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Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 4:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

I am shocked.

Shocked by the teaser, in which Deanna Troi was allowed to have a. friendly conversation with a colleague, like a normal person deserving of one minute of character development. The conversation was unique in that it didn't involve the engrossing topic of boyfriends (unlike The Price, the Icurus Factir, the Scottish Ghostie).!!

Okay, we didn't actually learn anything new about her, but it was a refreshing treat. (Except that it made the generally crappy portrayal of the Troi character stand out in sharper relief. )

I do not think Troi got another normal conversation during the entire run of the show.... The possible exceptions being when she was a Romulan or possessed by an alien.
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Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 4:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

About Worf not being duplicated: perhaps Dorn lacks the range needed to play one of Barclay's goofy characters? Dorn is great at playing the serious, put-upon, straight-man, but maybe he doesn't have it in him to play a goofball? The closest I can think of him coming to such a character was the baseball player in DS9, and even that character was relatively serious, if notably less serious than Worf.
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Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Imperfection

Everyone's said mostly everything needed. All the nitpickers have spoken.

I will say this episode hit me right in the feels. The Icheb actor really shined here, while giving 7 a piece of his mind... literally.

Yes, the action sequence was out of place because of the random ass aliens. For a minute there I thought they were Kazons due to that bonzai shrubbery on their heads. I was like oh heeeeelllll naw! Then i realized they were just random ass aliens that somebody pulled out of the deep recesses of their bowels. They should've just had a confrontation with the Borg themselves and it would've made much more sense.

I will say that people who are allergic to action are every bit as ridiculous as those who are constantly hopped up on it. You're like people who never go to bed naked or who always sleep suited and booted with padded pajamas and long johns. You all need to go sleep together so you can eternally piss each other off and leave the rest of us alone.

No, the children leaving wasn't out of place. It was put in this episode for a reason. They wanted to make you think they were cleaning house, which knowing Voyager they easily could have been. Icheb could plausibly have died in this episode. The children leaving brings that front and center.

All in all a very good episode. 3 stars firmly deserved.
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Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 2:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

I'm not sure that it's possible to make a game with rules that wouldn't be vulnerable to brute-force-searching. I'm not an expert on game construction, but it seems counter-intuitive that such a thing would be possible.
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Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 1:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

Great episode. Some really moving scenes between Worf and Alexander. I don't like Alexander much, but in this episode the interaction between him and Worf was powerful stuff. Granted, the accident itself was silly, but otherwise a very clever episode about medicine, from a doctor's and from a patients view.
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Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 1:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

I don't consider the "prequels don't have tension" argument to be valid. After all, ST is an optimistic series with very few bad endings, and we know (unless a series ending) there will be a next time. So there usually was no logical reason to be worried about the villain of the week in TNG or VOY. Any tension you felt was a result of suspension of disbelief, which can happen on a prequel just as well.

I'm not entirely convinced by continuity concerns either, though these do require some disciplined writing. It's a big universe after all, and not every interesting thing was encountered by the various Enterprise crews. It may limit big, visible, history changing events, but ENT3/4 showed us that was some open space even there.

The better argument against prequels is they require retarded technological development because technology must be behind the (already outdated) original series. Old Trek usually tried to be relevant on that score. TOS brought some very new tech ideas for its time to the screen, while TNG tried to incorporate the then craze for Virtual Reality with holodecks - admittedly with mixed results for episode quality. VOY, DS9 and ENT all gave up on this. An ST further ahead in the timeline could have caught the technological gap to our world and gone beyond, leading to further relevant questions on our relations to technology and its influence on us.
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Paul Allen
Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 11:34am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

"On the topic of them all standing shouting 'red squad' [...] it just seemed very American to me, and reminded me of chants of 'USA! USA!'"

You've hit the main reason why I thought this was a ship full of absolute dickheads.

As for stars, I actually though the half-star-rated "Demon" (I'm watching Voyager concurrently) was at least the equal of this over-rated episode...
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Steve Dorsett
Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 10:17am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Meridian

2 stars?!?!?!?!?!?

I have no idea what the hell Jammer was smoking. He gave the same score to Civil Defense which was a lot of fun, something this episode certainly was not.

Utter shit - 0.5 stars
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Peter G.
Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 10:14am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

@ Cajun,

We're talking about the 24th century. What makes you think the game wasn't designed specifically to make it impossible to use brute force searching? That would most likely be the primary design factor in creating a game meant to be played at high levels in the future - make sure computers aren't good at it.
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Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 9:58am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

Data losing space-chess is likely a reflection of the era in which the show was produced. There was a long period during which chess-masters could still beat computers via superior strategic ability. Computers exceeded humans at brute-force searches pretty early, but for a long time there chessmasters could more than compensate with strategic analysis, to the point that many people felt that computers would never beat the top human players. So it must have seemed perfectly logical to writers that an alien with superhuman strategic ability playing a game with a stronger strategic element than any real-world game would easily beat Data.

