Comment Stream

Search and bookmark options Close
Search for:
Search by:
Clear bookmark | How bookmarks work
Note: Bookmarks are ignored for all search results

Total Found: 1,955 (Showing 1-25)

Next ►Page 1 of 79
Set Bookmark
William B
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

I don't think the idea is that Lien was fired instead of Wang because Wang is better looking (both are good looking people), but because Wang got more positive press that year (related to his good looks). It seems as if the producers weren't particularly happy with either of them and then pivoted from firing Wang to firing Lien so they could capitalize on the publicity for Wang. That it seems Lien had some big personal problems is probably another factor.

Strictly speaking, the "character bible" versions of Kim and Kes were some of the characters who would have the most obvious arcs over the course of the series, as the youngest, the naifs who would be expected to change the most over the seven-year journey. It's sort of a shame that one's story was truncated by her leaving the show and the other was kept in a semi-artificial stasis. I say sort of because it's hard to know how much the show could have really done for the characters given the possible limitations of the actors (either in terms of range or in terms of personal problems getting in the way, or maybe both). In fact the best episode (arguably) for each character is one which jumped ahead in time (Before and After, Timeless) to a "fully developed" version of the character, even though in principle we could have seen some of this development in real time. (I know that we did, a bit -- Elliott I'm sure will talk about what Kes development actually did happen in season 3, especially.)
Set Bookmark
William B
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 12:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

I also dimly recall an interview where Wang said that they wouldn't let him direct an episode when he asked, in contrast to every other cast member (Trek was generally pretty generous with allowing cast members to direct). For whatever reason, they did seem to maybe have it in for him. Most of us here seem to think his performances weren't really great, so it might be that the producers didn't think he had the artistic chops or something, but I don't know if that fully explains it.

"Alas, they underserve him again. They didn’t HAVE to make him an indecisive, micro-managing, arrogant and unsympathetic middle manager. Those characteristics do not naturally emerge from earlier shows where he’s been shown to have more judgment and maturity. He could just as believably - and more rewardingly - have been allowed to demonstrate more ability here. The writers pranked him."

Yeah. I think part of the problem is that the writers wanted to make "a command episode" for Kim which is *only* about his command abilities, and so that necessarily means they have to have some kind of arc about his command abilities, and so the arc they settled on is "he is bad at it but learns," and then they went about it in a hamhanded way. They might have done better if they'd made Kim commanding part of an episode about something else (as they did in season five sometimes).
Set Bookmark
William B
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

Finale spoilers

Ah so THAT'S why Geordi became a writer and apparently successfully wooed Leah.
Set Bookmark
William B
Mon, Dec 9, 2019, 11:59am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Jeez, I meant The Little Mermaid, not Beauty and the Beast (thanks Chrome). Les Poissons is great.
Set Bookmark
William B
Sun, Dec 8, 2019, 6:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

I just saw the news about René as well. A wonderful performer, whose work in Altman movies, Beauty and the Beast, Frasier, etc. I enjoyed. His A-game, terrific work as Odo, having the most expansive, complex and demanding arc of the series (possibly of the franchise?), playing a character who was a shapeshifter, grump, cynic, romantic, pillar of integrity, near-fascist, traitor, collaborator, freedom fighter, prodigal son, hermit, friend, lover, and self-sacrificial redeemer of his fallen god people, and keeping these disparate elements balanced within a believable whole, could never have worked without this man's dedication, talent, and soul. RIP.
Set Bookmark
William B
Fri, Dec 6, 2019, 2:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

And in particular, Uxbridge was not planning on using *any* "force," even the threat of force. I think his pacifism was so strong that even depowering them directly would seem to violate his extreme, inflexible code -- only deception and illusion were allowed. Threatening them would be right out. The problem is that Uxbridge didn't really anticipate he would fail, and so didn't consider any intermediate options (threatening the Husnock, un-weaponizing them, destroying the particular attacking ship) between extreme pacifism with some deception and overt genocide. If he had known that Rishon would die and how he'd react, of course he would have taken more steps, but he didn't.
Set Bookmark
William
Fri, Dec 6, 2019, 12:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

We have literally another series about a threatening species of changelings that can mimic human beings and it's considered a total threat and they WILLINGLY let themselves be cloned by a liquid species they know nothing about? Call me whatever, but VOY is lame and should be embarrassed of itself.
Set Bookmark
William B
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 4:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

