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Richard Nollman
Mon, Jun 8, 2020, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

My main reaction is: Give me a break. Beverly is going to have sex with Riker.. What no one seems to mention is that Riker still seems to be Riker.

As a doctor, she would not allow herself to have sex with a patient under the circumstances presented in this episode. Picard certainly would not allow it if he found out and would severely reprimand the doctor and possible take away her license to practice medicine.

The fact that Beverly knows that having sex with Riker would be a HUGE issue between Riker and herself as they are very close friends. I cannot even begin to imagine that Riker himself would allow that to happen and if he had known that was a possibility would not have made sure that Beverly would not have any sexual contact with his body.

RIker , as I see the character, is a man of principle and would see Beverly's willingness to have sex with his body and not his mind as serious violation of his trust -- not to mention the problems that Troi would have with the encounter.

It is also ridiculous to assume that she could enjoy making love to the physical Riker. I mean what if it was her brother who was the temporary host or her father or Worf, for that matter, what is the likelihood that she would even be interested in having sex with him?

And it was never clear to me that the character of Odin was present in Riker's body. It was always Riker acting as Riker. Odin had, IMHO, already disappeared. It was a stretch for me to believe that Odin was really speaking through Riker.

And then the idea that the disgusting looking organism really was Odin before he died would have disgusted Beverly. That is what she was making love to or falling back in love with? Give me a break! I mean, she actually opened up Odin and took this thing out of him. And them she placed it inside Riker. How could she imagine that making love to IT. I mean, a real person would want to vomit. I just don't see her getting sexually aroused. Just imagine making love to a woman or man knowing that they are really this slimey alien thing.

I also did not buy the idea that her love for Odin was still percolating once she knew the facts. KIssing Riker and believing it was the idea of Odin, knowing that Odin was really this slimey alient thing.

I could live with the fact that Odin lied to Beverly and tried to pass it off with a stupid argument.

And then, Troi, as ship's counselor is telling Beverly that it is ok to fall back in love with the Riker/host new combo. That is ridiculous in itself. As a professional, her job would be warn Beverly to tread very carefully and make sure that she does not violate Riker by having any physical relationship with him. It all stinks to high heaven. Her advice to Beverly should have been, let it go. Beverly's first reaction was the most believable one, and the conflict seems very much contrived.

And the comments on the fact the SNG treats the host as just a shell is so inferior to the way it is handled in DS9.

I laughed when Beverly, expecting a male host, is treated, instead to a gorgeous female host. Beverly, you got what is coming to you! i liked that part of the episode the best.

If I were the writers, I would eliminate the scene where Beverly decides to have sex with Riker and change the dynamic. What would be a lot more interesting would be to expand on the new host role. Beverly, now confronts Odin as a beautiful female and has to deal with the possibility of falling in low with her.

Her struggles with her own sexuality would be refreshing. And if she chose to continue her relationship with the female, then the risk of the host dying would not be a problem. Another host could be an attractive male or female, a nice opportunity for a new exploration of her sexuality. Not possible at the time, but now, I think it would be well-received.

Imagine how interesting it would be have a new character join the crew. Just think about how much the addition of Terry Fallon to DS9 improved the show. I loved Fallon and the fact that of all the crew members, she chose Worf. Definitely better writers in DS9 (IMHO). Just imagine Picard's reaction if Beverly chose a female as a mate. Wow!
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Richard Nollman
Sat, May 23, 2020, 11:36am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

IF the people were "already dead" according to Crusher, how could they have been revived? I was not aware that Crusher had the power to resurrect the dead. Why not just say they were frozen before they died because they had life-threatening illnesses? Not a big problem unless the writers felt that it would be hard to support the idea that the technology would have been available to keep them alive in stasis for four hundred years. Also, I suppose that it would probably have been illegal to freeze someone who was still alive.
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Richard Stewart
Thu, Apr 16, 2020, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Elementary, Dear Data

I agree with the previous two notes, I find Polaskis constant treatment of Data rather confusing, especially when she treats Moriarty with more civility, understanding and even I suspect a sense of awe. At no point does she make reference to Moriarty being just a set of fixed lines of programming accessing a database.

