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Matthew
Sun, May 29, 2016, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

@nooffenseintended

I'm not sure I follow your analogy all the way. I do see the irony in Star Trek fans having more hate for the franchise, at least in it's current incarnation, than non-fans. But that in and of itself is unremarkable, lots of Star Wars fans were in a similar position in the mid 00's.

But are you saying that the hate for NuTrek coming from fans is a result of trying to be hip or avoid being unhip? As though there is elitist cache in hating on NuTrek.

Because that seems ludicrous on it's on its face. When was Star Trek ever hip, or even hip to hate on (like a Michael Bay or M. Night film)? And particularly now that it's been remade using the highly marketable Star Wars template, there's absolutely no cache in being "that guy" in the room arguing for more "boring" Star Trek.

It just so happens that this fansite is a place where a good number of "that guys" come from time to time. (And for the record, I got a lot more positive about the new series after they brought Bryan Fuller on.)
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navamske
Sun, May 29, 2016, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Amok Time

"Dis combat is to de det." --T'Pau

Gotta love Vulcans with Viennese accents.
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navamske
Sun, May 29, 2016, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Operation--Annihilate!

@Stubbs

"One question. What happens to Kirk's nephew in 'Operation: Annihilate'? Both his parents (Kirk's brother and sister-in-law) are dead. Assuming the kid survived -- which we aren't told -- shouldn't Kirk feel obligated to care for him? Oh well. It Takes A Village, I guess."

In at least one of the (non-canon, of course) novels, it is stated that Peter was sent to Earth to live with and be raised by his paternal grandmother, Winona.
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navamske
Sun, May 29, 2016, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Miri

@Grumpy

"I wonder how many exact duplicates of Earth are located in, say, the Klingon Empire. 'Cause there's plenty in Federation space."

The writers created the fictitious "Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development" to "explain" why all the aliens were humanoid and all the "town" location shooting ("Miri," "Return of the Archons," "The City on the Edge of Forever") was done on the studio's back lot. Notably, this "Hodgkin's Law" was never mentioned in any of the subsequent incarnations of Star Trek.
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navamske
Sun, May 29, 2016, 11:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

@Nathan G

"WHY THE HECK DID NOBODY THINK ABOUT A SHUTTLE CRAFT?!?!"

The shuttlecrafts weren't available until Tuesday.
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navamske
Sun, May 29, 2016, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

@AJ

"Am I the only one who finds it ironic that Majel Barrett who plays Nurse Chapel, also plays Lwaxana Troi and the android Ruk looks just like Mr. Homn? I know that the actors are different but the minute I saw Ruk I said 'Oh wow, it's Mr Homn!'"

Apparently other people saw the resemblance too -- both Ted Cassidy (Ruk) and Carel Struycken (Mr. Homn) played Lurch in productions of "The Addams Family," Cassidy in the original series and Struycken in the movies.
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navamske
Sun, May 29, 2016, 11:44am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Naked Time

I liked Uhura's response to Sulu's "I'll save you, fair maiden": "Sorry, neither!" -- stating that she was neither "fair" (as in fair-skinned) nor a "maiden" (i.e., a virgin). Pretty racy for '60s TV.
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navamske
Sun, May 29, 2016, 11:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Where No Man Has Gone Before

@Jeffrey Bedard

"You get the sense of long friendship between Kirk and Mitchell, but it's unfortunate that Mitchell couldn't have been established in a few episodes to make his transformation and death a little more tragic."

Yes. I'm reminded of the character of Peter Durst (Brian Markinson) in the V'ger episode "Cathexis," who was introduced just so he could be bumped off by the Vidiians in the next episode, "Faces."
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navamske
Sun, May 29, 2016, 11:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

@K'Elvis

"The creature is smart enough to imitate not just the appearance of humans, but to imitate behavior, and that takes some mental capacity. But it isn't smart enough to realize it could have had all the salt it wanted just for the asking?"

Any creature worth its salt would have done that.

But yeah, you're right -- except that without the creature's evident need to create mayhem in its quest for NaCl, there wouldn't be a story. It's kind of like the episode in which Sulu and some others were freezing on a planet and the crew couldn't use the transporter to bring them up because it was creating evil duplicates -- why didn't they just send down a shuttlecraft? In both instances one line of dialogue could have addressed these concerns:
-- "The creature not only wants salt, it wants to kick ass too."
-- "The shuttlecrafts won't be here until Tuesday."
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Xepth
Sun, May 29, 2016, 2:44am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

Well, apparently some people cannot appreciate acting if it is not in-your-face shouting and explicit emotional outbursts.

