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Tomalak
Fri, May 28, 2021, 5:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

As the Nitpickers Guide author pointed out, she seemed to spend way too much of the run up to Wolf 359 aggressively angling for promotion, when she should probably have been more worried about the likely destruction of humanity.
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Tom
Thu, May 27, 2021, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Afterimage

I don't buy the idea that Ezri took valuable time away from the main plot. DS9 was clearly struggling to come up with ideas by this time, and there were worse things than Ezri - the mind-numbing baseball episode, Vic and the obsession with all things 20th century Earth. I mean come on, a writing team bringing all of these things in is hardly the sign of people with a lot to say.

Watching through it the first time I was basically wanting to put it out of its misery by this point, and grateful it didn't go on to a Season 8, which as I understand was in the works. If we did get a S8, then I imagine the development of Ezri would have been one of the few redeeming things about the show at this stage. And it's funny that B5's final season was labeled a disaster by many and yet schooled S7 DS9 in a lot of ways about how to close out a show.
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Tomalak
Wed, May 26, 2021, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Ok, Jason - I'm turning up to your office all next week. I won't threaten any repercussions, either, but I'll be rude when we first meet and from then on I'll constant ask you to justify everything you do and I'll be sure to have regular scathing comments for your every explanation. If you ever seem puzzled or ask why this is happening, I'll just say "What is so complicated here? What is so difficult to understand?". See you on Monday.

Peter, again, I think I just don't share your attitude to this stuff. I enjoy asking critical questions when I watch Star Trek and thinking about how and whether what happens on screen makes sense in the broader universe. If you think that's some kind of technical error, it's one that almost everyone here makes constantly, so at least I am in good company.
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Tomalak
Wed, May 26, 2021, 9:58am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

"since she's acting as if it's her business and the script never contradicts this, I think it's safe to say it's her business"

Hmm I think I disagree, sorry. Geordi is clearly accountable to Picard, Riker et al but there is nothing in this episode or outside it that I think explains how he would be accountable to the designer of the engines - or how this kind of rival chain of command could work even in theory. You can throw your hands up and just assume it makes sense because the characters act like it does, but I am a bit more critical/sceptical than that.
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Tomalak
Wed, May 26, 2021, 8:30am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Or look at it this way: what if Picard and Brahms for some reason disagreed about what to do about the engines? Who is Geordi accountable to then? The only logical answer is that she has no place in his chain of command and she is just moaning about something that is rightly beyond her control. Even allowing for his infatuation with her, it's surprising he didn't see this.

And his infatuation hardly explains why Brahms would get so confused about the scope of her own position.
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Tomalak
Wed, May 26, 2021, 8:09am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Why exactly does someone who designs a starship engine believe she has any right to act as if that ship's chief engineer is accountable to her? This is the tone of nearly all her interactions with Geordi, but it's never really explained.

He kept saying that out there in space things work out differently than in spacedock, and she would be unimpressed. But why didn't he more directly say "In the end this isn't your business. If you want to become a chief engineer of a starship, you can apply for the job like anyone else and do things very differently from me - but it's just not your role as an engine designer to tell me how to do my job."

Off camera, it was of course a way to create conflict and drama - but in-universe it made little sense to me. Any theories?
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Tomalak
Tue, May 25, 2021, 5:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Afterimage

I think the problem is Trills just aren't very interesting. There's not that much mileage in lines like "My third host, Milhouse, makes me feel very suspicious in situations like this!". Ok, love, you go with that instinct - let's move the story along now, eh?

Even the murderer was dull.

But Jadzia *was* interesting as a character, the moment the focus moved away from her species. Ezri wasn't.
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Tomalak
Sun, May 23, 2021, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

In rewatched this for the first time since the 1990s, curious about the comments above. I really like it. The constant interpersonal conflict is very unRoddenberry (a good thing) but seems quite realistic throughout. I liked seeing how poorly Troi reacted, and then the bridge staff dealing with a newly difficult colleague in very different ways that reflected their personalities and their relationship with her. Gold episode. The character doesn't come across that well - but definitely she is well acted by Sirtis.
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Tomalak
Sun, May 23, 2021, 5:38am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Descent, Part II

Trish, I think one way it is unrealistic is that characters seem too gullible about these things in the first place. In a universe in which these things are far from unheard of, you would expect people to be far more suspicious. But the characters act like they are in our universe when you pretty much can rely on the person being the person they look like and neither a shapeshifter nor under alien control.

