Archive for May 2009

The Bing Bang Theory – Spock/Nimoy References

May 28, 2009

Many of you have probably already seen these videos, but I thought I’d post them, since they’re pretty funny. I don’t actually watch The Big Bang Theory, but I went on a hunt for Star Trek references. πŸ˜‰ I’m surprised the series doesn’t have more of them.

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

Sheldon’s Christmas Gift

Spock’s Conception

1×12 – The Menagerie Part II

May 26, 2009

Premise: The trial to convict Spock continues, while the Enterprise remains locked on course to Talus IV. The Court Marshall Committee continues to watch a video of past events, which is being transmitted from Talos IV. The video shows that the Talosians are capable of making a man see anything they wish him to see, and that they wanted to keep Captain Pike as breeding stock. The Talosians messed with Pike’s mind in an attempt to get him to fall in love with another woman they had captured. Pike’s resistance and his attempts to escape indicated that humans were too violent for the Talosians’ needs, so they let him go. It turns out Spock wants to bring Pike to Talus IV so that he can be mentally free of his disfigured, disabled body.

The younger version of Spock has side-swept bangs! I haven’t figured out whether that’s a styling choice to make him look younger, or whether Spock is disheveled due to the situation on Talus IV.

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46:40 – The Talosians have just invited Captain Pike to live with them in peace on Talus IV. Kirk still wonders why Spock had to use the methods he used to get Pike to Talus IV:

Kirk: “Mr. Spock. Even if regulations are explicit you could have come to me and explained.”
Spock: “Ask you to face the death penalty, too?” [Shakes head] “One of us was enough, Captain.”

I really like it when Spock is protective of Kirk, or vice-versa. πŸ™‚

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48:05 – Kirk stops Spock as he’s about to bring Pike to the transporter room:

Kirk: “Mr. Spock, when you’re finished, please come back and see me, I want to talk to you. This regrettable tendency you’ve been showing lately towards flagrant emotionalism –
Spock: “I see no reason to insult me, Sir. I believe I’ve been completely logical about the whole affair.”

Spock turns around and exits, leaving Kirk with a bit of a baffled smile.

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After all of the build-up across these two episodes, the payoff wasn’t quite good enough. Spock risked the death penalty, committed treachery, and stole the Enterprise all just to drop off his old captain on another planet? I had hoped there would be a more profound reason for visiting Talus IV than just to improve one man’s life. But I suppose it’s really sweet that Spock still feels suchΒ  strong loyalty and affection towards Captain Pike that he would go to such great lengths to set him free.

Ace Ventura – Star Trek References

May 26, 2009

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective has been one of my favorite movies since I was a little kid. But before now I never realized that he’s doing impressions of Captain Kirk, Scotty, and Bones when he’s exploring Snowflake’s tank!!! They’re not particularly good impressions, but they’re mildly amusing. I particularly like “For God sakes, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a pool man!”

I bet I’ll start to notice lots of other Star Trek references and impersonations in movies, TV, and other media, now that I know what to look for.

1×11 – The Menagerie Part I

May 25, 2009

Premise: The Enterprise, responding to a message from Captain Pike, the former captain of the Enterprise, diverts to a planet to see him. They are surprised to find that he has been horribly burned/disfigured and could not have sent the message. It turns out that Spock lied about receiving it. Spock strands Kirk on the planet, beams Pike up to the Enterprise, and sets the ship on an irreversible course towards a planet called Talus IV. Visiting Talus IV is an offense that carries the death penalty. Kirk chases after Spock, gets aboard the Enterprise, and calls a trial, during which Spock submits for evidence a video of events that occurred 13 years ago, when Pike’s Enterprise visited Talus IV. We learn that the alien race that lives on Talus IV can turn thoughts into reality.

5:35 – Kirk and Commodore Mendez are arguing about why they can find no records of a message being sent from the planet to the Enterprise. The Commodore is suspicious of Spock (who supposedly received the message.) Kirk indicates that he blindly trusts his first officer:

Kirk: “Spock stated he received a message for us to come here. He entered same in his log. That’s all the proof I require.”

