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Chrome
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

Sorry, I was thinking of Mercedes Ruehl who acts, looks, and talks a lot like Marta Dubois.

That said, Dubois appeared in Magnum P.I., MacGuyver, and Law & Order in addition to dozens of other TV roles, so I’d hardly say she’s an amateur.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 10:50am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

I have to admit I have no idea what you guys are talking about. After a quick Google I find that (a) Jill Abbott is a fictional person, played by an actress who did not appear on Frasier, and that Ardra was played by Marta Dubois, who also never appeared on Frasier.

So...?
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Chrome
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 10:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

@SLB

Jill Abbott was great in Frasier and I think she works here. You need someone who can ham it up if they’re pretending they have godly powers.
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Del_Duio
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 10:20am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

I always liked this episode a lot, and I don't think anybody saw that ending coming.

Also, welcome back Elliot!
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William B
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

Elliott! Glad to have you back! Though sadly, you missed my going through Voyager last year.
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Joe Menta
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 6:48am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Alternative Factor

Where was Scotty? Why was Engineering relocated to some broom closet sized room off some random corridor? And yes, it was indeed ludicrous that Lazarus was allowed to simply roam around the Enterprise as he saw fit. Lol, strange episode.
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James
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 5:54am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

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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Sooty
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 3:30am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Warhead

After rewatching a few times. Im in my 1 ep a night of voyaver at the moment, as soon as I finish the series I start on TOS then the cycle starts again. I think its a solid episode, sure the doc is a bit over the top and it's a bit of a rehash. I think there is fun to be had in the night shift element. I wouldn't put Harry in charge of a brewery piss up but hey Catherine must know something we don't. 2.5 to 3 stars for me.
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Contumacious
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 12:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

This is one of my favorite episodes of TNG, however, I'm always bothered by how apparently naive Jarok was for supposedly being an Admiral no less.
What did he expect the Federation to do?
Run head-long into a war with the Romulan Empire, based solely on Jarok's word?
Would the Romulans have done that?
He's also apparently annoyed at the fact that they wanted to examine his ship.
Wouldn't he have ordered the same thing in Picard's shoes? Or would he would have told his engineers that Federation technology was none of their business.

Then finally he's shocked to learn that the Romulans resorted to less than honorable means to achieve their goal in exposing him.

I think that blow to his head did more damage than Dr. Crusher realized.

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Ben
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 10:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Time's Arrow, Part I

I have a soft spot in my heart for this episode, because I remember when it originally aired and how excited I felt watching it (then the loooong summer wait for part 2). For me, it still holds up quite well on rewatch. The reveal of "Data's head" is fun to see even if you know it's coming. The phase shift in the cave was very well done. When we finally meet the Devidians they (especially the woman) are just the right amount of creepy, and the ivory snake cane is a master touch. I love Star Trek dress-up and time-travel episodes -- Star Trek IV has always been my favorite for that reason -- and I thoroughly enjoyed the crew romping around in 19th Century San Francisco. The Mark Twain character didn't dominate Part I as he did Part II so he was more enjoyable/goofy than annoying in this one.

There are some great lines here, especially early on as the crew tiptoes in comical fashion around Data's death, and Brent Spiner had great comic timing in those scenes, especially "I am also fond of you, Commander." Then there's Troi in the cave -- "There's life here. A child. An old woman. Dozens more. Hundreds. Terrified." And Data in the cave narrating the Devidians' draining of life with scientific precision, which only increases the horror. Picard to Guinan: "I haven't seen such a complex operation since the Academy lab final in exochemistry. " And finally Troi again in the cave, "There is no life here. What I have sensed is more like an imprint. An echo of the last moment of life. Human life. They all died in terror ." These are all great lines and really build the suspense.

Jammer may be right that the episode is "all setup and absolutely no payoff," but when the setup is fun to watch, and the actors seem to be enjoying themselves immensely, who cares? Star Trek -- like most shows -- rises and falls with the characters. In this episode, they're all at their likable best. And for that, plus the suspense and elaborate build-up, I'd give 3.5 stars.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

And the role of Ardra is being played today by Jill Foster Abbott.

Dear God in Heaven! That was an over-the-performance and the biggest weakness of the show.

