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Spicerak2
Sat, Jan 24, 2015, 1:46am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Plato's Stepchildren

This episode was by far my favorite of TOS. There is such nuance and layering to make this a gem of all three seasons. The in depth exploration of Spock's psyche, as well as the graceful development of the Alexander character make this worthwhile on their own. Add to that, the performance of Shatner and Nimoy. Many have found this episode to be controversial, but it is not simply because of an interracial kiss. The circumstances that lead up to that forced affection and the whipping scene after are meant to be grotesque displays of power and feigned superiority. If fans of the show felt uncomfortable or awkward while watching Shatner and Nimoy flopping around in humiliating fashion, the objective was met. That was exactly the point. I applaud the actors for "going there" for the sake of the story. 4 stars!
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SpiceRak2
Thu, Oct 17, 2013, 2:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Friday's Child

You can see how much reinterpretation the Klingon species receives later on in the Star Trek Universe by looking at this episode. The concept of honor is wholly absent from the Klingon parts of the script and there were several instances where the character is fearful, irrational and impotent.

If TOS didn't need villains so badly, we may never have seen the Klingon species develop.

Two stars for the chaos.
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SpiceRak2
Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Journey to Babel

This marks the 40th episode in the series and the best of them. Easily four stars for the plot, character development, humor, pacing and direction. This is a Spock episode while still utilizing the other main characters well.

This episode is why I personally love the Trek universe.
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SpiceRak2
Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Metamorphosis

I believe that Cochrane's reaction to learning the gender of the Companion was intended to demonstrate disgust regarding love between species. When he thought the relationship was one of friendship or at the minimum, caretaker, he was able to process it. Considering that the alien had something to gain, be it emotional, if not sexual, gratification caused him to feel victimized and certainly embarrassment. He never really acknowledged the terms of his capture.
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SpiceRak2
Thu, Oct 3, 2013, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

@Leah - you would have been a better writer for Voyager! :-)

To add to that final scene:

We learn that Dr. Zimmerman has been working with Barclay and the Doctor to liberate the EMHs from servitude and their programs are enhanced to naturally move beyond their original programming. The Doctor has created a movement for the rights of Holospecies and even a Choral Society for several of his EMH colleagues.

We learn that the Maquis members of Voyager have been exhonerated of all adverse actions and that the Federation has formally acknowledged their role in forcing the Maquis to be founded in the first place.

Harry receives a double pip promotion and a Star Fleet commendation for his creation of the Astrometrics department on Voyager, his work with Holograms, engineering and the Delta Flyer. He seems unable to avoid the attention of women everywhere.

B'Elanna develops an appreciation for blood wine.

Chakotay and Janeway fully submit to their underlying attraction and love for each other.

Seven realizes that the one person that has truly loved her all along is the Doctor.

Just before the scene of Earth and the pull back to the expanding universe, the EMH Choral Society favors the Reunion with a vocal rendition of the Voyager theme song which becomes the closing credits background score.

Run credits.

FADE TO BLACK.
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SpiceRak2
Wed, Sep 18, 2013, 1:19am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

I would think that in order to determine if one is a "person," it would first be prudent to determine if that one is a "life."

life
līf/
noun
the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.

A person, by definition, is a "human being regarded as an individual." By the 24th century, this definition would likely be expanded to include all living beings that may be regarded as individuals.

By these two definitions, the Doctor is not a person. He has not demonstrated the ability to reproduce which fails the test for a life form and therefore, fails the test for personhood.

Just sayin'.
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SpiceRak2
Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 9:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Workforce

This was an entertaining two-part story.

Tuvok ended up kind of a "loose-end" though. It was anecdotal that the crew was transported back aboard Voyager and treated for their memory alteration but Tuvok was getting the "ultra" treatment when we saw him last. He says, "Help me!" And then we don't see him anymore. It would have been better if he were a part of the rescue and his suspicions were validated.

I wish they had left out the petty fighting for command between the Doctor and Harry. Both performed with exemplary skill when needed and yet, it was cheapened by their egos. Harry will find it hard to earn a pip like that.
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SpiceRak2
Sun, Sep 15, 2013, 2:09am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

@azcats - - Valen survives because he is willing to steal from other ships to get the resources he needs. Voyager has a greater sense of urgency because 90% of their resources are stolen immediately and Janeway has opted to build an alliance rather than follow Valen's path.

What's the deal with special dining for B'Elanna and Tom all of a sudden? That meal in the beginning was too exclusive. I couldn't figure out why Janeway would have dinner with just these two crew members (Chakotay is reasonable considering their weekly replicated roasts). It can't be a meal for the senior staff: Harry, Tuvok, and the Doctor weren't invited. Are they double dating now? How is the rest of the Voyager crew supposed to take that? The kitchen was closed to everyone else.

