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mephyve
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 10:25pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

Girly sentimental speeches aside, there was enough technobabble and sci-fi fare to keep your attention. The highlight though was the big gob of nose waste calling the doctor's kids brats. I rolled on the floor.
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mephyve
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 9:28pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

I could smell it a mile away. Waste of time psychological melodrama.
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mephyve
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 8:37pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

Be careful what ýou jest for. The doc and the wad of snot finally got it on nd it wasn't pretty. But it was hilarious. This whole episode was a hodgepodge of hilarious hijinks. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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mephyve
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 7:39pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

not a fan. Brat kids. Crashed shuttle. Dr. hostage. meh
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mephyve
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 7:10pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

Ok, this one was just bad. This highly advanced crew
1.Couldn't hack a primitive computer system to research the customs of a primitive society
2.Isn't disciplined enough to keep a low profile on an alien planet
3.Has a device that can disguise them as Krill including Krill outfits but can't make a girl with a big forehead look human
4. Couldn't hack the system enough to just changē the actual votes
5. Can regrow limbs but can't repair a lobotomized brain
6. Will disobey orders to rescue the captain and first officer from an advanced society but won't extract a helmsman from a primitive society
yeah right
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mephyve
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 5:51pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Krill

Bitter/sweet episode.
The plot was good but as spies, those two were just annoying.
The age old Hitler morality question was addressed. If you could travel back in time and kill Hitler as a child, would you? That would be a big no for these guys. Kind of selfish in a way. They fried all the adult Krill save one, but saved the little ones so thy could grow up and slaughter future generations. Only one problem. They showed one kid where we live and put a present day target on the earth.
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mephyve
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 4:43pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Pria

Whoa! Wasn't expecting that. The Orville got serious.
Hilarious practical jokes aside, the Orville dips its big toe in one of my two favorite sci-fi tropes, time travel. And they did a great job. They literally changed the future. I find that fascinating. Though all we got was a glīmpse, some far out spaçeship, a weird tentacled critter and a gorgeous time traveler, the idea that her future will never exist because of her own actions is intriguing.
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mephyve
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 3:22pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: If the Stars Should Appear

Alright, back to the magic.
The opening sequence illustrates why using Moclans to deal with serious issues doesn't work. You just can't take them seriously. They already showed the guy sitting on an egg naked. Now the gender swapped one is hilariously acting like a neglected wife with all the usual comedic tropes included.
Anyway, we get a First Contact episode with none of the Prime Directive safeguards in place. How refreshing to see the crew deliver culture shock after culture shock with reckless abandon. Truly glorious watching a species have all their beliefs and ideas shattered with the press of a button.
Of course we have the obligatory 'God is illogical' drivel with no actual argument to support it.
They have to stop teasing me with this doctor/mucus creature foreplay. Let's see where it goes already😎😁😜😊🤓👱👴😂😀😆
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mephyve
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 2:05pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: About a Girl

Ok here's the problem. The show tries to deal with themes like homosexuality and sex changes, gender questions, however it uses Moclan's to try to get it's point across. It may as well have used amoebas.
Ok so Moclan's are an all male race that lays eggs. Don't care. When Moclan's have a female child they swap its gender. Don't care. I simply don't care about Moclan sexuality. It literally has nothing to do with human society, morals nor ethics.
They tried to bring the human element in by showing the reactions of humans to Moclan principles, but as far as I was concerned, do the srx change, don't do the sex change, whatever.
They ignored the greater story, that being the interaction of the mucus creature and the doctor, Thatbwould have held my attention.
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mephyve
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 1:53pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

Here's the thing, if you look at this show from a critical perspective (I'm not so far. Just glad Star Trek is back) you might rate these first two episodes as Jammer did, pretty low.
I, on the other hand, am getting my Star Trek fix after what seems like an eternity. Five stars for me on actually creating a Trek like scifi worth watching. The storylines are rehashed, this on being like the episode where Data gets captured by a collector merely to be put on display. To me it's like visiting an old friend. They may be look different, be dressed different but we just pick up where we left off.
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mephyve
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 1:41pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

Finally someone understands what I like about Star Trek. What with Discovery(only watched one episode) and lower decks (it's a freakin cartoon) I thought I'd never get to enjoy another Star Trek series again. But here it is masquerading as the Orville. The scifi backdrops, spaceships, planetary exploration, interspecies crew and episodic escapades. Welcome back Kirk, Spock and Data. It's nice to see you again!
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Gorn with the Wind
Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 11:11pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Probably the third best Trek after Voyage Home and Wrath of Khan.

