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Sarjenka's Brother
Sat, Feb 6, 2021, 4:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

Bottom line: We wanted a GREAT movie with cinematic impact. Instead, we got a merely good movie with no real lasting repercussions.

I don't understand the hate for "Insurrection," though. I watched it last night here in early 2021 (I think this was my third viewing). I stayed entertained start to finish. But it simply isn't a hall of famer like ST 2-4, Undiscovered Country and First Contact. It's a middle child. It's not a stinker, it's not epic. (It actually would have been a good two-parter for TV, as others have said.)

I think they actually had a GREAT idea/theme but just didn't sell it all the way. And that's the Federation has taken a lot of hits. It's weakened and wounded. And maybe ready to be a bit more flexible, to say the least, with its ideals in this weakened and humiliate state.

I agree with the person who posted that Patrick Stewart thought that should be the theme for a trilogy of movies. I agree: A battle for the soul of the Federation, as members cross lines that shouldn't be crossed.

While I had nothing per se against the entire Ba'ku / Son'a storyline, I think there were better vehicles to explore this idea of the Federation crossing ethical and moral lines. And I think I would have stayed with races and planets already established, at least in the first movie for the "Battle for the Soul of the Federation" trilogy.

I'd borrow from "In the Pale Moonlight" and "Empire Strikes Back" to some degree:

Open up with the Enterprise under attack by several Orion ships after falling into a trap set by them. The Enterprise, which supposedly has better technology, should prevail but is surprised to find the Orions have more powerful weapons than previously known and in is serious danger of losing the battle. At the last minute, a Federation ship of Andorians come to the rescue. Turns out the Orions (and the Tholians and Gorn off-screen) have become increasingly aggressive since the Dominion War.

Picard feels a grateful kinship with the Andorian captain because he loses his ship and some of his crew while saving the Enterprise. The A captain tells Picard he has now gathered conclusive evidence that Romulans (specifically Tomalak) are secretly assisting the Orions, Gorn and Tholians to further weaken the Federation in a proxy war. And Beverly meets an Andorian scientist she's always admired who survived the battle.

Starfleet calls both vessels to Earth for highly secretive talks. The Federation Council decides to launch a secret preemptive attack on Romulus, with just the Enterprise and a special Andorian ship, both equipped with cloaks and new weapons technology developed and repurposed from captured J'em Haddar ships. Also along for the ride, a J'em Haddar officer to assist.

Long story short: Turns out the Romulans are NOT aiding and abetting the Orions.

It's the Andorian captain, who dreams of heading a more aggressive and militaristic Federation. He's promised an ambitious Orion "slave woman" -- who is anything but a slave -- that they'll be calling the shots. It's unclear who is leading who in this power-hungry duo.

And what better place to start than an attack on Romulans, who have been so sneaky in the past? (And it later turns out the Federation Council KNOWS of this plot but the leadership thinks they'll be able to scapegoat the Andorians and Orions after the deed is done. This includes Vulcan, Human and Tellarite council members.)

It's the good Andorian scientist, Beverly and Geordi who first get wind of this on the Andorian ship en route to Romulus, but there's a lot of peril for them and can't warn Picard (however you set that up).

So the orders are: Do the attack. Picard has grown increasingly uneasy with the enthusiasm of his new Andorian buddy, but until minutes before the attack, doesn't have true evidence. Finally, the A scientist, Beverly and LaForge are able to warn Picard (and the A scientist is killed and Beverly severely injured in getting the evidence to the Enterprise).

Picard turns on the A ship, there's a huge battle as Romulan warbirds approaching. The A captain and his Orion accomplice escape just before their ship blows up. Before the crippled Enterprise can pursue, the Romulans surround the Enterprise and force it to surrender, genuinely having no idea what's going on other than it appears the Enterprise was about to launch an attack.

The movie ends with several scenes set a week later:

-- The Federation Council announcing that Picard and the Enterpise went rogue and they disavow all knowledge of the attack in front of the Romulan ambassador.

