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methane
Thu, Jan 19, 2017, 11:31am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

According to CBS' statement a few days ago, it's starting production next week. They're just not fixing an official release date.
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methane
Thu, Jan 12, 2017, 10:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Kyle, the prime directive in the original series was mostly about cultural development.

However, in TNG, the episodes "Pen Pals" & "Homeward" both say the prime directive also means the Federation is not supposed to interfere with natural destruction of races without warp drive. Note that "Pens Pals" was in season 2, while Roddenberry was still involved, so you can't say it was against his interpretation. Of course, both episodes also had the Enterprise ultimately ignoring the prime directive, as the writers don't really believe in it when it's taken to that extent.
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methane
Wed, Nov 2, 2016, 9:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

" And if this "problem" becomes severe enough, the costumers will stop paying."

Yes! CBS can make a product and set a price for it. Each individual can decide to buy it or not to buy it. I didn't think this needed to be said. After all, I've said multiple times I won't be a regular subscriber to the streaming-service. Other people will make the same choice!

But one person is not every person. Most people are still not all people.

Most people will not buy this service; that doesn't mean there won't be many that do. CBS can be successful with only a small percentage of US households adding the service. You seem to think that because you personally won't be subscribing, that means there will be zero subscribers and that will be a disaster for CBS. You should know that shows and whole networks can be successful even if you don't personally watch them! Even if you don't personally pay for them!

The next time you're in a decent-sized supermarket, pay attention, as if you're seeing things for the first time. I've lived in a third-world country, so I understand how truly magical a supermarket is! Look around at all the different products. Most of the products they sell you won't be buying that trip. Many of the products you won't buy on ANY trip. Maybe they're not to your taste; maybe they're too expensive to be worth the purchase. For each of these products, know that there are a lot of other people who will also never purchase them. Despite this, most of these products will continue to be sold. They don't need to be purchased by a large percentage of people to be worth selling.

If you're disappointed that you won't see the new series right away, feel free to say so. I'm disappointed! But my disappointment doesn't mean CBS is making a bad decision. It also doesn't mean the series won't be worth watching whenever I do see it. I'm sure everyone here has known good shows they only started watching years after they started airing, or even after they stopped producing new episodes. The Star Trek franchise has a history of this; the original series had far more viewers watch it in the first few years after it stopped producing new shows than during it's original run.

--

I just about never go to the cinema because I don't think it's worth the money. So when I do watch a movie, it's generally a year or more later than other people. That doesn't mean that the movies are bad when I see them (though certainly some are). My decision not to go the cinema hasn't meant the collapse of the movie industry; somehow movies still get made.

---

" 'Youtube recently added a paid subscription service'

So? There's nothing new in the situation of having pay-for TV alongside free TV, and there's nothing wrong with it either. It has been that way since the 1940's at the very least. "

Exactly! CBS is offering "pay-for TV" (its streaming service) "alongside free TV" (its over-the-air broadcasts + limited streaming of recently-broadcast shows). You offered Youtube as an example of something different from what CBS is doing. It's not.
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methane
Mon, Oct 31, 2016, 9:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

Speaking of Old Trek writers on this series, Nicholas Meyer is a consulting producer and is supposed to have written the second hour. Some people might not be a fan of him, as his view of the future has been significantly less utopian than Roddenberry. Nevertheless, he had a big part in 3 of the best-remembered movies.

---

Chrome:

"just looking at Fuller's writing credits for Voyager: "Spirit Folk", "Fury", "Bride of Chaotica!", "The Haunting of Deck Twelve" and other poorly-received shows make me think his absence could actually help Discovery."

It's hard to hold his Star Trek credits against him as:

1) it was, I believe, his first job. If you're trying, you'll get better with practice.

2) We don't know for sure how much his bosses at Voyager were dictating things. We do know that Ron Moore said: "The politics of the show were such that the egos of the people in charge of the series were threatened by the people who worked for them. To be blunt, Bryan Fuller and Mike Taylor were treated very shabbily, and it pissed me off. They took a lot of crap, and the only reason it was done was to keep the guys on the top of the pyramid feeling good about themselves. It also had the effect of keeping the writing staff from working in concert as a group." (1)

3) Fuller's done a lot since that's very good. I enjoyed Wonderfalls & Pushing Daisies a lot, and I believe he was responsible for some of the best early Heroes before that show went downhill. Hannibal had a lot of fans, although I never tried it (not really my genre). All of these shows also had critical acclaim while he was involved with them.

