Saturday, November 11, 2006

Star Trek - Operation Annihilate!

1) Haven’t seen any Star Trek in a few years. Got library DVDs.

2) I watched the DVD at odd moments, such as while I made breakfast. Somehow I noticed a resemblance between the alien creatures from the show with the food I was cooking:

Coincidence? Apparently the writer thought “Hmmm…what if the crew of the Enterprise were attacked by…MY BREAKFAST?!? Wouldn’t that be terrifying?

Spock, of course, would get attacked first; some meals have that effect on my smart, logical side. Then Spock would want to go back to the place where the breakfast first got to him, and seek his revenge by bringing the dangerous thing onto the ship, as if to say “Uhhh….how ‘bout you try it?”

3) Some star Trek looks predictably more cheesy than when I was a kid, but some of it looks great. When it started, it took itself really seriously. I like that.

4) In some ways, William Shatner was a darn good actor. I remain defiant.

Majel Barrett: not so good.

5) Spock is put in the chamber of alien-killing light and is left blind. This scene connects the cutting-edge sci-fi of the 1960s with the broad melodrama of turn-of-the-century Yiddish vaudeville. “Ach! He’s blind! She’s pregnant! With his child! At 47! Whatever will we do?!?”

6) The landing party visits the planet where the driven-crazy-by-the-alien people attack them with abstract tools made from polystyrene. In the future, angry mobs will wave giant styrofoam lollipops and scream scary space-threats.

7) This is the only episode where Captain Kirk’s brother Sam appears or is even mentioned. That seems silly, but it’s also kinda realistic. My own siblings are important to me, but sometimes I feel like we’re on opposite sides of the galaxy, and when we are, they don’t get involved in the story much.

8) The Star Trek crew women wore SHORT skirts. Reasonable from a TV perspective, but pretty ridiculous from a sci-fi or military-story perspective. Red underwear was visible in one shot. The crewmen wore shirts that would reveal bare midriffs if they didn't wear some kind of black undershirt, which can almost be seen in one shot. They were all more swinging-London than hippie-freakout styles. That said, I thought the uniforms looked kinda cool. Perhaps the flood-pants-with-boots look is due for a comeback.

9) One female crew member seems to have been given the job of "standing near the captain". She beams down with the landing party and walks around. Then she stands on the bridge, near the captain's chair, as if the facilities department is working on finding her a cubicle.

10) I like the Enterprise. I spent a lot of time there as a kid. I enjoyed another visit.


Blogger Evan said...

One additional thought, if I may, that I had when I was watching old Trek DVD's: The visuals may not be much, but the sound design kicks ass. Listen to all the whirs and tweedles and pings on the bridge, or the sounds of the transporter being fiddled with and activated, or the automatic doors opening and closing with that unmistakable wheet. Whoever came up with that stuff is the unsung hero of the show, 'cause those sound effects are where all the verisimilitude came from. They sold it.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Handsome Colonel Breakfast said...

I agree! The visuals aren't bad, but they're absolutely hit-and-miss. Some of the space-flight images and the interiors are fantastically realized, and some are of the cardboard-and-duct-tape variety. (No offense to cardboard-and-duct-tape aficionadoes.) A few anonymous actors had to turn glowing plastic knobs that didn't actually turn. And with that futile gesture they chose direction of the ship.

But yeah, the sounds were almost all great. I think the only one that didn't quite work was the echoing klingon ray gun sound. The Enterprise's ambient sound was awesome.

7:36 PM  

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