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Tue, Jul 6, 2021, 10:21pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S4: The Gift


This is such a weird concept to me (I’m a woman), but now that you say it, it sort of makes sense. But are there any men out there it actually works on, or is this just a reflection of Braga’s (and others) deep hatred of and disdain for male fans, that they view them as the real life equivalent of Neelix or Rom, and assume that male Star Trek fans see themselves the same way, because surely they must internalize the perceptions of alpha males? (Which I think are mostly just the delusions of the guys who think of themselves as alphas, but whatever).

I mean even Twilight when it tried a similar thing cast Kristen Stewart as the ‘ordinary’ shy girl without much social skills, and say what you will about her, while she’s not maybe a Charlize Theron she’s definitely not an uggo.

To even try and do a gender reversal that extreme you’d have to have Jake Sisko in the later post-puberty seasons trying to hook up with Quark’s mom or something. I…don’t think there’s any women that would actually appeal to? For so many different reasons. It’s just weird and while women might want more things from Trek I don’t think I’ve ever met any who actually wanted to see gross dorky women with poor social skills getting hot men, though now that I think about it, it would be kind of hilarious to see someone put that on screen just to watch the fallout.

Though really, Rom is quite a step up from Neelix, who was basically the worst. The actor seemed nice enough, but the character of Neelix was horrible. The only possible vaguely rational reason I can think of for them keeping him around was that they used up all of their ability to figure out good looking alien makeup on Talaxian designs and then they were all out of good ideas so they kept him around to show off the makeup? Because that was the only positive about the character, he was their best alien design. Too bad they decided to make him a creeper who was annoying, had poor social skills, was conceited and constantly giving everybody indigestion and bad food.

They really missed an opportunity to have the Maquis pressuring Chakotay to talk to Janeway about Neelix’s cooking or else they’d rebel. I mean….think about how messed up that is, how it makes Janeway look. Being locked in a tin can for years will be hard enough, but now you force them to have terrible food everyone clearly hates and can barely digest, and why, because Neelix wants to be the cook? Why not have some of the Maquis do the cooking? What sage advice does Neelix give about the Delta quadrant that’s worth the gastronomic torture he unleashes on the crew for years?
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Sat, Jul 3, 2021, 2:32am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S5: Fifth Season Recap

Rewatching Voyager now and finding I am enjoying reading reviews of it that help me articulate what I think the issues with VOY were.

What I keep coming back to when thinking about why so many were disappointed in VOY is a memory of being on a road trip when I was much younger. I had been driving all day and for some reason we had stopped at a grocery store before going to a hotel. In the dark of the car I bit into a fruit I believed was an apple, and ended up spitting out the piece of fruit I had eaten in horror and disgust because I believed it was rotten and that there was something seriously wrong with it. Of course, I had only accidentally eaten a bite of nectarine, but because I was so sleepy I didn’t immediately recognize the taste. The texture I did notice, and it was so wrong for an apple it absolutely freaked my brain out, it was convinced the apple had gone slimy with rot, at least for a few seconds until I worked out what the taste meant, that I picked up the wrong fruit. Now, I actually like nectarines. Nectarines are just fine, if I had intended to eat one I would have been happy with that bite I took. But I had a strong rejection of it because it didn’t match what I expected.

So what does that have to do with Voyager? Well, I think the issue is that the premise of the show leads the audience to expect it will be a show that has serialization, at least in terms of character development. Why? Because the premise, a bunch of Starfleet people get mixed up with a crew of anti-Starfleet people they’re fighting against are stranded far from home with no repairs, contact with their civilization, etc leads people to expect that change will happen, in a very A leads to B way. If you see a video of someone dropping an apple, your natural expectation is that the apple, if they are on a planet, will hit the ground. For Voyager, everything we know about human nature leads us to believe that the premise of Voyager means that over the lifespan of the show, the characters will change. So, the audience, whether or not they are really thinking deeply about it, reflexively expects this to happen.