I hope I'm not being a busybody, but I think Booming meant those "more debate, silly!" "will this madness never end" with emoticons comments in a tongue in cheek, "It's fun to talk about this" kind of way, OTDP, which is to say I think it's not meant to be aggressive or insulting. Not that you have to agree with Booming's arguments or conclusions, of course.
Set Bookmark
William B
Mon, Dec 2, 2019, 11:57am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

I'll add that TNG's Violations also was possibly inspired by these "false memory" cases. There the "therapist" (evil memory retrieval person) plants false traumatic memories (and retrieves real ones?) for, apparently, sadistic pleasure. The Doctor is well meaning in this episode but I suspect Jason is correct that this episode is inspired by cases of that sort. I'll add that Seven is already vulnerable because of what the Borg did to her (and her parents, for taking a seven year old into Borg space), but it is not possible to bring the Borg to justice, whereas it seems possible to bring Kovin. I think at core the episode is not saying "people don't get victimized," so much as that there are sometimes places where memory gets hazy, and the (correct) desire to see justice done can cloud judgment, especially when the possible victim is already a victim of a major trauma which the justice system is completely unable to deal with. I don't know that it's successful, partly because the plot takes some cheats, though I think Ryan and Picardo are excellent and much of the character material works.
Set Bookmark
William B
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 2:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

@Jon R.,

I agree to a point, but three things.

1. I do think the episode presents the main choices as annihilation of the Borg or not annihilating them. It's a dramatic conceit that these are the choices, but I think the episode is clear that those are mostly the choices.

2. They do suggest that Hugh might bring the concept of individuality back to the Borg, which is addressing the possibility of offering help to the "kidnapped slaves" therein.

3. Trek seems at times to suggest all Borg are forcibly assimilated from other cultures, but Q Who laid out that there are Borg birthing chambers, so there are some Borg, at least, who are not from other species but are "only Borg." Hugh might be one of those. They need help too, but it might be that there is no species for them to return to, but will have to construct a more individualistic society from the ground up.

I think the episode is great, but definitely it presents some simplified arguments, to scale for a single episode about a species which looms over the series but only intermittently appears.
Set Bookmark
William B
Thu, Nov 28, 2019, 2:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi (do you mind OTDP?),

Out of curiosity, what chat subjects did you uncover for Crusher/Ogawa and Crusher/Troi besides the romantic conversations? It's not that I'm doubting you, I just can't recall that many such conversations. The only thing that comes to mind is the brief discussion about Ogawa's promotion in Lower Decks, and even there in an episode mostly about career discussions, most of the Crusher/Ogawa conversations were about Crusher's concern about whether Ogawa and her boyfriend were going to make it work. (Credit where credit is due, though, that episode has the excellent Sito material which is completely unrelated to any romantic elements.)

I think that people are underrating the breadth of the material for Crusher a little. Emphasis on "a little," because I do think there are definitely limitations. The "care work" is partly because of the way in which Crusher's medical work sometimes plays out, though off the top of my head it's mainly Transfigurations which has her medical/caretaking/romantic selves all uncomfortably smooshed together, and that's just one episode. But she's a doctor and single mother who is also interested in dance (as Peter mentioned), cybernetics, community theatre, non-medical sciences (metaphasic shielding), command, organizing conferences, and debating philosophy and ethics with Jean-Luc. I do think that McFadden has a smaller range compared to, well, Muldaur comes to mind (though I think McFadden has a likable presence and good chemistry with Stewart) and Crusher doesn't have much of an arc, but there was some effort made to make her a well-rounded person.
Set Bookmark
William B
Tue, Nov 26, 2019, 7:43am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Warhead

@Proteus, I'm not sure how useful it is to translate Jammer's star ratings directly into (American-style?) percentages. First off, academic percentages aren't entirely standard - - in Canada, for instance, 50 is generally a D (well, D-), a marginal pass, and 75 is a B. Mostly though Jammer is going on his own system which isn't really meant to translate to academic percentages. My (educated?) guess is that it's mostly following movie star ratings, especially from Roger Ebert. So 2 stars is really not a *failure*, though it's definitely not a success. Certainly you do appear to line this episode more than Jammer, but his 2 star rating should be taken according to how his scale works.

