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Forums => Picture Box => Topic started by: Lemming on May 11, 2021, 02:05:41 PM

Title: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 11, 2021, 02:05:41 PM
Anyone up to spend well over 100 hours of their life rewatching TNG?

I know we've got a CaB Voyager rewatch sort of underway already, but I've been wanting to do TNG for a while, and the time is right because I've been struck by crippling insomnia, and rewatch threads have been some of my favourite things on CaB.

As always, no idea what the best way to do this is. One episode every other night probably. Will start in a couple of days if people are interested.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on May 11, 2021, 02:16:19 PM
I got onto the fourth season I think - Picard had been borged, came back, went on holiday and shagged that woman half his age - and got bored. Might pick it up where I left off someday though.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Famous Mortimer on May 11, 2021, 02:38:34 PM
I rewatched it all a few years ago, so I might dip back in for a few of my favourite episodes.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 11, 2021, 03:39:34 PM
I just started this horrible idea a few weeks ago off the back of the DS9 thread and would be well up for this. I'm only up to Home Soil, so I'll wait for you poor, doomed fools to catch up.

So far the TNG S1 drinking game seems to be:
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on May 11, 2021, 03:42:49 PM
I do a TNG rewatch podcast (with one of us having never seen it). We've been doing it for about seven years now and are near the end of Season 4.

I would say though that watching the show slowly has given a new light to it. Lots of episodes get lost in the mix when watching loads in a row but taking them one or two at a time really makes you appreciate certain episodes. Our recent podcast on Half A Life was the perfect example of this. It has gone from just being that Lwaxana episode about
Spoiler alert
ritual suicide
[close]
to being one of my favourite episodes.

(Spam removed)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 11, 2021, 06:35:48 PM
I've skipped TNG and DS9 on my big rewatch but I would really appreciate if people could keep an eye out for a scene that I'm beginning to think I have imagined. I've mentioned it before with no luck and can't remember what series it appears in.

An away team beam somewhere and one of the extras has the maddest reaction to beaming to wherever they go. He basically acts like it's the first time he's ever been through the transporter and really stands out. All wide eyed and what the fuck just happened sort of thing.

To the best of my memory I'm sure it's a TNG style uniform so that excludes everything but the later series of DS9 as there was a uniform change.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 11, 2021, 07:04:36 PM
Quote from: Malcy on May 11, 2021, 06:35:48 PM
I've skipped TNG and DS9 on my big rewatch

That's one heck of a skip!

Did you do the rest in this order : Enterprise - Original 1960's series - Voyager - Picard?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 11, 2021, 07:45:40 PM
Quote from: daf on May 11, 2021, 07:04:36 PM
That's one heck of a skip!

Did you do the rest in this order : Enterprise - Original 1960's series - Voyager - Picard?

I did ENT, TOS, TAS and films 1-6. With whatever new shows were airing in between. It's been a while since I've seen a lot of VOY whereas I've watched loads of TNG & DS9 several times over the years and didn't feel the need.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 11, 2021, 07:57:33 PM
Quote from: Malcy on May 11, 2021, 06:35:48 PM
I've skipped TNG and DS9 on my big rewatch but I would really appreciate if people could keep an eye out for a scene that I'm beginning to think I have imagined. I've mentioned it before with no luck and can't remember what series it appears in.

An away team beam somewhere and one of the extras has the maddest reaction to beaming to wherever they go. He basically acts like it's the first time he's ever been through the transporter and really stands out. All wide eyed and what the fuck just happened sort of thing.

I take it you're not talking about S06E02, "Realm of Fear", the one where Reg Barclay, who has transporter phobia, is convinced he can see a creature in the beam attacking him?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realm_of_Fear
https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Realm_of_Fear_(episode)

If not, then no idea, I'm afraid, but I'm currently on my own weekly rewatch with some friends -- we're up to S03E18 so far -- so if I see it I'll let you know.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Carpool Dragon on May 11, 2021, 08:25:04 PM
Started watching this as well a few weeks ago. The first two seasons are a drudgery but S3 finally has some interesting stories. Wesley is still an annoying little shit though.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Endicott on May 11, 2021, 08:30:03 PM
Like Sheepy, Reg Barclay was who popped straight into my head, re your transporter thing Malcy
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on May 11, 2021, 08:35:46 PM
yeah that's who I was thinking. I barely remember anything other than an episode about HM Barclay being shit scared of transporters and the creature thing
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 11, 2021, 09:29:09 PM
No it's not Barclay. It's just an unnamed extra who I don't even think speaks. I wish I could remember what episode it was. I'm hoping it will appear in Voyager. I remember him stealing the scene and thinking why hadn't I noticed his reaction before!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on May 11, 2021, 10:19:08 PM
it seems like such a TNG thing as well, some little reaction and dialogue about the philosophical and medical side of transporters thrown in
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Johnny Textface on May 11, 2021, 11:26:07 PM
I doubt I'll be watching as currently watching Voyager, but I'll be reading this thread as loved your Red Dwarf thread Lemming!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: timebug on May 12, 2021, 08:42:50 AM
I did a complete rewatch during lockdown. used to love it, found it very patchy and variable this time around. Some of the 'good bits' I remembered were still good, others,less so.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lungpuddle on May 12, 2021, 10:48:13 AM
I'm up for this. Always up for Geordie and Data's
Spoiler alert
platonic relationship
[close]
, Picard being
Spoiler alert
written properly
[close]
and Riker's
Spoiler alert
horny as fuck
[close]
ability to sit in chairs.
And of course, naked Q.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 12, 2021, 12:48:20 PM
Seems like there's interest (and a lot of people already underway on their own rewatches), so let's get it started!


S01E01 - Encounter at Farpoint

First and most important thing - I love the miniskirt-dress and thigh boots combo that some crewmembers (of both sexes!) wear in this. Shame it got scrapped.

Probably not controversial to say that this isn't a great episode. 90 minutes long and at least 50 of those minutes are a complete waste of the viewer's time.

There's basically two plots going on - the Farpoint Station/Q adventure, and everyone very slowly walking around and introducing themselves to each other. The latter plot fills most of the middle of the two-parter, and drags so fucking badly. Riker enters the holodeck and looks astounded. Wesley walks onto the bridge and looks astounded. Riker and Troi gaze at each other sadly. All these scenes are laborious and padded to help fill the full 90 minutes.

The main plot isn't up to much either - a jellyfish is trapped underground, and that's about it. The addition of Q is probably the best part, but it's still such a straightforward and uninteresting story.

The episode also takes every available opportunity to start up with early-TNG's "humanity is advanced now, we're not savage anymore" stuff, which I do quite like in small doses. Picard's visible revulsion at the US military uniform is good.

Some other notes: I really hate the fact this episode makes WW3 canon. How the fuck was there a nuclear war, come on. Never sat well with me as a piece of Star Trek lore and I always just ignore it.

The saucer separation scene is shocking. It goes on for an absolute age, and despite technically impressive effects, it looks like shit because the disembodied drive section looks so stupid. The whole boring sequence is almost worth it though for the way Patrick Stewart internally cringes while being forced to deliver the phrase "saucer-sep".

Troi is used pretty well here, especially in the first twenty minutes or so, taking a station on the bridge and giving genuinely useful advice. There'll obviously be a lot to say later about how her character is underused/used badly, but the character gets some good use here, and is crucial to uncovering the truth of the stupid jellyfish plot. Although she does get the laughable "HE'S FROZEN!" line, and Sirtis' performance is ridiculously overdone at times (to be fair to her, though, you try delivering the line "pain! pain! suffering!" without sounding stupid).

Riker is established as having learned telepathy from Troi. What the fuck?

All the performances are more than a bit shaky. Special mention to Brent Spiner, who hasn't got the Data character down at all yet, and the performance is really unnerving and weird. Gurning at people after ever other line. Wonder what kind of briefing he was given before playing the character.

The jellyfish seems like an arsehole. Mass murder? Bombing civilian settlements? Operating a torture chamber? Really? Why was the mass bombing of civilians (who don't appear to have anything to do with holding the other jellyfish captive) necessary if it had the ability to kidnap and torture the leader anyway? God only knows how the jellyfish race would fare if Q decided to put them on trial.

Q's trial of humanity doesn't make a great deal of sense, considering:
a) half the people he puts on trial aren't even humans
b) humanity has been out in space for two centuries already
c) the "puzzle" he sets to test them is literally one of the most straightforward things of all time, and the "incredible challenge" he promised essentially amounts to not firing at the jellyfish unprovoked

2/5, to use an arbitrary 5-star rating system.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lungpuddle on May 12, 2021, 12:54:34 PM
Is Riker literally reading Troi's mind in that bit? It doesn't seem anything like a metaphor. That skill could've come in handy. How bizarre. I find this episode pretty boring, but the weird parts that they drop later on (such as Riker being able to read Troi's thoughts) are really memorable. The Trial is shot people well, quite disorientating.

Still, though, for a show that's clearly finding it's feet and bristling under certain people's stifling creative control, it's quite good that it sets up the final episode anyway. Not sure if I should spoiler that? I mean, we've all seen this series before, haven't we?

1/5, but that one star is really interesting and memorable.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 12, 2021, 12:55:31 PM
I think it was re-written in a couple of days to add in enough material to make it a 2 parter. You're a distance from the end but Shatner's Chaps On The Bridge documentary is worth a watch and I suppose you could watch it after the first few series as it only covers the early years.

Also the first episode to have a handover to the new cast. The Bones scene is lovely and probably the best bit of the episode. That and the very obvious(at least on my rewatch of the ep last year) stunt double for Data jumping down in the holodeck!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 12, 2021, 01:43:32 PM
Quote from: Lungpuddle on May 12, 2021, 12:54:34 PMI find this episode pretty boring, but the weird parts that they drop later on (such as Riker being able to read Troi's thoughts) are really memorable.

I like the weirdness too, I remember there being quite a lot of very strange borderline-supernatural elements to the first two seasons of TNG. The ones that stick in my mind are the planet so beautiful that it can cure any illness (Haven) and the race of people who managed to physically extract their "negative" personality traits, which then took the form of a sea of black sludge (Skin of Evil). I also really like the unnerving quasi-horror atmosphere, like when the Stargazer's dead crew appear as ghosts. It's a shame the show lost those aspects, even if the scripts got much much better afterwards.

Quote from: Malcy on May 12, 2021, 12:55:31 PM
I think it was re-written in a couple of days to add in enough material to make it a 2 parter.

Definitely has that feel, the middle section is so slow and unsure of itself. You can virtually see the point at which the new material was inserted - the Q/Farpoint plot just suddenly stops so that a lot of people can come aboard and look at the holodeck, and then in the final third of the two-parter, the Q/Farpoint plot resumes just as abruptly as it paused.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 12, 2021, 02:18:35 PM
God, it somehow gets longer every time I watch it.

Despite being re-introduced with better context later on, the story has to make sure to beat you over the head with the Holodeck, the saucer section... Geordi's incredible eyes. That bit in the middle where Riker watches the events of the opening half hour on a little TV should be a war crime.

I wish they'd kept Riker's wide-eyed wanderlust. He seems like the only person who actually wants to be out in space. "... keep me from making an ass of myself with children.", I am glad they wrote out Picard's restraining order, though.

I'm adding 'making a log entry when the story provides no opportunity for it' to the drinking game. It's also going to be interesting to see how often the hundreds of civilians aboard the ship get a mention in the years to come.

Quote from: Lemming on May 12, 2021, 12:48:20 PM
All the performances are more than a bit shaky. Special mention to Brent Spiner, who hasn't got the Data character down at all yet, and the performance is really unnerving and weird. Gurning at people after ever other line. Wonder what kind of briefing he was given before playing the character.

There's a week where he suddenly puts on 20 pounds and starts acting like Data so maybe the answer is malnutrition.

(Groppler Zorn)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on May 12, 2021, 03:21:06 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 12, 2021, 01:43:32 PM
Definitely has that feel, the middle section is so slow and unsure of itself. You can virtually see the point at which the new material was inserted - the Q/Farpoint plot just suddenly stops so that a lot of people can come aboard and look at the holodeck, and then in the final third of the two-parter, the Q/Farpoint plot resumes just as abruptly as it paused.

It was my understanding that the original script was just the Farpoint element and then it was the Q plot which was the thing added to make it a two-parter.

There feels a bit of a similarity between The Cage, TMP and the idea of a Q-Less version of Encounter at Farpoint. Basically that is Gene Roddenberry doing his version of what he thinks Trek should be. Thankfully we have the network/studio to come in and tell him it needs to be more exciting.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 12, 2021, 05:25:42 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on May 12, 2021, 02:18:35 PMIt's also going to be interesting to see how often the hundreds of civilians aboard the ship get a mention in the years to come.

A favourite thing from childhood:

(https://i.postimg.cc/YSRWmKVf/Star-Trek-do-nothing.jpg)

(From MAD's 1976 parody "Keep On Trekin': The mad Star Trek Musical" which can be seen in its glorious entirety here (http://mystartrekscrapbook.blogspot.com/2008/11/1976-mad-star-trek-spoof.html).)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 12, 2021, 05:45:27 PM
Gates McFadden has a new podcast out today called InvestiGates(see what she did there) where she speaks to her Trek friends. Frakes up first.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 12, 2021, 05:52:30 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 11, 2021, 02:05:41 PM
Anyone up to spend well over 100 hours of their life rewatching TNG?

I still had four episodes of the animated series to go plus the 70's-80's films (watching one a week on Wednesdays), but this has given me the boot up the arse to get on and start my TNG watch. I can squeeze the cartoons and movies in here and there when I have time.

I think I must have seen every episode broadcast on TV at least twice *, but this time it will be on blu-ray, so as well as an improved picture, the sound will be running at the right speed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
* BBC2 and the Horror channel - though I have a vague idea there was some controversial 'the IRA are mint and skill' episode they never showed - so that one, at least, should be new to me!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on May 12, 2021, 06:17:39 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 12, 2021, 01:43:32 PM
I like the weirdness too, I remember there being quite a lot of very strange borderline-supernatural elements to the first two seasons of TNG. The ones that stick in my mind are the planet so beautiful that it can cure any illness (Haven) and the race of people who managed to physically extract their "negative" personality traits, which then took the form of a sea of black sludge (Skin of Evil). I also really like the unnerving quasi-horror atmosphere, like when the Stargazer's dead crew appear as ghosts. It's a shame the show lost those aspects, even if the scripts got much much better afterwards.

Yeah going though TNG last summer again that was definitely the main thing the earlier seasons have going for them, season 3 might well be my favourite of the lot as it keeps more of that aspect whilst improving almost everything else.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Johnny Textface on May 12, 2021, 08:32:15 PM
Re: the rating system. Please can we have a rare 6 if the episode raises its head above the best 5 bangers?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 12, 2021, 10:41:44 PM
I probably won't keep this up, but let's see how far I get . . .

"Encounter at Farpoint" - Season 1 | Episode 1 & 2

(https://i.imgur.com/PB1Kl8g.jpg)

The only bits I remembered were the trial scene  . . . oddly, I was expecting a scene where Picard does a sort of inspection of the crew - which must be on another episode.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Fuck My Hat - its Grandpa Bones!!!
• Bones mad bell bottoms
• Data's sexy red lippy on the Holo-deck!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Hillarous OTT voiceover on the 1987 promos : "Data - an androouuuuooooid"
• Shaggin' Space Jellyfish!
• Space trousers anti-crumple frontal leg-split - how hasn't this caught on - come on Jeff Banks!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 12, 2021, 10:47:31 PM
Quote from: daf on May 12, 2021, 10:41:44 PM


The only bits I remembered were the trial scene  . . . oddly, I was expecting a scene where Picard does a sort of inspection of the crew - which must be on another episode.

Spoiler alert
The scene is set during this episode but it's not shown till All Good Things...
[close]
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 12, 2021, 11:02:01 PM
Quote from: Malcy on May 12, 2021, 10:47:31 PM
Spoiler alert
The scene is set during this episode but it's not shown till All Good Things...
[close]

Cheers - thought I was going a bit mad there!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 03:06:24 AM
Still can't sleep, so:

S01E02 - The Naked Now

Hell yeah, a shamelessly recycled TOS plot! What an absolutely killer way to kick off a new series.

Not much to say about the episode generally - it's a direct knockoff of The Naked Time, but mostly less exciting and fun, and without the absolutely ridiculous climactic Kirk and Spock scene that helped make the original episode so good ("Jim, when I feel friendship for you... I'm ASHAMED" "WE'VE! GOT! THREE! MINUTES!")

This episode does manage quite a few genuinely decent bits of humour, though, something Star Trek isn't often great at. It's odd - there's a sense that the entire thing is aware of how inherently ridiculous it all is, which is pretty much the opposite of the tone TNG settles on later. Even during the most tense moments of the episode, there's usually something that's meant to make you laugh.

Speaking of which, the episode does pull off some serviceable TOS-style "ooh fuck the ship's about to blow up" tension, which ratchets up over the course of the episode. It's definitely not boring to watch.

Assorted notes: Wesley has built a voice recorder thing that simulates Picard's voice, can be made to say anything, and he uses it to pretend Picard's giving him orders. Creepy.

The doomed ship they encounter at the start is really kind of harrowing. The frozen corpses are strikingly upsetting to look at. Great bit of visual design. Controversially, perhaps, I also like the relative lack of reaction on the crew's behalf. The "humans don't fear anything in the 24th century, nobody argues about anything ever" shit in early TNG was obviously ridiculous at times, but the idea that people in the future have different morals, different beliefs and different attitudes is cool, and the crew's unemotional reaction to seeing so much death is a nice reminder of that.

Riker's apparently seen TOS, because he remembers this exact thing happening to the original Enterprise. Despite this, Riker proves to be the biggest dumbfuck of the episode - he touches Troi, giving himself the virus, and then strides into Beverley's office and inexplicably puts his hand right on her neck, giving it to her too. Superspreader. Right after this, he shoves his entire face into a small enclosed area where the Chief Engineer is working, putting himself about a centimeter away and virtually guaranteeing yet another infection.

As much of an idiot of Riker is, nobody else comes off particularly well - Beverley's quarantine procedure is to just look sort of annoyed at the fact that Geordi has escaped and is spreading the virus everywhere, and Troi comes into close physical contact with Tasha, realises Tasha's been affected, and reports it. Nobody suggests quarantining Troi, and she goes on to spread it herself.

Chief Engineer introduced! It's someone called MacDougal, who I don't remember seeing in any other episodes.

Inevitably have to address the Tasha/Data scene, because it's very odd. Tasha, under the effects of the virus, transforms herself into Lisa Stansfield and tries to seduce Data. She does this by discussing how, as a 5 year old child, she had to evade "rape gangs" on her homeworld. Jesus. Data apparently gets infected instantaneously and informs Tasha that "I am programmed in multiple techniques. a broad variety of pleasuring..." I think this scene is meant to be comedy, especially since it results in the "it never happened" punchline at the end which I think is meant to be funny. But it just comes off as very weird. The line about Tasha's childhood jars really badly and Data's actions are inexplicable. The episode later points out that Data shouldn't be affected by the virus, and doesn't bother to explain why he is - and is affected more quickly and more intensely than almost anyone else, for that matter.

Wesley does, of course, save the fucking ship with his stupid tractor beam. Despite suffering from the virus, he's able to reprogram the Enterprise's tractor beam in mere seconds (the Chief Engineer, who presumably has years of experience, says that this is impossible, but Wesley does it anyway somehow).

Again, I'm really confused as to what the motivation was behind essentially remaking an old episode. Not the best way to set the new series and new cast apart from the original, and frankly it's not as good as the episode it's based on anyway.

2/5, but a much higher 2/5 than Encounter at Farpoint. If that makes any sense. Can't really justify 3/5 for such a run-of-the-mill episode, but the pacing is solid and it's entertaining enough to watch.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 03:07:39 AM
Quote from: Johnny Textface on May 12, 2021, 08:32:15 PM
Re: the rating system. Please can we have a rare 6 if the episode raises its head above the best 5 bangers?

Ooh, this is interesting. Might give myself like five 6's to give out to the five best episodes over the course of the rewatch.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: jenna appleseed on May 13, 2021, 04:03:22 AM
Quote from: Ambient Sheep on May 12, 2021, 05:25:42 PM
A favourite thing from childhood:

(https://i.postimg.cc/YSRWmKVf/Star-Trek-do-nothing.jpg)

(From MAD's 1976 parody "Keep On Trekin': The mad Star Trek Musical" which can be seen in its glorious entirety here (http://mystartrekscrapbook.blogspot.com/2008/11/1976-mad-star-trek-spoof.html).)

just spotted some accidental space Partridge
(https://i.imgur.com/9pENHHY.jpg)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 13, 2021, 09:59:48 AM
Quote from: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 03:06:24 AM
S01E02 - The Naked Now
...
2/5, but a much higher 2/5 than Encounter at Farpoint. If that makes any sense. Can't really justify 3/5 for such a run-of-the-mill episode, but the pacing is solid and it's entertaining enough to watch.

That's very harsh. It's a solid, fun episode.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 13, 2021, 11:35:14 AM
The Naked Now gets 5 stars from me for the noise Picard makes when he's in his Ready Room with Crusher. Gold.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: druss on May 13, 2021, 12:14:25 PM
Ooo I think I will get in on this. Have a weird relationship with TNG, first time I watched it was when I was coming off some horrible drugs and was getting awful withdrawal symptoms and didn't sleep for about 4 days. Blitzed my way through the entire series in a weird state of constant pain, drifting in and out of sleep. If I ever catch the intro on TV I get odd feelings of sadness but also hope as it got me through it.

Hopefully this re-watch can re-condition my brain to not experience weird pangs of anguish whenever I hear Picard or any music from TNG.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on May 13, 2021, 12:24:06 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 03:06:24 AMAgain, I'm really confused as to what the motivation was behind essentially remaking an old episode. Not the best way to set the new series and new cast apart from the original, and frankly it's not as good as the episode it's based on anyway.

I can see the logic personally, revisting something fans know already with a new crew but a big factor in the whole first season really is that Roddenberry was trying to keep maximum control and using a lot of writers/scripts from the TOS and Phase Two eras.

Seems he thought Kirk's sexual conquests were a big part of the shows appeal as well since season 1 is by far the most sex heavy.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 12:31:37 PM
Quote from: Blumf on May 13, 2021, 09:59:48 AM
That's very harsh. It's a solid, fun episode.

It's not a bad episode by any means and there's a lot to like about it - the assistant engineer playing Jenga with the control chips, Beverley making Picard uncomfortable on the bridge, Riker's unbelievable incompetence (though I don't think that one was intentional)... Also love the "whoosh" sound effect that plays whenever the virus gets transmitted, such a strange thing to put in that it's impossible not to laugh at.

But it's one of the most standard-issue Star Trek plots possible, has a "Wesley saves the ship by being better than everyone" ending (massive credit to Wil Wheaton for doing great work with this material), and it loses points for me for being such a direct remake of an existing episode, with some scenes and ideas copied practically verbatim (Riley/Wesley taking over Engineering and proclaiming themselves the new Captain while taunting Kirk/Picard over the intercom). IMO the original episode is far stronger, so The Naked Now suffers by coming off as a weaker imitation that just lifts an existing idea and doesn't do anything new with it.

Quote from: greenman on May 13, 2021, 12:24:06 PM
I can see the logic personally, revisting something fans know already with a new crew but a big factor in the whole first season really is that Roddenberry was trying to keep maximum control and using a lot of writers/scripts from the TOS and Phase Two eras.

I suppose it sort of makes sense, but nothing new happens with the idea. I get re-using the Polywater Intoxication as a starting point and a way to reassure the audience that this new show takes place in the same setting as the original, but the episode plays out almost the exact same as The Naked Time, only slightly more subdued and with a less thrilling ending (Data and Wesley save everyone vs "WE'VE GOT TO RISK A FULL! POWER! START!").
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 13, 2021, 02:29:47 PM
Quote
Picard: 'Doctor, this thing both acts like and is spread like a disease. It killed dozens of people and now Geordi has it'

Crusher: 'Well it isn't a disease, so fuck your quarantine'

I wonder how much hatred for Wesley stems from this episode where he's clearly like... 450% more annoying than usual.

Hard to judge this episode over the sound of Gene pounding his nub. A terrible idea for episode 2, though.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on May 13, 2021, 02:32:47 PM
Worst TNG episode up next?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on May 13, 2021, 02:33:41 PM
Quote from: greenman on May 13, 2021, 02:32:47 PM
Worst TNG episode up next?

Shades of Grey is a ways away.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 13, 2021, 02:39:42 PM
There's a real danger of it being the best episode so far!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 13, 2021, 02:40:29 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 03:06:24 AM2/5, but a much higher 2/5 than Encounter at Farpoint. If that makes any sense. Can't really justify 3/5 for such a run-of-the-mill episode, but the pacing is solid and it's entertaining enough to watch.

Quote from: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 03:07:39 AM
Quote from: Johnny Textface on May 12, 2021, 08:32:15 PM
Re: the rating system. Please can we have a rare 6 if the episode raises its head above the best 5 bangers?

Ooh, this is interesting. Might give myself like five 6's to give out to the five best episodes over the course of the rewatch.

I know this might be controversial, but...

...you could always have marks out of 10 rather than 5.  1 to 9 for most eps, 10 for the 6/5 eps, and 0 for Shades of Grey.

Then you could score EaF as 3/10 and TNN as 4/10.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 13, 2021, 02:52:37 PM
Could give each episode Starfleet ranks. Ensign, Lieutenant etc. What about the absolute stinkers though? Non-Com? Or would that be an insult to Chief O'Brien? He's been through enough.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Fambo Number Mive on May 13, 2021, 02:54:05 PM
Quote from: Malcy on May 13, 2021, 02:52:37 PM
Could give each episode Starfleet ranks. Ensign, Lieutenant etc. What about the absolute stinkers though? Non-Com? Or would that be an insult to Chief O'Brien? He's been through enough.

Call them "Neelix"
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on May 13, 2021, 03:43:45 PM
Admiral, cos admirals are always bad in TNG
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 04:13:05 PM
Taking the advice regarding ratings on board, think the following 10-point system could work:

(https://i.imgur.com/fPGWxFx.png)
1 RIKER - for episodes that, like Riker, are just completely pathetic.

(https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
2 WESLEYS - for episodes that, like Wesley, are mostly fucking awful.

(https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
3 BEVS - for episodes that, like Bev, are mostly boring and pointless.

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
4 TROIS - for episodes that, like Troi, are just sort of inoffensively there.

(https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
5 PICARDS - for episodes that, like Picard, are a mixed bag.

(https://i.imgur.com/ps92bYU.png)
6 GEORDIS - for episodes that, like Geordi, are alright.

(https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)
7 GUINANS - for episodes that, like Guinan, are mostly cool.

(https://i.imgur.com/ixhj4Sw.png)
8 O'BRIENS - for episodes that, like O'Brien, are great.

(https://i.imgur.com/vmjapj9.png)
9 RO LARENS - for episodes that, like Ro Laren, are very cool.

