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Greattrekker
Thu, Dec 22, 2016, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Once More Unto the Breach

In the end, Kor went out with a lot of class and gusto as a TOS alum and he actually got a mythic end.

I think Klingon stories are good, maybe overdone by the time of DS9 after decades with TOS/TNG/DS9's Klingon war arc. This is a Star Trek species of warriors with both brutality and nobility, like an ancient Greek myth. In terms of the overall story arc, I like how they handled it. Yes, there were faults, but nothing too severe and I appreciate less big CGI action instead a subtle and silent in Klingon terms memorial to Kor.

9/10

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Greattrekker
Tue, Dec 20, 2016, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

To me this episode is probably my favorite of DS9, including the Episode In the Pale Moonlight.

It's true science fiction, an imaginative plot, and a love story that defies convention and even fate. Odo's love for Kira is poignant and potent, just like Kirk's love from the TOS episode "City on the Edge of Forever", but unlike Kirk, Odo does not have a cold logical Vulcan friend to keep him from making a morally dubious choice.

In that way, I think DS9 answered Harlan Ellison's classic with its own classic that reverses and parallels the issue of fate and love in time travel. However, DS9 showed that its voice is not as utopian and "greater good driven" as TOS, the voice of DS9 is a human story set in an alien cultural intersection.

10/10
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Greattrekker
Sat, Dec 17, 2016, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Scorpion, Part I

Species 8472 had a good intro that just were never followed through sadly

As an intro, this episode served Voyager well, I'd have preferred Ensign Kim to actually die off (gives viewers a bit more stake and hatred for the new villain to kill a core cast member).

The planet killer, "cough" Babylon 5 "cough", was a good piece of imagery to demonstrate the power of these new aliens.
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Greattrekker
Sat, Dec 17, 2016, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

@Muninn

Completely agree that this episode is for the Cynics like Year of Hell Part 1

Voyager should have tragic baggage, after all those years of space battles, mind control, and borg attacks, people died non-stop. the ship should be a grim graveyard to remember those we have lost and serve to inspire those that remain.

Of course, I am also a fan of the Walking Dead, which take this bleakness to a whole new level that most commentators on the site would likely be less inclined to favor.
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Greattrekker
Sat, Dec 17, 2016, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Remember

@Yanks,

When you stare into the darkness, make sure it does not stare back at you.

This episode of Star Trek represents what happens to society in denial of itself and its reality. None of the elders in the Enaran delegation wanted to accept that the price of their progress was mass murder or genocide, but hope it would slip through as a forgotten footnote of history. As a parable, not only can it apply to Germans and Japan during World War II, it can be applied just as harshly to United States with the extermination of Native Americans or United Kingdom in its desire for a global empire.

Also, I never doubted Trump could win and my politics is conservative (but not populist). I do believe in stronger border security, tighter controls against Islamic extremism, and stronger military. Yet, I don't favor outcasting certain groups, religious, or philosophical groups, despite deeply disagreeing with liberals on economic and security issues, I would not have it any other way as a check and balance is what make America great, rather than uniform society.

My interpretation of Star Trek is that even in the best future for humanity and other alien worlds out there, we all still retain certain philosophical and ideologicl differences based on our positions and our choices, i.e. Civilian scientists will hold different views to Starfleet officer versus Maquis Farmer/rebels.

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Trekker
Sat, Oct 1, 2016, 5:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

This is a classic episode and deserves full marks for good reason, a true original that open the doors to many other stories down the line.

Most people don't read the novels post TNG/DS9/VOY, but I like the take on the Borg, except for Voyager novel with Janeway's stupid death.

Q is actually trying to help humanity in this initial encounter, giving the Enterprise a clear first contact with the Borg, not in our own backyard, but in the Delta Quadrant itself. It's semantics, but it could have been the key factor for why the Borg invasion did not occur earlier in Season 2/3 and it gave people like Commander Shelby a chance to prepare along with others in Starfleet, I wonder what Section 31 would have done at the last moment if the Enterprise didn't stop the cube in BoBw-2 (probably throw out a planet killer to take on the cube or launch a protomatter bomb).

