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"11:  59" Appreciation Thread

Ndirsch11

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 2:47 am

"I'm stuck in the future.  You're stuck in the past.  But maybe we can get unstuck in the present."

- Shannon O'Donnell speaking to Henry Janeway

I don't believe I've ever discussed this episode before so I'm taking the opportunity to do so now.  I think "11:  59" is sorely underappreciated.  It's a shame so many Voyager fans write it off as a waste of time (no pun intended).  Don't people ever get tired of generic aliens of the week, space battles, and Borg catch-phrasing?  I sure do.  An episode like this is exactly what Voyager needed.

One of the things I like about "11:  59" is that it was an episode that had contemporary relevance.  Let's all think back several years for a moment, before the dawn of the new millennium.  This episode aired in May of 1999 around the height of the whole Y2K phenomenon.  It seems like a distant memory now but I can recall all the hysteria in the press.  People really did believe there would be some kind of catastrophe the moment Jan 1, 2000 arrived.  They believed that all the computers would shut down and we'd be sent back to the stone age or something like that.  I was at Navy Pier in Chicago waiting for the fireworks and even I was wondering if all the lights were going to shut off at midnight.  Nothing happened, of course.  And as Henry Janeway mentions in the episode, a lot of doomsday literature was being sold and is still being sold ("Left Behind" anyone?).

What drives this kind of hysteria?  Why are people now so convinced the end of the world is going to come Dec. 12, 2012 (it won't, of course)?  Well, it's the fear of the future.  It's General Chang's "undiscovered country" all over again.  People always want to believe that there's something special about the era they're in and that things are changing for the worse.  One of the things I always liked about Star Trek is that it dared to suggest an optimistic vision for the future and it dared to suggest that technology isn't the enemy.  Technology, if you really think about it, has completely transformed our society for the better in such a short period of time (since the birth of the Industrial Revolution two centuries ago).  The changes that have taken place since then have been absolutely dramatic.  Just imagine life without the internet!  That's what Shannon O'Donnell teaches Henry Janeway:  things aren't getting worse; they're getting better and there's no need to stand in the way of progress.

"11:  59" successfully predicted that nothing special would happen at midnight before the dawn of the new millennium.  Bravo, Voyager!  But more importantly, this story was tapping into the same kind of anxiety that a number of popular American movies at the time were dealing with.  Films like "Fight Club" and "Pleasantville" came out around the same time and they represented different extremes on where our society was headed ("Pleasantville" is the better film).  It's as though many different writers and filmmakers were all trying to make sense of how far we'd come in the 20th century before the moment had passed.  I think it's great that the Voyager writing staff decided to take advantage of this opportunity and do an episode that was specifically trying to comment on current events.  It worked.

"11:  59" is an episode that featured no elaborate special effects, no action scenes, no aliens of the week, and I believe there were no scenes filmed on the bridge.  In other words, it was a breath of fresh air.  I like it when the writers work outside their comfort zone and try to do something that's very different from what they've done before.  "11:  59" was a creative risk.  And I think this episode worked well on Voyager because there was a real sense of family here.  I don't think an episode like this would have worked well at all on, say, DS9.  But as a Voyager episode it worked.  Just watch the final scene in the mess hall and you'll see how good the chemistry is between the cast.  Also, "11:  59" is certainly well made and well acted with solid production values (I'm sure it was an expensive episode to produce).  And I liked the design for the Millennium Gate biosphere.  It kind of makes one wonder:  why aren't we trying to build something like that right now?

Yruc

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 4:37 am

Quote (Ndirsch11 @ July 07 2009, 1:47 am)
And I liked the design for the Millennium Gate biosphere. ¿It kind of makes one wonder: ¿why aren't we trying to build something like that right now?

We did build something like it, albeit on a smaller scale, it failed though.  Biosphere 2  http://www.desertusa.com/mag99/apr/stories/bios2.html


The episode is okay, it has a warm fuzzy feeling to it, when it first aired it was fine.  Was a Christmasie / family episode, but now it is kind of dated.  It was about the change to the new Millennium, and there was a hysteria about it.  I remember at work having to patch several different computer systems and we had a network freeze and actually had a massive nation wide conference bridge up (I was on it from our building) and I remember the count down for the east coast.  No one was particularly nervous as we had reports that nothing major happened over seas so we were probably going to be fine and of course we all were.  

One good thing is the crew see that they are their own family to each other which is a big thing :)

exodus201

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 10:33 am

I think this is a close to a Holiday episode Trek will ever come.

Taken out of context with the rest of the series, this ep. is awesome.

exodus201

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 11:41 am

Quote (trekbuff @ July 07 2009, 11:27 am)
11:59 is on my list of favorite episodes from all of the Trek series. It was a full dramatic story shown in the limited time we then had in an hour episode. There was much accomplished in that 40 minutes.

