July 01, 2003

I Wish I Had A Tri-Corder

Last night, I happened to catch the last 10 minutes or so of a Star Trek: The Next Generation rerun. Hey, I'll admit it, I'm a huge fan of TNG. I honestly think I've seen every episode two or more times each. I didn't think much of the first couple of years. I mean, TNG really didn't hit its creative and imaginative stride until year four or so.

If it weren't for Patrick Stewart and his cool portrayel of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, I think the series would have died on the vine early on. He held things together and managed to string together serious acting performances even during episodes that must have seemed, to him, as if they were scrawled together at the last second by a classroom full of six-year olds.

STEWART: Well, sure, the premise of this episode is that there's a planet out there with a legal system that executes everyone for breaking any rule, from murder to trampling on flowers, and the inhabitants of this planet happen to dress like they're on their way to a Roman orgy, but I'm going to give it my acting all, because I'm a master thespian.

You especially have to hand it to Stewart for not breaking out laughing any time he realized that, in Gene Roddenberry's future, the flagship of the United Federation of Planets would have a FRENCH captain. I mean, come ON! If that were really the case, the Enterprise would have a super-secret "surrender" button that would unfurl a huge white flag from the saucer section. But, that's neither here nor there.

What I really want to know is: what the heck is a tri-corder really? I mean, it's like the Swiss Army knife of technology gadgets. Any time an away team senses danger, it's the tri-corder that sounds the alarm. Need to stabilize the vital signs of a wounded crew member? Well, call in the tri-corder. What's that? You need to reconstitute the DNA fragments of several species to discover a hidden message left by a bygone civilization? You're in luck, because we have a tri-corder for just such a purpose.

In last night's episode, Wesley Crusher used one of the damned things to outwit a sentry that was protecting a water supply. These things can do ANYTHING. And, the thing is, it's not a very big device, and it doesn't have very many buttons. But, in practically every episode, a tri-corder will be called in to solve some sort of problem. In actuality, I think the tri-corder may be the 43rd edition to the Sony Playstation and the Enterprise Crew members are playing super-future versions of Donkey Kong or Q-Bert, hence the intent look of concentration on their faces while working the little machines.

And that's another thing: where the heck are the video games in Star Trek? Here they have the most technologically advanced ship known to man, and the game of choice is: chess. Chess! Okay, so it's a multi-tiered chess game, but it's still chess. Then again, I suppose they have the Holodeck for all their gaming needs, and I have to admit that the holodeck is totally cool. What's amazing about the holodeck, in my opinion, is that it's not in use ALL THE DAMN TIME.

Think about it. . . they have, at their disposal, the ultimate device for living out their fantasies, but they rarely take advantage of it for their own enjoyment. If it were me, I'd have the onboard computer memory chock full of sexual programs involving me, Dr. Crusher, Deanna Troi, Tasha Yar and a few Klingon females thrown into the mix for good measure.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the geekiest post I think I've ever written for this blog.

Posted by Ryan at July 1, 2003 11:07 AM
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