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A Season of Star Trek in 13 Episodes.

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

So, I am reading the weekly review of DS9 on the AV Club, and someone makes the comparison that "Improbable Cause" is the point in DS9 where the shit gets real. Inevitably, comparisons pop up saying it is no Wire or Breaking Bad, but a very good show. Then the naysayers come with their "Yeah, but the 'Muse' was shit, bringing down Season 4." It bugs in my head for a bit, then I think:

 

What if each season of any Star Trek show had only 13 episodes?

 

Here is my challenge. Take your favorite season of any Trek Show, shrink it 13 episodes. You want to maintain as much character arc as possible. I wouldn't choose straight action, but that is your choice.  Use the Wire or Breaking Bad or Mad Men as a point of reference. Would your list manage to make the show as tight as current non-broadcast networked scripted dramas, like Justified?

 

 

Ideally, if we do it well, we could come up with a definitive, across the entire series listing. (I am sure there is a Voyager schmuck fanatic enthusiast who is willing to weigh in)

post #2 of 39

Because Voyager was the first Trek series that really pulled me in, I'm a shmuck really familiar with all the episodes, so I'll go ahead and volunteer to do the whole series.  I'll handle Seasons One and Two in this posts and do the others later.

 

I present the new-and-improved Abridged Season One of Star Trek: Voyager.

1x01 – Caretaker

1x03 – Parallax

1x05 – Phage

1x07 – Eye of the Needle

1x09 – Emanations

1x10 – Prime Factors

1x11 – State of Flux

1x12 – Heroes and Demons

1x14 – Faces

1x16 – Learning Curve

 

Because it was only 16 episodes long to begin with, I cut Season One down to only 10.  I focused on grabbing episodes tied heavily to the Starfleet-Maquis tension, episodes that dealt with the Vidiians, and ones that were important character development episodes.  It wasn't particularly hard to cut the fat in this season, mainly because most of the one-off episodes weren't particularly strong anyway.  My least favorite pick in this set is "Emanations", but it's the first time since "Parallax" we see Seska and I figured it wouldn't hurt to throw Harry Kim a bone.  I considered putting "Jetrel" (1x15) in there, as it's a pretty solid Neelix character episode, but I figured Seska's appearances were more important.  "Prime Factors" is a stand-out for the Starfleet-Maquis thing because of the issues with the Prime Directive and such.

 

Star Trek: Voyager - Abridged Season Two

2x03 – Projections

2x04 – Elogium

2x10 – Cold Fire

2x11 – Maneuvers

2x14 – Alliances

2x17 – Dreadnought

2x18 – Death Wish

2x19 – Lifesigns

2x20 – Investigations

2x16 – Meld

2x24 – Tuvix

2x25 – Resolutions

2x26 – Basics Pt. 1

 

Again, with this season, my primary focus was to bring out the Starfleet-Maquis (and now Kazon) plot threads.  Pretty much no one was happy at how the Maquis story was handled but when the "filler" episodes are removed, the conflict with the Kazon and Seska make it a tad more bearable, as it showed the conflict between the former Maquis and the ones who fell in line out of necessity.  I also left in the majority of the stuff with the Vidiians, as they were a good secondary conflict plot thread during the early seasons and "Lifesigns" was a good Doctor episode.  One will also notice I threw in one or two Kes centered episodes, mostly because of her connection with the Caretaker storyline and because her relationship with Paris, Neelix, and the Doctor.  She's crucial to the character development of those three in the early seasons (and I DO plan on cutting out the Kes episode in season 6 that ruins her arc as it's left at the end of season three/beginning of season four).  I also included good one-off episodes "Death Wish" and "Tuvix", both solid episodes that deal with heavy topics.  I was also pleased to be able to get rid of "The 37's" and "Threshold".

post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Abridged Season 1

 

1x01/02  Emissary

1x03       Past Prologue

1x05       Babel

1x06       Captive Pursuit

1x08       Dax

1x11       The Nagus

1x12       Vortex

1x13       Battle Lines

1x14       The Storyteller

1x15       Progress

1x18       Dramatis Personae

1x19       Duet

1x20       In the Hands of the Prophets

 

Since some people have started rewatches, it occured to me that I needed to at least complete the first, since I had already done 2, 3, and 4.  It was a shorter 20 episode season, rather than a 26 episode season. Every show struggles in the beginning, throwing things against the wall, to see what sticks. Often the wormhole just spits up a plot conflict, and the characters react. Odo's odd man out sheriff is tested (A Man Alone), but doesn't really advance him.  Q's one and only appearance (Q-less) on this show is good for just the one line, "You hit me. Picard never hit me!" but really has no place on DS9.  Bashir gets an early story (The Passenger), testing his frontier medicine, but ultimately it is a one and done and not that memorable. In a strange throwback to TOS, the wormhole spits up a race of gamers, in a strange premonition of Jumanji (Move Along Home). Again the wormhole spits up an alien race that lets everyone's imaginations run wild (If Wishes were Horses), but outside of a rather unfit Asian baseball player as the last, greatest baseball player, the episode is a wash. Speaking of wash, I have saved you a mental scrubbing by scrubbing this season's Lwaxana Troi episode (The Forsaken).

 

As for what stayed in, "Emissary" is probably the strongest Trek Pilot. It takes something well known, spins it on its head, and really sets up the series nicely. Each of the stories until "Duet" are all attempts to draw in the details of the characters. "Battle Lines" is an interesting sci fi conceit, but also clears the way for a certain Vedek Winn to appear in the season finale. "The Storyteller" is our first O'Brien/Bashir buddy story, but a weak start. But oh, "Duet" I don't know of any other post-TOS series that had an episode so powerful in the first season. The actor, Harris Yulin, plays the Cardassian butcher/file clerk so well. This may have been the first television show that made me cry at the end and I was 12 when this aired. If you watch nothing else from Season One, you must watch this. "In the Hands of the Prophets" leads to the rising tension on Bajor coming to the station, and the struggle to put their world back on track. It has some nice Keiko/O'Brien material, and plays with the Emissary story.   After trimming out those 7 episodes, this season comes into sharp focus, and really shows the coalescing greatness that DS9 would become.

 

 

Bill, great condensing of Voyager Season 1 and 2. I watched all of Voyager (well, I skimmed most of Season 7, but I watched the rest)., and I don't think I can argue with what you have done there.

 

 

:::edited to put in chronological:::


Edited by MrTyres - 1/28/13 at 6:20pm
post #4 of 39

Star Trek: Voyager - Abridged Season Three

 

3x01 – Basics Pt. 2

3x04 – The Swarm

3x08 – Future’s End Pt. 1

3x09 – Future’s End Pt. 2

3x11 – The Q and the Grey

3x13 – Fair Trade

3x15 – Alter Ego

3x16 – Blood Fever

3x17 – Unity

3x21 – Before and After

3x23 – Distant Origin

3x25 – Worst Case Scenario

3x26 – Scorpion Pt. 1

 

Season Three of Voyager begins with the primary resolution of the Maquis/Kazon conflicts aboard Voyager, any lasting mentions of the Maquis being merely in passing or closer to the series resolution, mainly in the final episodes.  The one major exception to this is "Worst Case Scenario", which served as a good "what-if" about a Maquis rebellion holodeck program and provided some good discussion on whether it was appropriate, (as well as allowing Seska to make one of her two appearances in the show after the events of Basics, the other being in "Shattered" in the seventh season, though that might get cut by me later).

 

With the loss of this arc and the rarity of the Vidiians' appearances, the show's focus moved towards many more one-off character or story episodes, which makes it both easier to cut things out and harder to pick the right ones.  There were a few small arcs and character development moments in this season so I did my best to flesh out the more important ones, in particular those that would surface as more important later in the series.

 

"The Swarm" was chosen over the other good Doctor episode "Real Life" because it approaches not only The Doctor's growth as a person, but also the implications of memory loss on ones personality, which can occur similarly to a flesh an blood person.  (My mother had brain cancer and her personality was noticeably different for the last few years of her life, so this topic hits home.)  It also includes a representation on The Doctor's creator, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, who is featured in later episodes.

 

"Future's End" 1 and 2 are here because without them you don't have The Doctor's mobile emitter and the future references to the Temporal Prime Directive and 29th century ships wouldn't make as much sense.  Plus, Sarah Silverman and Ed Begley Jr!

 

"The Q and the Grey" has Q in it and I think it's a good fun episode.  I didn't think it was too much of a stretch that Q would find Janeway an interesting diversion, similar to the likes of Picard.  And it has enough Janeway to justify placing it in the running instead of "Coda", which I like to a point, but think gets a little heavy-handed (whenever people's "spirits" are running around without their body, I tend to question the technobabble a little more).  We'll see how well "Q2" can stand against the rest of Season Seven as to whether Q will make his final appearance on Voyager or not.

 

"Fair Trade" is a good Neelix episode which also emphasizes that they're getting beyond what even their "guide" knows about (boldly going where no one has gone before and all that jazz).  It also introduces Ensign Vorik, whose three season three episodes happen to line up back-to-back.  The second is "Alter Ego", an episode which gives some good Kim and Tuvok moments and begins to ship Paris and Torres pretty hard while Vorik competes.  This competition for Torres peaks in "Blood Fever", which gives Tom and B'Elanna some time together to work on their attraction and shames Vorik into becoming merely a recurring character who pops up whenever they might need a Vulcan who's not Tuvok.

 

"Unity" foreshadows the eventual appearance of Seven of Nine by bringing the Borg to the show (for better or worse) and showing some former Borg learning to not be quite-so Borg anymore.  The questionable motives of the "cooperative" lend to the slight difference in how Seven of Nine will perceive situations and moral judgments later on.  It also gives us some Chakotay, which is nice considering how little I think the show invests in his character, especially since most of the episodes tying to his Native American heritage are pretty weak..

 

"Before and After" is a good Kes episode, good "alternate future" episode (in retrospect to the events of the series), and directly foreshadows the great "Year of Hell" episodes in the next season.  It also brings up the Kes-Paris connection again, giving a decent 'resolution' to the Kes-Neelix arc explored in Season Two and providing contrast to Tom's current pursuit of B'Elanna.  No brainer on it's inclusion here as it's full of character development.

 

"Distant Origin" gets a lot of love and for good reasons.  An excellent hour of television, the execution and plot are tight.  And even as a Christian, I agree that the issues explored in this episode are important to discuss and it does well with the execution of the themes it presents.  Also, it's probably the best Chakotay episode in the series.

 

"Scorpion Pt. 1" is the last episode in the season, introduces what will be a new cast member, and ends on a cliffhanger, so you can't not include it.  Also, first major interaction with the Borg and I believe the intro to species 8472, which is important to the series as a whole.

 

Notable exclusions from the list include "Flashback" (the Tuvok-Captain Sulu episode), which I enjoy for the Tuvok back-story and ST6 connection, and "The Chute", which I think is actually a pretty strong Tom and Harry episode.

post #5 of 39

I'm going to keep going even though no one seems particularly interested in this thread.  Because I'm having fun, dammit.

