Comment Stream

Search and bookmark options Close
Search for:
Search by:

Total Found: 72 (Showing 1-25)

Next ►Page 1 of 3
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Sun, Jun 10, 2012, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Devil in the Dark

I really liked this episode because, as noted above, it demonstrates the Federation values of respect for other life forms. Now, if only humanity could embrace this philosophy with regard to other intelligent life forms on Earth, we would be in a better position (morally) if and when we encounter them beyond this particular planet. As for the mining operation, I thought it would have been more consistent with Federation policy to force them to evacuate rather than continue to endanger the Horta. But the show was written in the '60s, and thus mining was considered a good thing - a form of "progress" - rather than its true face: an activity that destroy eco-systems.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Thu, Jun 7, 2012, 4:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement

Kurn and Alexander got the worst of the deal, in terms of Worf's on again off again relationship with the Klingon Empire. Kurn ended up suicidal and had to adopt a new identity, and Alexander ended up an inept Klingon warrior, laughed at by others, living in the shadow of his father (though at least he had human culture to fall back on if he wanted). Nonetheless, as O'Brien states, Worf is honourable. At least, in the end, he is vindicated by Martok. He is a very interesting character, caught between two worlds (very similar to B'elana Torres, who actually is split into Klingon and human selves in one episode of Voyager).
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Wed, Jun 6, 2012, 9:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Alternate

This story serves as a vehicle for the troubled father-son relationship of Mora and Odo, which is a recurring them. It also exhibits a strength of the show -- how it depicts parenthood: unconditional love, but complicated by real-life issues and hard choices, whether Jake, Nog, Molly, Dukat's daughter, or Alexander are involved - or the Cardassian boy in "Cardassians." In a later episode, Odo feels parental love and through that learns to forgive Mora. Here, he is "acting out" his subconscious aversion to him, which is repressed in his conscious self. So it is really a psychological story, as well as a relationship story. As with many DS9 episodes, the sci-fi storyline is a pretext or vehicle for an essentially human story, or more precisely sentient-being story -- about dealing with the complexities of life.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Wed, Jun 6, 2012, 9:23am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

It seems improbably (implausible) that the laws of probability should be altered in this way, within a local area of spacetime. And if they were, the station would probably come apart and everyone would die, not just a few changes that we see here. However, this is sci-fi, so we accept the premise for the sake of the story. Shows how DS9 attracts all sorts of shady characters ...
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Wed, Jun 6, 2012, 9:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

Sad that no one cared for the Cardassian orphans ... not even Garek. It seemed a bit implausible that they should be there. Much more plausible is that many children would have Cardassian fathers whom they did not know, and Bajoran mothers who had been raped (we know that the two species can produce offspring, as Dukat's daughters' existence reveals).

A minor issue: in a real legal hearing, heresy testimony (that of the Bajoran administrator who compiled the records years earlier) would not be allowed. To admit her testimony into the record, she would have had to have travelled to the station with Bashir or spoken over a screen, live, to the group, and been sworn in as a witness.

Lastly, it seems strange that Sisko would be in the position to act as a judge in a custody hearing. Doesn't DS9 have a legal expert on hand, versed in both Cardassian and Bajoran law? And what of the boy's wishes -- he seemed to be of the age of reason.

This episode raised some good issues.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Wed, Jun 6, 2012, 8:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

Being able to wipe memory engrams seems a common procedure in the 24th century; it makes much more sense for Bashir and OBrien to agree to do that afterwards than risk bad relations with the Federation, if found out for committing murder. But politicians who order cover-ups probably lack imagination or compassion to begin with. The evil cover-up was plausible. As Jammer notes above, the main element is the characterization. The dynamic between the two characters is a good one that plays well throughout during all the DS9s. Nothing like adversity to bring two people together.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Wed, Jun 6, 2012, 8:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

This is an episode that raised some good questions, but it is true that the woman's speeches were a bit overdone. She had a good point regarding the negative effects of technology and the benefits of a simpler way of life, but the means she utilized to achieve her utopian goals were unethical (torture, kidnapping, causing negligent death). This character should have been better written, to make it even more grey -- such as a colony that wilfully went with her, not one that was coerced and lied to. ST has exhibited a tension in many of the episode between the hi-tech sets (one kind of utopia) and the low-tech village rural village life surrounded by greenery (another utopian ideal). Too infrequently do we see the dystopian future in ST, except in the case of the Borg or those characters that ship radiation around or hi-tech weapons of mass destruction. But the Federation seems mercifully exempt from all this ... which is somewhat of a dream, compared to the real results of faith in technology. So ST raised a good issue, but oversimplified it, by making the leader of the group a criminal Luddite and cult leader, rather than showing a thoughtful community voluntarily eschewing technology -- both its detrimental and beneficial elements, for the sake of another way of life on a new planet. In Children of Time we see a better approximation of this kind of community.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Wed, Jun 6, 2012, 12:44am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Invasive Procedures

