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Star Trek TNG Reunion Serves Tea, Earl Grey, Cold.
July 24, 2012 3:06 AM   Subscribe

Two remastered episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation were shown theatrically on Monday in the US, Canada, and Australia, to tie in with today's release of season 1 on Blu-ray. If you caught the screening, missed it, or never had a chance, I thought it would be a good time to present this April 2012 cast reunion at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. All the regulars were there, including demi-godish Patrick Stewart (previously), Denise Crosby, and Wil Wheaton. Diana Muldaur fans will be disappointed. Seeing these videos may result in an anomalous time loss of several hours, but you may as well get it out of the way before the Olympics.

Alternate view, first of 5 parts Total show runs about 1h 15m. Thankfully, this panel is slated to be released officially on the season 2 Blu-ray set.

Along with the main feature, they were preceded by smaller, more intimate panels. In particular, Burton, Dorn, and Spiner are much less laconic here than they are in the above:
solo Stewart (41m)
Burton, Spiner, and Wheaton (43m)
Dorn, Frakes, and Sirtis (36m)

Alas, I don't think Gates did a panel. And I have to say that Wheaton actually seemed to come off as the most mature and insightful voice that night.

And if you still want more, you may also enjoy this "Captain's Summit" special hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, featuring Stewart, Frakes, Shatner, and Nimoy, from 2009. ~1h 10m

And, if you're tempted to give into snark and laugh at the cast members who have aged less gracefully, or whose names aren't Patrick, I'm sure the Youtubers have taken care of that.

Spiner himself chimes in with: "We had a contest to see who looked the worst. I won." A 2010 clip of his also explains why Spot was not at the reunion.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing (80 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh my.
posted by pyrex at 3:10 AM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


but you may as well get it out of the way before the Olympics.

But there will be nothing on TV during the Olympics!

I'm going to save these for that.

Then I might start my DS9 rewatch.
posted by Mezentian at 3:24 AM on July 24, 2012


Diana Muldaur fans will be disappointed.

In this as in so many things.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:56 AM on July 24, 2012 [11 favorites]


You know what? I don't really need to read this thesis that is already kinda due back. Nah, it'll be fine, no corrections needed. I'll just take a personal day, no biggie.
posted by likeso at 4:03 AM on July 24, 2012


Yay, I went to this last night! Very enjoyable.

The whole theater applauded at the "Shut up, Wesley" line from Datalore. Thanks for the post.
posted by King Bee at 4:04 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


And I think the tea is still pretty damned hawt.
posted by likeso at 4:13 AM on July 24, 2012


Diana Muldaur...fans?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:27 AM on July 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


The whole theater applauded at the "Shut up, Wesley" line from Datalore.

My theatre applauded even harder at the part of "Datalore" when, crouched over a lifeless android, Wesley says to his mom, "I heard you know how to turn them on."

Also, Levar Burton was at my screening! He congratulated the dude in the audience dressed as LaForge, whom I'd gotten my photo taken with while we were standing in line.

I'd walked over to that guy and his two other cosplaying friends, and asked if I might be able to get a picture with them. The command-uniform lady was like, "Oh, sure," but the pseudo-Geordi was turned around, talking to someone else. "Hey, photo op!" she said to him, but he was distracted and didn't hear her.

"We gotta take a picture," she said, a little louder, but he was still mid-conversation.

"LIEUTENANT!" she belted out, and he whipped around instinctively.

I'm now curious as to how often this woman gets her friend's attention this way.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:49 AM on July 24, 2012 [37 favorites]


I love the Burton, Spiner, and Wheaton panel, because it underscores the fact that this is a show for nerds that has actual nerds in it too! Sometimes I watch sci-fi panels and they are boring because the cast is normal people, but here this is not the case because these folks like Game of Thrones and Settlers of Catan too.

Damnnit, I wish I had made one of the screenings! I have been re-watching TNG lately and loving it.
posted by melissam at 5:03 AM on July 24, 2012


"LIEUTENANT!" she belted out, and he whipped around instinctively.

