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Peter G.
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

@ Skeptical,

I've thought about the Romulan/Vulcan thing from time to time, and I like your theory. I wonder, though, whether people wouldn't boil over frequently if they really were that emotional, fear or no fear. Creating a contained, boiling cauldron seems like a recipe for chaos. But on the other hand, the Romulan commanders we see do appear to be extremely measured, beginning with Mark Lenard and the commander in "The Enterprise Incident", who are both passionate but in control, and ending in DS9 where the Romulans are downright stonefaces who reveal almost no emotion at all other than disdain. So I'm not that inclined to believe either one of two things: 1) That the Vulcans are telling the whole truth about how emotional they are without logic, or 2) That the Romulans are at present identical to the Vulcans. I prefer (2), and my suggested explanation for this is that while the Romulans left to avoid being forced to adopts the teachings of Surak, they still experienced the old emotional problems upon reaching Romulus. Since they have no problems with violence, I would expect they massacred every Romulan who was overly emotional, in a long term eugenics plan to weed out the most emotional of them and breed calmer people. The Romulans we know may be passionate, but barely more so than Humans, and hardly the maniacs we see during the Pon Farr.

Regarding your other point about "The Visitor":

"Inside was the wizened old brilliant author who only published one story, because that's totally how authors work."

Jake in the episode is a deliberate reference to J.D. Salinger, who shares exactly the features you just described; was famous for exactly one book, which was a classic, went into seclusion for unspecified reasons, and wouldn't allow interviews once he did. This episode is a kind of "what if" nifty sci-fi explanation for why such an acclaimed author would quit writing. To study subspace physics and save his father, of course :)

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Josh
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I'm much more negative about Into Darkness, not only because of the less "Trekkian" story or the pointless reboot of Khan, but because of the Destruction of San Francisco bit.

It's simple enough to contrast such scale of devastation with DS9 in particular. In "The Changing Face of Evil", Starfleet HQ is attacked by the Breen. The DS9 crew views images of the aftermath in the ward room and they are appropriately upset. Note that the extent of damage to San Francisco in that episode appears to be substantially less than in Into Darkness. Later, in "What You Leave Behind", Cardassia is devastated by the Dominion, leaving cities levelled and hundreds of millions dead. We see Garak's reaction, but we also see Sisko, Admiral Ross, and Martok on the planet, surrounded by the dead.

While I had a lot of issues with Into Darkness prior to the climax, the over-the-top CGI scenes of mass destruction with no consequences were overlong and boring.
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Skeptical
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Shore Leave

I seem to recall hearing that the Yeoman who had eyes for McCoy was due to a hasty rewrite after Yeoman Rand got written out of the show. Originally, there was supposed to be some romantic interactions between Rand and Kirk, and presumably that got rewritten into a combination of this random Yeoman and McCoy as well as Kirk and Random Girl From Past #573.

I have to agree that the repetitive nature of the plot and the fact that the crew were completely clueless does kinda render the whole situation rather absurd. Just how many times does someone need to say "I'm reminded of X..." and then X appears for someone to get the hint? And isn't it convenient that practically everything that appeared after the White Rabbit was a threat to the crew? No one was thinking any sort of happy thoughts? Even in the beginning before everyone was worried about all the threats? Heck, even afterwards no one was thinking to themselves how much better it would be back home or with a book or anything else? Pretty convenient to keep the "action" side of things moving along.

For that matter, wasn't it just a week ago that Martine's fiancee died? Shouldn't she have thought about him? Yeah, I know, this is before continuity was important, but still... Actually, more egregiously, did anyone else notice that Martine died and she was never brought back, unlike McCoy? Or at least she disappeared... I guess they intended to show her getting shot by the plane, but it looked like she just ran into a tree and fell down instead. Maybe the fact that she doesn't show up again is just her being too embarrassed to show herself after being that stupid.

