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Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 5:08am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sons and Daughters

If Dukat is now the leader of Cardassia, why is he living on DS9/Terok Nor? Shouldn't he be ON Cardassia?

Why would Alexander be such a physically small Klingon? Worf is certainly a large Klingon, and his mother K'Ehleyr was a tall human/Klingon hybrid.

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Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 3:15am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

william b,

You're right that I did miss Lal. I forgot about her. But I also said that i was crossing off all the children.

Children aren't independent actors. Lal wasn't independent. She made no decisions for herself. She existed to follow Data around, adore him, emote, die and tug at our heartstrings. It was Data who made all the decisions - to create her, to let her go.

You're also right that I left off Yar and Garrett. I explained that too. I left off the guests who were part of ensemble casts.

I left off Yar's love interest, and Yuta, and everyone on Yuta's planet, every Klingon, every Ferengi, the Home Soil scientists, etc. I really didn't want the job of combing through ensemble casts and deciding who gets included and who doesn't. Way too boring.

But your comments miss my main point by a mile, in favor of nitpicking. I certainly did not set out to make an exhaustive list of every female and male guest star. I set out to show people - those of you who care to think about it - why Captain's Holiday is so important to me. (Clearly, no one else feels like I do - some love it, some hate it, but everyone who loves it calls it "a light romp." whereas to me it was way way better than that.)

I've liked your comments many times in the past, so I'm going to assume your comments stem from missing my point innocently, and that you're not deliberately picking a nit because you're defensive about TNG's sexism. So, in good faith, here's the short version of my first post.


Growing up, I was strong and adventurous. While I loved action and adventure on TV and in books and movies, I was constantly enraged by the female characters. At best they were nonexistent. If they existed, they were never equal to the males. They were narrow stereotypes: they mothered or preened or worried; they were noble princesses or got rescued or played the obedient sidekick or the devoted wife. They were never the hero. They bedded the hero and married him, though, if they were lucky.

I thought TNG was going to be different. It wasn't. The vast majority of episodes showed interesting, strong males doing things I loved - fighting, fixing stuff, leading away teams, taking risks, making command decisions, often being vulnerable and flawed as well. When females showed up, they were mostly just there to say "Captain, I sense great pain!" and "My husband is a brilliant man" and, "Um, is that the same thing as a cosmic string?" and "He's my patient and I must stand around in Sickbay waving a wand over him to protect him," and "Sniffle, I'm crying - I'm crying on the bridge!" They completely failed to ever fight, fix stuff, lead awayteams, take risks, or make command decisions.

(They all had children, though. They all found time for that. )

So TNG constantly insulted me and rubbed salt in my feminist wounds.

the Keylahr ep,
the Vash ep,
and the Ensign Ro ep

were three hours that filled me with joy. The featured independent women who were the focal point of their episodes, had strong opinions, did stuff, thought stuff, and were not on the show just to be someone's mother, caretaker, sidekick, follower, or girlfriend.

Three is precious little, but it's better than zero. And when you're accustomed to zero, getting even three transient characters you love - in four years - feels great.

And that's why I love Captain's Holiday.

Make sense, this time?

Please: no nitpicking in response :)
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William B
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 12:30am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Of course, one could read Lal as a "weak" character. I suppose we could say that it is sexism storytelling that she essentially dies by having too many feelings. I don't want to argue against whathe you say in general. But I feel like many fans of both genders identify readily with Lal, especially as children, but also as adults who still bravely face a world they are unprepared for, which, more importantly, is not ready for them. (I am including myself here, while male.)

