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Petrus
Tue, Mar 5, 2019, 7:05am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Plato's Stepchildren

I just finished watching this. Given that I was at least mildly stoned at the time, my attitude was almost purely analytical, and I did not really have much of an emotional reaction of any kind, to what was done to the crew here. I did, however, experience some incredulity and wondered what the point was, or what the writers thought they were accomplishing with this.

I assume that the intent was to satirise Plato's own attitude; that a society eternally dedicated to a single, static ideal, without dynamism or adaptability, was believed to be acceptable, as long as said ethos was itself considered to be good. The tyranny of Parman offered a solid refutation of this; that unless compassion and sentient discernment are exercised, literally any law or stated ideal can be perverted into endorsing or justifying sadism.

Plato and his Utopia are good medicine for me, whenever I begin to fetishise archaism, and mentally condemn our own society as degenerate. It is not rules by themselves which will ensure humanity's survival, but compassionate understanding of why the rules themselves exist, practiced on a continual basis.

In hindsight, I also have no objection to Parman being left unpunished. Let him study the contrast between his treatment of the Enterprise crew, and their corresponding treatment of him. There are times when a pacifist response can generate almost equal agony through humiliation, to what might be experienced on the rack.
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Petrus
Sun, Feb 24, 2019, 3:23am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

Prior to my current viewing, I will confess that TOS was the one Trek series that I had never seen; unless you count Discovery, which in my mind is not to be mentioned at all.

I think this episode finally convinced me however, that I wasn't necessarily missing very much. TOS up to this point has been one dumb "comedy" and repetitive battle with an insane, "superior" megalomaniac after another.

When Spock said at the beginning of this episode that they needed to find out what had happened to Captain Tracey on the planet, my immediate mental response was that if the status quo for this series was any indication, they would beam down to discover that Tracey had gone mad with power, conquered the natives, and would attempt to corrupt Kirk or otherwise force him to stay on the planet forever. Surprise, surprise.

My feelings towards this show at this point, are disturbingly similar to what they were towards Andromeda at the end of its' second season. I can only assume that TOS' fan base developed not because of what actually was, but because of what fans recognised what COULD have been. There are a few gems here, it's true; but in the end, this series is among the most massively overrated science fiction I think I've ever seen.

It amazes me when I look at it; because in the past, I always assumed that the likes of Khan were some sort of modern cinematic abberation for the sake of making money, but that Trek on TV was different, and primarily about peaceful exploration. I realise now that I mainly got that impression from TNG. In TOS, there's a Khan-like supervillain (or computer/robot stand-in for such) every second or third episode.

"I thought we were explorers," Scotty said in Into Darkness. No, Scotty. Apparently, you never really were.
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Petrus
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 5:10am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Miri

Am watching this episode for (I think) the first time. I've only seen a few episodes of TOS in the past; this is the first time I'm sitting down and watching it in sequence. Based on this, however, I'm questioning whether it will be worth it.

This episode has the worst and least coherent writing I've ever seen anywhere. Why do the children keep wanting to kill Kirk? Is it purely because he is acting like an adult schoolteacher?

When we first hear the word "Only" used to describe the children, it is as if it is a natural part of the language; as though we are already meant to know what it means in that context, but I don't.

The icing on the cake here was the theft of ALL FOUR communicators. ALL of them are going to be left unattended on the table? Said communicators are normally carried by the crew wherever they go; I assume they have holsters for them. Yet they left all of them on this one occasion, purely because it was convenient for the plot?

I've seen "Spock's Brain," but truthfully I consider this episode worse. The reason why is because, while I felt that said rules were preposterous, it still at least felt as though "Spock's Brain," actually HAD some rules and followed them. The biggest problem with this episode, is that things just happen, without any foreshadowing or real context whatsoever.

My other problem with this episode, is that whoever wrote it apparently has an extremely negative view of children. Young children might be noisy and experience primal emotions, yes; but in my experience, pre-pubescent children are actually more capable of coherent logic than adults. I've talked a toddler down from a tantrum with reason before. It can be done. I simply explained to the toddler that there was no causal connection between it losing its' temper and getting what it wanted; so it could get as angry as it liked, but that would not help it. Once it realised that anger was futile for reaching its' objective, it tried another approach.

