riker praises Shelby for constantly giving him shit, because it keeps him alert. Unironically better captain-ing than Picard, who - especially in the first two seasons - tended to just get pissy when people talked back to him. On that note, back in Yesterday's Enterprise, I think I mentioned that whenever Picard isn't there to coddle Riker, and Riker's forced to make decisions for himself, he comes into his element as a solidly mediocre officer. Definitely seems to be the case here.

- It's time to select the new first officer! Worf is needed at tactical, and Data was "strongly considered" but rejected. Therefore, Shelby is to be promoted to first officer. I'm confused, but I always have trouble understanding what's going on with the chain of command stuff and who's eligible for which posting.

- Guinan's "time to get stuck in to someone's emotional crisis" senses start tingling, and she homes in on the ready room where Riker is fretting and talking to a chair. Guinan tells Riker to get into gear and forget about Picard, because it's Captain Riker time. Again, I really like Guinan and Goldberg's fantastic half-warm half-eerie performance, but you'd think that stopping the new captain from having a breakdown would be Troi's job. Not least because of her personal relationship with Riker.

- They arrive at Wolf 359 and find that absolutely everyone's dead. A bunch of destroyed Federation ships are drifting around the place, their on-board nurseries blasted apart and the kiddos thrown away into space.[nb]I know only the Galaxy-class is said to have a nursery and there's no Galaxy-classes shown here, I just find the idea of a nursery on a starship endlessly amusing[/nb] Riker likes the look of Shelby's previously-rejected SAUCER SEP plan, repurposed to trick the Borg.

- Riker's on the BATTLE BRIDGE and flies towards the cube. Locutus immediately identifies this as an attempt at deception, but still spends ages being distracted anyway. The SAUCER SEP occurs, this time without the entire theme song playing.

- The saucer section (containing nursery) flies towards the Borg cube. The Borg ignore it, just as Riker predicted, which is lucky. Evasive maneuvers RIKER ALPHA (which means drift a bit to the left) and RIKER BETA are employed to dodge the tractor beam. Meanwhile, Worf and Data fly an unstoppable shuttle at the cube, which allows them to beam aboard and recover Picard after a little pew-pew-pew shootout with the Borg. The Borg finally decide to get around to blowing up the shuttle, but only a second after the away team beams back to the Enterprise, onto the saucer section which doesn't have shields up. Wesley notes that the saucer section is defenceless and directly in front of the Borg cube, but luckily, the cube decides to just give up and fly off towards Earth.

- Locutus sits up in sickbay and says that he'll act as a handy spokesperson for the Borg, who will continue towards Earth to ASSIMILATE. Data checks out the Borg internet and learns how the Borg are connected.

- The cube flies past Saturn. There's 27 minutes until Earth gets assimilated!! Data has stuck a tube in his head which will allow him to interface with BorgNet. Locutus' special arm thing gets ripped off, and he starts to turn back into Picard somehow.

- The crew discuss the possibility of sending a command via Picard to the Borg collective. It's a flop at first so Riker orders a KAMIKAZE MANEUVER into the cube.

- Picard is conscious, though unable to speak or move, and has heard Data wondering which command to send to the Borg. "Sleep," he finally says. Troi confirms that this is Picard speaking, not Locutus. "Sleep, Data." Then comes the greatest line in the episode - Bev's "he's exhausted". Holy shit. Well, now that Riker's upgraded to being a mid-tier officer, I suppose someone has to take over the role of saying stupid shit.

- The Borg weapons are less impressive than in Q Who, so it takes them a while to do the hull-cutting thing they did before. The cube shuts down just before the nursery blows up, as Data's SLEEP command successfully turns all Borg offline.

- The Borg cube begins self-destruct in response to the SLEEP VIRUS. Riker walks into the science room where Picard is. Bev cautions him to stop the self-destruct because it might kill Picard, and Data encourages him to preserve the cube in order to study Borg tech. Riker decides to back off and let the cube blow up. You can argue about whether or not that was the right decision (especially given the potential of de-assimilating all the other drones on board), but at least he made a firm decision and, for possibly the first time in his life, didn't just agree with the last thing that was said to him. Character development?

