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Booming
Sat, Dec 14, 2019, 11:18am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

@Oriza
I disagree. I think that his father should have been punished more severely and his mother, too. How many parents would engineer their children if the only consequence are 2-3 years in a Federation low security prison and it isn't even both parents. Such a federation prison is probably a nicer place than most hotels today.
The best safeguard is to deny people who are engineered any kind of post in the Federation as to not incentivize anybody who wants a better future for their unintelligent offspring. If you make a better life impossible then you eradicate the main reason for parents to engineer their kids. Simple and effective.
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Oriza
Sat, Dec 14, 2019, 10:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

Also, I didn't see a problem with letting Bashir retain his commission in exchange for his father being imprisoned. It wasn't Bashir's fault he was engineered-- or that he had to lie because Starfleet has this fucked-up attitude towards kids who were enhanced without consent. His father was the piece of shit who destroyed a six-year-old for not being "good enough"; his father deserves the consequences.
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Oriza
Sat, Dec 14, 2019, 10:12am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

@William B

That's an excellent point regarding Jadzia. I'd much rather have that as a headcanon than Bashir just liking her because she's pretty (even though it's certainly true!)

I like this episode-- because I like basically all the DS9 episodes that deal with heavy gray ethical stuff rather than black-and-white morality-- but I absolutely agree with everyone else who said that they should've spent more time focusing on the ramifications of Bashir's time in the prison camp. One of the best things about DS9 is how it's not serialized, and it lets its characters grow and learn from things that happen in previous episodes.

In season 2 or even 3, I would've expected them to completely ignore his time in the prison camp. But it's season 5 now. If we can have Eddington becoming a Maquis, or Dukat disowning his daughter for choosing DS9 over him, there's absolutely no reason not to spend at least *some* of what is literally a *Bashir-centric episode* talking about the impacts of camp 317.
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Fenn
Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 6:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

Eh, not tooooooooooo bad, but... eh. Knowing that "the dog did it" -- and not realising that till seconds before the dog transformed -- mostly just makes me feel a little stupid in hindsight. I guess I did fall for it. I do have a weakness for big, fluffy dogs.

I do find the whole bait-and-switch on the crystal thing kind of amusing, though. Geordi thinks he's about to have some mindblowing crystal-assisted semi-telepathic sexual experience, but gasp, she's actually a shapeshifting entity trying to steal his form! But wait, no, actually, sometimes a mindblowing crystal-assisted semi-telepathic sexual experience... really just *is* a mindblowing crystal-assisted semi-telepathic sexual experience. Thanks, Star Trek.
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Fenn
Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 5:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

Thoroughly enjoyable episode. It manages to reconcile the differing wants of everyone involved, in the end, and the reality created for Moriarty and the Countess is just as real as they are. I can't help wondering if they'd ever realise the deception, though, as the first layer of holodeck had the warp core glitch out when Picard threw something at it. Imagine a holodeck malfunction when the holodeck is your only existence.

I usually can't stand Barclay or his episodes, but there's little enough of him here to avoid much frustration with the episode. His interaction with the Countess is something of a fun moment, even, as is his wary "computer, end program" at the end. Don't worry, Barclay. You're real... or, at least, as real as our own "little device sitting on someone's table" makes you.
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Dougie
Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 4:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

If Lien’s current situation is relevant, then potentially problems started even back then. I’d always thought this - at what point did those problems really first materialize, and as I always have Voyager on rotation I’m looking for the turn.
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Chrome
Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 1:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The City on the Edge of Forever

@Sleeper Agent

With respect, I think you're missing out on the big picture of this one. There's two huge unintuitive, or anti-heroic, conflicts in the episode. The first is that saving the sweet intelligent woman does not save the day. The second is that peace is not the correct path towards freedom. Kirk is left with making two horrible decisions that he clearly doesn't wish to make and his struggle with that conflict is what makes the episode good. It takes the idea that "if only we could've prevented these bad things in the past things would've been better" and flips it on its head. The ending is also bittersweet, as Kirk leaves the planet feeling disgusted despite doing the most logical thing he could.
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Peter G.
Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 12:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

@ Chris,

I think the difference there lies in what the ship's mission is. Starfleet crew members join up with the idea of serving to do their duty, knowing they could die in the line of duty. That's part of the deal, that missions can be dangerous. In this scenario, however, Sisko's choice is to sacrifice his crew's lives as they know them (and his mission as well) in order to populate a colony. This is (a) not what Starfleet personnel signed up for, and (b) not part of any mission that has been assigned to them. I think these are very important issues because it is not correct to suppose that a Captain has the moral authority to sacrifice his crew for any purpose he deems fit, unless it falls under doing so for the purposes of a mission of the defense of the Federation. There may be many 'good causes' around the galaxy for which a Captain could sacrifice his ship and crew, but it would not be appropriate to play god and use them like that.

