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Peter G.
Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 12:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

@ Chris,

I think the difference there lies in what the ship's mission is. Starfleet crew members join up with the idea of serving to do their duty, knowing they could die in the line of duty. That's part of the deal, that missions can be dangerous. In this scenario, however, Sisko's choice is to sacrifice his crew's lives as they know them (and his mission as well) in order to populate a colony. This is (a) not what Starfleet personnel signed up for, and (b) not part of any mission that has been assigned to them. I think these are very important issues because it is not correct to suppose that a Captain has the moral authority to sacrifice his crew for any purpose he deems fit, unless it falls under doing so for the purposes of a mission of the defense of the Federation. There may be many 'good causes' around the galaxy for which a Captain could sacrifice his ship and crew, but it would not be appropriate to play god and use them like that.

So in this instance I think the more dangerous choice would be to choose to stay, unless it really was some kind of unanimous vote and everyone agreed. That still doesn't speak to them losing Starfleet's ship, but at least the personnel question is spoken for.
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Peter G.
Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 4:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Deja Q

@ James G,

"That line about changing the gravitational constant of the Universe. That would have have devastating consequences in billions of star systems in billions of galaxies, for the sake of one planet and its satellite. I don't like to think that Q has that power."

I see no reason to believe Q doesn't have that power. That being said, he might have meant that he would change the gravitational constant of the universe - but just locally. The "of the universe" is a term that means it's contant across the universe, but wouldn't necessarily mean that he'd have to change it for the entire universe to do this. All changing it locally would mean is that it's no longer a "universal constant"!

As an aside on this point, extending the warp field to the asteroid pretty does exactly what Q suggested, so his idea wasn't even far-fetched. It was supposed to sound ridiculous, but I think mostly in the sense that he would just do it by thinking it, whereas humans would have to come up with a technological trick to approximate that effect.

"Every time Q turns up, it's "oh jeez not you again", yet he is possessed of powers and knowledge that might transform the human experience for all eternity."

Yes, I've had this problem myself with early Trek's use of Q. It might be fair to surmise that after Encounter at Farpoint and maybe Hide and Q that Picard has his ego hurt by Q's power over them, and his attitude after that was to treat Q as an annoying blight. Maybe the only power Picard could ever hope to have over Q was to not treat him seriously. Personally I think that was a mistake, and apparently Q did also because in Q Who he took steps to rectify them taking him more seriously. By Deja Q I agree it would be illogical for them to suddenly treat him like he's useless and to be dismissed, so I think (and some of us here have sort of agreed on this point already) that Deja Q sort of breaks continuity and even Trek logic for the sake of a wonderfully comic and fun episode. Trying to make sense of the remaining Q episodes is a lot easier if Deja Q isn't counted among them. One reason being, it's hard to believe that Deja Q's story is canon-worthy if we're also supposed to believe the premiere and finale in terms of Q's role in helping humanity.
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Peter G.
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 2:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

" I was talking more about the period near the end of the episode, where most of the Enterprise crew have returned to their time but Picard's stayed to look after Guinan. She's not trapped there, but he definitely is."

Yeah, I took this to basically be "where is that so-called deeper-than-family relationship they're supposed to develop?" And I totally agree. I have no idea if the showrunners were actually trying to show that backstory here (in which case they FAILED) or whether this was just a teaser for what was to come. They did in fact later try to fill this gap in Generations, and as it happens they FAILED again (or maybe for the first time). I guess we'll never know!
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Peter G.
Mon, Dec 9, 2019, 2:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

This guy Auberjonois is a brilliant so-and-so. He was always marvelously inventive and nuanced as Odo, and as Garak pointed out, had a flair for sarcasm. He's worked for years in many projects including MASH and even Frasier, and I've lately been watching him on Boston Legal. I don't even care for the show that much but his scenes are gold, as are those of 1-2 others on the show. Feeble as it is, I watched another episode last night with my wife to commemorate him.

When I saw him on Broadway in a silly musical, I was amazed at how much his graceful motions and perfect timing translated into a movement-based piece of theatre, because on DS9 his movements, body positions, and even head angle often help determine what the view is meant to understand. He was just that good of a storyteller.

