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Robert Faulkner
Mon, Feb 13, 2017, 10:17am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@Yanks - It's kind of scary that NO Trekkies seem to be excited about this time period. I wonder if they know they did a bad thing.
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Robert
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 10:42am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

I would almost definitely put "Distant Origins" on mine as well, possibly "Living Witness".

Only 20 episodes would be really, really hard... but those are ALL good contenders.

I also liked "Counterpoint", "Dragon's Teeth", "Thirty Days", "Critical Care", "The Void" and "Pathfinder". There were a lot of standouts. My big frustrations were that the characters didn't feel like they grew and learned from these experiences, the series as a whole felt careless about it's own canon/continuity and they didn't do enough with their own premise. But a lot of these were the same writers that put out the best of TNG and they had been doing this for a helluva long time. So when they got it right, it was REALLY right.

It'd be hard to do a top 20... I wonder if I could. There's a lot of Trek.

Just from DS9 alone I'd want "Duet", "In The Hands Of The Prophets", "Improbable Cause/Die Is Cast", "The Way Of The Warrior", "In The Cards", "In The Pale Moonlight", "His Way" and "It's Only A Paper Moon". And that's leaving out a bunch. And only leaves room for 13 other episodes!

TNG I'd want "Measure of a Man", "Yesterday's Enterprise", "BoBW", "Family", "Inner Light", "Chain of Command", "Tapestry" and "The Pegasus". And that's another 7! LOL....

VOY I'd take "Blink of an Eye", "Distant Origins", "Living Witness", and maybe.... "The Void"? That only leaves 2 more spots left!

"City on the Edge of Forever" and "Devil in the Dark" are my 2 favorites... with "Balance of Terror" being #3....

So if I add "Dear Doctor", "Damage" and "Terra Prime" that leaves me 1 more spot on a top 25 list... which is what this has turned into :P

Let's go with "Undiscovered Country" and add my favorite movie in there.


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Robert
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 9:17am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

"but you can't make a Trek top 10-20 episode list without hitting all the series if you are truly objective"

100% agree. VOY is my least favorite because I have a lot of frustration for what it didn't do, but it probably would appear more on my top 20 list than TOS. When it was great it was great. "Blink of an Eye" is probably one of the coolest sci-fi episodes ever done.
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Robert
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 9:13am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Survival Instinct

"Another episode where Voyager has has several leaps of tens of thousands of light years, yet people from far far away catch up to them no problem."

I have less of an issue when the Borg do this due to the transwarp conduits. It's still a heck of a coincidence though!
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Robert
Wed, Feb 1, 2017, 2:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@Bufo - I'm going to disagree there. DS9 had problems, and it wasn't "bucket 1", but DID try to cover a lot of new ground (and succeeded at some of it). DS9's bucket was to borrow the world TNG built without trying to be a retread of TNG.

VOY tried to be in DS9's bucket (the lost in space, 2 crews, new aliens, new quadrant were all attempts at "new stuff in the same sandbox") but the writers really wanted to make assembly line TNG.

Likewise ENT's first 2 seasons were basically more assembly line TNG (that bucket 2 stuff you speak of) and then started to try (to varying levels of success) to be in bucket 3 (same world, new ideas).

DS9/ENT3/ENT4 don't have to be your cup of tea, but that whole "same world, new concept/new ideas" thing is fine by me. As is Bucket 1. As long as we're done with Bucket 2.
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Robert
Wed, Feb 1, 2017, 10:38am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

Why can't it be both? Why can't 24 century sex toys be so advance that we have emotional attachments to them?
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Robert
Wed, Feb 1, 2017, 8:28am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

@Tara - But Minuet wasn't a woman. Minuet was basically 24th century pornography and Picard and Riker were treating IT as such. That conversation was basically amounting to... "With the internet and a free left hand, who needs a woman amirite??" Early TNG guest stars are problematic, but it's worth pointing out that Minuet is not a woman but a piece of tech designed to "stimulate" Riker.

FWIW I agree with your assessment that there aren't many (any) females in Trek that could have pulled this episode off the way Picard does. Neither Troi nor Crusher really could have, Kira is too fundamentally broken personally (though I love her) to have made that work, Jadzia could possibly have done it... as could Janeway (when written correctly). But that's probably it. Whereas there are probably 10 or so men that this episode could have been done for.

