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Steven
Wed, Jun 28, 2017, 6:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Allegiance

This episode is so bad that the German spoof-redub from the 1990s ("Sinnlos im Weltraum") could actually improve it (by making the characters in the prison even more ridiculously cliché, and the Picard Doppelganger even more outrageous). And I'm saying that as a TNG fan.

Picard in Ten Forward (loosely translated from German, singing): "We'll drink until we drop! We'll drink until we drop! C'mon people, everyone join in: We'll drink until we drop!!"
Someone comments on Picard: "What's happening? That's really weird..."
Riker (putting on a stupid face): "Yeah, I don't actually know the song, either!"
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JohnTY
Wed, Jun 28, 2017, 6:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

Compelling viewing and acting but I have to agree with a couple of the earlier comments about how this is a bit too much of an Orwellian rip-off, rather than homage. Why "break" an alien commander when you have tech that has already excracted the truth from him?

And seriously, is this the first episode where Riker's piloting virtuosity is ever mentioned? If yes, pretty thin.

Anyway, much better than part 1 but I think having this sort of thing in TNG feels a bit forced.
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Steven
Wed, Jun 28, 2017, 3:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

You probably hit the nail on its head that the invasion plot tried to show a sort of "safe invasion". With the two major problems, that 2000 people are not enough to conquer a planet like Vulcan, and that even if they were, the Romulans would have to fear a retaliatory strike. Those problems could be avoided if they went for something smaller - maybe a colony at the edge of Federation space, rather than directly for Vulcan.

I have to admit that there's a certain poetic appeal to the "Vulcan invasion" plot, because it is similar to the story of the wooden horse that was used to conquer Troy. Pretend that you're coming with good intentions, and secretly smuggle in soldiers. As I've said, might have worked for a border colony... but then we wouldn't have gotten the line "Unification will become a reality of life". I for once could have done without this line, as I could have done without Denise Crosby's performance altogether. Her silliness as a character came together with the silliness of the invasion plot and gave this episode a "low quality" feel, unfortunately.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 28, 2017, 12:52am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

@ Steven,

My suspicion has been that the Romulans (a) don't have any many ships as they imply they do, and (b) don't have any capability of defending themselves from an all-out attack, both due to being spread thin with the fleet as well as having to spend considerable resources dealing with their own population. If they began moving large amounts of troops to other words and moving their fleet away from the homeworld they might risk insurrection. Sure, they might take down a few worlds in one sneak attack, but that alone would do diddly to powers like the Klingons or Federation, and the retaliation would decimate them (especially in lieu of the Klingon-Federation alliance). Their better strategy is to sit back and let other worlds destroy each other, and to take small advantages on the sly. I think Unification was an attempt to show their version of 'safe invasion' where they'd not have to deploy their fleet or many resources to do it.

That being said I agree that the plan, as scripted, is basically ridiculous. What, did they think they'd suffer no counter-attack or even a possible two-fronts war?
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Steven
Wed, Jun 28, 2017, 12:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

I have always been wondering why the Romulans won't just position their fleet around the most important military installations of Starfleet, and then all decloak at once and hit them with all their firepower (similar to how they tried to sneak into the Gamma Quadrant in DS9 and bombarded the planet on which the founders supposedly lived). They could potentially coordinate hundreds of warbirds in an assault.

I told myself that either (A) key planets like Earth or Vulcan might have some sort of detection grid that protects them from cloaked assaults, or (B) the Federation's resources are simply too scattered throughout the Alpha Quadrant to hit them all at once.

And then, this two-parter comes along, and manages to do three things:

It dismantles both theories "A" and "B", and finally makes an alternate suggestion on how to invade a planet - with three meagre ships. Yeah, sounds great. The technology for a detection grid doesn't seem to be in existance, because one single Bird of Prey can just sneak into the heart of the Romulan Empire and even beam down Picard and Data without being detected. And the concern that the Federation's resources might be too scattered to hit them all at once seems to be a non-issue, because it suddenly becomes a sound strategic move to conquer a single (!) planet in the midst of Federation territory.

The multiple contradictions that are exhibited here are just ridiculous. And since when can you conquer a highly populated planet with just 2000 soldiers? And what purpose would "being entrenched" serve? Wouldn't those soldiers just be cut off from the Romulan Empire, logistically? Where's the point?