OTOH, it is probably true that the movie critic style 4-star scale is a bit limiting. If a show is good or even tolerable then generally the 2-4 part of the range will get used a lot more than 0-2. A scale like the one SFDebris or Luke uses where 5 is taken to be a kind of Trek (or series) average maybe makes better use of the whole scale. I'm still pretty partial to the movie criticism 4-star scale, though largely because I'm used to it. And with half stars there's a decent amount of gradation.
Set Bookmark
William B
Sat, Nov 23, 2019, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

@Top Hat, I don't think it was ever super popular, but no I don't recall it being mentioned as a Worst Episode. I think it partly benefits from starting season 2. The first episode featuring Guinan and Ten-Forward (and Pulaski, for those of us fond of her) and Geordi in Engineering can't be all bad.
Set Bookmark
William B
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 6:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

I wonder how much Worf was aware of Jadzia's interest on some level and decided to ignore it. Worf was aware of the possibility of something with Troi but never really followed up, and then lost his connection to Klingons. I think probably the notion of dating a non Klingon was sort of bearable in late TNG because he felt better about his Klingon-ness, but in S4 of ds9 was too focused on his tragic condition to really let himself admit that he could have a full life ostracized from other Klingons. This episode does link Worf's desire to woo Grilka to his insecurity about being a pariah; it appears that being able to successfully woo her through Quark is enough to get him to realize he has the skills to be a Real Klingon, in different circumstances, and thus allay his concerns enough to make him willing to consider what's right in front of him.

Notably, Dax *is* respected by Klingons, so I wonder if on some level Worf feared that any relationship would just end up hurting her, that his pariah status would somehow rub off on her. I guess mostly he needed a confidence shot.
Set Bookmark
William B
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 6:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

I think additionally it's worth noting that even if it wasn't always the writers' preference, there are big advantages to the model wherein not every significant event in a character's life has to be followed up on. I love texts that are careful to follow through on major events and it would have been great to see more of that on TNG, but it can also be freeing to be able to have stories which would be difficult to follow up on "realistically." SPOILERS but The Inner Light is followed up on to a degree, yes, but not commensurate with the way Picard's life could have been changed, maybe...BUT the thing is, if they had to significantly change the character and do years of follow up to a significant one-off, the consequence would be that they would simply not do some of these significant one offs. I'm not really a fan of this episode and I'm not sure the benefit within the ep outweighs the cost of minimal follow up (or perhaps none, but I think Springy is right that there are probably some indirect or implicit references), but I think there are cases where the show gets big mileage out of doing one off, anthology-esque stories that also rely on our knowledge of the crew's character, and that affect the characters' long term trajectory only discreetly (if at all).
Set Bookmark
William B
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

I am confused. Is there any indication that *Spock, in universe*, was deliberately making any comparison between the crystals and the women? I thought that Spock was genuinely just literally talking about the crystals. Unless I'm mistaken, any subtext (problematic or not) is on the part of the writers, drawing thematic parallels between scenes, rather than the character of Spock himself being conscious of this metaphor.
Set Bookmark
William
Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 5:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Rise

I was bored to death with this one. Tried my best not to look to my phone ALL the way.
Set Bookmark
William
Sun, Nov 10, 2019, 5:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Darkling

That was the first time I read all of the comments section. And after umlauts, opera and Newton, all I have to say is: GOOD GOD GIRL GET A GRIP
Set Bookmark
William B
Thu, Nov 7, 2019, 11:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets

I have problems with this episode, but Sisko dejectedly heading to Earth isn't one of them. While it's not exactly the bravest move, I think the idea here is that Sisko simply cannot face the Bajorans right now, in the absence of the Prophets and their "guidance" (instructions), and the Bajorans' apparent expectations that he'll be able to tell them what to do, particularly since he feels responsible for their absence, compounded with the loss of his best friend to his arch-enemy (which he also feels responsible for). Based on how dependent the Bajorans are on the Prophets for their religious meaning, it's not clear what a Bajoran monastery would look like now that the orbs have all gone dark etc., and it wouldn't exactly be a soothing place for a Sisko who wants an escape.
Set Bookmark
William B
Mon, Nov 4, 2019, 1:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

I was thinking a bit about one moment Elliott brought up, which is when Worf says that he's not some weak human afraid to face death. One thing to consider is that in context:

O'BRIEN: I'm not some bloodthirsty Klingon looking for an excuse to murder my friend.
SISKO: That's enough.
WORF: No. You're just another weak human afraid to face death.

