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Jason R.
Thu, Sep 12, 2019, 5:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Arena

I think a lot of the comments and Jammer's review are too harsh.

Regarding McCoy's comment, there is a certain context being missed. The analogy isn't a group of Cubans settling on an island off the coast of the USA (as suggested by others on this thread). The correct analogy would be a group of reptile monsters from space doing so.

While I would like to think our first reaction would not be EXTERminaaaate! some degree of fear, hostility or even violence would be at least understandable in context.

One of the best parts about this episode is Spock. He called it right from the get go- he warned Kirk that they didn't really know the context of the attack. He was completely correct. This and other examples (eg: Galileo 7) are reasons I love Spock.

See Babylon 5 for an illustration of the foolishness of running into a situation like this guns blazing without knowing all the facts.

On the subject of the rubber suit, I liked it as a kid and I still like it. In complete honesty it was better than the CGI mush we got from Enterprise for the Gorn. The ridicule this gets is more retrospective and unfairly blamed the episode for the limitations of 60s effects.
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Jason R.
Sat, Sep 7, 2019, 2:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

I was dreading this episode. I had heard how awful it was and it didn't disappoint.

The first Trek series finale I simply can't and won't watch. I shut it off less than halfway. Just disgraceful. A slap in the face to anyone who cared even the slightest for Enterprise or its characters.

Fitting though that the ending of this show should take us back to where we began: more bloody time travel (metaphorically this time). A show about the past once again using the future as a crutch.
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Jason R.
Fri, Sep 6, 2019, 7:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Demons

Ugh Max nailed it: the moment that stupid moon base lifted off all I could think was bond villain. Just incredibly tedious.

Meanwhile the instant they said the baby was Trip and T'Pol's I instantly thought of E2 and the fact that Trip and T'Pol already *know* they had a baby together. Soooooo.... is that not even worth mentioning? Even in passing?

And yes, the First Minister is Mayor Wilkins III. Could he possibly maybe be a teensy bit *EVIL*? I am waiting with baited breath to find out the answer. Hell now that I think of it Wilkins did become a true demon at the end of Buffy Season 3. And the episode is called *demon*. Co-incidence? Is this going to end with the First Minister turning into a 100 foot snake?
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Jason R.
Thu, Sep 5, 2019, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

Sorry that should say after Deja Q.
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Jason R.
Thu, Sep 5, 2019, 6:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

Peter it could also refer to the question "who is q?" Mischievous prankster? Vengeful entity? Guardian and guide to humanity?

It plays into Q's claim to want to join the crew, which is the setup for his little demonstration. A total role reversal, but one that is a disguise for something more interesting.

And let's be frank - Q's role fundamentally changes in this episode. After Q Who he is a very different character from what we knew before (I'll just ignore Q Pid here)

One thing though that is weird about the continuity that always bugged me is that Q Who takes place *before* Deja Q yet the crew asks him if he has been kicked out by the continuum again?! Totally weird.

This episode feels like it should be after Q Pid. Indeed imagine how cool it would have been if throwing the Enterprise into Borg space was him paying his debt to Picard? Now that would have been neat. Again I am just going to edit Q Pid 9ut of my head canon on this.
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Jason R.
Thu, Sep 5, 2019, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

I find it hard to believe that Kira's uniform was ever intended to titillate. Not saying you are wrong about the tightness or heels but Kira was never put forward as any kind of sex symbol. Even Dax, who was played by a very attractive actress, spent the series in the standard blue science officer getup.

When I think back Trek and TNG / DS9 / Voyager (up to 7 of 9) were remarkably conservative in that regard.

Enterprise was the first series to seriously get exploitative and funny enough its ratings tanked.
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Jason R.
Thu, Sep 5, 2019, 7:23am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

As an aside this issue reminds me of when I was a kid there was this meme going around for years and years that the average Male thinks about sex 1,000 times a day (or some such). It was just this factoid thing that someone got out if a book (in pre internet days) that everyone just kind of accepted because newsflash! men love sex! So how could it not be true?

Except any man or boy who stopped and thought about it for a second would have realized it couldn't apply to them. But when it comes to this topic there's this cultural fog that conditions us to believe any claim about the depredations of the Male sex drive, no matter how outlandish. Sort of a Godwin's Law where any assumption on this topic will eventually degenerate into ridiculous hyperbole given enough time.

And of course the claim was completely bonkers but so many of us grew up literally just kind of accepting it was true.