The actress appears to have studied with Brenda Dickson, the ultrashallow actress who played Jill on "The Young & The Restless" back in the '80s.
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Elliott Fan
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 10:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

Yes!! I welcome some alternative takes on these DS9 reviews.
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Rahul
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

These kinds of TNG episodes seem like a dime a dozen -- predictable 2-plot affairs that can drag for stretches, leading to an arbitrary technobabble ending. Geordi's crush on Brahms -- I suppose it's fine to re-visit it but it was all too predictable that, after Leah being aghast at Geordi's holodeck recreation they'd find a way to smooth it over and connect to the B-plot of getting the alien off the ship's hull.

The thing is we might feel for Geordi in that he's the typical engineering geek and a genuine person with good intentions -- but it makes sense that Brahms would not like being turned into a holodeck character and being fantasized about. So Geordi is a creep. Wish his actions weren't interpretable in that way.

And how Geordi misses that she's married is downright bizarre. What was also abrupt was why Brahms started opening up about people finding her cold and then she says it would be inappropriate to stay for dinner. Why start to open up in the first place?

Read that the actress for Brahms was considered for Janeway's character -- completely agree with her rejection. Wasn't particularly impressed her acting here.

As for the B-plot with the "Tin Man" like creature -- the best part was Picard's reaction after the Enterprise kills the mother accidentally. Stewart has some of the best facial expressions. There's the usual frantic part at the end about technobabble trying to "sour the milk" before other aliens get to the ship -- and of course it works in the nick of time. No surprise, no suspense.

2 stars for "Galaxy's Child" -- a reminder that Geordi's character has some women issues and hopefully Guinan's words about seeing a woman for who she is and not who he wants her to be take hold. Some mildly interesting sci-fi with the aliens, however it doesn't seem like the ship makes any progress understanding them and the episode just becomes a mechanical exercise in getting rid of it. One of those overall middling episodes.
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Elliott
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

Hello long-estranged Jammers Reviews community! With the renewed interest in Trek, mixed to positive reviews of Discovery everywhere, and some unexpected free time on my hands, I decided to pick up where I left off, re-treading Jammer's well-excavated path. I noticed a couple of comments lamenting my departure, although I'm sure there are others who were just as happy to see me go. Ah well, to hell with it, let's get back into DS9.

Teaser : ***.5 , 5%

We begin with Miles entering the wormhole alone in a runabout (at warp?). He's heading to the Parada system, and has about an hour to kill (hey, me too!). Of note, he is not wearing his combadge. He decides to give a personal log entry. Just like in “Necessary Evil,” the writers wisely re-purpose this Trek trope to do something meaningful with their protagonist. After ordering himself a drink (sidenote: if you put sugar in your coffee, you can go to hell), what emerges is a sense that O'Brien is disturbed, uncertain, and frightened, but reasonably secure in his decision to be on the journey he's on now.

He flashes back to waking up in his quarters on DS9 after a trip. Keiko apparently tried to have Molly fed and out the door before he got up. Both of them, Keiko and Molly are openly hostile towards him, but...Keiko perks up slightly when Miles starts talking about the training he received on Paradas (where he is returning to in the present). Chao's performance clearly demonstrates that she is, for some reason, disturbed or disgusted with Miles. Her elusive answers to him suggest infidelity of some sort.

Miles shows up at work, only to discover that one of his subordinates has begun a security project ahead of schedule—on orders from Sisko, thus subverting the chain of command and adding to Miles' irritation. When he enters the promenade, he is visibly wounded to see the two people who have apparently been fucking with him all morning engaged in conversation, Keiko having obviously lied to him about her workload and plans. Is she having an affair with Sisko?

I'm liking the paranoia and performance from Meaney so far, but the teaser is just a bit too long in my opinion. Ending before the flashback began, or offering just one scene in the past would have been much better, but we actually have a little prologue AND actual plot in what is supposed to be a teaser for the plot itself.

