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Abbey
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 7:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Siege

The whole Circle coup plot was unresolved. For that alone, it was a fairly weak storyline.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 6:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

Thank you Mikey for bringing up the hull breach issue. It's not even that the stream of water would slice Tom in half, but the tiniest breach would instantly crush everyone inside to pink goo. Futurama made this same mistake (though probably deliberately) after conceding that a spaceship's design considerations are completely opposite that of a submarine.

LEELA: Depth at 45 hundred feet, 48 hundred, 50 hundred! 5000 feet!
FARNSWORTH: Dear Lord, that's over 150 atmospheres of pressure.
FRY: How many atmospheres can this ship withstand?
FARNSWORTH: Well it's a spaceship, so I'd say anywhere between zero and one.

Assuming the gravitational field holding this planet together is similar to the gravity we experience on Earth, at 600km in depth, they'd be subjected to nearly 60,000 atmospheres of pressure, or 875,000 pounds per square inch. And they were able to survive without the shields? Then there's the question of how exactly they can propel and maneuver the Delta Flyer underwater. I can see them technobabbling a way out of it, but firing phasers too? The science makes me sad.

I do think the overall idea of the planet needing an artificial gravity generator to maintain containment is sound though. At 600km in radius, this ball of water is only 1/3 the size of our moon. That's no gas giant. An all-water planet of this size wouldn't generate enough of its own gravity to prevent atmospheric escape losses. Basically the planet would evaporate away, or be blown away by solar winds without a magnetic field and other help.
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David Pirtle
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 5:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Ferengi Love Songs

I can always guess the score you'll give an episode based on how many Ferengi are heavily featured. It's an inverse ratio.
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Chrome
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 3:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

@Smith

I like that idea, let's ask Paramount to make it canon!
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Paul Allen
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 2:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

and seriously, you wouldn't kip in the shuttle at night??
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Paul Allen
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 2:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

Holy crap, those kids were annoying.

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Smith
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

What did the Romulans give up in the treaty?

They promised not to make a crappy movie with a bogus script about a boring clone who looks nothing like Picard, and a band of (somewhat) Romulan misfits who have no reason to be angry at the Federation at all.

Unfortuantely, in 2002 they broke the treaty and the movie got made.

Conclusion: Starfleet can now use cloaking technology whenever they want.
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AtemAndrew
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 2:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Vanishing Point

Wow...reminds of 'An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge', at least in it's time span..and partially of Stephen King, assuming anyone else has read his short story, "The Jaunt".
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Trek fan
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 11:35am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

What did I just watch? Surely this is the kind of episode that "wasted potential" was designed to describe. Let's also add the words "weird, uncomfortable, contrived," and "half-baked" to describe the dumpster fire that is "Tuvix." Hands down, this is one of my least-favorite episodes in all of Trek, and it has a lot to do with the creepy and manipulative way the script tries to make us care about Tuvix before killing him off.

This is the latest blunder in a season of high-concept blunders for Voyager, a season of grotesque character-transformation gimmicks that almost makes one question whether Star Trek was ever good at all. In a classic Trek cliche, we're here introduced to a character we know cannot last beyond the episode, and then subjected to nearly an hour of plot manipulations to make us care about him before he is cashiered. The problem is that Tuvix, as a character, is weird and creepy. Not only does he creep out the rest of the crew, but he combines the most annoying character pairing (Neelix and Tuvok) in all of Star Trek history, minus the fleeting moment in "Meld" where Tuvok choked Neelix to death in a long-overdue payback for the latter violating his personal boundaries in a consistently disrespectful way.

The endless "awkward moment" scenes where we watch the crew adjust to life with Tuvix, in which "weeks" pass even though the writers obviously don't plan to invest more than one episode into this character, seem to fill up 4/5 of the episode's running time. They feel like filler (what else to call material that will have absolutely no impact by next week's episode?) and are made infinitely more uncomfortable by the scenes in which Tuvix puts the moves on Kes. The awkward scenes between Tuvix and Kes deserve to be in a Hall of Shame for Trek writing. They try to show Kes struggling to love someone who combines the traits of her mentor and boyfriend into one person, but they are simply awful dead-end material.

In the last 10 minutes, the episode throws a moral dilemma at us that should have been the focus of the entire episode rather than a throwaway moment in the final reel. Had the episode done away with the impossible contrivance of trying to make us care about or like a character we knew was going to die, focusing on the question of whether he deserves to live instead of on his creepy scenes with Kes and others, this might have been a halfway-decent show. But there's no real debate or understanding of character motivations here; Janeway makes a judgment call and the episode ends, pure and simple, without our even finding out if Neelix and Tuvok retain or recover any explicit memory of their joining. Now THAT'S a cop-out, even if the episode avoided the more obvious cop-out of allowing all three of them to live through some kind of technobabble solution. While I understand why the writers felt it necessary for dramatic tension to make us like Tuvix, I don't appreciate how the script works way too hard to manipulate us into that position, as I don't like being manipulated. To be honest, I think it would have been more realistic to make Tuvix a bit of a dick, adding more nuance to the "good or bad" category these kinds of guest stars often inhabit on Trek.

