STTNG – Home Soil

Sometimes one gets the impression that the first season of Next Generation can’t decide whether the old show happened or not. Most obvious case in point: The Naked Now, in which a survey ship studying the gravitational effects of planetary breakup is apparently unaware of the documented intoxicant that results from the compression of water…

Some Obvious Answers to Tiresome Questions

Here’s a great bit of anti-Libertarian snark. It involves a neat rhetorical bait-n-switch. We’re given a hypothetical about a landlord named Sam behaving capriciously toward his tennants and eventually told that Sam is in fact “Uncle Sam” and the land is the United States. Here are Mason’s quick zingers: Some claim that the United States…

STTNG – When the Bough Breaks

When the Bough Breaks is slightly more interesting than it seems after a cursory watch, but only slightly. Regular readers will already know what my complaints are: it has a cliched plot, it stetches human-alien compatibility way past the point of believability, and the ending is a typical Star Trek cheat. The plot. Aldea is…

STTNG – Angel One

You might have noticed that although I just posted reviews of Too Short a Season and 11001001, Angel One was actually next in line. Angel One is the worst single hour of television in the entire Star Trek franchise. I sat through it once, and that’s all that was required. I suppose it’s unfair to…

STTNG – 11001001

Like with Too Short a Season, I don’t really have much to say about 11001001. Unlike with Too Short a Season, most of what I have to say is good. This is one of my favorite Next Generation episodes, and I can’t really tell you why so much as just that it’s so. I guess…

STTNG – Too Short a Season

Not much to say about Too Short a Season. The plot is conventional and boring: a legendary admiral has been personally requested to negotiate a hostage situation, which turns out to be a front for an old enemy to settle a score with him. The SFnal twist: as the Enterprise approaches the planet where the…

STTNG – Datalore

Datalore is an instructive failure. The problem? Attempting to bolt a cliched plot onto characters who don’t quite fit the mould. I’d like to say that what went wrong here is that Central Control decreed that there should be a background episode on Data, gave the writers some basic details but without enough time to…

A Disingenuous Defense of Chomsky

Christopher Hitchens has yet another column out again already criticising Chomsky (this time for his reaction to Osama bin Laden’s death). At some point, one would think, this exercise becomes undignified. Noam Chomsky isn’t so much a “polarizing figure” as a party trick: he can reliably be counted on to take whatever position on an…

STTNG – The Big Goodbye

I was once at a seminar for resume writing, and the speaker asked us to raise our hands if our hobbies were cooking, movies or music. So, that was pretty much everyone. Point being, don’t distinguish yourself by your normalcy. I’m not sure if that’s a fair criticism of The Big Goodbye or not. If…

STTNG – Haven

My first and main reaction to Haven is just surprise at how early Next Generation started redefining Star Trek. The Enterprise is approaching Haven, some kind of mystical paradise utopia planet. But if you were getting nervous there for a minute that they were going to tell a story about the dangers of utopian dreams…