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TrekToday http://www.trektoday.com/content Daily Star Trek news Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:53:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Retro Review: Learning Curve http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:16:02 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41256 Tuvok attempts to train four Maquis crewmembers who are having difficulty following Starfleet protocols.

Plot Summary: Lieutenant Dalby discovers a malfunctioning bio-neural gel pack and replaces it without getting authorization, which causes several systems ship-wide to stop working. Tuvok expresses concern to Janeway that Dalby and some other Maquis crewmembers are not trained or disciplined enough to work on a Starfleet vessel. Though Janeway is more worried about the possibility of multiple gel pack failures disabling Voyager’s systems, she recommends an on-the-job training course for the crewmembers having the greatest difficulties. Chakotay gives onetime Starfleet Academy instructor Tuvok a list of possible candidates, from which Tuvok selects four junior officers – impulsive Dalby, belligerent Henley, unfocused Chell, and bitter Gerron – who deeply resent being singled out for extra attention. The group complains when Tuvok insists that they remove all traces of their personal style from their professional demeanor and marches out after what they consider to be an unfair physical exercise. Neelix offers Tuvok some wisdom about plant stalks needing to be flexible, which Tuvok at first takes to mean that the young crewmembers are too rigid, then discovers that Neelix means to criticize himself and his teaching methods. He tries to get to know Dalby and realizes that some of the Maquis crewmembers suffered traumas that make it impossible for them to become contented, well-adjusted Starfleet officers overnight. Meanwhile, the Doctor discovers that Neelix’s attempt to make cheese has cultivated a bacteria that now infects the gel packs. The Doctor proposes raising the temperature to help the gel packs fight off the infection, but although the gel packs are saved, Tuvok and his unhappy team become trapped in a cargo bay where Gerron is injured. Dalby becomes irate when Tuvok orders him to get to safety with Henley and Chell, but when Tuvok himself violates procedure, risking his life to save Gerron, the Maquis officers are impressed and promise to work harder to obey the rules.

Analysis: I didn’t like “Learning Curve” when it first aired for its obnoxious attitude toward Maquis dissidents and indeed toward anyone who refused to assimilate entirely into Starfleet’s arbitrary regulations, which I thought at the time might just reflect my lack of understanding of how military protocols worked. But it rubs me the wrong way even more so now that we’ve seen some of the history of Vulcan intolerance in Enterprise, and now that we know the Maquis will be asked to give up their sense of belonging to their own cultures as well as their identities as members of an organization in conflict with Starfleet (the latter a demand that’s completely justified on a mission like Voyager’s, though I note that Worf was allowed to wear the accoutrements of a Klingon warrior on duty even when the Klingons were at war with the Federation). Of course it’s a problem that many of the Maquis have not had Starfleet training in teamwork, physical fitness, even self-protection, though I might note that Neelix and Kes haven’t either. It would seem both reasonable and fair for Tuvok to include them in a course to get underprepared crewmembers ready for life traveling through the Delta Quadrant, particularly since Kes had never left her village, let alone her homeworld, until just before Voyager arrived. The cheese incident that almost destroys the bio-neural gel packs is a far more heinous betrayal of safety protocols than the replacement of one of those gel packs, even if Dalby is rude when reprimanded while Neelix only stammers in embarrassment. And surely there are Starfleet crewmembers as well as Maquis who were unprepared to have a brief mission into the Badlands turn into a potentially lifelong journey? Couldn’t many of the junior officers use a refresher course in focus and teamwork? If Janeway and Chakotay’s goal is to get their two crews functioning as a single unit with the same ease with which Torres now works with Carey, they’d be well advised to include some Starfleet officers in the remedial class even just for show. Not so long ago, Tom Paris was a criminal and Torres was punching fellow officers, while now they’re fourth and fifth in the command chain; seems like a lot of people on that ship could use a bit of extra attention.

