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Dr. Robotnik
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 3:59am (UTC -6)
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 -6)
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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Pusher Robot
Thu, Dec 7, 2017, 11:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

Slacker -

I'd consider If the Stars Should Appear as well. This episode was a good one, though. Interestingly, it's one of the least funny to date, or at least, it has the fewest gags, and the ones that are in there actually seem to fit in character. For a "serious" episode, I thought it hit exactly the right notes.

Obviously there's a lot of similarities with Who Watches the Watchers, but being as that is one of my favorite episodes I didn't mind it at all. It was unique enough that I didn't mind hitting some of the same beats, and the mechanism of getting to see how it all worked out put a nice bow on it. These are fundamental storytelling themes, and I don't see a real problem with exploring the same themes from different angles or with different approaches.

I thought there might be a real chance of the planet returning empty of life save for Isaac, the people having destroyed themselves, which would have been a sad twist, but I wasn't disappointed with an optimistic ending either.

I thought McFarlane did some of his best acting to date, and I was very happy to see him being a little more introspective and open rather then shouty and defensive, almost like he's growing as a character! Nice to see LaMarr still has his promotion too, though I'm still not sold on the acting.

I liked seeing some of the areas of the ship "after dark" for a change. I also like the look of the alien cities. As for criticisms, I have a few: I thought the planet people were just way too human. They looked human and apparently developed in exactly the same way humans did, with the exact same timeline and down to having almost identical cable news networks, even identical _news_. That feels a little lazy to me, especially because we already did that in Majority Rule. Also, they went through the trouble of setting up stakes for defying the admiralty and then never paid it off. I was waiting to find out how they were going to report or not the crew's little insurrection, and we never found out. I guess maybe they just didn't mention it? Or maybe in typical Star Trek faction, the No Harm, No Foul rule got applied? Oh well, guess we'll never know. I was also more than a little surprised that in almost a month, the Union didn't bother to send any more ships to research this anomaly. Hopefully they'll remember to have somebody hanging out there 11 days from now. Might be interesting.

But although I could pick at some of these things, this is definitely one of my top episodes for the season, and more than that, I'm very happy at the direction the show and the characters are going overall. I will be very much looking forward to Season 2!
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Pusher Robot
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 10:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

I was completely enthralled by the scoring. Really superb work.

I couldn't decide if this being a real spatial-anomaly-enabled physics thing, like the episodes of TNG and DS9 when thoughts became real, or some kind of mirror universe or simulation, up until Gordon bit it. Though losing the nurse would have been a gut punch, I believed they would do it.

I really enjoyed the episode. It was a different tone and effective at ratcheting up the tension and it was really fun to see the ship in a much different and more ominous way, like when DS9 was dressed up as Terok Nor.

RSVP ensign Payne.
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Robotmaria
Sat, Nov 11, 2017, 5:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Fusion

Regarding Vulcans, I found the mind-meld scene disturbing but it reminded me that Spock forces a mind-meld on Valeris in The Undiscovered Country. I was quite young when I first watched UC and always found Spock's actions made the tone of the film much darker. As Leonard Nimoy played it, Spock himself was very shaken by what he had done, although he acted out of need to save Kirk and McCoy, not out of anger like Tolaris. It makes me wonder if Vulcans ever had laws about mind-melds.
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Pusher Robot
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 2:03am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

Minor goof: when they first connect to the master feed, if you freeze frame and read the comments, the screen shows comments about the dog even though they haven't come up with that story yet. Some of the comments in the other freeze frames are really hilarious too.

But overall good episode and a timely one. I'm really happy that they seem to toss every character a little bit of characterization in every episode, even if they aren't playing a central role in the plot. I'm hoping they can find that sweet balance with a little bit more creativity in the plots without going totally off the rails like Star Trek Discovery.
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Real Human Robot
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:00am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

And I'm done. After this episode was over, I canceled my subscription to CBS All Access so I wouldn't be charged for another month. I've watched every episode and movie of Star Trek (except TAS), but I just can't do it anymore. I can't pay for a show that I don't enjoy and that doesn't make me feel like Star Trek used to.

A few parting thoughts...

So this episode highlighted that Discovery has created a story in which the Vulcan Science Academy is more racist in its admission policies than public US Southern universities and colleges were in the 1960s. So much for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

I'm surprised at the amount of praise -- coupled with intolerance for dissent -- there is lately for Discovery on the Star Trek subreddit. It seems like a lot of people have adopted a Star Trek: Love It or Leave It attitude. Which I suppose sort of mirrors the lack of choice CBS, by only making the show available through All Access, is giving those of us in the US.

