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Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part I

Captain Jellico really shines and shows how the lax, intergalactic pleasure cruise style of Picard is an embarrassment to the Federation. It's surreal that the flagship would be so unprepared.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Offspring

"Why the hell is it any business of Starfleet to remove a child from their parent?"

I think Starfleet's argument would be that she's not a "child" she's an invention/creation. That's why Picard was so flustered by Data in their first meeting in his ready room. Data looks at Lal as a child, as if he has procreated, and he likens Lal to any child birthed by a member of the crew. The difference is that giving birth to children is an innate part of a human's nature. The same cannot be said for Data. He may have the desire, and the ability to build another android like himself, but that doesn't automatically make Lal his child. The implication of Lal's creation that Picard finds so dismaying is the fact that it's so difficult to do and not something that happens naturally. Yet now that Lal exists, and she's both sentient and sapient, her rights become a factor, but they're still quite tentative.

This is where Picard takes something of a 180. Because Lal is a thinking intelligent being, her rights must be respected. Data thinks of Lal as his child, which is made more plausible given that he transferred his thoughts to her, so even if Picard considers that's irrational or sentimental, he must respect those beliefs and do what he can to protect them. Lal is not the property of Starfleet any more than Data is, and that's what Picard is trying to convey to Haftel when he references The Measure of a Man. While that case did not establish whether Data is a person, or necessarily even sentient, it did establish that he's not the property of Starfleet, and he has the freedom to make choices on his own behalf. If Lal does not want to be separated from Data she should not be compelled to.

We as viewers, having spent so much time with Data already, are perhaps too quick to relate to him and take his side. This episode shows us that Starfleet's position is wrong, but considering how uncharted this territory is, I don't think they came into it from a position of malice or bigotry, because they looked at her as an invention, not procreation.
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Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

Cheers William B. On your point, I had a further thought that perhaps, initially, Moriarty gave it a go to see if the crew really could get him off the holodeck. If it worked, great, if not, he had at least tried and coincidentally, ended up with a load of new experiences to explore. Life, if you will, for a holodeck character.
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Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Unnatural Selection

Here's an interesting note.

The "child" in this episode is Dr. George Baxter who is a doctor of nursing now. He was my nurse practioner in Seattle so it has always been odd for me while watching this episode. I believe he has his own practice now, but I am not familiar with his current practice.
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James G
Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

A good one, despite its faults. A nice, sentimental diversion. I think the Scotty character is possibly a little overcooked at times in this one but the conceit that allows us to see him 75 years after his time is quite clever.

The Dyson Sphere story that is a background to all of this is also quite original, and builds the suspense nicely toward the conclusion, with the Enterprise trapped.

Odd though that a 75 year old ship can hold the doors open with its shields, when the Starfleet flagship can't punch a hole through them. I suppose the difference between material strength and motor strength.

The dialogue between Data and Scotty about the Aldebaran whisky is priceless. "It is .. green".

The reference implying that Kirk was still alive in Scotty's present day - he's on his way to retirement - is unfortunate.

When we see Scotty's ship on the surface of the sphere, it looks curved, even up relatively close. Yes, sphere surfaces are curved, but this particular sphere would be millions of times flatter than the surface of the Earth.

The ending is a bit weird - he's just going off into the unknown in a shuttlecraft? It would make more sense to return him to his own time, but he doesn't seem that bothered to have been flung 75 years into the future.

This is a general observation about TOS + movies vs TNG but when you think about it, the technology and culture isn't really all that different between them. There's a lot in the present day (2020 as I type) that would seem extremely alien to people in the 1940s, but we never really get a sense of that in Star Trek.

The scene where the Enterprise escapes through the closing doors sideways is real class - proper entertainment.

Anyway - self-indulgent maybe, a bit overly sentimental for some perhaps, but I liked this one a lot.
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William B
Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 11:50am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

@Mpondaj, I like that theory. I'm not sure it entirely fits (e.g. I think Moriarty would have been able to provide the illusion for the Countess without needing to trap Picard et al., if he knew it was an illusion), but it's something to think about.
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Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 11:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

Summary - it's about reality and fiction and knowing which is which and when it's time to get back to the real world:

Moriarty's chat with Barclay -"Tell me lieutenant, if you loved a woman such as this, would you be content to leave her on the holodeck?". Moriarty's been trapped on the holodeck for 4 years - he knows EXACTLY what Barclay's been up to in there.

