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Luke
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 7:44am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Yes, DS9 does have a darker tone than TOS, TNG, VOY, or ENT. However, there is a difference between a dark tone and nihilism.

Despite DS9's darker tone, it is still undeniably an optimistic view of the future. Nog's attempt to better himself, Kira's struggle to overcome her prejudice against Cardassians, Sisko's gradual acceptance of a new worldview (i.e. the Bajoran faith), Odo's feelings that he must atone for his actions during the Cardassian Occupation, everyone being willing to look past Bashir's illegal genetic enhancements, Quark's slow but eventual embrace of Federation values, and how literally everyone bends over backwards to help O'Brien in "Hard Time" are just a handful of examples.

NuTrek, on the other hand, is not optimistic. It's a nihilistic dystopia for the sake of being a nihilistic dystopia. This is a universe where people are openly bigoted and racist, where people have no problem enslaving Soong-type Androids, where people openly and frequently use the most vulgar language, where a legacy character (Icheb) is viciously murdered for shock value, where Seven of Nine is turned into a blood-thirsty murderer because.... why not?, where numerous characters are either alcoholics or outright drug addicts, where the Federation publicly declares that they get to decide if a species lives or dies, where one of the franchise's most beloved characters (Jean-Luc Picard) is turned into a doddering old fool who constantly has to be humiliated and put in his place and who is always forced to apologize for things he didn't do, and where literally everyone who isn't named Michael Burnham is a blithering idiot who has to have Female Space Jesus tell them what to do (after she has a long cry, of course). I honestly don't see how anyone can argue that this is optimistic in any way.

And if Trek's core tenet is exploration, then let's look at some of the most beloved episodes.... "The City on the Edge of Forever", "Mirror, Mirror", "The Best of Both Worlds", "The Inner Light", "The Visitor", "Duet", "Timeless", "Living Witness", "Similitude", "Twilight". What exploration goes on in those episodes? Not much. They're all either straight-up character dramas or episodes that show a.... wait for it.... optimistic view of the future.

So no, you haven't misread DS9. The only thing you misled was Twitter. Seriously, why would you get into an argument about.... well.... anything on Twitter? There's no why that will end well. LOL!
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Luke
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 7:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Ensigns of Command

Yeah, because in this wonderful utopia people shouldn't have emotional attachments to things anymore. Right?
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Luke
Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 11:17am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

“What was the plan here?”

Plan? What’s that? This is VOY.

Joking aside, I don’t think that they wanted the audience to dislike Janeway. Quite the opposite actually. They were convinced that people wouldn’t accept the first female Trek captain if she was criticized in any way.

So.... what? They thought Trek fans were frothing at the mouth sexists? I’ll go out on a limb and say the answer to that is an unqualified “no”. People won’t automatically disrespect a female character if she’s shown as being in the wrong. That’s because women happen to be these things called “Humans” and are therefore just as capable of error as men. Shocking, I know, right?

Yet, because they felt that way but also desperately wanted fans to accept Janeway, they almost NEVER let Janeway be shown as in the wrong. She always had to be right, even when she CLEARLY wasn’t. That’s why Ronald D. Moore had such a short tenure on VOY. He couldn’t stand that there were no consequences for Janeway in the aftermath of her actions in “Equinox, Part II”. It’s also why I hate “Alliances” - Janeway makes exactly the wrong decision and yet gets to pontificate to the audience that obviously she was right all along.

If you ask me, in their fear that their own audience were sexist pigs, they ended being the only sexists in the game.
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Luke
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 5:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Resurrection

I honestly don’t understand what Anglim was doing with his portrayal of Verdi Bareil. He played him so unbelievably stiffly. It’s weird because he does not play Mirror Bareil that way at all. He’s much more natural and smooth. And I’ve seen the man in other works. He’s not a bad actor.

Did he simply think that when the director said “be calm and serene” that that meant “be robotic”?
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Luke
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 5:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

The idea of setting this holographic hunt during the Eugenics Wars is a great idea. I don’t dislike these episodes, but I’m not a huge fan of them either. That’s mostly because I see them as such HUGE missed opportunities.

The writers wanted the Hirogen to set their fake hunt during a great historical war. Okay, that makes sense. They could have actually gotten creative, done some world-building and set the hunt during a period of Star Trek history we know little about. How about World War III? The Earth-Romulan War? The Vulcan Nuclear War (when Vulcans first decided to embrace Logic)? The Vulcan Civil War (when the Romulans split off from the Vulcans)? Or, yes, the Eugenics Wars? All major conflicts we know very little about. But no. They just HAD to go with the standard World War II scenario, because - by God - it was the 90s and that meant anything historical had to revolve around World War II! Using any other real life conflict would have been more creative. Good grief, World War I would have been more interesting.

