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David H
Sun, May 2, 2021, 12:19am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Bound

Haven't been here in a while and thought I'd refresh my memory on what Jammer thought of this episode -though I shouldn't have bothered. He was woke before woke was cool.
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David Lyttle
Mon, Mar 15, 2021, 10:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

Chaka when the walls fell
Who was it with his eyes closed?
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David Lyttle
Mon, Mar 15, 2021, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

I love this one and the language issue is resolved if one remembers the ridges on the Tamarian's head were likely telepathic nodes so that they communicated both in metaphor and telepathy.

I love the scene of Picard and Dathon at the campfire sharing stories which is the essence of Star Trek. Picard's mastery of the Tamarian language at the end was magnificent.
But I do have a gripe with Picard, who says even the Crystalline Entity has a right to live yet be so willing to attack the Beast at Eladrell. I cringe as the Beast attacks Dathon by punching him like a boxer.

Oh but the metaphors are sheer poetry
Temba, his arms wide
Timok, the river Timok... in winter
Chaos' children their faces wet
Sindak his face black, his eyes red
Mirab with sails unfurled
Reye and Geri at Lunga
Reye of lewani, Lewani under two moons
Simba at crossroads
Lunga her skies gray
Kiteo beneath Mumbatay
Chinza at court, the court of silence... Chinza!
Sukat his eyes uncovered
Darmok and Gelad at Tenagra
The Beast of Tenagra
and of course Darmok and Gelad on the ocean
Picard's Gilgamesh and Inkeydo at Orruck
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David Lyttle
Mon, Mar 15, 2021, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

So many people commenting here have lost the capacity to enjoy enjoyment as Lawaxana suggests. As an older man (66) I fully understand Lawaxana's lament about aging and loneliness and having to compromise to avoid being afraid. Excellent acting as I have ever seen. She is a beautiful character and this is a strong performance second only to Dark Page. Lighten up all you heartless critics, complaining instead of accepting. Tolerance is at the heart of Star Trek. There are many bad shows like Masterpiece of Crap Society which is joyless and dumb. But I appreciate the ending of Cost of living for it shows how Lawaxana came to terms with her true nature and refused to compromise, it is not an issue of nudity but of tradition. And Protocol Master Erkel's gasp of "This is Infamous" was great.
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David Staum
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 11:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek (2009)

I originally wrote this review on my blog in 2009. Thought I'd post it here and see if anyone agrees or disagrees with my take


This was a great movie. Excitement, special effects, great dialogue, great characters, some good humor. Great, that is, if you’ve never heard of Star Trek before. But if you’re a long time fan, as I am, it’s hard to separate the Star Trek universe from the bright & shiny new movie.

Casting: Supporting characters: excellent!

Each of them brought a newness to the role, and didn’t copy the original actors, but still channeled the essence of the characters we’ve come to love.

Special mention goes to Karl Urban as McCoy and Simon Pegg as Scotty. Both were pitch perfect in their roles from the moment of their first appearance onscreen. Anton Yelchin as Chekov was one note, played mostly for his humorous earnestness, but that one note was hit perfectly.

John Cho, as Sulu, didn’t really evoke George Takei much other than his enthusiasm, but he fit into the cast well and had some great action scenes. Zoe Saldana didn’t even try to be another Nichelle Nichols. And why should she? In the original Trek, Uhura was docile and was just a glorified telephone operator. But they wanted to update the role and bravo for trying. So why, after a good start, did they relegate her to the role of Spock’s arm candy?

I was a little disappointed in Zachary Quinto as Spock. He’s a decent actor and played the numerous scenes he was given fairly well, but couldn’t quite shake the feeling that Sylar, from Heroes, was hiding behind that calm expression.

And Chris Pine as Kirk? Well, no one could ever fill William Shatner’s hammy shoes, and no one should even try. But as a fan of original Trek, it was hard to see anyone else in the role. Plus he seemed too young.

The special effects and action sequences were amazing! If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean.

