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Toony - Wed, May 27, 2015, 6:31am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S1: Caretaker

I liked Caretaker it's just unfortunate all the stuff the writers talked about prior to the show was shot down in production by the network. They used to talk about the challenges the crew and ship would face in it's situation without industrial replicators or reinforcements instead they barely referenced these issues or they'd be there one week and gone the next.
Sometimes it took the piss for example in multiple episodes they referred to hull breaches on decks, you'd think they'd have been visible later on but weren't. In The Killing Game the Hirogens holodeck abuse led to the destruction of sickbay and damage and 'heavy casualties' one Borg scan one season later says the crew somehow lost six personel from the last scan by the Voth.
At the time it aired Voyager was a absolute dinosaur next to Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5 (the real anti Trek), Stargate, Farscape, The X Files and a ton of other shows surpassing it in every way. I recall all the fun online with people watching those shows all the discussions about where their story arcs and characters were going and then there was this ugly little TNG wannabee pissing about with predictable Trek nonsense. Nowadays it isn't too bad for one offs but still leaves a bad taste.
Toony - Wed, May 27, 2015, 6:20am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

I can buy there being all alien crews in starfleet due to different species requirements like waste management, sleep patterns among other things. I can understand the Enteprise, the flagship and ship of the line, having a secular crew. I think Voyagers crew becomes a bit more believable when you remember Earth has a population of aliens including Bolians and Vulcans all adjusted to Earths lifestyle.
If not then I take it demiliterisation is a requirement for Federation memebership.
Edouard - Wed, May 27, 2015, 5:43am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

Just wanted to had something about the issues with this particular time travel: first, I agree the whole colony would disappear anyway and be replaced with a new version.

But as I was watching, the thing that first struck me was this: how come nobody has a problem sharing/receiving information about the past/future? Every time people time travel in Star Trek, they always do their best to minimize contact. But here, nobody has a problem learning who and when they'll marry. It already doesn't make sense that they'd gladly talk about their future, it's completely stupid for their descendants to casually tell the crew about it. And yet the plan is to match what happened "the first time", when there was no colony (cause you know, if there was a colony, they'd have gone through this already), including purposely crashing with the Defiant.

So really, time travel only makes sense when you minimize contact, unless you want things to be different (like when O'Brian had visions of his death and the destruction of DS9).

That's the kind of nonsense that happens quiet often (in series in general) but is overlooked because the story goes on and no character ever raises the issue. Exactly the same with the faceless and nameless 40 crew members who don't have a say: we don't see them, the main characters don't question it, the show goes on.

Personally, I thought poor O'Brian, when the idiot Bashir was more or less saying "forget Keiko and your children, have you talked to your next wife yet?". But then he changes his mind, having your descendants growing potatoes all day in the gamma quadrant isn't so bad I guess.
Azdude - Tue, May 26, 2015, 9:18pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S2: Projections

I'm glad so many fans enjoyed this episode, but definitely not me. The two most annoying characters in the Trek universe (Neelix and Barklay) in yet another holodeck malfunction episode...
Xylar - Tue, May 26, 2015, 8:05pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: One Small Step

It was an overall enjoyable episode, but the only thing that bothered me was that they hoisted archeology onto Chakotay as one of his passions/hobbies. You can't pull stuff like that 6 seasons in. Feels like it came out of nowhere and I wouldn't be surprised if it never gets mentioned again. Just like his love for boxing.

They already have a character who makes a hobby out of Earth's history. Paris. Oh, and look. He's sitting right there. Everything Chakotay said to change Seven's mind about the importance of history and preserving the past should have been said by Paris. He has long been established as being the resident history buff when it comes to the 19th and 20th centuries.

So yea, that was kinda weird, but I guess they can't just completely ignore Chakotay for 2 whole seasons and I don't think he's had an episode focused on his in this season yet, so might as well just copy/paste someone elses hobby onto him and force the thing, I guess. Aside from that, it was a fine episode. I like the guest actor. He did a pretty good job and Seven was good too. It was fine, but not awe inspiring or anything. Enjoyable hour but not very exciting. I actually like some mindless space action. Give me phaserfire and spacebattles any day. This episode isn't hurting for lack of that, but a man likes what a man likes, I suppose.
Luke - Tue, May 26, 2015, 5:56pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: The Enemy

Now this is more like it. In all three sub-plots of this episode the characters have to deal with real-world decisions (survival, brinksmanship and racial hatred) and they all react to their situations in actual human ways with genuine emotions. Riker gets pissed. Picard is nervous but determined. LaForge is innovative, short-tempered with the Romulan and ultimately friendly in his uneasy alliance. Worf is torn between what he knows is right and what he feels is rights.

