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Sigh2000
Fri, Jul 31, 2020, 5:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

Re-draft: How did Spock and Pardek meet?....Please give us some real stories with plausible, entertaining reasons (i.e., well thought-out motivations underlying the characters' actions!).
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Sigh2000
Fri, Jul 31, 2020, 4:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

A few days have passed. I have to add to my previous remarks that diplomacy episodes are not my favorite fare. Part 2 is actually far better than Part 1.

However, I really have to quibble with some things here. Based on TOS canon Vulcans and Romulans stem from some common ancestral people. They never knew one another and actually knew next to nothing about one another's existence in the time of Kirk and Spock (23rd cent.).

So much of the premise of 'Unification' just wafts away because of this, and what really annoys me is the use of rubbery protheses on Romulans, but not on Spock and I think on other Vulcans. But who can say? The rubber freak department might put bony supraorbital ridges on one Vulcan, but not on another. Loud Sigh.

Next, I enjoyed seeing Malachi Throne back in the series in some way. But what a weak character this creature Pardek was... who hangs out with Spock for -did I hear this-right? 80 YEARS!! and then goes and turns Spock over to the suits!!!

So many missed opportunities here. How did Spock a Pardec meet? Why were so many young Romulans enamored of Vulcans? Please give us some real stiries with plausible, entertaining reasons. But I cry in vain, since the writers are off eating only applesauce by now. Louder Sigh! Goodbye.
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Sigh2000
Fri, Jul 31, 2020, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Disaster

@Jammer "...but move along, nothing to see here."

Man that's harsh!

'Disaster' strikes me as a pretty good episode. The kids are passable (as kids). It's great seeing the steady movement of Troi toward command, and her calling it right saved the ship. She pushes back against the caustic and intimidating bad girl Ro. More points are logged when nasty Ro has to eat crow! Thus sayeth the Raven. Ro admitting she was wrong was in itself a reason for putting the episode ahead of others.

Of course Jammer has a point....birth scenes in time of crisis are hackneyed as hell, but this one was comparatively memorable. Loved Worf's line " Now is not a good time Keiko!" Michael Dorn does the panic stifled by chagrin thing so well and rises to the challenge by burying himself in his trusty tricorder.

It rates a 7/10 despite Riker removing Data's head, and Picard dealing with those kids was really charming. His little girl no. 1 also did a good job with the part.
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Sigh2000
Thu, Jul 30, 2020, 4:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: New Ground

Sorry for those embarrassing typos!...was in too much of hurry on this one.
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Sigh2000
Thu, Jul 30, 2020, 4:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: New Ground

The much-maligned Alexander is an easy mark. Rather than take potshots at this unfortunate Klingon youth, we should try our best to see the better side of this episode. Good watching points flow in from:
1) Worf's facial expressions. Thet terrifically capture the angst of a serious dude confronted practically without warning by his new role: that of wet nurse at the PTA meeting.

Highlights: Warrior Worf is emasculted in front of Picard (who at first is shown wearing his best Locutus face) while Beverly calls in asking if Alexander has taken his Milk of Magnesia.

2) Worf secretly witnesses Alexander's effective use of the batleth weapon on the holodeck and is for an instant pkeased to see that Alexander is not a hopeless wretch; he then launches into a lecture about Alexander not asking permission first. What a perfect rendition of the parental no-win situation.
Highlight: Alexander never sees his father's look of pride and Worf foolishly assumes that his platitudes about honor have resonated. Alexander remains a pain-in-the-butt.

3) Alexander, upping the ante on his pain-in-the-butt status, disobeys Worf, leaving his quarters and going to the cute little gilvos creatures. Sure it is a ancient plot device (i.e., petulent brat already in trouble makes matters worse by playing hooky and in the process getting trapped in the proverbial abandoned mine shaft....referencing a late 50's (probably) episode of The Rifleman).

Highlight: pathetic as this is, Alexander is unwittingly responsible for saving the endangered and very rare Gilvos creatures. The would have died if Akexabder had been obedient. It is precious watching Riker with two of them under each arm as exits the zoo lab suffering from 24th century smoke inhalation.