I've watched a lot of science fiction at this point, which means that my tolerance for incoherence and arbitrary explanations is very high; but regardless of how arbitrary an explanation might be, the one necessity is that there IS one. With "Miri," there isn't. There are far too many events here which occur with no context or previous establishment whatsoever, and I can not accept that.
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Preachy Petrus
Thu, Mar 8, 2018, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

Strength of character is not the same as a lack of self restraint and wisdom, decency, dignity, and loving are not the same as know it all, boring or simpering. Go ahead and hate me.
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Preachy Petrus
Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

When Star Trek TOS was made the sheer pointless madness from WW II and people clinging to their notion of what the other party had done to justify hating it was much more recent. The madness should be forgotten, but the lesson remembered. Go ahead and hate the preacher if you don’t like the lesson being offered and enjoy the madness.
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petrus
Mon, Jun 19, 2017, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

Fantastic!
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Petrus
Mon, May 29, 2017, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Qpid

I just rewatched this yesterday. I did so because of seeing Q's intro in it on YouTube, which I found funny.

I admit fast forwarding the first third of it, at which point I started to wonder if it was going to improve, but then Q showed up and things got underway. Yes, it's feather light and has virtually zero real stakes or tension in any way, but I also found the wordplay and the brief action scene mildly enjoyable. I've never really liked Vash as a character, and have ignored her for the most part; but I'm also aware that her episodes are throwaways, so she doesn't bother me that much.

This is pure, but inoffensive fluff; and given how much horror is going on in the proverbial real world these days, anything that can bring a smile to my face is as rare as it is welcome.
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Petrus
Sat, Oct 25, 2014, 8:01am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Blood Fever

Just rewatched this; and I think I must have only seen it once before, a long time ago. As people here probably know, usually I will take whatever B'Elanna fanservice I can get, but I actually agree with Leaf on this one. I think I know what they were going for here, but this episode was just plain awkward. The teaser with Vorik forcing himself on B'Elanna was cringe inducing.

As for the rape issue with Tom, I agree with people that that was icky as well. There is one particular scene where she is repeatedly kissing him, which does leave you wondering what you'd do if you were in Tom's shoes, but it's over almost as quickly as it starts, and then that is basically it.

Alexander Enberg's acting was mostly good, and it particularly reminded me of some of the chaotic Vulcan emotionalism we saw at times on *Enterprise.* It was a bit forced and off-key at times, yes; but said times were rare.

I'd probably give this one 2.5 stars, simply due to the ickiness/awkwardness factor.
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Petrus
Sun, Jun 22, 2014, 2:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Impulse

This episode provides an example of why, with no disrespect intended to Jammer, I am starting to feel that these reviews are plagued with several problems.

In continuity terms, "Impulse," is an important episode. We've known for a while that the Enterprise needs Trellium-D on the inside of her hull, to guard against the weird spatial anomalies in the Expanse. With this episode, however, we learn several things, which have implications later.

a} Trellium-D destroys Vulcan emotional control.

b} This is likely the reason why T'Pol displays an uncharacteristic lack of emotional control throughout the rest of the series; from memory, elsewhere we are actually told this.

c} This episode gives us resolution of, and a (decent, in my opinion) rational explanation for the Event Horizon-like footage which was sent back to the Vulcans from the Seleya.

d} Although it isn't explicitly mentioned, this will likely cause major problems for Vulcans wishing to travel in the Expanse in the future. Their government would probably need to come up with some sort of treatment to protect them from the effects of the Trellium.

In other words, contrary to what Jammer states, from my perspective there actually *is* insight to be found here, and a decent amount of it. The degree of chaos which Vulcans are depicted as experiencing once their emotional control is removed is exaggerated, (I think Tim Russ' portrayal of Tuvok in "Meld," was probably more realistic) but that was the only real problem I had with this episode.

The other reason why I point this out, is because a lot of the time, Jammer not only neglects to mention continuity which does exist, but he also complains that there is none, when very often that is not the case. I recently did another re-assessment of Voyager, and subsequently wrote an episode guide of my own on Reddit. As a result of that process, I discovered that Voyager actually did have quite a large amount of continuity in various ways. It generally wasn't strictly episode to episode, no; and it also wasn't always explicitly stated, but it was there. You'd often get foreshadowing of certain events which came later, as well as sequel episodes to various concepts, which sometimes came a year or so after the original episode.

