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methane
Wed, Dec 4, 2019, 8:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Trials and Tribble-ations

" there is no such thing as female sexual liberation in capitalist society,"

This is utter nonsense. Capitalism implies people control their own lives, not others. The further away you move from that, the further EVERYONE is from liberation of any kind.
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methane
Sun, Jun 23, 2019, 3:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Shore Leave

Well Booming, you may be pleased to know you think just like the network executives in charge did back in the 1960s! Too many old men! No young people would want to watch that!

Roddenberry didn't fire Scotty, but he did go and hire an actor who looked like one of the Monkees. This was their strategy to appeal to teenagers and give the girls someone to look at*. Of course, Roddenberry made the character Russian to advance his vision of a united Earth, but the character was primarily there to look pretty.


*I think the girls mostly still preferred Nimoy
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methane
Wed, May 15, 2019, 6:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Broken Link

William B. said:

" Given early-series Odo's distaste for solids' romantic endeavours, would it even make sense for him to replicate the *appearance* of genitals, let alone functional ones? And if he did decide to replicate them, why is he "stuck" "being" a male Bajoran rather than a female one?"

Well, the easy answer would be the producers wouldn't be using the very talented René Echevarria and would have to pay for a guest actress to play that role.

To speak more generally about the conversation, it probably didn't occur to straight writers in the 1990s that there was a need for a non-heterosexual relationship to be shown on a regular basis (as opposed to an occasional 'issue-of-the-week' appearance).

The in-universe answer probably relates to the stubbornness of Odo, insecurity in his own Changeling nature, and a worry that he might frighten humanoids by drawing attention to how different he is*. He first achieved a humanoid body by imperfectly imitating the (male) body of Dr. Mora. As the series progresses, he increasingly examines all sorts of other shapes, but mostly avoids varying his humanoid form.

*Spoilers for Chimera:
This, of course, is Laas' accusation, showing the writers (probably belatedly), did think about these issues.
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methane
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 3:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Just a note:

I'm the guy that normally posts on this site with the name "methane", and the guy above isn't me. I don't normally post on this series, since I haven't watched it!
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methane
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 11:19am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Unwritten rule, sorry.
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methane
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 11:18am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

“Flat. Flat. Flat.”
“Pathos pathos pathos pathos”

Is there some unwritten that if we repeat the same word over and over that it increases its meaning? Tell you what guys, I’ll make you a deal. You quit doing this and I promise to read the other words in your comment.
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methane
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 10:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Alliances

Elliot-

1) It's strange to bring up SIsko in this conversation. We all know DS9 riles you, but there is no Star Trek Captain who showed more development over the course of his/her series than Sisko. And during the series where viewers should question whether he is doing the right thing (including on 2 very big occasions).

Sisko is shown to be a flawed man, right from the very beginning, unable to get over the death of his wife, and basically having given up on life. He does show real evolution over the show, at first rejecting, then embracing his role in Bajoran spirituality. After many fits and starts, he builds a new romantic relationship. And, under the continuing danger from war or the threat of it, he does make decisions he probably wouldn't have made in the early seasons.

Sisko feels like a coherent character. No, the writers didn't do a perfect job developing him (and you're free to dislike him), but I feel he's better defined than any other captain, especially Janeway and Archer, despite the fact he was less of a central figure in his series than any other captain.

In a conversation about how Janeway developed as a character, bringing up Sisko is only going to make Janeway's development look worse by comparison.

2) You have this recurring tendency to accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being somehow evil or somehow intellectually inferior to you. Somebody who didn't like Janeway somewhere on the internet didn't like her voice, therefore they were sexist, and if you don't like Janeway you're sexist too!

-----

If you have more of an argument supporting your idea that Janeway is a great character, I'd be interested in reading it. But when you avoid the subject and instead (1) try to insinuate everyone who has a different opinion is morally bankrupt or (2) try to change the subject to something else (Sisko here), it doesn't give the impression that you have much of an actual argument.
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methane
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 7:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

I agree it was passable...this & Rogue One are the only 2 Star Wars movies since the original trilogy that I would put in that category. But yes, it was mostly predictable, and trying to make Solo too "good" at the beginning was a mistake.