After enduring a decade or so of dismal, cacophonous action schlock courtesy of Kurtzman, it’s a relief to go back to 70’s sci-fi like this. TMP is a relic of a different era, where thoughtful subject matter and a patient approach that gives the audience time to consider what they’re watching (as opposed to distracting them with a flurry of nonsense) was, if not the norm, then at least a common occurrence in sci-fi. The psychedelic New Wave books of Zelazny and Le Guin were similar in their focus on interiority over whiz-bang pyrotechnics.

Don’t get me wrong, I like space opera adventure like Thor Ragnarok, early Star Wars, and, yes, even Star Trek Beyond, but The Motion Picture is a form of story telling that will never come again, at least not with A listers and a huge budget.

I miss it.
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Rahul
Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 2:19pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

@Skater777

"My only gripe is how repetitive the ideas are in the TOS. The episode before this is about yet another duplicate of Kirk...I mean you literally have back-to-back episodes about Kirk playing an alternative Kirk and himself. Before that, there were back-to-back episodes about humans who had secrets/abilities that no one knew about."

I think it's for sure more nuanced than how you put it. There are some general themes that run throughout TOS like liberation/emancipation, dealing with more advanced aliens, examining the human condition etc. But what appears to be repetitive here are plot mechanics, I'd say. Like "The Enemy Within" and this episode, yes they do have duplicate Kirks and they come in quick succession of each other, but the stories told are very different. Similarly for "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "Charlie X" -- it's not simply about dealing with a human who has acquired incredible powers putting the ship/crew in danger (though that is a large part of the plot dynamics). I think the showrunners for TOS struggled with the order of the episodes.

"it was the strength of the characters and the acting that really carried the show. You could never have a Harry Kim or Neelix on TOS because their crappy characters would have sunk the show."

This is spot on, I'd say, though I'd add that it was also the stories/themes/ideas that carried the show. I don't know if the special effects etc. impressed people in the 60s/70s but I don't think that was ever meant to be one of the pillars of classic Trek like it is for nu-Trek. Some of the visuals/studio sets/backdrops of TOS still impress me -- the vintage nature of the 60s vision of the future.
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Raphael
Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 11:57am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: The Spy Humongous

To be honest, Lower Deck is my favorite Trek of this era. It is childish and without much ambition but the jokes are less vulgar than on the Orville and strangely it feels like genuine trek.
The time space continuum is not threatened every week and saved in the last 5 minutes of the episode or worst after 7 hours of useless (phaser) fights and drama but we get to see something new every week about the federation. Even in a satire, your not far away from the truth and life without the threat of poverty would probably be a bit silly...
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Michael Miller
Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 11:31am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

Interesting episode, but they screwed up the physics here. All neutrinos have a "left spin" so the claim that they should be 50/50 for both spins is totally wrong. Also, probability has nothing to do with the basic laws of physics. So when Chief o Brian was throwing the ball around and it kept going back to him, basic newton's mechanics would have to be violated, which is not on the scope of quantum mechanical probability changes. Weird but fun episode nonetheless, 7/10.
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Chrome
Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 8:10am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: The Spy Humongous

It's these kind of episodes that I find the hardest to write about. Nothing bad, nothing amazing either. It's also a series codifier, where the cast confirms (for the 20th time this season?) that doing grunt work is special in its own way. That said, I did like the scene where Ransom gave Boimler due credit and deflated the status of an "Acting Captain". And the animation for each of the anomalies was creative and fun enough to keep us watching.

The Pakleds are one-note characters and while Lower Decks could have developed them further here, they chose to maintain their status as the joke villains of a mediocre episode of TNG. I wasn't really expecting much from them, but watching these monotonous dumb jokes makes me wish they'd hurry up and reveal the puppetmaster who's pulling the Pakled's strings.

Karl Zimmerman wrote:
'I think the issue I have with the Lower Decks humor is it tends to be fairly predictable, while gut-busting humor tends to be more absurdist things that come out of nowhere."

Totally. I got way more out of Mariner's line about "feeding Boimler to an Armus" last season than actually seeing Armus get pranked called here.
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Joseph B
Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 1:40am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: The Spy Humongous

I actually laughed several times during this ep. The Pakleds always crack me up; and Boimler‘s antics with the BEM near the end were easy triggers. Bonus laughs every time “Captain Janeway” was mentioned.