Because that's all I see in this review. Hating because the acting is not dramatic enough.

Or maybe someone is just anti-Vulcan and can't see the obvious humor in an all-Vulcan episode, with all their coldly emotional behavior.
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Peter G.
Sun, May 29, 2016, 1:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

@ Luke,

That's an interesting take on the episode. I always saw it as being more about how there is too much chaos and unpredictability to know how things will turn out, and that logic by itself is no substitute for hope and faith. Jack and the others would, after all, have been entirely correct except for the small matter of the prophets intervening and eliminating a Dominion fleet. That's another instance of a local event involving one decision that changed the whole course of the war. Granted, *no one* took the prophets seriously until then, but still, it showed that Sisko's faith (in the prophets, in this case) was just as important to his victory as his tactical knowledge.

I guess in the schema of American politics a message about faith still veers toward the right-wing and so that parallels the point you made about central planning.

One thing I would note, mind you, is that one should not confuse "central" planning with totalitarian regimes that are structured as bureaucracies. Historically we've seen some instances of the latter, but to date we have seen zero instances of a completely centrally planned democracy, for example. It probably can't work at present since, frankly, you'd need a computer AI to coordinate it, but in any case I don't think the dichotomy between "individual freedom" and "central planning" applies to the Star Trek universe, where it's clear that it is, indeed, possible to both have a humane and just society that is centrally planned due to technological capabilities we don't have. That's something to aspire to in the future, and doesn't require us to suggest that we need to move towards total central planning right now. Just a thought.
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Peter G.
Sun, May 29, 2016, 1:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Luke,

I find it an odd criticism to call into question Avery Brooks's credentials in understanding the experience of black America in the 50's. I can totally understand your concerns about Brooks' acting method in his breakdown scene, and that especially as an area of artistic critique (acting style) that can have a nuanced and differing approach for each person who considers it. But trying to find an 'inconsistency' in how Brooks portrays life for black Americans...I dunno man, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. There is no discernable inconsistency between suggesting that some people would beat you up, others would sneer, others would smile but covertly not trust you, while others yet would consider you an honored friend. That black people were employed is a fact; that *some people* had a problem with their inclusion in society is also a fact. I don't see how it has to be just one or the other. The dirty cops were physical manifestations of the core of that racism (hatred and fear), but the show doesn't try to imply that everyone hates them like that. On the contrary, the Dukat/Weyoun part in the Benny story seems to me to be about the fact that in any age there will be those who succumb to either fear or hatred, and that one must persevere without resorting to hating them back and becoming like them (the error of the Founders).

Pabst was not overtly a racist in terms of hating blacks (that we know of), but he was the enforcer of racist rules. In current parlance that means he was directly implicated in what's called systemic racism, and in that context he enforced racism. There are degrees to which a person will be willing to take risks to be a hero, and Pabst was not willing to go all the way but certainly did recognize some of the problems in undermining a black writer. Keep in mind that the Benny universe characters are meant to be direct analogues to their DS9 personas, so Pabst *is* Odo in all important senses. Specifically, he's the incarnation of Odo that was chief of security under the Cardassians during the Occupation. Sure, he wasn't anti-Bajoran like the Cardassians were but he also never went out on a limb for them either, like Quark did to an extent (while hiding it as best he could, just as Herbert fervently denies being a communist). As we learn in certain episodes and as Rusot's goon points out, Odo was indeed complicit in Bajoran executions even though he personally had no grudge against them, and for that Odo is guilty just as Pabst is. There is mitigating circumstance, of course - not everyone is cut out to be a firebrand, but still the facts are what they are. So that makes Pabst a 'racist' in the sense of participating with open eyes in a racist system, but I saw no sense that he personally was pleased with that system.

Regarding Brook's acting, he sometimes employs what is called stylized acting, and specifically heightened (quasi-Shakespearean) acting which veers away from verisimilitude and more towards giving a physically large spacial energy to the ideas being put forward. In short, it turns an idea in sound and motion in a theatrical way, and indeed it's probably a mark of theatre training. I can see how someone - especially a student of American film and TV - might be turned off by this since it's 'not realistic' in the way that became famous in the American Method schools, but I can assure you it's not "bad" acting. Brook's dedication to the imaginary circumstances of the scene and the belief in what he was saying was really there. I do personally agree that he let the theatricality go too far, and that's an artistic criticism, but damn his acting was still really good and his passion very real. A small tweak and I think the scene would have been awesome, but you're right that this is a major risk when self-directing.
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Ivanov
Sun, May 29, 2016, 12:21am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Equinox, Part I

Great episode but I do wonder how is what Ransom did any different than what Janeway did in "The Swarm"?

