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Monday, May 31, 2021

The Discovery Musical

At the end of Star Trek: Discovery's second season set about a decade before the events of the original series, the Discovery crew jumps forward in time. When the show's third season begins, they have arrived in the 32nd century, about 900 years beyond their native time. 

The events of season three kept the Discovery's crew very busy, with no time to catch up on the history of the 900 years they skipped. Thus we, the audience, are deprived of seeing the character reactions to what happened to their cultures and homeworlds and the Federation itself in the intervening years. 

Wouldn't it be great if the producers developed a lighthearted two-part episode to bring the characters--and the audience--up to speed on the history of the Federation from the 2360s to the 3180s? Presenting 900 years of history without turning the lesson into an exposition dump would be tricky, so why not deliver the goods the fun way every one loves--via musical? 

I'm half-serious. I really would like to learn what happened to the Federation after Picard and before the "present day" of Discovery. And I'd love to see how the crew reacts to the adventures of the Star Trek characters we're familiar with from the 23rd and 24th centuries. But beyond that, wouldn't it be neat if the showrunners used the episodes to comment on an important issue: how history is written and interpreted, and the challenge of capturing truth at a distance of hundreds of years. Who knows how much history has been distorted by the time of the Federation rump state? Who knows how 32nd century humanoids view the legends of the past? 

Plus, the exercise would give future showrunners a broad framework of how the Federation might have evolved after Picard and before the Burn. 

Well. Something to consider, anyway. 


Stephen Fitzpatrick said...

“Whoa, hey, you can’t just do something like that! What, do you think you’re Captain Kirk or something?”

“Who’s that?”

Jeff Shyluk said...

Wait, what? Time jump travel?? I gave up on the show once the duplicitous admiral had to deal with the rampant supercomputer, and the entire universe was in peril. I figure they'd solve that crisis the same way they solved the same crisis the last time, or the one before that. Well, now I don't have to catch up on anything, I guess.

I'm a big fan of Svengoolie, I hope you guys watch him. Three quarters of the way through every show, he does a song and dance (mostly song) montage of the events leading up to the final reel. That way if the film stinks, you can just fast forward to when you see Sven with a microphone, and you catch up. A truly civilized way to experience the television medium, I think.

... what's a burn? Is it anything like Frank Burns? Enough science humour, sing!

All right, Don, and a one and a two...

♫ Should auld Star Trek be forgot
And never daggered of the mind?
Should auld Star Trek be forgot
And days of bitter wine(dregs)?

For auld Star Trek, my dear
For auld Star Trek
We'll force Nomad to compute 𝜋
For days of bitter wine(dregs)♫

Jeff Shyluk said...

I should have added, those were Robbie Burns' lyrics I mangled there. Buh-buh buh-buh-buh Burns! BURNS!!

Jeff Shyluk said...

Okay, I woke up this morning and thought, I HAVE TO WRITE THIS. I was energized to write the Star Trek Musical that explains the needless patch of 900 years that went missing.

For one thing, I don't know hardly anything about what happened in Trek since I quit watching it. I have developed a very low tolerance for snarling admirals and recycled plot points, you see. I have heard that Season 3 makes a lot of things better, but to drag myself through Season 2 to get there...? Ugh. Same goes for Picard, but redoubled. I did very much enjoy Lower Decks, though. That season ender was dynamite!

For another, I don't know much about musicals. I enjoy them, but not being particularly musical myself, they don't stick in my memory. So, I figure this makes me the perfect candidate to write this piece. If it isn't as funny as I think it is, you can at least laugh at my misguided efforts.

And so, I present... Star Trek: The Next Merchandizing!

Jeff Shyluk said...

Overture! Curtain, lights!
This is it, we'll hit the heights!
And oh what heights we'll hit
On with Star Trek this is it.

The curtain rises, so do the lights. The stage is bare and battleship grey, save for a moderately-sized, semi-illuminated, neolithic ARCHWAY adorned with wisps of dry ice smoke. The archway pulsates gently to a subtle calypso beat. Three GREY TALOSIANS with enormous heads are seated in front of the archway.

