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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 8:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

I prefer my entertainment to be a satisfying coherent cohesive whole as a viewing experience

More and more with shows like Lost or BSG they come across as a bunch of stitched together pieces and very uneven as a viewing experience

Yes, you can enjoy or appreciate isolated moments but that doesn’t mean you walk away satisfied from the whole. And a single likeable moment isn’t going to make me personally forgive all the other junk I had to sit through for that one or two moment(s)

It may be just me but television used to be more consistently good week in and week out with episodes solid from teaser to credits. Nowadays it is like an a la carry buffet where they try to be everything to everyone inevitably leading to a very choppy and uneven frustrating viewing experience

At least with a show like Voyager if an episode was bad it went all in on it’s badness from start to finish but a show like Lost has ups and downs in an episode and throughout the narrative arc.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 6:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Liaisons

Didn't like this one -- boring, tedious for long stretches and then downright irritating for others like when Anna is begging Picard to love her. There is a big reveal at the end but it doesn't make up for like 40 mins. of crap.

Seemed a major stretch for Picard to go all by himself with one of the aliens in the shuttle. I think the Enterprise needs to re-think how it gets acquainted with a new species -- I assume there's some research done ahead of this bizarre first encounter.

Picard and the Enterprise crew take the unusual tactics from the aliens pretty well -- the one guy doesn't understand what a crime is. Of course, in the spirit of mutual friendship, they don't hold the aliens' bullshit against them.

Picard's situation was the most interesting (Worf's was annoying for me as was Troi's) -- as it reminded me of "All Our Yesterdays" with Zarabeth wanting Spock to stay in the frozen wasteland she was trapped in. That interaction (with McCoy's help) was miles better than this. Picard did a fine job acting as usual, but the Anna character was written/acted pretty poorly.

1.5 stars for "Liaisons" -- forgettable episode, fluff, inconsequential etc. Seems like a mishmash of elements from other Trek episodes to generate some kind of lead-up to a big reveal that doesn't deliver at all. The alien race looked stupid as well - some facial prosthetics in a 1-piece grey sweat suit.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 5:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm


Okay; but doesn't that suggest that narrative coherence - plot - is the most important aspect of a show's aesthetic appeal? It's important, sure, but why should it be the ultimate arbiter? What about character? What about emotions evoked? What about cleverness and wit? What about world creation? And what about colours and textures and music? Would you examine a painting and then dismiss it merely because the story depicted offers no satisfying resolution? What about the experience itself, in the moment, of engaging with the work? Doesn't that count for a lot? In fact, isn't that precisely what David Lynch has been trying to teach us with the third season of Twin Peaks?

This episode has a weak resolution. But it also has at least one brilliant moment, our first view of the clown, as he barrels down the corridor and knocks Alara down. It was funny and creepy and surprising, and its success as an isolated moment does not depend on a logical explanation for it. It's about the image itself, the
Juxtaposition of his presence, the speed at which he ran, and then, finally, the punch line that he appeared on the ship's camera. It's a lovely moment of television, skillfully rendered. That the logical underpinning that comes later is unsatisfying does not diminish the impact of that earlier moment. The only reason they even bother to invent a logical explanation is because viewers, who have learned nothing from David Lynch, sort of demand it. It's so clear that, for the writer of this episode, their heart wasn't in the obligatory logical explanation anyway, but in creating a creepy visceral experience. Can't we appreciate art that achieves success in ways other than in the mere narrative realm?
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 5:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm


Totally agree. It’s a cheap, lazy way of doing things. You can do or say whatever you want and don’t have to make it make sense because anything happens in a dream

I’m a big fan of Michael Piller and one reason is he told the TNG writing staff no dream endings. Originally Remember Me and Future Imperfect were dream episodes but he said that’s unsatisfying so he worked on both and that’s why we got much better payoffs.

You could see once he stepped back from TNG In the last two seasons the writers becoming lazy and Jeri Taylor allowing dream endings in Frame of Mind and Eye of the Beholder which I’m certain he wouldn’t have allowed. And convoluted mythologies like The X files conspiracy and LOST are no better
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 5:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Sunshine! Lollipops and RAINbows everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together, brighter than a lucky penny, when you're near the rain clouds disappears, dear, and I feel SO FINE, JUST to KNOW that you are mine!