But I mainly wrote to praise Donald Glover. That first sequel (episode 7, I guess) reminded me of how good an actor Harrison Ford is. That script was bad, but you could forget that whenever he was delivering the lines. This script was better; the movie was full of actors doing decent-to-good jobs with OK material, but Glover was spectacular in his role. It was a much better movie whenever he was onscreen.

I don't plan to see the last film in the current trilogy, and I'm not really interested in a new one done by people who have worked on this one (though I'll try and keep and open mind). But if they signed Glover to write and star in his own Lando movie, I'd be excited.
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methane
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 10:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

Outside of the occasional speeches that Rodenberry wanted to include, I don't think it's particularly evident that the Star Trek world is truly socialist. There's gambling (and in TOS, at least, it seemed to be real wages they were wagering), ownership of works of art (even if it's often one character giving another character character something they created), ownership of antiques (such as Kirk's reading glasses in TWOK), ownership of contrabrand (Romulan ale...while you could argue that's shouldn't count since it's illegal anyway, they probably traded something for it...which means they either stole from the Federation or gave their own private property in a financial transaction). There's also land that seems to be inherited in the Picard family.

Now, it doesn't seem to be an economy driven by consumerism (the idea you have to have lots & lots of "stuff"), but consumerism is not identical to capitalism (and many socialists are consumerists, promising they'll get their people more stuff). In a post-scarcity world, where you can replicate anything and then return it to nothingness when you're bored with it, it's hard to think of consumerism being a strong force. Sure, some people might want to collect a bunch of historical artifacts or works of art, but many people would be happy with replicas (for stuff that's not currently under their version of copywrite). The lack of consumerism is not evidence for a lack of capitalism.

"But without trying to edge others out of the market there would be no bankruptcy, and therefore no efficiency. The system literally stands or falls based on the idea of better producers edging out the worse ones; i.e., the constant attempt to outdo others and cease the less efficient producers having a part in business. "

Well, going out of business doesn't have to mean bankruptcy (and in most cases probably doesn't, although I'm not going to try and find a statistic for that). If your business starts to consistently make less than it's components could make elsewhere, it's generally better to sell it off (unless the owner gets more benefits that aren't strictly measured in the bottom line). But then the owner & workers can go work for someone else, or start a new business doing something else. Capitalism doesn't throw people away, but it shifts them around much more than they do in socialist systems. Socialism is the system that keeps large numbers of people unemployed.
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methane
Thu, Dec 20, 2018, 2:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

Remember, Star Trek was partly inspired by the Horatio Hornblower stories, which dramatized era when ship captains often acted as explorers and ambassadors to parts of the world that were far away from Europe and little understood by Europeans.

You can see why things would be similar in the vastness of space. The problem is that in TOS & TNG, we are regularly shown near-instant communication, and the ability to get back to Earth in little time. Given that, it's hard to see why there wouldn't be constant communication with a civilian department overseeing them, with civilian specialists being sent to them as needed. It really only makes sense if you accept that the Federation has let Starfleet take over that function, with a small crew of civilian ambassadors to do the really high-level stuff.
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methane
Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 11:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Starship Down

You know, I remember the order being different on Netflix, but didn't think anything of it.

I looked at wikipedia's list of episodes, and they have "Starship Down" airing first, with the earlier production code, but they give "Little Green Men" the earlier Stardate.

"Memory Alpha" also lists "Starship Down" with the earlier air date.

However, I noticed that the wikipedia page of "Little Green Men" had a link to a page showing ratings of DS9 episodes for season 4:

http://users.telenet.be/WebTrek/Ds9/Ratings/ratings4.html

And yes, they show "Little Green Men" was first!

So I think we're in one of those episodes where somebody changed history and for some technobabble reason nobody else knows it's been altered.

