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Petetong - Sat, Nov 28, 2015, 12:02am (USA Central)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Thank you Lord Garth for your feedback. I didn't mean to suggest that society wasn't multicultural in the 1980s, just that it is even more so now. I also didn't mean to suggest that the alien races on Star Trek were stand-ins for non-white Americans, but rather non-white, non-Americans.

Maybe it's wrong of me to want Star Trek to evolve to meet my current needs. Perhaps I have just outgrown Star Trek. I'm not interested in watching a show about 7 senior members of a star ship with a hundred extras in the background, interacting with 2-3 guest stars of the week from a mixed bag of talent, shot on a sound stage of maybe 3 or 4 sets. I'm definitely not interested in stories where the transporters cause two crew members to switch bodies, or the holodeck takes over the ship, or DNA does something wacky, or the crew travels back in time to 2016 Minneapolis (with LA as a stand-in), or an 8th dimensional develops a parasitic relationship with the warp core...
JC - Fri, Nov 27, 2015, 10:03pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: The Voyager Conspiracy

This ep was completely displaced. Firstly I tend to agree with others that in spite of Seven's rapid-fire delivery of facts she is trying to arrange in some kind of order in her now disorganized mind the suggestion that a conspiracy at this point was even remotely plausible required a bit too much suspension of disbelief on the part of the viewer. I keep forgetting about the tricobalt missles that were used to destroy the caretaker's array in the pilot. Not that it matters since they were never mentioned again except in this. And forgotten again soon afterwards.

Now this would have been perfect in say, Season 1. It would have made for a better episode than Learning Curve. It was in any event, surprisingly. Which was about the only episode that even dealt with the displaced and disgruntled Maquis. I was rather nonplussed with that episode despite Tim Russ' kickass portrayal of Tuvok as always. The ending felt too simple and the premise was meh.

Anyways regarding this ep the way the story laid out was doable. And it would have fit in perfectly with the tension of the Maquis/Starfleet crew...in S1. The 6th season is way too late for any kind of talk about conspiracies on that miniscule ship. That's what made it so implausible.

Now with that being said I won't lie. I loved the scene w/ Janeway and chuckles going to Seven's alcove to determine the source of those power fluctuations. You could slice the tension in that room with a butter knife. Even the way it ended was solid entertainment to me. Couldn't stop smiling thru the whole scene. Now if this level of acting was the norm rather than the exception at this point in the series I could see the viewers begging for at least 1 more season. I might have even written a letter or two to the execs myself. "Have a heart guys, leave em stranded just one more season, please!"

Still, one great scene doesn't make up for its shortcomings. The greatest being it's 5 seasons too late for talk about conspiracies. The Maquis conflict was a thing of the past just before DS9's cancellation and at this point Voyager was the only ST show in town. Not to mention the crew was working side-by-side with each other during the whole conflict to begin with. I'm guessing it was riding on the coattails of the X-files which was a network superpower around this time. Regardless, I don't think I could have given this one more than 1.5 stars.
navamske - Fri, Nov 27, 2015, 6:42pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Friendship One

"Once upon a time, Captain James Kirk gave a famous and rousing (if hammy and portentous) speech where he exclaimed, 'Risk is our business'."

"Riiiiiiiisk is our business!"

Diamond Dave - Fri, Nov 27, 2015, 1:42pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Prophet Motive

An archetypal piece of lightweight fluff. Nothing wrong with that per se, and there are some nice moments (particularly Rom's parting revelation), but overall it falls very much into the "so what?" category.

The B-story you have to wonder about - Bashir tells everyone he doesn't expect to win an award that he doesn't win but secretly wanted to. Hmmm. 2 stars.
45 RPM - Fri, Nov 27, 2015, 10:44am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S2: Lifesigns

A story with a simmering subplot, tho at the time we had no clue where it was going. Next episode deals with that.

As for the main story I didn't realize just how awesome an actress Susan Diol is. The chemistry between she and the Doctor was natural, unrushed and flowed perfectly. And the good doc still had time for quips (both intended and unintended).