What with plenty other troubles going on in the world, we have to argue right here on the Malaka Malaka Board of Good Faith. Come on people, this is the Enterprise, we set a different standard here!
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Trek fan
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 5:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Enterprise Incident

Here we have a great espionage-realpolitik Star Trek episode of the type that utopian TNG will later flirt at doing and DS9 will excel at pulling off. What's not to love? "The Enterprise Incident" has great pacing, suspense, and a terrific guest star as the central Romulan antagonist. I give it 3 1/2 or 4 stars.

The Spock stuff works well here, with the Pon Farr finger-touching a nice bit of continuity from Journey to Babel (we'll see it again on Star Trek III with young Spock and Saavik) and the Vulcan-Romulan relationship an ongoing source of fascination carrying over from Balance of Terror way back in Season One. Yes, "Incident" is a linchpin Trek in many ways, tying together many threads of TOS and establishing many things that will carry over into later series.

Following on the same in Spock's Brain, we also see what will become a distinctive strength of Season Three here: Women in the main guest star roles. Joanna Lumley is great in her interrogation scenes with Kirk and seduction scenes with Spock that later turn out to be not quite what she thinks. Shatner's overacting in yelling "I'll kill you" at Spock in front of the Romulan Commander teeters on the brink of "too much" for me, but gets a pass because Kirk is *supposed* to be insane here, meaning we can allow it even as we give Shatner a bit of side eye for quite how far he goes in the scene.

Another thing I love about Enterprise Incident is the way it develops the ensemble feel of TOS that really started gelling on Season Two: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, and Chapel are the main focus in this episode. (And yes, the ubiquitous Lt. Leslie is in this one too, but he's mainly a stand-in like Billy Bones's helmsman/navigator character.) It's nice to see the show coalescing in these last two seasons around its best characters, increasingly abandoning the bland "Yeoman of the Week" and "female lieutenant of the week" approach. And yet Season Three will also give us some classic Kirk-Spock-McCoy shows, another successful formula.

If Season Three suffered from budget cuts in its day, I'm not sure that's a valid critique anymore, as the remastered special effects and picture-sound of the latest Netflix/CBS Video releases negate these issues. Season Three now looks as great as the rest of the show in the remastered episodes. Granted, it looks a bit more pulpy than the earlier two seasons, with more vivid colors (someone said the uniforms switched from velour to polyester?) and a more daringly creative style in the camerawork and angles. And the writers have changed: On balance, we're going more for "fun" than Big Sci-Fi Ideas in this season, although there are still some strong shows of the latter kind and some great episodes that mix the two. Not too many Godlike Aliens or Earthlike Planets in this season, as seemed to be the case in 90% of Season Two, and that's a good thing.

In fact, Season Three gives us some truly new stuff, mixing truly alien-looking aliens (Medusans, etc.) with more human-based DS9-style universe-building dramas (this one, Cloud Minders, Elaan of Troyius, etc.) about interplanetary disputes and politics. And you know what? I like it! I think Season Three is actually really underrated. It's not as deep as Season One, it doesn't have as many ensemble classics as Season Two, but it's consistently daring and fresh as we see in "The Enterprise Incident."
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 3:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

@Lynos: Ubik's comment is a good illustration of why I suspected a correlation. Ubik sees no real problem with writing a TV series from an approach of "what images and actions can we put on the screen that will be really weird and tantalize viewers, never mind whether we have any idea how to ultimately explain them". For me, unless it is clearly being done as an exercise in surrealism (like David Lynch), that's not a legitimate way to write a TV show. It becomes, especially when it is carried out over multiple episodes or seasons, a kind of long con. But even over the space of an hour, it's a narrative cheat, not playing fair with the audience.

Maybe that's really the bottom line. We've all seen cases where a character on a TV show has something bizarre/horrible happen to them, and then suddenly they wake up in bed and we see it was a dream. (Sometimes the wakeup is also a dream.) I'm not a huge fan of that to begin with, but I can tolerate it if we are only teased for like fifteen or twenty seconds before we are shown that it was just a dream. To do it for thirty minutes is not kosher IMO. Or at least, it's not the kind of thing I want to watch. But without advance warning, I get sucked into watching it anyway, and feel annoyed that I wasted my time.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 3:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Timescape

Pretty good sci-fi problem solving / mystery episode that made it look like the Romulans are attacking the Enterprise crew when that's not actually the case. The idea of non-corporeal aliens being attracted to the Romulan engine and then causing all the temporal disruptions is clever.