Lastly, I first started to really feel this way about the franchise with the reboot movies, and so it's interesting to see how many people connected with JJ Abrams and friends there are working on Discovery: Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, Heather Kadin, and Jesse Alexander, as well as Craig Sweeny and Aaron Baiers (the last two via Kurtzman and Orci on Limitless).

Thanks to Jammer for hosting this site and providing a forum in which to discuss so many episodes of Star Trek. Agree or disagree, I've enjoyed reading the diverse range of thoughts, opinions, and analysis that so many people have shared here.
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Real Human Robot
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 10:38am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: If the Stars Should Appear

@Darren, hear, hear. My wife and I are also enjoying The Orville as a fun romp down memory lane which is often laugh-out-loud funny. I think the fact it doesn't take itself so seriously is quite refreshing, especially conpared with the tone of Discovery so far, which projects a sanctimony I'm just not buying yet. Maybe after 50 years of canon, it's more fun to see homages done in its spirit (even if they smack a bit of fan-fiction), than it is to see shoe-horned-in additions to it (especially when they try to "modernize" its spirit).

By the way, the premise of "For the World Is Hollow..." is hardly original when compared to the set up of the 1963 book Orphans of the Sky by Robert Heinlein. And actually, David Mack even pointed out that "For the World..." cribbed many of its plot points from the previous Star Trek episode "The Paradise Syndrome." I mean, TOS could be accused of repeating others and itself. At least so far, The Orville can only be accused of repeating others.

@Jammer, is it really worthwhile for you to continue reviewing this series if nearly every episode is going to be "two stars/too much like Star Trek/too not funny?"
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Mr. Roboto
Sun, Sep 24, 2017, 9:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Well, I found the acting horrible, the pacing weird, and the plot lame.

Otherwise, it was great!

Oh and the directing was awful, as well. Every other scene doesn't need to be shot on a Dutch angle, jackass! Also, did you go to the Michael Bay school of directing? How about letting a shot linger for more than 1.5 seconds?

Is the actress playing Michael reading her lines so woodenly on purpose, as I guess she is part Vulcan? Is the captain part Vulcan too?

How the hell does a species get bred to "sense death?" Isn't Star Trek ostensibly science fiction?!?

The only solace I have is that TNG started pretty bad as well.
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Robotmaria
Sat, Jun 10, 2017, 6:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

I think it should have had at least one star.
I thought it was hilarious. The 'beloved mutant' line stood out. Neelix accidentally solving the problem (this is why no one has ever solved the threshold problem before... No Neelix!) And the ending was ridiculous enough to be very funny.

Despite the technobabble and the warp threshold not quite making sense, Tom's desire to get his name in the history books played out well. Of course breaking the threshold would have bizarre consequences. At one point Paris has two hearts and (after an infinite time and space experience) and I thought he'd "evolved" into a Timelord! Whether the writers call what happens to Tom evolution or something else, DNA is very elastic all through Star Trek.

As for Voyager finding the shuttlecraft in three days. I can only assume Janeway did something sensible and dropped the shuttle out of warp before turning into a randy lizard.

Jammer didn't mention the hint at consequences from this episode because Tom's experience results in Voyager getting detailed star maps. And the traitor in engineering sends them to the Kazon. Can't remember if this comes up in future episodes but it would be good if it did.
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Real Human Robot
Tue, May 23, 2017, 7:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

I think the reason that this episode has resulted in such divisive (not to mention lengthy) commentary is because not one, but two officers can be seen as dropping the ball in the way that they relate to the Vissians.

Although I empathize with Trip's desire to help the Cogenitor (Charles from now on), I can also understand how many commenters here believe he was wrong to interfere. After all, considering the likely practical consequences of Trip's actions, he wasn't ultimately doing a very good job of advancing the cause of the Cogenitors. The establishing of normalized diplomatic and cultural relations would have gone a long way towards allowing the two species to understand and influence one another. And that relationship would have allowed for the human concept of individual rights – for all – to permeate the Vissian society and hopefully help to liberate the three percent of their race being currently oppressed. But Trip severely damaged what could have been an otherwise successful first contact through duplicitous meddling (including lying about where he was and visiting the quarters of the chief engineer without permission). As a result, the Vissians, fearing and mistrusting the influence of humanity, may go to great lengths to avoid them in the future. And since Charles is dead, it's not as though they – I think that's the best pronoun to refer to the Cogenitor sex – will be able to inspire any revolutions at home. So if Trip really wanted to help these people, he's not done so in a very effective way, and he probably should have just kept his nose out of their business. It also wasn't as though anyone had come to him asking for help. Not to mention, rushing off to play the White Knight can often be dangerous. Oftentimes a person can become emotionally invested in a cause about which he knows just enough to be dangerous.

