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Marco
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

The entire premise of the show (a prequel) had always been problematic for me. Things have to make sense, given that we KNOW what is supposed to come later.

I watched Season 1 and 2. Episodes were messy, not traditional Trek and at times plainly ridiculous. Saved, every 2-3 episodes, by story lines well put together.

Say what you will, but the ending of season 2, over two episodes, was satisfying enough, tied up loose ends and finally moved forward.

This beginning episode is no masterpiece, but it is a solid introduction to a "whole new ballgame". And Burnham is a little less mopey. And, given the current times, I too want to be hit in the face by whatever the Andorian shot her with...
:)
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Marco
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I have freely admitted before: I liked the season, overall. Not great, but enough to make me plan to watch next season (If I am still alive. At 63, that needs to be considered, given the news out there...). Do I agree with Jammer's review? Mostly yes. There are some clunkers in the season, but between the First Episode "Remebrance", "The impossible Box", "Nepenthe" and "Broken Pieces", we had some strong moments. The scene with Data at the end? I shed a tears the first time, and choked up the second.
Few Trek episodes have done that.
Wrath of Kan, Inner Light, DS9 "Duet.
Did that scene redeemed the episode? I say yes.
I don't know if I the writer planned it all along that way (I am a bit more skeptical than Jam Man :) ) , but serendipity sometime is your friend and if it happens, one takes it and run. Now, if only they would make a series with Anson Mount as Pike, Ethan Peck as Spock and Rebecca Romijn as Number One...

Marco
P.S. Now, what do I watch on Thursday?
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Marco
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Too short...
Anyone besides me cried a few tears when Data died for good?
I felt really old right there and then...
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Marco
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I will be brief, and will using Jammers analogy at the end of Discovery 2nd. While the two-parter finale was wobbly at times, it did "STICK THE LANDING" (emphasis mine). It is not "The best of Both worlds" cliffhanger of TNG season 3 (nigh impossible), but it let me ...satisfied.

I'll watch next year, and hope the will go to a less serialized and more episodic series. Hope springs eternal.
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Marco
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 8:23am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Well, this was a disappointment. Started OK and then went down hill from there. As many of you have posted, and I completely agree, this felt like a bad TNG two-parter.
TNG, at its worst, was a show of beige people in Pastel color uniforms. Take a look at the second half of this episode and see if you don't agree...

Last year, the Discover last two-parter started like this (pretty bad) but, as Jammers wrote, they stuck the landing somewhat neatly.

Indeed, more than actual material, this looks like the result of uninspired direction.
We'll see next week, and let's hope the show will not leave on a sour note, as I thought it was progressing nicely before this clunker.
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Marco
Wed, Mar 18, 2020, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

I mentioned before that Picard was made to look older that the actor was. I also mentioned that now Picard looks more energetic and willing and able now. In the first episode on board La Sirena we see Picard longingly looking at "The Chair" but then stepping over. In the last episode he takes the seat forcefully, only to realize he doesn't know how to "drive". It is subtle, but I do think it shows a difference in the Captain. And I think it was done on purpose by the writers. This is not "ageism".
This is someone that had given up and now sees a purpose again. Looking forward to tomorrow's episode!
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Marco
Fri, Mar 13, 2020, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

Hello everyone:
The reason why I liked the last episode more than the others was fairly simple. I had noticed this before and pointed it out, but no one reacted, let's see if you agree now.
I have seen recent (last few months) interviews of Sir Patrick and he does look and sound older, but he is still Stewart, with a strong presence, if not a booming voice. In the first few episodes of the series, instead, Picard sounded...mopey? defeated? Waiting for death? In the last two episodes, suddenly (and especially last) he sounded more like...Picard ought to sound. Was it done on purpose? Am I imagining things? If it was done on purpose I can kind of get it, but it was very disconcerting initially (at least to me, YMMV).
And the comic relief of all the holograms together is very trek, to me. Or you forget Worf and his predilection for...prune juice? :)
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Marco
Thu, Mar 12, 2020, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

I saw some comments here that were uncalled for. It begs the question: why are you watching? But I will not get into personal quibbles. Everyone is totally entitled to their own opinion. So I will give mine (and you can poo-poo it as well): this, to me, is the best episode of the series. 4 stars? Perhaps not, but close.