I guess the twist in the end that this is just a holodeck-like experience and that they get to enjoy their shore leave after all was kinda nice, and the mystery at the very beginning was ok, but the middle just dragged on way too long. Arsenal of Freedom had a similar idea in TNG, but because the danger was real there it ended up being a lot better. That's kinda sad, being beaten by a Season 1 TNG episode...
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Skeptical
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 9:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Heh, actually Peter, while I agree 100% on the fact that the Romulans being a Vulcan offshoot means they're highly intelligent, the fact that they AREN'T prone to emotional outbursts is one of the things I was thinking about when I mentioned that Trek never did much with this relationship. I'd consider the Klingons (even pre-Viking TOS Klingons) more of an emotional race than the Romulans. They seem to be fairly measured in their actions in practically every engagement we've seen.

This, to me, seems to suggest that the Vulcan claim that only pure suppression of emotion can control their emotions is wrong. The Romulans can clearly do it without resorting to pure logic. So how do they do it? I think there might be some external suppression from the government that acts as a substitute for the Vulcan's internal suppression. By keeping society rigid, the Romulans impose a sense of order on the people and tell them where their place is. The lack of freedom combined with a strong patriotic fervor towards that system leaves the Romulans with less of an outlet for their emotions. As such, they remain placated. Even the upper class can keep emotions in control by being loyal to the state, so even though they may have more freedoms than the lower classes they also end up with more of a reason to maintain the desired order. An unwillingness of anyone to upset the Romulan State is enough to keep everyone in line. This even seems to be the case with Mark Lenard here. He clearly hates his mission and could fly off the handle because of it, but his sworn sense of duty prevents it.

Of course, this is only a hypothesis on my part, as it is never mentioned in the various series. That's one thing I would have liked to have seen explored.

As for the other topic:

While I have issues with Tapestry and Chain of Command, two beloved classics, I still like both of them. So instead, I think the one I disagree with the most is DS9's The Visitor. Maybe it was a deep and emotional story, but the framing narrative (It was a dark and stormy night. Inside was the wizened old brilliant author who only published one story, because that's totally how authors work. He is visited by a young, attractive, wide eyed novice writer on accident who just so happens to be his biggest fan! And on the night when the wizened old author is planning to meet his destiny, no less) made my eyes roll so fast I simply couldn't concentrate on the rest. The fact that I was never a big fan of Jake probably didn't help either.

On the flip side, I will go with TNG's Emergence. Sure, it's dumb, but I was just happy to spend some time with the crew working out a very silly problem. Also, while I do think Threshold is downright awful, I don't think it is its own special category of atrociousness that a lot of fans seem to put it in. Not that that's saying much...
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Dom
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 5:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"And I still maintain that they could have reached the exact same $$$ bottom line without dumbing down the franchise."

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, exactly what I've been saying for years. Smart sci-fi movies like Interstellar and Gravity and Dawn of Planet of the Apes made around $700 million, far more than either Trek reboot (almost as much as both combined). The Trek films seem to be competing in the Transformers market, whereas it's probably suited to go more aggressively for the Interstellar/Apes market.
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Patrick D
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"Now that we're heading into the five-year mission with Star Trek Beyond, maybe we'll see Trek turn back toward exploration of sci-fi ideas." -- Jammer

Uh, I hate to break it to you...well, you'll see.
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Paul Allen
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Preemptive Strike

Damn good episode, be missing the show....
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 4:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@Yanks

"OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, the point is that marketing now-a-days isn't just "US". You are comparing apple and oranges. Movies are opening overseas, etc."

Do you think the old trek films were less "international friendly"? I don't. Actually, the overseas percentage was pretty much constant (around 35%) from Star Generations to ST2009 ("Into Darkness" was a fluke at 51%, and "Beyond" looks like it will be around 35% again).

But I've just realized that there's another problem with my table: Ignoring the overseas income is skewing the data in favor of low budget films. A better comparison would be to add a fixed 35% to all the domestic incomes before "Generations".

