Comments on Jammer's Reviews RSS feed for comments posted on Jammer's Reviews en-us Fri, 22 May 2015 12:24:06 PDT Comment by Elliott on TNG S2: Peak Performance While I concur fully with AndysFriend, one does not need even to go as far in this case to wipe the "childish" argument off the table. SFDebris himself brought up Riker's point about combat skill being a "minor province" in the makeup of a Starfleet officer. He (SFD) used himself as an example where he mentioned that as a teacher, he was required to be licensed in CPR even though he never had to use those skills. Now, it may be essential that a teacher be a competent nurse when an extreme situation requires it, but is that teacher now a nurse? Of course not! Because his primary mission is to teach, even if that mission requires mastering tangentially related skills. Starfleet is an organisation which is military-capable when the need for military action arises. A real military is an organisation whose primary mission is military action--securing, defending and/or expanding the sovereignty of its nation. Starfleet's mission is exploration. The point is the Federation does not believe in supporting a branch whose exclusive purpose is military action because the goals of any such organisation undermine the principles of its government. Practical contingency requires that the Federation be able to defend itself when the time requires it and Starfleet is the logical body to execute this contingency, just as your cellar might be the best place to hide during a tornado, but it is not therefore defined as a tornado shelter. It's your cellar where you keep your tools and your wine and, occasionally, hide from the storm. Comments Fri, 22 May 2015 12:24:06 PDT Elliott Comment by Seven Of Nine on DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind "I mean compared to Terry Farrell isn't just about everyone tinier and uglier?" We believe otherwise. Comments Fri, 22 May 2015 10:39:03 PDT Seven Of Nine Comment by Chris L on TNG S7: Homeward I TOTALLY agree Steve! WTH is the point of a Prime Directive that allows entire species to die off? Stupid in the extreme! I didn't mind the episode as entertainment, but I really got hung up about the PD in this case and I'm irritated through the entire show because of the nonsensical nature of it's interpretation. Like Jammer said originally... Beam the entire lot into space... Comments Fri, 22 May 2015 10:31:13 PDT Chris L Comment by Del_Duio on DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind ^^ "It should be noted that she was tiny and uglier too, which doesn't help the cause" ^^ Hahaha, oh come on you had some good points but you had to say this? I mean compared to Terry Farrell isn't just about everyone tinier and uglier? The best actors of the main cast are for sure Odo and Quark, then next tier I'd say go to Kira and O'Brien / Julian. As far as the secondary cast goes though, they were pretty much batting 1000 there. Garak, Dukat, Weyoun, Martok, Winn, Damar, Leeta.. No, not Leeta just kidding! She's super nice in person and goes way out of her way for Trek fans but she doesn't belong in that sentence. Comments Fri, 22 May 2015 09:42:36 PDT Del_Duio Comment by Robert on TNG S1: Encounter at Farpoint Anytime she wears rank insignia before the S7 episode she's a Lt. Commander. Therefore Picard was correct and Riker was not. It's acceptable to refer to a Lt. Commander as "Commander". It's not acceptable to refer to her as "Lieutenant." Comments Fri, 22 May 2015 05:09:15 PDT Robert Comment by Tim on TNG S1: Encounter at Farpoint Did anyone notice how Picard addressed Troi as "Commander" and then later Riker addressed her as "Lieutentant"? She got a Commander rank in Season 7, but before that I never heard any mention of her having an official rank (other than in this episode). Comments Fri, 22 May 2015 02:10:31 PDT Tim Comment by zzybaloobah on BSG S4: Six of One I second the comment about the interaction between Adama and Roslin.... it's so touching. That and the scene a couple of eps. back where Laura calls Bill asking him to order her out of bed. They've become like the old married couple without ever being the married couple. It's been so subdued and so well done. Comments Fri, 22 May 2015 00:18:58 PDT zzybaloobah Comment by zzybaloobah on BSG S4: He That Believeth in Me Regarding the Baltar worship "making no sense." Can one even say (regarding an aspect of BSG) "this makes no sense" with a straight face? God (aka the writers) want it so. Not all the characters have descended into the cesspool. I trust Athena *completely*. Who's not human, but who's counting. And while the show had religious themes from the beginning, there's a big difference: Initially, religious belief was a huge part, but direct intervention by "God/the gods" was not. The first "miracle" was "The Hand of God" -- and the simplest explanation at that time was that Baltar was a sleeper Cylon. "Kobol's Last Gleaming" started to have more "miraculous" elements, but it wasnt' until Season 3 that we started seeing the miracle-of-the-week. Comments Fri, 22 May 2015 00:06:26 PDT zzybaloobah Comment by Andy's Friend on TNG S2: Peak Performance @Luke” "Picard's line that Starfleet is not a military organization just bugs the hell out of me. [...] We have an episode here that is about improving combat tactics for people who aren't in the military? " @Grumpy: “[...] just assume Picard is an unreliable narrator. This, and his pronouncements about the Federation economy, are his opinions, not shared by all”. I'll let the good captain himself answer: PICARD: That's what this is all about. A lot has changed in the past three hundred years. [...] [“The Neutral Zone”] The thing is, Luke and Grumpy, you’re looking at it from a purely 20th century perspective. To *you*, *today*, it may seem that if an organization has armed vessels, uses a classic naval hierarchy, and conducts exercises meant to improve defensive capabilities, that organization must by definition be military. It makes perfect sense to think that today, because such is the reality today. But in a future in three hundred years, that may perfectly well not be the case. The absolutely wonderful thing about Star Trek, and particularly TNG, is that it tells the story of a future which is not merely a continuation of the reality of today with improved technology, but actually with improved mentality as well. You can claim that this is a Utopia. As I have written elsewhere here, it is clearly the way the Western world is heading, though. The trend is undeniable, unless one has no historical perspective whatsoever. Try comparing 2015 to 1915, and to 1815. In 1815, the thought of many of the phenomena we observe, tolerate, respect, and protect in our societies two hundred years later would abhorr most, and be considered immoral by virtually anyone; only an infinitesimal fraction of progressive-minded people would even consider them as utopian. Two hundred years later, it’s increasingly becoming our commonplace reality. The vast majority of people from 1815 would consider people in distant 2015 living the way we do immoral. Take a look at yourselves: do you consider yourselves to be immoral? Just like many people today seem to consider Starfleet in the distant 24th century military... It is absolutely clear in TNG that Starfleet does not perceive itself as a military organization. That is what matters, not your perception of things. And it’s not just Picard as “an unreliable narrator”, as Grumpy suggests. Let’s hear it from the droid: DATA: Welcome to the Enterprise, Ishara. I am Commander Data. ISHARA: You're not human. DATA: I am an android. (Ishara glances at him.) ISHARA: Built for fighting...? DATA (reacts): On what do you base that assumption? ISHARA: A cybernetic device serving on a starship... DATA: The Enterprise is not a ship of war. It is a ship of exploration. [“Legacy”] This can only be a statement of fact, based on what Starfleet thinks of itself in the 24th century: it is an organization of science, and diplomacy. People really, really, really have to open up their minds, and stop applying anachronistic concepts to a future reality that is clearly depicted as being different. You simply have to step out of your reality. Here’s an example of what I mean: CLEMENS: Oh? Well, I'm not so impressed with this future. Huge starships, and weapons that can no doubt destroy entire cities, and military conquest as a way of life? TROI: Is that what you see here? CLEMENS: Well, I know what you say, that this is a vessel of exploration and that your mission is to discover new worlds. That's what the Spanish said. And the Dutch and the Portuguese. It's what all conquerors say. [...] CLEMENS: Young lady, I come from a time when men achieve power and wealth by standing on the backs of the poor, where prejudice and intolerance are commonplace and power is an end unto itself. And you're telling me that isn't how it is anymore? TROI: That's right. CLEMENS: Well, maybe it's worth giving up cigars for after all. [“Time’s Arrow, Part II”] It doesn't get much clearer than this wonderful quote: it just isn't how it is anymore. A lot has changed in those three hundred years. So in the end, we’re back in “The Neutral Zone”: PICARD: This is the twenty fourth century. Material needs no longer exist. RALPH: Then what's the challenge? PICARD: The challenge, Mister Offenhouse, is to improve yourself. To enrich yourself. Enjoy it. Comments Fri, 22 May 2015 00:04:08 PDT Andy's Friend Comment by Susie on TNG S6: Schisms Why is Picard leaning in so intimately with a woman during the poetry reading? I thought he didn't date on the ship. Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 23:59:09 PDT Susie Comment by eastwest101 on ENT S3: Similitude At least they were trying to do something a bit different and original. A few scientific/logical flaws but the whole thing was saved by reasonable acting and other strengths highlighted by John Gs comments above. More of a success than a failure for me, maybe even 3 out of four stars. Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 21:35:35 PDT eastwest101 Comment by eastwest101 on ENT S3: North Star When this started I thought: "Gee - I wonder what they will do once they go through all the western cliches of the 'hangins', possies, saving the schoolteacher, jailbreaks, bar fight/standoffs and shootouts?" Answer: Nothing at all. A hackneyed revisit of every cliche in the book of how to make a western without any humour, risk, intelligence or imagination. Zero stars. Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 21:30:51 PDT eastwest101 Comment by sticky steve on TNG S7: Attached what an utter bore captain picard is. 1 and 2 season of tng is true star trek, the remainder is commercial filler. That is all. Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 17:31:27 PDT sticky steve Comment by Yanks on ENT S2: Dead Stop Agree Gil. This is a GREAT Star Trek episode; not just Enterprise. Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 14:39:32 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on TNG S2: Shades of Gray Great point Robert. But, DS9 did MUCH better with 'Duet' for sure. :-) Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 14:32:26 PDT Yanks Comment by Robert on TNG S2: Shades of Gray While this was awful, it served a purpose. It was the price paid for the Borg budget in "Q Who". That said... when DS9 ran out of money they made "Duet".... But regardless, this cheaply made piece of trash was the price they paid for blowing the budget on the Borg ripping a slice out of the ship. Totally worth it. Cause we can just skip this... Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 11:35:23 PDT Robert Comment by Luke on TNG S2: Shades of Gray Worst TNG episode yet. And that's really saying something. This is quite possibly not just the worst of TNG, but the worst of the whole franchise! Say want you will about episodes generally considered to be the worst of their respective series (ones like "Spock's Brain," "And the Children Shall Lead," "Let He Who Is Without Sin...," "Profit and Lace," "Threshold," or that abysmal finale to Enterprise), but at least all those episodes were actually trying to be episodes. They were all failures, but at least the attempt was made! "Shades of Gray" is as close as you can get to pure filler - nothing more. 0/10 Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 09:45:47 PDT Luke Comment by Grumpy on TNG S2: Peak Performance Luke: "Picard's line that Starfleet is not a military organization just bugs the hell out of me." Yet another example of early-era TNG smugness (if I had to guess, I'd say Roddenberry demanded the line when he heard about the wargames plot), but it doesn't have to be irritating. Instead of taking it at face value, as a definitive statement about the nature of Starfleet, just assume Picard is an unreliable narrator. This, and his pronouncements about the Federation economy, are his opinions, not shared by all. Perhaps these opinions were the basis of his falling-out with his father. Thus, when he insists Starfleet is non-military, he's not telling *us*; it's an echo of what Pixard told his old man. Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 09:08:07 PDT Grumpy Comment by MisterBenn on BSG S4: Sine Qua Non The thing that has me guessing at the moment is the increasing theme of love, and how it works in this increasingly fantastical series. It seems that frequently love is in place when people are witnessing the projections they can interact with (Baltar and Six from the start, Six and Baltar roughly at the point that she reveals she loves him back, Baltar and Baltar at his most self-obsessed, Tigh projecting Ellen onto prisoner Six, perhaps even Lamkin and his dead cat!) I also recall on New Caprica, the detail that the Cylons suspected that "true love" was required as part of the conception process. This feels relevant in Six conceiving the first wholly cylon child from Tigh, who is powered in part by the projections of Ellen that he sees and presumably the love that they admitted to each other when she died. Roslin and Adama's low-key affection on New Caprica (the most heart warming of the romances by far back then) has become way more active and prominent in Season 4, and it has had me thinking for several episodes now. Overwhelmingly, the love relationships in this series have been destructive, or plain rotten to the core. Caprica Six uses Baltar to lower humankind's defences. Boomer was a cylon agent and mislead Helo as part of a breeding experiment. Tigh and Ellen have resentment and infidelity. Lee and Starbuck both leave a trail of ill-advised and failed relationships. Tyrol resents settling for Cally and disrespects her even after she has died. And then by comparison we have William Adama and Laura Roslin. From the point he started visiting her in hospital and reading to her, it seemed conspicuous to me that they are developing a purer form of love which is more selfless and self-sacrificial than the others have enjoyed. Now Adama has given up his career for her and is sitting and waiting in the cold depths of space for her to reappear, and I am feeling more and more assured in this theory! I'm also aware than Roslin is still ill and is going to need another miracle some time in the near future in order to keep surviving. Maybe this pure love is the key? The fantasy element of BSG is ever-increasing at this point and to try and guess the rules of this universe before they happen is pretty foolish! I just hope there is some explanation regarding the projections we see all the time, if it turns out they have always just been an abstract storytelling device I'm going to be disappointed! Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 08:31:05 PDT MisterBenn Comment by Luke on TNG S2: Peak Performance This episode, while enjoyable enough on the surface, really falls apart for me on closer inspection. It all starts with the opening scene between Picard, Riker and Kolrami in the Observation Lounge. Picard's line that Starfleet is not a military organization just bugs the hell out of me. If it's not a military, then why in the world were Kirk and company always called on to perform military operations and why are Picard and company so often shown doing similar things? I think SF Debris summed it up perfectly in his review of this episode: "Let's be adults here - you have a ship full of weapons, working with government authority, that has military ranks, military style protocols, which comes to defend systems from military threats. You are personally armed with legal weapons. Your government has no other organization that is called, or is like a military in any way what-so-ever. And, if you fail to follow through on your 'duty,' you're court-martialed - a word which means 'military court.' Pretending that Starfleet is not a military is like pretending that Patrick Stewart is not bald." Saying that this isn't a show about military things is disingenuous at best and downright stupid at worst. We have an episode here that is about improving combat tactics for people who aren't in the military? And to this the fact that every character, not just Kolrami, is arrogant in the extreme, and I'm not sure who to root for. The only 'good' thing this episode has going for it is its depiction of the Ferengi (never thought I'd say that in early TNG). They not the laughable failures of "The Last Outpost" and "The Battle." They're shown as semi-competent adversaries, even if they're still over-the-top (I AM BRACTOR! LEADER OF THE FERENGI ATTACK VESSEL KREECHTA!) 3/10 Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 07:10:03 PDT Luke Comment by Smegma on DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind I thought the entire series was poorly written. Certain events occurred or had been resolved (mostly the latter) too quickly, as if they knew that people would forget what had happened after a full commercial break. TNG on the other hand, had events occur logically and thoughtfully. Deep Space Nine did have a darker side, examining more complex moral issues and that made it better than TNG. I thought the actoring was horrendous for the most part in Deep Space Nine. The best actors were Quark, Odo, and finally Worf. The actor who played Sisco was aweful. I compare him to Shatner because he breaks down his spoken words into groups, and he sounds like a machine when he says his lines. It's a good thing DSP doesn't give Sisco as many lines as TNG gave Picard. If you binge-watch the series as I did, you recognize a pattern in how the shows are presented. The middle of each season is dedicated to side-plots and character development, such as Ferengii affairs, etc. By the 5th or 6th season, I learnt to just speed through those episodes. I also noticed that the shows are created around the concepts of tiny cliff-hangers designed to keep the viewer on the couch so that the viewer watches the commercials. The ending was disappointed. I was hoping that the Federation would bargain for peace with the Founders using the cure they had. Instead, Odo linked with one of them, and then the war was over. It didn't make any sense. In a way, the cure was the bargaining chip, but it wasn't made clear that it was. Deep Space Nine had a very dislikable character or two, and they totally misused those characters during the final episodes and that was the true crime of the series. I'm referring to Dukat and the Kai. Another problem with DSN is that there is alot of "spirituality" concepts. TNG was much more Atheistic in nature, even with Q running amok at times. I prefer the religious slandering of TNG over the spiritual overtones of DSN. DSN had superior CGI, and the epic battles seemed closer to Star Wars than any other Star Trek I've watched to date. I thought it was a mistake to kill Jadzia/Dax in the sixth season. I didn't find her replacement to be compelling at all. She was just a week and uninteresting character that kept whining. It should be noted that she was tiny and uglier too, which doesn't help the cause. I felt like too much time was devoted on that in the seventh season, rather than tying up loose plot ends. Also, sometimes the show didn't make much sense. Like the changeling that had the ability to be a gas, a mist, and it can be jailed... Or that the Defiant can be cloaked but during wartime it remains uncloaked and taking on hits when it could have been cloaked... Or how easily people can travil within the galaxy, to earth for instance, as if it didn't take any time at all, unlike TNG where you felt the enormity of the galaxy. Or the weirdness of the alternate universe shows that were obviously time fillers for the writers. In conclusion, the final moments of DSN were spoiled with too much interpersonal character sideplots rather than the political aspect of the intergalactic war. Many shows built a plot over a long period of time, but the climax of the story occurs so late that no time is spent on the denouement of the episodes. The only long denouement is the final episode where each character says their departing 'good-byes'. Comments Thu, 21 May 2015 02:11:28 PDT Smegma Comment by zzybaloobah on BSG S3: Crossroads, Part 2 Three words: Deus Ex Machina Again, it's hard to care about plot when the story is so obviously directed from above. And, while some object that SF without mythology is uninteresting, the flip side is that at some point it stops being SF and becomes fantasy. And some of us *like* SF. And even fantasy has to have some sense that characters have control over the situation. Imagine the Lord of the Rings if, every time the Fellowship or Sauron made some major gain, the Valar got directly involved to change things around. Or DS9 if the Q started micro-managing the Dominion War. And here's one for you. 12 colonies. Let's say 40 billion people. There's now 40,000. So, the chances of any ONE person surviving the attack are 1 in 1 million. What's the odds that 4 of the final 5 would survive? Add that to the list of mysteries to explain. How could Baltar be found guilty when everyone else was granted amnesty? He wasn't around when amnesty was granted, he was off collaborating with the Cylons..... I don't think the amnesty included *future* actions. If you really want to follow Lee's speech to it's logical conclusion, there are no laws, we have a state of anarchy, which - as a practical matter -- would be followed by a military coup -- and there's no "legal" basis for objection. Yeah, it's getting harder to find charaters to like. Athena comes to mind. I can't find *any* fault with her. Helo is good -- aside from his questionable decision to prevent infecting the Cylons. Adama is good, but is a tyrant when it comes to his perogatives of command (but what do you expect from a military leader) Roslin has her flaws and bad moments, but she seems to recover (like ultimately listening to the Chief about working conditions) and genuinely cares about the people (something you'd never accuse Baltar of....) And there's a whole host of good / bad complex likeable characters (the Chief comes to mind) So, I still like enough characters to stay very interested... I still love this show. @Ryan "spectacularly ballsy asspull" Well said! @Elliott Interesting comparison to Return of the Jedi. I found that to be mindless entertainment precisely because of the silliness of the mythology. And the reference to Gilgamesh -- I can imagine Picard saying that humanity has grown up and is not so enthralled by Gilgamesh as it once was. I believe the universe is (mostly) knowable, and I expect things to (mostly) make sense. I'm hoping the BSG universe makes sense, but the prosecution is building a pretty compelling case against it. Final thought. There were a lot of posts on the DS9 board objecting to the wormhole aliens and the explicitly religious aspect of the show. Wonder what those people think of BSG? Comments Wed, 20 May 2015 23:10:59 PDT zzybaloobah Comment by zzybaloobah on BSG S3: Crossroads, Part 1 My biggest disapointment is with Lee. He can be so idealistic AND naive -- and that's a dangerous combination. He lets Lampkin (a brillant character by the way) lead him by the nose and ends up seriously compromising himself. Lampkin tells him: "The system requires you to tell what you know about Roslin". Really? Is that why Lampkin tried to talk the Six out of testifying? Lampkin certainly isn't above abusing the system. Lampkin is a consummate player of the game. Lee becomes, essentially, a spy for the defense. If Lee wants to work for the defense, fine, but he should openly announce that fact and not be allowed access to CIC, Adama, Roslin, etc.. As is, he ends up looking like a turncoat with a massive betrayal of trust. (Minor spoiler) Nice speech at the end about everyone else getting amnesty. He left out one detail: Why didn't Baltar get amnesty? -- he was off collaborating with the Cylons at the time (why wasn't that charged as treason?) In the BSG universe, I think showing Roslin taking chamalla strengthens her case. The first time she did it, she had *accurate* vision. In the world we live in, we dismiss people with visions. But her visions came *true*. I'm enough of a realist to acknowledge that the world is the way it is, not the way I'd expect it to be. So, the defense has just shown that Roslin has access (through some unknown process) to accurate information not available to others. In any case, her testimony was about events on New Caprica, when she *wasn't* taking chamalla. Let's see what actual crimes we, the audience, can pin on Baltar: Leaking classified information when he allowed Six access to the defense mainframe. Not treason, but enough to get him locked away for a long time. And, given the ultimate impact, I'd give him the maximum sentence possible. Identifying Sharon as a Cylon, then not telling anyone. That's willfully helping the enemy. Treason Giving Six a nuke. Treason Helping the Cylons find the Eye of Jupiter. Treason. He's GUILTY, even if the prosecution can't prove it. Sympathetic? Really? Entertaining, yes, but never sympathetic. I understand we look at fictional characters differently than real ones, but I always try to think "if