Episode of the Week: Angel One

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Captrek, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Last week I wrote a long post about an episode I didn't like. This week it's Angel One, and I don't feel inspired to write much more than "Bleh." This one doesn't even find original or interesting ways to be bad, it's just bad, and I don't care to count the ways.

    If there is one memorable moment for me in this episode, it's Trent bringing his hand down toward the crystal ball in that unnaturally slow motion that director Michael Rhodes must have thought heightened the drama. I like to imagine Isaac strapped to the altar, Abraham holding the knife three feet above his chest and bringing it down slowly, inch by inch, giving God a good melodramatic pause before stopping the action at the last moment, and finally Moses, possessing a better sense of drama than Rhodes, leaving that part out when he writes down the story.
     
  2. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I always thought the the episode was silly, a society where women are the strong gender and dominate men? That's something a 14 year old comes up with and thinks it's original, I expect more from a professional writer. It's as bad as "Everyone is gay and the straight people are a minority", taking an issue and turning it on its head is dumb, there's no subtlety, it's like sledgehammer to the face.

    What makes it worse is that the women in charge of the planet start swooning over big, strong, hairy guys as soon as they show up. Beata wants Riker and Bonnie from Knight Rider marries the stranded guy? Give me a break! Would an average earth guy with a 1950's attitude want a 7 ft woman with hairy legs who takes charge? I doubt it and neither should the women of Angel One, Beata should have told Riker to shave his chest, look pretty and let the obviously smarter Troi speak.
     
  3. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've got a feeling this episode wasn't in the initial rental tapes that were released in the UK before the BBC2/sell through video years. Or if it was we missed it despite seeing a good chunk of the rest of the season that way (I think To Short a Season and possibly Home Soil were left out as well).

    I know I missed the BBC2 screening for some reason, so it was actually a good long while before I saw the Planet Of Women episode.

    Much like The Outcast will it tries to make a commentry on prejudice by turning the usual direction it runs in around so as to show how really stupid such things are.

    And like The Outcast it does a bodge job. A dully executed main plot, a silly second plot and a slightly confused message as Riker actually seems to quite like playing sex object for a bit.

    It's also a strong contender for worst looking TNG episode, costuming, sets, even the hair. It's all either too '80's, too stupid or too dull.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    All I can say is that I like Angel One less than Code of Honor.
     
  5. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    I always found this episode ironic when it makes comparisons to how the women of Angel One treat their men the way men treated women on Earth from the past when there is still clear evidence that women in Star Trek are still treated as such. We have a counselor who serves only as the love interest to our leading character, we have a security officer who acts without thinking, wants to cry when things don't go her way, is attracted to men who kidnap her and is literally talked down by her captain for making reasonable and competent suggestions.

    Ugh. Not a good episode.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    You seem to forget that Picard treated Worf the same way he treated Yar. But don't let facts get in the way.
     
  7. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    this is a lousy and very sexist episode toward men.
     
  8. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Did Worf ever want to cry in front of the Captain?
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Well, Worf looked close to breaking down when he returned to the ship at the end of The Best of Both Worlds I (though Klingons have no tear ducts). But, because she's security chief, she has no emotions? That sounds like a 20th century attitude that women in any type of position of control have to be emotionless hardasses. She was facing non-existence if someone else screwed up. I think I'd be fairly emotional as well.
     
  10. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Tell that to Kurn.

    I never said that women had to be emotionless harda**** in order to be taken seriously. Voyager tried that with Janeway and I hated her for that. I just don't think that wanting to weep over something like being teleported somewhere else is the appropriate kind of emotion a hardened security chief would make. After all, they have outsmarted Q before. Does she have so little confidence in her fellow crew members that she thinks all is lost?
     
  11. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nor is it the kind of behavior Picard would coddle coming from someone with testicles. If Riker started crying in a situation like this – which he obviously wouldn't – Picard's response would be "Get it together, man. You're a Starfleet officer!" Even Wesley would get an upbraiding. The pretty lass gets "When one is in the penalty box, tears are permitted."

