Possibly the Best Starship Design In All Science Fiction

Since I am making a drive-by on Star Trek, it wouldn’t be fair not to give a shout-out to possibly the sexiest ship design in all of science-fiction film.

Just phasers, photons and warp drive.

All muscle. All business.

Technically, it is called a D-7 but you can just call it sexy.

The original designs found in Star Trek: The Original Series obey my cardinal rule for starships, which is this: unless the ship is required to land on a planet (usually for story purposes) the ship should be structurally designed in such a way that it could only work in the vacuum of space.  In other words, starships that look like planes strike me as atmospheric vehicles than can also venture into space. But starships are designed without gravity in mind, and therefore can have a more exotic and uneven appearance.  The greatest example of this is the USS Enterprise. The USS Enterprise (NCC 1701 A thru D) doesn’t look like it can land, or even move on the water:  it only looks like it can work in space and that is the point.

Introduced and escorted on to the screen with the incomparable Jerry Goldsmith’s textured, Mongolian hunting theme, with its woodwind clarion calls and Indonesia angklungs (those amazing bamboo rattles) the Klingon warship were immediately recognized as the most dangerous thing in space.  Well, until V’ger effortlessly vaporized them.

Also, these were the days of highly detailed models and seriously, no CGI starship has yet to look this good.



Some details:

The D7 class battle cruiser was a 23rd century warship originally designed and used by the Klingon Imperial Fleet, before being shared with the Romulan military during the late-2260s.

History

The D7 class Klingon battle cruiser served as the backbone of the fleet for several years during the 23rd century. (TOS-R: “Errand of Mercy“, et al.) Among the mission profiles designated for this class was that of scout ship. (TOS-R: “Friday’s Child“)

By 2267, they were prominently featured in the Klingon Imperial Fleet, where they posed a serious threat to the security of the Federation and Starfleet. (TOS: “Elaan of Troyius“; TAS: “More Tribbles, More Troubles“)

The Romulan Star Empire later began using the same design by 2268. (TOS: “The Enterprise Incident“)

According to the Star Trek Chronology the line regarding a Romulan-Klingon Alliance was added to “Reunion” to explain the Romulan use of D7s.

The K’t’inga-class battle cruiser began to replace the D7 class during the2270s. The D7 was finally “retired decades” prior to 2377. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; VOY: “Prophecy“)

Interest in these vessels by the Federation continued to appear well into the2370s, as data on this class was commonly found within numerous Starfleet files. (TNG: “The Naked Now“, “The Last Outpost“, “Conspiracy“; VOY: “Drone“, “The Voyager Conspiracy“)

Continued…

Memory Alpha Wiki: Klingon D7

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Eventually, Dr. Helen Noel

In the beginning…

Long before Star Trek was crushed into a dull, sexless, boring, disoriented pro-communist paste that finally had the decency to die, it was a daring, imaginative leap into an optimistic tomorrow where mankind had solved the ancient burdens of poverty, bigotry, tyranny and war—at least within itself.

It was a show that lived up to its creed: to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Of course, like Leon Trotsky’s many Marxist contributions from which it grew, Star Trek never really explains concretely how this moral (pure egalitarianism) and economic (no money) metamorphosis took place, or how the new order is maintained (basic things like “value”). Again, like Trotsky, the franchise is quickly reduced to fantasy and wish-fulfillment as it conceives of a classless utopia, slams its hand upon the table crying “It is possible! It is possible” but never actually bothers to tell anyone how to achieve it without using a greater violence (“dictatorship of the proletariat”) than the one it is allegedly replacing.  In the end both trade one subjugation for another—theirs.

Proud as Lucifer, these men clutch at the rainbow only to find vapor and rain drops.

Star Trek‘s ideological roots lie in yet another –ism that seeks, often in equal if not greater force, to revenge itself upon those who oppose or suppress its self-appointed ideals. The term “revolution” is aptly applied to these lesser concepts because they perpetuate old rivalries and abuses for generations, never arriving at their destination.

Sadly, the franchise has since been demoted to a stark contradiction to that motto, because what Star Trek became (starting with the Star Trek: The Next Generation and ending with Star Trek: Enterprise) was a miserable retread of those formerly fashionable but now egregious, antiquated and disproved doctrines that enslaved over half the human population for the better part of the 20th century until they were cast off by the very people over whom they so mercilessly lorded.