I don't know how it happens, but the tour de force performance seems to come in the odd roles on Trek, like Spock, Data, and now Odo, all of which are the outsider trying to make sense of humans. Funny how we relate to them the best. Voyager had their outsider begin as Doc, although that didn't really seem to gel as the person trying to learn about humanity sort of role, and so although Picardo is endlessly entertaining I don't know how much we identified with him as a person. Seven probably occupied that niche when she came on the show. But out of all of the above characters, you could be sure of one thing: Auberjonois' scenes were never going to be boring.
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Peter G.
Fri, Dec 6, 2019, 1:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Tin Man

@ Chayton,

Yep, I agree. This is a top episode for me. Maybe not in the "classics" category like some myth-level episodes are (BoBW, Chain of Command, etc) but among regular episode it's top-tier.
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Peter G.
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 2:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"it's nice to have a middle aged woman who is not defined by her relationships to men at all."

Other than Riker's dad :(
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Peter G.
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 11:26am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@ Chrome,

"According to Muldaur, putting an anti-tech character on a show that was considerably pro-technology made her character unlikable. There’s a Memory Alpha on the subject, but whether it was the writing or the acting the character wasn’t a good fit for the show."

I guess this makes sense on the surface, except for one thing: Pulaski was a shameless copy of McCoy right from the start. They brought her in guns blazing, ripping into the Vulcan - sorry, the android - and groaning about technology. This is McCoy's character bible in a nutshell, other than that she doesn't represent humanity's empathy. I found it irritating right from the get-go that they would have such an obvious lift from TOS rather than come up with a new character. That said, McCoy is such a better character than people like Crusher or Geordi that, yeah, it's going to come on strong and leave an impression.

But one thing I don't buy is Pulaski's interpretation of why it didn't work. Although it's a reasonable hypothesis, contemporary with TNG S2 was ST 5: The Final Frontier, featuring the very anti-technology character they were lifting, even down to the luddite campfire scene (self-mocked by the rocket boots). But McCoy was a fan favorite and certainly never stood against the grain of Trek even though he always complained about having his molecules scattered across the galaxy and called himself a good old fashioned country doctor. I think one big difference between them is McCoy's concern about technology always seemed to reflect concerns about culture, the human condition, and what would become of us if replaced by tech (see: The Ultimate Computer). Pulaski, on the other hand, came off as disliking things that others liked not out of concern for humanity's heart, but out of personal arrogance and disdain, like her values were better than theirs. *This* is, I think, what stood to make her unlikable, and that's a writing issue rather than an acting one. I do agree with Jason R that her acting seems more interesting than Crusher's.
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Peter G.
Fri, Nov 29, 2019, 2:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

@ D K,

In a sort of literal way I think you have a point that the Defiant is best saved for other purposes. But I think the intent here was for high drama and to portray just how hopeless things were at this point. The idea isn't so much that Sisko is suicidal IMO but rather that 'it's all over' and there is zero chance at this point that the Federation will be able to offer any substanital resistance. In other words, any action Sisko takes of any kind will be irrelevant in stopping the Dominion, and maybe he prefers to go down fighting than to be part of a Federation surrender into slavery (a fact he said outright in Statistical Probabilities).
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Peter G.
Fri, Nov 29, 2019, 11:33am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@ Jason R.

I actually sort of agree with Booming on this one, in that we would really need an actual metric of how many Troi/Crusher scenes are private conversations, and what they discuss during them. I'll agree with you that there aren't many anyhow, and none are memorable like Pulaski's scenes are. Pulaski's scene with Moriarty alone is more memorable than any Troi scene, I think, at least to me.

