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Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 1:20am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Like “Doctor, Doctor,” another episode with an extremely dubious moral lesson. Yes, Tripp overstepped bounds by entering the cogenitor’s quarters and bringing it aboard the ship (initially). But once the cogenitor (Charles) becomes aware it is a slave - and there is no avoiding recognizing this fact - and requests asylum, Archer becomes morally culpable for dooming this person to be denied autonomy, choice, or even basic personhood. In “Doctor, Doctor,” Archer permitted an ENTIRE ALIEN RACE to face imminent extinction on the off-chance that the subordinate race MIGHT evolve into greater potential. In this episode, Archer forces a runaway slave back into captivity to avoid offending the slaver race. Only one episode prior, Archer DEMANDED Dr. Phlox administer treatment to an ill alien in violation of Phlox personal medical ethics.

Of course, what Tripp should have done isn’t cut and dry and the degree to which Enterprise should have involved itself in mitigating sex-based slavery among these people is worthy of consideration. But the ultimate conclusion is yet one more example of Enterprise disturbing didactic episodes.
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Wed, Jun 24, 2020, 1:01am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Horizon

I chime in these many years later to say I don’t see Travis as a “blank slate,” but rather very earnest and optimistic. And revisiting this episode after the jaded, downright deplorable character traits on display in ST:Picard, that fresh, eager, openness is extremely welcome. I only find myself disappointed that Travis is relegated to the background when in many ways I prefer him to Hoshi’s blandness or Malcolm’s “must follow the rules” routine.
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David Westfall
Tue, Mar 10, 2020, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Patterns of Force

I started watching Star Trek about 50 years ago. The Vietnam War was still hot, right in the middle of the Cold War.
Ho Chi Minh had led the Vietnamese to shrug off the European yoke, and he has much inspiration from both the USA and Marxism; the latter dominated. It also motivated his lieutenants, and they were much more ruthless. Ho wanted the revolution, but the lackies gladly made sure there was no outer OR inner threat. Ho was the figurehead, the man on TV who impressed world society; the thugs ran the show.
I believe that, at the very least, heavily influenced the episode, and Nazi uniforms were the visual portrayal. (National Socialism and Communism are virtually identical, largely differing in purpose/justification of expansion.)
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Picard Is Wesleys Father
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 6:53am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

Finally, Roddenberry's dream of a drug-filled, vulgar, income inequality laden, xenophobic future has been realized! Actually, therein is my biggest problem with this series - pessimism and grit. I doubt any of us ever *really* wanted to see Captain Picard dressed down with the f-bomb or watch an emotionally shattered Starfleet subordinate take a hit off a future bong. It also feels like watching two shows of very wildly inconsistent quality: Picard Adventures, brimming with the acting talent of Patrick Stewart, and Romulan Borg Cube Exposition, a very boring show about sexy people learning how to act on the set.
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Picard is Wesleys Father
Sat, Feb 1, 2020, 3:42am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Yes, Phlox and Archer ultimately come to a hamfisted, potentially evil decision at episode’s end. It is a philosophy of complete inaction if taken to its conclusion. Indeed, ANY interference in ANY matter great or small might well alter “nature’s” course. Given sufficient time and development, the planet’s microbes might become a dominant species after billions of years. The presence of the dominant species here seems in no way to impede the development of the less developed species. For all Phlox really knows, the Menk and the Valakians may well thrive and both continue to evolve co-dependently for millennia if the cure is delivered.

The worst part of this episode is that is otherwise fascinating and wonderfully constructed. By altering the dilemma somewhat, this entire debacle might have been avoided. Perhaps if the Menk faced certain extinction if the Valakians survived as they both fought over scarce resources. Or the key to Valakian genetic survival was in cross-breeding with the Menk, but their prejudices stood in the way. Or the Doctor made a shocking discovery that the vaccination came through harvesting genetic material from the Menk in such a way that caused them harm. ANYTHING but the distant possibility that the Menk might not reach apex primacy over the planet in a million years.

