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Luke Matrix
Sun, May 22, 2016, 2:22am (UTC -5)
Re: Jammer Goes to L.A.: Voyager Pitch: Momentum

Jammer I made a concept picture of this episode, posted here at deviantart
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Sun, May 22, 2016, 12:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Fifth Season Recap

Post-season number crunching time! :-D

6 - Apocalypse Rising
8 - The Ship
9 - Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places
10 - Nor the Battle to the Strong
7 - The Assignment
9 - Trials and Tribble-ations
0 - Let He Who is Without Sin...
8 - Things Past
8 - The Ascent
10 - Rapture
6 - The Darkness and the Light
6 - The Begotten
3 - For the Uniform
10 - In Purgatory's Shadow
8 - By Inferno's Light
7 - Doctor Bashir, I Presume
7 - A Simple Investigation
8 - Business as Usual
8 - Ties of Blood and Water
1 - Ferengi Love Songs
5 - Soldiers of the Empire
6 - Children of Time
8 - Blaze of Glory
6 - Empok Nor
9 - In the Cards
10 - Call to Arms

22 episodes were above-average, 1 was average and 3 were below-average.

Average Season Score: 7.038
Average Series Score: 6.270
TNG Series Score After Four Seasons: 4.936
TOS Final Score: 5.150

Best Episode: Rapture
Worst Episode: Let He Who is Without Sin...

WTF HAIR - 33 (+2)

"Deep Space Nine" continues its steady climb in the ratings with yet another record breaking season. Season Five ends with something I honestly did not expect, an average score over 7.000. In fact, it ends with a score of 7.038! Color me absolutely astonished with the quality this season offered. TOS and TNG continue to be dominated in terms of the average series score - this is almost becoming tiresome and repetitive to say as I'm doing it with each passing season review. In fact, "Deep Space Nine" has now officially climbed to more than a full order of magnitude ahead of TOS, which only narrowly defeated TNG.

What can I add to what Jammer has already much more eloquently said about Season Five? "This is the best season of Star Trek ever brought to the television screen." Indeed it is, at least thus far. I'll admit that Season Six has always been my favorite of the show, so I'm actually kind of excited to see just how high an average score it can pull off. If this one can pull off what I thought was impossible for any Trek (a score over 7), I can only imagine what next season holds in store.

I will point out that Season Five, in addition to having the highest score I've offered any Trek season, also broke the record for most 10/10 episodes in a single year - four. Previously I had given three such scores in DS9 Seasons Three and Four and TOS Season Two. And we also got three 9/10 episodes, bringing the total number of what I consider "classic Trek" shows to seven! Impressive to say the least. The characters are all also working on pretty much all cylinders. They actually had an episode this season focused on Quark and deliberately treated him with respect! What more could I ask for in that department? Even Dax's rather annoying personality has been somewhat dialed back, with obvious exceptions (like the dreadful "Let He Who is Without Sin..." and the use of her in "Business as Usual").

All in all, a truly phenomenal season which only promises even more magnificent heights to come!
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Sat, May 21, 2016, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

NCC-1701-Z says:"The worst flaw was the manner of Tasha's death. She should have gone out with phasers firing, rather than dying meaninglessly, which was lampshaded in "Yesterday's Enterprise" - I like to think the writers were admitting they screwed up here."

I seriously doubt it. The character Yar was literally off-screened, once again summarily dismissed. So basically all they did in that episode was bring back the character just to be killed off summarily once again in TNG: "Redemption II." Basically, they killed the original character to give Crosby a half decent character to play, which was all she wanted in the first place. Hence, the way news of her death is delivered as a foot note from the new character. This means that literally NO ONE on TNG is sorry about the manner of the original character's death or they wouldn't have done it twice and even MORE dismissively the second time.
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Sat, May 21, 2016, 9:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

Totally agree with rob. Probably my worst Trek episode of all. Should have been filmed as a Twilight Zone segment. The only scene worth of mention is when we see Kim as an old man. Kudo to the make-up dept.
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Sat, May 21, 2016, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Conspiracy

I'd like to offer a different approach to evaluating this episode.

Let's forget about the merits of the story. And let's set aside how well-written it was or wasn't.

