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Jonn Walsh - Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 11:03pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Never cared for this one....
At one point Present Picard requests Deanna remain in sickbay, with Future Picard under her observation. Only moments after Present Picard departs sickbay, Deanna has a disagreement with Pulaski and what does she do?
She leaves sickbay!! (defying a direct order)! Doesn't really matter though....after that, Present Picard never asks Troi anything about this observation of Future Picard.

Picard KILLED his future self? What? Awful episode.

@ Jack re: "your father liked to cook?"
I always heard this as Pulaski, to herself, finishing the thought with something like, "the bastard never even made a slice of toast for me!", or "I knew that arrogant pr**k was keeping secrets"....Perhaps ol' Kyle hid this idiosyncrasy so that Dr. Kate would handle all of the culinary responsibilities. He was, after all, characterized as arrogant, secretive and manipulative. And a tad chauvinistic....Actually, I rather enjoyed this as a positive continuity point, not the opposite.
All in all though, this episode is a heavy slab of dead weight.
Vii - Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 8:48pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Penumbra

Damar: "No of course it doesn't."
Easily the best line in this episode.
Shannon - Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 6:28pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: The Forgotten

... and one other point to make, Berman was relentless in casting blame on UPN for not promoting the show which he claims led to viewers not being able to find the show. Bullsh*t!!! Check the ratings for the pilot "Broken Bow" and you'll see that 12.5 million viewers watched it. And an average of 9.8 million viewers watched the first few episodes. So Berman was excuse-making instead of facing the reality that he was producing a bad show. Pity!
Shannon - Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 6:25pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: The Forgotten

Couldn't agree more that these last 3 episodes are some of the best work Enterprise had produced in it's nearly 3 year run at that point. Great writing, great acting, great directing, riveting plot advancement, and so much more... Some of the earlier episodes that were criticized now don't seem so bad, as they were necessary plot advancement tools needed later in the season... As for the series, unfortunately by this point they had lost too much of their audience thanks to Braga and Berman monopolizing all of the story-telling in the first season with bland and some cases downright stupid episodes. Where is Harve Bennett when you need him!?
Hal Berstram - Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 6:01pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

OK - I'll probably be certified and locked up for saying this but for sheer flat-out gonzo entertainment value this is one of the best episodes of Voyager, maybe one of the best episodes of any of the Trek franchises. I'd give it 3.5 stars, docking half a star for implausibility. But if we're going to start knocking points off for implausibility maybe we have to just score EVERY episode at zero stars because the way the ship gets knocked about and roughed up pretty much every episode and is then back to a pristine brand-new state next week is actually just as implausible as anything on offer here. Some good performances and a plot that definitely isn't run of the mill "spatial anomalies" or the usual techy plots. For me this was a winner.
Supplemental note:Note the warp factors used in TOS and in TNG are not comparable. When TNG started Roddenberry apparently decided that Warp 10 should be the absolute maximum speed and so the warp factor would asymptotically approach 10 for faster and faster velocities. Hence we hear in "Caretaker" that Voyager's max speed is Warp 9.975 or some such. I have to say this asymptotic warp scale strikes me as ludicrous - presumably by the year 3000 they are all travelling at warp 9.9999999 or some nonsense - but that's the way it is.
The idea of the warp 10 shuttle being everywhere in physical space in the universe at the same time is obviously ludicrous - for one thing it would annihilate all other matter. It makes more sense if it is somehow outside space entirely (as is supposed to be the case with standard warp speeds) - perhaps in another dimension. But in terms of basic entertainment "Threshold" delivers.
Where I do agree with Jammer is that there's no obvious reason they couldn't have used warp 10 and modified the Voyager engines to get home instantaneously if the doctor's antiproton treatment works. So it would have been best if this had been the series finale and then the end was Voyager turning up in the Alpha Quadrant, a search and rescue ship being sent to intercept them, the rescue team beaming onto Voyager and finding 150 giant slugs with only the Doc able to explain what happened. What a way to end it!
Brian S. - Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 5:48pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols

So, remembering back to the series pilot episode "Emissary" when Sisko explains the concepts of linear time, death, and procreation to the Prophets.....it would seem they already know all about those things.

