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Jason Rabin
Mon, Apr 19, 2021, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

@MSV I don't want to beat a dead horse as I've commented on this point in other threads, but in answer to your question, no it isn't because she's beautiful and it isn't even because I think she's some fantastic actress.

I just think she was well-cast for the role and her character worked extremely well. So well that I think she single-handedly saved Voyager.

I think the showrunners thought that they could generate ratings by bringing in a gorgeous actress. They were right, but for the wrong reasons.
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Undesirable Element
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Every time I reflect on an episode of Discovery after watching it, I find that I rarely have any problem with the specifics of WHAT happens. My qualms with the show always stem from HOW it happens - the execution. After all, Trek has certainly had its fair share of philosophical stories that somehow end up resolving with a meaningless action sequence or an unsatisfying action ending. So I'm not incredibly distressed in theory at the showdown of the season coming down to Burnham and Ossyra duking it out in a random room on Discovery.

It's all just in the WAY it happens. Having a big hammy villain can be fun, but Osyrra just isn't much fun as a hammy villain. She worked really well in the last episode as someone who would do ruthless things but still wanted to be taken seriously as a respected leader. When she plays it over-the-top though, she comes off like a second-rate Power Rangers villain.

The same thing happens with the character development of Tilly. In theory, I like the idea of Tilly taking a command role. That's been an established part of the character from the beginning. But then they just plunk it down here in this season with little or no reason. I actually feel bad for Mary Wiseman because she looks like she has no idea how to play it. Is she an experienced leader or a kid who's in over her head? The script doesn't seem to know, so why should she?

Adira - great character concept that ended up going absolutely nowhere. The show DESPERATELY wants her storyline to MEAN SOMETHING, and *I* really wanted it to too, but it just seemed to drift aimlessly after her introductory episode.

Burnham being the captain at the end should make all kinds of sense. It's where her character arc should have gradually been going all season, and yet, it hasn't. It's just plopped here out of nowhere. Again, in theory, showing the story of a character making a huge mistake and overcoming huge obstacles to finally take command is a great story. This show just can't seem to find a natural way to present any of it.

This show owes its life this season to Oded Fehr as Admiral Vance who can make almost any ridiculous plot point or character development seem almost credible. The man can deliver sincere in a mighty impressive way. He sold a lot of the nonsense this season that should have completely fallen flat on its face.

Of all things, the thing I liked most about this season is the thing I thought I wouldn't - the stuff with Su'Kal on the dilithium planet. The growing bond between Su'Kal and Saru turned out to be surprisingly interesting. Having Saru come to re-appreciate his Kelpien heritage through teaching another Kelpien about it was actually really well done. Doug Jones, of course, sells the hell out of it. Honestly, I think this show works best when it tries to tackle the characters' real emotional truths. It just can't handle the big action stuff with anything other than complete clumsiness.

I give credit to this show for trying to be bold and to take big swings. I just wish that it connected more often than not.
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Undesirable Element
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

The Voyager-J definitely got the most attention there in the big future ship show, but did anyone else notice the USS Nog there too? That made me chuckle.

Intriguing episode. I wish we'd gotten more from Nhan before she left the show, as it would have added some stakes. Very similar to the episode where Ariam died, which was intentionally referenced here several times.

I found myself engaged with Mirror Georgiou for probably the first time in the whole series. First, her interplay with the mysterious Richard Beltzer-like interrogator was just a treat. But second, having her grapple with what her status in the universe actually IS... that's long overdue. I could have watched a whole episode of just that conversation.
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Undesirable Element
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 8:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Forget Me Not

Excellent review, Jammer. You raise some interesting points there.

I feel like mystical mumbo-jumbo is just the standard order when it comes to the Trill. DS9's "Facets" was absolutely ridiculous in terms of how the whole consciousness transfer worked. "Field of Fire" had almost identical mumbo-jumbo to what was presented here, with Joran being manifested as a physical entity that Ezri could talk to.

I actually really like the Trill as a Star Trek species, but from telepathic milky hot tubs, to consciousness transfers, to secret hidden murderers hiding in your subconscious, they are the mumbo-jumboiest of all Star Trek races. :)
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Undesirable Element
Thu, Oct 29, 2020, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: People of Earth

I quite liked this one. It's an interesting take on the idea of isolationism - Earth itself is a paradise still, but it can't grow, protect its former colonies, or become more than what it is. I wouldn't be surprised if it's technically a paradise but maybe not all it's cracked up to be thanks to their extreme isolationist policy. I wonder if the Adira character will have some insight on this, having grown up on this version of Earth.

