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Trajan
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 1:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

This episode has just screened again tonight here in the UK. I must say that I like it more each time I see it. As Jammer said, the inter-cutting of the poker games is inspired. I still have to hide behind the sofa when Lavelle 'makes friends' with Riker in the bar.

What I like the most is that we finally see the 'real' characters of the senior staff. Their faults have been mostly airbrushed in the series- mostly implied rather than shown- but here we see what it really takes to command a starship in a dangerous universe and what it mens to serve under them.

(By the way, has someone been feeding the trolls??)
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mephyve
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 9:41am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

R.I.P Kellie Waymire. Always loved seeing her.
As for the episode in question, Archer says that they were not out there to play god. What a stupid statement. Whether you give them a cure or not, you're playing god. You have a decision to make; save the people or let them die. whichever you choose, you're deciding their ultimate fate. Fact is "God", the universe, fate, whichever you choose, brought them there to make the ultimate decision. In their mind, they reneged by saying maybe they'll find a cure in the future. in truth they decided that the race should die. In my opinion, they blew it.
From time to time I come across episodes where I don't subscribe to Trek "doctrinë", but I don't let that color my rating.
(****) It was an excellent episode despite it's unethical conclusion.
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mephyve
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 8:41am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Silent Enemy

This town isn't big enough for the both of us. (***.5)
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mephyve
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 7:54am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Cold Front

Episodes like this mean nothing to me as stand alone episodes. All trey do is add more mystery. Cool if you like that sort of thing. As a stand alone episode (*)
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eastwest101
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 7:35am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Divergence

Agree that without Billingsleys efforts and a partially well written bunch of scenes on the Klingon colony this is a pretty empty flimsy by-the-numbets technobabble set of arbitrary set piece action scenes, very routine stuff and surprisingly boring to watch despite all the noise and movement.
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mephyve
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 7:19am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Fortunate Son

Good job (***)
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mephyve
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 7:12am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Civilization

Very nice (***) I really don't understand why people have a problem with life on other M class planets developing like life on earth. Seems logical to me that given similar circumstances you'd get similar results.
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Latex Zebra
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 6:39am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Inquisition

Had never seen this one before!

Yeah, really good. Being roughly aware of what it was about I was hoping that during the interrogation things like Bashir’s time in the prison camp or his wish to surrender to the Dominion would be brought up. Well that and more. Really appreciate writing like this which credits the viewers with an understanding and knowledge of the characters.
Must admit I thought the beam over to the ship/holodeck happened when he was ”busted” out by Weyoun. As soon as he arrived there I said aloud “Holodeck!” It was only when I looked at the script this morning I realised the whole thing was set on the holodeck.
Sloan was great. William Sadler is an excellent actor and portrayed him really well. I read that Martin Sheen was considered as well. Would have been pretty awesome too.
No qualms with the existence of Section 31. Makes sense for any society that has a military capacity, and Starfleet is that, would also have a side that does the dirty work.
Easily agree with Jammers score and I’d be tempted to knock it up to 4/4 just because of the cleverness of the writing.
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Lenny
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 4:36am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

I agree with the reviews by Mike and William B above. I give it 3 stars. I found it very interesting and engaging, and it has a truly great monologue from Spock/Kollos about the human experience. A multifaceted episode with a lot to appreciate.
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Latex Zebra
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 4:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

The reason “intelligent” people watch this show is because it is intelligently written and it treats its viewers like grown-ups. It constantly refers back to the episodes and appreciates that the main viewership is those that tune in regularly. It is not written for the casual viewer.

Don’t think I have ever genuinely commented on this episode. It is a lot of fun. I never found it gut bustingly funny but if you can watch this episode without grinning there is something wrong with you.
Like all Trek you have to let certain things go, Starfleet citizens not having money for example. Especially as in other episodes you see Starfleet crew wandering around with loads of latinum they’ve just won playing Dabo.
Anyway, good lightweight episode and at least a 3 out of 4… Possibly 3.5
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Timothy
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 2:17am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Rajiin

Wait, why is Archer concerned about sex slavery now? Just recently he condemned an entire gender of an alien race to sex slavery, even refusing asylum to a refugee who was so distraught by their captivity that they killed themselves.
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Jor-El
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 11:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Tacking into the Wind

1) Did not appreciate the Gowron send-off. He deserved better.

2) Come on, we all knew who Damar was going to shoot, so painfully obvious.

