11 April 2011

Trek Review: The Conscience of the King & Balance of Terror

The Conscience of the King

Captain Kirk is watching a play with a friend, Thomas Leighton. Leighton informs Kirk that he believes the main actor, Anton Karidian is in fact the infamous Kodos The Executioner.

Kirk does some investigating which seems to backup Leighton's accusation, but Leighton is soon found dead, shortly after Kirk is introduced to Karidian's daughter, Lenore.

Kirk hatches a plan to transport Lenore and her actors to their next destination instead of their scheduled transport ship and begins to form a relationship with Lenore. Amongst his investigations he finds out that of the 9 witnesses to see Kodos' face during his time ruling Tarsus IV and eventual killing of over 4000 colonists, 7 have been killed. Lt Riley (seen in The Naked Time) and James T Kirk are the last 2 surviving.

An attempt is made on Riley's life that puts him in Sickbay and an overloaded Phaser almost kills Kirk (and Spock). Kirk confronts Karidian in his quarters but doesn't find justice there. It's not until the actors put together a play for the Enterprise crew that the truth is uncovered, with Lenore admitting she had killed the 7 other eyewitnesses and that soon both Riley and Kirk would be dead too.

Karidian is distraught to hear this and Kirk, overhearing moves to secure both Anton and Lenore, but not before Lenore grabs a hand phaser from an Enterprise guard. In the commotion that follows, she shoots her father, mortally wounding him. Eventually they are both taken away.

A pretty decent episode with an unexpected ending with Lenore's involvement. The remastered episode benefits from some of the best 'beauty shots' of the Enterprise in the series so far. I think this is also the first girl Kirk actually manages to romance as he will become known for and the first (and perhaps only) time I've heard a 'Double Red Alert' issued aboard a ship?

Overall Rating: 7/10

Balance of Terror

Interrupting a wedding ceremony onboard, the Enterprise is alerted to attacks on Earth Outposts bordering the Romulan Neutral Zone. Things have been quiet in this region of space for almost a century since the Earth-Romulan War so tensions are quite high.

The Enterprise arrives to find nothing left of three outposts and a fourth, under attack, is able to transmit an image of the attacking ship.

Kirk engages in a game of cat and mouse with the invader before conferring with his staff and ultimately deciding to engage the enemy for encroaching and attacking Earth territory. Kirk and the Enterprise ultimately prevail and learn a bit about the Romulans in the process. Unfortunately, but somewhat expected, one of the marriage participants dies in the conflict.

Again, this is an episode that plays out quite differently to how I remember it from the first time. I imagined the battle was a bit more exciting and both the Romulan ship and the Enterprise were equally wounded. As it turns out, the Enterprise had the upper hand throughout the episode. The Romulan Commander hardly appeared a match for Kirk as he was more preoccupied with returning his ship home.

Either way, this is the first Trek episode based around a battle. Certain scenes and events reminded me of The Next Generation episode 'The Neutral Zone' with the tension unfolding in the opening scenes and discovering the destroyed outposts. In blu-ray, the episode is once again reproduced splendidly, though one thing I noticed was the special effects wizards showed the Enterprise firing torpedoes instead of phaser beams during the battle sequences. From reading the entry on Memory Alpha, it seems these effects were used before the term 'Photon Torpedo' was developed, however, the problem with continuity of the remastered series is that we've already seen the phaser beams employed in the episode 'The Corbomite Maneuver'.

Overall Rating: 7/10

05 April 2011

The Focus - One Month On...

Hey All,

I've owned my Ford Focus XR5 Turbo for a month now! How quickly that time goes. I'm still technically within the 'run-in' period at just over 1400km's on the clock and only just today (re)figured out how to adjust the steering settings - sporty it is :)

Still loving the car, getting huge smiles every time I hear that engine going for it and she's still surprising me from time to time. Have I looked back at the Cougar I left behind? Not as much as I thought. But life's been busy, so even the time I get to enjoy my new car is limited.

The weather hasn't helped and so she's only had one wash so far, about two weeks ago when there was a break in the rain.

As comes with any car that you look after, I'm still paranoid when I park her anywhere - but I'm loving every moment of the driving experience and even looking at the car, while maybe not as sexy as a Cougar, she's still a fine looking machine!

I'm actually looking forward to having some time to properly enjoy the driving experience on a proper 'drivers road' out there somewhere. My daily commute to and from work doesn't offer much inspiring bitchumen to get into!