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Tomalak
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Great, description, CaptainMercer. I was really sceptical of the Orville but came to love it in spite of myself.

There seem to be two groups of Star Trek fans when it comes to the Orville:
Those who have seen more than a few episodes and think it's a decent show.
Those who have seen one or two episodes at most and dislike it.

I await the day I actually find a Trekkie who has given the Orville a real chance and still dislikes it.
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Mal
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 10:42am (UTC -5)
Re: ANDR S1: D Minus Zero

@Jammer, the quote you picked - "Blind and crippled. If Andromeda were my child, I'd drown it" - I remember that as the exact moment 20 years ago that I knew I had to watch Andromeda. That this was a show for me :)

So funny that you couldn't fathom at the time what Trance's purpose was in the show. Of course now we know. But back then, that wonderful top was purpose enough for me ;) It was 20 years ago. We were just human. All too human.
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Mal
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 12:57am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Nolan, great post ;-)

https://youtu.be/sfNe2uv-bHs

Lower Decks really is a symptom of a much more fundamental problem.

https://youtu.be/B3lfC4SgFVQ

Star Trek was never able to transition into the 21st century. It's been running on auto-pilot for the past 20 years.

https://youtu.be/SI3YmnCx3rs?t=150

I suppose that is a testament to capitalism.

https://youtu.be/P011OQbOYd8

You can make a boatload of money putting out mediocre drek year after year, decade after decade. People will buy pretty much anything. I hear The Bachelorette is in its 15th season.

https://youtu.be/ngNm4J3Nk9s?t=27

Why bother working hard, with passion and integrity, to put out one of the most aspirational shows ever made by man?? It's far easier to slap together some garbage, throw on the name of some established IP franchise, pump out the promotional PR, and sit back and cash the checks.

https://youtu.be/ui6g23ygov8

We seem to be further from Star Trek's future than ever.

https://youtu.be/v1Cx3mJueCE?t=66

Twice before we've appeared on that track for that future. Twice before we were able to come together to create the greatest of great Star Trek.

https://youtu.be/1y1v_DdpprE?t=32

Once as man was racing for the moon (TOS).

https://youtu.be/HiFEzc_gsuw

And then again at the at the end of the Cold War when the hope was we could once more turn our gazes back to the stars (ST VI, TNG S4).

https://youtu.be/BUPK2tTx0tc?t=103

TNG laid the groundwork for DS9, and VOY provided the cover fire so DS9 could do its thing. But once DS9 was gone, and Ronald D Moore was gone, and Joe Menosky was gone, Star Trek was dead.

https://youtu.be/RJudJ9S579A

But Star Trek has died before (after S3 of TOS). And Star Trek has been debased before (TAS). And Star Trek has had false re-starts before (TNG S1, ST:2009). And Star Trek has come back from the dead before (TWoK).

https://youtu.be/SPBGZRRrEKM

So let the current string of debasement (Lower Decks), and false re-starts (Discovery, Picard) burn themselves out. Eventually there will be a, er, um, Restoration...

https://youtu.be/ppykquyAUyY?t=15

And then maybe we'll be able to do the impossible once again.

https://youtu.be/1VR3Av9qfZc?t=23
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Mal
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

for @Diamond Dave:

https://youtu.be/gR34PJOl3K8

Cooperation, makes it happen
Cooperation, working together
Dig it!
Cooperation, makes it happen
Cooperation, working together

I saw these crazy dudes
And they went out on the street
They were cleanin' out the empty lot
And makin' it neat
I said, "Man is this cool
What you tryin' to do?"
They said, "Makin' a garden
For me and for you."

They said:
Hey man, join us
Come on, let's go
Together we can make a pretty garden grow

Girl: I'll dig a hole

Guy: And I'll plant a seed

Together: And we can add the water
That all growin' things need

Cooperation, makes it happen
Cooperation, working together
Dig it!
Cooperation, makes it happen
Cooperation, working together

https://youtu.be/gR34PJOl3K8
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Mal
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 1 “Second Contact”

Mal’s review

* 1/2 (one and a half stars) out of 4

“Did I eat flesh?”

- Commander Ransom asks after being cured of the Zombie virus.

A Star Trek show about four young ensigns on a starship sounds like gold. Who wouldn’t want to see a show that revolves around someone like Chekov, a 19 year old Ensign with a bright future? Or how about Ensigns Nog & Dax, maybe sent off on an away mission before Ezri’s promotion came in?

