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James G
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 8:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

I'd seen this one once, before, but I'd forgotten how mind-scaldingly brilliant it is. I must have, because until this afternoon I've considered First Contact and Who Watches the Watchers? to be my favourite TNG stories.

This is so affecting. The masterstroke of this one is that Picard comes to accept and embrace his new life. He even has children that he can't imagine being without, and the moment he suggests a nursery to his wife was a real jaw-dropper for me. One can imagine that in a TOS story, Kirk would have fought against his illusion until he found some way out of it, probably by blowing up a computer somewhere.

There are of course some problems with this episode. I'm loath to write about them because despite them, this TNG story was absolutely fantastic telly.

But anyway -

The civilisation on the doomed planet seems quite simple, almost even agrarian. No dramatic cityscapes with pointy towers, no replicators, or transporters, etc.

They do have missile technology, we learn, but only just. How do they build a probe capable of identifying a passing space vessel then beaming a 30-year 3D reality into a starship captain's brain?

Picard must bring knowledge of his life in Starfleet to his new life. There must be a definitive way, via understanding perhaps of technology they don't have, to establish that he is Not Of Their World. Yet over time he seems almost to accept that his former life was a delusion .. or does he? It's never quite clear.

Surely after losing his new life, the old one would almost be as hard to accept, all those years later, as his life as Kamin was, when he wakes up on the doomed planet. One can imagine him raging against it .. no .. NO this is just an old dream! But he adapts very quickly.

It occurred to me that to make a man lose his wife, friends and children, real to him albeit actually an illusion, is actually an abuse. But then again - even in the illusion, they are doomed by their planet's star. Perhaps that's the point. Millions of the planets inhabitants lost their lives and families.

It crossed my mind that a nice touch might have been for someone to retrieve the program from the probe, and extract its data to make a holodeck program from it. But on further consideration - no. The finality and the loss of that society makes the story more emotional.

Anyway. That last scene, with Batai and his family gently explaining to Picard the meaning of the apparent last few decades of his life is really haunting.

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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 7:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Relativity

Braxton: "Long time no see". Ugh, that rang of Ahnold as Mr. Freeze with his cold jokes.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 7:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

The interactions between Sisko and Bashir in this one are so much fun. I wish we'd seen a bit more of the naive, brash Bashir of the first couple of seasons. While he was annoying, the way others reacted to him was a joy to watch - including Kira's amusement when Sisko slaps him down in this one.

I think Brooks did a good job of portraying an almost fatherly approach to Bashir, with a fondness for him coming across along with his irritation.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 5:03am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Countdown

@The_Man, Enterprise really was an exercise in wasted opportunities.

For example, imagine instead of Major Hayes dying, it was Lt. Reed who died in this episode. Right after Daniels said he wasn't important. Ho-ly Fuck. Talk about shaking things up. Way more dramatic than Tasha's death in TNG.

If they really wanted to get creative, Hayes could have taken on one of Shran's Andorians as his assistant in security in season 4. Maybe a woman with real attitude to bring a little Worf flavor into the show and really set the ball moving towards a Federation.

And of course it would have made a lot more sense in season 4 if Hayes had been part of Section 31, given his hardcore MACO background. What did Reed bring to the show that Hayes (with an Andorian assistant) couldn't have done better?

Even more interestingly, imagine it was Hoshi who was left behind on the sphere when it exploded (instead of Archer) in the finale. Again, this would be soon after Daniels said she wasn't important.

How interesting would it have been to see how the Nazis in season 4 treated Hoshi - a Japanese? The Japanese were Nazi allies. Almost like a "Man in the High Castle" mini-arc. Certainly it would have been more interesting than seeing Archer battle space Nazis for what must be he eleventy-millionth time in scifi history.

