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Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

Silly but inoffensive. The Ventaxians' vulnerability to self-fulfilling prophecies and con artistry is familiar and believable--depressingly so, 30 years after the episode aired. Marta DuBois gives an entertaining performance as Ardra and things pick up noticeably whenever she is on screen. Otherwise, the episode wallows waist-deep in technobabble and other Trek cliches (like Picard and/or his crew being appointed to decide the fate of an entire planet) . I'd give it two stars.
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Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Survival Instinct

The episode had so many holes in it, which were already enumerated by the previous commenters. I was put off throughout until Seven and the Doc’s “ survival is insufficient “discussion, which totally redeemed the entire episode, holes and all.
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Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 5:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

It's not hard to imagine Starfleet agreeing to not use cloaking technology.

It's similar to how the US doesnt want Iran or Iraq to develop nucleur weapons even though the US already has. The Romulans do have superior technology.
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Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

I think they missed and opportunity by not hooking up Fullerton and Alixus from Paradise as the ultimate "we want to control your lives" power couple.
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Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

But they do burn. Maybe those nice explosion are all H-bombs .

Come on, what do you think, that some of Dukat's underlings is standing on the hull firing little rockets? It is a torpedo stuffed with adamantium and unobtainium.
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Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 10:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

My science teacher told me there was no air in space and you make a fire or light a match. Do how did they light up the fuse?
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Jason R.
Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 9:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

@Booming stars don't "burn" like a torch.
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Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 8:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

Things can burn in space. Stars for example. How do you think underwater torches work. I would think that a huge empire can come up with a solution for fireworks in space.
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Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 3:43am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

10 out of 21 actual episodes is quite a long watchlist!
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Neil Mack
Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 3:12am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Exile

Boring! Can't believe Jammer gave it 3 stars! Especially as he has given less to much better DS9 and TNG episodes.

As for the shuttlepod scene. I thought it was poor visual effects plus I was scratching my head. Did the sphere have gravity? If not, disabling the thruster wouldn't bring it back to the sphere; the pod would keep moving in the direction it was heading. Guessing I missed that detail about the sphere as no one else has mentioned it.
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Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 2:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Too Short a Season


I’m well on the way... and no, it doesn’t.
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Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 2:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

lol looks like I bruised some egos.
I'll admit I didn't read all of the comments. There are a large number on this particular episode, but the majority of the earliest comments seem to call out Picard. I gave up reading through them just as they started to become more positive. That being said I stand by what I said. The comments on this site as a whole are often toxic, especially towards Jammer's own opinions.

For the record I would never be upset with someone for holding an opinion. The point is that there are many comments, on this episode especially, which outright misrepresent the characters in the episode or ignore the spirit of the series.

Calling someone out on reading comprehension is oh so mature. It only contributes to my point that this fan base is shockingly immature.
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Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 2:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Too Short a Season

The worst episode of Series 1 so far. The only thing that kept me awake was to see how bad the story would get (DC Fontana? Surely not...) and how poor the acting would get. It is illuminating that the best bit - a pointless shootout in subterranean tunnels - would have been derisory in TOS.

The only thing that I looked forward to was a song from Marsha Hunt as the opening credits said she was in it. But no, she wasn’t.

1 star.
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Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 11:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

so you could light up a match to light up the fuse ?
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Nice post, Mal.

I agree that one distinguishing feature of the various series is how seriously the writers take the incredibly power (and burden) a Captain have. On VOY we certainly never get the gravitas that we see on (for example) nu-Battlestar, where the issue of who's in charge is so serious that it has to be resolved politically. The idea that Janeway is just in charge of the Maquis after the pilot is...strange. And from then on it's taken as a given that she's the Sky Marshall, Grand Inquisitor, judge jury and all the rest. No votes of their peers ever taken, no challenge of her authority (even in Scorpion!). That's pretty wild, since she wasn't just a Captain, but in almost every sense was their Queen. She even turned the tone of her Captaincy into maternal care at certain points, which is certainly more of a Queen-attitude than a 'woman in the workplace' attitude.

