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Diamond Dave
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Well that was, on the whole, a crushing disappointment. Once again I am in complete agreement with Jammer - this was a severe anti-climax, bizarrely low key, moving rapidly through a bizarre series of plot devices that seemed more unlikely as we went on. It was almost as if they had decided on a "Starfleet are the good guys" conclusion and ignored every other plot point that suggested otherwise. Very odd.

Positives included a very nice reconstruction of what looked like a Klingon homeworld Blade Runner and some nice comedic beats from Tilly. At least the cursing felt more organic this time than the f-bomb earlier on in the series! And I thought the appearance of the Enterprise and the original theme was a rousing conclusion. Lord alone knows where we're going with this though. 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Can't believe I forgot my favourite line of the series so far - "Here, have my ganglia" in a previous review. Saru seemed pretty sanguine that Burnham not only lied about the Kelpians but ate one too....

Jammer and others above pretty much nailed my reaction to this one. It's almost like we need a bigger hit every week to get the same high - and when you do get one it never feels like the first one. This seemed to me almost all exposition for the finale - maybe doing the heavy lifting now to clear the decks for next time? Again we're clearing though huge amounts at pace - which was then as others have noted brought to a screeching halt by the Burnham/Tyler scene. It gets credit for not having a Hollywood ending but, as someone noted above, there's no way she should be with him anyway and no kind of moral obligation to be.

I sort of liked the idea that Georgiou and Sarek are planning some kind of mass genocide out of expediency, but if all that does is set up a repeat of Burnham having to betray Georgiou again then I'd rather it didn't go there. We'll see. 2 stars for this one.
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Diamond Dave
Mon, Jan 14, 2019, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Was overall pretty underwhelmed by this. Lorca's descent to mustache-twirling bad guy I felt undermined any complexity in the character. Burnham's decision making mystifies me - after effectively assisting one raging psychopath in Voq/Tyler she brings another one back in the Emperor. For what seems like no reason at all - THAT'S NOT YOUR CAPTAIN! Not liking that at all.

Everything else was just too small to me. Fates of empires played out by 20 soldiers in a corridor. The action was fairly formulaic. It just didn't really engage me at all. Even the ending - which in other circumstances I might have given another half star to - feels like a way to skip a half series worth of story. Ah well. 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sun, Jan 13, 2019, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Vaulting Ambition

PS And it's not often you see someone explode on Star Trek either!
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Diamond Dave
Sun, Jan 13, 2019, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Vaulting Ambition

One of those rare episodes that gets a half star uptick just for the last minute. Of course I knew of the MU Lorca theories from reading through comments on previous episodes (one of the dangers of coming in late) but if I'd have been going at this blind I'm not sure I would have seen it coming. But once it's out there, all of those little off beats make sense looking back. I think that was nicely done.

For the rest of the episode I can't help feel that for the most part the Burnham/Stamets/Tyler stories were largely just filling time. Much like I felt the longer plot arcs in Enterprise often were too long there's a small amount of that feeling here too - I can't help thinking that it could move along just a bit quicker. But there certainly is enough interest now moving forward for hopefully a rousing end to the series. 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sun, Jan 13, 2019, 10:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside

I think the commenter above who named this ep Star Trek: Exposition probably said much more succinctly what I was about to. I don't think this was actively bad but it wasn't really very good either. Burnham's moral conflict has been done better elsewhere. Tyler/Voq had been trailed for long enough that I don't think it really came as too much of a surprise and hence dramatically was extremely underwhelming in execution. Stamets-in-a-mushroom-world similarly. And there was much less fun to be had this time out.

Vulcan goatees get a thumbs up though. 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sun, Jan 13, 2019, 9:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

OK, so I've said before I'm fully up for a bit of Mirror Universe action. And for me this didn't disappoint. I think Frakes brought a sure guiding hand - it could've lost balance swinging from the grimmest of dark drama (the Tyler story is getting pretty black, and the killing of Culber definitely counts as a "whoa!" moment) to the typically MU comedic overtones (Captain Killy and Scottish engineers an example). But I thought it carried off those moments with sureness of touch that provided laughs and shocks with equal aplomb.

