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Richard Webb
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 3:47am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

It boggles my mind that Jammer is not reviewing The Expanse.
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Richard Webb
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 3:45am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I'm not really sure how to feel about this - I mean, it wasn't a terrible episode. No episode from this season was truly terrible. It's just than none were particularly good either.

Star Trek series are notorious for slow starts, but I don't think DSC is going change. By this point in TNG or VOY they had already hit their stride, while DSC seems to neither have the shocking, borderline unwatchable first season episodes of TNG nor the absolute gems. It's always just meh.

DSC always touches on interesting concepts, ideas (trans identity discovery, resource scarcity, diplomacy with an enemy) but it's always so superficial with its execution and ramps up the sentimentality and action, which makes every episode feel rather empty. Compare this to the Expanse (which delves much deeper into socio-political issues) or the Mandalorian (which was more honest about just being a Space western - and embraced it). At the end of the day I'm not really sure what DSC is about. It seems like a show run by committee.

The ending? Contrived would be the best word. The fact that Burham is captain defies belief (mutiny after mutiny......) and that the best character Saru is now apparently off the ship doesn't fill me confidence.

I don't think it's the car crash many people think it is - for that it would have to challenge its ideas and push something forward in order to fail. You can't truly be that terrible if you're always middle of the road.
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Richard Webb
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 3:50am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

I thought this was a pretty decent episode and had some nice world-building with the Kelpians and I liked the ‘child raised by holograms’ conceit. The fact that it ended with more of a classic Star Trek ship takeover rather than a silly battle was a positive.

Some people don’t appear to like the explanation for the Burn - but let’s remember this is no more crazy than caretaker in Voyager or the prophets in DS9.

Honestly, this episode reminds me of Star Trek Voyager more than any other - if the Emerald Chain is playing the Kazon role who want the ship ‘because of its technology’ and the mystery on the planet is connected to a force they don’t understand (e.g a caretaker role).

Tilly in charge is still silly and makes very little sense - but I’m happy to say everything else did.

3/4
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RichardH
Mon, Dec 14, 2020, 4:03pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S7: Repression

I was actually quite enjoying it until the end. The obvious problem being there wasn't one. It had an Act 1, 2, 3, 4... and then an epilogue.

All set up and no pay-off. What was it building to? What was the point of it? Very underwhelming.
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RichardH
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 8:25am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S6: The Voyager Conspiracy

Really surprised how many people didn't like this one. I loved it. It's a fun, interesting, character-driven piece that puts a fun twist on past events (to the point of being meta) and examines real world issues.

People are complaining that Janeway and Chakotay should never have believed Seven, but they would have been plain irresponsible not to consider her theories POSSIBLE.

My only real gripe it that I felt this has way more traction for just a single episode. Could easily have been a two-parter and drawn out some of the conspiratorial intrigue a bit.
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RichardH
Sat, Nov 28, 2020, 2:26pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S6: Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy

Not just a fun episode but - as someone who daydreams A LOT - a relatable one.
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RichardH
Sat, Nov 28, 2020, 4:37am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

Mostly agree with the review. I was a bit apprehensive early on as soon as it was clear things were a dream/illusion/going to be undone, but it turned into a sound and well done character piece.

My only quibbles:

1 - It does feel like we've been here before - B'Elanna has to learn to accept her self. When her mum said "You've taken yoyr first step..." I though "THAT'S her FIRST step?" Has she not learned anything from all her previous episodes treading the same ground?

2 - More a general quibble about B'Elanna as a character, but does she ACTUALLY have a bad attitude? Her 'aggression' and 'quick temper' feel much more like traits we are simply informed about (a lot!) rather than ones we ever see really play out. She's had many small confrontations with other characters (Tom, Seven and Chokotay most often) over the years where I've thought "A genuinely short-tempered person would have bitten their heads off there' but she responds positively diplomatically.
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Richard Webb
Fri, Nov 27, 2020, 3:52pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Unification III

Incidentally @John has hit the nail on the head
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Richard Webb
Fri, Nov 27, 2020, 3:47pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Unification III

In many ways this could have been a compelling, courtroom episode of Star Trek - but it’s so middling, inoffensive and not particularly engaging that it lacks the bite of previous episodes. Tilly being promoted to first officer is just the icing on a cake of the absurd. Michael’a mother being the the ‘surprise guest’ is a close second.

I’m fine with Michael Burhan being a protagonist, but a protagnist doesn’t mean you have to solve every problem, be successful at everything and ‘save the world’ as they’ve done with her character. I’d hoped they’d be making her a bit more nuanced in this series (early indicators this was the case) but now we’re back to same old Discovery.

Not terrible, but Bunham remains the least interesting character and every episode that focuses on her is by its nature less than stellar.
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RichardH
Mon, Nov 23, 2020, 5:30pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S5: Warhead

Meh, it was decent enough. Got a bit predictable, I suppose, after the Doc was possessed but to my mind it did what a Trek episode is meant to do - raise and explore an interesting 'What if' scenario. Which I'd say it did. I'm a bit bemused by all the negativity.

My only real quibbles are:

1. Why is a night shift considered a quiet period? Surely the chances of Voyager running into anything Dramatic are the same no matter what time of day?

2. Seriously, how long has Harry been awake?
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Richard Webb
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 4:25pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

@Dave in MN

Oh interesting. What were the clues for reshoots? I'm curious now.
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Richard Webb
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 1:15pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

Decent serviceable episode. Still miles ahead of the sub-par S1+S2 stuff, but a bit of a small backwards step from last week. Could have done the escape from the scavenger yard a bit better, but the production budgets really showed their money with Book's ship coming to the rescue - I was almost punching the air when this happened.

Neat stuff:
- Book: continually is the most charismatic character of the season. Please use more.
- Admiral Vance is a great character. His line after Michael asks for permission to speak is fantastic and really cuts through.
- I like that there are consequences to Michael's insubordination - she is less of a saviour and more of a liability this time around.

Meh stuff:
- The cartoonish prison warden villain. Little 2-dimensional.
- Georgiou continues to be a bit much for my liking - and I don't know what's going on with the PTSD.
- STD still has this thing where the A and B plots never quite mesh together.
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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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