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Baron Samedi - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 2:18pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

@Grumpy thanks for the link to the Hulk essay, it was an excellent read and quite relevant to the rant you were responding to.
Robert - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 1:13pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

As for Nemesis... since they finally decided to use the Romulans (TNG's Klingons basically)... they needed to make Nemesis into TNG's Undiscovered Country. Instead we get a random race that happens to live with the Romulans that we've never seen before, a human villain (that is a clone of Picard) and a cross between Lore and a Pakled? Sigh....

It's STILL more watchable (to me) than TMP or STV... but only barely.
Robert - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 1:08pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

@Elliott - TMP.... best ST film?!!

I will agree with you about TWoK though. It's scifi-lite wrapped into an action movie. But the truth is that after a brilliant sci-fi series you don't want a 2 hour sci-fi movie... what you want is for 2 more hours with characters you love, and the easiest way to do that is to make it a product the masses will like (so the franchise doesn't fall apart) to while still giving the fans their favorite characters.

I actually think that when you try to make something that is truly a sci-fi plot line into a 2 hour movie it ends up losing something (namely you spend so much time on the concept you don't end up with an amazing character piece). Since in the end what I really want is 2 hours with my characters, I actually don't think Generations is a fail. Data and Picard's storylines in that movie are actually pretty good. It probably wasn't "theatrical" enough to be a movie (if it was a 2 part episode in S7 people would have rated it 4 stars)... but I like it.

First Contact took TWoK approach, and that's why it is my favorite TNG movie. It really had nice pieces for almost every character and did nice things for the ST mythos in general (Vulcans at first contact, the new Enterprise, etc.) It wasn't awesome sci-fi, but it was good to the characters and the universe. That's probably why I think ST6 is my favorite.

As for Insurrection, it wasn't bad... but it probably would have worked better as a 2 part episode also.
Vylora - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 11:48am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Random Thoughts

Thanks, Yanks. :D

(couldn't help myself)
Elliott - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 11:42am (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

@Grumpy ;

I happen to think the majority of Steven's claims are overstated to the point of losing whatever original point he was trying to make, but that does not make him a troll. TWoK is a really great action movie with excellent characterisation and some very moving scenes, but he's not wrong in saying that it many ways fails to capture the spirit and tone of Star Trek. TWoK is a the perfect Star Trek movie for mass audiences, and that's why, I think, Mr Jordan finds the sci-fi elements of the film to be unsophisticated. And compared to the best Trek film, TMP, he's right!

Now, I can't get behind his claims about the acting, the themes, or character arcs--those were handled extremely well. I also think Generations and Insurrection were fucking awful--though Insurrection at least managed to be more of a Star Trek movie than the action schlock most of the TNG films put out.

I don't like this idea of dismissing the dissenter as a troll.
Dave in NC - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 11:27am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

@ Shaen

We have nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines now. Last time I checked, we don't have an easy way to clean it up should something go wrong.

It's not implausible that future humans would take the same risk, especially since 99.999 whatever percent of space is empty.
Elliott - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 11:25am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

"If you had finished reading what I wrote, I said that everyone hates this episode precisely because it is so radically different from normal Trek morality."

You are trying to bolster your argument because of popular consensus ("everyone hates..."). Rights are not determined by majority opinion, but on judicial interpretation of principles.

"Any excuse to justify not curing a disease, the anti-thesis of what being a doctor is all about. "

I don't recall Archer or Phlox "looking" for a means to avoid altering these people's DNA. It was when confronted by a previously un-foreseen context that they felt compelled to re-evaluate their kneejerk moral response.

"And what else would a debate on morality begin and end with? What's the point of having morality or having laws in place if we aren't ultimately protecting people's lives?"

That's an interesting question. I don't have an answer for you, but the point is in fact that assuming the purpose of laws, etc. is ultimately the preservation of life is, well, an assumption. What do you base this assumption on?

"The Federation believes in the preservation of life as its highest moral. That is why they do answer distress calls and cure diseases when asked."

