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Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

One thing that Discovery got right was that although it didn’t deal with Burnham’s race directly, it did explore the dilemma of racial differences between humans and Vulcans during Burnham’s childhood. To elaborate, the challenge of racism wasn’t just swept under the rug, it was dealt with metaphorically in a way that made sense in-universe.

Voyagers’ writers didn’t make a similar effort for women. They get credit for casting a woman, but as far as tackling women’s challenges, it’s still only partial credit.
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Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Do we know it wasn't a proactive writing choice? What better way is there to demonstrate equality in a show set in the 24th century than to say "look, gender isn't an issue in the future. We're all the same". If that message is far more appealing to present-day women than men, it tells us men still don't want to hear it. If decades of feminist literature and academia hasn't helped, what will?
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Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Gamesters of Triskelion

It's hard to take any episode seriously as an anti-slavery tract or as anything else when they couldn't even be bothered to have Shatner look like he was TRYING not to "step on the opposing color" in the climactic contest.

This episode wasn't a serious anything.
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Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

In other words, the only proactive choice in “equality” was a casting choice, not a writing choice. How convenient.
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Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

"And for that matter, did Voyager really spend many episodes on the struggles of Janeway being a captain because she's female? "

That would be inequality, wouldn't it? The fact the show treated Janeway like any other (male) captain, and didn't focus on her female-specific problems, says she's the same, not different.
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Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

"Emancipation with Cisco? (sic)"

Are you saying we were liberated from bondage by Sisko? I'm sorry, I don't really understand where you're getting that from. Also, why can't Sisko be equality? And for that matter, did Voyager really spend many episodes on the struggles of Janeway being a captain because she's female?
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Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 3:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Up the Long Ladder

I don't care how ya'll feel about this episode, I like it. Just above me Ari Paul says Riker "murdered" -- NO, would you want some "crazy" stealing your cells and cloning them? I would not. They were not "people" -- it is not murder.

It is now all those years later and we all know so much more about INSANE people......The man that took these people into the universe to go back to the before Christ era's only wanted to play God. LIKE JIM JONES. ** Spinning wheels? Would you ladies want to go back to that? Not me. What all that means is that he wanted to rule a crowd of humans and have sex with countless women and little girls just like JIM JONES. Naturally, the guy died as did all the forebears of what was left of the colony. The other colony? Just imitations of humans. Who cares.

Viewer's don't realize that every one of these people has stagnated. They listened to a crazy man and went into space for the wrong reasons. They were already stupid so I wonder how any one of them could learn to fly a ship?

As for Riker getting it on with Brenna, these people would have a lot of diseases whereas the Enterprise crew would be sterile of disease ...... they would have run out of medicines two centuries ago. They were uneducated so they would not be able to exist any other way than to recede back into cave-man-style living. Pitiful.

As for all the crap about telling women to have multiple sexual partners, that is exactly what happened after the worst of the European plague came to pass...the DNA had to be diversified so offspring would not be GAGA down the see, most of the people had children with their own kinsmen, forget marriage. Think about it. THAT IS WHY WE ALL HAVE A TWIN SOMEWHERE ON THIS EARTH!!

The writers are not stupid, they are well educated, learned men and women. If that were so, they would not be writing for t.v. or movies.

The Samarian Snare came before, I like it too. The Pakled's are funny as whatever.

Must add this because I am not going to go to those episodes and comment. It is a farce that Earth only has two doctor's who can do successful surgery on critical patients. When Worf injured his spine...the doc brought in could not fullfil the job. Crusher had to spring into action and do it. Wait!, Picard is near death and Pulaski is rushed over to wherever to save his life. That man (doctor) should have been kicked out of the medical service. Back to Crusher, Beverly berated the lady doc so much and made countless threats so it is no wonder she could not FIX Worf. AND! Crusher was against this kind of surgery to begin with!
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Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 2:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