Also, to throw my 2 cents in... I think that she did make a choice. I think she spent years mostly alone and she knows what she's like when she's alone. I think she realizes she's going to have to eventually absorb part of SOMEBODY'S personality and I think she liked herself with Picard. I think maybe when she went back to her quarters each day she missed the piece of her that left with him.

It may still be not her ideal, but it doesn't sound like staying blank is possible. So Picard may have been the next best thing.
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Robert
Tue, Jan 31, 2017, 1:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi - I think that's the best anyone has ever explained it from my perspective. "Its a challenge of continuity and a challenge of aesthetics" hits the nail right on the head.

It's not that we're looking for something to be pissed about, it's just that there's a reason TNG took place 100 years later, and it was REALLY, REALLY smart.

That doesn't mean it can't be done without pissing us all off, it just means it's incredibly less likely.
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Robert
Tue, Jan 31, 2017, 8:06am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Savage Curtain

@MadBaggins - Don't feed the trolls :P

(It apparently offended Why? so much that Sulu was gay and that they threw it in our faces for all of 5 seconds that he needed to associate it with the decline of all Trek).
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Robert
Fri, Jan 27, 2017, 3:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

"In Generations it was just a special effect action sequence; well done, but useless."

And here I thought it was a commentary on women drivers. Let Deanna drive for 5 minutes, amirite?
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Robert
Fri, Jan 27, 2017, 9:54am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: His Way

@Caedus - This episode clearly isn't for everyone, but I will still defend the hell out of it. Rene is a great character actor, and this episode really gave him the chance to soar pallie :P

I like it more everytime I watch it. I don't know why, I just do. It just makes me smile. What are you, some kind of Harvey?

There's something magical about DS9 in that it has the range to go from Pale Moonlight to this and have them both be amazing in their own way. I get why it's not for everyone, but I'll be over here humming now.

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Robert
Fri, Jan 27, 2017, 9:47am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

"Overall I feel like Generations is a good movie, maybe middle of the pack. "

It's absolutely good. The biggest problem at the time was that it was outclassed by "All Good Things". They came out sooooo close together and AGT was just better.

At the time though, all of Star Trek was good. S7 TNG was mediocre, but it still had some of the franchise's best episodes, DS9 was just starting to take off around now and VOY's pilot was incredibly promising. This was probably THE BEST time to be a Trekkie. Everything was coming up awesome. You missed TNG but they were just starting a promising movie franchise and the other two shows were full of promise.

But yes, the worst thing I can say about Generations is that AGT was a better TNG movie.
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Robert
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 11:42am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The High Ground

"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."

Although some Cardassians did bring/have families on Bajor, and I'm sure some of the resistance did kill them... it is arguable that any Cardassian on Bajor was truly innocent any more than a Nazi in Paris was.
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Robert
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 11:39am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Child's Play

The thing that's awful for me is that I actually like Seven and Jeri. So I resent that they totally overpowered all of these other characters I liked in favor of her... but I couldn't bring myself to not like her performance.
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Robert
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 8:37am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

I would agree. I think Picard may have seen the 5th light. I'd think anybody in his shoes might be question their sanity. I think the line was also very anti-torture in that Picard admits that some part of him was willing to say anything, true or false, to escape.

But I agree that there is usually a tendency to feel like you made it out of something in the nick of time, even if you didn't. How many people have said, after a particularly exhausting all nighter, that they couldn't have lasted another hour? Or after a long walk in the heat that you couldn't have gone not one more minute? Or (something more painful) that you couldn't push during labor not one more time? I don't equate these to torture of course, but once relief from something difficult comes there tends to be a feeling that you JUST made it.

Largely it's because once you are at rest, once the adrenaline stops you literally DON'T have any more oomph to give, but had you not succeeded you might still yet have had more in you. I agree that in retrospect Picard might have felt he was 99% of the way to breaking, but I think he could have gone longer too.
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Robert
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 8:15am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

Well, a generation is about 20-30 years technically. My child is 5 and her great grandma is 90. So that's 4 generations with 85 years between them.

The ship was initially 70 years from home. So initially "generations" isn't an unreasonable assumption.

