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Rahul
Mon, Jul 6, 2020, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Corbomite Maneuver

I think TOS was sloppy with its stardates. Not sure how much weight one can put in them as far as a chronological order of the Enterprise's mission under Kirk -- especially in the early part of Season 1.

In Kirk's first log entry for this episode, he says stardate 1512.2. The second time he mentions a stardate, it's 1513.8. What's odd is the stardate for "The Man Trap" is 1513.1.

We know the order of the episodes to air was not the order in which they were produced but what else is odd is you have 2 episodes with stardates in the 1300s ("Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "Mudd's Women") and then nothing in the 1400s. Then you have some episodes in the 1500s. Haven't looked up how stardates correspond to the regular calendar, but it would seem Kirk's Enterprise went a long period of time without anything worthy of an episode. And it would do so again when stardates jump in to the 2700s for 3 episodes starting with "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
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Rahul
Mon, Jun 29, 2020, 9:08am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

"What I found unbelievable was Tuvok explaining that Vulcans believe in some sort of soul that survives death. That is an epic fail for a race that prides itself on being logical."

This comment is almost too dumb to even be worth addressing. There is the well-established Vulcan katra which is essentially a soul. In ENT's "Awakening", Archer gets Surak's katra passed on to him from the Syrranite leader.

So I think it is perfectly logical that Vulcans would believe in some kind of soul that survives death and actually dealing with it physically is part of Trek canon.

My impression is Vulcans are a deeply spiritual race, which is not contrary to logic. The logic thing is adapted as an alternative to emotion, which can be highly illogical.
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Rahul
Sun, Jun 28, 2020, 3:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Thoughts on Star Trek Continues: To Boldly Go Part II -- gives TOS the appropriate series finale it never got and hits the right notes with Kirk's promotion to admiral and a good final ending wrap-up. That was what all TOS fans wanted to see the original cast do and the STC cast does it well here after a mostly plot-driven wrap-up to the ESPers taking over the Kongo and being stopped on their way to taking over the Federation.

The episode sees some important crew members getting killed -- the counselor McKenna and Smith who develops ESP and disables the Kongo in what was probably the weakest and least credible part of the episode. McKenna's death and being held in the transporter was meant to be a somewhat moving moment for Kirk and Spock. It sort of worked.

But Kirk and Spock get plenty of time to reflect and beat themselves up over lost lives on the 5-year mission and bad emotion-driven decisions respectively. I think these aspects were reasonably well acted and believable and it nicely segues to that interim period before the movie franchise kicked in.

Not much needs to be said about the plot mechanics, but the saucer separation looked pretty cool. I didn't think it was necessary for Tal on the Romulan ship to try to destroy the Enterprise after the Kongo self-destructed and then the female commander inputs some code to disable the weapon and relieve him of duty -- just a needless little event that came out of nowhere and went nowhere.

As for the ESPers abilities, it seemed to mainly be using Talosian-style illusions to confuse Kirk's crew but, of course, they found a quick solution to counter those. Uhura was especially put to good use here. So there may be some inconsistencies between what Gary Mitchell was able to do compared to Lana/Sentek and the Kongo crew. It could just come down to weaker forms of ESP, but really if Lana/Sentek & co. were as powerful as Mitchell, there's no stopping them.

Thought it was overly idealistic for McKenna, when on the Kongo, to spew the Star Fleet mantra that they will accept the ESPers with dignity etc. Sometimes I think STC reached too far on the Trekian ideals.

Also just barely 3.5 stars for "To Boldly Go Part II" -- I think this 2-parter is a must-watch, especially for TOS fans. It's a good action-adventure TOS style once again and it should be considered part of official canon. The Big 3 are totally burned out and are set to go their separate directions.

I think it's outstanding what STC accomplished and the nu-Trek showrunners should follow their lead when creating the next PIC and Strange New Worlds episodes instead of departing from what made classic Trek so enduring.

I hope there is a Vic Mignogna out there somewhere for TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT!
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Rahul
Sat, Jun 27, 2020, 10:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Thanks for posting the link to "The Enemy Below" SouthofNorth -- it is a terrific movie and clearly BoT borrows a great deal from it, but I think the Trek writing team (mainly Paul Schneider) deserves a fair bit of credit for taking the best elements of the movie and augmenting them into just an exceptional episode.

