Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the questions I get the most about this site, and how I often respond. Feel free to ask, but if you ask a question that's shown below, you will likely get a response similar to what's listed here.

Did/do/will you watch or review [whatever TV series]?

People most often ask if I've watched other sci-fi shows like Babylon 5, Farscape, Firefly, Doctor Who, or the various Stargate series. The answer is no to all of the above, and reviews are not forthcoming. I have no plans to go back to watch any other old shows.

The star ratings don't seem to match between the different series. For example, a 3.5-star Voyager episode doesn't seem held to the same standard as a 3.5-star Battlestar Galactica episode. Are the star ratings intended to indicate equivalent quality?

No — or at least not necessarily. The star ratings are not meant to be absolute, especially not between different series (and sometimes not even between different seasons of different series). It's a sliding relative scale with a lot of uncertainty involved and factors that are not set in stone. A star rating is merely a useful summary of my feelings at the time I wrote the review. I like to try to assign them with consistency, but that's probably impossible given the wide range of tones and intentions behind the different series/seasons/episodes, not to mention my own changing feelings and attitudes spanning some 15-plus years. We bring different expectations to different situations, and that must be granted as part of the equation. So by definition the star ratings cannot be equivalent when comparing, say, BSG versus Voyager or, for that matter, 1997 versus 2012. They merely summarize what I thought at the time I wrote it. (And, yes, there are some star ratings out there that I no longer agree with. And, no, I won't be going back to change them. They are what they are.)

Why are there no Andromeda reviews after season two?

Because I quit watching the show. This is explained in detail on this page. Scroll to the end and read the last four paragraphs.

I want to get in touch with the writers/producers of [some TV show]. Do you know how to contact them?

I do not have any contacts in the industry. Your guess is as good as mine.

Do the show's writers read your reviews?

In the distant past, I became aware that some of the Trek writers saw my reviews. In particular, Joe Menosky (of TNG and Voyager) was an occasional reader who invited me to pitch to Voyager. Several Andromeda writers were also readers who were kind enough to create and kill a character named Jamahl. Beyond that, I couldn't say.

Did the "Demon" review actually happen?

No. Pure fiction. I was trying to be offbeat.

Where did the pseudonym "Jammer" come from?

The story isn't that great, so I've never bothered to tell it. Suffice it to say that it worked well on the Internet, so it stuck.

What is/are your favorite episode(s)?

That's a tough one. As a rule of thumb the four-star episodes listed on this site are generally the ones I will call my favorites, but not necessarily. I've never bothered to make a list, to be honest.

I think you were too hard on Voyager.

I won't hesitate to say I think DS9 was superior to Voyager. I simply enjoyed the storytelling of DS9 more in general, and I think the writers did a better job of tapping that series' potential. At the same time, I enjoyed many aspects of Voyager even though I feel the show was an underachiever given its premise.

You were too easy on Voyager. It was awful.

Okay, maybe I'm just the middle-of-the-road guy concerning Voyager.

Do you or did you ever get paid for this?

From September to December 2000, I had a brief arrangement with (back when they had a sci-fi section with paid columnists and reviewers). They syndicated my Voyager and Andromeda reviews and actually paid me for it. It's hard to imagine a scenario like that today, where review blogs are everywhere and a lot of people write for little or no money.

The ads on this website do make me a little bit of money (and I guess could be called a "profit" in the strictest sense because web hosting costs next to nothing). But in terms of hours spent, this website makes no money and is a labor of love, not profit.

◄ About This Site

81 comments on this post

Wed, Jan 21, 2009, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
Got a question that isn't answered in the FAQ? Ask it using the commenting form below.
Alexey Bogatiryov
Fri, Mar 6, 2009, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Will you be watching and reviewing the New Star Trek movie coming out this spring about young Kirk and Spock?
Thu, Mar 12, 2009, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Yes, I will be reviewing the new "Star Trek" film in May.
Alexey Bogatiryov
Sat, Mar 14, 2009, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
Cannot wait to see it and hear your opinions on it. Recommend seeing it on IMAX 3D! After the Enterprise series, I must say that my expectations for the Trek writers has fallen so this movie has to be simply adequate to suceed in the eyes of Trekkies. Hope it does not mess with the timeline though...
Alexey Bogatiryov
Fri, Mar 20, 2009, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
Jammer, on a similar point - Daybreak is not really the end of the BSG series as there will be a movie called BSG: The Plan in the fall (

Would you review it and include it as part of Season 4 or make a new section about BSG movies and perhaps move Razor there as well?
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 1:15am (UTC -5)
"The Plan" will just get appended to the end of the Season 4 page, like "Razor" was at the beginning of Season 4 and the miniseries for Season 1. I will of course be reviewing it.
Tue, Apr 7, 2009, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Wow, I wish I'd known about this site back when DS9 was on! Nevertheless, I'm glad I found it now, and it's been a real treat reading all your DS9 and TNG reviews.

