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Thu, May 27, 2021, 11:41am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Meridian

Different Perspective: after two or three DS9 whole-series rewatches, I am coming to realize just how terrible an actress, and how poor a fit for the 'Dax' role, Terry Farrell truly was. Episodes like these (and the I-play-Klingon schtick) only serve to highlight same. The Sexy-Holo-Kira subplot is goofy + dumb, but the serious Dax bits are what really sink it.
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Sun, May 2, 2021, 1:29pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S6: Fury

I think Yanks pretty much nailed this in a single sentence.

It's not hard to figure out the actress-suddenly-canned -- show-formula-changed -- actress-has-3-yr-dry-spell -- actress-brought-back-for-weird-coda -- actress-stops-working-after-Voyager-coda -- actress-later-revealed-to-have-substance-and-mental-health-issues progression. She was having trouble; they cut her loose, then tried (halfheartedly) to help her out; things didn't go well.

See also: Glenn Quinn (Doyle) on Angel, Johnny Lewis (Kip) on Sons of Anarchy.
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Sun, May 2, 2021, 12:17pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S5: The Fight

Will just point out that this [The Fight] was during the same general Voyager-bridge-set-caught-fire reconstruction period as 'Bride of Chaotica' -- they were pinched for stages and story-edits, they did some of their filming asynchronously (months after the fact, when bridge-set rebuilt), and the quality suffers accordingly. I'm not defending this stretch; it's notably a hard slog.
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Sun, May 2, 2021, 2:43am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

Just chiming in -- decades after the fact -- to add that this episode was stre-eee-etched out (far) beyond its original premise because of a fire on-set -- Voyager's bridge was unavailable for months, requiring a great deal of asynchronous post-facto filming. Chaotica 'suffered' (extensive rewrites) as a result; one imagines the initial plot wasn't quite so cookie-cutter "aliens take control of holodeck."
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Sat, May 1, 2021, 12:49pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S2: Meld

This is, more properly, a re-hash of the third season Babylon 5 episode "Passing Through Gethsemane." But it's excellent stuff; Dourif always adds a certain flair, and Tim Russ gets to show off his dramatic chops here. (See also his brief post-torture scene in 'Basics Part II.') Shame he wasn't used more frequently or effectively throughout the series.
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Sat, May 1, 2021, 12:14am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

So much bad mojo happening backstage by this point. Garrett Wang, while at a con appearance, was right on the verge of saying "Well, Jennifer [Lien] left, but of course she was having...," and then GOT CUT OFF BY THE PANEL HOST. Clearly something having to do with interpersonal relations and/or mental-substance-health. Sorta wish he'd finished that sentence.

Notice that Voyager and its parent UPN network were trying various gimmicks at this point -- THIS is our JURASSIC PARK STAR TREK EPISODE, THIS is our WWF WRESTLING STAR TREK EPISODE, THIS is our TEENAGE Q OGLES BOOBIES EPISODE, THIS is our LUCY-LAWLESS-and-JERI-RYAN TANDEM PHOTO MARKETING CAMPAIGN, etc. -- I get the sense they were frantically trying to Rubik's Cube the show formula so as to tweak ratings. Don't neglect that S3/S4 Kes was all but cosmetically identical to Jeri Ryan (blue-silver catsuit, teased-out long hair, blonde-and-blue phenotype) at time of departure.

Thus: the S3-S4 gap seems to have been a "quick, quick, try anything" interregnum. They were gearing up to lose Wang, and/or to lose Lien, and/or to onboard new blood, the more titillating the better. I'll point out the needlessly-obvious tidbit that Jeri entered into a sexual relationship with showrunner Brannon Braga within 18-to-24 months (...or less...) of her hire.
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Sat, Feb 13, 2021, 5:33am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I can't get into much detail, because I sadly can't spend enough time on it, but I'm disappointed in this season. It started pretty well, with a few truly Trekkian episodes, but towards the end I was profoundly bored. Discovery always feels rushed, except when it's not, when it feels like it lingers. I find it to be very unbalanced, visually overwrought and flashy (CGI is impressingly unimpressive, I never get excited over them, because they come and quickly go, without time to take them in). It looks like seasons have to end in a shipwide combat/shoot out situation, as if that's the only way to create high stakes. I've seen four seasons of new Trek (3x DIS, 1x PIC), not counting three episodes of Lower Decks so far, and I really can't say I'm fond of it. If it gets cancelled, I'd be sad for Trek, because I love Trek. As for Discovery, I like that it's there, I look forward to watching it with my family on friday nights (a tradition for more than a decade) but honestly, the series simply does not invest enough in its characters to really get me to care for them. I think it did one memorable character episode in three seasons, which they ended by jettisoning said character into space. Besides Burnham (and Saru in one of the Short Treks maybe), no one else on the show feels fleshed out beyond ‘the gimmick’. Character are only being fleshed out when it serves the plot. To me good writing does the opposite.
Like Jammer, I too hope that we’ll get there one day, but I honestly think we’re fooling ourselves into believing that, because we all WANT to love this show. It’s Trek. Initially I was sceptic about all the people who talked about how good ‘The Expanse’ was. Surely it’s darker than Trek, as was BSG, but at least it gets me to care for (most of) the characters. It has the right pacing, the right amount of awe inspiring visuals. Translate that kind of storytelling and pacing to the Star Trek Universe, oh, the wonders that could happen.
NOTE: my wife liked this season. From the both of us, I was the original Trekkie, she tagged along a bit (as do our children). It’s funny how I seem to moving away from it now and she still likes it. So it’s not an age thing, we’re practically the same age. It just seems that new Trek hasn’t got that much vintage Trek in it for me (for lack of a better description). Very unscientific and anecdotal, but not entirely uninteresting in the ‘When is something Trek?’ discussion. Another reason why I don’t expect much will change in the coming season(s).
(Looks I spent more time on this than I intended 😊 )
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Sun, Sep 13, 2020, 11:50pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: The Magnificent Ferengi