(As an aside, those ratings look ridiculously big compared to what shows get today...the weakest episode of the season got a 5.1, and most shows got at least a 6!).
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methane
Sat, Nov 17, 2018, 10:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

John Harmon said: "from what I’ve read CBS tried to sell the shorts to Netflix for $40,000,000 so they could get more money and they would be available in foreign markets but they wouldn’t bite"

Well...of course they tried to sell the shorts overseas. Producers try to sell everything they make to as many markets as they can. That doesn't mean they weren't primarily made for the domestic market.

I'm not surprised if they weren't able to agree to a price. Discovery is a Netflix property everywhere but Canada, so there's no reason for anyone but Netflix to show what amounts to advertisements for a Netflix property. I'm sure Netflix would pay some basic sum to show them, but they aren't worried about Discovery fans dropping Netflix because they don't have the shorts (because then viewers wouldn't be able to watch the main show). So Netflix isn't going to pay CBS much for them, & CBS might just keep them & hope they spur the inevitable DVD sales (whether they get sold separately or with DIS season 2).

----------

To the discussion about "What is Star Trek?"

(I say this as someone who hasn't seen Discovery)

Star Trek is a universe that can contain any kind of story, from comedy to character drama to horror to hard science fiction to whatever. But it needs some basic "givens", or else it's not Star Trek. If you pick the Federation or the Klingons or whatever at a certain time that we've already seen, you have a basic idea of what the society is and what the "average person" stands for (remembering that their are always people outside the norms of society, and mad admirals trying to take over Federation ships). If you go outside those time periods you can show more differences (like the differences in Klingons from TOS to TNG, or in Vulcans from ENT to TOS to VOY), but you'd like viewers to understand how the cultures got from point A to point B. Technology also has to remain somewhat consistent (even though every Trek has had some magic technology come in for an episode or 2 and then be forgotten completely).

To stay distinctive, Trek should also stay somewhat intelligent, and overall hopeful, even though it can portray dark periods. DS9 was plenty dark, but I think it still had an overall optimistic viewpoint...the ideals of the Federation were scarred, but they survived.
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methane
Sat, Nov 10, 2018, 6:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

Dan said:

"'Excellent point about not rehashing TOS on TNG.'

Literally the second episode of TNG is a carbon copy of a TOS episode AND references the TOS ship and crew.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'. "

It's more than that. TNG started essentially as the version of TOS that Rodenberry wanted to do in the 70's, the basic ideas of which got implemented in the first movie.

-Older, calmer captain/admiral (Kirk) = Picard
-Upstart, impatient 1st officer (Willard Decker) = William Riker (barely changed the names!)
-Vulcan 3rd in command (Spock (or Xon)) = positronic Vulcan Data
-Attractive female telepath bridge officer who has feelings for the upstart 1st officer (Ilia) = Troi

Now they added some characters to that (most importantly Worf, although Rodenberry never saw him as an important character). But TNG basically started as a second take on that first TOS movie. It was really only when Rodenberry left that TNG grew into something distinct.

-------------

John Harmon said:
"Because these shorts were filmed desperately and quickly during season 2 as a way for CBS to try and gouge foreign markets for money (that almost nobody took them up on) so they didn't have time to redress the set. "

I think they're primarily aimed at American subscribers to the CBS service. If people are subscribing to the online service because of Star Trek, CBS doesn't want them to be able to cancel their subscription for 9 months at a time and still be fully caught up.

Before we knew much about Discovery, I made some comments on this site saying it would be a good idea for them to do some Star Trek projects besides the series to keep people subscribed. The nature of a streaming service means this kind of one-off episode can makes sense, which isn't the case for a linear network with a fixed schedule. There's nothing wrong with the idea...as long as they're good projects (so you're not watering down your brand).
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methane
Thu, Oct 18, 2018, 10:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

I'll say my disenchantment with new Star Wars started with the "remastered" new edition of Star Wars that came out when I was in college. I remember leaving the theater wondering "why?" It wasn't just that Han didn't shoot first. The new effects made the screen a visual mess, and I don't think there was one case where the rearranging & reediting of the story made it better. Of course, I can accept that I was perhaps too attached to the original, but I've never felt any need to re-watch that version or to see the other remastered versions of the original trilogy. I will say that the people I went with to see the remastered version seemed to enjoy it at the time.

