Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 098: No Comment

Sulu confirms: "Yes sir."

Kirk continues: "Otherwise we'll contact the Enterprise when we're ready to beam back."  This seems a relatively sensible, reasonable set of instructions from Kirk, suspiciously unlike what we've seen during the past hour and a half of the film.

"Good luck." Sulu adds from the Bridge.
 
Kirk walks up to the transporter pad as Spock makes out with Uhura, followed with an extended shot of Kirk gawking at Spock and Uhura kissing.

Spock: "I will be back."  That's a fairly stupid comment given the uncertainty of the situation, but is a boilerplate cliche in films where the hero is about to leave his loved one for a dangerous mission.

"You better be... I'll be monitoring your frequency."  It is possible she may be doing this, but by no means certain, unless there is no Captain aboard to give orders that she take care of possibly more urgent communications needs for the ship, its entire crew, the survival of Earth, or the Federation.  However, since McCoy has disappeared and is not around to remind us that Kirk has again left the Enterprise without a Captain or First Officer, we may assume that although we are still supposedly in the middle of a galactic emergency, we can pretend like everything is just..."O... K..."

"Thank you Nyota." Spock says with a tone suggesting more long-term familiarity.  Perhaps when we heard that back at the Academy he was reporting her extraordinary "aural" skills, we may have misinterpreted, and used the incorrect homophone, and it was "oral test" results being graded.
Uhura leaves with Scotty staring dumbly at her in near shock as if he's never seen a couple kiss or read any of the smash hit "Vulcan Love Slave" series, wildly popular in print, but quadrant-wide phenoms as one of the biggest holosuite series successes of all time. After a long pause Kirk, an another ridiculously inappropriate attempt at humor asks "So, her first name's Nyota?"

To which Spock icily snaps: "I have no comment on the matter."
  
"Okie-dokie," announces Scotty "if there's any common sense to the design of the enemy ship I should  be putting you somewhere in the cargo bay.  Shouldn't be a soul in sight."  Hopefully "somewhere" doesn't include materializing inside anything solid, or anywhere above the metallic canyons which constitute nearly 100% of the internal space of the Narada.
 
"Energize!" orders Kirk.

Of the 10 spoken lines in this segment Saldana, as the only female appearing, has a single line.

Another senseless gunfight in our next episode: Star Trek by the Minute 099: Phaser Kicks.

10 comments:

muser said...

You know I agree that the portrayal of females in this film, relative to something like the new Battlestar Galactica, is appalling. However, let's be fair to the writers. You stated: "Of the 10 spoken lines in this segment Saldana, as the only female appearing, has a single, 3 word line."
Actually I think she has 8 words. Her line was:
"You better be... I'll be monitoring your frequency."

BurntSynapse said...

Uh, oh. That's a pretty big error on my part!\

Corrected.

Steamblade said...

I know its total audience pandering (what in this film isn't) but in 3 years at the Academy Kirk couldn't look in something akin to a cadet directory to find her name? Not to mention the fact that she was a member of his "bridge crew" for his Kobayashi Maru performance where there might have been a duty roster.

Reverend Jim said...

I have greatly enjoyed your insightful (and justified) critcism of this atrocious movie. But let's keep a little perspective. The original series had its major science flaws as well. If you take all of the different star systems that were visited, even at maximum warp it would have taken far longer than the planned five years to visit them all. In some episodes (notably Miri and The Deadly Years), any cure discovered by McCoy almost immediately reversed the effects of advanced disease (skin lesions, extreme old age). In "Wink of an Eye", events in both the hyper-time realm and normal realm proceeded in parallel even though the hyper-time events should have far outpaced the normal events. Also, inertia was completely ignored.

Even the Next Generation had science holes large enough to drive a starship through. In one episode, Geordi and Rho Laren are "out of phase". They can not interact with normal matter. They pass through walls and people yet somehow they do not pass through floors.

Having said that, Star Trek was always about the people and the stories, not the science. It's just a shame that this movie missed the boat on all three counts.

BurntSynapse said...

Hi Steamblade!

Agree 100% I may not have mentioned that earlier, but it was discussed on the TrekBBS.

BurntSynapse said...

Hi Rev!

Thanks for the love.

As for perspective, I think I've been pretty clear on why I apply more stringent standards to this Trek: it was proudly produced with contempt for and ignorance of real virtues TOS & TNG embodied, without even a fig-leaf attempt at mature storytelling.

Pimping Trek to whore for military recruitment did not incline me more favorably either.

As for the specifics you raise...

The warp issue has been handled inconsistently, (see http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Warp), and there were bad physics with Miri, Deadly Years, and many others like Wink, as well as other films, comics, novels, and series. However, I would point out that the TOS errors you cite exist in a 70-some episode body of work (vs. one 118 minute film – strike 1 against AbramsCo) by people on a TV schedule (strike 2), 40 years ago (3), starting from scratch(4) with primitive SFX (5), no computers(6), and at starvation wages(7-10 strikes for the obscene cash heaped on these shills).

That out of phase gaffe was pretty bad, in the same way that people’s clothes and makeup have an afterlife whenever we are shown their ghosts in countless films.

I do believe that some bona fide attempts to include real science in other Treks do exist, and their (Roddenberry, et al.) claims to serious social commentary, criticism and activism appear well supported, especially in TOS where Theiss bragged about being able to distract censors from racial and gender discrimination issues by providing risqué outfits for the alien babe(s) of the week, prompting visits from officials armed with rulers and tapes to check cleavage and hemlines. Nice work if you can get it…

I can imagine the conversations at the studio: “Hey Al, do you want finish double checking the terms of these network ad revenue distribution contracts today, or go out to the studio to measure the neckline distance to Sally Kellerman’s nipples?"

"...Al?"

R. Anthony Steele said...

“Hey Al, do you want finish double checking the terms of these network ad revenue distribution contracts today, or go out to the studio to measure the neckline distance to Sally Kellerman’s nipples?"

...I just wanted to see that line in print again. Too funny (can I check that distance, too?)

-RAnthony

BurntSynapse said...

Thanks!

Flashman85 said...

The final "s" in your hyperlink to the next article works. The rest of the link banishes the reader to parts unknown. Thought you should know.

BurntSynapse said...

Done.

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