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Samuel Lawrence
Tue, Sep 11, 2018, 4:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Hippocratic Oath

This would also explain why Goran'Agar and Bashir can't find an answer to the problem in the environment - the planet had nothing to do with Goran'Agar's ability to break the addiction. It was inside him all along, to use the cheesiest possible phrasing.
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Samuel Lawrence
Tue, Sep 11, 2018, 4:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Hippocratic Oath

Love this one. Just a theory here which I think would be consistent with, if not proved by, the content of the episode - maybe all the Jem'Hadar actually need to do to break the addiction and produce ketracel white internally is to stop taking the drug externally. They might all have some internal system which produces the drug, which temporarily shuts down when they get it from an external source, or it may be that the Dominion supplies them with a higher level of it than their body needs, so they become dependent on that higher level. (Bashir says to Goran'Agar that his body is producing exactly the amount of white he needs to survive). Don't forget that while they are genetically engineered, they must have been bred from some other naturally evolved creature - maybe production and internal consumption of ketracel white is part of that creature's natural process that the Dominion found a way to produce externally, then they manipulated their use of it.

It's implied in other episodes that if denied access to the drug they tend to go insane and kill each other - it may be that the reason Goran'Agar didn't die is just because there were no other Jem'Hadar around to kill him. So the lethal factor in losing the drug is actually the horrible withdrawal symptoms causing the Jem'Hadar to go insane in the period before their body achieves its natural ketracel white balance.

Just a fan theory - but doesn't it seem like something the Dominion would do? Telling the Jem'Hadar that only the Dominion can supply them with this vital substance, when in fact their bodies can produce it themselves.
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Samuel Lawrence
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 8:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

Why does everyone assume that Changeling Bashir didn't attempt to save the baby Changeling in 'Begotten'? It could perfectly well be that he did all he could to save it, but was unable to. This is something that happens to real doctors all the time. People often point out that he didn't link with it, but maybe he simply knew that this disease was something linking wouldn't help with, in the same way that it wouldn't help a patient suffering from TB to give them a bone marrow transplant. Or maybe he found a way to link with it without the other characters noticing, but that couldn't save it.
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Lawrence
Tue, Jun 20, 2017, 3:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

The reason the Borg haven't tried to assimilate the Dominion is quite simple. The Borg are in the Delta quadrant, whereas the Dominion is in the Gamma quadrant. Both are the dominant power in their respective quadrants and since they are in different quadrants of the galaxy, it is likely they have never met or come across each other.
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frenchie
Mon, May 29, 2017, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

2273: A Star Trek Odyssey. Star Trek: The Motion Picture is the very first Star Trek feature film made 10 years after the original TV series ended. After the show became even more popular during syndication on TV, and with Sci-Fi films such as 2001, Close Encounters and of course Star Wars being big box office business, a revival of the Star Trek franchise felt right. The first Star Trek film is very unique because unlike the more popular Wrath of Khan, it features almost no action sequences and it runs at a very slow, dreamlike pace. I would describe this as "deep" or "intellectual" Sci-Fi and it has a lot in common with Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece both visually and stylistically.

The Star Trek crew are reunited including Kirk, Spock, Checkov, Sulu, Uhura, McCoy and Scotty. Kirk is reunited with the beloved Enterprise in a grand revealing shot that slowly pans across the spaceship. It is a practically wordless 5 minute scene which shows the absolute awe on Shatner's face as he goes to board the ship, in what is a delightful scene. The famous score by Jerry Goldsmith fits incredibly well with the scene and it is a truly iconic Star Trek moment. The whole score to this film is just breathtaking. The only real drama in the film comes from Kirk and Commander Scott continuously clashing in a game of who knows the ship better (as Kirk has been away for 10 years but assumes command over the more experienced Scott). The crew go exploring a distant mysterious force in space called V'ger and it takes them almost the entire 2+ hour length of the film to get there and find out what it is. Yes you can say the plot is quite minimal and there isn't a lot of conflict and barely any action, but I found this rather refreshing and unique. A lot of Space Odyssey is devoid of action and drama, and yet it is still seen as a masterpiece because it actually explores the depth of space in a existential sense. Star Trek: TMP does a similar thing.

