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Peter H
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 3:09pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

"I sincerely hope the mysterious Burn does not become something which this season, later in the game, uses to needlessly up the stakes into possible galactic destruction. "

I've not watched any more episodes, and have somehow completely avoided spoiling the plot, but this show is so fundamentally bad at this point that I could really believe this is actually true.

For all the appalling overacting and generic action fluff before it, the lone Federation representative really sold me on it emotionally. Also, it felt like to be a part of the Federation is to appear almost as a true believer of a religion. In this episode I could see how Series One Klingons saw the zealous Federation as such an existential threat.

I think I'm enjoying the show, but it's become a truly guilty pleasure - cos - it's total trash to the core!
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Peter H
Tue, Feb 23, 2021, 12:09pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S4: Waking Moments

The more I watch this show the more I appreciate Tukok and Janeway's relationship. Tuvok genuinely loses his temper and practically has a full on emotional outburst when Janeway returns from the dream warp core explosion unharmed.

I never really appreciated him first time round, but to me now he's the secret star of the show. From the scene in Scientific Method where he comforts Janeway by saying he'll "share a glass of wine" with her, to their tender "goodbye" In year of Hell Part 2, to all the way back in Season 1 where he takes part in illicit behaviour to spare Janeway from making an uncomfortable ethical decision.

I'm always desperate to know what he'll say and do next!
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Peter H
Sun, Feb 7, 2021, 4:23pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

This episode is kind of a camp classic, nearly as compellingly exciting as Season 2's Deadlock, but as hilariously OTT and _extra_ as that one was serious and believable.

And Tuvok's line that he would have a glass of wine with Janeway was deeply touching. What a great handle the writers had on these characters, despite how wacky the whole episode unfolding around them is.
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Peter H
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 6:58pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

There are so many things I could say about this omnishambles of a show... but I am simply going to just keep it to one single nitpick for this episode, or I'll be here all night. As far as I can tell it's only been mentioned by one other person:

All those federation ships are the same class? When have you ever seen a taskforce made up of just one type of ship? And the most advanced ship in the fleet and there happen to be that many of them all in one group? And they're a bit on the small side too. And they're far, far too close together.

Cheap CGI, that's what it is. Think about all the effort that went into building the starship graveyard in Best of Both worlds and then compare it to this!

Well I've said my piece now.
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Peter H
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 11:21am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

Hang on, so all it takes to evade warp pursuit is to drop to sublight and point the ship in a different direction before going back to warp? Who writes this kind of guff? It's not even trying.

I dug the feels in this episode and I hope we see the Riker-Troi's again. This is the first episode I really appreciated Raff as a character as well. I do feel the pacing was a bit off though; good grief it's slow. And killing off Hugh... what a mistake. This show needs to stop with the slaughtering of old characters.
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Peter H
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 2:08pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Yes, that opening scene was a bit much. If I'm honest though, I thought the scene where the Romulan dissolved in his own acid a couple episodes back (even if it was "tastefully" in the background) a bit strong too.

Still enjoyed this one. Picard acting out a hammy role is actually in character, given his love of pulpy holodeck settings.

The obvious twist at the end was.... well, obvious.
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Peter Howie
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 9:49pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I think there is a lot to be disappointed about this series but what I ended up being disappointed with the most, were the designs of Starfleet ships in this episode.
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Peter H
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 5:06pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Really enjoyed this episode. Loved the dramatic confrontation with the admiral (and did not find the f-bomb at all out of place). I even enjoyed the hokey villains. Although, surgical ear alterations seem a bit extreme in a universe where someone so comically sinister as Commodore Oh could not be immediately sniffed out by Starfleet security.

I'm completely baffled by heavy ret con of the Zhat Vash. Why do they hate synthetics so much, and how could such a specific and passionate grudge endure over generations? Also: how on earth could such a society never develop AI and treat computers as little more that glorified calculators (maybe I'm reading too much into this)? WTF is up with that all-seeing Space CSI "UV torch"? (Loved this scene anyway, and again didn't mind the swearing either!)

Can't wait so see what happens next!
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Peter Howie
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 7:05pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Hey Jammer. Long time reader here. Love that your commitment to Star Trek/Sci-Fi. Can you move to more interactive comment boards? This format does not allow us to engage each other.
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Peter H
Sun, Nov 10, 2019, 2:50pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time


On paper this reads like very typical Trek, and in different hands could have ended up the way that most of these kinds of situations do.

