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sarah francis-maidstone
Tue, Feb 18, 2020, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

(Stupid phone) ..VOY we're actually being aired B&B were being blamed for killing Star Trek. So I guess what does that leave? Just ToS and TNG?

PIC feels like the closest to the version of Trek i like since ds9 and tng. I'm liking the slower pace and it all looks so damn good too which is a bonus.

At least we don't have to read moaning about reset buttons yet.

I'm sure people would find something to moan about.
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Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 4:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

Jammer's reviewing this weird piece of televised fan fiction?


Dang. I was out after the pilot (which...not great), but now I might actually have to watch this thing after discovering these.
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Sun, Jul 31, 2016, 12:29am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I dislike this movie quite a lot, and in general I'm OK with Reboot Trek and JJ Abrams' other films.

The one minor cockle of my heart it warmed came from the mention of Section 31. DS9 is hands-down my favorite of the Trek series and I enjoy any name-checking of it that shows up in the others, even something I otherwise found quite bad.
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Sarah M
Sun, Mar 20, 2016, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

This is my favorite of the prequel movies.

That's not saying much, and the scenes between Padme and Anakin feature some of the worst dialogue and worst chemistry ever captured on screen. But I did enjoy Obi-Wan's investigation (Ewan McGregor deserved better movies, he was a good fit as the younger character), and I will just say I found Light-Saber Yoda a lot of fun.
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Sarah M
Thu, Nov 5, 2015, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

In my opinion, Jammer, you are giving "Into Darkness" precisely the review attention it deserves. ;)

I agree with the other posters that it should be set at least enough beyond the events in "Nemesis" where they can do something new with the world. There are a lot of fun pieces that TNG, DS9 and even Voyager added to the world, and Enterprise having to ignore them was one of its problems.

I'm leery of this, for many reasons. Walling it off on a streaming service I don't want to subscribe to (and won't at all if the episodes are available on ITunes or Amazon download), and the involvement of the writer from the movies. But I am happy, in a broad sense, that more Star Trek will exist.

I hope you review it, Jammer! I miss your writing.
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Sarah Goodwich
Sat, May 2, 2015, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Tricia: "I think the thing that bothered me most, and this might seem trivial, but it was the first scene with Naomi Wildman's daughter. Harry talked to her, and Janeway patted her on the head... But they basically decided that her life was inconsequential. Yes maybe Naomi's life would have followed the same path, and she would have met the same guy and gotten pregnant at the same time - but what are the odds?"

About the same odds as her getting pregnant with the same child: i.e. zero over infinity. It would be a DIFFERENT PERSON; that daughter we saw at the opening scene was GONE.
Not even history, but WIPED from history entirely; never existed, never would.
And the same goes for everyone and everything else affected by such a monumental event as destroying the Borg queen, hub and conduit, along with Voyager returning; it would make Nero's destruction of Vulcan look like a picnic in terms of lives erased and altered.
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Sarah Goodwich
Sat, May 2, 2015, 6:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Voyager was a bad series-premise to begin with (i.e. More "Wizard of Oz" than Star Trek) and "Endgame" was just Dorothy clicking her heels.
Even if Admiral Janeway was senile or something, what about CAPTAIN Janeway so readily breaking the Temporal Prime Directive? By cooperating with this plan, she'd be just as guilty.
A much better plot would have been Captain Janeway refusing her older self's assistance, and saying she was ashamed of what she had become, to want to play God and destroy the timeline for her own purposes.
But then, Janeway never cared much for regulations, since she violated the Prime Directive from square 1, in the pilot episode, by interfering in the Delta Quadrant where she had no authority rather than obeying her priority to the Federation by protecting her ship and her crew. This shows that she felt herself to be above the law, and able to violate orders with impunity if she thought she had a good reason.
This was directly against the philosophy of Star Trek: such as in "The Doomsday Machine," when Spock accepts Decker's assertion of authority under regulations, when on Voyager he'd just give him a Vulcan Neckpinch.
The moral: you can't break the law just because you think you have a good reason.
But that's all Janeway ever did-- however to add insult in injury, in one episode she badmouthed the TOS crew for violating them all the time, snarkily sneering "they'd get kicked out of Starfleet in a second today."
I'm sorry, didn't Spock expressly tell McCoy there was nothing he could do about Decker's taking over under regulations, even at certain death to the ship?
Didn't Kirk sacrifice his own life, and his crew obeyed, to avoid violating his oath in "Bread and Circuses"?
No, the writers of Voyager were just smug and arrogant... and it showed; that's why the franchise went "prequel" with Star Trek: Enterprise... and accordingly, downhill.
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Sarah M
Thu, Nov 27, 2014, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: Interstellar


