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Tobias Schaechtele
Tue, Jun 6, 2017, 8:06am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

I`d like to add something vital:

Archer himself brings up the fact, that he his judgement is not clouded by but lead by human compassion. He even bringt up the comparison with the Vulcan behaviour. For me, this was always the reason why the Federation worked so well, the Humans and their compassion and the Vulcans with their dry rationality outweight and balance each other.

But here Archer teams up with something entirely different, and I will never understand why: Phlox' Nihilism.
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Tobias Schaechtele
Tue, Jun 6, 2017, 7:46am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

This episode left me puzzled at first look (which basically is a good thing). As I continued to think about it and to read comments on both this site and on videos from the episode on youtube, I grew more and more angry on the writers and those understanding and supporting Phlox and Archers decision and moral argument (which I feel is not such a good thing).

It is blatantly shown here that the life of millions or even billions depend on the subjective and maybe fundamentally twisted mindset of two people alone. The decision of interference vs. non-interference is really to heavy a burden for a greenhorn like Archer and Phlox, which is not even an evolution specialist, is he (let alone an expert on the valerian society)? I think it is really, really not Archers decision to make (and judging by the result, he failed, too)

Why did`t they ask Starfleet or someone else for any help? Why the is there nothing like an ethics committee debating such matters? A council consisting of experts or at least representatives of the civilizations diverse points of view (this would also have made a great predecessor for the federation council btw). This is a matter where something like a social consensus HAS TO BE reached. Imagine human rights activists (or better "sentient beings right activists", as star trek tends to stupidly pun on the word "human rights") hearing from the Valakians. There would have been an outrage over the Arbitrariness of this one Starfleet executive, would´t it?
Now some will argue "maybe this was actually done", as they surely reported all mission details back to starfleet - but that is not how the story sells it.

In my opinion, it would be even more realistic, and appropriate to the matter at hand, had they - after such an encounter- made a good portion of a season or at least a several episode-long story arc about a science team staying on the planet, calling for assistance, building a joined starfleet / vulcan operation with a spacedock near the Valakian home world.
But the writers decided to use the death of millions as a one episode plot device (not unlike a "Monster of the week", but more like "dying civilization of the week") - which I find distasteful. The interference vs. non-interference theme and all its implications and complications could have been easily the single main storyline of all Star Trek Enterprise. Instead, they relied on stupid xindi and nazi war stories and god-awful temporal shenanigans. But that is another story (And yes, when you think about it, Star Trek does this all the time, but that shows, although Storytelling evolved, Enterprise was pretty much lazy and tired).

The whole thing is based on so damn much speculations. You can`t just base the deception on the speculation of the menks becoming the master race. They state is almost as a fact (as Phlox explains, that evolution is a fact…), but I render this plain wrong under the presented circumstances and context.
As for Archer withholding warp technology. I give em that, this seems reasonable - we all know that a not so peaceful civilisation could use them to build antimatter bombs etc.
But literally no other variables where taken into account.
Just take a look of other not so unlikely things to happen:
- For crying out loud, the Klingons could well coquer the Valakian home world, because the Valakians are getting to weak to defend themselves, and the Menk are not yet capable to "help them out" / replace them (or in a slight variation: "…Oh look ….the Borg assimilated the Valakian Homeworld… there goes the Menks opportunity for "greatness").
- They are developing their own warp drive, so the Menk and/or the Valakians decide to move on to other planets, rendering the whole concept of "one race must die so the other can expand" useless
- The Menk and the Valakians may manage not only continue their peacefull coexistence in the next 200 years, but to overcome the 'apartheid' entirely. Sorry, I will be forced to use some racist vocabulary here: Imagine some Aliens landing in the US and looking down on the supreme white race oppressing the black community. They theorize the white master race is going to die out because of their decadence, thus enabling the black community to rise - not taking into account that the 'apartheid' on fine day some 200 years later will cease to exist.
See my point?

Let me add something: Even if you take some of Phlox and Archers esoteric mumbo jumbo "nature decides" BS into account, you also have to think about the technological evolution. They actually developed the technology to make contact with warp civilizations by sending ships out into space. So basically, the evolution of their brain enabled them to get the sciene right and to reach out and ask for help …. for crying out loud!
Which leads me to the whole PD concept of "non-interference with pre-warp civilizations" being like drawing a really, really arbitrary line in the sand (which is not the fault of Enterprise…). What tells us that a civilization is ready for first contact only because they can fly FTL? What if they instead develop subspace communication? Imagine the egyptians miraculously developing warp technology (which, in the realms of the star trek universe, would not be the most unlikely thing to happen…)? When exactly in earths history where humans morally fully equipped to deal with the rapid progress of technology? Surely not today, or in the mids of the eugenics wars. There is and should always be a moral struggle, even with making contact with warp-civilizations. And some of the pre-warp civilizations maybe far more ready to make contact with other species and getting help than the most of the feudal, conquering, slave-trading warp-civilizations we have seen so far.

