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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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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, May 27, 2020, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

Like Nibbler from Futurama. His dark matter poop "weighs as much as a thousand suns."
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, May 27, 2020, 12:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Schisms

I love the absurdity of the sloped wooden table. They could've just shortened two of the legs of the last table, but instead they had a carpenter build this bespoke folly for all of five seconds of screen time. That then led to the even more jarring jump to the metal "table" after it.

I think what would've worked better is to start with the same conference table, then shorten it as shown, then change it to a metal table which would look like a typical stainless steel prep table in a commercial kitchen, then after discussion one of them would say "make this a medical exam table" at which point we get something more like what was shown. That's still kind of over-the-top, but at least the progression is more believable.

It is interesting that they fixated on the sloped part, because the tables we saw in the actual alien lab were flat. That doesn't mean they don't tilt or that some of the experiments that were done on the people didn't make them feel like they were inclined in some way, so I can give that a pass. Still, it led to the weird sloped wood table and crazy jump to the tricked out exam table. I'm glad that the actual tables looked quite a bit different than what they came up with on the holodeck, which helps with the realism.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, May 27, 2020, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

Peter, it's a tragedy that the tech is so uninteresting because this Dyson Sphere should've been the discovery of the century.

Regarding the amount of material needed to build this shell, it all boils down to how thick it is really. The Wikipedia article on Dyson Spheres (specifically a Dyson Shell) notes a calculation by Anders Sandberg that a shell constructed from our solar system's available materials at Earth's orbit would be roughly 8-20cm thick depending on density. That apparently includes the solid cores of the gas giants, but no idea what happens to their gas or liquid components. Assume we can get some more thickness by converting that mass into something else.

Regarding gravity, apparently the gravitational pull on an object inside a hollow sphere is zero. The stronger forces acting close by are canceled out by the weaker forces acting at a distance because there's so much more of it. Any civilization advanced enough to build this thing could put gravity plating on the whole inside face, so that doesn't bother me too much. I also wonder what sort of effect solar winds might have on pushing gasses towards the shell.

The impression I got from the episode was that Geordi and Scotty were only on the Jenolen for at most a few hours. They'd need to be checking in from time to time, taking a break, getting something to eat. If it was longer, then the Enterprise had that much more time to get out of the star's corona.

Regarding opening the hatch, I meant that Geordi and Scotty could just sit off in the distance, "hail" it so it would open, then just keep doing that as many times as necessary to communicate with the Enterprise and give them time to escape. They acted like the one time they tricked the hatch into opening was the one and only time it would work, but there's no basis in that. For all we know they could stay out of range and keep hailing the portal over and over until it was fully opened, kind of like waving a stick in front of an automatic door sensor.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, May 26, 2020, 4:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

The science in this one is so bad, which is unfortunate because the Dyson Sphere is such a cool idea, but here it's just another tacked-on tech plot of the week. Let me call out the things that really stood out to me, which others have commented on too.

First, Geordi figured out way too quickly what happened to the Enterprise. If you look back on the scene all the pieces are there, but it's just laid out on a platter. Minor nitpick I guess.

Second, how does the sphere create such a huge gravity well when it's mostly hollow? Yes if it takes up all the matter present in a solar system to build (and then some), that's a lot of mass, but they go into systems with stars big enough to go supernova, quasars, etc., and they don't seem to have any problem with the gravity.

Third, how does anything cling to the inner surface of the sphere? Its center of mass is still at the star. I suppose they can use some tech to explain this, since they do get all of the star's energy to harness.

Fourth, it should've taken years for the Enterprise to get from the portal to anywhere near the sun at those speeds. Even if you assume those tractor beams accelerated the ship at impulse speed (let's say 1/8 impulse, which would be 1/32 light speed), it would still take nearly three hours to travel the 100m radius of the sphere.

Fifth, what idiot designed the portal to fling ships directly towards the sun anyway? Of course, since it would really take so long as to be irrelevant...

Sixth, the Enterprise barely makes it into orbit of the sun, but they're so close they're being hit by flares and other solar ejections. Ok, but by the time they're hailed by Geordi on the Jenolen, they have full engines back, yet they're still within spitting distance of the sun? Why weren't they already back at the portal trying to open it, or did the tractor beams wipe their sensors of their previous trajectory? They should've pulled up to a higher orbit at the very least.

