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NoPoet
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 5:01am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Facets

Jadzia episode? Check. All about her past lives? Check. Yawn, come on, get over it already, haven't we dealt with this stuff enough??

And my criticism of the creepy Trill subversion of the host is strengthened here: so now the symbiont can force itself on other people by taking them over with dead ghosts?
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NoPoet
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 4:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Distant Voices

DS9 does TNG. Badly. Everything about this episode is so laughably obvious that it destroys all tension. This reminds me of the episode of TNG where the crew have all devolved, except that one is a guilty pleasure, whereas this is yet another over-rated DS9 non-story. Infuriating after years of classic Voyager and Enterprise episodes being nit-picked and dismissed by these reviews.
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NoPoet
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 4:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

I've been watching these episodes out of order but isn't this, like, the 2nd time DS9 has done a story about an orphaned child? (Three if you count Odo's backstory.) This was a cheao way to fit the Dominion, apparently forgotten except for the odd moment of lip service, into a show which still seems to have no aim. DS9 is nowhere near as interesting as I remember it being.
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NoPoet
Tue, Mar 19, 2019, 6:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Second Skin

Well, someone certainly decided this one was a good idea.

"We need to move the Dominion storyline forward."
"Are you kidding, we still have another 20 episodes to write. I know... what if KIRA IS A CARDASSIAN?"
"..."
"Ok guys, let' brainstorm the completely necessary 'Freedom Fighter Is Really The Enemy' ep."
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NoPoet
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 6:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Fascination

Any more episodew like this and I'm calling the Angry Marines.
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NoPoet
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 6:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

I don't understand The Orville. I haven't watched it, as I don't want something that seems almost like a parody of Trek. I'd rather just have a well written and produced Trek show. Discovery is Abramsverse Trek, craps all over the idea of canon, the characters are all awful and the battle scenes are nearly impossible to tell what's happening as the ship designs are horrid and convoluted - DS9 did it loads better. And yet... I'd watch season 2 of Discovery rather than start watching The Orville.

I mean, the first episode according to Jammer is about a captain whose marriage has just broken up... who gives a toss about marriage? Let's have an adventure or something, preferably without purely ripping off a beloved franchise.
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NoPoet
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

This episode should have appeared halfway through the last season.

Tucker shouldn't have died.

The pointless 6 year time jump should have been shitcanned (screw you Braga, you soulless one trick pony you).

If those conditions had been met, this would easily have been one of my all time favourite Trek episodes. Warm, witty, with wonderful performances all round and that good old nostalgic pang to see the 1701 D recreated so faithfully, a decade after the show was over and the ship was destroyed. This was the impossible made real. Still one of the best crossover episodes by miles, undone by a few serious, appalling, unforgivable oversights by everyone's favourite morons.
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NoPoet
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 8:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

See, unlike Dax, who should be awesome but is rather a boring, one-note character in love with herself, Quark and O'Brien really matter, they provide interest and heart. Even the usually horrible (and widely disliked) Keiko is used to good effect here. I would still rather wash my face in Worf's armpits than be married to her though.

Quark is hysterical, his bride is hysterical, the whole situation brilliantly has fun with the Trek universe without breaking canon even slightly. Can you imagine this done with TNG characters? Bravo to the writers.
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NoPoet
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 8:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Equilibrium

Jesus Christ, here we have an episode that's about as exciting aa watching porridge harden into cement. I'd rather try to watch a BBC news report without busting blood vessels from rage.

Dax's acting is pretty bad, the pacing is extremely slow, the dialogue is full of technobabble. Why do the Trills sacrifice themselves for the symbionts? Why do they apparently let the symbionts turn them into different people and dominate every aspect of their lives? I've always found it incredibly creepy - the Trill race is basically enslaved to their slugs and seem to get nothing out of it, they are subservient and second-rate by comparison. There is nothing mystical or exciting to learn here, nothing really to see, just a bunch of staid performances.

