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Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 5:52am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Charlie X

Charlie X
Star Trek season 1 episode 2

3 stars (out of 4)

"KIRK: We have a large supply of entertainment tapes, gentlemen.
RAMART: No, we've a tight schedule to make, Captain. Just twenty of us, we're making out fine.
KIRK: Not even Sarian brandy?”

- Kirk’s offer of porn and booze is rebuffed by a ship of gay mormons

When The Graduate premiered in 1967, the actress playing Mrs. Robinson was 36 years old, exactly the same age as Janice Rand in “Charlie X” which aired the year prior.

There is something about a woman at that age. Would you believe that Stacey’s Mom was 34 when that video came out? That’s exactly the same age as Uhura was in this episode, when she sang and she shimmied as Mr. Spock played his harp.

Teenagers think they know what sexy is. Charlie thought it was ass-slapping.

Star Trek these days thinks it is twenty-somethings acting all deep and mysterious. But the sultry mid-thirties are incredible. Gate McFadden (Doctor Beverly) was 38 when TNG premiered. That’s the same age as Stifler’s Mom in American Pie, yes the movie that popularised a crude modern word for Mrs. Robinson. Jeri Ryan was 33 when Seven first kissed Chakotay. Kira was 36 when DS9 started. We see the first sparks between Troi and Worf when Troi is, that’s right, 36.

Soji is 21. Which by the way is the same age as that Yeoman Third Class Tina, who Charlie didn’t give two fucks about. Who can blame him?
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Tim C
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 5:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

Far more interesting than Part 1, I feel. One of the best parts of Star Trek is watching a group of professionals work a problem, and in that respect this episode was catnip as we watched the crew pull together to successfully land the ship and then get it off the ground again.

More importantly, though, it felt like there were genuine stakes in this episode. Not comic-book save-the-universe stakes, but just the fate of a few bullied locals, which was far easier to engage with as a viewer. I didn't know how our still relatively newly empowered Saru would deal with this sort of situation, but I enjoyed watching him go full Starfleet on it.

I didn't really care about last week's episode, because it was basically just watching Burnham superhero her way to an inevitable victory. At no time did I feel like she was in danger or that the situation was going to get out of hand, and that makes for dull TV.

The wildcard of Georgiou is a welcome addition to the Disco crew, I think. But her character as currently depicted is too quickly able to fight her way out of a problem. If she's going to be kept around, then let's dial her back a bit and give her some actual challenges to overcome.

Nitpick Of The Week: why does *every* Star Trek show with a "oh no, this vital system is WRECKED!" episode conveniently forget the hangar full of shuttlecraft that usually have some kind of identical component? Hand-wave away this solution in the script if you have to, but geeeeeeeez after watching the show for pretty much my entire life, I'm very tired of this particular trope.
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Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 4:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

2 stars

A step down from the Premiere which was pretty meh itself. Just spun its wheels for an hour. The DIS crew I could care less about except Saru. This felt like filler. Amazing TNG had twenty six episodes a season and rarely did I feel like writers didn’t have a narrative urgency and point in the episodes they filmed. Yet with half as many episodes and a supposed serialized format the writers strain to tell interesting, intriguing, fresh and compelling stories. This was just taking up airspace. Nothing more. Worse yet it felt recycled. Been there. Been there done that better
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Cody B
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 4:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

And just like clockwork episode 2 brings us to the rest of the crew and quite a bit of the hope of episode one is dashed out. Okay here’s some thoughts. First just end any continuing plots from previous seasons. I don’t even remember why Stamets was in a coma. Just simply have him come out of it (they did) without any super powers or he has amnesia (yet to be seen) or whatever Kurtzman has thought up. Okay next problem is Georgio. Axe this character. She is not believable as a villain at all. Don’t care anything about her backstory, the black leather is cringe, the acting is bad,just please end the whole character for good. Bye bye. Now Tilly. Tilly makes Neelix look like Einstein. They might as well just have Tilly walk around in a clown outfit and makeup. The schtick sucks. We get it. Just a fun and ditzy girl out here in space! Please get rid of her or drastically fix the character which I don’t see happening. Now with all that said I did not hate this episode. Actually I think it’s still a step in the right direction. It’s just that once we went back to the rest of the crew this week it was a huge reminder of what this show was (I don’t want to use the word ‘is’). The preview for future episodes didn’t exactly fill me with hope but we will see.
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Tommy D.
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 2:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

I don't believe anyone said anything about lying. I've seen the ratings and analytics for all the shows. I don't think anyone is calling Discovery reruns successful in Nielsen ratings either. Its not refutation of reality, its a refutation of how much weight to give this reality, when placing things in context.
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Dave in MN
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@ SlackerInc

I didn't see your post until after I had already posted mine.

