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Sun, Apr 18, 2021, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Way to Eden

Ultimately a good episode with flaws.

Pros (from most important to least):
• Makes its message clear without hitting you over the head.
o A group of people looking for Eden continue to be flawed individuals. Severin in particular is focused on his own interests above others. Thus, Eden won’t let them in. The acidic plants are the same idea as posting an angel to keep Adam and Eve out of the original Eden.
o According to the Trek writers, you don’t get to live a perfect life by separating yourself from society; usually, you have to help improve everyone around you. So Spock encourages one of the characters to keep looking for Eden, but any Eden they find will likely still be within the larger society.
• Spock is able to look outside himself and relate to someone whose thoughts don’t conform to his rigid Vulcan logic.
• We are given more back story for someone in the Checkov-Sulu-Uhura group.
• In some season three episodes, I would have spent the entire episode wondering why the guest characters aren’t just thrown into the brig. The reasoning behind this was written into the episode satisfactorily.
• We are given more glimpses of Federation society outside of Starfleet.
• Kirk’s initial annoyance with the counter-cultural people and his move towards being understanding is an incremental enough change to be believable.

Cons (from most important to least):
• The guest characters realize that their supersonic attack may actually “destroy”, but we don’t see follow up to that. In my head cannon, I chose to help the episode out by assuming that most of the ship’s crew did suffer hearing impairments. Even the away team had to speak louder than usual to one another than we saw on camera. McCoy had technology on the ship to help most recover. But some had to go back to Earth to get proper treatment, remaining effectively deaf for months.
• Even though some guest characters have above-average intelligence and education, it’s still hard to accept that they could take over the ship.
• The mythology of “oneness” is not sufficiently explained. We never learn what attributes it predicted Eden would have, so what was the computer looking for?
• The music served its purpose of extending the illusion that the characters were counter-cultural people, but it failed to create the illusion that the music was from the future.
• The guest stars’ costumes weren’t great, but that’s pretty minor.

The most annoying episodes for me are the ones where I spend the entire episode thinking that this isn’t how the characters would act. That didn’t happen to me here.
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Benedict P Mercadante
Sun, Jan 24, 2021, 6:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: This Side of Paradise

Of that era, this was one of the better episodes. Without going into all the classic personality differentials of the cast, or the science (really, most all these episodes take great leaps faith....; ) But, as a massage I do believe this makes certain where the foot comes down, and it is squarely in the camp of mainstream western patriarchal society, proving once again Star Trek was anything but counter culture. It's not that it ever pretended to be, but many have some misconception as that the message expanded beyond where our society was at that time, of which I was well aware of, I remember as a mid teen, scratching my head as I watched episodes like this, and people around me thinking that it represented the sense of freedom, and individuality, etc etc. Of course, if you think about it for a moment, it's not really any different than all the other 'messages' we were fed growing up in that era, preparing for our next 'adventure'...conflict, as it turns out. The only difference with Star Trek and the usual schlock we were fed, is that Star Trek took a moment to analyze the differences, where as during that time differences were generally hit with a hammer. Not to say that the juxtaposition was not relevant, it was and remains so, but it was Kirks line near the end, where he turned to the absolute of , para phrased...' we stroll throw the fields to the sounds of a lute, or strive, claw (etc) to the sound of a beating drum....' That message , was clear as a bell, and it coincides with the gaining strength of the anti-war movement and all the rest, that unfolded before my young unjaded eye.
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Ben Sisko
Fri, Oct 30, 2020, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Has anybody here actually watched all 10 episodes and still doesn't like it?
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Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 3:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

I’ve been a long time reader of Jammer’s Reviews but this is the first time I’ve commented.

I think the main difference between “Old Trek” - by which I mainly mean TOS, TNG, DS9, because they are my favourites - and Discovery is that one simply shows us an optimistic vision of the future, and the other tells about one (almost preaches in fact) but shows us something else. Old Trek was an inherently optimistic vision of the future because it showed us diverse crews tackling diverse problems that usually raised an interesting and often quite complex scientific, philosophic or sociological issue in any one episode. The issue that was under examination could be anything from the nature of time or war to gender or religion and usually an approach that favoured tolerance or inquisitiveness or logic etc would win out. There was some violence, such as Kirk’s punch ups or DS9’s examination of conflict, but this was never the preferred route for our protagonists. There wasn’t much heavy emoting from the main characters, especially in TNG time-period episodes. TOS also had something interesting to say about friendship with the relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy by showing us how this trio got along.