The episode should never have gone into this territory. Frankly, it already bothered me that the cloaked Bird of Prey could beam down two people to Romulus; it seemed much too easy. The Klingons should have kept some distance to the planet and beamed Picard and Data onto a cargo vessel that was headed for Romulus, being sneaky. And the second episode should have given us something else than this ridiculous "conquest" plot.

Otherwise, I enjoyed this two-parter.
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Rahul
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 9:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Tin Man

This was a decent episode - one of the more "science-fiction-y" TNG episodes with the "Tin Man" alien (why's it called that?)
I guess a lot of the episode comes down to how one perceives Tam. He is supposed to be an unstable character as he gets bombarded with everybody's thoughts. I thought the actor did a decent job characterizing such a person -- somebody who is uncomfortable around others and who gets along with Data. It's pretty clear once he beams aboard Tin Man that he's in his own paradise and ain't coming back.
So some good things about the episode but there are also enough problems with it. I didn't like the use of the Romulans and I as much as I dislike the Ferengi, as SkepticalMI suggests, they'd be better suited for the role of the villain here. I don't think the Romulans should act so 1-dimensionally toward Tin Man. They've been built up in S3 as more deceptive, cunning.
The other flaw is Tin Man itself - so what can't this thing do? It can destroy starships, it can beam Data some 3 billion kms away, use telepathy to reach out to Tam light years away, and presumably escape from a supernova ... All very convenient for the writers. I also thought how Riker's role was conceived here was poor - comes across as too domineering toward Geordi, insensitive toward Tam (though it's his thoughts).
I can see why this is a bit of a polarizing episode, however I'd have to give it a fairly average rating of 2.5 stars. I enjoyed the sci-fi aspect of it and the union of Tin Man and Tam, but the other aspects of the episode weren't up to snuff.
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Borgth Degree
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Once More Unto the Breach

My-cho Qara,
endo-do keela,
bay doh chum
ka ree-do meela,
stum-pa rip-to,
Maah-la ee'qo,

ree-kaH! ree-kaH! ree-kaH!

Maah, so faH ka'lee
te cho-paH,

ree-kaH! ree-kaH! ree-kaH!
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DDT
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 9:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II

The Gorn was awful. The old CGI looks worse than the guy in the rubber suit. They may as well have had a Hanna Barbara Cartoon Gorn. And suddenly Gorn's can move fast? The fact they were so slow moving was how Kirk managed to stay alive against one.

The big problem with all the later Star Trek post TNG series is how derivative and unoriginal they are. The original Mirror Mirror was a brilliant premise and well written. This is just a weak copy of something great. The sad thing is that Enterprise could have been such a brilliant series. This is why I have strong doubts about Discovery. Hopefully they won't screw that up.
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Chrome
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 6:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

@DABIGINU

"As another example, you complained that DS9 often put forth an anti-Rodenberrian version of the ST timeline. Again, that implies a lack of understanding of the show you're watching, probably because again you are not interested in the show."

I know Elliot spews vitriolic comments on popular episodes, but this critique isn't completely wrong. DS9 reputably shows a less than ideal Star Trek universe, in contrast to the utopia Roddenberry envisioned in at least TNG, despite DS9 taking place in the same time period.

And that's NOT a bad thing. Many DS9 fans I've encountered, including Jammer, like that DS9 can apply a critical slant to optimistic perfection of the Federation. DS9's reveal of the often dark side of the Federation often comes off as a more realistic depiction of people in the future. It also shows that while the people of the 24th century may have advanced philosophically, perhaps deep down they aren't hopelessly far off from the people of today.
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TB
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

Not a very scary weapon... It takes days to kill and it can be easily cured apparently.
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Fire
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: United

Star Trek may be bad at inertia, but at least not bad as you: what should it mean "dead stop in space"? Dead stop in relation to what?
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Reuben K
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 3:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Think Tank

I can't think of the think tank as truly villainous. The intro segment was a legitimate deal, and that the blue fish-dude tried to lie his way out of it without the proper payment. Sure, their replicators "wouldn't work" by a plot contrivance, but there's more than one way to get/grow/trade/barter/buy food. Therefore the introduction was an attempt to make a legitimate act of helpfulness look sinister while the ones who were helped are cast as the victims, even thought they're the ones trying to deceive! Of course, later in the episode the Think Tank is much more villainous since they orchestrated the events to create a situation that would work to their own goals. (which made me wonder...did they create the trap that destroyed that planet? or was it those bounty hunters? Pretty extreme measures either way. Or can a planet literally explode randomly when you scan it?)

