Let’s Talk about Star Trek

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This is a guest article written by one Acne Ridden Manlet. Yes, I am the man whom the Ginger Troglodyte (Seriously lad, size of that forehead) impotently rages against. Apparently the drinking of cider is a criminal act in this country or at the very least it offends his sensibilities. Either way it makes him mad, this only sweetens the taste and I think of him with every pint.

I would like to refer to another example known as “Bees aren’t Scary” The phrase Bee’s aren’t scary is one that the main writer apparently finds hilarious and in his infinite wisdom he attempted to use me as a guinea pig of sorts for the prior mentioned article.

This meaning that he would text, e-mail, message or even call me to repeat this phrase to me. One time I was in the library for gods sake. He even had other people start messaging me the term. At first my blood did boil, but I must admit I came to pity this movement. It is after all the brain child of a man who is not academically challenged.

That’s Layman terms for I’m not bothered but glad that you’re enjoying yourself.

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I decided to do this article due to having an epiphany one night. I was sitting in my room, on my laptop and arguing with the prior mentioned Ginger Troglodyte about whether or not Bears eat vegetables.

I believed that bears consume vegetables, while he was firmly against it. Now I raised the point that a bear eats leaves quite often and so it would eat something such as lettuce, which is a vegetable- it would not be out of the ordinary for a bear to eat in a vegetable (Editors note: Then why is there no recorded footage of Bears eating vegetables? Because they fucking don’t) Our back and forth continued for well over an hour before it hit me that like a stroke hitting a pensioner on a jog; This is daft as fuck.

I mean I was right (Editors Note: Nope) but it was still daft. So I turned on Netflix and watched the new Star Trek series; Discovery.

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It’s meh. But it got me thinking that I ought to write an article based on Star Trek, cause why not.

Now I have a relatively new history with the Star Trek franchise, having only really worked my way through it over the past two years. But today, dear reader, I shall be talking you through those Star Trek series’ that I have watched and hopefully help you pick through the chaff if you are indeed interested in that kind of thing.

I’ll be speaking about my favourite one in great depth. You see, I’m the kind of guy who will refuse to finish something if it’s shite and I know there’s a lot of people like me out there who are also economic with their time so think of this as a public service for crimes I shall likely commit in the not too distant future.

You’d be surprised how many years in the can playing Warhammer 40k gets you in 2038.

I’ll give an example of just how economic with my time I am. I played a game called Dragon Age Inquisition on my PS3 quite some time ago. I was wandering around with these plastic looking motherfuckers shooting spells at Cthulhu looking motherfuckers and, occasionally, when the plot called for it, dabbling in a bit of motherfucking myself (Editors note: Eww).

While this sounds rad as fuck I unfortunately must disappoint you, dear reader, in saying that my orgasmic writing skills are the only polishing a golden turd. Sure, it’s shiny but by God does the fucker stink. The combat is a mix between strategy and real-time combat where you must assign skills to button prompts and mash your way through combat.

Now this is full as fuck because you are limited to using only one class, and while you could play as other people the same fighting combinations tended to work. Mount and Blade does combat like this far better, so I would rather spend my time playing that.

I haven’t even talked about the dialogue yet… Oh sweet baby Jesus the dialogue.

Now, I consider myself a fully licensed practitioner of shite talking. Hell, I’d even say that I’m adept in that most sacred of arts. But the dialogue was just awful. Truly awful.

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The characters talk as if they’re wooden posts trying to fuck themselves through an exhaust pipe, which is to say badly… you know what? Fuck that metaphor. It’s more like watching a Cow walking besides a sheep, it’s wrong and has possibly bad connotations for humanity. So any-who I stopped playing Dragon Age Inquisition after I killed my first dragon. I’ll admit it was an enjoyable experience but everything I did afterwards had the sour taste of an anti-climax. Nothing I did afterwards could match, what was to me, the best part of the game.

Besides, I mostly saw it as a warm up for the Witcher 3. The Witcher 3 is a wonderful game where you wonder around ugly monster motherfuckers, shot spells at Cthulu looking motherfuckers and engage in a good bit of motherfucking yourself (Editors Note: Eww, again). And unlike Dragon Age, it is a glorious ball shattering climax instead of a
weak spurt. Heck I might write an article about it someday.

That is if another communist insurgency calls the main writer away yet again.

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And entering the subject of anti-climaxes let us move back to the subject of Star Trek. I only really watched Star Trek occasionally when I was younger. My Grandmother, an absolute saint of a woman, (I have it on good authority that the pope is soon to canonize her, along with every other Irish grandmother ever) would often have it playing in her house. Some of my earliest memories revolve around playing with cars on the floor, watching Star Trek and drinking tea from my Grandfathers clear teacup. I’ve known that tea cup longer than I ever knew the man himself, which is an absolute tragedy that is impossible for me to put into words but is easy for the reader to understand.