Personally, I found this plot twist very disappointing. Sisko's decisions and actions with regard to Bajor and the Prophets seemed far more meaningful when they were just those of a human interacting freely. Now that we know his entire existence is just a byproduct of Prophet manipulation, all of his current and past behaviors are viewed as being those of a baby Prophet rather than a human Starfleet officer.

Later in the season, they make a big deal about Sisko building a home on Bajor. And that would be a big deal, if Sisko were a human. But essentially he's not. He's half Prophet. His entire existence was conceived for the purposes of serving the Prophets and defeating the Paghwraiths. The Prophets are his family. Looking back over the series, it makes his acceptance of the Emissary role more of a pre-ordained inevitability than a conscious choice. Sisko's willingness to let go of his son Jake in "The Reckoning" now makes it look less like a leap of faith and more like something he was just supposed to do.


@Phillip: I hadn't thought of it that way before, but you are totally right. Sisko is a Prophet rape baby.
DLPB - Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 1:54pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BaGWg7Lh74

He also doesn't seem bad to me. Seems like someone who is sick of leftist fascists and apologists. Nice to see a guy who cares and who lives in the real world.

A lot of hollywood is the way it is because those people never have to live in places with crime and so on. Deluded, self hating , appeasing leftists.
DLPB - Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 1:48pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

I regret learning that Dwight Schultz is a wacko conspiracy believing tea bagger nutjob. I can't enjoy the Barclay episodes now.

-----------

Shame that your left-leaning, tolerance for all Trek mantra doesn't seem to extend to those you disagree with. Funny that.
DLPB - Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 1:38pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Genesis

What you are asking me and others to do, Shannon, is shut off our brains and accept bad writing. Criticizing people for having higher standards is plain stupid. And no, I won't stop "taking it so damn seriously". Doing that means we are in for more lamely written episodes.

Some of us want more than that, even if you don't.
Icarus32Soar - Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 3:50am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Life Support

Vedek Bareil a weak character played by a poor actor? Nuts! Bareil has quiet inner moral strength and acts on principle and out of pure motivation, sacrificing his own career for the greater good as he sees it. Gene would have been proud of this character had he lived to see him.He is far closer to Gene's vision of a benign future than the cartoonish action men, the typical two-dimensional federation officers spawned by the much vaunted academy.He has moral layers that satisfy.
Anglim plays him with an admirable understated dignity that is never brash and in your face. I love all Star Trek but killing off Bareil in this episode and Kes in Voyager has been unforgivable. It shows writers unwilling to take a risk and develop characters that are outside the square. PITY!
Icarus32Soar - Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 3:37am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Fascination

Yeah, Keiko was always a bad idea that should have been nipped in the bud, but for the rest of it, you guys literally missed the point of this episode. It's a spoof of Midsummer Night's Dream. Magic dust and mischievous fairies, in this case the gorgeous stupendous magnificent Majel, mistaken identities and everyone falling for the most improbable person, I was in 5 minutes into the episode. It surprises me how often Star Trek fans of all series loathe certain episodes because they can't identify the allusions these episodes make to other elements of western English speaking culture. It is one of the great strengths of the whole Star Trek that it does this.
Justin - Tue, Feb 24, 2015, 11:29pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: The Way of the Warrior

lol the Romulans look like sofas. Yup. Badly upholstered ones...
Shannon - Tue, Feb 24, 2015, 10:26pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Damage

Hands down one of the best episodes of the series, and quite possibly a top 10 episode across all of the Trek series. This had everything I was hoping to see this season given the nature of their mission, drama, suspense, ethical questions, taking the characters to a dark place, and downright gritty action sequences... Regarding some of the comments about Jolene Blalock, I don't give a damn if she didn't like where the writers took the character... the last time I checked Jolene was simply an actress and not a writer, and we should all be thankful for that. This was brilliant writing, and it gave her the opportunity to take the character from being a monotone robot to something actually interesting... Anyway, I agree with the 4 star rating. Jammer was spot on in his review!
Hal Berstram - Tue, Feb 24, 2015, 5:15pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S2: Prototype