 

Star Trek :Voyager - Abridged Season Four

 

4x01 – Scorpion Pt. 2

4x02 – The Gift

4x03 – Day of Honor

4x06 – The Raven

4x12 – Mortal Coil

4x14 – Message in a Bottle

4x15 – Hunters

4x16 – Prey

4x18 – The Killing Game Pt. 1

4x19 – The Killing Game Pt. 2

4x23 – Living Witness

4x25 – One

4x26 – Hope and Fear

 

4x08 & 4x09 – Year of Hell - TV Movie Presentation (in the vein of "Razor" from BSG or the Christmas specials of Doctor Who)

 

 

The choices were tougher for this season than the previous ones.  The first two episodes were necessary for continuity and plot purposes.  Enter Seven of Nine; exit Kes stage right.  They're also pretty strong episodes anyway.  "Day of Honor" is extremely important for the Tom/B'Elanna arc so it stays.  "The Raven" is the first big Seven of Nine episode and intros part of her backstory and origin.  "Mortal Coil" is an excellent mediation on the topic of death and religion and one of the strongest Neelix episodes in the series (people hated the guy but he had a good character arc overall, I think).

 

"Message in a Bottle" is important because it not only is a great Doctor episode (and the only thing aside from Newsradio I don't loathe Andy Dick in), but it also introduces us to the Hirogen, which give us a good 4 episode arc in the middle of the season.  "Hunters", "Prey", and "The Killing Game" parts one and two all deal with Voyager's interactions with the Hirogen, ending with a nice little resolution in the middle of the season.  I also believe we do not see this species again after these episodes so it ties up fairly well.  Each episode includes good plot developments as well.  "Hunters" gives the crew a small bit of interaction with the Alpha Quadrant and reminds us why they're trekking across space.  "Prey" deals with Seven of Nine and the species 8472 conflict.  And "The Killing Game" turns the Hirogen into literal Nazis that Harry Kim and The Doctor must defeat with the help of the rest of the crew, who believe they're the Allied forces in WWII.  Good times and a better than average use of the Holodeck in the plot.

 

"Living Witness" is a breath of fresh air after the Hirogen arc, in that it pulls away from the Voyager crew to the perspective of a race that encountered them 700 years prior during a war and viewed them as sadistic war profiteers.  A copy of The Doctor interacts with a museum curator to clarify the details.  It's a fun episode because of the alternate reality aspect of the recreation of Voyager but also serves as a commentary about how historical events are interpreted after the fact.

 

"One" is another good Seven of Nine episode and serves to further her character development.  Up to this point, she avoids social interactions with others on the ship (after being forcibly removed from the Borg Collective mind) and the experience of solitude for a month (excluding minimal interactions with The Doctor) pushes her towards developing those relationships at the end.

 

"Hope and Fear" isn't the best episode around, but being the finale for the season, it still manages to tie together several plot points.  The villain targets Voyager because their interaction in this area of space was indirectly responsible for a Borg attack on his people.  He uses the allure of getting home quickly and their communication with the Starfleet earlier in the season to attempt to deceive them.  And at the end, they get a good bit closer to Earth and another technology is deemed unable to do the job, leaving them stranded for at least another season.

 

I threw in a wild card for this season because there were a few too many episodes I wanted to include.  So "Year of Hell", an excellent two-art episode with a built in reset button, became a feature length stand-alone TV movie in my fictional season four.  As far as I can remember, it occupies no definite time period during the course of the season, so a move to the end, presumably during the show's hiatus between seasons, isn't a problem.

post #6 of 39

Star Trek: Voyager - Abridged Season Five

 

5x01 – Night

5x02 – Drone

5x03 – Extreme Risk

5x04 – In The Flesh

5x06 – Timeless

5x08 – Nothing Human

5x09 – Thirty Days

5x11 – Latent Image

5x13 – Gravity

5x15 – Dark Frontier Pt. 1

5x16 – Dark Frontier Pt. 2

5x24 – Relativity

5x26 – Equinox Pt. 1

 

Season Five started out strong with the first four episodes.  "Night" introduced the Malon, who were the primary alien species in season 5 aside from the already established Borg and Species 8472.  "Drone" is a good Seven of Nine character episode and reminds us of the constant Borg threat, despite being a good distance from Borg space.  "Extreme Risk" is a decent B'Elanna character episode, but more importantly introduces the Delta Flyer, so it warranted inclusion.  And "In The Flesh" is a good resolution for Voyager's conflicts with Species 8472 and a pretty good Chakotay episode at that.

 

"Timeless" follows up on the promise of the slipstream technology introduced in the last episode of Season Four.  Long story short, it can't be used safely but Harry Kim gets some confidence from Future Harry Kim.  Also, Geordi La Forge doesn't want you breaking the Temporal Prime Directive.

 

"Nothing Human" is a great Doctor episode that contemplates some heavy issues in medical ethics AND brings back some of that great and rare Maquis tension they could've used way more often on the show.  One of the best this season.

 

"Thirty Days" is Tom Paris' time to shine.  Another episode dealing with ethical issues, this time in conflict with the Prime Directive, it also explains why he's an Ensign until sometime next season, which would've been confusing if left out.

 

"Latent Image" again gives us some fantastic Robert Picardo.  It is one of the most important Doctor episodes in terms of character development, presenting The Doctor with a situation that has him question his ability to react objectively to a medical emergency due to his personal feelings about the patients.  One of the other best this season.

 

"Gravity" isn't the strongest episode by far, but I like it and it's one of the best (if not only) Tuvok episodes in the season.  Throughout the abridging of the seasons, I've tried to keep a good balance of episodes for each character so they all get a decent amount of development per season.  Obviously, the way the show was written, this isn't always possible, but Tuvok was interesting enough to me to throw him a bone here.  He's much more reserved than the Vulcan we're used to (Spock) but not quite as rigid or heartless as many Vulcans in Trek can be.

 

"Dark Frontier" is a two-parter that has Seven of Nine coping with her parent issues, both human and Borg.  It's here because it is important to Seven of Nine, fleshes out her backstory, and firmly establishes her allegiance to Voyager.  Also, it elaborates on the concept of Borg transwarp enough to where later uses of it will be more clear and gets the crew 15 years closer to home.  This is important to the eventually series finale, if nothing else.

 

"Relativity" brings back Captain Braxton from "Future's End" and addresses the fact that Voyager can't seem to stop changing the timelines...by changing the timelines.  It also calls back to the Kazon and such, so I thought it would tie it together more tightly with previous seasons, in a much cleaner way than "Shattered", which will most likely not be in my abridged Season Seven.

 

"Equinox Pt. 1" is the last episode of the season and a two-parter that begins Season Six.  IT deals with the crew of another Starfleet ship which had gotten pulled to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker.  They didn't follow the Prime Directive.  Janeway don't like that.  To be continued...

 

 

This abridgement forced me to cut several of my personal favorites.  While I admit it adds nothing to the show, I love "Bride of Chaotica!" for all of it's campy goodness.  "Someone to Watch Over Me" is a good Seven and Doctor episode and one that I loved back in the day, but there were better episodes for both characters and it ultimately couldn't fit.  I had dropped "Demon" from the previous season, so "Course: Oblivion" had to go.

 

But on the other hand, I got to abolish "Once Upon a Time" (one of my least favorite Neelix episodes and sadly the only major one of mention for him this season)  and "11:59" from the show's ranks, so at the end of the day, I'm happy about that.  It did upset me to notice how little of Neelix there was in this season overall.  While usually most people's least favorite character, I liked the difference and positivity he brings to the ensemble and think he's sometimes unfairly labelled the Jar-Jar of the group.

post #7 of 39

I am the only one who cares about this thread.  And that's...okay.

700

 

Star Trek: Voyager - Abridged Season Six

 

6x01 – Equinox Pt. 2

6x02 – Survival Instinct

6x03 – Barge of the Dead

6x04 – Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy

6x06 – Riddles

6x09 – The Voyager Conspiracy

6x10 – Pathfinder

6x11 – Fair Haven

6x16 – Collective

6x17 – Spirit Folk

6x19 – Child’s Play

6x24 – Life Line

6x26 – Unimatrix Zero Pt. 1

 

This is the season where, in hindsight, I begin to see the creeping decline of Voyager.  Looking back at the previous season's most "vital" episodes, one will notice a heavy leaning towards the first half of the season.  From the minimal research I have done, I would attribute this to the lessening involvement of series co-creator Jeri Taylor, who had previously served at different points as Executive Producer and head of the writing staff.  "Latent Image" was the last episode she wrote and was one of the best of Season Five.  Season Six lacked much of the depth found in Seasons Four and Five, and also lacked very much continuity at all.  There were no true recurring races, save the Borg (yawn) and not much in terms of episode-to-episode developments.  I did the best I could to grab a few recurring themes and tie it all together.

 

 

"Equinox Pt. 2" was a gimme as the second half of a season closing cliffhanger.  Even has a little bit of conflict between Chakotay and Janeway, though the sitcom reset button gets hit before the end of the episode.  Good episode overall.

 

"Survival Instinct" was the first of two episodes penned by Ronald D. Moore.  It's a good Seven of Nine development episode, as it shows how important her individuality has become to her.

 

"Barge of the Dead" is the other Ronald D. Moore episode, this time focusing on B'Elanna and her issues with the Klingon religion and afterlife, her mother, and her own temperament.  Moore likes it heavy.

 

"Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy" is a hoot and the Emergency Command Hologram sequence is pretty awesome.  The Doctor is one of the things the show did best.  Also, it introduces The Hierarchy.  I believe they return in Season Seven sometime and the utter bureaucracy of their methods reminds me of a more bumbling and less harsh Vogon civilization.  Not the best aliens Voyager did but at least they were interesting.

 

"Riddles" is one of my favorite in this season because of the way it handles Tuvok and Neelix's relationship after Tuvok's "brain damage" situation.  It was always obvious throughout the show that Neelix's emotiveness bothered Tuvok and made the friendship fairly "one-sided."  To see Tuvok be able to emote himself (much in the same way as Neelix since Vulcan emotions are very strong) and bond with Neelix I always thought was a nice touch in this one.

 

"The Voyager Conspiracy" I threw in because of it's callbacks to previous parts of the series.  I try to include as much Maquis as possible, even when it's watered down.  I also think it's a good exploration of how conspiracy theories are developed (too much information leading to random connections).

 

"Pathfinder" is fun for fans of Reginald Barclay (from TNG and and necessary because of the work he does in getting Voyager communication with the Alpha Quadrant.  Also, his return after the "fake" Barclay in "Projections" would still make him familiar to those following these abridged seasons.

 

"Fair Haven" and "Spirit Folk" were added to give the season the slightest bit of continuing storyline.  They're pretty good episodes and do some light exploration into the person-hood of holograms, which is important to The Doctor's overall arc in the show.  Also, it gives Janeway a little bit more character development, as they show her as a person with regular weaknesses (in addition to those she has with her command and her continually questioned ethical decisions).

 

Similarly, "Collective" and "Child's Play" are also part of a running storyline, and introduce the Borg kids, probably my least favorite Voyager plot point over the course of the show.  Icheb is obviously the most interesting of them and thus gets his own episode.  Not including any of the episodes directly related to the Borg kids would make their presence oddly more out-of-place in the long run.

 

"Life Line" gives us more of The Doctor, Barclay, and introduces the real Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, who created the Doctor and happens to also be played by Robert Picardo.  Another episode important to The Doctor's character development, you say?  Absolutely, because otherwise we'd have to watch "The Haunting of Deck 12."  Do you really want to watch an episode where Neelix tells the Borg kids a spooky story?  I didn't think so.

 

"Unimatrix Zero Pt. 1" is another cliffhanger season finale.  It's got lots of interesting stuff like the crew disagreeing on what they should do and action and all that.  I feel like I always enjoy it more while watching it than I remember when remembering the episode.  It's probably the magic happy planet that the Borg people go to that does it.  It always felt so sappy.  But it's important the overall series plot and ending and transitions into Season Seven, so it stays.