The ending - Moriarty knows he's still on the holodeck. I just can't see him falling for the same trick he pulled on the crew. I think he just wanted to give the countess "life" by letting her think they'd escaped to the real world. If my theory is correct, then in a way, he did become more than his original programming by releasing the crew and going against the evil character he was originally written to be. 4 stars.
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Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 9:38am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Sub Rosa

This is total crap. As Arnold Rimmer might have said " I consider it an insult to my buttocks that I had to sit and watch that". I could have gone with the "nudge-nudge, wink-wink" hooky Gothic stuff but it's the fact that senior members of the crew suddenly become complete imbeciles that annoys me (and my buttocks). Troi is ok with someone getting off on their grandmother's porn diary, Picard let's Bev resign and beam off the ship while dressed in tweed. Nobody listens to Groundskeeper "Dinnae goo to the hoose lass, and dinnae light the candle!!" Willie. Man this was bad. Makes ST:Ent look like Shakespeare.
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Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 9:02am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

As Norvo said - this is a mish-mash of TNG's Who Watches the Watchers, DS9's Meridian and Voyager's Blink of an Eye. And it doesn't hold a candle to any of them. Considering WWTW was made 30 years ago that is damning. Move along - nothing to see here.
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Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 5:50am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Lasting Impressions

In the final scene, Laura was going to bury her phone the subsequent week. This means that the computer's ability to, and need to "interpolate" would have ended, since the data available in the timeline would have ended. Assuming the computer could "extrapolate" from there, character-Laura would gain more free will to deviate from real-Laura's script. This means Gordon would have a real chance, just one week in the future of where the simulation was.

But would such an extrapolation be as realistic as the interpolation that the computer created here? Or would the character become repetitive due to a lack of new information to mine? Was the so-realistic-you-could-fall-in-love-with-it effect basically because it was a recording? Like falling in love with a character in a book or a movie? Or was it a real person?
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Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 3:51am (UTC -5)
Re: ANDR S1: The Devil Take the Hindmost

2001 Andromeda: this is the Way.
2020 The Mandalorian: this is the Way.

1969 Frankie Blue Eyes: I did it my way.

There was a brief flicker of time in 2001 when Farscape and Andromeda - not Star Trek, were the thinking man's scifi.
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Offspring

Why the hell is it any business of Starfleet to remove a child from their parent? If Geordi had a kid would Starfleet take them away because he's blind? B.S. amazing how dystopian the Federation is
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 11:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cease Fire

I think Jammer's right on the money about being tired of the material. This was airing during a period when at least one Trek had been on the air for a decade. The formula is a winner, but even good things get old after awhile. However, watching the series years later, my own opinion is that Enterprise is certainly superior to Voyager, and compares favorably even with some early TNG. Enterprise doesn't deserve the bad rap, although I do wish they'd change the theme song.
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 9:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Third Season Recap

I’m with Jeff, you could have taken out all the filler, dedicated 2 whole episodes to fleshing out the Xindi races, and still been able to tell the entire story in about 10-12 episodes. Then you could face the next threat or start exploring again. This season was definitely a step in the right direction tho, and was very DS9 in nature, but the execution was still very Voyager, namely, starting a story halfway thru, and then going back and filling in the gap. Voyager burnt me out on that crap, and it feels like a cheap attention grab technique. But overall, definitely the best season of Enterprise so far, and probably better than all the pre-7 Voyagers and early DS9/TNG seasons.
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 8:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Bar Association

I've always liked the way this episode offers little sketches of life on DS9.

And so meandering about the station like a probing eye, we catch glimpses of Bajorans as they head to their religious temples. We catch Kira waiting for ale, and find Bashir and Miles heading to the holodeck dressed as warriors. Later we find them sitting on the promenade, just chilling and relaxing and spying on Quark's Bar, where they spot Worf, who seems to be having a bad day.

