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Brian
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 5:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Phantasms

3.5 stars. This is enjoyably dreamy and eerie, and accomplishes very well what it sets out to do. I realize it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but this is an example of just how tight of a production TNG was... if a similar episode was attempted on Voyager it would have probably been one stat lower but on TNG the characters and acting are all so excellent that it (the writing is of course good as well) that it frequently is enough to boost an episode by .5 to 1 Star compared to how it would have turned out on Voyager (and its hard to compare to DS9 since this just isn’t the sort of thing it did).
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Salt
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 5:01am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

@James G

If I remember the first logs correctly I think this episode he's messing about with an experimental program to try and better figure out emotions? He seems to have much less common sense this episode than usual probably because he's still having to test and tweak it
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The River Temarc
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 2:58am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Andy's Friend wrote:

"As long as you obey the Emperor ― or nowadays, the regime ―, the specifics are not important. Hong-Kong and Macao are prime examples of this: most people were expecting China not to respect the agreements with the UK and Portugal, but China has, in fact, respected the two-system models agreed upon, and kept Hong-Kong and Macao as different societies than neighbouring China."

Without getting into the (fulfilling) debates inspired by this episode: perhaps you might want to re-think this statement you wrote a few years ago?
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Samuel
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 1:34am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Horrible series, Picard and Disco. Better shows in past series. Babylon 5 much better.

Hope modern Trek is long forgotten, and that soon. #CancelTrek #CancelStarTrek

With love.
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P'kard
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Bloodlines

Guy who plays Vigo is just laughably inept. Its like his mom told him he was handsome as a child, he believed it and all he can do is do his best "Tom Cruise" smile. However, any serious acting is beyond him.

Terrible writing as well. Why would Picard waste his time on this jerk off? Bok wants him dead so Picard should have sent him to Bok via a depressurized airlock. .5/5.0 stars.
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Mal
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

"Demon” is one of Voyager’s rare attempts at hard science fiction.

The episode draws from one of the great classics of the genre, the short story “Desertion" by Clifford D. Simak, which was published back in 1944 in Astounding Science Fiction magazine.

You can read the entire short story here:

https://archive.org/details/Astounding_v34n03_1944-11_cape1736/page/n63/mode/2up

From the first moment Paris says,

PARIS: I'm telling you, Chakotay. It was an amazing experience. It, it's like when you're a kid who's afraid of the water and you suddenly realise that you can swim. Go ahead, take your helmets off. Try it.

I hoped that was where the story was going.

And then much later in the episode when Harry tells Seven and Chakotay,

SEVEN: I see monochromatic geological formations, dust, haze.
CHAKOTAY: What do you see, Harry?
KIM: To me, those geological formations are a dozen shades of red and gold. That dust, it's glowing. And the haze, it seems to intensify the colours. I'm sorry. I know it's weird, but I feel connected to this place.

It immediately brought to mind the crescendo of the old 1944 story by Simak.

In “Desertion" by Clifford D. Simak, human researchers are part of a project (like the movie Avatar) where they are transformed into forms that are suited to Jupiter, so they can explore the gas giant the way a native might.

One by one the researchers transform and set out into Jupiter to go exploring. And none ever come back. Finally the head of the program decides he has no choice but to go after his team, and he transforms himself. And that is when we learn how incredible it is to be on Jupiter if you are in a form that is suited to Jupiter.

You can listen to a reading of the critical part of Clifford D. Simak's story where the head researcher describes what Jupiter looks like to him now that he has gone native:

https://youtu.be/WYOk9D0ZwVk?t=1224

I first read “Desertion" 25 years ago as a boy, and have never forgotten it.

It is a story about what you feel when you go to an alien place - a foreign country - and finally give up your old ways, and, as they used to say “go native.” The resulting beauty and awe can be overwhelming.

Sadly, Voyager’s mediocre writing team was never able to tap into that rich vein, and “Demon” ends up being a complete disaster of an episode.

Half a star for trying something great but failing completely.
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James04
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 10:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Remember Me

TNG as it should be - sciencey, intricate, intriguing, *and no holodeck silliness*, and no preachiness either.

4 out of 4.
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SS Elim
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Move Along Home

Allamaraine!
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Q
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 9:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sometimes a Great Notion

@Matthew Martin - I agree 100%. I hated seeing her character die that way.

