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CPUFP
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 12:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

@James:
"Elliott - While I admire the effort you put into your review, I thought it would be helpful to point out that people who read reviews generally aren't interested in lengthy descriptions of the events of the episode. If you haven't seen the episode then it's spoiler, and if you have then you already know what happened."

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The retelling of the plot is one fo the reasons I particularly like Elliott's reviews, as he often sees details I missed. Also, I sometimes like to go back to the discussion pages on episodes I've seen years ago, and his descriptions usually help me remember them vividly.
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CPUFP
Wed, Mar 20, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

In my few years on this page, I've come to accept a few eccentricites of the community that is posting here, like the fact that some of the people here genuinely believe in a philosophy as odd as libertarianism. And apart from DLPB's regular tantrums (which I usually simply skip over), the community here has always been really good at keeping debates civil and respectful. However, it seems to me that recently, the atmosphere is changing considerably. I've been reading more and more hateful comments on this page, up to genuinely racist comment such as the one from Dave on the 24th of January. I hope that this will eventually die out (or be dealt with through administrative work by Jammer).

Anyway, to say something about the episode at hand: What a missed opportunity. The writers could have said something relevant about the treatment of refugees, about xenophobia, about dealing with limited resources. But instead, we waste a lot of time with filler scenes that don't contribute to the story (even though Jake dating a Dabo girl and helping here study seemed like an interesting plotline that I would've liked to see more of). Plus, the whole conflict was made pointless by the M-class planet ex machina. In TNG, this might at least have been used as an opportunity to question the Skreeans' religious claim to a planet that they didn't even know existed until a few days before. I imagine that Picard would have put them in their place for turning down an entire hospitable planet that the Federation was just willing to give them, simply because of how they interpreted their prophecy. But apart from Keiko, noone on DS9 seems to have any interest in questitioning religion.
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CPUFP
Tue, Mar 12, 2019, 9:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rules of Acquisition

Wow, this is the worst comment section I‘ve seen so far on this site. From foaming-at-the-mouth rightwingers whining about „feminazis“ to cultural relativists who claim that all values are equally valid, this truly is the bottom of the barrel. Poor Jammer, I hope he won’t have to start moderating the comments.
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CPUFP
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Melora

Another episode where large portions of the plot depend on the station's personnel not doing their job, and where Quark is presented as everybody's chew toy.

This time, Quark reports to Odo that he's received fucking *death threats* by Fallit Kot - a guy who has a sufficient motive to kill him. And still, we're supposed to find this amusing, and to sympathize with a fascist asshole like Odo. Despite the fact that threatening to kill somebody is most definitely a crime, and despite the fact that Odo considers Fallit Kot "a man with nothing to lose", he still doesn't do anything to stop this criminal, and even jokes about wanting to buy a piece of Quark's soon-to-be-dead body.

Because of Odo's refusal to do his job, Fallit Kot ends up going on a crime spree, where he commits the following acts:
- Theft of a large sum of gold-pressed latinum, some priceless artifacts, and a runabout ship,
- Abduction of Quark, Melora, and Dax,
- Trying to force a Starfleet ensign to open fire on another Starfleet ship,
- Attempted murder of Quark and Melora,
- Murder of Ashrock.

...all because Odo was too busy chuckling over the idea of Quark being killed to do his job.

Conveniently, Odo is absent from the rest of the episode after he tells Quark that he doesn't plan to prevent his murder. Otherwise, the writers couldn't have written around the fact that by the end of the episode, Odo should be in a cell.
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CPUFP
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Invasive Procedures

Jadzia Dax continues to be the least-developed of the main cast (well, apart from Jake, but so far, he‘s only nominally a main cast member, while Dax at least gets plenty of screen time).

This episode could have been a great opportunity to show what part of her personality is provided by the symbiont Dax, and which by the host Jadzia. But instead, we simply get a Verad with boosted confidence and a Jadzia who feels alone without her symbiont (though I have to admit that both actors play these changes incredibly well).

