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Robert
Thu, Oct 3, 2019, 2:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

Most people have said it already. I just wanted to add that Tom Paris' character brought down the entire likeability and decorum of this series. He is so mundane, so boring, so staunchly 20th century (cars, grease monkey, television, black and white film non-sense), that he just brought the sophistication level way down. The actor is so white bread and annoyingly all-American that it's hard to take any of his plot involvements seriously. And this episode was no different.

Harry Kim is probably the only worse character, so the fact that he and Tom are close friends just makes it all the more mundane. There is absolutely nothing endearing about either of these characters and I couldn't really care less if they lived or died. Tom never really evolves or matures as a character. His romantic status changes and he has a kid, but he himself is pretty much the same from day one.
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Robert
Thu, Oct 3, 2019, 1:56am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Fair Haven

My main problem with this episode, like most Voyager episodes that reference human history, is that they are very white-bread Eurocentric. It makes the senior staff seem utterly uncultured and mundane. United Earth means that humans can go anywhere on the planet they want, at all times. Presumably, any Star Fleet officer in that century has been all over Earth. Yet all we hear about is people reminiscing about "good old Indiana", or Paris, or Ireland. We never see any portrayals of interest in Asian, African, or South American culture for example. It's all white European, and it's all Hollywood's version of those European places.

So naturally, their 24/7 holodeck program that "everyone wants" is of a white, 19th century Irish village, complete with the crew dressing in period costumes like bar maids and priests. It can't get more white bread than that.

Star Trek: Enterprise continued this problem. Most of the senior staff are white, into meat and potatoes, water polo and other boring crap. Who knew that the future centuries would basically be 'Merica in space? There's no sense at all that Earth has united and that its cultures are widely distributed, known, and available to everybody. The only thing we get is a very serious Vulcan, and a native American character who is distinguished by having a facial tattoo. Wow, big whoop.

The problem goes on in other episodes. Tom Paris and his fascination with hot rod vehicles, juke boxes, and being a grease monkey. Harry Kim and playing the clarinet. Neelix making a holodeck version of Hawaii.

You can tell that this entire show is under a white male gaze and there is no attempt to even manifest one inkling of Roddenberry's dream of a highly diverse, accepting society that is deeply self-reflective. It basically just looks like Americans in space.

Look at how much effort Roddenberry put into casting TNG. It was painstaking. Picard is from Europe, Geordie from the Moon, Worf a Klingon, Troi a Betazoid, Riker from Alakaska, and later Ro Laren from Bajour. They made a real effort to make the ship cosmopolitan. Later Trek iterations were basically white 'Merica and it only got worse from Voyager onward.
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Robbie
Fri, Sep 27, 2019, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Sins of the Father

I must have only seen this episode once before, years ago. Since then, I’ve seen the other TNG and DS9 episodes more often and was a little burnt out over the Klingons (especially in DS9). In retrospect, it was stupid to watch Reunion and Redemption without understanding what Worf’s discommendation actually meant!

This was a lot fresher than I expected and is a great episode.
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Robbie
Tue, Sep 10, 2019, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Immunity Syndrome

@Trek Fan: I think you nailed it for me what this episode drags on. It should be more interesting based on the ideas, but seeing everyone slowly drain and fainting over and over gets old and puts the viewer to sleep. Yo

@Trish: Yeah, this definitely stood out, not in a good way. *Of course* they made Uhura faint first, of the line of crew members outside sickbay was all women. Sigh ... On the general topic, Kirk is not usually the womanizer he has the popular reputation of being, but his glancing at the yeoman twice in this episode is pretty slimy. “I could definitely do with some rest and relaxation on some ....... lovely ...... planet.”
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Rob
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 4:09am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Human Error

This episode gave me the creeps.

Imagine the roles were reversed:

Chakotay, wanting to know what it'd be like to have sex with a member of the crew, recreates Seven of Nine in the holodeck and goes on dates with and sleeps with her.

