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Dave in MN
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

It looks like a disaster of epic proportions.

When is The Orville back on?!?!
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I think perhaps this is a tonal shift for the series that goes too far, too quickly. Humor in Star Trek has always been part of the proceedings, but it was the sort of wry, knowing humor that isn't necessarily just for laughs. The first line I can remember occuring in the Cage that shows this is where the Doctor comments that a man will tell his bartender things that he won't tell his Doctor.

This is taking Trek waaaaay too far from that direction. Who is this show made for? Do these people really think a lot of kids still like to watch Star Trek? Did we need another animated series with gross out humor and pureiele sex jokes?

Everything about this seems ignorant, money-grubbing, and just plain wrong. I've been a defender of many less-than-popular moves by the owners of this Intellectual Property since I began commenting here.

This is indefensible. This is ridiculous. Star Trek has finally given up.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

New commenting section open.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 7:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

The fact that the entity was responsive to signals and to attempts to communicate rather implied that there might be other similar creatures it there. In which case destroying it without continuing attempts to find out more about it would have done nothing to stop them killing other planets populations, including those with billions of people. The recent spate of devastating incidents suggested it might be a recent arrival in the galaxy, or this part of the galaxy. There might be many more of them on their way.

Picard's choice to explore more about the creature, including whether there might be a better option made complete sense. There might be other potential sources for the Entity that did not entail it devastating populated planets.

The fact that Lore had successfully related to it in no way proved that it knew anything about the existence of humans; all it would have known was whatever Lore might have communicated to it, and Lore of course was not a human. And there are no grounds to assume that this Crystalline Entity was even the same one.

The whale analogy was OK, but I think a better point would be to suggest that if a cow were to talk to them most people would not be so ready to eat it.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Hard Time

Damn. This one will sit with me for a while. I've had a hell of a lot of PTSD, and I wept when this was over. Incredible script, by any standards, and it certainly deserved a major SF award. Colm Meaney proves yet again that he's a top notch professional actor, and we are lucky to have him.
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Top Hat
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Naked Now

That concept lingers for a while. Note this exchange in "Deja Q":

DATA: Although I do not require sustenance, I occasionally ingest semi-organic nutrient suspension in a silicon-based liquid medium.
Q: Is it good?
DATA: It would be more accurate to say it is good for me, as it lubricates my bio-functions.

At some point they quietly dropped the idea that he has any biological component (note that the absence thereof is what saves him in First Contact).
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 3:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

This episode just reeks of the some 80s pop culture stereotype -- just goofy, shallow. It does seem to capture what I think of that decade -- and in that sense a lot of very early TNG does.

Any reasonable arguments or stances to be made, just get overwhelmed by how tongue-in-cheek the various characters seem in different scenes and how arbitrarily things come about. It's just very hard to take any of this seriously.

Yes, this is another example of TNG trying to be TOS as in many Season 1 episodes. Guess it really rings true that it's best to be yourself (what TNG would really become in Season 3) instead of trying to imitate something else and winding up looking like a fool.

Riker gives a speech that Kirk would typically give -- and "Angel One" is a Riker-focused episode. While all the other males are affected by the virus, he has his chance to shine. He ultimately scores a point for the men when it's all about the women being in charge (both on the planet and on the Enterprise with the virus).

In going thru Season 1 again, I just don't get any sort of positive or revisionist sentiments for these primordial TNG episodes and still firmly believe it is the worst season of the entire Trek franchise (writing, acting, execution etc.). But it is interesting to see the TOS influences (premises for episodes) and I appreciate the more bold musical scores -- shame Ron Jones didn't last the entire run of TNG.
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William B
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

The pancakes moment in this episode reminds me of that moment in Melancholia when badly depressed Justine has her childhood favourite food, French toast, and exclaims "It tastes like ashes."

