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Adam Marsland
Tue, Jun 30, 2020, 6:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Icarus Factor

Boy, did the Japanese dialogue during the martial arts sequence suck. Atrocious. I didn't even recognize it at first.
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Adam
Mon, Jun 29, 2020, 12:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

What I found unbelievable was Tuvok explaining that Vulcans believe in some sort of soul that survives death. That is an epic fail for a race that prides itself on being logical.
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Adam B
Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 11:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Dramatis Personae

These season 1 episodes are short on any sort of explanation for what happens in the episode. Why was Sisko building a clock? (Also, I find the way he just says "A CLOCK!" hilarious) Chalk this one up to another random alien for which we know nothing about. It's just like If Wishes Were Horses - the aliens leave. But mister alien? Can we learn anything about you? "No, maybe next year."
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Adam
Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

^ P.S. What I meant by "reactions of the other actors" is that the rest of the cast are gathered around asking Brooks, not Benny, if he's alright when he collapses.
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Adam
Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

In the What We Left Behind documentary, it's revealed that Avery Brooks really did have a breakdown in that famous/infamous scene. As others have said, those are real tears on his face. But what I didn't see mentioned in the comments is that Brooks was so into the role that he really does fall to the ground and is too distraught to stop acting. A lot of the reactions from the other actors in that scene are real as well, and apparently after the camera stopped rolling Brooks was still upset. I was never bothered by the "acting" in the first place -- as others have said, real breakdowns aren't pretty on film -- but I'd say the episode deserves four stars purely for the fact that we are watching a black man have a genuine breakdown over the issues this episode explores.
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Adam
Sun, May 24, 2020, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Twisted

This episode is a masterpiece because it has an incredible revelation: there's a turbolift that goes to engineering!

4 stars
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Adam
Fri, May 15, 2020, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

This episode was better the second time I watched it, when I reluctantly, after many years, bought season 2 on DVD. Season 2 is generally horrible with only a handful of episodes that can remotaly be considered "good".

The first time around, I couldn't believe that this sort of predictable, cliched rubbish was still being made.

Don't give up if you are watching this show for the first time. Things vastly improve and the show finally starts to adhere to its concept. Reviewers were so jaded that they rate the two later seasons lower (much lower) than they should have done. Season 3 is a tremendous improvement and season 4 is like a different show, the only Trek apart from DS9 that remembers its characters live in a bustling, exciting universe.
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Adam
Wed, May 6, 2020, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part I

ENT season 4 is, with one or two exceptions, utterly gripping. Out of all the shows from the classic era, I actually think ENT S4 has got better with time. It embraces the Trek universe so deeply it is clearly being written for fans, by fans, and it breaks my heart to know there will never be a season 5.

What's ironic is that Picard and Discovery seem to take the gloom, violence and anti-Trek ideals of these mirror universe episodes, and builds whole new series out of them, while modern audiences bay for more violence, more twisted storylines, basically more Game of Thrones style horror and pessimism. In the Trek universe? Really? Where humans are supposed to have outgrown the mess that we are today?
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Adam
Sun, May 3, 2020, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Sub Rosa

This is one of those episodes that makes Xena: Warrior Princess look like it was aimed at intellectuals. Why did TNG make its female characters so desperately boring? Someone early in the comments mentions Voyager, and to be blunt VOY did Troi much greater service than TNG ever did (actually, it did Barclay greater service too). Crusher had a few good moments in ST: First Contact and the episode where she is alone in a bubble universe. However, she will always be known as the one who got fingered by a ghost.
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Brandon Adams
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

It is amazing, and somewhat comforting, to see how much mileage Star Trek can wring out of two of the worst narrative missteps (Hobus and Data's death) in the franchise's history.

Kurtzman in 2032: Have you been pining for an epic four-season Jonathan Archer series somehow stemming from the removal of Icheb's eyeball? Have we got a show for you!!!
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Adam
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 6:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@ Lynos

I think the way that Jurati's crime has been handled is inexcusable. She had a mind meld with a half vulcan that showed her some bad stuff. She agrees to be a spy (and maybe more?). She meets up with her ex lover, and kills him. Why did she kill him? Was it because he had created androids? If so it was premeditated. Was it to prevent him from making more androids? What makes her judge, jury, and executioner? It certainly did not seem like a crime of passion. So that leaves what we would call murder 1 in most states. The Picard from TNG would have put her in the brig with a guard, not let her run around free on the ship and a planet. Makes no sense. I am surprised Patrick Stewart, as executive producer, went along with this. No wonder no one listens to Picard anymore. Just this one item has ruined the show for me, unfortunately.
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Adam
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

I want to modify the tone of my previous post. I was tired, ill and in a bad mood when writing it.

