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Mal
Tue, Sep 29, 2020, 3:51am (UTC -5)
Re: ANDR S1: The Devil Take the Hindmost

2001 Andromeda: this is the Way.
2020 The Mandalorian: this is the Way.

1969 Frankie Blue Eyes: I did it my way.

There was a brief flicker of time in 2001 when Farscape and Andromeda - not Star Trek, were the thinking man's scifi.
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Mal
Sat, Sep 26, 2020, 8:29am (UTC -5)
Re: ANDR S1: Harper 2.0

Awesome catch @eastwest101 ;)

Lexa Doig may be the hottest woman ever to star in a scifi show. The writers must have loved that line!
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Tomalak
Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 1:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Melora

"Extremely mediocre episode. What bothered me endlessly was how Melora's borderline insubordination in the beginning is never even commented upon.
"I know Starfleet isn't strictly military, but an ensign being rude and even hostile to superior officers without anyone even saying something?"

Indeed, it wasn't realistic. "Rude guest star joins the main cast for an episode" can work. In Data's Day the Vulcan (Romulan as it turned out) Ambassador was noticeably rude - but she wasn't part of the Starfleet hierarchy. In numerous TNG episodes Ro Laren was rude too - and got in trouble for it. But simply inserting a bolshy, unprofessionally difficult Ensign into the DS9 cast and seeing them completely overlook her behaviour made no sense.
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Mal
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

Wow @Jack Bauer, that ENT documentary was extremely cathartic!

https://youtu.be/hYGGXRNvR5Q

Reminds me of the Ronald D Moore interview @Keiren posted in @Jammer's review of Voyager season 6,

https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s6/recap.php

I especially liked hearing a little more about the Ronald D Moore/Brannon Braga feud. Man, Braga fucked up. But Star Trek's loss was nBSG's gain!
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Mal
Mon, Sep 21, 2020, 7:35am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Affliction

Come on, three and a half stars! That euthanasia was laugh-out-loud hilarious!

Enjoyed so much of this episode.

Loved seeing a young Captain Mercer from the Orville, when he was just an Ensign reporting to Tucker on the Columbia.

Agree @Rahul, Malcolm Reed was fantastic! I actually shed a tear when he was in the brig and told Archer that he had some loyalties beyond the Captain and this crew. And then Archer sprung his father and the Royal Navy. The look on Reed's face!

The scene with ninja Hoshi fighting hooded kidnappers is weirdly similar to Star Trek: Picard and Soji fighting hooded kidnappers ( https://youtu.be/PsJHlpp8Meg?t=45 ).
Maybe TPTB just don't have very many new ideas for nuTrek?

Hernandez would have been a much better lead for the show than Archer.

And can we just stop to say, this episode of Enterprise ("Affliction") is a much more Star-Trek-like story than the 2013 "Into Darkness", which also had Augments and Klingons.

Truly TPTB behind nuTrek have no new ideas.
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Tomalak
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 7:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

The interactions between Sisko and Bashir in this one are so much fun. I wish we'd seen a bit more of the naive, brash Bashir of the first couple of seasons. While he was annoying, the way others reacted to him was a joy to watch - including Kira's amusement when Sisko slaps him down in this one.

I think Brooks did a good job of portraying an almost fatherly approach to Bashir, with a fondness for him coming across along with his irritation.
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Mal
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 5:03am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Countdown

@The_Man, Enterprise really was an exercise in wasted opportunities.

For example, imagine instead of Major Hayes dying, it was Lt. Reed who died in this episode. Right after Daniels said he wasn't important. Ho-ly Fuck. Talk about shaking things up. Way more dramatic than Tasha's death in TNG.

If they really wanted to get creative, Hayes could have taken on one of Shran's Andorians as his assistant in security in season 4. Maybe a woman with real attitude to bring a little Worf flavor into the show and really set the ball moving towards a Federation.