Baltar was someone I had to interact or work with, what would my feeling be?" I'd hate the fracker. One of my favorite lines in the whole series, one I just can't get out of my head, is when Tigh refers to "Gaius Fracking Baltar". I can't help but hear that every time I think of Baltar. What's really interesting about this is the HUGE range of opinions about Baltar. We've all seen the same things, including his inner discussions with Six, yet our opinions of him are all over the map. It probably says something really good about the ability of the writers to create a complex character, but it seems to also say something disturbing about some pretty huge differences in how we evaluate people. Would some of us look at, say, a Charles Manson and see a sympathetic character? Would others look at an Abraham Lincoln and only see a unscrupulous tyrant? Why the huge range of opinions about Baltar? Comments Wed, 20 May 2015 22:24:32 PDT zzybaloobah Comment by Robrow on DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars Lovely review. And a very lyrical coda to a wonderful episode. I got shades of Prospero in the Tempest: 'we are such stuff as dreams are made of'. As Jammer says: of course it's not subtle, neither was 50s racism. And it was great to see so many of the actors out of latex. Especially Shimerman and Auberjonois. Comments Wed, 20 May 2015 21:58:34 PDT Robrow Comment by Xylar on VOY S6: Barge of the Dead I didn't care for it, for a very simple reason. I dislike any episode where the afterlife is depicted as actually existing and following the rules of whatever species they belong to. The afterlife isn't meant to be confirmed or denied. They seem to understand that in so many other Trek episodes. Even the one where Neelix suffers from a near death experience leaves him in doubt as to whether or not his version of the afterlife actually exists or not. This one has too much detail and confirmation to be credible. You can't confirm or deny the existence of an afterlife. You can only hint at it. Any character development that follows in this episode was ruined for me, just because of this. Silly concept, poorly executed, boring as hell (no pun intended). Comments Wed, 20 May 2015 18:08:15 PDT Xylar Comment by The Man on TNG S4: Galaxy's Child You don't want to hear it @Nissa? Clearly you're taking real life issues and extending f it to a fictional character. Clearly you're blind or haven't seen the episode "Booby Trap" she wasn't created for him to fantasize about she was a diagnostic program and the computer took personality traits from her appearances at caucuses in an attempt to give her a personality Geordi did not give her that personality. Comments Wed, 20 May 2015 16:20:10 PDT The Man Comment by The Man on TNG S4: Galaxy's Child It's amazing that people are getting legitimately angry and calling Geordi creepy, a stalker and calling it sexual harrassment. A fictional character no less! Comments Wed, 20 May 2015 16:15:49 PDT The Man Comment by Robert on ENT S1: Acquisition @john walsh - Sadly this is why Abrams got his shot though. If B&B were knocking it out of the park we wouldn't be in this mess. Comments Wed, 20 May 2015 11:53:59 PDT Robert Comment by W Smith on ENT S2: Judgment Maybe a two star rating, but even that's pushing it. Derivative from Trek VI, felt like I'd seen most of it before. The story was incredibly predictable the whole way through. The only saving graces were Hertzler's performance, and a closer look into Klingon society with a class structure that makes the culture make some sense. If they developed warp drive then they must have scientists and some kind of value placed on education and knowledge beyond the martial. That was nice to see, but it didn't need this derivative story to introduce this concept of the Klingons. Season two Enterprise is just putting me to sleep and making me look at my watch. I can see why I gave up on it during season two in its original run, but I'm determined to see it through to the end this time. Comments Wed, 20 May 2015 08:27:13 PDT W Smith Comment by jonn walsh on ENT S1: Acquisition I'll take this over Abrams all day every day..... Comments Wed, 20 May 2015 07:10:33 PDT jonn walsh Comment by NCC-1701-Z on TOS S2: The Apple I found it unintentionally hilarious how Kirk beamed down with one group (which included two redshirts) and then McCoy beamed down with two more redshirts. It's as if someone said, "Hey, I'd like to up the body count this week, send in more redshirts!" Did anyone honestly expect any of those guys to live? (You in the back, put your hand down. You obviously haven't seen enough Star Trek episodes.) Yeah, not a particularly great episode but it did give us some classic lines/exchanges between the characters. Comments Tue, 19 May 2015 23:32:38 PDT NCC-1701-Z Comment by Argent on ENT S4: The Aenar I've been watching on Netflix and reading Jammer's review after every episode. Feel the same as Azdude, this is the first time I disagree with Jammer. To me, this was one of the best eps of any of the Star Trek series. Can't dispute the plot holes mentioned by others, but the Aenar really moved me, loved learning about their culture and seeing the interaction between Shran and Jhamel. The Aenar may be my favorite alien species yet, wish we could see more of them. The Romulans were also interesting, particularly the conflicted scientist who followed orders but was clearly unhappy about what they were doing to the pilot. Comments Tue, 19 May 2015 20:50:15 PDT Argent Comment by Gil on ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay For a notoriously "stupid" episode I found it actually quite well scripted and directed; plus I enjoyed both Bakula's and Billingsley's performances. So, while it isn't amongst the best of Enterprise in terms of plotting, I certainly wouldn't lump it amongst the worst episodes either…some of the antics genuinely made me chuckle. Comments Tue, 19 May 2015 20:42:49 PDT Gil Comment by Gil on ENT S2: Dead Stop Sure, you could pick it to pieces if you wanted to (like any other Trek show) but the exemplary direction, above average writing (for Enterprise, that is), and game performances engage you sufficiently that you're willing to overlook any weaknesses in the plotting. I consider Dead Stop to be amongst the best episodes the series ever produced. Comments Tue, 19 May 2015 19:16:23 PDT Gil Comment by Pafan on BSG S3: Exodus, Part 2 The destruction of Pegasus was a bad move and did not seem necessary with proper planning. Adama should have taken Pegasus into battle, a superior Battlestar to Galactica, in the first place. (Really he should have taken both ships) Realistically, Adama should have taken command of Pegasus after Caine was killed. In an alternate scenario, Galactica could have been sacrificed and Pegasus then renamed Galactica. Comments Tue, 19 May 2015 17:23:50 PDT Pafan Comment by Pam on TNG S2: The Emissary As soon as I saw who was inside the probe, I knew this was going to be an exciting episode. I haven't got much to say (there's plenty of brilliant analysis here already), except that I, too, enjoyed this more than Jammer. But then I tend to enjoy character-driven episodes a wee bit more than plot-driven ones, and so I can ignore the weak excuses for having K'Ehleyr show up on the Enterprise, and just enjoy the fact that she's there. I must have missed this episode when it originally aired, because I remember being surprised when all of a sudden Worf had a son a few seasons later. I'd probably give this one at least three, if not three and a half stars. Comments Tue, 19 May 2015 13:02:23 PDT Pam Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: 'Til Death Do Us Part @Del_Duio - Worf's reveal was kind of right on the tip of his tongue anyway. That one didn't bother me. Ezri claims to not even have realized she loved Julian until Worf told her what she said. That one was too convenient. All Worf says is "No! No! I will not dishonour her memory." Ezri says "I was your wife. Why don't you talk to me? I love you. Kiss me. Kiss me, Julian." It's too convenient for sure. Comments Tue, 19 May 2015 08:24:10 PDT Robert Comment by Dohavior on ENT S1: Fortunate Son The Fortune used lower warp speed to purposefully make itself an easy target. Their cargo ship served as a decoy in order to safe guard other ships. It did nothing for revenge as they took no casualties when they took a prisoner. They were winning against the pirates and about to reclaim many stolen goods. This should have been Starfleet's military priority to eliminate such aggressors yet they failed in this moral regard. The crew of the Fortune made a fool of the Captain's immorality when he over stepped his authority applying his ethics liberally to pirate scum. The starfleet away team would all have died there if for not abusing their technological advantage to mitigate consequence for their immoral actions. The Captain had no justification for any of his logic as he went in blindly refusing to admit his course of action to avoid judgement knowing full well it was a misdeed. In his final speech he defered to a literal living breathing straw man blind with emotion rather than be put in his place for using irrational and blind logic. All inhereted logic is emotion and it is fallible. Either it be passed down by authority, religion, schooling, parenting, inbred instinct it is all fallible unless tested to be tried and true with wisdom granted by experience. Autonomy is always the correct path. The starfleet crew had no purpose being there other than to bully. What prompted defeat for the Fortune crew was not blowing their ship up and using the escape pods all because they relied on instinct that it was their home. Starfleet would have no choice but to come to their aid and without the aliens around the Fortune crew would own that outpost. They fell prey to the very same illogical immorality that plagued the Starfleet brought about from stockholme syndrome. Opterant conditioning and the 8 deadly sins are one in the same. Comments Tue, 19 May 2015 06:21:08 PDT Dohavior Comment by jonn walsh on ENT S1: Rogue Planet Shapeshifters. 10 minutes from Earth at Warp 9. How can you get past that? How can we meet ANY species in the first season of this show that isn't well known by the time 1701-D is roaming the Alpha Quadrant 215 years later, not to mention Kirk and the boys on 'no bloody A, B, C, or D' in 110 years, for that matter. And, oh yes. I forgot. We're going to meet the Ferengi next week with Neelix making an appearance. Why?) And the Borg are coming.... We meet species Picard will make first contact with and we meet species within months at Warp 4.5 (hours, minutes at Warp 9?) that we'll never hear of again...... Why oh why. We DID NOT need a Ferengi episode (and I like the DS9 Ferengi shows). And now it's all reboot. Profound sadness. I grieve with thee. Comments Tue, 19 May 2015 05:17:48 PDT jonn walsh Comment by zzybaloobah on BSG S3: Maelstrom Here's where it became clear to me that BSG had jumped the shark. But they didn't just jump the shark, they brought in Evel Knievel (aka Katee Sackhoff) to jump Sharktopus. And told you for months that the jump was coming. And yet somehow managed to keep it interesting. It's at this point that I started comparing BSG to Lost. In both cases, the "plot" went on its own pre-determined path, regardless of what the characters did. "All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again." At which point, the characters may as well kick back, pop a cold one, and go along for the ride. Hide from the Cylons? Why bother -- they'll show up as required by whomever / whatever is pulling the strings. Fly CAP? Again, why -- the Cylons will do whatever damage is required to push Galactica into whatever action is required. BSG has made deus-ex-machina into a theme of the series. I lost all interest in LOST -- I neither cared where the plot was going, nor did I care much about any of the characters. I think BSG is going somewhere; I struggle with caring where. I'm mentally preparing myself for an epic FAIL, but maybe the writers will have a good resolution to this mess. And I do like the characters, so I care about what happens to them. Regarding this episode..... I have mixed feelings. If you buy the whole "Starbuck has a destiny" angle ("would you look at the size of that shark!"), then it hangs together well. If you don't, then it's about Kara's final descent into madness -- with WAY too much time spent on her private delusions. There should have been more aftermath -- how does Lee deal with his horribly bad decision to let her fly? Don't get me wrong.... I still love BSG (this is like the 4th or 5th viewing for me)... Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 22:13:29 PDT zzybaloobah Comment by legrate on TNG S4: Galaxy's Child I agree with the praise for Picard's wonderful moment there. I really felt it would have been stronger if they had left out the dialogue of "we're here to explore, not to kill"... yes, we know, and we recognized your joy and pain (and its motivation) from the acting, without the clunky speech for the cheap seats. Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 20:05:18 PDT legrate Comment by Matt on VOY S4: The Killing Game Peter Konrad - Mon, Aug 18, 2014 - 5:04am (USA Central) This reviewer has made a conscious effort to avoid understanding what the episodes are about. Wow.. statements like this are great when you don't even try to back them up. Bravo! Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 20:01:11 PDT Matt Comment by Gil on ENT S1: Vox Sola If you take the charitable view that Enterprise was written by 13 yr olds for an intended 10 yr old audience then alot is forgivable. Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 16:45:08 PDT Gil Comment by Peter Coutts on ENT S3: The Council I rather like the Reptilian make up and costumes although I am not sure how they could get through the scanner at the spaceport wearing slinkies. I think the female sphere builders look like Odo's relatives. Kidnapping Hoshi seems senseless. Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 13:56:50 PDT Peter Coutts Comment by Paul M. on Star Trek: The Motion Picture So, I have to ask... Is the guy who pretends he's different people and then debates with himself back? This whole thread is becoming kinda creepy. Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 10:48:21 PDT Paul M. Comment by Eric on DS9 S2: The Wire There have been a lot of interesting comments posted here on this episode, always one of my very favorite for DS9. I would suggest that any of you Garak lovers out there pick up a copy of the book called "A Stitch in Time" written by Andrew Robinson, the actor who played Garak in the show. It is quite simply the very best Star Trek novel ever written and gives a fascinating perspective of Garak's entire life both before and after the events of the series. Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 09:34:34 PDT Eric Comment by Del_Duio on DS9 S7: 'Til Death Do Us Part I liked this episode, but what I didn't really like were how Worf and Ezri's "dream dialogues" were straight out of a script from Plot Convienence Theater-(tm). I mean, what are the odds that the two of them just happen to say something like this (I'm going to paraphrase here, so forgive me) Worf: "NO! JADZIA! I DISHONOR YOUR MEMORY BY SCREWING AROUND WITH EZRI!!" Ezri: "Oh how I love you! No, not you Worf, but JULIAN!" Okay, okay, well a lot of that was super heavily implied of course but what are the chances that while they were both in a Breen-induced state of delusion they just both happen to blurt out how the whole Worf / Ezri relationship isn't gonna' work out in the end. I don't know, that whole bit felt really forced and fake. Otherwise, I liked this episode. Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 09:26:43 PDT Del_Duio Comment by SecMan on ENT S1: Breaking the Ice I'm watching Enterprise beginning to end again. When it was first on TV, I really did not like it. But I think Trek was kinda "tired" then and I probably didn't give it a fair shake. As I watch Season 1 for the first time in years (on Blu Ray), I'd say the show is better than I remember it. It's not "great" Trek, certainly not in TNG / TOS levels of greatness, but it's OK. I think it's as good as Voyager and not totally out of DS9 qualities in some ways. I appreciate on second viewing that the show is more slow-paced, with more emphasis on character development. I also like that the crew - outside of the tension with T'Pol - gets along, which is one the most important, unique features of Star Trek. The rush to make "darker" Trek with more and more conflict - DS9 and to some extent Voyager - is way overdone IMO as Trek begins to lose its unique appeal to become just another action-TV series. One thing I can definitely do without is the BLATANT gratuitous sexuality thrown into this series. The decontamination scenes are just totally out of place and nonsensical (as if you'd use a gel instead of just spraying something on or using something EM...not to mention the idea of privacy). I'm also tired of seeing Archer in various forms of undress (there's one scene where he's in skin-tight underwear where you can literally see the shape of his no thanks). But overall, I think I can look through the failings to see a pretty decent, enjoyable show. Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 08:22:25 PDT SecMan Comment by John Logan on Star Trek: Insurrection I hope nobody reads this, whispers, I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I actually love most of the Star Trek Films. Yes I have seen Redlettermedias, CM`s, SFDBris`, and The Nostalgia Critic/ Linkara reviews. Here is my response: 1. The Federation might claim the planet is in there space but the Baku settled here BEFORE the Federation was founded. So it is like the Collonialists claiming America and calling the Indians tresspassers. 2. This makes this a pure invasion, it is actually worse then with the Indians as they were Federation citizens whom the Federation had authority over, and who settled on a world after it had come to be a part of the Federation. 3. The Baku are the Original inhabitans as they settled there first. The Indians originally claim from Asia also, but they were the first to come there. 4. If one can ignore the prime directive when it serves a greater purpose they could have interfered in the klingon civil war. 5. Unless the prime directive doesn`t apply when you help one people conquer another in which case what the Dominion did could be justified. In other words, this was an invasion. People have tried to justify this because it serves the greater good, which is ironic, now we have a more morally grey conflict instead of good vs evil and a simple action plot, but now people don`t like how complicated it is. 6. The use of Spocks the needs of the many remark is wrong because: A. He voluntarely sacrificed himself, he didn`t force a man in there to die for the crew, Cartman does stuff like that, B. It was a sollution to an exceptional no wind scenario, C. It was Spocks personal, Vulcan, logical coldblooded opinion, D. Kirk disagrees with him in Star III, E. So does he when he after he accepts his human side in Star Trek IV risks everything to save Mecoy as it is the human thing, and F. Spocks logical is similar to that of the Vulcans and the Borg, valueling each individual is what is supposed to make humans different from the Borg. Slavery also often served many people in societies, so did Eugenics, and forced sterilisation, or drafting people into the army. There is a difference between the rebel pilot in Return of the Jedi commiting a suicide attack, or forcing someone to sacrifice their life. 7. The Sona tried to take over, that is the only reason they were banished. They had slaves and supported the Dominion, and they finally explained how the Dominion kept supplying the Jem Haddar. They wanted revenge, while the Baku wanted to forgive them, and they refused to take anyone prisoner. 8. I don`t agree with living with less technology but Star Trek is supposed to show a diversity of cultures. 9. Picard clearly learned from what happened in the Journeys End. He didn`t like to move them, he was simply following orders, and it didn`t happen. He was also silenced when Wesley resigned as he does here. Wesley clearly impressed him, I think they tried to show Picard grew as a person. I think that what happened with the Maquis showed the Federation was wrong, and I liked how this film showed the effects of both the Borg and the Dominion War. Now that they didn`t just want to screw over their own citizens but seperate cultures Picard realised he had to do something. 10. Both Sisko and Kirk disciplined their officers when they disobeyed orders while both still disobeyed them themselves. In the show Picard also defies orders, at one point just to save Wesley. Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 07:05:06 PDT John Logan Comment by John Logan on TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers @Eddington Thank you for your balanced response. It is true Fundamentalists Protestants take the bible completely literally, and many Muslims reject science all together. This is ironic as in the nineteenth century rationalists tried to pain Catholicism as anti-science while portraying Islam and Protestantism as pro science. Also it is ironic that like with many issue Protestants are either extremely liberal or super conservative. They are either from the seventeenth century Puritan women don`t work tradition, or the enlighment inspired, modernist, the virgin birth was a metaphor abortion should be allowed for any reason till the baby is independent tradition. Either they bless gay marriages, or they would like them killed. You are somewhat right about aplied science, but the church doesn`t object to it either. The church was fine with the advancement of medical care as it could help the innocent. Just as long as it is not used to change sexual ethics. Man am I happy that the federal appeals courts in Illinois and Washington ruled that Catholic hospitals and pharmacies do not have to provide the morning after pill. Hey Smile from Boston Legal your anti-Catholic episode was once again outdated by real life court cases. But I am getting extremely off track here. Thank you. Yes Thomas Of Aquinas got it right on the reason part. Also talking about generalising both science and religion, this episode can in no way paralell Christianity. Jesus was not an outsider to his believers, had no technological advantage over them, and although Paul was an important preacher the gospels were not written by him, and unlike Protestants both Catholics and Eastern Orthodoxes did not overplay his importance. Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 06:33:04 PDT John Logan Comment by Robert on DS9 S4: Paradise Lost Didn't they spend the previous episode testing Odo. It could literally just be a tiny fraction of Odo goo, right? I haven't seen the episode in awhile. ::blinks at other Robert while stroking goatee:: Comments Mon, 18 May 2015 05:25:56 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on DS9 S4: Paradise Lost Jack, you rate the episode that low because of one minor quibble? Comments Sun, 17 May 2015 17:03:44 PDT Robert Comment by W Smith on ENT S2: The Crossing Surprised this got 2 stars, it's more like 1 star, after the damning review. Started out with promise, then just got boring full of cliches, and then ended with the surprise of killing all the aliens. I guess it would have been further cliche to have solved the problem for the aliens, but blowing them all up felt quite "un-Trek" in philosophy. I also kept wondering why a non-corporeal lifeform would travel in a corporeal ship. That didn't make any sense, but then the episode was just bad anyway. Comments Sun, 17 May 2015 12:29:03 PDT W Smith Comment by Sonya on VOY S7: Critical Care Rosario said, "And the Doctor was no more ethical than he claimed the administrators were. His actions in Act 4 completely kicked the soap box he was standing on the rest of the episode right out from under him." I'm surprised more people haven't commented on this. I thought the Doctor's decision to poison the administrator was clearly unethical with respect to his profession. I appreciated the final scene with Seven. Being willing to sacrifice an individual (the "bad" administrator) for the sake of a collective (the sick Level Red patients) does fit with a certain type of ethics. It's interesting to note that this was essentially the logic of Chellick. One subgroup was being sacrificed for another subgroup of society. I initially saw this episode as an allegory for the U.S. health care system, and an indictment against allowing principles of capitalism to apply to health care. I'm also persuaded by Thomas, above. The episode does seem to assert that rationing of health care based on socioeconomic status is wrong. It also made the same point about rationing of education based on socioeconomic status - another problem in the U.S. 15 years after the air date. Comments Sun, 17 May 2015 12:08:13 PDT Sonya Comment by Jack on DS9 S4: Paradise Lost This episode really cheats, and it even lampshaded it with dialogue. "Are you going to tell me how you faked the blood test" "Does it matter?" But...boy does it matter. How did Leyton acquire a sample of changeling material? This is vital to know. We already know that changeling material reduced to the gelatinous state the instant it leaves a changeling entity, so the ruse we witnesses seems quite literally impossible, but the episode seems not to care because it needed a climax. Can't give this episode more than a star and a half. Comments Sun, 17 May 2015 08:00:00 PDT Jack Comment by Mart on TNG S4: First Contact I'm going to disagree here, I hold this episode to be no better than two stars. The setup is intriguing, and the plot is well-crafted, but the characterisation is lousy, with Krola and Mirasta being mere stereotypes (of the Evil StateSec Guy and the Treehugging Scientist respectively). The dialogue clunks like a steampunk robot. Poor Patrick Stewart gets a bunch of sanctimonious