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Van Patten
Sun, Sep 23, 2012, 6:55pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S1: Haven

Another reasonable episode with major flaws. The Enterprise is visited by Troi's mother, Lwaxana and her fiancée in adherence with traditional Betazood custom.

I found Lwaxana Troi distinctly unappealing from the off, as though the writers had deliberate chosen to make her into 'Mother from hell', but this is actually one of her more tolerable appearances ('Cost of Living' or 'manhunt' anyone?) The scenes at the pre wedding dinner, especially the classic line:

'Please could you continue the petty bickering'

I still find entertaining. However, as Jammer points out, there is no real jeopardy premise here. No way is one of The main characters going to disappear off with a stranger. The Miller family were fairly uninteresting and I found Robert Knepper distinctly unimpressive. I did enjoy Carel Struycken as the Valet, Mr. Homn, though! An uneven episode which, I agree merits 2.5 stars - probably the most consistent run of fair to middling episodes yet.
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Van Patten
Sun, Sep 23, 2012, 6:45pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S1: Hide and Q

Probably not as enthusiastic as Jammer about this one, although I agree it is watchable. Q returns to the Enterprise once again, this time to offer Riker the option of joining the Continuum.

The episode is again somewhat faster paced than evident missteps like 'Code of Honour' or 'Lonely Among us', and the dialogue between De Lancie and Stewart is once more entertaining. However, the scenes involving the Aliens dressed in Napoleonic costume are at best tiresome, (although seeing Wesley killed off no doubt made many fans days, even if it wasn't real) - however, for me the episode feels rushed. There was no real tension in the scenes at the end and the outcome was fairly predictable. By no means a terrible episode but ultimately unsatisfying. 2.5 stars from me.
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Van Patten
Tue, Sep 11, 2012, 2:27pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S1: Move Along Home

I'm somewhat surprised at the rating Jammer gives this, especially when he points out the obvious flaws, both in concept and execution.

The first 'official' visitors from the Gamma Quadrant arrive, the Wadi, and immediately request to be taken to 'The Games' - when they learn that Quark has cheated them, they take it upon themselves to force him into a 'Game' of their own, the pieces involved being four of the Senior Officers.

And I have to admit I wasn't looking forward with breathless anticipation to rewatching this one. The scenes with Dax,Sisko, Kira and Bashir playing 'The Game' haven't aged well - for me the episodes best scene is the opening sequence with Sisko talking to Quark in his bar about 'First Contact' protocol and as seems par for the course, the episode's strongest performance is once more Rene Auberjonois as Odo trying to get to the bottom of the mystery. I had forgotten that the Primmin character (James Lashly) appeared in this as well as 'The Passenger' and it's a shame he wasn't reused at all, as the interaction between him and Odo worked quite well.

As an hour of inconsequential silliness, it just about works, but I can't help but think this is the Season 1 low point, together with maybe 'Q-Less'. Even the oft-disparaged 'If Wishes..' works better for me than this - 1.5 stars.
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Van Patten
Fri, Jun 22, 2012, 1:53am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S1: Past Prologue

Surprisingly impressive for the second episode although it was a little unfortunate they had to rope in some TNG characters in the shape of the Duras sisters (Arguably the main positive aspect of Star Trek: Generations was their demise) Nevertheless, A well- told story.I don't think the tension between Kira and Sisko was 'kept up' (At least not until the season finale) but those scenes were well- done.

The actor playing Tahna is sometimes slightly off- kilter, but the plot moves quickly, and the early promise shown by Rene Auberjonois in the pilot is confirmed here. His no- nonsense portrayal of a job- obsessed man with nothing else in his life really hits home. The scene where He advocates the immediate detention of the Duras sisters is excellent.

In amongst all this, Dirty Harry star Andrew Robinson makes his first (and only in Season 1) appearance. His character is justly praised, and the excellence of Robinson's performance goes some way to making this a good vehicle for fledging Actor Siddig (I know he's called something else here)

So, light years ahead of its TNG counterpart second episode- agree with the rating, and even reaching it today, it's still an excellent second episode of a series. 3 stars from me also...
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Van Patten
Mon, Jun 18, 2012, 12:10am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S1: The Naked Now

I can recall, at the tender age of 15, having just begun watching TNG in earnest whilst being replayed on British terrestrial TV (First episode 'Future Imperfect') eagerly heading out to the now collapsed 'Our Price' chain and picking up the First four VHS tapes of TNg. Having watched 'Encounter' and been somewhat unimpressed by its relatively cerebral nature versus the Iriginal Trek, 'The Naked Nw' was something new for me. At the time, I would have given this about 3 stars, but with the benefit ofv20 years hindsight, how does it compare now?

I'd ave to say, the review here is on the money. The episode is of course, a blatant rip off of 'The Naked Time' but it does at least acknowledge that fact! Thus is one of the more tolerable Wesley episodes, although the assistant Chief engineer and the first Chief engineer are very badly played. The dialogue is also, at times, excruciating. However, thus us Frakes' best episode for some time (probably until 'Hide and Q', and as a while the episode is at least mildly entertaining -that said, in the current era many have pointed out, TNG would've been pulled after Season 1with current TV execs pullin the strings. Who's to say, based on this and subsequent offerings, it'd have even made it to episode 25?