And of course it would have made a lot more sense in season 4 if Hayes had been part of Section 31, given his hardcore MACO background. What did Reed bring to the show that Hayes (with an Andorian assistant) couldn't have done better?

Even more interestingly, imagine it was Hoshi who was left behind on the sphere when it exploded (instead of Archer) in the finale. Again, this would be soon after Daniels said she wasn't important.

How interesting would it have been to see how the Nazis in season 4 treated Hoshi - a Japanese? The Japanese were Nazi allies. Almost like a "Man in the High Castle" mini-arc. Certainly it would have been more interesting than seeing Archer battle space Nazis for what must be he eleventy-millionth time in scifi history.

But TPTB played it safe and by the numbers, and in the end, no one bemoaned that Enterprise only lasted 4 years.
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Tomalak
Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 9:19am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Siege

Winn's decisive role in stopping a coup she had initially supported is an example of why she's such an intriguing and sophisticated villain. Most Star Trek villains would have reacted like the Bajoran Colonel and dismissed the accusations as lies. She immediately wanted to know the truth - and made it happen, crushing a coup that would have given her far more power.

I know it sounds like I'm praising her to the skies, but her vices should hopefully go without saying. But her convictions and that weird sort of integrity she shows are just as significant. They make her a far more believable and interesting TV villain. What a great job the writers and the actress did with her character.
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Tomalak
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 10:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Homecoming

Great point from Jack above: why is Rom getting any share in profits from a bar he doesn't own?
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Tomalak
Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 6:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

Almost everyone above dislikes this episode, but I don't care. I enjoyed it, and think it's fun a second or third time round too.

Yes, this was rather "One planet, one single culture" ... like almost every other episode of Star Trek. Yes, thingy was an abhorrent person - which was kind of the point. Yes, her followers didn't all give up ten years of beliefs the minute she was exposed - which was kind of the point.

Good drama done well.
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Tomalak
Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 9:46am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Startrekwatcher, I agree with your main point but I am surprised you apparently didn't like season 6 of TNG? I'd say it's one of the strongest - if not the strongest.
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Mal
Tue, Sep 8, 2020, 12:44am (UTC -5)
Re: Jammer Goes to L.A.: Introduction

"I don't get away much these days."

plus ça change ;)

love the pic. hmmm, let me see if I have any photos from 20 years ago to feel great about myself?
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Mal
Tue, Aug 25, 2020, 11:02am (UTC -5)
Re: ANDR S1: The Ties That Blind

I agree @Neely Fan Forever, that "Pearls" was maybe better. But I have to admit, I just love the Valentines - the family is so fun, and that includes this episode with Raf.

I'm not sure why @Jammer doesn't talk about the music? He's usually so mindful of who is composing an episode of Star Trek. Nothing on DROM? The electric guitar when Becka steps onto the Maru is epic!

https://youtu.be/OSNtx6pIOz8?t=683

Becka has an incredible theme song. The style is very different from nBSG, but let's give Andromeda it's due. Like Earth Final Conflict, it had some well thought out musical flourishes.

https://youtu.be/cGOwrkvBGjo
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Tomalak
Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 7:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I am now three episodes in. While it's much better than the awful trailer led me to believe, it just feels like Futurama with far worse jokes. Mariner is indeed painfully unfunny to watch.
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Tomalak
Wed, Aug 19, 2020, 9:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: In the Hands of the Prophets

Some fascinating discussion above back in 2014. I think Star Trek clearly has taken a pretty sceptical line towards religious beliefs for a long time, and this episode is an example of it. But that sceptical take is usually nuanced and thoughtful, and Sisko and Kira make some valid points in defence of the Bajoran faith (Winn less so!). We also see a much more positive example of a religious leader in Bareil.

What's curious is that some above seem to take any nuance, any departure from a strict "religion poisons everything" Richard Dawkins narrative, as some kind of sloppy error by the writers. They think the only way Star Trek would not be a militant atheist show is by accident.

