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Mon, Feb 8, 2016, 12:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Battle Lines

Jammer I think you've been a bit generous with the DS9 stars... :)
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 10:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

@Scott from Detroit

That's what i'd do to, cancel it as soon as i'd seen the series,

Be wary though because Amazon Prime has monthly subscription but a lot of the films and tv series on there have to be paid separately, for example seasons 1 to 4 of the walking dead are free to watch if you pay monthly but seasons 5 and 6 are £1.99 per episode
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 10:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

I don't think there's anything not to like in this episode except maybe the red bloch on Yars face, i think it's an unforgettable episode,
4 stars
Patrick D
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 8:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

I can bet any amount of money you want that the new Trek series will either be a hardcore, gritty, violent nuBSG-style affair or it's going to be in the lobotomized violent style of the JJ Trek movies.
Jason R
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 6:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens

"The dumbest thing is that at the end it's revealed that BB8 only had a portion of the map and it would have been useless to the New Order without the additional piece of map contained in R2-D2."

Not since Revenge of the Fallen have I seen a film with a more stupid, pointless plot filled with so many useless characters. But who cares, really. What does it matter anyway if the story makes sense, if the characters are the least bit developed, if the action is any kind of coherent. That's just nerd stuff. If you care about that you're just a neurotic fanboy and Abrams doesn't care what you think.
Jason R
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 6:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens

Guys, the movie is 2 hours and 19 minutes. And it felt like it. I think it says something about the incompetence of the writing that in a movie this long, they couldn't find 5-10 minutes to explain such basic background necessary to appreciate the story.

It's not like they based it on a well known book and needed to follow some convoluted lengthy story faithfully a la Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. It was their script. No, the story really isn't that complicated, and the only answer is that the writing is just garbage.

But as I said, this is probably #3 on my list of things I hated about this movie, so I can hardly get too caught up with it. It's not like the movie would have been good if they had fixed the obvious deficiencies in the script.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 4:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Juggernaut

I guess I don't care as much about the Malon being way out here as much as I do about the Malon still dumping toxic waste. As C Baker said, Janeway offered the technology to the one Malon guy back in Night. OK, so he was an unethical jerk, fair enough. But what's to stop her from offering it to anyone others they met? This episode strongly suggests that they aren't all evil strawmen, so I find it hard to believe no one would want the technology? Or is this more of the Trek silliness of thinking anyone who has the slightest interest in money or industry automatically is close-minded and eeevil? I mean, look how much its costing the Malon to dump all this toxic waste. If someone offered technology to a nuclear plant owner that turned all the waste material magically non-radioactive, don't you think that owner would jump on that opportunity?

And it really shouldn't be a prime directive issue either. The Malon are advanced, they're warp capable, they're peaceful, they just haven't figured out this issue. We saw Picard helping out independent civilizations all the time, what's the harm in giving them the technology to convert theta radiation? I mean, surely Roddenberry doesn't think that, for example, the US shouldn't tell China about our ability to clean sulfur and other pollutants out of coal emissions, right? That would just be silly.

Actually, my largest annoyance is that this is the most ridiculous "planet of hats" ever. When we first saw them, I was definitely intrigued. A gritty, amoral, industrialist society? No interest in niceties or conquest or peaceful cooperation or whatever? Maybe these could be what the Ferengi should have been! Instead, all we ever saw were the garbage dumpers, nobody else... What a narrow view of their society; why did we never see anyone else? Talk about a wasted opportunity.

As for the episode itself, well, see my comments on the Fight. Exact same thing. A blatantly telegraphed, overly simplified "character piece" that comes out of nowhere for Torres. She was actually this belligerent in Season 1 (she punched out Carey in the second episode, remember?), so it would have worked in season 1 or 2. But being a model Starfleet officer for 4 years, without Janeway showing any concern, and now all of a sudden it comes to the forefront in such a blatant way? Sniping to a guest when Janeway is right there? Janeway being concerned with her actions on an away mission?