-- The Andorian captain and his Orion woman ally are seen meeting with a Ferengi about the purchase of a derelict Klingon ship.

-- Geordi and Beverly, near death, are in an Andorian escape pod drifting in space with no communications equipment. No one knows they are alive. All of a sudden, a Delta Quadrant Vidiian ship, of all things, approaches them.

-- Picard, Riker, Troi, Data, Worf and the J'em Haddar officer (the latter two who have bonded) are paraded in front of Tomalak and the Romulan Senate. Tomalak condemns them to death for crimes against the Romulan Star Empire.

BAM. Movie ends with a close-up of a stony faced Picard.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 12:11am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Renaissance Man

The Hierarchy aliens are the Ferengi of the DQ.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 4:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Homestead

I can overlook the improbable situation of Talaxians that far from home. After all, Voyager found short cuts. Why not them? (And yes, an explanatory sentence would have been a nice nod).

Otherwise, what a wonderful send-off. Visually, this episode is stunning, as all of Season 7 has been. For visuals, this is peak Trek right here (I don't like the stuff they're doing in the 21st century. It's too much. Voyager is just spot-on for me).

And I'm not sure living in the asteroid is any worse than living on DS9, for instance. It's just a different kind of space station.

It's not quite a 4-star true Trek classic, but nonetheless a touching and enjoyable send-off episode.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Friendship One

I liked the whole "talking with the AQ" thing going on in Season 7 and giving Voyager a mission. But yet another AQ/DQ set-up? I've lost count. I wish they had given them something else entirely to do as their first official DQ mission.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

Count me in with Jammer and all the folks who loved this episode. This is a classique -- not just for "Voyager" but for all of "Trek."

I do believe S7 is my favorite of "Voyager."
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, Dec 14, 2020, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

Good Voyager outing. I'm like the others who wouldn't have minded this alliance to carry out at least on more episode on the outside of The Void. And this could have easily been a two-parter. Still, good job.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, Dec 14, 2020, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Human Error

On the weak side for a Seven of Nine episode, though Jeri Ryan's work was excellent as usual.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, Dec 14, 2020, 8:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Workforce

If we had been delivered more shows like this two-parter, "Voyager" would have been considered the best "Trek" show.

This was excellent on every front: concept, writing, direction, acting, guest stars (loved James Read and Don Most), set design. It all came together beautifully. I liked how even when their memories were wiped, people acted true to character. If I had a quibble, the cliffhanger with Chakotay seemed a tad undramatic. But that's truly a quibble.

This was not only two of "Voyager's" finest hours, "Workforce" is a solid entry in the all-time Trek Hall of Fame. I think I may like this even better than another great mid-season two-parter, "The Year of Hell."
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Q-Less

Hmmmm, I enjoyed this a tad bit more on this 2020 viewing vs. my 2013 viewing. Still, a weak episode by the coming standards of DS9.

It's odd how a being as powerful as Q is treated like an annoyance vs. a major threat. I guess by now, Starfleet realizes he isn't going to wipe out his playthings.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Repentance

Good three-star "issue" episode. These kinds of shows make for a good one-hour, contained episode.

I always liked Jeff Kober on "China Beach," so nice to see him turn up here. Co-star Megan Gallagher (Wayloo) has been on "Voyager," too. (Also in an "issue" episode.)
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Sarjenka's Brother
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 11:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Shattered

I have to knock off 1 star for some absurdities including the basic premise. But after that, I thought this was a solid 3-star romp with just the right amount of nostalgia. I love the random points of time they encountered. And any reason to bring Seska back is a good one.

I was expecting something not good at all based on sneak-peak comments and was quite pleased with the episode. I'd definitely watch it again in the future. Or in the past!
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Sarjenka's Brother
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

I thought this was a very "DS9" episode. In my book, that's a compliment. And it's not because there were a bunch of AQ reps. I just simply liked the messy moral complications of the show.