I can't agree with the rating here. I fully acknowledge that DS9 devolves into camp moreso than the other series -- campy mirror episodes, campy Bond/Flint episodes, campy musical + Sinatra numbers, even verging-on-campy Benny Russell 1950s homage -- but, in these two isolated cases (Magnificent Ferengi, Little Green Men), they somehow hit the formula just right. Yes, four of the seven Ferengi are just tiresome. Yes, the events leading up to the hostage exchange are far-fetched. Yes, the outcome is contrived. But, maaan, I would have endured 2+ hours of that just to see Keevan lurching down the hallway again, much to Iggy-Pop-Yelgrun's horror. The ending thump-thump-thump scene is perhaps the funniest moment in all of Trek.
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Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 11:54am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1


"Why even write a review a week late
The next episode is due out tonight
400 comments later what could possibly be added"

1 it's his website your putting the comments on
2 I for one don't read most of the comments
3 this review will be here on for many years and people won't even notice when the comments were added
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Mon, Mar 2, 2020, 1:29am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

Congrats on the 25th! I wasn't here for the entire 25, but this occasion makes me realise I've been coming here regularly for more than half of them. Oh, my, how they fly!
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Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 4:35pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

"Funny how the reviews started on a very positive tone, only to veer off towards ba[d] reviews after a while."

Maybe that's because Jammer addressed the elephant in the room and none of the others would/dared/whatever?
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Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 8:35am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

In all honestly, it's not that I don't like Picard (the show), but it serves me things I can find on several other shows. Nothing of this show, to me, accept maybe the back story and the broader universe which it inhabits, is inherently Star Trek. I don't mean this in a bad 'everything after the Berman-Braga reign sucks' kind of way, but I just can't get past the feeling. It might be good drama or action, but I can't say it's good Star Trek. Star Trek was always a story about explorers in service of a somewhat idealistic organization called Starfleet, as part of a Federation. The utopianism was a bad base for drama, so I understand why not everything is hunky-dory in modern Trek, but for god's sake, keep some of the exploration, some of the trek. The (scientific) mysterie, the wonder.

In spite of all the criticism, Picard in that respect makes Discovery look like pristine Star Trek. Well, almost.
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Sat, May 5, 2018, 11:09am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi


I don't believe I am OVERsymplifying. Wars come and go, for sure. But they don't just pop up. Wars occur gradually. They have a genesis and apart from one big exception that I can think of (the war against the Nazis obviously) are rarely black and white (the ultimate good versus the ultimate evil).
I liked the ending scene up to a point. The inspirational words over that Band of Brothers frame (like a poster) followed by the boy looking at the stars using his broom as a light saber. All really nice, if it had any feeling of it being real, genuine or realistic. How much of a time leap does the next movie have to make to make it look even remotely believable that they still have a fighting chance? If anything, it's (modern) Star Wars that is oversymplifying war.

'Come over to our side' has been overused (if you consider that there have only been 8 films). I can't remember any substantial interpersonal evolution. And notable interpersonal acts for that matter (mutiny is not an interpersonal act), aside from a teacher trying to kill his pupil who goes on to killing his father which was witnessed by a girl who for some reason or another develops skills at a rate even the aforementioned teacher in his youth couldn't master so fast.

Don't get me wrong people, I did like the movie. My disbelieve was thoroughly suspended. The lightspeed collision was epic in its excecution. But if I compare this movie on thematic basis to for instance Interstellar (also reviewed on this site) and I see 3,5 stars, I am truly puzzled.

