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JohnC
Mon, Feb 13, 2017, 9:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

The whole "mindrape" accusation annoys me. As a preface, I believe torturing people in an attempt to gain information is unethical and immoral. That said, Spock wasn't torturing her. He was extricating information from her that he knew she possessed using a technique that was painful solely because she was resisting it.

It's Saavik's gender that has everyone squirming in their seats. If Saavik were male, this wouldn't be a topic of conversation.
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JohnC
Mon, Feb 13, 2017, 12:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Corbomite Maneuver

I thought it was funny to hear Spock smugly telling Bailey it was unnecessary for him to raise his voice at the site of the big spinny cube thingy, when Spock has spent the first several episodes shouting on the bridge for no particular reason.
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JohnC
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 10:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Non Sequitur

That 2nd to last paragraph should read " I happen to be in love with a woman", not "want to be in love with a woman". Serves me right for not checking out the voice to text results before posting
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JohnC
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 10:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Non Sequitur

Well I guess I'll be one of the very few to defend Jennifer Gatti's performance here. Yes, there were some awkward moments, but that scene with them almost in silhouette talking on the bed as the camera slowly moved in on them was sweet and engaging. I thought there was a lot of chemistry there, with just the right touch of ooh la la with her sitting there just in that towel. And I can't remember who commented that they thought the Libby character was being creepy in her distrust of Kim's strangeness, but I didn't see a problem with it. I think any of us would look askance even at the most precious loved one if they started acting strange and saying the things that Kim did. And remember she did end up helping him escape out that window, leaving to perhaps the slowest chase scene ever.

I like the episode up until the last five or 10 minutes or so, not because the plot made much sense, but because I was entertained and interested. I really thought the guest star performances were good. The actor playing Cosimo gave a nuanced relaxed performance.

It's only when you start digging into the motivations of the characters that the episode really begins to break down. Have to say, knowing how much Kim misses home, it doesn't make sense to me that he would be so eager to get back to "his" reality given that everything he loves is right here in front of him and he is going well out of his way to escape it. Want to be in love with a woman, and in Kim's Place, there's no way I would leave her. Who am I hurting? And who is to say this isn't where I'm supposed to be?

I completely agree that the last five minutes would have been better used in an examination of how Kim dealt with being back on Voyager rather than the paint-by-numbers last-minute escape we've seen so many times before. Dad, I'd give us episode a 3 on my own scale. As long as I am entertained and want to know what happens at the end, the episode is worth a 3. And that's exactly how I felt here, even with all the flaws.
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JohnC
Wed, Feb 1, 2017, 8:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Projections

I am ok with giving this a 4 solely for Picardo's performance. The Doctor here is deliciously sarcastic, finicky and funny. "Banjoman". LMAO.

Not really getting those who say they immediately dismissed this as a "hologram episode" that didn't move the series forward. Knowing that Voyager was not developed with a serialized storyline, I tend to try to take each episode on its own. This was an interesting study in "reality", well-acted, thoughtfully conceived and kept me guessing.
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JohnC
Tue, Jan 31, 2017, 10:43am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

I just thought it was funny as hell that of all the places that these anthropologists could have chosen for their duck-blind, they pick some desolate spot out in the sticks, where the most they're likely to witness is someone out kicking cans....
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JohnC
Tue, Jan 31, 2017, 10:39am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: The 37's

Weird, disjointed episode for me, for some of the reasons listed. Amelia Freaking Earhart makes an appearance, portrayed by a talented actress.... for apparently the sole purpose of standing around looking mildly dazzled by the future and smoothing the feathers of her navigator, Fred - who was a real person, and portrayed as such a knee-jerk paranoid doofus I'd be pissed off if he was an ancestor of mine.

Strange that almost all the moments that you'd want to see here are off-camera - I'd love to have seen some of the Voyager crew debating whether to stay or go. I'd love to have seen a glimpse of these great cities... like someone said - would it really have broken the budget to have someone do a matte portrayal?