Maybe I'm just griping. I kind of wish Tom and B'Elanna would decide to leave the ship and go live on some Class M somewhere in the Delta Quadrant. I really don't care for either of them.
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SpiceRak2
Sun, Sep 15, 2013, 12:50am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Whether you like Neelix or not, I think the "One-Night-Stand" development was weirdly out of character. Neelix has been more of the Disney character on Voyager for some time now and this shift to "Basic Instincts" was abrupt and not very believable. If he were not bunking with Tuvok and was still engaging the Klingon female, it would have been creepy. This sub-sub-plot (as aptly named in a previous comment) was intended to exploit the Neelix/Tuvok oil and water relationship with humor and this disturbing tale was the result. Yikes.

The same can be said about Harry Kim in his own awkward situation. Intended to be humor with strange results.

The only thing I was hoping would happen in this episode involved B'Elanna finally embracing her Klingon side. Instead, she was nearly disgusted by the whole affair. I wish she didn't have the forehead as much as she wishes it. Her character does nothing to advance our appreciation of Klingon culture in Trek. Why did they bother?
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SpiceRak2
Sat, Sep 14, 2013, 8:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Repentance

@Robbie - - I agree with your assessment of the secondary plot. I was crushed that the storyline skewed in that direction. Any empathy for minorities that are singled out and disproportionately incarcerated and/or executed was washed away by this new "revelation." What a shame.

Additionally, I found something interesting about the primary plot (and I am surprised that no one has mentioned it out of this group): The story was not purely about the moral dilemma of capital punishment, but rather asks if justice should be applied to someone who commits a societal wrong AND has a neurological malady that may be the cause. It is a compelling argument; how much of our actions are based on the soul? Yet, no one on Voyager was fighting to save the prisoner from his punishment PRIOR to his nano-treatment. The Prime Directive was fitting when Iko was a dangerous lunatic. This wasn't about whether the death penalty was moral. It was about whether the death penalty is moral under specific circumstances.
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SpiceRak2
Sat, Sep 14, 2013, 1:59am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

@Elliot

Fair enough. That is interesting. The humility, or actually, I would call it reverse pride, that I perceived from Janeway seemed more a product of guilt for being open to sharing Starfleet technology in the first place and less about any new perception of the Doctor and Hologram life forms. I didn't get the impression that she saw anything more than a member of her crew making a critically and devastatingly poor decision. There didn't seem to be enough emphasis on the Doctor's motivation for that decision. One would assume that in order for the Doctor to commit to something this egregious, he would have to be pushed beyond his limit of logic and loyalty.

Case in point: as Janeway first speaks to the Doctor in that final scene, she acknowledges having a hope that there was a glitch in his programming. Of course that serves to solidify her regret for the situation, but it also seems dismissive of his feelings...dismissive of her role in driving him to this point.
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SpiceRak2
Sat, Sep 14, 2013, 1:33am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

I understand your points, Grumpy. Perhaps I have not explained my position well enough.

Some have complained about Garrett Wang's performance, as well as his character's incompetence. I disagree with those views. I think Mr. Wang has portrayed a believable character in Harry Kim. And, I think that Harry Kim is competent although eternally "green." The disservice is in leaving him at Season 1.

This character helps to build the Delta Flyer, single-handedly creates Astro-Metrics and among other skills, understands Holomatrix technology but he is "the incompetent" one? I don't see that. What does this guy have to do to earn a pip on this ship?

He is also "green" in the area of romance, but only compared to the chemistry established with such pairings as Tom/Kes, Tom/B'Elanna, Janeway/Chakotay, The Doctor/Seven, etc. Harry Kim has forever been relegated to "wing man."

I really feel for the guy, if for nothing else than that he is the true "underdog."
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SpiceRak2
Fri, Sep 13, 2013, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

For the record, character development is a critical tool of story-telling, not specific genres, per se. Dramas, sci-Fi, comedies, romances, etc., all employ character development as a part of the story. Some of the most well-received stories in every genre succeeded in character development.

For Michael's sake, I must say that I think I understand what he may have been trying to convey. (Please forgive me if I am misrepresenting you, Michael.) I think he means to say that he prefers a different kind of character development in a science fiction story; one that remains more focused on the characters interacting and nurturing their understanding of the science. He seems less interested in personal character analysis, especially if it dominates the storyline. In this case, it may feel more like another type of genre other than science fiction. And...that is his preference, to which he is fully welcome.

