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Frank
Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@LJ Also, I'm fairly certain the MU shenzhou had USS on it during a CGI fly-by a couple episodes back.

To have merely an "exciting" show on the air does the legacy of Star Trek so much disservice and it's IMO just a sad continuation of everything JJ Abrams brought to this franchise-- "excitement but not much else."

Come on. Keep the popcorn entertainment to The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones. Can we have at least a SHRED of legit allegory? And no, Klingons representing white middle America--then not even exploring it within the context of the war dynamic & character relationships--does not count.
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Frank
Sun, Jan 21, 2018, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Vaulting Ambition

Game of Trek. Gimmick TV.
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Frank
Wed, Jan 3, 2018, 5:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

I really enjoyed it and agree with Jammer. The decision at the end seems to be the primary cause of debate, but honestly it was framed in a way that either decision would have been understandable. That's what makes it a dilemma! You're *supposed* to want them to save them because you're (I assume) human.

There was an example given where if an alien race came to fix defects in rival species during our evolution, would we have been happy to watch them eventually kill us all off planet of the apes style? That's the argument - not religion.

In the context of the story the decision itself was a small (albeit catastrophic) part. The most intriguing part for me was the framing.
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Franknol
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Two Days and Two Nights

Wow! 3 stars? This make look Threshold like The Inner Light
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Dr Franklin
Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

@Dom - I'm struggling to see the racism in the new Klingons. They ate Georgiou's body because they were starving. They are proud of their culture and wish to preserve it. They seem to be predisposed to infighting. And they are technologically advanced, even possessing technology in advance of the humans (cloaking). I don't see the show passing judgement and saying they are lesser creatures because of any of this, which I quite like.
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Doctor Franklin
Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 10:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

Captain Sisko is great. Avery Brooks the actor... not so much.

Am I the only one who likes the Discovery Klingons? Disregarding continuity and canon, I think they're better done than most Trek aliens. They genuinely feel like an alien culture and I find there is a sense of fascination when they are on screen. Their ways are mysterious and their ships are inscrutable. I hope they don't start talking English.
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Frank
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

@Trent: It seemed to really be long range communication. At least there were none of the normal tells that it would be a dream sequence. She got her eyes open all the time IIRC.
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Frank
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Not caring about canon is fine - if you name your show something else every time, or have a show that does not take itself too seriously in the first place, like Dr. Who. They could have just named this "JJ Trek" and nobody would have cared about continuity issues because there would be none. Instead they chose to say it's prime universe.
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Frank
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

@Trent: Huh, I guess this will end my posting carreer here, but here goes anyways.

Moral relativism is bullshit. Some values are good, others are not, period (not attacking you, you just brought it up, and it seems plausible that the producers are going for that). And that was always Star Treks stance as well - otherwise the show wouldn't have had any meaning in the first place. Worf had to leave Star Fleet to fight in the Klingon Civil war, and if I remember correctly, Picard forbade him at one point to take revenge, as he was a Star Fleet officer, and as such bound to their moral code. If your predictions are true - and I guess they are, it more or less fits with what the producers have said, including likening Klingons to Trump-supporters - this will be another "Bash the West" story. Exactly what I needed. Guess I'm just to bitter. But if I want to watch people doing evil stuff I watch the news.

Also, if you are right with your story predictions, the wise woman (Yeoh) is asian, the nationalistic anachronistic counterpart is a southern white man, and in the end everybody is save by our hero, the male-named female black woman. Oh, what a bold story that nobody has told before - except everybody in the last ten years, and this story, btw., is also the reason we have Trump in the first place, and a nationalistic backlash in Europe. Brexit (in regards to another poster), was about democracy, not nationality, as the EU is basically undemocratic. The decision-makers are not elected by the people and can not be removed by vote, thats why the Brits left. Now, I know that race shouldn't matter, and it doesn't for me, but today it really does matter, as everybody talks in racial terms. The way the producers of STD boasted about having only a minority white males in the cast makes it painstakingly obvious that race and gender are the only thing that matter, apparently.

So no thanks, I don't need that. Babylon 5 already did the whole gray-and-gray morality thing, and I doubt this new show will be any better. Hell, thousands of shows did the gray-and-gray morality thing. Especially in this time Star Trek should give people hope and make them remember what our species can achieve, not show them that everybody is an asshole (especially the white males).
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Frank
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Spoilers, again.

Another thing: Vulcan mind meld now works over thousands of light years? After the long range torpedoes from Into Darkness and the infinite range transporter from Star Trek (2009), why do they keep making the galaxy smaller and smaller? Whats the point of going out into space if you are just as close to everyone anyway?

