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Richard
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 8:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

This is an entertaining episode, but there are some problems with it.

Spock states that thermal heaters were beamed down to Sulu & party, but they were duplicated and inoperable. So, Kirk and a canine-like animal, complex biological organisms, can be duplicated and still function (albeit not perfectly), but a fairly simple piece of equipment cannot function?

Also, Spock says that the real nature of the evil Kirk must be kept hidden from the crew. By the end of the episode, at least 3 people (Spock, McCoy, and Rand) besides Kirk himself, know what happened to Kirk. As the old saying goes, 3 men can keep a secret if 2 of them are dead. And while not 100% certain, it appears Scotty know what happens when refers to beaming up Sulu & Company, when he says "they might be duplicated...like this animal" (referring to the dog like animal, but obviously hesitating to mention Kirk). Also, wouldn't Sulu & the landing party figure this out, after the aforementioned heaters duplicated? Finally, toward the end of the episode, good Kirk says to evil Kirk, "Can half a man survive?" Wouldn't the members of the bridge crew then understand what happened? (Not all the bridge crew would be close enough to hear this, but at least some of them should be.)

However, my main problem with this episode is the same as Grace Lee Whitney's. In a book she wrote, she stated the central premise of this episode, that we need our evil half, is just plain wrong. I totally agree with her. What kind of message does this episode send, especially to impressionable young children. That being evil is just part of being human, and not something we should try to eliminate?
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Richard
Tue, May 30, 2017, 10:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

There is a wide range of opinion regarding Tom's actions and Janeway's response, which is a good thing. Shades of grey open up interesting discussion, black and white does not.

There is a fine line between being benevolent and being a busybody. I feel Paris crosses that line. Give the aliens all information, then let them decide. As Xylar pointed out, Voyager has been there for 3 days. It's their planet, let them decide.

I do feel Tom's punishment was a little harsh. Perhaps demote him to Ensign, but only for the length of his confinement, with the understanding that once his confinement is up he will be returned to his old rank (or maybe to Lt J.G.).
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Richard
Tue, May 30, 2017, 9:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Visionary

This is an enjoyable episode, even if a lot of O'Brien's time jumps don't make sense.

A certain amount of artistic license has to be allowed for those shows to work. Would you rather watch a show with no plot holes, no inconsistencies, 100% accurate scientifically, but is boring, or a show like this? Bottom line, this is intended as entertainment, and this is an entertaining episode.

One thing I found a little surprising is the comments that Keiko must now adjust to the "new" Miles O'Brien. I could understand this if the "new" Miles was from 2 or 3 years (or even 6 months) in the future. However, as one poster mentioned above, he's only a few hours older than the "old" Miles O'Brien. So, basically he's the same person.
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Richard
Tue, May 30, 2017, 9:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

This is basically just a "monster of the week" show. However, for such a show it is well done.

There are some plot holes. Uhura says she doesn't recognize the crewmen that the salt creature pretends to be. However, the entire crew of the Enterprise is 435. Granted, we don't know how long they've been out of space dock and how much interaction there is among the various departments. Still, the Enterprise is essentially a small village in space. Wouldn't everybody on the ship get to know everybody else pretty quickly?

Vanessa raises an interesting point I had not considered. Why would the salt creature kill its only ally?

Finally, in "The Devil in the Dark", Spock comments that as the Horta is the last of its kind, killing it would be "a crime against science". (Although he eventually relents and agrees with Kirk.) Here, Spock makes no comment saving this creature because it is the last of its kind.
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Richard
Thu, May 25, 2017, 10:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

An enjoyable episode, but one aspect strikes me as implausible.

I find it hard to believe that people would voluntary walk into a disintegration chamber. Granted, we are dealing with an alien race (even though they look just like Earthlings), and we don't know the psychology of this race. However, I would imagine that self-preservation is a pretty strong instinct throughout the galaxy.
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Richard
Thu, May 25, 2017, 10:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Re the question about beloved episodes that you hate and hated episodes that you loved.

I can't think of any beloved episodes that I hate. I do think "Mirror, Mirror" and "The City on the Edge of Forever" are slightly overrated, but still very good episodes.

