Site ColumnsBy Caillan
May 21, 2003 - 8:55 AM
After my success at the Alumni Book Sale last month (story), I couldn't resist taking a look at the Bookshop's yearly sale. Actually, "taking a look" is a bit of an understatement, since as soon as I found out they had 50% off all Penguin Classics, I was practically running there. I managed to add Livy, Aeschylus' Oresteian Trilogy and the Historia Augusta to my humble Classics collection. Not so humble anymore, though; I've had to kick all my Trek videos off the bookshelf and onto the floor with my Babylon 5 collection.
In other news, I was very disappointed in this week's West Wing episode, "Swiss Diplomacy". I counted no less than five plots: the heart/lung transplant; Sam in California; the National Parks appointment; the Vice-President ramping up for the next election; and some nonsense about Josh and a bounced check.
Apart from the main transplant story, none of these plots was dealt with in a satisfactory manner, especially the Vice-President angle, which had the potential to be the most interesting. The remaining plots seemed to have been included just to fill up time, especially the Josh/Donna bounced check hodgepodge, which was dealt with in such a confusing manner, it was impossible to work out what was taking place.
The West Wing's clever style of "throw the viewer in the deep end" writing only works when there is enough information included for the viewer to work out what is going on. I'm afraid that in this case I was completely in the dark, and terribly frustrated to boot. There's also the case of Sam, a major character who is being written out of the series, and yet more time is spent on some woman who we've never met before and Toby's attempts to get her a new job. I don't think "current events" have had any impact on the ratings, I think it's episodes such as this which have viewers turning away. As an interesting footnote, "Swiss Diplomacy" was one of the few episodes on which outgoing creator Aaron Sorkin was not credited.
[PS: Arrgh, I've been assimilated! I've just noticed I wrote "check" instead of "cheque" above: twice! No doubt my American colleague, Michelle, will be most amused.]
Trek BBS Today
Below are some of the topics currently being discussed at the Trek BBS:
- Which countries/locations have been seen in Trek?
- Which TNG episodes can you watch over and over?
More topics can be found at the Trek BBS!
Trek Two Years Ago
These were some of the major news items on May 21 & 22, 2001:
- Press Pay Tribute To Star Trek: Voyager
Several major newspapers published Voyager retrospectives to mark the end of the series. Talking to the Los Angeles Times, executive producer Ken Biller looked back on his experience as a writer. "We struggled a lot with the premise on this show. We were in a situation that drew the characters closer together but precluded serialisation and recurring guest characters. The biggest challenge was coming up with fresh stories."
- Six 'Endgame' Videos Online
Several scenes from the Voyager finale surfaced online. The segments included Admiral Janeway convincing Captain Kim to help her travel to the past, Admiral Janeway's first meeting with the Voyager crew and B'Elanna Torres preparing to give birth.
- Berman & Braga Talk Enterprise
While Voyager was coming to an end, the buzz surrounding the next Trek series, Enterprise, was just beginning. Creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga first introduced fans to their concept for the series. "You'll see the first guys who go out into space, the Chuck Yeagers of space exploration," Berman said. "Fans will see all the things they recognize from Star Trek, but in the developmental phase."
More new can be found in the archives.
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Yesterday was the 43rd birthday of John Billingsley, who plays Doctor Phlox on Enterprise.
Today's Television Listings
- UPN will be showing Enterprise's season finale, "The Expanse", at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Here's how Paramount describes the episode:
"In the season finale, Earth is savagely attacked by a mysterious alien probe that leaves millions of people killed. When Archer learns that the culprit species is planning to destroy the entire planet with their next assault, Enterprise embarks on a new mission into the dangerous and highly mysterious Delphic Expanse to put a stop to it. Although T'Pol is given a direct order from the Vulcan High Command not to participate in this mission, she resigns her post in order to continue with Enterprise. Meanwhile, the Klingons, who are bent on destroying Archer, continue their hot pursuit of Enterprise all the way into the expanse."