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“Star Trek: Voyager” Season 3: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

51Z+bMhm0SLGuys, if the marvelous Whitney Bishop is gonna keep telling you which episodes of “Star Trek: Voyager” to skip/watch, then I’m gonna keep publishing them. Enjoy! –Liz

It seems weird now that it’s pretty much the norm, but serialization is actually something that television — and Star Trek in particular — used to hate. The syndication model meant that shows had to be airable in whatever order the local broadcasters wanted to air them in, which didn’t lend well to embedded cumulative plots. Sure, there were certain shows that demanded strict continuity (see: Twin Peaks), but Star Trek series weren’t supposed to be among them. Deep Space Nine, in fact, got on the wrong side of its production company more than once when it made plotlines that stretched over several episodes. If you go read around on Memory Alpha, you see tons of instances where Voyager‘s cast and crew
alike make mention of this, usually grumbling all the way. Good for business, bad for art.

Season three is where the show’s lack of short-term memory really starts to show. Read the rest of this entry

“Star Trek: Voyager” Season 2: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

51Q0Lvhcy3LHey, did you ask Santa for more advice on avoiding the worst of “Star Trek: Voyager”? Only took him six months, but he’s finally delivering — in the form of Whitney Bishop. She’s already done Season 1 — now it’s time for Season 2! Enjoy. –Liz

One of the first problems with Voyager‘s second season is that… well, parts of it weren’t intended to be in the second season at all. The first four episodes were filmed to be part of the first season, but they got moved over and that weirds a lot of the timing.

So this season is bumpy from the get-go, and it doesn’t get much smoother as it goes along. Read the rest of this entry

“Star Trek: Voyager” Season 1: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

4c7eab289ae50_mymovies-frontThis might be one of the greatest public services Liz Tells Frank has ever performed — and I say that as a “Star Trek” fan. This Skip It/Watch It Guide comes courtesy of Whitney Bishop, who has found herself in the midst of watching the “Trek” universe’s voyage into progressive gender roles, and volunteered for this most sacred of tasks. Godspeed, Whitney. Godspeed. –Liz

The fourth series in the Star Trek universe, Voyager was an attempt to boldly go where nobody else we’d seen had gone yet, though in a manner that was pretty familiar. Long story short: a Starfleet ship goes looking for a Maquis (they’re the anti-Cardassian resistance-slash-terrorists, if you missed that bit) ship, both ships get pitched to the other side of the galaxy (the Delta Quadrant, as opposed to the Alpha Quadrant we all know and love), survivors of both crews wind up on the same ship (the eponymous Voyager), and they have to band together despite their differences to travel the 70,000 light-years back home. On the way, they have wacky adventures! So wacky. So incredibly wacky. Read the rest of this entry

“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” Season 2: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

star-trek-deep-space-nine-season-2So after we did the first season of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” I’ve been asked by people about the possibility of doing the rest of the series. These people underestimate my laziness! However, vunderbar married people Sam and Terri just so happen to be watching the series from the beginning, and have graciously offered their individual perspectives on the second season. Take it away, guys!

Sam: For the past 9 years, I’ve been trying to convince Terri that Deep Space Nine is the best of all Star Treks. When Liz released Andreanna Ditton’s Farscape guide, I started thinking we could probably come up with a Season Two guide ourselves, with opinions from a longtime fan and a newcomer to balance things out.

Deep Space Nine is somewhat of a strange beast, especially two decades later when the special effects look wonky and the acting can get cringey, but it’s also a precursor to serial, huge-ass-arc storytelling in sci-fi (as well as television altogether). It’s Star Trek with deeply flawed characters that change over time. It’s Star Trek with villains that make you stare evil right in the face without being half as formidable as, say, the Borg.

What I’m getting at here is that as the show progresses, you’ll see the line between “good guys” and “bad guys” get blurrier as the characters fall deeper and deeper into chaos and despair and their victories become exponentially more hollow. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” Season 1: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

Hey, want to check out on the complete series? A guide to all seven seasons of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” can be found in “Liz Tells Frank: The Skip It/Watch It Guides,” now available on Amazon!

Friends, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is now streaming live on Netflix and that is a BIG DEAL. For if you never watched the show, then you’ve missed out on television that was subversive and revolutionary for its time, eschewing previous Star Trek formula to instead push the limits of multi-arc storytelling in the sci-fi genre. Oh, and it essentially served as a training ground for Ronald D. Moore prior to his equally groundbreaking work on Battlestar Galactica. That’s right — no DS9, no Battlestar.

However, the problem with DS9 is that it WAS subversive and revolutionary for its era, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of dead weight along the way. It takes at least two seasons for the show to really kick into gear, and in the meantime Lwaxana Troi shows up TWICE. In TWO DIFFERENT EPISODES. Letting someone watch the show as is could be considered an act of cruelty. Thus, the discerning television fan who wants to check it out should please consider the below recommendations. With the writer’s compliments.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 1: The Skip It/Watch It Guide Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” Novel “Imzadi”

Dear Frank,

There are no shortage of embarrassing books on my bookshelves (as well as the auxiliary book piles) — books I brought from home because they were important to me at some time or another. And while we could argue about how embarrassing some of these books might be, I think there’s no denying that Star Trek: The Next Generation tie-in novels belong near the top of the list. On a junior high school level, after all, a Star Trek tie-in novel combines both Star Trek and, god forbid, READING. There are probably even some Star Trek fans rolling their eyes at me right now.

Here’s the thing, though — when I sat down to reread Peter David’s Imzadi last night, the first words I read, in big bold-face type, were “THE END.” And I finally remembered why I’d gone to the trouble, all those years ago, to cart a Counselor Deanna Troi/Commander William Riker romance novel hundreds of miles to my current home. Short version: TIME TRAVEL. Which makes Imzadi, actually, kind of awesome.

Imzadi is pitched as the story of how Riker and Troi, established as old lovers in the pilot of Star Trek: The Next Generation, first met and fell in love. But before we get anywhere near the sweaty jungles of Betazed (this book is pretty enjoyable, Frank, but there are certainly elements that will not escape mockery), we first go to see our old friend, The Guardian of Forever! Original series Star Trek fans don’t need me to explain what the Guardian of Forever is; for the people in the cheap seats, though, just know that it’s a big donut-shaped rock that shows all points in time, and if you jump through it at the right point, you can travel INTO THE PAST. Read the rest of this entry

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