@Ken - - after reading this thread, all I could really sense from your comments was a strong desire to pull Michael into a debate at all costs. You were combative, argumentative and confrontational to such a degree as to lose credibility. I just don't see the point.

As for this episode, I was shocked by the developments here. I would think that regardless of the century, or maybe even more because of the century this story is supposed to have taken place, it would be deemed disturbing to see a mother so psychologically damaged that she would subvert protocols, sabotage a sentient crew mate, lie to her husband and perform genetic alterations on her unborn fetus! Regardless of the "breakthrough" that B'Elanna has with Tom, she should have been put into immediate counseling and placed under surveillance. And...Tom would have to ask Harry to create a Holo-Attorney!
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SpiceRak2
Fri, Sep 13, 2013, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

I may be the only one to feel differently about the Doctor deserving "punishment" for his actions. I will admit that the Janeway/Doctor scene at the end was a disappointment, but for different reasons.

Janeway said that she, in essence, "created the monster" by letting the Doctor exceed his programming and therefore she can no more blame him than herself. That seems so arrogant to me. He made the choice to betray Voyager. BUT, I feel it was with good reason: even in that very scene, Janeway showed a lack of respect for the individual that the Doctor has become. If he were like everyone else, she would have done two things:

1) Come to terms with her continuing bias regarding the fact that the Doctor is a hologram. She should have acknowledged that he was driven to disloyalty because despite his "freedoms," he is not treated anything like another member of the crew and NEVER taken seriously. She still sees him as a tool and not a sentient being. A ship-wide communication could have been made regarding the treatment of the Doctor.

2) With this new acknowledgment, she should have disciplined the Doctor, but to a lesser degree. Perhaps, his holo emitter could have been confiscated for three months and a report put on his record.
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SpiceRak2
Fri, Sep 13, 2013, 3:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

Harry Kim, and Garrett Wang for that matter, get the most unfair treatment on this site. It's astounding. I have not been able to determine why there is this level of negativity for both the character and in numerous cases, the actor. It almost seems discriminatory. Seriously. Moreover, the writers seem to share this same uncomfortable view.

I was grateful to see a Harry Kim episode. It was definitely long overdue and not the best character development, but I honestly could see where the writers were trying to go. This episode would have been much better suited to seasons 3 or 4 than to 7 but, here it is, anyway.

The beginning of the episode had potential to let Kim shine and demonstrate growth. By the middle of the episode, his chance to solidify our confidence were sabotaged by the plot. I understood every decision that Kim made and probably would have done the same thing. The circumstances were a big fat Catch 22 trap!

It would have been one thing to focus on forgivable errors like not being able to delegate without taking over or perhaps not taking suggestions from the crew. Instead, we get all of that PLUS a "flip of the script" when the mission changes from humanitarian to military. Harry has to deal with lies, an attack, the death of a crew member, mutiny, and being dressed down by Seven. He's lucky to have fared well at all. Anyone would.

I think the writers have done little service to the character, Harry Kim, and have encouraged the unrelenting ire of Star Trek fans. It's a shame. I wish others could see the character as fondly as I do.
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SpiceRak2
Thu, Sep 12, 2013, 12:55am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Drive

I just want to know: what is so awful about Neelix??!!?!

I think his character is complimentary and shows more depth of emotion than some of the others. For that matter, I think Quark was an amazing character in DS9. I just don't get all the hate.
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SpiceRak2
Mon, Sep 9, 2013, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: The Haunting of Deck Twelve

I fundamentally disagree with Jammer's review.

I was impressed with the direction and some of the plot techniques. It made the story much more enjoyable and less linear. The Flashback device was employed successfully with charming and sometimes clever dialog with the Borg children and Neelix. The episode progressed like it was a story being told around a campfire, complete with tangents and quirky interruptions. I think this episode was well executed. This was meant to be an engaging yarn - Voyager-style.
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SpiceRak2
Mon, Sep 9, 2013, 9:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Life Line

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I am a huge fan of Robert Picardo's acting. He draws you in and keeps you there. I was saddened to see the episode come to an end.

I am a huge fan of Dwight Schultz, too. Barclay is one of the genius characters of Star Trek. Think about it: every other character, regardless of their role in the varying plots, good or bad, is overwhelmingly confident; confident in problem solving, tech analysis, scheming, morality, protocol, politics, war-mongering, you name it. Everyone KNOWS what they are doing at all times. Yes, there may be conflicted characters based on the storyline at the time but confidence is never in question. Then, along comes Reggie...he's the opposite of anything Starfleet as far as confidence. Yes, he's brilliant, but he is the one character that doesn't believe that his genius is enough to inspire confidence. In this way, he is so much more relatable to all of us.
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SpiceRak2
Mon, Sep 9, 2013, 12:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Muse

With a title like, "Muse," I fully expected this episode to be about Jeri Ryan's character, Seven of Nine.