Act 1 : ***.5, 17%

In the present, Miles discovers that he is being followed by another runabout from DS9. He continues is log/flashback. Miles describes the actions of Sisko and his wife as “curious.” Frankly, if I discovered that my spouse was actively lying to me, even about something mundane, I would find the situation more than curious, but Miles is a patient man when it comes to his family. Bashir confronts him before he has a chance to talk to Sisko, even threatening to make an order out of the physical he insists on performing. ASAP. Well, that's one way to further the intimacy between the two. Sisko steps into the frame long enough to make it clear to Miles that this is happening. First though, Sisko placates Miles about the subversion of protocol and asks him about “the kinds of things we don't include in reports” regarding the Paradans. So, when Picard discovered that information was missing on the reports on the Pegasus mutiny, he was so angry that it led to the court-martial of an admiral and dressing down of his first officer of seven years. Commander I-have-no-principles just expects his officers to omit important information from their reports. Grand. At any rate, it turns out that ALL of the upper pilons have broken during Miles' trip, meaning that he has a great deal of work ahead of him after his physical. Oh and that illicit conversation between Sisko and Keiko? Sisko claims that Jake is having trouble in school.

Now on to the fun! The only way to make it clearer that Bashir has been abundantly thorough in Miles' physical would be for him to be snapping off the latex gloves at the start of the next scene while Miles gingerly sits himself back down. He is equally probing in his questions, while Miles has an endless supply of Irish sarcasm to counter. It's a pretty amusing back and forth, offering a different dimension to the odd behaviour Miles is experiencing from his familiars on the station. An odd bit is that apparently, Miles' mother died right before he transferred to DS9. Miles finally blows up at Bashir, thinking there must be something terminally wrong with him—but Bashir cuts him off before he can continue. In both these previous scenes, the camera lingers on the interviewer (Sisko, then Bashir) looking confused and concerned.

Jake runs into Miles. Lofton has apparently been directed to move his hands every time he talks, like some sort of prohibition-era Italian gangster. It is revealed that Sisko also lied to him, as Jake's grades are just fine, thank you. What has been quite effective in the story-telling is that there's clearly a mystery as to why everyone is acting so strangely—and we know from the framing device where this will eventually lead—but, like Miles, we are being jerked around and frustrated in our attempts to even consider the mystery. This creates a strong empathy with Miles himself.

Act 2 : ****, 17%

Poor Miles discovers that the difficulty with the upper pilons is subtle and going to take a great deal of time to resolve, keeping him away from the security arrangements with the Paradans. When he takes a break to check in, his subordinate cannot grant him access without permission from Kira. So O'Brien calls her up, and it turns out that Sisko is eavesdropping on the call. He dismisses Miles' request and orders him back to the pilons, embarrassing him. When he walks away, he sneaks a peak back at the door and the subordinate walks right in without any access code from Kira. Something is definitely wrong.

Later, we seek Jake being stared at by a wayward Pakled—ahem. Miles invites him over to work on his school project—where, presumably, he can confront Keiko about her and Sisko's deception in private. Before he can question Jake further, Kira appears, seemingly out of no where, to tell Jake that Sisko is looking for him.

By the end of the day, Miles has discovered that the only possible explanation for the broken pilons is sabotage. He returns to his quarters, where Keiko informs him that, suddenly, Jake isn't feeling well enough to come by anymore. Isn't that convenient? Molly is out for the night too. So...Miles decides it's time to reclaim his manhood after his morning with Bashir's probing and Sisko's undermining of his authority by trying to have sex with his wife. She's visibly upset by his advances and fumbles around for excuses not to be intimate. She has made his favourite meal, but isn't eating it herself. The music and cinematography make it seem that she's trying to poison him. The exchange is enough to convince Miles that Keiko is no longer the person he knows.

Act 3 : ****, 17%

Later that night, Miles starts searching for the typical sci-fi anomalies that turn people evil—you know, like goofy games you wear on your head, putting things in funnels that give you tiny orgasms. Science! He reviews the station logs. Two things of note here: 1. the story-telling is a little dubious as, because of the framing device, we are in the midst of a flashback, yet this part of the story is told like a montage; it's a bit clumsy; 2. Sisko's log makes a brief mention about tension in the DMZ, and later something about the Cardassians honouring “the treaty;” I wonder where that could lead...

Then he hits a roadblock. Miles has been denied access to the logs beginning the day he returned (wasn't that yesterday). He surreptitiously makes a midnight run to Ops to penetrate the security seal. What he discovers is that his colleagues having been pouring over Miles' activity and reports regarding the Paradans.