I'm not a fan of Braga, but "Cause and Effect" and this episode are 2 that I like -- there's much more work he did that's not to like, for me.

A couple of episodes I'd compare this one with are TOS' "Wink of an Eye" and also "The Next Phase" with Geordi and Ro. The latter is what comes to mind mostly due to the Romulans. All 3 are generally fun episodes with a bit of urgency required by our protagonists.

This one requires a bit of handwaving and is heavy on the technobabble (I like how Jammer puts it: "a way to surround the bodies of the Runabout crew with a technobabble field").

When Data explains the Enterprise is moving in a very slow time, that helped. (I didn't think you could transport into a field that time is frozen -- don't ask why I thought that.) So the episode does a decent job of explaining some things, which I liked.

I must be mistaken but I thought Geordi (in the end) was on the Warbird when the Runabout crashed through the energy transfer beam. So at the end of the episode I was wondering what happened to Geordi.

Pretty spooky atmosphere created when Picard etc. beamed on the Enterprise and it looked like the Romulan boarding party was taking over. I think there are inconsistencies in that -- why would Romulans be allowed on the bridge and why would some carry weapons with them?

3 stars for "Timescape" -- good examination in the early part of the episode of the problem of the temporal fields. The effective creation of the WTF atmosphere in going on aboard the Enterprise -- Picard's smiley face and laughter only added to the weirdness. An enjoyable hour of TNG sci-fi.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 2:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Lots of people asked him to leave, or hinted at it. I even hinted at it myself I guess. But Omicron don't stop commenting on the Orville at least. Stop commenting on the DIS threads mabye, since you haven't seen those, but not the Orville.

But I have to say, I'm reallys sick of talking about one person's contributions, and not the show itself, so everyone grow up. Including myself. I'm sick of it.
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Peter Swinkels
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 2:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

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Peter Swinkels
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 2:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Decent episode. Why were they behaving as if sound could propegate across space while both waiting for the other to make a move.
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Peter G.
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 2:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@ Skorch,

No one asked him to leave, he threatened to leave. No one here has tried to chase anyone away.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 1:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

I can't believe that we have been reduced to a discussion of whether someone should leave or not. How petty, and stupid.

That's as ridulous as a Voyager plot.

Of course you should stay OTDP. Who cares what others's think? F%#k them.

No one should ever be asked to leave, and I don't think you were asked to leave except by people who are ignorant to what you actually contributed, and certainly not by Jammer, who is the only one who matters in the end. Though I still think you should watch DIS!!!

It's not the best star trek show, that goes to TNG in my opinion, but it's not the worst either, which I think is VOY,

So yeah, screw those people, and keep posting stuff.

Do it just to show them that they are all bitches, if for no other reason. :D
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 1:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Welcome Garymartian!

Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 11:39pm (UTC -6)
"And you're not leaving, you will post again.... just like everyone else on the internet that announces their dramatic departure..."

The only reason "everyone else" is doing what you said, is because they face this catch-22: They're dying to explain themselves and their reasons for leaving, but how can you explain yourself after you've left?"

Then stating one is leaving really doesn't make much sense, does it?

"And of course, smart assy responses like "drama queen!" or "you will post again, just like everyone else" add fuel to the fire. So before they realize what's going on, they are lured back in.... and feeling all embarssed about making a scene and then breaking their word, they soon forget all about it and pertend that nothing happened."

But if one truly left, one would have no reason to feel embarrassed, would they? Because one would know some comments would ensue after said crybaby post was made.

"See, I'm very familiar with this sick dynamics, which is why I'm doing things differently. As I've already stated, I *will* remain here for as long as it takes to explain myself clearly (which, given the kind of responses I've gotten so far, will probably take quite a awhile...). But during that time, I'm refraining from participating in the actual Trek-related discussions. "

. and that action would require no "announcement", right?

