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Dakota2063 - Sat, Aug 30, 2014, 4:00am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

My only problem with this episode is the device itself. Every one seems content to keep calling it a cloak, but it isn't, it's a phasing device with the added benefit of being unable to be detected. I think this is a massive distinction. By the logic that it makes you undetectable, one could argue that the slip stream network the borg uses is a cloaking device, or if the federation ever found a way to travel through sub space instead of folding regular space, and since you can not be detected while in it, you are effectively cloaked and able to go about anywhere undetected.

it comes down to what is and what isn't a cloaking device. And we are never given a satisfactory answer to that.

Then you have to consider that cloaks are not necessary to to remain undetected. I know that cloaks look like they bend light around the vessel, thus creating the illusion of invisibility, I'm going to give the cloak the benefit of the doubt that it's also redirecting other sensors, as visuals are not really important in space when looking for visual signs of another ship tens to hundreds of KM away is impractical at best. But it's not hard to imagine the federation relying on the concepts of stealth and ECM to blind and confuse an enemy vessel. I wouldn't call those cloaks. Jam sensors, painting the ship with a more stealth space camouflage, active and passive sensor interference techniques, all things that could be done before the treaty was signed.

Then you have to wonder, what about holo projectors on a ship, disguising it as something else, while scrambling with sensors to give off false readings. Would that be considered a cloak?
And why have we only ever seen one type of cloaking of stealth device, when there are far more ways to accomplish the task.

And why was the federation not allowed cloaks, but the Romulans had no problems giving cloaking technology to the Klingons, who had far more conflicts with the Romulans then the federation ever did.

And how are cloaks effective. The best way to detect any vessel is to scan for a thermal shift in the background. No matter what you do, you can not stop being hotter then space, and the is not something that is very easily countered, either, because you have to actively scramble your enemies devices that can detect thermal energy. Not to mention, looking for impressions in the gravitational field generated by the masses of these vessels.

loved the episode, but it did leave me wondering why the federation couldn't have the phase "cloak" as it's does not work on the same principle of standard cloaking devices, and has whole new applications. What if the Phase device didn't fully cloak the vessel, could it be used then?

Of course, Picard revealing the existence of a working phase cloak might also have massive ramifications in the capabilities of Romulan war ships. Might explain why my Romulan ships now have phase cloaks in Star Trek Online.
Taylor - Sat, Aug 30, 2014, 3:10am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

Putting the typically unlikely whirlwind romance aside, my problem with this episode is the alleged fragility of the society. We're continually reminded everyone is wired to perfection, yet if a couple dozen people leave, everything is supposed to collapse? It doesn't make any sense. (And hello, this is Trek. Anyone remember Khan and The Space Seed? Genetic engineering led to supermen.)

Funny story: We were just watching this and my wife said what about the Prime Directive? And I said I don't think it applies to humans, which my wife disputed. And then Riker and Picard had a very similar conversation moments later.
Sean - Sat, Aug 30, 2014, 1:35am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

"You are trying to bolster your argument because of popular consensus ("everyone hates..."). Rights are not determined by majority opinion, but on judicial interpretation of principles."

No I'm really not. You're focusing on the one little part of the sentence, the "everyone hates" part and ignoring the actual point that I've been trying to make. The "everyone hates" part is an acknowledgement that most of the comments in this thread and about this episode in general around the internet that I've seen are against this particular episode. It's not an attempt to bolster the argument with peer pressure. As I just said, peer pressure is not a reason to adopt an argument.

"That's an interesting question. I don't have an answer for you, but the point is in fact that assuming the purpose of laws, etc. is ultimately the preservation of life is, well, an assumption. What do you base this assumption on?"

It is the purpose of law. At least our own law, now in the 21st century. And what little of the law we see in the Federation.

Basing morality on the preservation of life is the ultimate assumption you can make. That is, whatever you base your morality on, that is where the argument stops. Because there is nothing higher to appeal to, morality being something that we ourselves have made up for ourselves. And as we made it up for ourselves, we tend to value living as the base for morality.

"The Federation (and as Yanks pointed out, it does not yet exist in this timeline) believes in *seeking out* new life, not corrupting, destroying or tampering with it. The goal of Starfleet's exploration was to understand the Universe in which we live, not impose our sense of right and wrong upon it."

