As you can imagine, the success of this mission is especially important to everyone on Starbase 420.

Well, the most creatively demanding part is over. About an hour ago, I finished the first round of de-blogging, cutting and rewriting on Memories of the Future.

The next step is to take all the individual reviews (which are in their own files) and combine them into one big document so I can see how it all works together. Based on my first round of rewrites, I'll be watching for a few things:

* Duplicated jokes that need to be cut. The original
reviews were written months apart, so I used a few things – like "Bat
Country" – more than once without realizing it. That's forgivable
online, but it doesn't really work in a book.

* Places where I can examine something from Behind the Scenes a little bit more, or places where it's just not that interesting and can be cut out.

* How The Bottom Lines all interact with each other. They should reflect how the series and we who made it evolved and developed over the course of the first season, and I'm not entirely sure I accomplished that in the first draft. I have to make sure it's not repetitive, and that each one truly reflects something unique to the episode and when it first aired. (Yes, this is a very public NOTE TO SELF. Please enjoy it.)

Just to keep with the tradition of posting something from the book with each post, here's a little bit from The Big Goodbye. This is one of those episodes that's actually quite good, so the humor in the recap is entirely different from the humor in, say, The Naked Now's recap:

Picard decides that playtime is over, and it’s time to get back to work, but Dr. Crusher wants to check out his office. Any chance of that being a euphemism is reduced when Data and Whalen tag along. When they get to his office, the euphemism possibility is eliminated completely: Felix Leech, a Peter Lorre-esque hired goon, is waiting for them. With a gun. And he’s pissed.

There’s another great moment here where the gun comes out, and Picard and company all look at each other with this wide-eyed grin, like it’s the coolest thing they’ve ever seen. It’s one of the rare times on TNG when we in the audience feel genuine suspense, too, because we know that gun’s going to go off and someone is going to get hurt. Those of us who are longtime fans also know that, for the purposes of this holodeck program, the part of Ensign Ricky Redshirt will be played by the ship’s 20th-century literature expert Mr. Whalen, who dutifully takes a bullet in the gut from Leech. This leads to another great moment, when everyone realizes that, holy shit, Leech just shot Whalen. Like, for reals.

Dr. Crusher tells them that they have to get Whalen to Sickbay, Picard smacks around Leech, and they can’t get the computer to give them an exit. This is sort of a problem because Whalen is dying, and back in the real world the Jarada will be expecting the Captain to speak to them pretty soon. Just to make things a little more tense, tough guy Cyrus Redblock shows up with Leech and another hired goon. It turns out that Redblock hired Hill to find an “item,” which Hill hasn’t produced. Redblock and his goons intend to help Hill find it, using their guns. After Leech pistol-whips Picard, McNary arrives, and we’ve got ourselves what you could call “a situation.”

Picard tries to talk them out of the situation, using the old “Hey, man, we’re from another world” routine, but Redblock and company ain’t buying. Data tries the well-known, “Hey, man, these characters aren’t even real” line, which all of us actors perfected during years of Star Trek convention appearances. Unfortunately, Data’s effort meets with similar results.

This is so close to being finished, I'm almost ready to go pick out a bottle of Scotch to open when I'm done.

30 thoughts on “As you can imagine, the success of this mission is especially important to everyone on Starbase 420.”

  1. Might I suggest a nice MacAllan 18? Or a Cragganmore, perhaps? I’m not an island malt guy…too peaty. :) Great stuff…I’m having a blast catching up with your writings.

  2. Pshaw, everyone knows that the proper line when you’re getting shot at in your workplace is “I’m not even supposed to be here today!”

  3. Sometimes I wonder if you fully comprehend the awesomeness of what you are doing here.
    Here is one little illustration of why so awesome IMHO:
    I was talking to a friend of mine (we have known each other for 24 years now (since grade 4) but lost touch for a good chunk of it. I was talking about you the other day and she started to laugh and said OMG you still like him and Star Trek? Didn’t you have a crush on him when you were small and wasn’t I in my Kirk Cameron phase?
    I laughed and said yes you were, but Wil and Star Trek are not just phases. Plus, when I was little my crush was purely MAN HE IS CUTE! Now I respect and admire who is as a person, father and artist.
    Other media things come and go. There is a new fad every few seconds. Yet Star Trek is eternal. And you are making it possible for people to further experience all that is Star Trek (both in front and behind of the cameras) in a very honest and uncensored way.
    I hope that makes sense. I feel like today has been a year and am fuzzy.

  4. Congrats Old Man, I sooo can not wait for this.
    I just got a promotion at work and I have met half my new teammates and… They. Are. All… SCI-FI/TREKKIE/GEEKS!!! No scotch for me thanks, I shall celbrate with a day of your collected works and maybe, an Arrogant Bastard. I’m kinda allergic so we’ll see how it goes.
    Oh, thanks btw, Dork Tower is hilarious.

  5. Sounds good, Wil! And hey, maybe you can call O’Reily and tell them that, five books down the road, you’ve actually written a book that can be marketed as a “Star Trek Book.” And when your first few printings sell out (which they will, I’m sure), you can call back and enjoy even more smuggy time!
    Although we all know you won’t, but still Fun thoughts.

