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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 10:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Prime Factors

Very good outing on all fronts. For those of us who feel like "Voyager" didn't live up to what it should have been, it's because of episodes such as "Prime Factors," which did live up to the promise. We just wanted more than we got.

So far into Season 1, I rate the following as "good or better":

Caretaker / Phage / Eye of the Needle /Prime Factors. That's out of nine episodes. That was certainly more than Next Gen at this point.
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Cinnamon
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 10:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

I find a ton of things to criticize about the Best of Both Worlds 1 and 2.

HOT SHOT! Yeah!!!!!!! We just need them hot shotses-gals to show Riker how it is DONE!!! Watch these two eps and apply sense.....if you run head long into hell you'll get blown out of the universe. I would loved to have seen a scene with Shelby and a borg and better yet, the borg queen (tho' she had not been thought of to this date).....none of that you will be assimilated ...that borg would have torn her crappy head off and stick down her open neck!

Maybe I can return and complain at a later date.
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Banana Phone
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 9:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

It's been a pleasure, Jammer, following along with your reviews and the gladiator matches you host beneath them. I've been fortunate to find them to accompany my casual refresher of the show.

Season 7 remains polarizing. The highs were high and man, were the lows low. Season 1 was mostly shades of lukewarm oatmeal, nothing too deplorable but definitely not spectacular, but Season 7 showed some of the drawbacks of serialization. When there's a crap plot-line, it doesn't go away when there's the reset to status quo at the end of the runtime, but it continues until the writers see fit to put it and us out of its misery. That horrific -- horrific! -- Dukat/Winn plot mess was emblematic of Season 7 digging its heels into some questionable story decisions and its tendency to try to include everybody.

Don't get me wrong. The depth given to the secondary and tertiary characters was a brilliant decision that more than not, added to the story, but there was no harm in sending a character like Dukat off onto the good ship No Longer Needed. Dukat was deservedly a fan favorite, but by jove, quality > quantity every time. See Garak. Reflecting, the development that Garak received happened in precise spurts and added something to him that wasn't already there. Contrast that with Dukat who with his whole Pah Wraith storyline was around for no reason. We got it a while ago that Dukat is a selfish power-hungry maniac. Great, so what's next? That again? Eh. That's what you do with your limited remaining air time?

While there were several moments throughout the season where I rubbed my temple in disagreement over how the writers were choosing to allocate the time they had to finish off DS9, there were fortunately more where I was relieved that, as I remembered, characters had their stories progress in satisfying, logical ways. Kira's story, for instance. She suffered from a case of the writers realizing that they had good ideas for her but they would've fit sooner in her character arc throughout the series, but in Season 7, they seemed to restrain themselves in order to let circa Season 7 Kira and her accumulated development proceed as natural. I am still not overly convinced about the romantic angle of her and Odo's relationship, but it thankfully didn't encumber her. That scene where she, Damar, Garak, and other Cardassian rebels are laughing about the impenetrable door felt like dessert for her character arc.

If only they'd spared some of that decision-making for the Sisko arc. The Prophets ascending to divine status to him and the cloying spirituality surrounding that (even now thinking about that scene where he walks through the promenade like Christian Jesus... Zack Snyder must've learned from the DS9 writer's subtle allusions to Christian imagery) is the landmark of where Cpt. Benjamin Sisko's Possibility for Satisfying Character Development goes off-road. The baby was a pointless decision for the last season and the last few episodes. The writers phoned in it from the Gamma Quadrant with that "fight" with Flandarized Dukat (who was already a puffed up, cartoonish villain in the beginning!) It's no wonder that Avery Brooks has barricaded himself in his jazz career and only occasionally can be dragged out to crouch down in shame in a chair at a con over what the promising character he played became.

There is a lot that Season 7 left to be desired you realize once you've finished it. However, when taken as a part of the whole of DS9, it can't be begrudged too hard. It was very much a product of its time. What I think people often forget is that prestige television is very much so a post-2000 phenomenon. It's easy to go back with an electron microscope to comb over its flaws, but when taken in relationship the environment it was aired in, things become more excusable. And don't get me started on the Star Trek purists' enduring dislike for DS9 over its "non Star Trek-ness." The only real Star Trek purist is Roddenberry and well, unfortunately, the man's gone. Trekkies should take notes from comic book fans. You can disagree with a canonical entry without dismissing its validity.

