austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

When I proposed to you that evening last spring

As I've mentioned, the old-time radio Internet station I listen to most often has, in-between inexplicable service interruptions, gotten to digging out weirder or more obscure programs. One a couple months back was this odd adaptation of The Avengers to radio (which, it turns out, was produced for South African radio by pretty much chopping up television scripts into fifteen-minute segments for serialization). Others turn up often in the little block labelled ``action'' fitting after Lum And Abner.

One of the baffling ones is short pieces which it calls Star Trek. And they do feature actors claiming to represent Kirk, Spock, et cetera, in adventures on what they say is the Enterprise, although it hasn't got any of the sound effects or music of the original. And the plots are, succinctly, awful. There's a lot of shocked discovery of whatever set the thing up, and then various threats of combat, and I've usually drifted off by the end rather than find out what turns out. (It doesn't help that this airs, for me, just before lunch so I've got good reason to be tidying things up and washing my hands and such.) One typical plot involves the discovery of a menacing city in space that oh gosh could it be that was the real Lost City Of Atlantis?

I can't figure out if this is comedy or not. It's not funny, no, but making fun of Trek is often done by people who think impersonation with an accent is the same as wit. (Look at all the people who impersonate earlier William Shatner impersonations without, apparently, having ever watched the original show.) Telling overwrought but incompetent tales might be their idea of saying Trek does a lot of silly stories. But it might just be that it's just bad: with twelve minutes of air time they have about half as long to set up, develop, and resolve plots than the Animated Trek did, and a quarter the original show. It's more nearly forgivable that characters are just their most common old catchphrases when they have so little chance to say anything.

I just don't know what to make of it.

Trivia: The Treaty of Tordesillas, June 1494, set the demarcation line between Spanish and Portugese terrain at 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. Source: Empire: How Spain Became A World Power, 1492 - 1763, Henry Kamen.

Currently Reading: Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2009, Editor Shiela Wiliams.


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