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Star Trek: All Good Threads...


SpaceChampion
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9 hours ago, Durckad said:

Season 2 is pretty interesting in how it's just all over the place in quality. Some really, really bad mixed in with some true classics and also a bunch of episodes that feel like they were just thrown together at the last minute. Still a pretty significant step up over Season 1.

I think Season 2 actually has a lot of decent episodes and, as you say, it was certainly a big step up from the general awkwardness of Season 1. Plus I like Pulaski - not that I don't like Crusher, but she wasn't good early on. Some decent to pretty good to great episodes include "Where Silence Has Lease", "Elementary, Dear Data", "A Matter of Honour", "The Measure of a Man" (the best!), "Contagion", "Time Squared", "The Icarus Factor", "Pen Pals", "Samaritan Snare", "The Emissary", and "Peak Performance". 

It also has the Space Irish of "Up The Long Ladder" and TNG's (Trek's?) one and only clip show in "Shades of Grey". So there's that. 

5 hours ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

See, I just don't agree.  Yes the premise is borderline farcical. Yes, it's hammy and twisted.  But to me, it harkens back to all the silly things about the TOS that we love.  Yes, it's paint-by-numbers in many ways, but I do not get the sense of perturbance that you get...

I love "The Royale" and for some reason it's one of those episodes that me and my dad reference constantly. It is by no means a good story, but it's bizarre and hammy and I always enjoy Mickey D in his 80s coke-gangster suit shooting the poor hapless bellhop in the back - then everyone gets back to their low rent presumably off-strip casino tables like they're in the Mos Eisley Cantina. Also the mummified Colonel S. Richie was pretty scary as a kid. 

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2 hours ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

Wait. What exactly are you watching Trek for, particularly the 60s TOS, if not for the examination of various sci-fi tropes telling moralistic stories regardless of how ham fisted or heavy handed the various episodes might treat their subject matter...?  :dunno: YMMV

Well, I am watching it for all that, but I'm certainly not watching it for, say, the Nazi World or Mobster World episodes. You know, episodes that feel less like thematic explorations and more like they had some costumes and sets lying around unused and needed to get in under budget.

Then again, I did not grow up with TOS (aside from a random episode here and there), so I really don't have any sort of nostalgia for it or it's particular "style" of sci-fi. I grew up on the TOS movies and the latter half of TNG and DS9, so the storytelling in those really is where I get a lot my Trek preference from.

I am doing a bit of a watch through of TOS right now and so far, it's interesting what works and what doesn't in my opinion. 

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1 hour ago, Aemon Stark said:

I think Season 2 actually has a lot of decent episodes and, as you say, it was certainly a big step up from the general awkwardness of Season 1. Plus I like Pulaski - not that I don't like Crusher, but she wasn't good early on. Some decent to pretty good to great episodes include "Where Silence Has Lease", "Elementary, Dear Data", "A Matter of Honour", "The Measure of a Man" (the best!), "Contagion", "Time Squared", "The Icarus Factor", "Pen Pals", "Samaritan Snare", "The Emissary", and "Peak Performance". 

It also has the Space Irish of "Up The Long Ladder" and TNG's (Trek's?) one and only clip show in "Shades of Grey". So there's that. 

Yeah, you're right. Season 2 does have a lot more strong episodes than I remember. Also "Loud as a Whisper" and "Q Who" are really good, and shout out to "Elementary Dear Data," which is a surprisingly good holodeck episode. On the other hand, "Up the Long Ladder," "Outrageous Okona," "The Child", and "Shades of Grey" are all pretty dreadful. Still eclipsed by the worst from Season 1 though.

And yeah, Pulaski was great. It's really too bad she got replaced when Beverly returned... and then they promptly didn't do anything really interesting with her afterwards.

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I always sort of liked "The Royale." It was dumb but pleasant. It wasn't offensive like the truly bad ones. It's the kind of episode that I put on in the background while cleaning. DS9's "Move Along Home" reminds me of it, for some reason: It gets some hate but my overall feeling is "not dreadful but also not terribly good storytelling."

It helps that I watched in my youthful, less curmudgeonly days. If only That Panda could experience new Trek stuff instead of This Panda :)

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I've started re/watching Enterprise.  Ok, first couple episodes not so bad....  I guess I'm more tolerant of the whole Suliban / timewar thing these days.

Edited by SpaceChampion
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I just finished the series run of Voyager.