Burnham is so much better rounded this season. She feels a lot more like a real human being. Her interactions with Saru and even Georgiou felt more genuine than they had in the previous seasons. I think the addition of Book to this show was a terrific move - he's intelligent and charming in his own right, but he also allows Burnham to interact with someone in a natural, understated way. There's really no other character who has that kind of chemistry with her.

I still don't love the Georgiou character even though I like Michelle Yeoh a lot. The character's backstory is just so ludicrously weird and cartoonishly evil, it's hard to take seriously.

Saru becoming captain was a long time coming and a welcome scene. Doug Jones is really great as this character, and he manages to bring a unique take to the position of captain - much more serene and calm while still maintaining an air of command. It's impressive.

This is such a minor gripe, but I don't care for the way this show lights the space windows. Every time there's a window into space, there's a massive white light shining through. It's clearly being done for some sort of artistic reason, but I don't much like it. Makes sense if they're near a star or orbiting a planet, but this happens every time! It's odd.

I'm intrigued to see where we go next. The previews hint at Trill, which makes sense given Adria's backstory. The idea of a human host for a Trill is a interesting one - we've seen it before way back in "The Host," but DS9 definitely never picked up on that ability. Still, there is precedent for it.
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Undesirable Element
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 9:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. There have been MANY times when I thought an episode focused on Michael for no good reason, but here it made a lot of sense. It allows us to see this entirely new universe through the eyes of a single person. We encountered new bits and pieces just as she did. It permitted this new universe to grow naturally instead of providing us with frantic exposition like we've gotten in the past.

I wasn't wild about the idea of the Federation collapsing, but the concept of severely curtailing warp drive made for an interesting starting point. As Michael states, the Federation is more than just ships and technology, so I imagine that we're going to find that a lot of the individual member worlds are intact and continuing the ideals of the Federation, but the ability to link together in common purpose is a problem to be overcome... presumably in this season.

If Book is being set up to be Michael's new love interest (which I think is pretty likely), I think he's a FAR superior choice than Ash Tyler. Giving him a strong level of emotional intelligence provides him with a nice counterpoint to Michael's overtly logical way of approaching all problems. The actor also seems far more capable.

The continuity nods were nicely subtle this time around, and they did address some lingering concerns. Quantum Slipstream is still a thing, and Book mentions needing benamite crystals... which is exactly what was used to power the slipstream drive back in Voyager's "Timeless." The mention that time travel technology has been destroyed and banned after the Temporal Wars alludes to that ridiculous plot from Enterprise and nicely eliminates that can of worms from being opened. After all, if time travel is as everyday as that plotline indicated, we'd have a completely unworkable mess on our hands.

I'm weirdly looking forward to the rest of the story. And I wasn't expecting to say that.
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Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I watched and reviewed all ST:LD episodes, which you can read here:

IMO it was the first Nu-Trek that most aligned with what I want from Trek: optimistic outlook, episodic adventures, a healthy knowledge of the lore, and that lovely lived-in slice-of-space life. I don’t want to live in the worlds of Disco or Picard, but I would love to live in the land of Lower Decks.
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Ryan Rabideau
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 11:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Reading through these comments and such... well I'm ruminating on a couple of things...

1) Discovery has suffered by it's breakneck pace, it's lack of "substrate" character development (the bridge crew/etc.) and it's ever increasingly grandiose plot.

Perhaps... the constraint of being a prequel felt like pressure to continually keep the stakes "global". So maybe... just maybe... in season 3... being in a future where most likely the Federation is long long dead... we will see the plot's stakes being more humble... survival/getting back to their time/etc.

That would feel nice...

2) By being in a hostile future with presumably no strategic support, we see Discovery in the same position as Voyager was... but this time perhaps the authors will do a better job of showing Discovery forced to adapt, forced to do more with less... and not be able to spawn infinite numbers of spare shuttle-craft :)

3) By not showing us any of the aftermath for Discovery in the end, they cleverly positioned themselves to remove any actor from the show they'd like. Obviously it would be difficult to justify Michael or Saru... but minor characters like Reno or even Stammets can be justifiably killed off-screen as a casualty of their journey.