Even if Archer still accepted that deeply flawed logic, the episode might have been redeemed if we concluded on a moment of thoughtful melancholy. “Did we do the right thing dooming this entire race to certain extinction in deference to a warped understanding of evolution?” Phlox might have mused aloud. Instead, Phlox tees up a date for himself and everyone goes about their business, content knowing that by the Age of Picard, all of Valakian culture, an entire race, its music and history and science, its hopes and dreams vanish from existence with the highly dependent Menk likely also extinct from sudden neglect.
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Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 11:54am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

One, thing that really irritates me about those reviews is this arrogant anthropocentrism: "Of course is a silly custom, because we humans automatically know what's objectively wrong and right!" This same happened when Jammer was talking about "TNG Half a life" when he automatically said that Kaelon's custom is obviously stupid, without even considering why it even existed in the first place. If aliens exists, they are culturally different that us - do we have the right to judge them by human standards? I completely agree, I would also say its a somewhat biased modern western viewpoint and reading this in 2020 it feels incredibly shallow and even bigoted. There are plenty of cultures in which ritual suicide is a social/culturally accepted path. To state that the episode fails because Worf's cultural mindset is 'silly' is failing in critical thought. Throughout TNG (and other star trek series) Klingons are shown to have a culture that espouses ritual suicide in various situations. They are also a people with very specific views about the physicality needed. Perhaps Jammer should have listened to Picard a few more times............... "that's a very human perspective, for a KLINGON in Worf's position, his life is over...... we don't have to agree with it, we don't have to understand it"
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Wes B.
Wed, Jun 5, 2019, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Metamorphosis

Great thoughts, everyone. The joining of Cochrane and the Companion-Hedford reminded me of the joining between Decker and the Ilia probe in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979).

On another note-- For those of you who may not know, the director of this episode and others, Ralph Senensky, has written about his directorial experiences on his blog. Here's the one on "Metamorphosis," which was his favorite TOS episode to direct:
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Sun, May 26, 2019, 5:39am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Recycling previous stories or concepts but giving them a new twist is rich ground for sci-fi, I thought this episode did that and a lot of the credit should go to Adrienne Pallecki for giving such warmth and humanity to her depiction of the older and younger Kelly Grayson. Also some great supporting scenes with the other main cast to explore the characters of Grayson and Mercer.

Wonderful special effects and camera work with a nice twist at the end to keep the audience on their toes.
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Tue, May 21, 2019, 7:02am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

I loved The Orville and it's whacky indulgent and slightly unbalanced workplace comedy feel right from the start, and it looks like Jammer and some other people are coming around.

Some of the comments re comparisons with MASH are surprisingly illuminating, although I"m not a MASH fan or expert myself.

It's Seth's "love letter" to the Trek universe but still quite surprising how much heart shines through, the juxtaposition of Dolly Parton music over a routine hand to hand combat scene was inspired.

Thank God for Seth showing us that Sci Fi can be "fun" - something that only a few Trek episodes and Red Dwarf and maybe some Dr Who have pulled off,
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Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 5:44am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

Seth Macfarlane and everyone else involved in making this episode absolutely nails it here with biting absurdist satire that asks a lot of questions and allows the audience the intellectual space to really reflect on some deep issues in society here.

Easily the best Orville episode made and possibly could be included in some of the best Trek episodes ever made.

I think time will be kind to this episode and it will gradually gain more respect among critics and fans as the years pass.
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Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 5:28am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Fairly solid episode with some nice twists to the typical holodeck run-amok device that keeps the audience off-balance long enough. Cast coming together really nicely and the deadpan humour is really timed , this lovingly made deadpan comedy/homage and genre crossing experiment is really coming together in my opinion.
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Mon, Dec 24, 2018, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

it's interesting that people are no longer aware of the memes operating at the time, and for a long time, when this episode was written.

It's the Noble Savage meme: that primitive peoples, living simply, had a better life--a kind of modernized Garden of Eden myth.

Another meme is the Western stud. Western guys are more appreciated outside their Western countries. Ironic our women do not appreciate us as much as women who can barely speak English.