Now, what was up with the relationship between Spock & Uhura? I guess I could swallow it, but there was one big “huh???” moment when watching the movie. I just don’t see that it added anything. And, as I mentioned above, it sidelined Uhura into a man’s woman. And there were no other women, unless you count the sexy green girl Kirk was in bed with early in the film (nice touch!) But why couldn’t they have nurse Chapel? Or Yeoman Rand?

The story was pretty good, with one big problem that I’ll get to in a moment. But the scene changes between comedy and intense, emotionally fraught action, were a little abrupt. Considering the seriousness of what was going on, I couldn’t really enjoy Scotty materializing inside the water tubes as much as I would have otherwise. Speaking of those water tubes, it reminded me of the scene in Galaxy Quest, where Sigourney Weaver complains loudly about the smashing hammers they have to jump through, saying: “What is this thing!? I mean, it serves no useful purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway! No, I mean we shouldn't have to do this, it makes no logical sense, why is it here!?” and Tim Allen answers “Cause it's on the television show”

Nero was a pretty good villain, albeit one dimensional. But his desire for revenge on Spock seemed somewhat arbitrary. Yes, sometimes things happen that way, but given the lengthy exposition of the origins of Spock & Kirk, you’d think they could spend a few minutes making Nero’s lust for revenge a little more plausible.

There were some major illogical leaps, like old Spock standing on a planet and seeing Vulcan be destroyed. How close was that planet to Vulcan, so that Vulcan would be several times the size of our moon as seen from Earth? It seems like the science was very weak. The movie just assumes that an audience coming to see a sci-fi movie would expect there to be a time portal inside a black hole, so doesn’t bother to explain. And that something labeled “red matter” can collapse a planet. Again, no explanation of what “red matter” is. The science on original Trek was pretty flimsy too, but at least they made up some silly dialogue to explain it. On the other hand, the audiences today have seen enough sci-fi to fill in the blanks, so maybe this isn’t such a big deal. So I’ll go ahead to my biggest issue of the movie.


There’s a scene where Spock is explaining to the bridge officers that since Nero changed the past, what Nero experienced is no longer relevant and the future belongs to whatever they do. They are not beholden to what others may know about the future. That was directed straight at the audience. So we are told by JJ Abrams; “Hey, we can do what we want. We’re not beholden to what you fans think you know about the Star Trek universe.”

Still. Destroying Vulcan? Vulcan is so much a part of the world of the federation. As some other reviewer I saw online pointed out, it’s not like Aalderan in Star Wars, a planet with no real emotional resonance to the viewers. But Vulcan? Leaving the surviving Vulcans an endangered species? How can you have Star Trek without Vulcan in it?

This is more than just sentimental. It affected my viewing experience of the movie deeply. First of all, after such an emotionally wrenching and apocalyptic event, it was hard to enjoy the humorous scenes. But more than that, from that point on, I was assuming, or at least deeply hoping, that time would be reversed and Vulcan would be restored. So in those climactic scenes near the end, where the Enterprise is being pulled into the black hole, I was rooting against them! I was hoping that they would be destroyed, and all of the red matter’s destruction would set the timeline to back to the way it was supposed to be. Ditto for the scene just before that, with Spock’s taking the ship with the red matter on a collision course with the (bizarre looking) Romulan vessel. So when the Enterprise finally emerged from what I presume was supposed to be the event horizon of the black hole (never mind the scientific inaccuracy of that), my heart fell, obviously the opposite feeling than what the moviemakers intended.

Maybe the next movie will be subtitled “The Search For Vulcan”. Hey, they brought back Spock from the dead. Maybe they can bring back his whole planet!
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David Ryan
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

So, having now seen some of The Mandalorian, I find the extent to which the sequels (and in my opinion Rogue One and Solo as well) turned out to be "swing and a miss" completely baffling. There are clearly people with good ideas about the Star Wars universe, with the potential to come up with coherent stories which are sympathetic to what came before and still come up with something new and interesting, and yet...well, you get the picture. It's just so frustrating, and as a fan it does make me wonder where on earth Disney will take things next (beyond The Mandalorian and the proposed Rogue One prequel).

