19 February 2011

Trek Review: Mudd's Women & What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Time to review two more episodes from The Original Series. It's interesting watching them in a different order than I remember. But most of the inconsistencies are starting to become less noticeable the further along we go.

Mudd's Women
I remember this episode not for the women, but for the character of Mudd, Harcourt Fenton Mudd. I just remember him as an annoying character and I could see why in the re-watch. Yet, he had some comedic traits that had been missing from recent episodes as well.

So the Enterprise is pursuing an unknown ship which trips up in an asteroid field and the crew are beamed aboard. Three ladies and Mr Mudd, aliasing as Leo Walsh. It doesn't take long for his cover to be blown though while the women seem to have certain control over the male members of the Enterprise crew. We find out soon enough that all is not as it seems.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise is limping along as the pursuit of Mudd's ship has stricken her lithium crystals and she needs replacements, fast. Mudd, becoming aware of this hatches a plan to offload his women to the miners on Rigel XII and allow himself freedom in order for the Enterprise to be repaired.

In the end, it sort of goes pearshape for Mudd. The miners get their girls and their magical anti-aging drug and Kirk gets his crystals to get the Enterprise under way again.

Remastered again in all its excellence, this was the first episode where we see some of the banter that becomes more common between Spock and McCoy (right at the end).

Overall Rating: 6/10

What Are Little Girls Made Of?

The Enterprise and her crew arrive at Exo III to investigate the disappearance of Dr Roger Korby whose last message was received over 5 years ago. Korby was also engaged to Nurse Chapel at this time, so she's on the bridge awaiting any news.

Korby transmits a message to the ship and a landing party beam down to the surface to meet him. Two red-shirts almost instantly die and one of Korby's men is revealed to be an android. Soon enough we find out there are more androids and Korby is not who he appears to be either...

Korby tries to persuade Kirk to stay and observe before reporting to Starfleet. Kirk is resistant given the measures Korby has gone to. Korby eventually creates an android clone of Kirk which he uses to send to Enterprise for his own purposes. None of this matters as Spock detects the clone and Korby's plan comes undone. In the end, Korby is revealed as an android and all of them are destroyed.

Quite an episode. Nothing too memorable out of it except character building for Nurse Chapel and some other characters. It's a bit sad that everyone who was originally on Exo III were androids and dead by the end of the episode! Though we do get to see some more Kirk fighting techniques!

Overall Rating: 5/10

18 February 2011

Star Trekkin' Across The Universe...

I've been playing computer games for as long as we've had a computer to play them on. From Commodore 64 days (with a tape drive) through to our first PC, an IBM 486 to what I'm running now. During that time, I've never had a game really keep me captivated for more than a few months - something strategy related like the original Command & Conquer or perhaps some racing game like Need For Speed, even Microsoft's Flight Simulator series, they'd all fall away or out of interest sooner or later.

So, it's interesting that I'm playing a game - Star Trek Online, and I've been actively playing for over a year!

STO celebrated its First Anniversary only last week and perhaps because there's a payable subscription to this MMORPG or just because it's Star Trek, I'm still logging in and getting my game on. From early days of watching Star Trek, I'd always wanted to command my own ship and this game has allowed me to do that.

Based in the well known and well established timeline laid out from The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise (basically, all of Trek with ties to the recent 2009 movie as well) we've skipped into the 25th century. STO is based in the year 2409 (though with your quick succession through the ranks and stories I reckon I'm at least at 2411 by now!) and continues various storylines from where they were left off in the shows and movies.

Cryptic Studios, behind the game, are doing an excellent job and including everything any die-hard Trekker could want. From the Original Enterprise, to playable Caitians, old time enemies such as the Gorn and new ones like the Hirogen all coming together in a galaxy of conflict as the Borg are mounting a new invasion, the Undine (Species 8472) are wreaking havoc as well and many races like the Cardassians and Romulans are picking up the pieces from their devastated worlds.

I now have two characters running through the STO storyline. My main character, based on a 25th Century Science Officer version of myself is ranked Rear Admiral and commanding a Sovereign class starship, the Conquest. Toon number 2 is a Caitian Tactical Officer commanding a trusty old Constitution class ship, the Liberty.