"And you know something? Given how common these situations are over the internet, and how hurtful responses like yours are, I find that explaining these dynamics is infinitely more important to me than talking about some TV show."

If the truth hurts then..

I didn't post this, you did..
"At any rate, you will be very happy to hear, Mr. Epsicokhan, that I will not bother you or your site any longer. If you're going treat me as some kind troublemaker, then there's nothing left for me here.
(and this goes for the Orville threads as well)"

Now here's my opinion. leave, stay, either is fine with me. but don't say you're going to do one thing and do something else. I'd prefer you swallow some pride and stay. I've enjoyed many of your posts throughout the couple years I've been here. I would also propose you watch an episode before "reviewing' it.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 11:33am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

While I admire the technical brilliance and tight action/thriller story of TWOK, the only thing that impresses me as specifically great Star Trek (as opposed to a very good movie) was the characterization. This includes everything from Kirk's depression at getting old to Khan's dedication to revenge to Spock's death and his friend's reactions.

Yes their is the Genesis Project, but The Search for Spock made that much more central to it's plot. Unlike many Trek fans, TSFS is my favorite TOS-era Star Trek film. It has big, wild ideas like The Motion Picture and action and suspense like Khan.

The Motion Picture always struck me as a good idea for an intellectually stimulating episode but lacking the 2001: A Space Odyssey profundity it aspires to. TWOK seems to me to have too many plot elements that could just as easily be done with submarines or airplanes. Terrorist with a grudge gets ahold of a powerful military vehicle and goes after the hero.

The Search for Spock also has the distinction of introducing something like the "proud warrior race" Klingons which became a beloved staple of the show. Yes, that particular crew were the bad guys, but they had real courage and joy in being warriors.

Had they encountered V-Ger, they would have proudly flown at it with all guns blazing expecting to be remembered fondly for such an interesting death. Perhaps they would have had a last drink of blood wine while Kruge looked forward to meeting Valkris in the afterlife. By the way, her death scene brought a tear to my eyes the first couple times.

The Vulcan Katra was also a nice concept to develop, in my opinion. We always knew the Vulcans had strong if not all-powerful psychic gifts. The original crew rebelling together against authority to save Spock was a good example of the venerable tradition of Starfleet officers being insubordinate when they know they're right and forgiven in they convince their superiors after the fact.

Whether any organization could actually function this way or not, it's classic Trek. Michael Burnham in the current series seems to be at least on a long path to redemption.

Finally, I loved the reveal of the living Spock at the end as well as the elaborate scenes of Vulcan. The Vulcan culture looks very interesting and should be developed in more detail.
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William B
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 11:23am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Drone

As with Timeless, I want to state outfront that I like this a lot and think highly of it. And yet I'm still going to go straight to criticisms, ha! I guess the main thing I want to talk about is the fact that I felt my emotional engagement is not where it "should have been" for this story, and I'm curious as to why that is. I don't know if I will, but I wouldn't mind revisiting this one to see how I feel on another viewing. But I think this time (and also the first time I saw it all those years ago), I found it interesting but too rushed to get as involved as I feel I should be. There isn't enough time for the full arc of One's creation, evolution, and death, as well as Seven's rapidly changing views of him, as well as the Borg threat which, let's note, is the first time the show has seriously played the card of the presence of the Borg for real since Kes got them out of Borg space in The Gift. It's a lot to take in, and the emotional beats feel a bit unearned because there just isn't time enough to relax with the characters and understand what "normal" actually constitutes for them, at least for me.