This episode deserves a lot of credit. It accurately captures how people sometimes achieve apparent peace and composure when they've decided to end their life. It also shows the aftermath of what happens after the person dies - sorrow, pain, trauma, confusion, sense of loss, despair, guilt.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 7:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Siege

@Rom I think in the context of DS9 it is utterly disingenuous because there is just no chance, none, that the senior staff won't go. So it isn't even about forcing conformity or bullying as it certainly would be in real life. It is just narrative flimflammery really.

Funny enough though I recall in Babylon 5 there is this kind of scene where the commanding officers are announcing something shockingly illegal (I won't spoil it in case some want to check out the series) and actually several crewpeople actually do walk out. But in that scene it is the main cast who have already decided to proceed and it's the extras and occasional cast members who have to make the call on whether to go along with it. So there is no phoniness to it because we really don't know for sure which way it will go.
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rom
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Siege

Is it just me, or do Starfleet commanders keep offering their crews a way out but keep doing it publicly? Like Sisko in this episode tells them they can leave if they don't want to risk their lives in this illegal mission, but does it in the middle of Ops with everyone literally staring at eachother daring them to be cowards. Who the heck is going to volunteer in that crowd??

Seems unprofessional and poor leadership for a Starfleet commander. I can see that happening in a militia, rebel base, or other unstructured group that relies on intimidation to get things done, but that wasn't very Starfleet of him I thought.
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Silly
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Coda

I agree with others that this thing might actually be a demon from hell, and especially that Janeway worries that too.

I didn’t much care for the first two acts being a rehash of Cause and Effect before switching to the afterlife story.

Voyager did this mid story switcheroo in so many episodes, I strongly suspect it was two writers working separately on each half and only sharing what the midpoint needed to be.
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The Chronek
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 11:55am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

I liked this episode a lot. I enjoyed it when it debuted 23 years ago, and I enjoyed it upon rewatching it last week. Great drama, great acting, great special effects, great music, great dialogue, great introduction for 7 of 9.

Any inconsistencies with previous Borg portrayal can be easily explained away. The Federation was now helping the Borg? Like Janeway said, the Borg to their knowledge had never faced such a threat. And Picard never had recoded nanoprobes that the collective could use as a weapon against a mortal enemy, so he was never in any position to negotiate.

Heck, Best of Both Worlds made a change from Q Who, in which the Borg weren't interested in human life, only their technology. Certainly that minor change doesn't take away from BOBW being an all-time classic. I don't think any minor Borg changes in Scorpion take away from the episode's quality.

I don't think it was necessarily an easy way out to make both Janeway and Chakotay "right". They had to get back to trusting each other, and I think the way they handled Seven's eventual betrayal was the best way to do that. I think this was a moral dilemma that fit in with the best grey area explorations of DS9.

As for why no Borg ships had come after them after species 8472 retreated, I have no problem with that. They had just been in a deadly conflict with a mortal enemy and were possibly licking their wounds. And the episode following this explains how Voyager made it farther out of Borg space.

4 stars from me.

I have spoken.
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Jakob
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 10:45am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Phage

Right, or ethical if you prefer, is whatever is beneficial to you and harmful is whatever is harmful to you. The Vidiians were justified in taking the lungs, it is good that instead of adopting a slave posture and whining about how wrong it is to condemn another to death by taking what you need to survive — as if one should care about the needs of others above themselves — they went out and used their strength and skill to help themselves. Janeway in true Federation fashion did adopt the posture of a slave. Sad.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 10:43am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

Maybe there's some kind of Nietzsche 101 going on in that argument; master vs slave morality. Except for one thing: slave morality in that sense is about taking a bad thing that you can't change and pretending it's good because you can't change it. But that's not what's happening here: Enterprise C had a decision to make and chose what they saw as the best future for the Federation. That is not a 'slave' role, and any idea that sacrificing yourself makes you some kind of slave has the notion of leadership backwards. Being in charge is supposed to mean that *you* are the one who has to take responsibility for those under you. Sacrifice to protect your people is the sign of a leader; it's the slave's move to let your own people go to the wolves and save only yourself (PS - I wouldn't actually use that term, but in context I'm retaining it to make a point).
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Booming
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 10:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

I'm as leftist (European leftist) and as atheistic as they come and condemn the intolerant leanings of religious people but where do you see a Christian connection here? Or to slavery?