Having been a spectator through the comments, I must point out @DLPB's sneering about Terry Farrell being ungrateful to be on Trek when it was the place she experienced sexual harassment on is a corollary to his repeated dribbling about the evils of leftism. Right-leaning folks' enjoyment of Star Trek for all of its leftist daisy-chain utopianism reminds me a lot of 2012 US Vice-Presidential Republican Candidate Paul Ryan's love of Rage Against the Machine. It's interesting the way people can manage the herculean task of unweaving messages from such politically charged media. I suppose when you think of the ideals as fictional and fantastical, it's not so hard after all.
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Cinnamon
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 9:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Playing God

Jadzia took over from Curzon....it's that hunk of plastic animal that took over Jadzia ... is making her perform the way he made Curzon perform. GET DRUNK AND HAVE WILD SEX WITH THE UNIVERSE. That little creature is not worth fooling with. It uses people to have fun.

What Arjin did not know was that Curzon wanted to have sex with our Jadzia and to heck with training her to carry a symbiont etc etc .....that is the reason he kicked her out of the class.

I hate Arjin; firstly he does not have what it takes to handle higher education. In fact, as with that creep In INVASIVE blah blah, he just wants to be able to brag that he has a symbiont. Same with the murdering musician. On the planet Trill one can thrust out ones chest and shout "I got a symbiont and you don't.......!" That is why Trill's want to carry one in their chest....it is a status symbol!!!

As for the universe......that could never happen.

I keep messing up, excuse me, just mentally make corrections, please.
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Josh
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 7:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

A blood test of family members is a reasonable precaution and if I was Sisko and my dad was that adamant and I would be suspicious too. It’s also disgusting that in this supposedly ideal future Earth is ruled by an Alien.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 5:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Ah, one of the infamous zero-rated episodes.

It actually feels like a direct sequel to "Looking for par'Mach", as it also explores a number of relationship themes and follows up on the relationship between Dax and Worf.

It's just a shame that it's all done in such a ham-fisted way.

I've always been a bit wary of the "free interspecies love" message carried forward from the 1960s by Star Trek, and even though this episode tries to balance this to some degree with the arguments between Dax and Worf, this is more than outweighed by Risa: a planet filled with young and attractive californian actors and actresses happy to sleep with anyone who waves a little wooden statue around.

Ugh.

Things don't really improve when it comes to this week's relationship plots. The whole thing between Bashir and Leeta is bizarre, especially when it comes to the way in which they resolve things between them - it's the sort of "ritual" which can only really work if you're both attractive and in a place where there's lots of hedonistic people out for a good time with random strangers. Which doesn't describe Bajor at all, but does pretty much sum up Risa.

Ugh.

(There's also the odd bit where we discover that Dax's previous host Curzon died on the planet during a jamaharon, and it's strongly suggested that this was some form of euthanasia...)

Then there's the prime plot: the relationship between Dax and Worf. And sadly, they just bicker like sulky teenagers, with Worf demanding complete control and Dax demanding total freedom. The way in which they spark off each other makes it genuinely hard to believe they could have anything other than a physical and short-lived BDSM relationship.

And indeed, this leads to the worst element of this story, where Worf decides to listen to the rantings of someone who's essentially a fundamentalist preacher promising hellfire and brimstone if his demands aren't met.

(I'm guessing this was meant to be a reflection of the only domestic terrorism encountered by America at the time, in the shape of the Unabomber and his demands for people to return to a more "natural" way of life. It's interesting to reflect on this some twenty-odd years later, when terrorism has had a much bigger impact on western society...)

Or to put it another way, just one step removed from a terrorist. And naturally, this preacher takes the next logical step and stages a faked attack on the citizens of Risa, which he somehow manages to avoid any form of punishment for; he's not even put under surveillance or deported from the planet. Because this is the pleasure planet Risa, and they accept everything and everyone.

(And again, it's interesting to compare this to real-world pleasure resorts such as Ibiza, Hawaii, Prague, Los Vegas and even deepest, darkest Blackpool. Drugs, alcohol, hen nights, stag dos; where there's pleasure and partying, there's also a range of negative elements, from arguments which go bad (as per Dax and Worf) to organised crime and beyond. So there's always a need for some form of policing at such places!)

Naturally, this preacher's "tough love" approach strikes a chord with Worf. And just as naturally, following an argument with Dax, Worf decides to teach her (and by proxy, the Federation) a lesson, by giving the preacher a tool to deactivate the entire planet's weather-control system.

Wait, what?

The idea that Worf would buy into a deliberate act of terrorism like this is pretty ridiculous. The idea that this wouldn't cause any deaths or significant suffering is also ridiculous. And the idea that Worf wouldn't then be drummed out of Starfleet when his actions were reported?