19:30 – Kirk is chasing the Enterprise in a shuttlecraft. The computer tells Spock that the shuttlecraft doesn’t have enough fuel to return safely back to the planet from which it came. Spock gives us some worried facial expressions in response. He’s like, Shit Jim, why did you have go and do that? He’s obviously worried about his Captain.

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20:15 – Kirk is in the shuttlecraft, which has just run out of power. He speaks to Commodore Mendez:

Kirk: “Two hours of oxygen left. Part of me is hoping that the Enterprise won’t come back for us. We step on that deck, Spock is finished. Court marshalled. Disgraced.”

Did Kirk just admit that he would rather die than see Spock dishonored??? Well that’s just precious.

22:15 – Spock asks McCoy to have him arrested on the charge of mutiny. I’m not sure why, but it’s kind of sexy the way Spock matter-of-factly gives himself up for arrest. Uhura looks very worried (perhaps showing some of her attraction to Spock?) Spock is so calm, it’s obvious he has something up his sleeve.

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24:50 – Another heart-wrenching quote from Kirk, demonstrating both his concern for Spock and his feeling of betrayal. In a voiceover, he says, “A preliminary hearing on Lieutenant Commander Spock is being convened, and in all the years of my service, this is the most painful moment I have ever faced.”

39:35 – A video of past events is playing on the screen in the trial room. It shows Spock, Pike, and their crew exploring Talus IV. Spock and Pike walk up to some blue leaves that make a soothing humming sound. The leaves obviously amuse Spock, who gives us a very rare tooth smile!!!

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47:11 – The court is in recess. Kirk slowly stands up to face Spock.

Kirk: “Do you know what you’re doing? Have you lost your mind?”
Spock: “Captain – Jim – please. Don’t stop me. Don’t let him stop me. It’s your career, and Captain Pike’s life. You must see the rest of the transmission.”
[Long pause.]
Kirk: “Lock him up.”

I really like it whenever Spock calls Kirk “Jim.” And it’s very rare to hear Spock use the word “please.” You can tell that Kirk is extremely confused, conflicted, overwhelmed, and angry. But we know he still trusts Spock above all else.

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This was a GREAT episode. It was very exciting to see Spock falsifying records, disobeying orders, and taking illegal actions (treachery and mutiny!) for a purpose we can’t yet discern. It was also interesting so see video of Spock from 13 years ago. The tension between Spock and Kirk in the courtroom was palpable. A riveting episode, for sure.

Star Trek: The Original Series – Initial Impressions

May 23, 2009

I have now seen the first 10 episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series. The obsessive geek in me loves it! I think it’s really funny, and also very creative (for its time). I love the dorky costumes, make-up, and sets, and the way they portray the technology of the future. As for the characters… Spock is everything I hoped he would be. He’s intelligent, complex, no-nonsense, multi-talented, wry, strong, loyal, and cool in a nerdy way. Vulcans are downright awesome. Captain Kirk is really growing on me. I appreciate his ability to remain calm in tough situations. He’s a good communicator – he knows how to talk to adults and children and crewmen and crazed madmen alike. And he cares about his crew. He’s misogynistic, but I have to forgive him for that. McCoy is growing on me, too, even though he can be a pain in the rear. He’s emotional, pessimistic, and set-in-his-ways, making him a perfect foil for both Kirk’s optimism and Spock’s pragmatism. Harumph.

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I care about strong character development and intimate partnerships in TV shows, so naturally my favorite aspect of the series is the relationship between Kirk and Spock (and McCoy to a lesser extent). I’m beginning to see why Kirk/Spock is the most enduring slash fanfic partnership of all time. You can definitely superimpose a sexual relationship between the two on top of the show, if you wish – it really works. Even without the slash, the intimate partnership/friendship is endearing and provides for lots of funny/awkward moments.