And Michael was supposed to be dead after 19 minutes .... yet she lives ... without consequences ... and is healed in five seconds. Please, writers, could you just make up your mind if you want to put a character into mortal danger or not? Ok, Star Trek always had mirculous handwavy healing, but not in the first episode ... at least give us a little time to suspend our disbelief first.
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Frank
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

@Trent: Hm, that certainly seems possible. It certainly is the Klingon point of view that Starfleet encroaches on their culture. I am not sure that this will work out in the end, though. If the Federation, which promotes peace between at least four named alien races, and stands for universal acceptance, is the enemy - who are we supposed to root for? The nationalistic klingons? And if they transform the Federation from an "invading" force to a true utopia - aren't we where Star Trek already was five series ago? And what would be the overall message? Imposing your values on others is wrong? Then whats the point of the Federation? If they can't expand their values to other cultures and unite them under their banner, what are they supposed to do? Guess we have to wait how the series answers those questions.
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Frank
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 10:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Mixed feelings in abundance. And spoilers. And ramblings. Sorry. I am trying to order my thoughts by writing them down here, and maybe some of you can enlighten me.

I thought I'd hate the Klingons more, but I actually can look past their makeupt (even though barely). Great that they speak klingon. But there was a point where I thought "Those are not real people". When the Klingons of old interacted with one another (ST:The Motion Picture comes to mind) they seemed like they had purpose. There was a captain and a clear structure and a workable society behind it - at least that was what I got from it. In this new series, with the completely horrible ship designs and the changes to their culture (keeping dead bodies instead of seeing them just as remains) I thought "These are just some random people acting evil in a B-movie".

But then came the point where I realized that the Klingons aren't even evil. They defend their culture against Starfleet - and Starfleet gave them the perfect excuse by showing up in force, instead of leaving once they discovered the sacred artifact of the Klingons. Starfleet are the intruders.

But it gets worse. First, I thought to myself: What would Picard have done? I guess he would just have left to negotiate a border change later. Problem solved. Series over. There was no threat from the Klingons, they didn't lock on phasers, they just defended themselves from Micheal intruding onto their station, and they showed no sign of aggression. So why stay there when you are outgunned and on enemy territory? Is this system in any way valuable? There was a small sensor probe out there, thats all. It is not like the Klingons threatened something valuable. Granted, they talked about a space station and a colony a few lightyears away which could be threatened by the klingons - but they didn't, so retreat is the Starfleet option.

Then comes Sarek and tells Micheal how they made peace with the Klingons. And Micheal wants to do that now herself. But as he said, that won't work. And it is kind of un-vulcan to begin with. Attack the Klingons until they respect you? Ok, maybe but ... that must have taken decades to work. It just feels off, in an odd way. I just can't see Vulcans being the aggressors. Then the whole mutiny-shebang happens ... and then it's war already and the federation fleet gets beaten, and after that, instead of trying to escape, they try to destroy the klingon ship - by transporting explosives to a dead body that is recovered by the Klingons? Really? Would Starfleet do that when there is no need? The Klingon already told them they would not be attacked any further, why would he lie? But they bomb him anyway (and I guess he must have deactivated his shields, but that was never stated), and then they beam on board to capture the klingon leader and two human females beat two klingon warriors in a melee battle? Jesus... I get it, they are the heroes, but seriously ... Whats the point of having a warrior race if they get beaten so easily? Now there is no menace left. And worse of all, they even talk about beforehand that if the leader dies he will become a martyr, and they will only strengthen the klingon resolve - so they go ahead and do just that. They are stupid.

Then that scene with the star trek tribunal - all in dark, with shadowy figures passing judgement. Since when is Starfleet the Tal Shiar or the Cardassians?

I just can't point my finger at what went really wrong with this. The scene where Micheal is stuck in the brigg was meant to be tense, but we knew she wouldn't die, and why not just have her rescued the normal way? Why does starfleet not try to retreat?

Why is she named Micheal? Oh i get it "You shouldn't judge her because it is 2017 and a woman can have a mans name" and all that but ... why? What story purpose does it have?

What higher meaning are we supposed to get from these two episodes?

Why did Micheal say that retreat is not an option anymore when it clearly was?

Why didn't they introduce their characters? It is straight action after twenty minutes. How am I supposed to emphasize with characters I don't know?

Why is Micheal just a copy of Spock from the new movies? The whole "Non-Vulcan being treated strangely by vulcan society" is getting old, hell, even the "Oh, I am a Vulcan, I am so logical, yet I am not" was also done to death. We had Spock, we had Tuvok, we know what Vulcans are like - and she isn't even convincing. One moment she tries to be ultra logical, the next moment she tries to be overly emotional, but she just seems ... off.

Why is the crew behaving as if this was their first mission? Constant bickering, Micheal shoving the Science officer out of the way, wtf is going on here?

Also, what is with all the references to previous star trek? "We have engaged the Klingons" = "We have engaged the Borg", but this time it has no meaning. That line was great when Picard said it because we knew shit was going to go down, as the borg where then a real threat with buildup. Apparently everybody calls their first officer Number One now.