Seventh, Geordi could've opened the portal, hailed the Enterprise, and conversed with them as many times as needed to figure out a solution. Jamming the Jenolen into the hatch was just a contrivance.

Eighth, beaming through the shields. SFDebris put it best.

RIKER: Wait the shields are still up.
SCOTTY: Never mind that!
RIKER: You can't beam through the shields, we did a whole episode about it.
SCOTTY: We'll...we'll tell you the frequency. Yeah! You can beam through the shields if you know the frequency.
RIKER: No the episode was about beaming through our own shields. I mean we know the frequency of the shields of our own damn ship.
SCOTTY: I uh, I only have the shields up in the front and back.
RIKER: Nuh uh, I call no way.
SCOTTY: Uhh I hate this bloody century!

Ninth, nobody ever seems to bring this up, but in the final scene Picard says "Since you lost your ship saving ours, it seemed only fair." Yet Picard was the one who asked Scotty in sickbay why he wasn't on the crew manifest in the first place, because he was just a passenger.

I'll let myself out now, but I still really like this one overall. It's mainly the last 10 minutes where I think it falls off a cliff.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, May 26, 2020, 12:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Set designers are part of the production team, which also includes the director, cinematographer, art director, lighting designer, props department, costumes, makeup, camera operators, grips, etc. The term set designer and production designer are used rather interchangeably, with set designer tending to be used a bit more in theater rather than in TV or film. This particular episode has numerous credits that would apply:

Directed by Peter Lauritson
Cinematography by Marvin Rush - director of photography
Production Design by Richard D. James
Set Decoration by Jim Mees
Art Department
Jason German - props
Andy Neskoromny - assistant art director
Gary Speckman - set designer
Rick Sternbach - senior illustrator
Cari Thomas - scenic artist
Herman Zimmerman - original set designer
Ed Miarecki - props (uncredited)
Michael W. Moore - props (uncredited)
William Peets - chief lighting technician
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Mon, May 25, 2020, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Props to the production team on this one as well as all the other accolades. Ressik looks a lot like Greece's Santorini Island, with the whitewashed adobe buildings climbing up a craggy rock face. The only difference is Ressik overlooks a deep river valley rather than the Mediterranean Sea. It's understandably a bit studio-ish, but it's not overly precious like so often happens in other "rural simplicity" stories.

What I like are some of the subtle cues about the drought as time goes on. When we first arrive, they're planting the tree, they have dark soil/mulch, and there's vines and other plants growing up the buildings and flowers in small planting beds, it's all actually rather lush. Five years in their symbolic tree is larger and thriving, though there's no more flowers around and the other plants look a bit more weedy. Once we get to baby Batai's naming ceremony the vines are dead and the planting beds are empty and barren, with what little decent soil was left presumably salvaged for crops. By the time the administrator comes for his last visit, the symbolic tree is dead. At the last jump, when they go to see the missile launch, they turned up the intensity of the sun a good bit as well, making it a harsher hotter and more blue color. All great touches.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Mon, May 25, 2020, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

I've always liked this two-parter, even recognizing its problems. Twain never really bothered me, but I can see how he can be too much to take. The alien's motivations are also laughable in how undeveloped they are. Regardless, I just love the 19th century stuff.

I was curious about the filming locations and Olvera Street in LA, which is sort of correct. When Data first "lands" in SF, the location is Sanchez Street, which is aligned with Olvera, but is on the south side of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles monument. I find it funny that the "Hotel Brian" is just the rear loading area of another random building across the street. In part 2 they shot on the newly completed New York Street backlot set at Paramount Studios.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Mon, May 25, 2020, 9:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

I want to give kudos to the production crew for the exploding sample container in engineering. Despite being behind a forcefield, still came across as quite powerful and frightening.

Also, I always laugh at the final scene in the transporter room. When Worf and his security team enter, Barclay says "There are more crew members in the beam. You have to grab them and hold on." Worf then responds immediately with "Understood. Follow me." LOL what? These guys have NO IDEA what's going on, and after Barclay spouts some nonsense about people being in the transporter beam, while being dragged off the floor, Worf is all "oh ok, no problem." That's some crap writing there.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sat, May 23, 2020, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

This really is a pretty long middling run of TNG. None of it is really bad per se, just kind of blah, like what Rick Berman did to the music after season 4.

