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Sun, Jul 31, 2016, 12:29am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I dislike this movie quite a lot, and in general I'm OK with Reboot Trek and JJ Abrams' other films.

The one minor cockle of my heart it warmed came from the mention of Section 31. DS9 is hands-down my favorite of the Trek series and I enjoy any name-checking of it that shows up in the others, even something I otherwise found quite bad.
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Sun, Jul 31, 2016, 12:24am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Observer Effect

Wow - brilliant, 4 out of 4 stars for me! Pretty much the same opinions as Zane 314 commented on. I was enthralled from beginning to end with this witty, intelligent and rather complex episode that rewards the viewer with a great script, solid acting and heaps to say and think about with a lot of the Prime Directive issues in the ST universe.

Although on the surface it may appear a rather conventional "bottle episode" the more you look into it the more I got out of it. In my opinion.

Like chalk and cheese compared to the woeful episode that preceded it.
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Sun, Jul 31, 2016, 12:16am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Daedalus

Unrealistic leaps of logic? Tick
Ridiculous premise? Tick
Predicatable? Tick
Lazy writing? Tick
Poor continuity? Tick
Misuse of guest actors? Tick
Bad direction? Tick
Un-necessary scenes that went nowhere? Tick
Lame laughable action scenes? Tick
Bad SFX? Tick
Been done better and before by DS9 or another ST franchise? Tick

Totally illogical episode that would have seen Archer relieved of command and in the brig for the second half of the episode. At least that would have been more interesting than this steaming pile of excrement.

As Chris says a stale, shambolic, lethargic effort which was very poorly written and it totally shows through with every facet of production. Sets a new low for Enterprise and no real excuses for this considering the general improvement and higher standards seen in S4 so far.

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Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 10:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

The commenters who seem to think the only trait required of good sci-fi is PEW PEW LAYZERS certainly explains the success of Michael Bay films, but if all you care about is shiny special effects I don't see how you can call yourself a science *fiction* fan - good sci-fi tells a story, it doesn't just loom pretty.
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Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Things Past

This episode felt like it belonged in Season 1 or 2, when the characters were still just getting to know each other. Odo's wink-wink comment to Garak, "Why would a simple tailor know the Cardassian security codes" is just old. Garak has long since admitted that he is high-level spy.

Similarly, the conversation between Kira and Odo at the end seemed like it came years too late. Kira knows by now that Odo is fallible and that he made mistakes during the occupation. She has also come to grips with the fact that everyone, herself included, did things that they regret. Odo is by now her best friend. It's pretty obnoxious of her to demand that he promise that he made no other mistakes, as if anyone could promise that.
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Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols

I do think it was a mistake to have Sisko's birth directed by the prophets. I don't have a problem with the logic of it (Sisko teaches aliens that exist outside of 'our time' about linear time; with that understanding they can do things at any point of 'our' time, including our past). I just don't think it adds anything to the series and probably detracts from what's happened so far (spoilers for the finale: I think it also detracts a bit from Sisko's ultimate fate).

While I wish they decided to tell a different story, I think they tell their story well here. Each part of these episodes work reasonably well.

William B said:
"I think that how one reads the Worf plot depends on how seriously one takes the 'suicide mission' aspect of things. The episode tries to play it as a Very Dangerous mission, but the portrayal of it is pretty unconvincing...which to my mind is something of a benefit"

That was how I saw it. I think the characters thought it would be a dangerous mission (something they do often), but not truly a "suicide mission". Klingons are prone to hyperbole, after all. That, combined with the fact that it was an attack against the Dominion, is enough for me to believe that they would be willing to go, and that Starfleet would be OK with it.