Two episodes that most people think are really bad are "Spock's Brain" and "Move Along Home". I don't love these episodes, but I do think they are better than most people give them credit for.
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Richard
Thu, May 25, 2017, 9:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

I have to join the chorus, and feel that Jammer underrated this episode. (I do enjoy Jammer's reviews, and it is interesting to see comments from other people giving their opinions on various episodes.)

I think this is one of the best Star Trek TOS episodes. A lot of drama, and excellent acting from Mark Lenard. I would give it 4 stars.
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Richard
Thu, May 25, 2017, 9:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Mirror, Mirror

I am obviously in the minority, but I don't think this episode is worth 4.0 stars.

I agree with Rahul that it is a "tad overrated". I still think this is very good episode, worth 3.0 or maybe 3.5 stars. Nothing against this episode, but to me 4.0 stars has to be really, really good (The Doomsday Machine, The Immunity Syndrome, Balance of Terror). Still, a very good episode definitely worth one hour of your time.
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Richard
Mon, May 22, 2017, 11:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Doomsday Machine

I think this is one of the two best episodes of Star Trek TOS. (The other one being "The Immunity Syndrome".)

A lot of drama, and superb acting. William Windom, in my opinion, gives the best performance of any guest actor on Star Trek TOS.
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Richard
Mon, May 22, 2017, 11:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Deadly Years

I think 2.0 stars is a little low. I'd say 2.5 stars. Bottom line, this is an entertaining episode. However, there are some problems with it.

Everything in this episode indicates Commodore Stocker is a stickler for regulations. So why, toward the end of the episode, does he ignore the very important regulation "Stay out of the neutral zone"? As Rahul correctly points out, "he should know better".

Also, isn't rather insulting to Sulu that no one fights for him to be placed in command. (I once read that Nichelle Nichols said that Uhura was 4th in command, but everything I've seen in every episode indicates that Sulu is the 4th highest ranking officer.) We have, on several occasions, previously seen Sula in command of the bridge. (Two that come to mind right away are "The Man Trap", and "Errand of Mercy"). Granted, when Sulu previously had the con, it was usually for a brief period of time with a higher ranking officer close by (Spock and Kirk on the planet surface, Scotty down in engineering). Still, Sulu probably has more Starship bridge command experience than Commodore Stocker. (I say "probably" because we don't Commodore Stocker's exact history. However, Kirk refers to him as a "chair bound paper pusher" who's "never had a field command". This would indicate that Stocker does not have much actual field experience. )

In fairness to Stocker, I don't feel you can dislike him. He did what he thought was right (except for his decision to enter the Neutral Zone).
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Richard Fitzgood
Sat, May 13, 2017, 7:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

I remember recording this episode a jerking one off to the Judith Jones character when I was 14. Good memories...
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Richard
Fri, Apr 21, 2017, 10:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Devil in the Dark

One interesting bit of trivia.

Shatner's father passed away during the filming of this episode. He went to his father's funeral, and was not present during Spock's mind meld scene with the Horta. (If you watch carefully, you'll notice that Kirk is only filmed from the rear during this scene.) When Shatner returned, he asked Nimoy to demonstrate to him how he (Nimoy) was able to convey the pain the Horta was in. Nimoy said "pain", and Shatner asked a couple of times to say it louder and with more intensity. Shatner then grinned and said "Will somebody please get this poor guy an aspirin?"
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Richard
Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 7:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

To me, this is the most schizophrenic episode of Star Trek TOS.

This episode actually stars out quite well, with an intriguing mystery. But then it gets really absurd. As others have pointed out, it is ridiculous that the Enterprise runs into so many parallel Earths when exploring our galaxy. And to have a duplicate of the American flag - come on.

