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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

You know, a few Holodeck-based episodes here and there on lone Federation ship trapped in the Delta Quadran isn't a bad idea. In fact, it's a GOOD idea.

It makes total sense they'd want to use their technology to create a familiar, ongoing Earth-like environment. Even a place in "simpler" times would have an understandable appeal. Such an ongoing use of the deck could have provided fascinating character studies and insights, like Reginald Barkley's holo-addiction. God knows here in October 2020, if there were holodecks, I'd be in them all the time.

BUT ... Lord have mercy on all our souls. The Irish town cliche? And the malfunction / safety protocols off cliche? THAT IS NOT where they should have been going with these.

They were on track with Tom's Marseilles bar. A French village. Or since they love their Academy days so much, a romantic San Francisco from the 1950s. But no malfunctions. The drama is their loneliness and reactions to an ongoing program from home.

Half a star for "Spirit Folks."
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Sarjenka's Brother
Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Alice

Usually I think y'all come down on shows too hard, but yeah, this one really is a two point fiver.

But I will give three point five to the actual ship design after Tom cleaned it up. That was pretty cool looking. I like ships, so a bump just for that.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 11:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

I am definitely floating in the middle between two very different reactions to the episode, thinking both the lovers and detractors are going overboard.

I think Jammer and the lovers definitely overrate the goings on in this episode with four stars. To me, it was too ambiguous for that. A true classic ought to be more universally understood. Something with this many unanswered questions and confusion just can't go the full 4-stars with me.

But I also don't get the full-on boredom and hate. There are a lot of interesting moments and thoughts here. The visceral reaction to the religion/afterlife themes are odd to me, too. Those themes are fine for exploration to me.

I'm like a strong 2.5 stars or weak 3 stars here, seeing the value in the acting, the production and the premise, but it's definitely no Top 10 Voyager for me.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

I'm with the crowd that wonders why we had to have the photonic aliens from subspace at all.

Voyager was a long way from home. It would stand to reason that for every dramatic alien encounter, there would be long periods of just going though empty, boring space.

The crew would need something to do to pass the time -- what better way than holodeck programs? I think two or three times a season, a nonperil storyline that examines the crews' cultural and social situation via the holodeck (or not the holodeck) would have been fine.

You simply could have set the story up with a senior staff meeting with so little to report in the empty sector of space they are in that they simply start sharing ways they are passing the time.

Harry Kim mentions Tom's "Captain Proton" story. Seven and Tuvok are skeptical and pronounce it a waste. But Neelix and Chakotay say it sounds like fun. They're in! (Fade to opening title).

So Neelix and Chakotay join Tom and Harry for an "episode." They are delighted and at the next staff meeting talk about how much they liked it. Seven and Tuvok remain skeptical. They argue about the dubious merits of spending time that way with the Doctor siding with Tom and his Proton posse and B'Lanna and Janeway neutral about a 1940s sci-fi program but open minded.

In the end, Janeway issues a challenge -- they'll all participate in a full Proton adventure. If Seven and Tuvok fail to see the value, Harry and Tom will have to do some boring odious chore mentioned in the intro. But if Seven and Tuvok (who cannot lie) see the value, they'll get stuck with the duty.

"Bride of Chaotica!" plays out w. no aliens, no subspace. The only stakes are unwanted chores and bragging rights about being right. As the Proton adventure reaches its climax, Seven can't help herself but enjoy it and Tuvok cannot deny that the program had benefit for his emotional, bored crewmates. Team Proton gloats at the admission.

When the episode ends, you see Tuvok and Seven engaging in the tedious chore in a Captain Proton motif. Laughs all around!

In the end, Trek didn't have too many holodeck episodes. It had too many holodeck malfunction episodes. There were plenty of ways to utilize it without adding in needless peril.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 10:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

I'm still marveling at the ocean planet. What a cool concept. Very well done on the effects. I would have liked a two-parter on that one!
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 12:26am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

I'm a huge Jammer fan. But this is a 3.5 star episode for me.

I loved the debate in the conference room with Harry and Janeway on one side and Chakotay and Tuvok on the other. Like the best "Treks," I found compelling arguments on both sides.

In the end, I agreed with Janeway's call.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 12:10am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

3.5 stars for me. Great episode.

I particularly enjoyed Jeri Ryan's Ferengi.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jul 26, 2020, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Once Upon a Time

Two and three quarter stars.

And I like the holonovel. This is a much better use of the holodeck than the usual BS of safety protocols off, etc.

Naomi is cute. Nice character moments. Good moments in the shuttle.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 7:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

There's nothing quite like watching an episode of "Voyager," enjoying it and then coming on here and learning about all the reasons it wasn't actually good! LOL.