Just one question: have you ever read any of the Star Trek "relaunch" books, and if so, would you consider reviewing them on your site? I've read most of the TNG and DS9 relaunch books, and since I highly doubt we'll ever see any more TV/films with those casts ever again, the books are really the only "canon" way to follow the stories of these characters, but they - like the episodes - vary greatly in quality (the Destiny trilogy by David Mack is my personal favorite). It'd be awesome to read a review written by someone who obviously knows and loves these characters, since they're probably the only original Trek that will be forthcoming, the new movie aside.
Tue, Apr 7, 2009, 11:58pm (UTC -5)
I read a few of the DS9 relaunch novels, including "A Stitch in Time," "Avatar" 1 and 2, and "Abyss," but after that I didn't keep up reading. It's been years, so I've forgotten most of what I read, but I remember that I thought "Stitch" was great, thought "Avatar" was very good, and "Abyss" was forgettable. No plans on reviewing any of the novels at this point, though.
Alexey Bogatiryov
Tue, Apr 21, 2009, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Since you are not planning on reviewing those Relaunch books - would you consider us audience members to write these reviews and you would post them under the miscelleneous section or is that opening up a Pandora's box?
Tue, Apr 21, 2009, 12:29pm (UTC -5)
I am not planning at this time to open up areas of the site for guest reviews. I am, however, fairly certain that the commenting aspects of this site will take on increasing importance in whatever the future of this web site turns out to be.
Latex Zebra
Tue, May 5, 2009, 7:02am (UTC -5)
Once you've finished TNG and BSG do you plan on leaving this site as it is or will you find something else to review?
I do appreciate we could be waiting a couple of years for the TNG reviews to be finished. There could be a new series of Trek by then... I jest, I jest!
Tue, May 5, 2009, 8:51am (UTC -5)
The future of this site is very much on my mind. Indeed, I've been working the past couple weeks on a project that ties directly into that, which is partially to blame for the delay in the BSG finale review. I'll probably make an announcement of some kind in the coming weeks about it. There are still some things I haven't figured out and am working through.
Latex Zebra
Fri, May 8, 2009, 10:23am (UTC -5)
Wondering if it might be wise to open up a page for the new Trek Movie as I get the feeling it will get discussed to death under the awaited BSG finale page.
Sat, May 30, 2009, 8:59am (UTC -5)
"How do you pronounce that name of yours?"


just. . . couldn't. . . resist. :)

Great site. Can't wait for the new stuff.
ZZ in WY
Tue, Sep 15, 2009, 6:58am (UTC -5)
I am curious if you will be reviewing Caprica and any series that may spawn off of it.
Tue, Sep 15, 2009, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
My plans on Caprica will be announced closer to the premiere date in January. For now, consider this answer non-committal.
Thu, Dec 17, 2009, 1:51pm (UTC -5)

You should watch this show when you have time. It's only one season and a movie. Firefly and NUBSG trump anything Star Trek for me personally, and I never thought that would happen regarding space science fiction.

Not so much a question, and I'm not asking for reviews of the show. But you obviously enjoy space science fiction and I think you are missing out if you don't give Firefly a chance.
Sun, Oct 10, 2010, 7:50pm (UTC -5)
Given that DS9 is your favorite Trek series, I can tell that you would be absolutely crazy about Babylon 5. Firefly was a good idea and a funny show, but it never had a chance to get to the over-arching plot that all the truly great sci-fi shows have.
Greg M
Wed, Jul 27, 2011, 3:38am (UTC -5)

I was just curious if you ever went back to finish Andromeda. I have no interest in the show, and know you won't review it, but just as a matter of free time were you ever curious about where the series went post season 2?
Thu, Jul 28, 2011, 8:19pm (UTC -5)
No, I stopped watching after season two. I remember watching the first episode of season three, thinking it was awful, and didn't watch it again after that. I pretty much just cut the cord.
Thu, Mar 29, 2012, 6:09am (UTC -5)
Hey!! Great reviews, i keep going back over them. I was just curious about one thing. You said you havent reviewed Babylon 5, and that you were not likely to do so. I would like to know why??

You seem to like DS9, and me too, love it, and they are both similar. B5 has story lines and plot arcs, which you seem to advocate alot, and well developed and growing characters.

So, do you watch B5? what are your thoughts, goood or bad? And why dont you review it? I think it would be quite popular.... my opinion...

Anyway...great work, nice stuff!! :)
Thu, Mar 29, 2012, 10:33am (UTC -5)
ohh... i just mean, B5 seems ur thing, story arcs, character development an all, an u dont seem interested??

ohh... (take 2) why is everything done in US central time? i love to be there are other people outside the US lol :P (an we are proud of our time zones!)
Fri, Mar 30, 2012, 9:00pm (UTC -5)

Regarding Babylon 5, that's just one of those that I missed the boat on, and I don't feel the desire or need to go back for it. Once I finish TNG, which will be the only reviewing I do (except for the one-off blog) until I finish it, I don't know what the future of this website will be. But Babylon 5 just isn't something I see myself retroactively reviewing (honestly, probably nothing is, at this point).

If I do something new with this site once TNG is done, it will be something airing in the present rather than the past.
Sun, Apr 1, 2012, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
Fair enough :)

I understand that, I thought so at the time, glad I changed my mind though. Would have to say for B5, something that doesnt really have a future, I can understand your decision, I was just hoping you would say YES!!

Would of been nice to have an intelligent discussion or article about that show, since fans are hard to find around you know...ohh... well :)

It would be a shame to see your hardwork stop after TNG, cause these reviews are great, and most new US sci-fi future stuff is just awful in recent years in my opinion, their hasnt really been anything like DS9, B5, BSG around that can really compete....unless of course i'm blind and theres any shows here people would like to recommend? If thats not against the rules?

