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“I hate temporal mechanics.”
     -- O’Briens, past and future


A franchise is exactly as versatile as fans will tolerate. Take James Bond, for example. He’s taken on several markers over the years, from espionage for Her Majesty, to special gadgets, to proto-supervillains, to bevies of beautiful women, and everyone has a weird name. At times, the formula deviates, with Bond out for revenge or in outer space, and, predictably, a certain portion of the fandom rebels. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with either embracing or rejecting a change in genre; the franchise that exists in each of our minds exists only there. We have rules those running it could not know and can’t possibly obey, since they’re bound to contradict one another.

*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.


DC Comics is in the midst of a company-wide event called "Convergence" which promises (ad nauseam) to turn DC's continuity on its collective ear and start a new direction for its line of characters. Again.

SPOILERS BELOW (if you been living in The Batcave all week)

Wonder Woman is hotter than ever. With her impending, big-screen debut in Batman V Superman, a controversial run in her monthly comic, and two exciting, digital-first series, there's an awful lot to say about Wonder Woman. That being said, I am happy to announce Wonder Woman Wednesday, where I will be discussing thoughts, opinions, and news concerning our favorite Amazon warrior. I'm highly qualified for this, as I am the biggest WW fan ever! (Don't worry! Every Wonder fan thinks they are the biggest, and I can't say they are wrong!)

“So many needy people, so little time.”
     -- Grand Nagus Zek


If Quark is in any kind of record book, it has to be for one thing: In the entire sweep of television history, he is the recipient of the most on-camera handjobs. Look, we can beat around the bush (No pun intended.), but the show certainly doesn’t. And, when this week’s episode opens on Quark’s O-face while a young woman rubs his lobes in the midst of a business meeting, I can’t ignore it. There’s even a clip of Regis Philbin giving Quark a bit of the old oo-mox available on YouTube. Check it out, if you never want to sleep again.

*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.


There is a certain faction of characters that are highly revered, extremely popular, and continuously raked through the coals. Writers love to torture, twist, and, sometimes, even kill theses characters. What is it about them? Why are they so fun to torture? What makes writers so eager to be their personal tour guide through hell? I guess it has something to do with building character. As Kelly Clarkson sings, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger . . . " But, damn.

*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.


In a strange turn of events in recent "really big" news, Olympic Legend Bruce Jenner shared with Diane Sawyer his story of inner struggle with gender identity, and X-Men founding father Bobby Drake (a.k.a. Iceman) was outed as gay by fellow teammate Jean Grey.

“Trakor’s Fourth Prophecy says that the Emissary will face a fiery trial, and he’ll be forced to choose . . . ”
     -- Vedek Yarka


The most fascinating thing about the Bajoran religion is that their gods are real. I’ve touched on this a few times, but this is the episode that really begins to examine what that might mean.

“It’s been my observation that you humanoids have a hard time giving up the things you love, no matter how much they might hurt you.”
     -- Odo


In every stage of the writing process, there is a disconnect. The first is between your mind and what ends up on the page. You picture the most awesome, innovative scenes ever, fraught with emotions and big ideas but only in dreamlike glimpses. When you set it down, it’s usually a pale echo of what you wanted, with only flashes of that incredible story in your mind. When you’re writing for another medium, like film, TV, or comics, the next disconnect is what’s on the page versus what ends up drawn or filmed. There are realities like, how well does your artist read? How much budget do you have for this spectacular effect? This is how Star Trek ends up with aliens made out of what looks like an old carpet covered in pizza stains, or this week’s episode which has what Nana Visitor described as “a giant sundae with my head as the cherry.”

“The Prophets teach us that while violence may keep an enemy at bay, only peace can make him a friend.”
     -- Kai Winn


There’s a difference between what your characters care about and what your audience cares about. This is initially a hard disconnect to grasp, and many beginning writers fall victim to it. Imagine your main character has a younger sibling, but this sibling has never been onscreen. Sure, your character cares about this person more than life itself, but to your audience, this is just some asshole they’ve never seen before, stopping their awesome favorite character from being cool.

“Having seen a little of the 21st Century, there is one thing I don’t understand. How could they have let things get so bad?”
“That’s a good question. I wish I had an answer.”
    -- Bashir and Sisko


I’ve said time and again that much of sci-fi, and DS9 in particular, uses the far-future format to explore many different genres. Well, you probably never guessed that would include a Dog Day Afternoon-style hostage drama with Sisko and Bashir in the roles of Al Pacino and John Cazale. That’s exactly what Part 2 of “Past Tense” turns into.

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