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The River Temarc
Sat, Jan 16, 2021, 1:58am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part I

"Indeed, if I may speculate a little outside the four corners of the story, I think that Riker would have to be something of a celebrity in Starfleet due to his defeating the Borg. Knowing what I know about Jellico, his disdain for Riker could be driven by a degree of professional jealosy, which would be made worse by Riker's loose obeisance to Starfleet protocal and his personal charisma."

That's always been *exactly* my read, or at least half of it, on the Jellico-Riker relationship. (Remember how Captain Maxwell greeted Riker in season 4 -- "we all owe you for that one.")

But the other half? There's a further layer of complexity here: Jellico is an expert on the Cardassians. Riker isn't. Riker may well think he's entitled to succeed Picard based on his Borg mission, and perhaps based on his defeat of the Romulans in "Unification," but Romulan strategy isn't Cardassian strategy, and Romuland tactics aren't Cardassian tactics. Riker thinks his strengths are transferrable to any fill-in-the-blank adversary, and they're not.

So while Jellico is envious of Riker, the reciprocal point is also true.

I've often thought that the final episode of ENT should have taken place during "Chain of Command," rather than "The Pegasus," for precisely this reason. It would have given Riker the chance to consider that Jellico had domain expertise that he, Riker, lacks. Archer learned that the paternalistic Vulcans may have sometimes had a point and that T'Pol's counsel was wise, not patrionizing. This ultimately helped Riker to agree to pilot the shuttle laying the mines.
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Ripley Clarke
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 10:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

Generations IMO was by far the best of the TNG films.

The main point of this film was summed up best by Picard at the end on the bridge as he was speaking to Riker. He reminds us about what Soran said "time is like a predator that stalks us all our lives..." and then says he would rather think of time as a companion which travels with you remind you to cherish every moment. With many plot elements reminding you that all things end, Picard's relatives dying in the fire, the loss of the Enterprise D, the loss of Kirk.

None of the other TNG films made me come nearly as close to crying as I did the two times you lose Kirk in Generations. First contact was yet another moby dick (which it competes with Wrath of Khan in that respect), Insurrection was yet another White guilt Native American analogy (again- tons and tons of episodes on this), and finally Nemesis was just flat out bad. To rate Generations on the same level is completely unfair in my opinion and im not sure why it seems to be the forgotten of the TNG films.
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Icarus32soar
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 8:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Second Chances

LOL. The number of reviewers who take ST literally and nit pick on things as if this was Wisteria Lane and its denizens.

Roddenberry had trouble initially selling ST cos so many in the industry at the time found it "too cerebral". And yet the best sci fi in any medium is cerebral and so is ST. It works best not with literal scenarios but one where metaphor and symbolism are the means of "telling the story".

And this episode succeeds because it does just that: of course we can laugh at the technological absurdity of a secondary transporter beam bouncing back to the ground and creating a second Riker in full. Geordie's technobabble explanation is laughable at best. But that's not the point of the episode.

The point is a psychological exploration of what constitutes self, identity, self-awareness, character traits, having to live with the consequences of our life decisions etc.

And the episode does this brilliantly. Dramatic tension is maintained, Sirtis' and Frakes' much maligned acting skills more than rise to the occassion here, and the narrative pace and character chemistry are top rate all the way.

It's incredible fun having two Rikers on screen, double the screen presence, Frakes is an incredibly sexy man on the screen, no matter how we assess his acting chops, the red and yellow uniforms playing visual and character counterpoints, and the sibling rivalry ( or is it "Brutus with himself at war"?) resolved so beautifully at the end with Will giving Tom his trombone, and the future of the romantic relationship at the centre of it all also remaining open ended.

This episode is brilliant and an exception to most of TNG because it does the opposite of what usually happens: instead of starting with a brilliant premise and butchering it in the execution, it takes a fairly silly one and elevates it to superb television viewing through great execution. Pity that the TNG iteration hasn't managed to do this more consistently.