Over the 50 years of Star Trek, we’ve been treated to a whole host of wonderful young junior officers - teenagers - from young acting Ensign Wesley Crusher, to sweet Ensign Sito. From fresh from the academy Ensign Harry Kim to cynical and broken Ensign Ro Laren. Ensigns have been a rich vein for Star Trek lore.

Anyone expecting something remotely like that from Star Trek: Lower Decks will be sorely disappointed.

The first episode follows a roughly A & B story pattern.

The “B story” revolves around the crew turning into zombies, spewing black vomit on each other, and eating human flesh. It is literally as bad as it sounds.

The “A story” betrays everything that Star Trek holds dear.

I suppose it does this for laughs, but honestly, I didn’t find any of it amusing.

Ensign Mariner violates regulations and gives Starfleet technology to some farmers belonging to a newly admitted race, because she feels Federation bureaucracy might take too long to approve the technology transfer. The “joke” is that the technology is a shovel and a hoe.

Why is the Federation giving membership to a race that does not have shovels and hoes?

You’re telling me that Bajor was not ready for membership when Kai Winn and Shakaar were fighting over reclamators (see DS9 "Shakaar“), but 10 years later, this backwater world - without shovels - has been granted membership?

No wonder Star Trek Lower Decks cannot be considered canon.

The “A story” gets worse. When one of the farmer’s animals starts inflicting excruciating pain on a fellow Ensign Boimler, his crew mate Ensign Mariner refuses to stun the animal and render it unconscious because that might spoil the flavour of the milk. And so she allows Ensign Boimler to suffer for many, many more excruciating minutes. When the animal finally tires of inflicting pain, poor Boimler is hurting right down to his very bones. This too is supposed to be funny.

I’m not laughing.

I cannot imagine Nog and Ezri on an away mission where Ezri allows Nog to suffer excruciating pain just because stunning the animal causing the pain might ruin the milk. That would be insane, and a violation of everything we have seen Star Trek stand for over 50 years.

There are a few other vignettes in the short first episode. A young Orion Ensign who works in sickbay is covered with black vomit which is sprayed on her repeatedly by her boss who has been turned into a zombie. She is assigned to pump the heart of a ailing lieutenant, but she does so without any anaesthetics, so the lieutenant calls out in pain “That’s my heart, it hurts when you pump it!” The green Orion Ensign continues to pump it. The lieutenant continues to cry out in pain. This is supposed to be funny.

Finally, a cyborg Ensign and a Trill Ensign are on a date as the crew descends into chaos, turning into zombies, shooting each other, attacking each other while the two Ensigns continue to chat and flirt, without making any effort to stem the violence or save their crew mates. “So, where are you quartered?” he asks as the phasers fire around them and the ship is at red alert. “Deck nine, by the squash courts,” she answers as a medical officer exclaims that “this is happening all over the ship.” The two Ensigns continue to smile obliviously and chat about playing squash sometime, while the medical officer darts away to tend to the emergency. This is supposed to be funny.

Will the next episode be any better? The preview tells us that one young ensign will recommend evasive pattern 88. The Chief Medical Officer will reply, “is he fucking serious?”

There are so many insults to the viewer’s intelligence packed into these 20 odd minutes, that is almost not worth listing them. So let’s just take one example: the Starfleet briefing officer down on the planet cannot pronounce the name of the race that has just been admitted to the Federation. He mispronounces the name of the race right in front of a representative of the race - actually struggling to read the race’s name off a padd. All the years we saw officers prepare and practice alien names and greetings to make them feel welcome and appreciated - all of that up in smoke - for a “joke”.

So will I be watching next week? Are you fucking serious?
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Mal
Tue, Aug 4, 2020, 7:26am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Sixth Season Recap

Wow, @Keiren, that is an epic Ron Moore interview ( https://www.lcarscom.net/rdm1000118/ )

I agree, @Sean, Ron Moore is pretty much spot on about how bad Voyager is, and how little hope there is for Star Trek.