Meanwhile Worf is wandering about the station, missing the Enterprise, and totally oblivious to Dax, who when you rewatch the series you realize is totally in love with him from this point onwards, and who goes out of her way to help him fit in. But nope, DS9's a pain in the ass. Worf decides to sleep on the Defiant.

And on and on we languorously prowl, the stakes pleasantly low, nobody up to much. We drift into Sisko's office, who learns that Quark's employees are striking - another stupid problem for the Federation to solve! - and then to his confusion finds his chief officers in the brig. Gah! Lock them up for the night, Odo!

More neat touches abound: Sisko does some important Trek world-building, by informing us that the Federation is so "wealthy" that it collects no rents or monies from Quark (Oh no! Quark the libertarian subsidized by Big Government!). Later Worf and Miles meet up and apologize for a scuffle, and Quark replaces his staff with hologram versions of himself, much to Odo's annoyance (one Quark was enough!).

We also get some good character development, Rom abandoning Quark for life as a station engineer. Later he falls in love with Bajoran babe Leeta, who is as alienated from Bajoran culture as Rom is from his.

All these neat touches exist on the margins of a Ferrengi plot that is interesting, but ultimately wastes most of its opportunities. In this plot, Quark so mistreats his staff, that they form a union and go on strike. Rom's their leader, who gets the idea after talking to Federation officers (Miles and Bashir). Yes, DS9 is so subversive, that it starts out subverting its own subversive take on TNG's ferrengi. Not content to only turn TNG's abrasive space capitalists into loveable trolls, DS9 now has them slowly corrupted by Gene Roddenberry himself ("It's what Gene would have wanted!" you can hear the writers say). And so here the Federation literally puts ideas of unionizing and Karl Marx slogans into Rom's head. Later on in the series Rom has his son join Starfleet, Quark increasingly grows to love the Feds, and hanging around Sisko and the gang starts the Ferrengi on the path of women's rights. The Federation just can't help corrupting every culture it touches.

Most of the comments above seem to hate the Rom vs Quark plot here. I thought it was the right mix of cute comedy and serious social message. But there's no serious critique of capitalism and its myriad contradictions here, and the episode wastes time by introducing the Ferengi Commerce Authority (FCA), who give the writers a get-out-of-jail-free card by forcing labor and capital to form an alliance in their attempts to deceive it. The episode does end with Rom winning - he gets a pay rise for the staff - but it's a victory which is too consoling, and ultimately sells a lie; the idea that issues of class, poverty, and exploitation can ever be ameliorated in aggregate by "good bosses", and that the latter can exist without negative knock-on effects elsewhere in the system.

Incidentally, I found it neat that the Bajoran Time of Cleansing, in which Bajoran's fast and renounce biochemical pleasures for a month, brings about the fall of Quarks. Quark's little economy relies on a kind of dissatisfaction. His customers are incomplete, hungry, thirsty, chasing hedonistic highs and the next new hit, so much so that religious peace, self-satisfaction and contentment, ruins his customer base and puts him out of business (under capitalism, the most radical thing you can do is be satisfied).

I also heard that Trek legend Jeffery Combs was in this episode, but couldn't spot him anywhere. I had to use Google to find out where he was hiding (in plain sight, it turns out).
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Gail Jaitin
Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Extinction

p.s. Bayliss and Pembleton! Sigh. Homicide.
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Gail Jaitin
Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 7:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Extinction

Wow, I have definitely seen way worse episodes than this, mainly on ST:VOY . But I agree that the writing could have been much, much better. I also agree that T'Pol's pajamas are another embarrassing attempt to exploit Jolene Blalock's hot bod. Could they ride down any lower? How does one sleep in those?

Glad to see they have diversified her wardrobe, though. Now, in addition to a gray skintight unitard, she also has a red one and a white one.