The other guest stars in s3 which are significant also Tasha again and captain Garret in Yesterday's Enterprise, Shelby who is very important in the finale and is meant to be Riker's rival and near-equivalent. They are action heroes, stars in some of the series' most beloved episodes. The other important female guest stars, I will grant, are love interests, and not very well developed ones (the woman in the Ensigns of Command who falls for Data, the hologram of Leah Brahms, Yuta, etc.).
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Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 12:27am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: The Q and the Grey

Any Voyager Q episode that doesn't begin with Janeway and every other member of the crew getting on their knees and begging Q to tell them what they can do for him so that he'll send them home is a nonstarter. Doesn't matter what happens in the rest of the episode. I just can't watch an episode where every character suddenly forgets their number 1 motivation. By the way, we all know Kirk would have had sex with Q in exchange for a ride home, if he were stuck in the gamma quadrant and Q came a courtin'. Not sure about Picard.
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William B
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 12:17am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

...which isn't to say you have to like her. But certainly, she is a guest star who matters, in an episode beloved by many fans (see Peter G.'s excellent recent comment), and while partly a way to tell a story about Data, Picardy and the Federation, I think she is memorable and poignant in her own right.
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William B
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 12:13am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

@Tara, while there are a dearth of important female guest stars, I would put Lal from s3 as one of the most memorable one-episode characters in the series.
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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 11:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

I love it. Let me count the ways.

First: it's unique. How many plots are "Race the clock! The ship's in jeopardy!" (Or permutations: it's a crew member in jeopardy, or an alien civilization in jeopardy, etc.). How many episodes are Diplomatic Troubles with Argumentative and Sketchy Aliens. How many more are Medical Crisis of the Month. There's nothing wrong with those - in fact I mostly like them, because I mostly like TNG . But thank goodness for the refreshingly one-of-a-kind plots: this one, Face of the Enemy, Chain of Command, etc.

Second: It's a fun character study for Picard. For once he's not captaining or diplomatting. You might argue that he'd never go to Rysa or get in trouble; oh no - he'd go to a conference about the Tox Utat, which would be held someplace very dull, and then he'd go to a library to study old maps looking for clues to its whereabouts. Yeah, I'm really glad they didn't make me watch an hour of *that* Captain's Holiday.

Third: it's fun, it's funny, it's cute. C'mon. There's joking and bickering and hijinks and Picard being kind of snarky.

Fourth: Vash.

Here's a pop quiz: How many episodes up to this point have featured a major female guest star? (That is, one who isn't part of an ensemble group of aliens or scientists or visiting dignitaries. One who stands out as memorable and individual.)

Geek alert! I already checked.

In season one, there's "We'll Always Have Paris." It's about brilliant Professor Mannheim. Brilliant Mannheim has a wifey. She once dated Picard. Wifey; ex-girlfriend. That's what she is. That's why she exists.

Season two: We meet the assistant to Ira Graves. Like Mrs Mannheim she's the devoted sidekick to a brilliant man. She talks about the brilliant man a lot. She's a love interest. She calls for help and looks moonily out of windows. There's also a royal girl (The Dauphin) who exists to be a crush for Wesley. There's an alien girl (Pen Pal) who's about eight. There's Lwaxana Troi, unfortunately. And there's Kehylahr.

Season three: There's.... none. Yes. Until Captain's Holiday, there are no female guest stars who matter.

Here are the major male guest stars:

Season one: Q. Traveler. Q. Lore. The Betazoid love interest in Haven. The old mediator who takes youth serum in "Too short a season." Remmick investigating the crew. Remmick, second time around. Brilliant Professor Mannheim, who's got the aforementioned wifey doting so very very hard at his side.

Season two. The roguish Okona. The deaf mediator. The brilliant and hilarious scientist Ira Graves, who lives on Graves's Moon and chases skirts. There's Riker's dad. And there's Q again.

Season three: Q again. That orphan boy (The Bonding). A Romulan who kidnaps Geordi. A sketchy mediator who has a love affair with Troi. The noble and tragic Romulan defector. The hopped-up super-soldier who longs to go home.

Now set aside all the children, all the passive sidekicks, and all the sappy people who exist only as love interests.

On the male side, what's left is at least eighteen episodes with strong male guests who are independent and interesting and have jobs and do stuff.

And on the female side.... there's Kehylar.

(Since we're talking about guest stars here, I'm leaving out the alien-ensemble shows. Some (Justice, When the Bough Breaks, Angel One, Code of Honor) have males and females mixed. But all the Klingon shows and all the Ferengi shows are male-only. So let's leave those out because eighteen to one is bad enough.)