The Worf and the Picard/Tomalak subplots are what really elevate this episode. I'm stunned that they allowed a main character on this show, when Roddenberry still had a fair amount of control, to be so openly and unabashed bigoted. It's a nasty trait to have, but it is a genuine "human" trait and makes Worf a much more 3-dimensional character. The scene between Worf and Picard in the Ready Room is superb. Picard deciding to go with the rights of the individual and let the chips fall where they may is classic TNG. I'm also extremely glad that the Romulans have FINALLY been given their due as the main antagonists of this show. TNG up until now has been DESPERATE for a worthy adversary for our heroes. They tried with the Ferengi and we all know what an absolute joke that turned out to be. They introduced the Borg, but haven't really done anything with them as of yet. I suppose Q is a worthy adversary, but he's more a free agent - neither friend nor foe. The Romulans, however, (embodied by the always spectacular Andreas Katsulas) are just the intellectual, military, and philosophical equals that these characters deserve.

The only problem I have with "The Enemy" is the scene where the dying Romulan basically spits in Worf's face. That really lets Worf off the hook for his hostility towards all Romulans and somewhat undermines what was a truly impressive moral dilemma.

8/10
eastwest101 - Tue, May 26, 2015, 5:06pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Harbinger

Provided you switch off your brain at the door before entering this was actually OK but had some dubious character motives. Some nice little moments which I did enjoy:

1. Plox's mischevious suggestion to T'Pol to "undo" thje damage that Trip did
1. Archer gets to chew out Reed and co.
2. Nice snappy dialogue written for T'Pol and Tucker

I second the notion that Archer had much more important things to do than endanger the ship and crew pull an alien out of the anomaly/goop, an alien whom never looked like offering any useful information and once again, endangered everyone aboard Enterprise
dlpb - Tue, May 26, 2015, 5:03pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: The Homecoming

Okay, let's pause and consider the logic of this next scene: O'Brien, a human, is on a Cardassian planet with Kira, a Bajoran woman, trying to pedal her as a prostitute. Even if one does not totally buy in to the Roddenberry ideal, the idea that a human could be believed to be PIMPING on a planet which was very recently at war with his people is so fucking ridiculous, I'm surprised the guards didn't shoot them both right there. Ah, but surrendering to logic would rob of us more coma-inducing clichéd bullshit; guard is dumb and horny, Kira feigns condescension, O'Brien feigns greed, and –I bet you didn't see this coming—Kira pulls a fast one and Trek-fus her way into the camp. Oh, and throw in the fact that all of Kira's and O'Brien's phaser fire hits its target, while the Cardassians can only seem to hit extras. Most of the prisoners make it back to the runabout, Li Nalis amongst them, and they zoom off back to DS9.

==========

That sums up the writing on offer perfectly.
eastwest101 - Tue, May 26, 2015, 4:56pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Stratagem

I found this reasonably entertaining and diverting, some nice deception and twists to keep the audience on their toes with decent use of guest acting and beleivable characterisation.
eastwest101 - Tue, May 26, 2015, 4:52pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Proving Ground

A very solid outing, greatly assisted by J. Combs but as others have pointed out, with some decent script writing, goes to show what Enterprise is capable of, if written well.
Spacerguy - Tue, May 26, 2015, 4:16pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE: was directed by Robert Earl Wise who received a Saturn Award as Best Director for this film. "The Motion Picture" had a record breaking premiere at theaters during 1979. The movie reunites the classic crew of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 once again, a decade after successfully completing their legendary five-year mission of deep space exploration going boldly where no man has gone before...

In 2270 Mr Spock lives on planet Vulcan. At the Gol temple, he attempts to complete the disciplines of Kolinahr by purging the last of his human emotions. However, the Vulcan is clearly distracted by something far away in the distant depts of space. A Vulcan Elder is about to place the ancient Kolinahr pendant of logic around his neck but a disturbed Mr Spock stops her. A mind meld later reveals Spock is still conflicted about human emotions which an alien entity has somehow awakened. Spock fails to complete his Kolinahr vulchie training and instead is drawn to a powerful object named V'Ger making direct contact with it.