Maybe the REAL difference with this episode is that Seven has no dialog for a change. (JK!)
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SpiceRak2
Sun, Sep 8, 2013, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Live Fast and Prosper

This episode was not my favorite. I had higher hopes considering that Levar Burton directed. He didn't have that much to work with, I guess. Still, there was some direction, at the finale that was clunky.

I was confused by the Fake Tuvok character until I read some of the other comments here. It makes more sense with the additional insight but I don't think that this character's motivation was so very obvious upon first viewing.
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SpiceRak2
Sat, Sep 7, 2013, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

I enjoyed a Harry Kim storyline. I like his character.

These shows are intended to entertain, make money and spark the imagination...sometimes I think Jammer and some followers are taking this show WAY TOO SERIOUSLY.

Speaking of the objectives of this franchise, I am starting to think that the Borg children were brought into the show to give additional life to the Seven storyline. Clearly, she became the money maker of Voyager. When she first appeared, the ratings increased by 60%.
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SpiceRak2
Sat, Sep 7, 2013, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

I disagree with Jammer's review and rating...mostly because, from the very beginning (and by that, I mean Jammer's "next episode" comments) it was obvious that Jammer had preconceived notions about this episode. Jammer doesn't like Fair Haven. That's not a crime, but it's not a universal feeling.

I don't recall the writers on Voyager ever declaring that the sentience of the Doctor could be automatically assumed and established with every and any holodeck character. I see distinct differences. As an example, the Doctor is aware of the times he was deactivated, why and by whom. Holodeck characters are not.

The holodeck characters in this episode represent an exception because, as established early on, there are malfunctions with the programming.

What is wrong with a little silliness? What's wrong with recurring holodeck characters in a story? The writers, despite their limitations wanted the audience to suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride. I can imagine that this story was a Voyager version of many movies and sitcoms depicting general hi-jinx and chaos. It's intended to be far-fetched and humorous.

Whether or not the writers were resoundingly successful in their attempts is worthy of debate, but I disagree with poo-pooing the whole concept.
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SpiceRak2
Fri, Sep 6, 2013, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Tsunkatse

I'm with Megan. Why all the negativity?? These reviews are so hyper-critical.

I enjoyed this episode. I was not looking for deeper meaning but we weren't supposed to look for it in this episode. There was minor character development as Seven struggles with her humanity and I'm ok with that. Actually, I was impressed by Jeri Ryan's physicality. She looked fierce.

If I have any criticism, it's that Tuvok is consistently passed over in the ensemble episodes. In TOS, when McCoy showed a frustrating lack of tolerance for the emotionless Mr. Spock, it was witty, humorous and endearing. Tuvok is the target of many of the other character's snide comments or his character is left out of the storyline altogether. Are we supposed to think, "oh, that silly Doctor...making fun of Tuvok again!" Or "Tom Paris! He really told Tuvok how to lighten up!" There is no appreciation for the Vulcan culture from the crew at all and the writers have only promoted disdain.

And...while I am here, I will say...I must the only person to like the Harry Kim and Neelix characters. This is really a tough crowd.
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SpiceRak2
Fri, Sep 6, 2013, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Virtuoso

I enjoyed Robert Picardo as the Doctor. I didn't enjoy the way the crew generally treats the doctor. In every Doctor-centric episode, it seems there must be petty abuses and general disregard for what the Doctor thinks and feels. It's not very "Starfleet."

Also...remember that the Doctor is a compilation of many medical practitioners and their personalities. It makes perfect sense that the Doctor would feel nervous or be narcissistic or any other emotional/psychological trait. Add to that, his own unique experiences since he has been in operation and you have a real argument for sentience.

The more episodes of Voyager that I watch, the more I dislike Janeway. She is just plain mean.
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SpiceRak2
Mon, Sep 2, 2013, 2:45am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Riddles

I understand Jammer wanting story arcs to give more depth and character development but that's not what Voyager was ever about. Let it go.

As far as this particular episode, I was infuriated by Janeway's lack of emotion for Tuvok's predicament. This Vulcan is supposed to be a long time colleague and close friend, yet all she was concerned about was whether or not he could give them the cloaking frequency codes. Even when Neelix says (in an unnecessary attempt to reassure the Captain) that they will get Tuvok' back to the way he was, Janeway merely glances back over her shoulder before walking out of sick bay. The writers just neglected a key relationship (Janeway/Tuvok) in this storyline.
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