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Tomalak
Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 1:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Melora

"Extremely mediocre episode. What bothered me endlessly was how Melora's borderline insubordination in the beginning is never even commented upon.
"I know Starfleet isn't strictly military, but an ensign being rude and even hostile to superior officers without anyone even saying something?"

Indeed, it wasn't realistic. "Rude guest star joins the main cast for an episode" can work. In Data's Day the Vulcan (Romulan as it turned out) Ambassador was noticeably rude - but she wasn't part of the Starfleet hierarchy. In numerous TNG episodes Ro Laren was rude too - and got in trouble for it. But simply inserting a bolshy, unprofessionally difficult Ensign into the DS9 cast and seeing them completely overlook her behaviour made no sense.
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Q
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 11:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

This episode reminds me of the time in TNG/Descent when VADM Nechayev dressed down Picard telling him, "Your priority is to safeguard the lives of Federation citizens. Not to wrestle with your conscience."

In Janeway's situation, her priority is to leverage and maintain a tactical/situational advantage (without her or her crew committing outright crimes like the Equinox crew did). By allowing valuable information to be discarded that saved the life of her CHENG, she's doing her command a disservice.

Proper procedure should have been to have the Doctor forward a memo (and opinion) to Starfleet Medical and let them decide about deleting the research from the medical databases. Like MikeZ said, this cancel culture is getting ridiculous.
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Hotel bastardos
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

Well, he's a renowned shagger- but the thing is , now his esteemed colleague has experienced his "length" - how can she look him in the eye
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Dick
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: In the Hands of the Prophets

This is a fantastic episode and a rejoinder to those who say that DS9's first season was weak. I love how Neela flirts with O'Brien to keep him distracted (poor Miles), and the whole mystery plot unfolds in a satisfying and logical progression.

Two things I would change about this episode:
1) Eliminate Sisko's cheesy slo-mo "Noooooooooo".
2) I wish they had kept Winn's involvement in the plot more ambiguous. That scene where she meets with Neela right before the assassination attempt is a little too on the nose. In light of Winn's arc over the next six seasons, her motives and intrigues should have been more opaque at this point.

Regardless, this episode set the standard for all of DS9's great season finales, which always shook up the status quo.
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James G
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

Comments here apply to both parts.

I was really looking forward to this one - the idea of Data's head being discovered in San Francisco was fascinating and intriguing. In practice, the whole story turned out to be, for me, an overlong dog's breakfast of fanciful nonsense. It's comfortably one of the worst-conceived ideas of the whole Trek canon, so why it was singled out to be padded and stretched out to a two-parter is beyond me.

Now - I know you have to suspend your disbelief a bit in science fiction. Especially in time travel stories. But Christ on a Bike, there's so much wrong with this.

This idea that the aliens are invisible because they are living in a fractionally different time - why? You'd just see them as they were a fraction of a second previously. There's no character development for the villainous aliens at all. Why is it even necessary for them to be visiting 19th Century Earth from the 24th Century? Their own time could just as easily be the 22nd Century, or the 26th, or even the 13th!

Star Trek period pieces always bore me I'm afraid but the Mark Twain character makes this one unbearable.

There's a curious feature in this story in that Crusher appears to speak a lines intended for Geordi: "I haven't been able to determine if our phaser energy can generate a stable field". Similarly for some reason early on in the first part, Geordi turns out to be an expert in cellular fossils, and their origin.

I think it's just really sloppy writing.

There's some real, awful technobollocks around this idea of "synchronic displacement".

We're supposed to accept that Data's head is over 500 years old now, for the rest of the canon.

I quite like the idea that Guinan was in 10th Century San Francisco, even though it's a bit of a coincidence. She continues to live for another five centuries or so before she turns up on the Enterprise. I sort of like that. But at what point in this timeline do the Borg attack her planet, and leave the rest of her species wandering like nomads? She already seems to have that existence.

Data tells us that there is "no way to prevent it", on the subject of his severed head. You just can't change destiny. But Guinan refuses to tell Riker what he should do, on the basis that you can change it. The whole 'First Contact' movie is based on the idea that you can. Who's right?

I wondered if Data building some sort of improbable technology from 19th Century bits and pieces was an homage to Spock doing similar with 1930 tech in City On The Edge Of Forever.

