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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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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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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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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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Tomalak
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 7:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Some good points, Ari. I think TNG's second season did have some great episodes - including one introducing arguably the greatest Star Trek villain(s) ever. But it had a lot of forgettable or worse episodes, too. Other than the important exceptions of Q Who and Measure of a Man, I can't say it had a single great episode.
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Tomalak
Thu, Jun 10, 2021, 9:27am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

"Denying natural selection is indeed silly, but we may well discover that reality is more subtle and more complex than we first thought."

As I keep pointing out, what Dayala above was suggesting is not a subtle or nuanced development in our understanding but the complete overturning of all that we understand. You may or may not think this is likely one day, but the script does not remotely hint at this - which suggests the cause here is that usual Star Trek problem of misunderstanding how evolution works rather than the belief that natural selection will be refuted one day.

"Natural selection basically says that an organism that has characteristics that give it advantages in a particular environment have a greater chance of surviving and producing offspring."

"That sentence is true for specialists but far less so for generalists like Humans. "We, as a species have not adapted to any specific environment... There are Humans in the antarctic and in space."

Different humans have evolved in radically different ways in response to different environments. Skin colour is perhaps the most obvious. But this isn't a unique point for humans (look at bears v polar bears) and hardly proves the sentence is less true for humans - quite the reverse.
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Tomalak
Thu, Jun 10, 2021, 4:36am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

I guess there are (at least) two questions here:

Will we one day discover natural selection is not the guiding force in evolution? Possibly, but it seems very, very, very unlikely.

If we did make this discovery would we have to start from scratch and basically ditch almost every word that has been written on the topic since 1859? Yes, we would.

What is not coherent is to try to save the episode by proposing something that completely and utterly overturns evolution by natural selection and then treat it as merely an incremental change in our understanding.
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Tomalak
Thu, Jun 10, 2021, 4:29am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

The comment from Bob was this: "Natural selection basically says that an organism that has characteristics that give it advantages in a particular environment have a greater chance of surviving and producing offspring. Not that a species will automatically continue to evolve into something better. What is an advantage one day may be a disadvantage in a million years... This is where writers go wrong when discussing evolution often times. They seem to think that humans must evolve "upward" and become "better" like demigods or Q or something. They seemingly believe that there is some "intended path" from one celled organism, to monkey, to man, to god. After a nuclear holocaust a cockroach is better adapted to survive on Earth than a man who looks like Brad Pitt and has the brain of Albert Einstein. If Phlox decided that a catastrophic event happening on Earth some day is inevitable should he stop treating humans to make way for that plucky young inheritor of the Earth the cockroach?"

To say that we will discover this is wrong in any significant way would be a complete overturning of evolution. It's sort of possible this will happen but the script clearly doesn't reference any such development, and it can't simply be explained away as a small, incremental change in our understanding.
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Tomalak
Wed, Jun 9, 2021, 7:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

'Why do you think they say "till death do us part" in weddings? It's not just for kicks, you know.'

Well said. Another way of putting your point is that it renders marriage a kind of meaningless promise if you are essentially under the same "for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health" obligations to everybody. The point is you are voluntarily pooling the risk out of love and commitment - not that you are obliged to be attracted to everyone equally no matter what.
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Tomalak
Tue, Jun 8, 2021, 11:01am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

"there's nothing homophobic or transphobic about the end of the episode. If Beverly Crusher is a heterosexual, she doesn't need to enter a non-heterosexual relationship just because the opportunity to do so arises"

I agree and I think that's all there is to it. Alternative interpretations seem to be no more than squinting to see something that isn't there, and makes little sense.
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Tomalak
Tue, Jun 8, 2021, 6:07am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

While we can expect details to change - sometimes in important ways - for Bob's description above to be untrue in the 22nd century it would amount to the complete overturning of evolution rather than a new understanding of it. The writers clearly aren't implying that.
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Tomalak
Tue, Jun 8, 2021, 6:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Datalore

Spiner asked Roddenberry the same question once and Roddenberry said "What makes you think his skin isn't better?". Interesting.
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Tomalak
Tue, Jun 8, 2021, 6:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

'a situation where homophobia or transphobia may have been in play; in essence, "I can't deal with your physical characteristics, no matter who you are inside."'

