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Kevin Mc
Fri, Sep 5, 2014, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Homecoming

Just realised, very slow of me, that Le Nalis (however it's spelled) is Twin Peaks' very own Benjamin Horn.
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Kevin Mc
Tue, Sep 2, 2014, 10:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

A whopping big black quantum singularity in place of the usual one-star minimum score.
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Kevin Mc
Tue, Sep 2, 2014, 10:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

Once again, Riker's penis causes galactic ramifications for the Federation.
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KevinW
Sat, Aug 9, 2014, 9:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: When the Bough Breaks

For some reason, back in 1988 I recorded "When the Bough Breaks" and "Home Soil" onto VHS, so I've watched those episodes more than any others in season 1.

Actually the Aldeans' motivation for negotiating is established, if only just barely. When the spokesman guy is first talking to Riker, he explains that the Aldean economy is based on mutual exchange; whenever something is received, something else must be given. So they owe the Enterprise fair compensation for the children. Or something.

But yeah, this episode is terrible. The effects and costuming have not aged well. The child actors' performances are totally unconvincing. The reaction of the parents is ludicrous in both scripting and performance; from their reactions you'd think they were being told that their insurance rates were going up, not that their children were being abducted permanently. Was there any point to the subplot about the Enterprise being tossed away, other than padding out the episode? The planet-wide cloak is an interesting idea, but is also a can of worms. If Starfleet has access to that technology, why didn't they use it to forestall the Borg and Dominion invasions? Sloppy writing.
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Kevin
Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Fusion

Seriously, when Archer was surprised/a little disappointed that his childhood book's measurement of the nebula was incorrect, it was the most adorable thing ever.
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Kevin
Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 9:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

I think it says something about the attitudes of the 1980's that the audience took such a blatant middle finger in their collective faces in stride and came back for more. Pretty much every episode of the first season had something along this theme, but the bulk of this episode puts it all together and drives home the message, "YOU, THE AUDIENCE, AS HUMAN BEINGS OF LATE 20TH CENTURY EARTH, WILL BE REMEMBERED AS SOME OF THE WORST PEOPLE IN GALACTIC HISTORY."

About the only thing that explains that plot line to me is that the writer must have thought the series was cancelled, that this would be the last episode of TNG ever, and decided to use it as an opportunity to vent about everything he or she hated about the world of that day.
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Kevin
Sun, Feb 16, 2014, 9:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

"but it was quite a stretch that when Data asked Beverly to teach him to dance, that she would assume tap dancing of all things"

But, they explained that Jay, when she reacts surprised at his request, he informs her that he found she was a champion tap dancer. So naturally she assumed he wanted to learn to tap dance.
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Kevin
Thu, Feb 13, 2014, 11:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Royale

You know, after watching it again, it's bad, but it's fun. I have to admit I did smile at Brent out of character and having fun gambling.

It is one of those, so bad it is actually good episodes.
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Kevin
Thu, Feb 13, 2014, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Royale

I wonder if anyone else noticed just how much Brent keeps smiling in the early episodes.
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Kevin
Sun, Jan 26, 2014, 4:32am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Counterpoint

Just a thought about Tuvok's presence on the bridge, which did bother me...the episode concludes with the Inspector declaring that this inspection never happened. It would be hard to "forget" this inspection if they arrested Voyager's crew, so I took it that they just let Tuvok and Voyager go to put the whole thing behind them.

At least that's how I made it make sense.
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Kevin
Mon, Jan 20, 2014, 3:52am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

The interactions with species 6339 were almost a throw-away subplot, but I think that this was one of the most frightening parts of the episode. The Borg are relentlessly bad in Trek (although freed drones are almost universally good...), and the Borg are the most terrifying force in the galaxy. However, the fact that species 6339 had created and deployed biological weapons of mass destruction against them got me thinking about how far Trek was willing to go in this arena. Species 6339 had already been assimilated - there was no ongoing conflict with the Borg - this was just a revenge weapon. And according to the aliens, it wasn't intended to defeat the borg, just inflict a lot of damage. The fact that the writers didn't have Janeway question the use of such a weapon at all was a bit disappointing to me. Yes, the episode was better without delving into that topic, but that's an awfully potent throw-away story that shows some of the dark side of the Federation, imho.

