December 6, 2022

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Classic TV themes in Trombone Champ

3 min read

^Stay tuned after the ad for some beloved TV themes being murdered by our video producer

Trombone Champ is the gift that keeps on giving. Somehow the gimmick of classic tunes being mockingly rendered in the shrieking tones of a poorly synthesised brass instrument never seems to get less funny over time. Until now, probably, because I’ve gone and tried to play along with some classic TV themes in the free play improv mode.



It’s good fun this, but my wife hates the sound of it already and I have been forced to uninstall.


That’s it. That’s the write-up. Can I just leave it there Tom? What else is there to say? I can do a write up of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s best musically inspired episodes if you like. Well I’m doing it anyway.

The Inner Light



Picard, as Kamin, playing his flute.


Arguably TNG’s best episode (it won a Hugo award and everything), The Inner Light sees the Enterprise crew encounter an ancient probe from long-extinct race of aliens whose planet, it turns out, had been destroyed centuries earlier. An energy discharge from the device knocks Captain Picard unconscious for a few minutes, but while out for the count, he relives the entire life of Kamin, a gifted scientist who launched the probe as a sort-of time capsule in order to preserve something of his dead civilisation.


It is this episode that gives Picard his Ressikan Flute: an important moment in the life of the character, which would come be referenced many times in the following decades.

Lessons



Picard partaking in his favourite hobby of ignoring a woman.


Not as memorable an episode as The Inner Light, but just as important to Picard’s arc: it features a love interest (he didn’t have many because he’s old and bald), Lt. Commander Nella Daren, who shows up as a stellar cartography expert and ends up teaching him how to play his Ressikan Flute from the previous episode. There’s a bunch of other stuff that happens too, but I’m not going to summarise the entire plot because I’m literally only doing this to pad out a video description.

11001001



Riker giving his horn a good parping.


Most of the first season is bobbins, but there are a few gems, and this is one. It features a load of horrid wee IT gremlins doing upgrades on the ship, and Riker getting his trombone out for a sexy holodeck character. Classic Berman-era nonsense, then, but oddly quite significant for Riker: the trombone would frequently reappear in the show as a constant source of comic relief.

Also, the aforementioned love interest, Minuet, would make a surprise return in the fourth season episode Future Imperfect as Riker’s wife in a fabricated reality designed to convince him that a virus had robbed him of 16 years of memories, when in fact, it was all a ruse concocted by a wee alien boy who just wanted Riker to be his dad.

Which is extremely relatable, because I wish he was my dad.

Inheritance



Did these bastards ever do any work?


Brent Spiner once opined that Data is TNG’s main character, and despite it being very much an ensemble show, I do understand where he’s coming from: Star Trek is about exploring what it means to be human as much as it’s about exploring strange new worlds, and Data is an android on a personal quest to find his own humanity.

This quest comes to a head as Dr. Juliana Tainer, ostensibly Data’s “mother”, arrives on board in the seventh season (following a long and twisty multi-season subplot concerning Data’s origins) and, long story short, she’s kind of his mother but also kind of his sister. But in a respectable science-fiction grappling with the nature of self sort of way and not an “extended family in Norfolk” sort of way.


Right that’s enough

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