I wonder how much of our received wisdoms about Hollywood, TV shows and what really makes people tune in, are based on baloney.
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Jason R.
Thu, Sep 5, 2019, 7:04am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

"I think it's just about attempting to gather ratings; no sexist agenda. That never changes in TV."

I know I made this point on another thread discussing 7 of 9's popularity but I still have big doubts about this bit of common sense wisdom that actresses in skimpy clothing actually generates *high ratings* in scifi dramas like Trek.

I have never watched a Trek show or any serious drama, because of this. When I talk to friends about great moments in Trek and the reasons we loved these shows, we talk about BOBW or Scorpion or Yesterday's Enterprise or Inner Light - nobody gives a flying F about miniskirts.

And I am not pretending to be on some high horse or that I am above interest in such things. That's the point - I am as interested as the next guy, but even in the 90s as a teenaged Male this kind of weak sauce PG rated titillation measured a big fat zero on my meter. 7 of 9's catsuit was never even the slightest draw to watching Voyager nor did I know anyone who seriously was watching because of it. Counsellor Troi's miniskirt? Maybe if I had been Amish or something.

Maybe it's the lawyer in me but I want to see evidence that having scantily clad women actually moves ratings in scifi dramas like Trek. Not just common sense but *proof*.

Otherwise I feel we have fallen into a circular argument where everybody just does it and assumes it works because of course everybody does it and they wouldn't if it didn't work.
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Jason R.
Wed, Sep 4, 2019, 9:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

@Booming sigh...

I will confess that I realized how wrong my assumption was from the moment I clicked "submit comment".
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Jason R.
Wed, Sep 4, 2019, 5:57am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

Booming, while the *idea* of the sisters dressing that way could have sexist undertones I can't imagine it was ever intended to titillate the Male viewers. At least I never knew anyone who admitted to being titillated (pun intended) by the Duras Sisters :)
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Jason R.
Thu, Aug 29, 2019, 8:52am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

Hi Booming, I'm guilty of being overly aggressive on these threads as well so I get it. I have also been accused of being so from time to time personally and professionally.

If you were an astrophysicist and we were discussing, say, neutron stars, that would be one thing. That is such a discrete arcane discipline that most people wouldn't dream of challenging a bona fide expert.

But unfortunately, sociology is a discipline that overlaps with a lot of everyday topics like politics, philosophy, anthropology, that everyday laypeople must be entitled to an opinion on and can't just agree to defer to "experts" on without effectively surrendering their inherent human right to participate in the public square.

It isn't that sociologists don't have arcane or technical knowledge (I'm sure you do) but it just comes across sometimes like you want to use your credentials to knock aside opposition. Sometimes it comes across like a false appeal to authority.
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Jason R.
Thu, Aug 29, 2019, 6:30am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

"@DLPB
Well look who got triggered here.
Oh believe what you want but an endless amount of studies have proven these tendencies beyond a reasonable doubt. "

Do the studies say anything about arrogance and sociologists?
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 28, 2019, 5:40am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

"imagine if the humans had a deep taboo against murder, and that the murder of one of their officers would be an unforgivable offence that could result in holy war. "

Your comment reminded me of Ender's Game where (spoiler) we learn that the insect civilization didn't realize that slaughtering thousands of humans was such a big deal, and their actions unintentionally trigger a genocidal war against them!

But that's another example of a truly well done first contact scenario with the B5 example being a more watered down version (on the hard versus soft scifi scale)

What we get in this episode doesn't even qualify because the Melkorans are essentially indistinguishable from human and their portrayal is basically just allegory.

I am not against allegory per say when it fliws from an otherwise solid plot but it is disappointing that one of the icons of popular scifi exercises so little imagination when it came to this kind of scenario. Darmok may have been a bonkers episode but at least it was an *attempt* at a serious first contact scenario.

Did I mention I don't care much for this episode? I just find it tiresome and emblematic of the weaknesses, rather than strengths, of the TNG era Trek. By this time they had the budget and the wherewithal to do better.
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 27, 2019, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

"Wesley was guilty of these same misdemeanours, but he's still the Captain's favourite ensign. He just got a private dressing down, because Nepotism is apparently alive and very much Kicking in the Twenty-Fourth Century. Rather disappointing. Sito of course, hasn't family in senior ranks. "

Nepotism? Like Sito Wesley was held back a year and was treated like a pariah on campus. Picard never went to bat for him and we never see him serve officially on the Enterprise again. He does visit in Journey's End where he interacts with friends in the crew - is Picard supposed to forbid him from being on the ship to see his friends and mother??