speeches that even his talent can't make riveting; the babe in the hospital speaking in cult-like adulation of aliens; the declamations of Krola and Mirasta in support of their cardboard cutout roles: it grates. The only saving grace is a powerful performance on some decent lines for Chancellor Durken. Comments Sun, 17 May 2015 07:36:54 PDT Mart Comment by SlackerInc on BSG S2: Resurrection Ship, Part 2 MisterBenn, I enjoyed reading your comment and I can understand how it would be difficult to stop. I almost feel like I am a soothsayer who is cursed by being able to warn people how to avoid disaster but will never be believed. It's too bad this site does not have email notifications so we could carry on more of an interactive conversation. If anyone wants to provide feedback, disagree with me, or describe how my warning was ignored but in retrospect looks good, tweet at me: I use the same handle on Twitter. Comments Sun, 17 May 2015 05:26:40 PDT SlackerInc Comment by SlackerInc on BSG S2: Final Cut I can't believe neither Jammer nor anyone in the comments mentioned the use of the original Battlestar Galactica theme music in the documentary! I loved that even if the episode overall wasn't that great. Comments Sun, 17 May 2015 04:27:31 PDT SlackerInc Comment by Darknet on DS9 S4: Hippocratic Oath I have to agree with @Quarky. Obrien has always been a bit of a dick to Bashir but this episode was too much. He disobeys his orders and talks down to him. He treats him like a child and has no respect for him as an officer. He single handedly sabotaged a mission that would likely have divided the dominion and gave the federation a tactical advantage. And in the end Bashir is still talking about playing darts in few days? Their friendship should have been over. He should bought him up on charges or at the very least threated him with court martial if it happened again. I really hope there is a future episode where Bashir just gets fed up and puts him in his place. Comments Sun, 17 May 2015 00:24:20 PDT Darknet Comment by Regine Pineda on DS9 S4: Rejoined I love to be kissed by a girl but it has to be SUSSANA THOMPSON ONLY! Omg ! She's amazingly beautiful and great actress..I so love her MOIRA QUEEN ! Comments Sat, 16 May 2015 21:26:58 PDT Regine Pineda Comment by Big D on TNG S6: The Chase For point 5, they were using the Enterprise instead of bumming rides around on shuttles, freighters, and transports. Comments Sat, 16 May 2015 20:58:10 PDT Big D Comment by Steve DeHaven on TNG S6: The Chase Simply from the standpoint of DNA, this episode contains several glaring flaws: 1) Why haven't biologists on multiple worlds already figured out that these humanoid species have a common ancestor? After all, they're able to interbreed and create fertile offspring. Nothing says common heritage like makin' babies! 2) If we did all share common DNA, the evidence of our common ancestor would be seen in that DNA, as it is on all life on earth. 3) Did the progenitors seed worlds that already had life? If so, then why would the DNA that evolved into humans match all the other DNA on earth? 4) If the progenitors only seeded worlds that had no life, then there is still no explanation for spacefaring species all looking so similar after having evolved on different worlds. After all, look at all the non-quadruped animal life on earth, from insects to jellyfish to mussels to earthworms to crabs to slugs. There's no reason to assume that the dominant or intelligent life forms on other worlds would have a quadruped form. 5) And if I may inject one non-DNA based flaw in the plot...why was following Galen going to cost Picard a year of his career, yet after Galen died the puzzle was solved in a matter of (I presume) days? Was Galen holding up progress? Comments Sat, 16 May 2015 18:58:02 PDT Steve DeHaven Comment by Zeldark on VOY S2: Tattoo So we can all agree no one likes Space Indians? They seem so forced, boring and out of place. Also as far as the doctor goes, there are bits of his coding that I'd like to think would be encrypted and read-only. This is the EMERGENCY MEDICAL hologram. The crew's last line of defense for protecting and restoring the lives of personnel. It annoys me that the writers would have this character of making itself sick on a whim, or by a crew mate. Things go wrong on starships all the time. A thousand anomalies can happen that prevent the EMERGENCY medical hologram from returning to a fully functioning status. Another example is his interaction with the blond warrior woman from the Heroes and Demons episode, or that French lady in Paris' pool hall. EMH programmers would have had to go out of their way to write code that he gets nervous around pretty ladies flirting with him. Can you imagine AI breaking procedure during triage because he falls in love, or failing to remember treatments because he was so distracted by pretty alien guest of the day? He should have absolutely no emotion at all. But I guess that's boring to watch when you consider that's like Data but without the charming intrigue constantly wondering about humanoid culture, and expertise limited to medical knowledge as a role. Comments Sat, 16 May 2015 18:20:07 PDT Zeldark Comment by Brent Holmes on Star Trek: The Motion Picture Ian, I must disagree with one point in your cohesive, factual and revealing analysis of ST:TMP. I would argue it’s a great movie. I think all the points you make in its defense elevate the film over much contemporary product. (The Thing and Blade Runner, released on the same day! in 1982 while competing against Khan and E.T. are the only other big budget ‘hard’ sci-fi films I recall experiencing from the late 70′s/early 80′s; except maybe for the first, Hoth third of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back). Aside from Decker, Ilea and ‘The Big Three’ the crew exist to advance the plot and reflect the broad, high level competence and indeed great advancement of humanity Rodenberry used as a guidepost for what we the human race might achieve by the time this film is set in. The main 5 characters reflected Rodenberry’s hopes for humanity on the emotional, creative and human rights spectrums. Examples include Spock’s tears and Kirk’s suprised, grateful acknowledgement of them in a story where Spock’s rigid adherence to the cold logic of Vulcan was very much in contrast to the rest of crew’s feelings; particularily wonder at what they were encountering. Rodenberry always wanted to explore humanity and their reaction to the unknown and fantastic, as opposed to merely showcasing those elements for a thrill ride. (I’m looking at you; Star Trek: Into Darkness) Your point about Rodenberry being shunted aside multiple times in the history of the Trek franchise for more conventional producers NBC and Paramount hoped would generate greater commercial success is well made. I recently rewatched Season One of TNG and the clumsiness and growing pains trump most messages the show may have been trying to send. (Tasha Yar’s death was a notable exception; even as this came from Denise Crosby’s desire to leave the show rather than an organic production idea). The pacing in ST:TMP is slow; requiring more commitment from the viewer. But the Great Bird achieved much with this film. His novelization of it is a particularly insightful blueprint of his goals. The opening pages reveal a cybernetic implant in Kirk (for rapid, long-distance alerts) and subsequent discussion of cybernetics and defining human. They also posit a theory that Starfleet has rejected always selecting the best candidates on paper to crew starships because people who perceive themselves as perfect fall into stasis when confronted with situations suggesting they are not. I also recall Kirk addressing rumours he and Spock were lovers; clearly Rodenberry’s desire to at least discuss the notion that people of different sexual orientation are equal. Kirk’s reply was classic: he had no problem being seen as or perhaps being bisexual; but wished people would credit him with the good sense to choose a lover who became aroused sexually more than once every 7 years!) Film novelizations today are much more about brand awareness and perhaps a ‘special bonus chapter’ or two. To sum up; I think Rodenberry’s significant involvement with ST:TMP made it a better film and continues to enrich the Star Trek experience. Thank you for your post. Comments Sat, 16 May 2015 08:15:02 PDT Brent Holmes Comment by Ian Dawe on Star Trek: The Motion Picture A Defence of Star Trek The Motion Picture I don’t like to rank art, instinctively. This isn’t a sport, and it’s not about ringing all the bells and checking off all the boxes. So, when people ask me to rank the Star Trek movies I always decline. There are ones I like more than others, for sure, and there are some that I think are of particularly low cinematic quality, but they’re all interesting in different ways. (Save for the Next Generation films, which all seem to come from a different show than the one I remember.) In any case, they’re all of a piece, particularly the core films made during the 1980s and early 1990s (II through VI). They defined the look, feel and mythology of Trek for the late 20th century and provided both a path forward to the Next Generation and backward to the earlier series. But the first Trek film was different, and many fans would rather it were forgotten. I’m going to be making an argument here for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but I’m fully aware of its flaws. That should be mentioned right away. Its pacing is glacial at times, it lingers where it should proceed forward, everyone seems to be taking it way too seriously, there’s a smug self-importance about it (Shatner picks up on it and lets it infect his performance as a distant, arrogant Kirk) and its compressed production schedule led it to make technical mistakes and necessitate multiple cuts. The best version is Robert Wise’s “Director’s Edition”, which he produced in 2002 with the help of a young digital special effects team, but even the best version of this movie will have those flaws. But if you can see beyond that, within the film itself is the most Trek-like story of all the original films, except possibly The Undiscovered Country. Star Trek puts its mission statement right on front street: “To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before.” Well, Star Trek The Motion Picture is the closest they come in the film series to actually doing that. Although at times it comes close to plagiarizing scripts from the 1960s, but in an interesting way The Motion Picture is the closest to the spirit of the original series, or at least what the original series stood for. Even The Original Series (TOS for those not in the know) strayed from its original tone, with greater or lesser success, through its three seasons. The first few episodes, such as “The Cage”, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, “Charlie X”, “Mudd’s Women”, and “The Omega Glory” (written early but not filmed until later) all had a great deal of involvement from Gene Roddenberry himself. They all reflect Roddenberry’s peculiar interests: social utopia, sexuality, humans coping with power and political allegory. You can argue about whether later incarnations that focused more on characters and traditional good guy-bad guy conflicts were better or worse, but there’s no debate that these early episodes most closely reflect Roddenberry’s vision. One perennial issue in the world of Trek is that Roddenberry wasn’t exactly the only, or even the best, voice in creating the show. The recent These Are The Voyages books, now in two volumes, go a long way to clarifying some of the historical myths that grew up around the show, many of which were created by Roddenberry himself. (For example, the myth that NBC objected to a woman in a command position in “The Cage”. In fact, the network encouraged this sort of thing and simply objected to Majel Barrett being in the role because she was having an affair with the then-married Roddenberry, not out of sexism. This is typical Roddenberry: create a politically-charged myth to cover up his own character flaws.) Better, worse or indifferent: the public spoke loudly, finally, and Roddenberry’s version of Star Trek is emphatically NOT the one that succeeded. Roddenberry’s journey from sole auteur to crazy old Uncle, locked away in a “Consulting Producer” position with little power over his creation was repeated at least twice in the franchise history. First, during the run of the original series (he had little to do with Season 3) and second during the run of the movies, where the perceived failure of The Motion Picture (I say “perceived” because it was a huge box office smash, usually a golden ticket in Hollywood) led to his being promoted “upstairs” for the remainder of the run. By 1990, he was reduced to sending strongly worded memos to Nicholas Meyer, where they were politely ignored. In fact, one could say he was living that story out a third time during the run of The Next Generation also, but passed away before he could be completely censured. Of