I enjoyed 11:59 for much similar reasoning I place Carbon Creek in my all time favorites. I like stage plays that don't feel cardboard. Placing both of these stories is real settings, the viewer could get involved with this kind of presentation.

One question remains, why didn't the developers offer to make Henry Janeway's bookstore part of the Millennium Gate? Won't they need books or, at least, a library?


The Millennium Gate

I'm in book publishing and I remember the talk at the time was the idea that books would be all downloadable.

I guess that's also the irony of the ep.
People in our time are pushing for everything computerized and people like Henry are falling behind the times.  Meanwhile in Trek times, many are going back to reading actual books and cooking real food w/ no additives or preservatives.

SLagonia

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 12:22 pm

I appriciate the fact that you articulated your position well - So many people just say "I'm right and your opinion sucks" that it's nice to see someone put an intellegent argument up.

That being said, I completely and totally disagree.  This episode was completely bereft of any drama, suspense or imagination.  It's an episode that promises to be special while delivering no more energy than a filler episode, and is completely and totally BORING!

I think that's what it comes down to.  I watch science fiction to watch starships, aliens and morality plays, not a guy in a book store who refuses to leave.  

Let me close with a little story - When introducing my sister to Trek, I showed her classics from every series - The City on the Edge of Forever, Tapestry, The Inner Light, Far Beyond The Stars...  And from Voyager, I picked Someone To Watch Over Me.  After watching that wonderful episode, she asked why my friend Rob always bashed Voyager.  STWOM was a classic!  To illustrate why, I showed her the rest of the DVD.  By the time we were halfway through 11:59, she was asleep...  It was 3 PM.  This episode could make a cup of coffee doze off.

I do agree on one thing, though...  Pleasentville was much better than Fight Club.

Admiral_JTK

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 12:32 pm

I didnt care for 11:59. I also found it to be undramatic filler falling short on promise of better material with a potential to have been a good episode, yet falling flat.

and I much preferred Fight Club. Pleasantville couldnt maintain my consciousness.

SLagonia

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 1:20 pm

Quote (trekbuff @ July 06 2009, 4:05 pm)
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 12:22 pm)
This episode was completely bereft of any drama, suspense or imagination. ?It's an episode that promises to be special while delivering no more energy than a filler episode, and is completely and totally BORING!

I think that's what it comes down to. ?I watch science fiction to watch starships, aliens and morality plays, not a guy in a book store who refuses to leave.

I haven't noticed... Are you all agog about the mind numbing, induced action style of cinematography Abrams shoved down our throats in STXI? Is anyone suggesting all of the episodes be character stories without space adventures?

I'm guessing you didn't like The City on the Edge of Forever, The Inner Light or Carbon Creek. Yet, two of these episodes were used by you to introduce your sister to Trek. All three of these stories are character based - no starships, no overt alien physiology of the people of Kataan. Yes, Carbon Creek centered on an early adventure of a few Vulcans, but they were not known as Vulcans in Carbon Creek. All three of these were similar stories.

I don't want to get into a discussion of intellectual acuity or simplicity, but it seems you have by stating the story is "completely and totally BORING!" Seems you either missed something or ..... ;)

City and Inner Light were masterpieces of film.  If you're going to go off-topic, it has to be properly tied in and an adventure of some kind - Even if it is an adventure of the mind or the heart, it still needs to be an adventure.  

City was a masterpiece and my #2 overall episode.  It had a good sci-fi tie-in (time travel, disrupting timelines, etc) and a strong story about a man who finally finds the love of his life and now must watch her die for the sake of his entire species.

The Inner Light was another absolute masterpiece where we see an entire civilization's history - not through the eyes of an historian or a government or some sort of list of their acomplishments, but by watching one man go through his life.  To create a family, to grow old and to die a happy old man.  This species thought so much of its citizens that this is how it wanted to be remembered, and we were taken along the journey with Picard as he lived out his years as a citizen.  

Carbon Creek...  Well, it wasn't awful, but it was certainly an example of how to do this wrong.  It had a weak sci-fi tie-in and nothing to really keep it together.  I guess it was at least average as far as Enterprise episodes go.

But 11:59...  What was this about?  It was about one guy struggling against progress.  He was framed as being completely in the wrong for his stubborn refusal to leave and any resolution between Henry and Shannon was reduced to Janeway talking about her instead of showing us.  It was dull, pointless and just droned on and on.

captbates

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 1:32 pm

Never liked this episode, and I think that is the general consensus amoungst VOY fans.

I agree with this quote from SLagonia-
I think that's what it comes down to.  I watch science fiction to watch starships, aliens and morality plays, not a guy in a book store who refuses to leave.