I quite like in DS9 how innocent people often got accused of being shapeshifters - this is not even paranoia: it's a realistic recognition that anyone could indeed be a shapeshifter.
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Tomalak
Sat, May 22, 2021, 9:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Duet

I like that thinking but I don't think the timing quite works. Memory Alpha clearly puts both the truce and armistice between the Federation and the Cardies prior to Wolf 359. (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Federation-Cardassian_War)

As others say, the Bajoran resistance were successful in making Cardassians think occupying Bajor wasn't worth the hassle. So they left. Little did they know about the wormhole that would have changed the cost/benefit analysis dramatically for them.
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Tom
Thu, May 13, 2021, 6:10am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rightful Heir

So all the established species in Trek had real-life analogues then? So what were the Cardassians? The Ferengi? Borg?
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Tom
Mon, May 10, 2021, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Sixth Season Recap

Is it just me, or does anyone else think the composer of season 6 and 7 makes some episodes almost unwatchable with a terrible score? I absolutely hate it. I can't fully articulate it, but it's mostly in the non dramatic scenes. I'd just be curious if anyone else noticed a difference in the later seasons.
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Tomalak
Mon, May 10, 2021, 7:11am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Price

I think you'll have to explain that one! Obvs the viewer is meant to root for Riker but in what way was Ral a sex pest??
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Tomalak
Fri, May 7, 2021, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Descent, Part II

The actor who played Lore did a great job. They should have used him in more TNG episodes.
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Tomalak
Sun, May 2, 2021, 1:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

I think his performance enhanced his credibility - not just to the viewer but to the crew in show, too. It was a tense situation and he was also making a huge personal sacrifice in order to prevent war. Even if it worked and he prevented war, he must have realised he would probably never see his friends or family again. That would make anyone a bit on edge.

Jarok/Setal wasn't meant to be the Romulan version of Gandhi: he was a military hero (important as well as self-important!) who clearly believed in his empire and himself - but thought a war would be horrific. He was more of a von Stauffenberg type, trying to prevent his own side edging towards disaster.
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Tomalak
Mon, Apr 26, 2021, 4:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

Please ignore the troll and discuss the Star Trek episode.
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Tomalak
Mon, Apr 26, 2021, 8:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

It is an interesting point, though, how reasonable that attitude is given the pyramid structure of Starfleet. Yes, the alt-Picard is in an entry level role in his 60s, which is an extreme case, but on every starship we see very few top roles.

Let's say for the sake of argument that everyone with the title Lt Commander or higher is senior. On the whole Enterprise-D that would be less than 1% of the crew!

Everyone else is middle management or entry level. That is one hell of a bottom-heavy career ladder. What actually happens to all those frustrated Lieutenants who never get promoted further? Yes, some of them can maybe become Lt Commander on a lesser Starship - but that just means another frustrated Lt not promoted on that lesser ship.

I know there is no actual money involved but Bernie Sanders-style 1% arguments still come to mind!
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Tomalak
Mon, Apr 26, 2021, 8:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

Some good discussion of Picard. I suppose one point you can make is that if you sign up to Starfleet - to spending decades on various Starfleet vessels - you are prioritising work massively. Your only social contact most of the time will be with work colleagues, you go where the captain or admirals decide, and you are at much greater risk of death than most people on Earth. So if your career then still goes nowhere, it says a lot more than if you decide to be a part time bartender while raising a family or whatever.

