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Greattrekker
Tue, Aug 7, 2018, 12:05am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Coda

Personally, I don't think this episode was as bad as many others seem to have argued after a decade. I will not deny that it's not great as "The Visitor" from DS9 or even TNG's "Remember Me" or TNG's near death episode "Tapestry", where Q acted as God/Guardian Angel to Picard as he was dying.

Still in a universe with mischievous Godlike entities like Q, who I think are usually benign if a bit heavy handed, there is enough room for an opposite group, feeding off life and sowing destructive potential like a more powerful Pah-Wraith.

What they should have done in the end is discover a dark reality about life and death, maybe using some scans of people to compare to Janeway and say something like the following to make this a more powerful thread/threat throughout the series:

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

(Later in Sickbay Janeway and Chakotay were summoned)
Janeway: Doctor, what is the matter?
Doctor: Captain, I was reviewing the scans that Mr. Tuvok had made of your "experience" with the alien entity
Janeway: Yes
Doctor: I cross-referenced those readings with other readings from the last 300 years of research into the phenomenon of death states and organic death from federation scientists, I have found a pattern.
Chakotay: What kind of Pattern Doctor?
Doctor: Whatever that "entity" was, this is not an isolated incident, there's evidence to show that his species has been feeding on life forms across the galaxy.
Janeway: Have you determine where it comes from or how to stop it?
Doctor: That's the thing Captain, I cannot tell you where it comes from or where it goes after taking the last bit of energy from living organisms. All I can tell you is that when a person is at the point of death, sometimes it will appear

(Scene changes to to Janeway's quyarters, completely dark)

The Doctors final words echoes " All I can tell you is that when a person is at the point of death, sometimes it will appear"

----------

Voila, I just created a giant mystery for future seasons or even series to explore, a faceless enemy that mankind has faced for eons even as technology has allowed us to identify it, and there's no defense. If you think the Borg are scary, try facing an existential threat like this.

That's what Voyager writers were missing, they needed gravitas in this episode, something that could engage people on a common, fear of death/afterlife. Science Fiction does not need to be just technobabble, it can also include elements of horror/mystery, like a few H.P Lovecraft's novels which touched on science fiction
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Greattrekker
Thu, Dec 22, 2016, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Once More Unto the Breach

In the end, Kor went out with a lot of class and gusto as a TOS alum and he actually got a mythic end.

I think Klingon stories are good, maybe overdone by the time of DS9 after decades with TOS/TNG/DS9's Klingon war arc. This is a Star Trek species of warriors with both brutality and nobility, like an ancient Greek myth. In terms of the overall story arc, I like how they handled it. Yes, there were faults, but nothing too severe and I appreciate less big CGI action instead a subtle and silent in Klingon terms memorial to Kor.

9/10
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Greattrekker
Tue, Dec 20, 2016, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

To me this episode is probably my favorite of DS9, including the Episode In the Pale Moonlight.

It's true science fiction, an imaginative plot, and a love story that defies convention and even fate. Odo's love for Kira is poignant and potent, just like Kirk's love from the TOS episode "City on the Edge of Forever", but unlike Kirk, Odo does not have a cold logical Vulcan friend to keep him from making a morally dubious choice.

In that way, I think DS9 answered Harlan Ellison's classic with its own classic that reverses and parallels the issue of fate and love in time travel. However, DS9 showed that its voice is not as utopian and "greater good driven" as TOS, the voice of DS9 is a human story set in an alien cultural intersection.

10/10
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Greattrekker
Sun, Dec 18, 2016, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

This was a good tie in movie for Episode 4, A New Hope, and adds a good bridge for Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith.

Seeing Anakin/Darth Vader in all his glory is a great plus for this movie. Seeing the death star operating at 1 reactor power was good too.

However, I do agree with others on here, the movie was plot driven, not character driven, so it lost some charm. I want to care about Jyn and the others, but the plot was more about the overall rebellion rather than an individual story.

To quote Jammer in his reviews, I'd consider this movie 70% set up for Episode 4, when Leia and crew were escaping Vader. As set up, after we know the results from history, I actually think the film producer did a good job. It's weakness is that we lack tension in the end, we know that Luke, Leia, and Han would come along to save the day eventually in the follow up movie from 1979 Star Wars, so everyone's sacrifice is already paid in full.

This is a morality tale, if you do the right thing despite all odds, the universe/Force will make sure you get your rewards. That's what "Rogue One" basically becomes, it's a futuristic fable that we already know the moral implications and conclusions about.