The premise of 2 evenly matched ships (with different strengths/weaknesses) led by 2 captains who develop a unique respect for each other is a an awesome basis for a story. But BoT has a few more layers to it with Stiles' bigotry toward Spock, the marriage with the groom dying and Kirk having to comfort Martine "it never makes any sense", Romulans/Vulcans, etc.

It's interesting just how far BoT went with the naval analogy as we get into a great bit of detail of what it takes to go to battle, firing phasers -- aspects which are glossed over in other episodes. We see the technicians in their suits that I don't think we ever see in any other episodes. The movie focuses on how commands get relayed from the captain and to some extent that also happens in BoT, which is a bit un-Trek-like to me as it doesn't happen in any other episode that I can think of.

Wasn't a huge fan of how the movie left things with the 2 captains sharing a smoke on the American ship, but I rather like the BoT ending with the Romulan captain acknowledging Kirk "you and I are of a kind" but then blowing up his ship.
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Rahul
Fri, Jun 26, 2020, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Babel One

This episode deserves a bit more credit than what I gave it upon its initial viewing. There are a number of nice little tidbits that really make a well-rounded action-adventure show that play into bigger themes. The major issue of canon violations with the Romulans having this remote control capability and ship-mimicking skills still doesn't feel right but I think some handwaving is ok for the sake of an intriguing premise.

Speaking of those little tidbits, there's the bit with Kos formally dissolving the marriage with T'Pol and then Reed asks Trip (when on the Romulan drone ship, no less) what he's going to do about it. I like how these 2 characters are written where they are good buddies even while on the Romulan drone and can talk about women!

Also Archer talking with T'Pol over a meal in the captain's mess about if they are are moving too fast vs. the Vulcans mediating between the Andorians and Tellarites is a good self-reflection that puts into context the extent humanity is getting involved in these galactic geopolitics.

As for Shran, I still wonder how Archer keeps running into him but it makes for good TV, especially when they get into a conversation over Andorian liqueur about Shran's romantic life.

There's some good continuity and character/world building here that adds to the richness of the overall material.

3 stars for "Babel One" -- There's really no downtime in this well-paced opener to a pretty good 3-parter. ENT was pretty damn good in Seasons 3 & 4 -- really wish we could have had another season with the momentum it had going.
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Rahul
Sun, Jun 21, 2020, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Thoughts on Star Trek Continues: To Boldly Go Part I -- really liked this mainly plot-driven show that makes use of a number of good details and also provides a logical follow-up to "The Enterprise Incident" with a reasonable cliff-hanger ending. I liked the continuity with TOS but also building on earlier STC episodes (loss of the Hood).

The theme of humans trying to advance themselves with enhanced ESP (for what nefarious purpose?) isn't anything special but it would seem that Lana and the Vulcan may not have the capabilities to the extent Gary Mitchell developed or they are being more subtle in not showing all their cards. It's really the deception that, to me, gave this episode a bit more depth. We'll see if they turn out to be cardboard villains, but so far they're not.

So Spock gets the Romulans involved -- nice to see he still has a connection with the Romulan commander and was involved in getting her released. Should she be in charge of a warbird again? I don't think so but it adds a good element to this story.

The Romulans and Federation are uniting against a bunch of ESPers which makes sense given the treat to both their unions. It was a bit farfetched to have the warbird and the Enterprise combine their warp capabilities to get to the barrier faster, however.

Who knows what lesson is going to come out of this -- as it seems STC likes to push Trekkian ideals. There is the "absolute power corrupts absolutely" being tweaked to selective corruption -- maybe there's a peaceful resolution upcoming in the 2nd part?

There's also the element that the 5-year mission is coming to an end and there is a sense of finality/nostalgia (Spock teaching McKenna meditation and talking about how he's been serving on the Enterprise for 16 years under 2 captains and appreciating humans).

Interesting sci-fi that the Preservers were said to have erected a barrier around the galaxy and these Federation ESP people think its their calling to evolve by breaking the barrier -- certainly creative.

