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Star Trek – The Enemy Within (Review)

To celebrate the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness this month, we’ll be running through the first season of the classic Star Trek all this month. Check back daily to get ready to boldly go. It’s only logical.

One thing that I don’t think the original Star Trek gets nearly enough credit for is the quality of the writers that Gene Roddenberry recruited to contribute scripts. Television obviously operated under a different model at the time, but there’s an impressive selection of science-fiction literary giants who contributed scripts to the show. More than that, it’s impressive how many of those stories became truly iconic Star Trek stories.

The Enemy Within is the work of author Richard Matheson, best known for stories like I Am Legend or What Dreams May Come. It’s very much a high-concept science-fiction story, but it’s also notable because it establishes two of what would become the show’s favourite tropes: transporter accidents and evil duplicates. Indeed, the two devices would be reunited in the following season’s Mirror, Mirror. These narrative elements even featured in the last season of Star Trek: Enterprise to air, in episodes like Daedalus and In a Mirror, Darkly.

Perhaps it’s a demonstration of how important these outside writers were to the development of Star Trek as a franchise that Matheson would effectively codify two stock narrative devices that would still be in use four decades later.

Mirror, mirror...

Mirror, mirror…

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Non-Review Review: The Omega Man

The Omega Man remains, perhaps, the most high-profile adaptation of Richard Matheson’s genre-busting vampire sci-fi survivalist novel, I Am Legend. Of course, the film has little resemblance to Matheson’s truly iconic piece of literature, save for the basic premise. Charleton Heston is Robert Neville, the last man alive in a world of monsters. While I Am Legend is a bold and thought-provoking exploration of the implications of that idea, The Omega Man seems to have no loftier goal than simply telling an entertaining apocalyptic yarn. There’s nothing wrong with that, but – much like Robert Neville himself – The Omega Man is haunted by the ghost of what could have been.

Goodbye to all of that...

Goodbye to all of that…

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Non-Review Review: I Am Legend

I Am Legend was always going to be a tough film to adapt, so it’s a surprise that it works as well as it does for as long as it does. Anchored in a fantastic lead performance, the film manages to be a very subtle, thoughtful and occasionally insightful action movie for the first two-thirds of its runtime. The ending falls down a bit, but it’s an enjoyable journey getting there.

It's a jungle out there...

It's a jungle out there...

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There’s Something in The Box!

The trailer for The Box hit the internet yesterday and I’m… not really impressed. From what looks like an attempt to turn a moral quandary (would you take an action that would kill a stranger for a huge sum of money?) into a brainless action movie to the use of the Saw theme (“Hello Zepp”) as an overture at the end of the movie, it’s striking all the wrong notes. On the other hand, I’m quite taken with what looks to be a sixties-style design, so who knows? Director Richard Kelly can be really good (Donnie Darko) or really terrible (Southland Tales). Pending reviews, this is probably one to rent. Since the fad of remaking has spread to remaking episodes of old television shows, I’m wondering if there are any other anthology episodes that warrant a remake?

"So, if I push the button, I get $1 million... and an Oscar nomination?"

"So, if I push the button, I get $1 million... and an Oscar nomination?"

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