I find this episode, pure hetero-romance that only the pre-2000s could produce. It's my favorite. Reminds me of the crushes I had as a teenager.
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Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 7:13am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: If the Stars Should Appear

Have held off commenting on The Orville until now, but as a McFarlane fan this has surpassed my own high expectations. After seeing the Family Guy homages to Star Wars it was pretty obvious that The Orville was going to be a loving homage to the Star Trek franchise, the only real surprise was the choice not to animate it and adopt all the Star Trek visual techniques, sets, costumes, music etc and put his own nudge nudge wink wink irreverence into this very "trekkian" looking universe.

I agree with other posters that the plot referencing is totally deliberate and inspired. There are wall-to-wall insider jokes everywhere , the cast show great potential, the special effects and music is superb and this show is really only to be fully appreciated by dedicated Trek fans who would have seen most of TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY & ENT.

It's not surprising that that some of the humourless Trek fans don't appreciate this (and presumably missed all of the great comedy embedded in The X Files, DS9 & VOY) but in my opinion it's a lovingly crafted but also intelligent love letter to the genre.
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Fri, Mar 16, 2018, 5:31am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

One of the finest EPs of Voyager that I had managed to miss until now. Quality and relevance of the story even more obvious 20 years after being made, and still feels fresh and even more relevant today.
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Tue, Dec 12, 2017, 4:39am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Prime Factors

One of the few Voyager S1 episodes I had missed and just caught it recently, overall not very impressed with Season 1 but this one is a standout episode in my opinion, it all works really well and shows a lot of thought, it's the first time where the characters really open up and the situation of Voyager being stranded in the delta quadrant is used to motivate a good story with a nice 'prime directive' dilemma turned completely on its head in that the Starfleet crew are on the receiving end of a law/directive that it always a good way of introducing and exploring moral dilemmas, it's all really tight and nicely paced writing and plot development that stays true to the developed characters which are all performed well, but especially Roxanne Dawson, Tim Russ and Kate Mulgrew.

Nice work - it's a pity there wasn't more of this in Voyager.

Still stands up as quite a decent bit of TV 20years later and that's a credit to the writers and cast and crew.
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Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 10:39am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

It's as hard to get over the prudential issue as it is the ethical one in this story. It's incredibly stupid to expose or risk losing future tech to the Borg. These things could alter timelines in so many unforeseen ways; it's hilarious that this is dismissed as "pragmatism" about the temporal prime directive.
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Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 11:00am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

For a light-hearted episode, it was a little strange to juxtapose the parody with all those innocent life forms being murdered. It's a joke people!
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Thu, Mar 2, 2017, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

Finally just watched this for the first time working through to the end of Enterprise, although I hadn't been spoiled or knew exactly what to expect other than a vague idea that the fans weren't happy about the finale of Enterprise, I was pleasantly surprised when watching this episode. I can understand a lot of the criticism and won't repeat the shortcomings highlighted by many here. As Eli said years ago - "In general, insufficient time was allotted for characterizations in this episode." is the most insightful and accurate criticism of this episode, and of ENT in general.

As I watched it I realized that this was the last piece of Branon and Braga Star Trek TV ever made, but I could sort of see what they were trying to do, they were attempting to spin 'the end of Voyager' into the fabric/history of the whole prime universe and I thought it was logical to try to paint in some details about the crew of the historic NX-01 and link it back into the Star Trek timeline. Who knows - maybe trying to do too much?

Thangs that worked for me were, lots of funny little 'meta references', wonderful scenes between T'Pol and Archer and T'Pol and Trip. In the TNG framing device - although clunky I could beleive that Riker was struggling with a dilema and sought guidance about what 'the right thing to do' was. There were some playful and good moments of dialogue in the kitchen between Riker and all the NX-01 cast that could have been expanded greatly, some decent writing for both with the NX-01 crew and seeing two of the TNG crew re-united was also good, final montage was well done.

Bit of a shame to see the Branon and Braga era of Star Trek on TV end up this way and we can only ponder that if they had maybe had a more elegant "hand over" to other people, we might still have had Trek being made now...