Just from my anecdotal and maybe skewed memory, I seem to definitely recall a couple of 'girl talk' scenes between Troi and Crusher about romance, and I just don't remember any about anything else. If there were some then they were forgettable in the sense that I literally forgot about them. Ogawa is barely a character on the show, and if not for Lower Decks she'd probably be even lower on the radar than Dr. Selar.
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Peter G.
Fri, Nov 29, 2019, 10:17am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

One of the things I liked best about TOS was that the doctor, even as early as The Cage, wasn't just a medical professional, but was especially supposed to keep the Captain in good shape physically and mentally. That didn't really continue on from TNG onwards, which is too bad. In TNG we got the occasional rare interlude between Jean-Luc and Troi but it was rarely seen and certainly not a primary function in her job as we saw it, which is too bad. Bones as the moral/human backbone of the series translated into some great material in the films, whereas Troi...got married. I guess this isn't a male/female issue so much as TNG wasn't focused as much on the 'spiritual' well-being of the crew so much as their technological stability. Maybe that is a male/female thing after all?
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Peter G.
Thu, Nov 28, 2019, 10:20am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@ Booming,

Chrome may have been quoting me with referring to "caregivers". But yeah, I meant mostly what you do with this one. Crusher was a doctor, which went on to define her whole character, other than also being a dancer, which was no doubt a meta nod to the actress' actual skills. Troi should have been a tactical empath but instead was someone who only talked about people's feelings - and was later soft retconned into being purely a social worker. Yar should have been something else but never had the chance. That's not much of a chance for women's empowerment, cast-wise. To be fair I think this was a result of the original casting choices, moreso than any lack of caring on the part of the writers.
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Peter G.
Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 11:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@ Omicron,

Actually I completely agree with Carmen that Troi/Crush and Crusher/Ogawa talk about little else other than boys, and it sucks. I've complained about that before and IMO it's totally legit.

As for the dress style on S1 TNG, I think we could have a separate conversation about *just* Encounter at Farpoint, where their costumer went to town showing the civilians on board wearing all sorts of wacky stuff. But after that, probably due to a combination of budget constraints and necessity of the scripts, we mostly get fully-clad jumpsuits on extras wandering the ship. The only person showing any skin that I can remember is Troi, and I can't disagree that this was 'on purpose.' My question is whether portraying a woman a sexy when in fact in real life women dress sexy is a problem. It's one thing to show an unrealistic model-type actress looking like a pin-up model, but Troi doesn't dress in any way beyond what normal women dress like. I know plenty of girls who take selfies and/or model shots who show way more provocative stuff than Troi does, and they're not being told to do that. I get that it's different when a male producer tells Sirtis to wear it, but if it's representative of actual dress norms then I don't think it should be put in the same category as those impossible-to-match pictures of women you see in every magazine. Now *those* burn me up. I can't even look in a magazine without gagging. Troi is comparatively modest within that context, and actually her attitude is too, which I think should be included in the conversation. If she was portrayed generally as Barclay's Goddess of Empathy then I'd be saying something entirely different about this.

But yeah, I'm on board with the complaint about the 'girl talk' scenes. And also about how the women on the show seem to mostly be caregivers, that's lame. The one tough lady they had they messed up and she quit, which kind of says something.
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Peter G.
Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 2:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

Regarding the broader point of Angel One's position in the cultural discussion, I'm pretty sure it was decidedly taking a progressive position and showing us something novel and unusual to our sensibility. From that standpoint alone I think it was successful, since as far as I remember from when it first aired that point was not lost. It is worth mentioning that a reversal of the sexist trope may do something for the exposure of that issue, while contributing to it in a back-handed way. For instance while reminding men of how women may feel, the episode may be inadvertantly be suggesting that *someone* is going to be exploited and this is just a way of showing how it feels when it's reversed. The intention seems to be to bring up the gener roles issue, but not to definitively argue that anyone being used as eye-candy is damaging to the culture. Like, I don't know that this culture here is really portrayed as bad or anything.

I don't like the episode much at all, but I don't think it has to do with the episode's message, which probably does get through loud and clear. I just think it's a boring story.
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Peter G.
Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 1:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

I'm always torn about the optics of how women (or men, I guess) are dressed in media. There is no doubt that the visual aspect of portraying people in TV and film can be for eye-candy purposes. However in the current liberal society there is also a very strong movement whose thesis is "don't comment on how women dress, the problem is the men's eyes." And I personally know quite a few ultra-liberal people who would vehemently defend dressing scantily with the proviso that if men find this distracting it's their problem, since if women find this comfortable or whatver else they should dress how they like. On the other hand we can consider the more classical version of the feminist argument, which is that women being portrayed in showy clothes is exploitative.

