Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Question: To Boldly Go. . .

It's time to get your nerd on! Slap on that pocket protector and the uniform your mom made for you, and riddle me this Herbert, what was your favorite Star Trek episode. Bonus points if you can also name your favorite TNG episode. Oh, and don't forget the why. . . never forget the why. Live long and prosper my friends!


LL said...

"A Private Little War" (ST Season 2) The episode was written by Gene Roddenberry

AndrewPrice said...

LL, Great episode! When I was young, I had no idea it was a reference to Vietnam, but when I got older and figured that out, I was really impressed with the intelligence of the whole episode.

I think my favorite is either "Court Martial" (hmm, must be the lawyer in me) and "The Ultimate Computer". I liked the theme of not putting blind faith into machines. I also love Dr. Daystrom's "crazy speech" and I try to drop it into conversations every chance I get! ;-)

Unknown said...

Andrew: My favorite original was The Trouble with Tribbles. It was humorous, but it also pointed out that warm, cozy, lovable creatures may not be all they're cracked up to be.

On TNG, I don't remember the titles the way I did with the original, but they did a couple of episodes with Data trying to develop human emotions that were clever, funny, and near-tragic.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, The Tribbles were fun. Data huh? ;-)

My favorite TNG episode is the one where they keep going in the time loop. I thought that was one of the more clever episodes they did.

Tam said...

The TNG episode that stuck out hte most to me, even back when it originally aired was the one where Captain Piccard was left alone on the ship battling the Borg and he had a line to this effect: "a line must be drawn HERE. This far, and NO FURTHER." That episode was intense, and that line stuck with me for years. It rings absolutely true now.

Anonymous said...

I never really could get into Star Trek too much, although I do like some of the movies. As for TNG, there are a lot of episodes that I really enjoy, so it's hard to pick a favorite: Remember Me, Parallels, Clues, Deja Q, Cause and Effect, Peak Performance and A Matter of Honor are all ones I can watch multiple times. TJ

Anonymous said...

Andrew, that episode would be Cause and Effect. That is definitely one of my favorites. TJ

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks TJ, I'm not as familiar with TNG titles as I am with TOS titles. Parallels was a good one, with Worf shifting between dimensions. I think any time they got into alternate histories or time lines they did a pretty good job.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, I liked all the episodes with the Borg. I think they made a great villain -- especially (pre-queen) how they represented the loss of the individual to the collective.

That is a good quote (I think it came from "First Contact"), and it certainly has a lot of application today!

CrispyRice said...

I dunno, gimme a ripped shirt on Kirk in a rock quarry and I'm pretty damn happy.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, That would be "Arena." ;-) Wait. . . that might be "Shore Leave." Wait. . . that might be any number of episodes?

Anonymous said...

If only all right-leaning sites were like this one...!

Despite being a fan and owning all three seasons on Blu-Ray, I still haven't seen every TOS episode so I'll have to plead ignorance.

Having said that, for TNG, I would say:

-"The Big Goodbye" - the first holodeck malfunction episode and the intro of Dixon Hill
-"Yesterday's Enterprise" - the pre-production period was so short that four writers divided the script amongst themselves with each taking an act... it's a miracle the episode is as good as it is
-"Cause and Effect" - the timeloop episode, one of Brannon Braga's mind-benders
-"Parallels" - Worf's adventures through the multi-verse, another Braga mind-bender

Guilty pleasures:

-"Remember Me" - features one of my favorite lines... Dr. Crusher: "If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
-"Clues" - an odd mystery with a great Data dilemma
-"Schisms" - Braga again :-)

One of the worst episodes is from season 1 and is titled "Justice" a.k.a. "The Episode with the Planet Full of Hedonists with Bad Perms." I'd rather set myself on fire than be forced to watch it in mixed company!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I figured you'd be along to answer this one! LOL!

I like all of your choices, and I agree about the hedonist episode. In fact, I find most of the first season to be pretty horrible, outside of maybe the Stargazer episode. I also can't stand anything where Troy's mother shows up. Ug. . . get me a phaser.

