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Jim Hanson
Tue, Apr 10, 2018, 4:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

i agree there are continuity issues BUT watch q who and specifically guinan--guinan's quizzical and "there's more going on here/something is off" looks add some depth to the multi-time line arguments.
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Jim Sondergeld
Fri, Mar 23, 2018, 5:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

One track at a time....

1) Lursa and B'Etor are jaw-droppingly incompetent at corruption. How they could believe that the two individuals to try and bribe/seduce, respectively, over to their side were Picard (in Part I) and Worf beggars belief. If they were truly that stupid, it's no wonder Sela was so contemptuous of them. Ditto their belief the Toral could have served as their figurehead on the Klingon High Council, given that they themselves beamed out and abandoned him after their forces had lost.

2) The writers pretty much had to use Denise Crosby in the Sela role. Nobody else could have conveyed the consequences of Picard sending Tasha Yar to the Enterprise-C in the closed Federation-Klingon war timeline. She had a nice three episode arc (beginning in "Mind's Eye") and was an effective, if conventional, Romulan antagonist. Though her capitulation after Data's exposure of her fleet did seem awfully belated, as though written that way to conform to the episode's time constraints. And I never did understand how her failure here wasn't punished, such that she was able to fail again even more spectacularly in "Unification" several episodes later.

3) Hobson could have been written with more depth - as less of a "wrong-headed jackass" - given that the point he makes to Data when requesting his transfer about androids not being suited to starship command did have some validity. Is that not the seed of franchises like "Terminator" and "The Matrix" and even the TOS episode "The Ultimate Computer"? The fear of artificial intelligences taking over? The reason, of course, why Hobson wasn't written this way was because this story thread wasn't about Hobson, it was about Data. And it worked as written, particularly Data's initiative in exposing Sela's fleet being acknowledged by Hobson after the fact by acknowledging the android as "captain".

I didn't think much of Worf sparing Toral's life in the final scene (I seem to recall the latter reappearing on a later TNG episode or an episode of DS9 to attack Worf, illustrating Kahless's parable about never leaving live enemies behind you on the battlefield) and his justification - not punishing the son for the sins of his father and grandfather as a parallel to the unjust discommendation he endured for his own father's alleged crime at Khitomer - made no sense because Mogh was framed for that BY the Duras, whereas Toral was complicit in it. I also questioned how Worf could just abruptly blow off his duties and responsibilities with/to the Klingon Defense Force and return to Starfleet, especially after having insulted Chancellor Gowron by leaving a potential enemy to his rule alive. I attribute that to the episode's time constraints as well.
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Jimmy
Wed, Mar 21, 2018, 6:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

I don't understand anything the producers/showrunners are doing with Discovery.

Making the show a prequel makes little sense to me. They want to set the show in the cage era and insist its prime timeline. But nothing matches up at all. All the previous treks at least tried to make it all seem like the same universe just different eras. Like respecting the visuals and story. If they don't want the show to look like the TOS era because it looks too "primitive" for modern audiences, which I understand they really should've set it post-Voyager/Nemesis. All they would need to do is make some adjustments. Set the show several hundred years in Voyager/nemesis's future They could still have a faction of radical Klingons who are opposed to federation ideals. Instead of Sarek, just have another prominent Vulcan. Plus all the technology would make perfect sense because its in the future. People would expect technological advances. But setting the show pre-TOS era makes me feel like discovery is really not prime timeline but a different timeline having nothing to do with previous trek shows.

Also I don't understand why they have to re-imagine everything in trek now. I've heard there are licensing issues but doesn't CBS own the rights to the Star Trek prime designs? I was under the impression they only had to change the designs/iconography for the movies.
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Jim Witte
Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 6:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Phage

I just saw this and the first thing I thought was, "what, they don't have heart/lung machines in the 24th century?" Or for that matter, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation - research on that apparently was in 1956. I was also surprised that the Doctor basically banned Kes from the sickbay "except for visiting hours" - given that he should know (from his encyclopedic knowledge if nothing else) that Neelix's psychological health was going to get frayed, to say the least.
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Jim
Wed, Dec 20, 2017, 4:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Mind's Eye