But unfortunately this whole premise is brushed aside as if writers dropped a story in favour of another. It would have been nice to even have a mention of her points of view on Moriarty and Data in comparison even if I'd ultimately disagreed with her conclusions, just more fuel for debate.

Continuing in regards to the paper being taken off the holodeck as it has been mentioned by a few. Potentially an oversight by writers but at the same time the holodeck is described as not just an interactive theater of forcefields and projections but also replicated matter as well.

Usually those replicated items can be expected to be food and drink, potentially the containers for such. Bodies of water also, we've seen people come off the holodeck soaking wet. I personally believe that some structures could and would also be replicated.

The computer may normally recognise its replicated matter leaving the holodeck and dematerialize it along with projections. On occasions the computer may pay attention to body language, such as grasping an item, that they want to keep a hold of it. And yet other situations food that you've eaten, having been kissed and get lipstick smeared on your face, or ever pervasive water soaked into your clothes. It might be too difficult, dangerous, or just plain inconvenient for it to be removed and so doesn't bother.

By now you've probably realised I'm arguing that the paper could be one of those replicated items that they wanted to keep, unfortunate that it was not expressly stated in the episode. Living bodies such as Moriarty being too complex for full on replication and so limited to force fields and projections, as we've seen in other episodes when characters try to exit.
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Richard James
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 6:20am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Judging by the preview, next week's episode will be Picard: Endgame.
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Richard James
Sat, Mar 14, 2020, 5:53am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

@James White

I agree - the small bits of background on this star system and this ancient civilization are really compelling and hark back to the best aspects of TNG and the idea of 'exploration'.

Personally I would have liked to have seen more (or even a flashback) of Rios's time in Starfleet, and the moral dilemma his former captain faced by killing the synth emissaries. (Orders and duty Vs morality and life).

Both of these aspects are small, but give a great texture to the series that's been mostly missing so far.
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Richard James
Fri, Mar 13, 2020, 4:55am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

As much as I mostly enjoy the comments on the blog - it's in need of some series moderation. Some of these comments are downright abusive and, while I'm all for disagreement and differing opinions of this show, we've some aggressive and threatening behaviour that really doesn't need to be tolerated.

I get that Jammer probably doesn't have the time to moderate this thing, but still.
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Richard James
Thu, Mar 12, 2020, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

I think this episode is a lot more 'plotty' than most, with a fair bit of exposition and filling in of the backstory- but my my - it certainly is good backstory!

The slow moments with Soji and Picard were well done, and Rios experience with his previous captain ties in nicely with this wider, ancient plot again synthetic life. While I thought that Raffi suddenly spelling out the plot in one go was a bit far fetched, the pace of the episode and chance to reflect on what mattered really pays off.

Lets hope they keep this up after all that painfully slow build up of the first few episodes
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Richard James
Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 7:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

@Rez It's a little ironic that you complain about the negativity on this site by leaving a negative comment yourself.

The consensus so far on this episode is mostly positive - or that this is the best episode of STD yet.
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Richard James
Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 11:52am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

It's taken a while, but we're really getting somewhere now.

Nostalgia aside, there is some good stuff happening here - Riker and Troi's daughter is excellent and is a perfect way for Soji to reflect on herself. Rizzo is finally moving away from caricature baddie, Narek twiddling his Rubik's cube while stalking Rio on the 'snakes head' is a nice touch.

There is still some silly things - Hugh really didn't need to die, and the whole Agnes sub plot hasn't really been played well.

Riker and Picard are excellent as always, and although their meeting is basically filler - it's pretty damn satisfying filler while also spinning the wheels of the other storylines.

Honourable mention should go to the return of Commodore Oh's sunglasses.
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Richard James
Thu, Feb 27, 2020, 7:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

@Karl Zimmerman

You're absolutely right - I can't point to anything specific, that's why I'm so on the fence about it. Maybe it's the cumulative effect of the previous episodes being so slow or not great, but I didn't really connect with The Impossible Box - but I wanted to.