Indeed your comment is doubly wrong because unlike Wesley, Picard reveals that he did go to bat for Sito, getting her assigned to the Enterprise, which we know to be a plum assignment from previous episodes.

Nepotism? Actually the opposite.
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 27, 2019, 12:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

"So what I have against Krola is that his position is totally reactionary and involves zero logic or planning. "

I guess I agree in this case, but my point was sometimes a "reactionary" approach really is the right one.

Take Montezuma for instance and see where a "wait and see" approach got him and the Aztecs. What he should have done was just obliterate Cortez's expedition before it came even close to Tenochtitlan although admittedly that is with hindsight.

Interestingly, Cortez had an arrest warrant out for him from the Governor of Cuba and was in no way officially speaking for the Spanish Crown despite what he might have represented. Of course Montezuna wasn't aware of that - which goes to my point that the Melkorans don't really know what the lay of the land is and if Picard is really on the up and up. Assuming anything about the Federation or Picard's true capability is perilous.

The point is there are extreme xenophobic races in Trek like the Tholians and the Breen who seem to have done just fine, and there are many examples in our history of civilizations that could have benefitted from a little xenophobia.

I know that is not what the writers had in mind for this episode, but they did make clear that the Melkorans had a choice. What is the point of that if there was ever only one "right" answer?
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 27, 2019, 4:46am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

There are lots of First Contact themed science fiction stories where the aliens are seemingly benevolent, but do have a nefarious agenda. We even saw this with characters like Weyoun who were iron fists in velvet gloves for the Dominion. A better comparison might also be the Overlords from Childhood's End, who weren't nefarious per say but certainly pursuing a hidden agenda that not everyone would have chosen had they been aware.

Krola does behave foolishly, but his viewpoint, which Derken is forced to consider, is not stupid inherently. He doesn't know he's a character in Star Trek as opposed to one of those episodes of the Outer Limits where inviting the friendly aliens in is definitely a mistake :) He doesn't really know for sure that it's not a Dominion he's talking to.

As for Peter's argument of "well if the Federation is hostile then they're dead either way..." he doesn't know that either. So far he has encountered a few individuals and one ship. I will agree it probably makes sense to learn more of the lay of the land before deciding, but isolation isn't always a bad thing in these situations.

The Aztecs would have been wise to riddle Cortez's people with arrows and burned the bodies before they came within a million miles of Tenochtitlan, rather than inviting them (and smallpox) into their midst. Open mindedness to aliens doesn't always have a happy ending in scifi as in real life. The history of colonialism is full of examples of such examples.

We actually don't know, incidentally, that the alternative to Federation membership is slavery or invasion. The Melkorans have evolved for millions of years. The Klingons didn't enslave them 100 years ago so why now? Did Picard put a beacon on their planet or something? Maybe in 100 years they will become like the Breen - insular xenophobes but content with whatever they have. I don't see welcoming the Federation in as their only logical choice, even if, as viewers, we know they should (because who wouldn't want to say yes to Picard?)
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Jason R.
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

"I'm not sure I'm entirely convinced that it makes sense that Odo can even replicate objects that pass scrutiny perfectly but can't do faces"

Actually it makes perfect sense. The human brain can discern the slightest variation in facial expression. It is one of our most finely tuned brain functions. It is why CGI has struggled for so long to replicate human faces to fool an audience.
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Jason R.
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 6:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

"Now, what is inconsistent is that he can accurately replicate other things, like a rat (is a rat's face easier than a humans? I can't imagine why it would be)."

If you were a rat you'd think he looked pretty stupid too.
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Jason R.
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 6:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Zero Hour

You know what I have realized? I don't actually hate this show, or at least not every aspect of it. The characters are growing on me. Hoshi, Phlox, Trip, Reed, Archer, even T'Pol - I am kind of liking them whenever they are given just a little oxygen. There is so much potential here.

And it's being suffocated, one f-ing time travel plot after another.

I haven't done the math, but I am pretty sure the 3rd season had north of 25% total episodes where someone was travelling in time or encountering a time traveller - and that is not even taking into account that the Xindi arc was itself a big time travel plot. Bakula might be doing more time travelling at this point than he did in Quantum Leap.

Someone has hijacked this show and taken it in an utterly insane direction.

This falls squarely on the shoulders of the showrunners. Fatigue with TNG era trek didn't kill Enterprise - the nuts in charge did. This show was sabotaged plain and simple. The showrunners have fundamentally, irrevocably lost the plot.