@Scotty: ... not to mention Data standing downrange while Geordi fired the rifle. I also saw Geordi open fire without looking up to see where Data was.
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Jim
Fri, Dec 15, 2017, 11:39am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: By Any Other Name

I don't understand this. They want to conquer our galaxy but are headed back home ? Thanks..new to Star Trek Original series
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Jim Oz
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 5:12am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

This is not Star Trek. After watching for 25 years with my children I will no longer watch ST. Swearing? Openly gay characters. Pathetic. I'm getting a divorce after 25 years-I'm gutted.
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Jim
Tue, Apr 25, 2017, 1:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Unimatrix Zero, Part I

@ Justin
> How Axum was assimilated at Wolf 359 [..] Seriously, have any non-canon nerds out there tried to retcon this one?

I suppose you could assume that there was another Borg cube there (backup?) that no-body saw somehow. Maybe they assimilated a Romulan cloaking device. (That they never seem to use.. Maybe it takes too much energy, even for a species that uses.. who knows what.. for power)

Maybe they have escape pods? Nah, they'd just leave them behind, like the Borg Kids.

Or, if you want to go the full silly-technobabble route, you postulate there was a solar flare at the same time that they blew up the cube at W459, which then interacted with a polaron field and cross-polarized neutrinos emitted from the Borg Eye Of Harmony power source, which opened up a wormhole to the nearby Borg transwarp conduit, as well as simultaneously creating a spatial divergence field. You know, like the one in TNG "Second Chances", VOY "Deadlock", and DS9 "Children of Time" (well, not really).

What all that nonsense means is that while one Borg cube was indeed destroyed, the other one slipped down the rabbit.. er *worm*-hole and returned to the Delta Quadrant.

Or more likely, it ended up stranded who knows where, because the divergence field and the cross-polarized neutrinos threw the cube into some random spot in the transwarp network. Sort of like that ship in Andromeda that lost it's captain, and so wandered around in the slipstream for a number of years.

Anyway, they got found eventually, and so Axum finally joined the collective.
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Jim
Tue, Apr 25, 2017, 1:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Unimatrix Zero, Part I

@Markus
> I don't get the "box"-punchline... :(

See [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Secret_History_of_Pandora%27s_Box]
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Jim
Mon, Jan 16, 2017, 4:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Cathexis

> how about using someone to write a note

You mean with *paper*?? Don't you know - paper was made *totally obsolete* in the year 2156! (At the rate we're going, we probably will be there by 2027..)

> The only flaw is the way Chakotay "got his soul back"

Oh! But that gave us one of the best line in the episode - "I would consider writing a paper about it, if there were a convenient forum in which to publish it."

I would have like to see some sappy Chakotay-Janeway considering-the-deep-nature-of-reality moment at the end where Chakotay reflected on the experience and his conception of the afterlife. But that would have been far too much like (well, identical to actually) "The Next Phase" in TNG.
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Jim
Tue, Dec 13, 2016, 12:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Thine Own Self

> By this point in TNG's run, it seems as if we've seen every possible permutation of the isolated alien village/society

Hmm, what about the "whole village is holograms" from DS9 "Shadowplay"? Did they have that before DS9?
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JustJim
Sun, Nov 27, 2016, 9:29am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

I actually quite like this episode. Guinan makes no sense in it, however. Guinan was always a superfluous character, and there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to have a "bartender" on a warship - much less to give a bartender apparently unrestricted access to the bridge.
Without Guinan, Picard would have the ability to make a decision based on simple facts at hand - namely, one more ship will do no good here, but it has potential to make a difference in the past. Captain Garrett's crew could even have insisted that they return to the battle they accidentally left.
I would have preferred that the Enterprise D be at Narendra III investigating the actual anomaly that C came from - perhaps believing it to be a weapon? Or, perhaps investigating the anomaly in what is now deep space - but it where Narendra III was 22 years ago? Again, not for purely scientific reasons, but believing the powerful energy signatures indicated weapons testing?
I understand all the budget constraints that prevented the Enterprise D from really being a warcraft unlike the D we know. I also understand why the same basic crew was there. Except Wesley, who in no way should have been involved.
Still, one has to accept this in a live action show. In an animated show, far more dramatic differences could have been portrayed, but would they have gotten to a third season to do this episode?
Anyway, my main point is that Guinan is completely unnecessary, and that even sending Tasha Yar back into the rift could have been explained another way. For example, when Garrett died, Tasha could have insisted on going to act as tactical officer. Or - and this would have been really interesting - she could have defied orders, hijacked a transporter, and beamed aboard the C, leaving no choice but to let her go. It would have been something special then, don't you think?
I do like the way this alternate timeline resulted in a child who grew up and encountered the man who her mother served under. It's nice when Star Trek remembers its own history, as this never seemed to happen on TOS.
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Jim
Sat, Oct 22, 2016, 3:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