The episode has some I, Borg elements, but mostly I think it's strongly reminiscent of episodes like The Offspring in TNG and The Begotten on DS9. And I had a bit of a similar issue tracking The Offspring emotionally. I'd say though that the difference -- and why I think The Offspring is a great episode and I'm not so sure if I'd say that about Drone (though I know that Jammer's ratings are reversed) -- is that The Offspring is very forthright about the emotional distance that it creates. No one knows what to make of Lal and of Data's parenthood, and Data and Lal lack emotions, at least for most of the story's running time. The bizarreness of the situation, including the accelerated "growth" of Lal (emerging essentially fully formed once she chooses her appearance) is put front-and-centre, and also becomes part of the justification for Haftel's intervention -- how can we know what the parental bond between Data and Lal should look like? We are in totally uncharted territory, and I think we are led to feel uneasy about things (right from the beginning, where Geordi, Wesley and Deanna are a little spooked by Data's reveal of his private project, and it's hard to tell how much he recognizes the weight of what he is doing, though ultimately I think he does). And further, if I feel somewhat bewildered at the end of the episode and am not sure how to process all my feelings, this seems appropriate, and also further underscores what's unique about Data -- the way he somehow both is and is not changed by the event, that he's taken Lal completely into himself but can also plausibly outwardly go on as if nothing has happened, rather than having a long recovery arc for the loss of a child. The weirdness and uncomfortable speed with which all this takes place is part of the point, and gets to something that is at the core of Data's character and of what the main justification might be for objecting to Data procreating -- that he is unpredictable and hard for us mere humanoids to fully see and connect to, though I think the episode also strongly argues in favour of what he does for Lal. Now I won't deny that Drone also successfully emphasizes the weirdness of One's status and of Borg relationships, such as they are, and the uniqueness of his experience, but the way it comes about as a freak accident ends up meaning a little less about Seven, in comparison, and I'm not so sure that the hyper-speed movement through her essentially getting and losing a super-advanced adult child who can outmaneuver the Borg collective is necessary or organic to the character. The way The Begotten worked was by being less ambitious and covering less in the hour -- focusing on the Odo/Mora dynamic and the possibilities opened by the baby changeling, but without feeling the need to accelerate it to be an adult of Odo's that he bonds with and loses; the tragedy is still present, but it is somewhat muted because the story doesn't push us to see the baby changeling as a sentient, fully-formed being or to push Odo to interact with it as such.

The episode is in some ways more like TNG's The Child, an episode of which I'm not a fan, though having One be a freak accident is preferable to it being an experiment the way Troi's pregnancy and Ian Andrew's brief life was there. This episode is better executed in almost every way, but it does leave me similarly unsure how I feel, and maybe a little weird about feeling like I was manipulated. At the same time, I'm not *against* what the episode did (the way I was against The Child). I think if I can get into the episode's rhythms I might really enjoy it and be moved by it.
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William B
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 9:47am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

The episode does seem to exist to serve the high concept, which in turn is a way to show off Jeri Ryan's versatility as an actress. It's hard to begrudge them that, and she *is* great. When the episode is doing comedy, it is, if not laugh-out-loud funny, generally agreeable and entertaining and thus worth the price of admission. When it gets serious, it feels as if there's a much better episode inside this one waiting to get out. The episode eventually mostly gets to a "Seven realizes that they care about her enough to save her" place, which is fine, but not really the most interesting place to go. There are two angles in particular I'm thinking of, of how this episode could work very well with the "Borg multiple personality syndrome" conceit, and I think the episode kind of gestures to both but doesn't go deep enough:

1. This is the one the episode goes to more heavily, and this is: these are people who the Collective assimilated, and thus whose lives (and individuality) were destroyed. Seven experiencing their lives actually forces her to confront some guilt over what she did (was forced to do) as part of the Collective. Seven having her identity crowded out by all those other voices then sort of symbolizes her being dragged under the weight of the lives she feels some responsibility for ending, and Tuvok's efforts to reach and save her are a way of helping restore her recognition that she is a person who deserves her own life, tempting as it is to get bogged down in guilt and dismay at the number of people lost. This element works to a degree, but it short-circuits it a little by having Seven mostly seeming to forget her experiences being other people, rather than remembering them and then having to deal with them.

2. The personalities could reveal something about Seven -- something that she is missing in her own life. Maybe her own aggression is coming out when she goes into the Klingon mode, for instance. This would also work better if Seven remembered or were more aware of the different voices that came up. This one sort of pays off at the end, in which Seven seems to want to act out as herself some of what she did while playing the little girl character (playing Kadis-Kot with Naomi), but otherwise I can't think of any indications of it.

