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Shannon
Mon, Oct 16, 2017, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Another solid outing for Discovery. This week we saw continued character development of not just Burnham, but other supporting cast members, most notably Lorca, Saru, and Stamets. Even Lilly got in there a little bit. I loved the moral dilemma they faced, and the diverse ways everyone approached it. Burnham is sympathizing with this sentient creature that's in agony, and she manages to convince Stamets with the help of the doctor. Saru is struggling with suddenly being thrust into command, and takes a very pragmatic, almost academic approach to the issue without considering the ethical ramifications. He sees the world as black and white, and it was a nice touch to see him consulting the computer to learn about successful command styles. Lorca's imprisonment on the Klingon ship was quite tense, and nice tip of the hat to TOS with the casting of Mudd. Never liked him much in the original series, but here we get to see what a truly backstabbing worm he really is. Loved it! I also liked how Saru came around to understanding Burnham's position, and orders her to save the creature, which Lilly and she are able to do by freeing it... This episode had a lot of great "Trek" in it, but told in a more modern way... 3.5 stars from me!
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Shannon
Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 8:36am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

A lot of negative comments about the Klingons. Were they more colorful in prior series? Yes. But my problem with the prior series is that they seemed more like aggressive humans dressed up as werewolves. In fact, too many "aliens" throughout all Star Trek series are depicted as way too "humanoid" (a notable exception would be the Tholians, which we saw in Enterprise). I get it, budget constraints were usually the issue. But I like that the producers are going to great lengths to show them as a very different culture than humans. That being said, yes, the prosthetics are getting in the way of the actors. And the subtitles need to go away, they are more distraction than anything else... But I stand by my original comment, I like this episode and thought it did a nice job of flushing out these characters a little more. Were there some plot issues, as Jammer point out? Sure. But you could so that about 90% of all Star Trek episodes. Writers a lot of times take the plot to implausible places in order to get them to the end game.
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Shannon
Wed, Oct 11, 2017, 11:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

I really enjoyed this episode, and feel that the series is starting to get its footing and tell good stories. The storyline regarding the "monster" actually being a peaceful creature simply defending itself is a great tip of the hat to TOS, with parallels to the Horta defending its unborn children. The characters are getting flushed out a little more, and I'm loving the palpable tension between Burnham and Saru. That will be an interesting relationship to watch. Lorca is a mystery to me, but that's part of the fun. Not crying over Landry, she was annoying... I would give this episode 3.5 stars!
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Shannon
Thu, Oct 5, 2017, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

Let's look at the history of all Trek series. TOS will always be number one, because they got this whole thing started, and the tri-fecta between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy was classic. However, they had plenty of bad stories like The Man Trap, Mudd's Women, Spock's Brain, The Alternative Factor, The Apple, Catspaw, and much of the 3rd season.

Now fast forward to 1987 and the launch of TNG. Loved the series after 7 successful years, but they did NOT start out strong. Encounter at Farpoint was just okay, The Naked Now kinda worked, and then there was the beyond stupid Code of Honor (zero stars!). The rest of the first season was mediocre, with a smattering of abysmal episodes like Justice, Angel One, When the Bough Breaks, and Skin of Evil (seriously, THAT is how you kill off a main character!!!). But by Season 2 they found their footing and started producing some great stories.

Fast forward now to DS9. I remember the reaction when this series was announced. There was a LOT of trepidation around how good a series could be if it's based on a space station. Talk about a radical departure from the Trek formula! But look at the result, a great series that kept getting better year after year. They made smart additions when they added The Defiant and brought Worf on board. The Dominion War was brilliant!.

Unfortunately Trek peaked with DS9. Voyager lasted 7 years, but it struggled to find it's footing. Got better when they brought Seven of Nine on board, as that allowed for some great stories. But you couldn't center an entire series on one character, and the series once again returned to mediocre.

