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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 4:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Darkling

This show highlights my love hate relationship with holograms on Star Trek. It is pretty clear that holograms can easily become sentient. Literally all you have to do is add some additional sub routines and boost some of their mental attributes. This is shown in Prof Moroarty, the doctor, the holograms that the Hirogen enhance. And yet they ALL very easily turn evil. As a side note it does beg the question: during the dominion war Or borg battles why doesn't the Federation create a fleet of hologram ships?
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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 4:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

I think the one collective member's comments about how thrilling it was to have a new mind (Chakotay's) in the collective is very telling. Clearly there is a euphoric feeling one gets from being linked. And the more minds the better. So I can see them begin to absorb new minds as time goes on, perhaps voluntarily at first, but soon aggressively (in fact if you think about it they forced some of the people on the planet to join the new collective). The only chance that they have is if they do not have access to the tech needed to link new minds and succeeding generations will be raised as normal individuals.
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Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 2:00am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Soldiers of the Empire

This episodes's main problem was that the writer's hand was too evident, resulting in the lack of subtlety we saw on the screen. It seems like Ronald Moore was a man with his eye to the spyglasss, missing everything else besides his target; the forcing of a confrontation between Worf and General Martok. By the end of the episode I felt that Martok was acting the less the part of a coward and more the part of a madman, so forced was the situation the show created to have him disregard his duty. Indeed, the comment made by the Klingon about the curse on the ship seemed to come to life and it almost seemed like the episode was about a curse that actually did exist and the curse caused Martok to slowly go mad, becoming more and more of a blatant coward. If that had been the episodes premise it would have been more believeable (assuming one acceptes the existence of a curse). But since there was no actual supernatural curse to cause Martok to act the way he did I agree with Jammer and then some that the cowardicewas forced on his character.

Also this episode would have felt much more satisfying if we had actually gotten to see some of the end game with the destruction of the Dominion ship and the rescuing of the crew.
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Sat, Jan 21, 2017, 5:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Investigations

This could have been a great episode (should have been a two parter) but sloppy writing resulted in a so so episode. They get points for trying in previous episodes and Tom's bad behavior as lead up. They lose a ton of points for the plot contrivances. But the biggest plot sin was having Nelix bumble his way into solving the spy problem (maybe they should make Tuvok the morale officer and Nelix can handle security.). So what was the point of having Tom risk his life and the lives of the Talaxians??? All they needed was Nelix and the comm history.
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Sat, Jan 21, 2017, 1:27am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Indiscretion

What made Dukat more accessible was his confession that he had a Bajoran lover. And that he felt something for her (see scene with earpiece, so his trip was so much more than destroying evidence).

I believe on some level Dukat felt attracted to Major Kira, and once his first secret was out, he was emotionally more open.

The way he laughed about the thorn in his ass, he would have done, when he was alone with his Bajoran lover.

I would have expected a scene where after Dukat's announcement to kill his daughter Kira would have been angry that he first sleeps with a Bajoran and then wants to kill their common child. That should be a total relapse from the playful thorn scene, something like being betrayed.
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Mon, Jan 16, 2017, 11:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Brothers

And Dr. Soong is supposed to be a genius…?

“Data! My favourite son! Glad you got my invitation.”

“Oh, Lore. Uh… how did you know I was here? No, no— I totes would have invited you too, if I’d realized you weren’t still stuffed in a box unconscious the way I left you. And had intended to leave you forever.

How are those dark and twisted emotions going, by the way? Still malevolently jealous and ambitious? Perfect, perfect— you should definitely stay and listen to the conversation I plan to have with Data.”

“Oh, Data— don’t be silly, with all that ‘Lore is evil and we should be afraid of him’ stuff. I can’t imagine where you’d get that from— except the detailed story you just told me, which I’m going to disregard. What’s that, Lore told you the villagers hated hated him because he was 'too human'? No, they thought he was evil and were afraid of him. No idea why everyone keeps thinking that. Except for all those reasons that led me to deactivate him.”