Anyway the various plot holes and logical faults are not really the problem here. It's just not engaging or interesting, it's not coherent and all the fanciful flamboyant tripe like the old bugger with the cigar and Picard's acting troupe, and the old Irish landlady are grindingly boring.

For me the worst episode of the 5th series, and - hopefully - of the 6th.
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James G
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Time's Arrow, Part I

I watched the first of this two-parter a few days ago, and the second part just now. I really didn't like it. But I'll summarise my thoughts about both parts in the comments for the concluding part.
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Den
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 11:36am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

Watching this now, I give it two stars for making me laugh, knock off half a star for abandoning the salamander babies!
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Yanks
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 10:04am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

nBSG was really good through 2 1/2 years and RAZOR, but after that is was garbage to include that horrible finale.
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Tannhaeuser
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 6:54am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

It may not be well executed, especially the Janeway decision making part, but the main idea is quite original.
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Top Hat
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 6:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Family

O’Brien’s rank is one of those odd topics where the writers and production people weren’t on the same page.
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Trent
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 4:58am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Seth MacFarlane on Star Trek and NuTrek: https://youtu.be/zKNEQsmvnVM
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Mal
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

Wow @Jack Bauer, that ENT documentary was extremely cathartic!

https://youtu.be/hYGGXRNvR5Q

Reminds me of the Ronald D Moore interview @Keiren posted in @Jammer's review of Voyager season 6,

https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s6/recap.php

I especially liked hearing a little more about the Ronald D Moore/Brannon Braga feud. Man, Braga fucked up. But Star Trek's loss was nBSG's gain!
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Trent
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 10:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Broken Link

I've always regarded this as a poor and very overrated episode.

Yes, the idea of Odo losing his "molecular cohesiveness" and "slowly dying" is good. Yes, almost every scene with Garak is excellent. Yes, the climax in which Gowron is apparently revealed to be a shapeshifter, is exciting. Yes, Quark's relationship with Odo is once again seen to be quite touching.

But there are too many poor decisions. The Founders allowing the Defiant to park above their homeworld is nonsensical. They should put Odo and Sisko in a Dominion ship, keep them in locked quarters, travel secretly to the homeworld and then beam them down. Taking the Defiant - and using a hokey "location blocker" which simply plugs into a bridge console - is unbelievable, especially when the episode goes to lengths to point out how a single ship has the ability to raze the entire planet.

Sisko's taking of the Defiant is itself a bad move. You don't want to accidentally instigate a war with the Dominion. You want their medical help. Send a runabout instead. And if you do take the Defiant, don't take Garak with you.

The Founders "punishing Odo by turning him human" is also a bad move. The series increasingly shunts Odo into a Little Mermaid arc, when it should have gone a twisted Beauty and the Beast route. Make him hopelessly pine for Kira, and Kira be romantically repulsed by him. We know from DS9's final seasons that finally bringing them together doesn't work. It leads only to a sitcomy, forced romance between two characters with no romantic chemistry.

As with most of later DS9, this episode also contains many scenes in which Big Bad Villains stand about and deliver Bad Guy dialogue. Unfortunately the Founders, the Jem'hadar, the Vorta, the Breen etc are all cartoon-level characters whose dialogue always feels like cartoon-level dialogue. This series' always sidelines its more interesting adversaries - the Romulans, the Cardassians, the Klingons and even the Bajorans - for the comparatively weaker Dominion, who always work best when they are faceless, off screen, implied, undercover or in the margins.

Give a Klingon or a Cardassian verbal scenery to chew, and they will chew it. There's a certain theatrical pomp and pageantry a Klingon or Cardie gives you. But put a Founder in front of Odo and get her talking about Great Links, Conquest and Evil Solids, and you just end up with hokey material played straight.
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Rahul
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 10:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

I've thought about this for some time actually -- Trent went thru his ranking of the doctors from the 5 "classic" Treks. So here's the definitive ranking :)

For me, no question Bones is No. 1. He was part of the Big 3 -- no other Trek doctor had as important a role as he did and Kelley really delivered. I didn't always like the writing he was given in terms of being forced to disagree with Spock but on occasion it really worked ("All Our Yesterdays") comes to mind.

No. 2 has to be the EMH doctor -- really think Picardo's acting elevated this character to be (after 7 of 9) the best VOY character for me. I always enjoyed is acerbic wit, facial expressions, and he's definitely the most humorous of the doctors.

