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Joe Ford
Tue, Feb 16, 2010, 2:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

I think three decades to think up 'Joe' is rather wonderful! But then I would...

What a lousy hacked-together-by-bits-of-other-episodes finale. Some nice character bits at the begining but it all falls to pieces as soon as we are back on Voyager. What about the rest of the cast? They are eclipsed by Mulgrew talking to herself for an hour! And the Chakotay/Seven romance makes me want to vomit. The DS9 finale felt important, this is just lazy and (considering their efforts in the past) far too easy to get home. And no consequences...we don't get to see what happens to the crew? Sheesh...
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Joe Ford
Tue, Jan 12, 2010, 3:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Way of the Warrior

DS9, right place, right time. TNG had mapped out the Alpha Quadrant without doing anything truly spectacular with it. The special effects had gotten better and better. Babylon 5 (a show i'm not fond) had shown how darker, arc driven seasons could be very popular. DS9 had already learned by TNGs mistakes with its characters...making them more rounded, darker and flawed.

Then along came Way of the Warrior. I loved the first three seasons of DS9 but it was here that it really kicked off. Worf worked a charm amongst the various rejects in the DS9 characters. Sisko has woken up and finally kicking some serious Dominion ass. The battle scenes are spectacularly good. The political machinations mean we get a grand canvas to tell our character tales in. This show is firing on all cylinders and rarely stopped after this. Garak is bitingly funny. Odo and the drinking scene is sublime. Quark provides some welcome relief. Kassidy really compliments Sisko whilst clearly having some secrets of her own. Dukat is worth his weight in gold.

This is Star Trek at its finest, there will never be another time when it is this involved again because it took 10 years of seasons to get here.
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Joe Ford
Sun, Feb 24, 2008, 5:44am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: 11001001

Okay ive just finished half of season one...and here is the lowdown...

Encounter at Farpoint: Horribly dated and full of embarrassing moments (when compared with later seasons) this is TNG without bothering to struggle out of classic Trek's footsteps. They go for spectacle over logic, and stereotypes rather than character. If it wasn't for a very charming moment with Dr McCoy this would be a write off: 5/10

The Naked Now: The only reason Encounter of Farpoint didn't score lower is because the worst is yet to come and I cannot score in the minuses. A hideous episode that lacks even basic competance. The music is intrusive, the comedy is overplayed, the script defies logic and the crew behaving out of character in the second episode is just plain wrong. Would anybody in the twisted imagination of reality ever make a voice box so they could have orders given to them by the Captain? How does an android contract a virus designed for humans? And would Beverly Crusher really find Jean Luc attractive even under the influence? But don't forget: "It was an adult who did it!: 2/10

Code of Honour: Testing my paitence now. Who would have thought they could dumb down even more than The Naked Now? Tasha Yar is the most useless character so I really didn't mind them leaving her behind but no, instead we get nasty scenes like Troi revealing Tasha's lust for Lutan. Picard talking to Lutan about sex is downright odd and the fight at the end is stagey as hell. Plus could they make a planet look less fake?: 2/10

The Last Outpost: Again, very poor. The Ferengi were touted as the latest big bad but they come across here as a bad joke. Armin Shimmerman gives a really weak performance here compared to his nuanced creation of Quark in DS9 it is impossible to compare the two. Again we have an unconvincing planet, long talky scenes that go nowhere and an ending which goes beyond being an anticlimax. Surely this must get better soon: 2/10

Where No Man Has Gone Before: Finally! A sense of wonder permeates this episode, something that has been missing since the first spisode. If you notice, Rob Bowman's season one episodes tend to be the best, certainly the best made (Datalore, Heart of Glory) and this is an expensive looking trip into fantasy. The dreams that crew conjure up are visually interesting and the quiet moment between Picard and his mother give him the touch of sympathy he has needed. The idea of the Traveller is an intriuging one and im glad they followed it up in subsequent episodes. Even Wesley didn't make me grind my teeth: 8/10

Lonely Among Us: One I remember enjoying when I was seven but it hasn't aged particularly well. The performances from the regulars are still wooden and unconvincing which makes another episode where they act out of character even more disturbing. I quite liked the Selay and Anticans (especially one great scene where they discuss their meal with Tasha) but their plot is not given any room to breathe when there is an exciting blue electricity lifeform that can zap from one person to another. Yawn: 3/10

