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Dean Grr
Thu, Mar 21, 2013, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Gravity

Jammer, first, congrats on the new addition to your family! As a reader, wishing you all the best!

...

I think the intro to this review sums up Voyager nicely. I don't agree 100%: I like having standalone stories, and a noble crew, that doesn't get jaded by time and experience. DS9 is more true to life, while Voyager is closer to fairy tale or mythology, with idealized (or at least more static) characters. I get a lot of "real" life everyday, and found DS9 and it's successor of sorts, BSG, trying to drag it's characters (and audience) through hell just to see the reaction: DS9 in a much softer way, though (Quark? Rom?)!
There's quite a difference between the family life of Chief O'brien, for example, and the despair that Chief Tyrol goes through (although they both go through hell - O'brien, though, only once per season ;).

...

A thought about Tuvok (and what prompted this entry): I suspect Tuvok was underused partly because his relationship to Janeway was often an uncontested one: not the case for Kirk and Spock. Entire episodes were dedicated to the personal conflict between Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Without that tension, Tuvok did not have as many stories to tell, or drama to be part of.
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Dean Grr
Thu, Mar 21, 2013, 1:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

I'm going from memory on this ep, but I liked Garrett's perfomance: he came across as genuine and invested in his role. I sensed his romantic interest found her lines amusing, but I still liked their playful banter, their innocence, and Tal's sense of wonder.

I took Janeway's condemnation to mean Harry created first contact problems (pun intended ;) !), i.e. making it hard to negotiate with Tal's people, and putting himself ahead of his duty.
True to life, there's usually not a crackdown until consequences arise, like Harry's electric reaction to Tal (having pun again ;).

I'm okay with the criticism of Voyager: even Michael Piller admitted in an interview (Season 2 DVD) that shows like ER at the time were moving ahead of Star Trek, production wise. One thing about reviewing is that it can come across as jaded much of the time. I suppose my defense is not of Voyager as much, but to keep a part of that child-like wonder at discovery, and the nobility and empathy that Star Trek often showed.
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Dean Grr
Thu, Dec 6, 2012, 7:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

Jammer, I disagree on this one for the following:
*I didn't find the underlying story that hard to understand and the archaeological angle was fascinating. It reads as a story about balance in nature, light & dark, yin & yang.
*I remember reading Menosky was not happy with this episode, but a large detractor for me was the cheap production: it was a bottle show with cheaper props (the artifacts in Ten Forward were pretty funny). If they had a cgi battle between two transformed gods, that might have been different ...
*I thought Brent Spiner did a fine job with the different mythological characters, and it was chilling to think that a malfunction (or misunderstanding) of an ancient library could lead to real world death. As a writer above mentioned, it would be like LotR wih the holodeck safeties off, :).

In short, it was more the production than the story that hurt the episode. The idea was cool, the execution lacked, but when I think of season 7, I think about Data's mask. Probably a good Halloween costume, as a nod to Trekkies and to have fun with anyone that hated this episode, ;).
-Dean
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Dean Grr
Thu, Nov 29, 2012, 4:20am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter

I've just watched this ep again, and I wanted to thank-you Jammer for adding so much enjoyment to watching Star Trek with your reviews. It's pretty impressive you wrote these insights during college, while they were first airing. For myself, I've had to become older to be able appreciate some of your ideas.

...

There are two parts of this review I wanted to highlight: First, "... There are so many perceptive, accurate-feeling notes concerning family tensions that the story subtly picks up on ..." Unless a story connects with us personally, it's hard to enjoy it, or remember it for long.
It says quite a lot about DS9 as a whole, that people still think and talk about it.

Also, where you talk about Ezri's mother and how she has "... fallen into the unconscious habit of trying to continuously control her children's lives". A lot of our actions (and mistakes) come from not even being aware of what we're doing. I'd be surprised if her mother really changes for the better after this, but it's possible.