Well executed, but an annoyance nonetheless. We have a pattern of the crew living in limbo, with character aspects coming and going randomly, but at least they are shown in an entertaining and well developed fashion. That's a lot better than early Voyager, which tended to be poorly executed with only half-thought out plots. It's a different form of turning off your brain and untapped potential, and probably a better form, but still not quite as good as it can be.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 4:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: The Fight

I guess the episode is ok. I mean, the direction is fun, and I think they captured the fear Chakotay felt well enough. The imagery worked decently, which is always a key part of these sorts of "Journey to the Center of the Mind" plots. The idea that the threat they were facing was actually just an alien trying to contact them is certainly better than the hard-headed alien of the week trope that we're used to, and in fact is very reminiscent of TNG's Night Terrors (which works as a comparison in multiple ways; it too is a mostly forgettable plot and mostly forgettable episode with some nice imagery).

As for why this episode is merely ok, I have two major quibbles:

1) This is season 5, and we just now find out Chakotay both is a fan of boxing AND has a strong fear of going insane due to a hereditary disease? Neither of these was ever brought up before (and I assume the insane part doesn't get brought up again, although I guess the boxing one gets to recur in order to show The Rock)? Did he look even more uncomfortable than the rest of the crew whenever Voyager had one of its mind screw episodes? Shouldn't that have factored in with his brainwashing episode in Nemesis? Did he ever bring up boxing when he was going on about being a pacifist warrior? Nope, it just springs up out of the blue. I guess it's hard to say this episode should be abandoned just because it's too late, but this definitely would have been a better episode in the second season, and if it would have impacted Chakotay's character in more subtly ways.

2) The plot feels like something that would be analyzed in middle school. Hey kids, today we're going to talk about character development and plot! When you write a story, your character should learn something about himself, and face a challenge to overcome an obstacle that relates to that trait he learned about himself. So what do we have here? Chakotay realizes that he feels a great fear of mental illness due to this hereditary disease. Yet his obstacle is that he must risk mental illness in order to save his ship. And we learn this through the metaphor of boxing, where you have to be willing to take some hits. Let's make it even more obvious by having the trainer say boxing is all about what's in your heart. Thus, we know it's a matter of willpower to overcome the fear. That's all Chakotay has to do. Now, let's turn this simple idea into a 45 minute story.

Yes, that's what many character pieces do, mirror the main plot with the character growth. But in a great story, it's subtle. In a great story, there's a real struggle, making you wonder if the hero will pull it out. But here? It's just such a straight line, so blatantly obvious. The struggle was just Chakotay taking a while to face the aliens, but no real growth there. Perhaps, rather than just seeing him screaming in sickbay, we could have seen him try to make contact, make some progress, but then seriously worsen. Start hallucinating and finding himself completely irrational more often. Then he has a real fear, that this is permanent, that he is getting worse. Can he go back inside his mind after that? Do they delay and try to find a technobabble solution? Does Chakotay risk permanent brain damage to save the ship? Does he reach back into his memories to his grandfather, and wonder what it was like for him to live with his disease? Wonder if, maybe, he can still have some peace in his life even if he does go insane?

Nah, we'll just go straight to the dramatic climax. No winding around, no subtlety. Just imagery, flashbacks, and plot resolution. It all just seems so simple. It's a pleasurable enough outing, but just feels unfulfilling in the end.

Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 4:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: The Nagus

Jim Hensen presents Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Diamond Dave
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 3:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

Not quite up to the first part but nevertheless a very strong outing. Maintaining the dramatic tension with the Borg alliance is handled particularly well - the cube sacrificing itself to save Voyager is a very neat concept. It also moves the action on board which helps to ratchet things up even more. The kick ass engagement in and out of fluidic space is also a high point. Seven provides the perfect mouthpiece for the Borg and I'll look forward to how that plays out.

The one thing that bothered me was the contrivance that knocked Janeway out of the game just long enough for Chakotay to pull the rug out from under the alliance and then get her back in the game soon after. It just seemed clunky. Kim's recovery I had no problem with, if the nanites didn't work quickly then how are they going to have utility as weapons...? 3.5 stars.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 12:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Penumbra

DeBoer's acting is quite awful here, I didn't think she was that bad up until this point but I can see what people mean when they say she is limited.

