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John Witte
Fri, Nov 24, 2017, 2:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

I felt that this episode was a rather middling affair. When I saw Robert Picardo as her dad I immediately thought that the show was going to turn into a character arc where she goes back home and learns alot about herself. Instead, it turned into a holographic haunted house where she is trying to overcome her demons. It was such a waste to get Picardo and only use him for one scene.

To me, it felt like a rehash of other creepy Star Trek shows. I suppose that it makes a certain amount of sense because Brannon Braga directed it. I agree with some posts that the end made me think of Ripley in Aliens. But that pretty much drives my central point. There's nothing really new here.

2 stars out of 4.
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navamske
Fri, Nov 24, 2017, 1:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

@Gretchen

"At least 'Genesis' was watchable"

"Genesis" allowed is not -- is episode forbidden!
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Nic
Fri, Nov 24, 2017, 7:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

A good, not great, episode. I agree that it had a sense of conviction and cohesiveness that previous episodes lacked. But it doesn't make up for all the shoddy storytelling that came before. And it has its own share of problems.

- I think the advantage of the cloaking device is overstated. They can't fire weapons or raise shields while cloaked, so even if Starfleet finds a way to get through the cloak, the Klingons can just de-cloak and raise shields. Which is what Kol should have done the moment Discovery started firing its weapons. Idiot.

- The sensors they place on the Sarcophagus ship are ridiculously loud, clunky and bright. How is it that no one found one and destroyed it before they finished relaying their data?

- I'm no expert, but I don't think that's how PTSD usually works.

- There should be a drinking game where you take a drink every time Lorca disobeys orders and then receives praise from the Admirals. Granted, this happened on DS9 (most notably in "The Die is Cast" and "For the Uniform"), but it bothered me then and it is much more pervasive here. I have no problem with characters doing illegal or immoral things, but there has to be CONSEQUENCES.

Still, still... This was the first time I actually cared about these characters, and the ending was the first time I felt genuiune interest in what would happen next.
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Trent
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 9:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Savage Curtain

There's a good idea in here (the bluring of good, evil, and the ways in which progress oft depends upon covert and overt violence), and a cool rock monster, but the action sequences are a bit too silly and devoid of tension.

Imagine if this episode unfolded like Darmok instead; Lincoln, Kirk, Surak and Kahless on a planet, around a fireplace, simply talking and vying with one another via ideologically-loaded dialogue.
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Trent
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 8:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Broken Bow

Did this show need to revolve around another ship called Enterprise?

In TOS, you got the feeling that Constitution-class starships were fairly common, and that Kirk's crew were tasked with doing routine jobs (checking in on prison colonies, exploring space, protecting planets, engaging in first contact etc etc).

You also got the feeling that Kirk was exceptional at this job, that he achieved things no other captain did, and that his exploits, Earth-saving adventures and battles with Klingons and Romulans slowly made famous the name Enterprise. Heck, the Constitution class was already old when Kirk got one. You get the feeling that, rather than a priviledge bestwoed upon him, Enterprise was something Kirk, a hotshot rookie, nursed and made special and his own. Enterprise and Kirk made their names together.

But by giving Archer an Enterprise, you make that ship and its name already a totem of prestiege. Suddenly Kirk's Enterprise is already famous, rather than something he pushed into the history books.


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Trent
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 7:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Return of the Archons

I found this to be an excellent episode, and agree with Trekfan's wonderful comments above. I would add one point: TOS' abstract, expressionistic and broader style allowed it to briskly convey more than later, more "realistic" Trek. Here, in less than an hour, we have an entire revolution against a totalitarian society portrayed (complete with underground resistance cells and interesting layers of propaganda and control)!
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Simon
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 5:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@ Ed

"Most likely, this cloaking device isn't as advanced as the ones we see 100 years later. Discovery can pick up signs that there is a cloaked ship in the general area, but the information is useless for targeting it."

Yes, that seems like a reasonable explanation. I've thought of another one too: a cloaked ship moving at warp is (to a degree) detectable through its warp signature.
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Spannerman
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 4:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Jesus man, take your boots off before you get into bed!
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Jason R.
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 6:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

Uilliam it was one of the biggest facepalms of the pilot. Burnham explains emphatically that they must *not* kill this guy. It is the one objective of the mission. And she has him in her sights, and she just... kills him because, revenge? She literally just had to stun him and beam out. Mission accomplished. At that point I could have completed the mission.