Just barely 3.5 stars for "To Boldly Go Part I". Another classical tale in the TOS style -- interesting to see how this one wraps up as STC has really remained true to TOS. The threat to the Federation (and Romulans) has come full circle back to the 2nd pilot and I don't think the threat to the Federation as nearly as hokey as in "Conspiracy" or some of the nonsense from DSC or PIC, but it's obviously not as well-developed and enthralling as BoBW or the Dominion War. But I do believe this episode is a winner and the best STC hour thus far.
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Rahul
Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

Thoughts on Star Trek Continues: "What Ships Are For" -- really enjoyed this one. Definitely a TOS story if there was -- and a better version of a combo of "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" and TNG's "Symbiosis".

Reasonably clever with the monochromatic view due to the sun's radiation blinding the fact that there are aliens living amongst a xenophobic race that needs help from the Enterprise. Interesting examination of the PD and great to have John de Lancie as a guest actor. He has a good scene where he and Kirk discuss the PD, though for a xenophobic person, he had quite a good understanding of it!

Kind of topical given today's themes of illegal immigration, regions in conflict, refugees all getting the TOS treatment -- sometimes contrived, heavy-handed, but well-intentioned and it all feeds into a good story. The episode also made good use of the entire crew, Sulu got to put his botany expertise to work, the counsellor, Uhura, Scotty, Chekov all had small contributions to make.

A critic could say there are some trite lines, but I think they were well used in the TOS style: "how often we look but fail to see," "no them, only us". Kirk gets to make a speech and employs his pragmatic brand of diplomacy which we've seen in "A Taste of Armageddon" or "The Cloud Minders".

3 stars for "What Ships Are For" -- lots of little bits and pieces fit well together in this story. Does simplify some issues as Trek often does but it comes off as a good tale here. Get to see some people forced to confront their prejudices and work together. Again very impressed with the overall production and integrity to TOS.
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Rahul
Fri, Jun 12, 2020, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

Sorry I don't want to drag this discussion on anymore as I've already stated my position and I stand by it but I do want to clear up the communism thing -- as I said, I recall Elliott saying he's a socialist. I take that at face value and so why would I call him a communist?

The confusion must be coming from the comparison with the Chinese Communist Party -- they are communist in name only now. In reality, they practice socialism with Chinese characteristics, as I understand them describing themselves. The CCP has also been characterized as fascist by a scholar I know.

And I welcome wolfstar's input -- another cogent, thoughtful voice. Certainly didn't make things worse, at least from my perspective.
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Rahul
Fri, Jun 12, 2020, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

I appreciate Peter G.’s characterization of the discourse — he is somebody I’ve come to respect for consistently well-reasoned, well-written analysis. I admit, I was quite irritated with Elliott’s comments that Michael rightly vilified. And even if the “ugly” comments are 9 years old, has Elliott walked them back? If not, then the 9 years is irrelevant.

Over the years, I’ve seen other “random” people take offence to Elliott’s comments and I also recall Elliott claiming he’s a socialist (another reason for saying “far left”, aside from the tactic itself). Just so everybody knows, I am firmly against these extreme ideologies (communism, socialism, fascism, etc.) as they are detrimental to society.

Here’s an analogy which is somewhat why I was also disgusted with Elliott’s comments. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been correctly accused of covering up COVID-19 and mismanaging it such that it became a pandemic. When democratic governments want to take it to task, it strikes back and says those governments are racist and xenophobic -- they are not. And then the CCP claims to be the victim and doesn’t take responsibility for its idiocy. This is a typical tactic the CCP uses and I see Elliott largely doing the same bullshit. I just think it’s vile and so I also felt compelled to call him out.
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Rahul
Thu, Jun 11, 2020, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

@wolfstar

"Why does every major argument on this site in the past year or two always involve the same person?"

You've noticed that too huh?

