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Fri, May 29, 2020, 1:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

I thought Gowron reinstated the Khitomer Accords at the end of Apocolypse Rising.

Why is the Klingon still attacking the Federation...did I miss something?
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Fri, May 29, 2020, 10:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

Aha! Yet another episode that I found mediocre to middling, but which is enlivened by my coming to the comments section on this site and finding people reacting to it in a bizarre, angry way, full of wrongheaded certainty. eg. "Anyone who thinks it wasn't right to destroy the entity is being foolish."

The writers ticked off a basic criteria for good fiction by making it so the correct course of action is, at the very least, debatable. If you're angry because every character didn't conform to your view of the right course of action, then I suggest it's because you're narrowminded.

Picard's view is understandable. Riker's view is understandable. Dr. Marr's view is
understandable, if rather unprofessional. The tension between these views is part of what the episode explores, and it does it competently.

Picard's reasons for wanting to communicate with the entity map directly onto the reasons why wiser people in the real world urge dialogue, understanding, study. You need as much information as possible, in order to make the best choices and to widen your range of options.

What if the entity was one of a race, which themselves had the capacity of revenge? What if destroying it proved to be like smacking a wasp nest? What if it was only a child, and the adults were far more aggressive? What if, as Picard suspected, it simply did not recognise what it was eating as a kind of sentient life form, would be horrified to learn that, and could be sustained by other means?

What if it were artificial - a weapon created by a still more powerful enemy, hiding in the shadows?

It's telling that most of the posts on this page decrying Picard for being wrong pervert and misrepresent his position in order to try to make their point. He would certainly "shoot first" if the creature was in the middle of destroying another planet or presented a mortal threat to the Enterprise. He is only considering the communication option because they will be encountering it in the middle of space, and have the opportunity to find out more about its nature.

Equally, though, Riker's objection is reasonable - they don't know if failing to take the initiative at this point will result in the Entity working out a means of avoiding them in future. That's certainly a risk. But destroying the entity carries risks with it as well, as pointed out above.

It never ceases to amaze me how people credit themselves with being pragmatists and realists for wanting to take revenge or perform preemptive destruction, when they're usually just acting on primitive instincts. Yes, there are dangers inherent in attempting negotiation, or in an excess of hesitance around a dire threat, but if human beings weren't prepared to face those dangers in order to gain a greater degree of understanding of the destructive forces arrayed against us, then we'd all still be living in caves, cowering from the lightning.
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Peter G.
Fri, May 29, 2020, 10:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Return to Tomorrow

"It's worth mentioning since others commented on the disappointing ending that there was a controversy with this episode's writer John Dugan, a Catholic. He wanted Sargon and Thalassa to live on in the end as spirits without bodies, which is how he ended it in the original script. Roddenbery changed it so the two would simply fade into oblivion."

What a petty argument? Are both of them under the assumption that Kirk is a wizard and can "just tell" when a person dies whether their spirit 'goes on' or fades into nothing? I don't even know what it means to argue about this point. Catholics already believe that we have an afterlife *and* that you see nothing special when someone dies. Haha, what a dumb thing to fight about. And actually, the idea of disembodied human spirits floating around isn't even a Christian concept afaik. Or if it is one it's one of those quasi-pagan superstitious beliefs they had been in the 1500's when the old religions were still bound up with the new in many places.
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Fri, May 29, 2020, 9:16am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Return to Tomorrow

After watching many of the allegory-intense TOS episodes recently, this episode was a breath of fresh air. Most engagingly, the setup is an early take on the now classic Sci-Fi concept of ancient species that were once like humans but somehow became so advanced they destroyed themselves.

I like how Kirk mentioned that humanity may be already superior in one way to Sargon in that it already overcame a similar self-inflicted disaster (presumably he means WWIII and the post-atomic horror but even the Cold War would be a sufficient example). Sargon dismisses Kirk's point and says that his people already evolved past an atomic incident, but one wonders if Sargon's people ever united in peace the way humanity did. The being that possesses Spock is from the "other faction", which implies there was still dissent and unrest among Sargon's people. This other faction ends up being Sargon's Achilles' heel by stopping his plan and showing that a part of his people never got past the original conflict.

