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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 8:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

I have to disagree with you, Diana. Put yourself in Nikolai's shoes for a moment.....think about if it was you watching these people for several years, becoming very attached to them. Would it be such an easy decision to simply follow the Prime Directive?

I liked that you pointed out the potential future problems of mixing DNA from two species - obviously the baby will have features from both parents, one of whom is obviously not Boraalan.

Picard certainly has had his share of "living in the gray zone" in regard to following orders and rules, which is why I found it somewhat hypocritical for him to get so angry at Nikolai. Remember "A Matter of Time", where he gives an entire speech on 'bending the rules' when the circumstances justify it and lives are on the line?
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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 7:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

Sean, are you commenting on the wrong episode? This one was about Moriarty and his attempt to leave the holodeck as a sequel to his initial introduction.

Were you implying that the doctor could have given his holographic family consciousness the same way Moriarty was given it?
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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 7:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Well, I still stand by my statement, that the implementation of the episode to complement the theme was not done well at all.

William, you seem to state that the theme shows by comparing Daystrom erraticness to the M-5's going cuckoo. And yes, perhaps that is the reason the M-5 did poorly, since it was his brainwaves that he used to create the M-5. And therefore, you say, the theme is that the people who want to supplant humans have their own problems that preclude them from being the best judge of humans. Well, ok. But still... well, it's obvious the theme the episode wanted to show was that humans are not going to be obsolete by this computer, what with the whole "dunsel" bit. And if William's interpretation is true, then I, like Garak and the Boy Who Cried Wolf, see a different moral. If the importance is to show the connectivity between Dyson and the M-5, then the moral of the story isn't that computers are inferior, but rather that better humans should be used as the template for computers.

After all, if the fault of the M-5 is just that Dyson was erratic, why not try the M-6 with Kirk's brain? Will that computer be perfect enough to replace human captains? I don't think the episode answered that. Which is why it's a bit of a straw man story - it's not really Kirk vs The Ultimate Computer. It's Kirk vs the Insane Computer. And that's not a fair comparison.

Peter, I don't really disagree with what you say. But I just feel a bit more strongly on the fact that it's weak than you. Yes, computers will follow their logic to the bitter end, which can seem horrifying. And yes, it does mean that there should be some human oversight. Which honestly should have been obvious, but of course they didn't show it. Naturally our superintelligent future means people will test a complex new computer by giving it complete control of a freaking battleship that has enough firepower to exterminate a planet, and make the only kill switch an electronic one that the computer can hack.Perhaps it should be Starfleet command that should be seen as insane...

But I digress. My problem is that I, Robot came out in 1950. The Three Laws were first introduced in 1942. While Trek may have been blazing a trail for television sci-fi, this episode feels 25 years behind the times when it comes to sci-fi in general. There should have been safeguards put in place on that computer. There should have been better logic programmed into it. But apparently, Dyson didn't think of it. And apparently, Starfleet didn't demand it before thinking about putting it in one of their ships. It just wasn't very intelligent plotting, and so it's tough for me to care about the theme when it relies on dumb plotting.

(With that said, I will point out that this episode came out about a month or so before 2001, so it's not the only visual medium showering murderous AI. But HAL is a lot more memorable, so I'll let that one slide...)
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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 7:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

Thanks, Diana. That's a very plausible explanation and one I would be comfortable with.

I think it's a joke for them to tell us that (in canon) that these two characters are different people who just happen to both be master pilots. Give me a break.

Locarno IS Paris, who made a mistake, got sent to the penal colony, and was then recruited by Janeway because of his incredible piloting skills.

