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Fri, May 19, 2017, 11:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

James. Didn't see your post. Bravo. This man-hating bullshit, and double standards in the media regarding men, has gone too far. It's gotten to the point that being a male (especially a white male) is a crime. This episode isn't even tackling anything gutsy (although it did at least show that the accusations were unfounded, which makes a change), and yet some here are throwing their bile about because the guy wasn't crucified on Seven's word alone. Real lives are destroyed by false accusations. In Britain, we've recently had a scandal involving celebrities having sex with minors - this led to several more total witch hunts that INNOCENT men had to deal with—dragged through the legal system and plastered on the front pages as paedophiles. That's what happens when your justice system and population succumb to that kind of backward way of operating.

There is a reason it's innocent until proven guilty. And it's also about time that Britain protects ALL people from accusations until they have been charged AND found guilty. At the moment, just an accusation leads to people jumping around like mindless barbarians.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 11:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

If the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" appalls them, then there is something seriously wrong with your students.

What's wrong with them is years of indoctrination from media and TV shows that show things from one side of the argument. See my comment above for more.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 11:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

To some of the naysayers here: There are far more deliberate false rape accusations made by women, than there are real rapes. No series I've seen has been willing to explore what happens to a man made to feel like a criminal, doubted by friends and family, forced to go to court - all because of a malicious and lying woman.

Why didn't Trek try tackling that, I WONDER?
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

1) Like Jammer, I can't sign on to the notion that this creature isn't sentient.

The episode doesn't say it isn't. The doctor says he can't detect it, but the Beast hunter disagrees with the doctor entirely. It's left open-ended.

Naomi is a child, and children are both gullible and possessed of intense, simplistic desires.

That's not the point the episode makes. Again, it leaves the jargon and reasoning to your imagination. Perhaps younger people are more immune? Or different species have different immunity? There's no way you can make that line of reasoning on what we are given. But, from what we do get, it's heavily implied that the creature can only trick based on immediate desires, and those desires have to be great in order to be seducing enough to control a person. Naomi does not have any overwhelming desires - and certainly not the mass hysteria of getting back to Earth, which doomed the crew. The episode cleverly shows that even Seven is succumbing to the control when the desire to leave is great. And that's despite her being Borg.

Whichever way you look at it, the writer(s) of this episode spent time thinking about these things. Usually, especially with Voyager, they clearly did not.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 11:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

Also, what others seem to have missed is how the episode asks you to think about reality, and what is or is not real. On how wants can sometimes override logic or reality. Maybe the best parts of this episode are too subtle for most people, but I appreciated it. Especially like Outer Limit type stories, too.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 11:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

There have been seldom few Voyager episodes I have given a 9 to, and fewer still that I felt like giving a 10—but I am sure this one is deserving. It may actually be the most well written Voyager episode. The pacing is perfect, the acting is good (I know the guest star from Babylon 5, where he also did a great job), the story is very good, and the writing is well above average. Apart from some very minor gripes, not worth mentioning, this is a fun and well made caper.

It's made even better by some witty and well thought-out lines:

"This is a sick bay, not an arsenal."
"I am a doctor, not a dragon slayer."
"Oh, he's intelligent all right. Smart enough to fool your crew into taking YOU offline."
"She doesn't want to. They never want to."
"An Ishmael to your Ahab? No, thank you."

and my personal favourite:

-Please state the nature of the medical emergency.
-Your ship is being devoured; I'd say that's an emergency!

Come on, how many good lines do you want in one episode? Especially considering this is Voyager.

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Fri, May 19, 2017, 11:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Race is very much an issue in Sisko's own time. Why else would he and Jake (with one exception) only date and marry black women? You can't make a show that is that racist (too much for Sisko to date a white woman?) and then give us this heavy handed race relations lesson.

I liked this episode when it first aired. Not enough to watch it again. Brooks' over-acting is fine in small doses, but a whole episode featuring him...too much.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Crossfire

I feel so bad for poor old Odo in this, he was properly in the Friendzone, especially when she put his arm around him thanking him for being such a good friend, its like seeing a man stabbed through the heart.

I never understood how Kira didn't have a single inclination that Odo liked her, like she must be incredibly oblivious or just not very bright, especially when Odo removes the belt at the end and cancels their meetings, its like she can't even put two and two together "Hmm I wonder what that was about?".

But the people above saying "Ugh why is Odo not being better at his job?!" - I don't think you fully understand Odo as a character. He's not grown up as a humanoid, he's not had a "girlfriend" when he was a kid, hes not had a "first love" or experienced being broken up with etc like many humans have, so to most of us, seeing your "crush" go out with someone else isn't nice but its not the end of the world and doesn't make us angry but Odo has never had those feelings, he's never had a girlfriend, hes never had love or a relationship and so all these feelings are brand new to him, shes the only woman hes ever felt for and thats why he lashed out and got so distracted.