As with all ST series, Voyager had ups and downs—judging by what I have read here, not only for this episode but all others, there is great animosity for this particular incarnation of Roddenberry’s ‘wagon train to the stars’ much so that I doubt anything could elicit a favorable review. I am not going to try and offer a defense as such for this finale or for the entire run except to say that, for Mulgrew/Janeway ALONE, I will forever be a fan of this ST run— We had ego with Kirk; erudition with Picard; emancipation with Cisco and eagerness with Archer....and with Janeway....we found equality. She was the captain I, as a female Trekkie (I go waaaay back) was looking for! For the record, I liked the way they ended it. For the record, I rewatch Voyager on Netflix A LOT! Just wanted to be the voice of ‘the loyal opposition ‘ on this site..... Live long and prosper.
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Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Shore Leave

This reminds of much of DS9's "If Wishes Were Horses" and unfortunately that's not a good thing. I do like how the mystery unfolds and we get various levels of curiosity, mystery, danger, goofiness, and fear.

Also good were the jokes between Spock and Kirk, especially the one that got Kirk to finally take some away time and go on the planet.

Unfortunately, the solution to the mystery is painfully obvious, and I found myself yelling at my iPad a few times when characters didn't make basic connections like "I was just talking about Alice in Wonderland then Alice showed up". Could there possibly be a connection, Doctor? Hmm...

Also, I'm not really keen on the ending. Okay, so the caretaker insists it was all in good fun and the Doctor wasn't really killed so there's no problem right? Wrong! The crew was stalked by tigers, lampooned by medieval weapons, and shot down by warplanes! Even if the caretakers can heal the physical wounds, it sounds like a traumatic experience to me. It makes me wonder if Kirk's idea to let everyone beam down and enjoy the planet was really well-conceived. I mean what if someone imagines something horrible and has nightmares the whole time? It's just not worth the risk, is it?
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 11:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Some good points, William. The thing about McCoy's analysis is that it's based on a regular assumption that you're dealing with a regular guy; sort of begging the question in that way. If Daystrom really is deranged or a megalomaniac then an abstract statement about what an arbitrary boy wonder might have gone through wouldn't really apply. It's tough to guess whether the writers intended McCoy's comments to be authorially authoritative, or whether we're meant to wonder whether he's right. But given how Daystrom ends up by the end of the episode I personally think there's something dangerous about him.

One interesting issue is Daystrom's decision to use his own mind as a model for M5. Clearly the previous models failed because the pure AI programming was insufficient for some reason, and so he resorted to using his own brain as template to 'skip ahead'. We've talked above about why that may have caused M5's problems. But another question is why he actually felt he needed to do that in the first place. Is it because multitronics were truly just too advanced for him and he had to 'cheat' to make it happen? That he couldn't tolerate failure? That would certainly support the fear/inferiority theory you posit. Or could it have been that M1-4 worked ok but weren't as brilliant as he would have wanted them to be? Perhaps they lacked what we might call ambition, or a desire for greatness. It's interesting that he calls M5 "great", just as he is great. That sounds almost too specific for it to just mean "well-designed". It almost sounds like he thinks M5 is great in the way a great figure in history is great. Is it because deep down he needed it to be more like him in order for it to qualify as great? If so that would support my megalomania theory.

Some decent options here, and not sure I can be so certain which applies best. My basic assumption about people in general is that their innate bias is to think they're better than everyone else anyhow, and this egoism is something to combat always. For someone with objective reasons to think he's better makes that even worse. I'd almost be shocked if he *didn't* secretly have a god complex.
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Bob Vogel
Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 9:51am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Icarus Factor

Mitchell Ryan was the perfect dad for Will and they acted well together. I always thought that the guest stars were well picked for their roles. In this case, I like the way dad said at the end, “ How do you think I feel, I love you son”. Felt genuine ...on both sides!
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Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 9:43am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

@Patrick: Continuity? In MY Star Trek?

It's unfortunate that they tend to pick and choose what is continuative and what isn't... I suppose there could have been time constraints in this instance, but surely they could have juggled the scenes a bit.
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William B
Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 2:12am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Good points, Chrome.

