Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Q2”

Q is back, and he’s dragged his kid along. Said kid is played by John deLancie’s son Keegan, which is just about the only really interesting thing about this slog of an episode. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch suffers through “Q2.”

An excerpt:

It’s, to coin a phrase, “Déjà Q” all over again! But where that TNG episode was absolutely hilarious and still managed to do some character development with Q (as well as Data), “Q2” is just a tired slog. There’s precious few of the laughs one expects from a Q episode, and what yuks we do have are puerile at best. The sex-farce humor is particularly sad, from q drooling over a naked Seven to Q materializing (fully clothed!) in Janeway’s bath.

Star Trek: Lower Decks‘s “I, Excretus”

It’s Boxing Day on the Cerritos! Freeman, Ransom, Shaxs, and T’Ana become lower-decks ensigns and Mariner, Boimler, Tendi, and Rutherford get to be in charge — and much wackiness ensues. As do many many references to past episodes and movies, but it actually works this time! My take on the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode “I, Excretus.”

An excerpt:

The first half of the episode is dedicated to showing how bad almost everyone is at the other side’s jobs. Freeman, Ransom, Shaxs, and T’Ana are assigned to a ship under attack by a Klingon boarding party. Their job: Stack the crates in the cargo bay that have fallen over during the attack. The crates are hexagonal, too, so they’re very hard to stack and they very easily fall down. At no point are they ever told the specifics of what’s going on—including one point where they find out, in passing, that Q is on board. (Their CO is now dressed like Robin Hood, a reference to TNG‘s “Qpid.”)

KRAD COVID reading #99c: Star Trek: S.C.E.: Security Part 3

For 2021, KRAD COVID readings is covering the only short fiction I didn’t read in 2020: my novellas for the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, a monthly series of eBooks that ran from 2000-2007. I’ll have a new reading every #TrekTuesday.

This week, we conclude Security, which juggles several different plotlines. In this final bit, Corsi tells the whole story of Dar and of how she first met Christine Vale, while the S.C.E. crew works to find Drs. Lense and Bashir.

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Human Error”

Seven experiments with social interactions on the holodeck, ranging from playing the piano to dating Chakotay. It ends poorly, as does the episode. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch suffers from “Human Error.”

An excerpt:

In the abstract, it’s a good idea to have Seven experimenting with social interactions and dating and attending parties and playing the piano. But then the ending screws it all up by having Seven’s cortical node knock her out. Yes, on this show where the reset button is routinely pushed to get everything back to the status quo no matter how unconvincing it is, they this time put an actual reset button in Seven’s head. And then they don’t let Seven accept the EMH’s offer to fix it.

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Workforce, Part II”

Chakotay, Neelix, Kim, and the EMH (or, rather, the ECH) have to rescue the rest of the crew, who’ve been brainwashed by Ralph Malph into worker drones, and they get help from Dr. Sid Hammerback. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch does “Workforce, Part II.”

An excerpt:

What I particularly like about this two-parter is especially true of this second half: it’s a good procedural storyline. I like how the solving of what’s going on unfolds. I particularly like that no one person is responsible for saving everyone—it’s a team effort. Tuvok’s resistance to the reconditioning and his mind-meld of Seven starts one ball rolling, and Chakotay stirring shit starts another ball rolling. Plus, his and Neelix’s “kidnapping” of Torres gets Yerid involved.

Yerid is an excellent character, and a character type I’m particularly fond of: the dogged workaday investigator who just wants to learn the truth. His insistence on finding out the truth even after he’s been relieved of duty is a very large part of why Voyager’s crew gets out of this, particularly since he is able to put Seven and Janeway together.

Star Trek: Lower Decks‘s “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie”

The Cerritos gets a visit from Billups’s mother, who is the Queen of the Renaissance Festival Planet. Meanwhile, Boimler and Mariner go on a mission that goes horribly wrong, and, surprise surprise, it’s Boimler, not Mariner, who saves the day. Plus, Jeffrey Combs! And Boimler shoots Mariner! My take on the latest Star Trek: Lower Decks episode, “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie.”