And although Tuvok may have been an Academy instructor for more than a decade, he seems like the wrong person to be leading an exercise in new-to-Starfleet teamwork. These angry, demoralized Maquis crewmembers need a counselor, not a disciplinarian; the morale officer might do them more good, and indeed does them more good when he lectures Tuvok, than a stern Vulcan whom they consider a traitor to their cause. I think it’s a mistake that we see the senior officers’ point of view rather than that of the recruits, since we don’t get to learn the positive independent-minded aspects of what Chakotay dismisses as “the Maquis way.” A strong left hook may get someone hauled before a disciplinary committee in Starfleet, but we’ve had such behavior by the Klingons rammed down our throats for years now as something we should admire, so it just doesn’t look particularly outrageous when a Maquis crewmember does precisely what a Klingon would do in a similar situation of being singled out for his temper. Apart from Dalby, who joined the Maquis because Cardassians brutalized his girlfriend, we never get to know the Maquis crewmembers, and the more Tuvok talks, the more arrogant he seems, like the obnoxious Vulcans of “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” rather than thoughtful, nuanced individuals like Spock and Sarek. Now that the US military and other such organizations have relaxed their rules about whether and when soldiers can wear yarmulkes, hijabs, and other items directly related to the practice of religion, I feel even more justified in my fury against Tuvok when he orders Gerron to take off his Bajoran earring – an accessory quite different from the headband that Tuvok forbids Henley to wear. The Bajoran earring is a symbol of faith. It’s also a mark of one’s family and social caste, two things that the young Gerron has lost being stranded 70,000 light years from home. Whether he had lost those already in a traumatic incident that led him to join the Maquis, as Dalby seems to believe, or whether he joined the Maquis out of sympathy for the settlers’ desire to protect their homes, like Kasidy Yates, Gerron is clearly clinging to this one meaningful relic of his former life, which Tuvok orders him to put away without any care for its significance.

Clearly, Tuvok is obsessed with the letter of the law rather than its spirit – he’s closer to being Javert from Les Miserables than was Sisko when Eddington mocked him with that sobriquet – but given the pettiness of the Vulcans we saw in many TNG and DS9 episodes, I gather we’re supposed to assume that it’s because Tuvok’s a Vulcan, for whom logic demands holding even to the most trivial of regulations. But I can’t understand why Chakotay agrees to let someone whom he thought served his own cause, then turned out to have been working behind his back all along, serve as corrections officer for other Maquis crewmembers. Chakotay’s facial tattoo would not be permitted even in the current US military, and I’d love to hear his response if Tuvok ordered him to remove it or cover it up. He’s usually a champion of diversity and broadmindedness, yet he seems amused at the thought of having four shipmates for whom he was once responsible, who are as troubled as they are troubling, put under Tuvok’s yoke. Of course ship-wide discipline is important in a crisis, as we see when it takes much of the crew working together to solve the problem with the gel packs, but a rigid dress code for people who will be working together for many years can hardly be the element that makes them see themselves as a team. It will be acknowledging, understanding, accepting, and taking advantage of their differences which will accomplish that. If the Starfleet uniform serves to bond Voyager’s crew in early days, it later serves to homogenize them; no wonder Sisko preferred spending his off-duty hours in African dress and Kira never stopped wearing her Bajoran earring even when in Starfleet uniform. “Learning Curve” fails in its effort to be “Lower Decks” because it fears to let us get to know and admire the quirks of the individual Maquis, erasing their distinct histories and grievances even as Janeway’s off playing traditional British governess in a traditional British novel knockoff. She needs to spend more time thinking about exactly which aspects of the Federation she plans to keep thriving on her ship as it creeps toward home.

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Star Trek: The Exhibition In Washington State http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:00:37 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41252 Star Trek: The Exhibition will be arriving at the Washington State Fair in September.

The Washington State Fair will take place September 11-27 in Puyallup.