Anyway, what irritates me most about this episode is Martin (Ron Canada's character). I just can't grasp his logic, because he's written as such an obtuse straw man, much like Gosheven from The Ensigns of Command as Jay mentioned earlier, or to a lesser extent Krola the security minister from First Contact. How can someone be written as so oblivious to the situation at hand? Martin and Gosheven give no consideration to their immediate threats, and they're even told, what good are traditions and such if we're all dead? That never stops them. At least Krola has somewhat more understandable, if still quite black and white, motivations.

The bigger problem I have is that we're never told just what makes Martin so worried about people beaming down or someone going to the Enterprise for a few hours or days. He just spouts "throwing off the balance" and "it goes against our founders' wishes." But what balance is being thrown off by this? Is he worried that extra people will deplete the oxygen in the biosphere, or introduce foreign germs that their society has no immunity against? Sure I can understand there being problems if people leave permanently, or stay permanently, but why is he so opposed to any contact/exchange whatsoever? We never learn that, so he just comes off as a nut.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, May 19, 2020, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

Whew, I read all the comments, and I'm just awe-struck at how polarizing this is. I also think that because there's so many comments, people are just spouting their opinions off the cuff without considering the arguments that came before, leading to everything flaring up again.

Here's the way I see it.

First, the CE wasn't an immediate threat when they finally caught up to it, and in fact it was responding positively to the attempts at communication. The Enterprise's shields are an effective means of protection, and I see no evidence that the CE could "get away" from them. The only reason they haven't caught up with it before is because they only found out how to track it recently (if not in this very episode), and then only when close by. So I find the "shoot to kill" mentality really disturbing. If you want to use the terrorist analogy, this would be killing them while they're walking down the street days later, rather than just, you know, arresting them. This is vigilanteism, which has no place in the 24th century or the 21st century.

Besides that, the one thing I have not seen anyone mention is that while WE know how Lore communicated with the CE, and it is also known in-universe that Lore can/did communicate with the CE, nobody else on the Enterprise knows HOW Lore communicated with it. Maybe he used some special carrier wave or comm frequency. All that anyone in-universe knows is that Lore could communicate with it somehow. It could be as sophisticated as a conversation in English, or as simple as commanding a dog to sit or stay. We the audience know more than the characters do, and nobody seems to have brought that realization into their argument.

Also, this being a universe with mater/antimatter reactors, it could very well be possible to feed the CE many times over with very little effort. And if it's a sapient being, it wouldn't be a bad ally to have, though it actually seems to be pretty easy to destroy. Nonetheless, I've read that an actual warp core breach of a ship like the Enterprise, if it happened while in orbit of an Earth-like planet, would be absolutely devastating to said planet. Like a large portion of it completely gone. Think what happened to Praxis in The Undiscovered Country. That's many orders of magnitude more energy than sucking the life out of the surface of a planet. If it needs to be alive to be satisfying, then that's what replicators are for. Plug them into those antimatter reactors and the CE can have a limitless salad bar of giant redwoods, whale blubber, and phytoplankton.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, May 19, 2020, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

So just how was the Tamarian's plan supposed to work out had the Enterprise not intervened? They seem highly technologically advanced, even out-gunning the Enterprise, and sophisticated enough to employ a scattering field to block transporters but leave open sensor frequencies. However, they appeared surprised when Picard told them over the viewscreen that Dathon was dead, which the Enterprise crew knew about long before that.

I understand the goal was for Picard and Dathon to kill the beast. So if the Tamarian's detected that the beast was dead, would they then lower their scattering field? I don't think Dathon told his second in command to wait for a specific length of time before beaming them back since they were arguing about what scenario to play out right up until they beamed down. It seems they were going to just let both Dathon and Picard die at the hands of this beast, which wouldn't solve anything. I can't find the logic here.