An excerpt:

“Where Pleasant Fountains Lie” is a veritable treasure trove of Trek clichés and it’s delightful.

We’ve got the aforementioned world-running computer (“Return of the Archons,” “The Apple”), named Agimus and voiced by Combs, who keeps trying to inveigle the organics into plugging him into some system or other. Combs, a veteran voiceover actor, is absolutely brilliant here.

We’ve got the shuttle crash on a deserted planet with our heroes trying to find a way to technobabble themselves off. (“The Galileo Seven,” “Power Play,” “Final Mission,” “Paradise,” “Gravity,” “Innocence,” and about fifty other Voyager episodes…)

We’ve got the visit to a character’s homeworld and get introduced to its weird customs (“Amok Time,” “Sins of the Father,” “Family Business”), complete with an overbearing mother who visits the ship regularly (all of TNG’s Lwaxana Troi episodes). In this case, it’s Billups, the chief engineer, who comes from the human colony of Hysperia, a world filled with dragons, and which is populated by Renaissance Faire types. This, by the way, is my favorite part of the episode—I adore the Ren Faire planet where all the citizens dress up in “period” clothes and refer to all science in magic-y terms and shout “Huzzah!” a lot.

I’ll be at Suncoast FanFest this weekend

I will be one of the guests at the inaugural Suncoast FanFest in Palmetto, Florida this weekend. I’ll be appearing alongside actors Manu Intiraymi (Icheb on Star Trek: Voyager), Corin Nemec (Jonas Quinn on Stargate SG-1), Casper van Dien (Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers), Eddie McClintock (Pete Latimer on Warehouse 13), and Supernatural actors Alaina Huffman (Abaddon), Travis Wester (Harry Spangler), and AJ Buckley (Ed Zeddmore), and voiceover actors Mark Whitten, Megan Hollingshead, and Sarah Wiedenheft.

I’ll have a table in the dealer room where I’ll be selling and signing books. I’m also doing three solo Q&As, one Saturday at noon, one Saturday at 4pm, and Sunday at 1pm.

So if you’re in the Tampa area, come on by and see me!

Tuesday night’s all right for fighting

Yesterday, for the first time in eighteen months, there was a fighting class in our dojo.

The recent apocalypse has played merry hell with karate, but we’ve managed to keep things going. We did virtual classes last spring, then switched to hybrid classes over the summer. The dojo policy has been that masks are worn during kids classes, while adult classes masks are only required for the unvaccinated — though the new NYC regulations mean that unvaccinated adults can’t train in the dojo anymore.

In any case, since most of our kids are 12 and under, and therefore are unvaccinated, we’re still not doing a kids fighting class (which was my responsibility back in the before-times). But last night, we brought back the adult fighting class, vaccinated folks only.

We took it easy on our first night back to it. Of the nine people sparring, four had never taken a fighting class before (they all joined last spring or later), and me and the other black belts present spent a lot of time working with them and showing them the ropes. We were also easing back into it ourselves, doing 1.5-minute rounds instead of our usual two-minute ones, avoiding any below-the-belt or above-the-neck contact, and generally keeping it lighter than normal.

I’m pleased to say it went great. I didn’t die, the new students all did well, and a fun time was had by all.

I used to hate fighting class, and it’s still not my favorite part of karate. But last night, before class I was feeling the same nameless dread I used to feel before fighting class when I was a color belt and would keep making feeble excuses not to come to class. That feeling passed by the time class started, though. Thank goodness.

It’s good to be back….

KRAD COVID reading #99b: Star Trek: S.C.E.: Security Part 2

For 2021, KRAD COVID readings is covering the only short fiction I didn’t read in 2020: my novellas for the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, a monthly series of eBooks that ran from 2000-2007. I’ll have a new reading every #TrekTuesday.

This week, we continue Security, which juggles several different plotlines. In Part 2, Gomez confronts Tev while Stevens confronts Corsi.

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!