Think back to your first love, think about how you felt and how you were on top of the world just to see them smile and how strong those feelings were and for those of you not still with your first love, remember the pain you felt, the heartache, the distraction, the constant sadness for a while afterward etc
That's what Odo felt in this episode, except he not only felt that but he had to protect the bloke his love was metaphorically and basically smooching in front of him with right in his face. I don't think people really think about the emotions behind that situation and seem to think everyone is a Vulcan and "must do their duty". This episode shows the difference between Worf and Odo quite well, despite them both being very isolated, duty-driven personalities as Nikolai said to Worf in TNG Homeward "Duty. That's all that really matters to you, isn't it?".

Odo has always been a man of duty, a workaholic who did his job 24/7 with no break except to regenerate in order to be ready for another day of non-stop work, this is the first time we get to see him show that his job isn't his entire life and yet people still aren't satisfied?
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 11:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Honor Among Thieves

1. Why O'Brien in all of the universe?
2. If the Dominion is so keen on keeping knowledge of their involvement out of it, how about not having the Vorta show up with Reimus?

Stupid premise. Someone in the writers' room had an old screenplay lying around and stuck miles in there and made it a Trek episode. At least they knew better than to use Brooks.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 10:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Loud as a Whisper

Some interesting ideas in this episode - Riva speaking with a chorus, even his ideas on negotiating made logical sense to me. But to be honest, this was a boring episode: spent far too much time understanding Riva and his chorus and how he operates, and then his breakdown. I think you really have to appreciate psychological episodes to like "Loud as a Whisper". And I think there are much better psychological episodes in TNG.
For me, the best part of the episode is Data describing sign language to Picard. All that "here is the sun, here is the ocean, here are 2 people walking on the beach..." That was LOL funny. And what was the point of Pulaski saying she can give Geordi his sight back?
Anyhow, at the end I couldn't believe the episode ends with Riva all alone on the planet with an idea to teach both sides sign language after the incident when his chorus got zapped. Highly optimistic in my opinion. I'm with Jammer on that one.
This was just a poorly designed episode that didn't make the best of some interesting ideas. Sounds like an oxymoron but I rate it a strong 1.5 stars out of 4. Perhaps harsh but a lot more bad than good without a doubt IMHO.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

I don't think wormhole aliens are deus ex machina. They are also much less powerful than Q. In this episode, their "power" is actually quite easy to explain: they changed the wormhole to shift Jam-Hadar ships to another time. Assuming the wormhole is a bridge, the aliens just built a branch, that's it. Since they can build wormhole, they can certainly change it. It is just a small step for them.

Of course, this "small step" is a huge help for the alpha quadrant. The wormhole is sealed, and no more Dominion reinforcement can arrive.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Trouble With Tribbles

Wholeheartedly agree with Jammer's review - this episode really shows how very special the original TOS cast was. No Trek series comes close to being able to pull off that charm, humor, the inter-relationships with each one bringing something unique to the table. TOS will always be the best of all Trek series.
The plot is quite well thought out too. That a Klingon agent is uncovered via the tribbles works nicely. They are good for something after all. I also liked the way Spock got under their effect after stroking one and then slowing down his speech in a relaxed way.
The bartender was great - his skepticism/frustration with Cyrano Jones was fun to see. Basically all the supporting actors were excellent in bringing a light-hearted humor - including the Klingons.
I've seen "The Trouble With Tribbles" highly ranked on many TOS episode rankings and can see why. It's a very different kind of episode - it does a vastly superior job of humor than "I, Mudd".
In terms of my rating, it's hard to rate because I don't consider it one of my absolute favorite TOS episodes although it would probably be just outside my top 10-15. But given the writing, acting, clever plot and charm, it's 3.5/4 stars for me.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 4:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Wolf in the Fold

Trek's take on Jack the Ripper is interesting given the enduring mystery about the murders in London. Other shows have also used this piece of history for their own purposes.
Plenty of comments here about sexism - I didn't get the sense of being bombarded with that given the nature of Jack the Ripper's murders and staying true to that story.
I thought the ending was a bit of a letdown when the entity gets into the computer and then goes back into Hengist who was declared dead. The entity possesses the head Argelian but it doesn't do the blackout thing to try and kill somebody and generate terror. It seems to act differently from how it did on the planet.
The murder investigation on the ship was interesting - thought it was acceptable how it led to the entity.
Other than that - pretty much in agreement with Jammer's review here. Could have been a deeper examination of evil. Good episode that I remember from my childhood - not a classic by any means but certainly not one of TOS's duds. "Wolf in the Fold" just gets up to 3 stars our of 4 IMHO.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Obsession