We are to believe that after everything Burnham said, she would choose to start a war for the sake of a momentary act of revenge? And this woman is supposed to be a Starfleet first officer? Raised by Vulcans?

Or I don't know, did she intend to kill him? Was it an accident? BAH! This stupid stupid show.
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Hank
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 3:48am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Hm, 2,5-3 Stars from me. I really liked the first three quarters, and I fully expected a reset button, but that explanation just didn't work for me. I'd much rather have it all be a dream, treaden as that ground is. I have very vivid dreams from time to time, and it would make sense for Alara here after her trauma. Or something like the movie "Sphere". I guess it is just personal preference.

Other than that great episode, my rating is just down to the ending. I really liked Bortus' jokes - he in 18th century clothing was just hilarious. The score was also really well done, as well as the fight scenes. Isaac felt really nimble and powerful, not the kind of "lumbering robot" that is so common. I also liked the funeral, with the chief making crude jokes - at first I thought "man, Seth, this is the wrong place", but I guess the Chief just wanted to keep acting like he did with his friend for such a long time, before the realization really sinks in. Really touched a nerve, without being full of false pathos.

Robert Picardo was sadly underused, but I guess we havn't seen the last of him. I almost thought he would appear on the ship, as some kind of final enemy. Oh, and for some reason, Nurse Park seems really interesting. He is the complete opposite of everybody else on the show: Down to earth, normal, dutiful human being.

And a final remark, the visual style is just great. It harkens back to TNG and Voyager, a calm, collected affair. Really excited to see where we go from here.
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methane
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 9:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: The Augments

I agree that the trilogy is held back by the lack of development of the augments as characters. Still, it was entertaining enough that I'd give this story a passing grade (with this episode being the weakest of the three).

Brent Spiner's acting is one of the best things about the trilogy. Even with the problems already mentioned (the character never teaches the augments, only preaches rules to them), Spiner is great all the way through.

Another thing this trilogy did well is world building. It references all sorts of stuff that were first mentioned elsewhere, but that's mostly for the good. We got a good feel for galactic civilization, with references to Orions, Klingons, Denobulans, and (of course) humans, and how all these races interact with each other. The props, sets, makeup, and special effects teams did a particularly good job with the Orion slave auction & the medical outpost.

Two references that I didn't think worked: The imitation of Khan on the floor of his ship at the end of WOK & Soong's reference to artificial people (both for reasons others have mentioned on this thread).

This is an early indication of how Enterprise would benefit by spreading stories over multiple episodes. Without that extra time we wouldn't get to explore Spiner's character, nor would we have the time to really investigate the different locales.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Lonely Among Us

Hiding in this bad episode were two good ones that would have made great Season 1 getting-to-know you episodes.

Episode One: "Prudence and Prejudice"

Goals of episode: 1. Give viewers a little snapshot of Alpha Quadrant/Federation. 2. Show how the crew handles conflict and diplomacy. 3. Have the crew examine their prejudices.

Synopsis: The Enterprise is sent to ferry delegates from Antica and Selay, two planets in the same solar system, to a peace conference on the planet Parliament.

The solar system lies near Federation space but is also near a part of space where the Ferengi have recently become more active, so it's strategically located.

The two planets fought a war more than 100 years ago when the Anticans achieved space flight and landed on the more primitive Selay. Since then, the Selay have also achieved space flight but are still behind the Anticans in technology. They've had a cold peace for almost 80 years but a new war is threatening to break out.

It's crucial to the Federation to make sure a firm peace is established so the Ferengi can't exploit a conflict so close to Federation space. (We can learn all that in briefing early in the episode with Data).

Here's where it gets interesting. The Anticans are very humanoid looking and get along great with Terrans, sharing many of the same attributes, culture and food. There's informal talk they'd like to join the Federation, and the Enterprise crew thinks that's a grand idea. The Selay are reptilian. They are aloof and demanding and eat disgusting things (to us). Also, Troi can't read them. She can only "feel a presence." They have no interest in joining the Federation and have only reluctantly agreed to the conference out of desperation because they are also practical.