I had seen her before, but prior to this ep I didn't make the connection. Admittedly I wouldn't until I googled her.

Not sure if anyone would know this but she was in two particular episodes of Quantum Leap. She was Rear Admiral "Al" Calavicci's first wife, Beth. There was in fact an episode that dealt (indirectly) with that. I remembered it because I thought she was adorable then, too. (well, that and after he returned from Vietnam he would be plagued by failed marriages and alimony, bit of a running gag on the series. But it was clear Beth remained the only one he loved unconditionally). And the final leap for Dr Beckett was in fact, to her to give her some good news. Nice touch to give at least Al a happy ending if not Sam.

And she was in one TNG episode briefly. Anyone care to take a guess which one? I'll let you good folks know later if you don't already know...

Which brings us to this awesome ep. Whod've thunk that she would be as charming as she was? I might have to watch other films/shows she's done. She has screen presence no doubt. It's subtle but its there. She seemed to establish a rapport with practically everyone. Too bad she didn't become a regular on the show. It would have been a perfect addition to what Jennifer Lien was as Kes. This is what I miss about the earlier seasons.
They flowed more organically and not so by the numbers as the last few seasons would become far too often.

Maybe this was another changing of the guard. Later seasons felt as if the writers' attention spans began to narrow in pursuit of multitasking and cramming too much into an ep. And here we are, some 20 years later. Multitasking has become par for the course in life. Doesn't seem like life is getting any better for most of us. Is it any surprise the earlier seasons stand the test of time better than the later seasons? (Ok, S4's Witness is classic trek in any ST mythos, let alone any season. I liked it more than even S5's Timeless.)

Sometimes it's just better to let things flow naturally instead of rushing it. I know we all have a limited amount of time on this earth but cutting corners just to get a product out doesn't make for a quality product.

This ep was near perfect because it didn't rush itself. Indeed it paced itself quite well. Yet at the same time those 45 minutes went by wayyyyyy too fast for me! That's how immersed I was in this ep.

It kind of felt as it could have been some kind of romantic comedy with just the right touch of drama. Which is a testament to the acting chops of both Picardo and the lovely Ms. Diol.

It also showed that the Vidiians were capable of humanity and great acts of kindness. And yet their condition had forced them to take draconian measures just to survive. We've seen them at their best-and worst. Deadlock clearly juxtaposes what we see here.

I almost forgot about S5's Think Tank, which I have not watched yet. I think it was mentioned a cure was found for the phage in that ep. Nice, but we already knew Klingon DNA was resistant to the phage. It would have been better to actually show an ep showing the steps it took to create a cure rather than just write it off. It would have been even more awesome to have seen it involve B'elanna one more time too.

Another reason I can't understand why she hated her Klingon side so much. It clearly gave her advantages a normal human would not have. Like oh, say, immunity to a disease that has killed millions of a race for how long? 2 centuries? Can't remember the exact timeframe. I just hate the way they make her sidestep that fact in that scene with Dinara. She is literally a cure for the phage but they never pursued her again? Talk about missed opportunity. In S6's Fury all they needed was to kidnap B'elanna and BAM! instant cure. And at this point in time they must have known about her Klingon DNA being the cure since it was discovered back in S1. Shame on you writers...

I know Klingons don't honor being a lab rat per se but a savior is a savior. How in the world did they develop any kind of technology given their mindsets, let alone space travel? Voyager's writers treated them like intellectually challenged primitives who barely discovered fire. Which is practically a slap in the face to the pains TNG took to show them to be more than that. Much more.

In the midst of all this Dinara remained strong and resolute without losing any of her easy charm. She even seemed to allay B'elanna's fears and suspicions with her calm but reassuring demeanor. It never once felt forced.

The writers should have had her be the one to create the cure for the phage rather than the lip service we got in Think Tank. By then the show was too rough around the edges. Her appearance would have been much appreciated.

The rating jammer gave it speaks for itself. Why, we even got to see Seska ever so briefly. Icing on the cake! It ended just as it was beginning. A heartfelt episode with a developing sinister subplot.
SlackerInc - Fri, Nov 27, 2015, 1:52am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Real Life

I emphatically cosign the last two comments. What the people who hate this are looking for, I don't know. I would be curious to know what they would submit as an example of a very strong episode.

