Day 28 - Your favourite friendship in Star Trek?

I have to separate this into incarnations again.

TOS: the trio, inevitably. And I do mean all three, not Kirk/Spock plus McCoy, but Kirk-McCoy-Spock, with Kirk's friendship with McCoy and McCoy's bickering friendship with Spock as important as the one between Kirk and Spock. Together with the good ship Kirk/Enterprise, this three way friendship is the emotional heart of the show, and the reason it survived that long.

TNG: I was certainly most intrigued by Picard & Guinan. We never got an episode that was all about them, but there were enough scenes to show the depth of the relationship - Picard's complete trust in Guinan's judgment in Yesterday's Enterprise, the way he confides in her in Measure of a Man, while there were also lighthearted scenes (Guinan's wry reaction to Picard's archaelogical geeking out at the start of Rascals). And of course there was the mysterious origin of that relationship. (Shame Time's Arrow, which showed how it started from Guinan's pov, wasn't a good two parter, but they never showed Picard's first encounter with Guinan from his timeline, so that's left free for the imagination.)

DS9: Quark & Dax, and I've written the fanfiction to prove it. Jadzia was the first among the regulars to hang out with Quark socially, not because she was a customer at his bar, and to unabashedly enjoy his company. (This, btw, was when her character clicked for me. The first season had played Dax serene and wise, while the second introduced the Dax who had a flippant sense of humor, loved playing Tongo with Ferengi and flirted with aliens that had open skulls. Not surprisingly, the later version was the one who stuck around.) But it wasn't all having good times together, there was a line to be crossed, which came when he did the weapons of mass destruction dealings with Cousin Gaila, and her reaction was key to giving Quark the courage to go up against Gaila and his psycho client.

Voyager: Janeway & Seven of Nine. This made me from a lukewarm Voyager watcher into, for a while, an avidly interested one. It was a prickly relationship with a great paradox at its start - Janeway forcing individualism on Seven who didn't want it (but whether or not Seven was in a state to make such a decision immediately after being cut off from the Collective was an unanswerable question) -, and their frequent clashes kept me as hooked as their moments of understanding.

Reboot: Kirk & Pike. Reboot!Pike pushed just about every fatherly mentor button I have, and whether he was supportive or chewing Kirk out, he just knew how to handle Jim K., and became apparantly the first person whose opinion really mattered to young Kirk; his inspiration, too. (I'll never fail to regret the reboot wasn't radical and had Christopher Pike remain Captain, with Kirk and Spock serving as his officers.


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Day 20 - Of the minor characters (one shots, not the recurring ones) who’s your favorite?

There are shows where I could answer this immediately (Babylon 5: Timov, and in conclusion, Timov!), but for Star Trek in its various incarnations, it's surprisingly difficult. First because ST the guest stars I feel passionately about tend to be in more than one episode. (Or movie, which is why I can't list Saavik here, or K'eyhler, let alone Sarek and Amanda or Reboot!Pike.) Then there are genuine one shots which I think were interesting, and it would be intriguing to explore them more or learn what became of them post episode, like Rugal, the Cardassian boy raised as Bajoran in Cardassians (and Una McCormack did that in a novel), or Elizabeth Dehner (Margaret Bonnano brought her back in Strangers in the Sky), but I can't say I love them, which the word "favorite" implies.

Mulling this over some more, I'm circling around a few one shots which I do feel a bit stronger for: in the movies, Dr. Gillian Taylor (who had her own agenda and reasons to work with Our Heroes which weren't about being attracted to any of them! And she succeeded in achieving what she wanted! All hail the Whale Expert!) competing with Lily from First Contact (when I saw it in the cinema, I did have a problem with one of the strongest scenes that can be summed up with "but he should have that conversation with Beverly!), but such Doylist concerns aside - which grew weaker during the rewatch - Lily was great, a brave woman in a very scary situation indeed who did that most difficult thing, not just standing up to enemies but to friends. Plus Alfe Woodard had great chemistry with Patrick Stewart of the "two strong actors together" type without the movie trying to make her into a love interest.

In the various shows: Pel, the Ferengi Yentl. Who hopefully stays clear of the Founders after going off to make profit in the Gamma Quadrant. Yes, you knew how her story would go from the beginning (at least if you've watched Yentl), but that didn't make it any less enjoyable, and I really appreciated they remained true to the original and didn't let her settle for girlfriend/wife status instead of pursueing her dreams. We got only two female Ferengi characters on DS9 (or anywhere else), Ishka and Pel, and Pel never got stuck with the weaker writing of the "senile Nagus" storyline; she had her story, from which she exited with audience and characters knowing she made the right choice. So: Pel! (Icon chosen because it's actually a line from a conversation Dax has with Pel in the episode.)




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Day 15 - How did you get into Star Trek?

As a child in the 70s, I watched tv. And liked the original series a lot. Then I became a sci fi obsessed teenager in the 80s and an equally sci fi and fantasy fond adult in the 90s, and around the time TNG was in its third season, I discovered fandom. As a child, I didn't have conversations about Star Trek, nor did I feel the urge to. And wile I was sad at the end of Wrath of Khan, I didn't try to to find out whether there would be another movie, or if Spock would be back. It simply didn't occur to me. Therefore, despite my affection for TOS, I see TNG as the series which got me into Star Trek in the sense of making me a fan who sought out other fans, tried to get their hands on English language original episodes which hadn't been broadcast in Germany yet, discovered there was such a thing as fanfiction and went to their very first convention. When I had my very first Kirk versus Picard debate, I knew I was done for. :)


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Day 14 - What's your favorite Star Trek quote?

Welll, now. There are certain Trek phrases that have stuck with me - the obvious ("Live long and prosper", "infinite variety in infinite combinations"), my fondness for Quark means I know a lot of the Rules of Aquisition ("treat people in your debt like family - exploit them", "home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum", and I have been known to mutter "red alert" in critical situations. Also, Picard's "a lie of omission is still a lie" from The First Duty came in handy more than once. So did Garak's "the truth is usually ust an excuse for a lack of imagination". :)

Then there's the dialogue that lives from context yet can be altered for appropriation, like Picard's reply in Tapestry to Q's "Welcome to the afterlife, Jean-Luc. You're dead, and I'm God!" , which was: No. I am not dead. Because I refuse to believe that the afterlife is run by you. The universe is not so badly designed!

"The universe is not that badly designed" has become my optimistic (despite dire counter examples) assertion to a great many absurd or bizarre situations.

But really, the designation "favourite quote" has to go to the Quark and Garak exchange from my icon again, which takes place in The Way of the Warrior. To quote the scene in full:

[Garak takes a drink of root beer]
Quark: What do you think?
Garak: It's vile.
Quark: I know. It's so bubbly and cloying and happy.
Garak: Just like the Federation.
Quark: And you know what's really frightening? If you drink enough of it, you begin to like it.
Garak: It's insidious.
Quark: Just like the Federation.
[pause]
Garak: Do you think they can save us?
Quark: I hope so.