Everything is coming together. I am not perturbed by the language (some of you must have been pearl-clutchers in a former life...). Yes, it is not TNG. But in TNG everything was...Beige. Beige and beige. I like a bit more color. But I felt at home now. And the message is pure trek: the past is the past, the future is not written. It almost felt like 1991. That's the nostalgia I can live with.
Marco
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Marco
Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

The most “tng” feel of the series so far, but perhaps I liked the previous episode a bit more. Why? I enjoyed every minute of the reunion but Soji’s head tilt was bit too much. I noticed it right away, and of course so did Riker, but had never seen her do it before so it felt a bit “too obvious”. Still in the top 3 this season (6, 7 &1, in that order, for me).

Question for you all: did you catch Riker’s reference to the Kzinti when he was first talking to Picard? Kzinti were the war-like cats introduced by Larry Niven in his “Known Space” series. They appeared in one of his short stories, “The soft weapon”, which was used, if memory serves, as the source material for one of the episodes of “Star Trek the animated series”. I always liked the Kzinti, I always imagined them as 7 feet tall kitties, sort of purring Klingons...Could it be a hook to the upcoming new animated series?
In any case, I am again waiting for next week episode.
Waiting for a TV show: that sure brings me back in time...
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Marco
Sun, Mar 1, 2020, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

So, it seems that "Authority Figure" (sorry Jammers) liked the episode quite a bit (I did too by the way).
Funny that no one posted after the review. Is everybody re-watching the episode now?
:)
I don't know you, but I am now awaiting for next episode. How long has it been since this was a thing? 20 years?
Marco
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Marco
Fri, Feb 28, 2020, 8:46am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

There are people who like Picard so far (full disclosure: I do), there are people who don't (their full and complete prerogative).

Is this Trek? Well, it sort of is. Is that really important? I am not so sure I care if it is or isn't. I do like this show, so far, more than most of Discovery, and more that 90% of the drivel shown on TV these days. YMMV
But I gave a quick perusal to all comments. It seems that, begrudgingly, reluctantly and with many caveats and curlicues, people think that this was the best episode of the series so far (I could be wrong).
I agree. Good Trek? Yep. "The measure of a Man" Trek? Nope, that'll never happen again. I think the "anhedonic" comment is overblown a bit :)
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Marco
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

I am an old fan. But not the oldest :)
I did not experience TOS as a TV show. I learned of TOS when I moved in the US 35 years ago. I watched some of it in Italy (40 years ago?) but did not make an impression. Some of TOS is way ahead of its time, some...cringy! To me TREK is TNG. Non-serialized, episodic. I am not enamored of overly serialized shows (too short of an attention span, I guess) so I preferred TNG to DS9, then Voyager (how may shuttles did they leave in the Delta quadrant ?) then Enterprise, then Discovery (what a hot mess that was. But if they keep the reset going as it was done at the end of season two, it could be decent).

Now Picard (Pronounced Pee-Krd, as Q was want to do :) ). Do I like it? Yes, so far. It is perfect? Nope. But not because a Vulcan is unmasked to be a Romulan because she wears glasses...

It is because Stewart is playing Picard as an ancient version of himself. I know that both ares old, but when you see interviews with Stewart of today, he does not sound as old as Picard does. Is this just a phase on the show, and will he re-find himself a bit, or will he descend into more maudliness? We shall see (but only 6 episodes are left). I find that a little disconcerting (and no, I don't believe that the Irumodic ssyndrome angle. They wouldn't have a season two already renewed).