So maybe it's not that he looks down on anyone who doesn't make bridge officer. But he does think making those kind of sacrifices only to end up a Lt Jr grade in ones 60s is a pretty poor return on investment? Imagine living in a remote mountain range for decades in order to be a great writer and never finishing writing a single book.
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Tomalak
Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 5:57am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Brothers

If you want to be really harsh, I don't think one of the 7s and the "Lock" were perfectly synchronised:

1-7-3-4-6-7-3-2-1-4-7-6-Charlie-3-2-7-8-9-7-7-7-6-4-3-Tango-7-3-2-Victor-7-3-1-1-7-8-8-8-*7*-3-2-4-7-6-7-8-9-7-6-4-3-7-6-*LOCK*
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Tomalak
Tue, Apr 20, 2021, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

Agreed - as I said, I think it's a very weak point without further explanation. The scripts seem clear about it, though, for better or worse. The argument that is also made that parents would feel obliged to compete and where would it end seems much stronger.
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Tomalak
Tue, Apr 20, 2021, 6:41am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

"It's the 24th century and in TNG 3x12 “The High Ground” @24:40 Data mentions the Irish unification of 2024 as an example of terrorism being successful. So I guess Ireland is one country by then."

LOL! I guess there is still a little more time...
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Tomalak
Tue, Apr 20, 2021, 6:36am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

"There is nothing in any Trek episode that seriously suggests that genetic enhancement actually makes people ambitious"

Space Seed:
KIRK: This Khan is not what I expected of a twentieth century man.
SPOCK: I note he's making considerable use of our technical library.
KIRK: Common courtesy, Mister Spock. He'll spend the rest of his days in our time. It's only decent to help him catch up. Would you estimate him to be a product of selective breeding?
SPOCK: There is that possibility, Captain. His age would be correct. In 1993, a group of these young supermen did seize power simultaneously in over forty nations.
KIRK: Well, they were hardly supermen. They were aggressive, arrogant. They began to battle among themselves.
SPOCK: Because the scientists overlooked one fact. Superior ability breeds superior ambition.
KIRK: Interesting, if true. They created a group of Alexanders, Napoleons.

Dr Bashir, I Presume:
RICHARD: I'm going to prison.
BASHIR: What?
RICHARD: Two years. It's a minimum security penal colony in New Zealand.
BASHIR: You can't do this.
BENNETT: It was your father's suggestion, Doctor. He pleads guilty to illegal genetic engineering and in exchange you stay in the service.
BASHIR: Well, I want no part of it. I'm not going to just stand by while my father
RICHARD: Jules. Julian. Listen to me. This is my decision. I'm the one who took you to Adigeon Prime. I'm the one who should take responsibility for it.
AMSHA: Let him do this, Julian.
BASHIR: Two years? Isn't that a bit harsh?
BENNETT: I don't think so. Two hundred years ago we tried to improve the species through DNA resequencing, and what did we get for our trouble? The Eugenics Wars. For every Julian Bashir that can be created, there's a Khan Singh waiting in the wings. A superhuman whose ambition and thirst for power have been enhanced along with his intellect.
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Tomalak
Mon, Apr 19, 2021, 4:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

"Just keep in mind that around 2% are Psychopath/Sociopath and 15% have psychopathic tendencies. Now combine that with mega intelligence and you have khan."

That seems believable but it obviously contradicts Spock in Space Seed and the Admiral in this episode, who both say that the genetic engineering itself caused Khan's level of super ambition.
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Tomalak
Sun, Apr 18, 2021, 5:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: For the Uniform

"Let's face it, the writers goofed with this episode. It happens."

Can you explain why? Why is an error by Sisko - assuming for the sake of argument that this is what it was - an error by the writers? Why can't they write characters who goof without being judged to have themselves goofed?
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Tomalak
Sun, Apr 18, 2021, 4:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

Nolan, the link is all about a coherent scenario in which there are no "changes" to the timeline. This episode, and Star Trek generally, don't really address that. Their model is essentially one in which someone all of a sudden changes the present by going back in time and everything is suddenly different - which makes no sense if you think about it as the changes already had centuries to bed in.
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