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Joseph B
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 7:39am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Nice review!

I enjoyed this episode much more than you did, but I can certainly appreciate the concerns you outlined. (And I was also hoping that they had overshot by 150 years!)

From my perspective, this was a 4 Star (OMG!) episode based on the fact that
* I was highly entertained, and
* It felt like “Star Trek” to me (albeit with tproduction values not seen in any prior Trek TV series.)

I was very skeptical that CBS could pull off a modern serialized Star Trek series, but I’m fully on board now. I’ve even gotten use to the viewing it on CBS All-Access — which has provided a consistently quality viewing experience since the series came back from hiatus.

Live Long and Prosper! 🖖

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Joseph B
Sun, Jan 28, 2018, 10:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

This was a Four Stars “OMG!” ep!!

I was riveted for the entire run time and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the production: The acting; the exciting movie-quality special effects; the “moralistic”, but action-packed plot; and the very nicely done score which augmented and enhanced the suspense and excitement.

In fact, this was “too good for television”!

Live Long and Prosper! 🖖
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Sleeper Agent
Sun, Jan 21, 2018, 5:47am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Hard Time

So far season 4 continues to deliver stellar Trek material like this one. Meaney portrays a shattered O'Brien flawlessly, sucking you right in from the very beginning.

A couple of things I'd like to mention which other commentators barely have.

1. In a comment a few episodes back, someone said that in S4 Avery Brooks started to play Sisko basically as a villain. This is a spot on observation which makes me enjoy the Captain a lot more in this season compared to the earlier ones. He's an ambivalent character which unfortunately in 1-3 feels a bit to righteous in the light of his actions, now I feel he is more in tuned with what he is. True, when he yells at the newly released O'Brian he shows that he is bothered, but still you get the feeling he knows what the hell he's doing and isn't afraid to hold himself back. He's alive and it is entertaining!

2. I really wish they would have skipped that last scene of cringe-o-rama. I've never cared much for Molly, now I wish she was the one being implanted with 20 years of Argrathi prison.


PS. Btw, I agree 20 is too long, 5-6 years would've benefited the story more.
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Sleeper Agent
Sat, Jan 20, 2018, 4:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

Absolutely smashing episode with a smooth flow from the first minute to the last. I really like that they shed some light on the whole emissary issue, which I for one, didn't feel they had properly dealt with until now. However, I can see that people with faith in nothingness (i.e. atheism) roll their eyes to this one. For everybody else it should be a treat.
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Sleeper Agent
Sun, Jan 14, 2018, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Bar Association

The scene with the holographic waiters is enough to give this Episode nothing less than three Nausicaan Bulls Eye's out of four.
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Sleeper Agent
Thu, Jan 11, 2018, 2:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

For the first time ever I was turned on and crying at the same time.
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Wed, Jan 10, 2018, 4:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Sins of the Father

I'm a late-comer to this page and I'm in the middle of re-watching TNG on Netflix. I give this episode a 4* rating. I really enjoy many of the Klingon-centric episodes, as they expand on a mythos established in TOS and add a lot of weight to it. It also leads to good long term development as Worf's character as he learns more about things in the Klingon empire. It also establishes Picard as a "warrior" more than any other eipsode to date.
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Sun, Jan 7, 2018, 10:51am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Rules of Acquisition

Quark seemed to back down a too easily, over Zek revoking his Gamma Quadrant profits, considering that Quark had leverage with revealing that a female had represented Zek in a business negotiation. This is a guy that later threatened to expose the "drought" on Balancar to the entire quadrant.
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Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:42am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

For those who take issue with re-purposed EMH Mark I's working in the mine, I agree that it requires a bit of explanation. It might be, perhaps, analogous to the work of, say, a team of paleontologists digging up fossils. Sure, some of the work can be done with explosives, some with heavy equipment, but much must be done by hand. Fine, you might say, but by the 24th century, surely even the most delicate work will be done as well or better by machines. A valid point, might be the reply, and the machines are called holograms.
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Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 2:20am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Workforce

Great two-parter.

