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Bill Bunkum
Fri, Feb 23, 2018, 1:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Homestead

I really enjoyed this episode. As 'boiler-plate' as it may have been, I agree with most that it's heartfelt - that's pretty good storytelling, if you ask me, to affect the viewer.

I'm glad Neelix gets a dignified send off. He's so often the goof or the comic relief, a sort of static character, I sometimes wondered how he survived on his own. This episode (and, others of course) show him as having unequivocally grown, as dynamic, at the end of a long journey and as fully realized that he must move forward with his life.

His time on Voyager has run its course, and yet, he will be sorely missed during the rest of their journey. Whatever this episode does, it resonates with me and I find myself melancholy afterward. Pretty awesome.
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Billy
Wed, Feb 21, 2018, 9:48am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Real Life

Just realised that the actress who played Belle was also Lord Burleighs daughter.

And the mother now plays Francine in Family Guy!
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Billy
Wed, Feb 21, 2018, 3:03am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Favorite Son

It was fun. End of.
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Bill
Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 2:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Spectre of the Gun

Interesting episode, the first of Season 3 produced.

Another good looking production. The plan was to shoot the Tombstone material on location, but thanks to the slashed budget, they couldn't afford it. There was no money for extras, transportation, and catering. So was born the clever idea that the town was put together from Kirk's spotty memory. I was glad to see what money was left was used for that great buoy miniature plus a non-humanoid alien. (Yeah, yeah, I know the Melkotian was obscured by the mist it could have been a sock puppet for all we knew, lol!)
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Bill
Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 2:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

This was actually a pretty good one. (Funny how the TOS bottle shows were often among the better episodes.) The use of the organ in the score set the tone for one eerie episode. And Kollos being non-corporeal and so alien his appearance drove humans insane was a great (and budget-friendly) idea.

Once and for all, the Enterprise did not get lost in the barrier at the edge of the galaxy. When it passed warp 9.5, it somehow breached the barrier between our space-time continuum and wherever they ended up. The stock footage of the ship flying into the BATEOTG in the 60s original was for budget reasons. The drippy colors void the ship was stranded in in the 60s original (not to mention the blue-green energy flare void in the remastered version) look nothing like the BATEOTG.

The woman who wrote this (and "All Our Yersterdays") used to come into a store I worked in when I was younger. I got to know her a little and she was quite a thoughtful and elegant person.
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Bill
Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 1:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

Usually not one to nitpick on plot points, it just always irked me here that this super-advanced race dedicated to transplanting endangered species to give them a chance to flourish and develop would place the Indians on a planet that was so obviously threatened by constant asteroid collisions they needed to give them a deflector mechanism and create a religion in order for them to operate it.

I know this wasn't stated in the final cut. It comes from earlier drafts of the script (and is mentioned in the James Blish adaptation ). But really, unless the obelisk is some kind of all in one Swiss Army knife problem solver, the existence of a dedicated deflector begs explaining.

If this had been a NexGen episode, I wonder if we'd've had a debate on whether or not deflecting the asteroid was a Prime Directive issue, lol!
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Bill
Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 10:25am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Spock's Brain

The thing that impressed me most about this episode was that they spent some money on it. With a bargain basement budget, sixth in production order, and we got a new spaceship miniature (not much to look at, but at least it wasn't the generic spot of light we'd gotten in most of the second season), a new planet miniature for the orbit shots, and the rear screen projection set-up on the bridge viewer. Not too shabby.

And I can't help but add that that bridge scene was a highlight. Kirk pacing in front of a moving starfield, the staff contributing like the professionals they were, it was awesome.
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Bill
Fri, Feb 16, 2018, 7:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Operation--Annihilate!

The mystery of of what happened to Peter Kirk.

A tag scene was removed for time from the final cut where we would have seen Peter on the bridge sitting in the captain's chair in his miniature Starfleet uniform. Kirk would enter and they'd exposit on how Peter would be returning to Deneva to live with his father's research partner and his family.

If you believe that James Cawley's Phase II is canon, Peter SORASed into an Academy graduate who was assigned to the Enterprise late in the five-year mission as a redshirt...oops! I mean security officer.
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Bill
Fri, Feb 16, 2018, 6:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Alternative Factor

Just plain awful. No reason to wonder why this was held back and put in the stinker slot as next-to-last episode of the season, huh?

There might have been a good story here, but multiple circumstances doomed this poor episode. First, they removed a huge sub-plot where Charlene Masters was supposed to be in love with stable Lazarus and taken advantage of (not that way!) by the unstable one. Roddenberry and company didn't want two scripts (this and the up and coming "Space Seed") have crew women who forgot their duty by going gaga over a handsome face. So Lt. Masters just became the engineer (in blue) who was in charge of the Lithium Crystal Recharging Section.

(Recharging the crystals? Hm, that would have been a nice thing to be able to do in future...)