(https://i.imgur.com/elTuXCo.png)
10 WORFS - for episodes that, like Worf, achieve the highest levels of honour and glory.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on May 13, 2021, 04:27:02 PM
0 - Beardless Riker?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 13, 2021, 04:31:34 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 04:13:05 PM
Taking the advice regarding ratings on board, think the following 10-point system could work:

(https://i.postimg.cc/Ghs3Rxff/riker.png)
1 RIKER - for episodes that, like Riker, are just completely pathetic.

FTFY

EDIT: Or what MojoJojo said
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: druss on May 13, 2021, 05:27:37 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 04:13:05 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
5 PICARDS - for episodes that, like Picard, are a mixed bag.

I might have to duck out of this thread if this is the general consensus.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 13, 2021, 05:42:47 PM
Yeah, lots of disagreements there!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 05:49:22 PM
Sorry, Picard really winds me up half the time! Hopefully I'll get to identify exactly why over the course of the rewatch, but the likes of Pen Pals and Homeward are the standout examples. Homeward in particular is such an absolute shocker in regards to Picard's conduct that it's one of the TNG episodes that sticks most in my memory, for all the wrong reasons.

"This is one of those times when we must face the ramifications of the Prime Directive and honour those lives which we cannot save," as an entire planet burns before his eyes and because of his decisions. Harrowing.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Endicott on May 13, 2021, 05:53:00 PM
That's hardly the point! I know it's just a fun idea for a rating system but if it's going to be divisive from the get go I'd suggest just using 0 to 10, as originally suggested. Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 13, 2021, 05:57:43 PM
Just occurred to me - is Troi meant to be Russian? . . .

"The Naked Now"

(https://i.imgur.com/vMDMJF7.jpg)

Corrr!! - Let's do a Sex!!!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Data's Penis Poem
• Blue Boobs & side-bums
• Troi's Jumbo hair-sausage
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Everyone gets (hem hem) "sucked off" into space?
• Data's Swiss-Army Robo-Cock!
SNOG! SNOG! SNOG! SNOG!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 13, 2021, 05:57:57 PM
I love this thread already and I think your rating scale is brilliant Lemming. Much needed laugh today.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 13, 2021, 06:01:44 PM
Quote from: Fambo Number Mive on May 13, 2021, 02:54:05 PM
Call them "Neelix"

I've always been a defender of Neelix. If I was stuck on Voyager I'd be making friends with him. The man is an experimental cook and a pain in the arse but at least he's jolly. However I've just suffered through several VOY episodes of his jealous attitude regarding Kes and I've rolled my eyes so much that they hurt. Think that's an end to it now though.

Can we have a minus-10 rating we can call Burnham. Neelix is Kirk compared to that arsehole.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 06:05:30 PM
Quote from: Endicott on May 13, 2021, 05:53:00 PM
That's hardly the point! I know it's just a fun idea for a rating system but if it's going to be divisive from the get go I'd suggest just using 0 to 10, as originally suggested. Just sayin'.

If a Star Trek thread doesn't have everyone at each other's throats, then it's gone wrong somewhere.

With that in mind, the 10 rating should have been Wesley.

Quote from: daf on May 13, 2021, 05:57:43 PM
Just occurred to me - is Troi meant to be Russian? . . .

I think I remember hearing somewhere that Sirtis was asked by the producers to put on an "alien" accent, and that's what she came up with. Inexplicably, no other Betazoid characters who ever appeared in the show, including her own mother, bothered to put on any kind of accent at all so she just ended up sounding insane.

Quote from: Malcy on May 13, 2021, 06:01:44 PM
Can we have a minus-10 rating we can call Burnham. Neelix is Kirk compared to that arsehole.

-10: Burnham
0: Neelix
11: M'Ress
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on May 13, 2021, 06:06:14 PM
I like Picard but its weird in the first season that he says to the businessman something like "we as a society have grown beyond the need for the accumulation things" yet I'm fairly certain he is a collector of historical items, has an episode where he is trying to steal some sort of gem or some shit on holiday AND owns a huge vineyard.

Maybe that's more an inconsistency in the setting and lore rather than characterisation but it still is a bit off.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: druss on May 13, 2021, 06:14:53 PM
"Engage"

"Make it so"

10/10 just for that.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 13, 2021, 06:16:55 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 13, 2021, 06:05:30 PM
11: M'Ress

Surely we are at a technological stage were a Catian can appear in live action by now. To be fair I'm sure they could have managed it in the 90's and even think The Voyage Home had a couple that looked alright in the 80's. I'd say make it happen Kurtzman but we don't want that!

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on May 13, 2021, 06:26:18 PM
Quote from: Malcy on May 13, 2021, 06:16:55 PM
Surely we are at a technological stage were a Catian can appear in live action by now. To be fair I'm sure they could have managed it in the 90's and even think The Voyage Home had a couple that looked alright in the 80's. I'd say make it happen Kurtzman but we don't want that!

BeJaysus (or whatever her name was) that Seven vapourised for killing Icheb was originally intended to be a Caitian, but they dropped the idea somewhere along the line.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 13, 2021, 07:00:06 PM
Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on May 13, 2021, 06:26:18 PM
BeJaysus (or whatever her name was) that Seven vapourised for killing Icheb was originally intended to be a Caitian, but they dropped the idea somewhere along the line.

I've struggled with an unnecessarily Irish Romulan. I think a Caitian called BeJaysus would have been too far. No doubt the henchmen would have been called Begorrah & Dub'lin! Didn't know that so cheers.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 13, 2021, 09:51:49 PM
Quote from: daf on May 13, 2021, 05:57:43 PM
Just occurred to me - is Troi meant to be Russian? . . .

That's Worf.

Why doesn't Worf have a Russian accent, like his adoptive parents?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on May 13, 2021, 11:13:42 PM
yeh Worf grew up in Belarus. Riker is ofc from Alaska, because there's that episode with the nervy new Canadian fella
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on May 13, 2021, 11:32:02 PM
Quote from: bgmnts on May 13, 2021, 06:06:14 PM
I like Picard but its weird in the first season that he says to the businessman something like "we as a society have grown beyond the need for the accumulation things" yet I'm fairly certain he is a collector of historical items, has an episode where he is trying to steal some sort of gem or some shit on holiday AND owns a huge vineyard.

Maybe that's more an inconsistency in the setting and lore rather than characterisation but it still is a bit off.

You could argue the real intension of that speech seems to be more claiming that accumulating excessive wealth isn't viewed as important although I think he does also say something about not having "possessions" so there is I think a shift in intension there.

I think you could argue the show almost takes the opposite view and makes attachment to historical objects/buildings/etc a trait that's associated with humans moreso than a lot of other major races.

I do think Stewart is left to carry the show much of the time in the first season but still the character isn't fully there, definitely less likeble than he became.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Zetetic on May 13, 2021, 11:55:31 PM
People in the Federation have personal property but not private capital.

(Except for the trillions of Federation farmers that exist, for some reason.)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 14, 2021, 12:39:02 AM
S01E03 - Code of Honor

The planet Ligon II, inhabited by a culture that's (apparently) similar to 13th-century China, produces a vaccine that the Federation needs to avoid a MEGA-OUTBREAK of something or other. Picard and the gang have to negotiate for it, but the planet's representative, Lutan, starts to manipulate the situation when he sees the opportunity for personal gain.

This is an episode of two halves, in my view. First half is pretty good, second half is mostly a total disaster which sadly scuttles the whole thing. Makes sense to talk about the halves individually, so:

FIRST HALF

- Picard hilariously overreacts to Yar's kidnapping. Red Alert, sure, but firing a bunch of torpedoes into the air around the planet (fairly indiscriminately) as a first resort is a bit much. Made even funnier by the fact that, immediately after this, he's informed by Data that patience is considered a great virtue in Ligonian culture, and that this was "highly emphasised" in the briefing. Good job crew. Maybe someone should have brought that up before we made visceral threats of violence a mere thirty seconds after Lutan pissed us off.

- "An obscure language known as French". Got a laugh.

- Riker whines when Troi suggests that Picard lead the away mission personally. This is cool, a reminder of the very reason Picard chose Riker as his First Officer in the first place.

- What makes this episode work to a certain extent for me is Lutan, who I think is a solidly-written character, elevated by a brilliant performance from the actor. The whole sequence where he forces Picard to make the grovelling request to see Yar is great, with a superb performance by both actors. You can feel how much Picard and Lutan hate each other, but both of them stick to a thin veneer of civility, as each of their cultures demand. Picard's disgust at Lutan's conduct is barely disguised, and Lutan's contempt for the Federation is equally tangible. Lutan also plays the Federation's cultural relativism against Picard, which - combined with the urgent need for the vaccine - basically lets Lutan get Picard wherever he wants him. He's a really enjoyable and effective antagonist and he's easily the best thing about the episode.

- Additionally, Ligonian culture is portrayed as a bit more complicated than the usual one-dimensional planets you get in Star Trek. Lutan appears to be an archetypal boring "honour!" arsehole at first, like almost every Klingon in TNG, but it soon becomes clear he's basically just playing the system to get himself as many material advantages as he can - he even admits himself that the code of honor is a "cloak" through which to steal Yareena's land (only women can own land on Ligon II). It feels like the writer really did try to make a vaguely consistent set of rules by which Ligonian society operates, and then figure out how an amoral, over-ambitious person like Lutan could manipulate them. The scene where the bridge crew try to figure out how they're supposed to play along with Ligonian customs in order to get Tasha back is interesting too. Not to oversell it or anything, it's still a very broad, thinly-sketched idea of a society which you could summarise in about three sentences, but more thought has gone into it than some other Star Trek societies (including a few coming up soon in the next episodes...).

SECOND HALF

- Here's where the wheels come off, right after the banquet scene. Yareena, "First One" of Lutan, challenges Yar to a fight to the death. I thought Yareena's motivations and goals were hard to follow and seemed to suddenly shift at the end, which is really bad for the episode given that this character is the key player in the plot's resolution. The ending with Lutan's schemes backfiring on him massively and forcing him to eat shit as he ends up as Yareena's lapdog could have been fun, but I genuinely could not tell you how the fuck any of that happened. The idea is that the traditions and customs Lutan used to further his own goals have ended up weaponised against him by Yareena, giving him his just desserts, but I don't have a clue how any of that worked, and there was no indication that Yareena had planned any of this in advance (her masterplan was to just go into the laser arena and get killed by Tasha, apparently?). The last thing she says before the fight is that she loves Lutan and will fight to the death for him, then immediately afterwards, she tells Lutan he's a piece of shit, refuses to marry him, and makes him into a servant. What?

- Yar acts insane throughout the whole second half. This is because of the introduction of a crazy subplot in which Troi decides that Tasha is actually supremely hot for Lutan, because he exudes alpha male energy or some stupid shit. Yareena shows up and agrees, and says that it's impossible not to be wildly attracted to Lutan, despite the fact that he's a complete prat who's trying to indirectly kill one or both of them for material gain. Even in the ending, Tasha is interested in staying with Lutan, and reluctantly refuses because "there would be... complications". This is ridiculous given the abysmal treatment she's received from Lutan. Huge weak-point for the episode, given that it's presumably meant to be a Yar-centric story, but all she does is: get kidnapped, sit in a room where she talks about how hot her kidnapper is, meets Yareena to yell at each other about how hot Lutan is, and then get into a fight. No idea what the point of this subplot was, but in addition to being potentially offensive/sexist, it also takes up quite a bit of the very disappointing and wonky second half. Especially bewildering given the horrific details we learn of Tasha's past in the previous episode.

- We learn that Lutan has planned for the fight all along - he was enamoured with Tasha's physical strength when they first met not because he found it attractive, as was earlier suggested, but rather because it meant that she'd have a chance at killing Yareena in combat, thus transferring all her land to him. Everything Lutan has done has been part of a plan to trap Tasha on the planet and coax Yareena into challenging her to combat. This is a nice twist and another "Lutan successfully fucks everyone over" moment, but it makes the way Tasha is written look even more ridiculous.

- There's a scene near the end where Troi reminds Picard that she's available to give advice. Massive unintentional laugh-out-loud moment, because the conversation essentially goes like this:
TROI: "I'm here to help and to advise you. I'm your Counsellor, use my skills."
PICARD: "Yes, please advise me. Is there a way out of this somehow? Can we stop the fight?"
TROI: "No."
(SCENE CHANGE)

- The cast and crew reportedly consider this one to be the worst episode of TNG ever, and unequivocally racist. The script calls for the Ligonians to be reptilian, with a strong cultural resemblance to samurai, but the casting director made the decision to cast black actors. Combined with the fact that Ligonian culture is a hodgepodge of a lot of different (mostly/entirely non-Western) historic cultures intended to create a generally "alien" society, you can see how it comes across the wrong way. But at the same time, the episode does try to drive home that there's no historical Earth equivalent for Ligonian culture - the closest match, according to Data, is 13th-century China (though interestingly, they also have transporter tech to match the Federation's, and are apparently capable of producing a uniquely effective vaccine). I don't know what logic the casting director was working with, though. Should have gone with the lizard-samurai like the script said!

Overall, the first half does a good job in setting up a culture that's a bit more tricky than the usual stuff you get in Star Trek, and begins to construct a very engaging and threatening antagonist in Lutan. The second half is a massive waste of time which absolutely squanders all the work the first half did in setting up something that could have been interesting. Seriously, everything after the banquet is a total letdown. There's possibly some campy fun to be had in the deathmatch at the end, but it's honestly more boring than funny.

A single rewrite could have saved this one - just make the latter half of the episode focus on Yareena and her plan to turn the tables on Lutan, maybe have her cooperate with the Enterprise crew behind the scenes to make it happen (presumably while Picard stands in the corner stressing out over the Prime Directive). Also completely scrap the "Lutan is so hot that it's ok if he holds me captive" stuff, obviously. Explain earlier in the episode how Ligonian law offers Yareena some loopholes and avenues to flip the script and get ahead of Lutan, so that it doesn't just come out of nowhere at the end. Could have been decent, but as it stands, the episode is a mess.

3/10 for a good first half.

(https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)

(EDIT: I put 4/10 initially, but 3/10 is more accurate considering how systematically the episode shits itself in the latter half.)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on May 14, 2021, 08:15:26 AM
Quote from: Zetetic on May 13, 2021, 11:55:31 PM
People in the Federation have personal property but not private capital.

That is fair and was my original thoughts but you'd assume in the utopian federation that all the historical artifacts would be in a museum and not a private collection.

And of course him owning a huge vineyard seems closer to private property than personal property.

Anyway season 1 of TNG is ropey as fuck.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on May 14, 2021, 01:27:27 PM
I give Code of Honor 10 Jim Davidsons out of 10.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 14, 2021, 03:12:26 PM
"Code of Honor"

(https://i.imgur.com/fAcFh41.jpg)

Lutan Death-sport ~ Ooh-wee-ooh ~ Lutan Death-sport

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Africa in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!
• Exotic chopstick applause
• Gold Hedgehog Fight
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Wesley's baggy jumpers
• French is extinct now?
• Data's Kidleys
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 14, 2021, 10:47:16 PM
TNG gets Afrofuturism wrong.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 15, 2021, 04:05:30 AM
S01E04 - The Last Outpost

The Enterprise is chasing a Ferengi ship, a people still uncontacted at this point. First contact goes even more tits-up than expected when an ancient planet captures both ships in its forcefield.

- The first half is actually pretty effective. It's sort of a more relaxed Balance of Terror, where everyone frets over what's going to happen next while we get frequent shots of the Ferengi ship looming ominously.

- The episode becomes a chore as soon as they head down to the planet. There's an extended scene of Riker being shit as usual, wandering around lost and screaming for help, before the Ferengi show up with electric whips (?!) and start beating the shit out of the away team for no reason. After absolutely ages of this, interspersed with scenes aboard the Enterprise where everyone just complains that it's getting cold, the away team stumble upon a sentient portal that's been asleep for about 600,000 years. A machine left behind by a long-gone civilization isn't an original idea at all, it's been done before in TOS, and it's presented in a very boring way here.

- Again, some oddly-placed comedy, the kind of which I don't remember latter-era TNG having any of at all. The fight scene with the Ferengi is genuinely really funny. Particularly Riker's "I'VE GOT THIS ONE!!!" while getting his ass beat, complete with Loony Tunes sound effect as he gets smacked to the ground. Plus, Worf screaming "PYGMY CRETINS" while two Ferengi clamber onto him.

- Geordi gets fucked by a transporter mishap and materialises upside down with his foot stuck inside solid rock. He's unharmed and it's played for laughs, but I've always been absolutely terrified of the transporters in Star Trek and this scared the shit out of me.

- Riker says that the Ferengi remind him of humans "hundreds of years ago," and "it's hard to hate what we once were". Terrible attitude, Picard did the same thing with the Ligonians in Code of Honor - assuming that everyone they meet is on some kind of pre-set track towards societal "progress", which will inevitably lead to them one day having the same exact morals and beliefs as the Federation. Patronising in at least two obvious ways - from a cultural supremacist "we're the best and everyone else just needs to catch up with us" perspective, and also an infantilising "it's ok for these people to carry out all kinds of violence and oppression, because they're simply not our equals, they're less than us, and they can't possibly know any better! Let's all go to the 'conference room' to masturbate over ourselves!" AWFUL

- Armin Shimerman!

Tense first half which sadly devolves into a really really boring slog from the moment they set foot on the planet, and it all leads up to nothing - just a sentient portal that gives Riker a chance to jerk off about how good humanity supposedly is these days. The actors playing the Ferengi do a great job of establishing this new race, but there's nothing they can do to save the script. It's also got a lot of pacing issues, virtually nothing actually happens after they reach the planet and yet it drags on for over 20 minutes. The "portal" character is bizarre and doesn't feel like it belongs in Star Trek, it'd be out of place even in TOS. 2/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 15, 2021, 11:01:01 AM
I think that one must rate amongst the most boring episodes of the show, maybe not the dullest, but pretty close.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 15, 2021, 01:42:05 PM
"The Last Outpost"

(https://i.imgur.com/wJ9ZIvx.jpg)

Ferengi or Foe?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Jews in Spaaaaaaaaaaace! *
• "Merde!" (Picard)
• "Uncle Whoooo?" (Worf)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Monty Python Bridge Guardian
• Data's Chinese finger-tube
• Troi costume watch : Grey with green 'bum-band'

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Score : (https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)

*
QuoteArmin Shimerman  : "In America, people ask 'Do the Ferengi represent Jews?' In England, they ask 'Do the Ferengi represent the Irish?' In Australia, they ask if the Ferengi represent the Chinese.The Ferengi represent the outcast, it's the person who lives among us that we don't fully understand."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 15, 2021, 05:40:27 PM
God bless Armin Shimerman. You stick to it lad, things will pick up.

I didn't realise how early on the Ferengi hat of 'free traders' was written in. You'd think a mercantile empire that doesn't share Federation ideals would be a great villain. They'd bribe pre-warp species up front with technology, appoint a 'franchise overseer' and then gut the planet for all its riches. The crew would have to balance their non-intervention code with the obvious harm being done, all while avoiding a shooting war.

... probably better to make them leaping goblins, though.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 15, 2021, 05:46:18 PM
Quote from: daf on May 15, 2021, 01:42:05 PM
QuoteArmin Shimerman  : "In England, they ask 'Do the Ferengi represent the Irish?'"

We do?  Never heard that one.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on May 15, 2021, 07:34:25 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on May 15, 2021, 05:40:27 PM
God bless Armin Shimerman. You stick to it lad, things will pick up.

I didn't realise how early on the Ferengi hat of 'free traders' was written in. You'd think a mercantile empire that doesn't share Federation ideals would be a great villain. They'd bribe pre-warp species up front with technology, appoint a 'franchise overseer' and then gut the planet for all its riches. The crew would have to balance their non-intervention code with the obvious harm being done, all while avoiding a shooting war.

... probably better to make them leaping goblins, though.

It does seem that even during the course of the first season there were repeated shifts as to who the main antagonists/plots might be, started with the Ferengi and maybe Tkon tech then the story with the parasitic aliens that ends resolved early and finally the Romulans and early hints at the Borg.

I'm guessing a big issue was probably how obviously the Ferengi played into antisemtic cliches although I spose more overt anti capatialism as the main plot of the series might also have been considered too much of the era. Really after the 1st series I would say TNG era Trek tends to mostly side step economics, the Federation as a socialist utopia focused on a lot less than as US style bringers of order and justice on the wider stage.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 15, 2021, 10:37:52 PM
Quote from: daf on May 15, 2021, 01:42:05 PM
QuoteArmin Shimerman  : "In America, people ask 'Do the Ferengi represent Jews?' In England, they ask 'Do the Ferengi represent the Irish?' In Australia, they ask if the Ferengi represent the Chinese.The Ferengi represent the outcast, it's the person who lives among us that we don't fully understand."

Just think, when Liquidator Brunt got fired from the Ferengi Commerce Authority, he could have claimed to instead be with the Continuity FCA.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on May 15, 2021, 10:47:09 PM
Quote from: Ambient Sheep on May 15, 2021, 05:46:18 PM


We do?  Never heard that one.

"Badly tarmacked drives, on this planet..."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 16, 2021, 12:06:42 AM
S01E05 - Where No One Has Gone Before

The Enterprise is thrown millions of light-years outside the galaxy, to a world of CGI special effects where thoughts become reality.

- Riker: "I'll ask Counsellor Troi to look these visitors over." Should be standard procedure for when basically anyone comes on the ship ever. Sad that the writers didn't take long to forget Troi exists, and this rarely happens in later episodes.

- New Chief Engineer: Argyle! What the fuck has happened to MacDougal? Who knows.

- Why is there a triforce from Zelda on the warp engine?

- I love the scene where Picard hallucinates his late mother in the corridor. I don't know if the writer was writing from experience, but I still dream about my mum sometimes, and even when I realise I'm dreaming and essentially just talking to myself, I do the same thing Picard does here - ask her for advice. Really cool scene that rings true.

- There's two big problems with the episode. One is that thought-space barely even does anything. There's plenty of fretting about it in dialogue: Picard says that "we may lose the ability to distinguish between thoughts and reality" if we stay in this place too long. And yet, we barely see anything happen. One officer sits in his room playing music, another officer hallucinates that she's a ballerina, Worf and Tasha think about their childhood pets, Picard sees his mother and has a bad turbolift experience, and another crewmember summons a wall of flame. That's it. That's a complete, comprehensive list. Thought-space isn't sufficiently spooky or threatening because it barely does anything, and every time something does happen, people successfully snap out of it after about five seconds. Absolutely no hint of the terrifying prospect of becoming lost in dreams and unreality forever, which Picard seems to think will happen despite all evidence to the contrary - that thought-space is just ineffectual and boring.

Particularly lame is the very long scene where they try to revive the Traveller. Picard and the Traveller both agree that the dangers of staying here are immense, as "everything we think becomes real", and yet this entire minutes-long conversation goes off without a hitch, despite five or more people being stood in the room. Nobody thought of anything during this whole scene? Riker or Bev didn't have any wandering thoughts while Picard was droning on? None of the other 1000+ people on the ship did anything interesting, like think about the warp drive exploding or something? None of the kids on board (remember them?) had a nightmare that came to life? Nobody thought about the ship snapping in half or anything like that? Nothing.

- The other big problem is that it's another Wesley Saves Everyone episode. Quite a good deal of the screen-time is dedicated to the Traveller talking about how Wesley is a genius who's better than everyone and will be able to ascend reality through his sheer brilliance one day. Really tedious. If you haven't seen the episode, that last bit wasn't me being sarcastic - the Traveller quite literally says that Wesley's abilities are far beyond anyone else's and that he will be able to control reality with his thoughts one day. And, of course, it's Wesley's intervention right at the end that appears to give the Traveller the strength necessary to bring the Enterprise home.

- I like the episode's treatment of Kosinski. It would have been very easy and lazy to demonise him, but that's not the case here. He's treated reasonably sympathetically after his theories are discredited, and his friendship with the Traveller turns out to be a crucial factor in allowing everyone to escape thought-space. The Traveller also says that Kosinski has begun to achieve a minor level of understanding as to how thoughts/space/time work, which apparently nobody else is capable of, bar Wesley of course.

- Another male crewmember in the miniskirt uniform! Sadly, I think this is the last time we'll see that.

For the most part, the episode is a slow-paced slog. Nothing interesting happens with thought-space, and - despite the concept being basically an open goal for this kind of thing - the episode lacks the atmosphere of creeping, chilling dread that other episodes of the first two series manage to convey so well. The Wesley subplot is completely annoying. 3/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lungpuddle on May 16, 2021, 12:34:27 AM
The way Stewart delivers the opening Captain's Log sounds like it's the first time he's come across the word "beam" in this sort of context, and it's an amusing surprise for him. It's my favourite part of the episode.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 16, 2021, 02:00:56 AM
Find yourself someone who looks at you the way the Traveller looks at Wesley (https://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x06/wherenoone_hd_055.jpg) - and get them on the sex offenders' register, pronto.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 16, 2021, 05:51:55 AM
Quote from: mothman on May 16, 2021, 02:00:56 AM
Find yourself someone who looks at you the way the Traveller looks at Wesley (https://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x06/wherenoone_hd_055.jpg) - and get them on the sex offenders%u2019 register, pronto.

I know it's been said a million times but he really is grooming Wesley. The fact he's travelling far from his home (the authorities), pulls Picard aside to have a special talk out of Dr. Crusher's earshot, that the episode ends with the ship having to pull together and wish him back to health with feelings of affection specifically directed at the Traveller. IT'S SO CREEPY

[Fun fact: The guy who plays the Traveller auditioned for Data, which I could actually see working.]
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 16, 2021, 08:44:58 AM
005 | "Where No One Has Gone Before"

(https://i.imgur.com/3G4EC68.jpg)

I've got a Crusher on you

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Pyjamas O' Boneface's pig's trotters
• Miniskirt bloke
• In-vision Captain's Log
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Argyle = Scotty?
• Rape Gang flashback
• Wesley's Baggy Jumper watch : Orange
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Continuity Error : Troi's 'Bum-band' turns from red in the first shot (below), to green for rest of the show!

(https://i.imgur.com/IAvHybe.jpg)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on May 16, 2021, 11:08:40 AM
The Traveller's an absolutely rubbish-looking alien. He's just got a big forehead. Still I remember watching this episode as a kid and being surprised when I was told a bunch of travellers had pitched up on the YMCA grounds nearby. I still wasn't sure which things on TV were real.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 16, 2021, 01:14:05 PM
They did try harder with aliens back in the early TNG era. Only later (by VOY especially) did it become the Forehead Of The Week Show.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 16, 2021, 01:40:17 PM
I actually like his look (no, not the one he gives Wesley :-)).  Understated yet distinctly alien.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on May 16, 2021, 09:32:52 PM
The fact that the actor's quite unusual looking anyway does half the work here. Does he have weird alien hands? I remember he might, and he gets points for that I suppose.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 16, 2021, 09:43:28 PM
Quote from: Mr Trumpet on May 16, 2021, 09:32:52 PM
Does he have weird alien hands?

Like a pound of sausages!

(https://i.imgur.com/3w8gmYF.jpg)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 16, 2021, 11:20:00 PM
S01E06 - Lonely Among Us

As the Enterprise escorts delegates from warring worlds to peace talks, a weird bastard energy entity thing comes aboard.

