Tag Archives: television

Review ~ Who’s 50

This book was provided to me by ECW Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Who’s 50: The 50 Doctor Who Stories to Watch Before You Die – An Unofficial Companion by Graeme Burk, Robert Smith?

Cover via Goodreads

Travel through space and time with this guide to 50 years of Doctor Who

Doctor Who has been a television phenomenon since it began 50 years ago on November 23, 1963. But of all the hundreds of televised stories, which are the ones you must watch? Featuring 50 stories from all eleven Doctors, Who’s 50 is full of behind-the-scenes details, exhilarating moments, connections to Who lore, goofs, interesting trivia and much, much more. Who’s 50 tells the story of this global sensation: its successes, its tribulations and its triumphant return. (via Goodreads)

According to WikiPedia, there have been 239 Doctor Who story arcs aired on television. How do you whittle that down to an essential 50? Graeme Burk and Robert Smith? give it a good try. They do a great job of providing plot and historical context to their choices as well as defending why a particular episode is important to them. Often, they don’t agree and it’s too bad there isn’t a little extra info on their picking process. The best part of At the Movies was Siskel and Ebert hashing out their opinions. I wouldn’t have minded more of that.

Who is this book for? A fan like me. I’m not an encyclopedic fan–much of the trivia and production stories were new to me, but I’m familiar enough with the older story arcs to know what’s going on. I haven’t watched many of the Classic episodes (pre-2005) in years. I took my time with this book because I wanted to watch as many of the chosen episodes as I could. Being of limited means, I didn’t get to them all. If you’re newer fan who has mainly watched the show since its 2005 return but wants to get into the Classic series, I think it’s probably best to watch the episodes before you read about them and to go in order. If you’ve never watched Doctor Who before, this might not be the book for you. It’s not necessarily a list of the *best* episodes, but episodes that are interesting within the narrative of a 50 year old TV show, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Who’s 50 is more more the history of the TV show than it is a history of the character.

There’s also some mention of the Doctor Who novels, comics, and audio stories. I know it wasn’t within the purview of the book, but I would have loved a quick list of those essentials as well.

I’m not sure I agree with all the picks (no Donna Noble stories?), but I doubt I could do a better job. It’s fifty years of television gracefully distilled down into a 420+ book.

Genre: Non-fiction, television
Why did I choose to read this book? I’m a Doctor Who fan. And I was particularly interested in what the authors had to say about the Eighth Doctor and the 1996 TV movie.
Did I finish this book? (If not, why?) Yes!
Format: Adobe Digital Edition
Procurement: NetGalley

Saturday Cinema – R.I.P. TV 2013

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The new season brought a plethora of peril for television viewers:

The title "Sleepy Hollow" is written over a town shrouded by clouds.Sleepy Hollow, premiered 9/16/13. How do you make a TV series out of a seemingly one-off villain? You mix it up with a muddled plot involving the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and a soldier, hand-picked by George Washington to fight evil, who has been time displaced by a curse placed on his my his witch wife. The contrivance makes my head hurt. What saves this show for me are the characters of Abbie and Ichabod. They have great chemistry while remaining not-a-couple. Abbie is a good cop without being uber perfect or uber flawed, which is nice to see in a female character. Her normality is required against the background of ghosts, witches, and demons. To be honest though, I’m a sucker for fish-out-of-water. Ichabod ranting about the amount of tax on a bag of doughnut holes buys a lot of amity with me.

The Blacklist (2013) PosterThe Blacklist, premiered 9/23/13. For a show with no true speculative fiction aspects, The Blacklist had a pretty substantial presence at San Diego Comic Con, asking the question: Who is Red Reddington? Well, Red Reddington is James Spader and he’s the reason to watch this show. Reddington is a spy and master criminal. After eluding law enforcement for the entirety of his career, Reddington turns himself in as a gambit to clear his own blacklist. Spader is delightfully menacing and manipulative in the role. My concern is whether the series will keep the base plot fresh and semi-believeable. It’s already had a few problems.