Anyway, the was my 1st time posting on a website ever, so I want to thank u for taking the time to answer, and hopefully I will be reading your reviews for a long time to come!!
Latex Zebra
Thu, Jun 14, 2012, 6:05am (UTC -5)
Been a while since you did a film review Jammer. Have you been caught up in the Prometheus hype, have you seen it, did you like it?
Sat, Sep 1, 2012, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
Late reply here: I did not see "Prometheus." I will probably catch that when it arrives on Blu-ray.
Sun, Nov 18, 2012, 8:11am (UTC -5)
Have you considered reviewing the Star Trek Animated series?
Sun, Nov 18, 2012, 12:03pm (UTC -5)
I actually received the DVD set of ST:TAS as a gift several years back and have never watched it. That might make for a review project that would be a good fit for this website. But whether I actually take it up is another matter.
Joe Moe Meastro
Thu, Feb 21, 2013, 11:00am (UTC -5)
Hi Jammer, you've got a great site going here and an awesome writing style, and I just wondered out of curiosity have you ever tried your hand at writing your own fiction/stories? I bet it would make a very interesting and good read if you did! :)
Wed, Feb 27, 2013, 6:39pm (UTC -5)
Nope, I've never tried writing fiction. Never had a story rattling around my brain that I felt the need to get out.
Joe Joe Meastro
Fri, Mar 1, 2013, 7:31am (UTC -5)
Thanks for the reply Jammer. Yeah I can understand that, I'm kind of the same I would love to write but wouldn't know were to begin!
Wed, Apr 3, 2013, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Have you gotten a chance to see the BSG Blood and Chrome webisodes?
Sat, Apr 6, 2013, 4:31pm (UTC -5)
I watched maybe half the BSG:B&C webisodes back in December but haven't seen the rest. I will get around to it eventually but may or may not write anything about it.
Tue, Apr 30, 2013, 8:03am (UTC -5)
"But Babylon 5 just isn't something I see myself retroactively reviewing"

In the DVD and Netflix-Age, where old shows are increasinlgy rediscovered by new generations, this argument baffles me.
I can understand that you don't have the time and passion anymore to review all this stuff, but you really should at least watch it. One of the treasure-shows of Sci-Fi.
Thu, May 30, 2013, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
I can understand not reviewing Babylon 5. It has its fans, but it's a pretty niche show. Moreover, it has 4 seasons/110 episodes and would be an effort to review. Another problem is that B5 isn't available on streaming on Netflix.

By contrast, Firefly only has 14 episodes and a movie. Also, it's on Netflix and other sites. Most importantly, there's an active and thriving fan community. Definitely a worthy addition to this site.
Jo Jo Meastro
Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 11:39am (UTC -5)
Jammer, have you ever tried watching the BBC Brittish sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf? I'd really recommend it, literally the best comedy I've ever seen and the characterisation is pretty amazing with twangs of pathos interwebbed with razor sharp satire and wit. And a pretty nifty space opera spoof to boot!

With each season consisting of 6 twenty-five minute episodes that are probably available free on youtube , you should see about giving it a look sometime :).
Sat, Jun 15, 2013, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
@Jo Jo Meastro, have not seen Red Dwarf. Maybe if I have some free time I'll check it out, but the list of things to do in free time is long indeed...
Jo Jo Meastro
Sat, Jun 15, 2013, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
Thanks for the reply Jammer, and I know that feeling! If you did check it out one day I hope you enjoy it.

For the record if you did want to take a look at Red Dwarf, I would highly recommend avoiding series 7 and 8 which were misguided at best. The series was at its absolute high during series 3 till series 6 and at its absolute low during series 7 and 8. Luckily it improved a bit after series 8.
Wed, Jul 31, 2013, 10:37am (UTC -5)
Oh, man. How I wish you would watch Red Dwarf, Jammer!

I read all the people saying, "You gotta watch Firefly!" or "Watch Babylon 5!", and I just roll my eyes. Because if Jammer isn't interested in watching those, then no amount of argument here is going to change that.

But then, here I am. And I say the same darn thing about Red Dwarf!

I won't say that Red Dwarf is the best sci fi show out there or the funniest thing on TV (it's not - not by a long shot). But it is a great show and I am a huge fan. It is a niche show, unique all to itself, and I can't praise it enough.

There are 8 regular seasons to it, then a movie, then 1 more season after that (Called Season 10). And they are currently making another season.

Each season is short, only 6 episodes per season. So we are only talking 54 episodes here, plus the movie. But it is pretty fascinating to watch, as the seasons all span 30 years. Same characters, but you see the differences in the show's tone over time.

Also, I disagree with Jo Jo Meastro that Seasons 7 and 8 should be avoided at all costs. Most fans are split about Seasons 7 and 8, but they still have their good moments and are definitely worth watching.

That's one thing about the creators of Red Dwarf - they aren't afraid to take risks. In that show, you never know what is going to happen. Main characters can be killed, resurrected, whatever. Anything goes, story-wise.

Anyway, I know you won't listen to this but I highly recommend watching Red Dwarf. Season 1 starts with incredibly cheesy and cheap sets looking like something out of the 70's, while Season 10 ends up polished and futuristic. The quality of the show's humor varies drastically from episode to episode. But when it is funny, it is quite hilarious.

Have a great day!
Jo Jo Meastro
Wed, Jul 31, 2013, 6:51pm (UTC -5)
Whoop whoop, it's always a pleasant surprise to come across another Red Dwarf fan since it's a show I believe is unjustly obscure amongst general sci-fi communities. I can only guess this is even more so outside of Britain! I agree with what you say that Jammer would be in for a refreshing treat.

My warnings about seasons' 7 and 8 were mostly that they aren't exactly representative of the show at its best, so for someone sampling the show they would do well to avoid them if they want to get a general idea of the shows' quality. I will agree that them seasons do have some good episodes and are still worthwhile, but in the grand scheme of things they're the low point (which says a lot that Red Dwarf remains perfectly watchable even on its low).

