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Jason R.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 7:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

"So my question is this; what are some good episodes to introduce her (or anybody) to Trek with (of each series) that don't require any background plot or spoil any major twists?"

TOS - City on the Edge of Forever, The Doomsday Machine, Devil in the Dark

TNG - The Measure of a Man, Q Who, Best of Both Worlds 1/2, The Inner Light, Chain of Command 1/2, Darmok, All Good Things 1/2

DS9 is tough because it is so serialized. Voyager and Enterprise are tough because they are so bad....
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Jason R.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 7:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

"Objectification is not a scientific term? Why do you say these things? It seems very illogical. Is it this combative lawyer side of yours that you talked about? We have you and then we have Martha Nussbaum, a professor of law and ethics at the university of Chicago who also taught at Brown and Harvard. You think that objectification/dehumanization is not a scientific term, she thinks it is"

I think you may have confused Peter G. with me. But since lawyers are now science experts according to you you'll take my professional word for it that "objectification" in this context isn't a science term.
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Jamie Mann
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 3:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit

Alas, for me, this was the first truly weak DS9 episode.

Let's start at the beginning.

The first ever new species comes through the wormhole. A potentially significant diplomatic event, not to mention the wealth of technological, biological and general information available just from the ship itself.

Equally, the alien in question is aboard a damaged ship and somewhat antagonistic. So there's a definite risk - both diplomatic and physical - involved in boarding the ship and interacting with the occupant.

Cisco's response? Let's send in a single engineer, with not even a single security guard, high ranking diplomat or even any form of monitoring.

It's a highly contrived setup, specifically designed to bring O'Brien and Tosk together and set things up for the moral dilemma which follows.

So sad to say, I very quickly lost interest...
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sjdrake
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 12:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

An excellent episode, full of action, suspense, comedy- and entertainment, which is what it's all about after all. Yes, you can pick holes in the plot, as you can with just about every Trek episode ever screened.

Though I often agree with Jammer, on this occasion - and like many posters on this thread- I feel he has been much too harsh.

Seven's walk through the decks, trying not to let the aliens realise she can actually see them, was wonderfully played, with a good score to accompany it. The climax, with Janeway losing it and pushing to the brink, was also excellently done.
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Jason R.
Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 7:18am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

"Kai Winn was played by Louise Fletcher, who won an Academy Award in 1975 for her role as as the tyrannical Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Oh my god I never realized that! Cool.
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Jay
Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 4:01am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Most of you are some serious haters
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Jamie Mann
Tue, Nov 5, 2019, 11:59am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

And so, we come to the end - and in many ways, we find ourselves back full circle to the first episode of the first series, with characters and plot threads from the first encounter with Q returning. And Q in particular stood out, restored to the cruelly satirical omnipotent being of the first episode rather than the occasionally comedic character from later episodes.

It all works impressively well - perhaps surprisingly so, given how weak much of series seven was, and considering that much of the studio's resources were already being ploughed into the first TNG movie.

Quite possibly the finest TNG episode ever made.

As ever, there are some weaknesses - such as the gaping plot hole around the way future-Enterprise returns to find the anti-time rupture growing forward in time.

And at least personally, it's a shame the writers once more blithely ignored the civilian contingent aboard the Enterprise, not least because it could have made for a nice callback to Troi's struggle with the command exam a few episodes eaelier; where she had to sacrifice a crew mate to save a ship; Picard had to sacrifice a ship (or several versions thereof) to save humanity.

But still, this capped TNG off near perfectly.
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Jamie Mann
Tue, Nov 5, 2019, 7:10am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Genesis

Another hot mess which foreshadows shows such as Lexx and Farscape.

Sadly, it's more magic-fiction than science fiction, as people devolve into strange animal hybrids, and magically return back to normal with little or no emotional or physical impact. Though Troi's scene as a semi-conscious mer-thing is entertaining purely for the fact of how ridiculous it is.

And once more, the civilian crew are completely ignored, as are the deaths (both those explicitly seen and the fact that there would almost certainly have been significantly more off-screen)

Another one which isn't particularly worth rewatching, except perhaps for the comedy value.
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Jamie Mann
Tue, Nov 5, 2019, 6:58am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

In some ways I like this episode - it's another one which foreshadows the dark surrealism of later shows such as Farscape, and Brent did an excellent job of switching between personalities to play the various characters.

