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Damien
Sun, Dec 25, 2016, 2:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

It's funny - Guinan did more actual counselling in her one scene with Riker than Troi did in all seven seasons.
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Damien
Sat, Mar 20, 2010, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

Nic says: "In Gene's future (which I sincerely believe will happen, if not in 400 years, then maybe 1000) there is no need for money because people can find pleasure simply in helping others and in improving themselves. "

Yes, that is the touchy-feely Utopia spouted by Roddenberry, which simply makes no sense. How will all the toys be paid for? Who makes them? Who develops them and improves them and why? Why would anyone invent a tri-corder and give it away? By what method can you acquire things? Can anyone choose to live in hilltop mansions, drive expensive vehicles and acquire anything they wish? If not, why not?

Economic activity requires growth and trade (ie, some kind of a monetary system). In lieu of that, what you're left with is extreme socialism (look how well that worked) or plain old slavery were growth is achieved through forced labour of a subclass. That's why Roddenberry's ideas are an unachievable Utopia, both now and in hundreds of years.

Also, human nature hasn't really changed much in tens of thousands of years and I see no evidence that it will in the next few hundred years. There will always be conflicts, either between nations, societies or individuals. People will always want to get away with as much as they can (that doesn't mean that everyone secretly wants to rob a bank or kill someone they don't like).

Conversely, even tens of thousands of years ago, some people behaved altruistically, for their families or close clan members, for example. They co-operated with the next tribe for mutual benefit or fought them to maximize their own benefits through reduced competition.

Bottom line is, a society comprising a large set of individuals will need a monetary/trading system to sustain it, will have individuals will greater or lesser power, will have freeloaders, conflicts and co-operation and sets of laws which must be obeyed for the benefit of society as a whole.
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Damien
Sun, Mar 7, 2010, 6:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

Yesterday's Enterprise - I do agree that this is one of the epic TNG episodes, deservedly a classic. However, I do find a couple of things problematic.

How many times in the past have we had main characters taken over by an alien presence or behave erratically due to some kind of infection or other? Lots. So now we have to take Guinan's word for the fact that 'something' doesn't feel right and that the new ship needs to be sacrificed to correct things, based on no evidence whatsoever. Despite Picard's so-called protestations, he nevertheless decides that Guinan's gut it right. Didn't even request a medical scan first.

It just smacks too much of a belief in mysticism. Somehow Guinan transcends time itself. She's conveniently vague on specifics and yet knows that Tasha died a meaningless death. Hmmm.

Adding to the mystical mumbo-jumbo is the notion of preferred destinies. Things weren't 'meant' to be like this. According to whom? If things are 'meant' to be in a certain way, then it means that we have no free will, that everything is preordained and we're just going through the motions.

It is the use of these metaphysical plot devices which sours my enjoyment of what is otherwise an excellent episode.
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Damien
Wed, Jul 22, 2009, 9:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

Brian, no it doesn't make any sense. There is no way a modern economy/society can function without some kind of a monetary system, no matter what the year. It's just another Roddenberrian Utopian vision, like the elevation of the human race to almost saintly status.
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Damien
Wed, Jul 22, 2009, 9:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Rapture

I agree with the review, it's certainly one of the best, complex and intelligently written Trek episodes out there.

I was reminded of a CE3K scene as Sisko was playing with his food and saw meaning in the arrangement of his vegetables! :)
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Damien
Wed, Jun 17, 2009, 9:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

Excellent episode, very well done. However one thing just didn't make sense – the blood tests. What happens after you have been tested (to be human)? Why can't a changeling assume someone's identity at a point after they were tested? The only way a blood test would work is if all people tested are monitored continuously thereafter, and there's no way that can be done unless you confine everyone.
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Damien
Sun, Jun 14, 2009, 8:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Indiscretion

The thorn issue didn't stick in my throat as much as it seems to have done with others. I liked this one much more than a score of 2.5, though not as highly as the season openers.
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Damien
Thu, Jun 11, 2009, 9:11am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Hippocratic Oath

I also liked this one more than Jammer and would put it on equal footing with the season's openers as an intelligent exploration of character motivation and perspectives on free will. I even liked the B story, though I still have no idea what Worf's job actually is. What does someone whose duty is to 'coordinate all Starfleet activity in this sector' actually do?
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Damien
Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 7:23am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Where Silence Has Lease

"Where Silence Has Lease" – what a truly horrible episode! One of the worst. The acting and dialog was laughably bad and stilted throughout, the void of nothingness didn't look like a void, but a bluish mist – how is it like staring into infinity more so than the infinite blackness of normal space? How did the sensors report absolutely nothing, when clearly it was either emitting or reflecting blue/purple light?

And what the heck was that Riker/Worf holodeck crap all about at the beginning?

Then for some reason Pulaski comes to the bridge with more bad dialog and proceeds to (annoyingly) raise view screen magnifications. This is like a bad fan based amateur production.