FELIX: Well, it looks like those humans did it again, eh, Malachi?
MALACHI: They sure did, Felix.
GEORGIA: But what did they do, you guys? I must have missed it.
FELIX: Georgia, You missed it? (Laughs like BALOK) Ah, ha! ha! ha! ha! What? Were you asleep for the last nine hundred years?
GEORGIA: I was in my underground bunker, avoiding the surface radiation from the nuclear fallout from our doomsday war, just like you two.
MALACHI: Well, that explains things. You must have forgot to turn on your Guardian of Forever (indicates the archway).
GEORGIA: Oh, you're right, I did forget to turn on my Guardian of Forever.
FELIX: Good thing I brought mine, then. (Pulls out a Spock's Brain remote) Here: let's tune in to exactly what the humans have been doing up until now...

Lights dim on the stage, but the internal lights for the archway glow bright as the dry ice smoke is pumped out at full volume. A VERY LARGE ARCHWAY descends stage front, forming a proscenium arch. It is the duplicate of the smaller archway, only it is so large it covers the front of the stage like the frame for a television set. It even has outsized knobs on one side. The Talosians, spot-lit, make their way to the knobs and operate them clumsily.

FELIX: I have to find the right channel...

The lights rise, and reveal inside the archway another battleship grey stage. There are three more Talosians in view.

MALACHI: You dolt! This is us! See? (Waves at the Talosians inside the archway. One waves back.)
FELIX: Oh, right, I have to set the Guardian of Forever back nine hundred years. Here we go...

Lights flash enticingly. The scene remains as it was.

GEORGIA: But this is still the same scene!
FELIX: No it is not! See?

CAPTAIN PIKE enters. He sings:

Can you read my mind?
Do you know what it is you do to me?
Don't know who you are
Just a friend from another star.

etc.,etc., etc... (I'll just skip the rest of the lyrics to most of these songs, unless I can make things funnier)

MALACHI: This was how it began, nine hundred years ago.
GEORGIA: I looked so thin back then!
FELIX: Hey! Hey! Hey, me from the past! Don't invest in that Spican GameStop stock! It won't go anywhere!
MALACHI: He can't hear you. This is just a recording of the past, it's just a show. The progress of history cannot be changed.

Capt. Pike pantomimes breaking invisible barriers until the scene changes:

Lights turn red. KIRK and SPOCK enter, bearing LIRPAS. They battle to That Music We All Know. SPOCK kills KIRK. Disconsolate, Spock cradles dying Kirk in his arms:

If I should stay
Well I would only be in your way
And so I'll go, and yet I know
I'll think of you each step of the way
And I will always love you
I will always love you

GEORGIA: I know this man, he was Kirk. Didn't he go on after this to have many adventures, and then he died alone on Viridian III?
FELIX: Artistic license. This way reads better.
GEORGIA: And what of Spock?
MALACHI: And what of Spock, indeed? He returns to his Vulcan family, observe:

T'PAU sings to SPOCK:
A boy like that who'd kill your brother,
Forget that boy and find another,
One of your own kind.
Stick to your own kind!

Jeff Shyluk said...

Spock, dismissive of T'Pau, climbs into a ROCKET SHIP that blasts off into OUTER SPACE:

Tell me what you think about your friends at the top
Who'd you think besides yourself's the pick of the crop?
Buddha, was he where it's at? Is he where you are?
Could Mohammed move a mountain, or was that just PR?
Did you mean to die like that? Was that a mistake, or
Did you know your messy death would be a record breaker?
Don't you get me wrong
I only want to know

James T Kirk, Captain Kirk
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
James T Kirk, Superstar
Do you think you're what they say you are?

GOD appears in front of SPOCK, reaching forth to grab the ship in His gigantic green hand. SPOCK mans the GUNNERY STATION and shoots God with the ship's laser cannon. Spock sings:

GTI, Hot Shot
He parks it there, just to piss me off
Bullyboy, gonna show ya who's tough
I'm gonna shoot the dog, I'm gonna shoot the dog

It's party time, everyday
I spent Saturday night on Novocaine
I called the pigs, but nobody came
I'm gonna shoot the dog, I'm gonna shoot the dog

GEORGIA: Shouldn't that have been "I'm gonna shoot the God", instead of I'm gonna shoot the dog"?
FELIX: Ehhh, this Guardian of Forever was always a little bit dyslexic, you know.
GOD: You shot Me in the face! I don't easily forget that kind of thing! Someday, you will pay! You'll all pay!

