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The Best Line Ever Written In All Of Star Trek

3 Dec

December 3, 2018

Back in 2015 I introduced you to The Worst Line Ever Written In All Of Star Wars (“space diapers.”)

Today I’d like to introduce you to The Best Line Ever Written In All Of Star Trek. And appropriately, it comes from The Best Film Ever Made In All Of Star Trek, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

(I’ll skip the spoiler warning as I’ll assume that you already know that Spock dies at the end. )

During the climactic battle with Khan, The Enterprise’s engines have been disabled and warp drive is offline. Khan, in his final act of defiance (“From hell’s heart, I stab at thee. For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee”) has activated the Genesis device, which will wipe out anything it’s energy touches.

There’s some terrific writing in this scene, as the sense of impending doom is palpable. The Enterprise, flying as fast as it can, is swiftly being overtaken by the detonation and it is only a matter of minutes before everyone on the ship dies. This is driven home by Mr. Sulu, who was always  one of the more positive members of the crew. “We’re not going to make it, are we?”

Sulu looks at Captain Kirk, heroic and unstoppable, who during the course of the film discussed the many ways he’s beaten the unbeatable. Kirk, completely uncharacteristically, is sitting with his arms tightly folded across his chest, and simply looks at his son, David, a scientist behind the Genesis device.

David quietly shakes his head no.

There is doom, there is dread, and there is Mr. Scott, to whom Kirk had earlier said “Scotty, I need warp speed in three minutes or we’re all dead.”

It is a perfect Star Trek line, one we’ve heard dozens of times in the TV series. Scotty is a miracle worker. He’ll get the engines back online. He’s done exactly that in situations as bad as these many times over. It’s almost a joke. So when Captain Kirk tells Scotty he needs warp speed in three minutes, he’s pretty sure he’ll have them back in two.

But he won’t. And we know he won’t, because down in engineering Scotty is barely conscious and being treated by Dr. McCoy. We know but Kirk doesn’t. But Spock does. It is Spock who saves the ship, who sacrifices his own life. (“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.”)

But Jim Kirk doesn’t know it. So when the engines come online, the ship goes to warp speed and everyone escapes certain doom, Kirk says the best line written in all of Star Trek:

“Bless you Scotty.”

Because we know it wasn’t Scotty. We know it was Spock. We know he’s dying, probably already dead. We see his empty chair on the bridge but Kirk hasn’t seen it yet. In the moment Kirk is blessing his miracle working engineer, we the fans are already mourning his best friend’s death. The line, delivered so thankfully by Kirk, is actually painful to us watching the film.

Alfred Hitchcock defines suspense as, in a nutshell, the audience knowing something bad that the characters do not. It is us seeing the bomb under the table while the couple slowly drinks their morning coffee, oblivious to the countdown. It is good writing. And it is also good writing with us knowing Spock has died while Kirk is praising the wrong man for saving the ship.

But Kirk soon finds out, and it’s when he calls engineering to congratulate Scotty, only to hear Dr. McCoy grimly say, in what is the second best line written in all of Star Trek, “Jim… I think you better get down here.” Followed by “Better hurry.” Kirk looks at Spock’s empty chair, and he knows.

The whole ending of the film, leading up to Spock’s death, is dark and portentous. It is heavy and funerary in a way Star Trek has never gone before. This one film is full of fantastically quotable lines, from the campy “Khaaaaaan!” to the subtle “how we face death is at least as important as how we face life. ” Star Trek II is well-written in the same way every single Star Trek film since 2009 has not been

“Bless you Scotty.” The best line in all of Star Trek. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, written by Jack B. Sowards and Nicholas Meyer.


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Halloween 2018: Random Notes

28 Oct

October 28, 2018

Halloween is usually this blog’s favorite time of year. But this season things are a little light on the Mr. Blog spooks and scares. But don’t worry, there’s a perfectly good reason for that. A perfectly good spooooky and scary reason! (Read that in your best Count Floyd voice.) Nevertheless, I’ve got a few things to say about Halloween 2018.

The Monster Mash

Now matter how old I get, I will still love this song. It takes me back, way back (way way back it seems on some days) to when I was a kid. Not that Mr. Blog is old. In fact, I feel as good as a man almost twice my age. (No, that’s not a typo. That’s exactly what I mean. Oy vey.)

I honestly feel that it is not Halloween until I hear Monster Mash on the radio. Really, I feel unfulfilled and without the Halloween spirit if I don’t hear it. That’s true. But it’s getting harder and harder to hear it on the radio since it’s hard to find stations that play songs like that. Last year I did not hear it until Halloween day and I was getting tense, believe you me. And I have a strict rule. I have to hear it on the radio, at random, whenever the station decides to play it. I cannot listen to the CD, I can’t find it on Pandora or search for it on YouTube. I have to independently stumble across it. Think it’s hard being me? You should ask my wife what it’s like being married to me.

This year I first heard it last week. BINGO! And then every single day since then, sometimes two or three times a day. And frankly I’m running the risk of getting burnt out on it. But I have a confession to make. Although I have to stumble on Monster Mash at random, I stacked the deck by playing the Halloween station on iHeart Radio. So on the one hand yes, I  heard it at whatever random time they played it, but no, I knew they would eventually play it. Did I cheat? I don’t know. It isn’t like when I reshuffle the cards in the middle of solitaire and yes, I do that too.

There were so many good images for the Monster Mash that I made this Monster Mash Mash-Up

The Addams Family

When it comes to the great Addams Family vs. The Munsters feud, I am firmly in the Addams Family camp. (I also side with Kirk vs. Picard and Cocoa Pebbles over Count Chokula.)

The Munsters is fun, no doubt about it. I like it. But The Addams Family cracks me up. I watched an episode this morning and I literally laughed out loud like a loon. Luckily no one was home. It was the episode where lurch was learning to dance for the big Butler’s Ball and he threw his back out. Gomez wanted to help him align his back but Lurch was nervous. Here’s the dialogue that cracked me up.

GOMEZ: Don’t worry Lurch. These hands have healed more people than Albert Schweitzer!
MORTICIA: It’s true. The medical community was agog over his cure for Granmama’s bad back.
GOMEZ: Agog? Aghast!

It may not be lol here, but if you saw John Astin deliver that last line you would have stained your shorts too. (Not that I did that. It’s just an expression.) And that is what makes The Addams Family better. While they both have similar broad humor, the writing is simply better and funnier than The Munsters. But it takes a good actor to deliver a good line and John Astin is amazing. Just look at him. Look at the expression on his face and especially the look in his eyes. When you see Gomez, you think “John Astin is insane.” There’s a subtle yet manic lunacy in his performance. It is very similar to what he did with the role of Buddy, Harry Anderson’s father on Night Court, except he was less manic and more laid back. But the lunacy was in his eyes. He really is a great actor and if you go back to his small scene as Glad Hand in West Side Story he shines in that too, even if he is only on screen for mere seconds.

And yeah, I side with Carolyn Jones over Yvonne DeCarlo too,

 

The eyes have it!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM THE EDITORS AND STAFF OF MR. BLOG’S TEPID RIDE!

 

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