One final nit-pick. When Fred whips out his gun, there are three members of the Voyager crew who have phasers, and they just meekly allow themselves to be taken captive. I get that the rationale may have been to defuse the situation and eventually get him to give up his gun (which is what ultimately happened), but it seems to me that the risk of anyone getting serious hurt or killed would have been lessened if someone had just stunned him.

A very cool concept for an episode, almost entirely wasted, IMO.



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JohnC
Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 7:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

Peremensoe: We celebrate the science behind the invention, not the manner in which the science was utilized. Hating on Jetrel is like hating on Robert Oppenheimer. Unless I misread the episode, I thought it was clear that Jetrel did not make the decision to utilize his findings as a means to perpetrate genocide.

And that's why I don't really understand why so many people commenting on the episode don't get why Janeway wasn't more antagonistic to Jetrel. From her perspective, he's just a fellow scientest.
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JohnC
Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 3:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Learning Curve

Tuvok is an inflexible boor as an instructor and, recalling what an unproductive rebel I was at an earlier age, I probably would have been right there with the Maquis in walking out on him. That said, I found it immensely satisfying when Chakotay showed up and socked that smug instigator in the face.
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JohnC
Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 3:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

I have to say, the over-the-top sanctimonious antipathy toward Jetrel is almost funny. We celebrate the scientists and engineers who invented the Hiroshima bomb. And we used it to kill plenty of innocents. That said, Janeway and her security staff prove fairly incompetent here, given that they give this questionable character access to the ship's wealth of knowledge and don't even surveil him.

I am not a big neelix fan, but I didn't find him too annoying in this episode. And saying he's a pedophile because Jes is 2 years old is just silly. She's more mature than most human "adults". Their relationship was formed in another culture 70000 light years away 400 years in the future. You think maybe their societal mores are a little different than ours?
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JohnC
Fri, Jan 27, 2017, 1:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Cathexis

Von's comment: "I'm watching Voyager for the first time after having completed TNG, DS9 and ENT. I'm not hating it so far, but during this episode I noticed one irritating aspect of Mulgrew's acting: the wide-eyed, eyebrow-cocked stare while the music swells and we cut to commercial. The first time in this episode it was an overdramatic embellishment. The second time it was distracting. The third time it was just plain silly. Maybe a drinking game is in order?"

Dude, GET OUT OF MY HEAD. I was scanning the comments and getting ready to post my own and it was going to say this, almost verbatim, even down to suggesting a drinking game. The only thing I would disagree with is - it's not Mulgrew's fault that they keep using this hackneyed, lazy way of fading to commercial.

On the nitpicky side, I had a couple of issues with this one. I understand an alien could take over their bodies, but it was also privy to their thoughts and wealth of knowledge. Otherwise, Tuvok would not have been able to do the Vulcan neck pinch thing to Kes. An alien with that kind of power would not need to resort to having the people it controls take such obvious actions like sudden and arbitrary course changes that would be immediately noticed by everyone else.

And as for the ejection of the warp core - really? The chief engineer isn't authorized to eject the warp core in an emergency?

As has been noted, Chakotay is certainly needlessly enigmatic when he's inhabiting an alien. Sounds like there was some attempt to explain this at the end when he was telling Janeway there was a learning curve with how he could make his host do things, but still.... he got Torres to walk over and input his security code to eject the warp core. You'd think he could get her to walk up to the bridge and say "hey Captain, you've got a problem here."

Lastly - how does Chakotay know what the aliens are up to?

I'm normally not a stickler for these little plot holes and just want to be entertained, but this one was just too much. I had to take breaks watching this one I got so annoyed with it.
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JohnC
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 10:34am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: State of Flux

From a viewer's point of view, I'm glad Seska's gone because I found her to be a conniving backstabbing b**** . But if I step back, I wonder why the writers decided to take the character off of Voyager - she definitely added some spice to the mix and Martha Hackett did a great job portraying the character. Someone else noted that it might have provided fodder for many interesting episodes to leave her on the ship as a Cardassian spy... (incidentally, I couldn't remember Hackett's name so I googled the character and glanced at Hackett's wikipedia entry. Cum laude from Harvard/Radcliffe. To quote another sci-fi baddie: Most Impressive.
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JohnC
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 10:21am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Responding to Paul (only about 4 years too late....) "Oh, and why did Scotty bring the dying engineer's assistant to the bridge? Shouldn't he have gone to sick bay?"