Character development to me was often implicit, as well; I felt that Barge of the Dead built on earlier material in B'Elanna's character arc, to the point where she probably wouldn't have been developmentally ready for that experience, if it hadn't been for the other stuff she went through first in "Faces," or "Blood Fever," etc. Then of course there was her relationship with Tom; by the time "Day of Honour" rolled around, they'd already been circling each other for a while.

A third major problem with these reviews, which only becomes apparent after you read a number of them and re-watch the relevant episodes, is that I think Jammer really *did* suffer from an overwhelming degree of positive bias towards Deep Space Nine in particular. He tended to judge pretty much anything else here, on the basis of a comparison with DS9. There have been numerous times when I've seen bad reviews here for a given episode, and after watching it and discovering that it was at least decent, (if not stellar) have been left with the impression that the main reason why Jammer didn't like it, was simply because it wasn't DS9, or perhaps didn't have the focus on interpersonal drama that DS9 had.

The TNG episode "Justice," comes to mind as an example of this. Yes, a lot of the framing material was absolutely mediocre, but at the episode's core was what I considered to be an interesting and worthwhile dilemma, concerning the Prime Directive; and whether or not Starfleet were simply going to adhere to it when it was convenient, or uphold it consistently, even if that meant their own people dying as a result.

My advice to future readers, as a result, is that while these reviews *are* genuinely valuable, they should be taken with a certain amount of salt, and not necessarily regarded as the final word. Jammer is human, like the rest of us. If you're anything like me, you will often find yourself disagreeing with him, and you will likely also notice things that he has missed.
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Petrus
Thu, Jun 19, 2014, 10:28am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Xindi

I just finished watching this. I was bored. I'm not even really sure why. I mean, the episode *looks* great.

On reflection, I think there's two reasons.

a} As Jammer says, practically everything that happens in the episode is a repetitive, boring stereotype that I've seen I wouldn't know how many times before. The gulag looked like something out of an Unreal Tournament map, and the overseer of it was derivative as well.

b} There was very little dialogue, no character development, nothing for me to really care about. I watched Season 2's "Cease Fire," a couple of hours ago, and thought that was a lot better. I like Jeffrey Combs' character, Shran, and I especially like the fact that whenever he shows up, it means that they're working towards actually getting the Federation together, or at least it feels like that.

The other thing that bothered me about this episode was the fact that they have non-Starfleet infantry on board the ship, and in these action scenes, those infantry were killing people. That's not Star Trek, or at least not in my mind.
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Petrus
Wed, Jun 18, 2014, 11:55am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Although it's true that I haven't seen this episode yet, I will say that I am a very firm believer in the idea of the Prime Directive, because I like to think that I know what it is for.

The Prime Directive exists as a means of preventing the Butterfly Effect from coming back and biting you in the ass later on. You don't do things which could potentially have massive consequences, when you have no way of reliably predicting what those consequences are.

That means, that yes, you let Nature take its' course. If Phlox is taking that stance here, it's not a case of him being a hypocrite as a Denobulan. It's a case of him actually making the *correct* decision for once, with the Denobulans having a history off usually making the wrong ones. Remember the Eugenics Wars?

That is exactly the kind of mess, as well as things like the slaughter of the Native Americans etc, that the Prime Directive is intended to prevent. That also means, however, that lack of involvement is occasionally going to *appear* to cause some attrocities of its' own, such as in the case here. It is worth remembering, however, that non-interference is *not* the same thing as active complicity.

Phlox and Archer refusing to get involved, simply resulted in the events which would have happened if the Enterprise had never showed up at all. Despite that resulting in the death of a race, it is still the best decision; and the reason why, is because it is the *only* decision which they can make, which has an entirely predictable outcome. The only way that you can take complete responsibility for both your actions and their consequences, is if you know precisely what said consequences are.
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Petrus
Tue, Apr 1, 2014, 10:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ANDR S1: The Mathematics of Tears

Just watched this for the second time.

I enjoyed the first viewing, but this time left a bad taste in my mouth. Apart from anything else, this episode really left me nostalgic for the much more multi-ethnic crews of the Trek series. Between Dylan, Wagner and the stereotypical (and very German, facially) evil blonde Pax, this episode had a much heavier Aryan vibe than my level of politically correct white guilt is able to handle.

Speaking of which, that final fight scene...Ugh. In terms of the plot, there was absolutely no reason for it. Dylan asked Pax point blank to call off the androids, and she just wordlessly stared at him in return, before the question was forgotten. Given the musical accompaniment and the way Tyr enters in slow motion, there was a very strong sense that the only reason why said sequence was there at all, was purely because Tribune was expecting it to appeal to their brainless white male meathead target demographic.

