Monday, May 17, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 101: On Their Own

As this segment opens, nUhura is sprinting flat out through the Enterprise corridors from somewhere, twisting around corners and yelling for people to get out of her way.  After the doors whoosh open, she walks onto the Bridge, where Chekov reports: “They have activated the drill.” 

Uhura says “Communication and transporter are inoperative. Sulu, please tell me you have them, otherwise we won’t be able to beam them back.”  The first question is: why isn’t Uhura at her assigned post on the Bridge monitoring communications from the com station there as she was assigned by Captain Pike, and where she should be?  Wouldn’t the Bridge be the place for this kind of activity?  Second: How did she learn of the secondary effects of the drill activation so soon?  The Bridge staff is monitoring the Narada, its drill, and presumably is on Red Alert.  How is it that she can detect the communications loss, deduce the cause and verify the transporter functionality, then leave her post, run at a breakneck speed through the ship, and careening her way to Chekov’s station just as he reads the change in status he's monitoring?  The third question is: what does she mean by asking whether he “has them”?  I can only interpret this as asking whether Kirk and Spock are already back on board the Enterprise, but “otherwise” in this case makes the statement nonsensical.  If they already beamed back, obviously there is no possible way to transport them back, and if they are not back, then the transporters are still not functioning anyway.  I’ll say it again: our educational system does a disservice by not training our youth in logic sufficient to distinguish and express conditions which apply to one scenario vs. those applying to another.  Not to mention that the people who produced these lines chose writing as their career.  That this level of incompetence can be so profitable is astounding.

“Kirk and Spock are on their own now,” deadpans Sulu.  (Note to Cho: don’t look into the camera…)  We cut to the interior of the Romulan ship where Kirk and Spock approach the unguarded Jellyfish. 

Isn’t this a bit odd?  The most destructive weapon anyone has ever encountered is stored on the fastest Vulcan ship from the future, within the Narada: itself more powerful than anything known to anyone in this universe and not a single guard in sight.  There isn’t even phony “Protected by Acme Security” sticker in the window – meaning that Road Runner cartoons featured more plausible security.  The front door was left open, unguarded, and the entryway ramp was lit up like it was ready for one of Trump’s beauty pageants.

Spock leads Kirk into the ship and says: “I foresee a complication: the design of this ship is far more advanced than I had anticipated.”  He must be referring to the anticipation that resulted from his briefing on this vessel that never took place, and his assessment of the design of both the knick-knacks hanging on the walls, and the ginormous bowling ball of red-matter.

The onboard computer announces: “Voiceprint and face recognition analysis enabled.  Welcome back Ambassador Spock.”
“Wow, that’s weird,” says Kirk, walking off to…somewhere.

“Computer, what is your manufacturing origin?” asks Spock.  Why in the world use the term “manufacturing” unless there was some reason to believe the ship was created as one unit of output resulting from a large-scale industrial production of this kind of ship?  However, since the ship seems to be from the future, Spock’s desire to know from where and when,the ship came, along with its current mission seems reasonable.  Why not simply ask “When and where was this ship constructed?”


“Stardate 2387, commissioned by the Vulcan Science Academy.”  Giving the date is responsive, but the computer then follows this with the ludicrous response of who commissioned its “manufacturing”, and omits any location, THE normal thing expected when someone requests the origin of anything.  This computer might have more accurately responded by stating the  ship was first originated when a ship designer stared into an aquarium full of carybdeida.  Not even answers from the computer meet minimal standards for sensibility in this film.

Approaching Kirk near the pilot seat, Spock declares “It appears you have been keeping important information from me.”

“You’ll be able to fly this thing, right?” asks Kirk, suggesting that he doesn't know if their plan has any chance of working.

Out of the five onscreen parts, only one woman speaks in this segment.

A flawless Jellyfish escape begins in our next segment, Star Trek by the Minute 102: It’ll Work

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