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Walter E. Gough
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 9:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

Worth noting, when this episode first aired, it seemed (pardon the expression) light years beyond the original Star Trek. Everything about the "new" Enterprise was bigger, better, more plush (wood trim on the bridge horseshoe) than the old formica-laden ship. But that old 1701 was the Enterprise we'd all fallen in love with, without which there would have been no 1701-D.

So that moment when Scotty (Scotty!) recreates the old bridge which we'd not seen in a new contex for about two decades was pretty special, at least to me.

Scotty and PIcard talking shop on the Constitution-class Enterprise. Loved it then. Still love it now.
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Walter E. Gough
Sun, Jan 15, 2017, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

Trouble with this episode is that the writers cheated their way out. Ardra -- considering her long criminal record -- has some pretty incredible technology at command... better even than that of the Federation.

So what starts out as a "now, how did she do that?", gets a neaty, tidy ending with nobody questioning how she came by technology that allows her to cloak her ship and the Enterprise and to materialize and disappear people and things in the blink of an eye.

In any other context, who IS she and HOW did she get all this stuff could have made a good tale all by itself, maybe even better than the one we got.
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Walter E. Gough
Mon, Dec 19, 2016, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

Solid solid solid.

Unsung: The closing scene of Picard, alone in his ready room, his headwounds bandaged, turning to peer out his window at the Earth below [fade].

Really beautifully done.
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Walter E. Gough
Sun, Dec 18, 2016, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

Five stars?
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Walter E. Gough
Sun, Dec 18, 2016, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Transfigurations

I may have missed this episode in its initial airing, or simply forgotten about it, but having watched it last night I'm struck by its overt religious message.

Star Trek, historically, has avoided direct message shows and dealt with issues via anology or allegory. There was talk of the son of god near the end of Bread & Circuses, but overall the franchise has been overwhelmingly about science and only sometimes -- and then only impliedly -- about faith.

Here we have an episode, first aired in June 1990 according to the Memory Alpha wiki (so it wasn't a Christmas show), titled Transfigurations, a direct reference to an event described in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

I found its vaguely proselytizing message strange, and -- with all due respect to DutchStudent82 above -- for somebody like me who seeks answers from science, not faith, a disconcerting departure from what I expect from Star Trek.
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Walter E. Gough
Thu, Dec 15, 2016, 9:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Allegiance

A good idea gone awry. This episode held up until its authors needed to find a way out of their created conundrum.

First there was the Picard trivia trick to identify the fake hostage and then, once safely back on the Enterprise bridge, the FORCE FIELD to immobilze the bad guys while Picard delivered his sermon on involuntary confiment.

But... but... Since when is there a security force field on the bridge?

I can't recall ever having seen it before or since (though there was a security phaser mounted on the bridge in the TAS episode Beyond the Farthest Star).

So was this a single-episode plot contrivance, like the otherwise useless rods stuck in the engineering panel for beating up genetically engineered 20th century supermen in Space Seed?
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Walter E. Gough
Mon, Dec 5, 2016, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Hunted

Meh too.

Interesting concept, but somehow this episode is less than the sum of its parts.

Daynar's ultimate escape from the ship seems to take forever and somehow, on a starship with more than 1,000 people, there's just Worf and two security men available to hunt this guy? How is that possible?

Also, at the risk of being rude, at what point does somebody just hit Daynar with a phaser set to heavy stunn or simply kill him?

Overall, the episode seems needlessly drawn out for its preordained conclusion.
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Walter E. Gough
Tue, Nov 29, 2016, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

The Gatherers looked like an out-of-work 80s metal band. Kept waiting for them to break out the guitars and amps.
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Walter E. Gough
Tue, Oct 18, 2016, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Icarus Factor

What really makes this episode difficult to watch is Wesley the Wonderboy. Sorry Wil Wheaton, I know you're not responsible for the script writing. I have no quarrel with you. Its just that his naivety comes off as grating more than it does as sincere.