I was actually on the side of the "photonics" up until the moment the Bajoran Photonic beamed over the three holograms and then blew up that little ship. It was quite a surprise to him what came over.

And I must say, I think the Trek look was at its peak with the past two seasons of Voyager. They did some stunning visuals that still hold up -- and aren't so over the top like the JJA movies and new TV shows.

Some of the settings in this little movie were spectacular. Voyager was definitely the most visually appealing Trek for me.

In the end, this was 3 point 5 stars for me. Just a little shy of being a true, epic Trek classique.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 10:23am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Critical Care

I thought it was a really good episode. I thought it was an indictment of the US healthcare system myself. And remember when this was made, we were still the "good ol' days" of being denied coverage for pre-exisiting conditions and such.

But in the end, heartless allocation is heartless allocation. Does it really matter if a socialist government or the CEO of a capitalist company is the one denying you? Either way, you're without what you need.

Also, have you ever noticed that message shows usually feature very humanoid looking species?
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Sarjenka's Brother
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 6:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Repression

Here's a rare example of bad idea / good execution.

This simply should have never made it past the pitching stage. They set up a Maquis/Starfleet situation in the pilot and then failed to properly cash in, bringing them together much too quickly.

Mistake made. You move on and learn. But it was silly to bring it back up in Season 7. Who cares in Season 7?

All that said, paradoxically enough, it was a fairly entertaining episode otherwise. 2 stars.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Wed, Nov 11, 2020, 7:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Drive

Excellent observation above ... a remarkable amount of stuff in small area of space. I liked the episode. I think I would have liked it even more without the political intrigue. Just a flat-out space race would have been great fun, really.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Nov 10, 2020, 10:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Unimatrix Zero, Part II

I liked the episode/conclusion, and I have two counterpoints to thoughts about the concerns the Borg were used too often and watered down:

1. It was established in the first Borg contact episode on "Next Gen" with Q that they were in the Delta Quadrant. It's also logical to assume they'd control a vast section of DQ space given their capabilities. Therefore, it's logical to assume Voyager would run into them -- and more than once or twice -- on the way home.

What would expect out of the show? One big encounter and that's it? Really, if you think about it, they didn't have that many Borg episodes given the vast territory the Borg must have operated in.

2. Normally, Voyager should have been wiped out by the Borg. I agree. But the first big encounter with the Borg on "Voyager" was in the middle the very fortunate war with Species 8472. On "Next Gen," the Federation never had the luxury of the Borg being distracted. Voyager did. That put in them in a clever and unique position. And at the end of the episode, they had Seven of Nine -- and all kinds of insider intel the Alpha Quadrant ships never had.

I think Voyager came up with a rather plausible way to explain how it was able to survive Borg encounters single-handedly. The Species 8472 and Seven of Nine gave them advantages -- along with all the skills The Doctor hologram picked up along the way.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

You know, a few Holodeck-based episodes here and there on lone Federation ship trapped in the Delta Quadran isn't a bad idea. In fact, it's a GOOD idea.

It makes total sense they'd want to use their technology to create a familiar, ongoing Earth-like environment. Even a place in "simpler" times would have an understandable appeal. Such an ongoing use of the deck could have provided fascinating character studies and insights, like Reginald Barkley's holo-addiction. God knows here in October 2020, if there were holodecks, I'd be in them all the time.

BUT ... Lord have mercy on all our souls. The Irish town cliche? And the malfunction / safety protocols off cliche? THAT IS NOT where they should have been going with these.

They were on track with Tom's Marseilles bar. A French village. Or since they love their Academy days so much, a romantic San Francisco from the 1950s. But no malfunctions. The drama is their loneliness and reactions to an ongoing program from home.

Half a star for "Spirit Folks."
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Arjay
Sun, Sep 27, 2020, 5:18am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: And the Children Shall Lead

The first 3 minutes sets the level of this episode - worse than anything ever made with the Star Trek brand.