“Lore, what do you mean you think I love Data more? I love you both equally! Now, Data, I have a gift that’s only for you and not for Lore. It’s really quick and easy to install but I’m gonna let you both think about the disparity while I go have a nap, first."

Like, come on, man. Also, the pain factor of the writers inventing a precious 'emotions' chip for the *sole purpose* of having it ripped out of Data's hands in the same episode... foul play. I can't even bring myself to re-watch past the family reunion scene.
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Mon, Jan 16, 2017, 9:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Blood Fever

I remember enjoying this episode when it first aired because it set up the Tom and Bellana relationship. On second view Indefintky see the issues raised by some posters. But really TOM was just as much a "victim" here. She was kinda forcing herself on him.

As a side note Vulcans and Kilngons are supposed to be stronger but time and again they don't really show this.
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Sun, Jan 15, 2017, 1:57am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

PS: to 'DLPB', just to reiterate-- I think you may have forgotten what happened in this actual TNG episode. Nobody was 'Raped', or even *claimed* to be raped, in this episode. Riker was on trial for murder, and Manua was called only as a witness to preceding events; there was never a suggestion that she, or anyone, planned to prosecute for a sexual assault. Riker was the only one who used the word 'Rape', when describing what he felt her holodeck-projected memory made it look like he was TRYING to do.

All Manua recalled was that Riker held her by the upper arms and talked to her about how lonely she must be, while she protested that she loved her husband. Then her husband walked in.

Riker's memory agreed that they talked about Manua's loneliness, but recalls only a comment of hers about it, not his own. He also recalls her hands on his chest, but not his own on her arms (but who knows-- maybe he reflexively put his hands on her arms to keep her at bay, and that's also why she recalls him holding her firmly, not gently).

If you want a TV example of a false rape accusation, or aftermath, try SVU. They've got plenty of examples of that kind of thing. But the conversation just doesn't apply to this episode of TNG.

Plus, the other commenters here are right-- it's a very rare case when someone would be prosecuted for a false rape accusation, because it's *very* hard to prove, and theoretically devastating for the likely effect it would have on the already-low willingness of actual rape victims to come forward.
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Sun, Jan 15, 2017, 1:32am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

I'm finding it fascinating to read the anger in the comments here, embedded in the accusations that Manua was guilty of intentional "perjury" in a "rape accusation". Keep in mind, no one actually accused Riker of rape— the investigator never even implies that 'attempted rape' might be a crime Riker may face extradition for, and Manua shows no inclination to press any kind of charges. Riker depicted Manua as being an unfaithful wife, and Manua depicted Riker as sexually aggressive, but the only one who suggested Manua’s depiction looked like he was setting up to "TRY to rape" her was Riker himself (and after that comment the subject was dropped and they went back to the actual alleged crime: the murder).

Beyond that, my two cents:

As others pointed out, scientific studies confirm serious flaws with human memory. A grieving widow and her husband’s accused murderer would have different emotional/psychological twists to how they would retroactively retrieve and interpret memories about each other, while still believing their memories ‘correct'.

Also, keep in mind that what we 'see' in the holodeck simulation has a technobabble "8%" or so error rate re: what actually happened; the holodeck is recreating an approximation based on verbal recollections from the witnesses, and we've seen before how the holodeck can exaggerate or 'riff' on an intended voice command. This would be a big enough problem if the witnesses just narrated to an empty room or data pad, for the holograms to be generated later-- but it's also a problem if they see the holograms act out what they suggest in real time.

