Now here's another reason to watch: Former Squadder and Enterprise ensign turned Interweb Superman Wil Wheaton will guest star in the next episode, "Fall of the Blue Beetle," which airs this Friday, Jan 23. Wheaton plays Ted Kord aka the Silver Age Blue Beetle.
Click through for a great clip from the ep, featuring Blue Beetle (who seems to be quite the tech geek) and Batman talking shop and knocking out bad guys.
Yep, I got a Twitter. It's part of my plan to plaster the Internet with links to my must-read blog posts about '90s indie rock and that handsome bastard Neil Patrick Harris (don't ask). Fortunately for you, some clever TV stars also use Twitter for fun and shameless self-promotion.
Here are ten fan-friendly TV celebs worth stalking on Twitter. Unlike that fake Stephen Colbert, these guys are all one-hundred percent, real-life paparazzo magnets.
I'll admit, they got me. When I read about the plans for more live coverage, and how they were going to make use of all the other NBC/Universal properties, I thought this would be the year, the Olympic nirvana that always could have been. It's really not panning out that way. More than anything else, the word that keeps coming to mind for the NBC coverage is annoying. After the jump, some notes for NBC.
Original Air Date: October 12, 1987
Written by: Katharyn Powers and Michael Baron
Directed by: Russ Mayberry
Synopsis: The inhabitants of the Federation planet Styris IV had the fish for dinner, leading to an outbreak of deadly Anchilles fever. With Styris IV's fate in the hands of Acting President Ted Striker and his intern Elaine, the Enterprise pays a visit to the only planet in the entire galaxy that can provide a vaccine, Ligon II.
Picard meets with the Ligonian leader Lutan and his little buddy Hagon when they beam up into the ship's cargo bay. On the way to meet them, Troi and Riker tell Picard that the Ligonians are a proud people with a very structured society. Picard thanks them for waiting until they're in the turbolift, going to the meeting to tell him this important information, instead of bogging down the pre-meeting briefing with it. When they get to the cargo bay, we discover that the Ligonians are also descended directly from a 1940s pulp novel set in deepest, darkest Africa, and that they are amused to discover that the Enterprise's security chief is a woman.
Oh good! We're going to be racist and sexist in this one!
Original Air Date: January 25, 1988
Written by: Patrick Barry
Directed by: Michael Rhodes
Synopsis: The Enterprise comes across the long-lost freighter Odin, which has been missing since Captain Hazelwood crashed the ship into an asteroid seven years ago. Three escape pods are missing and assumed to be on their way to Tatooine, but since the planet Angel One is closer, Picard decides to look there, first. Besides, it's supposedly run by hot babes who like to snu-snu, so Picard can finally dump that load of hats he's been hauling around since "Justice." And -- Science Fiction Cliche alert! -- it's "similar to mid-twentieth century Earth."
After a chilly initial audio-only contact with Angel One's leader, Mistress Beata, during which no one at all asks why the leader has a dom-sub porn name, Picard sends Riker, Troi, Tasha and Data down to the planet to get permission to look for any survivors. On their way to the transporter room, they run into Wesley and Nameless Extra Kid, who are wrapped up in Jiffy Pop suits and on their way to skiing lessons. On the holodeck's version of the Denubian alps. Now, for all the failings in this episode, here are two things it does right: the holodeck doesn't malfunction, and we don't have to watch Wesley and his friend doing their best Suzie Chapstick impression on the icy slopes of Mount Needaplotpoint (part of the majestic Isthisthebestyoucoulddo range).
Picard tells the away team that Angel One could one day be of strategic importance to the Federation, so they'd better be on their best behavior. Riker says, "Dude, is there any planet in the galaxy that isn't going to be of strategic importance to the Federation one day?" Picard responds, "If you keep asking questions like that, Number One, it's going to be fifteen years before you get your own command. Beam them away, Nameless Transporter Chief."
Original Air Date: January 18, 1988
Teleplay by: Robert Lewin and Gene Roddenberry
Story by: Robert Lewin and Maurice Hurley
Directed by: Rob Bowman
Synopsis: After dropping off a bunch of Human Horn for Lurr in the Omicron Persei system, the Enterprise cruises into the nearby Omicron Theta system, to pay a visit to Data's home planet.