 

 

The dropped episodes from this season aren't all necessarily worse than the ones I chose.  I feel like it's one of the weakest seasons in retrospect.  I enjoy "Live Fast and Prosper" but it doesn't have any substance to it.  "Muse" is a snooze-fest.  "Alice" is creepy but pretty decent Tom Paris fare.  "Memorial" isn't bad, but I think Voyager's done "anti-war" sentiment better already.  "Fury" erased Kes' character development and good will from the last time she was seen and turned her into a hate-filled, vengeance machine without a good reason for wanting revenge in the first place.  And "Tsunkatse"?  The plot of that one is simple.  "Hey, it's The Rock!  Be sure to watch WWF Smackdown! Thursdays on UPN!"

post #8 of 39

I am following along, but I am looking forward to your cut downs for TNG as well as TOS. There was a lot of filler with the later series, but not as much with TNG. Cutting TOS episodes might be easier given the classic bad eps such as "Spock's Brain" but I am curious to see your rationale....

post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Vivisector View Post

I am following along, but I am looking forward to your cut downs for TNG as well as TOS. There was a lot of filler with the later series, but not as much with TNG. Cutting TOS episodes might be easier given the classic bad eps such as "Spock's Brain" but I am curious to see your rationale....

Because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

 

Unfortunately, for myself and everyone else, I'm not familiar enough with TOS or TNG to be able to do them right now.  I HAVE watched through DS9 completely but it was a few years ago.  When I said earlier that I'd do the rest of the series, I meant the rest of Voyager.  It does sound like a good challenge though and I've been slowly working my way through TNG recently since I've never watched it straight through, so I might attempt it at some point if no one picks it up.  I recently finished Season One and am working on Two right now.  I could just pick up the pace a bit.

 

As recompense for my lacking, I'll work on Season Seven of Voyager tonight and see if I can knock it out.  And I'd definitely be interested in knowing how actually watching through the seasons works with the episodes I've picked, if someone decided to do it. I don't think I missed any big plot points or events that are noticeable.  I haven't watched Voyager through in years and was going mostly on my incredible memory for useless information.

post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 

Lest you think your work is in vain, I have some vacation time coming up in a couple of weeks and I will give Voyager another shot using your abridged seasons. Can you do the same magic with Enterprise? :D

post #11 of 39

Star Trek: Voyager - Abridged Season Seven

 

7x01 – Unimatrix Zero Pt. 2

7x03 – Drive

7x02 – Imperfection

7x04 – Repression

7x08 – Nightingale

7x09 – Flesh and Blood Pt. 1

7x10 – Flesh and Blood Pt. 2

7x12 – Lineage

7x20 – Author, Author

7x18 – Human Error

7x24 – Renaissance Man

7x23 – Homestead

7x25 & 7x26 – Endgame

 

For this last season, I took the liberty of combining "Endgame" into a feature length finale and counting it as one episode.  Hope no one minds that.  Seemed only fair since I counted "Caretaker" as one.  The choices for this season were easier than the last because of the episodes with heavy series plot points were much more obvious.  One thing I didn't do with previous seasons that I chose to do here is some slight tweaking in episode order.  I'll explain them when I get to them.

 

I placed "Drive" before "Imperfection" because according to Wikipedia, "Imperfection" shows Tom Paris wearing his wedding ring and they didn't get married until "Drive."  Also, having the first regular episode of the season be the suspicious farewell to all but one of the Borg kids is a great way of saying "These kids were a bad idea.  Let's keep the teenage one."  Both episodes are important to the plots and character development of Tom, B'Elanna, Seven, and Icheb, so they both needed to be included regardless.

 

"Repression" brings back the Maquis yet again and also continues the development of how the crew is interacting with the Alpha Quadrant.  Plus, it gives us a lot of Tuvok playing detective, so that's fun.  And while the Maquis issue still isn't as prominent in the series as it could be, the tightening of the seasons allows it to push trough a little more and I like it.

 

"Nightingale" is here for the same reason it was in the show: to give Harry Kim some recognition.  His A-Story episodes were usually one-off alien episodes or not particularly important to the series as a whole.  This episode seemed like an apology for that.  Being an Ensign for seven years is tough; even Tom Paris got re-instated to Lieutenant before the Season Six ended, after being demoted the previous season.  Also, this episode gives a little more development for Icheb in the B-plot so he doesn't feel like such a random addition to the show.

 

"Flesh and Blood" brings back the Hirogen and the hologram technology that Voyager gave them, and then uses it to make more hologram rights stuff happen.  The Doctor loves this kind of episode.  Also, it's a good episode and uses one of the best excuses in the show for Alpha Quadrant stuff to show up in the Delta Quadrant (the Voyager database with Alpha Quadrant species used to make the holograms hunted by the Hirogen).  A good mid-season two-parter.

 

"Lineage" is the episode where B'Elanna starts being pregnant, so it has to be there, but it's also a good rumination on the medical ethics of deciding a child's fate before it is even born.  This show did medical topics well, probably because The Doctor was the best developed character in the bunch.  It also deals with B'Elanna's self-image and daddy issues.

 

"Author, Author" is the last of the big "is the Doctor a person" episodes.  It's funny, deals with implications of how fictionalizing real events can be disruptive if the subjects are close to the author, the rights of an author/artist, and the person-hood of artificial beings (Data yes, Doctor not yet...).  It also calls back directly to "Life Line" and the plight of The Doctor's EMH Mark-1 "brothers" as part of his motivation.  I placed it before "Human Error" because I can't remember (or find in plot summaries) anything that would definitely keep it from occurring beforehand and so there wouldn't be two Doctor focuses episodes in a row.

 

"Human Error" deals with Seven of Nine and her desire to be more human.  Then it backfires and she retreats.  Also, it is one of the first harbinger of the dreaded Seven-Chakotay relationship, know to fans of the show as "What?"  I'm not a shipper of any sort, but I felt that the show many times hinted at Chakotay and Janeway having a "What if they...?" type relationship, only for the writers to throw the hot, young blonde at him because there weren't any other handsome men available (who weren't bald and made of photons).  It wasn't as much of a surprise as that they never seemed to share any important moments together before this that is disorienting.  Regardless, it's a good Seven episode.

 

"Renaissance Man" probably shouldn't be here.  "Critical Care" might be a better episode and it deals with medical ethics and stuff like HMOs and prioritized health care.  But I really like "Renaissance Man" because it brings back the Hierarchy and pays off the "Emergency Command Hologram" setup from the previous season's "Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy".  Also, it has much more varied primary cast interaction than "Critical Care" and isn't as heavy handed.

 

"Homestead" tells how Neelix leaves the ship, so when he shows up in "Endgame" on a screen, it wouldn't make sense otherwise.  It's not a bad episode and gives a good send-off to Neelix's character, including a moment with Tuvok.  Saccharine, but not the worst they could've done.  I moved it directly before "Endgame" because he wasn't in "Renaissance Man" anyway and I thought it made more sense to place his departure at the end if I'm trying to tighten stuff up.

 

"Endgame" was the series finale.  It could've been better, but lots of the stuff I left while cutting the seasons down gets paid off.  Temporal Prime Directive, Borg Transwarp, Tom and B'Elanna's baby, Seven and Chakotay's romance (seriously?), The Doctor's person-hood, Harry Kim's command ("Nightingale") and dedication to get the crew home, even by breaking the rules ("Timeless"), and even Reg Barclay are all present.  It's been a while since I've seen it but I think they even mention something about the Maquis crew members as well.  It's also a very Janeway filled episode, which is good because she didn't have much to do this season besides be Captain.  Not everyone can suddenly be in love with random people or leave the ship.

 

 

The notable cut episodes for this season aren't very notable.  "Critical Care" I've already mentioned.  "Inside Man" has Reg Barclay but it's not very important and it also has Ferengi (this and the other Ferengi episode "False Profits" weren't very good, as they don't have Quark, Rom, or Brunt in them).  I cut the "B'Elanna's baby is the Klingon Jesus" episode "Prophesy" because it's not very good.  "Shattered" would have tied in nicely with the rest of the seasons if the plot weren't completely insipid, so I skipped it.  The two-parter "Workforce" honestly kinda bores me.  "Everyone has amnesia and likes to work in a factory" isn't very gripping.  And unfortunately, "Q2" wasn't good enough to bring John De Lancie back to Voyager for his last trip.

 

 

I suppose I'm done for now.  I do okay?

post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTyres View Post

Lest you think your work is in vain, I have some vacation time coming up in a couple of weeks and I will give Voyager another shot using your abridged seasons. Can you do the same magic with Enterprise? :D

 

Awesome.  Be sure to bring some updates to the thread so I can see what might've gotten lost in the mix.

 

And sadly, I've only ever seen the pilot of Enterprise.  Which is a shame because I love Scott Bakula.  Too bad there's no overtly running themes through Quantum Leap or I'd just do that next.  I was actually trying to think of other, non-Trek series this might work on, but Voyager seemed to be custom made for this kind of treatment.

post #13 of 39

Because two people were slightly interested, I present...

 

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Abridged Season One

 

1x01 & 1x02 – Encounter at Farpoint

1x03 – The Naked Now

1x05 – The Last Outpost

1x06 – Where No One Has Gone Before

1x09 – The Battle

1x10 – Hide and Q

1x11 – Haven

1x13 – Datalore

1x19 – Coming of Age

1x20 – Heart of Glory

1x23 – Skin of Evil

1x25 – Conspiracy

1x26 – The Neutral Zone

 

While I won't be shortening any other seasons any time soon, having never watched the series from start to finish, I recently watched Season One all the way through and felt comfortable knocking this one out.  My general knowledge of the series and the overall character development, plot developments, and themes will hopefully suffice.

 

"Encounter at Farpoint" is a gimmie.  Lays out the cast, setting, and overarching theme of the entire show: the potential of humanity for good.  Also, it introduces Q, the omnipotent judge of the human race and occasional annoyance to Picard.  I went ahead and counted it as one episode because I own this thread and will do whatever I damn well please.

 

"The Naked Now" isn't here because it's particularly good, but because it is an early glimpse at the some of the major traits and desires of the main cast.  Picard and Crusher's romantic attraction, Wesley's annoying child prodigy schtick, Data's android dexterity and processing power, and Yar's intimate relations with said android.  It's also a direct callback to "The Naked Time" episode of TOS, so there's that.

 

"The Last Outpost" gives us the first appearance of the Ferengi, so I included it because they return in "The Battle" a few episodes later.  There needed to be established traits and character for the Ferengi for the context of the later episode to work.  It also shows off Riker's away mission and moral dilemma skills.

 

"Where No One Has Gone Before" introduces The Traveler, who is vital to Wesley's arc and eventual permanent departure from the show (as long as we don't try to figure out why he's in Star Trek: Insurrection).  It's also a good episode for Wesley in general, his relationships with the bridge crew, and when he is designated an acting ensign.

 

"The Battle" brings the Ferengi back and fills out some back story on Captain Picard.  It also shows off the rest of the cast pretty equally when they're dealing with Picard.  Almost everyone gets a little moment where they're performing their primary functions.  Also, looking at the Wikipedia article (very useful for these breakdowns), I can see it ties in with two later series episodes, one of which is "The Measure of a Man" from Season Two.

 

"Hide and Q" obviously marks the first return of Q to the Enterprise and is an okay Riker development episode, if for nothing else than the decision he makes to not be a Q.  I always thought this one worked better in concept than practice (a morality play with redcoat warthog aliens?), but it gives us the first "trickster" type actions from Q, as before he was more menacing and cruel towards Picard and company.