The best parts of this film are the hypnotic and trippy sequences where the ship travels through stargates. There is a lengthy scene in the middle of the film similar to the stargate sequence at the end of 2001. They go through a vortex of spiralling lights and colours that is just a delight to watch. It displays some of the very best visuals and practical effects you will ever see in a Sci-Fi film. In fact even modern Sci-Fi blockbusters wish they could look this good! It has this classic feel that you just don't see often enough, with a mixture of great models, and incredibly well worked camera and light placements that modern CGI just has no match for.

Star Trek: TMP does have a few negatives. The film length is a little too long considering how bare the plot is. It runs a little too slow and it has lots of wordless moments. I actually got on board with this and enjoyed this because the atmosphere is so good that it actually takes you on a trip. But fans of the more modern Star Trek films or Wrath of Khan will probably find this quite jarring and difficult to sit through. It is a purposely slow film. Also I was a little let down by the fact that you see Klingon's at the beginning of the film quite briefly. It felt like it was implying they would end up being the main villains, but this never materialises and the Klingon's aren't heard from again, so their place in the film is a bit pointless.

Otherwise, Star Trek: TMP really feels like it has really taken you on a trip through space. Rather than establish a strong storyline full of action and drama, it just reunites the brilliant characters and it is good enough just to see them all slightly older and interacting together once again. The film is driven by the characters, the visuals and the effects. It has a mood to it that is rarely seen in Sci-Fi and I actually applaud the film makers for attempting such an ambitious film. I also really like the sequel Wrath of Khan, but the two films are almost nothing alike stylistically as Wrath of Khan is fast paced and full of action and drama. TMP isn't as fondly remembered by fans, but I am glad that it exists because it is so different to the other Trek films I have seen and it is a little enigma, that feels more akin to the tone of the original series. If you want to feel like you have been on a real trip to space and want something similar to Space Odyssey or Silent Running, I would highly recommend this film. Don't look down on it too much because of its lack of action.
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RenC
Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 4:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

This was a fantastic episode. For me a full 4 stars. The conflict between Janeway & Seven had been brewing for a while & even so Seven's flat refusal to obey a direct order was a bold move by the writers.

As Janeway says there's a limit to individuality on a starship where there's a hierarchy. The Captain's word is law.
Granted, Seven did not choose to be on Voyager but she should be able to see how the crew works as a collective in their own way to keep the ship & each other alive. And on that ship Janeway is Queen of the Hive.

I see Janeway as trying give Seven a moral compass where she previously had none. Her decision to protect the 8472 despite the species' previous encounters is quite typical of Star Trek. Take for example Picard's decision to protect Q when he was turned mortal by the Continuum & then hunted down by a species he had tormented & who wanted revenge. Picard risked his ship then to save Q.

8472 effectively requested asylum & Janeway granted it. While 8472 would never sacrifice itself to protect the human crew as Q did on that episode of TNG, that doesn't make Janeway's decision any different from Picard's.

Consider also that 1 member of the race cannot be held responsible for the actions of the species as a whole. That particular 8472 was a soldier in a war. (A war which the Borg started in fact & which Seven conveniently ignores when talking about the millions of Borg that were destroyed.)
Now the war is over & it just wants to get back home.

Janeway has made it clear that even though her top priority is to get her crew home, she will still uphold the principles of the Federation. And to me it wouldn't be Star Trek without this.
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RenC
Thu, Oct 10, 2013, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Displaced

@xaaos
When Tuvok & Janeway finally find the trans-locator device on the habitat station they discover that it has a maximum range of 10 000 light years. He says that explains why the crew was transported one by one - because the trans-locator was at its maximum range.
I don't believe the com badge range is that far so even though Janeway still had the com badge it would have been useless.