Great episode that combines the portrayal of guilt/obsession and some good, credible action. It's a compelling tale that shows the power of the Big 3 when McCoy/Spock confront Kirk over his obsession. Well written, well executed.
We do get to see Kirk's obsessive side like in "Operation -- Annihilate!" -- it's well-done. And a junior redshirt Garrovick getting to play an important role was good to see for a change - the episode also gives us the chance to understand well his frustration and desire to get things right.
I just question right at the start of the episode - if Kirk's so sure of what he's dealing with and he sends 3 redshirts to go check out the monster, doesn't he realize they will likely get killed? I guess he hopes they get a chance to fire a phaser at it.
And flushing radioactive waste through the ventilation system? Isn't that hazardous to the crew? Does the cloud creature need to be able to travel at high warp?
I did like hearing the Doomsday Machine score at the end - that is classic tune. Really emphasizes the impending danger.
Some very minor nitpicks for a terrific episode - shows how good TOS can be with the Big 3 at their best and compelling contributions from 2ndary actors.
3.5/4 stars for me.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due


It's interesting that you didn't like Marta Dubois' work here but, although it's your lead-in, you never explain why. Where did the actress underperform? What actress do you think could've played this part better? Or is that you just don't like the character of Ardra and aren't really taking performances into consideration?
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 2:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Deadly Years

I thought this was a poignant episode - the aging was well acted. Kirk's aging reminded me of how Brando talked in the Godfather Part I. His mannerisms as an old man were great.
I agree with Cyaptain Kyirk's comments and must say Jammer's review and rating are off the mark.
The pacing is a bit slow at times and going over Kirk's incompetence in the hearing could have been sped up - but the counter-argument is to show (albeit in an exaggerated way) the challenges of dealing with the elderly.
The issue I have is Stocker taking command and going straight into the Neutral Zone. He should know better.
Kirks' corbomite maneuver is clever but shouldn't the ship have suffered heavy damage and had the warp engines affected? Instead they're able to reach warp 8 immediately.
Also - sort of like in "Operation -- Annihilate" - the crew miss the obvious for the cure until it's almost too late. Chekov's adrenalin ramping up because of his fright and the light from the Denevan sun killing the parasites - both should have been obvious.
But these are relatively minor nitpicks in what is a good episode. For me 3 stars out of 4.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

Contrary to some other commentators, I have to say that I really disliked the actress who played Ardra.

She's the reason why this episode drops to one star. Otherwise, it could have been two, because the main topic is relevant. To see Picard be the voice of reason against superstitious beliefs is always a good thing. The story on the Holodeck, with Ebenezer Scrooge who complained that he couldn't trust his senses and therefore ghosts couldn't be real, framed the episode nicely.

However, Ardra was difficult to stand. Her decision to claim the Enterprise AND Picard for herself rather than letting them go did a lot of damage to the episode. It's obvious that the story was originally written to be on TOS, as has been pointed out, because it would normally be Kirk that every alien woman goes crazy over. The problem is, what was even her plan? How was she expecting to get away with seizing the flagship of the federation? Such nonsense. The stupidity of the Ventaxians bothered me, too, but it was kind of necessary for this episode to work.

I found this woman to be dull, ordinary and repulsive. She was just annoying me every time when she opened her mouth, and her idea to seize the Enterprise and Picard made things even dumber. Was Picard attracted to her for even a moment? No, and that is the only consolation. Patrick Steward made his dislike very clear through his acting towards her. Kirk may have been swayed, for a moment, and I would have been sickened by it. Luckily, this is TNG.
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Peter G.
Fri, May 19, 2017, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

"The assassins in Star Trek VI were killed with "phasers on stun at close range" and they had clearly been shot in the head."

Oh - I had forgotten that! Thanks for the reminder. According to Memory Alpha, Starfleet type-II phasors have 16 settings, so "stun" is likely a verbal approximation for a specific range of lower settings. Here's Memory Alpha's rundown of specific phasor strengths, as mentioned in various episodes:

"Level one: lowest setting, Light Stun, capable of stunning most base humanoids for approximately five minutes. According to Starfleet regulations all phasers must be stored at this setting. Possesses enough force to break large urns. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual; TNG: "Aquiel"; TAS: "The Lorelei Signal")

Level seven: Capable of vaporizing noranium carbide alloy. (TNG: "The Vengeance Factor")

Level ten: Kill setting, capable of killing a biological organism. (TNG: "Aquiel")

