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Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 7:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Honor Among Thieves

Can't believe only one commentator thought it is worth a post scriptum notice that Nick Tate was chief-pilot in Space:1999 (leads Martin Landau + Barbara Bain), in fact one of the main characters in that 1970's sci-fi show, which was in my youth just as important to me as Star Trek TOS.
On the other end, I did not know Nick Tate had an episode in TNG, so thanks for that hint.
The years gone by ... If I weren't informed before, I probably would not have recognized N.T. here. But he still has his smile.
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Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Patterns of Force

I think it may be interesting to you all that this is the one and only TOS episode which did not get aired back then in Germany.
And not for decades...
Only after the xxth rerun, in early nineties (I think) someone bothered to give this a dubbing as German language version and bring it on TV screen (or rather, publish on a video cassette edition).
So, the memory of WW2 was fresh enough in end 60's German television (probably state-run ZDF) brass thought this would either hurt people or create legal problems with all those svastikas being shown (nazi symbols are forbidden in public, up to this day). This as a historical side note.

About the plot, it ends with a big amazement. Because the problem is simply solved by eliminating the leadership. What about the hate they have sown and exploited for years. How could it be everyone immediately forgets about it and is friends with the other faction? They swallowed the ideology and lived it to the last minute, it should be hard to get this out of their heads, particularly for the side with the upper hand who must have enjoyed their privileges the system brought them. So Gill does a speech about having done a mistake and everyone should stop molesting, suppressing, killing the others? This turn is quite unbelievable and too easy.
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Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 9:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Return to Tomorrow

Very enjoyable episode, nevertheless the moment when the transparent globes are no longer needed for switching souls (Kirk destroys them in sickbay actually giving up on Spock and Mulhall believed to be inside, a detail which does not bother anyone much), the logic string of the story telling is done for, unfortunately.
What's also a plot mistake, is the temptation the aliens feel by staying in human bodies instead of proceeding into robotic bodies later. Robots mean much more of an extended life expectancy (with changing parts as they may become defect) than clinging to mortal bodies which are aging and dying some day (or by accident quite suddenly). And being able to construct such sophisticated bots should mean also to incorporate some sensors in them coming close to human feel. After all, it's just nerve ends collecting the impulses and the result (as sensation) is still done in the brain.
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Wed, May 20, 2020, 3:23am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II

< < Simply put, the Terran Empire, as it has been shown to us in TOS and ENT, simply can't function. Why wouldn't "Empress" Hoshi be killed by Maywether? Why wouldn't Maywether be killed by whoever? > >

Indeed. The way those fascistoid evil societies are portrayed, with their ambition-kills-for-career-advancement, they can never function. Hoshi would soon be replaced by the next aspirant, the moment she steps off the ship or even sooner, once turning the back to somebody.

I understand however this was meant as a retro fest to TOS with references to several of their episodes combined, just for reassuring the audience what the roots of all this are.
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Tue, May 19, 2020, 11:11am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Bound

< < One final note: I thought the big "reveal" that it was the women who really ran the show despite all appearances to the contrary was pretty weak and a lame attempt to take the edge off any anticipated complaints about the episode's (alleged) sexism. > >

I did not buy the story tweak about suddenly men being the slaves and women being the owners/handlers.
Why? Because we see female Orions being held in cages and sold at auctions (in this very series, earlier episode). Not just sold to male Orions but to alien customers. So how are women supposed to rule the show if they get handed out to whoever is willing to pay the price and takes them to whereever. I don't see how this is either fine for them nor how they could possibly dominate, scattered across the known universe and subdued in alien cultures. It's a plain slave fate, and nothing can be altered storywise to that later without looking ridiculous.
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Sun, Jun 23, 2019, 2:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Shore Leave