Star Trek: The Exhibition, under license by CBS Consumer Products, will run for seventeen days and gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy an interactive, museum-style experience of one of the largest collections of authentic Star Trek artifacts and information ever put on public display. This is a separate ticketed exhibit, and requires Fair admission. Exhibit tickets can be purchased in advance for $6.50 until Sept 10 here, or $8 at the State Fair. Children five years and under are free in the exhibit with a paid adult. Online orders are subject to standard processing fees.

The Exhibition brings visitors into the Star Trek universe and allows them to connect with iconic Star Trek moments. Throughout this experience, visitors, especially younger visitors and youth, will be inspired and motivated to seek out more education, and perhaps ignite a passion for lifelong learning and careers in science and technology.

Star Trek fans and novices alike will have a first-hand interactive experience to explore the worlds, wisdom, science, stories, cultures, characters, fashions and fantasies of the Star Trek universe. In the States, and around the world, Star Trek has become a sub-culture for many, supported by countless fan conventions and fan gatherings where many regularly gather and role-play in their favorite Star Trek characters.

“Among the main attractions of The Exhibition is the opportunity to sit in the legendary Captain’s chair where Captain Kirk and subsequently Captain Picard took command of the U.S.S. Enterprise; the opportunity to pose in front of a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise; and one-of-a-kind displays, interactive kiosks and rare photo opportunities.”

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August-September 2015 Trek Conventions And Appearances http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:53:51 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41248 There will be nineteen conventions, shows or appearances in August and September that will feature actors of interest to Star Trek fans.

This listing of conventions and shows features actors from all of the televised series and several of the Star Trek movies.

August begins with The Official Star Trek Convention will be held Aug. 6-9 at the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In attendance at The Official Star Trek Convention will be Marc Alaimo, Vaughn Armstrong, Richard Arnold, Rene Auberjonois, Robert Beltran, Casey Biggs, John Billingsley, Brannon Braga, Bobby Clark, Joan Collins, Jeffrey Combs, Denise Crosby, Olivia d’Abo, Michael Dante, James Darren, Roxanne Dawson, Nicole de Boer, John de Lancie, Elizabeth Dennehy (Commander Shelby), Chris Doohan, Michael Dorn, Doug Drexler, Aron Eisenberg, Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Bryan Fuller, Joseph Gatt, Max Grodenchik, Richard Herd, J.G. Hertzler, Jennifer Hetrick (Vash), Manu Intiraymi, Sherry Jackson, Salome Jens, Dominic Keating, Walter Koenig, Alice Krige, Cirroc Lofton, Don Marshall, Chase Masterson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Anthony Montgomery, Ronald B. Moore, Kate Mulgrew, Larry Nemecek, Adam Nimoy, Denise Okuda, Mike Okuda, Robert O’Reilly, Linda Park, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, Andrew Robinson, Rod Roddenberry, David L. Ross (Lt. Galloway and Lt. Johnson), Saul Rubinek, Tim Russ, Jeri Ryan, Judson Scott (Joachim from The Wrath of Khan), William Shatner, Mark Allen Shepherd (Morn), William Morgan Sheppard, Armin Shimerman, Alexander Siddig, Marina Sirtis, Rick Sternbach, Sir Patrick Stewart, Kitty Swink, George Takei, Connor Trinneer, Karl Urban, Nana Visitor, Garrett Wang, and Michael Westmore.

Next up is Shore Leave, to be held Aug. 7-9 at the Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, Maryland. In attendance at Shore Leave will be Daniel Davis (Professor James Moriarty).

The Steel City Con will be held Aug. 7-9 at the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. In attendance at Steel City Con will be Nichelle Nichols.

The Dublin Comic Con will be held Aug. 8-9 at the Convention Centre Dublin in Dublin, Ireland. In attendance at Dublin Comic Con will be Gates McFadden.

The Windsor ComiCon will be held Aug. 15-16 at the Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Windsor ComiCon will be Marina Sirtis.

Crypticon Kansas City will take place Aug. 21-23 at the Howard Johnson Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. In attendance at Crypticon Kansas City will be Sid Haig, Chris Sarandon, and Tony Todd.

