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JYoder
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Just saw this episode for the first time, only because Jammer gave it 4 stars. I agree with 99% of his reviews, but I'm stunned by it here. Also surprised that a fair number agree with him.

I love a great Trek episode with "gray area", but there isn't any here. They could either save millions of people or not, and they chose "not." Do have them make that choice to save a 2nd race could be made gray if there was an immediacy to it (the classic who lives and who dies) but their reasoning was all conjecture over what might happen after centuries have passed.

Basically, if there had been no 2nd race, they'd have given them the cure... that's seriously messed up. This is a horrible "morality tale" that is lacking in morality. By this episode's "logic" of "let nature run its course" then no one should combat disease, which the chars obviously don't believe. Horrible episode.
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James G
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

Not a fan of this one. I find Troi a bit over-emotional and over-earnest, and I didn't like the way she snaps at other members of the crew, even her captain. She wouldn't just storm out of a meeting; it's not professional. Downright insubordinate really, especially in front of other officers.

And the basis of the episode, with the 2D creatures and the cosmic string, just didn't grab me at all.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 12:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

Peter to be fair, Picard makes the very point you do, which sways Crusher to permit the procedure. Crusher's viewpoint, if I am being charitable, is not contrary to what you are saying. Crusher isn't saying that Klingons should be forced to live when they wish to die or that is not really her main point; she is saying that Russell was unethical to put her own glory ahead of her patients. Crusher is accusing Russell of acting in a conflict of interest. That does not change even if she grudgingly concedes that doing the procedure is the only real alternative given Worf's strong cultural imperatives.

That said I agree that it would have been far more interesting to see Pulaski argue for Worf's rights as a Klingon than see Crusher chide some rando guest character for a lack of professional ethics.
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Justin
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Investigations

Okay it’s admittedly stupid but I like “A Briefing With Neelix.” If only to see the Doctor keep getting bumped like he’s Tony Randall and Sickbay is the Green Room 😂
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 10:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

That's an interesting idea re: Pulaski. You're right that it wouldn't really work with the story as told. I can totally see Crusher and Pulaski butting heads over personality and other more trivial matters, but the circumstances would need to be different. Pulaski tends to be rather flippant when it comes to protocol, but not when it comes to her patients. Dr. Russell puts her *patients* at risk ostensibly to further her research, but more likely as a means of self aggrandizement. Pulaski on the other hand puts her *self* at risk for her patients and even seems to be embarrassed by her accomplishments and acclaim, as evidenced in Unnatural Selection. She's a bit of a hothead and even said that she tends to leap before looking, but that's still pretty different than Dr. Russell.

So I think for the story to work with Pulaski, you'd have to get rid of the questionable medical ethics. Maybe replace that with Pulaski mirroring Picard's viewpoint in the same way that Crusher mirrors Riker's. Pulaski would be pro-suicide, but maybe she's the one who brings knowledge of Klingon ceremonies to Riker and realizes that neither of them can help Worf go through with it. Worf's obstinance can still lead to Pulaski suggesting a risky treatment, just not one that's her own pet project. After all, there's plenty of medical procedures that are well established and vetted but still dangerous. The only problem is that half the conflict in the episode has been removed, leaving only the suicide question. Is there enough meat left? I can't think off the top of my head of a way to fold in the USS Denver triage to the story since that was used only for the medical ethics drama.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

I can totally see the once-driven young Picard faltering and ending up as a blue-shirt lieutenant (junior grade, *assistant* astrophysics officer no less). I've had classmates and friends who were valedictorians, international sports competitors, the top of the top, and whether due to burnout, a moment of self-realization, injury, illness, or what have you, they ended up abandoning those goals and moving on to something else. Realizing what you've been striving for isn't what you really want, or you can't keep pursuing it, without having a Plan B, can really throw a wrench into what looks like a slam dunk life.

Another way to look at it is that Picard's stabbing wasn't so much a turning point as a one of many inflections. The butterfly effect needs to be in full force, but that incident (or the lack thereof) simply shifted his next decision left or right ever so slightly such that over a couple of decades it led to a completely different path, because subsequent decisions build on the ones previous. It would be interesting to know what sort of life he was leading beyond his career as a blue-shirt, but since he's thrown into it head-first without any memories of it, we don't know if he was getting fulfillment in some other way.