2 stars from me. There are some redeeming moments, particularly in terms of the initial mystery, and Harper's usual comic relief. It's not painful, in other words; but there are several plotholes. One half star off for the final action sequence, and another for the Master Race. ;)
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Petrus
Sun, Mar 9, 2014, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Sacred Ground

>@Chris, DeanGrr & Jim: No offense, but I think >you're all mistaken. Science isn't a "religion", >"belief system" or a "perspective on the >universe", it's a method of determining cause >and effect. Calling it a "religion" or "belief >system" or "perspective" is like calling >observation a religon, belief system or >perspective. I think you meant the idea that >there's a purely materialistic explanation for >everything and that the supernatural doesn't >exist is a belief system or perspective (though >I'm not sure it would count as a religion).

Adam, unfortunately, this is not true. "Science," or at the very least, neo-Atheism, should absolutely be considered as one entirely fallible perspective among many. It may not have Gods, no; but it does have human beings (Darwin, Sagan, Asimov, Dawkins) who are regarded with a degree of positive bias that is every bit as emotive and irrational as religious reverence.

That the scientific method itself, very strictly speaking, works, is not something that I will disagree with. The problem, however, is the fact that none of "Science's" contemporary devotees are ever talking exclusively about the method, whatsoever. They are talking about the humanist pantheon, as mentioned, and also often the entire bias regarding the fact that only the mainstream, academic circle jerk are permitted to have an opinion about anything.

Those who genuinely know what science is, virtually never express emotional bias towards it, whether positive or negative. People who do, are not referring to science in any objectively provable or disprovable sense, but to a particular collection of dogma that has come to be falsely and euphemistically referred to as "Science," but which in reality, is anything but.
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Petrus
Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 9:54am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Juggernaut

I just finished watching this. I'm pretty sure I would have seen it before, but it was obviously so long ago that I don't remember.

As I said in my review of "Faces," I find Roxanne Dawson to be probably the single most sexually attractive Trek actress I've seen; and I'd fairly happily watch B'Elanna for hours.

With that said, this was by far the weakest B'Elanna episode I've seen. Yes, she's fiery, and I love that; but at the same time, temper still usually needs some sort of motivation. Here her temper seems purely arbitrary, most of the time. She's angry just because she's angry, and for no other reason.

Anyone who's seen "Gravity," will also know how much irony there is in Tuvok teaching Torres anger management; Tuvok might be Vulcan, but it's still a true case of the blind leading the blind, there.

There also wasn't enough action here for me, or at least not enough action that had a real point in terms of the characters or the story. I like action, but not when it is mindless, or occurs purely for its' own sake. Chakotay gets hit in the head, which doesn't really do much except maybe raise tension slightly, although you know that, as a regular character, of course he's going to be ok.

B'Elanna attempting to reason with the alien, however, and plead with it before killing it, is a good example of why VOY has become my favourite Trek series of the lot. There was action in this show, and during a few episodes said action becomes fairly intense; but despite survival occasionally being an issue (although nowhere near as much as it should have been, I know Jammer) the characters' commitment to principle demonstrated that this was still genuine Star Trek.

So yeah; Roxanne looking sexy is always a big plus, but I kept waiting for her to have an interesting character moment like she did in "Faces," and except for the brief conflict and flashback at the end, she never really does. It's disappointing.

This one gets two stars from me, with an extra half star due to makeup making Roxanne look as though she'd just been mud wrestling. Yum, yum. ;)
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Petrus
Mon, Dec 9, 2013, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Into Darkness is a pure action movie. Some of the twists and turns with Cumberbatch's performance as Khan were interesting, but that was really the only thing that was.

J.J. Abrams is a commercialistic hack. Aside from Cumberbatch, the film is basically one lens flare laden, "extreme," action set piece after another. The manic, ceaseless obsession with both fascism and 9/11 are also constantly present as well, which is genuinely disturbing.

Probably the most tragic thing about Into Darkness, however, was the amount of money it made; $467 million, according to Wikipedia. This is a good explanation of why films like this keep getting made; because someone, unfortunately, is paying to see them.

If you're a hard core Trekkie, you'll most likely be deeply offended by this. If like me, you're a moderate Trekkie who also doesn't actually mind having fun with B-grade schlock now and then, Into Darkness will cause you to walk out of the cinema feeling pumped, but you'll realise that you've seen a pile of cinematic fecal matter later.

