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Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 10:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

@Trish

Your comment inspired me to watch this and it’s very close indeed. I believe the music you’re referring to is called a leitmotif. It’s used whenever Dr. Miranda is on screen (especially when we see her power).
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Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 10:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

It’s really just another problem with the episode. Here’s a chance to get into Risian culture and explain why people are freely giving away their bodies and why that might be “decadent” from a certain point of view. But it never gets there.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 11:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Return of the Archons

I think Peter G got this right, that much of the phrasing, costumes, and gesturing were trying to mock Christianity to an extent. However, the episode isn't consistently anti-Christian as the solution to beating the machine is telling them how important soul and human spirit are (which is a message aligned with Christian values).

Otherwise, yeah, it's a pretty generic Kirk versus the cult of bad ideology episode. The messages here get better treatment in "The Ultimate Computer", "This Side of Paradise" and even "The Apple". I did find it a pretty fun watch however, and you got to love Kirk being all cavalier the whole episode. The part where he tells one of the law guardians that "you better start looking for a new job" came off really funny considering the circumstances.
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Mon, Oct 7, 2019, 11:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Apocalypse Rising

@Elliott

I enjoyed your conversation with Starfleet that put Sisko on this mission (it's as good of an explanation as any, really) and agree generally you have to accept a handful of contrivances to enjoy this episode.

As for the disguises not working, you could say that they did fool basically all the Klingons which made them pretty good on the whole. As I mentioned in another discussion, Changelings seem to be really good observers and are therefor more perceptive when it comes to recognizing impostors. It's a kind of "it takes a spy to catch a spy" type of deal which I'm willing to accept, especially because it was foreshadowed by !ChangelingMartok's uneasiness when he saw Miles early on.
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Sat, Oct 5, 2019, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

@Springy

I think it made sense for Picard to try and make the best of a bad situation. Indeed, he didn’t even go as far as calling admiral Jarok a hero, he just praised him for his courage. I think this episode is trying to set up the Romulan dissident movement which comes up in later seasons. So, certainly to extent, we can say that Jarok’s actions inspired other Romulans to stand up against the hyper-militarization of their people. To put it in real world terms, it would be similar to a Russian general standing up against Putin trying trying to reinstate Soviet policies. Even if said general wasn’t exactly a hero, we could applaud the spirit of what he is trying to do.
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Thu, Oct 3, 2019, 8:58am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

Pretty enjoyable episode. The Sci-Fi device used in this episode was clever, allowing a war to be fought only with casualties of life instead of full-scale warfare. There’s a really great allegory here about Mutually Assured Destruction, where it may seem like two superpowers who hardly have contact with each other are fighting a war endlessly because an actual conflict would be disastrous. The power of this story’s message stirred some great debates here, to be sure.

General Order 24 cuts away from the point the writers were making, though. The writers seem to be against the idea of forcing a society to behave a certain way through threat of violence, yet the solution they give Kirk is to... force a society to behave a certain way through threat of violence. Can we imagine if an alien species came to 20th century and forced the USA and Soviet Union into a hot conflict?

Finally, Miko Mayama makes a small appearance as the Yeoman of the week. It’s nice to see some more ethnicity on the set and the actress is simply gorgeous.
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Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 10:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: A Simple Investigation

I agree with Rahul in regards to DS9. When you’re deep into the fifth season with this episode, you’ve already bought into the serialized structure of the series and should be expected to look outside the four corners of the episode for answers to character development.

Serialization has it’s risks and doesn’t always allow us to look over flaws. The horrible ending of the Ferengi arc in this series, for example, retroactively damages a lot of the strong Ferengi material before it.
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Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 8:55am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Errand of Mercy

I’m with Springy on this one. The confrontation scene between Kirk and the Organian leader seemed to play out the same way five or six times in the episode. The mystique built around the Organians is good, but the relentlessly quiet nature of the episode makes you wish they acted out sooner rather than later.

Shatner, Nimoy and John Colicos definitely make a feast of the morsels the script gives them. The bluster between the Federation-KE belies great parallels in the Cold War and it feels like the actors were eager to portray that angle.
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Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 10:18am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

@Peter

It’s interesting, I was just thinking about this one as an example of people acting “out of character”. I like your interpretation of the teaser and I think this is one of those episodes where the teaser does a good job of summarizing the episode.