The counterargument to that would be that he hasn't created anything that was a big hit.


(1) If you're a Star Trek fan and you've never read Ron Moore's big post-Star Trek interview (done long before BSG came along), you should check it out: www.lcarscom.net/rdm1000118.htm

---

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi:


"TV as we know it will simply die, due to lack of interest"

It's strange that you're attacking the CBS service and then saying this. I think most people have concluded that the old TV model is fading away. You can say that it will "die", but you could also say that it's simply evolving. CBS streaming is anticipating that change.

"There are already channels on youtube which are far better than anything shown on mainstream TV."

Youtube recently added a paid subscription service; it's moving towards the CBS streaming model, not away from it.
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methane
Sun, Oct 30, 2016, 8:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

Oh, there is one more source of profit for the show on the CBS streaming service: advertising.

CBS's streaming service has ads. So even if it doesn't add any new subscribers, getting current subscribers to watch an extra hour of programming each week will allow CBS to charge more to advertisers. New subscribers will increase both the ad revenues and the subscription revenues.

CBS has mentioned offering an ad-free version. You'd be able to pay more to get rid of the advertisements. Either way, it's profit for CBS.
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methane
Sun, Oct 30, 2016, 8:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

Those of you who think this will be some kind of financial disaster are off base. CBS already announced to shareholders that money from international sales of the show have exceeded the costs to make the show (1). The show could go on for years without anyone from America watching. And that's before any money for product licensing is counted!

And, yes, there will be people who subscribe to the service to see the show immediately. I won't be one of them, but you're fooling yourself if you think there won't be any. It won't be as many as Netflix, but it doesn't need anywhere near that number to be successful. Netflix has huge programming costs; those costs continue to rise even as the library of programming it offers to subscribers is shrinking. With the international deal, CBS has no program cost for this series. Every subscriber added is additional profit for CBS.

For all of you unhappy that this show isn't bundled into some other service (like Netflix), you're going to have to get used to it. People have been complaining for years that having different networks bundled in their cable bills was unfair, saying 'a la carte' would be better. We're just seeing the start of what a true unbundled environment will look like. We will have more and more services, with fewer and fewer shows on any one service. Cable providers will probably survive as "bundles" of programming that will offer you a cheaper way to get a wide variety of programming.

It's also important to point out that this show will not be forever locked on the CBS streaming service. Obviously, you will be able to purchase episodes individually (on itunes or some other service) or as a package on Blu-Ray. However, reruns of the show will eventually be available elsewhere. Look at Showtime, which is owned by CBS. If you want to watch new episodes of Showtime programming, you have to pay for a subscription. However, once shows finish their original runs on Showtime, CBS licenses reruns to other providers, while still making them available to Showtime subscribers. You can find many Showtime shows on Netflix right now. Just a few years back, competitor HBO signed it's own deal with Amazon, allowing that service to stream much of its back catalog of shows.

If you want to legally watch the show on something other than the CBS service, you will be able to; you're just going to have to wait.

--

"I am afraid Fuller pretty much *is* gone. The exec producer credits are a standard way of acknowledging significant contributions to the making of the show. There are multiple examples of TV shows with a bunch of guys who have this title that are barely if at all involved with the show after a certain point. I don't doubt that Fuller will be available to chime in with advice from time to time, but as I understand it he's no longer seriously involved with Discovery. Disconcerting news."

It's been reported that he's written a few episodes and that they've already charted out the story for the season. It doesn't appear that he will be much involved now in the casting, physical production, or editing. But I think the writing is the most important part to get right. If the writing is good I'll forgive a lot of other problems.

I don't know if this show will be good, but this relentless negativity on the internet seems to have less to do with creative decisions than with the method of delivery.

--

"Just thought of something regarding attempts to make Star Trek Discovery the flagship for All Access: Wasn't Voyager the flagship for the now defunct UPN network when UPN first started? Emphasis on "now defunct"?"

Oh, it goes back further than that. Star Trek: Phase II originally went into production in the 1970's as a TV series to launch a new Paramount network. When they worried advertisers wouldn't give them a chance, they decided to abandon that and make a movie instead. Then Star Wars happened and that gave them an extra push to go the movie route.