That is all for now.
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Sarah M
Mon, Aug 4, 2014, 12:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

I'm usually pretty good at viewing TOS as a product of its time when it comes to the way it uses female characters. It tries more than most productions of its era did, and it generally let its real characters, like Uhura and Chapel, be functional, competent members of the crew who did necessary jobs aboard a star ship. Even having women on board the "Enterprise" was something of a revolutionary idea at the time, so props for that, and I can deal with the T&A and occasionally shallow characterization of Kirk's chick-of-the-week.

I'm not giving "Mudd's Women" a pass, though. And even if you put aside the gender stupidity, the plot is almost non-existent and Mudd is pretty annoying. 1.5 stars is about right.
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Sarah M
Sat, Jul 19, 2014, 11:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Pilots are, by their very nature, clunky beasts. They have to introduce the primary characters, establish the feel of a world, and lay the groundwork for what a series will be going forward. They are almost always exposition heavy, and the stories they tell are often perfunctory table-setters, with more complicated and interesting storytelling left for the series to come.

“Where No Man Has Gone Before” doesn’t exactly rise above these limitations but, taking them into account, it does a pretty good job of setting up the “Star Trek” series. The review is spot on in that, while this isn’t a great episode, it’s a good one. The visual aesthetic of the ship is clear and builds the world of the Enterprise almost immediately, the special effects (such as the transporter) get a work-out to show off what they can do, and Captain Kirk and Spock come to life perfectly right from the start.

There are several touches here that I’m sorry didn’t survive into the series proper. Doctor Dehner is a stronger female character with a larger role in the plot than we’d see again for some time, if ever. The female crew members in general are costumed in slacks rather than short skirts, suggesting an atmosphere that actually had made some strides toward gender neutrality. The idea of the evolution of the human mind via ESP is intriguing, but is never really followed up on.

The decision to air this third in the series run rather than first is baffling, given all the changes that took place (most notably swapping out the ship MD for Doctor McCoy). It would’ve made a made better start than “Man Trap.” It may not be great Star Trek but, as a way to begin the voyage, it’s a strong push forward and very promising for what’s to come.
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Sarah M
Fri, Jul 18, 2014, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

I'm going back through the Star Trek movies now (not a task for the faint of heart, when it comes to some of them, but I find myself liking TMP a little more every time I come back to it. Liking, not loving, but it's a decent sci-fi story that benefits from having the high expectations that must've rested on it at the time stripped away.

And as the review notes, it LOOKS great. It's hard not to think of 2001 and Star Wars when watching it and, while it's not a marvel like those were, it's clearly of a piece with the better space movies of that era. I also liked Decker and Ilia more than I suspect many do, even if their screen time does come at the expense of the series characters.
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Tue, Sep 10, 2013, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

I have to throw my two cents in here because this is one of my favorite episodes of Enterprise. I agree that the ending is very depressing and that the Vissian's treatment of the cogenitors is morally wrong. But to me that it was makes this episode fantastic. I loved that this episode refused to take the easy way out and instead offered a cautionary tale about how difficult and dangerous first contact can be even when weapons aren't being fired.

As for the Prime Directive, I have to disagree with the people above who say that it only applies to pre-warp civilizations. The Prime Directive covers that situation, but it also covers warp-capable civilizations that are not Federation members. The best example is the Bajorans. Sisko, Picard, and numerous other Starfleet officers state that they are bound by the Prime Directive not to interfere in the internal affairs on Bajor (in "Emissary" Picard even summarizes Sisko's mission as "You are to do everything, short of violating the Prime Directive, to make sure they are ready [to join the Federation]").

In some ways, this episode reminds me of the DS9 episode "Accession," in which the Bajorans go back to a caste system which results in civil unrest and eventually one death. Sisko says that as long as they have a caste system, they will not be eligible for Federation membership because it violates some of the Federation's basic principles about personal freedom. However, he does not try to stop the Bajoran government from reinstating the caste system, and he doesn't stop the Bajorans from following the caste system on the station. Even though he disagrees with it, he respects their culture.