Only, most of them don’t. And there is no explanation for why. Naturally, this kind of upsets people. Psychologically, you’ve shown them a video where a person drops an apple and then for no apparent reason it doesn’t land for years and years and there is no explanation of why this is happening. Gravity doesn’t work the same on this apple, but this is never addressed, it’s just what’s happening. It’s just weird, kind of unsettling. It doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t fit with what people are expecting. If people were expecting a non-serialized show with static characters, they might have been fine, but the premise is constantly telling them to expect something else, so there’s this constant weird feeling that something is wrong, because it’s baked into the show that there are things that make you expect one thing, and then it just doesn’t happen. It actually creates this bizarre tension for the viewer, because the expectation never goes away. It makes the world of the show constantly seem off balance. Everything you know about people and stories tell you it should go one way, and it keeps not doing that, and it never makes sense why not.

I think that’s why the writers latched on to 7 and the doctor, besides the actor’s skill. Because 7 and the doctor are actually characters that are changing, and have story arcs, and on some level the writers must have understood the audience wanted change. But because they have decided to refuse to write the other characters changing in response to the delta quadrant, and everything that happens to them in the delta quadrant, they write 7 and the doctor changing as they ‘explore humanity’. That way it has nothing to do with being in the delta quadrant, it’s just what they are doing all the time. Like they can sneak ‘change’ in there as a constant part of those characters, so it’s like they can still keep things sort of the same, by having those be the change characters. So…okay. It still makes you wonder why they didn’t notice they kept writing for the ‘change’ characters over and over and just….allow the other characters to change and have growth arcs since it was obvious where the interest was.
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Sun, Jun 27, 2021, 2:19am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

I agree with Ruth that this should have been a dream. This is quite possibly the only episode in the history of television about which one can say ‘it actually would have worked much better if it were all a dream’.

Anyway, I think the Daddy Issues thing is also key here, maybe fear of being an inadequate dad himself, so if the writers really really had to have Paris turn into a salamander and mate with Janeway, at least lean into the surreal and kick it up a notch at the end and make the end a dream. Something like this.

Voyager leaves the planet. But the camera stays on the planet. After some time fades we hear voices and a bunch of people come back to where the salamander family is. It’s Chakotay, Kim and Torres, with two kids that are obviously theirs in tow and Admiral Paris for some reason. Chakotay is busy praising the Admiral, staying he should have known Tom was wasting his time, and it was a good thing StarFleet was busy inventing MegaWarp that they could use to come find them. ‘We should have never listened to Tom’, he says, and Admiral Paris says ‘I’m afraid the Paris name may have given you too high of hopes for him. But sadly, I have to own up to my one failure in life, having a son like Tom. It seems the only thing he can do is disappoint people.’

At this point, Torres pulls out some device and says “okay, time to active the transmogrifier!” and pushes a button, and then Janeway and the two kids turn back into humans. Janeway rushes into Chakotay’s arms. “Children, I’d like you to meet your new father, Chakotay! He’ll be a better dad for you in every way than Tom Paris ever could.”

“Yay!” the children cheer and appear quite happy with this. Admiral Paris smiles at Janeway and the kids. “Between you and Chakotay, maybe these kids will have the chance to be StarFleet material afterall.”

Only Harry Kim looks a little perturbed.

“Wait a minute, why isn’t Tom changing back?”

Torres grimaces. “I’m sorry Harry, but this device can only work on people who were evolved enough to be human in the first place. I’m afraid Tom was always too devolved for this device to be able to help him.”

Admiral Paris puts his hand on Harry’s shoulder. “I know you had a soft spot for him Harry, but the truth was, my son was never on the same level as the rest of us. His life was always an embarrassing mess. Trust me, he’ll be much happier as a lizard. It’s the one thing he might be good at!”

The three men plus Janeway all share a laugh. “If you’re really his friend Harry,” Chakotay says, “You’ll let him go peacefully, to live out the rest of his life, alone on this planet, eating bugs, with no one else to disappoint.”

“You’re probably right,” Harry sighs.

“Now who wants to go back to the alpha quadrant and get some ice cream!” Janeway says to the kids, who all raise their hand. Everyone smiles and laughs and walks away from the salamander. Then the shot abruptly cuts to Tom jolting awake in bed, sweating.