- Ahahaha, nice formal uniforms. Literally just dresses.

- Great alien design on the Selay and Anticans.

- Riker and Picard suck each other off about how performatively confused they are by the Selay-Antican conflict. Picard balks that they fight over stupid things like "even, strangely enough, economic systems". Yeah, baffling, right, imagine people caring about the systems that govern their entire lives. Seriously though, I get the intention - that Earth society is so different in the future that Riker and Picard literally can't comprehend the idea of violence, division and inequality, and I think it's a cool thing to put in, even if the end result is that you just want to kick Picard in the nuts. Later, we get another look into the different morals of the future - there's no meat aboard the Enterprise, because, as Riker says, "we no longer enslave animals for food purposes". The replicators make meat substitutes instead. Really like this, it's a shame they torpedoed it in later series by having O'Brien eat an entire dead cow or whatever.

- Great unintentional comedy as nobody even notices that Bev's been brainfucked by the alien. Wes, Troi, Geordi, Picard, Data - all of them give her slightly weird looks and ask if she's okay, but don't have their suspicions raised too much. Probably because Bev is so weird and dazed normally that the alien presence barely changes her behaviour at all.

- Chief Engineer Argyle is mentioned in dialogue, but is mysteriously nowhere to be seen. Some guy called Mr Singh represents the entire Engineering crew in a briefing, and is also the one given the impossible task of fixing everything. He's literally just some guy and Picard demands that he do everything. Hilarious.

- Tasha interviews the delegates to find out if one of them has fucked about with the ship's computers. She suspects that they're lying. Hmm, if only there was some way to tell? If only there was someone aboard who's entire job it is to read people? If only there was some kind of empathic officer aboard the ship who could have been brought along to the interviews to check out the delegates?

- Data Sherlock Holmes. Aaaa. Not a fan, but I do appreciate how utterly odd it is in the context of the episode. It's a sort of vaguely horror-y episode, but we get a bunch of Data-being-silly jokes peppered through it, the first one coming about a minute after Singh gets violently killed.

- O'Brien is escorting the delegates back to their rooms. He's not even in security! Why's he doing this? Understaffing?

- Picard gets zapped by the alien and merges with it. Everyone detects this within about 30 seconds of it happening, but they can't do shit because it'd be MUTINY. There's quite a good scene where the bridge crew get together and panic about whether or not they should take command of the ship. It's fairly effective, entertaining drama, but the rules seem hilariously tight. I love how Bev and Riker follow orders to go and run psychiatric tests on themselves and waste an hour or so while leaving Alien-Picard with run of the ship.

- "WHAT'S HAPPENED TO YOUR MIND, DOCTOR?" Brilliant line, just the right combination of campy fun and genuine dread.

- Alien-Picard zaps the bridge. "WHERE IS HE?", screams Tasha, who is looking right at him. Terrible, terrible acting from Frakes in this scene. Don't know what the director was doing. Everyone seems to have a completely different reaction to the electricity, but at least all the other actors do something. Frakes just stands there looking gormless. "RESTRAIN THE CAPTAIN!"

- Picard gets stuck as pure energy because he got scammed by the alien. Data and Troi give Riker an extensive speech about how Picard will likely attempt to re-enter the ship through the computer. Soon, Data points out that Picard is now inside the computer. The letter P appears on Geordi's panel. "P... for Picard?", Riker deduces. Brilliant. Absolutely forensic. Well done. Fantastic. Good stuff. Congratulations, Will.

- What the hell is going on with the ending joke. Tee hee hee, someone's been murdered aboard the ship! Comedy music playing, Troi smirking. Insanely misjudged tone. You also have to laugh at Riker's response to Tasha rushing in to tell him of the murder. "Couldn't this have waited a moment?" he asks, nodding towards Picard, forcing Tasha to acknowledge Picard's rank before continuing. What an obsequious little TURD

Not a great episode, but not unwatchable or anything. There's a strong unnerving tone to the whole thing, and I like how the script suggests that Picard merged with the alien mostly willingly, and that his decision to leave and become energy was made at least partly of his own will. If this was the original Star Trek, no doubt Kirk would have heroically broken free of the alien's influence, spurred on by his feelings towards DUTY and SPOCK, but Picard gets fully enticed by promises of exploration and adventure the kind of which he'd never be able to have in a human body, and allows himself to become a merged entity with the alien as a result. It's cool and it doesn't feel out of character, especially since the alien is never suggested to be malicious, and Stewart gives a good performance in the final bridge scene, pretty convincingly portraying a character that's half-Picard, half-alien. 4/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)

(EDIT: Initially put 5/10, after about 20 seconds of reflection I think 4 is fairer)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 17, 2021, 07:03:54 PM
006 | "Lonely Among Us"

(https://i.imgur.com/V8I8ZU3.jpg)

Great Big Puff!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Comedy Sherlock Pipe
• Dogs in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!
• O'Brien!!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Plastic Lizard bonce
• Laptops in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!
• Mr Sing = 'Redshirt' death #1?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 17, 2021, 08:50:48 PM
It's an episode that's left a minimal impression on me. I think I just remember the 'P' bit and that's it.

(https://www.denofgeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/star_trek_tng6.jpg?fit=640%2C380)

Don't know why, the story is okay, the bickering diplomats, the idea of being tempted to explore this other form of existence. But in the end, <shrug>.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on May 17, 2021, 08:59:37 PM
I often think about Chief Engineer Argyle. Especially because I have a canvas print of him hung up in my hallway.

(https://i.imgur.com/s8v6op2.jpg)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 17, 2021, 09:36:20 PM
hahaha that's ace. i assume he's hung at the character's real life height
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Deanjam on May 17, 2021, 09:41:27 PM
Quote from: JamesTC on May 17, 2021, 08:59:37 PM
I often think about Chief Engineer Argyle. Especially because I have a canvas print of him hung up in my hallway.

(https://i.imgur.com/s8v6op2.jpg)

The story was this actor was apparently considered for a regular role as chief engineer when the office started to receive large amounts of fan mail for him. However they noticed that the mail contained plot points for episodes not yet aired. Turned out the letters were fake ones organised by the actor, so he was canned.

I don't know how true that is, but I like the story so will keep repeating it.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on May 17, 2021, 09:55:48 PM
Quote from: Deanjam on May 17, 2021, 09:41:27 PM
The story was this actor was apparently considered for a regular role as chief engineer when the office started to receive large amounts of fan mail for him. However they noticed that the mail contained plot points for episodes not yet aired. Turned out the letters were fake ones organised by the actor, so he was canned.

I don't know how true that is, but I like the story so will keep repeating it.

Exactly the reason why me and a couple of friends loved the guy so much. So much so that I got three canvas prints made up of him.

The story just can't not be true. Writing your own fan letters in and referencing episodes that haven't aired yet is just gold.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: earl_sleek on May 17, 2021, 10:00:35 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 16, 2021, 11:20:00 PM
- Great unintentional comedy as nobody even notices that Bev's been brainfucked by the alien. Wes, Troi, Geordi, Picard, Data - all of them give her slightly weird looks and ask if she's okay, but don't have their suspicions raised too much. Probably because Bev is so weird and dazed normally that the alien presence barely changes her behaviour at all.

(https://i.imgur.com/7TPiJkE.jpg)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 17, 2021, 10:43:50 PM
Quote from: daf on May 16, 2021, 09:43:28 PM(https://i.imgur.com/3w8gmYF.jpg)

Hah, that reminds me, the "I just got out of bed wearing my space pyjamas" look really doesn't help to dispel the nonce hypothesis.

Quote from: mothman on May 16, 2021, 02:00:56 AM
(https://i.postimg.cc/9Xg1Nnpf/wherenoone-hd-055.jpg)

"It's a very comfy bed, Wes.  King Size and adjustable.  I have a spare pair of pyjamas for you just like mine.  I can help you change into them if you like."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 17, 2021, 11:08:34 PM
I had a look at Eric Menyuk's filmography (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0579925/). It's... not what you'd call stellar. 28 roles in 31 years (1987-2018). Lots of single guest roles. About three roles in biggish movies (Fearless with Jeff Bridges, The Babysitter with Alicia Silverstone, and... oh, no... Ghost Dad with Bill Cosby). Also, I didn't know they were still making Hill Street Blues in 1987?!

It always fascinates me, the career trajectories of those lower down the totem pole. Sure he's likely done better overall than many who tried their luck in Tinseltown, but do they feel looking back it was worth it? And how does anyone earn a living? Are we looking at a scenario where he has to have a proper job despite having played a relatively significant guest character in one of the most popular TV shows of all time..?

EDIT: Oh (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Menyuk).

QuoteEric Menyuk (born November 5, 1959) is an American attorney and former actor. He is best known for his brief appearances in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation as the Traveler. He was originally considered for the role of the android Data, which was eventually given to Brent Spiner. After retiring from his acting career, he retrained to become an attorney and represents children with disabilities and specializes in children's education rights.

I'd make the obvious joke but he's a lawyer so best not.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 18, 2021, 01:18:46 AM
Indeed not, as I'm sure he's a lovely guy (no sarcasm).  Just unintentionally made to seem creepy.

And yeah, I often wonder the same about those less-famous actors.  If I were in his position I'd be feeling tortured every night before sleep: "If only I'd passed that audition for Data..."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 18, 2021, 01:22:39 AM
Meanwhile I'm loving these reviews, btw.  Great stuff.  Although at this rate you'll have overtaken me in 2-3 months so I'll have to defer reading the thread then. :)

Quote from: Lemming on May 16, 2021, 11:20:00 PM
S01E06 - Lonely Among Us
[...]
Tasha interviews the delegates to find out if one of them has fucked about with the ship's computers. She suspects that they're lying. Hmm, if only there was some way to tell? If only there was someone aboard who's entire job it is to read people? If only there was some kind of empathic officer aboard the ship who could have been brought along to the interviews to check out the delegates?

Hah yes, that totally struck me at the time.

Same with nobody spotting Bev being got at.

There's a Season 3 episode I saw recently where much the same thing happens.  Sensors detect a burst of strange energy in a senior crew member's cabin, said crew member then starts acting strangely, and it takes the rest of them about 20 minutes of screen time to put two and two together.  ("Ohhhh yeahhhh, there WAS that strange energy burst that we forgot to investigate, wasn't there?" *facepalm*)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 18, 2021, 01:10:43 PM
Quote from: Ambient Sheep on May 18, 2021, 01:18:46 AM
Indeed not, as I'm sure he's a lovely guy (no sarcasm).  Just unintentionally made to seem creepy.

And yeah, I often wonder the same about those less-famous actors.  If I were in his position I'd be feeling tortured every night before sleep: "If only I'd passed that audition for Data..."

Yeah, I feel really bad about going down the "Traveller is a creepy paedo" route now.

Frankly, I don't know how close he came to getting the role of Data. From seeing the copious notes & memos from the whole TNG casting process[nb]@TrekDocs (https://twitter.com/trekdocs?s=21) is a must-follow account on Twitter for this kind of thing.[/nb], it looks like they considered all sorts of avenues as they weren't sure what they wanted for ANY of the cast. Certainly for some of the roles it was the making or breaking of the actor (e.g. LaForge; another actor of then-similar stature and experience hasn't had anything remotely like the career Levar Burton has had since). Menyuk had had ONE previous credit as of mid-1987: the aforementioned Hill Street Blues role. That's a hell of a leap to then going on to be Star Trek's next Spock.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on May 18, 2021, 01:57:23 PM
I think Levar had a fair bit more stature than Eric Menyuk. He was the star of Roots, which won lots of awards and was a big enough deal to have a 25 year anniversary release.

(edit - actually LeVar was only in the first two (of eight) episodes. Still a bit more the Menyuk).
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on May 18, 2021, 01:59:24 PM
Wasn't Wesley Snipes in contention for the role of LaForge? Glad things turned out the way they did tbh, LeVar Burton would have been a terrible Blade.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on May 18, 2021, 02:04:03 PM
Quote from: mothman on May 18, 2021, 01:10:43 PM

Frankly, I don't know how close he came to getting the role of Data. From seeing the copious notes & memos from the whole TNG casting process

Patrick Stewart in a wig was my favourite potential casting choice that never happened.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 18, 2021, 03:03:11 PM
I loved learning that Jeffrey Combs originally auditioned for Riker. It's so completely wrong and yet if he hadn't tried we wouldn't have had all his wonderful roles in Deep Space 9.

Then again maybe if they'd cast him we'd have gotten an intense, driven Riker and not a useless sex pervert.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on May 18, 2021, 03:05:14 PM
At the time you could argue there was potential for the Traveler to be a larger role than it turned out to be and Data a smaller one. The latter was obviously on the main cast but really I think Spiner sucess with the character is really what made him the #2 character after Picard as the series progressed. The Traveler on the other hand could potentially have ended up more like Q is Weasley had stayed as significant a character rather than just a couple of short return appearances.

I'm surprised Combs didnt go for Data, that seems a much more obvious potential casting.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on May 18, 2021, 03:31:35 PM
Quote from: MojoJojo on May 18, 2021, 01:57:23 PM
I think Levar had a fair bit more stature than Eric Menyuk. He was the star of Roots, which won lots of awards and was a big enough deal to have a 25 year anniversary release.

(edit - actually LeVar was only in the first two (of eight) episodes. Still a bit more the Menyuk).
Even more important than that, he was in the video to 'Word Up' by Cameo!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 18, 2021, 04:23:02 PM
S01E07 - Justice

While visiting the worst fucking planet in the galaxy, the Enterprise crew get caught up in a bizarre legal system.

Like other Season 1 episodes, it's sort of a game of two halves. The first half is abominable shit, the second half picks up a little bit, but only a little bit.

- The worst planet in the galaxy, for real. The arrival party instantly get molested by the welcoming committee, whether they want to or not. Apparently, the custom on the planet is just to have sex constantly (hetero only, of course). One of the welcoming committee is about to go for Wesley, then notices he's underage, so gives him a little hug instead of a full-on grope. Horrifying. Wesley does the first useful thing he's done in the entire series, by saying he wants to leave and mercifully getting the viewer fuck away from this scene.

- "No one does anything uncomfortable to them" is the law here, despite all evidence to the contrary. The guy says this right after a grope-a-thon.

- Exquisite jogging scene. Away team prancing about the place with Disney music playing. Christ.

- An orb arrives and starts bullying the Enterprise bridge crew, and then merges with Data. Meanwhile, the away team waste time in The Sex Room. Riker strides over to Worf and asks him if he's interested in some "plain old sex". Uh.

- No one could have seen this coming - this "idyllic" planet is not as it seems!!! They have an insanely strict legal system, enforced by a PUNISHMENT ZONE, and breaking a rule within the randomly-selected PUNISHMENT ZONE results in automatic DEATH. Might have been a good idea to inform the away team of this as soon as they arrived, but sadly, the planetary representatives who welcomed our heroes were too busy groping them.

- Coincidentially, about five seconds after the rest of the away team learn about the planet's batshit rules, Wesley bodyslams some flowers. He is marked for death by the MEDIATORS, two men with their nipples exposed.

- Why is Bev examining Data? He's a robot, and yet she uses a regular medical scanner on him. A job for CHIEF ENGINEER ARGYLE, surely.

- Now the episode gets to the slightly better second half. Basically, the gist of the whole thing is that Wesley's being held and will be executed at sundown, but the crew can't save him because the Prime Directive won't allow them to fuck around with the planet's legal system.

First things first, I think this is a much better version of the Prime Directive than what it would evolve into later. Here, it's the TOS-style "you can go and talk to people, just don't try to reform their entire government in 45 minutes" rule. Far more reasonable and makes for far more entertaining episodes than the fucking crazy version we get later on, which says you literally can't go down to planets or talk to anyone ever because pre-warp people are too stupid and fragile to even be allowed to speak to you, which results in some episodes in later series that are both very boring and very morally questionable (of the "we'd better just let an entire planetary population die painfully, so that we don't 'contaminate' their culture by helping them" variety).

The cool thing about this episode is that Picard's ready to break the Prime Directive to just teleport Wesley out (the planetary representatives even say this would work as a solution), but there's an alien ship who have set themselves up as gods of the planet, and have the power to destroy the Enterprise. They've also scanned Data, meaning that they have a full understanding of how the Prime Directive is meant to work, and they'll be judging Picard by the Federation's own rules.

This could have been a really good plot, but it only sort of vaguely flirts with the ideas it brings up. Picard convinces the "gods" to let them go with a three-sentence speech at the end, where he just says "laws shouldn't be absolute", and then they're allowed to leave without incident.

- The "gods" are scary - they appear to have imposed an insane legal code on the people of the planet (though I'm not sure about this - maybe the people came up with it themselves), they encourage themselves to be worshipped as gods, they keep appearing to the people and telling them what to do (apparently with punishments for disobedience), react with the threat of violence when challenged, and they're essentially holding the native people captive, as demonstrated when Picard brings one of them up to the Enterprise and "god" immediately threatens the ship unless she's returned to the surface. Nobody in the Enterprise crew seems hugely concerned for the people of the planet or in what the "gods" are doing, though I suppose there's not really anything they can do about it.

First half is some of the all-time worst stuff TNG has ever made, second half scrapes the episode up a little. 2/10 because the first half really is so dull and awkward.

(https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 18, 2021, 04:23:23 PM
Quote from: The Culture Bunker on May 18, 2021, 03:31:35 PM
Even more important than that, he was in the video to 'Word Up' by Cameo!

Ha I forgot about that! Isn't he a cop in a big trench coat?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Deanjam on May 18, 2021, 04:39:30 PM
Quote from: Malcy on May 18, 2021, 04:23:23 PM
Ha I forgot about that! Isn't he a cop in a big trench coat?

(https://i.ibb.co/tXvMqyY/Screenshot-2021-05-18-levar-burton-word-up-Google-Search.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 18, 2021, 05:04:00 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 18, 2021, 04:23:02 PM
S01E07 - Justice

This episode is purely to laugh at.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 18, 2021, 05:24:22 PM
Quote from: Deanjam on May 18, 2021, 04:39:30 PM
(https://i.ibb.co/tXvMqyY/Screenshot-2021-05-18-levar-burton-word-up-Google-Search.png)

I remember being pointed out to him in something when I was really young and thought he looked strange without the VISOR. Met Michael Dorn a few years later and did the same. Could have been anyone until he spoke to me! Lovely bloke.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Deanjam on May 18, 2021, 05:28:26 PM
Quote from: Malcy on May 18, 2021, 05:24:22 PM
I remember being pointed out to him in something when I was really young and thought he looked strange without the VISOR. Met Michael Dorn a few years later and did the same. Could have been anyone until he spoke to me! Lovely bloke.

Most of the modern Trek actors do seem nice, don't they. Are there any that have reputations for being assholes? Avery Brooks seems a little cold, but I don't think I've heard any stories of him being unpleasant. The Voyager crew seem the loveliest people around. I saw Mara Wilson on Twitter say Marina Sirtis said some racist things to her at a convention once.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: earl_sleek on May 18, 2021, 05:43:33 PM
Quote from: Deanjam on May 18, 2021, 05:28:26 PM
Most of the modern Trek actors do seem nice, don't they. Are there any that have reputations for being assholes? Avery Brooks seems a little cold, but I don't think I've heard any stories of him being unpleasant. The Voyager crew seem the loveliest people around. I saw Mara Wilson on Twitter say Marina Sirtis said some racist things to her at a convention once.

Roxann Dawson and Robert Beltran are apparently unpleasantly right wing.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 18, 2021, 05:57:55 PM
Quote from: Deanjam on May 18, 2021, 05:28:26 PM
Most of the modern Trek actors do seem nice, don't they. Are there any that have reputations for being assholes? Avery Brooks seems a little cold, but I don't think I've heard any stories of him being unpleasant. The Voyager crew seem the loveliest people around. I saw Mara Wilson on Twitter say Marina Sirtis said some racist things to her at a convention once.

Matilda? Wouldn't have expected that from Sirtis. Destination Star Trek has the go ahead in London this November. I have a massive canvas cinema banner from First Contact that someone gave me a few years back. It's sat rolled up for the past few years so was considering going down to get a few signatures on it as ideally I'd love to have it dominate a wall. Looked at the guest list and only VOY cast confirmed so far. Tickets are quite cheap. Think it was £54 for the 3 days basic ticket. £3/4K for the Admiral tickets!

I really wanted to go a few years ago as there was a photo shoot opportunity in the Quarks bar set with Quark, Rom & Nog in full make up but was laid off. Will sadly never get that chance again.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Deanjam on May 18, 2021, 06:21:50 PM
Quote from: Malcy on May 18, 2021, 05:57:55 PM
Matilda? Wouldn't have expected that from Sirtis.

To be clear, it wasn't something directed at Wilson, but comments Sirtis made about US history that Wilson took as a slight against the Native peoples. I forget what specifically, but it was a minor to-do on Twitter at the time.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 18, 2021, 07:05:24 PM
This intrigued me, as I follow Sirtis on Twitter and she's always seemed lovely.  Googling Mara Wilson Marina Sirtis gave me this article (https://comicbook.com/irl/news/star-trek-marina-sirtis-slams-lin-manuel-miranda-twitter/) which led to this tweet (https://twitter.com/MaraWilson/status/1268629224383934464):

QuoteMara "Get Rid of the Nazis" Wilson
@MaraWilson

Hi Marina! Remember when we did a Con together and you said that America had no history, and when I said Native Americans did, you said "the Native Americans never built anything"? Because I do!

8:42 PM · Jun 4, 2020

Ouch!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 18, 2021, 09:40:44 PM
007 | "Justice"

(https://i.imgur.com/hKlvde7.jpg)

Knickerless Persons!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Planet of the Swedish Sex Joggers
• Floaty God Ball
• What is this Earth thing you call . . . "a stick"?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Hug 18-30
• The Greenhouse of DEATH!!!
• Wesley's Baggy Jumper watch : Mushroom Dust
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: crankshaft on May 18, 2021, 09:54:10 PM
Justice does have a great Worf one liner, though:

Tasha: "...and they make love at the drop of a hat."
Worf: "Any hat."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on May 18, 2021, 10:46:18 PM
Quote from: Ambient Sheep on May 18, 2021, 07:05:24 PM
This intrigued me, as I follow Sirtis on Twitter and she's always seemed lovely.  Googling Mara Wilson Marina Sirtis gave me this article (https://comicbook.com/irl/news/star-trek-marina-sirtis-slams-lin-manuel-miranda-twitter/) which led to this tweet (https://twitter.com/MaraWilson/status/1268629224383934464):

Ouch!

Seems more flippant and uninformed than actually hateful, although i'm sure your actual Native Americans are pretty fed up with such comments. Someone should send Sirtis a copy of 1491 by Charles Mann.

Not sure what to make of Mara Wilson, she seems to enjoy airing acquaintances' and former friends' dirty laundry a bit too much, to no obvious constructive purpose.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 18, 2021, 11:00:52 PM
Quote from: Mr Trumpet on May 18, 2021, 10:46:18 PMSeems more flippant and uninformed than actually hateful, although i'm sure your actual Native Americans are pretty fed up with such comments.

Agreed.

She was very supportive when the whole #BLM thing was at its height.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on May 18, 2021, 11:04:13 PM
Quote from: Mr Trumpet on May 18, 2021, 10:46:18 PM
Seems more flippant and uninformed than actually hateful, although i'm sure your actual Native Americans are pretty fed up with such comments. Someone should send Sirtis a copy of 1491 by Charles Mann.

Not sure what to make of Mara Wilson, she seems to enjoy airing acquaintances' and former friends' dirty laundry a bit too much, to no obvious constructive purpose.

I dont even think the two comments contradict each other much.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 20, 2021, 12:03:19 AM
S01E08 - The Battle

A Ferengi Captain brings Picard's old ship, the Stargazer, to him as a gift. But there's a mindfucking afoot!

- Wesley has been playing around in Engineering, as a hobby, and has boosted the Enterprise's sensor capabilities. As a hobby. For fun.

- THE PICARD MANEUEVER!

- I like how the episode doesn't waste your time by trying to make you believe the obviously-fake log is real. The script could easily have wasted 15 minutes on having Riker or some other idiot giving it the "MAYBE PICARD REALLY DID FIRE FIRST???" treatment, but instead it wisely just presents the log as another piece of the puzzle for the crew to solve.

- Damon Bok has a SPHERE of PAIN which he's using to give Picard a headache, as part of his grand revenge plan.

- Check out this crazy shot:

(https://i.imgur.com/JkEZRKK.gif)

- The ghost-crew on the bridge are what stuck in my memory for this episode. Great special effect, properly creepy.

- Miniskirt uniform sighted! I thought it'd been phased out by this point, but it's still here!

- Wesley beats Bev at neuroscience. Felt so bad for Wil Wheaton having to act this shit.

- The Ferengi first officer is cool and stops Bok. Now it's up to Riker to find a defence against THE PICARD MANEUEVER!!!! Turns out you just fire a tractor beam.

- The stupid melodramatic sequence of Picard being blown backwards in slow-mo made me howl with laughter. In fact, fuck it, have another gif:

(https://i.imgur.com/8sfMLN1.gif)

Not a huge amount to say about this episode overall. I remember liking it more than I do. It's got the skeleton of a good idea, but outside a few scenes that are memorably creepy in isolation, it's mostly boring. There's no real mystery to dig into, not least because the episode outright shows you Bok cackling evilly while messing with the SPHERE of PAIN long before the characters find out about it, so you spend half the episode just waiting for them to catch up. As you can probably tell through the sparseness of this review, not a lot really happens over the course of the 45 minute runtime.

The episode suffers also because there's nothing to get into with Damon Bok. He's the driving force behind the plot but he barely gets any screen-time, and we don't learn enough about him or his son to sympathise with him or hate him.

3/10, maybe 4 on a good day. I wanted to like it more than I did.

(https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on May 20, 2021, 12:05:43 AM
The editing in that explosion is amazing.

I'm not surprised I barely remember any of this, it's shite.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 20, 2021, 12:15:31 AM
I have this theory that the Stargazer was a "deep space exploration vessel." We know they exist, but no class has ever been explicitly designated as such (sort of - more on that in a minute). There's circumstantial evidence - Picard took command while still a lieutenant, then remained in command for 22 years; in one much-later episode he attends a seminar on "the psychological effects of deep space missions" which suggests he has some knowledge of the subject. And really the Stargazer with its four nacelles [nb]a Constellation-class ship, so-called because in dialogue it was going to be the same class as the classic Enterprise - Constitution-class - and use the film models, before they redubbed it and built a new model.[/nb] would be ideal for long missions - if one or two nacelles broke they wouldn't be dead in the water.

And that other ship class? The USS Prometheus in VOY "Message In A Bottle" - for "deep space tactical assignments" - and it has... four nacelles!

I'll get me coat.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 20, 2021, 12:57:54 AM
Quote from: Lemming on May 20, 2021, 12:03:19 AM
S01E08 - The Battle

...

3/10, maybe 4 on a good day. I wanted to like it more than I did.

(https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)

Three!? Come on man! Even at it's worst that's a 5/10. Picard backstory (I think mothman is right) and some tense non-action. Even Riker manages to do something with his "first officer to first officer" chat, possibly the most proactive he'll ever be.