I didn't actually write "@Mertov", but thatthe tone of my post was directed at him (her?).
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Dave in MN
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

One other point I did want to address:

Despite the implication, I'm not lying about Discovery's terrible ratings.

Mertov can deflect about streaming and changing habits of media consumption, but millions of people still watch TV.

You can call it a "repeat", but millions of Trekkies never signed up for CBS. It's new to all of them.

The fact is that DIS is getting beat by RERUNS of Match Game and Press Your Luck: CNN level ratings (so yeah, it's bad).

There used up be enough fans to sell hundreds of millions in movie tickets .... so where did they all go? Some of them still watch TV (especially the older demographics) and those are the people least likely to subscribe to All Access. So why would they rather watch Nick at Nite or a repeat of Batwoman on the CW?

Coincidentally, STD's ratings are only a fraction of what The Orville regularly drew on FOX. Why didn't streaming hurt them the same way?

I can't post links because I'm on my phone, but a lot of entertainment industry trade papers (Variety, EW, etc) have been focusing on its poor performance. A cursory Google search will show I'm not exaggerating.

Let's not pretend like Discovery's over-the-ait ratings are a success because THEY ARE NOT. Any attempt to state otherwise is a refutation of reality.
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Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Good review, Jammer. I perfectly predicted your 2.5 star rating. Glad to hear you are hanging in there--same here, anxiously waiting for the election to be over.

@Dave: In fairness, as @Mertov said, the viewership numbers you are describing are for reruns of a show that originally aired years ago. We would need something brand new to air on broadcast TV, with all the hype that it would bring, to have an apples-to-apples comparison (and even then, nothing on broadcast TV gets anywhere near the Nielsen numbers that shows got in the '90s).

@StarTrekWatcher: "Writers nowadays are no good"


But I'm with you in that the writing on the CBSAA Star Trek shows has not been consistently good, and it has often been pretty bad. THE ORVILLE has some good writing though!

@Trent: "The most watched stuff on Netflix is Adam Sandler comedies. The most watched Trek is 'Voyager's' action two-parters. The most watched TV shows in recent years are fare like 'Young Sheldon', TV crime procedurals and reality TV shows."

Have you watched YOUNG SHELDON? It really doesn't belong with the other stuff you are (mostly rightfully) sneering at. It's smartly written and well acted/directed.
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Dave in MN
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@ Mertov

It kind of annoys me when someone types a huge response and then sticks their little personal insult digs at the end. Here I was thinking you speaking from a place of passion about Trek, when in reality you are just as much a troll as everyone you denounce.

To correct the record, I only score and summarize an episode once. Anything else I post on the comments is in response to the discussion unfolding.

By the way, if you don't like old Trek style storytelling, why did you become a Trekkie in the first place? You seem awfully eager to chuck the baby out with the bathwater.

@ whoever was confused about my comment about bean counters

You might want to do a bit of research on the Bad Robot Trek license.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

I never got into this one, the doctor’s novel seemed over the top, Tom’s response was exaggerated. Definitely inspired by Measure of a Man, if not a rip off. All
In all, watchable and entertaining, but it is a 2.5/4 for me.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Assignment: Earth

There's a website dedicated to the stillborn series:
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 10:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

I honestly loved the technobabble in the B-plot. The conceit of holding open the doors had the feel of a classic TOS episode, with the “shoot from the hip” mentality. Really enjoyed watching how everybody interacted in this episode.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Yanks - Thank you! Looking forward to discussing.
Did you enjoy the Discovery premiere?
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 7:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

Oh god because we haven't had enough Dax episodes. Skipping this one, can't stand this character.
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Gail NYC
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: E2

I actually kind of enjoyed this episode.