This chink in the armor also adds another dimension to Kirk's "Risk is our business" speech. Indeed, humanity is willing to take such risks for curiosity's sake but it appears that in this particular case humanity is better off without the reward of overwhelming power.

It's worth mentioning since others commented on the disappointing ending that there was a controversy with this episode's writer John Dugan, a Catholic. He wanted Sargon and Thalassa to live on in the end as spirits without bodies, which is how he ended it in the original script. Roddenbery changed it so the two would simply fade into oblivion. Dugan was pretty upset by this change as he believed there should be an afterlife for even these beings and ended up using a pseudonym in the credits because of the change. I'm not sure the change materially affects the story, but it's funny Roddenbery went to such lengths.

Anyway, this episode speaks to many of Trek's strong points and I think Jammer underrated it quite a bit (to be fair, he was right about Shatner overacting). I give it a high 3 stars.

Random Historical Fact Check: Kirk rhetorically asks "What if the first Apollo mission failed?" Apollo I was the victim of a tragic fire that forced the mission to abort. Naturally though, NASA made more attempts after that.
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Fri, May 29, 2020, 7:11am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Doctor's Orders

If I saw it in advance the first time I watch is a secret but the second time it was obvious. Now at 3rd or 4th rewatch, it sometimes felt a little long but that is easily forgiven.

In my opinion the the 2 Reasons why Phlox mind picks T'Pol as a companion is that, firstly she is the only person on board with sufficient experience as well philosophical intellectual and ethical capacity to join him. Secondly in many ways she is his counterpart. They complete each other in a way no other persons do.

I am seldom nitty gritty regarding the context but in the Fallen Hero episode V'Lar says that she and T'Pol was the oldest on board. I always considered Phlox as quite old having collected several degrees a in various sciences in combination with the maximum age of 350. Definitely he is the most mature person on board.
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Fri, May 29, 2020, 6:10am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ensign Ro

Given what has been posted already on this page, I think this is a fair enough place to add my general feelings on the TNG vs. DS9 debate. I've rewatched all of DS9 recently and have just come up to this episode in a TNG rewatch. In general, I think the tussling between fans of the two shows is completely unnecessary - they're really very similar, with very similar flaws.

For me, the serialised stories and more conflict-heavy premise of DS9 edges it out, but this is almost for purely technical reasons: serials give writers more freedom in the kinds of stories they tell, and a backdrop of continuous conflict/unease raises the tension level throughout. This gives DS9 richer flavours and more options - a light-hearted episode can be played out against the background buzz of an oncoming storm and set up plot points for a more serious follow-up.

But that aside, the two series both have some exceptional stories and actors, and a lot of goofy plots and bad acting to balance it out. The idea that DS9 mocked TNG or went against the values of Star Trek up to that point is hugely overplayed (eg. by @Eliot, although I think his views have softened since 2012)? The premise of the universe permits multiple conflicting, reasonable accounts of humanity, and different characters and episodes took on different philosophies. Both series are guilty of drastically simplifying one view or another in order to make a point.

On the subject of Ensign Ro - the character is stiffly written in this episode in a way that is merely mediocre. But the same can be said for the majority of the guest characters in this series the majority of the time. Someone above observed, quite correctly, that fans seem to fly off the handle at female characters that don't act the way they expect 'women' to, and that certainly seems to be the case here. Ro isn't particularly unrealistic by the standard of characters generally in this series - she's just not one of the best.