The Federation (and as Yanks pointed out, it does not yet exist in this timeline) believes in *seeking out* new life, not corrupting, destroying or tampering with it. The goal of Starfleet's exploration was to understand the Universe in which we live, not impose our sense of right and wrong upon it.
stallion - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 10:54am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S1: Dagger of the Mind

This was a great episode. I feel like this episode and what are little girls made of are James Bondish. Kirk goes on a mission with an attractive crewmember and must stop a scientist well in this case doctor. The only thing that was missing in the episode was Kirk having a bedroom scene with Dr. Noel at the end giving her a performance review.

A missed opportunity for this episode is not making this a Kirk and Uhura episode. It would had been a great way to flesh out here character. They could had easily added a line saying Uhura spent time working at one of these places. Of course the love plot would had to been deleted.
Yanks - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 8:58am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

The "Federation" does not exist yet.
Robert - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 8:50am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

They had roughly 30k light years to go. That could have taken nearly 30 years. I DO agree that at the speed they were going it probably wouldn't have, but there's no reason to assume they kept pace. It easily could have taken another 9 or 10. 16 is probably a bit much.
Robert - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 8:46am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

I think what Chris is saying is that considering you are the result of a single sperm and egg intersecting at the exact correct instant in time/space the odds of all of the planet people being born again now that the crew is slightly different (Bashir knows who he will marry, so maybe they'll get together faster). I try not to think about that since it ruins the episode if you focus on it.

If I went back in time and told your parents (right before they met) that they would get married some day it would almost definitely negate your existence.
Katie - Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 7:42am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: Tribunal

@DPLB: um...wow.

You don't think execution by firing squad is a bit excessive for a drug offense? The international community certainly thought so. Lindsey Sandiford is a middle-aged mother of two who claimed--and the evidence supports her claim--that she was coerced into helping a drug smuggling ring by threats to her family. She gave evidence that helped convict members of that ring, all of whom received lesser sentences (time in prison). The prosecution team themselves recommended 15 years in prison as her sentence. But she received the death penalty from a judge who believed her trial had threatened Bali's tourism industry (!). She has received no help from the UK government, whose representatives say things like "how very unfortunate!" about her situation. She is now on death row in Indonesia.
Vylora - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 11:55pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

In what could have been a classic episode turns instead into a touching but inconsistent one with very nice character moments interspersed with a well done, albeit unnecessary action subplot.

This isn't a good start in learning of the Hirogen. The idea of them being a hunter species is interesting, if not fresh. But as it's displayed here, they come across as simply the big bad tough guys that will be around for some time.

The scenes involving the Voyager crew receiving the letters from home fared way better, despite the par for the course continuity issues. Some really great dialogue and performances sold it with heart and poignancy.

Neelix prodding Tuvok as he normally does is just Neelix being himself. He doesn't do it thinking he's going to make Tuvok suddenly change. He does it because it's probably his way of showing affinity for him. In the case of this episode, Neelix is utilizing his Morale officer position to encourage Tuvok to take two minutes from what he's doing to read what his family has to say. I think anyone in that position, even Janeway, would encourage that. But since it's Neelix, bring on the hate rhetoric.

I would be lying if I said this episode wasn't a disappointment. It was. However, it does mostly work on its own terms and, overall, is still pretty solid.

3 stars.
Eli - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 10:05pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Drive

I meant: kill one person or destroy one ship, not kill one ship...

it would be great if we could edit our posts, oh well
Eli - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 10:03pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Drive

Re: azcats: the conspirator element is actually more unnerving when you think about it than the characters (other than Kim perhaps) seem to think it is in the show. Boston marathon is one recent example of what could happen in real life if a terrorist used a sporting event to hurt people.

This does leave me conflicted because it is the one element in the show that could potentially topple the other elements. That's why the situation should have been addressed in the show's ending.