Eventually, of course, Star Trek spin-offs became the cornerstone of a Paramount TV Network, as Voyager and then Enterprise ran for 11 consecutive seasons as the anchors of that network. The year after Enterprise was cancelled, Paramount decided to merge their network with the WB to form the CW Network, which still exists today (though most of the shows are Warner Brothers productions).


(1) trekcore.com/blog/2016/07/cbs-says-star-trek-discovery-is-already-profitable-ahead-of-production/
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methane
Mon, Oct 10, 2016, 6:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Rogue Planet

"Actually what T' Pol stated is what many real life scientist consider a real possibility. That there are rogue planets capable of supporting life without a Sun because of hot gas venting from areas and that is where the life would concentrate from."

Yeah, that would form an atmosphere and could keep areas hot enough for life. But I don't think you would have enough light for photosynthesis-based plants...certainly not large jungle-type vegetation. The creators missed out on an opportunity to imagine truly alien life. I'm no expert, but I'd imagine the "plants" on such a world would have to be chemosynthesis-based, something like we find near undersea volcanic vents...although this would probably imply the atmosphere wouldn't be breathable to humans. Any "leaves" wouldn't be directed towards the sky, as there's no sun there.

---

For those who compare the doctor's decision here with his previous decision: I'm sure he would make the distinction that in the previous episode he was letting a planet's ecosystem sort itself out. In this episode, he's reducing the interference of an entity from outside the planet's ecosystem (the hunters). This is generally how the other captains interpret the (yet-to-be-issued) Prime Directive: if the 'problem' is internal, you're supposed to stay out of it (not that they always do that); if the 'problem' is from off-planet, they're definitely getting involved.
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methane
Tue, Aug 30, 2016, 10:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

Overall, I felt this was a satisfying season. I felt everybody got appropriate endings, even if they didn't always get the strongest material to get to those endings. I have lots of little thoughts on different aspects of this season, so this will be a rambling post.

I found the first 2 episodes to be solid, although (as I've said before), making Sisko's mother one of the wormhole aliens (or a human possessed by a wormhole alien), was a mistake. It didn't add anything to the series, while removing some of the moral differences between the 'prophets' & the paghwraiths.

While her episodes weren't the strongest, i did like the character of Ezri, and I did like how she progressed through the season. Sorry haters (or is it one hater, with lots of usernames?). I don't think she & Bashir are destined to be together forever, and if they ever show up in Star Trek again, I hope they aren't a couple.

Among the stand alone episodes, "The Emperor's New Cloak" is the only one I would call truly bad, although there are several, like "Prodigal Daughter" and "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" that I would say are just passable. "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River", "It's Only a Paper Moon", and "Chimera" are all classics for me.

Some people (including Jammer) have pointed to Bajor not being admitted to the Federation as something that was missing from this season. I disagree. We already saw Bajor get admitted, which they turned down at Sisko's urging. I think it is understood they will again be offered admission soon after the peace is firmly established. If there would have been a season 8, it would have made a good storyline. The war would have made some Bajorans more sure of the fact that Bajor should try to be neutral, even as other Bajorans would be more convinced than ever that Bajor needed to be firmly integrated into the Federation. I think it was appropriate that season 7 end with the war without trying to tack this on. If we ever see a Star Trek series set post-DS9, I expect we'll see Bajor mentioned as full Federation members.

That said, I agree that it would have been good to see more stuff happening on Bajor these past few seasons.

On the subject of the final serialized episodes:

-I wish Ezri had more to do aside from resolving her romantic life. I think the writers were using her relationships with Worf & Bashir as an excuse to introduce some romantic comedy "fun" into the dark episodes while communicating the general idea that "life goes on". Sometimes it worked, but it dragged out too long (both parts: ending her realtionship with Worf & starting her relationship with Bashir). Of course, she did get the great speech on the nature of the Klingon Empire in "Tacking into the Wind".

-Speaking of that speech, the changing of the leadership of the Klingon empire was well done. A climax of Klingon political stories going back to...what, the 3rd season of TNG? Which would be 10 years of Klingon stories. The political changes on Ferenginar, however, don't make much sense. Which, I suppose, is consistent with how Ferengi society has worked throughout the series. Still, the characters were good there.

-Yes "Extreme Measures" doesn't address the moral questions posed by section 31, and yes, it does rely on "VR cliches" (as Jammer puts it), but I enjoy the episode for what it is: not a classic, but OK as the last Bashir/O'Brien buddy pairing.