On a side note, Jeri Ryan's performance was quite good. Not amazing, but believable in every role. The transitions were crisp and the personalities were kept distinct, rather than feeling like it's just the (adjective) version of the main character like so many multiple personality TV shows. The performance was comparable to Toni Collette's acting on United States of Tara, although the characters were a bit too stereotypical and cliched. She's got real chops.
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Kevin
Thu, Jan 9, 2014, 3:44am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

As often as Jammer talks about this being a lightweight season, I've found that several of the episodes have shocked me with their darkness. These are some difficult issues being experimented with, and although Voyager isn't always the best Trek franchise, this season in particular has brought out some of the darkest Trek I've ever seen. Episodes like Retrospect, Nemesis, and Mortal Coil are among the most pronounced, but even Random Thoughts brought out a side of Trek that we've rarely seen done well. DS9 was gritty and gray, but these cross the line into bleak and depressing. I feel worse for having watched them. But in a good way.

On a side note, it's interesting that Voyager is finally starting to act like a ship lost all by itself. Seeing Voyager trading for better weapons is very un-Star Fleet, but much more realistic given their circumstances, as was the unauthorized use of the comm array a few episodes back. Normal Trek might have used it once, but Janeway forced her way in repeatedly. Feels like the show is finally finding its groove - just hope it keeps it up!
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Kevin
Wed, Jan 8, 2014, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Code of Honor

One more sign that They Just Didn't Care to add to the pile: when Yar is abducted, NOBODY reacts to it with the least bit of surprise. I'm guessing this was because Yar and her abductors were filmed separately from Troi and Picard for the shot, but the way it comes off, it looks like Yar's abduction was pre-arranged by both sides with only Yar herself not in on it.

Also, the ending is total bull: somehow Yareena's momentary death annuls her marriage but not her property ownership. But then again everybody was probably fed up with Lutan by now so they all just went along with it.
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Kevin
Mon, Jan 6, 2014, 1:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Random Thoughts

Justin, non-touch telepathy in Vulcans was established canon before Voyager - I direct you to Memory Alpha:

Stronger minds were capable of non-contact telepathic projection and scanning, usually over short distances, (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark", "The Omega Glory"; VOY: "Random Thoughts", "Prey") but sometimes even over interstellar distances. (TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome"; Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Also, it's important to remember that, like it or not, Voyager was an officially sanctioned Trek property, and thus, it's stories ARE canon.
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Kevin
Thu, Jan 2, 2014, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Nemesis

I enjoyed this episode more than I expected to. The twists were nicely done. Regarding a couple of the questions that are in the comments, I agree that the simulation was probably customized for the particular race being brainwashed - that seems easy enough technically and makes bonding with the Vori easier. I may have imagined it, but the Kradin makeup seemed a bit more grotesque and intimidating on the simulated soldiers than on the ambassador - that may be my own imagination recasting them as good and bad guys, but it seemed to be a subtle difference.

As far as the language used, I thought it was well done. It's easy to start using stilted language and then drop it, I'm glad the writers were able to do it convincingly through the entire episode.

