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SecMan
Thu, Jul 2, 2015, 10:08am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Canamar

Eh...pretty dull. I couldn't agree more with Elphaba. To me, quality entertainment has to have a point i.e. interesting plot. I don't care how well produced something is - see the Transformers movies - if it doesn't have a compelling plot, I'm bored with it very quickly. I don't *need* social commentary because quite frankly I usually disagree with the point of view of the writers OR I find the commentary so heavy handed as to be irritating. But at least have some interesting plot twists. I always wished ST hadn't gotten away from accepting "original" scripts from outsiders. I suppose that's just how business in Hollywood is done now...if the writer isn't part of the guild, then their script can't/won't get used. It's a shame IMO since many of TOS' best scripts came from outsiders. Most people only have so many good ideas in their heads. To expect them to come up with a great new idea 22x per year (or more if they work on multiple shows) isn't realistic, so why do they try? If they are going to spend so much money producing these episodes, can't they find a method to generate better writing? More writers, original scripts, etc? Almost all of these shows have the "story" by Braga and Berman. Then they hand the plot outline to someone else who writes the screenplay. Having all "creativity" coming out of these two was a very poor idea. Have you watched any of the extras on the Blu Ray discs? One is an interview with these two, and if there are two more sarcastic, less defensive, less likable people I haven't seen them.

I'm watching Enterprise all the way through again, and with many episodes I'm seeing them for the first or second time. Many are rather good; others are just decent. Still others are terrible. I't put this outing in the "decent" category. Definitely a rehashed, cliched plot derivative of previously-done Trek. I won't go as far as to say "wasted hour" because with toddler twins I only get 45 mins of TV a day. But it's certainly a worse-than-average Trek outing.
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SecMan
Mon, May 18, 2015, 10:22am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Breaking the Ice

I'm watching Enterprise beginning to end again. When it was first on TV, I really did not like it. But I think Trek was kinda "tired" then and I probably didn't give it a fair shake.

As I watch Season 1 for the first time in years (on Blu Ray), I'd say the show is better than I remember it. It's not "great" Trek, certainly not in TNG / TOS levels of greatness, but it's OK. I think it's as good as Voyager and not totally out of DS9 qualities in some ways. I appreciate on second viewing that the show is more slow-paced, with more emphasis on character development. I also like that the crew - outside of the tension with T'Pol - gets along, which is one the most important, unique features of Star Trek. The rush to make "darker" Trek with more and more conflict - DS9 and to some extent Voyager - is way overdone IMO as Trek begins to lose its unique appeal to become just another action-TV series.

One thing I can definitely do without is the BLATANT gratuitous sexuality thrown into this series. The decontamination scenes are just totally out of place and nonsensical (as if you'd use a gel instead of just spraying something on or using something EM...not to mention the idea of privacy). I'm also tired of seeing Archer in various forms of undress (there's one scene where he's in skin-tight underwear where you can literally see the shape of his penis...um no thanks).

But overall, I think I can look through the failings to see a pretty decent, enjoyable show.
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SecMan
Thu, May 7, 2015, 8:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

Hi Latex,
Point taken about the prophets. That's logical.

Regarding the "house on Bajor", I think that was revealed in the episode just prior to this one. So, yeah, while it wasn't revealed and resolved within a *single* episode, I think the point still stands. They just quickly introduced this "desire" of Sisko's within the War Arc for the convenience of having something to "give up". Still seems pretty lazy to me. Again, you get to the end of the War Arc and everything is pretty much status quo. We never thought Sisko would *want* to stay on Bajor before the Arc, so it hardly seems like much of a sacrifice that he's going to have to slum to go back to Earth now after the war. I think they could have extracted something a little more meaningful from him. I dunno, maybe:

You'll never marry again and won't have a blissful relationship (meaning he'd lose Cassidy).

Your life will be that much more difficult and you'll know more sorrow and pain as a result.

Bajor will never join the Federation. It will still know peace and prosperity, but it will never wave the Federation flag and that goal will go unachieved. As a result, you'll lose the respect you have earned in Starfleet.

Those are some options. I suppose it's implied that giving up living on Bajor is gonna cause his life to be less happy, but the writers did such a lousy job of building it up that it just seems trivial. Say for example, Data was involved and they told him their price was he would *never* reach his dream of becoming becoming human, that he would never get closer than he was, now *that* would be a penalty.

