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Archideus
Mon, Sep 16, 2019, 10:51am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Rogue Planet

And at the end when Archer took the hand of the Alien/Woman and looked here in the eyes, I heard a voice in my head. It was the Cinema Snob shouting "And then they banged. HARD!"
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Warp Capable
Fri, Sep 13, 2019, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

Like everyone else, I never thought much of this episode.

But on reflection, there are people in my life who I have used as "receptacles". Which is to say, I would rant about my frustrations and anxieties to them, and they'd listen, supporting me, but I never let go of anything. I'd be back the next day, next week, next month, ranting again, about the same things, over and over again.

Eventually, one of my friends cut me off. They didn't want to hear it anymore. I was hurt. But I've since realized that my attitude was part of the problem. It's different for everyone, but in my case, I didn't just need someone to rant to sometimes, I needed to make some changes in my life that I'd been resisting for too long.

Looking back at the episode, Alkar here may be in a similar situation. If his negative emotions are so strong that they do, well, *that*, to Troi, he needs to figure out where that's coming from, rather than forever dumping it on others.
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wolfstar
Fri, Sep 13, 2019, 6:43am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Time and Again

It's been interesting seeing this episode for the first time since I was a kid (I was abour 12-13 when I originally saw it and remember really liking it and thinking a lot about it afterwards)... so I echo TB's comment. I still think the plot and concept are good (original and engaging), but the execution is remarkably bad, something I didn't notice as a kid at all (amazing how imagination counts for so much when you're younger, and you mentally paper over the cracks and don't notice plot holes and shoddy production as much). As noted by others above, the alien society is really unconvincing - they're not just totally human but even seem American, and then there's even the laughable digital clock with Arabic numerals. Kes's parts are fairly effective, and I like how Janeway and Paris are in this episode (they're a big part of what makes it work), but the way they get caught up in the environmental protest group seems really contrived and convenient - then there's the fact the power plant has one solitary guard (who's easily overpowered) and appears to have no staff at all on the inside, so they just walk in. The ship-side material isn't too bad (and the post-destruction set is convincing), but rather tech-heavy and rote, and the characters haven't quite found their footing yet (which is to be expected at this stage in the series). Most of all, because the budget constraints are so visible, I just didn't feel the stakes or the impetus this time - it was much harder to get invested in the situation and outcome than when I watched it as a kid. Then there's the sudden reset ending, which just doesn't work in the way it's intended. Think I'm gonna settle on a 2.5 star rating - the script is 3*, but the execution is about 1.5*.
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Startrekwatcher
Sun, Sep 8, 2019, 6:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

I rewatched this the other day I realized it is kind of all over the map as far as the narrative

It starts out about a legitimate investigation with good faith from all parties then decided to pull the rug out from the intriguing conspiracy angle before halfway in turning into a story making Satie too extremely paranoid and Picard too extremely naive before deciding to change course again with Sati turning into an all out villain singlemindedly wanting to destroy Picard for opposing here

The writing left a lot to be desired
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HackFarlane
Tue, Sep 3, 2019, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

Retrocontinuity? -- I don't care.

Blatant rejection of continuity to serve the plot? -- I don't care.

Focusing this episode on a guest character we've never seen before (who apparently had an important friendship with Kim, who's never mentioned her), instead of an already-established redshirt that we actually have seen? -- I don't care.

"In the past three years, Voyager has jumped through the quadrant to the tune of 40,000 light-years. Are you telling me that Ballard took her shuttle and found Voyager half a quadrant away in only six months?" -- That's a good point, but I still don't care. The Delta Quadrant is shown to be littered with spatial anomalies and wormholes anyway.

An alien race that "reproduces" by reanimating the corpses of other races? -- Now *that* is an appallingly stupid idea, even for science fiction, even in a universe with warp drive, transporters, and plenty of extraterrestrials that look just like humans.

Even if you grant that the STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION episode "The Chase" [SPOILERS!!!!!!!]
offered the explanation that one alien race millions of years ago seeded their DNA throughout the galaxy, and that's why humanoid species always seem so "compatible," [END SPOILER]

changing a corpse's DNA and physiology at the molecular level to make them look like you, and then reanimating said corpse, in order to "reproduce" is ridiculous.