The episode is watchable indeed, and worth a 6/10 or better. I also loved the delivery of the line "I did not say that I was ready for the grave." by the actress who played Worf's mother...a very respectable scene, that!
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Sigh2000
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ensign Ro

Funny thing.....I used to like Ro enough to sustain myself through the mediocrity of this episode, but once I saw Season 7 (with Ro falling for the Maquis and shafting Picard) I have lost all interest in the wondrous Ro Laren.

What a miserable person. It is clear from the dialogue at the last scene of 'Ensign Ro' that Ro is completely untrustworthy and will enjoy doing precisely the opposite of what Picard wants her to do. Her arc is completely set from this moment. Why did I ever think that her character would be redeemed?

On a directorial note, the episode introduces the "conversation-between-two-persons-strolling" set-up which I find intensely annoying. It generally works like this ... two people look at the ground or straight ahead while they walk awkwardly forward at a snail's pace discussing some ultra-important matter. They ignore all that goes on around them like monks in a cloister entranced by theology.

Interestingly, the same set-up is used in the last episode with the soon-to-be treasonous Ro. She and Picard walk back and forth at 16 RPM in the Enterprise conference room. I couldn't wait for the scene to end. Thankfully she joined the Maquis so we could get our lives back.
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Sigh2000
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 9:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

@James
I appreciate your remarks.
I agree that good television is a rarity, and some games do indeed impress.

My approach to television is to control content with DVDs to keep quality high. In Trek terms, the DVD player functions as my Atavachron. No outside sources admitted.
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Sigh2000
Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 11:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

As a preamble to my quick review: My 9 point rating scale is based on the principle that a good episode is one which you want to go on and on. If a viewer feels this way while watching, the episode rates at least a 7. A 7, 8 or 9 share this quality and things move to the 8 or 9 level based on special attributes such as snatches of dialogue that really hit the mark, or exceptional performances and the like.

Unification (both parts) misses a 7 by about 50 lightyears. Others in the thread noted its excessive padding and I fully agree. Good golly! The amount of filler in the episode was, I think, unrivaled in the preceding 4 seasons of TNG. The substance of the filler was made of some pretty old chestnuts too! Picard, captain of the flagship of the Federation gets no respect! He hails Gowron on intergalactic speaker phone and gets a load of crap, straight out of the "Wizard of Oz".

Chestnut no. 1:
Picard: "knock knock, pretty please can I have a ship."
Gowron's lacky: "Go away, Picard, the Wizard of Oz is too busy having his nails lacquered to speak to you.
Picard: " Just tell him that my house fell on the Wicked Witch of the east".
Gowron's lacky: (to himself : "I guess I better take this seriously").

Then they do the same routine with Riker and the Zackdorn trash guy.

Chestnut no. 2:

Riker: "knock knock, we have a question about some debris"
Zackdorn trash guy: "I'm having my nails lacquered and my eyelashes curled. You don't have an appointment. So if you don't mind come back tomorrow."
Riker: "What? I don't believe this. Deanna use your feminine charms on him."

What I couldn't believe was that the Zackdorn was actually wearing a green costume straight out of Emerald City!

After more shameless filler components which were even less descript, Picard and Data go through a series of adventures to penetrate the proverbial "witch's castle" to find Spock. They get captured (wow, big surprise) and then they escape (yay) after knocking out the Wicked Witch of the West (Sela). The only thing missing was Toto, and we needed him to cuddle after the gratuitous annihilation of 2000 Romulans in Vulcan spacecraft that for some reason were made by the special effects team to resemble ladybugs.

Given the rubbish heaps of moribund material brought to bear upon the hapless audience, even Worf singing 'Melotta' and some good performances by Lenard, Nimoy and Stewart couldn' t raise this much above a 4 out of 9.
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Sigh2000
Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 4:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

First off, I love this episode for its general message about how people exert subtle social pressure on others to hook everyone on the same technological devotions. It was pretty strong stuff in 1991, and in retrospect I think it caused me to avoid video games almost entirely. I am thankful to the episode for that. I think that the writers were somewhat prescient in seeing 30 years ago how a cool techno-bauble could transform each of us until the gazingus pin is bought, then reached for first thing upon waking.

