Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the questions I get the most about this site, and how I often respond. Feel free to ask, but if you ask a question that's shown below, you will likely get a response similar to what's listed here.
Q: Did/do/will you watch or review [whatever TV series]?
A: People most often ask if I've watched other sci-fi shows like Babylon 5, Farscape, Firefly, Doctor Who, or the various Stargate series. The answer is no to all of the above, and reviews are not forthcoming. I have no plans to go back to watch any other old shows.
Q. The star ratings don't seem to match between the different series. For example, a 3.5-star Voyager episode doesn't seem held to the same standard as a 3.5-star Battlestar Galactica episode. Are the star ratings intended to indicate equivalent quality?
A. No — or at least not necessarily. The star ratings are not meant to be absolute, especially not between different series (and sometimes not even between different seasons of different series). It's a sliding relative scale with a lot of uncertainty involved and factors that are not set in stone. A star rating is merely a useful summary of my feelings at the time I wrote the review. I like to try to assign them with consistency, but that's probably impossible given the wide range of tones and intentions behind the different series/seasons/episodes, not to mention my own changing feelings and attitudes spanning some 15-plus years. We bring different expectations to different situations, and that must be granted as part of the equation. So by definition the star ratings cannot be equivalent when comparing, say, BSG versus Voyager or, for that matter, 1997 versus 2012. They merely summarize what I thought at the time I wrote it. (And, yes, there are some star ratings out there that I no longer agree with. And, no, I won't be going back to change them. They are what they are.)
Q: Why are there no Andromeda reviews after season two?
A: Because I quit watching the show. This is explained in detail on this page. Scroll to the end and read the last four paragraphs.
Q: Can you add a link to my web site?
A: I'll certainly take a look at your site if you want, but I don't do links to other sites. Sorry.
Q: How do you pronounce that name of yours?
A: It's not nearly as hard as a lot of people insist on making it, especially if you break it down to syllables. My first name is easy: juh-MALL. The last name: EP-see-co-KHAN, said fairly evenly but with slight emphasis on the first and last syllables. That's "Epsi" like "Pepsi" without the P; "co" like "Coke" without the k; and "khan" like Star Trek II: The Wrath of "Khan." So if you remember cola giants and the most notorious Trek villain, you're set. Now you see why I just went with "Jammer."
Q: I want to get in touch with the writers/producers of [some TV show]. Do you know how to contact them?
A: I do not have any contacts in the industry. Your guess is as good as mine.
Q: Do the show's writers read your reviews?
A: In the distant past, I became aware that some of the Trek writers saw my reviews. In particular, Joe Menosky (of TNG and Voyager) was an occasional reader who invited me to pitch to Voyager. Several Andromeda writers were also readers who were kind enough to create and kill a character named Jamahl. Beyond that, I couldn't say.
Q: Did the "Demon" review actually happen?
A: No. Pure fiction. I was trying to be offbeat.
Q: Where did the pseudonym "Jammer" come from?
A: The story isn't that great, so I've never bothered to tell it. Suffice it to say that it worked well on the Internet, so it stuck. In real life, almost nobody calls me that.
Q: What is/are your favorite episode(s)?
A: That's a tough one. As a rule of thumb the four-star episodes listed on this site are generally the ones I will call my favorites, but not necessarily. I've never bothered to make a list, to be honest.
Q: I think you were too hard on Voyager.
A: I won't hesitate to say I think DS9 was superior to Voyager. I simply enjoyed the storytelling of DS9 more in general, and I think the writers did a better job of tapping that series' potential. At the same time, I enjoyed many aspects of Voyager even though I feel the show was an underachiever given its premise.
Q. You were too easy on Voyager. It was awful.
A. Okay, maybe I'm just the middle-of-the-road guy concerning Voyager.
Q: Do you or did you ever get paid for this?
From September to December 2000, I had a brief arrangement with Space.com (back when they had a sci-fi section with paid columnists and reviewers). They syndicated my Voyager and Andromeda reviews and actually paid me for it. It's hard to imagine a scenario like that today, where review blogs are everywhere and a lot of people write for little or no money.
The ads on this website do make me a little bit of money (and I guess could be called a "profit" in the strictest sense because web hosting costs next to nothing). But in terms of hours spent, this website makes no money and is a labor of love, not profit.