Overall I still think that this is a great episode, but I'd say it's not the absolute cream of the crop. It's a little too much "The Picard Show" like The Inner Light, Starship Mine, Captain's Holiday, Tapestry, and even All Good Things. Not to say that's a bad thing, some of those episodes are top-10 if not top-5, but sidelining the ensemble takes things down a small notch for me. It's more that the rewatchability is hurt since we know Dathon's motivations. Since we also know what many of the phrases mean, it makes Picard's and the rest of the crew's obliviousness even more frustrating. On the other hand, when rewatching you get to figure out some of the other metaphors they're saying but which weren't addressed, so that's a bonus.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sun, May 17, 2020, 9:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

Nice catch Bractor!

"I will have the secrets of the other Federation ship! Bloorp"
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sun, May 17, 2020, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Family

This is a super nerdy thing to bring up, but I just can't help it. In the final scene when Robert and Marie are looking out the window at Rene under the tree, you can see it's a double-hung window, but the top sash is farther inside the house than the bottom sash. That's backwards because it would allow rain to leak in, and it also means the sash lock would be upside down, and the weights/pulleys for the bottom sash would be outside exposed to the weather. In fact you can barely see what looks like a plugged hole where a lock would've been on the top rail of the bottom sash, but they probably pulled it when someone realized the lock would be outside. One of a few "this is obviously a set" fails, but it doesn't hurt my love for this episode.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sun, May 17, 2020, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

uillceal: "Later Data can't seem to take 5 secs to say 'Hold on, Captain. I have a plan.' Which is all just a set-up for a lecture by Picard on how officers shouldn't blindly follow orders. Duh? Is this Vietnam 101?"

Yeah that rubbed me the wrong way too, it's not like he didn't have time to send that brief message. Also when Commander Hobson asked for a transfer Data simply replied "I understand your concerns, request denied" with no explanation, and he then immediately went on to tap buttons on some control panel. He could easily have said "I understand your concern, but we're short-handed and you're familiar with the ship, so I'm afraid I must deny your request." Data is smart and observant enough to know his blunt rejection won't be well-received, and normally Data is polite to a fault. This behavior is very out of character.

Hobson's insubordination is also quite disturbing and unbecoming for someone at such a high position. Data called out Worf for less, and threatened to demote/reprimand him later in Gambit. He really should've taken Hobson aside and laid down the law.

The blockade is also so mind-bogglingly absurd I can't believe it ever got past the first draft. As if we we could blockade the US/Canada border with 20 police cars, all at one border crossing, ignoring airplanes and helicopters and tunneling. Talk about two-dimensional thinking. SFDebris put it best:

Admiral Shanthi: An interesting plan, how many ships would you need?
Picard: Well you know, space is very very big. We would need...several trillion ships.
Admiral Shanthi: You can have 23.
Picard: You drive a hard bargain, but we'll go along with that.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, May 12, 2020, 8:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Qpid

I gotta admit Vash really rubbed me the wrong way in this one. First she's all whiny about Picard not telling anyone about her. I thought she was supposed to be this mysterious sneaky rogue character, not the type of person who'd want to be the topic of gossip. Then the way she interrogates Picard over his rescue plan in the heat of the moment and screws it up. What the hell?

I still don't get what Q was trying to prove, since apparently he was all wrong anyway. Love is a weakness? Just a mess. The castle's great hall set was pretty hokey too.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Mon, May 4, 2020, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Clues

I agree the ending is pretty bad. As a kid I always thought, why didn't Data just say they were out for 24 hours? Or by the end, 72 hours or however long this whole thing took. Sure that wouldn't solve everything, but it should be enough to prevent the mystery from escalating.

Also, biochemical stasis doesn't explain anything since they were never in stasis for more than a minute or so (the impression I got from the flashback with the Paxan/Troi was that it would take "one of your days" to prepare for the memory wipe, not that they'd need to be in stasis that long, since the crew needed the day to prepare everything else). So the whole beard growing thing is bunk; their beards didn't grow because they were awake and they shaved just like any other day. Otherwise, the stasis field would have stopped Dr. Crusher's moss from growing too.

