After the wildly-successful but maybe not wildly-good Star Trek: First Contact, the Next Generation crew returns in Star Trek: Insurrection. Telling a very classic morality play style of Star Trek story, it simultaneously frustrates and delights us. Plus! What the hell are they doing with Doctor Crusher and Counselor Troi?
Wait, what about Nemesis? Not the fact you’re doing Voyager first, but did I hear you say Insurrection is the last trek movie before the reboot?
Don’t miss out on all the mindrape and moon buggyness.
It’s possible one of us said that, because we talk a lot so mistakes will happen, but no, we’re doing Nemesis after Voyager. Do you really think we’d skip something? 🙂
I hope you enjoy watching Nemesis and look forward to the discussion.
The biggest flaw in this movie is the Ba’ku. They are bland and uninteresting, coming across as nothing more than whitewashed, idealized Native Americans. Also, they can diagnose problems in Data’s brain but don’t even have numeric calendars! So unspecific. And if you don’t care about them, you don’t buy the moral crisis and Picard’s choice. Does being really good at hackysack rate more than a universal disease cure? Piller was I think at the end of his effectiveness as a Star Trek creative force–it’s more perverse than anything DS9 ever did to Roddenberry’s vision make staid Luddites the heroes and spacefaring explorers the villains. The Ba’ku would have been a society Kirk destroyed in TOS, a species that chose eternal youth and stagnation over exploration.
Also worth noting that the script for this movie is simply awful. I’ve written screenplays and while Piller’s best work is untouchable, this one has major, major problems. Piller shows some flashes here and there, some nice character moments, a (minimal) plot, but not much of a story. He didn’t bring much to the table other than the moral crisis, which is essentially resolved in 40 minutes when Picard decides to insurrect. After that it’s mediocre action scenes and hiding in the DS9 cave set, alternated with Riker dodging Son’a ships, and ending with a couple of puns that do for time what Schwarzenegger did for ice. A.K.A. filler. Even the big twist lands with a thud because both the Ba’ku and the Son’a are too generic to have a compelling philosophical contrast. Piller is clearly interested in exploring aging as a theme but doesn’t seem to be able to take it anywhere, other than the minor (though fine) Data subplot. One would expect that regaining lost youth would be bittersweet but Picard seems to have no reservations about it, or any interesting reactions to it of any sort. Which is to say that Picard doesn’t grow or change as a result of the narrative, which means it fundamentally lacks a premise. This is why I like it the least of the TNG movies–for a pro who had done great work in the past, the writing choices here show a stunning failure of competence.
wow you guys spent a long time talking about the weakness of the script. Heres the thing. Michael Piller agreed with you. So much so that he wrote a book that details the writing process for this film and the many many rewrites. Its a fascinating read. Its available on the internet. Its called Fade In by Michael Piller. Basically Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Rick Berman and an executive at paramount had a lot of notes. A LOT of notes. The original story wasnt half bad but got killed by committee. I recommend reading it and discussing as a patreon special or something. Incidently the influential executive at paramount apparantly has great hair and was very concerned by hair in general… especially Kate Mulgrews and Scott Bakulas hair in the later shows. It becomes a thing. Keep up the great work.
I love Insurrection. I love that it’s a small story, I love the scene where Picard figures it out, and (even though I was nearly a decade away from fatherhood) I love all the dad humor. (I even love the line about their boobs firming up — I thought it humanizing from two characters, esp. Crusher, who rarely got a casual moment in the show. I also think Frakes did a fantastic job with his budget, even though you can tell it was made on the cheap in some scenes.