In this episode, while Trip had good intentions, there really wasn't much that he could have done personally to help the cogenitors. The best case scenario was that the cogenitor Charles would have spent the rest of its life in exile among aliens, unable to return home. That's fine for Charles, but what about all of the other cogenitors? We know that in a few years, the Federation will be formed; perhaps when that happens, they could offer membership to the Vissians only if they gave the cogenitors equal rights and ensured they had access to education. The Prime Directive, as I understand it, prevents individual Starfleet captains and officers from interfering in alien civilizations (both pre-warp and warp-capable). However, the Federation as a whole is not bound by the same limitations, although they also tend to favor non-interference. To me, the point of this episode is that interference by a single officer or a single crew in an alien society is very dangerous.

I do agree that the weakest part of this episode is Archer. I agreed with what he said, and I liked Bakula's performance, but I kept thinking about all of the times Archer did even worse things during first contact missions. Like that planet he visited in "The Communicator" -- his claim that he was a genetically-engineered Alliance spy probably led to a civil war.
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Sarah M
Sat, Jun 15, 2013, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: The Hand of God

Gosh, what a good episode. This is the show working on all cylinders. Fun space battles, interesting character dynamics, and the religious stuff with Baltar and Head Six actually wove intriguingly into the main plot rather than being a weird little side-show. That was just fun, well-written television.
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Sarah M
Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down

Easily my least favorite episode of the first season. Though even this one I wouldn't grade below a C. It has a weird, heightened, screwball tone similar to what "Six Degrees" had. Except I'm far more interested in Baltar and James Callis' approach to him than I am in Ellen.

So many of Tigh's problems could've been solved by a good divorce lawyer.
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Sarah M
Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Flesh and Bone

Wow, lots of torture comments.

If nothing else, I think this episode demonstrates how ultimately unreliable information gained from torture is (which to me is the strongest argument against it). But this isn't a polemic. It raises a lot of morally ambiguous questions through the actions of our "heroes," Starbuck and Roslin, that it doesn't answer. Which is great for discussion of the issue (even if I don't agree with some of the conclusions other viewers drew above).

Katee Sackoff and Callum Keith Renny are amazing. The Starbuck/Leoben dynamic always fascinated me when we got these glimpses of it.

Hail Madame Airlock.
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Sarah M
Thu, Jun 13, 2013, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Six Degrees of Separation

I always enjoyed this episode, probably because I am indeed a big fan of James Callis' performance. The fact that none of the actors on Battlestar got an Emmy nod for their work will never stop frustrating me. What I like about it is, it's a genuinely different approach to playing high intelligence.

Genius is something that makes you very, very different from most of the people you interact with, but it's often just hand-waved as something entirely positive for a character, or else dialed down to make the character clinical and emotionless and/or just socially awkward (fun in Spock, less fun in almost every other incarnation). Callis really gets into how quick Baltar is thinking, how frustrated he gets when the world around him doesn't bend the way his intellect says it should, and how not only his guilt but his genius puts him at a distance with people. He's a character who's both very socially adept, but also a little off and outside the social groups he's in, and I find that take refreshing.
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Sarah M
Thu, Jun 13, 2013, 10:23am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Litmus

Yeah, it echoes "The Drumhead" too much without being as good. Part of what made "The Drumhead" work was that the Admiral spear-heading the witch-hunt was in a higher position of power than Picard, so she was always a credible threat. Adama is a proponent of creating the tribunal, and even when Hadrian has theoretical power and over-reaches, he's still Commander Adama and is able to shut the whole thing down.

The Caprica stuff is much improved on rewatch, because I know where it's going and I'm invested in Helo and Sharon as characters this time around. I watched these episodes on Sci-Fi when they first aired, and I remember being confused and annoyed by Helo's Post-Apocalyptic Road Trip.

That scene with the toaster is one of my favorites.
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Sarah M
Tue, Jun 11, 2013, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Bastille Day

Soooooo glad they ditched Boxie as a thing as the series went on.

Jamie Bamber's English accent is all over the place in this episode. I think he does a passable "American enough to pass for Edward James Olmos' son" most of the time, but in places here it was very apparent.

I do like that they didn't just stunt case Old Apollo. They gave him a real character to play who added an unpredictable element to the universe, and who they could bring back in interesting ways as the series went on (even if I had my frustrations with the Zarek character on occasion, I always liked what he represented).
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Sarah M
Mon, Jun 10, 2013, 10:43am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: 33

I'm rewatching the series now, and I figured I'd revisit these reviews while revisiting BSG. Just got through "33" last night.

I love how the show just drops you in the middle of the action - in a grim place at that - after the somewhat hopeful note the mini-series closed on. Love the worn-down, exhausted look of everyone in the cast. It really is an episode almost entirely about atmosphere. It puts you in this place, with these people, while they're pushed and pulled. And the 'win' is surviving long enough to get to do it another day, with a little more sleep, and a +1 on the whiteboard.

