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Old April 7 2013, 02:23 AM   #1
JirinPanthosa
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In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

Having an episode that took place entirely in the mirror universe without any involvement from the idealistic prime-verse was a brilliant idea, but I think the most brilliant thing about it was the way they opened: Take the first contact scene from the movie and make it into a violent attack.

Might be my second favorite ENT episode after Similitude.
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Old April 7 2013, 02:26 AM   #2
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

Might be my favorite ENT episode of all time, really.

I love how they used as much footage from ST:FC as possible, and only changed at the last minute. Plus they had that neat trick where, as the humans rush the Vulcan ship, mirror-Cochrane has his fist raised in triumph - obscuring his face, and thus hiding the fact that it's no longer James Cromwell playing the part.

And you can't go wrong with an intro like this:

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Old April 7 2013, 02:44 AM   #3
Melakon
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

"Live long and prosper."
BOOM! [translation matrix = eat and die]

A fan instantly realizes that history is taking another turn. Someone who's never seen any Trek ever, will still want to see what happens next.

Then the new title credits telling us we ourselves are in that universe and this is what we've really been watching for forty years. When they hit on that idea, they really sold the episode. They pull us into it.
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Old April 7 2013, 03:08 AM   #4
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

When the episode first aired I watched the first 15 minutes or so standing, because I was just too blown away by the opening (and the credits), to sit down.

But Manny and his staff kind of specialized in playing with openings. They did things with them that no other Trek show had tried before. The opening to Storm Front part 2 with it's 1940's newsreel style filmed montage of Hitler touring New York with voiceover spotting pro-Nazi propaganda, was just great.

The opening to Twilight was great too as Mike Sussman put us directly into Captain Archer's befuddled mind. We were as disoriented as he was when he/we stepped onto the bridge and saw T'Pol in a Starfleet uniform and in command and his ship about to enter combat -- without him. Excellent.

I don't think Coto got enough credit for what he and his staff did with openings.
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Old April 7 2013, 03:23 AM   #5
Melakon
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

We can't forget the original "Mirror, Mirror" either. The teaser opens as familiar, then the switcheroo, and we watch as Spock tortures a guy. Roll main credits.
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Old April 7 2013, 03:26 AM   #6
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

Always reminds me of something from the MTV Awards or an Oscar Night opening ceremony.

"Twilight". I find Archer getting caught napping, while the Xindi superweapon destroys the Earth, worked great for me.

Well... right up until the new and improved™ theme song kicked in anyway. Epic fail.
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Old April 7 2013, 03:29 AM   #7
R. Star
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

Typically speaking... the longer the teaser it, the worse the episode gets. The In a Mirror Darkly teaser made it's dramatic point quite succinctly and grabbed our attention. The credits held it.
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Old April 7 2013, 04:27 AM   #8
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

Loved it! And the open was a nice touch! I wish we had more Mirror episodes from this series.
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Old April 7 2013, 10:06 AM   #9
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

The FC opening scene was cool, but I thought "In a Mirror, Darkly" was awful. Why should I care about any of these people?
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Old April 7 2013, 11:03 AM   #10
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

King Daniel wrote: View Post
The FC opening scene was cool, but I thought "In a Mirror, Darkly" was awful. Why should I care about any of these people?
I don't get your point. Why shouldn't you care about any of these people?
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Old April 7 2013, 11:14 AM   #11
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

Best cold open ever? Nope, not even close. Ever seen TNG's "Cause and Effect"?

King Daniel wrote: View Post
The FC opening scene was cool, but I thought "In a Mirror, Darkly" was awful. Why should I care about any of these people?
That's why I can't stand this episode either. The other MU episode did work exactly because they were always presented from the perspective of our characters. It was the fish-out-of-the-water aspect that made the over-the-top ridiculous behaviour of the MU couterparts bearable. Having just those characters that act completely like comic book character cut-outs makes for a really dull episode, let alone a full two-parter.

I loved the recreation of the TOS-era sets, but I didn't invest in anything these characters said or did. Their actions were without consequence and they weren't written particularly good or interesting. They were all just plain Evil™.
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Old April 7 2013, 12:16 PM   #12
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

M wrote: View Post
Having just those characters that act completely like comic book character cut-outs makes for a really dull episode, let alone a full two-parter.

Their actions were without consequence and they weren't written particularly good or interesting. They were all just plain Evil™.
Funny, but this has a lot to do with why I love the episode. The phrase "tremendous fun" comes to mind. Trek doesn't necessarily have to be about "emotional investment" in beloved characters on their complex and involved "arcs". Sometimes it's great to just kick back and enjoy a slice of comic book action because, well, it's fun!
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Old April 7 2013, 01:50 PM   #13
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

LOKAI of CHERON wrote: View Post
M wrote: View Post
Having just those characters that act completely like comic book character cut-outs makes for a really dull episode, let alone a full two-parter.

Their actions were without consequence and they weren't written particularly good or interesting. They were all just plain Evil™.
Funny, but this has a lot to do with why I love the episode. The phrase "tremendous fun" comes to mind. Trek doesn't necessarily have to be about "emotional investment" in beloved characters on their complex and involved "arcs". Sometimes it's great to just kick back and enjoy a slice of comic book action because, well, it's fun!
Well, I don't have a problem with fun episodes that don't take themselves too seriously. I guess it's just that the character's evli-ness in IAMD seems really forced, whereas earlier MU outings (like "Mirror, Mirror" and "Crossover") genuinely seemed to ask the question of what these characters would be like if the circumstances in their lives and the universe they inhabit would be inherently different.

In IAMD Archer is just evil. And Phlox is just evil. And Hoshi is just evil. Their motives for constantly betraying one another are completely random. It doesn't feel natural. At all.

I do enjoy episode that play up the fun of it all. I guess it's just that I still need to believe in the characters and situations I'm watching.
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Old April 7 2013, 02:01 PM   #14
lurok
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

I can see why people wouldn't like it but I find it a lot more entertaining than the DS9 MU eps, which were more camp than dangerous. I thought IAMD did the TOS sexy-bad much better. Speaking of which, did TNG ever do a proper MU one (rather than an alt universe like Yesterday's Ent?).
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Old April 7 2013, 02:12 PM   #15
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Re: In A Mirror, Darkly: Best cold open ever?

I really think TOS MU is the best MU ever. I'm not that keen on ENT's though with rewatches I've liked it more and more. However the opening is just wonderful. The FC, the music (how GOOD is the music!!), it's an absolute treat. And who can forget the first time you saw the whole opening! Jaw on floor stuff. I remember being incredibly excited, very fresh for Star Trek.

Oh and I still like ENT's MU better than DS9's.
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