American Horror Story (2011) PosterAmerican Horror Story: Coven, premiered 10/9/13. What I like most about American Horror Story is that each season is self-contained. Presumably, the writers know where the story is going to end and can actually construct an arc rather than spinning a plot that can potentially run (too) many seasons. Speculative fiction seems to lend itself to formats that are not the usual for US television. I can’t recall an anthology series, like The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt, that isn’t genre. In its third season, AHS: Coven takes on witchcraft in America, in an utterly fictitious, non-historical, non-politically correct way. So far, the first three episodes offer the requisite amount of squicky sex and violence that is pretty much a hallmark of the show. The cast, with some returning faces from previous seasons playing new characters, seems overly large. I do like that one aspect of the plot involves a YA-ish plot involving a school for “special” girls while another involves the elder stateswomen of the local covens.

File:Dracula promotional image.jpgDracula, premiered 10/25/13. After only seeing the premier episode, I haven’t quite decided what I think about this series. In an odd reversal, this Dracula arrives in England under the identity of vaguely Southern gentleman and industrialist Alexander Grayson. This Dracula only drinks blood…and whiskey. There are twists to this plot. Dracula isn’t in England only to expand his culinary horizons, but as part of a revenge plot with a bit of Victorian sci-fi technology thrown in. Thus far, I’m annoyed by some seeming anachronisms. In London, 1896, is it viable to take individual photographs of 100 guests as they arrive at a party and have their photos developed later that evening? Is it possible that a large black man could gather in-depth information about guests in a matter of minutes, no matter how well dressed he is? Would two “friends” kiss (non-peck-on-the-cheek) in public? Dracula is already on the bubble for me.

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Review ~ Abominable Science!

This book was provided to me by Columbia University Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Cover via Goodreads

Abominable Science!: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids by by Daniel Loxton & Donald R. Prothero

Throughout our history, humans have been captivated by mythic beasts and legendary creatures. Tales of Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness monster are part of our collective experience. Now comes a book from two dedicated investigators that explores and elucidates the fascinating world of cryptozoology.

Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero have written an entertaining, educational, and definitive text on cryptids, presenting the arguments both for and against their existence and systematically challenging the pseudoscience that perpetuates their myths. After examining the nature of science and pseudoscience and their relation to cryptozoology, Loxton and Prothero take on Bigfoot; the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, and its cross-cultural incarnations; the Loch Ness monster and its highly publicized sightings; the evolution of the Great Sea Serpent; and Mokele Mbembe, or the Congo dinosaur. They conclude with an analysis of the psychology behind the persistent belief in paranormal phenomena, identifying the major players in cryptozoology, discussing the character of its subculture, and considering the challenge it poses to clear and critical thinking in our increasingly complex world. (via Goodreads)

This is an interesting book to review on the heels of Discovery’s Shark Week fiasco.

On Sunday, the Discovery channel aired a “documentary” on the megalodon as part of its Shark Week festivities. The megalodon isn’t a cyptid. It is a creature in the fossil record. Other than the fossil record, there is no other documentation of it. The stories of a 30ft shark that frequents the waters off of South Africa is closer to a cryptid-type story. A shark that big is the thing of tales and legends. Unfortunately, the Discovery channel’s show was absolute fiction, and fiction that couches the search for a modern megalodon and the legendary South African shark in ways that are similar to cryptid stories–lots and lots of eye-witness testimony, vague documentation, old stories, and half-truth science. If seen as a satire of cryptid documentaries, Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, kind of works. More unfortunately, as a ratings grabber, the docu-fiction worked very, very well.

Abominable Science! presents a very through history of several popular crypids–or, creatures whose existence has been suggested, but not confirmed by science. Some, like Bigfoot and Nessie are fairly young with stories not going back much further than the early 20th century. In those cases, the histories are based primarily on the testimonies of witnesses, much of the other evidence being admitted hoaxes. In the case of sea serpents and the yeti, folklore is taken into account as well. Sea serpents, for example, have an incredibly complex history spanning many cultures.

This is a book that is probably best dipped into instead of read straight through. The chosen cryptids could be pushed into two groups –Bigfoot/yeti and Nessie/sea serpent/mokele mbembe– and the discussions of the creatures in these categories overlap. Read straight through, the book is a tad repetitive.  The Sea Serpent chapter especially is less well organized due to the sheer amount information that Daniel Loxton attempts to address.