I think season 3 is when Red Dwarf truly found its feet (and some of its budget!), although thankfully there is still plenty of comedy quality and underlining pathos in the first 2 seasons to not scare Jammer away I hope! I didn't realise a new season is currently being made, I thought season 10 would be the last so I'm pleasantly surprised.

Sorry if it's not really appropriate to chat on the FAQ, I just wanted to chip in my two cents :).
Sun, Aug 4, 2013, 4:22pm (UTC -5)
I'll throw my hat in the ring as another fan of Red Dwarf.

It's sad that it's still pretty obscure after a quarter of a century. But, those who have seen it, know its magic. And what makes the series downright enchanting are the characters and the actor's who inhabit them. There's no one on this Earth who could play Rimmer, Lister, Cat, Kryten without Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, and Robert Llewlyn. The actors are truly inseparable from their characters. (Check out the awful American-ized version with a different cast on YouTube if you don't believe me)

This is a SF series that is dynamic and imaginative as the best of Trek, it just happens to be a comedy. And running through the comedy is a dramatic grounding. You feel for these characters and you wan them to succeed. In the Emmy-winning episode, "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" we want to shout "Yee-haw!" with the characters when they survive at the end.

I heartily recommend this series to you, Jammer, if for only your own personal enjoyment. You won't be sorry.

(At least seasons 1-5. Those are solid gold. After's hit and miss.)
Jo Jo Meastro
Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 10:35am (UTC -5)
@ Patrick, good point about how truly inseparable the cast became from the characters. They shared a fantastic chemistry and its no surprise that they had so much fun shooting Red Dwarf, the fun is so infectious with this show. Also there is the depth and the many layers, especially in terms of naunced characterisation (you've got to love the tragically twisted Rimmer-centric episodes!) and even some morality plays (the series 4 finale is one of the most effective anti-war messages ever crafted with the dark hilariously absurd, ending on a chilling note with the absurdity is no longer funny but a powerful warning against glorifying warfare) and pathos is subtlely at the core of many episodes.

Of course many episodes are just pure off-the-wall, grin-inducing, self-mocking sci-fi full of chuckles and some belly laughs!

Perhaps Jammer should look up one of the few Top 10 Funniest Red Dwarf Moments youtube if we've intrigued him at all, or perhaps the infamous "its a banana" scene...or the iconic boxers scene!
Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
Hi Fellas,

Jammer, as Jo Jo Maestro said, I hope you don't mind us getting a little off-topic on your FAQ page...

@ Jo Jo - Sorry, looks like I spoke too soon about a Season 11. I could have sworn that I read that somewhere, but looking that up now, I am unable to confirm it. I'm okay if they didn't have one though, because I think Season X went out on a high note.

Yeah, I'm in agreement with you that Seasons 7 and 8 are a bad starting point for the series. Those are the low point for sure. I feel the same about BSG at about the middle of Season 3. Both series were way better before, and got way better after that bad patch.

@ Patrick - For sure, those cast members have the parts down to a science. It kind of makes me wonder what those guys are like in real life, because they're characters are so true on the show that it's hard to imagine them acting any way else.

I also kind of miss the actress that played Kochanski (the latter-season version). She wasn't bad at all, I thought.

I still miss male and female Holly, too. I wish they would have at least made a cameo in the later seasons. But I guess they figured that Kryten filled that plot-exposition role, so the ship's computer was no longer needed.

My favorite part in the whole series is on the episode "Blue" in Season 7, where they ride "The Rimmer Experience", and they have the Munchkin Rimmer marching and singing. That has got to be the funniest thing ever. I've watched that song so many times... It's great!
Jo Jo Meastro
Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 3:34pm (UTC -5)
To anyone with a question or anything they want to ask Jammer, please don't be put off by these comments and go right ahead (just in case I was disrupting the intent of this page which I'd hate to do).

@ Clint, the reassuring news is that according to Doug Naylor he is fairly positive in seeing a series 11 in production by February next year! I agree that I wouldn't be too disappointed if series 10 was the last ever one, the final episode would actually make a good overall finale too.

The cast all seem awesome behind-the-scenes, their outtakes and goofing around on set tends to actually be as funny as the show! What always makes me laugh is seeing Robert Llewlyn break character mid-take, I'll try to give an example. He'd be in fully animated, nutty, American accented Kryten mode when suddenly you'd just hear something clunk to the floor mid-take. He'd drop all his "ham" as he calls it, and casually says in the most casual deadpan British voice possible "hold on a minute, my arse has fallen off again"...makes me laugh every time that happens in the outtakes!

I'd recommend checking out the "Smeg Ups and Smeg Downs" dvd, if you can get it cheap enough. It's full of hilarious outtakes and bursting at the seams with bonuses and tidbits.
Jo Jo Meastro
Fri, Oct 11, 2013, 11:11am (UTC -5)
Jammer, have you ever seen the 1990s' action movie 'The Rock' with Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery? If so, what star rating would you hypothetically give it in a review?