Also to address an interesting discussion from years back on this blog, the novels explained a reason why Q do not judge theBorg in the same way they do other species. In the Novel series Canon, Destiny Series, the Borg originated from a species called the Caeliar, who have mastered the control of Omega molecules, the very essence of what created the universe itself. Basically, we're talking God-Like equivalent species, so the Q Continuum would not have oversight over another advanced civilization's messes, they got their screw ups and others have their problems. The Q, specifically De Lancie's Q and maybe even Graham Q from Voy Death Wish, though are guiding mankind on a path and destiny towards some kind of future, potentially to the same state of evolutionary advancement, so their interest only intersect up to a certain point as teachers.

Even the novels don't explain everything, there's a lot of guesswork in Star Trek and we can argue for eternity or into "Forever" without a clear answer as to the Borg or what Q intent was.
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Trekker
Sun, Sep 11, 2016, 7:28am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

Dougie: Well, Enterprise's final season had success by going in that direction leading, sadly unseen, to the Earth Romulan War. Romulans were always good for cloak and dagger story-lines (a familiar face with an emotional response), which I guess a sizable population enjoy along with me (*cough* Game of Thrones *cough*).

As for other species, I really wish the Gorns would be seen again (Lizard suits aside :P ) as TNG and onward does not mention them again.

The Gorn probably are a shoe-in for re-introduction, they need a better backstory and Lizard people are under-represented.
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Trekker
Sat, Sep 10, 2016, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

karatasiospa, you're right Menagerie was the Trial Episode with Pike in a wheelchair.

The Cage, the original pilot, was the one where Pike was Captain, 10 years before Kirk.

Balance of Terror, eh...really:

Maybe the development of Plasma Torpedoes, or the Earth Outposts along the Neutral Zone, maybe even the reason why the Romulans crossed the Neutral Zone after 100 years of silence.

I would love to some more Vulcan/Romulan intrigue being built up.
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Trekker
Tue, Sep 6, 2016, 11:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

Tin Man-

I agree that intervention is necessary sometimes, but it is haphazard.

World War II is the best example of US intervention for a positive cause, but recent history has shown that intervention may not always lead to positive outcomes.

I won't even go into the quagmire issues of Iraq, which is well documented by groups of both sides of Liberal and Conservative factions as a mistake (Blame Obama or Bush more, it's still the same war).

I think a perfect counter example to World War II is the Bosnian War of the late 1990's. The US prevented a genocide by Milosevic of ethnic groups, including the eastern European Muslims. We did a good thing and people thought, we just stopped Muslim Holocaust in 1995.

However, what the US and the world had not known at the time was that Pakistan's military and intelligence had been supporting Eastern European Muslims with arms and intelligence assets for geopolitical positioning. At the same time, extremist factions and terrorist groups had gained sympathizers within Pakistani government (let's be honest, Bin Laden couldn't have lived close to a decade in a well armed compound without some support within Pakistan), these terror groups in turned gained supporters and strategic assets from this victory.

IF we knew what we do now 20 years after the Bosnian war, ask yourselves should we have intervened and stopped the genocide there, or allow Milosevic to remain and continue his reign to create a buffer zone between the West and the Middle East.

I am not saying it was wrong to stop mass murder, but we know that inaction could save lives as well down the road, so it's really hard to tell if intervention is right or wrong without the effects being known.