Having watched the Orville beforehand, I am really disappointed.

The Orville promised to be a contiunation of galaxy quest: Light humor and star trek spoofs. Instead I got a series that has only minimal humor and really feels like star trek, has likeable characters and that tackles modern day issues in a very star-trekkie manner.

STD on the other hand promises to be a Star Trek show but is ... Battlestar Galactica meets Star Wars meets the Walking Dead ... IN SPACE! Forced character drama and violence and meaninglessness. I really only liked the Science Officer - he was the only one who made sense throughout. The other characters had constant mood swings and didn't act like real people. Everything was far to quickly paced. It just doesn't make sense to me.
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Frank
Fri, Jun 16, 2017, 12:00am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part I

Why wouldn't have the time temporal people detected and corrected the current timeline the new Star Trek movies are based on?
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Frank B
Tue, Feb 14, 2017, 10:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Little Green Men

In addition to wearing their cover indoors, the man wearing captain bars on his his collar has the bars sideways for some reason. Other than those two wardrobe malfunctions, it's an okay episode
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Frank
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Equinox, Part II

I love your reviews. You must have put serious hours into all this. I almost always agree with you too. I came here to check if I was going mad about how the doctor managed to get back onto voyager without his mobile emitter too and thankfully it looks like I wasn't. Seems the writers for some reason thought it was possible to beam a hologram aboard.
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Frank
Thu, Dec 1, 2016, 1:21am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

I loved Similitude because of a few reasons
1. Any Star Trek fan of the original series knows the show has unrealistic superhero ways of saving the all important Crew and the real interesting question is this a cool way that they saved the Star Trek world?
For me it was a strong yes.
The character bonds of loyalty and friendship is the real draw for me in the series because I feel it is something we all would love to have in a perfect world so that is why I ignore the Big Bang Therory arguments of making it work because it would probably take way too long to tell the story correctly in less than an hour.

The topics that are addressed are Sim's complete innocence. Trip is flawed in many ways but Sim is a clone innocence. His life is so short lived that it represents pure innocence which is a great topic to ponder.
I also like the dilemma of whose feelings love T'pol, Trip or Sim and I also love the logic with T'Pol's affectionate kiss because how could she logically evaluate that innocence other than pure. I liked the fact that Sim's short love of his life gave him the perfect goodbye.

I loved Sim's attitude of such a short life better say the most important things to the most important people like calling Phlox a good father since that was truly his reality.
Sim's Sacrifice and his reasoning that was his meaning to life, what he is here for that question we all ponder and see he is part of a greater whole.

I also liked the way they started with the funeral and it didn't take long knowing Star Trek that it was Sim's funeral but it was a cool mix of bringing up a possible cure for Sim and his desire to live and the end result of although his life was only days it was far more significant than most people accomplish in decades of life.

I liked the Porthos scenes with Sim since dogs also have a short life and innocences and I think we all that love dogs can relate to Sim's death like a beloved pet.

The connections with this episode are to many important life's questions and dilemmas.

This world is flawed but it sure is nice to escape to the Star Trek world where they solve all of these mysteries in less than an hour and this episode hit on my favorites.


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Frank
Thu, Sep 8, 2016, 7:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Royale

I recall seeing this episode when it first ran 27 years ago. As a teen, I didn't really care much for it. "The Royale" simply isn't very good, but there it is anyway, stuck in my memory. Some episodes I've entirely forgotten, but this one was unique. Don't know why exactly. Perhaps it was the simplicity of the story, or the stark visuals. The revolving doors spinning in the blackness, the gray skeleton concealed in the white bedding -- both scenes were very, very memorable. 2 stars, maybe 2 1/2.
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Frank
Thu, Sep 8, 2016, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

I really enjoyed this episode. You got to know the crew. The concept itself was interesting. The plot moved along at a good pace. The salt vampire was scary looking. In fact, it was probably one of the most memorable sci-fi monsters that I can recall. 3 stars.
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Frank
Thu, Sep 8, 2016, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

Ah, yes, the episode where Corvette-Captain Janeway of ISS Voyager executed that poor hapless Vulaxian. Empress Hoshi the Great would have been proud.
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Frank
Thu, Sep 8, 2016, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: The Haunting of Deck Twelve

Jammer, you were way too rough on this episode. "The Tale of Deck 12" was one of the better stories told by the Midnight Society. 2 1/2 stars.
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Ben Franklin
Wed, Aug 31, 2016, 3:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

There are a few things that attempt to salvage this episode. However, as to the plot, this dead horse has been beaten so badly, it's bones have been pulverized to a fine powder. Enough already with the "close calls". It's unoriginal. It's boring. It's insulting to the audience. This is the one major reason why I feel Voyager could never measure up to the other series that came before. They could have done anything with this ship but instead, it turned into this "plodding our way home" ordeal. As Jammer said, enough with the teasers. If they aren't going to get home until the series finale, then let's stop with the false hopes BS and get on with other themes. Frankly, I don't care if others don't find the Gilligan's Island plot repetition to be obnoxious. This is bush league writing and fodder for the all-but-discerning viewer.