Meanwhile in close proximity to the Federation's Neutral zone, three Klingon battle cruisers are violently engaged with a vast, mysterious object on a direct collision course with Earth.

The Klingon K'tinga class fleet attempt to investigate a celestial cloud, scanning it and firing torpedoes at will, except the Klingons have underestimated the power hidden deep within this unknown. The cloud assimilates everything sent its way. Frightened, the lead captain orders a retreat but its too late. A bolt of plasma energy is fired out from within the dark expanse of the mystery unknown and strikes the Klingon ships, one by one.... The cloud systematically eradicates them along with their fierce warriors who vanish into thin air.

James T. Kirk has now become a cranky desk-bound Admiral promoted to Chief of Starfleet Operations on earth. The former starship captain shuttles over to Starfeet Headquarters with every intention of regaining command of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701. Once on board the ship, Kirk meets Captain Decker in Engineering who is hesitant about relinquishing command of his beloved starship. Angered, Decker sandbags Kirk about being "out of touch" with the new Enterprise systems.

Kirk realises Decker's expertise is crucial to the success of the mission and with the Enterprise, her crew and earth hanging in the balance, Decker stays onboard as Executive Officer, temporary grade reduction in rank..

Kirk suffers an early blow when his new vulcan Science Officer, Commander Sonak is captured in a horrific transporter accident along with another crewman. Yeoman Rand is struggling with the transporter controls when the Alarm sounds.

Chief Engineer Scotty yells into the intercom: "Transporter room, do not engage! Do not...."

Kirk exits on a run, followed by Scotty.

Strange flashing sounds and a defective transporter beam up is in progress. Its obvious something has gone badly amiss with the transporter. At the console Chief Rand is trying to overcome the problem with the beam up of Commander Sonak's lifeform degrading before them. The human energy patterns flicker into fuller materialization but they're "Forming". Rand vainly attempts to save Sonak and the woman but her grief, panic stricken face says it all. Its a desperate no-win scenario..... We hear a scream of pain and a moan from Vulcan. Kirk takes over but its too late. The death cries reverberate around the Enterprise transporter room, a strange phenomenon in itself.

"Starfleet, do you have them?" demands Kirk anxiously
"Enterprise, what we got back didn't live long.. fortunately."

On the Recreation Deck, the admiral informs the assembled Enterprise crew about the effect V'Ger's destructive powers have had on Earth's defenses. Its unlike anything Starfleet has ever been faced with before. Kirk tells his crew that V'Ger is two and a half days from earth. The Epsilon Nine Station interrupts the briefing with an emergency call from Commander Branch.

"Enterprise... the Cloud is definitely a power field of some kind... Measures... My God! Over 82 A.U.'s in diameter..."

Branch reveals repeated friendship messages have yielded no response. Neither do tactical scans which are reflected back by something within the cloud. Maybe its a vessel of some sort...

Branch orders their shields to maximum power as the Epsilon station is attacked and obliterated before the Enterprise crew's very eyes. Cadets and Officers alike are shocked and stunned into silence. Somebody eventually lets out a scream. Admiral Kirk has to compose himself.

"Our orders are to intercept,investigate; and take whatever action is necessary... and possible. We can only hope that the life form aboard that vessel reasons as we do."

The Enterprise has to Intercept V'Ger and prevent it from reaching Earth at all costs. The crew is given 40 minutes to gather their wits prior to the prelaunch countdown.

Dr Leonard "Bones" McCoy retirement on Earth is rudely cut short along with Lieutenant llia, the navigation officer who beams aboard the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 at Kirk's request. "Bones" is not a happy man. In fact he's extremely peeved about being drafted into service without a moments notice.

James T. Kirk: "Well, for a man who swore he'd never return to Starfleet.."

Leonard McCoy: "Just a moment, Captain, sir. I'll explain what happened. Your revered Admiral Nogura invoked a little-known, seldom-used reserve activation clause. In simpler language, Captain, they drafted me!"

James T. Kirk: "They didn't!"

Leonard McCoy: "This was your idea. This was your idea, wasn't it?" yells McCoy pointing the finger of blame right at Kirk.

James T. Kirk: "Bones, there's a thing out there."

Leonard McCoy: "Why is any object we don't understand always called a thing?"

James T. Kirk:

"Its Headed this way. I need you. Damn it, Bones, I need you. Badly!" pleads the admiral extending a hand.