I think the aliens removed the crew's com badges when they got to the habitat to prevent the serarated crew groups from communicating with each other.
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laurence k
Sat, Aug 13, 2011, 10:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Yet another level on which this masterpiece works is on the level of gender. Picard, on the bridge, seems to have escaped the pull of the feminine principle. As it always does, that principle asserts itself powerfully in the form of the probe. Eline pulls Picard away from his purely male and single-minded focus on his role as captain, and forces him to experience children and to pay attention to her. "I thought I couldn't live with children," Picard says in the season of Eline's triumph. "Now I don't see how I could live without them."

The astonishing thing about this dramatic work of art is the economy with which it establishes at least three different and independent levels that all interact and are all going on simultaneously.
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laurence k
Tue, Aug 9, 2011, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Part of the subtlety of this incredible episode comes from the seeming ability of what must be computer-generated characters to be aware of their fate. For example, when Picard is first transferred to Eline from Ryker, she says, "well, Finally!" This comment seems appropriate not only for Eline, the character in the computerized "life story" of Kamin, but also for Eline, the character-in-charge of the computer program itself. After all, "she" had been waiting a thousand years by the time Picard finally showed up.

Similarly, when Kamin agrees to build the nursery, and Eline hugs him, we see in her face great sorrow as well as joy, as though she knew that the only children Kamin could ever have with her would be virtual ones.

This episode outdoes "The Sixth Sense" in requiring the audience to watch it over and over to get all the clues, and reinterpret the perspectives of the characters. I would love to know whether such was the explicit intention of the director. Margot Rose certainly seems to understand intuitively that her character works on two levels.
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laurence k
Tue, Aug 9, 2011, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

I've always felt that Picard would have insisted on going that one light-year to Kataan and finding whatever trace was left of the world he had just left. It is possible that stone could have survived the nova in some recognizable form. I imagine Kamin standing before those stone steps where he had played the flute while having a late night with Batai. As it sinks in on Kamin that the world of Kataan truly is gone forever, we hear that beautiful song one more time.

Picard would have felt driven, first, to reconnect with whatever was left of Kataan, and, second, would have felt compelled, like the Ancient Mariner, to tell the story of Kataan in order to remain faithful to Eline's last wish and final testament.

In subsequent TNG episodes, we should have at least seen evidence of Kataanian door decorations appear in Picard's quarters, for example.
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Laurence
Fri, Dec 31, 2010, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

The only problem I had with this excellent episode is the most interesting aspect is utterly ignored.

I wanted to know how Neelix and Tuvok integrated their bizarre experience once back in their original forms. Did both of them resent Janeway for her decision, or were they completely happy?

I hope with continuing episodes Neelix and Tuvok have a greater respect for each other, since surely they retain the memory of their fusion, just like Tuvix retained the memories of both. It would be nice to see an end to Neelix's highly irritating needling of Tuvok. But I wouldn't be surprised if the incident is utterly forgotten by the next episode.
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Lawrence
Mon, Jan 5, 2009, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Faith

Jammer,

I see your point about the real world interaction with the Bajoran Prophets in a more concrete way vs. our world's interaction with God or the Divine in a more abstract way. The involvement of fantastic alien superpowers and technology certainly places DS9 in a different universe than BSG.

I guess DS9's way of dealing with faith (for me at least) presents a richer tapestry of diverse faith traditions where faith is not only centered on God or the Gods, but in a messiah figure (e.g. Emissary for Bajorans or Kahless for Klingons) or in a group of "superior beings" (e.g. the Changelings). BSG's way of dealing with faith is centered in the aftermath of the apocalypse or a cataclysmic event.

To me, it's no mistake that Ronald Moore was deeply involved in both series. Both series do attempt to raise extraordinarily profound questions about the nature of faith in God, Gods, or someone or something. Before DS9, Star Trek was rooted in the ideals of secular humanism. DS9 was able to examine the ideals of secular humanism in a broader context where other cultures had differing faith traditions.

