May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “Star Trek Generations”

Captains Picard and Kirk need to work together to stop a mad scientist.

Alright, Jimmy and Tom have finally gotten to the Star Trek movies featuring the Next Generation crew.  OK, maybe they aren’t always at the same level of quality as the best for the original series crew, but they’re usually better than Star Trek V.

With that in mind, first up is the time Picard worked with Captain Kirk.

Star Trek Generations

Picard needs help. Better call Kirk!

jimmy:  It has it’s flaws, but all these years later (30 of them, geez) I still like Generations.

tomk:  Is that because Kirk owes you money?

jimmy:  I hope not. He’s dead, Tom.

tomk:  Did you kill him?

jimmy:  I did not.  Did you watch the movie?

tomk:  Someone rigged that bridge to collapse.

jimmy:  Wasn’t me.  I like my Enterprise Captains alive.

tomk:  Ironically, so does Kirk.

jimmy:  He had to go out sometime.

tomk:  Is that why Shatner wrote novels that let Kirk live and then defeat the Borg?

jimmy:  I read those…but I don’t think they’re canon.

tomk:  Maybe they should be shot out of a cannon.

jimmy:  I get the sense you’re not a fan?

tomk:  Oh, I like it fine. It just occurred to me the TNG cast only had one really good movie, and Kirk’s death is really anticlimactic.

jimmy:  If you think that was anticlimactic, don’t watch the original ending.

tomk:  The one where he trips over his shoelaces and falls out an airlock?

jimmy:  Do they have shoelaces in the 24th century?

tomk:  Jimmy, I don’t even know if they have buttons or a cool hat.

jimmy:  We know they have emotion chips.

tomk:  And you do love chips.

jimmy:  I do. And that makes me emotional.

tomk:  Fine. Here’s the key to Watson’s chip pantry.

jimmy:  Are they emotion chips?  Will they keep me from pushing Crusher into the ocean?

tomk:  Or her stunt double because you’ll be really happy you have chips.

jimmy:  I had a couple of things bug me about the holodeck sequence. First, why was Worf’s leg bleeding after he got planked and was climbing back up, as Crusher got pushed.

Second, how can the archway open in the middle of the boat with people moving around and behind the archway?  Maybe they were all holographic people, I don’t recall, but it seemed odd.

tomk:  They want to confuse you, Jimmy. Specifically you, Jimmy.

jimmy:  It worked!

tomk:  They also decided not to include the scene when Data seduced the Duras sisters off-camera to confuse you.

jimmy:  That would have confused me. And everyone.

tomk:  Supposedly, there was a scene where it turned out the Duras sisters survived the destruction of their ship.  Data had by then gotten a bit, shall we say, willing to show he was fully functional and went off to say hello. The punchline is he came back, beaten up, but reveals he was successful at winning the pair over.  Then his arm fell off.

jimmy:

tomk:  That’s what this movie needed:  a muscle car chase and some drifting.

jimmy:  What about a car that could go into space?

tomk:  That might be going a step too far.

jimmy:  You’re right.  No sensible movie would do that.

There is an extended version of that scene though, but it doesn’t offer much.  Crusher makes it back on board and refuses Data’s help.  Troi is ordered by Riker to steer the ship, foreshadowing later events.

tomk:

Why does anyone need to steer a holographic ship?

jimmy:  Why all the hair?  Why anything?

tomk:  Picard asks about the hair thing all the time.

jimmy:  Speaking of, they did reshoots for the Christmas scene and the ending. It was months later and Patrick Stewart was doing another movie and his hair was much longer.  So he had to wear a bald cap and they put fake hair on it to resemble his hairstyle in the movie.

tomk:  They had to copy his bald head?  Jimmy, that sounds almost made up.

jimmy:  The bald head wasn’t the problem. His long hair was.

tomk:  They probably also had to do something about Brent Spiner’s Mohawk.

jimmy:  He wasn’t in the reshoots.

tomk:  Just Picard, some kids, and Riker?

jimmy:  Shatner not Riker.

tomk:  Speaking of hairpieces…

jimmy:  Yeah, those kids looked awful.

