krpalmer: (Default)
After waiting for months, then waiting for a few extra weeks after that, the first issue of the "Star Trek meets the Transformers" comic, news of which had broken through my usual detachment from the modern comics extending both franchises, was promised to arrive at last. I travelled to the closest comic shop and saw a lone issue left on the shelf; whether it had proved popular compared to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 comic I'd seen plenty of issues of a few weeks before or had been deemed not worth the risk of ordering many issues I don't know. After buying the comic and starting to read it I was a bit impressed there hadn't been any time wasted before the crew of the Enterprise encountered the Decepticons; by the end of the issue, though, I was wondering a bit about those comments tossed around these days about the relative ratios of price to content for North American comics and manga volumes. Whether the story would seem to get to "the good guys of both franchises get to understand each other and team up" with the same brisk pace when all the issues are collected in "graphic novel" format, I don't know yet; I can at least suppose we've avoided "the humans (and the alien crew members of the animated series) are reduced to in no time to the tagalong mascots of the Autobots," though. The greater risk, perhaps, just might be "supposing this modern take on something seen when young and impressionable should be somehow profound."

I'd noticed from the preview covers the Autobot lineup included a character not instantly recognisable with familiarity of the formative era the art is reproducing. (I'm inclined to say the Star Trek characters look just like their animated series art; on the other hand, the art of the animated series wasn't very complicated to begin with.) It only took a bit of looking around, however, to realise the female Autobot had been designed in recent years for what seems a steady stream of Transformers comics. Unfortunately, that looking also turned up some whiffs of the noisome mire that can seem to engulf any attempt to expand on "familiar casts." Even if "familiar casts" often seem associated with "familiar properties" these days, that shouldn't excuse the nastiness. In any case, though, in the comic itself there was a female Decepticon a bit more looking around turned up had come from the same stories, and before things were over for this instalment one of the few female Autobots "instantly recognisable with familiarity of the formative era" had also appeared.
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One recent item jumped out at me from the usual flow of reports on the Anime News Network, at first glance an unexpected stretch in what the site covers. There've been connections between the Transformers and Japan from the very beginning, of course, but I don't remember the site taking that much interest in them. Star Trek would seem that much further afield. Even so, though, the report the comic book company that now holds the license for both Transformers and Star Trek comics would be publishing a crossover between those two franchises did amuse me, in a way that cut through my usual thoughts of "I know about them; I'd just rather spend what time I have now on other things than trying to follow their modern flow of product." (Certainly, if not for that single unusual excursion, it might have been a while before I'd taken another look at the "Star Trek news" or "Transformers information" sites I do know about, when the bit of news might already have been buried in their own flow of reports.)
While waiting )
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After I'd finished watching the episodes of Star Trek's second season I'd wanted to watch, I never quite got around to opening the third season collection I bought with the others and watching those handful of episodes I have an impression managed to transcend the straitened circumstances of the show's final go-round. That did get to me every so often, but I just couldn't seem to make the time with so many other things to do and watch. However, Netflix did add a good number of Star Trek series just recently, and one of them was "The Animated Series" from the mid-1970s. As a Saturday morning cartoon those episodes were half the length of regular episodes, and the thought did get to me that I could watch them while exercising on weekend mornings, what with more episodes of "Voltron Legendary Defender" still to come. For all I know, seeing news the existing audio of a "lost" Doctor Who serial is going to have animation made for it had a bit of influence too.
'A physiological symptom of latent primal superstition. The fear of primitive people confronting something unknown to them.' )
'Compared to the people who built this ship, we are primitives. Even you, Mr. Spock.' )
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As I got to the end of my Blu-Ray set of the second season of Star Trek, I stepped away from watching what episodes I wanted to watch as they were ordered on the discs (which was how they'd been broadcast in 1967 and 1968, not the order they'd been produced in) to save just one episode for last. "The Ultimate Computer," in which Starfleet installs a supercomputer to run an almost unmanned Enterprise and it goes just about as well as should be expected, doesn't seem high on many lists of most notable and quickly thought of episodes. That sense of it being available as a personal favourite, though, may just add a bit to the interest I've had in its themes and story since I first read James Blish's short-story adaptation of it.
'Did you see the love light in Spock's eyes? The right computer finally came along.' )
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Approaching the end of the second season of Star Trek, I seemed to have again found a bit more to think about than I'd expected in "By Any Other Name." I'd known it involved the Enterprise being hijacked by aliens from the Andromeda Galaxy in human form and the major characters saving the day once more by means including Scotty managing to drink one of the aliens under the table, but it might have been the way the pieces came together that increased my interest in the episode from what I'd been expecting.
'This business of love. You have devoted much literature to it.' )
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Even after getting Blu-Ray sets of the entire "Original Series," I still intended to be picky about what Star Trek episodes I watched. There were a few episodes on which I seemed sort of divided about whether to watch or not, though. I've somehow formed the impression "Patterns of Force" has become one of the "controversial" episodes through being "the Nazi planet episode." When I decided I'd watch it anyway and form my own opinions, I could suppose one thought about it way back in production was that it was another chance to "film on the back lot," draw the costumes from wardrobe, and save money. With that, though, I could wonder whether the series was "playing with fire" in invoking historical realities too big and troubling for the usual game of Kirk and Spock solving everything in an hour's time, whether the setup of "a well-meaning historian supposed fascism could be kept benign to motivate a troubled planet," in permitting the "good" kind of interference (once again), somehow allowed for a misleadingly safe "one of a kind" distancing, whether the iconography on display was once more being employed to catch eyes but have full consequences missed. It might also just be that Kirk bluffing his way around in a black uniform with red armband troubles in a way that, say, The Guns of Navarone might not (although there I'm going by hearsay...) I did, though, happen to think the gulf of time implied between World War II and Star Trek's future could have meant something "within" the story, although I'm not quite sure what's said in the episode allows for that interpretation.