Personally I am glad that this and other episodes don't make out that every Bajoran is a gullible moron, unable to make any arguments in their faith's defence. It's a particularly odd demand when the Prophets definitely do exist and send orbs and so on.
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Mal
Sat, Aug 15, 2020, 11:34am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Rogue Planet

This was a solid 2.5 stars for a couple reasons.

First, I agree completely with @Capitalist, that a fews nights out in the woods, a camp fire, and liquor, will let a man admit things he wouldn't necessarily do under other circumstances. I think @Jammer was just too bored to notice.

By the time Keith Szarabajka is able to tell the Enterprise crew that they are there to hunt an especially cunning and intelligent prey, there is a level of apparent trust - especially with Malcom, who went with them on the hunt. That Archer betrays that trust says more about Archer than about Keith Szarabajka.

It is clear TPTB were going for a DS9 vibe with this episode. Aside from the shapeshifters, a closer analogy was to an early DS9 episode called "Captive Pursuit".

In "Captive Pursuit," Miles O'Brien makes friends with a creature from the Gamma Quadrant called Tosk, who is being hunted by other Gamma Quadrant aliens who came through the worm hole.

But of course what sells Captive Pursuit is not the hunt - it is the wonderful friendship O'Brien and Tosk develop ( https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s1/captive.php ). Archer and the Lady of Shallot (or whatever her name was) never have that same chemistry.

Imagine Rogue Planet, but with O'Brien - instead of Archer - spending a few nights with these hunters. Drinking. Singing songs ( https://youtu.be/ali3c7FaQGU ) around the campfire. That would be awesome. Just goes to show you how much Archer dragged Enterprise down.

@Peter Swinkels is spot on. The magical forest atmospherics are fantastic. That makes this a 2.5 star episode for me.

Would it still be 2.5 stars if the apparition had been a scantily clad man? Probably not ;)
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Tomalak
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 9:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I didn't know that! What I've seen of Family Guy is a lot of absurd, over the top and often out of context jokes delivered in dream sequences.

Whereas the Orville is more full of subtle amusing moments - like the subtle reactions of crew when the interim security chief was eating smelly meals on the bridge. Not crazy funny (then again FG isn't crazy funny either) but finding humour in a realistic, relatable way.
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Tomalak
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Yeah I am another one here who really doesn't like Family Guy or find it funny - but likes the Orville, including for its humour.
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Tomalak
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Great, description, CaptainMercer. I was really sceptical of the Orville but came to love it in spite of myself.

There seem to be two groups of Star Trek fans when it comes to the Orville:
Those who have seen more than a few episodes and think it's a decent show.
Those who have seen one or two episodes at most and dislike it.

I await the day I actually find a Trekkie who has given the Orville a real chance and still dislikes it.
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Mal
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 10:42am (UTC -5)
Re: ANDR S1: D Minus Zero

@Jammer, the quote you picked - "Blind and crippled. If Andromeda were my child, I'd drown it" - I remember that as the exact moment 20 years ago that I knew I had to watch Andromeda. That this was a show for me :)

So funny that you couldn't fathom at the time what Trance's purpose was in the show. Of course now we know. But back then, that wonderful top was purpose enough for me ;) It was 20 years ago. We were just human. All too human.
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Mal
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 12:57am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Nolan, great post ;-)

https://youtu.be/sfNe2uv-bHs

Lower Decks really is a symptom of a much more fundamental problem.

https://youtu.be/B3lfC4SgFVQ

Star Trek was never able to transition into the 21st century. It's been running on auto-pilot for the past 20 years.

https://youtu.be/SI3YmnCx3rs?t=150

I suppose that is a testament to capitalism.

https://youtu.be/P011OQbOYd8

You can make a boatload of money putting out mediocre drek year after year, decade after decade. People will buy pretty much anything. I hear The Bachelorette is in its 15th season.

