70s

RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: So What Have We Learned?

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Last week we finished up the short-lived Quark series, the second short-lived deservedly-forgotten 1978 SF series we’ve covered here (The first being “Man From Atlantis”). When these things are done, I like to sit back, cogitate upon them for a bit, and try to figure out what we’ve learned.

So what have we learned, here?

Well, we’ve learned that a 43-year-old man’s 32-year-old memories of an 11-year-old kid’s favorite show aren’t terribly reliable.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “Vanessa 38-24-36” (Episode 8)

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The only thing more frustrating than a crappy show that never quite lives up to its potential is a crappy sitcom that isn’t particularly funny, and *still* fails to live up to it’s potential. The only thing more frustrating than that is if the crappy, unfunny show *Suddenly* gets it right, and is immediately cancelled.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Battlestar Galactica (1978): “The Gun on Ice Planet Zero, Parts I and II” (Story 5)

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Last time out we discussed the wonky ways the episodes of this series can be numbered. This two-parter could be considered episodes 6 and 7, or 8 and 9, or (In the syndicated movie package) 3. This one is more confusing than most, actually, since there’s a rumor that this was actually intended to be the second episode of the whole series. We’ll discuss that more below.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “All The Emperor‘s Quasi-Norms, Part 2” (Episode 7)

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…and now we come to part two of the penultimate story from Quark. Why did I break it in half and run it in two reviews, rather than cover the story as a whole? Well, primarily because the writers felt this story was so sprawling it could only really be appreciated in two discrete halves, and the network agreed. But in a larger, less dishonest sense, it’s because my review was running long, and I got tired of typing. Also, I paid good money for these DVDs, and there’s only eight episodes total. I wanted to pad it out a bit.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “All The Emperor‘s Quasi-Norms, Part 1” (Episode 6)

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Remember how I said that Quark’s purpose in 1978 was to make fun of (Or rip off) whatever Star Trek had been doing in 1968? Well, as limiting as that was, it worked for them. You’re unwise not to go with what works. Unfortunately they got a little more ambitious this time out and, well, ambition and status quo are not friends, you know? The results are mixed at best.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “Goodbye, Polumbus” (Episode 5)

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We’re now more than halfway through the run of this series, and this is the third mostly-decent episode in a row, so I think we can fairly start to make some generalizations about the series: Quark’s modus operandi in 1978 was to do whatever Star Trek did in 1968.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “The Good, The Bad, and the Ficus” (Episode 4)

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Quark’s groove continues, and what’s working is pretty easy to define: They’re making fun of Star Trek. Last time out they ripped off “The Deadly Years,” and this time out they’re ripping off (And conflating) “Mirror Mirror” and “The Enemy Within.”

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “The Old and the Beautiful” (Episode 3)

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Suddenly Quark works! It’s not brilliant SF, but it comes across as a story rather than just a series of gags. Granted, it really *is* just a series of gags, but after the really disjointed previous two episodes - which weren’t complete failures by any stretch - this one suddenly feels really tight and consistent.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Battlestar Galactica (1978): “Saga of a Star World” (Episode 1) Chapter 5

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ATENTION JOYLESS CITIZENRY! You've made it! You've survived CLASSIC BATTLESTAR GALCTICA WEEK here on Republibot, though whether or not you'll ever fully recover or enjoy life and love again is a matter of some debate.

Fortunately, as I've gotten NEARLY every bit of behind-the-scenes information I know out of the way in this review/essay/master's thesis, subsequent editions should be quite a bit shorter and less grueling. Unless Maren Jensen emails me or something, and suddenly I'll end up with a lot more to talk bout. But that's not too likely.

Anyway, if you've lasted this long and I haven't yet beat all interest in the subject out of you, read on, content in the knowledge that while I probably *will* do this to you again, I probably *won't* do it any time soon. And if I have managed to overwhelm and destroy your childhood love of all things Galactican...cool! Just hang out, and our normal friday night reviews will be up a bit later.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Battlestar Galactica (1978): “Saga of a Star World” (Episode 1) Chapter 4

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It's CLASSIC BATTLESTAR GALACTICA WEEK here on Republibot, and a special edition of our much-lauded "Retrospeculative TV" feature in which we go into literally nauseating detail about a show you've probably already seen so many times that you're sick of it. And do we do this for money, or for fame, or for fortune? Well, yes, actually, but there's really not all that much of any of that to be had on a fool's errand like this. No, mostly we do it because I'm horribly longwinded.

No, wait, uhm...love of the genre. Yes. We do it for love of the genre. And the lingering shards of my 11-year-old-boy crush on Maren Jensen. Seriously, hubba-freakin'-hubba!

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