To be honest: I think that the core Star Wars story has been told (it was told before The Force Awakens in my opinion) and that it can only repeat itself. It's starting to look like a tv show on steroids that should have ended two seasons ago.
That doesn't exclude more stories in the Star Wars universe. There's plenty more to explore (as there is in the Star Trek universe). But I can't imagine anything exciting or fresh emerging in this storyline. Bigger ships? Faster Jedi pupils? More incompetent Imperial leaders?
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Sat, May 5, 2018, 6:01am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Wow. I am kind of surprised by the review and I wonder if a lot of things that you read into the content of the film are actually there. I saw a lot of visual flair, spectacle, but not half as much theme as you saw. There are certain rules in storytelling (logic) and Star Wars TLJ broke nearly all of them. Few setups, few pay offs, few established rules, throwing in characters for the heck of it (Snoke). The whole Skywalker Jedi by proxi thing came out of nowhere, but you have no problem forgiving them for that. I don't think Andromeda for one, would get away with that ('contrived' would be the word you'd probably be looking for). Is it a bad movie because of that? Probably not (it was good entertainment), but I for one expect a lot more for 3,5 stars. Some emotion perhaps? As I said, I can't shake the impression that you saw things in there you merely wanted to see (cause what would this movie be without them?).
Star Wars is extremely black and white with about zero grey, dark versus light, night versus day. The Rey/Kylo Ren scene was an attempt to win over either of them to the other side, but never an attempt to meet in the middle. Star Wars' weakness in its name. It can't ever become Star Peace. How believable will any peace be at the end of a random Star Wars movie when the next movie sure as hell will bring another war (simply because it HAS to)?
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Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 9:52am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Well, I have to admit that I am not entirely convinced of DIS as a series so far, particularly in regards to it being Star Trek and not just by name. I don't really 'feel' it, but both my 12 year old son and my wife are completely sold.

Regarding your reviews, Jammer, to paraphrase a Hollywood executive during an Academy Award ceremony in the late nineties: 'You keep writing them and we'll keep reading them'.
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Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 9:52am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

Weird how so many who hate DIS it and have left it 'for the garbage that it is', keep popping up to repeat their words the next week in various incarnations...
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Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 3:34pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

@ MadManMUC

Who the hell repeatedly watches a show (ENT) he or she deemed bad the first time of a franchise he or she believes is fucked. Come on, man. Leave the building and move on to something you do like.
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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 3:26am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

That ending. After seeing it nearly ten times, it still gives me the creeps.

Guinan putting it out there, almost shy. "Since they are aware of your existence..."
Picard's hesitation in moving the pawn, the sudden realisation of an awful truth. "...they will be coming."
"You can bet on it."
Picard taking it in for a moment and seamingly hiding nervousness standing up from of his seat.

Oh yeah, space will never be the same again.
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Sun, Mar 12, 2017, 12:18am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

Tony Todd lived a somewhat-troubled young life (Wash DC poverty, unspecified familial trouble, transplanted from parents to live with his aunt in urban Connecticut) -- he was steered into church, Boy Scouts, cinema and theater by his surrogate mother figure (Clara), and returned to Connecticut post-grad-school to teach drama for a while.

When his aunt died, Todd went into a multi-month depression, and withdrew from acting. This DS9 role was the first post-hiatus job he considered taking; after reading the child-continuing-without-his-parent script, he said yes, and brought much of his emotion into the performance, as sort of grieving homage to the woman.

I guess that's what makes The Visitor resonate so strongly with me -- the wrenching pain and monomaniacal fixation of a boy growing up without (and unable to let go of) his father. I agree that these interludes occasionally verge on melodrama, and that Avery Brooks' interpretation is uneven (weaker early on, strongest in the episode's final moments), but it is no less powerful for those wavering notes. Becoming a father myself has only made the episode's gut-punch that much stronger in subsequent decades.

Some might make the (valid) observation that "the emotionally-wrenching transformative timeline that never was" is an overused Trek trope. But, for my money, this one does it just as well as Inner Light, and just possibly moreso. Belongs right up there with Duet, Family, Pale Moonlight, etc.
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Sat, Mar 11, 2017, 1:42pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

Quite clear (to me) that these no-good-way-out medical and ethical storylines are the very best DS9 has to offer. In a greater cinematic/literary sense, one can see the early seeds of BSG's 2003 revival planted here. (As well as Ron Moore, naturally.)
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Sat, Mar 11, 2017, 1:29pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

This script was a hasty back-stage kludge -- the Season 6 storyline was supposed to be *Kira* having a romantic affair with Dukat (probably in the present day), which you can vaguely see hinted in the earlier wow-you're-a-nobler-character-than-I-thought and ouch-I-hurt-my-posterior and you're-incorrectly-using-the-dermal-regenerator buildups -- Nana Visitor rejected the storyline (justifiably, in my view), yielding an unpleasant creative standoff, until finally Ira Steven Behr came forward with "Okay, you don't sleep with Dukat, but your mother did." I would say this eleventh-hour backpedal shows through in the final product.
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Mon, Mar 6, 2017, 10:29pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S7: Sub Rosa

Pretty sure I can prove the Anne-Rice-plagiarism connection.