I understand that the language was part of the brainwashing, but realistically, we should hear stuff like this more often. The translator should have been rendering words and short phrases literally, sort of like Google translate. The translator is working with languages that it has never encountered before, and it should lose or misunderstand most of what is said, at least for the first few days of interaction with a species. Other Trek series had the advantage of working with more or less known species, but the entire run of Voyager should have really played with the idea of communication issues - that could have been fun.
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Kevin
Wed, Dec 25, 2013, 10:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Darkling

This was a bad episode. Picardo's portrayal of the evil Doc was actually quite chilling, but the script just wasn't there to bring it home. This could have been one of Trek's better forays into horror, but the writers just phoned this one in.
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Kevin
Wed, Dec 25, 2013, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

This episode brought up a few interesting questions for me. As far as Voyager was concerned, why not investigate the Borg Cube and try to acquire some of their technology - Transwarp should have been quite interesting to someone in Voyager's position. On the other hand, it shows how deeply the events of TBOBW affected the Federation. Janeway came off as genuinely terrified, and made decisions the way a skittish prey animal would. It was nice to see that Janeway is still human, and Voyager is not all-powerful.

The Cooperative was interesting, but I had a problem with the quasi-mystical telepathic borg. Weren't nanoprobes the key to the Borg's communication and regenerative properties? That explanation is both grounded in real science and seems to sit better with canon than "Neural-electic blah blah blah..." I understand the writer's were probably reluctant to inject nanoprobes into Chuckles, but that would have made an interesting continuity concern as well.

The other thing that was intriguing about the New Collective is the question of who was in charge. A perfectly flat democratic group mind should not have a leader, yet the Borg derives its efficiency and power by being a collective mind driven by the will of the Queen. I would have liked to have understood that better, because it seems that the leaders of the good cell would not have necessarily been able to impose order, unless the order itself comes from the innate Borg programming...

Anyway, a good episode with the exception of the magic telepathy hokum. It left you asking questions, which is what great sci-fi is all about.
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Kevin
Sun, Dec 22, 2013, 2:30am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

I've got to chime in with the supporters on this one. I liked that the TakTak were so weird and, well, alien. That was refreshing, although I'm glad we didn't have to endure a whole episode of that. It reminded me of Darmok a bit, but I don't think Voyager could pull that off.

As far as the main plot, again, I liked that the alien was so unusual. Yes, it was an implausible explanation, but there is a good likelihood that such things may exist (there are giant single celled organisms right here on Earth, after all) and it was an interesting idea. The story was very "Alien"-esque, but it mostly worked.

I thought that the flashback was too long and involved. It could have been tightened up by focusing only on what the Doctor actually witnessed, dropping the pointless banter and such. The ending felt rushed, again probably because of the flashback eating so much time. But for my vote, I'd say this was a solid 2.5 out of 4 - a little better than average with a few standout moments and some nice ideas.
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Kevin
Wed, Dec 18, 2013, 3:01am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Sacred Ground

For me, the episode worked. I don't think I would have said that when it actually aired, but now I found the meaninglessness of it to be meaningful. The arguments against religion on this thread are really arguments against a certain religiosity, with it's accompanying pomp and bombast. The episode anticipates that, and diffuses it with Janeway's self-inflicted trials, which are meaningless.

I laughed out loud at the final scene. Janeway has experienced something profound that she doesn't really understand. The Doctor does what Trek always does to these phenomena - technobabble. However, just this once, Janeway as a character actually hears it being just that. That final scene says this time she doesn't buy it anymore than we do, but if the Doctor wants to have his explanation, arguing the point would be meaningless.
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Kevin
Tue, Dec 17, 2013, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Remember

I thought this was a very powerful episode, but the confrontation at the farewell party was a bit much for me. I have a hard time believing Janeway would have tolerated that kind of interruption and outburst - she's much too diplomatic for that. Also, even though Trek is much to saintly to let it happen, I thought that this would have been one of the best episodes of any series had it simply ended with the scene where the children are being taught that the holocaust didn't happen. The idea that a society could go through that and then actually cover it up and move on was truly chilling. If the writers had simply let that stand and force viewers to process those ideas in the raw...wow.
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kevin
Sat, Oct 12, 2013, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Awesome episode, and very brave. Star trek has a long history of tackling the issue of racism, but usually through alien cultures. Removing that layer clearly makes some people uncomfortable, which had to be point. It's important to remember how recently these racist feelings were out in the open, and that they didn't just disappear. Clearly, intolerance is still alive in one form or another.
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Kevin
Sat, Jul 27, 2013, 3:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Q and the Grey