I guess I'm less of a fan of this JJ Abrams style 'mystery box' storytelling, although the writers of this are making callbacks to old treks in all the right ways, which is nice.
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Richard James
Thu, Feb 27, 2020, 10:29am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

I'm on the fence with this episode - mainly because it had so many elements that should be interesting, but the execution was pretty, well - dull. Picard meeting the Borg, Soji discovering who she is - all of these are decent enough and actually move the story along, but I couldn't help feel empty by it all.

This series really wants us to 'feel' over 'think', that much is obvious. Rather than exploring the philosophical or moral implications of synthetic life, we get Soji's personal, emotional struggle. That's fine, and perfectly valid for a story, but if that's the route they follow then the series stands or falls on how convincing that dramatic arc is and in this Star Trek Picard seems to be failing. Raffi's alcoholism, Picard's stress being back on a cube, Jurati's guilt - all of them are high on the drama but seem hollow, as if the writers never really considered how these arcs might unfold. We get callbacks to the 'ideas' of previous ST series, but they just echo - nothing more.

Even Picard seems like a 2-dimensional version of the character. He says the same lines and talks about federation values and how the borg are evil, but it has none of the intelligence underpinning the previous series. STP wants us to feel, unfortunately the only thing I'm feeling is a sense of apathy.
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Richard James
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 12:15am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I also find this debate about what constitutes 'Classic Trek' interesting. For my money, DS9 and TOS are about as polar opposite as you can get, yet there seems to be widespread consensus that both are pretty good and come from the same broad, 'golden era' of Star Trek.

My main issue with Picard and STD is, aside from the Abramsverse aesthetic, is that they have abandoned ideas for emotion. Science for drama. At its best (lets say DS9 as a high point) the drama was fuelled by ideas, and the conflict came from an examination of a political issue. Here and with STD, the 'emotions' and drama are front and centre, but they don't have the smart writing and intelligence that backed up so-called Classic trek.

I'm still hopeful this will improve though - Star Trek series are notoriously slow to get going and there is room for these smart sci-fi ideas to return.

While I enjoyed this episode more than others, I agree that it is divorced from 'Classic' trek. But it still has its own, limited merit.
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Richard James
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 12:09am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Dick I'm not sure developing Seven's character amounts to 'assassination'. It's actually pretty plausible - in the 20 years or so since Voyager, Seven would likely have regained a lot of her humanity and would act much differently. If she'd just turned up speaking the same as she did the last time we saw her on Voyager that would also be pretty weird.

I agree with you that her inclusion in the series is questionable, and seems more like fan-service or nostalgia than anything else. But I think they did a decent job of pulling it off and to be honest her story was the most compelling part of this episode.
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Richard James
Thu, Feb 20, 2020, 8:57am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

It's moving in the right direction, but still bogged down by slow movements to an end goal, rather than telling individual stories.

The Seven of Nine plot worked the best and that opening scene was pretty horrific. Jeri Ryan's has such screen presence and her character is just a million times more interesting than others, especially with her new viligante background. The poor man's oceans 11 scene on Freecloud a were a little pointless, but fun enough.

But honestly, any reservations I had for this episode melted away when Picard and Seven had that brief exchange on the transporter pad;
"Did you honestly feel you regained your humanity?"
"All of it?"
"No. But we're both working on it, arent we"
"Every damn day of my life"

More like this please!
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Richard James
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 9:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

The more I think about it, the more I want to watch a series set around the refugee response of Romulus and the political issues and tensions that come up from that. We keep getting hints of this in flashbacks, but its told quite clumsily (Romulan bar fight with swords anyone?)

It would have been great to have a genuine look at the idea of mass refugees, sovereignty and all these other current problems in the world through the lens of Picard and Star trek. The idea of 'rights' for certain individuals (in the Federation) but not for those outside, is an interesting one and brings up the idea of nationalism, ethnicity etc. All meaty topics. We got something approaching this in Undiscovered Country with the destruction of Praxis - that was good.