I watched the show, but as most childhood memories are I can’t remember too much,
except for the Gorn, some Klingons with shoe polish on their face and the episode with these guys in them.

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It was a warm glow in my consciousness rather than a cohesive memory.

That’s what the original series will always be to me. A nostalgic adventure of a crew of underpaid and not particularly good actors on an old cardboard set as they visit different worlds of aliens who are likely just interns who’ve been painted green. For lack of a better word, it’s perfect. The cheapness and well meaning behind it adds more to the series than any budget of millions and actors of great repute ever could. This will become a problem later in the series with the new films.

The newer films and series have strayed further from this fun element whereas the original series went through it like a mediocre stalk broker goes through cocaine. Heck half the cast was probably on cocaine.

Now the original series is the one I am least familiar with. I have not recently watched it, but I know for a fact that if it was on then I could just change the channel to it and kill an hour of spare time. It’s simply good, comfy, television from the 60’s. It doesn’t ask anything from you and in return you expect nothing from it. So, would I recommend it?

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Aye sure she’s grand.

After the original series (and ignoring many films as well as an animated series where the devil himself makes a cameo) comes The Next Generation.

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This one is a mixed bag. It starts weak, then gets strong and seemingly alternates between the two on an episode to episode basis. Now some episodes are Christ awful, like the one with the African Stereotypes who steal the Security officer, Tasha Yar, and force her to fight for their amusement, all while speaking like a Ugandan warlord from Far Cry 2.

The next god awful one that springs to mind is the episode where the ships Doctor, Beverly Crusher, fucks a ghost. Then they dig up her grandmother because she also fucked the ghost or something. Its wild.

Now these two episodes are linked through one thing. They are in the are in the first and last season of the show respectively. Perhaps now you understand what I mean when I say a “mixed bag”.

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And yes, that’s the actual set.

Patrick Stewart deserved better man.

Now the second part of a mixed bag is the good. It’s no reason why The Next Generation is so well remembered. When it gets good, it gets really fucking good. An example of this is an episode called the best of both worlds. Star Trek has always been a utopian vision of the future, humanity and its federation, while not unchallenged in the galaxy, are still the strongest power.

Poverty is gone. Money has been made useless and people live the lives they want to live, not in the pursuit of wealth, but in the pursuit of fulfillment. Their doctrine is an inspiring one that devalues the threat of the Kilngons (who at this point in the story are now allies) and the Romulans. In the original series these were the big bads but now they have been de-fanged. There’s an air of safety in the quadrant.

But safety can be a boring thing. That’s why every now and again the IRA remnants throw a bomb or two around. They never go off though. They must be shite at making them cause the controlled explosions done by the army do more damage at this point. Anyway, the lack of a credible threat is something the producers tried to reduce by introducing a new big bad to the setting. Kind of like America in Iraq.

Enter the Ferengi…

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They were not received well.

However, their initial shallow depiction as greedy space merchants is expanded upon in the future and they surprisingly became perhaps my favourite Star Trek alien race. But villains they are not. For that role, something else was needed. Something sinister.

Enter the Borg:

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These fellas show up in the season 3-episode Q Who? In which the immortal god like being gets sick of the federation and it’s lovey dovey philosophy and says “Oh you think your tough shit? Wait to you see what else the galaxy has in store for you!”. He then promptly transports the Enterprise and its crew to the other side of the galaxy. If they were to try to return home with their current technology, it would take them 70 years. The dread grows as the first borg cube appears and proceeds to trash the Enterprise, the finest ship in the entire Federation.

What’s more, the actual physical form of the borg is horrifying. You see the borg are a part of a collective whose goal is to assimilate all life in the universe and add it to their collective conscious. Their power in unquestionable, their numbers are in the trillions and their followers, legion. They take people and rebuild them as machines, replacing their thoughts memory’s and even flesh with intelligent, robotic design. Faced with such a situation the ship’s captain, Picard, (played fantastically by Sir Patrick Stewart) must basically beg Q to save them. This he does, but the Borg know that the federation exists and that they are a threat, and so they are coming.

This single episode is what I believe is a watershed moment for Star Trek. The campy adventures are over, and while they may still happen in the future, there is always a dark threat behind them. The Borg are coming. When the Borg cube does eventually arrive, it is a single ship that has been sent to scout out this new Quadrant of the galaxy. The Federation send as many ships as they can to combat this threat and even the Klingons send a number of ships in support of their allies. What followed was the battle of Wolf 359.

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It was a slaughter.