Will Seven spur him? Is that the idea?
Ms Ryan looks a gorgeous as ever, by the way. Referencing an interview between Stewart and Stephen Colbert (2014), I think the one bathing in the blood of the Innocents is Ryan, not Picard... :) . But I digress. Looking forward to next, serialized unfortunately, episode.
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Marco
Thu, Jan 23, 2020, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I had forgotten what a good actor can do with ANY material! I am 63 and if Stewart were to yell at me to tie up my shoes, I would burst into tears...But I digress. This is a very good beginning. Clearly the two Romulan are not servant, they are refugees! And live in the big house, and they care for Picard . And when He gets righteously angry over the interviewer not knowing anything about Dunkirk...Chills.

The story line arc probably will drop off at one point (it is pretty nice though, right now) but, frankly, who cares. I can watch the Old English dude work his craft, and I'll be happy.
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Marco
Sun, Mar 3, 2019, 1:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

Discovery is not perfect (undrstatement of the century...), but it has been getting better. I am starting to actually looking forward to the next episode. How long has ut been since last time you could say that?
For me, since the early Voyager, circa 95-96. I’ll take it, for now.
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Marco
Tue, Mar 13, 2018, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: In the Hands of the Prophets

I watched DS9 when it first run, starting 25 years ago almost to the end in 1999. I think back then I missed a good chunk of last season.
The entire show was a blur in a my memory, as during its run I got Married, got my degrees, had two sons, 3 postdocs and finally a permanent job.

It was not my favorite then, and I have just started re-watching the entire series for the first time. Things may have changed since then and we'll see how I like it now.

I only know that watching Duet I lost it...

And the seething rage that "In the hands of the Prophets" caused in me, a scientist in the age of the Dumb, did not happen 25 years ago.

Marco
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Marco
Mon, Feb 5, 2018, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

New here, so some intro.
I am a late-ish follower of Trek Lore. I am old enough to have been around TOS, but I was in a different country, so never really watched it. My exposure to Trek started with TNG, which remains my standard bearer. Could not get that enthused by DS9 (too dark and brooding). Voyager was ...meh. Enterprise? It had potential at the beginning, but then it got too much "9-11 all the time" so I ended up watching for T'Pol, mostly :). So, what to make of this Discovery thing?

I concur with the main problem: what does this show want to be? I am not overly worried about canon, but I want the show to be TREK, optimistic and forward looking. Is it enjoyable? Yes, the last few episodes were fun, more so that the first half of the season. Let's hope to see some continuity of development. TNG first season did not know what it wanted to be, and it was bad. Let's see if things improve here.
Regarding CBS all access: I use my iPad app, on my home wireless network and with one exception in the first season (I think it was episode three, but I am not sure) streaming has been flawless. But as soon as Discovery closes the season, my subscription will cease.
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Marcos Bento
Fri, May 5, 2017, 11:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

I saw this episode recently (2017) and I think it aged well. It looks particularly better to someone who saw Benjamin Button before. Innocence makes more sense than Benjamin Button, despite the beekeepers.
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Marco P.
Tue, Jul 26, 2011, 6:10am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Aenar

You've raised several good points Jammer, and I particularly agree with what you said in paragraphs 2 and 3. It's true: the Romulans could have used more characterization and seem to be the routine "bad guy" of the week, but I disagree the episode has mostly wasted our time. We haven't just gone from point A to point B: if anything, albeit in a contrived way, the trilogy has laid the foundations for species cooperation within the galaxy (and further down in time, for the creation of the Federation). So what if the Romulans were used as a plot device?

I also liked the interactions between Shran and Jhamel, as it brings humanity (er... Andorianity?) to what Gareb has done (or rather been forced to do). Prior to meeting Jhamel, Shran is appalled by the deaths the drone ship caused (including obviously his mate Talas). After the revelation Jhamel is Gareb's sister, the poor kidnapped Aenar is given a background and isn't merely the pawn-of-the-Romulans any longer... he becomes someone's loved one. Despite what Jammer says, I did empathize with him somewhat even though the final scenes (him turning the drones on each other, his "sacrifice", his goodbye to his sister) were a bit too melodramatic.