I think the big thing for me is seeing some actual tactics figured out, not just some meaningless "attack pattern gamma-6", but something that makes sense within universe. I'd like to see more of that in ST, particularly in ground action, as them just standing around in their space jim-jams with, at the most, a phase-rifle, seems a little lame and under thought.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 20, 2021, 01:26:39 AM
True about Riker being useful for once. I wanted to like the episode but most of it honestly dragged.

Picard's backstory didn't really grab me, we essentially just learn one fact about his past career - he once captained the Stargazer and destroyed a Ferengi ship in self-defence. Patrick Stewart does great work in the scene with Beverly where he's freaking out about his mental stability and wondering if the past is as he recalls it, but it feels hollow to me because the episode has essentially already revealed everything to you. You already know Picard (obviously) didn't fire first and you already know that Bok's behind everything (because the episode explicitly, directly tells you this during the Bev-Picard scene by cutting to Bok doing his evil laugh while manipulating the pain-sphere), so it's just an exercise in watching Picard panic about questions you already have the answers to.

The biggest weakness is that the episode all sort of comes to nothing because it isn't interested in exploring Bok in any depth, even though his grief is the cause of the entire plot. The closest thing the episode has to a climax is Bok confronting Picard, but they exchange only a couple of fairly cliched lines with each other before Bok traps Picard in ghost-dream-hell and then vanishes to be dealt with very abruptly, off-screen, in a single line of dialogue. Meanwhile, Picard ragdolls in slow-mo across the bridge.

I think my memory of the ghost scenes made them seem a lot more harrowing than they actually are. Still effective though, really strong atmosphere.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 20, 2021, 07:59:02 PM
008 | "The Battle"

(https://i.imgur.com/Ga7awWO.jpg)

Throbbing-Ball Ache!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• One of your "Earth Hours"
• Square space-pillow - Ooh, there's comfy!
• Fantastic Fake Ferengi Fangs
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Possessed Picard (Again!)
• "Silver Sphere"?? - It's red with grey bits Riker, you plum!
• Wesley's Jumper watch : Slate blue with Rainbow stripe
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on May 20, 2021, 08:50:06 PM
One sadness I have about Season 1 is that the older I get, the further I am away from the nostalgia I have for it. I loved it as a child. I had a fair few Season 1 episodes on VHS/DVD whereas I had less of the later episodes so I watched them much more. When I was younger and had less discerning taste, it was mostly all just the same to me.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 21, 2021, 11:24:36 PM
S01E09 - Hide and Q

After being apprehended by Q once again, Riker is granted Q powers.

- Deeply awkward Picard-Tasha pep talk, that ends with her about to start flirting with him.

- Despite a string of consistently great performances by John De Lancie, I've never been a huge fan of the Q character. The Squire of Gothos has always been one of my favourite episodes of TOS, and Q feels like a less interesting knockoff of Trelane most of the time, especially when they soften him up a bit in later episodes. Here, he's a lot more threatening and unpleasant, but still basically feels like Evil Trelane.

- Q tells Riker that he may learn the "true nature of the universe". More of early-TNG's vaguely supernatural stuff, like we saw with the Traveller.

- Q needs to understand more about "the human compulsion" to explore and learn. The Enterprise isn't even a human ship, it's a Federation ship, and clearly there are thousands of other species who like exploring. Human exceptionalist BULLSHIT

- Wesley impaled, LOL

- Q is testing whether or not humans have the responsibility and wisdom to use Q powers. You'd think someone would point out that Q himself clearly doesn't have either of those qualities... I agree with the episode's belief that the powers are too great to entrust to anyone, but while Riker had them, he exclusively used them to save lives and try to make his friends happy.  Q, meanwhile, has so far exclusively used the same powers to torture and kill people. That's an open goal! Someone should have brought it up!

- Riker's dilemma over whether to save the dead child is probably the most interesting thing TNG has come up with so far, and it's a shame that it gets more or less swept under the rug after acting as the catalyst for Riker to yell at Picard. Picard's weedy explanation of why it was ok to save Worf and Wesley but not ok to save the child is such major-league horseshit. Unfortunately, the ending is the weak point to what has otherwise been a solid episode - Riker just does a bunch of obviously stupid shit that proves he's not ready for Q powers. Having him agonise over the dead child would have made for a far more compelling and morally tricky episode, but instead he just makes illusionary Klingons and ages up Wesley before admitting Picard was right about everything.

- Tasha and Bev didn't get gifts! And Troi doesn't appear at all!

It's an episode that's pretty lightweight when you get down to it. The entire plot can be summarised very briefly: Q apprehends the Enterprise, Riker is granted Q powers, Picard warns him not to use them, Riker goes a bit nuts and then realises Picard was right. As I said, it's irritating that the episode ends up being so straightforward and thin, because it comes up with a very effective plot device in the dead kid and Riker's decision over whether or not to save her, but then discards that for a far less interesting scenario.

Still, it works, and, unlike most other series one episodes, it's not boring. 5/10. More like 5 and a half, but we're NOT doing decimals EVER.

(https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 21, 2021, 11:52:26 PM
Could use Tom Hardy as Shinzon for a half-Picard!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 22, 2021, 12:00:32 AM
Worf's description of Klingon foreplay is a highlight.

What would you give Tasha?

As for Bev, it'd have to be her long dead hubby, but I don't think they'd want to deal with that baggage, not enough time for starters.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on May 22, 2021, 12:02:57 AM
The Q episodes are the best of Star Trek TNG in my memory.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on May 22, 2021, 12:07:47 AM
Quote from: Blumf on May 22, 2021, 12:00:32 AM
What would you give Tasha?

Permanently inebriated horny Data? 
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 22, 2021, 07:54:48 PM
009 | "Hide And Q"

(https://i.imgur.com/uTcnqVA.jpg)

The Last Temptation of RiQer

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Shakespicard
• Worf Sex-Fight
• Data Cocktail : Castrol GTX?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Class M Cyclorama
• Napoleons Blown-apart
• Big Wesley = Spongebob Squarejaw
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 23, 2021, 01:01:54 AM
Quote from: daf on May 22, 2021, 07:54:48 PM
• Big Wesley = Spongebob Squarejaw

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CScggO_WIAACq9U.jpg)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 23, 2021, 03:48:57 PM
S01E10 - Haven

As Troi struggles to deal with her incoming arranged marriage, the Enterprise visits a planet so beautiful that it is rumoured to be able to cure any ailment.

- Armin Shimerman box. Fucking horrifying.

- Here's a controversial opinion for you - I love Lwaxana Troi, I think she's a much-needed dose of actual character in a show where people tend towards being very bland, and Majel Barret is a very underrated actor. Yes, the character can be very grating and unlikeable, but at least that's the reaction you're meant to have to her (unlike, say, Wesley and Neelix), and at least she's more interesting than the collection of interchangeable dull-as-dishwater knobheads that the main cast (barring Data and Worf) can often be.

- Got a genuine laugh out of Picard being too shit to lift the luggage. The agonised walk he does down the corridor, brilliant.

- Crap attempted explanation as to why Troi has that accent - she got it from her father, apparently.

- Troi tells her soon-to-be-husband, Wyatt, that she might be able to teach him telepathy. Call-back to Encounter at Farpoint, where we learned that Riker has a telepathic link with Troi. Will never be brought up ever again, as far as I remember.

- A race called the Tarellians, previously thought extinct, arrive at Haven. They are the last survivors of a bioweapon that obliterated their entire planet. They're all necessarily infected with the bioweapon, and could destroy Haven if they're allowed to land - yet they have nowhere else to go. Cool scenario for the Enterprise crew to stress over. They all decide to forget about it and go to Troi's pre-wedding party instead.

- Love Lwaxana's ridiculous pink eyeshadow at the party, which seems to extend so far up the side of her face that it practically goes into her hairline. Reminds me of when I first started learning makeup and just smeared any old shit all over the place. This is the style in the 24th Century, no doubt.

- Miniskirt uniform at the party! It's still going!

- Riker's a complete prat. Hostile towards Troi, then hostile towards Wyatt. Made much worse retrospectively as I'm pretty sure it was him who broke up with Troi (I seem to remember the Thomas Riker episode clarifying this?), and yet he stomps around the holodeck whining "THIS ISN'T FAIR ON ME!!!"

- Wyatt has seen a woman in his dreams since he was a kid. In a twist you can see coming from sixty miles away, it turns out she's on the Tarellian ship, and she's seen him in visions too. I like that the episode makes no attempt to explain this beyond Lwxana chalking it up to cosmic mystery and all thoughts being connected - yet more mysterious supernatural stuff in the vein of Q and the Traveller, which really appeals to me.

Overall enjoyed this one. The early-TNG weirdness is in full effect, with the concept behind Haven, the idea of a race of refugees who endlessly roam space after the destruction of their homeworld, and the idea of two people being mentally linked across the vastness of space since birth. The ending where Wyatt leaves with the Tarellians was a nice emotionally affecting payoff to the episode. Plenty of good Lwaxana content, including her just straight-up fucking up the entire dinner by being a prick, which ends very satisfyingly with Troi yelling at her and throwing the STUPID Betazoid gong to the floor. 6/10, though from what I've seen of other people's reviews of this episode, I'm guessing that my positive reaction is fairly uncommon - people seem to hate this one.

(https://i.imgur.com/ps92bYU.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on May 23, 2021, 03:50:24 PM
I don't get why people don't like Troi? She sort of grounds the other characters. Maybe you could say she's the heart of the crew? I don't know.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 23, 2021, 04:01:11 PM
Quote from: bgmnts on May 23, 2021, 03:50:24 PM
I don't get why people don't like Troi? She sort of grounds the other characters. Maybe you could say she's the heart of the crew? I don't know.

Agreed, she's great when written well. It's probably just that the writing for her character is very weak a lot of the time. If you ask a casual TNG fan what they think of Troi, they usually joke about how all she does is point out the obvious ("I'm sensing hostility, Captain"), which isn't really reflective of her role in the show, but isn't totally untrue either.

Also, I hesitate to say this because it's probably only true in a relatively small number of cases, but sexism probably plays a role too. Same reason Janeway has a reputation among fans for being unhinged and bipolar, while Kirk, who IMO is written far more inconsistently and incoherently than Janeway, gets a free pass whenever he acts like an unhinged lunatic (Arena, Obsession, A Taste of Armageddon, virtually every single TOS movie, etc). Riker is far more useless than Troi, he spends most of the later seasons just repeating the last thing that's been said to him and staring dumbly at everyone, but for some reason fans tend to latch onto him while ripping Troi to pieces for being far less incompetent/inept.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 23, 2021, 04:01:34 PM
It feels like they just didn't know what to do with the character half the time. They way they used her empathic gift was inconsistent. It's ironic that - given how she also had a not-insignificant guest role on VOY, and came back for PIC too (the less said about the ENT finale the better) - they did think about replacing her with Jeri Ryan for at least one TNG movie.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 23, 2021, 06:07:52 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 23, 2021, 03:48:57 PM
S01E10 - Haven

You forgot to mention Mr Homn, the best character in all of TNG, and who should take the 11/10 position in the rating system.

(https://i.postimg.cc/CL7Zbw82/homn-out-of-10.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 23, 2021, 07:35:53 PM
God, Lemming isn't wrong. Mrs. Troi is like an oasis in a desert of bland characters. I think this might have been the first episode in this rewatch I wasn't even slightly bored with.

Incredible character development for Riker who rolls his eyes at the thought of doing his job during 'harp women hour' and then ditches his duties officiating the wedding dinner to have a strop. See also: every other time he's challenged in the show.

Love that Wyatt's heroic destiny is to run off to "save" this eight-person species. They're fucked, mate!

(https://i.imgur.com/sYjL4RJ.jpg)

... Jaysus.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 23, 2021, 08:00:58 PM
010 | "Haven"

(https://i.imgur.com/J2QK4NT.jpg)

We're having a Gong-Bong, we're having a ball!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Sozzled Lurch
• Lwaxana Pricard-Tease
• Ooh - Fancy party hairdo's for the ladies!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Talking Silver Squark-Box
• Riker's Hologram Harpies
• Troi costume watch : Shiny Purple Pants
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/ps92bYU.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: earl_sleek on May 24, 2021, 05:20:08 PM
Lwaxana Troi is an awful person who doesn't respect anybody but herself. She constantly belittles and demeans Deanna, mocks cultures that aren't her own and goes out of her way to sexually harass Picard, even though as a telepath she must know he doesn't consent.

She's alright in that DS9 episode with Odo.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on May 24, 2021, 05:26:56 PM
She is all that but it made her perfect for the Season 4 episode Half a Life. I can't believe how much I overlooked that over the years.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 24, 2021, 11:35:38 PM
Good to see Haven getting a fair appraisal! And yes, Mr Homn is outstanding. My dad is absolutely convinced that he's played by a strategically shaved Mick Fleetwood, despite concrete evidence to the contrary.

Quote from: earl_sleek on May 24, 2021, 05:20:08 PM
Lwaxana Troi is an awful person who doesn't respect anybody but herself. She constantly belittles and demeans Deanna, mocks cultures that aren't her own and goes out of her way to sexually harass Picard, even though as a telepath she must know he doesn't consent.

She's alright in that DS9 episode with Odo.

The only problem I really have with her is her treatment of Picard, which can be pretty nasty (though I do enjoy the comedic performances of both Barret and Stewart in episodes like Manhunt). Otherwise she's just incredibly rude and abrasive, which lightens up the screen in a show that can often slip into being very drab.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 24, 2021, 11:50:20 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 24, 2021, 11:35:38 PM
Mr Homn is outstanding. My dad is absolutely convinced that he's played by a strategically shaved Mick Fleetwood, despite concrete evidence to the contrary.

I presume he's aware that Fleetwood does make an appearance in one episode - "Lonely Among Us," I think?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: crankshaft on May 25, 2021, 12:45:28 AM
Quote from: mothman on May 24, 2021, 11:50:20 PM
I presume he's aware that Fleetwood does make an appearance in one episode - "Lonely Among Us," I think?

"Manhunt". He's unrecognisable.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 25, 2021, 01:03:19 AM
Quote from: Lemming on May 24, 2021, 11:35:38 PM
My dad is absolutely convinced that [Mr Homn is] played by a strategically shaved Mick Fleetwood, despite concrete evidence to the contrary.

(https://i.redd.it/ezzvegt8m9i11.jpg)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on May 25, 2021, 09:55:52 AM
Quote from: crankshaft on May 25, 2021, 12:45:28 AM
"Manhunt". He's unrecognisable.

it was a step down from playing himself in Total Recall
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Deanjam on May 25, 2021, 10:33:34 AM
Quote from: mothman on May 23, 2021, 04:01:34 PM
It feels like they just didn't know what to do with the character half the time. They way they used her empathic gift was inconsistent. It's ironic that - given how she also had a not-insignificant guest role on VOY, and came back for PIC too (the less said about the ENT finale the better) - they did think about replacing her with Jeri Ryan for at least one TNG movie.

I believe that was another one of Rick Berman's indelicate contract negotiations with a female cast member. Has to be said that Ryan has denied being offered a role replacing Troi, and has said they offered her a different part. Though I'm not sure what role in Nemesis that could be besides the Janeway cameo.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on May 25, 2021, 11:13:24 AM
I'm with you in liking Lwaxana more than seems to be common although that would go for a lot of comedy on Trek which parts of the fan base seem to have an aversion to. Really though I think that episode is one of the first hints at TNG starting to become a bit more humanised with room for wit.

Majel Barrett was actually another Trek/Babylon 5 crossover basically playing a more serious psychic, I do wonder whether you might not prefer that to TNG Lemming as it is much higher on the mysticism and has rather more consistent wit.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: earl_sleek on May 25, 2021, 12:01:06 PM
I'm near the end of a B5 rewatch and it's retained it's status as my favourite SF TV show.

There are a great many actors who were in both Trek and B5 - most notably, Walter Koenig is particularly great in B5.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Deanjam on May 25, 2021, 04:48:56 PM
Quote from: greenman on May 25, 2021, 11:13:24 AM
I do wonder whether you might not prefer that to TNG Lemming as it is much higher on the mysticism and has rather more consistent wit.

I always assumed B5 was a dry po-faced sci-fi. You're making me want to give it a go myself.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Endicott on May 25, 2021, 05:08:40 PM
I could never get past the first 4 or 5 episodes of B5 because the acting and dialogue was so awful. Set of season 1 still sitting there on the shelf unwatched.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 25, 2021, 05:54:36 PM
Watched B5 a few years ago. I liked the first two seasons quite a lot, and definitely did appreciate the mystic and supernatural elements.

It lost me during the third season, if I remember correctly, the one where a couple of massive wars are taking place. Lost me for similar reasons that the last couple seasons of DS9 did. I think I stopped watching right at the start of the fourth season. Might give it another shot from the beginning at some point.

Quote from: Endicott on May 25, 2021, 05:08:40 PM
I could never get past the first 4 or 5 episodes of B5 because the acting and dialogue was so awful. Set of season 1 still sitting there on the shelf unwatched.

That's part of the fun! The guy who plays Garibaldi in particular is awful in the best possible way, just stood around gormlessly smirking no matter what's happening. One of those shows where you can feel that everyone is having fun making it, especially when Sheridan shows up in the second season, and Claudia Christian is as fun as she is in everything. The very bad CGI gets some big laughs too, there's one part where Sheridan inspects an alien ship and says "it's beautiful!" as the ugliest, blurriest piece of shit you've ever seen fills the screen.

I watched through it with my brother and a few particularly exquisitely overacted lines stuck with us. I can't even remember the context for either of them, but I can remember the exact hilarious delivery of "IT'S A MIND-QUAKE!" and "WE'VE BECOME UNSTUCK IN TIIIME, COMMANDER!" to this day.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 25, 2021, 10:55:20 PM
S01E11 - The Big Goodbye

It's a holodeck malfunction episode! Troi encourages Picard to go play videogames to calm down, and he gets stuck in one, obviously.

- Miniskirt uniform spotted! Still going!

- The fairly brief scene during the intro where Troi tries to teach Picard the alien language is one of my favourite little scenes in all of TNG.

- Holodeck episodes always make me laugh because I imagine what it was like to be one of the actors cast as a holodeck character. Imagine, your agent tells you you're going to be in Star Trek. Awesome! What will you be? A Starfleet officer? Perhaps even a captain? Or maybe a cool alien? No, you're an imaginary 1940s news vendor in a mid-season filler episode, fuck you.

- Picard enthuses about videogames in the conference room. The entire senior staff, plus Wesley for some reason, have to sit and listen to this.

- The diplomatic meeting is 11 hours away, but Picard is balls-deep in videogame addiction at this point. He invites Bev and some guy called Whelan to join him, and Data muscles in.

- Bev almost breaking her neck in her high heels is a good detail - implying she's never worn them before. I hope to god they're not a thing anymore in the 24th century.

- "I'm at the holodeck. Something's gone wrong." Get outta town.

- Wesley to the rescue. ZzZZzzZzz. Naturally, he can fix the holodeck, which Geordi cannot.

- Geordi's on the case. Riker strides over. "HAVE YOU TRIED THE INTERCOM?" he demands. "Yes," Geordi replies, sounding slightly baffled at such an obvious question. Undeterred, Riker smashes his finger into the intercom and barks "RIKER TO HOLODECK? RIKER TO HOLODECK?", seemingly genuinely shocked at the lack of response. Fucking dolt.

- Whelan gets shot. The bullet is real!!!! If you die in the game you die in real life!!!! Oh my god!!!!

- Some more well-deployed humour as Data tries to explain to the holodeck characters that Picard is a "cheap imitation" of Dixon Hill.

- Everyone yucking it up and having a great time at the ending. Whelan is lying in sickbay with a gunshot wound. The episode makes it pretty explicit that he'll recover, but still, it's an amusingly jarring shift in tone.

The episode has a few good comedy moments, and the final act has some decent tension as Picard and pals have to act fast to save Whelan, but I just don't get on with holodeck episodes. Just cannot bring myself to give a shit about glorified videogames, and the increasingly stupid ways in which the crew get stuck inside them. On top of that, the pace only really picks up towards the end. The first half is pretty labourious, and if you don't give a shit about watching Picard marvel at his new videogame, there's nothing else going on.

The episode works partially because you can tell how giddy the production crew were at being able to visually create the holodeck - the effect of the Enterprise door leading into the 1940s city street is made full use of, and the scene where Wesley fucks with the controls and briefly transports everyone into a snowstorm is a great visual effect too. 4/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on May 25, 2021, 11:20:00 PM
Ooh tad a harsh. It's a 6 Geordis for me; one of the least cringeworthy of the 1st season, and maybe one of the first where the actors are properly finding their characters. Wonder if the baddies attempting to leave the holodeck at the end provided the inspiration for the Moriarty episodes... Mind you I'm generally a fan of the holodeck manipulation/malfunction stories. Might have something to do with my fascination with simulated reality theory.

"I saw automobiles!"
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 25, 2021, 11:33:18 PM
Quote- Bev almost breaking her neck in her high heels is a good detail - implying she's never worn them before. I hope to god they're not a thing anymore in the 24th century.

And yet there's the fourth season episode in which she teaches Data to dance, wearing these:

(https://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/season-4/4x11/datas-day-hd-223.jpg)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 26, 2021, 08:16:07 PM
011 | "The Big Goodbye"

(https://i.imgur.com/CPjagAl.jpg)

Humphrey Bogus in 'The Maltese Malfunction'

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Sassy 'wise-guy' Data
• Crusher Gum Swallow
• Picard Ciggy Wheeze
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Leech = Peter Lorre
• South American Data
"Aaaaard klaxon leeeeesss blaj blan ar'nik ka'nik"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 26, 2021, 10:54:26 PM
S01E12 - Datalore

The Enterprise visits the world on which Data was found 26 years ago, and finds another apparently identical android.

- Data has the memories of all the colonists on the planet. This isn't as cool as it sounds, because he doesn't know shit until Geordi "awakens a memory remnant" by pointing out a secret door in a styrofoam cave. Later, he gets "vague impressions" about what a lab is for.

- I love this corridor in the background that's clearly just a painting of a corridor. Wile E Coyote stuff. Wouldn't have been as noticeable on TVs at the time, I guess.

(https://i.imgur.com/NZNIBhk.png)

- ARGYLE!

- Discussing the duplicate Data:

RIKER: "Does it appear to have, uh, all your... parts?"

DATA: "Completely, sir."

GEORDI: "Will... will we know how to... turn it on?"

The next line makes it clear that the reason for Riker and Geordi's awkwardness is that they're concerned about offending Data by reminding him that he's a machine. I honestly thought it was meant to be a joke where Riker reminds us that Data has a working cock (as mentioned in The Naked Now), and Geordi can't find a way to ask about "turning it on" without stumbling into the double entendre minefield.

- Picard thinks that Data has been made in a human form to prove that "human shaped robots need not be clumsy or limited". TOS already had robots like that, 100 in-universe years earlier! Data's downright janky in comparison.

- As if Spiner's performance wasn't ridiculous and overboard enough, a really loud scary synth soundtrack lets you know that you should be scared of Lore.

- Riker's incredulous at the idea of an entity that can strip planets of all life. Once again, TOS! The planet killer!

- It turns out Lore is evil! No way! He called the Crystalline Entity to the colony! And now he's going to turn the Enterprise over to it! Couldn't have seen this one coming!

- The Crystalline Entity comes rushing up to the ship. It looks exactly like the image that everyone on the bridge was looking at together a very short time earlier. "I RECOGNISE IT, SIR," Riker offers. Amazing.

- During the ad break, Picard sends Geordi off to look at the Crystalline Entity outside the window with his VISOR, which can give more detailed information. Pretty cool, and I think the second time it's happened (the first might have been the "god" ship in Justice, IIRC).

- Wesley tries to warn everyone that Lore is very very very obviously impersonating Data. Riker steps in and barks at Wesley for not showing proper respect when addressing a senior officer. Arrrrrrsehole.

- Worst stunt double in history. The "stunt" in question is having another actor move their foot near your head.

(https://i.imgur.com/pMnYR4R.png)

- Wesley tries again to point out that Lore is very, very, very obviously badly impersonating Data. Picard threatens to kick him out of Starfleet.

- The famous "shut up, Wesley" line. Hard to enjoy it, sadly, because Picard's so obviously and overwhelmingly in the wrong here that it's impossible not to take Wes' side and want to smack Picard around the head. Even more irritating is that it comes in the context of a conversation in which Picard is pissing and moaning about Wesley not showing people the proper respect. Really just comes across as a useless knobhead. You know things are getting bad when a character who is telling Wesley to shut up comes across as the more annoying party in the exchange.

- Worf gets the shit kicked out of him. Someone start keeping a count.

- The visual of Beverly's arm on fire made me scream laughing for some reason. Kept laughing through the subsequent awful stunt double fight.

- Hate Picard's non-apology to Wesley, and Wesley's immediate return to sickening obsequiousness. The moment on the bridge where he told Picard to go fuck himself was the one moment in the show so far where Wesley was actually likeable, and he loses it by the end of the episode. Be good if, when Picard asked him to return to duty, he just said "no thanks mate, you nearly blew up your own fucking ship there mate, shit captain mate, bye mate".

More an unintentional comedy episode than anything else. Spiner's performance of Lore is utterly awful - not his fault so much as the fault of the script giving him nothing else to work with, because there's nothing to Lore beyond being chaotic evil. Everyone except Wesley is written as genuinely stupid and unreasonable. 4/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 27, 2021, 08:55:35 PM
012 | "Datalore"

(https://i.imgur.com/omqVL0M.jpg)

Twin Freaks

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Argyle!!
• Nude robot bum
• "Shut Up Wesley!"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Sneeze Masterclass
• Secret off-switch
• Nobody Says Pot-ah-to!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 27, 2021, 10:15:23 PM
Quote from: daf on May 27, 2021, 08:55:35 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/omqVL0M.jpg)
• Nude robot bum

Quote from: Edgar Allen Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

I BET YOU DO POE YOU DIRTY OLD BOLLOCKS. I BET YOU FUCKING DO.

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 27, 2021, 11:42:44 PM
S01E13 - Angel One

The Enterprise must contact Angel One, a matriarchal society (apparently), to rescue a bunch of complete twerps who crashed a shuttle there.

- Angel One is a matriarchy run by a council. "Sounds like my own planet," Troi says. Bit of ambiguous Betazed lore for you there.

- This is a matriarchal society, which Picard likens to an inversion of the patriarchies on Earth "hundreds of years ago". Of course, that means that women have long, elaborate hairstyles, and wear makeup, skirts and high-heeled boots. Men have short, sensible hair, no makeup, and wear trousers. It's like the production team were either too scared of depicting what an inverted patriarchy would look like, or just couldn't imagine it. Either way, doubt it'd look much like this!

- Is there a name for this kind of story? Where you just (awkwardly and simplistically, in this case) flip a real-life system of oppression around for the sake of an allegory? Whatever this type of story is called, it's usually a complete waste of time IMO, and this is no exception. There's no way to use this concept to explore the mechanisms and consequences of real-life patriarchy. Riker gets yelled at for being a man, but there's no way the show can ever convey (to a male viewer who's identifying with Riker) what it's actually like to be subjugated under a patriarchy, because this entire idea is so unreal and alien, and Riker's just a visitor to the planet on a day trip. Any oppression Riker faces is just odd and vaguely amusing, both to him and the viewers, which is the exact opposite effect it ought to create if it's trying to get across to us what being victimised by sexism is like.