I stand by all points I made, but I did try watching the next episode. Picard is not as bad a show as I made out, but it's not what I would call very good either. It's taken Picard and Seven in a dark direction I would not have gone, as I don't believe either of these characters would have turned out that way. Seven of Nine is basically Aspergers and you don't get aspies flying around killing people and blowing shit up, especially when they have a close family teaching them positive values like co-operation, emotional regulation, the need for obeying laws etc. Also... I just hate seeing cherished characters who've lived miserable lives for no reason other than "dark modern drama [TM]".

The show picks up after episode three. It's still generic, agenda driven, plot driven and disappointing compared to what might be, but it is leagues above Discovery. The need for TNG's message of striving towards utopia is needed now more than ever. Trek has abandoned this core tenet, and the world is a little bleaker for it.
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Adam
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 7:55am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

In this show so far we have the usual modern agendas.

* Mysterious and powerful female character, inspired by the Hunger Games, who the galaxy revolves around? Check.

* Female empowerment shown by every character in a position of power being female, and a female character kicking the shit out of four men at once? Check.

* Everyone who demands better than this is a sexist misogynist? Check.

* Everyone is racist (for not wanting to help their oldest enemy, the sneaky tyrannical race who annexes worlds and starts wars)? Check.

Other problems with this show:

* Unnecessary swearing because Game of Thrones? Check.

* Complete rewrite of Picard's character to make him an old, bitter, forgotten failure a la Mulder in new X Files, which was also crap? Check.

* Foot-draggingly slow pace featuring a confusing storyline, with an additional B-plot that so far doesn't make sense? (Romulan Empire captures a Borg cube and immediately invites species across the galaxy to inspect it??) Check.

* Dodgy acting, even from Picard, who in ep 3 appears to be reading the script and veers from looking like he's asleep to bursting with energy? Check.

* Multiple variations of Starfleet uniform, a la Star Trek Online, when Voyager and TNG have already shown us what the uniform should look like in this time period? Check.

* Complete failure to show us what happened to any of the TNG characters after Nemesis, because the new show is completely plot-driven? Check.

* Complete absence of any notion that Picard may have married Dr Crusher? Check.

* Extremely shallow Easter Eggs such as Picard going into some room with mementos from the final season of TNG and the films? Check.

* Mass hysteria and automatic 5 star reviews by all the internet because that's how we do things these days? Check.

* People defending it by saying "Trek has moved on from the 90s" because the show has ejected everything that originally made Trek a success? Check.

Honestly folks, if you think Picard is a five-star show, watch your favourite TNG episodes again. If you think this is telling a good Borg story, watch Voyager's "Dark Frontier". If you think modern Trek is good because "The 90s are old", you missed Trek's best era regardless of how many times you call people "boomer".

I don't want to see any more of this tired, painfully derviative mess, which appears to have Picard flying around in an ENT-era ship. We had better than this. The modern era killed it off and it's not coming back.
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Adam
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 7:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Where Silence Has Lease

This is a truly excellent episode, albeit let down by Mr Fish, as I call him, the giant face. The weakest TNG got was when it tried to be the sequel to TOS. I guess that explains why Voyager, DS9, Enterprise and later TNG had nothing whatsoever in common with the original show.

The scenes with Riker and Worf are probably the best I've seen in TNG. Visiting another Galaxy class starship was a nice idea. The quiet darkness with only the sound of wind, and the mind-bending scenes where Worf starts to freak out, were so well done. And this is the first appearance of the self destruct which would become a Trek cliche, and which was superbly done here.

If every episode of Trek had been this suspenseful, this meaningful, well, science fiction would have a different landscape. Watching it makes me realise how empty and agenda-driven the new Picard show is.
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Adam
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 1:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

The acting for Worf's "foster brother", who magically appears and then disappears from the Trek universe, is absolutely horrid. He makes Vedek Bariel seem interesting.

Also, good job Picard: in the episode after you sold out an Admiral and a bunch of intelligence operatives while relinquishing a tactical advantage, you condemn a planet to death then get shitty with the man who tries to save them. This writing is nothing short of pure Star Trek.
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Adam
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Sub Rosa

Regarding some comments, I love Masks. It's a guilty pleasure with terrific atmosphere and a villain that is built up to be more terrifying than the Borg, then turns out to be Brent Spiner talking in a silly voice.

I do not like Sub Rosa.
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Adam
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 12:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

Picard is the father who punishes his own children for being bullied.