The episode itself even brings up an incredible idea and then never follows up on it. The Hirogen leader mentions the possibility of using the Battle of Wolf 359 as another fake hunt. Talk about what could have been a phenomenal episode for VOY! They could have gotten both Patrick Stewart and Avery Brooks to do crossover guest appearances. I would much rather have seen that instead of another tired World War II “adventure”.
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Luke
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

“A few years ago David Mack wrote a trio of Star Trek novels, the Destiny trilogy, that included the origin of the Borg. And, of course, it tied humanity into it.“

Seriously?! FACEPALM!!!!

Star Trek has got to be the very embodiment of Small Universe Syndrome.
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Luke
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 3:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

They originally were going to jettison Harry at this point. The original plan was for him to die from the Species 8472 cells attacking him. Wang was going to be the cast member who left to make room for Jeri Ryan.

However during the summer between Parts I and II, People Magazine named Wang as one of their “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”. The show-runners decided that gave him enough “star power” to keep him around. So, they reconfigured the story and decided to kick Kes off the show instead. Pretty stupid since they didn’t do hardly anything with Harry Kim from this point onwards.

FACEPALM!
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Luke
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 3:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

@Bob (a different one)
I’m glad I am not the only one who likes Robert Beltran as an actor. The problem with him isn’t that he can’t act, it’s that the writers almost never let him sink his teeth into anything. If you give the man nothing to work with, what do you expect his performance to look like?! But the man can act. Okay, he’s not Patrick Stewart. I wouldn’t even say he’s at Robert Picardo’s level. But when given the chance, he can deliver quality performances.

And Chakotay, as a character, is actually really fascinating. It really annoys me that he was one of the characters given such short shrift. If properly developed, he could have been awesome.


This episode has definitely risen in my estimation over the years. When I first saw it I was so disappointed. I wanted the flash-bang adventure for the Borg’s return that “Scorpion” ended up giving us. Now, I have to admit, this is an absolutely chilling use of the Borg.

What appeals most to me is that this is as close to an origin story for the Borg as we ever got. Aside from an off-hand remark in “Dragon’s Teeth” about the Borg only having assimilated a few star systems 900 years previously, we’re never told where they come from or how they got started.

(As an aside - that’s undoubtedly a good thing. If they had ever given us the origin of the Borg, they almost certainly would have had Humans be responsible for it somehow. GROAN! We can’t have them independently arise out in the Delta Quadrant. No, Earth and humanity would have to be involved. Star Trek is probably the worst franchise I’ve encountered when it comes to Small Universe Syndrome. I’ve heard that they were thinking of making V’Ger be responsible for the creation of the Borg. Again - GROAN! I’ve also heard that one of the original plans for ENT: “Regeneration” was for Alice Krige to play a member of Starfleet who gets assimilated by the 24th century Borg and becomes the first Borg Queen. Yet again - GROAN! Seriously, stop!)

But honestly, can’t you see something like this little collective being how the Borg began? A group of well-meaning individuals who don’t understand what they’re messing with, and whose creation ultimately gets out of hand?

These are, in way, good people. They’re using the Borg collective consciousness to heal people. Definitely a commendable action. They’ve found a way to use the Hive Mind to create peace. Again, laudable. But, it sure doesn’t take long, does it, for that power to go to their heads. Before probably even they know it, they’re subordinating Chakotay’s will to their wishes without his consent and forcibly assimilating others into their collectivist utopia. Power corrupts, after all.

Once a small group like this started down that path how long do you think it would take for them (and how easy do you think it would for them) to justify to themselves the forced assimilation of others? After all, they’ve found “perfection”. Wouldn’t it be only compassionate to share that perfection with others? Wouldn’t they then find it necessary to share that perfection? After all, people would only resist because they simply don’t know any better. If they could only understand what those already in the collectivist utopia already know they would doubtlessly want to be assimilated. So, forcible assimilation isn’t bad, it’s compassionate. Therefore, they’ll happily force you to join their utopia; it’s for your own good, after all; just trust them, you’ll thank them once you a good little drone. Then, centuries later, they’re a galaxy spanning threat. “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions” is a well-known saying for a good reason.

Bringing real world politics into this for a minute - I think it might this depiction of the Borg that started my lifelong distrust of involuntary collectivism in all in it’s forms. The Borg, after all, are the ultimate communist nightmare. And Holy Mary, Mother of God, it is terrifying!
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Luke
Mon, Mar 1, 2021, 12:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Fair Haven

Maybe it’s just that 2020s “entertainment” is so bad that it makes dreck like this look good in comparison.

Bob (a different one) and I are in complete agreement - I still hate it.
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Luke
Mon, Mar 1, 2021, 11:54am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Faces

I suppose this is as good a time to bring this up as any....

