Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Shockwave”

The first season comes to a conclusion that is a good outline for a story, but is utterly botched in the execution, though it does have a strong cliffhanger. The Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch doesn’t feel much of a “Shockwave.”

An excerpt:

The biggest problem is that it’s just furthering the tired Temporal Cold War storyline, and it’s impossible to be in any way invested in it. I’m even less invested in the tired fakeout of cancelling Enterprise‘s mission, which we know isn’t really going to happen because the show’s called Enterprise, and they’re hardly going to spend the rest of the show with humans staying on Earth being lectured by Vulcans on being doofuses.

Also, the show is still trying to catch that original series vibe without actually understanding it, in this case having Archer, T’Pol, and Tucker do the commando raid. It’s a scene that’s entire people shooting at other people and throwing stun grenades around. There’s nothing in it that requires these three characters, and there isn’t even hardly any dialogue. Why not have Reed and two extras do this, so it actually makes sense?

Then again, making sense doesn’t seem to be a priority here.

now on sale: Unauthorized Offworld Activation: Exploring the Stargate Franchise

The collection of essays about the Stargate franchise (three movies! five TV shows! tons of tie-in stuff!) is now on sale from the silly sods at Sequart! You can order the book in print or eBook form from Amazon at this link.

(You can find the full table of contents, including my essay about the three leaders of the Atlantis expedition on Stargate Atlantis and how the show didn’t do right by any of them, in this prior blog post.)

cover reveal: Zorro’s Exploits

Bold Venture Press has revealed the cover to next month’s Zorro anthology Zorro’s Exploits. Edited by the mighty Audrey Parente, this anthology will have seventeen new tales of the Fox as he defends the downtrodden in 19th-century Alta California.

I am one of the seventeen authors, and my story is called “A Lovely View.” Other pals o’ mine who are in this book include Jim Beard, John French, Teel James Glenn, Bobby Nash, Aaron Rosenberg, and Patrick Thomas, plus ten other great authors!

More info to be released soon…….

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘s “Children of the Comet”

It’s a great outing for Celia Rose Gooding as Cadet Uhura, and that’s just the beginning of a superb sophomore outing for the latest Trek show. My review of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘s “Children of the Comet.”

An excerpt:

And [Anson] Mount continues to be absolutely magnificent as Captain Daddy. Every moment with him is perfection. We start with his reaction to Uhura’s dress uniform, which is simple laughter at the prank and then moving on without comment. There are his delightful asides, from the line I used for the headline of this review to his “I love this job” to Number One to his revealing to Ortegas that he knows her rep to that fine old Trek tradition of taking a moment during a crisis to make fun of Spock (in this case, backing up Uhura’s complaint that Spock spends a lot of time reminding people of deadlines).

cover and table of contents for Unauthorized Offworld Activation: Examining the Stargate Franchise

Coming this month from the fine folks at Sequart: Unauthorized Offworld Activation: Examining the Stargate Franchise, featuring a whole bunch of essays about the Stargate franchise (three movies, four TV series, one web series, plus lots of tie-in stuff), edited by Rich Handley & Joseph Dilworth Jr. The cover is above, and here’s the table of contents:

  • “Chevron One Encoded: A Foreword” by Alexis Cruz
  • “Snakes on a Train: An Introduction” by Rich Handley
  • “Taking the Space Out of Deep Space” by Ren Cummins
  • “Vivid Determination: The Power of Women in Stargate” by Bryanna Elkins
  • “Inhabiting This Human Form: The Metaphysical Personhood of Ra” by Kelli Fitzpatrick
  • “The Furlings: From Paradise Lost to Lost Opportunity” by Jo Duffy
  • “Star Gods: Do They Live Up to Their Hype?” by Frank Schildiner
  • “Ancient Astronauts and Project Stargate: The Mythology Behind the Franchise” by Edward Dodds
  • “Faith and False Gods: Religion in Stargate SG-1” by Darren Sumner
  • “To Infinity and Beyond the Pale” by Rich Handley
  • “Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis and the Ideals of Modern Science in Stargate Atlantis” by Anastasia Klimcynskaya
  • “Lonely at the Top: The Underused Leaders of Atlantis” by Keith R.A. DeCandido (hey, that’s me!)
  • “A Wolf in Sheep’s Spacesuit: Nicholas Rush and the Dark Side of Stargate Universe” by Robert Jeschonek
  • “Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Stargate‘s Revolving Cast of Characters” by Joseph Dilworth Jr.
  • Stargate Merchandise: Why Isn’t There More Stuff?” by Mark L. Haynes
  • “Fear and Loathing in Cheyenne Mountain” by Brandon Jerwa
  • “Gates, Galaxies, and Globalization: SG-1 and Science Fiction in the Digital Age” by Val Nolan
  • “Same Gate Time, Same Gate Channel: Resurrecting the Brand (Twice) with a Serial Flair” by Robert Jeschonek
  • “Chevron Seven Locked: An Afterword” by Joseph Dilworth Jr.