Unnoticed yet:
This episode seems to be the first which introduced the closing pun among crew (Kirk and McCoy mostly) usually aiming at Spock, which became a feature in many episodes. So this is significant for the chemistry thing TOS is famous for, among other things.
Also enjoyable dry remarks of Spock to Kirk: the moment he tells Kirk he's supposed to go on shore leave, as has been honored already in comments here. And when he shows up after Kirk is done with beating up Finnegan, standing there at a distance and asking Kirk "Did you enjoy it?" Priceless.
Too bad they did not establish Yeoman Barrows as a new regular cast member. More sexy than Rand for sure.
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Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 10:30am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

"Is this the kind of wife you want, Ben? Not someone to help you. Not a wife to cook and sew and cry and need. But this kind. Selfish, vain, useless."
It's strange to find these lines for whom Gene Roddenberry himself is credited as writer of this episode. Him having a reputation as chasing girls and using the 'cast couch'. So actually he is a fan of the dolly type or "trophy wife" as the vain, beautiful but useless woman is referred to in the comments. Does he question his own motives here? Does he like to depict men as weak victims of their testosterone, easy to manipulate and means himself?
And I was aghast at the attitude of those miners. They would simply look on when a whole star ship of their species (and home world) would perish just because they could not get their deal agreed upon; dilithium crystals for Mudd's women. Does Kirk not have authority to force them if the life of his crew is at stake? If he has the authority to do a trial hearing on Mudd's past and intentions? Obviously he acts also as law enforcement in such situations, and where no regular local administration is present. He could have searched the mining facilities - and would have found the crystals, as the miner says at the end they are right there and don't need to be mined first.
As for the mail order bride - it still is existing. And there is still the type of women who was once called a "golddigger" who has the main goal to trap a rich guy and that's all she wants for a good life, using her beauty and various little helpers to emphasize the effect. So basically that is a timeless phenomenon. In the Sixties, in our years, and possibly in the future Star Trek is depicting. A continuum. As you can't change human nature (hope so).
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Sat, Oct 13, 2018, 4:51am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Hatchery

OK, so it was a barren planet with no atmosphere and the insectoid corpses they found were crew members which suffocated while making sure the hatchery was preserved. Away team comes in with protective suits and helmets on, obviously could not breath before reaching the hatchery which had a sort of airlock in front which pressurized while they were in. So far, so good...
... Later on everyone walks around in the ship wreck as if oxygen were no longer an issue (planetwise obviously) and the end about leaving 19 insectoid hatchlings running around with no suffocation risk complies with that. A logic failure of the storyline, making the barren planet suddenly a place which enables life conditions (or where would the oxygen come from with no plants producing it?).
However, if we remember a couple of ENT episodes, where a story detail did not make much sense for the episode alone, but turned out to be significant for the whole Xindi arc, the fact Enterprise helped insectoid Xindi hatchlings survive could later on reveal as an important detail which might influence the attitude of the Xindi towards Terrans/Earthlings at one point. We'll see.
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Fri, Sep 7, 2018, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Stratagem

Regarding that similarity to a Mission:Impossible plot, it isn't as late as season four what we want to look for, with episode "Submarine".
The ruse was done already in season one , episode 24, when they staged a fake train ride by hauling a disconnected railroad car into a hall and turning it into a simulator for target persons inside who have to be be kept believing they are traveling. Including basically the same machinery for giving bumps and screening of a passing landscape in front of the windows as done in the Enterprise episode.
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Mon, Jul 9, 2018, 4:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Charlie X

Great episode. Story, characters, development of plot. Even without the later joking/teasing remark at the closing moment of the show, you feel the chemistry between them is working as early as here.
I don't see the smiling of Spock while playing his instrument and being mocked by Uhura's singing as contradictionary to his character. He could just pretend not to bother about her but being concentrated on his own music thereby. We see them off duty in a recreational setting so the formalities don't apply here as they would on the bridge.
Playing chess, doing exercises in the gym, playing cards and nipping at drinks while socializing - the show does a good job at showing casual life on board of a ship en voyage. Also scenes with crewmembers working on engineer tasks, all this while developing the story around Charlie, or even the traffic in the corridors - it's enjoyable how the Enterprise is fleshed out as a ship with a living crew doing their job and having fun besides shifts on duty. They manage to do that without looking awkward or wooden, it has a 'natural' look. Something you don't see too such extent for example on ST Enterprise from 2003 so far I have accompanied its episodes (3rd season). TOS does the show and atmosphere very well and contributes to the authenticy it wants to convey.
And all this besides a strong story. Chapeau!
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Sun, Jul 8, 2018, 6:05am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: North Star