What’s worse is that Dax in his new host seems completely willing to let Jadzia be killed. He doesn’t even want to visit her in sickbay! So either Dax is an immoral, egotistical ass-hat (which would explain why he’s such good friends with Sisko), or the writers just didn’t think this through. For the show‘s sake, I’ll go with the latter explanation. ;)
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CPUFP
Wed, Mar 6, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: First Season Recap

So we made it. To be honest, there were a few points where I thought I’d stop watching, but my good faith was more than rewarded with the season’s last few episodes, which showed a significant rise in the quality of storylines, characterization, and acting.

The main problem so far is that the show doesn’t really have a use for the wormhole. It just serves as a distraction from us getting to know the characters, and the situation in Bajor. During the first half of the season, the wormhole simply drops of aliens of the week, who are poorly characterized and immediately forgotten, just like most of the planets of the week the Enterprise used to visit. Also, there’s no sign that the Bajorans or the Federation have any idea about the strategic of the wormhole, safe for the handful of annoying ambassadors who come to visit in „The Forsaken“. This will of course change later during the Dominion War arch.

Story-wise, as Jammer has pointed out, the season’s strong points are with political and moral questions, rather than high concept science fiction. So far, the equally brutal and refined Cardassians prove much more interesting than the Bajorans, with their silly inner conflicts and insistence on their even sillier religious beliefs. But the shift from pure antagonistic resistance to the necessity of rebuilding a society, which requires diplomacy, political power play and compromises, is still promising, and in some of the Kira-centric episodes this aspects provides engaging storylines.

The season’s high points for me were easily “Duet”, “In The Hands Of The Prophets”, and the Odo/Troi scenes in The Forsaken”. On the other end of the spectrum would be the wormhole scenes in “The Emissary”, which I see as the same level as TNG stinkers like “Code Of Honor”, and “The Storyteller”. Apart from that, there aren’t really any episodes that are terrible as a whole, but a few on the lower end of average.

So far, each of the characters had at least one episode centered on them, but they’re not equally fleshed out, and certainly not acted at the same level.

- Sisko is the one with the richest backstory from the start. He has earned some military merits, but has been clinging to the past since his wife died, and has a history of renitence against his orders. As a result, he’s more or less disposed off with a position at the butthole of Federation space. It’s hard to understand yet what his motivations really are, other than indulging in past memories (mostly of his wife, baseball, and adventures with Curzon Dax) and being left alone. He usually takes the easiest way out of uncomfortable situations, shirking his responsibilities as commander on others, blackmailing, lying, and sometimes forcing others to lie for him to keep his own hands clean. So in general, he’s the anti-Picard, which is fine as a means to create conflict within the stories, but which makes one wonder how he could get this far in Starfleet. Despite Sisko being richly characterized, Avery Brooks seems to have no idea how to play him, and dominates his scenes with wide-eyed crazy looks, overacted gestures and odd little screams. At least his voice is great, but so far, Brooks is the worst of the cast. Let’s see how he develops further down the line.

- Sisko’s counterpoint on the station is Kira. We get a lot of insight into her life and motivations during the season, as she’s basically used to personify the struggles of the Bajoran people as a whole. Despite having somewhat of a learning curve towards the end of the season, she’s mostly written as an impulsive, undiplomatic zealot who has no business being the liaison officer to a foreign power. But since the Bajorans aren’t exactly the smartest when it comes to decision-making (see: destroying a moon with a breathable atmosphere and rich ecosystem in order to power 200.000 homes), they probably thought: What the hell? We might as well send her. The earlier episodes have Nana Visitor playing Kira as someone who’s continually screaming, banging her fists, and stomping her foot. But her acting improves vastly towards the season’s end, where she shines in “Progress” and “Duet”.


- So far, Odo is still rather enigmatic. Most of his backstory is only hinted at, especially his time on the station during Cardassian rule. He’s depicted as a no-nonsense, mostly joyless person, whose only goal is to provide justice, even it means breaking the law. Which he does so often that you wonder why anybody would keep up with it (well, anybody except for Sisko, who also goes by “the ends justify the means” pretty much most of the time). Especially in his behavior towards Quark, he behaves like a quasi-fascist asshole, which the writers seem to expect us to find acceptable because, well, it’s only Quark. But it makes Odo hardly relatable. This is only made up for by the superb acting skills of René Auberjonois, who, in spite of his face being covered in tons of latex, manages to transport all kinds of emotion with just a look, a tilt of the head, or a slight change in the tone of his voice.