As a side note, it was genius to have the rebellious son hanging out with Klingons and trying to emulate them. Kind of like a white suburban teen who identifies with inner-city black culture.
Dan - Fri, Nov 27, 2015, 1:02am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Nic, I'm with you: when the story hinges on trusting someone, it should be Troi front and center in the episode. Instead, she only gets like one line. That says a lot, unfortunately, about how they value her character. (I don't think it's impossible to write stories about possible liars with Troi heavily involved -- there are limits to what she can do. But she should have a lot to say, even on a deeper thematic level, about trust.)

Two other minor things that bug me:
- If ever there's a time to separate the saucer section and leave behind hundreds of unnecessary passengers, it's when you enter the Neutral Zone.
- The dialogue should at least acknowledge that the Romulans have violated the Neutral Zone too, right? It is presented as if the Enterprise going into the Neutral Zone is as serious a violation as the Romulans' encroachment on *Federation Space* in "The Enemy".
Lord Garth - Fri, Nov 27, 2015, 12:34am (USA Central)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

I'm cautiously optimistic about the new series. Here are my reasons:

I'm not familiar with Alex Kurtzman's TV work but this *is* a TV series, so it doesn't have a film budget which means they can't afford to have nothing but constant "BLAM! BLAM! POW! POW!" Even if they tried, it wouldn't look as good as in the movies. They have to do something else.

If it's written the way most modern series are now, and it's available for streaming, there's going to be a continuing story line and the necessary character development and character arcs to go along with it. That's what made DS9 so interesting to follow.

Blockbuster Movies have to play it safe and conservative to make the most profit. With TV, you can get away with taking more time to explore relevant issues in-depth like Star Trek at its best did. The ONLY time important social issues were addressed in any of the films was TUC with the end of the Cold War. TVH to a lesser extent with "Hunting a species to extinction is wrong!" but TUC was harder hitting.

The movies can be big, dumb fun. I don't care. As long as the TV series has more substance. It was the same way in the '90s. The TNG movies were already heading in the direction the JJ Abrams films have gone. I like to say the best TNG movie technically wasn't a movie, it was "The Best of Both Worlds".
Gin - Fri, Nov 27, 2015, 12:27am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Warlord

Skeptical I agree about him not wanting to switch bodies. It sure was causing him headaches trying to fight Kes off but the reward was like you said the ability to kill people with his mind. For some reason I was reminded of that 1984 movie Firestarter with a very young Drew Barrymore. More specifically her old man who had the ability to influence others too, only for him to deal with heaps of nosebleeds afterwards.

As far as the Kes/Neelix relationship, I felt Neelix became a good deal more annoying to watch after Kes' departure, to be honest. I'm not sure if he was meant to be comic relief or what but even so I'd say the Doctor already had a lock on that. The drama bit I'd say B'elanna already took first place with that. Maybe Paris too. Nothing against Ethan Phillips directly, I just thought Neelix was not one of his better roles.

Speaking of locks I was just about to give can't-get-a-lock kim the benefit of the doubt at the beginning of the ep...till a few moments later when he defaulted. Oops-yer-gone cuz I couldn't get a lock.

I liked seeing this side of Jennifer Lien. She could certainly act it up when she wanted to. Kinda wished Roxann had done that more often too (she looked dern good in that blue bikini btw :)). The only time we got to see that side of her was when she was literally split into her Klingon/human halves.

Anyways Kes still showed more acting range than chuckles and kim. Even if you were nonplussed by her hamming it up I can't say I was bored watching the ep. The old mind swap concept is hardly new, but then again neither is time travel. Variations on a theme is the closest thing to originality we'll ever get, especially nowadays.

So I can't say I've seen it done quite this way before. And to that end it held my attention.