If, as Picard states, the Federation is in a state of war with the Borg, then Hugh must be by definition a prisoner of war.

By referencing www.ppu.org.uk/learn/texts/doc_geneva_con.html it can be seen that the Federation is violating at least seven of Hugh's rights as a prisoner of war.

I thought that the Federation were suppsed to be better than this.
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Jimothy
Tue, Oct 18, 2016, 2:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II

The whole technology jump doesn't bother me. If I were a paranoid dictator who came to power due to a unique and all powerful warship, I wouldn't equip my rivals with similar ships.

This two parter made me sad enterprise was cancelled, something I thought impossible. Terrific fun!
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Jimothy
Sat, Oct 15, 2016, 1:05am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Divergence

The ship to ship jaunt was absolutely brilliant. Ships at sea in the military conduct that very exercise, a RAS or replenishment at sea. They run lines between ships as they steer very close parallel courses, and sling stores or personnel back and forth on those lines. Very cool to see a real life technique adapted into the universe.
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Jim Witte
Thu, Sep 29, 2016, 9:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

I was just reading up on this episode on memory-alpha the description of the aliens as " brown-robed humanoid alien".. And thought of the "fish monks" in Schisms. I wonder why they *didn't* connect the two? They could have made up some Trek-nonsense about how something about how their being flung into the gamma quadrant caused a "subspace schism" (pun intended) that allowed the fish monks to locate them, and they (the monks) had been "following" them. Whatever "follow" across subspace domains.

It had taken them five years to figure out some subspace-nonsense to allow them to exist *anywhere* in our universe - not just in places they'd where managed to rip apart subspace like with the cargo bay 4. And they were invisible because.. Well, because *that's how alternate subspace domains work*! (“What are you, stupid!?")

Then, if they wanted to follow this possible arc further, they could basically turn the fish monks into an earlier version of Species 8472 (or have them *ally* themselves with 8472 - “Oh God, you mean it’s *worse*? Not *them* again!”). Maybe have them show up in the Delta Quadrant, and then follow Sisko back to DS9 and cause trouble there.

Then have one of the monks develop a conscience, fall in love with Chakotay or something, and have a trans-universe romance. Maybe have the alien be some kind of a human/fish-monk hybrid - with accelerated growth to take care of the age problems. This makes it more easier to be played by a human actress, and could take care of the “lobster hands problem”. (It also makes her an outcast among her own [half] species)

Perhaps work that into some techno-babble about her having a “cross-domain subspace phased atomic structure”, given her some greater ability to exist in our universe. Maybe the others have a time-limit or something.

You also have the possibility of a meerkat fight between Seven and whoever the alien is. Taking "star-crossed lovers" to new heights. Or whatever direction an alternate subspace domain is.
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Jimothy
Sun, Sep 18, 2016, 10:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Marauders

This was way better when it was The Magnificent Ferengi in DS9. Such potential wasted by not fully committing to the homage.
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jimthree60
Tue, Sep 13, 2016, 1:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Assignment: Earth

Not sure there's much sense in criticising this episode for breaking Time Travel continuity rules, when they weren't established yet...

It's not the best episode of TOS but still fun in its way, I thought.
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Jim
Thu, Aug 18, 2016, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

The plot hole that bothered me the most was the fact that the salt vampire was not a shapeshifter; it got into people's heads and made them see what they wanted to see. That's why it could appear to Kirk, McCoy, and the crewman as three different women at the same time (old Nancy, young Nancy and the "pleasure planet" woman).