1) The scene where Malcolm finds out that he will end up by himself. So sad.

2) Loved T'Pol and Old T'Pol. I thought Jolene Blalock was great. I think she's doing a fantastic job with the character, in spite of some of the ridiculous outfits and situations the writers put her in.

I've actually grown tired of Scott Bakula as Angry!Archer. I came into the show a fan of Bakula, and loved him in seasons 1-2. But he does not seem to know how to approach this less optimistic captain. So far the only season 3 episode that I thought he was really great in was "Similitude."

Phlox is my favorite character, but T'Pol is now a close second.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

The Man Trap

2 1/2 stars (out of 4)

"Why don't you tell me I'm an attractive young lady, or ask me if I've ever been in love? Tell me how your planet Vulcan looks on a lazy evening when the moon is full.”

- Uhura trying to avoid responsibility for making a mistake in the sub-space log by flirting with Spock. It doesn’t work.

I have been watching Star Trek on and off my whole life. My mom watched reruns of TOS when I was in the womb. But now I am older than Kirk and Spock were (or at least the actors playing them were) when The Man Trap first aired, though not yet as old as Bones. It seems the perfect time in life to go back and give TOS another look-see.

I agree with @Skeptical, this is actually a pretty good place for TOS to have started. The episode introduces us to most of the major characters we’ll know and love for decades and decades and decades to come: Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura, Sulu & Janice Rand. Only Scotty and Chekov are missing. Well, Majel is missing too.

There are two key scenes in the episode that really set up the Bones-Kirk-Spock dynamic for the ages.

The first key scene is Spock with Uhura on the bridge. Spock does not react to Uhura's flirting, which is of course his choice. But then word comes down that a crew member has died on the away mission. And Spock doesn’t even flinch. It sends Uhura into a fit. She turns her back and walks away. If TOS had aired today, Uhura would have yelled something like “What the fuck is wrong with you?” Fortunately TV in the 60’s had different standards, and the turn away allows Uhura to speak volumes without talking. Sometimes less can be more.

The second key scene is Bones with Kirk, in sickbay, with the dead crewman. As @Proud Capitalist Pig says, Bones is wallowing in lost love when Kirk snaps at him:

KIRK: How your lost love affects your vision, Doctor, doesn't interest me. I've lost a man. I want to know what killed him.

Bones feels too much. Spock feels too little. And Kirk is there to maintain a balance. That is the touchstone for TOS.

There is also some really subtle humor. @redshirt28 has the hilarious comment above about his ex-wife. Even more subtle is when the salt monster was in the briefing room disguised as Bones (what @Skeptical calls the conference scene). The hilarious thing about the conference scene: that was not the Real McCoy!!!!

@Vanessa asks why the salt monster killed the professor? Two reasons, one obvious - because he could ID her - and one more subtle - because she had moved on to McCoy. The ex-wife metaphor again.

TOS did a much better job than newer iterations of the show are doing at showing people the way they actually are, not some amped up TV version. I didn’t notice what @Sean points out, but I think it makes sense. Sulu and Janice Rand sitting together talking about the flowers. Later on they are strolling together in the corridor when they find a dead body. They seem like wonderful, yet completely platonic, friends. I suppose you could look at an Asian man and White woman as the least likely of all interracial pairings to explain the complete lack of sexual tension. But you know what has even less sexual potential? NTTAWWT.

By the way, I tried to follow @Viktor and @ Elliot’s conversation via the google Universal Translator. Google translates “interrassischen" as interracial, but somehow I think @Viktor means he enjoyed the multi-racial aspect of the show? Still, with the Rand/Sulu and Uhura/Spock scenes, @Viktor might have meant interracial. I kind of really want to know.

Finally the buffalo. It is fascinating to note that from day 1, Star Trek has been interested in talking about extinction. Its a theme that will take us all the way through a fun time-travel movie exactly 20 years later, and even to this day, with another time-travel story about a girl and her animal-lover boyfriend, this time, a whole millennium later.

