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Sleeper Agent
Mon, Aug 26, 2019, 12:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

@Trek fan: Thank you, you nailed it.

It's funny how some call this 'too unrealistic' when an episode where Kes aged backwards in random short leaps in an alternative time line gets high praise.

3 Stars.
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James04
Mon, Aug 26, 2019, 12:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Projections

This was a good holodeck episode, “Ship in a Bottle” good. Not a silly holodeck episode, with Picard and co. dressed up as 18th-century Naval officers, and not twee, and much better than a Janeway holonovel episode. This was also much better in every way than the episodes exploring, about whether Data is human, because the exploration of the Doctor’s status arose entirely naturally from the logic of the events in the story and the series; it was not preachy, as so much of TNG is.

It was good to see Reg Barclay - we always see a great deal of the Bridge officers, and it was a pleasant change to see a lower-ranking character get some of the attention instead. On the whole, Voyager divides its attention between the Bridge officers, and the all-important lower ranks, rather well; better, perhaps, than TNG does.
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Top Hat
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

That raises an interesting point. Is it perhaps the case that Odo doesn't even TRY to attempt a realistic face since he knows anything less than perfect will come off as off-putting? Is the face he adopts not necessarily the best he can do, just what he knows people will be comfortable with?

The downside here is that he's unlikely to get better if he doesn't practice.
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Barium sweep
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

The main thing I thought should have been done was Kevin ought to have killed himself in penance. The idea he gets away with genocide does not sit well.
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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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Top Hat
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 10:09am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

It is interesting that the Leyton-changeling exhorts him to "keep practicing." Is this mockery of his weak skills?
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Jasper
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 10:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

The problem is the show never makes any production efforts to show he can’t mimic things besides humans. So, many viewers will come to the (perhaps correct?) conclusion that only humanoids are precious snowflakes that Odo can barely begin to imitate.
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Top Hat
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 9:53am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

And that is indeed the explanation that the show attempts, in this very episode (same scene, actually!):

BENTEEN: Well, if you ask me, that was a pretty convincing seagull.
ODO: Thank you. Though I'm not sure the gulls would agree.

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, but it is necessary to the construction of the character: he's a misfit and an exile, after all.
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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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james04
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 3:48am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Squire of Gothos

One of my favourite TOS episodes. Far more alien, even eerie, than many that were more impressive in production values. And far superior to Q in almost every way. Trelane would have made a much better Q than Q. At times the episode had the tone and atmosphere of one of the more disconcerting Twilight Zone episodes. The lion’s share of the credit for that belongs to the excellent William Campbell, whose mercurial Squire was unpredictable, friendly, ingratiating, wheedling, incredulous, hurt, tantrum-throwing, and terrifying by turns.
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James04
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

A worthy forerunner to a very good film.
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Corey
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

Damn, Riker. Are you so thirsty to sleep every woman on board the Starship Enterprise that you’re willing to literally infect yourself with a *potentially* deadly parasite, just so you can get up in Crusher’s guts?

Kudos on the commitment level, 10/10.

And how you like them apples, Picard?
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Top Hat
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 8:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

I don't think it's a conceit that Odo cannot accurately reproduce faces; it's consistent with a character who is a novice, largely untrained shapeshifter. Note that in episodes like "The Alternate" we see that he is capable of a lot that he cannot control. 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).
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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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Daya
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 3:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

Ha ha ha ha!

When everyone else is saying "there's just too much technobabble", there comes George Monet who listened to the technobabble carefully only to say how wrong it is.


@George Monet:

There is such a thing as energy. Energy. The quantity that is conserved according to physicists. Think of it this way: all ship systems are using one form of energy or another. After using this energy, what happens to it? It becomes useless from the thermodynamic perspective (entropy increases). The only way for this to not increase the temperature of the ship to unmanageable levels is to radiate it out of the ship. All machines do this, and the Enterprise does as well. This is the energy that the booby trap feeds off. So I don't think using energy instead of particle names is lazy. In fact I think it is appropriate and correct. The shields have never been depicted as being able to stop simple radiated energy. (If they could do this, (a) the Enterprise would be a stealth ship and (b) it would heat up very soon and blow up.) (PS. I know radiation is photons.)