Since it was not a shapeshifter, ship's sensors or a tricorder would have read it as an alien, not a human, so they should have noticed when they beamed it up. Also, if anyone was looking through the ship via viewscreen, the creature would have appeared as itself. I guess this early in the series they hadn't thought it through or established what the technology could and couldn't do.
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jim360
Sat, Aug 13, 2016, 7:46am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Sins of the Father

@Dougie -- wow, some people are just harsh. This episode is great because surely, more than any other, it turns the Trek Universe from "yet another new Alien this week" into a rich one full of political intrigue, repeated encounters with the same people, and the glorious stories that would follow later in the various Klingon-Romulan-Cardassian power struggles that would follow. It all started here. And it all started brilliantly.
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jim360
Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

There are some valid criticisms about this film, but Daisy Ridley having a British accent is hardly one of them... Also, wasn't there a scene where Kylo Ren and Snokes actually discussed her unique talents? Before the "bring ... her ... to ... me" line?

I've seen this one four times now, including three cinema viewings -- a record for any film, so I did like it. When I saw it on DVD it felt a bit flatter, though. Perhaps it was the smaller screen; perhaps the already-derivative plot was wearing even more thin. But there are too many things to like about this movie, I think. Rey is awesome -- perhaps in a too perfect way, I can see that, but for some reason I genuinely don't care. There's something endearing about her. I could put this down to Ridley's fine work, or maybe like Finn I'm too enamored to see the flaws in her relative lack of them. That scene where she was able to save herself from the attackers early on, as FInn was running to save her, was brilliant I thought. And why not? It's the perfect counter to Leia's relative passiveness in A New Hope, where to be sure she stands up tall to Vader but otherwise falls quickly when attacked and spends a lot of the time in a cell or otherwise powerless while the men do all the hard work. What that means for TFA and feminism is anyone's guess but I seriously enjoyed watching it -- although as a counter to her all-round badassery in this film it seems clear that she has to come off worse in the next confrontation with evil.

I think her complexity, though, will come from discovering who she is and where she comes from, and that is useful because Luke already did the "flawed hero" thing in this story, so it serves to differentiate the two. Prior to the famous line in Episode V, Luke's background was a relative non-issue (indeed if I remember correct, it wasn't established that Vader was Luke's father until after ANH anyway) so it's a different way of developing a character. I hope it's not too predictably resolved -- although on the other hand as Star Wars was initially meant to be a story about the Skywalker family (and not Qui-Gon...), it's hard to see her being anything other than a Skywalker.

I also loved Kylo Ren, and think he's one of the finer villains I've seen. Oh, hes not intimidating as Vader is for sure, but then isn't that the point? He's intimidating in a different way as he's totally unpredictable and out of control. I suppose there's an allegory to be drawn with the different nature of modern societal "villains", essentially randomers who draw on the experience of the far more sophisticated and, while never in total control, still end up being deadly. I enjoyed him all the same, his "wannabe badass" nature played off well. Again, this is kind of the point -- when he removes that mask you aren't supposed to be intimidated; perhaps even, feel a little sorry for someone obviously so young nevertheless being so evil.

I also liked Finn, although his set-up is rather too rushed and I don't think the film does enough to explain what drove him to reject years of mental conditioning. But he seemed well-intentioned and also had some decent comic material. Well, it made me laugh anyway.

The only real weakness of the film -- aside from that monster-in-the-tunnels scene that I think should have gone for a more nuanced introduction of Han Solo -- is the plot, of course. Too derivative. They sort of try and get out of this by even openly admitting it: "oh, just like the last [two!] Death Star[s] then?", but StarKiller Base goes down too easily anyway, and it would have been better for it to either have still survived the film if it had to be included at all. On the other hand, I think some of the character dynamics make it a better film in some ways than A New Hope was. They end up being paced very similarly, and TFA is (unavoidably) more convincingly connected to its world's past than ANH was.

Since ANH came first it remains the better film in the end, but I would rate TFA higher than the prequels and possibly on a par with, or even slightly better than, ROTJ. Although that would appear to depend on whether I'm judging it by my second viewing of it or my fourth one. Better than the prequels, anyway, that could have been awesome but were poorly executed.





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Jim
Fri, Jul 15, 2016, 2:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

> The bit where Riker tries to 'teach' the Enterprise's computer system to the Ferengi is hilarious.

