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James G
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 5:47am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

I've been watching the whole series through from the very first over this last few months, and reached this one today. Some of them I remember watching thirty years ago, some I hadn't seen before. I had never seen this one. Although they're all enjoyable in their own way, I think this is the first one that doesn't provoke a nagging inner voice complaining about some improbable plot device or oversight. This one just flew past. I was utterly immersed. Brilliant.

A couple of thoughts though - did the writers miss a trick by not having Kevin turn out to be a member of the Q Continuum? he seems to possess similar power, being able to snuff out an entire race on a whim provoked by rage. And he has a similar fascination with, or weakness for, humans. That might have been a nice tie in.

And secondly, a similar complaint that I always have about the 'Q' episodes. Doesn't the Federation have a lot to learn from a being like Kevin, or Q? Q can make vessels travel at many times maximum warp speed. Kevin has similar extraordinary power. But Q is treated like the annoying, embarrassing uncle who turns up at an awkward time. Kevin is just left to live out his (endless) life on a remote shell of a planet.

I don't like to think that these individuals are practitioners of "magic", so shouldn't the Federation be urging them to pass on a few secrets? Or at least ask for some sort of help or alliance; imagine what someone like Kevin or Q could do to a fleet of invading Borg cubes given the right motivation.
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Quibbles
Sat, Nov 16, 2019, 3:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Singularity

Personally, I judge these “crew going insane” episodes on one basis only: was it entertaining? That’s why I actually love “The Naked Now.” It’s insane, over-the-top, and ill-advised, but damn is it fun to watch. “Singularity” doesn’t hit those heights of lunacy, but it delivers. To this day, I still crack up when I think of Reed’s annoying alarm sounds. Hoshi’s “CARROTS!!” is a close second. I also thought Jolene Blalock was quite good. As the series goes on, she seems to be getting better at modulating that Vulcan reserve. In this ep, she picks the right moments to push for urgency, and her reactions to the crew’s crazy behavior are spot-on.

I also enjoyed the low-tech way T’Pol snaps Archer back to reality: just a cold shower and a cup of coffee! It makes for a more engaging scene than engineering some arbitrary injection or serum consisting of “X particle, which specifically counters the effects of Y radiation,” which is what Voyager would’ve done. A solid *** from me.
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Quibbles
Mon, Nov 4, 2019, 9:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Fallen Hero

Funny - I WAS in the seventh grade when this episode came out, and even then I thought Hoshi’s shirt getting ripped off was completely lame and unfunny. Not to mention embarrassing - I was watching these with my parents! The decon scenes always made me want to crawl under a rock.

IMO T’Pol’s character arc is the one of the best things about ENT. It’s done subtly and believably. In “Breaking the Ice” last season, we saw her make the choice to stay on Enterprise and open herself up to her surroundings a bit more. Here we see her completely go to bat for Archer and stand up to Soval with quite a bit of barely repressed anger about the P’Jem affair. Blalock is hit-and-miss for me, but I think she’s great in this and the final scene. I’m not sure if the writers planned an arc for T’Pol; considering how loose and improvised ENT’s long-term story arcs are in the first two seasons, probably not. But as much as they failed in other areas, they did a great job at letting T’Pol evolve naturally from episode to episode. Trineer is my favorite actor in ENT, but T’Pol is my favorite character.
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Quibbles
Thu, Oct 31, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Desert Crossing

Is it just me, or did I miss why Archer and Trip actually had to cross the desert? So they grab the survival gear from the shuttlepod, take off into the night… and never come back? Wouldn’t they return to see if the shuttlepod was destroyed by the bombardment, and if it was, wouldn’t some of Zobral’s people still be nearby to help them?

I was under the impression that all the events on the planet took place at a single camp; they had dinner, played lacrosse, then hid in a bunker, all in one place. So where are they trying to go? Did they get lost in the desert overnight and are trying to find the camp again? The survival scenario is so unclear, and so overemphasized, that it really sinks the whole thing. Decent Prime Directive stuff and Clancy Brown is a good guest actor, but I can’t get over a large part of the episode making no sense. I’d knock it down to **.
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Quibbles
Mon, Oct 28, 2019, 7:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Detained

I think you’re way too kind to this one, Jammer. This episode REALLY bothers me; it’s so cavalier and uninterested in thinking through the consequences of Archer’s actions that to me it actually becomes unethical.

So Archer doesn’t share his info on the Cabal because, “I don’t like being strong-armed. And I don’t like what they’re doing to these people.” WTF? Of course we’re supposed to feel sorry for the Suliban being herded into internment camps. But did anyone stop to consider that befriending the Tandarans might be a better way of helping the Suliban than, oh say, riding in like cowboys to bust loose 90 people out of potentially millions? That sharing info on the Cabal, *a mutual enemy,* might hasten the demise of the Cabal and end the need for internment in the first place?

