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Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 2:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Duet

@Luke - Much better!!! :)

I look forward to your review on the next one, which I think is an overlooked gem and possibly a higher 10 for me than Duet by a hair.
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 2:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

"And that's without saying anything about what the hell kind of time paradox led to Voyager going back to Day 1 and Annorax 200 years?"

That's not what happened. Annorax is long dead, the ending is just showing you what happened to him. Erasing the timeship from existence means that his life played out differently 200 years ago. They were showing you his ending, but he's long dead by Voyager's time.
Diamond Dave
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

Yes, this definitely ended up as something of a missed opportunity. I found this to be a bit slow and with some very odd characterisations - Janeway's obsessional behaviour comes across as particularly unsympathetic, as does Chakotay's apparent conversion to Annorax's point of view. And that's without saying anything about what the hell kind of time paradox led to Voyager going back to Day 1 and Annorax 200 years?

Anyway, we got a good action finale with some very pretty FX. It wasn't bad so much as disappointing with what might have been. 2.5 stars.
Ben Masters
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 1:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Doomsday Machine

"If you can, view the remastered version of this episode. The updated graphics adds amazing visual punch."

I've taken that recommendation and then some. I have seen through the remastered "Doomsday Machine" quite a few times, first from the standalone second-season remastered release, and then from the 2015 remastered full-series release, and it never ceases to amaze.
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 1:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Duet

Okay, truth time....

I'll admit that I'm actually kind of hesitant on giving my thoughts on "Duet". It's always been much easier for me to write about things I dislike as opposed to things I like. If I dislike something, I can go on for pages about it. If I like something, I often can't think of much to say besides "it's good." And I honestly cannot think of anything I dislike about this episode.

We finally get some of that wonderful Trek world-building I'm so found of (not the least of which is our first real appearance of anyone from the actual Bajoran Provisional Government - the Minister of State). We have an episode that's ultimately about tolerance and yet it never once breaks out the TTTT (Trusty Trek Two-by-four of Tolerance - TM by Luke, patent pending) to beat us over the head. The acting is superb from all involved (Nana Visitor delivers her best performance on the show thus far and Harris Yulin's is so powerful that words don't exist to describe how good it is). The scene where he breaks down in tears and finally admits the truth to Kira is an emotional powerhouse. I usually don't get choked up or outright cry (cause, you know, I'm a man and all) but one thing that often gets to me is when people show strong emotions like that; and it worked this time wonderfully. There's the second appearance of Dukat (always a welcome addition - even in later seasons when most people think his character went downhill) who hasn't appeared since "Emissary".

I especially loved one aspect of the Kira/Marritza exchanges. At first, he makes some good points about Kira and it seems like he is the calm, rational one (even though he's clearly a racist). Kira is just as racist towards Cardassians. Then we get his long, insane rants about how Bajorans are scum, unworthy of any respect. It's horrific, because all the while he does make those good points. No matter what is done the dead can't be brought back; the things that Darheel has done can't be undone. Even if Kira and Bajor got justice (even against the real Darheel) it would be little more than a pyrrhic victory. It's raw; it's brutal; it's utterly captivating.

But what makes "Duet" so amazing, for me anyway, is how gutsy it is. I have to hand it to DS9's production staff - it took a lot of balls to take a character who was essentially a Nazi concentration camp guard and present him as in this light - a character for whom our sympathies are marshaled. That's something that could have back-fired tremendously. But, they had a stellar script, a stellar story and stellar actors to pull it off.

One final thing I'll point out is how finely crafted the story is. Not only is this a story about tolerance and understanding; there's also political intrigue, an examination of the nature of evil, and the ultimate tragedy of Marritza. That's a lot to cover in just forty-five minutes. And yet it pulls it off wonderfully. Every scene clicks and is worthwhile - even Quark's cameo appearance (as it's really the only comedic relief in this otherwise intensely emotional episode; it allows the audience a chance to catch our breath and absorb everything that's going on).