I had no idea things were so bad behind the scenes on Voyager. Here is what Ron Moore says:

"What I found on VOYAGER was suddenly it wasn’t about the work anymore. It wasn’t about making the best show that we possibly could; it was about all these other extraneous issues. It was about the politics of the show, and the strange sort of competition of egos within the writing staff and the producing staff and the management of the show. ... The politics of the show were such that the egos of the people in charge of the series were threatened by the people who worked for them. To be blunt, [writers] Bryan Fuller and Mike Taylor were treated very shabbily, and it pissed me off. They took a lot of crap, and the only reason it was done was to keep the guys on the top of the pyramid feeling good about themselves. It also had the effect of keeping the writing staff from working in concert as a group. ... The fun factor dropped precipitously, and I think that shows on the screen. I think that the product that you are getting now is also a reflection of the way the show is produced."

Wow. Just wow.

And what Ron Moore says about continuity is exactly what we see in Voyager season 6:

"The continuity of the show is completely haphazard. It’s haphazard by design. It’s not like they are trying desperately to maintain continuity of the show. They don’t care, and they’ll tell you flat out that they don’t care."

Turns out the writers just didn't give a fuck about Voyager anymore. Here is what Ron Moore says:

"On VOYAGER, there are characters they have given up on. They will just say that to you, flat out. I started asking questions about B’Elanna, who she is. I was saying, ‘I’m having a little trouble watching episodes and getting a handle on her, and what she is about.’ The response was, ‘We don’t have an idea. The past doesn’t matter. Just do whatever you want.’ What are you talking about? How can you give up on your own show? How do you give up on your characters? There is such a cynicism about the show within the people that do the show."

It is so sad.

When DS9 ended in 1999, did we have any idea that Star Trek as we knew it was over?

Pathfinder aired at the end of the millennium. It was essentially a TNG episode snuck halfway into Voyager's season 5. Here is what Ron Moore says:

"A good example of the yearning for THE NEXT GENERATION was obvious in “Pathfinder,” an episode so much like TNG that Marina Sirtis felt like she was doing her old show."

When Pathfinder aired, and we all rang in the start of the New Millennium, did any of us have any idea that not once - NOT ONCE - in the 21st century (and we are now 1/5 of the way done with the 21st century), would Star Trek ever rise to remotely where it was had been in the 20th century. A global icon. A symbol of a hopeful future for all humanity.

Voyager's 6th season was the death of Star Trek:

- Ron Moore left Star Trek in Voyager's 6th season.
- The Borg were desecrated in Voyager's 6th season Collective.
- Continuity ended as a core Star Trek value in Voyager's 6th season Ashes to Ashes.
- Joe Menosky departed with Voyager's 6th season Muse.

Everything after Voyager season 6 has been Zombie Star Trek.

Ron Moore was so right. After Voyager's 6th season, more and more, we had to turn to other scifi shows for any quality story telling.

DS9 alumni went on to run the first season-and-a-half of Andromeda. TNG alumni today run The Expanse.

Ron Moore himself went on to nBSG. It is almost like he had to do that show, just to demonstrate what Voyager could have been.

There is a line from the Ron Moore interview that almost word for word made it into nBSG:

"wouldn’t Janeway at some point have said, ‘Realistically, this is becoming a generation ship. Time to start having kids, because somebody is going to have to man this ship 60 years from now, and it ain’t going to be me. It ain’t going to be Chakotay, and probably nobody on this bridge. So let’s start making babies.’ "

That's exactly what President Roslyn tells Adama. It becomes something of a nBSG mantra ("we need to get the hell out of here and we need to start having babies").

https://youtu.be/lEihtS7oRoI?t=106

Can you imagine Janeway and Chakotay ever having that kind of a frank conversation?

Amazing how bad Voyager was. What's shocking is that it was bad on purpose. TPTB - Brannon and Berman, hated Star Trek, TOS. I can't believe it, but here is what Ron Moore says:

"The whole franchise will just collapse, because it will have no validity whatsoever. If you are going to go there, you really better be prepared to truly put on the STAR TREK mantle and be the keeper of the flame. I think that is really hard for Rick and Brannon. It’s hard for them to do that, because they don’t like the original show. Let’s not mince words. They don’t like the original show. They have never liked the original show. They’ll bob and weave a bit here and there in public. But they don’t like it; they don’t want to have anything to do with it."

These are the people who have been in charge of Star Trek for much of the 21st century. These are the people who have dragged our show into the mud.