I therefore find it very difficult to parse the context of a 1987 TV show where Troi is wearing a dress rather than a military outfit. Is this exploitative eye-candy? Is it a progressive showing of women's liberation in dressing however they want? Is having military women right alongside one woman in a dress saying that they can fill both 'masculine' and 'feminine' roles (a progressive argument)? Or is it wrong of us to comment on anything short of a castsuit like Seven's?

I know that if you looked at photos of females in the fashion industry, TV, theatre, or even just arts culture and started to suggest that showy clothes is patriarchy exploitation those people would be all over you like a ton of bricks. In conclusion, I am very wary of accepting any one framing of this issue as being authoritative because TBH I think liberal society is *very* divided on this issue right now.
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Peter G.
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 10:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Think Tank

All we know about the think tank is that they value their own well-being and acquisitions over honesty. We do not know that they have faked all of their solutions to problems. It actually seems far-fetched that this should be the case, because if they were just con-artists I assume they would have been taken out long before this. It seems far more likely - and fitting with what the episode tells us - that what they do is devise the best solution to get what they want. Sometimes that means being devious, and sometimes that means solving problems to get the prize; whichever is most efficient is what they'll do. That they're very smart also means they can figure out when to spend time on a problem versus when it's not worth it and they can just crosswire the situation to get what they want quickly and with minimal effort. That's a sort of Borg-like sense of value and I think it's why Seven is tempted to go with them. The problem is that they *actually do* operate like the Borg: they go for their own advancement as a matter of course, completely amorally, whether that means being ruthless, honest, or murderous means nothing to them.

I think the conflict in this episode - which wasn't fully plumbed out in the writing - was that Seven was tempted to pursue the one thing she's been saying all along she wants: perfection and knowledge. The problem is that when faced with a group that really does operate this way, placing these values above all others, she sees that what it really means is that they're parasitic narcissists who care nothing for anyone. That's what she aspired to be and didn't realize it, and really that's what the Borg are. When faced with such duplicity, and presumably feeling that "screw these guys" feeling, this was probably the best wake-up call to make her realize that she did actually value some things more than knowledge, such as integrity and fair dealing. I think it's a very good ep for her for this reason, but a mediocre one because the episode is so fixated on Jason Alexander and on the hard-headed aliens of the week that it sort of downplays what this means for Seven. So, yeah, it would have been better if it had had more Seven :)

I think there's a poster around here who will be pleased with my review.
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Peter G.
Sat, Nov 23, 2019, 9:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

@ Proteus

Your review is probably 100 times more thoughtful than the episode itself is. I would like to suggest that your good ideas here are coming from you, not from the episode. It's like, imagine a chef serves you up a pile of dirt. Someone clever might react by pointing out the chemical details of the sediment in it, how it points to amazing details of how humans came out of the last ice age, and how its undramatic 'flair' can even serve as commentary on our expectations out of cuisine and how shallow we might see the process of eating only to set ourselves up for eating yet again. A clever person could think of all that, but it wouldn't change the fact that a chef has had nothing else to offer up but a pile of dirt in place of a meal. Amazing things can be gleaned from very little; such is life and our amazing brains.

I rest my case.
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Peter G.
Sat, Nov 23, 2019, 12:03am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Chrome,

"For starters, why is Worf interested in Grilka?"

Have to say I've never had a problem understanding that one. When he says "she's glorious" I can't really disagree. Not sure how I feel about aliens in prosthetics, or maybe that actress is just dynamite, but I wow right along with him. She moves so damn nobly! Her ep with Quark is one of my favorites in the series, mostly because of her (and the Gowron scene).

Funny enough, although I abstractly see the parallel I never really felt this was a Cyrano story. To me it was a "proving I'm the man" story rather than about any love he had for anyone, and actually Jadzia seems to know this from the start and is frustrated that Worf is deluding himself about his own motives. She spells it out clearly: he sees a perfect-looking Klingon, but there's nothing more there than that: it's not a plot defect, it's actually a feature that there's no depth to it. That's her whole point, and why she has to just jump him in the end.