- Instead of blowing Picard's head up, the cube's destruction immediately de-Borgs him.

- Shelby's leaving because Riker is completely immovable and is ready to return to his comfy chair. Picard has PTSD.

This actually is a bit punchier than the first half, and it's enjoyable to watch but I'm confused by huge parts of it. Not sure if it's the episode's fault or my own lack of listening comprehension, but I couldn't tell you what the fuck is going on during the big scene where the SAUCER SEP happens. Why do the Borg ignore the saucer? Why do they let the shuttle through? They have no problem blowing up other Starfleet vessels on sight, including three which are all simultaneously destroyed on the way to Earth, so why do they give the Enterprise such an easy ride? The episode implies that the plan works because the Borg have taken on Picard's knowledge, and Riker is able to formulate a plan that manipulates that fact, but surely Picard would know to fire on the vulnerable and defenceless saucer section because a) it's definitely a ruse and it's been identified as such and b) there's no reason not to take 0.5 seconds to destroy half of the flagship with a single torpedo. Combined with Locutus' ridiculous "you cannot distract me. let me give you my full attention for 10 minutes to explain why you cannot possibly distract me" stuff, it feels like the Borg are artificially nerfed to let the Enterprise triumph in an otherwise-impossible encounter.

Picard's de-borging is pretty convenient also, and again, I'm not really sure how it happens. Picard apparently makes contact with Data through the BORGNET, not sure how, but he suddenly makes a total mental recovery after the cube blows up. Was there a specific object aboard the cube which controlled all Borg connected to it? Did the deaths of all the other Borg on that specific cube break the connection? I can't really remember the specifics of how the Borg are expanded on later - I remember the mini-collectives in Voyager, stuff like that.

Riker works as a captain here because the script acknowledges that he's a bit crap and out of his depth, but when he's thrown into the deep end, he can pull through. I wonder how TNG might have looked if Picard had been PERMABORGED and things had gone ahead with Riker as an unsure, self-doubting captain who's suddenly been thrust into a position of responsibility that he'd been desperately avoiding until now, and Shelby as his self-assured first officer who's not scared to call him out. Instead, we're back to Riker being the human equivalent of a big lazy cat who just lounges on his specially-reserved chair all day and sometimes yells "SHIELDS", and Picard as a captain who's almost always (supposed to be) right and is scarcely ever challenged by his first officer. Grass is always greener on the other side, but it's interesting to think about what a major shake-up like that could have done for the series. It's thematically odd for this episode, specifically - Guinan tells Riker he'll have to let Picard go and step up to the role himself, and then the rest of the episode is about desperately retrieving Picard at all costs so that Riker can revert to his previous position. 6/10


mothman

Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on September 06, 2021, 11:41:03 PM
Again, allegedly command being swapped from gold to red was a decision made after doing screen tests with the TNG crew. Red suited Stewart and Frakes better than yellow, so they swapped the command division colours with engineering / security. Incidentally, a lot of sources suggest the TOS gold uniforms (or at least Kirk's) were actually green and a combination of the studio lighting and the type of film used made them appear gold on broadcasts. His 'alternate' uniforms - his dress uniform and the 'wraparound' style tunic - do appear green.

"Lime green, to be exact."

QuoteAnother quirk involving the original series' tunics were the colors - in particular, "command." Trekkies everywhere will swear Spock wore blue, Scotty wore red and Kirk wore gold. Wrong. The three Starfleet colors were blue, red and green. Lime green, to be exact. "It was one of those film stock things;" Theiss states, "it photographed one way - burnt orange or a gold. But in reality was another; the command shirts were definitely green." As further proof, look at the wrap-around tunics as well as the dress uniform tunics of Kirk's – all green. They came off as their true colors because they were constructed of different materials than the standard duty command shirts.

