Saturday, April 12, 2003


Well not quite, but Star Trek: TNG definitely dominated yesterday's evening TV splurge. TNN decided to change the setup of their bonus Treks on Friday night. They did away with the dark bar at the bottom of the screen and stuck the label of Trek: Uncut on the combo. Didn't matter much to me. The episodes they chose yesterday were ones I hadn't seen before, and were worth the time.

Cause and Effect: Another time episode. Directed by #1/Frakes himself, this episode sees the Enterprise stuck in a time warp, doomed to destruction, endlessly repeating the same experiences (Groundhog Day/12:01 {short | TV movie} in space). And to top it all, there's a little cameo at the end by Kelsey Grammer. Cool.

Relics has several nice things going for it. There's the pre-credit sequence featuring a Dyson Sphere (Freeman Dyson proposed this artificial sphere the size of a planetary orbit in 1959 as a way for an advanced civilisation to utilise all of the energy radiated by their sun). The Enterprise encounters the U. S. S. Jenolen, which crashed 75 years ago, on the surface of a Dyson Sphere. A landing party discovers a survivor hidden in the ship's transporter. The survivor (the surprise package of the film) is perhaps the only engineer who could have pulled off a stunt like this, Scotty (formerly Chief Engineer in TOS, now Captain). The rest of the episode deals with Scotty trying to adjust to the time lost, while the Enterprise deals with the Sphere itself. The end neatly wraps things up (with Scotty saving the day), but it's still a pleasure to see a member of the old cast (who is not William Shatner) linking memories from TOS with events on TNG. The holodeck also provides an excuse to see the old bridge of the first Enterprise.

With the bonus Treks out of the way, and sleep making its presence felt, I caught the end of Force of Evil and most of Touch of Evil, Orson Welles' epitaph to film noir. While watching the wonderful filmmaking, planned camera angles and the ambiguity of light and shade, the pace and synching of dialogue gave me the weird feeling of this being a dubbed foreign (Spanish?) import. Wonder if Welles intended this, because one could make a case for this observation. One could also simply conclude that sleep was inevitable, and just turn in:)

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