-I agree with most everyone that the Cardassian material was the strongest of the final run. I disagree with a lot of people in that I believe it's appropriate that Damar gets killed before seeing Cardassia freed. First of all, he has done a lot of evil in his time, so it's not like he's an innocent. More importantly, however, the series is ending by removing the people who can command unthinking allegiance. Sisko (the chosen of the 'prophets'), Winn (the head of the religious hierarchy), Dukat (the charismatic leader), & Damar (the revolutionary hero) are all gone. Cardassia & Bajor are going to have to move forward by coming together without any obvious leaders who can command blind obedience. If there was an 8th season, it would have been interesting to see to what extent Kira & Garak could influence their planets. Neither one would have commanded blind loyalty, and Garak in particular would have been treated with suspicion.

-On the Winn/Dukat/Sisko prophet/paghwraith material. Some of the Winn/Dukat stuff was entertaining. Dukat becoming a Bajoran for a while is interesting, seducing Winn is both icky and interesting, losing his eyesight & being exiled is interesting, but we don't see him suffer (or learn) anything from that. Still, reducing Dukat to a one-dimensional 'bad-guy' was dull and a let down. Winn's characterization seemed to change from episode to episode in the final episodes (which I wrote a little about in a few comment sections). Like Sisko's 'prophet parentage', adding the paghwraiths to the series was a mistake.

-However, I do think Sisko ending up in the wormhole, out of time, is an appropriate ending for the character. Time has been a recurring theme with the character throughout the series, even before they decided to make him part-prophet, and the victory of "Sacrifice of Angels" required him not to find a straight-forward hero's ending. One of the earlier commenters above complained that DS9 didn't use a lot of science fiction ideas. Well, the hero of the series having been in the wormhole the whole time (guiding himself?) is an interesting science fiction idea.

I think every episode of the final run was worthwhile, but the unevenness of the material always leaves me with a bit of a feeling that this season wasn't quite as strong as it really was. Oh well, DS9 is still my favorite version of Star Trek & one of my favorite shows of any genre.
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methane
Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 10:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: The Andorian Incident

I imagine the writer's wanted the big stone face to be so tall they couldn't see through the holes, and were surprised when it ended up being human-sized.

I've actually enjoyed re-watching the series so far. I think that's mostly because I haven't watched much of any Star Trek series besides DS9 in about a decade, so all the clichés present in the 'exploring' episodes don't seem as stale to me right now.

Still, this is the first memorable episode. As Paul notes above, stories about the diplomacy of the early Federation were the strength of Enterprise.
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methane
Wed, Aug 17, 2016, 10:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

Brettsky said:
"I'm actually surprised that it's not taking place in the new movies timeline. You would think they would want to keep their shows and movies together"

Well, since the CBS/Viacom split, Paramount (a division of Viacom) has the license to make movies, while CBS owns the TV shows. According to the article I linked to above (which somehow got an extra space in the web address), the TV series are still making an important amount of money for CBS.

CBS doesn't really have any incentive to support the movie timeline. While they may make some licensing money from Viacom, Viacom is getting most of the profit for the new films. If CBS furthers the Abrams timeline, that means that future fans will have less reason to check out TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, & VOY, as all of those series will be an alternate timeline for them. If fewer fans check out those series, CBS will make less money.

I'm sure CBS is hoping this new series gets old fans interested, but also makes new fans who will start to check out one or more of those old series. Part of the reason for remastering TOS & TNG was to try and keep those series fresh for a new generation of fans.
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methane
Tue, Aug 16, 2016, 4:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

From a Les Moonves interview a few weeks back:

-the sale of STD overseas (Netflix international + Canada) has already made the series profitable. So CBS won't need to move it off CBS streaming unless it really wants to.

-Recently their "content licensing business benefited from international deals related to its library of more than 700 episodes in the Star Trek franchise."

-"Of Star Trek's future generally, he said: 'We have spinoffs of spinoffs' — presumably on the drawing table, though he wasn't specific."

source: www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cbs-beats-quarterly-earnings-expectations-915388

On the TNG remastered blu-Rays:

I heard an interview a few months back with the guy who did all the new extras for the blu-rays. He said the sales had been really, really awful. Apparently people aren't willing to spend huge amounts of money for things that are available on streaming services, especially when the target audience probably already has the same thing in DVD. So I wasn't surprised when I saw the prices for the blu-rays come down to reasonable prices a month or so back.