And, incidentally, the Wolf 359 debris field scene has been meticulously analysed to identify the models used for filming.

earl_sleek

QuoteThis is why you'll often hear Riker ordering shields raised, though it does beg the question, suppose Picard as overall commander didn't want shields raised in case it escalated a tense situation?

"BELAY THAT ORDAH MR WORF!"

(shot of RIKER looking nonplussed)

Mobbd

Quote from: mothman on September 07, 2021, 12:54:38 AM
meticulously analysed

Thanks for the de-facto introduction to Ex Astris Scientia. What an adorable and utterly devoted fan site. I fucking love it. Already starting to dig deep. Seriously, this is awesome.

mothman

Oh yeah, Bernd is awesome. I remember when they started this project, long before there were blu-ray or possibly even DVD screencaps. It's remarkable how far they were able to take it. Kinda wish I'd helped more, might have gotten my name in the credits section! Instead of carping from the sidelines...

Quote from: earl_sleek on September 07, 2021, 08:29:10 AM
"BELAY THAT ORDAH MR WORF!"

(shot of RIKER looking nonplussed)

Yeah, that does happen a couple of times I think. The order-belaying that is, Riker frequently looks nonplussed.

Wonderful Butternut

#1043
Quote from: Lemming on September 07, 2021, 12:31:36 AM
- You have to love the absolutely limpdicked conclusion to "Mr Worf... FIRE"! Oop, the shot didn't do anything, that's that. Locutus tells everyone that resistance is futile. It's time for an emergency conference room meeting. Starfleet has sent 40 starships to Wolf 359, and made sure to place Jennifer Sisko directly beneath the most collapse-prone ceiling. Riker gains a field promotion to Captain.

Allowing random Bolian tactical officer to indirectly save the Alpha Quadrant from the Dominion by dragging Ben Sisko out of there.

Quote from: Lemming on September 07, 2021, 12:31:36 AM
- Guinan's "time to get stuck in to someone's emotional crisis" senses start tingling, and she homes in on the ready room where Riker is fretting and talking to a chair. Guinan tells Riker to get into gear and forget about Picard, because it's Captain Riker time. Again, I really like Guinan and Goldberg's fantastic half-warm half-eerie performance, but you'd think that stopping the new captain from having a breakdown would be Troi's job. Not least because of her personal relationship with Riker.

They inadvertently put a new spin on Guinan's pep talk for Riker when they wrote "Times Arrow" a couple of seasons later.
Spoiler alert

Guinan's telling Riker to let go of Picard and be the captain, but at the same time she knows they'll retrieve Picard from the Borg because he hasn't travelled back in time to meet her in the 19th century yet.
[close]

Quote from: Lemming on September 07, 2021, 12:31:36 AM
This actually is a bit punchier than the first half, and it's enjoyable to watch but I'm confused by huge parts of it. Not sure if it's the episode's fault or my own lack of listening comprehension, but I couldn't tell you what the fuck is going on during the big scene where the SAUCER SEP happens. Why do the Borg ignore the saucer? Why do they let the shuttle through? They have no problem blowing up other Starfleet vessels on sight, including three which are all simultaneously destroyed on the way to Earth, so why do they give the Enterprise such an easy ride? The episode implies that the plan works because the Borg have taken on Picard's knowledge, and Riker is able to formulate a plan that manipulates that fact, but surely Picard would know to fire on the vulnerable and defenceless saucer section because a) it's definitely a ruse and it's been identified as such and b) there's no reason not to take 0.5 seconds to destroy half of the flagship with a single torpedo. Combined with Locutus' ridiculous "you cannot distract me. let me give you my full attention for 10 minutes to explain why you cannot possibly distract me" stuff, it feels like the Borg are artificially nerfed to let the Enterprise triumph in an otherwise-impossible encounter.

The saucer is not specifically defenceless any more than any Starfleet ship is against the Borg. I always presume the Borg disabled it off screen in the ad break after Picard is retrieved, since it being a 'sitting duck' only becomes a problem then. We certainly know it has it's own propulsion, weapons and shields. Being able to transport through your own shields is one of these inconsistent plot convenience things, and even if they had to drop them, they certainly had enough time to raise them again afterward given that no one interrupts Riker's smug reaction face for at least 5 or 6 seconds to tell him the saucer is having its shit ruined.

