Voyager rewatch: 1.03 – “Parallax”

Janeway and Chakotay face the first challenge in uniting their crews — choosing a new chief engineer. The candidates are Starfleet’s Lieutenant Carey, who is competent but not brilliant, and the Maquis B’Elanna, whose brilliance is undermined by her habit of punching people in the face. Like Carey, for example.

Luckily, a weird space thing turns up to move the plot along.

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Voyager rewatch: 1.01-1.02 – “Caretaker”

Having given myself permission to skip DS9, I started watching select episodes of Voyager for my “Trek to catch if you’re new and liked Disco” series. But then I thought, well, I don’t have much to blog about on a week-to-week basis right now, and this is one hundred and seventy-odd hours of television…

So I guess we’re doing this! Mostly weekly, real life and other distractions permitting, and with the understanding that it’s fine to take breaks, and getting bored and giving up doesn’t mean I’m a big failure. (Keep your expectations reasonable and your self-talk kind, that’s my motto.)

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Liz versus Deep Space 9

If you’re new to Star Trek, you’ll get a lot of people telling you that DS9 is the best of the ’90s spin-offs, if not the best Trek, full stop.

And those people aren’t wrong.

Nevertheless, I’ve decided to skip it for now in my round up of “Star Trek episodes you might enjoy if you are new and liked Discovery“. Because the truth is, I just don’t like it all that much.

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Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018)

Australian film heresy: I’ve never seen Peter Weir’s 1975 adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock. I’ve read the novel, by Joan Lindsay, several times, but mostly because I like boarding school fiction. The movie has always been on my “one day I’ll watch that” list.

But I was intrigued enough by Foxtel’s new six-episode adaptation that, to my flatmate’s dismay, I signed up for a Foxtel Play trial to stream it.

(Sidebar: Foxtel Play’s streaming quality is quite good, but every time I opened the app on our TV, The Bolt Report would come blaring out. No one needs Andrew Bolt and Peta Credlin in their living room. In future, I think I’ll just get my Foxtel-made series on DVD from the library.)

Unfortunately, the new adaptation is a bit terrible. The good news is, it’s terrible in some interesting ways.

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Star Trek catch up: The Next Generation (part 2)

Part 1 can be found here.

We’re now into season 5, which along with season 4 was TNG’s creative peak. We’ll cover its final years and the four TNG-era movies.

Which is to say, I watched Star Trek Nemesis so you don’t have to.

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The Norah Satie Discourse

“The Drumhead”. Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 4, episode 21: the discovery of a spy aboard the Enterprise, along with possible sabotage of the ship’s engines, triggers an investigation led by retired Rear Admiral Norah Satie (played by veteran British actress Jean Simmons) which quickly turns into a witch hunt.

“The Drumhead” is one of those iconic TNG episodes. There’s an ethical dilemma which serves as a metaphor for real world issues, external forces trigger polite disagreement between members of the main cast, Patrick Stewart gives an inspirational speech, and then it’s never spoken of again.

I don’t say this as faint praise. TNG was a great series, which suffers now because its episodic storytelling style is no longer fashionable. And this is one of the best episodes, representing the series at its peak. Though it was conceived as an allegory for McCarthyism, “The Drumhead”‘s exploration of justice, paranoia and the value of civil liberties is particularly relevant in the hellscape of the first two decades of the twenty-first century.

Nevertheless. I have a lot of feelings about Norah Satie, the way she was written, and her treatment in-universe.

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