Actually, over a quarter of the world’s population remains trapped under the bright red boot heel of totalitarian regimes around the world.   It is the same soulless, ambition-punishing, dream-snuffing proposition that has never worked, slaughtered more than all the Crusades and Inquisitions combined twenty-fold, and erased more smiles than all other black doctrines in history that the writers of Star Trek would have you believe would magically transform the human race into angels—only for want of technology. And the requisite fairy dust for this bright future: warp drive, first contact, replicators, holodecks—it doesn’t matter. Like all failed propositions, including mad ascetics of all the false religions, sex and murder cults and half-baked philosophies, nothing material that is external to you can truly change your heart, your mind or your soul.

In the briefest shorthand: Star Trek believes all mankind’s ills and evils are perpetrated in the name of control—of limited resources, weather, land, nature, other people—in order to meet his needs: food, shelter, other essentials. Further, these controls manifest themselves principally as religions and superstitions, but also as lesser forms of flawed government models like tribalism, feudalism, capitalism, et al.

Over centuries and millennia these false controls (religion, capitalism) become ingrained and dominant, and perpetuate the very injustices they were allegedly started to solve.

If only we could get rid of them.

Enter technology, especially the replicator and the transporter.

Once you have a magic box (replicator) that can instantly materialize anything you need—food, water, clothes, furniture, artwork, literature, you name it—and another magic platform (transporter) that can beam you anywhere you want to go, all the oppressive market models of wages, employers vs. employees, corporations, unions and oil companies all vanish.

And they would…more or less.

So, with our magic replicator and our magic transporter we no longer need capitalism. Again, probably true…more or less.

Of course, the fly in the ointment is we don’t have [expletive] replicators or [expletive] transporters. They don’t exist. As of this writing they are fantasies. Star Trek had to invent them in order to get to their perfect utopia, and skirt the very real, tangible burden of having to live in a world of limited resources.

Rule No. 1:  You cannot compel or expect people to obtain a goal which is patently unobtainable.

Typical Star Trek: we can’t manage money wisely or fairly; therefore, lets not learn how to manage money wisely or fairly, lets just wish it away. Itself, this reasoning is borrowed from the most flawed of conclusions: Let us not master our temptations, let us simply get rid of them (money, guns, whatever is currently out of vogue).

Giving a man all the money he can spend or all the bread he can eat, giving a woman all the dresses she can wear, won’t change the inner person. The same is true for taking.

On the contrary, if our politicians and Hollywood celebrities are any indication, such bounties only make petty, power-crazed monsters.

But I digress.

Long before the verve and sexual independence of women in the Star Trek universe was deemed dangerous and subsequently forbidden, forcing everyone to dress identically in dull, unflattering grey jumpsuits, women were allowed to be women.

They were sexually freer in the Original Series than in any of the subsequent series.

A woman could be a scientist and wear a short skirt—one did not contradict the other.  She could be doctor or physicist and sexy at the same time. Alien women, born to ancient interstellar realms, liberated by warp drive and magical technology, didn’t have to wear masculine pant suits to be taken seriously, they could wear dresses and gowns, a lot more or a lot less, and they were still accorded their due respect as ambassadors, scientists, hunters, explorers and queens.

As with most social commentary, such broad 3-dimensional bravery is strictly outlawed in the latter series, where the independence of women is actually subjugated, then measured as to how much they look, act, talk and think like their robotic male counterparts.

It is here, among the many sharp rocks of Star Trek’s disingenuous worldview, that it shows its true colors:  in its haste to abolish sexism it destroys sexuality as well. True to form, it gives far less than it steals. Fraudulent thinking begetting fraudulent half-freedoms.

Two sexes—unique sexes with all their differences—is too hard. Unisex is easier for these uninstructed minds to grasp.

This is the deceptive dogma present in all Star Trek series from The Next Generation forward.

It echoes not only in the imaginary 23rd century, but in our own.

We cannot deal with you if you are different, thus you must all conform. You must all look alike, talk alike, work alike, earn alike, dress alike, march alike…

It has been a constant source of bewilderment to me that some people, many of whom are my friends, will recoil in shrieking ideological terror (they will physically leave the room) at the mere suggestion of a large, all-powerful, single-party, bureaucratic authority judging them and determining all aspects of their lives in the name of, say, a religion, but they are slavishly enthusiastic and militantly devoted to the suggestion of large, all-powerful, single, bureaucratic authority judging them and determining all aspects of their lives in the name of a state.

A slave by any other name, anyone?

Somehow, they believe those people who openly reject morality and ethics as illusions created by evolutionary misfires of neurochemistry (“chemical storms”) will magically behave better than those people who, at the very least, believe that some moral or scriptural baseline is foundational for any civilization’s success.

That line of reasoning is so fractured it cannot be corrected by any critical analysis that I can think of—it is simply an irreparable psychosis.