I suppose a general problem with TNG is that while DS9's Kira and Dax had some good episodes, Crusher, Troi and Pulaski never really rise above being serviceable foils for the plot. In that context, Ro does feel like a bandaid - an attempt to quick-fix a problem that needn't exist.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Return to Tomorrow

Only a 5/10 for the disappointing ending.
@4:00 Uhura says Kirk's subspace message will take over 3 weeks to reach Starfleet, I'm sure that violates continuity some how with the Enterprise D travelling further but never mentioning comm-range.

@10:05 The energy being Sargon said his species once seeded the galaxy 6000 centuries ago & his ancestors could have been Adam & Eve. This explains why there are so many humanoid species in the galaxy better than the TNG episode The Chase.

Every time Diana Muldaur (Ann) spoke I couldn't help imagining her as Dr. Pulaski, she actually looks beautiful here, she really changed in the 20 years between this & TNG season 2.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Conscience of the King

Interesting episode. Disliked as a child like it more now. This episode feels like no other. There seems to some sets and music that were only used in this episode so it would seem. I am tired ! And your shining brightness has stuck in my head since the 1970!’s
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I mean, as long as we're talking "influences" and shared themes/plots and Creator/actor intent, to me it seems clear that Stewart wanted a close out for Picard just as he got one for Professor Xavier in "Logan." I mean, look at how similar THOSE are. Character-name title, a darker, dystopian-esque future for the characters. A not quite, but for all intents and purposes daughter of a close friend who needs saving. An attempt at an emotional send off for the character. A troubling mental/brain condition hanging over the character. The general absence of other, remembered characters. And a darker, grittier, R-rated tone.

Worked for X-Men because the elements/culture of that franchise had already been scattered and were less than concrete. By the time Logan hit, nobody really cared about the X-Men overarching world and the film got to exist in a weird sort of vacuum. Plus, It was actually a pretty darn good film. Good writing, good exploration of character, moving performances.

Stewart wanted that again for Picard, probably so he could send the character off in a similarily moving way, but I think things got muddled along the way, then S2 was ordered and now we have Robo-Picard. (Though the episode "The Schizoid Man" from TNG S2 establishes this possibility, it still falls flat to me here) in the end it just didn't really work.

It's a shame, I can relate this show to so many other sci-fi works, (granted as a sub-par example), yet the one thing I can't tie it to is what it purports to be.

And now there's a new show coming out and it promises to be more of what fans want. (Again) The fact they're touting its episodic nature makes me want to support it to show that that is a viable formula, but I've been burned three times already and can't help but see the parade of shows CBS is greenlighting is them throwing darts at a wall to see which one is going to be their pop culture touchstone that will live on, while each dart that does miss that mark still gets them a nice payout, all the while the sunk costs fallacy chugs along in the background for both them AND fans.

And I know, that is a darn cynical view, and I'm sorry to those that like it, but I just. Don't. See it. I've seen people talk about being moved by the show, who liked Raffi's character as a relatable figure of familial experiences and so forth, but I don't see any of it. *shrug*
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2


That case against Disco was dismissed in court, but it seemed more like the judge didnt really understand how one medium (TV) could possibly plagiarize another (video games). The judge’s own ruling seemed to contradict itself.

“They’re only similar insofar as they both feature adventures in space and a Tardidgrade.”

Umm yes..sooo....discovery season 1?............... maybe he didnt want DISCO season 1 past the Pilot episode either. He’d be forgiven for thinking that season would be about Klingons and not space mushroom tardigrades.

Seems like these writers and producers not only have contempt for the source material, so does Patrick Stewart (as omicron pointed out), they also think we’re oblivious too. Sad times to be a Trek fan.

Full disclosure, I’ve never paid to go to a Trek convention. I went to one once as a guest and all I could sense was a thousand people in love with the Trek world and all the people involved with it (actors, writers, producers, suits) so seemingly contemptuous of the audience. It made me realize early on that we fans have always cared a lot more about this stuff than they did, which makes sense. To them its a job. To us, we take it as part of our identity. Maybe we shouldn’t. It just TV
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Natural Law

"Why didn't our sensors detect it?" I think that's a good question, especially considering how often that line gets used. I think my Samsung smartphone could probably detect a massive energy barrier. Maybe they should have written a story about sensors.