However, once Trip had interfered and had opened Charles' eyes to the possibilities of life, Archer absolutely had an obligation to honor their request for asylum, whether it was politically inconvenient or not. I understand his confusion about what was “right” at this point. He's enjoyed his time with the Vissian captain. He wants to try to salvage what he can of a first contact which, up unto this point, had been one of the shining stars of their mission. He's hearing T'Pol argue strongly for Charles' return. But all of that is made irrelevant by the very clear path which millennia of human international law and tradition have laid out for him regarding asylum. As far back as ancient Greece, slaves had the acknowledged right to flee abusive masters and, reaching a temple or altar, demand to be transferred to a more benevolent person. And our own twentieth and twenty-first century law lays out the framework for asylum quite distinctly: refugees fleeing persecution have the right to be granted asylum. That Charles' predicament constitutes persecution is quite clear, given its definition within, for example, the United States' court system, which lists numerous types of harm that apply here: forced labor (and possibly sexual abuse), slavery, unlawful detention, intimidation, interference with privacy, deliberate deprivation of employment and other life essentials, and restrictions on access to education. The United Nations definition of a refugee (from the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees amended by the 1967 Protocol) specifically mentions membership in a caste or social group as one of the protected grounds – and Charles' Cogenitor status obviously qualifies. Finally, what completes the UN definition of a refugee is that he is outside the country of his nationality. Once Charles is on board Enterprise (a ship flying the flag of Earth, so to speak), they are no longer in Vissian territory. Archer can ream out Trip all he wants for getting him into this predicament, but his failure to accept the asylum claim flies in the face of every legal and moral human tradition he claims to uphold. In fact, returning Charles is a violation of the central doctrine of refugee protection: non-refoulement.

Archer seems stuck in the sort of emotionally-based logic common to borderline personality, rather than dealing with the situation as it is now. He wishes Trip had never interfered. Sending back Charles is an attempt to make it as though Trip had never interfered. Ergo he sends them back. But that's not the reality. Charles is a different person now. Charles is asking for his help now. And in my opinion, it's far more wrong for him to deny Charles their right to self-determination than it ever was for Trip to stick his nose in where it didn't belong. What matters here is that Charles is a person with desires and rights – and seeing not only their own culture willing to trample on them but also this new alien one would be more than many people could take: it might just seem like the whole universe was unjust.

I don't think Picard would have answered the question this way. In “The Outcast,” although he can't officially sanction Riker's rescue of Soren, he doesn't stop him from acting independently, and it's hard to believe that Riker would have made the attempt if he didn't believe that, once Soren was liberated from detention, her request for asylum from the Federation would have been granted.
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Robotmaria
Fri, Apr 28, 2017, 3:47am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

In answer to Quarkissnyder, Julian was wearing his surgical operating outfit. It's only been in one other episode.
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Robotmaria
Fri, Apr 21, 2017, 8:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

Surprisingly, since Dukat has been such an arrogant villain in the last few episodes, I was moved to tears over his grief for Ziyal, and then to see Garak's desperate searching amongst all the happy reunions...powerful stuff.
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Robotmaria
Sun, Mar 26, 2017, 12:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Through the Looking Glass

Sisko sleeping with Dax is strange. Partly for reasons already stated above. I could almost get my head around Sisko going along with it as Dax seems to expect sex and he is pretending to be mirror-Sisko, except for Jennifer. Sisko seems to be not over her death yet up to this point, he was obviously very in love and given the chance to see a mirror-jennifer, would his feelings about that alter his approach to Dax? I think it would, unless he sleeps with Dax to shield against his feelings about seeing his dead wife again. Like when he became Gabriel Bell, Sisko seems to quickly pick up stepping into other roles, but I still found it a bit unbelievable. And real Dax is his friend. Did he ever tell her? Wish this had more consequences than a slap in the next MU outing.
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pusher robot
Tue, Jan 8, 2013, 11:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Encounter at Farpoint

I just watched this on Amazon Instant Watch and it was a simultaneously bizarre and hilarious experience. Somehow, the entire sound effects dub was omitted from this episode, leaving only the score and raw dialog. As a result, dialog on e.g. the bridge took place against a background of total silence, and you could clearly hear the creaks and squeaks of the set and props. Meanwhile, the space scenes were reminiscent of 2001, with ponderous action taking place against total silence.

