Monday, August 3, 2009

Star Trek: The Next Generation--"Too Short a Season"

“Too Short a Season” has its heart in the right place, but nothing else fit in too well. The biggest flaw with the episode is the special effects. Specifically, the make up job on Jameson right up until the actor used his normal face. It was all too rubbery and fake. The high-tech wheelchair he used at his oldest was a bulky, impractical prop. You would think by the 24th century, wheelchair would be even sleeker and more user friendly than they are now. Perhaps the Federation adopted ObamaCare at some point. Then again, if it had, Jameson would have been allowed to die from his crippling disease long before reaching the age of 85.

The aged Adm. Jameson is dispatched by request to negotiate a hostage situation on a planet he once negotiated a treaty on 45years ago. He is keeping a secret. He actually armed both sides of the conflict. In doing so, he ensured decades of civil war. The leader of the planet is actually holding the hostages rather than dissidents like he claims. What he really wants is revenge.

Jameson has been using an advanced process to cure his debilitating disease and reverse the aging process. When he learns the truth about what he has to do, he overdoses in the treatment in order to be young and vital for an armed rescue mission. If fails badly. As a result, jamson hands himself over for whatever punishment the hostage takers deem necessary. Turns out the real conflict is trying to convince the leader, Karnas, young Jameson is who he claims to be. Karmas is convinced and allows Jameson to die asa result of the drugs rather than kill him personally.

If this was supposed to bea morality tale on the dangers of seeking eternal youth, the did not come across well. If it was supposed to be a story of redemption for Jameson for a tragic decision he made in his youth, it fails there, too. He was an unsympathetic character. A decent argument could be made he got his just dessert in the end.

Not to say karmas was any better. He appears to gotten away with threatening to kill the hostages while not only remaining in power, but on good terms with the Federation. How did that happen?

Rumors are “Too short a Season” was once supposed to be a sequel to TOS’ “A private Little War” and feature James T. Kirk instead of Jameson. I can see the similarities in the plot of the filmed “Too Short a Season” and a logical guess to how “A Private Little War” would play out after 45 years of conflict. William Shatner was either unwilling or unavailable to reprise his role, so weca only speculate as to how well it would have turned out. I would call the filmed results mediocre at best.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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