BTW: I also despise the whole "Playing god" and "let nature decides" argument (which I feel are sides of the same coin). Citing a higher power is always a cheap way out of the "moral dilemma" presented here.
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AeC
Sun, Feb 17, 2013, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

The moment that really jumped out for me was B'Elanna's father trying to relate to her isolation by describing how he was teased as a kid for falling asleep in class. It was sort of like if I, a white American, were to profess that I understood being on the receiving end of 400+ years of institutional racism because I was made fun of as a kid for being a nerd. It had me wincing, not just because of her father's cluelessness, but because he genuinely seemed to be *trying.* He just wasn't wise or perhaps strong enough to see the nature of the problem before him, to see that it was something truly outside of his realm of experience (for all the talk of its having purportedly eliminated intra-species racism, Trekkian humanity still seems to have its issues with inter-species prejudice; otherwise we couldn't have allegorical situations such as these, I suppose).

I appreciated that, even though we saw the turmoil and pain her father caused B'Elanna, he wasn't presented as some monolithic, one-dimensional ogre of a father, but as a human with human failings. It made the flashbacks ring all the more true, and B'Elanna's internal conflicts all the more thorny and complex.

I've always been more of a fan of DS9 than Voyager. For all its faults, though, as I peruse these old episodes on Netflix, I'm finding the later series to have a lot more strengths than I initially gave it credit for.
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AeC
Sat, Dec 1, 2012, 11:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: The Chase

I remember when Voyager's classic episode "Threshold" first aired, I thought Paris' transformation make-up looked a lot like Salome Jens' make-up here, and I thought we were in for a bit of inter-series continuity, with Paris evolving into that species. Instead he turned into a skink. Oh well.
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AeC
Fri, Jun 22, 2012, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part I

I have to concur with Latex Zebra (and I'm too old to care if I sound "pervy"); the Starfleet uniform was the most flattering thing Troi wore in the show's seven seasons. Marina Sirtis had a somewhat boxy figure that the uniform camouflaged well, and, well, c'mon, if you're seeing a therapist, how seriously are you going to take her or anything she has to say if she's in a skintight bunny suit? This move was long overdue.
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AeC
Mon, May 23, 2011, 1:30am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Face of the Enemy

Umm, is there closed captioning on Hulu? I just listened to what Baltar whispered to Gaeta about half a dozen times and couldn't make out what he was saying. Anyone? Bueller?
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AeC
Sun, May 22, 2011, 11:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Hub

That D'Anna/Roslyn fake-out was certainly a hold-over from Jane Espenson's time on Buffy, a show that had more than a few such (usually successful) fake-outs over its run.
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AeC
Sat, May 21, 2011, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Crossroads, Part 2

Ahh, so after hearing various rumblings when the show's final season originally aired about, "Is X the final Cylon?" I finally see the context. I have no specific predictions; I will say that while Starbuck was the name I heard the most, she seems way too obvious. I was wondering about Lampkin, given that he's a prominent and memorable new character whose interest in Baltar felt deeper than his stated goal of renown. Plus, given on his Firefly role (not as prominent as Lawless Stockwell, but with sufficient geek cred, plus I've gathered that Moore and Whedon have some mutual respect), he might have been candidate for a bit of stunt casting (of course, I was having these thoughts before the four principles were revealed; I might have expected the last one to have a bit more ooomph then someone who's just been on for three episodes and, apparently, is now walking off into the mist). With one season left to go, I suppose I shall see.
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AeC
Sat, May 21, 2011, 8:09am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: The Son Also Rises

I've never heard Sheppard interviewed, so I couldn't say what his real accent sounds like, but his character on Firefly had something of a Cockney flavor to him.
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AeC
Sun, May 15, 2011, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Maelstrom

Anyone else think back to Benny Russell painting over his story in the asylum when Kara threw paint over the mandala in her room?
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AeC
Sun, May 15, 2011, 3:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: The Woman King

There was never any question in my mind that Helo was in the right here. For one thing, the simple fact that Dr. Robert was played by a fairly well established actor suggested something wasn't right with the character (something of a pattern with BSG - I correctly called that D'Anna and Cavill were Cylons based solely on who was playing them), plus the fact that "Dr. Robert" is a Beatles song about a less-than-medically-reputable "doctor" who provided drugs for the rich and famous. (Of course, I may be prejudiced by the fact that I've always liked Helo, in part due to residual fandom from Tahmoh Penikett's role on Joss Whedon's short-lived Dollhouse.)