This episode is about 4.5 years out from the pilot (and they went backwards a LOT in the first two years) but let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say they progressed 4 years (even though I don't think that's true).

Kes' jump was good for 10 years. They gained another 2 years in Night. But then they had another 10 year jump in Timeless and another 15 year jump in Dark Frontier. That's nearly 40 years total travelled in the last year and a half alone (after making very little progress in the first 2.5 years.... 2.5 years out in Fair Trade they hadn't even progressed past the area of space Neelix usually spends time in.

So when Disease airs they have about 30 years left or less. At this point I sort of agree that saying they could become a generational ship is sort of stretching it. I mean Naomi could have kids and then they'd have 3 generations on one ship, but that's about it. If anybody else had kids now it'd take another 20+ years for those kids to have kids. So we're talking that by the time grandchildren are reasonably entering the picture for Voyager's crew you're around 5 years from home. And that's assuming no other short cuts. At all.

That said, this episode airs right after Dark Frontier and so the writers may have been thinking they were closer to 45 years from home at the time of writing.
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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 2:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Interesting analogy. I've been called sexist for disliking Janeway (I actually LOVE early Janeway, but strongly dislike where they took the character) and have never understood the sexism charge (especially since Kira is my favorite Trek character and Jadzia/B'Elanna rank so highly on my list). But maybe it's just because there's only one Captain jellybean and if I don't like the way it tastes it implies more than it's worth.
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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 11:16am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

To prove your point picking through a random season's important guest stars though....

Season 2
1. The titular child is a boy
2. Nagilum presents as male to me, though gender is probably irrelevant
3. Moriarty
4. Okona
5. Riva
6. Ira Graves (like you, I'm not going to count his assistant as a shining example of a female guest star)
7. Many guest stars, but Riker's main Klingon adversary and the Benzite are male
8. JAG Louvois - I, like Chrome, would count her. She presents as an equal to Picard. And the "villian" of the piece is a male cybernetics expert.

But that means it took me 8 episodes to find ONE decent female guest star. And in that same time I arguable found 8 or 9 males ones.

Us saying - "Hey, you missed one we liked!" is hardly an attempt to disprove your overall point. And the fact is that you were talking about your experiences and who you related to. You may not have related to Louvois... and that's totally fine. Some people were just chiming in with their own experiences/impressions.
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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

@Tara - I actually don't think anybody is disagreeing, but I'm not sure they nit-picking either. Me saying "What about Shelby?" isn't quite the same as saying "What about that female Klingon that Riker serves with." Shelby is, to me, top 5 in like "all of Star Trek" for single episode guest stars as far as memorability goes. She made her mark. That's all! I think other people are just offering up some of their own favorites to spark discussion. I don't think anybody is disagreeing with your post though.

And you did answer the Shelby question, which I missed. You are correct that she isn't the focus of the episode... more like the second half of the B plot (the A plot being the Borg of course and the B plot being Riker's career). I actually didn't see her as an Ambitious/Castrating Bitch... her qualities are quite similar to what we know of young Riker/Picard. People who want to be in the top of Starfleet are ambitious. The fact that sometimes what comes off on men as assertive comes off on women as "bossy" is ridiculous, and I always felt that Riker taking her that way and Picard setting him straight was actually really feminist and really positive.

PICARD: Good. You've covered all the bases. What's your impression of Shelby?
RIKER: She knows her stuff.
PICARD: She has your full confidence?
RIKER: Well, I think she needs supervision. She takes the initiative a little too easily. Sometimes with risks.
PICARD: Sounds a little like a young lieutenant commander I once recruited as a first officer.

...

RIKER: The Captain says Shelby reminds him of the way I used to be. And he's right. She comes in here full of drive and ambition. Impatient, taking risks. I look at her and I wonder whatever happened to those things in me? I liked those things about me. I've lost something.
TROI: You mean you're older, more experienced. A little more seasoned.
RIKER: Seasoned. That's a horrible thing to say to a man.

...

RIKER: And you have a lot to learn, Commander.
SHELBY: Yes, sir.
RIKER: Almost as much as I had to learn when I came aboard as Captain Picard's first officer. A fact he reminded me of when I commented on what a pain in the neck you are.