I have to shake my head at everyone who thinks this episode glorifies violence or says that fighting is the answer. That's comically missing the point. Keep in mind Picard lost that fight, and hard. I don't need to belabor the point as previous commenters have also tried to dispel that myth. It's just that *Picard* needed that brush with death not to put his life on track, but to *keep* his life on track, to the satisfaction of his red-shirt self. While he was driven before this, he was also kind of a screw up too. He failed his Starfleet entrance exams the first time, and he did something at the academy that nearly got him expelled. Imagine what changing those outcomes could've done.
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James White
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Sorry, 16 year old son.
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James White
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 6:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Omicron - what can you do? It depends on what you're willing to do. I don't have an answer for all people. I really don't. To Booming's point, some sort of advocacy against out of control debt accumulation, the funding of science/research, the maintenance of our relationships with allies, etc. My 6 year old son is offering Brookings, CSIS and two other advocacy groups his time (uncompensated) to do some research. The various experts are listed. Pick one and reach out to them.

Write some article, white paper, Op-Ed, whatever. Put your voice out there. Most of you are extremely intelligent. Do something.

Volunteer. Take some food to people that need it. We volunteer with a local farm to deliver food to especially vulnerable people that lack the means to pay for it (without subsidies, food stamps, etc.)

Protest. Tell politicians to go fuck themselves. Stand for something. Not on a ST website. Wherever.

Why do I come here? I really don't know. At first, it was a whim. Now, I realize many of you are some of the most thoughtful and decent people out there. So, yes, I'm telling you that you have more to offer than bitching on this site.
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James White
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Booming / Omicron: www.mw-pc.com. I live in N. Virginia, run a firm of 8 attorneys now (the site needs updating), and my other business Aqua Meridian, LLC does financial assistance / capital raise work for small to mid cap businesses. You can check out my bio on the website. This is me (for everyone to see).
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

I'm always surprised when this one shows up because it feels like such a season 7 episode, similar in scope and pacing to Eye of the Beholder. I think the reasons is because season 7 has a sort of sterility that's hard to quantify. It kind of parallels the downturn of Mythbusters in its later seasons, even before it became the Adam and Jamie cinematographer wank fest following the dismissal of the build team.

The first season of Mythbusters was also just Adam and Jamie, but they brought in random helpers as needed, and they had interviews with experts. They also documented the difficulties of tracking down the materials and supplies they needed. In the shop, there'd be random people milling about in the background working on other things, and overall there was an active bustling atmosphere about everything. By later seasons, it was much more focused on only the hosts and special guests, and I noticed that the hustle and bustle was gone. It felt less like filming some guys in their workshop, and more like filming two TV stars on a set. They stopped documenting most of their acquisition process too because, frankly, they could call up anyone and get just about anything they wanted by then. Adam even commented once that while driving down the highway with a bunch of pig carcasses in the bed of his truck someone looked over quizzically until they realized "oh, it's the Mythbusters guy."

TNG seems to have gone down a similar path. The early seasons seemed much more active, lived-in, and experimental. There were more people milling about on the Enterprise (especially notable in season 1), they visited planets with more than just three or four high-level government officials, and random characters would get a little bit of screen time, if not some lines. By late season 6 and season 7 though, it all seems much quieter. In a way there's more bottle (or near bottle) shows. That in and of itself isn't necessarily a problem, but it seems like there's nobody around except the people directly part of the story. Yes there's always some extras manning the rear stations on the bridge or lounging in ten-forward, but it still feels strangely empty. It's as if their budget was cut and they couldn't get enough extras to properly populate the sets. On the other hand, after 6+ years, the production crew had built up plenty of sets, props, and construction experience, so they could bang out some nice sets with less resources.

Of course there's exceptions through to the end of each series, but the overall pattern seems to be pretty evident. Aquiel feels very much in this late-stage mold to me.
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James White
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 7:51am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Booming, dude calm down. It's meant to be light hearted. Respectfully, I live in Washington. I'm dealing with this shit in a very direct and tangible way. My business is in the government and tech sectors. I've had the chance to take a bail out from Uncle Sam, but I don't need it. I'm working 70 hour weeks to make damn sure I never will. I'm on the front line of legal action against our Government for harming small businesses. And I'm writing a book about the issues America is dealing with.

