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Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

“It’s not a total mess.”

When comments like that are the chief apologias for an episode, the episode has problems.

More than one person has commented that he or she has studied or is familiar with principles of archaeology or mythology. One shouldn’t have to be, though, to find the episode coherent or enjoyable. Some people are fond of Civil War reenactments. A movie that constitutes a three-hour-Long Civil War re-enactment would no doubt be regarded as “good” by these people-whether or not the movie made sense, was interesting, entertaining, or dramatically compelling. People who like something for what it is about instead of how it is about that thing, should at least cop to it.

As to “what is it about,” as in, “Does the episode have a meaning or purpose or moral or theme?,” my answer is I have no idea but in any event the having of one does not make something inherenly better. Mindless action movies can be quite entertaining if made with skill. To me, Masks was so incoherent that I cannot tell whether I was trying to say something, or whether it was not. Incoherence of that magnitude - that makes it impossible to tell who is doing what with whom, and where, and why, can be entertaining, but it wasn’t here. I love the line where right before Picard basically talks an alien to death, he says, “I have experience with this sort of thing” (the line may have been “I have experience with these kinds of situations” (or”mythology”)... he then...promptly talks an alien to death with characteristic numbing pomposity.

“Your speech.. It’s dull.. plodding... pedantic.... much like yourself.”
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Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 11:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Patterns of Force

I do want to add though, that I think is the most successful Trek adventure to deal with Nazis directly. So, it's still leagues ahead of the even-more hackneyed usage of them in Voyager and Enterprise. At least TOS could say they were the first to tackle this in a televised Sci-Fi context, especially in the Trek universe.

TNG and DS9 were smart enough to deal with WWII themes indirectly with metaphors that weren't so heavy-handed and I think it paid those series well -- particularly DS9.
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Sleeper Agent
Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

@Silenus: Right on!

My thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of 90's b-action movies, especially if it takes place in a sci-fi setting. Some of them I actually consider to be personal film favorites of all time (Project Shadowchaser, Trancers, Dark Side of the Moon to name a couple).

Naturally, there also exist a bunch of them which quite frankly stink, and when I watch "Macrocosm" I see the exact same elements which cause those movies to suck: repetitive environments, boring enemies, lame action scenes ... all this in a cliché deluxe package, including techno-babble and Neelix.

I'm tempted to bust out the zero, but alas, how could I give anything, which features Janeway in a tank top blasting alien scum, anything less than 1 star?
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Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Patterns of Force

This definitely has its moments, especially with Kirk working together with the Zeon to gain sympathy and trust. We can sort of see some parallels between the Zeon and the Jews. And of course we get some okay humor out of the Nazi antics. "You'd make an excellent Nazi, Captain!" says Spock in an expectedly straight-faced Vulcan manner.

What's frustrating about this one, is that they dress up in Nazi costume for what seems like at least four different times only for it to never work. You start to get the feeling that any plan involving dressing up as Nazis is never going to work and it's just stupid. Then, bafflingly, the final attempt (at a time you'd think the SS base would be wise to the ploy) to sneak in as Nazis works without a hitch.

Of course, the main weakness here is that the episode builds up so heavily to the Gill reveal that we expect a solid explanation as to why he turned the planet into Nazis. However, we find that he's just drugged and he had pure intentions starting a Nazi-styled empire. I'm not going to get into why that reveal is convoluted because others have so well. To cut to the chase, this reveal isn't particularly insightful about the Nazis or about non-interference in general. Like others have noted, if you're going to do a Nazi story, you need to really hit home and make a strong message or else you're just wasting your characters on an old cliché (yes, it was old in the 1960s - remember, there were films about Nazis *during WWII* [ex. Casablanca]).

So, I can see where they were going with this, and I think the character work and humor was good enough to make it entertaining. In fact, I did enjoy a lot of it, and perhaps that's thanks only to some incredibly good acting. The story Itself simply lacks meat, or the meat isn't nearly as delicious as what the episode promised.

Springy wrote:
"I was pleasantly surprised that the writers didn't come up with a reason Kirk had to kiss the ep's sexy lady (to save the planet, of course)."

That's pretty funny! I do think a better resolution between Kirk and Daras would've helped, though. It didn't need to be a kiss. It just needed to be a better explanation as to how they were going to undo the Nazi damage.
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Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Lasting Impressions

[[The archeologist assigned to oversee this unearthing is played by Tim Russ, whom I haven't seen in anything since probably Live Free or Die Hard. His performance here suggests a specific eccentricity.]]

Tim Russ was in an episode of "The Good Doctor."
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Escape Velocity

really surprised the crowd was not focusing on how Baltar moved like he was being propped up
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 9:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Ties That Bind

10 years later and we still come to this blog as the go to review
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 8:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Obsession

Wow -- much better than I had remembered. One of the few of TOS that I had not seen since the 1970s.