Hoo boy.

To be honest, the entire show and the premise thereof is a complete wash out. But perhaps the biggest issue I have with this episode is the whole hellfire-and-brimstone rant about how soft the Federation is.

Because in some ways, that's the biggest slap in the face yet for Star Trek's original message.

Star Trek was born out of the optimism of the sixties, when America was still basking in an economic boom following World War II, when their "liberal capitalism" had handily triumphed against Nazi Germany. And this even carried through to the 90s when TNG was launched: it may have taken several decades of the Cold War, but America's "liberal capitalism" had eventually emerged victorious over the centrally-organised dictatorship of the USSR.

And this is one of fundamental tenets of Star Trek: a liberal society is generally able to compete favorably with a non-liberal society. Partly because a liberal society is more flexible (e.g. the UK and USA brought women into the workplace during WW1 and WW2, whereas Germany failed to do so), and because "free" workers are generally more productive than forced workers, both because they're happier and because they have more to lose.

(and yes, it's a gross generalisation. But hey, that's what Star Trek is all about...)

In fact, this is something DS9 highlighted just a few episodes ago, when Jake and Bashir got caught up in the war against the Klingons in "Nor the Battle to the Strong": both the soldiers and the medical staff in this episode showcase this tenet perfectly.

Sadly, in this episode, the local population reacts exactly as the preacher-terrorist predicts.

And for me, that's really what makes this episode one of the worst in DS9. At least, so far...
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Booming
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 4:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

Well, the Dominion only attacks Federation ships. The could get contractors like the Ferengi to transport the stuff.
And about the defenses. Isn't the station at this point not already the most fortified station in the Alpha Quadrant?! This all happened after the Klingon attack and we later see that they destroy more than 50? Dominion ships when the station is finally attacked. We also learn in Purgatory's shadow that the Federation had a plan to seal the wormhole in case of invasion.
About the Jem Hadar killing themselves. it is shown that they can hear the founder die outside of the ship. They have really good hearing...

"After all, if he'd done the sensible thing and hauled the runabout to a safe spot where they could monitor the crashsite while waiting for the Defiant to turn up, no one would have died... "
That is not true. First where should they sent the runabaout to monitor the situation without being detected by the superior Dominion sensors and second the ground team would have still been attacked or do you mean hiding for a week somewhere and then getting the ship. Well then only the founder would have survived but the Dominion certainly would have destroyed the ship. The option Sisko choose is obviously superior. In the scenario you are proposing the Federation would have gained nothing and the Dominion would have gotten a founder back. In Sisko's option the Federation has lost a shuttle, two officers but gained invaluable insights into Dominion tech and a fully functional ship while the Dominion lost a squad of Jem Hadar and a founder. I'd call this a win for the feds.

If you want to nitpick then at least get your facts straight, sir! :)
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Top Hat
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 4:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

Admittedly it's not yet an active war, but the Dominion have made it clear that they need little excuse to attack Starfleet ships. So yeah.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 4:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Trials and Tribble-ations

It's a time-travel episode. It's a comedy episode. And it's also a homage to the 30th anniversary since Star Trek began.

And it works, not least thanks to some superb technical wizardy to splice the DS9 crew into the original TOS footage.

Well done to all involved!

The only negative point of any note is that the Department of Temporal Investigations was a one-off gag used to provide some straight-man comedy.

(Though I know there's been a few books featuring them...)
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 3:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

Yeah - I've just realised that this episode was set in the gamma quadrant. Which makes even less sense; trying to set up a supply line when you've got a single, easily disrupted route during an active war is an absolute recipe for disaster, as England found to it's cost during the two world wars, when German U-boats wreaked havoc across the Atlantic.

Given how little priority Starfleet seems to give to reinforcing DS9 and the wormhole (as highlighted just a few episodes later on), it's doubly ridiculous...
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 3:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Assignment

Alas, after a couple of interesting episodes, this one fell a bit flat.

Star Trek has done the "bodysnatcher" theme a few too many times for my liking, and there isn't really much new or interesting here. Give or take the fact that Keiko takes to her new BDSM-dominatrix personality like a duck to water...