Ultimately I give this episode 1 1/2 stars because it's sincerely-acted, proving that hardworking people can do their best even with B-level material. But this is just an awful piece of garbage that trots out a unilateral moral decision (killing one person to save two others) without giving it anywhere near the debate time it deserves even on a TV show. And Tuvix himself is hard to take seriously; the entire concept just doesn't make sense. There are many, many Trek episodes that do this kind of "sympathy for a misunderstood life form" theme better. Unfortunately, it seems to be a repetitive cliche on Voyager.
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whodat
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 11:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

For those who have a problem with the timeline, quantum physics postulates the existence of every possible universe existing simultaneously
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Lmo
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 11:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Attached

Nice story device to have the first breakfast conversation with Picard and Beverly chuckling over the fact that he had not been listening to her (so familiar to long married couples), with the rest of the story about how they can't stop hearing each other's thoughts. Good commentary in the end about the intimacy that produces.
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David Pirtle
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 10:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Ties of Blood and Water

I actually would have liked the story told without flashbacks. Maybe add a sentence to the final conversation between Kira and Bashir. Maybe not even that. But maybe it wouldn't have worked as well. Maybe I just wanted more Weyoun.
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David
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 7:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

I'd probably rate this one a 3.5, though I can easily see how some would give it a 4. For me, I just found it a bit too hard to swallow that the crew could remember such distinct details (let alone anything!) from previous loops. It goes against the very idea of a time loop, where everything is completely reset (including memories) at the end. I also agree with other comments above that too much time was taken by Data explaining his tractor beam idea. I groaned every time he turned around to talk to the captain, while in the background we see the other ship literally seconds away!
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Edax
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 5:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Errand of Mercy

@Peter G.
No I understood what you were getting at. It's difficult to gauge what the Organians would have considered too much, since I don't think the Organians were actually killed when the mass executions happened. Perhaps they planned to pantomime the subjugation of their people to better study the Klingons? Since the Organians fully cooperated with the Klingons, there would be no logical reason for executions, so I dispute that it would be inevitable. Whilst mass murder could still happen, it would only be pure speculation at that point. The Organians didn’t even react when they were being mass executed in the episode, they were much more distressed at Kirk’s actions.

Going back to the topic of Imperialism, this acceptance of Klingon occupation vs war should have been the Organian's decision, not Kirk's. Organia was in the disputed zone, and the Organians accepted Klingon rule, Kirk really had no legitimate reason to threaten the Organians or engage in a guerrilla war on the planet, since it was now peacefully under Klingon rule. What was the Federation going to do if Kirk somehow managed to drive the Klingons off the planet? Forcefully annex the planet against the Organian’s will? It’s a strategically valuable planet that has rejected the Federation and the Federation would not allow Klingon occupation of it. Can you see just what kind of mess Kirk has potentially caused? Would the Federation have to send in occupation force to prevent further Klingon invasion? Remember, this is the only habitual planet in the disputed area, the Federation would have little cause to dispute the area unless they wanted Organia for themselves. Just how free would the Organians be if the Federation gave them no authority to decide their own fate in this Klingon-Federation war? Kirk’s offer that they had the freedom choose seems really disingenuous since when the Organians refused, Kirk provoked the Klingons against Organians while posing as an Organian.

Considering that the Klingons were just “Russians in Space”, what if the Organians wanted to be under Klingon rule? Some countries actively sought out the Soviet Union, what would Kirk or the Federation have done in this circumstance? Since the Federation disputes the territory, I suspect they would not have allowed that, perhaps even have “made Organia useless to them”.
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Peter G.
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 3:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Errand of Mercy

@ Edax,

My example of Klingons trying to force the Organians into violent actions was just meant as a random example of how no matter whether Kirk got involved or not, the Klingons were eventually going to start executing Organians either way. Something would have happened, somehow, that would have angered the Klingons, and they would no doubt turned to killing before long. This is all to just answer your point that without Kirk's bravado things could have been resolved peacefully. I believe there was never any possibility of life under Klingon rule being either peaceful or non-violent. It wouldn't have been as bad as a war, but it would have probably still been too much for the Organians. The only difference, I suppose, is that if the Klingons alone had gone too far the Organians might have just done something *to them* and not to the Federation. It's for the best that this isn't how it happened, since the Organian peace treaty directly laid the path towards the Khitomer Accords.
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Edax
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 12:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Errand of Mercy

@Peter G. While it's true the Klingons could have ordered the Organians to do violence against other Organians, this however that is purely speculation. At least this violence would have been the result of an Organian decision, and not the interference from a 3rd party. And perhaps, the Organians would better tolerated minor acts of violence vs a galactic war. The Organians very likely know what submitting to Klingon rule meant anyway, and it was Kirk's blind belief that the Organians didn't know any better that escalated the conflict.

