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Thu, May 27, 2021, 9:24pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: Learning Curve

I've been listening to the Delta Flyers podcast and they talked in decent detail about how this wasn't written as a season finale (and "The 37s" wasn't written as a premier, for that matter). That explains A LOT. It wasn't a bad Tuvok episode but definitely underwhelming, especially because we'd never seen these characters before (and I can't recall if we ever would again).
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Wed, May 26, 2021, 11:50pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

I was sort of annoyed the episode didn't directly reference Hiroshima/Nagasaki. The parallels were really obvious and any number of characters could've made the connection (especially seemingly American-born scientist Janeway).

As a drama it was decently conceived and I enjoyed delving into Neelix's backstory in a way that took the character seriously. Not perfect, but pretty good.
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Mon, May 24, 2021, 12:58am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: Cathexis

Pretty meh. I was also struck by how very handy that wide-dispersal phaser setting was and I'm curious if we'll ever see it again (I'm annoyed it was just invented for this mediocre episode, but it'd be mildly less aggravating if it came back in some cool way).
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Sun, May 23, 2021, 12:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: Heroes and Demons

I'm glad the review mentioned the score. I generally don't notice the music apart from the theme (Voyager has an excellent opening credits sequence and it might be my favorite of the ST shows) but there were several moments in this episode where the soundtrack was quite soaring. I also thought the look of the Beowulf program was pretty solid in terms of set design and the characters within it were more fun than Holodeck Goes Awry programs generally are.
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Sat, May 22, 2021, 1:33am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: State of Flux

The work the show did to build up both Carey and Seska as minor characters paid off in this episode. Given that Voyager is such a small ship, it would've been nice to see more bit players like that dip in and out of episodes. Another solid episode that feels like it fully takes advantage of the show's premise and tells a story that wouldn't be possible on another series. It's unfortunate Chakotay has had so little to do up until this point. The focus on him was appreciated but would've had more impact if he'd been more conflicted in situations that involved the Maquis crew before this.
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Fri, May 21, 2021, 12:40am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: Prime Factors

Pretty darn good episode. Solid characterization, including playing off the relationships the show had been building, and a genuinely tense sequence in Engineering as B'Elenna and company struggled to fend off a warp core breach (that they'd caused). The Sikiarians were intriguing, if not wildly original, and the guest parts felt well-performed and distinct. This was one of the first episodes that felt like it fully exploited Voyager's unique situation to tell a new story. Good stuff.
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Tue, May 18, 2021, 7:26pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: Emanations

This could've been an interesting character episode but I don't think the show really got there. What does Kim think happens after you die? Does this experience change his perspective at all? The closing scene with him and Janeway touched on that aspect but the rest of the episode didn't even explore it, which is unfortunate, especially given how close he was to death before he was revived.
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Mon, May 17, 2021, 9:53pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: Ex Post Facto

This felt like another 'this could've happened in the Alpha Quadrant' plot but I found it more engaging than I expected from the episode description and review. Paris annoyed me in previous episodes but here I found him more sympathetic and he actually came off as charming in the way the show seems to want him to be, maybe because he wasn't just being a smug dog. And Detective Tuvok was pretty great. Tim Russ is aces, and the bit with the dog at the end was kind of cliched but it was also fun and decently set up, so I'll take it.
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Mon, May 17, 2021, 5:30pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: Phage

Going to add my admiration for the Vidiians, both conceptually and as a visual/make-up achievement. While the Ocampa and Kazon (and Neelix's species) are technically new, they don't feel hugely different than races the crew might've encountered in the Alpha Quadrant. The Vidiians are scary and distinct, and enough pathos has been put into them to make them sympathetic. This was definitely the strongest episode of Voyager since the pilot.
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Mon, May 17, 2021, 5:24pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: Time and Again

It was a bummer how familiar the aliens looked. Not just basically letting them look like humans, even down to the clothes. This really did feel like a TNG script, and not even a particularly good one. Janeway/Paris also isn't the fun combination I think the writers want them to be. They've got a lot of work to do to make Paris non-annoying (and the flat child actor he was paired with did not advance this).
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Sun, May 16, 2021, 10:55pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

I agree that it didn't feel earned that B'Elanna was given the chief engineer job. If she's brilliant but volatile, lousy with Star Fleet protocol, and inexperienced in actually being in charge of people...that's a good argument for her to be given a spot in engineering where she can contribute to projects and do actual day-to-day work while Carey does the management. It does feel like he got shafted for no particular reason as it was set up. That said, I did enjoy the scenes with Janeway seeing how smart B'Elanna was, and the two of them played off each other in a lovely 'STEM Ladies!' way that was all too uncommon on Trek back in the day. I also get that the major characters ARE the senior officers/department heads, so you aren't going to have an entirely believable setup with the Maquis crewmembers they also want to be featured players. Still felt like a shortcut, alas.
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Sun, May 16, 2021, 10:00pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S1: Caretaker

I'm doing a rewatch because, even though I'm a fairly big Star Trek fan (and long-time reader of Jammer's site), there are large swathes of Voyager I still haven't seen. I only got access to UPN about halfway through its run (Seven of Nine was already on the show and pretty established) and for whatever reason going back and being a completionist about it was never a priority. I've got some Latter Days of COVID time now, and I'm finally getting around to it. So! Caretaker!

This episode was really strong. I also didn't like it as much as I liked Emissary, but at this point Emissary is working off love for DS9 and those characters and that series that built up over time. On balance it's probably a B+/A- episode, and this is also in that range. We've come a long way from the dregs of stuff like "Encounter at Farpoint" from the TNG era as an introduction to the characters. This sets up the premise and a lot of the central players pretty darn well, though a few get short-changed in such a large cast. Including Chakotay, which seems like the worst lapse of the episode, since he was basically handed the post of first officer with only a cursory explanation of why his backstory justified it. That feels like a potentially really interesting character beat between him and Janeway that just wasn't played at all (though I also loved his kamikaze run of his ship at the end).

I guess I was OK with Janeway's decision? The setup for Voyager being lost in the Delta Quadrant felt thin, like they were just connecting the dots to get the premise established instead of digging into a meaty dilemma, though some of that's the newness of the characters. Someone you just met 50 minutes ago isn't going to be able to exploit the same moral depth/investment in their compromises that Picard and Sisko did in the hearts of TNG and DS9. It worked OK for what they needed to do, and Kate Mulgrew is incredibly strong and engaging as a screen presence, so she sold what the writing didn't well enough.

If I'd been watching week to week I'd have been eager to come back and get to know these characters and explore what feels like a fresh tapestry in the Star Trek setting. I know all that promise didn't pan out, but trying to come into this fresh, it was a solid start.
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Fri, May 14, 2021, 1:25pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S2: Meld

Doing a rewatch of Voyager inspired by the pandemic just because it's the Star Trek show I've seen the least of (didn't have UPN until mid-way through). Tim Russ is so good whenever he gets anything to do. It's a shame it didn't happen more often and "Tuvok has emotions" isn't the kind of thing you can trot out all the time, but this was a fine showcase for him.
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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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