What happens here is a group of people deciding that things should play out as they did. In this case that means peace between the two most powerful realms in the known galaxy which saves the life's of an endless number.

Sure it is sacrifice but if you are willing to live for something then that often means that you are willing to die for something.

In what way that means slave mentality is not really clear to me.
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Jakob
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

Peter G. —


The issue that I take with this Christian moral framework is that it is slave morality, the universalizing of the plight imposed onto slaves — a slave is forced to sacrifice himself for the good or his master, what a slave morality does is to create a virtue of this oppression so that instead of being a humiliation and causing the slave to feel pathetic and weak, it is reframed as a beautiful and virtuous thing.

Essentially, most slaves could never hope to become a master, to use their strength to impose a set of values which serves them and their interests; instead, slave morality works by subversion, convincing the people to more or less enslave themselves by imbuing the indignities imposed on a slave with nobility. It’s this attitude that causes people to truly believe that the right thing to do is eschew what will make them happy, satisfied or even healthy/alive, to truly feel that it is better to fly into a losing battle voluntarily and die so that others might live is a superior option to living.


It is better to have the master’s morality. That begins with the fundamental realisation that there is no moral phenomena in the objective sense, only moral interpretations of phenomena and from this derives the fundamental principle that wrong is what is harmful to me and right is what is helpful or advantageous to me. In the context of “Yesterday’s Enterprise” it means that for Captain Picard it is right that the Enterprise C should return to the past and for the crew of the Enterprise C it means that it is right to remain in the future where at the very least there is possibility for survival.

“you really don't see how it would be a good thing to go to the defense of people being attacked by Romulans and die trying to save them? Having served, you would really argue that there is literally no point in participating in a rescue or defense action even if there is little chance of success? You don't see the value - both for morale and for honor - in finding it unacceptable to let defenseless people be gunned down, Klingon or otherwise? Because that's what this is about: how when the Klingons see Enterprise-C die fighting for them it cements the Khitomer Accords into a real alliance, because they realize it's not just a detente but that they're dealing with people with values?”

All of this is moot because no advantage or good can come to me if I am dead. That one might believe that it is the right and noble solution to sacrifice oneself in the most complete way to give others that advantage is because they’ve been indoctrinated to the lionisation of the plight of the slave.


I served partially because I was also indoctrinated into the morals of slavery, it took me awhile to realise that the safety, prestige, power etc of my country is meaningless to me if I am dead and that it is antithetical to the cause of *me* to die so that others can enjoy those things. That is not to say that all military service is a manifestation of slavery — the training, knowledge etc has and I suspect will continue to help me achieve my goals and ultimately I think that the experience of risking your life for that sake of others’ lives makes one realise that it is just not worth it, the sacrifice isn’t a noble ideal it’s the result of being more or less brainwashed into perpetuating your own smallness and powerlessness.
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SouthofNorth
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 7:08am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The City on the Edge of Forever

--- Deleted Scene ---

McCoy: Jim!
Kirk: Bones!
(Curious, Edith starts to walk across the street unaware of car bearing down on her. Kirk starts to move towards her ...)
Spock: No Jim!!!
(Kirk stops and hold McCoy back....)
Car: Screeeeecccchhhh!
Edith: Angggmmgphhh!!!
McCoy: I could have saved her. Do you know what you just did?!!!
Spock: He knows Doctor. He knows .... oh, it looks like she's still alive....
Kirk: Really? Well shit. (pulls out phaser ...)

---------
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SouthofNorth
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 7:01am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Operation--Annihilate!

Best moment:

McCoy: We should run some more tests
Kirk: There's no time. Put Spock in there now!
McCoy: But ...
Kirk: Now Bones. Now!!!!!

