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William B
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@ James G,

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few thoughts anyway:

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

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

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

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

People really loved Star Wars for some reason. It is really funny to see how Disney is squeezing the last drop of milk out of that cow.
Oh capitalism, you are a heartless bitch. :D
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P'kard
Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 7:34am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Blood Fever

Good old Paris. Intentionally friendzoning himself only to get the long term mating. Classic long con
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Theta
Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 5:17am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Damn, people are upset that Jammer gave this film a good rating, aren't they? Guys, people can have opinions that don't line up with your own, you know. There's a lot to like about the film, and Jammer stated them very well, in my opinion. Personally, I think The Last Jedi was just average, not the total masterpiece some people like to say it is, but not the worst film of all time either, I'm open to hearing other viewpoints though, and you should be too if you're going to be frequenting a review site.
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Bilbo
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 10:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Why are we wasting time talking about all the prequels and requels that are not very good. Well maybe Rogue One is the best movie since Disney took over. We need to be talking about The Mandalorian because it is the best thing in the Star Wars universe since the Original Trilogy.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 10:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@William B
"hope I'm not being a busybody, but I think Booming meant those 'more debate, silly!' 'will this madness never end' with emoticons comments in a tongue in cheek, 'Its fun to talk about this' kind of way, OTDP, which is to say I think it's not meant to be aggressive or insulting."

I never thought otherwise.

I'm just getting the distinct impression that - at this point - he is debating just for the sole sake of killing time, rather than for the sake of making an actual point and/or getting a clearer understanding of the issues at hand.
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Fenn
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 10:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: True Q

Well, this was definitely a better "what if human Q" episode than Hide and Q. It could've drawn in some of Riker's experience with sudden godlike being powers, but eh, I'm fine with forgetting all about that episode.

Still didn't have too much going for it. I don't think Amanda ever got elevated far above "generic", and you'd kind of hope a character's going to be a little more than just "generic" if you're going to give them godlike powers. (Sudden Q puberty. Quberty.)

Didn't get me laughing as much as Deja Q did (though John de Lancie is always compelling), didn't get me thinking or empathising as much as... any number of other episodes have. I'm gonna give this one a solid "eh, it was alright" -- a rough two and a half stars.
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Fenn
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 8:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Schisms

Bloody good one, this. My opinions pretty much fall in line with Jammer's review -- I certainly didn't expect an episode that began with Data's poetry recitals and a seemingly mundane sleepless Riker to build into genuine horror. The holodeck "table" scene was definitely a highlight, too -- I found it almost ridiculous to start out (ahh yes, the Enterprise crew collectively deciding how to construct a table, did someone misplace the IKEA instructions?) but grew into something far more sinister once it started to become clear exactly *what* kind of table they were remembering.

Not too often that TNG goes for this sort of tone. I loved it. The clicking in the alien room was a big part of the horror for me... and definitely helped offset any possible cheesiness from the design of the aliens.

also I love any appearance of the shi's barber, I want a haircut from him
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Tim
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 6:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Watching Voyager back to back for past couple months and whilst this episode is not perfect it is much better than the dross served up in some of the first 2/3 seasons.
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William B
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

Finale spoilers

Ah so THAT'S why Geordi became a writer and apparently successfully wooed Leah.
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Fenn
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 5:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

I'm pretty sure Clemens ended up doing more for Guinan than Picard did. Picard pretty much only got the chance to stick around for a few minutes before Clemens got there.

To paraphrase a quote...

LAFORGE: What is it that you want in a man?
GUINAN: Me personally?
LAFORGE: As a woman. What's the first thing you look at?
GUINAN: His body of work.
LAFORGE: His body. Of course.
GUINAN: No, his body of work. I'm attracted to writers.
LAFORGE: Seriously?
GUINAN: Seriously.
LAFORGE: Why?
GUINAN: Maybe because a writer was very kind to me once when I was hurting. Took care of me.
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Top Hat
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 2:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

Given that there are also extras in Indian garb (I think, going on memory) at the literary event, I wonder if the conceit is that Guinan is posing as a wealthy and educated African woman who is travelling the world.
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Peter G.
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 2:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

" I was talking more about the period near the end of the episode, where most of the Enterprise crew have returned to their time but Picard's stayed to look after Guinan. She's not trapped there, but he definitely is."

Yeah, I took this to basically be "where is that so-called deeper-than-family relationship they're supposed to develop?" And I totally agree. I have no idea if the showrunners were actually trying to show that backstory here (in which case they FAILED) or whether this was just a teaser for what was to come. They did in fact later try to fill this gap in Generations, and as it happens they FAILED again (or maybe for the first time). I guess we'll never know!
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Fenn
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 1:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

@Chrome: ooh, thanks for the mini history lesson! I'm not American and didn't grow up learning their history -- always interesting to learn now.

@Jason R: Mhm, but to clarify, I was talking more about the period near the end of the episode, where most of the Enterprise crew have returned to their time but Picard's stayed to look after Guinan. She's not trapped there, but he definitely is.
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Jason R.
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 11:29am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

"I sort of expected more with Picard and younger Guinan trapped in the 19th century"

She wasn't trapped in the 19 century I.e. time travelling. She was simply alive then and visiting earth or so I understood.
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Chrome
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 11:09am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

@Fenn

I’m with you on not being overly nitpicky on historical accuracy, especially in this case when it’s kind of out-of-universe issue. Even so, historically California was a free state before the Civil War and there were always a small handful of well-read free blacks who had money and political clout to do things other blacks could not. Given Guinan’s attire and the circle she’s rubbing elbows with, we can only assume she was posing as an ultra-elite black. I would just keep in mind this was an extremely rare exception back then and we can see Clemens’ intellectual relationship with a black woman as more about the historical fact that Clemens was an influential abolitionist of the time.
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Fenn
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 9:50am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

Actually found myself enjoying this rather a lot. I felt it was too short, though. I sort of expected more with Picard and younger Guinan trapped in the 19th century. And I could watch days of mucking about in the past. Loved Geordi switching from VISOR to dark glasses every time there were people about.

I am the type to love holodeck episodes, so I guess this appeals to me in the same sort of way. I found Twain a bit annoying, though.

RE: comments above questioning Guinan having no trouble in in the 19thC as a black woman, I'm fine with excusing things like this: we excuse a lot of "unrealistic" things about the future in fiction, so why not the past? Lets us do more in past-based stories with less bogging down in societal issues (not to say there shouldn't be stories involving that, even specifically time travel stories, but not *every* one has to. Sometimes we can just have fun.)
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