Frak them.
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Mal
Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 7:43am (UTC -5)
Re: Vote to Rename Voyager

I'd be all for renaming Star Trek: Picard to Star Trek: Seven of Nine. You know it would be an improvement ;-)
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Mal
Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 12:31am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Thanks for your comment @Susie Rose. I really hope that Star Trek Lower Decks turns out to a pleasant surprise that your whole family can enjoy together.

The best case scenario is something like the trajectory for Orville laid out by @Tommy D. The Orville had a lot going for it right off the bat. But frankly at the start, the "humor" was hard to take.
Those who stuck with it have been rewarded with the purest Trek since TNG - and I say that has a huge DS9 fan. But let's be honest, while DS9 might have refined Trek to a remarkable crescendo, it was TNG that nurtured the soul of Trek.

And not to get all Ferengi on you, but perhaps Trek died when people stopped trying to make Trek true to its soul, but wanted to make Trek popular for profit.

Because @Boomer is so right about one thing: Trek is not for everyone.

Most people, frankly, do not want to spend their time watching a show about competent professionals who solve problems without resorting to violence or trickery, but rather with intelligence, bravery, and honesty. That is always going to be boring to large swathes of the audience. It is much easier to swear & curse, resort to sexual titillation, violence, or perhaps most annoying of all - that mild cruelty we call sarcasm.

Just imagine if Data or Spock was introduced on a contemporary Trek, the attitude with which their genuine superiority might have been met.

Data: “I am superior in many ways. But I would gladly give it up to be human."

Troi: “We have received several complaints from crew-members about you Mr. Data. You have been asserting your superiority which is in violation of Federation HR guidelines. Please report for mandatory counselling once a week until further notice. Now fuck off. I’m late for a threesome with Ensign Sonya Gomez and Mr. Mott.”

Or imagine Nog dreaming about joining Starfleet on Star Trek Lower Decks.

Nog: “Captain’s log… . First contact is a delicate, high-stakes -”

JAKE: Hey, that was a pretty funny joke you pulled on my Dad this morning.
NOG: What?
JAKE: You know, about wanting to join Starfleet?
NOG: I wasn't joking.
JAKE: Come on, Nog. You don't really expect me to fall for that one.
NOG: Did you tell your father I was joking?
JAKE: Yeah. Kind of.
NOG: How could you do that to me? I want you to go back to your father and tell him that you were wrong.
JAKE: All right. Calm down. I mean, how was I supposed to know you were serious? You never said you wanted to join Starfleet before.
NOG: I'm saying it now.
JAKE: So what brought this on?
NOG: I have my reasons.
JAKE: Okay, name one.
NOG: Why should I?
JAKE: Because I'm your friend. And friends don't have secrets from one another.
NOG: It's not a secret. I just don't feel like talking about it.
JAKE: Why?
NOG: Because it's personal. Now stop asking me.
JAKE: All right. But my father's a pretty smart guy, and if this is some kind of trick, he's going to figure it out.
NOG: There's nothing to figure out. I'm joining Starfleet, and that's that. Now, if you don't mind, I have a lot of work to do.

Somehow I doubt Star Trek: Lower Decks will treat its young protagonists with the respect we saw that
- Geordi & Data gave to Wesley
- Sisko & O’Brien gave to Nog
- Seven & Neelix gave to Naomi Wildman
- Beverly gave Nurse Ogawa
- Worf gave to Ensign Sito in TNG’s Lower Decks, and that each Lower Deck officer gave to each other in that episode - ever though, in one case, they were competing for the same promotion.

Instead, I fear what we’ll see is more along the lines of innocent wonderful Hugh slaughtered for no reason (ST:Picard); young Icheb cruelly tortured before he is killed (ST:Picard); fuck-yeah Science! Tilley (ST:DISC); and zero-growth Ensign Travis Mayweather (ST:ENT).

These are the models of the young and the innocent in NuTrek. Playthings to be teased and humiliated and destroyed by sadistic writers.

So, @Susie Rose, since most of us won’t be watching Lower Decks, maybe you could post your reviews, episode by episode, and if it turns into a show that you and your whole family can enjoy together, no one will be happier than us die-hard trekkies :-)
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Mal
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Riddles

@ MisterFred, I agree, this episode was quite enjoyable for all the reasons you outline.