A 2 star episode once again. Reasonable but too many flaws to overlook.
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Van Patten
Sun, Jun 17, 2012, 11:21pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise


Apologies - think I'd got carried away and I should have more respect given how many reviews/comments you have put in. What I am curious about (and please indulge me on this) is to why you have such a downer on DS9 in particular but also other episodes that are considered seminal. I take your point that it's possibly somewhat out of character for Picard to make a risky decision based solely on Guinan's intuition but the episode is (primarily) set in a parallel reality-hence why it's so powerful. The change of tone, character and performances are noticeable and the guest cast is outstanding. I just don't see his thus can be anything under 4 stars on the Jammer scale.

That said, I apologise again for the flippant comment ( sadly you can't delete it once it's there) and any subsidiary comments will be in the realms of genuine questions/debates ather than cheap jibes.
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Van Patten
Wed, Jun 29, 2011, 6:30am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S1: Duet

Further capsule reviews to follow but suffice it to say 'Duet' is unarguably one of the finest five episodes of Trek ever filmed. I'd probably give it 4.5 on the Jammer scale if I could. Really has to be seen to be believed. Quite extraordinary how a 'box' episode could get evrything so right. Having studied many aspects of the Holocaust, and with most of its perpetrators now dead or infirm, Sisko/Odo's comments:

'He's not on any list I've got, Commander, and I've got them all'
'So that makes him a criminal just being there?'

are still powerfully relevant today. Indeed the default assumption is that any person serving in a forced Labour camp would be guilty by his mere presence, even if he were responsible only for the procurement of Paper clips. The last scene with Visitor/Yulin nearly had me in as many tears as the Marritza character! Absolutely stunning.
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Van Patten
Wed, Jun 1, 2011, 5:55am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...


I take your point, given the need probably to reconstruct the 'Risa' sets, but surely they must run the script through some kind of checking process. I can recall reading this review and watching the episode subsequently purely because it was the first episode ever given zero stars (Threshold at the time of reading had a half star and was later revised down). When the same rating was given in Season 6 to 'Profit and Lace' I refused to watch it , and it remains to this day the only DS9 episode I have not seen. I wish I had shown the same gumption when it came to this piece of garbage.

Appallingly written, badly acted and hideously misconceived on every level. Not just the 'Fullerton preaching' but every aspect of Worf's behaviour throughout the episode felt forced , unbelievable and as Jammer puts it so eloquently 'managed to insult my intelligence' - a well deserved zero stars. On subsequent viewings if anything it gets slightly worse. Easily one of the five worst episodes of any Trek incarnation, and in the context of this season such a faux pas that you are tempted to ask the question whether the staff had been on a particularly debauched holiday prior to its production.
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Van Patten
Tue, May 31, 2011, 6:29pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part I

Agree with the review bar the grading - for me this was 3 stars, even taking into account Part 2. One of the highlights was the Kira/Sisko interaction at the start, as well as the Kira/Odo scenes (which would be one of the lone bright spots of Part 2) - the revelation of the changelings and the line 'welcome home' were genuinely surprising when watching this for the first time.

I'd have to echo the comments of chris and Connor, what really elevated this above the relatively pedestrian was the battle scene whereby the crew get boarded and grapple with the seemingly unstoppable Jem'Hadar - excellent scenes and a significant departure from what had preceded this on , for example, 'the Maquis' or 'Armageddon Game'. However, it still feels realtively slow-paced and given some of the 3.5 star ratings given to some subsequent episodes, I'd say 3 abouts covers it. I know you're now a married man (as am I) but any chance you could at some point in the next decade revisit these episodes with some small updates. Without wishing to sound absurdly fawning, being unable to watch the episodes until I purchased the VHS in the UK, often several months after their original airdates, your reviews were a true lifesaver back in the mid nineties. Glad to see you're still doing them.
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Van Patten
Tue, May 31, 2011, 11:25am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S2: Non Sequitur


Well said - thought I's stumbled into a Politics blog in error. It's a science fiction show for god's sake. Whilst I might have some concerns over whether the economic philosophy of the Federation is viable, this comments thread, about this specific story and the author's review of it is unarguably not the forum for it.


Have you thought about anger management?
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Van Patten
Mon, May 30, 2011, 1:22pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

Having followed your site for more than 14 years, the reviews are always well worth waiting for and reading, regardless of some less charitable commentators. This episode was one of the most startlingly misconceived I have ever seen. The holodeck scenes have dated exceptionally badly and Messrs Dorn,Burton and even Stewart look simply bored. Unarguably Peter Allan Fields least impressive hour. From a writer who either scripted or wrote the teleplays for 'the Inner Light' and the DS9 episodes 'Duet' and 'In the Pale Moonlight' it is beyond my comprehension what he was thinking here. Would probably have gone for 0.5 stars. A strong contender, even taking into account the First Season, for the weakest episode ever bar 'Shades of Grey'.
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