In Janeways case she killed Thousands of Swarm aliens to shave 15 months of her Journey Ransom killed dozens of these extra dimensional lifeforms and harvested their bodies for fuel. To me both have done horrible things to try and get their crew home. The difference is that this is Janeway's show so she has to be right no matter what.

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Luke
Sun, May 29, 2016, 12:19am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Honor Among Thieves

A pretty average episode, when all is said and done. There is nothing particularly bad about "Honor Among Thieves" but also nothing particularly good - aside from the acting.

The main problems are two-fold. First, this isn't exactly the most original of stories, is it? An undercover agent tries to infiltrate an organized crime syndicate. Hm, I think I've seen this somewhere else before. Said agent begins to grow fond of his target and has trouble dealing with the consequences of his assignment. Yeah, definitely seen this before. It's almost as if the writers just stuffed the script full of mob movie cliches. Second, I just don't have that much sympathy for Bilby. Sure, he has his charms, but so does Dukat. Oh, he really loves his family? Well, so what? The man is a cold-blooded killer who literally killed a man in front of O'Brien and was planning on carrying out a cold-blooded political assassination. You can talk all you want about how his life has forced him to do these things, but at the end of the day he still chose to live this way. In other words, he chose the thug life; the thug life did not chose him. The fact that he's a loving family man really pales in comparison to the fact that he's a stone-cold, unrepentant killer, doesn't it? I do feel somewhat sorry for his family (do they even know what he does for a living? - the episode leaves that fairly vague). That is, until next season's "Prodigal Daughter" comes along and destroys any sympathy I had for them. As a result, the only new character I have any sympathy left for is.... Chester. That's right - the cat!

Still, like most "Deep Space Nine" episodes, the acting saves what is otherwise a lackluster outing. Everyone involved delivers a very enjoyable performance. Even Nick Tate (Bilby) delivers a nicely understated performance - I may not care for the character, but I will admit that the actor did a fine job. Colm Meaney delivers his usual top-notch work - there really should have been more O'Brien focused stories, though preferably ones that don't always involve torturing him in some way. I also somewhat enjoyed the basic plot of the Dominion using the Orion Syndicate to further their goals. It seems like something the Dominion would do - working from behind the scenes to influence the course of events.

It could have been a lot worse, and in the hands of a lessor lead actor undoubtedly would have been, but it's not a complete waste.

6/10
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Ivanov
Sun, May 29, 2016, 12:03am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Swarm

Main plot:This was a great Doctor episode it really made me sad at the prospect that he might have to start all over again with the crew. Picardo is a really great actor.

Subplot:So Janeway decides to pass through another species space regardless of what they think about it. and kills tens of thousands of border guards. She probably killed a few thousand more when they reached the other side to. would have been nice to see them capture one alive and convince it to speak with their leaders, or at least some form of communication.
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Luke
Sat, May 28, 2016, 11:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

"One Little Ship" is an episode that should not work. The basic premise - shrinking three of the main cast members and a runabout down to the size of Lilliputians - would be the most absurd idea in the franchise if it wasn't for the fact that VOY once transformed two characters into sex-crazed salamanders. The Jem'Hadar First is a complete blithering idiot who can't see the blindingly obvious even when his own second-in-command is screaming it in his face. The animosity between Alpha and Gamma Jem'Hadar is unnecessary, only offering a potential distraction from the mistrust between Dominion and Cardassian forces (thankfully this was immediately dropped, aside from a new make-up design for the Jem'Hadar). And the idea of the tiny runabout flying through the ship seems like an idea that a ten-year-old would come up with. But, surprisingly, despite all these shortcomings, it manages to be fairly engaging and genuinely entertaining.

The tone of the episode is kept exactly where it needs to be kept - whimsical silliness with tongue planted firmly in cheek. The jokes work, for the most part. There is a legitimate sense of suspense in scenes where it is needed. And the special effects really hold up well after all of these years. The scenes of the Rubicon flying through the Defiant are worth the price of admission alone - they are remarkably well done F/X shots.

