Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Masterpiece Society

* (1 star fragment out of 5)
While chasing a chunk of neutron star, Enterprise discovers an unexpected human colony dome on Moab IV.

To save them from the quakes the star will cause, they plan to evacuate. But the locals won't hear of it. They've put a lot of time into their horrible little planet, and an obsessive, dare I say, insane amount of pre-planning. Eight generations of selective breeding over two centuries has led to handsome, bland, nay blandsome Aaron Conor.

Everyone is bred for their purpose. No poets remain unknown labourers here. They're as homogenous as they come, filled with arrogant certitude from perfect birth to snooty death.

"Am I making this sound incredibly dull?" Oh, don't hang a lantern on it, man! Just hit on Deanna by the numbers and leave us out of it.

Local scientist Hannah Bates teams her smarts with Geordi's tech to create a multiphase tractor beam to move the stellar fragment instead. (Conveniently, no one will ever remember this miraculous star-pushing invention or speak of it again.)

While bragging about how many things the diverse and unplanned Federation has invented in the time it took the Moab Colony to stagnate into pointless tedium, Geordi says there's over a century of evidence that the transporter does not affect DNA. (Worryingly, we will later learn it has been in use for more than TWO centuries. Transporters: Flipper Baby free since 2263!)

Picard doesn't approve of genetic engineering. "It was a bad idea whose time has long past." (Plus it's hard to avoid Keniclius Gigantism or the dreaded Shrinkage of Terratin.)

The key to the multiphase tractor beam is making it work like a VISOR. Which Geordi gloats about. Yes, yes, the Genome Colony terminate imperfect offspring, so they never invented the tech that would have saved them. They would have fried like eggs. Very ironic. Petty, Geordi, real petty.

Troi and Aaron had what I infer was the dullest pre-planned sexual coupling in the history of the planet. She makes some noise about how she could easily fall in love, but it amounts to dumping Marlon Bland-o.

Geordi and Hannah read off numbers for far too long, somehow making the first time a starship ever pushed a star into an even bigger drag.

Picard cannot ignore Hannah or the others of Genome Colony who request asylum, but if they take two dozen of them away somehow the thousands who remain will lose their perfect world. I have a hard time feeling even slightly sorry for them, maybe because I don't understand this problem.

If 23 people leave, can't you just ask the Federation for 23 volunteers to live in a sterile, tedious little dome on some backwater shit hole? Oh, I see the problem now. Aaron might've phrased it better, though.

"The Masterpiece Society", sorry to say, is weak sauce. Maybe it's meant as an indictment against the utopia Star Trek posits. Criticizing a show for being dull with a dull show seems self-defeating, however.

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