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- Sun, Mar 29, 2015, 11:00pm (USA Central)
That Which Survives
Watching the TOS episodes for the first time, I immediately picked up on Spock's uncharacteristic incessant antagonism in this episode. As a heavy Spock watcher and fan, I found myself defensive at his portrayal in this episode!
I felt that Spock had often, up until this episode, been mostly unwittingly brash when he simply found a character's actions illogical; but in this episode, he seemed to go out of his way to attack the logic of other crew members of the Enterprise.
If only for the misportrayal of Spock, I was terribly annoyed at this episode! It comforts me to know that other fans of the series were similarly upset!
- Sun, Mar 29, 2015, 8:15pm (USA Central)
Day of Honor
I feel like the Cataati acted a little too extreme, the second time they came around blackmailing Voyager into giving them more then the crew could spare. I realize that they are desperate and that their very survival is at stake, but I'm surprised no one on the crew pointed out that if the Cataati took this much from Voyager, they'd basically be doing to them what the Borg did to the Cataati. Chakotay or Tuvok could have (and should have) pointed out that if the Cataati stole that much from Voyager, they'd be setting them on a path of damnation.
For that matter, why did no one point out that the Cataati are thinking too small? Stealing Voyager's supplies and thorium (or whatever it was they needed) would have bought them a few more months. But as the Cataati themselves point out, Voyager is a more advanced ship with many forms of superior technology. Why not ask them how to make their replicators more effective? How to maximize the potential of their engine systems? You know, stuff that helps your survival in the long run. Seems to me like they could have just asked Voyager for help with long term solutions from the get go.
Instead, Seven has to come up with that idea, out of nowhere. Just didn't sit quite right with me. But I suppose if they did that, there wouldn't have been any cause for drama and the episode would have been dreadfully boring, so then they'd have to find another way to make it interesting, so what do I know?
- Sun, Mar 29, 2015, 7:52pm (USA Central)
The season 4 finale we got was not the real finale. How season 5 ended was the season 4 closer. Once they found out they got another season, they just didn't show it until the end.
- Sun, Mar 29, 2015, 10:35am (USA Central)
Return to Grace
An interesting episode: a lot of Dukat's rhetoric seemed slightly insincere to me. Like he was saying stuff he didn't believe 100% in order to impress Kira and get inside her knickers. A little like the bitching about her current lover - claiming he had a file on Shakaar's many conquests. One womaniser slagging of another. The technique wasn't subtle, but it was all absolutely in character and well played by Alaimo. Quite rightly Kira didn't fall for most of it, but it seemed to me she was sufficiently seduced to lend Dukat vital assistance against the Klingons. And I bet he had a little private preen over her decision to take his daughter to DS9. 'Now we're closely connected'. I'm sure he was sincerely grateful, and concerned about his daughter, but the way he said it showed just a little preen I thought. As one commenter put it, he's incapable of not hitting on a beautiful woman. A great character: different to Garak, but just as fascinating.
- Sun, Mar 29, 2015, 9:13am (USA Central)
This episode made no sense because the simple solution would be that these people leave the planet they were supposedly stranded on and go back to their own society. They don't make so much as a mention of contacting their home planet, if only out of curiosity. Dax wanting to stay behind was ridiculous and isn't even worth further mention.
The only thing that saved this episode was the Kira/Quark storyline where he's trying to get Kira's holo image so Weyoun -1 can do her on the holodeck.
- Sun, Mar 29, 2015, 12:37am (USA Central)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
I am posting my review for TWoK here just as I did for TMP. Please feel free to check out my "full experience" review (pictures) on my blog captainjonreviews.blogspot.com. I'm currently in the process of writing a review for TSFS and hope to post that in the coming days with a review for each film coming as I review them. Enjoy!
Admiral James T. Kirk returns to the U.S.S. Enterprise, which has been turned into a training ship for a group of Starfleet cadets. Unhappy in his new post and not in command of a starship, Kirk struggles with aging and death when an old nemesis, Khan, escapes after fifteen years of imprisonment on a desolate world and seeks revenge on Kirk for the death of his wife.
Despite it's mixed critical reception, the highly anticipated of Gene Roddenberry's most popular creation returned in 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture with a global box office haul of over $130 million. Happy with the movie's success, Paramount Pictures gave the green-light to a sequel. Their biggest stipulation, however, was that it be made for significantly less than the $46 million price tag of the first film. Feeling that his constant request for rewrites added to TMP's soaring budget, Gene Roddenberry was removed from any direct involvement in the sequel. The script he had written in which the Enterprise crew follows a group of Klingons into the past to alter Earth's future by preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy was rejected and Roddenberry was "promoted" to being an executive consultant. With Roddenberry out of the way, Paramount turned to TV producer Harvey Bennett to make Star Trek II despite having never seen an episode of the series. In preparing for the project, Bennett watched all 79 episodes and selected Space Seed as the basis for their story bringing back Ricardo Montalban's Khan in as the villain.
