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Rachel
Wed, May 14, 2014, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Hi Jammer! I'm looking forward to your review when you get around to it, and hoping things are going well for you and your family in the meantime.

I enjoyed "Into Darkness." There were a lot of moments in it that worked for me. I liked Christopher Pike's presence throughout the early scenes and I appreciated that his death scene forced both Spock and the audience to experience the death and pain that Harrison had wrought very personally and intimately.

I liked the way that, despite this experience, Spock immediately called Kirk on his unacceptable thirst for vengeance, and I especially appreciated how quickly Kirk himself came to agree with Spock's moral position and altered his mission on his own cognizance in order to stay true to the ideals of the Federation. To me, that progression from gut-level emotion to self-critical readjustment to a final decision which places his ideals above both his orders and his anger...that's just quintessential James T Kirk to me.

I enjoyed Uhura's scenes in the film, it was good to see her using her linguistic expertise to try to save the lives of the away team in an act of calm professionalism and courage.

I also thought it was good to use both her and Kirk as foils for Spock, to illuminate his serenity as growing, not from rationality or the true wisdom which Spock!Prime had reached in the Wrath of Kahn timeline, but rather from a deliberate choice to deaden himself to pain which grew out of trauma and the fear of vulnerability. This Spock is much younger, much more wounded and much less prepared to deal with death or emotion than the Spock of The Wrath of Kahn was, and I think that putting the events of that classic plot here at this *early* stage in the characters' journeys, when they are not sure of themselves or of their relationships with each other, does make it play out in different ways which are interesting. I know many fans felt that it was simply a misguided, emotionally shallow retread, but for myself I enjoyed watching what it did to these characters to move an incredibly character-defining crisis from the maturity of their friendship up to the very beginning of it, and to see what grew out of those stresses given the people they are right now in the rebooted series.

Ricardo Montalban IS Khan for me, and I would have preferred it had they allowed Cumberbatch to be his own original character rather than trying to fill those shoes, but he did fine with what he was given and the scene in the brig where he weeps over the seeming death of his crew was effective. I also liked the later exchange: "I thought he was helping us!" / "I'm pretty sure we're helping him."

Not a classic, but good fun and interesting. My sense from the few comments I've looked at is that I'm in the minority in liking this one, but that's par for the course, since my reactions to many Trek movies seem to be out of the mainstream (I don't like First Contact or Undiscovered Country, which are generally highly regarded; and I even think that Final Frontier has some great moments despite its overall silliness -- I'm much fonder of it than most people are.)

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! All best wishes.
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Rachel
Tue, Apr 2, 2013, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

Dear Jammer,

I just wanted to thank you for all the fun your reviews have provided over the years. I honestly think this was the first website I ever visited regularly back when my dad's household got the internet in the mid-90s. At the time I was watching DS9 religiously and I remember how delighted I was to discover such long and satisfying reviews written by a fan who in most cases had very similar taste to mine. I've grown up over the intervening years, but have continued to return to this site when introducing my husband to DS9 and when discovering BSG for ourselves. We, too, have recently become parents, and I look forward to introducing the next generation to The Next Generation with the help of your reviews! It's been a long, fun ride and I just want to thank you for all the years of enjoyment and light-hearted debate your writing has generated. It's been a pleasure all along. My sincere best wishes to you and your family!
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Rachel
Sat, Sep 1, 2012, 9:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Where No One Has Gone Before

An okay episode which has far too many holes for me! If the experiments in warp enhancement worked on the other two ships, and was approved by Starfleet Command, what was the problem here? Anyone could see Kosinski was typical of the annoying grey suited jobsworths that I worked with in my last job!

Why was Picard, an explorer, wanting to get back from where-ever they got to, so quickly?

Who cares, really...I think the whole epsiode was to show off Wesley's genuis again - although I could tolerate it more this time.
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Rachel
Sat, Sep 1, 2012, 9:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

For many years since I first saw 'Tapestry', it became easily my favourite episode of TNG, along with 'Timeless' from Voyager and especially 'In the Pale Moonlight' from DS9 (in my opinion, 'Moonlight' is the best Trek episodee of them all).

Much like Picard, I too refuse to believe that in the Trek Universe that Q could run it! But I'm more inclined to believe that Q perhaps showed the Captain this alternate version of his life for a reason - a lesson in humility, perhaps? Picard has always seemed to me to be a bit too arrogant, but that's not a bad character trait - I think all Captains need that.

I agree that Jean-Luc's friends seem right out of the 1950's...but the episode has to have its lighter points amongst the heavier message...which is what, exactly?

That in order to get ahead in life, you must take risks. Stating the obvious, possibly, but this episode is done so well, frankly, I don't care.

Some episodes of Trek really make you think about life...this is one of those for me. Wonderful...and the easiest of four stars too!
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Rachel
Thu, Aug 23, 2012, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Coming of Age

Season 1 seems really dated, but the series does have its highlights, and I think this episode is one of them.

Wesley remains too smart for me - the scene where the alien lieutenant (looked far too human to me!) shouted at Wesley, and WC calmly explained to Chang that he knew that their race hated politeness, seemed a stretch too far. Wesley may have been on the Enterprise, but to pick out one species from the many the crew must have encountered, seems too easy to just 'know'. I accept Wes is supposed to be super smart...but even Chang says he doesn't get through the test not only because of losing time, but other things too. Are Benzites supposed to be that smart?