If you can get past the ludicrous conceit that the Voyager crew would try to resuscitate an artificial life form they know absolutely *zilcho* about (Tuvok's "this is a security risk - understatement of the century!) then this was actually a good episode - maybe 3 stars. The robots looked reassuringly "Buck Rogers" - I kept expecting that little guy who went "biddledediddledediddlededeee" to pop his head round the door (Tweaky, was it?) one thing this episode proves is that the writers of "Nemesis" never watched Voyager. Mr Data is alive and well several decades after TNG in this timeline...
Thrackerzod - Tue, Feb 24, 2015, 4:04pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: The Swarm

One thing that bugged me is how Zimmerman said his program would no longer exist after the procedure. Is there some reason that they cannot make copies of programs in the future? I could do it with floppy disks decades ago but for some reason they can't make a backup copy of a holodeck program. *shrug*
El Treko - Tue, Feb 24, 2015, 12:14pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Second Skin

Garak says to Bashir: "but aside from our brief excursion to Bajor, I don't think I've been off this station in nearly three years." He was referring to the episode "Cardassians". But didn't he leave the station during the evacuation in "The Siege", just a few episodes before "Cardassians"?
Yanks - Tue, Feb 24, 2015, 10:16am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

Brian S. - Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 8:11pm (USA Central)

Wow, amazing post!

Thanks.
Jen - Tue, Feb 24, 2015, 9:56am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S1: Cathexis

I agree with Skeptical. The potential was there for a good episode. Having two body jumpers was unique. However, having one of them be Chakotay was problematic for the reasons everyone already stated.

There were a couple of entertaining moments - when Harry was only daydreaming but everyone jumped up and looked like they were going to give him a beat down because they thought he was inhabited by the alien and when Tuvok shot at the bridge crew were good moments.

I also agree that the crew's reactions should have had more of a focus. I think there should have been more paranoia.

I am also mystified as to why the writers on Voyager seem to overlook REALLY big plot holes. Don't get me wrong, every series is going to have stories that don't work, but Voyager's writers seem to be the worst. Why can't Chakotay warn the crew? Who knows. I'm unclear as to why this wasn't the first question asked in the writer's room.
Shannon - Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 9:19pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Genesis

Good grief, people, stop taking episodes like this so damn seriously! The plot was a bit ludicrous, I agree, but it was a rather entertaining episode. I really don't care how DNA works, it's not like transporters will ever be a viable technology, so give it rest already... 2.5 stars
Brian S. - Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 8:20pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

Some excerpts From Memory Alpha that I think address some of the criticisms posted here:

-According to Ira Steven Behr, "I felt that we needed to do it. War sucks. War is intolerable. War is painful, and good people die. You win, but you still lose. And we needed to show that as uncompromisingly as possible. War isn't just exploding ships and special effects."


-The writers specifically chose Nog, Ezri, Quark, and Bashir as the central characters for this episode because they had the least fighting experience. Characters like Kira, Worf, and O'Brien were purposely left out of the fighting, as they all had combat experience and knew how to handle themselves in such a situation. The writers, however, were more keen on seeing the reactions of people who didn't know how to handle themselves.

-Director Winrich Kolbe had fought in the Vietnam War, and he allowed his knowledge of combat to influence his direction of the episode; "The images you see are trenches of churned-up dirt. The battleground always looked like there was absolutely nothing there that anyone could ever want. Yet people were blowing each other to smithereens over this land. I wanted AR-558 to be that type of battleground, a totally nondescript piece of real estate that didn't deserve one drop of blood to be shed for it. It shouldn't say anything to the eye or the mind except that we were there because somebody had decided to put a relay station on this rock." Kolbe goes on to say, "We wanted the siege scene in "AR-558" to convey the psychological impact, and not come across like a shoot-em-up. What I remember from Vietnam is sitting in a ditch somewhere and waiting. It's the waiting that drives you nuts. You know they're coming. You can hear them. You can feel them. When you have to wait, your mind plays tricks on you, and you hear things and you see things, like Vargas, who's about to explode. Once the battle starts, your adrenaline kicks in and you have an objective. But when you have to wait, time just slows down to a crawl." Kolbe felt that the battle for AR-558 had a great deal of similarity with the 1968 Battle of Khe Sanh, a battle which was won by the Americans, but the strategic significance of which is still debated to this day.
Brian S. - Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 8:11pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

@WCrusher: "This is where ST really started to tank...
The same pro-military, anti-trek issues dogging this ep as did on much of ENT. Nog has been completely brainwashed by military dogma. And everyone is ok with it?"


