Comments on Jammer's Reviews RSS feed for comments posted on Jammer's Reviews en-us Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:55:10 PDT Comment by todayshorse on TOS S3: Turnabout Intruder Watched this yesterday on the 'horror channel' of all things here in the UK. I quite enjoyed it. Not really sure of the sexist overtones but considering when it was made ill let that pass. Greatest moment? Early on when they get back to the ship and Bones is talking to a seated Kirk. Note how Kirk is doing his nails! Subtle but brilliant. Shatner i thought played the part really well, he stammers and 'ers..' his way through his rants, the crews faces as he/she gets more desperate towards the end are excellent. Id give it 4 stars! Throughly enjoyed it. Comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:55:10 PDT todayshorse Comment by Robert on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons @Yanks - Well Data is more of a hardware program and Doc is more software. That said, you can probably make Mario entirely on a circuit board or a software exe and have it play exactly the same. Comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:17:08 PDT Robert Comment by Yanks on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons Peremensoe, "So Doc's mind runs on the ship computer, while Data's runs on his personal computer in his head. This is a physiological difference between them, but not a philosophical one, as far as I can see. The *location* of a being's mind says nothing about its capacity for thought and experience." I think it's a little more than that. Doc can be rewritten at a whim. Data can not. When "Data" was dowloaded into B4, he reverted back to essentially a child. Doc on the other hand just pops himself into whatever computer or 29th century mobile emitter he can find. Comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:03:38 PDT Yanks Comment by Robert on VOY S7: Shattered @Norvo - Why? Kes was jumping backwards through her own life. Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap jumps around during his own. Time travel in Trek near Earth never accidentally beams the crew to before Earth existed. When Sisko was bouncing around in time he was tied to Jake. I'm not telling you the science makes perfect sense, but as far as time travel is established in Trek the idea that this thing could be tied to Voyager isn't that weird. The phenomenon happened to Voyager, why couldn't it have been tied to Voyager's existence? Sure you might have been able to walk into the cargo bay and find a bunch of Utopia Planetia technicians building the thing (and that might have been pretty funny) but the idea isn't that out there. I like this episode, Beltran looked like he was having a lot of fun (nice to see for a change in the later seasons) and I loved all the little continuity tie ins from past episodes. This was a Voyager episode for Voyager fans. Not a classic 4 star, but I'll give it 3.5. It was fun. Comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 06:25:44 PDT Robert Comment by Norvo on VOY S7: Shattered What I like about these reviews is that they often offer a completely different point of view. I actually liked the episode, despite its inherent and unapologetic goofiness. However, now I can no longer deny that the science behind it makes no sense. If the ship is fractured into different timeperiods, shouldn't it also include the past well before Voyager was even built? You turn a corner, shift zones and find yourself floating in the vacuum of space because there wasn't a ship back then. But hey, at least they made it home. Comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:23:47 PDT Norvo Comment by Robert on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons Well Data's positronic net was supposedly so hard to replicate that nobody other than Soong was successful. That being said, the Enterprise's computer accidentally made a sentient hologram in Moriarty.... so that fact that life could spring out of an EMH is far from difficult to imagine given Voyager is a more advanced ship and the pre-VOY canon supports such an accident anyway. I've always liked the EMH as it connected to Data because of a few lines mentioned here and there ("The Offspring" and "Eye of the Beholder") about how hard it was for Data to transition into sentience. I actually feel like they paid a lot of that story off in Voyager. In a lot of ways it's an ongoing story that began with "Measure of a Man" and ran all the way to "Author, Author". Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:36:52 PDT Robert Comment by Peremensoe on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons Yanks: "[The Doctor] is a computer program, while Data has the positronic brain. I think I see a difference there." So Doc's mind runs on the ship computer, while Data's runs on his personal computer in his head. This is a physiological difference between them, but not a philosophical one, as far as I can see. The *location* of a being's mind says nothing about its capacity for thought and experience. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:23:05 PDT Peremensoe Comment by William B on VOY S4: Random Thoughts @Peremensoe, I was not aware of that -- I recall hearing that Grace Lee Whitney found the environment very difficult, but I didn't know more than that. That's really awful (and makes that "Enemy Within" moment harder to stomach, somehow). Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:05:31 PDT William B Comment by Peremensoe on VOY S4: Random Thoughts William B and Robert, are you aware that Grace Lee Whitney said she was sexually assaulted by a Desilu producer during that time period? Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:38:16 PDT Peremensoe Comment by Caleb on DS9 S4: Return to Grace "The writers don't seem to know what to do with Dukat. At times he has wanted to: atone, seek revenge, receive forgiveness, receive vindication, get revenge.. and then at the end he becomes a fire monster who wants nothing more than to kill Sisko." Completely disagree... well, sort of, that's just the thing... Dukat himself doesn't know who is, Dukat's existensial crisis and continually evolving identity is the point. Most people in life ARE all over the place because most people are not self-actualized, and Dukat's character makes perfect sense in this context, and it's part of what makes him one of the most compelling characters. His "fire monster" act near the end... well, I can see why some people can't jive with it, but for however over the top it is I still see it as a development that works in the larger context. Insanity can indeed be the eventual outcome of an existential crisis that only builds and where no self-actualization or realization is ever reached. Oh, and 4 star episode for me. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:24:06 PDT Caleb Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Penumbra This is a reasonable stepping stone episode. It's more about setting up questions for the last stretch of shows, but it does so well enough. The nicest moments involve Sisko and his plans to get married, asking Jake to be his best man, etc. The Damar and Weyoun bickering is nicely reintroduced, as is the disease in the Great Link. When Dukat showed up, I couldn't help but think, "I forgot you're still around". It's always nice to see Alaimo back, but I still can't shake the feeling that his character is now so far removed from the meat of the series. The Ezri/Worf stuff is fine. Jammer's bang-on about how it really is a lot of break up-and-reconnecting cliches. I wished we'd have gotten something a bit more... weighty? It's nice to see Ezri call out Worf for never being around, but it doesn't seem like it's going much farther than that. Like I said, it's a reasonable show with some good character moments. Hard to judge on its own, but it's a fairly well done hour. 3 stars, I guess. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:20:30 PDT $G Comment by Matrix on TNG S5: Darmok @Robert Cheers for that! I have read it and will probablybe thinking about this for a long time now and it seems a lot of other people will too. There's a passage on a reddit page linked there that I love: PICARD: "I don't understand you! Return me to my ship!" DARMOK: "Not sure if serious." PICARD: "Wait. Are you saying that this is a complex bonding ritual in which we strand ourselves on a planet with a partially invisible monster?" DARMOK: "Shut up and take my money!" PICARD: "We shall be fast friends until the end of the episode." DARMOK: "HA! HA! I'm using Forbes' insoluble dry plates!" at the very least it makes you think and for that reason alone it's a valuable episode. i will be checking it out very soon. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:24:09 PDT Matrix Comment by Caleb on DS9 S2: Armageddon Game Very worthwhile for the O'Brien and Bashir stuff, but I just never bought the motivations of the T'Lani and the Kellerens and the last act felt rushed and kind of silly. Nonetheless, the character stuff is really good, and that last little revelation about the coffee... pretty amusing. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:16:27 PDT Caleb Comment by Jerry on ENT S1: Vox Sola Not a bad episode, except for Dawson's incredibly annoying directing. Good directing is invisible; Dawson's is noticeable every single second, which is, at best, distracting and, at worst, STOP WITH THE FRICKIN' FOCUS PULLS!!! Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:29:50 PDT Jerry Comment by Robert on VOY S4: Random Thoughts @WilliamB "The difference between that and the fabled continuity is that I don't think there's any rule that says that continuity is automatically better than not-continuity." I will MOSTLY agree with this. There is no rule. That being said, the REASON most shows didn't have any continuity (the way Friends does but say Lucy doesn't) is because networks didn't like continuity. If a writer decided their show would be better without continuity, that'd be an artistic choice. The choice to scrape away continuity to a point where episodes can function in any order is rarely an artistic one and almost always a business one. That said, continuity != serial. I LIKE that DS9 had serial aspects, but I do enjoy many shows that focus on "episode of the week". But the characters often do grow and continuity is present. So when I compare lack of continuity to sexism I don't mean to equate them at all, but they are both more forgivable in the past because they are both relics of an older era of television. It's why I used the example of Lucy and Desi sleeping in the same bed because that level of conservativeness (ridiculous levels) is also a relic. "I do think Voyager wasn't using all the tools that it "had available" in terms of the benefits of continuity, though, of course, no series use *all* the tools that are available, including all the Treks." This is really what I meant. Not that Voyager doesn't have continuity but that the fear of change and the need to return to the status quo (which was a very real thing in most networks) hampered Voyager at a time that it should have felt bolder to make some real changes. It was missing a tool it should have had in it's shed and as such is a bigger disappointment than TNG, even if many of the episodes are of comparable quality. "But then, is there a difference between NBC making demands in the 1960's and UPN making demands in the 90's/2000's? " Probably not. Maybe it is unrealistic to expect that just because DS9 was trailblazing that VOY would follow it... but UPN making those demands in the later 90s was probably pretty anachronistic. I do appreciate your last paragraph. I think I disagree pretty strongly with the possibility that abandoning continuity could ever be desirable, but perhaps there will eventually be a backlash to heavy serialization. Although maybe the extreme popularity of CSI/NCIS type shows are already that. They are VERY episodic (even if they do have continuity). Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:10:41 PDT Robert Comment by Jack on DS9 S3: The House of Quark Q'on'os and the Klingon Empire is on the other side of the vast Federation from Bajor and has to be at least a trip of several weeks. They kept Quark unconscious for that entire trip?!? Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:41:45 PDT Jack Comment by Jack on DS9 S3: The Search, Part I I may have missed something, but is Eddington's debut "real" or part of the fantasy? Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:04:50 PDT Jack Comment by William B on VOY S4: Random Thoughts I can sort of see both sides in this Robert/Elliott conversation. A few quick thoughts: I do think it's worth distinguishing between *format* and, uh, *cultural assumptions*. It is true that over the past half-century, sexism and racism have become less extreme. I can find "The Enemy Within" quite a good episode, even though Spock basically jokes that Rand really must have enjoyed Evil-Kirk almost raping her. And it's not that it wasn't sexist then; it was wrong then. And it is a real failure of imagination that *Spock* would regard sexual assault as a great time to make jabs. However, on some level I am aware that people are not wholly separate from their culture, and while I find it disappointing that they were not able to break out of certain styles of thinking (and while I have my suspicions that Grace Lee Whitney's having a very rough time on the show and her departure may have something to do with the fairly crappy treatment her character gets, especially if you imagine that offscreen follows onscreen at all) I find it easier to let it slide while watching than sexism in TNG or post-TNG Trek. Along similar lines, while it doesn't affect my enjoyment of TOS that much on an episode-to-episode basis, the presence of Uhura especially, and to a lesser extent Sulu and Chekov, does endear me to the show and to Roddenberry's vision in a big way. Uhura was a revolutionary character. She would not be now, because she very seldom has a big role, but she inspired a generation of women and black people, ala Whoopi Goldberg. That is huge, and it is an example of the show, on a meta-level, "putting its money where its mouth is," picking specific examples of things that were lacking in 1960's America and putting them in the imagined future. Uhura would not be a revolutionary character today, which is good -- because representation has changed over time. I'm not sure if I could say for sure that it would affect my *enjoyment* of the series, but it does in some senses affect my evaluation of the show. The difference between that and the fabled continuity is that I don't think there's any rule that says that continuity is automatically better than not-continuity. Most of my favourite shows are continuity-heavy. I think that it is a very good use of the television medium, which allows for long-form storytelling in a way that films can't, and in some senses even in a way individual novels can't (though novel series can). As such, television *can* benefit from continuity in storytelling -- which allows for the possibility of seeing people change over a long period of time and as a result of key events, with some of the rhythms of life. Now, Elliott has made a good case that this still happens in Voyager, just without that many explicit references to individual events, so, you know, good if that's the case (my memory of Voyager is still kinda foggy). I do think Voyager wasn't using all the tools that it "had available" in terms of the benefits of continuity, though, of course, no series use *all* the tools that are available, including all the Treks. If we do include an assumption that continuity is automatically better, then I think it is possible to construct an argument about why it's easy to let the earlier shows off the hook. For one thing, it really is true that continuity, even on DS9, was to some degree discouraged by the execs out of fear that viewers would be lost. I'm pretty sure that a Dominion Occupation arc of longer than six episodes was suggested by the writing team and axed. I can't say for sure how much resistance there was to TNG's small bouts of continuity, if any; the continuity in TNG is well integrated into episodic stories for the most part. With Voyager, I do think that there is some degree of network interference preventing the show from having greater amounts of continuity, etc. This goes back to "network interference" as the reason we couldn't have a female first officer in TOS (though TNG, alas, killed its only female line officer within the first year). On some level, recognizing that it's impossible for a series to show a certain something because of network requirements does factor into my view of the work. But then, is there a difference between NBC making demands in the 1960's and UPN making demands in the 90's/2000's? I do think that there is something of a rebellion, at least in some quarters, against the ultra-heavy continuity. "Louie" is a pretty cutting-edge comedy/drama which overtly eschews episode-to-episode continuity often -- ending one two-parter with the title character apparently caring for his niece for the immediate future, and then dropping her in the next episode. In its case, the show is clearly experimenting, because it's an experimental kind of existential comedy. However, I think in there is a recognition that excessive dwelling on continuity can be stifling to creativity, that these stories aren't actually real, and that it may be that making something of a loose anthology consisting of several great stories featuring the main character, along with certain long-running arcs following more "traditional" recent modes of continuity, is a better option for telling as many great stories, packing the most punch. I think it may be possible that a new age of standalone or even anthology shows will eventually develop and the idea that it's automatically better for shows to be continuity-heavy will fade in proportion. On the other hand, it may also just be that the television medium works best when taking advantage of the long-form medium to tell, well, long-form stories. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:41:48 PDT William B Comment by M.P. on VOY S3: Before and After About the Ocampan lifespan: It is -not- plausible the way it is now. I cannot remember the exact math but a quick Google search would find it. Essentially, with a 9-year lifespan and only one reproductive cycle, the starting number of Ocampans would have to have been greater than the total number of atoms in the entire universe. The way around this is to make fact the insinuated idea that the Ocampans are a dying species. Most likely, before the disaster, they lived much longer lives with many reproductive cycles. Time has seen each generation deteriorate to the point where their species is now at an end. Sad, really. The Caretaker wasn't trying to protect them; he was trying to make comfortable their final years of existence as a species. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:33:12 PDT M.P. Comment by Robert on VOY S4: Random Thoughts So I guess the reality is, no I don't think "I Love Lucy" is great.... for 1950. I think it's just great. But it sure does make it easier to overlook certain flaws. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:27:22 PDT Robert Comment by Yanks on TOS S1: Space Seed I nver bought the "Chekov" complaint... Khan had access to the ship's database... Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:26:36 PDT Yanks Comment by Robert on VOY S4: Random Thoughts I'm saying that if Final Fantasy 15 looked like Final Fantasy 7 I wouldn't play it h t t p:// That doesn't mean the original isn't one of my favorite games or that I won't break it out again the next time I miss it. It just means that the blockheads don't bother me because at the time you couldn't do better. Just like I'd not give my time, energy or money to a television show capable of producing the sexist DRECK that is "The Turnabout Intruder", but since it's a product of it's time and made some really brilliant sci-fi I'm willing to look past the flaws. I like Voyager (and have actually been saying a lot of nice things about it recently as I look over my comment history) but it just can't sit up there with TNG because TNG was a product of it's time and Voyager could have been better. The specific comment I was replying to was "Once you accept Voyager is NOT DS9 and was never meant to be, and you compare it to TNG and TOS, it fares quite well. TNG had it fair share of doozies, and TOS well don't get me started on TOS. " Saying it fares well in a DIRECT comparison to TNG or TOS is just not really a fair fight (it's like comparing the graphics of FF7 to FF15). Want to know what TOS is like with continuity? See ST2, ST3 and ST4. On going themes, story lines and continuity. The result? REALLY FREAKING AWESOME. Why were they brave enough to try that? Because Star Wars was doing it. Voyager could have done these things AND played it safe. They didn't have to trail blaze. They could have just followed DS9. You don't have to agree with my assessment of Voyagers flaws. You don't have to agree that I won't cut Voyager slack against TNG and TOS. But I can't see it any other way. Let me put it to you this way. Do you roll your eyes when Lucy and Ricky sleep in separate beds? Would you eye roll if Ross and Rachel did? I sure would...... Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:26:11 PDT Robert Comment by Elliott on VOY S4: Random Thoughts Are you saying you have a filter in your brain which silences criticisms over continuity, etc. based on when the show was produced? Are you saying that TV shows of our time are automatically better (or held to a higher standard) than shows of the past because our format has changed? I find this rather difficult to accept. I don't watch "2001" and think, "Boy this is great...for 1968," I just love the film for everything it is. True, I can analyse features of the film and account for how "of," "ahead of," or "behind" the times it was, but that doesn't affect my enjoyment of the film. The same is true for me of Star Trek. I don't hold a higher suspension of disbelief with TOS than I do for ENT; I've said before that I think Trek is best absorbed as mythology, anyway, but that's another discussion. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:11:02 PDT Elliott Comment by Robert on TOS S1: Space Seed Unless it ever outright states that Chekov joins the Enterprise after this he could have encountered Khan off screen. And you are thinking of a double feature. They don't do that much anymore. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:50:54 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on VOY S4: Random Thoughts For a lot of it's run Voyager did not much concern itself with how it would be viewed if you were marathoning it on Netflix, and it doesn't really hold up. Things like Kes breaking up with Neelix while possessed, Janeway not following through with her threats to the Vidiians, the Doctor's memory wipe barely being addressed again, Kim forgetting about Libby nearly entirely without it ever being mentioned again, and a whole slew of other things shows a casual disregard for continuity that keeps it from being great under a lens of how TV is viewed today. And while you can forgive TNG some of those things I think it's harder to forgive Voyager. They DID try this a few times, and I thought it mostly worked (the Doctor's story holds up well over a Netflix marathon, the continuing growth of the Borg kids, Naomi growing up, Torres&Paris' relationship). I give credit where credit was due, but I swear a lot of times it seemed like the guy writing the episode of the week was barely familiar with the canon. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 07:16:45 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on VOY S4: Random Thoughts It'd be like TOS doing "Angel One" or "Code of Honour". I'd be MUCH less judgey about a show in the 60s doing that. TNG should have grown up enough to have never tried that nonsense. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 07:11:27 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on VOY S4: Random Thoughts While you are right about art.... being old fashioned on purpose can be charming. Being old fashioned because you refuse to adapt is... sad? TV shows were crippled in the past by the requirement from networks that the episodes be able to be shown out of order. I'm not aware of any TV writer that laments the fact that now you can have characters develop (even if that wasn't the focus) because the shows are more likely to live on in DVD than to be watching in 30 years of TV reruns. Refusing to grow up with the times is not always a sign of being old fashioned, sometimes it's just a sign of being dense. Like I said, I don't judge Voyager for not being a serial (I actually liked House M.D. to use an example LESS when it got more serialized, I preferred the patient of the week stories... but either way the characters were still developing), I just judge it because the network pressure to make it something lesser than it could have been is sad. Whereas TNG was literally as good as it could have been at the time. Comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 07:10:07 PDT Robert Comment by zzybaloobah on DS9 S7: Strange Bedfellows And don't forget: "I'm sure the Founder will understand. If not, I look forward to meeting Weyoun-9." Realistically, when did Damar get so witty? but I'm loving it. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:56:47 PDT zzybaloobah Comment by todayshorse on TOS S1: Space Seed Strangely, i had never seen this episode of TOS before although I have seen TWOK many times including years ago with my father at the cinema with I'm sure TMP first. Did they really do things like that? Show one movie then another? Or is my mind playing tricks? Anyway I'd heard about the episode and read about it here. Bizarrely it turns up on some tv channel here in the UK yesterday, pretty strange!. Fascinating to watch. One bit that I had to pause and watch again is when the gas gets released and Scotty sort of runs out the room but quickly turns round and floors one of Khans 'men' before running out. Rather bizarre but I thought pretty funny. I guess it was the same bloke that dropped Scotty earlier. Interesting that there's no Chekov in the Episode which kinda messes up TWOK a little though I guess that's already been mentioned. Fabulous stuff that's got me watching quite a bit of TOS (loved the epsiode when they go back to the 1960's with the air force pilot!) even though 'my trek ' has and will always be TNG. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:14:33 PDT todayshorse Comment by Elliott on VOY S4: Random Thoughts @Robert : "But Voyager, like every other show, needs to be judged as a product of it's time." I have to fundamentally disagree here. While some aspects of TV production may naturally evolve (read: improve) over time, such as special effects in an objective manner, there is no standard which says that story-telling formats are automatically better the more tightly they follow (or lead in DS9's case) trends. It can be of historical interest to note how show well shows capture the spirit or styles of their time, but it is not a measure of quality. Otherwise, the soap opera would an evolutionary highpoint of storytelling with its uninterrupted continuous narrative. Several artists have been considered out of step and old-fashioned in their day (Vermeer, Bach, Pushkin), while others were cutting-edge (Hemingway, Wagner, Monet, Shakespeare). This does not diminish the greatness of any artist or work of art, it is simply a stylistic choice. The Voyager authors apparently felt it was easier to stick to the Trek ethos by embracing the Trek format of yesteryear (be it 1960s or 80s). This retro-style had little to no impact on the quality of the writing. Judge that as you wish, but I for one reject the notion that "timeliness" accounts for calibre. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:28:12 PDT Elliott Comment by Robert on VOY S4: Random Thoughts Voyager is being judged by it's time. Pretty much all shows by this point, including sitcoms, had some amount of character development, continuity and do not fully reset at the end of each episode. DS9 had "serial" elements. I don't judge Voyager for not having them. I judge Voyager for needing to end the episode in the same "state" it began it. If it wanted to be judged by the same standards as "Lost in Space" and "TOS" it needed to be made 30 years earlier. And if it wanted to be judged as "TNG" it needed to be made 10 years earlier. That's not to say some of Voyager doesn't do really well. I recently touted the Doctor's personal arc as excellent and relatively reset button free. And this episode was a great showing for Tuvok, Vulcans in general and Voyager. But Voyager, like every other show, needs to be judged as a product of it's time. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:49:05 PDT Robert Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges Excellent hour. It slides in a notch under "In the Pale Moonlight" but only because that episode's frame narrative was so compelling. I agree with everything Jammer says (except that the plot may be too complex for its own good). I never even considered that Sisko would have been aware of the plot, but given what we already know, it's not an unsupported conclusion. Things that are awesome: -Every beat of the episode works and builds into a legitimately high stakes mystery. (I especially enjoyed the call-back to "The Quickening". It's not a big deal, but continuity always makes a series that much more realistic.) -The episode is necessary in that it shows DS9 is a show that recognizes the precariousness of political alliances. It's been going on the entire series, and it takes care not to suggest everything will be resolved just because the good guys (inevitably) are victorious. This episode suggests its own future without being able to explore it, and I think that's a pretty effective device. The Wire's (excellent) finale is an example of this, too. -I love the sobering portrayal of the Federation trying to hold itself together in a region of political upheaval, which is a legitimate question to pose when one is working with a future utopia. "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost" effectively utilized the "rogue admiral" cliche, but it's done even more effectively because, A), we already know Ross to be a reasonable man, and, B), his rationale is completely understandable given the last two seasons of war and especially episodes like "AR-558". It was a smart move to only have Ross collude with Sloan rather than be a part of Section 31 completely. -Even though I've seen this show in its entirety, I forgot that Admiral Ross gets this much development in S7. I've made comments on other S7 episodes that this season is the year of the secondary characters. I forgot how true that continues to be. As much as I miss the routine of our main cast doing their jobs every week, it just goes to show how big and unpredictable DS9 has become. The canvas just keeps widening. This episode has one flaw, I think, though it's pretty minor and really pretty subjective: the new actress playing Cretak. She's actually really quite good, but the new face kind of weakens the punch that this is the same (reasonable and likable) woman we know from "Shadows and Symbols". She works perfectly within the story but, y'know, that visual continuity just isn't there. Other than that, this is not only an easy 4-star episode but it's a top 10 episode of the series. Essential. Do not skip. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:32:15 PDT $G Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang I found Sisko's objection interesting and I think it would have made a pretty good episode all on its own. (That is, period-piece entertainment and whether or not the entertainment can be divorced from problematic inspirations). The episode doesn't go anywhere with it, really. But I also think not having Sisko say anything would have been out of character. Not only is Sisko a history buff, but he personally visited a rough period in the 21st century ("Past Tense") AND experienced first-hand the pre-civil rights prejudice through Benny Russell. Anyway, I still think this is a fun episode. A lot of people tend not to like this one, but I don't know why. Its closest sibling episode is "Our Man Bashir", which everyone drools over, even though "Badda-Bing" is way, WAY better. The plot doesn't needlessly threaten anyone (except Vic) and plays out creatively, showing off the plan beforehand so that each setback has stakes and purpose when it DOES play out. "Our Man Bashir" basically just used each character for the sake of seeing the actors in cliched roles, which got old for me. You know what might have made this episode a bit cooler? If the mob takeover of Vic's was foreshadowed beforehand instead of just popping up in the programming. Since Nog made it so Vic can live a "real", uninterrupted existence it would have been neat to see Vic deal with inevitable problems raised by that. Of course, that would be giving way too much screentime to Vic, really for the only purpose of paying off a holosuite heist episode. Ah well. 3 stars for me. This is a legitimately enjoyable episode. Weird that S7 has more holosuite episodes than the rest of the series combined (I think). Weirder is that I think they're all successful! Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:58:57 PDT $G Comment by Kid Marine on TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise Surely "Twilight" would be Enterprise's equivalent, not E2. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:15:16 PDT Kid Marine Comment by Robert on TNG S5: Darmok @Matrix - h t t p:// Wish granted. Now as payment, go watch the episode. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 08:28:13 PDT Robert Comment by Satya on TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society I was particularly struck by the lack of urgency everyone (from the Colony... from the Enterprise... literally everyone) felt while faced with the planet's complete doom and destruction. 2 stars is about right. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 07:14:21 PDT Satya Comment by NoPoet on ENT S1: Broken Bow Farpoint: pompous, arrogant, cliched, old-fashioned, badly acted, horribly written, cheese beyond belief, naff "sci-fi wonder" ending, too much posturing, doesn't even start with the launch of the Enterprise. Emissary: boring in places, cliched and embarrassing when Sisko meets the Prophets, an excellent idea for a new show, good acting, terrific villains, New, vibrant, interesting in places, but poorly paced. Caretaker: fun, exciting, excellent characterisation, interesting premise. Broken Bow: different, funny, exciting, contemporary albeit weak in places, a few genuine prequel moments, excellent sets and effects, the NX-01 has limitations and vulnerabilities that make it awesome. Of them all, DS9 easily went on to be the best show, TNG the most comfortable and reassuring, Voyager so-so but generally good, ENT the most disappointing with a total loss of direction which was regained way too late. Conclusion: the days of Bermaga should have ended with TNG/Voyager. Berman's lack of input into DS9 is telling - it easily outstrips the other Treks. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 05:53:28 PDT NoPoet Comment by NoPoet on ENT S1: Shadows of P'Jem Additionally: I agree the Vulcans are almost insanely horrible in this series, but when have they ever come across as anything other than thorny, arrogant and aloof? Spock had plenty of good moments, but he was also on a ship populated entirely by humans who constantly sought to get a rise out of him and needed him to reveal his inner humanity. I guess that's all right though because LET'S ALL BASH ARCHER. The reveal that the Vulcan people are actually being misguided by Romulan agents should have come in the first or second season, not halfway through the fourth. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 05:41:51 PDT NoPoet Comment by NoPoet on ENT S1: Sleeping Dogs All right, I finally made myself watch this episode again, along with a few others from season one. I was struck by how well-acted the show is. The Klingon actors made the best of their very poor, obstinate lines, but Reed, Hoshi and T'Pol were excellent. Hoshi is coming along nicely - a shame her character will be all but abandoned in later seasons - and Reed was excellent, his desperation showing as he argued with Hoshi about detonating the torpedoes. The episode is still a missed opportunity on many levels. We do not see a decent reason for human-Klingon wars (which we are supposed to have started, by the way), the Klingons are written as tards and the closing scenes where the klingons actually threaten to fire on Enterprise were ridiculous, although Archer's response was spot on. I cannot hate Archer just because the writers occasionally make him do something stupid. After all, what exactly is he supposed to do with pirates and hostile raiders? Stick them in his brig? Destroy their ships and murder their crew? Turn them over to other authorities - what authorities? This is a really thorny subject which the writers simply ignore. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 05:32:57 PDT NoPoet Comment by Jonathan on DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars One very interesting thing is that the censorship shown in this episode - forced or highly suggested - was instrumental in the creation of the Star Trek franchise. Many stories in Star Trek - especially on the Original Series - came into being because the only acceptable way they could be told or explored was in the guise of a science fiction show. Censorship still exists, but it is just a faint shadow of what is was in the '50s and '60s. Besides, we have the Internet today - where if you live in the western world, there is absolutely no censorship. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 02:24:55 PDT Jonathan Comment by SlackerInc on TOS S1: The Enemy Within Huh, I was underwhelmed by this episode. (My kids and I are going through and watching, in order, all the episodes Jammer has given three or more stars to; many of them I saw years ago in syndication but I don't recall seeing this one.) Some of it may be just that certain elements are off because they are still working out the kinks: no acknowledgment that there are shuttles; strange, convoluted terminology to talk about the simple act of setting phasers to stun; the fact that Nimoy seems to be taking longer to settle into his character's groove than the other two of the main trio. But that sort of points to part of the problem: we are only in the fifth episode, yet this is our second consecutive episode involving people being made to act differently from normal and run amok. And in fact, it is the fourth of the first five episodes in which at least one of the main actors deviates from the typical way they would play their character: either because someone or something was causing them to act nutty, or because they were playing an imposter. Shouldn't they have spent longer establishing their characters' normal behavior patterns first? It was cool to hear that first "he's dead, Jim" though. Comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:07:35 PDT SlackerInc Comment by Charles on VOY S4: Random Thoughts I love the double standards used for Voyager and TOS... TOS is the perfect, amazing series, and each of its episodes is thought-provoking, and a classic, while Voyager is supposedly aimless and limited. I'm sorry but that's complete bullshit. Once you accept Voyager is NOT DS9 and was never meant to be, and you compare it to TNG and TOS, it fares quite well. TNG had it fair share of doozies, and TOS well don't get me started on TOS. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:25:08 PDT Charles Comment by knight4444 on DS9 S2: Second Sight Wow, some of you people are really pathetic, I thought is was a great episode, it's NOT a full length MOVIE! it's a 47 min TV series, I'm assuming most of you television critics are just pimple popping TEENAGERS! Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 21:31:50 PDT knight4444 Comment by Jerry on ENT S1: Fusion Finally, a real Star Trek episode. I echo the sentiments about it becoming a mind meld rape story, but that didn't detract from some very interesting Vulcan theory about their history, and the actors portraying the rogue Vulcans were very good. I'm not a Jolene fan, but here, at least, her character had some interesting moments. Her experience with the chaotic nature of jazz is much the same as I saw in Europe in the 60s, where members of repressed/oppressed societies were attracted to the unstructured nature of the music, rather than its melodies or lack thereof. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 20:25:34 PDT Jerry Comment by Matrix on TNG S5: Darmok @Robert. I would really like an article now extrapolating memes as a fully functional language like these Tamarian guys. I've never seen this episode. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 18:40:26 PDT Matrix Comment by Robert on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons It's an ethical problem, not a storytelling one. And in some ways it's dealt with in Author, Author with the plight of the EMH MkIs. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:06:43 PDT Robert Comment by Elliott on DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap @Caleb : While I can't speak for all, in my case at least, please do not conflate "anti-spiritual" sentiments with anti-religious sentiments. One cannot dismiss or diminish the internal psycho-experience of an individual by logical arguments, but one can (and should, in my view) deny such intimate and inexplicable experiences from bearing upon the sciences, laws or other social spheres whose purview is *exclusively* materialistic, phenomenal (ie, non-metaphysical). Religions, including the Bajorans' faith, do not make this necessary distinction, and should therefore be opposed. Regarding the quasi-Satanism of the Pagh Wraiths, it is true that such dichotomies are a part of religious history in human cultures, but they manifest primarily in a religion's superstitious period of development (The Middle Ages is Christianity's period). The Bajoran faith is shown very clearly to be in a post-Enlightenment stage of development and thus, the existence of this kind of anti-faith in any serious degree is comic-book-level silliness and best, ignorance-based exploitation (by the writers of religious tropes) at worst. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:31:38 PDT Elliott Comment by Caleb on DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap "2) The whole thing with the Prophets and Pah-Wraiths was STUPID. There is no such thing as an opposite religion. Satanism is not a real religion, it's an urban legend." I'm replying to a years old comment here, from Matthew, but... this is just wrong. The world of spirituality and metaphysics has a dark side as well as a light side, and both sides have their followers. You don't have to look hard to verify this. Have you never heard of the right-hand path and the left-hand path? Theistic satanism? The occult philosophies of various secret socieities? Do some more research before you act so dismissive of something you are apparently not well-informed about. And I also just want to speak, in general, to how much anti-spiritual sentiment I see in the comments for reviews on this site... and others. Folks, many times you are just showing your cultural biases and materialist/reductionist indoctrination. There's nothing inherently 'silly' or 'nonsensical' about visions, expanded consciousness, experiences of gnosis, etc - in fact we are talking about centuries upon centuries of human mystical experience, understanding and knowledge when these topics are addressed. I'm quite glad shows like DS9 don't take the simpled-minded "oh its all bullshit" view and spend time exploring these topics that do indeed represent very real phenomena. That's not to say DS9 always did a great job of it, but I'm happy for the attempt. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 09:28:49 PDT Caleb Comment by William B on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons I'm not sure why it's a storytelling problem if the EMHs are sentient, or are capable of becoming sentient in a really short period of time. It is certainly true that it paints the Federation in a negative light -- but that makes quite a powerful point, which is that through ignorance it is possible for people to be complicit in horrible acts. The title, "The Measure of a Man," has a double meaning (at least); it is not just about whether Data is a person, but about whether the Federation, as represented by Picard, can recognize the dangerous patterns they can fall into, and can do the right thing regardless of how hard it is. The measure of a man is partly his ability to correct himself when he finds that he has, through ignorance or insensitivity (or, indeed, malice or deliberate wrong action, though these are not the case here), in other words; and such is the measure of societies, as well. I think it's clear that no one *thought* they were making a sentient holoprogram with the EMHs, and I think that the EMHs' personality etc. were primarily just so that people could interact with them as if they were humans. However, as was pointed out in The Quality of Life, the fact that it was not the *intention* of the creators to create a sentient life form does not mean that this life form is not sentient. The Doctor doesn't immediately recognize his own potential, either, but comes to recognize it over time. If the problem here is that the Federation should have corrected itself more extensively, and sooner, and its failure to do so is evidence that it is an evil organization and thus trashes the Roddenberry ideal, well, that's something to consider -- but I think it makes sense that it's really, *really* hard for the Federation (and indeed, for the Voyager crew) to properly identify the line between artificial creation with no internal life and sentient, self-determining being. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 09:14:27 PDT William B Comment by Robert on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons I didn't mean that he should have been brought to life via the gel packs because life can only be organic, I just meant that if, in THIS case the Voyager Doctor was special because the organic circuitry components had bestowed a uniqueness unto him in the vein of Data's positronic brain... it would have made the slavery issue with the other EMHs less disturbing. And our EMH is not always in contact with the organic gelpacks (like when he's in the mobile emitter) but maybe they could have been the thing that gave him the so called "spark of life". It would of course weaken some S7 storylines (like Flesh and Blood and Author Author) but I think S1-S6 would hold up just fine under those conditions (and then S7 would have had to be a bit different). Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 08:44:01 PDT Robert Comment by Elliott on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons @Robert, re: Gel packs : It's a good thing they didn't go down that road, because it would weaken the precedent set in MoM, Quality of Life and the Doc's arc (especially "Flesh and Blood") that AI is just as valid as organic life. I think it's a stronger argument to say that what makes a life truly worthwhile is not whatever endowments are bestowed by a lifeform's creator (be it parent, programmer or divinity), but how those endowments are put to use. That idea is fully embraced in "Latent Image," vis-à-vis "La VIta Nuova." Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 08:38:09 PDT Elliott Comment by Yanks on DS9 S7: Chimera I would agree with prejudice. He definately doesn't acknowledge solids as equal in any way. Fish probably wasn't the best analogy, fish aren't sentient. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 07:05:06 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons I've always thought Data was sentient. Data was a commissioned officer in Star Fleet and should have had all the rights along with the responsibilities that come with that. One of the reasons I'm not a MoM super-fan like most. The trial should have never happened. You can read my review here on the MoM page if you want further elaboration. But the question of "Sentience" is quite the discussion. From MoM [TNG]: "PICARD: Commander, would you enlighten us? What is required for sentience? MADDOX: Intelligence, self awareness, consciousness." From Webster: "1: responsive to or conscious of sense impressions 2: aware 3: finely sensitive in perception or feeling" I would say Data has demonstrated throughout the series that he has met that criteria. With #3 and "consciousness" being debatable as Data has stated many times he has no feelings. So I guess the big question mark when talking about the EMH is do these definitions reveal him to be sentient? I'm not so sure. He is a computer program, while data has the positronic brain. I think I see a difference there. Topic for another day I guess :-) But I find it a little surprising that Trek never really took a stance on this subject. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 06:36:59 PDT Yanks Comment by Robert on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons And I do get your point about a slave race and that the EMH Mk2 having... "desire for improvements" out of the box may have been problematic. I will also throw out there that it is possible (although never mentioned) that Voyager's EMH can only become sentient because of the bio gel packs. Some of his circuitry is biological. I'm actually kind of sad they never went there with that. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 06:31:18 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons "But here? He chooses a name and, more importantly, chooses to avoid that name because it was associated with an emotional loss. There's no way to reconcile something that personal with programming for an EMH to me. That was very personal on his part, very emotional. How was it anything but sentience?" A dog can mourn their owner but I'm not sure a dog is sentient. I think that in this episode the Doctor became more than a toaster (it's definitely the first real step on the journey I mentioned), but I'm not sure I'd grant you sentience. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 06:27:33 PDT Robert Comment by Yanks on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Gordon, Edinburgh, That's crying territory... :-) Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 06:13:29 PDT Yanks Comment by Slug stream on TNG S6: Realm of Fear How come the crew members appear as giant slugs in the transporter stream, or spatially distorted microbes, why would they appear as microbes, why would they just be hanging around in transporter stream space as giant slugs, waiting to be grabbed? And how exactly did that relate to the explosion on the ship... This episode is such a mess - from Inner Light to here in a couple of episodes.. Haha Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 04:28:12 PDT Slug stream Comment by Gordon, Edinburgh on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home I'm so glad they didn't follow the original plan of having Eddie Murphy in this film. It could well have been another 'Superman III', which was effectively a Richard Pryor film in which Superman happens to appear. But I love the whole trial scene at the end, when Kirk is busted back to Captain but then assigned the command of a starship, and then the dramatic reveal of the Enterprise-A... Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 03:35:36 PDT Gordon, Edinburgh Comment by Gordon, Edinburgh on Star Trek III: The Search For Spock With regard to Jay's comment, my understanding was that the katra would be temporarily stored in a host so it could be taken to the repository on Vulcan - this was standard procedure. The process that the priestess was talking about, which hadn't been done in ages, was reuniting it with the physical body. Comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 03:18:34 PDT Gordon, Edinburgh Comment by Skeptical on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons Thanks for the comments. I freely admit to not being as well versed in the Doc's story as others; this is my first time watching Voyager since it was on the air. So perhaps the Lifesigns episode does make it clear that he wasn't sentient at this point. But I've been specifically watching for this since Caretaker, and he passed my Turing Test in this episode. There were some arguable points beforehand, namely his encouraging nature towards Kes' studies and his bruised ego when Lt. Extra refused to talk to him. But the first one could be seen as an outgrowth of his nature as the EMH (Kes' studies would improve his efficiency), and the second can be somewhat argued in that sense. But here? He chooses a name and, more importantly, chooses to avoid that name because it was associated with an emotional loss. There's no way to reconcile something that personal with programming for an EMH to me. That was very personal on his part, very emotional. How was it anything but sentience? As an aside, Minuet never seemed to be sentient to me; everything she did was in accordance with the goal of keeping Riker in the holodeck. Vic is a bit trickier, but he was specifically programmed to be genial and to appear sentient (as in, specifically programmed to realize he was a holodeck character). The most questionable part of Vic was his sneaky way of getting Odo and Kira together; that seemed above and beyond what a program might do. But only maybe, so one can still assume Vic was not sentient. By the way, one point I forgot to mention. In the episode where the Doctor gets transferred to the Alpha Quadrant and meets the EMH Mk 2, the new EMH seems awfully jealous of the Doctor's experiences, particularly regarding sex if I remember correctly. And this EMH was brand new and had no life experiences. Again, this is sounding like a character that is sentient right away, rather than one that can become sentient. Of course, this is the Mk 2 version, so maybe it's just more advanced programming. But then my complaint about the Federation creating a slave race would still apply to the new set of EMHs, even if it doesn't apply to this set. In any case, if Lifesigns walks this episode back some, I will be a bit happier, although I still think the producers were too cavalier with this character. And I'm glad to see, as Yanks pointed out, that even the Federation seemed to view this particular EMH as unique, which suggests he did gain sentience rather than always had it (or gained it way too easily). While there may be some ethical concerns with dealing with mass producing a group of non-sentient programs that have the capability of becoming sentient, it's a different question than mass producing those that are sentient, so I'll let it slide. At least Beverly wasn't throwing a newly born sentient being at the Borg in First Contact. I agree that Picardo's Doc is an absolute joy to watch, but I fear sometimes that the characterization itself is not that great. I enjoy watching him, even if I don't agree with the way the writers handle him. Personally, I always liked the Data episodes that help to highlight his IN-humanity, because that's what makes him different or unique. My impression at least is that there weren't too many of those shows for the Doctor (Latent Image being one I did like). Personally, I would have been happy watching an EMH that was completely against learning anything new or thinking like a person for a season or two. It'd be a refreshing change of pace to see a computer not want to become human for once. Comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 16:48:21 PDT Skeptical Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Chimera "Racism" is a loaded term, and maybe doesn't merit use given the variety of different aliens on the show. I can go without the word. But I disagree with Laas looking at solids as the same thing as us looking at fish. There's very clearly a narrow-minded prejudice at work. Humanoids have vastly different opinions and motivations in vast numbers of combinations, and Laas is comfortable making galaxy-sized generalizations about them. Changelings may be completely unique in their physical abilities, but I've yet to see one whose intellect is clearly beyond that of our heroes. The difference in physiology is much wider than the difference (if there is any) in cognition and rational capacities. Not even close to people vs. fish. While maybe not racism as we define it today, I'd argue Laas' opinions are driven by the same sorts of prejudice. Comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:21:53 PDT $G Comment by Yanks on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons Skeptical & Robert, The EMH is one of my all-time favorite characters. Robert expertly listed and discussed his path throughout the series so I won't regurgitate. The issue of "sentient" was brought up by Skeptical. I don't think in any way how Doc was treated/revealed throughout the series counters or minimizes the "Data is not a toaster" decision in MoM (the most over-rated episode in Star Trek history). After all the hub-ub, Data wasn't proven sentient, he was granted permission to choose. That specific term wasn't even brought up in 'Author Author" (VOY’s MoM episode). Here is the ruling: "ARBITRATOR: We're exploring new territory today, so it is fitting that this hearing is being held at Pathfinder. The Doctor exhibits many of the traits we associate with a person. Intelligence, creativity, ambition, even fallibility. But are these traits real, or is the Doctor merely programmed to simulate them? To be honest, I don't know. Eventually we will have to decide, because the issue of holographic rights isn't going to go away. But at this time, I am not prepared to rule that the Doctor is a person under the law. However, it is obvious he is no ordinary hologram and while I can't say with certainty that he is a person, I am willing to extend the legal definition of artist to include the Doctor. I therefore rule that he has the right to control his work. I'm ordering all copies of his holo-novels to be recalled immediately." So I think ST has aptly dodged the "sentient" issue with Data and The EMH. Comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:07:54 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on DS9 S7: Chimera $G, "-I don't want to damn the show with too much faint praise (because it deserves for-real praise!), but I liked the scene with Laas meeting Odo's friends. They were amiable, but they didn't become saints in the face of Laas' racism by trying to win him over with tolerance. They apologized for any previous misunderstandings and then understandably called him out when he insisted on being racist still." I don't see Laas' attitude toward Odo's friends as racist. Laas looks to solids as we look to, let's say, fish. He is superior in every way. I think in order for him to be racist he would have to subjugate a changeling sub-species. So, he did come off smug and condescending - yup, racist - no. Comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:06:58 PDT Yanks Comment by Laura on ENT S4: Kir'Shara Of course the show ends too quickly. Nearly all of the Enterprise episodes do, which I attribute to the shorter run time that they had (42 min vs. 50 on TOS and 45 on DS9). To me, this is one of the most frustrating things about Enterprise. Comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 08:53:06 PDT Laura Comment by Robert on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons I actually think that despite Voyager's flaws the Doctor has one of the top 5 or higher personal arcs in all of Star Trek. He starts off little more than a tool, begins to consider having a life, makes friends, aspires to be humanoid (because being such an outsider is isolation), falls in love, develops his personality and hobbies, has goals, deals with the consequences of sentience (Latent Image), takes on a pupil, eventually stops wanting to be human and embraces what he is, dabbles with wondering where he belongs and eventually even gains the ability to side against his friends in a hologram civil war and even nearly murder someone in Critical Care. The only serious misstep in his arc (in my opinion) is the way that in Equinox deleting his ethical subroutines turn him into a mindless slave for the Equinox crew. I feel like that did him a disservice considering how far he'd come. I'd sort of preferred for them to have deleted the ethical subroutines and to have had him turn around and murder Ransom. Without ethics I'd still be me, I'd just not care how I went about accomplishing my goals anymore. So it sucked that they deleted that and he wasn't him anymore. But really that's one of very, very few problems with his arc over 7 years and it's the only glaring one to me. Comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 06:37:33 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons Just to throw a bit of a monkey wrench in your argument.... I think the doctor was not sentient at this point in the sense that he is more than the sum of his programming inputs/commands. He's specifically programmed to have compassion because he's a doctor. I think he might experience some stray feelings for her, but it's not until Lifesigns that I personally consider him sentient. "EMH: I've been experiencing periodic lapses in concentration and difficulty handing objects. There may be a malfunction in my tactile acuity subroutine." "EMH: You said before you knew me that you were just a disease. Well, before you, I was just a projection of photons held together by force fields. A computerised physician doing a job, doing it exceptionally well, of course, but still it was just a profession, not a life. But now that you are here and my programming has adapted, I'm not just working anymore. I'm living, learning what it means to be with someone, to love someone. I don't think I can go back to the way things were, either." Before he figured out he was falling in love he thought the symptoms were a malfunction. Which, to me, means this was the first time he really experienced events that triggered "feelings" that weren't part of his original program. So to recap 1) In S2s Lifesigns he starts experiencing feelings that were not part of his initial programming. Kes suggests that it was his adaptive program adapting. 