The other story, with Remmick and Quinn determined to find something wrong with the ship, is far more engaging, although Quinn comes off like all the Admirals (maybe with the exception of Ross in DS9) - stuffy and full of themselves. No wonder Picard turns the 'offer' down.

Good episode, though who thought up Wesley and Deanna's uniforms in season 1?
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Rachel
Wed, Aug 22, 2012, 4:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

I really disliked Geordi in the first half of this episode. Obviously he was redeemed by the end, but I found it surprising that more respect was not shown to Scotty..not just because of who he is, but because, well, he had been in the pattern buffer for 75 years. Coming out of that was no small thing, and yet in this episode it was treated as standard fare. Although it focussed on engineer to engineer, I found the chat with Captain Picard and also Data most rewarding. Geordicould have been written as more humble, which I think the character generally is...but overall a very good episode.
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Rachel
Wed, Aug 22, 2012, 6:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Conspiracy

I suppose Remmick had it coming. He was seen as a rather combative and unpleasant character when first introduced to the series. Riker and Picard exacting revenge? No - more like they knew Remmick could not be saved..after all the mother alien bursts through his chest!

I agree it would have been a better send-off than The Neutral Zone, but that is to sensationalise it, which I think GR would have been against.

The episode may have B-Movie type moments (the meal of maggots and worms for example) but I was completely thrown by Riker - I thought he had been taken over.

The series was still a series or two away from finding itself...Deanna was still in her 'I'm not sure what they are hiding, or who is hiding what' phase - some help to the Captain. They finally starting using her properly from s6 onwards, but I think the episode as a whole was great, and stand up with anything that came later.

I think it is all too easy to dismiss season 1 - it does have some really good episodes. I suppose Angel One, Justice, and the Naked Now are basement episodes - but maybe you have to sit through them just once, to get a balance on how good TNG really is.
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Rachel
Tue, Aug 21, 2012, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

This episode, which I've watched tonight, was much better than I recall. It's far from a TNG classic, but I think worth more than two stars, and oddly, I enjoyed it more than the highly rated 'Darmok', from earlier in the season.

There are unintentionally funny bits in the episode - the rather hokey and unusable martial arts
- Picard somehow being pushed over and nearly injured by the 'old' Deanna
- the fact that Picard doesn't really know what is going on with Deanna until much later in the story

But it is still good. Riker's face at seeing the dress, and then the crewman, is priceless.

Deanna's blue dress? She looked amazing.

So I rate it higher than two stars. I think Deanna has only one truly stand out episode - when she is made to look like one of the Tal Shiar..otherwise she is rather one dimensional. But I still think she is great.
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Rachel
Mon, Aug 20, 2012, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

I think anyone could relate to this episode where they have had a fear manifest itself in some way. True, the technobabble goes into overload here (even outdoing a B'Elanna - Captain Janeway conversation!) but it is enjoyable nonetheless. I actually enjoyed TNG right through to the end. I think for s6, Chain of Command is the stand-out story, but there are plenty of good ones too. Deanna's 'plexing' tactic may seem simplistic, but how many medicines handed out by doctors have resulted in bad side effects? I'm happy if the 24th century has more alternative therapies available. Dwight Schultz - always watchable....great to see him in Voyager too.
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Rachel
Wed, Jul 4, 2012, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Schizoid Man

I enjoyed this episode, though I am watching TNG again inbetween Voyager and DS9. DS9 I have to say has become my fave of the three, with TNG looking rather dated now. This was still a fun episode. In fact, anything that focusses on Data is fun. I do find it odd that a machine as sophisticated as Data would not have some kind of security lock out to stop anyone - even a genius like Graves, tampering with him. I am finding re-watches of TNG so-so, which is a shame, because pre-DS9 and Voyager, I thought it was the best SF show I had seen. I guess the crew makes TNG what it is, and for that, I am forever grateful to Mr Roddenberry.
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Rachel
Sat, May 14, 2011, 11:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

I enjoy your reviews so much, thanks for this!

I just saw that several people were discussing the writer, Peter Allan Fields, and I wanted to add my kudos. I first came across Fields when I was watching "The Man From UNCLE" - his name always seemed to be attached to the best and wittiest scripts. I believe he started his career on that series, which aired concurrently with the *original* Star Trek, so he was definitely a seasoned professional by this point. For giving us "The Inner Light," "Duet," and "Necessary Evil," he deserves a permanent place in the Trek pantheon. His IMDB profile lists no projects after he left DS9. Perhaps he simply retired? I hope he's enjoying his well-earned rest! :)

A lovely episode. Thanks again.
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Rachel
Sun, Jan 18, 2009, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

The very worst thing about this episode is something that I don't think anyone mentioned here; these writers seem to have no idea how evolution works. A single individual cannot evolve new traits like Paris did in this episode. The traits of a species change as they are passed from one generation to another. An individual fish did not suddenly grow legs.

This might sound like a silly thing for me to be making a big deal about, but the thing is, a lot of people actually don't know the basics of how evolution works. (Someone on the internet once wrote sarcastically, "So it only takes a few million years for a monkey to evolve into a person. Oh that's right, monkeys don't live millions of years!")What's next, an episode where the crew goes back in time and sees cavemen coexisting with dinosaurs?

The only good thing about "Threshold" is that it was a season 2 episode, so at least it has an excuse to be terrible.
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