I didn't go in with high hopes.

I liked it enough to watch it through. But hoo boy some of that was dreck. And it went out with a whimper.

Bel'anna was fun. She had some actual characterization. I was pleasantly surprised in one episode to learn that she wasn't "just crazy," but had legit emotional trauma beyond "a boy was mean to me."

Tom Paris was, at times, enjoyable. His character was ridiculous but never really played as more than that. There's room for light-hearted caricature, I guess.

Harry was present. Often, too. And sometimes he wasn't falling in love with every woman that didn't just kick him in the balls.

The Doctor was entertaining. Their attempt to Measure of a Man him fell flat, IMO, but he had some compelling bits and bobs as the series went on.

Janeway was...I don't understand what the writers were doing with her character. However, I suspect she had to be written into the Delta Quadrant because she would have single-handedly beaten The Dominion. Not because of her cleverness or tactical prowess, but because the writers would have just gone with "And then Janeway single-handedly defeated The Dominion." I liked the decisiveness she showed. She was a badass captain. I don't recall them putting much effort into developing her as an isolated captain, though, until the final season. I may have forgotten some material, but the takeaway I had from S1-6 was that she was well-integrated with the crew personally and as a family...then in S7 she was suddenly pointing out how she had to hold back because of her position. I may be misremembering. I know they played with that theme a lot in TNG, but I am just much more familiar with TNG.

Seven was an interesting character and could have had so much more growth shown, instead of just told. Her inside-outside-looking inside point of view of humanity had a lot more potential than was realized on-screen. Borg reintegration would be a tricky topic to write for, I imagine.

Tuvac should have killed Neelix about eighty-four times and I admire the restraint.

Neelix was like a "Dumb and Dumber" character was made Ambassador to the United Nations and tried to stay funny for seven years.... not that I am a regular cut-up, either, but no one pays me to write and I am okay with being a curmudgeon.

Why didn't the ship have a first officer? I feel like a ship should have a first officer. Given the high rank, it should probably be someone dynamic and fully-realized. Was The Doctor the first officer and I just forgot?

Cannot believe that ship never got damaged and was able to keep their finite supply of shuttles and torpedoes for the whole run. :D

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22 minutes ago, Lightning Lord said:

I just finished the series run of Voyager.

If you're looking for the denouement, we don't have it either. 

Edited by RumHam
now someone criticize TNG so I can zing it about it's tight pants.
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26 minutes ago, RumHam said:

If you're looking for the denouement, we don't have it either. 

Yah it felt like they got abruptly canceled. I don't recall its run on UPN - is that how it went down? Reviews had me believe it wasn't abrupt...

The guy whose reviews I like compared this denouement to the excessive denouement of DS9. Pendulum swings.

As for TNG criticism, it had overt racism and slightly-less overt homo/transphobia. So there's that.

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Just now, Lightning Lord said:

Yah it felt like they got abruptly canceled. I don't recall its run on UPN - is that how it went down?

 

Oh my no. I mean, maybe they weren't renewed. but at that point I think everyone was ready to move on. 

The problem is that people wanted to see these characters get home. A gilligans island type thing were they tried to resume their former lives but ended up back on the old ship would have been lame as hell, but at least it would have been something. 

The drama from the Voyager finale should have come from the idea that "holy shit. after all these year's we're finally going to link back up with the Federation"

But instead they tried to milk drama out of the idea that these characters might not make it home. Fuck you, show. 

 

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3 hours ago, Lightning Lord said:

I just finished the series run of Voyager.

I didn't go in with high hopes.

I liked it enough to watch it through. But hoo boy some of that was dreck. And it went out with a whimper.

Bel'anna was fun. She had some actual characterization. I was pleasantly surprised in one episode to learn that she wasn't "just crazy," but had legit emotional trauma beyond "a boy was mean to me."

Tom Paris was, at times, enjoyable. His character was ridiculous but never really played as more than that. There's room for light-hearted caricature, I guess.

Harry was present. Often, too. And sometimes he wasn't falling in love with every woman that didn't just kick him in the balls.

The Doctor was entertaining. Their attempt to Measure of a Man him fell flat, IMO, but he had some compelling bits and bobs as the series went on.