I was overseas when the first prequel came out. I remember going to see it some months later with some other Americans (having heard nothing about the movie). I remember talking to a friend after the movie & we both were disappointed. A bunch of us went out later that night, and I suppose it was telling that nobody brought up the movie in conversation.

I saw the next two movies when they came out in video in the US. I will say that each one was better, and the third one was much better than the first. I still wouldn't recommend it.

The 2 movies of the new trilogy (which I only saw when they came out on Netflix) have been drastically better visually. But they weren't good movies (I'd say the last one in the prequel trilogy is better than either of them).

Rogue 1 was decent. But my Star Wars fandom, which was so huge in my youth, has been completely defeated. I might check out the Han Solo movie when it comes on Netflix (it got OK reviews, and it should be disconnected from anything but the first trilogy), but I have no interest in the third movie of this new trilogy.
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methane
Tue, Oct 16, 2018, 10:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Through the Looking Glass

While I won't argue what's driving Sisko, I'm not sure the Prime Directive compels him to stay out of it. The central plot of the mirror universe stories in DS9 is that Kirk and crew have already deeply interfered with this society. It could be argued that the original interference created an obligation to help deal with the consequences, although how and to what extent is debatable. It certainly doesn't appear Starfleet has issued any directives on this particular issue.
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methane
Mon, Sep 17, 2018, 10:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

"My response is first to suggest that there is nothing trivial about genitalia, from which a host of biological realities (from breastfeeding to childbirth to sexual pleasure responses stem) and second, to note that there is alot of research into male and female brains that disputes the common "it's just plumbing" approach to sexual dimorphism. Ironically, this research into male and female brains, comes in the context of transexuality."

I would say the plumbing itself is trivial to our psychological makeup. What isn't trivial is that we are, each and every one of us, a chemical soup, which is why a vast range of other chemicals that we can ingest (ranging from foods, prescribed drugs, recreational drugs, to environmental agents) can alter our psychology and affect our development. And the bodies of women and men naturally produce different levels of a variety of chemicals (like testosterone and estrogen) that lead to differences in bodies and mind.

However, these chemicals are only one of many factors into what makes people different from each other, and individual men and women produce these chemicals at very different rates. Gender is far from the only important characteristic for a person.

Saying the average man is taller than the average woman is true; but if you grab 5 random men and 5 random women off the street, there's a real chance that the smallest in the group is a man and the tallest is a woman.

Height is certainly not the only gender difference that can arise from these differences in chemical exposures (although I don't think we understand these differences as well as the average person thinks we do), so a society free of sexism will still see differences between the "average man" and "average woman", even if large numbers of men and women fall outside of these norms.

Perhaps a sexism-free society would see men be 70% of nurses and women be 70% of teachers; or perhaps the reverse. You would be sexist to look at any individual man and say they they are naturally predisposed to one profession & ill-suited for the other (because gender isn't the only thing that affects abilities & desires), but you would still expect the distribution of the professions to end up different from 50%.

So, whatever. Elliot can be unhappy that Keiko and O'Brien have what we consider to be a "standard late 20th century" relationship. But even in the future some men and women will still seek out those roles, even if they're in the minority. The other women on DS9 tend to go further away from those defined roles.
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methane
Thu, Aug 16, 2018, 10:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Wire

"What's special about Trek is that there's a way of talking through problems in civilized ways; but the portrayal of it all being easy is the ridiculous part. DS9 cuts that right to the quick and shows how hard it really can be to get over traumas, deal with things that can't be fixed quickly, and to keep vigilant in trying circumstances. "

Yeah...TOS & TNG asserts that everything can be solved and healed in a week...solve the problems of one planet move onto the next. The planet you left lives happily ever after & any scars you personally received along the way are gone before the next week's adventure comes around. (Voyager's magical repairs & resupplies in-between episodes would take this idea to ridiculous extremes).