I thought Star Wars Force Awakens was a better movie overall attempting both new things and set up new arcs.

Rogue one is set up for a conclusion we already know will happen, but it is done wll and fits into the overall story.

I'd rate this 3 out of 4, good, but nothing we have not sen before.
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Greattrekker
Sat, Dec 17, 2016, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Scorpion, Part I

Species 8472 had a good intro that just were never followed through sadly

As an intro, this episode served Voyager well, I'd have preferred Ensign Kim to actually die off (gives viewers a bit more stake and hatred for the new villain to kill a core cast member).

The planet killer, "cough" Babylon 5 "cough", was a good piece of imagery to demonstrate the power of these new aliens.
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Greattrekker
Sat, Dec 17, 2016, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

@Muninn

Completely agree that this episode is for the Cynics like Year of Hell Part 1

Voyager should have tragic baggage, after all those years of space battles, mind control, and borg attacks, people died non-stop. the ship should be a grim graveyard to remember those we have lost and serve to inspire those that remain.

Of course, I am also a fan of the Walking Dead, which take this bleakness to a whole new level that most commentators on the site would likely be less inclined to favor.
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Greattrekker
Sat, Dec 17, 2016, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Remember

@Yanks,

When you stare into the darkness, make sure it does not stare back at you.

This episode of Star Trek represents what happens to society in denial of itself and its reality. None of the elders in the Enaran delegation wanted to accept that the price of their progress was mass murder or genocide, but hope it would slip through as a forgotten footnote of history. As a parable, not only can it apply to Germans and Japan during World War II, it can be applied just as harshly to United States with the extermination of Native Americans or United Kingdom in its desire for a global empire.

Also, I never doubted Trump could win and my politics is conservative (but not populist). I do believe in stronger border security, tighter controls against Islamic extremism, and stronger military. Yet, I don't favor outcasting certain groups, religious, or philosophical groups, despite deeply disagreeing with liberals on economic and security issues, I would not have it any other way as a check and balance is what make America great, rather than uniform society.

My interpretation of Star Trek is that even in the best future for humanity and other alien worlds out there, we all still retain certain philosophical and ideologicl differences based on our positions and our choices, i.e. Civilian scientists will hold different views to Starfleet officer versus Maquis Farmer/rebels.
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Greattrekker
Sat, Jun 4, 2016, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast

@DLPB: I look at DS9's Dominion war in the lense that the producers wanted this to be reminiscent of World War II in terms of politics and military alliances (makes even more sense to think of the Romulans as the Soviet Union then after "Pale Moonlight" :P ).

Actually, real history has proven it can happen in real organizations and military that a military leader can be impossible to work with and impossible to remove from power, General Charles De Gaulle is probably one of the most well-documented messianic military leaders, who on many occasion disobeyed orders relayed through Allied high command. One of the most famous interchanges was between Churchill and De Gaulle in 1941:

De Gaulle: The French Believe I am their savior, a Joan of Arc
Churchill: Well, General, we had to burn the last one

Despite what Churchill or General Montgomery or General Eisenhower or even President Roosevelt felt about the man, he was the face and voice of the French people around the world. They never could remove him or replace him with anyone else, in the end, he returned to France as a liberator and became their President.

A popular leader is hard to remove and replace from power, a religious popular leader is several times harder to remove and replace. The US would love to remove the Iranian Ayatollah's who speaks about killing Americans and burning Israel to the ground, but what is stopping us after 40 years. A cruise missile strike or a drone attack in the last 3 decades could do the job easily, but removing a religious leader is incredibly polarizing and dangerous to international diplomacy with his adherents and other world powers as a precedent (The Pope might remember his history lesson, when France invaded and replaced a Pope for one that they picked, history would call this man the "Avignon Pope", most Catholics hated the french for centuries after that.)

Politics, interstellar relations, and affinities all play important roles even in Star Trek. While removing Sisko might seem easy just on military chain of command (I prefer how Captain Sheridan dealt with that in Babylon 5 "Severed Dreams", but that was a different set of circumstance), removing those that love and adhere to his leadership, his religious personage, and his influence over galactic politics, which by the way was hinted at later on in the series, is nearly impossible.

Last note of correction, DS9 is in Bajoran Space, not Federation space, while it might be a Federation outpost, it is technically a base on lease from a foreign sovereign nation in Star Trek Universe and is revocable at any time just like our own leases for military bases in the real world.
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Greattrekker
Sat, May 21, 2016, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

After seeing this again with such a long distance of time and memory, I think his is an underrated gem of Trek. I would argue that Jammer's original review might have been a bit harsh in retrospects to the story's greater narrative benefits.

