Of Endings... and New Beginnings

In less than 10 days, that's it. No more Star Trek to review on a daily basis. Enterprise has less than 10 episodes left and then... what? It's a question that's been hounding me for weeks, often in the guise of fellow bloggers prodding and poking me for an answer (much appreciated). It's been my 100% guaranteed daily content for almost two years, and now I face the possibility of having to come up with new material or - gasp! - missing a day here and there.

Some would have me try my hand at other cult series. The problem I foresee is that no series really has Trek's sheer bulk of material. Time Tunnel is over in 30 episodes, and then I have to start scratching my head all over again. For a while I though Babylon 5 would be an interesting substitute - similar in content and with a lot of episodes to cover - and it's not completely off the table. I'd like to do Doctor Who as some have requested, but I'm not comfortable with that until I have access to the entire classic series, which I certainly am not.

So what IS the plan? Well, one of the things I'm a little loath to do is lose Trek's numbering. It's been a mark of how long Siskoid's Blog of Geekery has lasted and I'd be sorry to see it go after #726. Or is that infuriatingly indulgent? The only way to keep it going I see is to start reviewing non-canon Trek material. GiT Corp has just come out with a DVD featuring all the Star Trek comics since the Gold Key days, and I have a ton of trashy Star Trek novels picked up mostly in thrift stores over the years...







So one possibility, and it's the one I propose, is to do a comic book each day Monday through Saturday, and a novel (or even a non-fiction book, collection of short stories, etc. I'm not fussy) on Sunday. I can do the comics in order of publication, but the novels will be all over the place, depending on which I've already read (mostly the TNG ones), etc. Of course, I'll have to figure out how to review these other media. "Rewatchability" no longer applies, for example. Certainly, I'll have to cover the plots a little more, since people cannot be assumed to have read them, and it'd be fun to see how they contradict canon information. And of course, we'll need pretty pictures from the comics.

Even if I skip movie adaptations, that should last me, oh, until Kirk takes command of the Enterprise for real! So how about it? Poll in the sidebar.

34 comments:

De said...

I like it! (But you probably already knew that.)

I was kinda hoping that you'd review the novels in order too, but that's a very minor quibble. Though if you did that, you'd have to start with the craptacular Mission to Horatius and work your way through the Bantam novels without eating a bullet. On second thought, I like your way better.

Siskoid said...

And it's just not practical. I wouldn't call myself a particularly fast reader, and a steady diet of Trek fiction (to the necessary exclusion of all else) would drive me into a deep depression.

Basically, I'll try to read (or quick-read) a new book every now and then, while using the still pretty important backlog of previously read novels. all of which I seem to have annotated with their position in the canon (in between such and such an episode - NERD!).

Dan said...

Of endings: this gives me a chance to say thanks for the Star Trek episode reviews. They gave me a chance to recall the good and the bad on TNG and Voyager (which had even more bad than I recall) and the epic story arc of DS9 (surely by far the best TV Trek yet?). It also gave me a new appreciation of Enterprise. I jumped ship, so to speak, somewhere in season 2 (I think one decontamination scene too many finally lost me) but I've been giving season 3 onwards a 2nd chance and, I have to say, it is a big improvement (still can't stand the theme tune though). Thanks for the fun and thoughtful reading material :)

And New Beginnings...well, part of the fun of this blog has been seeing how your viewing of the shows meshes (or not) with my memories so I'll be sad to lose that if you boldy go to places I haven't been (the novels and comics) but I assume your reviews will remain a fun and interesting to read and that should be enough keep me on board. :)

And, who knows, maybe I'll even be inspired to seek out new media and new novelisations... :)

Siskoid said...

You've hit my dilemma right on the head. Non-canon, non-mass-consumed media is inherently less interesting than its opposite.

Doing comics will also significantly increase the comics content on the blog, which is already too high for my mission statement.

In other words, I'm still torn.

Thanks for the kind words either way!

Anonymous said...

Maybe do "Farscape" next? You'll like "Farscape".

Siskoid said...

I don't dislike Farscape, nor did I ever watch it diligently. And I simply don't have access to the episodes. The same holds true of the new Battlestar Galactica, which I'm more interested in, to be frank.

Firefly is right out. Sorry. Don't even try. (Nothing against it, I've just never watched, nor does it have the "meat" I need to fuel the blog for years.)

Moving towards non-canon stuff opens up the possibility of more tv-oriented posting though, so you might find your suggestions given a shot!

Dan said...

If you're looking for something with a multi-year blog-powering volume of episodes there's always Stargate SG-1 and Alantis...
If nothing else, there's got to be around 300 episodes out there.

Though you may have the access issue with that as well. Or you may simply not like it :)

Teebore said...