Level sixteen: Capable of vaporizing rock to widen an opening in a lava tube partially blocked by rubble, or blowing large holes in walls. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part I", "Frame of Mind")"

Based on this it would appear that 'heavy stun' would probably be in the 3-7 or 3-8 range, if level 7 can already vaporize certain materials, and depending on how durable the hide/exoskeleton of a given life form is. Level 7-8 might kill a more fragile entity, while 10 probably means it will kill the majority of life forms.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

Fun fact: The assassins in Star Trek VI were killed with "phasers on stun at close range" and they had clearly been shot in the head. So apparently a stun setting can kill in the right circumstances. Or maybe, more likely, these things are just at the convenience of the plot du jour.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 10:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Agree with Luke's comment about it being easier to talk at length about an episode you don't like. Although if I find myself at a loss for words when I eventually review something like DS9's 'The Visitor' I'll know for sure.

I can't quite join the 'best TNG' or 'Top 10 Trek' episodes bandwagon. The real stand-out episodes of any season, for me at least, usually have some very personal, character-driven stories or drama, which nonetheless qualify as SF. This steers close with Jarok, but doesn't quite possess whatever enables that emotional charge. For me at least.

Ironically the problem could probably have been solved if we were able to develop more empathy for Jarok early on, and the obvious way to enable this would be for us to knowm from the outset, that he is on the level. Unfortunately this would completely disarm the main device of the plot. Anyway as a well-plotted and tense thriller this is close to the top of its class.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 9:59am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

When I first saw the Gatherer leader I was sure it was Robbie Coltrane.

On the 'why the hell did Riker have to kill Yuta' thing, I noticed a couple of episodes later the order is given to set phasers to 'maximum stun', and the LEDs lit up exactly the same way. So unless Riker switched from 'stun' to 'kill' with a separate switch, and there are various degrees of 'kill' as well, the phaser was really on maximum stun, and I guess Yuta just vaporized due to a misunderstanding.

This is as good a time as any to have this out (and I can't imagine it hasn't been done elsewhere on this site): I've long had a problem with this simplistic stun/kill option on phasers (well, ok, they apparently have degrees of 'stun' (and possibly degrees of 'kill'?)), but you rarely hear anyone ordered to differentiate between settings other than stun vs kill. How many individuals with epilepsy, pacemakers, cardiac problems of any sort, or any number of unpredictable medical conditions have been 'stunned' with no effect other than being rendered briefly unconscious (which in itself ought to have more serious and unpredictable effects than it apparently does)? Someone can probably explain to me exactly what sort of energy these things deploy, but at 'stun' they seem to basically be Tasers on steroids (Phaser/Taser - surely a coincidence).

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Fri, May 19, 2017, 9:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Price

*minor future series spoiler*

BTW is what Troi gets up to in this episode (among others) essentially different to what Harry Kim practically gets crucified for in an ep of VOY? I thought that Kirk had established, and Troi (and perhaps Riker) had cemented that if it's sentient and bipedal it's all good. Should probably have said this in the appropriate Voyager review, but I wasn't reviewing while watching that series. Anyway this is more or less contemporaneous with Voyager, so I don't get the difference, unless there's a different rulebook for first contact species, which would make the Delta Quadrant even more difficult.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

I wrote


I do appreciate the irony of this typo.
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 9:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers


"They could call it a Directive of some kind... "

Like the 'Stop it - or they'll end up using it in a feature film" directive?
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Fri, May 19, 2017, 9:02am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: North Star

It’s a mystery of the sort found on TOS. Kirk, I mean Archer, finds an earth-like planet inhabited by humans of the Wild West era, oppressing an alien race. Archer learns that nearly 300 years before, the alien race had abducted humans from Earth and brought them to this planet for slave labor. Somehow the humans defeated the technologically superior aliens and now oppresses them. No signs remain of the alien superior technology, except for a wrecked spaceship. After defeating the aliens, the humans have not progressed a bit in the 300 years: Their technology remains 6-shooters and horse transportation. I guess horses had also been abducted. The Wild West weapons don’t look 300 years old, so the humans must be able to manufacturer them …

Or maybe I’m thinking too much. There’s the obligatory checklist: Archer is imprisoned in jail, Archer gets into fist fights, Archer spends time with the pretty guest star, Archer makes a speech about tolerance.

There was a fun moment when, during the battle, a Wild West dude grabs T’Pol and uses her as a shield. Reed barely hesitates before shooting T’Pol with a phaser. She falls unconscious leaving the guy who’d grabbed her exposed and easily dealt with. Wait, aren't Vulcans suppose to be stronger and faster than humans? Nevermind. Two stars feels about right.
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