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Sat, May 30, 2020, 3:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Enterprise Incident

There seem to be a few different stories and it’s been a while since I read it, but two reasons for them using the Klingon battlecruiser model for the Romulans:

- One story was that the original Bird of Prey model was lost when a building or garage burned down (!)

- The other is that the Bird of Prey designer, Wah Chang, was not fairly paid for his work for Balance of Terror, and decided to destroy the model as retribution.

It’s curious enough I’ll have to see if I can find more! But at least this gave us the most detailed interior we’d ever see in an alien ship in TOS.
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Wed, May 6, 2020, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Jamie, best not to overthink with Voyager. And since the last episode, writers are probably more concerned with wrapping up the show and characters. But I am someone who never questions the technobabble. So they could do some pretty outlandish stuff, and I’d accept it completely - so long as it made me laugh and care about what I was watching.

Sleeper, ha, ha, Chakotay is indeed a greaseball. Him and Seven were one of the few pairings I couldn’t get on board with.

I also preferred Susanna to Alice as the Borg queen. The latter seemed too dramatic and her expressions were uncomfortable.
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Wed, May 6, 2020, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

Dela, you’re seeing things through human eyes. Of course her behaviour was bad. She’s half Klingon. They are a very reactive species. But seeing your investment in the episode tells me the writers did a great job of making you want to watch. Which is the goal of any show.

I like her. She’s got issues, but who wouldn’t if they were the only one around with a bumpy forehead and bad temper as a child.
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Carol the Dabbler
Tue, May 5, 2020, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

Two points: First, I too was puzzled as to why Troi became sex-crazed -- until it occurred to me that sexual thoughts could be very distracting for someone needing to focus. So to Alkar, sex was one "negative emotion" (and apparently the main one) that he dumped on Troi.

Second, because a scene from TWOK has been referenced numerous times in this discussion, I would like to point out that Spock was *not* faced by a choice between "the needs of the many" and his own needs. Because he was the only one capable of making the necessary repairs, his only choice was between A} saving the ship and crew by sacrificing his own life, or B} dying with everyone else when the ship exploded. I will forgive him for his temporary lapse of logic, on the grounds that his brains had just been fried. But it annoys me no end when somebody seems to think the scene is a good example of the maxim. (Please note that I'm not saying anyone did that here; near as I recall, people were just referring to the maxim as such.)

Please forgive me if someone else has already made these points. I must admit to having read only about 2/3 of these many comments.
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Mark Gubbins
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 10:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

I'm only watching Discovery now on the heels of having finished ST: Picard. I watched this episode a few days ago, and have finished the season today. And I just can't get over how mad *this* episode makes me. It's not just that they ruined Lorca's character arc by making him a generic Evil Empire man; it's that it was so obvious how to fix it!

This episode could easily have been about Lorca's temptation of Burnham. It's "Context for Kings," part two--seeing through the possibility of abandoning Starfleet principles for some apparently greater good.

"See, Michael, this is what it was always about; second chances, or at least a new life. You think I'm a savage. Are you shocked I managed to masquerade as a Starfleet captain for almost two years? Well, what about you--didn't you get the hang of being a Terran captain in a few days? And I'll bet you were good at it. Admit it: it was beginning to shape you.

And you know what? My time in Starfleet has shaped me too. God knows the empire I'm heir to isn't about fortune cookies, but I'm not all Terran anymore either. What we do changes us, Michael. Forget the past: what we do now makes us who we are. I lied to you about who I was, but not about who I am. You're looking at the most Federation-friendly Emperor this galaxy has ever seen.

What do you have back home? A war to lose; and, if you win, a life to lose--again. I sent the cloaking information to the Federation; they'll be fine. They don't know how much they need someone like you, but I do.

So I'm making an offer to you: join me, and let's make this empire better--more than it could ever be otherwise. Bring the crew--they're worthy, even the non-Terrans--and let's rule this galaxy for peace and prosperity. With you as the new captain, and my right hand.

And their captain will make the same offer to his crew on the Discovery."

NOW we have a character arc that makes sense; a genuine temptation that's been hiding in plain sight all along and pits Michael's new life against that with Georgiou; a chance to put the Discovery crew at each other's throats about whether to follow their captain this far or not; and, when Michael finally chooses Georgiou ("Always second-guessing your current captain, aren't you, Michael?"), the choice is much more charged. (Not to mention the implicit softening of the xenophobia also explains how Spock got onto the ISS Enterprise a decade later.)