Returning to Gene Roddenberry’s offspring, I think it has been rightly said that the preeminent threat in the Star Trek universe, those pesky Borg, are effectively of the same mind as the Federation, only more direct about their motives. If ever there was a more obvious metaphor for the “proletariat revolution” (drones as laborers) than the Borg, who destroy all social, political and artistic uniqueness and militarily assimilate any who oppose them, you’d be hard press to find one.

Such militant conformity is ridiculous, destructive and absurd—the very least lesson two brutal World Wars have taught us—and has rightly been discredited and discarded as yet another failed Marxist horror.

Of course, if you dare to point out, for example, communism’s devastating scar on the human race, largely endured in the 20th century, you will be jeered. You will be told:

“Oh, all the communist regimes who have murdered tens of millions of their own citizens, executed intellectuals, stifled all artist and literary progress within their borders, impoverished their people, warred against their neighbors..etc. (the actual list of atrocities would take up the rest of this blog)…. are not actually practicing Communism properly.”

That’s right: every Communist regime in the 20th century simply didn’t read all of the prescriptions for communism as penned by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It must have been in the fine print. Every person, in duty to understanding governments of all stripes should read The Communist Manifesto (first published February 21, 1848 by leading communist theorists Karl Mark and Friedrich Engels). There are a few good ideas in this work, but not enough. Don’t just read the parts you like; read all of it, cover to cover.

Of course, it takes a single hot key to show communist devotees their startling duplicity: religion.

Just mention something like, say, Christianity, and you will be bombarded by a long list of Catholic abuses including: the many Crusades and Inquisitions, imperialism, murdering their own citizens, imprisoning dissenters, pardons, indulgences, stifling political freedoms, simony, false worship, persecutions, executions, mutilations, bribes, arranged marriages, greed, theft, sexual misconduct of ever imaginable cut, murder, extortion, torture, conquest, subjugation(s), wars, persecution of free speech and the press, chauvinism, racism, class warfare…etc. (this list would also take up the rest of this blog)…

All of which are wholly, utterly condemned by every book, every verse of the New Testament—I know, because unlike most people, I’ve read that book too.  All of it. But such is the folly of scared minds that they condemn what they haven’t read, and don’t understand.

The hypocrisy is stunning and obvious:  Only our side is allowed to have imposters. Not yours.

Everyone on your side is evil. Everyone on our side is just misunderstood.

Seriously, need I go on?

For this reason above others, Star Trek‘s audience has both withered and steadily dropped into younger and younger demographics. Star Trek‘s bludgeoning use counterfeit sciences, spurious social judgments, false equivalencies, philosophical fraud, and dull exception-equals-rule storytelling has bored its audiences into other franchises and media.

Only children remain to deceive.

Now, that being said, one of my favorite scientists in original Star Trek series was Dr. Helen Noel, who appeared in episode no. 9 Dagger in the Mind.

She was portrayed by the lovely Marianna Hill show above.

Now, if there is any counter-point to everything I wrote above, it is this: given the fact Marianna Hill is hotter than any supernova in th the Alpha Quadrant, possibly the galaxy, it could be argued that by letting such a beautiful woman on the bridge would immediately bring all scientific inquiry on the ship to a halt.

Patton

Let me say that whereas I am not a fan of General Patton as a man, as a general his military zeal and his tactical and strategic brilliance borders on legendary.  And it is that word—legendary—that best explains Franklin J. Schaffner’s 1970 biopic masterpiece Patton.

In an driven, incendiary acting tour-de-force that is equaled only by a handful of great performances throughout film history, George C. Scott’s portrayal of the famous and controversial World War II general is also legendary.

Patton

High Tension

high-tension-poster

High Tension is a 2003 French horror film (originally released in France as Haute Tension) directed by Alexadre Aja and staring Cécile de France, Maïwenn Le Besco and Philippe Nahon.

Grisly to the point of bordering on “torture porn”, High Tension is nonetheless engaging if for no other reason than Cécile de France’s singular performance. I regularly avoid such movies as this because I don’t like gratuitously violent films, but there is just something about High Tension that is captivating.

It is easy enough for an actress to appear “scared” for 90 minutes in a horror film, it is something else for the that same performance to be fluctuated by moments of bravery, doubt, resolve, anger, innovation, despair, insight — all braided into twenty permutations of fright.

Bottom line: save for the opening, the heroine is literally scared for the entire movie, but it is dynamic fear that ebbs and flows, morphs and mutates through several species of dread.

A truly great performance.

Also, Cécile de France’s physique in this movie is an ideal benchmark for any actresses looking to step up to any future role as a David Jetre action-girl.

cecile-de-france