If we do that, then the two NuTrek films indeed come on top, but not by much:

Into Darkness: $285M
Voyage Home: $268M
Star Trek 2009: $267M
The Motion Picture: $233M
Wrath of Khan: $231M
Search for Spock: $194M
Undiscovered Country: $118M (actual) / $125M (assuming 35% foreign market)
First Contact: $80M
Final Frontier: $69M
Generations: $66M
Insurrection: $60M
Nemesis: $30M

So it would be fair to say that - financially speaking - the reboot returned Trek to the glorious days of the 1980's. But Star Trek was never a huge box office success, even in those "glorious days". It was always something of a niche product. What classic "Star Trek" lacked in box office $$$, it more than made up for in character (which certainly can't be said for the modern films).

The modern films make about the same amount of money, but they lack the character. Even "Beyond", which is the trekkiest of the 3, is marred by an amount of silliness which hasn't been seen since "The Final Frontier".

And I still maintain that they could have reached the exact same $$$ bottom line without dumbing down the franchise.
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William B
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Well certainly WYLB is *beloved*. This is undeniable. "Most beloved" has a certain something else. I think it lacks the near-universality acclaim among fans that, say, AGT has. OTOH, if we consider "most beloved" by how intensely it is loved and by how many, WYLB would certainly qualify, even if (using this site as guide) it has a higher proportion of detractors than AGT or Balance of Terror or something like In the Pale Moonlight (which of course has detractors too, just at a lower rate).
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Andrew
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Non Sequitur

The dystopian elements to Earth society were definitely present and intriguing and yet they were so far away from what had previously been implied they, as with the lack of real chemistry or closeness between Kim and Libby, seemed overdone and contrived and not connected enough to why Harry wanted to or felt he had to return to Voyager (especially given how much he and the rest of the crew otherwise want so much to return home).
Kim and Paris do have chemistry but Harry feeling he has to return just feels too underdeveloped and forced rather than sincere.
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Peter G.
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 3:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

You can count me in amongst those who find WYLB to be "perfect" as Robert said. In that light, I'm happy for it to be categorized as "beloved" :)

(I think it and "All Good Things..." are equal to each other in quality)
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Robert
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Enough of the fan base considers DS9's finale to be as good as All Good Things as far as I can tell. For me, even though I'm a Niner, I'll admit to liking AGT more, but WYLB is really perfect to me.

I love Vic's song, I love Odo/Kira's ending, I love Jake staring out the wormhole, I love Bashir/O'Brien, I love Garak/Bashir, I love Damar's end...

I really get why some people don't like the end to the war. It's a bit rushed, but ok for me. In the end the conversation basically amounted to "Your people will go extinct if you don't end this." And I could see almost anyone agreeing to that.

Dukat is the weak point for me, and I usually am a fan of the Prophets and such. I even loved Kai Winn's arc. Although it's not AGT fault, I think DS9 ends better than any other Trek except TOS. TNG ends with Nemesis, ENT with the Pegasus retcon, VOY with Endgame and TOS with "second star on the right and all til morning". 2nd place isn't so bad.
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Chrome
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

@William B

Well, I was looking more at the Jammer scale (since people on this site tend to agree with Jammer) and he gave it a nice 3.5 stars.

If had to pick a runner up, I'd go with DS9's "The Children of Time" from recent memory. It's a cool sci-fi time concept, but I think the crew is way too easily convinced to side with the temporal civilization. A lot of commenters go on about the "6000 lives" figure which justify them staying, but all of those lives are there *by mistake* to begin with, and there's no way to calculate how many more thousands of lives were lost by the DS9 crew not returning. It's a safe bet that in fair conditions with access to the Federation that crew will naturally live on to create 10 to 100s of thousands of people through their families over a couple centuries.