Omicon Theta was once a farming colony, but all the colonists -- and everything they once grew -- were all gone when Data was found. Oh! A mystery! Riker leads an away team to the planet's surface in an effort to solve it. (In a scene that was cut from the final episode, the USS Mystery Machine showed up, and captain Fred said, "Dang." before it flew away to the Scary Old Amusement Park galaxy.)
They make their way to the exact spot where Data was discovered: it's sort of a hollowed out area beneath a bunch of rocks, where Data tells them he was found wearing nothing more than a layer of dust. Before anyone can make a saucy reference about 'The Naked Now' to Tasha, Geordi's Visor reveals that the rocks aren't naturally hollow, and the "wall" opens up, revealing a twisty maze of passages, all alike.
Original Air Date: January 11, 1988
Written By: Tracy Torme
Directed by: Joseph L. Scanlan
The Enterprise is on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan, and the imperial senate will not stand for -- oh. Wait. Sorry. Wrong Star. Let's start over, shall we?
The Enterprise is on a diplomatic mission to meet the Jarada, an alien species with a peculiar affinity for protocol: if Picard doesn't speak a particular greeting in exactly the right way at exactly the right time, the Jaradan won't join the Federation, and they'll take all their mythical Jaradan weed with them.
Picard and Counselor Troi have been practicing his speech for hours, because it is just about the most important thing Picard has done since convincing Q that humanity isn't a bunch of asscocks. Because he is so aware of the significance of the meeting, he naturally closes up his books and heads down to the holodeck to goof off. (If my son Ryan, who is about to enter college, is reading this, please don't follow his example if you intend to graduate in four years. Keep studying. Your grades and my money thank you.)
Picard tells us in his personal log that he's looking forward to trying out something new called a holodeck program: rather than simply recreating a time or a place (or both) it recreates an entire fictional universe inside the Enterprise (infinite recursion alert! Infinite recursion alert!) with characters and a story, sort of like LARPing, if LARPing wasn't totally lame.
Original Air Date: November 30, 1987
Teleplay By: Tracy Torme
Story By: Tracy Torme and Lan Okun
Directed by: Richard Compton
Synopsis: The Enterprise is in orbit around a planet known as Haven, a planet so beautiful, Picard tells us, legends say it has mystical healing powers. Data intelligently points out that the legend is entirely unsupported by fact, so Picard gives him a copy of Loose Change and The Secret to straighten him out on the whole "Facts vs. Bullshit" thing.
Yar calls Riker out of his quarters, where he's been watching two holographic young women play the harps together. (Uh, yeah. I have an easier time suspending my disbelief for faster-than-light travel and kids on the bridge than accepting that a dude, alone in his quarters, pulls up two pretty young holographic women to play harps together.) Riker arrives in the transporter room and wants to know what was so goddamn important that Yar had to call him away from his harp watching thing. It turns out that there's an object from Haven waiting to be beamed aboard the ship. Riker, vision of harp playing nymphs dancing in his head, tells her to beam the stupid object over, already.
Transporter Chief Buffalo Bill puts the lotion in the basket, and beams over . . . a mysterious box. What's in the box? Should they trade the red snapper for what could be inside? Red snapper is very tasty, but there could be anything inside! There could even be a boat in there!
Before we get to open the box and find out what it contains, a face on the front of the box (played by Armin Shimmerman, in a cool non-Ferengi role) announces that it has a message for Troi: Lwaxana Troi and the Miller family are pretty excited for a big event of some sort. Ah! It's a Betazoid Gift box, of course, and it's there to announce the joyous joining of Wyatt Miller and . . . someone. The box then takes a big jewel shit all over the transporter. While Tasha rubs the box's nose in it so it can think about what it's done, Troi tells Riker that the box didn't contain a boat after all. They should have kept the red snapper, because that someone getting married is her. Gulp.
Oh boy. Is it going to be one of those episodes?