So: In over two and half seasons, we've seen one female guest character who was independent and, yknow, actually did stuff.

Sometimes I wonder: if you're a guy who watched as a kid, did you imagine yourself in the shoes of Picard or Riker or Wesley, or maybe the damaged super-soldier or the noble Romulan defector or the bright but awkward Barclay?

I did that. I slid myself into roles all the time, but I did it in secret. Secretly, I was the twin sister of Airwolf's morose, cello-playing pilot, and we flew missions together and saved each other from evil nemeses. I was, unbenownst to all, the secret fifth member of the A-Team; I was really good at building stuff during the musical montages. I was also Indiana Jones's best friend and wingman (wingwoman?) - good with ropes and knife-fights and foreign languages and the occasional seduction of dangerous but worthy men in exotic lands. (I certainly wasn't the girl love interest who's only involved because her father was the hero's mentor, and she's the hero's bitter dumped never-gonna-get-over-it ex-gf. What a humiliating and submissive backstory.)

I was a teenager when the TNG pilot aired. I didn't watch much TV and I liked action not scifi - but I made a point of staying home to watch it. Guess why! I'd read an article about the characters and I'd seen a photo of the crew. The chief of security was a sexy but boyish female. That sounded like a job that required muscle and action. Tasha Yar was also a survivor of a vaguely abusive childhood. Tasha Yar was going to be the female character I'd been waiting for all my life. I just knew she'd be some combo of tough, physical, flawed, commanding, vulnerable, kick-ass. She'd be a beloved member of a heroic crew. And I was going to watch every damn minute of her.

Yeah, well. They invented a character I could have loved. Then they made her cry and get kidnapped and have a staged catfight and get ogled by Ferengi. Then they pushed her into the background. Then they killed her off. Thanks for that.

I kept watching, because even though simpering Troi and boring Beverley and saintly Wesley drove me nuts, I liked everybody else: the ones who did stuff, solved problems, were daring, saved the day in the nick of time. The guys. I liked them.

But after a year and a half, I saw myself once: in Keylahr.

And after waiting another year, I saw myself once again: in Vash.

It was probably another year before I saw myself a third time: in Ensign Ro.

So, what do I think of Captain's Holiday? It's great, because it showed me something I desperately wanted to see. Something rarer in film or TV at that time, than the Tox Utat.
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Walter E. Gough
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 9:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

Worth noting, when this episode first aired, it seemed (pardon the expression) light years beyond the original Star Trek. Everything about the "new" Enterprise was bigger, better, more plush (wood trim on the bridge horseshoe) than the old formica-laden ship. But that old 1701 was the Enterprise we'd all fallen in love with, without which there would have been no 1701-D.

So that moment when Scotty (Scotty!) recreates the old bridge which we'd not seen in a new contex for about two decades was pretty special, at least to me.

Scotty and PIcard talking shop on the Constitution-class Enterprise. Loved it then. Still love it now.
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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 8:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

"These questions put 'Doctor Beverly' through the ringer in fairly interesting fashion"

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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 7:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Day of Honor

The Cataati remind me of the first (and only) time I decided to give some money to a beggar. I handed him $10, and he smiled all over. When I started to walk away, he grabbed my arm and wanted more money. When I told him I didn't have any more cash on me (truth), he grabbed my jacket sleeve and yanked on it. I told him he couldn't have my jacket, and then he started yelling angrily. When I turned around to walk away, he spat at me.

Watching this episode was a trip down memory lane. The Cataati ask for help, singing the Voyager crew's praises, but then they return and ask for more. And more. And when they can't have more, they start making demands, and then they become hostile.