But the highlight of the ep for me was seeing the good ole’ bridge of the Enterprise D again! It looked fantastic! I don’t suppose we could have a show centered on that? Nah …
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Trish
Thu, Sep 16, 2021, 10:00pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Second Sight

I agree with those who have commented on Kiley's skilled performance, but I'm afraid I have heard his voice as the narrator of so many nature programs, that it was hard for me to connect that voice with a fictional character. I kept waiting for him to start talking about how the rekindled star's radiation would affect some rare species of insect.
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Sigh2000
Thu, Sep 16, 2021, 9:34pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S5: Relativity

Relativity had long stretches that were done well and made for enjoyable watching. It was a benign episode that explored some interesting time travel ideas. They made no sense whatsoever....Just have Merlin turn 'Wart' into a fish and have done with it.

I have liked Bruce McGill (Braxton) ever since his excellent performance as lawyer Ron Motley in the film The Insider, done in the same year that Relativity was produced ...he delivers that great speech against the attorneys supporting big tobacco when they tell him that they have rights:

' Boy, you have rights, ....and lefts, ...and Ups and downs and middles....So what? You don't get to instruct anything around here! This is not North Carolina, not South Carolina, nor Kentucky! This is the sovereign State of Mississippi's proceeding. WIPE THAT SMIRK OFF YOUR FACE! Dr. Wigand's deposition will be part of this record! And I'm gonna take my witness' testimony whether the hell you like it or not!'

It's an awesome scene...and by comparison he was a bit underutilized on Voyager in this particular show.
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Sigh2000
Thu, Sep 16, 2021, 4:13pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

Correction : 'The book should have been about the Pharos lighthouse, mentioned earlier by Seven, which would have given Shannon the idea that the Millennium Gate could have a SETI beacon installed at the top. '
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Sigh2000
Thu, Sep 16, 2021, 2:41pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

’l agree that Shannon and Henry didn’t have smoldering chemistry. But I think that’s consistent with the tired, second-chance vibe of the episode. At the moment, neither is where they must have thought they’d be in life, and yeah one looks forward and the other looks back (another element tying in with the NY’s eve theme).' (Proteus, Nov. 25, 2019)

Well said Proteus...l really liked your allusion to 'the tired second-chance vibe of the episode.' I especially enjoyed the Henry Janeway casting...precisely because he isn't a great romantic figure to sweep Shannon off her feet.

The last thing the story needed was a Mr. Perfect middle-aged hottie with some carefully thought out strategy for taking on big business. It needed, instead, somebody with no real plan, but some kind of authenticity which, believe it or not, some women do find attractive.

I think the chocolate chip cookie revelation thing came out of nowhere....and would have been better done as a revelation arising out of a book given to Shannon by Henry when she hit-the-road to say no hard feelings. The book should have been about the Pharos lighthouse, mentioned earlier by Seven, which would given Shannon the idea that the Millennium Gate could have a SETI beacon installed at the top. That idea would have captivated Henry, who clearly revered the Hellenistic cultural milieu.

The whole Martian Colony angle was a waste. The writers should have focused on O'donel's supposed role in relation to what was to happen after her death, during First Contact.

Paris could still do a faux pas line bumming Captain Janeway out: 'I never heard about an O'Donel doing anything during First Contact'. We the viewers would know however, that the Pharos beacon had attracted the Vulcans to get close enough to Earth to pick up Cochrane's warp flight at the crucial juncture.

3 stars from me. I also loved the music, as it was well-suited to the message.
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Trish
Thu, Sep 16, 2021, 2:32pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@Booming

It's true that there are some fairly reasonable compliments that he accepts with grace. In a sense, just being a captain is Picard's acceptance of the high praise Starfleet has given for his leadership ability, ability he knows he has and is willing to exercise.

But I do think there is a qualitative difference between accepting praise commensurate with one's personal abilities and being "worshipped" as a being of seemingly limitless power, or at least more power than you are convinced you actually have. The Captain Picard Day scene strikes me as an example of the latter, and he's uncomfortable with it even when the children themselves are not physically present, as he holds up a drawing that renders him like a body builder and says some of them seem to have a distorted impression of him. Even though he is uncomfortable with it, he is persuaded by Troi to go along with it, because such hero worship of an authority figure is developmentally appropriate, even when it is not strictly accurate.

I think Mintakans' worship of the powerful beings who briefly touched their lives could have been developmentally appropriate, too, and as long as the Federation didn't leverage it into continuing undue influence, they would have kept on developing just fine.
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Trish
Wed, Sep 15, 2021, 10:50pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@Peter G.