That said, Julian yet again proves himself to be a genuinely nice bloke, offering friendship and support to Dax despite him having feelings for her, and her apparently trying to bait him by turning up in her nightclothes. Boo Dax, learn to treat men with respect maybe?

And the scene with the masked figure is terrifying. How can an episode that gets so much wrong have a classic moment?
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NoPoet
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 8:08am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar

Finally, after an opening two seasons that were way more boring and repetitive than I remembered (I gave up when season 1 was originally shown and didn't start re-watching for years, but watching it again now is even more tiresome), DS9 gets on track. In fact I was starting to worry that overall, DS9 was not going to live up to my rose-tinted memories.

I've said before in other comments that there is too much money in American TV shows. Way, way too many episodes per season leads to a number of duds; way too many characters results in the same stories being repeated as they jostle for screen time (we get it, Quark owns a bar, Dax had past lives, Kira was oppressed). Arcs get interrupted by trivial stories. Well, for better or for worse, the Dominion is here, the Defiant is coming, things are about to get grimdark.

Bring it on.
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NoPoet
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 11:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Catspaw

Well this was a bit buttocks, wasn't it? Vastly inferior to TNG's Night Terrors, which was legitimately frightening, and also trailing the TNG where the woman pretends to be the Devil due to that episode's fantastic villain. This episode is just another of TOS's pointless, uninspired Earth history/mythology stories. You mean to tell me that in the vastness of space there is only Earth's past?

It becomes ever clearer why TNG, DS9 and VOY distanced themselves from TOS. Catspaw might have raised mild chuckles in the 60s and maybe scared some 8 year olds but its quality is totally unacceptable today (and probably was then). Still, if you have got literally nothing to do for 50 minutes, there are some lols, and I liked the female villain.
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NoPoet
Wed, Dec 12, 2018, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Storm Front, Part II

So England was quickly overrun - a ridiculous line delivered by the only Englishman aboard - but the plucky ol' US of A managed to hold out against aliens using time travel technology and plasma weapons... OK. Well this is for American audiences after all.

If Vosk was a hundred times scarier, and was played with passion, rather than simply reciting bland lines in his old man voice, this could have been an epic two parter. Unfortunately he was just "there" and was not memorable for anything other than his Nazi uniform (which has already kind of been done in TOS and definitely done in Voyager). The Hirogen were certainly scarier than the not-Remans.

Also, the special effects were HORRIBLE. The aircraft strafing Enterprise and particularly the building blowing up were some of the worst CGI I've ever seen, and I've watched Tripods, Blakes 7 and classic Dr Who (not the horrible, brain rotting crap of modern Who which simply exiats to push the BBC's agendas).

I will always have a soft spot for Enterprise. But having watched it through again (and having skipped a minimum of 10 to 15 episodes, two of them halfway in), I can wholeheartedly say the shows I just mentioned bury Enterprise. They focus on plot and acting rather than special effects, which makes them scary and gripping. There are few enough episodes that stories are usually well paced. Just don't watch Tripods series 1, that is the exception to the rule.
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NoPoet
Wed, Dec 12, 2018, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Storm Front, Part I

Re-watched this after many, many years, and despite the obvious VFX budget hit which will continue to plague this season, I actually really enjoyed this one.

I'm glad the TCW is finally being resolved. Not resolved as in wrapped up neatly with explanations, shocking revelations and consequences, but as in "blown the shit out of with photon torpedoes", the only response modern audiences can understand!

I don't think Vosk was very well written or acted though. This was jarring after how good much of seaaon 3 was in those regards. And yet again, a chance at continuity or even just being a prequel are lost, because Vosk and his men aren't Reman, they just look like them. Why aren't they a breakaway faction from the future trying to escape Romukan oppression? (If you're going to use time travel you may as well go all in rather than bugger about with half-arsed nonsense that satisfies nobody and accomplishes nothing.)