Sometimes the simple things help and sometimes they don't, in conclusion.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 11:16am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

I also found myself wondering whether this was based on scrapped plans for the show as a whole and retooled as a standalone story. Good episode anyway. I like the optimism on display, but Janeway's characterisation strikes me as a bit... off. For the purpose of the story, she's right back to season one Janeway, who does things by the book and remains true to her principles at all costs. That's not an inherently bad thing, but it could have come with some acknowledgment of her actions in episodes like Equinox (especially the titular ship's crew are still, as far as we know, still on Voyager). An episode that actually saw Janeway reckon with her mistakes to retain that first season optimism would have perhaps been a more complex and interesting one, but I'm happy with what we have here regardless. 3 stars.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 10:53am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 10:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Deadly Years

Spock should have relieved Kirk. Simple as that.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 9:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: The Haunting of Deck Twelve

Proteus: I think you need to rewatch the last few minutes of this episode. The story that Neelix told did happen to the ship.
When the lights came back on and the Borg kids walked to their alcoves to regenerate, they accused Neelix of making the story up. To placate them, Neelix pretended like the kids were right and he had been caught inventing the entire story. Then right after, in the final scene of the episode, Neelix went to the bridge where Janeway and Harry showed Neelix the nebula where they released the entity. Neelix wishes the being a happy ending in its new home.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 9:08am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Seventh Season Recap

"Voyager’s final season was, overall, far better than TNG’s seventh. Similar number of great episodes, but way fewer shockingly boring phoned in episodes like “Masks.”"

Haha say anything else you like about Masks but "phoned in"? From where? Someone's acid trip maybe?

I always give shows credit for ambition and guts even when they fall flat on their faces. Masks is a failure but an ambitious one.

It's a bit like Threshold. It may have a well deserved zero star rating but I'd rather watch it than the equally rated Shades of Grey any day of the week.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:41am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

An unfocused mess that ultimately feels like a total waste of time. Everything about this episode comes off as tired, whether its the reheated Klingon business or the incredibly laboured comedy. I can only assume the writer's room had "Klingons in the Delta Quadrant?" written on a whiteboard for years and just thought "eh why not" when they ran out of ideas.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:23am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

Boring boring boring.

The crew didn’t really seem all that alarmed by random crap popping up all over and that the ship was being transformed.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Seventh Season Recap

Voyager’s final season was, overall, far better than TNG’s seventh. Similar number of great episodes, but way fewer shockingly boring phoned in episodes like “Masks.”

I find Voyager way better now than when it was first run. When first run, it felt like— and was— mostly reheated leftover TNG. But add in 20+ years of distance of no new TNG, and it plays a lot better.

Voyager should have a disclaimer “abandon all continuity ye who enter here.” The lack of continuity was a deep flaw because Trekkers have long been deeply concerned with continuity. But the upshot now with streaming is you can pretty much watch any random episode and not feel lost. It really just boils down to Kes vs Seven timeframe.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 6:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ensign Ro

I quite agree with Focksbot in seeing the stuff about a kind of holy war between adherents of one series of StarTrek or another as being an irritating waste of time. All versions of StarTrek shine at times and slump at others, and on balance I find all of them pretty enjoyable - even Discovery, which I bailed out of after the first series, while I catch up on earlier series. (For me, though there was much in what I see that I liked, the proportion that I found annoying was much higher than in any of the other series. I'll get round to watching it in time, and I look forward to it getting better, as generally happened in all the StarTreks.)

This was an episode I liked. Ro Laren added something which the Next Generation really needed. I'm one of those who much preferred Pulaski as ship's doctor. Crusher is a bit wet at times - I was glad to see Ro put her down over her trivialising contribution to the discussion. And Troi is a bit ineffectual. (Guynan is a far better counsellor.)

It's customary for TV series of all sorts that, when a new continuing character is introduced, they are going to be somewhat irritating to start with, to get noticed. If someone who is going to be a regular comes in all friendly and pleasant, there's a high chance they are going to turn out to be evil. Ro matched that, and it's clear she'll mellow over a few episodes - I hope not too much. I like a touch of temper on occasion - I was quite pleased to see Picard showing the harshier side at points in this episode, as well as his almost insulting meek and mild diplomatic face when dealing with the Cardassian captain.

Looking through the posts it was interesting to note that there were posts about how the Bajoran situation was seen as coded comments on either the Palestinians and the Israelis. As I read it, both are correct. After all there are aspects of both people's histories that slot them neatly enough into the role of Bajorans. Both sides share the common experience of exile from their homeland and a struggle to be able to return to it which has involved acts of terrorism.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 12:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

I really liked this episode too. I should give Jammer all the credit for leading me to it. I have been watching Voyager with my wife and daughters for several years now, along with a little bit of TOS (we recently watched “the one with the whales”) but never TNG. Just the other day we watched the Voyager episode that had the imposter Boothby, and I commented that he was from TNG. That got my youngest daughter curious about this show, so I decided to find an episode for us to watch together.