What’s funny is the holodeck itself ends up being *too good* at replaying the events of the episode and it puts the ship in danger. Going by your interpretation, this may mirror Data’s abrasive candor towards Picard’s artwork.
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Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 9:54am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: A Simple Investigation

Don’t worry guys, I know how to laugh off dumb comments. So, I’m not convinced at all Odo was acting out of character in this episode. This episode has issues, but I think the romance is actually the best thing it has going for it. I might write some more up about if I get the time.
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Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 10:20am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: A Simple Investigation

What a productive discussion.
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Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 6:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: A Simple Investigation

Actually, I based my theory on facts from the series. I realize that Odo didn’t explicitly didn’t pick up on the fact that Arissa was an agent and was advancing a fun theory. If you simply make up that everyone that disagrees with you is some sort of blind fanboy then you’re removing yourself from a rational discussion.
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Sat, Sep 28, 2019, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: A Simple Investigation

While I agree with many of Lew Stone’s criticisms, the one about Odo and Arissa not being compatible because of their different backgrounds got me thinking. Odo is often touted as a keen observer of humanoid behavior and I wonder if on some subconscious level he picked up on the fact that Arissa was really a security operative in disguise. Perhaps it was something about Arissa‘s demeanor that made Odo think she had something more than a criminal history that made her worth protecting.

We know Odo himself has taken on other forms in order to conduct his investigations, so in that regard he must be able to relate to the kind of undercover work Arissa herself is really involved in. It’s hard for me to believe the writers weren’t thinking about this connection when they wrote this script.
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Mon, Sep 23, 2019, 6:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: For the Uniform

The only issue really is that his decision isn't given the proper weight by the episode. Poisoning the planet is supposed to be a plan to make Sisko "look like the bad guy", so it would've made more sense if it only looked like he poisoned it. The fact that the plan goes from pretending to actually doing puts the plan itself into question. Sisko and Dax aren't chessmasters catching Eddington in a trap, they're literally committing the crimes Eddington is accusing them of. So yeah, it's narratively an odd choice.
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Sun, Sep 22, 2019, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Treachery, Faith, and the Great River

People have been giving shout-outs to great Nog episodes due to the actor’s untimely passing. Well, here’s a favorite of mine.

Although the great material continuum strikes me as a bit of a retcon, it’s a good retcon, and really shows off what a capable Ferengi can do for Starfleet.
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Thu, Sep 19, 2019, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

Right, a Starfleet officer isn't property per se, but I think Yanks could make the argument that enlisting in Starfleet obliges you to certain rules and commitments the average civilian doesn't have (which might include, yes, self-sacrifice in the line of duty). I don't really know what category Tuvix falls into in terms of duty (and the episode itself isn't complex enough to ask this question). However, Tuvix does serve as a Starfleet officer and therefore may also be obligated to follow the rules and commitments .

As the episode plays out, though, Janeway's word is law, so even if Starfleet had certain regulations one way or the other, I'm pretty certain the crew as a whole has decided to let this big question be ultimately decided by the captain.
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Wed, Sep 18, 2019, 11:01am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

Yanks wrote:

"Whether Data is Star Fleet property of not was never determined. Judge Phillipa gave Data the "right to choose". (dodging all the tough questions like sentience) Data and all the officers and crew are the property of Star Fleet."

From The Measure of a Man:
"PHILLIPA: Is Data a machine? Yes. Is he the property of Starfleet? No."

I don't think you're giving TNG's writers enough credit. ;-)
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Wed, Sep 18, 2019, 10:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Who Mourns for Morn?

Maybe Morn *did* have lines but we just didn’t hear them as they were muffled by his suit?
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Tue, Sep 17, 2019, 9:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Image in the Sand

I don’t recall DS9 ever saying homegrown food actually tastes better as a matter of fact - rather, it’s an opinion. It could be that the labor put into growing, picking, and preparing your own food has a psychological value that feels good regardless of the actual flavor.
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Mon, Sep 16, 2019, 9:26am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

So I watched movies IV - VI this weekend because they were free on Amazon Prime. The infamous Row, Row, Row Your Boat scene is ironically a setup for a pivotal moment of the climax. When meeting !NotGod, Bones asks Kirk if this is all a dream, and Kirk answers “If that’s true then life is a dream.” Yeah, the rest of the rowboat song is the punchline of the film. They even put a boat steering wheel on the ENT-A so we’re sure not to miss the analogy. Let that boat analogy sink in (get it, sink? I kill me!), because apparently this is meant to be taken as mystic wisdom the film imparts.