https://youtu.be/ngNm4J3Nk9s?t=27

Why bother working hard, with passion and integrity, to put out one of the most aspirational shows ever made by man?? It's far easier to slap together some garbage, throw on the name of some established IP franchise, pump out the promotional PR, and sit back and cash the checks.

https://youtu.be/ui6g23ygov8

We seem to be further from Star Trek's future than ever.

https://youtu.be/v1Cx3mJueCE?t=66

Twice before we've appeared on that track for that future. Twice before we were able to come together to create the greatest of great Star Trek.

https://youtu.be/1y1v_DdpprE?t=32

Once as man was racing for the moon (TOS).

https://youtu.be/HiFEzc_gsuw

And then again at the at the end of the Cold War when the hope was we could once more turn our gazes back to the stars (ST VI, TNG S4).

https://youtu.be/BUPK2tTx0tc?t=103

TNG laid the groundwork for DS9, and VOY provided the cover fire so DS9 could do its thing. But once DS9 was gone, and Ronald D Moore was gone, and Joe Menosky was gone, Star Trek was dead.

https://youtu.be/RJudJ9S579A

But Star Trek has died before (after S3 of TOS). And Star Trek has been debased before (TAS). And Star Trek has had false re-starts before (TNG S1, ST:2009). And Star Trek has come back from the dead before (TWoK).

https://youtu.be/SPBGZRRrEKM

So let the current string of debasement (Lower Decks), and false re-starts (Discovery, Picard) burn themselves out. Eventually there will be a, er, um, Restoration...

https://youtu.be/ppykquyAUyY?t=15

And then maybe we'll be able to do the impossible once again.

https://youtu.be/1VR3Av9qfZc?t=23
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Mal
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

for @Diamond Dave:

https://youtu.be/gR34PJOl3K8

Cooperation, makes it happen
Cooperation, working together
Dig it!
Cooperation, makes it happen
Cooperation, working together

I saw these crazy dudes
And they went out on the street
They were cleanin' out the empty lot
And makin' it neat
I said, "Man is this cool
What you tryin' to do?"
They said, "Makin' a garden
For me and for you."

They said:
Hey man, join us
Come on, let's go
Together we can make a pretty garden grow

Girl: I'll dig a hole

Guy: And I'll plant a seed

Together: And we can add the water
That all growin' things need

Cooperation, makes it happen
Cooperation, working together
Dig it!
Cooperation, makes it happen
Cooperation, working together

https://youtu.be/gR34PJOl3K8
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Mal
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 1 “Second Contact”

Mal’s review

* 1/2 (one and a half stars) out of 4

“Did I eat flesh?”

- Commander Ransom asks after being cured of the Zombie virus.

A Star Trek show about four young ensigns on a starship sounds like gold. Who wouldn’t want to see a show that revolves around someone like Chekov, a 19 year old Ensign with a bright future? Or how about Ensigns Nog & Dax, maybe sent off on an away mission before Ezri’s promotion came in?

Over the 50 years of Star Trek, we’ve been treated to a whole host of wonderful young junior officers - teenagers - from young acting Ensign Wesley Crusher, to sweet Ensign Sito. From fresh from the academy Ensign Harry Kim to cynical and broken Ensign Ro Laren. Ensigns have been a rich vein for Star Trek lore.

Anyone expecting something remotely like that from Star Trek: Lower Decks will be sorely disappointed.

The first episode follows a roughly A & B story pattern.

The “B story” revolves around the crew turning into zombies, spewing black vomit on each other, and eating human flesh. It is literally as bad as it sounds.

The “A story” betrays everything that Star Trek holds dear.

I suppose it does this for laughs, but honestly, I didn’t find any of it amusing.

Ensign Mariner violates regulations and gives Starfleet technology to some farmers belonging to a newly admitted race, because she feels Federation bureaucracy might take too long to approve the technology transfer. The “joke” is that the technology is a shovel and a hoe.