This seems to me to be the first episode of Star Trek TNG where Picard acts like Picard. Or at least it is the one where Patrick Stewart really seems to gel in the role.

The actors spent the first year of the show trying to develop their characters and how they would play them. Picard would not have behaved (in some respects) in later seasons the way he did in the first one. It took awhile for Patrick Stewart to figure out how to play the character and for the writers to figure out how to write him.

Conspiracy is the first episode where I feel like I can recognize the captain we would all come to know and love. That's why I like this episode, even if for no other reason.
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Sat, May 21, 2016, 5:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Bonding

nothingoriginal55, you never heard of the Good Troi Episode?

It's "Face of the Enemy" in season 6.
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Sat, May 21, 2016, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Cold Fire

I was looking forward to the crew visiting the array and meeting the Ocampa people but it never happened. it could have shed more insight to the peoples dilemma, if any, and could have made for a better episode.
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Sat, May 21, 2016, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

After seeing this again with such a long distance of time and memory, I think his is an underrated gem of Trek. I would argue that Jammer's original review might have been a bit harsh in retrospects to the story's greater narrative benefits.

When considering the story as a case study in human nature and vengeance, it is narrative similar to Moby Dick, but when applying it to our modern issues with similar issues between the problem with Islamic Terrorism and reprisal effects of Islamophobia, it's a good reflection on the reality of vengeance.

Like the Crystalline entity, Islamic fundamentalism is not understandable to us, its effects are visible though so we assume its nature is vicious, murderous, and evil at its heart. Personally, I can't dispute that and I doubt many Americans or Europeans who have seen the effects of terrorism in their own home cities not take that into account.

Yet, the beauty of Star Trek idealism is that perhaps, I mean this not as a believer in the message but an understanding viewer, we can find a common language and try to figure a way to communicate and understand each other.

However, people like Dr. Marr are no less sympatheic in their desire for vengeance. When the series of bombings occurred in Boston a few years ago and my calls could not reach my sister, I had felt of fear, dread, and hatred. In the hours before re-establishing contact, I contemplated many of the same things I think others did and as the news came in, I wanted vengeance.

As misguided as vengeance is, it is a true trait of our nature and something no matter how ideal our society becomes we can not avoid.

In this regard, I'd argue this episode deserves 3.5 stars out of 4, not perfect, but the story had the right human realities.

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Sat, May 21, 2016, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Elogium

Did anyone else hate the scene where Kes gets brought out of her quarters on Neelixs' back while devouring flowers. The writers evidently tried to achieve a comedic shot but I found it embarrasing to say the least.
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Sat, May 21, 2016, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Initiations

The exterior scene filmed at Vasquez Rocks with the jagged rock formation pointing skyward reminded me of a similar scene location where they filmed the battle between Kirk and the Gorn in the episode Arena from ST TOS.
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Matthew Thomas
Sat, May 21, 2016, 12:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

Is it really though? How much of this trailer being better is just the super dramatic Batman v. Superman meets Inception trailer music?

I like how there looks to be a couple scenes where characters are just sitting and talking. And if that one shot was the Enterprise's warp field as it flies through space, that's an awesome visual.

But, Jesus, we're three movies in and Kirk is still moping over his daddy issues and finding himself? Are they just going to keep retreading this character arc until NuKirk becomes a not-terrible captain?
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Sat, May 21, 2016, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Bonding

I don't know what it is about Deanna Troi, but God, do I hate her. "I sense anger" really...what a useless statement. This could have been a good show for to shine in, but instead its Worf and Data that steal the show. I'm curious - does Troi ever get a good story?
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Sat, May 21, 2016, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

Looks hundreds of times better than the teaser. Some of the alien designs, like the vampire-like pale skin aliens seem intriguing.

Others look kind of lame, like whatever the little green eyed guys boarding the ship were. I'm guessing they're short lived.