But TPTB played it safe and by the numbers, and in the end, no one bemoaned that Enterprise only lasted 4 years.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 4:21am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Could someone who is familiar with how these type of animated shows are made answer this: Is there a minimum page length for the scripts? Because that would explain why the voices sound like they were recorded at double speed and crammed into every bit of space available in each 25 minute ep. I wouldn't be surprised the average Lower Decks ep is longer than the average TNG episode, which is of almost double length. Either the writers or the people vetting these scripts need to be made aware of that and cut down the damn dialogue.

Or have the producers done some kind of calculation where they found out how fast the dialogue needs to be before the viewer is too distracted to be able to determine whether they are actually enjoying the show.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 1:11am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

"Nice planet."

It's worth watching just for this priceless Worf comment. I still quote it. I think this is the first of his many dry, terse, hysterical deliveries.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 12:57am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

And Arix from TAS! Or at least same species. Although Tendi and her dog were super annoying. If they could jettison some inane stuff like that it would be a better show.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 12:55am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Lower Decks isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I don’t like the juvenile snarky vibe but as a comes it can work, and there are some really trek worthy stories in there . If they can slow down the dialogue and get a more mature tone I could get into it. It feels more like real Star Trek and less like kurtzman/grim dark/nutrek than all the other Star Trek shows on right now. And what was that creature? I have to rewatch now but I think that was the jellyfish creature from Encounter at Farpoint? And definitely felt the Chain or Command vibe, right before Mariner makes a reference to Jelico.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 12:42am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Where No One Has Gone Before

What is it about Jean-Luc and turbolifts? I recall three times he's had trouble on one. Here, Night Terrors, and Disaster.

Geordi had a bad experience on the turbolift too, where he was rolling around on the ceiling before it spat him onto the bridge. I think it was Contagion.

I'm surprised anyone takes these things. Clearly the turbolifts are evil. Maybe they should just beam all around the ship. ;-)
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 12:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Offspring

Has anyone ever mentioned how overbearing Beverly Crusher is as a mother?

She has the prodigy child who does everything that is asked of him and outclasses most adults on a regular basis. But she berates him for not getting a haircut on time....

There are other examples, one that i can think of is in the season 2 episode with the nanites. He is working his ass off on a great science project and the only thing she can do is to follow him on the intercom and complain...
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 10:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

“Theres no reason to assume they’re hostile.”

“Uh, sir, this arm alone is equipped with a bone saw, a projectile weapon, and an engraving of a human skull with a the words ‘Resistance is Futile’ encircling it.”

“....You’re fired.”
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: First Flight

3/4 stars is about right for me too. The flashback scenes were done well, and they seemed to learn from the mistakes of Carbon Creek. It wasn’t great, but it was nice putting some meat on the 100 year skeleton we have between the 21st and 22nd centuries.
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

After seeing how the Ferengi were retconned into Enterprise, I was not excited to see a Borg episode. I was happily surprised however, and enjoyed this episode quite a bit. I groaned initially but it was because I had forgotten about First Contact (some would say if I can manage to forget all the TNG films, I’d be one lucky fan). Seeing Archer make the hard choice of blowing up the Borg was a bold move, and Phlox remains my favorite character/actor with the believable trials he had to put himself through to fight against this new microscopic enemy. 3/4 stars
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

4 stars seems a little high in my opinion, but your mileage will vary with a lot of these better episodes. I found the premise interesting, but Trip came off as mansplaining and condescending. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe the point to have him act like an idiot and possibly ruin a first contact is because sometimes humans can act like idiots and mess up first impressions. The final scene was powerful, though, and like some others, I feel it’s Archer lashing out at his own guilt of setting a bad example for this crew. Good stuff, 3.5/4
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 9:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Terra Prime

So no one else thought that Hoshi rocked as substitute captain? I thought she was looking exactly like a captaincy was in her future. She shut down that political guy with no trouble at all.
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 6:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

The episode's dilemma is intensly contrived. We've seen the Doctor during Year of Hell go into a bit of a funk when he decided to condemn three crewmembers to death. All it took to get over that was one stern peptalk from Tom Paris.

