Friday, January 14, 2011

Classics: TNG 2:12 - The Royale (Jeers)

Overall Rating: 3.0

What do you get when you take a bad novel...and make a nonsensical cliched sci-fi story out of it? You get bad squared.

Plot Synopsis:

There's an ice giant whose surface temperatures (wait a ice giant has a surface? That's not suffering from crushing heat and pressure??) are (oh but the bad science gets worse) LESS THAN ABSOLUTE ZERO!! On that surface, an away team discovers a tiny pocket of breathable atmosphere and some impenetrable energy signature - taking the form of a revolving door. To a cheesy 1950's era casino. Oh yeah...complete with bad, one-dimensional characters, ridiculous plot twists, and a formulaic soundtrack, apparently. And the cause for this? Is never answered!! We get some really vague story about a benevolent alien race that rescued an astronaut sucked through a wormhole and put him in what they thought was his ideal environment - a bad novel about The Royale casino and hotel. But...why would they do that? No one knows...(cue lame mystery

The Skinny:

Here's a tip for aspiring unsolved mystery can make for excellent television if and only if we actually CARE about the answer and can feel exhilarated and creatively provoked when that answer is not forthcoming. What we have here is a mystery that not one viewer will actually care to understand that is left unsolved...for no reason but laziness and/or incompetence! I tend to favor the latter, since the author didn't do even the most basic fundamental research...things like what temperature is absolute zero...or what an ice giant actually is...or what kind of story you could place into this concept that we would actually find interesting...or the difference between an unproved theorem and an unsolved mystery (an unproved theorem is something we know has a unsolved mystery is a dangling end...please do not compare them).

Whimsy for the sake of whimsy is not good storytelling. There needs to be a reason for us to care...something you wish to accomplish with this plot. Don't lay an unfinished story at our feet if there's not something to be gained by the lack of an answer. Especially not one this poorly conceived and researched.

Writing: 0.0

Bad...bad...bad...the dialogue, the characterization, the science, the plot concept, everything is bad...and poorly executed.

Acting: 3.0

I don't find much reason to praise the performances either...from the guest cast that's supposed to make the bad story-within-a-story work, or from the regular cast. Other than perhaps Patrick Stewart.

Message: 6.0

I can't think of a message to berate or praise's pointless...that might be worth some demerits for the writing...but not for the message.

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