Consider the suggestibility of human memory— in real-life, researchers once convinced study participants via minor visual/written stimuli that they genuinely remembered shaking Bugs Bunny's hand at Disneyland (impossible, since Bugs isn't a Disney character). Now imagine the greater impact it might have to say to a computer: "We were standing by the touchpad", then vividly see a visually perfect copy of yourselves standing somewhere near a touchpad (but certainly NOT exactly where or how you were; unless the computer is a psychic or you have android-style recall, your arms and hands will be held slightly differently, your weight on a different foot, your head tilted a different way, your body closer or further from the wall, etc). Nonetheless, the vividness of the visual stimuli may override your own vague memory of what had been a fast-moving series of events at the time (plus you'll be seeing yourself from the outside, rather than from the inside where you were at the time), and you will probably say, "Yeah, that looks right." What you see overwrites and becomes your memory. The impact of the interaction of the witnesses with the vividly impressive medium they were using to record their memories cannot be discounted.

From there...

1.) Different memories of meeting:

We know (despite Riker's sanitized holodeck version of himself) that Riker almost definitely flirted with Manua upon meeting, because he's... Riker, haha. However he may see himself from the inside (probably 'proper', 'gentlemanly', 'professional', etc), we see him from the outside and we know from extended observation that he's a compulsive flirt and womanizer. Manua is depicted as a beautiful woman, so Riker probably does what he usually does with beautiful women: stares unblinking into their eyes and smiles at them more than at men. Which women (and jealous older husbands) notice. Manua would almost certainly have been sensitive to her husband’s (established) belief that Riker was flirting with her, which only would have reinforced her own.

So Manua starts off believing that Riker, a stranger, is attracted to her.

2.) Different memories of who suggested Riker stay the night:

This one's pretty straightforward. Any number of perfectly normal twists in conversation could have led each party to believe that the other implied/made the suggestion that Riker should stay, and that they were the one awkwardly accommodating the suggestion.

Now still playing Devil's Advocate, from Manua's perspective at this point it could be that a strange man is attracted to her, and has used his influence over her husband's work success to manoeuvre himself into staying the night.

3.) Different memories of who closed the door:

Riker remembers that Manua was showing him how to use the touchpad: he recalls that she showed him the environmental controls, and then she showed him how to close the door. Manua recalls that she did indeed show him the environmental controls, but that Riker touched the button that closed the door. It seems perfectly plausible that they were both standing close to the touchpad, maybe each with a hand on or over it; Riker may indeed have accidentally closed the door while thinking Manua did it (it was an unfamiliar touchpad to him), while Manua may have been flustered and thought he closed the door on purpose (continuing her interpretation of his actions as aggressive).

So now Manua is alone in a room with a strange man who she believes is attracted to her, who used influence over her husband's work success to manoeuvre himself into staying the night with them, and now has closed the door on a room with them alone together.

3.) Different memories of events in the room:

Let’s be real here. While the physical aggressiveness in Manua’s retroactive memory doesn’t seem Riker-esque, most of his words do— and both agree there was some physical element. Chances are, there was plenty of conversation that just wasn’t remembered word for word, and we’re only getting the ‘gist’ of what each took away from it.

We already know from Riker’s version that he believes there’s a mismatch between Manua and her husband; both accounts agree that Riker perceives the husband as work-focused and wife-ignoring; and both accounts agree that Manua referred to the guest room as her “sanctuary”. It seems perfectly ‘Riker-esque’ that, when he believes a beautiful woman has closed the door with them in a bedroom, he would (in accordance with Manua’s memory) ask her what she needs a sanctuary from, ask “How is it possible” that her husband is more interested in Kieger waves than in her, and speculate that she “Must be very lonely”. (Riker recalls that Manua said she is “Left alone… for hours.” One way or the other, they both recall having a conversation about Manua’s loneliness, whoever said what first.)

At this point, Manua’s memory has Riker holding her by the upper arms as he says these things to her (her hands at his chest). In Riker’s account, they are chest to chest, with her hands up at his chest, and he doesn’t seem to recall doing anything with his arms (but perhaps he was holding her upper arms to keep her at bay). Riker recalls Manua intentionally slipping her shawl off her shoulders, and him reaching to pull it back up; Manua recalls Riker reaching for her shawl and believes he is pulling it down. Either way, both accounts confirm that Riker did touch Manua, and went for her shawl, which was realized to be off her shoulders at some point.

