Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ST:TNG 1.16 Too Short a Season ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore 

The Star Trek: The Next Generation re-watch continues with...

Too Short a Season
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 1, Episode 16

  • The Enterprise is on an escort mission to bring Admiral Jameson to a planet where he negotiated a treaty 40 years prior with a man named Karnas.  The planet now has a terrorist threat with a hostage situation which Jameson, with full command of the mission and away team (over Picard) is being sent to hopefully resolve.
What it's really about:
  • This one has several messages, one that stand out over the entire episode is that being younger isn't necessarily better, and even go as far to say that it's out-of-place in this time to even consider youth as desired. They reflect back on Jameson's quest for strength and de-aging to deal with the folks on the planet.  I think the attempt isn't as successful as when they tackle the 'outdated' sexism in both Code of Honor and Angel One, as with age often comes illness (as with Jameson) and eventually death, whereas there isn't an evident downside to equalizing sexism.
  • There is also a note on giving arms to both sides heading for potential war, is a bad thing.
  • I was surprized to see that Jameson's character seems to be on a quest for redemption, but it's hard to 'see' that as the tone is much more like revenge and shrouded in defensiveness.  Perhaps it's most aligned to atonement, which Picard states late in the episode.
Character Focus:
  • Admiral Jameson is the focus here, and I think that makes it our first episode where ther entire focus is not on a main cast member.  We see him as an 80 year old Admiral and negotiator, that made some bad decisions (and covered them up) in the past, and this story chronicles his journey to try and not only cheat death through an alien process of promise of youth, as well as to possibly right a wrong from his past.

What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remember the de-aging of Jameson, but I didn't remember the whole hostages/planet situation at all.  In fact, when they showed a mid-aged Jameson I thought this was a different episode with and Admiral beaming down to a planet which actually scared me.  I wonder when that one will come up!
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I recognized the idea of trying to right a wrong, but I had to look very closely and recognize it analytically, because I didn't 'feel' that when watching at all.  It just felt angry and mysterious.
  • There are lots of 'hide in shadow' moments so we get a big 'reveal' of the de-aging.
What feels different now, than then:
  • I think ever since I've become a fan on Face Off, I feel very differently about aging in film/tv because I'm curious to how they represent it through make up.  I used to just feel that it didn't look great, but now I really look and wonder what it is about the person that we continue to see over time, and what changes, and how that changes us individually as well as how we are perceived.
  • It's one of the new times that they've had someone travel with their spouse, as Jameson's wife is a key part of this episode too as she doesn't want to be younger and doesn't want her husband to be either! 
What remained the same:
  • Not too much, because I didn't remember it that well. It is wild to see the guy so young at the end, although that's the actor we've been watching the entire time!
What I see differently:
  • It's sad to feel like the hostage threat and war torn world feels more accessible now, than it did at the time.  That really makes me sad.
  • The weight of the fact that Jameson had control of the mission and away team had me worried that something would go very wrong, and I didn't quite remember what would happen!  I guess I don't remember them all as well as I thought I did!
Great Quotes:
  • " I have found that peace, or the appearance of it, is often a prelude to war." - Jameson
  • "The quest for youth, Number One - so futile. Age and wisdom have their graces, too." - Picard
  • "Rest, Jameson. Your long night... and mine... are over." - Karnas
Left off at:
Jameson beams down to the planet and eventually convinces Karnas he is the Jameson of the past, and outs Karnas that this was all a ploy to get him out there to show him the world 40 years later after war and destruction.  Jameson actually does pass away on the planet, which is one of the few character deaths we've had so far.

Images Source: TrekCore

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