1/31/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Man Trap"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S01E01
Air Date: September 8, 1966
Written by: George Clayton Johnson
Directed by: Marc Daniels

Premise
When the Enterprise visits Bones' old girlfriend, people start dying. Turns out a shape-shifting salt monster is to blame and Bones is the only one who can kill it, despite its beautiful form.

Review
Kirk, Bones and Ensign Rickey Crewman Darnell beam down to planet M-113 in order to deliver supplies and perform routine medical exams to Dr. Robert Crarter and his wife Nancy. The catch? Nancy is McCoy's ex-girlfriend. Which would be awkward for the old country doctor, but humanity has evolved beyond romantic awkwardness, right? ...Right?

1/30/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Where No Man Has Gone Before"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S01E03
Air Date: September 22, 1966
Written by: Samuel A. Peeples
Directed by: James Goldstone

Premise
After passing through the galactic barrier, Gary Mitchell, Kirk's life-long friend, becomes imbued with god-like powers and learns that with great power comes great ego.

Review
As Kirk explains in his log, the U.S.S. Valiant traveled out to the edge of the galaxy and ran into the galactic barrier. "Galactic barrier??" one might say, "But I thought the galaxy just faded slowly into space! What's this about a barrier??" Well, that's exactly what Starfleet said, so they sent the Valiant to find out! Whatever it was, it caused the captain of the Valiant to order a self destruct after looking up information on psionics.

1/29/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Cage"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S01E00
Air Date: October 18, 1988
Written by: His Royal Highness, Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: Robert Butler

Premise
Captain Christopher Pike battles a race of perverted voyeur aliens on Talos IV by channeling his inner Angry Archer while the Talosians feed him holodeck-like illusions. Truly an episode before its time.

Review
In the beginning of this episode, it takes a long time for the crew of the Enterprise to decode and respond to a distress call. Nothing against them; I mean, they have to verify everything, but at some point you just want them to get going already. And then Pike spends a lot of time in his room regretting being in Starfleet and complaining to his doctor about how tired he is with command. It's probably a good thing that Pike was only in one episode. You get the feeling he just couldn't handle much more stress.

1/28/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Weekly Aftermath - The Cage Where No Man Trap Has Gone Before"


And now, for something completely awesome!

Steve and I have finished going over this week's episodes from The Original Series ("The Cage," "Where No Man Has Gone Before," and "The Man Trap"), and the resulting podcast is now available for you, our faithful viewers! Plus, we've got a special treat this week. We're now recording from the bridge of the Enterprise! That means we have brand new recording equipment and a great atmosphere for which to blather on about our favorite series - just listen for the beeps in the background.

But wait - there's more! Wanna subscribe to the podcast? Good, because you had better. Just go to your favorite media player, subscribe to http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheGreenAsterisk, and you'll be able to follow along in our audible adventures.

Have fun!

1/26/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Officer's Lounge - The Cage Where No Man Trap Has Gone Before"

Greetings, programs!

This week, the Captain and I begin watching The Original Series. This week, we tackle the unaired pilot episode, "The Cage;" the AIRED pilot episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before;" and a special Bones episode, "The Man Trap." This week, thanks to the magic of computers (and the programs on them actually NOT dying), we are proud to bring you the live audio from us having fun during the viewing session. Oh, and just, um... ignore the technical issue or two in the middle. These things, they happen. Plus, remember that this is about 3 hours of audio. That means it's roughly 80MB of awesomeness. Don't be scared - just forewarned.

And hey, you can join in on the fun, too! Every Thursday, stay tuned to the #StarTrekAsterisk hashtag on Twitter, and you can watch along with us starting at 6PM Eastern.

Also, be sure to follow @GreenAsterisk so you can be the first to know about the updates right here! Stay tuned later this week for our wrap-up podcast, and Steve's written reviews of each episode.

Enjoy!

1/24/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "On Stardates"

When I first set out on this journey, I determined to go through all of the Star Trek canon in chronological order according to mission stardate. Upon reviewing the stardates of the Original Series episodes, something came clearly to light: These numbers are completely random.