By the way, I've checked out some of the Blu-Rays from my library just to check out the new extras, and they're really well done. All of the old DVD extras are also included.
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methane
Tue, Aug 16, 2016, 1:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

From some of the descriptions, I'm wondering if we'll really be sticking with one ship through the series. Our lead lieutenant commander may find her assignments change from a ship to a space station (or vice versa). She may lead a diplomatic team establishing a relationship with an alien race, which could mean spending several episodes on an alien ship or planet without Starfleet around.

Yanks said: " I do expect CBS to remove all the trek series from Netflix (US anyways) and make them solely available on All Access."

I don't think they'll ever remove all the series from the other services. After all, the best advertisement for the new Star Trek series is the old Star Trek series, and having them on the bigger services lets more people discover it. I do think CBS will start to reduce their availability in the future, however. It might sell Netflix the rights to only TNG for a few years, and let Amazon have the rights to only Voyager. CBS streaming would be the only place to see every version of the franchise.
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methane
Sun, Aug 14, 2016, 8:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: The Changing Face of Evil

A strong episode.

-I have to note that the Winn/Dukat scenes were much stronger here; Winn shows much more doubt than she displayed in that lousy speech that ended the previous episode. Like William B, I don't buy that she really wants the paghwraiths to "win". However, I can believe that she's interested in using the paghwraiths as a counterweight to the prophets. Keeping either side from winning matches her actions at the end of "The Reckoning". In this episode she's mostly interested in researching the paghwraiths, and I think that's a reasonable thing for her character to do.

-Having everybody on to the Defiant never made less sense than it did this episode. Given that they're going only to fight a battle, Counselor Dax should have been left behind. Given that the Breen just managed to launch a surprise attack on Earth, either Sisko or Kira really should remain on the station just in case (even though Starfleet has presumably been keeping a better eye on the approaches to DS9).

-SouthofNorth says:
"Nice episode hampered only by the sophomoric dialog given to Bashir, O'Brien, Worf, and Dax in the first half of the story."

Hey, I enjoyed that sophomoric dialog!

-a long time ago, Evan was discussing the difference in continuity between DS9 & Voyager:
"Was it that the whole premise of Voyager's plot and characters made it too difficult to make things any more interesting. Was it just laziness?"

The powers-that-be running Star Trek (personified by Rick Berman, but he was likely feeling some pressure by his bosses at Paramount) wanted very little continuity in Star Trek, so reruns could be aired in any order. The writers of DS9 constantly fought against that, and gradually got to introduce longer & longer arcs, with greater continuity. For whatever reason, the writers of Voyager didn't fight for continuity in their series. It may be that they felt they were watched more closely by Paramount (since they were the flagship show for the new network), and were thus less able to get away with it. It also may be that they weren't interested in using the possibilities inherent in their premise.
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methane
Sat, Aug 13, 2016, 9:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Strange Bedfellows

I need to echo what just about everyone has said about how Winn's last scene. They've developed Winn as a multi-faceted character for years, and continue to do that through the first 2/3 of this episode. Then in the last scene they try to undo that with a supervillain speech. It just doesn't work.
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methane
Fri, Aug 12, 2016, 10:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: 'Til Death Do Us Part

One more comment: I know the marriage was done in a hurry, but Kassidy should have had at least a few guests attending Her ship had just gotten in dock, surely there's one or 2 members of her crew who would've liked to attend the bosses wedding.
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methane
Fri, Aug 12, 2016, 10:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

That would seem to fit some of Fuller's comments that seem to indicate the show will be more "alien." There certainly is room to do something different with that story.
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methane
Thu, Aug 11, 2016, 4:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Del_Duio said:

"But my main concern is: WHY GO BACKWARDS AGAIN!?? Have they not learned anything from Enterprise?"

Robert above went into this in detail, but the problems with Enterprise had nothing to do with the time period. In fact, the show was generally better when it focused on stories that took advantage of the premise (predominantly in season 4).

This isn't the time period I would have chosen, but there certainly can be good stories set in that time period.
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methane
Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 8:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: 'Til Death Do Us Part

This one I found less engaging than the previous one to rewatch. As William B points out above, both the Winn & Dukat scenes, and (especially) the Worf/Ezri scenes have a repetitive nature to them. The reveal of the Breen alliance at the end also doesn't have as much impact on rewatching the series (although it is an important event). Damar is indeed the highlight. I agree with a 2.5 star rating.