Bennett hired multiple writers who each drafted various versions of the story which involved the return of Khan. Yet, they couldn't settle on a script with which everyone was happy. Thus Bennett turned to writer/director Nicholas Meyer for help. Meyer took the best elements of each script and cobbled them together in his own draft, writing the screenplay for free and uncredited in less than 12 days. Meyer envisioned his film as "Hornblower in space" and highlighted the nautical qualities of the Star Trek series and, more importantly, realized the characters as human.
To accomplish this, Meyer acknowledged the passage of time and allowed the crew of the Enterprise to grow. No longer are our heroes "gallavanting around the cosmos" but are now instructing the next generation of explorers. James T. Kirk, once again an admiral, somberly celebrates his birthday in which Dr. McCoy presents him with a pair of glasses to help him read as he gets older. This little tidbit may seem small but is incredibly significant for the character of Kirk who has always been portrayed as invulnerable. Also introduced is David, Kirk's son with the scientist Carol Marcus. In David, Kirk sees the life he could have had and makes him feel much older. William Shatner's performance is strong and mellow. His confidence is rocky as he grapples with aging but as the story progresses he gradually regains it as he recognizes that with age comes wisdom and experience. Kirk's growth across The Wrath of Khan may not seem very groundbreaking nowadays but in 1982 when many TV characters were static and unchanging, this was incredibly remarkable.
The script not only packs in more characterization than The Motion Picture but adds more action as well. Featuring two of Star Trek's finest space battles, The Wrath of Khan boosts action similar to old sailing ships on the high seas with an emphasis placed on tactical strategy over brute force. This approach is quite fitting with Kirk's character growth as it's through his acceptance of aging and wisdom that he's able to defeat Khan. Though many of the visual effects are reused in much of the film's early scenes, the climactic battle features great FX in the purple-blue clouds of the Mutara Nebula. The action is packed with suspense and thrills that make it quite memorable. Accompanying The Wrath of Khan is a fantastic score by future-Oscar Winner James Horner who captures the beauty and dangers of space in a way that distinguishes the music from Jerry Goldsmith's classic soundtrack without departing too far from that successful template.
Acting-wise The Wrath of Khan is spot on across the board. DeForest Kelley's Dr. McCoy is given a much more prominent role and does well, at his best when sharing the screen with Shatner. James Doohan's Scotty doesn't get much screen time but he makes the most of it, even managing to display more emotion than what we're used to from the miracle worker engineer. Even though some of the supporting characters such as Chekov, Sulu and Uhura don't have much to do, the performances from Koenig, Takei and Nichols are more energetic and a big improvement over The Motion Picture. The additions to the cast are also perfect. Merritt Buttrick not only looks like he could be the offspring of Shatner and Bisch, he also carries his part well. Bibi Besch is also perfect in her limited screen time as Carol Marcus. When Nicholas Meyer cast the role, he wanted someone who could not only convey the brains of a scientist but also someone beautiful enough for the audience to buy that she could once old the heart of James T. Kirk. In Besch, Meyers succeeds. Paul Winfield is good as Captain Terrell, portraying cool and confidence. Considering most "other captains" would later be portrayed as weak to show how much better our captains our, Winfield's performance is welcome.
The two biggest additions to the cast are Kirstie Alley as Saavik and Ricardo Montalban as Khan. Despite portraying a Vulcan, Alley is never stiff and gives the impression that beneath the surface is plenty of sass and wit waiting to bubble to the surface. Alley's Saavik is instantly loveable and fits right in with the series cast. Of course, The Wrath of Khan probably wouldn't be anywhere near as successful as it is without Montalban. He chews the scenery from the moment he appears and never lets up. Though the role is entirely fueled by hate and vengeance, Montalban gives anything but a one-note performance, adding plenty of charm and menace in a role infused with undertones of Captain Ahab. To this day, Ricardo Montalban's Khan is still Star Trek's most memorable villain.