There was a jaw-dropping moment for me in the planet explosion scene. Voyager's shields are up and a chunk of the debris them, gets vaporized, and hurls Voyager backwards. Given the size, mass and speed of the chunk of 'sploded planet, there is no way in hell Voyager (or any ST universe ship) could possibly survive that. I mean, if Voyager's shields can block that, there's no way any weapons fire from anyone can get through. I know its just eye candy, but it's utterly ridiculous. I've always been critical of planet-busting visuals - starting with when I first saw Episode IV as a kid. The best depiction of planet 'splosion was in Titan AE. Those chunks were deadly. And the most realistic-looking (in my experience) is the Stellar Converter from Master of Orion II.
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Peter G.
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 2:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Sins of the Father

I'm not so sure the Klingons had been established as such an honorable people prior to this episode. Mostly what we got was from Worf himself (SPOILERS) who as we later learn isn't such an authority on how Klingons actually are, and from "A Matter of Honor", where the Captain isn't exactly a model of chivalry. So "Sins of the Father" seems to me to simultaneously give us the mythos of the honorable Klingons and to undermine it at the same time. Certainly the fans who came out of TOS and the the first four films would have an impression of the Klingons as being aggressive but not so much in the honor department.

@ Jason R.,

I guess maybe we can assume that Sirella was of royal blood but penniless, as is often the case, and married a military general of some renown for his prestige and power. Regarding the naming of the Houses, maybe we can guess that there's an official ceremony that transfers the fiefdom to the new leader of the House and renames it after that person? If so, Martok would have been named the new leader of the House (which, as we learn in "House of Quark", has to be a male if possible) when all titles and deeds were transferred to his control. The House of Mogh would have remained under that name until such time as the council officially recognized Worf as the new leader of the House, which never happened because first he was ostracised, and later refused to stay on Kronos and lead his House. So it would remain the House of Mogh as a result, and perhaps would even be referred to as a House with no current leader. In the case of Grilka there was a relative with a claim to the house properties, so she had to establish her title in order to retain them, so maybe there was no one with any legitimate claim to Mogh's lands and assets and it could remain in transition for an extended period of time.

It's all speculation, of course, but I'm not sure there's enough evidence to suggest that we've been told anything contradictory.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Sins of the Father

How come it is still known as the House of Mogh? Is it still Mogh's house even to Alexander or does it become Worf's house to him? And if so, how come it is still Martok's house and not his father's house? For that matter, what sense does it make that Martok's wife, who we learn has some hoity toity imperial blood line, joins Martok's house, when Martok is some shlub from the Klingon Ozarks?
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Rahul
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Sins of the Father

Definitely a memorable episode - exploring the Klingon world, culture, etc. Overall very well portrayed and gives a lot to build on for subsequent episodes that will be more enjoyable to watch because the viewer has more of a point of reference.

The structure of the episode is also unusual given the huge twist it takes when Kurn says he's Worf's bro and his father is accused of being a traitor. Thought the episode might end up with an early termination of the exchange as Kurn was pissing off the Enterprise crew so much (or Riker would kick his ass).

But I think what's striking about this episode is that we now see the best about Klingons in Worf, the sacrifice he's willing to make -- not clearing his family name, his father being cast a traitor, him being decommendated all to preserve the Klingon empire . But also that a society that is supposed to live based on honor is corrupt up to the eyeballs and is trying to protect a dirty secret that could send it into civil war. So here we have to lose respect for the Klingons and that is a shame for me.

Some very good performances from Kempec, Kurn, and pretty much everybody on the Enterprise. I agree with tara on her first complaint - the servent Kahlest was 1 outlet to prove that Worf's dad is not a traitor but whatever happened to the work Data/Geordi did in showing the logs had been doctored? A great episode with a few minor flaws and a bit of a disappointing ending with the Klingons being corrupt (there are implications of long-term weakness and instability to this) and Worf having to take one for the Klingon team -- definitely worth 3.5 stars though.
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j
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Counterpoint

He couldn't have seized the telepaths at any time without risking Voyager, the seizure of which was his other objective. He was luring Voyager into a trap in the nebula, where he thought he could best achieve both objectives...
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Steven
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Icarus Factor

You know, the episode was obviously trying to "tidy up" the characters and give us some more definitive characterization of them than we received before. But sadly, most of those bits could already be deducted from other episodes (if you're capable of reading between the lines) and we barely learn anything new here. The little pieces of new information that we do get could just as easily have been integrated into regular episodes with an actual plot.