In regards to your second question, I think a good way to think of the booby trap mechanism is that it was generating a warp bubble which continuously warped space in such a way that whatever movement the ship made, it could never leave this bubble. The solution was to do an impulse burn so short that this warp field does not react thus allowing the ship to exit it.
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Ruth
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 2:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Unexpected

Nopoet, as far as I can tell it’s all men not taking this seriously, from the writers to the commenters here. And your example is a bit extreme compared to what Trip experienced in the episode. He wasn’t raped just because he got pregnant and human women can only get pregnant through sex. As he was quite keen to point out, he didn’t have any sexual contact with anyone.

I found it quite appalling though. Why wasn’t abortion even mentioned? They did in that Troi episode and it was simply that she didn’t want to, so there’s no excuse here. He clearly doesn’t want to be pregnant and Archer acts like he’s being childish instead of a victim of a violation with a potentially serious condition.

I hadn’t clocked the water under the boat thing. That’s pretty silly.

I really liked the alien ship and Trip adjusting to it. Organic ships and partially organic ships are very cool. And their holodeck is beautiful. Shame the story is so stupid and offensive.
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The River Temarc
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

The problem with this episode is not that it presents a moral dilemma. Done well, moral dilemmas make great fodder for Star Trek. The issue is the execution.

First, the crew never really pinpointed the heart of the matter: whether the Crystalline Entity was sentient, and thus could be not only communicated with but reasoned with, or whether it really was (1) sentient but evil, or (2) a sperm whale instinctually feeding on cuttlefish.

If you're in the former territory, Picard has a justifiable stance. If you're in the latter territory, killing the Crystalline Entity is justified. Planets with intelligent life aren't cuttlefish. And park rangers kill bears that have mauled humans. (To be clear, Picard explicitly stated that "it may be necessary to kill" the Crystalline Entity, so clearly he's contemplated the latter territory.)

Second, Marr's character came off as a mustache-twirler from the get-go with her threats to disassemble Data. Moral dilemmas work well when each side can make a credible case (see "Ethics" for a good example), even if one viewpoint ultimately prevails (e.g., "Drumhead"). That's the opposite of mustache-twirling.

If we wanted someone to truly critique Picard, either Marr or another character needed to delve into the heart of the matter above. (Troi would have been the obvious choice; in "I, Borg," she observed that there were no civilians among the Borg. And Guinan did the same thing.) The inexplicable choice to focus the first third of the episode on boring scenes set in caves left no time to cut to the chase.

Third, you can't ignore the fact that "Silicon Avatar" is a sequel to "Datalore," and that ultimately is what undercuts Picard's position here; "Datalore" strongly suggests that the entity knows what it's doing.

So in sum: potentially interesting dilemmas spoiled by poor execution and a one-sided antagonist. "Silicon Avatar" is no hidden gem.
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The River Temarc
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

"I rather suspect that if you or your family had had dealings with a rampaging killer, you wouldn't be here defending this thing."

I actually was prompted to re-watch "Silicon Avatar" this evening after re-watching PATRIOT GAMES and vaguely remembering that the actress who played Mary Pat Foley was in a TNG episode.

FWIW, in PATRIOT GAMES, the Deputy Director of CIA, a guy named Marty, tells Jack Ryan -- whose family had been attacked by an IRA splinter group -- that "you are a victim of terrorism, and that does not make for the best analysis." The movie never followed up on this point (it wouldn't be Jack Ryan if he doesn't work at CIA!) but Marty had a point.

We do not, in Western judicial systems, let victims determine punishments -- yes, we take them into account, admit victim impact statements into the record at sentencing, and so on. But we ultimately recognize that victims do not always offer an objective prescription for the appropriate course of action going forward.