I will agree on your 4th-to-last paragraph though: the whole design of the drones requiring a telepathic Aenar, as well as the elimination of a seemingly vital piece of the whole puzzle being dismissed as "of no consequence"... well it doesn't really make sense.

As for the Trip/T'Pol sublot at the end, I really felt it was unnecessary. This is almost turning into Ross & Rachel, something which really has no place in a Star Trek context.
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Marco P.
Tue, Jul 26, 2011, 5:46am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: United

Much of my comments for last week's "Babel" can be applied to "United" as well: it's a well-constructed, contrived (the drone ship's vastly superior dogfighting; the sensor net conveniently requiring the input of not two but FOUR species to be successful; the loophole found by Archer to defeat but not kill Shran during the duel) yet entertaining episode.

It's always a pleasure to see Jeffrey Combs in these situations because as Jammer says, he does just enough to be entertaining yet does not turn Shran into a caricature by going overboard.

And yeah, the Andorian Ushaan smells a lot like Klingon (the blades they use almost look like inverted Bat'leths) but hey, it gives us an excuse to see an interesting new take on the "Fight to the Death"[TM] concept: tying the two duelists together with a short rope (ok, maybe the concept isn't so new, but it's still fairly innovative within the Trek realm).
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Marco P.
Sun, Jul 24, 2011, 4:58am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Babel One

While I agree with Jay's concerns regarding the verisimilitude of the Romulans' technology, I have to say this was a well-constructed, well-acted, and entertaining episode for me.

I have one comment on the plot, specifically relating to Jammer's annoyance at UPN. I'm currently watching the episodes on DVD (so no "Next week on ST Enteprise" spoiler-previews for me), yet the deduction that the marauding ship was in fact neither Tellarite nor Andorian but rather a third species, one with the technology to mimick other ships, was in fact quite obvious for me from the start. I didn't find this aspect of the story very creative to be honest.

I do agree with Jammer however concerning the ending: I certainly did not see it coming and it adds a nice twist to the trilogy (surpassed only by the twist of the following episode, when it is revealed WHO is in remote control of the marauder ship).
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Marco P.
Fri, Jul 22, 2011, 4:46am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Daedalus

Pretty much dead-on review, a very stale episode.

I'd also add that unlike Jammer, I felt Bill Cobbs's portrayal of Emory was average at best. I've seen the actor do much better in other roles, but here he doesn't show the necessary range of emotions to make us empathize with his character. I had an initial bad feeling right in the opening scene, when Emory laughs at Archer's joke ("You're going to put us out of a job") just before the musical score plays... and it felt so fake! No surprise then to see the rest of the show follow suit.

This is really a time where the use of flashbacks to show Quinn & Emery interacting (perhaps even with a young version of Archer) was necessary. If anything it would have made us care about these characters' fates and feelings for one another. I guess the episode chose to focus on sci-fi events (the mysteriousness of the anomalies, the damage to Enterprise, etc.) rather than emotional background, but alas the final result makes for a pretty weak whole.
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Marco P.
Fri, Jul 15, 2011, 4:07am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Kir'Shara

P.S.
Without going into too much detail (contrary to my usual habits), I will just say that I second Jammer's thoughts on this three-part "The Forge/Awakening/Kir'Shara" story arc. I completely agree that logical flaws aside, the political relevance within the Trek universe (especially considering all the species involved... Humans, Vulcans (+ separate factions), Andorians, and even a tease of Romulans) is what makes the arc so interesting.

At the cost of repeating myself, I am so glad at the change of pace & direction that's taken place in season 4. It really turned Enterprise into a different and proper TV show.
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Marco P.
Fri, Jul 15, 2011, 3:57am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Kir'Shara

Too true Grumpy. Like Jammer said, simplistic yet sublime use of the "Undo" button, and further evidence of Manny Coto's skill at undoing 3 years of B&B bullsh**.
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Marco P.
Mon, May 16, 2011, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Forge

Wow! What a great Trek outing! As sfdebris.com puts it, the first step in a mission to "completely undo all the fu**ed up stuff done to Vulcans so far this series".