This episode would appear to show the differences between the paghwraiths & the prophets. The prophets are largely leaving Bajorans (and their allies, like Sisko) to muddle through on their own. Their only manipulation comes in the form of vague advice. The paghwraiths are more ready to directly interfere, sending Winn visions and coaching Dukat on precisely the right words to seduce her into doing their will.

This difference between the two advanced aliens is undermined by the prophet's previous seduction of Benjamin's father. I have to reiterate that it was a bad idea to make our Captain the literal "son of a prophet."

Winn has previously been eager to receive this type of vision, but I wonder if the events of "The Reckoning" should have been referenced here. I think she felt let down by the prophets in that episode, which was why she stopped the eponymous Reckoning from happening. I don't doubt she would have accepted any vision before that event, but I wonder if she would question her vision in the aftermath of that episode. I suppose just receiving a vision would be so cathartic for someone who had been a believer all her life that all her doubts would be forgotten.

If some commenters feel that DS9 is pro-religion, the Winn storyline shows how religious experiences aren't necessarily good; how would you really know if your vision is from a "good" being or a "bad" being? Here the visions that come from the "good" beings get questioned & ignored, while the visions from the "bad" beings are taken on faith.
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methane
Mon, Aug 8, 2016, 10:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Penumbra

A quiet, entertaining episode. Ezri & Worf aren't making the smartest choice, but I don't think it's out of character for them.

Aine said:
"Definitely undermines a whole lot of everything that happened with Jadzia, but well, what's new? How much more 'cheap' heterosexual plugs do we have to watch and not complain about! Rejoined was one episode and got called out for that. Here, with Worf/Dax, we can expand it across episode after episode I suppose, with any restrictions brushed aside."

Well, in Rejoined, Jadzia Dax was willing to publicly engage in a 'forbidden' relationship, even though the taboo meant she would lose her ability for Dax to join new hosts. It was the other person in the relationship that wouldn't go through with it. Here, Ezri Dax is also willing to indulge in a forbidden relationship, and, in the short term, there is no possible loss, since there is only the 2 of them present. Noone is around to alert Trill authorities*. Now, if this relationship actually continues, this will obviously bring up those issues, but she's clearly not thinking that far ahead.

Regardless of hosts, Dax has generally been somewhat reckless, willing to ignore rules when it suits him/her, specifically including the 'reassociation taboo', so this is generally in character.

*This actually brings into focus the parallel between a homosexuality taboo and the reassociation taboo...the taboo may keep people from doing things in public, but the taboo doesn't necessarily stop people from doing what they want to do in private.


William B said:
"Worf, meanwhile, not only has a we're-married-now attitude, which, well, I guess that's how he takes sex and that's consistent, but also really seems to think that his relationship with Ezri is a direct continuation of his relationship with Jadzia, which requires seeing Ezri as being that similar to Jadzia"

That may happen in the next episode (which I haven't gotten to yet this rewatch), but it's not here. After sex, they're captured, followed by a brief scene locked up before their part in the episode is up. He seems somewhat tender in that scene, but he doesn't believe their relationship is permanent at the moment. He asks "You don't regret last night, do you?", and follows that up by bringing up the reassociation taboo. He's giving her the opportunity to say the previous night was a mistake. She rejects the idea, they realize they're on a space ship, and we don't see them again until next week.
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methane
Sun, Aug 7, 2016, 7:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Facets

Why wouldn't alien wonder about root beer? You drink water to live. You drink milk or juice for believed health benefits (even if current research doesn't support that for juice). You drink alcohol to get drunk. All this Quark (and the other aliens on the station) would understand.

But root beer? Why drink root beer? Even if you think it tastes good, why take empty calories from a liquid when you could do it from a food, which has the benefit of filling you up?

To be fair, we could say the same thing about Coca Cola or another "soft drink", but root beer has the benefit of being recognizable (at least to Americans) without having a brand name attached. The fact that it has "beer" in the name without actually having alcohol in it also helps it seem pointless.

I'm sure a writer was having similar thoughts when he stuck root beer in whatever 1st script it appeared in, and then other writers took the idea and used it as an ongoing metaphor for human influence, much like people use Coca Cola or McDonalds as a metaphor for US influence on today's Earth. I wouldn't take it as the writers saying they like root beer (since the conversation actually makes more sense if you don't like the drink).