This forum is a free-for-all so to try to optimize my enjoyment of it, I stopped paying attention to certain people a long while ago. But I happened to read Elliott quoted this morning because it's this episode and here we are...
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Rahul
Thu, Jun 11, 2020, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

"The Visitor" is one of my favorite Trek episodes ever and I was curious as to why it was creating a buzz here this morning. Unfortunately it comes down to Elliott employing a typical tactic of the far left to call something racist because he doesn't agree with it and then getting called out on it. I see this type of nonsense as political correctness taken to the nth degree -- it's almost gaslighting. It happens all the time these days.

And then there's the part about Elliott's implication of not seeing black Bajorans, skin, and evolution etc. -- just beyond ridiculous.

So I agree with Michael who is right to call out Elliott for, as I see it, trying to stir up something out of nothing for what must be some warped beliefs. Keep getting confirmation that it is best to just ignore Elliott.
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Rahul
Sun, Jun 7, 2020, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Trent, I agree with you re. Kurtzman Trek. It's a 1-trick pony and that trick isn't very good; however, I think just being able to focus on episodic Trek might make the demands on the deficient writing staff easier than trying to come up with season-long arcs. If "Strange New Worlds" was another serialized Trek, I would not get my hopes up.

What literally frightens me is this talk about a Section 31 series... Now there's something that should not come to fruition, episodic or not.
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Rahul
Sun, Jun 7, 2020, 2:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Tholian Web

Thoughts on Star Trek Continues: "Still Treads the Shadow" which takes a tangent from this episode and is the best STC episode yet for me. It employs some cliches but ultimately it's a pretty good story about a duplicate of Kirk getting trapped alone for 200+ years with AI for company. Defeating the AI "Tiberius" requires some hand-waving and there's the token love interest thrown in with Rekha Sharma (not an actor I really care for but who does a reasonable job here).

The episode employed some themes and plot moves from original episodes like "Metamorphosis" with a companion to keep a human company, the surprise injection to knock out Kirk (a la "The Empath" when McCoy tranquilizes Spock), and of course making a computer (AI) self-destruct. But all these things were woven into a good TOS-style tale. I also liked the visuals of the black hole/rift in space/dark matter -- looked like what you might see in some of the better TOS enhanced visuals.

Some interesting conversations between the 2 Kirks and the counselor about being old and alone, "old mariner", and also between McCoy (who overacts) and Spock about what is evil vs. AI just using cold logic. The episode gave enough time to breathe and think beyond the next step in the plot.

3 stars for "Still Treads the Shadow" -- overall a nice package of sci-fi, the human condition of loneliness and getting old and a clever way to do a twist on a "The Tholian Web" epilogue. The part about AI run wild has been done enough on nu-Trek but here it is more like the Companion although more intransigent (perhaps a bit convenient to be dismantled so summarily, but that's TOS). Good to see some seemingly additional thought put into coming up with this STC episode.
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Rahul
Sun, May 31, 2020, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Turnabout Intruder

Thoughts on Star Trek Continues: "Embracing the Winds" about a woman wanting to be captain of the Hood that mysteriously lost its crew and competing with Spock for that honor. Very heavy handed episode on discrimination and the glass ceiling but one that takes the easy way out with the Hood getting destroyed and Kirk not having to opine to break the tie.

As always with STC, I'm impressed with the recreation of TOS -- this time it is the exterior visual of the starbase. There's a certain aesthetic to those images like the mining plant in "The Devil in the Dark" or the plant in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and it is captured perfectly here. Well done STC.

One thing came up here that I'm not sure is true -- this episode says that the Federation composed of Earth, Vulcan, Andorians and Tellarites came about to counter the Romulan threat. I didn't think it was spurred into creation by a particular threat...

Anyhow, so there's this very driven woman Garrett who wants command of the Hood and comes across as so untrustworthy b/c she won't answer questions about a mission gone wrong and then calls for an immediate decision -- which brings about a court room scene just like in "Court Martial". This Garrett character could have been written better.

And then there's the Federation hesitant to have a female captain due to Tellarites being backward and potentially pulling out of the alliance. This strikes me as bizarre and unrealistic.

The B-plot is weak here. Chekov "MacGyvers" a way to take down the Hood's shields so Scotty and the others can beam back before the Hood blows up. That was a bit ridiculous but it wasn't as bad, to me, as how the writers made Scotty so apathetic about having nothing he can do to stop the Hood from blowing up -- he's gone way farther in coming up with miracles ("That Which Survives", "The Doomsday Machine", "The Naked Time" come to mind). Bottom line, the script demanded that the Hood be blown up so a decision does not have to be made between Garrett and Spock for its command.