Wait, so he was dressed as season 1, red-shirted, pre-chief engineer LaForge? (I never really understood how the chief engineer of Starfleet's flagship had been promoted from conn officer.)

I liked Wil's line in his three-man panel, where he said he appreciated that this cast actually liked being together. It's hard to think of another show with that big a cast having this level of camaraderie so many years later. And I think the best thing is that you could put any two of them in a room and still laugh and laugh. They're all sharp and can hold their own.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 5:26 AM on July 24, 2012


Wait, so he was dressed as season 1, red-shirted, pre-chief engineer LaForge?

Nope, gold uniform, so either Season 2, when he was just a Lieutenenant, or she was just shortening "Lieutenant Commander," since "Lieutenant" is easier to shout.

I never really understood how the chief engineer of Starfleet's flagship had been promoted from conn officer.

Well, the main backstory we get on the dude is that he is simply a MASSIVELY EXCELLENT engineer in the most no-fuss way possible, and that he was handpicked by Picard after he stayed up all night fixing a shuttlecraft; I would guess Picard just wanted him on the ship in any capacity while he was still snaggable, with the idea that LaForge could always be placed somewhere more appropriate later.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:36 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


My theatre applauded even harder at the part of "Datalore" when, crouched over a lifeless android, Wesley says to his mom, "I heard you know how to turn them on."

My audience got a big kick out of that one too.

They made a pretty good choice of 2 episodes from season 1 to show. Datalore also contains one of my favorite lines (in no small part due to its out-of-nowhere, holy-shit-what-did-he-just-say features) from Lore:

And let us toast also the great Crystal Entity, with whom I learned to communicate.
posted by King Bee at 5:50 AM on July 24, 2012


Well, the main backstory we get on the dude is that he is simply a MASSIVELY EXCELLENT engineer in the most no-fuss way possible, and that he was handpicked by Picard after he stayed up all night fixing a shuttlecraft; I would guess Picard just wanted him on the ship in any capacity while he was still snaggable, with the idea that LaForge could always be placed somewhere more appropriate later.

I love that story.

I always presumed there was some sort of blackmail going on because Geordi could see through everyone's clothes.
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 5:55 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have to say that Wheaton actually seemed to come off as the most mature and insightful voice that night.

Wil Wheaton's evolving feelings about being "Wesley Crusher" have actually been really, really lovely. I've been dipping into his blog now and then for a long time now, and remember when he was still in a sort of cranky "I am not Spock" state about it; but then he started to open up more about what those years were like and you could start telling that it was a defensive reaction to what must have been a REAL mind-fuck for a teenager. (Okay, YOU try going through your teen years having UUSENET groups spring up devoted solely to how you had to die.)

And then he branched out more and talked about what it was like on the show, and his reaction to the shows themselves (his reviews of the first couple seasons are really pretty fun), and at some point he even gets all "okay, I just saw how I delivered this line in this episode and okay, yeah, even I wanna smack Wesley, no wonder fans were all up in my grill", and started being able to laugh about it.

And then there was this lovely blog post he had a few years back about going to a con in Vegas when the "Star Trek" casino was still up, and he went to go visit it - and was blown away by how detailed it was; and as he was sitting there, suddenly he had this huge Proust's Madeline moment of being on the soundstage during the episodes when Patrick Stewart was talking to an empty wall and Wil would be imagnining what the screen would look like; he wrote that "I'd forgotten about the joy" about being on the show. A few months later he had another lovely post about a conversation he had with Patrick Stewart while they were filming one of the movies (he wrote that post for Patrick Stewart's birthday), where Wil apologized "for being such a surly teenager" back when they were doing the show. Patrick Stewart just stopped and put an arm around him and said, "Oh, Wil my dear, you were a teenager. We all understood."