Original Air Date: November 23, 1987
Teleplay By: C.J. Holland and Gene Roddenberry
Story By: C.J. Holland
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Synopsis: The Enterprise receives a distress call from a colony on Quadra Sigma III, which is just a few planets before eMac Sigma III. There's been an accident, and they need urgent medical attention. The colonists are in luck (as are Trekkies who have had their fill of "Pain! So much pain!") because the Enterprise has just dropped off Counselor Troi at Starbase G-6, putting them close enough to Sigma III to speed on over and save the 500 or so trapped miners. (Ah, trapped miners on a far off colony . . . it's one of the classic Sci-Fi cliches.)
The Enterprise kicks it up to Warp 9.1, but quickly runs into a familiar and no-longer-mysterious giant CGI net that the ship can't pass. Faster than you can say, "Hey, that's the ILM-designed thing Q used in 'Encounter at Farpoint!'" Data says, "Captain! It's that ILM-designed thing Q used in 'Encounter at Farpoint!'" They put on the brakes, and in a blinding flash of light, Q appears on the Bridge, and tells Picard that he's decided that humans are not just a bunch of shitcocks, and as a reward, he's giving them a really swell gift.
Picard tells Q that it's very sweet of him to offer, but they're on their way to save those trapped miners on Quadra Sigma III, where there are also radioactive mutants, a sentient brain in a jar, a computer that's become self-aware and turned on its creator, beings of pure energy, and a call that's coming from inside the house, so maybe they could just talk about this some other time.
Original Air Date: November 16, 1987
Teleplay By: Herbert J. Wright
Story By: Larry Forrester
Directed by: Rob Bowman
Synopsis: On an order from Starfleet (official directive #9: Justify the Plot of the Show), the Enterprise has rendezvoused with a Ferengi ship in the Xendi Sabu system, famous across the entire galaxy for its delicious paper-thin slices of Targ, cooked at your table in boiling water and served with tasty noodles.
However, it's been three days since the Enterprise arrived, and the only message they've picked up from the Ferengi ship is, "Stand by, Enterprise." That's an awfully long time to be listening to music on hold, but Picard knows that his starship will be hailed in the order it arrived, and jumping to warp speed and coming back will only lead to further delays, so he waits.
This is where we come in, and we discover Picard in his quarters with Dr. Crusher. He is extra cranky and has a mysterious headache. It's so mysterious that even Dr. Crusher doesn't know why he has it, and she wants to give Picard a special examination. However, before the porn music can begin, Riker calls Picard to the Bridge; the Ferengi are ready to talk.
Picard arrives on the Bridge and talks with the Ferengi DaiMon Bok, who seems to know Picard. Picard doesn't remember him but wants to know why he requested a meeting and kept the Enterprise waiting for three days, and why in the world they chose Chicago X as their hold music, because "If you Leave Me Now" is cool once, but every 38 minutes for three days is a little much.
Original Air Date: September 28, 1987
Written By: D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: Corey Allen
Synopsis: When we last left our heroes, the Enterprise had just entered orbit around planet Deneb IV, so that's a pretty good place to pick up the action, as an Excelsior class ship (in this case the USS Hood) pulls away from the Enterprise, giving us a sense of just how goddamn big this spaceship is. It's a cool shot -- so cool, in fact, we reused it about 900 times over the duration of the series, with different planets (or no planet at all) put into the background.
Picard walks onto the bridge, and before he can find out the Hood's reply to his taunt bon voyage, mon ami (which loosely translates into "suck my balls, assmaster" in 24th century starship captain slang), Q appears on the main viewscreen. Worf leaps to his feet, propelled by his Klingon instincts, and draws his phaser. Luckily, before he can fire, Picard (and the entire audience) point out that all he's going to do there is blast a hole in the main viewscreen. (It is at this very moment that the Big Dumb Stupid Old Worf drinking game is born, one of the only Star Trek drinking games to span two series and at least four movies.) Q gives Picard 24 hours to have his Encounter at Farpoint, or be summarily judged by Captain Q's Kangaroo Court, where he faces death beneath an avalanche of ping pong balls.
Eleven of the 24 hours pass, and we find Riker and Picard getting ready to head down to the planet to meet Groppler Zorn, and have some of those tasty-but-mysterious apples Riker keeps ranting about. Picard then introduces Riker to the ship's counselor. As she walks down toward them, she projects some of her thoughts into Riker's mind, and calls him "Imzadi," which is Betazoid for "Backstory red herring that never really goes anywhere for seven years but finally pays off (sort of) in the last movie when Riker gets Worf's sloppy seconds, but let's not go there because 'ew gross.'"