2.5 stars for "Embracing the Winds" -- barely. Could have really taken some risks here. STC definitely focuses on its issues of the day but I don't know what was accomplished here. I think most would pick Spock over Garrett due to her evasiveness and obviously feeling Spock is uber-capable. So what was the purpose of having Garrett have some dubious actions to raise doubts? It didn't become an issue of just her gender, but then the whole decision is rendered moot anyway by the Hood blowing up.

I think what STC has accomplished is fantastic but what's missing is the writing/premises/ideas to really come up with some memorable episodes.
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Rahul
Sat, May 30, 2020, 6:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: State of Flux

@Justin,

If Seska had stayed on board, the whole Kazon conflict would have suffered greatly -- not that it was particularly enthralling to begin with. Given that the Kazon were supposed to be Voyager's principle antagonists for the 1st 2 seasons, on their own they were surprisingly underwhelming -- little more than recurring hard-headed aliens. Seska getting involved made them more interesting, not to mention giving the Chakotay character some good opportunities as she bore his child. I guess I'd say some of the Seska/Chakotay stuff got somewhat edgy, but ultimately I would say VOY did play it safe. The Seska/Chakotay plot probably could have taken a darker turn.

That being said Seska as a highly dissatisfied member of the crew would be interesting as the whole Maquis thing got papered over pretty quickly and smoothly. Hackett is a decent actress and I really liked her role in "Prime Factors" -- that kind of pushing to do things her way would create some good conflicts amongst the crew and for Janeway.
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Rahul
Thu, May 28, 2020, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Seventh Season Recap

Wanted to put down some overall thoughts on VOY (not just Season 7) having gone thru it at least a half-dozen times...

Bottom line is I like it for what it is and its place in classic Trek. No, it doesn't have many all-time great episodes for me like TOS, TNG, DS9 do but I think it managed to carve out its own territory and I can understand why it will be some people's favorite Trek.

But as many have said, and I particularly like Skeptical's comments (as usual, one of the best contributors to this forum), VOY could have been so much more. Contrast this with TOS which achieved so much with so little. VOY starts with a terrific premise of a Federation/Maquis crew stranded in the DQ trying to find their way home. The production values were great, the VFX solid, and VOY really swung for the fences with episodes like "Scorpion" and some of the other 2-parters, but in most cases the writing didn't hold up its end of the bargain.

I think the problem with VOY is that it didn't take enough risks and was content to basically be a happy-go-lucky crew wandering home and not shaking up the status quo. Way too many reset buttons, hard-headed aliens of the week, contrivances, head-scratchers (like I thought we had seen the last of the Malon/Borg/Vidiians etc.) and ultimately inconsequential action scenes are the hallmark of VOY for me.

But I think VOY managed to do certain things better than most if not all other Treks. No other cast felt as tight-knit to me as VOY's. Having a female captain and given Voyager's specific predicament, I think Janeway's concern for her crew (motherly instincts) was something unique to VOY. I also think that when VOY went for humor, it really came up with some winners -- Doc and 7 have a lot of dimensions to their characters and they developed from the exact opposite, which was fun to see over the seasons.

As for the cast, I think it's middle of the road as far as Trek series go, but it is one we can grow to appreciate and that’s what really made watching VOY in seasons 6 & 7 enjoyable. I think every cast member except Wang is at least average in relation to other Treks main cast but the Doc and 7 of 9 really stood out as the best VOY characters. Ryan and Mulgrew are the best actors in the series, though I wish the writers had done better with Janeway in terms of making her less arbitrary in her decision-making.

The “Borg episodes” were some of the better ones overall for me. One can argue about violating the integrity of the Borg or de-clawing the Borg, but more often than not, we got pretty good hours of TV out of it. I actually think one of the best things VOY did was introduce Species 8472 in “Scorpion” simply to make the Borg face a superior foe and where that leads. But then VOY took a wrong step with Species 8472 with “In the Flesh”. I’ve never been a fan of the Borg Queen but if VOY wanted to keep going back to the Borg honey hole, then this is what happens — gotta come up with new tricks.