Of course nowadays we've reached the point where computers crush the best human players of any game where brute-force searches are possible. So the idea that anything with an organic brain could beat Data sounds downright silly. But at the time the show was created it would have seemed not only plausible, but actually more realistic than Data winning.
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Raphael Bloch
Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 6:13am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Enemy

"We will escort your vessel to the neutral zone"
>ships leaving in opposite directions
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Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 5:16am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Icarus Factor

Nice ideas, mangled. This is a character-themed episode I should have loved, had the execution been less lazy.

Riker senior v junior: Argh, so much potential for exploration of Will's background and character. The Pulaski/dad angle (Pulaski showing Will another POV) was smart and added a lot. But the dad/son relationship was utterly jumbled.

At various points we are told conflicting things. Dad was selfish and not interested in raising a kid ("I hung in there for thirteen years; if that wasn't t enough for you, too bad!") but conversely he was controlling (""wouldn't let me catch my own fish"), We see that he is proud of Will's rising career (he has come here to bury the hatchet, and early scenes show his warm attempts to do just that), but Troi alleges that he is secretlly over-competitive with Will (there is no evidence of this, or of her assertion that he has a reputation for false humility, or of Will's comment about his egotism.) The writers are just throwing random character traits against a wall, like a splatter painting.

(It doesn't help that Icarus was actually a young excitable hothead who died because he didn't listen to his cautious and wise and loving father. Riker junior actually flies low and close to home instead of soaring off to the Ares, so there's nothing Icarus about him at all. Maybe the writers meant to call it "The Oedipus Factor"? In which case Will should have flirted with Pulaski a bit.)

Worf vs himself: The Worf stuff was also a good idea wrecked by poor execution. For me, it failed because the ritual was not what it was described as. One of the humans explains that Worf is supposed to confess his deepest feelings while under duress from the pain sticks. But what Worf actually says in the gauntlet is "The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the wailing of their women!!"

These are not his deepest feelings, though they may have been Conan's. It's his superficial jingoistic me-so-Klingon BS. His deepest feelings are isolation, loneliness, longing to be the perfect warrior, fearing that his choice of a career in Starfleet makes him weak or un-Klingonlike. Or possibly his deepest feelings are his embarrassing love for his adoptive parents and his human friends on the Enterprise.

General impression: the germs of good ideas were there, but the characterization was murky and contradictory. Result: an interesting mess that could have been as good as "Family." But in no way was.
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Sandy Blue
Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 12:59am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

I loved this episode. Anybody who has a dog and has gone through an agonizung sickness with it understands Archers feelings. So those of you who boo this episode....well boo you. Im a dog lover and thats my sole argument. So. Pfffffft!!!! Loved it.
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Trek fan
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 11:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Gambit

A solid and underrated episode, "Gambit" surprised me, and I'd never seen it until today. The show is paced unusually well for TNG, moving along the outline of an intriguing mystery without ever committing the classic TNG sin of being self-importantly dull. There are even some -- gasp -- good action sequences. It's not the deepest episode, but not every Trek needs to be deep to be enjoyable.

As a variation on the "archeological adventure episode" distinctive of TNG, this one is my favorite manifestation of the sub-genre. It's a mystery to me why Jammer rates this fun story so low and more self-important credulity-straining episodes (someone aptly mentioned "The Chase") so much higher. I'd give it 3 or 3 1/2 stars myself.
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Trek fan
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 11:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Interface

The epitome of bland, bloodless, weak-sauce Trek presents itself for our review in "Interface." No idea why Jammer gave this one three stars. For me, it's a two star affair all the way.

The VR tech is intriguing, but the scenes in this show drag endlessly without much purpose or plot development, and Geordi's "mother" acts so strangely in every scene that it practically screams "alien" to everyone but Geordi. Hard to believe he wouldn't have suspected earlier that he wasn't actually dealing with his own mother. I certainly didn't believe it for a moment.

Anyway, this episode typified Season 7 TNG for me, completely unmemorable and plodding. The actors are obviously comfortable with their roles by this point, but comfort often looks like complacency to viewers like me who never really drank the TNG Kool-Aid. At least the Season 1-2 episodes had flavor; too many of the shows in this season just feel like dull executions of scripts which weren't good enough to film earlier in the show's run.
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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 11:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

Another nice episode for Bashir. I have said it before but it's amazing how far Siddig and the writers have brought Julian over the 7 seasons. He is cool, calculated, complex, and still very human as his disappointment shows in the latter part of the episode when Sloane dies the first time and his serenity in happiness does when Odo is cured. Far gone is the teenager, gung-ho Bashir of the first couple of seasons. And it's not like the writers did many favors in this episode with some of their writing.

Damar, Garak, Dukat as secondary characters, and Kira and Bashir as primary characters are a major part of the reason why Deep Space Nine was a great series: sound character development within the foundation of great story writing.

I would rate this episode 3 stars at least aimply because the collaboration dynamics of Julian & Miles to solve a complex problem was a pleasure to witness.