I mean, in real life, should victims of IRA terrorism have been able to scuttle the Good Friday Accords?
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Booming
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 6:16am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

Certainly a boring episode. Really hard to rate 1.5 or 2.
Loomis is so one dimensional. He makes no sense as a character. He himself points out that the moment the cops put 2 and 2 together they will be onto him. All that for 55000$ without any escape plan. In the end he gets what he deserves.
The audience can lean back and think:"Haha, you thought you had a deal, scumbag." *eyeroll*

Blalocks performance, as always, completely flat. I don't understand why they hired her. Probably thought: Oh, she cannot act but she plays a vulcan so it doesn't matter." I also learned that the blue satin v-neck belly-free top is her sleepwear. So in the last bad episode I watched, she massaged Tucker in her sleepwear? jeez.

Archer will always be my least favorite captain. Archer always feels more like a teenager to me, not like a seasoned captain. Kirk was a guy who was adventurous but Archer always comes across as someone shouting on the bridge:"I will go on an adventure and you can't stop me mom... I mean T'Pol."

Maybe it was revealead in an episode but where does Porthos go to shit and piss. Is Archer just walking around with his dog picking up poop and calls the cleaning people to clean the 3-6 places where the dog made it's urine mark. Is there a dog park on Enterprise?
Plus he tortured Loomis which of course works immediately. mhh 2004 simpler times.
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james04
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 4:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: The Quality of Life

It was quite watchable……until the Tin Man’s re-hashed nonsense about the Gadgets of the Week being alive. Sorry, but they are not alive, and neither are is the TM. The TM is a sophisticated machine, nothing more, which gives the illusion of being more because it is the invention of script-writers who are more. Data is as genuinely tiresome as the well-hated Wonderboy was said to be.

The episode stopped being intelligent, and became tiresome. Machines with angst are funny, now and again, because they are ridiculous, but when the angst never lets up they become tedious. Data needs a convenient airlock - or better still, a trash compactor. Unfortunately, that does not happen in TNG. But human beings, unlike St. Rubbish-bin, are expendable.

And having a weird hairstyle like something from Cosmo does not an alien make. Ray Bradbury was able to make even things on Earth seem alien - a gift far too few script-writers in ST shared. TNG is all too often a soap opera in space.

Still, at least the nauseatingly twee Trevis and Flotta were not inflicted on the viewer. Mercifully, neither was the unbearable Q. But an episode does not become a good episode merely because detestable characters do not feature in it.

Two stars.
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Tomalak
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 1:09am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

"But I agree, to hell with Shakaar. He's not particularly good at his own job, it seems... Yet he barges in and tells O'Brien he can't even witness his own baby being born"

Yes, so many problems with the B plot. But the most glaring was that it only worked at all because Shakaar temporarily lost 50 IQ points for an episode, started acting bizarrely, and then unbelievably all the women - even Keiko - decided Miles was equally to blame for wanting to witness his baby's birth in the face of TempMoron-Shakaar's protests. It was like the writers didn't even try to make their own script make sense.
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The River Temarc
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 12:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

In a bit of retroactive continuity, it's clear that Sirella had some sympathies for T'Kuvma from Discovery Season 1. Sirella subscribes to an idealized version of Klingon history and worries that aliens are adulterating Klingon bloodlines. This sounds exactly like someone who would get seduced by T'Kuvma's ideology.

And despite 100 years' worth of changes to Klingon society between the two series, I doubt T'Kuvma's ideology has completely disappeared. (We know that there are still Molor worshippers in Kronos, for instance.)

All of this makes Sirella a lot less likeable than she already was.

All in all, I think this episode suffered from way too may cliches: the angry mother-in-law; calling off the wedding at the last moment; the caricatured Klingon bachelor party. It had its moments, and I enjoyed Jadzia's scene with Sisko and her Polynesian-themed party. And yes, I do think Worf and Dax had some chemistry; but the execution was still poor.
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Luke
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 11:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Second Chances

In Will's defense, at least he didn't kill Tom in cold blood like he did with another duplicate William T. Riker.
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Jordy
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Second Chances

I've just finished rewatching this one. Add me to the list of people shocked at how unpleasant Will was to Thomas. He deserved a clip round the ear for that gratuitous hostility to someone who really needed support.
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