"Duet" richly deserves all the accolades it receives. Even now, after having seen it multiple times, it still managed to be engaging. It is, simply put, a masterpiece.

Diamond Dave
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 1:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part I

I haven't been as taken by an idea like the year of hell when it appeared in 'Before and After' since the Borg universe Enterprise way back in 'Parallels'. So this should have been an absolute slam dunk classic - and yet it just isn't.

Even accepting the fact that there is no acknowledgement of the events of 'Before and After', that the 10 years journey time saved in The Gift should have put them beyond Krenim space, and the lingering suspicion (evidenced by Janeway's hair?) that we're in a different timeline somehow anyway, this fails in its choice of antagonist.

The Krenim were enough of a black canvas to come up with something really cool - instead we get a bunch of preening space Nazis right out of a 1970s Doctor Who show.

We do get some destruction porn as the Voyager gets increasingly torn up - and awesome work it is too - but as exciting as elements of it are this should have been so much better. 3 stars.
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 12:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Where No Man Has Gone Before

^ a hardcore Tolkien fan, then. hah!

The announcement of a new Trek series in 2017 put me into a Trek mood and I didn't feel like continuing TNG just yet...so I just started watching TOS instead :D

This is all new to me, unlike TNG, I barely watched TOS episodes as a child. In fact, I think I've mostly seen some movies.

About "The Cage": I liked this more than I was expecting, even when the only regular character I recognized was Spock. And his characterization was waaaaay off.

"Where no Man* has gone before" is even better, imo. Finally we get to see almost all the traditional cast. As you guys said, Spock needs a bit of work, but that's to be expected.

*(I like how they changed that line to "Where no ONE" in TNG, subtle social progress)

And I was a bit worried about my enjoyment of Kirk, after watching 3 and a half seasons of TNG, THE Captain for me was Picard. But I really liked Kirk's personality and charisma, nice acting from Shatner there.

The rest, well, you guys said most of it already. I read somewhere that "Mitchell" couldn't see all that well with those lenses. So, that's why he seems to be watching everything with a smug look on his face. It worked wonders for his character.

So far, two episodes in with TOS and I'm impressed how much stuff and plotlines were created during TOS time instead of TNG.

I hope the other 70 or so episodes are somewhat good and enjoyable.

Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Tribunal

At what point in the future does Starfleet decide that installing video security cameras is no longer useful? Odo's got a random collection of plot-serving cameras, but none in the photon torpedo warhead storage hold...
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 11:13am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Collaborator

@BZ I always see the various takes on Bajorans religion as analogous to sects of earth religions, E.g. Roman Catholicism vs. Protestant vs. Lutheran, although I make no attempt to make a clear analogy.

Being raised Catholic myself, its all I can really compare to. I always viewed Bereil as simply having a more loose, open minded view but still staying within the bounds of his religion. I recall, going to a Catholic school, some of the brothers there being significantly more down to earth than others, but still not straying from their faith. That's how I view Bereil, practicing his religion but more progressive than most.
Paul M.
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 11:04am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Katsulas doesn't have Stewart's gloriously bald and shiny head. He can never be Picard's equal. NEVAH!
Lord Garth
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 10:09am (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

I'm prepared to be totally wrong BUT here's my prediction for the setting of the series and why:

Short Answer: My prediction for the setting of the next Star Trek series: Prime Timeline, 25th Century. After "Star Trek Online".

Long Answer: We've already seen the TOS era, TNG era, we've seen glimpses of in-between. None of it will look new. It either has to be Pre-TOS or Post-NEM.

Setting it in-between ENT and the 2233 timeline split would look cowardly. Like they'd be too afraid to make a stand and say if this is set in the Prime Timeline, Abrams Timeline, or a Third Timeline. So that leaves Post-Nemesis.