I guess with hindsight, the first warning sign was when they declared all of the 'Legends' material non-canon, regardless of how well received or thought out it was. What was got instead seemed so half-baked it's taken several retcon books and comics to try and make some sense of things. I think for me the whole idea of a new Republic knowing how the Empire came to exist and still doing so little about the First Order setting up shop on its doorstep just beggared belief too much to take it seriously. The 'Legends' stories had their fair share of swings and misses, don't get me wrong, but at least it didn't seem like the entire galaxy had had a collective bout of amnesia or become extremely naive.

As I said before, more's the pity. Here's hoping if there are any more films they've learned something from this experience at least.
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David Staum
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 8:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Unification III

Here's my succinct analysis of the problems with DSC:

The plots? Sometimes strong, sometimes weak, could use more world building.

The character interactions? Mostly cloying and contrived with cringeworthy dialogue.
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David Fox
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 10:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Forget Me Not

A solid four-star outing for me, and for my money the best episode of the entire series so far. This is what Star Trek is to me, not all the pyrotechnics, light shows, and *endless* boring shoot -'em-ups and fist fights we've been enduring up to now. I almost gave up on the series after the first episode of Season 3. This episode was sincere, beautifully executed in both the A and B plots, and heartfelt without being too maudlin (and yes, the series has been guilty of going over the top in that direction, too). The episode also beautifully addresses much of the trauma we are experiencing during a challenging and tragic year...many, if not most of us, are experiencing what this crew is going through here. Just glanced at a few of the negative and bigoted comments above and quite frankly, I pity you deeply if that is the tiny world you live in. You certainly have no business watching any Star Trek series.
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Sun, Nov 8, 2020, 11:32am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

I HATE the Star Trek Walk-a-circle Serious Conversation^TM

It is the absolute most ridiculous directing choice to have people conversing while walking a circle around each other. Janeway does this constantly, always talking to the back of people’s heads.
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David Staum
Sun, Nov 1, 2020, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: People of Earth

Regarding some commenters' looking askance at the idea of The Burn, my guess is that it'll be explained through some pseudo quantum mechanical idea, that somehow all dilithium atoms are linked via quantum entanglement.
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David Staum
Sun, Nov 1, 2020, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: People of Earth

A lot of people on this and many threads about Star trek seem really focused on inconsistencies. But inconsistencies in Star Trek are as old as the franchise itself. My feeling is that it's fiction, and as long as the story is well told I don't mind some inconsistencies, as long as they aren't glaring within the story being told itself. Star Trek is a modern cultural myth, and different interpretations are welcome. There are many retellings of Shakespeare as well. I have plenty of issues with Discovery, but that has to do with the writing, the dialogue, and the characters in general. It doesn't have to be firmly consistent with other trek shows or movies.
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David L
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: The Forsaken

Matt it's a TV drama! In the real world when we have a problem we try to solve it in as quick and no-fuss way as possible. If they did that in Trek even some of the greatest episodes would be over in half the time. The point of this episode is to get Odo and Lwaxana in the lift for as long as possible to enable one of the most iconic scenes in all Trek.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Yanks - Thank you! Looking forward to discussing.
Did you enjoy the Discovery premiere?
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

I am re-watching Star Trek in airdate order and I am finding myself often times disagreeing with Jammer (but LOVING) his reviews as I genuinely prefer TNG/VGR to DS9 with ENT coming in behind. As I write down notes after I finish the episode and give it my own rating for fun, I find myself comparing it to Jammer. Here is the funny thing - we match a lot for Discovery. This review is spot on - 2.5 stars. It was an average opening with a storage that was average, masked by amazing effects and cinematography. It looks beautiful but the actual story is lacking. After 18 months, I was hoping for something more engaging for an opening. Once we arrived in 3188 and things in the galaxy went downhill fast and we found ourselves in a retread of "Andromeda", I am cautiously optimistic that the writers will avoid that. However, it just did not feel original to me - the Federation fell, things went terrible. I am hoping this season explores it well because for me Discovery always starts off great and then sputters by the finale.