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Day 13 - What's your favorite dramatic moment?

A bit easier to answer, but only a bit, and separately for each incarnation.

TOS + TOS movies: "I am, and always will be, your friend." There's just no beating that for emotional impact, even knowing it'll be undone by the next movie. It's the culmination of decades of friendship on a Watsonian level, and on a Doylist one for the audience (the first time one anyway) watching that friendship. (You have to earn something like Spock's goodbye to Kirk when he's dying, you really can't goo there early on in your story, she growls.) I can make fun of William Shatner's acting style with the rest of the world, but for that particular scene, it wasn't just Nimoy who was in the zone, acting-wise. It's intense and sublime and if you disagree, I just don't want to know.


TNG: upon first time watching, the end of Best of Both Worlds, part I. If you get there unspoiled and see Locutus for the first time, absorb what this means, and then Riker gives his order, you know what I mean. However, while it's still a tense moment during rewatch, and so my choice is another scene. It's the very end of Chain of Command, part II, when Picard admits to Deanna Troi he did see five lights. Before that, I thought the George Orwell rip-off in the torture scenes was well done but flinched from one of the biggest Orwell points - that anyone can be broken, that Winston Smith in 1984 really did see as many fingers as O'Brien wanted him to see at the end. I thought substituting Picard saying "there are four lights" to Gul Madred after his rescue arrives was basically bowlderizing and making something look heroic which shouldn't be glamourized by heroism because it's so real life awful. And then we got to this quiet aftermath scene, and my feelings completely changed. And remained changed during rewatch. For all that TNG gets accused of being sanitized sci fi, not "gritty" the way later shows were, there is this scene in its stark honesty, and it reaffirmed and even strengthened my Picard love. He's the hero of the show AND he's no more invulnerable, in body and spirit, than anyone subjected to such horrors. Also? That he trusts Troi with this information is a good way to show, not tell the importance of her job as counsellor on the Enterprise.

DS9: one of the best is certainly also a quiet scene - Sisko's final statement in In the Pale Moonlight - "I can live with it" (if you've watched the episode, you know why this epitomizes the moral grey of DS9) -, but it's not my favourite. My favourite, depending on my mood, is either Bashir taking Garak's hand in The Wire - "I forgive you, whatever it is you've done" (which, yes, presumptous, but very Julian and very what Garak needed to hear at this moment), or Kira at the end of Duet, learning that the guy who killed Marritza didn't even know who Marritza was (either the pretend identity or the real one), it was enough that M. was a Cardassian. The expression of Kira's face will always stay with me.


Voy: Janeway and Seven in the holding cell in The Gift, when an only recently cut from the Collective Seven faces the new and (to her at this point) terrible reality of being an individual again and tells Janeway she's forcing this on her, countering Janeways pro free will speech with the question that if she, as a free individual, would want to return to the Collective, would Janeway let her? This was when I thought "this idea of having an ex drone on board is actually turning into something interesting that hadn't been done on TNG before, and was riveted.


Reboot: for all my growling about a certain imitiation earlier, the reboot did offer more than one dramatic scene I loved. For my favourite, again depending on my mood, I choose either Spock's showdown with the Vulcan Academy (this had been one of the most speculated about scenes of Trek fan lore, and I do love this version, including Quinto managing to make "live long and prosper" sound like "up yours"), or Pike's scene with beaten up young Kirk in the bar, which managed to make reboot Pike into one of my favourite Starship Captains and was just the right mixture of fatherly and no-nonsense to drag reboot Kirk into a future.


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Day 12 - What's your favorite funny moment?

This is so hard to answer that I must list seperately for each incarnation.

TOS: Two I already named - the Tribble on Kirk's head is competing with Iman!Shapeshifter turning into William Shatner and delivering his/her line re: Kirk's secret wish. Runner-up: Mad swashbuckler Sulu in The Naked Time adressing Uhura as "fair maiden" and Uhura retorting "sorry, neither", and also the scene in Charlie X where Uhura is teasing Spock via song and he gamely plays along. Can't decide between these four.

TNG: "What can I do to convince you people?" "Die." (Deja Q, Q is trying to assure the Enterprise crew this isn't another game, he really did turn human, and Worf giving his succint answer. I mean, I love Q, but that was perfect.) On that note, I'm also fond of another Worf moment, from the Robin Hood episode: "I am not a merry man!". But if I have to choose, it must stay behind such gems as Deanna's tipsy First Contact (the movie, not the episode) rant - "this is not the time to argue about time!", or "Jean-Luc, Jean-Luc, sometimes I think the only reason I come here is to listen to those wonderful speeches of yours" (Q in True Q, after Picard has just delivered an impassioned defense of humanity (again)).

DS9: One runner-up: "If you're above money, you certainly don't need mine." (Nog to Jake in In the Cards - In The Cards is full of hilarity, of course, but here Nog strikes a blow against the mystery that is Federation economics and moral lectures to Ferengi on same) competing with "we don't talk about it to outsiders" (Worf's non-explanation for the change of looks for Klingons from the TOS era to the movieverse, TNG and after era in Trials and Tribble-ations). And then there's Quark's deadpan reply in Little Green Men when Odo shows up at the 11th hour and one of the humans asks who this is: "My hero." (It's funny because it's true.*g*) But really, the crown has to go to Garak's and Quark's immortal rootbeer/Federation exchange from my icon.

Voyager: Janeway as Arachnia in Captain Proton is certainly up there, as is the Doctor in Seven of Nine's body experiencing food and drink, but my favourite funny Voyager moment is a daydream the Doctor has, involving Tuvok and... you'll see. Ignore the rubbish he says about La Donna é mobile at the start of this sequence (no, Doctor, this aria isn't sung by a poor student about his heartless mistress, it's sung by a ruthless lothario of a Duke about to pounce on his latest victim), and just bask in what follows:




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Day 9 - What's your favorite episode?

Another fiendishly difficult question, since it's not about compiling a "best of" list. I will try to answer for each show.

TOS: It depends on my mood. If seriously inclined, either City on the Edge of Forever (first time travel episode, arguably still one of the best, and Edith Keeler is a three dimensional female guest character) or Journey to Babel (because of Sarek and Amanda). If in the mood to smile, Trouble of Tribbles, of course. The Tribble landing on Kirk's head will never not be funny. Especially now that we know Dax threw it.

