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Andrew S Gill
Fri, Apr 10, 2020, 11:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Trials and Tribble-ations

I just started binging the entire Star Trek timeline starting with the TOS which I absolutely loved. I thought TNG was good, but I'm liking DS9 better though not as much as TOS. I have to say this episode is probably my favorite Trek episode I've watched to this day. I don't think I've seen a better show do a better job paying homage to its predecessor as well as this episode did..

5 out of 4 stars.
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Andrew
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 10:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Did anyone else see that Seven and Raffi were playing Kal-toh? I just love little tidbits like that.
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Andrew
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 6:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I think jammer is over reacting the gore scene, TNG had gore (Conspiracy) the episode wasn't great and i didn't liked it but condeming the entire series just for one or two small scenes? C'mon...
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Andrew
Thu, Feb 20, 2020, 7:07am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@Peter G.

"For instance, Picard needs a bodyguard why?"

I had the same thought, but it kind of makes sense when you think about the Zhat Vash attacks he's been through and witnessed in the previous episodes.
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Andrew S.
Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 11:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

I enjoyed this episode but I’m a little worried they’re setting up a major retcon of the Romulans that won’t hold water.

We already have a ”Romulans hate androids” plot which seems to conflict with the line from “The Defector” about “Romulan cyberneticists” who would have like to study Data. I suppose it could be explained that those Romulans cyberneticists were people like Agnes from this show who want to study it even though it’s banned, but probably the writers just missed this inconsistency. Admittedly, I didn’t catch it until others brought it up.

But they seem to be hinting that Romulans have some fundamental problems with being assimilated which of course directly contradicts “Unity” from Voyager. Also, didn’t TNG’s “The Neutral Zone” and “Q Who” establish that there was some contact between Romulans and the Borg in the Romulan neutral zone? I really hope the writers wouldn’t be so sloppy as to mess that up. But I’m a little nervous because when Hugh says “these are the only Romulans assimilated as far as I know,” that’s clearly wrong because Hugh as a Borg presumably would have been aware of Orum from “Unity” and the attacks on the Romulan neutral zone in TNG season 1. Maybe for some reason it’s just that these particular Romulans, (who were the last ones assimilated) are the only ones with the “disorder” but it didn’t to be where things were going. We’ll see.