Watching TOS gives me a completely different perspective on the new Star Trek film. Now I can see why Uhura snogging on Spock is such a huge change! It messes up all the Kirk/Spock fun, and it means that Spock has other priorities besides the ship and his Captain. Both Uhura and Spock have different personalities in the film than they do in TOS. Leonard Nimoy’s spock is so incredibly placid and self-assured, but Zachary Quinto’s Spock has a darker, brooding undertone and more obvious inner conflict. It’s a little bit hard for me to imagine Quinto’s Spock eventually turning into Nimoy’s Spock. I can more easily imagine Chris Pine’s and Karl Urban’s versions of Kirk and Bones turning into their TOS selves. (Chris pine looks a lot like Shatner, too!) Of course, the brilliant ‘alternate reality’ plotline means that changes in history have brought out different aspects of the characters personalities. This makes it fairly easy to reconcile the film with TOS. Thus, I can appreciate both versions. I’m really looking forward to the next Star Trek film (which should come out in 2011!)

1×10 – The Corbomite Maneuver

May 22, 2009

Premise – While making star maps of a previously unexplored area of the galaxy, the Enterprise encounters a bizarre rotating cube that won’t leave it alone! When the Enterprise tries to escape, the cube emits lethal doses of radiation, so Kirk gives orders to destroy it. Shortly thereafter, the Enterprise is seized by the tractor beam of a humongous spherical ship captained by the alien Balok, who threatens to destroy the Enterprise. Kirk must find a way to outwit Balok and save his crew.

The mystery cube is a pretty nifty device. It hovers in front of the Enterprise and won’t let it move:

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5:25 – I can’t help throwing in a funny McCoy moment. McCoy is giving Kirk his quarterly physical and neglects to tell Kirk the Enterprise’s warning lights are flashing. After Kirk sees them and checks in with the bridge, he gets annoyed at McCoy:

Kirk: [Annoyed] “If you could see the alarm lights flashing from there, McCoy, why didn’t you tell me?”
McCoy: “I finally finished a physical on you.” [Yelling to Kirk as he leaves the room] “What am I, a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor?” [Alone, talking to himself] “If I jumped every time the light came on down here I’d wind up talking to myself.”

Don’t worry, McCoy, you are definitely not a ‘moon shuttle conductor.’

6:15 – Spock had previously rebuked Lieutenant Bailey for raising his voice when the cube was approaching the Enterprise. Bailey tries to explain his reaction and gets a funny quip from Spock:

Bailey: “Raising my voice back there doesn’t mean I was scared and couldn’t do my job. It means I happen to have a human thing called an adrenaline gland.”
Spock: “Does sound most inconvenient, however, have you considered having it removed?”
Sulu: [Laughs]
Bailey: “Very funny.”
Sulu: “You try to cross brains with Spock, he’ll cut you to pieces every time.”

Hmm, did they call adrenal glands ‘adrenaline’ glands in the sixties? And what exactly does ‘cross brains’ mean?

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13:45 – A definite Kirk/Spock moment! The duo are discussing the current situation. Kirk asks Spock to “speculate” and Spock replies with his usual logical answers.

Spock: “If you’re asking the logical decision to make -”
Kirk: [Interrupts, nicely] “No, I’m not. The mission of the Enterprise is to seek out and contact alien life.”
Spock: “Has it occurred to you that there’s a certain…inefficiency…in constantly questioning me on things you’ve already made up your mind about?”
Kirk: “It gives me emotional security.”

Kirk admits that he needs Spock for emotional security!Β  Look at the cute smile he gives to his other half:

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28:00 -Kirk & Spock are pacing, trying to figure out how they can save their ship from what seems like a completely superior opponent.

Kirk: “There must be something to do. Something I’ve overlooked.”
Spock: “In chess, when one is outmatched, the game is over. Check mate.”
Kirk: [Snapping at Spock] “Is that your best recommendation?”
Spock: [Looking down] “Im s-….I regret that I can find no other logical alternative.”

Kirk needs to get his adrenaline gland under control. Spock looks totally dejected after Kirk snaps at him. 😦 He starts to say “I’m sorry,” but I guess that’s not a phrase Vulcans use. Spock’s emotional reaction proves that he really cares what Jim thinks.

