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James Smith
Fri, Oct 30, 2020, 2:18pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: People of Earth

Well, that was a curate's egg.

The good first. It was clearly a Frakes show, tight direction with no unnecessary ShakyCamâ„¢ or wild spinning. VFX team on point as always. Grudge the cat is cute. Some of the actors (Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman and a few of the bridge bunnies) didn't suck.

But good *Lord* do they need to hire new writers for this show, because the batch they have right now are just not good. Continuity is still out to lunch (synthehol exists on the USS Discoball, so why was it a mystery to Scotty in "Relics"?). The plot walks into itself with an audible thud, twists handled with the subtle touch of a gold brick thrown at your face. Then stuff gets wrapped up all neat 'n' tidy with a pretty bow on it in five seconds because they realised that they were at the end of the episode runtime and needed to get to the credits. And yet the only reason there was a plot to be wrapped up is that dumb people did something dumb for a dumb reason - the Earth attack on a ship coming from Titan to try and get help. Now, I'm sorry but I just don't buy that an Earth not too far removed from the days of the Federation...they mentioned in the episode that it had been 100 years since the United Earth seceded - so the Federation lasted ~928 years all told (2161 to ~3089) and in less than a hundred years after that Earth people turned into genocidal maniacs?

Bull. ****.

It's not just the writing of course, though that continues to be the biggest problem. The guest cast didn't cover themselves in glory (either Phumzile Sitole was horribly miscast, or she's just not good enough to rise above the material when the writing quality nosedives). The music department got in the way at times and they can bloody well quit using the Courage fanfare, that should be reserved for much better work than this. And now SMG is playing Burnham in a lot of scenes with this weird kind of zen look. Well, it's either zen or she's completely off her face. I guess it's to try and show how it's been a year away from the crew for her and she's changed. I'm not sure it's much of an improvement on the wide-eyed panic that she spent most of S2 in.

tl;dr - this show *sucks*.
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James Smith
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 10:22am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

This felt a bit like a season 2 show in all the worst ways. But ranking right up there was the bollocks with MirrorGeorgiou stomping Leland's corpse into organic mush.

Showing Leland's brain matter on her boots? Graphic, pretty unnecessary, but it didn't last long and hey - they 'needed' to show that she's evil, because TV audiences are apparently short-memoried and require this sort of thing reiterating. To then show Leland's remains getting scraped up? Wholly unnecessary, turning what was an attempt at drama into an attempt at shock value for no good reason.

MirrorGeorgiou is a complete waste of Michelle Yeoh. The sooner the character buggers off out of STD to a Section 31 series the better.
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Robin Smith
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 11:28pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: Divergence

This is my second time through "Enterprise " from start to finish. I only watched a few episodes when it first was on UPN, but enough that I did care about Trip and T'Pol. Anyway, I feel really really cheated not to have a fifth season to watch. You may not agree, but I have come to be much more attached to this crew, overall, than I ever have to the TNG Enterprise crew. Usually, I watch TNG when I want to take a nap! I'm especially tired of malfunctioning holodecks on the Enterprise D (that's what happened to that holoprogram Riker and Troi used in that out of sequence TNG episode that was supposed to be about the NX-01, another broken holodeck). Anyway, I've enjoyed "Enterprise", and not just the last two seasons. So sorry it ended so soon. Btw, I'm an original "Trekkie" since I was 11 y.o. in 1966.
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William Smith
Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 2:58am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S1: Lonely Among Us

I found it unsettling that assistant engineer Singh dies and everyone is generally OK with it. No one was upset about their crew mate dying?
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Wed, May 13, 2020, 12:22pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

This episode lost a valuable opportunity to critically examine power structures in Starfleet. Janeway is a dictator. She can tell anybody what to do and dole out punishments with no trial, jury of peers, or due process. We can kind of justify this in the Alpha quadrant because captains answer to admirals who answer to the civilian government and who in theory the public elects thus completing the circle.

But once Voyager entered the Delta quadrant this circle was broken. Janeway didn't have to answer to admirals so she became all powerful on the ship and had to answer to NO ONE. This is made worse in that the crew doesn't have the ability to transfer to another assignment or practically disembark. They are totally imprisoned by Janeway's power.