As to Ezri Dax, I certainly understand those who missed Jadzia and were disappointed to see her replaced. While I don't think she was always given the best material by the writers, I think Ezri was sensibly thought out. If you're suddenly a new person (neither Ezri nor Dax, but a melding of the two), it's certainly reasonable to think you'd be a bit of a mess who would slowly gain both self-knowledge and self-confidence. Overall, I think Nicole de Boer was fine in the role; frankly, I think she figured out Ezri Dax better than Terry Farrel ever figured out Jadzia Dax.

I think she works fine in these episodes. Presumably, as they settle into their new existence, newly joined Trills spend some time with the teachers and advisors they had before the joining, people who can offer both familiarity (they knew them previously) and understanding (they comprehend that this is now an entirely new person). Sisko, the one person in Starfleet who knew Dax well in 2 different incarnations, is perhaps the one person that can offer that familiarity and understanding to Ezri Dax, so it's natural that she seeks him out for support.

On the other hand, she can also offer support for Sisko at a point in time that he needs it. With his understanding of his own family being turned upside-down, she can be a family member who isn't related by blood. Plus, last season's finale would lead us to believe that Sisko blames himself at least somewhat for Jadzia's death. Ezri (as Jadzia's pseudo-reincarnation) can provide forgiveness, helping him move on.

There's a lot I like here. I suppose I'd give these two episodes 3 stars; if I didn't have such problems with the whole prophets-creating-Sisko's-birth idea, I'd might go 3.5 stars.
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Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 9:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Pullquote from Jammer's Star Trek Nemesis review:
"...the space battles rely a bit too much on the Trekkian staple that Voyager made officially unwatchable: scenes where sparks explode on the bridge and tactical officers urgently inform the captain that shields are down to X percent. I'm thinking "Shields down to X percent" is the line most in need of being banned from all future Trek-related scripts. Make it so."

Discussion topic: If you were in the writers' room of Star Trek Discovery, how would you guys change up Trek battles to be more exciting? I would personally add the possibility of a cyberattack - i.e. the enemy ship downloads a virus into the Discovery computer which significantly hampers ship operations - i.e. helm takes several seconds to respond sluggishly, phaser power reduced by a lot, torpedoes don't even come close to their target, etc. We saw this once, in DS9's "For the Uniform", but sadly this concept was never explored much again. Just my two cents.

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Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 7:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Phage

This is my first time watching Voyager. Four episodes in, and I'd give this one a 3 out of 5 for the characterizations. I'm really liking the Doctor as a character.

Like some earlier commenter pointed out, this episode had me immediately thinking of Spock's Brain, which is generally considered one of TOS's silliest instalments. From a medical standpoint, Phage is pretty silly. Never mind using a stored transporter pattern to restore Neelix's lungs, as several others have pointed out, why not just grow him a new set from stem cells? Given that we are pretty close to doing that now with very fast and easy CRISPR gene sequencing, it's hard to believe ST's advanced technology isn't up to that.

The aliens, wonderfully creepy as they are, don't really make sense to me. They reveal that this rapidly adapting disease has ravaged their once proud civilization for many generations, and moments later one of the pair mentions he was a highly regarded sculptor. How does that work? He takes periodic breaks from murder and organ stealing to work on his art?

Still, it was a solid episode if not examined too closely.
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Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sixth Season Recap

I agree with Jammer's overall view of the season, though we disagree on some specifics. Overall, I didn't think there were many bad episodes: only the horrible "Prophet and Lace" and the dull "Resurrection" would get less than 2 stars from me. Furthermore, "Time's Orphan" is the only one I'd give an average grade to.

On the other hand, "Honor Among Thieves", "Valiant", "Tears of the Prophets", "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night", & perhaps "Tears of the Prophets" & "One Little Ship" are episodes I'd rate 2.5 stars that Jammer rated higher.

This season does have some of the most memorable DS9 episodes in the series (most of the opening arc, "In the Pale Moonlight"), but the sheer number of good-but-not-great episodes holds it back. The fact that many of them come towards the end of the season always leaves me with an impression that it's weaker than it actually is.
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Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Bonding

Okay, since a lot of people are wondering what the hell was with kid's reaction: Originally, Moore pitched the story as a kid overcome with grief bonding with a hologram of his mom. However, Roddenberry rejected it, saying people do not grieve, they simply accept death in the future. So Piller had to rewrite the story, essentially making it about how stupid that idea is. Really surprised nobody here heard about that.