If there's a downside there's the willingness for all concerned (Burnham/Culber/Saru) to overlook Tyler's obvious instability. Necessary for the plot but really.....?

I love the idea of the MU Discovery turning up in our universe - now that would be an interesting one episode diversion - and am I alone in waiting with anticipation to see evil MU Saru? 3.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sun, Jan 13, 2019, 7:18am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Ah, now that was excellent. Like many others I thought this was the first time the series really clicked into high gear. The bulk of the show was a good, fast paced actioner with some genuine tension and feeling of peril. But in many respects I thought the quieter ending was what pushed it over the line, having some emotional weight, moving characters forward (I thought the Lorca/Stamets interaction particularly noteworthy) and setting up intriguing new possibilities. Like an early post here said, I'm excited to see where we're going next.

I didn't know you cared indeed. 3.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

After what I thought was a decent start this fell away quite rapidly. I liked the space battle intro, and I liked the authentically Trek feeling away mission (enhanced by the rather lovely looking VFX work). I actually liked that Saru wasn't possessed and acted of his own accord, problematic though that should (and won't) be for his future career in Starfleet!

Like so many others I took an aggressive dislike to the Klingon scenes, and I too really couldn't keep up with the plot swings. It felt like a whole story was missing in there somewhere. And the Stamets C-story shouldn't have been there at all, given it wasn't really explained at all.

Overall I'm starting to wonder if all this is an artefact of the shorter series length over previous Trek. It seems we're rushing through so fast - Harry Mudd back quickly, Admiral Cornwell back quickly - where before maybe 3 or 4 episodes would pass? I'm just not sure this show has enough room to breathe, and this episode was a good example. 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Wed, Jan 9, 2019, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

OK, so we've been here before and better. And I definitely could have done without the swift return of Harry Mudd. But as many others noted this was the first time Discovery has felt like a classic Trek episode - there was a surprising lightness and deft touch to some of the interactions that was genuinely welcome. And it had a bit of heart as well. Stamets is starting to be enjoyably left-field. But overall I still thought it lacked a certain...something. The glib ending too was jarring. So not a classic, but not bad either.

This night is turning out weird indeed. 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Tue, Jan 8, 2019, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

That was pretty good. Not groundbreaking but a reasonable attempt at some character building and a definite episodic feel. Nevertheless, I think like Jammer I sparked more on the Cornwell/Lorca B-plot than the A-plot. Aside from quite how they're both getting away with the command-chain-with-benefits thing, it does raise further interesting questions about Lorca's motivations and how far he's prepared to go. Cornwell's capture hardly came as a surprise, but hopefully will lead to some interest going forward.

The Sarek-Burnham story I thought was serviceable and occasionally went beyond that - the key moment of Sarek's choice had some weight.

Not particularly fussed about the holodeck.... but only if we don't get any holodeck episodes in the future.... 2.5 stars and not far off a 3.
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Diamond Dave
Mon, Jan 7, 2019, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Something of a curate's egg here. It felt like there was a lot going on but actually played out a fairly simplistic storyline. I suppose the tardigrade story played out as the most 'classic' Trek story here, but despite the violence on the Klingon ship being a bit more graphic than usual that also played out very traditionally given the ease of the escape. I'm also very much in Jammer's mindset that things are really not being explained very well and it's not yet clear whether that's on purpose or just poor writing.

Harry Mudd? Well not being a ToS fan I have no strong conviction either way. I thought he was alright, although being played by Rainn Wilson threw me right out of the story (I was half expecting Mose Schrute to turn up...).

All for seeing a gay male relationship after that not always convincing flirtation with gay female relationships previously. Perhaps this'll be a bit more grounded. I don't really care one way or t'other about the f-bombs, but will confess they threw me a bit. Mind you, so much of this series is throwing me....