The writers (except for Ron Moore) never questioned this. We should have seen the crew second guessing Janeway more...we should have seen some semblances of democracy and maybe even elections like what we saw on Battlestar. Maybe Janeway stays captain but there are citizen councils that decide important things like punishment and what missions to partake in.
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Wed, Apr 22, 2020, 10:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S4: Nemesis

0 stars. This episode was almost entirely dependent on two twists...the first of which was that Voyager's "friends" were the "enemy"...this was cliche and predictable. The second twist (Chakotay being brainwashed) was original and clever but it wasn't enough to carry the episode.

The problem with most of the acts was they lacked depth. It's just the same boring commando characters convincing Chakotay to hate the enemy...line after line...scene after scene. So one-dimensional and boring.

Maybe if this episode had a sub-plot to help pacing it could have worked...but it didn't and was a serious snooze-fest.
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Wed, Apr 22, 2020, 8:04am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

The episode itself wasn't bad. We finally start to see Kes develop her powers...which we should have seen a long time ago.

Kes in general was a bland character. She was polite and had a nice smile...she would hand the doctor the tools he needed..but there wasn't much to her. Her one interesting angle was her powers...and the show rarely explored this. Maybe her abilities would have allowed her to walk through objects which would have opened up many interesting story lines. Given that her character wasn't growing or using her powers, it was the right decision to get rid of her.
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Wed, Apr 22, 2020, 7:58am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

This and the previous episode were relatively good for Voyager. But many thing didn't make sense.

An alien race is destroying the Borg and Voyager goes to great pains to save them? This alien race wants to destroy ALL life in an entire galaxy...just because "they're weak"? Voyager is the ONLY one capable of stopping this alien race from destroying the entire galaxy? Their nanites can infiltrate the alien hull but conventional weapons can't? This alien race can quickly one shot entire borg cubes...but can't do the same to Voyager? Too contrived.

The worst part was the "deal with the borg". As Picard noted, you don't negotiate with the Borg...yet that's exactly what Voyager was successfully able to do. How would Voyager have bargaining leverage over the borg? If Voyager wants safe passage...that means they value their ship. If Janeway destroyed the nanites then they would be Janeway didn't have the leverage she thought and the Borg would know this.
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Tue, Apr 21, 2020, 8:08am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Worst Case Scenario

A good episode. This was one of Chakotay's best...and had this been more of a norm for him he would have been an interesting character. Here he's independent, rebellious, and decisiveness. Typically he's flat, subservient to Janeway and a bland group-think character whose only purpose is to tell Janeway how wonderful she is.

The first part of the episode was the best. The last few acts were a bit weak though. The old "trapped in a holodeck" regime was so cliche...and it devolved the episode into a simple survivalist story that was a bit one-dimensional and uninteresting. Had the "trapped in a holodeck" storyline been axed, this would have been a great episode.
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Tue, Apr 21, 2020, 8:04am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Displaced

I thought this was a better Voyager episode. The one thing that bugged me was how the phasers were used and how inept Voyager's intruder defence system was.

For starters, phasers have a wide beam setting...why do we almost never see this? Also phasers can fire in continuous don't have to "reload" before you can shoot again. As long as there is no chance of friendly fire, most phases would be set to wide and continuous settings...and there wouldn't be all these ridiculous misses. Heck you wouldn't even need to aim...the key would be getting off a shot very quickly.

Also, shouldn't a intruder defense system be able to identify friend from foe automatically (the com badge) and selectively stun the bad guys without the need for an old fashioned point and shoot fire fight? Shouldn't a Federation intruder defence system have a simple drone with a phase set to stun on on it that could help defend the ship like "Arsenal of Freedom"? Why didn't Chakotay flood many of the key decks with gas? None of that made sense.
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Mon, Apr 20, 2020, 12:22pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Distant Origin

A fun concept and a fun episode. But the trial at the end didn't work. Trek has had so many well written trials...but this felt flat and prolonged.
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Mon, Apr 20, 2020, 10:31am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Real Life

An awful episode that I could barely finish. Voyager presents family life as one of only two artificial extremes...mindless obedient robots or as totally dysfunctional.

Much of this episode revolved around with the Doctor dealing with bratty kids...that has nothing to do with science fiction and it dumbed down the tone of the episode.