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Trekker
Tue, Sep 6, 2016, 10:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

There are other possibilities from 23rd Century:

Here's a few more:

1. Talos IV incident, a famous issue 10 years before TOS, which we only got a brief glimpse of during the trial sequence in "The Cage".
2. Another incident in the 23rd century, James T. Kirk is in Starfleet Academy in the prime timeline at this point in history and entering service as an Ensign (Now that would be sweet to see a young James T. Kirk being mentored by the main female Commander character). IT was established in TOS episode "Shore Leave".
3. IF they go back to the 2240's, not 2250's, there's an even better set up: TOS episode "The Conscience of the King", Kodos the mad Eugenics based governor of Tarsus IV could be a forefront of the arc. Also, a child age James T. Kirk can make a nice appearance as he was one of survivors of the genocide of Tarsus IV.

The name Trekker isn't a moniker, I know my Trek History pretty well even if I began in the 90's. The old series to me is dated and flawed in so many degrees, but I do pay homage to its ideas that inspired TNG, DS9, voyager, and the last season of Enterprise.

There are things we can explore from this period of Trek history, not to mention that the Enterprise and Constitution-class starships began around this period long before Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and company came into their own.
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Trekker
Tue, Sep 6, 2016, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Measure of a Man

Um....Wow, even though I understand what each of you are arguing, I am quite baffled at how far scientific and philosophical debate meanders into Quantum theory.

For me this episode was a great viewing pleasure, it touched on ethics of artificial life and the concepts of "responsible use", which is a term that is now frequently applied in the field of information technology and business for applications. Even on a technology use level, the ethics are very interesting.

Data is more than a machine or a program, but is he sentient?

If we apply the Turing tests to Data, based on famed Father of Modern Computing, Alan Turing, we may be looking at this episode in another angle.

At the start, the poker game demonstrates Data has limitations to his understanding of intuition and human behavior. It makes sense to judge him as merely a machine, not a sentient being.

Yet, Data has over this episode demonstrated self-preservation instincts and even intuitive concepts of racism. I loved the scene in Picard's ready room:

--------

Capt. Picard: Data... I understand your objections. But I have to consider Starfleet's interests. What if Commander Maddox is correct? There is a possibility that many more beings like yourself can be constructed.

Lt. Commander Data: Sir, Lieutenant La Forge's eyes are far superior to human biological eyes, true?

Capt. Picard: M-hm.

Lt. Commander Data: Then why are not all human officers required to have their eyes replaced with cybernetic implants?

[Picard considers this shortly, then looks away without giving an answer]

Lt. Commander Data: I see. It is precisely because I am *not* human.

----------

That exchange is worth the episodes labyrinth of legal arguments and philosophical issues over life and sentience, because at the very core of this episode, we can see Data is a sentient being; perhaps not yet fully capable of intuition or human answers consistently that Turing would have wanted for intelligence, but Data does demonstrate intuition and human-like associations with his current issue.

I also think in addition to all of our arguments here, we should also ask a deeper question about Star Trek's Federation and this "Brave New World". Over the decades, we have seen the problems of this galactic power from a deaf ear to humanitarian needs in the name of a Prime Directive on some occasions, then a willful abandonment of it if it is advantageous.

Has humanity really grown beyond bigotry, selfishness, and settled for peaceful exploration of the stars?

I think if anything our bigotries and selfish instincts are still very clear in the reflections of the leadership of Federation and Starfleet, not to mention all the species that composed the federation, who would prejudge a being that has served its institution as merely an asset, when the situation is more advantageous.
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Trekker
Mon, Sep 5, 2016, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

Here's Screenrant link on the name "Discovery":

screenrant.com/star-trek-discovery-title-explained-bryan-fuller/

Star Trek's new incarnation could be interesting, I've been watching Trek since the 90's and I am used to Arc stories from DS9, along with Babylon 5.

The Sheliak incident would be a likely culprit, but there are other even more dramatic incidents in Trek lore in the 23rd century aka "Omega" molecule creation., which despite what novels will tell ou did occur in the 23rd century without a real canon date. (Personally after the games, I think Omega has been overused and hope it's not in this series. Cool concept, but too overused.)
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Trekker
Mon, Sep 5, 2016, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

@Yanks:

It's the wrong categorization between communism and what happened in this episode. Liberals tend to ascribe too many ideas on sharing and mutual cooperation to Socialism and Communism, instead the terms are only true for macro-state/social systems of development rather than individual concepts. Think of this Yanks as Christian concept of "fellowship" as in classical Christian interpretation of the 12 apostles, if you want a Conservative approximation.