There's some left field comment about rats in a maze and we of course later learn that that's exactly the Enterprises predicament. You see, there's this vastly superior intellect that, naturally, is fascinated by humans and wishes to learn more about them by killing them! A red shirt promptly buys the farm.

Only one thing to do – self destruct the ship! Should it be done instantly to prevent unnecessary suffering and anguish amongst the crew as they count down the minutes and seconds to their deaths? Nah, give them 20 mins to stew over it, after all, it's a nice round number, lol!

Then there's the god-awful Picard answer about what death is, full of new age, mystical mambo-jumbo. In the end, the self destruct is aborted and the entity gives some spiel about mans' failings: selfishness, conflict, rashness, quick to judge, aggressive, hostile, yadda, yadda. For a totally alien, disembodied intelligence, it sure seems to understand corporeal human concepts, emotions and motivations pretty well.

In the final scene, as they zoom away from the 'hole', we have a TOSian moment of levity. Apparently everything is all right now - who cares if a member of the crew was actually killed? Urgh, a horrible, horrible episode!
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Damien
Wed, Apr 22, 2009, 10:47am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Measure of a Man

"Measure of a Man" - absolutely a classic and one of my favourites, possibly favourite.

I only have one small quibble (well, it's a biggie, but not so that it detracts from the overall ep).

It just didn't seem realistic that a case of such huge potential importance would be prosecuted and defended by two people that have no legal training, have never tried a case and are friends and colleagues serving on the same ship! It beggars belief that such a trial could take place, especially given its importance.

Surely the logical thing to do would have been to delay the trial until such time that trained lawyers could be gathered and a legally binding decision could be made, rather than leaving the decision open to appeal/overrule in the future on the grounds of improper procedure.
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Damien
Sun, Apr 12, 2009, 9:25am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Fair Haven

Y'know, when I saw this ep when it first aired, it was one of my most despised episodes of Voyager to date. However, over the years, I've re-watched it several times and I must confess that I have completely changed my mind about it. In fact, now I love it.

I cannot agree with Jammer's criticisms about a lack of chemistry between Janeway and Michael, I think it was there in spades. In fact, I loved Janeway's girlish behaviour around Michael. It's exactly the kind of high one can get when they meet someone that literally takes their breath away.

The question of whether those feelings are appropriate from A) the captain and B) towards a hologram are valid, but I also think excusable given the R & R nature of the situation, where one is predisposed to having a good time.

Whether a hologram is 'really' sentient or not is neither here nor there IMO. If it can pass the Turin test (where you cannot tell the difference between a real person and a simulated one), which the Michael simulation clearly seems to be able to do, despite being programmable, then I think it becomes difficult to draw the line. It becomes a real, immersive environment. But of course, once out of the environment, you'd be much more analytical.

In fact, the very real tension that Janeway experiences between sober reality and embracing a perfect simulation, is what elevates this episode above standard fare.

There were also so many funny lines (such as 'delete wife' and Tuvok the barometer, to name a couple), that it simply made for a very entertaining and likable episode. I'd give it a three.
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Damien
Fri, Apr 10, 2009, 7:54am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: One Small Step

Yes, it was a pretty good ep. I too thought it was rather pointless retrieving the body only to shoot it into space again. They should have kept it in cold storage until they returned to Earth.

But I cannot let a real zinger go by without comment. The anomaly zeros in on electromagnetic fields, so what do they come up with to explain the source of EM causing the anomaly to change course? Dark matter! Yep, the stuff that got its name because it doesn't interact with EM fields at all! It emits ZERO radiation - which is what makes it dark! Why on earth did they come up with that when they ran through some perfectly good sources of EM, like pulsars?
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Damien
Mon, Apr 6, 2009, 8:36am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Drive

I enjoyed this one a lot because it was so amiable and focused on the two characters I have a lot of time for - Tom and B'Elanna. I think they have great chemistry together and both put in a fine performance. It doesn't have to be 'meat and potatoes' all the time, a light soufflé now and then makes for a pleasant change.
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Damien
Sun, Apr 5, 2009, 8:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

I pretty much agree with Jammer's thoughts, except for one thing. I didn't have any problem at all about not seeing a post homecoming. It doesn't really matter (to me) what they end up doing - it's not really the point. I'm sure they could have come up with some extended epilogue, etc, but I reckon that would have been boringly anti-climactic. The point of the series was their journey home and whether or not they would make it. I thought it ended perfectly with a shot of Voyager heading towards Earth.

Apart from the temporal plot holes, dubious morality of altering the future (history?) and general Borg stupidity, I found the relationship pairings silly and arbitrary. Doc/Seven would have been a more natural fit (even though it seemed more of a one sided infatuation from the Doc). And Chakotay/Janeway would have been the other more believable coupling.

But still, quite entertaining nonetheless...
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Damien
Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 10:43am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Shattered

I actually didn't mind this one. Sure, the temporal jigsaw premise stretched scientific credibility, but c'mon, little of what passes as Trek science makes that kind of sense when you come right down to it.