Instead we have "Character X is angry at Picard" and the Fellowship of the Ring: In Space.
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Richard James
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@Jason R. I agree about the new ship designs. The current designs from the STD/STP definitely have a more muted colour scheme and have less defined profiles - so both Federation and Romulan ships all kind of look dark, bland and all the same. In contrast TNG/DS9/VOY vessels had bolder colours and more striking silhouettes so a Romulan warbird, for example, was so distinctive and green.

I'm not a big fan of this new design. BSG did a good job of this more 'low key' colours - but then the overall profile of a basestar was quite bold (and was obviously alien). Rio's ship looks like it could have come from any old sci fi show - thats the problem.
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Richard James
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 7:01am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Episode 4 of......setup.

If there's one criticism of Picard it's that every episode feels like its 'filling in the backstory' for some as-yet-unrevealed reason instead of telling a story in one episode. I think this is a feature of serialised storytelling in itself, but seriously - every episode so far feels like background and exposition.

This episode a prime example of that. Flashbacks of Picard, we have the Roman Leoglas joining the team and then Seven pops up at the end. Why? who knows.

The more I watch these episodes, the more it seems that this series wants you to 'feel' at the expense of the ideas of TNG. The problem is that the feelings are so on the nose and buried in exposition that it doesn't have any of the subtly or metaphor of previous treks.

It's not a bad series by any means, just a very slow one with EXPLAINS EVERYTHING WHICH IS HAPPENING.
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Ulrich P.
Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

I'm pretty shocked by the high rating.

I'm on a TNG rewatch right now and this has been the first episode I skipped after 5 = 10 minutes. There have been others I somewhat fast forwarded through but not outright skipped.

I have the feeling this episode gets more grating to me with every rewatch.

I'm at a point now where I actively loathe it. Compared to it I'm even watching forward to "Shades of Grey"...
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Tue, Aug 27, 2019, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

Hi Peter,

Gosh I never expected such a rapid response!

Of course, you can see such a mission as the ultimate heroism- but not everybody feels the same way at all and they may have quite different career aspirations. The way this was gone about was not an upfront request for volunteers, giving the option to refuse. Her arm was twisted, quite literally.

She certainly wanted to serve Star Fleet, but she was given the impression this was the only way. That's not really fair play.

Similarly her family; if I were her family getting her full report the past week before she heads off, I'd quite possibly want an Industrial Tribunal to take a close look at the circumstances - assuming such institutions still exist and Nepotism hasn't just run amok!
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Tue, Aug 27, 2019, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

I thought the manipulation of Sito by the Command on the Enterprise was appalling.

Having believed she's up for promotion, Picard suddenly calls her in and demolishes her for past misdemeanours one would presume overlooked or punishment inflicted.

Wesley was guilty of these same misdemeanours, but he's still the Captain's favourite ensign. He just got a private dressing down, because Nepotism is apparently alive and very much Kicking in the Twenty-Fourth Century. Rather disappointing. Sito of course, hasn't family in senior ranks.

Worf then goes on to fling the poor blindfolded girl, less than half his size, around an exercise room on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Apparently everyone wants her to speak up for herself, so they have selected this abusive procedure to do so. Yes it's a supposedly military vessel but she's well past basic training.

Having virtually broken her spirit, she is given a chance for redemption- a virtual suicide mission.

When she (not surprisingly) doesn't come back, she gets a Eulogy from Capt. Picard. Such a comfort for her, and presumably her family as they try to enlist lawyers to investigate the circumstances of her demise.
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Jericho Drakane
Tue, Aug 6, 2019, 3:21am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Fallen Hero

No appreciation for Admiral Forrest in the comments? Seriously, I think that this guy gives Ross a run for his money for best Admiral in a Trek TV show.
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Richard Poythress
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 12:20am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

Finally watched this episode all the way through. The pacing was unusually excellent for a Voyager episode; I could scarcely believe that an hour and half had elapsed when the end credits rolled. The camerawork and direction were also a cut above, which helped to make the "telefilm" feel special. Also, I'm (pleasantly) surprised the censors let them keep that shockingly graphic shot of blood spurting into the camera lens.