However, one interesting point is that some scientists believe the universe to be infinite. This is the concept behind what scientists call a level 1 parallel universe, which is basically just an extension of our universe. (Indeed, Einstein himself said that there were only two things which were infinite - the universe and human stupidity, and the 1st of those he wasn't sure about.) In an infinite universe, there would be an infinite numbers of Earth just like our own, an infinite number slightly different, somewhat different, and so on. I once saw a TV program with scientist Max Tegmark and he said the best evidence scientists now have is the universe is not just really big, but actually is infinite, going on literally forever in every direction. Tegmark said he calculated if you went 1 followed by a million trillion trillion zeros light years, you would find an exact duplicate of Earth. He said while this sounds like a long way, compared to infinity, which he believes to be the true size of the universe, it's right in our back yard. (Of course, the Enterprise still would come nowhere close to these parallel Earths, as they are far outside our own galaxy.)
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Richard
Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 7:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

I think 2.0 stars is about right. To me, this show isn't great, but isn't terrible either. Also, I don't think it's boring (although it is not terribly exciting either). I think the main problem is the implausibility. Granted, a certain amount of artistic license has to be allowed for these shows to work. Still, there are some issues that just don't make sense. If Gideon is so crowded, where did they get the space to make such a duplicate of a large vessel like the Enterprise? Also, as pointed out above, why not just move some people to another planet? (I have to admit, I hadn't thought of this, but it makes real good sense.)
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Richard
Tue, Apr 4, 2017, 6:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Spock's Brain

While I don't think this is a great episode, I don't think it is as bad as most people say.

Basically, this is a B-movie. There is nothing wrong with a B-movie as such, but when people watch Star Trek, they are not expecting mindless entertainment. They are expecting thought-provoking science fiction, raising moral, philosophical, and ethical issues. However, at least Spock's Brain is a good B-Movie, unlike And the Children Shall Lead, The Way to Eden, and the Turnabout Intruder. Those episodes don't even work as B movies. Spock's Brain is extremely silly, but at least it is funny and is still entertaining.
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Richard
Sat, Mar 11, 2017, 9:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

This is an entertaining episode, but it does have a couple of problems.

As others have pointed out, it is troubling that a Starfleet officer would so quickly betray her captain and crewmates for a criminal from the past. Also, it is stated she is a historian. Why does a starship exploring the galaxy even need a historian? Kirk himself mentions this toward the beginning of the episode, saying "give her something to do for a change". (I'm not sure of Kirk's exact words, but it was something like that.) Granted, occasionally they may need to reference past events, but wouldn't the computer databases contain all the historical information they might need?

Also, at the end of the episode Kirk says it would be "a waste" for Khan and his men to go to a rehabilitation center, and instead banishes them. So, basically Kirk saying it's okay to attempt hijacking and murder, as long as you have enhanced abilities?
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Richard
Mon, Feb 27, 2017, 7:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Warhead

To me, Jammer is generous in his rating. I would only give this 1 or at the most 1.5 stars.

Of course, it doesn't help that the central premise - a bomb with sentience - is pretty silly. And while I normally think PIcardo is a good actor, I think here his acting is only adequate, if that.

As others having pointed out, the idea of an Ensign being in command of the bridge is also rather absurd. At one point, Harry Kim refers to himself as a senior officer, which is just flat out wrong. Ensign is the most junior of all the commissioned officer ranks. However, a couple of points to be made: The crew of Voyager is less than a normal starship (I don't remember the exact number, but it is under 200), so perhaps there aren't as many senior officers available as there would normally be. Also, maybe Starfleet follows a different rank structure that that which is currently followed by the U.S. Navy. However, all indications are that Starfleet follows a nearly identical, or at least very similar structure, to that followed by the Navy.
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Richard
Mon, Feb 27, 2017, 7:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Resolutions

I think Jammer is a little harsh in his review. This isn't a great episode, but I think it's worth more than 2 stars - perhaps 2.5 or even 3.0.

Yes, we all know Janeway and Chakotay will eventually be rescued. The drama doesn't come from this, but from how Janeway and Chakotay will react to their enforced isolation. Also, how will Tuvok perform as Captain, and how will the crew react to him as Captain. Perhaps this would have worked better if drawn out for 4 or 5 episodes, so there is at least some doubt regarding their eventual resuce.