 

"Haven" introduces Lwaxana Troi and gives Deanna some character development, as well as expanding on her and Riker's relationship.  Nothing remarkable here.

 

"Datalore" gives us some Data goodness and introduces his "brother" Lore, also known as "evil Data with emotions."  Lore will return, as will episodes that approach Data's person-hood in more depth, but there's not a good way (or reason) to skip this one.

 

"Coming of Age" serves several purposes.  It gives us a little more Wesley development, important because he's all over Season One and needs to become his own person before the kick his mom off the show for a season.  It also shows us two different views of Starfleet: that of the entrance exam and of the investigation of the Enterprise and it's crew.  The entrance exam concludes with a test designed to gauge how the taker responds to a difficult moral choice (saving one man while leaving another) but is only revealed to be a test after the fact.  The investigation of the senior staff on the Enterprise is, among other things, also a direct testing of the morality and decision making abilities of those in question.  It is interesting to note that both of these methods are initially hostile.  This episode also directly leads to the events of "Conspiracy" later in the season, helping give the illusion of a consistent arc.

 

"Heart of Glory" beat out "The Big Goodbye" for the last open place on this list, not because it's better, but because it was the only real Worf-centric episode in the bunch.  It gives unprecedented insight into Worf's own beliefs about honor and his Klingon heritage.  Until this point, he mostly growls and suggests violence.  And while his arc on TNG can't rival what he got on DS9, it still ends up pretty far from the beginning, so he needed this episode.

 

"Skin of Evil" kills off Tasha Yar, so it's important.  I agree with Denise Crosby that her character wasn't given much to do, so it didn't really hurt the show when she left.  This episode also gives us some decent Troi when she's in the crashed shuttle interacting with Armus (the black sludge entity) and a nice Data moment at Yar's memorial service.

 

"Conspiracy" follows up "Coming of Age" and gives some context for the earlier investigations (there were aliens pretending to be Starfleet people).  It gives us some good Picard and throws a little turmoil into dealings with Starfleet Headquarters, which usually makes for some good TNG.

 

"The Neutral Zone" gives us the Romulans and makes sure we know that they're a threat for later.  I can't remember how threatening they get and if it's any time soon, so if they don't, and this one is more or less disposable in the long run, I'll redact it and replace it with "The Long Goodbye", one of the first and best holodeck malfunction episodes.

 

 

I would discuss some of the episodes I cut but, as everyone knows, Season One just isn't all that great.  With the exception of "The Big Goodbye", there aren't really any episodes I cut that really stand out to me.  But feel free to disagree.  I'm not as much of a TNG expert as I am at Voyager.  Sadly.

post #14 of 39

Great picks.  My wife is watching TNG with me for the first time at the moment and your list has highlighted a lot of her favorite eppisodes.  The last one we watched was "Heart of Glory" and I will be interested to see what she makes of Skin of Evil when we get to it.

post #15 of 39
Are you going to continue on with TNG abridged season guides? This was very helpful for season one.
post #16 of 39

Any more DS9 recs, particularly seasons 2 and 3?

post #17 of 39

Just catching up here. Re: VOY, what's so awful about "11:59"?

post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 

Deep Space Nine  Abridged Season 2

 

2x01       The Homecoming

2x02       The Circle

2x03       The Siege

2x05       Cardassians

2x07       Rules of Acquistion

2x08       Necessary Evil

2x18       Profit and Loss

2x19       Blood Oath

2x20       The Maquis, Part I

2x21       The Maquis, Part II

2x22       The Wire

2x24       The Collaborator

2x26       The Jem'Hadar

 

This was a hard season to narrow down, not because there were a too many great episodes, but second seasons are dedicated to fleshing out characters.  Often, we go on strange plots just to show how Sisko is a fighter for justice (Paradise) and lonely (Second Sight), or Kira's hypocrisy and changing mindset about being a refugee/terrorist fighter to a  legitimate member of her government (Sanctuary), or Jadzia is part of Dax, and Trill symbiosis is very valuable (Invasive Procedures, Playing God), or Bashir loves helping people in innovative ways, while making terrible romance choices (Melora), or Odo spending time with the scientist who rased him and trying to experience family (The Alternate, Shadowplay), or O'Brian being tortured (Armageddon Game, Whispers, Crossover, Tribunal). All of those are interesting episodes, in general, and help to develop the characters in bits and pieces.  But this thread is about condensing. Making our character moments stronger, while delivering the underlying story, so all the episodes I mentioned get cut. As in the seaon 4 post above, the character moments we get are done better in other places, often in the same season. Most of the middle of the season gets gutted out, and O'Brien gets tortured less. As I said in my previous post, Ferengi stories tend to get cut quickly when you are abridging (Rivals), and while fun, but never necessary to the main story, the Mirror Universe has still got to go (Crossover).

 

So what did I keep?  The real plot of DS9, for me, has to do with Bajor and Cardassia. These twin states drive the larger plot, so I stuck to them while tyring to highlight each of the characters. Bajor's attempt to become a legitimate government are the basis for Star Trek's only three parter, and show case the savyness of Vedek Winn, who will play a much larger role in the future. "Cardassians" goes into the Cardassian ethos, the backstabbing, the family, all which come back to bite Dukat in Season 4, and sets a firm ground for the Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Skrain Dukat, plus Garak being Garak. Quark's drive to exploit the Gamma Quadrant and deal with his culture's virtual enslavement of women leads to a wonderful Ferengi episode in "Rules of Acquisition." It is also the first introduction of the Dominion.  "Necessary Evil" is the Reconcilliation Commision for Kira and Odo. It shows what they were doing during the occupation, builds wonderfully on the Kira/Odo relationship, and someone shoots Quark, which Odo has wanted to do for years.

 

Quark gets a second episode in "Profit and Loss."  It not only highlights Quark's not-quite-as-Ferengi attitudes, and the Cardassian struggle to figure out who they are AFTER their 'empire' falls apart, i also offers some great Garak.  "Blood Oath" allows some development of Jadzia Dax, her connection through Curzon to the Klingons, and must be kept for the celebration of Star Trek that the episode is. The enemies of James T. Kirk come together in this new day and age, ask for Dax's help in hunting down a enemy. It plays into Jadzia's love of Klingon culture and will set her character up for later Klingon shenanigans. "The Maquis" offers the Sisko's idea of justice, while highlighting the difference between Bajor's fight for freedom from the Cardassians and the Federation citizens who were traded over to the Cardassians in the name of peace and demilitarized border. This theme of working for the powers that be and against those powers is a theme throughout this season, and is continued inthe "Collaborator." The episode is a bit boring, as Bareil isn't the strongest of characters or actors, but Vedek Winn makes an appearance that moves the overarching story of Bajor forward. "The Wire"... apparently if you name something The Wire in this universe it becomes awesome, because this episode has got it all: A Bashir doing good, Garak telling the truth and lies at the same time, and Enabran Tain, former Spymaster of Cardassia. The concept is glorious, and damned if the execution doesn't follow.   We end the season with "The Jem'Hadar," which truly introduces the threat of the Dominion. We get a Picard like figure, on an Enterprise like ship confidently going to do what TNG had done before, only to watch in horror as they get eaten up by the aggressiveness of three Dominion ships. It quickly slaps down any expectation of the game being the same when the next season starts.

 

Who gets screwed in this abridgment? Miles Edward O'Brien. Most of his episodes this year were cut. He has a buddy adventure with Bashir, is replaced by a replicated clone/machine who gets killed, and is placed in Cardassian custody for a crime he didn't commit. It is a shame, as O'Brien is the character you love and feel for when he is placed in those situations, but ultimately his stories didn't move the over all story forward.

 

Give me some time, and I may be able to get Season 3 knocked out in a bit. I may post the episode list, and then come back to fill in the editorial.

post #19 of 39
Thread Starter 

Deep Space Nine Abridged Season 3

 

3x01       The Search, Part I

3x02       The Search, Part II

3x03       The House of Quark

3x05       Second Skin

3x07       Civil Defense

3x09       Defiant

3x13       Life Support

3x14       Heart of Stone

3x20       Improbable Cause

3x21       The Die is Cast

3x22       Explorers

3x25       Facets

3x26       The Adversary

 

3x11 & 3x12  Past Tense- TV Movie Presentation

 

Good God, this was a hard, hard season to cut down. I sacrificed some beloved episodes to do this. Luckily, there were at least 4 mediocre episodes, 1 Mirror Universe episode, and DS9's worst episode (Meridian) I could cut first.   If you get this far, and just want to see better development of Women in Cardassian Culture and Bajoran prophecies, check out "Destiny."  You want a great O'Brien episode, check out "Visionary."  Want a great story about Ferengi families? Check out "Family Business"

 

On to the abridged season. "The Search" brings us to Odo's people and the most badass anti-Enterprise ever, the U.S.S. Defiant.  It is action packed, a bit of a twist ending, and sets up the conflict for Odo for the next 4 years.  "House of Quark" is a nice palette cleanser that brings out the humor, showcases both Ferengi and Klingon culture in different lights, and makes for a decent episode where Quark is the hero. I hated to cut Odo's attempt to bring up a Jem'Hadar child (The Abandoned) but the season premiere did great work expressing Odo's reluctance to become like the Dominion. "Second Skin" is a great Kira episode, and another episode where the Cardassians are struggling with each other to decide what they want their society to be.  The lengths the Obsidian Order go to keep up the interesting charade, while Ghemor's attempt to convice Nerys she was his daughter was just great. Civil Defense has to be one of the best "bottle" shows, as everything happens on the station, but it is fun all on its own, while giving us Dukat and Garek. The security system goes nuts and attempts to kill them all. It sounds over the top, but is really the most plausible thing that could happen.

 

"The Defiant," at first glance, shouldn't be here. Jonathan Frakes shows up as Riker {both of them!}, hijacks the ship, and comes running to Cardassia to blow stuff up. But the episode ties in Kira's past hate for the Cardassians, the Maquis, a secret military base in a nebula, and serves as a touchstone to TNG. Let's say that of Frakes random appearances in post TNG shows, this is his best (The less said about his Enterprise appearance, the better.).  In another show that almost got cut, "Life Support" isn't the most thrilling. It is, however, a nice Bashir challenges the status quo episode. It also has a pretty big impact on the great story line. Winn pushes a dying Bariel to finish the Bajoran/Cardassian peace treaty, while she is also taking credit for it.  Kai Winn is such a great, pompous character played to perfection. 

 

Season 3 is really the Season of Odo, so I couldn't cut "Heart of Stone." Rene Auberjonois deserves more recognition than he has gotten, but the man is a hell of an actor, and all his skills are showcased here. Odo bares his soul in a way he has never done before, and it is moving.  Speaking of Auberjonois, the two parter "Improbable Cause" and "The Die is Cast" is a great two-parter that has impressive cinematography, wonderful character work of Andrew Robinson and Rene Auberjonois, and a crackling tale that will spin up the Dominion threat while rocking Cardassia. That final scene, with Odo and Garak in the tailor shop is one at which to marvel. "Explorers" is a great Sisko and Jake show, with beautiful sci fi designs and a great familty theme. It also introduces Sisko's goatee, which is how we know some shit is up in the seasons to come. "Facets" is another great showcase for the Trill symbiont relationship, but a better role for Auberjonois. His Curzon Dax is amazing because it startlingly different from Odo. Like all good times, the season ends on a note of grief and racheting of the tension. "The Adversary" is all the more ironic, because you wonder if the Founders are the adversary or Odo.  And with that, we end the season and rocket into some play time with Worf.