So in this instance I think the more dangerous choice would be to choose to stay, unless it really was some kind of unanimous vote and everyone agreed. That still doesn't speak to them losing Starfleet's ship, but at least the personnel question is spoken for.
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Chris
Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 12:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

Remember in TNG when Deanna Troy fails the Star Fleet simulation because she couldn't order someone to their death to save the lives of the rest of the crew on the ship? But she does it in the end, passes the exam and everyone is happy about the valuable lesson she learned about tough choices?
Member?
So why is Sisko so self righteous about offing an entire planet of intelligent lifeforms (Ignoring the Prime Directive) just because he won't ask Kira to sacrifice herself ?
Anyone?
Still a good episode though.
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Atomguy
Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 10:42am (UTC -6)
Re: Supernova

Why. Just why.
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Sleeper Agent
Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 12:52am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The City on the Edge of Forever

Having seen TNG, DS9 and VOY and always heard references to "City on the Edge.." as being the all-time best Trek episode, I have to confess I'm severely disappointed. It's not bad, the acting is on point and the Guardian is really cool, I also like that Uhura was part of the away team. However, overall the story is predictable and the setting not very exciting. The fact that it justifies America's complete annihilation of two Japanese cities also leaves a bad after taste.

Off the top of my head I can count at least 5 if not 10 episodes from season 1 alone, that are better than this. Perhaps I'm too allergic to time travel episodes, because this simply didn't do it for me.

II / IV
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Fenn
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 10:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

I've been looking forward to starting DS9. I'm glad I've decided to watch TNG and DS9 in airdate order, because I love the way the former transitions into the latter.

I can tell there's going to be far more of a sense of permanence here. The Cardassians withdrawing at the end of Chain of Command could so easily have been ignored on TNG from then on -- the Enterprise flies away, the problems aren't theirs to deal with any more, the crew gets another situation to get ankle deep into before moving onto yet another one. And hey, there's nothing inherently wrong with that kind of storytelling. I was raised on classic Doctor Who, which is pretty much as episodic as it gets -- you get the Doctor, the TARDIS, however many companions you've got and a few recurring enemies, and almost everything else will be unique to whichever episode they're in. It makes you feel like a bit of a cosmic tourist, staying long enough to get a feel for something and then moving on -- you get to do pretty much any kind of story you want, at the price of not being able to get too far into any of it.

Deep Space Nine, though? As I can tell so far, it's an entire goddamn *series* of storyline dedicated to the consequences of Starfleet's actions: the shifting of power in the region, and all that comes of that. By showing a lot of different worlds, TNG has made the universe feel more expansive. By taking time to focus on the ramifications, even DS9's existence so far is making the universe feel more *real*. Breadth versus depth. I'm fascinated to see what Star Trek can do with a series focused on exploring a situation in depth, and from what I hear, I'm in for a treat.

Thoughts on the characters, as they're established here:

- Sisko interests me well enough, and I appreciate the dad angle. I found myself really liking the scenes where he talks to... whatever's in the wormhole. They keep a momentum going through a ton of different settings and scenes.
- Jake Sisko > Wesley Crusher, at least from what I can tell so far.
- Poor O'Brien, going from a galaxy-class starship to a half-rusted space station. He's gonna need a lot more kicks where that came from. But god, this was better than anything I'd ever seen from him in TNG (except maybe The Wounded), and I'm looking forward to seeing him used better.
- Oh, naive idealistic Bashir. Wonder how he'll go here.
- You can count me a Kira fan already. I like her for a lot of the same reasons I like Ro Laren (which makes sense), and I'll appreciate her having more space for development than Ro did.
- Quark is a potentially interesting Ferengi who doesn't entirely make me want to bash my head against the wall, which is a good start and a break from the species' track record.
- Not enough of Dax or Odo yet for me to really make a judgement. Feels strange to be finally meeting Odo with René Auberjonois' death just a few days ago, though.
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van zeSpleen
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 9:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Just read critique/review on Season 2.
I love them bringing back the 3-dimensional chess - missed out on ordering a model decades ago. Figurines I never cared to own, so perhaps we will get a second chance to own that futuristic chess set soon?!
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Deborah Katz
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 8:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Genesis

The essence of science fiction, a true and original thought experiment. Love this episode, come back to it again and again
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Ghosted
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 3:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: The Fight

Boothby channelling his inner Mick from Rocky?
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William B
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

I don't think the idea is that Lien was fired instead of Wang because Wang is better looking (both are good looking people), but because Wang got more positive press that year (related to his good looks). It seems as if the producers weren't particularly happy with either of them and then pivoted from firing Wang to firing Lien so they could capitalize on the publicity for Wang. That it seems Lien had some big personal problems is probably another factor.