Although the ending was inevitable (the show must go on after all), a lesser version of this episode might have tried to keep the colony going through some technobabble twist of fate. The moral conundrum at the heart of the episode has no easy answer and there are no quick fixes or cheats to resolve it either. This gives this episode an unexpected weight and impact. It was a genuine suprise.

I can genuinely say this is in the top 5 episodes of DS9 for me. It's so rare for something seemingly so small have such enormous heft. What a great episode!
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Peter H
Sun, Nov 3, 2019, 7:43pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: By Inferno's Light

Great episode, and once again a fantastic performance from andrew Robinson. At this point in the show's run he's being used more and more. It's a shame he was never bumped up to main character status.

Nitpickers corner : so was that changling on a suicide mission or what? Also, even if the Bajorian sun went supernova the light from the explosion would reach the fleet far sooner than the supernova wave. They could all warp away to fight another day (albeit at the expense of everone left behind on Bajor and DS9).
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Peter H
Sat, May 25, 2019, 5:54pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

I always have in the back of my mind that this is the "good" TNG film, but I always forget just how good it is.

What I really love about it is how well it balances all its different plot threads, characters, action and themes into a very well-crafted, efficient and functioning whole. The coming together of all the different strands at the end of the film feels so effortless and natural, you're not even aware of the craft of it.

Suspension of disbelief watching Trek is always a necessity, and this film requires that you ignore the perposterousness of the time travel plot (which surely could have been instigated by the Borg well away from Earth, and thus avoiding its foil by the Enterprise crew), as well as accepting the Borg Queen's troublesome contradiction of established lore. What I found most hard to accept about the Queen was her desire to find a companion: this seems an unlikely social goal, particularly for being who is made of many voices. It just flies in the face of what we've seen of the Borg before.

But no matter: what I do appreciate is that the inclusion of the Queen as antagonist serves the movie dramatically, even if it defies logic, and while the time travel plot makes no sense the move zips along so efficiently that only a hardened nitpicker would even think about it.

Special credit goes out here for Patrick Stewart, who turns out what's become my favourite performance of Picard. He gets a lot of screen time and a lot of character work throughout the story. The scene where Lilly goads him into losing control is genuinely shocking, and it shows a real willingness on the part of the writers to show our leader as less than perfect. I always felt that TNG's utopian ideals were a bit of an unrealistic portrayal of our species, despite the fact that the humans of the 24th century were explicitly intended to be our best selves. Picard's hollow remark about "evolved sensibility" is especially clever in this context.

As an aside, I tried getting a non-Trekie to watch this film once and the whirlwind of plot in the first 20 minutes completely overwhelmed him. Incidentally he completely understood Star Trek VI and what it was about with no prior Trek knowledge (and actually while I'm at it he mostly understood and loved Galaxy Quest too). It's not a mark against this film, however, as I think its efficiency is very much to its credit.
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Peter H
Sat, May 25, 2019, 8:32am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

Just given this episode another rewatch and it still delivers in every way. Not much I can add to what's already been said.

The real stand out part of the production (beyond the splendid VFX) is the score, which is utterly extraordinary. It's surely the very best of the entire run of Trek (with perhaps the exception of Star Trek 2 and 3).

I can't see this episode being nearly as effective without the score, which really viscerally captures the mystery, doom and excitement befitting of what is a potential extinction-level event for humanity.
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Peter H
Sat, May 25, 2019, 5:37am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

Re watched this again today, and again it's fabulous. I think I was too harsh about the battle at the end; it is actually pretty damn exciting (especially for this time in Trek's history where extended ship to ship combat sequences are really rare).

Other things I love: how Picard very quickly and decisively comes around to the correct course of action. He may not know how it will play out, but he knows it makes sense, even if it's based on Guinan's intuition. He totally shuts down Riker's (reasonable) objections; his mind is made.

The arc with Tasha Yar is brilliant. On rewatch of series 1 I found her to be a pretty insubstantial character, with not the best acting from Denise Crosby. Here she totally sells her character as a tough, pragmatic warrior. For all Crosby's previous shortcomings her scene requesting a transfer from Picard was spot on.