My best friend has been watching Enterprise through and so far, he has failed to be impressed by almost anything. This isn't all the show's fault - he is extremely difficult to please - but his number one complaint these days is no longer that the show is boring, but that he doesn't understand why half the episodes need to happen. And in that, he's got a point. There is a shit-ton of filler, and ideas that simply should have been better thought out.

Still... I enjoyed Storm Front pt1 for what it was, an hour's mindless entertainment.
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NoPoet
Fri, Nov 23, 2018, 5:33am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Harbinger

Ah, the infamous Harbinger. I'm just watching this again for the first time in years, and oh my, after a run if really good episodes we get this nonsense. The scifi plot about the pod in the anomaly field ahould have received MUCH more screen time, a bizarre mystery that should have played out slowly and paid off big time.

I like the actor playing Reed, having first seen him in the excellent (and undeservedly forgotten) Desmond's. That show dated from a tremendously optimistic time in Britain, where the country was truly becoming accepting of other cultures, where political correctness didn't exist; black people living in Britain were depicted as working hard and contributing to the country, and white people weren't simply written off as racists. But even in those heady days, the Reed actor was highly effeminate and to this day it is hard to believe he isn't gay. Still, he has genujne presence which Enterprise stifled every chance it got.

Reed is more of a cypher than a character. This is a man who literally has no interest beyond blowing things up, except for the occasional dalliance with women (remember that this blank, standoffish person, whose own parents don't really know him, somehow used to be a ladies' man!). The writing for Reed has been exceptionally bad from the beginning, there was no plan for him, the writers had absolutely no idea what they wanted him to be so everyone who wrote for him did it differently. There is no doubt in my mind that this episode marks the end of Reed (until the Section 31 hijinks which would be far too little, far too late).

He should have been badass, tough, determined, the first man among the crew who wanted to strike back at the Xindi and learn from their ships and weapons and tactics. Instead he is often whiny, he is entirely unaffected by the tragedy on Earth, leaves the weapons testing to the extremely over-used Trip, gets into a bitch-fight against a trained soldier who is going to be far more capable of military planning than a starship crewman (does the US Army ask the US Navy to plan its ground attacks?), is appalled when Archer sticks that pirate in an airlock...

What they should have done was create a multi-layered character who was difficult to get to know, but very rewarding to do so; he should have got into a relationship with Hoshi whoch would have toughened her up and made him more personable, as well as made the ship seem more alive and offer genuine human interaction.

Instead we get endless sexualised storylines for T'Pol, who loves and leaves Trip (I have managed to get out of being in Trip's situation a number of times, so to me, T'Pol's behaviour is normal for a woman and Trip's reaction is pathetic) and we get the embarrassing neuropressure scenes which are little more than the "creative" team needing something to wank over.

Seriously, does anyone, anyone at all, think the idea of neuropressure was a good idea? "Can't sleep? Well why don't you and your female colleague put your hands all over each other in your underwear on her bed. Oh by the way, to your colleague's species, this is tantamount to sex and whe's going to have multiple orgasms and develop feelings for you. This is right and appropriate behaviour while you're at work."
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NoPoet
Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 6:15am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Stigma

I actually found this episode interesting, even if you have to disregard the fact that Vulcans would actually want someone to die. The Vulcans as portrayed in every Trek seem to be different to how Trekkies see them, or how they are described by other Trek characters, as we seem to imagine that they are loyal, intelligent and compassionate, whereas most of the time in shows they are portrayed as cold, aloof, superior, arrogant and rude.

It's also interesting that this incredibly obvious HIV/AIDS story, which arrived three decades too late, also focuses on how terrible and traumatic rape is for women; and yet when Trip was raped and actually became pregnant, it was played for laughs.

That'll be the "male privilege" feminists keep ranting about.
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NoPoet
Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 6:07am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

I was ready to call season 2 a disaster, but am reminded of a line from Only Fools and Horses:

Rodney Trotter: "Disaster? A calamity, more like."