- All the examples of oppression Riker experiences are basically just mild inconveniences. The planetary leaders (with their makeup and feathered hair) make ineffectual whiny comments about how "a man couldn't understand [blank]". He's made to wear a dumb outfit while meeting with the leaders.

- The planetary leader immediately starts flirting with Riker - presumably, this is meant to indicate that men in this society are sexualised and expected to perform sexual favours to succeed, but both the script and the direction play this as being funny and erotic, which is, of course, the polar opposite of what being sexually harassed/coerced is like. She invites Riker on a date where she does, of course, wear a dress.

- By the way, there's a sideplot where Romulans are coming and Picard has a cold.

- The Prime Directive: Riker says they can't interfere with domestic affairs. The leader responds "but you can interact?". "Of course," Riker responds. "How else could we learn?" Remember this for when TNG hideously warps the Prime Directive to the point of outright murderousness in some later episodes... Also, Data clarifies something that's been a question ever since TOS - non-Starfleet ships are, in fact, not bound by the Prime Directive. So if you have your own civilian ship, you can visit anyone you want. Surprised there weren't more episodes using this idea.

- "Don't you find me attractive?" the leader asks, throwing herself at Riker. zZzZZZzZZz

- In bed, Riker lies on top of the planet's leader (I still don't know her name), who is giggling and stroking his hair now. "Men are not objects to be possessed," Riker says, gurning, before going in for another kiss. Episode is a total write-off.

- Males of the Angel One species are small and fragile, while women are tall and strong. You'd think, then, that women would place value on males being "petite" and weak. Instead, the leader is immediately drawn to Riker The 6-Foot-Tall Himbo, while one of the only other prominent women we see on Angel One is attracted to this dorky-looking Han Solo knockoff from the shuttle crash. Hm.

- Riker saves the shuttle crew from execution by giving a speech to the planetary leader where he says that Meninism cannot be stopped. It works. The planetary leader basically thanks Riker for coming and setting the Planet of Women straight.

Just awful. What's the point? If you give the episode the benefit of assuming its heart is in the right place, the intent is that we can point and go "look, these aliens are ridiculous for subjugating half the population based on sex, maybe... OUR SOCIETY TODAY is ridiculous too???" but it's completely hollow, and it shits all over itself by falling head-first into a series of idiotic tropes, many of which can be read as sexist themselves.

I feel like if they really wanted to do an episode about sexism, it'd be much more interesting to visit a patriarchy and have Troi, Tasha, Bev et al react in a similar way Riker does here - confusion, amusement and generally just being like "haha what the fuck" in response to everything, because the very concept of sexism is a ridiculous, alien idea that doesn't make any sense to them. That'd probably still be a minefield of fuckups, but better than whatever this is. All objectionable elements aside, it's also just not an interesting episode - the only thing of value in it is the new information we get about how the Prime Directive works at this stage in the show's run. 1/10. It's called Angel One because that's the score it's getting.

(https://i.imgur.com/fPGWxFx.png)

Tune in next week where Riker heads to the Planet of Homos, where straight people are ostracised and subjugated! Will he be able to sort them out by the end of the episode? Oh wait, that's virtually the plot of an episode coming up in Season 5. Jesus.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 28, 2021, 12:35:00 AM
Quote from: Lemming on May 27, 2021, 11:42:44 PM
S01E13 - Angel One
...
- Males of the Angel One species are small and fragile, while women are tall and strong. You'd think, then, that women would place value on males being "petite" and weak. Instead, the leader is immediately drawn to Riker The 6-Foot-Tall Himbo, while one of the only other prominent women we see on Angel One is attracted to this dorky-looking Han Solo knockoff from the shuttle crash. Hm.

Er... don't know if you're familiar with the huu-man males of the patriarchal planet Sol 3, but you'll find quite a range in the preferred body types of their feee-males, including tall 'Amazonian' women (and more recently (https://residentevil.fandom.com/wiki/Alcina_Dimitrescu))

Otherwise, I think you've got the episode bang to rights, just an ineffectual mess. Should probably get more stick than that Code of Honor episode.

As for Prime Directive shenanigans: I assume there are levels of interaction, from pristine pre-warp hands-off, through to, ah, they've already been contacted so might as well interact with them but try to avoid messing up their natural development too much. Considering the complexity there can't be a one-size-fits-all approach to the Prime Directive.

When you think about it, there must be load of places that were contacted before the Federation, as well as outside the Fed. I'm pretty sure the Klingons aren't so delicate, not to mention the Cardassians and Romulans.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 28, 2021, 01:10:03 AM
Quote from: Blumf on May 28, 2021, 12:35:00 AM
Er... don't know if you're familiar with the huu-man males of the patriarchal planet Sol 3, but you'll find quite a range in the preferred body types of their feee-males, including tall 'Amazonian' women (and more recently (https://residentevil.fandom.com/wiki/Alcina_Dimitrescu))

Just struck me as odd that the entire planet is essentially represented by two women and one man, and the two women both fall for human males who presumably are very atypical of the beauty standards on the planet. Other reviews I've seen online accuse the episode of saying "look, the REAL MEN have arrived and the alien women can't help themselves". To be fair to the writer I don't think that was the intent at all, but it does come across as strange, especially since neither of the women show any interest at all in the one male of their own species that we see, who's basically just in the episode to stand around being shorter and weaker than Riker.

Quote from: Blumf on May 28, 2021, 12:35:00 AMAs for Prime Directive shenanigans: I assume there are levels of interaction, from pristine pre-warp hands-off, through to, ah, they've already been contacted so might as well interact with them but try to avoid messing up their natural development too much. Considering the complexity there can't be a one-size-fits-all approach to the Prime Directive.

When you think about it, there must be load of places that were contacted before the Federation, as well as outside the Fed. I'm pretty sure the Klingons aren't so delicate, not to mention the Cardassians and Romulans.

The levels approach would make sense, definitely. It feels like that's sort of where it's at during the first season of TNG - more protections in place than TOS's Prime Directive of "don't collapse the entire society in 45 minutes unless you really want to", but not as severe as the Prime Directive seen in episodes like Pen Pals and Homeward.

Even where the script quality is low, I'm enjoying the dynamic of some of these early episodes where the crew visit pre-space-age societies and inevitably end up in sticky situations where they have to restrain themselves in order to respect local laws and uphold the integrity of the Prime Directive. Really loved Picard's remark in Code of Honor about how easy it would be to rescue Tasha by force, and yet how unconscionable it would be to actually do that.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 28, 2021, 06:50:13 AM
I love this Season 1 arc of Geordi effortlessly rising to any challenge presented to him while Riker barely manages to do his job. It's kind of a shame he was side-promoted to engineering (for the character, I mean). The academy boy bridge officer gimmick suits him.

God, fuck all happens in this episode. Let's nitpick something irrelevant...

So right, obviously you can't throw a snowball out of the holodeck. Makes no sense whatsoever. This means that Wesley went to the trouble of replicating a real snowball as a prank, watched his friend run through the doors into the corridor and chose to throw a cricket ball made of solid ice at the Captain. Psychopathic behaviour.

Edit: Actually, is this the first mention of outposts vanishing along the Neutral Zone? In which case you could argue Angel One is the first implication of the Borg...
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 28, 2021, 09:33:45 AM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on May 28, 2021, 06:50:13 AM
So right, obviously you can't throw a snowball out of the holodeck. Makes no sense whatsoever. This means that Wesley went to the trouble of replicating a real snowball as a prank, watched his friend run through the doors into the corridor and chose to throw a cricket ball made of solid ice at the Captain. Psychopathic behaviour.

The holodeck does have replicator tech in it. You can have a drink or a meal in there, and we've seen a few times (like here) where items of clothing or other objects are physical.

I think it even makes some sense, as there's examples of clothing being holographic, but the hat is real, which works because you wouldn't want a suit over your space-pjs but your head is free to have a real hat.

(now figure out how Voyager needs to ration replicator use, but leaves the holodeck running 24/7)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 28, 2021, 09:51:31 AM
Hah that's great, the suit is projected over the clothes but you get to take home the hat as a souvenir.

It's like... if you just ask the holodeck to make you a swimming pool of gravy does it only beam in the amount that's actually touching you. So there's about a pint of gravy that's real and the rest is a simulation?

God it'd be so funny if in that Moriarty episode he tries to leave the holodeck and his corpse just collapses out of the door as the computer tries to 3D print a pile of man-shaped meat in real time.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Carpool Dragon on May 28, 2021, 01:54:01 PM
Almost finished this and Sub Rosa has to be the worst episode of anything I've seen in a long time. Dr Crusher fucks her dead grandmother's ghost boyfriend. That's it, that's the plot. They must have been desperate for story ideas at that point for that to make it on the air. I did enjoy the guy who was basically a live-action Groundskeeper Willie who dies for absolutely no reason.

DINNAE LIGHT THAT CANDLE BEVERLY!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 28, 2021, 03:52:26 PM
I CAN TRAVEL UP THE BEAAAAM, BEVERLY
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 28, 2021, 04:57:57 PM
013 | "Angel One"

(https://i.imgur.com/RJQmWya.jpg)

Planet of the 50 Fit Women

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Riker's Hairy Boob Blouse
• Peter Duncan's Todger Triangle
• Croaky Picard
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Riker's Prime Erective
• Night-Blooming Throgni
• Sniffles Lockdown
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on May 28, 2021, 07:25:24 PM
Fun fact: the actor playing the Angel One man pictured in the comment above also appears later in the episode The Offspring, as
Spoiler alert
Data's daughter's default setting, prior to choosing species and gender
[close]
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 28, 2021, 11:20:50 PM
S01E14 - 11001001

The Enterprise stops by a Starbase to get its shitty malfunctioning deathtrap of a holodeck fixed, amid other upgrades.

- The Starbase is visually incredible. The model shots in this show are really good and this is one of the best. Breathtaking scale.

- Two little purple-coloured aliens come aboard. "Are these gentlemen the Binars?" Riker asks. "They're not gentlemen, or ladies," he's immediately told. Come on Riker. Can't be the first sexless/multi-sexed species you've encountered. Andorians have like five sexes!

- Binars have become physically merged with the supercomputer that runs their planet, to the point where they're able to "pair" with other Binars and share each other's thoughts. Cool.

- "You've got the bridge," Riker says to Wesley. The First Officer of the Federation's flagship has just handed control of the ship to a 14 year old boy. Great stuff.

- Why does Riker always do this weird thing where he gives stupid, slightly panicked looks to everyone who walks past him in the corridor, like he's a puppy scared of movement or something? Here's a couple of examples of what I mean:

(https://i.imgur.com/D0DhCOP.gif)

- Data tries to learn to be more human by generating artistic images, putting him on par with what real life AI has already been able to do for years. Riker makes a joke about Geordi's blindness and then leaves the room gurning while Geordi is silent and stonefaced.

- The entire first segment of this episode is actually fantastic. It's Riker walking around gormlessly, being constantly confused and uncomprehending of anything anyone tells him. When he runs out of people to harass, he decides to interrupt the Binars, who are hard at work on upgrading the Enterprise's computer.

- Riker tests out the new holodeck upgrades by making the most boring jazz bar imaginable, and also generating a fake girlfriend for himself. "Great job, boys" he says to the Binars. You know, the same aliens who he was told are not "boys" mere minutes earlier. He manages to say "gentlemen" again about two lines later. Thick as pig shit.

- Something that's always bothered me about TNG... Minuet[nb]she's apparently unusually good because she's programmed by the Binars, but still runs through the usual holodeck system[/nb], the holodeck character created by Riker, is an AI who's able to seamlessly replicate human speech and gestures, and capable of developing her own opinions and perspectives, and is aware of her status as a fictional character. She even experiences independent emotions, like when she panics when Riker and Picard get up to leave the holodeck. She's also even capable of deciding to give up the ruse and tell Riker and Picard what's really going on. In other words, she's far, far more impressive than Data. Why is Data considered unique (to the point of being granted legal personhood) when the Enterprise computer can not only generate far superior AIs, but generate many of them all at once, while also running countless other tasks to keep the ship going? This isn't helped by the fact that, right after Minuet's scene, we cut straight back to Data trying to learn how to paint.

- Guy in a miniskirt! Pretty sure it's the same guy from an earlier episode. Good to see he's still hanging around.

- The ship has to be evacuated. Wesley and a guy in a gold Starfleet uniform both beam off while many civilians are still stuck on board. Surely all civilians should evacuate before any officers... Anyway, Riker and Picard are stranded aboard the ship because they were distracted by holodeck videogames and missed the evacuation.

- The Enterprise has been hijacked! The Binars are taking it far away into deep space! Riker and Picard keep playing videogames for a while. Eventually, they realise what's happening, and Picard asks the Enterprise computer where they're being taken. It responds: "The planet Binas." Riker turns to Picard. "The BINARS," he triumphantly deduces. Fucking hell.

- The Binars' homeworld is dying because the supercomputer had to be shut down. The Binar engineers have moved all its data to the Enterprise computer, which has taken up "every byte of available space". Picard and Riker must find a way to send it back to restart the supercomputer and save the Binars. They can't do this right away because they "don't have the file name". Love it.

Fun episode, plenty of Riker being amusingly shit, and a new alien race based around a cool concept. Like most early episodes, it's got some problems with pacing, mostly in this case through wasting a lot of time in Riker's jazz bar, but the final act pulls it together. 6/10

(https://i.imgur.com/ps92bYU.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on May 29, 2021, 01:06:21 AM
Quote from: Lemming on May 28, 2021, 11:20:50 PM
S01E14 - 11001001

...

- The Starbase is visually incredible. The model shots in this show are really good and this is one of the best. Breathtaking scale.

They took effects shots Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and overlaid Enterprise D over A. Fair play to them, they're good shots and, like you say are visually incredible. They also get reused in later episodes.

(https://i.postimg.cc/W3k17KBY/USS-Enterprise-approaches-Spacedock.webp)

Presumably the TNG spacedock is scaled up several times from the film version, as there's no way a Galaxy class could fit through those doors.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Zetetic on May 29, 2021, 10:04:48 AM
Quote from: Lemming on May 28, 2021, 11:20:50 PM
Why does Riker always do this weird thing where he gives stupid, slightly panicked looks to everyone who walks past him in the corridor, like he's a puppy scared of movement or something?
A lot of calculations involving physical attractiveness, power disparity, and the likely outcomes of employment tribunal.

QuoteWhy is Data considered unique (to the point of being granted legal personhood) when the Enterprise computer can not only generate far superior AIs, but generate many of them all at once, while also running countless other tasks to keep the ship going?
My head canon is that the Federation has established a philosophy regarding AI that treats effective mimicry using certain technologies (noting your point about computer-generated art, here-and-now) as distinct from the sort of thing that Data is and Moriarty might be.

None of this really holds up, but never mind.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on May 29, 2021, 11:00:54 AM
I like that the Bynars are non-Binary
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 29, 2021, 02:03:46 PM
014 | "11001001"

(https://i.imgur.com/hk1nRQ9.jpg)

It only takes a Minuet girl. To fall in love, to fall in love.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Riker's Jazz Boner
• Worf's Blue Sausage Suit
• The Joy Of Painting with Bob Droid
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Lugubrious Trombone Parp
• Non-Binary Baldy Bynars
• The password is obviously 'Minuet', you dummies, MINUET!!  . . . . oh!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 29, 2021, 10:52:16 PM
S01E15 - Too Short A Season

En route to a tense diplomatic negotiation, Admiral Jameson, the key figure in the upcoming talks, begins to age in reverse.

- The old age makeup is terrible. It's actually worse than in TOS' The Deadly Years produced 20 years earlier.

- Interesting that Jameson is 85 years old, and Picard acknowledges this as being elderly. But people live to be about 150 in the future, and McCoy was in his 130s in Encounter at Farpoint. Jameson is virtually middle-aged.

- The guy playing Jameson gives a pretty shaky performance. The "old" voice he puts on is just nuts. Sounds like a ghoul from Fallout. His performance gets better the more the character de-ages towards the actor's actual age, which I suppose makes sense.

- "Their phasers, sir. Set on kill."

"Thank you, Mr Data. I have heard the sound before."

- "The quest for youth, Number One. So futile," is Picard's inexplicable conclusion. He just watched an 85 year old man successfully de-age to his 20s. It only even went wrong because Jameson intentionally OD'd on the de-aging drug.

More like Too SHIT A Season!!! Nah it's alright. It's very talky and dialogue-driven but, in spite of that, it's quite well-paced and doesn't waste your time in the way other season one episodes do. Couldn't find much to say about it for this post but it was an enjoyable if simple story. Jameson is compelling enough a character to be worth a 45-minute one-off story, and the finale really works thanks in part to a good performance by the guy playing Karnak. 5/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 30, 2021, 01:19:56 AM
Ah, yes, Clayton Rohner. One of I think more than one Bill Paxtonalikes out there. Main thing I remember him being in was G vs E in the late 1990s.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on May 30, 2021, 01:31:32 AM
Wonder what the ratio of good to bad Admirals was in TNG-Era Trek? I feel that a lot of them always some sinister agenda going on and they were never portrayed as particularly nice or approachable. Unless Picard knew them well and it was always first name basis communications.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 30, 2021, 06:33:44 PM
015 | "Too Short a Season"

(https://i.imgur.com/6zdcPJq.jpg)

Star Trek : The De-Generation

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Half-Timbered Space-Wheelchair
• Push-Button self-closing Space-Drawers
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Ridiculous "Doddery Old Coot" acting
• Horrific plastic Burns-face
• Ludicrous video call made in the dark
• Six of your "Earth Days"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/fPGWxFx.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 31, 2021, 02:22:15 AM
S01E16 - When The Bough Breaks

The Enterprise encounters a cloaked planet, previously thought to exist only in myths.

- We're off to Aldea, the planet of techno-communism, where "incredible technical sophistication provides the daily needs of all citizens, so that they could turn themselves over to art and culture". The crew think this is wonderous and unique, but I thought Earth in TNG was meant to be pretty much the same thing.

- It's all gone Children of Men on Aldea, and there are no babies being born. They want to take away some of the children living on the Enterprise. "That might be acceptable for some other races," Troi says, "but humans are unusually attached to their offspring". Yep, fuck all the non-human personnel living on the Enterprise, including TROI HERSELF

- Riker refuses, and is sent back to the Enterprise. Wesley is whisked off the bridge via Aldean teleporter, and then, one by one, other children on the Enterprise are transported away. "Captain," Worf yells, "Saucer Section reports six more children are gone." Immediately after this, Riker strides in front of him and yells "IT'S THE CHILDREN. THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT." I almost clipped and uploaded this part because it's so fucking absurd. Riker is astonishing.

- Wesley tries to calm the kiddos down and learns that the planet is ruled by THE CUSTODIAN, a computer. Yet more proof that letting a computer run your whole planet is a shit idea.

- Picard's plan is to get an away team through Aldea's shield, get down to the planet, find the planetary shield generator, and blast the shit out of it. Makes a nice change from how hobbled and ineffectual Picard/Starfleet could be in later episodes.

- Aldeans are all dying out. Cause: ozone layer was destroyed, and now the sun's radiation has flooded the planet. According to Bev, this happened on Earth in the 21st century, but solutions were apparently found.

- Wesley manages some absolutely exceptional stealth by somehow managing to liberate all the Enterprise children (who have been moved to residential homes) without being detected. He teaches them about the wonders of passive resistance.

- The gigantic room containing the power source looks really cool.

- Bev and Data fix absolutely everything off-screen over the course of about 20 seconds, and Aldea is now saved, as are the children. Of the Aldeans, Troi says: "we know they'll make good parents". I think I'd dispute that given the whole kidnapping-and-holding-captive saga that just unfolded.

Not bad, not great. The parts with the crew arguing with the creepy kidnapper people feel very TOS, while the segments with the kids are sort of boring. Wesley comes across as a loser, he basically sits around for three days doing nothing, despite being a Starfleet officer who is presented with an open-goal opportunity to fuck up the planet from the inside and help the Enterprise get in. Could have made things a bit more exciting and satisfying if he played a role in the conclusion - the very first thing he does upon arrival to the planet is try to figure out where THE CUSTODIAN's power source is located, and he sneaks out to gain access to it, but he plays literally no role in the conclusion, which is just odd. The resolution entirely revolves around overriding THE CUSTODIAN, but everything Wesley learned about it isn't relevant. The only thing he does that really affects the plot is discretely scan one of the Aldeans so Beverly can find out what's wrong with them.

Also it obviously doesn't make sense - you're not going to get far repopulating a planet with six children - but this is Star Trek, so stuff like that gets a pass.

5/10

(https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: samadriel on May 31, 2021, 01:42:12 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 31, 2021, 02:22:15 AM
- It's all gone Children of Men on Aldea, and there are no babies being born. They want to take away some of the children living on the Enterprise. "That might be acceptable for some other races," Troi says, "but humans are unusually attached to their offspring". Yep, fuck all the non-human personnel living on the Enterprise, including TROI HERSELF

That's specifically not phrased as a judgement on non-human species.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on May 31, 2021, 04:43:26 PM
Struck me as an odd bit of human exceptionalism, though - the idea that humans are "unusually" attached to their kids in a way that other species somehow innately aren't. I can't imagine a Betazoid, Bajoran or Klingon would react any better to having their children kidnapped and held on some weird planet.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on May 31, 2021, 05:54:21 PM
016 | "When the Bough Breaks"

(https://i.imgur.com/1FOdAQh.jpg)

Planet of the Creeps

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Atlantis in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!
• Picard's phonus-balonus Dr Crusher regulation
• Ginger-nut's closing comedy Tribble-Hug [Aw, bless!]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Round rainbow keyboard
• Welsey's green grapefruit
• Ozone Hole knob neutraliser
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on May 31, 2021, 06:23:38 PM
I'll chip in here to say I have zero intention of re-watching these early TNG episodes, but that the various descriptions of Riker's ineptitude/being a complete space slut, Wesley being annoying and dodgy storylines have made me chuckle quite a fair bit, so cheers to that.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on May 31, 2021, 06:58:54 PM
Yeah this thread is proving a great & funny read, especially as I rewatched these myself only a few months ago.

Which reminds me, I've been meaning to say:

Quote from: Lemming on May 28, 2021, 11:20:50 PM
S01E14 - 11001001

- "You've got the bridge," Riker says to Wesley. The First Officer of the Federation's flagship has just handed control of the ship to a 14 year old boy. Great stuff.

That struck me immediately. Astonishing move. Has Gene all over it.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on May 31, 2021, 06:59:36 PM
This was a real drag to watch again, starts with a bang and then settles into the usual season 1 hostage crisis.

I bet you could find a bunch of Federation citizens willing to resettle on Aldea. It'd be another fuckplanet, like Risa, only for nerdy crackers... so Risa.

Picard screaming 'DON'T TOUCH HIM' when Wesley gets light beamed, can't risk having another mark on his service record after the whole Traveller fiasco.

Is it too early to talk about how having a telepathic character ruins a huge amount of dramatic potential? Being able to brain scan anyone shifty is the single most advantageous attribute for a bridge officer to have... after being an immortal robot, I guess.

The completely pointless global warming PSA is embarrassing, the first draft of the script must surely have been that the cloaking device was killing them directly. A nice, tidy 'evil of technology'/'island nations are bad' metaphor.

Get Gene in a grave, already.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on May 31, 2021, 10:49:53 PM
Quote from: Lemming on May 31, 2021, 02:22:15 AM
THE CUSTODIAN

(https://thumbs.gfycat.com/EqualSevereBilby-max-1mb.gif)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 01, 2021, 12:45:33 AM
S01E17 - Home Soil

The Enterprise visits a terraforming colony, but discovers an entirely new lifeform.

- The whole plot is pretty much triggered by Troi correctly sensing that something weird is going on in the colony, and encouraging Picard to send an away team. On reflection, Troi actually plays important roles throughout season one. It's a shame she gets sidelined a lot later on.

- Look at the terraforming station! This design is great!

(https://i.imgur.com/8Xz40Vu.png)

- One of the scientists, Malenson, is killed by a DEATH LASER. Data gets trapped in the room with the DEATH LASER. For some reason, effortlessly beaming him to immediate safety - as Yar did from the exact same position moments earlier - is considered a last resort. The preferred first option is for Geordi to uselessly bang on the door screaming, while Picard howls in terror over the communicator.

- A weird blinking light thing has been found on the planet, and everyone's convinced it's alive. It's taken to sickbay for tests. Wesley stands there in his jumper.

- Picard and the gang get together and talk third-rate pop psychology, chatting shit about which of the terraformers might have murdered their coworker. Inexplicably, Troi suggests that Riker conduct the interview with the last remaining suspect, because "you might do better than me". He learns absolutely nothing, and leaves after about thirty seconds.

- The entire "WHO'S THE MURDERER?!?!?!" subplot that takes up the first half of the episode is essentially a big waste of time.

- The inorganic life-form (now called the microbrain) establishes communication, and it turns out it's a complete arsehole. During the conversation, it admits to murdering a scientist. "It killed Malenson," Riker deduces. Unbelievable.

- The microbrain in this episode has to be one of the least likeable aliens in Star Trek. Far cry from the Horta. Even after the misunderstanding is cleared up and Picard apologises on behalf of the Federation, the microbrain still treats everyone like shit. Picard, of course, gets a raging erection while soliloquising about how beautiful and wonderous the microbrain is, and how shit humans are by comparison.

- Speaking of the Horta, everyone ooh's and aah's over the incredibleness of inorganic life. What about the Horta?! Everyone's forgotten the Horta!

- The microbrain is returned to the planet, and to safety. It concludes that humans are primitive and arrogant, and won't be worth talking to for another 200 to 300 years. Hey, that's still several thousand years less than the Metrons wanted.

- In the concluding captain's log, Picard calls this a "near tragedy". Yeah, close one, right? Thank god nobody got hurt. Fuck you, Malenson!