Leonard McCoy: "Well, Jim, I hear Chapel's an M.D. now. Well I'm going to need a top nurse... not a doctor who will argue every little diagnosis with me. And they probably redesigned the whole sick bay too! I know engineers, they love to change things."

James T. Kirk: "Well, Bones, do the new medical facilities meet with your approval?"

Leonard McCoy: "They do not. It's like working in a damn computer center."

The original crew are called into action on a deadly mission with one exception. The safety net, Spock is missing. This is gonna be one heck of a rough ride. Starfleet Officers have sworn a solemn oath to serve and protect. Theres little hope about reaching a truce with the killer energy cloud exterminating Federation ships and planets completely from existence.

The Enterprise leaves earth's orbit except an anti-matter imbalance with the warp drive engines causes a terrible malfunction creating a wormhole distortion. A sudden spiraling of stars and light appear hurtling the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-A into a Vortex.

Kirk shouts "Wormhole!.... Get Us back on impulse power! Full reverse!"

The Enterprise has been drawn into a matter-time distortion, with stars, people and voices becoming strange, distorted shapes and sounds the further the ship ventures deeper into the vortex. It stays what seems like a really long time with Sulu reporting negative helm control and Uhura confirming that subspace frequencies have been jammed.

Suddenly the computer alerts the crew to a collision alert! The vortex has pulled in a pitted asteroid which is obstructing the Enterprise's flightpath threatening to destroy the entire ship. The Deflector Shields are over loaded, so too are the main power systems. Kirk orders Chekov to standby on phasers but Decker steps in and belays the admiral's order. The asteroid is getting larger on the viewscreen. With Chekov's help, Decker diverts power in time for him to arm the photon torpedoes and save the ship.

Decker: "Fire Torpedoes...!"

Chekov: "Torpedoes away...!"

The photon torpedoes float towards the asteroid and explode disintegrating the asteroid into several thousand pieces. The Enterprise's forward shields smash the rock fragments into smithereens as they crash against the ship. Bridge Officers brace themselves as the debris field collides and reverberates throughout the ship, making the Enterprise shudder until a feeling of smooth motion reveals their out of it.

Decker explains to Admiral Kirk in the Admiral's quarters why he countermanded his phaser order. Bones tags along and is listening intently.

"Sir, the Enterprise redesign increases phaser power by channeling it through the main engines. When they went into anti-matter imbalance, the phasers were automatically cut off."

An embarrassed Kirk swallows his pride and acknowledges Commander Decker for acting properly and saving the ship. Decker is aware of this and asks to speak freely.

"Sir, you haven't logged a single star hour in two and a half years. That, plus your unfamiliar with the ship's design, in my opinion, sir, seriously jeopardizes our mission."

Kirk has to grovel: "I trust you will... nursemaid me through these difficulties, Mister?"

Decker: "Yes, sir, I'll do that."

Decker is excused."Then I won't keep you from you're duties any longer."

Bones sandbags Kirk over the way he got command of the Enterprise.

"You pulled every string in the book short of blackmail to get the Enterprise, maybe even that. And when this mission is over, you have no intention of giving her back."

Kirk turns to McCoy for advice: ..."and I intend to keep her?"

McCoy: "It's an obsession that can blind you so far more immediate and critical responsibilities."

Kirk tells the doctor he has noted his opinion and asks if there's anything else.

The Chief Medical Officer gets to the point. "that depends on you."

A Vulcan shuttle withdraws from the Enterprise bringing Science Officer Spock on board. All is not what it seems with Mr Spock who takes refuge within the safety of the USS Enterprise starship after his humiliating Kolinahr experience on Vulcania. The Vulcan reports for bridge duty much to everyones delight. Spock is clearly not himself and attempts to implement his mathematical computations without even greeting his old Enterprise friends whom he regards rather coldly. The old bridge crew are puzzled by his reaction to them. Uhura is upset.

The vulcan explains he's knows about the Enterprise design difficulties because he's been monitoring Kirk's transmissions with Starfleet Command. Isn't this illegal? why I do believe, Mr Spock has been a very naughty little pointy eared, green blooded vulchie indeed!!!

Spock offers his services as Science Officer with all due respect to Decker. The exec gladly steps aside and allows Spock to take over and assess the defective engineering readings.

Spock turns to Kirk: With your permission, I will now discuss these fuel equations with the Engineer."

Kirk manages a nod but is puzzled by the Vulcan's strange manner.