But the ending sent a genuine chill up my spine - although I'm a sucker for mirror gags like that - and I'm all up for some mirror universe action if that's where we're going. This is certainly not following my expectations but will hang on for the ride. 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sun, Jan 6, 2019, 12:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

Now that one got a bit too black and white for me. The whole issue of the tardigrade - if we must abuse a peaceful creature for wider goals is it worth it - seems like something we've seen a million times before. And while it's interesting we're in Game of Thrones "not just the ensigns get it" territory, Landry's intervention was crass in the extreme from a script perspective. Lorca does seem to be coming out a little one dimensional too - hopefully that will change.

I'm really not into the Klingon stuff at all, it has to be said. The redesign/subtitling is certainly not doing it for me so far. Oh, and fuck the Elon Musk reference. And the Zaphod one too for that matter. 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sun, Jan 6, 2019, 7:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

Hmmm, now that was interesting. I particularly liked the bounce around between the almost Section 31 atmosphere of dark goings on, to Lorca's touchy feely "it's all about the science (and only a bit about winning the war)" to Lorca's actual intentions seeming way more dark than even initially imagined. It's kind of like the darkest DS9 with a bit of Alien thrown in. With some subversion of our traditional Trek expectations I might actually be on board with this. "Universal law is for lackeys" is certainly not the kind of thing you'd expect a Trek captain to be saying

I suppose overall there was a bit too much running around dark corridors - although with a little hint of body horror thrown in that you don't see on Trek everyday - and the new characters are a bit too broad at the moment (especially Tilly) but there's definitely something to chew on here. I'm not sure where this microbe driven warp drive is coming from either, although frankly if it turns the crew inside out when used then perhaps there's a reason why we don't see it again!

Enter: you indeed. 3 stars
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Diamond Dave
Sat, Jan 5, 2019, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Another one here catching up on home video. I've deliberately kept away from too much commentary on the series to avoid spoilers, but the one thing I've kept hearing is that it's "dark". Given my favourite series was DS9 I might find something to enjoy here.

And I certainly did enjoy the first two episodes. I thought it was a fairly clever move concentrating on only a handful of characters, and it rapidly became apparent why. I think the bait and switch with the Shenzhou was an interesting one - a pre-pilot if you will - that sets things in motion but doesn't in and of itself seem to set too many things in stone.

So what did I like - big fan of Michelle Yeoh, liked the dynamic with the two female leads, thought the pacing of part one was good, liked that we got straight into the action in part two. Had a laugh to myself at the outline in the sand and at the grim situation in the brig - very nice beats. I thought the Klingon holy war idea was an interesting one. Tonally I thought it was a good mix - definitely there seems to be an attempt to go against the Trekian past and set up a more aggressive/militaristic feel, but wasn't scared to set up a debate on that point. Liked Sarek, liked Burnham wrestling with the two sides to her nature (although hoping that doesn't get too similar to Spock as we've already covered a lot of that ground), liked Saru.

What didn't I like - really not on board with the Klingon re-design. Speaking in Klingon might be authentic but seems overly fanboy, until they started speaking in English and you could barely understand them. In fact I thought the Klingon scenes dragged a bit in general. But actually really not a whole lot there not to like. Well, the intro music... Come back Enterprise, all is forgiven!

And of course the thing looks a million dollars. As readers of my reviews back in the day will know I actually like a bit of lens flare...