The Ferengi wondering about root beer may be undermined by the fact that they have something called Slug-o-Cola, which sounds like the Ferengi version of a soft drink. But a) I'm not sure if that's been introduced yet at this point in the series, and b) it contains 43% live algae, so it may in fact be healthy for you.

(I'm not ashamed to say I just looked up Slug-o-Cola at Memory Alpha to find the correct spelling, and, hey, the algae percentage is in the article).
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methane
Sun, Aug 7, 2016, 3:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Broken Bow

When this first aired I was unhappy afterwards, mostly because I was sure the "temporal cold war" was going to be an incoherent mess...and I think I was proven right. The series, while never great, improved once they put that idea to rest.

The other night I watched this episode for the first time since it originally aired and thought it a was a decent episode. Nothing profound, but it did a good job of introducing the key characters while keeping a story moving. With 20+ episodes in the season and lots of time to develop all the characters, there wasn't any need to do any more introductions here.

I don't have a problem with the Vulcans being somewhat obnoxious, as I don't really think that's inconsistent with their history. And yes, I don't have a problem with the decontamination scene. I'm OK with some sexy in my entertainment...and here (as Yanks pointed out) it does make sense that there would be something like this without the magical technology of later Star Trek series.

In relating it to other modern Trek pilots, it is perhaps the most entertaining. "Encounter at Farpoint" really is a dull story without much happening. "Emissary" is probably the most intriguing but doesn't flow well as an episode. I don't remember having strong feelings (good or bad) about "Caretaker".

Something worth noting is that every Star Trek pilot before this (including both "The Cage" & "Where No Man Has Gone Before" for TOS) has the crew coming face to face with something resembling a god. This is the only one that doesn't, although the aliens communicating from the future somewhat fill that role. It will be interesting to see if the new Star Trek pilot has that trope.
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methane
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 10:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

I think this episode goes well in a war season. No, the characters aren't spending all their waking hours for weeks playing baseball. I feel safe assuming the crew are performing their normal duties while this episode takes place, but are coming together for a few hours each night to learn & practice baseball. Sports are a staple diversion during for soldiers during war. I've known several people who have been to war, and they've mentioned that sports were one thing that occupied their downtime. In the comment above K'Elvis mentions a specific historic example, but many accounts of the daily lives of soldiers around the world mention them playing sports. You can even find examples of allied armies stationed together playing each other's sports, as in this episode.

While I've never been to war, I do have some first hand knowledge of what it's like trying to explain a sport or game to people unfamiliar with it. Having lived on a few different continents, I've had the experience of being regularly questioned about anything considered "American". In fact, I can recall one instance where someone asked me to explain some particular baseball rule (I think I failed to make it any clearer for her). So I have some sympathy with Sisko trying to explain the sport, and the various reactions the characters have to it seem true to life (some were interested in it; some didn't care except to try and win for the captain).

A pleasantly diverting episode that actually felt mostly true to life for me, with some expected ridiculousness for comedic affect. The Vulcan with a personal grudge against Sisko doesn't seem out-of-line with the portrayal of non-Spock Vulcans over the years for me. Overall, I agree with Jammer's 3 star grade here.
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methane
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 10:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Afterimage

In many ways I agree with William B's statement that being on DS9 is a bad place right now for Ezri, as her colleagues, by and large, have all their reactions to her colored by their relationship with Jadzia Dax. I disagree, however, with his idea that Ezri would be better off back on the Destiny, as all their reactions to her would be equally colored by their relationship with Ezri Tigan.

However, as I said in my comment for the last episode, I do think it makes sense for Ezri to seek out Sisko for support. Having known both Curzon Dax & Jadzia Dax personally, he understands in a practical sense that this person will not be Jadzia Dax or Ezri Tigan in a way others on DS9 or the Destiny will not. He can provide support as pseudo-family while she comes to terms with her new self while staying in Starfleet.

In many ways she is like a teenager trying coming to terms with her new adult self, and being overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar emotions. In this episode the writers want us to see Sisko as the firm father who pushes her to do things she's capable of, even if she doesn't yet believe in herself.

The one thing we know Ezri Tigan and Jadzia Dax had in common was that they both joined Starfleet, an organization he generally holds in high regard (even if certain characters in this series have disappointed him). I believe Sisko here is relying on the sense of duty that both Ezri & Dax separately had as Starfleet officers; give her a problem that's her responsibility and count on her to put aside her own personal difficulties just long enough to solve that problem. By solving that problem, she will ultimately discover her own self-worth as this new person.

