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Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 7:52am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

I neither love nor hate Tomalak, but I fall closer to the side of enjoying him.

For what it's worth I think it is a combination of good performances and decent writing, although we didn't see much of him.

I felt he was appropriately menacing enough to be a worthy adversary of Jean Luc Picard. To be honest, the only one other than Tomalak that EVER really feels like they could actually match wits with Picard is Q. Granted we don't know much about Tomalak, but maybe that helps... maybe the mystery is what makes him feel like a match.

Even Madred, who probably comes the closest, really had all the advantages and even then only BARELY managed to get to Picard. The Duras Sisters weren't. Soran wasn't. Even the Borg Queen really didn't seem impressive next to Picard to me. Sela sure as heck wasn't.

You just really get the sense that Tomalak is the Romulan Picard and that if they ever really went head to head it'd be a thing to watch. I'm sorry it never happened. At least that's how I felt about him.

Some actors can make a character compelling with very little lines to work with. He just imbues Tomalak with an air that says he's Picard's equal.
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 7:42am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Duet

LOL... well played, well played.
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 7:06am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part I

Hello Everyone

I rather liked the Data storyline in this one. Yes, even watching it first-run in the 90's, I instantly knew Data was going to be zapped by the machine. But I liked seeing him 'fly' around the ship, as in a dream. And I didn't notice the first time that Soong was crafting a wing for a bird, and since Data was the bird, Soong was creating Data. :)

I never quite understood how Bashir would jump to the conclusion that the machine was medical in nature. He admitted he did not know how it worked, so that is quite a leap. I kept wondering why they didn't call Geordi in to take a look at it. He likes new, strange things, and would probably enjoy fooling around with it.

My comments on the Romulans, Klingons and other various items are on the page for Part II.

I do believe I'd have liked it better if Part II had been set weeks or months later though, instead of seeming like days.

Regards... RT
Paul M.
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 7:00am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Okay, then tell me: what specifically do you like about Tomalak? What, in your opinion, elevates him from a random side character to an interesting character? What is so appealing about him that leads you, as you said, to love him?
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 3:12am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Duet

*sigh* Another vastly over-rated episode. Just like TNG's "The Inner Light", it's good but not the absolute masterpiece that so many people want to make it out to be. I mean, it's riddled with plot-holes, some so glaring that you could drive a freight train through them. Most people seem to be willing to completely ignore them, and the rest of "Duet"'s flaws, because they're so dazzled by Marritza's over-the-top evil rantings while pretending to be Darheel (which is another obvious flaw - they're so over-the-top that it's laughable). Did he really believe Kira would fall for such obviously hollow racist antics? Well, apparently she did because.... she's stupid?

The biggest problem, however, is that the story has way too many twists and turns. Why is this so complicated?! Good drama doesn't make the audience guess about it or burden itself with red-herrings and false leads like this. It should leave the audience with no doubt about what is going on. This just isn't enjoyable.

You're probably thinking I'm crazy at this point. Well, no, I assure you I'm not crazy. I'm just a troll. :-) Just having a little fun with everyone (especially Robert, who said in the "Dramatis Personae" comments that I had to score this one high :P) before I post my actual thoughts. But, in order to make these comments look longer and therefore like an actual review, here's the lyrics from "No Easy Way Out" from the "Rocky IV" soundtrack by Robert Tepper. We're not indestructible, Baby better get that straight. I think it's unbelievable how you give into the hands of fate. Some things are worth fighting for, some feelings never die. I'm not asking for another chance, I just wanna know why.

There's no easy way out; there's no shortcut home. There's no easy way out; giving in can't be wrong. I don't wanna miss the fight. I don't wanna drag you down. But I'm feeling like a prisoner, like a stranger in a no-name town. I see only angry faces, afraid that could be you and me - talking about what might have been, thinking about what used to be. There's no easy way out; there's no shortcut home. There's no easy way out; giving in can't be wrong. Baby, Baby, we can shed this skin. We can know how we feel inside; instead of going down an endless road, not knowing if we're dead or alive. Some things are worth fighting for, some feelings never die. I'm not asking for another chance. I just wanna know why. There's no easy way out; there's no shortcut home. There's no easy way out; giving in can't be wrong.

John TY
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 2:11am (UTC -6)
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 12:10am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Crossover

@David It sounds like you would not have enjoyed "Mirror, Mirror" or much of TOS in general. If the characters didn't all end up on the station in the MU then there would be no story to tell.