Kirk: "Mister Spock, welcome aboard!" Mr Spock departs via the turbo elevator.

McCoy: "Never look a gift Vulcan in the ears, Jim."

Engineering to Bridge... New intermix balance holding steady. She's not even straining! Scottys been dying to give the Enterprise a proper shakedown cruise.

The USS Enterprise soon arrives at the V'Ger intercept coordinates. The ship is on Red Alert! Kirk recommends against defensive action as it may be interpreted as hostile. Sulu pushes a button revealing a beautiful, yet menacing cloud on the Enterprise viewer. Uhura continues with friendship messages on all hailing frequencies. Kirk orders the ship to move into the heart of the clouds center.

Spock confirms the Enterprise has been scanned but senses puzzlement. "They have... they have been communicating with us. I sense ... puzzlement. Why have we not replied?"

Computer: Incoming fire. Ahead. Zero,
... mark, zero.
Incoming fire. Ahead. Zero,
mark, zero.

The Ship is under attack from an energy bolt which drains the deflector shields by 70%. V'Ger is puzzled because the Enterprise has ignored its message which Spock isolates from the computer records. V'Ger message lasted for only a millisecond!!! In the blink of an eye Spock re-sends the standard Federation message matching the clouds signal speed which instantly calls off the whiplash energy splattering over the entire ship. It was a close call.


An alarm klaxon sounds. A terrifying column of mysterious plasma energy bursts onto the bridge. Its a plasma probe. The plasma wave approaches Spock's Science station and attacks chekov who is petrified and screams out in agony. The probe attempts to gain control of the main computer.

Mr Spock leaps into action. The "Intruder" learns about the Federations defences. Spock is between the probe and Ilia which moves closer to her freezing her into immobility. In a flash of blinding white, the energy plasma vanishes with Lieutenant Ilia ditching her tricorder behind. It rattles to the deck plates with a metallic clatter marking the very spot where lovely Ilia was standing.

Decker is furious "This is how I define unwarranted!"

And almost at the same moment a new Bridge Alarm Signal goes off. The Enterprise has been seized by tractor beam. V'Ger beams an android "Ilia" aboard the ship to communicate and learn about the humans "infesting" the USS Enterprise 1701 and planet earth.

Ilia speaks for V'Ger now: "I have been programmed by V'ger to observe and record normal functioning of the carbon-based units infesting USS ENTERPRISE."

Kirk: Who is...'V'ger'...?

Ilia: "V'ger is that which programmed me."

Kirk: "Is V'ger the Captain of the alien vessel?"

Bones: "Jim, what the blazes...."

Ilia: "V'ger is that which seeks the Creator."

Bones: "Jim, this is a mechanism...!"

Kirk: "Where is Lt. Ilia?"

Ilia: "That unit no longer functions. I have been given its form to more readily communicate with the carbon-based units infesting Enterprise."

Security Guard: "Carbon-based units"...?

McCoy: "Humans, Ensign Lang: us."

Kirk: "Why does V'ger travel to the third planet of the solar system directly ahead?"

Ilia: "V'ger travels to the third planet to find the Creator."

Decker is assigned to get to get "friendly" with the facsimile of Ilia and find out what she knows about V'Ger.

Spock leaves the ship without authorisation in order to attempt a mind meld with V'Ger. He gets more than he bargained for and is thrown into a coma but rescued by Kirk. Spock explains that he wanted to make contact with a being of pure logic.

V'Ger wants to talk to its creator who it believes is on Earth except theres a complication. The cloud, a machine enhanced by machines calls itself V'Ger! This machine is sentient and is actually what remains of the Voyager One spacecraft launched from Earth in the late twentieth century. Despite its vast knowledge incorporated into its memory banks by the machine world, it cannot comprehend human beings or their simple feelings. V'Ger "feels" lonely and barren!

"This simple feeling..."(Spock looks at Kirk)
... is so far beyond V'ger's comprehension. I saw V'ger's planet: a planet populated by living machines. Unbelievable technology. V'ger has knowledge that spans this universe. And... in all this order... all this magnificence, V'ger feels no awe...no delight... no beauty... I should have known..."

Kirk wakes Mr Spock up: "Known what, Spock? What?.....

What should you have known?"

Spock: "No meaning... No hope... summoning strength)And, Jim, no answers...!Jim, it's looking for answers itself!"

Kirk: "What answers?"

Spock: "Is this all I am? Is there nothing more?"