I would add an extra star to this version simply for being unique.
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Pusher Robot
Fri, Nov 30, 2012, 12:15am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy

I thought it was hilarious to see Picardo playing a character trying to act like a character he's not at the direction of a voice inside his head, almost exactly like he did as Jack Putter pretending to be The Cowboy in "Innerspace!"
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Robots4Ever
Sun, Nov 27, 2011, 5:58am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Riddles

Certain characters need to be reset. Tuvok, Seven and the Doctor (to some extent) add the much needed down to earth approach, and counter the mush that spouts from the other characters.
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Robots4Ever
Sun, Nov 27, 2011, 5:52am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Dragon's Teeth

This worked for me. There were few sentimental interludes apart from the odd hint of Seven trying to join the human race. The revival of the guy from stasis seemed a better of the two evils. Events then unfolded, not necessarily as the only script choice, but one that had sufficient air of plausibility to carry through.

One issue is the corridor and a missed opportunity to go back home so easily lost.
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Robots4Ever
Sun, Nov 27, 2011, 12:15am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

Best way to view these episodes is on the PC where one can readily skip the painful scenes. Children and silly-females have no place on Star Trek. Not much to redeem but the would-be husband and his advisor's formal stances acted as some counterpoint. Of course we had the parallel plot of the infection as some modicum of distraction.

All would have been forgiven if the final wedding scene had been full-frontal.
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Robo
Thu, Jan 21, 2010, 10:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: The Plan

And wow, haven't been back to this site in a long time, and the day I look back just happens to be when you post; hilarious! Nice review, Jammer, I felt the same way about the Plan. Some cool scenes, but overall, I think they could have made a different movie instead.

Cavil + the first 15 minutes was pretty rocking, though. Farewell, BSG! Now you'll live on in memory (and blu-ray!)
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Robo
Thu, Jan 21, 2010, 10:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: The Plan

Can't remember Jammer if you had said you had watched Caprica or not?
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Robo
Sat, Aug 22, 2009, 6:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

Josh,

Thanks for the heads-up, but I was already aware that the Plan was not in the complete series, however, and like you, I'm not going to wait around for more months just so they can put that in along with the rest of the set. I'll get The Plan on blu-ray when it comes out in October.

This is probably as complete a set as you're going to get (besides those face of the enemy webisodes) and any further releases such as the movie are probably going to be the same separately as they are boxed together.
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Robo
Fri, Aug 21, 2009, 10:27am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

Josh,

Yes, the battlestar purchase was what convinced me to buy a blu-ray player for the future, heh. It will be worth it.

Jammer,

That makes a lot of sense. I knew that they would eventually release the whole series together in some format, so I refrained from buying the individual seasons (and half seasons, haha). I had to be very, very patient, but I'm glad that it was worth it. I'm glad to hear that 4.5 looks so great.
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Robo
Thu, Aug 20, 2009, 12:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post, but anyways, I've been re watching the battlestar series on the complete series blu-ray set, and I have to say, it looks and sounds so awesome. I've never seen battlestar like this, and it is very cool. Looking forward to eventually getting to see the extended 4.5 episodes!
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Robo
Sun, May 10, 2009, 3:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

Yes, although it is sad that Battlestar Galactica has ended, it was also time. Like all great stories, myths, and characters, there should be a proper beginning, middle, and ending to the journey. I was truly satisfied and moved by the finale, and it is clear to me that an extreme amount of love and effort went in to making it the best possible experience the cast and crew could deliver.

Interesting to note about the Opera House: I was thinking back throughout the series, to all of the "myth" stuff that usually involved visions or prophecies. You know what? They actually turned out to be pretty simple. For example, back in Home, opening the Tomb of Athena was to promise something "wonderful". But it turns out that it was a map of constellations.

Later, in season 4, Kara has visions of a "triple star, a ringed planet, and a comet" or some such. I thought it was going to be huge, or something different. Turns out, the answer was very practical, as it was simply the base ship in a certain location.

The opera house visions followed a similar direct line, heralding the climatic scene of the finale (and the series), where the right people were in the right place, at the right time. Simple, yes? I thought it was going to be a big huge thing. And it was, but in a simple way, and well done at that.

Regarding the decision to abandon the technology, I think it is a very brave narrative and character decision (as well as an interesting choice from a science-fiction perspective). While the finale was strained for time as it was, they presented the case as best as possible. For further satisfaction, you'd have to look back at the series to understand the underlying desperation, fear of technology, and disintegration of Colonial society that may have helped push this decision (as well as optimism and hope on Lee's part).

Perhaps it would have helped to have mentioned several times throughout the series of "starting over", especially after New Caprica, where they could have mentioned that most construction equipment, supplies, and materials needed to make a new city were left behind during the exodus. That would have helped set up a practical reason for not being able to build a city, as well as still allow Lee to use his choice to disperse the population.

In any case, I loved the finale, can't wait to rewatch the series when that complete set comes out, and I think you've done a fine job with your reviews, Jammer. Good work.

And yes, really bad idea putting up comments beforehand, especially reading them, lol. But you did the best you could, and you learn.

Robo
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