I thought it was a good -- but not great -- episode on all counts. And I still think "Voyager" had the best look and visuals of any Trek show or movie. I love the alien ships and vibrant colors.

And I like the Malons as pollution villains.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 10:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Drone

Great episode. Only one element missing for me. This creation comes from not two, but three, beings: The doctor's device, Seven's nanoprobes and the DNA of the crewman.

I feel like he should have been part of the story, too.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

I liked the episode. One of the more interesting aspects of this is another segment of DQ space that tends to keep inhabitants separated from each other.

This dark void, the Nekrit Expanse and large portions of normal space controlled by xenophobic aliens help explain some things, such as the Kazon and species on the far edges of the galaxy not having the same level of technology, etc.

I wish they had given us a little more lay of the land, as it were, of the DQ.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 12:43am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Mostly a misdirected, hokey, jokey mess -- but buried deep within in this is a really good story:

First of all, get rid of "God," the galactic core, Nimbus III and Shatner's hammy direction.

Sybok is a religiously fanatic Vulcan who has embraced emotion, has a messianic complex, powers stronger than a mind meld, the same ability to reach a person's pain (the best part of a movie) and a quest to reunite Romulus with Vulcan.

(And he happens to be Sarek's younger brother -- not Spock's older brother. And the back story is he attempted to help Spock embrace his human, emotional half).

At any rate, Sybok's vision is a blending of the two world with himself as its benevolent head, bringing emotion to Vulcans and logic to Romulans in harmony. His Romulan "ally," on the other hand, is a cunning female Romulan woman who dreams of outright conquest of Vulcan. She the true villain of the piece.

It's something of a MacBeth tale -- and the Shakespearean tragedy of the movie is Sybok realizes too late his Lady MacBeth has driven him to acts that are both cruel and illogical.

And I think each "Trek" regular should get a scene exploring his or her pain.

I think that could have been a great movie.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 2:12am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

Usually, I think Jammer and a lot of the gang are a little hard on the show.

This time, I find the roles reversed. Jammer liked the show a little more than I did.

I WANTED to like it more. All the pieces were there. I think maybe this is the kind of show that would actually work better in a novel. I find a tad on the boring side. (I did like 7 of 9's attempts at efficient crew organization).
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 2:07am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

Never saw this until today. I'm amazed how many Voyagers I missed until I began this recent beginning-to-end viewing.

I'm with the majority this time. Not only is this one of Voyager's finest hours, it's one of the finest hours of any "Trek."

And it has more to say in 2020 than in the 20th century!
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jun 21, 2020, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

I think 3.5 stars is just right. I like this episode a lot.

What was interesting to me was the four-way conflict here. You had:

Hirogen vs. 8472.
Federation vs. Hirogen.
8472 vs. Borg (represented by 7 of 9)
8472 vs. Federation
Hirogen vs. Borg (briefly)
Federation (Janeway) vs. Borg

Each of the four represented species or groups had a particular point of view consistent with previous Trek history that put them all in conflict with the other three.

I was fascinated with see it play out. And the effects were stunning. Just shy of four stars.

They've definitely upped the risk factor for Season 4: Borg / 8472 / Krenim / Hirogen / Dream Invaders. That's definitely a more formidable set of opponents than the Kazon and random spacial anomalies.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 11:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Waking Moments

Typically, I'm not a fan of "Is it real or not?" Trek episodes.

But for a show of this type, it was pretty good. And I'm rather fascinated with dreams, so the lucid dreaming part was enjoyable.

The intro was the best part.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jun 7, 2020, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part I

Oh man. Tough crowd. This is three and three-quarters "Trek" to me -- just shy of a four-star classic. Loved the evacuation speech and pods leaving at the end.

Surprised the Borg haven't tried to help themselves to Krenim technology. Of course, maybe the Borg have't been around at the right time!
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Sarjenka's Brother
Mon, May 25, 2020, 1:02am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

I agree with Justin: " It stands right up there with but slightly below the great ones."

It's not as good as "Wrath of Khan." And It's not as engaging and fun as "Voyage Home."

But it is a very solid followup to "Khan" with splendid cinematic scenes and nice character moments.

And it ruins the whole "odd number" theory. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, "The Motion Picture" also ruins the "odd number" theory.

Now the upcoming No. 5 -- yeah, it's "odd" and it's a stinker. Not looking forward it to, but I will persist. But first I get to see a shrieking probe wreak some havoc!
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, May 24, 2020, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Nemesis

This whole "how does Neelix know" thing is a good example of people so overzealously looking for plot holes that they now come up with holes that don't exist.