As for asking about a minister, people who aren't religious use them in wedding ceremonies and I can't see that changing. Marriage is traditionally a religious institution and like Christmas, will tend to carry on with its customs even if much of the meaning is lost. It would have been nice to see Trek's take on the future of marriage, however that's not really DS9's forte.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 12:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

Despite its many flaws, "Skin Of Evil" sticks in my brain as most memorable, not because of Tasha's death, but because of the Armus character. As a physical embodiment of the concept of evil, it takes my imagination to science fiction nirvana. Far more interesting to me than the intricacies of Klingon politics.

isn't that sort of what STV The Final Frontier was about? A powerful force, locked away, without redeeming merit? A favorite theme of Roddenberry's, that we should avoid being ruled by our emotions.

Now that we are once again being blanketed with political nonsense, I would certainly vote for rounding up all the evil and shipping it off to a distant planet.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 12:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Penumbra

I think they still have religion in the 24th century Federation. Janeway mentions Christmas several times (See also Star Trek Generations). Then there's "Devil's Due" where Ardra briefly takes on the form of a Judeo-Christian devil to attempt to prove her identity to the human away team.

There's probably more examples, but in DS9 of all shows, having a minister would seem extremely appropriate.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 11:39am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Fascination

You people are way too serious. I had fun the entire way through.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 11:13am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: The Passenger

Summary of final acts: Inept DS9 crew forgets to grab highly suspicious unauthorized runabout with a tractor beam during a hijack plot investigation. Technobabble ensues.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Penumbra

Maybe because they actually believe in diversity in the 24th century?
Diamond Dave
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 11:01am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sixth Season Recap

So overall I scored this an average of 2.60, which puts it only in 4th place of the DS9 series so far. For me it gets off to a storming start through the 6-part arc and the wedding episode, but we then disappear into a run of what I'd call concept episodes which (The Magnificent Ferengi apart) didn't really work for me and which set up a longer run of average episodes to follow.

A brief spark around In The Pale Moonlight then led into a reasonably underwhelming run out to the series, containing the single dumbest episode we've yet seen in Profit and Lace.

Perhaps it's just a reflection of a series running out of steam - Dax was very underused here, and her departure not unexpected as a result - but I'm not sure I could put my finger on anything specifically wrong (although the concentration on the prophets/pah-wraiths is heading in that direction). It's just not firing on all cylinders.
bashir's steampunk brain
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 10:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Penumbra

Why oh why did they have Kassidy ask for a freaking minister? Didn't humanity rid itself of the poison of organized religion by the 24th century?
Diamond Dave
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 10:46am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets

For me this does something well, something OK, and something not well. The really good stuff is the action scenes, which again take a massive step up on the FX front. Have you noticed how things don't move in one plane anymore, as evidence by the glorious shot of the Valley Forge taking fire and spinning out of control past the camera. As visual eye candy this is top drawer.

I found the death of the Dax to be OK, and that's a bit of a shame. It was rather too heavily contrasted with all the baby talk, and in the end seemed a little arbitrary, but nevertheless contributed to a melancholy end of an era feel to the end of the show that fit well. As a trigger for Sisko heading home it works.

Less good is the further story of possessed Dukat and the pah-wraiths. Having a metaphysical struggle of good and evil going on already seems like a poor choice... Overall though, good stuff. 3 stars.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 10:18am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Dax

I.e. At the end of the day we still have no sense of whether or not a Trill is responsible for the crimes of a past host. At the end of MoaM we had a sense of legal precedent for all AI sentience related issues that could follow.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 10:15am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Dax

The major issue that I can't stop thinking about is it seems highly implausible to me that the issue of Trill committing crimes has never been dealt with in the past. Surely this couldn't be the first time in all of history where a Trill was on trial, and I find it hard to believe that society prior to this point never thought of this issue coming up.

In "Measure of a Man", because of Data's uniqueness, it was entirely plausible that the court hearing was setting a precedence. It was even made clear that that was the case and the weight of the proceedings was conveyed and part of the story. Here that is not the case. This rings like a bunch of armchair lawyers sitting around having a debate about something and not being aware of existing established precedence.

Also the entire issue of Trill responsibility, which was made out to be so important at the start, ended up being completely cast aside by the new fact that Dax had an alibi (a fact that was weirdly never questioned, apparently it wasn't possible for the wife and Dax to have collaborated on a crime).

