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Monday, November 25, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "The Changeling"

This week's Star Trek episode is a result of a tear in the space-time continuum through which the script to Star Trek: The Movie fell backwards ten years and was turned into a cheap 1960s TV show.  Either that or the movie people just copied the same exact plot ten years later in 1978 and threw 50 million bucks worth of movie lipstick on an aging, anorexic TV pig.  (No, not Uhura.  I said "anorexic.")

We learn at the start of the show that four billion people have been killed in a star system, and the near total apathy of the bridge crew suggests that they didn't really like those four billion people all that much.  I mean, it's not like one of those four billion people was Chekov or somebody whose death always makes Kirk sit up and take notice every time he's killed.  Maybe those four billion people kept Kirk's Frisbee when he threw it in their solar system when he was a kid, or maybe they played their music so loud they kept everyone else up in the Milky Way all night long.  So good riddance, four billion anonymous people.  I'm sure you were all guilty of something.

After not caring that four billion people are dead at a writer's whim, a green blob suddenly flies at the Enterprise and everyone starts falling all over the bridge because it still hasn't occurred to anybody to install seat belts.  All they've got is that little fence running around the bridge that everyone is always falling into and grabbing onto, and I wonder if Starfleet has to put up a disclaimer about chipped teeth like those security bars in parking lot traveling carnival roller coasters.  The janitor must have to come in after every alien encounter with a huge mop like those kids use in supermarket aisles to sweep up Sulu's teeth.

Spock says the energy attack of the green blob was equal to 90 photon torpedoes.  The Enterprise is usually bouncing back and forth with panels exploding and smoke coming out the computer consoles with only one or two photo torpedo hits, so I'd think 90 would leave nothing but a crater in space where Shatner's ego used to be. 

The Enterprise's shields are down to 20% and Spock says that they can withstand three more such attacks.  I'm not the best mathematician in the galaxy or a great big super-brain like Spock, but let me have a dummy human whirl at this.

1 energy blob = 90 photon torpedoes and resulted in an 80% loss to the shields.

3 more energy blobs = 270 photon torpedoes and would result in another 240% loss in the shields.

Since you'd only need 101% total green blob energy -- 100% to collapse the shields, 1% to blow up the ship -- by my back-of-the-matchbook calculations, 1 more energy blob would be sufficient to destroy the Enterprise completely with 59% green blob energy left over to vaporize Kirk's toupee just in case he panics and tries launching it out an escape hatch at the last second.

Spock is pretty much as good at ciphering as TV contemporary Jethro Bodine.

The Enterprise fires a torpedo at the thing that shot at them, and Kirk is stunned when it is able to absorb all that energy.  Hey, Captain Genius, your ship just absorbed ninety times that much energy.  Or maybe he's distracted because he's still trying to do Spock's complicated "goes-into-ing" in his head.  Naught, naught, carry the naught...

Kirk finally decides to try to talk to the thing that killed four billion (I'm sorry, vaporized corpses, I just yawned) people, that just tried to kill them, and which he's just tried to blow up.  I'd think saying "hello" would be pretty much the first thing you'd try to do every time you met something new up there in the great unknown of space, although I suppose as a diplomatic gesture trying to blow the hell out everything first works too.

The thing that just tried to kill them agrees to beam aboard the Enterprise, and everyone is so distracted that nobody but me notices that the actor extra in the transporter room wearing the red shirt is the same extra who was up on the bridge a little while ago wearing a blue shirt.  Maybe he spilled mustard on his red shirt.

The thing that killed four billion people (sorry...yawned again) and tried to blow up the Enterprise is a tin gas can with a trash compactor on top.  I guess it must have set those four billion people on fire then ground them up.  I hope none of the four billion people put a spoon down it, because Kirk will have to call a plumber, and they charge a fortune for space calls. 

The special effects team really went above and beyond the call of duty with the ultra-realistic string that floats the alien device off the transporter deck and bounces it around the ship.

The Enterprise senior officers all seem pretty surprised that the thing can move around.  I'm not, since I'm apparently the only one who remembers that two seconds ago the thing was outside flying at warp 15 on a friggin' string.

