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Jeffrey Combs
Thu, Jan 4, 2018, 6:15am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Battle Lines

@Drewmina - We don't talk about Babylon 5 here. Jammer doesn't like it. Too much competition for DS9, I guess.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sat, May 20, 2017, 4:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Alternate

That planet was one of the most fakey sound stages with matte painting backdrops I've seen since first season TNG.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, May 9, 2017, 7:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Dramatis Personae

This episode was quite middling, and would've been greatly helped by a strong musical score (think TNG's Booby Trap or Night Terrors). Sadly, we get the usual bland brass wallpaper music, which just highlights the banality of the episode. Thanks a lot Rick Berman >_<
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 1:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

I don't dislike this episode, and I applaud them for trying something different. I also don't agree that it's just filler because it isn't sci-fi. TNG's "Family" is similar, and it's an outstanding character piece. DS9's "Past Tense" is also a very similar story, and an important one.

That said, speaking of "Past Tense" there is a similar kind of artificiality I feel in both of these episodes. Maybe it's the studio backlot setting which is almost real but not quite, or the strangely quiet and somewhat stilted acting which might be a symptom of being outside the actors' comfort zones, but both these episodes have something of a Truman Show feel to them that doesn't sit quite right with me.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 6:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

Thank you Mikey for bringing up the hull breach issue. It's not even that the stream of water would slice Tom in half, but the tiniest breach would instantly crush everyone inside to pink goo. Futurama made this same mistake (though probably deliberately) after conceding that a spaceship's design considerations are completely opposite that of a submarine.

LEELA: Depth at 45 hundred feet, 48 hundred, 50 hundred! 5000 feet!
FARNSWORTH: Dear Lord, that's over 150 atmospheres of pressure.
FRY: How many atmospheres can this ship withstand?
FARNSWORTH: Well it's a spaceship, so I'd say anywhere between zero and one.

Assuming the gravitational field holding this planet together is similar to the gravity we experience on Earth, at 600km in depth, they'd be subjected to nearly 60,000 atmospheres of pressure, or 875,000 pounds per square inch. And they were able to survive without the shields? Then there's the question of how exactly they can propel and maneuver the Delta Flyer underwater. I can see them technobabbling a way out of it, but firing phasers too? The science makes me sad.

I do think the overall idea of the planet needing an artificial gravity generator to maintain containment is sound though. At 600km in radius, this ball of water is only 1/3 the size of our moon. That's no gas giant. An all-water planet of this size wouldn't generate enough of its own gravity to prevent atmospheric escape losses. Basically the planet would evaporate away, or be blown away by solar winds without a magnetic field and other help.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sat, Nov 26, 2016, 6:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

I do like this episode, but the idea that a pre-warp civilization could come up with this technology is quite a stretch, like Leonardo da Vinci building a functional nuclear reactor. I can understand them being a space-faring but still pre-warp species, but that being the case, why would their ships even have weapons at all, let alone weapons that could damage Voyager? Unless there are multiple space-faring species in this planetary system, or they're routinely raided by warp-capable civilizations, weapons make no more sense than NASA arming the Space Shuttle or International Space Station. They don't seem surprised to run into aliens, so either they have a very non-typical history and relationship with the rest of the galaxy, or it's just a case of sloppy writing. Regardless, if they haven't developed warp drive, then it seems highly unlikely that they would have antimatter weapons capable of fending off warp capable species. Transporting the molecules and their extremely sensitive containment technology also makes no sense.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sun, Nov 13, 2016, 11:00am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

Near the beginning after Neelix was sprayed with mucus, Janeway notes that he has fluid in his lungs, and Neelix corrects her with "lung." A small bit of quality continuity there.

Otherwise, yeah, a silly rehash of Genesis, which was a pretty bad TNG episode too. Lots of dark corridors though.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sat, Apr 2, 2016, 9:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

I'm a little miffed at all of the "the Federation would never agree to such a restrictive treaty" comments. Granted there's a lot of non-canon information about it out there, but the general situation seems to be that the Federation accepted that clause in the treaty in exchange for the Romulans retreating to their side of the Neutral Zone (I believe the Neutral Zone was established prior to that, but I'm not sure), essentially cutting off all contact with the rest of the quadrant. That actually sounds worse for the Romulans, if not for their reclusive bordering on xenophobic tendencies.

Also (and again, it's difficult to separate what little actual canon exists versus fanfic or just speculation) it's entirely possible that the Federation LOST whatever conflict spurned this treaty. Maintaining that treaty could very well be the only thing preventing an all out war with the Romulans that the Federation knows they would lose, again. That's all speculation on my part yes, but it does show how something like this could come up.
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Jeffrey
Mon, Oct 19, 2015, 9:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Destiny

Lol... I find it amusing that some people seem to desperately desire that Star Trek somehow more firmly "take sides" in real life when it comes to spirituality/religion versus secularism/science. As if there is any need or pragmatic reason why they should. Keep dreaming...
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, Nov 19, 2014, 5:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement

For some reason, that bell the arbitrator rings irritates me to no end. It's being gently rapped by a soft rubber mallet. You call that ringing a bell?
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sun, Oct 26, 2014, 7:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

I was always struck by just how much bigger the regulars are compared to the junior officers, both literally and figuratively. Sito and Ogawa are physically quite petite, but even Lavelle and Taurik are small compared to the senior officers, if not in height (Taurik is taller than Geordi) then in build and mannerisms.