But Wil's story about meeting William Shatner was the best - he met Shatner when he was still just a kid on the show, and Shatner was really snide to him, but Rodenberry found out and ripped Shatner a new one. But then later on Wil and Shatner made their peace for real. But still, Wil titled that blog post "William Fucking Shatner."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:58 AM on July 24, 2012 [14 favorites]


Well, the main backstory we get on the dude is that he is simply a MASSIVELY EXCELLENT engineer in the most no-fuss way possible, and that he was handpicked by Picard after he stayed up all night fixing a shuttlecraft; I would guess Picard just wanted him on the ship in any capacity while he was still snaggable, with the idea that LaForge could always be placed somewhere more appropriate later.

This happens quite a bit in actual military units.
posted by squorch at 6:01 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


But Wil's story about meeting William Shatner was the best - he met Shatner when he was still just a kid on the show, and Shatner was really snide to him, but Rodenberry found out and ripped Shatner a new one. But then later on Wil and Shatner made their peace for real. But still, Wil titled that blog post "William Fucking Shatner."

He still refers to him like that, at least on Twitter and Tumblr, but it's always in a tone or context that makes it clear that it's mostly affectionate nowadays.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:11 AM on July 24, 2012


I think a previous post had him doing a dramatic reading of of the "William Fucking Shatner" story for a con, with Paul and Storm providing backup music (I just remember that periodically, Paul and Storm would underscore mentions of Shatner with a rendition of "Did you ever know that you're my heeeeee-roooooo....." and then when Wil gets to the point when Shatner smacked him down, they chimed in with "Did you ever know that you're an aaaaaaass-hoooooole....")

Wil also wore the Cape of Dicks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:14 AM on July 24, 2012


*cough* Sir Patrick Stewart *cough*
posted by dry white toast at 6:44 AM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Diana Muldaur fans will be disappointed.
Diana Muldaur...fans?

You young'uns probably don't remember Mulduar's turn as barracuda lawyer Rosiland Shays on LA Law.

Conspiracy theories about as to what happened to Doctor Pulaski. Rumor has it she's become unstuck in time. dear your various gods mute the sound on that first clip
posted by PapaLobo at 6:56 AM on July 24, 2012


about abound
posted by PapaLobo at 6:56 AM on July 24, 2012


Yeah, I'm fine with making a joke about there being no Dr. Pulaski fans, but Diana Muldaur fans do exist. Or at least, Diane Muldaur appreciators.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:00 AM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


*cough* Sir Patrick Stewart *cough*

Actually, when he was on the Graham Norton show a while back, Graham kept on calling him "Sir Patrick" and finally, with a slightly pained expression, he said "please, just 'Patrick.'"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:16 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Diana Muldaur...fans?

Only TOS.
posted by HumanComplex at 7:34 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ok at first I was rolling my eyes about this news, because I *knew* that TNG could never be truly HD owing to the fact that the episodes were done on digital VHS and there was no "original" film which would allow an HD re-release.

Thank Whatever Gods You Believe In that I was wrong:

In order to create true HD masters, CBS is going back to the original uncut film negative - all 25,000 plus film reels of it - and cutting the episodes together exactly the way they originally aired. The visual effects were all shot on film and will be painstakingly recompositioned, not upconverted from videotape. The newly cut film will then be transferred to true high-definition with 7.1 DTS Master Audio. Denise and Mike Okuda are consulting on the project.
posted by General Tonic at 7:39 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


A buddy of mine is working on the Blu-Ray remasters. His facebook feed is unbelievable. He's got access to all the production ship models & pre-CGI FX footage, and is interviewing cast members on a daily basis.

Save up your $$ for the remastered DVDs, folks - they are going to be AWESOME.
posted by Aquaman at 7:40 AM on July 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


General Tonic, you have my personal assurance that the remastering is in the very best of hands. This is the project of a lifetime for my friend.
posted by Aquaman at 7:41 AM on July 24, 2012


I wish these kinds of talks came with transcripts. I have a terrible time understanding them sometimes.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:45 AM on July 24, 2012


Save up your $$ for the remastered DVDs, folks - they are going to be AWESOME.

