Eruditorum Press

We stared into the untempered schism and all we saw was this dodgy CSO effect

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.

7 Comments

  1. Adam Riggio
    October 26, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

    One question: Who among the writers actually used the term "do the wild thing" in notes or verbal communication with Patrick Stewart?

    Corollary question: If so, do you think the main reason Stewart refused was because the writers referred to it as doing "the wild thing"?

    Reply

  2. Josh Marsfelder
    October 27, 2014 @ 10:31 am

    To answer your first question, the book Trek: The Unauthorized Behind-The-Scenes Story of The Next Generation quotes the two writers of the original script for "We'll Always Have Paris", Deborah Dean Davis and Hannah Louise Shearer, as having left that note in their draft submission.

    To answer your second, quite possibly.

    Reply

  3. K. Jones
    October 27, 2014 @ 2:48 pm

    My memories of this episode are positive. I particularly like the sense of foreboding involved in the build-up, as we get a weird effect, as "time itself" interrupts Picard from his somewhat "European version of pulpy macho starship captain" hobby, and he hears familiar names, and tense music as the Enterprise zooms as fast as it can to the epicenter.

    But mostly I just remember that "three Datas and a spinning mirror prop" scene. I always liked that. "Me! Middle Data! It must be!"

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  4. K. Jones
    October 27, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

    Oh and the simplicity of using fluorescent light-bulb tubes as like "space age laser bars" on the doors.

    Reply

  5. Ross
    October 27, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

    This is one I imagine I'd have liked better if I'd been older the first time i'd seen it. My impression is always tainted by the fact that I was too young to pick up on the casablanca angle at the time, so I the two halves of the plot didn't mesh for me. I love Casablanca now.

    Also, I wish they'd actually given some explanation for how Middle Data knew he was the right one. Even as a child, there seemed to be a good reason for it, but it was vaguely dissatisfying that there was never any way for me to determine if my headcanon was legit or not. (Also, the most obvious explanation seems SO obvious that it doesn't mesh with the fact that the Datas actually seem to have a moment of uncertainty about it)

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  6. Josh Marsfelder
    October 27, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

    "Also, I wish they'd actually given some explanation for how Middle Data knew he was the right one. Even as a child, there seemed to be a good reason for it, but it was vaguely dissatisfying that there was never any way for me to determine if my headcanon was legit or not. (Also, the most obvious explanation seems SO obvious that it doesn't mesh with the fact that the Datas actually seem to have a moment of uncertainty about it)"

    I do quite like "We'll Always Have Paris", but, like so much about the show for the next year or so, this is definitely something that's hamstrung by the Writer's Guild strike. If the team had been allowed to, you know, finish the script, I'm sure that scene would have made a lot more sense.

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  7. Daru
    November 19, 2014 @ 11:36 pm

    "The fact that we can so casually and dismissively say the sci-fi plot and the human story are meant to be allegories for one another means we've reached the point where we can take that for granted, and that's extremely telling.

    It compares its outer space setting with its inner space heart and shows them to be the same thing."

    Oh yes, for me I think when I first watched these episodes in my teens – I think it must have been around The Big Goodbye – I pretty much started watching every episode with regards to its relationship to my own inner experience, and yes even my own heart. As that was then what I felt the show was about. Ok I did enjoy the spaceships and the 'splosions but these are the episodes that touched me.

    "The Holodeck is basically role-playing with him and helping him work out his feelings through art, and I think that's rather lovely."

    Oh indeed, that wonder was sentient in my head really early on!

    Reply

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