The thing is called Nomad, it was launched from Earth in the early 2000s and was subsequently damaged and then repaired with alien technology that corrupted its original programming and is now traveling back to Earth to find its creator while in the meantime it's whiling away all those boring in-between hours in space by killing biological infestations.

Don't confuse this with V'ger from Star Trek: The Movie, which was launched from Earth in the late 1900s and was subsequently damaged and then repaired with alien technology that corrupted its original programming and will be traveling back to Earth to find its creator while in the meantime it will while away all those boring in-between hours in space by killing biological infestations.  That time will be much different because it'll be ten years later, 50 million bucks richer and there'll be a bald chick.

Gee, I hope Spock logs all the files on this Nomad encounter in the right spot in the computer, because you wouldn't want to mix up these once-in-a-lifetime alien encounters.

Stop being a better actor than me!

The brilliant machine is so stupid it thinks Kirk is its creator, a guy who in an incredible coincidence just happened to have been called Dunkirk or Poonkirk or SomeotherKirk.  Isn't it amazingly serendipitous that it just so happens that first syllable was erased in whatever -- (possibly a spoon, the jury is still out) -- it is that damaged Nomad?  Isn't it also unbelievably good fortune that the guy who beeps once for yes and twice for no isn't still the captain of the Enterprise?  Figure the odds, Spock.  No, wait, we don't have time to wait for you to take off your shoes to do all that highly advanced ciphering.

Uhura turns on the intercom and starts subjecting the entire ship to her singing.  I'm not kidding.  So if some bored crewman down on Z deck feels like broadcasting fart noises to the whole ship, he can do so just by flipping a switch.  It would also sound better than Uhura's singing.

Nomad hears Uhura shrieking over all the loudspeakers and floats out the door on its string to see who is skinning live cats.  It floats up to the bridge where it sends a blue beam into Uhura's face and gets her to stop singing.  If Nomad can get her to never fan dance again, he'll be my favorite floating tin bucket with a trash compactor on it in the whole wide world. 

V'ger -- oops, I mean Nomad -- kills Scotty, and medical man Bones stands over the body and announces, "He's dead, Jim."  I'd say he's the crummiest doctor in the universe since he doesn't even make any attempt whatsoever to revive him, but simple CPR was probably disinvented somewhere in the 22nd century, so that makes Bones not an incompetent quack I wouldn't trust to put on a Band-Aid.

Nomad says it can fix Ilia...oops, I mean Scotty.  All it needs is some crackers with anatomy books on them and a cheddar cheese scalpel.

It fixes Scotty just by bouncing around on its string next to his bed in sickbay.  It doesn't even send out a beam or a tumescent antenna like it did an embarrassing few minutes ago when it was tracking down Uhura.

Once Scotty is alive again -- no thanks to the ship's chief surgeon who was afraid to perform the kiss of life because it'd make him look gay in front of Sulu --  they tell Nomad to fix Uhura.  It says it can't fix her because her brain was wiped clean, so Spock says they can reeducate her and Bones plasters on that disturbing wax smile that always looks like he's trying to grin his way through a proctological exam.  I'm glad the compassionate doctor is so happy that Uhura's entire memory -- which would include her family, friends, and every life experience to date -- was washed away like a wet sponge across a blackboard.  Hey, just as long as it's not you it's A-okay, right, Albert Schweitzer?

Two minutes later Uhura is somehow already reading at a kindergarten level, and Bones and the homely nurse laugh when she mispronounces "blue."  And the compassion train just rolls on and on in Dr. Mengele's Zany Ztarship Zickbay.

Spock does a mind-meld with the garbage disposal top part of Nomad and figures out that Nomad was originally supposed to sterilize dirt samples but has decided to branch out to include people.  Personally, once I got it to lower its shields I'd have chopped it up with an ax, but feeling it up is okay too, I guess. 