A very solid three-star outing. And frankly, the rare exploration of friendship makes "Riddles" a genuine gem. The episode is sweet and affecting in a way that DS9's "Ascent" never really managed between Odo and Quark. Tim Russ and Ethan Phillips have a genuine warmth that takes you back decades to Bones and Spock.

@ Proteus, I really appreciate your perspective. And I wonder if @ Jammer was just too young at the time to really enjoy this hour of Star Trek?

If @ Jammer went back now, two decades later, and watched "Riddles" again, would he be able to enjoy it at the three-star level it really is? I certainly hope so.

I do understand @ Jammer's frustration with the Rest Button. The producers missed a huge opportunity to change the direction in which Tim Russ played Tuvok for the rest of the show. They could have taken this as an excuse to bring just a little bit more emotion into the character, the way the half-human side of Spock allowed him to almost crack a smile, at least with the twinkle of his eyes. But then again, the producers fucked Voyager up so many times, what is one more missed opportunity?

But that is no reason to take away from "Riddles" itself.

Time to re-score this hour at * * * (out of four).
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Tomalak
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 7:34am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Personally I don't have a deep idea of what is and isn't Star Trek. And I don't have any sense of narcissistic entitlement that Star Trek producers make TV I like. They can do whatever they like.

I just reserve the right, when they make poor quality shows, to express my view. This one looks absolutely dire and juvenile. (And I am a big Orville fan, in case anyone thinks I'd say that about any comedy show set in the Star Trek universe, which the Orville comes as close as it can to without being sued.)
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Tomalak
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 9:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Q and the Grey

Does anyone know what the conflict was actually about?

Death Wish was a great episode, and it was clear that Quinn was up against fellow members of the continuum - including Q himself - who thought euthanasia could have bad potential consequences. But this sequel makes no sense. What precisely is Q rebelling against? Quinn has already killed himself. There are vague references to individualism I think, but since when were the Q unable to go around doing their own thing?

In Death Wish, Q eventually decided he wanted to support Quinn's death wish, and helped make it happen, so he got what he wanted. But equally. as far as the Continuum were concerned he had clearly done all he could to prevent it. I don't understand how a civil war started from this, and nothing in the dialogue explains it, or what either side is fighting for.

Separately, if Q is the leader of the rebellion in this version of the US Civil War shouldn't the guy who tries to stop him be the equivalent of Lincoln? In which case why the pronounced Confederate accent for the latter?

And I think the female Q actress did a poor job with this one, having previously played Star Trek characters well. She comes across too much like a 1990s stereotype woman to be believable as a Q.
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Tomalak
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

"I'm happy to watch a Trek comedy, I just can't stand the frenetic, hyperactive, hysterical style popular in animation nowadays where everyone's lines have to be read at 10x the speed of how normal people talk, as if every character has just had 6 cups of coffee and snorted a line of meth, ice and coke."

Very well said. I wonder if it's a way to cover up the awful humour - and the jokes in that trailer really are awful.
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Mal
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Trek has finally been dumbed so far down, it's reached the Lowest Common Denominator.

As the trailer might put it, "the dumbest Trek?"

It is so sad, because animation has been an incredible platform for certain scifi franchises.

Animatrix was a wonderful animated addition to the Matrix franchise in the form of a prequel. Even better, maybe, than the third movie.

By all accounts, The Clone Wars was a grand animated follow up to the Star Wars prequels. Certainly better than the prequels themselves.

There has also been some startlingly revolutionary original animated scifi, like Ghost in the Shell. Futurama gave a Simpson-esque-verse a fun scifi spin.

But alas, NuTrek is none of that.

Lowest Drek. Indeed.
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Tomalak
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 3:06am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

Great episode. It's a minor thing but I don't think it quite works to say fear itself wants to be conquered. The child riding a roller coaster may wish to conquer his fear - but that's not the same thing as the fear itself having an independent wish to be defeated.
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Mal
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 10:53am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

Pancakes!

https://youtu.be/EoKCFI292j0?t=2620
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Mal
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

"Demon” is one of Voyager’s rare attempts at hard science fiction.

The episode draws from one of the great classics of the genre, the short story “Desertion" by Clifford D. Simak, which was published back in 1944 in Astounding Science Fiction magazine.

You can read the entire short story here:

https://archive.org/details/Astounding_v34n03_1944-11_cape1736/page/n63/mode/2up

From the first moment Paris says,

PARIS: I'm telling you, Chakotay. It was an amazing experience. It, it's like when you're a kid who's afraid of the water and you suddenly realise that you can swim. Go ahead, take your helmets off. Try it.