I'd certainly not want people using my holo-likeness for people to pretend-date me. Where does this cross into holo-rape? Non consentual sex with your perfect likeness. Spending a bit of time on that part of the story would have been really interesting (and challenging) but might have been more interesting that the ultimate conclusion that she chooses not to feel. meh.
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Robert
Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Yes, it’s been around for awhile now and I had a good laugh at it with my mates. No where as good as the Star Wars reviews made in RLM’s heyday, though. I guess even video critics can jump the shark.
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Robbie
Thu, Jul 25, 2019, 8:23am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Conscience of the King

It had been a while since I had seen this one. The “phaser overload” scene and the accompanying music is awesome.
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Robbie
Thu, Jul 25, 2019, 8:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Operation--Annihilate!

This episode had its strong points, but I agree with Lizzzi that it was paced slower than many of the other S1 episodes. It *should* have been more exciting than some other episodes, but most of the others in this season never seemed to drag.

- As said before, seeing the California filming locations was very nice.

- I’m surprised the inner eyelid and Spock’s blindness is not more criticized as a cheap way to add drama. I haven’t seen Amok Time in a while but remember that the big twist at the end was done better.
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Dr. Robotnik
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 3:59am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

This episode could have been done much better without the rape analogy. I understand what they were trying to do, but as it stands, it raises some really unfortunate implications about victim blaming.
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Dr. Robotnik
Mon, Jun 10, 2019, 12:29am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Random Thoughts

I believe that this was one of Voyager's better planet of week stories. The aliens aren't boneheaded and stupid, their culture is relatively plausible, and the circumstances regarding the plot aren't arbitrary or dumb. However, the scene where 3 random dudes from planet hippy somehow easily overpower and beat the crap out of Tuvok is ridiculous and reeks of plot convenience.

As for the argument about continuity, I believe the big difference between Voyager and TOS is that you expect it from the former. I don't just mean from the context of the time it was produced, Voyager constantly teases continuity and serialization, through the plot of certain episodes, and even through it's very premise. On the other hand, on TOS there is no reset button, the show is just content to tell stories that are fully resolved within an hour. Another big factor is internal consistency. Although TNG for example is pretty light on serialization, whatever bits are sprinkled in, like the Worf/Klingon civil war plot, or Data's quest to become more human, or even the recurring Borg threat, are consistent, even if they are limited. Meanwhile, Voyager is happy to disregard or outright contradict previous episodes when it's convenient, sometimes blatantly so.
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Robbie
Sat, Jun 8, 2019, 8:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Concerning Flight

Brilliant. 5/5! The interactions between Janeway and Da Vinci are writing gold. A brilliant homage to pursuing your dreams, however impossible. One of voyagers best!
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Robbie
Sat, May 25, 2019, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Too Short a Season

After knowing this episode had bad reviews and reputation and I had generally skipped it for years, it was better than I expected. I somehow forgot about the whole planetary action and final scenes and thought it would all be a slow episode aboard the Enterprise, so at least that helped.

And man, are Karnas and his guys wearing acid wash camouflage? Too awesome.
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Robbie
Fri, May 24, 2019, 9:04am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Last Outpost

I can’t disagree about any of the criticisms here, but think Trent nailed it about viewing this through a S1 perspective.

The zoomed-in Daimon on the viewscreen with the white background actually had a pretty neat appearance, especially when they shot Picard standing in front of it. I liked that better than if the Ferengi was sitting in a standard bridge set.
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Robert Sliwinski
Tue, May 14, 2019, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rightful Heir

Kahless’s forehead is more gnarly.
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Robert Larson
Fri, May 10, 2019, 3:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: True Q

Zero stars. This gave us no new insight to the Q, and who cares if it did. This was poorly written and acted. Boring beyond description. One of the worst episodes ever. Deep conversations about nothing. Rascals is a much more entertaining episode than this snooze, and you gave it a lower rating.
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Rob
Thu, May 9, 2019, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

I thought the low mileage comment was about taking the virginity of a couple of country music groupies lol.
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Robert
Wed, May 8, 2019, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

Excellent post, Demosthenes. :-)
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Robert H
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 10:23am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

I found this a very entertaining episode (say what you will about silly plot points but The Orville show is always entertaining, especially the 2nd season), and the big plot point that Past Kelly's memory wipe from the previous episode failed, and had such big consequences for the present timeline, was great.