This episode doesn't strike me as pro or anti-military.

To whatever degree you believe (like Quark) that the Federation never should've gotten involved in this war, the fact is they are in the middle of a war. Wars involve soldiers. And as Star Trek episodes go, this episode comes the closest to capturing both the dark brutal reality of what soldiers are asked to do and the costs they must pay (physically and mentally).

What bothers me the most about Star Trek is the hidden antiseptic way that skirmishes, battles, and even entire wars are fought. Wars are fought safely off-screen by faceless soldiers/victims that are never shown and whom we never care about. When battles are fought by the Enterprise or Defiant or whatever other Starfleet ship is involved almost always win. Entire colonies might be destroyed, entire fleets might be wiped out, but all the people we care about always survive. Even when Spock dies at the end of Wrath of Khan, Kirk risks his career and life to get his best friend back (no such sacrifice is attempted for any of the other trainees killed in that battle though).

Heck, the entire joke about the "Red Shirts" in Star Trek revolves around the idea that somebody has to die to make the plot remotely believable or dangerous, but never anybody we know or care about. Dozens of Red Shirts die forgettably or unheralded in conflicts while the main characters chuckle and make wisecracks

To me, this too conveniently parallels how wars are fought in our present-day world. Battles go on every day, but they are fought on what might as well be a foreign planet by nameless faceless "Red Shirt" soldiers whose stories we will never hear or care about because they don't directly affect us. Oh sure, many of us do empathize and even respect the sacrifices they make in a general human way, but since it's not us or people we have a direct connection to, it's not the same. It's why 1730 people are killed in one light week, yet DS9 fans only get worked up over the death of one Jadzia and the injury to one Nog.

For my money, this is the episode among all others that brings the plight of the Red Shirt (and to a certain extent, our own military) into better perspective. War is not pretty. It isn't always fought by balding Shakespearean actors in a plush command center ordering someone to press a button which fires an energy beam which instantly/painlessly kills a thousand people. Victims (on both sides) are not just plot devices involving nameless characters that nobody directly cares about.

In the TOS episode "Arena," over 500 Federation Colonists are killed by the Gorn, along with several Enterprise Red Shirts....and all anyone can talk about is the cheesy costume worn by the actor portraying the Gorn. 500+ Federation citizens died in the conflict of an episode has become quintessential part of Star Trek lore as mostly a joke. DS9 shows an episode where maybe a dozen officers get killed in conflict in addition to the 107 killed prior to the beginning of the episode, and this is supposed to be the poster child for this series being anti-Trek/anti-Roddenberry. The only difference between the two episodes (aside from the 400 fewer characters killed at AR-558) is that one episode showed the brutality and attempted to make you feel pain for the victims and the survivors, while the other sloughed off the widespread death and destruction as a forgettable afterthought.

If Star Trek's "Utopian" vision is simply defined by ignoring or not caring about the horrors of the world/galaxy, then that's not a universe I wish to ever live in.
Vii - Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 7:51pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: The Way of the Warrior

When Garak or Dukat are onscreen, this show CRACKLES.

----

I'm probably replying to this comment 4 years too late, but I have to concur utterly with your sentiments. I fell in love with DS9 the very first time I watched it, but upon my second and third viewings, the only episodes I felt like watching were the Garak centric episodes, and Dukat before he started all that Pahwraith nonsense. The Cardassian-Dominion arcs in the last season, especially, were the cherries atop of a fabulous cake, and introduced another superb Cardassian, Damar.