Personally, enjoyed it. Certainly not the most entertaining or thought-provoking hour of TV but not exactly bad either. I particularly like Worf's sub-plot.
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Paul Allen
Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

Horrible snobby sexism from Sisko re: "the Dabo girl". Really disappointing.

Seriously, it's supposed to be stardate 48301.1 and misogyny like that exists, especially in such a normally positive main character?

I'm angry at this sort of attitude.

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Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 10:12am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

When I got a video streaming service I started re-watching TNG. Aside from a select few episodes, I started re-watching at the beginning of season 3. Frankly, at the end of season 2 I was afraid the series would be cancelled and it's potential remain unfulfilled, but then season 3 happened. Unlike a lot of people, I didn't need to be convinced Patrick Stewart would be a great captain. I'd seen him before in a couple of different roles and I knew he'd be perfect...a more mature captain in a more complex Alpha Quadrant.
This episode was one of my favorites of the season primarily because of Picard's tough wake-up call to Jarok and the de-cloaking Kingon ships showing Picard could be mature but still forceful enough to deal with devious and hostile aliens.
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Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 9:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

This episode has one of my favorite lines in all of the many variations of Trek "I do not know if he should be praised or condemned--only that he should be left alone". That is so true it hurts! ****
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Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

I like the Alexander character and the actor who plays him. Strikes me as a typical rebellious kid (still working through the loss of his mother) moving into adolescence with the Klingon overlay of strong emotion.
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Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Equinox, Part II

@Skeptical, one thing I liked in both parts was that, despite occasionally being likable in dark, warped ways, the Equinox crew was pretty unapologetic about their actions, reluctantly admitting the actions were horrible but feeling they were still fully justified.
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Paul Allen
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 4:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Second Skin

What a terrific story line, very unexpected!!!! Clever as hell.
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Paul M.
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Ooooh, best/worst debates! I'm always up for those!

Worst episode I love (or at least enjoy): Genesis of course! It's so corny, silly, stupid, and outrageous that it's actually phenomenally fun. For the same reason I have a soft spot for a lot of TNG Season 1 episodes. They are generally so goofy that I can't help but be entertained.

Most beloved episode that I hate (or am cold towards): First Contact (TNG episode). I dunno, its clinical and dry hand-wringing morality always leaves me blase and eager to move on. I Borg is another. Very didactic and ponderous. I can't stand all those childlike kindergarten lessons with Hugh.
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Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 11:52am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Chute

I like at 26 minutes in where the prisoner has a red halo around his head. Nice photography!

And the reveal to the space prison was pretty cool.

I hated this episode when I started ("not another Tom and Harry story..."), but it grew on me.
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Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 11:45am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Extinction

I have to disagree with some of the people here, the episode is far from boring. I found mutated Archer and Hoshi utterly hilarious.

I wouldn't even mind episode's approach to genetics, if it stopped at transforming them and changing personality. Teaching them different language and giving them specific memories is just too much for me and I thought ketchup could give you cancer.

@Yanks Oh, come off it. Accepting some breaks from reality, especially when those breaks are a huge part of the setting, doesn't mean you should accept anything they throw at you. And people called bullshit on TNG's Genesis too.
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Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 7:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

JD, I'm not following you at all. Quark is a racist?
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Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 3:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