For me as a progressive realist, it is quite logical o share resources if the different resources can be used to reach an ultimate goal. As the basis of Industrial theory, "specialization" of labor and parts form the core concepts from which odern Civilization can trace its roots. There is nothing "commie" or socialist about it, just a reality of modern society and progress. If I grow apples worth $1.00 a bushel + have eggs worth $0.25 a dozen and you grow wheat worth $0.50 a bushel + have cows with milk worth $0.50 a gallon, but an apple pie is worth $6.00, then why shouldn't we cooperate and make apple pie.

If you believe that trade is socialism and Communism aka Trump movement of 2016, (Modern American reactions to trade and resource management are quite idiotic and simply incoherent from a Conservative perspective as well), I must say that you have no solid ground to stand on. Trade and resource allocation is not fair, it is necessary to reach our goals as a society to keep Civilization running. Some people will make more, some less, some will get promoted without merit, and other remain stagnant even with capability.

Star Trek's Federation is a socialist ideal state, there are things about it that we want to reach (Technological Singularity, Peaceful Co-existence), things that will never exist (Utopian distribution of goods/resources), and other things that are contradictory to economic form (Latinum, scarce resource allocation, social structures with human dominance).

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Trekker
Mon, Sep 5, 2016, 12:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Friendship One

Personally, 1/2 star rating for me.

I really hate this episode after watching One Small Step, then this episode you can see how hamfisted Voyager's writing became at the end. Janeway's little speech was just bad: anti-Trek, anti-space exploration, and anti-human sentiment despite mourning a dead crew member.

We also learn nothing about these aliens, surely they were around the same tech level as 20th Century Earth. They had radar and ICBMs, our theoretical physicist had already been dreaming up potential for anti-matter back then, aka where Gene Roddenberry got his idea for TOS in 1960's.

It shows a sad element in Star Trek, the tech level and physics capability of species don't match up, its a plot contrivance at its worst.
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Trekker
Mon, Sep 5, 2016, 12:01am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Repentance

In 2016, after years of Terrorist threat and countless murderous rampages in the US, is the Death Penalty issue is less about should we do it, but rather at what degree should we accept it?

This problem will be poking its head up again sooner rather than later, personally, I think the death penalty is Justified for people like Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the young Boston Marathon Bomber, or Mateen if he had lived after the rampage in Orlando.

They are threats to society, mass murderers, and ideologically motivated to their actions based on a "perception" of justice that warps the value of human life.

Does that mean I support executing every person on Death Row? No, for instance gangland killers, who killed rival gang members over territory, are a social issue, not a existential issue as Terrorism; in my view, they should be rehabilitated and reformed to perform a decent role in society. Running a drug/prostitution ring takes business sense and organizational skills, which can be used for the betterment of society.

I do believe in the death penalty, just not a panacea version.
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Trekker
Sun, Sep 4, 2016, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: One Small Step

I like it, perhaps a bit dated for modern American audiences, but it holds many strong Star Trek themes that have been lacking from Voyager. The Journey, not the destination is what makes this episode a standout.

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Trekker
Sun, Sep 4, 2016, 9:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

Agree too heavy handed, it's like watching n episode of Captain Planet (I am a 90's kid).