You don't actually know me. But let's not pretend you are anywhere as close to this as I am. It's why I continuously harp on people for bitching about silly things in ST when the world is on fire.

You need to have a little faith. This too shall pass. America has always rebounded. It will come out of this stronger. But, as you've said, it will take a lot of time and hard work.
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James White
Sun, May 31, 2020, 8:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Booming - I thought you were going to cap your depressing shit at 5 examples per day. You're pushing your allotment.

Yes, we have issues. But Omicron is right. It's a great achievement. Private sector will drive space travel and future expansion. There will be better times
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John
Sun, May 31, 2020, 9:08am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

The governments Mal refers to usually are driven by some kind of profit, though. Would the US have gone to the moon if not in competition with the USSR? A group of people banding together doesn't make much sense unless there is some other group of people somewhere else. World government probably won't happen until there is another "world" of Vulcans and ETs whom we can fight, bargain with.
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John
Sun, May 31, 2020, 3:40am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Are they even aiming for satire? Space Force seems like it would be a good idea for short one-off show, mocking Trump's idea. But a whole series? If you do that then you're limiting how satirical you can be, and it becomes about 'likeable characters' etc.

American TV tends to overdo things anyway. How many seasons was the US Office show? The Brits only needed 3.
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James White
Sat, May 30, 2020, 7:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Anyone watch Travelers? Surprisingly entertaining.
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Justin
Sat, May 30, 2020, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: State of Flux

I actually would have preferred if the writers had figured out a way to keep Seska on board Voyager and a member of the crew. I consider this episode of waste of Martha Hackett’s talents. Once again she was given a character that we were led to believe was going to be a recurring character of a Federation adversary (first it was the Romulan T’Rul on DS9, in charge of the Defiant’s cloaking device, now a Cardassian spy) interacting and working with the crew. Turning her into a mustache twirling villain was a cop out. At least this time she didn’t just disappear. But it would’ve been a far more interesting voyage with a full-time Cardassian on board with all sorts of opportunities for good storytelling. Oh well, such were the pitfalls of Voyager viewing. They often went with safe storytelling instead of taking risks because network TV is what it is.
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Jean Luc
Sat, May 30, 2020, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

This could have been something. Instead, it is an utterly vacuous episode that avoids all the interesting moral issues related to its subject. It's even worse that it was aired during a massive nationwide debate about human cloning.

By the end, the clone is expected to just meekly submit to be killed and harvested for his tissues so that Trip can be revived. So what exactly is this episode saying? Sentient life forms are now expendable if it helps the cause? I know this isn't Picard, but this is out of character even for Archer.

Bad writing, implausible story, no philosophical reflection whatsoever. This isn't just "not Trek," it's the Anti-Trek. It also doesn't advance the larger story arc of this season. Totally worth skipping -- zero stars.
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Jean Luc
Sat, May 30, 2020, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

This is a bad episode, but I'm kind of surprised at how much hate the concept gets -- Jammer calls it "just plain stupid," apparently unaware of the original story underpinning it.

Draco was one of the early lawmakers of Athens. According to Plutarch, he set death as the penalty for all offenses. His reasoning was that lesser crimes deserved death, and he could think of no harsher punishment for the more serious crimes.

Like another commenter, I really did like the juxtaposition of ultra-hedonism with totally unreasonable, inflexible legal system as its ultimate guarantor. If we could have a nearly perfect society -- a pleasurable utopia in which everyone is honest and law-abiding and has unlimited time for recreation -- would it be worth it if it meant living under such an unreasonable, ludicrous legal system? IMO that's a philosophical question worthy of Star Trek.

Unfortunately, this idea doesn't get a very fair shake. The campy and over-sexually suggestive welcome. Lt. Yar saying their laws are "Fairly simple, common sense things" -- but oh, she overlooked that bit about death to all criminals. Uh...okay.

Much worse is this contrived debate over the Prime Directive, which should have nothing to do with this. The Edo literally watch these tourists from another planet beam down from a starship in starfleet uniforms and communicate with Enterprise using com-badges. There is no effort at all to conceal their alien origin or the fact that their ship is in orbit. Picard even brings one of them up to the ship.