Late-adopters are seen made to feel like Luddites and eventually ensnared..... this is shown in the opening scene in Risa. Personally, even in the context of a wild weekend, I wouldn't welcome a net being twisted around my face, head and neck by a giggling space alien. Nor would I laugh along when my communicator badge gets thrown over the balcony, leaving me basically isolated....After these things "get done to me" would I then allow the perpetrator to sit on top of me and stick a game in my eyes?

A very watchable episode, but seriously, wouldn't Riker have been drummed out of the service for criminal stupidity ? Academy training, Day 1: if a space alien twists a net over your head and then throws away your comm-badge, its probably not a good thing . Even if she is practically naked. What a sap.
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Sigh2000
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 7:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

Picard is a mess in this episode: "Numba One, please control yourself. The creature may have destroyed 11 M class planets full of people, but it is our duty to prove to it that we are really very nice and love to chat. So let's have no more nasty talk. By the way, send my condolences to Carmen's family when you write to them. It will be a whale of a good time".

Despite jaw-dropping objectivity written into Picard's character, I think this is a great episode with impressive performances by Ellen Geer, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes. Jammer's 2.5 stars is an insult. Best put at 3.5 in his system; 8/9 in mine
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Sigh2000
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 10:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: In Theory

A hard episode for me to watch. I quickly tired of the Jenna character. Data is almost always interesting, but here, he really took two steps backwards in his quest to become human. We have already witnessed Data displaying high degrees of compassion in "The Most Toys" and "Pen Pals" actually beyond that of his human colleagues in the latter episode), so his reversion to cute-but-dense Pinocchio Robot doesn't ring at all true. If one recalls Data's behavior in Measure of a Man and compare that Data to this one, a glaring lack of continuity emerges. HE may not think that he has any true human emotions, but the viewer knows that he is completely self aware and cares about his own destiny to the point that he in fact feels! Jenna was basically a leech on Data and I say good riddance to her (Perhaps she should run away with ambassador Odan). The gratiuitous death of the woman engineer in the childish, throw-way B plot reduces further the viewer's chances of surviving "In Theory " with cerebrum intact. 3/9
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Sigh2000
Thu, Jul 2, 2020, 9:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Hunted

I remember liking this one this when I first saw it years ago. Danar could do anything and was simply Mr. Perfect mercenary.

This time around I saw nothing but set-ups to amplify the hero's abilities, or the appearance thereof.
Prime example:

Worf stands there in the cargo bay for 85 seconds respecting Danar as a fellow warrior when he could easily have phasered the man to melted marshmellow and clearly should have just to end the viewer's misery.

The net result was a rather tedious episode which offered little to the viewer other than super hero machismo pyrorechnics. That kind of thing was all the rage in 1989. The age of Arnold Schwarzenegger looked pretty awesome but sadly few of us can survive a stubbed toe or a hagnail.
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Sigh2000
Wed, Jul 1, 2020, 6:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

I really enjoy this site and everybody's comments (coming from across space and time). That having been said, I think that many critiques of this episode are too severe. IMO it isn't anywhere near the "borderline incoherent mess" level Jammer suggests that it is. Also the all too common jab 'poor execution' reveals itself as a convenient way to quickly dispose of episodes for what I suspect are ulterior reasons.

Many have attacked the acting....and the actors.

The Acamarians are a stolid species and not particularly emotive. When Marouk watches the jump to warp through her cabin window, the exclamation "A fine ship" shoots out of her in a most charming way. She is like a child at an amusement park for the first time. Yuta is the same way....pathologically reserved, because she was raised in a society which has elevated itself comparatvely recently, from centuries of vendetta. It is not a very happy society on a good day.

The reason Acamar 3 needs the Gatherers back is to re-inject an emotional freedom/vigor lwhich the home world has all but lost. Marouk knows that.
I think one or two quick lines added to the script would have clarified things, but the message is clear enough as is.