Walker Stalker Con will be held Aug. 22-23 at the Westin Waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts. In attendance at Walker Stalker Con will be Denise Crosby.

The Central Coast Comic Con will take place Aug. 28-30 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, California. In attendance at Central Coast Comic Con will be Sid Haig (Lawgiver in Return of the Archons) and Deep Roy.

Wrapping up August will be the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con, to be held Aug. 29-30 at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England. In attendance at the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con will be Max Grodenchik.

September begins with Fan Expo Canada, which will be held Sept. 3-6 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Fan Expo Canada will be Jeffrey Combs, Malcolm McDowell, Jennifer Morrison, Kate Mulgrew, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, and Jeri Ryan.

Dragon*Con will take place Sept. 4-7 at several hotels in Atlanta, Georgia. In attendance at Dragon*Con will be Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Gary Lockwood, and Paul McGillion.

Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be held Sept. 4-6 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. In attendance at Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be Adrienne Barbeau.

The Alamo City Comic Con will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. In attendance at Alamo City Comic Con will be Olivia d’Abo and Ron Perlman.

The Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be held Sept. 11-13 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be Colm Meaney and William Shatner.

RocCon will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Kodak Event Center in Rochester, New York. In attendance at RocCon will be Nichelle Nichols and Marina Sirtis.

Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be held Sept. 18-20 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be Brent Spiner.

The Rose City Comic Con will be held Sept. 19-20 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. In attendance at Rose City Comic Con will be Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, and Wil Wheaton.

The Salt Lake Comic Con will be held Sept. 24-26 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. Walter Koenig will be appearing at the Salt Lake Comic Con.

September wraps up with the London Comic Con, to be held Sept. 25-27 at the Western Fair District in London, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at the London Comic Con will be Nicole de Boer and Ron Perlman.

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Shatner To Pen Book On Nimoy http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:45:58 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41245 William Shatner is planning on writing a book about his friend Leonard Nimoy.

Shatner considered Nimoy to be a brother to him.

“I’m writing a book about Leonard,” said Shatner. “I had a brother, whose life arc was so much like mine that we understood each other completely. Our age, our birth, the same types of problems in our marriages – our careers arced in the same manner.

“We had a great deal in common, Leonard and I. And thusly we were able to understand each other. I’ve lost a dear friend.”

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Star Trek Beyond Building Continues http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:42:43 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41236 More photographs from the Star Trek Beyond set have emerged.

Five new photos show the progress made in building the set which began back in May.

STB-1

The first photo shows the bare bones of the set back in May.

STB-2

The second photo shows what appeared to be a building with some broken trees on it.

STB-3

In the third photo, it becomes clear that the second photo was not a building, but hills with broken trees. The plywood of the second photo has been covered with dirt.

STB-4

STB-5

In the last two photos, the “hills” set is being expanded.

Larger-sized photos are available at the referring site.

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Trinneer In Western Horror http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:14:05 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41232 Fans of Connor Trinneer will be able to see the actor in a western horror movie set to release on DVD and VOD beginning August 4.

The movie is called A Good Day To Die.

In A Good Day To Die, “Baron Emerson uses his vast wealth to travel the world and hunt. He does not hunt animals, he hunts warriors. The Baron arrives at the American frontier and is looking for his next prey. An outlaw gunslinger named Chamberlin who is in jail and set to be hanged. The Baron arranges for Chamberlin to be freed so that he can hunt him like an animal in a bloody game of life and death in the Wild West.”

Trinneer portrays the hunted Chamberlin, while Robert Koroluck is the hunter Baron Emerson. Others included in A Good Day To Die include Nadia Lanfranconi, Jay Kown, and Leia Perez.

A Good Day To Die was written and directed by Rene Perez.

The movie has already made its European debut, where it was released under the title Prey For Death.

For US fans, to pre-order A Good Day To Die, which sells for $8.46, head to the link located here.

 

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Beam Me Up Scotty Figurines http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:10:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41229 Two new original series figures feature Kirk and Spock in the process of “beaming up.”