all those “pure Roddenberry” Star Trek products, and I think there are a rather limited number that can honestly claim that title, The Motion Picture is the best. That sounds like equivocation because it is. No one would argue that it’s a “great” movie. But it is significant in Star Trek history and represents the last time the original creator got to engage with his creation in its original form. One of the reasons for its middling quality comes from its tortured and long production history. To make a very long story somewhat short, the film grew out of a TV show that was planned as the flagship of a new “Paramount TV Network” that was being bandied about as a “fourth network” for American TV in the late 1970s. Star Trek, one of their popular cancelled franchises, seemed like a safe bet to bring back. Significantly, much of this planning was done before the release of Star Wars in the summer of 1977, an event that forever changed the way popular science fiction would be made and marketed. Star Trek Phase II would essentially continue the mission of the original ship, but without Leonard Nimoy, still smarting over likeness rights and marketing points from the original series. In his place would be a new character, Xon, a Vulcan who wanted to understand human emotion, and Roddenberry also brought in new characters Decker, the young Buck of a first officer, and Ilia, who came from a race of psychically sensitive people. (The parallels between the Next Generation characters of Data, Riker and Troi are too obvious to miss.) Scripts were written, sets were built, and everything seemed to be going along when Paramount decided to drop plans for a network and instead take the proposed pilot episode of Star Trek Phase II, a two-parter called “In Thy Image”, originally conceived by sci fi novelist Alan Dean Foster, and turn it into the first Star Trek movie. Once the project became a film, Nimoy was convinced to return, with a substantial cash settlement. (Nimoy recalls the check arriving 15 minutes before the script.) Robert Wise, the Hollywood veteran, was hired as a capable and professional Director, and they were off. The movie they finally made eliminated Xon, of course, and since in their minds a continuing series was not in the offing, they were able to take bigger risks with Decker and Ilia. But other than that, they stuck pretty much to the plan for Phase II’s “In Thy Image”, using the new sets and the new uniforms, which resembled pyjamas. (Yet another of the many ways this film anticipates The Next Generation.) Picking up a few years after the end of the “five year mission,” Kirk is now an Admiral at Starfleet, Spock has moved back to Vulcan to become a monk and McCoy is retired and sporting a seventies beard that would make a modern hipster weep. Just as in the proposed pilot episode, an alien entity of unimaginable power is heading towards earth and no one understands it. The Enterprise, fresh from a refit, is “The only ship in the quadrant”. Kirk is called back into action, recruits his fellow shipmates (the other four major characters, Chekov, Uhura, Sulu and Scotty, never left) and goes off to save the world. Notice that just from that plot outline, there isn’t much in terms of character-motivated drama and conflict there. There’s no “big bad” villain licking his chops and giving great speeches. There’s no opportunity for Shatner to get his shirt off and fist fight with an alien, not to mention getting in the tights of some feisty alien (or human) lady. Oh, there’s some muted tension about how Kirk pushes the ship past its limits, or how Decker struggles with his role as first officer, rather than the Captain’s chair he had been promised, but really this isn’t that kind of movie. The human tension works least well, and seems the most forced. The movie works best when focused on the huge alien, which appears like a gigantic cloud, threatening the earth with destruction. The step-by-step, professional way the Enterprise crew tries to understand and address the threat, working together, is what gives the film its drama. At one point, relatively late into the movie, Kirk says, frustrated, “We know nothing about it as of yet!” He’s frustrated by a lack of understanding, not by a lack of firepower and strength. This is what Star Trek is supposed to be about. The crew is on a journey of understanding, not conflict. The phasers are never fired in the entire movie, and even a torpedo is used only to clear an asteroid from their path. Instead, the crew uses their minds, their collective power to assimilate and analyze data. It’s what they went to Starfleet Academy for. It’s what these people do. The remarkable thing is that in the history of Trek we so rarely actually see them doing that! Some episodes of the original series of course have this pattern. “The Corbomite Maneuver” is probably the closest in terms of plot and tone, and of course many have pointed out that “The Changeling” is also very close to this plot (although not the mood). I find it interesting that these similarities, when applied to The Motion Picture, are used at criticisms of the film for lack of originality. And yet the very next movie, The Wrath of Khan, literally is a sequel to an original series episode and is structurally identical to many other series instalments, and yet is hailed as a masterpiece. I mentioned before that after its December 1979 release, the film was a huge box office success, more than covering its then-enormous $40 million budget. (Most of that budget was money that was spent developing the TV series and never made it to the screen.) But mentioning the budget became one of the many ways people attacked this film in subsequent years. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was always the red-headed stepchild of the Trek movies. (Star Trek V was, of course, much worse, but that one was at least consistent with the other later instalments in look, feel and tone.) Lampooned as the “slow-motion” picture, with its stuffy tone and high-minded ideals, everything I just mentioned as a positive was used as a negative. And, importantly, many of these arguments were applied to the next film as a positive. “It’s just like the series!” “It’s not like the series!” (I know… you can’t win.) “They don’t even use the phasers!” “Kirk doesn’t get into a fight!” Etc. etc. There was something about this movie the fans really hated, once they were given something to compare it to, of course. Remember that Khan didn’t appear until the summer of 1982, two long years in which there was only The Motion Picture, playing in various cuts on TV, re-edited. That made sense: the studio spent so much on it that getting back even part of the revenue from the then-new market of home video was worth it. Despite being rated “G”, and thus interpreted by everyone as meaning that it was “for kids”, this is actually the least child-friendly of any Star Trek film. It really is Star Trek for thoughtful adults, not those who yearn for fisticuffs and explosions and spaceships flying around. Maybe that’s why the fans turned on it so quickly? It did seem to be a disproportionately bitter response. Perhaps, in their heart of hearts, some fans are ashamed that while they speak in lofty terms about “IDIC” and Trek’s great socially moral program, what they really want are some bloody spaceships and lasers. Taken out of its Star Trek context and compared to its contemporaries, such as Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars and Alien, it really ranks up there with Alien for being fully-realized, well thought-out science fiction, rather than fantasy adventure. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, either! Apples and oranges.) It represents a much more adult, intelligent and mature engagement with science fiction themes than its contemporaries, and probably grapples with its themes just as capably as The Undiscovered Country. Compared to the rest of Robert Wise’s films, it once again makes a great deal of sense, being very similar in tone and style to his 1975 film The Hindenberg. Wise was no lightweight: he directed West Side Story, The Sound of Music and The Day The Earth Stood Still, in addition to having a history that stretched back to Citizen Kane. He made a film in his style, not necessarily the Star Trek “house” style, which may have alienated some longtime fans. I mentioned right off the top that The Motion Picture has flaws, but many of those flaws recede if you think of this film as not really a Star Trek film but as a Robert Wise film from the late seventies. Skilled, a bit old-fashioned, but with an unmistakable grace. For his part, Wise himself was never satisfied with the editing, effects, music and pacing, the picture having been rushed into theatres for Christmas 1979. Subsequent versions added and trimmed but it wasn’t until the aged Wise came back in 2002 to do what he called his final “check cut” (to use his old-fashioned Hollywood term), improving effects with CGI, creating a real 5.1 soundtrack and, probably most importantly, doing dozens of small, subtle edits, sometimes cutting a single line at a time. It’s the work of a master technician, who by that point had worked in the business for 60 years and knew what he was doing. (Nick Meyer, on the other hand, who directed and wrote everyone’s “favourite” Trek films wasn’t even really primarily a filmmaker, but a novelist and script doctor.) In some ways, this was the only Trek film made by a truly professional director until JJ Abrams took over in 2009. (JJ’s films, by the way, can be defended or attacked on the same basis: forget Trek, how do they compare to other sci-fi in 2009, or 2013? How do they compare to his other films?) The problem with enjoying Star Trek: The Motion Picture today is that we can’t take ourselves back to 1979, when all the Trek we had was the original series, and the die-hard fans may or may not have seen some of the animated series. There were the Gold Key comics, of course, but in the public imagination, this was a startling, engrossing and thoroughly adult take on Star Trek. I doubt we’ll ever see another Star Trek film like it again, which I think is a real shame. Comments Sat, 16 May 2015 07:25:46 PDT Ian Dawe Comment by jonn walsh on VOY S6: Muse Okay. I agree with everything being said by those who like it. A few problems for me: I must agree, Jammer. 8 days unconscious is serious. Very serious. She would've been suffering from all of the terrible effects of starvation and dehydration, not to mention possibly a concussion (or worse)...untreated coma with no nutrition, sitting tied to a chair in your own waste? Because I don't recall Kellis the Poet changing out B'eLanna's bedpan. And B'eLanna suffers no adverse effects from an 8 day coma? C'mon. I really hate that I have to live with that BS just so Capt. Jane can fret over Harry's status. 8 days was an egregious error. Ridiculous. And then it's 10 days? And Harry has been grooming himself pretty well. Couldn't they have given us some stubble or some grime or ANY indication that this guy is roaming the countryside, traveling by night, for a week and a half, an alien in hiding on a strange, relatively undeveloped world. Uh. The B'eLanna thing....unconscious for 8 days? Puhleeeeze. Comments Sat, 16 May 2015 06:24:49 PDT jonn walsh Comment by Toony on TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II The Borg changed everything Brian, the Borg changed everything. As soon as one Cube orbitted Earth (one century after V'ger!) after smashing a fleet, they knew their idealistic bullshit had to end. After the stories of parasites infiltrating Starfleet at the highest levels got out, starfleet had to tighten it's security measures. After the ROmulans resurfaced with a fleet of warbirds comparable to starfleets finest, and destablized the Klingon empire, Roddenberryism had to end. They're through the looking glass people.... Comments Sat, 16 May 2015 05:56:06 PDT Toony Comment by Gil on ENT S1: Acquisition Enterprise would have been ever so much more bearable those 4 taxing years if the crew had just worn underwear because, well, you can't deny, Trineer had a lovely bottom. Over and out. Comments Fri, 15 May 2015 20:00:00 PDT Gil Comment by Xylar on VOY S5: Relativity Well, after the last 2 slowmoving low on sci-fi episodes, this is a nice refresher. Finally some action and an actual sci-fi related plot. Sure, it's hopelessly convoluted and nonsensical, but it doesn't seem to care and just swiftly plows through the episode. There's action, there's goofiness, there's a twist. Pretty much everything I like about Star Trek in one episode. I'm not even going to bother nitpicking this time around, even though there's plenty to pick. As far as I'm concerned, this is what Trek should be all about. Comments Fri, 15 May 2015 17:59:50 PDT Xylar Comment by Del_Duio on TNG S5: Cause and Effect ^^ They should have tossed in a few cupcakes ^^ Comments Fri, 15 May 2015 09:38:25 PDT Del_Duio Comment by KL on VOY S5: Latent Image With all due respect to the Doc, he cannot age and die (in the traditional sense) like the rest of the crew. Comments Fri, 15 May 2015 07:18:34 PDT KL Comment by Mart on TNG S4: Family I liked this episode for the characterisation of Robert Picard. The previous 3 seasons have shown us Jean-Luc as a reserved man, capable of great emotion, but usually keeping it locked behind a wall of reserve. Occasionally he is outright cold, even if his care for his crew is obvious in his actions. Robert comes across as similar. He felt he had to care for his younger brother, but apparently was incapable of showing Jean-Luc that he actually cared. Their parents have a lot to answer for, it appears. Likewise I don't read his comments as a command: 'deal with it'. They sound more like an observation: 'whatever you do, you are going to have to deal with your trauma'. Completely in character as factual observation, but unhelpful on an interpersonal emotional level. The brother-brother dynamic reads true, which makes this a highlight of the episode, and raises it to the 'great episodes' list in my opinion. Comments Fri, 15 May 2015 04:37:37 PDT Mart Comment by dlpb on BSG S1: Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2 When you're writing a fiction and do away with all logic and all realism, the fiction fails because the tension evaporates. The fight scene was laughable, Starbuck would be seriously injured long before the fall. Adama is dead. And that's without mentioning all the other ridiculous absurdities with the episode. Comments Fri, 15 May 2015 01:04:51 PDT dlpb Comment by dlpb on BSG S3: Occupation/Precipice And if you're going to defend that with the "change of heart" the Cylons had - think again. That makes no sense either because here they are enslaving the humans. It's like the writers were just rolling dice to decide the outcome of plot threads. 