This one's a drag. Almost nothing actually happens, so it's 45 minutes of primarily padding. What little plot there is is completely run of the mill, the kind of stuff an AI would generate if you fed it a hundred mediocre Star Trek scripts and asked it to write its own. Basically a repeat of Devil in the Dark, but without the excitement and fun, and with the alien turning out to be a knobhead rather than a sympathetic character. 2/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 01, 2021, 12:32:16 PM
This is the first episode so far that I have zero memory of. I probably haven't watched it since I was 4.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 01, 2021, 12:38:11 PM
Quote from: Mr Trumpet on June 01, 2021, 12:32:16 PM
This is the first episode so far that I have zero memory of. I probably haven't watched it since I was 4.
Same here (though I was probably closer to 14 when I first watched all of TNG) - I do subscribe to the theory that things only get consistently good once Riker has a beard. Culling the cast down a little bit probably helped too, along with Worf and Geordi getting their promotions - in the case of the former, just so we could see various one-off characters batter the shite out of the poor sod.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 01, 2021, 01:44:55 PM
017 | "Home Soil"

(https://i.imgur.com/XfAAU82.jpg)

Terror Forming

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• "I wasn't asking You!" (Worf to computer)
• Ugly Bags of Mostly Water
• Boss Hogg bursting out of his belt
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Humans are 90% water, Data? - try 60%!
• Bulb in dome
• Micro Brains
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 01, 2021, 01:57:21 PM
Old Walter Gotell goes from a SMERSH(SPECTRE?) henchman, to head of the KGB, to leading a terraforming team on a distant planet.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 01, 2021, 02:12:39 PM
I've reached the point where I no longer know whether I've seen any given episode from the first three seasons[nb]When I did get into it, I read a bunch of episode synopses to catch up; so, I know what happens generally, but I don't know if I watched it happen or just read about it...[/nb]. The time they were shown on BBC2 - Weds 6pm - clashed with some club meeting at uni, probably the SCUBA club, so I hardly ever watched it. Mainly because what I did see of the first season stunk to high heaven. I was NOT a TNG fan, full stop. If I hadn't happened to see "Best of Both Worlds" completely by chance when it was on in... 1992? ... I might never have watched Trek again after The Undiscovered Country!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on June 01, 2021, 05:08:54 PM
Quote from: mothman on June 01, 2021, 02:12:39 PM
I've reached the point where I no longer know whether I've seen any given episode from the first three seasons[nb]When I did get into it, I read a bunch of episode synopses to catch up; so, I know what happens generally, but I don't know if I watched it happen or just read about it...[/nb]. The time they were shown on BBC2 - Weds 6pm - clashed with some club meeting at uni, probably the SCUBA club, so I hardly ever watched it. Mainly because what I did see of the first season stunk to high heaven. I was NOT a TNG fan, full stop. If I hadn't happened to see "Best of Both Worlds" completely by chance when it was on in... 1992? ... I might never have watched Trek again after The Undiscovered Country!

muddied by the fact that iirc BBC2 showed the episodes twice and just went back to the start and gave us Red Worf with the original bulbous headpiece. I'm sure they showed them all in order then repeated them. was most of the 90s for me, joining in about season 3 and watching through to the second end. was a nice marker for getting towards the end of school years
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 01, 2021, 06:11:50 PM
Quote from: daf on June 01, 2021, 01:44:55 PM
Score : (https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)

Glad to see we're united on this one. Checking out some other reviews online and it seems to be considered a high point of season one, with some people giving it scores in the region of 7/10, which baffles me to no end.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 01, 2021, 07:05:04 PM
Quote from: petrilTanaka on June 01, 2021, 05:08:54 PM
muddied by the fact that iirc BBC2 showed the episodes twice and just went back to the start and gave us Red Worf with the original bulbous headpiece. I'm sure they showed them all in order then repeated them. was most of the 90s for me, joining in about season 3 and watching through to the second end. was a nice marker for getting towards the end of school years

I thought they'd showed BoBW in summer '91 based on some memories, but thinking logically it must have been around June '92 as the Beeb only started showing it in September 1990, and we're talking 75-odd episodes later.

What they DID do was put showing TNG on hiatus after that, and started another repeat run of TOS; BBC2 only picked up showing TNG s4 in 1994. However, rather than leaving the U.K. (apart from Sky subscribers or people who bought the videos) waiting for TWO YEARS to resolve one of the best season cliffhangers ever, they somehow got dispensation to show BoBW pt. 2 in 1992.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: crankshaft on June 01, 2021, 07:26:03 PM
Quote from: mothman on June 01, 2021, 07:05:04 PM
I thought they'd showed BoBW in summer '91 based on some memories, but thinking logically it must have been around June '92 as the Beeb only started showing it in September 1990, and we're talking 75-odd episodes later.

What they DID do was put showing TNG on hiatus after that, and started another repeat run of TOS; BBC2 only picked up showing TNG s4 in 1994. However, rather than leaving the U.K. (apart from Sky subscribers or people who bought the videos) waiting for TWO YEARS to resolve one of the best season cliffhangers ever, they somehow got dispensation to show BoBW pt. 2 in 1992.

I remember reading that this was Michael Grade's fault - as a hater of sci-fi he was only prepared to sanction the purchase of the first three seasons. This might be bullshit, of course. Presumably BBC 2 had to shell out for the rights for BoBW2 independently, anyway.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 02, 2021, 01:52:23 PM
Two Wesleys! Well I'm going to out myself as a Home Soil enjoyer. :P

A season 1 episode where the crew bumble around doing Star Trek stuff for 45 minutes without embarrassing themselves is a blessed relief. The away mission at the start where the crew actually investigate something and have distinct and relevant things to contribute that fit their characters is unprecedented.

I love the overacting, the campy murder mystery, Data's character development finally turning up, the actual fucking science the show still pretends to be about. Home Soil should have been episode 2. It's like... half an hour of people looking at a glowy ball and talking about how incredible it is, that's Star Trek as fuck!

Also, "Both matters are subjects of protracted discussion." is great. I'm going to start using that to get out of talking to people after COVID.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on June 02, 2021, 03:59:50 PM
Quote from: mothman on June 01, 2021, 07:05:04 PM
I thought they'd showed BoBW in summer '91 based on some memories, but thinking logically it must have been around June '92 as the Beeb only started showing it in September 1990, and we're talking 75-odd episodes later.

What they DID do was put showing TNG on hiatus after that, and started another repeat run of TOS; BBC2 only picked up showing TNG s4 in 1994. However, rather than leaving the U.K. (apart from Sky subscribers or people who bought the videos) waiting for TWO YEARS to resolve one of the best season cliffhangers ever, they somehow got dispensation to show BoBW pt. 2 in 1992.

aha, that explains it. I remember the TOS run from the early 90s. the second run ends around the time I dropped out of uni. that was when I was fading away from being mad into ver Trek. kept on with DS9 of course, but kinda dropped Last of the Starship Wine and dipped in and out until coming back to see the ending. you've always got to watch the ending at some point
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 02, 2021, 07:40:57 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 01, 2021, 06:11:50 PM
Glad to see we're united on this one. Checking out some other reviews online and it seems to be considered a high point of season one, with some people giving it scores in the region of 7/10, which baffles me to no end.

I'm still feeling my way with the scores (probably a few will look way off, once we get into the later series), but I do enjoy the Holodeck episodes a lot - so it's going to be fun to see how much we diverge on those!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 03, 2021, 12:21:16 AM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 02, 2021, 01:52:23 PM
A season 1 episode where the crew bumble around doing Star Trek stuff for 45 minutes without embarrassing themselves is a blessed relief. The away mission at the start where the crew actually investigate something and have distinct and relevant things to contribute that fit their characters is unprecedented.

I love the overacting, the campy murder mystery, Data's character development finally turning up, the actual fucking science the show still pretends to be about. Home Soil should have been episode 2. It's like... half an hour of people looking at a glowy ball and talking about how incredible it is, that's Star Trek as fuck!

I did like the vaguely scientific way the crew try to qualify the glowy ball as a life form! Makes a change from the magical/fantasy stuff that generally dominates the first season.

Quote from: daf on June 02, 2021, 07:40:57 PM
I'm still feeling my way with the scores (probably a few will look way off, once we get into the later series)

Same here - I imagine my 5/10 rating for Too Short A Season will start to feel increasingly awkward when the really good episodes start hitting around season three.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 03, 2021, 12:34:51 AM
S01E18 - Coming of Age

The Enterprise is placed under investigation by Starfleet while Wesley leaves to take the Starfleet Academy entrance exam.

- Wesley has a STUPID new haircut!!! Also, his buddy Jake sort of looks like the guy out of Tears for Fears.

- Wesley meets the other GENIUS PRODIGIES he'll be taking the entrance exam with. The actor playing Oliana gives a bizarre performance. Totally spaced-out, like she's been hit in the head or something. Not sure if it's a bad performance or a great one.

- A guy called Remmick is here to investigate the Enterprise for unknown reasons. You're meant to be against him because he's a Pen-Pushing Bureaucrat, but to be fair to Remmick, Riker pretty much immediately starts pissing and moaning about his presence and trying to start shit with him.

- This is not a normal way to sit down.

(https://i.imgur.com/9WCCzbr.png)

- Geordi and Troi get pissy with Remmick for grilling them. Gonna have to come to his defence again - the Enterprise has over one thousand people on it, has the power to start and end wars, handles first contact scenarios, and has the power to radically overhaul entire planetary civilisations... yet we're supposed to be angry that Picard is being subjected to some oversight. Just about everything Remmick brings up is valid - Picard literally did lose control of the flagship and it - with all the officers and civilians on board - was propelled beyond the reaches of the galaxy. Picard did freak out, board the Stargazer, and attempt to fire on the Enterprise. I'd be more surprised if Starfleet didn't send someone to look into these.

- Worf and Wesley scene. Let's pair these two up and see if anything clicks. It doesn't, but hey, it's a Worf scene, so it still works.

- Tears for Fears man - who is, by the way, a civilian and apparently a child - manages to hijack a shuttle from the Enterprise. He flies into space, where he almost dies. Remmick is portrayed as unreasonable for pointing out that this should not be happening on a properly-run ship.

- Wesley has an encounter with an extremely overacting man in a corridor. Turns out this is a really fucking stupid test set up by Starfleet.

- Interview montage where Remmick does the only actually unacceptable thing he does in the entire episode, where he inexplicably asks Beverly about her feelings towards Picard.

- Wesley's so brilliant that he's able to help his buddy taking the exam find the Genius Within Himself so that he passes.

- PLOT TWIST: It's time for Remmick's report, but it's full of glowing praise. So much so that he asks to be assigned on the Enterprise in the future.

- Wesley's psych evaluation is an unannounced simulation of the nearby room blowing up. You can guess this is all a test immediately, but genius Wesley can't. This is so funny, it's such a weirdly sociopathic test to spring on a 14 year old.

- Picard tells Riker that he (Picard, not Riker) has been selected to be commandant of Starfleet Academy. "CONGRATULATIONS, SIR! WHAT A WONDERFUL CHOICE, SIR!", Riker exclaims. "YOU'LL BE ABLE TO SHAPE YOUNG MINDS, SIR." I hate this fucking dolt so much.

- Supremely awkward Picard/Weslsey chat to end on.

I thought that was an absolute waste of time - so, of course, it turns out it's reasonably well-regarded elsewhere online.

All the Wesley scenes are naff, partially because Wesley sucks and partially because the entrance exam just comes across as a ludicrous onslaught of bullshit (I can't get over the simulated lab explosion). Do all Starfleet recruits go through this? Did fucking Worf pass this test? Meanwhile, the scenes on the Enterprise are tedious because it's just Riker glaring at Remmick and Remmick asking people questions aggressively. It all comes to nothing because the whole plot is just set-up for "Conspiracy", probably one of my least favourite TNG episodes of all time (which means everyone else is sure to love it).

1/10. A bit harsh perhaps because there's some reasonably good acting and a bit of the dialogue works, but it's all just wrapped in two very boring plots. I don't think it was a good idea to do a story like this, with no sci-fi plot at all, so early in the show's run. The characters just aren't strong or well-defined enough to make it worthwhile watching a relatively unremarkable day elapse on board the ship. And all these ratings are subjective anyway.

(https://i.imgur.com/fPGWxFx.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 03, 2021, 06:49:42 AM
Main memory of seeing this episode for the first time (which would have been after I'd seen later ones) was thinking "oh, there's Quincy's mate", playing the chap who conducts the test Wesley undertakes.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 03, 2021, 10:23:03 AM
Quote from: Lemming on June 03, 2021, 12:34:51 AM
- This is not a normal way to sit down.

Well established meme at this point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVIGhYMwRgs&ab_channel=WeirdHat

Differing reports on whether Frakes just does it cos he's tall (although he's not that much taller than me and I'm fairly sure I'd herniate something doing that) or because he fucked his back at some point when he was younger.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 03, 2021, 10:29:06 AM
Frakes worked for a removals firm when he was a jobbing actor, I think that was when he messed his back up. Same reason he leans uncomfortably over Data or Wesley when they're at their bridge stations.

BTW I'm currently enjoying the InvestiGates podcast - Gates McFadden interviewing various of her co-stars (so far Frakes, LeVar Burton and Wil Wheaton). What's nice is that they're clearly all old pals at this point and they talk about everything except Star Trek. Wil Wheaton talking about his awful childhood and ghastly parents is a bit of a downer, mind.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 03, 2021, 05:46:37 PM
018 | "Coming of Age"

(https://i.imgur.com/8rGWPlC.jpg)

Swots in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Riker finally gets his leg-over : Chair Vault #1
• Interrogator Remmick : BOO! HISS!
• Picard's long jacket/dress
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Worf's Holodeck pep-talk
• Teenage delinquent hot-wired shuttlepod
• Psych test : wake up Wesley! You're obviously still just on the Holodeck!! . . . . oh!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 04, 2021, 12:11:39 AM
S01E19 - Heart of Glory

The Enterprise rescues three Klingons from a doomed transport ship, but it soon becomes clear that they are not what they seem.

- Geordi's VISOR image transmitted to the viewscreen. Magical music plays as Picard gawks. "FASCINATING. NOW I'M BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND HIM." Geordi painstakingly explains the VISOR while Picard keeps going on at him. Riker does his first ever good move in the whole series by reminding Picard that they're on a rescue mission and that there's no time to fuck about.

- Room full of flammable gas. Riker gets his phaser out and prepares to fire it through a small hatch for no clear reason. Data: "I advise against the use of phasers, sir. The gas buildup is too great." Geordi: "He's right, sir. A phaser discharge now could blow us all out of here." How the hell is Riker in command?

- One of the Klingons says to Worf: "I did not know there were Klingons serving on human Starfleet vessels". Does Starfleet segregate ships by species?! TOS had a "Vulcan ship", the USS Intrepid, but you'd have thought that 100 years later, by the time of TNG, the crews would be completely mixed. Pretty sad state of affairs if the Enterprise really is a "human" ship.

- Klingon death roar. Love how Worf awkwardly joins in a couple seconds late.

- Worf backstory. This is the first episode where Michael Dorn has really been given a chance to do something, and he does a great job as always. No wonder they started writing more and more roles for him in future scripts.

- The Klingons tell Worf that Klingons are all innately violent loons and that he should just give up and go apeshit. They also tell him the truth - they're fugitives who are so balls-deep into their theories about "Klingon nature" that they've had to flee to an uninhabited world so they can run around hunting or something.

- Worf and the Klingon Captain both agree that Klingons are indeed innately violent, and it's "bred in the bone".

- Two security officers get killed. I think that's the first time any crewmembers have died. One of the Klingons is also killed in the fight, because phasers suddenly don't have stun or stun doesn't work or something.

- "The true test of a warrior is not without - it is within!" Cheers Worf.

- Worf shoots the Klingon guy, who falls through the shockingly fragile glass floor. Seemed unnecessary, and again, stun suddenly doesn't exist. But at least we got a slow-mo glass shattering out of it.

- Worf tells the Klingon Captain that the fugitives "died well". Well, I guess you sort of have to say that. The truth is that one died after shooting an Enterprise officer, the other fell on his face into a pile of broken glass.

Not bad. Worf is forced to act like an idiot in the middle part of the episode, but overall it's a good first chance for Michael Dorn to show off his abilities, which only improve as the series goes on. The ending conversation between Worf and the other Klingon guy is very cliched but still a decently satisfying ending to the episode.

The elephant in the room with this episode is the implication that Worf is naturally drawn to violence and the renegades just because of his species. Depends on how you read it - it could be an example of TNG's usual species-ism (species all share innate genetic traits, Ferengi are necessarily greedy, Klingons are necessarily violent, Romulans are necessarily duplicitous, etc). The more interesting reading is that Worf is briefly taken in by the Klingons because they represent what he's always believed "Klingon culture" is like, and always regretted not being a part of. But I'm pretty sure the episode leans towards just saying Klingons really are violent dumbasses and that Worf is unusual for repressing it so well. 5/10

(https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)

Kill count (I'll try to remember to include this count every time there's reason to update it):
2 Enterprise crew dead
2 people killed by Enterprise crew
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 04, 2021, 02:17:09 AM
Quote from: Lemming on June 04, 2021, 12:11:39 AM
S01E19 - Heart of Glory

...

- One of the Klingons says to Worf: "I did not know there were Klingons serving on human Starfleet vessels". Does Starfleet segregate ships by species?! TOS had a "Vulcan ship", the USS Intrepid, but you'd have thought that 100 years later, by the time of TNG, the crews would be completely mixed. Pretty sad state of affairs if the Enterprise really is a "human" ship.

I've always assumed the ships are mostly segregated for the practical reason of differing environment needs. Vulcans would favour a hot atmosphere for example, with more gravity (IIRC). So, although most species can inhabit a wide range of conditions, for efficiency, if not comfort, keeping crew mostly matched to the environment makes sense.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 04, 2021, 08:19:32 AM
There is another all-Vulcan Starfleet ship featured in DS9, set a few years after this TNG story. In the snooze-a-thon baseball episode.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on June 04, 2021, 12:09:51 PM
You could argue its moreso that to the Klingons the Federation is really the "human empire" just with some diplomatic window dressing.

I actually think the earlier stuff in TNG strikes the best balance with the Klingons, not having the Space Viking aspect of the culture really become too dominant, more of an undercurrent that these Klingons are looking to return to.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Camp Tramp on June 04, 2021, 02:53:40 PM
The action scene in heart of Glory when the Klingons break out of the cell is poorly staged. The second security guard just stands there and patiently waits for Korris to shoot him.

That episode is yet another example of Starfleet security being incompetent. Two Klingons free run to engineering and one even holds a phaser to the warp core!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 04, 2021, 04:53:43 PM
019 | "Heart of Glory"

(https://i.imgur.com/WY196WH.jpg)

There's Klingons on the starboard bow!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Klingon Death RituaaaAAAAAAAAAAARRRGGHHH!!!
• It's a Worfstal Breakout!
• Post-scream Worf overhead zoom up . . . and up . . . and uuuuup
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Geordi Visor-vision interlude
• Klingon in sickbay : at least take his frigging jacket off (no wonder he died!)
• Triple glass-smash death-dive - nice one!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 04, 2021, 06:00:03 PM
Quote from: Blumf on June 04, 2021, 02:17:09 AM
I've always assumed the ships are mostly segregated for the practical reason of differing environment needs. Vulcans would favour a hot atmosphere for example, with more gravity (IIRC). So, although most species can inhabit a wide range of conditions, for efficiency, if not comfort, keeping crew mostly matched to the environment makes sense.

Killjoy time - The human domination of Starfleet post TOS (TOS being more intentionally earth centric, with early slips like McCoy's sort of half joking suggestion that the Vulcans were conquered by earth) is really just to save on the makeup budget.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 04, 2021, 06:36:44 PM
Good, fun episode. The endless sequence of Geordi's Incredible Eyes and the complete uselessness of everybody involved in stopping the Klingons were real highlights.

Worf letting these guys walk into main engineering is one thing, but Tasha assigning a two-man guard detail consisting of Crewman Ramos and Crewman Fucks-off-for-a-cig is just asking for trouble. Amazingly enough, Riker is the only one with the presence of mind to suggest restricting their movements but is too useless to do anything but second guess himself in front of the Captain.

Bonus Blu-ray Blunder: in spite of being detained in "Security 3", the only thing on the open door we can see for sure is the number 2. Blaming Crewman Ramos for that.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 04, 2021, 06:41:52 PM
Quote from: greenman on June 04, 2021, 12:09:51 PM
I actually think the earlier stuff in TNG strikes the best balance with the Klingons, not having the Space Viking aspect of the culture really become too dominant, more of an undercurrent that these Klingons are looking to return to.

I like to imagine that since later on we mostly only spend time with Worf (a nutter) and the leaders of Great Houses, the honour shtick is mostly flag-waving bluster. Your average Barry Son of Barry probably only hopes for a slightly honourable death.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on June 04, 2021, 09:05:21 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 04, 2021, 06:41:52 PM
I like to imagine that since later on we mostly only spend time with Worf (a nutter) and the leaders of Great Houses, the honour shtick is mostly flag-waving bluster. Your average Barry Son of Barry probably only hopes for a slightly honourable death.

I do like the idea of not really arsed proper working class Klingons. vans, trades, caffs, tabloid newspapers the lot. Qo'Nos version of Mick the Tiler with his vox pop on the news
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on June 04, 2021, 09:55:12 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 04, 2021, 06:41:52 PM
I like to imagine that since later on we mostly only spend time with Worf (a nutter) and the leaders of Great Houses, the honour shtick is mostly flag-waving bluster. Your average Barry Son of Barry probably only hopes for a slightly honourable death.

On TNG yeah that seemed to be more the situation, Worf having an idealised view and the great houses playing out traditional ideas of honour for power games. By the time of DS9 there did seem to be more of a shift towards the Viking honour culture being the defining feature of all Klingons.

I spose you could argue really what shifted was on TNG the Klingons were the most significant non human race were as in DS9 that shifted onto the Cardassians who I think became the most rounded alien culture Trek has managed, more of an idea that politics existed with facists in power and details like most scientists being women.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 05, 2021, 08:44:01 PM
Quote from: greenman on June 04, 2021, 09:55:12 PM
By the time of DS9 there did seem to be more of a shift towards the Viking honour culture being the defining feature of all Klingons.

The nadir of which being when we learn (in Voyager I think) that Klingon Christmas is called [drumroll...] the Day of Honour. Brilliant writing there gang, well done.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 05, 2021, 09:18:00 PM
Agreed with what people have been writing on Klingons, not looking forward to some of the Klingon politics/religion episodes coming up.

My favourite use of Klingons in the entire Berman era is Voyager's "Prophecy", chiefly because we finally meet a Klingon who realises that all the honour stuff is bullshit, and acts like a normal person rather than a crazy cartoon viking.

It always winds me up that a lot of TNG writers tended to assume that Worf was essentially representative of wider Klingon culture. Almost nothing is ever made of the fact that Worf grew up mostly on Earth - he has no idea what Klingon culture or society is, beyond what he's seen in media, and he's built a ridiculous idealised version of it in his mind and based his entire identity and personality around it. He's basically the sci-fi equivalent of an American who gets obsessed with Japanese culture (or rather, what they think Japanese culture is) and starts saying "kawaii" in conversation.

Lots of interesting and complicated plots could have arisen whenever Worf comes up against people who actually are culturally Klingon and inevitably finds out that his own personal interpretation of it is nonsense, but the writers never did this as far as I remember. It might have been hinted at like once on DS9.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on June 05, 2021, 09:26:26 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 05, 2021, 09:18:00 PM
Lots of interesting and complicated plots could have arisen whenever Worf comes up against people who actually are culturally Klingon and inevitably finds out that his own personal interpretation of it is nonsense, but the writers never did this as far as I remember. It might have been hinted at like once on DS9.

There is his "Klingons do not laugh!" altercation with Guinan in a later episode, where she goes "Oh sure they do" and basically implies he's acting like a walking cliche. Not much beyond that mind.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MoreauVasz on June 05, 2021, 09:31:58 PM
I think Worf's eccentricities are acknowledged in TNG and are then made quite explicit in DS9.

In TNG, Worf is the guy who believes in honour and the old teachings whereas the Klingons who grew up on Quonos are invariably presented as either hypocrites or pragmatists who pay lip service to the old ways.

By the time DS9 rolls around, you have hypocritical Klingons but you also have regular Klingons who talk about honour but actually just like getting pissed and having a bit of a punch up. In this context, Worf comes across as a kind of religious nutter whose humourless intensity make him a massive pain in the balls. Jadzia even says that while Worf may be a Klingon, her experience living among Klingons means that she's far more in touch with what it means to be a Klingon.

In fact, the only other Klingon who takes that shit as seriously as Worf is Martok's wife and the show suggests that she's only a stickler because of racism.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 05, 2021, 10:17:53 PM
S01E20 - The Arsenal of Freedom

On a lifeless post-apocalyptic world, Picard and Beverly fall arse-over-tit and get stranded in a hole.

- Riker was offered command of his own ship (presumably under some kind of scheme to help the disadvantaged), but turned it down for the prestigious role he now enjoys on the Enterprise, where he sits in a leather chair and rephrases what other, more capable people say.

- The planet's motto was "Peace through superior firepower". And now they're all DEAD from superior firepower. Really makes you think.

- Attack of the CGI floating death robots. Frakes does some of his best acting while frozen immobile in the energy field.

- There's a character called Ensign T'Su on the bridge. She gets a lot of screentime, is referred to by name more than once, and the camera introduces her by dramatically panning around her. There's even a close-up of her while Worf is talking. I thought this must be a special guest star, maybe a real-life astronaut or a particularly famous actor. It's Julia Nickson, who is best known for playing Co Bao in Rambo 2. I suppose the character gets unusual amounts of focus since she ends up on the hilariously-named "battle bridge" with Geordi later on.

- Picard's going down to the planet to personally save Riker's worthless arse. Troi objects, and says that the captain should not be beaming down. "Objection noted, Counsellor!" Picard heroically cries as he marches off to the transporter room. Minutes later, he falls down a hole and gets trapped. Should have listened to Troi.

- The set for the hole Picard and Beverly fall into is really impressive, wonder if it's reused from something else.

- Picard being awkward and useless while trying to fix Beverly's fucked up arm. Patrick Stewart always sells Picard's awkwardness well, so scenes like this are always fun.

- Before stranding himself and almost his entire command staff on the planet, Picard put Geordi in command. The Chief Engineer - a guy we've never seen before - shows up and points out that Geordi (lieutenant junior grade) probably shouldn't be in command. Which is a fair point - why did Picard leave him in command? Troi, who is sat right fucking next to him, is a lieutenant commander.

- I really love the new Chief Engineer, Logan, who's only role is to argue the opposite of whatever Geordi says. Unidentified object flying towards the ship, no idea what it is. Geordi says to fire at it. "NO! WE CAN'T FIGHT THIS THING AND WIN!" Logan says, based on nothing. Love him.

- Logan earlier suggested breaking orbit and leaving the trapped crew on the planet. After the ship nearly blows up for some reason, Geordi gives the order to leave the planet. "You are leaving them on the planet?!" Logan says with disgust. No joke, this guy is one of my favourite Star Trek characters.

- Troi calls Geordi aside to review his performance in command. She helps him to stay calm by reminding him that he's under incredible pressure, the crew is terrified, and that people will die if he fucks up.

- Saucer separation, or SAUCER-SEP. Shame we don't get another minutes-long sequence of the entire theme song playing while it very slowly detaches.

- The people of the planet were killed by the automated demonstration system. The weapon was programmed to go on killing sprees to demonstrate its abilities and attract potential buyers, who it would also shoot at. This is not a joke, this is the actual plot.

- Picard and Data sit around wondering how to stop the machine. "Just shut it off," Bev says. They shut it off. Wonder why nobody on the planet thought of that one.

Kind of a mess. The situation with the planetary holocaust is nothing but a backdrop, so the episode is basically about two plots - Geordi in command, and Picard and Bev in the cave. Both plots are fun but nothing much comes of either of them. Geordi does a good job, and Picard awkwardly stammers and fumbles around while trying to keep Beverly calm (though both actors play it as though Bev's already calm and Picard's jabbering to himself to try and calm himself down, which is fun).