Discovery, unlike Old Trek, doesn’t really practice what it preaches. It usually has lots of action but then wants its viewers to think that it is optimistic because our protagonists talk passionately about simplistic topics such as “hope” and “friendship”. (and not much else, unlike Old Trek, which examined a plethora of different issues). Each episode has a superficial gloss of optimism that seems tacked on and very forced and often quite jarring with the rest of what you’ve just watched. Take the first episode of season 3, where Burnham and Book disintegrate quite a few “baddies” while swapping quips, only for Burnham to then emote about hope at the end of the episode and Book to reveal himself to be an ardent conservationist (who I thought wanted to protect life!). This for me is my biggest problem with Discovery: any message Is often simple and not particularly thoughtful, very forced and often clashes with the action-oriented approach to problem-solving that the rest of the episode has focused on.
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Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 1:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

I heartily agree with Kurtis.

TOS is not ashamed to deal with universal subjects, desensibilisation of war is not light a one, and that it is why the episodes continue to be appealing 50 years latter.

People of Eminiar 7 just "got used" to kill 3 million of their own per year, even if they had a like with Vendikar to stop the war at any time.

And you have to love Scotty in this episode, even risking to be sent to a colony prisions , he didn't budge.
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Rubens Fonseca
Mon, Oct 5, 2020, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

Re-watching it on Netflix, who would know that one day all TNG episodes would be available at hand :-)

Digression aside, this episodes feels like a poor "The Conscience of the King" from TOS, it is hard to care about Brull, the Acamarians, and even Yuta.

Riker was kind of a jerk throughout the episode, first he hits on Yuta at the first chance, then all the "Porthos a la Yuta", and in the end he brutally vaporises the girl. All with absolutely no consequences or disciplinary actions, on contrary, Picard even offers him some time-off at the Starbase.

Even Picard was off, every time the Acamarian sovereign tried to put a limit on the Gatherers request, the played down her arguments. The guys raided the sector for one century, destroyed an outpost at the beginning of the episode, and in the end got free land, autonomy and three seats on the planet's rolling council, not a bad deal.

A bad episode from an excellent season.
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Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 7:12am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

"You know, she used to be a Borg, like him."
"Oh wow, she's that Ranger! She's notorious. Ninety-nine or Eleven or..."
"Uh-uh. She goes by Seven."

I love that they joke with names of other Women Whose Names are Numbers. But one of them is from Get Smart, contemporary with TOS. The other is from a 2010s Netflix series. I have to say I appreciate any joke that relies on such bizarre combinations of fandoms.
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Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 7:43am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

@Jason R.: "poor continuity"

I used to think this too (and it may indeed be true of later seasons which I haven't re-watched recently!), but the specific examples that I pointed out in early S3 are actually running threads of continuity. My whole point is that I'm surprised at what was actually there and what I missed.
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Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 6:19am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

@Jason R.

Ron Moore joined very briefly in Season 6. Not only is this three years later, but a completely different showrunner was in charge in Season 3 (Jeri Taylor, not Brannon Braga). It's quite possible for both to be true.
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Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 5:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

Skywalker (in 2016) points out that Janeway is painting at the end of the episode, and this harks back to "Sacred Ground". She has adapted this into her personality. Perhaps the thing she felt the loss of at the end of that episode is resurfacing. She is changing from the little girl who loved mathematics and never enjoyed life's nebulous answers. It's continuous but subtle.

But while the end of the episode recalls the past, the beginning of the episode foreshadows the future. It is the first time that Janeway suggests Neelix as ambassador. This, like his security practice mentioned in "Warlord" and the breakup with Kes there that deprives him of his emotional grounding, contributes to his arc heading into "Fair Trade". He really has nothing. They are at the end of his usefulness. He is hoping to extend it in some way. Security? Diplomacy? What is he? Who is Neelix to others? And does he know it and can he accept it?

I'm beginning to wonder if season 3 was actually rather subtle on character development and some of us missed it at the time. I seem to have missed some of the interesting cues.
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Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Melora

While this was for sure a meh episode, I will say the point (or at least attempted point) seemed pretty obvious to me. That ultimately, given the choice of enhancing her ability to handle a higher gravity environment or retaining her identity as an Elysian, she came to the eventual realization that retaining her cultural identity, even if it means being perceived by others as being disadvantaged, was the more important choice.