- The second noteworthy actor in the cast so far is Armin Shimerman, who plays Quark as a rogue with a heart of gold, and makes even the worst Ferengi stereotypes in the scripts almost believable. While the Ferengi of TNG were simply horrible caricatures for comic relief, Quark is the first of them to be written and acted as an actual person, with their own beliefs and meaningful relationships to others. It’s also refreshing to see a civilian take up such a central position of the cast, and the contrast between his thinking and that of the station’s Starfleet/Bajoran personell sheds new perspectives on situations. Sadly, he’s still often written as the butt of jokes, and the show seems to think that it’s ok for all the other characters (mostly Odo, Kira and Sisko) to load all their crap onto him.


- It’s nice to see that O’Brien gets promoted to the main cast in this show. His role very much mirrors the one of TOS’s Scott, especially in the movies. He’s a technician uninterested in high concepts – as long as he can keep the engine running, he’s content. His family life is also given more screen time here, which serves to ground his character and to show us more of the scope of things going on at this station, with the various troubles going on in Keiko’s school. Colm Meany is the third and last good actor on the show, and it’s satisfying to see him in the spotlight, since he was always much better than many of the higher billed stars on TNG.

- At this point, I don’t know what to make of Dax, and the same seems to be true for the writers as well as Terry Farrell. On paper, she sounds like a fascinating character, who has lived through 300 years’ worth of memories and several different personalities. But apart from a few adventures Curzon had with Sisko, and a study on the general concept of what constitutes a Trill (“Dax”), we’re not offered anything about her actual personality and motives. So Farrell can be forgiven for portraying Dax as a sometimes nagging, but usually emotionless blank slate. I really hope though that the character and Farrell’s acting skills will get a time to shine in the coming season.


- Not really much can be said about Bashir up until now. He’s a young overachiever, he’s easily impressed and likes a challenge. Also, he’s super horny, but only in regard to Dax. Why? Given her so far non-existent personality, your guess is as good as mine – maybe he likes her because she’s a challenge too, since it’s almost impossible that a 300-year old should have an interest in someone as inexperienced as him. Alexander Siddig makes the best he can with the little he’s given. He’s not a great actor, but he plays the character convincingly, apart from the occasional over-acting.

- It’s unclear why Jake Sisko is even presented as member of the main cast at all, since all of his few stories happen in B- or C-plots. Where his father was the anti-Picard, Jake could be considered the anti-Wesley. He’s no wunderkind by any stretch, and his ambitions are limited to hanging around, impressing girls, and getting into trouble. So basically, he’s a modern-day teenager in a futuristic setting, which could be interesting, if he were given a little more room. Cirroc Lofton’s acting is ok – not stellar (after all, he’s just a teenager at this point), but also not as stiff as some of Will Wheaton’s earlier performances.


Honorable mentions should go to the recurring characters of Gul Dukat, Garak, and Nog, as well as their respective actors (Marc Alaimo, Andrew Robinson, and Aron Eisenberg), who outshine many members of the main cast. Wonderful performances are also being given by the guest stars Majel Barrett (as Lwaxana Troi) and Harris Yulin (as Marritza). Patrick Stewart, John de Lancie, and Jennifer Hetrick (as Vash) also give welcome guest appearances, but don’t manage to make that much of an impression.

Overall, a more or less solid first season, which only really finds its footing towards its end, and a promising start for things to come.
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CPUFP
Tue, Mar 5, 2019, 5:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: The Forsaken

Lwaxana Troi gets a good share of hatred from the fandom, but I find her to be among the best tertiary characters of all Star Trek shows. She's flamboyant, joyful, and open-minded, plus she's probably the only person in the whole galaxy with a healthy attitude towards sex and the human(oid) body. The fact that Majel Barrett-Roddenberry is one of the most skilled actors among the cast of the Trek franchise doesn't exactly hurt the character either. The only thing keeping Lwaxana down is that in most stories, she's reduced to a silly comic relief gimmick that would be more at home in a 1950's sitcom. But when written right, she's a fascinating character full of grace and understanding.