Treaty of Algernon:

Romulans: "Don't develop cloaks because we don't want to lose our immense tactical advantage. We are more powerful than your highly advanced, quadrant dominating empire of 150 worlds. In return, we won't fight you."
Federation: "OK LOL"

In The Pegasus:

Federation: "We developed a cloak but don't worry, we'll send you a letter."
Romulans: "OK LOL"
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Brandon Adams
Sat, Feb 1, 2020, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Immensely clutzy episode. The bedroom, apartment investigation, and evil plotting scenes could have all been done with a quarter of the dialogue and four times the effectiveness, and the Mars attack scene shouldn't have been there at all. I've rarely seen a Trek episode that felt like so much anxious filler (outside of Discovery).

And a series billed as textured and new as this one has been, should not have Grim Evil™ standing around in open offices pontificating about "taking care of Picard", bwahaha. That's just cartoonish.

On the plus side, the writers are nailing the arc of Picard so far. Seeing his clumsy approach to Clancy and watching his less-than-perfect judgment come back to bite him does pain me, but the man is older and perhaps facing an unpleasant twilight neurologically. That's all playing into the story very well. I also bought his motives for not bringing in his old friends, even though, let's be honest, that's what we're all waiting around to see.
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Adam
Wed, Jan 22, 2020, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Rapture

The thing that is fundamentally interesting about a story like this is what Jammer spends most of his review talking about - we know Sisko we’ll enough at this point that seeing a whole episode of him seemingly tripping out in the glee of cosmic knowledge is a worthwhile exercise, where it wouldn’t have been back in season 1.

And I think I felt after a rewatch that this kind of sudden spiritual-ish obsession is kind of scary and could be played more that way. At least we have the medical caveats here, whereas in Close Encounters there’s not much in the way regrets even when the protagonist leaves his wife and three kids alone to go chill in the desert - at least here we get Jake and Kassidy and a sense of how risky this is.

I’m trying to avoid directly referencing some of the knee jerk comments above, but it does feel as though, that if one were “that kind” of atheist, focusing even on the slightest trappings of religion in this episode (which are there to drive the plot and give us some major Kira filler lines) might cause one to miss the episode’s well earned character exploration.
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Adam H
Thu, Jan 9, 2020, 9:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Too Short a Season

I wonder if naming the admiral Jameson was a reference to the Twilight Zone episode "Long Live Mr. Jameson" in which Kevin McCarthy plays a man two thousand years old who doesn't age. At the episode's conclusion, he is killed and rapidly ages into dust. I'll say that the TZ makeup department did a far more convincing job making McCarthy look like an old man in that scene which was 30 years prior to this TNG episode.

I didn't dislike "Too Short a Season" however. It is certainly flawed as has been pointed out, but it is still quite watchable and entertaining. And I found the ending where Jameson tenderly talks to his wife, and Karnas shows that he has a heart and buries his vendetta to be a good payoff.
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Adam
Fri, Oct 25, 2019, 10:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

This episode was rough. Alixus was a textbook abuser, the way she frames things as “I’m doing these bad things because you deserve them, and you won’t ever stop deserving them unless you change as directed. It was truly hard to see the bothsides-ism in the episode’s tone. All that worked in tandem with Gail Strickland’s voice, always on the verge of tears, to make this one a real stinker.
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Adam
Sun, Oct 6, 2019, 7:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Battle Lines

This is a phenomenal episode, and the only reason I don’t like it is knowing that it shoves Opaka in a fridge and leaves her there. Camille Saviola has such a great sense of religious wonder, of surrendering to destiny, even if that destiny is stupid. And Jonathan Banks imbues every line with gravitas in a way that might be scenery chewing with another actor. His final line, where we think for a moment he’s going to plead for death as a mercy, and then reveals that he just wants permanent death for his enemies, was a real highlight.
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Adam
Sat, Jun 22, 2019, 1:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Covenant

I like this one because it illustrates nicely the danger of believing things based on faith (i.e. belief without evidence.) There is no conclusion that cannot be arrived at using faith. Is it any wonder that people believe in nonsense when using this unreliable method?
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Adam
Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 11:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

What bothered me about this episode is that technically speaking, Nog was the ranking officer on the ship since everyone else were cadets. The command was his, and he should have immediately turned the ship around and taken it home. At the end, Nog blames Captain Watters for being a bad Captain when Nog himself is actually responsible for the death of Red Squad via his inaction.
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Adam
Sat, Jun 8, 2019, 4:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

The whole premise of this episode doesn't fly with me.

I think it's our society's stigma with genetic modification that would lead the writers to concoct a story where being genetically engineered could inadvertently put you on the autism spectrum. We can modify plants today with incredible precision. I would think that centuries from now, we would have figured out genetic engineering a bit better than what's depicted here.

Bashir and company, we're told, are incredibly smart, however they are apparently not smart enough to realize that their projections are probably unreliable given the near infinity of unpredictable events that could unfold. By having these "smart" people neglect to account for the unaccountable, they come across as more naive than intelligent.
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