Brothers, TNG S4 E3 Review, The Battle Bridge

My latest podcast can be found and feedback can be left on the trekmate forums

Data jeopardizes an emergency mission to save an ill child when he gets a signal from his creator.

Today James and Lou discuss (Brothers) and what we think of it, with tonight’s guest host Simon Foster, Funky Si.

Credit: Main Title Theme (TV Edit) was arranged by Dennis McCarthy and composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage

You can download the MP3 version of this show by clicking here. (might have to right click, save as.)

Star Trek Episode Review “The Best of Both Worlds”

Episode Title: The Best of Both WorldsPicard_kidnapped_by_the_Borg
Star Trek Type: TNG
Original Air Date: 18 June 1990 & 24 September 1990
Written By: Michael Piller
Directed By: Cliff Bole

The Borg threaten the Federation, when they kidnap Captain Picard and destroy a fleet of 39 Starships. Luckily some original thinking from Commander Riker and Lieutenant Commander Shelby saves the Federation from assimilation.

Thoughts: I love this episode! It is probably my favourite episode in the whole of trek. I can’t think of  a single scene which I don’t like.

It is a two parter that actually works best as a two parter. The moment that Riker orders the Enterprise to fire on the Borg is great. At the time some thought that Patrick Stewart might leave the show and be replaced by Riker/Shelby. I am very glad that didn’t happen but it is interesting to ponder what that might be like.

The Borg soundtrack in this episode is great. Ron Jones really captures the spooky threat that the Borg are. I was always disappointed that some of that didn’t continue in First Contact and when the Borg return in Voyager.

The episode has a cracking pace. From the moment the Borg first attack the Enterprise to the moment the Borg ship explodes the show doesn’t slow down.

I am Locutus… of Borg. Resistance… is futile. Your life, as it has been… is over. From this time forward… you will service… us.

Commander Shelby is a great character that enhances the episode and introduces conflict between characters, particularly Riker.

I have heard that Riker’s thoughts about his career was a mirror to writer Michael Piller’s thoughts about leaving the show. Luckily for us he stayed.

In a future episode of DS9 Worf comments that he felt there was nothing that they couldn’t do during this time. I have to agree the tag team of him and Data is a great one. If I want rescuing it would be Data and Worf that I would want.

My good friends at Trekmate have just reviewed part one, why not have a listen?

Star Trek Episode Review “Arena”

Episode Title: ArenaGorn
Star Trek Type: TOS
Original Air Date: 19 January 1967
Teleplay: Gene L Coon
Story By: Frederic Brown
Directed By: Joseph Pevney

The episode begins with the Enterprise in orbit of Cestus III. Commodore Travers requests a tactical team join the away team. When the away team beam down Cestus III has been destroyed.

Spock detects non-human life signs, obviously the aliens that destroyed the outpost. They attack the Enterprise, stranding the away team who are under heavy fire. Sulu is instructed to do whatever he can to protect the Enterprise and leaves orbit.

Kirk finds the armoury and a grenade launcher, after firing the enemy withdraws.

After beaming back aboard the Enterprise they pursue the unknown enemy into uncharted space. One of the survivors of Cestus III explains that the enemy attacked without warning.

Kirk is determined to destroy the enemy ship before it reaches home and the Enterprise prepares for battle.

An unknown solar system scans the Enterprise as they continue their pursuit of the enemy ship. The enemy ship comes to a complete stop. The Enterprise prepares to attack but before they can they also come to a complete stop. The Metrons have stopped both ships because both ships were on a mission of violence. The captains of both ships will be placed on a planet where the winner can destroy the other.

Captain Kirk and the enemy captain appear on a desert planet. The enemy is a reptilian like species called the Gorn. The Gorn has superior strength to humans but Kirk manages to escape his first encounter.

“This is Captain James Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. Whoever finds this, please get it to Starfleet Command. I’m engaged in personal combat with a creature apparently called a Gorn. He’s immensely strong. Already, he has withstood attacks from me that would have killed a Human being. Fortunately, though strong, he is not agile. The agility and I hope the cleverness, is mine.”

The Metrons said that the planet contained materials to allow the building of a weapon, however at first glance Kirk sees nothing that could help him defeat the much strong Gorn captain. He does find some diamonds, too small to be used as a weapon.

Kirk pushes a huge boulder over a cliff onto the Gorn captain, which appears to knock him out, however he survives and Kirk barely escapes. Kirk then finds Sulphur, which triggers a memory.