The plot would have been served if he writers had established the initial alien attack also destabilized the Doctor's holomatrix. That would explain his sudden inability to accept Jetal's death.
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 6:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

"Much Ado About Boimler" - S1, E7:

I enjoyed this one as well. I definitely got the "Chain of Command" vibe early on. The episode made me realize just how long Mariner has been an officer. Her best bud is now a Captain! I'm even more interested in learning more about her past. More nutty Star Trek fun I've come to very much look forward to in this series.

3.5 stars from me.
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

One thing I always wondered about that episode was whether the uncanny knack for 3D chess was something the Cytherians intentionally gave Barclay or whether it was just the tag end, temporary effect of the brain boost?
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 3:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

I've followed Jammer's reviews for many years -- basically since the beginning -- (and I generally like them) -- I wonder if, re-reading these and doing your own post-season review(s), J, if you might notice a certain bias -- doesn't make much sense that this gets 3 stars in your ranking, whereas Magnificent Ferengi gets 2.5. Not exactly defending schmaltzy humor -- the DS9 campiness has its definite flaws -- but I think I'm seeing a "prefer poorly-done military morality plays over mediocre slapstick or rom-com humor" slant here, and (in my now mid-forties perspective) I very much do not share that view.
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

We can of course speculate how much individuality there is in humans but I think as a matter of degree that their is more possible individuality in the federation than in the borg collective.

"If we're really just plucking ideas from out of a shared idea-space, I don't know what it means to have an individual will"
That would pose the question how ideas came into existence and how this lead to these extremely complex societal structures we have now plus the societal structures often differ widely, sometimes from city to city, house to house.
I believe in Freud's structural model. it, ego, super ego. Sure you can say that these three things are just an illusion but why would nature invent such a thing. What purpose would the false impression of individuality have for us as a species.

The collective takes it, ego and super ego away and replaces it with a single minded purpose.
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

I think we need to first question whether individuality has a basis in reality in the first place, or it just a learned concept. If you zoom out and look at the planet sped-up over the past million years, it's going to appear an awful lot like an ant colony. Wars, new settlements, mass migrations. Just because we think we have thoughts and desires which are our own doesn't make it true. You only need to look at a child growing up to see we learn what we want first through identical biological needs, then parents and schooling, then peer pressure and mass media.

If we're really just plucking ideas from out of a shared idea-space, I don't know what it means to have an individual will: just like two identical radios picking up different stations doesn't make them different from each other.
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I cannot hear these stories anymore of how much this or that showrunner loves Star Trek sooooooo much.

As most here,I have just no interest in this show. There is so much great stuff to watch. I can barely keep up.
I'm watching maybe 8 shows right now. NuTrek doesn't make the cut.
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

I always saw the Collective as a singular being. The drones are just parts of that being. I guess we never really found out what started the Borg and I shudder about that because we know what that means... fresh meat for NuTrek.

About the individuals being absorbed against their will. I always thought of it as a process that to quote Picard erased the individuality somehow. A drone is just a platform in that sense.

Oh yeah a collective that absorbs individuals against their will and turns them into a thing. Doesn't get more totalitarian than that.

Yeah the whole "I want to go back" was a little underdeveloped. Their is really no smart explanation for it. You could say that all individuals search for purpose. For some it is hedonism or being a degree of eremite, for many others it is about being part of something bigger. Building a better future and so on. The Borg Collective is in a way the ultimate bigger purpose. Or being inside of the collective is just sweetened like some long endless opium rush.
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

"Boycotting" is too strong a word, Jordan. It's been 20 years since the franchise was consistently good, imo. I'm just tired of waiting for things to get better. So, I'm not boycotting so much as I'm just giving up on new Trek.
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 11:55am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Workforce

I think they should call this one “The Rescue of B’Elanna Torres”.
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