That always bugged me as well, because I thought it made no sense for Scotty to take a dead cadet up to the bridge just to eulogize him, until I learned recently that scenes were cut from the film establishing that the dead cadet was Scotty's nephew. He died in engineering so taking him to sickbay would have been meaningless. If you know that the cadet is a close relative, it makes sense to me that the emotional character we know as Scotty would take him to a place where he could grieve among friends and let them know that his nephew did his duty.

I don't know that I've enjoyed reading a comment stream about a Trek movie/episode more than this one. There is a whole gamut with the movie goof-hounds that like to look for plot-holes and inconsistencies, the defenders of Trek-as-cerebral-commentary-on-the-order-of-man-in-the-cosmos (who generally prefer contemplations like Star Trek I), and popcorn-guzzling simpletons like me who found this to be a tour-de-force of satisfying overacting, cool plot-twists, good old-fashioned action and heart-wrenching consequences for characters that I've grown to love and admire (insofar as you can love fictional characters, of course).

There are many reasons I watch movies. I like being moved, thrilled, provoked and challenged - but above all, if it's going to be worth 2 hours of my time, I'd better be entertained. And if you weren't entertained by this one, remind me never to sit next to you at a party.
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JohnC
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 9:54am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The High Ground

This single episode made me forever contemptuous of Crusher as a sanctimonious twit. First she pooh poohs her security officers’ warnings to beam back to the ship so she can play doctor, so that when she’s kidnapped, she ultimately ends up responsible for the deaths of several people and the near death of her son, not to mention the near destruction of the Enterprise itself. Then she throws a little temper tantrum and refuses to eat or speak with her captor for all of like.... 5 whole minutes, before he begins the process of easily converting her to sympathize with the murder of innocents to make a political point. (Yes, I'm not a big fan of DS9's Kira for the same reason. When you intentionally kill innocent people to get the attention of guilty people, you're dead to me.)

I was very disappointed when Crusher sees the captive Picard, and all he does is ask how she’s doing. He should have dressed her down and demoted her on the spot – and a few seconds later she has the unmitigated gall to scream at him about how she’s only going to follow orders “if they make sense”. That her insubordination caused more deaths than she saved registered not in the least with her. She has no business in any sort of leadership role. The less autonomy she has, the better.

In the meantime, although generally speaking I admire any syndicated television show that attempts to tackle the nuances of this kind of political struggle in the course of what amounts to about 45 minutes, I thought it was hamfisted in the way the writers attempted to generate sympathy for what amounts to a murderous child-killing terrorist bastard by making him really good at doodling hands and faces, and telling Crusher that he doesn’t want her to fear him. Nope. Not buying it. This is a rare case where the plot is so infuriating to me that I can't objectively look at the quality of the acting etc. to try to redeem it. Zero stars from me. I'd rather pick up dog poop and clap than watch this one again.
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JohnC
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 8:14am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

I see a few commenters are disappointed that Picard was "broken" by admitting to Troi that he saw 5 lights. I have to agree with Luke's last comment here - I don't really believe him. At least not all of it. In having tea with counselor Troi back safe on the Enterprise, he may have the humility to believe he was about to give in to Madred, and perhaps he did see five lights - but he still knew that Madred's goal was to break him - and he refused Madred the satisfaction. Seeing five lights is one thing - that's a survival-instinct response to what he was enduring - but some part of him still comprehended that he was still resisting if he refused to acknowledge it to Madred. And he never did.
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JohnC
Wed, Jan 25, 2017, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

I remember being a little kid absolutely giddy walking into the theater - my heroes from the show I watched on TV every day when I came home from school were going to be there on the big screen in front of me. And... I literally fell asleep watching it.

