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digitaurus
Wed, May 16, 2018, 4:04am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Amok Time

@Debra Petersen - You raise interesting points. There are clear hints that T'Pau aids and abets Kirk and McCoy's plans - helping to get Vulcan out of a diplomatic mess with Starfleet. She probably realised in advance that the bride had brought her lover along so was going to challenge. She would have made the same logical deductions as the bride so would not have been surprised that Kirk was chosen. Presumably she felt that Spock was in no condition to beat lover boy anyway. She stopped the fight and gave McCoy a chance to inject Kirk. She made no attempt to confirm Kirk's "death". And she covered for Kirk by putting in a bogus request for the Enterprise's presence at Vulcan.

I would put all this down to T'Pau being an extremely smart cookie.
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digitaurus
Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 2:47am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Squire of Gothos

Trek fan makes an excellent point: this episode is far more enjoyable for children than adults - and none the worse for it.
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Digitaurus
Sat, Feb 3, 2018, 7:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

An outstanding episode, four stars for sure.

I am watching the first season of TOS (for the first time) alongside the second season of DS9 (for the first time) and the superiority of TOS is astonishing. Most glaringly, TOS weaves in multiple storylines seamlessly whilst DS9 episodes have obvious and clunky A/B plot lines with a crashing gear change every time the focus switches from one to the other.

The differing approaches to lighting, mood, and music haven't been kind to DS9 either. In TOS we have a sense of urgency and tension throughout. The 'flat' 90s-TV look of DS9 (and TNG) drain episodes of tension. Curiously, this flat presentation seems to have been deliberate - the TNG alternative timeline of 'Yesterday's Enterprise' apes much more closely the look and feel of TOS and makes the TNG Enterprise a much more exciting place to be (and raises that episode to classic status).
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digitaurus
Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 2:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Conscience of the King

I am an avid fan of Jammer's reviews and, while I sometimes have a different take on a show, I think this is the first time I recall that Jammer has completely mis-understood something. As many other posters have pointed out, the ending is not as Jammer describes. This is in my view the best TOS episode of the first series so far.

Several people have questioned why Kirk so blithely places Reilly in danger by sending him off to Engineering. Kirk underestimates the peril for Reilly because he hasn't realised that the witnesses are being hunted down systematically. He presumably assumes that his friend on Planet Q was murdered because he openly confronted Kodos (and has avoided making the same mistake). It's Spock who figures out (after Reilly's assignment) that seven witnesses have died in suspicious circumstances and that the acting company was nearby each time.
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digitaurus
Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

This is the first time I have ever watched TOS in order from the beginning (and I only ever saw relatively few TOS episodes as a child 40 years ago). I have mainly watched TNG. The strong sexual undertone is really striking - more 'Mad Men' than TNG - as is the militarism. It seems to reflect (what I imagine to have been) the atmosphere of a US military unit in WW2 or Korea.

These episodes tackle much more directly than I remembered the challenge of dealing with sexual attraction and sexual harassment in a mixed sex working environment. This was an emerging problem in the 1960s and of course remains one today. Kudos to the writers for putting the issues front and centre even we cringe today at some of the results.
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digitaurus
Wed, Oct 11, 2017, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Disaster

How the hell does Picard get himself out of the turbo lift ? He's got a broken ankle and the kiddies aren't going to be pulling him up. Sorry. This has always bugged me.

3 stars. The Klingon is brilliant and it's the only episode I can think of where Troi's presence on the set doesn't make me want to scream.
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digitaurus
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 12:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Legacy

Am I hallucinating or was the actress playing Tasha's sister required to wear her costume without underwear? If so, were any of the male guest stars required to follow a similar protocol?
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digitaurus
Fri, Sep 29, 2017, 1:55am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Family

Watching BoBW and this episode again, it struck me how much the members of the cast were enjoying themselves. This was TNG at the top of its game and the confidence oozes out of the actors. It's hard to recall what a massive career risk the role of Picard had been for Patrick Stewart. He was one of the world's top Shakesperian actors and his decision to headline a sci-fi series like Star Trek was, well, "bold" if not downright bizarre. Towards the end of Season 2 he must have been wondering what a fine mess he had gotten himself into. But by this point it's clear the gamble has paid off and 'Family' gives him another opportunity to show off his Shakesperian chops.