OK, such a species wouldn't have always reproduced that way. Something had to have happened on their planet--a disaster that caused mass sterilization. (Otherwise, a species that "reproduces" in this manner would have had to instantly be aware that there is intelligent life in the galaxy and have immediate access to their corpses. ) They're obviously gifted scientists/doctors.

But how could their population be possibly sustainable for even a few years by using this method? Just how many people of all these different neighboring species launch their dead into space pods, that just "happen" to enter Kobaldy space? Those are some great odds. Do the Kobaldy enter orbit around neighboring planets and beam up the recently deceased from their graves? That strikes me as woefully inefficient to say the least, and what about another species that is wise to them? They'd probably make sure their dead are cremated or vaporized on the spot.

Nothing in this show reveals that the Kobaldy are acting out of existential desperation--in fact, if they had been shown to be an endangered race, it may have been easier for the crew to empathize with their eerie way of doing things. But no, reanimating the dead is treated as "well, this how we've always done it." That is just painfully ill-conceived fantasy.

"Ashes to Ashes" is dumb simply because its plot conceits are so laughable. That it features Garrett Wang and Kim Rhodes, two of the worst actors to ever darken STAR TREK: VOYAGER's doorstep, doesn't help. But if the main character had been Torres or the Doctor, this episode would still be ridiculous. There are far better ways to tell "second chance," "Fish out of water" and "caught between two cultures" stories. With far superior ones out there, this is just a waste of time. Skip it!
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Warp Capable
Tue, Sep 3, 2019, 10:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

I like to play a game with this episode. For each detail which is disputed, try to think of a sequence of events which would lead each of the involved parties to legitimately believe their own version of the story.

For example, whose idea was it for Riker to stay overnight on the station? Both stories can't be true. But what if...

Manua was the one who first brings up the idea, but she intends it as a gesture of hospitality which she expects Riker to decline. Because obviously it wouldn't really make sense. Riker doesn't pick up on that right away, and takes a moment to actually consider it. She interprets his pause to mean that he wants to stay but doesn't want to ask. He thinks out loud "it would help to expedite the process", thinking only about the minor convenience, but it sounds to her like he's pressuring her. She then feels she has no choice but to insist that he stay, to make him comfortable.

Now Riker believes that Manua asked him to stay, and she believes it was him who wanted to stay.
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Warp Capable
Sun, Sep 1, 2019, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

I love this episode. But I love it for the music, and I can see how if you don't get into the music, it may look different. I'll just gush about the recital scene here:

When I saw violin, cello, piano on stage, I was thinking violin and cello concerto with piano accompaniment. But then they launch into almost a piano concerto with violin and cello accompaniment. It's Chopin, so it highlights the pianist, lets her be romantic and show off her technical chops. It says a lot about her character. Nice choice Darren :).

I love how the actors approach their instruments, and the camera-angle tricks which are so understated you almost wonder why they even bothered to do them. But they did, and knowing that they really cared about this scene makes it that much more fun to watch.

My theory on Picard's remark after the recital: maybe she just flubbed a note. A flub's not a big deal, and in most circumstances no one would have ever noticed. But Picard notices? It says something about his character; he's probably been listening to recordings of this piece alone on the computer in his room to "prepare" for the recital. And he's probably missing the social context of live performance, so he doesn't recognize a flub for what it is. He assumes it's an artistic choice. It then says something about Darren's character that a half second later they've forgotten all about it and are making plans to play together. So smooth, Darren :).
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corsairmarks
Sun, Sep 1, 2019, 1:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

My suspension of disbelief was thrown very hard at the end of this episode / beginning of the next. Other than the whole "we have to keep all the same characters and actors" meta-reason, why did we never see any fallout on Sisko for his failure? He let his personal feelings lead him astray which lead to some (assumedly) expensive replicators being stolen by terrorists.