Bringing Wild West sets and stories into SciFi happens to be a pain in the ass each time it is attempted, and it was done several time across the various Star Trek series, starting with TOS. Why?
Wild West is Americana in purest form. So I think the show feels like it has to serve this at least once for it is basically American TV entertainment, makes feel people at home and stuff. A little playing around with cliches alright.
Second reason is there seems always a bunch of Wild West decos, sets and props around in a studio so why not use them for other shows? As they are cheap and just have to get borrowed...
The execution of the plot however was sound and flawless from professional point of view. Down to a rougher film material (or digital simulation of such) with mostly dusty brownish colors like in old western films.
Plotwise, I agree it is strange a colony of less than 10.000 people could still produce window glass, steel, ammunition and what else which requires technology and manufacturing. The presence of horses has been questioned for a reason. And it would have been more humanlike to adopt as much of the Skag technology as possible instead of extinguishing it completely and leave behind only ruins of a ship (did those alien colonists not build homes for themselves which must have looked different than those of 19th century Humans?).
The presence of the Enterprise crew I see justified by the discovery of Humans (in the sense of Earth people, DNA-wise, as has been said) on that planet. A month-long search for Xindi certainly leaves a day or two for opportunities like this. And you never know, from Archers point of view, if this exploration does not produce some connection with the Xindi which could be worth their time down there. As the series has already the connection Xindi-Humans, it makes sense to examine an isolated surprising presence of Humans accordingly.
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Wed, Jun 27, 2018, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Exile

Fine episode, in everything. Except...
... Things just became a bit too much when telepathic talents were not enough for Tarquin and had to be added storywise by sort of demi-god powers, as to switch off all energy on a ship in orbit.

A guy with such capabilities and no ambition to take over the ship Archer should make one of his crew members, a win-win-win situation indeed:
(1) Tarquin no longer lonely and has some adventure
(2) Archer gains a joker card working by telepathy and super powers for the mission and maybe beyond (alien lives for hundreds of years)
(3) Hoshi finds time on board to learn to appreciate his character just as he does hers. Without the dire circumstances of the creepy hideout on the planet. I think she was not rejected by his looks, more by his infiltration and obtrusion. He is quick to apologize and withdraw, so there is something to play with....
Just some ideas. :) And for whatever reason I don't miss Mayweather content.
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Tue, Jun 26, 2018, 1:33am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Impulse

While I generally dislike the zombie genre and think the film industry pushed the narrative about this Caribbean-African myth (voodoo) for entertainment purposes too much over decades since 'White Zombie', Vulcans turning into beasts under devastating influence of Trellium make sense to me storywise.
You just have to look into their distorted, mutated faces to understand the effect goes more far than just switching off logic and turning on paranoia. The Vulcan chief engineer interrogated by T'Pol isn't capable of recognizing her, a former ship mate, lest saying something. He was turned into a beast, we have to assume what's left of the Vulcan brain is an animal-like horde drive which makes them behave like they do. And other physical changes go along with it.
However, the issue why they haven't killed each other in the months of being stuck here in the asteroid field is a viable one. Also, how they survived such long,, what they are eating meantime or how they keep the remaining ship systems alive? Repairs, we learn, have been tried (like that sealing effort discovered by the away team) to little extent.
Commentators blame Archer for letting them die and not taking them on board the Enterprice for rescue. I don't think he had a choice. First, there is the mission to find the Xindi, which would be thwarted with 140 madmen on board. Second, how to bring them over and where to keep them in such way they don't turn against the crew? The only reason to rescue them would be to find a cure or study the effect on them by scientists later on Vulcan. But does that not turn the sick into guinea pigs/lab mice? Something questionable in itself?
As it is no contagious disease, you don't have to find necessarily an antidote for saving Vulcan civilization - just don't fly into the expanse if you are Vulcan, that is the only conclusion.
Atmosphere shown on the doomed vessel was excellently done and the exploration created tension. I was just wondering how that huge hole through the ship, evidently caused by a rock having shot through, did not cause a loss of air and what else comes deadly with no protection left from space.
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Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Duet