Kirk and McCoy take a receptacle out of a dead woman' mouth and examine it with....their own noses. Well done geniuses; you just died from the same poison. Except you didn't because this episode is fucking trash.
Fist pumping ginger and that stupid instrument parp made me want to beam into space like a redshirt.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Alice

Usually I think y'all come down on shows too hard, but yeah, this one really is a two point fiver.

But I will give three point five to the actual ship design after Tom cleaned it up. That was pretty cool looking. I like ships, so a bump just for that.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 11:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

I am definitely floating in the middle between two very different reactions to the episode, thinking both the lovers and detractors are going overboard.

I think Jammer and the lovers definitely overrate the goings on in this episode with four stars. To me, it was too ambiguous for that. A true classic ought to be more universally understood. Something with this many unanswered questions and confusion just can't go the full 4-stars with me.

But I also don't get the full-on boredom and hate. There are a lot of interesting moments and thoughts here. The visceral reaction to the religion/afterlife themes are odd to me, too. Those themes are fine for exploration to me.

I'm like a strong 2.5 stars or weak 3 stars here, seeing the value in the acting, the production and the premise, but it's definitely no Top 10 Voyager for me.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

I'm with the crowd that wonders why we had to have the photonic aliens from subspace at all.

Voyager was a long way from home. It would stand to reason that for every dramatic alien encounter, there would be long periods of just going though empty, boring space.

The crew would need something to do to pass the time -- what better way than holodeck programs? I think two or three times a season, a nonperil storyline that examines the crews' cultural and social situation via the holodeck (or not the holodeck) would have been fine.

You simply could have set the story up with a senior staff meeting with so little to report in the empty sector of space they are in that they simply start sharing ways they are passing the time.

Harry Kim mentions Tom's "Captain Proton" story. Seven and Tuvok are skeptical and pronounce it a waste. But Neelix and Chakotay say it sounds like fun. They're in! (Fade to opening title).

So Neelix and Chakotay join Tom and Harry for an "episode." They are delighted and at the next staff meeting talk about how much they liked it. Seven and Tuvok remain skeptical. They argue about the dubious merits of spending time that way with the Doctor siding with Tom and his Proton posse and B'Lanna and Janeway neutral about a 1940s sci-fi program but open minded.

In the end, Janeway issues a challenge -- they'll all participate in a full Proton adventure. If Seven and Tuvok fail to see the value, Harry and Tom will have to do some boring odious chore mentioned in the intro. But if Seven and Tuvok (who cannot lie) see the value, they'll get stuck with the duty.

"Bride of Chaotica!" plays out w. no aliens, no subspace. The only stakes are unwanted chores and bragging rights about being right. As the Proton adventure reaches its climax, Seven can't help herself but enjoy it and Tuvok cannot deny that the program had benefit for his emotional, bored crewmates. Team Proton gloats at the admission.

When the episode ends, you see Tuvok and Seven engaging in the tedious chore in a Captain Proton motif. Laughs all around!

In the end, Trek didn't have too many holodeck episodes. It had too many holodeck malfunction episodes. There were plenty of ways to utilize it without adding in needless peril.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 10:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

I'm still marveling at the ocean planet. What a cool concept. Very well done on the effects. I would have liked a two-parter on that one!
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 12:26am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

I'm a huge Jammer fan. But this is a 3.5 star episode for me.

I loved the debate in the conference room with Harry and Janeway on one side and Chakotay and Tuvok on the other. Like the best "Treks," I found compelling arguments on both sides.

In the end, I agreed with Janeway's call.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 12:10am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

3.5 stars for me. Great episode.

I particularly enjoyed Jeri Ryan's Ferengi.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jul 26, 2020, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Once Upon a Time

Two and three quarter stars.

And I like the holonovel. This is a much better use of the holodeck than the usual BS of safety protocols off, etc.

Naomi is cute. Nice character moments. Good moments in the shuttle.
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