Click here for more info about the anthology.

Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Two Days and Two Nights”

Enterprise finally makes it to Risa, and it wasn’t worth the wait. There are four plots going on here, and only one is interesting. Another might be funny, though I didn’t find it so. As for the other two, when in 2002 you’re doing one plot seriously that Saturday Night Live made repeated fun of in 1995, and another that DS9 did better in 1997, you’ve lost the thread. The Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch spends “Two Days and Two Nights” on Risa.

An excerpt:

Reed and Tucker’s plotline is by far the worst of the four. The moment they walked into the club in their jackets I was just waiting for Haddaway’s “What is Love?” to start playing and the two of them to bop their heads to it. While their getting rolled by shape-changers was played for laughs, I mostly just thought it was what they deserved after watching their sleazy behavior, and I was rooting for the thieves. And rooting for Enterprise to leave without them…

Friday fanfare: “5:15”

I love this song by The Who, but this is my favorite version of it, from a 1994 concert Roger Daltrey did at Carnegie Hall for his 50th birthday. Backed by his band and the Julliard Orchestra, this version of the great “5:15” ends with dueling brass riffs between saxophone great David Sanborn and one of the Julliard students, a brilliant trumpet player named Martin.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘s “Strange New Worlds”

Three years after Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn blew us all way on Discovery, two years after they announced it, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debuts, and it’s fantabulous! Check out my review…

An excerpt:

I love pretty much everything about this episode, and more to the point, I love the feel of the show. The production design is superb, a perfect mix of what we got in the 1960s with what a 2020s audience would expect from a science fiction show. It’s a tough needle to thread, as the Enterprise we saw fifty-plus years ago looked like what people thought the future would look like back then, but in truth the Enterprise that Jeffrey Hunter and William Shatner were in command of was—once you remove the transporter and warp drive—less technologically sophisticated than my house. It is to the great credit of the production designers and art directors and visual effects folk that they’ve found a way to make the Enterprise look like what we think the future will look like now, while still being true to the general ambience from 1964. (I’m sure this show will look just as dated when people watch the reruns in 2086…)

Star Trek: Picard‘s “Farewell”

An uneven end to an uneven season, with crowning moments of awesome (a delightful surprise cameo), mind-boggling moments of WTF (the out-of-left- field climax), and everything in between (very little for Jean-Luc Picard to do in the season finale of the show named after him). My review of the Star Trek: Picard second season finale, “Farewell.”

An excerpt:

The last scene is Picard back at his winery trying (and presumably convincing, though she never actually says yes) Laris to not bugger off but stay behind and make sweet nookie-nookie with him. This is worth mentioning for a number of reasons, mainly because it’s the first thing Picard actually does in the second-season finale of the show named after him. He spends plenty of time being lectured at, mind you. First there’s Tallinn, reminding him that she is a grownup who can make her own decisions about how she’s going to live her life and do her job, and won’t be talked out of a self-sacrifice by some old fart from the future that she’s only known for a couple days. Then there’s Q, explaining his motivations and declaring his love for Picard (which will probably prompt at least as many Picard-Q slashfics as the scene with the two of them in bed in TNG‘s “Tapestry” did). And then there’s Guinan doing the “where are they now?” coda for Rios, et al.