I'm not advocating for their removal... just saying that there are real life concerns and more than most shows... Discovery is under intense scrutiny... so being able to make some cast removals etc. for Season 3 keeps them flexible.

4) I wonder if they are learning from the Orville's moderate success. The Orville possess the relaxed "day to day" living scenes that TNG and other Treks were truly known for... if Discovery could slow down the pace JUST enough to let in more of this sort of humanizing moments, I'd really feel better about their terribly convoluted plots.
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Tue, Jan 22, 2019, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Heart of Stone

I thought this was one of the best episodes so far. Easily in the top 10.
There was suspense, character development (Nog, Odo) and some touching moments. And I wasn't bored during this episode unlike so many other episodes.

The only kinda weird thing was when Sisko jumps on Nog close to the end. I almost thought he would Sisko-punch(tm) him but at this point I expect Sisko to act with sudden intensity at random moments. And it kinda amuses me, actually.
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Thu, Jan 3, 2019, 7:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Duet


A better comparison than Eichmann would be Oskar Grönig who was dubbed "The Accountant of Auschwitz" by the media. He was on trail as recently as 2017 in Germany at the age of 96 years. He publicly regretted being part of the death machine - even though he was "only" an accountant.

In contrast to this DS9 episode, he was sentenced to imprisonment by the German court, though.

I had to think of his case the whole episode through.
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Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: If Wishes Were Horses

I'm watching DS9 for the first time. I cannot understand how you can give absolute trash like "The Storyteller" 3 stars and then complain about this episode when this one actually had some funny and entertaining bits - but to each their own I guess.

I mean, for example the moment when O'Brien goes back into his daughter's room and you just know Rumpelstilzkin will actually be in there was just hilarious I thought.
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Sat, Aug 25, 2018, 11:05am (UTC -5)
Re: CNN Is a Joke

CNN topped itself today with the Enquierer headline news on Trump hearsay news of a doorman and mistress with child. The National Enquirer would not print it because it could not be substantiated but CNN has it leading its webpage.... showing their true colors. Real news outlets like BBC dont even make mention.
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Jason Rabin
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 11:01am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Peter, your explanation would make more sense in the context of DS9 or really anything post Kittomer Accords. This was actually an issue that was touched on quite a bit in DS9 especially.

But Discovery is taking place at a time when the Klingon Empire has no formal ties with the Federation and is free to attack them as they please. They can be as warlike as they please. Their *culture* isn't changed.

Now you're suggesting that if the Federation gets too big and powerful they won't be strong enough to defeat it, I guess. Kind of a bizarre idea that by the Federation getting too strong to attack, this is an attack on the Klingons' way of life of attacking people! Lol. Sort of like the lion accusing the antelope that fights back of attacking his way of life?

I mean I guess you could imagine the Klingons asserting some kind of variation on the lebensraum concept or maybe more sympathetically suggesting the Federation is occupying their fomer "hunting ground".

But watching the Klingon scenes, do you really think the intention of the writers was to suggest the Klingons' were just mad that the Federation was getting too big for them to attack? That their sole grievance was that the Federation was attacking their way of life by being too strong to attack?

I'm sorry but this is bonkers. "Remain Klingon" has no rational explanation in this context. The more I think of it, the more I think this idea came from a different script with a totally different race and the Klingons were just written in after the fact.
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 9:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

@Startrekwatcher: Does you officially being out mean that you will change your handle to "Startreknotwatchinganymore"?
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Jason Rabin
Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

Just as a commentary on the spore drive I don't agree that this belongs in the same category as subspace. For subspace there is no evidence that it exists, true, but also no evidence that it doesn't. It is some sci-fi concept that relates loosely to our universe's physical laws that is simply unknowable at present.

The spore drive isn't unknowable because we know what spores are. We have them here on earth. There is evidence that spores don't live naked in the vacuum of space (and right next to stars!!) because it's fucking impossible.

There is writing a science fiction story about a man walking on the surface of Mars and then one where a man walks on the surface of the sun. There's speculative bordering on fantastical and then there's impossible. The spore drive is really pushing heavily into the latter category.