Who says resistance is futile? (Well, aside from the Borg, whom Voyager all but neutered by the end of the show's run) Kes was fighting back against Tieran throughout his possession of her. She continuously showed deeper conviction than the writers ever gave her. It never once came off as inauthentic. I know some reviewers here would say otherwise but I must admit I was thoroughly impressed. Can you imagine what she would have been like in S4's 'Witness'? This ep gave us a minor taste of an "Evil Kes" if you will.

Oh, and don't get me started on what that ep would have done if Seska stayed a part of the crew. Damn, wish I could go back in time to rewrite history myself to have the best of all worlds just to see them in action in that ep. Yep, I'd keep Jeri Ryan. How could you not? But I would also have kept Ms Lien and most def Ms. Hackett as well. I agree the ep was easily 4 stars as it stands. Just saying with the other two ladies in it the ep probably would have been THE episode of the series!

Back to this ep. Creeped out by her affair w/ Neelix? Didn't give it a thought to be honest. Everybody needs somebody, why discriminate based on age? They are both adults and like Kes said in Darkling she can spend her time with whomever she chooses. As long as they are happy together (and not faking the chemistry just to secure a paycheck and ratings) I don't really mind. Nasty way to breakup, tho.

Her advances toward Tieran's wife was something different. I get he possessed her. But something about that scene and seeing her slink around in black leather...lol. Tres kinky.

Still, since Jennifer rarely got to extend her acting chops I didn't mind the leather prancing just to see if she could hold her own. I'm guessing the writers didn't mind, either.

She couldn't go back to the way things were, even before her departure. That's why I rate it ever so slightly higher. It would have forced the writers to show a maturing young lady. In that sense it raises it slightly above the standard alien of the week fare.

2.5 to a low 3 is what I'd rate it.
Lord Garth - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 11:06pm (USA Central)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Responding to some of Petetong's points.

"Transporters - clearly a gimmick to avoid costly special effect sequences with shuttles. The technology makes no sense and it looks cheesy."

Interesting because the Delft University of Technology is actually researching how to make teleportation possible.

"Society is also a lot more multicultural now than it was in the 1980s. Using aliens as stand-ins for non-white humans / non-American humans is offensive."

What's offensive to me is that you think society wasn't just as multi-cultural in the 1980s. As a half-Iranian who's not religious, isn't straight, and who was a kid back then, I was fully aware that our society was not largely homogenous.

Though, I will agree with you -- to an extent -- that having other cultures stand-in for non-white Americans can be offensive, it can work if the stand-ins are not intended to be derogatory and if the point of view for why they think the way they do is explained.

I also think that the Federation, at least in TNG, has more in common with the European Union than the United States. When Star Trek returns on TV, what I hope is that if the Federation is a stand-in for America, it's not a stand-in for Red America, like ENT Season 3 was. That was a _major_ turn-off.

The Red State / Blue State Divide we now have would actually make for a great episode. Not for the Federation but, if the Enterprise, or whatever the ship it is, runs into a planet like this. That would be Star Trek commenting on our society as it currently is. Using another planet to make indirect commentary.

"Ship design - the saucer, two nacelle, bridge on the top is boring. That design was dreamed up in the 1960s and has been played with over time but I think in 2015 we can come up with a more interesting and realistic design for a ship."

It has to be recognizable as Star Trek or the audience will think its something else.

Also, how are ships, shuttles, or craft designs in general that different between the 1960s and 2010s? And how does the concept a design being from 50 years ago mean that it shouldn't be the design for a ship in the future? I know of no ships in 1966 that looked like the Enterprise. I know of no ships in 1987 that looked like the Enterprise-D.

When it was designed doesn't have to have anything to do with how much it's tied to that time. If I didn't know, I could probably tell the original Enterprise was designed in the '60s. But, I wouldn't be able to pin down the refit Enterprise to 1979 or the Enterprise-D to 1987. Those designs are timeless. The Enterprise-E not so much. I liked in 1996 but the more time passes, the less I do. Some of those designs have stood the test of time, others haven't as much.
BigDTBone - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 4:39pm (USA Central)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

