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Star Trek – Tomorrow is Yesterday (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.

It’s interesting how easily you can trace a line back from the original Star Trek films to the television show which inspired them. Each of the first four films has a very clear predecessor, an episode broadcast during the show’s run which seems to serve as something of a thematic forerunner. Star Trek: The Motion Picture is so similar to The Changeling that Star Trek: The Original Series 365 dubs it “Where Nomad Has Gone Before.” The Wrath of Khan is obviously rooted in Space Seed. Kirk’s decision to hijack the Enterprise and go against regulations to save his first officer in The Search for Spock feels like a full circle from Spock’s efforts to help Pike in The Menagerie.

And Tomorrow is Yesterday feels like a bit of a dry run for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The crew might not have to save any whales, but it’s a comedic time-travel adventure that finds the Enterprise crew visiting the twentieth century and trying to avoid altering the time-line too much. Tomorrow is Yesterday feels a little simplistic when compared to some of the franchise’s later interactions with time-travel, but it is a fun and entertaining little episode. It’s easy to see why The Voyage Home might be tempted to revisit the set-up.

Flying the friendly skies...

Flying the friendly skies…

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Conspiracy (Review)

To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and also next year’s release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, I’m taking a look at the recent blu ray release of the first season, episode-by-episode. Check back daily for the latest review.

Conspiracy stands out from the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In fact, it stands out from pretty much the majority of the Star Trek canon, feeling distinctly unpleasant and unnerving throughout. It is not just the gore – which remains one of the most weirdly graphic scenes in Star Trek history, to the point where it was edited out of the original BBC broadcast of the show.

There’s something more unnerving and uncomfortable about Conspiracy, as it represents the first time we’ve really seen the Federation and Starfleet so thoroughly corrupted and subverted. Sure, we’ve had rogue officials, obfuscating bureaucrats and meddling administrators, but Conspiracy represents a thoroughly cynical examination of some of the core concepts that Star Trek takes for granted.

It isn’t indicative of what The Next Generation would eventually evolve into, even seeming considerably darker than Star Trek: Deep Space Nine normally delved, but it does represent something bold and new, something that we never would have seen in the original Star Trek. I think that is what makes it such a fascinating episode in this rocky first season, even ignoring its sizeable flaws.

A can of worms...

A can of worms…

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