Let's just call a spade a spade. The reason Quark is so compelling in his arguments about humans becoming like Klingons is it's a perfect example of how people rationalize being flatly racist. Quark's just a racist and cultural elitist. He's always been racist. Of course, he's right about Klingons, because they're a savage race full of temperamental morons, as science has proven. But he's dead wrong, of course, in that humans could ever be like those primitive, cookie-scented mongrels. Genetically, due to skull structure, that would be impossible. The same way it would be impossible that a focused Cardassian brain could ever become as complacent as a scattered Bajoran one. These matters are predetermined. I don't mean that to sound racist. It's just simple physiology. As simple and predictable as a Bolian trying to develop a proper Tongo strategy. Don't get me wrong; Bolians are good at some things and I've got Bolian friends. They certainly do their best, unlike Lurians.
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Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 11:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry


To be fair, the episode never says Picard's a coward in the alternate timeline, but it implies that him facing near death was a huge motivation in his Starfleet career. In that vein, it doesn't matter how wrong or jerky his friends were. What mattered was avoiding hardship, that moment of looking in the breach, denied a crucial part of his life.

The message isn't that playing it safe is bad, but more broadly that extracting the dark deeds of your past can impact your very integrity.
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Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 11:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: 11001001

"A blind man teaching an android how to paint? That's got to be worth a couple of pages in somebody's book."

Best joke worth 4 stars by itself :D
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Rick C
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Timescape

I would imagine the runabout at least had a toilet on board?
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Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

I watched DS9 weekly from its debut until maybe 3/4 of the way through season 5, when I left the country for a few years. Upon my return, not having come across any spoilers for the episodes I missed (would be hard to do now!), I watched the daily repeats in syndication from beginning to end.

So I had the whole series relatively fresh on my mind when I first saw this episode. Maybe that's why I'm apparently one of the few on this thread who expected the wormhole aliens to intervene at the peak of this episode. Once the minefield came down and the Dominion fleet entered their side of the wormhole, I remember thinking Sisko's only chance was a direct plea to them. Furthermore, if they were ever going to directly intervene in the affairs of Bajor, this had to be the time. Indeed, it's a flaw in the script that the dialogue seems to indicate that Sisko is surprised when they show up, as there is no way the man who has had a 5+ year-long ambivalent relationship with his "emissary" role doesn't think of the "prophets" every time he sees that wormhole. One might argue that Sisko thought that mostly ignoring them would more strongly communicate to the aliens that he would give his life if they didn't intervene; if so, I think there would be better ways to write that.

So, I reject the complaint that this "comes out of nowhere" or is a "deux ex machina". Though there is still much story to tell, this episode is the climax of the entire series, not just this short run of episodes; the beings in the wormhole were there in the first episode and are a regular presence in the series. Luke above points out some specific times they reminded the viewers of the prophets within the occupation storyline. The intervention of the aliens is well set up by the series.

The other big, related, complaint about this episode (one they pretty much apply to the whole series) is that people dislike the wormhole aliens because they believe having them somehow promotes religion. As an atheist, I think that's crazy. Yes, these beings are powerful and mysterious (not a new thing in Star Trek). If you're making a universe with real people (even people represented by aliens), it makes sense that some people would worship them as gods. But: 1) that doesn't make them actual gods and 2) that also doesn't make them automatically evil (which was often the case in previous Trek). Many of the complainers seem to think if the wormhole aliens aren't discredited in some way that makes them actual gods, and that means the show supports religion.

The "prophets" are an interesting science fiction idea...powerful aliens that mostly ignore the less powerful, but have some affection for them that makes them occasionally intervene. In many ways they are like the crews of the Enterprises in TNG & (especially) TOS: powerful "aliens" with a (prime) directive of non-interference with "primitives", that they just can't help but ignore at times to do "what's right" (yes, I'm aware I'm using a ridiculous amount of quotes). Just like the TNG & TOS crews, sometimes when they do and don't interfere seems arbitrary. But, from everything we knew about them, this seems like the one time they would absolutely interfere.

I don't think this episode is without flaws; the discussion with the aliens should be slightly rewritten, and their are other items that have been mentioned by previous commenters. Still, I find the episode satisfying and have no problem with giving it 4 stars.
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