Why You Should Watch Deep Space Nine if You Love Mistborn, & Vice Versa

As I was reading The Hero of Ages (which I’ll attempt to review in the not-too-distant future, but how can I even?!), I suddenly became struck with the similarities between the Mistborn books and my favorite TV show, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. On the surface, it can be hard to miss. Mistborn is a fantasy set in a made-up world, and there are people who are able to draw powers from metals. Deep Space Nine is science fiction, set on a space station that is next to made-up worlds, but many characters come from Earth and none of them have special powers, though there are aliens who have unique abilities. And yet, I found some themes in both that I could not ignore the similarities between, and I feel that if you enjoyed them in one of these stories, you’ll enjoy them in the other.

Overall Character & Story Arcs

Before we get into the common themes, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that both Mistborn and DS9 have strong arcs for a wide variety of characters and for the story as a whole. Garak, who is in only 37 episodes of DS9, is a fan favorite who plays a significant role in the show. Nog, who is only in 47 episodes, starts off in DS9 as an annoying kid and ends up with a profound character arc, and there’s even an episode dedicated to him in the seventh season.

In a similar fashion, while the trilogy mostly focuses on Vin, Elend, and Sazed, and there are important secondaries such as Breeze, Ham, etc., and there are characters who are present in one or two of the previous books who go through big changes in the final book, such as TenSoon and Spook.

Religion/Religious Icons Theme

In both DS9 and Mistborn, there is a definite theme of religion and religious icons. Deep Space Nine focuses on the faith of the Bajorian people; we are introduced to leaders of their faith and see how different they can be from one another, and Sisko, an outsider, is revered as their “emissary,” a religious icon.

In Mistborn, all religion died under the Lord Ruler, save for his. After he is overthrown, the Church of the Survivor is born, turning characters into religious icons, and in the end of the trilogy, without giving away too much, I’ll just say we see this really manifest, in a way much like it did in the Deep Space Nine finale.

mistborn-art

Source

Shades of Gray, Particularly in War

Both DS9 and Mistborn also explore what it means to be a good man or woman, yet to have to also make tough decisions, to possibly kill, and to do things in war that you would normally not approve of. When I was reading The Hero of Ages and Elend struggled with decisions he made, I thought, wow, this is reminding me of In The Pale Moonlight. The season 6 episode of DS9 is one of my favorite in Star Trek, and I can’t imagine a fan of Mistborn not loving this episode, because it really explores the dark underbelly of the good guys.

Bittersweet End

 Both of these endings will give you feels, both sad and sweet. They close some chapters but open up new beginnings and possibilities for many characters and really for the world the story is set in.

ds9-montage

So seriously, if you’re a fan of one, you should really look into the other. They’re obviously different mediums, but both are fantastic stories. Deep Space Nine will not start off like Mistborn; it might even seem silly or just kind of OK to you at first, but I promise if you stick with it you’ll see all the things I’ve mentioned. And Mistborn is a slow burn of a book, taking its time to tell the story, but none of it feels unnecessary. Brandon Sanderson masterfully weaved together all the threads throughout the three books and leaves you without any confusion.

Are you a fan of one, or both, of these stories? 

Star Trek TNG Season 4: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 5 favorite episodes of season four of The Next Generation.

So this was an interesting season for me. Season 3 I felt that most episodes were pretty consistently good, and I thought I probably felt the same way about Season 4… until I looked back on the list of episodes and realized there were more “meh” ones than I recalled. Some had some things I liked about them before something weird happened or the resolution was unsatisfying. However, I came with five that I did feel were pretty consistently good. I have to say I’m a little surprised by what I haven’t seen yet at this point, so these later seasons should be good as I see some of the episodes I remember from before.

5. Family

tng4-familyAfter his experience with becoming Borg, Picard goes back to his home on Earth and visits with his family. This episode has an extremely sad undertone if you’ve seen a certain TNG movie, but it is interesting to see Picard where he grew up and interacting with his brother, who has very different interests and ambitions.

4. Redemption, Part One

tng4-redemptionI am seriously appreciating the Klingon episodes more this time around. In this episode, we get some important set-up for the future of the Klingon Empire and important development for Worf’s character. This part one doesn’t end in a real cliffhanger, but it certainly sets things up in a shocking way with something that was alluded to in a previous episode (holy Deep Space Nine, TNG has continuity after all!).