General Tonic, you have my personal assurance that the remastering is in the very best of hands. This is the project of a lifetime for my friend.


I was among the doubtful when this was announced, but every single article and review that I've read about the remasters has said it's really that good. Needless to say, I'm awaiting my S1 set's arrival.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:58 AM on July 24, 2012


One thing that sticks out to me, even watching TNG episodes via Netflix on my computer: the makeup is in no way meant for HD, and McFadden and Spiner seem to have gotten the worst of that.
posted by Danf at 7:59 AM on July 24, 2012


I read a review of the S1 set yesterday, and I'm tempted to go buy a TV and Blu-Ray player specifically to watch these. How I love TNG.
posted by rocketman at 8:02 AM on July 24, 2012


In the theater SheMulp and I were in, everyone pointed at the guy wearing the manskirt in "Where No One Has Gone Before".
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:06 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I cannot get sound right now (or hardly even when I am online).

Who is the person (on the full panel) on the far right, in the red knit cap?
posted by Danf at 8:10 AM on July 24, 2012


That's Denise "Tasha Yar" Crosby.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:17 AM on July 24, 2012


Whenever I've seen reruns of TNG in the last few years it always looks old, like the videotape has deteriorated or something. Am I imagining this? Anyway, it's pretty exciting to imagine being able to see it in HD.
posted by grouse at 8:22 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the theater SheMulp and I were in, everyone pointed at the guy wearing the manskirt in "Where No One Has Gone Before".

I went with functionequalsform, and during that scene she whispered "Holy shit!" As we were walking out of the theatre, she was like, "I forgot that the men wore skirts sometimes!" and I was like "I forgot how much I CLEARLY NEED TO OWN a Federation skirt"
posted by Greg Nog at 8:23 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


grouse TNG was shot on film transferred to video, and all the effects were done on video, it tends to give the picture a softness that is MUCH more obvious on a modern TV than it was back in the day. You can see it in any effects heavy show from the time period. The difference HD makes is stunning.
posted by charles148 at 8:29 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whenever I've seen reruns of TNG in the last few years it always looks old, like the videotape has deteriorated or something. Am I imagining this? Anyway, it's pretty exciting to imagine being able to see it in HD.

No. Despite being shot on film (which in terms of quality has a even higher resolution than HD at 1920x1080), all the effects work was done on 640x480 video, which meant that the overall quality had to be brought down to that level. Add to that the generations of removal between the broadcast version and if/when it was digitized, and you get something that looks pretty scuzzy. The restoration team went back to the film and updated/added the effects to look as if they were done in 1920x1080, which is an impressive feat.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:30 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Finally they can fix that blue glow on the left side of the screen (I think) of the opening title sequence. Always bugged me.
posted by General Tonic at 8:44 AM on July 24, 2012


I never really understood how the chief engineer of Starfleet's flagship had been promoted from conn officer.

I think a major part of this decision was that he and Data needed to be separated, so they'd stop chatting on the bridge. At least, that's how Geordi was sent to engineering in the first place (in my opinion) -- I have no idea how he got promoted and turned into the sole chief engineer. Maybe to end the bickering over which of the team of chief engineers was the chiefest.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:53 AM on July 24, 2012


I always presumed there was some sort of blackmail going on because Geordi could see through everyone's clothes.

What? Everything?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:59 AM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


"LIEUTENANT!" she belted out, and he whipped around instinctively.

I'm now curious as to how often this woman gets her friend's attention this way.


Odds are they're both in Starfleet International, which does the whole chain of command thing.
posted by zamboni at 8:59 AM on July 24, 2012


I always presumed there was some sort of blackmail going on because Geordi could see through everyone's clothes.