4/10. It's weak but there's worse things you could be watching. Most of those 4 points are for Logan, who is unironically one of the best characters of all time. His entire personality is disagreeing with Geordi. It also makes me laugh how contrived the Geordi-in-command plot is to start with - the entire command staff bar Troi have to all get simultaneously trapped on the planet, which requires Picard to beam down without any given reason.

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 05, 2021, 10:22:36 PM
Quote from: MoreauVasz on June 05, 2021, 09:31:58 PM
I think Worf's eccentricities are acknowledged in TNG and are then made quite explicit in DS9.

A lot of DS9 hasn't stuck in my memory, though I do remember the episode where he nearly destroys Risa and is portrayed as a mega-loon, and an episode where Dax finally points out that no other Klingons act like Worf.

As for TNG, fair point about almost every other Klingon being portrayed as un-Worf-like. I always just wanted someone to call him out on it directly. From memory, the only person who properly begins to broach it with him is K'Ehleyr.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on June 05, 2021, 10:44:50 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 05, 2021, 10:17:53 PM
Riker was offered command of his own ship (presumably under some kind of scheme to help the disadvantaged)

I genuinely lolled.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 05, 2021, 11:13:24 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 05, 2021, 10:17:53 PM
It's Julia Nickson, who is best known for playing Co Bao in Rambo 2.

And Catherine Sakai in Babylon 5! For maybe 2 episodes.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 06, 2021, 12:34:11 AM
Quote from: Lemming on June 05, 2021, 10:17:53 PM
S01E20 - The Arsenal of Freedom

...

- Before stranding himself and almost his entire command staff on the planet, Picard put Geordi in command. The Chief Engineer - a guy we've never seen before - shows up and points out that Geordi (lieutenant junior grade) probably shouldn't be in command. Which is a fair point - why did Picard leave him in command? Troi, who is sat right fucking next to him, is a lieutenant commander.

Rank is not the same as chain of command. In Troi's case, she hasn't done any command track training, something she gets around to much later by
Spoiler alert
sending a holo-Geordi to his death[nb]
Spoiler alert
I always liked that bit, as the simulation Geordi has zero emotions to being ordered to his death, just a "yeah, okay, not even my whole night, byeeee" attitude to it. Rather incongruous considering the levels of mind fuck they put Wes through at the Academy, you'd think they'd at least have a bit of emotion to the simulation
[close]
[/nb]
[close]
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MoreauVasz on June 06, 2021, 08:20:49 AM
One of the weirder things about early episodes of TNG is that they seemed to have too many people in the cast. After a while, it settled down into everyone being some kind of department head but in season 1 neither Worf nor Jordi have clear positions. They're just officers who happen to work on the Enterprise. Jordi sometimes takes the helm and Worf is some kind of security officer maybe?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MoreauVasz on June 06, 2021, 08:23:39 AM
Quote from: Blumf on June 06, 2021, 12:34:11 AM
[nb]
Spoiler alert
I always liked that bit, as the simulation Geordi has zero emotions to being ordered to his death, just a "yeah, okay, not even my whole night, byeeee" attitude to it. Rather incongruous considering the levels of mind fuck they put Wes through at the Academy, you'd think they'd at least have a bit of emotion to the simulation
[close]
[/nb][/spoiler]

Like having the person in charge nod at a pair of security goons who then drag him away screaming and begging for his life?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 06, 2021, 08:51:46 AM
Quote from: Lemming on June 05, 2021, 10:17:53 PM
- Attack of the CGI floating death robots.

Probably a bit too early for CGI? According to the designer, that was a model based on his daughter's giant easter egg being moved about on a stick "like a puppet".
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 06, 2021, 02:51:12 PM
020 | "The Arsenal of Freedom"

(https://i.imgur.com/eHDCsC3.jpg)

Arsenal - 1  | Enterprise Academicals - 0

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Featuring guest star Ensign T'Su!!!
• Floaty Egg Zapper
• Logan's Run
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Crusher's Roots Manoeuvre
• Falling down the B-plot Hole
• On the Good Ship Lollipop
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 06, 2021, 05:10:22 PM
Quote from: Blumf on June 06, 2021, 12:34:11 AM
Rank is not the same as chain of command. In Troi's case, she hasn't done any command track training, something she gets around to much later by
Spoiler alert
sending a holo-Geordi to his death[nb]
Spoiler alert
I always liked that bit, as the simulation Geordi has zero emotions to being ordered to his death, just a "yeah, okay, not even my whole night, byeeee" attitude to it. Rather incongruous considering the levels of mind fuck they put Wes through at the Academy, you'd think they'd at least have a bit of emotion to the simulation
[close]
[/nb]
[close]

Interesting! Anything in Star Trek that involves command structures is a mystery to me.

Quote from: daf on June 06, 2021, 08:51:46 AM
Probably a bit too early for CGI? According to the designer, that was a model based on his daughter's giant easter egg being moved about on a stick "like a puppet".

Surprising, it really looked like early CGI to me! The strange sliding movements and the lighting in particular reminded me of the characteristic weird shininess that a lot of old CGI has, like this absolutely batshit old video for Adamski and Seal's "Killer" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQAgaBVxMds).
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 06, 2021, 05:26:53 PM
Should have called this Arsehole of Detention and cut out all the plots not related to falling in a hole.

I love the bit in this where the away team spend three minutes antagonising an obvious, but inert, hologram only for Riker to shout at it until it goes into attack mode. Great job, Bill.

Meanwhile Geordi once again aces his way through a crisis way above his pay grade, defeating 'Chief Engineer' Logan on the way. I've decided that after this episode Geordi requested a transfer to engineering specifically to shit on this guy's career.

Lt. Soulless.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on June 06, 2021, 05:43:25 PM
Quote from: daf on June 06, 2021, 02:51:12 PM
• Crusher's Roots Manoeuvre

Witness The Pitness! Fitting as there was a Yorkshire cover version of that song by MC Pitman too!

https://youtube.com/watch?v=uL2U11UAcPw
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 06, 2021, 06:43:58 PM
Quote from: MoreauVasz on June 06, 2021, 08:20:49 AM
One of the weirder things about early episodes of TNG is that they seemed to have too many people in the cast. After a while, it settled down into everyone being some kind of department head but in season 1 neither Worf nor Jordi have clear positions. They're just officers who happen to work on the Enterprise. Jordi sometimes takes the helm and Worf is some kind of security officer maybe?

Geordi was supposed to be the regular helmsman in season 1 cos "lol blind helmsman", but obviously Wesley is there as well and gets it from time to time. Whilst Geordi pops in other places as required. Worf as backup Ops and Tactical officer was partly because they originally intended separating the saucer a lot more than they eventually did, requiring some extra officers.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 06, 2021, 08:42:34 PM
I wonder how the dynamic might have evolved if
Spoiler alert
Denise Crosby hadn't left. With her gone, Worf dropped neatly into place as head of security, and LaForge as chief engineer. It's possible the latter might still have happened with Yar still around, but would Worf have become increasingly surplus to requirements? His presence really caught the end-of-the-Cold-War zeitgeist at the time, but as TNG progressed he evolved beyond that as a character. It's doubtful if that would still have happened if he had just floated around with no consistent role in the crew. But then again, O'Brien did the same on the Enterprise-D and he eventually became a regular in DS9 AND became the most important person in Starfleet history
[close]
.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: kalowski on June 06, 2021, 09:11:04 PM
I'm just commenting on this delightful thread so I can find it easily and comment later.
Fuck. New page on the edge of the neutral zone.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 07, 2021, 05:25:45 AM
S01E21 - Symbiosis

When an exploitative relationship between two planetary populations is revealed, Beverly and Picard disagree about how to proceed.

- Love how Yar pushes the generic transporter dude out of the way to handle the beam-up herself. Out of the way, fool, this is a job for a character who's name appears in the opening credits.

- My main hobby these days is squinting really hard at screens, trying to tell if people on TV are wearing wigs/hairpieces. The aliens in this episode mystify me in this regard. I think Sobi is wearing one, but not sure.

- Here's the gist of the episode - there are two planets, Brekka and Ornara. Ornara suffers from a plague that can only be treated with felicium, a drug produced exclusively on Brekka. Brekkans provide the medicine to Ornara in return for payment in money and goods. The Enterprise gets involved when a freighter blows up and results in the goods to be traded for felicium being lost, and the Brekkans refuse to give it over. Feels very TOS-like, and I always enjoy these Star Trek stories where entire planets are essentially allegorical. The only problem with this one is that the Brekkans are laughably one-dimensionally evil.

- The Brekkans have no industry and no exports other than felicium. They don't need any others, because trading for felicium gives them everything they need. Again, it's absolutely outlandish, but I always like these weird fantastical high-concept ideas in Star Trek.

- This is a good episode for Gates McFadden. Her acting throughout TNG has always seemed very stilted and wooden to me (which is really odd since when you hear her speak in interviews and such, she's got a great amount of charisma), but she manages to be convincingly threatening towards the Brekkans.

- Bev's found the SHOCKING truth - there is no plague and felicium is a narcotic. The plague is just withdrawal from felicium. Shock!!

- I like how Riker doesn't get what's happening, forcing Bev to re-explain the revalation from the previous scene just in case you got up to have a piss and left the episode on.

- Here we go: Bev asks Picard what the plan is, and Picard's plan is to do nothing because of the Prime Directive. Bev says that the Brekkans are exploiting the Ornarans, Picard fires back with "that's how you see it". HATE HATE HATE. The episode does set up an interesting Prime Directive puzzle, though, in that revealing the truth would potentially destroy Brekka.

- Prime Directive winds me up as usual. "It is not our mission to impose Federation or Earth values on any others in the galaxy". That's good, of course, but this wouldn't be imposing values on anyone - it would be revealing an objective, factual truth to the Ornarans. It wouldn't even be making any kind of judgment on the Brekkans. It wouldn't even necessarily stop the felicium trade. It would just equip the Ornarans with factual knowledge and allow them to make an informed decision themselves on whether they want to continue buying felicium - a good chance many would, considering the planet-wide scale of the addiction. That Picard considers withholding vital information from people to be an anti-imperialist act, rather than a supremely arrogant act, lays the foundation for some of the really, really big Prime Directive nightmares coming up in later seasons.

- Cringe of the day: Wesley wonders why people do drugs. It's not cool! Why would anyone voluntarily become dependent on a CHEMICAL? Tasha steps in to tell him to Just Say No to drugs, and we all learn a valuable lesson (that is, to skip this one on a rewatch).

- Actually, I don't hate the drugs speech. They try to tie it into Tasha's backstory and have her speak from personal experience to make it less awkward and hamfisted, and - unusually - the speech actually acknowledges that drugs will make you feel fantastic temporarily, which is a lot more nuanced compared with other American anti-drugs stuff I've seen from the 80s. Crosby also does a great job with material that obviously threatens to fall into unintentional hilarity at any moment.

- People begin to go into MEGAWITHDRAWAL on Ornara. Picard stands around limply. The episode never brings up the possibility of the Federation simply paying for this shipment of the drug. The whole problem is that the Brekkans won't give it over without payment, but surely they'd accept equivalent payment from the Enterprise's replicators/fabricators. Or would that be pushing "Federation or Earth values" onto people, HMMM PICARD

- Riker immobilised and useless, again. Becoming a recurring theme.

- Fearing the Ornarans will break the addiction if left long enough, the Brekkans offer to give the shipment over for free. "They know," Picard says. "What do they know?" Bev asks, dumbly. Bev, you were the one who figured this plot twist out! Come on!

- After a good performance for the rest of the episode, McFadden butchers the climactic ending scene. "And all of it based on a LIIIIE."

- Picard decides to subtly help the Ornarans by refusing to fix their ships, which will apparently cause the trade deal with Brekka to break down for some reason or other. So after all that, he basically defies the Prime Directive in a not-defying-the-Prime-Directive kind of way. Bev points out that Picard's solution sucks, and is the worst of both worlds - he interfered with the local balance of power (probably much more severely than if he'd just shared Bev's findings with the Ornarans[nb]Bev doesn't point this bit out, of course, because her argument needs to be simple and weak so Picard can brainlessly moralise at her while we all clap[/nb]) but also caused the people of Ornara to pointlessly suffer. He justifies this by repeating out loud that he thinks the Prime Directive is a good idea, without responding to what Bev actually said. As a bonus, he refers to Ornara and Brekka as "less developed civilizations". There you go, the reason he couldn't give the Ornarans the truth is because they're just too backwards and lesser-than-us to be trusted with reality. Useless man. USELESS man.

Not a bad episode. It takes a very simple, borderline-fantasy situation and tries to get an interesting debate out of it. As usual with Prime Directive episodes, it doesn't really commit to that debate, but at least it tries. It has the courage to have Picard stand by the Prime Directive, even as it flies in the face of basic compassion (and, arguably, reason) - up until the ending, where he twists it to get the result he wants anyway, which throws all the previous complexity out the window and just makes him look like a dumb prat. This is also the first episode where the Prime Directive starts to morph from a guideline to guard against imperialism into a batshit inflexible dogma, so that's fun.

It actually is fun - the Prime Directive episodes are fascinating in TNG, because it feels like humanity is starting to "evolve" its way up its own arse. Remember the Metrons and Organians from TOS? How they'd let all kinds of horrible shit happen to Kirk and others, and then justify it with "well, we're so advanced and you're so primitive that we don't really care what happens to you, and besides, we're definitely in the right"? That seems to be the direction humanity is going in parts of TNG, and while it often makes for stressful episodes, I absolutely love it as a bit of (sometimes unintentionally?) grim sci-fi. I wonder if the Metrons sat about in a briefing room jerking themselves off over their own Prime Directive while Kirk and the Gorn nearly killed each other down on that asteroid.

In TOS, Kirk would usually protest, and say that humanity - and everyone else - had a right to be treated properly. In TNG, the roles are reversed - the aliens-of-the-week beg for help and compassion, and it's humanity that now stands by and allows mass suffering and death because they're so sure of their own morality, and they've disappeared so far up their own colons that other people's lives and deaths have become a philosophical exercise to them (saying it again, Homeward is the absolute worst of all time for this). It's always stood out as one of the most captivating things about TNG to me when compared with TOS. And it strikes me as a very, very complicated and interesting premise to a series, to have the heroes essentially be religiously committed to a rigid - and highly questionable - philosophy, and then strain against that belief as it comes into contact with reality (from memory, Pen Pals and Who Watches the Watchers are some of the best episodes for this).

Back to Symbiosis, though - it lays interesting groundwork, but the oversimplicity of the Brekka-Oranara situation, as well as the usual season one pacing issues, means that it can't get much higher than 4/10. As much as Picard pisses me off, I'd rate the episode a point or maybe even two points higher if he didn't come up with his stupid solution at the end, and simply allowed the cycle of exploitation to go on indefinitely - that would have been a braver thing to write, as it would have allowed Picard to actually stand by the philosophy he spends so much time fellating.

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on June 07, 2021, 12:46:55 PM
There's a nice little Easter egg towards the end of this ep, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZXAAwooVOA&ab_channel=califortunecalifortune (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZXAAwooVOA&ab_channel=califortunecalifortune)

Although Tasha carks it in the next episode they were frequently filmed out of broadcast order, and this one was Crosby's actual final involvement in the show as a regular cast member.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Spoon of Ploff on June 07, 2021, 02:51:34 PM
Hi,

Really enjoying this thread. Lots of insights and chuckles.

I think I have to give Picard a bit more kudos for his solution. Being continually either off their mash, or suffering withdrawal the Ornaratnians were no longer able to maintain, and barely able to fly their space craft... so unless Starfleet kept a constant presence in the system, and effectively became a drug couriering service, the symbiotic relationship was doomed to breakdown soon enough.

Picard's solution gives the Brekkanoids (who realize this) time to come up with a 'breakthru cure.' and switch to some other crop (apples? barley?) to trade with the grateful Ornaratnians. Jobs a goodun, as they say.

I used to find the inconsistencies in how the prime directive is used a bit annoying until I stopped thinking of it coming from a place of altruism on behalf of the Federation and more that most starfleet captains just don't want the hassle of dealing with pre-warp civilizations. I imagine them thinking about the inevitable lengthy inquiry, endless interviews, reports and form filling and such that would follow from first contact, and the finger pointing if something goes horribly wrong. Best leave well alone and move onto the next system.

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 07, 2021, 02:57:50 PM
You'd think that at some point an Ornarian would have fallen down a hole or something that kept them from the 'medicine' long enough to go through the cold turkey and come out clean.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 07, 2021, 03:00:42 PM
021 | "Symbiosis"

(https://i.imgur.com/zE9fd8R.jpg)

Cleaning up the Space Junk

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Wesley : drugs are shit!!!
• Tasha : drugs are great!!!
• Cold turkey flop-sweat Space-Yokels
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Transporter rescue : two dead? - Meh, not arsed mate!
• Picard's Prime Deflective
• Riker's electric boob zapper
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on June 07, 2021, 03:15:40 PM
Riker pays good latium to have that done on Riza.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 07, 2021, 03:32:51 PM
The prime directive speech doesn't hold as much water after Justice, where Picard is willing to shaft a planetary religion to save one clumsy boy.

It's going to be interesting to watch the Kirk attitude of 'good idea, no excuse not to help people' fully morph into Janeway's 'I'd sooner kill us all than help a single person', as TNG goes on.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MoreauVasz on June 07, 2021, 06:29:29 PM
Absolutely baffling episode this.

I don't understand the bone of contention for the moral quandary. It seems to be a choice between high-handed anti-drug nonsense and 'who are we to interfere with the market place by preventing skag dealers from making a living?' which is a really fucking weird way of framing an episode about drugs.

A better way if framing it would have been to have the Enterprise turn up and discover that one planet grows shit loads of H while the other spends as much of their time fucked up as they can whilst still managing to pay the dealer. Like Fully Automated Space Communism but instead of setting people free, the unifying principle of the society is paying the dealer.

At that point you could have a discussion about whether a life spent fucked on H is actually worth living and whether it would be right to Nick Cotton an entire planet but this episode (like a lot of TV at the time) emphasised the addictive nature of drugs to the point if forgetting to mention that they can make you feel good

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 07, 2021, 10:40:53 PM
Quote from: Spoon of Ploff on June 07, 2021, 02:51:34 PM
I think I have to give Picard a bit more kudos for his solution. Being continually either off their mash, or suffering withdrawal the Ornaratnians were no longer able to maintain, and barely able to fly their space craft... so unless Starfleet kept a constant presence in the system, and effectively became a drug couriering service, the symbiotic relationship was doomed to breakdown soon enough.

Picard's solution gives the Brekkanoids (who realize this) time to come up with a 'breakthru cure.' and switch to some other crop (apples? barley?) to trade with the grateful Ornaratnians. Jobs a goodun, as they say.

Fair points - the complexity of the situation is that the wrong move could either cause Brekka to collapse, or for Ornara to declare war (although with no ships...), and I can see how Picard's solution presents the Brekkans with some avenues to avert both worst case scenarios. But it still feels like a weak solution to me - in addition to simultaneously breaking the Prime Directive and causing massive undue suffering, it's basically a gamble on whether or not the Brekkans and/or Ornarans will manage to save themselves or not, and Picard's already stuck his nose in to a point where he can't reasonably sit back and claim that whatever happens would have happened regardless.

Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 07, 2021, 03:32:51 PM
It's going to be interesting to watch the Kirk attitude of 'good idea, no excuse not to help people' fully morph into Janeway's 'I'd sooner kill us all than help a single person', as TNG goes on.

To be fair to Janeway, I think she undergoes a sort of inverted version of Picard's Prime Directive journey. She's homicidally fanatical about the Prime Directive at first, as Picard ends up being, but by the third or fourth season she seems to basically realise that since she's not accountable to anyone, she can do whatever she wants, and starts stepping up to help people out more often (and gives Paris a very minor slap on the wrist for his massive Prime Directive violation in "30 Days").
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on June 08, 2021, 10:50:03 AM
I haven't watched the episode recently but I feel the need to butt in a bit:
Quote from: Lemming on June 07, 2021, 05:25:45 AM
- Prime Directive winds me up as usual. "It is not our mission to impose Federation or Earth values on any others in the galaxy". That's good, of course, but this wouldn't be imposing values on anyone - it would be revealing an objective, factual truth to the Ornarans.

I don't think that's a useful measure of interference. Say they come across a planet that is ruled by an autocratic leader who is worshipped as a divine being - as has happened with several civilisations in earth history. Would it be non-interference to broadcast to the planet "Hey this guy? Not actually a god." ? Any civilisation they meet is going to have some unfortunates, who, like the Ornarans, are unfairly treated (by our eyes). Judging the mechanism of that unfariness, whether it's space skank or the worship of some invisible hand, is the very soul of imperialism.

The problem with the prime directive as it's presented means that Starfleet just shouldn't have any contact with "less developed civilisations". Actually revealing the existence of starfleet and it's hundreds of races is going to have a pretty big impact on any civilisation. In practice there are obviously some sorts of exceptions to the prime directive, or guidelines on what constitutes interference, but these are never mentioned or explained.

The prime directive it basically kryptonite - a script boon doggle to create problems where there wouldn't be otherwise.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 08, 2021, 03:49:42 PM
Quote from: MojoJojo on June 08, 2021, 10:50:03 AM
I haven't watched the episode recently but I feel the need to butt in a bit:
I don't think that's a useful measure of interference. Say they come across a planet that is ruled by an autocratic leader who is worshipped as a divine being - as has happened with several civilisations in earth history. Would it be non-interference to broadcast to the planet "Hey this guy? Not actually a god." ? Any civilisation they meet is going to have some unfortunates, who, like the Ornarans, are unfairly treated (by our eyes). Judging the mechanism of that unfariness, whether it's space skank or the worship of some invisible hand, is the very soul of imperialism.

The problem with the prime directive as it's presented means that Starfleet just shouldn't have any contact with "less developed civilisations". Actually revealing the existence of starfleet and it's hundreds of races is going to have a pretty big impact on any civilisation. In practice there are obviously some sorts of exceptions to the prime directive, or guidelines on what constitutes interference, but these are never mentioned or explained.

The prime directive it basically kryptonite - a script boon doggle to create problems where there wouldn't be otherwise.

It depends on what role the Federation is fulfilling in any given episode, I suppose - some writers depict them as the military arm of a government, while other writers depict them as explorers and scientists more akin to a humanitarian charity organisation than a governmental body.

They fulfil the latter role in episodes like Angel One, Justice and Code of Honor. While none of those are good episodes, they contain what I think is the more interesting and possibly the more morally appealing version of the Prime Directive, which essentially amounts to "go and talk to people as equals, and if something goes wrong, try to solve it on their terms". Essentially just existing to remove the power balance bestowed on Starfleet by superior technology. This allows the crew to go and speak to people on other worlds on relatively equal footing, and both parties put their ideas across and learn about each other - Riker explaining to Angel One why the Federation doesn't believe in patriarchy or matriarchy, Angel One responding by explaining why they do. Picard in Justice explaining why the Federation doesn't believe in the death penalty, the native people responding by explaining why they do, and such.

If the Federation are genuinely peaceful explorers as depicted in these episodes, I don't see why they couldn't go down to a planet ruled by an autocrat worshipped as a god and have the usual conversation - "hello, welcome to our planet, we all wear stupid hats and we believe this person is a god", followed by "hello, we don't believe in gods, we don't think this person is a deity, here's why" followed by "oh, well we do believe in gods and we do worship this person, here's why" and then everyone shakes hands and/or yells at each other, and at the end of their day-trip, the Federation leaves the planet just as it was after Wesley is rescued from being offered as a sacrifice, with no continued presence there and no opportunity for imperialist expansion or long-term ideological coercion. It's a far cry from Kirk showing up and literally blowing people's gods up (Landru, Vaal, probably a couple others), though obviously, it requires the Federation to be truly interested only in exploration and learning, with no hidden expansionist or culturally-supremacist ambitions.

Symbiosis is a much trickier situation since, it's not just a case of discussing philosophy and sociology with the local people, instead it's about information which is ultra-sensitive and has the potential to cause one or both societies to implode. But Picard's inference that the Prime Directive means "never tell anyone anything" (when he's talking to the Brekkans at the end, he directly states that he's only not in violation of the PD because he's discussing information the Brekkans already have with them) is a big step on the road to the worst form of the PD that shows up later on.

The episode is the most interesting when viewed from Bev's perspective, I think - she's a doctor, she's successfully diagnosed patients who are experiencing immense suffering and understands how to cure them, but she's not only forbidden from administering that cure, she's also required to continue to lie to them about the nature of their illness, all in the name of a seemingly subjective, amorphous philosophy that Picard can't manage to properly explain to her.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 08, 2021, 11:43:11 PM
S01E22 - Skin of Evil

An entity claiming to be a creature of pure evil holds Troi captive and tortures the crew.

- Leland T Lynch, who exclusively refers to himself by his full name with middle initial for some reason, speaks for main engineering. Is that another new Chief Engineer?

- All Riker does during this first sequence is look up at Picard with a constant expression of panic, like a lost child.

(https://i.imgur.com/ibFfWKA.gif)

- Watch the acting from the two background extras when Worf yells "I've located the shuttle". Absolutely lost my shit.

- A thick black goo stops the away team in their paths. Riker yells at Data, because he doesn't understand what's going on.

- The concept behind Armus is so cool - a race of people decided to somehow physically remove all their negative traits, which took the form of a sentient thick black goo. The people themselves are nowhere to be seen, but, according to Armus, they became "creatures whose beauty now dazzles all who see them". Armus, embodying all that they considered evil, was left behind and doomed to spend his existence alone on a barren world.

- The design for Armus rocks. Easily one of the more memorable alien designs in TNG. I love how when the light hits the costume just right, you can kind of see the outlines of an alien skull. Check out the concept art though, originally it was shit-yourself scary:

(https://shoutsfromtheabyss.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/armus.jpg)

- Tasha confronts Armus and gets killed. It's very abrupt and her death is borderline-meaningless (though she was trying to reach the crew of the downed shuttle). I always really liked how unglamorous and shocking it was, I imagine it would have been really cool to see on first airing if you hadn't heard Denise Crosby would be leaving the show.

- I love Bev's assistant who's just there to look pensive at anything she suggests. "Go for direct reticular stimulation!" "Direct?!"

- Armus goes to bully Troi, but she ends up verbally kicking the shit out of him. Armus claims to be evil because it's fun, but Troi says that she senses Armus isn't capable of experiencing enjoyment from anything. She senses "emptiness" in him. Armus starts to freak out.

- Worf promoted to acting Security Chief. Well, there you go!

- Armus grabs Riker! Riker proves he can keep a cool head while in command. Nah just kidding, he screams like a wounded baby bird. "SOMETHING'S GOT MEEEEEEE!"

- Love how Picard just walks straight past the seriously injured shuttle pilot to the uninjured Troi.

- I really like the conversation between Picard and Armus, but the solution of just calling Armus a cunt and then beaming out is naff. It feels like there were a lot more interesting things in the Armus character - he's made of what the people who made him considered to be evil, but he can feel fear and vulnerability. What other traits did they give him that they considered evil, and what has become of those people? Is there any hope of redemption for Armus at all, or any way to integrate new traits into him? Dunno, cause Picard just beams out mid-conversation and the ship leaves.