No. 3 is Phlox as I think of the range of tones Billingsley could portray. "Dear Doctor" and "Damage" are a couple of episodes I think of when he has those really deep ethical conversations with Archer. Also in "Regeneration" he does a brilliant job confronting his own mortality. Really liked his curiosity about humans in early ENT.

No. 4 is Bashir -- ranking him 4th doesn't feel right to me given how much I like him on DS9 but all things considered, I didn't like how, at the start, he was overly attracted to Dax ("Emissary" for example). Him and O'Brien made the 2 best buddies on any Trek series, but the genetic meddling I thought was unnecessary as well as making him super-competent as a bridge officer.

No. 5 is Crusher -- no question about this for me. Of all the doctor actors, McFadden is the weakest for me and I prefered Pulaski from Season 2 over Beverley. Yes, it's nice to have the mom thing and being buddies with Picard but I just found her too plain.
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Carly
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 10:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Future Imperfect

Guess I’m alone in liking the transformation of Jean-Lic to Barush.

I was touched by handsome little Jean-Luc’s tragic story of losing his mother and growing up alone in a false paradise. I wanted to hug the kid - until he turned out to be a big-eyed freak, at which point I shrank back in horror and wanted nothing to do with him. I truly expected Riker to flinch and stammer amd rescind his offer. But clearly he’s a better person than I am.

In an instant, I came face to face with how unfit I am to live in the 24th century. That made the whole episode worthwhile.
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Trent
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 9:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Apocalypse Rising

90's Trek had the most awesome, scenery chewing Klingons. You have Gowron with his bulging eyes, the always-cranky Martok, Kor the Dahar Master, Christopher Plumber's Shakespeare quoting General Chang. And now in this episode you have Avery Brooks giving his deliciously angry take on the Klingons. He seems to relish being able to cut loose.

As others have said about, this episode is fun but flawed. It was nice seeing Gul Dukat still in possession of a Bird of Prey. The Klingon planet, and the fleets over it, look great. Some of the Klingon dialogue is excellent. The episode's core idea is also very good.

What hampers things are those ridiculous orb devices which our heroes "covertly" place on statues in order to detect Changelings. It's such a dopey looking action sequence, and such a silly-looking device. Why would a advanced organization like Starfleet use such cumbersome devices for covert operations. And why a ball? Those things keep rolling away whenever you place them down.

The episode's perfunctory ending is also a bit weak - Odo discovers Martok's identity too easily - but I like the (albeit now primitive) CGI effect when Martok lashes out with his tentacle hand. There's something shocking and alien about it. A kind of unexpected, ontological shock to the system.
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Paul C
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Stigma

One aspect of this that seems to have been not mentioned dd so far is that T’Pol was almost raped again. The doctors tricked her into touching a pad thing to get her dna, and then did tests without her permission. Then they have the hypocritical gall to take the moral high ground about who gets treatment and why. That for me was actually the worst part of the situation for T’Pol but she never complained or made reference to it. How can doctors just decide to test someone and share the results with everyone? What?
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Trent
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

Is this the only episode where Dax and Julian are given an entire episode alone on a planet together? They rarely seem paired together on a scientific away mission, which is a shame, as they work so wonderfully well together.

In a way, this episode also offers a nicely minimalistic portrait of the Federation: two blue-shirts alone and doing their science thing, trying to help a less technologically advanced culture in need of aid. This episode just epitomizes a certain Trek ethos.

Apparently DS9's regular set designers were off shooting the First Contact Movie, so other set designers stepped in for this episode. The results are special, with this episode arguably having the best matte-paintings and landscape-composite shots of 90s Trek. The episode's "alien village" sets are also impressive, with their odd buildings and sloped, rubble strewn streets, everything off kilter or on the verge of collapse.

As Jammer says in his review, the episode's script isn't that surprising, isn't that original, and yet everything just clicks together so well. Rene's relatively fresh direction, and the fresh production design, seems to gel well with a wonderfully bare-bones script (too bad there weren't fresh musical composers).

The stripped down nature of the episode also lends it a heightened quality, very abstract and almost mythic, Bashir the western hero wondering into a desert town to do battle with just his tricorder and hypospray.