And yeah, don't even get me started on DISCO on that front.
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Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

One of the worst episodes, but almost comes back around to so-bad-it’s-good. I’d love to hear a Rifftrax type commentary.
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Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 9:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi said,

"As for me, I find myself swayed back and forth. It's a well-crafted moral dilemma with no obvious "correct" answer. And if I were Archer, I would have felt terrible afterwords - regardless of what I'd decide in the end.

Guess that's why I'm not a starship Captain, eh?”

Very true.

Star Trek used to be much clearer about what an insane burden it is to sit in that captain’s chair. From the very first episode, Pike tells his doc,

PIKE: You bet I'm tired. You bet. I'm tired of being responsible for two hundred and three lives. I'm tired of deciding which mission is too risky and which isn't, and who's going on the landing party and who doesn't, and who lives and who dies. Boy, I've had it, Phil.

BOYCE: To the point of finally taking my advice, a rest leave?

PIKE: To the point of considering resigning.

And Pike’s replacement hears something very similar from Commodore Stone,

STONE: Now, look, Jim. Not one man in a million could do what you and I have done. Command a starship. A hundred decisions a day, hundreds of lives staked on you making every one of them right. You're played out, Jim. Exhausted.

TNG showed us the other side of things, with Riker. Here’s a man who everyone believes is ready to sit in the Chair, but he just can’t seem to take on that kind of responsibility,

HANSON: This is the third time we've pulled out the captain's chair for Riker. He just won't sit down.

after which Picard tells Riker,

PICARD: Will, you're ready to work without a net. You're ready to take command.

But something in Riker’s brain just won’t let him take that giant leap of responsibility,

RIKER: What am I still doing here? Deanna, I pushed myself hard to get this far. I sacrificed a lot. I always said I wanted my own command, and yet something's holding me back. Is it wrong for me to want to stay?

TROI: What do you think?

RIKER: Maybe I'm just afraid of the big chair.

DS9 also took an extended look at the burdens of Command.

DS9 started off with no Captain, and no ship. And Sisko was almost ready to leave the service anyway,

SISKO: I'm investigating the possibility of returning to Earth for civilian service.

PICARD: Perhaps Starfleet Command should be considering a replacement for you.

SISKO: That's probably a good idea.

Eventually, Sisko has all the burden of the galaxy (or at least two quadrants of the galaxy) thrown at him, pushing him up the chain of command,

TODDMAN: If you pull a stunt like that again I'll court martial you or I'll promote you. Either way you'll be in a lot of trouble.

Eventually we see Sisko take on a whole different level of responsibility, and with it, a whole different level of stress,

ROSS: Ben?

SISKO: Admiral.

ROSS: It's late.

SISKO: I know. I was just waiting to see if there is any news.

ROSS: Ben, we've got a big day ahead of us tomorrow. I want to nail down the details on the Bolian operation. I need you focused.

SISKO: I will be.

ROSS: I know how you feel about your crew, but you and I are responsible for an entire tactical wing. Thousands of lives depend on the decisions we make tomorrow. You can't afford to be awake all night worrying about one ship.

SISKO: Admiral, you can order me to my quarters, but there's no way I'm going to sleep. Not as long as the Defiant is out there.

ROSS: All right, as you wish. But you should understand one thing. With any luck, we'll be sending the Defiant on a lot of missions, and you're going to have to get used to it. Good night.

Sisko goes from being responsible for hundreds of lives aboard a ship and space station (Picard has about a thousand), to thousands of lives in an entire tactical wing.

These kinds of escalated levels of responsibility, and the very real stresses they create, somehow got lost on Voyager. At least Pike, Kirk, Picard, and Sisko had the full support of Starfleet. Janeway had no one. But for whatever reason, the Voyager writers just didn’t have the courage to take on that very real aspect of the Captain's Chair. As @MadS says above, we see nothing in Janeway when she has to decide on Tuvix that comes anywhere close to what we could expect from Picard or Pike under such circumstances.