I agree with the idea of sprawling, cohesive, story arcs. And I agree 10 meta-plot episodes a season is a good number. But I would still like 26 episodes a season because it allows for the very trek-important stand out episodes, character study episodes, political parallel episodes, and playful episodes. Without those in the mix it won't feel like a trek series. Also, having those episodes in the mix preserves rewatchability of the series which is a huge part of trek also.
Diamond Dave - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 3:58pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Destiny

One of those episodes that has its cake and eats it in the discussion of the ancient prophecy. But nevertheless it does neatly skewer Sisko's avoidance of the Emissary question when Odo asks points out his agenda. And while Kira might believe the prophecy because of her faith, she also provides a cogent scientific reason that the Prophets/wormhole aliens might have foreseen events given they exist outside of time and communicated that. But at the end it was all a misunderstanding, and actually it wasn't a prophecy of doom but one of glad tidings and just as well we got all that sorted out for the good then. Seems like a bit of a cop out.

It was also good to see some interplay with Cardassians who are not military dictators, just for a change. 3 stars.
William B - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 3:10pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Shattered Mirror

Yeah, Sisko does indeed adjust pretty easily to Smiley and Jennifer kidnapping Jake to get his attention. Of course, part of that is because Jake is completely unaware he was kidnapped...right? Because Jake went willingly and is unaware there is a problem? Which, uh...Sisko initially believed that Jake would not leave the universe without letting him know first, but that seems to have been false. Of course, for Jake to leave without telling Sisko he's universe-hopping strains credibility, but I guess we are to assume that Jennifer bowled him over and he went anyway. Regardless, whether Jake went willingly or not, the intent was there to kidnap him to get to Sisko, and the implicit threat that they will not return Jake until Sisko has helped them, and that Jake will die on the station if Sisko does not help them defend it. That is pretty beyond the pale; for Sisko to agree to this hostage situation is one thing, but for him to stay and command the Defiant again because he just can't help loving this plucky band is another.

The big emotional core of this episode is Jake and how the Mirror Universe taps into his nostalgia and grief. The episode opens with Jake missing Nog, only for have an even more importnt person who is even more permanently gone from his life reenter it through the mirorr. I like how his eventual encounter with Mirror Nog is unpleasant and Mirror-Nog is absolutely insistent on breaking any of Jake's sentimental desire to recreate his friendship with the real Nog with this guy. Depending on one's perspective, this could either establish the way in which Jake's close bond with Jennifer really is a Real Thing, since it is not automatically true that Jake will get along with mirror versions of his loved ones; or it could be the commentary on what the truth of Jake and Jennifer is, under it all, and Jake is able to see clearly how Mirror-Nog is *not* Nog because Mirror-Nog, unlike (Mirror) Jennifer, has no interest in deceiving him. The parallel between M-Nog and M-Jennifer is strengthened by having these be the (only) two people gunned down by the Intendant in this episode, as if the Intendant were intent on, ahem, shattering Jake's illusions, whether they are idealized or not. It's something of a statement against the MU as a place for wish fulfillment, which plays in with Jake's material in "The Visitor" (as methane pointed out) where Jake destroys himself to restore his father, as well as commenting on Sisko's fantasy role-playing his dead wife as alive again in "Through the Looking Glass." The death of Nog is mostly a comic beat, playing off Quark and Rom's deaths in the last two MU eps (I'm surprised Ishka or Gaila weren't offed next to ensure that the one-Quark-family-member-dies-per-episode pattern remained), but Jennifer's death is played out as tragedy. To some degree, it feels like inevitable quasi-punishment for the Siskos for wanting to play house with her; their wanting to slot Jennifer in to where our universe's Jennifer had been, and MU Jennifer wanting to slip into another convenient identity, leads directly to the encounter with the Intendant and her recognition that Jennifer's death can be a message to Sisko, though what that message is who can say. ("I'm evil," presumably.)

