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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sine Qua Non

the links that explain the significance of 47 no longer work
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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Guess What's Coming to Dinner?

Doctor Who showrunners could learn a thing or two from this episode
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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

This is my first watch of DS9 (I probably saw a few episodes as a kid on German tv, but don't remember anything)
First episode was hit and miss, I really can do without the religious stuff, but I guess it is here to stay. Similar thing bothered me on my re-watch of Babylon 5 recently, although there it is more as a spirituality/universe kind of thing.

Since I still consider B5 my fave SF show till now (with the Expanse coming fast from behind), it will be interesting to see the parallels and differences in "the other station show".
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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Faith

wow, the religion and mythology focus really riled up the viewers
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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

“Dreary,predictable, unengaging“

One could say the same about your reviews. ;-)
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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

Dreary,predictable, unengaging.
If I wanted a romantic story I'd read Jane Austen.
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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

Lol, what did I watch here? I think there might have been some potential in using the Apple metaphor from the Garden of Eden and showing a very nuanced view of how technology/help from advanced races can be helpful and harmful. Some commenters even brought up colonization and imperialism which, in the right context, could've been apt here. The episode does discuss the topic of helping/hurting briefly, but unfortunately the episode comes off a one-sided in favor of interference against a system that's so obviously flawed.

The episode goes off course by making practically all freedoms taboo for the people of Vaal. No touching, or kissing, or sex? Even Spock's Vulcan customs should be against this to a degree. The unfortunate consequence of Vaal's strict portrayal is it becomes impossible to sympathize with his "paradise". I mean, it's neat that people don't die or anything, but what exactly is enjoyable about living with Vaal?

Unintentionally funny were Red Shirt deaths. There are at least 5 Red Shirts on the away team and they all seem extraneous from the start. So, it's hilarious to see them all formulaically meet their doom, as if this were the game Space Quest (which parodies Trek) rather than Star Trek itself. How lethal the planet is gets really confusing as Spock is struck by at least two lethal traps but seems perfectly fine moments after. I was expecting "Vulcan physiology" to come into play, but even that handwave wasn't present.

I don't understand the conflict between Scotty and Kirk. Kirk seems adamant that Scotty stay aboard the ship and not goof off on the planet (like he and the others do). This somehow escalates into Kirk *firing* Scotty for not being able to accomplish the impossible? I know it's a bit tongue-and-cheek with Kirk, but it makes him come off as a real jerk instead of a good captain and the moral center of the episode he's supposed to be.

The best part was probably the Chekov romance scene which subsequently led to the people of Vaal being curious about freedom. This episode could've used so many more moments like this to show how wrong Vaal was to control people instead of laying the burden on Kirk to spell it out in rapid succession almost aggressively on the native people.
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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Road Less Traveled

not sure about the reasoning of putting religion to the forefront at this point
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Distant Origin

The "trial" with Gegen and Minister Odala at the end is eerily similar to the conversation between Valery Legasov and Chairman Charkov of the KGB at the end of the Chernobyl series, which in itself is not unlike Galileo's situation, as Jammer and other commenters have pointed out.

I know who I am, and I know what I've done. In a just world, I would be shot for my lies. But not for this. Not for the truth.

Scientists... and your idiot obsession with reasons. When the bullet hits your skull, what will it matter why? No one's getting shot, Legasov. The whole world saw you in Vienna. It would be embarrassing to kill you now. And for what? Your testimony today will not be accepted by the State. It will not be disseminated in the press. It never happened. No, you will live-- however long you have. But not as a scientist. Not anymore. You'll keep your title and your office, but no duties, no authority, no friends. No one will talk to you. No one will listen to you. Other men-- lesser men-- will receive credit for the things you have done. Your legacy is now their legacy. You'll live long enough to see that.

[Later after asking Legasov about Scherbina's and Khomyuk's role in his testimony]

You will not meet or communicate with either one of them ever again. You will not communicate with anyone about Chernobyl ever again. You will remain so immaterial to the world around you that when you finally do die, it will be exceedingly hard to tell that you ever lived at all.

And if I refuse?

Why worry about something that isn't going to happen?

"Why worry about something that isn't going to happen." That's perfect. They should put that on our money.
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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 11:21am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

I'm a relatively new Trek fan and have seen all of TOS and TNG (started DS9 relatively recently). I enjoyed this movie, honestly. Not great, but there's good stuff in it and it's well made. Where is stalls for me is the Kirk/Picard interactions. I wish that the film had gotten back to Kirk faster to give more time between him and Picard. There could have been some truly great dialogue between the two to really showcase the difference in their personalities and ideologies. I wouldn't say that was wasted, but it was incredibly rushed. What could have been a very memorable meeting of two of the most iconic characters in history came down to just a two minute mild disagreement. Generations gets 3/4 for me.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 9:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Through the Looking Glass

I HATE Mirror Universe episodes.