Peter, that's fair. I'm basing my read though somewhat on McCoy's interpretation:

MCCOY: The biographical tape of Richard Daystrom.
KIRK: Did you find anything?
MCCOY: Not much, aside from the fact he's a genius.
KIRK: Genius is an understatement. At the age of twenty four, he made the duotronic breakthrough that won him the Nobel and Zee-Magnes prizes.
MCCOY: In his early twenties, Jim. That's over a quarter of a century ago.
KIRK: Isn't that enough for one lifetime?
MCCOY: Maybe that's the trouble. Where do you go from up? You publish articles, you give lectures, then spend your life trying to recapture past glory.
KIRK: All right, it's difficult. What's your point?
MCCOY: The M-1 through M-4, remember? Not entirely successful. That's the way Daystrom put it.
KIRK: Genius doesn't work on an assembly line basis. Did Einstein, Kazanga, or Sitar of Vulcan produce new and revolutionary theories on a regular schedule? You can't simply say, today I will be brilliant. No matter how long it took, he came out with multitronics. The M-5.
MCCOY: Right. The government bought it, then Daystrom had to make it work. And he did. But according to Spock, it works illogically.

It may be that he is wrong, but I think McCoy's point is that this is a predictable outcome for someone who completes a lifetime's work at 24 - - that it is actually on some level unbearable to never be able to recapture that success. Rationally of course no one can expect to produce more than one scientific or technological innovation in a lifetime, which is what Kirk is saying, but that is different from Daystrom's subjective experience of his own worth. This is not confined to scientists and engineers. Child stars often burn out and get sucked into drugs; authors whose first novel is wildly successful sometimes become unhappy recluses. Orson Welles continued working but frequently resented being tied to Citizen Kane forever. Daystrom was not spinning his wheels, but I believe he was unhappy and dissatisfied (as many child prodigies become). I am not even claiming that Daystrom ever was laughed at by colleagues - - it could well have been paranoia -- but merely that he learned too early in life to tie his whole sense of self worth to his "success" before having the maturity to understand what that meant.

The other thing is that the way Daystrom repeatedly emphasizes "self-defense" in the M-5's behaviour makes me think that Daystrom himself feels very threatened, since the M-5 is based on him. This is not incompatible with his paternalistic belief he knows what's best for all of society, but I get a certain impression of emptiness, disappointment and insecurity-based fear from Daystrom, under the bluster.
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Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Shore Leave

Cetric, totally!
When I think of shore leave, I think of spending time with someone who has Barrows’ righteous curves.
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Peter G.
Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 2:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

@ William B,

That's an interesting comparison, but strangely I never got the idea from The Ultimate Computer that Daystrom was actually a dunsel himself trying to prove otherwise. Maybe it's because the sort of thing he designs is so advanced, but I don't think I would have expected the sort of 'inventor' he is to be able to rapidly produce new systems to keep his fame updated. The fact of the matter is, that some things simply take so long to produce and refine that they will occupy your whole career. Einstein is a great example of this. While he did do various sorts of work over his lifetime for the most part his idee fixe was relativity, and seemed to spend the majority of his life refining it, fighting for it, and trying to explain it to people and seeing if the experimental data fit. I've read stories of physicists going to seminars where Einstein would predictably take various physics issues and bring up relativity to see if they were consistent with it. It's not because he was a one-hit wonder (and history certainly doesn't remember him that way) but rather because that one 'theory' required a lifetime of work.

Similarly, from what Daystrom describes his chief lament isn't that he was washed up but rather that his inferior collegaues laughed at him while not even understanding his theories from 20 years earlier! It's almost like they were boasting of their inferiority, that he was too weird to take seriously. And yet I seriously doubt they were scoffing at the duotronic computer system, and so therefore I have to assume that they were scoffing at him, personally. He seems to imply that they thought his inventions were an accident or something, but realistically I think "boy wonder" is the big takeaway from that speech. If we remember from TNG S1-2, Wesley was often derided by adults who didn't know him and didn't take him seriously *because he was young*, not because he was a one-hit wonder. He always had to prove that being young didn't mean that he couldn't solve problems with the big boys, and I expected that if Daystrom had revolutionized AI at the age of 15 or something that alone would have caused him to never be taken seriously no matter what his accomplishments were.