The Metrons allow the Enterprise to watch the last stages of Kirks struggle. They see Kirk discover Potassium Nitrate. The Gorn accuses the Federation of trespassing into their space.

Kirk starts constructing a weapon using the diamonds, sulphur and potassium nitrate to make a gunpowder explosion to fire the diamonds at the Gorn captain. Just in time he applies a spark to his weapon and his opponent lies defeated.Gorn_Kirk_cannon

Kirk refused to kill the Gorn captain as they may have been just defending themselves. The Metron announces that Kirk has displayed the advanced trait of mercy and there may be hope for humanity after all.

Thoughts: I like this episode very much. It has some classic Star Trek ideas in it.

We have a super powerful alien race (the Metrons) that think there is hope for humanity.

We have Kirk using raw materials to construct a weapon using simple chemistry.

We have an enemy race that appears destructive but may have just been defending themselves.

We have the classic location of Vasquez Rocks, somewhere that if I ever visit the US I have to visit.

We have the very cheesy Gorn mask, yes its not realistic but the story is strong enough that it doesn’t really matter. Enterprise brought back the Gorn but as a CGI character and I think I may prefer the rubber mask.

Interestingly the weapon Kirk builds would likely not work. The US show MythBusters proved that the bamboo wasn’t strong enough to hold the explosion and the weapon would likely wound Kirk as much as it would wound the Gorn.

Score: 10/10
Redshirt Count: Cestus III Outpost, 1 Red Shirt and 1 yellow shirt from away team.


Top 50 Star Trek episodes

Star Trek 50In 1966 a TV show called Star Trek first aired in the USA. Since then 726 episodes have been made and 12 films have been released. 2016 marks the 50th anniversary and Star Trek is as alive as ever with a new film due out this summer and a brand new TV series in the works for broadcast in 2017.

But what can I do to celebrate? With that many episodes I don’t have enough time to re-watch every episode so how about a re-watch of the top 50 episodes.

Star Trek has five live action TV series so all I need to do is pick my top 10 from each.

Star Trek

The original Star Trek series first aired on September 8th 1966. It lasted only three years and 79 episodes. This series featured the iconic characters Kirk, Spock and Bones on a five-year mission to explore space.

  1. The City on the Edge of ForeverLanding_party_beams_up_from_Guardian_planet
  2. The Devil in the Dark
  3. Balance of Terror
  4. The Trouble with Tribbles
  5. Arena
  6. This Side of Paradise
  7. Amok Time
  8. Space Seed
  9. Mirror Mirror
  10. The Deadly Years

Star Trek: The Next Generation

The first spin-off series set 100 years after Kirk featured a new Enterprise continuing to explore space. This series aired between 1987 and 1994 for 178 episodes.

  1. Best of Both WorldsSenior_staff_poker_game
  2. Yesterdays Enterprise
  3. The Offspring
  4. The Measure of a Man
  5. Disaster
  6. All Good Things…
  7. Tapestry
  8. The Inner Light
  9. Cause and Effect
  10. Unification

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

The second spin-off series which ran at the same time as TNG was set on a space station so instead of exploring adventures arrived via a stable wormhole. This series aired between 1993 and 1999 for 176 episodes.

  1. EmissaryFederation_fleet_prepares_to_engage_Dominion_fleet
  2. Duet
  3. The Way of the Warrior
  4. The Visitor
  5. Sacrifice of Angels
  6. Waltz
  7. Trials and Tribble-ations
  8. In the Pale Moonlight
  9. Far Beyond the Stars
  10. Siege of AR 558

Star Trek: Voyager

The third spin-off series ran after TNG and featured a female captain and a starship stranded in a remote part of the galaxy journeying home. This series aired between 1995 and 2001 for 172 episodes.

  1. ScorpionsVoyager_away_team
  2. Year of Hell
  3. Caretaker
  4. Message in a Bottle
  5. Eye of the Needle
  6. Heroes and Demons
  7. Jetrel
  8. Timeless
  9. Pathfinder
  10. Riddles

Star Trek: Enterprise

The most recent spin-off ran after Voyager and was set 100 years before Kirk. This series aired between 2001 and 2005 for 98 episodes.

  1. Broken BowAndorians_pjem
  2. The Andorian Incident
  3. Shuttlepod One
  4. In a Mirror Darkly
  5. Twilight
  6. Damage
  7. Azati Prime
  8. Regeneration
  9. Impulse
  10. Zero Hour

I am not going to review each episode here, I will save that for future blogs. With 50 episodes that is one a week to get them all reviewed during Star Trek’s birthday year. We will see if I manage to keep to that schedule.