'You look quite well for a man who's been utterly destroyed, Mister Spock.' )
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There's just one episode of "The Original Series" on one of the Blu-Ray discs in the second season Star Trek collection. A partial explanation for this might be that "The Trouble With Tribbles" is augmented not just with "bonus content" but two follow-up episodes from later series. Before I bought the Blu-Ray sets I had watched my way through two "Best of" DVDs, one of which had the original episode on it, and as for Deep Space Nine's thirtieth anniversary time-travel episode I can remember having seen it years before. In between them, though, I was interested for my own reasons in seeing one of the animated episodes from 1973...
'That tin-plated overbearing excuse for a starship captain did it to us again!' )
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Having watched what I supposed a sufficient number of episodes from the first season set of Star Trek episodes, I opened up the second season set. I hadn't got around to watching the episodes I'd just recorded off cable from that season, although in looking at the lists of episodes on each disc I got wondering just how many of them I still intended to watch. However, in getting started I was at least getting to an episode I had some particular interest in seeing, "Mirror, Mirror."
'Jim, I think I liked him with a beard better. It gave him character.' )
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When I was recording Star Trek episodes off cable, I skipped over "The Enemy Within," the one where a transporter malfunction splits Kirk into a good captain and an evil captain. The handful of sources I was looking at to get a sense of what were "the good episodes" all seemed to be showing righteous indignation that in the "light-hearted" coda at the end, Spock was the one to show old-fashioned sexist reprehensibility in just how he brought up how the evil Kirk had tried to assault Janice Rand. (Later on, I found this exact same condemnation in three more sources.) However, once I had Blu-Ray sets of the series, I suppose I found myself thinking that among the "well, maybe" episodes left from the first season, I might yet try and step towards "acknowledging that one moment is condemnable shouldn't always place everything around it beyond the pale."
'If I seem insensitive to what you're going through, Captain, understand: it's the way I am.' )
krpalmer: (Default)
To get around to other things, I took a break from watching episodes of Star Trek. During that break, though, I noticed that Blu-Ray sets of "The Original Series" didn't seem that expensive at a local store, and in looking around a little I found a better price yet at which to upgrade from the soft-looking, cropped-to-widescreen DVDs I'd recorded from the science fiction channel. I still don't intend to watch every episode, and I suppose that thought pointed out how I'd already watched all the episodes I'd recorded from the formative first season. When I opened up that season up anyway with vague thoughts of maybe watching "Where No Man Has Gone Before" again and testing the promise on the back of the case that the collection could switch between the old and the new special effects, I noticed a difference from how the series had been shown on that channel and in a few others sources easily available to me: the episodes were arranged in the order they'd first been broadcast back in the 1960s. On seeing that, I decided I'd instead watch the episode those who had tuned in at the beginning in 1966 had experienced.
'May the Great Bird of the Galaxy bless your planet.' )
krpalmer: (Default)
I figured from the start that I wasn't going to comment on all of the Star Trek episodes I watched, but it does seem I keep being struck with unexpected ideas by at least some of them. That was the case with "This Side of Paradise," the episode "where Spock gets hits with happy space spores." There was at least a bit more to it, though.
'It's like a jigsaw puzzle all one color. No key to where the pieces fit in.' )
krpalmer: (Default)
In having already experienced a good number of Star Trek episodes through the "secondary source" of James Blish's short-story adaptations, I suppose I've had some favourites for quite a while now. One of those was "A Taste of Armageddon," in which Captain Kirk and his landing party get stranded on a world that's been fighting a war for five centuries by computer and disposing of those designated as casualties in disintegration chambers. On getting around to watching the actual episode at last, I did notice a good number of silly hats. However, this didn't altogether distract me from the idea I'd long been contemplating...
'Diplomats! The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank!' )
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After watching the second pilot of Star Trek and the first regular episode filmed, I was interested in getting around to the two-part episode that parsimoniously reclaimed the first pilot, "The Menagerie." Quite a while ago, my family had managed to videotape a TV special wrapped around "The Cage" itself, but I had never quite got around to watching the whole thing. This might have had to do with having read James Blish's short story adaptation (pleading the difficulty of adapting a story within a story, he just adapted the pilot) and not wanting to see just how it ended. Now, though, I was more than ready to get around to that unfinished business.
'But we're not here. Neither of us. We're in a menagerie, a cage!' )
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In starting to watch some episodes of Star Trek, I suppose I had the impression this would be no more complicated than finally seeing the primary source of something I'd long known all about from secondary sources. With "The Conscience of the King," though, there did seem to still be some surprises. More than that, there were things about the episode that interested me that won't give away all of my surprises.
'Even in this corner of the galaxy, captain, two plus two equals four.' )
krpalmer: (Default)
I never quite got around to going to see the new Star Trek movie. Being off on vacation when it opened might have had something to do with that, although I did notice it was playing in Bar Harbor, Maine. After I got back, I took a gift certificate I'd got as a present and went to the local theatre to arrive ten minutes before showtime; what I hadn't thought before leaving, though, was that it was Tuesday and lots of people were lined up ahead of me to get cheap tickets. Convinced I'd never get to the box office in time, I turned around and left, thinking I'd just go on a different day next week; by that time, though, the movie had stopped playing in 2D and I'd have to add a surcharge to my gift certificate to see it in 3D. At that point, I admit to deciding I could do without.