I hope some details are explored, i.e., did the Federation fleet just blow up at once given there is quantum slipstream technology?

Also, is anyone like me in that they actually like the cast very much BUT their least favorite character is Michael - the main character?
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David J
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Deadlock

This is the way voyager should’ve been throughout its run: desperate. We could’ve had a Firefly-esque desperation journey where the ship is constantly near destruction only to be hodge-podge put back together with random Delta quadrant scraps, a crew of maquis and starfleet barely getting along; ultimately ending the series with voyager looking like a completely different ship and a limping, threadbare crew. Can you imagine the impact of a return home with that crew instead of the middling finale we got? But this was the 90’s, no walking dead, no GoT, no breaking bad. Everything had to be glitzy and clean. Kind of strange given that the predominant style was grunge...
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Wed, Sep 30, 2020, 1:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: His Way

This episode would have been fine before odo's betrayal and the other episode children of time I think you called it.

Not great but fine. Darren is great.

but coming after those episodes it just violates what we know about their chemistry and history and so is not a good episode.
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Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

One thing I always wondered about that episode was whether the uncanny knack for 3D chess was something the Cytherians intentionally gave Barclay or whether it was just the tag end, temporary effect of the brain boost?
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Sun, Sep 6, 2020, 12:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Honor Among Thieves

A great and well done episode - for a genre cop show.

I'm done with this stuff. This is simply not Star Trek, not science fiction. I have forgiven much of DS9, but this paint by numbers genre informant plot is just ridiculous - despite the great acting.
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David Lyttle
Mon, Aug 31, 2020, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Chute

The final scene with Kim and Tom as Tom says he remembers hearing someone say "This man is my friend... nobody touches him." That was the payoff and a reminder of what it means to have and be a great friend. One of my favorite scenes in all of Star Trek.
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Sun, Aug 30, 2020, 8:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Tomorrow Is Yesterday

Some of you are trying too hard to act like the show was too hard to be believable. Its a science fiction show for goodness sake. Everything is not going to be logical. 200 years ago, people would have called us crazy for wanting a phone that was portable. They would say thats not possible. Enjoy it for what it is. Its not supposed to be totally predictable. Wow.
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David K.
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Minefield

Lots of needless nitpicking of elements of the episode that make perfect sense. Just because they don’t say why they can’t use the transporter for example doesn’t mean they can.
They part that stuck out to me as weird is how Reed is suddenly so uncomfortable around Archer. We saw them drinking beers together in season 1! We saw them give Reed cake. This episode would have made far more sense in the first season than the second.
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David K.
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Shockwave, Part I

This episode falls apart from the beginning because of the ridiculous premise. Who settles on a planet that can be destroyed in such a trivial manner? A slight malfunction that can ignite an ENTIRE planets atmosphere? You’ve got to be kidding me. At least TRY and come up with a plausible situation for the tragedy. This one is just too far out there.
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David Staum
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

I agree with most of the reviewers - I liked the episode quite a bit, as well as the optimism displayed.

One reviewer mentioned that Janeway should have deployed warning buoys. How about taking it a step further and sending vast quantities of supplies into the void, including the technology to escape? It would have shown magnanimity to those still trapped there, despite their treachery towards Voyager. That would have been a true Starfleet moment.
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David K.
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 6:04am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

IMO the biggest plot hole, bigger than any of the ones mentioned above, is how did Arturis, or ANYONE, know that voyager helped the Borg? It’s not like the Borg would have gone around advertising it and it’s unlikely Janeway and co. would talk about it. So how did he know? He couldn’t have known. He has no way of knowing. It makes no sense.
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David S
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

I loved this episode. Just rewatched it after many years.

I'm going to text Garrett Wang right now and see if he could send a message to late 2019 warning us about Coronavirus.

Then, again, social distancing is probably why I'm rewatching old TV shows again (when my kids let me).
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