Tag archive: Voyager
A week or two ago, while she sat diligently at her desk attending to her many labours, my wife’s gaze passed over an object that instantly made her think of me. What was this strange and captivating artefact? A leather-bound volume of Baudelaire’s poems? A misplaced Fabergé egg? A gnarled monkey’s paw doubling up as a paperweight?
No (to all three). It was the below…and she brought it home.
Yes folks, it’s a Sci-Fi comic about Switzerland.
The plot is far too laboured and Captain Planet-esque to warrant summarising in much detail here (four ethnically diverse Swiss youths come together to blah, blah, blither etc), but the below image should give you a representative (and slightly tummy-upsetting) taste.
For those who (like me) spent their teenage years frantically masturbating their way to chronic short-sightedness, some text reproduction might be in order.
To save the Galactic Synchrotron from disintegration, TIMEAGENT I.D. uses the holocom to go back one thousand years in Cyberspace to “21st Century Switzerland”. Here she hopes to find the rescuing formula, for the inhabitants of this small country are considered to be “Masters of Time”: they manufacture complex instruments called “watches”, amazingly precise forerunners of the Synchrotron…
Galactic Synchotron? Holocom? Going back one thousand years in Cyberspace?! Techno-babbling, Sci-Fi gobbledeegook of the highest (i.e. lowest) order. Also, describing someone’s watch as an “amazingly precise forerunner of the Synchrotron” is an almost guaranteed way of blowing one’s secret cover and exposing oneself as a 31st century Timeagent. Constant references to (for example) “your present time period” and the “5th Interstellar War” have much the same effect.
While In The Land That Invented the Future is essentially just a relentlessy tedious (and willfully banal) piece of thrown-together Sci-Fi muck, it shares the same crippling deficiencies found in most such “edutainment”. It’s preachy, it’s self-satisfied, and it’s keen to “improve” its readers’ grubby little minds. Three key ingredients for a “shit comic” pie. A pie that any young comic lover, worth her/his salt, would puke into the nearest bin.
Still better than Voyager though…
‘Guest Post’ by Copernicus
I enjoy taking a certain immoderately smug view of myself predicated on a few pleasing cultural tropes. I have browsed intelligently among the moderns and the postmoderns, committed to memory verses both metered and free. I prize meaningful engagement with the prose poetry of the literary novel and strum contemplatively on my Taylor guitar by the glow of the recessed minimalist firebox in my living space as I imagine the troubadours of Languedoc, flower of their age, once plucked whimsical madrigals to beguile the hours at the court of proud Eleanor of Aquitaine. I own a pair of Palermo-purchased Raybans and a cashmere sweater and am not unpossessed of a kind of shimmering male beauty in the classical mould. Hey, I get as big a kick out of the Satyricon as the next guy in the boutique Italian espresso bar where I take my morning cappuccino. And yet…
Were you to seek me out in the quiet watches of the night, you might well espy through the floor-to-ceiling glass of my swank apartment a content face bathed in the prismatic glow of a Sky One Star Trek episode on its umpteenth repeat. Quite content indeed. But much as I enjoy the anesthetic certainties of its wall-to-hull carpeted universe, tea (Earl Grey, hot), pastel uniforms and mildly fascistic socio-military structures, too often the delicate carapace of a soothing cocoon has its integrity breached by certain recurring plot devices, so irritatingly flawed in their conception that a drunken Klingon could pilot a Bird-of-Prey with compromised helm control through the holes they create, and whose sole, hubristic, purpose is to showcase the acting chops of the dedicated thesps so liberally strewn across various iterations of the franchise. (I’m leaving Patrick Stewart out of this as his dignified gravitas has often been single-handedly responsible for lending credibility and achieving benefit of doubt in respect of what would otherwise be outrageous, saccharine drivel).
The most insulting thing is that the writers clearly expect this to explain away the rampant incidence of bi-pedalism among those strange forms of new life encountered out there in the cosmos in a way the bi-pedalism so rife among Paramount’s stable of guest starring actors cannot. Once again, Star Trek gets confused between disbelief already suspended and disbelief which needs to be dispelled and gets it horribly wrong.
For the subject of today’s lesson is the hybrid character brought spontaneously into life through Treknobabble
Q1. Which character’s actor appears on the most personnel cards?
Originally I thought the answer to this was unequivocally Data (Brent Spiner), with a total of 17 personnel cards including all versions of Data and his holodeck characters, plus Lore and Dr. Soong. However, I decided it is questionable to include Data’s Body, which does not actually show Brent Spiner (one assumes) but rather a headless “body.” Now, arguably the character could be said to have been played by Brent Spiner (i.e., once the head was reattached), but since the actual card does not show Spiner, it’s ambiguous at best. If we discount Data’s Body, that leaves Brent Spiner tied at 16 with Worf (Michael Dorn), who has not only a couple of AU versions but also played his ancestor Colonel Worf in a movie. So I accepted either Data or Worf as correct. Both just edged out Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), who only has 15 personnel cards to date.
That’s right kids, only 15 cards.
While Mr. Tuvix conforms to many of the hybrid/alt.u conventions and throws up the usual ethical dilemmas,
For the first time, the Doctor is able to have sensory experiences, including touch and smell.
Plucking Seven of Nine (Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One) from her Borg Cube and sticking her in a catsuit had an upward effect on Voyager’s ratings, as well as one or two other things, and there was plenty of milking to be done. With the Doctor in her cybernetic tubules, this cold, severe and unemotional ice queen could be presented in pseudo-orgasmic delight while scoffing Replicator cheesecake or aquiver at the Sapphic frisson of a little girl-on-girl massage.
The Star Trek universe has a very unhappy history with sex,
Back on Voyager, the Doctor is paid a visit in Sickbay by Seven, who brings delicacies and wine that she previously would have considered “indulgent.” Since the Doctor can no longer share the experience of eating and drinking, Seven promises to describe the meal to him so he can enjoy it vicariously.
Our Data’s-surrogates double act are pushed a little further along their becoming-more-human-than-the-humans-themselves story arc, and we, the viewing audience, are perhaps gently encouraged to consider the delicate flower and quotidian miracle that is our own, so often taken for granted, humanity.
Waiter, a fresh bucket for Monsieur.