Why is the Federation giving membership to a race that does not have shovels and hoes?

You’re telling me that Bajor was not ready for membership when Kai Winn and Shakaar were fighting over reclamators (see DS9 "Shakaar“), but 10 years later, this backwater world - without shovels - has been granted membership?

No wonder Star Trek Lower Decks cannot be considered canon.

The “A story” gets worse. When one of the farmer’s animals starts inflicting excruciating pain on a fellow Ensign Boimler, his crew mate Ensign Mariner refuses to stun the animal and render it unconscious because that might spoil the flavour of the milk. And so she allows Ensign Boimler to suffer for many, many more excruciating minutes. When the animal finally tires of inflicting pain, poor Boimler is hurting right down to his very bones. This too is supposed to be funny.

I’m not laughing.

I cannot imagine Nog and Ezri on an away mission where Ezri allows Nog to suffer excruciating pain just because stunning the animal causing the pain might ruin the milk. That would be insane, and a violation of everything we have seen Star Trek stand for over 50 years.

There are a few other vignettes in the short first episode. A young Orion Ensign who works in sickbay is covered with black vomit which is sprayed on her repeatedly by her boss who has been turned into a zombie. She is assigned to pump the heart of a ailing lieutenant, but she does so without any anaesthetics, so the lieutenant calls out in pain “That’s my heart, it hurts when you pump it!” The green Orion Ensign continues to pump it. The lieutenant continues to cry out in pain. This is supposed to be funny.

Finally, a cyborg Ensign and a Trill Ensign are on a date as the crew descends into chaos, turning into zombies, shooting each other, attacking each other while the two Ensigns continue to chat and flirt, without making any effort to stem the violence or save their crew mates. “So, where are you quartered?” he asks as the phasers fire around them and the ship is at red alert. “Deck nine, by the squash courts,” she answers as a medical officer exclaims that “this is happening all over the ship.” The two Ensigns continue to smile obliviously and chat about playing squash sometime, while the medical officer darts away to tend to the emergency. This is supposed to be funny.

Will the next episode be any better? The preview tells us that one young ensign will recommend evasive pattern 88. The Chief Medical Officer will reply, “is he fucking serious?”

There are so many insults to the viewer’s intelligence packed into these 20 odd minutes, that is almost not worth listing them. So let’s just take one example: the Starfleet briefing officer down on the planet cannot pronounce the name of the race that has just been admitted to the Federation. He mispronounces the name of the race right in front of a representative of the race - actually struggling to read the race’s name off a padd. All the years we saw officers prepare and practice alien names and greetings to make them feel welcome and appreciated - all of that up in smoke - for a “joke”.

So will I be watching next week? Are you fucking serious?
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Mal
Tue, Aug 4, 2020, 7:26am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Sixth Season Recap

Wow, @Keiren, that is an epic Ron Moore interview ( https://www.lcarscom.net/rdm1000118/ )

I agree, @Sean, Ron Moore is pretty much spot on about how bad Voyager is, and how little hope there is for Star Trek.

I had no idea things were so bad behind the scenes on Voyager. Here is what Ron Moore says:

"What I found on VOYAGER was suddenly it wasn’t about the work anymore. It wasn’t about making the best show that we possibly could; it was about all these other extraneous issues. It was about the politics of the show, and the strange sort of competition of egos within the writing staff and the producing staff and the management of the show. ... The politics of the show were such that the egos of the people in charge of the series were threatened by the people who worked for them. To be blunt, [writers] Bryan Fuller and Mike Taylor were treated very shabbily, and it pissed me off. They took a lot of crap, and the only reason it was done was to keep the guys on the top of the pyramid feeling good about themselves. It also had the effect of keeping the writing staff from working in concert as a group. ... The fun factor dropped precipitously, and I think that shows on the screen. I think that the product that you are getting now is also a reflection of the way the show is produced."