Related: The One Thing About Geordi That LeVar Burton Wishes Star Trek Had Explored: “His Sexuality”
posted by zombieflanders at 9:06 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brent Spiner imitates Patrick Stewart. Unbelievable (good)!
posted by samelborp at 9:09 AM on July 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Related: The One Thing About Geordi That LeVar Burton Wishes Star Trek Had Explored: “His Sexuality”

The episode where Geordi essentially makes out with a Frequently Asked Questions bot was one of my favorite moments. I'd have totally been doing that.
posted by jscott at 9:11 AM on July 24, 2012


The episode where Geordi essentially makes out with a Frequently Asked Questions bot

(See also my longstanding question: "Why isn't everyone just using the holodeck to fuck holographic representations of Counselor Troi?")
posted by Greg Nog at 9:41 AM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


> Brent Spiner imitates Patrick Stewart . Unbelievable (good)!

I was listening to him on the Nerdist podcast recently while driving, and when he started imitating Stewart I laughed so hard I had to pull over.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:44 AM on July 24, 2012


Wil Wheaton remains my #1 mancrush. Moreso as a writer than an actor, actually (well, aside from Stand By Me). He's been getting a lot more acting work recently (he does a ton of voice acting work, not to mention his roles on BBT and Eureka) so he's not doing as much writing on his blog lately, which makes me happy (for him) and sad (for me). His writing about parenting, and also his regrets about leaving Star Trek (and how he handled the Star Trek and post-Trek years in general) are some of my favourite bits of writing from him.

I only found out at the last minute that he was coming to Toronto for a con a couple weeks ago, and wasn't able to get out to see him. I was super sad.
posted by antifuse at 10:07 AM on July 24, 2012


I assume they're going to replace the black construction paper that occasionally covers the rear bridge displays with CGI or will we get to see that in glorious HD as well?

(Also looking forward to watching Styrofoam rocks exploding from consoles in hi-def.)
posted by entropicamericana at 10:13 AM on July 24, 2012


"I forgot how much I CLEARLY NEED TO OWN a Federation skirt"

Surely you mean the minidress/sassy boots combo.
posted by elizardbits at 10:15 AM on July 24, 2012


Surely you mean the minidress/sassy boots combo.

There was some special where Marina Sitris referred to that as "The Cosmic Cheerleader Outfit."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:16 AM on July 24, 2012


I always presumed there was some sort of blackmail going on because Geordi could see through everyone's clothes.

I always wondered if his visor had a setting that would allow him to cheat at card-playing.

Personally, I'll probably wait till season 4 before I actually buy a blu-ray set. But I feel sorry for anyone who has to buy the series for a third time... Weren't they on laserdisc too?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:17 AM on July 24, 2012


The episode where Geordi essentially makes out with a Frequently Asked Questions bot

(See also my longstanding question: "Why isn't everyone just using the holodeck to fuck holographic representations of Counselor Troi?")


I assume because they'd be fucking holographic representations of Crusher. At least, when I was 12 that would have been what I was doing.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:17 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Would have been doing, I mean. I didn't have a holodeck when I was 12.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:19 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


We had such a great time last night. I didn't realize that TNG was going to be released on blu-ray, so that was an awesome surprise. Also, unexpected expense I should start saving for now...
posted by stoneweaver at 10:35 AM on July 24, 2012


I assume they're going to replace the black construction paper that occasionally covers the rear bridge displays with CGI or will we get to see that in glorious HD as well?

I watched a rip of the BD version of "Encounter at Farpoint," and there were a few instances where things that were probably intended to be unnoticeable on broadcast tv were there big as life. Still the overall viewing experience was much better than NTSC. Stuff like a misarranged carpet on the bridge.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:39 AM on July 24, 2012


I actually don't want to see films changed from non-HD to HD -- it's fine if they are just restoring what was in an original theatrical print, but I don't want to see effects remade, as they did to TOS. The effects - as done with the technology of the time - are part of the art. When I watch TOS, I want to see 1960s matt paintings and model effects, just like if I watch A trip to the Moon I want to see the original 1902 effects.
posted by jb at 11:15 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I assume because they'd be fucking holographic representations of Crusher. At least, when I was 12 that would have been what I was doing.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:17 PM on July 24 [+] [!]