Now, there are some strong episodes of TNG refute this. Picard doesn't get over the Borg attack quickly. But those are the exception to the rule.

The whole premise of DS9 is that problems don't get solved in a week. Bajor isn't ready to join the Federation at the end of the pilot. Large scale problems aren't solved overnight. But the Federation doesn't give up, it gets to work, and tries to make things better.

With the possible exception of a few episodes (and you know which ones if you've seen the series), DS9 doesn't undermine the fundamental ideals associated with Star Trek. It does repeatedly attack (and sometimes mock) the idea that real-world application of those ideals is easy and quick.
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methane
Fri, Mar 30, 2018, 9:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

I agree with Jammer's review here.

It's an idea that might have worked, but was poorly executed. It's a disappointing last episode to the series, but I don't think it's worthy of the hate that so many have for it.

I do think all the actors do a generally good job here, except for Bakula, who was really off in the scene where he's supposed to comfort T'Pol. The scenes with Riker as chef we're fun...except of course his playful attitude here doesn't really mesh with the stress that he's supposed to be under at the time.

2 stars, I guess.
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methane
Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 8:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Terra Prime

I agree with everyone who says the scenes with the baby were powerful.

Otherwise, I mostly agree with Jammer; this has the ingredients of a very strong story, but never reaches its full potential. The speeches don't quite come off as naturally as I'd like them to. There's several details that leap out at you if you think about the script a little bit (like why a mining base on the moon would have a warp drive, or why a defense system against asteroids & comets would need much firepower). While I applaud the attempt to give Travis more characterization, he had no chemistry with his ex.

That all probably makes it sound like I'm more down on these episodes than I really am. I'll give the two-parter 3 stars. Not a classic pair of episodes, but more solid work from Enterprise's final season.
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methane
Sun, Jan 28, 2018, 4:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Bound

The bad part of the first 2/3 of the episode was that it took so long. It was just predictable and uninteresting. The only exception was the part where a random ship shows up, shoots Enterprise, and goes away. As Mr Waffle commented above, what was that supposed to be about? Does that set up something later in the season that I don't remember right now?

But the last 1/3 was actually fine. The T'Pol/Trip scenes work well, and the revelation at the end was good.

It's strange. I'm used to stuff that starts out well but then ends in a predictable and uninteresting way. I'm unsure how to grade it. 1.5 stars? 2 stars?
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methane
Sun, Jan 28, 2018, 4:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Divergence

A very watchable mess.

(I feel like I've said that for multiple Enterprise episodes in the last two seasons.)

Elliot said: "if the Columbia could bring Enterprise into its warp field, why could they then not simply do that. Have Enterprise shut down its warp drive as it did and then drop to impulse? It would not have been necessary for the whole tether stunt to boot. "

From the episode: [The Columbia] "won't be able to hold us for more than a minute or two." So Enterprise couldn't cut engines it until they were ready to do the restart; which had to be after Tucker was aboard.

My question about the stunt is: why would the tether fly "backwards" out of the warpfield after it broke? Isn't the ship motionless inside the warp bubble while the universe moves around them? I guess I don't care enough to go try and read up on "warpfield theory" online.

Overall I felt the stunt worked fine. The action scenes later in the show were more problematic. I know they couldn't communicate, but there's no reason for Columbia to sit around for a few minutes while the Enterprise fought multiple Klingon ships.

W. Smith identified the most ridiculous thing about the episode: "Maybe I missed it, but why was Archer the only one who came down to the planet? It's a hostile planet full of Klingons, wouldn't you at least take a few MACOs with you? "

Yes, it makes no sense, but the writers had Archer be the only one to beam down so later he could say "I don't see any other humans around." when he volunteered to be an incubator. Of course, he would have insisted on being the incubator even if there were other humans around, so they didn't need to have him beam down alone. Maybe the budget for extras were running low?

