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another David
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 8:40am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Second Chances

If I recall correctly, after securing a "no death penalty" for Thomas Riker they said personally to him that they'd get him out...but unless I'm mistaken, they never did and never attempted a prisoner exchange or political fix to break him out, leaving him to rot in the Cardassian prison, breaking rocks. I was watching for something to happen in that regard after that episode.
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DavidB
Fri, Oct 12, 2018, 8:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

Due to Stewart's terrific acting, this romance episode was entirely engaging until near the end when rescue away teams were sent to set up thermal deflectors to temporarily protect a remote base from an approaching firestorm. Why were they only wearing on board uniforms instead of thermally protective space suits? Eight of the team died because the deflectors could not cross-connect automatically, requiring the away team to stay in place to make manual adjustments until all of the colonists were evacuated.
Spiner, as Data mimicing a small talk master in the previous episode shows that he is another terrific actor in this series.
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David Lyttle
Sat, Sep 1, 2018, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Journey to Babel

I think this is an outstanding example of what Star Trek can be. I especially the conflict between Spock and both his parents, particularly when Spock's mother slaps Spock, leaves him alone and he places his hand on the door that closed behind her. But I do have one gripe. Kirk leaves Ensign Chekov in command while Lt. Uhura, a senior bridge officer is passed over. 60's sexism in action.
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Davidw
Fri, Jun 22, 2018, 2:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: If Wishes Were Horses

Unlike the better Shore Leave, the creations of people's imaginations lead to very little. We learn almost nothing of any character and the imaginary characters teachers almost nothing about Odo or Quark or Sisko. And the stuff about Bashir just borderline harassment or juvenile stupidity.

We do learn that the chief loves his daughter, that Cisco likes baseball, that Bashir like Dax, the Quark likes human women. Perhaps the best scene is when we learn that Odo likes to put Quark in prison. But all this is so superficial and sporadic has to be almost trite and silly.
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Davidw
Mon, Jun 11, 2018, 7:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: The Storyteller

It is so refreshing to see Colm Meany play this part rather than the sanctimonious Stewart or pompus Shatner.
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David
Thu, May 24, 2018, 5:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

I loved this episode, but can't see a continuity problem; this is a classic causal loop. An event (the Borg travel to the past) causes another event (the sphere is discovered in the past leading to the events of this episode), which then has an effect on the continuing timeline until the original event occurs. Both cause and effect then exist in spacetime but it is no longer possible to isolate an origin because there technically isn't one, its become a loop.

As to why the 24th Century crew were unfamiliar with the Borg at J25? I simply assumed that this episode depicted a brief random incident with an unknown lifeforms of which there were no survivors. I doubt that 200 years later it will have flagged up.
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David
Sat, May 12, 2018, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Drone

If you pick away at an episode for long enough you can come up with enough plot holes and things to complain about to ruin it for yourself. I think Jammer hit the right note with it's an enjoyable hour of trek. I did agree with one of the commenters that One should have had Two...episodes, that is. Obviously, he was too advanced to remain on board but making him a two episode character would have been completely unexpected and given a lot of opportunities to flesh out the character and integrate him into the series.
I'm reminded of Battlestar Galactica, where everyone expected the second battlestar to buy it immediately, but surprisingly was integrated into the series for weeks. A similar unexpected addition, for at least a second episode, would have been a fresh aspect to treks usually too episodic nature. Nevertheless, yeah, it's 4 stars.
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David Ryan
Sat, May 12, 2018, 6:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Likewise surprised by Jammer's review, and stand by my 2.5 (at best) assessment. Can't help but feel it's been given a bit of a free pass on account of being 'different from previous Star Wars films' if I'm honest, but each to their own.
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another David
Fri, Apr 13, 2018, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Counterpoint

One of the few beefs I had with Battlestar Galactica, and one of the things I like best about all the incarnations of Star Trek is the music. Voyager as a series is especially rich in this regard and especially in this episode with Mahler Tchaikovsky and other episodes highlighting Picardo's and Jeri Ryan's vocal prowess. Orchestra's are expensive, I guess, but you can't beat them for adding to the atmosphere and drama. With any episode there are points you can quibble about but I'd give this one 4 stars just for being so enjoyable on so many levels.
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David
Thu, Mar 8, 2018, 3:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Conscience of the King

