Monday, December 8, 2008

Countdown to the End of Shakespeare and Star Trek Week

 “In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II.” By Mike Sussman. Perf. Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, and John Billingsley. Dir. James L. Conway. Star Trek: Enterprise. Season 4, episode 19. United Paramount Network. 29 April 2005. DVD. Paramount Home Video, 2005.

As the Star Trek franchise grew and expanded, it took Shakespeare with it. However, it seems to have confined him to an alternate universe.

I've mentioned this episode before, but I did not provide, at that point, a video clip of the scene.

In this episode, we're placed in an alternate universe, and a ship from the regular Star Trek universe has found its way there as well.  The universe of the episode is harsh and unrelenting—and it doesn't care for Shakespeare!  I suppose that's one way to tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys:  Tell me what you do with Shakespeare and I will tell you what you are (to paraphrase Brilliat-Savarin).

But the fact that this is the only reference to Shakespeare in the entire Star Trek:  Enterprise series (a prequel to The Original Series) isn't enough to redeem the series.  The only way I managed to choke my way through it was by watching it at three times the speed with the subtitles on.  At that speed, it's actually not a bad show!

This is the last known reference to Shakespeare in the Star Trek universe—but I couldn't bear to end with it.  I plan two posts to wrap up this subject—look for them soon at a blog near you! Actually, this blog.

I wanted to compare our major works with their counterparts in the other universe. . . . The stories were similar in some respects, but their characters were weak and compassionate. With the exception of Shakespeare, of course. From what I could tell, his plays were equally grim in both universes.

Links: A Gateway to Star Trek Information at Wikipedia.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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