About Author: Torie Atkinson

Website
http://www.torieatkinson.com
Description
Torie Atkinson watches too many movies and plays too many games but never, ever reads enough books.

Posts by Torie Atkinson

66

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Encounter at Farpoint”

“Encounter at Farpoint”
Written by D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Corey Allen

Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2
Original air date: September 28, 1987
Star date: 41153.7

Mission summary

Captain Jean-Luc Picard has been assigned command of the USS Enterprise-D. Headed to Deneb IV to round up the rest of his shiny new crew, the Enterprise thumps right into a supernatural barrier. The space net won’t budge and Picard and his bridge officers are visited by Q, a seemingly omnipotent being who accuses the human race of being a violent, savage race of puppy-drowning kitten-snatchers. He demands that they turn tail and run back to Earth or he will kill them all.

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3

Ten Forward Now Open For Business!

Some of you have stumbled upon it already, but I’d like to announce officially that Ten Forward–our previously discussed forums area–is up and running in beta.*

We’ve started an introduction thread, so drop in and say hello!

* I’m still working out some kinks, so if you have any issues let me know.

67

The Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: Introductory Post

I am a Trekkie because of TNG.

I missed it first run but caught it on syndication and for a long time it was my only Star Trek. I couldn’t get into DS9 and Voyager hadn’t aired yet, so I used to wait for 7pm to roll around and tune in for the adventures of Captain Picard and his crew on the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D.  No one else in my family cared for it so it was my special show that I didn’t have to share with anyone.  To some extent I still feel that way, because I am so rarely able to geek out about it with people. Most of the Trekkies I know are hardcore TOSsers or, interestingly, DS9 fans (I find this to be generational), so I’m really looking forward to the chance to talk about TNG with you guys.

TNG happens to be Eugene’s and my favorite Trek, so you may wonder why we didn’t just re-watch it to begin with. Well, when we embarked on the Star Trek Re-Watch two and a half years ago, the fact that the original series was only three seasons and 79 episodes definitely played a factor in our decision to go forward. TNG, on the other hand, has seven seasons and 176 episodes.

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21

Deck 10, Section 1: A Room With A View

From the get-go, our goal with this project was to create a fun space where people could have intelligent, interesting conversations (mostly about Star Trek). I like to think of us more as party hosts than exhibitors, and to that end we had always contemplated creating some way for you to chat easily with or without us, on- or off-topic.

We’ve been blessed with a group of ridiculously smart and entertaining folks that I’d be happy to talk to any time of day. To that end, I’m thinking of creating a mailing list or forum space for people to talk Star Trek and beyond: from sharing info on upcoming Star Trek events to crowdsourcing the worthiness of the latest Tintin movie.  It could also be a good way for those not interested in TNG to stay in touch while we continue the re-watch. Mostly I imagine it as a chance to just be friendly and chat about life, the universe, and everything, like the usenet days of yore when the internet didn’t have any 2.0s after it.

I don’t want to talk to myself so I figured I’d toss the idea out to the general crowd. Any interest in this whatsoever? And do people prefer a mailing list (pro: more private and convenient to check; con: potentially voluminous e-mail, possibly unwelcoming to newbies) to a web-based forum (pro: you can easily ignore uninteresting threads; con: publicly available* and requires checking an obviously non-work-related website).

* In the interest of privacy I could, however, make it a registered users/members-only forum.

11

Happy 45th Birthday, Star Trek!

On September 8, 1966, the United Nations first promoted International Literacy Day; Elizabeth II opened the Severn Bridge in the UK; and some TV show about people in space seeking out new life and new civilizations premiered.

Star Trek, I hope 45 years is just the beginning. Happy birthday!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZWaWrvJ7nA&feature=youtu.be

And because it’s not a party without cake, here are some of the best Star Trek cakes I could find.

[Made by DecadentDiva]

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22

Open Thread: Galaxy Quest

Since there won’t be a substantial post for a little while longer…

Gwen DeMarco: What is this thing? I mean, it serves no useful purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway! No, I mean we shouldn’t have to do this, it makes no logical sense, why is it here?!
Jason Nesmith: ‘Cause it’s on the television show.
Gwen DeMarco: Well forget it! I’m not doing it! This episode was badly written!

Open thread, by virtue of being open, is not actually restricted to discussing Galaxy Quest. But who can resist? I missed this movie entirely in theaters and only saw it years later, as part of an Alan Rickman: Beneath His Dignity marathon at my college SF club.  (Just an excuse to watch Prince of Thieves, really. Though I also vaguely remember watching a terrible romantic comedy.) At least half the jokes were lost on me at the time.

What I find so striking now, being a much more hardened Trekkie than I was then, is how well Galaxy Quest (as a parody!) captures the sincerity of the original show and honors it. What destroys the Thermians is the idea that these people who embody virtue and all that is noble and good are lying. Star Trek has always been unapologetic in its idealism. It’s nice to see that aspect of it not ridiculed in the least but held up as a virtue–and as more than that, something sort of sacred.

