science! Archive

20

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “We’ll Always Have Paris”

“We’ll Always Have Paris”
Written by Deborah Dean Davis and Hannah Louise Shearer
Directed by Robert Becker

Season 1, Episode 24
Original air date: May 2, 1988
Star date: 41697.9

Mission summary

The Enterprise is headed to Sarona VIII for some shore leave, but Picard has gotten a headstart by fencing with a lieutenant. Though he loses the first point he wins the second–twice, as time seems to repeat itself in an eerie deja vu effect. The bridge confirms the temporal anomaly, and they pick up a distress signal from a Paul Manheim, reknowned wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey tinkerer who left Earth fifteen years ago to experiment with multiple dimensions and nonlinear time.

Picard reacts strongly to news of Manheim. Because he’s got a few hours to kill before the ship reaches Manheim, Picard goes to the holodeck to recreate Paris twenty-two years earlier. There he runs into a woman waiting for a man who never shows. She asks Picard why her beau did not come, and Picard tells her it was because of Nazis he was afraid. He then chastises himself for indulging in such fantasies and goes back to the bridge.

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24

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Symbiosis”

“Symbiosis”
Story by Robert Lewin
Teleplay by Robert Lewin, Richard Manning, and Hans Beimler
Directed by Win Phelps

Season 1, Episode 22
Original air date:  April 18, 1988
Star date: Unknown

Mission summary

This week, on a Very Special Episode of ST: TNG…

The Enterprise is investigating some unusual solar flare activity in the Delos system when they receive a distress call from an Ornaran freighter. The freighter turns out to be the galactic equivalent of a Volkswagen minibus and the occupants onboard seem awfully mellow for people whose lives are in danger. The Enterprise‘s bridge crew is dumbfounded by the Ornarans’ lack of initiative to solve their crisis or expertise about the basic ship repairs necessary to save their vessel. The freighter is going to be destroyed as a result of sheer incompetence. The Enterprise beams them over to save their lives, but the Ornarans beam over their cargo first. By the time Yar can lock onto the passengers, only four of the six made it: two died because their cargo got priority. Harsh, dude.

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43

Re-Watching Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Screenplay by: Jack B. Sowards
Story by: Harve Bennett and Jack B. Sowards
Produced by: Robert Sallin
Directed by: Nicholas Meyer

Release date: June 4, 1982
Stardate: 8130.3

Mission Summary

The U.S.S. Reliant makes an unexpected discovery on a scientific mission to the Ceti Alpha system: the genetically-engineered superman Khan Noonien Singh and the surviving crew of the S.S. Botany Bay, who has been cooling his heels on the inhospitable fifth planet for the last fifteen years. Khan’s somewhat pissed that his old friend James Kirk never called or wrote since marooning them there, so he takes over Reliant and begins plotting his revenge, which mostly revolves around a) inserting gross, brain-controlling slugs into Captain Terrell and Commander Chekov’s ears, b) stealing the Genesis Device, an experimental probe that can terraform a dead planet within days (what could possibly go wrong?), and b) killing Kirk. A person has to dream big, and galactic overachiever Khan is reaching for the stars.

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6

Star Trek Animated Series Re-Watch: “The Ambergris Element”

The Ambergris Element
Written by Margaret Armen
Directed by Hal Sutherland

Season 1, Episode 13
Production episode: 22013
Original air date:  December 1, 1973
Star date: 5499.9

 

Mission summary

The Enterprise is in orbit around Argo, a run-of-the-mill class M planet that was submerged underwater due to seismic activity. Starfleet is interested in the hows and whys of this global catastrophe because an identical Federation planet may soon suffer the same fate.

Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and a redshirt board the “aqua shuttle,” a catamaran-like shuttlecraft, and hope to spend a lazy afternoon on the planet’s oceans collecting algae and other samples. But wouldn’t you know it, these plans are violently disrupted by a giant red tentacled Cthulhu from the deep.

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12

Star Trek Animated Series Re-Watch: “The Time Trap”

The Time Trap
Written by Joyce Perry
Directed by Hal Sutherland

Season 1, Episode 12
Production episode: 22010
Original air date: November 24, 1973
Star date: 5267.2

 

Mission summary

Enterprise is investigating the “Delta Triangle,” a region of space where starships have been disappearing for centuries. It’s almost as if the suits back at Starfleet are trying to get rid of them.

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12

Star Trek Animated Series Re-Watch: “The Terratin Incident”

The Terratin Incident
Written by Paul Schneider
Directed by Hal Sutherland

Season 1, Episode 11
Production episode: 22015
Original air date: November 17, 1973
Star date: 5577.3

Mission summary

Weird interference derails the Enteprise’s survey mission of the burnt-out supernova Arachna. The signal is random–or is it? According to an old code, the signal appears to be repeating “Terratin.” That’s enough for Kirk to investigate, and they come upon a Class M planet that has turned into a volcanic, crystalline wasteland, or else just advertising dianetics. It’s also emitting unidentifiable waves. They seem harmless enough, at least until the Enterprise reaches orbit. A bright white laser light blinds the crew and makes them glow like fireflies. No injuries, though, aside from the dilithium crystals that have been completely destroyed.

Scotty’s crew tries to get started on repairs, only to discover that the tools have become too big to use. Either the Enterprise is enlarging, or its crew is shrinking.

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60

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Spock’s Brain”

Spock’s Brain
Written by Lee Cronin
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 3, Episode 1
Production episode: 3×06
Original air date: September 20, 1968
Star date: 5431.4


Mission summary

Enterprise is at red alert, everyone watching the viewscreen as a silver rocket approaches. No one answers their hails, and the technology and design is wholly alien. Engineer Scott is excited though: “I’ve never seen anything like her. And ion propulsion at that. They could teach us a thing or two.” But Captain Kirk is more interested in the woman beaming directly onto the Bridge, who seems to have left most of her outfit behind.

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2

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Immunity Syndrome”

“The Immunity Syndrome”
Written by Robert Sabaroff
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 2, Episode 18
Production episode: 2×19
Original air date: January 19, 1968
Star date: 4307.1
Mission summary

The Enterprise crew is looking forward to some overdue R&R at Starbase Sex Six, but there’s no rest for the weary: they receive garbled orders from the starbase concerning another Starfleet vessel, Intrepid. They aren’t sure what’s up, but Spock suddenly looks stricken with pain. When he recovers, he informs them that Intrepid was destroyed and its all-Vulcan crew of over 400 is dead. Dr. McCoy ushers him off to Sickbay, but it turns out the Vulcan science officer might be on to something; Starbase Six confirms that they’ve lost contact with system Gamma 7A and Intrepid, which was sent to investigate. Starfleet orders Enterprise in to mount a rescue. Kirk protests because he was supposed to be on vacation, but they change course for Gamma 7A. Chekov tells them that long-range sensors indicate that the entire system is dead, along with billions of inhabitants.

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