Neelix had the info he had because he is the ship's liaison in these matters sometimes and he had talked to the ambassador. It's not a big moment, but they do write that in.

Anyway, I thought it was a good but not great episode. Three stars felt just right. And going back to "Before and After," that makes 10 in row. Or 9 with one semi-weak one.

That's a good streak.

And I personally loved the colorful way of speaking they wrote for the group Chakotay encounters.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sat, May 23, 2020, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

I think this two-parter was the best thing "Voyager" as yet offered up. I never got to see the conclusion, so that was a nice treat.

To me, if Part I was four stars, then Part II is three and a half. It fell a little below what Part I set up, but just a little.

And I liked Species 8472 and fluidic space and all that. It was the most ambitious thing any Trek outing had tried up to that point.

Whatever else you say about Voyager, it LOOKED great. As far as visual spectacle goes, it's my favorite Trek. (That included the current offerings and the horrible JJA movies)
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sat, May 23, 2020, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

To me, "The Gift" is almost "Scorpion Part III". And that's high praise, because Parts 1 and II were the best things so far on "Voyager."

I liked it more than most of the board here. (That's not unusual -- I tend to think half a star to full star higher than Jammer and most of the crowd on at least half the shows).

I liked the handing-off-the-baton from Kes to Seven of Nine. And I enjoyed Janeway's situation: She was reluctant to let Kes evolve and grow and yet was forcing Seven to do the same kind of thing.

And yes, it would have been nice for Kes to have more of her final episode be about her, but I also liked the contrasting situations between her and Seven of Nine.

To me, there was enough there for the "The Gift" to have been something of two-parter too, as others have mentioned.

As for Garrett Wang -- I think his acting was better than the general consensus here without saying it was stellar. But then the writers rarely gave him material to work with either. He did great in "The Chute." So who knows.

But I think People magazine made a good choice. He did look really good at the time. Very boyishly handsome.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Thu, May 21, 2020, 4:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

I just watched this again for probably the fifth or sixth time. I'm with the crowd on this one: Still the best "Trek" movie out there.

So many great lines and themes. I still love the ending line:

"How do I feel? I feel young."
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Sarjenka's Brother
Fri, May 15, 2020, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

I clearly remember exiting the theater in 1979 (yeah, I'm old) and being pretty disappointed. Of course, in 1979, I thought "The Apple" was great "Star Trek" because they killed a lot of crewmen in a lot of ways. And I thought "City on the Edge of Forever" was boring.

So, 1979 me was kind of stupid is what 2020 me is saying.

Since 1979, I've seen the movie a few more times over the decades, the last time being last night. And I must say the movie grows on me more and more with each viewing. It grows better with age and as I age.

I agree with Mark above. It's the most cinematic Trek movie ever. It's the most beautiful Trek movie ever. For my money, Kirk and Scotty could have taken twice as long surveying the stunning Enterprise from their little shuttle. It was glorious.

The movie is blessed relief from the whiz-bang / lens flares / million action moments we get today. I had a subdural hematoma about 10 years ago, and all that stuff literally gives me a headache since then.

Also, I like films, such as "Lawrence of Arabia," that I can actually STUDY. And this lets you study.

And no one has talked about it much on here, but the Klingon opening and score was a perfect 10!

In the end, though, the characters came off a bit cold. And Trek characters should be warm and emotive and passionate. Like many others, "Wrath of Khan" is the best Trek movie for me. It was character-driven with big thoughts. This was more scenically driven with even bigger thoughts.

In the final analysis, though, it's a good movie. Nowhere near the bottom of my Trek movie list. They aimed very high and lofty with this and didn't quite reach it, but the effort was laudable and gorgeous.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Fri, May 15, 2020, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Displaced

I'm back to my usual enjoying-a-Voyager episode, then reading all the reasons (that I can't argue against too much) I shouldn't have liked it!

Sometimes this crowd is a bummer! LOL. But the points are well-taken.

That said, I still enjoyed it and found some of premises interesting. I just posted in "Before and After" that it kicked off six good episodes in a row. I still believe it.

But this one was probably the weakest of six. But it was still enjoyable time spent in the never-ending coronavirus era.

The EMH would have figured out Covid-19 in 19 minutes.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Fri, May 15, 2020, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Before and After

Also, looking ahead, I think "Before and After" kicks off six good episodes of "Voyager" in a row here at the end of Season 3.

I can't think of a time in Seasons 1 or 2 or the first half of Season 3 with that many in a row that I thought were in the good or better categories.

And I happened to have missed a lot of these particular ones back in the day.
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