It’s so hard to pick a favorite line. “That was a hell of a thing!” No, wait. “By Grabthar’s hammer… what a savings.” Or maybe it’s the one about Gilligan’s Island

22

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Viewing Party

But he seemed like such a nice boy...

Since we had such a fabulous time watching The Motion Picture, we’ll be doing it again with everyone’s favorite waxed chest, Ricardo Montalban. The viewing will begin on Saturday, August 27th, at 2pm EST. You’ll have to provide your own copy of the film, and as with all of our reviews, we’ll be watching the original theatrical release–no director’s cut, no “remastering,” just the movie as it was presented in 1982.

I’ll be around no later than 1:30pm if you want to test out your microphone and just chat pub-style before the movie starts.

Skype is going to be the utility of choice for voice chat (text wound up too cumbersome, but it’ll be available as an option if there’s enough interest). Skype is free and works on all platforms, so sign up! Iif you don’t have a microphone but do have a regular phone and want to be part of the chat, e-mail me your phone number (torie.atkinson [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will call you so you can join us.

My name on Skype is torie.atkinson and Eugene is e.c.myers. Cover charge is a willingness to shout KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!!!!!.

And for the steel-livered, grab some aged Romulan ale and try The Khan Drinking Game:

Drink every time…

…the camera shakes to indicate a ship has been hit;
…a character feels his or her years;
…there’s a literary reference;
…KHAAAAAN!!!!!!

(Do add your own rules in the comments!)

Let us know if we should expect you!

18

Star Trek: The Motion Picture Viewing Party

For those interested in the party, the viewing will begin this Sunday, August 7th, at 2pm EST. You’ll have to provide your own copy of the film, and as with all of our reviews, we’ll be watching the original theatrical release–no director’s cut, no “remastering,” just the movie as it was presented in 1979.

I’ll be around no later than 1:30pm if you want to test out your microphone and just chat pub-style before the movie starts.

Skype is going to be the utility of choice for both voice and text. Skype is free and works on all platforms, so sign up! If you have a microphone, great, and if not, don’t worry about it–Skype has a text-based chat window, too. I may snag an unlimited subscription so if you don’t have a microphone but do have a regular phone and want to be part of the chat, e-mail me your phone number (torie.atkinson [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will call you so you can join us.

My name on Skype is torie.atkinson and Eugene is e.c.myers. Cover charge is at least one entertaining story to fill the long…tedious…silences of this film. Drinking game* optional**.

Let us know, if you haven’t already, if we should expect you!


* I did this for Wrath of Khan once. It was insane.

** It’s not Star Trek V, after all.

15

The Star Trek Movies Viewing Party

The movies will soon be upon us and Eugene and I want to do something a little different. We’ve all been watching these episodes on our own, here and there scattered across the world. But the modern home theater shift aside, films were meant to be seen in huge groups, together.

So what about a simultaneous viewing party? I’d probably set up some kind of audio or text chat, and we’d have to work out options for syncing up our various streaming, DVD, and blu-ray options, or some kind of desktop sharing.

Obviously this idea only works if people other than Eugene and I are interested, so cast your vote! Would you participate if we did it? Let us know when you’re free, and comment your thoughts and suggestions. I’m thinking either this weekend or next. Details such as timing and which movies are subject to feedback and the global locations of interested parties.

[poll id=”2″]

 

[poll id=”3″]
26

Further frontiers at The Viewscreen

Like all good things, our intrepid voyage through Star Trek has come to an end. But why let that stop us? The Enterprise has a continuing mission, and so do we: to watch even more Star Trek. I know, I know, we’re crazy. But we kind of love it. We’re nerds.

Next week we’ll be posting our usual Season 3 Wrap-Up. Then, due to popular demand, we’ll be reviewing “The Cage.” Finally, we’ll close the book on TOS with a Series Wrap-Up. We’ll probably do some post-series statistical number crunching to find out which episodes were the best and worst based on our warp system, and compare that to what our gut says.*

Next up: The Animated Series, of course! Eugene suggested we do this very early on in the process and I agreed, mostly because it’s short and it’s easy to rag on Filmation. But because the episodes, too, are short, and because no one wants to spend 5 months on TAS, we’ll be doing two posts a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I’ve wanted to do the movies since we started, since I love them so, and we’ll eventually get to those and wrap up the TOS canon, as it were.

Now many of you know that Eugene and are I both, at heart, TNG fans. (I can hear the boos through the internet, I know.) But we’re not interested in re-watching all 176 episodes, because a) I want to finish this before I retire; and b) not all of them are worth re-watching, let’s be honest here.  So we’ll be doing a limited re-watch of TNG. Each season we will pick between us a few of the episodes we’d really like to cover–our favorites or our least favorites–and the rest of the season we’ll leave up to a poll, and let you folks choose the 5 or 10 episodes to add to those. Details are hazy; ask again later. But we hope this is the best system for skipping the mediocrity and going straight for the very good and the very bad, i.e. the episodes most worth talking about.

Over the past two years you’ve been our constant companions and for that we are so very grateful. We hope we’ll continue to see you all in the weeks and months to come. Bring your friends! Drinks are on us.**


*All I know is, my gut says maybe.

** If by “drinks” you mean “episode reviews.”