Thanks again, Dean
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Dean Grr
Thu, Jul 12, 2012, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Voyager did show the character's lives on Earth: 26 years later, Barclay is part of the Voyager family, toasting the crew at a reunion, Tom Paris returned to civilian life as an author, B'Elanna as Klingon Ambassador, the Doctor ("Joe") with a human wife ...

What would have made the ending, though, is to see Seven of Nine walk into the reunion as an epilogue, with a contented Admiral Janeway looking on.

...

On the Borg ...

Having the last couple seasons witness the Borg expand exponentially, like their power and drive to assimilate would allow, would have been frightening and lent awesome suspense leading up the finale. The Borg were a virus multiplying, and with their transwarp conduits could easily catch up to Voyager. Even though it wasn't perfect, the story "Hope and Fear", where an advanced race is finally conquered by the Borg and you see the despair and rage of the survivors, could have lead up to a final confrontation. A race like the Borg had to be stopped, not annihilated, but have the drones freed and the Collective disbanded.

....

Gotta love that scene, though, of Voyager ripping through a Borg cube with a single shot, ;)!
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Dean Grr
Wed, Jun 13, 2012, 11:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

Just passing through on my walk through the web ... I wonder how your reviews of TNG are affected by the changes in storytelling since they were aired. When I watch an episode today, it's a mixture of nostalgia and comparing that to recent dramas. Just watched DS9's "Emissary" and that episode has withstood the test of time.

"Relics" is one of my favorite eps from Season 6, due to the idea of the Dyson Sphere, and of course, Scotty. Anytime they feature ancient advanced civilizations, it's the best!

...

It would be interesting to note what reviews would keep their ratings, and which would decrease over time. It would also be fun to compare notes with fans that watched the shows when they aired, versus new fans today. I suspect as long as the props or cgi don't give away their age, many Star Trek episodes tell universal stories. Anyone watch TOS remastered - does it help the shows compensate for their age?
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Dean Grr
Tue, May 22, 2012, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

I apologize for a 3rd comment, but I`m not able to edit a previous one. I have to be careful, because I`m in danger of being conceited myself.

Stories can do many good things: heal, console, inspire, enlighten. I enjoy Jammer`s reviews, and enjoy reviewing myself, but it seems selfish, with all that`s going on in the world (poverty, war, greed), the things that the Star Trek world has solved, to talk about how entertained (or not) we are.

I won`t continue to moralize: anyone reading this is aware about our world. I find it ironic, though, that the baseness of human behaviour, i.e greed, betrayal and graphic violence or torture, would be considered aesthetic, and entertainment.
There are many aspects of BSG I enjoy, for example, but the violence and shock tactics in storytelling begs the question: is this entertainment? So, I am not immune from the irony.

To be fair, Jammer finds this episode cynical, whereas I suppose I find the process of review sometimes cynical. - Dean
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Dean Grr
Mon, May 21, 2012, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

I'd like to ad that I'm thankful for Star Trek and its uplifting themes. I have to suppress a tear sometimes when I hear the different opening musical scores,:).

I'm not trying to belittle the joy of reviewing or people's personal experiences, but trying to define what is desirable or not in artistic expression, seems a bit conceited sometimes.

...

Something that struck me watching this episode is the trepidation Trek has towards sexuality (Neelix and Tom discussing the honeymoon) and also the way extras are not developed as secondary characters, making the Trek world breath more, be more believable on a character level. That's something better done by BSG or Lost.

It was cool for Chakotay to carry an argument with "alternate" Janeway, as she relents in going back to the Demon planet. I also admired that Janeway refused to attack the miner's ship, and tried to prevent the disintegration of the silver blood Voyager, without sacrificing who (she thought) she was. What more can any of us do, sometimes?
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Dean Grr
Mon, May 21, 2012, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

It's nice to visit this quiet corner of the net, and the great reviews of Star Trek. But ... we must lead pretty comfortable lives to critique shows the way we do: at least the most we suffer from sometimes is boredom. Another way of saying this, is that there's a hidden conceit in writing tv reviews: that we are the center of the universe, and tv exists to entertain us, and should do so. Isn't that kind of like spoiled children?
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