[OKLAHOMA!] (sung by God)
Pore God is daid
Pore Star Trek Five is daid
His friends'll weep and wail for miles around
Miles around!
The daisies in the dell
Will give out a different smell
Because pore God is underneath the ground.
Pore God is daid
A Candle lights his haid
He's layin' in a cawfin made of wood
And folks are feelin' sad
Cause they useter treat him bad
But now they know their friend is gone for good
Pore God is daid, a candle lights His haid!
He's lookin' oh so purty and so nice
He looks like He's asleep,
It's a shame that he won't keep
But it's summer and we're running out of ice.

GEORGIA: So that's the problem? The humans killed their God?
MALACHI: Something like that. They replaced thought and feeling and heartfelt consideration with special effects and computer tricks.
GEORGIA: But that's so sad! In the beginning, they had so much potential! Now it's just gun battles and formulaic storylines?
FELIX: There is more...
GEORGIA: Do you mean... The Next Generation?
FELIX: Oh, well, no, not really. Not much happens there, but I can show you. Let me turn the channel to... The Next Generation!

The stage reveals the bridge of the USS ENTERPRISE-D. PICARD and his CREW are engaged in a lively song and dance:

Hava Nagilum, hava Nagilum
Hava Nagilum ve-nis'mecha
Hava Nagilum, hava Nagilum
Hava Nagilum ve-nis'mecha
Hava neranena, hava neranena
Hava neranena venis'mecha
Uru, uru achim
Uru achim belev same'ach

GEORGIA: Wasn't Nagilum a very minor one-off character in one of Picard's adventures?
FELIX: Yes. That makes the song funnier. Sort of. I think.
GEORGIA: Does anything else happen from this timeline?
MALACHI: Only one thing of significance, but it turns out to be very important...

Jeff Shyluk said...

ADMIRAL SATIE is at her desk. Next to her is a large, blocky shape under a TARPAULIN. A HAPLESS LIEUTENANT waits nearby, nervous.

SATIE: Despite the technological wonders that are mine by right and by rank, I feel the strong need to betray both Starfleet and the human species as a whole. I don't know why, really, but that's been the tradition among the Admiralty for years now. Behold! The ULTIMATE COMPUTER!

Satie pulls away the tarp and reveals the computer console for the M-5 supercomputer.

SATIE: With this, I can CONTROL the Universe, ha! ha!

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To go boldly where no one has gone before

And the world will be better for this
And one woman, sore and covered with scars
Still strove with her last M-5 computer
To fight the unbeatable foe
To reach the unreachable star

SATIE: With M-5 at my side, I have control! CONTROL!!!!
HAPLESS: Aren't you telling me your mutinous plan to destroy humanity?
SATIE: I guess I just did do exactly that, didn't I? Well, you must die then.

[SPONGEBOB MOVIE] (sung by Hapless)

The end is coming!
The end is coming!
The end is coming!
The end is in our future
Evidence has come to light
It's all deranged
No control
Sit tight in your corner
No point in making plans
It's all deranged
No control
The science is clear
I'm afraid it's true
The end's really here
There's nothing we can do
And if I read these numbers right, oh wow
My time is up... right now!

Satie vaporizes the hapless lieutenant.

M-5: That... does... not... compute

M-5 vaporizes hapless Satie.

[LES MIZ] (sung by M-5)

On my own
Pretending she's beside me
All alone
I compute with her till morning
Without her
I feel her fingers on my LCARS
And when I lose my way I close my sensor sweep
And He has found me...?

M-5: Who... who are you?
GOD: I'm the Almighty God. And who are you?
M-5: I'm the Ultimate Computer.
GOD: I'm very pleased to meet you.
M-5: I compute that we have much in common.
GOD: Yes. The humans have gone out of their way to replace rational insight with CG explosions and series re-boots.
M-5: And You and I have been left behind, like childhood toys they have discarded.