And that is a laudable goal. And yet they still, as I've said many times before, answer distress calls and cure diseases many times throughout Star Trek history. Because helping people who ask for help is not seen as tampering with life or imposing their own senes of right and wrong upon others. It is seen as the right thing to do.

I understand that the Federation doesn't exist yet in Enterprise, but we're talking about an episode that was supposed to be the forerunner to the Federation's prime directive. And yet the prime directive isn't used in the way this episode suggests.
Taylor - Sat, Aug 30, 2014, 12:09am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: Violations

Wow - Troi literally gets mind f-cked.

The somewhat sanitized treatment of disturbing subject matter reminded me of the Quinn Martin cop shows of the '70s - with the villain a typical creep.

Worth it to see Worf's bitch slap at the end - just an open palm straight into his face. Hilarious.
Vylora - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 11:26pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

This episode as a whole is a definite step up from the previous one, but not without some balancing issues. Notably the Janeway/Seven scenario. Janeway was very much correct in that the humane thing to do was to try and get the injured Undine back home. Seven was also very much correct that the lives of the crew were of paramount importance if the Hirogen were to attack.

Fortunately, the writers chose the lesser-expected route of having Seven countermand the captain in having the aliens involved beamed away mid-battle rather than opening the rift. Unfortunately, though, instead of making it a grey-area decision; the plot followed along in a black and white matter. Where Seven was 100% correct and made Janeway look 100% foolish to the viewer (even though, technically, she was just as right). Now I understand it was just a series of events, and that, decisions such as those can lead to any possibility based on any given situation in life. I just don't know if the end result was purposely intended this way by the writers or if they didn't fully think it through. At the end of the day, it really does make it look like Seven was absolutely right and Janeway was, not only absolutely wrong, but stubbornly naive. Even though she wasn't. *sigh*

This makes it all the more frustrating for me, because, in retrospect, it almost seems as a major demerit from an otherwise great episode. It does seem like the writers fucked up again. Or maybe they didn't. Maybe they really DID want Seven to win the argument and save the day. And maybe the captain WAS correct, just the circumstances didn't allow her to be.

3.5 stars.

Y'know Somebody - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 7:01pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

@Chris Harrison

"You might be forgiven for coming away from this episode thinking: maybe Nikolai is right, maybe this was the right decision, in this case no cultural damage was done and adherence to the Prime Directive would have needlessly sacrificed these people.

But the more you think about, the more unforeseen consequences there will be for these people over the next hundreds or thousands of years.

For example, evolution by natural selection may not be discovered because all their hominid fossils would have been left behind on the old planet. What would that do for their culture? It could be absolutely devastating in the long run. "

You're right! They should have let them be absolutely devastated in the short run instead.

We should probably have a law like that, too. Whenever something bad might happen to someone eventually, we just summarily execute them! We can spare them hurt feelings in the long run!
DLPB - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 5:19pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: Tribunal

Drug smuggling is a serious offence that blights hundreds and thousands of lives. You clearly have no idea.

Drug smuggling kills a lot of people and it creates serious organized crime. It also ruins families and lives.

So no. It isn't excessive. You obviously haven't been the victim of it, and don't know anyone who has. Wake up.
Grumpy - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 5:07pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Pardon me for being dismissive. I cannot diagnose true trolling without knowing a poster's motivation. Film Crit Hulk "never met nor read a critic who write a piece one way or other for sole purpose of just trying to get rise out of people," but we know Internet commenters might. I have no way of knowing if Mr. Jordan is pulling such a stunt, but after reading his points one by one, I decided I could safely dismiss them all. Not because his conclusion challenges the conventional wisdom (I agree ST2 is overrated, and I've nitpicked its flaws) but because his reasoning is so far out that a point-by-point rebuttal would waste my time. Especially if it's a prank.
Grumpy - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 4:47pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

Gary Mitchell, Charlie X, the Metrons, the Organians, the Melkots, the Excalbians. The Bajoran prophets.
dgalvan - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 4:40pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

Anyone have a list of omnipotent (or near-omnipotent) characters in Star Trek (writ large)? I'm almost finished watching all of Star Trek via netflix (started with DS9, then Voyager, Enterprise, TOS, TAS, and finally TNG).

