Monday, November 28, 2011

The Lorelei Signal

*** (3 stars out of 5)

"The Lorelei Signal" by Margaret Armen has certain benefits easy to appreciate: namely, that when the men of the crew turn into love-sick idiots, it is Uhura & Chapel who take center stage.

Now, the Lorelei Signal itself- Uhura says it's like music. If you think music is a single, maddening, tortuously unending note- sure.

Meet Theela, who calls herself 'The Head Female'. Oh, dear. Well, whatever makes you popular!

The women of the second Taurean planet lure in and drain the life-essence of men, and not in the fun way. The hapless slobs are aging a decade per day, while stylish headbands siphon their years into immortality for the sneaky sirens.

How's this for weird? The voice cast includes both Nichelle Nichols and Majel Barrett. Why not have Majel reprise her role as Ship Computer? Why have Nichelle do it?

11 minutes in: Scotty croons a ballad. You can't beat that. Well, it's better than more Lorelei Signal.

Uhura in command! Chapel is Chief Medical Officer! About damn time!

Wrinkly Spock's dying request for an all-female landing party- BEST. REQUEST. EVER.

The local computer, (called Opto-aud) spins a vague history report in which the planet itself killed the Taurean men and mutated the women.

Oh, goody, now here's the first use of the transporter to magically cure aging. That's highly convenient and raises no lingering questions. (Heavy sigh.)

An all-girl crew will transplant the Taureans to happy normal lives on a brand new world...

In a Rehab Colony, surely? Or isn't luring many hundreds of men to their deaths a crime these days? Even with extenuating circumstances, shouldn't habitual vampires at least have to register with the authorities?

Unless the screwy environment was turning the Klingon and Romulan females blonde and blunting their ears, then either all five starships that went missing had all male crews or the Taureans have been quietly doing away with women for decades, too. And they can't plead necessity- they've had access to starships for a century and a half! They are apparently killing because it's easier than MOVING HOUSE.

They seem eager to begin dating and, frankly, I'd be a little curious about what they'll put on their spacebook pages: Mutant Mindee, hair: blonde, eyes: blue, age: 170+, status: single, interests: music, leisure, simply devouring men! Klingons and Romulans welcome, no smokers please.

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