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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 7:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Collaborator

And the dark streak continues, as Kira finds herself unwillingly digging into the murkier side of Bajoran's occupation.

Of course, the key reason for doing this is that there are elections coming up, and Kai Winn is looking for any political advantage she can find. First, she tries to get Sisko to either explicitly support her or admit his support for her rival Bariel; when that fails, she manages to get wind of the fact that an exiled member of the occupation-era government has some information which could completely destroy Bariel.

And naturally, Bariel happens to be Kira's lover. Which makes things even more difficult for Kira when Winn forces her to take on the investigation of these claims.

As other people have said, the Bajoran-centric episodes don't really hold my attention, not least because for all that a lot of DS9 revolves around their planet and the fallout from the Cardassian occupation, the Bajorans remain oddly under-defined. To all intents and purposes, what little we see of their society is essentially a generic Western civilisation with a Catholic-inspired religion bolted onto the side.

In fact, looking at Memory Alpha, there seems to be very little of interest at all about them as a species. There's no mention of any special physiological traits and their social and technological development is equally underwhelming; it took them half a million years to develop space travel, and having finally attained it some 700 years before the DS9 timeline, they somehow managed to creep slowly along with minimal technological development for another 650 years until the Cardassians rolled over them with their Federation-equivalent technology.

I'd guess this was all meant to help reinforce the depiction of them as a peaceful society who had effectively "solved" the problem of having a stable civilisation before the occupation, but equally, it also suggests a stagnant setup, and the various political shenanigans and crimes which occur during DS9 imply that their solution to civilisation was a thin and fragile thing indeed!

Any which way, they're rarely portrayed as anything other than baseline humans with a very western styled society. And sad to say, that's a major weakness, as it means any stories which involve them don't really explore much new or interesting; it's far more about the fiction than the science.

Still, one area they do get used is politics, and Winn is perhaps the best example of this. She's not a likeable character, but that's because Fletcher does a perfect job of delivering lines which manage to be both sanctimonious and self serving. Everything she says and does revolves around boosting her political power or forcing other people to accept her vision, and any who oppose her are either cut to size or manipulated into giving their (often unwilling) support to her.

It's not nice and it's not pretty, but it's well done, and in an era of "fake news" and increasingly partisan and right-wing politics, it may be that these episodes were perhaps more prophetic than anyone would have imagined, twenty years ago...
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 6:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Crossover

Ah, the mirror universe, where everyone dresses in shiny black leather to highlight just how bad and evil they are, and where the women are all sex kittens.

It's an entertaining episode, even if the writers have to do a lot of rapid handwaving to explain how this all slots in with the previous mirror episodes.

Though to be fair, the continuity of the mirror universe has always been somewhat suspect; the advanced technology stolen by Archer was nowhere to be seen in the original TOS episodes - and equally, the empire-toppling revolution triggered in Discovery seems to have had no impact on the events in the TOS episodes which were set just ten years later...

Either way, and despite the continuing and increasing deviations from the original TOS timeline, we get to see lots of familiar faces in unfamiliar roles. And while there's a few hints of humour in these juxtapositions, the episode manages to maintain the darker edge that had started to creep in at the end of the second season.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 5:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Wire

An interesting episode which goes some way to reinforcing Garek as a character of mystery - for all that it confirms he has a military past and has affiliations with a mysterious and powerful society, the details remain murky, as does the reason why he was exiled to DS9.

There's some powerful scenes as Garek struggles with his addiction; it's not a particularly subtle metaphor for heroin withdrawal, but it's well presented.

Equally, I do have to wonder how much of an influence this had on other media. There's certainly parallels between Garek's constantly shifting backstory and the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Any which way, and following on from the Maquis two-parter, this seems to have been the point where DS9 finally started to find its footing...
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 5:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Maquis, Part II

An interesting two-parter which leans heavily into the shades-of-grey aspects of DS9. There's trouble in the DMZ between Federation and Cardassian space, and the DS9 crew have to get and help untangle things.