The Big Three really standout in this episode, but the supporting players and guest stars turn in strong performances as well.

The episode has a quality to it you don't see again until DS9. It's pretty dark -- in a good way.
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Other Chris
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: 11001001

Didn't much like the episode, but I really appreciated the higher level of production. Very nice direction and music.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 7:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Deadly Years

I must have a must higher tolerance for rapid-aging stories than the average "Trek" fan. I really liked the Next Gen rapid-aging story in season 2, and it's mostly panned.

I enjoyed this one as well, and it sure resonates with the almost 57-year-old me a lot more than the 12-year-old me.

Poor Lt. Galway. She's was treated like an afterthought. I don't know why, but her death always stuck with me as a particular sad one, and last night's viewing didn't change that.

That line about what a stupid place to put a mirror -- that's a great moment.

I had forgotten about the entire Romulan angle. Glad they had it in there.
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Paul C
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Business as Usual

No one seems to have spotted it (or mentioned it anyway) so here we go... nice Easter egg at the start. Quark is selling a weapon in the holo suite and it’s serial number is CRM 114. A reference to Dr Strangelove. And of course, nuclear weapons. Also referenced in Back to the Future (Marty hooking up his guitar to that huge amp).
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Sleeper Agent
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Coda

This does what many VOY episodes have done so far: it forces you to watch a painfully mediocre story, with scenes bordering on snoozefest, for the first 2/3 or 3/4 of the episode.

Then it surprises you with a top notch if not brilliant last 10-15 minutes, often thanks to a clever twist and/or intriguing element in combination with Janeway kickin' ass.

Still, there are many episodes better than this one, which I would probably skip if I would ever do a rewatch (God forbid!).

1,5 Stars.
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Turnabout Intruder

I watched "For the Love of Spock" on Netflix last night. I couldn't find a thread for it, so am posting here to say I recommend it to any ST fan. It's done by Leonard's son, Adam, so it's not some hard, thorough, objective look; it's not meant to be. But neither is it all sweetness and light. It's a loving, honest tribute by a son to a father.

My favorite part was the letter Leonard wrote Adam, and George T telling about how Leonard insisted he and Nichelle ne included in the animated series. Leonard was nowhere near perfect, but it was plain he did his best and worked very, very hard.

An interesting man, an interesting life, an interesting documentary.

@Chrome, thanks for your thoughts and info on TNG.
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Peter G.
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

@ Cinnamon,

Troi and Riker broke up because he had career ambitions, not because they didn't like each other. They still like each other, and there's probably a lot more respect than there was the first time around. Not sure why this strikes you as weird. Fate saw fit to put them on the same ship as each other, and after that they had to pretty much keep each other at bay for professional reasons (like Picard and Crusher). But it doesn't mean there wasn't still something there.

Incidentally, have you ever dated someone from a telepathic species? The term "Imzadi" has some connotations that probably refer to having shared someone's inmost thoughts and feelings. "We're different people now" wouldn't mean to a Betazoid what it means to you, and their relationship had at least some of that in it.
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

"TROI AND RIKER HAVE NOT BEEN A LIVE-IN COUPLE FOR EONS. At the time when they would up on the Enterprise they did not have a desire to return to the "lover" state. Would any one of you people go back to a relationship that ended 5 to 10 years ago?"

Isn't that the point, though? They don't have any memories of their past relationship but obviously are still attracted to each other on a physical and social level that transcends memory. I'm not sure if you're married, but I'd like to think that if my wife and I ever lost our memories we'd still make a connection with each other somehow. It's at least plausible, if not likely.
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 11:31am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

Error correction. Troi and Riker......when they WOUND up on Enterprise.....
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 11:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

Gotta do the end first: think this, one of the comical XENA eps when Xena was laughing about some antic....HO HO HO AHH HAH etc., don't remember which one it was......that is what you should all do when viewing Ro and Riker in one another's clutches even though they actually hate each other. I truly enjoyed that and even more so when they found out what they did during their idiocy moments. Once again, it was due to the way they disliked each other.

No way that Troi would ever be capable of beating Data at chess or any other game or whatever. That is malarky.

As for Guinan, I believe Whoopi Goldberg had already left TNG. Not sure of that but I am not going to look it up.

SOOOO. McDuff is just a duff/crap, If he had so much ability to rip our guys apart AND disable Data too, why could he have not build viable ships and weapons and go kill off the Lysian's in the first place, hmmmmmmmm? The Lysian's were not bothering him or his people?, it was him alone desiring to be a Klingon and Romulon rolled into one to always be at war and destroy. He had a Hitler complex.

TROI AND RIKER HAVE NOT BEEN A LIVE-IN COUPLE FOR EONS. At the time when they would up on the Enterprise they did not have a desire to return to the "lover" state. Would any one of you people go back to a relationship that ended 5 to 10 years ago? If you DID it would prove that you are still a child. It would be unwise as you are a different person today........