As somebody that hates the whole "women are bossy/men are leaders" thing... I just always loved the way Riker comes around to her. But back to your point... Shelby was there to a) provide Borg exposition and b) serve Riker's career story. So while I personally found her an awesome kickass female XO... she was not the focus of a story on her own. She's there to teach Riker a lesson. You are right.

Ro, on the other hand, is her own story entirely. And in a lot of ways Vash is too (despite the romantic pairing with the Captain). Although since you mentioned the female pilots from First Duty I will say that Sito Jaxa, who ends up in Lower Decks, is also an awesome female character IMHO. Shame they often needed to make women alien to make them really strong (Kira/Ro/Sito/Dax/K'Ehleyr).
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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:18am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

I would agree with most of the posts on this topic. The dearth of female action stars is notable for sure. But I'd also call for the inclusion of Shelby. She felt like a proto-Ro/Kira sort of character. They made much of her being a female Riker. I often wonder what would have happened had they left Riker's promotion and given him a big send-off with his own ship in 4x03 (leaving their fates up in the air during "Family") and left Shelby as Picard's XO.

As much as I like Riker, the thought is appealing.
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Robert
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 2:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

I don't actually have a problem with women crying. I don't personally even take crying as a sign of weakness. As a 30 something year old man if my kids ask me (and they have) or anyone else ask me for that matter, when the last time I cried I have no problem telling them (and it was recently).

I personally think being concerned with projecting a macho image is far weaker than crying. That said... my issue isn't that Tasha cried, it's just that she's the security chief. Crying to her captain because she might die on a mission just seemed really off to me. I just felt that a tough military officer wouldn't be crying about THAT. If it had been Crusher or Troi, fine. Or if she was crying about losing someone she loved... but you have this supposedly tough as nails Chief of Security and one of the first things you want to show us about her on a new show is her crying because she's scared of dying on an away mission? Meh... I just didn't care for it.

As for the Riker thing... according to Janeway Riker needs Picard's and Crusher's permission to have sex with aliens :P
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Robert
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 11:47am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"TNG was problematic enough to seem annoyingly anachronistic to me in 1987 - by which I mean it seemed a throwback to an older more gender-stupid era, rather than a throw-forward to 24th century enlightenment."

Just wanted one more comment, on this in particular. TNG was an odd mix of both forward thinking and backwards thinking. It's interesting to think, but a lot of TNG ideas came from the failed ST Phase 2 and Maurice Hurley (who had a lot of power in early TNG) was a sexist bastard if there ever was one.

So I think TNG was a bit funny because having a woman CMO/Security Chief was really progressive but having that Security Chief cry in the penalty box was really regressive. To think that TNG was less than 10 years out from fare like X-Files and Xena though is a little mind blowing.
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Robert
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 11:40am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

Eh, we're coming at how full the glass is from different directions. I'm setting the bar really, really, really low for the average 1960 Hollywood male and then saying Gene was decently above that!

Murphy and C&L were created by WOMEN. And Rick Berman was born 25 years after Gene. Gene Roddenberry was born in the 20s.

I'm not excusing the sexism in Star Trek. I find certain episodes (like Turnabout Intruder) to be unwatchable because of it. But saying that Gene wasn't didn't lean feminist for a man of the 1920s (he was born around the time women were first allowed to vote) is revisionist history under a modern lens.

Uhura was a career military woman. His pilot had a female first officer. TNG had a female security chief and CMO. Yes, there was a lot of sexist crap in there... but stuff like Star Trek helped convince people that women should be equal.

My point is that history (and heroes) is often more complicated than people give it credit for. It's like people today vilifying politicians that, in the 90s, were for civil unions as barbarians. If Americans didn't become comfortable with civil unions they'd never have become comfortable with marriage. It was a process. And Gene was part of the process for sexism as well, on the side of good, not evil.
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Robert
Fri, Jan 20, 2017, 3:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"So... You'll have a hard time convincing me he saw women and men as equals/complements. "

He was a progressive, feminist leaning man in the 60s. But he was still a product of the 60s!
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Robert
Fri, Jan 20, 2017, 1:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

For what it's worth... I too liked Wang and what they seemed to be doing with him in the first season. But after 2 more years of basically nothing happening with him, and Kes being one of the most alien aliens that Trek ever did... I was pissed about this choice.

And I liked Neelix.
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