I really enjoyed the scene where Garak was discussing his takeover plans with PU Kira. It caught me by surprise how much I enjoyed it. I think the reason was that the advance-by-assassination plan gave, to me at least, an unexpected feeling of connection with "Mirror, Mirror".

I couldn't actually make sense of MU Kiras explanation with Kirk and Spock at first, though. I think it's because it was a long time since I saw the TOS episode. I had to go back and rewatch it to put two and two together here.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 11:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

Some thoughts.

Some have said maybe she was suffering from some kind of dementia. That does seem plausible, except for two things. If she ascended to a higher plane of existence, she wouldn't have a physical body with a physical brain to get dementia. Also if she did get her real body back, she wasn't old enough to get dementia. It was established in "Before and After", that didn't start until an Ocampa was nine years old. Kes would only have been about six. Unless there was something else going on to cause it.

Some other theories. She was from an alternate universe. Or she was the female caretaker pretending to be Kes, out to get Voyager again.

Something else. Why did she kill B'Elanna other than she was trying to stop her. The first (and maybe only time) I've watched this, my first impression was, maybe Kes thought about how saving Torres and Janeway in the alternate timeline of "Before and After", had cost her a family and a whole future and she was pissed. But that's just my opinion at the time.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 10:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Eh, we've strayed too far from this episode and seem we're talking about completely different things now. I accept that you don't like the character, and perhaps you can accept that others like him for the reasons you don't.
Paul M.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 9:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

I dont get your point, Chrome.

Borg *are* compelling. They were meant to be a hive-mind implacable faceless swarm that comes at you and eats you alive (sort of), no buts, no ifs. They were scary precisely because they couldn't be reasoned with and because they had no discernible motive except assimilation.

Romulans aren't -- or shouldn't be -- faceless mooks. They are a traditional adversary to our protagonists, much like Klingons, Cardassians, or any number of other "typical" humanoid races. They have a clear agenda that they follow. A representative of such an adversary should have a compelling character and interesting motivation. Again, look at Duras, Gowron, Dukat, Chang, Khan, or any number of other arguably successful Trek villains. They, like all good antagonists, need to have either a personal motivation for doing what they do or otherwise they should at least be compelling "plot-movers" with memorable character traits, even if superficial (I'm reminded of Senator Vreenak from In the Pale Moonlight - now that's a character who left an impression). Tomalak by comparison is simply a random characterless Romulan who might as well have been different character every episode he appeared in; it would have made zero difference.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 8:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Someone to Watch Over Me

Well, uh, guess I get to be the contrarian one. Not surprising, given my disdain when Voyager decides the EMH should just be a quirky human. When it comes down to it, I simply don't see him falling in love. I didn't way back in Seasons 1 and 2, I thought his bragging about it and the other EMH being jealous was utterly ridiculous in the otherwise good Message in a Bottle. And I don't like it here. Sorry.

What is love? (Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more) It's a combination of both an emotional and a physical bond. People can have deep emotional bonds with others without the physical side. It can even be so close that the two people are constantly together such that it could get in the way of a romantic relationship with someone else. So yes, it's possible for two people to be very close without the physical attraction. So I can see Doc developing an emotional bond with Seven. But why physical? Why does he have simulated hormones? How was that part of his original programming? How did he get that far?

That Data would try to have a romantic relationship in In Theory makes sense. Data was explicitly programmed to be sentient, was explicitly programmed to mimic humanity. And we know that his primary goal in life is to become as close to human as possible. So even though he didn't have the physical attraction to Jenna, he was willing to try to fake it. But the EMH? He wasn't programmed to be human, he was programmed to be a surgeon and to learn. Somewhere along the way, he gained enough learning to start wanting to improve himself, ok, I can buy that. He got a few friends (well, just Kes, really), developed a few interests of his own, started to live a new life. But he never explicitly tried to become human; in fact he always had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about being a hologram. And unlike Data, he never created a program to be in love. It just happened to him. He didn't try to fall in love, didn't decide to create virtual hormones. So where did those virtual hormones come from?

I have no idea. And neither, I think, do the writers. Not only that, but at this point in time, I don't see the Doctor wanting to be in a permanent, deep relationship with anyone even on a mental level. He still likes being himself, and while he craves casual contact with others, he never seemed lonely or desiring more companionship. He likes attention, mostly. But that was to satisfy his ego, not because he wanted to deeply connect with anyone. Could Seven be different, being an outsider like himself? Being a bit more artificial, like himself? Perhaps. And I could see him trying to program in a romantic side of himself in order to get closer to someone that he has a mental relationship with, since, y'know, he has no ability for physical desire to appear naturally. But that clearly isn't what happened. He clearly "fell in love" just like a human.

