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Tue, Dec 11, 2018, 7:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

“And while DS9 didn't really "predict" anything, I still think it took big balls to write a story like this in the social climate of the 1990's. People where optimistic to the point of delusion in those days.“

Well yes, and no. Like I mentioned, this episode was based on a 1960s film that was literally politically controversial for its time. Generals under Kennedy then were against the film being made, but Kennedy not only liked the idea of the film, but offered to allow shots to be filmed at the White House. So yeah, the DS9 writers borrowed from audience-accepted controversies and added their own spin.
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Tue, Dec 11, 2018, 7:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@Iceman

Are you referring to "Conspiracy"? Lol. Well, I suppose it's in the same vein of conspiracies and fear resulting in a coup on government. But that TNG episode is really more of an action thriller foregoing a thoughtful discussion on terrorism in exchange for some chilling and high-octane scenes of alien infiltration and resistance (it wasn't futile in that case).

Back to DS9, I see what you mean about the timing and I'll give credit to the writers for picking up on a repeating historical trend and depicting it very well (this one's four stars for me, incidentally, because it does a great job of showing both why national security is necessary *and* how sometimes it goes too far - in the second part).
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Tue, Dec 11, 2018, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

It's also kind of funny that so many comments here think that DS9's writers were "prescient" and predicted 9/11 or something. This episode was based on a 1960s film "Seven Days in May" which depicted a right-wing general using the Red Scare to attempt a coup on the presidency. So I think at the most we can say is that history repeats itself and often the same lessons need to be relearned.
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Tue, Dec 11, 2018, 4:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

Wow, even before the review, this thread has an interesting history of Elliott's discussions. :-)

"This brings us back to my essential critique of this episode which I repeat: no effort is made to understand or explore the root causes of terrorism, merely the effects."

I wonder what you mean by this critique. The root cause of terrorism in this episode is the Changeling infiltrators. I think the episode, along with the sequel, goes pretty far in depth discussing the ability of Changelings to cause trouble on Earth. Are you perhaps saying that the episode doesn't explore what causes terrorism in the real world generally - I suppose the root cause of terrorism is some sort of perceived power imbalance by a fringe group that's became dangerously militant. But that real world cause of terrorism isn't really what's happening in this episode, as the terrorism here is mostly artificial. The Changelings aren't really trying to send a message about Federation values or anything, they're just trying to sow discontent so they'll be disorganized and easier to conquer.

P.S. - I think the badmiral's name is Leyton, I wasn't sure if your spelling was intentional or not.
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Tue, Dec 11, 2018, 11:30am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Second Skin

@Springy

"What a funny surprise to read about hot Cardassian women. (Note to self: Consider wearing a reptilian neck extension the next time you hit the bar scene for some action.) "

To be fair, Nana Visitor could probably make any Trek alien female look beautiful. Now that I think about it, it's really a shame "Apocalypse Rising" couldn't get Kira or Dax to be part of the Klingon infiltration group...
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Mon, Dec 10, 2018, 11:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Necessary Evil

@Springy

It sounds like you're describing "Meridian" and it's definitely a series low. Though I'll go ahead and point out that "Rejoined" is thematically similar although better executed.
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Fri, Dec 7, 2018, 3:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Crossover

I don't think DS9 and VOY's ratings tell the whole story, because VOY was part of a promotion to push the UPN network while DS9 existed in syndication. Check out the wikia and various other sources and you'll see VOY received much more promotional advertising and press than DS9. That DS9 still performed better than VOY in ratings overall really says something, I think.

My viewing experience is similar to Peter G's. Moreover, admittedly I don't really like the whole idea of a ship being stranded in the DQ away from what I consider the interesting Trekverse. Additionally, the publicity stunts and trailers for VOY made me feel like it was B-movie material. I'm glad I revisited some of the better Voyager episodes later, but I've always been skeptical of the show and thus try not to comment too much on it.
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Fri, Dec 7, 2018, 11:20am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

"It's always bugged me: where would you get the resources to build that thing? How long would it take?