2) In S3s Darkling and Real Life he starts projects to improve himself... tweaking his personality and imagining having a family. These are things that teenagers go through (trying on new personality aspects/imagining their life in the future). So now we have him experiencing emotions that weren't intended and life goals beyond being a doctor. 3) In S4 he finds a kindred spirit in Seven, another outsider and takes her under his wing as they explore the human condition together. 4) It all comes to a head in S5's Latent Image when he uses those emotions to affect a decision. In the situation in this episode I imagine his program flips a coin as he himself suggests "Two patients, for example, both injured, for example, both in imminent danger of dying. Calculate the variables. My programme needs to ascertain which patient has the greater chance of survival, and that's the one I treat. Simple. But, what if they have an equal chance of survival? What then? Hmm? Flip a coin? Pick a card?" It was here when he first made a decision based on his own emotions, friendships and life. If you don't consider him sentient before now he certainly is by this point. And this happens 18 months earlier, right before Seven joins... so I'd peg his sentience as occurring somewhere between late S2 (Lifesigns is episode 19 that season) and late S3 with him fully realizing/dealing with the implications of it in early S5. To me, saying he is sentient as early as this episode grants sentience to Vic (he has emotions/frienships as well), Minuet, Janeway's Michael (who experiences heartbreak) and other assorted holodeck characters. I'm just not willing to concede the Doctor is sentient here. Comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 06:29:40 PDT Robert Comment by Peremensoe on TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits jay: "in 'Our Man Bashir' Julian claims that entering a holodeck that is in use is 'illegal.'" I'm guessing something happened between here and there to lead to some rules being put in place. Susan: "how absolutely CREEPED out Troi had to have been to find out Barclay was having sex with her doppleganger on the holodeck? Can you just imagine if it had been for real? lol Barclay would be fired and possibly jailed, Troi would SUE Starfleet for not having security on her pattern" Yeah, like that. Honestly, I think this *is* a classic episode. It addresses some real psychological and social issues, in the ship/Starfleet environment generally and with hologram tech specifically; it does this through a great new character that we'll see again; it makes a reasonable story use of a jeopardy situation (OK, so another just-in-time salvation isn't really necessary) that is integral but subordinate to the character story; and it totally works as a comedy too! We get to see our familiar characters embarassed, rather than be embarassed ourselves as with some of the 'comedy' misfires elsewhere. Not the 'biggest' kind of episode, but one that absolutely accomplishes everything it sets out to do. Four stars. Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 22:12:19 PDT Peremensoe Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Chimera I'll get it out of the way quick: The only thing that holds this episode back from being a 4-star for me are the murder and jailbreak bits. There's nothing wrong with them, but we've seen jailbreak several times on the show and I kind of wish we'd have had more scenes with Laas and Odo without a race-against-the-clock element, small though it may be. Other than that, this is a very well written and performed episode. Since there's so much to mention, I'll just break down a few things: -Wicked shapeshifting. A poorer episode would simply have Laas harping about Odo's mediocrity without really putting his money where his mouth is, but within the first minute of the show it's clear the difference between the two. Here's Odo worrying about bringing little rocks and sweets back to his girlfriend (with O'Brien whining about yet another marital gaffe) while Laas is exploring the galaxy as a space dolphin. -The episode doesn't take a stance on either Laas or Odo's lifestyles. It's all about choices - which is what makes it all the more moving. There's nothing WRONG with Laas' life. In fact, it's incredible. Odo doesn't turn away because he finds a flaw in Laas' plan, or Laas turns out to be violent or some such generic twist like that. No, Odo stands in the face of one of his people - specifically one who ISN'T waging war on the solids - and still turns him down. -I don't want to damn the show with too much faint praise (because it deserves for-real praise!), but I liked the scene with Laas meeting Odo's friends. They were amiable, but they didn't become saints in the face of Laas' racism by trying to win him over with tolerance. They apologized for any previous misunderstandings and then understandably called him out when he insisted on being racist still. -I didn't appreciate it when I was a teenager, but Odo and Kira are really nice together. I took issue with how they paired up in "His Way" but here it's very sweet. There's something about the way Odo tells Kira he loves her, too (notice she doesn't reciprocate, which would feel forced at this point). -Jammer makes the point that he thinks Quark's "genetic" point is slightly off, but I take his lines to mean that humanoids still psychologically fear that which is different (two legs, two arms, etc., which is mentioned by both Laas *and* Quark, as a matter of fact). Prejudices develop but there's still survival instinct that makes humanoids anxious around something so clearly alien. I can see why some may interpret the line differently, though. There's a lot more to say, but I think everyone's already been chatting about the good stuff! 3-1/2 stars from me. Just under four, but not by much. This one is essential. Totally recommended. It's sad knowing that this is the second last serious "regular" episode of the series. The final arc is great IIRC, but I'm going to miss the low stakes day-in-the-life hours... Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 21:58:52 PDT $G Comment by Skeptical on VOY S1: Heroes and Demons Ugh, I hated this one. But before I get into my rant, just a few comments on the episode itself. It was awful. I mean, it's not just that the show was yet another holodeck malfunction episode. Or even that it was yet another random energy being episode (seriously, that's the third one this season!). It wasn't just the rotten awful science, which just sounds like stringing a bunch of random words together (a trend I'm starting to get real sick of). I mean, unusual photonic energy? Really? How are photons unusual? But it was a dumb plot too. So Grendel just sits in the barn or whatever instead of going out to find his little comrades? Why did the Doc hang around talking to everyone when he was immaterial, and so could have waltzed right to the barn? Meanwhile, the whole point of sending the Doctor was that everyone thought Grendel couldn't kill him, but then Grendel chopped his arm off (now that's ironic...). So Janeway says it's a delicate first contact situation, but then sends the Doc back. Which is ridiculous, since he's not in any less danger than anyone else! Not that it matters, since the "delicate negotiation" was quite simplistic. Quite lucky that all it required was releasing the caged being in front of Grendel. But no, that's not the real problem of the episode. The real problem is that there's no use pretending anymore. The Doctor is clearly sentient. And that's terrible. See, up to this point, we could believe that he wasn't sentient. He certainly didn't act like it in the pilot, freaking out at the thought of being the only Doctor. Sure, it kinda went back and forth, but we could still claim he wasn't sentient. That all of his odd personality quirks were just programmed into him. He wasn't singing yet, and he wasn't living his own life yet. But now he chose a name, built a friendship with some holodeck character, and felt heartbreak. He's sentient. Doesn't anyone remember Measure of a Man? People claim it's one of their favorite TNG episodes, but it is destroyed by the Doctor. See, Picard and Guinan didn't actually prove Data's sentience. They only pointed out the devastating consequences if they were wrong. If Data was sentient, and Starfleet judged against him, then Starfleet would be allowing for the creation of a slave race. It was that reason why the magistrate refused to judge against him. This was a message partially reinforced in The Offspring and fully reinforced in Quality of Life. And yet the message is blatantly, brutally eliminated here. Starfleet has essentially created a slave race. That's what this episode means. If the Doctor is sentient here, then it presumably means that he was always sentient. It's hard to imagine him becoming sentient in only a month or two, after all. Which means there are hundreds of sentient beings, locked away in computers, summoned only when needed, ignored the rest of the time. Hundreds killed without a choice in the Dominion War. Crusher sacrificed one to the Borg. All sentient, all without a choice. And yet he's such a popular character. Just because he's sarcastic and snarky and Picardo does a great job. But it's hard to enjoy his character when it goes against everything the show claims. Now, I'm not one to say the show should always agree with me. I find Starfleet ethics to be poorly thought out, juvenile, or downright evil at times. But the problem is that this goes against everything in Trek ethos. It's a joke of an idea. And no one seems to care. This little problem is never, ever brought up. Well, I vaguely recall it being brought up a lot near the end of the show, but they had to turn the doctors into miners (the universal symbol of creating evil slave owners) in order to show it. They didn't want to admit that they made a huge mistake here. It didn't have to happen that way. Instead we could have had the Doctor denying his sentience for a season or two. Why not? Why do we need a repeat of Data? Why not have a character that doesn't want to be human? All they had to do was keep him wanting to be nothing more than a Doctor for a little while longer. Kes would need to keep working at it, or maybe even give up. Perhaps he would eventually gain sentience over time. But then that would make him unique among the holographic doctors. Then it would be ok for Starfleet to use them like that. But alas, the damage is done. Nice to know the producers no longer care about Data. Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:59:37 PDT Skeptical Comment by Peremensoe on VOY S1: Faces Vylora: "A few things come to mind that hold it back for me. One of the first scene with Klingon Torres. I understand she's just waking up while being inundated with aggressive feelings, but her speech pattern was appalling." She's also suffering the onset of an agonizingly painful disease! Her later speech correspondingly retains the aggression, loses the agony. Works for me. Here's what doesn't work: the Vidiians are only interested in the Klingon side of her for the experiment, right? Why do they bother reconstituting the human? Only for an additional laborer and eventual organ donor? If that's so easy--to produce two whole people/bodies out of the data of one--how come they can't produce an ongoing supply of slave/donor-people by similar means? Or just organs? Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 17:43:05 PDT Peremensoe Comment by Jeffrey Jakucyk on TNG S7: Lower Decks I was always struck by just how much bigger the regulars are compared to the junior officers, both literally and figuratively. Sito and Ogawa are physically quite petite, but even Lavelle and Taurik are small compared to the senior officers, if not in height (Taurik is taller than Geordi) then in build and mannerisms. Seeing Sito and Picard walking down the hallway or in a turbo lift is quite a striking contrast. Even so, the presence of the regular cast is so "big" compared to these kids that Picard can come across as frightening even while sitting behind his desk. I just find the dynamic very interesting, and extremely effective. Kudos to the director for using many low angle shots when the junior officers are with their elders, reinforcing the contrast and especially making Picard, Worf, and Riker all that much more imposing. Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 17:42:41 PDT Jeffrey Jakucyk Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Field of Fire Just watched this one. It worked, I suppose, but I didn't find it all that compelling either as a mystery or as an(other) Ezri episode. Not sure we need more of her at this point anyway. I'm with Jammer in that I thought Joran had only killed his teacher, not two others. In "Facets" Joran was played as a crazy man, so I guess with this episode the Crazy-Joran evidence outnumbers the Eccentric-Joran from "Equilibrium". I wasn't big on the episode's solution either. The jump to determining the killer was Vulcan seemed contrived in that This-Alien-Race-Represents-This kind of way. Painfully obvious but ultimately nothing is even done with it outside of TV show motivations. And why did that ensign hit Ezri? Isn't it better to just go with Odo and let them find you innocent (which they do) instead of risking court martial by striking another officer? They aren't on Cardassia ffs. Ugh. I did like the scene on the darkened promenade with Worf and Ezri. He seems protective in a way. Some could read it as creepy but I think we know Worf well enough that that isn't the case. 2-1/2 stars. The extra star being there just because it's all forgettable rather than terrible. I don't recommend this one but I won't actively suggest skipping it, either. Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 17:40:20 PDT $G Comment by Charles on VOY S4: Scientific Method Love this episode. Deserves a 3 or even 4 stars rating. The "msytery" aspect is really good, and goes on for an appropriate length of time, until we get the "reveal" - both visually striking and clever. I'm happy it wasn't another of those "space anomaly does something weird to the crew". And it justifies why all of their symptoms were different... Also, I don't see why the animal rights allegory is a problem, on the contrary. It's a very, very valid point that should have been made even more prominent. Yes someone (millions?) are benefiting from it but those who are suffering don't have a choice in the matter and they're not benefiting. Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 15:28:40 PDT Charles Comment by Yanks on DS9 S7: The Emperor's New Cloak ^^^ EXACTLY!!! Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 13:59:12 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on ANDR S2: Second Season Recap Baron Samedi, I agree. This show lost it's way after season 2. It was so good, the just took a nose dive. Check out the change in writers, which obviously resulted in a change of direction as well. Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 13:34:14 PDT Yanks Comment by Jack on DS9 S1: Q-Less # Elliott Re: THe extras strolling around in an apparent crisis. I'd say that's because DS9 isn't a starship full of mostly officers, and there's little reason to stir up the entire civilian population of the station with a red alert when the vast majority of the population would be much more likely to get in the way of people dealing with the crisis than assisting in its resoltuion. Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 10:16:55 PDT Jack Comment by Gordon, Edinburgh on TOS S3: Plato's Stepchildren Point of interest - this episode was banned in the UK for many years. Nothing to do with the inter-racial kiss; we'd had them on UK TV years before this episode was made and nobody batted an eyelid. It was because the BBC apparently believed the episode encouraged sadism, or some such nonsense. Along with 'The Empath' it was left out of the constant reruns we got during the seventies and eighties. There was a third episode which was originally banned but did get shown the third or fourth time round; I forget which one. But viewers in the UK didn't get to see these two until the early nineties, if memory serves. Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 04:27:10 PDT Gordon, Edinburgh Comment by Jonathan on DS9 S6: Behind the Lines I can't believe no one else has mentioned the label on the compartment that Rom got caught breaking into during the episode's final act! A51. As in, Area 51. Surely, that is not a coincidence. Comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 00:32:58 PDT Jonathan Comment by Baron Samedi on ANDR S2: Second Season Recap I doubt that anyone still cares, but I did go through Season 3 and figure I'll post another comment here about it. It was awful. From what I’ve read, the show was made on-the-cheap by a cast and crew who really believed in what they were creating: a sci-fi action show with hardly any long-term story. And that’s fine. I certainly have nothing against the people who worked hard on this show (except for Kevin Sorbo, for reasons that will be obvious if you Google him). The main cast really seems to be trying their best with weak material (there’s hardly any character development outside of the final episode). The main actors certainly aren’t the problem, and I don’t think that the production crew is either. But Season 3 was unfathomably terrible. It was a train wreck from the first episode (which was, incidentally, the worst). It was exactly what the second half of Season 2 promised. I new what I was getting myself into, but I kept going because I couldn’t stop myself from being a completest. It’s such a pity, because the first half of Season 2 showed how Andromeda could work as an action show. But making the season consist only of standalone Dylan-centric action episodes took away any potential momentum. And why constantly do action if you don’t have the budget to do it well? Is there really an audience for constant cheap-looking action? I spent the whole season wondering this. Only the surprisingly good finale even had decent CGI. Otherwise the “action” consisted of fake-looking footage that was often reused from earlier in the show interspersed with cheap-looking spark-filled battles between our heroes and this week’s incompetent army of faceless Bad Aliens. Anyway, I might, just maybe, check out Season 4. The events set into motion by the Season 3 finale (its only great episode) have a great deal of potential. But given the consistently low quality, it’s sadly easy to see why this show was forgotten. There’s hardly any character or story development, just routine standalone adventures that are dull, boring, and cheaply made. It just doesn’t reach the level of quality necessary to merit serious criticism, although I’ve put together another list with a bit of commentary on each episode below. Classic episodes: Great episodes: 1. Shadows Cast by a Final Salute – Pretty much the only episode of the season with a lot of new FX shots and where Important Things happen in regards to the big picture. Tyr fulfills his character’s potential for once this season and has some strong scenes with pretty much the whole main cast. It’s basically a better version of Season 2’s finale, with large-scale battle resulting from actions of the characters that looks relatively impressive on a visual level. Moreover, the cliffhanger places the fate of the new Commonwealth is put on an even playing field with the fate of the regular characters. (9/10) Good episodes: 2. The Unconquerable Man – The best clip-show episode I’ve seen of any series, although that’s not saying much. Rhade defeats Dylan in the pilot and sets out to change the galaxy. Some of the clips were unnecessary, but many functioned very effectively. Jamahl had mentioned the writers having read this website in the past, and I wonder if that influenced this episode as it draws clips from most of the episodes Jamahl rated highly. The central point to the episode is poignant: Rhade could never get over the disaster and disappointment that the Nietzschean’s became despite being one of them, whereas Dylan was able to forgive them despite being a victim of their deceit. The way that the episode intersects with “Ouroboros” is clever as well. (8/10) 3 .The Lone and Level Sands – A pretty good story all-around about a ship traveling in such a way that it still moves impossibly fast, but time passes by realistically around it. There’s a lot of distracting arcade game violence, but the episode ends with a poignant Trek-like conversation about exploring the unknown. (7/10) Mediocre Episodes: 4. Day of Judgment, Day of Wrath – A sequel to Season 2’s best episode “The Knight, Death, and the Devil”, with a nifty continuation of Tyr’s subplot. The episode feels stronger than most because of excellent guest actors and a sense of urgency to the story, but the script is pedestrian and the visuals as cheap-looking as ever. (6/10) 5. The Dark Backward – Presenting an episode from Trance’s perspective was a great idea, as she constantly re-lives a series of events to try to prevent an intruder (who himself lives while going backwards through time, allowing him to see everyone’s actions in advance) from taking out the ship. The trial-and-error nature of the story is fun to watch, but it suffers from the same problems that derailed post-Wolfe Andromeda: the villain is stripped of any motivation whatsoever (he was originally supposed to be sent by the Abyss) and the solution is for Trance to just trust Dylan to figure it all out. Give me a break. (6/10) Bad Episodes: 6. Cui Bono – John de Lancie returns, so that’s nice at least. Otherwise it’s a stock plot with stock characters. (5/10) 7. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Insects attack the ship, and there’s a ghost of a former crewmember. A not-terrible bottle episode (5/10) 8. The Right Horse – Dylan hardly appears in this episode, allowing Beka and Harper to play the main roles, and the New Commonwealth is incorporated decently. Completely run-of-the-mill otherwise. (5/10) 9. Twilight of the Idols – Another “genetic purists” episode, which for some reason the writers thought deserved about as much attention as the new Commonwealth. At least Michael Ironside shows up to deliver a typically great performance. (5/10) Terrible Episodes: 10. Delenda Est – Oh my, how is this as high as number 10? Man, this series fell apart. The aliens from the Season 2 finale return midway through Season 3, and we get just as many answers as you’d except: none whatsoever. Who are they? What do they want? The show’s response: Why would you ever want to know these things when you could be watching our heroes blowing them all up? This episode only seems motivated by the desire to save money by re-using costumes and FX shots. All that said, it’s probably the most entertaining action episode of the season, if you’re into, like, Walker, Texas Ranger style violence where the Good Guys Win and the Bad Guys Lose. DS9 alluded to The Third Man; the final scene here is ripped straight from Predator 2. (4/10) 11. The Leper’s Kiss – Dylan hunts a mysterious assassin while falling for a seductress, and what-do-you know, they turn out to be the same person. (4/10) 12. Point of the Spear– An episode about a battle far greater in scale than the show’s budget can come close to capturing. Basically an hour of cheap-looking (often re-used) special effects shots. It is nice to see the Commonwealth Fleet competently in action. Billy from Battlestar Galactica makes an appearance, too, essentially playing the same character (though drafted into the military). He appears briefly in the finale as well. (4/10) 13. Deep Midnight’s Voice – Reminded me of Galactica 1980, which is not a good thing. There is an interesting subplot about Tyr’s scheming that sets in motion the Season’s only worthwhile story arc. (3/10) 14. And Your Heart Will Fly Away – Of all the stories to bring back from earlier seasons, why the genetic purists? (3/10) 15. What Happens to A Rev Deferred? – It was kind of nice to see Rev again, but the story was slow and muddled. (3/10) 16. The Illusion of Majesty – Dylan rescues a young attractive princess, you can see where this is going… (3/10) 17. The Risk-All Point – As if it wasn’t enough to sideline the new Commonwealth plot, this is where Andromeda starts to piss all over it too, as an incompetent new flagship is easily destroyed. Featuring a ludicrously dumb