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Plain Simple
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Nievesg: "I recall commander "Trip" Tucker was called "Captain" at ENT in a couple of episodes, when he was in command as "acting captain", although his real rank was still a commander.

I guess the same applies to Saru at the MU episodes. A pity Saru wasn't promoted to real captain rank, he really earned it."


@Peter G. "Whoever is in command of a naval vessel is called Captain, regardless of their rank. This also includes non-military vessels."

This is also mentoned in an early season 6 DS9 episode by O'Brien to Nog when Dax takes command of the Defiant after Sisko gets a desk job as sidekick to the admiral.

But my initial point was that in this episode the crew is supposed to believe that 'Captain Georgiou' is in command of Discovery, yet someone calls Saru captain. Would just the fact that she is on the planet with an away team justify calling Saru captain? When Kirk and Spock would beam down on an away mission, did the remining crew address Scotty as captain?
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Stanley Kenner
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 4:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The City on the Edge of Forever

The obvious has not been mentioned. When Kirk, Spok and Macoy returned to the present, everything was as before. Their uniforms, equipment and memories. They had no recollection of what happened in the past. Spok first looked shocked when he returned to the present. Then he saw Macoy return which caused him to use logic by stating “We were successful”. Had they not been successful the three would not have returned.

All Kirk and Spok remembered was jumping to try and land in the1930’s to stop Macoy and landing back where they started. In this way, in the words of the Guardian, “Time has regained its shape. Everything is as it was before”. This would include the memories held by Kirk, Spok and Macoy.
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William B
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 4:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Forgot TOS, whoops:

3: TOS2
2: TOS1
1: TOS3.
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William B
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 4:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

For the record (I know this has been done before): number of 4* episodes (according to Jammer) -- where here I'll also count 2-hour/2-part episodes with a single rating as 2 eps (e.g. All Good Things, Occupation/Precipice from BSG)

5: DS95,7; BSG4
4: TNG3,5,7; DS96; BSG2,3
3: TNG4; DS92,3,4; BSG1
2: TNG2; VOY5,6; ENT1
1: TNG1; DS91; VOY2,3,4,7; ENT2,3; Andromeda 1; Caprica (as long as reviewed)
0: VOY1; ENT4; Discovery s1; Orville thusfar; Andromeda 2.
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William B
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 3:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

(Lest it seem like I really hate The Icarus Factor: I think the Worf subplot is funny and effective, and the IDEA of Will's conflict with Kyle Riker ends up being very important for Riker's character, and the transition in the character from the hyper-ambitious rank-climber to the more settled man in BOBW and beyond, so it's an important episode, just that the execution of the main story isn't great.)
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William B
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 3:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

In addition to general series, it also helps/harms individual seasons of those shows to a lesser extent; see the thread for The Icarus Factor, where Patrick asks if Jammer really thinks The Icarus Factor and Family (both 3* shows) are actually equivalent, and Jammer jokes that he thinks TIF is better before saying that he's really rating them relative to what TNG s2 looks like versus s4 -- which is even two years apart. Now that said, I think that even relative to those respective seasons, Jammer overrates The Icarus Factor and seriously underrates Family, but the fact remains that he acknowledges some floating of the levels for the different ratings. That said, except for cases like that, I'm not sure that the rating variance is *so* huge between different TNG seasons, because you can see s2's extreme unevenness in the ratings, and he doesn't really pull punches on the several really bad episodes, even if not-that-successful shows which have some bright patches of characterization and interesting long-term implications like Icarus get a bit of a boost.
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Sean Hagins
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 2:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Future Imperfect

This has always been one of my favourite episodes! There's something touching at the end with the little insect boy. I always pictured as a kid the enemies that wiped out his race as being spider people! (But I'm a weird one)

Anyway, it was neat seeing the cast as a bit older
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Jrpl
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 2:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Given how first seasons are generally shakedowns, it's best to leave them out of discussions about lack of 4 star episodes. Usually any that do appear are flukes or one offs like Duet or Dear Doctor that rise above the rest of their first season cousins due to having something singular about them that rises them above the rest.

I'd suggest a better conversation would be to look at seasons that have more than one 4 star episode and investigate what makes those seasons tick.
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Peter G.
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 1:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

We should also take into account the sliding rating scale, which Jammer has sort of indicated he uses. TNG *** is not necessarily equal to ENT ***, for instance, in absolute quality, but rather I think he uses that particular rating to mean something like "pretty solid but not exceptional", which is a fairly relative qualification. Solid for ENT means a reasonable story that doesn't bore us to death or make any missteps, whereas for TNG solid means really exciting our imagination but still by no means being the best TNG has to offer. And I think William is right that a retrospective review will always harm a good series while helping a bad one, because if you know just how good TNG can get you'll be hesitant to award more than *** to an episode that doesn't floor you, whereas if the expectations are lower you'll be quite pleased for them to have produced a modest effort that creates some effect.