With new content constantly around the corner, new missions, new ships and a healthy user base, I don't know when the interest will end. With no current Star Trek television series running - this is the next best thing!

Happy First Anniversary Star Trek Online!

10 February 2011

Trek Review: The Enemy Within

It's been quite busy lately with the wedding plans starting to come together among other things going on in the world. I'll get blogging on those as soon as I get a chance. Nothing gets in the way of progressing through our Star Trek and Thunderbirds episodes though!

The Enemy Within

This is one of those famous episodes as I can recall scenes from it but don't actually remember seeing it in its entirety. However, I was quite surprised at how good this episode was.

Surveying a planet, the Enterprise must beam up a landing party before the cold of night. A crewman with a minor injury beams aboard first for medical attention before Captain Kirk. Once aboard the ship, Kirk feels a bit queasy, so Scotty walks with him to the Captain's quarters. Unknowingly to either is that the transporter beams up another duplicate of Captain Kirk while the room is unattended.

This new Kirk begins roaming the ship and drinking Saurian brandy and attacks Yeoman Rand. Meanwhile, Scotty discovers a problem with the transporters when they beam up an alien dog (a dog, in an alien suit! So cute!) and an 'evil' duplicate appears.

The crew become aware that this must also have happened to Kirk and a Kirk on Kirk (or his lookalike) duel brings the imposter to sickbay for monitoring. Sulu and the landing party begin freezing on the planet's surface before Scotty attempts to combine the two dog (halves) together - unsuccessfully. It's with Spock's mathematical mind that Kirk is able to be saved.

This was quite a good episode in that the friendship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy is starting to begin to show and look natural. Kirk's interactions with the crew also feel more 'real' to me now.

The transporter malfunction is the first of many that will form the basis for a Trek episode in the future no doubt and the writers obviously hadn't thought of shuttlecraft at this point because no one thought to use one of those to rescue Sulu and the landing party!

In any case, this episode was quite well done.

Overall rating: 8/10

For those with the Blu-ray set, select the 'red button' from the disc menu for a music video of the new remastered special effects, in DVD quality format :

06 February 2011

Trek Review: The Naked Time

We've been quite busy these past few weeks and the recent Sydney heatwave hasn't helped much either. But we did manage to fit in another episode of Remastered Star Trek! In other sci-fi news, I've put in my preorder for the DVD set Dark Skies and received the entire series of Star Trek: The Next Generation, also on DVD - for when we get through our Original adventures :P

The Naked Time

The Enterprise is monitoring the planetary collapse of the planet Psi2000. Spock and crewman 'nobody' beam down to find the place frozen and the science team they were supposed to pick up have died. Each member in strange circumstances.

Crewman nobody makes a noob error by removing his environmental suit to examine underneath a table - in doing so he unknowingly picks up a virus.

The virus quickly spreads through the Enterprise crew upon their return to the ship, and after the scanners and decontamination doesn't pick it up. Crew start displaying careless and juvenile behaviour which jeopardises the ship as it tries to remain in orbit around the collapsing planet below.

McCoy saves the day but not without Sulu showing off his fencing skills, Kirk slapping Spock in the face, Nurse Chapel (her first time in the show so far) showing her love for Spock and Kirk getting his shirt ripped!

I only remember scenes from this episode but not the entire thing. I thought it was interesting that Nurse Chapel's first outing would be the one where she announces her love for Spock. I had often read about the relationship these two characters had, so will be interesting to see if there is further mention of it in upcoming episodes. Speaking of love, it was also the first time I can recall Kirk outwardly showing his affection for the Enterprise. During a moment of frustration he calls out to the ship, telling her he won't lose her.

The remastered effects for this episode were great. The new look of Psi2000 gave the planet a realistic feel, the science station added in and the cleanup for blu-ray again make this purchase all worthwhile :)

Overall Rating: 6/10

Also worthy of a watch was the 'Spacelift' featurette which showed how they went about remastering the Original series into the versions we're appreciating in the 21st century!

That ends the first disc of Season One, looking forward to continuing the adventure!