Strictly speaking, the "character bible" versions of Kim and Kes were some of the characters who would have the most obvious arcs over the course of the series, as the youngest, the naifs who would be expected to change the most over the seven-year journey. It's sort of a shame that one's story was truncated by her leaving the show and the other was kept in a semi-artificial stasis. I say sort of because it's hard to know how much the show could have really done for the characters given the possible limitations of the actors (either in terms of range or in terms of personal problems getting in the way, or maybe both). In fact the best episode (arguably) for each character is one which jumped ahead in time (Before and After, Timeless) to a "fully developed" version of the character, even though in principle we could have seen some of this development in real time. (I know that we did, a bit -- Elliott I'm sure will talk about what Kes development actually did happen in season 3, especially.)
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Chrome
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 1:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

It's nice that Garrett was in a beauty magazine and all, but Lien herself was a beautiful woman in her own right. It sounds like the problems with Kess go beyond the aesthetic.
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William B
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 12:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

I also dimly recall an interview where Wang said that they wouldn't let him direct an episode when he asked, in contrast to every other cast member (Trek was generally pretty generous with allowing cast members to direct). For whatever reason, they did seem to maybe have it in for him. Most of us here seem to think his performances weren't really great, so it might be that the producers didn't think he had the artistic chops or something, but I don't know if that fully explains it.

"Alas, they underserve him again. They didn’t HAVE to make him an indecisive, micro-managing, arrogant and unsympathetic middle manager. Those characteristics do not naturally emerge from earlier shows where he’s been shown to have more judgment and maturity. He could just as believably - and more rewardingly - have been allowed to demonstrate more ability here. The writers pranked him."

Yeah. I think part of the problem is that the writers wanted to make "a command episode" for Kim which is *only* about his command abilities, and so that necessarily means they have to have some kind of arc about his command abilities, and so the arc they settled on is "he is bad at it but learns," and then they went about it in a hamhanded way. They might have done better if they'd made Kim commanding part of an episode about something else (as they did in season five sometimes).
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Delta Radiation
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 12:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Fair Haven

Jammer rated this as a poor episode thus only giving it two stars. I must respectfully disagree with his assessment. In my mind it not only has no redeeming qualities but loads of bad, insulting ones. I did not watch Voyager during its original run and only now I am watching re-runs. I have tried several times to watch this episode, but until today never succeeded. It genuinely took real effort to sit through the episode. I was worse than bored with the episode. I was downright irritated, insulated. I think that a better title for “Fair Haven “ would have been “Fetid Vomit from the Future “.

First off, I personally can’t stand a holodeck episode. It is terribly overdone in Star Trek. The whole idea of safety protocols going off line is completely unbelievable. Worse, I find it ridiculous that one cannot just turn the holodeck off. I don’t believe any of the holodeck romance stuff. I get that Janeway is lonely, but I cannot believe that she would even remotely fall for a holodeck character. Worse, I would never believe that Janeway (or any of the Starfleet captains we have ever met) would ever risk one of her crew in order to save a holocharacter. Absolutely nothing about this episode works.

And really, how are we supposed to care about holodeck characters that will inevitably be deleted at the end of the episode or at least we will never see again. And talk about stereotyping! Holy cow does this one ever insult the intelligence! The whole Irish country folk trope is insulting to everyone watching, the Irish in particular!

Nothing about this episode works. It is terrible and should never have been produced. Other reviewers have this episode negative stars. Generally I think of these types of reviews as hyperbole, but in this case it is appropriate as it so bad that it actually degrades the value of the series as a whole. It degrades Janeway. It degrades Star Trek. It is episodes like these that Star Trek critics love to pan.

It is one of the worst episodes of any Star Trek episode ever, right up there with Spock’s Brain.