Manua recalls saying positive things about her husband, which she may well have done while acting coy or seductive (as a sort of “Oh no, no, we mustn’t— but go on.”) Riker may have selectively remembered only the seductive things, while Manua (with the encounter having been interrupted before anything actually happened, and in the wake of her grief over her husband’s death) may have selectively remembered only the positive and praise-worthy things she said about her husband.

Anyway. From that point on, it's pretty much agreed upon that the husband enters, there’s a scuffle, etc etc. And shortly after, her husband dies (a shocking and affecting experience for her), and Riker is accused of murder by the investigator (a shocking and affecting experience for him), and… it’s really no surprise that Riker and Manua both sanitize their own behaviour in their memories in retrospect. Which necessarily makes the other out to be probably worse than they were, in retrospect… as each will remember that SOMETHING happened, but neither can believe it’s their fault, therefore each exaggerates the other's fault.

The point is— I think the writers actually did a fabulous job at demonstrating just how shocking it can be to be confronted with someone else’s memory of a situation we were part of (and the deep fallibility of eyewitness ‘evidence’ in criminal trials). And it’s good that Troi was there to verify for the TV audience that no one was “lying”, and that we never get to see the ‘real’ events, because that means we have to reflect on this ambiguity as the point of the episode.

There we go. My looooooooong two cents :P
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Thu, Jan 5, 2017, 11:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

The crew seems woefully undertrained. As Kes walks around reeking havoc the crew just stands there watching. A couple of redshirts shoot her once and then....stand there.
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Mon, Jan 2, 2017, 8:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

The biggest failing of this episode was the missing information. Only five people left on a planet? No one tried to rob the planet in all those years? Why didn't they think of sending in the Doctor in the first place? Just blindly send in your crewmen to a situation where there was clearly something wrong with the system. I wanted to see Voyager get something out of their kindness from the planet.

I enjoyed this episode despite these omissions. Mostly due to Michael McKean.
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Tue, Oct 25, 2016, 5:58am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

I have to say it's one of the few ratings I disagree with, wanting a reason for Eddingtons Maquis support seems a little childish. The whole point of sleeper cell terrorists and undercover agents is you don't know who or why. DS9 did a great job elaborating on the reasons for Eddington's betray as the series progressed.
I also thought seeing Sisco brooding and deep in thought rather than confusing his problems to Dax or Jake seemed far more realistic than him discussing his issues with his teenage son, it really got across his inner turmoil.
Also liked the side story with Garak and Ziyal, Garak is a far cry from the cold hearted killer he used to be and it's nice to see Ziyal give such a well thought out speech about her past experiences.
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Fri, Oct 21, 2016, 4:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Nemesis

@aemom: Maybe Troi was guiding Worf's hand on the targeter to get around some Starfleet regulation preventing unauthorized personnel from firing the weapons. "I never fired those weapons, it was Worf who pressed the button".
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Tue, Sep 20, 2016, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Random Thoughts

With its exploration on the fascination and struggle people have with their "dark side" this one reminded me of the Star Wars core theme.
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Mon, Sep 5, 2016, 11:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

I thought this episode was OK, good for a casual watch for to be entertained by Barkley but doesn't stand up to a more focused viewing and determined following of the (as said above) overly technobabble filled plot. And I am not one to normally complain about technobabble, I don't think I ever have before on these reviews, so you know if I complain about it that it must be quite bad.

I did want to comment though that this episode can be a lense through which retrospectively we see the warning signs related to Brannon Braga (the writer of this episode). The lack of respect for physics, or for human drama (turns the chance for meaningful examination of mental health in the future to a joke with that "plexing" thing- I remember Braga out of all the writers being the most vocal complaining about having to write lines for Counsular Troi, a "psychologist!" Oh, no! Looks like maybe you might have to do some research for this character, Braga, since you are obviously very ignorant on the subject of psychology and mental health. But since as we know Braga is not exactly one to do needed research we just get that plexing nonsense.
Other patterns that are complained about in Voyager and Enterpise begin to be noticeable here too, and since Braga was such a driving force behind those shows it is an interest angle to consider his writing from.