During "Home" (S4E03) we had a brief glimpse of the true potential of Vulcan society portrayal in ENT. but "The Forge" represents its full realization. Finally Vulcans are truly given depth, background, politics, culture, as well as an interesting history replete with ideological ramifications. They act & perform like three-dimensional characters!

The most interesting character portrayed is Soval. Long after T'Pol, he represents the first Vulcan ready to truly embrace Human-Vulcan cooperation and his willingness to put his career (even *status* as Vulcan) on the line, in order to helo his deceased friend Admiral Forrest (and then later Jonathan Archer) is both surprising and very refreshing. Vulcans are truly no longer the suspicious beings holding humans back in their technological advancement and spatial exploration.

I think a big key to this episode's success are the multiple parallels drawn from our own Earth society: factions with different political/theological idelogy, conspiracies, differing interpretation of religious texts. The multiple nods to Trek continuity are just the icing on an already large and tasty cake.

A few nitpicking points and other comments, in no particular order:
• In one of the episode's opening scenes, THANK GOD the crew is playing basketball. If I see one more waterpolo footage I think I'll shoot myself.
• Why are Reed and Mayweather investigating the Embassy bombing?? What have Enterprise's PILOT and CHIEF OF SECURITY got to do with it? Shouldn't this be handled by a local StarFleet commission?
• Why didn't Reed/Mayweather beam off the bomb?!? For fear it might detonate? Contrary to episodes in other Trek series (where they specifically state some bombs are rigged to explode the minute a transporter beam attempts to dematerialize them), nobody said that would happen this time!
• Also and on more general terms, isn't it awfully convenient bombs on TV never blow instantly? They always start beeping increasingly faster giving the protagonists a chance to get away.
•T'Pol has been looking increasingly attractive this season. Within less than 6 episodes they have succeeded what ENT has failed to do over the course of 3 entire seasons: make T'Pol look sexy! All it took was an elegant white dress and slightly longer hair.
• Reviving a coma patient with extensive injuries (at the cost of possibly worsening) raised a big alarm medical ethics alarm bell in me. Fortunately they went with the mind-meld approach.

At any rate the overall feeling remains largely positive. "Worthy of a Trek prequel series" indeed.
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Marco P.
Mon, May 16, 2011, 8:56am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Augments

Have to agree, the Augments trilogy didn't come to the best of resolutions. Khan's people deserved more.

In my comment of the previous episode I faulted Soong for being short-sighted. He displays similar behaviour here when instead of trying to *convince* Malik & Co. what they're doing is wrong/immoral/has an alternative, he lets things degenerate to a mutiny and then counter-plots to stop Malik *physically* (enlisting Persis's and Enterprise's help). Too little too late, which makes the ultimate (expected) morale of "the teacher has failed" a little harder to swallow for me. Like I said before, perhaps this teacher didn't try hard enough.

As for Malik, I can only echo Jammer's comments: for someone superiorly intelligent his decisions are rather perplexing. Yet consider the scene where Soong and Malik discuss the doctor's choice to alter the genetic code of the next generation of embryos, suppressing "aggression" and "violent behaviour". Perhaps the writers wanted to emphasize that in *spite* of his superior intelligence, Malik is genetically predisposed to act violently: he cannot help himself, even it means long-term ramifications his intelligence did not consider and which are ultimately self-defeating. If that is the case, the intent can be commended but the final result isn't very effective. Emotion as a reason for irrational behaviour (as in the case of Khan) works a lot better than DNA.

I also agree as far as the rest of the Augments (Persis excluded) are concerned: lemmings blindly following their leader without offering any kind of debate? Bit poor.

Some other notes, more of a technical nature:
• How the hell did that grappler trick on the Klingon ship work??? "Shearing forces"? I really don't buy it.
• Couldn't Archer have beamed the Augments aboard Enterprise before the Klingon ship detonated?? Malik did it!

I thought the final scene, foreshadowing the creation of Data, was a nice touch however.
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