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31:20 – This made me laugh.

Spock: “I regret not having learned more about this Balok. In some manner he was reminiscent of my father.”
Scott: “Then may heaven have helped your mother.”
Spock: “Quite the contrary. She considered herself a very fortunate Earth woman.”

Hoo-hoo! Spock’s dad must have been a very virile Vulcan! Look at the pride on Spock’s face:

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This was an interesting episode. Perhaps one of my favorites so far. The ending was downright weird, but everything up ’til then was great. I loved how Jim used “poker” to outwit Balok – basically he just used a bluff.

1×09 – Dagger of the Mind

May 21, 2009

Premise: A prisoner at a penal colony sneaks on board the Enterprise. Turns out he’s a well-known doctor who’s gone crazy. McCoy wants to study him, and Kirk goes down to investigate the penal colony. They’ve built a mind-control device, which they claim just relaxes the prisoners, but which really opens the mind to external suggestions. Kirk (stupidly) decides to test out the device on his own mind, getting himself into a heap of trouble!

6:40 – A little exchange between Spock & McCoy about violence:

Spock: “Interesting. Earth people glorify organized violence for 40 centuries. But you imprison those who employ it privately.”
McCoy: (Laced with annoyed sarcasm) “And of course your people found an answer.”
Spock: “We disposed of emotion, Doctor. Where there’s no emotion, there’s no motive for violence.”

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7:30 – The prisoner breaks onto the bridge with a phaser and is making demands of the Captain. Spock begins to slowly move towards the prisoner. Kirk notices this, and slowly walks to the right of the bridge, turning the prisoner’s attention towards him so Spock can sneak up on him. Then Spock grabs the prisoner, Kirk kicks the phaser out of his hand, and Spock uses the vulcan nerve pinch (the 3rd of the series). A perfectly coordinated Kirk/Spock maneuver!

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22:10 – The doctor tries to offer Kirk some advice (not very good advice, but we’ll ignore that for now) and he interrupts her with a very smug line: “One of the advantages of being a Captain, Doctor, is being able to ask for advice with out necessarily having to take it.” He sounds a bit condescending, but the doctor is being really annoying, so we’ll forgive him.

29:00 – Spock begins his first Vulcan mind meld on the series!

Voiceover: Enterprise log. First Officer Spock, acting Captain. I must now use an ancient Vulcan technique to probe into Van Gelder’s tortured mind.
[Spock is reluctant.]
McCoy: “Spock, if there’s the slightest possibility it might help -”
Spock: “I’ve never used it on a human, doctor.”
McCoy: “If there’s any way we can look into this man’s mind to see if what he’s saying is real or delusional -”
Spock: “It’s a hidden, personal thing to the Vulcan people. Part of our private lives.”
McCoy: [Angrily] “Now look, Spock, Jim Kirk could be in real trouble. Will it work or not?”
Spock walks over to Van Gelder.
Spock: “It could be dangerous. Do you understand? It requires I make pressure changes. To your nerves, your blood vessels.”
Van Gelder: “You must!”
Spock starts the meld. He places his hands on Van Gelder’s face.

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A few moments pass.
Spock: [In a strong whisper] “You’ll begin to feel a strange euphoria.” Pause. “Your body floats.”
Van Gelder: “Yes. I begin to feel it.”
Spock: “Open your mind. We move together. Our minds sharing the same thoughts.”
Spock proceeds to move around Van Gelder’s body, putting his hands on different parts of his face, and whispering. It’s kind of a sensual process. If he weren’t doing it to an old, crazy man, it would be rather sexy. Van Gelder is talking too much, though. If they are sharing thoughts, why does Van Gelder need to verbalize his memories?

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33:30 – While they’re still in the mind meld, Van Gelder lists a few emotion words (“Love…Hate…” etc.) and Spock responds to each by whispering the word “Yes.” It’s just funny to hear Spock say “yes…Yes…Yeess…Yeess…” πŸ˜‰

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Just a cute Spock facial expression from the episode:

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