Edited by MrTyres - 1/11/13 at 8:05pm
post #20 of 39
Thread Starter 

Deep Space Nine Abridged Season 4

 

4x01-02 - The Way of the Warrior                

4x03 - The Visitor         

4x05 - Indiscretion       

4x08 - Little Green Men                     

4x11 - Homefront                        

4x12 - Paradise Lost

4x14 - Return to Grace              

4x15 - Sons of Mogh   

4x19 - Hard Time          

4x22 - For the Cause   

4x23 - To the Death     

4x24 - The Quickening                

4x26 - Broken Link

 

 Each of the ones I kept, outside of "The Visitor," "Little Green Men," "Sons of Mogh," and "Hard Time," are tied in pretty heavy to the plot. "Indiscretion" brings Dukat's daughter, which leads to his downfall and eventual rise, as well as a great subplot with Garak.   "The Visitor" is great sci fi story telling and "Sons of Mogh" has great development for both Worf and his brother that continues ideas from TNG. It helps that Tony Todd is amazing. When condensing these seasons down for DS9, I realized that the Ferengi episodes would be the first on the cutting block. That being said, the "Little Green Men" is just great sci fi, great cultural comparison, and great Quark, Rom, and Nog.  Plus, it gives us Nog in Starfleet, which is important later on. "Return to Grace" was nearly cut for me. However, it introduces Damar, it gets Kira working with Dukat as a rebel fighter which has an impact later AND we get to see Dukat start his ascent to power again, where he will sell out to the Dominion. "To the Death" gives us the great Jem'hadar mantra and Weyoun.

 

Easier to explain is what I cut. "Hippocratic Oath" has some great Jem Hadar in it, but we will get that much better done in the next season, and Bashir and the Dominion get a better episode with "The Quickening". "Rejoined" is a lame Dax former lives story that is only memorable because she kisses her ex-wfe.  "Starship Down" is a nice Run Silent, Run Deep call out, and has a great scene for Kira and Sisko's relationship. But I think we get that relationship, that Kira sees Sisko as Emissary, already, so I cut "Accession" as well. It is fun, but we will get better reinforcement of the Emissary role in other places. Gone is the "Sword of Kahless"/"Rules of Engagement" Klingon stories. It was an attempt to shoe horn Worf into the line up, and it was a bit much. I hate losing Kor, because he is a great character, but with only 13 episodes, you gotta cut. 

 

Ferengi shenanigans "Bar Association"/"Body Parts" were natural jettisons. Perhaps one of the reasons DS9 is my favorite is because you could have so many episodes focus on minor characters and that those supporting players get as much development as majors characters on TNG or VOY.  In the stuff I cut, we lose out on Kor, Brunt, Rom, Shakaar, Garak, Dax past lives, Lwaxana Troi,  and some Bajoran development. None of it is crucial, but it is great world building.  "Crossfire"/"The Muse" get ousted as well. Both deal with Odo's love affair with Kira, but there are other episodes with better development in them.  "Our Man Bashir" has great characterization, builds the Garak-Bashir relationship, and sets the tone for future Bashir developments, but I had to cut one more. O'Brian suffers stories are always so good, I couldn't cut that and the Mirror Universe stories are fun, but just sweet desserts on the side. Ultimately, what happens with cuts is that they were better done in other places, often in this season.

 

::edited to put in chronological order::


Edited by MrTyres - 1/28/13 at 6:19pm
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

Are you going to continue on with TNG abridged season guides? This was very helpful for season one.

 

I am.  Apologizes for my disappearance.  I have been working and moving and haven't had much time at all for good old TV watching.  I just finished watching Season 2 so I plan on working on it in the coming week.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post

Just catching up here. Re: VOY, what's so awful about "11:59"?

 

11:59 adds absolutely nothing to the show in the long run.  Janeway looks up to her ancestor for doing this awesome thing but we see (and she finds out) that it didn't happen the way she thought it did.  It's really just kind of boring and unnecessary.  For all the goodness in season 5, this one sticks out like a sore thumb.

post #22 of 39

I think it's a sweet, unexpected standalone. Mulgrew clearly enjoys letting her hair down in her alternate role, and the point of the story isn't Janeway's disappointment that her family legend was untrue, but her realization that her ancestor lived a meaningful life even if it never made the history books. And if VOY was going to have to do a Y2K episode I'm glad they did it this way instead of, say, detailing some futuristic software crisis.

post #23 of 39

It's not a horrible episode necessarily.  I just didn't think it was all that great and it certainly didn't belong in the "let's make the show streamlined and plot driven" list of episodes.  I was much, much happier to get rid of "Once Upon a Time," which I think I dislike more than "Threshold."  I really just don't give a flip about Naomi Wildman and dislike the tone and production design of that episode anyway.  And even though I'm doing these abridged things, I'm the type of person who HAS to watch every episode when I watch through TV series.

post #24 of 39

That makes more sense. I certainly agree it wouldn't make the 13-ep cut.

 

Ah, Naomi Wildman. Now there was a lost opportunity. Unless I'm the only one who totally expected to see her as an adult officer, maybe even the acting captain, in the series finale.

post #25 of 39

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Abridged Season Two

 

2x01 – The Child

2x03 – Elementary, Dear Data

2x04 – The Outrageous Okuna

2x08 – A Matter of Honor

2x09 – The Measure of a Man

2x11 – Contagion

2x14 – The Icarus Factor

2x15 – Pen Pals

2x16 – Q Who?

2x17 – Samaritan Snare

2x19 – Manhunt

2x20 – The Emissary

2x21 – Peak Performance

 

Despite what people generally say about the first two seasons of this show, I really liked the majority of Season Two.  Thankfully, it's the only season to only have 22 episodes and the superior episodes stood out pretty plainly.  Also, call me crazy, but comparing her to Season One Beverly Crusher, I like Dr. Pulaski much better.  I get why others might not but she's one of the stronger characters in this season.

 

One thing I couldn't get out of Season Two was an overall arc to follow, so it's similar to Season One in that manner but with even less continuing plot points.  I manage to pull the threads connected to Season One and overall character development out the best I can, though some good character episodes get lost along the way.  It's a pretty strange exercise to remove parts of a TV show to make it "more complete" anyway.

 

The season opens up with "The Child", which is probably my least favorite of the bunch I selected.  It's here because it alerts the viewer to Dr. Crusher's absence, introduces Dr. Pulaski, Guinan and Ten Forward, shows us that Geordi has been promoted to Chief Engineer and Worf to Security Chief, and has some decent character moments for Troi and Wesley, as well as the new doctor.  I really just hated the story.  I get the concept but if anyone were to be that attached to a weird alien pregnancy baby, it would be Troi.

 

"Elementary, Dear Data" gives us our first big taste of the true nature (and continuous eminent danger) of the Holodeck, at least in this abridgement version of TNG (I'm still mad I couldn't include "The Big Goodbye" in Season One).  It also gives us a heaping dose of Data hamming it up, begins to build his and Geordi's friendship, and throws Pulaski into the mix headfirst.  It also features our first truly sentient Holographic character, Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes novels, who appears again in Season Six.

 

"The Outrageous Okuna" is one that many people seem to really like.  It's kind of like Han Solo was a playboy and flew into Star Trek.  I included it more because of the exploration of Data's investigation into emotion.  That it used Joe Piscopo to play a pretty unfunny comedian, I thought that was an accurate portrayal of both how Data would try to understand humor and of Joe Piscopo's actual funniness.  It's a fun episode overall and I'm pretty sure that Pulaski and Guinan both show up to help Data, so their characters really get fleshed out over the first few episodes and they meld into the cast well as a result.

 

"A Matter of Honor" gives us Riker and oh so much of him.  It really showcases his loyalty, courage, insight, and resourcefulness.  I never really cared for Riker much growing up but his character is really growing on me watching through TNG.  It also gives us some of the first real fleshing out of the TNG-era Klingons and how they fit into the Federation.  One of the strongest of the season, in my opinion.

 

"The Measure of the Man" is arguably THE strongest of the season, however.  Not only do we examine Data's essential personhood, but we get Picard and Riker facing off as defense and prosecution in a trial to decide such.  Any fan of the show doesn't need any more explanation to know why this episode is here and any non fan should just go ahead and watch it already.

 

"Contagion" brings us back to the Neutral Zone and gives us our Romulan fix for the season (looks like "The Long Goodbye" is officially out).  It also explores more of Picard's character, including his interest in archeology and, according to Wikipedia, his first "Tea, Earl Grey, hot!"

 

"The Icarus Factor" almost gives Riker his own command and makes him deal with his father, who really kind of sucks.  It gives a good amount of insight though to why Riker stayed "Number One" for so long.  It also has a B-plot about Worf feeling alone as a Klingon out of his culture that includes much of the other crew and brings them all a little closer together for it.

 

"Pen Pals" is slightly more saccharine than I care for but brings home the ethical debate about the Prime Directive pretty hard.  I also think it's important that Data is the one to break it as you would suspect him more than most to be generally unwavering towards the Biggest Rule of the Federation.  It shows that he IS more than a simple machine who follows orders.  Subtle but significant.

 

"Q-Who?" has Q and introduces the Borg.  Those things are important to the show for a multitude of reasons.  Also, it teases that Guinan is much more interesting than she seems to be.

 

"Samaritan Snare" is great because it finally shows us WHY Geordi might have been appointed Chief Engineer.  He's really good at that kind of stuff.  The Pakleds are a great bunch of villains: at first very funny but they very effectively become menacing later on.  The B-plot featuring Picard and Wesley is also very strong, giving us even more Picard back-story (and introduces his artificial heart and its origin, essential to the later Q-episode "Tapestry") and greatly deepens the two's relationship.  And the ending gives Pulaski a little time to shine as she was the "best" person to perform his operation.

 

"Manhunt" brings back Lwaxana Troi.  Her episodes are never my favorites but seeing as how showing parents almost always helps develop characters, I thought it'd be good for Deanna's development, although there's not nearly as much here as there was last season.  Overall, Lwaxana's appearances are common enough to throw her in the mix, especially when the seasons are cut down and I'm trying to tie as much together as possible.

 

"The Emissary" gives us some Worf time and intro's his eventual baby momma.  It also shows off his Klingon side a little more and his devotion to his culture without downplaying his feelings towards K'Ehleyr.  And it gives us just a little more info on how the relationship between the Federation and the Klingons gets along by bringing in some Kilngons that don't know they're not fighting anymore.

 

"Peak Performance" sets Picard against Riker in a war game and has Data doubt himself for failing to beat a strategy expert in a strategy game.  Both plots are very clever and give most of the crew something to do and accents their individual strengths and weaknesses.  It also brings back the Ferengi in another attempt to make them a big, foreboding villain, so that ties it back to Season One again.  It's very well rounded and a good way to finish off the season, especially when the actual finale is one of (if not the only) clip shows in Star Trek history.  Although a friend of mine recently pointed out a pretty big plot hole in the episode, I still would rate it highly.

 

Honorable mentions for the season include "Unnatural Selection", the only Pulaski-centered episode and one that deals with the subject of genetic engineering fairly well, "The Dauphin", wherein Wesley Crusher falls in love for the first time and learns a valuable lesson about life, and "Up The Long Ladder", which addresses the issue of cloning and features a strong-willed and very attractive Irish lass who makes out with Riker.