I hoped that was where the story was going.

And then much later in the episode when Harry tells Seven and Chakotay,

SEVEN: I see monochromatic geological formations, dust, haze.
CHAKOTAY: What do you see, Harry?
KIM: To me, those geological formations are a dozen shades of red and gold. That dust, it's glowing. And the haze, it seems to intensify the colours. I'm sorry. I know it's weird, but I feel connected to this place.

It immediately brought to mind the crescendo of the old 1944 story by Simak.

In “Desertion" by Clifford D. Simak, human researchers are part of a project (like the movie Avatar) where they are transformed into forms that are suited to Jupiter, so they can explore the gas giant the way a native might.

One by one the researchers transform and set out into Jupiter to go exploring. And none ever come back. Finally the head of the program decides he has no choice but to go after his team, and he transforms himself. And that is when we learn how incredible it is to be on Jupiter if you are in a form that is suited to Jupiter.

You can listen to a reading of the critical part of Clifford D. Simak's story where the head researcher describes what Jupiter looks like to him now that he has gone native:

https://youtu.be/WYOk9D0ZwVk?t=1224

I first read “Desertion" 25 years ago as a boy, and have never forgotten it.

It is a story about what you feel when you go to an alien place - a foreign country - and finally give up your old ways, and, as they used to say “go native.” The resulting beauty and awe can be overwhelming.

Sadly, Voyager’s mediocre writing team was never able to tap into that rich vein, and “Demon” ends up being a complete disaster of an episode.

Half a star for trying something great but failing completely.
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Mal
Thu, Jul 2, 2020, 10:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Favor the Bold

"Favors the Bold" is a tour-de-force. One of DS9's greats. Indeed, one of Star Trek's greats. If I may be so, um, bold, let me say, one of scifi's greats. @ $G, I'd put this one up there with Babylon 5's third season episode "Point of No Return" as one of the most critical episodes of a great scifi saga.

I see what you're saying, @Luke, this is really where Damar comes alive. And maybe, just maybe, Damar leaking the plans to Quark was not quite the accident we have been led to believe. If you're crazy, @Luke, I'm right there with ya bro!

@ AeC, Drusilla does some serious whimpering in Season 2 of Angel ("Redefinition") after Angel burns her and Drusilla ( https://dai.ly/x6mw7kq?start=2565 ). You're right, there is so much more to Drusilla's pain than anything Leeta is able to muster, not withstanding Leeta's tig ol bitties @Sintek :-)

Speaking of Angel, @ D K, Lilah Morgan gets a pretty satisfying beatdown ( https://dai.ly/x4h3feh?start=180 ) in season 3, "Billy".

@DLPB, Damar is only 3 inches taller than Kira. It is more of a fair fight than one would imagine. I like Damar a lot, but let's be honest, he was never really a hand-to-hand kind of a guy. His command presence came from his charisma, and frankly his very awesome voice. He's more like Picard that way. At least before Picard became all action hero-y in the movies.

My favorite line from "Favors the Bold" has somehow been overlooked in this thread. So here it is, from Quark:

ROM: The fate of the entire Alpha Quadrant rests in your hands. Billions and billions of people are counting on you.

QUARK: Boy, are they going to be disappointed.

ROTFLMFAO! Quark is awesome.

@ Fortyseven, if you enjoy a good binge of DS9 or nBSG, then please do check out Babylon 5. I'm not sure why @Jammer never got around to it. And now that we're all older, with so much more on our plates, I fear he never will. But hope burns eternal.

Faith Manages.

https://youtu.be/uoD-Gw5oqrQ
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Mal
Sat, Jun 13, 2020, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Alter Ego

A solid, enjoyable * * * episode.

I'm not sure how I've missed this episode all these years? But like @Sarjenka's Brother, I have absolutely no memory of every watching it.

Which made watching "Alter Ego" this evening - for the very first time, a real treat!

Like @Lt. Yarko, this is easily the most I have ever laughed with a Voyager episode. On the level of sheer fun, I'd put this one up there with "Future's End Part I".