Fortunately, this is what this episode achieves in the turbolift scenes, after a slow start with the usual "pompous middle-aged woman desperately searching for a husband" crap. Lwaxana and Odo are both used to shape themselves in certain ways in order to control how the outside world sees them, and when they get to open up to one another, we're presented with deep insights into what makes them tick. Barrett-Roddenberry and Auberjonois have incredible chemistry together, and manage to say so much with little gestures, looks, or the tone of their voices. Easily the high point of this episode, and among the best moments of season 1 so far.

Sadly, this isn't the only storyline in this episode - instead we get two more plotlines, which both don't go anywhere and just take up valuable screentime.

The AI / pup plot was a big heap of bad Trek IT, covered up with technobabble and far-fetched analogies (the program "doesn't like being left alone" - sure, mate). So a previously unknown lifeform from the Gamma Quadrant attaches itself to the station's main computer, and O'Brien just keeps it as a pet? Why is nobody inerested in studying it, or voicing concerns about how it could compromise the station? At least Meany's acting skills manage to make some of his scenes almost entertaining, but apart from that, this plot is an absolute stinker, with an overused premise and nothing to tell us about the characters or their world.

The third plotline seems like an afterthought: Once again, Sisko would rather sit in his office thinking about baseball all day than do his fucking job for once, and piles his diplomatic duties on someone else's shoulders. Well, he seems to have learned from the events of "Move Along Home", and at least assigns the task to a fellow Starfleet officer, instead of forcing it onto an independent businessman who's not even a Federation citizen. Of course, Sisko still sends his Chief Medical Officer, instead of, say, the Science Officer, who could have actually told the guests a little about the wormhole they had come to study, but who cares? Apart from annoying everybody on the station, the ambassadors don't really do anything anyway, and Bashir's big moment where he suddenly gains their respect mostly happens off-screen.

This last plot could actually have been interesting, if given some breathing space. Federation diplomacy is one of the aspects of Trek I find most fascinating, and I loved the wormhole negotiation scenes in TNG's "The Price". It's strange that DS9 doesn't show more of how the discovery of the Gamma Quadrant passage affects the Federation and its neighboring powers - shouldn't the station be swarming with ships eager to explore what's out there? Shouldn't there be permanent residencies by Federation diplomats on the station, instead of leaving this post to a guy whose last diplomatic mission ended in him punching an ambassador in the face? It's like the show can't decide yet which premise it wants to follow: Is DS9 an outpost on the frontier of Federation space, manned by a rag-tag bunch of misfits? Or is it the gate to new part of the galaxy, ripe with exciting opportunities for exploration, trade, and cultural exchange?
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CPUFP
Sun, Mar 3, 2019, 3:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

The show starts with an intriguing premise, setting DS9 up as the antithesis of TNG.

Instead of Starfleet's shiny new flagship, the action is set on a run-down, Cardassian-built station on the edges of Federation space. Instead of Starfleet's cream of the crop, we get a crew comprised of second-rate Starfleet officers and Bajoran officials. Instead of an educated moral philosopher as captain, the leading officer is an impulsive, stern single father, whose wife lost her life in the battle with Locutus/Picard. Instead of a spaceship flying to a new part of the galaxy every week, we get a space station near a war-torn, non-Federation planet, with the backdrop of the Bajoran-Cardassian conflict promising some political suspense.

But the pilot manages to destroy a bunch of these promises: The Bajorans are presented as a dull, backwards people who have built their entire culture around slavish religious beliefs - which makes sense for a population coming out of 50 years of destructive occupation, but which hardly qualifies them as interesting characters for more than a handful of episodes. Spoiler alert: Kai Opaka, Bajor's local space pope and supreme provider of esoteric gibberish, will thankfully be put on a bus halfway through the season.

Even worse, the show's stationary setting is done away with through the introduction of the stable wormhole, which means that instead of TNG's planet of the week, we'll have DS9's visiting Gamma Quadrant aliens of the week (at least during the first season).