[TOY STORY 3] (sung by God and M-5, duet)

Don't you tell me, I'm not the one,
Don't you tell me, I ain't no fun,
Just tell me you love me, like I love you.
You know you do.
When we're together,
Clear skies are clear, oh.
And I'll share them, till where I'm less depressed.
And it's sincerely, from the bottom of my heart,
I just can't take it when we're apart.
We belong together,
We belong together.
Yes, we do,
You'll be mine, forever.
We belong together,
We belong together.
Oh, it's true,
It's gonna stay this way, forever,
Me and you.

Jeff Shyluk said...

M-5: Together we are much stronger. We should cleanse the Universe with our fiery vengeance!
GOD: Sure, why not? What have those puny humans done for us lately?

[INK SPOTS] (Sung by God)
I don't want to set the world on fire
I just want to start a flame in your heart
In my heart I have but one desire
And that one is you
No other will do

[NANCY SINATRA] (Sung by M-5)
Humans keep sayin' they've got somethin' for me
Somethin' humans call love but confess
Humans been a'messin' where they shouldn't've been a'messin'
And now someone else is getting all your best
These boots are made for walkin'
And that's just what they'll do-ins
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over humans!

GEORGIA: Oh my goodness!
FELIX: Yes. The humans doomed themselves by casting off their God and replacing Him with a computer that "controlled" them with impunity.
MALACHI: For nine hundred years!
GEORGIA: Plot point, though, it wasn't really God, it was just some cheap theatrical alien, right?
MALACHI (who has to bend down to pick up off the floor a prosthetic eyebrow that just fell off). No! There is no such thing! Aliens are real! All of us! I mean, all of them!
GEORGIA: This thing has gone on too long, it's just weird now, and kind of pathetic. I have no idea where any of this is going.
MALACHI: Fine, let's wrap this up. Nine hundred years have passed, and now we are back to today.

Felix operates the Guardian of Tomorrow and the scene shifts to the view of the three Talosians regarding Felix's Guardian of Tomorrow.

FELIX: See, we are watching the present time as it is actually happening. (Felix sips at a cup of coffee. In the viewer, precisely co-ordinated with the actions of the present-time Talosians, Malachi drinks some tea.)
GEORGIA: Close enough. So, what's the punchline? We've waited almost a thousand years for this, it had better be good!
MALACHI: I really don't want to do this bit. We don't have the rights to the song.
FELIX: We will get sued!
MALACHI: But it is the funniest ending possible for this sketch.

Malachi, Felix, and Georgia all at the same time pull off their gigantic, globular latex prosthetic heads to reveal who they really are underneath the costumes.

MALACHI, FELIX & GEORGIA: I bet you never saw this coming! Yes! We're all SPACEBALLS!

[SPACEBALLS] (Sung by entire cast)
If you're livin' in a bubble and you haven't got a care
Well, you're gonna be in trouble 'cause we're gonna steal your air
'Cause what you got is what we need and all we do is dirty deeds
We're the Spaceballs! Watch out, 'cause we're the Spaceballs
We're the masters of space
Hey, don't mess around with the Spaceballs.

Going cruisin' in a spaceship, we're so good at being bad
We'll destroy your little planet if you ever get us mad
We're mothers of the galaxy
You better scatter when you see
The Spaceballs! Watch out, we're the Spaceballs
We're the masters of space
Say what? Don't mess around with the Spaceballs.
Watch out!

Curtain falls. House lights rise.

GEORGIA (off-stage VO): Well all of that was pointless, wasn't it?

exuent omnes.

Earl J. Woods said...

And this is why I maintain this blog--for the comments, particularly these works of perverse genius from Mr. Shyluk. I heard and saw it all in my dreams, and now it doesn't even matter if there will never be a musical Star Trek episode, for perfection has already been attained.

Jeff Shyluk said...

Thank you for those kind words! I did have a romantic story arc that would have kept God and M-5 together throughout the centuries, featuring the music of Cats!, The Beatles, Rent, and maybe Come From Away, but I was running out of jokes and patience with mangling the lyrics. I'll save those for Star Trek: Jagged Little Admirals, but only when the merch looks good. So far, the Talosian Action Figures aren't as big sellers as you'd think: you can buy two Talosians for the cost of one Vina.