I’ve said before that I think VOY’s 1st season was among the best debut seasons for any Trek series. The themes were fresh, the writing good, and I guess it hadn’t degenerated into what felt like just cranking out episodes (writer fatigue). But in the latter seasons, VOY could still come up with some very compelling episodes touching on ethics, character development, and real world themes — it depended on the execution which was hit and miss.

I don’t know if VOY was intended to be a sort of antithesis of DS9, but it kind of felt that way to me. Another possible take on that is that DS9 went out with a bang, but VOY went out with a whimper. I’d blame this on the writers and this probably bled into ENT that started with 2 mediocre seasons before really swinging for the fences in Season 3 and hitting a home run. ENT took a risk and it paid off, VOY preferred to play it safe the whole way through.

But I will take an average VOY episode any day over an average nu-Trek episode!

Just to end, my top 5 and bottom 5 VOY episodes:

Best:
1. Scorpion 9.5/10
2. Prey 9.5/10
3. Drone 9.5/10
4. Prime Factors 9.5/10
5. One Small Step 9/10

Worst:
1. Threshold 1/10
2. Sprit Folk 1.5/10
3. Favorite Son 1.5/10
4. Q2 1.5/10
5. Demon 2/10
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Rahul
Sun, May 24, 2020, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Lights of Zetar

Maybe this TOS episode might be the most similar to Star Trek Continues: "Come Not Between the Dragons" with a no-name ensign figuring prominently in a kind of alien invasion story. As always, I greatly appreciate the careful integrity of STC in producing shows that really have the feel of TOS. But "Dragons" was the weakest of the first 6 episodes for me.

I guess if STC is looking for themes to explore in a Trek sci-fi way, the idea of a father being more gentle with his son is worth a shot but it wasn't compelling here. TNG's "The Icarus Factor" wasn't good either. The other theme is this ensign who had a troubled relation with her father and the alien creature (which looks like something TOS could reasonably design) singles her out for support -- how this comes about requires some wild imagination.

And then these pulses from the father cause the crew to become enraged until a solution to neutralize the effects are found. So we get some TOS-style fisticuffs. I thought that when these actors had to emote rage, it didn't quite come off like the pros do, so the acting suffered slightly in this one, particularly McCoy.

2 stars for "Come Not Between the Dragons" -- ultimately pushing too hard with the sermonizing to the alien creatures father. Kirk realizes he's not the one to do the communicating and wisely steps aside, which was good -- he puts his faith in the no-name ensign. Might have been good to make better use of Uhura or another main cast member for such a purpose. Also liked that there is a friendship between 3 of the women -- so there is a broadening of the overall crew. The story/premise here just wasn't ambitious enough here.
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Rahul
Sun, May 17, 2020, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Spectre of the Gun

Thoughts on Star Trek Continues "Divided We Stand" with Kirk/McCoy experiencing the American Civil War thanks to an invasion of nanites going thru the ship's history tapes when an explosion takes place ...

What's cool about this episode is it's TOS using devices from later Treks where 2 characters are in stasis but their minds are very actively experiencing another scenario. Episodes like "The Thaw" or "Flashback" come to mind -- there are others. The ship's computers getting taken over also reminded me of "Evolution." What is odd is that Spock, in charge of finding the solution, never thinks of somehow communicating with the nanites or arriving at a peaceful solution. The idea is to isolate them, beam them into space, and phaser them! Certainly very un-Picard-like.

Kirk gets to make some speeches about freedom and how everybody is a slave -- very much in the TOS vein. There's also the uplifting aspect of a handicapped person being able to stand just as tall as a fully functional person. I do appreciate STC being true to TOS that way -- reminds of "Plato's Stepchildren" with the dwarf Alexander's hopeful future.

It's a tad idealistic with the kid Billy developing some massive courage from Kirk's speech, not to mention the successful solution of having the nanites migrate to a crew member's bionic arm in the nick of time -- but at least the procedure was tried and tested earlier. There's a bit of padding in here too with the war scenes, which were well done -- got a lot of stand-in people to help out. Definitely a very good production and better than the battle scenes in "Hide and Q" maybe on par with "The Q and the Grey."