If you're the sort of non-demanding, adolescent, unapolagetically brainless idiot for whom this type of film is tailor made, however, then you'll probably love it; and worse yet, you'll actively defend it, when it is criticised by other people who are infinitely more intelligent than you are.
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Petrus
Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 7:27am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

Generations is one of those movies that critics hate for academic reasons, and other people tend to love (or at least periodically enjoy) for emotional reasons.

Yes, it's easy to tear the storyline to shreds, and yes, for the most part, Data's comedy routine with the emotion chip was awful. As someone with a professional diagnosis, however, I nominate "Scanning for Lifeforms," for the Aspergian National Anthem. The autism was strong with Data, and it was never stronger than in this film. ;)

If there's one thing which Generations was, more than probably any other Trek film however, (yes, possibly even First Contact) it was epic. This was a MOTION PICTURE, not a television episode. The special effects, the lighting, the outdoor location scenes, the overall scope of the story, (yes, even the fact that Data got the emotion chip, although the results were unspeakable) this is all cinematic feature film stuff, not TV stuff.

For the guy who compared this with Battlefield Earth, I actually thought that film was a blast as well, albeit in a dissonant, Mystery Science Theatre 3000 kind of way. Haters gonna hate, but if you're going to hate Generations, make sure you hate it on at least an 18 to 21 inch screen. It's just too bad, as Jammer said, that we didn't get a suitably booming soundtrack to go with the visuals.
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Petrus
Wed, Nov 27, 2013, 10:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

Just finished watching this. Don't think I've seen it before; or if I had, it was a long time ago.

Maybe I'm just not as cynical as the rest of you, but I found it interesting; although there are several serious problems with it.

The first major issue that I had, was the fact that everyone visible on the planet, was white and blonde. Given Gene Roddenberry's usual commitment to diversity in Trek series, (and he was presumably still alive at the time this show was made) I find that surprising, and disappointing. Beauty can and does exist among other human phenotypes.

Another major issue that I had with this episode, was the exaggerated sensuality when the crew were first greeted, and their equally exaggerated awkwardness in response to it. I did get a chuckle out of one of the male Edo saying that he could see that Troi enjoyed, "play," however; many of TNG's fans would probably agree that she had the body for it!

I found this episode's examination of hedonism in comparison with harsh justice to be interesting. Given my reading of channelled material, I've come across at least one other account of a supposed ET race which was at least partly dedicated to such persuits. Sex is a contradiction for me; I love the idea in theory, but not in practice.

I also very much agree with Silvermink that we got a Hollywood ending, and one that was dealt with far too quickly. All in all, though, I certainly would not have rated this only one star, as it was not painful to watch. The talk about the alien entity kept me interested. I'd give it 2-2.5 stars, personally. Nothing Earth shattering, but not unpleasant, and certainly not unwatchable.
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Petrus
Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 6:52am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Repression

Hopefully T'Paul and the other members of this debate will possibly still see it.

The Federation, however, is not a Communist society. It is, very specifically, provisionally Post-Scarcity.

What this means is that technology (whether replicators, or robotic automation, more realistically) is sufficiently advanced, that most (if not all) of the staple commodities which individuals need to physically survive on a daily basis, are reproducible to the point where they are, for all practical intents and purposes, limitless.

At a superficial level, this appears to be similar to Communism; however, as well as potentially deviating from several of Marx' other planks, there is one key difference. Communism still recognised the existence of material scarcity, and theoretically tried to assign everyone an equal *ration* of that scarcity. Post-scarcity, on the other hand, operates on the assumption that most (not necessarily all) resources literally are limitless, in which case, there is no need for any individual's share to be rationed; they can have as much as they want.

Now, here is where the "provisional," part comes in. You will notice that being outside of Federation space, Voyager still had to mine, trade, and scrounge for various things. It is highly likely that even in the 24th century, certain rare minerals, and certainly specialised ship parts, could not be replicated completely out of either thin air or monomolecular raw material, in which case for them, a Capitalist/currency based economy would still need to exist, whether latinum or whatever other currency was used.