3. First Contact

tng4-firstcontactWhat I enjoyed about this one is that you get to see things from the perspective of those outside the Federation. No, it’s not told from their viewpoint, but you get to hear more of their viewpoint than you normally do in a typical Star Trek episode. You understand why someone who has never, ever heard of Starfleet would not necessarily jump at the chance to join them. You see aliens react to humans like we would to aliens. It makes for good food-for-thought.

2. Data’s Day

tng4-datasdayThis episode is a fun one. We get introduced to Spot (Data’s cat) and Keiko, who marries Chief O’Brien. I’ve actually forgotten a lot of the details of this one already, but I do remember enjoying it.

1. The Drumhead

tng4-thedrumheadThis episode was a real standout for me this season. I think a large part of it is because I found it crazy relevant for something happening in my life right now, but even so, it’s not hard to think of just how relevant this episode is, period. Immediately your mind will take you to the Salem witch trials and the 1960’s Red Scare. This is an episode that you can appreciate even without really knowing anything about Star Trek, and I highly recommend it to really anyone reading this right now. Queue it up on Netflix if you have it.

What are your favorite episodes of TNG, season 4?

Star Trek TNG Season 3: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 5 favorite episodes of season two of The Next Generation.

Season three is definitely when TNG picks up, and I had a harder time narrowing my selection because of good options this time! I also wanted to be sure to mention an honorable mention, The Ensigns of Command, since I did have a hard time choosing it or my #5 choice.

5. The Defector

tng3-thedefectorThis was one of those episodes that left me feeling kind of depressed in the end, but it was pretty poignant. It reminds me a bit of the DS9 episode “Duet.” I really don’t want to say too much to spoil the episode for those who have not seen it, but there are some interesting twists in it.

4. Sins of the Father

tng3-thesinsofthefatherI’m not a big fan of Klingon episodes, so I was surprised how much I liked this one. I have a feeling I got much more out of it this time around than I probably did the first time, simply because now I’m familiar with Worf’s journey, and his family is a big part of that journey (and I don’t just mean blood family). I also love what Picard does for Worf in this episode.

3. The Hunted

tng3-thehuntedI have a definite love for the psychological episodes of Star Trek, and this one explores the fascinating psychological idea of engineering a group of people a certain way, in this case, to be soldiers.

2. Yesterday’s Enterprise

tng3-yesterdaysenterpriseFirst off, from a purely productional standpoint, I love the dark lighting of the other timeline’s Enterprise. Second, we see another version of Tasha who is just so much more awesome for some reason. And third, there’s just something about this story, that I can’t really explain, that is just plain great. It’s a fan favorite so clearly I’m not alone.

1. The Best of Both Worlds

tng-thebestofbothworlds2Just as a note, this is a wicked cliffhanger two-parter that comprises the season three finale and the first episode of season four. For the sake of simplicity, I am including both parts in my season three recap (though Charlene waited until season 4). I mean, I don’t know what to say about this episode other than the first time I watched it I was just FLOORED. It was the first really huge risk I feel they took in Star Trek and it worked really well. This time around, instead of watching parts one and two in the same fashion they were originally aired, we watched the enhanced Blu-Ray that edits the episodes together as one seamless film. Even when you know the outcome, you still feel the tension in these episodes. It’s one of the best stories of The Next Generation, period.

What are your favorite episodes of The Next Generation, season 3?

Review: Magnolia

As unlikely as it seems, amidst Harry Potter and my other fantasy reads, I actually picked up a YA contemporary, Magnolia by Kristi Cook.

gr-magnolia

What I liked:

– This book it set in the South! I was born in Mississippi and while I did not live there long, I have family who lives there and I have gone back many times throughout my life. I understood several of their local references, and I also liked the nods to other places in the South that I could relate to, especially when they talked about Houston and things that they did there.

– There were Star Trek references! If you know me, you know that’s a complete win right there. Of course, knowing about said references ahead of time helped me move this contemporary up my TBR list. I was amused that the cats’ names were Spock, Kirk, and Sulu. Though the latter really should have been McCoy, but oh well.