Seeing Sito and Picard walking down the hallway or in a turbo lift is quite a striking contrast. Even so, the presence of the regular cast is so "big" compared to these kids that Picard can come across as frightening even while sitting behind his desk.

I just find the dynamic very interesting, and extremely effective. Kudos to the director for using many low angle shots when the junior officers are with their elders, reinforcing the contrast and especially making Picard, Worf, and Riker all that much more imposing.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, Sep 24, 2014, 7:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

Before this hearing/deposition/whatever you call it on the holodeck, shouldn't someone have contacted the hotel on the planet to verify that they'd made reservations to stay the night, even if they canceled or didn't show up? Irrespective of the whole eye witness and faulty memory arguments, that's one easily verifiable piece of testimony that's pretty critical to the he said/she said arguments being made.
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Jeffrey Bedard
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 5:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: The Communicator

Imagine this scenario...the alien doctor admits to being astounded at Archer and Reed's alien anatomies. Archer realizes this is the perfect opening to hopefully fix a bad situation. Rather than continue to lie about his identity...Archer confirms that he and Reed are indeed aliens. Give them the rundown of Starfleet (too bad the UFP doesn't exist yet). Explains the historic alliance of Earth and Vulcan and the Enterprise's mission of peaceful exploration.

Imagine that this information opens up the eyes of the alien species (too bad Archer, Sato and Reed visited the planet and we never learn the name of their species). And they let Archer and Reed go, knowing they are not working for the Alliance. And instead of a joke scene featuring Trip's cloaked hand, we end on a scene of the alien soldiers deciding to make an overture of peace with the Alliance.

Would it be repetitive of previous TREK episodes? Sure, but the franchise has plenty of examples of repeating itself. Would it still feature cultural contamination? Of course. But here ENT would be living up to some of TREK's ideals and rather than leave this planet in a state of chaos, fear and a certain-to-escalate war, the Enterprise would be leaving having (hopefully) helped this planet stop fighting with its neighbor. Again, not a new story for TREK. But it would feel better.
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Jeffrey Bedard
Wed, Dec 4, 2013, 6:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Interface

Not bad, but not earth-shattering either. I watched this last night and I was surprised at how subdued Burton's performance once. He had the different emotional tones, but seemed to play them all quietly. I think he should have emoted more.
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Jeffrey Bedard
Tue, Aug 27, 2013, 5:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

Rick Berman once said that he loved time travel stories. Which, I guess, is why TREK had an overabundance of them from TNG on (although there aren't that many TNG ones). I know Braga said they came up with the TCW because UPN told them ENTERPRISE needed to be more sci-fi, but something tells me Berman had this idea for a while. But time travel is not, in my opinion, what TREK is about. It's OK to do one once in a long while, but DS9, VOY, and especially ENT went way too far with it. It's "Star" Trek. Not "Time" Trek. That being said, this is a pretty useless episode. You would think the drive thru scene could have had some good comedy, but the scene is played straight. We're just watching the three of them order burgers. It's a wasted opportunity.
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Jeffrey Bedard
Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 6:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

I do think that FIRST CONTACT is the best of the 4 TNG films.

One question that stays with me about the Borg in general (although it pertains to this film as well): If the Borg adapt to situations, why is it that at each individual encounter the Borg wait 'til the humans are a threat before assimilating them? After "Q Who" you would think that each and every time the Borg encountered humans (Federation or not) they would start assimilating immediately? Obvously, that would ruin the stories, but you would think that would be more of the case and also make the Borg more terrifying. They're wouldn't be giving us any chances anymore! :)
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Jeffrey
Sat, Jun 1, 2013, 9:18am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Shore Leave

@Strider. No we never see Finnegan again on the series. No mention is ever made of him again after this episode. I read in somewhere that the writers had planned on bring the real Finnegan into another episode, but for whatever reason it never happened. It would have made for a fun scene though.
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Jeffrey
Sat, May 4, 2013, 2:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Return to Tomorrow

@ Grumpy. I get what you mean mentioning how they always say Class M, Earth type conditions (or variations). But I always took that to mean Class M meant, planets similar to Earth, including atmosphere. I've always thought they kept repeating that phrase for the benefit of first time viewers who otherwise wouldn't know what Class M meant. But it could mean two separate things. At any rate, it shows how powerful the Enterprise's sensors are. :)
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sat, Apr 6, 2013, 6:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Faces

For whatever reason I never liked how Dawson portrayed her human self. I realize she's conflicted and understandably out of sorts, but she's just so timid I want her Klingon self to give her a good smack upside the head. It's not as if all her confidence and strength has to come from her Klingon side.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, Apr 2, 2013, 6:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

A great end to the series, and to your reviews Jammer, it's all very much appreciated.