I sympathize with them, but this episode lacked some much needed Janeway toughness. The ending felt... Anticlimactic. Like the Vidiian storyline. The show is essentially promoting pacifism at this point. Roll with the blows, and whatever you do, don't stand up for yourself. Seems to be the Voyager motto.
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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 6:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

I think the writers wasted much of the potential of the Borg, but they're still great villains for me. They frighten me in a way that the Romulans and Cardassians never could.
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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 5:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Kir'Shara

If T'Pau was able to cure T'Pol's Panar Syndrome with a "corrective" mind meld, couldn't the sympathetic Vulcan doctor from "Stigma" two years ago have cured T'Pol too?
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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 5:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

So I guess what I am saying - wordily - is that I did like the mystery/suspense and ship-in-jeopardy aspects but I think an opportunity was missed to make it a better-realized character show:

Picard is responsible for the safety of a thousand people, and yeah he's used to that, but he knows what's at stake. This is his worst nightmare: he has lost his ship. He has screwed up and all these people who trusted him are dead. In thenother Picard, he sees in front of him the self he is most afraid of: himself as a failure ,the captain who Made the wrong call and let everyone down. Worse still, he somehow saved his own neck while getting all the others killed! He should be looking at future-Picard with horror, thinking "What kind of man am I? Did I lose my nerve? Did I lose my mind? Is my great career about to end in disgrace and horrific tragedy six hours from now?"


But instead we end up getting superchill always-right Picard again. Which isn't terrible but isn't anything new.
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Ferdinand Cesarano
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 5:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Faces

The performance of Roxann Dawson in this episode was nothing short of remarkable.

Each of the two halves of B'Elanna was a distinct character; and each of those characters had her own personality. Yet each was recognisable as something that we see in B'Elanna normally. 

Not only did Dawson affect different (yet recognisably B'Elanna-ish) speech patterns for the two halves of B'Elanna, but her gait and her body language were different for each character. 

On the question of body language, particularly interesting were her hands. B'Elanna's normal hand gestures are authoritative.  But the hand gestures of human-only B'Elanna were noticeably dainty.  I marvelled at the subtlety.  That kind of control of her body was a breathtaking display of an actor's talent.
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Latex Zebra
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 4:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: A Matter of Honor

lol - Yeah, I'd pay to see that.
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Ferdinand Cesarano
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 4:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

I enjoyed this episode tremendously. The nuanced portrayal of the people on the planet -- sympathetic overall, but not without areas for critique -- was an example of excellent storytelling. Each viewer is left to decide whether and to what degree the actions of this "new collective" were appropriate.

I don't mind techno-babble or medico-babble one bit; and I find the constant mention of this as a negative to be wrong-headed. The slinging of jargon promotes the suspension of disbelief, and helps the viewer buy into the scenes.

The only quibble that I have with the episode is with the scenes on the powered-down Borg cube. If there was no power on that ship, there should have been no life support or gravity. So the away teams should have had to wear space suits and magnetic boots.

But, even with that flaw, this episode delivered.
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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 4:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Move Along Home

Gag me.
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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 4:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Stigma

It was a strange idea in the teaser to have Phlox be just a disembodied voice offscreen. There seemed to be no reason for it at all.
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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 4:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Darkling

This show highlights my love hate relationship with holograms on Star Trek. It is pretty clear that holograms can easily become sentient. Literally all you have to do is add some additional sub routines and boost some of their mental attributes. This is shown in Prof Moroarty, the doctor, the holograms that the Hirogen enhance. And yet they ALL very easily turn evil. As a side note it does beg the question: during the dominion war Or borg battles why doesn't the Federation create a fleet of hologram ships?
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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 4:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

I think the one collective member's comments about how thrilling it was to have a new mind (Chakotay's) in the collective is very telling. Clearly there is a euphoric feeling one gets from being linked. And the more minds the better. So I can see them begin to absorb new minds as time goes on, perhaps voluntarily at first, but soon aggressively (in fact if you think about it they forced some of the people on the planet to join the new collective). The only chance that they have is if they do not have access to the tech needed to link new minds and succeeding generations will be raised as normal individuals.
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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 3:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Corbomite Maneuver