I was, though, still intent on watching some more episodes of the original series, moving on to the DVDs I'd recorded off the local science fiction channel. (Getting back from vacation, though, I noticed it had played through to the end of the third season and stopped showing that series altogether, a somehow odd time to stop even if it's been trying to revamp its image.) The appropriate place to start seemed to be the first regular episode filmed, if not the first episode broadcast...
'What am I, a doctor or a--moon shuttle commander?' )
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The eighth and last episode on the two "Best of The Original Series" DVDs I had to watch was one I'd been contemplating commenting on beforehand. That was in good part a product of my having seen it before, the first time years and years ago when my family rented the videotape of it (the only Star Trek episode we ever did that for, as I remember). As the famous "second pilot" of the series, its rare second chance at getting under way (if, in the narratives of some, proof Gene Roddenberry's role as series creator should have just amounted to giving very general ideas others would totally rework, an ambiguously familiar statement), one thing I find interesting about it is seeing the series still in development, with the familiar cast beginning to assemble but not all there yet.
'Captain's log, stardate 1312.4. The impossible has happened.' )
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Being aware of another Star Trek movie opening soon might have been what I needed to get around to the "Best of The Original Series" DVDs I had bought back around when the previous movie made a big deal of giving the whole thing a new start. (Having finished commenting on all the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 did help there too, of course.) I suppose I've been aware in a general way of Star Trek for quite a while, starting with reading a tatty copy of "The Making of Star Trek" and some of James Blish's short story adaptations in my home town's library perhaps as far back as when Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was new. That wasn't that different from how I'd started off with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but when it came to Star Trek on TV I never quite got around to watching any more of its series than very occasional episodes. My family not having cable might have had a role to play there, but with the first series in particular the impression of stiff and poorly composited period special effects might have counted too. I did therefore take a bit of interest in news of "Remastered" episodes with new computer-generated effects, even if a certain amount of discussion of them seemed to pack veiled or not-so-veiled jabs at the Star Wars Special Editions.
'We can be against him and admire him all at the same time.' )
'Illogical.' )
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Votes have been tallied, and as might be imagined, the Star Trek connection gave "Vulcan" a strong popular push towards being the name for one of Pluto's new moons. One of my reactions on noticing the news was to think of the hypothetical world once contemplated to be orbiting between Mercury and the sun, but even that relocation from "hot" to "cold" might be a "teachable moment" in pointing out how apparent gravitational effects pointed searchers in and out (with more success looking out).