240 million km in diameter...a sphere the size of the Earth's orbit of the sun...and so thick that the Enterprise can't blast a hole through it...

And then the whole thing is abandoned by an unknown civilization..."

Space is incredibly vast so we might imagine that there was once a collection of planets like the Federation or the Romulans (we also hear about the Iconians and Promelian Empire from "Booby Trap") that could muster the resources to create a Dyson sphere. I'll take a page from Asimov here, and point out that the Roman empire created an incredible infrastructure spanning Europe, Africa, and Asia with some of the buildings and structures still in operation today.

Like Ancient Rome though, perhaps this civilization was wiped out by invading forces like the Klingons or the Breen who sacked the capital which stopped the funding and trade supplies to the sphere. This is all just speculation, but part of the fun of these kinds of episodes is considering that there were once ancient methods and ways of spacefare that matched, or even beat the present Federation methodology.
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Wed, Dec 5, 2018, 6:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

"There's plenty of mixed race couples on DS9"

Well, two (O'Brien/Keiko Dax/Worf) but those are both holdovers from TNG.
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Wed, Dec 5, 2018, 11:06am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Our Man Bashir

I wouldn't think you'd need to be a Bond fan to like this one because as Peter G points out, Bashir never really goes deep into the Bond character. It's the same thing for like Austin Powers, which obviously references tons of Bond material, yet the characters and premise themselves can sell the film on their own. Catching the Bond references is more like bonus trivia to a story easily accessible to all.

The same's true for Data and his "Elementary, My Dear Data" material. (Admittedly, I've never read a Holmes novel) but his stories permeate pop culture to the extent that one's likely familiar with Holmes and parts of his stories without ever actually reading them. If I ever did read a Holmes novel, I'm sure I'd be thrilled to catch some of the source material TNG referenced.
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Tue, Dec 4, 2018, 10:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Our Man Bashir

“This is a fair point in a vacuum but...is Garak just super dense this week or what? The point of this isn't for Bashir to learn how to be a “real spy,” it's to keep the crew alive. This whole idea that Garak is getting butt-hurt, as the kids say, over Bashir's fantasy strikes me as way out of character.“

It always makes me laugh at how soon in the episode Garak starts talking like this. If he understands it’s just a game and it *is* written with a solution where everything turns out well in the end, he should at least try to look for the solution a bit first before giving up on the DS9 crew.

As an aside, did anyone else see this episode as a mulligan on the “Move Along Home” concept?
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Mon, Dec 3, 2018, 7:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

@Springy

Gotcha. I’m actually a fan of this one (Quark’s guile helps solve a mystery and beat the annoying lucky guy!). But I admit much of the enjoyment hinges on how much you like Quark at this point.
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Mon, Dec 3, 2018, 2:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

@Springy

I can see where you’re coming from with the Protestant service comparison to Catholic mass. May I ask how this episode reminded you of it?
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Mon, Dec 3, 2018, 9:43am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Measure of a Man

Certainly, you’d need a contrived set of circumstances to have Picard face Riker in a legal battle but it’s television and all in good fun.

One hole in your logic George Monet. The episode never says Data is making the challenge to Starfleet’s claim, and in fact Picard says explicitly *he’s* making the challenge. This situation isn’t so contrived as there were similar cases with slaves back when they were considered property and their owners were responsible for them.
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Sat, Nov 24, 2018, 9:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Code of Honor

I think that’s a very charitable spin on the episode and maybe it’s what the writers intended (although the production history says otherwise). Unfortunately, that vision is marred by heavy and unflattering 19th century colonial African stereotypes. If you want a really positive African character in this show, Geordi is there fully-clothed and ready to roll.
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Thu, Nov 22, 2018, 11:28am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Preemptive Strike

@Peter G.