I'm only curious as I finally seen it for the first time after picking it up cheaply on DVD and while I was here reading your Voyager reviews,I imagined it would have probably been to your tastes (smart yet fun self-aware humour, quirky characters with sharply written dialogue, inventive creative action, a unique morally grey villain with surprising depth and above all it gets a great balance between being serious and being tongue in cheek) :).
Fri, Oct 11, 2013, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
The Rock: ***

One of Michael Bay's better efforts.
Jo Jo Meastro
Sun, Oct 13, 2013, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Thanks for the reply, Jammer. Yeah it certainly shows that Michael Bay is capable of doing good, I think what always helps his tendency for superficial movies is when he's got some charismatic actors to help hold any wobbly material in place. The Rock was his best, a great film. I still wouldn't class myself as a Bay fan, he definitively lost his way far too early and a good Michael Bay blockbuster is too infrequent. Saying that though, Transformers 3 was actually a marked improvement for that franchise despite its blonde bimbo and uneven first half :).
Sat, Jan 11, 2014, 5:56am (UTC -5)
Hey Jammer, what is your earliest review on this site? I know you went back and did TNG, and if memory serves, you only later did DS9 seasons 1 and 2. Is The Search your first review? Caretaker? I know you had reviewed episodes prior to this, I'm just curious about finding the oldest one on this site. And where's our Into Darkness review?! At least let's hear a taste with the star rating!
Sat, Jan 11, 2014, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
The earliest review on this site would be DS9's "The Search, Part I." That fall of 1994 is when I started writing reviews as they aired. The site itself wasn't created until early 1995, but I simply posted all the reviews I had written in the fall of 1994, including those from DS9's third season.
Sat, Jan 11, 2014, 10:09pm (UTC -5)
As far as the "Star Trek Into Darkness" review goes, I am hoping to finally make some time to finish writing that in the next few weeks. Seriously!
Sun, Sep 14, 2014, 4:56am (UTC -5)

Do you watch Game of Thrones? If you do, what are your thoughts on it and do you plan on writing anything about it whenever you get the chance? Thanks!

(I think it's a mostly fantastic show btw, really hits on a lot of the elements I loved from character rich shows like DS9 and BSG.)
Sun, Sep 14, 2014, 8:57am (UTC -5)
I do watch "Game of Thrones" and enjoy it a lot. I doubt I will write anything about it given the current state of my overall writing hiatus, but there are plenty of other reviews out there who have it covered.
Dave in NC
Sun, Sep 14, 2014, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
@ Jammer

I'd rethink the whole not-reviewing GoT thing, because you do have some insightful opinions about television. I like reading what you have to say.

Surely you have room for one review a week! :)
Sun, Sep 14, 2014, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
*cough* Star Trek: Continues *cough*
Dave in NC
Fri, Sep 19, 2014, 11:11am (UTC -5)
Hey, Jammer ...

I gave it some thought and I guess having to review four seasons of GoT would be a massive undertaking on your part (especially when season 5 is coming out in 7 months).

I know you mentioned that other sites reviewing GoT, but honestly their comments sections ( are filled with red herring arguments, silly gifs, sexual innuendo and off-topic political debates. It's basically impossible to carry on a continuing conversation with anyone.

What are the odds of creating an "Other Shows" section/tab where the Jammer community can discuss shows like GoT without obligating you to write 50,000 words?
Fri, Sep 19, 2014, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
I had never really considered that and I guess I wouldn't rule it out completely, but I do wonder if there would be enough interest in something like that to be able to sustain itself and be viewed as a value for most users here. I've never really strayed from the mission statement of being a review site, and I don't know that I want to now.

That said, I do realize that this site now is as much about the comment community as much as the original reviews, so there's something to be said for that. But, again, I wonder about the sustainability if I take the site off the original Trek and sci-fi track in favor of something more general.
Fri, Sep 19, 2014, 12:57pm (UTC -5)
I kinda like the idea of being able to read and talk to the commenting community here about more things. But the *reason* this community exists and is interesting is because of the focus on Star Trek, and Jammer's literate--if occasionally wrongheaded ;) --reviews. Some of the comment threads range pretty far, but there's always a relationship to the themes of the shows. If the site were to be expanded, it should be done in a way that maintains that focus and structure somehow.
dave in nc
Fri, Sep 19, 2014, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Except BSG has nothing to do with Star Trek.

I don't see the harm in it. An extra section for other shows won't detract from its purpose.

Besides, participation is always voluntary.
Fri, Sep 19, 2014, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
BSG is a science-fiction TV show like Trek. And the BSG talk here is improved because it's mostly literate Trek fans talking about it, accustomed to thinking about themes, about show and series composition.

Anyway, my point is not that an open-ended general "other shows" section would *harm* anything--just that I doubt it would be very good, lacking focus that way.
dave in nc
Fri, Sep 19, 2014, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
I don't think it would be too hard with GoT. They only have ten episodes a season.
Mon, Jun 8, 2015, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
I was also curious about your thoughts on Game of Thrones due to its magnificent soundtrack and the attention you give to TV soundtracks and themes. The way they have developed Dany's (more specifically Drogon's?) theme this season (5) is out of this world! Music is such a power!
Tue, Jun 9, 2015, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Do you have any thoughts on the Trek fan series Star Trek New Voyages/Phase II and/or Star Trek Continues? I've become a huge fan of those two; their productions are incredibly close to the style of TOS!
Gertie Deoliveira
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 3:00am (UTC -5)
Invaluable analysis - Speaking of which , if someone require to merge some PDF files , my colleague came across a service here
Mon, Dec 19, 2016, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
ST:TAS is on Netflix now. You might want to give it a try.
Thu, Jun 21, 2018, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
If you did ever finish watching B5, you'd probably have to address all your Trek ratings here. Drop them all by 2 stars likely.
Wed, Jul 11, 2018, 8:16pm (UTC -5)

Are you watching The Expanse, and if so, do you have plans to review it? It's the best sci-fi show on tv right now, and it's probably the most similar, at least on the surface, to sci-fi shows from the 90s and 200s like Farscape, Firefly, the Trek spinoffs, BSG, etc. It would make a great fit for the site, and it's way better than Discovery. There also aren't a lot of reviews out there for it.
Sun, Aug 26, 2018, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
@DLPB-Lol. Watching B5 made me appreciate Trek more, not less. B5 has aged really poorly.
Jason R.
Mon, Aug 27, 2018, 5:46am (UTC -5)
"@DLPB-Lol. Watching B5 made me appreciate Trek more, not less. B5 has aged really poorly."