So even using Spock "needs of the many" logic, the crew was doing the right thing by trying to get off the planet.
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Andrew
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

I don't at all feel the ending tried to shame Riker or portray him as scum either for having casual sex or being disloyal to Troi; instead Ro acknowledges she enjoyed the relationship, despite being surprised by it, but feels it can't continue now and Troi, while not pleased with his behavior, at least the casualness of it, considers it acceptable.
I especially liked the ending on a rewatch because I had misremembered it, I thought it ended like "The Naked Now" with a character declaring "It never happened!," that would be the more expected conclusion and the reactions we instead got were a lot of fun.
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E2
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Very happy to see Jammer review this film!

As always, he makes some good points.

(I think I much more strongly agree with Mathew, above, however.)

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William B
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 12:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

I wonder whether What You Leave Behind counts as a "most beloved" episode -- not to dispute you, Chrome, because certainly a lot of people love it. But it does seem to me to be pretty controversial, and, indeed, maybe even viewed more negatively in the current thread than positively. I can kind of see both takes on it -- while I was in the middle of DS9, I was pretty convinced I would dislike the finale from what I remembered, but it ended up working okay for me, though not great.
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Chrome
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 11:44am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

I actually like TNG's "Genesis" despite the science being awfully flawed. It's still a good hour-long horror show, and at least there's fun Sci-Fi "what-if" type concepts with various animal-human combinations floating around.

As for dislikes of loved episodes? DS9's finale is probably near the top of that list. Hugely disappointing on so many fronts. It's actually not a bad episode per se, it's just that it falls short of potential so many times that I wish they'd just scrapped it and rewrote the ending. Like, the war ends in a 20 second conversation the audience CAN'T hear. Sisko did not deserve to die, or is he in purgatory? Who knows? Oh, and finally, why was Bajor's Federation question never brought up?
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William B
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Most hated episode I love: I've talked before about how I am very attached to parts of Descent, though I'm aware of its serious flaws. There are some other eps I feel could have been fixed with a few small rewrites.

Most loved episode I hate: uh. Yeah, I don't think I hate any beloved episodes, but some leave me somewhat cold. I'll have to think what the best example probably is. Homefront didn't do that much for me this rewatch (Paradise Lost flowed much better for me).
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Chrome
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

@Rob E. and Peter G.

Though I'd have to watch this again to see if I could make the connection, I was just going to say this is how Rubinek acts.

Look no further than "Fraiser" (Another Paramount production), where he plays the recurring character of Donnie Douglas. He's doing the same 'I'm obnoxiously bossy and quirky in a fun way' type of character.
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Chrome
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 10:52am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Let's not overhype Threshold's award here. It was for make-up, not storytelling. No one is complaining about the makeup. :)
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Robert
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 10:36am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

@Yanks - Bold choices! I still hate Threshold, but I'm sorry I do because RDM does amazing character work.
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Peter G.
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 10:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

@ Rob E.

"Saul Rubinek is channelling William Shatner in his performance."

Watch Rubinek do other work; he's the same there. He seems to do the same 'character' in whatever he's in. So if he's channelling Shatner it's a career choice rather than an homage :)
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Yanks
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 10:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Robert:

"Everyone has an episode that they are in complete opposite opinion of the vast majority."

Worst: VOY: 'Threshold'. Universally hated, despised, spat upon.... I graded it a 2.5 on Jammer's scale. Only the ending was bad, that episode actually got an award! :-)

Best: I haven't reviewed everything yet, but DS9: 'Rapture' comes to mind. for Jammer this is a 4-star episode. for me, 1 star. (and I was nice)
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Yanks
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 10:08am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Nolan, you are absolutely correct!! That actually make Kirk's "performance" even better!! (IMO)

Latex Zebra, HAHAHA!! good one!!
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Rob E.
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 10:04am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

Just half-watched/half-listened to THE MOST TOYS on TV after 25 years.

Listen to Saul Rubinek - his phrasing, his inflections of speech. Watch his gestures.

It's Shatner.

Saul Rubinek is channelling William Shatner in his performance.

Interesting......
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