Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Unimatrix Zero”

The sixth season comes to an end with yet another Borg episode, this one creating an interesting notion for a Borg resistance, but also utterly failing to maintain the concept that the Borg are, y’know, scary. Or menacing. Or even hard to defeat. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch travels to “Unimatrix Zero.”

An excerpt:

In much the same way that, over time, the producers of DS9 took everything that was interesting and alien about the beings who lived in the Bajoran wormhole and made them trite and boring, so too with Voyager’s producers and the Borg. The “ultimate user” species that Q described as utterly uninterested in the nuances of human behavior or communication but only was interested in technology they can consume has turned instead into a mustache-twirling villain who taunts her arch-nemesis and gives monologues and isn’t actually dangerous to attack.

There’s no sense of menace here. The Borg Queen, introduced as a haunting, scary ghost in the machine in First Contact, has turned into an ineffectual villain helplessly trying to keep her drones under control and stymied by the machinations of Janeway and her crew. Susanna Thompson does the best she can, but the script does her no favors, stopping just barely short of having her shake her fist and saying, “Curses, foiled again!”

KRAD COVID reading #97c: Star Trek: S.C.E.: War Stories Book 2, 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.

We continue War Stories Book 2, which shows one of the U.S.S. da Vinci‘s missions during the Dominion War, the conflict portrayed on the last two seasons of Deep Space Nine. In Part 3, the weird Dominion device nearly kills 110 and 111 while Captain Gold prepares the da Vinci for a battle against Dominion forces.

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Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “The Haunting of Deck Twelve”

Call me a bluff old traditionalist, but if you’re going to title an episode “The Haunting of Deck Twelve,” shouldn’t there, at some point, perhaps be a haunting on deck twelve? The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch calls title bullshit on “The Haunting of Deck Twelve.”

An excerpt:

There are some good moments in the episode, but most of them come from the Borg kiddos pestering Neelix with questions. My favorite was Icheb correcting Neelix misstating the technobabble.

I will give the episode one piece of credit: the use of the computer’s voice interface, making use of its library of preprogrammed phrases and responses, is an incredibly clever method of communicating.

But that’s pretty much it. The episode itself is completely nowhere, and while the framing sequence tries very hard to cover up how nowhere it is, it mostly fails, too.

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Life Line”

It’s two, two, two Robert Picardos for the price of one! Plus bonus Marina Sirtis and Dwight Schultz! It’s an hour of dual snark as the Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch needs a “Life Line.”

An excerpt:

Really, that’s all there is to say about the main plotline. It’s just a vehicle for Picardo to do a double act with himself. (The actor himself joked that, “I achieved a lifelong ambition of working with an actor who I’ve admired.”) That and we get more of Barclay and Troi, which is never a bad thing. Dwight Schultz is unusually subdued in this one—though, to be fair, he can hardly get a word in—and it’s nice to get a Barclay story that isn’t about his neuroses. Barclay here is just being a good person and a good friend. And Marina Sirtis is a delight—I especially like her coming out and calling both the EMH and Zimmerman jerks. It’s not very professional, but it was definitely deserved. And in general, Troi does good work here. The script is excellent, full of snappy patter and great one-liners for both of Picardo’s characters.

KRAD COVID reading #97b: Star Trek: S.C.E.: War Stories Book 2, 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.

We continue War Stories Book 2, which shows one of the U.S.S. da Vinci‘s missions during the Dominion War, the conflict portrayed on the last two seasons of Deep Space Nine. In Part 2, while Stevens. 110 ,and 111 try to dope out the Dominion’s “golf ball,” Salek, Duffy, and P8 Blue work to fix a vital communications relay.

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

my panels at Shore Leave 41.6!

I did five bits of programming at the virtual Shore Leave convention this past weekend — the second year in a row the show was forced to be online-only thanks to the current apocalypse. With luck, we’ll be back in person next year for a proper Shore Leave 42.

Anyhow, here’s what I did:

Me moderating “The New Age of Star Trek,” as Kirsten Beyer, David Mack, Kelli Fitzpatrick, and Dayton Ward talked with me about Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, Short Treks, and the upcoming Strange New Worlds and Prodigy.

Me and fellow author guests Aaron Rosenberg, Heather E. Hutsell, James Swallow, Joshua Palmatier, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Roberta Rogow, Christopher D. Abbott, Michael Jan Friedman, and Paul Kupperberg pimping our latest offerings at the “New Release Party.”

Publisher/editor/author Danielle Ackley-McPhail leads “eSpec Books Presents,” joined by me, Hildy Silverman, Jenifer Purcell Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, Mary Fan, Russ Colchamiro, and Aaron Rosenberg to talk about all the cool stuff from eSpec.

Kelli Fitzpatrick moderated this wide-ranging talk on “Characterization in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” that included myself, Amy Imhoff, Derek Tyler Attico, Mary Fan, and Glenn Hauman.

And finally, “How Did I Get In This Mess?” which had Howard Weinstein moderating a talk on how we all broke into the business, featuring me with fellow scribes Richard C. White, Christopher D. Abbott, Joshua Palmatier, and Robert Greenberger.

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Fury”

Kes is back — and she’s pissed! And so are the viewers, because oh my goodness is this episode just horrible. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch experiences “Fury.” (No, not Nick. That would be cool. This episode? Not cool…..)

An excerpt:

And then we have the idiotic time paradox. Somehow we’re supposed to believe that, during the entirety of the show since the mid-first season, Janeway, Tuvok, and Kes knew all kinds of things about the future, like that they’d get a bunch of ex-Borg on board, like that Wildman was pregnant, like that Kes would turn all glowy and powerful, like that they’d have a mid-range vessel called the Delta Flyer, and didn’t say anything about it, and indeed pretended like they didn’t know it. And somehow we’re supposed to believe that Kes would just forget about the message she composed to herself.

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Muse”

Torres gets trapped on a pre-industrial planet, and winds up becoming the inspiration for theatrical performances while trying to fix the Delta Flyer. A huge guest cast that includes the great John Schuck and Tony “Master Bra’tac” Amendola is mostly wasted as the Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch finds its “Muse.”

An excerpt:

For starters, there are way too many characters in the team of actors, and we get very little sense of any of them. This is made more maddening by the casting of the three members of the chorus with three magnificent character actors in John Schuck, Jack Axelrod, and Tony Amendola, and barely even using them. Axelrod has one great bit when he goes all in-my-day-poets-were-real-poets-goddammit-kids-today-suck, but aside from that, they could’ve put anybody there to deliver their limp lines. Layna is an utter cliché, her mooning over Kelis is completely perfunctory, her jealous snit at Torres so paint-by-numbers as to be excruciating.

KRAD COVID reading #97a: Star Trek: S.C.E.: War Stories Book 2, Part 1

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 kick off War Stories Book 2, which shows one of the U.S.S. da Vinci‘s missions during the Dominion War, the conflict portrayed on the last two seasons of Deep Space Nine. In Part 1, Fabian Stevens and P8 Blue report for duty on board, along with a mysterious piece of Dominion technology.

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

KRAD COVID reading #96e: Star Trek: S.C.E.: War Stories Book 1, Part 5

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 War Stories Book 1, which was a series of flashbacks to the Dominion War, showing what some of the current crew of the U.S.S. da Vinci was doing during that conflict that was portrayed on the last two seasons of Deep Space Nine. In Part 5, Lt. Commander Sonya Gomez, chief engineer of the U.S.S. Sentinel, is on a mission behind enemy lines when she’s forced to pull a miracle out of her hat…..

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