Does anyone know if that was an intentional reference to the oft-commented-on ridiculousness of "Treknobabble" in general?

("Reversing the polarity" will fix most things. In case it doesn't, just "increase the intermix ratio". Which intermix, you ask? Doesn't matter. And what exactly are we mixing? Who cares!)
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Jim Witte
Fri, Apr 29, 2016, 12:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

@David

"couldn't stand Stewart kanoodling with yet another young actress as opposed to .. Neela Darren."

It would have been interesting if the episode *had* cast a younger actor as the "younger Picard", perhaps with the older Picard having a role as a "visual voice-over" like Q was (sort of - Q was visible to everyone else, but they either didn't care or.. well, chalk it up to Q's omnipotence).

I hadn't thought of that until now - but what *really* would have been interesting if if instead of Marta they *had* had it be a younger Neela or Beverly. That would have added another level of fourth-wall busting ("third-and-a-half" given that it's an alternate timeline?) complexity as the younger Picard would presumably have the same memories of his "later" relationship with either. Would have worked better with a younger Neela I think, since Neela isn't a crew-member of any import except for in "Lessons".

Especially interesting would be if after Picard came back to the main-timeline, he *had* (restarted) some kind of relationship with Neela (if she's still on the Enterprise that is), having "re-remembered" her from the past.

By that I mean that I'd guess in that episode-scenario the "young-Neela" would have been (in the "original prime timeline where his heart fails") just "some random girl he canoodled with for a day and then forgot" - which is why he didn't remember her in "Lessons". This experience would have reminded him that she "had been" one of those "loose threads of regret". And then when the prime timeline "resumes", he would restart the relationship (after Q restores everything, or perhaps just ends his Remember-Me-like-thoughts-shape-reality "Q's-Warp-Bubble" thing).

How they'd deal with *Neela* also "re-remembering" their earlier encounter.. I dont' know. Or perhaps she *wouldn't* remember it. Maybe Q might have thrown in that "reality-bending-bit" for the hell of it - he does have a strange sense of humor.

I guess this would be a *really* strange situation where in the prime-timeline, for Picard the "young Neela" really did happen, but for the "adult Neela", it dint' ever happen. I know, it doesn't fit into single-time-dimensional spacetime at all, but perhaps in two-time-dimensional system with the possibility of superpositions?

(Don't even get me started on trying to think about loop-quantum-gravity ways this might work out where the only thing that *really* matters at the lowest level is (I think) "happens-before/happens-after" causality.)

(And however that framework couples to matter-energy. I haven't read chapter 7.3 "Coupling to Matter" (p 97) in Gambini and Pullin's "First Course in LQG".)

Anyway, remember Q's bit about the unknown possibilities of existence" and Sisko-as-Prophet's line, "it's *not* linear.."
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Jim P
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 10:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

How timely it is, watching this episode now, some 20 years after it first came out. The themes are so relevant to what is going on in the US and other parts of the world right now. The shapeshifters only had to plant the seeds, the star fleet leadership then took the ball and ran with it, nearly destroying paradise from within, all based on paranoia. I wish everyone would watch this episode now, including those running for office on a platform of fear, and listen to papa Sisko's words: "I'm scared to death. But I'll be damned if I'm gonna let them change the way I live my life." And then Sisko's follow up "if they want to destroy things here they're going to have to do it themselves. We are not going to do it for them."
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Jim J
Wed, Nov 11, 2015, 6:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Shockwave, Part II

I found this page after searching "shockwave part 2 lame" because I wanted to see if anyone else felt the way I did about it. The original review is right on the money. Part 1 was really great and part 2 could have made the whole thing a stand out masterpiece. Instead of writing something lame, if they were panicked to write a sequel it seems to me that they could have done something really one-time over the top to rescue it. If they aren't going to explain stuff... how about a scene where 50 Daniels all dressed differently pop into existence in front of Archer arguing vehemently in different languages about a temporal course of action and then they all disappear except for one and he turns and has the face of Porthos, and leads Archer through a gate in the air and back into the action. Then for weeks afterwards we're all going WTF was that!!???? Whoa!!! Bloody Romans... no sense of imagination.
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