The lizard guy who we see close up looks like a Jem Haddar soldier. Curious!
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Matthew Thomas
Sat, May 21, 2016, 9:38am (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

New Star Trek Beyond trailer.
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Sat, May 21, 2016, 2:55am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Homestead

Literally watched this ep again just before, and it still brought a tear to my eye. Beautiful send-off for a character who has all too often been easily dismissed as the comic relief.
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Fri, May 20, 2016, 11:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

What makes "Call to Arms" so successful isn't it's action, though that is pretty good in and of itself. It's the characters. Everything everyone does here fits perfectly within this episode's context. The meeting between Sisko and Weyoun, Odo's decision to not make a move romantically on Kira, Rom's "Casablanca" speech, Jake's decision to stay behind the lines, Nog's "and then we make the Dominion sorry" line, the Federation's decision to sacrifice the center of the chess board in order to pull off a corner move against the Dominion... it all makes perfect sense.

But what really stands out for me is Sisko's farewell speech on the Promenade. This moment not only works perfectly with Sisko's character and the episode's context, but it's brilliant in it's own right. It's a great piece of oratory - it makes me wish we had been allowed to see Sisko in front of the Bajoran Chamber of Ministers arguing in favor of signing the Non-Aggression Pact - and it's quite possibly the seminal moment in his entire character development. I think it's fair to say that it's at this point that Sisko is fully a Bajoran at heart, his conversion is complete. Maybe not his religious conversion as of yet, but he definitely identifies himself as a Bajoran from this moment on. "I promise I will not rest until I stand with you again, here, in this place where I belong." Damn, that gives me goosebumps every time! If that doesn't sound the trumpet that he is no longer what he was when this ride began- the doubting Federation type who was unhappy about being assigned to Bajor - I don't know what will. I also highly doubt that the location of this speech was a coincidence. Given that they had Sisko deliver it right in front of the Bajoran Shrine on the Promenade, I don't think the message could get any clearer.

But, aside from all it's wonderful plot-focused action and great character material, "Call to Arms" also turns it's back on an age-old Trekkian staple - it preaches.... intolerance! When it comes to your enemies building up their military and threatening your security, you should absolutely not be tolerant of that, the episode firmly declares. "A war could be our only hope," Sisko declares at one point. Sadly, that is true. Sometimes you can't peacefully co-exist with your neighbors and it does become necessary to engage in conflict. I couldn't agree more! Hell, the episode even goes so far as to say that an unprovoked military action is justifiable to put a stop to the Dominion threat. Trek sure has come a long, long way since the early days of TNG Season One, hasn't it?!

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Michael Wallis
Fri, May 20, 2016, 9:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

Captain Picard absurdly wants to roll over and expose his bald belly in an attempt to appease the entity. Happily, Dr. Marr emits a continuous graviton pulse to eliminate the threat. Of course, the writers were unable to create an opponent of Federation ideology, who was in complete control of her wits, instead Dr. Marr was explained away as suffering from a mental incapacity that forced her actions. A similar cheap plot device was used in "The Drumhead" to dismiss the Jean Simmons investigator character. It's a great weakness of the Trek franchise that Federation ideology is never challenged by fully cognizant, strong characters, acting in good faith. The final scene where Data becomes an echo chamber for Picard's dogmatic Federation propaganda is one of the low points of the entire series.
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Fri, May 20, 2016, 8:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Babel

@Peter - Oh definitely. Just look at how say... the smart phones bite off each other. It's only bad if they jacked the series bible and Trekified it. I can't have an opinion on that though because I never got around to watching B5 and I never worked at Paramount :)
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Fri, May 20, 2016, 8:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host


Nicely put.
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Fri, May 20, 2016, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Finalky, a tng season that doesn't suck. The only thing I didn't like about this episode was Picad's reaction to Crusher bringing the Mintaken on board. Seems a bit harsh...also, maybe don't say "let him die" in front of other patients in sickbay...
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Fri, May 20, 2016, 3:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Warhead

ugh, I didn't like this episode at all. I mean, why did they beam that thing up to voyager in the first place, and then right into engineering?! I mean, they obviously needed that thing up on the ship, but they should have made it a little more believable.

And Janeway again threatening to sacrifice ship and crew in order to save others yaaaawn

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Fri, May 20, 2016, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: The Cloud

I am getting a real kick out of watching VOY episodes interspersed with the contemporary DS9 episodes. Since I know where VOY ends up I don't have any expectations, and I'm taking a fresh look at these episodes after only viewing them once already 20 years ago.