Ultimately, I think it is, after all, a TV show, and the fact that the woman appeared to be relatively independent in her actions does soften some of the horror of the situation.

Perhaps the fact that the writers took that element of the story quite that far is the biggest flaw in the episode. (That is to say, the writers decided that the conspirator not only wanted to kill one ship, but also many innocent bystanders.) This theme, therefore, risks being too serious to be an afterthought.

But I still hold that it is a very solid episode in that so many ingredients were effective. Every cultural work is flawed somehow. I guess that's why the subjective nature of our tastes is important to our views. We all chose to tolerate some things and not others.
Sean - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 9:56pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

"What am I supposed to be convinced by peer pressure, here?"

-lesigh- No. Of course not. Peer pressure is not a good basis for believing something. If you had finished reading what I wrote, I said that everyone hates this episode precisely because it is so radically different from normal Trek morality. Indeed, that was my main point in that post.

"The episode is NOT saying that an entire species ought to die, it's saying that one human captain and one Denobulan doctor don't have the right to make that determination for an entire species."

And that's not a bad thing to say. And it's completely fine. If the episode had ended with Phlox and Archer going back to Starfleet or to the Vulcans or to the Interspecies Medical Exchange or whatever other medical authority and asking them to decide, it would have been salvageable. But that is not what the episode is trying to say. The episode is trying to say that we shouldn't give these people the cure because... evolution and destiny and we can't alter the DNA. Any excuse to justify not curing a disease, the anti-thesis of what being a doctor is all about. It is very much so saying that an entire species should die because evolution.

"You're being completely myopic about the issue. To your point of view, the debate begins and ends at the loss of life. What a terribly narrow vision."

Yes, that's correct. And what else would a debate on morality begin and end with? What's the point of having morality or having laws in place if we aren't ultimately protecting people's lives? And what does it say about a society that doesn't think lives are where the debate should begin and end?

This particular episode has the rather important point that these people asked for help.

The Federation believes in the preservation of life as its highest moral. That is why they do answer distress calls and cure diseases when asked.
Eli - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 9:55pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Drive

Why are relationship based romantic comedy type episodes fluff? Relationships can be just as deep as anything else. And the occasional levity or gentle competition in the episode does not prevent the show from having substance. "Depth" is an inherently subjective term anyway. Does a substantial show have to be dark and cynical?

Further, on a side note, I like that characters like Quark and Neelix that provide humor and contrast to the show. In my view, Neelix is not as interesting as Quark, but he's a fine addition to the cast of characters.

Overall, I thought the show had a good balance of romance, humor, competition, diplomacy and mystery. I think those elements complement each other rather than undermine each other.

I'd give the show at least 3.5 stars.

My only quibbles: 1) the romantic scenes could have have been a little more direct and therefore could have had a little bit more of a payoff. I feel like the writers and the actors were terrified of coming across as corny. But, you have to "go for it" in romance at some point. You have to take a leap of faith that the audience will support your sincerity and go along with it.

2) I know the show is only around 40 minutes, but they completely sidestepped the handling of the punishment of the conspirator. The ending, as a whole, was rushed.

Very good episode.
SkepticalMI - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 9:38pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

I think people are being way too hard on Beverly. For one, her persona has always been that of a Doctor and humanist first, and a military officer second. She never really stood on protocol nor on caring about Starfleet philosophy; she always did what she felt was best. Thus, it's not outside of her characterization to ignore the distance of command. For that matter, even in modern militaries specialized areas like medicine see a more relaxed chain of command.

And we've already seen Beverly be friendly with Ogawa in the past. Heck, they were close enough that Alyssa risked her career for Bev in Suspicions. Given that Beverly is not one to stand on protocol, and has worked with her head nurse for years (she first showed up in Season 4), why wouldn't she be friendly with her?It doesn't strike me as being unrealistic or sexist at all.

Would you also complain that Worf was having a friendly chat with Sito in Ten-Forrward? Or was singling her out to give her special advice? And do you also complain that Kirk was so chummy with Bones and Spock, despite being their superior officer?