Then we cut to a scene of him eating in the mess hall with Harry, who says to him seriously “okay, but you better never tell the Captain or Lt. Torres about that.”

“Never tell me what?” says Torres, who is approaching the table from behind Kim with a tray.

“It’s just a dream he had…a really weird one.” Kim says, looking flustered.

“Okay, you’re probably right, the captain should never know, but I think Harry’s talking about the part where I dreamed you and he were married and had kids, which isn’t that bad.”

“….that’s weird but not offensive,” Torres says as she sits down.

“Yeah, but he also dreamed he turned into some kind of lizard, and then he kidnapped the captain, and turned her into a lizard, and took her to a planet, where they had lizard babies together,” Kim says.

“It was a salamander Harry, not a lizard.” Tom replies, somewhat acerbically, but he’s not seriously put out.

“Whatever, it just sounds creepy, like the kind of thing that would creep out any woman, or person…if they heard someone dreamed that about them.”

“Yeah, I agree with Harry, Tom. Neelix’s cooking can bring on some pretty weird dreams, but no one wants to hear about how you kidnapped and impregnated them in your dreams.” Torres says.

“Look, I’m not responsible for the contents of my dreams, okay?” Tom says defensively. “I swear I’m not harboring any kind of latent attraction to her, and I don’t actually remember any salamander sex, or even how I turned her into a salamander, she just kind of did, and then the babies showed up for some reason? I don’t know. That whole part was just a detail though, most of this was a Daddy Issues special, where I was trying to break the warp 10 barrier threshold so I could get us all home and impress him, and somehow I managed to warp 13, but then I was everywhere in the universe at once, and for a moment I knew everything, but then I became allergic to water and my tongue fell out, and I started to turn into some kind of giant salamander for some reason, there was a lot of body horror. And then at the end of it all, when I’m on the planet with the captain and the salamander babies, my dad shows up with the rest of you because StarFleet invented Megawarp to retrieve Voyager, and he sat around smack talking me, and you,” he points to Torres “made a device to turn the others back but it didn’t work on me because I wasn’t evolved enough, so then you all left me behind to go to the alpha quadrant and eat ice cream.”

Torres snorts. “To eat ice cream?”

“Look I already said I’m not responsible for the contents of my dreams.”


And that would somehow be less worse than what actually happened.
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Mon, Jun 21, 2021, 3:15am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S2: Parturition

Oh, lord. I’m rewatching Voyager and Neelix’s relationship with Kes is actually grossing me out even more this time around. How did this ever get on air? It’s like watching a creepy PTSD uncle grooming his niece or something. What the hell am I even watching? Well, it’s okay he’s throwing up lots of red flags for domestic violence and abuse , because you see, he was sad, and his life was hard. So that makes him act like a jealous controlling psycho to his little child-bride who redeems him with her faithful and patient purity. Also, male bonding, I guess? But it doesn’t really work for me because even though this is supposed to ‘solve’ Neelix’s jealousy…the characters around him kept acting like this was a normal ways guys act some times, when in real life, jealousy is more subtle than that if we’re talking normal people. People who act like Neelix probably have a literal psych issue and you should avoid relationships with them for your own safety. It’s very uncomfortable for me to watch because he acts in ways actual domestic abusers do, only they’ve sanitized it so the story is telling us this is because he loves Kes so much, and doesn’t ever imply this is dangerous for her or could ever escalate into physical abuse. It’s like they want to dip into one part of the negative emotions for realistic drama, but don’t actually portray the totality of what they are taking those emotions from.

Anyway, I just realized. Other posters are right, they do seem to want a child on board. So here’s what they should have done: back in the 37’s episode, they should have picked up some new people from the planet. How about someone who is a hydroponic specialist who can grow them vegetables from the 37 planet, which must taste better than leeola root. Then, add a female doctor who is widowed, with a older teenage daughter, like 18 or 19. Yes, this is kind of retread but I”m willing to take it. The new doctor is an age appropriate love interest for the doctor and he can fight with her about her not knowing the latest technology and having to learn medicine all over again while being super nervous that a real flesh and blood doctor will take his place. Then you don’t have to have all his interactions be with much younger women, clearly someone on the writing staff had a specific thing about this.