There's shades of the cold war in this setup, with various groups battling it out with the occasional support of the Major Power they're affiliated with.

There is one difference though; where the Americans and Russians both funded the various groups who fought for them by proxy, here it's just the Cardassians funding their proxies, though the federation affiliates do have at least some unofficial support from Starfleet officers.

It's perhaps an important difference, as unlike later episodes and series, here the Federation is still being portrayed in an idealised way: seeking peace while prepared to go to war if necessary.

Things progress with a suitable amount of ambiguity, and it all works pretty well up until the end.

Alas, the dramatic showdown is a let down. After several inconclusive debates, it comes down to two runabouts taking pot shots at two ships which look to have been borrowed from Battlestar Galactica.

For all that it's technically well executed, the dogfight simply ends up looking slightly ridiculous, and it's not aided by the dragged out and distinctly stilted final conversation between Sisko and Hudson.

But that aside, this is one of the episodes which showed a hint of what DS9 could be when it focused more on politics and ambiguity rather than the more traditional action of TOS and TNG.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 4:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Blood Oath

Yay, another clunky episode.

The three Klingon warriors are a delight to watch, especially with their ties back to TOS. But the entire premise around Dax's blood oath is odd.

First, as others have noted, Jazdia has previously taken pains to separate herself from Curzon, and the episode Invasive Procedures strongly suggested that the symbiote either has little influence on the host or no morals.

Then too, Jazdia is a starfleet officer, and sworn to uphold Federation ethics.

And yet, she agrees to take part in an assassination attempt. Worse, it's not even an attack on an individual, but an assault on a fortress filled with other people who will have to be killed to complete their goal.

To be fair, Star Trek has always had an odd contradiction at it's heart: for all that the Federation is always portrayed as a forward thinking society, Starfleet crew are seemingly all trained to fight and even kill as part of their normal routine. From ensigns to engineers, everyone is expected to pick up a gun and know how to use it - and rarely if ever do they show remorse or even receive counselling for it. Instead, they zap their enemies and show up for work the very next day.

Obviously this is partly because this is a space opera, and the main characters all need to take their turn at the action. And I suspect it's also partly because the Federation is at least partly supposed to be an idealised take on American pioneers - blazing a path into the unknown with one hand on their gun. Or to quote Star Trekking: we come in peace and shoot to kill!

There's perhaps a deeper philosophical question here around the expectations a society should have of it's citizens, and the moral implications of a society where the killing of other sentient beings is treated as little more than part of the day job.

But back to the episode, and it does have some good points. The three Klingon warriors do a good job of chewing the scenery - there's perhaps some shades of the Seven Samurai in their gathering for one last glorious battle.

(And perhaps another reason why Jazdia's initial attempts to join them are rebuffed, as she is young and has her entire life ahead of her)

Equally, the battle at the end is fun, even if the fight choreography is a bit limited. The use of helmeted minions is a bit odd - it stands out in a series which prides itself on having a wide variety of aliens - but was presumably intended to facilitate the reuse of both actors and costumes.

Overall, it's a fairly entertaining episode, with shades of both TOS and TNG in its setup and conclusion. It's just a shame the writers had to twist Jazdia's characterisation into a pretzel to make it work.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Profit and Loss

Alas, another weak episode with some strong character set pieces.

A dissident teacher and her two students flee to DS9. For some reason, the students are essentially under a death sentence while their teacher isn't - despite both guiding and protecting them.

And thenn in an amazing turn of events it turns out that the teacher is Quark's ex-lover, whom he can't live without, despite the fact that he's never mentioned her before nor has he kept track of her activities.

Better yet, Quark just happens to have a miniaturized cloaking device - handily small enough to fit in the palm of his hand - which the dissidents could use to escape.

From there, this rehash of Casablanca plays out in a clunky way. Natima starts out absolutely hating Quark for his past betrayals, but then does a spectacular about-face after "accidentally" shooting him. Quark professes his undying love for Natima throughout the entire episode while simultaneously insisting that he will only give her the device if she chooses to stay with him for the rest of her life.