    As I said in the weekly discussion of that episode, "When one is in the 1960's, this scene is permitted." In TOS, when Rand is reduced to tears by unsightly skin blemishes or Kirk holds her to comfort her, that's fine. It's a product of the era in which it was made. By 1987, this kind of thing was already dated and sexist, especially among the kind of social liberals who comprise the bulk of the Trek audience.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I'm a social liberal and had no issues with how Tasha reacted. Seriously, she was being threatened with oblivion and has absolutely no control over the situation.

    Part of the problem with TNG, was that people acted inhuman so often. Didn't really react when being threatened with death they were just statues. The scene in question injected a nice sense of humanity into TNG.
     
  13. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    People on Star Trek face their own imminent demise all the time. So?

    Try to picture that scene with a male security chief. I can't. I don't think you can. It would never happen.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Crying? Maybe not. Expressing fear in the face of oblivion? Absolutely.

    My daughter is twenty years old and studying to be a police officer and I've seen her cry over less. And she can seriously fuck someone up if they look at her the wrong way.

    For me, it's insulting to show women as less than capable of being able to do their jobs. It's not insulting to show a woman or anyone having emotions. Yar was never shown as being less-than-capable in her role as security chief.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  15. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Anyone who honestly feels threatened by Q (especially looking like this) to the point where they might break down in tears is not someone you want as a security officer. Period. Q is not some evil super power that strikes fear into people. He's just some pompous a-hole who's shenanigans are over the top.

    Q: Games? DID SOMEONE SAY GAMES?!?!

    Tasha: I'm so scared.....*cries*
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    You seem to forget that this was only the second time they had seen Q (and the first time Tasha was turned into an ice cube). Looking back at what a loser he became later on doesn't change the in-universe perspective that Q is still, essentially, an unknown.

    You keep trying to twist the facts to fit you perspective, when your perspective should be shaped by facts.
     
  17. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Angel One. Always the bottom of my "lists" and not watched since original airing until now because of this...

    ...I enjoyed it, it was "fun". I can't really explain why. Maybe it was as simple as it seemed fairly "fresh" to me, having avoided it for so long.

    Nit-pick: How can Data recite to the hour, minute and second the time an escape pod would "arrive" at Angel one? Firstly, how does one define "arrival"? Entering orbit, landing or entering the system? Secondly what if gravitational forces or something else had interfered with the pods "as the bird fly's" trajectory?

    I'd be interested in doing a fresh "hurt/heal" after our communal rewatch - see if the blu-rays have affected our ratings of episodes.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Counter-nit-pick: That's not quite what Data claims.

    Rather, he is saying how long it would take a lifepod to travel the distance the E-D just traveled in two days at warp one. The top speed of a lifepod is a known quantity, and the distance the E-D just traveled in approximately two days, or alternately the distance the E-D would travel in two days sharp, is known down to quite a few decimals as well.

    That is, Data is correcting Riker on the technical points of the XO's idle speculation, not establishing anything about what actually happened.

    Interestingly, Data also says that Angel I has "evolved" into a matriarchy. Is he referring to a slow process where the planet deviates from the patriarchal norm of the galaxy while it climbs down from the trees and then back up to space? Or is he referring to a relatively recent political shift?

    The latter would be in line with how unnaturally the matriarchy sits on the shoulders of the rulers. It's a society that tries real hard not to be the partiarchy it still was twenty years ago, so naturally it goes overboard on everything while failing to achieve anything much.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Here's a fact that shaped my perspective. Denise Crosby, who played the weeping Yar, left the show before the first season ended. Seeing her character done so poorly throughout the entire season, especially in that episode, it's not hard to imagine why she wanted out.

    First Episode: "I spoke before I thought sir."
    Second Episode: Allows an obviously infected Geordi to infect her and than later has sex with Data.
    Third Episode: Is attracted to the mad man who kidnaps her.

    And now you're defending the writers wanting her to weep on the bridge. Next thing I'll be expecting is an argument defending this episode by saying women should still be treated as they were back in the days when they couldn't own land or vote.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    In which sense was anybody else given better material to work with? It appears more as if Crosby was ousted for not being able to do the same sort of camp the others were adequately pulling off.

    Timo Saloniemi
     

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