There's lots of great details in this finale, but my favorite has to be that Data's house in the future timeline is overflowing with cats. Beautiful.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, Mar 27, 2013, 8:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

The only thing that kinda irked me about this episode (aside from the long-term ramifications for Picard, which have been discussed to death already) is the way the resurrected Eline says "my darling" at the very end. The way she smirks while saying it is really creepy, and I always read it as a sort of "haha it was all fake, you're not really my darling at all!" insincere and sarcastic jab. It's still a brilliant hour of TV, one of the greatest moments in TNG, Trek, and science fiction in general.
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Jeffrey Bedard
Wed, Mar 20, 2013, 7:52am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

I agree with Navamske. The EMH purposefully gave Iden tactical information in order to transport to Iden's ship and make sure that Voyager's plan failed. At best, borderline mutiny. At worst, full on mutiny and treason. And in the end nothing happens to him. Perhaps one of the perks of being a hologram is that it gets you out of being punished like an organic.
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Jeffrey Bedard
Wed, Jan 9, 2013, 7:09am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Cloud Minders

I'd go along with the 3 star rating because there is a lot of differing opinions and actions presented in this episode which does give it a bit more of a foundation than most Season 3 offerings.

1) Ardana is clearly stated to be a member of the Federation. In regards to Plasus's actions I take it as him being a rather corrupt (if that's the appropriate term) official. I don't think the Federation has been made aware of the social problems on the planet 'cause Plasus was intentionally keeping it a secret. The entire belief system that the Troglytes are incapable of learning is bunk from the outset. Clearly they are educated in some things. The mining and processing of zenite requires educated and trained workers to be done properly. Clearly the city dwellers chose to leave the Troglytes behind on the surface. It's too bad that we couldn't see and hear more city dwellers and how they feel about things. We only meet Plasus and Droxine and a few guards.

2) Regarding Droxine herself I can see how some people would be turned off by her characterization, but it makes sense to me under the story terms provided. She has lived in the clouds all her life and as daughter of the city ruler she would have all the benefits such a status would give her. Being protected from the truth of her society she would have a childlike naivete about how things work on Ardana. She would believe anything her father tells her. Yet she finds a kindred spirit of sorts in Spock and through his and Kirk's actions she is starting to question the status quo at the end of the episode, which is more than can be said for Plasus.

3) The pon farr discussion is a bit odd. Spock was very clear in "Amok Time" that it is a subject not shared with outsiders. It was all he could do to finally open up to Kirk in that episode. For him to share this information with Droxine (whom he'd only just met) doesn't seem quite in character. But this is one of those times where I just think of it as Spock's human half peeking out. I do appreciate how Droxine is attracted to Spock and not Kirk. Just as with McCoy and Natira in "For the World..." just because Kirk is in the room doesn't mean that he's the one all the women will be interested in. I would never expect a Spock/Droxine relationship to go the distance, but I can understand the initial attraction between them.

4) "We Vulcans pride ourselves on our logic." Obviously, Vulcans shouldn't be expressing pride in anything, but this line is so true to me it is definitely THE quote of the episode. :)

5) And while some people may think Droxine's characterization is not flattering to women, Vanna's certainly is. She is leading (or at least one leader) in the resistance. She can hold her own in a fight, she holds up under torture and she is able to talk one of her fellow Disruptors off from killing Kirk.

6) Probably the most interesting aspect of this particular episode is the concept of Ardana being a planet with a corrupt government gaining entrance into the Federation through deceit. Not only is the Federation (although "Starfleet Command" is mentioned more often) not aware of the social disparity, but here we have Spock saying the populace had done away with all forms of violence when that clearly isn't the case. There are phasers (of a kind) and torture devices with the rays. There is even mention of executions and Plasus's order to kill Kirk if he returns. Sometimes TOS is held up as a naive "love is all you need" type of universe, but episodes such as these show this isn't the case. Is this political subversion on the same scale as DS9? Not really, but I find it fascinating (no pun intended) that this episode seems to be making the case of Ardana tricking the Federation into becoming a member.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, Dec 12, 2012, 2:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

I can see how Ben is basically a lame Guinan ripoff, but could you really see Guinan playing poker? Maybe with the senior staff, MAYBE, but not with these kids. I'm guessing the writers originally had her in mind for the part, but just couldn't make it work with her character.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, Nov 7, 2012, 6:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

I'm glad Jammer brings up the ambiguity of just how far-reaching this damage is. I've watched this episode a few times (though I admit it's difficult to pay attention to as it's so plodding), but I've never noticed anything to suggest that this damage applies anywhere but in this one particular corridor of space. It's a problem for anyone going through that corridor sure, but does it affect anyone near Earth, or Bajor, or anywhere else of much importance?

On the other hand, the discussion about warp speed limits and Voyager's special nacelles would seem to suggest otherwise. I just always felt like people blew this issue way out of proportion because it seemed (at least to me) to be fairly minor. To use the pollution analogy, this would be more like a problem with smog or heavy metals in a river, local concerns, not something with global implications like carbon dioxide or CFCs.
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