Even so, dramatically it felt like a cheat to have Cottle tell us that he'd done the autopsy on Mrs. King's son and then reveal at the end of the episode that he indeed hadn't at the time. It may have made sense from a character standpoint, I suppose, but dramatically it felt like one of those cheap rug-pulling stunts from The X-Files.

Speaking of which, I remember Gabrielle Rose, the woman who played Mrs. King, from a few episodes from The X-Files' reputable early years. Something about her has always stuck me for whatever reason, and I generally enjoy seeing her cast in these sorts of supporting roles.
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AeC
Sat, Apr 30, 2011, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S2: Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2

First thought regarding the rigged election plot: Battlestar Florida.

First thought on seeing Adama with a mustache: When will he make his first origami unicorn?

I, too, think I'm going to take a break before starting on season three. Whole lotta stuff to digest here.
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AeC
Sat, Apr 30, 2011, 3:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S2: Downloaded

I assumed the same as bigpale, that it was Maya's baby.

@Max: I don't recall whether this notion was ever put forth, nor do I know whether it will be revealed in future episodes to be the case, but regarding Six killing the baby in the miniseries, I always read that scene as Six, knowing that the Cylon holocaust is imminent, showing mercy and giving the infant a quick, painless death, sparing it from what could have been a far worse fate. In that light, it could have been considered the first indications of her internal conflict over the Cylon occupation/genocide.
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AeC
Wed, Apr 20, 2011, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S2: Valley of Darkness

@enniofan: Thank you! As soon as I heard that piece I thought it was something by Glass, and was wondering through the rest of the episode whether it had been licensed or if Bear McCreary just managed to channel the old Minimalist perfectly. I came to this page specifically to see if there was any info on its origins. Thank you for letting me avoid much Googling.
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AeC
Sat, Apr 2, 2011, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

It was Temba whose arms were wide, not Darmok.

I'm not going to try to persuade you of this episode's brilliance, since your comment that it pains you to give this a good-not-great review indicates that you've probably heard them all before (besides, Mitch and Nic seem to have covered all the bases regardless). All I can say is that this is by far my favorite TNG episode and that it has moved me in ways that Trek would not do again until DS9's "The Visitor."

I absolutely adore the small morsels of the Tamarian language that we are given here and wish that Menosky were able to give us further insights in subsequent episodes (I've been known, on very rare occasions, to use, "Sokath, his eyes uncovered!" as a cry of victory). Beyond that, there are just so many little things that I love about this episode - the slightly exaggerated, theatrical mannerisms of the Tamarians (e.g., the way the first officer hangs his head after being chastised by Dathon), the way Dathon chuckles, "Gilgamesh," during Picard's story. It is, to me, a very rich, vibrant episode that gives a fascinating peek into such a thoroughly alien culture, and one of the sorts of things that made me a Trekkie in the first place.

(Okay, so maybe that had more of a persuasive edge than I'd intended.)
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AeC
Sat, Mar 26, 2011, 8:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part II

"Take issue," rather. Must more assiduously proofread before hitting "Submit."
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AeC
Sat, Mar 26, 2011, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part II

I remember when this two-parter aired back in my bright college days. My then-girlfriend (a Social Work major) and I were recommending it to everyone we knew. Now, I see a bit of over-earnestness in pretty much every speech made over its two hours, and truthfully, if I saw it for the first time today, I suspect I'd be rolling my eyes a fair amount.

Even so, the points made still resonate, all the more strongly as we approach the date of the episode's setting and, perhaps, see the beginnings of the crippling of the working and lower-middle class in the day-to-day news (Wisconsin, anyone?). Beyond that, I loved the little bits, particularly the baseball-tennis-soccer exchange in part 2 that served as a nice, understated bonding moment between "Bell," Bashir, and the hostages. Even if I take fault with how ardently the message is sometimes delivered, I suspect I will always love these two episodes.
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AeC
Tue, Jul 7, 2009, 9:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Shakaar

Destructor - never said a person like that couldn't be a political leader; we've seen enough in the last decade alone (to say nothing of far longer in the past) to demonstrate the contrary. My objection was more of a dramatic one - Winn has been depicted in other episodes as having many, many shades of gray that made her a far more interesting character than was on display here. Sure, there are countless instances of monomaniacal insanity and delusion sprouting from people in places of power, but if I want to see that, I'll turn on the news or open a history book. Part of what made DS9 so wonderful was getting to see the inner workings of these monomaniacs and perhaps glimpses of, as Tom Lehrer said about mathematicians, how they got that way. Unfortunately, there just wasn't enough of that shown from Winn in this episode, and I felt it suffered as a result.
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AeC
Sat, Jun 20, 2009, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Royale