2.5 stars for "Divided We Stand" -- again another solid piece of work although not really reaching into the realm of greatness. Good idea here of using plot devices that future Trek series would do to make Bones/Kirk go back in time. No issues of contaminating time lines, which was theorized at one point, but proves inconsequential just like "Spectre of the Gun".
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Rahul
Tue, May 12, 2020, 10:10am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Dagger of the Mind

@Chrome

That's a good take on "Dagger" -- there are so many levels and layers to this episode and it seems to me many people have their own interpretations of it or how the ep speaks to them. To be able to achieve that really says something.

"Dagger" has always been one of my favorites and I probably rate it higher than most do. I just think there's quite a lot going on here beneath the surface.

Curious as to why you call it "slow" -- I thought the pacing was decent. Right off the bat we get to witness the tortured mind of Van Gelder -- and what a performance Morgan Woodward puts in. Incredible.
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Rahul
Sun, May 10, 2020, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

On the Star Trek Continues episode "The White Iris" -- again very enjoyable as were the first 3 STC shows and the one that makes the greatest acting demands on Mignogna as Kirk, who does another good job. An interesting idea of having Kirk get closure for all the women he fell in love with but had to die -- all triggered by an experimental drug to treat a concussion. The ending resolution is extremely convenient and timely -- which is also a staple of Trek eps.

I think this one has the most sort of "fan service" to it as it kind of plays like a greatest hits of Kirk's romances -- Rayna, Edith Keeler, Miramanee, and some woman from the Farragut. Some creative license is taken in Kirk's use of the holodeck to revisit scenes of old episodes and be absolved of letting those women die -- but it's a clever use of the device, I must say. Reminds me of the kind of thing one would expect to see on a good VOY episode.

You've got another Trek staple of 2 warring planets and that adds the ticking clock to Kirk to get resolution and remember the passcode for the defense system. That the passcode to the defense system be reliant on Kirk's memory is a bit of an oops...

2.5 stars for "The White Iris" -- Nearly 3 stars here for me. There is an interesting link between the lonely white iris in Van Gogh's painting and a ship's captain. The ship's [very hot] counselor points Kirk on the right path to getting closure as Spock's mind meld would have had Kirk believe he had failed those lost loves, which wasn't the case. Another solid STC production that's definitely worth a re-watch at some point.
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Rahul
Fri, May 8, 2020, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Vox Sola

Beautiful episode and quite refreshing to see from ENT kind of late in Season 1 where there have been too many middling episodes. I'm kind of surprised Berman and Braga were involved in creating it as I feel they're responsible for most of the series worst episodes due to running out of good ideas, which is understandable.

There's so much of what makes good sci-fi to me here. From a problem solving standpoint, different aspects need to be tackled from building the forcefield (Reed) to analyzing the creature (Phlox) to communicating with it (Hoshi with an assist from T'Pol) and even Travis plays a role (albeit poorly) of communicating with the pissed off aliens who find it offensive to eat in public (whatever). From the standpoint of problem-solving-Trek, "Vox Sola" does it better than just about everything on TNG which really championed the genre (if there is such a thing). No ridiculous technobabble and nothing felt too farfetched.

Hoshi, as a character, is in focus here much like in "Fight or Flight" and she does quite well by juggling the self-doubt and then persevering. T'Pol provides the "tough love" and can understandably come across as a hard ass to a human but she also shows she's a capable manager and can get the best out of Hoshi. These are things that should be seen in Trek.

When I think of good or great sci-fi, the soundtrack is a big part of the overall enjoyment for creating the right mood. Kudos here. "Vox Sola" is not about action and it is an understated episode but there is an urgency. I thought every scene was purposeful and logical. Every character has their chance to shine and delivers -- just the one scene with Montgomery apologizing fell a bit flat.