I'm definitely in favor of more Trek content. While I've seen all of TNG and DS9, my watching of TOS and Voyager remains more scattershot than I'd like (and I sadly grew inconsistent with my Enterprise watching just as the getting was good...) so your Star Trek posts were always a fun smattering of "I remember that" and "this is new" for me.

Which is my long-winded way of saying that coming along for the ride as you delve into more Trek, 99% of which, I'll hazard a guess, I've never experienced before, sounds good to me, at least. Especially if you can't find another TV series that meets your criteria.

Your TV content might go down, but your Star Trek content will remain high.

PS Thanks and kudos for all the Trek episode reviews; I've found your comments to be some of the most insightful on the ol' interweb and while our tastes regarding what we like/don't like in a given episode tends to be similar, you've definitely made me both appreciate and criticize things I never had before.

Also, my hat remains firmly off to you and your ability to provide daily content. It's an inspiration to geeky bloggers everywhere!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your episode blogs ever since I started reviewing DS9 and have found that your humorous yet honest opinion of direction and quality mashes up pretty well with my own. After reading so many trek novels and cringing all the way, I believe your enjoyable reviews of those slightly un-enjoyable novels would be a welcome view into the underbelly of Star Trek that is rarely seen by any.

FoldedSoup said...

I like the comic idea.

And just to throw in another idea: Because they're "kinda sorta" ST canon.. how about the cartoon series? Yeah, access is a problem, but I'm pretty sure they're available out there somewhere.. torrent sites and such.

Basically, like everyone else around here.. I just don't want it to end. S'too good.

abc said...

I suggest giving the Trek content a break, and pick up the Trek numbering down the road at some point. (Or do the Marvel comics thing and have double numbering...ugh.) Since I haven't read many Star Trek comics, and its been a while since I read something other than DS9 relaunch, Trek comics and novels postings wouldn't resonate as much. I'd suggest the B5 route. Once you're done with that, you could jump into BSG or Stargate with the benefit of post-series hindsight, since BSG and Atlantis are both ending in the next few months...

Siskoid said...

Soup: The Animated series is out on DVD, if you want access for yourself. They were treated as canon and are reviews #81 though 102.

Siskoid said...

To those who worry that non-canon can't be as interesting:

I'm like you, in the sense that those stories can't be reviewed in the same way. I was thinking more along the lines of "indexing" style entries. Still working on it but,
Title/authors/publication notes
Plot
Stardate (where it fits in continuity)
Continuity porn (what elements are re-used from the series and how)
Contradictions (where canon contradicted the story or vice-versa)
Good episode? (would it have worked on tv?)
And of course Review (relatively short, depending)

Comics could also have some kind of Panel of the Day to make fun of.

Jeff R. said...

So are you going to 'save a spot' for the JJA movie, or just stick it right in the middle of the books and movies when it arrives?

Also, remember there's a bit of audio-only Trek pseudepigrapha out there, from children's record albums to the Q/Spock debates...

I'd second the suggestion of the Stargate family as a TV-based project alternative. It's the only genre show with anywhere near as big a library other than Dr Who, and better-organized than that. (Well, there's also Dark Shadows, but I wouldn't wish that fate upon anyone...)

For shorter-run shows, I'd say Blake's 7, but they still haven't given us a US DVD release on that one, so not yet...

Yonatan said...

review Doctor Who. There are enough of the old stuff out to occupy one for a while pluss 4 seasons of the new show

Siskoid said...

If you're looking for Doctor Who content, I've previously reviewed most the DVDs in brief and Series 3in depth. Search for the words Doctor Who, and you'll get to them all.

If I WERE to review Who and its spin-offs, it would have to be all over the map, based on what's been released rather than the actual timeline.

Siskoid said...

I've added a poll in the sidebar.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

I should have read the comments before voting. I was torn between the Trek comics/novels and Doctor Who. Since Who is missing episodes, I thought Star Trek might be easier. I guess I would vote for the other genres or Doctor Who. I'm curious to see how many of the episodes really stand up to the test of time.

I did find a Star Trek guide online somewhere that tries to put all the medias into a timeline.

abc said...

How 'bout the X-Files? 9 seasons and two movies...that'll occupy you for a bit. I'd be interested in revisiting, since many seem to think it was too complicated, the mythology went off the rails early, etc, etc. Your kind of retrospective look might show how well the pieces actually fit together. And the "rewatchability" assessments would help me decide whether to shell out for the box set...

Andrew said...

Maybe save the Star Trek comics until after you're done with ROM.

I say either X-Files or Stargate. X-Files gives you nine and a half seasons if you include The Lone Gunmen spinoff, plus two movies. Stargate gives you the feature film, ten seasons of SG-1 plus two direct-to-video movies and countings, five seasons of Atlantis, and the non-canonical Infinity cartoon.