TNG: Arrgggh. I love so many for different reasons! Darmok because it's TNG-Style Trek at its best, Measure of a Man (first fan written script becoming canon!) for doing the trial concept with genuine suspense (Riker's counter demonstration, despite the fact he hated every minute of it, was grimly efficient), including one of the best Picard and Guinan scene (with a discussion about what slavery is, no less) and turning what was originally played as a gag moment (the Tasha/Data encounter in The Naked Now) into something with meaning when we saw Data still had Tasha's goodbye message, Family for being a groundbreaking ST episode (first time one episode's trauma wasn't over in the next episode) with great scenes for Picard and a lovely subplot about Worf's parents, Face of the Enemy for being the best Troi episode and offering a Le Carré like ambiguity (the Romulan commander is an honorable woman, Deanna Troi's ally, otoh, is decidely shady) in spying... but really, I have to go with the very last episode(s), All Good Things.... Which has it all: great ensemble use and emphasis on character growth, good use of the three different time zones concept, bringing various themes full circle, Picard/Q sparring (and Data observing Q has a thing for Picard), and an ending that was full of hope for the future. Very fitting for this show, and still the best ST finale.

DS9: see, if I were asked about "best" I'd go for In the Pale Moonlight, no question about it, but I have to be in the right mood for that one. Most loved, well, different episodes for different characters. The Wire for Garak/Bashir, obviously, House of Quark for the Klingon/Ferengi culture clash, and Quark resolving a moral dilemma in a very Quark way, Necessary Evil for Terok Nor and Odo as noir detective, The Visitor for Jake Sisko breaking my heart, Blood Oath for Jadzia Dax and her three Klingon Musketeers, Duet for being the first and still one of the best episode to discover the magic that comes from Kira + a Cardassian combinations complete with for the first time Star Trek tackling a Third Reich theme without Operetta Nazis and therefore much more harrowingly, Indiscretion because Kira and Dukat were terrific on screen together and the first Ziyal was still the best.... and Our Man Bashir for being the funniest Holosuite episode ever with great ooc roles for almost the entire ensemble (other than Bashir and Garak), also providing a far more entertaining take on James Bond than the Bond movies did at the time (this was the Pierce Brosnan era), and still managing to include one great character scene (Bashir shooting Garak to stop him from ending the program). I can't choose between them, don't make me!

Voyager: Someone to Watch Over Me, without question. Also my favourites among all ST show's attempts to do romantic comedy.The Doctor tutoring Seven in social skills had been an ongoing storyline (and continues to be beyond this episode), but here the writers borrow a page from Shaw's Pygmalion, only with a reverse emotional outcome. The Doctor making a bet with Tom Paris that he can teach Seven how to date, and well enough so she can show up at the social function of the week with said date without alienating everyone is following precedent, but in Pygmalion (and its musical adaption My Fair Lady), it's the student, Eliza, who falls in love with Higgins through this (how much Higgins is affected depends on whether you believe Shaw or Lerner), while in the Voyager episode it's the teacher, the Doctor. In both cases, the turning point is when the student after succesfully accomplishing the original task discovers the bet the teacher made and leaves in indignation. Someone to Watch Over Me has a bittersweet graceful ending note when Seven and the Doctor reconcile, but he decides not to tell her how he feels. In between, we get some pricelessly funny scenes (one of my favourite details is Seven's appalled look when during her trial run date with another crewman, the crewman orders lobster, and she looks from the lobster to her own exsoskeleton) and a great duet exploiting the fact both Robert Picardo and Jeri Ryan can sing. The subplot with Neelix having to chaperone an ambassador cracks me up as well, as do the asides about Paris/Torres ("How do you know when we're having intimate relations?" "There is no one on deck 12, subsection 5 who doesn't know when you're having intimate relations").


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Day 7 - Your favorite non-canon pairing?

No question about it this time: Garak/Bashir. With Picard/Q as the runner-up. Both were my very first slash pairings, and I'm still very fond of them despite not having read any fanfic for ages, but the scenes between the characters in canon still have the power to make me smile stupidly and feel all aglow inside. Both pairings have the attraction of opposites and wonderful actor chemistry but what makes Garak/Bashir win in my personal ranking is that it's actually workable as a long term day to day relationship. And yes, I'm one of those fans who forever hold a grudge that Garak and Bashir did hardly get any screentime after season 4 (though at least they got a scene of their own in the finale) and who buys into "this was done due to homophobic fears" conspiracy theories, but I'd rather not rant about this when I can speak about the joy of the pairing.

If it were just Garak the mysterious with the shady past versus Julian the naive, I'd have been amused and attracted for a while but wouldn't have felt as deeply as I did. What sold me on the pairing was The Wire, because Julian learns some pretty dark stuff about Garak there (even though he can't be sure what to believe, because Garak even about to die is still Garak and keeps changing his stories) and doesn't let that stop him, not just from doing everything to save Garak's life, but from remaining his friend. This isn't just Bashir's attraction to fantasyy spy scenarios come to life anymore, or the safety of believing that surely, Garak is the one Cardassian who didn't really do anything awful during the occupation, this is genuine commitment with eyes open. And I think that's also what attracts Garak beyond the fun of playing mindgames with a young, idealistic and attractive Federation doctor.

Also, their scenes are just plain fun, between the verbal sparring, flirting, and teasing about each other's cultures. They visibly enjoy each other's company the same way the audience does watching them. If you want to sell me on a pairing, canon or not, their being together even minus sex has to be something I can see both parties thrive through, and that's certainly the case here. Therefore, my fanon/headcanon post show will always be that Julian Bashir goes to Cardassia to help as a doctor, and he and Garak reunite as a couple.


(Since it doesn't really fit into any of the categories: Not non-canon but one sided (at least as far as romance is concerned) relationship I'm fondest of: Quark/Dax. I loved the Quark and Jadzia Dax friendship, am on board with him feeling more than friendship as well, and wrote the fanfic to prove it.)

(Other shows & movies: sorry, I don't have an uc pairing there.)



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Day 6 - Your favorite canon pairing? (Canon being the series and the movies, including the reboot.)

But I'm a gen inclined person, she wailed. But okay, fine. Pairings. And let's add the definition of "canon" as "is acknowledged on screen as a mutually romantic relationship" (thus excluding examples where X pines for Y but not vice versa). With that in mind, here's a list for various shows and the movies.

TOS: Kirk/Enterprise. What? It's acknowledged on screen early on (he angsts about it coming in the way of his other relationships in The Naked Time). He's very possessive and jealous when other people get to touch her. (Most blatant example: ST: TMP, made especially galling because in this instance Decker actually was better than Kirk at Enterprise-handling.) And eventually, they have this Buffy and Angel in Becoming moment where he kills her for the greater good in ST III. ("My god, what have I done?" "What you had to do.") It's messed up and tragic in the best way. Seriously now, Kirk is certainly the Starfleet captain most invested in his ship. (Several shows later, Ron Moore tried to go for that with Adama and Galactica, but misjudged the balance between pathos and ridiculousness by letting Eddie Olmos go totally overboard with the relevant scenes.) And it's the canon relationship that keeps the show going, so...

