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226. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (#86)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guest Graham Day, The 250 is a fortnightly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.

This time, Zack Snyder’s Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Following the death of Superman, Batman sets about putting together a team of superheroes to fight a threat that is charging at Earth from across the cosmos.

At time of recording, it was ranked the 86th best movie of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Star Trek: Voyager – Unity (Review)

The autopsy of the Borg corpse is underway.

– Janeway about sums it up

If the third season of Star Trek: Voyager is about the show embracing its place in the shadow of Star Trek: The Next Generation, then it makes sense that the third season would bring the crew into conflict with the Borg. The first two seasons of Voyager had leaned rather heavily upon the mythology of The Next Generation, featuring guest appearances from Q and Riker in Death Wish or Barclay in Projections, not to mention a recurring Cardassian foe and enemies heavily influenced by The Next Generation era Klingons.

However, the first two seasons had made an effort to introduce new and exciting foes for Voyager, new recurring species to reflect that the ship was traveling through an unknown part of space. For all the show featured guest appearances from Romulans and Ferengi, the first two years at least tried to do their own thing. The Kazon might have been a questionable idea horribly executed, but at least they were a new species. The Vidiians were underutilised and remain one of the most fascinating recurring aliens in the entire franchise.

The brains of the operation.

The brains of the operation.

The third season only features a few token appearances of the recurring Delta Quadrant species. The Kazon disappear from the show after Basics, Part II. The Vidiians appear within a nightmarish time loop in Coda. A lost Talaxian pops up on a space station in Fair Trade. However, these aliens are no longer a recurring presence. There is an obvious vacancy that needs to be filled. Voyager needs a new recurring alien species. With that in mind, it is telling that the third season does not create a new alien menace like the Hirogen or the Malon.

The third season of Voyager decides that the Borg are to be the shows recurring adversaries. It makes a certain amount of sense. After all, the Borg are arguably the most iconic and effective aliens created by The Next Generation. They were a massive part of the spin-off really coming into its own with The Best of Both Worlds, Part I and The Best of Both Worlds, Part II. They were also a major part of the hugely successful feature film Star Trek: First Contact. There was definitely an appetite for more Borg stories. There always would be.

Corpsing...

Corpsing…

At the same time, the presence of the Borg feels very much like a concession or a surrender. This is Voyager effectively surrendering itself to becoming a pale imitation of The Next Generation, acknowledging that it will never create any alien species as memorable or as iconic as the Borg. That is not an unreasonable thing to accept. After all, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine did fantastic work with the Dominion, but that collection of alien species could never hope to have the same cultural penetration as the Borg.

Still, it is disheartening to see Voyager give up on itself so completely. Indeed, Unity is not even a particularly innovative Borg story, feeling very much like a retread of their last television story in Descent, Part I and Descent, Part II. This is a recurring problem for the third season of Voyager, which has spent a lot of time emulating various Next Generation episodes. However, there is also a sense that Voyager is not terrible at this imitation, even as it is lessened by it. Unity is a flawed episode, but an intriguing one.

Just what every Borg story needs! A Chakotay romance!

Just what every Borg story needs! A Chakotay romance!

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