This was a red flag for Jeri Taylor...clearly she was part of the reason why Voyager wasn't realizing its potential.
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Mon, Apr 20, 2020, 10:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Before and After

This was a ship-in-the-bottle episode that didn't realize it's full potential. The characters in Voyager are just too bland to get away with idle inter-personal dialogue. What worked in TNG didn't work in Voyager. We don't care what Kes experiences or thinks...because she is a bland and uninteresting character. The writer's can't create these serious family scenes for Kes when we the audience could care less about them.

This episode demonstrates the concept of "entropy". In physics a closed system will break down into disorder. The same can be said for science fiction stories. You need outside additions (new characters, new races, new concepts) to be periodically injected into a series for it to work...or it decays into entropy. The other trek shows had a relationship with the Federation and strong reoccurring characters that added vitality to the show. Voyager didn't.
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Mon, Apr 20, 2020, 10:22am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Favorite Son

The story was good...but it wasn't enough for an hour-long episode and the dialogue suffered. It was just too one-dimensional...aliens try to convince Harry he is special and to stay...and that's pretty much it. That can work for say 10 minutes, but not a full episode. Had this episode had more subplots or twists, it could have worked.
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Mon, Apr 20, 2020, 10:19am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Rise

So the Tuvok/Neelix was at best cheesy and at worst really annoying. But other then that this wasn't a bad episode.

The space tether idea was cool...but seemed impractical. The weight of a space tether would be IMMENSE. There is no way an orbital object would generate enough force to keep it from imploding on itself.
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Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 10:36am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Unity

This came close to working for me...but didn't quite. I'm not a fan of Borg episodes as they tend to be somewhat simplistic. They tend to be fight/flight episodes where the key decisions tend to be when to run/attack...and not much more. That's boring.

The original concepts of the Borg by Gene was to likely to explore "group-think" which was a cool concept. But later shows devolved the borg into a simple military foe to be faced mostly with military solutions. This episode actually does return somewhat to the roots of the Borg in exploring the concept of group-think and group-consciousness...but it largely does from a favourable viewpoint (except for when Chakotay was hijacked).

I think if Star Trek had explored the Borg much like the White Mountain trilogy did, they would have worked better. In those stories, you have "capped" and "uncapped" citizens existing under an oppression alien occupation. Those books were moddield on the authoritarian governments that sprang up in the 30's and were very critical of group-think. Those stories successfully combined the physical and mental aspects of group-think...while Star Trek borg only really explored the physical dynamics of group-consciousness.
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Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 10:24am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Coda

The premise was good...but some of the details didn't work. For example the commander/captain forced to be together and crashing on the planet together on a shuttlewas so cliche and annoying. The show constantly tried to make a Chakotay/Janeway relationship work and it never did. The other thing that was annoying was how mindlessly the crew worshipped and loved their captain...a bit too Mary Sue for my taste. The funeral was especially cheesy.

What did work was the "demon" trying to capture Janeway to "hell". That was great and should have been explored more in depth. Had the story made this the main focus and had Janeway perhaps actually gone to "hell" this could have been an epic episode.
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Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 10:18am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Alter Ego

This was a Tuvoc-centric episode and it highlighted a weakness in how Tim portrayed a vulcan. Tim's interpretation of a vulcan is an emotionless robots who delivers flat deliveries. Often he stares blankly at the person he talks to while not moving his body, not changing his vocal inflections or varying his rate of speech with natural gaps.

This is VERY different from Spock. The secret to why Spock (and Data) worked was NOT because they had no emotions, but because they had little to no egos. Emotions did overlap some...but the ego was the key to why these characters work or don't. Tim never figured this out. He was constantly "protecting himself" and his ego with his deliveries which was in stark contrast to Spock/Data who content to be oblivious to attacks on their identity. Characters without egos are a rare delight in science fiction and they make a scene uplifting. We needed more of them in Voyager. The best we would get would be 7 of 9 who would appear later in the show.
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Thu, Apr 16, 2020, 10:34am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Fair Trade

This was one of the better Neelix and reminded me of DS9. Space station...illicit deals...shady characters...Odo like character keeping an eye on things and arriving at the last second...Talaxians acting like Ferengi. Not that I'm complaining.

The frustrating thing about the character of Neelix up to the point as been his lack of independence. He (like many of the other characters) is a strong group-think character whose role is nothing more than to make the Captain look wonderful. Neelix constantly tells the crew and the Captain how wonder they are and how he wants to make them happy. This makes him one-dimensional, boring and annoying. This is why the Ferengi work and the Telaxions typically don't.