Ah, Enterprise! So much promise! Brannon and Berman assured us this prequel would be different, that it would have "an edge", and that they wouldn't be afraid to take the story lines to dark, lots of gray in the middle places. Well, that didn't happen! (Side note: It happened on the re-imagined BSG, which is why they should have paid Ron Moore whatever he wanted to run Enterprise). Bannon and Berman stuck to the same formula, kept total creative control to themselves, and put forward bland stories that were uninspiring, including that entire "temporal cold war" garbage that just didn't work. I don't blame the actors, they did what they could with the very weak scripts they were given. That's not to say they didn't produce some great stories. Dear Doctor from Season 1 was terrific, as was Cogenitor from Season 2. Season 3 had promise given it's storyline thread, and they produced 3 episodes in a row that were amazing: Azati Prime, Damage, and The Forgotten. The season ended on stupid note, with alien Nazi officers, and Season 4 started off with that terrible storyline. The rest of Season 4 had promise, as they were FINALLY telling stories about how the UFP was eventually founded. But it was too little too late, and they lost much of their audience. Berman blamed UPN, stating fans couldn't find the show. News flash for Ricky: 12.5 million viewers watched the pilot!!!

Now we have Star Trek: Discovery! Would I have preferred that a prequel take place 10 years after Enterprise, to tell stories about the early years of the UFP? Absolutely! But they made the choice they did, and I accept that. As for the first 3 episodes, I agree with Jammer, 3 starts across the board. This series has a lot of promise. I don't buy this notion that it's "not Star Trek". They said the same thing about DS9. I like the direction they are taking the storyline, and I think Michael will be an interesting character as she deals with the ramifications of her decisions while working with this crew on the new Discovery. Let's give it a chance and see where it goes!
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Shannon
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

I really enjoyed this episode, and the direction the writers are taking the storyline. Everything isn't so black and white in life, as prior Star Trek series have made it seem. Gene Roddenberry saw life in the future that way, with perfect humans that didn't have any internal conflict. That may have played well in the past, but I love this re-imagined new direction. Feels a lot like BSG and the amazing direction that Ron Moore took that franchise... For those of you hating on this episode and saying things like "this isn't start trek", what the hell do you want? Would you prefer Star Trek: Enterprise, with it's dull writing, bad casting, and even worse acting? Or perhaps Star Trek: Voyager and it's infamous reset button? Embrace the new direction and give it a chance. Or raise the capital and start your own show if you think you know so much better.
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Shannon
Sun, Sep 24, 2017, 10:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Better than I thought it would be, but I will reserve judgement until we are at least 5 episodes into the series (I watched the pilot and the second episode ). Let's not forget, folks, that as great as TNG turned out to be, it started out with the blah Encounter at Farpoint, the just okay The Naked Now, and the beyond abysmal made me want to vomit Code of Honor. In fact, Season 1 only had a handful of episodes that were good. It really wasn't until Season 2 that the show found its legs and started telling some pretty great stories, like The Measure of a Man... This new series definitely has potential, and we have yet to see the main cast on Discovery. The special effects are terrific, but as Patrick Stewart once said, the key to Star Trek is telling a good story. The jury is out, but I'm hopeful this prequel delivers.
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Shannon
Wed, Dec 14, 2016, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Blood on the Scales

I never could stand Gaeta, and seeing how bitter and disillusioned he became over the past few episodes just confirmed how much I have always loathed that character. That he couldn't see Zarek for the tyrant-in-waiting that he was is also a testament to how pathetic Felix was... My only criticism is not actually seeing these two pieces of crap actually getting executed. I very much looked forward to that scene, but the director thought otherwise. Good riddance anyway.
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Shannon
Thu, Dec 8, 2016, 7:51am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: The Eye of Jupiter

Jammer, I agree that the storyline with Helo and Sharon was a surprise and it's quite fascinating. One correction, this was Roslin's doing. You mentioned that this was coming back to bite Roslin and Adams for the deception they created, but Adams had nothing to do with it. Roslin ordered Coddle to fake the death, and when Adaman confronts her and she reveals the truth, you can see by the look on his face that he is really pissed off, given the trust that he and Sharon have developed over the past year.
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Shannon
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 1:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part I