tomk:  They were all Watsons.

jimmy:  Except René.

tomk:  He was adopted.

jimmy:  And now he’s dead.

tomk:  Well, he shouldn’t have borrowed all that money from that legbreaking Ferengi.

jimmy:  That’s a dark twist.

tomk:  Well, when you grow up in a moneyless society, that sort of thing becomes more common.

jimmy:  Picard’s brother got in deep playing dabo.

tomk:  Dabo doesn’t even make sense.  I think you win if you just shout “dabo” first.

jimmy:  He always yelled second.

tomk:  If he was lucky.

jimmy:  Either way he burned to death. Which was also pretty dark for Trek.

tomk:  Ronald Moore co-wrote this story.  He was heavily involved in DS9 and later created the very dark Battlestar Gallactica reboot.

jimmy:  And they wrote the script while working on the final season of TNG. The movie shot like 4 months after the finale or something like that.

tomk:  It’s like they knew they weren’t done with these people yet.

jimmy:  TOS cast wasn’t getting any younger.

tomk:  Especially now.

jimmy:  But especially then.

tomk:  Wikipedia tells me Whoopi was very disappointed that Nichelle Nichols wasn’t there.

jimmy:  I read that too. Nichols was her hero.

tomk:  Also, Patrick Stewart was hoping for the entire original cast.

jimmy:  They probably all were.

tomk:  They couldn’t even get Spock and McCoy back for the opening scene. It’s why Chekhov is playing medic.

jimmy:  Yeah, they just swapped the characters. Nimoy didn’t like the script. Not sure Kelley’s issue.

tomk:  He had a golf outing that weekend?

jimmy:  According to this he wasn’t happy with it just being a glorified cameo, and figured Star Trek VI was a better note to go out on.

tomk:  That’s too bad. He missed Picard’s Hollywood dance party.

jimmy:  I didn’t see Trek or Picard in there.  Maybe I blinked and missed it.

tomk:  Picard was busy hosting.

jimmy:  It was a sexy party with erotic cakes.

tomk:  Riker and Troi were dancing behind a haystack with Nick Fury.

jimmy:  Makes sense.

I get where TOS actors are coming from.  Outside of Kirk, they only appear in the opening sequence.  Of course Shatner signed up.  But not really much incentive for the others.  Understandably, the powers that be wanted to put the TNG crew center stage if they were to continue the movie franchise.  And a full blown TOS/TNG crossover would have probably been too bloated.

tomk:  That is true. Though which was the stronger crew to have in a movie is probably up for debate.

jimmy:  You think TNG weaker than TOS?

tomk:  I think the TNG cast had a better show, but the TOS crew on the whole made better movies.

jimmy:  But were also pushing if not in their 70s. Transitioning to the new hotness made sense.

tomk:  I agree. The studio was right to bring in a new, younger cast. It’s just that, aside from First Contact, the TNG movies aren’t as impressive as Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home, and The Undiscovered Country.

jimmy:  TOS movies had their share of clunkers, but certainly more hits than TNG.

tomk:  That could be due to any number of factors, but there’s nothing in TOS on the level of Best of Both Worlds or The Inner Light.

jimmy:  I like some of the movies fine, but I’m not a fan of TOS at the best of times.

tomk:  Even with all those Canadians in the cast?

jimmy:  Even so.

tomk:  I wouldn’t mess with Shatner.

jimmy:  Conan’s production values are not great.

tomk:  A better version was unshareable.

jimmy:  If you want the higher quality one, you have to send Shatner one shiny Canadian dollar.

tomk:  What if I send him two American dollars?

jimmy:  Even better!

tomk:  What if I sent you five American dollars?

jimmy:  I’d have $6.71 Canadian dollars.

tomk:  So, no sharing good quality videos of your big dance parties?

jimmy:  Not for $6.71.

tomk:  I think I know what those are like.

jimmy:  Not quite as sexy as Picard’s.

tomk:  Those look like kids. I should hope not.

jimmy:  So, what didn’t you like about this?

tomk:  It’s fine. It just doesn’t seem as good as TNG at its best.