In this episode we finally start to see Neelix express some independence and put his own interests above the crew which was refreshing. The downside was the JANEWAY lectures Neelix on ethics? She's arrogant, egotistical, hypothetical and makes bad ethical decisions all the time.

What Neelix did wasn't so bad... Had Janeway herself gotten into the same situation are we saying she wouldn't have made similar choices? Map for medical supplies? Being shocked that the medical supplies were drugged? Defending herself when the deal went bad? Evading the authorities when their rules and punishments were excessive and cruel?
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Wed, Apr 15, 2020, 10:36am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

I thought the premise of this episode was creative...but the first few acts were awful and were bogged as the captain went into "GI Jane" mode. Janeway walking down a hallway with a grim expression and pointing her phaser ahead got old really fast. This needed more story and less "commando" scenes. Maybe the macro virus had an interesting backstory with the aliens with the circular noses...anything would have been more interesting than the formulaic suspense we had to suffer though.
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Wed, Apr 15, 2020, 10:30am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: The Q and the Grey

This had a similar problem to the last Q episode. Instead of elevating the crew and the viewers to the level of the lowered the Q to the level of the humans. For example we see Q's idiotic flirting with Janeway. Why would an omnipotent being have any interest in that vile and egotistical woman? Q needed to be roasting Janeway...not telling her how beautiful she was...that completely reversed the point of the Q.

We saw some redeeming Q moments...John's expression when he was called a dog, "bar rodent" and "helmboy"...but these were too few. Many of the crew were unspeakably rude to Q and there were many opportunities for clever retorts that were missed.

The Q civil war concept was actually cool but should have been explored more in depth at the expense of the stupid romance. The major issue I had with it ended because the humans "used their weapons"? None of that made sense.

I thought Suzie Plakson did well as the female Q and wondered how many fans got her joke about her liking strong klingon females. I didn't understand her relationship with Q though...we never established that Q had a gender. On one occasion he expressed regret not appearing to Picard as female...which suggests "he" like the rest of the continuum doesn't have a gender. Then why does have this girlfriend over all these years? It seemed like the TV spent too much time anthropomorphizing Q.
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Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 8:11am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part I

This felt a little cliche to me...way too similar to "A Voyage Home". Going back to California...needing to work with a suspicious female, and constantly trying to avoid being detected. The only difference here was that Voyager had a villain.

What annoyed me a bit was easily Braxton overpowered Voyager...that happened too fast and easily. Then he seemed to interface with Voyager's data using that archaic computer? Is this the first time a Federation starship has been "hacked" where data was downloaded and deleted remotely...I'm not sure we have seen that before.

Also the EMH bugged me a bit. Why is it he can be transferred but not copied? If he's just 1's and 0's...and can be moved...then he can be copied. There is NO point to "moving" him from the emitter to sick bay and back again. They can simply clone him and have two (or even more doctors).
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Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 8:04am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Sacred Ground

This came close to working for me, but just didn't quite. One of the concepts was cool... In spirituality there is a troupe about wisdom being where one escapes hidden patterns and "sees through"/transcends the test behind the test. But another troupe is acceptance. Both of which contradict each other and it was fun to see these two concepts do battle in the episode. Was the right thing for Janeway to do exactly as she was told? Or was the right thing for her to take the initiative and challenge the premises given to her?
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Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 7:56am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: False Profits

The episode concept wasn't bad...but the directing/acting just wasn't top notch. You can't constantly have the Ferengi do something crazy or exaggerated. When you do that, they become clowns and you don't appreciate it when they DO something genuinely unexpected.
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Fri, Apr 10, 2020, 10:36am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S2: Basics, Part I

Not a bad episode by Voyager standards. The only major thing that bugged me is how warp speed is handled. Voyager is a fast ship even by Federation standards and is beelining in one direction to the Alpha quadrant. How do the Kazon with their inferior tech constantly catch up with them and with ease?

Then there is the battle sequence. Voyager's BIGGEST tactical advantage in any situation in any situation is not their weapons, shields or holographic ships...but their warp drive. They need to have an escape route programmed at all times...and Tim merely needs to press a button at the first sign of trouble and bam...they outrun the Kazon at Warp 9+ mere seconds after sighting an enemy vessel. Instead they always stick around for pointless phaser fight waiting for their warp engines to be knocked out...when that should have been their first option all along.
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