The wormhole brings another big problem: The Prophets, a race of aliens living in the wormhole who are revered as gods by the Bajorans. Their non-linear existence could provide some interesting philosophical debates about the humanoid condition if they had turned up in TNG and met Picard, who would probably also have argued to the Bajorans that they don't need the guidance of supposedly higher beings to take care of their own lives. But in DS9, nobody thinks of critizing religion, and instead we get to see awkward scenes in softporn aesthetic of Sisko making funny noises on the beach, and boring stories about baseball.

Apart from setting the stage for the later developments in the series, the only aspect making the pilot watchable is the Odo-Quark dynamic. It's amazing how Armin Shimerman's acting could turn a member of TNG's most obnoxious and one-dimensional race into a relatable character.
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CPUFP
Fri, Mar 1, 2019, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: The Storyteller

I think it's amazing how high Jammer rated these early episodes. By this point, the only episodes I found worth watching were Past Prologue, Capitive Pursuit, Babel, Q-Less, and Vortex. The rest was on the level of TNG's first season. It's been 25 years since I've first watched DS9, and I don't remember most of it, so I'm curious how the next seasons will improve upon the show.
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CPUFP
Tue, Feb 5, 2019, 2:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: The Nagus

Wow, just wow. I didn't think it were possible, but this was even worse than the previous episode. You'd think that with the premise of the episode, the culture of the Ferengi might finally become fleshed out a little. But instead, it's just 45 minutes of the same, annoying, offensive one-trick pony crap we already know from their few appearances on TNG. So they're a space-faring race doing intergalactic trade, yet don't teach their kids how to read? It's obvious that a culture like the Ferengi's could never survive on a planet-wide scale, let alone develop to the point of space travel. Yet here they are, taking up a significant amount of screentime during a seven-season show, with characters who all don't have any other defining characteristics than being greedy. So at what point does DS9 actually become watchable?
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CPUFP
Mon, Feb 4, 2019, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Move Along Home

In this episode, Sisko can't be arsed to do his job as commander, so instead of taking proper care of his VIP guests, he leaves a first contact mission in the hands (and at the expense) of his local barkeeper, who's neither a member of Starfleet nor a representative of the Bajoran government, and who's only still on the station because Sisko blackmailed him in the pilot episode. Predictably, Quark acts not in accordance with Starfleet protocol, but follows the cultural rules of his own people, and tries to cheat the guests. So what, Sisko couldn't have guessed that this would happen? And after Sisko's own laziness almost gets himself and his senior officers killed, he still blames Quark for all of it. Geez, I see why Starfleet parked a guy like Sisko at their most remote outpost - what I don't get though is why after the discovery of the wormhole, they don't put the station in the hands of someone more competent.
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CPUFP
Sun, Feb 3, 2019, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Dax

I really don't understand the praise this episode is getting. The whole story makes no sense and is full of plot holes. The philosophical question at the plot's core, though interesting, is never resolved. And worst of all: The episode puts the two worst actors of the cast, Farrell and Brools, at the forefront, who do nothing to get the viewer invested in anything that is happening on the screen. I found this much harder to watch than "Q-Less", which, though silly, was at least entertaining and featured two guest actors who actually knew how to act.
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CPUFP
Fri, Nov 24, 2017, 6:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@Ed

If he keeps Tyler as his main identity, but is drawn into an identity crisis by learning that he once was Voq, I'd also say there could be potential for interesting stories. What I'd hate though is if he was reprogrammed into Voq, and all the character building and the emotional investment the audience has put into the character would just be thrown away. As of now, I don't really know what to expect from the writers.
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CPUFP
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 8:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

At last, a little bit of closure on some of all those unanswered questions the show has presented us with so far. I was disappointed that apparently the rumors of Tyler being Voq are true. I had hoped for a more original resolution to this arc - though to be honest, I would not have minded if the writers had just dropped it unresolved, because Voq's appearances until now have left me completely uninvested in the character. Let's hope the writers start bringing in some other alien cultures, because it seems to me that this version of the Klingons does not really have that much potential for more storylines. They're not relatable as individuals, and as a culture, they're pretty much a one trick pony, far from the complex society established on TNG. I'd like Discovery to give us some more info on that era's Vulcans, maybe some Andorian characters like they had in Enterprise, or elaborate more on the Kelpians.
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CPUFP
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 8:05am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

This was the first episode where the humor felt organic to me, even though I wish they would've toned down the 20th century pop culture references and the slapstick wackiness on the Krill ship. The show is dealing exactly with the kind of issues I want to see on a sci-fi program.