One new thing that re-watching Voyager after all these years has given me, is an appreciation for just how well the show sets up the Paris/B'Elanna coupling over the years. There are small flirtations a few times here and there. Then, I think it was at the start of Season 3, with "The Swarm" when we get some real honest-to-goodness (and fun) flirting. So to see the Lower Decks vulcan (Vorik) cock-block Paris at the luau was absolutely hilarious.

Watching this episode for the first time now - after movies like Joaquin Phoenix's Her (https://youtu.be/6QRvTv_tpw0) have been made, also makes Harry's reaction to crushing on a holodeck character more understandable. Harry had studied the TNG Moriarity situation at the Academy. Maybe, @William B, Harry also knew about the Minuet gambit the Binars pulled on Riker? Maybe Harry's reaction to falling for a holographic woman was actually prudent?

Finally, let me echo what @Jordi Bosveld said at the top. When both Tuvok and Harry say "no" to that lovely hololady who wants to join them at the end of the show, I for one burst out laughing :-)
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Mal
Sun, May 31, 2020, 10:17am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Booming, countries like China and Kazakistan and Iran do not typically live broadcast manned launches from their facilities (Russia doesn't launch from Russia).

https://www.rocketlaunch.live/?pastOnly=1

But when Nasa is involved, you might at least get the launch.

https://www.rocketlaunch.live/launch/soyuz-ms-16

It is a rare treat to get the entire mission broadcast live, as we are getting right now for Dragon.

https://youtu.be/21X5lGlDOfg

Part of that is that TV stations aren't about to give 23 hours of continuous broadcast of NASA TV, which is how long it takes to get to the ISS. And part of that is that online broadcasting has dramatically improved in the last decade.

We live in awesome times!
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Mal
Sun, May 31, 2020, 7:46am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Booming.

TOS taught us that Russian accomplishments are human accomplishments. There is no reason to minimize launches just because they are taking off from Russia.

ST First Contact taught us that our greatest breakthroughs will be thanks to individuals driven by profit like Zephram Cochrane, not any sort of world government. There is no reason to minimize human accomplishments just because of the character of the folks making the breakthrough.

Dragon is less than 1 mile from the ISS!!! It looks so beautiful over the Chinese night sky right now:
https://youtu.be/21X5lGlDOfg
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Mal
Sun, May 31, 2020, 6:13am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

And the timing of Neflix dropping Space Force is basically perfect.

We are just 150 minutes away from the earliest docking time to the ISS!!!

Watch NASA live:

https://youtu.be/21X5lGlDOfg
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Mal
Sun, May 31, 2020, 1:55am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Space Force is just what the doctor ordered after The Good Place ended and while we wait for new Orville episodes.

At least someone out there is making uplifting wholesome scifi again!

Plus it is always great to see Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe from Friends) back on screen again! Yeah!

https://youtu.be/MkHQxsv1JgQ?t=78
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Mal
Sat, May 30, 2020, 10:50am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Speaking of great new scifi, hope everyone is watching Space Force.

It's like the most enjoyable prequel for Star Trek/Orville we could hope for!

And Steve Carrell is fantastic. The Office in space uniform :-)
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Tomalak
Tue, May 26, 2020, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

Great post above from Skeptical (years ago now). I could easily come up with better arguments from Jetrel than the scriptwriters - the analogy with Hiroshima is interesting but fails because anyone actually involved in Hiroshima would have pointed out that nuking it saved millions of lives (compared to a land invasion of Japan). Instead from Jetrel we get absurd straw men arguments about how you should always pursue scientific progress even if it means mass destruction.

I think Star Trek's ability to consider complex moral arguments is probably overrated, honestly. With the exception of Deep Space Nine, these kind of straw men on one side of the argument were the norm for the show. Similarly you sometimes get liberals not understanding why conservatives like Star Trek. Can't conservatives see themselves in the straw man villains who keep losing the argument? Um, no, that's not what we believe so it's really not very troubling to see those points defeated.
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Mal
Wed, May 20, 2020, 12:51am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

@Cody B, I think @Booming has already said something to that effect when he wrote above,

"I like your Christ but I don't like your Christians because they are so unlike Christ"

Which to be fair, is probably true of all dogmatists, including (especially?) atheists.

Glad to see everyone is coming together in civil discourse. This truly is the unique magic of @Jammer's website.

That's probably why we keep coming back. Year after year. Decade after decade. This is the right place for us.

https://youtu.be/VhD0hbGEDSU?t=28

Faith manages.
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