I was surprised at the interpretation of McCoy's lines at the end. It seemed clear to me (as it was to many other commentators) that the care she would receive was in a secure mental institution and that she was dangerously insane and not to be released, probably ever. I thought it worked and I'd give it 3.5 stars.
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David Ryan
Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 4:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

@SlackerInc: on balance, I was probably a bit harsh about the score. I think my biggest issue was that, like you say, it was 'fine'...but that's about it. I can't actually recall a standout bit of original music from the score (even The Phantom Menace had Duel of the Fates), which may admittedly say more about my memory but for me it was a shame given John Williams' previous work. Mind you, he still got an Oscar nomination so that shows what I know I suppose!
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David Ryan
Sun, Feb 25, 2018, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Bit late to the party, but here goes...

I wanted to like The Last Jedi. I really did. I wasn't keen on the second half of The Force Awakens (not just for killing off Han Solo for no good reason, but because of ultimately how derivate and 'A New Hope Rehash' it became), and I disliked Rogue One so much it remains the only Star Wars film (so far) I will not buy on DVD, but at the same time I'm not a hater by nature and I was encouraged by the news I'd heard in the build-up. So I sat in the cinema with my family and hoped for the best.

Ultimately, I left with extremely mixed feelings.

First off, the good (because there were good bits, when all was said and done).

- Individual performances: Mark Hamill for me put in the standout performance - he had a more substantial and nuanced part than the previous 'farmboy turned galactic hero' routine, struck a good balance between humour and serious turns, and despite his misgivings about where the character was taken (on which more below) I felt he gave Luke Skywalker a good send off. Barring any Force Ghost antics, of course (Yoda opening the door on that, after all). The scenes with Yoda were a nice touch too, and lifted the overall bleakness of the film (on which more also below).

Adam Driver also put in a good performance for me - less of the whiny angst teenager in The Force Awakens and a more plausible (and complicated) character for it. The bait-and-switch in terms of seemingly turning good before actually being even worse worked for me, even if I didn't find the accelerated promotion thing particularly convincing (surely there'd be others with a better claim to the title within the First Order?). Daisy Ridley did well with what she had, although I don't think the script did her justice - Rey's 'journey' lost its way at times, and didn't really explain how she went from 'raw potential but no real clue' to 'look at me shift a thousand boulders' in the space of about 3 days and 3 rather weak lessons. John Boyega put in a decent turn as Finn, and even if the whole patient-turned-deserter-turned-agent-turned-saboteur-turned-kamikaze thing didn't mesh together I still felt the character has some interesting potential for the last film. And whilst I'm on the main characters, Oscar Isaac was decent to watch as well (which is a bit damning with faint praise, I admit, for reasons below), and the late Carrie Fisher was on good form and fun to watch (although again, I wasn't convinced about the character overall).

- Special effects: Enough said really.

- Locations: even if some of them were, ultimately, completely pointless, it was nice to see a bit more of the Star Wars galaxy being explored.

- Emotional depth: whilst the film was hit and miss on this throughout, it was nice to see them trying to bring more depth to the characters and explore their strengths and flaws. By and large the characters were more believable for it, and in particular the consequences of characters' choices being explored in this way was welcome (even if it did mean others characters suffered in comparison).

- Return of the A-Wing: okay, it is stretching credulity that they'd still be using a 30-year-old design with no changes whatsoever, but it was one of my favourite ships and I liked seeing it regardless.

Now the not-so-good...

- Premise: I hate to say it, but the whole premise of the new trilogy just doesn't work for me at all. My honest reaction on reading the first few words of the opening crawl ("The First Order reigns") was to groan. I mean, seriously - this is like, what, 24 hours after Starkiller Base destroyed Hosnian Prime, and the whole New Republic has fallen to pieces? I know suspension of disbelief is part and parcel of science fiction, but this is stretching plausibility to say the least. The notion that a collective of hundreds of planets - with their own governments, militaries and resources, as the prequel trilogy showed with Naboo and Kashyyyk - wouldn't have contingency plans and the wherewithal to launch a counter-attack against the First Order (who, let's not forget, had lost their main military base immediately), and would, quite frankly, be stupid enough to keep its fleet in one convenient-to-hit location is just ludicrous. Particularly given how many wise heads from the original trilogy era would be able to say "this is a really stupid idea, you shouldn't do it" and such like. (I understand there is apparently extra material between Episode VI and VII which explains how this sorry state of affairs is supposed to come to pass, but I've looked into it and it still doesn't persuade me that this premise works. It's like everyone had collective amnesia as to how the Empire rose up in the first place, and just left their brains at home.)

