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Andrew
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 3:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

^Fine point about how an investigation can go quite a way beyond its initial parameters and that expansion actually be appropriate, justified, even still be within or at least related to the initial scope-and yet those investigated due to that expansion will almost invariably shout that the expansion is abusive and the investigation now obviously way out of hand.
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Andrew
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 3:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

Chakotay did do a pretty good job, as did Beltran of playing him, of somewhat-ambiguously combining his roles as B'Elanna's friend, comrade and superior officer.
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Andrew Williams (AndrooUK)
Mon, Oct 8, 2018, 5:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S3: A Day in the Life

The commentary and responses on the Adama flashbacks says it all, pretty much. A day in the life of the whole ship would have been great.

The airlock scene was very frustrating. It wouldn't take too much research to have a more realistic scene with actual stakes, and it would have been more dangerous with a bigger breach, or they could be stuck in a container filling with liquid or something.

For a pinhole leak, you could just stick your finger over it, a piece of chewing gum, or the actual patch that the Chief used. It wasn't a high pressure environment, like a submarine, and it didn't have a different gas or liquid outside. A patched hole in a standard atmospheric pressure environment can't have a new hole form over it.

The 'emergency equipment breaks in an emergency' trope was a little annoying, as was instant lockdown with no warning, even for what should have been detected as a minor leak. For a major decompression, I could understand, but it was barely enough of a leak for them to hear, never mind for a sensor to detect and not confuse it for a fan or other occasional air movement.

Why did the outside door have blast pins for emergencies, but not the inside door?

'Freezing in a vacuum' is also a lazy trope. A vacuum is an excellent insulator.

If the pressure were so low, how are they expecting heavy crates or the door to be blown out into space? Even at a standard atmosphere pressure, you would need a lot of evacuating air to be able to blow something out. The huge launch tubes or the other giant airlocks, not the little access airlock. The gravity plating would also make it difficult for anything to be blown out, anyway.

Jaffey brings me coffee.
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Andrew Williams (AndrooUK)
Fri, Sep 28, 2018, 3:15am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Live Fast and Prosper

"Everybody stop eating."

Why the fuck do Janeway and Torres walk to the mess hall instead of immediately alerting everyone over the intercom that replicated food may be harmful?

I concur with most of the rest of these comments.

It could have been more fun, but the episode didn't seem to be intended to be comedic, and boy we weren't disappointed. It was pretty dry, and also had me frustrated in how gullible and naive Starfleet is and can be. (DS9 and Enterprise helped to redeem this somewhat. I, of course, exclude TOS and the POS DIS.)

Tuvok's counterpart was great. It's a shame it was Janeway's one who got most attention. Fake Janeway didn't need to be on the shuttle.

Also, a group of a species who apparently deals with inter-species trades does not know how to demand payment first before lowering shields around their goods. (Even though it's plot dependent on whether or not you can transport through shields.)

Voyager gets crushed by attacks far too often... it should have been destroyed over and over by now. Even the lousy Kazon could take them on with a few of there backwater ships. This episode's battles were no exception. I agree that this species should have shrugged its collective shoulders after being pitched Voyager by its defenses and armaments.

Why is it always the plasma network that ruins everything? Your sonic shower doesn't turn itself off when malfunctioning (and it malfunctions because: brownout?) or when instructed to be disabled, computer functions are disrupted by plasma something, and everything explodes because plasma. The replicators suddenly can't use the correct computer instructions to replicate correctly, nor can they abort after receiving a bad hash/parity bits.

Use some freaking electricity and cables, for once. Ditch the plasma, it's always causing problems. Even for high power devices, they can run heavy cabling around, and have transformers or whatever they need to do. Even have local plasma stored only next to the high power devices, and keep it in a safe container, so it won't destroy the whole network.

Exploding computer terminals are one of the worst tropes that Star Trek uses. Just awful. Who the fuck would work for Starfleet if everything they use can explode on a hair trigger?

This time, there is a 'contaminant' in the replicator system. Contaminated what? Energy? It's a mini transporter, basically. Changing energy into matter. There's nothing to contaminate that would affect macro or micro nutrients. Even if the 'integrated circuitry' were 'contaminated', the systems should be able to detect corrupted data packets and request new ones, and abort if they are unable to confirm the parity bits for the packets.

