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Mal
Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rightful Heir

@Peter G. wrote, "We literally both did mention Persia."

Interestingly, I was watching "The Adversary" the other day, and this line popped right out at me,

KIRA: The closest one is the Ulysses. They're studying protoplanetary masses in the Helaspont Nebula.

If you recall, in that episode, the Dominion replaces an ambassador with a Changling and convinces Starfleet that there has been a coup on the Tzenkethi homeworld.

So the Defiant heads towards the Tzenkethi boarder to show the flag,

KRAJENSKY: We need to remind the Tzenkethi that the Federation is committed to protecting our colonies near their border.

SISKO: You want to show the flag.

KRAJENSKY: Exactly.

Both DS9 (Bajoran space) and the Tzenkethi space run along Cardassian space. But lo-and-behold, between the two is the... (drumroll please) Helaspont Nebula! And the ship closest to that region? The Ulysses!

This isn't quite Babylon 5 level epic, but it shows the writers were actually literate. No surprise then, when I saw "The Adversary" was written by Robert Hewitt Wolfe. "Turning and turning", indeed.
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Matt
Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 5:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

It's not hard to imagine Starfleet agreeing to not use cloaking technology.

It's similar to how the US doesnt want Iran or Iraq to develop nucleur weapons even though the US already has. The Romulans do have superior technology.
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Jason R.
Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 9:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

@Booming stars don't "burn" like a torch.
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Tomalak
Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 3:43am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

10 out of 21 actual episodes is quite a long watchlist!
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Neil Mack
Sat, Jun 12, 2021, 3:12am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Exile

Boring! Can't believe Jammer gave it 3 stars! Especially as he has given less to much better DS9 and TNG episodes.

As for the shuttlepod scene. I thought it was poor visual effects plus I was scratching my head. Did the sphere have gravity? If not, disabling the thruster wouldn't bring it back to the sphere; the pod would keep moving in the direction it was heading. Guessing I missed that detail about the sphere as no one else has mentioned it.
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Polaris
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

One of the worst episodes, but almost comes back around to so-bad-it’s-good. I’d love to hear a Rifftrax type commentary.
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Mal
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 9:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi said,

"As for me, I find myself swayed back and forth. It's a well-crafted moral dilemma with no obvious "correct" answer. And if I were Archer, I would have felt terrible afterwords - regardless of what I'd decide in the end.

Guess that's why I'm not a starship Captain, eh?”

Very true.

Star Trek used to be much clearer about what an insane burden it is to sit in that captain’s chair. From the very first episode, Pike tells his doc,

PIKE: You bet I'm tired. You bet. I'm tired of being responsible for two hundred and three lives. I'm tired of deciding which mission is too risky and which isn't, and who's going on the landing party and who doesn't, and who lives and who dies. Boy, I've had it, Phil.

BOYCE: To the point of finally taking my advice, a rest leave?

PIKE: To the point of considering resigning.

And Pike’s replacement hears something very similar from Commodore Stone,

STONE: Now, look, Jim. Not one man in a million could do what you and I have done. Command a starship. A hundred decisions a day, hundreds of lives staked on you making every one of them right. You're played out, Jim. Exhausted.

TNG showed us the other side of things, with Riker. Here’s a man who everyone believes is ready to sit in the Chair, but he just can’t seem to take on that kind of responsibility,

HANSON: This is the third time we've pulled out the captain's chair for Riker. He just won't sit down.

after which Picard tells Riker,

PICARD: Will, you're ready to work without a net. You're ready to take command.

But something in Riker’s brain just won’t let him take that giant leap of responsibility,

RIKER: What am I still doing here? Deanna, I pushed myself hard to get this far. I sacrificed a lot. I always said I wanted my own command, and yet something's holding me back. Is it wrong for me to want to stay?

TROI: What do you think?

RIKER: Maybe I'm just afraid of the big chair.

DS9 also took an extended look at the burdens of Command.

DS9 started off with no Captain, and no ship. And Sisko was almost ready to leave the service anyway,

SISKO: I'm investigating the possibility of returning to Earth for civilian service.

PICARD: Perhaps Starfleet Command should be considering a replacement for you.

SISKO: That's probably a good idea.

Eventually, Sisko has all the burden of the galaxy (or at least two quadrants of the galaxy) thrown at him, pushing him up the chain of command,

TODDMAN: If you pull a stunt like that again I'll court martial you or I'll promote you. Either way you'll be in a lot of trouble.

Eventually we see Sisko take on a whole different level of responsibility, and with it, a whole different level of stress,

ROSS: Ben?

SISKO: Admiral.

ROSS: It's late.

SISKO: I know. I was just waiting to see if there is any news.

ROSS: Ben, we've got a big day ahead of us tomorrow. I want to nail down the details on the Bolian operation. I need you focused.

SISKO: I will be.