I had a different impression of Janeway in that final scene. I rather thought she was trying to set a tone for the rest of the crew, as well as reassuring everyone that their captain was again 100% committed. At the same time, it seemed pretty clear from the goodbye scene with Jaffin that she left part of herself on that planet with him. So her comment, " Not for a second" or whatever, was a ruse. And I think Mulgrew makes that clear when, after she says "Resume course Mr. Paris." her expression changes from one of being resolute, almost nonchalant - what she conveyed to Chakotay, to sudden sadness and longing as she turns her face away. It's brief - blink and you might miss it - but it is very clear, or at least, it seems so to me.

I'm with the others, finally, who mentioned finding most of the "guest" characters worthwhile, intelligent, compassionate, competent, and well-acted. And I wish Jaffin had stayed on Voyager.
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Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 7:55am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Very enjoyable episode! The tension was palpable, the score chilling, and the resolution unexpected but fitting. I love Bortus' comic relief, like walking in the holodeck "Am I early?", and when he left the ready-room feeling vulnerable when everyone knew his fear. The shot of Alara going to sleep was a sweet TNG touch to end it, as well.
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Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 1:29am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go


Thanks for the Review!
I’ll join the consensus by stating that that was the best episode of Discovery to date!
I was totally riveted for the first two thirds of the epp!

In regards to the CBSAA service: After the pilot episode I went ahead and upgraded my subscription to the “commercial free” service. With the exception of two buffering hiccups during the second Mudd episode, I have had no streaming issues whatsoever. I’m using a ROKU 3 box connected directly to my LG short throw projector. The video quality is consistently outstanding. I *do* wish CBS would upgrade the audio to 5.1 though. My AV receivers’ PL3 circuitry does a good job of converting the stereo to split surrounds, but discrete 5.1 audio (or better) is now the norm on all other premier streaming services. I’m actually enjoying viewing other fine CBS shows, like “Blue Bloods”, in high quality video (better than my cable service) and commercial free, so I’ll be keeping the service during the hiatus.

Thanks again for all of your great reviews!
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Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 1:04am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Worst Case Scenario

I certainly don't like this as much as everyone else seems to. The first part was interesting, but slow and fairly boring, and the last part was ridiculous.

So if you delete a holoprogram, it doesn't get deleted at all. The computer just pretends to delete it I guess. So there's that. I know that's how it basically works nowadays, but apparently they never overwrite anything in the future, even after 2 years or more.

And it makes no sense whatsoever for Seska to have altered this program. What if Tuvok had reactivated it while she was still on board? What if he never reactivated it? She was taking the chance that she would somehow be off the ship and that he would reactivate it after that. That doesn't make much sense.

And why would she be that mad at Tuvok anyway? For betraying and spying on the Maquis? Like someone else mentioned she wasn't a real Maquis in the first place, so what's the point?

How is it that a holodeck program can alter all of the other systems on the ship, shutting down transporters, and communications, rigging things to explode, etc.? That is idiotic.

Did the Doc inject Paris with holographic nitric acid? Or can the holodeck synthesize actual chemicals like a replicator? I had this problem with the Doc Family episode where they were eating in the holodeck. Is it holofood? If the holodeck acts as a replicator, just use it to make all the food they need instead of using replicator rations, or whatever else they need.

If Seska can do all of this, why make it so they can still rewrite parts of the program at all? Why have it so they can get a fire extinguisher or change Chakotay's behaviour or simulate an attack by the Rukani or all the other stuff?

How did Janeway know what changes to make? Because she was watching whatever is going on in the holodeck program on a little tv screen, that btw just happens to be the exact same shot we are looking at as we watch it? lol. Maybe that's been done before, but I don't remember it. That would have been very helpful in about 30 other Star Trek episodes. Who's directing Janeway's tv version, the computer? Silly.

If Seska could disable so many systems on the ship so easily and set the holodeck to explode and who knows what else, using a hidden holodeck program, why wouldn't she have set it up so all of that stuff happened at some other time? Like when she was trying to capture Voyager all those times? Maybe using a program she knew people would use, like parrises squares, or something more common than some strange program that may never be used ever again.

And why bother with all the running around? If she wanted them to die, just have a giant rock land on their head, or surround them with Borg or whatever as soon as Tuvok restarts the program.

Why would Seska program the simulation to end if her character dies? Since she wanted to kill Tuvok so badly, why not have that rock fall on his head if her character dies? There is no reason for it to end just because of that. Makes no sense.