Even if the Federation just replicates more replicators (they are basically magic, I suppose) and the loss itself is inconsequential economically, it is still a security failure in that it supplies terrorists. I'd wager any real-world military personnel would face discipline for gross negligence (i.e. running off because of a love interest) leading to the theft of supplies by the enemy.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sat, Aug 31, 2019, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Whom Gods Destroy

I'm sorry Garth killed Batgirl.

She was fun crazy.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sat, Aug 31, 2019, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

Lord have mercy, that's a long title for an episode.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sat, Aug 31, 2019, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Cloud Minders

A for effort. Appreciate the equality message more than ever in 2019 having watched our overlords obscenely grow in wealth and power in the past few decades.

C for execution. That still leaves us with a B-episode. Good enough for me.

Observation on Stratos transporter: It's the prettiest one in any Trek, and also the most dangerously placed with only a small railing between you and the planet.
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HackFarlane
Thu, Aug 29, 2019, 12:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

Armus cracks me up. This episode is actually fairly entertaining because of him--he's just such an irredeemably evil bastard that you almost root for him. For bonus points, he was even created that way! His only regret about killing Tasha Yar was that she didn't suffer enough before dying. Yikes. The fact that he's such an unbelievable, over-the-top asshole almost creates an amusing campiness here.

I also liked how arbitrary Tasha's death was. Before 24 came along, deaths like these were fairly shocking--a main character isn't supposed to die like this, only redshirts. I wonder if, when this episode aired in 1987 or 1988, before the Internet was a big thing, was the audience even aware that Denise Crosby was leaving the show? I know there were probably UseNet boards, but I'm guessing the average audience member may have been blindsided and had no idea that Yar was about to be killed off.

Showing the immediate aftermath of her death as a conference in the observation lounge was a good choice--we see that it was a punch to the gut for these officers, except for stoic Worf and Data of course.

Leaving Armus alone for eternity (supposedly) seemed to be a justifiable sentence for him, as much as many would rather see him blown to smithereens. With nobody ever to screw with, his entire reason for being is moot, and he'll have to live with that forever.
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HackFarlane
Thu, Aug 29, 2019, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

Booming said:

"@DLPB
Well look who got triggered here.
Oh believe what you want but an endless amount of studies have proven these tendencies beyond a reasonable doubt.

I also promised myself that I wouldn't discuss certain matters with people who have no background in sociology or political science and that obviously includes you. "


Booming, it seems like you are the one who's been triggered (yet again). After you rant, you always seem to apologize a couple of comments later once you're in a better place, or back on your meds, or whatever, to say something to the effect of, "Oh, I know I can get angry sometimes," or "I didn't mean to come across as arrogant." Why don't you take a few deep breaths, count to ten, or wait a day, before replying from now on?

And by flaunting your sociology credentials and promising yourself "that I wouldn't discuss certain matters with people who have no background in sociology or political science ," you sound like one of those posts from the Reddit "I'm so smart" discussions, just begging to be ridiculed. You can learn a lot from the opinions of other people, which you should know as a "sociologist." We have a saying here in America--if you're the smartest person in the room, find another room.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Wed, Aug 28, 2019, 7:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Way to Eden

Adam = Matthew McConaughey

Yeah, brother!

This could never legitimately top a "best of" list, but worst of all 72? Nah, it ain't that bad.

And I thought some of the music was pretty cool.
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Richard
Tue, Aug 27, 2019, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

Hi Peter,

Gosh I never expected such a rapid response!

Of course, you can see such a mission as the ultimate heroism- but not everybody feels the same way at all and they may have quite different career aspirations. The way this was gone about was not an upfront request for volunteers, giving the option to refuse. Her arm was twisted, quite literally.

She certainly wanted to serve Star Fleet, but she was given the impression this was the only way. That's not really fair play.

Similarly her family; if I were her family getting her full report the past week before she heads off, I'd quite possibly want an Industrial Tribunal to take a close look at the circumstances - assuming such institutions still exist and Nepotism hasn't just run amok!
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Richard
Tue, Aug 27, 2019, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

I thought the manipulation of Sito by the Command on the Enterprise was appalling.

Having believed she's up for promotion, Picard suddenly calls her in and demolishes her for past misdemeanours one would presume overlooked or punishment inflicted.