- The Resistance: considering how many former Rebel leaders are (or were) taking part in the Resistance, they do seem to be completely useless as a military outfit. It's starting to make the destruction of Starkiller Base look like a fluke. Between sending possibly the slowest, and least well-armoured, fleet of bombers in existence into a certain death attack (or even contemplating it in the first place), having everyone assemble in one location to be snuck up on by the First Order, having an unshielded and very convenient tunnel leading right to their only fighter squadrons and not even considering using their only armed ship as a diversion until most of their transports have been destroyed, they just seem to be a bunch of morons. If this is the best the New Republic had to offer, perhaps that explains why they fell apart so quickly (even if I still don't buy that premise at all).

I seriously hope they portray them as more competent in the last film, because right now the Three Stooges would put together a better fighting force.

- Wasted characters: where to begin with this one? Supreme Leader Snoke snuffs it with nary a hint of who he actually is, how he rose to power, how he commands the dark side so strongly and yet still couldn't predict his own (rather ironic) demise. Captain Phasma goes from being potentially strong female character to disposable, and appears to have been a marketing ploy to sell shiny stormtrooper action figures. General Hux just seems to be a frustrated Nazi in the wrong universe, and far too in love with the sound of his own voice to be an effective leader of anything.

It goes on: Pretty much every Resistance fighter pilot or bomber crew member. The ENTIRE Resistance leadership (including Admiral Ackbar, who didn't even get to say "It's a trap!" before being blown into space). Chewbacca - did he actually do anything significant during the entire film? The droids - ditto. Vice Admiral Pink Hair (I honestly can't remember her name, probably because of how much her role amounted to cannon fodder). Rose (social commentary and battering ram on Finn aside, why was she there?). The crypto-hacker guy Benicio del Toro played (quite honestly, if he died on the First Order flagship I couldn't care less). Perhaps more contentiously, Poe, Finn and even Leia (my test being would the film still have worked without any of them in it, and quite frankly it would have - never a good conclusion).

So much potential, so much running time, so little substance.

- Meaningless side plots: the whole casino planet trip, eye candy and cute final scene aside, was just such a waste of time and actually quite boring. I got the whole social inequality message (and the slightly contrived 'it's all a shade of grey' bit with the weapons dealer's ship, however hackneyed that actually felt), but it felt like a knock-off Cloud City with no purpose other than to divert from The Galaxy's Slowest Chase Scene. I wouldn't have missed any of it if it had been left on the cutting room floor.

Same goes for the whole 'Poe tries to establish himself as fearless leader, fails spectacularly' routine. Quite how someone gets to the rank of Commander with so little common sense or tactical nous is beyond me, and it just felt as contrived as his heroine worship of Leia. (There's a limit to these things, surely?) And the whole 'Luke hates the Jedi Order' thing just jarred so much that I found myself missing the Expanded Universe timeline.

- Questionable character decisions: I think this probably sums up my biggest misgiving about the filme, which is that a number of characters make (or have made) decisions which are meant to highlight their flaws but instead seem jarringly out of character. The most obvious example is probably Luke Skywalker, and I could see right away why Mark Hamill made his (quickly backpedalled) comments about not being happy with how Luke was written. This is, after all, the same character who ignored pretty much everyone saying "Darth Vader is pure evil, there's no point trying to save him", turned him back to the light side and dealt a crippling blow to the Empire - and yet, when faced with a pupil who has been corrupted and seems to show no prospect of redemption he decides the best option is to take a lightsaber to him? (I know some people have said it's to show the flaw in trusting his gut instincts, but for his gut instincts to have gone so wildly off piste in the intervening years is a bit of a leap). Likewise, would he seriously have just washed his hands of the whole enterprise and not sought to put right the mess he created?

Same goes for Rey even contemplating trusting Ben Solo/Kylo Ren after he butchered Han right in front of her in the previous film (bizarre connection notwithstanding), Leia's tactical dead-ends, Finn's attempted kamikaze (surely he'd just be vaporised?), and pretty much every call made by Poe in the entire film. I get the whole 'people make bad decisions' thing, but there were some right humdingers happening far too regularly.

- Music: controversial, perhaps, particularly for a fan of John Williams, but the score didn't do anything for me really which is a shame.