There are other ways to play this, but the thematic connections are so stupidly available that I'm just fuming that the writers (or their producers/editors) blew the opportunity this way. Frankly, this was unbelievable: Lorca's pretended character was so much more interesting and deep than Evil Lorca's true character, that it's almost impossible that he himself would not have reflected on how he was a better, happier person on the Discovery.

Apologies for the rant, but I needed to say something to folks who might understand where I was coming from. There's a lot of promise here (especially Saru), and some fun characterization. But this one ruined the season for me. It literally lost the plot.
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Mon, Mar 2, 2020, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

This was my 2nd time watching the finale. Was surprised the first time when we didn’t see them actually on earth seeing all their loved ones. But this time I understood why. Show wanted to only focus on the guys we’ve been enjoying the last 7 years. Not random family members we have no connection to. Plus, they showed enough of that with the letters from home.

Both watches I enjoyed completely, though. Janeway taking out the Borg was perfect. All the other events were fitting with just the right amount of humour. I like that season 7 really makes us miss Voyager. Whereas TNG ended in a way that made me glad it was over. Hated the TNG finale with all those Picards. That re-watch was a chore.

Now that I’m done with Netflix Star Trek, I can enjoy watching these on Sci-Fi channel. Something special about reliving 90’s television with never knowing what season/episode will be playing. And love that Voyager and TNG are episodic - works great for syndication.
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bobbington mcbob
Fri, Feb 28, 2020, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

This was the one where I checked out. I loved older star trek because of the way it made me feel. Awe, wonder, "what if" ... episodes like "Measure of A Man" brought both tears and "woah I never thought of it that way" in equal measure (pardon the pun). DS9, TNG and TOS, even ENT, had plenty of such moments, and that's why I could happily sit through seasons and seasons despite the occasional clanger / ferengi / mirror-universe-but-from-ENT / Troi or Tasha or T'Pol get violated or perved on again / Sisko is Jesus episode.

But disco and now Picard have none of this at all, they just feel like standard sci-fi plots hung around a scaffolding of familiar sets and Federation badges, with vacuous characters introduced alongside beloved old regulars, implying we should somehow feel the same about the new guys. I am just bored. Kurtzman's signature on everything - the unearned familiarity, the soap opera, the lack of meaningful character development, the identity politics that would be fine if it wasn't so clumsy - is just the final shit icing on the cake.

Enough. Seth MacFarlane, please buy the rights. Star Trek needs you.
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Sat, Feb 8, 2020, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

Just finished my first complete rewatch of Enterprise since the show came out. Though I tend to be more forgiving than Jammer (on average, bump up each of Jammer’s ratings by ½ star and that’s how much I enjoyed the episode), I do concur that S3 was stronger overall than S4. S4 was the most consistently good season of the show, but S3 hit higher highs.

“Perhaps one problem this season is that the show was so mired in expansive plots and cross-series continuity games that the characters and their personalities tended to get lost.”

^^This to me is the central problem of Enterprise’s second half (S3 and 4). I’d go one step further and say that the series completely changed its storytelling philosophy halfway through, and it actually lost something in the transition.

When Michael Piller took over TNG in S3, he brought a whole new storytelling philosophy to the table: each episode had to tie back in to one of our lead characters. It had to be “a Geordi show” or “a Worf show,” etc. This was a revelation for Trek. In TOS and the early seasons of TNG, each story tended to be about a sci-fi concept or real-world allegory. The stories were rarely personal to the characters, with exceptions such as “Amok Time” or “The Measure of a Man.” But with the new Piller Philosophy, suddenly the characters snapped into focus and the show took off. This character-based approach to storytelling was arguably the reason for Star Trek’s stunning success over the next decade.

The Piller Philosophy continued through the rest of TNG, all of DS9, and all of Voyager. We got used to seeing “Odo shows” or “Seven of Nine shows,” etc. Each character got their own showcase at least once a season. Even the first two seasons of Enterprise maintained this philosophy. Even in S2, Enterprise’s worst year, the supporting characters each got their own showcase: “Minefield” for Reed, “Vanishing Point” for Hoshi, “Horizon” for Travis, “The Breach” for Phlox. It was one thing that Enterprise did right.

But in S3 and 4, this went out the window. S3 had vestiges of the old approach: “Exile” for Hoshi, “Doctor’s Orders” for Phlox. But really, the season was *about* the Xindi arc, not the characters. In S4, the Piller Philosophy was completely gone. Except for “Home,” every episode was *about* its plot, not its characters.