You know it's funny you mention it, because I have been rewatching B5 on DVD and I feel it has aged exceptionally well.

JMS is not a great director and at times the writing could be clunky, but I love the characters today as much as I did back then. Londo and G'Kar are two of my favourite characters in all of scifi.

You know what's really funny? Even the effects seems better today than they were back when I first watched the show. Back when it first aired I thought the CGI looked cheap - like something out of a PC game (Starcon II comes to mind). But now I have a greater appreciation for the effects and ship designs, from the humble Starfury to Vorlon and Shadow battleships and the lovely White Stars. I'd watch a B5 space battle any day over the equivalent in Voyager or even DS9.

Which reminds me, you know what hasn't aged that well for me? DS9. I loved it when I first watched it, and I still love it today, but to me it's faded alot in retrospect. I will have to give somwme thought to why that is, but things I didn't mind back then (alot of tedious romantic subplots, the Ferenghi, Jadzia...) grate on me more.
Mon, Aug 27, 2018, 9:31am (UTC -5)
@ Jammer,

"People most often ask if I've watched other sci-fi shows like Babylon 5, Farscape, Firefly, Doctor Who, or the various Stargate series. The answer is no to all of the above, and reviews are not forthcoming. I have no plans to go back to watch any other old shows."

I of course am in no position to tell anyone, especially you, what to do.... but knowing how much you love DS9 you REALLY REALLY should take in BAB5. Even if you watch it and decide not review it, I'm sure you would enjoy the wrting and the characters. I just binge watched it (I own the DVD's) and it holds up well (writing). The computer generated graphics are an aquired taste, but like Trek you just let yourself emerse in that "universe" and you are good to go.
Mon, Aug 27, 2018, 11:08am (UTC -5)
I didn't want to be the only one to say it, but I also think B5 has aged remarkably well. Then again, that might be because I first watched it over a decade ago when HD TV wasn't yet the norm, and the memories of it have stayed.

There seems to be a strange phenomenon with TV that some people simply can't watch a show unless it's brand spanking new. That isn't a criticism, merely befuddlement that we can anticipate another season of a (let's face it) dreadful show like Discovery and not be willing to delve into the highly esteemed classics.

That is the appeal of newness, whose attraction vastly outstrips the actual quality of a TV show. I don't actually watch TV anymore, but if I did it would only be shows that have stood the test of time - veritable classics. They would have to be at least a decade old and still be as highly praised as they were when they came out.

The last series I did that with was Breaking Bad, on the recommendation of a friend. I found it a pretty good, entertaining show, but vastly overhyped. And I doubt it will be talked about much in a few years time.

Maybe the execs have realized that in TV, newness, on its own, sells itself. Why bother with making a top quality production when what draws the numbers is the shiny veneer, the smell of fresh paint?
Jason R.
Mon, Aug 27, 2018, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Matt it's funny you say that because in my view, streaming has really been a game changer in giving some of these old shows a new lease on life.

My four year old routinely watches shows that were on the air 10 years or more ago, maybe longer. And why not? It's not like she knows the release date of a relatively recent show like Paw Patrol versus the oroginal Dora the Explorer. She just picks something and either likes it or doesn't. We have only Netflix so that is a major factor.

My wife and I have watched many shows like Breaking Bad, In Treatment, years after they began or concluded. We prefer it this way. Watching a show during its original run is agonizing. I don't know how we did it before. For cord cutting families, I suspect this is increasingly the reality.

Regarding B5 specifically, as much as I love it, the old 90s era CGI effects would be offputting to a new viewer, as much as I have come to enjoy them in retrospect. Unlike, say, a Joss Whedon show like Firefly or Buffy, B5 does not have the snappy dialogue and intense sense if fun out of the starting gate to immediately grab a new viewer.

On the other hand, I will say that the first season (unanimously considered to be the worst by fans) isn't nearly as weak as I once thought. One of the things you appreciate about B5 is that since it was mostly preplanned as a "novel" for television, you don't get the kind of jarring inconsistency or weird characterizations that you see in the first seasons of other longstanding shows (assuming you just disregard the TV movie and start with the true pilot, Midnight on the Firing Line) and retcons almost never occur in B5 with maybe one or two exceptions.

There are some superb episodes of Season 1 that hold up as well as anything in later seasons, and there are things set up that pay off even as late as Season 5. As a Trek fan you also get the bonus of having Walter Koenig in one of the most memorable roles on the show as a splendid recurring villain.

If I had to put my finger on why I have preferred B5 to DS9 over the years, I feel that B5 treated me more like an adult in the end. That may be partly due to the harder scifi edge imported to it by Harlan Ellison, who was a creative consultant. The attempts to keep technology more grounded and less overtly magical. The way that human behaviour and foibles aren't just casually scrubbed clean over 300 years of history. The way the human ships have to use rotating sections to maintain gravity. The way characters are held to account for their mistakes, and not all endings are happy. The way many aliens are... *alien* even down to their ships, which are colorful and varied.

When I try to put my finger on why DS9 has lessened in my eyes with rewatching (and not B5), the best I can say is it feels pretentious now. The Dominion War was supposed to be dark and gritty and real, but it came across to me as a bunch of spaceships and ray guns playing at war. Watching as an adult, it just feels phony. The Star Trek technobabble also bugs me more than it used to - something that reached epidemic levels with Voyager.