Awful.
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Top Hat
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 9:58am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

The story goes that the reason why they axed Jennifer Lien instead of Wang (Harry was all set to die, after all) for Season 4 was because Wang was included in that year's People's 50 Most Beautiful People (those pants! https://puzzleddaily.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/garrey-wang-50-most.jpg). If you take that story at face value, it seems his additional publicity value outweighed how unhappy the producers were with him.
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Dougie
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 9:23am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

Garret as beautiful? I figured he just didn’t share generously or something.
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Proteus
Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 11:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

It was a good premise to work with, and an un-stupid setup to address the idea of a true command for Harry, with real responsibility and consequences. The script even directly addressed the eternal ensign’s seven years without promotion, which should have seemed like at least an ironic sop to viewers who have felt either that HK is a character without promise (which is not the case - anyone remember how smash-face green and naive Julian Bashir was in the beginning, and HE certainly got growths, or has been badly underserved by the writers (my view).

Alas, they underserve him again. They didn’t HAVE to make him an indecisive, micro-managing, arrogant and unsympathetic middle manager. Those characteristics do not naturally emerge from earlier shows where he’s been shown to have more judgment and maturity. He could just as believably - and more rewardingly - have been allowed to demonstrate more ability here. The writers pranked him.

And they made it worse by saddling the episode with the unmotivated, unmitigated, and unconvincing B-plot.

Did the writers have it in for Garret Wang because he’d been proclaimed as beautiful, or was he a prima donna jerk to them?

I’m often an advocate for the underdog installment, but there’s little to redeem this snooze-fest.
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Peter G.
Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 4:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Deja Q

@ James G,

"That line about changing the gravitational constant of the Universe. That would have have devastating consequences in billions of star systems in billions of galaxies, for the sake of one planet and its satellite. I don't like to think that Q has that power."

I see no reason to believe Q doesn't have that power. That being said, he might have meant that he would change the gravitational constant of the universe - but just locally. The "of the universe" is a term that means it's contant across the universe, but wouldn't necessarily mean that he'd have to change it for the entire universe to do this. All changing it locally would mean is that it's no longer a "universal constant"!

As an aside on this point, extending the warp field to the asteroid pretty does exactly what Q suggested, so his idea wasn't even far-fetched. It was supposed to sound ridiculous, but I think mostly in the sense that he would just do it by thinking it, whereas humans would have to come up with a technological trick to approximate that effect.

"Every time Q turns up, it's "oh jeez not you again", yet he is possessed of powers and knowledge that might transform the human experience for all eternity."

Yes, I've had this problem myself with early Trek's use of Q. It might be fair to surmise that after Encounter at Farpoint and maybe Hide and Q that Picard has his ego hurt by Q's power over them, and his attitude after that was to treat Q as an annoying blight. Maybe the only power Picard could ever hope to have over Q was to not treat him seriously. Personally I think that was a mistake, and apparently Q did also because in Q Who he took steps to rectify them taking him more seriously. By Deja Q I agree it would be illogical for them to suddenly treat him like he's useless and to be dismissed, so I think (and some of us here have sort of agreed on this point already) that Deja Q sort of breaks continuity and even Trek logic for the sake of a wonderfully comic and fun episode. Trying to make sense of the remaining Q episodes is a lot easier if Deja Q isn't counted among them. One reason being, it's hard to believe that Deja Q's story is canon-worthy if we're also supposed to believe the premiere and finale in terms of Q's role in helping humanity.
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James G
Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 2:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Deja Q

I really like this one. It does require the massive suspension of disbelief that all 'Q' episodes ask of their audiences. But it's worth it. The comic performances from de Lancie and Spiner are spot on and the writers came up with some delicious dry dialogue.

A few thoughts anyway:

That line about changing the gravitational constant of the Universe. That would have have devastating consequences in billions of star systems in billions of galaxies, for the sake of one planet and its satellite. I don't like to think that Q has that power. Something a bit more modest and imaginative might have been a better bet (and he does of course fix the problem at the end of the episode - we can assume, I hope, that he hasn't made a fundamental change to the celestial mechanics of the totality of the cosmos).

Q's hair looks a little shorter in some of the scenes. Bit of a continuity gaffe.

Every time Q turns up, it's "oh jeez not you again", yet he is possessed of powers and knowledge that might transform the human experience for all eternity.

Still. All that said, it's a belter of an episode.
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Booming
Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 9:39am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

People really loved Star Wars for some reason. It is really funny to see how Disney is squeezing the last drop of milk out of that cow.
Oh capitalism, you are a heartless bitch. :D
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