Now I still think S3 and 4 were a vast improvement on S1 and 2. The series’ biggest problem in its first half was the lack of a big picture. But when the show gained a big picture, it lost its characters, and a key component of what made Star Trek work for so many years.

I enjoy Enterprise overall. It gave us a lot of solid episodes, even some great ones. But it never rises to the heights of the other series because it hardly ever stops to think: who are these people? What do they want? And how do they change?
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Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Brian Lear, if you were writing, I guarantee Picard would be good. Great post and it gave me the chuckle this Trek lacks.

I think you’re right about them doing these shows for the “Joes” and “Jills”. Something to grab one’s attention, but provide very little thought.
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Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 11:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Yep, agree with Dick and John. I’ve never attempted Discovery for all those reasons. And what’s with the captioning on the screen? Wouldn’t the universal translators be top notch by today?

Hate that this show is just like all the other new age stuff going around our streaming programs. No witty writing or fun future ideas of humanity.

Just random aliens and futuristic machines. With regular 2020 world issues.
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Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

I only am watching this to see where the old Trek characters fit in. In the previews we saw 7 of 9, Riker, and Troi.

Story seemed interesting enough, but, wow, nothing else is like my precious TNG and Voyager. Too dramatic, vulgar, and nasty.

Where is the humour!? Think that’s enough for me. I’m one of the few people to never have liked Picard. So a whole show about him, bleh. But I will give the actor credit - he’s got to be 80 or so?
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Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 11:59am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Aenar

Let me join the chorus here. I really liked this episode and thought it made a solid conclusion to the trilogy. The Aenar are a great addition to Star Trek lore, helped along by awesome visual design. The pale, creamy color palette in the Aenar city is visually distinctive and consistent across the sets, costumes, and makeup. Great coordination between talented designers that makes the Aenar stick in your mind more than dozens of generic “aliens of the week” in TNG and Voyager. (The ice caves looked fake, but fake-looking caves are a Trek staple.)

I also loved the idea of a reclusive, pacifist group of Andorians as a foil for their dominant martial philosophy. The relationship between Shran and Jhamel is particularly well done as a microcosm of their two societies. At first, Shran is contemptuous of the Aenar. He thinks they’re weak for not “serving their society.” To him, honor and virtue comes solely from military service; that’s the culture he was raised in. But when Jhamel volunteers to come along to save her brother, he develops a respect for her. He realizes that strength comes in different forms, and that by breaking the traditions of her people and putting her life on the line, she’s showing a strength that’s just as powerful as the martial strength he’s been taught to respect. It’s a powerful, understated arc. This and Shran’s doomed romance with Talas really make him a fully-fleshed out character, with more compelling relationships, perspectives, and screen presence than several Enterprise leads!

That said, we needed more on Gareb for this trilogy to really soar. In hindsight, I think it was a mistake to save his reveal for the end of “United.” We didn’t get enough time with him to grasp his arc and really feel for him as a person. The telepathic conversation between Gareb and Jhamel hints at an emotional, wrenching story: the Romulans convincing Gareb that his people are dead, then manipulating him to betray his deepest beliefs to kill others until a final, redemptive moment when their deception is revealed. But you just can’t convey all that in one scene. The facts come across, but not the feel. I actually assumed that Gareb was drugged until this final conversation, after which he seems to have free will and turns on his Romulan captors way too quickly.

The final scene between Archer and Trip is excellent. A down-to-earth, genuine feel of two friends having a tough conversation. The subtext of Trip’s love for T’Pol hangs over the scene like a cloud.

In the end, I’d give “The Aenar” 3 stars, scraping the edge of 3.5. But definitely some 4-star moments.
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Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: United

Two things:

1) Great physical acting from Jeffrey Combs after he loses his antenna. Just watch the way he limps and lurches around, perfectly conveying that he’s lost his sense of balance on that side of his body, all without any acknowledgment in dialogue. Great detail and evidence of an actor who really knows his craft.

2) I was hoping for an epic pullback shot of all 128 ships in the fleet, but budget constraints, I guess. The pullback shot we get is very satisfying and again conveys a lot through pure visuals.

3.5 stars. Entertaining, snappy, satisfying, with important contributions to Star Trek lore.
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Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Q2

Agree with Ben, JB, and Mom. Plus, I liked the kid’s acting. He cracked me up when he still had his powers. You really need a good sense of humour to appreciate how great this show was.