The main focus of this episode should obviously have been the question whether Riker will accept his new assignment or not. But this question isn't explored in sufficient depth. His conversation with Picard about what it means to command a ship stands out as the best scene of the episode - we needed more of that.
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Steven
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 8:46am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Icarus Factor

When Pulaski told Kyle how worried she was he might get injured during the sport, I expected it to be something like fencing with a sharp weapon. And then it turns out that the weapons are cushioned and it looks more like a harmless fun activity than anything dangerous.

One of the most wooden episodes of TNG with mainly cringeworthy dialogue in the A story. Terrible. As much as I enjoy the concepts to explore Riker's and Worf's background, the delivery was more than disappointing. Take the exchange between Will and Deanna:

Will: "I didn't want to leave without saying goodbye."
Deanna: "I don't like goodbyes. How about 'until next time'?"
Will: "How about 'until next time' [in a tone that indicates agreement]."
Deanna: "It was a pleasure working with you, commander [joking tone]."
Will: "The feeling is mutual."
Deanna: "I am supposed to know how others feel, but I can't read you right now."
Will: "Maybe your own emotion are getting in the way."
Deanna: "My job is to help others sort out their emotions... my own feelings are beside the point."
Will: "Not to me..."

Let me just step in here and stop this travesty of a dialogue. For two people who feel deeply about each other, this is a completely inappropriate farewell scene. It reads like it was written by a really bad fanfiction author. Nothing but clichés. Why would Deanna's feelings be "beside the point" when she is saying goodbye to Will? Of course, her feelings at that moment matter.

The Kyle character was nothing but a walking cliché, and we are supposed to believe that Riker's ambition can entirely be reduced to the competition with his father? That's his only drive?

Objectively, the episode doesn't deserve more than 1.5 stars, and only the relevance for the characterization of Riker and Worf raises it to 2.0. Although the Worf story feels much more relevant to me than the Riker story, which doesn't help to shed much light on the character at all. My impression of Riker didn't change in any meaningful way after watching this episode; TBOBW does much more to flesh Riker out.
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Matt
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 7:47am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Virtuoso

I actually really liked this episode. While I didn't believe the Doctor would leave Voyager just for fame, that wasn't my take on the episode. To me there was a more subtle side to the episode with the Doctor's relationship with Tincoo. He felt like she cared about him, like he was special to her. People on Voyager liked the Doctor but he was never more than a friend.

I think that underscored the scenes with Seven.

Perhaps I'm giving Voyager too much credit, but to me the episode felt like it was calling back to "Someone to Watch Over Me". The Doctor had developed feelings for her but in the end she'd confirmed she didn't return them when she'd told him she didn't feel there was anyone on board suitable for her. Continuity's not a big thing on Voyager. However, singing been something they'd bonded over, ending "Equinox" by going to the holodeck together just the two of them and a tuning fork.

So to me, again perhaps reading more into it than was there, this episode wasn't just about the Doctor chasing a chance for fame. It was about him realising that while people may care about him, no one on board, particularly not Seven, feels about him the way he thought Tincoo did. Then in the end the Doctor realises that Tincoo didn't actually care about him at all. It's not just a typical "big ego" episode where a character gets full of himself and It turns out he shouldn't have, there is actually a sad theme where a character who has no one on board realises they really are alone.

In that sense Toncoo's strange demeanour works since it justifies the Doctor's confusion about what she feels. Wanting to delete his medical database to sing her piece is like many desperate men who, worried about losing the woman they love, think they can change themselves to keep her.

Only at the very end does he really understand. Then Seven, giving him that "fan mail", shows that even if she doesn't return his feelings, at least people really do care about him.