The first two seasons of TNG were unbearably awful but they still had more quality episodes than Enterprise seasons 1 and 2. This show is soulless, passionless, as bland as 24th century humans, with very little spark or creativity except where demanded by the plot. I am going to go on record and say I can finally understand that Enterprise killed Trek.

(Nemesis didn't help either, it should have been awesome but was so pompous and unfriendly, so much sitting around, each scene and each plot point so protracted. I don't think it's a terrible film but I also have no desire to ever watch it again. In fact Nemesis made the same mistake as ENT by pointlessly killing a main character at the end.)

This is paint by numbers, it's monkeys bashing typewriters. Where is the quality control? Were Bermaga simply surrounding themselves with yes-men, cooing over every shitty idea, shouting down anyone who voiced disagreement?

How do you produce a show with so many identical episodes? Who thought that audiences would want to see Archer getting kidnapped every week? It didn't even work the first time they used it, so why keep on doing it? You've got to remember that Archer is a complete nobody to the galaxy at large, Earth is unknown, Starfleet apparently consists of a single ship, so what's going on? Do the crew not learn from experience?

So far in this show, we have had multiple instances of:

* Archer getting kidnapped.
* T'Pol placed in sexual situations.
* The crew are asked to do something by alien allies (generally rescue people, usually three of them for some reason, or transport someone with a hidden secret).
* Enterprise makes a run for a friendly Vulcan ship.
* Trip meets an alien female who fancies him.
* Rude and unpleasant aliens who simply will not communicate or co-operate (fantastic writing there guys, thanks for adding such depth).
* Alien authorities who "do not know" where Archer is.
* Enterprise crew on a planet in the grip of a civil war.

Am I missing any out? This is mad, it's just terrible, terrible writing, a failure of imagination. Don't even get me started on "Bounty", it's yet another hour that nobody will get back, as pointless and routine as expected.

It's hard to understand how they got a third series after this toss.
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NoPoet
Mon, Oct 22, 2018, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Canamar

Cliches in this episode:

* Archer gets kidnapped. I can hear Chris Tucker shrieking "Who you think he is, Chelsea Clinton?!"
* Characters are falsely accused of a crime they couldn't possibly commit. They were smuggling in an empty shuttlecraft that isn't warp capable?
* Stubborn, uncooperative alien authorities who "aren't quite sure" where Archer is.
* Guards are overcome with ridiculous ease.

One hundred years ago in our world, young men were fighting for freedom. Today young men and women alike are offended by the word "human"; this is an hour of television designed for them. It's basically Con Air for Millennials: soft, polite, taking the easy route at every turn, ruthlessly scrubbed of anything edgy or dangerous. The acting is just so bland and inoffensive. The script is without imagination.

It's not a terrible episode at all. Yet this is episode 17 of the second season. Again I must ask: how does any of this lead to the Federation? How do humans reach faster warp speeds, when is it going to be acknowledged that Vulcans are pricks, why are we recycling yet more Voyager tropes? Where are the episodes about researching and discovering new technologies? Why is it Trip and Archer AGAIN instead of, say, Reed and Mayweather, just to spice things up?

It leads me to something that I've been asking impatiently throughout the entire season: is it the Borg episode yet?

Seriously, I think Regeneration, Minefield and the season finale are the only ones worth looking forward to. Several other episodes are good but not classics. Most are decent but just... bland, like a petrolhead being offered a Rover 600 instead of a modern Civic Type R. Who the hell would care about the Rover at a car meet?

Rover went bust, to the despairing words of its CEO: "If everyone who wanted to "Save Rover" went out and bought a Rover, it wouldn't need saving." People had reasons for not buying Rover. Those reasons were either not addressed or addressed too late.