SLagonia

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 1:58 pm

Quote (trekbuff @ July 06 2009, 4:47 pm)
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 1:20 pm)
If you're going to go off-topic...
I said why I enjoyed 11:59 and compared it to my reasoning for enjoying Carbon Creek. You posted:
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 12:22 pm)
Let me close with a little story - When introducing my sister to Trek, I showed her classics from every series - The City on the Edge of Forever, Tapestry, The Inner Light, Far Beyond The Stars... ¿And from Voyager, I picked Someone To Watch Over Me. ¿After watching that wonderful episode, she asked why my friend Rob always bashed Voyager. ¿STWOM was a classic! ¿To illustrate why, I showed her the rest of the DVD. ¿By the time we were halfway through 11:59, she was asleep... ¿It was 3 PM. ¿This episode could make a cup of coffee doze off.

It's fascinating how you say it is I going off topic and continue to press your opinion as superior. You enjoy what you will as will I and others who apparently did enjoy 11:59.

How's this - The Inner Light was nothing more that a contrived fantasy about forcing a fictional starship captain to relive the end of a fictional planet. He was mind raped and could not be pulled out of the situation without killing him. "Absolute masterpice"? More like a horror story!

Now, I don't feel that way, but it's not difficult to do.

Er...  Read the sentence.  "If you're going to go off-topic *comma* *End of sentence*"  I was talking about the episode going off topic.

And you can play around with words, of course.  We all have opinions and we all feel certain ways about episodes.  Some of us give reasons and some of us just insult all those who disagree.  I'm sorry to see you are in the later catagory.

exodus201

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 2:42 pm

Quote (trekbuff @ July 07 2009, 1:47 pm)
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 1:20 pm)
If you're going to go off-topic...
I said why I enjoyed 11:59 and compared it to my reasoning for enjoying Carbon Creek. You posted:
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 12:22 pm)
Let me close with a little story - When introducing my sister to Trek, I showed her classics from every series - The City on the Edge of Forever, Tapestry, The Inner Light, Far Beyond The Stars... ?And from Voyager, I picked Someone To Watch Over Me. ?After watching that wonderful episode, she asked why my friend Rob always bashed Voyager. ?STWOM was a classic! ?To illustrate why, I showed her the rest of the DVD. ?By the time we were halfway through 11:59, she was asleep... ?It was 3 PM. ?This episode could make a cup of coffee doze off.

It's fascinating how you say it is I going off topic and continue to press your opinion as superior. You enjoy what you will as will I and others who apparently did enjoy 11:59.

How's this - The Inner Light was nothing more that a contrived fantasy about forcing a fictional starship captain to relive the end of a fictional planet. He was mind raped and could not be pulled out of the situation without killing him. "Absolute masterpice"? More like a horror story!

Now, I don't feel that way, but it's not difficult to do.

Well said.

Notice how all the examples you gave with the eps. you provided are never addressed in the rebuttal.  Instead the focus turns personal.

SLagonia

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 2:49 pm

Quote (exodus201 @ July 06 2009, 5:42 pm)
Quote (trekbuff @ July 07 2009, 1:47 pm)
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 1:20 pm)
If you're going to go off-topic...
I said why I enjoyed 11:59 and compared it to my reasoning for enjoying Carbon Creek. You posted:
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 12:22 pm)
Let me close with a little story - When introducing my sister to Trek, I showed her classics from every series - The City on the Edge of Forever, Tapestry, The Inner Light, Far Beyond The Stars... ?And from Voyager, I picked Someone To Watch Over Me. ?After watching that wonderful episode, she asked why my friend Rob always bashed Voyager. ?STWOM was a classic! ?To illustrate why, I showed her the rest of the DVD. ?By the time we were halfway through 11:59, she was asleep... ?It was 3 PM. ?This episode could make a cup of coffee doze off.

It's fascinating how you say it is I going off topic and continue to press your opinion as superior. You enjoy what you will as will I and others who apparently did enjoy 11:59.

How's this - The Inner Light was nothing more that a contrived fantasy about forcing a fictional starship captain to relive the end of a fictional planet. He was mind raped and could not be pulled out of the situation without killing him. "Absolute masterpice"? More like a horror story!

Now, I don't feel that way, but it's not difficult to do.

Well said.

Notice how all the examples you gave with the eps. you provided are never addressed in the rebuttal. ¿Instead the focus turns personal.

Er...  What?

exodus201

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 2:57 pm

Quote (trekbuff @ July 07 2009, 2:51 pm)
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 1:58 pm)
Er... ?Read the sentence. ?"If you're going to go off-topic *comma* *End of sentence*" ?I was talking about the episode going off topic.
Okay, here's the full comment:
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 1:20 pm)
City and Inner Light were masterpieces of film. ?If you're going to go off-topic, it has to be properly tied in and an adventure of some kind - Even if it is an adventure of the mind or the heart, it still needs to be an adventure.
It was in reply to my post. I replied to the pertinent part of the comment.

Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 1:58 pm)
I was talking about the episode going off topic.
What episode went off topic? 11:59? You said "you're" in responding to me, you didn't say they're. Now, off topic?
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 1:58 pm)
And you can play around with words, of course. ?We all have opinions and we all feel certain ways about episodes. ?Some of us give reasons and some of us just insult all those who disagree. ?I'm sorry to see you are in the later catagory.
It would seem Ndirsch11 liked/likes 11:59, Yruc enjoyed it and saw a relevance and a point to the story, exodus201 thinks the "ep. is awesome" and I said, "11:59 is on my list of favorite episodes from all of the Trek series."

Then you follow with, "This episode was completely bereft of any drama, suspense or imagination. ?It's an episode that promises to be special while delivering no more energy than a filler episode, and is completely and totally BORING! ... This episode could make a cup of coffee doze off. ... It was dull, pointless and just droned on and on."

You said in your first post in this thread:
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 12:22 pm)
I appriciate the fact that you articulated your position well - So many people just say "I'm right and your opinion sucks" that it's nice to see someone put an intellegent argument up.
.. then proceeded to say exactly that, "That being said, I completely and totally disagree."

I and other folks have said why we liked 11:59. You, basically, followed negating everthing we said. I showed how this can be done with any presentation because of what you were doing.

I didn't insult you. I objected to your belittling everyone else's opinions declaring enjoyment of the episode. It's interesting how your superior opinion is fair play and we simply don't understand how bereft of any good qualities 11:59 was.

Well said.

I guess some skipped over the word "appreciation".

SLagonia

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 3:17 pm

Quote (trekbuff @ July 06 2009, 5:51 pm)
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 1:58 pm)
Er... ¿Read the sentence. ¿"If you're going to go off-topic *comma* *End of sentence*" ¿I was talking about the episode going off topic.
Okay, here's the full comment:
Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 1:20 pm)
City and Inner Light were masterpieces of film. ¿If you're going to go off-topic, it has to be properly tied in and an adventure of some kind - Even if it is an adventure of the mind or the heart, it still needs to be an adventure.
It was in reply to my post. I replied to the pertinent part of the comment.

Ahem - If you want to go off topic, it has to be properly tied in and an adventure of some kind.  You were just talking about off-topic episodes, so I said it's ok to go off topic so long as you retain the core elements of the show and properly tie it in.  I said nothing about you personally going off topic.  I apologize for your misunderstanding, but I don't honestly see a better way to word that.

If this were a simple misunderstanding, that would be one thing, but I've already explained this once and you simply ignored it.

Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 1:58 pm)
And you can play around with words, of course.  We all have opinions and we all feel certain ways about episodes.  Some of us give reasons and some of us just insult all those who disagree.  I'm sorry to see you are in the later catagory.
It would seem Ndirsch11 liked/likes 11:59, Yruc enjoyed it and saw a relevance and a point to the story, exodus201 thinks the "ep. is awesome" and I said, "11:59 is on my list of favorite episodes from all of the Trek series."


True, and Ndirsch gave some excelent points.  I praised him for doing so and then proceeded to give my feelings on the episode.  I see no reason why my opinion is any less valid.

Quote (SLagonia @ July 07 2009, 12:22 pm)
I appriciate the fact that you articulated your position well - So many people just say "I'm right and your opinion sucks" that it's nice to see someone put an intellegent argument up.
.. then proceeded to say exactly that, "That being said, I completely and totally disagree."


What's wrong with disagreeing.  He made some good points, he had a valid opinion and he articulated his case well.  I, however, disagree with his opinion.  

Quote
I didn't insult you. I objected to your belittling everyone else's opinions declaring enjoyment of the episode. It's interesting how your superior opinion is fair play and we simply don't understand how bereft of any good qualities 11:59 was.

When exactly did I belittle anyone else's opinion?  All I did was express mine, and I gave compliments to others in this thread that expressed their opinions.  Can I have even one sentence where there is an example of this 'belittleing' you claim is so prevelant?

exodus201

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 3:40 pm

^^It's a 11:59 "appreciation" thread, not a 11:59 bashing thread.  Trekbuff has just pointed out how you came in here and denouced the ep. and that isn't the subject.

So yes, you're wrong.

AGrey

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Report this Jul. 07 2009, 3:43 pm

11:59 was a good (not great) episode, filmed for the wrong show.

I'm sure there's a TV show out there that 11:59 would have fit in perfectly, but it was completely and totally irrelevant to the Voyager story.

while watching it, I just couldn't figure out why we were supposed to care about these people.


But if this were an episode in a different show, and these were the main characters whose lives we had watched beforehand, and we were interested in their lives, this would have been an episode worth watching.

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