I also have to say that the flip-flopping of Rom's personality is a bit too ridiculous in this episode. From a completely gullible idiot to tech genius and then to strong and silent accomplice, it's all a bit too schizophrenic!
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Top Hat
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 3:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

I think the drama mostly works in this one (Sisko telling off Dax is a thing of beauty), but I agree that it's deeply contrived. One thing you don't mention is: why would the Federation consider mining a planet in the Gamma Quadrant, even one they wrongly think is a comfortable distance from Dominion patrols? It would require some sort of shipping schedule to be set up and are they really satisfied that it would be safe, given that this isn't an area heavily patrolled by Starfleet? Is this mineral so rare that they literally can't find it on their side of the galaxy?
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

For once, this is a DS9 episode I don't feel overly critical about.

In some ways, it's a throwback to the military-hospital stories from MASH, with the conceit of an journalist to witness things from an "innocent" perspective.

And for me, it all ties together pretty well, including the way that Jake first flees from danger and then finds himself forced to fight.

One other point this episode highlights is how Starfleet deals with military situations. And for once, they're actually shown in a pretty positive light; the tough (if dying) soldier and the gallows humour from the medics shows a society whose members are willing to work hard to defend their freedoms, even if some individuals find themselves breaking under pressure.

It's a bit of a shame that this implicit message was then thrown away by one of the more infamous episodes of DS9...
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 3:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

Way, way, way, way too soon for an anomaly episode.

This should have been an aftermath episode with much, much more Star Fleet / Marquis conflict ... OR ... another visit from the Kazon (or both). I didn't love them, but they were the first villains they came up with. We probably should have gotten another visit.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 3:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Time and Again

This should have been a Star Fleet / Marquis conflict episode, not some time anomaly filler.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 3:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: The Cloud

The character-building moments were pretty good. The cloud plot was tired.

My question: What would have been wrong with an hour of character building, with maybe a short encounter with a Kazon ship or something?
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 3:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

Something of an odd episode.

Back when TOS began, Roddenberry threw a few things into the melting pot, such as the pulp sci-fi stories published in serials such as Amazing Stories, the waves of optimism and free love sweeping over America (driven in part by a burgeoning economy and the positioning of the USA as the defender of the Free World at the time), and the traditional libertarian and frontier spirit of early american history.

And depending on your viewpoint, Gene was also into open relationships or just a serial adulterer; his relationship with Majel began at least a decade before he divorced his previous wife and there are many stories about his behaviour.

So in many ways, this episode feels like a throw back to Gene's vision from the sixties, as it centres around the exploration of non-standard relationships.

In the first instance, there's the development of a poly relationship between Kira, O'Brien and Keiko. Or at least, I think that's what the writers were aiming for, as I know a number of people in very similar setups - some of which include a child being cared for by everyone in the relationship. It's perhaps a shame that things inevitably fall apart for the sake of dramatic tension (and perhaps because they'd pushed the concept as far as they could get away with on an American syndicated TV show).

There's then the relationship between Quark and Grilka, as mediated by Worf, who selflessly puts aside his own feelings for Grilka to help Quark. And as with Keiko, Kira and O'Brien, it's interesting to see how accepting everyone is of this non-standard situation, though it does fit in well with Worf's long standing traits of being selfless and honourable.

Then, we get to the final pairings: Quark and Grilka, Worf and Dax. And again, this harks back to the free love, pulp sci-fi themes of the sixties, when Men were Men and Kirk could get into fisticuffs before retiring off to his boudoir with the scantily clad, blue/green skinned alien girl of the week.

And it's that side of things which always feels a bit /too/ hand-wavey. There's often significant issues when it comes to human relationships across differing cultures and religions and when you throw in other species with completely separate cultures and religions - and the various biological differences therein - I always find it hard to buy into how easily cross-species relationships develop in Star Trek.

(Though equally, I may just be overly cynical. And to be fair, the use of alien species does allow the writers to explore things which otherwise would be censored by the networks, such as the distinctly BDSM elements inherent to Klingon culture, as epitomised by the damage inflicted on both Quark and Dax...)

Still, it's interesting to see how DS9 was starting to explore topics which were previously taboo...
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 3:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Eye of the Needle

I really enjoyed this episode -- granted, it starts to fall apart if you think about it too hard. So I just don't, and I like it!

I liked the Romulan and I liked the twist that he was 20 years in their past. I also liked that they restrained themselves from making every episode about getting home or getting home faster, but you needed a few those along.

This was a good way to do it.
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Chrome
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

Excellent comment, Halia.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 2:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Emanations

An A- on concept and effort. C+ on execution. I liked that they tackled the subject, and more on that below.

Regarding warp speed:

"Trek" just can't nail down how fast/far warp speed will take you. But ignoring all the wildly varying calculations from the previous series, "Voyager" should have nailed it down at premise. After all, the entire idea of the series is you're 70,000 light years from the Federation, and it will take about 75 years to get back.