1/23/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "In Defense of Abrams"

It has come to my attention through various channels that some people have problems with Star Trek (2009) because certain aspects of it don't comply with standard Star Trek canon. This is complete and utter bunk.

You do not complain about canon when a Borgified Romulan mining vessel slips through a singularity and creates an alternate universe. If alternate universes had to comply with canon, then the Mirror Universe should be utter nonsense to you. But as I say this, I can just hear some of the arguments coming from people who insist that because all prequels are bad (see: Star Wars) that Star Trek's prequel also must suck. So let me go over a few things for you.

1/22/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Star Trek (2009)"

Vital Information
Series: The Alternate Universe Series
Episode: MovieXI
Release Date: May 7, 2009
Written by: Alex Kurtzman & Robert Orci
Directed by: J. J. Abrams

Premise
A crazed Romulan bent on revenge goes back in time and changes everything while a young James T. Kirk finds his destiny aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Review
To say that the opening scene of this movie is a tear-jerker would be like saying the Enterprise is an alright ship. Here we see, for the very first time, George Kirk, the father of the soon-to-be-born future captain of the Enterprise. He is first officer of the U.S.S. Kelvin which has just come under attack by Nero, a Romulan with a mining vessel the size of a small moon which has been modified with Borg technology to support weapons and the ability to survive passage through a rip through spacetime. This is very inconvenient because, after letting his pregnant wife leave on a shuttle, George is forced to save the life of the crew by ramming the U.S.S. Kelvin into the Romulan ship like a hammer and subsequently dying. That's right. I just made an obscure Thor reference.

1/20/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Weekly Aftermath - Star Trek (2009)"

All you Trekkies and TV addicts - zunderscore here with your weekly dose of shenanigans and review from this week's "Star Trek: Asterisk" viewing session. Steve and I have put together a nice review and slightly in-depth look at J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" film, and it was so nice a podcast, we thought we would share! If you're reading this on TheGreenAsterisk.com, you can click here to download the naughty audio bits.

Be sure to leave us a comment below or tweet at us with the hashtag #StarTrekAsterisk. We wanna hear from YOU!

1/16/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Enterprise"

A Summary


Since its inception, Enterprise had faced criticism from many angles. For one thing, it seemed to be capitalizing on the prequel trend that had been popularized by traditional franchise rival, Star Wars. For another thing, it seemed to take what most believed to be established canon and completely stood it on end. Add to that the fact that there "wasn't supposed to be" any other ships named "Enterprise" and most Trekkies built up a pretty solid defense against watching it. But forcing myself to go through this series was a surprising and educational experience.

1/15/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "These Are the Voyages..."

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise?
Episode: S04E22
Air Date: May 13, 2005
Written by: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga
Directed by: Allan Kroeker

Synopses
After four years of hearing fans complain about Enterprise, Berman and Braga decide to make a Next Generation episode. In which Riker consults the final mission of the Enterprise NX-01 to help him make a decision.

Review
It's ten years after the Enterprise NX-01's first mission and Archer and the crew is getting ready to put the ship in proverbial mothballs. Or... rather... wait, no, it's hundreds of years after the Enterprise NX-01's first mission and Riker is in the holodeck reviewing the Enterprise NX-01's final mission. Because of reasons. After HoloArcher goes over a speech he's writing, Riker is called to the bridge. He pauses the holoprogram and leaves, thus blowing everyone's minds.

1/14/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Terra Prime"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04S21
Air Date: May 13, 2005
Written by: Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and AndrĂ© Bormanis
Directed by: Marvin Rush

Premise
The Enterprise goes after the very last human-based terrorist cell and its on-board spy operative.

Review
Previously on Enterprise: Paxton, the ruler of the Terra Prime terrorist cell went to Mars and took control of a weapon of mass destruction. To be fair, it's meant to redirect meteorites to Mars' polar regions, but you know terrorist: always finding a way to make terror. So, he shot a hole in the moon and then threatened to hit Starfleet unless all of the non-humans left the Sol system.

1/11/12

What a F2P Star Trek Online Means to People Who Don't Care

You may have heard about Star Trek Online, you may not have. I don't imagine it's something that casual Trekkies have kept tabs on, but it's out there. And if you, like me, once held claim to your bit of land in the World of Warcraft, this Trek version of an MMORPG is right up your alley. But let me tell you why it's also important to people who don't normally play MMOs.

