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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old July 11 2014, 11:18 PM   #16
Robert Comsol
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Re: Skin of Evil

Lance wrote: View Post
I thought giving Tasha a 'meaningless death' was absolutely the right way to go, gave it a real impact that even a regular character can simply be alive one minute and dead the next.
Yet it wasn't a really recurring theme and many knew that it had been deliberately done to create an "exit" for Denise Crosby (sometimes, ignorance is bliss, I guess).

Imagine they would have killed of Will Riker and left Thomas Riker alive in "Second Chances". But I presume that would have been too bold (I was already excited that they let Thomas Riker live, because I had not expected it).

After the intense discussions I had here at the BBS regarding which of Tasha's four deaths in TNG would qualify as "meaningful" or "meaningless" I'm really not so sure if her death was really that "meaningless".

In a manner of speaking, if it hadn't been her, Armus would have killed another crew member.

In that sense, her death isn't that "meaningless" after all. She "sacrificed" her life on behalf of somebody else, but the decision to do or not to do so wasn't hers.

Bob
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Old July 12 2014, 05:43 AM   #17
Lance
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Re: Skin of Evil

Well, the real point of Tasha's passing (intended or otherwise) is that death isn't "meaningful". We place meaning behind some deaths, we use patriotism and doing one's duty to as icing to sweeten up the deaths of soldiers for example, but in the heat of the moment somebody can be doing a job one minute and simply be gone the next. Ultimately it is those of us who left behind attribute meaning to death, we ascribe honor to those passed, mostly as a means of coping with our own losses. But at the most basic level a human life is gone. Finito.

"Skin of Evil" is incredibly clever in using this. We see Tasha doing her regular duties on the Enterprise, we see her talking with Worf about a competitive event they're both scheduled to take part in soon, we get a flavour of her friendships, the minutea of her day-to-day life, we see her being part of an away team mission that is just like any other away team mission... and then she's just suddenly and irrevocably gone. And that's what gives her death a real and very human impact.

On a fundamental level I actually find her sacrifice in "Yesterday's Enterprise" somewhat trite. It's what we expect fictional characters to do when they face death, it's caught up in the mythology and romance of sacrificing your life to save others, noteable and honorable things. But for my money, it just doesn't present her death as well as "Skin of Evil". The lack of any foreshadowing is what makes Armus killing her such a Wham Moment for the viewer, and gives it a (perhaps unintended) impact and emotional connection. Denise Crosby might have regretted her decision to leave so soon in the years afterwards, but she should at least take solace that if her character was going to die, then what a way to go. The character of Tasha Yar is more memorable for her death than she ever will be for anything she actually contributed to the series while she was still alive.

(My own older brother, *not* a Star Trek fan like myself, still talks fondly of having watched Season One when it first went out, and cites Tasha's death as one of the most memorable things about it. Which means "Skin of Evil" did its job well. It's shock value, but good shock value. )
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Old July 12 2014, 08:47 AM   #18
KaineMorrison
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Re: Skin of Evil

I've been rewatching Season one. I just finished this episode again for the 50th time....
:'(
I still tear up at her "eulogy"
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Old July 12 2014, 08:53 AM   #19
Seven of Five
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Re: Skin of Evil

Skin of Evil is a fine episode. It's just one or two production problems that hamper it I think. The problem with Armus was just his appearance really, though we have to see quite a lot of him. Then there's the strange black blob on Yar's face as she dies, which was distracting.

I already knew Yar was a goner when I watched it, due to starting TNG in season seven before it looped back to the start - All Good Things probably did a massive job in convincing me to watch the series from the start, but when I asked about Yar, my friend told me she died. I think this lessened the impact of her death somewhat when I was anticipating it.

I did like Troi speaking to Armus though. Armus himself was a very intriguing idea, and the thought of him leaving the planet was a bad idea. The thing I loved the most, though, was the gathering in the holodeck. It was perfect. And then Data questioning his understanding of his thoughts on what had happened was brilliant for his character.
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Old July 12 2014, 09:03 AM   #20
KaineMorrison
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Re: Skin of Evil

I always thought it was spelt:
Arrmis
lol
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Old July 12 2014, 09:33 AM   #21
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: Skin of Evil

KaineMorrison wrote: View Post
I always thought it was spelt:
Arrmis
lol
Who knows how it's spelled? I'm sure he didn't often have the need to write his name down anywhere, anyway.

Even this guy would have a better chance of being able to write his name...