Gandhi used salt to beat the British Empire. Is it any wonder that that simple chemical, NaCl, launched this epic Trek.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Choosing to turn your very first post into an attack. What could be more Trumpian.

Sorry I forgot, ok ok noun, verb got it: Idiots love Alex Kurtzman. :)
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Jason R.
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 5:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

" Women are the people who do most of the grunt work of subsistence farming, lugging the water and last year’s baby on their backs, scrubbing the wash and cooking the meals, and they keep it up until the baby comes"

My wife is incapacitated at 6 months. But now that I think of it she never did much manual labor when she wasn't pregnant haha.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@ David

"I am re-watching Star Trek in airdate order and I am finding myself often times disagreeing with Jammer (but LOVING) his reviews as I genuinely prefer TNG/VGR to DS9 with ENT coming in behind. As I write down notes after I finish the episode and give it my own rating for fun, I find myself comparing it to Jammer."

Yup, the main reason I come here. You'll also find many good posters to converse with. Welcome!
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Defiant

Be honest now, how many people would have noticed that Will wears a beard and Tom wears a goatee if he hadn’t peeled off the fake sideburns on-camera? Lol. I know it’s a concession to the viewer, but I was still amused at how they thought that people would immediately notice a facial hair change, even one as dramatic as beard vs goatee.

Agreed that the Miles situation was handled well.

Don’t agree that there’s a Kira/Riker romance in this episode, I’ll have to put that one down as wishful thinking. Men and women can have relationships other than romantic ones, and it felt like the kiss came as a surprise to everyone involved. I did like how they explored Kira’s terrorist past and what terrorism means in general.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Mertov A much-needed reply to Trent. It’s like “debating” Donald Trump. With or without the ability to cut off the mic. Some people listen only with their mouth, never their ears. Do Trent and Booming think that if they do not deliver their daily two-minute (that’s a charitable number)hates against “Kurtzman” and “nu-Trek” that we would forget what their beliefs are, and how superior those beliefs are? To paraphrase what one current Presidential candidate said of a former one, “These guys only use four words in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and Alex Kurtzman.” When they read this, they say, “But you’re not talking about Star Trek.” It is as if they are projecting their penchant for changing the subject on to others. Are they seeking to win converts to their belief that Trek 2020 is drivel? Way to persuade there, sounding like Rod Steiger in Mars Attacks!
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Peter G.
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Tara (and sorry for writing "@ Trent" prefacing my previous comment),

I don't mean to imply that pregnancy incapacitates women outright. I am specifically talking about later in terms, and most specifically 9th month. My wife was working throughout her pregnancy, right until the day she gave birth, but nevertheless long walks and any kind of vigorous energy requirement was really a no-go in the last few weeks. Even a 20 min walk would be difficult with the extreme muscle looseness in certain areas that expand. It's just a physical fact, it would have been literally impossible for her to be doing anything physically exerting at that point. And yeah, there was much more lying down, groaning with soreness, feeling a bit incapacitated. Still working, but not physically very able. It's not a weakness, it's just a reality.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places


Thanks for the explanation regarding Worf. I didn’t think of that. I did understand that his sense of honor wasn’t shared by all the members of the High Council, and that his self-taught outsider status made him a purist who held himself to the highest standards (similar to Brienne of Tarth in GOT). I just had never related that to Klingon sexual mores. But it makes perfect t sense.

I am going to disagree with you about pregnancy. Throughout human history - and still today in most of the world - women do not have the luxury of taking to their beds or quitting their usual duties for months at a time, every couple years. Women are the people who do most of the grunt work of subsistence farming, lugging the water and last year’s baby on their backs, scrubbing the wash and cooking the meals, and they keep it up until the baby comes. The human race would not have evolved pregnancy as an incapacitating condition, since this would have been terrible for the species’ survival. The same is true for animals: Zebras and cheetahs can’t lie down and moan just because they’re gestating. They have to run for their lives. Other animals have no chivalry toward their delicate condition.

In the 24th century - when medicine is incredibly advanced and a hypospray is all it takes to cure pain - I don’t buy Kira’s situation. I understand she would avoid military action because she doesn’t want Keiko’s fetus to get phasered - but other than that, there should be much less fuss. I could be charitable, I guess, and assume the Kira actor was having problems with her actual pregnancy and asked to be put out of commission for a while and that the writers saw this as an opportunity to display a different side of her. Still, I can’t help gagging a little. Maybe that’s just me.

