Thursday, May 07, 2009

Trek prep

And I am … done! What do you mean 'what am I done with?' My Star Trek prep!

Of course.


OK, so a few weeks back I decided I was going to do some prep work in anticipation of the new Star Trek movie. My original idea was to watch the previous 10 movies in order, but I kind of stumbled straight out of the starting gate with that one; I have to be in a particular frame of mind to watch Star Trek: The Motion Picture (which peculiarly tends to manifest only around Christmas), so I decided to skip it and begin with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.


An aside:

Now, strictly speaking, I should've started my prep work 736 days ago. WTF?! Let me explain: there are 726 episodes of Star Trek, and 10 movies. If I'd watched one episode or film per day (in chronological order if I was being super-precise) it would've segued nicely into tomorrow's screening of the new movie and I could've legitimately called myself the uber-fan. On the flip-reverse, it's likely I would've had no life in that period. Either way, I was clearly too busy doing other things in May 2007 to think about that. Such as dressing up as Superman, for example.

Call myself a Star Trek fan? *Tut*


So yes, I began with The Wrath of Khan - or TWOK to those in the know. Now, I love this movie; Khan is the perfect villain (even if he is prone to displays of "two-dimensional thinking," he has a torso the envy of men half his age), there are some superb action sequences, and it's eminently quotable. It's my favourite of all the Star Trek movies to date.

I followed this up with, of course, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, which does exactly what it says on the tin, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, also known as the one with the whales/the one with the flying poo. Each of those films is enjoyable in their own right, but together they make what I would be so bold as to say is one of the most enjoyable sci-fi trilogies in Hollywood history.

I subsequently skipped Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, not because I don't like it (in contrast to many fans, I actually do think it has some redeeming qualities), but because I was running out of available time to continue my prep work. I thus went straight to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the last film to feature the entire original cast, and a sterling effort to boot.

It was at this point that you could say I got caught in some kind of temporal anomaly because the next film I watched was … Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Eh!? Yes, I went back to TWOK again. Why? Well, long ago I'd given Yazzle Dazzle a copy of the film on DVD and in the intervening years she'd not bothered gotten around to watching it, and I told her she'd be unable to judge the new Star Trek movie without having first seen the best Star Trek movie. And so, last weekend, she popped round to watch it - and I'm happy to report that she thoroughly enjoyed it. Rather than paint fake eyeballs on her eyelids and snooze through it, she paid proper attention to it - laughing in the right places, "ooo-ing" and "aah-ing" appropriately, and even going so far as to engage me in further discussion about the Genesis Device.

Amusingly though, she didn't think that Spock actually died at the end, even going so far as to say "I'd probably be getting a bit choked up if I thought he was going to die" when he was doing the whole "you have been … and always shall be … my friend" bit after saving the Enterprise. It was only when they shot him into space in a photon torpedo that she went "oh…" and then proceeded to quiz me about how he'd come back to life. Although I technically couldn't hide the fact that the next film in the series is called The Search for Spock, as far as she's concerned he's dead; I mean they could find him, poke his body with a stick a bit, then go off and do something else, right?

I'll probably have her round to watch it at some point so she can get properly up to speed.

Anyway, after that I watched the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes 'Unification Parts I and II,' because it's the last time we see Spock prior to the new movie, and Star Trek Nemesis because it's the most recent film, and it deals with Romulans like the new one does. I must admit, I remember actually quite liking Nemesis, but on this viewing there were some bits that really stood out as being quite … well, bad. I've decided, after seven years, that Shinzon is quite an ineffectual villain, but on the other hand the battle between the Scimitar and the Enterprise is quite exciting (except for the bit where the Scimitar deploys its thalaron weapon, which requires seven woefully undramatic minutes and the deployment of lots of ridiculous prongy bits). I also hated the fact that Picard gets all gung-ho and has to take Shinzon out himself; hell, why not just beam some cannon fodder red shirts over there - that's what they're employed for!

That done, the last part of Star Trek prep took place tonight when I dug out the four issues of Star Trek Countdown, the official comic book prequel to the new movie, which takes place in the TNG era. I'd only read it one issue per month as they came out (January-April), so it was nice to read it again in one sitting so its fresh in my mind ready for tomorrow. The thing is, there's so much backstory in Countdown that I kind of can't see how you'll be able to fully get Nero's motivations in the movie without a) having read it first, or b) there being some mad-bonkers, long-winded piece of exposition. That being the case, I spent some time today emailing several buddies who are coming along tomorrow with links to Memory Alpha synopses for the comic books (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV - don't say I never did anything for you).

So, the upshot of this is that I'm all fired up and ready for the new movie; I have my ticket and I'm counting down the hours … although I could've seen it today. Best Mate Jo wangled a couple of tickets to a preview at Paramount's London office, but I turned her down because I'd already arranged a big group outing for Friday, and would've felt bad if I turned up tomorrow and said "oh, yeah, I saw it yesterday," and because I really want to see it on a massive screen, not in some little screening room.

That being the case, Best Mate Jo dragged her Best Mate Caz along to see it. Neither are Star Trek fans - in fact Caz *hates* it, and Jo's always rolled her eyes and tutted whenever I've mentioned it over the duration of our friendship. But moments after it finished, they called me and literally screamed down the phone at me for about a minute; I just about made out the word "AWESOME" being shouted multiple times and "OHMYGOD I FANCY CAPTAIN KIRK!" before I got bored and hung up.

The gist of it was that I think they liked it.

After finally catching her breath, Jo called me back and said "I can't believe you didn't come!"

"Don't worry," I replied with a knowing wink as I engaged my smut subroutines. "I expect I will tomorrow."


Inexplicable DeVice said...


Oh... I've come first.

Fake Lois Lane said...

Try and control yourself tonight.

Well, at least until the film is over then you can fly over to my place and rescue me from crappy TV.

* readjusts glued-on hair and perfects Damsel-In-Distress look *

Tara said...


I'm going to see this movie on Sunday with my mom. She's heard great things about the movie and thought it would be nice to see the movie on Mother's Day (after a little shopping, of course). I think it would be a wise idea for me to buy our tickets ahead of time, though. Just in case.

Oh and it's always a great idea to start with TWOK.

Tim said...

Inexplicable Device - Oh don't worry, you can get pills for that.

Fake Lois Lane - Or I could drop you from a great height?

Tara - I think you'll both love it…!!