I find Picard's arguments to the Paxan/Troi to be pretty weak. He should've hit much harder on the "if you destroy us everyone will come searching," but that was just brushed aside. Picard could say their coordinates have already been relayed to Starfleet, so they know where they are. Plus, while there are over 1,000 people on the ship, only the bridge crew and perhaps a few in engineering have any idea what happened. I also agree that Data should've been given an out (either through his programming or Picard's orders) that would let him tell Picard and only Picard something if he got too close to the truth. Data's intransigence, on top of some shockingly incompetent sensor manipulation and off-the-cuff explanations, is what tipped everyone off that something was amiss.

The relative time difference to the rest of space is a non-issue as William B pointed out. Wormholes can distort time in-universe, and Data even suggested re-synchronizing their clocks with a nearby starbase, so them losing a day or three is completely plausible.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

I never thought the HD remaster made the sets or costumes look bad like many people suggested. Sure there's a few things here and there that could be better, but it's never taken me out of the moment. That said, the HD footage does make stunt doubles very apparent. In the holodeck scene, someone who's very obviously not Brent Spiner is dancing, generally in the wide shots. The other most obvious ones in the series that I can think of are the "compromised" Admiral Quinn beating up Riker in Conspiracy, and Michael Dorn's stunt double getting hit over the back with a chair in A Fistfull of Datas in a needlessly close-up shot of his face. There's certainly others, but these three always stood out to me. Oh, and one HD fail that did stick out to me is in All Good Things where Geordi is waking up future Picard from one of his naps, and you can see the adhesive mesh of his fake beard.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, Apr 29, 2020, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Final Mission

The science surrounding the garbage scow plot is terrible. The absurdity of the radiation danger has been explained by everyone else so no need to elaborate further on that. Others have suggested just moving the ship far enough away to eliminate the danger for now, and then come back later. Good idea. Also, the idea that they have to keep tractoring it doesn't make sense either. Once they get it up to a certain speed, they can just disengage the tractor beam and it will continue on the same heading at the same speed. That's how objects in space work, once in motion they stay in motion, no need to keep pulling it. They even did this in "The Battle" with the Stargazer.

I'm also in total agreement that "we must land" is absurd. I've brought this up about Voyager too, but the notion that landing would ever be better than just floating around in space is ridiculous. Plus with propulsion problems the chances they'd be anywhere near or able to reach a planet or moon is preposterous, even with the galaxy as crowded as it is in the Star Trek universe.

I do still enjoy the Picard/Westley plot, and Dirgo deserved what he got. I never noticed before, but when Picard goes to take the helm in the shuttle, he grabs a bar/pipe overhead to steady himself, and it breaks off in his hand. He just looks at it for a moment and tosses it aside. Some good subtle comedy there.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Fri, Apr 24, 2020, 9:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

I never thought too much about the Q/Guinan thing until reading through all the discussion here. I think FlyingSquirrel has a good point that she knows they'll get through it since the events of Time's Arrow are several years off. Hence her rather casual attitude towards the situation. She also seems to agree that humans need a bit of a kick in their complacency, as Picard would say later.

As to her powers and what they might mean, again, I didn't think much of it, but this quote popped into my mind. "They're called The Borg. Protect yourself, Captain, or they'll destroy you." The choice of "protect YOURSELF," and "or they'll destroy YOU," is very telling dialog. She's not concerned for her own well-being, because she has the power to escape. She's acting like an observer more than a participant, not unlike her time in 19th century San Francisco.

Now, that does raise the question, if she's so powerful and unconcerned, then what of the rest of her species that was wiped out or assimilated? Why couldn't they elude the Borg? Maybe she's a more evolved individual, or what she says of her history isn't entirely true, or she's learned how to protect herself in the last few centuries, or something else. Either way, the backstory here is quite intriguing.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, Apr 21, 2020, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Sarek

The moment in the final scene where Picard says to Perrin, "he loves you...very much" always gets me, it's beautiful.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sun, Apr 19, 2020, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

Oh one other thing. Simply turning off the matter stream to the warp core wouldn't work because as suggested, it would leave an ever increasing pool of antimatter in the middle of the warp core. The fuels are deuterium and anti-deuterium stored near absolute zero to stay in liquid form, and they're essentially squirted from the top and bottom of the warp core into the reaction chamber at Main Engineering level where they annihilate each other and the energy is shot out the back as plasma to the warp nacelles. The warp core itself is basically a tube of magnetic rings that keeps the antimatter from touching anything, because it will still react with any matter it touches. So if you shut off the matter stream but the antimatter stream kept going, then it would just fill up the warp core until there was too much for the magnetic constrictors to resist and some of it would touch the inside of the core and boom.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sun, Apr 19, 2020, 9:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

