Friday, January 22, 2016

Timeless doesn't mean without time

Now that I've spun a message of hope and joy... let's talk about "Timeless".

It was advertised as Voyager's hundreth episode. You can see that advertising here:
There is nothing ambiguous about this. It's the hundredth episode.

Arithmetic time.

Season One had 16 episodes. Seasons Two through Four, 26. Timeless is the sixth episode of Season Five. 16+(3*26)+6 is 100, yes, you're right. The problem is twofold. First, that 16 counts Caretaker parts I and II, which have two separate production numbers but were aired and filmed together. Second, the production number is 201. "Timeless" was the 99th episode aired, but the 101st produced. The episode numbered 200 would be the hundredth produced, but it didn't air for another two weeks.

So... what happened? You could debate the Caretaker thing, but not the production order. Keep in mind that at the time, the production numbers were available on the website before the episode was broadcast. I mean, seriously.

"Timeless" isn't a great episode. Neither is the other, "Nothing Human", but it's okay. They're both okay. Timeless, though, was made to look good on screen. Voyager crashes in to a freaking planet, and it looks visually pretty good. You get to see Captain LaForge (even though that conflicts with "All Good Things", which was cowritten by the same person who thought up this episode).

It sucks.

For a hundredth episode, it sucks.

Voyager was the last Star Trek to reach 100, and it might continue to be - we just don't know enough about Prime to make a judgement yet. We deserved better. The fans deserved better. We still do - but we have to be better than we have been. On Sunday, millions of X-Files fans will get their second chance because they proved they could handle it. It's time for us to earn ours.


In the Sci-Fi/Fantasy world, power is a bad thing. Voldemort, the First Evil, even Dark Helmet - everyone wants power. And there are a lot of different ways we can define power, but I want to talk about one in particular.

I tend to think of power as a bad thing - people in power often abuse it, or fail to use it. People do horrific things when seeking power in its various forms - money, votes, influence, time on television. Think of all the stuipd shit Lucy Ricardo does - she's seeking power in the form of fame and recognition, and while her adventures are amusing, from a moral standpoint she's often in the wrong. She gets herself in trouble by lying and sneaking around behind the backs of the people who love her and while maybe that means she could stand to make some new friends, the point is that in her current circumstances she feels the need to lie and cheat  with the objective of gaining stardom - power.

Kirk is an idiot. Spock doesn't seek command. Riker doesn't let himself get promoted for 15 years. Sisko resists transfer to DS9 as well as transfer away from Bajor. Janeway seems pretty happy to be Captain but she's a terrible one and occasionally morally bankrupt. The Syndicate conspires with the aliens and uses secrecy to keep themselves in power. Jesus refused to have control of the Earth when it was offered to Him. Actually... at the end, he kind of actually gets it, but... SPOILERS.

So anyway, Power... bad. "There is only power, and those too weak to seek it." Thus quoth Voldemort.

Sometimes fans have power.

Without even knowing it, we made this happen. Every time we wished, and dreamed, we brought this closer to fruition. The reviews are in. It's been done, and so far the consensus seems to be that it was done well. A third movie's been written... just in case. We made this moment possible. If World War Three starts on Monday, what happens on Sunday will always have happened. For a moment, we won.

Generally, I'm not super thrilled with the plethora of 90s shows coming back these days. Does anyone really believe that Fuller House needs to be a thing? No, no we don't. And you know why? BECAUSE IT DOESN'T. Full House was, objectively, a terrible show. But it is back because its fans have power too. Girl Meets World. New Star Trek.Even the sportsketballs. These things exist because we made them exist, and because we made them, we have power. Like with Enterprise, we have the power to look away as well... just a side note, Girl Meets World haters.

I've spent so much time being happy about what's coming on Sunday that I had to have this pointed out to me. As much as I've felt like it's a gift that's being given to me, it's really a gift for all of the fans - the fans of everything. It's a reminder that we hold the power. And if we don't want it, tough. It's your responsibility to use the power you're given. For one shining moment, the world will be a better place where the unlikely happens and the fans of a show from the 90s that ran longer than its time will win another chance in the spotlight, but when it's over... that's when we decide what happens next.

So I'm going to say this - don't stand for it. Like what you like. Love what you love. Your random voices on the Internet do make a difference. Sure, a TV show is trivial, but we can do this again, with something even bigger. We can change the world, one fandom at a time.