The purpose of VOY, as I now understand it, was never to be fresh or different. Had it been, would it have been a better show? Absolutely. Would it have been better had it paid better attention to continuity details like the number of shuttles/torpedoes/crew members? Definitely; those kinds of elements engage the loyal viewer.

But the purpose of VOY was simply to be more Stark Trek -- indeed, to be mediocre, to be more of the same. That's its downfall, no doubt. But that's all the creators intended: space exploration, new worlds, new civilizations, new adventures, created by the technological future; interpersonal relationships and philosophical dilemmas; aliens with weird customs and challenges to 20th/21st century beliefs; all part of the TNG universe we have come to know and love.

On reviewing VOY after all this time, it's not that bad.

@Tim: "And yes BSG was fine drama. But where was the sense of adventure and fun? Down to 50,000 humans, Cylons always trying to kill us unless they want to occupy our new planet. Yay, we found the Battlestar Pegasus! Oh wait, the captain is a psycho bitch. Down to 45000 humans. Nothing to eat but algae. The first officer is a Cylon? We found Earth! But it's a desolate poisoned planet! Down to 40000 humans! I think we found a new Earth, but we're gonna throw out all our technology and split up into small groups so we can be as helpless as possible. But, by golly, we aren't gonna do any unbelievable story like have the Holodecks running when we can't make coffee "

Haha! Good point!

@John: "So Tuvok calls Kim through his communicator and Kim's communicator registers the words "Tuvok to" before Tuvok even says the word "Kim." How does Kim's comm badge know that Tuvok called him before Tuvok even uses his name? That has always bugged me with these comm badges - they seem to know who's calling whom before the name is even used. Then again, I'm still wondering how the universal translator can fool pre-warp species into thinking that the humans are using their language when their lips should be moving in a very different way. Weird. "

Yeah, that always bothered me too. I can imagine the crew member tapping the badge, saying "Picard to Dr. Crusher," then the computer records that audio and transmits it a second later to the badge of the recipient in the audio message. But instantaneously synched with Tuvok's lips? Eh...

As a linguist, I'm often bothered by the selective usefulness of the universal translator. It's apparent that it's not always on, otherwise we would never hear Klingon.

Marc Okrand, who developed the Klingon language for ST3 (and taught Christopher Lloyd to be to date the best speaker of Klingon!), has a great sense of humor, and in writing The Klingon Dictionary he says how educated Klingons learned English decades ago as a way of distinguishing themselves from the lower classes. This is the in-universe explanation for why, in ST3 and elsewhere, we see Klingons talking amongst *themselves* in English, only to switch to Klingon when shouting orders or the like. So Kes and Neelix are always perfectly translated, but sometimes B'Elanna can be heard to speak actual Klingon?

I guess the universal translator read the script too!
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Peter G.
Fri, May 20, 2016, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Babel

@ Robert,

I've watched both series many times, and there is very obvious lifting from B5 along DS9's run. The series appears to have basically taken its premise, although based on Pillar's comments on a new Star Trek show he does give good reasons why another ship-based show running alongside TNG would have been a mistake. Babel, in particular, is not like any B5 episode so I believe Ben is correct there.

Some of the character arcs even appear to be taken from B5, especially Sisko's arc as compared to that of Sheridan. The occasional plot is also too similar to be a coincidence, even down the level of certain visuals and imagery.

That being said I hold both shows in the highest regard so this isn't a complain on my part. Things like this happen when you have a rival; you watch each other and learn. That's a good thing.
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Fri, May 20, 2016, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Babel

@Ben - The belief is that B5 was pitched to Paramount, who got to see the series bible and made DS9 based on it.

That said, I have no horse in this race, don't know how much detail is in the bible, if anything was really copied, what was a coincidence and I've never seen B5. Just mentioning what the allegations have been.
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Paul F
Fri, May 20, 2016, 1:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

About the Western on the TV;
They could have mentioned that the star, Alan Ladd, is about the sham height as Nog.
Would it have been helpful to have him watch the World War II film "Reach for the Sky" about the pilot Douglas Bader?
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