Let’s face it: sometimes, sci-fi just doesn’t pay so well. Though you may be the star of a successful sci-fi show, though ten million gelatinous nerds might be mouth-breathing your name in reverent unison, sometimes you’re still going home to eat cold beans out of a can with a spork. And at times like those, you’re not going to be so proud an artist that you won’t shill out your character for a few extra clams.
These are the circumstances that lead to dubious canonicity. Consider Jonathan Frakes’ appearance as Commander William Ryker in this five minute long commercial for corporate software. The plot is simple: Commander Ryker calls down to an overworked travel agent and tries to hawk corporate enterprise software to him.
The obvious question, of course, is why Commander Ryker cares so much about corporate software. The video has few answers, but obviously Ryker feels passionately about it, since he is making a phone call five hundred years in the past to talk to Harold about it. With that sort of dedication, you’d think the existing corporate software evolved into the Borg or something (which would certainly fit in with my experience in the cubical farms).
But here’s a less obvious question: why is Ryker the only one on the bridge of the Enterprise? That’s not normal. In fact, isn’t he acting a bit erratically? Is it possible he’s somehow figured out a way to kill all of his crewmates? Or is this just Harold’s own little fever dream, his mind utterly shattered by the rigorous monotony of corporate life?
I have another guess: the bridge of the Enterprise is empty because Frakes had to sneak onto the set at midnight to get this secretly filmed. Congratulations, Mr. Frakes: this is just a colossal sell-out. You certainly earned that extra tin of beans.Read More