Really, the biggest unrealistic part of that is that Ogawa has been an ensign for 3 years, especially since she seemed to be the head nurse for a significant chunk of that time.

Besides that, I think this episode is somewhat overrated, although it's still very good. I guess I just see the switch to the junior officer's perspective as being an interesting and worthy change of pace, but not some mindblowingly brilliant idea. And while Sito's death was tragic, I didn't see it as a brilliant piece of storytelling that was the crux of the story.

But that said, there was plenty that was good here. Each of the relationships between the juniors and their superiors (except Lavelle, ugh...) was good to see. The Taurik/Geordi subplot doesn't get much attention, but I thought it was pleasant. As a Vulcan, obviously Taurik is rather intelligent and engaged in his work. But, of course, he comes off as pushy, arrogant, and unlikeable due to his inexperience with working with humans. And given Geordi's relative lack of tact and empathy, his demeanor towards Taurik initially comes off as rather off-putting. He basically looks like the bad guy here by brushing off Taurik's offers for improvements, putting down his speculations, and so forth. And yet, in the end, it's just because of the way Geordi works. He actually does go through Taurik's list of suggestions and does help implement them. It shows that, despite a difficult working relationship due to some personal problems on each of their ends, they are still professional. And Taurik, the wise Vulcan, was incorrect in his initial assumptions about Geordi, and shows that he still has room to grow despite his obvious engineering ability.
Vylora - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 8:46pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Waking Moments

Some memorable character moments are the sole bright spot in an otherwise trite and tired haze of mundane plot mechanics. I would be able to work with the high-concept idea of the aliens themselves if they weren't written as so severely one-dimensional and lacking in any form of motivation whatsoever. Since the character moments are so directly effected by the plot; they in turn unfortunately lose their luster. However, there is entertainment value to be had here and the direction ably moves things along.

Watchable enough overall but also lacking.

2 stars.
Eli - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 8:26pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

I meant: On the other hand, if we are to interpret the Klingon after life as only a fabrication of her mind...
Eli - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 8:23pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

I have to join the dissenters on this one. The Klingon after life appears unambiguously real to a maddeningly literal degree. Also, the ending does not benefit the episode in any way.

On the other hand, we are to interpret the Klingon after life as only a fabrication of her mind, we are given very little information with which to find any meaning in the episode.

For the record, I am usually a big fan of Klingon episodes.
Grumpy - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 7:39pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

...Therefore, anyone who cites that (or similar tangible details) must either 1) have other, unexpressed reasons for holding that opinion or 2) does not sincerely hold that opinion at all. Thus, trolling. But it inspired me to revisit the "tangible details" essay, so it's not all bad.
Grumpy - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 7:27pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Obviously some world-class trolling there. I mean, not everyone has to agree what's good or bad, so when criticism crosses into "anyone who likes this is unsophisticated," there's no other word for it. Trolling. And trolls must not be fed.

I'm reminded of Film Crit Hulk's essay about "tangible details." filmcrithulk.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/hulk-essay-your-ass-tangible-details-and-the-nature-of-criticism/
The point being that lists of reasons for an opinion are usually post-hoc rationalizations. A clue is when the reasons come from outside the text. For instance, "Star Trek II sucks because it ignores Saavik's Romulan heritage" is not an opinion anyone could form while watching the movie.
Jack - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 6:07pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

And they went a bit overboard on aging some of the characters, particularly Harry Kim. He'd only be 55 here, they made him pretty shriveled for 55. B'ehlanna, Tom, and Harry all look older than Janeway does. They all got wrinkly, rubbery faces, all Janeway got is gray hair.
Jack - Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 5:28pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

After all the distance they travelled in 7 years (by my reckoning by the events of "Renaissance Man" they had to be virtually to the Beta Quadrant border, and even nearing the outermost fringes of the Klingon Empire), it's hard to believe it took another 16 years to get the rest of the way.
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