On the other hand, the episode can be summed up as a hot mess which leans heavily on established tropes and technological magic. And Series Seven had already heavily overused "Data behaves out of character" by this point.

Once more we have alien technology which is somehow able to effortlessly take over the Enterprise - and Data's positronic brain. It's also able to transform the entire ship, somehow without immediately causing an engine explosion or interrupting life support.

(And once more, the civilians on the ship are completely ignored...)

Not one I'd actively rewatch, but interesting enough...
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John E Brengman
Mon, Nov 4, 2019, 8:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Way to Eden

^.^

The high points of this episode really didn't save the episode very much. As ti a cimment made earlier ...

"The "way to eden" is perhaps the only really "reactionary" episode in the history of star trek. whatever the faults of the youth movements in the '60s these were the people who ended the war in vietnam"

Actually nope! Although the youth movement and the entire anti-war element put pressure on the government, in reality, after Tet, the communists had momentum, and that was sealed after the US removed their support for the South Vietnamese military.

" and fought for civil rights."

Not really. Martin Luther King was not part of the youth movement. The youth were more interested in sex, drugs, rock music, stepping off, and dropping out ... of society. More than a few adults in the room did what they could to push the US to get out of Vietnam, and it was adults in the room who pushed civil rights.

However, the anti-modern stance of the episode is kinda interesting. How many people nowdays remember when there was not an Internet? I was at Subway earlier, and I saw a couple, but rather than talking to each other, the guy was engrossed in his smart phone, rather than talking to the girl sitting across from him.

John B.

John B.



They deserved a better treatment. And perhaps the "middle aged", "middle class" people were the demographic target (aren't they allways?) but they were not, in the end, the people who liked and supported star trek.
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John E Brengman
Mon, Nov 4, 2019, 7:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Day of the Dove

^.^

Couple things ...

1): Spock confirmed the existance of the Beta XII-A colony. The alien could not negate physics, otherwise the ship's phasers would not have destroyed the Klingon ship.

2): actually, McCoy was affected quite quickly. In the turbolift, he started making a racial comment. "What proof do we need? We know what a Klingon is."

John B.
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Jason R.
Sun, Nov 3, 2019, 8:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: By Inferno's Light

It does seem odd that a changeling would commit suicide even to destroy an enemy fleet. The changelings always valued their own lives pretty highly. They don't seem like the suicide bomber types.

Plus if blowing up a star is a thing.... well why don't they do it more often? Kind of renders the Tox Utat rather pointless doesn't it?

And spoiler: isn't it nice of Ziyal to forgive her dad for trying to blow her up AND BAJOR!!!!!! a few episodes later. Forget the occupation, how about attempted mega genocide!

In conclusion, did they really think this whole blowing up the Bajoran sun thing through when they wrote this episode?
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Jamie Mann
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

Another episode which leans on the more military side of Trek, with the entire ship being placed under the orders of an Admiral who clearly isn't telling people the full story, and who is obsessed with completing his mission at any cost.

As ever, this military elements are sharply at odds with TNG's more traditional future-utopia society; even more so when you consider that the Enterprise carries both civilians and children. It's fundamentally not a vessel which should be used for dedicated military activities!

That aside, the plot unfolds reasonably well, even if it is somewhat plodding and predictable. And arguably even the idea that the Federation has agreed to not use cloaking devices makes sense - it has parallels with the 1960s weapon treaties between the USA and Russia, as well as maintaining the "good cowboy" image of the Federation; they're loaded for bear but if they do shoot you, they'll do so from the front, not by sneaking up on your back.

On the other hand, the Federation's cloaking device is also the weakest part of the story. The USA and Russia both continued to develop nuclear technologies even while they negotiated on weapon drawdowns, and given how devestating a weapon the cloaking device is, it's hard to imagine that the Federation wouldn't be actively working on both duplicating it and developing countermeasures. As ever, you hope for peace and prepare for war!

Equally, the admiral's insistence on recovering the phasing device seems odd. Surely this isn't the only prototype, and surely the design schematics are still available? The insistence on a unique macguffin makes little or no sense, especially when there are a number of other ways to provide a plot justification - for instance, they could have wanted to ensure that the ship was destroyed, or they could have required experimental data from the ship which otherwise would have taken years to rebuild. Equally, it's highly convenient that the Enterprise once more gets stuck in a situation which can only be resolved by this week's macguffin.