So without shortcuts, you're looking at journey where you clock about 933 light years per Earth year.

So yeah, it was really stupid that they covered half a light year so quickly in this episodes. All Janeway had to do was say get us a safe distance away.

+++

I also read up above about how this was kind of early in the series to do an episode like this, and I agree.

I don't know why they didn't do a lot more "Delta Quadrant building" and "Star Fleet / Marquis" integration episodes out the chute.

They went to great pains in the pilot to build off the Marquis storylines from Next Gen and DS9, which I think was a good idea. Then they established decent backgrounds on the core characters and how/why each person fell on the Star Fleet / Marquis continuum.

And then in Episode 2, it was already getting wrapped up. Most tension was already being resolved. The overriding concept of Season 1 should have been a messy integration.

Episodes 2 and 3 should have been nothing but Star Fleet / Marquis storylines. Episode 2 could have been a Chakotay-test episode with a Marquis member attempting a real mutiny. Episode 3 could have been set on a dangerous planet where a landing party of Star Fleet and Marquis had to band together to fight for survival.

As for Delta Quadrant building:

In the pilot, we're introduced to the Kazon (where we learn they constitute numerous warring parties). We also get a Talaxian and an Ocompan. And then a few episodes in, Videeans (I actually liked them a lot).

I think that was plenty to work with for most of Season 1 without throwing in a whole bunch of random one-off species. We have two new species for villains. Potentially new allies in the Talaxians. And well, nice to meet the Ocampans, but they seem to be isolated to one city on one planet.

And I can buy the Kazon factions as viable threats to Voyager, even with their inferior technology, because Voyager has been crippled by the Caretaker. Just don't let her get repaired so fast, and the Kazon make for real trouble.

And the Videeans were a fantastic concept. We should have seen more from them.

I think each season should have had an overarching species (or two) that proved to be the main menace for that season. Given Voyager is trying to do straight shot home vs. roaming around in circles exploring and attending to diplomatic missions, etc., that would be have made a lot sense.

They pass through the space of _______ (the Trabe, the Hirogen, etc.). Things go poorly. They have some encounters. We learn about this species. Voyager then leaves ______ space and then enters ______ space, maybe after a couple of one-off episodes.

Instead, we got all these spacial rifts and time paradoxes and think pieces at first when they really should have been mining the Marquis and the outer rim Delta Quadrant species at first for most of the episodes (and looking harder for Lady Caretaker).

All that said, I think "Voyager" is better than many fans give it credit for. Especially in hindsight when we seen what came afterward.
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Robert
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 2:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

The character of Kes had been backed into a corner by seasons of myopic writing and poor priorities. She had amazing mental abilities, was young and compassionate, and had a short lived life with a unique perspective. Also, Lien was just a great actor. We saw that in War Lord. So much range.

Unfortunately, after seasons of neglect, she became little more than a Nurse Betty, and that was a huge mistake on the part of the writers.

Keeping Neelix or Harry over Kes was a huge mistake. Neelix was the most useless character in the history of Trek, and Kim was the most utterly mundane and boring. Kim really served no crucial purpose on the cast. And I'm sorry but he's hardly one of the most attractive men in Hollywood... bleh.

I was sad to see Kes go and be replaced by the Seven of Nine pin-up model. She was dating Branan Bragga and got an instant in. In reality, Seven and Kes could've co-existed together, at least for a few more episodes. Kes' insane abilities that were transforming her into an evolved form a consciousness deserved more explaining before she was cast out into the universe.

There could have been so many interesting interactions between Kes and Seven while the two were still on board. Instead, their only major interaction with Kes using her mental abilities to remove some malfunctioning hardware from Seven's brain. Whoop-dee-doo.

Much like how Jadzia was written out in DS9, it was a very sour moment when Kes was written out and replaced with another female lead, with no proper transition time to really integrate what was happening. It just made no sense.
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Douglas
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 1:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

I think the Holiday Special is on Youtube...I watched about 5 minutes, that was enough.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 1:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

Another episode which makes me wonder how DS9 mamaged to get itself renewed.

Once again, a large chunk of the command crew from the space station - at a time of active war with two separate enemies - decide to spend several weeks on a remote planet doing some pointless mineral survey. It's almost as if this was a TNG episode rather than DS9. Again.