And I suppose in the end, Picard is what the writers made him, and he "did" whatever the writers say he did.

Also, I just wanted to correct myself. Captain Picard Day was not in "Disaster." It was in "The Pegasus."
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The Chronek
Wed, Sep 15, 2021, 9:14pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: BSG S4: Blood on the Scales

Great observations on this episode, whether you thought this was a classic or not.

I know Jammer mentioned it already, but I'll reiterate: if you can, look up Maureen Ryan's BSG writeups in the Chicago Tribune from early 2009. She had a very dedicated, smart following of commenters, and Richard Hatch himself made comments on her entries during the mutiny episodes. Those comments certainly showed that Hatch disagreed with the direction they took Zarek in the mutiny episodes. I didn't, and still don't, agree with Hatch, but I was interested to see his point of view and what he brought to the discussion.

I think the mutiny episodes were perfect. Humanity thought they would get to Earth, only for it to be a nuclear wasteland. The leaders had failed, and they knew it. And those who followed those leaders? Well, why continue to follow them if their efforts were for nothing?

Gaeta's transformation from loyal, idealistic officer who believes in the system to mutineer was perfect, as was Alessandro Juliani's performance. What has his loyalty got him? What has his belief got him? A burned-out planet, a lost leg, a near-execution by several folks who turned out to be Cylons. And yet, for all that, just enough belief, just enough goodness remains in him to order the weapons hold just as Adama and company retake CIC. It's a perfect response to Zarek's split-second decision to murder Laird in part one, showing how quick, incremental decisions can affect the outcome.

I don't mind Zarek being shown to be a ruthless jerk. He'd been previously portrayed as someone who would use violence to advance his own ends. Sure, he talked the talk of being a "man of the people," but he would often use violent means and excuse himself.

I don't think the episodes are necessarily character assassination on anyone. I think, especially the episodes from Sometimes a Great Notion through Blood on the Scales, are a fantastic exploration of what happens when leadership fails so completely. Roslin checked out, and why not? She thought her efforts were for nothing. Adama checked out partially, and largely for the same reasons as Roslin.

Four stars from me.
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Trish
Wed, Sep 15, 2021, 6:26pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

I find it interesting that in the first-season episode "Justice," as much as the Starfleet personnel disagree with the Edo system of jurisprudence and bristle in the face of the power of the Edo "God," nonetheless they accept that the Edo do worship the transdimensional ship above their planet, and when Data reports that the beings themselves are aware of the worship and consider it both natural and harmless at the Edo's current stage of development, PIcard shows no sign of disagreeing.

In Justice, what Picard DOES disagree with and actively discourages is the worship of himself. It strikes me as very like his discomfort with "Captain Picard Day" for the children in "Disaster." In light of these two episodes, his resistance in this one to being worshipped as "The Picard" strikes me as being more about himself than about the Mintakans, or at least more about himself than he is admitting (probably even to himself). I see this as a kind of false humility. Authentic humility acknowledges truth.

The Mintakans have made a logical inference based on their limited knowledge: The old beliefs, once thought backward, in beings unimaginably more powerful than themselves obviously have some truth to them. They are not incorrect in this assessment, even in-universe; the Federation really is technologically advanced beyond their current imagining.

Many natural events, too, could potentially have led them to make such an inference at some point, even if the accidental encounter with Starfleet had never occurred. If left to their own devices after that incident, I think they would ultimately have devised a fairly logical belief system around "The Picard." That is the road they are already on. Picard sees any such belief system as going backwards on that road, but there is no going backwards. This incident just put a twist in their road that would probably keep leading the same general direction. It happens.

False humility like Picard's also happens. Picard as a character is fairly idealized, and it's clear that he is often the mouthpiece for the writers' own opinions. But like all the best-written characters, he is fallible, and sometimes selfish. He is what he is. Given the other episodes I mentioned, I think it is quite consistent with his character to reject worship and to convince himself that this rejections is for the Mintakans' own good, rather than for his own.

I suspect the writing team also convinced themselves that what Picard was saying was right. That's why they had him say it. But sometimes, fictional characters do have a "life" of their own, and Picard is living that life here. I disagree with him. I think he should have taken the advice to accept the worship and tell people with the authority of his exalted position to be kind to each other, to live in peace with their neighbors (including neighbors who did not worship the Picard), and to trust whatever their observation and logic could tell them about the universe. In a thousand years, it's unlikely that such a twist in their road would have led very far from where they were already headed.
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