For me, BSG does highlight very intriguing questions about faith. But I think what BSG does even better than that, is discuss the dichotomy between humanity and machines. Just as other sci-fi sagas such as the Matrix trilogy or the Terminator franchise (including The Sarah Connor Chronicles), we are presented with machines that evolve and grow with artificial intelligence to the point where they can approximate humanity. At the point where machines can perfectly approximate humanity, are they still machines? At some point, will intelligent machines and humankind merge into a single society--free from oppression (the Matrix) or free from constant war (BSG and Terminator)?

The advance of BSG over the other sagas is that we do see humanity beginning to accept the machines/Cylons as humans and integrating into a society. BSG may end by showing a post-apocalyptic society where humans and machines/Cylons are accepted on equal terms. The Matrix takes us to the doorstep of such a place and the Terminator franchise shows some teamwork between humans and machines (i.e. John and Cameron). But BSG goes beyond both. That, to me, is a very powerful idea that BSG presents and will prove to be one of the great achievements of BSG in my estimation.
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Lawrence
Fri, Jan 2, 2009, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Faith

Brendan, I agree with you. Without concrete proof, it requires faith to even say Jesus physically walked this earth.

I guess my point earlier is that even though something may be corporeal, faith may still be a central issue because there can still be questions concerning the essential nature of the corporeal being. That's why I think DS9 does serve as an effective allegory. DS9 raises the nature of faith in an episode "Once More Unto the Breach" very well (http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/breach.php). Yes, Kor is flesh and blood. Yes, you can touch him and see him. Yes, he had amazing battles. But was he a legend? That, requires faith.

Or try "The Reckoning." Is Captain Sisko the Emissary or not? Should he sacrifice his son or not (by letting the Pahwraiths use Jake)? That requires faith. Or try any number of Kira/Odo storylines where Kira has faith in the Prophets, but while Odo does not, he can respect her belief in them.

Or look at Odo and Weyoun in "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" (http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/treachery.php). Weyoun's faith is genetically programmed which is an intriguing notion.

To me, DS9 had a great way of discussing faith. Perhaps DS9's stories were told more from the micro-perspective as opposed to BSG's more macro-perspective. At the end of BSG, I agree with you Brennan: we will find the origin's of the God in the BSG universe to be based on something tangible, concrete, and scientific.
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Lawrence
Thu, Jan 1, 2009, 11:12am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Faith

Jammer, with all due respect (and you do have a lot of respect in many of your readers' eyes), I must take issue with your statement regarding religion and faith in the second paragraph of this review regarding DS9. For instance, take Christianity. For most people, Jesus was a tangible being, could be physically observed, and performed physically tangible miracles. For Christians, Jesus is God in flesh. For Muslims and others, Jesus is a great prophet but not the One.

In Christianity you have a figure that in the presentation of the story fits exactly the criteria by which you are dismissing the real-world resemblance and relevance of DS9 as it relates to religion as we know it. Many people accept the existence of Jesus as fact. The key question is whether or not they believe he is God-incarnate or whether he in the flesh embodies the essence of the Divine. And it requires faith to say he is God as opposed to a great prophet!

Added to that, DS9 actually strengthens the allegory to Judeo-Christian religion by naming Bajoran gods, the Prophets. Sisko is clearly the Christ-figure in the narrative, but the Bajorans accept him as the Emissary while Starfleet and other outsiders don't. The difference between the groups is their faith.

To be fair to your argument though, you are saying that in BSG, the existence of God cannot be proven. I am pointing out that there is no way to "prove" that God is incarnate. So although the domain is different, faith is still required. And I would argue that there is no real difference in domain because the question still involves the existence of God: whether God exist on the macro level vs. whether God exists in flesh or is incarnate on the micro level.
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Terence
Thu, Sep 4, 2008, 10:08am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

We definitely needed more background and context that would have justified the actions taken by Kasidy Yates and Eddington. Nothing leading up to this episode suggested either had reason to be Maquis sympathizers. Consequently, the episode feels contrived, as if the writers hadn't bothered to develop sensible character arcs. (And no, Eddington's conniption out of left field doesn't count.)
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