Again, maybe I'm reading more into it than is there, but to me it was actually quite a good episode.
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mefive
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 7:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Plato's Stepchildren

If this was meant to be hilarious, it worked. If it was meant to be serious drama, it failed.
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mefive
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 7:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Tholian Web

Christopher Booker says that there are only 7 basic story plots: Overcoming the monster, rags to riches, the quest. voyage and return, comedy, tragedy and rebirth. Maybe you can come up with a couple more but given the limits of plots available, repetitive themes are bound to happen in a series that runs for years with 20 episodes per season. The job of the writers is to try to make interesting stories around these limited plot lines.
Over the years, between the various series and movies, Star Trek has done a pretty good job with making the story lines interesting. the type of shows I tend to hate are what I refer to as 'hospital shows'; in which a series regular lies in a bed for 45 minutes and the viewer is essentially asked to sit in the waiting room. DS09 did it often. How many times was Dax in a bed in mortal danger for 45 minutes? Enough times that I got tired of it.
This was essentially a hospital show (Kirk was the patient who wasn't going to die), but there was enough going on where you did not feel like you were in the waiting room. The conflict between Spock and McCoy took center stage. The madness, the Tholians and even Kirk's dilemma were merely minor distractions.
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NoPoet
Tue, Jun 27, 2017, 7:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Persistence of Vision

From the first comment: "I think you're forgetting to ask one very important question: how often do Star Trek characters go to the holodeck to masturbate?"

To whom is such a question important? Some saddo from the internet who wants to get his rocks off to an episode of Star Trek?

I agree with this review in its entirety. A solid, very dark episode with fantastic imagery, reminiscent of TNG-era weirdness, slightly let down towards the end by dragging the whole crew into it. Janeway teaming up with Kes would have been awesome as they literally bounce off each other in this episode. Trek could have done with more creepy aliens whose motives are never explained beyond "I will do these things to you because I can" - that motive is horrible and frightening enough without doing what American writers usually do and dumbing it down with a lengthy explanation.
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DABIGDAWG
Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 11:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

The problem that people are having with you, Elliot, is not your disdain for DS9, but that your disdainful comments are coming from a place of ignorance. In other words, you trash a show that you admitted to not knowing or caring about, to not liking. And because you don't like it, you have little knowledge of it, yet you comment as if you do.

For example, your critique about why Jake doesn't have more hatred for his father considering his position is, quite frankly, stupid. I use that word not to provoke but to prove the point that, for those of us who watch the show, it is OBVIOUS where that love comes from and why that relationship has meaning. For homework on this topic, watch the following episodes: The Emissary, In the Hands of the Prophets, The Jem Hadar, The Visitor, Paradise Lost, Shattered Mirror, Explorers, A Call to Arms, ...Nor the Battle to the Strong, Rapture, The Reckoning, Image in the Sand, and What You Leave Behind. ALL of these episodes, every single one of them, explore that father/son relationship either in whole or in part. It is CLEAR after watching these episodes why Jake loves Ben so much. An avid viewer of DS9 knows this. Someone who doesn't like the show, however...

As another example, you complained that DS9 often put forth an anti-Rodenberrian version of the ST timeline. Again, that implies a lack of understanding of the show you're watching, probably because again you are not interested in the show. Think about where DS9 is located, in the ass end of the quadrant, a "primitive, frontier" area, according to Bashir in The Emissary (which, of course, drew the scorn of one of the primitive locals, Kira), that had just finished with a 50-year occupation, a war, and the creation of a new DMZ. Then, no sooner than the sector finally begins to establish itself thanks to the discovery of the galaxy's first stable wormhole and all the commerce that would come with such a find, the DMZ gets set on fire by a faction of disgruntled former Federation citizens, the Klingons and Cardassians fight a conflict that further destabilizes the area, and the Gamma Quadrant's version of the Borg comes pouring through the same wormhole that was supposed to make Bajor wealthy. How "Roddenberian" do you EXPECT such a sector to be??? Bajor is FAR away from Earth and the paradise that was created on that world, a concept that was established IN THE FIRST 30 MINUTES OF THE VERY FIRST EPISODE!

THESE are the kinds of things that make people on this board so irate with you. You don't have an understanding of this series, yet you comment as if you do. Rather than saying "can someone who follows the show please explain how they established the father/son relationship," you jump on it with unfounded and incorrect criticisms of something you clearly know nothing about. If you're willing to learn about DS9, IMO the best of the shows because of it's complexity, I'm willing to teach. If not, it might be best to not say anything at all. You know Lincoln's quote about being a fool...
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Wedgebeat
Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 10:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Xindi

Aw man, seriously to the reviewer "John" about 11 comments above; some of us are watching this show for the first time. Thanks for giving away the end of the season. :(
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Dark Kirk
Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 10:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

Interesting comment JK. Watching this episode again, I was struck by Chakotay bringing up how he was assimilated into a collective. It's a jarring reminder to the audience that the emotional trauma of that experience was probably affecting his judgement.
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