That the one element of her alternate personalities Seven seemed to want to use in her daily life was that one -- the girl -- makes me wonder what Annika's thoughts would actually be, and if they are still somewhere as part of the suppressed collective individual voices. The exact functioning (where are those thoughts coming from? who is thinking them? how much is Seven still connected to the collective?) is hazy and incoherent, but it seems as if the thoughts and personalities are mostly from people before their assimilation. It makes me wonder if that young girl might even have *been* Annika (though it probably doesn't fit with the way she's portrayed in [spoilers] Dark Frontier). But anyway, this maybe adds a (3): in experiencing how strongly people held onto their individuality before the Borg wiped it out, so that she still has an echo all this time later, Seven maybe gains a greater appreciation for it. And her pre-Borg growth was basically stunted as Annika as a child, and so her deciding to bond with Naomi to try to recreate what she'd lost makes sense.

The stuff with the aliens, culminating in the space battle, is pretty pedestrian. The idea of a species' attempt to take down the Borg affecting Seven inadvertently is a good one, I think, and worth further exploration at some point, but not much is done with it here. The big head-scratcher in the episode for me was in the Janeway/Chakotay bridge scene when she ponders aloud whether maybe it wasn't worth it to bring Seven along, that maybe it just wasn't possible to rehabilitate her. Huh? It'd be one thing if Janeway said this after Seven's insubordination in Prey, where it looked like Seven might be impossible to control; or after something like Drone, where it might be that Seven and her Borg technology might prove too big a risk to the ship, in that there's a risk of Borg attacks whenever she's discovered. But in this episode, Seven is sick, through no fault of her own (except very indirectly in that she was a member of the Borg Collective and the Borg are dangerous enough to have people trying to kill them with a virus), and after she's locked in sickbay, she's not a danger to anyone else but herself. Janeway does risk the ship to save Seven by fighting the aliens in the perfunctory weekly battle scene, I'll grant, but Janeway doesn't frame her concerns as a "I'm not sure if it's worth risking this ship to save one crew member" dilemma, but some vague sense that Seven getting infected with a Borg Multiple Personality Disorder virus that affects only her is some predictable moral failing. It's really bizarre.

This is the second time B'Elanna has had someone aggressively choose her as a mate in Engineering (also Vorik). Not the best workplace experience.

Anyway the episode is fun and has a bit of meat, but that much. Better than you'd expect it to be but not as good as it could be; 2.5 stars.
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William B
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 9:27am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

I like this one a fair amount, but I have a few problems. For now, just the first one: Tessa. I don't mind the actress and I think that having someone besides the three Voyager crew leads in the future is a decent idea in terms of plausibly reminding us that the story is not *only* about Voyager. The problem is that her motivation for wanting to reset the timeline is extremely thin -- she loves Chakotay, okay, but that relationship will be erased, along with most of her life. The episode also tries to suggest she's some sort of Voyager groupie, which also doesn't work. She seems ultimately too well-adjusted in the scenes we see of her to really get why she's willing to throw out her entire life in order to do a hard reset for the sake of other people; granting for the moment that her life won't end with the reset, it's still unclear why she'd agree to this. And while Chakotay hems and haws a little, he's ultimately really blase about completely upturning his girlfriend's life. To be fair, I have some similar problems with the material between Jake and the aspiring writer/fan in The Visitor. (In All Good Things, the crew helps Picard to reset the timeline, but that's to save humanity.)

I was thinking, is there a way to keep the character (or some variation on her) in a way that makes more sense and has more resonance? And here's my idea: what if Tessa were replaced by a family member of someone on Voyager? One of Tuvok's children, perhaps (though the Vulcan-logical objection to the plan might need to be dealt with), or maybe Naomi's father (get out that Ktarian makeup from The Game!), or someone like that. And then their willingness to sacrifice the way their life has gone over the past 15 years would make total sense -- and also highlight the other, unseen cost of Voyager's destruction and the loss of its crew in addition to Harry and Chakotay's experience.