Obviously, it wasn't made for little kids. I've rewatched it a few times since and I still can't quite get all the way through it in one sitting. As has been noted, it's got a "2001 Space Odyssey" feel to it as opposed to swashbuckling Star Wars, and that's commendable as an attempt, but not in execution, IMO. To me, there's no getting around the fact the way these characters were portrayed, they almost completely removed the essence of what makes them memorable. I enjoy Star Trek as much for the character development as for the science fiction elements, and there was precious little about these characters that made them interesting here. The Kirk/Decker rivalry is blah, and that's about it. I'm all for stepping back and contemplating the cosmos and our place in it, etc. etc. but this seemed like 2 hours of exposition containing about 3 minutes of actual plot. JMHO
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JohnC
Wed, Jan 25, 2017, 2:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: A Matter of Honor

I think this is the best Riker-centric episode. He's a knowing, calculating, quick-thinking bad-ass here. Yes, the scene in the Klingon mess hall is entertaining, but for my money the best single moment is at the end, when Riker shrewdly situates himself perfectly to allow Kargan to backhand him across the bridge. In doing so, Riker diffuses the situation and allows his Klingon Captain to regain his dignity in the eyes of his crew. And I like that the Klingon crewman who whispers to Riker while helping him up realizes exactly what Riker was up to.
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JohnC
Wed, Jan 25, 2017, 1:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Prime Factors

I'm in complete disagreement with some of the commenters, who suggest that Torres, Tuvok etc. acted appropriately in disobeying Captain's orders because they believed their goal to get home sooner outweighed their personal sense of honor. Tuvok may be the most reprehensible character here - not only does he lie to his Captain - a Captain that he knows trusts him implicitly - but he then engages in ridiculous contortions of rationalization that he was merely "protecting" her from her own ethical ideals. What a jerk. At least Torres knows from the get-go that she's letting Seska (I'd use a different, more descriptive term, besides "jerk" for her) browbeat her into doing something that's completely wrong.

I know Starfleet is not the military, and I know that Seska and Torres didn't sign on for this gig, but they are essentially conscripted crewmembers on a starship, and they owe an oath of duty to the Captain so long as the orders they are being asked to obey are not unlawful. Tuvok and Carey have no excuse whatsoever. They've taken a literal oath, and just pissed on it.

If these four (assuming they were the only ones involved) truly believed that the only proper course of action was to disobey the Captain, they should have proceeded honorably and formally taken control of the ship from her to see where loyalties lay among the rest of the crew. Instead, they schemed and lied - hell, their actions nearly cost everyone onboard their lives, and even in the midst of that crisis Torres is STILL lying directly to her Captain about why there's a delay in departure. And let's not gloss over that latter point - the fact is, everyone almost died here, because these four took action contrary to their Captain's orders for their own selfish purposes. Had they shared their intentions with the Crew and assumed command of the vessel over Janeway's objections, at least everyone else on board would have had the benefit of knowing who was gambling with their lives and could possibly have added something to the discussion - something that might have allowed them to avoid or solve the technical issue that prevented the device from working.

Ships have captains for a reason. Some people here think the reason is for the captain to make decisions until someone disagrees, in which case, apparently, it's OK to lie to her and disobey.

Climbing down off my soapbox..... this was an entirely enjoyable episode - great premise, intriguing character developments that really spice things up (I know I just went off on Tuvok but I love the fact the writers went there with him - it adds an entirely new dimension to him that makes things all the more interesting), and I know some think Mulgrew was overacting at the conclusion, but honestly I think it was true to form. I can only imagine how I would react if I were a captain of a Federation vessel and found out that my long-time first-officer and trusted friend could so easily talk himself into deceiving me in such a fundamental, consequential way. The Janeway character is in a bad place at the fade-out. Literally, there's no one she can completely trust.