The figures will be available from Funko beginning next month.

Each poseable figure is 3 3/4″ in height and features a beaming effect (the bottom part of each character shows this effect). “Captain James T. Kirk [and Spock have five] points of articulation and features unique accessories and the 1980s style card back design.”

The Beaming Kirk and Spock ReAction figures will ship next month. Each sells for $12.99 and can be pre-ordered here for Kirk, and here for Spock.

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UK Auction To Feature Spock Costume http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:08:35 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41226 TrekUKAuction073015

An auction to be held in the UK this autumn will feature a costume worn by Leonard Nimoy.

The Prop Store and Odeon Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction will take place September 23.

The catalog for the auction isn’t available yet, but at least two Star Trek items will be auctioned.

A costume worn by Nimoy during the second season (blue shirt and black trousers) will be up for auction, and is expected to fetch up to £70,000.

Also in the auction will be a model starship used in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

Other non-Trek items of interest include a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet, Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s jacket from Terminator 3, a Lord of the Rings Witch King’s dagger, and a set of claws worn by Hugh Jackman in X2:X-Men United.

In all, four-hundred-and-fifty items will be auctioned.

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Pine To Star In Wonder Woman http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:57:20 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41222 PineWonderWoman052815

Back in May, TrekToday reported that Chris Pine was in negotiations to star in Warner Bros. Wonder Woman; today comes word that Pine has signed on for the role.

Pine will be playing Steve Trevor, Diana Prince’s love interest.

In the Wonder Woman comics, Trevor “was an intelligence officer in the United States Army during World War II whose plane crashed on Paradise Island, the isolated homeland of the Amazons. He was nursed back to health by the Amazon princess Diana, who fell in love with him and followed him when he returned to the outside world. There she became Wonder Woman (and also his co-worker, Diana Prince).”

Pine’s deal reportedly includes sequel options.

Written by Jason Fuchs, Wonder Woman will be directed by Patty Jenkins. Pine will be starring with Gal Gadot, who will take on the role of Diana Prince.

Wonder Woman will be released June 23, 2017.

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Pegg Teases Elba Character http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:54:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41218 Elba072915

Simon Pegg spoke briefly about the character that Idris Elba will be playing in Star Trek Beyond.

The character that Elba will be playing will be unique, Pegg promised.

“It’s a really interesting, complex character,” said Pegg. “We shouldn’t expect to see anything like Benedict Cumberbatch‘s creepy genius Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness in Elba’s performance, however. His performance is all his own.”

There’s a good reason that Elba’s villain is different than Cumberbatch’s. “Only because it would be a retread,” said Pegg. “What we don’t want to do is have the same kind of villain with the same motivation.”

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Old January 29 2014, 11:55 PM   #136
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Mission: Impossible is my favourite American tv show. (Perhaps along with The Fugitive and Star Trek.) Just top-notch stuff, and so expensive-looking for its day. And very unusual, with lengthy sequences in most episodes containing no dialogue. I love the format, I think it lends a great sense of structure to the thing. (Fifth season is the weakest as a result, because it departs from the format too often, and ends up seeming just like everything else.) As preposterous as the plots can be, I think the show's style comes from not telegraphing what they're going to do - so we, the audience, see the plot unfolding as it actually happens. The way that it all snaps togther in the best episodes is an absolute wonder to behold - and to see when the villains realize that they've been had, fantastic. The cast playing it dead straight really helps to keep it all grounded too.
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Old January 30 2014, 12:28 AM   #137
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Andrew_Kearley wrote: View Post
I love the format, I think it lends a great sense of structure to the thing. (Fifth season is the weakest as a result, because it departs from the format too often, and ends up seeming just like everything else.)
Wow, I couldn't disagree more. To me, the fifth season is by far the best, because it so often deconstructs the formula, delves into the characters' personalities, has missions actually go wrong and genuinely challenge the characters, etc. I felt it also just generally had the strongest writing of any season overall. There isn't a single fifth-season episode that I'd call bad, though there are a couple of mediocre ones.