V'Ger's experiences have exceeded it complex programming and it wants more.


The craft apparently entered a machine-dominated universe, and encountered an intelligence that reprogrammed it and sent it back on a new mission to seek out and destroy inferior, non-machine infestations. The Enterprise crew rushes to stop it. It reaches Earth and easily deactivates the entire planetary defence system. V'Ger intends to deactivate Earths 'carbon based units' lifeforms unless they bring forth the creator, "The Kirk Unit." who built Voyager One. Kirk is mistaken for the creator and explains to the Ilia probe that he won't reveal who the creator is to V'Ger's mechanism. The bluff works and Kirk, Spock, Dr McCoy, Decker and the replicated`llia'mechanism make their way to a central structure towards the very heart of V'Ger.

There's an ancient human space probe there, and Kirk discovers what is in fact Voyager VI scarred by years of deep space exploration..... It is essentially V'Ger, an old earth probe enhanced by an ancient machine race. It wants to complete its programming by telling its creator all it has learnt except V'ger refuses to accept that it was created by a human. Spock suggests that V'Ger has done all it can with logic which is amazing even for him.

Kirk: "Capture God! In order to retrieve V'ger's data, the Creator has to physically come here!..."

Commander Decker decides to join with the Ilia mechanism.

Spock: "Jim... he wants it."

Decker: "You got the Enterprise, it's what you wanted. This is what I want." And then Decker shoves the tricorder into the access hatch.

Ilia and Decker merge as one, and transcend our universe. Self preservation kicks in and our heroes decide to hightail it back to the ship. Planet Earth is saved from the wrath of V'Ger. Back in the captain's chair, Kirk orders a shakedown cruise for the new USS Enterprise NCC 1701.

Guest stars include: Stephen Collins and Persis Khambatta, as well as brief appearances by previous Trek stars Grace Lee Whitney (reprising her role as Rand) and Mark Lenard (playing the Klingon captain). Of note: Marcy Lafferty, William Shatner's wife, also appears. Gene Roddenberry returns as producer, and science-fiction author Alan Dean Foster created the story, which was in turn scripted by Harold Livingston. The special effects team of Douglas Trumbull and John Dykstra, along with the musical score by Jerry Goldsmith, made the movie a landmark epic in the industry. The movie broke both production cost records (with a budget of over $40 million spent) and box office totals. Though described as the "motionless picture" by many fans this film has a classic, with a fascinating storyline. You have to visualise being there on the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 for your thoughts to run wild with excitement.

Live Long and Prosper.
Robert - Tue, May 26, 2015, 12:20pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

@William - I actually like the episode better than I did prior after reading your assessment.
Shannon - Tue, May 26, 2015, 12:17pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

Good grief, folks, there is a reason it's called science FICTION! Those of you, including Jamal, complaining about the so-called "bad science" need to consider that transporter technology is pure fantasy (how many episodes throughout Star Trek were based on the transporter, starting with "The Enemy Within"), yet I don't hear you bitching about that. This was a great moral dilemma that was created, and I thought the acting all around was superb. It's a no win situation for everyone involved, and the conclusion leaves feeling as though there was no good answer, other than the mission must press forward... 3.5 stars, easily!
Robert - Tue, May 26, 2015, 12:09pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

I like Mortal Coil too. A lot.

I guess that was my point though. I see THIS episode not really as one that has much to say about religion... but more about the prime directive and superstition/magic. Obviously two people can see the same thing differently... but I generally think when Trek does faith it's actually more pro-faith than against.
William B - Tue, May 26, 2015, 11:57am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

Well, the episode ends with Geordi turning the tech off. In fact, that's the point; the only way out of the titular trap is to turn off as much of the tech as possible, and then Geordi gives the speech about how technology improves lives, allows him to see etc., but sometimes must be turned off. The episode is quite ambivalent about technology, which is what I very much like about it.
Luke - Tue, May 26, 2015, 11:48am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

One of the reasons I like DS9 so much is its layered approach to religion. It unhesitatingly shows the bad religion can cause, but it also doesn't shy away from the good. Kira is religious person who sees her religion as a comfort. Odo, while he does have some rather fascistic tendencies, is ultimately a moral and good person who is adamantly an atheist. Worf has his faith while O'Brien and Jadiza don't. Sisko goes on a seven year spiritual journey from a tolerant skeptic to a firm believer in the Prophets. Bariel is a compassionate man who is isn't above being personally ambitious with his faith. Wynn is a corrupt politician who uses the faith of others in her pursuit of power. Dukat is an evil bastard who uses religion for his own aggrandizement and as just another way to control people. The Bajoran religion helped that people get through the horrors of the Cardassian Occupation while it also led to a deadly cult with the followers of the Pah-Wraiths. Even Quark is shown to be religious in a way, though he probably gives it very little thought beyond a general belief in the afterlife.