Definitely in for a bit more of this:
The Vulcan Hello 3 stars
Battle at the Binary Stars 3.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Wed, May 18, 2016, 4:57am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

"It's been a long road, getting from there to here". So after 614 episodes watched over 285 days (averaging 2.15 eps/day) here's the final tally from best to worst:

1) Deep Space Nine Season 2 2.79
2) Deep Space Nine Season 5 2.77
3) Deep Space Nine Season 7 2.70
4) The Next Generation Season 3 2.69
4) The Next Generation Season 5 2.69
6) Deep Space Nine Season 4 2.66
7) The Next Generation Season 4 2.61
8) Deep Space Nine Season 6 2.60
9) Enterprise Season 3 2.583
10) Voyager Season 5 2.58
11) The Next Generation Season 6 2.56
11) Deep Space Nine Season 3 2.56
13) Deep Space Nine Season 1 2.55
14) Voyager Season 7 2.54
15) Voyager Season 1 2.50
15) Voyager Season 2 2.50
17) The Next Generation Season 7 2.48
18) Enterprise Season 4 2.46
19) Voyager Season 4 2.44
20) Voyager Season 3 2.42
20) Voyager Season 6 2.42
20) Enterprise Season 1 2.42
23) Enterprise Season 2 2.35
24) The Next Generation Season 2 2.30
25) The Next Generation Season 1 2.14

By series complete average:

1) Deep Space Nine 2.66
2) The Next Generation 2.50
3) Voyager 2.49
4) Enterprise 2.45

Complete episode average = 2.54

The Best: 4* Episodes

TNG

Q Who
Yesterday's Enterprise
The Best of Both Worlds Pt 1
I, Borg
The Inner Light
Parallels
All Good Things...

DS9

Duet
The Wire
The Way of the Warrior
The Visitor
Trials and Tribble-ations
In Purgatory's Shadow
In The Pale Moonlight

Voyager

Tuvix
Scorpion Pt 1
Timeless
Infinite Regress

Enterprise

Shockwave Pt 1
Cogenitor

The Worst: 1* Episodes

TNG

Lonely Among Us
Angel One
Too Short A Season
The Royale
Up The Long Ladder
Manhunt
Shades of Gray
Sub Rosa

DS9

Fascination
Profit and Lace

Voyager

Spirit Folk
Q2

Enterprise

A Night In Sickbay
Precious Cargo
Bounty

So as a bottom line it's been a fun ride with overall the quality being much higher than I might have anticipated going in. If there's a single lesson to be drawn it's that a series lives and dies by its cast - the reason DS9 was my favourite was I think due to the fact that most of its cast (including a major array of occasional characters like Garak, Dukat, Weyoun etc) could carry an episode. The same was broadly true for TNG, but for Voyager and particularly Enterprise the fact half the cast couldn't really support a full episode was a real limiting factor.
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Diamond Dave
Wed, May 18, 2016, 3:41am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

So overall I scored this series at an average of 2.46, which makes it the second best Enterprise season but a big fall off from season 3 and among the lower scores across all the series.

For me, by the end, the whole thing was seeming rather tired and the cancellation was probably the right thing. After 4 seasons Enterprise still hadn't found its direction, and at that point it's probably better to cut your losses than continue. And fundamentally it was due to the lack of progress in the characterisation. Trip was the only character that to my mind really broke out, but everyone else seemed either static or going backward. If we didn't care about these people, why would we care about the show? The curious tonal decisions made towards the end merely added to that fact.

Additionally, the shift to short story arcs also didn't really work. It meant too many episodes were mired in set up, and the payoffs were often minimal in the extreme. A disappointing end to what was overall a disappointing show.
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Diamond Dave
Wed, May 18, 2016, 3:30am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

So I definitely see what this was trying to do, and as a cap to all of the new Trek series it does in fact make a deal of sense. But as a conclusion to Enterprise this didn't really work - not least of which because making it a low rent TNG episode denies the Enterprise crew a final shot.

The other thing that bothers me is how off it seems tonally - after the down ending last time out the least we could have hoped for as fans is that Trip and T'Pol made it. To find out here there relationship petered out, and then to have Trip killed off in as arbitrary way as any character in the series history, definitely feels like a kick in the teeth. The whole plot line with Shran feels like an afterthought, and it's never really apparent to me how Riker derives any benefit from the whole exercise.