It's also a shame that this technology never seemed to appear in later Star Trek - after all, as the admiral repeatedly points out, it's a quantum leap in military technology and significantly more advanced than anything the Romulans or Klingons have to offer!

Though equally, perhaps it was too powerful - after all, a ship which is both undetectable and able to travel through any material (rock, water, space, air, the heart of a sun, etc) is essentially invincible...
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Jamie Mann
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 7:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Attached

A pretty weak episode partially redeemed by some strong scenes between Picard and Crusher.

As other people have noted, the entire episode is pretty contrived, not least when it comes to the one-dimensional presentation of the two nations. This was some thirty years after TOS and it's simplistic representations of alien species, and after so much work had been done to build out the Klingons and Romulans, it's a shame that the writers resorted to such basic characterizations.

Still, as with several other episodes in season 7, this episode is to be praised for not opting for a simple happy ending, but instead went for something far more ambiguous.
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Jamie Mann
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 6:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Phantasms

This was an enjoyable episode - in some ways, the mixture of surreal humour and dark set pieces almost feels like a pilot for Farscape (released six years later).

There are still weaknesses. First, we're asked to accept that the parasites are somehow undetectable despite being able to directly interface to physical objects and untouchable and invisible to anything other than a special torch. Then, we're expected to accept the idea that Data's body contains the only mechanism capable of dealing with the parasites, and that he's able to generate a pulse energetic enough to cover the entire ship from his internal power cells.

And equally, this arguably was the starting point for Data being heavily overused in the seventh series.

But still. This was definitely an entertaining episode!
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Jamie Mann
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 6:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Liaisons

A pretty poor episode, despite some entertaining scenes.

Perhaps the biggest issue lies in the fact that we're meant to buy into the idea that this alien species doesn't understand things like love, anger and pleasure, but is somehow able to perfectly mimick them, based on little more than a diary left on an abandoned spaceship.

Not one worthy of watching twice!
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Jamie Mann
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 6:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

There's some interesting elements in this episode, not least the fact that we get to see a different side of being on the enterprise. And there's some nice scenes - Worf's sparring session in particular stands out, as does the way that the various characters react to Picard's final announcement.

On the other hand, the ensigns are all a bit too wet behind the ears and a lot of the interactions with them are stilted throughout the entire episode. Equally, Ben's stint as a barman feels highly odd; a character who seamlessly fits in with everyone from the bridge crew down really shouldn't have just been a one-episode stand-in for Guinan.

Perhaps the most difficult element of this episode is the fact that it really does seem like Sito is manipulated into taking on this mission by Picard - and possibly even Worf during the aforementioned sparring scene.

To be fair, this does somewhat dovetail with the dilemma Troi faces in a later episode when she realises that Bridge command may involve ordering people to carry out an action which will kill them.

But TNG was the last true "Trek" series produced by Gene Roddenburry, and carried the flag of a brighter, better and more ethical future for Humanity. And Picard is meant to represent the finest of humanity - a man who sticks to his moral principles regardless of the situation.

As such, the idea that Picard would manipulate someone in this way - or consider sending a child on such a high-risk mission - feels like it goes completely against what we've learned about Picard over the last seven series.

It's not even like they offer much justification for this action, other than some muttered guff about how the Cardassian needs to return back across the border. And they don't even seem to consider any other options, despite the fact that various characters have previously successfully impersonated other species at very short notice with the assistance of Medical bay.

There's something to be said for introducing a darker edge to TNG, but at the same time, this would have fitted in much better as a DS9 or even a Voyager episode, where the stakes are higher and there's far more shades of moral ambiguity.
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Jason R.
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 5:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

"I could make similar arguments at least about King( a whoremonger and homophobe). Kennedy is a little bit more difficult because what did he actually achieve what people will remember in say 200 years. Not blowing up the planet?"

There are FBI wiretaps that allegedly show MLK witnessing and cheering on a rape. From what I understand the recordings are real but still sealed. But eventually they will be released. If the descriptions are accurate then even in the pre Metoo era that would be a big blow to his reputation.

I would hope that there is a middle ground to be reached between throwing his personal stature due to his achievements in the garbage and sweeping the revelations under the rug.

Perhaps with MLK it's academic at this point because his historical stature is so established that he can't truly be expunged even if we wanted to (and some will demand it). I just detest this impulse to black and white thinking about these figures where you can't admire the good in a villain or admonish the bad in a hero.