Tennessee Jed said...

My favorite Star Trek episode was "A Wolf in the Fold," a retelling of the old Jack the Ripper story with Scotty accused as the killer.

I had just started working at INA and my buddy and I had a bachelor pad in town. One Friday after a tough week, we picked up some Lowenbrau Octoberfest and after grilling steaks had some other recreational relaxant to go with it all. This episode, in synication, was on. The little turkey who turned out to be RedJack was funny as hell: "but prefect, I must protest!" (remember him!!!)

At the end, Bones is giving everybody an innoculation to prevent them from exhibiting fear and permitting Red Jack to inhabit their body. Bones has to give himself one, ends up bombed trying to give it to Red Jack. My buddy and I were rolling on the fllor we were laughing so hard.

NG came at a time I had little time for television. In Commenterama true fashion, I will give you my favorite episode from Enterprise which I have been currently enjoying on HD Net. In this episode, T'Pol is called back to Vulcan in disgrace for destroying a temple outpost that was used to spy on the Andorians. Archer and T'Pol are captured and tied together. In trying to escape, they continually work themselves into increasingly sexually compromising positions. A true hoot. In the end, she is gravely wounded saving the Vulcan Ambassador's life. Archer's impassioned plea to give T'Pol another chance is quite touching and the whole thing strengthens the bond of mutual respect between them.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, "A Wolf In The Fold" was a good episode. I liked the concept a lot and I think they did it quite nicely. I thought it also gave Scotty a good chance to expand his character.

I haven't watched Enterprise enough to know if I remember that episode or not. I think I've seen them all, but it never made an impression on me.

Tam said...

I was thinking that line came from First Contact, but I have this very distinct memory of hearing it while watching an episode in my apartment years ago. My age is showing, I guess, and memories are overlapping (or disappearing...or being fabricated) The actual episode, I think, was one of the season finales. Could be wrong...my memory is clearly faulty.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, Age gets us all eventually. I'll spare you the "memory is the first thing to go" joke! But let me remind you that last week, you said you'd send us $1,000! ;-)

It sounds like First Contact to me, but I could be wrong. The Borg episodes had a lot of good speeches in them.

Tam said...

There I go again, promising to give people money I don't have. My husband gets so mad when I do that! The check is in the mail. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, We'll watch for it! LOL!

rlaWTX said...

Tribbles, of course!

I watched TNG as it came out (I was in HS, my family stopped on Sat at 6pm), and haven't seen many since (sacrilege, I know). I liked Q, until he got annoying. I remember liking the early ones with Tasha Yar, and the one where they saved Data with Tasha's hologram testimony.

Since this Commentarama, I will tell you that some of my favorite MASH episodes are the "rivers of liver & oceans of fish" "we want something else" riot and the "I can go in; I can go out. In. Out. In. Out." taunt. Col Blake's plane crash still makes me cry, as does the finale.
(and I agree w/ Scott, more sites should be like Commentarama!) ;-)

Anonymous said...

rla -

Thanks! Re: TNG, I think you might be confusing two separate episodes. Tasha gives a holographic eulogy in "Skin of Evil" which was her last episode (and how did she know where to look when she was recording it?!). :-)

In "The Measure of a Man," they show a small holo image of Tasha, like a photo. There is no testimony from her, as the character had been killed off the previous year. I realize they use the holo image to prove a greater point about Data's humanity.

Or it's possible that's what you meant and I'm trying too hard to show my Trekkie credentials. :-D

Everyone else -

I also have some favorite DS9 episodes, including:

-"Trials and Tribble-ations" - anyone who loves Tribbles on TOS will simply love this episode!