Except when DS9 does them, and then they are brilliant.

The layers of thoughts going through my head when Sisko is talking to Jennifer and the way he must be feeling, yet managing to not show a flicker of any of it, was the best use of "good trek character having to be bad" I've seen. If only DSC and ENT's use of it had been so good.
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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 5:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

This is indeed a formidable hour of Trek. I haven't been super impressed by DS9 on this rewatch, miles too many repetitive and boring episodes covering the same ground (Quark's bar and Dax's past lives being two of my main annoyances). I have mentioned in other comments that my best friend has been watching all the Treks through as they are being broadcast on Sky. He liked Voyager (for the most part) and TNG, found Enterprise boring and pointless, and he similarly found DS9 very slow and boring, only picking up the pace in its fifth season, while the first four seasons were littered with wretched, inconsequential episodes.

However, whenever the show heavily features any combination of Carsassians, Klingons, Romulans or the Dominion, then virtually every time it makes me and him sit up and take notice. (Repetitive Dax/Klingon death quests aside.) DS9 has a grandeur of scale and importance that none of the other Trek shows could match. Its character work is second to none. Ironic that this show, hated by some for being opposed to Roddenberry's ideals, produces by far the best episodes once it finally creaks into the fifth season.

In Purgatory's Shadow is DS9 completely in its stride. I feel that it succeeds on every level. Even the title is awesome, beaten only by "By Inferno's Light", surely the greatest episode title ever. This two parter is an event episode, representing something hugely important in the Trek universe, and I still remember how I felt when watching them for the first time because it's how I still feel watching it now. Excited, thrilled, amazed that a Trek show can have characters this well acted and well written, that can finally hold a candle to Stargate SG1 and Atlantis.
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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 3:52am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Journey's End

3 stars. Another in a small group of season 7 episodes that was pretty solid and felt like TNG

TNG didn’t have a lot of things to revisit before it ended but Wesley returning was one of them.

I liked the way his arc wrapped up and I found the characterization believable and true to life with regards to his overachieving then burnout

I also liked seeing Native Americans brought into the 24th century and a little bit about them and how they exist in a future setting. It felt very fresh and interesting. Plus it set up the fact that we knew that year that the first officer on the next series Voyager would be Native American

Another thing the episode had going for it was the feel of interactivity between TNG and DS9 in settong up things for VOY.

Overall a good interesting episode

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Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

“It’s not a total mess.”

When comments like that are the chief apologias for an episode, the episode has problems.

More than one person has commented that he or she has studied or is familiar with principles of archaeology or mythology. One shouldn’t have to be, though, to find the episode coherent or enjoyable. Some people are fond of Civil War reenactments. A movie that constitutes a three-hour-Long Civil War re-enactment would no doubt be regarded as “good” by these people-whether or not the movie made sense, was interesting, entertaining, or dramatically compelling. People who like something for what it is about instead of how it is about that thing, should at least cop to it.

As to “what is it about,” as in, “Does the episode have a meaning or purpose or moral or theme?,” my answer is I have no idea but in any event the having of one does not make something inherenly better. Mindless action movies can be quite entertaining if made with skill. To me, Masks was so incoherent that I cannot tell whether I was trying to say something, or whether it was not. Incoherence of that magnitude - that makes it impossible to tell who is doing what with whom, and where, and why, can be entertaining, but it wasn’t here. I love the line where right before Picard basically talks an alien to death, he says, “I have experience with this sort of thing” (the line may have been “I have experience with these kinds of situations” (or”mythology”)... he then...promptly talks an alien to death with characteristic numbing pomposity.

“Your speech.. It’s dull.. plodding... pedantic.... much like yourself.”
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Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 11:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Patterns of Force

I do want to add though, that I think is the most successful Trek adventure to deal with Nazis directly. So, it's still leagues ahead of the even-more hackneyed usage of them in Voyager and Enterprise. At least TOS could say they were the first to tackle this in a televised Sci-Fi context, especially in the Trek universe.

TNG and DS9 were smart enough to deal with WWII themes indirectly with metaphors that weren't so heavy-handed and I think it paid those series well -- particularly DS9.
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Sleeper Agent
Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

@Silenus: Right on!

My thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of 90's b-action movies, especially if it takes place in a sci-fi setting. Some of them I actually consider to be personal film favorites of all time (Project Shadowchaser, Trancers, Dark Side of the Moon to name a couple).