BSG sets the tone right up front. If you aren't on board for a ride like this, I'm not sure you'll ever embrace the series. If you are, it grabs you for the duration. It did for me, at least.

4 stars is about right.
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Sat, May 18, 2013, 10:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Crossover

I think this entire episode was designed so that Kira could strut around in black leather and be a sexy bisexual dominatrix. It feels"fan-powered"
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Tue, May 8, 2012, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sine Qua Non

It's a bit late to be jumping into the conversation, but I just saw the series and have been enjoying these reviews as a way to relive it and assimilate it.

I also had the notion, given the calm, "then swear it," that Lampkin said after Lee's speech, that Lampkin was playing him. Both testing him and shaping him--finding out if he would be the right leader and then pushing him into accepting it if he was.

But his emotions seemed genuine, too. In the end I decided that perhaps it was both. I do think that his cat was killed, I do think that he was still talking to its memory. And I do think that he was coming unglued. And I think that he was suspicious of Lee and felt manipulated. As soon as their quest started, everyone in the room I was in said, "Well there's really only one person this can be." It was concluded from the start. Lampkin saw that. And I think he felt used. He felt that he was led, by Lee (consciously or not), down a path where he had no choice but to legitimize Lee's ultimate grab for power and his hidden ambitions. I don't think that Lee has secret unconscious ambitions. But Lampkin did. And I think he was pissed.

If he did crack, it was along those lines. And I think he did. But I also think that at the same time, that cynical, analytical observer of human beings was sitting in the back of his mind and watching it happen. And that part said, "Is what I fear true? Let's find out."

Then once Lee did assuage his fears and calm him down, that analytical part stepped forward to control the situation and push it towards what he wanted.
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Thu, Jul 23, 2009, 1:52am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

I'm working my way back through all the Star Trek movies now that I've seen the new one (this is a great one, btw). But I found the commentary track by Moore and Braga particularly interesting.

Toward the end (with the hind-sight of 'Enterprise' and the latter 'Voyager' years informing their commentary): "All this continuity is a blessing and a curse." "Yeah, Star Trek's getting kind of too familiar and tired." "Yeah, maybe it needs a reboot." "Yeah, it probably does."

It's kind of shame Abrams didn't shop script-writing duties out of the pair of them, actually. Much as I enjoyed the new movie, script coherency wasn't it's strong point and these guys did a lion's share of the best writing in modern Trek. Moore's moved onto other things, granted, and Braga (whether you hate him or not, I think he gets blamed for a lot of things that weren't his fault) will probably not work on a Star Trek project again.

It's a shame they no longer write together, though. I think they brought out the best in each other and tempered each other's excesses.
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Sarah Mae
Sat, May 2, 2009, 3:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

So, aside from the forthcoming Daybreak review, can we look forward to a Star Trek movie review as well?

So many things for Jammer to review for his masses, so little time.
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Sarah Mae
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 1:41am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)


Well played, Jammer. Well played. Part of me wants to advise you to just keep it like this. Let the comments stew. But the finale is, for better or worse, the sort of piece you can't NOT have an opinion about, so I admit I'm looking forward to reading your real one.

As for the finale itself: was it everything I wanted? No. Was it an entertaining three hours of TV? Yes. It was both artistically frustrating, provocative and - partially, not completely - satisfying, which isn't something one can say about most television programs.

I liked the "On the Watchtower" coda, but I'm a sucker for that sort of slyness (I'm one of *those* people that like it, and you'll never please both us and *those* people that don't go for that loathe those dramatic winks).

I hated the non-destiny of Starbuck, though I understand the dramatic point they were trying to make.

I'm going to need to watch it again to fully form my opinion of it. There was a lot to think about there. Again that, in itself, is an achievement in the TV landscape.

You were good, show. Well played.
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Sarah M
Fri, Jan 23, 2009, 2:25am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Face of the Enemy

Oh, god, the Underworld ad. I watched all ten episodes in sequence as well and it made me want go deface its movie posters. But I remember the damn thing. I doubt I would've thought twice about it otherwise. I suppose that's a marketing "win."

I very much enjoyed the webisodes themselves for what they were. Not a promising note for Cylon-human relations, or Gaeta's future. It does make me wonder how they'll use the Eights as things wind down. The Sharon model has had both great highs and bitchy, horrible lows. They may be key to how things play out, and not in a positive way for the humans or rebel Cylons.
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