There’s an even better real-world analogy today than in 2002 when Jammer wrote this review: China’s internment of the Uighur Muslims. If a team of American Marines parachuted into China and just liberated a single camp, it would be an outrageous, blatant act of war. And it would accomplish nothing for the Uighur Muslims as a whole. The entire world agrees that internment is wrong, but because this is the real world and the great powers all have nuclear weapons, we outside of China can’t do much about it except apply sanctions and diplomatic pressure.

What does Archer think will happen to the rest of the Suliban being held elsewhere? Does he really think the Tandarans won’t crack down on them harder, perhaps hide them away more carefully so other races won’t see what’s going on? Is he that stupid to make a new enemy when the sum total of humanity’s interstellar might is the starship Enterprise? The Suliban he liberated are either going to 1) get shot down immediately, 2) get captured again and probably subjected to much harsher treatment, 3) escape and be used by the Tandarans as symbols that the Suliban can’t be trusted. Assuming the sympathetic Suliban guy doesn’t make a run on the camp holding his wife and make things worse.

But the episode doesn’t care about any of that. We’re supposed to blindly root for the good guys. Hey look, they freed some people. Great job! They might have just ignited a full-blown genocide. Good Star Trek is about sitting down to think, reasoning through the possibilities, thinking through the consequences of your actions. This episode fails on that most basic level. ** from me, hovering on the edge of *1/2.
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kapages
Fri, Oct 25, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

As long as far left liberals want to establish Germanies all around the world, I have no problem with them whatsoever.

My point is this. You need a surplus of technology/goods/energy/exports/intelligence to support a social transfer system that yields results in the long run and keeps people motivated.
Star Trek relies on technology and moral education. Germany relies on a strong capitalistic economy, an organized state without much corruption that provides services worth of the taxes it gets, brain inflow from poorer EU countries, muscle inflow from immigrants from 3rd countries, etc.

Its not as simple as some seem to believe. Btw, try convincing Herr Sauble to increase german debt or an individual German to give away his/her accumulated wealth for funding additional social transfers without getting something in return...
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kapages
Thu, Oct 24, 2019, 11:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

The far left liberals are in essence morons that want to establish a star trek economy without star trek technology.

Abolish poverty and room scarcity with unlimited energy, replicators and colonies,
create super computers that can support a centralized control
create medical technology that solves 99% of health problems without cost

and u dont need the free hand of the market or money to make society "tick" and "grow".

At this point though, you need money and free market to create the aforementioned technology.

In the end, Its the conservatives that will make the liberals utopia come true...
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kapages
Tue, Oct 22, 2019, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Suddenly Human

Cultural relativism stops when Human Rights are violated. Emphasis on humans.
Talarians are free to set their own abusive culture for their own children, but inflicting it to human stolen children? Nope.
Even if they believe its ok, even if the human children are taught to believe its ok, its not ok.
Suppose Jono was a female child, being used as a house slave, occasionally for sex, without any education and prospect.
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Skeeves
Tue, Oct 22, 2019, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Cathexis

@Elliott

'EMH: Needless to say, it was a remarkable procedure. I would consider writing a paper about it if there were a convenient forum in which to publish it.'

I think you did that. lol. You are an insane person, but keep it up.
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Lee Jones
Wed, Oct 9, 2019, 10:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

Watched this episode just now.
I'd seen it once before, years ago, but I'd forgot its emotional punch.

Damn it all, if I haven't now found an episode to rival my adoration for "The Inner Light."

Well done, DS9. Well done.
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Duhknees
Sun, Oct 6, 2019, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

Haven't read through everything everyone has said, because I know Voyager doesn't get much respect on this site, but I do want to add to jammer's commendation on Phillips' performance. I lost my brother to suicide many years ago, and when I talk about it to others now, they always ask the same question: Couldn't you see signs of it, before he did it? The answer is, of course, no, because suicides aren't like they are often pictured, emotional and desperate. They are, in fact, quite pleased with themselves for making a decision. The desperation occurs earlier; when it's gone, that's when they're dangerous. My brother seemed lighthearted, better than normal, because he thought he'd found a solution to his problems. Phillips shows that in this episode, that calm, frightening composure that often precedes a measured but deadly response. That did not come from the writing alone, I suspect. It made this episode much more poignant for me.
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James04
Sun, Oct 6, 2019, 8:57am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Death Wish

At last I know what I dislike about Q and his kind: they are totally egocentric. Self-obsessed bores do not make a good episode.

1 star, for a good beginning. The rest of the episode was lousy.
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James04
Mon, Aug 26, 2019, 12:13am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Projections

This was a good holodeck episode, “Ship in a Bottle” good. Not a silly holodeck episode, with Picard and co. dressed up as 18th-century Naval officers, and not twee, and much better than a Janeway holonovel episode. This was also much better in every way than the episodes exploring, about whether Data is human, because the exploration of the Doctor’s status arose entirely naturally from the logic of the events in the story and the series; it was not preachy, as so much of TNG is.