Yuta is well acted... She has to die for the society to move in the right direction...hommage to TOS "City on the Edge of Forever" and to "That Which Remains". She is no longer fully alive...she knows that and we are told that...she is a morphoid, i.e., a being who the five surviving Trilesta clan members from a century before collectively programmed to execute a singular task.

Great job by the actors! Marouk is memorable; Yuta unforgettable. Love Troi saying "It's wonderful!" when she tastes the parthos. Nicely addresses the issues.
8/9
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Sigh2000
Sat, Jun 27, 2020, 9:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

A cheesy beach forms the perfect backdrop to demonstrate Geordi's complete dating incompetence, sent even lower by coconut cup drinks with umbrellas no less. Imagine all that coconut liqueur sloshing inside the poor girl Christy. Before she can escape the debacle a disturbing fiddler playing a Hungarian dance tune completely kills the mood.

While I like coconut, the mixture with Hungarian music is as lethal as any radiation produced by the booby trap device in this interesting survival yarn. This is foreshadowed by Data's wonderfully unexpected "Uh oh!" Line uttered in 10 Forward.

Geordi's pathetic admissions to the solicitous Guinan do not give one much hope for the future, but Booby Trap is a strong episode.

@ ari paul nov. 19 2018....I agree wholheartedly that the scene where Picard encounters Geordi and Leah is really great. In fact, it foreshadow Picard as Locutus more than a little bit. It goes like this,
Geordi: 'captain meet Leah.'
Picard: silent...Blank glare with incipient sneer.
Geordi: 'We've been working on the problem.'
Picard: "And?"
Geordi: 'we may have a chance if we turn control over to the computer.'
Picard: "what kind of a chance?"
Geordi: 'either it will work or we all die.'
Picard: "and this is the only way?"
Geordi: 'Sorry to say, I think that it is.'

Patrick Stewart asks 3 questions with a deadly lack of enthusiasm at the responses (brilliant performance). The camera work is great between him and Leah, and Geordi's exhaustion nails it. It has to be one of TNG's great scenes.

Finally, @ Dr. Bob, jan. 2, 2019 good ID on the origin of the trumpet echos in the soundtrack; they being inspired by Jerry Goldsmith's Patton (1970). They capture perfectly the fleeting glory of a combat that ended without a victor centuries before.

A very pleasing experience! 7/9!
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Sigh2000
Fri, Jun 26, 2020, 9:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Bonding

A very touching story which is about how human beings (and Klingons) deal with loss, pain and the maintenance or decay of our own nemories. IMO this episode is an inversion of the Prime Directive baseline. In other words, an alien culture is attempting to interfere with the natural course of events on the Enterprise following the death of Marla Aster. The alien interference is well intentioned but such assistance is unwanted and inimical to what is best for our species. As Picard says: "It is the heart of our nature to feel pain...and joy."

It was well acted and reminds me of what Kirk says to the equally well intentioned Sybok in the much maligned film Star Trek 5:

"I need my pain."
Such statements are dead on and really worth contemplating, not dismissing as hokey.

Good scenes with Wesley, Beverly, Troi, Worf, and lot of great O'Brien moments looking freaked out as the blue energy darts about in Transporter Room 3.

8/9.
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Sigh2000
Wed, Jun 24, 2020, 6:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Evolution

Oh, and another thing....I like Beverly as I said, but in that scene with Wesley, I really wanted her to get sucked into space with Goldfinger!
Sincerely,
Sigh2000
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Sigh2000
Wed, Jun 24, 2020, 6:02am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Evolution

It would have taken just 2-3 seconds to have Captain Picard say something like:
"Captain's log supplemental...Dr. Pulaski accepted a research post in Starfleet Academy's xenopathology division. She will be sorely missed but always ticking away inside me."