A lot of people like to say that the difference between "Deep Space Nine" and VOY is either one of serialization or moral ambiguity. I disagree, to a point. It's episodes like this that clearly show the differences. On VOY, they tried many forms of "high concept" science fiction. Most of them didn't work? Because VOY often made its episodes entirely about the high concept being played with - the problem had everything to do with the concept itself so the solution had to be at least as silly as the problem. On "Deep Space Nine", however, the high concept episodes are about people facing strange problems, not the problems themselves. In this episode, the problem isn't the fact that Dax, O'Brien and Bashir are small. The problem is the Jem'hadar seizing control of the Defiant. All of the things done with their size limitations aren't ultimately the point. And returning them to normal size isn't the resolution of the crisis. We don't even see the process of making them tall again, because it doesn't matter. We care about the Jem'hadar on the Defiant. TNG also understood this; it's why "Rascals" works so well - we have the ridiculous idea of people turning into twelve-year-olds but the problem is ultimately the fact that the Ferengi have seized control of the ship. On VOY, however, the ultimate problem that needed to be solved was fixing the malfunctioning holodeck or escaping the random anomaly of the week. See the difference?

A fluff piece, to be sure, but a very well executed fluff piece.

7/10
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nooffenseintended
Sat, May 28, 2016, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

On Dxember 14, Jammer asked if he needed to create a new comment thread for "Star Trek Beyond." To which Matthew (December 14, 2015 at 1:51 PM) replied to the effect of, "that. I ght not be a bad idea. People are going to need a receptacle for their hate."

@Jammer, think about how many comments that have been made on Trek #11, Trek # 12, Star Trek Beyond, The Force Awakens, and the comments that will be made about the new Trek series premiering in January. There's so much hate for all of the above that not even Ambassador Alkar in TNG's "Man of the People" could find enough receptacles to contain it.

Things have reached the point where the trolls ( who are promptly and mercilessly upbraided) are the ones saying the GOOD things about these movies. Movie critic Pauline Kael made an interesting remake about the 1968 film "Petulia." She criticized that movie's director, Richard Lester, for using San Francisco (to her, one of the most beautiful places in the U.S.) as the setting for a showcase of ugly American behavior. She mused that if the director, who was British, had to go to such lengths to speciifcally portray the best America had to offer as evidence that America was culturally sick (which, to her, was like framing what a cop viewed as an obviously guilty suspect with crooked evidence), then what was it that the director REALLY hated? Her conclusion was that he hated not America but rather the idea of being "unhip," and that if his movie didn't gratuitously attack America, it would have committed the sin of being too ""square." When people who claim to love Star Trek or Star Wars attack the best that these franchises have to offer (click on a review of a great episode, scroll down a bit, and voila - instant hate!), what is it that those people really hate? The idea that they might give the impression that they actually are mortal enough to be entertained by something?

Now, the way comments sections work, not everyone can flood those sections at once with their comments. Whomever clicks "submit" first, gets to the head of the line. To eceryone else waiting in line who didn't like what I just said, well, I guess you'll just have to hate until it's your turn!
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Luke
Sat, May 28, 2016, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

@ William B

"1. I don't mind Brooks here, though I don't like his over-the-top performances elsewhere...but I don't particularly mind this."

I'm about the exact opposite. I can stand his over-the-top performances, in fact I think they're very in keeping with his character. But this.... this was just unbearable. I honestly find it hard to watch. Not only is it horrible acting, it also completely destroys the climax of the episode - dragging down what should have been a very emotional scene into utter lunacy. A better way to play Benny's breakdown would have been to take a lesson from none other than William Shatner himself (another man known for his tendency to chew the scenery). In "The Search for Spock", when Kirk is informed that David is dead he also has a breakdown, but it's a subdued and nuanced one - he stumbles back, loses his footing and then begins to cry. This.... this is just outlandish.

"2. What makes you think the episode is saying Pabst is a racist rather than a coward?"

I think it's pretty clear that we're supposed to see Pabst as a racist. Even Jammer agrees, calling him a "covert racist". Yes, it's true that the cops played by Alaimo and Combs are more villainous, but it's Pabst who Benny has to struggle against more often. In fact, for most of the episode, it's Pabst and his unwillingness to publish the story as originally written that is the primary obstacle Benny has to overcome.

"3. I'm a white man. I would not be surprised if I got beat up for throwing a punch at a police officer today."

I'm a white man as well. I doubt that if I threw a punch a cop that I wouldn't get a beating. I'm just saying that the level of escalation the cops inflict on Benny wasn't needed for the story - unless the producers were trying to say that society at large really was *that" horrible, something I disagree with.

"As far as the point about riots, I thought the implication was that Pabst was suggesting that having a black character in a story would cause black people to riot, suddenly realizing the possibilities."