Here's why I think it'll take place after Star Trek Online. If you set it any earlier (and still have it be post-Nemesis), it might alienate fans of Online or fans of the novels because the new series will most likely overwrite them. If you want fans to *pay* for the CBS streaming service, you'll have to make them _want_ to spend the money. That's also why I think it'll be set in the Prime Universe.
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 10:08am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Seventh Season Recap

For another comparison, TNG didn't do much with its characters (aside from Picard and Worf) in its last two or three years, pretty much regressed Worf and Data in its final year and never did much with La Forge or Troi ... and yet even static versions of Riker, Worf and Data are generally more entertaining than Chakotay, Paris or Neelix.
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 10:02am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Collective

I don't know about this one, I'm just not big on there being Borg "Rascals" existing in this franchise. Voyager takes yet another step in defanging the Borg, and I don't know what I'm supposed to get out of this. Children transcend boundaries of hatred? I suppose that's a good message.

As for Seven of Nine getting a lot of screen time, this is an episode where it actually makes sense that Seven would be leading an away team. She understands the Borg and can warn other red shirts before they get assimilated by accident.
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 8:44am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

I'm kind of on the fence about this one. Maybe it wasn't right for Trip to have interfered in the first place. But once the damage was done, what point was there for denying the cogeniter asylum? Unless the Vissians had threatened them in some way. (which didn't seem to be the case) Perhaps there should have been a throwaway line about Archer being ordered by top brass to it.

If the cogeniter was only needed for an enzyme, they could have asked the cogeniter* if they were willing to donate it to the couple and then granted them asylum. Perhaps Phlox could have come up with a procedure if the Vissians said it wouldn't work.

*It seems weird to have to say the cogeniter each time. But they are considered other than male or female, but saying "it" seems disrespectful.
Fri, Feb 12, 2016, 8:21am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Starship Mine

I liked it. Instead of a star rating, I'll go thumbs up/down, and I give this one a thumbs up.

I recognized Patricia Tallman as well in this episode. She was a guest a few times, playing a security officer once (in the background). If some don't know, she was the stunt double for Dr. Crusher, and also played Lyta Alexander on Babylon 5.

Not only did I like the smalltalk (Hutch and Data stopping to fake-laugh at the same time, in the same way, heheheheh), I thought the look on Riker's face was perfect. Mr Frakes can do the eyes wide, trying not to laugh face with the best of them.

There was no reason for the terrorists at the reception to do ANYTHING, or have any weapons at all. If they had left the guns at home, there would have been nothing for Geordi to notice. The bad guys on the ship would have gotten their resin, left, and no one would be the wiser that they were in on it. And if something goes wrong on the ship with getting the resin, they still have no reason to take hostages. The folks at the reception had no idea what was going on up there. Some did mention they weren't very smart, letting the good guys get together to talk, but I figure they were amateurs. They worked at the place, maybe for years, and may have never had to point a gun at another sentient. It was also mentioned, why do this to the Flagship? I figure this isn't the first time a resin theft has gone on (it sure seems pretty easy, all things considered), and the Enterprise was just the next ship to come along. Maybe. :)

Heh, Picard falling all over himself trying to get out of the room was great. *Bounce* into the wall, missing the door, heh, trying to explain why he needs to leave right then, to get his saddle in time. Really liked that.

Upon first viewing, I and my friends figured he was going non-lethal because he figured he'd make it out long before the sweep was close to finishing, and they could be picked up. But when they were incapacitated, he had to leave them Somewhere, and could not drag them all to 10-Forward. I don't quite get the 'weapons' the baddies had though. It looked like a little welder to me, and was explained as some sort of torch. After Picard threatens a baddie with one (close up), they suddenly seem to be long-range torches. They are many feet away from Picard, he has a crossbow, but surrenders to a tool with a flame that might have been a couple of inches at best. At least that is how it came across to me. After the first encounter with one, they suddenly become a laser/phaser or some such thing.

I did like Picard having a plan. We were wondering how he would get out of this, and that he'd find a club or something, but he sneaks around and finds weapons at Worf's (we went *of course!*) and finds drugs in sickbay. That worked for us, at the time.

Thanks and Have Fun! RT
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.
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