 

Dishonorable mentions for "The Royale", a reasonably fun-filled romp with no real value at the end, and "Shades of Grey", for being a Riker-themed clip show where Troi looks worried and Pulaski "narrows the frequency" for 40-something minutes.

post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post

That makes more sense. I certainly agree it wouldn't make the 13-ep cut.

 

Ah, Naomi Wildman. Now there was a lost opportunity. Unless I'm the only one who totally expected to see her as an adult officer, maybe even the acting captain, in the series finale.

 

You DO see her as an adult officer in "Shattered" in late Season Seven, though that timeline ends up not existing and the plot behind the episode is a little contrived.
 

post #27 of 39

Edit: Double post.

 

But I'll go ahead and use this space to instead compliment MrTyres on his work so far.  As I said earlier in the thread, it's been a good bit since I've watched through DS9, but you've grabbed the essence of what the show is and have run with it swimmingly as far as I can tell.  I imagine that that task will be much more difficult as you tackle the last two seasons, especially Season Seven since it was so incredibly serialized towards the end.


Edited by Bill McNeal - 1/21/13 at 9:54pm
post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill McNeal View Post

Edit: Double post.

 

But I'll go ahead and use this space to instead compliment MrTyres on his work so far.  As I said earlier in the thread, it's been a good bit since I've watched through DS9, but you've grabbed the essence of what the show is and have run with it swimmingly as far as I can tell.  I imagine that that task will be much more difficult as you tackle the last two seasons, especially Season Seven since it was so incredibly serialized towards the end.

 

I am kinda worried about 6 and 7. So much is interconnected, and as much flak as some give the Ezri plotline, I loved her character, the actress, and what they do with her.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Makes me wish Terry Farrel had left earlier (like the episode where she nearly dies....all of 7 episodes before she actually does).

 

I am also afraid I am going to cut my darlings. I like Ferengi episodes, and "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" is quite interesting if just for the cultural exploration. But, I am busy with work and play, so it will be some time before I get my next batch out.

post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 

Deep Space Nine Abridged Season 5

 

5x01 Apocalypse Rising
5x02 The Ship
5x05 The Assignment
5x06 Trials and Tribble-ations
5x10 Rapture
5x12 The Begotten
5x13 For the Uniform
5x14 In Purgatory's Shadow
5x15 By Inferno's Light
5x16 Doctor Bashir, I Presume
5x19 Ties of Blood and Water
5x23 Blaze of Glory
5x26 Call to Arms

 

 

It says something about a season when I spend so much time talking about what I am cutting. There is so much succulent story here, the cuts were hard to make. I spent a good amount of time on this list, moreso than any other. Luckily, as I started pruning, it was a bit easy in the first part of the season. After the big reveal of the season opener,  the season does some strange waffling between serious and silly. I nearly cut "The Ship," so I could place my first cut episode "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places."  "par'Mach" is a great call back to "House of Quark" in Season 3, shows a nice side of Quark, and gives us Worf and Jadzia hooking up. Ultimately it was too much. Like I said earlier, cutting to 13 episodes would dampen the occasional lark and whimsy episodes. "Nor the Battle to the Strong" nearly stayed as well. It is a nice Jake grows up episode, a Farewell to Arms riff. But Jake doesn't become a focus again till much later, and even then there is little call back to this particular episode. 

 

I waffled hard over the next series of cuts. DS9 will have a great season next year, in part because it is serialized and builds, but Season 5 is filled with gems that have nothing to do with the larger plot, making it a much harder cut. First, It was a choice between "the Assignment" and "Things Past". One has a great Rosalind Chao performance, the other has Kurtwood Smith! Both build character relationships, but I had to cut "Things Past"  It showcases a time before the series, shows creepy Dukat and his Bajoran fetish, and cast some ambiguity on Odo's role in the Occupation, but all those things get done better in later episodes. Plus Dax and Dukat have no chemistry, where as Dukat and Kira have chemistry galore, which the show will explore later.  "Let He Who Without Sin" works as a great parallel to fundamentalism, like "Paradise" did in Season 2, but I cut "Paradise" and I cut "Let He"; it isn't a great episode.

 

After looking at my cuts, I realized that while I declared Season 3 to be the Season of Odo, I spent most of this season cutting Odo stories. "Things Past", "The Ascent", "  "Simple Investigation", and "Children of Time" are good Odo stories. Auberjonois and Shimmerman share a great banter that is worth it if you want to spend the time with "The Ascent.". With "Simple Investigation", Odo makes with a woman.  Once again, "Children of Time" is a great episode, with strong Scifi merit to watch on its own. Think of it as a Special Episode or holiday special and watch it, but it was cut because t just didn't stand up to the other episodes.

 

Another great episode that just didn't make the cut is "Business as Usual". It shows why Quark is the heart of gold capitalist by showcasing the truly horrible arms dealers. "Ferengi Love Songs" is much more traditional Ferengi episode by comparison. I love them, but they rarely stay in these cuts.  "In the Cards" plays with Ferengi, but in this case it is Nog and Jake in an almost direct take off of the season one episode, "Progress", of Jake and Nog hijynx. Fun, whimsical, and worth a watch for the strange professor and his cellular entertainment device. "Soldiers of the Empire" and "Empok Nor" are great fun, but advance the overall story so little, they were let go.

 

 

Whew... 4 paragraphs in and I haven't even talked about what stayed!  If Season 3 was the Season of Odo, and Season 4 Worf's, then Season 5 is the Season of Shit Getting Real. The premiere closes out the season 3 finale. "The Ship" is a good precursor to next season's powerhouse "Rock and Shoals".  "The Assignment" managed to stay because it introduces the Pahwraiths, the demons of the Bajoran mythos. It sets the stage for the eventual series climax, plus a stellar play by Chao. "Trials and Tribble-ations" was a celebration of Star Trek that used the Forest Gump technology to digitally insert DS9 characters into TOS's "Trouble with Tribbles" episode. The story is great, the shoutout to old school Klingons plays with the franchise, and we get a grandfather paradox that makes Bashir go ewww. A Stellar episode that has nothing to do with the season, but sometimes you have to pay homage, and they do a hell of a job (better than Voyager's decent, but flawed attempt). "Rapture" sees the uniforms change to match the filims, but really puts Sisko back into the chair of the religious leader. Also, Kasidy is back!  "For the Uniform"  starts tying up the loose Maquis ends before the Dominion conflict explodes. Eddington will resurface one more time in the season's penultimate episode "Blaze of Glory."  "In Purgatory's Shadow" and "By Inferno's Light" are a great 2 parter that sees the show shaken up pretty heavily and the re-introduction of possibly the greatest Klingon since Worf. Plus Garak is an integral part, and really what more do you need?

 

"Doctor Bashir, I Presume" despite being a sillier episode, really ties in well with the franchise, addresses a great scifi idea, and sets the stage for further developments. "Ties of Blood and Water"  plays to Kira's series' long arc of reconciling Cardassia and Bajor in her own relationships. It is heartbreaking, and makes you feel for both Kira and Ghemor, who we last saw in Season 3's "Second Skin."  The finale, "Call to Arms" really shakes up the show, and ends on such a dramatic note that when I watched it live, I was euphoric and pissed I would have to wait till Fall to see what happens.


Edited by MrTyres - 1/28/13 at 8:24pm
post #30 of 39
Thread Starter 

I thought I had finished these. I will be back soon with Season 6 and 7.

post #31 of 39
Thread Starter 

So, it turns out I had posted these, but while posting in the Bugs forum, I found out that the spam controller may have deleted them.

 

Deep Space Nine: Abridge Season 6

 

6x01 A Time to Stand
6x02 Rocks and Shoals
6x03 Sons and Daughters
6x04 Behind the Lines
6x05 Favor the Bold
6x06 Sacrifice of Angels
6x11 Waltz
6x13 Far Beyond the Stars
6x15 Honor Among Thieves
6x18 Inquisition
6x19 In the Pale Moonlight
6x22 Valiant
6x26 Tears of the Prophets

 

 

“And this is where condensing DS9 became supremely difficult.” Or so I thought.  But this season had some very strange tonal shifts, as if the showrunners were afraid to go too serial (South Park pun intended). The first six are a long mini-series leading to the retaking of the station. They had to stick. “Rocks and Shoals” is on my list of top 5 episodes of the series. 3rd Remata’Klan is an outstanding character. It is a gripping section of the show that I can watch over and over. “Sons and Daughters” is another look at the Klingon culture from the inside, but in a Bad News Bears type of way. We also start getting our CGI ship battles cranking in “Favor the Bold” and “Sacrifice of Angels.”

 

This past week, with a bit more spare time, I threw Season 6 into the DVD player and watched. Disk 3 is where I realized the cuts were going to start.  Yeah, I cut Worf and Dax’s wedding. Not that I hated it; it does so much for Martok’s character, I nearly kept it. But the rest of it, while a nice entertaining break from the seriousness of the previous 8 episodes, kills the forward momentum of the Dominion/Cardassian storyline. The same goes for “Resurrection”’s  Mirror Universe episode, “Statistical Probablities,” and “Magnificent Ferengi.”  Magnificent Ferengi is delightful, comedic story, and I love it, but even Iggy Pop guest starring couldn't save it from the 13 episode drive. The last two actually have some bearing on the overarching story, with “Statistical” nearly making it in because of the genetically enhanced, autism-spectrum-like analysis of the Dominion War.

 

“Who Mourns for Morn” is such an odd, odd show to be placed between “Waltz” and “Far Beyond the Stars.” It reminds me of the 1970s Disney movies where the bad guys were comically so and always an ensemble effort.  I get its light-heartedness and why they chose to base an entire show about a voiceless background character. Somewhere I had read that the episode came from fan mail, asking for more of Morn. I think it goes to show how letter campaigns about fan favorites are really the voice of a REALLY loud, but very small minority.  Ultimately it is a mediocre show.

 

“Waltz” is magnificent story telling that focuses on Dukat and pounds home the “mirror darkly” foil of Ben Sisko’s character. It also sets up the fraying edge of Dukat that will lead the way for Season 7. “Far Beyond the Stars” is another bonifide classic. Avery Brooks had been pushing to get Star Trek to be controversial again, to push big ideas. The episode is a great science-fiction story about science fiction, but the narrative cutting between DS9 and the 1950s and getting to see the cast “unmasked” was great. It is truly one of the great episodes, perhaps top 10 of all trekdom. Plus, the series goes on to build quite heavily on this episode, so it had to stay in.

 

Again, DS9 goes for counter programming from dramatically heavy episode to a light, comedic one, but binge watching just emphasizes the odd tonal shifts. “One Little Ship” is an Innerspace flavored DS9 episode and easily cut. But it’s follow-up, “Honor Among Thieves” is one of the best O’Brian episodes of the series.

“Change of Heart” and “Wrongs Darker than Death or Night” were very easy cuts. The latter is a time travel episode that does some good work revealing why Dukat has such a fascination for Kira, but honestly, it was unneeded. Dukat’s icky feelings for her were fine just being icky, and the time travel means a giant reset. The former though… that is going to need some spoiler text.