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JohnC
Wed, Jan 25, 2017, 9:40am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Emanations

Greg - not sure I agree that the episode was meant to show how "silly" religious belief can be. On the contrary, it seems to me the writers approached the issues of faith and afterlife with some real respect. Yes, the Uhnoris' beliefs were revealed to them as being false - but there was a counterpoint to that with the emphasis (primarily through Janeway) that there is so much we do not yet know, and may never know, at least not using the tools that the physical world provides us to explore. (And I agree with the comment earlier that Jammer's snarkiness about the Janeway quote seems a bit harsh. It was meant, I think, to provide a focus for the episode, and did so effectively, IMO.)

To follow up on that thought - the thing that I find interesting about our relentless search for knowledge is that almost every time we open a door to a new discovery, we find more doors. I am loathe to get into a debate with atheists or secularists or skeptics about what I believe. I will say, however, that from what I've read of Roddenberry, I think he and I shared a belief - that of rejecting religion, but accepting the notion of "God". This episode circles around these issues and provides a platform to think about them. Yes, there are some huge plot-holes here, but on balance I really enjoyed this thought-provoking episode.
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JohnC
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 12:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Ex Post Facto

Several silhouettes of Lidell's body with backlighting of her sheer outfits. Someone took a lot of time and effort setting up those lights and cameras. Plot or no plot: 3 stars. :)
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JohnC
Fri, Jan 20, 2017, 2:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Eye of the Needle

I noticed the same thing as Pete above, which I found it jarring that the Romulan wished Janeway good night, as if he knew what time it was 70000 light years away. Second, I don't know if this is been addressed and I can't recall the exact dialogue, but if Tuvok figured out that the Romulan died before the twenty years was up, why didn't he suggest to him that he should arrange for the messages to family members to be passed on in his absence in case something happened to him? I understand why you wouldn't want to tell the Romulan that he was going to be dead in 16 years, but still, it seems like he could have planted a seed in his head to plan for a contingency.....
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JohnC
Thu, Jan 19, 2017, 10:33am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: The Cloud

I too gave a virtual fist-bump to Neelix after his rant about Voyager constantly looking for trouble in every random nebula or whatever. I understand that they are still carrying out their exploratory mission, and I understand that they are looking for a way home, but it would be nice if there was at least some kind of risk-assessment protocol before they go wandering off opening every closed door in the Delta quadrant.

Very much agree with most of the last comment from Trek Fan. First, 3 "temporal anomaly" episodes. They finally turn away from that hackneyed plot contrivance -- right into "holodeck hijinks". -sigh-. I realize these concepts provide many opportunities for writers, but they already seem to be employed as a bit of a crutch. This was a very thin episode, saved only by some interesting interaction between the characters as they get to know each other. Janeway's obsession with coffee - I can relate. :)
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JohnC
Thu, Jan 19, 2017, 10:22am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Phage

I have to agree with some of the commenters - Janeway's going to let an organ-thief go scot-free after a violent assault that leaves the victim immobile for the rest of his life? Ummmm, no.

It seems Janeway is bound and determined to default to decisions that cause hardship to those she has charge of in favor of strangers to whom she owes no duty. First, she destroys the only means for the Voyager crew to get home. Neelix is one of the only two people on board who want to be on that ship at that place in time, and two episodes later she's ready to let two ghouls harvest his lungs and keep him in immobile isolation for the rest of his life. If I was Kes, I'd be watching my back to see how Janeway's going to try to sell me down the river.....

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JohnC
Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 4:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Time and Again

OK, so I'm 3 for 3 in liking these episodes more than Jammer or most of the commenters. I'm not typically a big special effects guy, but I was impressed with the laser-beamy things they were using to try to punch through the time gap or whatever. I also liked snippet of dialogue here, like Paris threatening the kid; and the interplay with the terrorists as they prepared to plant the bomb.

As for the plot in general - it's a bit of a remix of City of Tomorrow - how do we deal with what "our presence here" will do to affect what already happened once - but I thought the idea of having their presence be the cause of the disaster in the first place was a deft twist. But yes, three episodes, and three temporal shifts of one kind or another. Time (pun intended) to switch playbooks....
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JohnC
Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 3:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

Thanks for the kind welcome, Robert. Very much looking forward to the journey.... :)
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