I'd forgive the way everything fell into place in terms of the Borg's reaction here, because retrieving Picard is a Hail Mary attempt as there's literally nothing they can do at this point to damage the cube. They basically admit as much in the briefing earlier. It's not like they're turning down far more sensible, solid plans to try zany shit. Holdo'ing the cube is the only other possibility I can think of, and given that the Borg can function with 78% (or whatever) of their ship disabled, and are completely immune to small anti-matter explosions in the form of torpedoes, there's no guarantee that' ramming it to make a big anti-matter explosion will work. And Riker was about to do that anyway when hacking Picard initially doesn't work.

Those three ships it torpedoes on its way to Earth are small & shit though. Probably planetary defence drones or something. I think the only full size ship they instagib is the Melbourne in the DS9 pilot. Sisko's Miranda class rust-bucket lasts a while. Both of those are older ships than the Enterprise.

Quote from: Lemming on September 07, 2021, 12:31:36 AM
It's thematically odd for this episode, specifically - Guinan tells Riker he'll have to let Picard go and step up to the role himself, and then the rest of the episode is about desperately retrieving Picard at all costs so that Riker can revert to his previous position.

The irony is not lost, but they weren't going to kill off Picard, although that was rumoured at the time. It's throwing out 'the book' on how to run the ship in the sense of risking the entire ship, crew and the kids' school to save one guy. (Which despite Spock's needs of the many speech, is actually something they do the whole time in Star Trek even though they're not supposed to)
Although you'd think Locutus might twig this as a tactic, considering that no conventional attack the Enterprise could possibly come up with is going to work.
The Collective appear to suffer from hubris.

Anyhow, overall BoBW as a two parter is an excellent episode and I give it 11/10, which I would represent with 11 smug Rikers if I was bothered making them.

The Culture Bunker

A nothing comment to make, but I did always like the bit where Data rips off Locutus' arm. Spiner manages to make the character look pissed off without any actual physical signs of being so, if that makes sense.

I suppose the main pay-off of the two parter is the future episode where Picard returns home and Patrick Stewart gets to do a bit more "proper" acting.

Blumf

Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on September 07, 2021, 10:31:38 AM
Anyhow, overall BoBW as a two parter is an excellent episode and I give it 11/10, which I would represent with 11 smug Rikers if I was bothered making them.

It's 11 Mr Homn


daf

074 | "The Best of Both Worlds - Part 2"



Being, Borging

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Locutus : mostly 'armless
• Guinan & Picard : shagging confirmed!!
• Bedtime For Borg-o
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Ambitious pain-in-the-neck Shelby
• Captain Riker's Melbourne close shave
• Data's flashy disco light brain
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score :

Ambient Sheep

Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on September 07, 2021, 10:31:38 AMThe irony is not lost, but they weren't going to kill off Picard, although that was rumoured at the time.

I dunno how true it is, but I once read that BoBW Part 1 was left open-ended because they didn't know if Patrick Stewart was going to renew his contract for another three seasons.  So BoBW Part 2 could've gone either way.

mothman

That's long been bandied about, and I think was even common knowledge at the time, which raised the excitement. And it's not like now when people would be posting on the internet if Stewart had been seen anywhere near the studio once season four had started filming, a la Jon Snow in GoT.

MojoJojo

It was widely rumoured but none of the cast have confirmed it since, and considering how much attention there has been it seems unlikely. The cliffhanger created a lot of suspense, and Paramount apparently milked the possibility of killing Picard off. Michael Piller, who wrote it, was considering leaving, and apparently Riker's dilemma and "why am I still here" talk was inspired by Piller's own thoughts at the time.

Patrick Stewart wanted to leave at the beginning of season 2, and had to be talked into going back on set. He wasn't feeling challenged.

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