In terms of acting, Phlox is clearly the best acted and most interesting character. Mayweather is the worst. I read an interview with the actor who played Mayweather in which he complained that he hadn't been given any backstory for Mayweather. I thought, are you kidding?? That's YOUR JOB! I mean, I'm not an actor but I know this from years of reading and listening to interviews with actors!!
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 5:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Flipsider, what really made Galaxy Quest special was that it managed to poke fun at Star Trek tropes, and yet never felt like it was making fun of Star Trek or the fans. I never liked Big Bang Theory in large part because it seemed to center around showing how weird the nerds are.
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Sons of Mogh

I think this episode wastes a great idea and a good script.

You never get the sense that Worf's brother is suicidal. You never get the sense that he is alienated not only from Klingon society, but life in general. There should have been more scenes of the brother trying to hold down a "degrading", "dishonorable job". More scenes of him being belittled and disgraced by Klingons. More scenes of him absolutely disgusted with how his life turned out. It's an episode about suicide and self-hate which doesn't sell the idea of why this guy is suicidal and filled with loathing.

Worf's empathy for his brother should also be milked more. Worf's the ultimate outcast, banished from Klingon society, and ill-at-ease with humans. He should ache and bleed for his brother, and intimately know how much pain his bro is in. But you don't quite sense this brotherly love. It's there, but it's not pushed hard enough.

The episode culminates with a great idea, and what should be a powerful moment - Worf helps his brother commit suicide again, this time by wiping his memory - but the emotional climax doesn't quite come off. This should be a brutally tragic ending, supremely powerful, but it sort of goes by with a shrug.

As others have said, Bashir should also not have administered the "memory suicide". Worf should have been forced to go the black market route.

Still, it's a very good episode, and the Kira subplot is pretty great; she and Miles hunt a Klingon fleet which is busy mining Bajoran/Cardassian space. Using the Defiant, they flush the Klingon's out, leading to some neat visuals along the way.

I can't help but feel, though, that this subplot gets in the way of fleshing out the Worf story. When TNG gave Worf a suicide episode, I don't recall it getting distracted with elaborate subplots.
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Council

I really liked Degra, he reminded me of a more fleshed-out version of Jetrel from Voyager... someone who made a hard decision that resulted in the deaths of millions, then had to live with himself. Degra had the benefit of being able to develop over an entire season, whereas Jetrel had to compress this journey in 1 episode because Voyager. So that’s not surprising. What IS surprising is that Degra was developed far more than Reed or Mayweather. Everything was done well, I personally didn’t appreciate how obviously Degra’s murder was telegraphed, but I mean hey, we all knew it was coming eventually. 3.5 stars from me.
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I've always found Family Guy lazy, and I tend to not like modern comedy writing, so maybe this just isn't for me. Even Rick & Morty feels like it's not as strong as it was in the first couple seasons.

Now Galaxy Quest was probably the best comedic take on Star Trek I've seen. It used it's fictional setup to take some pretty hilarious shots at Star Trek tropes, while not feeling overly "reference-y." Maybe something like that would have been a better take than a show like Lower Decks which wants to exist within and "respect" Star Trek canon while satirizing it as well.
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Strange Bedfellows


That's the point. Do you really think those pastors of megachurches with their private jets and mansions have a "lifetime of belief and conviction" in anything other than their own self-importance?

She lied to herself so well she truly believed she meant well.

This was the episode she finally was true to herself, but then went right back into denial. She's only doing it for the good of all.
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 12:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Qpid

One of my Top 10 TNG episodes. Plays off the personality quirks of the main characters that have been established throughout the previous episodes. And any episode with Q is great given the comedic interplay and his constant challenging of the stoic Picard.
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 10:27am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

The release of this series just seems like really bad timing for the new season of Discovery.

At the bottom of it all, this series seems like it’s written by a bunch of people who just want to make fun of nerds. Hell, one of the latest episodes even made fun of Galaxy Quest. If it were truly serious about being a comedic take on Star Trek, I doubt they’d have pissed on one of the best comedic takes on the franchise.

All in all, this show has no business bearing the “Star Trek” name and should just be a separate animated comedy.
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Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 10:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

I recently watched this back to back with “Where No Man Has Gone” from TOS. Threshold definitely seemed to me like a troll take on that particular episode. I appreciated (maybe even enjoyed?) Threshold’s absurdity more because of how fresh the TOS episode was in my mind.
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