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Fri, Jul 19, 2019, 6:35am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: Soldiers of the Empire

In the Cards = 4 stars. Children of Time = 4 stars. Soldiers of the Empire = 2 1/2 stars.

I'm pretty much done with Jammer's DS9 reviews. It's pot luck whether a good episode will get a good score and it's virtually guaranteed that the uninspired fillers will be rated as classics. Sorry for being grouchy but I woke up ill today and decided to watch some of Jammer's higher-rated DS9 episodes, and needless to say, they didn't make me feel better.
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Fri, Jul 19, 2019, 6:29am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: A Simple Investigation

Another uninspired romance-of-the-week episode. Slow pacing, predictable, with very poor writing for Aryssa, delivered as uninspiringly as possible, and utterly forgettable bad guys. Oh well, this is DS9, better give mandatory 3 stars and needlessly trash Voyager.
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Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 5:33am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

This is indeed a formidable hour of Trek. I haven't been super impressed by DS9 on this rewatch, miles too many repetitive and boring episodes covering the same ground (Quark's bar and Dax's past lives being two of my main annoyances). I have mentioned in other comments that my best friend has been watching all the Treks through as they are being broadcast on Sky. He liked Voyager (for the most part) and TNG, found Enterprise boring and pointless, and he similarly found DS9 very slow and boring, only picking up the pace in its fifth season, while the first four seasons were littered with wretched, inconsequential episodes.

However, whenever the show heavily features any combination of Carsassians, Klingons, Romulans or the Dominion, then virtually every time it makes me and him sit up and take notice. (Repetitive Dax/Klingon death quests aside.) DS9 has a grandeur of scale and importance that none of the other Trek shows could match. Its character work is second to none. Ironic that this show, hated by some for being opposed to Roddenberry's ideals, produces by far the best episodes once it finally creaks into the fifth season.

In Purgatory's Shadow is DS9 completely in its stride. I feel that it succeeds on every level. Even the title is awesome, beaten only by "By Inferno's Light", surely the greatest episode title ever. This two parter is an event episode, representing something hugely important in the Trek universe, and I still remember how I felt when watching them for the first time because it's how I still feel watching it now. Excited, thrilled, amazed that a Trek show can have characters this well acted and well written, that can finally hold a candle to Stargate SG1 and Atlantis.
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Sat, May 4, 2019, 3:09pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

Going back to what I was saying, why would I give it a chance if its plot sounds awful? It was basically billed and word of mouth promoted as a Trek parody. If I wanted that, I'd watch Red Dwarf. People didn't watch the female Ghostbusters because it was initially made to look like a feminist remake of a popular-with-men franchise. Nobody even gave it a chance.
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Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 4:56pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: Our Man Bashir

It's fascinating to see how over-rated and over-hyped the typical DS9 episode is compared to Voyager, for example.

This episode features an absurdly elaborate plot device, which makes no sense on any level, to explain yet another holodeck malfunction. Are Trek audiences so starved of holodeck action after countless TNG and VOY episodes? Is it such a popular plot device that it needs to be brought back again and again?

While this might well be fun and refreshing for the actors, this is just another wasted hour of DS9 which drags out the looming Dominion war by not even referencing it at all. Which segment of the audience would rather have a holodeck episode instead? Riddle me that.

We have here the only Trek show with real character growth, with stronger and deeper storylines and atmosphere, with the most badass Starfleet ship yet seen and an entire galaxy of stories to tell. Instead of furthering this tapestry, we get an absurd parody of James Bond, itself an absurd parody of MI6. It's utter bollocks. It's a waste of time and money. There were far better stories to tell. This episode isn't the worst of all Trek because it's just so boring and stupid that it leaves the brain as soon as it enters. It's uninspired crap which borrows from the worst of TOS by borrowing from Earth's past instead of exploring its future. But it's not Voyager so instant 4 stars I guess.
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Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 4:47pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless

This is the second episode where Dax joins Klingons on a quest.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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