Verad was a tragic character in this - as Jadzea says at the end, "so sad." He returns in some later episode, acted out by Sisko, but doesn't seem to be the same character - he is played out as a psycho. Here he has more complexity. The girlfriend was complex too. The characterizations were really well done. It would have been better had Dax told Varad that he was wrong -- had his new self been at least ambivalent about what happened, and not just a more confident Verad.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Mon, Jun 4, 2012, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit

The Hirogen and the Tosk should meet -- they were made for one another: hunger and prey. Another comparison: the Tosk, like the Jem Hadar seem to be engineered for combat -- apparently a 24th century thing.

Someone should write a show with a "magnificent 7" lineup of a hirogen, a Klingon, a Tosk, a Jem Hadar, a Nossican, and human soldier, and a Ferengi for comic relief.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Mon, Jun 4, 2012, 9:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit

I like the allusion to the moral evolution of humanity beyond hunting "lower animals" for sport, and also the obvious moral disgust that Sisko has for this apparent act of slavery -- given that his ancestors were probably slaves a thousand years previous. The moral dilemmas that come up when different species inter-mix is the best part of ST, I think. Sisko's and O'Brien's sidestepping of the prime directive was good; the PM is stupid and wrong and should be ignored. It is not a "very correct philosophy" as Picard says at one point; it is a very wrong-headed philosophy.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Sun, Jun 3, 2012, 9:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

I should add that Garek and Dukat are also fascinating characters, for the same reasons: they are torn between two worlds, and within themselves. Garek, as an exile, is torn, and Dukat is torn by his love for his daughter and within himself, but in a strange way: he believes he should have been more of a totalitarian. Hitler had the same issue: he reproached himself for not being more ruthless, like Stalin. Hitler and Dukat both saw their good sides as weakness and hated that side of their own natures. This is what makes Dukat a tragic character as well -- because we know he has some goodness in him, but it is so hopelessly buried in hatred and lust for power, it never emerges, except briefly. Martok is also a very memorable character. After watching all the Treks now, I have to say that DS9 is my new fave -- though they all have their strengths.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Sun, Jun 3, 2012, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

Odo is a complex character, both appealing and abhorrent at the same time, because he is vulnerable, believes in justice, is honest to a fault, etc. and then is able to make decisions that seem highly immoral (Children of Time, this episode), where people die because of his indifferent to humanoid life. He is a tragic character, torn between his desire for justice, on one hand, and his emotions, on the other. We see him emotionally all over the place with Dr. Mora, with the baby Changeling, with Kira (most often), and with his ambivalent relationship with the Great Link -- and the women he fell in love with as well in some other episode. I think he is the most fascinating character in DS9, except for Sisko, whose connection with the Prophets is profound and mysterious, and Quark, who wrestles with himself morally on many occasions (Business As Usual, and in this episode) but always choose goodness over profit, when it is one or the other.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Sun, Jun 3, 2012, 4:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

The Visitor showed the depth of the love between father and son, and this episode showed the same between Mora, Odo and the baby changeling. Good themes to explore - but I did not understand the magical ending - presumably the baby died or was integrated into Odo somehow ... not sure.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Fri, Jun 1, 2012, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Apocalypse Rising

O'Brien and Odo make very poor Klingons. Sisko was a great Klingon; he lived up to the part well. I loved this episode -- Klingon and Ferengi episodes are frequently the most entertaining because both species are so over the top.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Fri, Jun 1, 2012, 5:36am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part I

A purely evil universe is boring, in my view. Much more interesting is where one character is good (from the good parallel universe - as Kirk or Sisko were when visiting evil universes) and the moral tension this creates ... Phlox experimenting on live animals was appropriate; that is done in labs now, which must mean that our world is actually an evil universe that a few of us (good people) are trapped in by mistake or design. I half believe that on some days.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Wed, May 30, 2012, 8:36am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

Killing one life to save billions ... this is called utilitarianism. The problem with it is that utilitarian thinking is often unnecessary. Better, more inclusive solutions can be found, solutions that can save everyone. Who really has the right to play God, to give and take away life like that?

"The utilitarian analysis often rests on imprecise judgements of the utility calculus itself . . . assuming that questions of value can be reduce to a quantifiable amount" (ethicist Donald Brown).