I thought Locarno's plea for leniency for the others on his team was a noble thing to do...unfortuately, Wesley left Starfleet, Sito was sent on a rotten mission that she didn't return from by Picard, and we're never told what happened to the fourth member of the team (Jean Hajar).
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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 3:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

This is a goofy episode - have to agree with @dgalvan. Also very similar to "The Return of the Archons" and also "That Which Survives" (from Season 3) to some extent. That being said, I didn't mind it and don't consider it anywhere near TOS's worst episodes.
The highlight is the philosophical debate between the Big 3 on the prime directive. The fact that the Enterprise is threatened dictates the crew's actions.
Chekov, for having appeared at the start of Season 2, has already played significant roles - more so than Uhura (absent in this one) and rivalling Scott and Sulu. His character as a bit of a ladies man has now been established.
Some inconsistencies - Spock should/could have died twice (once from the spores, the other being struck directly by lightning). He also ran into Vaal's forcefield. Thought Scotty threw the kitchen sink at the impulse engines to break free, yet they have phaser power to destroy Vaal.
Other than the prime directive dialogue, the rest of the dialogue is mostly silly.
I'd give it 2/4 stars - a well-worn plot which would have been more interesting if some story of how Vaal was created, how his people got there was found out.
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John Harmon
Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 2:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"The law has been hijacked by an overzealous individual whose judgment is suspect."

Ain't it the truth...
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Stuart M
Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 2:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: The Breach

I'm currently rewatching Enterprise on Netflix, in anticipation of Discovery later in the year.

Some of the episodes are truly dire, I don't recall think they were so poor back when they forst aired.

As for this episode, its better than the average for season 2 - but not great in its own right.

I agree with other comments re Travis' climbing skills, I noticed this before and was hoping during Horizon they'd show some sort of recreational climbing wall/simulator to at least add some plausibility.

The tribble was a nice touch, anything that links into TOS reminds me that this is meant to be a prequel series.
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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 12:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Renaissance Man

This episode was lol fun at times, especially the Doctor's deathbed confession. Also, bodies piling up in the morgue was hilarious.

It's main weakness were those pathetic aliens. God I really hoped " The Void" would be the last time I'd see them. It's absolutely asinine that the Doctor defeated Tuvok so easily, but couldn't do exactly the same to those Hierarchy yahoos. As he showed with Chakotay, his strength is nothing more than the workings of his force-field. He can literally be as strong as he wants to be and easily overpowers Chakotay, yet somehow he's struggling to wrestle with the bootleg aliens of the season.

This would've been the perfect episode to bring back the Think Tank. They could've corrupted the Doctor's program and had him strand Voyager, instead of some lame ass hostage coercion. Jesus Christ on a crucifix. I'll always remember Voyager as the show of missed opportunities.

This episode shows how dangerous the Doctor can be given the right motivation. It's criminal someone in Starfleet didn't figure out how to replicate the mobile emitter so all EMH Mark 1s could be deployed in the Dominion War. The mobile holo-emitter came online in 1996, seaon 3 maybe. I believe the Dominion War culminates during Season 5 of Voyager. Holograms are the perfect foil to the Changelings' shape shifting abilities. There was no way in hell Starfleet wouldn't have deployed them in that situation, especially with Section 31 creeping around. Although they couldn't fool the Founders without the ability to commune, holograms could've infiltrated the Vorta, the Jem'Hadar, and Cardassians quite easily.
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John Harmon
Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 11:48am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

"The vast majority of America is not, or ever has been racist, sexist, or any other vile name."

Hahahahahahahaha!!!! That's a good one. Brilliant satire.
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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 10:34am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Homestead

Wow. I NEVER liked Neelix. I often wished he'd meet his end in a shuttle crash or with severe phaser burns or perhaps somebody would space him into a Tyken's Rift or something.

However, even I felt the emotional power at the end of this episode. Tuvok specifically elevated this send off to 3 star level for me. I love when a person can say volumes without speaking a word. Tuvok 1st gave Neelix incredible words of encouragement and then in the final farewell says everything that needed to be said with that wag of his foot and the standard Vulcan homage.

It reminds me of a time when I was visiting a friend and an ice cream truck came down his street. I was long passed my ice cream craze days, but I smiled as I saw the kids congregating on the curb, absolutely losing their minds with anticipation. There were like 15 kids of various ages screaming at the truck to stop, as if the driver had planned to keep going. Not a chance. He was already slowing down.

But there was this one kid who hadn't said a word. Couldn't have been more than 5 years old. At the front of the pack, he just bent down and slowly patted the ground at his feet with one hand, smiling a devilish smile. I laughed out loud. Without even a word he'd said all that needed to be said.
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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 10:24am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Caretaker

I wholeheartedly concur with an earlier poster who compared this to the Odyssey. It really is an apt comparison and I think Voyager's writers were at least trying to go for that to some extent.