I can't believe everyone brings up all the time time travel episodes and comparisons and completely forgets the best time travel episode of all "City on the Edge of Forever". I remember watching that on TV as a kid and thinking it was the coolest episode ever. Still one of my top ten out of them all.
Kirk explains Spocks as obviously Chinese and his pointed ears the result of getting his head caught in a automatic rice picker when he was a child. :)
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Shannon
Thu, Dec 17, 2015, 11:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

Totally agree with your review Jammer, spot on! This was a great character episode for Neelix, and Ethan Phillips was definitely up to the task. I am a little puzzled by your only giving it 3 stars. From what I can tell, you really liked this episode and had very few negatives to point out. I would have given it 3.5 stars, perhaps even 4. Thought-provoking stories that are brilliantly written and acted are what Star Trek is all about, and this one ranks right up there with the best of Trek.
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Shannon
Fri, Dec 11, 2015, 10:53am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Real Life

A good episode for sure, and 100% carried by Picardo's performance. But I didn't see the need to kill off his daughter in the program. The whole point was to teach him what having a real life family was like, and hopefully this kind of tragedy will be an extremely rare event 350 years from now. I think the plot could have accomplished its goal without breaking the Doc's heart at the end. A well acted scene nonetheless, and brought tears to my eyes. Just didn't think it was necessary... Agree with Jammer on this one, 3 stars.
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Shannon
Tue, Dec 8, 2015, 10:39am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Rise

I don't have a problem with the space tether, as it's a concept being explored right now as a viable means of moving cargo (and potentially people) to and from the International Space Station. And I didn't mind the Tuvok/Neelix dynamic that was unfolding. But I must agree, this was one of the worst directed episodes of Voyager ever. Braga's teleplay was okay, but Sheerer's directing was awful. The guest actors were terrible, the plot movement was choppy, and I never felt engaged with the story. Could have been so much better, but the production was so bad I'd give it just one star.
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Shannon
Tue, Dec 1, 2015, 10:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

I actually liked this episode, and appreciate Brannon Braga's attempt to do something rather unique. It was suspenseful, but at times dragged on just a bit. I thought Mulgrew was terrific, and the action appropriate. I'd give it 3 stars... And Jammer, lighten up just a bit. Star Trek doesn't always have to be so cerebral.
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Shannon
Sat, Nov 28, 2015, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Remember

Absolutely brilliant episode, 4 stars all the way! Voyager was at its best when great writing, directing, and acting all came together to, as Patrick Stewart always used to say, "tell a good story". Roxanne Dawson is amazing, and I only wish the writers could have found more ways to show her amazing range of acting.
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Shannon
Sun, Nov 15, 2015, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

Completely disagree with you, Jammer. This was a great episode, one of the better Tuvok pieces in the whole Voyager canon. I loved that it was a bit of a mystery until the last 5 minutes, and the writers were careful to avoid the gratuituous phaser fire between the shuttles. Great character piece, and a very touching ending. 3.5 stars easily!
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Shannon
Fri, Nov 6, 2015, 11:05am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Resistance

Unquestionably the best episode of Voyager up to this point in the series. 4 stars for me... Not understanding some of the criticism shown here in the posts. You can quote the "Piller Rule" all you want, but Patrick Stewart said it best: "Star Trek is at its finest when it tells a good story." Well this was a great story, relatable, sufficient action but not too much, and a wonderful understated drama between Janeway and the old man. Agree with Jammer, Joel was one of the best guest actors to appear on the show, and Mulgrew put on one of her best performances. Loved it!
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Shannon
Tue, Sep 22, 2015, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Friendship One

I liked the premise of this episode, but there is a huge plot issue here. How did a probe from 2067, traveling presumably at Warp 1, perhaps 1.5, travel 30,000 light years in 150 years? At 1.5 according to Trek Tech it would take 10,000 years to travel that distance, yet somehow this probe made it all the way out there in an inexplicable amount of time. Let me guess, the magic wormhole! But as far as the story goes, I liked the idea but agree with Jammer that the alien leader was most illogical... 2 stars.
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Shannon
Sun, Sep 20, 2015, 11:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