I really don’t like the emotionally unstable Data though.

jimmy:  Agreed. I found Kirk’s death, I don’t know if anticlimactic is right or not, but it was kinda like “after all he’s been through, all these years, that’s how he goes out?”

I also found that the movie grinds to a halt in the nexus. I get the point of those scenes, but they kill the momentum.

The Data story is hit and miss.  It was occasionally quite funny though.

tomk:  I do like Kirk in this movie’s final act.  Picard wants to go back out of a sense of right and wrong. Kirk just thinks it’ll be fun.

jimmy:  There’s probably a level of right and wrong too, but Kirk always seemed like he enjoys the various space shenanigans more than Picard.

tomk:  It’s also suggests Kirk is just a more fun character. Shatner doesn’t have the best reputation as an actor, but he holds his own with Stewart.

jimmy:  He steals the show if anything.

tomk:  I think it’s because Stewart had that serious actor aura, one that arguably Shatner never had, but this is Star Trek, and it’s a show about people flying through space and visiting other planets. It’s kinda silly on some level.

jimmy:  Silly now. Commonplace in 300 years.

tomk:  Unfortunately, we are watching it now. Plus, Stewart got really silly in public over time.

jimmy:  Stewart is an actors actor. Shatner’s more in it for the green babes.

tomk:  Sounds like you and the Moose.

jimmy:  Also true.

tomk:  And which of you is in it for the green babes?

jimmy:  Which of us isn’t?

tomk:  Hm.  So which of you is the commenter’s commenter?

jimmy:  Uh. Me?

tomk:  OK, that makes you Stewart in this analogy.

jimmy:

tomk:  Meanwhile, the Moose gets all the green babes.

jimmy:  Sounds about right.

tomk:  And Data doesn’t need to make dad jokes.

jimmy:  Or sing songs about life forms.

tomk:  Or cower when Malcolm McDowell and his droogs threaten Geordi.

jimmy:  Malcolm McDowell is scary. Except when you meet him as an 80 year old man. Then he’s just delightful.

tomk:  What if you meet him as a 79 year old man?

jimmy:  But I didn’t, so I don’t know.

tomk:  Sounds like you have a story for our theoretical loyal reader.

jimmy:  It’s not a good story. I ran into him at a concert we both attended locally. I almost never meet celebrities. Being on an island in Canada plays a small part in that. But he was here filming a TV show.

Funny enough, his love interest on one of the episodes of the show was played by Alice Krige, star of…?

tomk:  The OA on Netflix?

jimmy:  Well, yes, but something more segue-y.

tomk:  The Voyager finale?

jimmy:  Are we segueing to Voyager?

tomk:  I hope not. I’m only partway through season two.

jimmy:  Though it’s the same character, so you’re close.

tomk:  Wait,you aren’t referring to First Contact by any chance, are you?  Or are you telling me Tom Hardy is going to appear in a different episode of that show?

jimmy:  I’m certainly not talking about Tom Hardy.

tomk:  Too bad.  I’ll bet he, McDowell, and Krige all get together to discuss that meddling Enterprise crew and their unkillable cat.

jimmy:  Maybe it’s not a cat.

tomk:  Oh, it’s a cat. You can’t get rid of those things.

jimmy:  That looks like Spot. Complete with eye patch.

tomk:  True. I suppose you’re ready to see Picard meet alien royalty.

jimmy:  Yes. But before we do, grade for Generations?

tomk:  Let’s say 8 out of 10 Kirk omelettes.

jimmy:  I will say 8 out of 10 Enterprise-D destructions as well.

tomk:  Sounds good. Now Picard can meet hostile alien royalty.

jimmy:  The crossover we never knew we needed.

tomk:  That happened with a different cast.

jimmy:  But we’re talking TNG.

tomk:  Oh, I see. You probably want to talk about First Contact then.

jimmy:  I should probably watch it again first.

tomk:  That might be a good idea.

jimmy:  Let’s do that.

tomk:  If you say so, we will make it so.

Next:  Star Trek: First Contact