Loved every Q episode in Voyager. In TNG I couldn’t stand the character. Love the chemistry Mulgrew and DeLancie had together.

I haven’t come across a bad episode in season 7, yet. “Muses” was the last bad one and I see that that was season 6.
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Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Man, don’t leave the “eh, petulant” out of my quote, Omicron! Eek, looks like I’m the goon who said there was that many seasons.

That’s what I thought, Chrome. That UPN just didn’t have enough viewers to begin with. Since a new network and all.

True about the polls potentially being skewed, Top Hat. I mean, I’d have fun voting.

But I see it the same as DS9 being skewed to all the internet posting fans liking that Trek the best. So in the end I say watch what you like and still support our aged series the best you can.
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Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 7:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Season 7 of Enterprise, eh, petulant?

That is one Trek I never tried, but even I know it only goes to season 4. Someone is a funny man.
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Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 7:15am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Okay, okay, here's the poll link:

Sure, only a group of 25,000 people asked, but it has to have some weight. Came up as first search result in my "most watched Star Trek poll" Google find.

And the Netflix results:

But you can get links to those stats just by doing any "most watched Star Trek" and "Netflix" search. That was just one link that loaded the quickest.

Although, I'm not saying that millions are wrong. I know DS9 features all all these Trek sites. But I'm just saying what I liked, what I've tried to watch, and what my favourite is out of them all. Nice to have found links to support that.
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Mon, Jan 20, 2020, 10:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

I was referring to a poll about what Star Trek series people had seen. In that poll, Voyager beat everything but TNG. I shouldn’t have mentioned “on the air” since I have no clue about Nielsen ratings and such.

Wasn’t Voyager released on the new Paramount network? Would that alter rating results? I also saw that the most watched Star Trek episodes on Netflix are Voyager ones.

I am watching both season 7’s of TNG and Voyager right now. Voyager is 100% more entertaining. And I grew up with Next Generation.
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Mon, Jan 20, 2020, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Loved the episode, too. Any episode with much intended humour is usually a good watch. I also like that the head Klingon is smart enough to mention that the scrolls could have been written by some crazy guy in a cave. However, he is finding the believable aspects in them to help his people make a home. And perfect that all worked out and B’Elanna saved his family. Obviously all a coincidence, but the gang can go on believing the prophecy.

The Neelix stuff was funny. Any time he can bother Tuvok is the best. And saving poor Kim from the lady - perfect. These episodes are simply comic relief and I welcome them after some of the intense and dramatic episodes. As some poster mentioned above, I am probably in that group of people that Voyager writers were catering to.

I also read that when Star Trek was on the air, more people watched Voyager than all the other series besides TNG. So the writers must have been doing something right.

I don’t need character development in my shows, just fun characters experiencing life.
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Wed, Jan 15, 2020, 11:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

I agree that season 7 has been very good. And this episode fits right in.

Love the Tom/B’Elanna exchange when she tells him about her dad. You can see how much he loves her there. And you can also she why she hesitates around him. This is definitely an episode that makes me like the two characters together. One of the best things Voyager did.

Depending on your life experiences, you will most likely adore or despise the episode (as we’ve seen in the heated chat above). But you can’t deny the great acting. I believed everything that happened and felt they did a great job of making B’Elanna react so crazily when she saw her baby. She really thought the Klingon side would not show by being with Tom. And them showing the fix of the spine certainly gave her ideas.

The only thing I’d have wanted them to add was Tom saying that B’Elanna’s Klingon side was one of the things he loved about her. It is a cool feature and makes the character interesting.

Glad the pregnancy factor could explain her behaviour with the Doctor. Extreme, but I believed it.
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Mon, Jan 13, 2020, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

I really love reading these comments after watching each episode. To know that they’re still going strong after 10 years shows us how amazing Trek was.

I wonder if Jeff above would think it creepy to email 6 years after his post - since he did post an email. Agreed with most of his character assessments. Really, it’s the characters in both TNG and Voyager that keep me coming back. Space stuff is just a fun side to see how all these guys live and interact.

And Prince of Space, funny guy for sure. Adore the language here though. Tells me people like to think and analyze.

I agree with Elliott on the DS9 views. I tried watching a handful of episodes and didn’t like the character conflicts. That one with “Tom Riker” - can’t believe they turned him evil. No more attempts at viewing after that.