Control freak, much? It's not the most positive presentation of love - though to be fair, ST has always been distinctly hit and miss when it comes to depicting romance.

From there, the clunkiness continues.

For instance, Garak. To be fair, there is a nice set-piece between him and Quark in Garak's tailor shop, where Garak manages to maintain his nominally benign ambiguity, which he's maintained for two full seasons.

But then at a stroke, Garak's background story is made clear: he's out of favour with Cardassian's leaders, and is in voluntary exile while acting as an unofficial conduit feeding information back to Cardassia in the hope of getting back into favour.

Ambiguous no more.

From there, there's an oddly cringeworthy scene where Quark pleads with Odo to help the dissidents escape, only for Odo to arbitrarily decide to assist of his own free will. And then there's the dramatic finale, where Garat initially appears ready to carry out his instructions, before making an abrupt about-face to throw his support in with Quark with no more than a little smile and a comment which attempts to restore some of his ambiguity.

It's all a bit of a mess, and arguably it's because the writers tried too hard to stick with the Casablanca template.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 1:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Shadowplay

Urgh. This feels like a TNG throwback, with the main plot revolving around an oddly isolated low-technology rural village populated by benign Californian bead-wearing hippies.

To be fair, the relationship between Odo and the little girl is charming, and the episode at least lightly brushes the philosophical question as to what constitutes sentient life.

But at the same time, it's a weak and cliched setup, with lots of plot holes. From the way the dozy Sherriff has both heard and not heard of teleportation, to the way Dax is able to both repair and upgrade completely alien technology, and the question of how an isolated village could be entirely self sustaining - as with The Village, where do raw supplies come from? Has no-one ever wandered past the boundaries before - there doesn't seem to be any psychological compulsion to force them to stay away. And how will they deal with population growth when restricted to such a limited geographical space?

The secondary plots trundle along well enough, but don't really do much of interest; Jake decides he doesn't want to follow his dad while Quark and Kira butt heads in a mildly comedic way.

It's all a bit bland and limited.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 1:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

Another weak episode with some nice character interactions.

As other people have noted, there were numerous ways to get rid of the biological weapons from basic chemistry to firing them into the sun or even just using a teleporter beam to convert them to energy and scatter the energy into nothingness.

And then, the decision to kill everyone associated with the weapon - including the Starfleet staff tasked with aiding in their destruction. Which is akin to killing a mechanic who's dismantled a carnival despite the fact that the mechanic would have no way to build the car from scratch.

The icing on the cake is that this cunning plot is averted by a wife's intimate knowledge of her husband - which is revealed at the end to be completely wrong!

There's other issues as well, such as the way in which this "deadly" bio weapon is both incredibly slow working, non-contagious and surprisingly easy to cure. But fundamentally, it's all a setup to give Bashir and O'Brien some "quality" time together.

And even that falls a bit flat: there's a bit of heart-to-heart conversation between them, but there's no real change in their relationship come the end of the episode.

In the end, it's another fairly weak episode in a fairly weak season.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 12:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Invasive Procedures

Another odd episode in which we're expected to buy into some increasingly improbable things.

First, a storm which conveniently pulls everyone except for a few key crewmembers off the station.

Then, a raid, led by a character who seemingly has little or no charisma, but has somehow managed to persuade some Klingons to join in on a raid on Federation space which will almost certainly result in the death of at least one Starfleet officer.

And this same character - with all his professed weaknesses - has somehow earned the undying loyalty of an attractive woman, to the point where she's also willing to join in with this murderous attack.

Then, for an added bonus, Quark's betrayal of the station and implicit assistance in this murder - is hand-waved away after he plays "hero" for once.

However, perhaps the weakest element of this episode lies in the way the relationship between the Trills and their symbiants is presented; essentially, Dax acts as if Jadzia meant nothing to them, and was quite happy to walk away as she died. And equally, Dax was more than happy to pick up their relationship with Sisco as if nothing at all had happened.