Well, if Picard suspected Ro more sooner, he might’ve gone “For the Uniform” on her and had her beamed off the assignment and into the brig. Part of the real tragedy here is that he not only trusted Ro to do the right thing™, but he was confident that he could make anyone under his command believe in Starfleet.
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Thu, Nov 22, 2018, 9:02am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Preemptive Strike

@Glenn

Inaction? He didn’t find out until the final scene and he looked pretty ticked off. It was the last regular episode of the series so it was up to DS9 to finish off the Maquis story.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 7:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless

@Elliott & Peter G

When I first viewed this one on its airdate, I sort of believed Kor and Worf were capable of killing eachother over ambitious zealotry to retrieve the Holy Gr...I mean Sword of Kahless. So I think the episode sort of works in a bottle like Peter G said where all Klingons are somewhat violent at heart and when the stakes are high enough punching, stabbing, murder - you name it - are all on the table.

However, as I’ve rewatched TNG and “Blood Oath”, it really feels like there had to be some sort of unexplained magic curse - like an Indiana Jones artifact - in order for this story to work. Under normal circumstances, Worf would never seize power like he aspires to here (Hell, he’s had the chance to seize power numerous times including “Redemption” and he turned it down because of his honor - or we might say Federation influence but the point remains.) Kor also goes off the deep end in a way that’s really unflattering to the character and doesn’t really hold with the generally decent person we see in “Blood Oath” or even the first few acts here.

So yeah, I don’t even mind there being a curse per se, but even Indiana Jones was smart enough to explain its curses and give both possible magical and scientific reasoning for them. Without that, I feel like part of this episode is really lacking. To that end, throwing away the artifact seems like an outrageously drastic solution to a problem not well articulated.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 11:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Babel

@Springy

Brooks’ first great performance I think is in “The Nagus”. (minor spoiler) It’s not even a Sisko episode, but he makes the B story one of the best of its kind.
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Sun, Nov 18, 2018, 10:48am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Little Green Men

I don’t really understand the complaint. Quark said giving the humans technology would advance them 400 years (when DS9 takes place). How is that not canonical? It’s not like Zephram Cochrane discovered warp 1 and suddenly humans had replicators and quantum torpedoes.

And if we want to get really nerdy with canon, the warp system changed since Kirk’s era, so Quark’s ship can run circles even around the first NCC-1701.
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Fri, Nov 16, 2018, 4:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Little Green Men

@Elliott

It really is a funny episode, and despite the one-note characterization of the mains, their respective actors all give great performances to sell the story.

I’m struggling to come up with some sort of allegory for this episode, like the suspicious and violent military characters represent the bad humanity that Quark sees, and the super-friendly and accepting scientists are the loving and open-minded humans that Nog sees. I’m not quite sure the episode ever gets there on a critical thinking level. Maybe it’s all just a fun ride through the human history of “alien contact”.
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Fri, Nov 16, 2018, 1:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Renaissance Man

@Springy

You’ve watched ENT but not DS9? You need to fix that, ASAP.
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Thu, Nov 15, 2018, 10:27am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Hippocratic Oath

@Iceman

No worries. In all honesty, it’s kind of funny how little Star Trek explicitly used homosexual elements in this time, so I can see why “Chimera” deserves praise for staying off the radar and still reaching the message on another level.
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Wed, Nov 14, 2018, 1:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Starship Down

Interesting discussion guys, I really like the Quark material in this episode too. By all rights Quark seems to be the character who matures into a great person because of his honesty and ability to compromise. (spoiler) If Rom weren’t such a Gary Stu, Quark would’ve been a fitting Grand Nagus by the end of the show.
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Tue, Nov 13, 2018, 2:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Hippocratic Oath

Look guys, I get that some people like Star Trek shows where people are driven to desperation and start ignoring ethics and getting their hands dirty to solve problems, but at the same time it’s good to have shows like TNG that explore what a utopian future might look like if we took a higher path.
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