And yes, I'm, watching this series (for the first time) in 2020. So far, it's holding up surprisingly well
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Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 2:00am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

What never made sense was WHY Kes went crazy...oh she lost her memory and blah blah but that never made sense. She left as an all powerful transcendent and thankful being and comes back as a decrepit demented psychopath.
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Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 5:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast

There's something enjoyable in the fact that, a few episodes later ("Family Business"), the replacement for the runabout they lose here (the Mekong) is named the Rubicon. The Caesar references don't stop in the two-parter.
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Tue, Jun 30, 2020, 1:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Ties of Blood and Water

Some people have commented on how Weyoun and Dukat threaten the station with a (large) Jem'Hadar battlecruiser. It seems ridiculous to some people.

It's true that they wouldn't stand a chance. But actually, Dukat, Weyoun, and the audience don't know that. Until "Call to Arms", we all still think Federation shields are useless against Dominion weapons. DS9 has no ablative armour. Even with armour, the Defiant could barely hold off against a few (small) Jem'Hadar attack ships ("The Search"). While the station is armed to the teeth, if its shields were ineffective, its civilians (or even Ops) would be in real danger from a Jem'Hadar ship of that firepower. It's a real threat. Foolhardy perhaps. But threatening.
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Sat, Jun 13, 2020, 9:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Changeling

James T. Kirk. Jackson Roykirk. Doesn’t sound similar to me. Really a sophisticated computer couldn’t tell the difference?
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Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 8:09am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

Great episode. Couple of observations. The uniforms they wear on the planet were ridiculous looking. Also I always got confused between the lead councilman’s name-Anon 7 and the planet’s name - Eminiar 7. There’s plenty of other numbers to choose from!
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Thu, May 28, 2020, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Conscience of the King

Interesting episode. Disliked as a child like it more now. This episode feels like no other. There seems to some sets and music that were only used in this episode so it would seem. I am tired ! And your shining brightness has stuck in my head since the 1970!’s
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Fri, May 15, 2020, 5:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I can’t wait to hate the new Captain Pike show (which I will never watch, and about which, I do not know a thing) already. Two months without new Trek news to preemptively hate on has really sucked!
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Wed, May 13, 2020, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Never understood why people give this episode such a high rating. Interesting from the standpoint that it is the first episode with Kirk and the other crew but the plot is basically one that we will see again and again. Man has superpowers which must be overcome. Not that exciting. The cage was so much more interesting although NBC rejected it for their own reasons. Glad they did since I like Shatner over Hunter.
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Mon, May 11, 2020, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Charlie X

Disliked this episode as a kid; dislike it now. Very dated and silly. The kid with super powers. Not that interesting. Weak second episode for a brand new sci fi series. The next few are much better. Charlie was just annoying. Sorry
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Thu, May 7, 2020, 3:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: All Our Yesterdays

Always loved this episode. One question. Why would an inhabitant of the planet choose to go back to the era that Kirk gets sent to? Seems like there are better choices.
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Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 11:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: That Which Survives

Really one of the top ten worst TOS episodes. Thought so watching reruns as a kid in the 1970’s and confirmed now. Totally ridiculous plot and over the top poor acting. Yikes!
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Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

Finding this website has been really nice on my rewatch of TNG! I could never intrest anyone i know IRL in star trek so i always felt lonely enjoying these fansastic series. But reading these reviews and the comments after each episode gave me a sence of community. So i want to thank you, Jammer, for your wonderful website and also to some of the commenters i tended to look up and read every time by their names: William B, SkepticalMI, Elliot and Luke. I cant stress enough how i enjoyed your thought out critiques and disscussions on almost every page. Thank you again.
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Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Many people have come out and said that Data's death is a case of euthanasia.

Is it? Or is there a nuance here?

Data is essentially hooked up to a machine that is sustaining his life, but he has no option to repair his actual body. There is no hope of his body winning the fight. He cannot return to life without the life-support machine and in his own body. If the life-support machine is discontinued, Data just naturally fades away quickly.

Some people refer to this as 'passive euthanasia', but I think we normally treat 'pulling the plug' on critical life support as having different moral and legal requirements than 'active euthanasia'. For instance, Booming quoted some 'very liberal' laws. Those are almost certainly for active euthanasia (not passive euthanasia or pulling the plug), because far less liberal states have less stringent requirement for 'pulling the plug' on life support.

Perhaps, in good Trekkian style, some nuance is in order, even if the whole time we're dealing with an analogy for non-organic lifeforms.
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Ben S
Mon, Mar 16, 2020, 9:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Wink of an Eye

While I can overlook almost all the flaws in this episode, the one that always gets me is that Kirk fires a phaser on the bridge, but it doesn’t appear in real time (even though it should). The story just kind of ignores that he did it.
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