@ William B,

Interesting theory. I think it's on the mark insofar as Worf seems to me to have been in it more to prove something to himself than to Grilka - his aside to himself after Quark initially succeeds shows that pretty clearly. I hadn't connected that before to his disgrace; I think I had mostly connected it to the fact that he's really just not had access to Klingon women ever before (other than in Birthright, I guess, ugh) and like you say wanted to prove to himself he's a real Klingon. That challenge was put to him initially in Heart of Glory and honestly until this point it was never really settled. Dax puts in the final word on it here and later: he's a real Klingon, but not a normal one, and that's ok.
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Peter G.
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 5:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

@ Top Hat,

"And to perhaps wrap it back to "The Child," it's perhaps worth noting that there female characters got the smallest share of what character arcs there were on TNG."

Agreed, and it's too bad. However I would personally lay this at the feet of Berman and Roddenberry, as the error IMO lay in the character bibles and then in the casting. McFadden is IMO easily the worst actor on the show, and Sirtis isn't that far behind. I actually like Sirtis on screen sometimes, as her offscreen role as the 'cast mom' really shows in her interactions onscreen, where you can really see the others like her. So there's that, at least. But the whole 'empath advisor thing' was a complete bust from the word go, and was embarrassing in S1 while they still tried to push that angle. And they replaced it with nothing. For Crusher it was "I'm a doctor!" and not much else other than her past with Jean-Luc, which rarely appeared in scripts.

So between the lame characters they had to deal with and the typically lame performances early on, it no doubt became a chicken and egg problem at a certain point. Why would a writer write a script for the uninteresting character, with the actor who can't handle carrying a scene anyhow? Ah, we might argue that such scripts are exactly what's needed to get them out of that hole in the first place. Sure, except that if the result is less than satisfactory then that creates further disincentive to do so again. I wish they had found way to salvage Crusher and Troi so that they could be on the level of Data, Worf, and maybe Riker, but they just couldn't for whatever reason.

But yeah it really is too bad.
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Peter G.
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 3:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

But realistically what other answer can there be other than "but syndication!" It's the answer. The show isn't and never could be a soap opera like nu-BSG was.
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Peter G.
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 2:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

@ Top Hat,

I've got to agree with Chrome on this one. TNG didn't just air the way it did because of laziness or something, it's because people wanted to see their beloved characters having new adventures. It's like Sherlock Holmes or any other serial - you don't want to tune in to see how Sherlock has changed since the whole point of those stories is that he won't change. TNG isn't identical to that but still we want to see those characters as-is: that's the formula for episodic adventure shows. You can dislike that formula, but it's no accident or mere convenience.

That said, if we're comparing TNG character arcs to those on Seinfeld (heck if I know why we are) there are plenty of character shifts over the series. In early TNG Picard's character is light-years away from the end. I mean, they practically ret-conned who he was by S3. By the finale he's come all the way around from being the outsider who doesn't interact with others. Data starts off like this naive pinocchio character and by the end others are looking to him for wisdom. Riker had an actually overt arc about why his ambition is in conflict with him staying on the Enterprise, and this develops all the way until first BoBW and then finally Second Chances, where we see that he's changed quite a lot from a Captain Kirk type into a bit more of a family man in his own way, making less brash and more mature decisions. Worf also changed and got fleshed out a lot over the seasons, going from snarly Klingon to withdrawn loner to reluctant sweetie to having a sense of humor and being much more open to human ideas. Hey, even Wesley matures - he realizes he should leave the show!

But seriously, these are really significant changes. What they *do not* do, however, is to introduce a plot twist into one episoide (like, Deanna is heartbroken over a failed romance like in The Price) and then have her still 'getting over it' in the next episode. They never do stuff like that, for multiple reaons which include too many continuity concerns, having different writers for each not writing in the same room, and losing the sense of serialization. So there are arc that subtly go along, but not episode-to-episode developments where the next one is referencing the one before. But that *does not* mean the characters are static.
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Peter G.
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 11:27am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