TNG: still took place in the tv era where romances were limited to one or two episodes, but there were exceptions. Riker/Troi was my first experience with a couple which had broken up, had become friends with some lingering feelings which didn't stop them getting involved with other people, and which eventually got together again. What makes me still very fond of them is that they were there for each other (for example, Riker for Troi when she temporarily lost her empathic abilities in Loss) in a crisis and didn't sabotage each other's other relationships, neither actively or passively.

DS9: aka the show where on screen romances were now developed long term for several couples. I was okay with all of these in varying degrees and didn't object to any in general (my problem with Kira/Odo in s6 is limited to s6 - I thought they made a great mutually supportive couple in s7, but their getting together in s6 annoys me by the way the issues between them were just brushed aside/solved off screen, and also by Kira employing a double standard for Odo and her mother within the space of a few episodes), but as for actual favorites, I have to go for a couple of villains. Dukat/Winn all the way! I mean, I to this day carry a grudge about the show making Dukat into a one dimensional mustache twirler for the last one and a half seasons, but his scenes with Winn I enjoyed. I thought Winn's extistential crisis about her gods and her lack of visions was well done, and in terms of issues, scheming and mutual backstabbing, not to mention obsession with Bajor and being the non-favorites vis a vis Sisko as the Chosen One, they were well matched. Lastly: hooray for middle-aged-to-old characters having a sexual relationship on tv!

Voyager: Paris/Torres, no question about it. This started in one of the crackier episodes (species jumping pon farr, what the hell?) but turned into a long term relationship between two different people which really convinced me. I thought they were a good match in their respective strengths and weaknesses - for example, he greatly contributed to helping her self-loathing issues re: her Klingoness, she otoh taught him about total commitment because nothing less would do -, and I would have been seriously upset had the show not ended with both of them alive and together.

Movies: not many to choose from. After being not certain during the fist watching, upon rewatch I embraced reboot Spock/Uhura (she's supportive but also not afraid to call him out when she thinks he's wrong; also,on a Doylist level, certain fans who complained that this relationship "reduced Uhura to a mere love interest" when what they really meant was that it interfered with their favorite pairing, got my back up and made me root for them in irritation at the hypocrisy), so it's probably them by default. Honorary mention goes to the shapeshifter from ST VI who after making out with Kirk turns from Iman into William Shatner and tells Kirk, on screen, this is whom he always wanted to do. How Nicholas Meyer got away with that one, I don't know.


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selenak: (Skyisthelimit by Craterdweller)
( Jun. 9th, 2015 07:17 am)
Day 5 - What was the first Star Trek series you watched?

I was born in 1969 and vividly interested in sci fi and fantasy from childhood onwards, so naturally it was TOS. Which was broadcast and repeated several times on German tv during the 70s when I was a child, so no problem there, and in the 80s I caught the movies in the cinema. I was a fan, but I didn't interact with other fans yet - both fannish debates and fanfiction were unknown to me. (Speaking of early 80s sci fi, just occurs to me that my generation is the first and last one able to watch both Wrath of Khan and The Empire Strikes Back unspoiled for the big twists which subsequently entered public consciousness even for non fans.) When I first heard about TNG, I was sceptical but not going "heresy! There will never be a Star Trek without the original crew!", and possibly that was due to having affection for TOS but not feeling really possessive about it.

Which was fortunate, since the first season of TNG was very shaky indeed. (That show so would have been cancelled if Star Trek hadn't still been the only game in town in terms of sci fi on tv.) But there was just enough curiosity to keep me watching, and lo and behold, around Measure of a Man-ish in season 2, I realised that I cared about these people and their story. And then I got hooked and had to watch every week. And then I started to look for other people to talk with about the show, and hm, how much train fare and expense for visiting the convention in Bonn anyway? And so forth. So while TOS was the first Star Trek series for me, the first one which made me discover fandom and both the joys and torments of open canon was TNG.


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selenak: (Sternennacht - Lefaym)
( Jun. 7th, 2015 07:09 am)
Day 3 - Who is your least favorite character?
At first I t hought: I don't have one, in any of the series/movies. Then I reconsidered. But let's define what I mean by "least favorite" first. The criteria isn't "being a villain"; there are some villains I'm very fond of indeed for, well, reasons (Kai Winn, you manipulative scheming Renaissance Pope in space, let me introduce you to Rodrigo Borgia!), while I entirely see the damage they do. There are also villains I feel the requesite "boo-hiss" impulse for, and villains I find boring but not an issue otherwise. I'm also not talking about liking one of the heroes just a bit less than the others. However, both with heroes and villains there are characters who just grate you the wrong way, both by themselves and by what they're doing to the larger narrative. And those are the kinds I'm listing now. Again, separately for each incarnation.

TOS/ TOS Movies: Sybok (from Star Trek: The Final Frontier, for those of you lucky enough to not have watched it). Giving Spock an unexpected!half brother this late in the game was always going to be tricky and would have been very hard to pull off well or at least satisfyingly. Making that half brother essentially a Californian guru putting everyone in touch with their feelings while seeking god was a disaster. (Every now and then, I wonder whether some in the script writing department wanted to do an early satire on Scientology and Ron Hubbard, but given Sybok dies heroically, I don't think so.) And that's before we get to the retcon of Vulcans in general (Sybok's mother was "a Vulcan princess"? What the hell? Amanda gives birth in a cave instead of a hospital?) and Spock's family in particular. No wonder that, novels aside, Sybok was never mentioned again.

TNG: Another guy from the movies: Shinzon from Star Trek: Nemesis. (Not for nothing was this the last of the TNG movies.) He's played by a young Tom Hardy who isn't to blame for the overall disaster, I hasten to add. Also, as opposed to the unexpected!half brother for Spock, the basic concept of making the antagonist Picard's clone so Picard gets to fight a younger version of himself isn't doomed for failure from the get go. It's not original, but ST did the doppelganger antagonist concept often and sometimes very well. Hardy doesn't come across as very Patrick-Stewart-y, but Shinzon's growing up is so radically different from Picard's that you can blame this on nurture versus nature. (Though it makes the clone concept kind of pointless; usually you do doppelganger villains to confront the heroes with their flaws and dark sides, and for that to work there needs to be some resemblance.) No, the big problem with Shinzon is two fold: a) he's connected to a horrible, late in the hour retcon about the Romulans. The hole idea of the unexpected!Remans as a Nosferatu looking slave race staging a revolt not even led by a Reman but an evil white savior is just...someone should have said "back to the drawing board" very early in the development. And b) Other than leading a take-over of Romulus (because getting one planet = a successful coup against an empire), Shinzon's main way of expressing his villainy in order to make the audience hate him is by mentally raping Troi. Boo, hiss, alright, but against the writers and producers for resorting to the laziest of all props to signal "villain". In short, Shinzon is far from the only thing wrong about Nemesis, but he embodies a lot of it, and thus he gets to be on this post's list.