Here we see Archer make a judgement that Trip's life is more important than Symb's. On what basis? They are identical people, so why is one more valuable than another? Because the one is human and the other isn't?
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Wed, May 30, 2012, 8:29am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

This is an exploration of medical ethics through science fiction. Do clones have rights? That's the question. According to Archer they don't; they are for bodyparts -- similar to the thinking of villain in the movie The Island. To have Simb go along with this and let Archer off the hook, ethically, seems an easy way out. Tuvix was a better episode because Janeway had to make the decision -- and she chose murder of Tuvix to save Neelix' and Tuvok's lives. In this situation, Simb had a right to expect help from Phlox to live longer, as least as much as Trip had a right to live as well. Archer's willingness to kill Symb to save Trip is ethically questionable, and probably based on his speciesism -- that Symb was not really human in his mind. But he was a sentient being and thus had basic rights. How convenient that he gave his life up that way. What if he had not done so willingly? The only person who showed any compassion was T'Pol, but only because she knew Symb was going to die -- the equivalent of mercy sex. Like Jammer, I was disturbed by Archer's simplistic thinking and rationale for allowing this to proceed. One man should not be irreplaceable. Perhaps it was his friendship to Tucker that really influenced him. This episode seems to argue - as did Janeway in Tuvix - that the mission is worth violating ethics for. But if that is so, why? Why pretend to be a moral society dedicated to freedom, rights, etc. if it's not really true? The hypocrisy of this way of thinking seems to mirror the hypocrisy of humanity, as least in liberal industrial society, which is so deeply embedded most people cannot recognize it.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Tue, May 29, 2012, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Chrysalis

Bashir violated a cardinal rule of doctor-patient relationships by getting romantically involved with Sarina. He is not emotionally mature enough to be a doctor, even though technically he is a good one, and he is compassionate.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Mon, May 28, 2012, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

It turns out that they were wrong; the Dominion did not win. So much for statistics -- what Mark Twain called "damned lies." And yet statistic and probability calculus and cost-benefit rations are commonly used to make momentous decision in our day and age. I see the episode as a commentary on that sad fact - a social commentary if you will -- except that economists are the ones doing the calculating and they are listened to by governments and corporations -- not ignored as crazy.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Mon, May 28, 2012, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

It should be noted that this story comes back in a later episode to represent Sisko's choice of life and death, ultimately deciding the fate of the Alpha Quadrant and the war. Thus in a way his suspension of disbelief (his faith, essentially) in the importance of this narrative (DS9) represents the struggle of the main character's soul. I like the fact that we don't know which reality is real: 1953 or the 24th century. In a way they are both true on a subjective level, just as spiritual realities are, which explains their power over human beings. This was a deep episode, metaphysically, and thus great SF.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Mon, May 28, 2012, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

It's also interesting to note that the Federation of Planets does not discriminate based on species either. Klingons, Ferengi, Trills, etc. are all officers.

"In 400 years, I hope we will have improved race and gender relations to the point that everyone can immediately accept people for who they are, rather than scrutinizing their ethnic background."

First thought: why 400 years? why not now? Discrimination based on arbitrary criteria should end today everywhere.

Second thought: why stop a race and gender? Discrimination based on species who are sentient is also wrong, and many non-human Earthlings have been shown to be sentient (certainly all mammals and birds and reptiles and marsupials, for example). The Federation does seem to for an end to speciesism (at least in the early TNG) but that value has lapsed by the time we get to Voyager and DS9, for some reason. A shame.

The correlation between discrimination against (and by) non-Terrans and current human discrimination against other Earthlings is a strong one that should be explored more. ST gives a lot of thought to machine rights; why not animal rights? There is a strong parallel with racism. I'm glad this episode explored at least that.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Mon, May 28, 2012, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sons and Daughters

In terms of Dukat, it was good to see his "humanity" (so to speak) in this episode, and disappointing that in Waltz he turn to evil. That dismissed his much more interesting moral ambiguity, and how he thinks of himself as a good man while being regarded by others as evil. I would have liked to see him explore his good side more in the end, rather than become a cardboard cutout of evil (literally and figuratively demonized).
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Mon, May 28, 2012, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sons and Daughters

Alexander is a kind of tragic character, as shown here. He believes himself a failure and by Klingon standards he is. He is certainly caught between two worlds, even more than Worf, who at least can fight with other Klingons successfully. Whatever becomes of him? In later episodes Worf describes himself as a failure as a father. That's rather sad as well.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Tue, May 22, 2012, 11:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part I

I wish that DS9 had dealt with something already happening in the early 21st century: climate change -- and later this century the "wars over scarce resources" - namely water. Soylent Green, which this episode resembles a lot, actually referred to it, and that was in the early 70s! It's almost as though there is some kind of taboo against referring to the most dire challenge facing humanity. But as social commentary goes this was a great episode, to be sure.
Set Bookmark
Paul York
Mon, May 21, 2012, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Tribunal

There are human courtrooms like this, throughout the world, performing show trials for political reasons. ST themes are based on human behaviour, needless to say.
Next ►Page 1 of 3
▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2018 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.