As for the intra-ship tension Janeway lays out the one ship one crew mantra as well as explore, find shortcuts and stick to principles-the show followed that to the end.

A satisfying beginning pilot. 3.5 stars!
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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 10:21am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Learning Curve

I don't have a problem much with this episode, the cheese and gel pack is funny yet not too insensible.

Remember a lot of the Maquis were former Starfleet so would probably have reintegrated easier than expected.

For people that wanted seven seasons of tensions and mutinies that wasn't what the show was going to be about at the end of Caretaker Janeway lays out the show's main premise, and major plots-exploring, seeking shortcuts and one ship one crew.
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JERR west
Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 6:09am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: A Private Little War

Why do you protect James kirk,Nona had all the men under her power,all Tyree wanted was to be put under spell's, when Tyree said you will not speak of this to other's, Nona said I will not if I am made to understand, when yutan came he told Nona not excuse me he said forgive me,kirk was hers that's why she was waiting for him she wished him there,do a story about Nona had she lived.
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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 5:37am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast

@NCC-1701-Z: HAHA!! When you put it that way, it does seem that a lot of the last scene was superfluous.

I thought this was an amazing episode, providing closure, flashy battleship scenes, the obligatory deus ex machina of Starship of the Series swooping in to rescue the day, and of course Garak as a central character, which never misses the mark. The last scene between him and Tain was very poignant, as was Tain's final scene, where he calmly muses 'These Founders, Elim... they're very good,' especially when contextualised against his role in 'In Purgatory's Shadow.' I agree with a former poster who said that he was too cuddly and teddy bear like to come across as a cold-blooded, heartless spy/assassin/mastermind, but it made him likeable enough for his denouement scene to have enough of an emotional impact.
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Jo Lonid
Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 5:36am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

All in all, it was a great series, with a great ending. Should've been a Endgame I & II.
With II dealing with their awards ceremony, their re-assignments, them fading from one to the other a single scene in their new lives.
Ponder this.....Theres still Borg tech in some of the crew that couldn't be removed.
I just have this pic in my mind as 7 being a instructor on the borg.....(probably borg in other areas of the universe), besides being a scientist.
Camera rolling, end of the day, Star Fleet HQ. We see 7 beaming into a large empty room, lights being emitted by her Borg Alcove, watching her look around, a long sigh as she steps into her alcove to regenerate. She turns around, closes her eyes....
Fade to Black....
Then, a door creaks open, a old Janeway peeks around the edge, old and gray, 'Sweet Dreams'................
A Great Series
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Joao Sousa
Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 3:05am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Repentance

I find amusing how so many people think of themselves as enlightened when they condemn someone to prison for the rest of their lives. They can't seem to understand how "barbaric" their beliefs are, putting people in cages for 40 years.

Not that killing someone is more enlightened, I just pity the people who dogmatically believe (and this is the problem, dogma) putting people in jail for 40 years is the only real acceptable choice.

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William B
Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 2:55am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Interestingly, I was going to make something of the opposite point to Peter, though in a way that is not inconsistent. The episode actually suggests that the M-5's value is not just because it can do normale computer things, but because it goes beyond usual computing into the domain of people -- creative thinking and all that. Specifically, this is because Day Strom programmed it with his own memory engrams. When the computer goes haywire, it is because it has inherited Daystrom's flaws as well as his strengths. I tend to see the message of this particular element as that computers are still created and programmed by people, and so will always be limited by the people who made them. The computer's apparent usefulness was that it could match human genius without flaws, but that was wrong, and the reveal that there is no machine utopia allows Kirk's Imperfect humanity to be back in command. There is a similar story in TNG where Data and Lore "inherit" some of Soong's flaws, though this is much more pronounced in Lore and Data was deliberately created to be aware of his limitations and to want to coexist with rather than dominate humans.