Sound familiar?
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NoPoet
Sat, Oct 20, 2018, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Obsession

Kirk yet again gives the giant space salute (which resembles a 20th century middle finger) to colonists who are dying and desperately need medical supplies. Seriously, why do Starfleet keep giving him these missions? At least this time he has an actual motive, other than "Screw the plague victims, this is a NEBULA damn it, we must scan it for three days". And Kirk's motive - his traumatised obsession - is well played. However when Janeway acted the exact same way when pursuing Equinox or trying to defeat 8472, people made Youtube videos talking about what a clueless arsehole she is. It's obvious that episodes such as Obsession inspired the Voyager writers, with Chakotay and Tuvok taking the roles of McCoy and Spock. And yet nobody bemoans the TOS characters. Maybe because in Obsession, Kirk realises he was wrong, whereas Janeway never learns.

It was good to see Spock going to McCoy of all people for advice. Then again, who else could it have been? No wonder Spock is such an iconic character: TOS would still be a good show without him, but with him, there are many episodes that will still be worth watching a hundred years after they were made. And that scene led into another excellent scene between McCoy and Kirk. It's strange that in this show which callously murders or disregards human life, there is so much humanity. That again led to the confrontation where Kirk's officers try to beat logic into the head of a man driven by emotion.

TOS was more character driven than later Trek in which the characters are simply there to advance the plot. It also featured some truly alien monsters, probably more in all of TOS than in TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT combined.

Knowing that redshirts will be murdered left right and centre creates genuine threat, leading to sustained tension. There is a hostile and unfriendly feel to some of these strange new worlds. I am unhappy with the callous disregard for their lives but here we have a redshirt with a personality. He plays his part in making this episode excellent.

No sign of time travel either, hooray! Unless you count Kirk's memories as time travel.

I have my share of criticism for TOS. But I keep coming back to one question: how come the other Trek shows weren't more like TOS?
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NoPoet
Sat, Oct 20, 2018, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Assignment: Earth

Am going to watch this episode in the coming days but must point something out: this is now the fourth episode in which the crew visit 20th Century earth (or recreation thereof), and the fifth of which the crew visit Earth's history if you count the Adonias episode, THIS SEASON. And these are the pre-Braga days! My overriding impression of TOS from my youth was the lack of creativity in the setting. They were on the edge of the Final Frontier and yet it seems like even the crew of DS9 did more exploring!

The precedent for repetition was set by TOS. Brannon Braga is a one-trick pony (I heard there is no explanation of "one-trick pony" in the dictionary, it simply says "See Braga, Brannon"). But to be honest, the more I revisit TOS, the more I realise the man revered by generations, Gene Roddenberry, was like a 60s version of Braga. It's all redshirts dying, a single female character introduced who happens to be a major babe, close-ups on Shatner's face with light across his eyes and trips to old Earth.

It's ironic that the ones which avoid these cliches happen to be the absolute shining stars of the series. For example, the mind-f*** episode with Scotty being possessed. Fair enough, this also borrowed straight from Earth's past, but it took the Ripper idea and brought it forward to other worlds and other species. TOS created a living, breathing universe that we rarely see in TNG, VOY or ENT, which all focus on one ship and one crew with no consequences for 99% of their actions.

It's easy to see why TOS was so popular/influential. But it's also easy to see why it was canned after the shortest run of any live action Trek. If it had shown more creativity in its storylines and explored that optimistic future more, it might have run for longer.
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NoPoet
Mon, Oct 15, 2018, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

A fantastic finale which succeedes on every single level, including making me feel an aching pan of sadness and nostalgia in those final shots. Picard finally joining the game and taking a moment to fix everyone in his mind; there are unspoken statements that the crew will go on to have new adventures, and they have been warned that one day they could all split up, so this is a chance to get it right (but since we never find out what happened to Troi, how can they prevent that?); and as the Enterprise flies into the sunset, it makes me wish I was 15 again and discovering TNG for the first time when it was brand new. The late 80s and all of the 90s were a fantastic time in many respects. TNG is one of its crowning glories.