A couple of salient points I will grant Jammer is that it does seem silly for the two highest ranking officers to beam down together. Then again, in TOS, Kirk and Spock beam down together all the time . (Of course, this was mainly because they had good chemistry and were the stars of the show.) Also, as Jammer points out, Tuvok's about-face regarding going back for them does seem rather hasty and arbitrary. Then again, this is a one hour television program. Do we really want to see another 5 or 10 minutes of Tuvok wrestling with this decision?
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J Rich
Mon, Dec 19, 2016, 4:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek (2009)

The best Star Trek made me want to live in that time, to be better. in a society that has to deal with bigger questions than that 'what alien are we running into this week'. Sure they ran into aliens but using a phase was always the last resort. While the 'reboot might be mindless fun its not Star Trek to me. It simply has some Trek material wrapped around an action movie that is more George Lucas thn Gene Rodenbury. There are no moral questions in this movie, there is no internal struggle. Having to convince Kirk to join Starfleet? Thats not my Kirk.

In this timeline TOS,TNG, DS9, and Voyager, that so many of us loved, will never occur. This 'reboot' isn't about exploring the galaxy but who they can shhot next. If that's not saying, 'screw you fans, we just want more money at Paramaount' then I don' know what is.

Star Trek was never about looking back. it was about looking to the future. How can we be better, work together, and encourage others to be better. The 'reboot' is just about who can blow up who first. This is Sci-Fi at its worst. Though Rick Berman made some missteps he always kept Rodenbury's perspective in mind. This reboot ignores everything Gene stood for.
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jrich
Sun, Dec 11, 2016, 3:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Treachery, Faith, and the Great River

I think both portions of the show give an interesting outllokon life and we go through it.

1) Some people have faith, religious or in humanity in general, or in individuals while some do not.

2) Some people are trecherous to benefit themselves, others, their society, or their group.

3) The great river is a link to all people. People navigate it using faith or treachery and often times their viewpoint and actions change as their course in the river changes. In my estimation the river is not just goods/resources but this interaction of people.

Each person/group being one little part in the river. The river of life.
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Richard
Wed, Nov 23, 2016, 6:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Turnabout Intruder

I can't believe this got 3 stars. To me, this is one of the worst Star Trek episodes. While I normally think Shatner is a good actor (I know a lot of people disagree), I thought he did a poor job in this episode. Although to be fair, Shatner is having to play an insane woman in a man's body. Not an easy role for any actor to play. Also, the whole "woman can't be starship captains" goes against all Star Trek's high ideals. For 3 years, we've been told everybody in the Star Trek universe has equal opportunities - whether you're a man or a woman, a human or alien, or what race of human you are, none of that matters - until this episode. As it pointed above, the very first Star Trek episode had a female second in command. Whatever happened to her? It's hard to believe she didn't make Captain, as she definitely looked like command material.
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Richard
Tue, Nov 22, 2016, 9:06am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: By Any Other Name

This is basically just an "aliens take over the Enterprise" for their own purposes episode. However, for such an episode it is quite well done. My main problem with this episode is the same as mentioned above. These aliens murder the young woman, hijack the Enterprise, turn the crew into little cubes, and at the episode everything is hunky-dory? Also, Kirk and Spock say they will send a robot ship to Kelva with a proposition to these aliens to come to our galaxy. Remember Rojan's statement at the beginning of the episode "We do not colonize, we conquer" (or words to that affect). Does the Federation really want to send an invitation to these people? Don't they have enough enemies to fight already?
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RichD
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 12:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

This episode is in my top 5 of the whole series. It's expertly written. I applaud the writers for going to a place that very rarely is shown in the Star Trek universe. The horrors of war. The Dominion War dominated the DS9 story line as we all know, and I think it was brilliant to show an episode from this perspective. The scene with Quark and Nog at the beginning, was tremendous. It's those little stand out scenes, that tend sneak up and surprise you. That's what I enjoy so much about this show. You could be moving along, business as usual watching an episode, and then bam, they hit you with something like that. They've obviously done land based, hand to hand combat themed episodes in the past, but for some reason, this episode struck a chord with me. It packed an emotional punch. Perhaps watching Nog, a character I grew to admire more and more as the series progressed, so valiantly help the team, only to lose his leg, got to me. He represents the viewer in a lot of ways. Very well done. This one was a pleasant surprise when I first saw it.
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Rich D
Tue, Sep 20, 2016, 6:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sixth Season Recap