I'm leaving this snore-fest half way in - and I love Chakotay and Seven. As for Paris, I was hoping that the penalty for reckless piloting was execution.
Life is too short for predictable plots. I like SF because it's unpredictable and gives a sense of wonder.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Inquisition

Bleh. I always hated the Section 31 plot line. It simply doesn't make any sense and completely falls apart with the slightest bit of logical scrutiny. Putting aside how utterly at odds it is with everything the Federation is supposed to stand for, the simple fact is massive conspiracies like it never make sense.

Believing the towers were brought down by the US government is moronic, because it would require a conspiracy of thousands of people, who all manage to never get caught, no one ever lets something slip, and everyone who knows about has never said a word.

Section 31 is no different. We're expected to believe that there's this global conspiracy, that everyone in Starfleet Command "knows" about it but is in on the coverup despite how utterly antithetical it is to their ethics and ideals, that the Federation Council either condones it or has been ignorant about it for centuries, that every member world has never objected to this horrific thing, but somehow the general public is completely unaware of it. Nah. Not buying it brah.

It's, frankly, complete and utter bullshit, like most conspiracy theories. The Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order work precisely because they DON'T rely on a giant conspiracy keeping silent about them for centuries. They make sense. Section 31 is fantasy, and bad writing.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Ok after somebody just puked into my toilet I have to state one thing. The story of STP is not stolen from Mass Effect 3. It is stolen from Mass Effect 1-3.
Plus. You all assume that they aimed this trashfire at trekkies. Get real people. This was not for us. It was for the popcorn munching peeps.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"And again, the blatant plagiarism of Mass Effect 3’s story endgame that they thought no one would notice. "

Read a ton of comments here, and this was the only one I saw to reference this. I haven't played Mass Effect myself, but people who have are saying the plot of this show is heavily derivative of it, there seem to be a lot of smoking gun similarities that are hard to ignore.

Then we can look at Star Trek: Discovery and realize that many aspects of season 1 are ripped off from the computer game Tardigrades, including a number of characters that look visually similar (the characters of Michael Burnham, Paul Stamets, Hugh Culber, Sylvia Tilly), to say nothing of the use of a giant Tardigrade that can travel through space instantaneously.

It's really surprising to me that shows with the kind of budgets Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard have would need to resort to this kind of copying, it certainly isn't something I'd find indicative of high quality writing.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Seventh Season Recap

Wanted to put down some overall thoughts on VOY (not just Season 7) having gone thru it at least a half-dozen times...

Bottom line is I like it for what it is and its place in classic Trek. No, it doesn't have many all-time great episodes for me like TOS, TNG, DS9 do but I think it managed to carve out its own territory and I can understand why it will be some people's favorite Trek.

But as many have said, and I particularly like Skeptical's comments (as usual, one of the best contributors to this forum), VOY could have been so much more. Contrast this with TOS which achieved so much with so little. VOY starts with a terrific premise of a Federation/Maquis crew stranded in the DQ trying to find their way home. The production values were great, the VFX solid, and VOY really swung for the fences with episodes like "Scorpion" and some of the other 2-parters, but in most cases the writing didn't hold up its end of the bargain.

I think the problem with VOY is that it didn't take enough risks and was content to basically be a happy-go-lucky crew wandering home and not shaking up the status quo. Way too many reset buttons, hard-headed aliens of the week, contrivances, head-scratchers (like I thought we had seen the last of the Malon/Borg/Vidiians etc.) and ultimately inconsequential action scenes are the hallmark of VOY for me.

But I think VOY managed to do certain things better than most if not all other Treks. No other cast felt as tight-knit to me as VOY's. Having a female captain and given Voyager's specific predicament, I think Janeway's concern for her crew (motherly instincts) was something unique to VOY. I also think that when VOY went for humor, it really came up with some winners -- Doc and 7 have a lot of dimensions to their characters and they developed from the exact opposite, which was fun to see over the seasons.