One thing that's interesting is that while I don't think it's in character for Worf to start on this anti-human stuff, it *is* in character for Miles to reach for this kind of racism (or species essentialism, if you prefer), particularly in stress. Miles likes Worf and considers him a friend, and I can't really remember him having bad things to say about Klingons generally, but of course he's struggled with Cardassians in the past, and we know in, e.g., Hippocratic Oath he was far less optimistic about the possibility of the Jem'Hadar getting freed of the White (and thus the Dominion) than Julian. And of course the Federation is "at war" with the Klingons (or whatever). I think it's a knee-jerk reaction consistent with the way Miles locks down and tries to simplify things to cope.

So on that note, I think we can read Worf's reply less as being about Worf being racist against humans and more as his being retaliatory: he matches Miles' species criticism in kind, repaying Miles' insult. This *kind of* works, but I still don't quite buy it. I think Worf refusing to just sit by and take Miles' insult is in character. I think him snapping back at him is in character. But I guess I don't think that Worf, raised by humans, would go for the human insult in this way. If it were on some issue like humans' approach to sex and commitment, or something, then, sure -- it's not like there aren't significant worldview differences. But Worf was rescued and raised by brave humans; he knew Yar who survived hell and then died in the line of duty; he watched Picard and Riker step into the Klingon world with gusto; he fought against the Borg invasion with the Enterprise crew; he grappled with Marla Astor's death under his command; he commanded the Defiant in battle. Worf lives and rlies on humans in a ay Miles doesn't live and rely on Klingons.

Elliott's going in chronological order, so I'm jumping ahead a bit, but in Star Trek: First Contact, Worf's famously dramatic riposte to Picard's stress-induced lashing out at him was "If you were any other man I would KILL YOU WHERE YOU STAND." It's absurd and melodramatic, but what works about it is that it doesn't generalize away from Picard's insult to his entire species; Worf both acknowledges what Picard means to him and how inappropriate Picard's statement is. I think Worf snapping back at Miles would be perfectly in character; I think though that it would work better if Worf still made it more about Miles' insult to him (and his species) rather than playing Miles' species-comparison game. I think if Worf had personalized it and said "The difference between us is that I am not too weak and afraid to face death," it'd be perfectly fine. The species-essentialism of it is what seems smaller and pettier than Worf at least should be.
Set Bookmark
William B
Wed, Oct 30, 2019, 2:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

I think Kennedy will also be remembered for his assassination, at least for a time - - not that this has any bearing on whether he was a good president or person. I think the Cuban Missile Crisis is also one of the most famous instances of brinksmanship in the Cold War and so that will also stick to his name.
Set Bookmark
William B
Mon, Oct 28, 2019, 3:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

@Springy,

I really like this episode and I agree with your comments about it. A few more things I'd like to add:

Fajo's interest in Data is specifically because Data is an object -- but an extremely valuable object, *because* "it" is so close to a man. This is similar to Maddox. Maddox wasn't evil in the same way Fajo is, but I think in both cases we can understand how deeply the contradictions in how humanoids see Data: he is so valuable specifically because he is *almost* a person, but not quite. He wouldn't be so exceptional if he was a person; and he wouldn't be exceptional if he were much further from being a person. The Enterprise crew for the most part, and *especially* Geordi, actually sees Data as valuable *as* a person (we see Picard also quoting Hamlet, "He was a man, taken for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again."). The way Geordi finds him is because Data would not be sloppy -- which is because Geordi admires that quality in Data, and also because Geordi "knows" that Data doesn't have human flaws like the rest of us.

With Fajo, he definitely sees Data as special *not* because Data is merely an object -- Data embarrasses Fajo by playacting a pure object. He also does not see Data as special because he's a person, because Fajo has no interest in or respect for persons -- as we see the way he treats Varria. He values Data because of his rarity and uniqueness, yes -- he's one of a kind -- but also because Data is on this object/person borderline. And that's also how Fajo seeks to control him: he knows what Data's ethical programming means, and he knows that he can manipulate Data by using Data's valuing life.