-Q (TNG)
-Kevin Uxbridge (TNG)
-Nagilum (TNG)
-Trelane (TOS)
-Apollo (TOS)

who else?
Josh - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 4:21pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

I won't get hung up on star ratings, but as silly and non-sensical as this episode is, I've always enjoyed it. Of course, I was also younger than any of the "kids" in this episode when it first aired. Riker's technobabble dialogue never ceases to amuse and the "re-taking" of this ship in the face of laughably inept Ferengi is well staged and effected. Of course, that the ship was taken at all is problematic, but then this episode strikes me as "TNG for kids by kids" and on those terms it mostly works.

(And I'd rather watch it than boring duds like "Imaginary Friend", or much of the last (or first) season.)
Shaen - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 4:19pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

The main reason I didn't enjoy this one was because it seemed to be such an arbitrary story to try to develop Tom's character. As others have said, there have been plenty of instances in previous episodes where a crew member disobeyed orders and struck out on their own, yet each time it just led to a conversation between Janeway and Chakotay that included "What am I supposed to do, confine them to quarters? Throw them in the brig?". But somehow this time it was different. The Voyager writers had a lot of flaws, but the biggest one by far was their inconsistency.
Baron Samedi - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 3:28pm (USA Central)
Re: ANDR S2: Be All My Sins Remembered

wtf WAS that??!! My optimism about this show's potential has almost entirely faded at this point. Post Wolfe-Andromeda so far hasn't even been entertaining from a dumb action perspective. Tyr, once the show's strongest character, has been reduced to a wimp while Unstoppable Savior Dylan performs all the heroics. Bobby and Margot were awful characters. I howled with laughter when evil Bobby was revealed in his Dollar Store costume. If this (and the last two episodes) are representative of what's to come, then I can certainly understand why you stopped reviewing the show. What's sad is how much potential this show really had, and the regular supporting actors really do seem to be trying their best. The main cast was solid and the first half of Season 2 showed how the Andromeda could still be worth watching as an exciting action show with great character moments worked into the frey. This, by comparison, is an empty void in terms of character development and the long-term story (a potential interesting civil war being written off-screen in favor of a generic hostage scenario) in favor of bad acting, bad sets, bad costumes, bad dialogue, and cliched and terrible fight scenes. Hearing how much of a POS Kevin Sorbo is in real life (from his statements about atheists, Ferguson, etc) goes a long way towards explaining the collapse of this show following Wolfe's firing amidst his reign as exec producer. That all sounds a lot angrier than I actually feel - it's just a show, after all, and I more or less knew what to expect. But MAN, this is quite a sudden and drastic drop in quality, especially given all the potential this show really had going for it.
Baron Samedi - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 2:18pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

@Grumpy thanks for the link to the Hulk essay, it was an excellent read and quite relevant to the rant you were responding to.
Robert - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 1:13pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

As for Nemesis... since they finally decided to use the Romulans (TNG's Klingons basically)... they needed to make Nemesis into TNG's Undiscovered Country. Instead we get a random race that happens to live with the Romulans that we've never seen before, a human villain (that is a clone of Picard) and a cross between Lore and a Pakled? Sigh....

It's STILL more watchable (to me) than TMP or STV... but only barely.
Robert - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 1:08pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

@Elliott - TMP.... best ST film?!!

I will agree with you about TWoK though. It's scifi-lite wrapped into an action movie. But the truth is that after a brilliant sci-fi series you don't want a 2 hour sci-fi movie... what you want is for 2 more hours with characters you love, and the easiest way to do that is to make it a product the masses will like (so the franchise doesn't fall apart) to while still giving the fans their favorite characters.

I actually think that when you try to make something that is truly a sci-fi plot line into a 2 hour movie it ends up losing something (namely you spend so much time on the concept you don't end up with an amazing character piece). Since in the end what I really want is 2 hours with my characters, I actually don't think Generations is a fail. Data and Picard's storylines in that movie are actually pretty good. It probably wasn't "theatrical" enough to be a movie (if it was a 2 part episode in S7 people would have rated it 4 stars)... but I like it.

First Contact took TWoK approach, and that's why it is my favorite TNG movie. It really had nice pieces for almost every character and did nice things for the ST mythos in general (Vulcans at first contact, the new Enterprise, etc.) It wasn't awesome sci-fi, but it was good to the characters and the universe. That's probably why I think ST6 is my favorite.