B5 suffers from none of these ailments. It's every bit as serious as DS9 and also involves war, but somehow knows what to emphasize and what not to. Its reach rarely exceeds its grasp.
Jason R.
Mon, Aug 27, 2018, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
Oh and can I say that B5 was the first and only scifi show to my knowledge that alluded to the reality of showers and lavatories! And there was a lead character who turned out to be gay, long before this kind of revelation would have been trendy.
Tue, Aug 28, 2018, 12:07am (UTC -5)
Count me in the camp that doesn't think "Babylon 5" has aged all that well. But, then, I was never all that impressed with it to begin with. It's a damn fine show, no doubt, but I've encountered plenty of people who honestly think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Sorry, but it's just not that good.

The special effects were never that great to begin with and REALLY have not aged well at all. The acting is rather hit and miss - you have phenomenally great actors like Peter Jurasik (Londo) and Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar), but the rest of the cast vary from average at best (Boxleitner as Captain Sheridan) to downright awful (Claudia Christian as Commander Ivanova). The characters themselves are also hit and miss - Londo and G'Kar are standouts, some like Marcus, Lennier, Lyta and Garibaldi are passable and others like Delenn, Vir, Zack and Ivanova range from slightly off-puting to borderline unwatchable.

The writing also varies a great deal in quality. JMS was unbelievably good at set-up and atmosphere, but often failed miserably in the pay-off to many of the shows grand arcs (at least in my humble opinion). And Season Five is.... .... well.... .... bad, just bad!

Now don't get me wrong, I do consider myself a fan of the show - in as much as I consider myself a fan off any flawed, slightly-above-average series. But if there is one thing I've always taken away from B5 it's that it has made my appreciation for DS9 rise considerably.
Tue, Aug 28, 2018, 12:46am (UTC -5)
It's interesting to me that most people seem to prefer either Bab5 or DS9. Personally I put them on about the same level (two of the best sci-fi shows ever made) but I'm always fascinated by the reasons people give why they prefer one over the other. With DS9 it's usually related to production quality - better effects, acting, more professionally done, and more consistent across the whole series. While with Bab5 it's the intricately woven arcs, the vision of humanity's future, the emotional highs and lows, the way it takes you on a journey along with the characters. I think both points of view are accurate. You can't deny DS9 is the superior production, but to me Bab5 is like someone you've been married to for decades - you know they have many flaws and you love them all the same. Hell, you love them FOR their flaws. No one's going to convince you that your husband or wife is unloveable just because they have a wart on their nose or they leave the toilet seat up. That's why I genuinely don't see Claudia Christian's acting as "downright awful" - she's very much part of the show's charm and totally inhabits Ivanova. If they proposed to redo the show with a "better actor" I would tell them, as Capt. Sheridan would say - "go to hell!".
Tue, Aug 28, 2018, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
"You know it's funny you mention it, because I have been rewatching B5 on DVD and I feel it has aged exceptionally well.

"JMS is not a great director and at times the writing could be clunky, but I love the characters today as much as I did back then. Londo and G'Kar are two of my favourite characters in all of scifi."

I don't really agree, but I guess it's a matter of taste. B5 had some characters I enjoyed, but none anywhere near the level of most of DS9's.

"You know what's really funny? Even the effects seems better today than they were back when I first watched the show. Back when it first aired I thought the CGI looked cheap - like something out of a PC game (Starcon II comes to mind). But now I have a greater appreciation for the effects and ship designs, from the humble Starfury to Vorlon and Shadow battleships and the lovely White Stars. I'd watch a B5 space battle any day over the equivalent in Voyager or even DS9."

Again, I can't really agree. It might not be fair to compare, because DS9's budget was much higher, but B5's battles felt like cartoons to me. They feel dated by 90s standards-almost like something out of 80s Doctor Who or 60s Star Trek.

"Which reminds me, you know what hasn't aged that well for me? DS9. I loved it when I first watched it, and I still love it today, but to me it's faded alot in retrospect. I will have to give somwme thought to why that is, but things I didn't mind back then (alot of tedious romantic subplots, the Ferenghi, Jadzia...) grate on me more."

It's funny you say that. For me, one of the reasons I love DS9 so much is because it almost feels like a show out of time. Nothing about it really screams '90s' to me. It addresses issues that became *much* more relevant in the years following the end of its broadcast in "The Way of the Warrior", "Homefront", "Paradise Lost", and "Inquisition". It also seemed to be fascinated with the Original Star Trek and 50s/60s culture in episodes like "Blood Oath", "Trials and Tribble-ations", "Our Man Bashir", and "Far Beyond the Stars. (Credit to Darren Mooney for this again-check out of article "DS9-the most timeless of the Star Treks". Highly recommended.) B5 feels incredibly dated to me-a 70s or 80s show that aired in the 90s.

Also, though DS9 was hit-or-miss with its humor, B5 was consistently awful. It wasn't funny-it was cringe-worthy. I wish I could excise "Soul Mates" from my mind.

Personally, I feel the fundamentals of tv shows are more important than a carefully planned story arc. And I feel the fundamentals of DS9 are much stronger. B5 has the better arc, no doubt about it, but without strong acting, writing (on an episode-by-episode basis), or directing to back it up, it fell flat a lot of the time for me.