Each side is accusing the other of acquiring weapons from the Ferengi to mount an offensive attack and the Selay say the Antacins are courting the Federation as well.

Troi, Riker and Picard have an initial meeting with both groups and have positive impression of the Anticans. The Selay meeting doesn't go as well. Troi meets with them alone a second time. Right after the second Selay meeting, Troi falls mysteriously ill.

Dr. Crusher believes she's picked up a type of venom from the Selay, which the Antacins subtly encourage. They even hint the venom was transmitted on purpose. After talking with the Anticins, Beverly administers a treatment but it has the opposite effect and sends Troi into shock.

(And that's our B-plot: Beverly frantically trying to save Troi's life and her guilt at making her worse, not better).

Meanwhile, hostilities mount between the Antacins and the Selay, and an Antacin is found dead and appears to have been killed by a Selay weapon. Tasha and Worf are assigned to security.

As the episode progresses, the Selay look more and more guilty and the Atacins make more inroads with everyone but Worf. He sees the Selay as noble and honest and admires their stark philosophy.

Eventually, a Ferengi vessel attacks the Enterprise, and it turns out it was a rogue Antacin delegate (and arms dealer) who has been working with the Ferengi to incite a new war. He sent coordinates to the Ferengi ship and was caught by one of the Selay. He attacked the Selay, who killed him in self-defense. The Anacin is also the one who infected Troi, and they also learn he learned the ability to block empathic probing from the Selay. (Worf is the one who figures all this out, with the help of Data).

Crusher almost loses Troi during the Ferengi attack, but the Selay leader helps her figure out the right antidote (using some of his own blood). The Ferengi attack is repulsed.

The Selay demand to turn back from Parliament because of the human prejudice, while the Antacin leader begs them to reconsider. They decide to work together toward a peaceful resolution on their own without Federation help or Ferengi interference.

Ends with staff meeting where Picard praises Worf for his prudence and admonishes himself and the others for letting their prejudices against a reptilian life form cloud their judgment and they must do better next time. (And in the B plot, Beverly goes through same thing making assumptions about Troi's medical condition).

With any luck, that paints a little picture of the political and cultural climate in the Federation, reinforces the Ferengi threat (such as it is), gives us some character growth and maybe gives you two species you might could bring back again.

I'll do Episode 2 later.
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MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

...The long-range sensors can detect its power signature...what about the lateral sensor array? Perhaps it's not quite the same type of technology, and modifying the long-range sensors to operate the same way is not possible?

Technology can be full of seemingly nonsensical things that actually are due to really mundane explanations. Running programs from a command prompt, for example, seems totally counter-intuitive to do at this point simply because we have mice and cursors for that. But it actually makes more sense to do and you can access functions of a program that its GUI doesn't let you work with.

So, the sensors may work this way: Long Range Scanners can detect things like that, but they are not specific enough to use with the tactical systems. Those are locked into the lateral sensor array, which is for short range quick "get and go" identification of stellar objects, ships, signals, etc.

That makes a lot of sense to me, anyway.
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Trent
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Whom Gods Destroy

I agree with Jerry above; this episode - like much of season 3 - has fantastic and intriguing ideas, and little scenes which rank amongst Trek's best, but just can't quite manage to pull together a completely good script. Tweak this script and jettison the filler and you'd have a neat game of cat and mouse.


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Trek fan
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

I've gone back and forth on this episode for years, but I'm finally going to land on "good" and give it 3 or 3 1/2 stars. Space Indians, the captain living out a new life in another culture, and a crew member being mistaken for a god will all be done later on TNG as some viewers here have noted. But I like how this episode pushes Shatner way beyond his usual glib invincibility -- normally Kirk is hyper-resistant to anything taking him away from his ship, but this episode really sells the idea that he falls in love with something (Miramanee) else. I like how Spock is truly anguished in his command decisions regarding the asteroid after so much time goes by with the captain lost. And I love the touching farewell between Kirk and Miramanee followed by the equally touching effort by Spock to relieve the captain's sense of loss with a selective memory wipe. Wow, this is edgy stuff for these characters, and I like how this story goes for broke on everything.