And when it came time to shoot this gutted script, the guest star (John Drew Barrymore) decides to up and not show up on the first day of filming. And to not answer his phone when they called. They shot around him and hired Robert Brown ASAP, altered the costume, glued some random beard on him, and shoved him in front of the cameras. Not a good situation even if the script had been top notch.

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Bill
Fri, Feb 16, 2018, 12:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Arena

@Adam: "If they had just followed the original ["Arena"] short story (which is considered to be one of the best ever written in the sci fi genre) it would have been a great episode. Fredric Brown is credited with the story, but I wonder how much he was involved in the actual episode; or if it is just a reference to his short story that the show is based on, with the teleplay being a major rewrite.

As the lore goes, this was an original script written at home by Gene Coon at over a three-day weekend just to have something ready to shove into the pipeline. When it was sent to the research company, they were the ones who noted the rather...obvious similarity to Brown's story. Then the Star Trek office contacted Brown and asked permission to base an upcoming episode on his story -- neglecting to mention it was already in pre-production. Fortunately for them, Brown was flattered and agreed.
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Bill
Fri, Feb 16, 2018, 11:05am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

@Moonie - "Clueless. Just clueless. Backwards and disappointing coming from a bunch of SCIENCE FICTION writers. Apparently their 'forward' way of thinking did not include relationships between the sexes (or women in general)."

Science fiction writers had nothing to do with this. The only one to blame for this sexist Old West re-tread was the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself. This was one of his original story ideas in the proposal for the series. Not exactly unexpected when you read about Roddenberry's REAL attitudes toward women.

"Wiving settlers?" Puh-lease!
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Bill
Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 8:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

Signed off too soon, lol!

The thing I always enjoy about this episode is the crew's familiarity and camaraderie. Sulu, Uhura, and Rand felt more like part of an ensemble with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, rather than the secondary players they'd become later. Uhura flirting with Spock was another highlight of these early episodes (see "Charlie X' for more).

All of this would be lost when Shatner started to flex his muscles and diminish their roles in favor of Captain Kirk.
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Bill
Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 8:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

Why was it shown first? The studio felt that sci-fi fans needed to see a monster as well as a strange new world.

And as for the camaraderie being too soon? 60s TV didn't care. There were few story arcs and episodes were meant to be stand alones. They were rarely even broadcast in production order until the end of the season when they were cranking them out barely ahead of airdate. (And even then, some stinker would be held back to be shown second-to-last -- Hello "The Alternative Factor" and "Bread and Circuses"! -- to avoid hurting the ratings.)
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Bill
Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 3:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Bloodlines

Thank Patrick Stewart for this one. When the writing staff were out of ideas, they asked him if there was any story he felt needed to be told. He pulled DaiMon Bok out of his backside, saying it was intriguing that there was a man out in the universe who hated him (Picard) so much.

Star Trek deserved a better send off.
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Bill
Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

An episode in search of a plot. The staff was more interesting in cashing their pay checks than producing fresh entertaining material at this point.

I remember on first watch, I kept waiting for something to happen because I was really caught up in the idea of the archive bringing a dead civilization back from...well, the dead. Then the sun goddess and the moon god had a showdown by proxy and the sun goddess went to sleep and all was right with the world.

I wanted my hour back.

Joe Menosky was participating from the Italian Alps at this point in the series. I hope he enjoyed whatever he was smoking when he shoved this piece of excrement into the fax machine and pushed send.
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Bill
Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 1:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

A good episode, but I never could understand why everyone else thinks it's in the top ten best episodes of the series. By this time, I was tired of seeing admirals with secret agendas abusing their rank.

Oh, and one thing that really gets under my skin is the timeline. Riker was an ensign aboard the Pegasus twelve years previously. He's been aboard the Enterprise for six of those twelve years at this point. That means that Riker made a meteoric rise through the ranks from Ensign Nobody aboard Pegasus to Commander First Officer of the Hood and then the plum assignment to Enterprise in only SIX YEARS? Really show?

Plus it also means that Riker is 35 during "The Pegasus". Which means he was only 29 when he reported to Enterprise. I couldn't stop laughing the first time I figured that out.

That ranks with "Dark Page" where dialogue basically states Troi is 30 during that episode...meaning Lt. Commander Deanna Troi was a mere 23 years old during "Encounter at Farpoint".

No comment.
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Bill
Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 12:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

NexGen's quality really dropped with Jeri Taylor in the show runner's seat. How this bomb made it to the screen is beyond me.

She sent her idealistic boy writers to an Earth Day conference or something and they came back all hyped up to write the definitive environmental allegory. After the same old hum-drum pollution story (and one intriguing idea where the natives on a dilithium-rich planet were suffering mutations because the ore was being mined, thus weakening the ambient EM field) they came up with this drek - warp-drive wearing a hole in space.