However, when looking at the graphic attached to the article, noticing "Kerberos" as the name for the other moon did provoke a more personal reaction. I started thinking of "Kero(-chan)," the mascot animal from the anime (and manga) series Cardcaptor Sakura, and yet I did manage to form a tenuous link to the other name in thinking how that character is associated with the sun...
krpalmer: (europa)
At the start of the week, I made some joking comments about an "unofficial" sort of blurring between Star Wars and Star Trek. By the end of the week, that sort of thing had become official...

I suppose it's possible that J.J. Abrams has foolishly been given (or will appropriate for himself) too much creative control over the Star Wars movie to be made, and things will wind up playing to the tastemakers enough that the movie will get positive reviews that just happen to be another opportunity to gloatingly put down the work George Lucas did himself. It's also possible that with a story and script already provided, the questions won't be as extreme. (For that matter, a relentless minute-by-minute criticism of Abrams's Star Trek, a suggestion perhaps that enthusiasm can be brief and negativity can lurk instead of loom, became rather less appealing to me once the writer started throwing in random yet tediously predictable complaints about the new Star Wars movies...) My problem, though, may just be that in not having been that invested in the thought of "another Star Wars movie" yet, I'll be fine with the thought of not paying attention to it, just as I stopped paying attention to the novels telling their own "what happened next" story... It might even be possible that a few (more) people wind up wondering if "a tale has already been told to completion." (Of course, there were some people happy to think that three movies back.)

(As it turned out, this week also had some reports of a director being considered for the long-fabled live-action Robotech movie. I had almost stopped thinking about it, but it is at least a change from mere talk of scripts being written.)
krpalmer: (europa)
Some posters went up at work to promote the annual "achievement awards," and at first glance I was amused by their iconography. Then, I did a double take at the content of those familiar-looking words...

 photo dissonance_zps7edbe7c9.jpg

Of course, I've seen the two things mixed up before, so after a while I was able to see the amusement in this too.

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