This story continues the trend, which is very clear at this point in the series, of focusing on our regulars: McCoy, Scotty, Chekov, Sulu, and Uhura are all in fine form here. Watching all the episodes in order, more or less one a day as I've been doing, really shows how the cast chemistry grows throughout the series as stories begin accentuating just the regulars without shoehorning too many guest crewmen. Nicely done here. But the star of this one is Shatner: His love for Miramanee and heartbreak at the end feel unusually vulnerable for the character, shunning his usual glibness, and the concern and love of Spock for his friend really come through. I like this material.

The Space Indian stuff is okay, the Obelisk is suitably alien and mysterious, but all of that is just backdrop for the central story of "captain catches Tahiti syndrome." And you know what? It's a good story, well-acted, with good location shooting and some beautiful moments. I think this is a highly underrated Star Trek episode.
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navamske
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 5:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: False Profits

@Justin

"How is it they didn't detect Ferengi life signs, but they did pick up the power signature of a replicator? "

They probably weren't scanning specifically for Ferengi life signs.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 2:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

@Startrekwatcher, nice comment. I am a fan of Piller as well. I became aware of him relatively late, after seeing and being very impressed by the Voyager episode "Meld" and wondering who had written this involving, intense, and unusual (by Trek standards) script.

@Ubik: "Okay; but doesn't that suggest that narrative coherence - plot - is the most important aspect of a show's aesthetic appeal? It's important, sure, but why should it be the ultimate arbiter? What about character? What about emotions evoked? What about cleverness and wit? What about world creation? And what about colours and textures and music? Would you examine a painting and then dismiss it merely because the story depicted offers no satisfying resolution? What about the experience itself, in the moment, of engaging with the work? Doesn't that count for a lot? In fact, isn't that precisely what David Lynch has been trying to teach us with the third season of Twin Peaks?"

I did offer a specific exception in the case of someone like Lynch. But with him, I know what I'm getting: surrealism. And he's not going to explain it in ANY way, including "it was all a dream". In a show that has essentially made a compact with the audience that it is intended to be more or less realistic futuristic science fiction, that trust is broken IMO when you do something like this. You talk about character, but for much of the episode, we were looking at one "real" character (albeit in an unreal situation) and a bunch of unreal characters. Was the depiction of the doctor as a psychopathic torturer, for instance, supposed to add to our understanding of her character?

@Dave in MN: "It made me retroactively dislike the entire convoluted mythology."

Yup, same. I gladly rewatched the first season and a half of BSG with my kids, but I have no desire to revisit that island. They made, as you say, the most convoluted mythology ever (piling more on it even into the last season), and then they said none of that matters, it's just a bad man and a good man and a cork. Oh, and "the characters". Well, then why did you throw all that crazy mystery and mythology at us? Why not just show the characters living on the island and interacting, and leave it at that? And as you note, the chutzpah of promising "no purgatory" and then delivering exactly that...wow.

Very curious for Jammer's take!
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Paul Allen
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 1:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Watching it now - when it's clear she's in a simulation when she shoots Isaac and is bleeding, she has that whole Ripley in Aliens vibe going on, even the music matches.

Kinda hot. :)

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Yanks
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 8:28am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Simon,

"What on earth was the Phavan's plan? They made the effort to get the Klingons there, what further intervention were they intending (answer: none, as this was just a plot contrivance to move the action along)."

Quoted from 'Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum':

"It is Starfleet's plan to modify the electromagnetic frequency of Pahvo's signal and harness it as a form of sonar that can detect the presence of the cloaked Klingon vessels decimating our fleet, make them visible to our sensors, and turn the tide of war in our favor."

"How can the Discovery can detect a cloaked ship entering the system?"

Quoted from 'Into the Forest I Go':

"Sir, long-range sensors have detected the power signature of a cloaked Klingon vessel entering Pahvo's orbit."




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Tanner
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 5:57am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Return to Tomorrow

Why does Chapel and the other nurse have red cross badges but Mccoy has the standard science badge? Why bother with a drug that’s super deadly to Vulcans when a phaser set to vaporise does just fine?
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Simon Humphreys
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 2:07am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I'm now fully convinced that Tyler is Voq. I'm also just as certain that Lorca is responsible for the misjump. Can't wait for the next few episodes.