Odo returns to the statin from a trip, probably to Bajor. It seems that Miles is thinking that whatever has happened to his friends and colleagues may not have affected Odo since he's been away. Odo's absence was a key part of a previous scene regarding the security arrangements. This is a tightly woven plot. Miles confides his suspicions in him. Odo, being the paranoid weirdo he is, is right on board with trying to uncover the mystery. While he waits for Odo to do some investigating, Miles starts messing with some gadgets in his office.

Later, Quark assumes the role of the wise fool declaring, “The odds are against you, O'Brien.” He was actually talking about raquetball, but of course, O'Brien is on edge and lashes out at the Ferengi (seriously, can we stop strangling Quark already?). Almost immediately, though Quark is ALSO asking about the Paradans. Odo calls Miles to his office, and at first seems to confirm his suspicions about the crew. But before long, Odo ends up revealing that “they got to [him]” too. Almost instantly, he's ambushed by the senior staff, but his gizmos from earlier allow him to make an escape.

Act 4 : **.5, 17%

Miles disposes of his combadge, and runs through a series of traps and techno-trickery to get himself to a runabout. Along the way, he runs into Jake, who has also been compromised by whatever weirdness is happening around here. Having brought up “The Game,” this is a good time to mention that the entire escape sequence, while not awful, lacks the kind of urgency and tension that the episode has built up to so far. Miles barely runs into anybody, and rather easily makes it to the runabout and off the station. Wesley boy genius didn't do this well, and he's a genius.

Once aboard the runabout, Miles contacts Starfleet to report the conspiracy, but the admiral he talks to is ALSO compromised. Left with few options, we pick up where the teaser began, with Miles entering the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant.

Act 5 : ***, 17%

Approaching the Paradan System, Miles quickly formulates a plan to try and evade his pursuers. Being very clever, he baits the other runabout to overtake him while he enters the magnetic field from a moon, shuts off the power and eludes his would-be captors—very much like in “The Hunted.” The pursuers beam to one of the planets. Miles arms himself and beams himself down there after them. He discovers Sisko and co. chatting with the Paradans, and forces them to disarm. One of the Paradan guards and Kira insist that they aren't Miles' enemy, just when another seizes the moment and shoots him in the chest. Clearly not his enemy. The mysterious door is opened, revealing another O'Brien being treated for injuries by Bashir. The other O'Brien emerges and the dialogue reveals that the Miles we have been following this whole time is a “replicant,” probably programmed to assassinate members of the peace delegation. The mystery is solved, but the dialogue is a little too expository—things like Bashir referencing the physical and Kira remarking that the replicant must have wondered what was wrong with them all. We really don't need this spelled out for us, episode. Replicant Miles calls out for Keiko as he dies, reminding us that, in having recreating O'Brien so perfectly, the dissidents replicated his soul along with his appearance, knowledge and instincts.

Episode as Functionary : ***.5, 10%

The episode is very clever and efficient in its story-telling. Despite the real Miles having only a few minutes of screen-time at the end, the nature of Replicant-O'Brien means that this is an effective character study, wrapped up in a thriller (not unlike “Necessary Evil,” a character study wrapped up in noire dressing). We learn more about Miles' priorities, his foibles, his abilities and his vulnerabilities. There are some minor technical complaints to be made about the technology which allowed the Paradans to make such a perfect copy this *one* time, and about the crew's odd choice not to simply lock Miles up and explain who they think he might be until they find the real Miles, rather than go through the whole song and dance of trying to convince him everything is just fine. These are both contrivances, but do not distract from the engaging story before us. On the other hand, the episode does feel a bit too long. Act IV especially feels like it could be excised. The framing device is effective in connecting us to this character in an intimate way, and we really do need to have Replicant Miles in every scene to make the paranoia work, but I feel like the episode could have been fleshed out just a bit more. Miles' scene with Quark was very short and Jadzia was not in the episode at all. Giving him some more interaction with them would have shored things up nicely. Still though, a very effective outing.