And yes, what's with the dodgy apples in Troi's fruit bowl? Or is it the digital enhancement that makes such physical details fully noticeable?
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Frake's Nightmare
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 4:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Strange New World

'To stupidly blunder where no idiot has blundered before'.
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Icarus32soar
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 4:15am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Suspicions

Who can survive a plunge into a star's corona?
A Mad Ferengi, a Blue Scaly Alien, and a Dumb Redhead Broad.
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Icarus32soar
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 2:05am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: The Chase

I've never been convinced that Picard, the archaeology professor's star student took a sudden turn to a Starfleet career. Why didn't THAT figure in Tapestry? The lack of any rudimentary arc development in TNG is a real pain.
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Icarus32soar
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 1:40am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

We know she's gonna get away in the end, because captains are, well, married to their ships. And the man doesn't give up his career to follow the woman in hers.
Patrick Stewart's funny looks and mediocre acting subvert the notion of him as a romantic character.
Fortunately, the legendary Aussie actress Wendy Hughes, who died in 2014 at only 61 years, has looks, screen charisma and acting chops to save the entire enterprise (pedestrian pun fully intended!). A performance among any top list one would care to compile.
Despite the ludicrous hairdo, she achieves stature and dignity in her role that's a master class in every respect.
Vale, Wendy. You've rocked it all the way!
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Frake's Nightmare
Thu, Jan 14, 2021, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Fight or Flight

Does the slug - and the rest of it's race - come back and wreak terrible and bloody revenge for being kidnapped and abandoned on this bleak and inhospitable planet ?
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Frake's Nightmare
Thu, Jan 14, 2021, 2:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Broken Bow

Would anyone bother giving this programme any thought at all if it didn't have Star Trek in the title ? I know it's the only reason that I bother to watch it. Apart from having Vulcans in it there is absolutely no relationship to the Trekverse whatsoever. What a dud!
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Bernard
Thu, Jan 14, 2021, 12:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

@Joe, baseball is a strange example to use: everyone on the fielding team wears a mitt on their non-dominant hand, so they have the dominant one free for throwing. These mitts can't be swapped from left to right -- you'd need a new mitt entirely.

Besides, at any level of professionalism, a baseball player would be expected to have far better hand-eye coordination with either hand than Joe or Jane Public, so I wouldn't try to draw general inferences from them.

For my part, I'm right-handed, and will go to some lengths to favor that hand when trying to catch something, especially if I perceive it to be small or delicate.
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John Harmon
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 7:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

“The Orville couldn’t maintain its network audience and has no production schedule for a third season with somewhere else yet. I wouldn’t call that a success.”

The Orville shifting to Hulu was a result of Disney buying Fox. Everything got shifted around. Their production delays have been due to COVID. Also it’s just straight up a better show than Discovery.
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Hotel bastardos
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 9:37am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

Don't think I'd seen it since it first aired, and shit! It was as awesome as I had recalled. And that final scene... As Monsieur Picard gazes round the poker table, the look of almost fatherly pride, admiration and love towards his crew mates.... Perfect finale. Too bad they ran the franchise into the ground with bloody Voyager and Enterprise.
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Icarus32soar
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 3:22am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

LOL! How is this garbage worth so many looong reviews here? The pits!
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Icarus32soar
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 12:13am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

Nah. Just meh all the way. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is turning in his grave. Holodecks and holodeck themes as main plots just don't work. Especially when deployed to recreate past historical periods. It's a joke on any viewer with a modicum of intelligence. I, for one, ain't gonna fall for it. The one true weakness of DS9 is its holo-obssession.
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Icarus32soar
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 7:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

Brilliant. Both parts 1 & 2 give us a glimpse into what TNG could have been if they had all resisted the puerile story lines of most of the series. The admiral kicks ass, Jellico is hateful at first but grows into a totally sympathetic character, in the sense that his martinet ways prove to be necessary to the success of this particular mission, and the Cardassian part of the action, including Picard's torture scenes, is drama with complexity and ambiguity of the highest order.

It's episodes like this that elevate ST above normal TV fare, something DS9 did far more consistently than other iterations and the reason it's respected so much by fans. This isn't just good ST, it's superlative viewing, as cinematically complex as anything on the big screen, indeed superior to much cinema.

Anything involving Cardassians is usually done so well, it manages to avoid that faintly ludicrous tone anything involving Romulans usually has.
It's a interesting duality in ST, for me. These two enemies of the Federation depicted almost as polar opposites.

On the trivial side: the scenes with Picard, Worf and Dr Crusher in the cat burglar outfits training and climbing the caves were a waste of screen time; we all now get why Riker refused his own ship; the coda where Picard confesses to Troi he was about to break is superbly ambiguous; I love it that Jellico put Troi in uniform, wish he had done something about her hair too. And I wish we had more time with all these cool blondes who seem to populate the commander and admiral ranks of Starfleet.