The cryptids are bookended by chapters on cryptozoology, pseudoscience, scientific method, and skepticism. These are good issues to be familiar with although I found that the last chapter veered a little too far into arguments about religious beliefs. Cryptozoology is an interesting intersection of science and belief, with both sides not particularly congenial to the other for various reasons. This book is written by two skeptics and, while debunking common evidence, there is definite appreciation, and even love, for their subjects. The narratives behind these cyrptids are the real point of this book, despite whether the belief in or study of them is a viable use of time and effort.

It is, of course, fun to think that the world is much bigger than it is, and still full of mysteries. And it is! But most of the time the mysteries are a little more subtle than Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. The sad thing about Discovery’s Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives is that it belittles the actual coolness of the extinct megalodon, the mysteries that still surround living sharks, and the pretty awesome real efforts to tag and track sharks. Cryptozoology doesn’t generally step so directly on the toes of “real” science.

Genre: Non-fiction, science
Why did I choose to read this book? Seemed interesting; I’ve been a liker of cryptids from a young age.
Did I finish this book? (If not, why?) Yes.
Format: Kindle ebook, ePub document
Procurement: Net Galley

Cinema Saturday ~ Bates Motel & Hitchcock (new horror series, pt 2)

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The Out of Order Series

How much room does Hannibal-the-TV-series have to tell a story? If you’ve read Red Dragon or watched Michael Mann’s Manhunter or Brett Ratner’s Red Dragon, or really know anything about the character of Hannibal Lecter, you know how this series is going to end. Presumably, the series is going to expand the collaborations between Graham and Lecter, but does knowing how this relationship ends spoils the series? Spoilers aren’t quite as important as we often make them out to be. In fact, audiences often want to know what the story is behind characters, especially charismatic evil characters. We know the ending; bring on the beginning.

Bates Motel signWhich brings me to Bates Motel, the 2013 series. Psycho, the 1959 novel by Robert Bloch, spawned an entire franchise of movies and TV shows that are very different from the original novel. Bloch’s Psycho was influenced by the story of Ed Gein, a Wisconsin serial killer that is pretty far from the gawkily charming Norman Bates of  Hitchcock’s 1960 film. The next two sequels moved further away from the, well, Hitchcockian and toward 80s slasher horror sensibilities. They weirdly worked, carried mostly by the performance of Anthony Perkins. (Bloch wrote two more Psycho books as well. His Psycho II poked at slasher films as an escaped Norman Bates makes his way to Hollywood.) A 1987 TV pilot called Bates Motel killed Norman off and left his motel to an insane asylum friend. Psycho IV: The Beginning was the first to delve into a cause for Norman’s complications and pretty much ignored all the previous sequels. Young Norman was played by Henry Thomas, better known as Elliot from E.T..

The Psycho franchise has a canon history that rivals many 60-year comic book runs. The stories are subtly retold within the sequels (and even in Gus Van Sant’s remake). Histories change. Heck, even futures change depending on what thread is followed by a viewer. As a whole, both movies and books, the only constant essential is Norman and his mummy. Which means that the new Bates Motel is in the same position as Hannibal. Eventually, the inevitable needs to happen.

Despite the changes–the motel is now on the California coast, Norman is a high school kid with girl problems, there’s another Bates sibling–and my love of Hitchcock’s film, I like Bates Motel the best out of this crop of shows. The essential thing about the Psycho franchise involves the character and (future) history of Norman Bates. He doesn’t even need to be an Anthony Perkins’ Norman, but it certainly helps. Freddy Highmore brings his own quirks to the character and the series is being ambiguous about what is going on and what is only going on in Norman’s head.

Let’s Get Meta

Hitchcock movie posterEvery story has a story behind it. At least one. When a writer writes a novel, there are stories about what inspires the novel and stories about the actual writing of the novel. Movies, with so many people involved in their manufacture, have a lot of stories. I love stories about movies almost more than I love movies.

Usually movies about movies are documentaries. Hitchcock is not. Hitchcock tells the story of Alfred Hitchcock’s career and personal life around the time that Psycho was made. I know very little about how factual this film is, but to a fan of Psycho, it’s a lot of fun. The performances are uncanny. Sometimes Anthony Hopkins, Scarlett Johansson, and James D’Arcy are so much like Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, and Anthony Perkins that it’s a let down when they’re not.