After having now seen most of TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT would like to thank Jammer and all the other contributers here for a fascinating and enjoyable companion to watching Star Trek.
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JERR west
Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 6:09am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: A Private Little War

Why do you protect James kirk,Nona had all the men under her power,all Tyree wanted was to be put under spell's, when Tyree said you will not speak of this to other's, Nona said I will not if I am made to understand, when yutan came he told Nona not excuse me he said forgive me,kirk was hers that's why she was waiting for him she wished him there,do a story about Nona had she lived.
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Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

Enjoyed this episode but found the moral question of lying to Romulans pretty overshadowed by the incredible disadvantage not developing cloaking (phasing?) technology would be militarily. It doesn't seem the least bit realistic that the federation wouldn't develop this technology, or for that matter, that some of the best scientists in the alpha quadrant wouldn't already have a pretty good idea how cloaking works. Moreover, other technologies seems to be pretty commonly shared by the post-warp civilization powers.

One other thing---has anyone else noticed that most Starfleet admirals are complete idiots?
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Mon, Dec 5, 2016, 4:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The City on the Edge of Forever

Gotta agree with you there Skeptical, despite all the nit picking I personally loved this episode, and I haven't been a huge fan of TOS until this. The whole thing just worked, from the wonderful interplay between the characters of Spock and Kirk, and the magnetic performance of Joan Collins . The entire episode is so simple and "human' with wonderful tones of romance, humour and a slow building of tragedy that is resolved in a totally unexpected yet somehow humanly tragic way that says something about the absurdity and senselessness of mortality.

One of the few Eps of TOS that still stands up watching today and will continue to do so. Haven't seen them all yet but am not surprised that other fans rate this as one of the high water marks of TOS and you can honestly say that this episode is a very strong piece of TV considering it was made in 1967
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Sun, Dec 4, 2016, 4:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Alternative Factor

Lame repetitive boring sequences of SFX tied together by random generic thoughtless technobabble topped off with such obvious incredulous leaps of logic?

This is categorically the worst ep of Trek ever put together, an unredeemably sloppy lazy hot mess that must have been "phoned in" and then half heartedly put together in a week that the the technical department were all on annual leave and left it to the work experience kids

Commits the two worst sins of simultaneously boring and confusing it's audience without any unintentionally comedic moments.

Negative 5 stars
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Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 7:35am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Divergence

Agree that without Billingsleys efforts and a partially well written bunch of scenes on the Klingon colony this is a pretty empty flimsy by-the-numbets technobabble set of arbitrary set piece action scenes, very routine stuff and surprisingly boring to watch despite all the noise and movement.
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Wesley C
Mon, Sep 5, 2016, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

This is one of my truly favorite episodes. Like Nick P, I think there's something astonishingly awesome about letting the unknown remain unknown. Really glad Maurice Hurley didn't get his way about the ending! Jammer is right on for pointing out the pay-off of unexplained mystery in this episode as compared to "The Royale." I agree with others who said that this adds a layer of creepiness to the episode and to the idea of space travel.

As much as I enjoy the clean, technical, explanatory sci-fi of TNG's later seasons, I've also been a big fan of the way the series explores human consciousness as a complicated thing, and have always thought Troi was used to some very good effect in her confident, advisorly (versus strictly therapeutic) role of the early seasons. In this episode, the writers make her the pivot-point between the unknown event "out there" and the unravelling of real-Picard inside himself. He has a naturally difficult time confronting his own weakness, what he thinks is the cowardice of the other Picard who's only six hours older than he is. His cautious, cool-headed patience in "Where Silence Has Lease" is contrasted against Picard's second-guessing of himself in this episode. As digitaurus points out, the uncertainty leads Picard away from his natural instinct to stay and explore, and by pulling away, the ship gets sucked in. Danger increases with every effort they make to force their release. There's a kind of folkloric, even spiritual, message here about giving in, letting go, finding release ultimately by setting resistance aside. Such an interesting antidote to the idea that exploration equals acquisition. And yet, Picard kills his future self -- maybe for good reason so that the space entity doesn't think he's trying to escape (?), but which still adds a flavor of mystery to a captain celebrated for being so measured and humane.
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JERR west
Thu, Aug 18, 2016, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: A Private Little War

All of you don't understand what happens if Nona lived,she would have ordered kirk to kill Tyree ,then made him her husband and went to the ship with him,for life.
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