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

Terry Ferrell (Jadzia Dax) was looking to leave DS9. She had gotten a part on Ted Danson’s sitcom Becker. According to Memory Alpha, she wanted to stay for Season 7, but only under certain conditions. Rumors at the time mentioned contract disputes were a factor (The same rumors popped up on Becker, where she was fired after 4 seasons). Later, she was written into the series finale, but demanded an outrageous salary for her images and her role, and the producers declined. I say all of that to say this: The episode is built on Dax and Worf going on a mission where Dax is near mortally injured and Worf has to choose between duty and his wife. He chooses his wife… 9 episodes before we kill her in the finale. The finale makes her death senseless, but if Worf had chosen duty and had to deal with losing his par’Machai, or even better had Worf chosen his wife and she STILL dies in this episode, it would have been better. To lose a main character in the middle of a season would have been mind-blowing to mid-90s audiences who know stuff like that doesn’t happen mid-season.  The episode is fine, but in the scope of things it is a wasted episode.

 

 

 

“Inquisition” introduces us to Section 31 and the great Sloan, played by William Sadler who apparently beat out Martin Sheen for the role.  In the greater scheme, it is a great continuation of Bashir’s storyline and pushes at what DS9 always did best: questioning the Federation’s paradise.  “In the Pale Moonlight” is another fan favorite. Sisko and Garak try to get the Romulans into the war.  That’s all you should need to know to immediately hit play.

 

And now for a run of cut episodes. “Profit and Lace,” “Times Orphan,” and “The Sound of her Voice” were easy cuts. The first two are terrible, near “Meridian” terrible, and the last one a character breathing space before the finale—nice, but ultimately unneeded in a short season. “His Way” is a controversial episode for a number of reasons. It advances the Kira/Odo relationship, but does so by introducing Vic Fontaine, the 1960’s hologram program that is a bit too sentient. The 60’s hologram and casino will be a place for the characters to unwind in future episodes and actually places a great role in Nog’s story next season, but when getting to 13 episodes, some things had to go. At the time, fans loved him or hated him, and some of the criticisms of the last seasons often cite the 60’s holoprogram as a down trend. Ultimately it helps that I cut most of the Fontaine episodes next season.

 

“The Reckoning” is a harder cut to justify. It plays into the coming religious themes that will dominate the last season. It features Kai Winn, who we love to hate.  Honestly, I should probably replace the “Valiant” with this episode, but the problem comes in its deflating end. The episode features Kosst Amojan, the Bajoran devil spirit, who is here to start the Bajoran Apocalypse by inhabiting Jake Sisko and starts fighting a Prophet-possessed Kira…but then gets interrupted by technobabble. The episode feels like wheel spinning. Maybe in a shortened season it would play better, but looking at what I put together for Season 7, I felt justified in cutting it.

 

So, if I should have cut “Valiant” for “The Reckoning,”  why did I keep “Valiant”? It is a great Nog and Jake episode that highlights how far Nog has come and still must go AND his desires to be an officer, Jake’s position as a civilian in this show that mostly follows the military side, and brings back Red Squad from the 4th season. The episode shows a crew not at its best. One of the better episodes of Voyager “Equinox” takes this same idea of “what happens when you have a crew that isn’t as good as the crew we normally follow.”  I love “Valiant” so I kept it in my list.

 

“Tears of the Prophets” continues the big story and, in the continuing serialization of the show, sets up Season 7. I have issues with Gul Dukat and a misplaced dramatic conclusion. It nearly sticks the landing, but it fumbles a bit. The show is going to continue the story of the war, but on a slightly parallel track.

 

As I said before, if Season 3 was the Season of Odo, and Season 4 Worf, Season 5 is the Season of Shit Getting Real, Season 6 is the Season of War. Star Trek has talked about wars in the 24th century, but each of those are short lived, television-wise, and rarely impact our characters for any length of time. For the first time we get to see its impact.


Edited by MrTyres - 6/19/13 at 8:47pm
post #32 of 39
Thread Starter 

Deep Space Nine: Abridge Season 7

 

7x01 Image in the Sand
7x02 Shadows and Symbols
7x03 Afterimage
7x09 Covenant
7x16 Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges
7x17 Penumbra
7x18 'Til Death Do Us Part
7x19 Strange Bedfellows
7x20 The Changing Face of Evil
7x21 When It Rains...
7x22 Tacking Into the Wind
7x23 Extreme Measures
7x24 The Dogs of War
7x25/26 What You Leave Behind

 

 

I know the current list has 14 episodes. I am waffling so very hard between cutting "Afterimage" or "Inter Arma" but honestly the cuts are soooo hard to make. I need "Afterimage" because it deels with Dax's return to the station.  I need "Covenant" because it shows what happens to Dukat after last season's finale and deepens that disgusting connection between him and Kira. I need "Inter Arma" because it deals with the Romulans, the nature of spying and Section 31, and questions who do we support. You would think that the DS9 writers had a time hoodie and knew the post-9/11 wars were coming because of the way the Dominion War arc comments on the nature of "the good guy." I may try to rewatch them tomorrow afternoon to make my decision.

 

I will be back with the commentary.


Edited by MrTyres - 6/19/13 at 9:18pm
post #33 of 39
Just caught this thread and am finding the abridged versions offered pretty interesting. Condensing DS9 must be very tough, as there are many episodes that cannot be thrown away purely because of characters. It's a very character grounded show. But condensing VOY? Not all that difficult, I can't argue with that. I can't do my own abridge versions of that show, because I find it on the whole very disposable. So disposable, I suppose you could simply do an abridged version of the entire show :P .

I have just gone through the first three seasons of ENT. The third season to my surprise is pretty tight considering that it's 24 episodes. I can only think of maybe two or three episodes you could throw away all together but there's too much that can't be thrown away because they're important to the overall arc. I hate "Carpenter Street", but I can't deny that it serves a major point for the arc.

However, looking at the first two seasons, they could easily be condensed as a lot of them really are just alien of the week filler and I was kind of amazed how the only arc that was happening didn't really develop at all. The temporal cold war arc literally goes no where until the Xindi step in. So here's my abridged versions of S1 and S2.

1x01/02 – “Broken Bow”
1x03 – “Fight or Flight”
1x07 – “The Andorian Incident”
1x08 – “Breaking the Ice”
1x10 – “Fortunate Son”
1x11 – “Cold Front”
1x15 – “Shadows of P’Jem”
1x16 – “Shuttlepod One”
1x17 – “Fusion”
1x21 – “Detained”
1x23 – “Fallen Hero”
1x24 – “Desert Crossing”
1x26 – “Shockwave”

Pretty easy, as all I do is keep the Temporal Cold War arcs and pick out the awful episodes that really do nothing other than undermine the characters, such as "Strange New Worlds" where the crew come off as total unprofessional who have no idea what they're doing and nothing is thought through. NASA always plans their shit right, because they HAVE to. So should these pioneers of Starfleet. So the ones I left behind are for the most part pretty relevant. "Broken Bow", obviously being the pilot. "Fight or Flight" stays because it's the first time they're exploring. "The Andorian Incident" for the introduction of Jeffrey Comb's Shran. "Breaking the Ice" serves as a nice lightweight episode for the characters and has a few threads that will be picked up in later episodes, such as T'Pol's arranged marriage and her feelings about it. "Fortunate Son" just to really show how before there was a Federation there was no law preventing pirates from attacking cargo ships and that it actually gives Mayweather something to do, for better or worse. "Cold Front" because of the introduction of Daniels and the whole temporal cold war arc thing. "Shadows of P'Jem" because it carries the thread of the conflict between Vulcans and Andorians. "Shuttlepod One" for being a nice character grounded episode. "Fusion" because the events in this episode will effect T'Pol dealing with emotions in the future. "Detained" because it makes a nice slice of classic Trek with a story that's an allegory of real events. "Fallen Hero" for T'Pol and "Desert Crossing" because of consequences as the result of the events in "Detained". "Shockwave" because of the Temporal Cold War arc.

I'll get onto S2 later.
post #34 of 39
Thread Starter 

Very nice work, Mr. Stocks.  You captured what I both liked about a prequel series and also why the attempt was so infuriating. Like Voyager, so much potential, money, and time squandered. When I get around to an Enterprise rewatch, I will probably go with your list for Season 1. I look forward to your Season 2 and 3.

 

After posting my commentary for DS9 Abridged Season 6, I realized I am getting longer and longer. I blame this on two parts: one, I wrote this while at work today because I had a lot of spare time on my hands, and two, DS9 is just that good. It is hard to cut, and honestly, anyone else could come in and offer their own versions that would maybe only contain half of the same episodes I posted. Tomorrow promises to have the same amount of dead time (I am facilitating an online summer school, so my job is to make sure they are working and answer the occasional question), so I may see if I can knock out my Season 7 commentary.

post #35 of 39
I usually recommend people to just watch all episodes or movies of any franchise so that they can form their own opinions instead of skipping out something they might have enjoyed only because they were told not to see it based on someone else's opinion. However, ENT does do some pretty idiotic things with the characters. There's the episode "Dear Doctor" which is considered by many to be one of the best episodes of Trek. I have no clue why anyone thinks so, because the episode ends with Archer and Phlox withholding a cure that would save a species for vague reasons. It makes them look contemptible in my eyes. So I suppose my list would serve well enough for those who want to watch ENT but not get throught the rough patches, but in the end I always suggest to see them all so they can form their own opinions. You can learn from bad writing as much as great ones.

So, here's my stab at S2.

2x01 - "Shockwave, Part II"
2x03 - "Minefield"
2x04 - "Dead Stop"
2x08 - "The Communicator"
2x09 - "Singularity"
2x12 - "The Catwalk"
2x14 - "Stigma"
2x15 - "Cease Fire"
2x16 - "Future Tense"
2x19 - "Judgement"
2x24 - "First Flight"
2x25 - "Bounty"
2x26 - "The Expanse"

This was a bit tougher to condense to 13 episodes than it was for the first season. There's some genuine good episodes, despite being filler.

"Shockwave, Part II"
I really hate including this in the list because it's a terrible episode and a poor conclusion to a cliffhanger from the last season finale. But, like Part I, it's part of the Temporal Cold War, so it's kind of vital.

"Minefield"
The introduction to the Romulans. Decent episode, though it doesn't really go for anything all that interesting.

"Dead Stop"
It's included because this is the episode that has the Enterprise repaired after having a chunk of the ship blown up in "Minefield". It's good though.

"The Communicator"
Makes a good slice of classic Trek where a simple mistake leads to a disaster and that Archer might have to live with it.

"Singularity"
Sort of like TOS's "The Naked Time" but instead it focuses on the crew becoming obsessively fixated over trivial matters that it endangers the ship. Works nicely as a character piece, but amusing and dramatic.

"The Catwalk"
One of the few times we get to see the characters use the catwalk in the warp nacelles to shield them as a radiation storm passes by. It's a very good episode and the establishment of the catwalk will play a role in a future episode.

"Stigma"
The episode that continues the thread that started in "Fusion" with T'Pol dealing with Pa'nar Syndrome and how Vulcans view anyone with that disease as contemptible.

"Cease Fire"
An important episode that has Archer make peace between Vulcans and Andorians, the first of many steps towards the formation of the Federation.

"Future Tense"
A temporal cold war episode. It's disposable in the grand scheme of things, but it's a fun installment that even brings in the Tholians for the first time since TOS.

"Judgement"
The beginning of the ill-advised arc with Archer having a conflict with an ancestor of Duras from TNG. This is a good episode though, as it's about the downward spiral of Klingons as a culture, no longer treating honor as anything more than lip service.

"First Flight"
This is an episode that makes me wish the series had felt more like this from the start, where it truly captures THE RIGHT STUFF vibe with characters like Archer and Robinson taking risks with the space program because that's the only way to move forward. Hence my signature quoting Kirk.