There's two main ways to interpret this.

The first is that the symbiant has little or no influence over the host; it's little more than a repository for memories.

The second is that the symbiant is psychopathic by nature, and doesn't care anything for the host it lives in. Which would suggest that it's more of a parasite - or even a slave master - than a symbiant.

Sadly, we don't get to explore these possibilities further, as this is a one-off episode. Jadzia gets Dax back, and returns to her normal sweet self, and nothing more is said - not even by Sisco, despite the dramatic showdowns between Sisco and Dax in his new Trill host.

Definitely weak.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 10:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

A pretty weak episode by any measure. There's several major issues for me:

1) the contest between Bashir and O'Brien. People generally don't watch scifi to see people play sports (barring ones that involve large amounts of death and violence) and racquetball - even a futuristic version of it - isn't particularly exciting, much less something which can act as a key plot device or actively engage an entire space station.

2) the probability-altering macguffin. The technobabble explanation is weak even by ST standards, especially when you consider that some of the device's effects (e.g. the old couple deciding to drop/press charges) would have had to involve affecting the past. Equally, the idea that such an alien device can be replicated seems a bit convenient and no attempt is made to analyse or study it. Instead, it's just another gimmick of the week...

In truth, it perhaps would have been better if the device had been exposed as a placebo.

In general, this episode mainly serves to remind me why I couldn't get into DS9 the first time; for all that there were a few good episodes in the first two seasons, for the most part there was a lot of mediocrity...
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 2:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Dramatis Personae

Not a bad episode in some ways, but inherently limited by the fact that it's a "reset" episode, where all the events and character interactions are wiped away at the end of the episode.

A throwaway episode that's not really worth rewatching.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 1:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Progress

There's a few issues with this episode, not least that Star Trek had done this setup a few times before, not least when Data had to deal with recaltriant colonists in The Ensigns of Command.

Another issue is the fact that the premise doesn't make any sense. As other people have said, the idea of destroying a colonisable moon to generate a tiny amount of energy is ludicrous, especially when the Federation must have so many other ways of generating energy.

But perhaps the worst problem is that the colonists in this episode are cliched stereotypes. They're little more than retired American Gothic pioneers, telling tall tales and being entertaingly grumpy in a homespun and rustic way.

Cliche upon cliche piles on with Kira electing to perform a short-lived rebellion, and the episode doesn't spring any surprises or do anything interesting with the base premise, nor does it attempt to explore the ethics of balancing the needs of the many against the few.

Not one that's really worth watching more than once!
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 8:51am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Q-Less

As much fun as it is to see Q chewing the scenery, this was a pretty disappointing episode.

Things don't get off to a good start when Vash mysteriously appears in the gamma quadrant to barely a blink from the DS9 crew. And somehow not only does O'Brien fail to mention the fact that she's linked to Q (something he later recalls) but there's nothing on record about this despite the fact that Cisco has even attended a symposium on Q's past appearances.

But the worst thing - apart from some stinging repartee from Q - is the fact that this doesn't feel like a Q episode. For all that Q plays his usual joker-God role, something which is conspicuous by its absence is the moral aspect which was usually present in the TNG episodes.

Instead, what we get is Q behaving as a malicious and actively abusive stalker. Pretty much every bad trick in the book is played - he reappears after abandoning her as if nothing had happened and insists she rejoin him. He then attacks people who are interested in her and even subjects her to physical attacks while smiling and promising that everything will be fine if she just gives up and goes back to him.

There's no attempt by any character to call Q out for this behaviour - instead it's all conveniently hand-waved away at the end of the episode with a nod and a wave.

This perhaps highlights the issue DS9 had - where Picard could act as a representative for the Federation's high moral ideals, the murkier backdrop for DS9 means that there are fewer opportunities to condemn behaviour or produce definitive moral judgments.

And it's perhaps telling that Q never reappeared on DS9...
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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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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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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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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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