DS9 will always remain my benchmark series for its character growth, its sense of galactic powershifts, but most importantly its emphasis that decisions have consequences; Voyager will always be my favourite premise for a show and my favourite crew for their likeable, funny personalities; Enterprise absolutely nails the strangeness of exploring the Trek galaxy for the first time (when it remembers to be a prequel); TOS is remarkable in that many of its themes and much of its appeal remain relevant, and in some cases seem almost prescient.

And yet TNG is like flying through space in a comfortable armchair with your oldest, dearest friends. It is the show with the widest appeal. There will never be another science fiction show that will make such an impact. TNG survived an embarrassing start to become a phenomenon, a milestone not just in our culture, but personally, in our lives.

Was it perfect? Not in the slightest. Miles too much technobabble, Worf getting beaten up and denied in every episode, the Enterprise getting owned every week, characters who don't seem to do much (Crusher and Troi), a number of tedious or utterly crap episodes, and most of the main characters aren't exactly household names (people will recognise the names and/or faces of Picard, Worf, Data and Riker, but may not know who anyone else is).

And yet it remained true to its nature; remained true to its premise, the only Berman-led Trek show that did; gave us the Borg, the most frightening aliens of all time; and even to this day is the yardstick other science fiction is measured against.

DS9 was darker, meaner, more threatening; Voyager was too focused on a quick fix of action; Enterprise took far too long to get going (the world was moving much quicker in the early 2000s than in the late 80s); DISC lacks any semblance of charm and is locked behind a paywall. TNG will always be the perfect compromise. And that's good enough for me.
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NoPoet
Sat, Oct 13, 2018, 3:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Crikey, look at all the comments, my poor samsung is lagging like mad so apologies for errors.

I enjoyed Discovery as a whole but:

I don't like ANY of the characters. Say what you like about VOY and ENT, their crews were lovely people with hearts in the right place. DISC characters are arrogant twats with their heads up their bums. I would absolutely hate to serve aboard their ship and to be honest would hate to live in their universe. Their mirror counterparts were actually more likeable. At least they were upfront about being awful people.

I don't like ANY of the redesigns. We've had Trek a certain way for decades and it has now been rebooted twice in eight years. The battle scenes are just a mess, everything looks the same, from the horribly ugly Discovery to the indecipherable Klingon ships. The Klingons themselves look absolutely ridiculous, they looked laughable in abrams trek but are insane in Discovery, it would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic.

The theme music is a Godawful noise with an uncertain melody which my humble Earth ears cannot detect. I'm not even sold on the opening credits. ENT and VOY still rule by a considerable margin here (though not ENT's song). The theme sounds like a crappy, passionless fan theme.

Also, I don't care at all to see yet another iteration of the original Enterprise. What was the need for it - a simply ratings grab?

So yeah, I view DISC as an interesting distraction, a guilty treat, but there is no way this will ever be canon to me. I just tune in to enjoy the first Trek show since TOS that actually has attitude. By the way, ENT was a million times better prequel than this; DISC introduces too much new, super-powered stuff.

Why do i call it DISC and not STD? In Britain, it means Sexually Transmitted Disease.
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NoPoet
Sat, Oct 13, 2018, 5:38am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Catwalk

I used to think this was one of the better season 2 episodes. Unfortunately this, in reality, is yet ANOTHER wasted opportunity. They make first contact with a totally unknown species and what happens?

Star Trek cliche #537: The aliens are dodgy, they're up to something and they are extremely unsociable. So much for the mission to encounter new life forms in order to exchange knowledge. How many Enterprise episodes have made first contact both routine and boring, with uninteresting species who have nothing distinguishing about themselves and nothinf really to say?

Star Trek cliche #422: Hostile aliens take over the ship. I mean how many times did Voyager or the Enterprise D come under someone else's control? In the modern world, the Royal Navy and US Navy are surrounded by enemies or potential enemies. The Royal Navy has been around even longer and has fought in more conflicts. How many times has a British or American flagship been captured? And of those that were, if any, how many were captured and re-taken on multiple occasions?