-- later ---
Spock: I'm blind
Chapel: Here's the results of the test you order Dr. McCoy
McCoy: Oh dear. I didn't have to expose him to all wavelengths of light. He didn't have to be made blind.
Kirk: Bones! You f'd up!!
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SouthofNorth
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 6:55am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

Nimoy: Bill, the Transporter Special Effect has split your acting self
Shatner: What do you mean?
Shatner II: GIVE ME THE BRANDY!!!!
Nimoy: There's the classical trained actor doing Shakespeare, Ibsen, and Chekhov. A well-reviewed supporting role in "Judgement at Nuremberg" ...
Shatner II: THERE'S A CREATURE ON THE WING! WE'RE GOING TO CRASH!!!
Nimoy: And then there's the diva, the scene-chewer, a man for whom no line can be under-acted...
Shatner II: I'M CAPTAIN KIRK!!!!!
Shatner: What do I do? Help me.
Nimoy: We need another Transporter Special Effect to put you back together. The series needs both of you: the classically-trained actor and the over-acting diva.
Shatner II: ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Shatner: What if we just got rid of him?
Nimoy: Bill, you couldn't even land a job as a game show host.
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Silly
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 1:31am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

Meh, other than the questionable acting by the lady, it’s about as good as any Enterprise episode.

To be more fair, maybe 5% of Enterprise episodes are good to great. The other 95% are about like this one. At least this one wasn’t boring.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 1:07am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Blaze of Glory

I might give this episode half a star less than Jammer did. It does raise a bunch of very interesting questions and it takes time running through the ideas that they bring up, without stooping to giving the viewer an easy answer about any of it, but at the same time, it feels really forced.

Looking at the big picture, and thinking as a TV Producer, you have to admit, having this many Bad Guys in a TV Series could get to be unmanageable by a certain point (I shudder to think of what the writing room whiteboards looked like by this time). When the Dominion 'allied' with Cardassia, I feel like it was meant to consolidate the Bad Guys in the show so that the episodes would be easier to write without having to give a lot of exposition.

We all know certain sequences of lines in movies, TV, or whatever, that come off as transparent exposition. If a show does this badly, it shows. Characters talking about recent events in an extremely specific way that is a not-so-subtle *wink-wink* to audience members who might be having trouble keeping up.

DS9 had its hands full with this kind of thing for a while. With this episode (and logically speaking, "By Inferno's Light" before it), it basically did what it had to do; reduce the number of players on the chessboard to streamline the overall plotline of the series.

I can't deny that it was an effective decision; choosing one path and focusing on it is always better than letting oneself be carried away by a multitude of concerns. But the way in which it was done feels just a tad, a tad and a half, maybe two tads rushed.

Random woman contacts "Michael." Says missiles are launched. Then we find out that this random woman is Mrs. Eddington? Then they are forced to separate, and Eddington is killed. We get one reaction shot from her, and that's it. Her fate is sealed; she never reappears in the series (or any Trek series) again.

That's a waste of a scene, waste of a character, and a waste of a plot thread. If they were just going to kill Eddington anyway, parading around a beautiful woman he has just had nuptials with has a 'salt on rice' effect... it makes it taste more like something, but the flavor isn't very good, and it would have been better just to have steamed rice, after all, bland as it may be that way.

Eddington breathing her name in his last breath is the only reason I remember Rebecca's name. Let's put it that way. It just felt a little bit lame. I wish they'd devoted at least a bit more time to playing up the drama of this horrible tragedy; I have this problem with a lot of DS9. It tells you that these events are horrible and tragic, and looking at them on paper, you would agree, but it doesn't SHOW you the tragedy. It doesn't make FEEL the tragedy.

I'm not saying that it's a bad episode, it was pretty good, honestly. But I'd rate it a hair lower than Jammer did. It just has a couple of typical DS9-ish rushed beats.
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Eric Saavedra
Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Chimera

Great show but one of my complaints here is how much the changelings can take different forms. Seriously?? Fog and fire?? How can they give off heat and light as fire without losing mass? Also in the opening scene when Lass was bigger than the shuttle or when Odo becomes as small as a bird in other episodes. They should have limited the changelings to physical sizes comparable to their volume and not be able to become “energy forms” such as fire.
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Cody B
Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Natural Law

@Dave in MN

Probably written by a white person who thinks they “understands THEIR (non whites) side of things”. Irony is race is on their mind much more than the people they deem the enemy.
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Dirk
Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Little Green Men

@Mike
“They irradiated their own planet?”

Always reminds me of an old Asimov story where first contact with Earth is about to happen, and then the aliens realize humans have tested nukes on Earth. They decide we are fools, and pass us by.
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