I think it says something that this episode effectively has its own entry in the Evil Overlord family of Stupid Plot Tricks:

"If I Am Ever a Starfleet Captain... If my ship is whisked to the far side of the galaxy, leaving us with a seventy-year journey home, and a super-being offers to take us home instantly in exchange for having his baby, I'll agree and ask what we can get for two babies."
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Kevin
Fri, Jul 26, 2013, 11:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

The final insult is when at the end Picard says, "Our plan for them worked out well." Excuse me, Captain? "OUR" plan? Your plan was to let them all die and let the Prime Directive soothe your conscience. Nikolai did all the hard work planning this out. But sure, now that it's all worked out, now you're sad that even one of them didn't make it.

I'd give an extra two stars to this episode if Q had shown up at that moment and smacked Picard across the face with all of that.
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Kevin
Sat, May 18, 2013, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

You're welcome, I'm sure. Of course, this episode DOES have SOME problems-chief of which is the implausibility(not to mention disputable utility) of a cryongenic capsule drifting out into deep space,light years away from earth. Let's log that one as a convenience of/for the writers,shall we? Ditto trouble with the Romulans and/or the Neutral Zone-which provides a crisis to distract Captain Picard & crew from their out-of-time passengers,thereby causing anxieties and conflicts to develop between them, which would ordinarily have been given some level of priority. However, these flaws do not detract from the greater points of interest; i.e., the differing responses of three ordinary humans who wake up 370 years in the future. Usually, anachronism is played for the Cheap Laugh, especially on TEEVEE: "Happy Days and "That 70s Show" being the best (and worst) examples.There's little of that here and, in fact, one of the more sophisticated yucks comes from the comparison of the Enterprise to the "Q.E.II". Although it is observed by Data that the C&W singer has adjusted most easily to the situation, I must point out that his "adjustment" involves the further pickling of his liver via prodigious consumption of martinis;picking up where he left off,back in the 21st Century.
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Kevin
Wed, May 15, 2013, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

I LIKED 'The Neutral Zone'! The new series (TNG) had to find some way to separate itself from TOS,and this episode makes a start. Using the same premise as 'Space Seed'-antiquarian, frozen humans- it spins the tale out in a decidedly different direction; instead of over-the-top, eugenically advanced Super Villians,we get more normal( i.e., grounded in everyday reality)humans.The one trump card TNG held over TOS was its psychological sublety vs. TOS (sometimes) heavyhanded commentary. Sooo...in place of Khan, hellbent on seizing control of a starship,presumably en route to conquering the (known) Universe, we get Ralph Offenhouse.Pushy, arrogant, used to getting his way he is,simply, an obnoxious Capitalist Pig;"do you at least have a Wall Street Journal?" he snaps at Will Riker. But is Offenhouse really all that simple? Although driven by the Profit Motive,seemingly, he shows surprising depth and feeling in his encounter with Jean-Luc;in fact,it is the Captain who comes across as more than a little smug,assured in his comfort zone that we've "grown out of our infancy". Offenhouse actually outpoints Picard when the Captain snorts at the notion Ralph posits that the power to "control your life, your destiny" is the ultimate object of the financier. "Such control is an illusion" he contends."Oh really?" Ralph replies,"I'm here,aren't I? I should be dead,but I'm NOT!" Tellingly,Jean-Luc has no answer ready for that one. Later, Offenhouse demonstates superior capabiltites by not only finding his way to the Command Deck, but by actually making an on-the-spot assessment of the Romulans which Picard concedes is accurate.ERGO: Clearly the writers were after a more rounded and nuanced characterization in Offenhouse than is found in TOS. And they got it. He's not loveable, but he's tantalizingly real.
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