Justice: Can you believe this is directed by the same man who gave us Duet and Way of the Warrior? Astonishing. More classic Trek with the planet of sex condemning Wesley Crusher to death for crushing a few plants. Im not sure what insults more - Gates McFadden's hilarious over-delivery ("The Edo want to execute my son!"), the mad groping that takes place in every other scene or Picard's awful speech at the climax. Who Watches the Watchers did it much better: 3/10

The Battle: Tense and effective, if a little slight. It is lovely to have some backstory for Picard and seeing him face his demons givens Patrick Stewart a chance to flex his considerable acting muscles. Its a shame that the Ferengi are involved and bizarre that it took seven years to follow the story up but I am not going to criticise what is for the most part an intelligent, involving episode: 7/10

Hide and Q: And we're back in clunker territory. This might be the most butt clenchingly embarrassing episode of the first season if only for Riker's 'How did you know Sir?' at the end. Q is back (which is worth a point) but he's brought with him another studio bound planetscape with some horribly unconvincing pig soldiers (who skewer Wesley Crusher - that's point number two). This is supposed to be a parable about desire and the need to help but it features Riker at his all time low, giving in to temptation and growing a massive ego. I couldn't leave without mentioning the truly bizarre scene on the bridge between Tasha and Picard ("What am I doing, crying?" "It is okay to cry in the penalty box."): 2/10

Haven: Everything about this is bad, bad, bad...except Mrs Troi who is just the sort of rude, arrogant embarrasment this ship desperately needs. Wyatt is introduced to Deanna and tells her he is disapointed she is not someone else? Way to romance a girl! As soon we hear this it is just a matter of some waiting about until this dream woman turns up in some terrible plot contrivance, which she does. An extra point for the vine Mrs Troi brings to dinner: 4/10

The Big Goodbye: After lots of multicoloured planet sets it is a refeshing change to step into the 1940's and have some laughs. This episode brings up lots of questions about the holodeck that Trek will spend the next fifteen years exploring - but it is quite a welcome change of pace here. I even liked Beverly in this one - the bit where she jumps up and down clapping when Whalen gets shot is one of the highlights of the season!: 7/10

Datalore: Another Rob Bowman gem, with a dark script and a briliant central performance by Brent Spiner as Lore. Data's backstory proves fascinating and Lore's introduction to the series only serves to show how good Spiner is at wiping emotion from Data. Any episode where Worf gets beaten up, Picard says "Shut up Wesley!", Data gets kicked in the head and Dr Bev gets shot is okay in my book. The fact that this is an intense psychological thriller is just a bonus: 8/10

Angel One: Jow was this made in the same season as Datalore? Let alone just after it? Another classic Trek episode with heavy handed morality, Riker behaving like a chump (get a beard mate, you seem much more with it!) and another hideous speech to wrap things up. I would rather drink a bottle of bleach than put myself through this again: 2/10

11001001: Great title, great aliens, great episode. This one just has it all: buckets of imagination, visual style, a great pace, interesting character development (even if Riker is snogging his face off - again!) and even a great scene for Wesley. The evacuation of the ship is dynamic and the conclusion is genuinely surprising and affecting. More like this please: 9/10
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Joe Ford
Sun, Feb 10, 2008, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Naked Now

How funny is The Naked Now? This is not just bad Trek but seriously bad television. I was trying to decide which scene was funnier...
"Tasha...help me to not give into these wild feelings!"
"But Geordi my job is security! No, you're right...helping people is better!"

or...

"The virus leaves you with a severe lack of judgement...and I find you very, very attractive!" (Crusher to Picard)

Just pure cheese
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Joe Ford
Fri, Sep 21, 2007, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: In the Hands of the Prophets

Oh how I miss Deep Space Nine

Whilst I feel the first season was hit and miss when it came to episode quality the sheer size and scope of this universe and the potential for storytelling was phenomenal. From the opening moments of Emissary suddenly Star Trek was up close and personal and it was clear that this was a series that was a quantum leap away from Star Trek TNG.