The episode feels a little more honest than "Through the Looking Glass," then, in suggesting that there are negative consequences to this kind of role playing. In both episodes Sisko plays pirate and gets to cozy up to a woman who looks just like his ex-wife, and here Sisko goes as far as to command the Defiant on a probably suicidal mission because, um, well, I guess he likes their cause, but I can't help but feel that Sisko could only possibly think he should risk his life for this MU Terran cause without even bothering to tell his son (who is right there) if on some level he accepts the MU is some sort of wacky fantasy land, as if Sisko actually has the metaknowledge that of course nothing bad is going to happen to him over there. That does hurt the tension in the episode and also hits the internal integrity of the story, when we know that Sisko is probably not actually behaving like he gets that this is ostensibly real, just in another universe. But the turnaround that Jennifer dies to teach Sisko (and Jake) a lesson somehow earns the episode's previous bloodlessness. The further you delve into fantasy, the worse the consequences emotionally; even if Sisko and Jake come away undamaged physically, they are hurt to the degree that they had invested in that world. The payback Sisko gets for punching Bashir and sleeping with Dax on his last visit is effective as foreshadowing of the final result (though Sisko's weird statement to Dax is pretty inappropriate; he should have been apologetic, or at least said that he had no choice as Smiley had kidnapped him).

As far as the episode's overall value, I agree with Easter's point that it's particularly ridiculous that the Terrans have taken over Terok Nor which is *still orbiting Alliance world Bajor* and holding it for who knows what reason; it is an illogical base, because the main strategic advantage to the station in the main universe is its proximity to the wormhole, and before that its main value was either in helping rebuild Bajor or in ore processing, neither of which are going on. The episode is a bit tedious, and the Jake-Jennifer stuff is sappy in practice even if there are some interesting things about the idea. What I do enjoy in this episode are the energetic performances on the Klingon ship, with a particularly great chemistry between Robinson and Dorn (the first Worf-Garak material is in the MU, huh?) and with a pretty good handling of The Intendant Mark 3. While the complex character from "Crossover" is basically gone, Visitor hits a better mixture of camp with seductiveness with glee to make the Intendant amusing while in her cage and believably dangerous when out. So overall I am not sold on this episode, but I like it better than "Through the Looking Glass," which makes it (to me) the only exception to the monotonic decrease in quality in MU stories from "Mirror, Mirror" through "The Emperor's New Cloak." 2.5 stars.
Patrick D - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 2:44pm (USA Central)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Get rid of the transporters? They're one of the most iconic things about Star Trek? And why does Star Trek have to be like EVERYTHING else? Can it eschew the mainstream ethos of hate/revenge/violence and be its own thing?

Star Trek was a special phenomenon that appealed to a broad base of people. (I actually said "was"--thanks for ruining the magic, J.J.)
Diamond Dave - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 1:08pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Heart of Stone

The basic A-story seemed almost like a TOS idea - trapped in an expanding crystal! - but clearly in retrospect it is just a contrivance to get the Odo/Kira story moving. For me it doesn't really work, even without the surprise twist at the end (which was a decent one), and especially with the reset button push.

The Nog story line works far better, and has a minor character ever played a scene better than when he finally reveals to Sisko why he wants to join Starfleet? Marvelous stuff. When Rom stands up to Quark at the end it puts the cap on a nicely played story that trumps the A-story. 2.5 stars.
Kiamau - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 10:06am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S2: Bread and Circuses

"They threw me a few curves" - brilliant.
Petetong - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 9:50am (USA Central)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

I'd like to see an even bigger reboot of the franchise than what the movies have offered. As much as I love TNG and DS9 and the TOS movies, there are some fundamental things about the Star Trek universe that just don't cut it anymore:
1. Transporters - clearly a gimmick to avoid costly special effect sequences with shuttles. The technology makes no sense and it looks cheesy.
2. Humanoid Aliens with forehead ridges - doesn't need explained. Society is also a lot more multicultural now than it was in the 1980s. Using aliens as stand-ins for non-white humans / non-American humans is offensive.
3. The cave interior on a sound stage - we're not idiots, we know it's the same set redressed over and over again. Pretty much every good drama on TV does substantial location shooting; Star Trek must as well. And when they go on location, a campground, park or quarry outside of LA is not going to cut it either.
4. Ship design - the saucer, two nacelle, bridge on the top is boring. That design was dreamed up in the 1960s and has been played with over time but I think in 2015 we can come up with a more interesting and realistic design for a ship.
5. I think the success of Game of Thrones should inspire the new Star Trek series to do 10 episodes/season (not 26), to have multiple characters/story threads spread across a universe (the show doesn't need to be fixated on the 7 most senior members of crew on one ship), and to kill of main characters All.The.Time.
Diamond Dave - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 7:41am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Life Support

Everything in this episode seems just a little overblown to me. Bareil's self sacrifice, Winn's machinations, Kira's desire to keep Bareil functioning, Bashir's devotion to his patient - it just seems like the volume has been turned up 20% above normal and it leaves the episode feeling a little overwrought.