Beyond that, it strikes me as likely that the "20 years" he spent proving himself were probably related to how complicated and long the process would be to eventually develop M5. It's not like he was spinning his wheels for 20 years after having made himself redundant; I think it's that what he was doing was *so* advanced that it would take him 20 years just to progress to the next step of computer development. Since no one understood his work anyhow it would mean that they wouldn't think he was really accomplishing anything with a 20 year hiatus; they'd think that because it would suit their vanity to pretend that his teenage success was an anomaly, rather than to have to admit that he was so far superior to them that they were comparatively worthless. I suspect he really saw it that way. It's no small thing to call yourself "great". I really don't think it's an inferiority complex thing; it seems more like he sees himself as a technological Alexander the Great.
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Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

@William B

I love the Stubbs comparison. Stubbs' lamentation of the decline in interest in baseball is somewhat illuminating for this situation. Baseball was surely a great hit in the 20th century, with players becoming household names and legends because they could inspire others with their abilities. But according to Stubbs, baseball fell out of interest because people lost patience for it, and instead became interested in faster games. We might extrapolate then, in the world of scientific discovery - particularly in Trek - there is a sort of rat race to outdo the other guy lest one be beaten by someone faster and better. Scientists with even early great success fall victim to the idea that they need to keep upping the ante or lose their brainiac status in Federation society.

This makes Daystrom sort of a tragic figure. He did everything right once, and really made a lasting legacy (people have noted that the Daystrom Institute is still important in the 24th century). But during his own life, he suffered from living in the shadow of his own success. It makes sense that he'd be talking to Kirk about losing status, when status was something he himself was fixated on. The M5 was his chance to finally one-up himself and stay useful in his lifetime.
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William B
Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

You know, I've been thinking some more about this, and I think I read Daystrom a little differently than Peter. I agree that he sees himself as different from other ("less intelligent") people, has some real arrogance, and seems to harbour egotistic condescension. But I think that, as much narcissism, this stems from deep insecurity:

DAYSTROM: We will survive. Nothing can hurt you. I gave you that. You are great. I am great. Twenty years of groping to prove the things I'd done before were not accidents. Seminars and lectures to rows of fools who couldn't begin to understand my systems. Colleagues. Colleagues laughing behind my back at the boy wonder and becoming famous building on my work. Building on my work.

This dialogue shows both -- but I want to emphasize "colleagues laughing behind my back at the boy wonder" here. Daystrom succeeded wildly early in life, and then after that felt empty. It's a common feature of prodigies; a somewhat less extreme version is Dr. Stubbs in TNG's Evolution, who seems worse at first glance (is not as much in hiding/denial as Daystrom) but ends up going far less crazy. His whole value was derived from other people seeing him as having accomplishments, and then without those accomplishments he had nothing left. I guess I want to emphasize here that this problem is not purely egotism, but that people who achieve highly early in life are sometimes effectively trained to view everything about themselves *except for* their achievements as worthless.

So here's the paradox, a connection that I just realized: Daystrom's problem is, in certain respects, the same one as Kirk's! Daystrom's first invention made *himself* redundant; he basically revolutionized all computer systems, with a technology so advanced that he basically put *himself* out of work, because he would never again create an invention of this calibre! Daystrom, as a result, struggled with his own redundancy for decades, until he came up with a new invention. Which means that Daystrom needed to continue to prove his worth, again and again, and could not stand the feeling of being useless, which is the thing he is ushering in for Kirk et al. The main difference IMO is that Kirk is capable of self-awareness, which Daystrom is not:

KIRK: Am I afraid of losing command to a computer? Daystrom's right. I can do a lot of other things. Am I afraid of losing the prestige and the power that goes with being a starship captain? Is that why I'm fighting it? Am I that petty?
MCCOY: Jim, if you have the awareness to ask yourself that question, you don't need me to answer it for you. Why don't you ask James T. Kirk? He's a pretty honest guy.

This makes me think, too, that the issue with the M-5 is not *purely* that it wants to RULE EVERYONE. In fact it's that it needs to *defend itself*. The thing is, technology, at least unless some AI is created which is accepted as having rights, is basically disposable unless it is useful. The M-5 has to demonstrate *its usefulness* in order to continue existing, which means that it has to have threats to eliminate, in order to prove that it is necessary to eliminate threats. "The unit must survive." It is, in a twisted way, genuinely self-defensive for the M-5 to see threats everywhere, because either something is an actual active threat to it, or it is "not a threat," in which case M-5 is no longer as necessary, and thus is more likely to be thrown in the dustbin (as Daystrom felt he was). The reason I mention this is not to make excuses for Daystrom, but because it's a slightly different "disease" with perhaps a different "cure." I think M-5 sees threats everywhere because Daystrom, on some level, sees threats everywhere -- because he is, on some level, deeply afraid of whether he has any value if he can never produce anything of value again.