Whilst Sisko, Dax and Bashir took a little while to mature and grown on me the alien characters were instantly fascinating. I can remember watching Emissary aged twelve and I felt as if I had been absorbed into a new world of political conspiracies, alien shapshifters, scarred worlds and aching sadness. It was eye opening.

So how does series one fare? Emissary is a big bold opener with lots of great ideas that would be built upon in late seasons, it is easily my favourite opening episode of any Trek series.

Past Prologue continues the trend, political wranglings and tortured Kira making for especially good viewing with Garak as added fun.

A Man Alone is the first dud but it still contains some gems of scenes, I feel a sense of uneasiness here of a show trying new things and uncertain how to get it right.

Babel is ridiculously entertaining for such a barmy premise. I really enjoy the Quark/Odo banter here and the two of them working together at the climax works a treat.

Captive Pursuit confirms it was a big triumph bringing over Colm Meaning from TNG and giving him more screen time. He emotes everybody else off the screen and provides this action episode with real heart.

DS9 works less well when it is trying to be TNG, a trick they soon learnt to forget (of which Voyager should have taken note!) and Q-Less is an exmaple of an episode with some comedy nuggets but little else to reccomend. Q's mockery of Bashir and Quark though is brilliant.

Dax is DS9's first courtroom drama and I find it far more interesting than any of the others they attempted. Farrell gives a lovely, sensitive performance and the writing is crisp and the Bajoran arbiter a delight. Another success.

I really enjoyed The Passenger on my first viewing but now enjoy it less and less. Siddig's performance as the villain is frankly an embarrassment (and it is rare to say that in DS9) and although the episode contains some nice dark moments I think this is a feeble attempt at horror compared to late efforts (Darkness and the Light)

Move Along Home is essentially a harmless episode with some nice visuals but it cheats at the end like the Voyager reset and for once Quark is actually quite annoying.

The Nagus was the first of many wonderful Ferengi episodes. I have been visiting Jammer's website for years and years and I think the only real disagreement I have with his DS9 reviews is the Ferengi episodes. The strike me as good old fashioned British humour, well scripted and performed. I just love the extended Ferengi family and they inadvertently end bringing that sense of warmness and family to DS9 that was absent on both TNG and Voyager despite many relations showing up.

Vortex allows the ever wonderful Rene Auberjonois to shine. Odo's story was probably the most interesting of all the regulars and his path to discover his people starts here. His little confession to the locket is lovely.

Battle Lines is one of my favourites this year, a really meaty episode with some striking performances. Kira's character growth brings me to tears in places and the cruel fate of Kai Opaka proves this is a series that plays by its own rules.

Bashir and O'Brien is one of the great Star Trek pairings so why is The Storyteller such a chore to watch? Their chemistry is not quite there yet and the story itself is a bit predictable.

Progress is one of the wonderful 'little' stories DS9 excels at every now and again. Whilst there is a larger story playing out the focus here is the intimate relationship between Mullibok and Kira. The 'great ugly tree' always gets a laugh from me and the finale is astonishingly understated and emotional.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, If Wishes Were Horses is a silly idea that is treated immaturely. The actors play the comedy well but this feels like a waste of an hour.

The Forsaken is very enjoyable. Three plots, farce, tragedy and SF and all work well. Mrs Troi has never been a favourite of mine (although she did send up some TNG characters wonderfully on the odd occasion) but her relationship with Odo is surprisingly sweet and watchable.

Dramatis Personae is my least favourite episode this year. It just feels WRONG. Kira is a ridiculous bully, Sisko the plotter, O'Brien the agressor...its a TNG episode that refuses to work on DS9. Lousy episode.

Duet was and is possibly the finest DS9 (and Trek) episode ever filmed. Proving the old adage that all you need is two good actors and a great script and you can produce magic, this proves the dramatic weight of focussing on the Bajoran/Cardassian war better than any other episode. It keeps you guessing throughout and ends on a dramatic high. Amazing.

In the Hands of the Prophets is the climax the series needed with some powerful dialogue and useful wrapping up of themes running through the episode. There is a lovely feeling of moving on to new pastures that is essential to keep interest in the show. Its also an intruiging mystery with a beautifully shot action climax.

Season One of Deep Space Nine, flawed but fascinating and full of possibilities...
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