Really feel this is a 3-star episode, high-quality Trek here. ENT has a very good cast and can come up with a number of 1-on-1 interactions that are very realistic and well acted. "Vox Sola" is the total package with very few flaws.
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Rahul
Fri, May 8, 2020, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

@Sleeper Agent

Your comment reminded me of the time Scotty called Mudd a jackass ("Mudd's Women"), which had me LOL. Then Kirk also refers to Harry as such. Hilarious. Scotty had some great lines.

You don't see TOS hardly ever use quasi-coarse language. Maybe Kirk's "Let's get the hell out of here!" might have even pushed it back in the 60s.
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Rahul
Sun, May 3, 2020, 8:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Fight

Motron3000's comment got me thinking which series was the hardest to make it through and I'd have to say it's VOY. While VOY's 5th season is pretty good, I felt the series petered out in Seasons 6 and 7. I'd also agree 7 of 9 was a fantastic character and so well acted by Ryan that she really carried the show after her intro. But by VOY's 6th and 7th season, the franchise was running on fumes and it was nearly impossible to come up with an outstanding episode. Actually nothing from VOY's 6th and 7th seasons made my top-50 episodes so it was a bit of a slog to make it through all of VOY's episodes.

TNG's 6th and 7th seasons weren't great (S7 is highly uneven) but I always felt that it had more potential (overall better premises, better sci-fi, but not necessarily a better cast/characters than VOY).

For me, DS9's 6th and 7th seasons are its 2 best. You didn't really want to miss any episodes unless they started out like "Profit and Lace"! But these seasons had some terrific episodes and the strength of the underlying arc was in full force.
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Rahul
Sun, May 3, 2020, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Mirror, Mirror

Thoughts on Star Trek Continues "Fairest of Them All" -- cool that this episode picks up right where MM left off, but of course in the Mirror Universe. Certainly sews the seeds for human subjugation under the command of a transformed Mirror Spock by the time the MU is revisited in DS9.

Again, really well done production by STC and the story is a good one with Mirror Spock carrying through with his one man against a ship and then an empire based on what Kirk implored of him at the end of MM.

The other crewmembers are a too quick to back Spock and his pacifist message given what they have known all their lives. Thus it really seems like Mirror Kirk is the only one who is truly representative of the Mirror Universe.

But this is nevertheless a reasonably well-crafted story that makes good use of a number of crewmembers and is better than any DS9 or DSC Mirror Universe episode. I'd give ENT's "In a Mirror, Darkly" Part I a slight edge over this STC episode, as I think the characters there acted more consistently as Mirror Universe beings.

As can be expected this episode is very much plot driven but the details work, the acting is decent. Vic Mignogna doesn't quite do the histrionics like Shatner, but he stepped up his game for this episode pretty well.

3 stars for "Fairest of Them All" -- if you like Mirror Universe episodes (and it would seem Jammer loved the DS9 ones) you should check this out. It didn't have the ticking time bomb of MM to add an extra sense of urgency, but it does maintain that TOS integrity of pushing for a better solution via Mirror Spock's mutiny.
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Rahul
Sun, Apr 26, 2020, 2:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

Just wanted to put down some thoughts on Star Trek Continues episode "Lolani" -- and "Mudd's Women" might be the most appropriate place to do so...

Another episode where I'm super-impressed how well they've recreated TOS -- not just the costumes, sets, music, vibe etc. -- but also the issue being addressed, that of slavery and each person being much more than a nobody. Perfect for a TOS.

Definitely very watchable throughout, didn't not find the acting an issue -- granted trying to live up to the TOS cast would be the most difficult task. Pretty well-written tale as well with only a few minor questionable areas, but those are in the kinds of things TOS would do as well such as allowing the Orion slavemaster & Lolani to roam around on the ship, Scotty showing Lolani his command station. So there's the usual (and surprising to me) sloppiness of the crew.

Interestingly, the episode fills in some Orion cannon. ENT left things off with the females controlling the males, but here there's talk of a revolution and now the men are in charge and the females are still bought and sold although they certainly don't control the men -- just whatever kind of stuff...

2.5 stars for "Lolani" -- the episode leaves a hopeful message, after something of a tragic loss. I was reminded of ENT's "Cogenitor" which is a much more powerful episode involving a suicide. Another solid achievement for Star Trek Continues.
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