Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Good Trek/Bad Trek #17 The Galileo Seven

Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Stat Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one whose never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better Star Trek to watch that remind me of this episode. That’s it. 

Another Trek here. I watched The Galileo Seven this week. This was kind of a neat episode to watch because over the summer I got a chance to see the eponymous Galileo shuttlecraft. I didn’t go in, but I did get to see it. It was at the Star Trek Starfleet Academy experience. Even though I as a real person didn’t finish college it was nice. It was fun because now I finally have a college degree. It’s fake, but who gives a shit. Plus I was able to get it all done in an afternoon. I guess my other credits were transferable.


The gang is delivering medical supplies to Makus III. With them is the Galactic Commissioner. I don’t know if I should capitalize that title on account of how dumb it is, but whatever.  They stumble on a “quasar-like formation.” Evidently, everyone has a standing order to investigate those when they see them so they send a shuttle with McCoy, Spock, Scotty, and few sacks of shit. It goes wrong immediately and the shuttle is lost! Now they only have a couple days to search a huge area for the missing shuttle and to make matters worse the quasar-like formation has screwed their sensors. 
Looks pretty damn good

From there we get two conflicts. Spock and co. trying to get the shuttle off the planet they’ve crash landed on and the Enterprise trying to find them before they have to leave for Makus III. To make matters worse on the surface, it turns out that the planet isn’t uninhabited as it has a bunch of sasquatches there. Sasquatches with giant spears that they throw with considerable accuracy, at least when they’re not aiming at a main character. Also, they don’t have enough fuel to get off the surface with all the crew members. Then they do. Then some crew will die which saves on weight. 

The Enterprise plot is all pretty standard. The Galactic Commish wants to leave, and Kirk does not. But they eventually do. But they go back because Spock uses the last of the fuel to make the shuttle function like a big flare as it’s orbiting the planet. They get rescued and all get to head to Makes III

Good Trek?

I’ll say qualified yes. I loved the practical effects at the beginning of the episode. Both the “quasar-like phenomenon” and Galileo leaving the Enterprise look great. I’m sure using a bunch of models is much more of a hassle and more expensive than modern CG effects, but at the same time, this was made over fifty years ago and still looks pretty damned good. Practical effects work great in terms of ships and space, but good gravy do they not work in terms of aliens. 
This monster alien thing slowly ambles at this dude for a full 17 minutes

Speaking of aliens, what the fuck is this guy’s problem. Sees the alien coming for him and just sits there screaming. He has to take like three breaths in his scream because it takes so long. Dude, try something. 

McCoy seems a little too excited to probably die so long as it means Spock has to eat crow. He spends the whole episode just needling him for no reason. How’s about something constructive, Bones. Does he not realize that Spock failing also means his death?
Hats off to this lazy-ass closed captioner. Didn't feel like hitting rewind so he Xed out the word "Fulcrum"

I don’t get why they had to make the Galactic Commissioner such a douche. There was no reason for that. But there’s no reason to make him such an unlikable prick. He does make a valid point. There are people that need that medicine. He doesn’t have to relish the fact that people are going to fucking die. The whole time he seems happy to make Kirk abandon the search and let his friends die. In addition to all that title of “Galactic Commissioner” sucks balls. I mean come on, it sounds like something out of Barbarella, not Star Trek. 

I also had a nerd bone to pick with this episode. When they abandon the search and start heading to Makus III, it looks like they’re traveling at impulse. If it’s a two-day trip traveling at sub-light speed then you could probably make it there in like five minutes at warp 5. They could’ve waited another day and a half then hauled ass and had time to spare. 

One last thing, why is everyone so damned happy at the end of this episode. The last caption literally says everyone laughs. 

Fuck y'all
That’s not cool. People died on this mission. One guy got left to rot or be eaten by the sasquatch monsters. Or god knows what. He’s gone. He got a giant spear to the stomach and is now dead. These giant monsters don’t strike me as the kind who are definitely above eating whatever they hunted. They did hunt them down like animals after all. While they’re doing the Growing Pains laughing freeze frame at the end their comrade is being torn limb from limb by a pack of ravenous yeti-like creatures. 

What is Kirk supposed to say to this man’s family? “Well, I’m very sorry Mrs. Redshirt. Your husband/brother/father/son is dead and is now food, but Spock learned a very valuable lesson about what it means to be in command so everything worked out in the end. His body? Nah, we just left it there. I wouldn’t go and retrieve it though because I’ve heard it’s pretty dangerous.”

Better Trek

The Ascent - DS9

The Galileo Seven was pretty good, but I can think of two episodes that dealt with similar themes that I liked better, one being The Ascent. Odo and Quark are in a sabotaged runabout and have to crash on a planet. There’s too much interference so use their communicator so they have to hike up a mountain. They’re two characters who are great. They ostensibly hate each other, but both seem to love the conflict they share. 

Lessons - TNG

Captain Picard starts seeing a fetching young lieutenant played by Wendy Hughes. She gets trapped on a planet during some pretty dangerous storms and he has to decide whether or not to commit resources to save her.  Hughes and Stewart have great chemistry and their relationship seems genuine. Also, Stewart really sells the inner turmoil about having her down in danger. He doesn’t say much, but he’s a good enough actor where he doesn’t have to. It’s pretty brutal. 

Well that’s it for this week. Hopefully you don’t get left on any planets. M-Class or otherwise. 

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