4 stars from me.
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Digitaurus
Wed, Sep 27, 2017, 3:50am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

In 'The Offspring', Lal developed feelings despite having the same circuitry as Data. At the end of that episode Data incorporated Lal's circuitry patterning (or something) back into himself.

One interpretation of this episode is that Data does have feelings, albeit at a very low ('unconscious') level. There is evidence for this, some of which is reviewed in this episode (e.g. the hologram of Tasha), even before the incorporation of Lal. So the decision to vaporise Fajo with extreme prejudice now rather than wait out the situation was lubricated by a subliminal desire for revenge. The decision to not tell Riker the truth was lubricated by a tiny sense of shame. And the decision to inform Fajo of the dispersal of his collection was likewise lubricated by low-level satisfaction at flinging back the 'only an android' insult in his face.
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digitaurus
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 3:51am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Offspring

I love the way Data (in the last scene) uses a contraction immediately after declaring that he has incorporated Lal's neural pathways.

Does this incorporation change Data's prospects for developing feelings? Was this one motivation for Data to undertake the incorporation?
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digitaurus
Sun, Sep 24, 2017, 12:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

In this episode we learn the consequences of refusing to sleep with Riker. I'm guessing if he HAD slept with her he would have found a way to stop her without vaporising her.

Seriously, was this kind of sexist behaviour acceptable back in the 80s?
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digitaurus
Sun, Feb 5, 2017, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

"Why would they have doors that look exactly like 20th century ones, 400 years from now?! Do we have anything today that looks the same as it did in the 1600s?"

Sure we do. I live in a house much of which was built in the around 1450. We have plenty of latch doors - the "handle" is a lever that lifts up a latch - the design of which goes back to the medieval period. Many of the buildings in my college at university were of roughly the same age and had big ring handles which will also have been familiar to people in the Middle Ages and probably back to Roman times and before.
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digitaurus
Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

The neatest aspect to the story for me is that the Enterprise only gets sucked in to the vortex because Picard decides not to sit quietly and investigate slowly but tries to warp out of there ... and he only decides to warp out because he has been freaked out by future Picard ... whose only there because Picard got the Enterprise sucked in ...
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digitaurus
Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

OK, let me get this straight. Lieutenant Roker (or whatever) is a Blob when he arrives at the signal station. At some point the Roker Blob gets the dog and splits in two, so now we have Roker Blob and doggie Blob. Roker Blob then goes for Aquiel. She runs for the weapons locker gets a phaser and blasts away. She begins to be absorbed by Roker Blob (stripping her memories) but hoses Roker Blob down with the phaser before being fully Blobbed. She then traps doggie Blob in a tube (??) and escapes by shuttle.

Is this right ?

By the way, I thought this was the sloppiest murder investigation ever. Love the way Worf finds the phaser, grabs it with his sticky hands and starts pressing away on the buttons. No wonder they found Klingon DNA in all the wrong places …
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digitaurus
Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 4:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

This pair of episodes arguably throw an interesting light on Star Fleet Command's view of Jean Luc Picard by this stage in his career.

The fact is that - although the Enterprise was clearly pre-assigned to lead the Federation response in the event of a Cardassian attack in this sector (a fact the Cardassians learnt, leading to the ruse to capture Picard) - Picard was apparently NOT scheduled to be its captain in these circumstances. As a result, he has no knowledge of any contingency plans, which of course disrupts the Cardassian's plans.

Why ? Jeliico's behaviour gives us clues. Jellico assumes that the Enterprise crew has become slack - and the evidence suggests he may be right. Perhaps the crew's lack of edge reflects a going-off-the-boil of its captain ?

Personally, I think Picard's experience in The Inner Light DID have a profound effect on his character and that this change is reflected in (i) the tenor of all subsequent episodes (even the best ones), (ii) a more pronounced "softness" in Picard's character, and (iii) a resulting loss of edge among its crew. Maybe Ryker can sense it too which is why he keeps getting so antsy the whole time.

Whatever the reasons, by this stage Starfleet apparently don't see Picard as the right captain for the Enterprise in a time of war.

A counter-argument to this is that Picard is only relieved of the captaincy so he can run off to do spec-ops making use of his theta band experience (as per the Cardassian plot). This is probably the case but I rather like the idea that all Picard's escapades have lead to some serious re-evaluation at higher levels in Starfleet.

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digitaurus
Wed, Sep 24, 2014, 4:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

The thing I love about this episode is that it is the only time Troi gives some decent counselling advice.
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