Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tea: Earl Grey, Hot

So, if you haven't caught on yet... I LOVE STAR TREK. And because of this, I will probably write more posts about Star Trek than anything else even though there aren't any new episodes right now.

Today, S. and I were totally jumping up and down when we randomly ran across a new Biography Channel special: "The Captains of the Final Frontier."

The bio covers the history of Trek captains from Roddenberry's "Wagon Train To The Stars" pitch all the way up to Chris Pine's revival of Kirk in the 2009 movie.  It's two hours long and holy-Kirk-on-an-Orion-slave-girl, it was awesome. 

Some of the high points/things I didn't already know: 
-After the pilot, when Captain Pike was replaced, Roddenberry submitted a list of SIXTY names to the network before he settled on James T. Kirk.
-Jacques Cousteau was the inspiration for Picard's character on Next Gen. 
-The inspiration for DS9 was the 1958-1963 show "The Rifleman."
-Alexander Siddig was originally considered for Commander Sisko but was cast instead as  Dr. Bashir.
-The Oklahoma City Bombing was the inspiration for the Eddington storyline in DS9.
-If "Enterprise" had been allowed to continue, the next season arc would've been all about the Romulan War

The show finished up by issuing superlatives to each captain: 
Kirk: Most Dashing
Picard: Most Diplomatic
Sisko: Most Direct
Janeway: Most Determined
Archer: Most Driven
Kirk 2.0: Most Daring 

As each guest on the show, all writers or actors involved with Trek, wrapped up their sentimental feelings about their experiences with Star Trek, my shitty Time Warner DVR crapped out and I started throwing things at the TV.  Oh well. 
Overall this little special didn't tell me much I didn't already know but it was pretty nice to just sit around and reminisce about Trek.  It actually made a big point to cover that awful abyss between the end of Enterprise and the beginning of JJ's reboot and my husband and I both stopped the show to briefly discuss how absolutely horrible that time was.  The dark time.  The time when there was no Trek and no hope for Trek. And then we recounted the Sunday morning that we were sitting in the theatre and saw the very first teaser for Star Trek, where Enterprise is in dry dock, being welded together and JFK's timeless "The eye of the world... is looking to space." rises up along with the Apollo mission comm signals.  Then, as the camera pans up, Spock starts "Space, the final frontier..." Holy shit. I remember sitting in that theater and just crying, being so happy that Trek was back that tears just streamed down my face. 

Anyway, I'm glad we caught this little special.  It was fun.  

Last night we happened upon the BBC re-airing of Next Gen's, "The Perfect Mate."  This episode features Famke Janssen as an alien who looks very much like a Trill but isn't. She's a female metamorph who senses the desires of potential mates and transforms herself into their ideal lover.  

She can do this over and over until she hits a certain age at which point she's got to bond for life with one individual.  Female metamorphs only come around once every seven generations so they're usually used by their societies to achieve some kind of diplomatic peace or what-have-you.  For Kamala (Janssen) it's going to be a life-long hookup with this guy: 

Space Twerp

At the beginning of the episode, she's been prematurely awoken from stasis and she's all hot and bothered, her pon-far-ish metamorph feelings all super heightened.  First she's like, "Hey Tubby Riker!" And he's like, "Hellz Yeah!" 

But no. Tubby Riker doesn't get any this time.  Because Kamala gets stuck in her room thanks to her prudish guardian and when Picard catches wind of this he's like, "Wahh? No way, equal rights! I'm gonna go straighten this out." And he gets there and totally resists all of Famke's super-sexy six-foot-tall charm.  And then she's like, "Who's this guy?" 

Anyway, they end up spending an ass-load of time together and she explains why (as if we didn't all know) that being a metamorph is sort of a raw deal.  Changing yourself every time you meet someone new is kind of shitty and she LOVES being around Picard because not only is he the sexiest of all Captains, but he's also the most dignified and integrity just sort of oozes out of his pores.  Finally,  she's like, "Hey, I could get used to this Earl Grey and Shakespeare." 

But Picard has SO MUCH integrity that he continuously turns down Kamala's advances and that only makes her more in love with who this guy is. 

In the end, Picard actually gives Kamala away as a bride to the Space Twerp and she goes away to live as his queen but first she reveals a little something to Picard: 

Kamala: I will never truly love him.
Picard: You've not even met him.
Kamala: It no longer matters. I wish I could convey to you what it's like to be a metamorph; to feel the inner strength of someone; to realize that being with him is opening your mind and heart to endless new possibilities; to hear yourself say "I like myself when I'm with him"
Picard: Kamala...
Kamala: For a metamorph, there's no greater pleasure, and no greater wish, than to bond with that kind of mate at the end of the finis'raal as I have bonded with you.
Picard: With me?
Kamala: Who I am today, I will be forever.

Then Picard soaks it all in: 

God, he's awesome.

I remember watching this when I was a kid and again sometimes later.  As soon as it came on, I remembered which one it was and exactly how it ended.  This one had a pretty big impact on me.  The theme here is a strong one and it's stuck with me all these years.  The episode is pretty minimal.  We see almost nothing of the other bridge crew.  Troi isn't even in the episode at all and most of the other characters make only a brief appearance.  It all rests on Picard and his strength of character.  And that's exactly what sells it.  Picard's integrity, his sense of duty, and his love for his ship and the people he commands is stalwart. Being around Picard, feeling what he feels and looking at life the way he does, Kamala finds an inner-strength she hadn't had before.  She could be like anyone or morph to love her twerpy forever-husband, but because she loves who she is when she's with Picard.  She chooses to bond with him.
That's some good shit. This episode does that thing that Trek does so well where it's SO GOOFY and far-fetched and you're sitting there chuckling at Worf and Kamala exchanging sexy growls and then all the sudden your heart breaks for Kamala and Picard.  
It's a good one.  If you catch it on, you should give it a shot.