I give the first part 2 1/2 stars and the end a 1/2 star.

So 1 1/2 stars overall.
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Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 10:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Can the person who said all Trek needs now is "edgy sodomy" please define what that means? Can anyone?

On Earth circa now, sodomy has a number of meanings. It can mean oral sex or anal sex either between heterosexual couples or homosexual couples. Certain kinds of "deviant sex" are also considered "criminal sodomy." In Alabama, "deviant sex" consists of (among other things) sex with a minor, which may constitute the criminal offense of sodomy in the second degree.

There have been some outre criticisms of Star Trek, and of Discovery in general, on this board and in other places, but I believe the criticism that the show has either too little or too much "edgy sodomy" (and thus the "sodomy status quo" must be changed) is a new one. I hope it is, anyway.

I wonder what GR would have thought about showing "sodomy" scenes on Star Trek. From what I've read, the man was a sexual libertine. Maybe it would not have bothered him as much as it seems to bother the self-anointed morals police here.
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Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 1:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

This might have been mentioned before, but I think there's some pretty good visual storytelling in that Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan vs Darth Maul fight.

When those lasers close in that hallway, and all three of them get trapped temporarily. Character reactions really show the difference between three of them: Qui-Gon Jinn sits down, calms himself and meditates, like a Jedi he is. Darth Maul keeps pacing like an angry lion in a cage, thirsty for blood, like a Sith. And then young Obi-Wan tiptoes anxiously and impatiently, waiting for the lasers to come down.

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Joseph B
Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 8:11am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

I gave this episode 3 1/2 Stars!
Had it not been for the presentation of the Klingon scenes, I’d give it 4 Stars!!

The plot was pure Trek, with the “monster” ultimately revealed to be the crux of the entire Spore Drive. And I *really loved* the execution of this scenario.

I have to admit that I was very skeptical that this series could even approach something that even felt like Trek. But I’m ALL IN now!!


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Joseph B
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 1:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: If the Stars Should Appear

All I can say right now is that I’m having *fun* with this show.

Yes, this plot was terribly derivative of several Star Trek:TOS eps, but there was some originality with the execution. As mentioned by Jammer, the first part recaptured the “sense of wonder” we all crave from Star Trek. And the last part was enhanced by a surprise guest star along with the title revelation. In the middle we got a “mini” space fight.

I think the bottom line here is that a lot of us are starved for a new “Star Trek” type show back on TV. And “Discovery” is now stuck behind a pay wall. I’m going to pay for a month of CBS-AA to give the “official” show a real chance, but I’m not happy about it. And right now The Orville seems more familiar. And it’s certainly more accessible.
It *does* need to get a little better, but I’m willing to give it plenty of time to get there.

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This episode sux
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 1:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

Oh yeah! Let's build a 2x Burj Khalifa (and 8x large, good for rainy days), in the MIDDLE of a town that is surrounded by EMPTY plains. I would meet the architects and, btw, Janeway ancestors are really dumb, and this episode is a boring poop. Jammer, leave Star Trek alone! Your target is Walker TexASS Ranger...
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Sat, Sep 2, 2017, 2:37am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Journey's End

The episode had the classic star trek blunder, the number of people are laughably small and the glorification of badly researched people that regress several hundred of years to fit outdated beleifs.

I mean its like if you go to spain and then think all you see is heretic burning and revolutionaries fighting a fascist regime. No nuance at all.
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Tue, Aug 29, 2017, 8:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Tacking into the Wind

Rom, although this sounds like a cop-out, I don't think you can blame the Dominion for being such bad evil overlords as much as you can blame bad writing. As much as I think the decision to have Damar lead a rebellion was one of the better choices made in this grand finale, the way it happened was pretty transparent. You're right, the complete callousness of the Changeling and Weyoun to the Cardassians was over the top. And against everything we know about them.

I mean, compare the leadup to Damar's turn to the Dominion's treatment of the Bajorans. The Bajorans offer no resources, no strategic value, no value of any sort other than happening to be right by the wormhole. A truly callous evil empire would have no problem wiping the entire population and leaving the entire Bajoran system as nothing more than a JemHadar stronghold with no civilian population. And yet, they honored the nonagression pact. Weyoun bent over backwards to accommodate Kira on the station, even though he knew exactly where her loyalties lay. That is the Dominion that we had been privy to. The Vorta - and specifically Weyoun - aren't just managers, they are supposed to also be the PR guys, the pleasant face of the empire. Weyoun's sliminess is one of the reasons he was such a big hit with the fans!