That said, there are some really nice moments here - the Riker chef scenes are excellent, and never better when carrot-munching Trip reappears post death - and the final 15 seconds almost make up for what came before. But as a sign off to the long-running Trek TV empire - could have done better. "You can all go straight to Hell" indeed. 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Tue, May 17, 2016, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Terra Prime

Extraordinarily ballsy move to wrap up the main series with a dead baby, but if nothing else it brings some genuinely emotional beats to the wrap up, and with Archer's concluding speech puts a cap on things fairly effectively.

Unfortunately the bulk of the episode devolves to a fairly standard actioner that doesn't really offer too much as this point. Better than the first one because of that depth noted above, but no classic by any means. 3 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Tue, May 17, 2016, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Demons

I don't know if I'm getting jaded on this final leg but I found this to be deathly dull. There's a good moment when Trip/T'Pol's baby is revealed but that doesn't really get followed up much, the Travis storyline is welcome mainly because it gives the character something to do but actually isn't very involving, and I found the Peter Weller elements to be little more than a Bond villain rip off with a heck of a lot of explanatory exposition.

In truth, I liked the idea of this episode a lot more than the actual delivery. 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Mon, May 16, 2016, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II

Ah, such a shame. On the plus side, as a love letter to TOS this is spectacular. After the Tholians last time out, the production design on the Defiant, the wardrobe, the sound, all recreate TOS perfectly. And the updated special effects add an entirely new dimension of fun. (Well, apart from the Gorn, which was pretty ropey - although kudos for having the Gorn in there at all.)

But really, where did the plot go here? It basically resulted in bad people betraying worse people in the midst of a lot a shouting. Yes, the concluding Empress Sato moment was a nice wrap up but overall this was something less than the sum of its parts. 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Mon, May 16, 2016, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part I

Jaw-dropping teaser and title sequence that sets out an extremely audacious strategy to set an entire episode in the mirror universe without any intervention from our main crew. It's a shame it doesn't quite live up to that brilliant opening, and mainly I think the problem is that the crew are pretty much playing evil versions of themselves - there's nothing really that different here apart from from amped up performances and lots and lots of scenery chewing.

On the plus side, Evil Phlox and Evil Reed make the most of their opportunities, and Evil Hoshi is very easy on the eye. Evil Archer doesn't really work though. But as a comic book romp this is pretty successful. 3 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sun, May 15, 2016, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Bound

It's no classic by any means, but as a riff on Orion Slave Girl sexuality TOS style this isn't actually all bad - and the reveal that the men are in fact the slaves at least offers the proof that this is a riff and not a lazy mans excuse to do some hot slave action. That said, it's just not that interesting and as a rare standalone these days it shows that there are some benefits to arc shows moving the plot forward.

The one running story addressed here is the on again-off again Trip/T'Pol romance - and yes, it pleased me that they are back together. It just seems like a nice story, and we don't always get a lot of those. 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sun, May 15, 2016, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Divergence

Ah well, it seems that any idea for an interesting story in this went out the window in favour of a by-the-book actioner. At least this is carried off with some verve - Trip's opening stunt is admirable for the sheer effrontery of it - but you can't help but be a little disappointed that there really isn't something a bit deeper going on.

But as a nod to TOSit works fine, and as a nod to DS9 it also works fine (loving the Section 31 origin). It just could have been a whole lot better. 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sun, May 15, 2016, 11:45am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Affliction

I'd agree that the prospect of another arc fills me with something of dismay. And this isn't that successful as an opener. As an examination of people forced into doing things they don't want to do - Trip/Phlox/Reed - it rings fairly hollow and as a rule doesn't really shake things up despite the welcome appearance of Section 31 and the human Klingons.

I kind of feel there's a good story in here but not convinced it's going to find it's way out at this point. I share the view that Hernandez is good news, however. Star Trek: Columbia might have been an interesting way to go. 2 stars.
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