But we get it here with Archer.

I wrote about it in the thread for “The Masterpiece Society” where @Peter G. very insightfully brought up Babylon 5 and the Lumati as a contrast. I’ll just copy a small part of what I wrote here:

"That’s what good leaders do. They don’t always come up with the right answer. But they use everything at their disposal to come to the best decision they are capable of. They do their best, and it is hard.”

The reason “Dear Doctor” is a four star episode is because it shows Archer doing his absolute best to come to decision on this. You can see the ethics are consuming him. He reaches out to the most experienced people he has at his disposal,

ARCHER: The Valakians want our warp technology.

T'POL: What did you tell them?

ARCHER: That I'd think about it.

T'POL: And?

ARCHER: Safe to say I know where you stand on the subject.

T'POL: Even if you give them our reactor schematics they don't have the technical expertise to build a warp engine.

ARCHER: They have no experience working with antimatter. I doubt they even realize how dangerous it is. They're not ready.

T'POL: Then your decision shouldn't be difficult.

ARCHER: We could stay and help them.

T'POL: The Vulcans stayed to help Earth ninety years ago. We're still there.

ARCHER: I never thought I'd say this, but I'm beginning to understand how the Vulcans must have felt.

And though it goes against everything he *feels*, Archer in the end comes around to Dr. Phlox’s perspective. Not because it is 100% guaranteed to be right. God knows how things will turn out a million years from now?! But he decides because he’s the Captain, and making that decision is his job, even if it tears him apart.

Contrast that with Burnham making Captain on Discovery, and you’ll see how far this franchise has fallen.
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Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Gor me, as I was going through and curating a watchlist for my friend, TNG S2 was the easiest for me to nail episodes down, even though it has far fewer episodes than other seasons. I didn't have to reckon with poor to middling episodes that are pseudo- relevant to later developments, or bad episodes with iconic moments. The only one I hemmed and hawed on has been "Unnatural Selection" for it's focus on O'Brien. Otherwise, pretty much every episode is either relevant but at least average, or a standout/iconic. Basically, the episodes in S2, for me at least, are extremely easy to define as "worth it" or "skippable" something most seasons of Star Trek don't have, even if my list only ended up with 10 out of 22.
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Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Thanks, Jammer. To be clear, I think an average is just that: one data point. Clearly it is telling in this case but no one would sensibly claim that one simple average for each season tells you everything you need to know.
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Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 6:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Oh and the reason that the USA has intervened in that region has very little to do with refugees from that region.
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Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 6:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

I know that act and it really doesn't answer these questions. The US position is called strategic ambiguity for a reason. I was also talking more about specifics. How does a non sovereign entity pay for military goods? Probably lots of weird financial shenanigans going on there. It is also very vague on military assistance. The position is that they do not guarantee the RoC but they also not guarantee that they will not intervene. Maybe the strangest international "relation" today. Palestine is a close second.
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Frake's Nightmare
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

He really is the cutest of the Borg! Who of course are famous for their cuteness - that thing with they eye and the swizzley drink mixer hands!
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Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Yeah, the number crunching, while fun, is rarely a good reflection of the gut feelings (art translated to data loses a lot of ambiguity in the process), but I must say the rankings themselves of the seasons are pretty spot-on of what I feel for TNG. 1 and 7 are clearly the worst. 2 is probably ranked where it belongs relative to the others, but I never considered it bottom tier like 1 or 7. Didn't know that was a general consensus among the fandom.
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Frake's Nightmare
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 6:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Transfigurations

Isn't that the jumpsuit that T'pol wears when she goes to deserty places ? And how many major spinal injuries does Worf suffer in Next Gen....bit more dignified than being hit by some poorly secured barrels I suppose. More injury related to continuity?
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Frake's Nightmare
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Menage a Troi

Wesley's Jumper - well lookey loo our Wes is all growed up and rocking the red!
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