Chain of Command 1&2 stand alone as the absolutely best TNG episodes ever, and among any ST "best" list one would care to compile.
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John Harmon
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 5:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

nBSG was bleak, but at its core there was a real hopefulness about the resiliency of humans. And you had those main characters that at their core were just good people. That’s what you need in bleak sci-fi, characters that feel like real, good people to ground it and keep people interested.
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Nothing but the Tears
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 5:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I think that’s a great point about “The Expanse”. It csn get pretty bleak at time. But there’s always hope and there’s a sense of wonder.
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Frake's Nightmare
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 5:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Family Business

Some people just don't have the lobes for a Ferengi episode!
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John Harmon
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 4:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Booming I don’t know if Expanse is all that depressing. It’s dreary and bleak, but the main characters are good people trying to do the right thing which gives the series the hope and humanity it needs. Of course I’m only early into season 2.

Watching the pilot, I feel like Discovery tried to rip off The Expanse in its first season. Both shows start off with a first officer undermining their captain to do what they feel is right and getting almost everyone killed. The difference is this was well done in The Expanse. Both main characters frequently put the weight of the world on their shoulders, but the difference is in The Expanse it makes sense and feels earned. And in that show, other characters call Holden out for this.
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Paulus Marius Rex
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 3:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Bang on Jammer. You expressed it all just as I wish I could have had I not been blubbering to myself incoherently at the end of that mess. At least this season had a string of three good episodes in a row. (3-4-5? I can't remember exactly which ones.) My wish for Season 4 or any other future iteration of Star Trek: please can we stop with so much action, fisticuffs, gunfights? We've seen it all before. Boooooring. Yawn. I would like some intelligent, thoughtful writing instead please pretty please
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John Harmon
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 1:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Jammer, I think you’d love The Expanse. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s genuinely great modern sci-fi. It would be amazing to get reviews on it from you, but even if you didn’t do that I think you’d enjoy the show. The characters make sense and feel like real people, the motivations make sense, the world building is extremely thought out, it doesn’t rely on mystery boxes and ridiculous narrative twists. I can’t recommend it enough.
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John Harmon
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 1:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

“Will season four make better efforts to explore the Federation and the 32nd century? I sure hope so, but that's what I hoped for this season. Maybe this season was simply to get us here and next season will be committed to living here. One can hope, I guess.”

It feels like we all keep saying this every season. Like, maybe next season will be better and more developed. But it never happens. At some point it’s our own fault.
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Mary Vasilakakos
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 4:12am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

Little boys whose voice has not yet broken should be kept out of TV shows. Picard is the most excruciating captain of them all (I even prefer Scott Bakula's captain in the awful Enterprise iteration) and now I know why: he was once an excruciating little boy.

They needed an entire episode along the lines of Riker's technobabble to the Ferengi. 90% of TNG spends all its dramatic and narrative energy on puerile plotlines and ignores the little gems that have fantastic dramatic and narrative potential. That makes it the worst ST iteration of all, it wins in the puerility stakes by a length.
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Frake's Nightmare
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 4:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

I 'really not hate' this episode.
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Icarus32soar
Sun, Jan 10, 2021, 11:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

I adore Reg Barclay. For all the reasons that often make me question the perfect brave Starfleet heroes. He's a genius, he's socially challenged, he has fears about things everyone else takes for granted, (but, hell, remember Dr McCoy and HIS views on beaming all over the place?), he's a hypochondriac, quite possibly the most completely convincing "human" character in the whole of ST. He's such a welcome counterpoint to the Picard types who never miss an opportunity to lecture and preach about Starfleet and Federation values. Thank God Roddenberry's future vision has not sanitised humanity from characters such as Reg Barclay. (Nick Locarno also comes to mind. Such "flawed" characters are essential in any balanced depiction of humanity.)
And nothing more challenging than facing one's fears, and putting yourself out in the way you fear most to save others in the process. Although the notion of people "simmering in the memory buffers" for hours is a bit of a stretch. These simpler episodes, dealing with one specific issue and one specific character developed narratively and dramatically are among ST's best in all its iterations. I wonder why they haven't done it more often, the much maligned STV actually having done this better than other iterations. Voyager actually improves with repeated viewing, some EPs are now classic fare, I have used "Nothing Human" and "Prime Factors" to "teach" ethics in professional training classes with much more success than textbooks by experts have had. The essential duality and ambiguity of ethics gets handled brilliantly in such EPs. Same with this Reg Barclay episode, we have dramatic tension and ambiguity, in other words complex TV for adult minds done well, such a welcome breather from all the phaser and photon torpedo shooting by Starfleet macho types. Long live, Reg!
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