Season 6 was the best season of DS9. I rate it just a hair better than season 5, followed by 4, then 2. There are two main reasons why it gets the nod. The story arc at the beginning of the season, and the brilliant and astonishing episode In the Pale Moonlight. DS9 was firing on all cylinders. By my count, it only had a two sub-par episodes. The balance of the season was just top notch. The acting and writing were fantastic. Several episodes moved me. Others thrilled me, and still others were thought provoking. At the end of the day, isn't that the essence of Star Trek? I love how from one episode to another, DS9 can be serious, gritty, whimsical, and funny. Yes, funny. DS9 did this better than any of the other series. it genuinely made me laugh out loud at times. Just one guy's opinion.
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Rich
Wed, Aug 31, 2016, 5:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

Season 7 was not DS9's best season, but it stayed true to form and it culminated to a satisfying end. That's saying a lot, because I would say the ratio of all great series finale's are 50/50 at best. And yes, DS9 was a great series. It is vastly underrated and underappreciated, even after all of these years. I want to write about the series as a whole, rather just the last season.

I just finished watching the entire series run on Netflix. I dedicated the entire summer to re-watch this hidden gem. TOS had the legendary triumvirate in Kirk, Spock, and Bones and balls to launch a series that no one had ever seen before. TNG had the master thespian in Patrick Stewart. Oh man, was that guy awesome. He carried TNG even when several episodes careened off of the rails. I still get chills watching scenes from the Inner Light, The Measure of a Man, Sarek, and Chain of Command. I digress. VOY and ENT certainly had their moments, but with DS9, it can be argued that pound for pound, it was the best ST series.

The show started out with a slow burn, trying to find its footing. The ingredients were there, but it didn't quite find its calling until Duet at the end of season 1. I remember watching the 1st season in college. Back then, you had to set your VCR if you couldn't watch the show live. I was far to busy. I would record 3-4 episodes at a time. I'd binge watch before the term was even invented. I remember thinking, man, this show isn't going to make it. It's so different yet, it wants to be Star Trek. It couldn't make up its mind. I loved the pilot and thought it was a great start, but the subsequent episodes were mediocre. That first season, the two saving graces were the cast and the introductions of these new, wonderful characters. From the start, I felt the characters were interesting and had all the makings to be something special. The cast may not have had a "Patrick Steward" but, they were not slouches by any means. After Duet, I thought to myself, it's on now baby.

Season 2 had its ups and downs, but it wasn't until Necessary Evil were I started to see some brilliance again. Then, the season ended with a succession of episodes that were among the best in the entire run.

I stop watching DS9 from seasons 3-5 for various reasons. It wasn't until season 6 that got back on board. I had to play catch up in syndication. Boy, I didn't know what I was missing. The Way of the Warrior was flat out brilliant and took the show in a whole new direction. At any rate, I had long since forgotten about the show after 1998. It wasn't until I caught In the Pale Moonlight in syndication around 2009. I had to re-watch the series again.

Then finally, again, this summer, I decided to re-watch the series from a different perspective since so many had proclaimed DS9 to be one of the forerunner shows to provide continuity to a series. The X-Files certainly provided it's own mythology. I have to give props to that show. With DS9, it had its own stand alone episodes, but in order to appreciate the show as a whole, you needed to invest in every episode. Even the sub-par ones. There I was, night after night, taking it all in from a different point of view. I learned to appreciate the series in a whole new light. Mad Men is the one show that comes to mind where you have to watch in its entirely to understand all of the nuances. That's how I feel about DS9. It was different from TOS and TNG. It was darker and grittier. The characters didn't always see eye to eye. They fought and quarreled, but at the end of the day, they were family. They learned to appreciate one another. The relationships grew and evolved for better or for worse. Bashir and O'Brien, Sisko and Kira, Odo and Kira, Kira and Dax, O'Brien and Sisko and my favorite of them all, Odo and Quark. The series had at least 5 solid story lines that ran across the series, from the Bajoran religious angles, the Maquis, the crossover universe, to the Dominion war. Say what you will, but I loved the Ferengi episodes. Wallace Shawn kills me. Plus, those episode broke the monotony and provided comedy relief. I would make the argument that DS9 had the superior story lines.

I am an avid Star Trek fan. I have been since my older brother took me to see Wrath of Khan as a kid. I can't wait for the new series to start up. As a whole, I believe DS9 is the richest, most fulfilling, and entertaining series of the lot. That's just one guy's opinion.
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