@Skeptical I could see Spock as a character showing disdain for the Organians, especially when he noticed that their culture was totally stagnant. There's no logic in making no effort towards progress, to be content with the dark ages. Notice that Spock made no effort to respect the Organian's wishes, despite the fact that he got along with those damn hippies in Way To Eden.

"And indeed, all they had to do to maintain their way of life is banish the UFP and Klingons from their planet. That's certainly justifiable, and a minimal intrusion on the other two cultures. Instead, they imposed their culture throughout the entire UFP/Klingon territory. I thought defense of culture should only intrude on other people's cultures as minimally as possible? This wasn't defense; this was spreading their dogma through the sword."

I see no reason why the Organians need to follow the Prime Directive. Even though they were more advanced beings, they still carried flaws, such as the intense pain they experience around violent individuals. When the war was brought to their doorstep, the Organians became involved, even if they did not wish it. Spreading dogma through the sword implies aggression, but all the Organians did was act in self-defense and enforced a peace treaty. You can't defend a culture in a war with inaction. If the Organians just banished the two factions, they could have returned, and perhaps have attacked the Organians as an enemy, which would cause the Organians great distress, and having to continually relocate warships without trying to enact a peace treaty would have continually increase their involvement in a war.

"And remember my first point. All of this, ALL OF THIS, would have been avoided if the Organians had simply been honest in the first place. If they wanted to defend their culture, why didn't they try through nonviolent dialogue first?"

The Organians at no point were dishonest. They did try nonviolent dialogue first, rejecting the Federation's offer and accepting Klingon occupation law to prevent a conflict. Kirk ignored the Organian's decisions and wishes at every turn and continued to wage a conflict against the Klingons, and even threatened Ayelborne with "More violence then he'll know what to do with" if he could not arm himself. As for the Organians being TOTALLY honest, imagine the Federation in the TNG days just telling a pre-warp specifies, "Hey I'm an alien!" just for the sake of honesty? It's happened before, but it tends to permanently ruin the observation of the less advanced cultures.

@RandomThoughts I don't quite agree that had Kirk not turned Organia into a battlefield, the Organians might not have interfered. The Organians feel intense pain when around violence individuals, and a fleet battle over their planet could have prompted them to action. I think what's too easily forgotten is that Organia belongs to the Organians, and being the only habitable planet in the disputed zone, they would end up very involved. It would just be a matter of when the Organians have had enough of the conflict that they would act.
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Rob
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 9:44am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

Rikers comment about Troi being "aristocratic" was the equivalent of the more down-to-earth 21st century phrase of "poor little rich girl", which is exactly what she is.
TNG writers didn't try to make Troi a particularly likeable character - she just floated around, reading minds, making judgements, playing victim and eating chocolate.
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grumpy_otter
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 7:26am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Jammer describes this as a "mostly aimless story," which is kind of what I like about it. People always say that you need conflict to make a good story, or some sort of deep meaning, but sometimes I just enjoy watching the people I like do normal stuff. Or not normal, perhaps, in the case of Neelix and his Klingon romance, but fun anyway. I LIKE an occasional story where the imminent threat of death or privation is not driving it.

And this one delivers. We are given Kohlar as a crazy religious leader, then find out he's actually really smart and trying to find a permanent home for his people. He's awesome. It's funny Jammer says he sounds like Sisko--I was actually mildly distracted that some of his facial expression were Worf-like.

I loved Neelix's girlfriend. I have often wished to be the type of woman who could pull off that sort of raw sexuality. But alas, I am cursed to be a Lwaxana, lol

I thought everyone behaved here as they would--Tom and BLT were just normal. The battle was a bit much, but believable, given Klingon predilections.

And I loved the final scene in their quarters when BLT hangs the bat'leth on the wall. I like that she came closer to her Klingon heritage without hating it, for once. And I liked Tom's suggestion of naming the baby "Kuva'Mach." How cute would that be? "Kuva! Get in here and clean up after your targ!"

I'd give this a solid 3. Very enjoyable.

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Beej
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 12:28am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Price

I could live with more scenes of Ms. Troi and Mrs. Crusher doing team calisthenics.

