Monday, August 13, 2012

Redshirts and SF Debris...

So I've been watching the scifi reviews on SF Debris

The guy has a good style and an interesting perspective onto the plot, behind the scenes, and symbolism of the various shows.

But I was struck by how got awful the various Star Trek series were. Especially Voyager.

This meshed quite well with Scalzi's latest book: Redshirts.

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Reading the book while watching these reviews, especially Voyager's Latent Image serve as great examples of the creative failures that are technobabble and killing of bit characters for increased drama.

The voyager episode I link is particularly blatant about it, but that vast majority of the episodes all work that way.

And while Scalzi's satire has elements from the whole of the Star Trek franchise (such as being the fleet flagship), scifi geeks should be able to readily recall the Voyager's ship class.

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