- Overall bleakness: granted, there's nothing saying Star Wars has to be all levity (and I don't think it ever has been) and there's plenty of room for serious storytelling. But between this and Rogue One, they're laying the bleakness on with a trowel and then some. I'd lost count of how many people were killed simply for the sake of perceived drama, and the whole 'anything that can go wrong will go wrong' vibe just went overboard as well. Were it not for something of a salvage job in the final battle, I'd have left the cinema feeling thoroughly depressed.

I'll leave it there on the not-so-goods as I'm starting to rant and ramble, but despite (somewhat confusingly) feeling more satisfied with where The Last Jedi left off compared with how The Force Awakens left off I must confess I was disappointed overall and generally not feeling too thrilled about Disney's handling of the Star Wars saga. I very much doubt anyone at the House of Mouse will care or lose even a second's sleep over it given the box office takings, but for me it's getting to the stage where I'm losing interest in the direction they're taking things - and I've been a fan of the films as long as I can remember. This isn't about harking back to some perceived "golden age" or the like - the new films do some things very well, and the original trilogy had its flaws (and God knows the prequel trilogy did), and it's only right to acknowledge as such. But my motivation for watching Episode IX is now purely to see how they tidy up the mess and resolve the various plot threads they've left for themselves - and to see if JJ Abrams makes it as much of a Return of the Jedi copy as The Force Awakens ended up being of A New Hope. I can't say I'm particularly fussed about Solo aside from passing interest, and Rian Johnson's purported new trilogy likewise doesn't grab me. Perhaps it's one of the signs of growing up and (maybe) outgrowing the material, but it's a shame nonetheless and particularly to see that I'm not alone in my viewpoint on the new movies. Either we're all becoming old curmudgeons or something has gone a bit awry. But hey, as long as the bank registers keep ticking over and recouping the $4bn+ investment then who cares?

2 stars for me (maybe pushing 2.5 if I'm feeling generous). Episode IX may mark the end of my interest in Star Wars at this rate.
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David
Fri, Feb 16, 2018, 11:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

I've seen or heard a lot of comments about people who refused to accept Patrick Stewart when he came on board as the captain of the Enterprise. I, however, had seen him in several roles and knew his versatility and his always engaging ability to deliver a speech, be it to Q, or a sincere but used Romulan general. I knew, that as people saw this accomplished actor play the part, they'd come on board, as it were. :) Great episode. Ron Moore hits it out of the ballpark and superb acting seals it.
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David
Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 1:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

My vote goes to Days of our Lives. Only 12,000 episodes - come on Jammer, do it!
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Davidw
Wed, Jan 10, 2018, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

There are a lot problems to the basic story here.

First, there are three different stories. And they really don't have anything to do with each other in terms of the larger story.

And each story has some real fatal flaws:
1) The Las Vegas scence is mainly action, and it's meaning is all done in brief exposition
2) The' Po shouldn't take so many risks' is arbitrary. Should Luke not have risked the life of piolets to knock out the death star? Are we just talking bad risk assessment here?
3) As great as Hamill is, ultimately his final conclusion that we don't need the Jedi is of course ridiculous. As with the end of Rey's and Kylo's conversations. What starts out as a great affirmation that anyone can be a Jedi turns into bizarre remarks about putting on a shirt.
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Davidw
Wed, Jan 10, 2018, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Preemptive Strike

The only things wrong with this episode is that Picard would never have asked Ro to do it!

Also this one action scenes are really pathetic - like most TNG.

Otherwise, great character development.

Certainly one of the best season 7, for sure.
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David Kinard
Thu, Dec 21, 2017, 10:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Lorca is from an alternate universe where starfleet lost the war. If uou look closely, he interrupts the "last jump"-he presses "Lorca override on the arm panel of the chair just before the last jump goes wrong, something Jammer seemed to midd- but he is genuinely surprised by where they wound up. He was trying to get the cloaking knowledge to save his universe. Think about his backstory. He was the supposed only survivor and destroyed his own ship. Nope. The Lorca from this universe died and he inserted himsekf in a place where he could take this lorca's plae. It makes Lorca's behavior make so much sense. Rven the subtle con to make Stamtes think the jump was his idea. He's always known more about the spore drive then he let on, because he got it to work in his own universe, but it was too late. That's the reson he's so protective of Burnham and why he arranged to have her come aboard. We don't know EXACTLY why- but somethings up there. Stanmets, in the preview says "you knew this would happen" to lorca. But notice stamets eyes. Reminescent of "Where no man has gone before" Gary Decler.