As for the cast, I think it's middle of the road as far as Trek series go, but it is one we can grow to appreciate and that’s what really made watching VOY in seasons 6 & 7 enjoyable. I think every cast member except Wang is at least average in relation to other Treks main cast but the Doc and 7 of 9 really stood out as the best VOY characters. Ryan and Mulgrew are the best actors in the series, though I wish the writers had done better with Janeway in terms of making her less arbitrary in her decision-making.

The “Borg episodes” were some of the better ones overall for me. One can argue about violating the integrity of the Borg or de-clawing the Borg, but more often than not, we got pretty good hours of TV out of it. I actually think one of the best things VOY did was introduce Species 8472 in “Scorpion” simply to make the Borg face a superior foe and where that leads. But then VOY took a wrong step with Species 8472 with “In the Flesh”. I’ve never been a fan of the Borg Queen but if VOY wanted to keep going back to the Borg honey hole, then this is what happens — gotta come up with new tricks.

I’ve said before that I think VOY’s 1st season was among the best debut seasons for any Trek series. The themes were fresh, the writing good, and I guess it hadn’t degenerated into what felt like just cranking out episodes (writer fatigue). But in the latter seasons, VOY could still come up with some very compelling episodes touching on ethics, character development, and real world themes — it depended on the execution which was hit and miss.

I don’t know if VOY was intended to be a sort of antithesis of DS9, but it kind of felt that way to me. Another possible take on that is that DS9 went out with a bang, but VOY went out with a whimper. I’d blame this on the writers and this probably bled into ENT that started with 2 mediocre seasons before really swinging for the fences in Season 3 and hitting a home run. ENT took a risk and it paid off, VOY preferred to play it safe the whole way through.

But I will take an average VOY episode any day over an average nu-Trek episode!

Just to end, my top 5 and bottom 5 VOY episodes:

1. Scorpion 9.5/10
2. Prey 9.5/10
3. Drone 9.5/10
4. Prime Factors 9.5/10
5. One Small Step 9/10

1. Threshold 1/10
2. Sprit Folk 1.5/10
3. Favorite Son 1.5/10
4. Q2 1.5/10
5. Demon 2/10
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James White
Thu, May 28, 2020, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Omicron and Eamon - I agree with you both. CBS had a "sure thing" with Picard that they cashed in on. So, the quality control was probably lacking. Still, if they had bothered to ask the core ST fanbase what is essential to them, the end result may have been closer to the Picard of TNG. The thesis they operated under - that this Picard would be wholly different than the previous Picard, existing in a fundamentally changed Starfleet - probably doomed the whole thing. You can't "undo" Picard in this manner. But, again, this supposes that Kurtzman and his team had the wherewithal and talent to stay true to TNG while bringing a fresh message and set of challenges in a competent manner. They obviously did not.

Moreover, as Eamon indicated - they never needed to.
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Steve McCullagh
Thu, May 28, 2020, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

Reached this one in my most recent rewatch and had to skip it halfway through. Just dreadful. Strong contender for worst Voyager episode ever in my opinion.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

“Counselor Troi got pregnant by something unknown, had a baby in days, and it’s growing in years instead of days.”

Okay, no special measures needed. Carry on.

C’mon ...
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William B
Thu, May 28, 2020, 9:50am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Pathfinder

RIP Richard Herd. In addition to Admiral Paris, where he stepped into a character built up in the series' history with aplomb, I really enjoyed his performance as Wilhelm in Seinfeld.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 9:05am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

When I started to rewatch this I could not remember that I had ever seen it. After some minutes it looked familiar. Somehow a similarity to Sim in Similitude where his memories re-appeared. When I finished I could remember it all.

I guess that it is an indication for the episode not being great.