But at this point thankfully Braga still had people above him to veto ideas that got too off the wall (thank god for Michael Piler) and keep him focused (the guy can actually make good episodes when he works under Piler's authority and his episodes benefit for Piler's re-writes, and when he has talented colleagues like Ronald Moore to bounce ideas around with (like how Moore had the idea in Frame of Mind to have the episode be oriented around a play) . So in other words Braga was a guy who never have should have became an executive producer on Star Trek. He does have some good, high concept ideas, but he needs the support of equal ranked peers and the editing of a boss like MP to be at his best. Unfortunately one of his talents was being good at kissing Rick Berman's ass and being a good company man, so he got promoted way before he could handle it and go look at Voyager for evidence of the resulting harm.
Final note on this episode, for me anyway it's still watchable and decent episode to me despite the flaws in the writing and that's a testament to TNG's standards of quality
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Fri, Aug 12, 2016, 8:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

My big issue with this film is the use of Khan. To the audience who are fans it's great to the non fan cinema audience that you say they effectively targeted it's a shrug moment, for the characters it's a shrug moment.

It fails on so many levels because of this and then to add Peter Weller's character into this just means the film is creaking under it's own weight of bad.

In my opinion this review has 3 more stars than it deserves and this comes from a fan of ST (2009) and Beyond.
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Brian S
Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 10:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I remember a few years back when the first ST reboot film came out, I read an interview Abrams gave talking about the time travel plot line wiping clean all the past histories of the crew and the necessity for it.

He said something to the effect of, while Star Trek has a deep and rich history to draw from, sometimes the weight of that history can act like a shackle ball & chain for writers, weighing you down from telling new and interesting stories because you have to carefully fit every part of your story into all the existing pieces.

I know Jammer's made that point before. After 40+ years, 5 series, 10 feature films, nearly 1,000 hours of stories between the mediums....Star Trek did kind of burn out under it's weight. A lot of the stories had been done before. A lot of the galactic real estate has already been covered. Voyager had to go to the other end of the galaxy to find any real estate to work with. Everywhere Enterprise went, it had to be careful not to step on and break any of the countless hours of TV, movies, and expanded universe stuff to come.

As terrified as I was of a JJ Abrams-brand Star Trek reboot and what I saw in the trailers leading up to the release, when I read those remarks from him, I begrudgingly accepted them. He was right, to an extent. You can't introduce a brand new Star Trek crew for a couple movies. TOS-Kirk Trek was the best candidate for a CGI reboot, and while I believe they could've still done a new movie with Kirk & Co. within the existing universe, I could concede that it would be hard to squeeze in a new meaningful entry between 3 years of TV and 6-7 feature films, up to Kirk's death. Abrams had a point....the time travel device cleaned the slate for new fresh movie ideas to come for.

So even if I didn't like it, the first reboot did it's job adequately enough, the crew was pretty well done, and the movie wasn't as bad as I feared it could've been. Abrams did what he felt he needed to do, connected the two universes while preserving the old one, and cleared himself the space he needed to boldly go forth and tell new stories where no Trek had gone before. It at least piqued my interest.

So what did Abrams do with all his hard-fought cinematic space and freedom? Ripped off Wrath of Khan. Badly. Word for word, in some cases. Even Melania Trump thought it was too blatant (:P)

Seriously though.....WTF?!

I have a bunch of other quibbles that are mostly just your standard plot hole and scientific impossibility sci-fi gripes, which many folks have already covered.

