Saturday, October 17, 2009

Star Trek by the Minute 052: Dr. Puri is Dead

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In response to Pike's quip, Quinto lifts one eyebrow, nods, and heads to the Bridge, walking through a beautiful set of automatic double doors that announce "AIR LOCK" four times. The set dressers /designers really could have gotten away with saying "inferiority-complex" once – we don't need all caps yelling at us, nor lens flares every one and a half seconds, nor the seriously misguided interior design "brilliance" of equipping nearly every available space with quick-shatter glass.

Spock takes the big chair, touch taps a com and sensibly orders "Dr. Puri, report." With the guts of the ship destroyed, melted, in flames, or whatever, it seems sensible to assess the situation, get a casualty report, and some sense for how rescue efforts are proceeding.

"It's McCoy," is the answer that comes across Spock's audio, "Dr. Puri was on deck 6, he's dead." Spock replies: "Then you have just inherited his responsibility as Chief Medical Officer." McCoy looks over his shoulder at a darkened area with fires, explosions, sparks, apparent casualties, and people running around like they are in an actual emergency. He sarcastically yells at Spock "Yeah, tell me something I don't know!" At this point, Spock should have taken McCoy at his word and informed him of something which McCoy did not seem to know, for example: Dr. Puri's duty at that moment would have been to follow his captain's direct order to provide a situation report. McCoy doesn't seem able to understand this (which happens a lot to alcoholics) and Spock suddenly loses any interest in how much of his crew is dead or dying. Obviously, this 10-seconds of nonsensical dialogue was shoved in without any thought in order to provide a reason for yet another cadet to assume a top post on the new Federation Flag Ship.

Let's see, everyone but Spock & Sulu seems to have reached their position at the top of this ship's chain of command through some sort of miracle, but even these two were written with impossible-to-believe incompetence in things like Spock's misunderstanding a "conclusion" or Sulu's inability to take a ship to warp. I can't help the feeling that this is a quick way to write a script because it saves one from having to create a deep, complex universe for the action. The alternate timeline was reportedly used so that no one would need to worry about violating Star Trek canon.

Similarly, no one worries about all those people dying due to the criminal negligence of Pike and the entire crew's suicide plunge into the Narada's crosshairs, as evidenced by the immediate cut to several figures loading aboard a shuttlecraft. We see Kirk, changed and aboard the shuttle in less than 20 seconds, ask his neighbor: "You got the charges, right?" His friend in red says: "Oh yeah, I can't wait to kick some Romulan ass!" "Yeah…" Kirk drawls with a bit of uncertainty. "Oh yeah!" the red shirt repeats. In an over the shoulder shot, we see Pike take "Shuttle 89" out of the hanger while large, senseless graphics scintillate on his control panel. Kirk's quick changes really are starting to remind me of the Adam West's Batman, who jumped on a fire pole up in the mansion wearing a tweed suit, and arrived at the Bat Cave in full superhero regalia. At least those episodes were consistent...

In an external shot, the shuttle goes zooming by with a sound like Luke's 1977 speeder, and Kirk turns to Sulu and asks: "So what kind of combat training do you have?"

There are 5 speaking parts in this segment, none of them are uttered by women.

Miracles abound with Narada's selective blindness and communications suddenly restored in our next installment of Star Trek by the Minute 053: Drop Zone.

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