Okay 5-6 seconds.
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Sigh2000
Wed, Jun 24, 2020, 5:44am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Evolution

In some ways a great episode. In other ways not.
The image of the neutron star- red giant and the wafting of stellar material in between is really rather breathtaking. I enjoyed seeing it each time it was shown, and it was a nice touch to have this beautiful phenomenon become terrifying as the helpless ship drifts toward it.

I remember this from way back, and felt the nanites were a nifty plot device. Irresponsible dolt-genius Wesley and his mouse-traps added a measure of fun suspense, although Ten Forward seemed an unlikely place to put so many if them. Still, at least this allowed us to have a scene with Guinan, IMOas always a plus.

Dr. Stubbs was a complex character, who is gradually driven insane by all the Prime Directivizing of a techno-culture that didn't exist the day before. His interactions with dolt-genius Wesley are lovely, and all the more because he is naturally drawn to the boy and shares so much with him ignorant at first that Wesley's school experiment has caused the probable failure of his real own.
......
Even knowing the backstory, Beverly replacing Pulaski without explanation was unforgivable. I had grown to like Diana Muldaur's contribution to season 2 a great deal and to say nothing about her ever again ? Come on!
Although I like Beverly generally, she was incredibly annoying in this episode, which was deliberate. Walking in on Wesley when he's all stressed out, stressed ME out even more! Leave him alone lady!

I agree with those who commented that Stubb's Egg not being explained was an egregious omission. Just a pice if techno- scenery....think it would have been a nice touch if it did something cool but malfunctioned at the very end, so a couple if nanites could be launceby probe and do a spacewalk to fix it.
8/9
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Sigh2000
Sun, Jun 21, 2020, 8:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Shades of Gray

Sad to say the set up scenes on the planet were actually going somewhere when somebody at "corporate" duck-taped the writers together and force-fed them two tons of rigatoni.

The result was completely editor-driven. Troi and Dr. Pulaski poking skewers into Riker's brains was OK for starters, but it reminded me of when I got into my parent's drinks cabinet when I was 11 and poured gin into the Kaluhua .....Cascade failure rapidly descending from a flabby concatenation of over-long scenes to a kaleidoscope of horror. The best part was the look of relief on Pulaski's face once she had killed the infection in Riker's brain and in our own.
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Sigh2000
Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 7:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Manhunt

Nothing really happens in this episode ....it elicits a few light chuckles ...moments of whimsy perhaps in an otherwise tedious outing. As others have stated, it was less atrocious than I had expected. In fact, Iactually liked the succession of murderous creations on the holodeck cancelled by Picard, who desires a less intense experience. It reminded me of the old cartoon where Bullwinkle the moose tries to pull a rabbit out of his hat, but gets a lion. " I better get another hat."
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Sigh2000
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 10:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Correction of garbled section in previous post:
*His whole ego is subdued by the fore-knowledge that if he allows that version of himself to survive, he will not only kill his entire crew, he will outlive it, to feel nothing but shame.*

Thanks!
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Sigh2000
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Time travel is really only secondary here. The Episode is about Picard being in crisis, and is essentially about a weakening of his self-confidence.

Its basic spirit owes a lot to TOS' "The Enemy Within", which has Kirk divided into two parts in a transporter fowl-up. One part contains compassion and intellect, but no power of decision (moral Kirk) while the other has strength and audacity, but no courage and no scruples (savage Kirk).

Moral Kirk is disgusted by savage Kirk, who is really just a horny child, but needs to rejoin with him if he is to save the landing party, which is freezing its butt off with no hope of transport assistance.

Riker in preparing the eggs speaks of individuality and flair, Picard loses both the moment the shuttle is brought on board. (And for the record, the shuttle looks perfectly fine!).

Picard is disgusted by that out-of-phase version of himself from 6 hours ahead (because he was, and will be, such a dammed loser!). Patrick Stewart is great at showing this ....you can barely hear him because he is so angry at himself. His whole ego is subdued by the fore-knowledge that he if allowed to survive that version of himself will will not only kill his whole crew, he will outlive it to feel nothing but shame.

The choice to phaser himself to death is a simple one. Once alone again his resolution returns and the vortex is properly confronted.