I think a much harsher penalty would have reduced the blow from the DEM intervention. As it is, it just seems too easy.
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SecMan
Wed, May 6, 2015, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

Yanks,
Agreed. Three dimensions has never been their strong suit. It's as if they are projecting naval strategy into space. I'm no war strategist, but I can imagine space war strategy would be very different from naval strategy. The hugeness and limitlessness of space would make a lot of the naval strategies impossible. And the strategies from modern naval warfare that *could* work, like hitting other ships from a distance with missiles, are entirely missing from the ST universe. They seem to think we'd revert back to close proximity shelling of each other for some reason when the galaxy is made up of billions and billions of light years of empty space peppered with some stars. Heck, if you've ever played ST: Armada, in that game they at least have Starfleet ships that can bombard their targets from far away. Why not just bombard the enemy from far away with missiles containing those energy draining things they used in that TNG episode "Booby Trap"? I guess, while it's logical, it wouldn't make for good TV viewing.
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SecMan
Wed, May 6, 2015, 10:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

And why didn't the Klingon's hail Sisko and let him know they were on their way to THE BATTLE? You think that might have affected his strategy at all? Or maybe the Klingons should have just headed to DS9 since the Dominion fleet was busy with Sisko?

As others have pointed out, what happened to all the Dominion ships guarding DS9? They *all* left to go in search of this Federation fleet? Wouldn't that have left DS9 - the supposed key to the war - completely unguarded? Yeah, the station is pretty heavily armed, but wouldn't the clever Dominion have worried about sabotage of the station's weapon systems, which is exactly what happened? And if some of the fleet remained at DS9, why didn't they engage Sisko when he arrived? And why didn't we see any ships near the station when he flew into the wormhole?

With the whole deus ex machina thing, now suddenly the Prophets are worried about Sisko dying? How many times has his life been in equal jeopardy and they never called him into the principal's office before. What was special about *this particular way* of dying that they suddenly decided to care? It would seem if he as invaluable to their plans they would have protected him at every step, practically making him invincible. It's not like they appear to have any qualms about intervening when they want to. Seems like this DSM thing was just another ridiculous plot contrivance created to get the writers out of a "maximum tension" situation. When they decided to write that the mines would be detonated to raise the tension and to free up the worm hole for future episodes, they *had* to resolve the huge Dominion fleet somehow. And it couldn't be at the hands of some Federation scheme or that would tip the balance of the war and take away all the tension. Whatever strategy they would have used to defeat such a large fleet could have been repeated in future engagements.

Oh, and when before did Sisko *ever* express any interest in staying on Bajor after the war? What about his dad on Earth and presumably other family members? What suddenly made him so fond of Bajor that he decided to live there? Yet another plot contrivance. The writers decided the Prophets had to
"extract a price" for their intervention (I guess to keep Sisko from forcing their hand again and again) so they made up something that was important to Sisko - within the span of a single episode - only to take it away again. Wow, what an incredible sacrifice Sisko made. Guess he will just have to keep living on Earth!

So many plot holes here. Seems like the script was written by a teenager. That being said, I remember the first time I saw it back when it originally aired thinking it was pretty cool. At the time, seeing huge fleet engagements like that was pretty kick ass. Which is, I guess, what the writers were counting on, that we'd be too distracted by all the pretty fighting not to notice the silly plot logic.

Funny, last night I watched the Worf marriage episode, the one right after Sacrifice of Angels, and I thought "this is much better than any of the stories in the War Arc". They at least developed characters some and I thought the actual wedding ceremony was quite clever and creative. See, the writers *could* write good stuff when they wanted to. I think they tried to do too much in the War Arc to try and build tension, and it really wasn't that tense, and the stories just didn't really build on each other to where the outcome of each mattered to the conclusion. And in the end, nothing much changed. DS9 was still in Federation hands, the Dominion was contained back in Cardassian space, the worm hole was open as always. It really didn't accomplish much.
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SecMan
Tue, May 5, 2015, 11:50am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

Oh, SISKO no Cisco. Ha, my computer-focused brain.
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SecMan
Tue, May 5, 2015, 11:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

Since I just can't seem to let this "space battle" thing go:
1. Whatever happened to "hey captain, there's this giant Dominion Fleet on our sensors. It's about 8 hours out. I just thought I'd let you know." Seems like the writers forgot about long range sensors. The Dominion fleet can't cloak. Should have been fairly easy to pick up such a massive number of ships! Instead, we get this clever dialogue:

O'BRIEN: I'm picking something up. It's a large Dominion fleet bearing zero zero four mark zero zero nine.