Packets and IPs were a thing when TNG and VOY were written. It's a shame that the writers dumbed actual science/IT down so much. The producers didn't give their audience much credit, considering that the audience was generally more inclined towards substance over style (except what little I have seen of DIS). Not that they had to go into onerous detail, because that would be boring, but then they would be forced to put more thought into their stories and characters, and not be able to blame random malfunctioning parts over and over.

It's interesting how Voyager's computer can be scanned for data, and *read*. No encryption, then? You can scan the quantum states of the data with no reference point? You can correctly interpret the data without knowing how the computer works to begin with?

Usually one can overlook these irregularities, inconsistencies, and contrived plot points. This episode rubs most people the wrong way because of how egregious and unexplained it all is, and then makes every other contrivance even more apparent than usual, because the story relies too heavily on them.

Character development sucks for Voyager. TNG wasn't a whole lot better, but it seemed to make more of an effort. Voyager couldn't decide on whether it was action heavy, or cerebellum heavy... and ended up not doing either particularly brilliantly. It's always been more of a light meal. There's some substance, but it doesn't quite fill you up as much as you'd like, but it tasted fine and didn't cost too much.

In summary, a somewhat entertaining (but not intentionally) episode, let down by its technobabble, and some other flaws in unbelievable behaviour and character development.

2 out of 5. (Maybe 1.5-2 out of 4.)
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Andrew Williams (AndrooUK)
Mon, Sep 10, 2018, 11:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

Hey, guys. I have the cure for cancer, obesity, heart disease, and dementia... but it was obtained by testing on humans without their consent, so I'm going to destroy that information to stick it to anyone who might try that kind of thing again.

I'm also going to retrospectively destroy all psychiatric advancements made by experimenting with unwilling patients.

There is no ethical solution, because both arguments are correct. It is wrong to conduct medical research on people without their informed consent, and it is wrong to not use medical research to help others.

The pragmatic solution is to use all research and discoveries, regardless of how that was obtained, because why punish others by withholding or destroying it? You can have disincentives for doing so again, but really, if the need is grave enough... we would remove all research safeguards in the real world.

If we had a deadly plague killing 50 % of our populations, we *would definitely* start unethical medical testing on willing or unwilling participants. We would not sit by and carry on with double blind studies and the decade long process to approve a medication.

Any comparisons with medical or scientific discovery/research and criminal evidence gained illegally is absurd. They are not comparable. Criminal evidence is not a new scientific/medical discovery or innovation, it is information that already existed.

This episode was tedious, and obviously rubbed a lot of people the wrong way... considering all the comments, which I don't feel like reading them all. The magic hologram, the butthurt crew, and the incredible decision of the EMH to keep him as a Cardassian to stick it to his evil xenophobic crewmates, instead of saving the trouble during a lifethreatening emergency.

The acting was good from the Cardy, but the Bajoran was a snooze. Technically, the episode was constructed well... but the story really falls flat, and ends inexplicably.

"Get over it, but I will delete him now you're better. Let's just hope you don't have a cockroach sucking on your veins next week."
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Andrew
Mon, Sep 10, 2018, 1:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Repentance

@ james04
" Why reward people, when their seeming goodness is apparently to be ascribed to nothing more than a socially convenient interplay of the sub-atomic particles of which their physiology is made ? They are lucky, not good. "

Well, 24th Century Starfleet/humanity does seem to have pretty much done away with unequal monetary/material rewards/statuses. Even now it's an at least somewhat reasonable view that good characteristics are inherited and so, if they do deserve some rewards, don't deserve as great rewards and greater statuses as they currently lead to.
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Andrew Williams (AndrooUK)
Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 4:18am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

A bit off topic, but I always found it very strange when Seven is trying to access the communications system.

We see the bridge at red alert knowing there's a problem and where, but then we cut to Tuvok and Kes in quarters, who are still going through the motions and not hearing the red alert.
Tuvok then contacts Security, so he's not concerned about keeping things quiet for Kes. It seems like these were supposed to be the other way round, and the editor/director didn't get the memo.

Neelix was the obvious choice, but I guess the producer liked him. That, or the writers must have thought he was more amazing than we did. Look at all his amazing skills he has, even though Kes is the one with a photographic memory. How old is that dude if he has done so much? A bit creepy hanging around the very young woman that is Kes. A 'barely legal' one year old... which raises even more questions.