But it pains me to no end that they went to all that trouble to wash away the old Trek universe (to the disgruntlement of many existing Trek fans) and then just went: "Okay, new story ideas now, people, new stories. We've got a new film to create, what are we going to do? Any new ideas? Anybody? Anybody at all? So, we've got nothing, huh?!" "Well, we could just do Wrath of Khan again. I hear Trek fans liked that movie" "Brilliant! Alright, lunch!"

I haven't watched any of the trailers for ST: Beyond (I refuse to on principle) but I'm going to go out on a (I think pretty sturdy) limb here and just assume that the Enterprise gets destroyed at some point in ST:B (presumably by self-destruct after the villain army tries to take it over). And I'm just calling it now, ST Reboot:4 involves time travel that takes the crew back to 20th/21st century Earth (toss-up on whether they just go present-day, 1980's flashback, or possibly full on 1960's retro).


One major plot line issue though.....I know it's a reboot, and in this new timeline everything is bigger, more militarized, darker, and everything has changed.....but Khan Noonien Singh wasn't supposed circa-21st century Steve Rogers minus the spandex and vibranium shield. Yeah, he had a genetically enhanced brilliant intellect, and he had more strength than Jose Canseco & Mark McGwire's love child.....but Khan was still ostensibly a human. Khan can't jump 30 feet straight up as if he were playing hopscotch. In the original Space Seed, Khan was an extremely strong opponent, but non-roided Kirk ultimately defeated Khan on his own in one-on-one hand-to-hand, combat thanks to a cheap lightweight 1960's PVC--errr, uhhh, I mean, a totally solid hard spaceship pipe (probably made of vibranium, or something) and cracking him in the back with it.

Seriously, go re-watch the Spock-Khan battle scene in STID (or not), and then watch the end Kirk-Khan battle scene from Space Seed on YouTube. That's the same guy Kirk fought and won against? I know we're trying to modernize some of the old special effects a bit, and yeah, those old TOS scenes could be quite cheesy at times.....but Space Seed looked much more like something based in reality.
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Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 8:41am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

Why weren't the temporal police from starfleet in the future dealing with Anorax???!!!! Wiping out hundreds of species from existence surely would of popped up on their temporal scans ?!
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I'm Brian! And so is my wife...
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 6:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

...oh yeah, a couple more things. I too enjoyed seeing Spock taking the picture of the original cast out of Spock-prime's memento box that he had been given. Nice touch, I thought. And, shortly thereafter, seeing the Enterprise-A quickly being built, followed by the "Space, the final frontier..." speech for the close. (And it did occur to me: Star Trek III Search for Spock saw the destruction of the original Enterprise; couldn't help but notice that this third installment of the Abrams/Lin Star Trek also saw her destruction).
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I'm Brian! And so is my wife...
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 5:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

Very interesting. Seems many here agree that this was probably the best of the three Abrams/Lin ST movies. Well, I just watched it with the kids this afternoon at the matinee. I have to say, I am in complete agreement. Definitely better than ST 2009 and Into Darkness, especially the latter. It was much better than I had anticipated. The pace felt different (it slowed down when it needed to I think), and it seemed to have better character development (well, at least with Spock, Bones, and to a lesser extend Kirk). Definitely had a different feel for me. I agree with Jammer, though, that it might've been nice to have the revelation that Krall was Captain Edison a lot sooner. Krall just wasn't that interesting a villain UNTIL that revelation, which, as Jammer notes, came too late in the movie.

Overall, I would've given it 3 out of 4 stars, compared to 2/4 for STID and 2.5/4 for ST 2009.

Thanks for the review Jammer!
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Wed, Jul 6, 2016, 1:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Sacred Ground

The way I saw this, the ritual wasn't about saving Kes, it was about Janeway questioning her beliefs. They knew she would go with expectations the first time (getting the readings she needed to make herself and Kes immune to the field) then return for the leap of faith (second part of the cure). Purpose of ritual: show Janeway that under specific circumstances even her absolute faith in science could be compromised. That's why she looks so shaken at the end.
I agree with Jammer, though, that only the last 5 minutes or so have any kind of payoff.
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Sat, May 21, 2016, 11:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

NCC-1701-Z says:"The worst flaw was the manner of Tasha's death. She should have gone out with phasers firing, rather than dying meaninglessly, which was lampshaded in "Yesterday's Enterprise" - I like to think the writers were admitting they screwed up here."