DS9: The Prophets. Which will surprise no one who's been reading my DS9 ramblings for longer than five minutes. To recapitulate: my biggest problem with the Prophets isn't that they're super powerful aliens who are occasionally used as (literally) dei ex machina, and I like the explorations of what faith means in, say, the episode where Odo is dealing with the deserter version of Weyou who worships him as a god (as all the Vorta are genetically programmed to do), and Kira points out that she feels this way about the Prophets. No, my problem is that in the later seasons of DS9, as opposed to the early ones when they were still very sparingly used and unscrutable, we're supposed to take the Prophets as good. (And in a battle with the Pagh Wraiths as evil.) This despite the fact the later seasons also introduce the big retcon about Sisko's origins which makes the Prophets into rapists, and never acknowledges there's a problem there. The whole "Prophets versus Pagh Wraiths" subplot is my least favourite later season plot line, full stop, and my least favourite part about the finale. (Leaving completely aside that at the time of broadcast, the comparison to Babylon 5's Shadows versus Vorlons and the way this had been solved by Sheridan & Co. rejecting both for the unscrupulous way they used the younger races, was inevitable.) In short: the Prophets make me grind my teeth in the worst way. Ill thought out and executed characters tend to do that.


Voyager: Chakotay. I'm sorry, Chakotay fans! Most of the time, it's Beltan's one-expression performance, some of the time, it's that I don't get why all the interesting women (Torres and Seska in the earliest seasons, Janeway throughout and Seven in the finale) are into him. But as opposed to all the other examples, it probably comes down to an entirely irrational "he just rubs me the wrong way".

Enterprise: well, one reason why I stopped watching early on (and then years later [personal profile] bimo persuaded me to watch the fourth season, which turned out indeed to be enjoyable) was Captain Jonathan Archer. Not just the wooden performance. ENT was the ST show which was influenced by 9/11 in the worst way, and Archer's resulting atttitude wasn't what I want from my Starfleet Captains. But really, the best thing about Archer was his dog (and thus I loved the beagle gag in Reboot!Star Trek), and otherwise he was immensely forgettable to me, which is a problem when it's the leading man. I don't have to like the Captains best to enjoy an incarnation of Star Trek; in fact, Picard aside, I usually don't. But I have to find them interesting. (Which I do in all other cases.) If the show doesn't manage to give me that, well, then the character is a problem for me.

Reboot Star Trek: don't have one, really. I have some conceptual problems (to put it mildly in the second case), but I do like the entire reboot ensemble. As far as the villains go, they suffer from Khan Wannabeness (yes, the guy from the first movie, too, because sadly the enduring legacy from ST: Wrath of Khan was to give all subsequent scriptwriters a "we must come up with a Khan like villain" complex), and Marcus is your standard evil Admiral, but they don't make me want to tear my hair out the way Sybok and Shinzon do. So: no candidate here.



The other days )
Day 2 - Who is your favorite character?


One for each incarnation (minus Enterprise, since I have none there), I can't declare a favourite character of all ST, full stop. So:

TOS: Spock. Me and most of fandom, I know, but I can't help it. TOS Spock with his smartness, wry deadpan humor, loyalty, repression and inner conflict, his deep interest in the universe and his dignity was a childhood crush that stayed. One reason why Reboot!Spock could never hold the same attraction to me is that he's so openly emotional. (This is not a criticism, Reboot!Spock fans! I like him for what and who he is. He's just not a favourite in his own 'verse.)

TNG: Picard. Did I mention I have a thing for stoic repressed characters with gravitas and dignity who every now and then reveal there is an inner emotional torrent going on?( Also guys with great voices.) Seriously though, Picard is my Captain. In addition to the earlier named aspects, I love that he's an archaelogy geek, that he's awkward around children, that he really does believe in diplomacy and negotiations as a first option, that he takes the opinions of his bridge crew into account (most of the time) and asks for them (the whole concept of the ready room conference was a TNG thing), that he can be arrogant and self righteous but is willing to admit this and change the behavior in question if someone calls him on it, that he's willing to make a stand for principles even if they're inconvenient (The Tin Drum, aka the episode where an actual case of spying leads to an increasingly paranoid witch hunt , is a morely timely episode than ever), that he's the first main character in ST whose episode related traumas were allowed to stay with him. (The Borg one, obviously; but also, when Picard got tortured, he really did end up seeing five lights. In a tv climate where main character heroes had magical immunity from being broken by torture while villains always caved - and sadly, we seem to be going back there in some ways -, this was new back then. It made me afraid for Picard in a way I never could have been for Kirk who not only obviously would never be broken but also would be fine the next episode.) Lastly (and I'm going by on screen canon only), I love that he's the one Starship Captain whose old age future had him not become an Admiral, or stay a Captain, but had him become an Ambassador, which seemed to me uniquely suitable for Picard and a great continuity tie-in given his affinity to Sarek.

DS9: It used to be Garak while the show was on the air, for all the obvious reasons; Cardassian moral ambiguity personified, witty (the scriptwriters invariably gave him the most quotable one liners), mysterious trickster type with uncertain loyalties (for the first half of the show anyway), Andy Robinson gave a magnetic performance, and Garak/Bashir was probably my first slash ship. (It definitely was the first one where I felt jealous of a rival ship, to wit, Bashir/O'Brien.) Then, to my surprise, in subsequent years and upon rewatching the show on dvd, it became Quark. I wrote an entire separate post as to why, so allow me to quote from the conclusion: “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” Quark says in the DS9 series finale, and these are the last words ever spoken on the show. It’s fitting that they’re spoken by the regular who performs a similar function to the fools in classic drama; comic relief, to be sure, but also insight and occasions of deep pathos. Because his natural reaction to danger is to turn tail and run away, his moments of physical bravery were all the more effective; in a universe that gets increasingly grim as the Dominion war raged, he never stops seeing negotations and bribery as a way out (and incidentally is proven right in a way, as what prevents the Female Founder from ordering the Jem’Hadar to continue fighting is Odo linking with her and promising to return to their people). He keeps falling in love with women who were the opposite of what his natural conservatism tells him to treasure, is the rebel in a family of progressives precisely because he’s the Tory, and is quick-witted enough to win arguments with representatives of just about every race in two quadrants if he tries hard enough, from Cardassians through Vulcans to the Prophets themselves. In short, he’s a delightful paradox, and like Jadzia Dax tells Pel: “I don’t care what everybody else says, I love him.”