TNG had two major topical issue problems in the late 80's and 90's:

1. Environmental stories- flat and too obvious or too utopian/clean answers that can never happen. There are no simple answers to climate change either for believers or deniers.

a. If it is real you can't mandate the world to work together.

b. If it is not really human driven, then how can we control the weather to not drop tornadoes in our towns where they haven't happened in over 100 years. Personally, I belong to class b argument, I don't doubt issues with climate probably natural. My inclination is not to "Go Green", but to advance science and change weather patterns to suit Human life, which both Liberals and Conservatives lack in their extreme stances.

c. If you are a super-denier in climate pattern change, not just a scientific challenger on facts but a religious zealot believer in God's will (I argue more along the line that there isn't enough data to support human driven pattern, but there is enough to show periodic issues), how do you explain the European Ice age of the 19th century, which cause the Great Potato Famine among other historical events?

2. LGBT storylines- "The Host" and "Outcast" just made Star Trek out to be homophobic, while other TV shows were rising to the challenge like Alien Nation and later on Babylon 5 and even Gene Roddenberry's forgotten classic Earth Final Conflict.
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Trekker
Sun, Sep 4, 2016, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Gambit

A decent 2-part episode after re-watching this and Star Trek Enterprise.

While, they didn't do this on purpose, it does help set up the Mind Meld/psychic fears among Vulcans in 22nd century. Think about this from the pre- Kirshara and post Surak era for Vulcans, I think the episode shows off a nice backstory of melder weaponry that could have scared the Vulcans into hating this subgroup within their population. With some more exploration, and added plot, the Vulcan history could be fun in any new Star Trek series, why go into unknown species when there are mysteries of existing Trek species we have yet to explore.

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Trekker
Sat, Sep 3, 2016, 4:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast

@DLPB

Nope, Sisko is comparable to General Charles De Gaulle: headstrong, fierce, and hold popular favor among a necessary allied population

I am long winded, but that was my point about Sisko, if Churchill, Roosevelt, Montgomery, and Eisenhower couldn't get rid of De Gaulle, why would you expect the Federation to remove Sisko?
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Trekker
Sat, Sep 3, 2016, 4:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Suddenly Human

Weak episode in my mind, personally preferred how Sisko handled the situation on DS9 in "Cardassians". The Talarian war threat should have been played up more with several more ships, maybe references of build up along he border, or a plotting villain wanting to use the custody issue as a "pretense" to take some Federation colony.

If you take the two episodes side by side, you can see two different versions of Starfleet being expoused, being both a nosy-neighbor with good intentions and bad PC, or a judge of people/cultures by relative issues behind deeper issues of political/historical issues.

Picard evolves to be a better "classically moral" captain than Sisko in the same moralistic way of Kirk, but Sisko is far more realistic and far less utopian in contrast, making Sisko a better wartime leader without moral restraint as later episodes of DS9 demonstrate.
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Greattrekker
Sat, Jun 4, 2016, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast

@DLPB: I look at DS9's Dominion war in the lense that the producers wanted this to be reminiscent of World War II in terms of politics and military alliances (makes even more sense to think of the Romulans as the Soviet Union then after "Pale Moonlight" :P ).

Actually, real history has proven it can happen in real organizations and military that a military leader can be impossible to work with and impossible to remove from power, General Charles De Gaulle is probably one of the most well-documented messianic military leaders, who on many occasion disobeyed orders relayed through Allied high command. One of the most famous interchanges was between Churchill and De Gaulle in 1941:

De Gaulle: The French Believe I am their savior, a Joan of Arc
Churchill: Well, General, we had to burn the last one

Despite what Churchill or General Montgomery or General Eisenhower or even President Roosevelt felt about the man, he was the face and voice of the French people around the world. They never could remove him or replace him with anyone else, in the end, he returned to France as a liberator and became their President.

A popular leader is hard to remove and replace from power, a religious popular leader is several times harder to remove and replace. The US would love to remove the Iranian Ayatollah's who speaks about killing Americans and burning Israel to the ground, but what is stopping us after 40 years. A cruise missile strike or a drone attack in the last 3 decades could do the job easily, but removing a religious leader is incredibly polarizing and dangerous to international diplomacy with his adherents and other world powers as a precedent (The Pope might remember his history lesson, when France invaded and replaced a Pope for one that they picked, history would call this man the "Avignon Pope", most Catholics hated the french for centuries after that.)