4 Stars? In your dreams. Comments Thu, 14 May 2015 23:30:18 PDT dlpb Comment by dlpb on BSG S3: Occupation/Precipice The question you should be all asking is why the Cylons haven't wiped out Caprica. You see, the whole show makes no sense. It has no direction and it has no logic. It's just running on fumes and has been since Season 2. Comments Thu, 14 May 2015 23:24:50 PDT dlpb Comment by eastwest101 on ENT S3: Anomaly A much more succesful outing for S3 that still holds up OK today, all the action works logically and looks great, very entertaining to watch and has genuine Sci Fi "Oh wow" moments such as the scene approaching the sphere. Comments Thu, 14 May 2015 21:08:59 PDT eastwest101 Comment by eastwest101 on ENT S3: The Xindi Bit of a shock to the system as I had been away from this for a while, as Jammer says, a very mixed bag of an episode that looks a lot better than its rather routine mechanics would suggest. In no particular order, a couple of other things spring to mind. "Hey Andromeda - I'll see your silly insect CGI alien and raise you some whale people in water tanks!" The jaunty elevator salsa mix of the opening song - oh dear. We have decided to update Ms Pouty Tight Pants wardrobe to a full colour palette Pouty Tight Pants ensemble. Nice to see some things haven't changed though - T'Pol urges caution with Archer responding by ignoring the usually clear logical advice... Comments Thu, 14 May 2015 21:02:48 PDT eastwest101 Comment by Xylar on VOY S5: 11:59 Well, on the one hand, I appreciate Voyager trying something new occasionally. On the other hand, this was really slowmoving and rather pointless. It's a good thing they cut back to the Voyager crew every now and again, or I would have been bored to tears. The Voyager scenes work really well, but the Millenium Gate story was beyond boring. I just couldn't bring myself to care about anyone involved. And like Jeff Bedard says, why would Voyager have so much history in their database? Same issue I complained about back in 'Once Upon a Time'. There is no reason for Voyager to have this in their database, just like there was no reason for them to have children's stories stored in the holodeck. Mostly a pointless episode. The only thing worth remembering this for is the nice 'Voyager crew as a family' scenes. The Millenium Gate story itself amounts to nothing and is best left forgotten, if you ask me. Comments Thu, 14 May 2015 18:06:16 PDT Xylar Comment by The Man on TNG S5: Cause and Effect Totally agree Peter that would have been the perfect time to link the past with the future especially when it comes to the Enterprise. I also heard that they wanted Kirstie Alley to return as her Vulcan character (her spot was probably where the woman stood being Grammer) but they couldn't come to a financial agreement. That would have been a great blast from the past! Comments Thu, 14 May 2015 16:59:48 PDT The Man Comment by Jeff Bedard on TOS S1: The Enemy Within @Nathan G: the behind the scenes reason for no shuttlecraft is that this early in the series the idea of the Enterprise having shuttlecrafts hadn't been created yet. So for the original audience of this episode it wouldn't have been a concern. But all these years later anyone viewing this episode will have a difficult time letting this in-universe gaffe slide. I enjoy this episode, especially Spock's explanation of what is happening to Kirk and comparing his own inner battle with his Vulcan and human sides. I do wish the "evil" Kirk could have been more talkative. I understand that he is meant to personify Kirk's anger and rage, but EK still has intelligence and reasoning as well. A few filming gaffes (some of the EK scenes are clearly reversed from how it was actually filmed) tend to annoy me a bit, but I like how even for 1966 and just a few episodes in TOS was tackling some wonderful philosophical and ethical issues. And William Shatner (for all the acting bashing he gets) does a superb job (in my opinion) of embodying two diametrically opposed versions of himself. Comments Thu, 14 May 2015 15:24:19 PDT Jeff Bedard Comment by NCC-1701-Z on Star Trek: First Contact Easily my favorite TNG movie, and probably my 3rd or 4th favorite overall. The other TNG movies can't hold a candle to this one. It's just such a perfect balance of action, sci-fi, and uplifting Trek philosophy. And it actually works very well as a standalone movie - you can watch and enjoy this without having seen a single episode of TNG. It's a fairly good jumping off point for new fans in that regard. The only minus point in this one I think is the Borg Queen. Don't get me wrong, in the movie she's used well, but her long-term utilization in future Trek productions (looking at you Voyager) did a lot to water down the Borg. In essence - short-term awesomeness, long-term drag. This movie was, IMO, the only time the Borg Queen was used properly. (I read once that had Enterprise been extended for a 5th season, one episode would have explored the origins of the Borg Queen. Not sure if that would have been a good idea or not since we never saw it on screen.) I don't blame the writers; from a dramatic standpoint a central villain figure was probably necessary for a good payoff and it would have been hard to write a final confrontation scene facing off against the entire faceless Borg collective. I guess we'll never know. Also of note that this movie probably did a lot to extend the shelf life of Trek for several more years. Much like how Wrath of Khan eventually led to the creation of TNG, this movie did a lot to set up the backstory for Enterprise (whether or not that is a good thing is entirely your own opinion), although strictly speaking the closest we got to a direct followup/sequel was ENT's "Regeneration". Also, I have to say, love, LOVE the new phaser rifle design that debuts in this movie. And the Enterprise-E is probably my favorite starship design overall. Pity we only saw it in three movies. Comments Thu, 14 May 2015 12:19:27 PDT NCC-1701-Z Comment by Robrow on DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels I'm drained. I've just watched Alaimo enact the end of King Lear when he's crying over his daughter at the end. By far the most dramatic thing in the episode. Made me completely forget the Wormhole alien fluff and contrived sabotage. Great acting and, for me, one of the best scenes I've seen in any Trek. Gul Dukat, one of the best villains I've ever seen. Comments Thu, 14 May 2015 06:45:49 PDT Robrow Comment by EuroMIX on VOY S4: Retrospect I am saddened, but not surprised, to see so many in this comment section alone presuming guilt with no evidence. Innocent until PROVEN guilty; always. Due process is vital to any respectable society. Comments Wed, 13 May 2015 20:10:18 PDT EuroMIX Comment by Robrow on DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals This Dominion war arc invites comparison with B5 seasons 3 and 4: so far it hasn't seemed quite as epic and impressive. Plus none of the characters seem quite as fascinating as Londo and G'Kar. But this story was superb. The suicide and Kira's growing self-disgust, parallelled with the ending added up to great drama. It felt like watching a car crash: you can't do anything, but you can't take your eyes away either. Comments Wed, 13 May 2015 19:41:06 PDT Robrow Comment by Brodey Bishop on VOY S6: Muse Great review :) I loved this episode! BTW: The Delta flyer would have been beamed to a cargo hold. B'Elanna's emotion at the end reflected that Kelis had gradually worn down her indifference. She had come to care for his goal (as evidenced by her bending the prime directive), and was genuinely touched by his goodbye (after all it is a case of meeting people you like and will never see again). Overall: nicely acted! I loved that the play within the play was purposely imperfect, as it felt more genuine. "...and the viper in her nest" 7 of 9: "Queen of the Borg" lol (nice) Waymire: Best supporting actress in this episode. Sad she passed so young; I would have liked to see her in a lead role in something. Great supporting acting overall: From old man to the Patron (who looked like a little boy glued to the set of his favorite cartoon). Even the audience acted well ie (One man stands at exciting part... or waiting to clap in the first play until the patron gave " permission" with his response. Many small touches in this episode. Bravo, refreshing and fun! Comments Wed, 13 May 2015 18:08:41 PDT Brodey Bishop Comment by Xylar on VOY S5: Someone to Watch Over Me I don't really know how to feel about this one. I guess it's all about how you personally feel about more character focused episodes. Delving into a character's personality and adding on to it and exploring it is either something that is right up your alley or it's not. Personally, I don't care too much for these kinds of episodes. That's not to say they're bad. They're just not my cup of tea. I could have easily done without this episode, but I suppose there is some merit to it. Call me shallow, but I like my Star Trek a little more... exotic. They can have human elements, to be sure, but I want my Trek episodes to include strange aliens or unique space/time phenomena and, if at all possible, an action scene or two. But I suppose it can't be just that all the time. Sometimes, you just have to make room for more character development and the action/sci-fi elements have to take a backseat for that episode. Comments Wed, 13 May 2015 18:06:19 PDT Xylar Comment by Robert on TNG S2: Peak Performance @Mercuric - I haven't weighed in on this in a while, but Data is not a computer exactly. He's sentient. "There should be no functional difference between Data "playing to win" and "playing to tie", because Data should be playing to generally minimize his opponent's best outcome assuming perfect play. With an imperfect opponent, Data's advantage is greater." I'm not sure this is correct. Here is a set of rules for watching things like this. 1) If there is a PLAUSIBLE answer (ie not reaching/fankwanking) that makes the writers correct, this is the answer. The assumption should be that the script is correct and you work backwards from there... else.... why are we watching the show? A nit or a plothole is one thing, but if the script can make sense when looked at a certain way (and that way does not involve shoving your head up your rectum) then that is the correct way to look at it. 2) If you do not agree with 1 there is no point in continuing. If you do agree then the script assumes.... a) There is a strategy game that is endless or nearly so. Data states "Theoretically, I should be able to challenge him indefinitely." to ME that does not sound like a game with a built in end condition (in chess there is an end condition known as stalemate that kicks in after a certain number of moves of nothing happening). b) Something about this game limits the number of moves per minute to something that a humanoid could reach the maximum moves on... or that having endless moves offers no benefit. On my Nintendo I had to wait until Mario landed to jump again. Data's ability to smash the button into dust would not assist him in making Mario jump more often. Since we've seen Data move so fast he blurs we have to assume this. c) There is a way to play to a stalemate and this strategy is different than playing to win. How do