VOY: For the first three seasons, it was the Doctor. Then it became Seven of Nine. The Doctor was ST's latest take on the "non-human character exploring what it means to be human" trope, and a well done one; you could follow his growth through the seasons, Robert Picardo had superb comic timing but also was great in conveying pathos. The sole reason why he changed into being my second favourite was because I fell for Seven, and to this day it makes me angry when ST related articles make a reference to her being only there to show off the catsuit. Seven was, among other things, a take on another ST trope - the one I nicknamed for myself "Child of Two Worlds" , see post about it here -, she was allowed to maintain a genuinely different perspective to the Starfleet one, her dynamic with Janeway was fascinating, and I loved her relationship with the Doctor as well. (Oh, and if you want episodes to throw at people who think Jeri Ryan was there just for her figure, go for Survival Instinct - the sole Ron Moore episode on Voyager, wherein Seven has to deal with something awful she did and is in full Borg get up for the flashbacks while still conveying what's going on solely by facial expression, while in the present there is no easy solution at the end - and Body and Soul (for MacGuffin plot reasons, the Doctor is downloaded in Seven's body fora while, and Ryan has a great time channelling her inner Picardo.)

ST Reboot: Nyota Uhura. One thing about the Rebootverse I love without reservations is that Uhura has a much more prominent position in it. I have some great issues with the second movie especially, but I loved, loved, loved every single Uhura scene, and adored that en passant one of Nichelle Nichols' big complaints (the scene in The Undiscovered Country where Uhura has to browse through dusty volumes to speak a few Klingon phrases - Nichelle Nichols hated it with a passion, pointing out that as communications expert, Uhura would be fluent with a language so important in the ST verse as Spanish or Russian is on Earth) received a listening to (in Into Darkness, Reboot!Uhura gets to negotiate with Klingons in fluent Klingon). I like she takes the initiative in her relationship with Reboot!Spock, I like the relationship with Reboot!Kirk going from adverserial to bonding over mutual Spock exasparation, I like that she knows her worth and never allows herself to be patronized. In conclusion: she's my favourite.


Honorable mention: TOS movies, where it's Saavik, barely beating out Gillian the whale expert, but I wasn't sure whether to count the TOS movies as separate entities.


The other days )
...spotted at [personal profile] redfiona99's.


Day 1 - Which Star Trek series is your favorite?


I can't choose between Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Emotionally, I mean. Rationally, I know overall DS9 is the better show, but I love them both equally, and so I refuse to choose. Neither was my entry into Stark Trek, that was TOS, but I became a convention-attending, fanzine-buying, debates-having fan when TNG and DS9 were broadcast. I, um, may have once travelled to England, in the days before you could order that stuff online, for the main purpose of aquiring TNG videos of episodes that wouldn't be broadcast in Germany for another year. As for DS9, it's no coincidence most of my Star Trek stories are DS9 stories. Such a rich ensemble of characters, both regular and recurring.

The other days )
From [personal profile] intrigueing and [personal profile] muccamukk:

In a new post, list ten fic that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” works, or even all the same pairing or fandom, just the fics that have touched you or that stuck with you somehow.

I'm sure I could come up with ten more, but these are the ones that came immediately to mind (and which I could find again online!):

1.) From Me To Q by Julia Houston (Star Trek: The Next Generation). Star Trek in its first three incarnations is one of my oldest fandoms, and the time when TNG and then DS9 were broadcast was when I started to get aquainted with fanfiction, first via fanzines and then via the earliest online archives. Finding this particular story was like striking gold. It's TNG; it's plotty, like a well written episode complete with ethical dilemmas; it's Picard/Q (which was what I was looking for when finding the story) but uses the entire TNG ensemble well; it takes the most reviled of fanfic clichés, the Mary Sue, and gives it a highly original twist. (Well, back then it was original, for all I know, it's been often imitated since.) Also, the dialogue sparkles. In short, I fell in love, so much so that I gave Voyager, which I had almost given up upon, another shot, simply because Julia Houston back then was also writing Voyager reviews and I adored her writing that much.


2.) Last Set Before Closing, by Kat Allison. (Highlander: The Series). HL was another early online fandom of mine, and this story left me shaken and breathless the first time I read it. On the surface, not much happens in this tale, which is set several years after the series ended; Joe Dawson is very old, not far from death, and his mind has started to wander; Duncan visits. Behind that simple description hides one of the best and most gutwrenching stories I've read in any fandom, which at once gives us the relationship between Joe and Duncan, and how both of them relate to Methos, about friendship, about mortals and immortals, and at the same time manages to say something very personal to anyone who has an older relative. (Until then, I don't think I had ever read fanfiction tackling a rl subject such as aging, its physical and mental decline, so unflinchingly, and with a beloved character, no less.) Another reason why I love it is this: at the time when it was first posted, its take on Methos was pretty much unique and went directly against how most fans then wrote him. (Probably still does.) And yet I find it entirely plausible.


3.) Changed Utterly by Parda (Highlander: The Series). Another HL story. Parda was a writer I interacted with a lot during my HL days, both as a reader and as a writer. This story is still my favourite of hers, and at the time it was first posted struck me as one of the best meditations onf grief and surviving I had read i nthe fandom. It's set about a year after the show ends, wherein Duncan is still dealing with Richie’s fate, when he sees Cassandra again. Not present in body but very much in thought are Methos, Connor and Richie. What to do when you’ve both done and experienced the unforgivable is a question with a dozen answers and none, and all the characters here are dealing with it. Poetic and profound.


4.) Father's Heart by Fernwithy ( Star Wars). Still my favourite Star Wars story, many years later (this was written shortly after The Phantom Menace was released). Set between trilogies, it pulls off something a lot of people tried since, and does so in a credible way: Vader and the child and later teenager Leia forming a tentative friendship, which falls apart with a vengeance as she grows older and experiences the Empire at its worst. In addition to a terrific take on Leia and Vader, Bail Organa and his wife (who in this version is one of the former handmaidens, Sabé) as well as some original characters are compellingly written. ( Not to mention it caters to two of my narrative soft spots: non-romantic intense relationship, relationship that breaks up because of politics and ethics (and rightly so). ) I was only ever at the periphery of SW fandom, not least because I happen to like the prequels, but this story made me search for and read a lot of SW fanfiction for a while. It was years before I found its match.