On the whole the Tasha story really grounds the whole thing, giving us something deeply personal to invest in rather than pure focus on the temporal shenanigans. I'm glad this episode paved the way for more of Crosby; particularly when she reprises her role in All Good Things. It just made that episode complete for me.
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Peter Howie
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 5:16pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

I'm bored with the Mercer/Grayson romance.
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Peter H
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 5:42pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Could they not have just kept firing on the Discovery? Are its shields suddenly impenetrable?

Terrible, terrible episode. Worst of the series by a long shot. Hated all the endless speeches, technobabble and the glorification of Michael.

(Loved the Enterprise interior design though - that was awesome!)
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Peter H
Fri, Feb 1, 2019, 2:53am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S6: Relics

As I've become older this episode has become more poignant for me. I'm hot off of rewatching Star Trek II and III, so this episode is like an intersection of nostalgia for me.

James Dooghan steals all the scenes he's in, and brings all the energy we remember to the role. I loved his dialogue, and all the casual cursing (which, apart from Picard's shock merde in the first season, and some out of place lines in the movies) is not very TNG.

What I liked a lot less was the routine jeopardy plot, which felt like a random bunch of scenes that could have been from any episode stitched together. The Enterprise seems disabled one moment, then is able to just fly free the next? Why not orbit further from the star to avoid its effects if the thrusters are working? Grrr, I'm nitpicking again. It's a shame this aspect of the show disappoints over the years, but there it is.
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Peter H
Thu, Jan 17, 2019, 7:23am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: The Adversary

Maybe this episode was a bit more exciting at the time, but it's aged very poorly. A very perfunctory outing, with shades of "The Thing", that never really manages to excite due to the rather inept attempts to capture the rogue Changing.

I think what annoyed me most is that this is, to my memory at least, the third outing where the Defiant gets sabotaged mid voyage. It's become quite a tedious trope, especially as it's only the Defiant's first season on the show.

Two stars.
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Peter H
Mon, Jan 14, 2019, 10:37am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

This has always been an episode I've felt like skipping past, but I'm glad I didn't as it's such a great character piece. Both A and B stories worked for me and built on established history for each of the players.

My only nitpick is that the solar sail ship idea seems so implausible. Without inertial dampeners Sisko and Jake would have been a smear on the wall the moment the ship went into high warp (see The Expanse S3 for a more realistic examination of this theme!). But who cares, it's still an enjoyable story anyway.
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Peter H
Sun, Jan 13, 2019, 5:26am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek (2009)

I love this film unreservedly, and went to the IMAX cinema to see it a total of four times, something I've never done before or since.

It's a very well paced, exhilarating adventure (that strangely I feel no real desire to nickpick).

Star Trek once again shows its versitity by reinventing itself as action packed popcorn flick. This film might not truly what Trek is about to most fans (it isnt to me), but gosh if it doesn't all work and thoroughly entertains in the process. Four stars from me!
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Peter H
Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 7:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Prophet Motive

Gosh, I'm a sucker for Ferengi episodes, and I loved this one.

The Ferengi can't be taken seriously as a race, and are little more than cartoon antagonists at this stage of Trek history... and yet, I still love em. This is a lighthearted romp that had me giggling throughout, especially thanks to all the splendid Ferengi performances which were, as always, on point.

Like Jammer, I felt the scenes with the wormhole aliens / Prophets were the highlight. I loved the consistency with "Emissary", especially with it's references to "the game" and linear time.

The Bashir B story was a bit pointless, but I still found myself enjoying it nonetheless.

A solid 3 stars!
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Peter H
Wed, Nov 28, 2018, 4:54am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek: Nemesis

I have fond memories of this film. When it was released I was aware that it had mediocre reviews, but I saw it anyway - on a date, with a handsome young man to boot - and thoroughly enjoyed it. I've always enjoyed it on subsequent viewings too, taking it as a bit of a fun action flick.

I watched it yesterday and, well, time has not been kind. Maybe I was in an especially critical mood but I found it sorely lacking. I watched the Undiscovered Country a just few days ago, and it just fares very poorly in comparison.

So here are my nitpicks:

* An insurgent slave race is able to develop a gigantic dreadnought , more powerful and massive than any other starship in use by the major races (Dominion and Borg, excepted), completely in secret. Even with supposed help from Romulan allies (why would they?) this is beyond credible.

* Positronic signals. When has Data, Lore or any other android emitted ominous sensor readings from light years away? (Possibly explained by the Sovereign Class Enterprise's advanced sensors)

* Pacing. Gosh it really takes a long time to get going. I can see why they cut a lot of scenes out of it. By the time Enterprise reaches Romulus and they start dialogue with Shinzon it really starts to drag.