– I mostly liked the story and romance and got caught up in it, but there were issues with it that I will delve into further…

What I didn’t like:

– How the romance ended up. I was all aboard for these two getting together, but I didn’t like how they hid everything from their parents, and were making out and probably more in each others’ rooms for who knows how long without their parents even knowing. I understood why they wanted to keep it a secret at first, like those first few days or a week, but six weeks later and it’s still a secret! When are you going to announce it? When you’re engaged, you’ve eloped, when you kids? When does it end?! Just fess up and let them have their happy dance, and let them be involved in your relationship. I know that sounds weird and old-fashioned of me, and I’m not talking some Duggar-style courtship here, but I think it’s good, at that age, to have some parental involvement, especially under their circumstances where they are already all friends. Also…

– Are their parents that dumb?! Six weeks of hiding their relationship and none of these four intelligent, grown-up people haven’t figured it out? I don’t buy that for two seconds.

– The pacing of their story. So, Jemma has hated Ryder since 8th grade. Senior year, she finally admits when it started, and it felt strangely unnatural, like this would have come up in conversation before. I mean, what have they been talking about for five years when her hatred of him comes up? When she talks about what happened at the dance, it honestly feels to me like this was something that happened 6 months ago, a year tops, not like it happened five years ago.

– In my opinion, there’s too much swearing, and let me explain myself on this because I know I’m more sensitive to this than most. Ryder is portrayed as being such a good guy (he doesn’t drink… but apparently he drops the f-bomb?) and he and Jemma are both raised by well-behaved Southern ladies. I’m not saying they wouldn’t swear at all… I live among people from these kinds of families and I know they do, but I think about a quarter of the swearing would have felt more appropriate. Some of it felt forced, like it was just thrown-in there just to prove these are red-blooded American teenagers.

– There are not enough Star Trek reference or of Jemma’s dad (who is where the Star Trek references really come from anyway)! OK, I admit, this probably would not be a complaint if Debby’s review of this book talking about this aspect of the novel had not sold me on bumping it up my TBR. But I wanted more! And I loved what little we got with Jemma’s dad; he seemed really cool.

– Seriously, two kids from Mississippi are going to go to schools in New York that they haven’t even visited? I appreciated all the sentiment about following your dreams and all that jazz, but this felt like too much of a stretch to me. We never even got resolution that Jemma’s parents could afford NYU. I think these kids are in for a rude wake-up call. (Man I sound so old right now, ha ha.) Jemma’s mom has not even researched NYU enough to know that the campus is sprawled out rather than traditionally more enclosed. Really?

– The Romeo & Juliet parallels felt pointless and really didn’t work for me. There’s the basic premise about the families, except it’s opposite from Romeo & Juliet because the families love each other and want to be united in marriage. But we have Ryder, who has an R name, and Jemma, who has a J name. There’s a character named Rosie (think Rosaline), and I think there might be someone with the last name Montague? There were probably more I missed, but anyway, it didn’t do anything for me.

Final Thoughts

This was pretty much a 4 star book until the ending kind of made it feel a little weak overall to me. Final rating: 3.5 stars.

3.5stars

mccoy-halfsmileWhat are your thoughts on Magnolia? Also, be on the lookout because I plan to do a Bookish Wedding Inspiration post based on Magnolia in the next couple of weeks! 

Live Long and Prosper: An Ode to Leonard Nimoy & Spock

My husband and I were talking about Lenoard Nimoy’s death, and he mentioned how Spock is probably the most iconic character of the original series, even more so than Kirk, and really even of all of Star Trek. I completely agreed with him. I told him that I thought his character is probably the main reason why the show was successful to begin with.

spock-artArt by Amanda Tolleson

There’s just something about Spock. Ask any fan of the original series who their favorite character is, and I feel most of them will say it’s Spock. He’s just so different, but in the best way. He’s not like a normal human… he’s unemotional, calculating, logical… usually. Occasionally he surprises too though.

Captain, you almost make me believe in luck.

But he’s always intelligent, and he becomes a fiercely loyal companion.

I have been, and always shall be, your friend.

wok-spock-deathCelebrity deaths, as a general rule, do not really shake me. Yes, it’s always sad when someone dies, and sometimes it’s downright tragic. I was shocked and saddened to hear about Robin Williams, just like anyone else, but it didn’t devastate me the way I think it did for some people. I think he was a talented actor but none of his roles have made a big impact on my life or anything. With Leonard Nimoy, it has definitely been a different experience.