To build off Peter's point, Daystrom going insane may be a way of showing that the danger of thinking that machines can supplant, rather than supplement, humans is that the humans who subscribe to this may develop their own machine-like flaws. Daystrom's inability to think of the universe in terms besides efficiency and the attainment of his goals (and his inability to conceive of his own worth) make him kind of computer-like, as does his social isolation. This ends up enhancing his human flaws, which again seems to result from hanging his identity on a dream of escaping from human flaws entirely. I think the end can be both that Daystrom has made the mistake of thinking like a machine, and that M-5 is dangerous because it "thinks" like a person, though it is maybe a bit complicated.
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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 1:26am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

One thing I say for this episode : it makes you want to kill that woman and halve that colony 5 minutes in the serie, and leaves you unsatisfied just that didn't happen.

-for starters, from moment 1 they should have resisted this, those colonists by law are still federation citycens as they never legally requisted settlement here, and as such are obligated to follow starfleets orders, as such sisko should command THEM arround and strongly remember them about that.

-he might be fuck you I gonna look for a solution, you may keep your crappy crap, we just go our seperate way.

-even if they stayed, the moment they discovered the box, a big picard-style speach and a destroying of that cage would be in order... if not downright killing that bitch than and there (I challenge you for leadership fight till the death) than at the very least have them leave the colony than and there, so no food and water fine, we leave..

-and even if they remained after that... abiding there time there would be NO WAY he would have climbed in that cage if he acted on character... give back my d&&m device, stay out of OUR buisnuiss, we are NOT your crappy colonists, and maybe our way leads to death but at least we are free to go OUR way, and not live under your dictatorship.

-if we suspence disbelief way beyond reason and sit the whole episode out...
at the very least have the villagers attack alixus and kill her, her son or both and rage in anger... (lets say kill her son, as he defends his mother against the angry mob)

and as the mob wants to kill alixus... sisko steps in... the mob protests penal colony is to mild for her....
than sisko gets smart and evil.. takes away all the colonists... destroys the colony from orbit and places a satilite in orbit that causes tech not to work on the planets surface....
he than should beam alixus back to the planet... to live our the remainder of her days there alone... .. she wanted to find her core.. now she can ALONE..

so how this episode in fact was written is an insult to human freedom spirit, human justice, human emphathy, and WAY out of character for sisko...
bad episode 0.5/5 stars for evoking such strong WTF emotions..
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Peter G.
Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 12:07am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

@ Skeptical,

You may argue that the episode didn't create the greatest case for man over computers, but I think you would be wrong to suggest that it failed to create a case altogether.

The point of the episode isn't just that Kirk is smarter than the computer, or that no computer can match a human in creativity. That may or may not be true, but it isn't exactly the point. TOS always has as a running theme that logic and computation alone isn't enough to make a great person or a great society; this is reflected repeatedly in the Kirk-Spock-Bones trio. Kirk isn't just logic, but is logic coupled with humanity and compassion (Bones + Spock = Kirk). The fact that the episode (as usual) ends with the computer being 'outsmarted' is a tidy way to wrap things up, and I agree that it's a weaker ending than it should have had. But the wrap-up isn't really the point as I see it. The point is that a machine will follow its logic to the end and have any fallback position grounded in compassion, sympathy, or feeling. It's sort of like a psychopath, if you will, in that it will not have internal mechanisms to stop it doing bad things if they seem best.

Now, it's true that if the programming is good then the output should be ok too, and likewise if there is a bug (a la Skynet) things will go pear shaped and the computer will not be able to be reasoned with past that point. But more to the point, the Trek theme is TOS is that advancing humanity isn't about technology or capabilities, but primarily about advancing values and how we treat each other. This is an area in which the inclination to push capability will not only be a sidetrack to advancing humanity but will in fact hinder it if pursued incorrectly. Take, for instance, the eugenic wars, where in an effort to 'advance humanity' in capability a monster was created instead. Likewise here, where a captain more sophisticated than a human is created to obsolete humans, just as Khan wished to obsolete homo inferior. The danger outlined in "The Ultimate Computer" is along these lines, and although it didn't fully realize the treatment of this issue I do think it's in there and is still pertinent to this day; maybe more so than even it was in the 60's, when human obsolescence was still science fiction.
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Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 11:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

Going to have to echo some previous sentiments that Gowron and his entire Council holding data pads whilst Quark walked them through the finer details of Grilka's finances was pure comedy gold. Robert O'Reilly's face especially was uproarious. Pretty good episode overall, I was howling in most of the scenes. My favourite line was 'I am Quark, son of Keldar, and I have come to answer the challenge of D'Ghor, son of... whatever.' Armin Shimerman is a born comedian. LOL!!!!
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Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 10:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Disaster

I enjoyed. All four stories.