The B-story is eminently forgettable and dovetails poorly with the more serious tone of the main story. 2 stars.
Mike - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 7:17am (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

I wasn't surprised that Brock Peters, a black actor, said the most overtly racist line. Trek directors love using that bit of irony. They did the same thing in Enterprise when they made black Terra Prime members who were as vile as Klansmen about Vulcans.

This is my favorite Trek movie but the script had way too much exposition in the dialogue. And forgive me but I'm really tired of how Trek ignores basic astrophysics. 1. If Rura Penthe is just an asteroid then it wouldn't have enough mass for Earth like gravity let alone an atmosphere. 2. How did the Excelsior feel the way shock of the explosion of Praxis from several light years away?

My problem with the plot was how they CONVENIENTLY find the two crewmen who wore the gravity boots right there dead in the hallway. Took them half the damn movie to find the boots and zero seconds to figure out who wore them because, hello, two dead bodies are right here where the dialogue needs them.

John - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 3:49am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Displaced

The reason Chakotay didn't arm the self destruct is because he can't. The computer only accepts Janeway's "Janeway Pie 110" code and voice authorization for auto-destruct. The computer wouldn't have recognized Chakotay's authority to do that. Only the captain can.
Andrew - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 1:03am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Acquisition

And Archer complaining of T'Pol was also sort of OK but T'Pol, Archer and Trip were also generally bad.
Andrew - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 12:54am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Acquisition

One of the worst episodes ever and I often like the Ferengi; they were just so stupid here, especially Krem who never got around to actually being sympathetic. The only sort of OK part was Archer and Trip pretending to fight.
William B - Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 12:00am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Hard Time

As ever I find episodes I really like to be intimidating, so I'll keep this short for now. This is my favourite of the season.
William B - Wed, Nov 25, 2015, 11:57pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement

So, I agree that Worf should not have fired on the decloaking ship without verifying that it was an enemy vessel. As improbable as it seems for a civilian ship to decloak in the middle of a battle, Sisko's statement that Starfleet prioritizes civilian lives above their own ships' security and (especially) that this was an area known to be used by civilians. That said, the situation is so contrived that I cannot quite understand how the court case went on as long as it did. Yes, Worf acted inappropriately, to some degree, according to Starfleet protocol, but it was such an obvious accident and an obvious mistake to make, and, more to the point, it is impossible to understand how the Klingon rules of engagement would view firing on a decloaking ship in the middle of an ongoing battle as a beyond-the-pale act of murder instead of an accident. In fact, it seems pretty possible that Klingon rules of engagement don't have anything against firing on civilians accidentally, because Ch'Pok cannot seem to keep straight from one minute to the next whether it's a good thing or a bad thing to fire on civilians in battle. In order to corner Worf, Ch'Pok bounces back and forth between "any Klingon would have fired on that ship with intent to kill" and "you are the ultimate un-Klingon coward for firing on those civilians," with endless variations designed to vex Worf until Worf finally loses his cool, which proves that he totally fired on those civilians because he lost his cool, I guess, which shows he should be extradited because his heart is Klingon, and only the Klingons can prosecute a person whose heart is Klingon, and by extraditing Worf for being a Klingon in his heart the Klingon Empire will embarrass the Federation for having such cowardly officers that act like Klingons, which, uh, wait, let me start over. Ch'Pok's irrational baiting could maybe play in lower court circuit, but surely a Vulcan admiral JAG would be able to recognize that none of what he is saying holds together. When Kurn put Worf through his paces, basically snarling at Worf about how Worf's actions have ruined his life and then attacking him for Worf's weakness in criticizing him, this made sense because Kurn was angry, broken, and also ambivalent about what Worf had done and how he should respond. Ch'Pok is attempting some sort of legal trickery which really does not work. I don't know what extradition between the Federation and the Klingons look like -- actually probably at the moment there *is* no formal extradition -- but it seems to me that whether or not a person is Klingon by birth doesn't matter, especially since Worf's Klingon citizenship has presumably been revoked; Kirk and Bones were extradited in STVI not because they were Klingon, but because they committed a crime against the Klingons, whereas Ch'Pok really does seem to be arguing that Worf's actions are only a crime if he is Klingon (which he is, unless he's not enough of a Klingon and then...).