Brilliant! One of Voyager's finest episodes. Totally agree, this is 4 stars all around, and it was nice to see the writers involve all of the characters. Loved it!
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Shannon
Sun, Sep 20, 2015, 9:52am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Workforce

Excellent two-part episode, well written, acted, and directed. Agree with Jammer, it plays out like a good L&O episode, which is high praise. I would have given 4 stars to part 1 and 3.5 stars to part 2, as I would have preferred a slightly more powerful ending instead of the usual "reset" button where all is well again. But overall, this is one of Voyager's finest moments, and I was glad to see that even in the 7th and final season, the writers were able to come up with fresh ideas.
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Shannon
Thu, Sep 17, 2015, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Repentance

I have to disagree, I thought the episode was very preachy. To make their point that the death penalty is wrong, the writers twisted the plot to fit their agenda. Oh look at how the mighty nanoprobes reconfigured this guy's brain, and now he's a saint. Picardo was way over-the-top, and I'm getting tired of the Seven Feels Guilty (TM) plot device. I did like Janeway's restraint, and her adherence to the Prime Directive. It's not our place to tell other cultures how to punish their criminals... For the record, I'm for the death penalty in extreme cases where the evidence is overwhelming... I would have given this episode 2.5 stars. Good concept, but it was too one-sided.
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Shannon
Thu, Sep 17, 2015, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

Fantastic character episode, easily 4 stars for me. Another example of great writing, acting, and directing all coming together to form one of Season 7's best episodes. I loved how there was no senseless B-story, which allowed the plot to focus solely on B'Elanna and Tom. Some have complained there was no sci-fi, which is a ridiculous argument. Genetic manipulation of a fetus was in its infancy when this show aired, and now in 2015 it's a reality that has sparked a great moral debate. That's what Star Trek does when at its best, tells a great story and makes you think deeply about an issue we are dealing with today.
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Shannon
Thu, Sep 17, 2015, 9:09am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Shattered

I liked this episode, and Jammer, you are being a bit too harsh. Stop trying to make scientific sense out of Star Trek technology. Warp Drive may be a reality some day, but probably 1,000 years from now, not in the year 2063. And what about the transporters? That is a virtual impossibility, and if it ever comes true we're talking 10,000 years down the road... I thought this episode was a very unique way to do a time shattering story, and the whole point was the conversation in the turbo lift towards the end, which you at least acknowledged. It's a reminder to us that despite Janeway's guilt over stranding everyone in the Delta quandrant, there have been far more postives than negatives, as Chakotay reminded all of us. 3 stars for me!
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Shannon
Wed, Sep 16, 2015, 7:50am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Body and Soul

Great episode! Ryan and Picardo are clearly the stars of this show, and that's a combination of great acting coupled with very interesting characters... 3.5 stars for me!
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Shannon
Thu, Sep 10, 2015, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

This episode wasn't as bad as you're making it out to be. Part of the problem here is that the writers and producers never gave Kes much character development in the first place, so seeing this flip side of her seemed a bit disingenuous. I liked the idea of her coming back, but would have chosen something different. Still think this is a 2, maybe 2.5 star episode... They all can't be great. But hey, Star Trek is like sex, even when it's bad, it's still pretty good.
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Shannon
Wed, Sep 9, 2015, 10:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Muse

I loved this episode, easily 4 stars IMO. Menosky is a great writer, and he clearly was trying to make a point with this script, in that today's audiences don't want intellectual, make-you-think stories, they just want to see phasers, torpedos, running fire fights, and as Jammer says, stuff getting blowed up. I enjoy action scenes as well, but only when they serve the plot, not run over the plot... Enterprise needed more stories like this, instead of the nonsense that Berman and Braga kept writing.
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