In some ways, this episode takes us full circle by exploring issues raised early in TNG's run with sentient holograms like Minuet and Moriarty. The end result is a thoughtful and relevant exploration both of the understandable yearnings and unnecessary violence that often accompany liberation movements.

To muster a feeble criticism, it was jarring when Iden went from zero to deluded psychopath in a manner of a few minutes, but I suppose we could attribute that to either deception or the overriding aggression that he was programed to display under stressful situations. It also seems like the Doctor got off easy after betraying the crew, although this is remedied somewhat in "Author, Author".
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Richard Wadd
Thu, Mar 22, 2018, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Dreadnought

I actually didn't think this episode was that bad but like Jammer said, the ending was predictable. We all knew that there was no way Voyager would blow up nor would the planet be destroyed. We knew that Torres was going to find a way to destroy the missile so Voyager couldn't even use the technology. The ending was ok with Torres using her phaser to take out the core but honestly, I thought a more smarter ending would have been cooler (Like Janeway did to the clown). Would have been smart for Torres to trick the missile's logic somehow. I agree, there were some plot holes. Like the set up of Paris which went no where. Also, what happened to the turn coat crew member who was trying to reach Seska? He was telling the Kazon about it. You'd think the Kazon would have been there to try and take the missile but that never happened.

However, it was still a enjoyable episode. I agree with the other reviewer who said that he prefers these type of engineering episodes of Torres compared to her "I can't control my Klingon rage" type episodes. I prefer smart episodes with engineering ingenuity than pure physical, weapons blazing, violence only solution type (obviously not all the time though, space battles and fist fights are always cool). So I rather enjoyed the hypothetical games Torres tried playing etc.

I also liked that Janeway was willing to sacrifice the Voyager for the planet and her self destruct commencement reminded me of Star Trek III: The search for Spock when Kirk did the same thing. My dad made a good comment. Shouldn't Tuvok have been with Torres? I get that he's security but as a Vulcan he had to go through rigorous logic training. She could have found a way for him to be there. Like my Dad said, Spock would have been there. Or Torres should have at least had a discussion with Tuvok. I know this is a side note but shouldn't 90% of Star Fleet Vulcans be science or Engineering officers? Security never made too much sense for me with Tuvok but whatever.

Regardless I thought it was a solid episode. Like Jammer said very neutral not great but not terrible.
Regardless still a fun
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Jericho Drakane
Wed, Dec 20, 2017, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

For me, this movie was definitely better than TFA for a variety of reasons. Yes, it wasn't perfect, and I don't think it lives up to the originals (my theater showed scenes from the original trilogy before starting the show). However, it had its own identity and took risks, which I don't think that TFA did.

For me, the two strongest parts of this film were Luke and Kylo Ren (despite Ren's stupid lightsaber).

For Luke, I enjoyed seeing his new capacity as a teacher, and the talk with Yoda was great. R2D2 was somewhat underutilized, but I really liked the callback to A New Hope with playing the old video for Luke to watch. Luke's final scene with the confrontation with Ren was just epic (WITHOUT resorting to a massive lightsaber duel, no less).

Previously, I really didn't enjoy the whiny Ren in TFA. He never felt like a threat from the moment he took off his helmet. The development he got in this film felt like it game him something that set him apart from being Just Another Sith Dude. His almost nihilistic attitude in wanting to "kill the past" gives him something like a core belief build a proper villain character around for the next movie.

To a lesser extent, I like that Rey seems to be going in a more Grey Jedi route here, and I hope that it holds true for the future. Changing the dynamic for this trilogy from Light vs Dark to something else, like Balance vs Nothing (or what have you) could help establish these movies as being truly different from the originals.

Negatives? Sure. I think Snoke was underplayed for what he was supposed to be, and I'd like to see more information about him come up later. Also, this movie managed to take from both Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi at the same time, and here's hoping that they've run out of material to copy from (please don't start stealing ideas from the prequels).
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Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The City on the Edge of Forever

I always loved Spock's electric gizmo for playing back
his tricorder (couldn't he have hit the slow play
Button) but the Jacobs ladder was a bit much.
Come on -- this isn't Frankenstein.
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