02 August 2005

Star Trek - The Final Cop-Out

UK TV has been hyping up the 'last ever' episode of Enterprise for at least a month - 2nd August has been drilled into our minds before, during and after every Tuesday night episode and Sunday repeat in that time.

Gary and I did everything but make popcorn - we ate dinner early, bribed the kids into silence and settled down in eager anticipation to watch the biggest hunk-o-junk disappointment ever.

Don't get me wrong, the double episode where they hypothesised about life in an alternate reality was overbearing political clap trap and an insult: 120 minutes, including adverts, of going absolutely nowhere, doing nothing but pushing for a moralistic penny to drop on the misplaced assumption that anyone with more than two braincells would take more than the first 30 seconds to get the point.

It was two weeks of 'what the f*ck?' and tantamount to a holiday from proper Star Trek viewing. The guy with the last say, whether that be producer or writer, was either seventeen years old or an incredibly late developer as far as social conscience goes.

This last episode, however, was beautiful and emotional, and doubly painful because, well, it forced mental comparisons with the withdrawal method. More on that (ie an explanation) below.

  • Never mind that they wiped out six or more years to get to this part of the storyline.
  • Never mind that a heart wrenching will-they-won't-they romance between two central characters was casually dismissed as having simply withered 'years back'
  • Never mind that all the lines for secondary characters were about new jobs and no-one seemed remotely peeved to be breaking up a family of ten years standing - every eye dry.
  • Never mind the sudden, almost post-mortem introduction of a chef as a central confidence sharing character along the lines of Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg's pivotal character and bar owner on Next Gen) - just as a vehicle for the second most disgusting theme which was:
  • (Mind!) The use of characters from the future watching a historical holographic record. Oh wow, yeah, well that explains why this episode has sod all to do with the timeline. Not.
  • Mind that the chef was created as this supposedly well established confidant just so a fat(ter) ex-Trekker could reprise his role and use the chef persona to quiz characters on their personal interactions to explain the complete U-turn in the emotional subplots.
  • Mind that this involved setting up a rushed series of mini-narratives explaining the complete change in character interactions, plus plug more than a few gaping historical gaps in an 'oh by the way, we never mentioned....' fashion.
  • Mind (lots) that the entire episode was anchored in the personal angst of a character from a different Star Trek series, as he battled with his internal demons to decide whether or not to make a confession to his captain - a lovely little bit of drama that was conveniently irrelevant to the original telling of that story.
  • This is the Doozy: MIND SODDING BUCKETLOADS that just as the annoying tubby reprising his (once much younger) character in an unbelievable and self-aggrandising fashion had finally stepped to one side to allow the story to crescendo, just as we were allowed to concentrate on the people we actually tuned in to see; just as we were about to experience the emotional high, the completion and finale of the episode and series, where all the characters are in accord .... the blighter says "Holodeck end programme" and the last shot is of the orange holodeck doors on Picard's Ship.
Wey-hey - I guess if you are actor playing second in command, turned producer, you are allowed to assume that Enterprise is nothing more than a gap filler, that it all leads back to your heroic role centuries in the future. WRONG! Is that what happened?

That's what I mean about the withdrawal method. Just as things are becoming orgasmic, as all your senses start to sing in tune and bits all over that you didn't know you'd got start tingling, just as you are growing a huge goofy smile or keying up to shout "Yes!", then wham, some conceited tosser pulls out, leaves you high, dry and muttering 'what the fuck?' and lands you with a cold, wet, sticky wad on your belly button, just to add insult to injury.

I actually hope to heaven that the final episode, the ultimate disappointment in an otherwise addictive and lovely series, wasn't really written or directed or in any way influenced by Jonathan Frakes, ex Commander Reiker in Next Gen.

If it was, then I suspect he may take a long, long time to live down the appearance of complete megalomania.

Shit, bugger, bum, poo. They spoilt my favourite programme and forced really good actors to debase themselves with a crap script that massacred the integrity of their lovingly developed characters.

This production displayed all the skill and cohesion of something written by schoolchildren and I am, umm, peeved. As disappointed as a eunuch's bride. Can you tell?

Personal opinion - see permanent disclaimer.


Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I never, never understood the success of the Star Trek series.

fineartist said...

TV is so danged depressing, i'n it?

HART (1-800-HART) said...

I think you summed it up quite well, yet, like me .. I suspect you will watch it again in reruns all over again!

But, the good news about "Enterprise" is .. that is got me to watch "Andromeda" with much more regularity and enjoyment.

Good Day from Canada "eh"