Sorry, but I think this is just obviously laughable. Do you really think it's a phobia to be attracted only to the opposite sex? To lose sexual attraction to a person if they change sex? I don't believe for a minute you would still roger your wife or girlfriend if she grew a penis and I don't understand what you believe you gain from pretending otherwise.
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Tomalak
Tue, Jun 8, 2021, 5:52am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Big Goodbye

Troi says at the beginning of the episode: "You've been looking forward to the upgrade of the holodeck" and encouraged him to check it out. Previously it wasn't as good.
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Tomalak
Sun, Jun 6, 2021, 2:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

"if the only way you can derive meaning from the story is to wedge something in there that applies to you personally - and then on top of that, you insist that that is what the author was really going for - then you have lost the plot, my friend"

Well said - and great post in general. Personally, I think Star Trek has mostly been at its weakest when it has tried to sound off on contemporary issues: straw-manning of the other side of the argument and lacking any subtlety or nuance in favour of a simplistic message. I think anyone who watches it and genuinely thinks they are getting great arguments for their brand of politics in the 1960s-2020s is kidding themselves. As you say, it also suggests something unflattering about the person that they can't enjoy something like Star Trek unless they tell themselves that the party they didn't vote for really got 0wn3d by that particular episode. Lame.
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Tomalak
Sat, Jun 5, 2021, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

I think the anger was genuine. He clearly disliked the Federation already and now he sees them trying to sucker the Romulans into a bloody war with lies. Why wouldn't he be furious?
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Tomalak
Fri, Jun 4, 2021, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

Those cerrazzzy 1990s kids with their men being revolted at the thought of sex with transexuals. Impossible to imagine that today, isn't it?

'Claiming "The Host" was intended as a trans allegory is not so much "a neat discovery" as misplaced wishful thinking (at best) or an outright falsification of history (at worst). To state, as Deanna does, that it was also supposedly intended as a *transphobic* trans allegory, is quite the self-insert feat of ahistorical projection and accusation.'

Thank you. This seems so obviously true it shouldn't even need saying.
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Tomalak
Fri, Jun 4, 2021, 5:55am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

I just see them as humans who sometimes have symbionts. It's difficult to think of any cultural differences between them and humans that don't revolve around joining. Even Betazoids seem more different.
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Tomalak
Fri, Jun 4, 2021, 5:42am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Hide and Q

"I do wonder if the whole Q thing jars somewhat with ‘the continuing mission’ and the sci-fi aspects of Trek, or is that just my own personal reaction?"

In the VOY episode Death Wish, one of the Q explicitly says that they are just another technologically advanced species, and anything that looks like omnipotence to humans is just being much further ahead technologically.
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Tomalak
Wed, Jun 2, 2021, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

And to be clearer: I don't think the harm is done by one or two comments saying "This episode is dumb" or whatever. It's when the 20+ posts that follow it don't talk about the episode. If the person in question is deliberately trolling then that really is handing them victory.
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Tomalak
Wed, Jun 2, 2021, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

I mainly just think of how much pleasure I have got, after watching some old Star Trek episode, from reading Jammer's review and then the thread that follows, mostly going back over a decade. Often I enjoyed that more than the episode itself.

It's very sad if people instead have to scroll through endless posts that don't even reference the episode but instead focus on something no one will even care about a month from now. I doubt many will bother.
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Tomalak
Tue, Jun 1, 2021, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

"the episode acknowledges but then can't entirely resolve what are ongoing unanswered questions of the series, mostly whether Deanna is actually good at her job for real reasons or if she's mostly just coasting on her "superpower""

I think two major scenes establish her competence even without her powers: how she reads the grieving Ensign, and how she comes to understand the psychology of the aliens of the week - helping the Enterprise to escape. But yes, the rest of the episode was all about her thinking she was useless without her powers.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, I think we agree. I have definitely been on the other side of this phenomenon, when it came to Discovery. I would see well-articulated criticisms that I agreed with laid out here. Now for all I know, there could have been strong rebuttals to the criticisms that could have led to lots of solid discussion. Instead they were often met with exactly that kind of "Why do you watch it then?!" wisecrack. In the end I did stop watching but that line didn't make it happen any sooner.
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Tomalak
Tue, Jun 1, 2021, 2:18am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

I think he's wrong but I don't personally think it's helpful, if people are sufficiently negative, to get into "Why do you watch it?" type discussions that take us away from the actual episode. It doesn't matter, does it? If the criticisms are correct, then they're worth hearing. If they're not, they are still probably worth addressing.
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Tomalak
Fri, May 28, 2021, 6:02am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

She reminds me of Admiral Doenitz in this comedy sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHnyQXyuTGY
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