If you're going to make a character that is not human, why are you basically turning him human? What's the fun of having a human doctor that can be turned off, rather than a truly artificial intelligence? Dumb, dumb move. I would much rather if it was Seven who realized that the EMH was her optimal choice, then realized that such a choice was not practical. We could still have had a poignant ending, but one that fits the characters better.

Sigh, whatever. As for the episode itself, it had its moments, but in the end it was still pretty simplistic and safe. I groaned when it became clear they were doing the Pygmalion Plot, especially when they added the bet with Paris. Fortunately the resolution of that (y'know, the cliched bit where the girl finds out, gets super mad, and the guy has to make a dramatic appeal to her to fix the problem) was far more subdued than normal, but still... Also, the date was too cliched. Lobster? Getting injured by dancing? Too simplistic. Same with the B Plot. I mean, I'm glad the creepy minister at the end wasn't as strict as we had been told, but that could have been more subtle.

So yeah, I can see why people go gaga over this, but it definitely isn't my cup of tea.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 6:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

That's because that look didn't suit the Borg. Seska was a card carrying bad guy and she was compelling.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 6:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

Dan, I agree with everything you said here.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 5:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Not every villain needs to be "compelling". The Borg aren't compelling. They're destructive and single-minded. That's part of their charm. In fact, many on this board criticize Voyager for trying to make Borg less than the badass villains they were in earlier shows. Adding nuance can backfire.

I think that's what you're trying to do with Tomalak. That's not his role in this series. He's a card-carrying villain, and at that job, he excels.
Paul M.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 4:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

That's a terribly low bar to set: Sela or Tomalak. There was nothing stopping writers and producers from coming up with a truly compelling recurring Romulan character, much as they managed to give Klingons some recognizable faces with distinct backstories and character: Duras and his sisters, Gowron, K'Mpec. The problem with TNG-era Romulans was that they were always too sketchy for their own good. They were sneaky, they liked to plot and scheme, and they were an obstinate adversary to deal with, but they were never given the kind of consideration and exploration Trek gave Klingons and especially Cardassians.

That this episode is so beloved speaks not only to the strength of the script and cast, but also to the potential of Romulans as an interesting multifaceted species. Alas, it was not to be.

I wonder if some part of love (or appreciation if love is too strong a word) some fans bestow upon Tomalak is due to Katsulas's memorable role as G'Kar on Babylon 5. Now *that* was a fantastic character and a fascinating race.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 4:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

This is one of the episodes that really made me really not like Picard sometimes.
Diamond Dave
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 3:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

Fresh, inventive, definitely creepy and very funny in places. Makes good use of Seven and the increasingly off kilter Janeway is adequately explained by the two aliens poking needles in her head. The Chakotay/Neelix comparing symptoms scene is something of a classic.

That said, it doesn't really break out of second gear and the conclusion seems somewhat forced - nothing like surviving 20-1 odds. 2.5 stars.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 2:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Dramatis Personae

@Luke - As long as you score the next two high you're forgiven!
Diamond Dave
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 2:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Raven

"Well, there's a good story lurking inside here somewhere, but it's sabotaged by a host of cliches and other annoying plot anomalies." Amen, Jammer, amen. I don't normally dig too much into the nitpicking of episodes but in this one the contrivances are just too big to ignore. My personal bugbear - how the B'omar appear and disappear to suit to needs of the story.

There are some nice moments here - Seven and Neelix for instance - but on the whole it's nothing more than another fairly nondescript effort. 2 stars.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 12:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Dramatis Personae

"Captive Pursuit" was just bland. "If Wishes Were Horses" was dumb. This one at least had something going for it.

Of course, that's all just my opinion. I could be wrong. :P
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 12:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

@Paul M.

I'd argue that the showrunners themselves made Tomalak the archetype. Need a simulated Romulan threat? Here's Tomalak. Need a generic Romulan threat to raise the stakes in Q's puzzle? Here's Tomalak.

The Romulan you liked played by Sloyan, was already dead in this episode. So, were stuck with Tomalak or Sela for Romulan antagonists. I still think Tomalak is the better of the two.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 11:44am (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

@ Robert
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 1:09pm (UTC -6)

Wait? He wrote SPIRIT FOLK?

Ok, he's dead to me.