Diana Muldaur's Dr. Pulaski was a fine character. She had grit and depth that it never felt like the writers were willing to impart to Gates McFadden's Dr. Crusher,

I join the commenters above in observing that the Rikers quarrel went away just a little too easily to be believable, while Will Riker's sudden decision to turn down the Ares seems woefully unexplained. Oh well, there's always the Melbourne.

Oh, wait...
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Walter E. Gough
Wed, Sep 28, 2016, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Nemesis

Star Trek Umpteen: Been There, Done That

ST:NEM isn't really a bad story, as far as stories go. Arguably it was a better story than its goes-nowhere, does-nothing predecessor, the overly technobabble-filled pseudo-Insurrection (in which the most lasting consequence was Troi and Riker hooking up).

Unfortunately, they made Insurrection first, which pretty much doomed Nemesis.

What else doomed Nemesis? The resurrection of plot devices trotted out elsewhere:

* Data's bad sibling;
* Riker's "Kirk kicks Kluge in the face" finish to his fight with the Viceroy;
* The "Stop the Bad Guy and His Death Ray in the Nick of Time" finish we'd just seen in the prior film; and
* Kill off the beloved character, sort of.

Pity. Nemesis held some promise. The awesome opening Roman Senate scene; the desert chase; the intriguing Picard clone concept ("the triumph of the echo over the voice"); the Remans, the Scimitar, the vicious space battle.

This was a more entertaining movie than Insurrection but also showed the franchise running out of new ideas.

One wonders what would have happened if they'd skipped the bloated TV episode that was Insurrection and gone directly from First Contact to Nemesis. My bet is that would have left room for a better finale, perhaps one that could have woven together some of the contemporaneous characters from DS9 and VOY.

Now that could have been a heck of a send-off.
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Walter E. Gough
Sat, Sep 24, 2016, 11:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

While predictable in outcome (might as well have called it Star Trek III: Spoiler Alert), the Search for Spock may be the most underrated movie in the canon.

The story is tight and taught. The action is purposeful. There's no meandering, no digression. It is a tale that proceeds from start to fore-ordained finish.

Perhaps the reason I really like this movie is it departs from what has, unfortunately, become a Star Trek movie formula that continues right through Beyond, the James Bond-like "stop the bad guy with his death ray," tale that must end in a climactic fight to save some or all of humanity.

We saw this template used in ST:TMP (Stop V-ger from killing everyone on Earth); WOK (The Genesis Wave. "Scotty, I need warp speed in three minutes or we're all dead."); The Voyage Home (Stop an alien probe from killing everone on Earth); less so but still the Final Frontier ("what does god need with a starship?); Generations (Stop Soran's trilithium missile, save Veridian III); First Contact (Stop the Borg from assimilating Earth in the past); Insurrection (Stop the Son'a from killing the Baku); Nemesis (stop Shinzon from killing everyone on Earth); ST re-boot: (Stop Nero from killing everyone on Earth) and in Beyond (Stop Krall from killing everyone on Starbase Yorktown).

So that leaves arguably three ST movies, of which this is one (the others being The Undiscovered Country and Into Darkenss) where the story takes us someplace else, to some different kind of conflict and a different kind of resolution.

At the same time, Search for Spock is more intimate, more personal, certainly more anguished in tone and story and really really hardcore. This is a sequel for folks who really bought into the franchise, bought into the Wrath of Khan storyline and bought into Spock's death and Kirk's encounter with his son. This film, in that sense, cannot exist without its predecessor.

If you haven't seen the Wrath of Khan, you don't want to watch this.

In that light, it's too bad we never got to explore the Saavik/David understory related in the WOK novelizaiton, never got to pick up the thread of Saavik helping young Spock through Pon Farr (and perhaps dropping out of Star Fleet to raise their child). Also, for as well as William Shatner portrayed Kirk's stunned reaction to David's death, one could make the argument it was a bit underplayed, with nary a nod to the explanation he's going to owe Carol Marcus.

All in all though, a tight, taught story, well told, even if we all knew how it was going to end.
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