-"The Visitor" - maybe I'm a sucker for father/son stories but this episode made me teary-eyed, the only Trek episode to do that... TV Guide ranked it the best Star Trek episode ever made

-"In the Pale Moonlight" - Sisko and Garak... an excellent episode and one that should/could be shown in political science classes

-"Way of the Warrior" - the first awesome Trek space battle on TV (when they still used miniatures) and the intro of Worf into the DS9 fold

-"Far Beyond the Stars" - despite Avery Brooks' overacting ("It's in my miiiiind!!!"), this episode deals with racism and features the main cast sans make-up

LL said...

Who do you prefer?

7 of 9? (TNG)


Dax (DS9)


T'Pal? (Enterprise)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX -- when his plane crashed was really sad. So was radar leaving his bear. Those were very sad moments.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I like The Visitor as well. I didn't care for their whole alternate universe thing though.

LL -- Dax.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Scott and rlaWTX, I'd be thrilled if the rest of the world was more like Commentarama! I wouldn't even charge it a royalty fee! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

Suuure, you wouldn't. :-)

LL -

All three characters are interesting, T'Pol less so only because of inferior writing and character development on Enterprise. But in terms of looks, it's a toss-up between 7 and T'Pol, with the edge going to T'Pol. (IMHO)

(Paramount Consumer Products could've made a lot of money with some kind of T'Pol calender, but I digress.) :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Shoot. Two of my comments vanished. Hmm. Let me repeat:

rlaWTX, That (Blake's crash) was one of the saddest moments in MASH. I thought when Radar left his bear, that was really sad too.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I liked The Visitor a lot. One thing I didn't like in DS9 was the alternate universe episodes -- those were goofy and nonsensical to me.

LL -- Dax.

MegaTroll said...

"Balance of Terror" and "Patterns of Force."

AndrewPrice said...

Good episodes Mega! Those were definitely two of the better ones.

Tennessee Jed said...

L.L. - T'Pol. When it comes to who looks the most like an action hero avitar or a star in a Chris Muir cartoon, nobody can beat Jolene Blalock. It was interesting how they softened her look in season 3. I also remember her guest shot as a marine represented by Bud who was suing for discrimination because she was being required to prove she had a tat on her butt.

Scott - character development and writing for these characters? WTF--are you kidding?

Now for the 64,000 dollar question. Who has been to a Trek convention? I'll own up to dropping by one during lunch breakin 1972 or 3 at the Ben Franklin Hotel in Philly. I don't even remember any costumes, but lots of vendors selling fanzines and other memorabilia. Sulu and Uhuru were there. I remember what I liked best was a big projector showing uncut and uninterrupted episodes on a big screen. Since this was before the advent of even widespread vhs tapes, it was really cool to see the show that way. They were showing the Horta (another favorite: "No Kill I" and "damnit Jim, I'm a doctor not a bricklayer.")

BevfromNYC said...

I loved scene when Rhett leaves Scarlett on the bridge to Tara...oh,wait that's GWTW, not Star Trek...nevermind!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I never have been, but I've thought about it. I do know people who have.

Bev, LOL!

LL said...

Hmmm. I liked Dax, but think that the T'Pol character would be more fun if you like women who fight, bite and kick.

Anonymous said...

Scott - character development and writing for these characters? WTF--are you kidding?

Jed, are you referring to the three characters mentioned in the post or all Trek characters? I know the shows weren't exactly Shakespeare but there are plenty of well-written Trek episodes that rival the best TV dramas. As for character development, some characters were better developed than others. I think we know more about the entire DS9 stock company of guest characters than we do the main characters of Enterprise.

Sadly, by the time Enterprise brought in a new showrunner (Manny Coto who now works on 24) and writers, it was too late. Of all the modern Trek shows, DS9 might've had the best writing staff.

And I've been to a couple small Trek cons, but mostly I've been to bigger ones like the Orlando MegaCon and the San Diego Comic-Con, which aren't Trek exclusive.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Allow me to say something anti-Trek. I think that for the most part, their efforts to create characters stunk throughout the new series.

Most of the characters, no matter what they started as, quickly turned into clones of each other, with them all trying to play the same "self-sacrifing hero, with the painful background" character. If you listed their real traits, you'd find that they all share the identical traits, with virtually no variation.