Politics, interstellar relations, and affinities all play important roles even in Star Trek. While removing Sisko might seem easy just on military chain of command (I prefer how Captain Sheridan dealt with that in Babylon 5 "Severed Dreams", but that was a different set of circumstance), removing those that love and adhere to his leadership, his religious personage, and his influence over galactic politics, which by the way was hinted at later on in the series, is nearly impossible.

Last note of correction, DS9 is in Bajoran Space, not Federation space, while it might be a Federation outpost, it is technically a base on lease from a foreign sovereign nation in Star Trek Universe and is revocable at any time just like our own leases for military bases in the real world.
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Greattrekker
Sat, May 21, 2016, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

After seeing this again with such a long distance of time and memory, I think his is an underrated gem of Trek. I would argue that Jammer's original review might have been a bit harsh in retrospects to the story's greater narrative benefits.

When considering the story as a case study in human nature and vengeance, it is narrative similar to Moby Dick, but when applying it to our modern issues with similar issues between the problem with Islamic Terrorism and reprisal effects of Islamophobia, it's a good reflection on the reality of vengeance.

Like the Crystalline entity, Islamic fundamentalism is not understandable to us, its effects are visible though so we assume its nature is vicious, murderous, and evil at its heart. Personally, I can't dispute that and I doubt many Americans or Europeans who have seen the effects of terrorism in their own home cities not take that into account.

Yet, the beauty of Star Trek idealism is that perhaps, I mean this not as a believer in the message but an understanding viewer, we can find a common language and try to figure a way to communicate and understand each other.

However, people like Dr. Marr are no less sympatheic in their desire for vengeance. When the series of bombings occurred in Boston a few years ago and my calls could not reach my sister, I had felt of fear, dread, and hatred. In the hours before re-establishing contact, I contemplated many of the same things I think others did and as the news came in, I wanted vengeance.

As misguided as vengeance is, it is a true trait of our nature and something no matter how ideal our society becomes we can not avoid.

In this regard, I'd argue this episode deserves 3.5 stars out of 4, not perfect, but the story had the right human realities.

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Greattrekker
Sat, Apr 30, 2016, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Mind's Eye

A Brilliant episode of Trek's version of Manchurian Candidate.

Perfect pitch, perfect musical/atmospheric score, and characters were fun to watch from Worf's subtle discomfort to Geordi's brainwashing. When I saw this on syndication in the late 90's as a kid, I did not know as much about movies and films as I do now, but I was mesmerized and could not forget this episodes direction.

I do agree though, like inner light, I really wish Geordi's mental reprogramming could have been slowly resolved over a longer arc over the next few seasons to show this episodes impact like Picard's later encounter with the alien memorial.

Still as an episode it deserves 9/10 for sure.
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Greattrekker
Sun, Apr 24, 2016, 1:30am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Babel One

For the advanced tech, my thought is simple: the space station where Enterprise had automated repairs had all these advanced technologies, plus some more from near 24th century level.

I am hoping that recent novels will explore the technology more in-depth with what they call the "Ware" in the "Rise of the Federation" series of novels. If the Romulans had done a deal to build ships with similar technology with the race that helped create the automated stations, it would explain the advanced drone ships.
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Greattrekker
Sun, Apr 24, 2016, 12:56am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Kir'Shara

If this show had continued, I hoped it would have done what the novels are now doing. If you the ENT novels "Rise of the Federation" and "Romulan War", it explains away a lot of things.

According to the novels, V'Las was Romulan deep cover agent, he wasn't even Vulcan to begin with. Archer does mellow out with some vulcan mindscaping thanks to Surak's Katra.

As for the Romulans and their method of waging wars, quite ingenious parallel to our modern use of Drone warfare instead of actual troops. If that were continued, it could have been a nice Trekkian social commentary on the unwise nature of inhuman warfare.
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