It's equivalent to all of the important issues of "Measure of a Man" being thrown away at the end because, say, it was discovered that Maddox falsified his credentials and the trial was halted with no resolution. It was a weak way to avoid actually addressing the issue that seemed so important at the start.

I strongly disagree with the 3.5 stars here. Purely for the alibi cop out at the end, I'd give it 2 myself, which may be generous, but I did find the first act gripping.
Andrew Taylor-Cairns
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 9:36am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Savage Curtain

Well in the midst of a lot of season 3 episodes that were fluff/out of character/ridiculous/boring (delete as applicable), The Savage Curtain was OK. I was certainly entertained, but there just wasn't much substance here.

It was much better than watching The Way to Eden last night before bed, where I was worried about having song montage nightmares. Now that is a monstrosity of an episode, and I would advocate giving it a minus score.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 8:26am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Progress

As lightweight, and flawed, as the B-plot is, it's the winner this time around, not the A-plot.

While I love that "Progress" throws the audience into a decidedly morally-grey area, the main problem with it is Mullibok himself. Obviously they were trying to make him a likable curmudgeon, but in that they failed miserably. In order for a character to be a likable curmudgeon he has to be capable of being a downright ass most of the time but still have redeeming qualities. Perfect examples are Archie Bunker from "All in the Family" and Al Bundy from "Married with Children". Both of those characters were sexist, bigoted, superficial scumbags most of the time but the audience could forgive them for that because 1.) they were both funny and 2.) deep down, they both cared deeply for their families, even if they didn't like to show it. Mullibok has absolutely no such redeeming characteristics - he's just an asshole. I suppose you could say that he's loyal to his two friends, but that honestly comes across as him only liking them because they think exactly as he does, nothing more.

As a libertarian I really want to support the guy. He is, after all, facing a situation where the big, powerful government is forcing him off his land and out of his home against his will all in the name of some greater good. But from a story-telling perspective, he's just so damn unlikable that I can't get behind him. This is the same problem I have with the Ba'ku in "Star Trek: Insurrection". Again, I want to side with them, as that time it's the big, powerful Federation government forcing them off their land against their will. But again, they're unlikable. They, like Mullibok, stubbornly stand there and claim that they're personal desires trump the benefits to countless others. This is a give-and-take world and everyone has to do both. But, in both stories, one side refuses to give anything and that makes Mullibok and the Ba'ku unrelatable and unsympathetic.

Constant this with the B-plot, where Jake and Nog exchange in mutually beneficial exchange, and the differences are stark. Because everyone involved is willing to barter, exchange and engage in commerce with each other, everyone walks away a winner. The freighter captain, the Bajoran who needed the stem-bolts, the Bajoran government, Jake, Nog and even Quark all end up with something they want. It's beautiful. It's as close to an open celebration of capitalism, actual free-market capitalism, that Trek has ever given us up to this point. And most people sadly dismiss it as "the lightweight B-story." *sigh* If only we could have spent more time with this plot-line, the episode would only have benefited from it. (Though it is odd that it's Jake, not Nog, who seems to better understand the intricacies of the market. And, um, Nog sees no benefit to owning land? Really?!)

But, of course, the standout scene does come from the A-plot - the exchange behind Sisko and Kira. That's probably because it doesn't involve Mullibok. That one scene, where Sisko admits that his perception of Kira has changed and that he has not only come to respect her but see her as a friend, and where Kira emotionally opens up to him, is better than any scene Picard and Riker shared.... ever.

Diamond Dave
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 8:21am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: The Sound of Her Voice

DS9 does Midnight Caller. It's most effective in using the format as a means of drawing out some quietly effective character moments. Cusak is an engaging enough character that it seems organic and worthwhile. I'd agree though that the twist ending makes no sense at all and badly undermines the episode.

The B-story - Odo has a heart of gold! - is amiable enough. 2.5 stars.
Bashir's steampunk brain
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 7:35am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

My, my, so many people butthurt about the realities of racism in America! The mere mention of it for a few seconds sent so many of you into a tizzy. It is really funny to read all these complaints about "of course the black guy brings up racism" in a tone that sounds very much like something they probably think about saying in everyday life but cannot without sounding like a racist. "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression". Interesting to see how many cryptoracists like DS9. Wow.
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