Some nitpicks, however, which I think expose sloppy writing:

How can the Discovery can detect a cloaked ship entering the system?

What on earth was the Phavan's plan? They made the effort to get the Klingons there, what further intervention were they intending (answer: none, as this was just a plot contrivance to move the action along).

How do the Klingons know that the Phavan's possess the technology (that could possibly be used) to detect cloaked ships? Also, how do the Klingon's know the Phavan's are helping the Federation (answer: all this knowledge is just assumed in order to drive the plot).

It's frustrating that the setup was just completely discarded in order to move the plot along. That said, it was a cracking episode so I guess I can forgive it all!
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Lynos
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 1:54am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

I admit that in the end Lost was a big tease with little payoff (and I actually liked the finale), and Damon Lindelof admitted on numerous occasions that they had to have filler episodes because they were forced to do 22 episode seasons by the network, which is insanse. It goes without saying that if Lost was a cable show with 10 episodes per season it would have fared better.

But the reason to keep watching Lost wasn't necesserilly the Big Mystery (although obviously it's a big part of it), but because of the characters. As long as the character work was solid, and you had someone to root for, the show, at least for me, was worth it. Compare it to The Walking Dead, which also kind of had/has a mystery at its core. I quit it after season 3 simply because I found no characters I cared about anymore. The show simply killed off all the interesting characters.

For me, this is what saves Firestorm in the end, the character work, and how it ties to the reveal. Let's imagine that the episode was structured differently, that there would be no twist, that we would simply watch Alara asking Issac to program the holodeck, and then to wipe her memory, and then we watch her go through the motions. That it would a pure character-focused drama show.

If that was the case, our identifications with her plight would be lessened. If we knew the game is rigged, we would just sit bored until Alara catches up. She would still earn her development as a character, but we as viewers would have a lesser experience. Admittedly, that approach only works best in the first viewing, but I think it was still the right call to turn it into mystery/horror, and to have the viewers as baffled as the character is. If Firestorm has a fail, it's that it didn't push Alara's perspetive far enough and involved the other crew members on too many occassions. The viewer needed to FEEL her desperation every step of the way.

What I mean is it would have been better if the fears she was experiencing were her own fears and not the crew's. It would make it more personal and focused. But it's understandable they wanted to involve the rest of the cast.
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ltdan
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 1:24am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part II

I liked this episode for all the reasons everyone else gave that liked it.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 10:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

Seems to me the Enterprise violated the Prime Directive simply by contacting the Edo. They didn't have warp capability, and it's vague whether they knew of other life forms.

It's established later that the protocol for First Contact is warp capability.

And Riker, Yar and LaForge literally screwed the Edo. Seems like that's a violation as well.

And Dear God in Heaven, the stupidity of the flower bed. Surely they could have come up with something more compelling than that.

However, the show lay the groundwork for future and much better philosophical discussions and dilemmas. So it has a little value for that, but not much else.

And by this stage, all these vague, powerful, multidimensional beings are getting tiresome.

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Dave in MN
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 9:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Everything David Lynch has made is pretentious, overlong and psychologically disturbing .... but I think he's probably as close as any director has ever gotten to recreating what the experience of having a vivid nightmare is like. It takes a certain kind of talent to pull that off consistently.

Anyways, OST I actually stuck with (mainly because the producers promised that none of the characters were in a spiritual purgatory). I allowed myself to get invested figuring the payoff would be worth it.

I found the characterizations and acting to be outstanding, particularly Sawyer, John Locke and Hurley.

I detested the final season once I realized the fast one they were about to pull. That obscure ending (implying the series is a time loop) was even more infuriating. A classic case of having your cake and eating it too.

It made me retroactively dislike the entire convoluted mythology. It's still a good show, but not something I'd watch twice (except maybe the episode where Rose deals with her illness).

BSG I just couldn't get into. The whole interstellar submarine mutiny trope didn't really work for me as a motivation to stick with a series. I also felt a few actors were miscast, at least in the few I watched.
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