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mephyve
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 11:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: The Andorian Incident

It was ok (**)
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mephyve
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Terra Nova

(**)
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mik73
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

Of course silly me I forgot Jammer uses the 4-star rating standard. So make it 1.5 / 4 stars on that scale. Not quite scraping the bottom of the barrel for the various and sundry merits I managed to dig up. :)
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mik73
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

Re-watching Season 1 and was somewhat dreading the appearance of this episode. I remembered the main premise and plot points (specifically the 'surprise twist' relationship between Ariel and the leader of the survivors). I remembered in my youth being somewhat aghast and offended at the 'tables being turned' nature of the Matriarchal society. In 'prepping' for the show by reading Jammer's review and subsequent comments my dread was only amplified. I came close to just hitting 'delete' on the PVR and giving it a pass. But felt I owed it to nostalgia and mild case of OCD to 'complete' my S1 trip down memory lane.

So I just finished watching it, and I'm somewhat shocked to find that I wasn't as offended by the viewing as I expected. Yes, overall the quality of the script, plot contrivances and premise are largely absurd. But I find myself looking at the episode in a kinder light (or at least with more forgiveness) for technical and performance reasons.

I see some real progression in the acting choices made by the TNG crew. Riker/Frakes fares very well I thought (I'll expand on his role shortly). I also appreciated Brent Spiner's continued refinement of the 'Data' persona we will all learn to love in seasons to come (still in a groove after Datalore I suppose). Troi, Geordie and Worf also seem to be a bit more comfortable in their skins (albeit Worf has a minimal role, as usual, but his command advice to Geordie was a nice touch). Stewart doesn't have much to do other then act sick and indulge in his 'get off my lawn' persona to Wesley.

McFadden still seems to me a bit awkward, like she doesn't yet know how her character is supposed to relate to the rest of the crew. Or she to her fellow actors; particularly Picard/Stewart. I like the character, and I like McFadden as that character...but there's something holding her back from 'fitting in' quite yet.

Yar / Crosby also remains awkward, but not in a way that indicates much room for growth or improvement to be brutally honest. I don't know all the gory details of how she was feeling about her position on the show at this point, her (or the producer's) estimation of her acting abilities, or the quality of the scripts she was given. But this episode is, unfortunately, a marker to me that things just aren't working out.

To the plot itself - Surprisingly I wasn't nearly as offended or off-put by the whole gender-bender Matriarchal thing as I remembered from my viewings years ago. I think it was handled somewhat 'gingerly' by all concerned. We're still in the 80's here, so I guess there's only so far they would go to try and throw their male viewership for a loop.

Certainly it had it's share of 'men are brainless' lines and condescension sprinkled here and there to remind us of how 'backward' their society was. All in silly good humour for the most part. But overall they didn't hammer the gender vs gender thing as much as I thought they would (definitely not as ham-fisted and unbearably self-righteous as it would be if written by modern hacks).

This can be largely attributed to how Riker handles things (and is handled *cough* by the planet's leader). I was impressed that he really tried not to rock the boat with regards to their customs. It would be easy to come in guns blazing and spend the episode preaching to all in earshot how misguided they all are. All of the Away team seem to be in sync with Riker and Data's Prime Directive conclusions (even if they don't make much sense from a real world law point of view). At least we are spared the usual 'school lesson' a senior officer has to give a junior, who should know better.

Now add in the fact that both the main female leaders from this planet fall hard for the first 'strong alpha male' type that happens along, and much of the gender politics behind the plot gives way to Season 1's infamous 'sexcapades in space' routine.

Anyway, I won't defend the plot, the stricken-crew cliche, multiple countdowns, one-note planetary political system, another band of survivors refusing to leave, etc. This is definitely a Season 1 episode and lacks much of the refinement in script and plot we would see later on.

But I'll give this 2/5 stars for not beating me over the head with the women vs men thing. For growing comfort, if not growth, by the actors in their roles (Crosby excluded, alas). A fine outing for Riker in most respects. And a marked improvement in some technical aspects of lighting and camera angles (no annoying fish-eye shots of Stewart's nose for example...ugh).

Definitely better times ahead, but there was enough here to keep it off the bottom rung of Season 1's worst offenders for me.

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Jor-El
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Chimera

Rene Auberjonois, the actor who plays Odo, is in my opinion one of the best Star Trek has ever had, and a real unsung hero of the franchise. His portrayal of Odo is something special: he breathes so much life and nuance into the character. Even though his facial expressions are limited, with every little turn of his head or twinkle of his eye he manages to convey so much. And his sense of humor is great to boot. It's interesting that in real life his voice sounds quite different - that low gruff voice is part of his act. He really shines in that last scene with the other changeling.
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Gopher
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 4:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Time's Orphan

The technical thing that kills me from the first act on this one, and which I haven't seen anyone mention to my surprise...

It is revealed at the end that the portal is two-way. Stuff can pass back and forth through it easily. Meaning, Miles or Keiko, or anyone else, *could've* just walked through and returned with Molly, at *any time.*

Now, you can say they didn't *know* that... but could they really not think of any way to *test* it? Program a flying drone to fly through, then fly back? Nope. It was just... "Molly went through this portal-thing. Obviously, it is one-way."