Spock also is able to find out Nomad's history and how it was rebuilt after it was damaged when it joined with an alien probe.  Okay, I can accept that a small pile of scrap metal can travel at warp 15, that it can wipe out entire planets and send out photon torpedoes that are 90 times more powerful than those on the Enterprise even though there is no evidence of any kind of rocket launcher out of the thing's tin bucket, and that it can perform CPR without ever leaving its string, but how is it that Spock can read the computer records in its own garbage disposal head when it can't access those exact same records?  I'm starting to think they maybe didn't think this episode through clearly.  Gosh, I hope they do a big screen remake one day that fills in all the blanks.  (Also that costs millions of dollars more, is as boring as watching snail races on CBS, and that Scotty won't die in that version and will have a mustache.  That would be sweet.)

Nomad punches out the homely nurse, zaps a couple of red shirts, and goes to engineering, which is so modern that it is run entirely with Lite Brites and plastic bowling balls.  I think it's going to gas everybody on the ship or something.  Who cares?

Kirk tells Nomad that he is a biological unit.  Nomad's entire raison d'etre is killing living things and it didn't bother to check Kirk's pulse?  What adorable innocence in a probe that's killed at least four billion people.

Kirk tells Funnybot that everything that is in error must be destroyed and that Nomad was in error, so Nomad naturally starts smoking like an ashtray at a Dean Martin celebrity roast and Kirk and Spock toss it out the window where it blows up.

At the end, we learn that Uhura is already back to college level and will be back on the job in a week.  Apparently reeducation is a snap for a gal who has nothing on her brain but "hailing frequency open, captain" and pie.  Too bad she'll call the cops on her parents when they show up at her apartment unannounced on Christmas because she'll have no memory whatsoever of them.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "Amok Time"

At the start of this week's Star Trek, Kirk and Bones are trying to figure out why the Enterprise just got a million dollar phone bill for one of those sexy logic-talk chat lines and why the ship's computer hard drive is loaded up with Vulcan porn.

The homely nurse sees them in the hallway and tells them she's made Spock some pumice soup, since he's spending all his time moaning in his quarters lately for some mysterious reason.  He's also developed acne, gotten all moody, his voice is changing, and he is awkward around girls, but no one can figure out what could possibly be ailing the Vulcan hornball.

Spock has a temper tantrum and throws the soup and the homely nurse out into the hallway, yelling that she can't even cook, which means she has absolutely nothing going for her.  He also tells Kirk that he's a fat, fat fatty, says he hates living on the Enterprise, tells Bones he's a stupid-face, and slams his bedroom door so hard he knocks Great Aunt Tillie's picture in the silver frame off the credenza.

Our little Vulcan is growing up.

Bones says Spock will die if he doesn't get some.  Forget everything bad I've ever said about him: Bones is the best doctor ever.

Chekov's wig looks like it was stitched together using live rats by blind maniacs in a Peruvian insane asylum, but it's still more realistic than his Russian accent.

Spock tells Kirk that he's going through something called "Poon-Fart," which is a special time in a young Vulcan's life when he is ruled by his underpants, and that he's so far gone even the ship's Quasimodo nurse is starting to look not half-bad.  He says marriage is the only way to not go crazy and die, so he must go back to Vulcan and -- employing a 1960s TV euphemism to keep the censors happy -- "take a wife."  Obviously Spock is a lot more naive than we thought, since every guy knows the best way to not "take a wife" ever again is to get married.

I notice that during his whole big Poon-Fart explanation to Kirk, Spock has herpes on his lip, so he's apparently "taken a wife" in at least one spaceport already.

The Enterprise is due at some big ceremony on the other side of the galaxy, but if there's one thing James T. Kirk appreciates more than duty it's some good, old-fashioned alien screwing, so he risks his career in order to change course to fly his randy first officer to the nearest Vulcan whorehouse.

At Vulcan, a dame called Titring appears on the monitor and Spock says she's his wife, so Kirk wasted all that gas, will probably get fired by his boss at Starfleet, and now won't even get sloppy seconds at an alien bachelor party, which is pretty much the only reason he flew all the way out there.