For one thing, it will be free for all to play starting January 17th. That means you pay just once to install the game, and thereafter there is no subscription. They make their money if you want to get certain upgrades within the game. I know the monthly subscription is a big drawback for a lot of gamers who claim not to have the money for MMOs.

1/10/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Demons"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E20
Air Date: May 6, 2005
Written by: Manny Coto
Directed by: LeVar Burton

Premise
While the crew of the Enterprise and the mayor of Sunnydale join talks to form the United Federation of Planets, a xenophobic terrorist group called Terra Prime tries to throw all aliens out of the Sol system.

Review
The episodes starts off with Mr. Paxton looking after what appears to be a newborn Vulcan child. When he is satisfied that she is stable, he twirls his mustache and gives a maniacal laugh. Meanwhile, back on Earth, negotiations are proceeding to create a coalition of planets called the United Federation of Planets. The crew of the Enterprise sits on the sidelines and watch it all go down, regretting that they're not playing a more active role in this little piece of history. They surmise that if Samuels, the delegate in charge of forming the Federation, is responsible for writing the history books, the crew of the NX-01 will never be remembered. So, we can pretty much be certain that Samuels did, indeed, write the history books.

1/9/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "In a Mirror, Darkly part 2"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E19
Air Date: April 29, 2005
Written by: Michael Sussman
Directed by: Marvin V. Rush

Premise
In the Mirror Universe, after the Enterprise is destroyed, Evil Archer assumes command of the USS Defiant and attempts to seize control of the Terran Empire.

Review
Previously, on Star Trek: Enterprise...
So, Evil Archer and his buddies have watched the Enterprise go up in a huge explosion at the hands of the Tholians. Some have escaped on escape pods. Captain Forrest is no more. First order of business: escape the Tholians. To be fair, this is pretty much the first order of business any time you meet a Tholian. Because Tholians have just one trick up their sleeve. Out of all the possible technology in the entire universe, the Tholians have decided that the best way to defeat your enemies is to encase them in a web.

1/8/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "In a Mirror, Darkly part 1"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E18
Air Date: April 22, 2005
Written by: Michael Sussman
Directed by: James L. Conway

Premise
In the Mirror Universe, Evil Archer attempts to climb the ranks by going in search of a mysterious cache of future technology. [Spoiler alert: it's the U.S.S. Defiant.]

Review
If you didn't already know that this episode took place in the Mirror Universe, then the opening teaser would cause all sorts of mass confusion. If you didn't know that the Mirror Universe existed, you might as well just give up on all hope of understanding until halfway through the episode. These two possibilities make it an exciting mystery to solve, but if you're already in the know, the episode is just good, clean, evil fun from beginning to end.

1/3/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Bound"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E17
Air Date: April 15, 2005
Written by: Manny Coto
Directed by: Allen Kroeker

Premise
An Orion trader gives Archer three slave girls who begin seducing all the ship's crewmen while Trip and Kelby whip out the tape measure.

Review
So the Enterprise is on their way to check out the site for a possible starbase when they run into an Orion ship. The commander of the ship, Harrad-Sar, makes an offer that Archer apparently can't refuse. He offers information about a planet with magnesite deposits in exchange for a portion of the profits from mining it. But he really sweetens the deal when he offers to open relations between Earth and the Orion Syndicate. To celebrate the deal, Harrad-Sar gives Archer three Orion slave girls, and, for some reason, Archer takes them.

1/2/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Divergence"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E16
Air Date: February 25, 2005
Written by: Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Directed by: David Barrett

Premise
The Enterprise deals with sabotage without the help of Keanu Reeves and then goes off to find Phlox who is trying to save Klingons from dying of flat-forehead disease.

Review
When last we left the Enterprise, it had been set by the flat-headed Klingons to explode if it dropped below warp 5. [Insert overkill Speed joke here.] Archer's only hope is to bring Reed back out of the brig where he was put because he kept some secrets from Archer while doing spy stuff. And the plan involves bringing Trip on board from the Colombia. While at high warp. Without a transporter.