As for Insurrection, it wasn't bad... but it probably would have worked better as a 2 part episode also.
Vylora - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 11:48am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Random Thoughts

Thanks, Yanks. :D

(couldn't help myself)
Elliott - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 11:42am (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

@Grumpy ;

I happen to think the majority of Steven's claims are overstated to the point of losing whatever original point he was trying to make, but that does not make him a troll. TWoK is a really great action movie with excellent characterisation and some very moving scenes, but he's not wrong in saying that it many ways fails to capture the spirit and tone of Star Trek. TWoK is a the perfect Star Trek movie for mass audiences, and that's why, I think, Mr Jordan finds the sci-fi elements of the film to be unsophisticated. And compared to the best Trek film, TMP, he's right!

Now, I can't get behind his claims about the acting, the themes, or character arcs--those were handled extremely well. I also think Generations and Insurrection were fucking awful--though Insurrection at least managed to be more of a Star Trek movie than the action schlock most of the TNG films put out.

I don't like this idea of dismissing the dissenter as a troll.
Dave in NC - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 11:27am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

@ Shaen

We have nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines now. Last time I checked, we don't have an easy way to clean it up should something go wrong.

It's not implausible that future humans would take the same risk, especially since 99.999 whatever percent of space is empty.
Elliott - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 11:25am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

"If you had finished reading what I wrote, I said that everyone hates this episode precisely because it is so radically different from normal Trek morality."

You are trying to bolster your argument because of popular consensus ("everyone hates..."). Rights are not determined by majority opinion, but on judicial interpretation of principles.

"Any excuse to justify not curing a disease, the anti-thesis of what being a doctor is all about. "

I don't recall Archer or Phlox "looking" for a means to avoid altering these people's DNA. It was when confronted by a previously un-foreseen context that they felt compelled to re-evaluate their kneejerk moral response.

"And what else would a debate on morality begin and end with? What's the point of having morality or having laws in place if we aren't ultimately protecting people's lives?"

That's an interesting question. I don't have an answer for you, but the point is in fact that assuming the purpose of laws, etc. is ultimately the preservation of life is, well, an assumption. What do you base this assumption on?

"The Federation believes in the preservation of life as its highest moral. That is why they do answer distress calls and cure diseases when asked."

The Federation (and as Yanks pointed out, it does not yet exist in this timeline) believes in *seeking out* new life, not corrupting, destroying or tampering with it. The goal of Starfleet's exploration was to understand the Universe in which we live, not impose our sense of right and wrong upon it.
stallion - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 10:54am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S1: Dagger of the Mind

This was a great episode. I feel like this episode and what are little girls made of are James Bondish. Kirk goes on a mission with an attractive crewmember and must stop a scientist well in this case doctor. The only thing that was missing in the episode was Kirk having a bedroom scene with Dr. Noel at the end giving her a performance review.

A missed opportunity for this episode is not making this a Kirk and Uhura episode. It would had been a great way to flesh out here character. They could had easily added a line saying Uhura spent time working at one of these places. Of course the love plot would had to been deleted.
Yanks - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 8:58am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

The "Federation" does not exist yet.
Robert - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 8:50am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

They had roughly 30k light years to go. That could have taken nearly 30 years. I DO agree that at the speed they were going it probably wouldn't have, but there's no reason to assume they kept pace. It easily could have taken another 9 or 10. 16 is probably a bit much.
Robert - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 8:46am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

I think what Chris is saying is that considering you are the result of a single sperm and egg intersecting at the exact correct instant in time/space the odds of all of the planet people being born again now that the crew is slightly different (Bashir knows who he will marry, so maybe they'll get together faster). I try not to think about that since it ruins the episode if you focus on it.

If I went back in time and told your parents (right before they met) that they would get married some day it would almost definitely negate your existence.
Katie - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 7:42am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: Tribunal

@DPLB: um...wow.

You don't think execution by firing squad is a bit excessive for a drug offense? The international community certainly thought so. Lindsey Sandiford is a middle-aged mother of two who claimed--and the evidence supports her claim--that she was coerced into helping a drug smuggling ring by threats to her family. She gave evidence that helped convict members of that ring, all of whom received lesser sentences (time in prison). The prosecution team themselves recommended 15 years in prison as her sentence. But she received the death penalty from a judge who believed her trial had threatened Bali's tourism industry (!). She has received no help from the UK government, whose representatives say things like "how very unfortunate!" about her situation. She is now on death row in Indonesia.
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