The section 31 part of these two episodes felt like they were just reintroducing the concept. I don't think Malcolm is really allowed to quit. I agree with others who think the writers were going to bring this up again had the show been renewed.

Regardless, of my complaints, this was still an entertaining episode. No, we didn't need a reason why TOS Klingons had no foreheads, but the answer they give here works well (although Archer sitting in a chair moaning was just silly). Phlox & the Klingons were the best part of the episode.

A big part of why this episode works is that the writers are throwing a whole bunch of ideas at us: Augments, Klingons, Section 31, the Trip-T'Pol relationship, Starfleet's 2nd new ship Columbia. Most of these are only addressed superficially, but the sheer number of them (along with some action) keep us involved for 40-something minutes. Compare that with the first two seasons, where most episodes only had a single idea, often only a slight variation of an idea that had already been in previous Star Trek series.

I'm not as high on this episode as some commenters are, but I'd certainly give it a passing grade.
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methane
Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 9:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: The Aenar

An well-done three-parter; although perhaps it would be better labeled a 2-parter with a 1 episode follow-up. "The Aenar" follows the events of the previous episodes, but it has quite a different feel.

I agree with most of the commenters here; "The Aenar" was a solid character episode. I also have to highlight the production crew; the ice planet of Andoria felt very different from the normal "planet of the week" settings we're used to in Star Trek.

I'd give the group of episodes 3 stars, though it's worth more than that to long-time Trek viewers. A solid examination of the beginning of the Federation, with further development of 2 of the founding races.
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methane
Wed, Jan 3, 2018, 10:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Babel One

dlpb, I assume that's directed at me.

And the writer's don't need to give these explanations. The complaints aren't justified (you certainly didn't provide 1 bit of reasoning in your 1 sentence dismissal of my "bad explanations").

Complaining that Federation tech decades before TOS couldn't see through Romulan tech decades before TOS somehow violates TOS continuity makes no logical sense. It's like complaining that a WWI story has planes showing up at a battlefield undetected, since we know they have Radar in WWII.

Any sort of holographic system, cloaking device, or weapon is based on technology. Another technological innovation can come along and make a previous technology useless instantly. And there are decades between ENT and TOS.
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methane
Wed, Jan 3, 2018, 10:04am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Babel One

About the technology that people say breaks canon:
-The fact that the Romulans have a ship that can disguise itself as other ships doesn't break canon. It's easy to see the Federation figuring out away of adjusting their sensors to see past the disguise sometime between this episode & TOS. (In the same way, a cloaking device from the TOS era might not fool a Federation ship from the TNG era; there is likely a constant technological race where both sides are improving to stay ahead of the other).
-The fact that the Romulans have remote control ships doesn't break cannon. As other's have said this technology may prove to be unreliable. It may also prove easy to jam. Block the signal, and they have no control over the ship. Again, this doesn't need to happen until the time of TOS to avoid breaking canon.

While I'm not going to argue over the defects in Starfleet's space suits, it was clever of the writers to make oxygen a problem for the landing party. They kept expecting to find an atmosphere somewhere. At the end of the episode they (and we) realize that there is a reason there's no atmosphere in the ship: the ship is unmanned.

I don't have much else to add to what Jammer & other's have said. It takes too long for the Enterprise crew to at least guess that there's another power at work here, but this is still a strong episode.
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methane
Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 6:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

I don't think Garak was responsible for the loss of Betazed.

But, I do agree with what "Neil in LA" wrote above, that there is a good chance that Garak's plan was always the death of the Romulan ambassador; the alleged deaths of his informants may have only been a story Garak told Sisko to prepare him for the real plan. In this case the fall of Betazed would have been helpful to his plan, though he wouldn't have been the cause of it.
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