ROSS: I know how you feel about your crew, but you and I are responsible for an entire tactical wing. Thousands of lives depend on the decisions we make tomorrow. You can't afford to be awake all night worrying about one ship.

SISKO: Admiral, you can order me to my quarters, but there's no way I'm going to sleep. Not as long as the Defiant is out there.

ROSS: All right, as you wish. But you should understand one thing. With any luck, we'll be sending the Defiant on a lot of missions, and you're going to have to get used to it. Good night.

Sisko goes from being responsible for hundreds of lives aboard a ship and space station (Picard has about a thousand), to thousands of lives in an entire tactical wing.

These kinds of escalated levels of responsibility, and the very real stresses they create, somehow got lost on Voyager. At least Pike, Kirk, Picard, and Sisko had the full support of Starfleet. Janeway had no one. But for whatever reason, the Voyager writers just didn’t have the courage to take on that very real aspect of the Captain's Chair. As @MadS says above, we see nothing in Janeway when she has to decide on Tuvix that comes anywhere close to what we could expect from Picard or Pike under such circumstances.

But we get it here with Archer.

I wrote about it in the thread for “The Masterpiece Society” where @Peter G. very insightfully brought up Babylon 5 and the Lumati as a contrast. I’ll just copy a small part of what I wrote here:

"That’s what good leaders do. They don’t always come up with the right answer. But they use everything at their disposal to come to the best decision they are capable of. They do their best, and it is hard.”

The reason “Dear Doctor” is a four star episode is because it shows Archer doing his absolute best to come to decision on this. You can see the ethics are consuming him. He reaches out to the most experienced people he has at his disposal,

ARCHER: The Valakians want our warp technology.

T'POL: What did you tell them?

ARCHER: That I'd think about it.

T'POL: And?

ARCHER: Safe to say I know where you stand on the subject.

T'POL: Even if you give them our reactor schematics they don't have the technical expertise to build a warp engine.

ARCHER: They have no experience working with antimatter. I doubt they even realize how dangerous it is. They're not ready.

T'POL: Then your decision shouldn't be difficult.

ARCHER: We could stay and help them.

T'POL: The Vulcans stayed to help Earth ninety years ago. We're still there.

ARCHER: I never thought I'd say this, but I'm beginning to understand how the Vulcans must have felt.

And though it goes against everything he *feels*, Archer in the end comes around to Dr. Phlox’s perspective. Not because it is 100% guaranteed to be right. God knows how things will turn out a million years from now?! But he decides because he’s the Captain, and making that decision is his job, even if it tears him apart.

Contrast that with Burnham making Captain on Discovery, and you’ll see how far this franchise has fallen.
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Nolan
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Gor me, as I was going through and curating a watchlist for my friend, TNG S2 was the easiest for me to nail episodes down, even though it has far fewer episodes than other seasons. I didn't have to reckon with poor to middling episodes that are pseudo- relevant to later developments, or bad episodes with iconic moments. The only one I hemmed and hawed on has been "Unnatural Selection" for it's focus on O'Brien. Otherwise, pretty much every episode is either relevant but at least average, or a standout/iconic. Basically, the episodes in S2, for me at least, are extremely easy to define as "worth it" or "skippable" something most seasons of Star Trek don't have, even if my list only ended up with 10 out of 22.
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Tomalak
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Thanks, Jammer. To be clear, I think an average is just that: one data point. Clearly it is telling in this case but no one would sensibly claim that one simple average for each season tells you everything you need to know.
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Frake's Nightmare
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

He really is the cutest of the Borg! Who of course are famous for their cuteness - that thing with they eye and the swizzley drink mixer hands!
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Jammer
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Yeah, the number crunching, while fun, is rarely a good reflection of the gut feelings (art translated to data loses a lot of ambiguity in the process), but I must say the rankings themselves of the seasons are pretty spot-on of what I feel for TNG. 1 and 7 are clearly the worst. 2 is probably ranked where it belongs relative to the others, but I never considered it bottom tier like 1 or 7. Didn't know that was a general consensus among the fandom.
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Frake's Nightmare
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 6:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Transfigurations

Isn't that the jumpsuit that T'pol wears when she goes to deserty places ? And how many major spinal injuries does Worf suffer in Next Gen....bit more dignified than being hit by some poorly secured barrels I suppose. More injury related to continuity?
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Frake's Nightmare
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Menage a Troi

Wesley's Jumper - well lookey loo our Wes is all growed up and rocking the red!
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Top Hat
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

It may interest some here that actual trans commentators have weighed in on this episode. Here, for instance: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cDovL2ZlZWRzLnNvdW5kY2xvdWQuY29tL3VzZXJzL3NvdW5kY2xvdWQ6dXNlcnM6MjUwNzI3ODUxL3NvdW5kcy5yc3M/episode/dGFnOnNvdW5kY2xvdWQsMjAxMDp0cmFja3MvMjkxMjEyMjE1?sa=X&ved=0CAUQkfYCahcKEwjw86ntoJDxAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQAQ
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

"What business the USA has in Taiwan which is a breakaway state of China I do not know. "

Well if we are being technical it's more accurate to call China a breakaway state of Taiwan :)
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Rahul
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 11:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

I think looking at the average rating for a season relative to another isn't really useful for determining anything. A simple (but perhaps a bit extreme) example is if a Season A has 4 episodes, and all of them are 2.5* but Season B has 2 episodes that are 3.5* and the other 2 are 1*, I'm calling Season B the better season even if its avg. rating is 0.25 less.