I'm not intending to rip into any particular series when I say this, because there's some logic to employing a sliding scale. For one thing, being too absolute will fail to properly indicate how rewarding it is to see a season that's struggling produce something decent, which is a relative but still real reaction when watching. Another thing is that if one is charitable (which I think Jammer really is in his reviews) the sliding scale allows for a lot of 'hope' to creep into the ratings, where an episode that makes us hopeful for the series will bump the rating, compared to a series that has a high standard, where a substandard episode (like Sub Rosa) will really irk people. Actually I don't hate Sub Rosa, but it is really stupid.
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William B
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 12:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Jammer is probably the best person to ask (though it's in some ways not that interesting a question), but here's my take:

I don't think that the point is that VOY s1 or ENT s4 are particularly weak seasons. The lack of 4 star shows just means a lack of 4 star shows; VOY s1 also has only one episode with a sub-2* rating, and it's 1.5*, and that's actually very good for a Trek season overall -- there are only a handful of Trek seasons with no episodes of 1* or lower. ENT s4 has the one 1* ep (Bound) but otherwise doesn't sink below 2*, so also gets points for consistency. And we find the same with ratings for Discovery s1, which never sinks below 2*, which is rare. It's not a knock against those seasons so much as a sense that they don't have classics, which in turn is maybe a knock against them -- since a lot of what we're here are the memorable classics.

I was going to say that I also think that ratings are a little relative to season, and the fact that the VOY s1/ENT s4/Disco s1 ratings were done from week-to-week rather than in retrospect, like TOS/TNG/DS9 s1-2, might mean that it's hard to identify where the level of a four star episode is for that season. And yet, am I really arguing that there are any seasons of TOS/TNG/DS9 s1-2 that don't have any four-star eps? The only possible exception I can think of is that *maybe* TNG s1's 11001001 gets a slight boost by virtue of the season it's in and is maybe more naturally a 3.5* show, but other than that, I can't think of any seasons of TOS/TNG/DS9 s1-2 that don't have any obvious 4* candidates (and in some cases, I'd give out more 4*'s personally). Here I'll add though that if Duet had happened to come in DS9 s2, only a handful of eps later, and if Jammer didn't (subconsciously?) scale one of the 3.5*'s up, then DS9 s1 would be a clear case of "season Jammer really clearly likes and speaks highly of without a 4* show," demonstrating that the 4* classics are not strictly necessary for a year to be good. Though even there, you know, Duet does do something pretty special for DS9 s1 in terms of paying off a lot of the set-up early enough to make s2 clear viewing.
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William B
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 12:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Collaborator

I actually wonder how much Kira herself led to this interpretation of Odo's actions; in Necessary Evil, he demonstrated that he cared about justice rather than serving the Cardassians by letting Kira go when she (falsely) claimed that she was innocent. Kira had said that he would have to choose a side, and he insisted he wouldn't, and she banked on the idea that he was either noble enough or naive enough to believe that, in order to get released, and she succeeded. Kira's personal admiration for Odo can be traced back to that moment, and it also has an element of guilt for her, because their early relationship was based on a lie -- where she used his pro-justice beliefs against him. Certainly Bajorans probably came to trust him for the reasons Peter mentions, but once the Occupation ended and it was no longer necessary to trust anyone working for the Cardassians, no matter how noble, I think it's probably Kira's position and support on the station that probably led to Odo's acceptance and continued role.

But more generally, I think Odo gets his status for being a literal out-of-this-quadrant alien. He was raised by Dr. Mora, but he's still physically and emotionally markedly distinct from either Bajorans or Cardassians, and is even more different physically than the Bajorans and Cardassians are different from each other. If the Bajorans never quite accept Odo as being one of them, then it's not really "collaborating" for him to work with the Cardassians. I have a hard time imagining even some Bareil-type ascetic being able to take Odo's job and convince the entire Bajoran people that he's "neutral" when he arrests and jails Bajorans and sometimes presides over their executions (if they are murderers), even if he doesn't get any cushy perks from his position. Odo's otherworldliness is also part of why people bought the idea that Odo had some sort of preternatural, almost mystical ability to recognize and carry out Justice that was beyond the petty Bajoran and Cardassians, and, indeed, it does turn out to be genetic, though as we discover it's actually Order that he has a genetic propensity for and he had mistaken this for Justice.
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Mark
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

With these Omega molecules being so powerful and potentially destructive, I would think that the Q would be keeping a close watch on what is being done with them and intervening just enough to allow some accidents and loss of life to happen, but not allowing something so serious that it does harm to the galaxy.