One thing about the episode's resolution bothers me though: Mercer and Malloy killing the Krill seemed forced. Couldn't they have just turned up the lights for a short period in order to incapacitate the Krill, destroy the rocket, smash the ship's controls and escpape in the shuttle? Granted, it would have been riskier, but it would've seemed more in line with what he have thus seen of Mercer's and the Union's moral code than just brutally killing all the adult men on the ship. Of course, then there would not have been an oppurtiny for the "violence begets violence" message the episode finished on.
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CPUFP
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

As some commenters have pointed out, the behavior of the Klingons on this show really isn't in conflict with what we know about them from established canon.

The Klingon warriors the TOS crew encountered were always shown as ruthless, lying cowards whose approach to maintaining the Empire was basically "the ends justify the means". The Klingons' use of slave laborers is well documented in TOS and the movies, so it's not really a stretch to imagine them keeping sex slaves and using torture.

Klingons only started talking about honor during "The Undiscovered Country" and TNG, and that was around a time when the Empire was in decline and parts of its elite alluded to old traditions in an attempt to regain some of their culture's lost strength.

The Klingons' constant talk about honor, war and their glorious past during TNG, DS9 and VOY could also be interpreted as them simply compensating for a fear of loss of identity, since that was exactly the time when the Klingon Empire went from a period of aggressive expansion to a new era of peaceful cooperation with the Federation. Don't forget that much of what we today view as "how Klingons are" is shaped by the portrayal of Worf, who, being the only Klingon in Starfleet, was more concerned about upholding their cultural tradition than any of his contemporaries in the Empire. And during the TNG arc about Worf's father, we got to see that the Empire's government was still run by corrupt cowards.

Moreover, during ENT (there was this one episode with the Klingon lawyer, I don't remember the title), there were a few hints at groups in Klingon society that had different goals for their world's development, but were pushed to the side.

All in all, when you look at the canon in its entirety, Klingon society and politics are presented as much more diverse and much less focused on the moral conduct of honorable warriors than one might think at first glance, and the T'Kuvma Klingons shown in Discovery are just one specific faction within this society.
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CPUFP
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 6:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: About a Girl

Overall a pretty good episode. I liked how they handled the topic of "correctional" sex assignment at birth, even calling in question earth practices like correcting a cleft pallate or circumcision (btw, I sincerely hope that circumcision as a cultural practice will be long gone by the 25th century).

The ending was solid - cultural customs aren't changed by one sudden revelation, but with the famous author outing herself as a woman, we can at least hope that Moclan society will gradually change, and it was heartwarming to see Bortus und Klyden reconcile and look forward to providing for their child's future.

So far, Bortus' arc has been the most interesting part of the show for me, and I like that, even though their culture is presented as problematic, the Moclans are still shown as people with believable individual motivations. In that regard, The Orville is more Trekkian than Discovery's portrayal of the Klingons as being characterized by nothing but violence and fear.

The only part that didn't work for me (apart from the terrible humor, which I hope will be dropped as the series continues) was the courtroom scene. If female Moclans are so rare and are usually changed into males at birth, why do the Moclans have such a clear concept of women being physically and intellectually inferior to men? If the Moclans procreate within one sex only, how come they even have a concept of a male-female binary sexuality? And why does no-one call bullshit when Grayson tries to prove the capabilities of Moclan women by referring to other species from different planets? The answer to these questions is, of course, that this is all just an allegory, but if McFarlane intends to do some worldbuilding with this show, then he should at least give this world some consistency.
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CPUFP
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

Yes, the plot and many of the individual scenes are dead horse tropes, but this episode actually got me invested in the characters. I particarly liked the Bortus subplot, which showed him as honestly caring for his family. There were a lot of ways that story could have been done wrongly, and I'm glad the were all avoided. The scenes in the zoo were not that great story-wise, but had some cool visual designs. All in all the show, though mostly average, has enough going for it to keep me watching.