This also explains, as T'Paul pointed out, how Quark was able to earn latinum on DS9. Not every alien species has replicator technology, and those that don't are still going to need an exclusively conventional economy, for all of their resources.
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Petrus
Thu, Oct 10, 2013, 4:50am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

@Jammer,
True. I realised that not long after I finished that post, and felt exceptionally stupid. My apologies.
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Petrus
Wed, Oct 9, 2013, 11:11am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Meld

>I fully agree with ProgHead... I think that other >than Nimoy, Russ is THE Vulcan.

While I agree that Russ' performance was fantastic, I've truthfully always viewed Tuvok as an outcast, where Vulcans are concerned. We pretty much find that out in "Gravity."

Tuvok, vocationally and temperamentally speaking, is a warrior, in a society which completely abhors violence. Granted, Spock and several other Vulcans went through a certain amount of self-deception where their own emotions were concerned, but I never saw any of them express anywhere near the degree of internal conflict that Tuvok does. He *hates* being Vulcan, if he would only be honest with himself; it makes him miserable.

If he hadn't been married, then after Voyager got home, part of me would have advocated having Janeway recommend to him, that he move to Romulus. I think he would have been *much* happier as one of them.
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Petrus
Tue, Oct 8, 2013, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

@T'Paul I agree with you.

Yes, DS9 was awesome; I'm not going to disagree with anyone who says that. At the same time, however, Jammer's incessant bitching that Voyager sucks largely because it wasn't DS9, does grow tiresome.

In terms of the characters, if nothing else, I've come to realise that Voyager is my favourite Trek series; and I've seen them all at this point, although I haven't spent as much time re-watching TOS.

Granted, the writing a lot of the time was awful. I'm not going to deny that. But I also think that the Voyager crew had some of the most charismatic and likeable actors that I've ever seen on television; and that in addition to that, their characters were all the more interesting, because of the fact that they were flawed.

I've also realised more recently, that it is actually Voyager's flaws that are a big part of what has made it so endearing to me, as well. I tend to be a strange person, in the sense that I usually find myself deriving value from things which most other people think are of terrible quality. Voyager is no exception. At the moment, I'm also currently in my second playthrough of the Voyager PC game, Elite Force, which I've always really enjoyed as well.

In other words, although I like your reviews, please lighten up, Jammer. Yes, Voyager is genuine drek in places; but there are other places where it really isn't.
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Petrus
Mon, Oct 7, 2013, 8:08am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

Along with "Equinox," and the second half of "Year of Hell," this episode is probably the strongest example, of Janeway's trademark abuse of authority. We see it to a degree in "Spirit Folk," as well, but not quite as severely as here.

It's these episodes which really demonstrate the fact that, while Picard as a character actually went on to have a book about leadership written from his perspective, by a couple of real-life military generals, ("Make It So,") most of the time, Janeway served as an example of how any sort of leader should *not* behave.

As I've written here before, Janeway's immaturity and immorality as a leader, was by far the most negative and problematic element of Voyager as a series.
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Petrus
Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 4:42am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Faces

Just finished watching this.

This is one of my very favourite Voyager episodes; and probably Trek episodes in general.

I've always loved the Klingons; their women, even moreso. I spent nearly three years playing an Orc Hunter in World of Warcraft, as well; the Draenish Orcs are very similar, as a race.

The two women who've broken my heart so far in life have both been Hispanic, as well, so Roxanne Dawson's character holds a fair amount of significance for me. Nothing creepy, but there was a definite crush while the series was airing. My degree of emotional connection with both Torres and Chakotay, is by itself probably the reason why Voyager has become my favourite of the Trek series. I do, however, agree with everyone who wishes the writing could have been better, most of the time. It was criminal how much they neglected Robert Beltran in the end; he was a walk on, most of the time.

If I have any complaints at all where "Faces," is concerned, it's that the setup takes far too long, and the few minutes we get with both halves of B'Elanna, don't seem like anywhere near enough.

The one thing which I did think was very good about their dialogue, though, was the fact that the Klingon half repeatedly asked for acknowledgement, and for B'Elanna to admit that she needed her. That makes a lot of sense, because I've always felt that the main source of Torres' inner conflict was the fact that her Human half, always saw the Klingon half as a curse, and was never willing to recognise it positively, for what it gave her.

Watching this again, also makes me wonder where Voyager could have gone, if instead of getting Jeri Ryan as the show's resident fanservice, we'd had B'Elanna's Klingon half, as well as her human as part of the crew, as others have suggested.