But I don't suppose spelling would be an issue for him, either...
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Old July 12 2014, 12:09 PM   #22
BillJ
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Re: Skin of Evil

KaineMorrison wrote: View Post
I always thought it was spelt:
Arrmis
lol
Pretty sure the character is named for production staffer Burton Armus.
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Old July 12 2014, 04:02 PM   #23
Riker Kenobi
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Re: Skin of Evil

One of my favourite season 1 episodes. Yar's memorial always makes me emotional. A really good Troi episode as well, which was very rare then. Shame about the terrible effects.
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Old July 12 2014, 06:18 PM   #24
publiusr
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Re: Skin of Evil

Lance wrote: View Post
I really, really love Armus as a villain. Sure, he's got his defeciencies production-wise, but the concept is terrific. A villain who is evil simply "because", who can't be reasoned with, one who torments Troi and ridicules Geordi and who kills Tasha arbitarily for no reason other than because he can, and then just says "I'm bored now" and moves onto the next victim. Ron Gans gives an excellent vocal performance, truly putting across the character's sheer maliciousness. He's a genuinely interesting (and very different for Star Trek) type of villain. He could have stepped straight out of TOS, but in a very good way. He gives the regular cast plenty to play off.

Agreed. Now I seem to remember folks first wanted Armus to have a more quiet, Roddy McDowell kind of evil...


That is a character I'd like to see again, or the beings that cast him off. With the CGI of today, he'd go all shoggoth.
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Old July 12 2014, 07:54 PM   #25
Enterprise is Great
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Re: Skin of Evil

Captain Nebula wrote: View Post
Just watched Skin of Evil last night. I didn't remember the dialog being that bad. Was all of 1st season like that or just that episode?
It's pretty typical for a season one episode though it's not as bad as some episodes are. It's nice to have a villain who's outright evil for a change so that makes it stand out.
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Old July 12 2014, 08:55 PM   #26
KaineMorrison
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Re: Skin of Evil

Enterprise is Great wrote: View Post
Captain Nebula wrote: View Post
Just watched Skin of Evil last night. I didn't remember the dialog being that bad. Was all of 1st season like that or just that episode?
It's pretty typical for a season one episode though it's not as bad as some episodes are. It's nice to have a villain who's outright evil for a change so that makes it stand out.
Is he/it outright Evil though?
Armus was was abandoned on that Planet. He was acting out because of that.
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Old July 12 2014, 09:14 PM   #27
Joel_Kirk
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Re: Skin of Evil

I can't watch this episode since one of my favorite characters bites the dust. On the other hand, it was a big deal at the time since a major character in Trek was killed off....with the intent of not bringing her back. (Even with Spock 6 years before, there was some idea of bringing him back one way or another).

Armus was...interesting...
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Old July 12 2014, 09:20 PM   #28
Kevman7987
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Re: Skin of Evil

I watched this episode a few days ago and I wondered if it was the best idea for Picard to leave Armus (who is immortal?) in his personal hell on the planet. Wouldn't it be safer for all parties if he beamed Armus directly into the system's sun?
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Old July 12 2014, 09:43 PM   #29
Mytran
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Re: Skin of Evil

KaineMorrison wrote: View Post
Is he/it outright Evil though?
Armus was was abandoned on that Planet. He was acting out because of that.
It's hard not to feel a teensy bit sorry for Armus in his final screams as he realises that Picard has tricked him and he is going to be abandoned. Picard's final line though, is awesome.

"I'm not taking you anywhere"


Lance wrote: View Post
On a fundamental level I actually find her sacrifice in "Yesterday's Enterprise" somewhat trite. It's what we expect fictional characters to do when they face death, it's caught up in the mythology and romance of sacrificing your life to save others, noteable and honorable things.
I've quoted this bit, but your whole post hits the nail squarely on the head IMO.

What's interesting about the "predictable deeds of action heroes" angle is that it mirrors the "fairy tale" angle related about Alt-Yar's eventual fate. To paraphrase, a Romulan officer saw her and fell in love at first sight, saving her and her comrades from death at the hands of the Evil Establishment. Clearly by the mid-to-late season of TNG, more convential storytelling tropes had taken hold.
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Old July 12 2014, 10:24 PM   #30
BigJake
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Re: Skin of Evil

Mytran wrote: View Post
To paraphrase, a Romulan officer saw her and fell in love at first sight, saving her and her comrades from death at the hands of the Evil Establishment.
Given that their offspring grew into an extreme Romulan fanatic, I get the feeling the underlying story is a tad more complicated. Though I'm not sure I want to think about how.
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