The way that it all snaps togther in the best episodes is an absolute wonder to behold - and to see when the villains realize that they've been had, fantastic. The cast playing it dead straight really helps to keep it all grounded too.
But too often it just played out like clockwork without any risk of failure; the only disruptions happened less than 30 seconds before a commercial break and were resolved less than 30 seconds after the break. I prefer the episodes where the plan goes wrong and the characters have to improvise. One of the standard rules of story structure is that there should be a midpoint reversal, a point where things suddenly diverge from the intended plan and the heroes suffer a series of setbacks, so that there's more at stake as things build toward the climax. M:I rarely had that except in the first and fifth seasons. Everything just played out exactly according to plan, so there was essentially no suspense.
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Old January 30 2014, 12:30 AM   #138
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

ATimson wrote: View Post
Mostly just Hunt and Mrs. Phelps.
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Old January 30 2014, 04:45 AM   #139
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

I've also got the 1980s revival series on DVD. Despite some 80s cheese, it's a reasonably satisfying continuation. Peter Graves is there, leading a new younger cast (including Gregg Morris' son!).
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Old January 31 2014, 01:55 PM   #140
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Wow, I couldn't disagree more.
Excellent.

I guess we get different things from the show. Its lack of conventional storytelling and characterization is what appeals to me. The characters are cyphers - it's not who they are, it's the roles they're playing in this week's con. The plot is all. The suspense comes, not from the characters being in jeopardy, but in seeing how it's going to come together - how that daft gadget Barney demonstrated in the teaser is going to come into play - how the villain is sucked into the con. Like watching a jigsaw puzzle being put together. Obviously I wouldn't want all shows to be like this. This is the exception.
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Old January 31 2014, 02:13 PM   #141
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Barney is drilling into a safe (or breaking into an office, or...) with an elaborate device that took several minutes to set up, when he hears a guard turning the doorknob and about to catch him! Music sting, Fade out to commercial.

Fade up from commercial: The door opens! The guard steps in, looks around. We see no one. The guard shrugs and leaves. Cut to Barney and his equipment - he's somehow managed to get into the overhead air duct with everything, without making a sound, in the time it took the guard to turn the knob and open the door.

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Old January 31 2014, 03:50 PM   #142
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Andrew_Kearley wrote: View Post
I guess we get different things from the show. Its lack of conventional storytelling and characterization is what appeals to me. The characters are cyphers - it's not who they are, it's the roles they're playing in this week's con. The plot is all. The suspense comes, not from the characters being in jeopardy, but in seeing how it's going to come together - how that daft gadget Barney demonstrated in the teaser is going to come into play - how the villain is sucked into the con. Like watching a jigsaw puzzle being put together. Obviously I wouldn't want all shows to be like this. This is the exception.
But the problem is that there is no real suspense, beyond those fakeout act-break cliffhangers. Even if the characters' only goal in the story is to complete the plan, there should be some jeopardy to the success of that plan. A story is about characters pursuing a goal, but it's not dramatic unless there are obstacles to that goal, unless there's a risk of failure. It doesn't have to be a risk to their lives or their emotions, but the conflict in a story comes from the prospect that the heroes won't achieve their defining goal. In most M:I episodes, there's never any real risk of that. The team is so completely in control of everything that happens that it's all just going through the motions and the outcome is never in doubt. Indeed, sometimes I feel sorry for the bad guys because they're so totally outmatched and trapped into failure from the moment the caper starts.