Wow. Just wow.

And what Ron Moore says about continuity is exactly what we see in Voyager season 6:

"The continuity of the show is completely haphazard. It’s haphazard by design. It’s not like they are trying desperately to maintain continuity of the show. They don’t care, and they’ll tell you flat out that they don’t care."

Turns out the writers just didn't give a fuck about Voyager anymore. Here is what Ron Moore says:

"On VOYAGER, there are characters they have given up on. They will just say that to you, flat out. I started asking questions about B’Elanna, who she is. I was saying, ‘I’m having a little trouble watching episodes and getting a handle on her, and what she is about.’ The response was, ‘We don’t have an idea. The past doesn’t matter. Just do whatever you want.’ What are you talking about? How can you give up on your own show? How do you give up on your characters? There is such a cynicism about the show within the people that do the show."

It is so sad.

When DS9 ended in 1999, did we have any idea that Star Trek as we knew it was over?

Pathfinder aired at the end of the millennium. It was essentially a TNG episode snuck halfway into Voyager's season 5. Here is what Ron Moore says:

"A good example of the yearning for THE NEXT GENERATION was obvious in “Pathfinder,” an episode so much like TNG that Marina Sirtis felt like she was doing her old show."

When Pathfinder aired, and we all rang in the start of the New Millennium, did any of us have any idea that not once - NOT ONCE - in the 21st century (and we are now 1/5 of the way done with the 21st century), would Star Trek ever rise to remotely where it was had been in the 20th century. A global icon. A symbol of a hopeful future for all humanity.

Voyager's 6th season was the death of Star Trek:

- Ron Moore left Star Trek in Voyager's 6th season.
- The Borg were desecrated in Voyager's 6th season Collective.
- Continuity ended as a core Star Trek value in Voyager's 6th season Ashes to Ashes.
- Joe Menosky departed with Voyager's 6th season Muse.

Everything after Voyager season 6 has been Zombie Star Trek.

Ron Moore was so right. After Voyager's 6th season, more and more, we had to turn to other scifi shows for any quality story telling.

DS9 alumni went on to run the first season-and-a-half of Andromeda. TNG alumni today run The Expanse.

Ron Moore himself went on to nBSG. It is almost like he had to do that show, just to demonstrate what Voyager could have been.

There is a line from the Ron Moore interview that almost word for word made it into nBSG:

"wouldn’t Janeway at some point have said, ‘Realistically, this is becoming a generation ship. Time to start having kids, because somebody is going to have to man this ship 60 years from now, and it ain’t going to be me. It ain’t going to be Chakotay, and probably nobody on this bridge. So let’s start making babies.’ "

That's exactly what President Roslyn tells Adama. It becomes something of a nBSG mantra ("we need to get the hell out of here and we need to start having babies").

https://youtu.be/lEihtS7oRoI?t=106

Can you imagine Janeway and Chakotay ever having that kind of a frank conversation?

Amazing how bad Voyager was. What's shocking is that it was bad on purpose. TPTB - Brannon and Berman, hated Star Trek, TOS. I can't believe it, but here is what Ron Moore says:

"The whole franchise will just collapse, because it will have no validity whatsoever. If you are going to go there, you really better be prepared to truly put on the STAR TREK mantle and be the keeper of the flame. I think that is really hard for Rick and Brannon. It’s hard for them to do that, because they don’t like the original show. Let’s not mince words. They don’t like the original show. They have never liked the original show. They’ll bob and weave a bit here and there in public. But they don’t like it; they don’t want to have anything to do with it."

These are the people who have been in charge of Star Trek for much of the 21st century. These are the people who have dragged our show into the mud.

Frak them.
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Mal
Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 7:43am (UTC -5)
Re: Vote to Rename Voyager

I'd be all for renaming Star Trek: Picard to Star Trek: Seven of Nine. You know it would be an improvement ;-)
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