In this episode, I could see Q actually causing the loss of containment so that the Omega molecules would be detected by Voyager, thus putting in motion the Omega directive.

The decision by Janeway to start the decompression sequence with only 72% of the molecules neutralized, would have ultimately ended in disaster for the quadrant. The self-stabilizing right before the chamber was blown into space was Q minimizing the damage that would be done when the chamber was torpedoed.

2 stars
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Peter G.
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 10:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Collaborator

@ Doug,

"Why...isn't Odo considered a collaborator by the Bajorans? Wasn't he head of security in a Cardassian station during the occupation?"

Because they knew he was impartial, and didn't contribute to or assist the Cardassians in their oppression of Bajor. In his capacity as chief of security on the promenade he would probably have been seen by them as potentially a helpful person rather than The Man just waiting to get them. In some respects his activities no doubt protected the Bajorans from disorderly conduct by Cardassians. This is speculation, of course, but based on Kira's testimony the Bajorans respected and even looked up to him as someone of integrity. He did his job because he thought it was right, and not because the Cardassians gave him a cushy life or promised him things, which would be the hallmarks of a collaborator.
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Doug
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 10:11am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Collaborator

Why...isn't Odo considered a collaborator by the Bajorans? Wasn't he head of security in a Cardassian station during the occupation?
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Jrpl
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 9:20am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

"Out of 29 seasons of Trek, there have been only three without a single four-star-episode as reviewed by Jammer: VOY1, ENT4, and DIS1.

What grand and esoteric piece of wisdom can be gleaned from this?"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That Jammer is part of the big anti Voyager season 1 lobby? Or is it the Enterprise season 4 lobby? Actually, it's because when those seasons were airing, Venus was aligned with the Moon.

Anyways, to actually answer that question, I've always found ENT S4 to be highly overrated by the fanbase. The notion that Manny Coto came and saved the show ignores just how boring and predictable the episodes that season really were. TO me it was the least interesting season of the show.

VOY S1 was a shakedown cruise. Some good stuff, but they were still figuring it out. I do really love the Beowulf episode though.
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KT
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 7:40am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Ed
"Exactly. While the story might have been more interesting with an added subplot about contested territory, nothing the characters said or did gives that impression."

Yeah, the writers seemed to have dropped any potential of the Klingon territorial claim in favour of making it seem like TKuvma was a warmongerer for unification purposes. Maybe they were attempting a commentary on Margret Thatcher and the Falklands war, or Bush and the Iraq war.
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Rahul
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 6:47am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Peter G.,

Excellent analysis -- enjoyed reading what you had to say.

I think what you wrote is quite insightful:
"What Apollo represents is the appeal to that old craving for creature comforts, which humanity by this point rejects as being of primary importance, and *that* is why they reject him. I see no atheistic message here."

Also I'd add that an initial show of force certainly would put off Kirk & Co. -- make them far less likely to accept Apollo's proposition.

One last tidbit I'd like to add about this episode -- it has a wonderful musical score that gives the sense of awe of the power of Apollo but also the uniqueness of the situation (in the presence of a Greek God/temple).
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Skwank
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 12:24am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Code of Honor

I don't think this episode is racist necessarily, after all they are supposed to be aliens from another planet, so what they look like shouldn't really matter.

It's just that it's so terrible. Just awful.

I think anyone defending it may be a TNG fanboy. I think it's probably the worst episode of ST ever made.

Zero stars.
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Skecko
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 12:03am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

I'll be back for next season. Because I think it's better than most seasons of VOY and I watched all of that nonsense. Even the first season of TNG was better (except for 'Code of Honor', which was a zero star episode if ever there was one).

And all of this talk of borders and who shot first or whatever, is nonsense, because the writer's didn't care about that, so why should you?
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Peter G.
Mon, Feb 19, 2018, 11:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

I'm watching it right now, and came across this exchange:

Caroline: You really think you're a god?
Apollo: In a real sense we were gods. We had the power of life and death. etc.