Anyway, the episode's dubious legal hoops are largely there to examine what motivates Worf at this stage in the game, and how much he is truly a Klingon, and what that means now that Klingons are once again something like adversaries (or, neither allies nor adversaries but maybe both, as Ch'Pok suggests). The episode-long question of whether Worf behaved wrong on the bridge does basically come down to his intent, and his intent is a mixture of several factors, including Klingon blood-lust, his desire to prove himself to his people, his desire for revenge, and his relative inexperience in command. As with "Dax," the episode zags in court and avoids answering the "question" of the episode, but "Dax" had a somewhat better-posed and less answerable question ("is a Trill responsible for the actions of their symbiont's previous hosts?") and the twist that let Dax off the hook on the stand also said something about her (and Curzon's) character. The question that the court case sort of poses is something like, "Is Worf's heart Klingon, but, like, Klingon in a bad way, I mean, or not Klingon enough but overcompensating Klingon," so that the irresolution in court is not quite as satisfying. Really, there's no reason Worf couldn't have accidentally killed some civilians in battle, in a way where he was genuinely not criminally responsible but still made what ends up being a bad command decision -- there are all kinds of military mistakes that are the result of bad judgment but are not reprimandable offenses. And until the twist, this episode did seem to be portraying a case where Worf was in a situation he was not entirely prepared for and made some decisions that maybe were just a fraction off, leading to lots of deaths, because, you know, *command*, in which charges should probably have been dismissed no matter whether Worf said he was hoping he'd go into battle at Quark's the day before or not. That the Klingons actually faked the -- it's too stupid, I'm not even going to say it -- feels like a cheat and even an unnecessary one.

The last scene between Sisko and Worf is pretty good though, and in particular because Sisko does seem to get through what the episode has really been suggesting: Worf made several errors in judgment, none of which were deserving of major charges or for him to be extradited, but all of which could potentially have resulted in loss of life which would have been catastrophic and would have been on Worf's conscience. That Worf could lose his cool in court and play Ch'Pok's dumb game, that Worf was excited at the prospect of battle and even shared that publicly, and that Worf did not check the ship before firing are signs that the transition from tactical, where his battle-readiness was appropriate and was also kept in check by Picard/Riker/Data, to command. But he is learning. That Worf's loneliness and resentment are coming out in his command decisions -- that he may have been taking out his anger over his loss of status and loss of his brother on the ships he was fighting -- is an interesting wrinkle for the character, and I do not think it is particularly damning at all given that it seems to me that other than not checking the decloaking ship -- i.e. his not considering the pretty remote possibility that a civilian ship would decloak in the middle of a battle -- his behaviour in battle was entirely appropriate.

The episode is pretty dull, really, and very by-the-numbers as a court case. The theatrical talking-in-flashbacks device is neat, though is not enough to save the episode. There is some good current-state material for Worf, but not really enough to sustain this episode. 1.5 stars.
William B - Wed, Nov 25, 2015, 11:19pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

Summary: Jammer is right when he says the first four acts are much better than the last. The first four could have been a part of a great story, if the story were allowed to continue on. And even if the episode's material were largely dropped, the Sisko character development could go very interesting places...if the full implications of the Wormhole Aliens putting him through his paces to make him toe the line were examined. The series never quite points out how screwed up the way the Prophets treat Sisko and Bajor as a whole is.
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