Viewing posts tagged DC TNG

Myriad Universes: Separation Anxiety Part 1: Bridges

Saucer separation. It's always been kind of a weird concept, if you think about it. Presumably the Enterprise is a capable enough craft on its own such that it could defend itself without the cumbersome process of politely asking the bad guys if they would be so kind as to hold their fire for a minute whilst the ship does the splits, yes? Andy Probert didn't even design the Galaxy-class to separate: He had to chop the ship up after the fact when word got to him late that Gene Roddenberry wanted the saucer to come off, because that was apparently something he always wanted the ship to do in the Original Series. And of course, it was prohibitively expensive for the VFX team to shoot a saucer separation scene every week, so that particular plot thread got promptly dropped (probably in hindsight wisely) after the first season.

But what if you did a story overtly about a saucer separation? One that uses the technobabble gimmick of the show not as a plot device, but as an actual level of textual metaphor? A story where the Enterprise is quite ...

Myriad Universes: The Return of Okona Volume 2

This run of issues is an interesting one, as to my knowledge it's the only example of a story arc being interrupted midway through. While issue 28 “The Remembered One” picks up the Return of Okona storyline from issues 25-7, the next issue “Honor Bound!”, has absolutely nothing to do with it. It also sucks and introduces a raft of difficult-to-ignore-even-for-me continuity errors, so we're not talking about it (perhaps not coincidentally, it's also not written by Michael Jan Friedman). Issues 30 and 31, however (“The Rift!” and “Kingdom of the Damned”, respectively), do continue this story arc and bring it to a fitting conclusion.

“The Remembered One” continues the subplot about Worf dealing with being a widower and absentee father introduced in the first half of this series. It's the anniversary of K'Heleyr's death and Worf isn't handling it especially well. Discussing the matter in ten forward with Guinan, Worf reveals that the source of his anxiety is the fact that he misses K'Heleyr and feels guilty about doing so, because she died a warrior's death, and thus an honourable one, and ...

Myriad Universes: The Return of Okona Volume 1

It's perhaps inevitable that at some point spin-off media will begin to revisit one-shot characters and plotlines from their parent series. I don't personally consider this to be necessarily bad or fanwanky: A lot of times it makes good storytelling sense to return to those concepts, so long as it's not done simply because it can. You could argue that this is in fact the point of media like this, to go back to things the parent series abandoned and examine it in more detail, and while I think there are a lot of other reasons spin-off media is good, that's certainly one of them.

The title of this story arc is a bit misleading, as while it does indeed mark the return of Captain Thaddeus Okona it's actually about a great deal more than that. The Return of Okona immediately follows on from The Star Lost, and expands greatly on its predecessor's approach to character building: This miniseries marks the first time Michael Jan Friedman begins to seriously double down on the number and intricacy of parallel subplots for DC's Star Trek: The Next ...

Myriad Universes: Thin Ice

How well do we really know Commander William Riker?

Conventional fan wisdom certainly seems to think it knows him pretty well. He's the dashing rogue, the adventurous away team leader, the Casanova space age sex tourist. He's Star Trek: The Next Generation's version of Captain Kirk, and he does all the things we loved seeing Captain Kirk do in the Original Series. Though if this is the reading afforded to him by conventional fandom it must be a relatively recent one: Round about the time Enterprise and the final Next Generation movies were being made, Riker was seen as one half of a double act with Deanna Troi and calling them anything other than lovers fated by destiny to be together forever was unthinkable. And when I was growing up with Star Trek, Riker was joked about and dismissed as the pointless guy who skulks around the bridge barking “Shields up, Red Alert!” once an episode.

None of these, I would submit, manage to adequately convey who Will Riker really is. Obviously Will isn't useless, so I'm not even going to address that one. The Kirk stuff ...

Myriad Universes: The Star Lost Part 5: Homecoming

It's not an epic conclusion to The Star Lost, nor is it an unexpected one. The ship works. Wesley figures out how to pilot it. Worf and Darios bring everyone home, even the “hostiles”. There's a heartfelt reunion, and the family is “once again whole”. There is, you could argue, a teeny bit of playing for time and space as the ship travels so fast the crew ends up in Klingon territory, unable to communicate their intent and with their engines about to overload. Of course, the Enterprise happens to be the nearest Federation starship and is called in to investigate at the request of the Klingon High Command. But this is a serial, and serials end up getting stretched. It's fine. It works.

But as we've been learning over the past few months, it's not the plot itself, epic or otherwise, that's what's important here. In fact, The Star Lost seems to tacitly play against our assumption that it is-“Homecoming” opens up with the destruction of Lanatos by comet impact. Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher console the Lanatosian governor, who's still sore about their decision to bring along the Skriiti ...

Myriad Universes: The Star Lost Part 4: The Barrier

This section of The Star Lost really does feel like it's from another story. In fact, when I first rediscovered this miniseries, it thought it was another story: Stumbling upon the cover for this issue while browsing through the archives of DC's Star Trek: The Next Generation immediately caught my interest and I picked it up out of curiosity, only to find it was actually Part 4 of The Star Lost.

In any other context, “Deanna Troi uncovers the mystery of a culture of mer-people and its thinly veiled institutionalized power structures of oppression and discrimination” would be grounds enough for a science fiction story unto itself-Indeed, even the Animated Series did an episode that was broad-strokes similar. But while that episode took its central sci-fi conceit (ocean planet inhabited by civilization of mer-people) and went no further than that, here it's a subset of the far larger and grander tale we've been seeing unfold for the past few months. What this does is touch on a central divide in attitudes about how science ...

Myriad Universes: The Star Lost Part 3: Trapped

Life goes on after loss.

Captain Picard says as much as he sets the stage:
“We have barely had a chance to mourn the deaths of our comrades before we find ourselves in the throes of another mission: This time, to aid in the evacuation of the Federation member-planet Lanatos, which is headed for a collision with a rogue comet. The Lanatosian, a water-breathing people, are of course space faring– but their capacity to remove their entire race in the time still left to them.”
It's this middle section of The Star Lost, this issue and the next one, that I remember the least. The imagery of the first two issues is embedded within me so deeply I can't separate myself from it, and I distinctly remember how this story ends from a recent re-read of it I did on my own personal time. But the events of this pair of issues are a bit of a fog for me...well, more so than the rest of The Star Lost at any rate. There was a ...

Myriad Universes: The Star Lost Part 2: Mourning Star

Captain Picard stands at a podium in the middle of a large sunlit grassy meadow. He's addressing a gathering of the crew, seated in fold-out lawn chairs. There are empty seats.

Jean-Luc is introducing the official eulogy for the missing crewmembers. His hand has been forced, as despite searching all hours for days, the Enterprise can find no trace of the vanished shuttlecraft Albert Einstein, and Starfleet can't justify postponing its mission indefinitely to look for it. Such services are intended to serve as a formality to remember the departed and to help the survivors work through and accept their guilt. But the Enterprise crew doesn't need that. Beverly Crusher, whom we might expect to be the most affected by this, puts it succinctly: “If he's dead, he died helping others. Isn't that the best way?”. And if it hadn't been Wesley, than it would have been someone else, and Jean-Luc still would have had to deliver the awful news. And yet even so, she still sheds a tear. Deanna Troi, ever refined and composed, has a feeling the crew's comrades are still alive, and ...

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