Kirk, Spock and Bones beam down to the plywood Vulcan Stonehenge and Spock bangs a dinner gong which is the start of a ceremony called "Canuck Colored Feet."

Apparently Spock isn't technically married to Titring yet, so they must be like one of those couples on Judge Judy who have five kids and have lived together for ten years but never bothered with the piece of paper.  "We don't like to define what we've got, so stop imposing your, like, rules on us, man."

Titring stops the Canuck Colored Feet wedding ceremony because she's been two-timing Spock with a guy with even bigger ears and a Mercedes.  The Vulcan high priestess who was carried in on two sticks by a bunch of gay Vulcan strippers says Spock is in a blood fever called "Plaque Tower," which is pretty much the Earth equivalent of what a guy feels like when he learns his wife is running off with the garage door repairman.

Titring is eyeballing her big-eared paramour, who is wearing a tinfoil apron, a crocheted Dr. Who scarf around his waist and whose name is Stun.  Stun demands to fight Spock, because the men in a purely logical race naturally decide who gets the broad by beating the hell out of each other. 

The old lady priestess hollers and Spock gets a pretty purple scarf tied around his waist.  These people are somehow heralded far and wide as smart and logical even though everything they do is stupid and makes no sense.

Titring chooses Kirk to be her champion to fight Spock because...oh, who cares?  Cut!  Bring in the doubles!

Kirk's and Spock's stunt doubles fight with stick weapons that look like a flattened, sharpened hubcap on one end and part of a punching bag on the other.  The weapons are apparently effective for the sole purpose of ripping Kirk's shirt in the first two seconds of the fight.

 Captain, no means NO!

Spock is so out of his mind with rage over the garage door repairman nailing his fiancee that he nearly murders his innocent best friend.  Hey, somebody check a Vulcan dictionary.  Maybe all these years "logical" has actually meant "retarded."       

The fight to the death is stopped briefly so that Bones can give Kirk an injection that isn't mysterious at all, so don't pay any attention to it.  Also, Spock and Kirk are each given a pair of suspenders to fight with by a guy in a football helmet and tinfoil apron.

Spock's suspenders break the dinner gong, so no delicious pumice soup for the field hands tonight.

Spock shoves Kirk into an artificial barbecue pit and for a few seconds all of Vulcan smells like a pig roast, then he strangles him with his suspenders.

If Vulcan is so hot and the air is so thin, shouldn't the temperature and extra oxygen back on the Enterprise make Spock freeze and high all the time?

Bones pronounces Kirk dead, which is funny because I could have sworn he was in all the movies.  It must have been some other fat guy in a wig.  I always thought Kirk looked a little like that guy T.J. Hooker, so maybe they hired him.

Titring explains why she set this whole thing up, the upshot being that she's a two-timing whore. 

Spock calls Titring a logical slut.  Not exactly in those words, that's the Cliff's Notes version. 

Spock tells off Stun over Titring, telling him that having something isn't the same as wanting it.  I figure Stun will find that out himself when she's nagging his big ears off about not making enough money at the tinfoil apron store and then goes out and hires a garage door repairman who mysteriously takes three months to hang the only door in their one-stall garage.

Up on the Enterprise, Spock is so happy to find that Kirk isn't dead after all that he shouts "Jim!" and jumps up and down on the bed like the Hobbits at the end of The Return of the King.  Then he clams up and gets all cigar store-Indian again.

Bones says the injection he gave Kirk to help in the fight was actually a mickey that knocked him out, which is a brilliant idea except for the fact that Spock was a rampaging maniac at the time with several times the strength of an ordinary human and McCoy's genius idea was to make it so Kirk couldn't fight back.  No, nothing could go wrong with that plan.  I take back what I took back up top about Bones' doctoring skills.

The Enterprise flies off into the sunset having learned the valuable lesson that apparently all they have to do to help Spock the next time he gets horned up is let him murder somebody, which is the main theme of Dating Tips for Vulcans by Ted Bundy.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Thanks to Tractor45 for the great review of A Red Letter Day, The Red Menace #4. What more can a writer say about a review that ends with a line like that other than thank you?