The movie begins, incongruously, with Ed Gein offing his brother Henry. The camera pans to show Hitchcock standing at the scene, drolly commenting on what Ed would ultimately inspire. Gein, played by Michael Wincott (an actor I hadn’t seen in a while),  becomes a touchstone in the movie, appearing to Hitch in moments when a steel heart seems necessary. Hitchcock is certain that Psycho is his next film, the film that will make him more than the director of  safe films like North by Northwest. The rest of Hollywood thinks that the tale of a gruesome serial killer isn’t a good idea at all. Against the backdrop of Psycho‘s production, we have Hitchcock’s relationship with his wife Alma Reville, a screenwriter, editor and collaborator with Hitchcock. I had no idea that Hitchcock collaborated with his wife. Considering my own circumstances, that’s a nice story to see, especially since things don’t always run smoothly in a marriage or a collaboration. The film is as much about Alma as it is about Alfred. The two need each other to be more whole, like a Norman (or Ed) needed the woman in his life.

Again, as a viewer, we know the outcome of this movie. Psycho is a huge success. Alfred and Alma’s marriage survives. Getting there? That’s interesting part.

Part 1 from last week

Saturday Cinema ~ The Following & Hannibal (new horror series, pt 1)

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Introduction

I watched Hitchcock Wednesday night and got excited about posting about it, and the 1959 Robert Block novel Psycho, for Throwback Thursday. Unfortunately, I’ve posted about Psycho in the past. It was in fact my first Throwback post of last October. I realized that aside from shoe-horning movie talk into book posts I don’t really have a place to muse about movies (and TV) and lately I’ve been doing a lot of musing. So, welcome to Saturday Cinema. It probably won’t be every week, but it probably will be on Saturday.

The Essentials

Within the last three months, three serial killer TV dramas have hit American screens. The Following premiered in late January, followed by Bates Motel in March and Hannibal in early April. I was interested in all three of these, but also apprehensive. Tinkering with beloved characters, even monstrous ones like Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates, is a dicey proposition. What I didn’t expect was that it wouldn’t be a favored character, but a favored writer that would inflame in me the most ire.

First, a slight digression: I consider myself a pretty flexible Sherlock Holmes fan. Jeremy Brett might be my iconic Holmes, both in terms of the character and Granada’s faithfulness to the stories, but my heart is big enough to include just about any adaptation. As long as what is essential Holmes stays intact. To me, Holmes needs to a genius. He needs to be focused and arrogant. He needs to willing and able to take action. Everything else can be tinkered with. Joan Watson? Why not. Sherlock and John meeting as boys in boarding school? I’m game. Holmes as an addled buffoon? Nope, sorry. Try again.

Raven posterI figured that as long as the storytelling was half decent, I would like The Following. The cast looked good. The notion of the leader of a cult being in jail while his followers wreak havoc was intriguing. That the killer patterned his murders off the works of Poe was…okay, that was the worrying part. I have a very specific notions about Poe. Before The Following premiered, I watched The Raven, starring John Cusak. The story not only features a serial killer copying the elements of some of Poe’s stories, but Poe himself investigating the crimes. I should have loved this film. I didn’t. I didn’t hate it, but it fell very short of what I wanted that movie to be. The Following doesn’t get it right for me either. While only kinda-sorta following some of the crimes in Poe’s stories, the show also purports that Poe is all about the beauty of death, which I don’t agree with. One of Poe’s more prevalent themes is the inevitable decay of beauty. The living thing, even while dying, is beautiful. The dead thing is not. That to me is essential Poe. My ideal Poe movie/TV show would involve intricate and beautiful architecture and machinery (a la “The Masque of the Red Death” and “The Pit and the Pendulum”), would feature against-the-clock mysteries, and would leave characters seeing how much more beautiful life is after facing death. It would seem, actually, that my ideal Poe movie is Saw

Let’s skip to Thomas Harris and his character, Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal in Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs (take your pick between movies and books) is a black box character. What we know about him as readers and viewers is due to his interactions with other characters. We don’t get into Lecter’s head. Thomas Harris opened the black box that is Hannibal Lecter with the novels Hannibal and Hannibal Rising and recieved mixed reviews. Fans wanted to know what makes Hannibal tick, but were a bit edgy when Harris’s vision wasn’t their own. (For the record, I like Hannibal quite a bit, but still haven’t read or watched Hannibal Rising, Lecter’s ultimate origin story written and the fourth book in the series.)