The lack of privacy protocols for the holodeck doesn't surprise or bother me in any way because as depicted on the show, it's still quite new and relatively unexplored technology. Remember that in Encounter at Farpoint and Code of Honor it was limited to simple landscapes and "soulless" defense training. In The Big Goodbye Troi mentions to Picard "you've been looking forward to the upgrade of the holodeck" where we get people with actual characters. The Bynars upgrade it again shortly thereafter in 1100100 to create Minuet, which may or may not have culminated in the computer's ability to create Moriarty in Elementary Dear Data.

So it's not until the last year or two (in-universe) that the holodeck has even been able to replicate people in any meaningful way, as far as we know. Yes there's some of Gene's "evolved humanity" nonsense on display here as none of the rest of the crew had ever conceived of using the holodeck in the way Barclay has, but doesn't that explain why they wouldn't think to put any sort of privacy protocols in place? It's not until several years later in DS9 and Voyager that they mention such things, so it's likely the Federation has been scrambling to catch up with a quickly evolving technology. It's not unlike the similar struggle to define the rights of artificial intelligence we see with Data and later the Doctor in Voyager, except the legal ramifications of holodeck use just aren't worth dedicating any screen time to.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sun, Apr 19, 2020, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

I did not welcome the return of grumpy season 1 Picard in the teaser. His “hrmph” response to Riker’s congratulations is totally out of character at this point. Sovak was insufferable, and just because that’s intentional doesn’t mean it’s ok either. I was also befuddled by Picard’s complete lack of due diligence in regards to the Vorgons. Vash rightly points this out at the end of the episode. The whole Vorgons thing was not well done either. Their ineptitude is rather bizarre, especially in the cave where they should be able to neutralize/immobilize Sovak with some future technology and get the Uthat themselves, but instead they just stand there watching everyone dig with primitive shovels.

I can enjoy fun, lighthearted, campy episodes, but not when there’s so many mischaracterizations, plot holes, confusion, and irritating characters. Voyager actually gets this right a couple of times in Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy, Live Fast and Prosper, and Bride of Chaotica. DS9 too has In the Cards, Take Me Out to the Holosuite, Bada-Bing Bada-Bang, and Trials and Tribble-ations. These sorts of episodes seem to be best when there’s a simple premise that doesn’t require a ton of technobabble to implement. I think DS9’s Little Green Men is a bit of a fail in that respect because the setup and resolution are completely ridiculous and the characters too cliché. I still enjoy it, but whenever Rom says kemocite it makes the hair on my neck stand up. Same for The Magnificent Ferengi. It’s poking fun of them sure, but the whole corpse reanimation thing just, and even Kevan’s death in the first place, is just a bridge too far.

I think TNG’s Qpid works OK, especially as a follow-up to this one, but it’s kind of a nothingburger overall, aside from a few great lines. Hollow Pursuits is good for the holodeck scenes, but the rest of the episode is actually fairly serious so I wouldn’t call the episode itself light hearted. I think A Fistful of Datas is actually decent if not for the tiresome holodeck malfunction premise. I do like Phantasms and Timescape, though they’re stretching credulity. It seems like the best comedy/light-heartedness comes out of strong characterization first, and TNG has a bit more trouble with that, especially when the actual premise of the episode is “Patrick Stewart wanted to do more action.” That’s what got us the reprehensible dune buggy chase in Nemesis after all.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Offspring

During Lal's interview with Admiral Haftel and Captain Picard, they asked her what she wants, and she said she wants to stay on the Enterprise. She then goes to see Troy, scared/panicked, and we cut back to a meeting between Haftel, Picard, and Data where the admiral orders Data to turn Lal over. So what of her choice then? I guess that plays into Picard's speech about their rights, but if she said she wants to stay, how can the Admiral justify taking her? I wish that would've been resolved. I agree with the others that Haftel's obstinance really hurt the episode.

I always loved Lal's "why is the sky black?"
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