@ Proteus,

I'm not trying to be insulting or anything when I say you should really go out and read some "science of Trek" books, maybe by Krauss. I don't think you're aware of how many pains were taken in TNG for instance to have the show's science accord as much as humanly possible with either known science or else the cutting edge of science theory. I've known phycisits and engineers who *loved* TNG because of how many nods it makes to real theory. There's a reason Stephen Hawking appeared in an episode. What you're saying about science fantasy certainly applies to DISC and I frankly don't like that at all. VOY seems to teeter on that edge as well, and it's been a common critique of that series that it relies too heavily on technobabble to get the plots resolved. But don't lay that at the feet of Trek in general. Even TOS included a lot of ideas that have in fact been shown to have merit. Are you aware that the 'warp drive' is still NASA's best leading idea about how future space travel might be done? Are you aware that specially-aligned crystals really are a good method of shooting charged particles through (e.g. dilithium crystals)? Are you aware that positrinics was something posited by Asimov, which is no doubt what led TOS to come up with "duotronics" and so forth? And hey, The Cage had fax machines before we did :) This is interesting stuff, you should go read up about it.

Small correction: I believe it was Arthur C. Clarke, not Heinlein, who said the thing about advanced technology resembling magic.
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Peter G.
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 11:10am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Elliott,

I agree with some of the stuff in your review, Elliott, especiallty the bit about there being merit in the Ferengi/Klingon mating. I like that DS9 didn't shy away from cross-species flirting and stuff like that (I actually enjoy Dax's references to Captain Boday and Kira grimacing at them). Personally I don't find it so weird that Kira and O'Brien should end up having some strange intimacy going on, especially with him helping her out of the bath and stuff, her having his baby inside her (hormone hijinx galore) and even stuff I've posted before about how I actually think he's her ideal type of man since she always goes for guys like him.

Regarding the Dax/Worf attraction, I think I can see why she's like him: he's tough on the outside but soft on the inside (just like Curzon), he's very mixed up about who he is even though his outward beliefs are strong (just like Dax is, really, considering Curzon bullies the rest of her hosts IMO), and he sort of has the soul of an artist in both how he likes music and how he fights, which I think appeals to her very romatic views on life. He's basically a perfect match, even to the extent that he's just *impossible*, just like she is. Of course that good a match is going to come with fireworks, but that's a different story (literally). As for why he'd not think of her, that's where I'm fuzzy. I never took him for the oblivious type, and he's already been with Deanna so it's not like he can't imagine a non-Klingon pairing. I guess this is supposed to sort of a rom-com thing, but it's a little silly since they went WAY out of their way to have her seriously flirting with him for like 10 episodes already, throwing him suggestive comments left and right. On my last watch-through I was quite impressed at how *not* out of the blue this romance was. So I guess the only reason to have him be oblivious is for comic effect, which is a bit weak since it wasn't really funny.

Getting back to the other non-Quark plot, I actually really like the O'Brien/Kira plot. The "in another life" line has always hit me in the gut, as that exact feeling is SO tough to grapple with and it's so real. That's not just a case of par'mach, it's an actual acknowledgement that they really could work but that O'Brien is committed for life and that's that. Ouch, I feel bad for both of them in that scene. I'd call that great writing, even thought the sci-fi premise is, as you say, not really sci-fi any more. The only possible way around this impasse is what you wrote, which I found puzzling:

"Hooking up is fine. Polyamory and open relationships are fine. Why get bent out of shape about it? If Miles and Kira are developing an attraction to each other, then they and Keiko should talk about what that means for their relationship."

Surely you're aware that these things 'being fine' are a matter of opinion, right? I mean, some people say it's not a matter of opinion and that they are factually wrong, but let's leave that type of arugment aside and remain in the "live and let live" area. Some people think this sort of thing is fine (I know many of them) and some absolutely do not. Some totally liberal people believe in strict monogomy and marriage for life, and that cheating is the biggest disgrace you can engage in. So it is by no means 'agreed upon' that these things are fine, although it's good to have a society that can let people choose. It should come as no surprise to you that even if some people on the Enterprise like Riker believed in free love (essentially) that other Federation citizens - especially a traditional Japanese woman and a good old fashioned Irish boy - will be very much in the camp of 'you marry you're married' and that's that. Any other attraction would be something to be squashed and set aside unless you're going to break your marital vows and ruin everyone's life.