Hanninal on NBCWhile only two episodes in, Hannibal seems to be playing by the original rules. Hannibal is a force within the series while the main character is Will Graham. I haven’t decided yet if I like this show. The writing strikes me as a bit flat when not being downright heavy-handed. I’m not a fan of Will Graham “on the spectrum.” But I can’t deny that Mads Mikkelsen makes a pretty darn good Hannibal Lecter. The show might have won me over in its second episode when Hannibal muses about whether God feels particularly powerful when he drops church roofs on His worshipers’ heads. That’s pretty much straight from the the book (Red Dragon, I think) and I hope that the TV series is willing to toy with these ideas more than the movies ever did. The essential Lecter may be the character’s ability to hold a mirror up to good people and show them how tarnished they could be. Maybe that’s what the later two books in the series was missing.

Next Saturday

I started out meaning to post about Bates Motel and the movie Hitchcock as well, but I think I’ll save those for next week.

If there are any bloggers that would like to join me in talking about movies and TV, I’d consider doing a Linky thing. Drop me a comment. (Also, if there’s an existing blog meme for the weekly discussion of movies that I’ve missed, please let me know.)

Star Trek -a-thon

The Enterprise

Hulu has all of their Star Trek episodes available for free between now and March 31st. In a slight deviation from what’s usually on this blog, I’m going to post about what episodes I watch and add some notes if I have something to say. Probably won’t delve too deeply into Voyager or Enterprise, but I might give them a fresh try.

Star Trek: The Original Series

  • S1:E03  “Where No Man Has Gone Before” – The one with Gary Mitchell, who might have made a good reboot villain. I’ve really been pulling for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Into Darkness character to be Mitchell.
  • S1:E07 “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” – The one where Nurse Chapel is engaged to an android-creating nutjob. Quote: “Mind your own business, Mr. Spock. I’m sick of your half-breed interference! Do you hear?” Written by Robert Bloch.
  • S1:E16 “The Galileo Seven” – The one where Spock, Bones, Scotty, and four red shirts crash land on random class M world in the middle of nebula-like phenomenon. Who will survive, and what will be left of them? This entire episode is logic versus emotion as Kirk is pulled between searching for his crew members and a mercy mission to a plague-ridden planet. The emotional crew members marooned with Spock strike me as very annoying while Commissioner Farris’s rational arguments aboard the Enterprise are grating.
  • S1:E22 “Space Seed” – The one with Khan. Also Kirk at maybe his most Picard-like. When faced with a superior foe, Kirk resorts to talking. Until he beats the crap out of Khan. (Kirk *is* Kirk after all…)
  • S2:E01 “Amok Time” – The one with TMI about vulcan relationships. Quote: “It would be illogical for us to protest against our natures, don’t you think?” Written by Theodore Sturgeon.
  • S2:E7 “Catspaw” – The one where Kirk, Spock. and McCoy meet three weird sisters and a black cat. I’ve always enjoyed the Hammer horror feel of this episode. Written by Robert Bloch.
  • S2:E9 “Metamorphosis” – The first one with Zefram Cochrane.
  • S2:E10 “Journey to Babel” – The one with Spock’s parents. Quote: “On Vulcan the ‘teddy bears’ are alive, and they have 6-inch fangs.” Written by D.C. Fontana
  • S2:E14 “Wolf in the Fold” – The one where Scotty might be Jack the Ripper. Written by Robert Bloch.

Really enjoying the “remastered” original series episodes. The effect tweaks are nice. I have no particular method for picking episodes. These are just the ones I feel like watching.  Some, like “The City on the Edge of Forever,” are good, but I’ve watched them too many times.