I first watched Star Trek The Original Series when my husband and I were dating, which means it was sometime 6-10 years ago. Spock was easily my favorite.

It wasn’t until we had been married for a little while that we watched the rest of Trek, and when I became a true fan. That’s when we started going to conventions together, when I started listening to podcasts, started pinning funny geeky things on Pinterest.

80150068338489935_QH9kf43o_cBecoming a Trek fan did not change my life in some dramatic way, like I decided to study science or any other number of things I have heard Star Trek has done for others, but it did still change it. It made me fall in love with science fiction, a genre that I generally liked when I was exposed to it in the past but never fully delved into it. It changed the way I write, the way I think, and the way I look at things. And I love it for that.

And the thing is, I do feel like it all goes back to Spock.

Spock: I felt for him, too.

Kirk: I believe there’s some hope for you after all, Mr. Spock.

tos_thenakedtimeI wanted to share a few of my favorite Spock moments and episodes, as a tribute to the man who made Spock into the character we love.

– Spock breaks down in The Naked Time. Being completely vulnerable to human emotion for probably the first time in the show, Spock weeps, feeling ashamed. It’s so… poignant… to see him in such a state. spock-thenakedtime– Spock with Kirk in The City on the Edge of Forever. This episode focuses more on Kirk, but I love the humor (“obviously my friend here is Chinese”) and I love the serious moments too (“Edith Keeler must die”).

– Any time Spock has a connection with a woman that we normally don’t see, such as in “This Side of Paradise,” “The Enterprise Incident,” and “All Our Yesterdays.”

I hope that you and I exchanged something more permanent.

ST-theenterpriseincident– Any time Spock has a connection with people that is surprising, like his connection with the space hippies Servin’s followers in “The Way to Eden.”

They regard themselves as aliens in their own worlds–a condition with which I am somewhat familiar.

ST-thewaytoeden– Spock’s secret affinity for Tribbles and cats. 🙂

spock_cat– Any time Spock acted as a friend, like in “Amok Time.”

– Mirror Spock with goatee in “Mirror, Mirror”

mirror-mirrorAnd I know there are more, but those were the ones that immediately came to mind. Needless to say, he is memorable, and I’m so glad we have the shows and movies with him (even the ones I don’t love) to remember Leonard Nimoy by.

As Leonard Nimoy once famously said, he was not Spock. He was an actor with 134 acting credits on IMDB, many of which are not Star Trek. I also enjoyed watching him on Fringe as William Bell. He was also a friend, a husband, a father, a grandfather.

And, as Nimoy also said, he was Spock. That defined a lot of his life. Some people don’t handle typecasts well, but he learned to own it. There were many fabulous things about being Spock, really, experiences he would not have had otherwise. I’m so glad he embraced it. I wish I could have seen him or met him at a convention. And it’s that thought, that I never got to, but that his character and show really did mean something to me, that makes me more emotional about his death than many others. Maybe it isn’t logical, but I think that’s OK sometimes.

He will be missed. He lived long and he prospered.

We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.

leonard-nimoy

Star Trek TNG Season 2: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 3 favorite episodes of season two of The Next Generation.

Season two is DEFINITELY better than season one! Thankfully, it was a little easier to come up with a top 5 this time, and I even conjured up a few honorable mentions: The Royale, A Matter of Honor, and Q Who? (because as annoying as Q is in that episode, it is important). Here are my top 5…

5. The Dauphin

tng2-thedauphinSo the weird-demented-looking-bear-creatures are a little strange, but this episode just made me smile because I actually enjoyed watching Wesley be all smitten over a girl. I also love everyone’s reactions to Wesley’s crush and their attempts at doling out relationship advice. I think Guinan ended up saying it best at the end of the episode!

4. The Icarus Factor

tng2-theicarusfactorI almost didn’t choose this one because I really don’t care for the main storyline about Riker and his dad and how much they hate each other and want to be macho and blahblahblah. But O’Brien has some fabulous one-liners that made the episode (“No kidding, I know her too, but we don’t do that.”), plus John Tesh is a Klingon and pokes Worf with a pain-stick! Oh yes, and Worf yells in Data’s face: “Be gone!” Basically, I love every part of this episode that is secondary to the main plot.