It was good to see Reg Barclay - we always see a great deal of the Bridge officers, and it was a pleasant change to see a lower-ranking character get some of the attention instead. On the whole, Voyager divides its attention between the Bridge officers, and the all-important lower ranks, rather well; better, perhaps, than TNG does.
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james04
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 3:48am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Squire of Gothos

One of my favourite TOS episodes. Far more alien, even eerie, than many that were more impressive in production values. And far superior to Q in almost every way. Trelane would have made a much better Q than Q. At times the episode had the tone and atmosphere of one of the more disconcerting Twilight Zone episodes. The lion’s share of the credit for that belongs to the excellent William Campbell, whose mercurial Squire was unpredictable, friendly, ingratiating, wheedling, incredulous, hurt, tantrum-throwing, and terrifying by turns.
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James04
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 3:32am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

A worthy forerunner to a very good film.
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james04
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 4:53am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: The Quality of Life

It was quite watchable……until the Tin Man’s re-hashed nonsense about the Gadgets of the Week being alive. Sorry, but they are not alive, and neither are is the TM. The TM is a sophisticated machine, nothing more, which gives the illusion of being more because it is the invention of script-writers who are more. Data is as genuinely tiresome as the well-hated Wonderboy was said to be.

The episode stopped being intelligent, and became tiresome. Machines with angst are funny, now and again, because they are ridiculous, but when the angst never lets up they become tedious. Data needs a convenient airlock - or better still, a trash compactor. Unfortunately, that does not happen in TNG. But human beings, unlike St. Rubbish-bin, are expendable.

And having a weird hairstyle like something from Cosmo does not an alien make. Ray Bradbury was able to make even things on Earth seem alien - a gift far too few script-writers in ST shared. TNG is all too often a soap opera in space.

Still, at least the nauseatingly twee Trevis and Flotta were not inflicted on the viewer. Mercifully, neither was the unbearable Q. But an episode does not become a good episode merely because detestable characters do not feature in it.

Two stars.
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turquoises
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 8:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: The Magnificent Ferengi

@Eat at Quark's--- EXACTLY!! I just watched this for the first time in 10 years and that was my conclusion. The lightbulb went off as soon as I opened the review and saw Jammer talking about how implausible it all is. I suspect that's the point. Especially because the episode starts off with one of Quark's fish stories being interrupted by the returning war heroes. I think he went full Spaceman Spiff to make up for it.
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Alessandro
Thu, Aug 15, 2019, 9:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Blood Oath

I find this episode superb. The authors show great respect for the Klingon culture, contrary to what those idiots in Discovery have done to Klingons, beneath comptempt.
I also love how Jadzia behaves herself, she had no obligations.
Episodes like this persuade me that DS9 is the best Star Trek series
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Chess
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 8:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Fight or Flight

A question:

I was so excited when Enterprise was first announced. I was in college and I loved the idea of watching a Star Trek series from the beginning as it aired. Enterprise was going to be “my Trek” and fond childhood memories of Quantum Leap and TNG only sweetened the idea.

I stopped watching after Fight or a Flight (I only lasted two episodes!) because I was not prepared for the grim horrors of “corpses on hooks.” That simply isn’t entertainment for me, just nightmare fuel.

Occasionally I’ve played with the idea of trying again, but I wanted to know how dark the show remained without big spoilers. Can someone speak to the tone of ENT overall? I have a feeling it remains about this level, or possibly grows worse.
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Chess
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 8:13am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part II

Minor fun note: I always am amused how near-future stories get some predictions wrong. In this case, it’s tattoo culture. The show suggests that visible (or perhaps all) tattoos are either frowned upon or actually forbidden in the workforce. In reality, we are seeing tattoos becoming increasingly mainstream to the point that many employers no longer require covering up tattoos. I even have been asked casually by acquaintances “so what are your tats?” and they are slightly skeptical when I say I don’t have any.
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Chess
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 7:47am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part I

My favorite take away here is the very dapper neoEdwardian fashions of the upper class. Jadzia’s hair and ornamentation sold me.
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Chess
Mon, Aug 12, 2019, 3:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Meridian

Thank you, Springy! I really like this idea. I’ve begun thinking about the practical implications of the replicators, and all kinds of questions about their cost, effectiveness, limitations, effects on behavior. . .
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Chess
Sat, Aug 10, 2019, 6:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Meridian

A question prompted by Kira abandoning her coffee mug on a replimat table: what happens to all the dishes the replicators must create?
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Chess
Sun, Aug 4, 2019, 5:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Profit and Loss

That’s a lot of passionate face rubbing for two actors in heavy alien makeup. Full props for managing it.

The female student stomps around like she’s 12 and wearing her big brother’s football gear. It’s too deliberate to be accidental. Perhaps to contrast and highlight Natima’s elegance?

Let’s retitle the episode “The Long Goodbye.”
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Cesar Gonzalez
Sat, Aug 3, 2019, 12:15am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Vox Sola

So the Doctor has no problem having an entire race killed off (a few episodes back), but hurting a creature to save his friends/crewmmembers is a line he won't cross. Err.... okay. Way to have your priorities in check.

Hoshi is so beautiful and a good character. I love seeing any episode with more of her.

Washington is TERRIBLE. he always looks happy. Even in scenes where he is not supposed to.
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