(They've also managed to pack somewhere around a dozen people onto a single runabout, which is a lot more than we usually see. And as mentioned before, THE FEDERATION IS AT WAR WITH TWO POWERS OF EQUAL OR GREATER MILITARY STRENGTH: why the hell are senior military staff for the main defence hub of the sector buzzing around in weak little ships?)

And look. As if by a hugely convenient plot device, there's a Jem Hadar ship in trouble! And it happens to crash land within visible range of where the misplaced bridge crew happen to be standing.

Handy that. Even handier, the entire crew of the ship is dead and the ship is empty, though there's a few foreboding camera shots to let us know that Something Is Still In There.

(And I have to ask: where are all these Jem Hadar ships coming from? The
episode mentions that there's a dominion outpost 3 weeks away: where have they come from? Assuming my warp maths is correct, it'd take at least ten years at warp 9.9 for ships to travel to the wormhole exit point in the gamma sector and the Dominion doesn't use cloaking technology on it's ships, so can't just nip through the wormhole - which if the federation has any sense, has a very large number of weapons pointed at it...)

So, Sisko sees an opportunity for salvage - which is perfectly logical. But he also somehow fails to take into account the fact that maybe, just maybe, the ship could have gotten a distress call off or that the Dominion might come looking for it.

Instead, the ground-based crew is set the task of digging graves for the Jem Hadar (instead of collecting samples for analysis for the war effort) and there's a blase conversation with the remaining bridge crew back at DS9, who then happily blab in public about the discovery of a crashed Jem Hadar ship. On a station where literally anyone could be a shape shifting spy.

It therefore comes as a great surprise to everyone when a Jem Hadar ship turns up and blows up the runabout. Fortunately, the federation seems to have an inexhaustible supply of runabouts, and the red-shirt crew required to pilot them.

Even better, the Jem Hadar then beam down to the planet and start attacking the people on the ground. And once more, a bunch of people trained to Civil Defence level are able to hold their own against a platoon of skilled super soldiers who are stronger, faster, better shots and can turn invisible.

But wait! For some reason, the Jem Hadar won't follow them onto the crashed ship. For Reasons. Oh, and one of the crew members - a nobody who's been having suspiciously large amounts of banter with O'Brien - has managed to get himself shot by the Jem Hadar's hugely overpowered weapons, but didn't die!

We gots the making of a siege! With a bonus helping of a cliche dying-companion sub-plot.

And so on the episode creaks and rumbles on, with yet more cliches a plenty, including one of the more pointless monologues yet seen in DS9 (as outlined by several other reviews above).

Eventually, things come to a head, with the revelation that a dying changling was aboard the ship! Looks like those foreboding camera shots were there for a reason. And the Jem Hadar all decide to top themselves at the exact same time as the changling dies, despite the fact that THE ENTIRE REASON THEY DIDN'T INVADE THE SHIP WAS BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHERE IT WAS AND HAD NO WAY TO COMMUNICATE WITH IT.

And then we get a monologue. Blah blah trust blah blah pointless blah blah. It's a speech which makes very little sense in the context of what actually happened during this episode. Especially since the main cause of all the deaths is the complete incompetence displayed by Sisco.

After all, if he'd done the sensible thing and hauled the runabout to a safe spot where they could monitor the crashsite while waiting for the Defiant to turn up, no one would have died...
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HaliaWestron
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 11:54am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

One, thing that really irritates me about those reviews is this arrogant anthropocentrism: "Of course is a silly custom, because we humans automatically know what's objectively wrong and right!" This same happened when Jammer was talking about "TNG Half a life" when he automatically said that Kaelon's custom is obviously stupid, without even considering why it even existed in the first place. If aliens exists, they are culturally different that us - do we have the right to judge them by human standards? I completely agree, I would also say its a somewhat biased modern western viewpoint and reading this in 2020 it feels incredibly shallow and even bigoted. There are plenty of cultures in which ritual suicide is a social/culturally accepted path. To state that the episode fails because Worf's cultural mindset is 'silly' is failing in critical thought. Throughout TNG (and other star trek series) Klingons are shown to have a culture that espouses ritual suicide in various situations. They are also a people with very specific views about the physicality needed. Perhaps Jammer should have listened to Picard a few more times............... "that's a very human perspective, for a KLINGON in Worf's position, his life is over...... we don't have to agree with it, we don't have to understand it"
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Fenn
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 10:08am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

(One more interesting dynamic I forgot to mention: the strain beginning to show between Weyoun and Dukat, and Cardassia/the rest of the Dominion in general. No attacking Bajor for you, Dukat -- and god, please don't use Kira as a proxy for her planet...)
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