Accepting the premise, I found Shattered to be pretty entertaining. Perhaps not one of Voyager's best, but still above average.

My main issue was with the so called temporal prime directive. I don't see why Chakotay couldn't tell Janeway what happened after the timeline was restored. Surely he'd be telling her what happened in their past, so the future could not be altered in any way.
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Damien
Thu, Apr 2, 2009, 9:55am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Friendship One

I agree that the core premise was a good one, but the execution was dreadful. What really pulled me out of the episode was the completely pointless and arbitrary execution of Carey. But what made it even worse was that almost no one (at the time) seemed to be particularly bothered or outraged about it. Both the Voyager hostages and crew aboard ship just seemed to carry on as if nothing much happened. You'd think there would be outrage, anger and a general unwillingness to help these people – nope.

At the end, It's like the writers suddenly remembered that someone had died, and decided to play lip service to the event, only to deliver the silly Janeway line that others have already commented on.
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Damien
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Memorial

I found this episode to be rather poor. The flashbacks became boring when it became clear that they were implanted false memories, which was pretty early on. Thereafter, the story held little interest and the end was ludicrous. As I see it, the transmitter is nothing more than a terrorist device which implants horrific and permanent imagery into the minds of unsuspecting passers by. How is that a noble gesture and why is it worth preserving?

Do you seriously think any passing alien race is going to be thankful for possibly years of nightmares and stress as a result of this 'memorial'? And why does some violent episode need to be remembered for all time anyway? Do you remember or care about some brutal battle that happened in the 1700s? I didn't think so.

The saying that those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it, is patently false. People don't learn from history, especially distant history, because they always think that today things are different, the circumstances are different, and so history doesn't apply, or they think they can get away with it anyway.

At least Janeway put up a warning device before restoring power to the memorial, but if that fails, then we're back to square one, with another 300 years of broadcasting horror. One star.
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Damien
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 8:56am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy

Yes, an absolute gem! So many great moments to choose from, but probably the best for me was the opening scene with Doc singing opera and Tuvok going through Pon Farr. Also loved the meeting room scene with the gals fawning over the irresistible EMH, heh.
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Damien
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 7:47am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

While I did mostly enjoy this episode, it isn't one of my favourites. I love B'Elanna as a character and Roxann can do no wrong in my book, however, I really can't get excited about Klingons, their culture, warrior yadda, honour yadda, yadda. They're only marginally more interesting than the Ferengi!

Also, I find it hard to swallow that Janeway would allow a key member of her crew to allow herself to be nearly killed on purpose just to satisfy some delusion she experienced while being near death originally. Janeway should have stuck to her guns and not changed her mind.
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Damien
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 4:45am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

Yes, I praised Picardo's performance, and seeing how he was the focus of the episode, that in no small part contributes to the enjoyment of the episode as a whole. I think some people get too hung up on unimportant detail and fail to appreciate the bigger picture.

For example, if I wanted to be pedantic, I could have taken issue when the Doctor spoke about the primordial atom bursting 20 billion years ago to create the universe. Well, the universe is actually about 13.7 billion years old and it wasn't an 'atom' that burst open.

Those (and other) details weren't important to the overall enjoyment of the story and its telling, which was very well done.
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Damien
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 9:09am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

I had no problems with this episode, it's one of Voyager's best. The quibbling about programming and priority resolution, etc, wasn't an issue for me, because the characterization (Picardo) and the narrative was of such high calibre. Yes, it's a common Trek theme - AIs are people too, but it's the telling of the story that counts, and this was done very effectively. The scene in the mess hall when the Doc goes into meltdown, alone was worth the price of admission.
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Damien
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 7:48am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Counterpoint

This is probably my favourite Voyager episode. Janeway and Kashyk are simply superb characterizations - intelligence and chemistry in equal measure. It was a joy to re-watch after so many years and easily worth four stars, IMO.
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Damien
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 11:50am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

I have to echo the other posters' opinions – I too thought it was a very good episode, worthy of three stars. I didn't have a problem with the DNA thing, as it really wasn't important at all. In the Trek universe you expect to see people being taken over or transformed into something else, and back again, so no biggie.

The central notion was pretty cool – that the crew were being experimented on without their knowledge and seeing them walk around with all manner of contraptions strapped to their person without them being aware was very cool.

The main problems I would cite would be the rationale for these experiments in the first place. How would an alien species gain useful medical knowledge to benefit their own species by experimenting on a totally alien species (humans) which would have a totally a different physiology and psychology?

And why would they be so intransigent and threaten to kill everyone unless they cooperated? Why not just leave after being found out? I guess no drama in that...

I always enjoy seeing Tom and B'Elanna together and I loved them here too. The 'sophomoric' aspects of their relationship didn't bother me at all, in fact, it was somewhat of a highlight. What new relationship doesn't at times go through such a stage, regardless of age? It was fun and nicely done. So overall, a fine ep.
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