Now Kes has some other outsiders to talk to besides her creepy uncle who wants her all to himself all the time, and the teenage daughter can be the ships’s inexperienced youth instead of having actual middle aged adults acting like kids. Then….Kes can be gay with the daughter or something. Anything more age appropriate for her, please.
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Sun, Jun 20, 2021, 12:55am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S2: Non Sequitur

Loving reading the comments on capitalism after the pandemic, if there’s one thing covid has taught me it’s that people NEED activity to stay healthy. So, actually I do find it more plausible than ever that people in a post-scarcity world would continue to work.

Weirdly, I was actually thinking about the Star Trek commerce problem while I was out walking last week, and I decided that in a space restricted area like San Francisco, (notice Harry seems to have the bedroom and the kitchen in a sort of one room studio apartment, probably lazy set design but actually kinda realistic to crowding?) buildings that you run businesses out of could have ‘rents’, but the rent comes in the form of ‘unit of thing given away’. So in other words, for the type of business you want to run, some datacruncher figures out what demand floor should be, and you have to clear a certain hurdle of meals produced or clothing given away each month to keep your spot. When someone goes out of ‘business’, potential replacements can pitch their businesses to people in the service area of their business, sort of like one of those competition shows (except probably like most civic things, at most a handful of people show up or care) and then the winner can take over the building. Complicated, but idk? That way demand doesn’t play no role in who gets to use what space.

Anyway, like other people have said, I think this episode went about things the wrong way. I think the better idea is that Tom should want to go back to Voyager. The twist I would put on things is that both Tom and Harry were in the shuttle- they both remember. Tom immediately starts scheming to get back. But he somehow gets arrested which puts a brief pause on his plans, during which time Harry settles into his new life. Harry gets therapy to cover the fact that something happened to him. He knows it’s probably not true, but he’s gotten some kind of bullshit trauma induced memory loss diagnosis because his friend was lost on Voyager. He’s trying to hide that he lost time and compensate.

Finally Tom is released and finds Harry. Harry is a bit freaked out, but at the same time, you get the sense that he is relieved to see Tom. Like others have pointed out, Libby and his new work pal aren’t that great, they’re status seekers so Harry’s great life is actually pretty fragile. He’s managed to keep things together for the time being, but as soon as Tom convinces Harry to use his Star Fleet access to start poking around, then it sets off the paranoid government response and then you start to see all the cracks appear in Harry’s life. So at first it seems like Voyager would be great for Tom but not Harry, but then you realize Harry’s life had some issues too. The fact that he is a high achiever means he’s attracted people who are users. This could also be the episode that got him over Libby, because he sees that actually she wasn’t that great.

Ugh, and after the last episode, I realized if they had wanted to pair Kes with a stable relationship, they would have been better to pair her with Harry I think? I mean that would have been so much more age appropriate and Kes and Harry are both kinda quiet, laid back low key people I think it would have made more sense. I mean Neelix was the worst, but then Tom was also a weird choice for her.
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Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 1:23am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

“I'm not saying it's against their will, I'm saying they shouldn't be allowed to choose it.”

Right, so instead of transgenders you’d prefer transvestites. Good thinking.
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Tom Chambers
Fri, Dec 1, 2017, 5:23pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

Norvo, my apologies, I should have refrained from commenting. McFarlane's 'Admiral Halsey' shout-out is ultimately just a matter of trivia. I suppose the more relevant question is, not whether you knew, but did Seth McFarlane know? It doesn't matter at all to anybody except naval history buffs.
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Tom Chambers
Fri, Dec 1, 2017, 2:25pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

Norvo, you may be right about 'Admiral Halsey' being a Mcfarlane shout-out to a McCartney/Wings song. But (just checking) you do realize that Admiral Halsey was a real person, yes?
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Mike Chambers
Sun, Dec 21, 2014, 11:23pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ANDR S2: Last Call at the Broken Hammer

I'm watching Andromeda for the first time, going through episode by episode. This is the first one that's taken me several nights to finish. I keep pausing it and going to do other stuff. It's that damn boring.
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