5.) Freefall by Penknife (X-Men movieverse). This is an X2 AU, ensemble story, Scott pov, and one of the earliest [personal profile] penknife stories I read. X2 had just been released. As after X1, I hunted for stories that weren't Wolverine/Rogue. Hard to imagine for current day fans, but back then it was actually difficult to find Magneto/Xavier stories, or stories that featured Mystique in a prominent role, or stories that featured Scott at all. Bingo, thought I, when I found this one, and little did I know I had also found a favourite writer in many fandoms more. Oh, and I think this was the first AU I really liked (the twist is that Scott realises a bit sooner what's going on during the prison visit at the start of the movie, with the result that he and Xavier end up as fugitives together with Magneto and Mystique; it's Jean who gets captured instead). Until then, I had avoided AUs. After reading it, I gave them a shot.

6.) Ten Thousand Candles by Andraste. This is another early story by a future favourite writer; Charles Xavier post X2, trying to cope with all that happened (read: spoiler for big X2 twist )). Back then, Charles Xavier centric stories were incredibly rare; stories in which he wasn't either the wise mentor type or trying to win Erik back were even rarer. What he experiences in X2 is pretty horrifying, and I loved finding a story which addressed that. Of course, Andraste turned out to be the biggest Xavier expert in the planet, but I didn't know that then. :)


7.) Bed of Bones by Roz Kaveney (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): I had spotted Roz on a couple of Buffy discussion mailing lists (remember those?), but this was the first BTVS or fanfiction in any fandom tale of hers that I had read, and it was sharp, poetic, and made the First Slayer(about whom at this point we only knew what Restless had mentioned) into a fascinating character. I was wowed. It also raised my standard of expectation re: fanfiction creating mythology in present day or futuristic fandoms to no end.

8.) Queen of Spades by Astolat (James Bond: Casino Royale): Ah, ye golden days when the Craig Casino Royale had been released and for the first time in my life I actually went and looked for Bond fanfiction, because Dench!M and Craig!Bond dynamic in that movie had gripped me in and fascinated me. (I had also loved Eva Green as Vesper and her relationship with Bond, but not in a way that made me look for fanfic.) And again, I hit gold. I think this probably was the first Bond/M story online. It set a most pleasing trend - for the next few years, you could rely on Yuletide including some great and sharp Bond and M fanfiction. (And then came Skyfall which brought the avalanche of Bond/Q and the Bond movies were no longer qualified for Yuletide, but that's another story.) Now, most combinations that have one character in a position of power over the other character are hard to sell to me as pairings, but there are exceptions, and Queen of Spades made me realize Dench!M and Craig!Bond were such an exception for me, because wow. (It also made me realise that I had a new story or rather old story archetype, not necessarily always as pairings, I love the gen variations, too, but: Morally ambiguous queens and their morally ambiguous battered knights, bring them on! Though only if the Queen is the older of the two. Read: Dany/Jorah does nothing fo rme.)


9: Working Order by Eatscissors (Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles). John/Cameron is a pairing that intrigues me but which I find more interesting on the actual show than in most of fanfiction, because, imo as often, fanfic tends to simplify and dispense with much that makes this particular relationship so layered, starting with the fact that Cameron is a machine, no matter what she looks like.Some spoilery ramblings about John and Cameron on the show ensue. ) Working Order, by contrast, addresses this and the other issues between them head-on while also being one of those stories where the explicit sex is part of the character exploration instead of reading as just being there for its own sake. For a reader like me who often finds sex scenes (both slash and het) reading like involuntarily funny gymnastic mannuals, with the participants interchangable to other fandoms and thus not very interesting, this was an eye opener. Really well written.

10.) Petrarchan Sonnets from the Vatican by Petra (The Borgias): I was and am grateful for all the stories I got in exchanges, and often loved them to bits, but this one will always remain special. Its just that awesome. It's a story in the guise of a fake article about the discovery of sonnets between L.B. (now who could that possibly be in Borgias fandom?) and person unknown, female and apparantly her tutor. Complete with the sonnets. And the commentary. Absolutely delightful, needless to say, poetic (my Yulewriter's ability to compose Petrarchan Sonnets with clever allusions to events from the show's first season still stuns me), and full of subtlety, and the wit and love for language that the characters in question display on the show as well (and did in history). (And now I'm grieved again that the Lucrezia and Guilia relationship post s1 fell by the wayside on the show, but never mind me.) If I could ensure that just one bit of Borgias fanfiction survives, this would be it.
Last topic I was asked for, and one that made me think about relationships between women in Star Trek shows, its prominence or lack fo same in general. Someone once said Kira and Dax were the first female ST character given a friendship, which isn't true; TNG went there first with Beverly and Deanna chats, and also with Guinan and Ro. (And occasionally Guinan and Deanna.) What these have in common with the Dax and Kira relationship on DS9 is that it's presented as there, friendly, but not the dealmaker for any of the characters some of their other relationships are. I can recall a few Jadzia and Kira friendship scenes; the runabout scenes in the opening season 2 three parter, of course, also Jadzia, pondering whether or not to fuflfill Curzon's vow, asking Kira about the memory of having killed (as in, assassinated, not killed in battle) in Blood Oath, and the show repeatedly depicted them coming from the holosuite or chatting to give us the impression they spend some of their spare time together, and that Jadzia is doing her best to get Kira to relax a little, with varying degrees of success (Arthurian romance? Not Kira's thing), while there are parts of Jadzia Dax which Kira just doesn't get (her fondness for Ferengi in general and Quark in particular - "I don't understand your attitude about the Ferengi" -, her less conventional dating taste (the captain with the transparant skull and big visible brain comes to mind) but which don't stop her from liking Dax. In the last season, there was a slightly different dynamic because Ezri was new and unexperiencend, and Kira played more of an encouraging supporter role, but again, this wasn't particularly prominent.

Kira's best friend on the station in a pre-existing relationship was Odo; of the on show relationships that formed among the other regulars, the most important one was with Sisko, which is somewhat unique among Captain/First Officer ST relationships because he's also the Emissary and therefore a religious figure, and Kira's religion is very important to her. Which isn't to say Kira doesn't also have important relationships with other women in the seven seasons of the show, but I'd rank two non-regulars before the one with Dax (either Dax) - with Ziyal in a positive way and with Kai Winn in a negative way. Ziyal is the direct product of the occupation Kira fought to so hard against and which formed her life, and mentoring Ziyal, who is both Cardassian and Bajoran but belongs to neither world, trying to give Ziyal a life that isn't the one the young Kira Nerys had, is a part of the show long exploration of Kira and her terrorist/freedom fighter past, Kira and Cardassians, which is one of the show's richest narratives. Meanwhile, Winn is the most prominent female villain the show ever creates, and it's easy to forget that Kira actually starts out as a supporter - she intends to vote for Vedek Winn in Winn's introduction episode before getting disillusioned. While Winn has a rivalry with Sisko in the religious icon domain, her antagonistic relationship with Kira gets far more narrative prominence, and it's more complicated than the Sisko-Winn one, because it has all the viciousness of a family feud. While the show in most cases puts Kira in the right and Winn in the wrong (often in a "true believer versus corrupt Renaissance pope" kind of way), this isn't always the case; there's the memorable scene where the fact that Winn spent part of the occupation in a Cardassian Labour camp comes up. Again, Winn, as a leading cleric and then as the head of the Bajoran religion falls into an ongoing plot thread that contributes to the greatness of the show - Bajoran politics -, so it's not surprising the scenes with her and Kira have an importance that any scenes with Kira and Dax just don't.