Now a reasonable case could be made that it would have been neat to have a show featuring a legit polyamorous group or an open marriage or something. Maybe so, but it can hardly be called a strike against them that they didn't, and let's face it, network TV wasn't ready for that for the most part in 1996. I can totally see the "if only" there, like if the show was made now instead of them then sure, they could have done that. But as it was, and with the characters it involved, there would be no decent and honorable way for O'Brien to discuss his attraction with Keiko unless his goal was to make her feel like garbage and to say that their marriage was in jeopardy.

Just as a side note I've never seen a polyamorous situation work out amicably for all involved - it's blown up every time I've observed it, always to the detriment of either everyone or else to the third wheel (which there usually is). That doesn't mean it can't work, but we'll need a few hundred years of observing data on that to figure out the viability (biologically speaking) of such an arrangement before we can say that it's "fine" - and I'm not even talking morality here, which is a whole other can of worms.
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Peter G.
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 10:45am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

@ Proteus,

We have some issue with terminology here, but since you bring it up:

" You...you do know that Trek left science out of the fiction equation during the first season of TOS, don’t you? That it’s fantasy?"

I need to correct what you think "science fiction" means. It does *not* mean fiction involving real (as in, currently known) science. If it did then a story about Louis Pasteur that I wrote would be called science fiction, like you know, fiction about a scientist doing science. But that's not what it means. Science fiction means a story about fictitious science, meaning it's about science that does not exist but (if well-written) might possibly exist one day. That last clause isn't even necessary to quality but very often writers do try to guess about what will be. You can't say "but this stuff isn't real" and then claim it's not therefore science fiction. You are just misunderstanding what the genre is and what the term means.

However I do find your write-up of this episode interesting, especially as it may shed light on how outsides (non-Trek fans?) might see Trek in general, rolling their eyes at all the 'rules' and contunuity bickering. Especially during the run of VOY, by which time I suspect the production team was already wary of the handcuffs set by continuity, there may have even been some of that sentiment on the inside. However taking your analsysis as valid, my interpretation of it is a bit more bleak: could it not just as soon mean that the writers of this episode basically thought that Trek rules are stupid and that insisting on their consistency is no more intelligent than the rules in Bride of Chaotica? My instinct would be to take this as a bad omen, that basically the production team sees Trek as little more than a silly 1950's serial, basically drek that sells, if we're going to take your reading of it seriously. And I'm not sure we shouldn't, because that's actually how I felt about the showrunners when this show was first on the air. I basically assumed they didn't care about very much and actually I quit watching at around this point and couldn't take any more for a season or so. IIRC I made myself tune back in to watch the final season or something like that. I've seen them all since then, but yeah - I can't say I disagree that this could be taken to mean the showrunners are making fun of Star Trek.
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Peter G.
Wed, Nov 20, 2019, 12:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

@ Top Hat,

Good points about BBS's and such. In general I think fan interactions with celebrities are infinitely higher now than in the past, but it may also be true that certain niches of Hollywood workers like writers may have had less celebrity and thus more approachability in the past.

As for my nixing the criticism, I'm totally ok with not liking the rest button. I, myself, have a problem with it actually. All I'm saying is that it's not fair to call out TNG for it as if they had an artistic choice and made a decision to nix any character development episode to episode. It really wasn't their call, and if reviewers in the 80's/90's complained about it then I must surmise they were aware of this, or else they'd be complaining about the networks instead of the show. Admittedly that's a guess on my part. VOY, however, it's much more fair to call out for that since they had every opportunity to carry forward character changes but for the most part kept not only the format but the reset button TNG-style.
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Peter G.
Wed, Nov 20, 2019, 11:52am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

@ Top Hat,

That's fair, but on the other hand I doubt most reviewers back then knew much about TV executive rules. One thing that *is* post hoc is forgetting that until the mid-90's there was no internet and no access to the thought process of most people in the industry to outsiders. Now you can go read blog posts, AMA's, online reviews and other info, but back then if it wasn't in a press release it didn't exist. What we now know about 80's and 90's TV is most likely way more than the public knew at the time. Although I'm sure there were the odd people who objected to the reset button even back then, I don't know what standard they thought they were holding TNG to since all syndicated shows (and most others besides) worked the same way. DS9 was a bit groundbreaking on that front, and apparently it took some doing to get the ok to do even that.
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