But I have probably only seen a couple dozen TNG episodes myself, and the ones that came to mind were either too atypical (“Measure of a Man”, “Inner Light”), or too scary (Borg), or both. The same problem came up when I googled “best TNG episodes”.

So I decided to just scroll through the listings here and look for four-star episodes that sounded like they would be a good introduction to the show. There are probably others that would be better to illustrate how things actually work on the ship (and my daughter still wants to see the “real Boothby”), but I was very happy with how this turned out.

I found Riker having sex with the alien woman amusing and didn’t think much more of it than that. But reading the discussion here I can see that it is a legitimate perspective to see it as a kind of rape, coming from coercion. I would thread the needle and say that instead, Riker basically temped as a sex worker. If the woman had held a gun on him when he was walking down the street and taken him prisoner and told him he could not leave unless he had sex with her, that would be rape. But she was not really the agent in charge of his custody, and she was willing to offer him something of value at risk to her own status in exchange for the sex, so it was really a kind of barter.

Jason R. wrote:

If you were an astrophysicist and we were discussing, say, neutron stars, that would be one thing. That is such a discrete arcane discipline that most people wouldn’t dream of challenging a bona fide expert.

But unfortunately, sociology is a discipline that overlaps with a lot of everyday topics like politics, philosophy, anthropology, that everyday laypeople must be entitled to an opinion on and can't just agree to defer to "experts" on without effectively surrendering their inherent human right to participate in the public square.

Both my mother and wife are sociologists, and I agree with Jason about this (sometimes to their chagrin, LOL).

@spmsmith: Great point about the doctor.
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Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 9:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Juggernaut

It’s weird, the “regret” scene of Torres at the very end confuses me a bit. It seems to suggest a connection to her anger issue, which would make sense to bookend the episode, but it doesn’t.

She wasn’t angry toward the core worker. She was understanding and tried to reason with him. She feels badly having to kill him because he’s a victim.

The only way I can see the ending connecting to Torres’s anger issue is that the core worker is operating on pure anger, and defeating him is symbolic of her defeating her own anger. But viewing her that would make her look like a monster. Would make no sense.
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Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

This is the very best episode in DS9 and no doubt one of the very best in the whole franchise. Right along Best of Both World for me.
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Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: The Voyager Conspiracy

Pretty good in my opinion. What if Seven got hooked on InfoWars, or got sucked into a YouTube rabbit hole, and used all the facts to say coronavirus is a hoax! I mean she would have to be malfunctioning right?

Seriously though, to try and take the jumbled mess that was Voyagers first few seasons and make a semi-coherent conspiracy theory was actually kind of impressive. I don’t have an issue with Janeway and Chakotay investigating more, I think it’s less of them getting sucked in and more of an obligation to investigate. I see it all the time at the hospital. Someone comes into the ER with chest pain after eating 5-alarm chili, and you know it’s probably 99% heartburn, but you gotta check the heart out to make sure it’s not the other 1% heart attack. The fact that 2 sentences of dialogue diffused the situation shows they didn’t take it too seriously.

Good SF really helps you view the current situation, and I think now more than ever you can see how dangerous it is to take isolated facts, and twist them to your own agenda. I’d give it a 3/4
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Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 7:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Crossfire

I loved the introvert conversation between Worf and Odo. Funny but so true!

I thought the scene with Odo and Quark in Odo's quarters was poignant. Two guys on opposite sides of the law, but highly observant. Quark is a really well portrayed character - and I can appreciate that while also loathing the character.

Painful to watch...and not especially entertaining; but useful for many reasons.
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Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

The Lower Decks trailer makes Into Darkness look like a masterpiece. I'm just done with Trek.
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Tommy D.
Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Dave in MN

Since my response was in jest (maybe I need to work on my humor execution in Jammer land) to Samuel's post above mine, I'm not sure what you're responding to at all, especially in regards to lower decks, given I haven't made any post regarding the trailer.

As far as the lower decks trailer, I thought the ship looked cool. But I'm not into animated stuff all that much so if I do watch it will be at my own pace.
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Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Aenar

Gotta emphatically disagree that Jammer is biased against Enterprise. This episode was a dissapointment and he still gave it 2 stars; I think he was generous, considering. If this was reworked as a stand alone episode, i think it would have been an intriguing drama, but as part 3 of a triology, it felt aimless and unnecessary. All part 2 needed was a decisive ending and we'd have a good two-parter that took us to a similar place that part 3 didn't build much upon.
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