Friday, October 2, 2009

Star Trek by the Minute 051: Be Careful, Spock

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This section opens with the Romulans finishing their red matter loading, when we cut to Pike leading Spock, Kirk, and Sulu through another of the poorly designed sets for the Enterprise seen earlier, this one was used when McCoy smuggled Kirk aboard. Pike explains: "Without transporters we can't beam off the ship, we can't assist Vulcan, we can't do our job." The transporter comment is technically true, but it's a bit like saying that without a McDonald's we can't order a Big Mac. How are these similar? Although factually true, they are hardly anything you would ever hear anyone say because "beaming" is the only thing transporters do, just like McDonalds is the only place you can get a Big Mac. The crew can still get off the ship with all the shuttles and presumably any other lifeboats aboard, they simply can't use the transporters. The statement that loss of transporter function prevents the ship from rendering aid is completely false. Shuttles could carry hundreds or thousands of personnel and/or tons of supplies and equipment for relief efforts. If the Enterprise was in an area where stellar radiation created similar disruptions, would ANY competent skipper simply declare the situation hopeless? Perhaps this monologue is a ham-fisted exposition introducing the concept of "transporters" to people like director J.J. Abrams who don't like Star Trek, never watched it and perhaps even like him, bragged about not being a fan.

Pike continues: "Mr. Kirk, Mr. Sulu, and Engineer Olsen will space jump from the shuttle." Engineer who? Is this one of TOS's disposable red shirt characters parodied in Galaxy Quest? OK, that's a decent inside joke and old trekkies will laugh. "You will land on that machine they've lowered into the atmosphere that's scrambling our gear, you'll get inside, you'll disable it, and then you'll beam back to the ship. Mr. Spock, I'm leaving you in command of the Enterprise. Once we have transport capability and communications back up you'll contact Starfleet and report what the hell is going on here. And if all else fails: fall back, rendezvous with the fleet in the Laurentian system. Kirk, I'm promoting you to first officer." Kirk blurts "What?" incredulously, and Spock asks "Captain? Please I apologize, the complexities of human pranks escape me." "It's not a prank, Spock…and I'm not the captain, you are." Pike looks to Kirk and Sulu and says: "Let's go."

Kirk and Spock look at each other before Kirk joins Pike and Sulu in the turbolift asking "Sir, after we knock out that drill, what happens to you?" "I guess you'll have to come and get me." Pike then turns to the new skipper delivers his best line of the film: "Careful with the ship Spock, she's brand new."

This segment features 6 characters onscreen – all males.

McCoy gets promoted to CMO via the Klingon system in our next segment of Star Trek by the Minute 052: Dr. Puri is Dead

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for the next installment. I did not enjoy the movie at all, and it is refreshing to find someone else who shares my opinion.

BurntSynapse said...

I'm swamped, but I promise to do better on posting!

Flashman85 said...

I don't recall anything official about what prompted this reboot, but I'm sure it must have been primarily due to the poor reception to Enterprise and Nemesis. If that's true, then allowing a non-fan to take the helm of a new movie would seem to half defeat the purpose of the reboot: Stuart Baird was called in to direct Nemesis, in large part because he was a non-fan who could supposedly provide a fresh perspective on the Star Trek universe, and everything I've read and heard seems to suggest that his lack of concern for Star Trek was the driving force behind why the movie turned out to be as abhorrent to fans as it is.

BurntSynapse said...

My understanding of the general assessment is similar: Paramount (or whatever conglomerate brand that week) was unhappy with franchise profits. Its a real shame that as a corporate officer, you're not really in a favorable position to take advantage of your potential as a free human.

It blows my mind that they don't realize that they should be using a well thought out universe to producing inspiring, scientifically supported adventures examining ageless topics and creating legions of new fans. Instead, they want to steal audiences of "How I Met Your Mother" in order to sell them to corporate advertisers.

Sad.

Weird.