I also don't care for the tendency to tear down great historical figures for altogether unseemly motivations. I doubt Mohammed's critics (or MLK's for that matter) have historical accuracy as their prime motivator.
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Jamie Mann
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 5:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

Not a great episode.

The entire episode hinges on the idea that Soong was somehow able to produce an android which is completely indistinguishable from a human, both visually and when scanned or put through a transporter beam.

There's so many questions here, especially ethically.

What about the fact that she is a clone of someone else's personality? Or the fact that Soong somehow had a complete scan of her personality.

What about more religious concerns, such as her soul (or lack thereof)? What about the fact that she's not realised that her body and mind behave differently to how they were when she was a "real" human.

What about the fact that she's been designed to artificially grow old and even die?

What about the fact she has a relationship with a biological humanoid, who appears to dislike androids?

What about the fact that she is a more advanced model than Data /and/ has a fully working emotion chip? The scientific potential of studying her systems is massive.

(Give or take the fact that the Holodeck seems to be fully capable of producing nominally self-aware and intelligent NPCs. But I digress...)

There are so many questions around this scenario, but virtually none of them are touched on. Instead, we get a weak conversation about whether or not she has the right to know what she really is. And while that is a potentially important question for several of the reasons outlined above, not one of the above is touched on.

Instead, the episode focuses on embarrassing trivia about Data's "childhood" and some stilted mother-son interactions.

It's not as bad as the episode featuring Geordi's mother, but it's still fairly weak, especially when you consider the questions they could have asked!
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Jason R.
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 11:16am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

"Tiger Woods is immaterial to this discussion. He is a celebrity who whacks balls around; he has no pretensions to moral stature. The men I name are famous for supposed moral stature."

I didn't use him as an example of moral stature. I used him as an example of how when men achieve heroic status (for whatever reason) it increases exponentially the opportunity to engage in the misbehaviour these men are accused of.

It may be that depraved men are drawn to the limelight or it may be that being in the limelight is corrupting.
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Jason R.
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 10:56am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

@Rebecca there's no shortage of people criticizing these men as you yourself demonstrate.
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Jason R.
Mon, Oct 28, 2019, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

Certainly in men there is a strong correlation between greatness and the kind of misbehaviour these men were accused of. It's the Tiger Woods syndrome.

I think it's foolish to pretend that such men were saints or to deny obvious personal failings but conversely, equally ludicrous to dismiss their accomplishments on account of personal failings.

There are allegedly some very nasty revelations about MLK that will no doubt see the light when certain FBI recordings become unsealed in a few years.

Personally, I don't see myself summarily tossing aside his contributions to civil rights even if the allegations turns out to be 100% true.
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Jon R
Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 11:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Shakaar

I'm not a huge fan of this episode. I generally find a lot of the episodes about Bajor really boring. I can't quite put my finger on why.

But even putting that aside, there's one element to this episode that always bugs me, and that's it's messed up sense of scope that always lingers in the back of my mind while watching.

Why are there so few reclamators in the first place? They made it seem like the government loans these things out to small territories each year to help restore the soil. But the situation makes it seem like they only have enough to give to one territory at a time (thus why Wynn needs these specific ones back from Shakarr and why Shakarr waited 3 years to get them in the first place). Keep in mind this is an entire planet they are trying to restore, not just a few small provinces or a single country. At the rate some of the Farmers will likely be sitting around for decades before they get access to these things. I don't know if these things are provided by the Federation or not, but whoever is providing them needs to seriously consider making/getting more. THIS IS AN ENTIRE PLANET WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.
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Joe Menta
Sat, Oct 19, 2019, 10:00am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

Wasn’t Reg insubordinate by directly assembling the senior staff for that middle-of-the-night meeting? Shouldn’t he have requested it through his direct boss, Geordi? I would think Geordi would have been annoyed by Reg’s actions.
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Jeff
Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 8:25am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

Watching 'Demon' and 'Oblivion' back to back shows this series at both it at it's best and worst. Great technical achievement with amazing effects and true dedication by the design crew, actors and musicians... and failure by the writers and producers to craft a reason for all of it to mean a damn.

Directed by the guy who played 'Potsie' from the tv show 'Happy Days'. I'd rather watch that for some legit substance.

Jammer is right. This is 1 star, just for the people showing up on the set.
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