3. Elementary, Dear Data

tng2-elementarydeardataI don’t love the ending of this one because I think it shows poor judgment on Picard’s part, but I enjoy Data exploring his inner-Sherlock!

2. Manhunt

tng2-manhuntI almost didn’t choose this one either because, ugh, Lwaxana Troi, but then I thought about it and I realized I actually really enjoyed this one! Piccard is just perfect in his reaction to Lwaxana and that dinner scene just really made the whole episode. I also love how Lwaxana casually saves the day.

1. The Measure of a Man

tng2-measureofamanThis is certainly the most thought-provoking episode of the season, and it is episodes like this that make science fiction and Star Trek so great. Can a machine be more than property, and be seen as equal to human? Good food for thought and great character development as well.

Also in season two: O’Brien has arrived, and I just love him! Colm Meaney could be seen around the Enterprise on season one, but he was just a nameless guy on the ship. But now he’s got a name and coming into his own as the secondary character Chief O’Brien, who will later become a main character on Deep Space Nine!

Also, Wesley isn’t annoying in this season! He definitely matured between seasons, but he hasn’t reached that irksome stage that he comes into later when he really thinks he knows everything.

And lastly, we have Dr. Pulaski. She actually only annoyed me in some episodes, mostly in earlier ones when she bullied Data. But she wasn’t bad in all of them, as I remembered her being, but I’m still ready for Dr. Crusher to return.

What are your favorite episodes of The Next Generation Season Two? 

Star Trek TNG Season 1: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite five episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 3 favorite episodes of season one of The Next Generation (she couldn’t quite come up with 5 this season, and I can’t blame her). 

Ahh… early TNG. It’s not the best. We’re already getting a glimpse into things that annoy me in multiple Star Trek series: Q, Troi’s mom, and Ferengi. There was also a lot of set-up for Wesley ALREADY which really surprised me. They really wanted him to be special, apparently, and threw Tasha under the bus to the point where the actress asked to get killed off. I’ve got to say, I liked Tasha more this time around than I did the first time. I’m not sure if it’s because of seeing Denise Crosby at a convnetion or what. Anyhow, all that said, there were a few decent episodes this season, but let’s just say I’m definitely anticipating the later seasons and some of my favorite episodes that are to come.

5. Symbiosis

tng-1-symbosisThere are some things in this episode that bother me, and I don’t just mean the stuff that’s supposed to make you uncomfortable, but main characters saying dumb things and logic flaws. Despite this, however, it still has an intriguing premise that gets you to think about interfering with other cultures when one is exploiting the other.

4. Haven

tng-1-havenI’d be lying if I said I thought this was a really good episode, but it’s quite entertaining, mostly for Troi telling her mom off. I also find the arranged marriage trope an interesting one sometimes.

3. The Neutral Zone

tng-1-theneutralzoneThe biggest problem with this episode is that there is really pretty equal time for the actual Neutral Zone plotline (which you think would be the more dominate story given the episode title) and the subplot about three frozen people from the past who are recovered by the Enterprise (without Captain Picard’s knowledge… come on, Data, that’s sketch…), and really, these probably should have just been two different episodes because neither felt fully fleshed out. I feel that basically the main point of this episode as the season one finale was to set-up future conflict with the Romulans, but they weren’t feeling daring enough for big cliffhangers yet. (If this had been a later Deep Space Nine episode, OMG, stuff would have gone down.) So mostly, I like this episode for its potential.

2. Conspiracy

tng-1-conspiracyThis is another episode that I like mostly for the potential of what could have been (what still could be if they ever make a new Star Trek show that is set during/after Voyager time), however, it was stronger than The Neutral Zone. In this episode, we see that a species has infiltrated some high-up Starfleet officers, and while the immediate threat is neutralized at the end, there’s an open-ended something that hints more certainly can come. Apparently it was supposed to be explored again but alas, has not been. But it really should be because I’m curious! This episode gets negative points though for the gross-alien-creature-inside-people deal though. Is that really necessary?