My vote's for Stargate, though, mostly because I'm working my way through season 5 for the first time, and it'd be interesting to see where our opinions differ.

Siskoid said...

I hope you'll forgive me if your ideas aren't followed up on, guys. Sometimes it would take too major an investment to really strip a series properly. For example, I've never watched even one episode of any Stargate series (and I hear only Atlantis is any good?). I watched X-Files more faithfully, at least.

googum said...

I was going to say the comics, but I did read a lot of the novels, too. (I can't spell it now, but Kobiashi Maru was a favorite later one.)

Jeff R. said...

Eh? No, Original-Style Stargate is good too. I mean, about TNG-level quality. (It's no DS9, but at least it's no Voyager either. And it's final seasons don't drop off in quality as much as TNG's did.). It actually has an interestingly gamer-like approach to continuity, in that toys and tactics that they find or create actually get re-used when appropriate (and, occasionally, lost on-screen...)

I wouldn't commit to buying more than a dozen seasons sight unseen, of course, but you ought to give it a shot sometime.

Teebore said...

I'll agree that original Stargate is about comparable to TNG. I'm not necessarily saying you should review it, but its worth a look sometime if you haven't seen it.

Siskoid said...

I guess I will!

If I've kept away, it's mostly because it's based on what I find to be a pretty bad movie.

Teebore said...

I felt exactly the same way!

And then a friend sat me down and made me watch a few episodes of the show, and it grew on me. The pilot borrows heavily from the movie, but by the end, a new and improved status quo is in place.

Having not watched the movie since it first came out, I was able to follow the pilot without any problems.

Alden said...

I am such a staunch Star Trekie that I metaphorically spit in the face of any other science fiction when discussing it with equally nerdy friends. Stargate SG1 though, has surprising quality and is only science fiction show I recommend ( I would recommend Firefly but it is hardly science fiction (and it runs for only a handful of episodes)).

To verify that I am not just some loony Stargate enthusiast that wants you to support MGM, my favorite Star Trek is DS9 and I also happen to metaphorically spit on Voyager when discussing it too

Anonymous said...

well, you can never have enough ROM. Why not more ROM in the meantime? ok there are only 75 comics but this will tide you over for a month or more (given you're up to #30 already).

babylon 5 maybe? I preferred it to ST TNG and Voyager but I found it--well, a bit too operatic sometimes.

Michael May said...

I voted for Star Trek comics, but that's only because I understand your not wanting to skip around in the Doctor Who episodes.

Having read some of the comments though, I'd like to change my vote to The X-Files.

Jack Norris said...

I would recommend Farscape miles ahead of Stargate, and there can't be that much of a difference in accessibility of the DVDs can there? Farscape, as something you've sort-of watched only a bit of, would be great to rediscover, because when watched seriously, can be really rewarding for its unique, sometimes outright wacky, take on things. Stargate is watchable and workmanlike, but I can't imagine bothering with the whole series on DVD, or making any effort for it beyond leaving it on when it happens to come on TV.

I once swore never to touch media tie-in novels, but broke down when it came to the DS9 continuation novels, which I actually quite enjoyed. If you do any ST novels, I'd say do a sampling to start with, rather than committing yourself to covering a huge mass of series in order, and just do post-series continuation stuff, avoiding the pointless ones that take place "between episodes."

ShadowWing Tronix said...

There are places online that "airs" Stargate or Farscape legally. Try Hulu or Veoh.

Moriarty said...

Guess I'm a little late to comment, but I just wanted to say thanks again for your dedication to these reviews. It's been a great being reminded of all the good (and bad Trek), and I get to re-live each episode a little with every posting you've written. It's also been a great tool to turn other people on to Trek shows they abandoned. I was able to send links to specific reviews of DS9 to give jumping-on points for a friend that gave up after the first season. Needless to say, he understands why I always said it had my favorite Trek episodes across all of the shows.

From a purely selfish perspective, I'd love to see you plow through the Highlander movies and show (as well as one spin off). It'd at least get you through a quarter of a year and I'm betting the film reviews would be a hoot.

Siskoid said...

Jack: When I talk about access, I usually mean that *I* don't have copies. Even with online sources, my final decision will be based on what I can possibly handle on my schedule. Good point about after-series novels. I might skew that way, seeing as I too liked DS9 II, as well as having a soft spot for New Frontier.

Jack Norris said...

That's cool, I just meant if you had neither, and the trouble and cost was about the same, I'd suggest one over the other if that was the choice.
I hate to speak against another commenter's suggestion but for god's sake please, no Highlander.

 

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