Not a huge fan of this episode as I found it dragged on, very slow paced. All the bluffing etc. is an interesting plot that shows another side of Kirk's command abilities. Yes, it's good to see the intent and actions of Kirk as he shows his peaceful nature when Bailey is more inclined to jump to aggressive action.
Bailey is a central figure here and adds a needed human element to the countdown to destruction. It's fine if Kirk wants to let him return to his position given that he sees the situation as hopeless (before his bluff).
I haven't seen this episode since I was a kid in the 80's - somehow I don't think I feel differently now about it than I did then.
Just as a comparison, "Balance of Terror" later in Season 1 does a better job of the tension.
If Balok is actually looking for some type of interaction with another species, he does go about it in an odd way. He could have announced peaceful intentions at first, but then we wouldn't have an episode.
For me, 2/4 stars.
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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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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 1:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

I love anything Ro, but even I cringed at the bed-jumping scene. The final coloring scene was kinda sweet though.

I love the comment above that the episode is geared at young fans, who probably universally love it. That's something I'd never thought of.

I still find myself wishing they'd done a very different episode, one that explores the childhoods of the characters. Imagine the four on a shuttle, getting de-aged to sixteen or so- then crash-landing or finding themselves in jeopardy. Except they wouldn't be adult selves in teen bodies, but their actual long-gone teen selves, now all strangers to each other but having to work together to survive.

Ro would be the angry loner bent on personal survival (who is mevertheless useful because she knows how to fight and hide and make weapons from sticks and shoelaces), Picard the young guy with leadership qualities (but he drives away the others by being bossy and arrogant, as his brother says in "Family").. Guinan could be-- who knows, but child el-aurians are surely interesting, and the fourth person could maybe be an interesting surprise: Keiko or Beverley or Miles as a kid with unexpected problems.

But alas. Bed-jumping is what we got.

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Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 1:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Bound

After so many years watching the series again and this awful episode I must say, thank god that this ENT show was cancelled. I am sorry for the actors as they tried, but fell victim to the writer and showmaker.
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Jason R.
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 1:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

Robert, you make alot of good points. I do recall reading about an interview with Whoopie Goldberg where she made this comment to the effect of (paraphrasing) "Look Ma, there's a coloured woman on TV and she aib't no maid!"

One should not lose sight of how progressive Star Trek could be for its time. For a man born in the 1920's, Gene deserved much credit, even if he fell short sometimes.

As for STNG, I have to say that I didn't (and still don't) find much that is overtly sexist about it. Troi's inclusion (and her clothing) was no doubt partly to cater to prurient sentiments, but given that she sat to the Captain's left on the bridge (and given the apparent reverence shown to her role as counsellor and the time devoted to her character in season 1) I'd say that's a mixed bag at worst. Women were shown to have high ranks in the command staff (Chief medical officer, head of security, counsellor) and were not relegated to lowly roles. Tasha never wore a miniskirt, nor did Dr. Crusher.

Regarding Tasha crying - I hate to break it to you, but women do seem to cry more readily than men. That's been my experience anyway. In a 21st Century context, you may not like it or you may wish it weren't so, but it is. Now maybe that's a cultural thing that should resolve in a truly equal society - but maybe not. Believing the sexes to be equal is not the same as believing them to be *the same*, not in the 21st century or the 24th. Unlike in TOS the Next Gen era shows always espoused equality of the sexes period full stop even if some of the aesthetic choices could be taken as sexist from a certain point of view.

Actually one of the few things I enjoyed about this episode was Riker's scenes concerning the matriarchy. He isn't threatened by powerful women at all. I thought this was intriguing and speaks to how different Riker is than the typical alpha male womanizer. As I interpret it, Riker's attitude reflects a post feminist outlook. He doesn't feel threatened because the battle of the sexes was never a factor in his universe. His response is much like Uhura's to Lincoln's comment in the Savage Curtain. It's as if to say: "why would I be offended?" It is one of bemusement and curiosity. This is not personal to him.

Incidentally, I also find it amusing how many people take Riker to task for daring to have sex with a head of state. But maybe sex isn't such a big deal for 24th century humans? Maybe for Riker sex is no more a big deal than breaking bread? The idea that not just technology, but *people* could be differebt in the 24th century is one of those things STNG struggled with, isn't it?
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