1. Coming of Age

tng-1-comingofageI remembered this episode from my previous watch and was surprised that it was first season. This is actually a pretty decent Wesley episode, in fact, it might be the best Wesley story of all TNG, but I guess I’ll have to watch the other seasons again to say for sure. It’s certainly better than Justice. In this one Wesley learns what it takes to get into Starfleet, and acts more mature and less annoying than his usual season one self. I’ve decided to give this episode the top spot for this season mostly because I find it the most memorable.

I’ve got to say, in season one (and from my memory, in all of TNG really), Data really steals the show. I feel Brent Spiner really had Data down from the start and I came to love him all over again very quickly!

If you’ve seen season one of The Next Generation, which episodes are your favorite?

The Top 10 Star Trek Characters I’d Want With Me on a Deserted Planet

It’s happened on many an episode of Star Trek… you crash land on a planet and… now what? There are usually dangers involved… generally weird alien life forms… some friendly and some not… and of course you want a top-notch group of folks to help you get through it. I got this idea months ago after doing a Top Ten Tuesday topic on the book characters I would want with me on a deserted island. But when Star Trek characters are involved, it’s got to be a deserted planet! Will we be able to make it home? I think with this crew we can…

sfm_banner_02b (1)This list is in no particular order…

1. Spock 

SpockHe’s obviously the logical choice. Spock’s intelligence would come very much in handy while on a deserted planet.

2. Ezri

Ezri_arrivalOut of all the characters in all the series of Star Trek, Ezri is the one I feel I could be BFF’s with, so I need her to keep me company on the planet. (Note to Charlene: Do not Google Ezri – it will only end in major spoilers!)

3. Chakotay

chakoty-resolutionsThe man will build you a bathtub, simply because you miss bathtubs. Or maybe he’ll only do that for Janeway. I don’t know, but his deserted planet building skills would come in handy!

4. Trip

trip-tuckerI love Trip’s personality, and he would try to keep the mood upbeat. Also, he should be able to fix our abandoned ship in no time.

5. Scotty

tos_scottyScotty and Tripp would make a dynamic duo for fixing things, plus I love Scotty’s no-nonsense attitude!

6.  Picard

picardSomeone’s gotta be in charge, and I think Picard might be able to handle this situation the best.

7. Troi

Marina_Sirtis_TNGIt’s easy to become frazzled while on a deserted planet, so Troi’s counseling could come in handy.

8. Dr. Bashir

bashirWe need a doctor, and I’m picking Dr. Bashir because he’s my favorite.

9. Data (+Spot)

spot-dataAs an android, Data can do things the rest of us humanoids can’t do. Plus, he’s knowledgeable and entertaining and he has an awesome cat.

10. Phlox

BILLINGSLEYPhlox is… eccentric… but he is also a doctor, plus knows a lot about animals and plants (mostly in terms of medicinal use) that might come in handy. I think he would also help generate a positive attitude on the planet.

Which Star Trek characters would you want to be with you if stranded on a deserted planet?

Star Trek TOS Season 3: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite five episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 5 favorite episodes of season three of The Original Series

I thought season two was bad… but season 3 was full of some clunkers. HOWEVER, the episodes that were decent I think were more decent than those in season two, and when selecting my favorites I ended up with a list of 6, so it wasn’t all bad. Also, there were some episodes that I think actually had real potential, and if they had been done like in Deep Space Nine they could have been awesome, but they just fell flat or took a turn for the dumb. I’m particularly thinking of The Mark of Gideon and Requiem for Methuselah. Also, I had distinctly remembered Spock’s Brain (this season’s first episode) as being the worst ever of the series, and I was so wrong. Was it good? No, but there were much worse.

So first off I’ll go ahead and mention my sixth favorite and runner-up for this list was The Tholian Web. I thought I should mention it because it’s popular. There were a few more that I liked a little more, however. Also, I also struggled with this order a lot, so it may not reflect my feelings everyday, but nonetheless, I did the best I could.

5. For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

ST-theworldishollowI will voice my biggest gripe about this episode (my second biggest grip is the awful costumes, FYI) up front: McCoy gets MARRIED in this episode and then ABANDONS his wife! And she’s OK with it! And there’s also awful instalove here (doesn’t just happen in YA books), but even that’s better than abandoning your spouse! What did I like? The premise, mostly, about a traveling planet (really, a ship) where the people don’t know exactly what their purpose is as they follow arbitrary rules set for them. And unlike many of the episodes this season, it wasn’t poorly executed, other than this whole abandonment thing.