I think the reason for this, beside the obvious that the writers weren't good at developing characters, was that their development was handicapped by the fact that each show needed to end the same way (near collapse, big speech, moment of trust/genius, crisis averted). Thus, there wasn't really a chance to create different kinds of characters because whoever was up for solving the crisis du jour would simply be inserted into the formula. Thus, they had no chance to act as "their character might," they simply acted like the show demanded. Hence, they all because the identical character.

Moreover, the reason I said "real traits" above was because I think the writers tried to hide this sameness and to make them all appear different by pointing out irrelevant differences. In other words, I feel that the writers mistook trivial facts like what drinks they prefer or what music they like as creating character.

The only excepts that come to mind are Data, who was specifically assigned the role of exploring humanity and thus had some latitude, and Sisco who seemed to play by his own set of rules. Worf might fit into this, except he seemed too inconsistent to me.

rlaWTX said...

Scott: wasn't there something in the save Data episode where it implied - or stated - that Tasha & Data had had a romantic/intimate relationship? That's what I remember as helping saving him - that total acceptance of another human that he was equal.

Long live Commentarama!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Long live Commentarama indeed!

And you're right, Data and Tasha did indeed do the deed. I think it was the episode where everyone was drunk on the same virus that hit Kirk's crew, the one where everyone went crazy and Data had to rebuild their computer.

We the people... said...

I'd have to break it down by season and even that's hard.

Season I:
The Naked Time- Sulu with a sword.
Balance of Terror- Homage to WWII submarine warfare.
Space Seed- It gave us Khan.
The Devil in the Dark- "I'm a doctor, not a brick layer!"

Season II:
Amok Time- Kirk vs Spock, nuff said.
Mirror Mirror- Spock's beard.
I, Mudd- Don't hate the player, hate the game.
Journey to Babel- It gave us Sarek.
A Piece of the Action- "Check? "Riiiiight."

Season III:
Spock's Brain- I'M KIDDING!!!
Day of the Dove- One word: Kang!

Darmok- The communication gap.

Too many to choose from. This series was as good as the orignal and far superior to TNG.

Anything with Captain Proton or 7 of 9.

Again too many to choose from. This series is better than most give it credit for.

And one final thought...

Captain Kirk is THE starfleet captain to end all starfleet captains. He is what everyone else wanted to be (only Sisko came close and Archer on ocassion).

AndrewPrice said...

We the people, Good choices! I'm glad you were kidding about Spock's brain. That was one of those episodes that just didn't work for me. LOL!

I see that we have a lot of Star Trek fans. Excellent!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I agree about Voyager. I thought it had real promise originally, with the conflict between the two crews, the lack of resources and support, and the whole sense that these people would have it a lot harder than a regular Star Fleet crew.

But then they merged the crews very easily and everyone settled down to a comfortable life that was very similar to TNG. I thought they blew a huge opportunity with that shows. They had some good episodes and some really good bad guys now and then, but overall the show gave up the huge potential it had.

JB1000 said...

Original - Harry Mudd (Especially Spock's speech about Logic then they left Harry with 500 copies of his wife!)

TNG - The Dyson Sphere where they found Scotty stored in the transporter buffer.

We the people... said...


I've been to numerous cons. I am the mega-nerd.
Met James Doohan. He kissed my wife (girlfriend at the time, we were in high school) and called her, "Love." It made her giggle and turn red.
Had a beer with Walter Koenig.
Spoke with Merrit Buttrick a few years before he died.
Planning on taking the family to Vegas next year for the big one. Was gonna go this year but it ends 2 days before I get back from Iraq, bummer.

Oh, and Dax for the spots, 7 for the "borg implants" and T'Pol just because she is T'Pol.

AndrewPrice said...

We the people, You had a beer with Koenig?! Cool. I am jealous!

JB -- That Harry Mudd episode was great, lots of fun! Harcourt Fenton Mudd. . . Mudd... Mudd... Mudd. LOL!

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