Incidentally, watching Bashir here had me wondering where I'd rank him amongst my favorite Trek doctors. Bones is first place, of course, but I'd put Bashir second. Ignore his super-power reveal - DS9 eventually character assassinates all its characters - and he has a nice little arc, the wide-eyed frontier doctor who matures from booksmart rookie into a model, battle-hardened Starfleet officer.

Voyager's EMH I'd place third. He had more great Doctor Episodes than any other Trek doctor, and he's acted with more flair and gusto, but it's hard to relate to a rude, wise-cracking, neurotic hologram.

I'd place Crusher third. I liked her grace and quiet style. Her private dinners and conversations with Picard were always cool. But she rarely had anything to do, and only had one great episode dedicated to her.

Still, that's four distinct, great-in-their-own-way Trek Doctor's in a row. Not a bad track record for a franchise.

Next game doctor Phlox, of course. I never warmed to him. Always seemed like but a polite version of the EMH, and the aesthetics of his infirmary always irked me. Still, he arguably got "Enterprise's" best directed episode ("Dear Doctor", its moral implications aside).
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Trish
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 8:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: I, Mudd

I agree, Trent. TNG is more friendly to tge idea of utopia, and even tries to present the Federation as fairly utopian.
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Mr Peepers
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Family

Just watched this again today.

Jammer was wrong. Worf's father used to be a warp specialist on the previous generation of Starships. He had the schematics for the newer class because his son served on the newest class ship.

My nitpick is that Chief Petty Officer O'Brien is enlisted, but he wears Lt. Pips on his collar. Sergey even commented that he also was an enlisted Chief Petty Officer, and was proud that Worf was commissioned and a higher rank then he was.

I love the episode, but Picard's brother needed a beat down. Knowing how he was, I would never go back and visit him.
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Trish
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 8:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Journey to Babel

I also want to mention that even though I wasn't crazy about the premise of the Trek reboot movies ("The entire series you loved now never happened." ) , the one moment in them that rang most true for me was when Sarek answered Spock's question of why he married Amanda truthfully rather than wryly: "Because I loved her."
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Trish
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 7:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Journey to Babel

Love that moment when Spock tries to bolt from his cot alongside the operating table and Nurse Chapel calmly knocks him out with a hypo. Patient autonomy vs. health professional authority must be a pendulum that happens to swing to the same spot in the 23rd century as it occupied in the mid twentieth.
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Gail Jaitin
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

So awful. The camera practically laps up T'Pol's body from the ankle to the crown. So disappointing that a woman directed this, but then I guess she's just giving the (male) PTB what they wanted.
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Marcus
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 6:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

I gave i 4/5 for now, it's fluff, but quite entertaining at that. I liked the baseball episode even more though.

Racism is no longer a big deal in 2400s but everyone in the show seems to know a lot about earth history, and especially pay a lot of attention to historical injustices and how things went wrong, in order to avoid them.

This is also a result of it being written in the 90s for people living in that time - even though it's set in 2400s - and there racism still exists, and one doesn't have to go far back for it to have been much worse, so it's only natural the writers also focus on that occasionally. In this case only for a few minutes, and still people are so defensive.

Being surprised and annoyed at left wing politics such as being against racism in Star Trek kinda surprises me. In many ways humans in Star Trek live in a leftist utopia, discrimination among humans and other federation species (mostly) being a thing of the past, and they live in a post scarcity society with no rich or poor, people wanting for nothing, so focus can be more on enjoying life, bettering ourselves and a sense of duty. I also remember Riker mentioning they don't eat animals as well (replicated, sure, that's like cultured meat in our time), so empathy has also been extended more to the other sentient animals besides us. At least in TNG.

In the larger scheme of things there certainly are tons of issues still in their time though, as problems are interesting to write and make stories about, so there's plenty of conflicts with other species, and disagreements among humans about how to tackle them etc. The utopia isn't in the universe as a whole, and the federation and star fleet themselves aren't without issues to solve.
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Den
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 6:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Family

David -"I always found Picard's brother and wife to be too old to have such a young son. Both of them are clearly in their 50s, yet their son is no older than about 10. Robert is old enough to be his grandfather!"

What an ignorant and ageist statement

There are parents who reproduce in their 40's and have young children in their 50's whether by adoption, IVF or natural means, plus its the 24th century, humans having kids after 40 or even 50 should be as normal as sleeping, after all they can live to 140 years
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