I really hope we don’t have a “we’re Cylons and we have been from the start” thing where all Romulans are actually robots. That seems to rewrite the trek canon a bit too much. The Phantastic Geek podcast also speculated that perhaps the Romulans of ancient times actually created the Borg, which strikes me as an intriguing theory, but unclear why that would translate to the need to destroy all androids. The Borg aren’t really androids, and didn’t Locutus basically say androids are obsolete? Maybe I’ve just revealed myself to be a nitpicky nerd and none of this is really as big a deal as I say it is.
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Andrew S.
Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I really enjoyed the first episode of Picard!
-It's great to finally have a sequel set in the main Star Trek universe. No more prequels or reboots or alternate timelines, which frankly, have often been kind of a let-down.
-The writers clearly know their Next Generation. Lots of callbacks to the series: the reference to Bruce Maddox (the guy who tried to have Data dismantled), the stuff in the storage locker like the Captain Picard Day banner, Data painting and having a daughter, poker, the French vineyard, etc.
-This may make people mad, but I'm kind of glad Data is actually dead. I didn't really like Nemesis (though admittedly I haven't seen it in a while), and I didn't agree with the decision to kill Data in the first place, but I'm glad they're not running from the decision. I remember someone had told me that various comic books had made B-4 just like Data reincarnated, which is definitely a stupid and way-too-easy way out. Though I would be ok if this show had a long drawn out "Search for Data" sort of thing going on where they try to bring back some aspect of him.
-In many ways, Data was kind of the heart of Next Generation, so I really like how even in death he's still a central figure in the story.
-I remember being annoyed with the decision made by the J.J. Abrams team to blow up Romulus in the prime timeline for no good reason. On a side note, I've noticed J.J. Abrams movies have a tendency to blow up planets out of nowhere as a cheap way to raise the stakes. (See e.g. the Star Wars sequel trilogy). But anyway, like Data's death, the writers did not run away from or ignore the decision, and the destruction of Romulus is a major plot point in the story. Even after just one episode has made for some really compelling ideas.
-Which brings me to the "interview scene." To me this might have been the most captivating scene in Star Trek since...well...maybe 1999? This is classic Picard, being the moral voice of Starfleet, and completely unwavering in his view that the Federation should have saved as many Romulans as possible even though Romulans are old enemies. One can't help but think of the parallels with the U.S. failure to take in Syrian refugees, and how the true test of a country is its generosity to others during times of a crisis. So when Picard says he left Starfleet "because it was no longer Starfleet," that really really hits home. The show seems to be off to the right foot because it realizes that the best scenes in Star Trek are not usually space battles but instead really compelling stories.
-I was intrigued by Picard's Romulan assistants And I think it was trying to show how people who used to be enemies from a different planet can get along and make wine together. It's sort of a callback to the original Star Trek "Balance of Terror" where the unnamed Romulan commander right before his death tells Kirk that under different circumstances they would have been friends. I thought it was interesting that Picard's Romulan's assistants appear very human in their clothes and hairstyle.
-I want to learn more about this rebellion of synthetic lifeforms, and how the interviewer seems to hold Picard somewhat responsible for what happened. Maybe it's just because people now hate artificial life forms and Picard has always been a champion of the rights of artificial life forms (see "Measure of Man"), or maybe there is something else going on.
-I really hope the show doesn't turn into shoot-em-up action next week, but if this episode is any indication, I think we're on the right track as far as good storytelling goes.
-This might actually be the best Star Trek pilot episode. DS9's "Emissary" is pretty poorly paced, but is way better when you have seen the end of the show because you see how much of the groundwork for the show was laid down right from the start. But as a standalone episode, I think Picard is hands down the best Star Trek pilot.
-My girlfriend and I watched Battlestar Galactica and Season 4 of The Expanse recently, so she made the joke that it's easy to get Picard confused with these other series since we have android sleeper agents and people living on Mars.
-So what's going on with the Borg, anyway? The trailers had totally given away the big reveal of the cube at the end. The finale of Voyager was such a mess I honestly don't remember to what extent the Borg collective is still around or if they were all wiped out by Janeway (or did they ever tell us?). But anyway, the cube no longer appears to have any Borg on it and it's just being used by Romulans as an outpost. I really hope this show doesn't overuse the Borg on this show like Voyager did.
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Andrew
Sat, Dec 7, 2019, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Reacting to the theatrical cut ...
It's very ambition, kind of enjoyably majestic, weighty (the best part was the crew both being different and close enough to how they were before and reuniting), deep/thought-provoking, impressively so different from rather than trying to be Star Wars, but a bit too weighty rather than dynamic or fun and even in its deep themes at times a bit too awkward, abrupt and/or repetitive. It's interesting both in itself and in retrospect how much this film seems like a precursor to the Borg and to TNG-style generally but not really doing it well, TNG definitely did both the style and some of the specific themes much better.
The Kirk/Decker conflict is good but a bit too overdone, the idea of Spock maybe not being loyal way too awkward (McCoy quickly becoming suspicious too out-of-character), too much of the Decker/Ilia relationship, before and after she is replaced, feels too just there to be there and overfocused on. The crew in general, though seeing them reunite was fun, is too often too lacking in energy or warmth/chemistry and does get too overshadowed by the effects (which are strong but too often feel excessive).
A lot of Jerry Goldsmith's music is really good but a lot of it, though mostly with regard to the Decker & Ilia relationship, also feels a little too obvious and clearly-present and repetitive.
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Andrew
Wed, Oct 23, 2019, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sine Qua Non

When Lee said that the dog was a hero of the resistance, did that mean it was the same dog whose bowl served as Gaeta’s secret sign to communicate with the resistance on New Caprica?
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Andrew
Wed, Aug 28, 2019, 7:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S2: Home, Part 2

Does anyone else think that Baltar getting his head examined is reminiscent of Groundhog Day where Phil Conners gets his head examined? (And similarly fining nothing)
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Andrew
Mon, Aug 26, 2019, 8:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: You Can't Go Home Again

When Adama relieves Tigh of duty for some reason I could not stop laughing at Tigh’s over-the-top salute and response “I stand relieved.” He seemed so somber!
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Andrew
Mon, Aug 26, 2019, 8:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S2: The Farm

For some reason I love it when Adama speaks the line “there are many copies” in actual dialogue after seeing it written in the opening sequence the whole show.
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Andrew
Mon, Aug 19, 2019, 8:53am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