I love cats, but I think the whole sub-plot of Geordi's sister Ariana coming aboard and finding her brother a control freak to compensate for his mother's disappearance preferable to "training Spot" (Though the line "Geordi, I cannot stun my cat" has me ROFLMAO!) By the time you reached the main story, the trials and travails of Spot and Geordi's competition to squeeze more power out of the warp reactor, you couldn't care less.
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Bill
Wed, Feb 14, 2018, 4:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

One word - DULL. This is the only Star Trek episode ever I fell asleep during while watching for the first time.
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Bill
Wed, Feb 14, 2018, 4:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

The nitrium parasite B-story? Total bullsh*t. Especially considering that the stuffed shirt minister and his stooge never mentioned the inconvenience of almost being suffocating once after the emergency was over.

The rest? Not bad. Lwaxana was originally conceived as the "Auntie Mame" of the galaxy and they sure went for it here. Her relationship with Patrick...I mean Alexander, was actually kind of sweet. I mean poor little Alex is still damaged from the death of his mother and THEN having to live with a hyper-critical father who does nothing but holler at him. Let him have some fun with the flamboyant crazy lady.

And there's Lwaxana, feeling her age (and why did they put her in that white wig, please tell me?) and left with an empty mansion and no one to take care of. I liked the partners in crime vibe they developed.

And who was smoking what when they conceived of that colony of free-thinkers? "The higher, the fewer?" Someone was way high writing this, lol!
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Bill
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 10:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

So bad it's funny. Worth the price of admission just to see Ardra-as-Troi trying to seduce Picard, who's in his jammies.

This leftover from Star Trek: Phase II had the dust blown off it by Michael Piller, who handed it Melinda Snodgrass, who passed it on to Larry Carroll and David Bennett Carren, who gave it to Lee Sheldon, where it finally landed in the lap of freelancer Philip LaZebnik. They should have stuck with the original, where the devil was not a bombshell con woman, but the mental force of the telepathic populace creating their devil out of their own fears. A little old-school (or Space: 1999ish), but better than this hilarous mess.
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Bill
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Wounded

I just can't forgive this episode for saying that, for the first two years of this show, there was a MAJOR WAR going on that no one referred to AT ALL! (I know, I know, it's just a TV show, lol!)

The Cardassians were great creations (once their makeup and costumes were tweaked) that were a great addition to the overall tapestry of Star Trek. I wish they had been the new "big bad" at the series' start instead of the Ferengi. But the fact they were shoehorned in to the narrative like they were always there just bugs me to no end.

One almost hopes for an explanation that there was some kind of temporal incursion (hello, "Year of Hell"!) that just inserted them into Federation history.
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Bill
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 8:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

Troi episodes are my guilty pleasure. I know they're always going to be botched in some way, but I love them anyway. Marina was such a trooper to wear the cat suit and put up with the way they wrote her character.

The biggest problem with this episode was the guest cast. My god, every time I watch I want to smack Troi's patient, Ensign Brooks. She was played with all the depth of a puddle. And don't get me started on her melodramatic way of speaking. Wesley's replacement, Ensign Allenby, was terrible as well. What a stiff. I remember cringing when I read the BTS stuff that the new conn officer was intended to become a love interest for O'Brien!. So glad they dropped that idea.

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Bill
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 6:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Family

For those who feel the Worf and Wesley plotlines were not worthy, bear in mind that when this story was being broken, Rick Berman requested a sci-fi B-story to take place on the ship while Picard was on Earth. That story was about a warp bubble drifting around the ship capturing people. Thank goodness the staff realized this would not be a good mash-up and saved this idea for "Remember Me".

Also, this story was fourth in production order because it was the younger staffers (led by Ron Moore) that felt that Picard needed to be shown recovering what what was basically the technological rape of his mind and body. Piller was convinced, but there was no way to write and prep a script in the time they had.
If he hadn't agreed, the next episode would have been that Jeri Taylor crapfest "Suddenly Human" where Picard gets to play daddy to a what-may-as-well-have-been feral child.

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Bill
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 2:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Tin Man

I've always thought this episode was underrated. My only complaints were the convenient code-naming of "Tin Man" (seriously, Starfleet?) and that the truly amazing score (nice audition, Chattaway!) was a little too good for television.

Otherwise, a great little episode. Data examining the human condition from an alien persepctive...Troi being used like a professional...excellent effects. Throw in a Federation mission specialist who isn't evil or has a secret agenda (from the start, at least) and it's two thumbs up.
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Bill
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 1:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Hey, when your star comes to you and says he's getting bored, you have to throw him a bone or two. That's what this episode was. Patrick Stewart went to Berman and Piller and asked for more to do that just sitting in his captain's chair and giving pompous speeches. So to service him, they let him slug a terrorist, act as Worf's second, and be his own evil twin and carouse in Ten Forward.

While not the greatest story to spring from the writing room, it was fun as well as a nice change of pace. I enjoy seeing more of the Federation outside the drab starbases, scientific outposts, and colonies we usually get to visit.

Plus it's nice to see someone other than Will Riker getting a chance for some good loving, lol.
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