"Bounty"
I only include it because it carries the short lived Duras arc, and that it plays a role in the season finale. It's got a ridiculous subplot with T'Pol going through Pon Farr which serves nothing other than showing her run around in her underwear all oiled up.

"The Expanse"
The beginning of the Xindi arc, where the temporal cold war finally takes some kind of direction for the first time since "Broken Bow".


And that's all I can do for ENTERPRISE. There's no way to truly condense the third season into thirteen episodes because the writers actually did a good job of making sure that each episode actually moved the storyline further and that certain events would actually be very crucial to the development of later episodes. The only episodes that could be disposed of is "Extinction", "North Star", and "Doctor's Orders", and that's about it. Having just gone through it, it was truly something remarkable to see this whole Xindi arc unravel the way it did, especially after going through the first two seasons where it had a lot of filler between episodes. S3 is the season where ENTERPRISE finally feels like it has a very clear direction.

Same with the fourth season, although that is mainly composed of multi-episode arcs, plenty of threads carry out through the season to tie most of it pretty nicely. Like the events in the Augment trilogy having consequences in the two-part episode where the Klingons lose their ridges (yeah, it sounds totally ridiculous that they actually went there, but they did a good job with taking on such an absurd premise).
post #36 of 39

Also so you don't feel that your hard work is unappreciated: I'm using your abridged Voyager as a template to introduce my roommate to the wonders of the Star Trek universe, previously known to him only via J.J. Abrams (seriously, he knows nothing else about Star Trek. He thought Cylons were a type of Borg, which, although an interesting concept, is not particularly accurate). With 172 episodes and my not-so-great recollections of watching this show when I was growing up, trying to cut down the episodes on my own would have been daunting. Your list is great, as are your reasons for cutting the episodes you did, and I'm hoping to make it through in a few months! Thank you for compiling a great list!

post #37 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShambleSlowly View Post
 

Also so you don't feel that your hard work is unappreciated: I'm using your abridged Voyager as a template to introduce my roommate to the wonders of the Star Trek universe, previously known to him only via J.J. Abrams (seriously, he knows nothing else about Star Trek. He thought Cylons were a type of Borg, which, although an interesting concept, is not particularly accurate). With 172 episodes and my not-so-great recollections of watching this show when I was growing up, trying to cut down the episodes on my own would have been daunting. Your list is great, as are your reasons for cutting the episodes you did, and I'm hoping to make it through in a few months! Thank you for compiling a great list!

 

 

Aww, Bill McNeil should be proud. It is a great list. Welcome to CHUD. Come for the Man of Steel bashing, stay for the Trek Slashing.

post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShambleSlowly View Post
 

Also so you don't feel that your hard work is unappreciated: I'm using your abridged Voyager as a template to introduce my roommate to the wonders of the Star Trek universe, previously known to him only via J.J. Abrams (seriously, he knows nothing else about Star Trek. He thought Cylons were a type of Borg, which, although an interesting concept, is not particularly accurate). With 172 episodes and my not-so-great recollections of watching this show when I was growing up, trying to cut down the episodes on my own would have been daunting. Your list is great, as are your reasons for cutting the episodes you did, and I'm hoping to make it through in a few months! Thank you for compiling a great list!


Thanks so much for the kind words!  I've been gone from the site for a while and it's nice to see that someone enjoyed it.  I had planned to keep attempting the abridgement of TNG, especially since I never watched it all the way through, but I simply haven't had the time or energy to watch it and think about it.  Full disclosure - I've been going through an amicable (but thoroughly painful for me) divorce, I've moved three times in the past year, and it was honestly just easier to purposelessly browse reddit than contribute meaningful conversation or put thought and effort into a creative project.

 

I'd like to go ahead and finish what I started, but I am still working through season three and will probably try to watch through four before I attempt to cut anything, since I don't know all the arcs as well in TNG and don't want to preemptively cut something that's important later.  SO it might be a bit, especially since I work retail and the next two months will suck.  That said, I'm back.

post #39 of 39

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Abridged Season Three

 

 

3x01 – Evolution

3x04 – Who Watches the Watchers

3x07 – The Enemy

3x10 – The Defector

3x13 – Déjà Q

3x14 – A Matter of Perspective

3x15 – Yesterday’s Enterprise

3x16 – The Offspring

3x17 – Sins of the Father

3x19 – Captain’s Holiday

3x21 – Hollow Pursuits

3x24 – Ménage à Troi

3x23 – Sarak

 

3x26 & 4x01 – The Best of Both Worlds - TV Summer Movie Presentation

 

 

Alright then.  Back to work.

 

As expected, this season was more difficult to work on than the previous two or the lesser seasons of Voyager, of which Mr. Stockslivevan would say there were seven.  (Your tacit dismissal of said series was noted.  Additionally, Harry Kim made a sad face at this news, overshadowing his character development during all of seasons 3-5.)

 

As usual, I'll offer my method for narrowing things down, as well as the reasons for my choices.  My initial run through of Season Three of TNG left me with 17 episodes I thought were especially noteworthy and fit all of the overarching themes, storylines, and character development I've been trying to work with.  Of those, I had about 8 or 9 that I was confident would make the cut, then whittled the remaining ones down to essentials, trying to keep a balance between characters, story, and quality.  It was perfect.  And then I noticed that I didn't include "Who Watches the Watchers."  That hiccup caused me a pretty big dilemma, which I'll explain at the end of the post, after I go through everything else.

 

*******

 

We start off with "Evolution," absolutely my least favorite pick of this abridged season.  I included it because it reintroduces Beverly Crusher (without the slightest regard for poor, dear Pulaski) and provides her with one of two  episodes that give her any significant character development this season.  She has a habit of being important in episodes that kind of suck (here's looking at you "Transfigurations").  Despite that, it's much more focused on Wesley.  He's happy that Mommy's home because he was lonely.  Why, oh why, couldn't Beverly have returned in a better episode?  I suppose it could've been worse.

 

"Who Watches the Watchers" is next.  Picard (and Beverly to a point) deal with the Prime Directive.  Also, pre-warp people think he's God for a minute.  After all, who wouldn't?  It's never been a favorite of mine, but I think I always like it better when I'm watching it (no pun intended) then after the fact.

 

"The Enemy" is Geordi's only heavy episode this time.  I really wanted to include "Booby Trap" but I had to choose between the two and "The Enemy" had more to do with everything else (aka Romulans) and not simply Geordi's failed love life.  Though that was quite the theme on the show itself that looks like I won't be able to dedicate much to exploring.  Still, LeVar Burton does some good work here and the rest of the cast has stuff to do in the episode as well, with Worf, Picard, and Beverly caught up in a great medical ethics B-plot.

 

The Romulans and Neutral Zone return in "The Defector."  It's full of political intrigue and deception and drama.  The kind TNG did really well before DS9 made the heroes all morally ambiguous too. It's really good but I don't have much to say about it specifically.

 

"Déjà Q" is a Q episode.  The Q Continuum got mad at Q and made him human as punishment.  Laughs ensue.  Guinan even stabs him with a fork.  Much lighter than the last Q episode with the Borg and such.

 

Fan favorite "Yesterday's Enterprise" is next up and it's a doozy.  It's a Tasha Yar episode that doesn't suck, a time-travel causality loop episode that introduces a dark alternate reality you'd want to see get its own series, and an episode that shows you one of the two Enterprises we skipped to get to this one.  And on top of that, Tasha falls in love with Shooter McGavin and goes back in time to have some sort of Romulan daughter or something that I know very little about at the moment since I never understood those episodes as a child.  Very good.

 

"The Offspring" is where Data makes a daughter named Lal.  It's better than it sounds, I promise.  It's pretty much Data's big episode in this season.  I included it because though there were two other good episodes that featured Data and his quest for humanity and family and such ("The Ensigns of Command" and "Tin Man"), this one was the strongest and felt like the most natural extension of the themes explored in "The Measure of a Man," a sequel episode of sorts.

 

Worf apparently gets one episode a season and this time it's "Sins of the Father."  Thankfully, it's pretty awesome.  Worf's story and background get kicked into overdrive and set him up for stuff that carries him all the way through DS9.  Honor and disgrace and so on.  Picard gets some good action here too.  Top notch.

 

After all that heavy stuff, why not watch Picard go on vacation, make out with a pretty lady, and get bothered by a Ferengi and aliens from the future?  (You remember the Ferengi, right?  They're totally a threat and scary and stuff.  Like Klingons only with... big ears?  Okay, fine, they're comic relief now.)  "Captain's Holiday," it is then!  Not only is it fun, but Vash shows up later with Q, so it's a tad bit necessary, especially when you're trying to make story arcs, themes, and recurring characters happen.

 

Prefer a more terribly awkward and uncomfortable kind of fun?  Reginald Barclay is your man in his debut episode, "Hollow Pursuits."  It fits here because, again, he comes back several times, including later when Moriarty comes back to pay off the Sherlock Holmes episode from last season.  Also, it's a good ensemble episode with stuff for Geordi, Riker, and Troi to do.

 

Then we have "Ménage à Troi."  Now, I know what you're thinking.  "Really?  More Lwaxana Troi?"  Yes, really.  The catch is that it's not a bad episode at all.  It features Ferengi in their most subdued form yet (much truer to the eventual characterization we see fleshed out in DS9).  It has just the right amount of Lwaxana, also subduing her personality just a smidge.  She make Picard uncomfortable without being obnoxious and Stewart gets to do some Shakespeareish acting.  And it has a B-plot rounding out Wesley for the season and making him a field commissioned full Ensign because he missed out on Starfleet Academy again by virtue of him being just enough boy genius to save the day and not have us hate his guts.

 

"Sarek" shows up on the Enterprise-D and mind melds with Picard.  This is important later when Spock shows up for a two-parter.  Also, it's a good episode dealing with issues regarding aging and identity.  Besides, you don't get much Vulcan action on TNG so you take what you can get.  I put it at the end of the season so we didn't finish with Lwaxana Troi.  Also, this makes it end on a very strong note for Picard leading into the summer...

 

...where we bridge between the 3rd and 4th seasons with "The Best of Both Worlds!"  If you're in this thread, you either know why it's here or you need to see it without me detailing the plot.  And making it a movie is absolutely a cheat, especially considering that cliffhanger, but there was too much good in the season to cut it all out and it gives me an extra episode of leeway in the Season Four, which is undoubtedly going to be really good too.  Without the tight serialization that goes into the type of series we're trying to emulate, it helps to have the right balance.

 

Finally, I'd go into more detail about the ones I've cut, but the ones I haven't mentioned at some point already mostly just aren't very good.  Mostly forgettable.

 

*******

And now that that's done...

 

Despite what I said in my last post, I didn't want to wait to start Season Four before I worked on this one.  I'm aware enough of the following seasons to make pretty good educated guesses.  But in my general Wikipedia research, I realized that "Who Watches the Watchers" is apparently referenced in the following season in what appears to be a pretty important episode.  I reworked my selections and decided to remove "A Matter of Perspective," despite the fact that I liked it better.  THEN, after I fixed that, I realized that I forgot about "The Enemy" and that I'd have to lose "Booby Trap."  This is when I went with the TV movie "Best of Both Worlds," since it meant that if I had to cut the related episode to "Booby Trap" in the next season, I may as well have another space open by stealing the second part of the cliffhanger.  That makes "only" 22 episodes to have to narrow it from.  Yeesh.

 

I'll do Season Four after I watch it.  It might take me a while.  It'll begin with "Family" though.  Makes a nice mirror to the ending of Season Three with "Sarek," since Picard is at a weak point here and they go for a super personal story.

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