  • S2:E26 “Assignment: Earth”
    Me: You know, the one with time travel.
    Me2: “Tomorrow is Yesterday”?
    Me: No, not *that* one with time travel, the other one.
    Me2: “City on the Edge of Forever”?
    Me: No, not that one either. You know, the one where they time travel on purpose.
    Me2: Star Trek IV?
    Me: No. The one with time travel and a futuristic spy and his black cat.
    Me2: Oh. That one.
    According to Wikipedia, this episode was supposed to be a “back-door” pilot for another Gene Roddenberry show, but considering that Gary Seven uses a sonic screwdriver to escape from the Enterprise, I will instead think of this as a Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover event. Though the motivations for many character actions are muddled, Teri Garr is pretty great in this episode. Her character would have made a great companion for the Doctor.
  • S3:E02 “The Enterprise Incident” – The one where the captain is crafty and the first officer seduces the woman. And isn’t a Next Gen episode. Quote: “Commander, your attire is not only more appropriate, it should actually stimulate our conversation.” Written by D.C. Fontana.
  • S3:E05 “Is There in Truth No Beauty?” – The one with a being so ugly that a glimpse of it would drive a human insane. He’s generally kept in a box. Diana Muldaur, who later plays Dr. Pulaski in the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, guest stars.
  • S3:E05 “Spectre of the Gun” – The one at the O.K. Corral. With its surreal, half-formed Tombstone landscape and fairly good turns by the actors, this episode avoids being cheesy. Quote: “Good old Virgil. We can always count on him.”
  • S3:E11 “Wink of an Eye” – The one that I completely don’t remember. Even after watching it, I don’t really recall having seen it in the past.
  • S3:E23 “All Our Yesterdays” – The one with the library of time portals. I didn’t watch many McCoy-heavy episodes, but it was nice to see the good doctor solving a puzzle or two. It’s also interesting that Zarabeth, as a political exile, is not the main plot point. The portal that are allowing the Sarpeidonites to escape their doomed world had other applications in the past. That’s a nice little attempt at world-building. Quote: “I have eaten animal flesh and I’ve enjoyed it. What is wrong with me?”

I should have picked episodes based on Spock wearing ear-hiding hats.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

  • S1:E05 “Where No One Has Gone Before” – The one with The Traveler.  Life would be much easier if people just listened to Wesley. He’s never wrong. Plus, Kosinski pretty much violates Wheaton’s Law.
  • S2:E13 “Time Squared” – The one with the two Picards. It’s an interesting piece of suspense. When Picard is unease so are we.  It also includes the tried and true time travel question: Is this the thing I do that dooms me? Or is changing my mind the thing that dooms me?
  • S3:E01 “Evolution” – The one with Wesley’s science project on the loose. They never do hold Wesley particularly responsible for the accident.
  • S3:E13 “Deja Q” – The one where Q loses his powers. Quote: (Q, after appearing naked on the bridge of the Enterprise) “Red alert.”
  • S3:E14 “A Matter of Perspective” – The one where Riker is on trial for murder. The holodeck is used to present testimony and Picard later uses it to piece together what really might have happened. It’s a courtroom drama with a twist.
  • S3:E15 “Yesterday’s Enterprise” – The one with Enterprise-C. This episode is trippier and better than I remember. Forget, Wesley. Listen to Guinan. She is always right. Quote: (Worf, after trying prune juice for the first time) “A warrior’s drink!”
  • S3:E21 “Hollow Pursuits” – The one where we meet Reginald Barclay, holodeck addict. Amid Starfleet perfection, I’ve always kind of identified with Barclay. Plus, his psych profile says he has a history of seclusive tendencies. Horror! And, Dwight Schultz is just fun to watch.
  • S3:E23 “Sarek” – The one with Spock’s dad. Also, the one with the bar brawl in Ten-Forward. Written by Peter S. Beagle

If I would have known that season 3 had so many good episodes, I wouldn’t have bothered with “Evolution.”

  • S4:E09 “Final Mission” – The one that is Wesley’s final episode. Wes is really putz-y in this episode.
  • S4:E14 “Clues” – The one with Gloria from Cleveland. Okay, not really. After being teased with the possibility of Guinan participating in a Dixon Hill mystery, this episode offers up a different mystery.
  • S4:E19 “The Nth Degree” – The one where Barclay gets some confidence. And  intelligence and, of course, arrogance. He has a pretty nice HAL moment. Quote: “He did make a pass at me last night. A good one.”
  • S5:E07 “Unification, Part I” – The one where Spock defects.