In this point the politics of Star Trek changes. The Federation eventually destroys the Borg Cube, but they are severely weakened, having lost almost 40 ships. They are no longer the top dog in the universe and so the Romulans are free to scheme away and new powers like the Cardassians can exploit the situation. This is the element of TNG that I enjoy the most.

Actions have consequences in this series and people die. However, it is unfortunately still incredibly human centric and not all the characters are that interesting, highlights being Captain Picard, the Klingon Officer Worf and, of course, Commander Riker.

Goddamn I love William Riker

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To quote the Venture Bro’s:

Men want to be him, and women name their vibrators after him.

Hell, the show could be called “The Sexual Adventures of William Riker” and I’d watch it because goddamn is this man dashing. There’s one episode where the crew picks up this colony of Irish people in space and it’s fucking hilarious, I’d highly recommend it to you.

But anyway, the crew are figuring out what’s to be done with this illegal immigrants and lots of shenanigans ensue. Worf hooks a bunch of the older ones up with some Klingon Poteen and they have a right good piss up. Riker doesn’t mess around though. He sees the goal and goes right for it. In short, Riker fucks their leader’s daughter. Cause that’s the man he is, he fucks first and then asks questions later.

This is the wrong way to go about things for sure but by Jesus if it doesn’t get results.

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Anyway, The Next Generation. It’s pretty tight like.

Now onto Deep Space 9. Otherwise known as God’s gift to God’s son after the first one had a factory flaw so the new one’s even more baller than the last. All the other kids wish they had this gift cause of just how baller it is.

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Fuck me and call me Sally but is Deep Space 9 the absolute shit. If I could marry, make love to, and raise a family with the personification of a television series I would be a degenerate. But If I was a degenerate this is the one that I would choose to raise our little abominations with.

This is the show I will be talking the most about. Where do I even begin?

It has an awful beginning. Not the best impressions I know but hear me out. When I first met the Ginger Troglodyte it was weird. We were in first year and he didn’t have much of a character to him. He was just a chubby dude whose name I linked to an old animation about a bear. I suppose I was quite bland too and there wasn’t much come and go between the two of us. After that we didn’t really speak for about three years. When I met him again he was a madman who walked over mountains in formal shoes and had an amazingly detailed knowledge of the D.C comic universe.

So, what I’m trying to say some things are worth waiting for. Or rather, some things are worth growing with. Any who despite it’s slow start Deep Space 9 is the best Start Trek show. It’s multi layered story explores complex themes of militarism, religion and the struggles of a nation during war time and the legacy of foreign occupation. It has 7 seasons to depict massive battles and the smaller more intricate conflicts of character that occurs on the station.

Like the Captain, Sisko, we arrive on the station wanting to get away from it as soon as possible. After 7 seasons we couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. So, let’s go through our crew, shall we?

Cause these are some of the best characters that any T.V series has ever produced. I’ll only be covering my favourites though as theres quite a few in the show.
Now I know what your thinking;

Oi you acne ridden manlet, that’s lazy writing right there it is”.

Yes.

Yes it is.

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Captain Benjamin Sisko

First up we have our captain of the series, Benjamin “Motherfucking” Sisko. This guy is a veteran of the prior mentioned battle of Wolf-359. He lost his wife in this battle and barley escaped with his son. Despite this setback he goes on to command what was essentially the Constantinople of the Star Trek universe.

In the beginning he overacts quite a bit and isn’t anywhere as near as adept at it as Patrick Stewart was. However, as the series progresses he gets better and better. Watching a man slowly become a better actor is a fantastic experience. You get to see him go from awkwardly mumbling words to be a beast of a man who delivers speeches like this.

There’s also the appeal of him waging a one man war as unlike other Star Fleet captains he is willing to bend his morality in the search of the greater good for not only his crew, but the entire federation. Therefore, of all the Captains in Star Trek he is by far my personal favourite. For more on this topic and an excellent comparison between
Picard and Sisko I would recommend this video.

Also, he has a baller as fuck uniform and Ship and if I think we can all agree that if there is one thing we can all value it is aesthetics.

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Colonel Kira Nerys

Colonel Kira “I was in the IRA” Nerys is a character I like. Her character role is of the Bajorin representative on Deep Space 9. You see Bajor is the planet that Deep Space 9 is in orbit over, it is a young nation that has recently won its independence from the Cardassian Empire. The Cardasians were the ones who built Deep Space 9 but abandoned it due to numerous political upheavals with their empire. They left only one Cardassian behind, Elim Garak, but of him we shall talk more of later.

Kira fought in the Bajorean war of independence and is a fervent patriot who wants the best for her planet. These aims often put her on opposing odds with the rest of the federation staff on the station. Apart from this Kiras main character struggle is learning to forgive those who trespassed against her while learning to forgive herself for many of the things she did in the war.