Here he basically says outright that as far as their relationship to humans was concerned they were like gods, but clearly from this and the rest of his story they're just very advanced life forms with the peculiar characteristic that they need conscious attention from mortals in order to stay alive; maybe some kind of parasitic non-corporeal entity. So pretty much I think the takeway here isn't that Kirk and the crew reject the idea of literal god or gods, but that they reject worshipping power beings *as gods*. In other words, they no longer worship mere power, and this theme in a way hearkens back to the story of Khan and how humans used to respect and worship powerful men by instinct. But now in the future that instinct is largely a thing of the past and power for its own sake is seen as a threat rather than something to idolize. And yes, Kirk does mention "one God", which is relevant, but in a way it's only tangential to the point that humanity doesn't need to be tended to to find its contentment.

The amazing thing about this story is that it's Apollo who remains of all the gods, and he says he alone knew the humans would find him one day. This is neat because as the god of prophecy and invention he would indeed be the only Olympian to foresee man in space. Of course Zeus also had the power of prophecy, but in his case I assume his seat of power lay in the kingship over the gods and so when departing Earth I assume that only Apollo would retain the ability to see the future.

The episode also features this incredible quote from Kirk to Caroline:
"Who and what you are: a bit of flesh and blood afloat in a universe without end, and the only thing that's truly yours is the rest of humanity. That's where our duty lies." Wow, this is truly some statement about Starfleet like we rarely hear. And the thing of it is that it's not really a question of "we don't need a god" but more that we don't need a carefree life. On the contrary, the pursuit of the unknown and the difficulties and dangers that come with it have replaced comfort as the primary currency in the Federation. Or, one might say, "risk is our business." This theme emerges again and again in TOS, and to whit is frequently forgotten in TNG, where Robert Picard astutely says that humanity has grown too soft and life too easy. In TOS they had technology, but rarely is life on the Enterprise ever depicted as being easy. What Apollo represents is the appeal to that old craving for creature comforts, which humanity by this point rejects as being of primary importance, and *that* is why they reject him. I see no atheistic message here. What we might read, however, is a rejection of the notion of a return to Eden, where the very exile from paradise has become an opportunity rather than a burden; where work can be a vocation rather than mere toil. And likewise I think that's a very Trek message, that in the future work will feel meaningful rather than be an exercise in drudgery, and I very much like to believe in that vision.

While on a pure entertainment level this episode certainly wouldn't be in my top 15, nevertheless it's almost unparalleled as an ensemble piece, and is quite the treatise on Starfleet values. I'll even bring up the at-first-glance sexist comments made at the start about Caroline being "all woman" and it only being a matter of time before she quits the service to get married. I momentarily wondered whether this was a sexist view of women in Starfleet, but quickly realized that, with Uhura sitting right there in the frame, this couldn't have been the intent. Then I figured it out: they were referring to the fact that they were concerned that she was less interested in difficulty and more interested in finding ease. We can see this clearly later on when Apollo's offer of giving her everything appeals to her, which indeed validates Kirk's concern that a life of constant effort may not quite be for her. In this case the issue may be the writer's phrasing rather than the sentiments expressed; I think "all woman" might have meant to imply that she was more interested in the traditional woman's role of being at home with a family (as it would have been understood in the 60's). So the term as used is probably a mere ideosyncratic reference to 60's culture rather than any kind of statement about women in general. And this interpretation fits in with the theme as well, about how Starfleet is about struggle and not ease, and that her draw towards Apollo was a sign of those remnants of the old desire to just have the easy life which must be a constant struggle for people in the future to push away. We can see how much effort it took her to finally reject the idea of paradise, and this kind of internal struggle must have been a major part of Federation life. It's nice to get a look at that struggle instead of always seeing perfect officers like Kirk and Spock.
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Steven
Mon, Feb 19, 2018, 11:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

>> "Take a very simple scene, as an example, a very small detail, that shows you exactly what is important in this show: When they first discover the Klingon satellite, they can not get a visual, because the visuals are blurred... So they look through an analog telescope, and can see it clearly. Can you see the idiocy? The "Optical scanner" (which is just a fancy name to say "telescope with an attached digital camera") can not see the object clearly because a field distorts the photons coming from that object, but an old telescope, which recieves exactly the same distorted photons, can see it clearly? This is a very minor and unimportant example, that is dwarfed by many other, bigger examples (and really, I would have just overlooked it normally as cheesy), where the show thinks its viewers are idiots. The ultimate example of that trend is the final solution to the klingon war: They just give up because Burnham is awesome. The show treats everybody, its cast, its viewers, like an idiot, and expects me to cheer them on for it. No, I will not do that. That has nothing to do with "But muh Klingon redesign" or "But Starfleet wouldn't do that!". NOBODY who is sane would do something like that. Nobody. None of the characters involved, would ever do that. And if they did, it would backfire spectacularly."