Which, of course, is how it played out. It would have come across better, however, if they had not shown her so completely incompetent at first. To be fair, it is likely that, until she better integrates herself, she's currently a worse counselor as Ezri Dax than she was Ezri Tigan. Still, it's understandable that many here have written that it's probably not the best idea for her to be working this all out while treating patients at this key outpost in the middle of a war with no other counselor helping her.

Counting against this episode is it's overall predictability. I think most viewers expect that Garak would have ambivalent feelings about helping an invasion against his people, so there is a lot of false suspense while we wait for the characters to discover that is the problem.

I'm not sure what to think of Ezri's comment to Bashir, other than it's definitely memorable. No, I don't think it's true, but it is something that this confused Ezri Dax might (wrongly) think was being kind.

Overall, I think the pros outweigh the cons here. I agree with Jammer's 2.5 star rating.
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methane
Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 9:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols

I do think it was a mistake to have Sisko's birth directed by the prophets. I don't have a problem with the logic of it (Sisko teaches aliens that exist outside of 'our time' about linear time; with that understanding they can do things at any point of 'our' time, including our past). I just don't think it adds anything to the series and probably detracts from what's happened so far (spoilers for the finale: I think it also detracts a bit from Sisko's ultimate fate).

While I wish they decided to tell a different story, I think they tell their story well here. Each part of these episodes work reasonably well.

William B said:
"I think that how one reads the Worf plot depends on how seriously one takes the 'suicide mission' aspect of things. The episode tries to play it as a Very Dangerous mission, but the portrayal of it is pretty unconvincing...which to my mind is something of a benefit"

That was how I saw it. I think the characters thought it would be a dangerous mission (something they do often), but not truly a "suicide mission". Klingons are prone to hyperbole, after all. That, combined with the fact that it was an attack against the Dominion, is enough for me to believe that they would be willing to go, and that Starfleet would be OK with it.

As to Ezri Dax, I certainly understand those who missed Jadzia and were disappointed to see her replaced. While I don't think she was always given the best material by the writers, I think Ezri was sensibly thought out. If you're suddenly a new person (neither Ezri nor Dax, but a melding of the two), it's certainly reasonable to think you'd be a bit of a mess who would slowly gain both self-knowledge and self-confidence. Overall, I think Nicole de Boer was fine in the role; frankly, I think she figured out Ezri Dax better than Terry Farrel ever figured out Jadzia Dax.

I think she works fine in these episodes. Presumably, as they settle into their new existence, newly joined Trills spend some time with the teachers and advisors they had before the joining, people who can offer both familiarity (they knew them previously) and understanding (they comprehend that this is now an entirely new person). Sisko, the one person in Starfleet who knew Dax well in 2 different incarnations, is perhaps the one person that can offer that familiarity and understanding to Ezri Dax, so it's natural that she seeks him out for support.

On the other hand, she can also offer support for Sisko at a point in time that he needs it. With his understanding of his own family being turned upside-down, she can be a family member who isn't related by blood. Plus, last season's finale would lead us to believe that Sisko blames himself at least somewhat for Jadzia's death. Ezri (as Jadzia's pseudo-reincarnation) can provide forgiveness, helping him move on.

There's a lot I like here. I suppose I'd give these two episodes 3 stars; if I didn't have such problems with the whole prophets-creating-Sisko's-birth idea, I'd might go 3.5 stars.
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methane
Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 7:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sixth Season Recap

I agree with Jammer's overall view of the season, though we disagree on some specifics. Overall, I didn't think there were many bad episodes: only the horrible "Prophet and Lace" and the dull "Resurrection" would get less than 2 stars from me. Furthermore, "Time's Orphan" is the only one I'd give an average grade to.

On the other hand, "Honor Among Thieves", "Valiant", "Tears of the Prophets", "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night", & perhaps "Tears of the Prophets" & "One Little Ship" are episodes I'd rate 2.5 stars that Jammer rated higher.

This season does have some of the most memorable DS9 episodes in the series (most of the opening arc, "In the Pale Moonlight"), but the sheer number of good-but-not-great episodes holds it back. The fact that many of them come towards the end of the season always leaves me with an impression that it's weaker than it actually is.
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