^I think the title was just arguing that the research experiments were inhuman/inhumane, Janeway and the crew were confronted with that and in choosing to use them maybe they started down or continued down that dark path.
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Andrew H
Thu, Jul 25, 2019, 10:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

So about to start watching it for the first time (love VPNs) Is there anything I should know going in as someone who hasn't followed a lot of the developments. I saw into darkness, but was too busy laughing and being pissed off at the alternate timeline ripoff of Kahn to pay too close attention...I had forgotten the premise of the star trek reboots and it both made it more understandable and more annoying because I hate alternate timeline stories (and the mirror universe). So what as a traditionalist might piss me off heading into the show? Dont like the changes to romulans/vulcans or klingons. Where does this fit into the timelines? Is it trying to be a true prequel to TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY? Is it the reboot timeline? Is it neither, inspired by the other stories but not at all beholden to their versions of history.
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Andrew
Sun, Jun 30, 2019, 10:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

The first time I watched the film at 9 I was pretty indifferent to Jar-Jar, just saw him as a comic relief supporting character, funny once or twice and otherwise just there, not funny but not annoying either. My reaction to him over time never got real extreme and today it's still pretty similar, he's fine, even somewhat amusing in the beginning and end, overused and less effectively used in the middle but still not bad, let alone real bad, overall.
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Andrew
Sun, Jun 30, 2019, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

I think pretty overly harsh, hard to see how Jammer could consider so much to be outright terrible ...

"Yippee!" isn't really a line so much as a moment and regardles it's not really typical for the character Anakin. Of course he's supposed to be a big stretch as the future Darth Vader, that future fate of his is supposed to seem unlikely when he's 9. I think it is a fair criticism, though, that Anakin is a little too kid-genius and also angelic-cutesy without any apparent dark elements and yes, his saving the day by accident is pretty weak, even a little annoying (at least feels pretty inconsistent). It's also too bad that Obi-Wan is underused.

A lot of the acting is stiff but only parts, not a lot, seem outright monotone, not "sternly serious monotone" or utterly dry exposition (of course there will be some exposition). The characters do tend to serious but I think the story and developments and even characters are still pretty interesting, at least Qui-Gon and Palpatine are particularly engaging, and I think the overall movie is indeed very prologue-ish but in pretty interesting ways.
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Andrew
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

But what if Michael was the red angel but then actually died? If Michael dies, doesn’t that eliminate the red angel from the future and undo all of the things that the red angel goes back in time to do? They don’t seem to address this part of the time paradox. This issue turns out not to be a problem since it seems to be Michael’s mom instead, but no one knew this when they created the plan to try and almost kill Michael.
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Andrew Taylor-Cairns
Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 4:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

3 stars this week, after last week's 4 stars.

The end was very good but I couldn't help but not be completely won over by Airtriam, and how the crew feel about her. She's been a minor character up until this episode, so it's hard. Tilly crying though...

The episode did a good job at trying though. I loved learning more about Airtriam and what she was like pre-implant.

It seems like the show is actually calling out the S31 of this era on being so out in the open. It all seems very intriguing.
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Andrew
Fri, Mar 1, 2019, 12:10am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

Rewatching, whoa the acting is bad.

The episode maybe improves a little around the middle, where it suggests that Chakotay and of course Paris and even Janeway herself consider that Janeway is being too stringent, the protocol actually *is* rarely actually enforced or even taken seriously but Janeway just chose to do so (kind of the only way to make the episode fit with the franchise overall), but then the ending has Janeway, despite some outreach to Kim, insisting and Harry agreeing that it is standard typical policy, she always would and any captain would.

There's maybe a little credit for the end of the episode pretty much, or sort of, admitting that Tal didn't love Harry, for her it was just lust, and Harry at least vaguely admits it to himself, but that slight admitting, that little reaction or denial isn't interesting enough, sure doesn't make the episode wothwhile enough.
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Andrew
Thu, Feb 28, 2019, 11:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

The crew should have mutinied. Janeway's plan to get back Seven amidst thousands of Borg is insane but the writing, while not distracting from that, also annoyingly made its progress feel insanely easy.

This episode at least kind of destroyed the Borg (though the later "Collective" and "Unimatrix Zero" destroyed them quite a bit more), Janeway, the Voyager crew. Seven also seems crazy to agree to be taken back in order to let Voyager go, to ask to go on the away team rather than just tell Janeway captain the mission is a trap so get away, when she especially should know the Borg can easily break their promises-and the Queen quickly outright freaking tells her her purpose is to assist in assimilating all of humanity. The whole episode is so crazy, though, that Seven making such a crazy decision doesn't hurt her overall too much.