That's the feeling that the series has constantly been giving me, ever since the pilot. It's worth pointing out how much this disrespect for the viewer undermines the viewing experience. If you feel treated like an idiot, it gets very hard to get involved or immersed with the movie/series.

I just want to leave a brief comment on this episode: It has indeed shown how inept the writers are, and if it were for me, I couldn't give it more than 1 star. It is absolute madness to presume that L'Rell would abort an already won war, because she simply has no reason to do so. It's no exaggeration, as others have suggested, to call this one of the weakest/least believable conclusions to a war plot that has been shown on serialized television.

But anyway, the silver lining is that I feel now is a good moment to quite watching the show. We've seen the complete arc of season 1; we are capable of judging now; and we have a certain sense of completion. I see little incentive to jump into a new adventure/story next season and get invested into a show again that has HAD its trial run in season one and utterly failed in my opinion.

I really wanted to like the show, but things already started to fall apart in the pilot when I started to feel treated like an idiot, - to come back to the quote from the beginning of my post -, because I was supposed to follow Michael Burnham on her journey to mutiny, while her decisionmaking made no sense to me whatsoever. That experience is not only echoed, but completely dwarved by what we got served in the season finale; so in a sense, the series has come full circle. It's just baffling how nothing makes sense. If you just poke a little bit, if you just use your intellect for an instant, everything falls apart. We are expected to narrowly follow the perspective and narrative from Michael Burnham's POV, which is ultimately insulting to the audience. We are told what to feel and what to think, and all the ambiguity that was tauntingly woven into the series in its first few episodes turned out to be misleading: No, there is no complex use of multiple perspectives here; it's all just the Michael Burnham show. Love her, feel with her, or otherwise this series isn't for you.

Apparently my comment wasn't as brief as I thought... sorry for that. I'm saying my goodbye to those who have decided to stay onboard for season 2. It was a good discussion, really, and more intriguing really than watching the show itself.
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NCC-1701-Z
Mon, Feb 19, 2018, 9:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Empath

Amazing how TOS was able to tell such a profound story with such minimal sets.

Good writing will always endure, even if production values become dated over time.

(Unlike certain shows with the latest in CGI but #$@&!!! writing.)

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Sean Hagins
Mon, Feb 19, 2018, 8:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Legacy

Maybe it's me, but I never found "Tasha's sister" attractive! The pretty girls from TNG to me are the ensign on the bridge with the toned down Beatle moptop haircut, the shapeshifter from the Dauphin (*the younger one of course!), the girl who was Wesley's partner in The Game, and maybe a few others. As an early teen at the time, I found the younger girls attractive (remember, I was only a kid myself) like the girl who played the younger Ensign Ro in Rascals, and the girl who was stuck in the turbolift with Capt Picard and the 2 young boys in Disaster. People like Troi and Tasha's sister I actually found (and still find) quite unattractive! But it's the same with girls I know-Riker was always the one who "got the girl", and yet my female friends found him ugly! A few liked Picard (although he was quite old), and many liked Geordi

Ok, but about the episode itself-this one was kind of "Meh" to me. Not horrible, but I never found it interesting
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Sean Hagins
Mon, Feb 19, 2018, 7:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Remember Me

"Everyone is entitled to his opinion, even if it's wrong."

Elliott, I truly hope you are saying this ironically! I have to say your comments on this forum are so amusing! I get that you have different opinions, but your arrogance is LEGEND! (And that's not good)
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Rahul
Mon, Feb 19, 2018, 7:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: In the Hands of the Prophets

@ Peter G.,

You said: "One of the weird things about the show is that the wormhole aliens are a stone-cold reality, and I'd say one of the weaknesses of the series is that Starfleet seemed to be totally uninterested in them, when I would have thought that they'd be the most totally cool First Contact in a long time - probably since meeting the Q."

I'm actually glad StarFleet (and its science) didn't try to get a better understanding of the Prophets. I think DS9 did the right thing in leaving them as mysterious/weird, which should help perpetuate the idea that they are some kind of metaphysical/divine beings.

Had StarFleet tried to pursue them, I believe they wouldn't find anything as it is up to the Prophets to reveal themselves. Even if StarFleet's purposes in pursuing the Prophets would be more benevolent/altruistic than, say, Winn's, I don't think they'd get anywhere. And what's great is that this doesn't diminish the value of StarFleet's science or the Prophets themselves.
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