* That awful, awful scene where Shinzon explains his origin and we get a slow mo shot of him as a kid in the Reman mines. I cringed all the way through that.

* Dichotomy between Picard and Shinzon: the idea is plausible, but it's still one of many plot contrivances in this film which I found a bit hard to believe. As an attempt to create a motivation and character for the antagonist it's not all bad, but still feels a bit artificial to me. This is not a fault of the actors, and Stewart still really sells it.

* Why on earth is Geordie hanging around on the bridge and not repairing the warp drive from Main Engineering?

* "Shields at X percent!" is definitely getting old. It was nice to get visual indicators on shield graphics this time though. I would also like add to that any line that involves boosting power to any given shield area, or just simply saying "full power to shields" is not interesting, and even redundant.

* Stellar Cartography got a major downgrade from Generations. I guess the Sovereign Class is smaller after all.

* Awful Star Wars stormtrooper-style firefights. We're told how fearsome the Remans are during the Dominion War, but this lot are clearly the B Team that got left behind.

* Reman fingernails . Yes, I know your control console buttons have enormous spaces between the keys, presumably to accommodate them, but it's still gross.

Things I liked:

* The Enterprise crew figuring out B4's deception and taking advantage of it. I've seen this film a few times now, and I completely forgot that they were in on this one.

* Fantastic visual effects, best ship-to-ship combat involving the Enterprise of the entire series run.

* Instead of crew endlessly realing off damage and status reports, as in most Star Trek combat, the Enterprise actually fires back. Repeatedly. This is what space combat should be like!

* The goofy scene where Troi hunts down the Viceroy through her empathic link. Total cheese, but I kind of loved it. (Incidentally, the light shining on Troi's eyes reminded me of that ghastly film where Madonna seduces a gay man. They do this in *every goddamn scene* of that film, presumably to give Madonna the look of a classic movie icon. This scene in Nemesis is how you do it right).

* Troi first given the helm to set a collision course with the Scimitar and then later given command of the bridge. I will always love this!

Other stray thoughts:

* Battle lulls: I've never seen anyone comment on this, but I've always found it odd in Star Trek how ship to ship combat suddenly ceases, to give the characters a good chance to have a natter about something. It struck me as odd when it happened in DS9's Way of the Warrior, and has happened in many other episodes. I accept that It's fully necessary to accommodate the plot.

* First contact was released, what, 20 years ago? That's like half my lifetime. Does anyone else still think of the Enterprise E as being the "new ship" like I still do? lol
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Peter H
Sat, Nov 24, 2018, 10:08am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: Unification

There's so much to like about this episode. Everything with Spock is a real treat, and really ties in nicely with the insights he has in the Undiscovered Country. The scene with Sarek was an absolute joy, but completely heartbreaking.

What I could never get over is the implausibility of the invasion plot. A few thousand troops could overpower a planet with millions? The Vulcans are hardly toothless; pacificts they may be but they're not so unwise as to not be able to defend themselves.

More troubling is the idea that Vulan could be taken over without major repercussions. Sela waves this away with a "we're prepared for that", but in fact this would immediately lead to all out war with the Federation.
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Peter H
Fri, Nov 23, 2018, 7:50am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

Now, I'm normally one to nitpick in Star Trek and, yes, the metaphorical language concept seems utterly unsuited to efficient communication. But here's the thing: it doesn't matter! This is definitely one of those occasions where disbelief must be suspended. The episode is so earnest and commited to its concept that it deserves to be taken on its own terms.

This episode displays the quintessential spirit Star Trek, and as such remains one of my all time favourite episodes of any of the shows. I wholeheartedly agree with Elliot's impassioned defence of this episode above. I couldn't have put it better really.
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Peter H
Thu, Aug 30, 2018, 6:00pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S4: Night Terrors

Finally, an anomaly of the week episode I found thoroughly compelling. Very effective tension building throughout: the first dream sequence, as another commenter put it, was "deliciously creepy". The Crusher morgue scene I had no memory of from the first time round, really got to me for some reason; in that situation I'd be utterly horrified.

I'm prepared to forgive the main "we need hydrogen" nitpick, as this is clearly symbolic telepathic communication. It's quite plausible that an abstract concept of hydrogen is being communicated and interpreted Troy's (somewhat basic) mind.

3 stars from me!
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