Enterprise cliche #2: Nothing really interesting or exciting happens. This ties in directly with the above points. This should have been a tense and frightening submarine story about a crew whose lives are in the balance and they don't know if their ship will hold up. Remember, a Vulcan ship was entirely destroyed by one of these storms, maybe it was a century ago but the Vulcans are at least that far ahead of Starfleet, so why would anyone think Enterprise would hold up? Instead everyone sits around playing cards and complaining about the noise. Where is the drama? What makes this episode stand out? It's just so bland, so safe, and that begs the question, do you want to spend an hour sitting through this (as well as inane adverts every few minutes, and that dreadful title song), or would you do something that provides some kind of gratification. This is the episode the Trek creators chose to present to the world, finishing it with the beautiful but inappropriately triumphant end credits music (which should have been the opening credits music).

Bland, inoffensive; what could have been interesting and new descends into cluche and pointless conflict. Good job, team.
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NoPoet
Thu, Oct 11, 2018, 5:27am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Vanishing Point

I grew up with undiagnosed Asperger syndrome (autism) with lots of peculiar worries which made me feel unwell, unsettled, etc for my entire childhood and much of my adult life. I am used to feeling invisible and overlooked. I thought Hoshi's performance was perfectly realised. Most neurotypical people clearly don't "get" this.

I empathised with her fear of the transporter. Is someone who comes through the other side still "alive"? Are they still themselves, or a scientific copy? If humans have souls, do we lose them or are they transported too? The possibilities of a transporter are quite horrifying when you think about them. The crew's fear of using it is judged really well - but the darkest and scariest questions are ignored.

The "dream" ending in this case was a logical and well-realised answer to the mystery. The parallel dimension thing could have worked and would have been more in line with other Trek shows but in the end, it's been done a hundred times, and not just by Trek. People have an in-built mania against dream endings because they are often a cop-out. I don't feel that was the case here.

Cyrus Ramsey: good to hear another early Starfleet ghost story and the name alone is very TOS.

As for DITL reviews which someone else mentioned, I recently read some of them and gave up in horror. Not only did I disagree with nearly everything that was said, the DITL reviews reveal a childish lack of insight. I mean Regeneration is one of the best Trek episodes of all time despite the ENT-typical plot holes/damage to continuity it causes, and DITL absolutely destroyed it on every level. There is very little worth reading in their reviews.
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NoPoet
Wed, Oct 10, 2018, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Second Season Recap

I said this in my comment (lengthy rant) for the episode Precious Cargo:

"Seriously, just look at some of the Enterprise episodes so far with characters written out of character, episodes full of plot holes, repetition of ideas, very poor dialogue, lack of prequel elements in many episodes. THESE are the stories that needed to be told to the whole world? THIS is the show to compete against Stargate? This CREW is a consistently well-written, well-developed bunch of heroes who make us want to don our Starfleet jump suits and head out into space?"

Full disclosure: I still watched the show every week. It did not damage my love for Star Trek at all. It did, however, infuriate me that this show would, almost every week for 3 years, utterly fail to live up to its premise as a prequel. Not following its own premise was the absolute number 1 complaint of all time about Voyager.

Here in the UK a typical season (called a series over here, we only say season because US readers get confused) of most shows (shows are called programmes here) used to be 6 episodes and only 6. Very popular shows might get a Christmas special or as many as 8 episodes per series. Merlin was the first I can recall to have 13 episodes. Now it's common for shows to have either 8, 10 or 12 per season. I am not saying that every show is perfect and every episode is a masterpiece. But per season, there are far fewer clunkers than the various Treks and Gates, simply because the writing talent is more focused, and budgets are far lower so acting and storytelling become crucial.

I have been vocally critical of US shows in the past because I feel there is way too much money, way too many episodes, just an onslaught of more more more. Quality and quantity are almost mutually exclusive. Overwhelming someone with numbers does not mean you have overwhelmed them with superior skill, or quality. 26 episodes per season is absolute madness and is guaranteed to produce repetition and boredom. Not one single show has ever had 26 consecutive episodes of peak brilliance. It's not possible.