I'm getting more and more sidetracked, so at this point let's drop the pretense that this will be anything like an analysis or review and go into wild speculation and rewriting: what if the episode had also had Chakotay and Harry *opposed* to each other, with (say) Harry insisting on saving Voyager and Chakotay being part of the mission to try to stop him? Or alternatively, this could be moved to the "family member" material as well -- with (say) Admiral Paris (maybe the grand commander of Starfleet by this point?) pursuing on La Forge's ship (we can still have the Geordi cameo, I'm saying). I don't think the episode is really *about* the moral dilemma of whether to change time to save Voyager, so much as that this is an element the episode touches on, but I could imagine the episode really diving into that conflict with more than just a cameo-Geordi giving the primary voice of opposition. (And there, again, I like the cameo, I'm glad to see Burton in front of the camera as well as behind. Still, I kind of wish that he had taken a harder edge. I like the "mutual respect" angle, but I wish he didn't go as far as to say that in Chakotay's place he might do the same. No! Don't give him that much.)

Anyway, I'll add some more when I think of other things to say about this one.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 6:31am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Strange New World

This episode is a rip off of the X-file episode, "Field Trip", a masterpiece in which Mulder and Scully hallucinate and get high off spores, spores which make real their deepest feelings and prejudices.

Enterprise would have done better to ignore such a high concept and do instead what it did in the first third of the episode: simply portray a group of scientists wandering about an alien planet, gathering mundane data, talking, exploring and appreciating the beauty of life. No need for phony drama.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 5:51am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Data: 'we know little to nothing about Romulus'

*** 10 seconds later ***

Holodeck has perfect rendering of Romulus
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 5:40am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Long time lurker, and first time poster. I’m really enjoying Discovery so far. I’ve been a Star Trek fan my whole life and I’m glad to have Trek back on TV. I definitely want to see more of Airiam, and I’m sure the rest of the bridge crew will start getting fleshed out now Discovery has jumped somewhere unknown. This last episode had me at the edge of my seat most of its running time. The scene where Discovery was jumping around the Klingon ship of the dead was the highlight for me, it just looked so cool.
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William B
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 4:56am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Once Upon a Time

I don't mind the shuttle crash "cliche." Shuttles are going to crash sometimes. I'll grant that the crash rate seems high, but they're in unknown territory. I get the idea that this is a bit of a storytelling crutch, but unlike the Fun with DNA stuff, it's a crutch that basically makes sense.

Nor am I that opposed to the idea that Samantha doesn't die. I am all for the idea that Voyager could have been a "braver" show, but I'm not sure that orphaning the one child is the best step to take in that direction. In The Bonding, Jeremy still has extended family in addition to Worf, so while it's weird to emphasize his joining Worf's family when that element is getting dropped, it's still not so fundamentally surprising for the show not to have to carry around the considerable stress of having a child with no living, biologically-related caretakers running about. Even if Voyager were a consistently better show, I think it'd be a lot to take on.

And nor do I think that the episode "teasing" Wildman's death for angst for Naomi and Neelix is wrong. People almost die and don't, sometimes. The episode makes some good decisions on this, and places much of the emotional focus on Neelix and his still somewhat unprocessed grief over his own family's death; the possibility of Naomi losing her mother opens old wounds of Neelix's, and this prevents him from being able to be truthful with her. The episode's emphasis on Naomi's precociousness, curiosity and intelligence (but not Wesley-style prodigy-brilliance) makes it clear that Janeway is right that Neelix is not doing her any favours by keeping things from her, and that she can see through his and the others' deception, and that it's hurting her. But I don't think the episode cheats by having it look like Wildman might not make it, and/but she doesn't. We're reminded of Neelix's family's death (granted, when he was older than Naomi) and so the episode makes clear that sometimes the worst happens. But often it doesn't. Neelix's feeling that the worst is inevitable prevents him from properly helping Naomi through the uncertain time; if the worst did happen, she would also have to deal with feelings of betrayal that he kept her in the dark, and if the worst didn't happen (as we see here) he only made the temporary worry and confusion worse. It's got an emotional core that works for me, is what I'm saying; Neelix and Naomi are both understandable. And Scarlett Pomers is really great for a child actress (particularly on Trek), one of the best portrayals of children in the franchise.