Now come on Robert... we always get an episode based on the lead actors make-up/race/beliefs... 'Far Beyond the Stars' in DS9 and 'Spirit Folk' in DS9 :-)

Young minds, fresh ideas. Be tolerant. :-)
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 11:43am (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Hey, with Fuller aboard and apparently knowing Trek canon like the back of his hand I'm really optimistic that this new series will be:

A) Set in the Prime Universe and
B) Take place about 20 years after DS9 / Voyager

If they did this.. I mean, you could even base this series out of the fallout of the Dominion War. Damn, that'd be awesome.

P.S: VOY's "Alice" was a terrible episode, let's not count that one lol
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 11:37am (UTC -6)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

@ Demosthenes
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 8:53am (UTC -6)

@ Yanks

I love the way where you just skip over my first two paragraphs and go straight for the hyperbole. Your addressing only my silly way of blowing off some steam -- because I admit, watching that trailer actually makes me angry, probably a lot more than it should -- conveniently allows you to bypass my actual concern, and retain your own (I would argue) misguided optimism expressed earlier in the thread. Seriously, it's like you didn't even notice the abrupt change in tone. The shift to elevated in-universe references alone should have tipped you off. My God, I didn't think I would have to throw up "sarc" tags.

*** My bad. I was scratching my head reading that because I've enjoyed reading many of your posts in the past. I believe we've even conversed a couple times.

Since you apparently missed the thrust of my earlier comment, let me try again. Star Trek sometimes does action, but Star Trek is not an action franchise. Further, its attempts at grand-scale action setpieces (e.g., the buggy chase scene in "Nemesis", or the Scimitar-corridor shootout from the same movie) often come across both as underwhelming action and as inferior Star Trek. But even the deeply flawed "Nemesis" was hobbled in its attempts to Try Something a Bit Different by still trying to hold to the general tone of the universe. I see no evidence of any such hobbling in this trailer. The most logical conclusion is that Abrams and Co. are perfectly happy letting the tonal drift from the last movie proceed -- making another Star Trek flick that most hard-core Star Trek fans will barely recognize as such, in an attempt to put general-audience butts in seats for a "sci-fi" action-fest.

*** This always boils down to the same thing for me. Star Trek is made for and best shown on TV, not in the movie theaters. Sometimes it graces us with a movie that can make money and still be recognized as Trek, but mostly the "bad Star Trek movies" are the ones that most tried being relevant to the source material. ST2009 was a VERY good movie because it did what everyone expected it to do - brought together our heroes. STID has some great politically relevant story lines, but busted (for me) because they didn't keep our characters in character and couldn't get there head out of past ST movies. We all wanted something new, not rehashed flip-flopped old trek. STID could quite honestly have been the best ST movie yet.

Could the end product be more like Star Trek than the trailer is letting on? Yes. But after the terrible time I had at ST:iD, I'm not prepared to hand out benefit of the doubt. And I'm not keen on the thought of shelling out thirteen bucks for an IMAX ticket to watch "Star Trek: The Fast and the Pointiest." Looking at the trailer, you have to concede the possibility that it's headed in that direction. Really big stunts, way too much CGI destruction, one-liners to make you groan (or me, anyway) -- based on the evidence before us, my case is stronger than yours.
But you're too busy policing my last comment to see that. It's almost as if...as if you're trying to distract our attention away from the movie...until it's TOO LATE...

*** If I had seen the trailer and not listened to Pegg and Lynn afterwards I would agree. I'm more optimistic now than I was at the end of STID for sure. We'll see... it's gonna be an action movie for sure, we'll see how much trek gets sprinkled in this time. We don't want a 'Nemesis' now do we? I'll leave the real trek to the next series coming in January.

That's it, isn't it?! Clearly, you're in on the conspiracy! What part of J.J.'s vast Empire do you work for? Tell us right now, you gorram nerf herder, or I'll shove you in the nearest trash compactor. Or maybe it won't go that far...you see, contrary to rumor, there IS such a thing as a Vulcan death grip.

(Did you see it now, or do I have to pull out the "sarc" tags?)

*** LOL!! That just made my day (y)
Paul M.
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 11:36am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Just checked IMDB. Katsulas appeared as Tomalak in 4 episodes only. One of those -- Future Imperfect -- was a simulation, and the other was at the very end of the show in All Good Things. That leaves us with a total of TWO appearances in Season 3, in both of those for a couple of minutes.

Come on, let's not make some kind of cool Romulan archetype out of this guy.
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