If I push that (glaring, imo) issue aside, I liked the episode well enough - I'd agree with 2.5 stars, though I quite liked the Worf sub-plot. Someone complained about Worf being so hard on himself, but to me, Worf was projecting his fears based on the *fact* that he *royally screwed up* with Alexander as a child, a fact that has been forced brought back into focus for him by the recent return of Alexander. He whines and postures to Dax as if he's proving it to her, but really he's wanting to prove it to himself. And in the end, he does, and it's a good little sub-plot for him. I like this B-plot enough to bump the ep's overall rating up to a 3 out of 4, personally.
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mephyve
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 4:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Unexpected

Trip trips out on alien gas then gets impregnated by an alien hand bath. (*)
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mephyve
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 3:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Strange New World

Tripp trips out on alien hashish (*)
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Andi
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Distant Origin

@Jay
What about quantum computers? Now on the horizon of science research. That could be the next big thing after binary technology.


@George Monet
"Finally, how the heck did these Saurians even discover that one single human skeleton"
A Kazon could have heard or examined what the Voyager people did on the planet and could have tried to trade in that information. Other aliens, who were in contact with Voyager over time could have extracted their DNA (secretly) and also trade these informations. Like in the "Fair Trade" episode, those stations are full of dubious traders who would sell you even secret receipts of their own grandmother.

"Furthermore, it is impossible for this species to have left absolutely no fossil record on Earth."
The Dinos could have been taken by advanced aliens, maybe as new farm animals. And then they slowly evolved on that other aliens planet, up until they made their fossil records and all technology traces on that planet. The only thing that is proofed by Gegen is, that their DNA comes from Earth. Nothing is said about the exact history of their further evolution.

@NonRelativist
Interesting idea to agree with the traditions of the Dinos, just because it seems to have worked for so long so very well. Maybe only firm traditions can stabilize a society over many thousand and even million years. So it's a nice touch of this great VOY episode to show how strong the traditions are and that they are not overthrown by first sight of some DNA proof. Maybe they only need some more time, give them 200 years or so, to slowly incorporate Gegen's theory into their mainstream culture without destabilizing anything.

Absolutely great, fresh, fast-paced episode that gives you something to think about.
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mephyve
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Fight or Flight

Enterprise is a nice change of pace from the other Treks. The Enterprise is feeling it's way through warp space and learning about themselves more than about other races. With no prime directive the crew is able to make mistakes and grow. Entertaining (***)
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RichD
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 12:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

This episode is in my top 5 of the whole series. It's expertly written. I applaud the writers for going to a place that very rarely is shown in the Star Trek universe. The horrors of war. The Dominion War dominated the DS9 story line as we all know, and I think it was brilliant to show an episode from this perspective. The scene with Quark and Nog at the beginning, was tremendous. It's those little stand out scenes, that tend sneak up and surprise you. That's what I enjoy so much about this show. You could be moving along, business as usual watching an episode, and then bam, they hit you with something like that. They've obviously done land based, hand to hand combat themed episodes in the past, but for some reason, this episode struck a chord with me. It packed an emotional punch. Perhaps watching Nog, a character I grew to admire more and more as the series progressed, so valiantly help the team, only to lose his leg, got to me. He represents the viewer in a lot of ways. Very well done. This one was a pleasant surprise when I first saw it.
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Peter G.
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 11:41am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Elogium

I was just reading the review of "Bride of Chaotica(!)" and some comments about the UPN trailors gave me a flashback to the original trailor for "Elogium." I distinctly remember seeing the trailor for this the week before it first aired, with the voiceover claiming something to the effect that (in all caps, to reflect how it was said) "VOYAGER ENCOUNTERS THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE". I remember seeing this and thinking "Is it the Q? Something else?" I can't say I was necessarily enthused, as I wasn't liking the show particularly, but at any rate I was curious.

When "Elogium" aired my sustained reaction was 45 minutes of "w. t. f." Unlike the promo, my reaction was not in caps but in lower case tedium. Jammer is right to have railed against the promos as much as he has, but in this case it went beyond merely being cheesy or overblown. This one was a flat-out blatant lie, and because of it what should have been a humdrum mediocre hour was instead an hour of serious disappointment. If the morons working for UPN thought they were doing their network a favor by putting one over on the audience then they were even dumber and more dishonest than the promos they were putting out. I wonder in hindsight whether audience members could have successfully filed a class-action suit against UPN for false advertising.
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Jor-El
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 11:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges

1) They made it way too obvious that Ross was working for Sloan.
2) Bashir would make a terrible spy.
3) Liked the Romulan council scene, and Sloan's 'death' was shocking.
4) Romulans need more makeup where the foreheads meet their real faces. Or just don't have such a low camera angle, if that's easier.
5) Solid episode, but not 4 stars. 3.5 at best.
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