When considering the story as a case study in human nature and vengeance, it is narrative similar to Moby Dick, but when applying it to our modern issues with similar issues between the problem with Islamic Terrorism and reprisal effects of Islamophobia, it's a good reflection on the reality of vengeance.

Like the Crystalline entity, Islamic fundamentalism is not understandable to us, its effects are visible though so we assume its nature is vicious, murderous, and evil at its heart. Personally, I can't dispute that and I doubt many Americans or Europeans who have seen the effects of terrorism in their own home cities not take that into account.

Yet, the beauty of Star Trek idealism is that perhaps, I mean this not as a believer in the message but an understanding viewer, we can find a common language and try to figure a way to communicate and understand each other.

However, people like Dr. Marr are no less sympatheic in their desire for vengeance. When the series of bombings occurred in Boston a few years ago and my calls could not reach my sister, I had felt of fear, dread, and hatred. In the hours before re-establishing contact, I contemplated many of the same things I think others did and as the news came in, I wanted vengeance.

As misguided as vengeance is, it is a true trait of our nature and something no matter how ideal our society becomes we can not avoid.

In this regard, I'd argue this episode deserves 3.5 stars out of 4, not perfect, but the story had the right human realities.
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Greattrekker
Sat, Apr 30, 2016, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Mind's Eye

A Brilliant episode of Trek's version of Manchurian Candidate.

Perfect pitch, perfect musical/atmospheric score, and characters were fun to watch from Worf's subtle discomfort to Geordi's brainwashing. When I saw this on syndication in the late 90's as a kid, I did not know as much about movies and films as I do now, but I was mesmerized and could not forget this episodes direction.

I do agree though, like inner light, I really wish Geordi's mental reprogramming could have been slowly resolved over a longer arc over the next few seasons to show this episodes impact like Picard's later encounter with the alien memorial.

Still as an episode it deserves 9/10 for sure.
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Greattrekker
Sun, Apr 24, 2016, 1:30am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Babel One

For the advanced tech, my thought is simple: the space station where Enterprise had automated repairs had all these advanced technologies, plus some more from near 24th century level.

I am hoping that recent novels will explore the technology more in-depth with what they call the "Ware" in the "Rise of the Federation" series of novels. If the Romulans had done a deal to build ships with similar technology with the race that helped create the automated stations, it would explain the advanced drone ships.
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Greattrekker
Sun, Apr 24, 2016, 12:56am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Kir'Shara

If this show had continued, I hoped it would have done what the novels are now doing. If you the ENT novels "Rise of the Federation" and "Romulan War", it explains away a lot of things.

According to the novels, V'Las was Romulan deep cover agent, he wasn't even Vulcan to begin with. Archer does mellow out with some vulcan mindscaping thanks to Surak's Katra.

As for the Romulans and their method of waging wars, quite ingenious parallel to our modern use of Drone warfare instead of actual troops. If that were continued, it could have been a nice Trekkian social commentary on the unwise nature of inhuman warfare.
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Greattrekker
Fri, Apr 22, 2016, 8:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

This is one of the few enjoyable and operational Enterprise episodes before Season 4.

This is why I like the in-universe book series that follow TNG/VOY/movies.

Basically the authors, several of whom were Star Trek Writers too, explain it away as a cover-up by Starfleet for the continuity issue. From Archer's Borg encounter to the V'Ger crisis to El Aurian refugees story of Borg invasion to Hanson research to Neutral Zone outpost....There were a lot of bread crumbs, so only something classified top secret could have been hidden so far and so long. They didn't say it out loud, but we can infer it due to the fear of alien invasion and the "safety" of Earth/Federation at stake, Section 31 was most likely behind it.

Which leaves us with some unsettling questions of how long was Starfleet and Section 31 building up for the confrontation with the Borg, probably up to the big failure at Wolf 359.

My guess is that Earth and Star fleet have been preparing for 200 years to face the Borg; multi-phasic shield, quantum torpedoes (based off anti-matter data from the destroyed Sphere), modulating phasers, and so forth were strategies adapted fora big battle they knew would come. However, I think Starfleet and Section 31 underestimated the Borg's ability to adapt and to know its secrets through assimilation. Someone should write an untold background story of Wolf 359, showing the hubris and conceit that must have been in play for decades prior to the ultimate battle that was more or less lost if it weren't for one man and one ship.
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Greattrekker
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

War is hell, there is no way to make it nice and "peaceful".