But hey, to each his own.
Mon, Sep 3, 2018, 5:20am (UTC -5)
I prefer DS9 because B5 is only solid for about a year and a half, at most 3 years (seasons 1 and 5 largely being write-offs). But I always thought the criticism of the show's acting was overblown. Claudia Christian and Mira Furlan were both absolutely wonderful, Bruce Boxleitner and Jerry Doyle truly excellent, and Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas never less than iconic and compelling. I loved Andrea Thompson too. Really, apart from Michael O'Hare in S1, the only weak actors were some of the weird British casting choices like Marcus Cole in S3 and the guy who played Byron in S5. It was the acting that made the show work and kept me with it.
Thu, Sep 27, 2018, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
The only thing with B5 that hasn't aged well "lol" is the CGI / models. That's to be expected - and it didn't have an army of series fans to give it unlimited cash treatment.

As a fiction and as a piece of writing, it smokes DS9 and pretty much any TV fiction - and lest we forget that DS9 would not exist without B5 - because it was blatant plagiarism. JMS should have gone through with the lawsuit.
Thu, Sep 27, 2018, 8:34pm (UTC -5)
Also, the fact some of you harp on about the CGI is really shallow. Like TNG looks great... you know? Or should we write off the original series now as well? How much has that dated?
Tue, Nov 20, 2018, 2:57am (UTC -5)
Hello Everyone!

Back in the days of Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine, cable companies were simpler. We had around three packages (at least with mine), and things would come and go as they were added and subtracted. I saw Babylon 5 on the cover of TV Guide, but it was on SciFy, and my package didn't have that. It looked interesting, and they gave it a good writeup, but I had no shot at watching. Then without warning two years later, my package changed for the better and there was SciFy. I'd remembered others talking with me about B5 and how good they thought it was, so I gave it a shot with "The Long, Twilight Struggle"...

It was fun, trying to figure out the series at the end of season two/start of season three, and I was Hooked! (For some reason, they held the last episodes of a season until the beginning of the next one...)

The stories just seemed... deeper. The bad guys were... subtle. The good guys had... shades of gray...

Perhaps if I'd seen B5 from the beginning as many did, I'd think of it differently. But here I was with fleshed out characters, none of whom were exactly as they appeared. And at nearly the same time came the Dominion War. The two just didn't compare. Don't get me wrong, I was a Trek Lifer/Truther (and loved Star Wars, which got me into Trek in '77), and DS9 was great! But eventually DS9, Voy and Bab5 were all showing at the same time, and if there were new episodes of each in turn on that Saturday, I'd save B5 for last. Oh, I'd watch the ST's, and enjoy them. But B5, I'd let it play, and not even fast forward during the commercials (sometimes taking a little break), just to make them last longer.

I've been going through Trek on a slow re-watch, and have been delightfully surprised by some from that time, knowing I rushed through them in the past. But now, B5 has just started showing on the station Comet, free Teevee, and I've been recording it daily... I almost get the same rush I got back then when I see another episode. The nuances... the stories... sigh...

And I've been looking at some of the characters I didn't think were that well-cast back then, seeing them in a different light. I didn't think much of Claudia at the time, but she has some moments that just makes the character shine. I used to think just about any actress could have played her, though now I'm not so certain. And as an aside, it is almost difficult watching the opening credits, seeing all of the actors who have died since it was made. There is no going back, sadly.

Lastly, while all of the B5 humanoid ships had secondary weapons that were pointing in many directions, they all *spoilers*---

---apart from the Vorlons and Shadows, had to actually Point their ships at the enemy to use their Main Guns. No matter the race, you had to Face Them, because they took so much energy they ran the length of that part of the ship (sort of like that BIG PHASER the Enterprise had in their last episode). It was very cool to see two ships maneuver to get an enemy in that crossfire. No 300,000 km battles here that were shown next to each other. Nope. If they fired those babies off, there was a purpose and it was up close.

*spoilers done*---

And to try to figure out the bad guys, because no one had, except they had actually figured them out but no one would listen, and good guys become bad guys, and bad guys become good guys, and one is such a shade of gray he should have been the poster child for Gray...

Yes, the first season was nothing to write home about, but it set the stage. JMS even had a removed actor come back to work later to flesh things out, and how often does that happen? Yes the last season was a bit of an add-on, as they thought they were going to be canceled after season four, but it fit right in with his "bible", so to speak.

Perhaps I just should have said: Babylon 5 season One, get through it, you'll be happy eventually. Seasons Two, Three and Four, you will be very happy. And season Five, you will be happy, just not as much as after season Four. But, it's good.

Thank you for your time and for reading my Random Thoughts (I came up with it before the Voy episode of the same name, by the way).

Heck I could go on with that, just as long as there isn't a weird power outa.....

*blue screen*
Sat, Oct 19, 2019, 8:00am (UTC -5)

Cheers for that. It was a good read. If I had a billion dollars, one of my first acts would be to completely redo the CGI for B5 and spruce it up. Because storytelling wise, it's leaps and bounds above all fictions in my view - apart from maybe Breaking Bad - which is also superbly written.

I'm afraid I can no longer add Game of Thrones to that category after that abortion of a season 7 and 8.
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 10:32pm (UTC -5)
Hi Jammer! Just a quick note, THANK YOU so much for your reviews. I love reading them and as a huge trekkie (as of just the past few years, when I started going through DS9) they've been a dear companion to me. I read each review immediately after every episode I watch, and always have your site open in my tabs for quick reference. Seriously, it's been a pleasure.

My only regret is what you haven't reviewed (Lower Decks, Farscape, SG1, etc)! Although I understand your reasonings for not doing so. You do you!

Anyway, that's it, just a quick bit of fan mail for you. Thanks for everything.

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