I first read that as Wesley Crusher, as opposed to Beverly. Which would make sense from the point of view of a 12-year-old.

besides, everyone knows that Data was the cutest character, followed by LaForge.
posted by jb at 11:17 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


actually don't want to see films changed from non-HD to HD -- it's fine if they are just restoring what was in an original theatrical print, but I don't want to see effects remade, as they did to TOS. The effects - as done with the technology of the time - are part of the art. When I watch TOS, I want to see 1960s matt paintings and model effects, just like if I watch A trip to the Moon I want to see the original 1902 effects.

FWIW, the TOS Blu-rays include both the original and HD remake versions for every episode. I'm not sure if the TNG Blu-rays are doing the same, though.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:22 AM on July 24, 2012


zombieflanders - thanks, that's good news. I had worried that you could not longer see the original special effects, which are so beautiful even if they aren't hyper-realistic.
posted by jb at 11:28 AM on July 24, 2012


everyone knows that Data was the cutest character....

Oh God - one of the funnier sequences I saw in the film Trekkies was when Denise Crosby brought the cameras out to a shed she had in her back yard; it was where she stored all of her stuff fans send her. She was pulling things out to show off - letters from kids, latchhook portraits of Tasha Yar, etc. -- and finally she got to this lovely charcoal sketch of Tasha Yar and Data in a very passionate embrace.

And then the camera cuts to Denise Crosby showing that same drawing to Brent Spiner, who is laughing his head off. He stopped laughing long enough to remark that the artist had given him way better biceps than he actually had - and then started laughing all over again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:35 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I watch TOS, I want to see 1960s matt paintings and model effects

This is a subject probably worth a whole post of its own, but I've recently decided that I disagree. While I would never support the originals disappearing, ala George Lucas, I do support the updated TOS imagery.

Why? Well, I love TOS for the stories and the characters, and I want my kids to see them and maybe feel the same way. But Jurassic Freaking Park came out like 15 years before they were born. They expect better than (metaphorical) cardboard dangling from a string. So the new effects let them get immersed in the show without the effects taking them out of it... and isn't that what a good visual effect does?

When they are older we will of course watch Tom Baker get menaced by a salt shaker with a toilet plunger.
posted by BeeDo at 12:13 PM on July 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


and finally she got to this lovely charcoal sketch of Tasha Yar and Data in a very passionate embrace.

Between the episodes in the theatre, they showed a whole bunch of little extras, and among these were screen tests for hair, makeup, etc. One of them had Crosby and Spiner right next to each other, staring at each other, their noses about an inch away, and as they giggled awkwardly, it felt like they were about to start making out at any second.

Easily the best screen-test, though, was for Patrick Stewart, who was simply standing and looking at the camera with a fairly neutral expression. And then he inclined his head and narrowed his eye just the TINIEST amount, but it was enough to suggest that he seemed to be thinking, "Yeah, I know I'm the fucking Man," and the whole theatre burst into joyful titters.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:38 PM on July 24, 2012


When I watch TOS, I want to see 1960s matt paintings and model effects

Me too. I'm just finishing TOS on Netflix, and while it's not distracting exactly, having the all-new SFX is not what I would prefer to watch. (Yes, I've also been informed of the situation on the discs.) The way I put it is I wanna see the wires holding the spaceships!
Yes, I also know they were mostly on posts.

Somehow, the digital Enterprise exteriors just feel like I'm suddenly transported to a video game.

Diana Muldaur...fans?