I think, in terms of quantitative measures, looking at how many 3.5* and 4* episodes a season has as being more telling. It's like when you rewatch a season, how many episodes do you watch in their entirety? How many do you skip outright? There are qualitative considerations as well of course.

For me, TNG S2 is a pretty weak season -- another one of transition and finding footing with Geordi now the chief engineer and, of course, Pulaski coming in for Crusher. I prefer Pulaski, but there's still need for time to be spent on background etc. Still far too many weak/terrible episodes.

TNG S3 is fantastic and achieving a level of consistency really is when it made its mark.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

Fireworks are just rockets. They'd work perfectly fine in space.

The real problem is that space fireworks won't give you much of a show: Space doesn't scatter light.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 10:55am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

@Mal
"Archer wasn’t sent out by Earth to play God. The aliens in the TNG episode “The Chase” were sent out by their civilization to play god. But don’t kid yourself. If you are picking which race will live, and which will die, you are playing god (see TNG "The Survivors"). "

I think that's the main dilemma of this episode.

Archer basically stumbled into a position of "playing god". No matter what he'd do, he is already involved.

Remember that the Valakians initiated contact. They *asked* for help. They are also clearly aware of the existence of alien life, so there's zero danger of cultural contamination on that front. So if it weren't for the Menk, the decision would have been easy: Give them the cure.

With the Menk... well, I don't envy the decision that Archer had to make here. It's a very complex situation, and any decision would have huge consequences:

On the one hand, one could argue that when people ask for your help then it's obligation to give it to them.

On the other hand, looking at the complex symbiotic relations between the Valakians and the Menk, one could argue that interfering with then already delicate balance on this world is reckless and dangerous.

As for me, I find myself swayed back and forth. It's a well-crafted moral dilemma with no obvious "correct" answer. And if I were Archer, I would have felt terrible afterwords - regardless of what I'd decide in the end.

Guess that's why I'm not a starship Captain, eh?
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 10:17am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

@Booming

"Ok, now I'm completely off topic. Sorry!"

Yes you are.

Some how, you've a managed to spin a very real concern to the future of the human race (which has nothing to do with China specifically) to a rant that's - basically - political propaganda.

I know you really dig communism (I'm not being sarcastic here nor am I being imflamatory. You've said that openly and directly at a dozen times), but "off topic" doesn't even begin to cover what you did here.

Can you please *please* stop doing that? This is a Star Trek forum, where we have the opportunity to expand are horizons beyond the toxic stupidity of the current media, and beyond this silly "us vs them" mentality.

Thank you.
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William B
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

"I did a tally just for fun and the average Jammer star rating for Season 2 is 2.45 compared with 2.9 for Season 3. Not exactly a massive difference."

Jammer has said that he rates relative to expectation/season to an extent, so that the 3 stars for The Icarus Factor doesn't actually mean he thinks it's equally good to season 4's Family. So perhaps his actual opinion would show bigger spread.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

"But, honestly, why does Jadzia Dax have to act like an irrational teenager all the time AFTER season 1?"

In-universe you could argue that the repressed memories of Joran Dax and the later resurfacing of those memories might be messing up Jadzia's mind to some extent. I think the reality is that the "wise old sage" character quickly became uninteresting, and Terry Farrell couldn't really pull it off either.
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Tomalak
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 9:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Sorry, the 0 for the clip did funny things to my Excel but once you put it in properly the numbers are the same as yours:

S Average
3 2.90
4 2.81
6 2.75
5 2.69
2 2.45
7 2.44
1 2.20
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Tomalak
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 9:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Hilariously so did I just now! I got these numbers:

Season average
3 2.90
4 2.81
6 2.75
5 2.69
2 2.57
7 2.44
1 2.20
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 9:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

I did a tally just for fun and the average Jammer star rating for Season 2 is 2.45 compared with 2.9 for Season 3. Not exactly a massive difference.
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Tomalak
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 9:08am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

The Defector is my favourite episode of TNG, but your mileage may differ. Of course, truly great is only one measure and as you say, the average quality did rise after Season 2, at least in most fans' eyes. It would be interesting, actually, to compare the median episodes of each season, too. :-)

There is also the fact that the season only had 21 episodes plus a clip show - so had less chance than any other season to impress. All the other seasons had 26.
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