I've always interpreted that line as Pabst fearing that white people would turn violent at the thought of a black main character. But, I could be wrong on that one.

"7. Did he look into the camera?"

Indeed he did. Not at the moment when Sisko sees Benny's reflection in the window though - right before that, when Sisko and Joseph are still sitting on the couch.
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dipads
Sat, May 28, 2016, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

The scene where Seven is crouched on the floor acting innocently and Tuvok releasing the forcefield seemed to me a risky move on his part. She still had the phaser pointed at him and could easily have killed him once the forcefield was disengaged. The prudent move would have been for Tuvok to have her drop the weapon first.
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Andrew
Sat, May 28, 2016, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

Could of mentioned those extreme laws when the crew beamed down really instead of trying to mount them. Definately a heads up situation. However it would of been nice to see wesley exercuted but all multi dimention god needed was a good talking to so that was a bust. Cant really find anything to redeem this episode but there is something about star trek that makes me forgive the bad ones and plough on.
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Andrew
Sat, May 28, 2016, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Encounter at Farpoint

I glad this series made it to 7 seasons but looking back at the early episodes im amazed that it did. I really liked all the characters after a while (except wesley) but in this episode apart from Q and picard i found them all so bad especially troi. Joy and gratitude. Joy and gratitude. Jeez. And i still to this day dont know what that anzardi or something like that was all about. Also the guy from the station was incredibly annoying. I thought the fx where ok for 1987 and didnt really find tasha any more boring than the others although the series did get better when she got gunged and more focus was put on worf.Im a really big fan of trek in general tng and im afraid to say voyager being my favorites. But overall this episode was a little lame and 2stars seems about right to me
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Greg
Sat, May 28, 2016, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

I must agree with Peter G. that while Picard is usually painted in very heroic and morally unambiguous terms he certainly doesn't come out here snow white. He killed Sito just as if he had pushed her out an airlock and he knows it. I agree that Stewart nailed the scene where he announces Sito's death to the crew. His voice and manner conveys just the right combination of regret, guilt, and resignation.

A lot of TNG comes off as adventure in space and I think it was the writers intent to remind the viewer that if this was really the military in space things would be a lot tougher and it would probably be more like the military is now. Most of the time the viewer is invited to love Picard because he is portrayed as not only an exceptionally great man but also because you know that if you were one of his crew and were in mortal danger he would move heaven and hell to do his best to save your bacon and consequences be damned. The Picard we see here is more militaristic. Totally willing to manipulate his crew in order to accomplish the mission. More willing to see his crew not as living breathing people but as pawns on a chessboard that are at his disposal for use in any way he sees fit. This is not a Picard we are used to seeing and it is a bit uncomfortable.

I am also forced to agree that Sisco was frequently painted with a darker brush. (No double entendre intended) He was a man that tried to do the right thing but as his character progressed he continually found that Star fleet set the bar too high with the prime directive and finally he was forced to take a more pragmatic view of things. He was faced with morally ambiguous choices while at war and had to sometimes abandon his principles or else risk losing the whole ball of wax. This was very reminiscent of Kirk, a man that could dance on the head of a pin with respect to the prime directive. Most of his compromises were both creative and pragmatic.
I did like the journey that Sisko made. From a man not quite sure if his new assignment suited him to a man that was faced with an interstellar war and was forced to compromise his principles for the greater good. In some ways I see him as a sort of Lincolnesque figure. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during his war. But he did it for what he saw as the greater good. Sisko did much the same.

And DS9, while a bit uneven, had one of the best episodes in Trek. Yes, I'm referring to Far Beyond the Stars. That show was pure art. And I'm to the right of Attila the Hun.
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dipads
Sat, May 28, 2016, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

Enjoyed this episode but would have liked more insight on these aliens. How did they happen to be in the void? Where is there home? They did say there are a million of them in the void.
I've read all the reviews posted here but I am puzzled that no one spotted an out of sequence scene. I am referring to Chakotay and Tuvok in the briefing room. It happens just after the scene where we see Chakotay and Janeway in sickbay. I am positively sure that the Chakotay-Tuvok scene should have taken place earlier, rather than after the sickbay scene. Any thoughts?
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Shaen
Sat, May 28, 2016, 5:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

My favorite part of this episode was the Doctor nonchalantly holding a piece of Seven's dead skull while holding a conversation with Harry. A little disturbing.
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William B
Sat, May 28, 2016, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Improbable Cause

@nothing original 55,

I think Tain had designs on expanding Cardassian space into the Gamma Quadrant afterward. He had big plans for his dramatic comeback, for sure.
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