Still I could enjoy it. Conor O'Farrell argued in the same way as some esoteric / Feng shui / anti 5G / religious fanatic people do. Luckily most of them does run around with implanted bombs. His interpretation / acting was good / convincing.

The moral at the end was also very clear.

There is a risk that I will write a similar comment in a couple of years having forgotten this.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 6:14am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2


“ f CBS had seriously tried to reach the goal of maximizing immediate viewership, they would have created a much better show.”

Thing is, they didnt have necessarily HAVE to make a better show. They just had to PROMISE one. We all paid upfront. They got a huge influx of cash just from the promise of more Picard and the promise of a Star Trek show for Trekkies.

When they failed to deliver, well, they still got that huge pile of sign up money and we didn’t get refunds. I wonder how many people stuck out paying till the end? Luckily for me, I’m in the UK and this was part of Amazon Prime here. I would have paid if I still lived in the US I probably would have cut my subscription after eye patch picard episode and I wonder how many have.

Either way, they got what’s important to them. An early, and large, infusion of money. And apparently sustained enough to do another season.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 4:27am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

Rewatching again, every time I get a little bit frustrated I do look on TOS. The plots there can be really stupid.

This is to me a quite funny and good episode. Blalock's subtile acting. Guest actor Leland Orser comes magnificently through like a real arse.

I very much disliked the "temporal cold war" theme, I mostly dislikes the logics around time travelling. But to me this episode had a lot of things I appreciate. Run down area, T'Pol trying to make logic of a primitive world. The word plays referring to common situation like going starboard in a card, the burger drive through.

To some extent I like the Xindi plot more than many other plots, also the expanse component . But the more important the main plot gets, you concentrate to much on that. This episode does not bring much to the Xindi plot, I agree. But when I remove the Xindi storyline from my mind I get a funny and enjoying episode.

To Jammers defence, I am not sure I liked this the first time I watched it.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Hahaha. Man, I didn't even think of that. But you are right, all those healthy organs in those refugees doing nothing, waiting to be used for sick kids.

The whole silicon based virus was pretty stupid. Humans aren't made of sand or silicon (ok most aren't) so how would a silicon based virus multiply in a Human body? A virus occupies a cell and then makes it produce the virus. That wouldn't work with a silicon virus. That is so great about NuTrek, they care so little about the most basic scientific things, even people who hate science can enjoy it.

About Soji. Yeah you are right. Does she just have the mind of a teenager? Dash was accepted at the Daystrom. Can you start at the best research facility as a teen? And Soji was, as you point out, one of the leading scientists at this super important hard to get to reclamation facility.
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 3:36am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2


Nepenthe is okay. It at least is devoid of schlock elements.

But I found the attempt to characterise Soji as a teenager rather inconsistent. Her fake memories cast her as a qualified surgeon who was a key part of the team on the Borg Reclamation Project. She was an adult. She needed emotional support due to an existential crisis and being nearly murdered by her boyfriend, but characterising that as her being a teenager seemed forced and rather condescending. I get the dynamic they wanted to create between the two characters, but as with everything in this show, they don't care what sloppy mess they use to hit their goals.

Troi's description of the disease was rather funny. You culture the infected cells in a positronic matrix? So you cut out a piece of the patient's brain and put it in a technojar for a bit? That's weird. Also, is this implication that you have a living consciousness that has no body, no means of expression, trapped in a medical lab being used to culture organic tissue for eternity. That's kind of horrific.

And that makes the overall theme kind of weird. I'm sure they're going for the whole allegory of how the NHS depends on immigration and policies based on xenophobia will be a disaster for our health, but this particular allegory makes the relationship come of a rather exploitative. It's fine if you want to do something about exploitation, but this relationship is portrayed as a positive in this show. Oh look, another accidental far right message.
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Latex Zebra
Thu, May 28, 2020, 3:29am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Augments

Having re-watched a fair few episodes of Enteprise during lock down I have come to one conclusion.

It really was shit.
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