NB: How long is a year on Ocampa? Maybe it is twenty Earth years. That's always a bit silly. The same when he estimates the age of the Kazon boy in that stupid episode as 13. How does he know the Kazon calendar? Tuvok's birthday should also fall on a different date every year, assuming that Starfleet works on the Earth Gregorian year.

That, or every habitable planet has exactly the same duration of its orbit.

Seven of Nine magically skips several episodes or even a whole series of progress, by suddenly being cool with freedom and silence, and even up for sex with Harry the L Fudger. (Garret Wang cannot pronounce the letter L, and one you hear it, you cannot unhear it. Very annoying, for an already annoying character.)
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Andrew
Tue, Sep 4, 2018, 6:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

@ SlackerInc, the same screenwriters that wrote Empire, Lucas and Kasdan, did finish the story with RotJ; all that Leigh Brackett contributed to the Empire screenplay was the first draft.
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Andrew
Mon, Sep 3, 2018, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: Sphere

^and Stone would survive
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Andrew
Mon, Sep 3, 2018, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: Sphere

I thought this movie felt way too reverent of the novel while at the same time not really getting, and definitely not clearly conveying, the themes, ideas, point of the novel, if doing so at all doing so very clumsily.

In particular, there was too little focus on Jerry and it was a little too obvious that only Hoffman, Jackson and would survive and it was annoying that Hoffman assumed only one or the other two characters must be bad and the other good rather than (obvious to the viewer) they both could be bad. There was too much trying to be horror to be (as it tries to be at the very end) interestingly philosophical without going far or simple enough to be entertaining.
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Andrew
Mon, Sep 3, 2018, 4:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

I think this movie is OK ... I like slapstick humor generally and it was OK here too, I thought generally better than in TVH (which seemed a little too both desperate and self-impressed about its humor).

The supporting characters being mocked by the humor and betraying Kirk is bad and definitely weird but not that bad or damaging and enough of the humor is also at Kirk's expense, the movie, certainly the story, is kind of meant to worship Kirk but I don't think the movie actually does do that too much, not annoyingly so. I also don't mind the special effects (I rarely notice effects for being bad).
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Andrew Williams (AndrooUK)
Tue, Aug 21, 2018, 3:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

Lieutenant Alara Kitan runs to the shuttle bay... instead of calling. Way to go. She's earning her 'pay' there.

There's the other stupid transgender episode where she runs to Lieutenant Commander Bortus. Great rehash.

(Amazingly, we see her running in the next episode.)

Why does the Captain locate by scanning for and then walk to the Commander's quarters and then force entry instead of calling first? It was clearly to force the encounter instead of for a believable reason.

The fact that The Union doesn't have any information about 'space Cupid's arrow' was lame. I get it is a plot device, but it is a flimsy premise. Some 'space infection' would have been better.

If you ignore the flimsy premise, the episode had some good potential... but fell a little flat.
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Andrew
Thu, Jun 7, 2018, 5:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Fourth Season Recap

I think it's pretty obvious that Voyager was intended to more-or-less be TNG continued, more TNG with a few tweaks, and even given that as it went on the producers and writers tended to become less ambitious and less interested in the few tweaks.

For Season 4, I agree with Jammer that the supporting characters were often pretty mechanical and OTOH Seven was usually interesting. Only a few misses ("Concerning Flight", "Retrospect", "The Killing Game, Part II" and especially "Demon", fewer big misses than in season 2 or 3), only "Year of Hell" a big success, the rest somewhere in the middle. With the average stories some were really lacking in ambition but the cast had become more likeable.
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Andrew
Sat, Jun 2, 2018, 9:48am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

Any story will have events and timing-of-events that may seem contrived (although Janeway beaming to the other ship rather than beaming Arturis and her crew off and Seven being able to walk though a force field were a bit much). What I disliked more was the sensationalism of Janeway assuming that if Seven doesn't stay with them she'll just go back to the Borg and Seven saying she might.
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Andrew
Sat, May 12, 2018, 9:35am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

I don't mind the accusation turning out to be (probably, apparently) false. I very much mind that there was no explanation of what did cause Seven to have and believe the memory other than (vague) Borg background, a very weak and unconvincing pseudo-explanation.