Now about this episode, all was good. I understood Janeway at the end with the doc. He is the result of people programming him. He could never be punished how the others have been. Love that Trek can make him feel so real. But really, nothing but a bunch of light beams, right?
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Sun, Jan 12, 2020, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Body and Soul

Agree completely with the first 3/4 of the comments. Curse that sceptical guy for showing up and spoiling our fun and bringing the naysayers after.

This episode deserves a million stars. I actually saw the doc for most of the show. Great acting and just pure fun. Even the potential uncomfortable scenes went smoothly. Well written and every aspect was resolved by the end.

As for Tuvok, he’s, what, 300 years or so? He may feel the effects of the “flu” more so because he’s old, but he’d have amazing control once he got with the wife. Remember, he’s not a young adult like I imagined Vorik to be.

I bet the actors had a blast filming this one. I find those feelings come through when the material is this great. Seven and Doctor characters should always feature.
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Sun, Jan 12, 2020, 5:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Inside Man

I was wondering how the third episode of Troi and Barclay would go. Turns out the writers did a great job of making things believable. Him following her to the vacation spot was totally him. And didn’t feel awkward at all. Loved the personality change of the hologram, too.

I don’t understand the hate with the Ferengi. I think they’re funny. Mind you, I was unable to ever watch DS9 - too dramatic for my tastes. I really love the makeup for that species. Better than all the forehead bumps with no other features suggesting “alien”, races.

So far the only episode I’ve greatly disliked this season is that “Muses” one.
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Wed, Jan 1, 2020, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Forgotten

Most of what I have to say has already been said above. Outstanding episode and Trip dealing with his sister’s death is one of the most well-acted, moving storylines in all of Trek. Some thoughts:

- It’s hilarious to see Seth MacFarlane as some random crewmember who gets yelled at by Trip. His cameo could’ve come in any episode and it was just luck that landed him in such a great one! Today he’s much more recognizable thanks to the Orville and his movies, but back then, none but the biggest geeks would’ve noticed. I remember there being a small amount of hype about him at the time. And wouldn’t you know, today Brannon Braga works for *him*!

- Among the many standout scenes, I also have to commend the excellent way that Trip’s dream sequence is staged: Taylor’s darkened, smashed-up quarters, a ghostly light across her face. It’s eerie and powerful. Kudos to LeVar Burton, whose directing chops are IMO underrated. (He also directed another one of Trek’s finest, Voyager’s “Timeless.”)

- I think part of the reason most of us love this trilogy of episodes so much comes down to screenplay structure. If you think of the entire Xindi arc as one long story, we’re at the end of Act 2, the “all-hope-is-lost” moment, the gearing up for the final confrontation. “Damage” showed the crew at their lowest point, while “The Forgotten” shows Degra’s crucial moment of character change and sends the Enterprise toward the season’s climax: the meeting with the council. Of course, these episodes are really well done on their own, but they get a huge boost from being at such a crucial part of the story. If the creative team nails it, “all-hope-is-lost” moments can make for the most effective, powerful portions of any serialized story. See: The Empire Strikes Back.
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Tue, Dec 24, 2019, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Proving Ground

Excellent episode! Everything seemed taken up a notch. There was just more energy to the directing, acting, and score, plus the script was solid.

Don’t believe anyone has mentioned this, but they actually were planning to bring on Shran as a series regular if ENT had gotten a fifth season. Now that I would’ve loved to see. Who knows? It might’ve given ENT the same jolt of energy that Seven of Nine gave Voyager in S4. An entertaining frenemy relationship with Archer, friction with T’Pol, his likely respect for Reed as a fellow military man… Ah, we can dream.

I enjoyed the B-plot between Reed and the Andorian officer. The writers walked a perfect balance between building genuine respect between them, playing understated notes of sexual tension (I was reminded of Reed hooking up with ANOTHER visiting alien in “Cogenitor”), and keeping Reed smart and vigilant. He’s clearly enjoying his time with her, but he still keeps his head about him and doesn’t trust her completely. In a season where the supporting characters are getting swamped by the main arc (except for Hoshi in “Exile”), Reed is getting some good screentime.

This is all I want from good space opera. Bombastic acting, energetic music, a zippy, adventurous tone, solid drama, and intergalactic politics. Heck, I’m even enjoying the scenery-chewing, comic-book Xindi council scenes because they’re so over-the-top. (It helps that I remember the concluding stretch of S3 is so strong.) 3.5 stars.
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