I seriously doubt it. The character Yar was literally off-screened, once again summarily dismissed. So basically all they did in that episode was bring back the character just to be killed off summarily once again in TNG: "Redemption II." Basically, they killed the original character to give Crosby a half decent character to play, which was all she wanted in the first place. Hence, the way news of her death is delivered as a foot note from the new character. This means that literally NO ONE on TNG is sorry about the manner of the original character's death or they wouldn't have done it twice and even MORE dismissively the second time.
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Sat, May 14, 2016, 10:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

"As you were" in military parlance means to rescind an order. Nonmilitary it means to undo what what was just done or forget what you just saw (a real life reset button).

Hence, when Captain Janeway says this to Seven of Nine she takes back everything that she just said about Seven's "punishment". She is saying to go back to the way things were before I stepped into the cargo bay!

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Tue, May 10, 2016, 5:27am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

Jason R. -- admittedly, that is one of those needling plot holes that we have to live with because it makes a great story to imagine that the computer has access to these mysterious, unexplained threads of information, but no more. It would spoil the mystery, I think, if we knew the entire backstory of the Tamarians.

"New archaeological studies show Darmok was not the green-skinned humanoid hero often depicted in Tamarian literature, but was in fact a composite of three semihistorical figures, one of whom was a tentacled, extradimensional creature who did not even speak in metaphor, but in fact communicated exclusively with gurgling sounds. Also s/he/it slew Jalad at Tanagra, or so researchers assume, based on the extensive evidence of humanoid sacrifice there... 'All in all, Darmok and Jalad, in our hearts', one researcher added. 'Our children, their eyes wet. Shaka, statistically speaking, when the walls fell...'"
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Tue, May 10, 2016, 5:06am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

BTW on the subject of actually-alien aliens, I'm a big fan of myth (no problem with religious elements, but I know Gene Roddenberry and co. don't like 'em, which is one reason I didn't used to be a fan of Star Trek's utopian brand of sci-fi since the premise taken in isolation seemed to me too Republican -- in the sense of Plato's Republic -- until I got into the more serious philosophy of the TNG episodes). but I'm also a big fan of realism, and I find it odd that so many advocates of "hard" sci-fi complain when marginally-alien (albeit humanoid) aliens appear and do things and speak in ways that are "not normal" to quote one reviewer upthread, or behave in ways that are humanly unethical, to quote some critics on the review of the excellent "Inner Light". One of the virtues of storytelling is conflict and you can't really feel good about the story if everything in it is sweetness and light, or if every alien is easy to understand and all tech is prone to working perfectly.

Maybe I'm too much of a nerd, being a casual fan of linguistics, but what sucked me into TNG because of first seeing (half!) of this episode long ago was precisely how much it reflected how language and storytelling works on the meta level. There actually *are* languages in real Earth that lack verbs, that have only one tense for past present or future, or whose members are "forced" to speak in something resembling metaphor.

A fan of myth could easily imagine how the Tamarian language might have evolved similar to Earth languages by people telling stories: (seemingly lacking verbs or other transitive forms of speech, like some obscure Earth languages, and thus describing only nouns.) Tolkien for instance invented his languages by coming up with proper names first, then key phrases ("Earendil leapt over the mid-world's brim", "in a hole in the ground lived a hobbit") then invented stories to go with them *after-the-fact*. This is not much different. Fans of that sort of thing (including Tamarian children) would presumably learn the phrases first, and come to their own understanding of what the stories meant, based on their own imagination and experience. Much like any other language. Not to sound too postmodern. I think much of what we identify as "myth" goes back to what we associate as structural concepts learned early on that help us make sense of the world as we learned language by reading stories.
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