Film Star Trek: Nemesis It’s a long time since I’ve sat in front of a Star Trek film with such poor expectations. The notices this thing has been getting haven’t been this bad since the dreaded Star Trek V. Perhaps it’s all our collective jadedness with the Roddenburyesque universe. Some background. Regular readers will know that I was once a stereotypically obsessed Star Trek fan – not to the point of wearing costumes, but I did have a few t-shirts, read the tie-in novels and watched the show religiously. I was still interested up until the final season of Deep Space Nine, then it sort of petered out. Voyager was getting lost and going nowhere in the Delta Quadrant and I was just of hearing the same dialogue over and over, the same music keys, the same things happening over and over. The next generation was still there of course, but there are only so many times you can watch some things before the fun drifts out of them. Plus Buffy was doing all the things, we’d with Trek had been doing – but I’ll save my ideas of what Trek would have been like if Whedon had produced it for a later date. This is the bit where I admit to being … pleasantly surprised. So long as you’ve ever liked Star Trek.

It does feel like the television show. Some would see that as a criticism, but it is one of the strengths. In the TV show, most stories had a slow burn. Three acts of investigation and character development leading up to the big scenes at the end – no pointless action sequence here is needed in case your attention is flagging – you’re supposed to be watching the story. The more enjoyable moments happened, not during the action sequences but when characters just sat about and talked. That seems to have been forgotten in the movies. The moment when Picard meets his nemesis resembled all of those times he sat about with Q, some Cardassian commander, or whoever. Can he persuade them or can’t he – it’s the drama of talk not action. The scenes in which Geordi and Data investigated the new arrival are just like the times they would collectively try and work out what had gone wrong that week with Data / the ship / both. It was good to see them return here.

But the story is only average. This is the stuff of season seven rather than seasons three and four. On DS9 this kind of story felt universe changing. Here it creates a ripple. It doesn’t feel like all or nothing. You know they’re going to lose, but not everything. There is the franchise to think of. Which is part of it’s problem – your led to believe all bets are off, but they’re not really. Nothing really has changed at the end of the episode, sorry film. What we really wanted was the return of Q and a massive war of some kind. Not the skirmish that’s here.

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