Data's ability to break free from Fajo requires him to stop being an object entirely. The question though is whether that renders Data less unique and less valuable, in a way. If Data is just another flawed person, then does that actually make him lesser? Does that make him in a way more like Fajo? More broadly, the answer is no, because Data is not as selfish or sociopathic as Fajo, nor does he value sentient life as little as Fajo does. But he can be as cold and calculating as Fajo, as *emotionally* distant, and the thing that separates him from Fajo -- and Lore for that matter -- is his placing value on humanoid life. The act of deciding to kill Fajo is his discovering that his valuing of humanoid life is not absolute. This isn't a knock on Data. It takes incredible idealism, and naivete, to believe that it's possible to never make a choice to protect one life over another. And indeed we know that Data has killed before, as discussed in this episode, in the line of duty. But he *is* in a situation in which there is a (self-sacrificial) course of action open to Data in which all lives are spared -- he just complies with Fajo forever. What Fajo is counting on is that Data's valuing his life is great enough that Data will continue allowing others to die by Data's inaction, or Data will agree entirely to Fajo's terms. The choice to kill here wears away at one of the things that separates Data from Fajo.

With Fajo in the cage at the end, Data seems to be both lording it over Fajo and also re-establishing the previous version of events: "No, sir, it does not. I do not feel pleasure. I am only an android." Is that the truth or a lie? I don't think Data entirely knows what it means. That said, I believe that Data does not feel pleasure. I think he is attempting to...gloat, almost, to Fajo. But I also don't think he gets satisfaction out of it. There is a tinge of...almost despair to it. Data's statement that he is "only an android" seems to be in part a reaction to what it meant for Data to stop being an android. For most of the series, Data's quest to be more than an android is presented in positive terms -- that he can love, procreate, change. Here the possibility is raised that Data's growth might mean that he'll become worse, more like Fajo. Some part of Data recoils, obfuscates, lies, because he doesn't entirely want to be this kind of human(oid). It's appropriate that Data recoils from being too human and reasserts his android-ness, makes himself back into an object, the moment he becomes sufficiently close to a human(oid) so vile that he realizes that he does not value his life enough to preserve it.

I think the issue isn't just that Data learns to attempt to kill Fajo, I think it's that he actually realizes that he understands Fajo, at the end, and wants to be, or at least pretend to be, "just an android" again so he doesn't have to.
Set Bookmark
William B
Sat, Oct 26, 2019, 3:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

@Peter, Skeptical,

Interesting points about Tasha. I think either could be correct.

One thing that makes me tend to agree with Peter is that the big sacrifice of the episode is that Tasha doesn't exist in the other world. I wonder if we can interpret this as basically saying that this world's Tasha - - competent, icy, controlled, badass in a quiet way, heroic - - is someone who actually fits in better in the "war" world than in the peaceful version of the Enterprise. Obviously the literal reason she only exists in this one is because Armus didn't kill her, but maybe the symbolism in it is that this Tasha, who is genuinely admirable, is someone who is in some ways made for war, and cannot really exist in a peaceful world. I think this presents us with a pretty beautiful message about heroic soldiers, wherein Tasha willingly sacrifices herself for a world which not only she doesn't live in, but couldn't, but which is better for everyone else that she cares about. This maybe works if we take this episode as arguing (retroactively, of course) that s1 Tasha didn't quite come into focus partly because she wasn't actually in her element. And indeed the show didn't really need her. I'm not saying the show, at its post-s1 superior self, couldn't make good stories about a warrior adapting to relative safety (they do this type of thing with Worf, Ro, Kira, Torres sort of), but it might be that the best way for Tasha to shine is in this type of story, which maybe shows this is more the real Tasha (in a way).
Set Bookmark
William B
Sat, Oct 26, 2019, 2:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

@Springy, great catch on invidium!
Set Bookmark
William B
Sat, Oct 26, 2019, 10:22am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

The reveal that it was a person who was the root of the plot problem and not the tech also suggests that at the root of Reg's holodiction is interpersonal problems, not the holodeck tech itself. (More generally, it's generally not the chemical effects of the drug that are the root of the problem, but the usually-social problems that cause a person to take it in the first place.)
Next ►Page 1 of 79
▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2019 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.