ending and a Dylan screwing around with a woman during the middle of an urgent rescue mission. (3/10) 18. The Shards of Rimni – Last season’s “In Heaven Now Are Three”, except cheaper and cheesier. (2/10) 19. Mad to Be Saved – Andromeda rescues bunch of mentally-challenged people, who may as well have written this mess of an episode. Another cheap-looking bottle show on top of that, although at least there’s no re-use of the recurring cave set. (2/10) 20. Slipfighter the Dogs of War – Let’s invade Iraq! Featuring newly-neutered Tyr at his wimpiest. Neo-cons wrote this fantasy, and they didn’t even write it well. (2/10) 21. Vault of the Heavens – Gordon Michael Woolvett’s acting provides one of Season 3’s only consistently entertaining elements, though his character has little to do. Woolvett penned this episode, and sadly it’s one of the worst, featuring cheap sets and a lame-ass love-fest for Sorbo as an alien seductress tries to mate with him (because he’s just so strong and attractive…). (2/10) 22. If The Wheel is Fixed – The opening episode is the season low-point. It's even worse than “Tunnel At the End of the Light” and a nail in coffin of what was once a show with promise. We learn nothing about the aliens who attacked the new Commonwealth, nor get any mention of the consequences of the Commonwealth charter ceremony being interrupted. Instead, the incredibly un-compelling “Did Beka or Tyr die?” question is the only one addressed. Goofy, stupid, terrible, without even any decent special effects (it looks cheaply made, setting the stage for what follows…). Andromeda’s pilot and “The Widening Gyre” are masterpieces compared to this premiere, and the season it begins is only slightly less terrible overall. (1/10) Tl;dr Season 3 of Andromeda was exactly the disaster post-Wolfe Season 2 promised. But three episodes were genuinely good, so yay. Comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 21:54:20 PDT Baron Samedi Comment by Peremensoe on VOY S1: Jetrel I agree with Ken. Neelix reacts with horror... he explains, in anguish, how Jetrel killed his family and so many thousands of other civilians... and, with no further ado, the very next scene is Janeway welcoming the man onto the ship?! W T F I don't think the un-vaporization scheme ever had a chance of working. Neelix's first instinct there was right: Jetrel was out of his mind. The "redemption" ending was BS all around. The Cascade was "punishment for our hatred"? Really, all the charred children deserved it? No, mass murder *is* monstrous. Unforgivable, irredeemable. Like this episode. Zero stars. Comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 21:51:41 PDT Peremensoe Comment by Andrew on TNG S5: I, Borg This episode went too far, and then Voyager continued, with the idea of the Borg as being a race or species; they're not, they're basically slaves captured and used by a program. Presenting rejoining the collective as an acceptable choice seems appalling given that it furthers rather than reduces further people being enslaved or destroyed. For "Hugh" to have developed so much individuality and impressed people so much in two days felt like the writers were really abandoning their original ideas for versions that were less interesting and believable and that even they didn't have much confidence in. His friendship with Geordi generally felt underdeveloped, more told than shown. @ Plain Simple, I agree that it didn't make sense why Hugh's individuality would have effects any different from that of anyone else that had been assimilated. Comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 21:02:37 PDT Andrew Comment by NCC-1701-Z on VOY S5: Relativity "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey ... stuff." That Doctor Who quote pretty much sums up this episode perfectly. I don't think I need to say any more. Comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 20:51:53 PDT NCC-1701-Z Comment by T'Mihn on ENT S4: Kir'Shara "Where is Surak's katra now?" Good question. Well a couple of places. He could be stored in.a katric ark(apple sized crystalline structure. ) in the the Hall of Thought on Mount Selaya. Could be passed to a Monk. If he was in Sarek and then Spock, that would be intriguing. Sarek preffered Terrans. Comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 19:10:42 PDT T'Mihn Comment by $G on DS9 S7: The Emperor's New Cloak Terrible from beginning to end. Not a single redeemable moment. This doesn't have any of the charm previous MU episodes had. Everyone is just a colossal moron, especially Worf, and all for the sake of nothing. Jammer's right - it wasn't even Zek who ruined this one this time. Garak's death was absolutely the laziest kill I've ever seen on this show. He might as well have been hyposprayed. Not that I want to see someone's insides melt, but they already established how painful it would have been. Just... why to any of it? An absolute waste of an hour. Zero stars. The only solace from this one is that it has no consequences or worthwhile character moments whatsoever so it's totally skippable. You won't even need to hit up a wiki (unless you need to know about Julian and Ezri holding hands). Comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:41:39 PDT $G Comment by Jack on TNG S6: Second Chances @ SkepicalMI If you compare first officers on the 24th century series (Riker-Kira-Chakotay), only one of the them really gets to see growth in their character, and it's largely because the setting of her series is larger than The Ship. Kira grew by leaps and bounds as a character as DS9 progressed, but Riker and especially Chakotay became smaller and smaller as time passed. Comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:25:52 PDT Jack Comment by Jack on TNG S6: Suspicions Oh SkepticalMI, my hats off to you. Had me on the floor in the Relics review pondering an exchange between Wilbur Wright and a contemporary jet mechanic, and now this masterpiece of sarcasm. Comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:15:18 PDT Jack Comment by HolographicAndrew on VOY S5: Timeless I loved this episode. I don't really understand the negative comments about Garret Wang's acting when I see an episode like this. He was great in this one. I think I can say I liked this episode a lot more than anything in season 4. Comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 10:47:58 PDT HolographicAndrew Comment by Yanks on TNG S4: The Drumhead Agree James. But we did get Picard's drumhead speech though :-) Comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 10:41:53 PDT Yanks Comment by Petrus on VOY S3: Blood Fever Just rewatched this; and I think I must have only seen it once before, a long time ago. As people here probably know, usually I will take whatever B'Elanna fanservice I can get, but I actually agree with Leaf on this one. I think I know what they were going for here, but this episode was just plain awkward. The teaser with Vorik forcing himself on B'Elanna was cringe inducing. As for the rape issue with Tom, I agree with people that that was icky as well. There is one particular scene where she is repeatedly kissing him, which does leave you wondering what you'd do if you were in Tom's shoes, but it's over almost as quickly as it starts, and then that is basically it. Alexander Enberg's acting was mostly good, and it particularly reminded me of some of the chaotic Vulcan emotionalism we saw at times on *Enterprise.* It was a bit forced and off-key at times, yes; but said times were rare. I'd probably give this one 2.5 stars, simply due to the ickiness/awkwardness factor. Comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:01:52 PDT Petrus Comment by Andrew on TNG S5: The First Duty The dilemma of the episode felt a bit too easy, with Locarno coming off as a big jerk (talking about friendship and team loyalty yet pinning blame on the member that died) and with Picard warning he would tell otherwise. Comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:28:14 PDT Andrew Comment by Peremensoe on TNG S4: First Contact It has nothing to do with that. It's not *three* the numeral that's being output, it's "Three" as part an already-known (because Federation speakers have spoken of it) planetary identifier. Once the UT recognizes [whatever] as the foreign identifier for a thing already indexed in the Federation-hearer's language under a Federation-language name, it's going to spit out the name the Fed-hearer recognizes. Comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:07:02 PDT Peremensoe Comment by James on TNG S4: The Drumhead From the beginning of the episode I had a hard time reconciling how renowned and legendary Norah Satie that was being described in dialogue with the clearly lesser person standing before us in person. So pretty much the entirety of the episode was just an exercise in waiting for shoes to drop. Comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:04:38 PDT James Comment by Jack on TNG S4: First Contact I doubt that the UT would translate a proper name in a foreign language as Something Three. If the word for "three" in the foreign language wasn't spoken, there's no reason for the UT to spit out "three". Comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:41:17 PDT Jack Comment by Yanks on DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter Robert, When I first saw DS9 my eyes threw fire at the screen each time I saw Ezri... :-) Jadzia lag I guess. I have gotten over that and have started to appreciate the character and Nicole much much more. Comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:39:30 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on VOY S5: In the Flesh HolographicAndrew, I agree completely. I refer to this episode as the "neuter Species 8472" episode. Comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:34:01 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on VOY S7: Human Error I never understood the distain for this episode either Robert. Not a top 10 episode or anything, but at least average. Comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:31:44 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on VOY S6: Blink of an Eye A top 10 Voyager episode for me. I can't wait to rewatch Voyager and review it :-) Comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:29:05 PDT Yanks Comment by HolographicAndrew on VOY S5: In the Flesh Yeah this was good episode, I just wish they had used some other alien rather than 8472. They were a pretty cool enemy to begin with, why mess with that so soon? And they go so far as to actually make them human in this episode. Other than that pretty good episode, nice performance by Robert Beltran in this one and the previous episode too. Comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:10:31 PDT HolographicAndrew Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter I like this one. This is yet another episode that focuses on a new character with lots of guest actors, and I'm surprisingly fine with it. Yes, the main cast hasn't had a whole lot to do this season but I'm surprisingly okay with that. It doesn't feel like episodes focus on them for the sake of it, which is what a lot of late-series shows end up doing. I also don't feel like the stars are getting short changed, either. S7 gives the expanded roster a lot of meat and I'm really liking it. (Granted, watching it on DVD makes the waits between episodes non-existent. I can see why texture episodes like this grated on people back during week-to-week-to-hiatus airing. This one's good because, like Jammer says, there are no family histrionics. No shouting, no predictable murder scenes, no overt Orion Syndicate mafia cliches. Just a nice, pleasant little drama with a mystery that wraps it up (and a mystery I had no idea would be this neat). Also, New Sydney is a cool location, just like that cyberpunk hell in "Honor Among Thieves". The Memory Alpha post about this ep makes it sound like it was an absolute production mess. I like it, though. Understated, quiet, enjoyable. 3 stars. Recommended. Comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:10:42 PDT $G Comment by Kubel on BSG S4: Deadlock This was a fast forward episode. I probably would have rather skipped it. But it sucks that we only have a few more episodes left to tell the story, and they had to squander this 44 minutes on, what exactly? Also, how does Adama still have a functioning liver after all these years? Comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:49:36 PDT Kubel