They all head into the turbolift, and Picard says, "Hey, I think it's great that you guys know each other, because it's important for my key officers to know each other's abilities." Troi says, "We do, sir," and Riker and Picard subtly high-five each other as the turbolift doors close.
Original Air Date: September 28, 1987
Written By: D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: Corey Allen
Synopsis: The Enterprise, which is huge and beautiful and majestic, cruises through space toward the camera, and Trekkies who have waited since the 60s to have new Star Trek on television let out a mighty cheer. The camera zooms in on a darkened window, where her captain -- the second bald man to command a starship called Enterprise -- steps out of the shadows and gazes at the stars. In voice over, the captain, Picard, says that they're heading out to "the unexplored mass of the galaxy."
Picard heads out on a tour of this spiffy new Galaxy Class starship, through engineering and up on the bridge, while he tells his log (and the now tearfully celebrating Trekkies) that the ship is huge, isn't entirely filled with crew just yet, and is on its way to Farpoint Station, where they'll pick up their new first officer and absolutely nothing else of interest will happen.
Wait. Of course something interesting will happen! They're supposed to solve the mystery of Farpoint, but before the ship can even reach its mysterious destination, a more pressing mystery presents itself: the mystery of the giant mysterious CGI net that the ship can't pass . . . mysteriously.
Original Air Date: November 09, 1987
Written By: Worley Thorne
Story By: Ralph Wills and Worley Thorne
Directed by: James L. Conway
Synopsis: After dropping some human colonists off in the Strnad solar system, the Enterprise notices a rather nice Class M planet in the nearby Rubicun system, called Rubicun III. Picard sends an away team down to the surface to find out if it's a good place for some shore leave, and they return with some very good news: it's clean, it's beautiful, it's populated with friendly humanoids . . . and they really like to do the nasty.
"At the drop of a hat," according to Geordi.
"Any hat," Tasha says, knowingly.
Picard sends a second, larger team down to the planet to see exactly how many hats they're going to need. Because every responsible Starfleet parent would want to send their children down to the galaxy's longest running planetary orgy, he orders Wesley Crusher to see if the planet is a good place for kids to hang out.
After beaming down to the planet, the away team quickly learn three important facts:
- The planet's inhabitants, called the Edo, like to jog everywhere.
- They are all beautiful blond models, possibly descended from some sort of Maxim/FHM breeding program in the late 22nd century.
- The entire planet is clothed in about 6 yards of fabric.
Original Air Date: November 02,, 1987
Written By: D.C. Fontana
Story By: Michael Halperin
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Synopsis: Two alien races, the Antican and the Selay, wish to be admitted to the Federation, so they can get the discount card and the cool bumper sticker that comes with the welcome packet. But before they can join the club, they have to learn to play nice with each other, because in the enlightened future of Star Trek, only people who get along with each other can be in the United Federation of Planets. In order to work out their differences, delegates from each planet hitch a ride on the Enterprise to the Parliament planet, which is in the nearby Funkadelic system.
On the way, Data's sensors pick up a giant energy cloud, which really shouldn't be there, because the Enterprise is traveling at warp speed. Picard decides to slow down and take a quick look.
Meanwhile, Geordi and Worf are doing some maintenance on the ship's sensor systems. I'm sure nothing unusual will happen when the ship's sensors scan the energy cloud, right? Oh! Wrong. The ship scans the cloud, and big blue bolts of energy zap right out of the the wall and into Worf, knocking him to the ground almost as easily as every other adversary Worf will encounter for the rest of the series.
People who are animation buffs know Diane pretty well already; she has written for cartoons as diverse as Scooby and Scrappy-Doo (let's just hope she wasn't the one who came up with Scrappy) and the Batman animated series. But her first foray into live-action series writing was with this episode of ST:TNG, and she recounts the story behind it on her blog. It's an interesting illustration of how the script the episode's writers originally conceive doesn't usually come close to what ultimately reaches the screen.
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