If Torres is so uncomfortable with her cranial ridges, why doesn’t she just have The Doctor cosmetically remove them? It’s established that Starfleet/Federation medical science can do this as early as the ENT era. And from an out-of-universe perspective, it was established as practical all the way back in TOS: “The Enterprise Incident” when Kirk was altered to look like a Romulan and back again.

Seriously, this is a setting where they can make Humans look like Klingons or Cardassians like Bajorans and vice-versa. Making Torres look like a Human shouldn’t be that hard!
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Luke
Mon, Mar 1, 2021, 11:35am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Alliances

I can’t believe I have to defend this garbage episode but.... here it goes.

I honestly don’t understand why so many people complain about Janeway not sharing technology with the Kazon but freely giving it to the Hirogen. Neither do I understand why they complain about her refusing to ally with the Kazon but allying with the Borg.

Do you people not see that these situations simply are not analogous? Here, with the Kazon, they are not at the point of desperation yet. Yes, allying with the Kazon and/or sharing technology with them will undoubtedly make their situation easier. However, they still have other options. While I think Janeway is being awfully absurd and naive in her final speech (seriously, that speech just makes me want to slap some sense into her twit head!) they can still “rough it” for quite a while without allying/sharing with the Kazon.

With both the Borg and Hirogen, let me ask one simple question - what other option was there? They are truly at the point of desperation both times. If she hadn’t allied with the Borg against Species 8472, what would have happened? They would either have been dead, assimilated, or permanently stranded in the Delta Quadrant. They couldn’t exactly “rough it” through Borg Space, could they? And again, if she hadn’t shared the holodeck technology with the Hirogen, what would have happened? The hunt would have resumed (with all Hirogen, not just that small group) and that would have been the end of the U.S.S. Voyager.

So, when faced with a truly existential crisis, Janeway is willing to bend her principles. But, when any other option exists, she clings to those principles for dear life (even when doing so makes little sense). This isn’t a contradiction.

Now, granted, this all could have been written better and much more consistently (a rather frequent problem with VOY). I could also have really done without the God-awful sanctimoniousness, preachiness, and holier-than-thou attitude of her final speech in this episode. But seriously.... different problems require different solutions.
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Luke
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 3:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Genesis

“...they look like something you would find in the discount aisle at Target.”

So, in other words, like all 24th century civilian clothes. LOL!
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Luke
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 11:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Just watched this episode for the first time. Before I give my thoughts on the conclusion of the episode, I have to say that Dr. Phlox has (so far) been my favorite character of this series. I'm surprised by that. I expected to be annoyed by him, like I was with similar looking aliens in other series. One of my favorite things about Enterprise so far is that they take him serious as a character and don't turn him into a cheap tool for comic relief like other Star Trek series have done. And I agree with Jammer that John Billingsley's performance is terrific. Best actor on the series so far.

My first impression of this episode was similar to Jammer's reaction. I thought it was the best written and performed of the series so far. The questions it asks are thought provoking, if controversial. It is what Star Trek is supposed to be.

After giving it further thought though, I ultimately agree with what appears to be the majority. The writers really got the moral of this story pretty screwed up, in my opinion. I understand that the Prime Directive is supposed to be a fundamental principle of Starfleet. And I also understand that they are supposedly still working out exactly what that is at this point in time. But the logic here makes no sense.

Evolution is real. That does not mean that natural evolution is some sacrosanct principle of the universe that should be worshiped or deferred to. And there is no reason to think that "letting nature take its course" is preferable to human intervention to preserve the life of a species that would otherwise die off without it.

At the heart of evolution is the principle of "survival of the fittest." Well, if a humanoid species is "fit" enough to travel in space in search of a cure for a species-threatening genetic illness, and if they happen to find someone that can actually cure that disease, doesn't that make them pretty damn fit? Who are Archer and Phlox to decide what the conditions for survival should be?

And how far does Archer and Phlox's philosophy go? Is it immoral and against the principles of evolution for someone that is not medically trained to go to a doctor when they get sick? Is it immoral and against the principles of evolution for a doctor to treat someone that doesn't have the medical knowledge to help themselves? Or do these principles only apply when the disease is literally capable of wiping out the entire species? Should we stop seeking a cure for cancer or AIDS? What about Coronavirus? Should we just let it run its natural course? Even if it means the deaths of millions?

And what about the practice of medicine in third-world countries and other communities that don't have the same knowledge and resources that the "Western" world has developed. Was it wrong to make a huge effort to vaccinate the entire continent of India to erradicate Small Pox? Is it wrong to vaccinate or provide AIDS meds to people in Africa?

The conclusion to this episode is extremely logically flawed. With that said, I appreciate that the writers at least had the guts to raise this question. And to do it in a relatively well written and performed episode. Ultimately, I still think the episode was a good one ... but the "moral of the story" is fundamentally bankrupt.
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Luke
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 12:53am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

It's episodes like these that make me depressed thinking about what could have been if CBS hadn't ran off Bryan Fuller.