It's almost as if all the genius from the writers, when it came to constructing species and characters in ST, went into these few Cardassian characters and actually the whole Cardassian race as a whole. The only other alien species that comes close to the development of Cardassians is probably the Borg, but in a different way. As some others have pointed out, the inconsistencies of Klingons weakened their credibility, and the same actually goes for Romulans, whom to me always seemed like plot-device villains that looked like sofas. The Ferengi and the Breen were a joke, and the Vulcans were too one-dimensional to be truly compelling - in a nutshell, they're logical, emotionless and suffer from pon farr, which makes for episode B plots when the writers can't come up with anything else. But the Cardassians were passionate, slimey, devious, sincere, and perhaps redeemed. You rooted for them, you sometimes wanted their guts, but you couldn't stop following their storyline and inexplicably caring about them.

I think one reason they were so good is because Marc Alaimo, Andrew Robinson and Casey Biggs threw themselves so completely into their roles. They really relate to their characters and put themselves in their mindsets. Robinson kept a diary whilst filming DS9, of his thoughts as Garak, and later published it as a novel. They all believed in their characters and their motivations - to the point that I think Nana Visitor even once stated that she had a hard time separating Marc Alaimo from his character, and doesn't like talking to him. That speaks volumes about their dedications to their characters.
Brian S. - Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 4:03pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

To be fair to Uhura and Chekov, my wife is 35 years old, has lived here in the Bay Area her entire life....and SHE doesn't know where Alameda is either.

And even if you know where Alameda is, that doesn't mean you necessarily know where the naval base is or how to get there without a car. Which is why they were asking for directions on where it is and how to get there.

The bigger moron in that scene was the clueless lady who "helped" them. Chekov asked where the Naval Base in Alameda was, and her response was to say, "I think it's across the Bay, in Alameda." That's like someone asking me where Golden Gate Park in San Francisco is, and me telling them "I think it's in San Francisco."
Peter - Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 3:47pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Suddenly Human

I agree with Jammer's 2-star rating on this episode, which was one of the weaker ones in this season.

On the child abuse issue, I'm inclined to go with what seems to have been the writer's intention: that Jeremiah/Jono was not in fact physically abused by his adoptive father. This is a fictional story, after all, so there is no larger truth to uncover beyond the one the writers put in the script.

That said, the episode does raise an interesting question of how to judge an alien cultural practice (a military officer's kidnapping of an enemy's orphaned son to replace his own dead child) but then seems to fumble the handling of this complex subject with a very pat and arbitrary answer.

Even to our relatively "unenlightened" 21st-century sensibilities, spiriting away an orphan child whose civilian parents one has just killed in war is only compounding the wrong that was committed - regardless of whether or not a nurturing environment was subsequently provided for the kid. That said, forcibly returning said kid to his original culture after 12+ years of acclimation would also not have been a solution without any downside.

It seems to me that Picard was caught between a rock and hard place here, and his seemingly arbitrary and single-handed decision to send the kid back is not characteristic of his usual careful deliberations.

That said, my biggest complaints with this episode were that: 1) Troi more or less forces Picard to take the boy under his wing when the obvious choice would be Worf; 2) no mention is made of any communication between Picard and the admiral/grandparent before the final decision (which makes me wonder that Picard didn't end up taking the Earth job from "Family" subsequent to his being drummed out of Starfleet!); and 3) there is no reference to the boy's ability to continue rediscovering his human roots and potentially growing up to become some kind of cross-cultural ambassador.
Yanks - Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 1:53pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Dave in NC - Amen, well stated. Someone has to stop this out of control spending and real in the Patriot Act.

Brian S. - "WTF" aye. I thought the same thing during this episode. It just doesn't make sense.

"But in the end, Sisko re-commits himself to Starfleet...because something? Plot maybe? Perhaps contractual obligation with the corporeal beings at Paramount Studios?"

lol ... perfect.

MsV - Politics is a big part of DS9. (it's actually prevalent throughout all trek) Your insight makes Avery's performance more palatable. Thanks. Your opinion of his acting throughout the series is just that, your opinion though :-)
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