To an Irish man like myself this is a theme that resonates heavily with me. Unfortunately, the gun has always held a place in Irish politics and the struggle to take it out is one that has transcended Generations. Watching Kira struggle with this and having to communicate and negotiate with the very people who occupied hers is also a fascinating element of the series. Through her we see the birth of a new nation and the growth of its culture.

Plus, she isn’t afraid to disagree with Sisko. That takes major balls.

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Miles O’Brien

Miles “War crime” O’Brien is an Irish man in space.

That is all.

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Elim Garak

Elim “Jazz Hands” Garak is a humble tailor who owns a small business aboard Deep Space 9 and is the only Cardassian resident on it after the end of the occupation. He is a very complex character who is not apart of any secret gestapo like organizations and who did not partake in numerous war crimes and violations of human rights during his tenure…

At least officially.

Huh. Can you really violate human rights if the person isn’t human? I suppose it’s like the age-old expression, “Can you feel at home if your homeless?”. I suppose we’ll just say he violated alien rights.

And Garak is homeless, exiled by the Cardassians for what he did (incidentally we never learn what “it” is. Garak himself gives numerous contradictory stories to various characters throughout the series) and despised by the Bajoreans for what he is.

I like Garak. You never know where you stand with him as he can just as easily help you as stab you in the juggler as he can help you. He is ever charming and has some of the best lines in the series, but he is ultimately fake. We only ever see his true self on a few rare occasions throughout the series and what we find is both sad and horrifying.

He also has a fun rivalry with our next character;

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Gul Dukat

Gul “No war crimes if there wasn’t a war” Dukat is one of the finest characters of all time. In many ways he is the antithesis of Captain Sisko. He is cold and charming, cunning and sly, vicious but not without compassion. His steady rise to power throughout the series often puts him at odds with the crew of Deep Space 9 but he is just as likely to join forces with them if the situation calls for it.

This dude also can’t keep it in his pants. He’s got a libido to put Hugh Hefner to shame and enough bastards to make Robert Baratheon blush. But hey nobody’s perfect. Sisko thinks baseballs something that should be forced upon alien cultures. The lines of morality blur so easily.

He does encounter some problems with his character towards the end of the series that is honestly quite baffling. However, barring what we will put down to as a writer fuck up, he is without a doubt the finest example of a villain that any television series has produced in both this and the last century.

That sounds like a bold statement for one to make, but have you seen his competition?

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Admittedly, that Penguin is dapper as fuck. But what in the name of god is the Riddler doing? Why the micky mouse gloves? Why the shitty teenage mutant ninja turtle mask? And sweet baby Jesus why are his trousers that far up?

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I miss Adam West.

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He’s dancing in heaven now.

Other Characters I’ll not talk about any of the other characters in the show. Not to say that they are bad. In fact I didn’t say anything like that at all. If I do say something to that affect about deep space 9 then that’s not the same loveable acne ridden manlet you know and quite possibly love.

The real one is probably tied up in the ginger troglodyte’s basement being forced to read his poetry based on that one time he pissed in the local damn or whatever he does in his free time. Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah don’t drink the water in a certain area of Ireland.

But yeah, the other characters are still fantastic. Constable Odo, Quark and the other Ferengi characters stand out as some of my favourites. They all bring something to the table, be it Odo’s mysterious origins, Quarks mad business schemes, Dax’s relationship with a character introduced in later seasons or Bashirs run in with the enigmatic Section 31.

All these characters and the other smaller ones come together to make Deep Space 9 into the greatest show I have ever watched, and it comes with the highest of recommendations that I can dish out.

I tried watching Voyager. It’s bleh. The idea is they get sent to that area of space the Borg are from and try to make it home. How they got 7 years of plot out of that I’ll never know. I don’t feel like talking about it much as I didn’t want to watch it in the first place as I felt pretty burnt out on Star Trek after watching 14 seasons of at least 20 episodes each that are all an hour long. So maybe I’ll watch it sometime in the future. But honestly, I’d rather watch something else.

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Conclusion

Star Trek is quite a decent series that has definitely earned its reputation as being a
revolutionary series that has millions of followers. I would higly recommend even just casually testing the waters to find out if it is your thing or not. And if it isn’t? No biggie. An important lesson in this life is that not everything is for everyone. I don’t think that Dragon Age Inquisition is a good game, but others love it. To that I say more power to them. I wouldn’t count myself as a follower but merely as someone who enjoys what what certain parts of media has to offer and will optimistically look to what it has to offer in the future.

But blindly following something is wrong.

Because you know who else blindly followed a leader?

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Crest headed Fascists, the lot of them.

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