What a crying shame.
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Jason R.
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Zero Hour

Wtf?! More like Yeaaggh!! The future needs to let the past the F alone!!

That's it. I am now officially in full skip mode, starting with this latest wretched time travel plot. Alien Nazis? Don't care not interested. Skip. Skip.

This show is appalling.
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Jason R.
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 7:54am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

It's more than that Peter. As I interpret it, the Founders *are* the link, which means each individual you see is basically an avatar of the whole. So it is not just that individual's person experience in play, but the experience of every changeling back to the beginning of the link itself. It explains how Odo was so easily swayed to betray his friends when the station was invaded after linking with the Founder.

There is something Borg-like about the Link when you stop and think about it, but it is interesting that like the Borg, the process does go both ways. When Odo linked with the Founder his being could change hers (and by implication, the entire link) much like Hugh was able to change the Borg.

Incidentally, there is another element to this. Odo went out of his way to avoid shapeshifting so as to not risk offending his friends; a fact that was pointed out numerous times in the series. This may have been just a symptom of his immaturity (perhaps all changelings go through such a phase) bit it does help explain why his skills were so poor. Comparing him to a Founder would be like comparing the running skills of a toddler to Usain Bolt.
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Damage

This is the first great Enterprise episode. In some ways it's even better than In the Pale Moonlight, if I'm being honest. And that is one of my all-time favourites. In ITPM Sisko had the luxury of a fixed goal that guaranteed a massive payoff if successful. His actions brought the Romulans into the war, which was the big break. He did it once and it was done and he could go back to being a shining knight in Starfleet armor.

Archer is in a much worse situation. He has this message from Degra that may be a trap for all he knows. But as iffy as it is, it's his best shot. His ship might not even make it it to the rendezvous vous *with* the warp coil. His act of piracy and murder may lead to a pointless death even if it succeeds.

I thought the T'Pol subplot worked beautifully here in concert with the main one. Tripp's moral struggle was gut wrenching.

This is a true 4 star episode, plain and simple. About damn time!

Incidentally, for a second I really thought Casey Biggs at al. were Cardassians. Now that would have been a fun Easter egg.

One additional point: I kept waiting for Archer to pull out his Encyclopedia Galactica that he keeps in Daniels' quarters but he never does.. ummm why not?

And wouldn't have been neat if they had a video recording of the trans dimensional guy twirling his moustache at Archer and bragging about his nefarious plot to Degra instead of a couple lousy still photos of his corpse? They don't have CCTV cameras in Sickbay in case someone sneaks in and eats one of Phlix's bats?
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

I love how Archer and Trip refuse to take T'Pol's story seriously, like she just made it up as a joke. Cause that's T'Pol alright, always pulling their leg for a laugh.
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

@Peter G.

Ha I won't skip that far ahead. I think now I'll just start being more selective. I'll watch the next blue Weyoun episode because I like Jeffrey Combs, plus the big episodes resolving the Xindi arc and then go for a more "curated" run of Season 4.

All I can say at this point is it's no mystery why the show was cancelled.

Soooooo much time travel. Time travel this. Time travel that. I can't even keep track anymore of the time travel plots. Was Daniels from the 31st century? The 26th? Is the shadow man a Romulan? (Why is my head canon that he is?) What kind of "cold" war involves handing death stars to your proxies? Then again to be fair I guess the USSR tried to do it with Cuba. But America didn't just look the other way or hand one guy a pocket knife and a scrap of metal and say: "you take care of it we can't get involved"
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 12:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

This episode is just so much pointless filler. As Jammer pointed out, it's uniquely and especially idiotic in light of prior episodes where the Xindi reptilians already had detailed scans of human physiology. So their little time travel plot was made explicitly redundant by a prior episode!

And they needed to "hide" the weapon in the past? Ummm why? Can't they just hide it under the rug? Since when did *time travel* become an efficient means of hiding things?

Which reminds me: if they have access to time travel, wouldn't that be far more effective a weapon than a virus? Just go back 100,000 years and bomb some homo erectus villages or whatever. It's like someone using a rocket launcher to blow open a door to get access to a safe that contains a knife so they can stab you with it.

And really, is all this bioweapon stuff necessary or reasonable? Just from a narrative standpoint, yes we get it: the Xindi want us extra extra dead. I mean sure they plan to blow up our world with a death star, but it couldn't hurt to unleash a viral plague on us too.

I am really beginning to lose it with this series. I may have to just start skimming these episodes.
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