I just wish this episode had some inkling of this. Instead, I can't help but view it as biased against religion in general. But, that's just my opinion.

As for a pro-faith episode that I really like, it would be VOY: Mortal Coil. Neelix has a near-death experience and doesn't experience the afterlife. He then begins to seriously question his faith. It shows that religion can have positive influences even in the absence of evidence for it. It provided Neelix with a lifetime of comfort and Chakotay pleads with him not to throw away that lifetime of faith because of one incident. It's probably one of my favorites from Voyager, which is saying something since it is, after all, a Neelix episode.
Roberto Fontanez - Tue, May 26, 2015, 10:50am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

Why is everybody here so uptight? Is TV, is Star Trek, just the premise of a ship lost in a far, far away part of our galaxy is by itself at least right now simply science fiction done for our entertainment. I watch Star Trek to be entertain for an hour and get my mind away from work or the daily routine. If you watch Star Trek and at the end of the show you feel that you lost an hour of your time or you feel upset because of inaccurate techno lingo or poor acting, etc.. etc.. then I recommend you watch something else. I love Star Trek and I have watch every movie and every single version of Star Trek TV show and at the end of show I don’t feel upset because of bad acting, technical accuracy or an incoherent plot, I simply feel entertain because I keep in mind that is simply A TV SHOW BASE ON SCIENCE FICTION, nothing else, nothing more.
Robert - Tue, May 26, 2015, 10:25am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Einsteins views on God are particularly fascinating if you've never read them.

He was against the kind of religious beliefs that are the form of superstition. I think those are the kinds of religious beliefs this episode casts down.

If you don't believe in the kind of "magic" that might cause God to send earthquakes because California has too many gay people... I don't think this episode condemns your breed of religion. You can feel free to disagree of course, but that's my feeling on it.
Robert - Tue, May 26, 2015, 10:20am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

I think the worrisome bit was just that the Mintakans were turning away from science explanations of things back towards religious/supernatural ones. Too many people (even today) reject science because of things in a book they believe in.

Those minds you mentioned (and Einstein is included as well) were occasionally persecuted when their theories contradicted a fictional book.

I'm not against the concept of belief in God (I'm personally not an atheist... although I don't really have a word to describe my own faith). I'm against ignorance and bigotry caused by religious zealot-ism.

Your point stands that any organization headed by man can be as evil as the man leading it is well taken though. Belief in religion should not cause a second dark age... rejection of science will.

It's a fine line that religion walks with science. I personally believe they could work together (and in my head the things I believe live happily with science). I just think that the issue in this episode was more than religion vs rationality... it was that a people who'd given up on the "magic" side of religious beliefs were confronted with technology that reignited a belief in "magic". If God exists it does not (in my belief) possess magic. It may possess something I'd interpret as magic, but that doesn't make it so.

And yes, movements (like environmentalism) can, like everything, be taken to the extreme. But I tend to feel that extreme ideas in secular movements are more isolated than extreme ideas in religious movements. Consider the amount of people in America that think the Earth is close to 10k years old vs the percentage of environmentalists that think we should force sterilize people.

For an example of a pro-faith story I like, I'll toss in Voyager's "Sacred Ground". There is nothing in the episode that cannot be explained by science... but Janeway learned that she can't always explain everything when she needs it explained and that it's ok to take a leap of faith sometimes. The episode is almost a non-religious religious experience.

I have faith in things... I may even have faith in something that is God-like. I may even talk to it for my own purposes sometimes. But I refuse to allow it to make me ignorant. Still, it has it's uses sometimes.
Luke - Tue, May 26, 2015, 10:01am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

@Robert - I got to say - that really doesn't help improve my opinion of the "romance" plot. Instead of saying "just retreat off with your fantasy women," that means it's saying "just retreat off with your toys."