It's especially insulting that the encrypted Star Fleet message from several episodes past was just a "Sorry, no go on any help from us... but good luck!" What a complete waste of a plot device.

-2 for yet-another-we-came-close-to-getting-home-but-sorry-not-this-time plot
+1 for good dialog and performances from the Voyager crew
+1 for great character interactions between Janeway & Seven
-0.5 for Ray Wise's lackluster performance
-1 for absurd revenge plot and associated contrivances
+2 for exploring the effects of Janeway's decision from Scorpion
-1 for making us wait for the Star Fleet message decryption for nothing except another Gilligan-in-Space spiel

Episode gets a -0.5 stars in my book. Call me picky, but Gilligan's Island barely worked as a serialized sitcom. Stop using its themes in Star Trek.
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Ben Franklin
Thu, Aug 18, 2016, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Death Wish

2 stars from me. Good philosophical episode with some decent performances. I like the gratuitous appearance of Riker and DeLancie's performance is, as always, superb. However:

-1 (Canon violation) for the fact that I can hardly believe the Q would allow a human to determine the fate of one of their own.

-1 (basic series plot hole) for the fact that the Q could easily (and without moral issue) send Voyager back home and this should have been the immediate instinct for Janeway upon seeing any of the Q.

Frankly, I was taken aback by this episode. As soon as it was apparent that there was a Q in it, I discounted the episode's validity. The fact that the Q are in Voyager at all is insulting to the viewer's intelligence unless the writers were prepared to have Voyager return home early. But I always like a Q episode and [series-defining plot holes aside] the philosophical view in question was interesting.
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Frank
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 2:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

Young Guinan's dubbed over voice is horrible. Why cast someone if their voice is not screen ready. For that and that alone it makes this episode unbearable from go.
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Ben Franklin
Sun, Mar 6, 2016, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

I'm not sure why people have a hard time with Guinan's ability to consciously transcend space-time and to have a glimpse of a parallel universe. The writers have consciously chosen to keep Guinan a mystery... a special character if you will... instead of giving her a proper backstory and character arc of her own. She is not a primary character, after all. The Q are able to do things that no one in the Trek universe can comprehend, yet we all love the Q episodes (most of them) and Q in general. The fact that Q and Guinan seem to have a very adversarial stance towards each other coupled with the fact that Q considers her to be "a very dangerous creature" tells me that Guinan simply has abilities that we, and the Enterprise crew, cannot readily comprehend.

I love this episode. We get a little more Tasha, we get some play with dimensions and time. We get some moral ambiguity. And we get some great performances. The one thing that always irked me is the fact that Guinan was on the alternate-universe Enterprise *at all*. What was a bartender doing on a warship? They didn't even have access to the replicators (eating rations etc), what use would they have for a bartender? I was in the Navy and you better believe if there was a civilian on our boat, it wasn't a bartender... more likely to be CIA or something like that. Guinan should not have been on board the alternate-universe Enterprise at all. The story could've moved forward with Picard and Data's usual deference to logic and logical thought. As some posters have mentioned previously, Picard had already alluded to the possibility that the presence of Enterprise-C could have messed up their time line. Data could've assuaged any moral dilemma that Picard was dealing with.

Again, I'd give this episode a solid 4 stars but I am definitely irked by the very presence of Guinan on a Federation warship during wartime when things are so bad that they have shut down replicators and are living on rations.
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Ben Franklin
Fri, Mar 4, 2016, 4:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

This episode is one that could've been awesome but was made meh by the whole "rape is a perspective" thing.

Anyone defending the writing of this and saying that a person could alter their memory so badly that they could actually invent a rape inside their mind can be accurately labeled an imbecile. Go talk to a rape victim. Go speak with people who have escaped rape. You don't forget that shit. The tidal wave of fear, terror, and depression that follows such events can cripple some people for years. Others can recover significantly faster but no one can just conjure up an attempted rape in their mind and actually believe it unless they were HEAVILY under the influence of some very strong psychoactive drug.

You really have to do some mental gyrations to actual defend the idea that an attempted rape is a point of perspective. No way, jack. It is a direct insult to rape victims to even try arguing that point. Maybe Mrs. Apgar might have remembered Riker being a little overly forward in his comments and gestures towards her but to completely invent him trying to force fuck her is absolutely loony toons. The writers should've just left the rape bit out completely. It comes close to ruining the episode for me.

Luckily, the rest of the episode is solid enough for it to get a 3 star from me.
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