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Robert - Wed, May 27, 2015, 2:52pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@John Logan - Is it possible you are not American. The religious, largely Christian, right is so vile in American that I wonder if perhaps you just don't have to put up with them wherever you are. :)

It's hard to take pro-life seriously from people who are anti-welfare (as you admit much of the right is), who's gay and trans conversion policies drive youngsters to suicide, to be anti-contraception in a world where handing out contraception in third world countries would stop the spread of AIDS, people who accost (often violently) women seeking abortions (even if it's often simply to D&C an already miscarried and wanted pregnancy... doesn't matter... they don't know who they are screaming at and why she's there), etc.

I simply find the religious right where I'm from to be hypocrites and generally not Christ like. Christ would not consider these people Christians.

That said, I am aware that there are many Catholics and Catholic organizations that do a lot of good. But most people wouldn't put up with that success/failure ratio of good/evil from anyone other than their church.
Robert - Wed, May 27, 2015, 2:43pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@John Logan - "I don`t, I value all human life. I oppose killing babies whether they are born or unborn. It is sadistic to conceive a life and then murder it."

Unless your views are very different than the average pro-lifer, you don't know what the word sadistic means. "deriving pleasure or sexual gratification from extreme cruelty". Leaving off the sexual gratification bit (since that's OBVIOUSLY not the kind of sadistic we're talking about) murdering a living breathing infant is THOUSANDS of times more sadistic than killing a fetus the size of a lime.

It's fine if you think both are bad, but equating them is like saying punching you in the face is equivalent to stabbing you with a machete. Especially since pro-lifers tend to be against the morning after pill, and there you're killing a few cells. It's not the same as a baby.

I'm not trying to talking you out of your pro-life position. I'm trying to talk you out of a poor comparison. At least you aren't for making poor people have babies and then leaving them poor and hungry.

And while I respect your position on chastity and have no problem with it, teaching abstinence only without any other sex ed is a lot like doing a trapeze act without a net. It works great when it works great and when it doesn't you smack into the floor.

I have no problem with teaching abstinence. It's the only 100% fool proof birth control. I have an issue with abstinence ONLY.
Peter - Wed, May 27, 2015, 1:14pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy

I admit that the language issue was a huge problem for me. Unless Troi speaks fluent, unaccented Romulan, it just would not have worked. As it is, it appeared the dissidents chose her for the sake of convenience. She was away from the Enterprise attending a psychiatry conference.

Once I got past the need for suspension of disbelief, I was impressed. Other than Stewart and (sometimes) Spiner, every actor on TNG gets trashed for their lack of skills. None more so than Sirtis. She actually handled this episode extremely well. Like anyone else thrown into that situation, she starts off shaky and then, realizing it's life or death, does a good job of acting the role of the imperious intelligence officer. I could hardly believe this was the same Troi of a season or two before. But that's not the first time an actor or actress gets much more skilled over the course of a series spanning several years. Acting is just another skill that improves with practice.

I found I really enjoyed the plot and the glimpse into Romulan society. No wonder they have high-level defections going on... It sounds like a real police state.
John Logan - Wed, May 27, 2015, 12:39pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Robert@ Crusades? Really? The Crusades were just and justified as the American invasion of Germany. Muslims had been waging war against Christians, Budhists, Hindus, Persians, etc. for centuries, they traded millions of Christian slaves, they enslaved millions of black people, slaughtered the Maronites, supressed the Copts, they later even conquered India, how was it weong of Catholicism to fight back? Inquisitions? After World War II Nazism was also outlawed, and Islam had been waging war in Spain for centuries. They had inflicted equal horrors on Christians. The Inquisition required them to accept the Original religion of Spain or leave. That is what happens when an invading force is defeated.

Witchhunts were largely a Protestant thing. They never occured in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, or Belgium. The Council of Frankfurt, the Council of Panderbon, Pope Gregory VII, Pope Alexander IV, and Augustine had all condemned witchhunts as Pagan nonsense.

I don`t, I value all human life. I oppose killing babies whether they are born or unborn. It is sadistic to conceive a life and then murder it.

I am in favour of welffare for poor mothers. I disagree with the right on this, and so do most bishops. The Catholic Church fouded many of the first orphanages for this reason, and actually supports pregnancy crisis centers.

I am in favour of welffare. I do believe chastity is the best way to avoid getting pregnant in the first place as it is full proof. It is how our grandparents and ancestors in general did it. I exist because of this, and so does my father. People used to cherish their bodies amd value sexuality.
Edouard - Wed, May 27, 2015, 12:21pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

I don't want to be too harsh on her, but I didn't like Kira's reaction to the "protest". But since it's such a contrast to her previous day, let's start by saying I find it hard to believe she had the habit to wake up, literally smile at herself in the mirror, then basically enjoy (with a bit if whining alright) another good day's work with all the Cardassians and Jem Hadars around.