Which is why it's strange that this sudden disregard for Cardassia at the end. It's why I said it was transparent. The writers clearly wanted to turn Damar, so they had to ratchet up the pressure on him. Now yes, there were other circumstances. Weyoun is obviously disgusted by Damar's alcoholism, and Peter does have a point that the Dominion was always planning to dispose of Cardassia eventually. But it was so clear that EVERY single decision was being made to anger Damar, and there's no way that Weyoun didn't recognize that. And while he ultimately takes orders from the Changeling, there's no way that a PR guy like him wouldn't try to alleviate the situation. This whole sequence is just too out of character for him. Like I said, I think it's bad writing rather than providing insights into the Dominion.

Peter, I agree that the Dominion always planned to dispose of Cardassia eventually, but I just don't see this sudden reversal to that plan while in the middle of a war. Yes, the entrance of the Breen may have shifted the tide, but the basic tenet of the Dominion is that they are extremely cautious. Even if the Prophets through them off their game, that would just make them even more cautious I would imagine. I have a hard time believing they would start killing off Cardassians early given that aspect of them.
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Fri, Jul 28, 2017, 9:40am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

The reason I dislike this episode is that I don't believe any ethical person would create a clone they know will have to die, in order to save someone. It's just so morally repugnant and unbelievable that they would do that, and it casts the crew as monsters in my eyes. I'm all for moral gray areas (The episode Damage is a great exploration of this), but this is so over the top past the line that I wasn't able to buy in to the episode.

To me , this was an episode that jumped the shark.
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Joseph A Mitchell
Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 3:21am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Big Goodbye

Jammer...really? Not sure I will put much credence to subsequent reviews. I thought this to be a fascinating episode and exploration of a technology that IS sci first and at the time no one had seen to this extent. Your review is a beacon unto the unworthiness of retrospectives and the snobbery that goes with the territory.
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Sun, May 21, 2017, 6:56am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Homestead

"though I think the way the episode invokes the Prime Directive is erroneous: If a warp-capable group of people asks for help in defending themselves, I don't see how that's a Prime Directive issue saying Janeway can't be involved."

This is not the only time this happens in the show. Basically every time the writers want an excuse for Janeway to want to stay uninvolved, they trot out the Prime Directive, and everyone nods their head, even though a significant majority of the species they encounter are warp capable. What's worse, there's an episode where they were discussing this and Tuvok makes the point about the Directive not applying because the aliens of the week... are warp capable. It's just another example of sloppy storytelling that persistently made this show infuriating to watch.
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Wed, May 17, 2017, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

"Khan’s son is the only one of the baddies group, other than Khan, who utters a word through the entire movie (besides “Aaugh!” when the Reliant is attacked—apparently genetic supermen make great redshirts);"

FWIW, Joachim is supposed (apocryphally) to be the son of Joaquin, who was one of his only henchmen in Space Seed to have lines as well.
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Wed, May 17, 2017, 2:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

When people express their fury at Janeway's haphazard command decisions, this is one of the episodes that best vindicates their position. To endanger three senior bridge officers rather than reboot your hologram boyfriend is a completely indefensible solution.

You can't even chalk this up to a tribble (and/or Ferengi) episode, because everyone is so doggone earnest about it. It doesn't have any of the levity of Tinker Tenor or Virtuoso, and whatever attempts it may be making are overshadowed by Janeway's nigh-neurotic fixation on the Sullivan hologram. The more they treat these like real people, the more it diminishes the Doctor's singular nature and his accomplishments. Even he was endlessly tinkering with his hologram family and ready to dump the whole exercise when it challenged him emotionally (not like we ever saw them after that anyway).

The central conceit of Voyager is to explore truly strange new worlds, tens of thousands of light years from the Vulcans and Klingons and Bajorans and Cardassians that have over time permeated Alpha-quadrant storytelling. And even there you already have cavemen-and-laser-gun stories like Blink of an Eye or Muse to lean on. Having a holo town as the centerpiece for a culture episode grossly violates that core premise.
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