Two commentators already mentioned this episode about a remorseful labor camp officer reminds of the Nazis and their concentration camps and that was also my sentiment before reading this thread. (Or think of Gulag and Holodomor in Soviet Union, no less horrible, and these issues are even getting re-glorified today in Russia.)
But let's concentrate on the parallel to Nazi deeds and guilt.
The way Maaritza behaved you would like Eichmann to be, who coordinated railroad transportation to the concentration camps and got caught by the Israeli in South America, then was sentenced to death. Who gave the picture of the 'effective' German bureaucrat who pretends not to know anything about the killing but is somewhat proud of how well his field of responsibility was administered by him and his likes.
Eichmann was also a coward, but did not rise to greatness like Maaritza did under the torment of feeling his personal guilt. The Eichmanns of this world are saying they only follow orders and it's always someone up the ladder who is responsible, how could they be guilty of anything? They are well oiled cog wheels in a giant machinery; totalitarism. with ideology which redeems of personal guilt for "higher ideas", for the purpose set by the big boss - be it Hitler or Stalin or Mao or whoever else mass murderer.
Great episodes for reminding of such things. And how most people are not behaving, unfortunately, in real life. They hide away or even deny it happened. Or feel 'mighty effective' like bureaucrat Eichmann did, with no notion about the human tragedy they made possible.
The Bajoran who stabbed Maaritza at the end did him a favor, actually, because Maaritza wanted to be punished for the past, however, it did not happen on such scale that Cardassia would be judged in plain spotlight in front of a bigger audience and be forced to deal with its guilt (also makes me think of West Germany after the war, where some efforts into that direction were visible, contrary to East Germany). The little guy with his knife is also the personification of the revenge idea which haunted the survivors of Holocaust or the relatives of the victims, and remains completely understandable. A racist alright, but driven by strong emotions beyond his control.
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Sun, Jun 17, 2018, 9:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Dramatis Personae

I keep wondering why Odo had that 'seizure' following his talk with Quark, one would have to assume it had to do with aftermath of the matrix infiltration as well, or is it simply a pretext for bringing him on the table of Dr Bashir?
The clock-obsessed Sisko, otherwise lazy and careless, looks as if the writers took the historical figure of Louis XVI as role model, who also liked to do a little clock working as his hobby while neglecting politics - which led to the French Revolution...
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Fri, Jun 15, 2018, 3:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Anomaly

Well, we are used to 'Trek vision', 'Trek moral' and 'Trek civilization' from a number of preceding series, but can you use the knowledge you have a about rules of conduct in the times of TOS and TNG and so forth? Not really, because this series here is put on the beginning of the development which will finally evolve as the TOS and TNG rulebook.
Archer and starfleet may have the good will to act honorably when dealing with space and the races found out there, but up to now not too much appreciation was given to them in return - as someone says in this particular episode, everyone seemed to be keen on hurting them instead. So we have some sobering up here, a blow dealed by the Xindi demands determination. Archer has revised his previous behavior and came to the conclusion he was in deed too nice most of the time. We have to forgive his falling back into 'less civilized' human behavior such as torturing. Mankind is still just at the beginning of finding its future in the middle of other races and the Federation. Still some way to go. And it is like in real life; under stress and in exceptional situations the old 'barbarian' mindset comes popping up and pushes the 'civilized' cover aside for a glimpse of what we were thousands of years before. This is what Cpt Archer goes through, and it is understandable, given the circumstances - shock of the Xindi attack on Earth and the anomaly effect on ship and crew, which wonders as Trip does, if they are ever gonna make it back...
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