Without naming each thing, it is clear that these people were left with selective memories and that makes no sense at all. It can only be done if a person is conscience of what he or she is thinking of doing.
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 11:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

Wait... If the "history" between Picard and Guinan is that she's a Dauwd and he knows it then that would explain how Picard caught on so fast in "The Survivors". Oy.
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Bread and Circuses

Well I really like it. Jammer's right, of course, this is the typical Star Trek episode. In fact, when I think of typical TOS episode, this is the story that comes to mind.

Yet I love the lampooning of the TV industry, and it brings with it some fun commentary about how a country can use entertainment to control the masses. Obviously this a direct reference to Rome, but if we look at this in the 1960s context, it was most likely a slight against propaganda videos created in the Soviet Union to keep their unhappy peasant workers in check.

The very first commenter, Strider, got it right here. This is a great episode to see Kirk act as Kirk. He's confident, he's clever, and he doesn't back down from Federation values. This is the type of Kirk we need to have. And even if this episode is thoroughly typical, show codifiers like this one reinforce the message that Gene was trying to give us.

@William B

You're in this one! Or at least your namesake is. I'm surprised you didn't mention that.

Trent wrote:

"the early Christian cults were enfolded within Rome, assimilated to it and it to them, and so functioned as a rubber-stamp for subsequent Empire building. The Church at this time was not a good, reformist thing"

Two problems with this. First, Christians weren't exclusive to the Romans. They started in the Roman province of Judaea and spread both East and West. Also, whether The Church was a good or reformist thing is a matter of perspective, but historically it curtailed a lot of social problems in Rome like polygamy, incest, as well as child and animal molestation.

Whether Christianity actually ended *violence* like this episode purports is, I agree, debatable, but that's entirely missing the point. What they were saying was planet 892-IV was starting to follow the path of Earth -- i.e. the spreading of Christianity was one step forward towards the path of eventually forming the Federation. That's why Kirk wanted to see the whole thing unfold, as he remarked in the ending.
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

"Maybe on the ship she adheres to some kind of rule that means she cannot interfere with lesser species"

Q's description of Guinan was reminiscent of Kevin Uxbridge's description of himself. Another Douwd?
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 10:59am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Lasting Impressions

I liked this episode more than I expected. We've been learning more about Gordon Malloy in season two and he's much more rounded-out and likeable character. It was a real pleasure to see Tim Russ again. I wish there was more of him in this episode. The scenes with Bortus smoking were hilarious. I wish they simply had him continue smoking for the rest of the season.
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Daniel B
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 10:25am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

"Makes you wonder ... if she has Q's powers, why doesn't she use them?"

I got the sense that maybe Guinan is somehow capable of thwarting Q (at least if he does something directly to her, she can't seem to stop him from sending the ship vast distances away), but doesn't have any active powers similar to his. But yeah it was weird how they introduced that and then never developed it.
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 9:59am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Descent, Part II

Maybe I'm being pedantic here, but Lore's Borgetable garden doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Ira Graves and Noonian Soong were human scientists who both managed to carry off a perfect-fidelity mind-transfer on their very first attempt. Later on Bashir, not a cybernetics expert but just a highly gifted human doctor, failed after a fashion but far less spectacularly than Lore did. (I'm pretty sure that a failure of that sort would count as a success in Lore's book.)

How do two super-intelligent androids (one of whom had been on the receiving end of Graves's mind-transfer) with access to Borg magi-tech manage to burn though half-a-dozen living subjects without once even doing at least as well as Bashir? (Or the EMH-1? Or that evil guy in Deep Space Nine who stole Bashir's body. Or that evil guy in Voyager who stole Kes's body. Or that other evil guy in Voyager who stole Tom's body. Or...) And why are they mucking around with creepy nanostuff anyway when they have transporter magic at their disposal? Maybe Lore really is just totally insane.
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 3:44am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

salutations jammer,

i continue my first watching of Disco. i like your reviews and i'm agreed with you that lorca chooses his associates too quickly, right? burnham science specialist, tyler security chief. aren't there others on the ship who trained for those posts?

but other than those inconsistent moments, i think i liked this episode more than you. for me, it's the best one so far because there is a substantial enlargement (is this the word?) of Sarek's as a character. i liked the way they presented this new background information and it makes sense completely with Sarek from before Disco (i watched the original series sarek episode before this, but not the series as a whole).

holodeck and spore drive is no problem for me, i think they work good as plot device.

best wishes
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Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 1:13am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

Peter G. is more or less correct.

I was in the military a long time ago and an officer cannot just waltz in and say: I have the highest rank. Everybody has to follow my orders.

Nog wasn't commissioned to take over the Valiant.
In other words an officer with the rank captain doesn't have power over every lower officer everywhere. Even a four star admiral cannot give an order to the lowest solider if that soldier is in a unit that isn't under the command of that four star admiral.
Chain of command. ;)
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