That might actually be worse, in my opinion. The fantasy woman reading at least acknowledges that nerds do need romance in some fashion. The "in love with the ship" angle implies that they shouldn't even bother wanting romance, just their gadgets.
Luke - Tue, May 26, 2015, 9:48am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

"Pick a religion where human beings have tried to please a higher power and you'll see examples of really bad things that come from it. Because somebody who believes/pretends to speak for the higher power will undoubtedly get stuff really, really freaking wrong and then lots of zealots will follow."

But you could make that same argument for numerous human institutions, not just religion. Take the state, for instance - for any good that the institution of the state does for humanity, I can point to a corresponding evil (state-sponsored terrorism, genocide, war, violations of civil liberties, environmental disasters, etc.). Or take the environmentalist movement - it's done good by bringing important issues to public attention, but it's also spawned its own brand of zealots (like people saying we have to let people starve or forcibly sterilize whole populations in order to curb over-population).

The point I'm trying to make, which I don't see the episode making, is that you have to take the good with the bad. Or, don't throw the baby out with the bath water, I guess. Has religion caused evil? Yes, undoubtedly. Is that reason to view it as nothing more than (in Picard's own words) "superstition and ignorance and fear"? No.

I just don't see how belief in the supernatural will lead to a Dark Age. And, just to be clear, you're not saying that, but I do think this episode is. I especially have a hard time accepting that when some of humanity's greatest scientific minds (Newton, Copernicus, Galileo, Roger Bacon and Mendel just to name a few) were all practicing theists.
Robert - Tue, May 26, 2015, 9:23am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

@Luke - Not sure if this would improve your view on the episode, but it was supposed to be a metaphor for an engineer in love with his ship.
Luke - Tue, May 26, 2015, 9:20am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

I'm not sure how to view this episode. It's a decent tech episode with some good suspense that holds my interest, but the Geordi romance stuff just does not work for me. I can really appreciate that they made LaForge socially awkward around women because it's a very lifelike problem (and one I've struggled with tremendously my whole life). The solution, however, just puzzles me.

LaForge falls in love with a holodeck character? If it had been crystal clear that Holo-Brahms was a sapient life form - a la Moriarty, the Doctor, Vic Fontaine, or Dr. Zimmermann's "creations" in the episode "Life Line" - then I could buy it. But, as it sits, she's just a holodeck character; a very interactive and personable holodeck character, but one all the same. It comes across like the writers are saying "if your a nerd, you might as well just retreat off with your fantasy women since you'll never get a 'real' woman to like you." I seriously doubt that was their intention, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

And there's a few minor quibbles I have about this episode. First, why is there a booby trap here? I thought this was the place of the final battle between the Menthars and Promellians, where they each fought the other into extinction. What use would a booby trap be here? It's like the episode brings up the whole "final battle" element in order to establish atmosphere and then promptly forgets about it. Second, why did Picard destroy the battle cruiser? He's an archeologist, a fact that has already been established on TNG; he would never destroy such a priceless historical artifact. Just set some warning beacons and have a Federation team return and retrieve it. But, I guess we had to have an explosion this week, right?

But, like I said, the tech point is enjoyable enough for what it is.

6/10
Robert - Tue, May 26, 2015, 8:43am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

@Andrew - It's not so much that it was an awful episode. It was actually a decent time travel plot and I liked the cameo of the Vidiians. It was just that "The Gift" was about 1000x more of a satisfying ending for Kes. If they were going to bother I just wish they had done something other than this.
Robert - Tue, May 26, 2015, 8:36am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@John Logan - The church doing some good things is not quite the same as the church being a force FOR GOOD. The fact is that if you look back at the Inquisition, Witch Hunts, Crusades and other such nonsense I can find you something bad that the church has done for every thing you find it's done good.

And I actually think that the church is one of the top 3 destructive forces in America today. And as to your disgusting comment comparing infanticide to abortion... it is a FACT that being opposed to abortion and also opposed to birth control is sadistic. People in the church and on the right that want to keep mindless sheep going to the polls would like very, very much to keep people getting abortions so they have something to whine about.

And it's also awesome that most of those assholes want poor people to have to give birth to babies they don't want because they had pregnancies they didn't want because they weren't allowed to have birth control and then cut welfare because who cares about the baby once it's born. Raging about poor people being wellfare queens also gets the sheeple to the polls. It's as disgusting as your comment.

Anyone who can convince themselves that abstinence only education coupled with no contraceptives, no abortion and no welfare is a good thing has their head so far up their ass that they have no business pretending they even understand the WORD logic.
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