(On a personal note: I had to work 36- hour days and an eighty-hour week throughout my first pregnancy, mostly on my feet, despite vomiting literally ten times a day and sometimes needing IV fluids to keep me on my feet at work. I kept this up until the day Ibwas induced. Can’t say I enjoyed it -actually it was miserable and exhausting, especially the last couple weeks - but it was my job and I had no choice and I did it. No one ever suggested it was dangerous or too hard for me or that I should be excused. Guess what my position was? I was a medical resident — in OB-GYN..)

Question for everyone: Pregnant women - doctors, nurses, teachers, and I assume soldiers and plumbers too - don’t typically get excused from work or put on light duty prior to delivery, do they? I’ve never worked anywhere but the medical field so perhaps I’m wrong, but I’ve never heard of this being a thing in the modern age, among any of my working female friends.
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James G
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part II

I watched both halves of this sub-par two parter (two-sub-par-ter?) over the last couple of days, and comments here apply to both.

I was never a fan of Deep Sleep 9, and only ever saw a couple of them. I assume the Bashir content in this one is intended as a sort of trailer for the new series; it adds nothing. I sort of liked the Data 'dream' story, but not that much really.

The remarkably humane Romulan open prison on the remote planet is just bizarre. It's hard to know what to make of it. Is the ageing Romulan, married to a Klingon no less, some sort of saint, to have achieved such harmony between these two bitter enemy races? He is after all their jailer in a real sense, and in charge of Romulan soldiers who are ultimately shown to be prepared to use lethal force.

Why do the Romulans even bother with this? Just to indulge an old soldier? And why would the captive Klingons accept this fate so readily? I don't really buy the excuse that their honour had already been lost so anything goes. If the Klingon woman who married Tokath felt so strongly that her honour had been stolen, why would she do that? Let alone the consideration that Tokath was one of the attacking force who supposedly carried out a massacre against her people.

I'm always surprised at the ease with which, in the Star Trek universe, species from different planets can reproduce. It seems phenomenally unlikely to me that a Romulan could get a Klingon pregnant (or even want to in all honesty; those cranial ridges aren't the most feminine feature). Worf's remarks to the mixed-race girl about her parentage are actually quite hateful, although he apologises later. And falls in love with her, quite suddenly and with no real development in their relationship having been apparent. As if the writer couldn't help squeezing another cliche in.

So I'm afraid this one is quite poor. It's just too incoherent and nonsensical. It looks to me like the Data plot was considered inadequate to sustain a whole episode, so they stretched out a pretty risible story about a Romulan prison planet for Klingons to accommodate it.

One last thought - how does the alien that Worf pays to take him there even know about it? But maybe I wasn't paying attention properly. It seems to me though that information like that could be more valuable (and therefore lucrative) to the Klingon government than to Worf. Either way it's not a very secure secret. Perhaps he should have been killed off in an accident.

Dire episode.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

I am re-watching Star Trek in airdate order and I am finding myself often times disagreeing with Jammer (but LOVING) his reviews as I genuinely prefer TNG/VGR to DS9 with ENT coming in behind. As I write down notes after I finish the episode and give it my own rating for fun, I find myself comparing it to Jammer. Here is the funny thing - we match a lot for Discovery. This review is spot on - 2.5 stars. It was an average opening with a storage that was average, masked by amazing effects and cinematography. It looks beautiful but the actual story is lacking. After 18 months, I was hoping for something more engaging for an opening. Once we arrived in 3188 and things in the galaxy went downhill fast and we found ourselves in a retread of "Andromeda", I am cautiously optimistic that the writers will avoid that. However, it just did not feel original to me - the Federation fell, things went terrible. I am hoping this season explores it well because for me Discovery always starts off great and then sputters by the finale.

I hope some details are explored, i.e., did the Federation fleet just blow up at once given there is quantum slipstream technology?

Also, is anyone like me in that they actually like the cast very much BUT their least favorite character is Michael - the main character?
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