I know this? The script says so. You seem to take issue with this. I'm not sure why. Since we do not have the rules the advantage goes to the writers. Imagine a game where to score a winning blow you need to advance one of your pieces into your opponents territory but doing so means you cannot guard your own territory with 100% accuracy. Maybe Data took a gambit with an incredibly high chance of victory and Kolrami, instead of trying to block it, took an incredibly high risk/high reward gambit of his own. IE - he played illogically and screwed Data. Data later rewards him by playing illogically himself and taking no openings at all, making it impossible for either to win. Is such a game impossible to exist? Only if your imagination prevents you from imagining it! The only thing I take issue with is Troi and Pulaski having to cure his bruised ego. He should be aware enough of probability to know that whatever gambit he took caused him to have a % chance to lose. Although again, giving a nod in favor of the script making sense it's possible that he was not upset he lost but instead upset that his strategical processors did not anticipate the loss as being possible because he assumed Kolrami would never do what he did. Perhaps he was more worried that a humanoid opponent surprised him. Comments Wed, 13 May 2015 12:53:58 PDT Robert Comment by Mercuric on TNG S2: Peak Performance Hoo boy, what a discussion! People have a serious misunderstanding of computers here. When a computer plays chess, it computes its movements in advance. Those who said that the computer "does not consider board position" are incorrect. It in fact considers various outcomes as "good" or "bad". Generally, when utilizing proper strategy, the computer attempts to "minimize" the "maximum" outcome for the opponent. In this way the computer will select its next move based on all future movements. This is what chess grandmasters can do. What they can do that computers can't is ignore obviously bad moves. Sometimes the computer won't recognize this, and will waste computational cycles calculating something that it doesn't need to which, combined with a time limit, can allow the human player to win. As computers have become faster and algorithms (made by humans) became smarter, this advantage is basically gone and will continue to shrink. There should be no functional difference between Data "playing to win" and "playing to tie", because Data should be playing to generally minimize his opponent's best outcome assuming perfect play. With an imperfect opponent, Data's advantage is greater. Some people mentioned Tic-Tac-Toe above. Like Checkers, Tic-Tac-Toe is "solved". When both players play optimally, the result is a draw. A computer (with the correct programming) cannot lose at Tic-Tac-Toe or Checkers. However, a sufficiently knowledgeable human can play them to a draw. The idea that the alien guy can even play Data to a draw in a game of dexterity and strategy is patently absurd, let alone the idea that he can thrash him first time. Comments Wed, 13 May 2015 10:12:45 PDT Mercuric Comment by MsV on DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang @Del_Duio: C'mon, you can't tell me whenever somebody says "Bloody Spoonheads!" you don't crack a smile lol. I thought most of it was funny, except the Odo situation. It was meant to be serious. Comments Wed, 13 May 2015 08:43:18 PDT MsV Comment by Peter on TNG S6: The Quality of Life I'll weigh in as someone who liked this episode, but I would not rate it more than 3 stars. It does qualify as an episode that further develops the character of Data. It is really more about him than the exocomps, in my opinion. It is nowhere near as great as "The Measure of a Man" episode in advancing the idea of the importance of artificial life. First my criticisms: I totally agree that Dr Farallon's character was not well-written. She seemed rude and disagreeable for most of the episode. She even jumped down Geordi's throat a one point, only to apologize when he explains he was trying to help her by assigning some of his staff to her project. That she comes round at the end seems contrived. As others have pointed out above, as a scientist/engineer, she should be THRILLED to have achieved creating artificial life rather than being irked that her robotic tools are acting up. I also found the premise that Picard is assigned the exclusive duty of evaluating a new mining technology to be hard to believe. Dr. Farallon presents it as extremely important that Picard recommend her orbital mining apparatus to the Federation. Why? Is it a question of future funding, or just a matter of pride with her? It seems that if the mining equipment works well and is cost-effective (which I'm not sure putting equipment into orbit to perform a ground-based operation would be) -- then it would prove itself, wouldn't it? On the other hand, if an independent outsider's evaluation were needed by Starfleet, wouldn't it make sense that they would assign some mining expert who would be familiar with the operation and effectiveness of all the current mining technologies? I.e., someone who could properly evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the orbital plasma generator in relation to the alternative technologies already in use? The fact is, they could have simply written the story to include some mining expert as a guest star who is taken aboard at the beginning of the episode to perform this evaluation. A final quibble is the feeling that I felt that this entire episode has sort of been done before. Back in Season 1 or 2, there was an episode where Wesley creates these nanobots for a school project. The things get loose and start infecting the Enterprise's systems. The crew then starts to try to exterminate the little robots, only to realize they are an artificial life form that must be preserved. Another episode I was also strongly reminded of is TOS' "The Devil in the Dark" -- another episode that's all about discovering a new life form in the course of running a mining operation. These are minor quibbles, I must admit. There were several things I liked about the episode. For one thing, it was aimed at an ADULT audience. The previous two episodes this season seemed to be all about appealing to audience members age 10 and under. Then there's the fact that the story advance our knowledge of Data. That always makes for a good episode. I also liked the design of the exocomps. They kept reminding me of baby R2D2s or something. They were awfully cute for "tools," which was no doubt deliberate to make us feel more sympathetic. I also got a good laugh from the beard discussion in the teaser, and I enjoyed Dr. Crusher's role in supporting Data with his quest to define life. But then I'm partial to Beverly anyway, so I like episodes where she gets to do more. Comments Wed, 13 May 2015 07:42:24 PDT Peter Comment by Del_Duio on DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang C'mon, you can't tell me whenever somebody says "Bloody Spoonheads!" you don't crack a smile lol. Comments Wed, 13 May 2015 02:30:54 PDT Del_Duio Comment by Robert on VOY S5: Nothing Human @Dennis - People like you are responsible for "Profit and Lace", "Inside Man" and "Acquisition". You know that, don't you? Comments Tue, 12 May 2015 12:52:51 PDT Robert Comment by MisterBenn on BSG S4: He That Believeth in Me Baltar's cult of attractive females reminds me more than a little bit of Castle Anthrax from Monty Python's Holy Grail! (dialogue is probably NSFW) Comments Tue, 12 May 2015 10:28:00 PDT MisterBenn Comment by Dennis on VOY S5: Nothing Human Computer change visual and personality parameters of Krell from Cardassian to Ferrengi. Crisis averted, Hilarity ensues. Comments Tue, 12 May 2015 08:50:54 PDT Dennis Comment by MsV on DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang Star Trek has always had racial issues, not counting the time Abe Lincoln called Ahura a nigress, but what about "You green blood hobgoblin" and more. Klingons were a race that was hated. How about you "bloody cardies" a racial slur and just recently on Chimera, the Klingons kept calling Laas a founder, this was to justify them wanting to pick on him. I know Laas was a pain, but it was pure bigotry. Someone said Sisko's problem with slavery is over 400 years old, whether it was slavery or as he put it, the Civil Rights movement was in its infancy, it mattered to him. To say it didn't belong in the episode is ludicrous, Star Trek has always dealt with racial issues in its own way. Now, if any of you had been enslaved like the Bajorans you wouldn't dismiss the issue so easily especially after only a few years, it takes a lot longer to heal from long term brutality. As for black people in this country, were not allowed to forget about slavery because they were only being treated slightly better in the 1960's. Most black people that I know are still sensitive to both subjects, no, no one will riot or get bent out of shape about it, but would take notice about some of the ignorant statements made by some ignorant people. Why do you think there are so many different movements going on today, Black, Gays, Women, etc. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly regardless of their race, creed, color, sexual orientation, etc. I will shut up for now but I can go on on this subject for days. Comments Tue, 12 May 2015 07:46:33 PDT MsV Comment by Toony on DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast I think Section 31 was in on this plot too, it might have been a joint operation from all of them though only the Cardassians and Romulans could build a fleet. @ Yanks 'The only real issue I see with this episode is that the Jem'Hadar attack the shuttle with Odo on it. It was given to Odo/Garak by a Founder, I find it hard to believe that Founder didn't make it very clear not to shoot the one with Odo on it.' Good catch though later on in the series they did hint the Founders control over the Vorta and Jem Hadar to be overstated as they too seek power (demonstrated in episodes: Treachery, Faith and the Great River and To The Death), it's possible the Jem Hadar themselves saw Odos free range as a threat to the Dominion. Comments Tue, 12 May 2015 06:27:09 PDT Toony Comment by Pam on TNG S2: Pen Pals Even though it had its moments, I found myself rather unimpressed as a whole with this episode. It didn't start well, with Riker stating that he'd like to give Wesley some command experience (eye roll), then it moved on to Data rather inexplicably pulling a console apart, at his own behest. (And considering that Data happens to be third in command of the ENTIRE SHIP, how is it that Worf is looming over him in a most disapproving manner, even grilling him as to what he is doing? At least in the last episode, he ended his command to "BE GONE!" With a "...sir.") As others have stated, the hand-wringing over whether or not they should help, since they have the technology to do so AND cover their tracks at the same time ready to hand (or nearly so) just seemed like time-filler to me. And seriously, I'd have thought Troi would be better with kids, being an empath and all. To be fair, I did enjoy the acting in this episode, especially from Stewart, Spiner, and Frakes. Even though Data was out of character in regards to his new "friend," I felt perhaps it was intended to signify his continued growth beyond being just a machine. I would probably give this 2 1/2 stars, mainly for the little asides between Picard and Riker, and also for watching Data's struggle between helping his friend and following orders, which is very human, indeed. Comments Tue, 12 May 2015 05:00:09 PDT Pam Comment by Mark on TNG S1: Heart of Glory As an add on to what the others were saying, Yar and her team are shown to be quite inept. Her security team doesn't even check the prisoners for the most basic weapons. The prisoners assemble the weapons and the guards are looking the other way...I half expected the captain to chew her out...the breakaway floor at the end was another LOL moment... Comments Tue, 12 May 2015 04:42:07 PDT Mark Comment by Christopher Pike on TOS S1: The Galileo Seven William B, thank you for your thorough and thoughtful analysis! I'm watching TOS for the first time; this is certainly one of the more complex episodes and very worthy of the time and effort you've clearly put into your discussion of the episode. I wish I had something fresh to add, but as a Star Trek newbie I think I'll be in read-only mode for some time yet. Comments Tue, 12 May 2015 04:09:18 PDT Christopher Pike Comment by MsV on DS9 S7: Chimera @Yanks: I've always wondered if Odo infected Laas. I thought the same thing, but he probably did. Someone mentioned the scan Bashir did and thought it should have detected the virus in Odo. That is not how Julian found out Odo had the disease, he took a sample of Odo and did other test, that's how he found out Odo was infected. BTW, I have to disagree with Jammer on this one, I liked Siege at AR558 much better than this one. I liked this show but I couldn't stand Laas. Comments Tue, 12 May 2015 00:34:30 PDT MsV