Lyrell or whatever found a way to transfer Voq'a "katra" into Tyler. When she was havingt sex with him, it was really with Vog. This is what Lyrell meant by soon- son he will be reunited with his original body. Maybe she forced a vulcan to do a katra transfer. There's nothing we've seen that said that a katra can only come from a Vulcan.

The planet with the living ecosystem is connected to the spore network somehow.

I also would bet the discovery was thrown of course by Stamets who realized what Lorca as trying to do, and it is now in the Mirror Universe, where the Terran Empire is fighting nd beating the Klingons to become the dominat power in the alpha quadrant.

Note: None of these are actual spoilers, just my guesses.
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David trekkie
Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 8:50am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy

I loved this episode. 4*'s from me. One of the things I've always found surprisingly enjoyable is Picardo's singing. I've got a love for good classical music but, by and large, opera never did it for me, but I haven't ever had less than a great time listening to Mr. Picardo in the various episodes where he sings. And the opening Pon Farr operatic gem was no exception. Well, I'd add the episode where Doc and Seven sing duets was delightful also since Ms. Ryan has a lovely voice too.
Some of the nitpicks people added don't make sense to me since it's a comedy that works. And that's what entertainment is about. ...Nice touch indeed! lol
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David Pirtle
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

This is one of those episodes that I loved as a boy but has somewhat less appeal to me as a middle-aged viewer. Partly it has to do with Shatner's acting as Negative Kirk. The only scene where he really pulls it off is the final confrontation on the bridge, which almost makes up for the rest. The biggest problem of course is how they handle Rand's character, basically having her repeatedly apologize for being attacked and practically raped, starting with almost immediately after it happened, and culminating in one of the most stomach-churning moments in TOS history, when Spock actually implies that she secretly liked it. 30 years ago I probably would have given this full marks. Now, it still deserves 2 1/2 out of four on the strength of its concept and most of its execution. But I can't say I still think it's one of the best.
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Davidw
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 1:30am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Genesis

I think the first act is so funny that i like it for it's comedic effect. It is TNG's Spock's Brain.

Dark Page and Sub Rosa are still worse because they are just too soap opera.
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Davidw
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Sub Rosa

I think any lwaxana episode may be worse than this, but maybe not. Then there is Dark Page.

Spock's brain does not make me sick.
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Davidw
Sun, Oct 1, 2017, 4:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

This is a fine episode. What prevents this from being a great episode is that it is dull. Riker's main conflict - his story - is all in exposition. This makes the conflict between Pressman and Riker central, but I think it is obvious that Pressman is an antagonistic character. I mean he is an officer from the Federation, right? And the theme is to abstract to be of too much interest.
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davidw
Wed, Sep 20, 2017, 1:42am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

This was a good dramatic episode that explored really interesting issues , as Jammer says - about prostitution and drug addiction, and I would woman's rights and opportunities. This was 'Wagon Train to the Stars' Star Trek - a bit slow - but nonetheless I thought the drama was pretty intense, especially when you find out the women were there 'by choice' - of course in a Western that is often the only 'choice' a woman has.

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Davidw
Wed, Sep 20, 2017, 1:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

This is it. This is why everyone watches Star Trek. We love to laugh at Kirk and make fun of him, and wanting to be him, and wonder what our own dark and light sides are.

That's why the best of TNG is like reading a fine, dusty old book.

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davidw
Wed, Sep 20, 2017, 1:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

There are a lot of dull episodes on TNG with a great theme or idea or character device.

So, the idea that Data got left behind on purpose because his mother couldn't bare shutting him down if he went crazy is kind of cool, as is the idea that there were other bad data before.

And of course the great plot twist at the end where Data decides not to tell the women she is an android is interesting moral dilemmas.

But man, think of movies like Deus Ex Machina that do this really well. Or maybe Blade Runner? Whatever. The point is that you can't just come with a great idea and put it in boring soap opera. Not that I have the least idea about how to do this. I just know that Measure of a Man explores some of these issues quite well, with drama, interest, conflict and suspense. If only they learned the lesson from Measure of a Man and admitted Data might be able to feel some emotions. I always thought that Data is a far inferior version of Spock, since Data had no emotions at all and yet for Spock it was a constant source of conflict and suspense.

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