So, in what way does the Prime Directive apply here? If it ever did, then they violated it a thousand different ways before getting to this point.

This is some new reading of it the Prime Directive that never existed in TOS. The Prime Directive often comes up as a plot device in the various Star Trek series, but this is just an abuse of it. I can understand that Wesley's transgression creates a diplomatic fiasco for the Federation and Picard, but it seems bizarre to me that the Prime Directive is brought into this story at all.

In sum, I think this episode raises a serious, challenging, philosophical quandary about law and society, then falls completely flat in trying to resolve it. 1.5 stars.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Fri, May 29, 2020, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

I'm fascinated by the disparate and contradictory opinions on the child actors' performances. They're all terrible, they're all great, Little Picard is the best, Little Picard is the worst, etc. Personally I think they all did pretty well, though I find Picard and Ro better than Keiko and Guinan.

Changes in speech inflections and whatnot can be excused by having smaller/younger vocal cords. I bet if you were really de-aged like this, you wouldn't sound like yourself now, or like yourself when you were really that age, because your brain is driving the vocal cords differently. It does sound like Little Guinan was dubbed/ADR'd, which is never a good thing.

I do love Little Picard running his hand through his hair and then at the end Real Picard disappointingly feeling his bald head. Boothby came down hard on him for that back in The First Duty.

I think the B plot with the Ferengi would've worked OK even if it was exactly the same plot, just not with the Ferengi. Maybe rogue Klingons (the whole mining part could be left out since that's not really their thing...ok except for Lursa and B'etor apparently), or some other species.
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Jaxon
Fri, May 29, 2020, 1:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

I thought Gowron reinstated the Khitomer Accords at the end of Apocolypse Rising.

Why is the Klingon still attacking the Federation...did I miss something?
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JPaul
Thu, May 28, 2020, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"And again, the blatant plagiarism of Mass Effect 3’s story endgame that they thought no one would notice. "

Read a ton of comments here, and this was the only one I saw to reference this. I haven't played Mass Effect myself, but people who have are saying the plot of this show is heavily derivative of it, there seem to be a lot of smoking gun similarities that are hard to ignore.

Then we can look at Star Trek: Discovery and realize that many aspects of season 1 are ripped off from the computer game Tardigrades, including a number of characters that look visually similar (the characters of Michael Burnham, Paul Stamets, Hugh Culber, Sylvia Tilly), to say nothing of the use of a giant Tardigrade that can travel through space instantaneously.

It's really surprising to me that shows with the kind of budgets Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard have would need to resort to this kind of copying, it certainly isn't something I'd find indicative of high quality writing.
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James White
Thu, May 28, 2020, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Omicron and Eamon - I agree with you both. CBS had a "sure thing" with Picard that they cashed in on. So, the quality control was probably lacking. Still, if they had bothered to ask the core ST fanbase what is essential to them, the end result may have been closer to the Picard of TNG. The thesis they operated under - that this Picard would be wholly different than the previous Picard, existing in a fundamentally changed Starfleet - probably doomed the whole thing. You can't "undo" Picard in this manner. But, again, this supposes that Kurtzman and his team had the wherewithal and talent to stay true to TNG while bringing a fresh message and set of challenges in a competent manner. They obviously did not.

Moreover, as Eamon indicated - they never needed to.
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Jay Marks
Wed, May 27, 2020, 11:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: A Private Little War

Never mind. Found them. Doh.
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Jay Marks
Wed, May 27, 2020, 11:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: A Private Little War

@ Peter G.

Always enjoy your comments/posts......never NOT insightful and thougtful.! For TOS APLW, you recently wrote in part, "It begs the question of not just which approach is enlightened, but which will actually work." A interesting little truth bomb.

BTW, I don't know why the comments from today are not listed here. I saw them in the Comment Stream. I refreshed this page., but nothing. What am I missing?
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Justin
Wed, May 27, 2020, 7:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Life Support

I, for one, was happy to see Bareil go. The actor sucked. Always the wooden, one dimensional performance. Not particularly well written either. Unfortunately, Shakaar was not that much better.
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