4. Day of the Dove

ST-dayofthedoveI think the Klingons are a lot more interesting in TOS than they are in the subsequent series (with the exception of, very specifically, the Augment episodes of Enterprise), and this is a good episode showcasing them, probably my favorite TOS episode featuring them. An alien force that feeds off of hatred causes the Klingons and the crew of the Enterprise to act violently towards one another, and once they realize what is happening, they must fight against it.

3. The Cloud Minders

ST-thecloudmindersI think this is another one I like more for the premise than anything, and thankfully the execution wasn’t terrible. On this planet there is a group of people who live on ground and work in the mines, and then there are the privileged who get to live in the city on the clouds. This is probably one of the best TOS episode for the portrayal of women, even if there are skimpy outfits, because Vanna is strong and ambitious and nobody’s love interest (even if she is stubborn for not listening to Kirk when she should have, I can’t blame her for being skeptical), and while Droxine is really into Spock (who has some uncharacteristic dialogue in this episode with no explanation as to why) and naive, she has a really nice arc in this episode and sees reason when her father does not. There are several Star Trek episodes throughout the various series that touch on the issue of the separation of classes and I think this is a pretty good one for the time period.

2.  The Enterprise Incident

ST-theenterpriseincidentAt the beginning of the episode, it seems Kirk has lost his mind flying into Romulan space, then we come to find out he did so under Starfleet orders. Spock plays a huge role in distracting a woman Romulan officer while Kirk gets what he needs from the ship, which proves to be an easy task because she is fascinated by him, and dare I say, he might be by her as well. However, he stays clear-headed in his typical Spock way, but the psychology of their interaction, as well as the general sneakiness going on while Kirk is on his mission, definitely makes this episode a stand-out for season three.

Kirk_Romulan

1. All Our Yesterdays

ST-allouryesterdaysI don’t even remember this episode from my first watch of the show, but I was pretty into it this time. First off, I found the concept really interesting of a planet that sends people back in time when their existence is about to end, and also that they are capable of time jumping but not space travel! Also, the fact that when Spock went back 5000 years in his past that he started to act like a Vulcan from 5000 years ago was really interesting! It was a sad ending but I still loved the last line from Spock when he says: “Yes, it did happen. But that was 5000 years ago.” I also think it’s funny that both this episode and the popular YA novel of the same novel borrowed the title from Shakespeare AND have time travel plots!

ST-allouryesterdays2Season three was an interesting season for Spock and McCoy. Of course, there has been friction between the two all through the series, and the dynamic continues into the movies, but there were several episodes of season three where they were forced to work together, like “The Paradise Syndrome,” “The Tholian Web,” “The Empath,” and “All Our Yesterdays.” After “The Tholian Web,” in fact, I feel like their relationship changed and become less hostile toward one another and that they started to respect each other more. I also felt like we got to see more facets of Spock this season, where he seems more open to people groups that seem different from him on the surface (“The Way to Eden”) and shows more interest in women for a typical season (“The Enterprise Incident,” “The Cloud Minders,” and “All Our Yesterdays”).

ST-thewaytoedenSo we’re moving on to The Next Generation next, though my husband did bring out The Animated Series DVDs out first. Most people don’t count it and I just wasn’t ready to go through it again yet. We’re also actually watching the shows in the order they were aired, meaning that after the first few seasons of TNG we’ll start mixing in some Deep Space Nine episodes as well. But until then, we’ve got to endure the not-so-great beginning of The Next Generation.

If you’ve seen season three of Star Trek’s original series, which episodes are your favorite?

It’s My Birthday!

worf-crusher-cakeHonestly, this a self-indulgent post, and it only serves as a way for you to wish me a happy birthday, ha ha. I was hoping to see the above guy and gal (Michael Dorn and Gates McFadden from Star Trek The Next Generation, for the uninitiated) today at the Nashville comic con, but sadly terrible scheduling + higher than expected price of admission (high considering I wouldn’t get to see everyone I thought I might that would thus make the price worth it) = not happening. So sad. Hopefully I’ll get to see them some other time. But I will be eating  cake and receiving books, so that is the plus side, huzzah! I’ll keep you posted on my book haul! 😉