Anyway, I think the best case scenario is to do what Kirk does: to recognize and value the desire to be productive and useful, while also keeping an eye out for what is *actually* good for others (and oneself), besides a need to prove one's usefulness. What this means in practice is difficult. As the discussion above has pointed out, the continuing way in which technology makes various human tasks redundant has all kinds of implications, and it's also not so clear how to stem the tide or whether that'd even be desirable.
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Gen. Kenobi
Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 12:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

"I wish there would be some mechanism here for people to fork off into heir own private nattering back and forth off topic ramblings of brain-vomit and not clutter up these comment sections with irrelevance."

The site owner encourages us to have discussions. Some people are just watching these shows for the first and enjoy discussing new things they see with other fans. If you don't wish to participate, you're totally free to scroll past it - a handy feature used in web browsers since the early 90s.
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Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 12:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

3 stars.
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Peter G.
Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 9:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

@ Sloan,

I think you answered your own question. And actually it's a good point that I hadn't thought about before: M5 destroys the unmanned drone because it's an inferior AI to itself, and all we need to do is to realize that it hates that which is inferior and wants it to die, just like Daystrom hates the inferior humans who hold him back. And I do think his motive overall is to punish them for being inferior, although not to murder them per se. But M5 is a 'child' and so doesn't have the restraint he does in playing the long game.
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Dave in MN
Mon, Jun 24, 2019, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

There's something about euphonius and ear-catching about their names.

I'm 99% I remembered their monikers the first time I encountered that part of history.
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Mon, Jun 24, 2019, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Surely the fact that Orville and Wilbur Wright were the first people to fly in a powered aircraft means their names should be at least as familiar as that if Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon.
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Mon, Jun 24, 2019, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

This is a splendidly made episode based on a profoundly mistaken premise. This is what made “The curious case of Benjamin button” movie possible. Benjamin is the story of a man who is old when he is born and an infant when he dies. A reverse direction of time’s arrow which here plays so beautifully in a science fiction package.

As the episode played on, I became totally consumed by the story and felt as though I was sitting on my head and not on my butt, but instead of feeling awkward for being upside down I was enjoying it very much.

What a great feeling to be born old and then grow younger as time goes by and instead of forgetting our youth as we grow older we overlook our old self as we mature younger.

We are all share this awareness of the directions of time’s arrow which states that everything comes after the beginning but here we start from the end going to the beginning. Wow!

The interaction between Tuvok and the kids was virtuoso and story was astounding and powerful especially at the end when Tuvok decided to stay with the 96 years old kid in her death-bed.

The diverse elements together brimming with intriguing concepts was stimulating treat for both the eyes and the intellect. This episode was unique and a true spiritual experience for me.
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Paul C
Mon, Jun 24, 2019, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Overtones of the Master & Margarita - ‘manuscripts don’t burn’.

Too many unexplained things by those mysterious prophets - what happened to those JemHadar ships by the way? - and a touch too much over acting.

Great to see the characters portray humans.
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Mon, Jun 24, 2019, 11:18am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: This Side of Paradise

All in all, a nice little story. In the original draft for the script, the spores were supposed to be a benevolent group conscious, and being possessed by the conscious would put someone in a state of bliss. I still think there are cues from that script in here -- everyone affected seems to act in coordination to possess others to maintain some sort of symbiotic relationship with the planet.

I like how people were slowly converted one by one, which led to some memorable interactions with the straight man (Kirk) and the euphoric crew he encountered.

Of particular note was Spock's dramatic shift from being very order-orientated to letting down his guard and feeling happy with a woman he could finally share that with. There seems to be a number of messages we could take from this episode - about freedom leading to happiness, but that freedom without purpose is empty. Yet -- I'm not sure the story really sticks to any focused message on the subject.

The Kirk-Spock fight makes this worth the price of admission. 2.5 seems about right.
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