Ideas may be bulletproof, but nobody’s tried plasma rifles

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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.


  1. Jack Graham
    July 8, 2014 @ 10:39 pm

    Its not unlike the way the TARDIS always malfunctions and takes the Doctor somewhere dangerous instead of Brighton… and then, when he actually manages to get to Brighton, he falls asleep and almost immediately leaves to go somewhere else – after Romana has become exasperated and K9 has blown up. Even when he stops to play a game of cricket and attend a party, he gets lost in a secret passage and impersonated by a homicidal maniac. I'm not sure if there's anything to be done with that observation, but here it is anyway. 🙂


  2. Josh Marsfelder
    July 9, 2014 @ 8:55 am

    Certainly Doctor Who can be considered action sci-fi, so a lot of the points and critiques this episode is making can be applied to it as well. It may not have the postmodern self-awareness Dirty Pair has, but the basic narrative logic is definitely similar. I suppose DW has more of an overtly theatrical pedigree then DP, but it still very often wants to compete at the level of other, more cinematic works in this regard.


  3. Adam Riggio
    July 9, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

    Those episodes where nothing particularly adventurous happens are some of my favourite episodes in the Star Trek franchise. I'm actually rather sad that this form of storytelling never existed in the original series, though the closest we probably got was the comedy masterpiece of The Trouble With Tribbles. They're wonderful chances to see the world and the characters within it, and usually supply some especially comedic elements to the show.

    A while ago, my girlfriend and I were watching Manhunt from TNG season 2, as an introduction to Lwaxana Troi for her. The episode was also a wonderful subversion of the stereotypical Star Trek "adventure" plot. A conventional Star Trek episode would have involved the intrigue with the ambassadors who turned out to be assassins. Instead, the assassins are sleeping the entire time, are ridiculous cartoon aliens for much of their appearance, and Lwaxana unmasks them almost as an afterthought. We instead spend the entire episode dealing with her running amok on the Enterprise, which is much more entertaining than the average hidden-assassins-among-the-diplomats plot usually is.

    In other news, one of our ideas for Halloween costumes next year are now a Riker-Troi double act.


  4. Josh Marsfelder
    July 9, 2014 @ 3:21 pm

    Well, Nichelle Nichols wrote just that kind of story in The New Voyages 2 about the crew trying to plan Captain Kirk's birthday party if you're partial to Original Series flavour. There are a lot of stories like that in those books: Fanfiction seems a natural home for them because you can do little slice-of-life vignettes with the characters that you couldn't do on the shows themselves.

    Mega-props for the Ricker-Troi cosplay You should totally go for it: Good luck!

    (Incidentally, it's probably common knowledge, but Mick Fleetwood, a massive fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, is one of those ridiculous cartoon alien assassins.)


  5. Daru
    July 15, 2014 @ 10:37 pm

    I absolutely loved this episode – particularly for seeing the interaction of Kei and Yuri with children. Brilliant.


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