Side note: I have to admit I felt a particular pleasure from Julian's verbal berating of Sloan and the latter's obvious distress when he was lying down within the force field and "feeling cornered" as Bashir aptly put it.
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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 10:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Tacking into the Wind

I am glad someone said it in the comments (Xionous, 7 years ago, LOL) because I was wondering if I were the only one to notice how different Gowron's stunt double looked. I realize it's hard to imitate Gowron's eyes but, wow, that was a whole different individual in every way, especially when Worf picks up his broken bat'leth to continue the fight.

I also agree with Krog's comment. Triumphant episode for many secondary characters.

I am also glad Winn-Dukat took a hiatus for this fantastic episode. Great review by Jammer again.
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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 9:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

"...the show is ABOUT the main characters and they are the ones we want to actually see in these stories, rather than a bunch of one-off guest stars."

I would say that only a minority of the good Trek stories are really *about* the main characters, as opposed to the themes and concepts. Of course we want to see our main cast regularly and in many situations, but they don't all have to be foregrounded all the time. I'd still prefer to see larger and more varied ensembles as appropriate. The best of those characters need not be one-offs. TNG and DS9 both made great occasional use of recurring guests. It could have been (and could still be) stepped up a notch from there.
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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 8:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

"But what makes the "Apocalypse Rising" different from the "To the Death" is that it was gripping from start to finish to the extent that it didn't challenge my suspension of disbelief the way "To the Death" did."

I disagree, I think this one's a very underrated peek into the rare (only?) occasion the Dominion and Starfleet work together. Though I do like AR as well, I just think it's full of hilarious examples of the point you're making here. I highly recommend that comment section next time you view AR.
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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 7:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Operation--Annihilate!

Starfleet uniform, of course. Hate autocorrect.
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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 7:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Operation--Annihilate!

Meh--ok, I guess, but paced very slowly. Definitely needed some resolution for Peter Kirk, if only a throwaway line from someone to the effect that he was sitting up in sickbay eating ice cream, and his grandmother would be waiting for him at Starbase 10 or whatever. A quick google search showed the still shots of him in the Starlet uniform on the bridge with Jim Kirk. Too bad they didn't leave that in.
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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 6:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Strange Bedfellows

Damar advising Weyoun 8:
"Why don't you go talk to Worf again?"

Damar consoling Weyoun 8:
"Oh I'm sure she'll understand... but if she doesn't... I look forward to meeting Weyoun 9"

Damar looking down at a dead Weyoun 7:

Priceless :)
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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 6:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Rogue Planet

I wouldn't give this episode a high rating, simply because it is so predictable. Nothing mysterious here. As soon as Archer spoke about seeing the woman, I could guess 99% of the plot, except for how exactly Enterprise would help.

That said, I wondered why the shapeshifters didn't create an evolved society or at least an organized response against the hunt?

My guess is that they are NOT sentient, not as we know it anyway. They are higher animals which evolved a telepathic mechanism. This mechanism allows them to 'mirror' the way the prey/predator thinks, but only when it is nearby and for a limited amount of time. So near to a Human/Eska they are sentient in a way. Alone they are just animals. Ironically Captain Archer may have delayed their evolution...

This would also explain why it would be obvious to DS9 Humans that Odo is not related (he's sentient, and they aren't).

P.S. I suspect The women couldn't just talk to Archer because she was not able to. She needed to have him alone (doesn't trust others, and/or others create too much 'noise'), and figure out just how to explain to him and get him to side with her.

The first obviously doesn't occur often. The second may not be as easy as we think. Quite possibly the memory of the women was far more accessible to her than words like "hunt" or "help". How would we know what easier for a telepathic being? Perhaps the very concept of spoken language is difficult for her...
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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 6:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death


"Apocalypse Rising" is another example of how little sense that whole policy makes. Worf and Odo going on that mission actually does make some sense, but for sure there are at least a couple of experts on Klingon culture in Starfleet that could've taken Sisko's and O'Brien's place there, avoiding the whole blitz-lesson on Klingon culture on Dukat's ship (although that did give us a hilarious scene).

But what makes the "Apocalypse Rising" different from the "To the Death" is that it was gripping from start to finish to the extent that it didn't challenge my suspension of disbelief the way "To the Death" did.


Yeah, I know. And I even wanted to mention that as a counter-argument to myself in one of the previous replies, but I decided to stick to it as if we were observing the story from "within the universe." All Star Trek series are filled with such inconsistencies, but more often than not their story and execution more than make up for it and keep me engaged, which is not the case with the episode in question.

Also, I hope no one got the impression that I'm this critical because I dislike DS9. Quite the opposite actually - for me as a series DS9 is a very close second to TNG and is one of the best things the television has ever produced and is something that I've constantly been coming back to over the years. It's just that as I get older some things are a bit harder to swallow.
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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 5:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Power Play

Really one of the weaker episodes. Too much convenient techno babble, why can Data be possessed, a really stupid ending (all of a sudden they just give up?), too many forced errors (they almost had the bridge but run away?). The classic communicator trick, too much offscreen action, knowledge of transporters is crucial now O'Brien is possessed? What coincidence! "All of the transporters!" "You almost had them ensign." That was poor acting by Riker and Ro. And so on and so on... 1,5 stars at most.
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