Janeway was...I don't understand what the writers were doing with her character. However, I suspect she had to be written into the Delta Quadrant because she would have single-handedly beaten The Dominion. Not because of her cleverness or tactical prowess, but because the writers would have just gone with "And then Janeway single-handedly defeated The Dominion." I liked the decisiveness she showed. She was a badass captain. I don't recall them putting much effort into developing her as an isolated captain, though, until the final season. I may have forgotten some material, but the takeaway I had from S1-6 was that she was well-integrated with the crew personally and as a family...then in S7 she was suddenly pointing out how she had to hold back because of her position. I may be misremembering. I know they played with that theme a lot in TNG, but I am just much more familiar with TNG.

Seven was an interesting character and could have had so much more growth shown, instead of just told. Her inside-outside-looking inside point of view of humanity had a lot more potential than was realized on-screen. Borg reintegration would be a tricky topic to write for, I imagine.

Tuvac should have killed Neelix about eighty-four times and I admire the restraint.

Neelix was like a "Dumb and Dumber" character was made Ambassador to the United Nations and tried to stay funny for seven years.... not that I am a regular cut-up, either, but no one pays me to write and I am okay with being a curmudgeon.

Why didn't the ship have a first officer? I feel like a ship should have a first officer. Given the high rank, it should probably be someone dynamic and fully-realized. Was The Doctor the first officer and I just forgot?

Cannot believe that ship never got damaged and was able to keep their finite supply of shuttles and torpedoes for the whole run. :D

They had a Native American first officer for the first couple of seasons , and then... not sure...

Maybe he got lost in one of his not-at-all stereotype ‘vision quests’.

Seriously, imho they should have returned them home around the same time DS9 ended. Made them deal with the Federation suffering from years of war, and Starfleet being more militarised, and also suffering from years of battle.

 

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Yeah, Chakotay was first officer all the way through, not sure how you could miss that. He ended up dating Seven of Nine, judging by Picard that didn’t work out.

I think B’elanna is a better character than Kira Nerys. And Tim Paris is better than Bashir. Problem is they were written totally inconsistently in Voyager so it’s not a fair comparison.

And yes, the Voyager theme is the best trek theme. Still got to love that skip credits button though.

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4 minutes ago, john said:

Yeah, Chakotay was first officer all the way through, not sure how you could miss that.

I think it was a joke alluding to how the writers couldn’t be fucked to write any episodes for him after a while. Along with anyone other than Janeway, the Doctor and Seven really.

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D’oh, sorry Derf! Personally, I wish the DS9 writers had had a similar attitude to the Ferengi and their hilarious all women are naked but we’re definitely better than humans ethos.

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52 minutes ago, DaveSumm said:

I think it was a joke alluding to how the writers couldn’t be fucked to write any episodes for him after a while. Along with anyone other than Janeway, the Doctor and Seven really.

Correct :)

Even when they did give the character some screen time, they treated him as a ridiculous amalgamation of various indigenous cultures, heavily painted over with stereotype.

But at least they gave him a happy ending with Seven. Though I think menfolks going to massage parlors for that service have more believable and fully-developed romance than Seven and Chakotay...

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Is Chakotay considered particularly hard done by out of all the underrepresented voyager crew? The first officers always seem to get duff storylines, Riker and his evil twin, Kira and Odo (or any of her boyfriends). At least Chakotay got the Maquis thing, which was (potentially at least) one of the best plot lines trek have done, imo.

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1 minute ago, john said:

Is Chakotay considered particularly hard done by out of all the underrepresented voyager crew? The first officers always seem to get duff storylines, Riker and his evil twin, Kira and Odo (or any of her boyfriends). At least Chakotay got the Maquis thing, which was (potentially at least) one of the best plot lines trek have done, imo.

Riker’s episodes weren’t great, but they existed. Chakotay just didn’t get much to do, probably why they paired him with Seven. (“Let’s use an under-utilised character ... we’ve got Chakotay and Harry Kim?” “Chakotay it is then”.)

This is the major difference between DS9 and VOY: DS9 was a no-character-left-behind philosophy, in Season 1 you’d be forgiven for thinking ‘oh great, an episode about Jake’s annoying Ferengi friend’, but they kept at it and worked to make everyone interesting. Now Nog has one of the best arcs on the show. It’s why I always defend the Ezri Dax stories in Season 7, because they only had one season to do anything with and they could’ve just let her hang around in the background. But this isn’t Voyager, and they stuck to their guns and came up with some stories. They weren’t the best episodes but I respect the principle, because it worked so well with all the other characters.

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