Bet your bippy. Especially LCDR Mulhall, who just rocks that asymmetrical neckline like nobody's business, even though Miranda Jones was the one the guys had to wear protective eyewear around*.
* Yes, I know. But they still had to wear it when they were around her.
posted by dhartung at 1:36 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, my wife is going to *love* it when this is released.
posted by ZipRibbons at 2:03 PM on July 24, 2012


Whil Wheaton is so cool now. Twenty-five years ago I'd have never guessed that the actor who played Wesley would be the one with the best stories and jokes, and have audiences eating out of the palm of his hand. But so it is.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:57 PM on July 24, 2012


I was recently hanging out with some of my sister's much-cooler friends and made a reference to Wil Wheaton and they had no idea who he was and my head exploded.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:08 PM on July 24, 2012


As unrepresentative as they are, I'd have preferred they exhibit the two-parter The Best of Both Worlds, in which capt. Picard's character is stretched to its breakdown by The Borg. If possible, I'd append the ensuing Family for an upbeat ending -- Picard takes shore leave to his childhood home in La Barre where his brother Robert still works on the vineyard. His character crisis comes full circle -- the kind of dramatic arc we don't get anywhere else in the non-sequential Star Trek series -- as he grapples with defending his life choices to the point of getting in a drunken brawl with Robert.
posted by syntaxfree at 5:24 PM on July 24, 2012


That captain's table thing is not worth missing. Did I get the tense of that right? It's excellent is what I mean.
posted by gjc at 7:29 PM on July 24, 2012


If you're not reading Fashion It So, you should be.
posted by djb at 8:13 PM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Syntax, the episodes chosen were because they're both from the first season, which is all that's being released on Blu-ray to start out with. I don't know if they plan on continuing these screenings, but it'd be cool to see the more popular episodes down the road. I guess they couldn't do "Both Worlds" together though, since they're technically different seasons.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 8:50 PM on July 24, 2012


I always wondered if his visor had a setting that would allow him to cheat at card-playing.

Yup, it does. Geordi reveals this fact in that god-awful episode where Worf is paralyzed and he wants Alexander to kill him because a Klingon in a wheelchair is no Klingon at all. But don't worry, Worf gets better.
posted by lesli212 at 8:54 PM on July 24, 2012


47 users marked this as a favorite
Well, now I don't know whether to favorite. (Spoiler alert: I did)
posted by scottjacksonx at 11:47 PM on July 24, 2012


I finally got to watch the cast reunion clip from Calgary. That was SO fun! I look forward to the rest of the links. I love that they are all so witty and fun. As a person who likes going to my day job because of my coworkers, I get the perspective. Thanks for this post and the work that went into it.
posted by lilywing13 at 11:48 PM on July 24, 2012


Why? Well, I love TOS for the stories and the characters, and I want my kids to see them and maybe feel the same way. But Jurassic Freaking Park came out like 15 years before they were born. They expect better than (metaphorical) cardboard dangling from a string. So the new effects let them get immersed in the show without the effects taking them out of it... and isn't that what a good visual effect does?

I didn't see TOS until the 1980s, after I had watched TNG - and I still enjoyed the original effects. Never noticed the effects in Doctor Who either, except that they frighted the hell out of me.

Kids don't naturally demand modern looks or high realism - I find that's almost always an adult concern. Children suspend their disbelief quite easily - when I was a small child, one of my favourite tv shows consisted of two human actors talking with stuffed animals. Not puppet - plain old dolls and stuffies. They would listen to the dolls, and then sort of repeat what they said as if the dolls were talking really quietly ("What's that Marigold? Oh, sure you can have some tea!"). And I thought those characters were alive.

My fear would be that if I showed my kids the updated effects, that would be the "real" TOS to them - they would imprint on them.

but I also think that they would be way more likely to be turned off by the 1960s gender relations (as I was for a long time) than the special effects. Even TNG had serious gender problems (I remember an article in Trek Magasine from the late 80s, early 90s, "new Trek, same old sexism". Gender was Roddenbury's least progressive thing).
posted by jb at 5:48 AM on July 25, 2012


("What's that Marigold? Oh, sure you can have some tea!")

Polka Dot Door!

I was recently hanging out with some of my sister's much-cooler friends and made a reference to Wil Wheaton and they had no idea who he was and my head exploded.