Wesley was guilty of these same misdemeanours, but he's still the Captain's favourite ensign. He just got a private dressing down, because Nepotism is apparently alive and very much Kicking in the Twenty-Fourth Century. Rather disappointing. Sito of course, hasn't family in senior ranks.

Worf then goes on to fling the poor blindfolded girl, less than half his size, around an exercise room on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Apparently everyone wants her to speak up for herself, so they have selected this abusive procedure to do so. Yes it's a supposedly military vessel but she's well past basic training.

Having virtually broken her spirit, she is given a chance for redemption- a virtual suicide mission.

When she (not surprisingly) doesn't come back, she gets a Eulogy from Capt. Picard. Such a comfort for her, and presumably her family as they try to enlist lawyers to investigate the circumstances of her demise.
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Barium sweep
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

The main thing I thought should have been done was Kevin ought to have killed himself in penance. The idea he gets away with genocide does not sit well.
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The River Temarc
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

The problem with this episode is not that it presents a moral dilemma. Done well, moral dilemmas make great fodder for Star Trek. The issue is the execution.

First, the crew never really pinpointed the heart of the matter: whether the Crystalline Entity was sentient, and thus could be not only communicated with but reasoned with, or whether it really was (1) sentient but evil, or (2) a sperm whale instinctually feeding on cuttlefish.

If you're in the former territory, Picard has a justifiable stance. If you're in the latter territory, killing the Crystalline Entity is justified. Planets with intelligent life aren't cuttlefish. And park rangers kill bears that have mauled humans. (To be clear, Picard explicitly stated that "it may be necessary to kill" the Crystalline Entity, so clearly he's contemplated the latter territory.)

Second, Marr's character came off as a mustache-twirler from the get-go with her threats to disassemble Data. Moral dilemmas work well when each side can make a credible case (see "Ethics" for a good example), even if one viewpoint ultimately prevails (e.g., "Drumhead"). That's the opposite of mustache-twirling.

If we wanted someone to truly critique Picard, either Marr or another character needed to delve into the heart of the matter above. (Troi would have been the obvious choice; in "I, Borg," she observed that there were no civilians among the Borg. And Guinan did the same thing.) The inexplicable choice to focus the first third of the episode on boring scenes set in caves left no time to cut to the chase.

Third, you can't ignore the fact that "Silicon Avatar" is a sequel to "Datalore," and that ultimately is what undercuts Picard's position here; "Datalore" strongly suggests that the entity knows what it's doing.

So in sum: potentially interesting dilemmas spoiled by poor execution and a one-sided antagonist. "Silicon Avatar" is no hidden gem.
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The River Temarc
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

"I rather suspect that if you or your family had had dealings with a rampaging killer, you wouldn't be here defending this thing."

I actually was prompted to re-watch "Silicon Avatar" this evening after re-watching PATRIOT GAMES and vaguely remembering that the actress who played Mary Pat Foley was in a TNG episode.

FWIW, in PATRIOT GAMES, the Deputy Director of CIA, a guy named Marty, tells Jack Ryan -- whose family had been attacked by an IRA splinter group -- that "you are a victim of terrorism, and that does not make for the best analysis." The movie never followed up on this point (it wouldn't be Jack Ryan if he doesn't work at CIA!) but Marty had a point.

We do not, in Western judicial systems, let victims determine punishments -- yes, we take them into account, admit victim impact statements into the record at sentencing, and so on. But we ultimately recognize that victims do not always offer an objective prescription for the appropriate course of action going forward.

I mean, in real life, should victims of IRA terrorism have been able to scuttle the Good Friday Accords?
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The River Temarc
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 12:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

In a bit of retroactive continuity, it's clear that Sirella had some sympathies for T'Kuvma from Discovery Season 1. Sirella subscribes to an idealized version of Klingon history and worries that aliens are adulterating Klingon bloodlines. This sounds exactly like someone who would get seduced by T'Kuvma's ideology.

And despite 100 years' worth of changes to Klingon society between the two series, I doubt T'Kuvma's ideology has completely disappeared. (We know that there are still Molor worshippers in Kronos, for instance.)