  6. Hehe. Did you know I only read your blog because when I googled “Shut up, Wesley” for fun, I found your review of “Datalore” and laughed myself silly, read all your other reviews on tvsquad, laughed myself sillier, and went on to find every other funny thing you’d ever written? Obviously I got stuck as a faithful reader of your blog. So, I’m really looking forward to this book. And I hope it’ll be available to European readers almost instantly, too. (Did I mention Sunken Treasure rocked? It did.)
    And while I’m at it, I recommend a nice cask strength Glenfarclas with a drop of water. Or, alternatively, Talisker – a favorite of mine.
    Aldara, who’s only slightly older than your kids but thinks you’re drop-dead cool anyway. ;)

  7. My wife and I just started re-watching all of ST: TNG, so this book is being created at the perfect time for us.
    We just watched “The Big Goodbye” a few nights ago and I realized I haven’t seen some of these episodes since they were in repeats back when I was in high school. It’s been great revisiting.
    Also, your previous comments about young Wil looking exactly like current Wil, minus the beard, is spot on.
    Can’t wait for the book!

  8. Heh. The title of this post comes from the first paragraph in the review:
    The Enterprise is on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan, and the imperial senate will not stand for – oh. Wait. Sorry. Wrong Star. Let’s start over, shall we?
    The Enterprise is on a diplomatic mission to meet the Jarada, an alien species with a peculiar affinity for protocol: if Picard doesn’t speak a particular greeting in exactly the right way at exactly the right time, the Jarada won’t join the Federation, and they’ll take all their mythical Jaradan weed with them. As you can imagine, the success of this mission is especially important to everyone on Starbase 420.

  9. Well, Wesley is fourteen years old and a fictional character on a television show. I don’t know what he drinks, because I didn’t write the show.

  10. I am so looking forward to this. Your ST reviews were what brought me into your blog in the first place (yes, I came in late). I remember thinking, oh snap, Usenet and your die.die.die hatahs, this guy can really write! So this kinda brings the whole thing full circle.

  11. Data: “Hey, man, these characters aren’t even real”
    Isn’t Data programmatically unable to speak contractions? (my gawd, am I that pathetic?)
    BTW: I suggest Laphroig Cask Strength or Bruichladdich.
    –chuck
    (oh yeah, almost forgot [:Secret Goalie Handshake:])

  12. Congratulations! Looking forward to the finished product :D
    And I’m sorry, but it has to be said: “Scotch? It was invented by a little old lady from Leningrad!”

  13. Pure awesomeness… Your turning into a Ron Burgundy* with your Scotch ubsession Wil. HA I’m just kiddin. OH YEAH! GUESS WHAT?? I ordered a tape of you at a 1991 convention and one of you in 2008. I am super excited for them to get here. I can’t wait until this book gets done!!
    *Ron Burgundy was a character played by Will Ferrell in the movie “Anchorman”. Which is bust your balls funny. I mean Will Ferrell is a genius in comedy. If you haven’t seen it I definately reccomend it. =]

  14. Funny that you should mention this enchanting place known as Starbase 420. About a week or so ago, while I was happily tweeting away with another esteemed member of this rowdy bunch of Monkeys, EricFromPA, Starbase 420 just happened to come up during the course of our conversation. We were mainly discussing if and when you would ever do an East Coast Swing event, since we’ve both wanted to come and see you if you were ever inclined to do one close to our location. (Hint, hint.)
    Me being me, of course, said something to the effect of “You do know what the first words out of my mouth will be if I actually meet him in person, right?” (This would be after I totally geek out, of course) and his response was something along the lines of “Ensign Crusher, plot a course for Starbase 420?” After I had a fit of laughter, I replied to him that no, the first words out of my mouth would be (after the “OMFG, I’m actually meeting Wil Wheaton! In person!” moment had passed) “Hi Wil, it’s so nice to finally meet you in person, and by the way, you’re STILL a year older than me!” because I’ve only been saying that to you for what, the past five years? What can I say? I’m a pain in the ass like that, as you’ve probably noticed by now. I wouldn’t be surprised if you totally punched me out after I said that to you, though. I know I probably deserve it. LOL.
    So yeah, back on course to Starbase 420. I tweeted Eric back with something along the lines of “Oh, nice, you want me to tell him to take us to Planet Cannabis? WTF?” not realizing that later on in the day, several people who are all about the chronic would do a search on the keywords “420” and “Cannabis” and decide to start following my twitter feed.
    I honestly don’t know if they’re still following me or not, but apparently there are a lot of weed smokers on Twitter. Which surprised me, since back in high school when I experimented with the stuff, myself, I don’t think that I’d even be capable of operating a computer, much less an iPhone and still be able to coherently keep up with a Twitter feed, or even do a search for other potheads on Twitter, for that matter. You can file this one under the WTF category, because it beats the shit out of me how these people seem to manage getting baked and mastering Twitter at the same time.

  15. Eric, have you forgotten that tweet you sent out to me about a week or so ago that got me a huge pothead following? You know the one, the one where I would tell Wil to plot a course for Starbase 420? Well now you can read all about it in my reply to Wil up the page a little bit. Thanks again for getting the stoners on my trail, man! LOL. A week later and I’m STILL cracking up about this. Unbelievable.

  16. Oh come on, Wil! You and me both know that Wesley was totally sneaking doses of 24th Century Ritalin hyposprays from his mom. How else can you explain why he was super enthusiastic, hyper all the time? Then there was that one incident when he totally crashed off of the stuff and let nanites get loose all over the damn ship! It’s clearly evident when you go back and watch how tweeked out the kid was all the time. LOL.

  17. you’ve prolly already got your bottle of Scotch, just in case you haven’t The Glen Livit
    unrelated, how do you come up with the titles of your books. yeah yeah yeah, it seems like a simple question with a simple answer but not always because this is WWdN after all

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