There are a lot of movies like Topkapi or The Sting or Ocean's Eleven where the focus of the story is on the execution of a meticulous scam or heist. But in such movies, there's always something that goes wrong with the plan, a reversal of fortune that disrupts the plan and forces the heroes to improvise and snatch a last-minute victory from the jaws of defeat. That creates suspense and makes their success more dramatic and satisfying. Early first-season M:I episodes did the same, with the plan usually going awry and forcing an adaptation. In the pilot, the plan went awry when their safecracker's fingers were crushed. In episode 2, Rollin wasn't even brought in until their original plan failed and the guest agent ended up in prison, requiring them to launch an entirely new plan to rescue him. And so on. Season 5 also routinely had the plans go wrong and require improvisation, as did most of the big 2- and 3-parters they did. And that's a large part of why I found them more interesting than the run-of-the-mill formula episodes where the plans went off without a hitch.
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Old January 31 2014, 04:13 PM   #143
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Of course for many of us on this side of the pond we would have watched MI without commericals when it aired on BBC2 @ 18:00 on Wednesday or was it Thursday's?
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Old January 31 2014, 05:02 PM   #144
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Forbin wrote: View Post
I've also got the 1980s revival series on DVD. Despite some 80s cheese, it's a reasonably satisfying continuation. Peter Graves is there, leading a new younger cast (including Gregg Morris' son!).
I watched the first episode on YouTube, and you know, even though as you say it's pure cheese, I found it pretty good 80's action fun.

It also shows how good an actor John DeLancie really is, with Q it's effectively easy to be a scene stealer, but here he was playing a part that was much more generically written than even the worst Q episode but he still managed to run off with the entire episode and did a hell of a lot with every arched eyebrow.

Also, considering it was a clearly cheap American show filmed in Australia, it actually didn't do too badly at faking central London, especially if you allow them not cutting down every palm tree in the city they filmed in just for one episode. I think DeLancie may well have been the first character in an American show to go into a "London" phonebox that isn't one of the old big red ones, it even looked as if it had the right BT logo for the time on it (though of course, there are red phone boxes and black cabs and red buses everywhere else, but that is London for you).

The main failure was having every other extra carry a big John Steed umbrella despite the great (almost Australian) weather London seems to be having and even if they're wearing a denim jacket and a baseball cap.

On the regular series: I thought the first two parter was a bit drawn out myself, with less endless shots of the female guest agent of the week twirling about on her trapeze in a skimpy costume they could have probably done it in an hour.

Fantastically poor doubling for Landau when he's trying to escape from the prison made up for it though.

Just watched the Ransom episode, a nice tense variation from the formula that felt like Hill had found his groove a bit more. Nice to see Mr. Lesley on the team as well (I think he was also in the pilot), doing some fantastic non-speaking extra emphatic nodding.

I think, allowing that I don't think they let you have a good look at his Briggs face in the first episode (and he still had Landau's voice in his brief speaking bit) that this was the first time the man of a 1000 faces has successfully impersonated a real person who isn't someone who by amazing coincidence looks like Martin Landau in a wig and make up.
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Old January 31 2014, 05:19 PM   #145
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

inflatabledalek wrote: View Post
I watched the first episode on YouTube, and you know, even though as you say it's pure cheese, I found it pretty good 80's action fun.
Even though it was a remake of a 1970 episode of the original series.


On the regular series: I thought the first two parter was a bit drawn out myself, with less endless shots of the female guest agent of the week twirling about on her trapeze in a skimpy costume they could have probably done it in an hour.
Oh, but those are the best parts!


Just watched the Ransom episode, a nice tense variation from the formula that felt like Hill had found his groove a bit more. Nice to see Mr. Lesley on the team as well (I think he was also in the pilot), doing some fantastic non-speaking extra emphatic nodding.
Given that his role in "The Ransom" was literally to be a stand-in, and that his name wasn't spoken in dialogue, I like to think that Eddie Paskey was playing himself there. Although he was given a different name in the script.