The episode also awkwardly had Tuvok being impartial but for some reason just not very involved in the investigation, just choosing to or not choosing to but just randomly taking a backseat in the investigation to the less-impartial Doctor so that the accused could accuse the crew of not being impartial without Tuvok being too blatantly out-of-character.
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Andrew
Fri, May 4, 2018, 1:25am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part II

Not a huge Sarah Silverman fan but she is pretty talented and she did well here. The relationship between Paris and her character was definitely reminiscent of Kirk and Gillian in TVH but not too much so and still nice.

I overall liked the second part more than the first, despite the militia plot being very thrown in (and Starling not having much motivation) it seemed more engaged in the story more than just trying to set up and explain a story.
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Andrew
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 10:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

Kellin did look and even act quite a bit like departed/forgotten character Kes, not sure whether that was intentional but it probably was, that doesn't add or detract much.
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Andrew
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

The first three-fourths or so were pretty dry and boring, with Chakotay coming off as way too Vulcan-level of reserve (OTOH, ironically, Tuvok making a joke was not great but pretty nice, at least trying), but the ending was quite strong, for as little interest in the relationship before (and as familiar as the type of story was) it was still effective to see Kellin so different and self-critical and not want to get close to Chakotay and for him to have to try to deal with that. It spoke interestingly to how, in general, are identities and actions can really depend on our memories and how without them the effects could be really different.

Yeah, there is considerable hypocrisy in Kellin formerly being a tracer, that felt so unaddressed that it almost felt addressed-that she did feel a lot of conflict about whether she should leave, if doing so was right, but her love for Chakotay overcame her initially wanting to/thinking she had to go back. But there should have been more dealing with possible regret.

Not sure why Janeway didn't have regret about having helped return a "fugitive" although that term implies the other had committed a genuine crime or was somehow actively harming Voyager so wasn't just a refugee.
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Andrew
Sat, Mar 31, 2018, 2:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

Kira, after being separated from Meru, initially not wanting to help the resistance did feel pretty forced and inconsistent but otherwise I saw her as not having a problem with changing the timeline (for real) and I think that seems pretty in-character for her and an understandable rather than really bad character trait.
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Andrew
Sat, Mar 31, 2018, 1:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

I really like this episode, one of the series' best, and think it's unfortunately pretty overlooked. This is how you do moral ambiguity well and that the story is told from the perspective of and conflicts with Kira's typical black-and-white approach makes it all the more interesting and effective.

There's a very slight cop-out with the ending(s), that the episode suggests Kira saved her mother because her father was able to forgive and support her and then has Kira not saying that was a factor (just that she was her mother) but it's still very interesting for Kira to *not* consider her father doing that to be so significant and that she *was* able to both hate and partly forgive her mostly because she was her mother and that, without more explanation, covers a lot.
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Andrew
Sat, Mar 31, 2018, 12:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

Pretty cute and, aside from the repetitive Alpha/Gamma Jem'Hadar conflict, well-paced but the climax and especially epilogue didn't have enough energy.
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Andrew
Sat, Mar 31, 2018, 11:58am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

But it seemed quite a false choice between on the one hand turning into a totalitarian regime and on the other not having blood screenings of not everyone but the officers controlling the weapons and defenses and their family (I forget if that actually happened but I think it was implied, that since we don't want the extreme we shouldn't be anywhere near it). Granted that the episode was an allegory but not meant to be an exact or literal allegory (as the screening plot is about officers but the message is really about society in general) but, in part from that disconnect, the message does still seem pretty extreme.

Would you agree the show weakens the message, makes it feel too feel-good, to abandon the precautions and then not have more terrorist attacks occur later?
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Andrew
Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 4:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

I thought the Hirogen were much, much more interesting than in the past episodes, both in their role as hunters (actually taking it seriously and feeling fresh) and otherwise. Part I felt a little stretched-out though and Part II far too random and badly-paced.
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Andrew
Thu, Mar 8, 2018, 2:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

Surprised no one has mentioned Lauren's sultry line, "All those Admirals," which is one of the funniest one-liners in the entire series.

Mmm, all those Starfleet admirals.

Pure gold.
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Andrew
Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 10:10am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

Also, I like Porthos. I think he's the best thing about Enterprise, and the Porthos aspects of this episode did not bother me one bit. Humans, particularly those with no children, tend to bond to dogs as if they were children. We all know that bond can be very deep and emotional, so while Archer definitely took it a bit too far, it is not unbelievable for me (as a dog owner with no children).
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