Instead of Cisco saying "how close is it?" or "can we go around it" or anything else remotely intelligent, he just charges into battle when his ONLY goal at this point is to get to DS9 and stop the OTHER massive Dominion fleet from coming through. At least come up with some plot contrivance that FORCES Cisco to fight this fight. There's nothing. He decides he needs "punch through" this fleet that's a single grain of sand on a beach the size of Texas instead of just walking around it.

2. So if the favored strategy of space warfare in the day is to create these massive fleets of ships that travel right next to each other for some reason, why not develop long-range weapons that you can fire over light years? You know, maybe equip photon or quantum torpedoes with warp engines and bombard these huge fleets from light years out? Or launch devices from way out that could irradiate a large area? Kind of like old-fashioned shelling? Why would you fight the fight that they want you to? I know, this wouldn't look very fun on TV, and HUGE SPACE BATTLES!!! are a lot more exciting, but this is SCIENCE fiction, right? So shouldn't we use logic?

Eh, whatever. End rant.
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SecMan
Tue, May 5, 2015, 11:09am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

This is probably my third time watching this episode and it really does not get better with subsequent viewings. Here are my issues with it:

1. The Odo story. So apparently The Great Link is paradise - which would indicate it's highly addictive - and Odo just walks away from it? And after his many betrayals - including having a conversation about the Resistance with the female Changeling in the room - all is forgiven after he saves Kira at the end? This was just way to easy and contrived. Basically "let's have Odo dance with the devil for a while and then get him back into the fold quick and easy with no lasting impact".

2. As others have mentioned, none of the things that happened in previous episodes to impact the Dominion war effort ever had a noticeable impact. What happened to the limited supply of White? What about the destruction of the shipyards or the sensor array? It's as if none of it mattered.

3. The Battle. I cannot for the life of me understand how the writers think "good" space strategy would be to get a bunch of ships close together in the vastness of space for a huge battle. If I were the Federation, and I were trying to get to DS9, there would seem to be a nearly infinite number of paths for getting there. Why in the world would a group my "last ditch" fleet in close proximity to each other where they could easily be destroyed? Why wouldn't you break it up into many, many, smaller groupings each with a different path to get to the station? No way with its sensor array out the Dominion would be able to stop them all from getting there. Setting that aside and accepting the stupid premise that the Federation would group its fleet together in such a way, once they spotted the huge Dominion fleet, why wouldn't they have just gone to warp and gone around it? Again, they could have sent different groupings on different routes. At a minimum, the faster ships would have reached DS9 before the Dominion. Why would you risk all at that point to try to "break through" this grouping of ships that's an infinitely small cluster in the vastness of space? This makes absolutely no sense. Maybe if they had said there was a HUGE nebula between the Federation fleet and DS9 and this was the quickest way there and the Dominion fleet was waiting there...that might make sense. But by all indications, this was the middle of nowhere.

4. The whole "descent into madness" thing for Dukat is just poorly acted and even more poorly written. Just a convenient plot device to get him onto a different character stage. I could understand a breakdown after seeing his daughter die, but they had him breaking down before that just because his plans didn't work out. Just not very believable to me.

5. Quark rescuing Rom. The Jem'hadar would have shot him on site if he was pointing a weapon at them. They were basically both pointing their weapons at him and didn't fire. I guess they were *slightly* askew (not pointing directly at Quark), but we had the typical DS9 cliche of "winding up" to pull a trigger when they could have easily shot him. Or one could have created a distraction and the other could have shot him. These guys are *bred* for war and they were so easily taken out by a Ferengi? This is just so many levels of silly. Why weren't one or more of them shrouded? Yeah, White shortage and all, but wouldn't you divert extra White to the guys guarding these very important prisoners.

To me, DS9 does not hold a candle to Babylon 5. It's OK-to-decent Star Trek, but the writers' need to interject all kinds of conflict amongst the crew is just off-putting, especially when ST was built on the ideal of a crew that always got a long. I still get a warm feeling from watching TNG episodes, a feeling I almost never get from DS9. If I want to see infighting, I can just go to the offic.e
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