Star Trek 366: Little Green Men

366. Little Green Men

FORMULA: Tomorrow Is Yesterday à la Ferengi

WHY WE LIKE IT: B-movie fun.

WHY WE DON'T: Captain Wainright is some kind of terrible.

REVIEW: When the Ferengi crash into 1947 Roswell, they don't so much dive into history as walk onto a holodeck. At least, that's what it feels like. Playing up the comedy, as Ferengi episodes are wont to do, this Roswell and all its characters are stock from 1950s, Ed Wood-type sci-fi spectaculars. So are the sets, the dialogue, the preposterously heavy use of cigarettes and even the use of stock footage. There's a well-meaning scientist who gets involved through his fiancé who works at the army base. There are military types ready to make things worse because of their paranoia. It's unfortunate James MacDonald as Captain Wainright has decided to go too far with it and actually act badly (and will anyone ever remember he had starred in a show called Roswell earlier?).

As a time travel story, it turns the usual plot on its head by using the Ferengi. Quark is very keen on actually changing history to turn a profit! Sending them to the 20th century, when humans were also profit-driven is a natural, I suppose, though I would have loved to see them in the 1980s buying up stocks instead. There's a lot of nice comedy stemming from the humans' anthropological theories on the trio (casting Quark as the family's mother), and even this first peek at the Ferengi language is funny. Also good to see Nog think on his feet, finally giving the military want they want in a marvelous send-up of Trek terminology, all weapons pointing to Cleveland-by-That-Blue-Blob. As usual with Ferengi comedies, there are excesses, and one can only take so much of Rom bawling for his Moogie, or Nog getting the nurse to give him oomox.

Speaking of Rom, he's finally an avowed engineering genius, which will carry his story forward from now on, though it seems a bit convenient. Odo's appearance is also convenient. A cute bit with Nog finding Gabriel Bell to look a lot like Sisko would have been cuter without that coda at the end of Past Tense. On the more positive side, we get an idea of the Ferengi after-life for the first time, and Nog's yard sale gets Worf the chance to get a laugh.

LESSON: In Ferengi, "Thank you" is "Neep gren".

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: A fun enough change of pace, it suffers from slightly lazy plotting and at least one bad performance, and saying it was designed that way doesn't make it good. But when the comedy works, it really does work.


Anonymous said...

Surely you noticed the return of a beloved character from TOS, didn't you? Charles Napier!

But he's totally sold out, maaaan ...


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