The flashbacks were OK in the first half (yeah, the parents kind of interesting), way too choppily, annoyingly included in the second. The first half would be a little better, agreeing to the deal aside, if it had been its own episode (without Part I in the onscreen title) so it wouldn't be so obvious that the mission would fail and/or Seven would be captured.
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Andrew
Fri, Feb 22, 2019, 4:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Chimera

It wasn't really consistent with the previous episodes that most of the solids had always had a basic, instinctive sense of alienation from shapeshifters, felt really different from them, but Auberjonois, Visitor and Shimerman very much sold it, made the change and new scenario very believable and compelling nonetheless, really great performances, developments and interactions between them. And (unrecognizable) Hertzler as Laas is powerfully believable in his conviction that he's been through so much and knows best even when he's only learned major things just recently. Laas is meant to be understandable but about as unlikeable as likeable (and really is a lot more in the wrong in being lethal in the confrontation, he had alternatives and it seemed like he wasn't himself in danger but enjoyed the violence), while Odo feels more positively and forgiving/mostly overlooking, and that really works.

It feels a little too inconsistent and self-congratulatory in that late in the episode, focusing on the significance of love, it kind of forgets or just discounts that Laas had had a companion, implicitly claims that just wasn't love, but the themes and even plot resolutions still work well.
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Andrew
Wed, Feb 6, 2019, 3:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Emperor's New Cloak

While this episode was more blatantly outright comical and the only-alternate/amoral-characters can be lesbian/bi idea did feel particularly sleazy (although a little less so as with previous episode "Rejoined" Jadzia Dax was already bi although mainly straight), all of the DS9 MU episodes, aside from probably "Crossover", had elements of self-parody, at least that you were supposed to accept the amorality or at least not take it seriously because the writers were deliberately overdoing and not taking seriously the whole reversed universe concept.
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Andrew
Wed, Feb 6, 2019, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Emperor's New Cloak

Visitor, de Boer and Robinson had way too little belief in the material, Visitor (rightfully) pretty embarrassed. The Ferengi actors (particularly Shimerman) were uneven but they and Dorn did have moments, Dorn was pretty enjoyable.

There was a speck of an interesting idea, that both version of O'Brien were pretty good guys so would mirror Brunt end up being bad in both-and kind of interesting that, against what you would expect, he (pretty much) didn't. But that's not nearly enough, too much else was too dumb. Particularly bad were the scenes where Ezri re-meets the Intendant (as if the Ferengi know that means they won't have their deal honored) and when Rom and Zek just stay on the floor until Ezri tells them they'll escape so come on.

The ending particularly admitted this is just for dumb fun, just for weirdness and overdone pandering and reversals, what you wouldn't and couldn't do in the standard series/franchise. The basic point also seemed to be don't take the Mirror Universe seriously, both factions are both pretty bad and they'll probably just continue in a pretty-much stalemate indefinitely. "Shattered Mirror" and then "Resurrection" were much better conclusions to the Mirror Universe, this episode was unnecessary and a little damaging but it seemed to be its goal to outright undo the previous sense of conclusiveness.

I think 2 stars, a miss with some annoyances but not particularly unenjoyable overall.
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Andrew
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Firstborn

To me this episode feels like bad Voyager, bad late Voyager (and especially "Renaissance Man") ignoring a character's/characters' past developments and growth, ramping up flaws and conflicts that were previously already reduced so that going back to the conditions in place before the episode suddenly made things worse could somehow, supposedly, feel like growth.

"A Fistful of Datas" was bad but its ending seemed a decent enough resolution to Worf and Alexander's relationship, this episode basically both ignores and redoes it.
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Andrew
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

Fair point but the best we can do to avoid investigations getting out of hand, being corrupt themselves, is probably what we're doing now, have an independent investigation be not completely independent from the larger Justice Department and also have the President and legislative houses checking and balancing each other including the executive departments.
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Andrew
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

It isn't even directly claimed that the Doctor did choose Kim because they were friends and was bothered by that, just that he chose one and that that meant he murdered Jetal. If the chance of survival really were the same, choosing one for some reason (Kim's position in the crew or personal friendship or just randomness) seems obviously valid and if it involved a lack of randomness, lack of complete impartiality, far from troubling.
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