The three emergent theories are that (a) freelancer "Jeanna F. Gallo" blatantly stole Anne Rice's intellectual property, or (b) freelancer "Jeanna F. Gallo" legitimately had no prior knowledge of Rice's work, or (c) freelancer "Jeanna F. Gallo" is in fact a pseudonym for Anne Rice herself, submitted either for anonymity, or possibly as part of a legal cover-up to give the author credit and enable some sort of hush-money payments.

But. Beverly Crusher learns her Scottish family originally had the matriarchal surname Howard (Beverly Howard, Felisa Howard, etc.), and the Howard bloodline has a familiar-spirit that clings to and romances them from generation to generation, etc. Beyond the existing Witching-Hour parallels, I think this subtle reference is actually most damning.


To me, this suggests that Gallo must have intentionally plagiarized, or (as I am coming to guess) Gallo is Ms. Rice herself. A person claiming to be Ms. Gallo commented on Internet review -- you'll have to scan this for yourself, but (to me) her prose reads remarkably similarly to Anne Rice's 2004 flame-war with dissatisfied book fans on

As a final Easter egg: the writer's name, "Gallo," might (or might not) be evocative of "Gallopinto," a traditional RICE and beans dish. I think all of these little tongue-in-cheek references speak to an identity-coverup.
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Wed, Aug 19, 2015, 8:00am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S3: Rajiin

This episode shows the equivalent of sending a spy to covertly find out what milk tastes like and then sending about fifty soldiers to break the spy out of prison while passing at least 10 milk bottles. Unless I'm missing something and there was a good reason to pass all those humans to find the person to learn you all about human physiology. Her cover is blown, so why bother freeing her. Just take the first five humans and go home for analysis. Oh well.
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Wed, Jan 22, 2014, 3:54pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Ok, here's my two pennyworth.

Firstly, Star Trek is entertaining TV fantasy drama. But it's lousey Science fiction. Apart from warp drive (which may actually,maybe,just possibly work) the things ST does to true science is what normally happens in an extreme porn film. This is because ST is mostly written by normal TV scriptwriters with a bit of help from the odd real sci fi writer or real scientist, who they mostly ignore for the sake of a good story. Now the problem with Hollywood scriptwriters is they do like to act the great philosopher and sci fi gives them lots of opportunity to do so. So, these half wits get involved with huge moral questions like the ones in "Dear Doctor" and then display their ignorance.

Now the great thing about TOS was the concept of the Prine directive and Kirk's attitude towards it. For Kirk, the Prime Directive was basic guidence, BUT reality, pragmatism and compassion ment that very often, he rightly ignored it.
When TNG came along, the prime directive was absolutely binding and going around it was almost a capital offence, federation PC. Reality, pragmatism and compassion went out the window.
Mix this worship of the prime directive with some Eugenics and bad evolutionary theory and you get the utter moral mess that is "Dear Doctor".

Consider this. We are trying to save and conserve the Giant Panda, even though it is an evolutionary dead end. Why? Compassion. We try to save primative tribes in the Amazon basin. They are threatened by being in the way of loggers and cattle farmers, as well as genetic susceptabilities to the deseases of modern man. Why? Compassion.
The morals of Dear Doctor say all these things should be allowed to die, that compassion should never count and should be ignored. People with no compassion have scientific names. Sociopaths and Psychopaths.

Now as old Flox uses very bad concepts of evolution (there is no genetic "judge" making judgements on who should live or die, there is certainly no genetic imperative for one race to get out of the way of another.) and a complete lack of compassion, what is he? Psychopath quoting bad science? Joseph Goebbels?

I've been checking out the forums and youtube comments pages to see peoples views on "Dear Doctor". It's about 20/1 negative with most saying the considered this episode "offensive" and "fascist". I agree totally and I think those who comment that Flox & Archer make the right decision really need to look at their own moral compass. Or see a analyst to see if they are psychopaths as apparantly there are quite a lot of them about.

If you want some good sci fi that deals with a "post scarcity society" like the Federation, may I recommend the "Culture" novels by Iain M Banks. The Culture is a vastly powerful advanced (Federation plus several thousand years) utopia with citizens living idyllic lives due to the brilliance of the technology. But it certainly has no prime directive. The prime directive would make a Culture citizen puke. There is only right & wrong, good or evil and the Culture WILL get involved, you just might not notice as they are very subtle. And frankly, The Culture is a lot more believable than the Federation.
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