But yeah, it's not a great show or even that good of one. The Naomi material is marred by the Flotter program, which is goofy-silly without having the (say) edge of Warner Brothers cartoons or Dr. Seuss entertaining to adults, or the logic-pretzels in Lewis Carroll. It's not disastrous, but the episode sort of grinds to a halt as those segments go on. And I think the episode's focus is a little mistaken. Skeptical's point earlier that the episode was hastily rewritten to pivot away from the idea of this being a Standard Crisis but from Naomi's perspective makes sense to me as an explanation of the ep's problems; I would have loved a Lower Decks-style POV-shifted episode from Naomi's POV, including one in which Samantha was endangered (as we got), and even in which Neelix's role in the story was the same but we got to feel both the betrayal and then the feeling of reconciliation without us being able to "know" Neelix's reasons for holding back until he reveals them (except, of course, for our knowledge of his character and history). More to the point, I think the episode misplays its cards, with regards to the shuttle. Not knowing at all whether Wildman is even alive might have been a stronger way to play things, in some senses, but the bigger problem is less that reveal than the fact of having Paris and Tuvok in the shuttle. We know that Paris and Tuvok aren't going to die, and in the unlikely event they *did* die, the episode wouldn't so completely de-emphasize the crew's emotional attachment to those characters, to the point of having no B'Elanna moment in the episode where she's worried about Tom. The episode tries to compensate by having Wildman also have a potentially life-threatening injury, but that seems like an unnecessary fix. The one advantage to having the two regulars in with her (besides giving the regulars some screen time) is Tuvok's lovely speech to Samantha about why he does not worry about his children, and why she should not either; in general the Tuvok material in the shuttle was nice. The episode's attempts to play the possibility that the shuttle won't be returned (and to create a ticking time clock with vague, inconsistent gas references and so on) don't feel credible and it would have been better to either de-emphasize this part of the story or (better) to have the shuttle's status remain a mystery through most of the ep's running time.

I'd say 2.5 stars.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 2:59am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Nemesis


'I seem to have confused this with Memorial, so I was rather baffled when it cut to Voyager discussing the war.'

LOL, I did exactly the same thing. I was like 'oh yeah, the one with the mind raping monument', and then realized it was the one with the mind raping army guys.

This episode loses one star from me immediately because the alien dialogue grated on my nerves so terribly. I hated it.

And what was the point? Propaganda/brainwashing is bad? Prejudice is bad? Thanks Voyager, I had no idea.

I saw the twist coming because it was pretty obvious that everyone on Voyager was doing their best to never say Kradin or Vori the whole time. Always something ambiguous like 'The Ambassador's people' or 'their enemy' or 'their nemesis'.

so -1 for the stilted dialogue, and -1 for having no real point other than 'bad stuff is bad'

2 stars.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 1:37am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

this is what introduced me, age 9 or so at the time, to the true nature of 'to be continued'. I remember having the TV on for another *three hours* wondering when the continuation would be, before realizing I'd have to tune in next week.

... nope, not even that.

it was a long summer.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 1:27am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Day of Honor

If the Caatati's ships run on thorium, why wouldn't they be able to make it? Voyager could, and that was even before Seven's magical thorium maker. They had already made and given them some earlier in the episode.

And when they dump the warp core, they are no longer at warp obviously, and they lost impulse too and are dead in space, so why is the warp core millions of kilometers away? It should be right next to them. Makes no sense.

And if you use a tractor beam on it will supposedly explode, but the Caatati tractor it all over the place and nothing happens.

Once you replace a warp core, doesn't it take a long time to initialize it as well? More than 30 min I think. Not to mention all the other stuff they did in that same time period while Paris and Torres are running out of oxygen, as other people said.

And they keep saying in the show 114 millibars of oxygen left, 93 millibars, etc. Millibars is a measurement of pressure. Not an amount of oxygen. They should have said parts per million or a percentage or count down time or something that made more sense.

Not just a Voyager thing, but most sci-fi does it; and that is that people in outer space always move in slow motion. Like when they are typing on the communications pad and whatnot in this episode. I always found that ridiculous.

And why didn't Voyager realize that they were out of communication with the shuttle long before that? Why didn't either of them on the shuttle tell Voyager they found the core and that the Caatati were trying to steal it?

And why would Seven have suggested that she turn herself over to them first, instead of bringing up the thorium generator? She only brought it up after Janeway said no, she won't let her go. It doesn't seem very Borg-like to surrender.

And screw the Caatati, they didn't even apologize.

2 1/2 stars.
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