For those who have complained about her Klingon half's slow speech and enunciation, while she might have exaggerated it slightly, I thought it was pretty much spot on. If you watch just about any other episodes with Klingon characters, you will notice that that *is* how they talk. They pronounce every word very carefully and deliberately. I also didn't notice a lisp as such, although her s and t sounds possibly weren't always completely clear. It looks like they gave her some bigger prosthetic teeth for the full Klingon role, which makes sense.

My rating is more than four stars, in the final analysis; but I guess I'm biased. ;)
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Petrus
Wed, Oct 2, 2013, 5:27am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

I just finished watching Unity. I'd seen this episode before, I think, but probably not more than once, and not since it originally aired.

When Chakotay asked the final question, about how long the Co-operative's ideals would last in the face of that kind of power, my own mental answer was, "probably not long."

I liked this episode, but it implied an idea which I've been thinking about for a while now, where the Borg are concerned; namely, that some of the people who were assimilated, genuinely liked it. To a certain extent, I think Seven of Nine herself did, even though the circumstances surrounding her assimilation were deeply traumatic.

My own fascination with the Borg, has brought up some of the issues and cognitive dissonance that I have with cybernetics and transhumanism as more general concepts. For the most part, of course, it's all utterly horrific; and I remember one guy a while back, produced a video series of several hours' length, which he called "Seven of Nine, and the Sexualisation of Technology," where he basically argued that Trek and other elements of pop culture were being used to encourage the population to want to become cyborgs.

As Seven herself said in "Drone," however, "the lure of perfection is strong," and related topics have been an area that I've always had an interest in, even though I know that the potential results of such technology would likely prove unspeakable.

Not so much an episode review; sorry for that...but it was about some ideas which were connected with the episode, so it's not completely irrelevant.
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Petrus
Sun, Sep 16, 2012, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Imaginary Friend

@TH - "I'm curious if there is any historical precedent for non-working family to be brought along on an exploring vessel."

grumpy_otter answered: "Yes. The British Navy permitted wives on board through the 19th century." etc.

I'd like to add that the Portuguese and Spanish noblemen routinely did the same in the 16th and 17th centuries while crossing the Atlantic in the Spanish case or on the outbound journey for India and the homebound journey for Portugal in the former. While not strictly exploring vessels during that period, especially the 6-month journey of the Portuguese Carreira da India could be compared to the voyages of the Enterprise: months at a time without sight of land, freakish storms, pirates, Dutch and English privateers... it isn't all that different from space anomalies and your Klingon/Romulan/etc. encounters.

In fact particularly the Portuguese East Indiamen were very comparable to the Enterprise: they were huge ships with 500-600 people aboard, and sometimes more, who performed theatre plays, concerts, and all sorts of other entertainment while en route - much alike the "moving small town" as Captain Tripps above puts it, talking about the Enterprise.

While not ignoring the large complements of marines they almost always carried, the Iberian ships to America and the Orient, because of the Spanish and Portuguesa colonies there, also always carried numerous civilians with them, who would settle in the colonies or serve there for a period of years. This was totally unlike the ships of the Dutch and English East India companies in the first half of the 17th c., which were sleeker and heavilier armed vessels solely for fighting and trade purposes - the Klingon and Romulan military ships of their day, so to speak.

The presence of noble ladies and their children aboard the Portuguese East Indiamen is part of the Portuguese litterature from the 16th and 17th centuries: several stories of noble ladies and children who chose to go down with their husbands and fathers (or vice versa) during enemy attacks, shipwrecks, etc. rather than be rescued, and tales of long treks along foreign shores following a shipwreck exist. Particularly famous in the story of the wreck of the São João in March 1552: Manuel de Sousa de Sepulveda, his wife and three young children, and some two hundred other Portuguese survivors walked from the Natal coast to Lourenço Marques in Mozambique, where some twenty survivors arrived in May the following year - Manuel, his wife and children all having died along the way.

If you study the history books you'll find many such stories of men, women and children lost at sea, or following shipwreck, since the 16th century. So, with no disrespect, Yarkos statement above that "Back then, there was little danger of floating around on the sea" is simply not true. And the dangers of having women and children on board were many and unexpected: in 1562, a Portuguese sailor, his ship lying at anchor in Mozambique Island, decided to go swimming around the ships in port to catch a glimpse of the ladies on the veranda in the aftercastle. He lost an arm and a leg to the sharks.

Back to Star Trek: of course the families of the crews of such vessels as the Enterprise would be aboard in Roddenberry's 24th century. How can anyone doubt that?
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