I did find myself puzzled that everything is going fritz, but the artificial gravity is fully functional. Shouldn't that be futzing out, at least in random locations? Yet not only is it functional, it's functional enough to be a hazard in of itself. Even when I first saw it that puzzled me.

Ever since movies like Event Horizon and shows like Battlestar Galactica have portrayed this more accurately, I've disliked shows that portray exposure to a vacuum inaccurately: trying to hold your breath is a death-sentence.
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Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 10:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

"Truth is, all - CBS access, Klingons, time period, etc. - will be forgiven if they can just make a good show."

It is true that none of these "sins" are unforgivable. But if CBS knew what they were doing, they wouldn't have committed them in the first place.

I mean... Why would any person who knows what Trek is supposed to be all about, choose to go back to the 23rd century and then piss all over the established continuity?

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Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 9:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Sigh, Kirk outwitting a computer... again.

I mean, I get what they were trying to do with this episode, and I understand the uncertainty of how these newfangled computers would fit into society back in the 60s and all, and I realize it was a hot topic in sci-fi, both profound and silly, but man, there's nothing that makes an episode look more dated. All these old shows and stories assumed you would feed a few pieces of information to a computer, and it would make surprising connections and leaps of logic that would shock and amaze people. Hey, maybe that will still happen in the future, who knows? But our modern computers seem to be on par with the normal Enterprise computer these days, and this idea is still well beyond our comprehension. So it just seems bizarre that all these SF shows completely missed all the ways computers would actually impact our lives and jumped straight into these superbrain stories. And, just like all those other SF stories, the ultimate computer ends up being evil.

And that's what really bugs me, makes me think this episode is not a true classic. The computer just goes straight to evil. The character arc or struggle or theme of the episode was Kirk worrying about being replaced, being obsolete. That's a fair story to consider, so the antagonist of the plot (the computer) should be one that complements and reinforces this struggle. But instead, it just acts as a straw man. The resolution should be that Kirk isn't obsolete because he has some unique quality that the computer doesn't have. Think about, for example, the Corbomite Maneuver, where only a bluff would work to save the ship. Or all the old Kirk speeches to get the antagonists to change their mind. A proper resolution would show that Kirk had something above the computer, like the battle of wits between him and Khan. Instead, he doesn't have to show why he deserves to be a captain when it became clear that the computer is crazy evil. Just shut off the computer, abandon the project, and fly off into the sunset, and no more self examination of Kirk. Is that really what we wanted?

Thus, a potentially interesting idea went to waste. Too bad.
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Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 7:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

I should also note that since I posted last, various arguments I have read have shown me that my opposition to the 2nd Amendment was in error. I still don't like the idea of a population being able to buy weaponry, but I like the idea of liberty being eroded and violently replaced even less. And that's what the 2nd Amendment is there for. It's primary focus is to stop a hostile take over. One of the first things the Nazis and other totalitarian governments did was to remove any means that the population had for fighting back. I have also seen that Switzerland has its own form of the 2nd Amendment and does not seem to have the same gun problems. This is a much more complicated issue than I gave it credit for.

Also, my view on abortion has changed. I am now against it in all cases, apart from where the mother will likely die, where the mother was raped, or where the child is likely to be born with a defect. Again, it's a complicated issue. I am certainly against our current use of it - basically a form of contraception. It cheapens life.

Just thought I'd clear that up. It's always possible to reevaluate ones ideas - if one has an open mind.
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Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 7:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

And I call on you to stop trying to close down an interesting debate and an interesting thread. The whole point of Star Trek and shows like it is - on some level - to provoke discussion on important issues.

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