DS9 did its best rendition of Apocalypse Now, and in my view this is one of the best Star Trek episodes ever made. Some may think of it as manipulative or hate how cowardly Jake was, but it gave us realistic expectations of war without apology or moralizing on which side is better. This was Star Trek's War Movie moment before the Dominion War.

4 Stars is not enough for a classic
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Greattrekker
Wed, Mar 9, 2016, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

Watching this again as Voyager's episode began calling to me.

I still enjoy it, no matter how contrived or heinous the logical plotholes are, because the overall narrative is great. It's not for everyone, not for Star Trek Fans who want "good happy endings", but it is a good meditation on our actions and consequences.
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Greattrekker
Mon, Mar 7, 2016, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Remember

Re watching things give you a lot of appreciation for how Star Trek was spot on timeless issues. People 3-4 years ago, were writing reviews on why they just can't connect with the story or how a group of people could be so dense and in denial over what they were doing or how bigoted and genocidal their actions were.

This year 2016, in the US, I think I understand how a society can get that far off track. I know a lot of people that support Donald Trump and they will not listen to reason or even consider the ramifications of what is being advocated or supported. These people are not racist, bigots, or genocidal madmen, but they soak in the message of "progress" and "change" like they were in the desert for weeks and just got their first drink of water.

We're not that far off from being like these people if given the wrong incentives.
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Greattrekker
Mon, Mar 7, 2016, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

@James:

B5 had its inconsistent season 5, so no one is perfect. Also, Crusade was basically Star Trek without a point despite the need to find "a cure".

DS9 had its share of issues, I'll grant you, but it also has its share of high hopes and dark turns. "In the Pale Moonlight" is still the darkest piece of Science fiction in a serial drama with massive ramifications. Babylon 5, Stargate, nor even Battlestar Galactica succeeded in these stakes of bringing a neutral nation into a war by use of assassination, treachery, and malicious intent. DS9 went where no Science fiction show was willing to go (Babylone 5 did break the rules too with "Severed Dreams" but as an action of Civil disobedience and rebellion for a just cause.)

As for racism, it's not a dead issue, Donald Trump in 2016 has proven his point that Racial intolerance is still alive in the United States and we as Americans are still haunted by the ghosts of "Dixie".
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Greattrekker
Sun, Mar 6, 2016, 5:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part I

I re-watched this a few times and just re-watched today:

I have to disagree with several posters as I think this episode did succeed to be a timeless story of how we as a society can progress to a point of unlimited materials from a society that must allocate our resources.

Every generation that watches these two episodes get something new out of it, for instance I didn't notice this until now, but the "ghost" with the hat was obviously making an implied racial slur against the Hispanic security officer at the Sanctuary in part 2 (My guess upon this re-watch is that racism against Latinos was probably being played out by Trek to its logical evolution).

I watch this as a repudiation of our current economic system and the anger that has built up from the poor unemployed masses in these areas.

Also, I would think the Sanctuary residents would make great Donald Trump supporters in the US Republican party race of 2016. There's innate racism, anti-elitism, and anti-government feeling among these people.
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Greattrekker
Sun, Mar 6, 2016, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

It's a decent movie, restarting a franchise, but there's a lot that can go wrong with Eps 8.

Rey's genealogy is probably going to be the main speculation point for the entire series: Is she Luke's daughter, abandoned after he lost all hope in training her in the light side of the force after he lost his nephew to the dark side? Is she Han's daughter and that's why he wanted to give her the Millennium Falcon or Leia gave her a hug upon seeing her? Is she Snook's daughter, bring dark side back into the alignment of Light side?
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Greattrekker
Sun, Mar 6, 2016, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

It's either Luke or Han, who will say "I am your father" to Rey (In Solo's case Force ghost version).

Even though like most here, I am a Trekkie first, Star Wars has a deep impact on me and it's great Sci-Fi saga was probably one of the best films series in our genre. I don't know if JJ Abrams can do an equal task to Lucas' original as Lucas proved he couldn't remake the original with his prequels.

TFA was a good movie, but it was no where near the original New Hope.
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Greattrekker
Sun, Mar 6, 2016, 10:12am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Reunion

Great Episode and great turning point for Klingon story arc.

This is the ultimate Klingon political episode of TNG along with Redemption.

DS9 would follow this to the end with Taking into the Wind, where [major spoilers removed by Jammer].
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