The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Two For The Price Of One

Watched the new Star Trek film on DVD. It really is magnificent. Okay, so the bit where Captain Kirk lands on the ice planet and happens to bump into the exact person who the plot requires him to meet is a whopping great coincidence which could have been sorted out with one line of dialogue, but apart from that, it’s about as perfect a Star Trek film as anyone who quite likes Star Trek could hope for. I mean, The Wrath Of Kahn is good, but I watched it again a few months ago and found it all a bit too by-the-numbers mid-80’s movie-making, with Kirk discovering a son he never had. Pah! Kirk has dozens of sons and daughters he never knew he had scattered across the galaxy! And half of them are bright green. A few have bumpy foreheads. Some are bright blue with antennae. Hell, one of them is half-Tribble!

I gather that some Star Trek fans weren’t too keen on the film, because it dares to re-write continuity. Tch! Some people don’t know they’re born – which is ironic, really, because now Captain Pickard has never been born either. Ho ho ho. I can’t see what they’re moaning about – rather than having one continuity wiped out, they’ve now got two great big, interlinked, canonical versions of the Star Trek story to play with. One where it starts off fantastic with the original series and then meticulously adheres to the parabola of diminishing returns with the Next Generation, that really talky one, that really dull one, and that really shit one; and another continuity where we don’t know what’s going to happen next and where a brand-new Captain Kirk can boldly go to planets not yet listed in the Star Trek Episode Guide. Plus it has the legendary Deep Roy in it!

A little comic strip book came free with the DVD. Interested to see how the Star Trek comic strip people do things differently from the Doctor Who comic strip people (i.e. me), I found it an enjoyable read, as it detailed the back-story of the movie (not ‘filling in gaps’ as such, as that would imply there were gaps that needed filling); how Nemo got hold of such an impressively gothic/Lovecraftian spaceship etc. The only odd thing is that each episode’s ‘cliff-hanger’ as such is the introduction of yet another bloody character from the Next Generation, which is the kind of fan-pleasing contrivance which is both fun and indulgent (I’m thinking fondly of my much-missed friend Craig Hinton here)... it’s nice to see familiar faces but you’re left with the impression that the Star Trek universe is a disappointingly small and insular place.

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