Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Star Trek by the Minute 049: Chekov Has the Con


Spock turns from his aft-facing station on the Bridge to face the viewscreen, stands and walks forward, and monotones: "Pardon me, I do not believe you and I are acquainted." Nero responds: "No we're not…not yet." So, the dialogue here indicates Nero knows he's time-travelled backward and that what he has experienced in the future has not happened yet. Why even put this exposition in the film if Nero is going to scream the exact opposite worldview later? The only answer that seems plausible to me is that the development team had no respect for the story – they wanted profits and they wanted them fast – so they slapped out a script of drivel and funneled it into a massively funded, corporate production pipeline, after which it was excreted to theatres and now on video, all at incredible profits.

Nero continues "Spock, there's something I would like you to see." OK, what might that be? He doesn't say, but this could be the reference to the "make him watch" insanity from the Ship of Fools segment. "Captain Pike, your transporter has been disabled. As you can see by the rest of your armada, you have no choice. You will man a shuttle, come aboard the Narada, for negotiations. That's all." Nero's writers provided him with bad syntax, but it is his complete lack of credibility, motivation, and accessibility that leaves us scratching our heads. What possible reason would Nero have for wanting to talk to Pike? This villain is like the rest of the characters, without any consistency, or awareness that would literally give them "character". Nero is like a shaved, tattooed, bad imitation of Wile E. Coyote.

As Nero swipes away the com interface and the Enterprise main viewscreen goes blank, everyone on the bridge turns to Pike who stands and…

Kirk says: "He'll kill you, you know that." Spock chimes in "Your survival is unlikely." Kirk continues with "Captain, we gain nothing by diplomacy. Going over to that ship is a mistake." Spock chimes in "I too agree, you should rethink your strategy." To what strategy is Spock referring? Pike looks like he's TRYING to think carefully toward his next move while his "crew" is unproductively blathering at him. As if to shut them up, he says "I understand that. I need officers who have been trained in advanced hand-to-hand combat." Sulu raises his hand and announces: "I have training sir." "Come with me," Pike answers with "Kirk, you too…you're not supposed to be here anyway.  Chekov, you have the con."

Later, we find out Pike is planning a covert infiltration of the Romulan drill to disable it. Would hand-to-hand combat specialists help? No. Would any competent commander assign bridge officers for a risky demolition missions? No. Again, Pike blatantly demonstrates he is unfit for captaincy. In TNG, this was something that Roddenberry was able to fix from the original series: the Captain's duty is to the ship – and although Picard took many away missions, his exec was quite appropriately the primary off-ship commander. In this instance, Pike should know his department, units, and personnel who have the appropriate kinds of training, like um, commandos? Nope. Basic military knowledge does not exist for this skipper.

Of the 6 speaking roles in this segment, not a single female utters a syllable.

1 comment:

Flashman85 said...

Hi BurntSynapse,

I find myself with a stockpile of commas, and I was wondering if you'd like a couple. I think they'd look really nice in this sentence; whaddya think?

Kirk says, "Captain, we gain nothing by diplomacy..."

Also, "Wylie Coyote" seems to be suffering from a mutation of his DNA (or other consonants), and might like to be restored to his original "Wile E. Coyote" form. I'm sure there's a way to reverse the effects; I've got plenty of other stockpiles in my lab that might help.

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