I think, allowing that I don't think they let you have a good look at his Briggs face in the first episode (and he still had Landau's voice in his brief speaking bit) that this was the first time the man of a 1000 faces has successfully impersonated a real person who isn't someone who by amazing coincidence looks like Martin Landau in a wig and make up.
Actually they gave up the conceit of Landau only impersonating near-lookalikes after about episode 7. From then on, he and Paris and anyone else who wore a mask was able to perfectly impersonate anyone of the same general body type and sometimes even a quite distinct one. The pilot was more realistic in that Rollin in the Briggs mask hid his eyes and used his own voice; in a few shots it was actually Steven Hill with Landau's voice dubbed over, but in a few others it was actually Landau in a Hill mask. But the realism suffers because when the mask is removed, it's a complete face mask complete with rubber eyes and mouth.

Although on three different occasions, they cast Paul Stevens, who looks a lot like Landau, to play characters that Rollin had to impersonate. And once or twice they used Leonard Nimoy's stand-in Frank Vinci as someone Paris switched identities with.
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Old January 31 2014, 05:32 PM   #146
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

On the regular series: I thought the first two parter was a bit drawn out myself, with less endless shots of the female guest agent of the week twirling about on her trapeze in a skimpy costume they could have probably done it in an hour.
Mary Anne Mobley? I could watch her on that trapeze all day! DAMN she was pretty!
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Old January 31 2014, 05:48 PM   #147
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Christopher wrote: View Post
inflatabledalek wrote: View Post
I watched the first episode on YouTube, and you know, even though as you say it's pure cheese, I found it pretty good 80's action fun.
Even though it was a remake of a 1970 episode of the original series.
It'll be interesting when I get that far to see how close it is to the original, which I gather isn't set in London. If it's a The Child situation it presumably could well be quite heavily reworked despite the strike.


Oh, but those are the best parts!

Mary Anne Mobley? I could watch her on that trapeze all day! DAMN she was pretty!
Well, now we know what you two were watching for!

I really like that Eddie Paskey idea, it absolutely tickles me.
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Old January 31 2014, 06:50 PM   #148
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

inflatabledalek wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
inflatabledalek wrote: View Post
I watched the first episode on YouTube, and you know, even though as you say it's pure cheese, I found it pretty good 80's action fun.
Even though it was a remake of a 1970 episode of the original series.
It'll be interesting when I get that far to see how close it is to the original, which I gather isn't set in London.
It was set in a US city -- I think it was either LA or NYC.


If it's a The Child situation it presumably could well be quite heavily reworked despite the strike.
The strike was actually resolved early enough in pre-production that they were able to do rewrites, change character names, and so forth. That's also true of "The Child." Reusing old scripts really just streamlined the initial development/outline process, so that by the time the strike ended, they had ready-made stories to put into the scripting/revision phase, rather than needing to start from scratch with new proposals and lose a lot of time.
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Old February 21 2014, 08:37 PM   #149
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Slowly working through the first season, and I have to say I think the episode with Lloyd Bridges was the best yet, mainly thanks to a really good performance from the main guest star.

The episode with George Takei was pretty good as well, but perhaps had a bit much going on in it with the virus as well, you could have done an entire episode about the fake western town for spy training in and of itself (as indeed Danger Man did do a couple of years earlier with it's proto-Prisoner episode).

Even though I don't even think I'm halfway through the season at this point, I've got the worrying feeling that the number of episodes where Briggs is either sidelined or just in a supporting role are starting to outnumber the ones where he's front and centre as the main character.
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Old February 21 2014, 10:50 PM   #150
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

inflatabledalek wrote: View Post
Even though I don't even think I'm halfway through the season at this point, I've got the worrying feeling that the number of episodes where Briggs is either sidelined or just in a supporting role are starting to outnumber the ones where he's front and centre as the main character.
By my count, there are 20 episodes where Dan is part of the mission team, 7 where he just briefs/supervises the team from home, and one where he's completely absent. The latest episode you mention having seen, the Lloyd Bridges episode ("Fakeout"), is episode 12 in broadcast/DVD order; of the remaining 16 after that, Dan is on the team in 11. I'm not sure how central he is in those, though. There is one episode ("Shock") where he's the central team member but spends most of the episode in a mask and is therefore played by James Daly instead of Arthur Hill.
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