But some things happening in this episode are just plain silly, and I found myself screaming at the TV for this. Such as:

- The Kalon cannot shoot straight and take out Ed and Gordon when they flee to their shuttle. Then they can't take out the shuttle either. Then they can't take out Kelly's raider ship either. And they are supposed to be so powerful that they took out most/all of Union's fleet and half of the known galaxy? It would have worked out better if they somehow outsmarted the Kalon (or Alana's team did so while sacrificing themselves).
- The whole crew, including even Claire's sons, being on the shuttle that they know could be crushed by the water pressure before reaching the Orville in the Pacific Ocean. Could not just Malloy and Lamar go down, restart the Orville and bring it up, and the rest stay in relative safety on Kelly's raider ship?
- Not to mention that the Orville is conveniently still powered up so it's easy to board and empty the shuttle bay of water. Would this not have been noticed by the Kalon or remaining Union ships?
- The Orville's decks are trashed, but the bridge is spotless clean? Guess Bortus did a good job cleaning up the place while he was stuck there.

And the biggest caveat: in the previous episode (Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow), knowing that Past Kelly could contaminate the timeline with knowledge from the present, they should have locked her up in a room and not say anything, apart from explaining she came to the future. And don't let her interact with Ed and Present Kelly. That is just common sense, even if there is no prime time directive. (But then there would not have been this and the previous episodes I guess.)

At least Ed can be proud for making such a big impact on the known universe by defeating the Kalon in the Present timeline.

Still it was a very entertaining episode, where we saw an alternative version of Alana, flying Kalon heads (how cool is that!), the Orville under water, Bortus decking Ed and doing the honorable thing of staying on board, the Orville being trashed and blown up, and some great emotional moments between Ed and Kelly that did not actually put me off about Ed still pining for Kelly (enough with that already!!!!).

I hope The Orville gets renewed for a 3rd season.
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Other Robert
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Did not purchase this season, feel like I got the same amount of entertainment just reading here and spent 14 less hours in the process, thanks everybody.
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Robbie
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 1:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: A Simple Investigation

I thought it was a decent episode. Only lines I thought were really bad were Arissa’s “I’m dying. I can’t cry, the dead don’t cry” or something like that.
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Robbie
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:23am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ascent

It’s awful and judgmental, but I skipped this one on my watch-through of the series tonight.

Like $G said, there’s something dull about the episodes where 1-2 people are trapped or lost for 40 minutes of the episode, whether it’s TNG or DS9. Extra bonus points if they are stuck in the same cave set that they use for everything (“The Sword of Kahless”, “Nor the Battle to the Strong”).

I’ll get over my short-sightedness and watch this when the mood is right...
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Robbie
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 7:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

I should’ve added that I hope for some recognition of the new Klink *D7* — at least some comment from the Discovery crew along the lines of “what is that?” Oh well.
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Robbie
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 4:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

1. Random thought, along with the Trek movies since the 2009 one — why are hand phasers now burst weapons as opposed to beam? It was one nice way to differentiate them from Star Wars blasters. I only thought of it again with all the nanoprobes chasing Burnham. A beam weapon would’ve seemed a lot better there.

2. Pike is the man. Somehow the writers/Anson Mount have got that balance between a competent, serious captain and someone with empathy. Much as I like Picard or Kirk, I’m sure Disco Pike would be the best one to serve with.
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Robbie
Thu, Apr 4, 2019, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

Like Petetong said, the multiple matte painting backgrounds and indoor / outdoor sets really add a lot to this episode. With the amount of rubble built up and cast of extras, I wonder how much the budget of this one compared to the average DS9 episode.

Much more compelling than some of the times they go to Cardassia/Bajor/Ferenginar and you only see one painting and a single indoor set the whole episode.
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Robbie
Wed, Apr 3, 2019, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement

I am with Elliot here - why the heck did a transport ship have a cloaking device, and why was it never questioned in the episode?

I would’ve also guessed that it would take the Defiant about 10 seconds to blow up a Bird of Prey — especially if they fire phasers and torpedoes simultaneously for once — but at least the ship isn’t shown to be ridiculously overpowered here.
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