This isn't a great episode for all the reasons that have already been listed here, but Ral's manipulation of the negotiating process was so fun that I don't even care. Very watchable.
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Trek fan
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 12:12am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Spectre of the Gun

Really loved this episode. It's intriguing, surreal, spooky, and -- yes -- thoughtful. The analysis of Old West morality, together with the whole analysis of the nature of reality, comes across very well-written here. This is classic Trek, hitting a theme -- xenophobic aliens test whether they can trust the Federation -- with a flavorful execution. I would give it 3 or 3 1/2 stars and agree with Patrick D. that it's one of the best episodes of Season 3. I'd say it's one of the top-drawer episodes of the series overall.
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RandomThoughts
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 12:00am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

Howdy Folks

@Skeptical

As I recall from my mythology course and later involvement, the gods of Greece were more powerful the more believers/followers they had. In one of the mythos, the gods were able to defeat the titans (their forebears), because they had followers, which gave them more power. The titans could only use the power they had, as they were not worshiped, and were defeated because the gods were gaining power from the people. Of course this is just one telling (a bit simplified), and there are many stories, but this was the one I liked the best. :)

Also, in this episode, Apollo didn't seem to have real power of his own, he had a building that supplied him power, which he was able to convert to use with/against the Enterprise crew. Without that building/power source, he was much reduced. Perhaps it was just old habits, and he wanted to Feel the power of adulation again...

Now, Scotty. Hmm... Small spoiler alert, if watching TOS for the first time straight through, skip to the **'s.

They show him with a full-on infatuation/love for Lt. Palamas, which seems to nearly drive him mad. I mean, he does some really stupid things. Thinking about the later episode Wolf in the Fold, of course they thought he was the culprit (after a head injury caused by a woman), because he'd been shown to be a nutjob here when a lady said "Hello" to him or showed some mutual interest. Then, third season, The Lights of Zetar, he once again is a bit off the rails when it comes to the lady he had his eye on, who ends up being the person the baddies wanted. Now, I loved, loved Scotty, especially when he was in command of the Enterprise from time to time, but he was written very poorly when it came to women, and that is a dis-service to Scotty. We cannot do anything about it of course, but looking back... wow.

**

Overall, from the first time I saw this episode in the 70's as a young'un until now, I always thought it was so sad Apollo decided he had to spread himself on the wind. But it seems you cannot have an emotional, pull-the-heartstrings ending if he just sails off to Starfleet and tells them what he knows of the past, or his people... that's why it's a tragedy...

But most of us kinda/sorta wish that could have happened...

Happy trails everyone... RT
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Steven
Thu, Dec 1, 2016, 11:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

La forge tells Barkley that he never had a transporter incident. Was Barkley not there last season when the entire ship thought he was dead from one?
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Steven
Thu, Dec 1, 2016, 11:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: True Q

It seemed odd that they were giving so much attention to an intern to begin with. The first thing the intern gets to do is meet with the captain?
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RandomThoughts
Thu, Dec 1, 2016, 10:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Errand of Mercy

Heh, I just recalled that the Enterprise did indeed join the Federation fleet, and they were all racing toward the Klingons when they were stopped. We just don't get to see the other ships. Would've been neat if they'd shown some other ships when they did the revamp. :) But I digress, and my point is the same even with that small...

Whoopsie... RT
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RandomThoughts
Thu, Dec 1, 2016, 10:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Errand of Mercy

Heya Everyone!

Love the recent discussion! Nice to see.

After reading the comments, and running the episode through in my head (last watched around two years ago), something occurred to me: Without the meddling of Kirk and Spock, the Organians would probably have done... nothing, and billions might have died.

Now, hear me out. We heard during the episode that there was probably going to be a state of war between the Federation and the Klingons, but it hadn't happened yet. It was just probable. When the Fantastic Two head down to the planet, they are told time and again that everything is fine, just go home and we will sit here and smile. But they don't leave (eventually cannot), and keep stirring things up. And these Organians, who have let these ants run around their fake anthill, get more and more frustrated as they say "Stop, or we'll say Stop again" and the ants don't listen. Hey, they may be super duper powerful, but they are not perfect. They seem to still have some foibles. And one of them is when the ants tell them they would do as they please, over and over, they eventually cannot take it any longer (not liking the brutal, savage things they were planning on doing), and they metaphorically slam their hand on the table and say "Enough is enough! Not only are you going to listen to what we have to say, but we are stopping your war, as of NOW!", potentially saving billions...

On the other hand, if Kirk and Spock had left when they were first told to go (they still could, if memory serves), or had just become random fake townsfolk sitting in a room somewhere, the Enterprise leaves and joins the Federation fleet. They are eventually engaged in glorious battle with the Klingons and billions die in the war, while the Organians sit in their room, contemplating whatever they think about, and smile. They never got mad at the ants, so they never made a decision to intercede, because the fake anthill was still quiet and peaceful...

Since they had never gotten involved in any other war, that we know of, they probably wouldn't have now. Because, hey, we're just ants to them. And even today, we don't explain things to ants, because how could they possibly understand?

Anyway, that was the epiphany I had while reading these most thoughtful insights above.

I hope this is a great day for everyone... RT
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