Re-imagining or filling in the blanks of canon is always a tricky element but creativity takes a stride within certain aspects. The issues reviewed below takes this into account with both old and new IP though the take of New Visions places the visual one perception farther and, in doing so, becomes the most daring.
Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary Prime The original 4 plus Janine take on another interesting ghost but this one plays a little more linear. Ray is led to an artifact that has a very high PKE reading. When water is dropped on it, it takes control of Egon. The reveal connects it to Atlantic. After saving Egon, the showdown happens in Battery Park and the eventual reveal which involves a nice visual and verbal quip with Ray speaks to the exact right tone that Ghostbusters needs that hasn’t been really captured on screen since the 1st one.
Star Trek: New Visions #18 Optimizing stills from a series to create new stories has just become more possible with Photoshop and other programs so pieces like this are possible and make them more genuine at times and keyed into stories than some of the crossover attempts. The main story here: “What Pain It Is To Drown” keys into a civilization that precipitates on water pushing large bubbles into space and leading the Enterprise to a planet that eventually tries to pull the ship and one of its shuttles into the vortex. Spock and McCoy confront the being controlling it who simply wants to die and make a spectacle doing it. A mind meld ensues but almost causes trauma to Spock according to Bones. The story line is effective and to the point. The beginning of the next take “The Hunger” seems to be a little more basic but at least Chekov has moved up in rank.
The Q Conflict #2 This continuation of an almost all-star games where Q and his fellow omniscients like Tremaine and some others from the TOS use the captains and ships from the 4 series (except Enterprise and Discovery) in a series of tests seems uneven. While interesting, many of the personalities sometimes don’t work and the art is slightly off. This adventure involves finding portal gateways like those provided by the Traveler but from a long dead race called the Iconians. While most of it is by the book, the aspect of Riker using command codes to outmaneuver Picard shows a dexterity of will and competition
Captain Saru Set between the 1st and 2nd seasons of “Discovery” when the ship is in space dock for repairs (not unlike the beginning of “Wrath Of Khan”), the Discovery is called out to deal with a starship that has gone missing in a nebula where many of the navigation systems don’t work (again like “Khan”). As there is no set Captain, Saru is given a task to go figure out what is wrong. He takes a skeleton crew only to be ambushed by Orions (in what would have been a good regular episode but alas wouldn’t fit in the timeline of the 2nd season mythology). While Tilly and Michael play into the story, this is more completely about the strategy of Saru and actually plays more in tune with his transformation later in Season 2. Nonetheless, it is a good representation of a character building tale for a character with an undeniable journey set in the best Star Trek traditions.
By Tim Wassberg
The aspect of loyalty is a concept that unbalances itself many times with “Star Trek: Discovery”. The idea of trust and the greater good can be mired by thoughts and perceptions of selfishness and the intricate values of altruism. In ”Perpetual Infinity”, the idea of what is for the greater good and what simply necessitates survival is what is the key in capturing The Red Angel. Without revealing any plot points, the texture of who we pretend to be always reveals itself in essence who we truly are. Michael Burnham hides her emotions to protect herself from the loss of her mother. Spock hides his emotions because of emotional pain Michael inflicted on him as a child. While the mythic is not as much in play here as the previous episode, the aspect of loss of choice and the resulting idea of consequence takes over the episode in many ways. The fluid dynamics of time have to figure in with what is happening. But the stubborn aspect of Michael’s bloodline in the feeling that every problem can be fixed is undeniable. But as Spock references two aspects of literature in the episode including one to Macbeth, the proof is in between the lines. The texture of tragedy is only a short time away. The future is fluid and is always changing but every possible outcome has a foreboding nature, as evidenced in Christopher Pike, possibly Michael and eventually and most heartbreakingly Spock. It is just in what lays ahead…come what may.
By Tim Wassberg
The aspect of canon has always been a thistle in a way in the side of the “Discovery”. While striving to make something original, this franchise like Star Wars can be helped and hindered. But in its best it transcends. “If Memory Serves” is the best episode of the series by far because it found that balance. In bringing in old TOS lore, and staying fairly close without breaking it, it necessitates what might be in store. The aspect of Michael and Spock is so dynamic because it shows the incessant humanity while completely lost in logic. When he finally begins speaking, it makes a lot of what we have seen past and present integrated. It also very much speaks to perhaps a bigger structural basis between the Kelvin & Prime Universes which undoubtedly is spacing through the writers’ room. That said, despite any of the mechanics, “If Memory Serves” is a dynamic emotional episodes that contains the best perspective of Star Trek episodes in that they make you think, reflect but also emote. While Michael and Spock carry the basis of the episode, it is the balance and intent of Anson Mount as Christopher Pike and his connection that allows for the bridge between two worlds, as Mount alluded to IR at our interview at TCA, without him giving a thing away. Bravo.
By Tim Wassberg