IMO the most economical interpretation of the vortex is as a psychological complexity brought into existence by disturbances emanating from Picard's own mind.

The episode is an allegory of a divided self endangering those nearby. There are overtones of parts of the Book of Jonah, "the storm will cease if you throw me overboard", but the lesson is that this cannot work if the source of that storm is inside yourself and yourself alone.
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Sigh2000
Sat, Jun 13, 2020, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Schizoid Man

The episode clearly descends from TOS' Requiem for Methuselah in several respects: 1. resurrecting the old mentor figure who rather pathetically falls in love with his ward; 2. Making said mentor develop a physicalized jealousy toward the Enterprise's captain; making said mentor's ward a blond just like Rayna.

It also borrows important elements from TOS' Return to Tomorrow, 1. the instrumental use of an android to house the immortal soul and 2. the horror felt at the slightest idea of being put into android housing by the love interest, which amounts to the rejection of the old mentor.

There is also a strong resemblance of these themes to those in the 1932 film The Mummy, written by John Balderstone...although none of Balderstone's mystical transmigration / reincarnation ideas make it into the 24th century, Ira' dreams going down in flames is very much a redux of what happens to the old mummy.

I can't say for certain that the borrowing was consciously done. I simply note how much the dead Ira in his capsule resembles the mummy in his defaced anthropoid coffin, and ponder the similar ring of the names "Ira Graves" and that assumed by 1932's mummy, once brought to life-"Ardath Bey".
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Sigh2000
Thu, Jun 11, 2020, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Outrageous Okona

Okay... as for "the Okona one" ....Not a stellar piece of writing to be sure, but I have to say that Data's stand-up performance, the one where anything he says or does makes the audience burst out with laughs, is a minor masterpiece. Not only did it make me laugh , but IMO it is incredibly important to the series.

It establishes that Data does understand humor, otherwise he would not be disappointed with the audience's lack of discernment as he hurls one tired one liner after another at them. It's a brilliant performance which recalls a Twilight Zone episide in which a failed comic gets his wish and is finally found to be funny ....no matter what and non stop.....Torture!

It's perfect how Data gradually loses enthusiasm and finally says "Audience program off."... followed by that poignant final shot of an empty comedy club with 5 tables with little lamps, and 16 vacant chairs. Worth rewatching.

4/9 but with special attributes!
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Sigh2000
Wed, Jun 10, 2020, 5:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Conspiracy

Given that I am incredibly grateful that this site exists, I find it would be hypocritical to complain about the lack of consistency in the host's rating system. Admittedly, all we have is opinions after all, which we either agree with or we don't. I usually break up episodes into parts and rate each part independently.

(1) the suspenseful build-up which includes Riker compelled to wake Picard with a flashing light nap-killing alarm was terrific. It rates **** because Code 47 is cool. Old friend Walker Keel is great, with all that implied Picard- Crusher backstory which makes us "care".

(2) Ditallix scene desolate and creepy with comrades who are cold and ready to kill ya, is pretty good Gets ***1/2.

(3) Beverly asking Picard "Did you see Walker?" to which Picard replies with a lie is excellent. Her innocence is well-acted. ****! Imploded ship with the respected Walker now gone is chilling and sad.

(4) Scene of a once dependable old admiral achieving super-human strength and tossing around Riker, Geordie, and Worf ragdolls is crazy, rating only *1/2 but is somewhat necessary so that Beverly, no longer in the dark, can save the day and suprise us by kicking ass with the phaser. Back up to ****. And it sets up Beverly as the fact-deriver who then wakes up Picard to the fact that deadly force will be required if he is to survive. But he has no phaser classic Picard! sad to say

The denoument is completely rushed, gratuitous and unacceptably disgusting with its headless cadaver smoldering in a chair ( negative 5 stars), but at least Picard reacts in a fully human way and chooses the preservation of our species over the blessed prime directive and related nicey-nicey codes. Final score: IMO just a tad over 2.5 stars. (6/9 accd. to my scale).

P S the thought that 5- and 7- year-olds saw the Remmick destruction scene depresses me.
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