by Rob Vaux Posted: May 3rd, 2013 at 8:01 am
Of all the tidbits on the new Blu-ray of Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Three, the tastiest comes from writer Michael Piller. He planned to leave the show at the end of the season until Gene Roddenberry himself appealed for him to stay. Before that happened, he conceived of one hell of a final act: a dilemma for the crew of the Enterprise so insurmountable that even he didn’t have the slightest idea how they were going to get out of it. Of course, he came back and subsequently came up with a corker of a solution. But without that go-for-broke fearlessness – without the desire to write a beginning that no ending could possibly match – we wouldn’t have had The Best of Both Worlds. And not only TNG, but television in general would have lost one of its unquestioned high points. Hit the jump for the full review.
by Rob Vaux Posted: December 4th, 2012 at 8:04 am
“Another man would have been humiliated to say those words,” Q (John De Lancie) grudgingly concedes to Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). “Another man would have rather died than ask for help.” He’s speaking at the end of “Q Who” after Picard has swallowed his pride and asked for aid during the first fateful encounter with the Borg. It’s not hard to figure out who Q meant by “another man.” Faced with the same scenario, James T. Kirk would have gone down guns blazing… and likely doomed the universe as a result. Picard is most assuredly not Kirk; in that moment, The Next Generation stepped decisively out of the original Star Trek’s shadow to stand beside it as an equal. Hit the jump for my full review.
by Rob Vaux Posted: August 22nd, 2012 at 7:14 pm
Star Trek: The Next Generation finally comes to Blu-ray, and if you don’t think that’s cause for rejoicing, you don’t have many Trekkies in your life. The series grappled with significant problems in making the leap to an HD format, thanks to its copious effects shots created in an era when high definition simply didn’t exist. They’ve finally cracked the code and the new Season One Blu-ray reaps handsome rewards as a result…. with a few notable hiccups. Hit the jump for my full review.
Star Trek has been born again lately with the new J.J. Abrams’ movie, and people are now excited by Trek again. Thanks, George Lucas, for making such shitty prequel films that it’s now cooler to want to be a Trekkie than a Jedi. Ironically, Abrams and company were able to reboot the franchise by following in Lucas’s footprints, and largely ditch a lot of what made the show and subsequent (original series) shows great.
In some ways the new film should come with a disclaimer (like a lot of 80′s television) that if you liked the movie you saw, you should go a library and watch the originals, and where the TV show might offer a breezy take on history, you are settling in to the old series, it’s a much denser and less fun text. But to help celebrate the relaunch, Paramount has reissued the first six movies and the first season of the TV show (Seasons Two and Three are supposed to come later this year).
The premise is this, as Gene Roddenberry put it: Wagon Train in Space. Since most modern audiences don’t know what Wagon Train is (I’ve never seen an episode), I’m led to believe what that show was about was a Wagon Train on the Oregon trail that every week would come across some adventure. But with America at the height of its Right Stuff/space exploration period, Trek also had the advantage of something fresh.