Final Score : ***.5
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Elliot Wilson
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 6:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Learning Curve

Really upset that the writers had them comment that the inertial dampeners were going offline, and then nothing happens. Yet another way that DS9 was superior to Voyager even in the small details, because when the Dominion ship crashed from inertial dampener failure, the genetically enhanced Jem'Hadar soldiers, bred as tools of war, physically superior to frail human beings and even the Klingons, were killed on impact, yet the Voyager crew is just standing around leisurely as if they're going for afternoon tea. Bleh.
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Rahul
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 4:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

Can't help with this minor nitpick upon rewatch -- while the Malcorians are on the verge of warp-flight (so humanoids supposedly more advanced -- in some ways -- than we are now), their hands appear like those of a crocodile. Think the Trek folks erred in this poor attempt to differentiate them from humans. Such an advanced species should have more developed appendages I'd think.
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Jasper
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 4:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter

At this point it's working myself through the wormhole to the end of DS9. I want to finish the series but it sure is a drag.
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Cetric
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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TrolCy
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Alternative Factor

This episode is the anti-Tylenol: guaranteed to induce headache upon viewing.

Events do not follow logically from one event to another. We have no rooting interest in Lazarus, or hissing interest, for that matter. He's a plot device. The episode is also unceasingly boring. Characters make obvious or inane observations. The pacing is way off. I John Drew Barrymore, who was contracted to play Lazarus, probably made the smartest career choice ever when he refused to show up for work when filming began.

The Memory Alpha wikia for this episode states that he grievance filed against him by the Star Trek production team led to him being unable to obtain acting work for six months in 1967. Better a mere six months than an eternity of humiliation, sneers, and snickers whenever the mention of who played Lazarus would have come up.
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kewl
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 2:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Sleeping Dogs

diz boorin! Wanna seee stufz blooow!!! Aaargh nakiez!!! waaah whine!
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navamske
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 8:05am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

I liked the ending, where Picard picks up the knife and looks out of the ready room window into space while repeating the possibly religious gestures he saw Dathon engage in, paying silent tribute to his fallen comrade.
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navamske
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

I know, "dramatic license" and all, but I thought it strained credulity that (as implied) no one in the Federation had ever come up with Data and Troi's solution of asking the Starfleet Google for linguistic matches on key Tamarian words.
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navamske
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 7:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: The Quality of Life

@Mike

"It is hard to understand why anyone would say that Data was alone."

In at least one other episode -- it might have been "Time's Arrow" -- Data describes himself as "alone." He might have said so also in "Inheritance," the one where his mother is an android. I was surprised in both or all of these episodes that the crew members he was talking to didn't reply that he wasn't alone, that he was a valued member of the Enterprise "family." You know, on A Very Special Episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
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navamske
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 7:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: The Quality of Life

I liked the episode. Nurse Shirley Daniels, not so much.
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RandomThoughts
Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 4:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

Hello Everyone!

I probably liked this one more than I should have. When I saw it originally, I'm fairly certain I was just starting to really like TNG again. I'd stopped watching it for a bit after season one (heresy I know), but had seen an earlier season three episode that brought me back. Perhaps this one touched me because of the Guest Star Joey Aresco, who played "Hutch" on "Baa Baa Black Sheep", the somewhat real/fictional depiction of the United States Marine 214th squadron during World War II (the show later renamed Black Sheep Squadron, because it sounded like a kids show... go figure the parents couldn't figure it out after the dogfights...).

But I digress.

It really sounded like something weird and boring Starfleet would actually do. We'd heard many times about one Starship or another heading out to do some diplomatic work, and usually only in the Captain's logs... (while heading to a conference about the problems on Melba 2, and if they should be called "Toast", we encountered an Anomaly...).

Here is an actual weird, boring problem the crew has to solve or make better. Yes, it was started with something being stolen, but in the entirety of the known Galaxy... it's actually somewhat mundane. It is something they do all the time, and it just got a little hotter than they were used to. A few baddies stealing something? Really? Mundane...

For years when watching TOS, I'd yearned to see some "normal" stories. Something on K-7, or something that was just on their normal patrol and involved the "regular", day to day operations. Everything always seemed to be ship or Galaxy shattering... if they didn't get it just right, all was lost. In my re-birth of watching TNG, this was mundane, and perfect. Perhaps that is why I liked it so much. If they didn't get the result they wanted, no-one would care! The folks can duke it out until their sun goes nova! And we'll say we tried and then head out to taste some new variations on toast...

As always, your mileage may vary... but Two Thumbs up for Me...

RT
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