Anyway, Jammer’s review is great. This is easily the worst of the Trek films - with Nemesis hot on its heels. The one thing I think it gets right is the idea that Kirk, Spock, and Bones need not fear death alone because they have each other. This almost makes the film worth it, but honestly after Search For Spock it feels like a message that could’ve been left unspoken.

Finally, I nearly jumped out of my chair reading William B’s review until about 3/4’s the way when I picked up on the gag. Bravo, sir!
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Tue, Sep 10, 2019, 11:30am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Enterprise Incident

Wow, what a treat! I don't know if it's because the actors started to really be close by the time this was produced, but I start to feel as if we're getting a glimpse of Feature Film TOS out of this episode. Although Kirk and Spock are in admittedly switched positions, much of the episode still feels right as we have the sly winking and good rapport between Kirk and Spock. It's as if their facial expressions and hand gestures are enough to communicate to each other what the plan *really* is. I also loved the bluster from Scotty in this episode, and it was fun seeing him go toe-to-toe with the Romulans in a combat situation.

William B wrote an exceptionally good review here, and I took from his snippet by DC Fontana that she was not happy with many of the things that came out of this. I suppose all great writers are perfectionists, but I don't think she's giving the final product enough credit. I'm not sure I agree that the Romulan Commander shouldn't be fooled by Spock. The Romulans are such a stubbornly prideful race and I can see them blindly thinking that they could get Vulcans to buy into their racial pride using power as a currency. It seems so alien to us, but to the Romulans, political power is everything, so it stands to reason that the Romulan Commander would think her offer to Spock was irresistible.

At any rate, I loved the conclusion of the story with the couple maintaining a relationship despite Spock's betrayal. It's as if why the Commander is mad at Spock for betraying her, yet she still respects a good political gambit. One might wonder if she ends up becoming a Federation citizen thanks to Spock's charismatic love for the Federation shown in this episode.
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Mon, Sep 9, 2019, 11:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Emissary

@Springy

I liked your juxtaposition of the Klingons who never grew or changed versus K'Ehleyr and Worf, who did change and were able to become people of great importance in their time because they could change and meet the needs of the times.

You mention that the problem of this week is contrived, but I wonder if they're not basing it off an existing Earth military circumstance. One that immediately springs to mind for me, is the Japanese who had militant remnants after WWII based on islands in isolation who for whatever reason didn't get the message from the Emperor that Japan surrendered. Anyway, I remember reading that it was difficult to handle these groups because despite their outdated notion of the conflict, they were ready to fight to the death with any foreigners who approached them.
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Sun, Sep 8, 2019, 2:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

Hmm, I honestly apologize Omni, that’s not really what I’m saying. Rather, I’m defending the rights of people who like the free love aspect of Trek. Since you brought up DS9, I want to point out there’s an episode where they go out of their way to put Dax in a mini-skirt and nylons as an homage to TOS. To those suggesting later Trek doesn’t go for sex appeal, I think they need to watch it more carefully.
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Sat, Sep 7, 2019, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

Skeptical wrote:
“If by "fan service", you mean "actually being made for fans of Star Trek", then maybe...”

Right, well I’m sure there are fans who’d argue that TOS with the miniskirts, open vests and all is *true* Star Trek and without that it feels like a different show. I think we can make an educated guess what Roddenberry would’ve preferred on the matter.
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Fri, Sep 6, 2019, 8:24am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

I think Peter’s answer #2 is the correct reading as it plays into the running gag of a Q pun title. Q is tapping humanity on the shoulder and letting it know there’s more to space exploration than it thinks.

Jason wrote:
“One thing though that is weird about the continuity that always bugged me is that Q Who takes place *before* Deja Q yet the crew asks him if he has been kicked out by the continuum again?! Totally weird.”

Yes, this was a bit confusing and read as a straight chain of events it feels like a plot hole. I suppose the correct way to interpret Deja Q is that offscreen Q was toying with species like those light beings which got him in even more serious trouble. And in that case, we could just say the events of Hide and Q put him on probation.
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