I am not saying this is my biggest beef with STD. Actually, I kind of like it if I'm being honest. If they really run with the concept and we get some stories like STNG Where No One Has Gone Before or Q Who then I'll forgive them the conceit. Even in the context of a gritty war story one hopes that sooner or later *someone* is going to notice that they can travel anywhere, ANYWHERE.

The big irony is that the only character thus far to give us an inkling of this so far was Lorca of all people in his speech to Michael.
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Fri, Feb 3, 2012, 3:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Before and After

@TDexter I was thinking the same thing! That was kind of weird. I would loved to have seen the kinds of positions Tom and Kes had to get into for conception!

Then there's the annoying fact that humans can apparently breed with any species in the whole universe which is just downright silly. That's always been one of my gripes with Trek. Somehow species from the Alpha quadrant are physically compatible with species from the Detla quadrant. Total bull.
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Admirable Chrichton
Tue, Jan 12, 2010, 11:04am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Acquisition

I think this excerpt from an interview with Brannon Braga on this dogs ass of an episode (I mean you'd think who in hell would even contemplate greenlighting a low grade comedy episode with one of the least popular races that brings up continuity trouble.) really sums up what went wrong with ENT/VOY better than almost anything I have ever seen written.

"I saw more shit being given about our using the Ferengi before it aired than after. You know people were saying "How can they show the Ferengi, when they haven't been encountered yet? They [the fans] don't think we do, but we consider all these things carefully. Sometimes the fans think they know more than we do, but in fact, how could they? This is 24/7 Trek here. It's all we do. We know these series very, very well, so continuity issues are scrutinised very carefully. We almost didn't do it [Acquisition] because it may not fit continuity, but we gave it a whirl anyway."

Let then eat cake eh Brannon.
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amdirable chrichton
Sun, Mar 15, 2009, 3:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Last Outpost

It can be quite contrasting how slow and preachy TNG aactually was in the begining, compared to the high points from seasons 3 to 5. The Last outpost seems to consist of about 56 years just gawping at the big Ferengi ship on the viewscreen! The "Tashas drugs speech" in Symbiosis really has to be seen to be believed though.
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Admirable Chrichton
Sun, Mar 15, 2009, 10:39am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

Does anyone else think this is a bit like the Babylon 5 episode "Deconstruction of Falling Stars", but much better and done properly.
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The Undesirable Element
Tue, Feb 24, 2009, 11:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: No Exit

I couldn't help but be reminded of DS9's "Rapture" with regards to the Kara/Anders plot. In the DS9 episode, Sisko finds all sorts of divine truths as a result of a brain injury, and Jake has a brain surgery performed to save his father.

If one is going to borrow a page from DS9, that's a darn good place to start. And since Ron Moore wrote for that show too, he's really only elaborating on his own themes.
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admirable chrichton
Mon, Feb 23, 2009, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Heart of Stone

The scene where Odo tells Kira what his name means, and how his friendship with her allowed him to overcome it, is a beautiful and heartbreaking scene and really highlights how good an actor Rene Aubergonis is.
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Undesirable Element
Wed, Dec 31, 2008, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Faith

I'm curious... did you score these episodes as you watched them originally, or are you basing your opinion on how they all fit in to the overall storyline of these first ten episodes? (I assume you've seen all the episodes by now.)
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Admirable Chrichton
Thu, Sep 18, 2008, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Cold Fire

This has to be one of the most anticlimatic follow ups to a major plot line I've ever seen. It basically runs as "Use the force Kes, oh look a remake of the Caretakers array, use the force sommore Kes on some tea, plants and a Vulcan security officer. You killed my mate, no we didn't, oh right then, toodleoo." That is honestly about the upshot of it. It was only today why I discovered they did make it at all (as Jammer asks in the review), as a "get Voyager home" card should the show be cancelled (which was a possibility back then.) In that context, this ramshackle outing makes sense.
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Admirable Chrichton
Mon, May 19, 2008, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Dead Stop

Yes the computer voice is indeed Roxanne Dawson.
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admirable chrichton
Fri, Mar 14, 2008, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Fascination

I don't agree that this was the worst episode this season. That award must go to the dire "Meridian". It's silly and utterly forced, but it does get better (I don't know why) after a few viewings and the scene where Bariel gets decked by Dax is (moderately) amusing, and Lwaxanas parting comments to Odo are quite nice as well
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