Naturally, there also exist a bunch of them which quite frankly stink, and when I watch "Macrocosm" I see the exact same elements which cause those movies to suck: repetitive environments, boring enemies, lame action scenes ... all this in a cliché deluxe package, including techno-babble and Neelix.

I'm tempted to bust out the zero, but alas, how could I give anything, which features Janeway in a tank top blasting alien scum, anything less than 1 star?
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Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Patterns of Force

This definitely has its moments, especially with Kirk working together with the Zeon to gain sympathy and trust. We can sort of see some parallels between the Zeon and the Jews. And of course we get some okay humor out of the Nazi antics. "You'd make an excellent Nazi, Captain!" says Spock in an expectedly straight-faced Vulcan manner.

What's frustrating about this one, is that they dress up in Nazi costume for what seems like at least four different times only for it to never work. You start to get the feeling that any plan involving dressing up as Nazis is never going to work and it's just stupid. Then, bafflingly, the final attempt (at a time you'd think the SS base would be wise to the ploy) to sneak in as Nazis works without a hitch.

Of course, the main weakness here is that the episode builds up so heavily to the Gill reveal that we expect a solid explanation as to why he turned the planet into Nazis. However, we find that he's just drugged and he had pure intentions starting a Nazi-styled empire. I'm not going to get into why that reveal is convoluted because others have so well. To cut to the chase, this reveal isn't particularly insightful about the Nazis or about non-interference in general. Like others have noted, if you're going to do a Nazi story, you need to really hit home and make a strong message or else you're just wasting your characters on an old cliché (yes, it was old in the 1960s - remember, there were films about Nazis *during WWII* [ex. Casablanca]).

So, I can see where they were going with this, and I think the character work and humor was good enough to make it entertaining. In fact, I did enjoy a lot of it, and perhaps that's thanks only to some incredibly good acting. The story Itself simply lacks meat, or the meat isn't nearly as delicious as what the episode promised.

Springy wrote:
"I was pleasantly surprised that the writers didn't come up with a reason Kirk had to kiss the ep's sexy lady (to save the planet, of course)."

That's pretty funny! I do think a better resolution between Kirk and Daras would've helped, though. It didn't need to be a kiss. It just needed to be a better explanation as to how they were going to undo the Nazi damage.
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Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Lasting Impressions

[[The archeologist assigned to oversee this unearthing is played by Tim Russ, whom I haven't seen in anything since probably Live Free or Die Hard. His performance here suggests a specific eccentricity.]]

Tim Russ was in an episode of "The Good Doctor."
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Escape Velocity

really surprised the crowd was not focusing on how Baltar moved like he was being propped up
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 9:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Ties That Bind

10 years later and we still come to this blog as the go to review
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 8:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Obsession

Wow -- much better than I had remembered. One of the few of TOS that I had not seen since the 1970s.

The Big Three really standout in this episode, but the supporting players and guest stars turn in strong performances as well.

The episode has a quality to it you don't see again until DS9. It's pretty dark -- in a good way.
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Other Chris
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: 11001001

Didn't much like the episode, but I really appreciated the higher level of production. Very nice direction and music.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 7:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Deadly Years

I must have a must higher tolerance for rapid-aging stories than the average "Trek" fan. I really liked the Next Gen rapid-aging story in season 2, and it's mostly panned.

I enjoyed this one as well, and it sure resonates with the almost 57-year-old me a lot more than the 12-year-old me.

Poor Lt. Galway. She's was treated like an afterthought. I don't know why, but her death always stuck with me as a particular sad one, and last night's viewing didn't change that.

That line about what a stupid place to put a mirror -- that's a great moment.

I had forgotten about the entire Romulan angle. Glad they had it in there.
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Paul C
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Business as Usual

No one seems to have spotted it (or mentioned it anyway) so here we go... nice Easter egg at the start. Quark is selling a weapon in the holo suite and it’s serial number is CRM 114. A reference to Dr Strangelove. And of course, nuclear weapons. Also referenced in Back to the Future (Marty hooking up his guitar to that huge amp).
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Sleeper Agent
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Coda

This does what many VOY episodes have done so far: it forces you to watch a painfully mediocre story, with scenes bordering on snoozefest, for the first 2/3 or 3/4 of the episode.

Then it surprises you with a top notch if not brilliant last 10-15 minutes, often thanks to a clever twist and/or intriguing element in combination with Janeway kickin' ass.

Still, there are many episodes better than this one, which I would probably skip if I would ever do a rewatch (God forbid!).

1,5 Stars.
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