All of this makes Sirella a lot less likeable than she already was.

All in all, I think this episode suffered from way too may cliches: the angry mother-in-law; calling off the wedding at the last moment; the caricatured Klingon bachelor party. It had its moments, and I enjoyed Jadzia's scene with Sisko and her Polynesian-themed party. And yes, I do think Worf and Dax had some chemistry; but the execution was still poor.
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HackFarlane
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Unnatural Selection

I am also one of the voices on this board that actually prefers Dr. Pulaski over Dr. Crusher. She and Picard had a great dynamic, and I really love, unabashedly, what they did with Pulaski and Worf, after Worf got "the Klingon measles" in an episode near the end of the second season.

"Unnatural Selection" was a great vehicle for Pulaski and for Diana Muldaur. We got to see Pulaski's foibles and stubbornness but also her warmth for humanity. She even apologizes to Data while she's on the shuttle with him, which I thought was a nice little touch of dialogue. I think everyone involved really made an effort to create a well-rounded character in Dr. Pulaski, and I would have liked to see more of her.

As for the continuity issues raised in this episode, specifically in regards to, "How could the Federation allow Darwin Station to experiment like this, considering what happened with Khan and the Eugenic Wars," I will simply chalk it up to this episode taking place in an alternate universe where the Eugenics Wars never happened, and there never was a Khan Noonien Singh.

Also, I can't explain why, but I cracked up at the arrogant, snotty Dr. Kingsley who oozed contempt and snapped at Picard through the viewscreen. She's exactly the type of haughty, vicious scientist-with-a-God-complex that would run a station and experiments like this. It was a nice touch that she knew who Pulaski was, because of that "Linear Models of Viral Propagation" paper that Pulaski wrote.

I'm conflicted on the transporter solution at the end. In its favor, we really don't know how the science behind it works, because, frankly, it's preposterous. But as it is, I can wrap my head around a system that converts matter into energy, and then recreates the matter after traveling through subspace to another location, being able to reform "another version" of the subject by superimposing a trace pattern. (I'm not sure if that even made any sense, but it's no harder to believe than warp drive. ) I can even forgive this can-of-worms being ignored in future episodes and movies because it was shown to be incredibly risky--they almost lost Pulaski, so it doesn't strike me as something that anyone would want to risk attempting again. And besides, if this episode took place in an alternate timeline, there are plenty of parallel universes where it never happened, so it wouldn't be brought up in a future show as a solution anyway.

However, I do understand the criticisms that the solution was an overly-simple, ridiculous deus-ex-machina and that they could have come up with something more inventive.

Also, it seems to me that they should have heard of space suits or even simpler Haz-Mat suits, but I know--Paramount budgets. I also think the message of the episode was simplistic and obvious. But I do like how it showcased the Picard/Pulaski dynamic; Muldaur and Stewart were both marvelous.
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HackFarlane
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

I agree with Strejda. Of course Rick Berman & Brannon Braga wrote this. One of them actually admitted to an interviewer that he has an ongoing fantasy of crawling up into a giant woman's vajayjay. I'd say "A Night in Sickbay" makes a lot more sense in that context.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sat, Aug 17, 2019, 3:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

A planet so overcrowded that they must press up against the duplicate Enterprise? How did they ever make room to construct it?

Give them the name of a good 21st century skyscraper architect.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sat, Aug 17, 2019, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Lights of Zetar

The girl.

The girl.

The girl.

The girl.

The girl.

The girl.

The girl.
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Archideus
Sat, Aug 17, 2019, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

Oh God, a baseball episode. That's exactly why I watch Star Trek.
Skip 10 seconds,
Skip 10 seconds,
Skip 10 seconds,
Skip 10 seconds,
Death to the Opposition,
Skip 10 seconds,
Skip 10 seconds,
Sisko is OUT, heh,
Skip 10 seconds,
Skip 10 seconds,
Skip 10 seconds,
Rom the hero, aww, how nice
Skip 10 seconds,
Skip 10 seconds,
Yeah, suck it Solok!

Wow, this episode lasted only 5 minutes!
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