Trek should have been 16 episodes long, 18 at most, preferably far fewer, with the remaining budget (if any) spent on crafting props that didn't look like they were made of cheap plastic, better visual effects, much better writers and a better, more exciting marketing campaign. Ideas for various episodes could have been combined into one jam-packed, exhilerating episode.

There should have been more emphasis on character development, sci-fi weirdness, and vastly more emphasis put on the prequel elements leading to the creation of the Federation. Sets and costumes should have been a halfway house between the real world and TOS. Every single idea submitted and used should have gone thriugh intense scrutiny.

Season 3 was a MASSIVE step up, but it still wasn't a prequel. Introducing the Xindi took the show further than ever from any aspect of what the show was supposed to be about. At the very least it should have been the Romulans, not some unknown species that would never appear again.
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NoPoet
Wed, Oct 10, 2018, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

This is now, what, the 3rd time Trip has been paired with an alien female? Why not stick Reed in this situation, or even Mayweather, not that Mayweather can carry an episode with his acting (he's usually fine in small doses, which is good because that's all we get of him). Reed in particular would habe the potential to be hilarious with his awkwardness. The alien princess could have fallen for him precisely because he's so stubborn and mysterious, and he could have gradually opened up to her as they were forced to co-operate. Putting a man and a woman together in a tough situation is almost guaranteed to generate sexual tension, I've been there, millions of people have been there, it can be inappropriate and damaging or hilarious and create a deep, unspoken bond.

The sheer repetition of ideas. Trip meets an alien woman and hilarity ensues; Trip acts out of character due to sci-fi mind effects; Trip takes command; Trip modifies technology to save the day; er, that's about it for him. I love Trip, my best friend who is even more blunt and impatient than me thinks Trip is the best character by miles, but at this early stage there were more than half the cast being marginalised and reduced to cardboard stereotypes. This was kind of an issue with Voyager with Kes and Kim, both very likeable characters who should have had some excellent and entertaining stories to tell, and Chakotay, who started out badass and eventually gave up on acting in the role due to receiving crap plotlines which all revolved around him being a Native American.

TNG had the ghastly Dr Crusher who shags ghosts and (usually) delivers a bland performance. She was awesome in First Contact, though, but so was everyone since they had a real story to work with. TOS never bothered developing Chekov or Uhura, who weren't even in a few episodes, although again they got decent material in some of the films. Chekov and Sulu were under-utilised in the Abramsverse too.

Seriously, all these shows had talented and likeable casts, they had teams of writers and creators and a rabid fanbase. If the showrunners produced boring and repetitive stories and under-used characters while over-using others, that is not franchise fatigue, that is not the viewers' faults for switching off, that is bad writing, bad planning, bad management. The bigwigs in any industry love throwing blame, excuses and even diversions around, but the buck must always stop with the person in charge.

If Enterprise had been amazing, it wouldn't have lost 90% of its viewers - to suggest otherwise ("uhh, they changed it to FRIDAY, the one day a week no-one watches telly or remembers how to record programmes") is insanity. And while Enterprise would eventually go from strength to strength, it had already acquired a well-deserved reputation for mediocrity in its early seasons, and it was absolutely overwhelmed with competitor shows of significantly greater quality and relevance. (BSG, SG1, SGA, Buffy, Angel, eventually even Supernatural which had a sensational first two seasons.)

That was certainly not the case for TOS in the 60s, or TNG in the 80s/early 90s. Hence they thrived.

Seriously, just look at some of the Enterprise episodes so far with characters written out of character, episodes full of plot holes, repetition of ideas, very poor dialogue, lack of prequel elements in many episodes. THESE are the stories that needed to be told to the whole world? THIS is the show to compete against Stargate? This CREW is a consistently well-written, well-developed bunch of heroes who make us want to don our Starfleet jump suits and head out into space?
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