Another Sunday, another episode of the Sunday G&T Show, the Trek-themed internet radio show hosted by friends Nick Minecci and Terry Lynn Shull!
A lot of the show was spent reacting to the news that the forthcoming Star Trek sequel movie now seems to bear the title Star Trek Into Darkness (No colon, which to me makes the title look a little weird…like an in-joke of some kind.). Does the title offer any hints? Well, if the rumors are true and the villain this time around–to be portrayed by actor Benedict Cumberbatch–isn’t Khan or Gary Mitchell, taken with the pics we’ve seen of Cumberbatch wearing Starfleet clothing, then I suppose all that might suggest some kind of Apocalypse Now-type storyline, with Kirk and the Enterprise sent to deal with a Starfleet dude gone rogue for reasons which remain unknown, after which hilarity ensues.
(NOTE: I have no insider knowledge. I’m basically talking out of my ass, here, okay?)
Anything else on the show? Well, there was this week’s “Ask Dayton” question, which had the unintended yet pleasing effect of fixing an image in Terry’s mind of Captain Janeway wearing a strap-on. Terry’s quite the dirty little minx, isn’t she? What got her in such a lather?
Dear Dayton: I was just wondering: what are your feelings on the Timecop-style organizations we see in Voyager and Enterprise? You know, the Captain Braxton/Crewman Daniels guys? Some people think that they add a valuable dose of interesting sci-fi to the franchise while others (namely me) tend to think of them as poorly thought out continuity errors that make no sense. Where on the scale do you fall?
Gonna make me talk about Voyager, aren’t you?
Leave it to Voyager and Enterprise to create a reset button for a whole other fucking dimension.
Okay, okay. Don’t get me wrong, I love time travel stories. Some of my favorite Star Trek episodes, books, and comics involve time travel, and yeah, the idea of the 29th Century “time ships” with crews dedicated to safeguarding the timeline sounds pretty cool, right? Unfortunately, once you look past that and start digging a little bit, you realize there’s something wrong from the get-go with the whole concept.
I mean, let’s look at it for a minute: If there’s this group of “time hall monitors” like Captain Braxton and his crew from the Relativity running around out there, five or six hundred years in the future from the folks we know and supposedly keeping their eye on things that might go wrong when somebody starts dicking with the timeline, you have to ask yourself: Where the hell are these dudes whenever everything goes to shit?
McCoy runs through the Guardian of Forever and mucks up Earth in the early 20th century? The time cops are no shows. The Enterprise is thrown back and identified as a UFO? Nope. The Borg fly back to 21st century Montana to start some shit? Nada. It’s like these guys were on vacation. Or, maybe they were just resting up, knowing all the crap they’d have to deal with once Captain Janeway and her gang really started ass-hammering the time line. Of course, they could’ve just been exhausted from having to deal with Archer and all that Temporal Cold War bullshit. You think they’d want to show up any time Kirk even thinks about going back in time, if for no other reason than it might give them the chance to bang some really hot 20th century porn stars.
Of course, you can make the argument that the reason the time cops never showed up for those events is because they hadn’t yet been invented by the writing staff. That’s when I’d thank you for making my point. This is the problem with introducing something like people in the future able to “scan time” and fix whatever gets fucked up: When they don’t show up to do exactly that, do we blame them for sleeping on the job, or the writers for not playing by the very rules they established? Tough call, huh? Based on the setup, these “timey-wimey dudes” have always been “out there” in the far off future, watching our heroes do their thing, but never showing up to fix any temporal shenanigans. So, where the hell were they? But they weren’t invented yet! And thank you for making my point yet again. That’s the problem with introducing….
HOLY SHIT! DID YOU SEE WHAT JUST HAPPENED? IT’S A TEMPORAL CAUSALITY LOOP!
Man, but I hate when that happens.
To be fair, this isn’t the first time Star Trek has presented something that’s inherently problematic. Remember that Organian Peace Treaty? The one intended to keep the Federation and Klingons from fighting? What happened the next time the Klingons and the Feds ran into each other? Right. They fought. Where were the Organians? Off banging 20th century porn stars, maybe? Instead, we got some double-talk about how the Organians had laid down some rules so that the Federation and Klingons could get along, or compete for planets, or whatever. That lasted precisely as long as it took for the Klingons and Federation to cross paths again, after which everything went to hell just like you’d expect. After a while, Star Trek just gave up even bothering with that crap.
How about the Borg? The ultimate unstoppable foe, right? They don’t negotiate, they don’t get tired, they don’t give up, they just keep coming after you, adapting to whatever weapons or defenses you throw at them. And yet…our gang keeps knocking them on their ass, over and over. It happened so often that what once was the most menacing of adversaries was all but reduced to the Delta Quadrant equivalent of that one scrawny drunk idiot at every rock concert who mouths off to the jock while saying lewd shit to the guy’s girlfriend, which ends up with the moron getting his taint stomped into next month.
And how about that whole transwarp beaming thing from the newest movie? Yeah, that doesn’t render the whole concept of spaceships pretty much irrelevant, right? Anybody want to take bets on how we won’t be seeing that in the next flick? At all?
And the less we talk about that whole “Temporal Cold War” business, the better, unless we want to take bets on the true identity of “Future Guy.” Personally, I think it’s Rufus:
So, you know…be excellent to each other, and shit.
This question and its answer was read during G&T Show Episode #60 on September 9th, 2012. You can hear Nick read the answers each week by listening live, or check out the replay/download options when the episode is loaded to their website: The Sunday G&T Show. Listeners to the show are also encouraged to send in their own questions, one of which will be sent to me each week for a future episode.
As always, thanks to Nick, Terry, and Mike for letting me play in their sandbox.