There would be no worry about that among anybody that is even remotely familiar with me, as I sort of ramble on about him to a rather embarrassing degree.
posted by antifuse at 6:24 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gender was Roddenbury's least progressive thing

Not true. In the first pilot, Majel Barrett played "Number One", first officer so second in command of the Enterprise. The networks wouldn't have it. And Uhura, chief of communications and Black, wasn't she fifth in command? And of course the Romulan captain Spock flirts with to defeat (yeah, yeah, sexist, but she was captain). And several women in charge of planetary governments (not always successfully, yeah, sexist again). But for his time, he did alright.
posted by likeso at 6:25 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I didn't say that Roddenbury wasn't at all progressive on gender - but it's like he moved 30 feet on race and ethnicity, and about 4 on gender. For the 60s he was remarkable and I admire that he tried to get a female first officer. However, he still had a female first officer who struggled to be in charge and feminine - he couldn't just let her be in charge and happy, like Kirk. (Let's not even talk about that last episode - it doesn't exist).

And for the 80s, TNG was not at all progressive. Of the 9 character starting-ensemble, 3 were women and 2 of those women were in very feminized roles as professional carers (and were also characterized as extremely feminine in costuming and manner, almost as if their gender was their character - Beverly Crusher was "the mother", Deanna was "the soft-spoken, empathetic counselor"). Though it was no fault of the show producers - except that they had given her no good stuff to do - the one female character that a less than girly-girl could relate to was gone before the end of the first season. They then introduced a female character whose gender did not define her character (which was instead just ripped off of McCoy's), and she's gone after a year.

I was reading articles by Roddenbury in the 1980s - and it was clear that, as progressive as he was for a guy who grew up in the 1940s, the world had long left him behind. M.A.S.H. - which started some 14 years earlier - had more progressive gender relations than TNG.

My point is that what is most likely to turn off young new viewers of TOS and TNG isn't the special effects, but the cultural aspects. I had big issues with TNG even when it was first showing, and I was a 12-year-old kid. (I did love the episode when someone - the female-iding alien from the single-sex planet - asks why would Crusher, in the 24th century, be wearing heavy make-up when Riker had none, and the answer was not "personal taste". That episode was brilliant for a lot of reasons, but I felt like that bit was my own personal shoutout).
posted by jb at 8:11 AM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


jb - I think you were a pretty progressive 12 year old (or, perhaps the female experience is different at that age. Or both) - I was about the same age when TNG first came out, and all I recall thinking about it was "Woo, spaceships and aliens! Awesome! But why all the talky talky so much?" (I may be paraphrasing what 12 year old me was thinking). Likewise, neither the special effects nor the cultural aspects of TOS ever bothered me when I was introduced to it (around that age).
posted by antifuse at 10:29 AM on July 26, 2012


Maybe I got my age wrong - I know I was reading the TNG novels when I was in grade 7/8 (so that would be 12-13), but probably I wasn't reading the criticism stuff until I was 14-15 (which informed my understanding, but really just gave words to something I had felt).

But, yes, I think girls might be more sensitive about the portrayal of women - especially if they are looking at their favorite tv show and seeing no one of their gender that they can relate to. But boys can be equally sensitive if they feel like the gender examples they are presented with are also limited. For my SO, TNG was progressive - it was one of the few places where he saw boys/men lauded for being smart as opposed to being sporty. Where he grew up was very progressive for women, but everywhere he was hemmed in by male ideals that he couldn't relate to.
posted by jb at 10:48 AM on July 26, 2012


Poor Deanna, counselor on a ship where everyone is well adjusted and happy. (Except for Barclay, but he came later.) She didn't have much work in the beginning, except telling the captain that the aliens of the week were secretly angry, or afraid, horny or whatever.

They should have had her play subtle mind games on the crew, just to give herself something to do. Put a potted plant on the bridge, convince Data to paint himself fire engine red, leave random gifts outside people's stateroom doors. Maybe play matchmaker to unlikely couples. Anything to break up her boredom and give her interesting emotions to read.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:51 AM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


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