For Jadzia Dax, her best friend in a relationship already existing pre show is Benjamin Sisko, and while there is some adjustment on Sisko's part to the fact Jadzia isn't an older man as opposed to Curzon, this stays the case and carries over to Ezri. Of the new friendships she forms in the course of the show, the one with Kira certainly is there, but I never had the impression that the show treated it, from Dax' perspective, as more important than the ones with Quark and Bashir. (Worf is a special case because while we saw him becoming friends with Jadzia long before they became lovers, he WAS set up as her future love interest from the get go, and that's s a different type of story. Otoh he and Ezri went the reverse way, ending up as friends after the hostility and tension resolving sex. The relationship with Worf is certainly the most prominent non-Sisko one in Dax' storyline from season 4 onwards, including the last season - one of many reasons why the Ezri/Bashir romance in the last eps feels so artificially tacked on - but it's never either "just friendship" or "just romance".) I am of course somewhat biased in the Quark & Dax direction, but I would still argue they get the type of relationship-as-crucial-factor-for-character-making-decision scenes (as in the episode where Quark crosses the line for Dax when hosting weapons of mass destruction arms merchant sales, and her reaction is a great part of what makes Quark reconsider at the risk of his life) which Kira and Dax just don't.

Now, I'm not seeing the fact that DS9 as a whole, at least as far as the regulars are concerned - and Kira and Dax were the sole female regulars, since characters like Ziyal, Winn, or Keiko O'Brien where recurring guest stars - , did better in the male & male and male & female relationships department than it did in the female & female relationships, as a major flaw. Sometimes it just works out that way. But it's definitely the case, especially if you compare DS9 to the next Trek show, Voyager. As a series, I'm not in love with Voyager the way I am with DS9 and TNG, and in fact Voy was where I stopped watching a Star Trek show regularly, eventually. But it had hands down the most interesting relationships between female characters on any Star Trek show. (Helped by the fact there were now three female regulars at all points of the show, with Kes in the first three seasons being replaced by Seven of Nine from the fourth onwards.) Janeway and Torres early on, Janeway and Seven of Nine from the moment Seven showed up, Seven and Torres, Seven and Naomi Wildman, all of these got development, prominent scenes, and in the Janeway and Seven case a key importance in each other's emotional lives that until this point just hadn't existed between two female regular characters on a Star Trek show, but plenty between two male characters, and later between a male and female character. Voyager was the pioneer there. DS9, despite its many other virtues, was not.


December Talking Meme: The Other Days
No new Clone adventure to contemplate today, so a few thoughts on why season 2 as a whole - while offering many good things - didn't work as well as s1 for me.

it's all about the focus or lack of same )


Other fandoms:


Penny Dreadful:

Short but very interesting interview with Timothy Dalton about a certain scene in 1.05 and the Vanessa-Malcolm relationship in general.


Star Trek:

We learned the sea : beautiful love declaration to the various shows (TOS, TNG, DS9, Voy), their captains, and their relationships.
At last, I managed to watch the Christmas Specials of two shows I'm following. One of them was lovely, encapsulating all the particular show's strengths and managing to create sympathy for the guest stars in peril despite the inevitable short screen time they could have. The other, while not as bad as some ominous above cut rumblings let me to believe, unfortunately, much like that show's last season, neither particularly good or particularly bad, just mediocre, though entertaining, with a few outstanding moments, which is all the more frustrating because very recently we've seen the show do better.

Three guesses which was which, and the first two don't count.

Doctor Who Christmas Special )


Call The Midwife Christmas Special )
selenak: (City - KathyH)
( Dec. 23rd, 2013 12:07 pm)
No topics for the busiest of holidays and the day before that, thank God, which allows me to read what everyone else has written, and thus you get links today. :)

Poetic meta on Jackie Tyler, the Ninth Doctor and Rose as Demeter, Hades and Persephone.

The Inner Light as a TNG highlight. TNG and Picard love are always lovely to read.

It's been literally decades since I've read the Silmarillion, but I still found this hysterical and want [personal profile] penknife to write the Southern Gothic versions of Lord of the Rings as well:

Leaving Bliss, aka Galadriel's backstory from the Silmarillion, the Southern way. :)

But if you want to know the beginning of it, you have to go back to my grandparents. Grandpa Finny (and if you're confusing him already with Uncle Fenny and his brothers Fin and Little Finny, you aren't from Bliss yourself) was always keen on having sons.
Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season finale

Star Trek: Enterprise, season 4: These are the voyages... comes immediately to mind.

Some background first: I had watched the first few Enterprise episodes when they were broadcast and then decided the show wasn't really for me. Not that it was staggeringly incompetent or something like that, but it came at the tail end of the production team having more or less written Star Trek in various variations for sixteen years, and it showed. Especially since Enterprise had the bad luck to come at a time where there were several other good sci fi shows around. Give it a rest for a while, thought I, meaning both myself and anyone producing Star Trek. The fact that fannish rumour told me subsequent seasons reflect 9/11 happening and Star Trek suddenly going all gung ho (and not in a self critical way, unlike, say, the relevant DS9 episodes where Sisko & team are confronted what the Dominion threat has made of them and Starfleet at large) didn't encourage me to tune in again.

However, the show did have its champions. And I often have a soft spot for the fannish underdog. (By which I don't mean the in-story underdog, I mean those characters unpopular by fandom at large.) So when I began to hear, from [personal profile] bimo and others, that Enterprise offered some genuinenly good stuff, like fleshing out the Andorians the way TOS had done the Vulcans, TNG had done the Klingons and DS9 had done the Cardassians, Bajorans and Ferengi, that the fourth season in particular was eminently watchable, other than the finale, which everyone hated (including, as I heard at FedCon from Jolene Blaylock, the actors), I thought, come on, why not? So I watched the fourth season, which I was assured I could do without having watched the previous ones, and didn't regret it. But boy, could I ever see what the complaints about the finale (which wasn't just the season but the series finale) had been about. I didn't hate it, I just thought it was the most misguided idea ever for a series finale. If it had been a mid season inter-Trek crossover episode (which TNG, DS9 and Voy had all done), it would have been not stellar, but okay.

Here are the spoilery reasons why as a FINALE, it is my choice for the WTF? category above all other candidates )
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