Am I the only person on the planet who's always gotten a big kick out of "The Royale?" Sure, it's thin, but intentionally so, and while I wouldn't want a steady diet of it, I usually appreciate things that flat-out revel in their chintziness.
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AeC
Sun, Sep 14, 2008, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

Not saying I agreed with the charges of plagiarism, Josh, just remembering the "You got your peanut butter in my chocolate" / "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter" arguments about which series ripped off the other. Had I frequented the newsgroups when this aired (and had I watched B5 at the time), I imagine hearing that line and thinking, "It's gonna be a bumpy ride for the next week or so."
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AeC
Sun, Jun 29, 2008, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

Given everything we've heard over the last five years about troops being sent and re-sent to Iraq when their tours of duty should have been up long ago, that aspect of this episode in particular really made me wince. Frighteningly prescient.
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AeC
Sun, Jun 29, 2008, 11:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

@Andreas
[pedantic geek]Perhaps, but how do you take into account the distance from, say, the catcher and an outfielder? Does the holosuite alter the laws of perspective for each individual in the room?[/pedantic geek]

This ep is almost as amiable and as enjoyable as it was the first time, but I wish some of the jokes held up better. It's just the familiarity aspect; I laughed hysterically at "Scotch" and "Death to the opposition!" the first time I saw this, but knowing they're coming just blunts the impact.
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AeC
Sat, Jun 28, 2008, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sixth Season Recap

You more or less nail it. This was a good season, a very good season in fact, but it was a definite drop-off from the fifth season, which as far as I'm concerned was the pinnacle of the entire series.

While there were some excellent and often stunning individual episodes ("Far Beyond," "Pale Moonlight," most of the opening occupation arc), the tone had shifted considerably, and not just because there was a war going on (indeed, if that had been the primary reason, if the tonal shift had REALLY reflected the atmosphere of a long and bloody war, this season could have been a monster). Instead, I think it's simply more a product of the transition between Robert Hewett Wolfe and Weddle/Thompson as co-showrunners. They didn't do a bad job, but they hadn't been living with the material as long and as intimately as Wolfe had, and, given all the balls that were up in the air by the end of the fifth season, I think the show suffered a bit from their attempts to keep everything moving.

It makes me wonder about the wisdom of adding the Section 31 storyline at this late stage. "Inquisition" was great, and I seem to remember the other 31-related stories in the final season were also highly entertaining, but while its introduction added a nicely sinister underbelly to the Federation, it also took away from time that could have been spent developing the other storylines.

But I'm rambling (and probably unintentionally plagiarizing others' reviews and comments). As you say, good season, could have been more.
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AeC
Wed, Jun 25, 2008, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Time's Orphan

This ep never did a lot for me, but a couple things stood out on this viewing. The first was when Kira, while holding Yoshi, commented to Odo that she might want to have a baby someday, at which he stiffened and changed the subject. It occurred to me that it might be a (stereo?)typical man-is-scared-of-being-a-father moment, but my initial read was that he was worried about the probable biological incompatibilities between a Changeling and a humanoid and the realization that, if she were to have a child, it would almost certainly not be with him. If that was what the writers intended, it was nicely understated and poignant.

The second was Worf's reaction to first seeing Dax with Yoshi in their quarters. I don't think Worf's face has ever lit up quite like that before; it may be the warmest Michael Dorn has ever played the character.

BTW, Jammer, I remember when you first wrote this, or rather, the "Next Week" blurb from the previous review. "Deep Space Nell" made me laugh then and it made me laugh now.
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AeC
Wed, Jun 25, 2008, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

I got one laugh from this episode. It was shortly after Quark was trying to get used to walking around in heels and Leeta was repeatedly chastising him for "lumbering." In walked Nilva and Zek, thinking fast, introduced him to "Lumba." It wasn't so much that it was a great or even good joke, just that, while I vaguely remembered Quark's female name from the first time I saw this, I'd either forgotten the context or else it slipped by me. It was a laugh of recognition more than anything, laughter at a connection that had somehow been missed but is suddenly made crystal clear, a sort of, "Oh, how did I miss that?" kind of laugh.

(Although, really, it was less than a laugh. It was more than a chuckle, decidedly more than a snicker, but not quite a full-fledged laugh.)

So I have now, for your readers, described the episode's comedic high point and explained in great detail just how it is the apex of this particular 45 minutes. No one who reads this page now need ever sully themselves by watching this episode in its entirety. No need to thank me.
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