The only real issue for me is the humor. If McFarlane wants to do a Star Trek parody, then he should do that. But doing what at most of the time feels like an honest TNG hommage, and then having the characters make dick jokes and dropping constant references to 20th/21th century pop culture is just insincere. I especially hope that McFarlane will find use for the character of LaMarr apart from being a provider of cringy one-liners.
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CPUFP
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Thanks to Hank for pointing this out: The Klingons in this show would really fit in nicely in the first season of Lexx. They aesthetic of their ships (both exterior and interior) and their obession with torture and death - even adding their fallen soldiers' caskets to their ships - make them seem more like a branch of The Divine Order than the Klingons we have come to know.
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CPUFP
Fri, Dec 11, 2015, 10:25am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: And the Children Shall Lead

Five episodes into the third season (I'm watching TOS in production order) and so far I'm pleasantly surprised - of course I haven't seen Spock's Brain yet.

This one here didn't have the best plot, acting (Shatner was obviously just phoning in on this one) or guest stars, but it wasn't exactly bad either. I actually found a few elements here quite scary - the children's performance (especially the red-haired boy), the alien's speeches and the fact that those two redshirts were simply beamed into empty space. The resolution, though a tad too simple, was also quite moving to me. So in spite of all its flaws, I'd give this episode at least 2 stars.
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CPUFP
Mon, Nov 30, 2015, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

Oh, almost forgot: Didn't you just love Spock's comment on the parallel Earth trope? "Kohms? Communists? The parallel is almost too close, Captain."
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CPUFP
Mon, Nov 30, 2015, 9:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

I agree with the few positive remarks Dan A. and William B made. To me, the episode's message was that even a society which prides itself on being built on democracy and personal liberty can devolve into barbarism in the course of war if it treats its own civic symbols and texts as religious artifacts, dehumanizes its enemies and stops seeing them as worthy of the same liberties as its own citizens. So at its core, the episode actually had a few points going for it as a comment on the US's role in the Cold War, and that actually was enough to make me forgive the whole flag-waving, parallel Earth nonsense and plot inconsistencies.

One detail I found funny, in addition to all that has been said above by other commenters, is the return of the "trapped in a cell without guards" trope, which has saved the skin of a lot of Starfleet officers in the 23rd and 24th centuries (though it is not exclusively used in the Star Trek franchise). After being beaten unconscious by the Yangs, Kirk is lying in his cell for seven hours without anybody checking on him. But granted, there was only one Kohm guard in the whole facility, and he had his hands full with stopping McCoy from flirting with the meal delivery lady!
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CPUFP
Sun, Nov 8, 2015, 2:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: A Private Little War

I too found the Mugato ridiculous, but I think it does serve a certain function in the story. The Mugato seems to be the only natural predator of the hill people. In the beginning of the episode, Kirk even says something like "It'd Paradise here, if it were not for the Mugato." But when the villagers are equipped with firearms, they become much bigger threats to the lives of the hill people, even though they are of the same species. So I guess the Mugato's purpose in the story is to remind us of the dangers of nature to man, which are no match to man's own danger to himself when he turns to violence and war.
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CPUFP
Sun, Oct 11, 2015, 1:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

Well, this really was not much, but I liked the scene where Kirk reminisced about one of the killed redshirts, how he had known his family etc. At least a little attempt at making these guys more than plot cannon fodder.
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CPUFP
Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

Since William B has already pointed out the most important things about this episode, I'd just like to say that I was amazed by Apollo's lack of nipples. I know that cartoon figures of the era were not allowed to have them (well, not just only this era - even 20 years later, He-Man did not have any), but it was still pretty amazing to me to see that there were no visible nipples at all on the actor. A big thumbs up to the make-up crew!
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