Just as The Wrath of Khan wouldn't be the same without Khan, not would it be without Leonard Nimoy's Spock and the emotional payoff in the movie's climax. In The Motion Picture, Nimoy seemed uninterested in his performance. Wishing to be done with the role of Spock, Nimoy requested his character be killed off. Early drafts featured the death as a surprising twist in the opening act. But here Nimoy features it as the film's emotional climax to great effect, making it not only Star Trek's best character deaths but likely one of the best in all feature films. Nimoy's performance is much more engaged and more along the lines of his portrayal of the character that made him so loved in the 60's series. Spock's death serves not only the plot but also the ultimate character growth of Kirk as he's forced to face death in a way he never has before. Always has Kirk cheated his way out of facing death. But not here as he has to learn a lesson that he tried to teach Saavik early on in the movie; that how you face death is as important as how you face life. It's this deep and insightful exploration of challenging themes that has always been a crucial part of Star Trek and The Wrath of Khan tackles the theme of death like the franchise never had before. Both Shatner and Nimoy are excellent in Spock's death scene in which he makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the ship and crew. Neither is over-the-top, their performances subtle yet powerful. It's a great and emotional scene that is just as powerful today as it was in 1982.
After 33 years, The Wrath of Khan remains the standard which all Star Trek films have strived to achieve, each with their varying levels of success. It's this attempt to emulate what worked in The Wrath of Khan which solidifies it's status as a great movie. Packed with thrilling actions, incredible performances and mature storytelling, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan remains a timeless classic.
Writing: 2.0 / 2.0
Characters: 2.0 / 2.0
Acting: 2.0 / 2.0
Entertainment: 2.0 / 2.0
Music: 1.0 / 1.0
Visuals: .75 / 1.0
TOTAL: 9.75 / 10
- Sat, Mar 28, 2015, 9:36pm (USA Central)
Not sure how Montgomery was able to take being addressed like a dog on a leash. But then again Archer is a lot nicer to his damned dog. For that matter so are the producers seeing as how they practically gave him his own episode. And Archer complained about being condescended to by the Vulcans.
- Sat, Mar 28, 2015, 9:11pm (USA Central)
One of the things that really bugs me is that there is absolutely NO interaction between Kes and The Doctor considering her departure.
Neelix got one. Janeway got one. Tuvok got one. Doc didn't get anything other the one line where Kes mentions she has to tell him about her leaving and how he won't take it lightly, but then her powers kick in and we never see him respond to her departure.
I was always bothered by that. Kes has a special friendship with him, helping him develop his personality subroutines and she was the first to consider him just as important as any other crewmember and not treat him like a piece of complex technology.
So when the time comes to leave, you'd think they'd put aside a minute or 2 to reflect on their friendship of the past 3 years and give each other a heartfelt goodbye. But nope, nothing. Doc was completely left out in that regard.
On a completely unrelated note, I did like seeing how Voyager slowly but surely lost its Borg modifications over the course of the episode. At the start, you see Voyager still having all kinds of BOrg nodes and implants across various sections of the ship and then they gradually reduced it until at the end of the episode, they only had some minor changed left to make. Pretty clever how they subtly worked that in, showing you the changes slowly. Kudos for that.
- Sat, Mar 28, 2015, 1:09pm (USA Central)
A Taste of Armageddon
More so than any other TOS episode, this is the one were Kirk has been accused by many fans of flagrantly breaking the Prime Directive. I have to disagree with that. The Prime Directive is NOT an absolute, despite what Worf said once in Pen Pals. Kirk was forced into this situation by an ambitious ambassador looking to put another feather in his cap, so I don't think the Prime Directive would require him to allow his crew to be killed. As for the Eminians, they are a warp-capable species, along with the Vendicans, that have been killing each other for centuries. Kirk didn't really "interfere" with their culture, he gave them back what war really is, which forced their leaders into considering peace. Is it a "gray area" of the Prime Directive, definitely, but a one-off case that resulted in something good... Liked this episode a lot, would give it 3.5 stars.
- Sat, Mar 28, 2015, 3:34am (USA Central)
Archer: "I thought I told you to have that repainted"
Tucker: "I was getting around to it..."
*Archer gives him the look
Reed and Tucker discovered in the ship's upper corridors and teleported back to the Enterprise bridge, still on their knees.
*T'Pol gives them the look
Priceless. First time I laughed at an episode. Twice.
- Sat, Mar 28, 2015, 12:07am (USA Central)
Irony of Ironies. I am in bed reading comments on this episode while listening an episode of the new Hawaii-Five-O playing in the background. (S4:EP4 Netflix). The last scene is shown and they are singing the Minstrel Boy. I was not really paying attention to the scene but they started singing and I had to do a double take.
Not really important but had to share it.
- Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 10:04pm (USA Central)
In the Nemesis novelezation, (the audio book was better then the movie BTW) Shinzon references a "Cardassian scientist who discovered b4" But that is not canon either.
- Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 6:24pm (USA Central)
"Yeah, Keiko was always a bad idea that should have been nipped in the bud, but for the rest of it, you guys literally missed the point of this episode. It's a spoof of Midsummer Night's Dream. Magic dust and mischievous fairies, in this case the gorgeous stupendous magnificent Majel, mistaken identities and everyone falling for the most improbable person, I was in 5 minutes into the episode. It surprises me how often Star Trek fans of all series loathe certain episodes because they can't identify the allusions these episodes make to other elements of western English speaking culture. It is one of the great strengths of the whole Star Trek that it does this."
An allusion alone doesn't make a worthwhile episode though. You could argue that a female Ferengi taking off her fake ears was an allusion to Vincent van Gogh, but that doesn't make the episode any more pleasant or significant.
There's a lot of humour in Star Trek, in the case of DS9 mostly with Odo and Quark, or even better, Garak. I couldn't find anything funny in this episode. Just a "wtf was this for?" episode, like TNG's "Justice". A waste of time without any saving grace whatsoever.
- Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 5:45pm (USA Central)
The Q and the Grey
I didn't like Death Wish, either, because it was trivializing the Q to the point of farce. The thing the writing staff should have realized from the beginning is that because the Q live beyond our comprehension, trying to answer what they are should have been left to people's imagination. And, furthermore, the Q was to humans, like humans are to bacteria... so all these nonsense comic relief episodes are totally off-base. Q was meant to be a serious, clever, near omnipotent being, possibly millions of years older than humans. Their "race" was judging humanity. It became less and less about that and more about cheap humour. The writers, especially after TNG, just had no clue what they were doing. They also ruined the Borg with similar childish storylines and short-sighted logic.
How else can it be said, really? Some of the writers are utterly Q-less.
- Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 12:14pm (USA Central)
The Way to Eden
Couldn't agree more, this episode was pure stupidity. The writers and producers must have just finished a pot-smoking session when they dreamed up this mess. Bad, bad, and more bad.
- Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 12:05pm (USA Central)
The Enterprise Incident
I hear ya, Jammer, and the only thing I can think of is that this episode, given the special effects, just wasn't ready yet. Given that, the producers should have aired a rerun the first week! But agreed, this episode was excellent.
- Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 11:43am (USA Central)
This is probably one of those episodes that seemed good on paper to the producers (although I can't imagine why), but ended up oh so bad on the screen. I mean, to open your 3rd season, which the fans fought for, with this terrible story is an embarrassment to the franchise. As for the excuse they were on a tight budget, bull! Look at the STNG episode "The Measure of a Man". That was probably super cheap to produce, but it's one of the best episodes across all of Star Trek. You don't need aliens, phasers, ships blowing up, and worm holes to tell a good story.
- Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 11:28am (USA Central)
Totally agree, this is easily a top 10 episode from the original series. I've read reviews on other sites that didn't like this episode because of the "cheesy" special effects, but those are people in my opinion who just don't get Star Trek. Watch the episode in remastered version, and it's even better because the better special effects serve what is already a great story. Loved this one!
- Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 5:15am (USA Central)
"There were so few Tuvok/Seven scenes that I would say this was a theory (albeit a rational one) more than an actual fact supported by evidence."
I recall one scene involving Seven of Nine & Tuvok.
the two-part episode Year of Hell. They showed more chemistry and spark in that one scene than anyone in this entire episode.
- Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 2:06am (USA Central)
@SlackerInc: Funny you mention that; one of the little girls was Bill Shatner's daughter.
See Memory Alpha, "On the Set":
- Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 2:02am (USA Central)
The Q and the Grey
@DLPB: Completely agree with you there. VOY ruined the Q so badly that their emasculation of the Borg looks like substantial character development by comparison. (lone exception being "Death Wish", the last great Q episode)
- Thu, Mar 26, 2015, 11:28pm (USA Central)
'...put the shoe on the right foot first, but put the left foot first into the bathtub.'
That line and Kira's reaction to it always kills me. :)
- Thu, Mar 26, 2015, 10:13pm (USA Central)
Del_Duio, Actually, that would have been a hell of a way to write Keiko and Molly out of the show altogether.
- Thu, Mar 26, 2015, 10:10pm (USA Central)
The Most Toys
I'm pretty sure Lore would have had that display room in smoking ruins inside about 10 seconds.
- Thu, Mar 26, 2015, 10:09pm (USA Central)
Vii, the only reason I said "good guys" is to differentiate between "Dominion)." You are so right they were a bunch of self-deluded, megalomaniac Starfleet cadets who bit off more than they could chew. It also struck me as being odd that Watters was offended with Jake at talking to Dorian about home. Jake had no way of knowing that this was a forbidden topic. I am sure this is where the flags came up. (in Jakes mind). Nog made me sick in this episode, when he saw "Red Squad" he put on his blinders and didn't take them off until everyone was being killed.
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