What a mess! I hope someone comes in to save this franchise for TV, because right now it is on a downward spiral.
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Luke
Sun, Dec 13, 2020, 10:45am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Damage

@Sean J Hagins

Huh? Archer’s actions here are not portrayed sympathetically. It’s clearly a “lessor of two evils” situation. Even Archer himself acknowledges that what he does here is wrong - necessary, yes, but still wrong.

At no point does the episode ask us to cheer Archer on as he steals from these aliens. We might be asked to understand his rationalizations for it, but never to fully support them. And it’s not like Trek has never asked us to something like this before. In “A Taste of Armageddon”, Spock flat out says “I do not agree; I understand.”

I’m legitimately curious - what do you think Archer should have done in this situation?

Please don’t let this end you’re viewing of ENT. There are great things coming in what is left of Season Three and especially in Season Four. And I’ve been honestly enjoying your reviews.
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Luke
Mon, Nov 30, 2020, 11:57am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

@Peter G.

It could be worse. Imagine if some hack writer wrote that Romulus was destroyed by a supernova in another star system and then every movie and episode thereafter had to acknowledge and build on that nonsense.
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Luke
Mon, Nov 30, 2020, 11:50am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

@Chrome

Picard has nothing to with mandating the Warp Five speed limit. It’s the Federation Council that mandates it. When Picard is first informed of it in the episode’s final scene, it’s clear he’s rather shocked by the news.

You are right, however, that it would be impossible to police this order - which is just one of many reasons why it’s a stupid addition to the show. Are they just going to go on the Honor System? Who gets to determine what constitutes an “extreme emergency” where the limit can be exceeded? Does each ship’s Captain get to make that call or does the bureaucracy (God forbid!!!!) get to do it? If warp travel actually is damaging all space everywhere (which this very episode contradicts), how are they going to get the other warp-capable civilizations to comply? Does anybody think the Dominion (for example) will even care?

You’re also right that Picard’s first plan of independent studies and expert consultation would be best. But, why would the writers let things like logic, reason, and proper scientific analysis get in their way when they just want to push their environmentalist agenda?
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Luke
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 4:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

I see very little has changed in this comments section since I last took part in it over five years ago.
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Luke
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 3:25am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@Jaxon

It didn’t. Section 31 infected him here. Odo then infected the Great Link in “Broken Link” but was “cured” when he was transformed into a solid. He was then reinfected by the Female Changeling when they linked in “Behind the Lines”.
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Luke
Tue, Nov 10, 2020, 4:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Encounter at Farpoint

“I guess superimposing holographic clothing on a person is tricky.”

Not at all. We are shown that the Holodeck can create perfectly fitting attire in at least three different episodes, each from a different series.

DS9: “Our Man Bashir” - the holodeck creates several James Bond appropriate costumes for Garak to wear. VOY: “Human Error” - it creates holographic costumes for Seven (we even see it disappear when the program is ended, revealing her normal clothes underneath). ENT: “TATV” - when we first see that it’s all Riker’s holoprogram, he ends the program and his holo-costume vanishes off his body, revealing his Starfleet uniform underneath.
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Luke
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 4:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Turnabout Intruder

“I respect women....”

Except for, apparently, any one that dares to disagree with you. Is it possible to be any more cliched?
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Luke
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 11:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Blood Oath

“It’s also the first episode I’ve seen that clarifies who Jadzia Dax is.”

Indeed. It establishes that she is Curzon Dax Version 2.0.
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Luke
Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 8:28am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast

It's so crazy how technology changes as I find it funny watching this for the first time in 2020 and then seeing reviews on here from people all saying the pyrotechnics were amazing. I'm like what pyrotechnics? Then realized I guess you mean the space fight at the end which is hardly exciting in 2020! Good episode though but don't think Odo would actually be friends or forgive Garak for torturing him so that's super unrealistic.

What has disappointed me the most though is we end season two with this huge battle with the Dominion where they are this huge imminent threat, and then we are almost at the end of season 3 and they have barely been mentioned. We get the Defiant and also end season 2 like there's going to be a huge war coming through the wormhole in the next few episodes and then there's absolutely nothing people just keep traveling back and forth like there's no threat.

I was really looking forward to seeing a fight with the Dominion all season but actually forgot about it until this episode. I hope season 4 is more exciting than this one.
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Luke
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Offspring

Ok, let’s then look at it from the perspective of Lal just being Data’s invention and not his child.

If she is not a sentient and sapient being, does that not mean that she is Data’s property? If that’s so, then the question becomes not “why the hell is it any business of Starfleet to remove a child from her parent?” but instead “why the hell is any business of Starfleet to confiscate a man’s property, especially when he has nothing wrong?”.
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LukeM
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 3:05am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Honor Among Thieves

Nick Tate gives a wonderful performance in this
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