The Federation and the Klingons are loosing the war and thousands of people, but it's not so bad until she has a single hanging corpse before her. The emissary told the Bajorans to bide their time and stay out of the war (for obvious reasons really). But the old women couldn't understand... Kira even repeats "You don't understand", when it's quiet simple. But then everything changes with the suicide somehow, so why not risk her whole world and start the resistance?

She really should have had that distrusting look from the beginning, and she should still want to keep DS9 out of trouble despite the pointless suicide. But the way it actually develops, she just lost her nerves and wants to throw herself into action. It's selfish, she always seems to act according to her emotions. But then, I'm sure it'll all turn out to be the right decision at some point.

Still a very good episode I must add.
Robert - Wed, May 27, 2015, 8:50am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

@Sybok - That was your main topic. It wasn't anything that anybody else was interested in discussing. Thanks for trying though.

The fight for acceptance and equality might be different across different fights but Star Trek has always tried to be ahead of the curve.

The fact that nobody batted an eye when Dax wanted to be with a woman, that the J'naii were a metaphor for the struggles of gay people or that Guinan described love to Lal as "when two people love each other" were all evidence of the fact that Star Trek wants to show a future of acceptance.

It does an honor to Gene's legacy... the legacy of a man who had television's first interracial kiss. And actually now the fight for gay rights is even MORE like the fight for racial equality as conservatives turn to laws that allow open discrimination against gay people to make up for the fact that they ::peeks into the orb of prophecy and change:: lost the fight for gay marriage next month.

The truth Sybok, is that Star Trek is about IDIC. And fighting for acceptance and tolerance of the infinite combinations of the human condition make take different forms, but it's all the same. The fight for equality. The fight for tolerance. Even if you believe (rather incorrectly, but it's not important) that being gay is choice (and I hope you've revised your position since the last time you've chimed in) it shouldn't matter. If you've truly watched a decent chunk of Star Trek... enough to call yourself a fan and you don't believe in IDIC... well, I just don't know why you enjoy it. I'm sorry to say that the message and the vision may have gone over your head. If you cannot love gay people for what makes them different and what makes them the same the same way you love black people for their differences and what makes them the same... you just don't get it. And I feel sorry for you.
sybok - Wed, May 27, 2015, 8:19am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Wow this thread has turned very political. Maybe we should get back to the main topic...which was the fight for gay rights is not the same thing as the fight for racial equality.
Peter - Wed, May 27, 2015, 8:18am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

Poor Geordi. He finally gets a girl he has fallen in love with from afar and helps acquit her of murder charges, only to have her politely brush him off at the end. I mean, he tells her of a job opening on the Enterprise, offers to put in a good word for her, and she says she'd rather "make it on her own merits." I'm sorry, but the old advice about "It's not what you know, it's who you know," is so often true when it comes to employment. (Well, I'd say knowledge does matter a great deal -- but networking is extremely helpful.) Well, maybe that's another thing that has changed in future.

In any case, I was thrilled to see a cute dog on Star Trek. I think the last time around was on the TOS episode "The Enemy Within," when they had the poor doggie wearing this ridiculous costume to make him look like an alien pooch. That doggie died, and so did this one. Sad. It was a bit ridiculous that it was revealed that the dog was not a dog at all, but a creature apparently modeled on the one in the Star Trek animated series episode "The Survivor."

I was annoyed by the way the blob "modeled" Crusher's hand. For one thing, wasn't the blob supposed to be dead matter from the creature's most recent victim? Since the creature took on the dog's form, that presumes the cellular stain they found was the original Maura the dog, not Lt. Rocha as they presumed, since it turns out the REAL Rocha never even made it to the relay station. But, even assuming part of the "coalescing life form" was included in the mass of cells Dr. Crusher managed to cobble together from the deck stain, the episode established that the creature, in order to take on the shape of a new donor, kills the donor. So, wouldn't Dr. Crusher have died, or at least lost her hand, when the blob took on the form of her hand?

Between another pathetic and slightly desparate Geordi romance, puzzling aspects of the alien creature, and a rather silly murder mystery plot, I agree with the single star Jammer gives this episode.
Robert - Wed, May 27, 2015, 7:43am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: The Homecoming

@DLPB - I assume some "research" was skipped here. He's not pimping her out like a "cold call", the story is that she has an "appointment" with the prefect.

Obviously the prefect has a habit of having female Bajoran visitors and that's why they concocted the story. The fact that a human owns a ship and uses it to ferry prostitutes to high end clientele... it's certainly anti-Roddenberry, but I don't think it's completely impossible.

The horny guard that opens the force field is waaay too convenient, I'll grant you that. But stupid guards are practically a Star Trek tradition dating back to fizzbin.

As for our heroes hitting their targets and the bad guys being a poor mark... it's convenient but not as bad as when our heroes manage to fend off an entire battalion of Klingon WARRIORS in hand to hand combat.

TLDR - Some suspension of disbelief required, but I didn't find the pimping that unbelievable.
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.

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.
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