- Tasha's funeral, zZZzzZzz. Tasha's left a holo-message in event of her death. She addresses all her friends one-by-one. To give her credit, the "hailing frequencies closed" sign-off is top quality.

- All the funeral speeches suck. Riker is not "the best", he's an arsehole. And Tasha says Troi taught her she "could be feminine without losing anything" Eh? Putting aside the fact that I thought we weren't meant to have those concepts anymore in the 24th century (hence miniskirt man and such), what's she even talking about? I guess the writers were desperately trying to think of anything Troi and Tasha ever did together on-screen in order to come up with a funeral message, and the only thing they remembered was when Tasha tries on one of Troi's dresses in The Naked Now. None of the speeches land - though I don't know what I'd write instead. Tasha was only around for 22 episodes and spent a good half of those standing on the bridge silently with her head cut off by the camera.

There's a great core idea in here which isn't explored in sufficient depth. There's a lot of good points to bring up - Troi and Picard both have really engaging scenes with Armus, and killing Tasha was a very brave move by the writers (even if Crosby forced their hand by fucking off early). But it's quite slow-paced and it fizzles out when it turns out the solution is to literally just leave the planet with no resolution to Armus beyond "well, let's just never come back". Sadly, the end result is a boring episode that occasionally hints at turning into an interesting episode. Tasha's funeral scene is a great bit of accidental comedy to finish on. 3/10

(https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 09, 2021, 12:10:39 AM
After MacDougal, Argyle, and Logan, Lynch is the last of the rotating "chief" engineers. In one of the remastered later episodes, an Okudagram lists three of them as still being on the E-D as shift supervisors or whatever. Yes, three out of four. Can you guess which one isn't mentioned, kids? Answer after the break![nb]
Spoiler alert
It's the one who got all up in LaForge's face, Logan! Demonstrating that even in the 24th century, it pays to be kind to people below you who're on the way up.
[close]
[/nb]
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 09, 2021, 07:58:04 AM
I can't remember if Crosby packed in because she didn't think the character had anything meaningful to do, but it'd make sense if that was the reason. At least she got a bit more to get involved in when they brought her back down the line - I remember her guest appearances being pretty good.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Carpool Dragon on June 09, 2021, 11:06:07 AM
Have to disagree about the design of Armus - looks like a guy in a bin bag. The fact that something that pathetic killed a main character is hilarious (to me anyway).
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 09, 2021, 01:40:17 PM
I like the casual way Yar was killed off - it's like the writers were tired of flippant redshirt jokes so they let us get to know one fairly well over time before dropping the axe in the usual way.

I find myself wishing the writers of DS9 had the same guts when it came to writing out
Spoiler alert
Jadzia
[close]
. Would have been so much more effective if it was done in a more "horrors of war" kind of way and less like something out of a bad superhero show.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 09, 2021, 03:53:51 PM
022 | "Skin of Evil"

(https://i.imgur.com/UTJHkYA.jpg)

Yar! Boo! Sucks!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Knotty Ash treacle mine in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!
• Riker in black-face
• Tasha Holo-funeral : "And you my friend Data, your fully-functional robo-knobbing was simply amaaaaazing!!"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Dodgy Geyser
• Sludge Dread
• Mostly Armus
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on June 09, 2021, 04:10:00 PM
Quote from: The Culture Bunker on June 09, 2021, 07:58:04 AMI can't remember if Crosby packed in because she didn't think the character had anything meaningful to do, but it'd make sense if that was the reason.

Yes it was.  I once read somewhere that by the time she actually left, she'd already started to regret her decision as her storylines had started to pick up.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 10, 2021, 12:49:39 AM
S01E23 - We'll Always Have Paris

A scientist opens a rift between dimensions which causes time to destabilise. While trying to help fix it, Picard meets someone he once loved.

- Troi asks to speak to Picard in private. "Not necessary," he replies, inviting her to share her opinion openly on the bridge. You can physically see him regret this decision after she starts deconstructing his emotional constipation in fromt of the bridge crew.

- Picard takes Troi's advice and goes to the holodeck for some impromptu self-therapy. During a discussion with an extremely overfamiliar waiter, we learn that Picard had a date with a woman many years ago, but he stood her up. Terrifyingly, the holodeck can apparently create accurate replicas of anywhere on Earth at any time, and play out the exact events that happened there - Picard asks for a cafe as it was 22 years ago, and enters to find his date waiting for him.

- I might disagree with Picard on a lot of things, but his "enough of this mindless self-indulgence" is exactly how I feel about the holodeck therapy idea.

- Picard rescues Manheim and his former love, who has grown up to be the blonde one from The Mamas and The Papas.

- Picard, Riker and Data get into the turbolift. It opens to reveal them walking towards the turbolift, having the converastion they just had. Meant to be creepy, but made me laugh really hard, feels very Red Dwarf. Plus, Picard uselessly exclaims "it's us, before we stepped into the turbolift." That line must have originally been intended for Riker.

- A 10-second timeloop causes Riker to experience an identity crisis. "IF WE ARE US..."

- I absolutely love the acting for Dr. Manheim. "MY MIND... IS FLOATING BETWEEN TWO PLACES!" Pure TOS campiness.

- Data dodges laser fire (again)! Features one of the greatest stunt double moments in history, where a guy who looks like Marilyn Manson performs a dive-roll over to a bit of cover where, as you can see from the shadow, Brent Spiner is already waiting to pop out and go pew-pew with his phaser.

- There are three Datas because of a time-fuckup. They're trying to figure out which of them exists in the present time. "It's me!" shouts the middle one. HE USED A CONTRACTION!!! THIS EPISODE SUCKS!!!

- Who directed this one?! This shot is so unflattering. Stays on screen for ages as well while Stewart delivers a long line.

(https://i.imgur.com/H75C2N6.png)

- Cringe-a-thon as Picard invites Blonde One From Mamas And Papas onto the holodeck so they can experience the date they missed two decades ago.

- Everyone's off to a club. "You're buying", Picard jokingly tells Troi. BUYING? BUT THERE'S NO MONEY IN THE 24th CEN-

The two plots in this one run at odds with each other - Picard and Jenice's reunion, and the time plot. They don't tie together at all, they don't feed off each other, it's just two plots that should be a lot more than they are. You'd think the writers would have realised that a plot about time distortions and a plot about regrets from the past could thematically dovetail together in very obvious ways, but apparently not. So instead you get Picard and Jenine awkwardly chatting for a bit, then we cut to three Datas trying to fix the time distortion.

Neither of the plots really works, and it's all kind of boring. Which is annoying, because again, how fucking easy would it have been to use a time-fuckery plot to write a story about fixing and/or accepting past regrets. Come ON.

The Picard/Jensine plot is the stronger one, since the time distortions are a total non-issue that never feel like they're threatening anything. At worst, they're just slightly irritating. Only a small bit of dialogue from Manheim really explores the idea that the time distortions could end up ripping apart reality. Other than that, it's just people repeating a couple words then looking confused.

3/10

(https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 10, 2021, 09:03:29 AM
My partner, who does not share my deranged enthusiasm for all things Trek (well, not Enterprise), recently complained to me that all the episodes she catches me watching appear identical. "Someone feels weird, and it turns out to be a dumb time travel thing". Which, to be fair, is broad enough to cover all of my favourite stories. I should probably give this one a rewatch.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 10, 2021, 04:48:12 PM
Lt. Nobody throwing a fencing match out of pity for his boss? Top marks. Get that guy a command.

I'm really going to miss competent, useful Troi. I get the feeling S2 is where they completely flip the character into a ditch.

There's a lot of really nice character beats in this episode but the idea that Picard, of all people, needs a love interest is bonkers. Memory Alpha claims the original script had Picard cucking the dying Dr. Manheim during an ad break, which raises the question what exactly the fuck was the pitch for this episode? The ending where Data just guesses away the dilemma is so tremendously piss poor it completely guts the story.

- "Penetrable?"
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 10, 2021, 04:57:23 PM
023 | "We'll Always Have Paris"

(https://i.imgur.com/rnrYZuL.jpg)

Data Vu

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Casablanca in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!
• French tube-rubbing busk wanker
• Lift door time-loop
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Data Laser-Zap dodge #3
• Picard's sweaty fencing crotch-thong
• Aw, she's got a Crusher on Picard!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MoreauVasz on June 10, 2021, 04:59:43 PM
Quote from: Mr Trumpet on June 10, 2021, 09:03:29 AM
My partner, who does not share my deranged enthusiasm for all things Trek (well, not Enterprise), recently complained to me that all the episodes she catches me watching appear identical. "Someone feels weird, and it turns out to be a dumb time travel thing".

One of my favourite things about Trek is the implication that joining Starfleet is like an IV of pure uncut weird. You go to uni, you take the exams, you put on the uniform and then every single working day of your life is a combination of cosmic horror and high-tech superviolence.

The novelisation of the first film leaned into this by suggesting that Starfleet people were all hyper-tories while everyone back on Earth was a blissed out hippie. The uniform and the studying aren't about being the best of the best, they're a form of mental discipline designed to prevent you from going mad on your very first mission.

According to that Trek novelisation, Kirk was named after his mum's high school sex teacher.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 10, 2021, 05:16:26 PM
All the hero characters have an act of supreme cool under pressure in their past. "Lt. Cmdr. Don Donuts took the helm during the Zeblorcky ambush that melted the captain" or something.

You never hear about the people triumphing over stupid bullshit. "Ensign Biscuits showed real command potential when he successfully fucked away that one ghost that looks like John Wilkes Booth when it shot the Bolian ambassador."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on June 10, 2021, 06:18:34 PM
"Ensign Biggar gave the replicator a hefty shoulder charge and got two packets of Spring Onion once"
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 10, 2021, 06:45:31 PM
I think that's why a certain character that hasn't appeared yet became so popular/recurring: he was the opposite of the typically heroic/strong Starfleet officer, a bit of a bumbling clown, although also clearly very intelligent.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 10, 2021, 06:51:50 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 10, 2021, 04:48:12 PM
I'm really going to miss competent, useful Troi. I get the feeling S2 is where they completely flip the character into a ditch.

Yeah, it's surprising how prevalent she is throughout the first series, and how effective the character can be. Sirtis' performance is mostly strong, too - strangely cold and distant (almost as if it's the only way to deal with being able to feel every emotion on the ship all at once), but somehow in control of everything, like when she takes Geordi aside in The Arsenal of Freedom. She also lends herself really well to the mysticism and supernatural stuff that the first season brings up every now and then, since she comes across as knowing and experiencing things that nobody else can.

It also struck me how little the character was placed in jeopardy over the course of this season - the only time she really ends up in the shit is when Armus takes her captive, but there she's able to calmly defeat him with her telepathic abilities, and proves instrumental to the plan to rescue the rest of the crew. You can see why she's perfect for being the ship's counsellor, because she's mostly unflappable. Makes a change from what I remember of later seasons, where she ends up getting mind-nobbled by weird space rays every other week, and spends a lot of time either comatose or screaming in pain.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 10, 2021, 06:54:29 PM
Someone must have written up a list of the various indignities the different members of the crew were put through over the years to see who got it worse.

Of course, if you include O'Brien's run on DS9, he'd be top of the list by a bit.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 10, 2021, 06:57:38 PM
Aha, I'll start keeping count of who gets fucked over the most in TNG.

In addition to O'Brien, I think Troi's got to be somewhere near the top of the list by the time the series is over. Over on Voyager, Tom Paris and Seven of Nine seemed to be subjected to some kind of laugh-out-loud nightmare scenario every other episode, and from what I've seen of Enterprise so far, it's a show about Trip ending up in horrifying situations on an almost weekly basis.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on June 10, 2021, 09:59:06 PM
Quote from: daf on June 10, 2021, 04:57:23 PM
023 | "We'll Always Have Paris"

(https://i.imgur.com/rnrYZuL.jpg)

^That effects sequence is excellent and has very much stood the test of time.

Otherwise, watching it on it's first UK run I was very much still in meh/depressed mode due to Tasha's demise (that changed a bit with the next episode). Still think it's fairly meh, but notable as the series' first stab at weird time fuck-up stuff, though as Lemming has pointed out it's a bit superfluous in the end. 5/10
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on June 10, 2021, 10:23:00 PM
I spose the issue with Troi really is that if she wasn't somehow incapacitated then a lot of the plots simply wouldn't work or would be dominated by her character. The Survivors at the start of season 3 always seemed like the moment this kind of plotting really became standardised. Introducing Guinan also arguably removed Troi a source of wisdom or a senser of "strangeness" rather than simply being en empath.

I do think Babylon 5 delt with the issue better by putting much more obvious blocks on telepaths, either legal or simply lacking the power to sense more powerful telepaths plus of course making them a much larger plot point.

A lot of season 1 TNG I would say I find rather more tolerable than the low rating suggest here though, most of the episodes in themselves don't really function that well but there is still I think a sense there building towards something, maybe not always perfectly but by the end of season 1 I do think its clearly a show with more potential than it was at the start.

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 11, 2021, 02:26:50 AM
S01E24 - Conspiracy

Picard's old friend warns him of a conspiracy that could rip apart the fabric of Starfleet.

- I'll start by saying the one good thing I have to say about this episode. We're introduced to the character of Tryla Scott, who is apparently the youngest person ever to be promoted to Captain, and considered a living legend. This record was, of course, previously held by James Kirk. What I love about this is that there's no awkward, crowbarred-in mention of Kirk - someone more impressive/skilled has just usurped his title, and that's that. Shows that the world has moved on after 100 years, and that Kirk isn't the ultimate unbeatable legend that some of the post-TOS material often makes him out to be. EDIT: Having looked it up a bit, I'm not sure Kirk was canonically the youngest captain in Starfleet at the time this episode aired. Oh well - I still like the Scott character since her presence suggests that there are more exceptional people out there than Kirk and Picard.

- Walker Keel, Picard's old friend, has called him and a couple of Starfleet's other top people to a secret location for a meeting. Everyone taking simultaneous detours to this meetup spot definitely won't draw Stafleet's attention. Oh, nevermind, his ship just exploded.

- Picard dismissed the conspiracy theory, but Keel's ship exploding, and Data pointing out that some people have been reassigned, leads Picard to decide to storm Starfleet HQ to find answers.

- Quinn and Remmick are back. Quinn wants to meet with Picard alone. "At least we know he's still on our side", says Picard, who knows no such thing. But oh no! Quinn is up to something (as indicated by a scare chord)!

- Man in a miniskirt! We have a man in a miniskirt! There, that's another plus point for this episode.

- Quinn beats up absolutely everyone on the ship until Bev shows up and phasers him a few times. She takes a look at him and finds out that a neural parasite has invaded his body, and has been controlling his brain. She tells Picard he's got to set his phaser to kill, because stun doesn't work. But stun did just work on Quinn? What? Or did she shoot him on kill and he's somehow alive?

- Bev needn't have bothered telling Picard about the parasites, because they decide - inexplicably - to reveal themselves to him about 10 seconds later by acting weird at dinner and eating maggots. They then verbally announce their presence to him, and reveal they've got Captain Scott too.

- Ready to hear the parasites' plan? Ready to learn who they are and what they're doing? Too bad. They tell Picard that they've come a long way and have been infiltrating Starfleet for months. This is, literally, the full extent of the information the episode gives you about them. Hope you weren't interested in the goals or motivations behind the big Starfleet-wide conspiracy, because there apparently aren't any. We also learn that the parasite brought aboard by Quinn was intended for Bev. Why the fuck did Quinn immediately get himself caught by trying to insert it into Riker, then?! Were all the other parasites this shit at getting people infected?

- Riker and Picard shoot the dinner guests, who (unlike Quinn) all go down immediately. Did they just kill everyone at the fucking dinner? Anyway, it's straight to the queen parasite now. Nobody stops them along the way, because the parasites, in their devious plan to take over all of Starfleet, haven't gotten any security personnel, and can't do anything at all to stop two dickheads with phasers.

- Remmick, for some weird reason, is Super-Fucked, and has been infested by the queen. The queen starts speaking through him. Can she explain her plan to us? Not really, all she says is this - "we mean you no harm. We seek peaceful co-existence". Picard and Riker respond by opening fire immediately, and focus their phasers on Remmick til his head explodes (which didn't happen to anyone else who was shot, including the guy in the corridor they trained both their phasers on in the exact same way). The parasite queen then emerges screaming from Remmick's chest, and Picard looks disgusted and shoots it to pieces. Star Trek!

- Lingering shot of Remmick's blown-up corpse. Always hated this whole scene, not just for the fact it's complete nonsense, but this sudden graphic gore just comes across as pathetic, and the kind of thing that Star Trek is usually above. It inspires the exact same reaction that the Icheb's eye removal scene did in ST: Picard, ie. "come the fuck on, grow up".

- Picard's log: "How difficult after all these years of learning to respect life, to be forced to destroy it. But there seems to be no alternative." You fucking what? Based on what? We didn't learn anything about the aliens. To add to the fun, the very next line is him saying that Quinn made a full recovery. So, the other two admirals, plus Captain Scott and Remmick? We shot them all on kill for no reason, given that stun does work, only you have to shoot like three times (which they end up having to do with kill anyway on the last guy before Remmick, somehow).

- The parasites have all died as a result of the death of the queen. Yep, it's a genocide! Did they deserve it? Who knows, we don't know anything about them other than that they eat maggots and come from far away.

I'm always surprised when people occasionally rate this episode highly, because I think it's outright terrible. It does occasionally create a very intense atmosphere of dread, but it's a joyless dread that's all in the service of nothing, because the plot is wafer-thin crap. The titular conspiracy is absolutely nothing because don't learn anything about the neural parasites or their goals, so there's nothing to get into. The plot is literally:

Picard hears of a conspiracy -> Picard travels to Earth and discovers evil brain worms have taken over everyone -> Picard kills five people and then shoots the defenceless parasite queen, destroying the entire race

It's a plot you'd consider a bit on the shite side if it was for a mid-90s shooter game (where you wouldn't even be expecting a plot to start with). There's literally nothing to get into, nothing to think about.

And again, the ending is just bizarre. Genocide isn't usually presented as an option in Star Trek, but here it's the first resort - not to mention the murder of the dinner guests and Remmick without a second thought. Terrible television. 1/10 Bordering on 2/10 because of miniskirt man and the puppet for the alien queen, which is an absolutely fantastic prop. And there's a few laugh-out-loud moments - the ending is such dogshit that it inspires laughter, and Riker getting tossed around the room by Quinn is hilarious, as is Geordi getting thrown through a metal sliding door which somehow un-hinges itself, but I really do think this episode is shit.

(https://i.imgur.com/fPGWxFx.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Attila on June 11, 2021, 07:51:56 AM
I was in my first year of grad school when series 1 of TNG was originally broadcast (I remember it came on Saturday evenings, and as I was homesick, overwhelmed by the work, and having a heck of a time adjusting to life 2,000 miles from home, yep, I was home on Saturday evenings).

This was the episode where we found out (we being my cohort in the dept) that everyone had been watching the show, but no one had actually wanted to admit it -- it was that batshit on original transmission, that everyone was actually talking about it 'Monday at school.'

This was out in the USA; it's my understanding that either this episode was skipped or the really gruesome scenes cut from the original BBC broadcast for being too gruesome? It was shown in all of its 'hang on, that dude's exploded in a shower of Spaghettios' glory on the then-fledging UPN network (in fact it was TNG that was the anchorpoint for the new network, and considered a whole new concept in television shows as it was syndicated rather than going out first-run on a network).

Quite enjoying this thread; we last did a rewatch about 4 years ago, I think.


Edit: Some of the BBC's decisions to edit and ban are discussed here  https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/star-trek-looking-back-at-the-bbcs-ban-and-censorship/

It's interesting, because we also did an original series watch a while back, too, and there were episodes Mr Attila had never seen (he hadn't seen the show since he was a child, so it was fun revisiting it).
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on June 11, 2021, 10:49:06 AM
Quote from: daf on June 10, 2021, 04:57:23 PM
023 | "We'll Always Have Paris"

no that's Voyager (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Tom_Paris). TNG was Locarno (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Nicholas_Locarno)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on June 11, 2021, 11:30:55 AM
Quote from: Lemming on June 11, 2021, 02:26:50 AM
S01E24 - Conspiracy
(https://i.imgur.com/fPGWxFx.png)

Not having any of that. I love this episode because of its ambiguous weirdness, not in spite of it. Infested Remmick's "we seek peaceful co-existence" line is great, like some mashed passive-aggressive hippy commune sex pest.  The blue gill thingies presumably induce a state of euphoria, judging by Quinn's renewed vigour, which is fed/controlled via the queen. Yeah it becomes pretty crude towards the end, but it's still one of the most intriguing episodes the series produced. Crying shame it was never followed up. 8/10
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 11, 2021, 11:34:24 AM
My understanding was that these parasites were meant to tie into the Borg, who were originally conceived as being more like the xenomorphs from Alien. Might be wrong about that.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Attila on June 11, 2021, 11:55:42 AM
It was one of the ones Mr Attila had never seen when we did our rewatch, and went happily onwards across the next 26,909 episodes fully expecting some sort of pay-off down the line. Much grumpiness ensued after the finale, and 'What about those bugs from series one??'
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on June 11, 2021, 12:03:20 PM
Quote from: Attila on June 11, 2021, 11:55:42 AM
It was one of the ones Mr Attila had never seen when we did our rewatch, and went happily onwards across the next 26,909 episodes fully expecting some sort of pay-off down the line. Much grumpiness ensued after the finale, and 'What about those bugs from series one??'

They appear in Star Trek Online but it was a shame they never reappeared on screen at any point.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on June 11, 2021, 12:04:14 PM
Quote from: Mr Trumpet on June 11, 2021, 11:34:24 AM
My understanding was that these parasites were meant to tie into the Borg, who were originally conceived as being more like the xenomorphs from Alien. Might be wrong about that.

Think the original idea for the Borg was to have them as Insects.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 11, 2021, 01:55:30 PM
Quote from: Malcy on June 11, 2021, 12:03:20 PM
They appear in Star Trek Online but it was a shame they never reappeared on screen at any point.

Star Trek online brings back every one-off alien race and has them fight a big war
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 11, 2021, 02:38:32 PM
Quote from: the hum on June 11, 2021, 11:30:55 AM
Not having any of that. I love this episode because of its ambiguous weirdness, not in spite of it. Infested Remmick's "we seek peaceful co-existence" line is great, like some mashed passive-aggressive hippy commune sex pest.  The blue gill thingies presumably induce a state of euphoria, judging by Quinn's renewed vigour, which is fed/controlled via the queen. Yeah it becomes pretty crude towards the end, but it's still one of the most intriguing episodes the series produced. Crying shame it was never followed up. 8/10

I tried! I went into it with an open mind, having not rewatched it in years, but I struggled to find anything likeable about it at all. Ambiguous weirdness is usually my kind of thing too - the upcoming Time Squared is brilliant for it - and yet here it just felt like we were being asked to accept uncharacteristic levels of violence in the name of virtually nothing. Picard knows as much as we do, which is nothing, and yet he makes the extremely out of character decision to start killing everything in sight, culminating in shooting the the queen creature without even asking it its purpose or trying to find out who it is[nb]which was the only opportunity the writers gave themselves to make the conspiracy vaguely interesting[/nb]. No worries, though, turns out all the parasites just instantly vanished, so we may never speak of this again.

It felt like a precursor to Discovery and ST: Picard, in a lot of ways - there's a threat which could destroy ALL LIFE in Starfleet/the universe/the multiverse! What kind of threat? Well, we'll never give you any info on it (because we haven't thought of anything), but trust us when we tell you it's serious, and the only way for our heroes to respond is with violence. Look! A shootout! Look! Geordi's getting thrown through a door![nb]genuinely a high point of the episode[/nb] Look! Gore! Oh god, there's only 10 minutes left? Well, uhh, the threat's all gone now, it's over. Close one, right?

For me it inspires a similar Disco/Picard feeling of a story from a different, less interesting series being transplanted awkwardly onto the Star Trek universe. And another similarity is that the only real thing I found to like in any of it was the special effects - top-of-the-range CGI in Discovery's case, and the alien queen puppet in this. I wonder if they auctioned that off. If I had the money, I'd have that sitting on my computer desk.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Registering to lurk on June 11, 2021, 02:53:36 PM
I've read somewhere (possibly Mark Altman's book) that Conspiracy was Gene Roddenberry's two-fingered gesture to the networks and their Standards and Practices departments, there were no limits to the gore he could show in a syndicated programme.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 11, 2021, 03:48:27 PM
024 | "Conspiracy"

(https://i.imgur.com/6J9VW7K.jpg)

Grubs Up!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Brain Bugs in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!
• No bath for Stinky Worf
• Andonian tea = fermented urine?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Geordi's blue space-joke masterclass
• Throbbing frog-neck bulge
• Remmick : ZAP! SPLAT!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 11, 2021, 05:43:23 PM
As mentioned the parasites were originally supposed to be the first wave of the new main villain of the series after the Ferengi flopped. This eventually became the Borg. They were originally intended to be an insectoid race. Creating a race of insectoid people proved beyond the budget and capabilities of the day and it was decided to make cyborgs instead, and thus the link to 'Conspiracy' was shelved.

In Star Trek Online they're used by the Iconians (having either been created or heavily genetically modified by them) as biological weapons to take over sentient races from within and turn them into servitor races for the Iconians. The Iconians use them on the Vaudwaar from Voyager. But that's not canon.

I find Remmick's head exploding in this episode almost cartoonish compared to the sort of grimdark shit that's come since.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on June 11, 2021, 06:02:38 PM
Quote from: Mr Trumpet on June 11, 2021, 01:55:30 PM
Star Trek online brings back every one-off alien race and has them fight a big war

Definitely the Big Finish Of Trek at times.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on June 11, 2021, 06:06:45 PM
Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on June 11, 2021, 05:43:23 PM
As mentioned the parasites were originally supposed to be the first wave of the new main villain of the series after the Ferengi flopped. This eventually became the Borg. They were originally intended to be an insectoid race. Creating a race of insectoid people proved beyond the budget and capabilities of the day and it was decided to make cyborgs instead, and thus the link to 'Conspiracy' was shelved.

In Star Trek Online they're used by the Iconians (having either been created or heavily genetically modified by them) as biological weapons to take over sentient races from within and turn them into servitor races for the Iconians. The Iconians use them on the Vaudwaar from Voyager. But that's not canon.

I find Remmick's head exploding in this episode almost cartoonish compared to the sort of grimdark shit that's come since.

This episode to me really feels like the decision had already been made to drop this plot, we'd seen it hinted at earlier in the season but what we get here seems like it jumps towards a resolution very quickly. There is I spose potential left for it to be followed up on but with The Neutral Zone next up introducing both the Romulans and the Borg it feels like the decision to go with them as the main antagonists was made and this episode was giving the rejected plot some room to play out rather than just dumping it entirely.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 11, 2021, 06:50:27 PM
Quote from: Malcy on June 11, 2021, 12:04:14 PM
Think the original idea for the Borg was to have them as Insects.

Wonder if that got recycled into Voyager's Species 8472
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 11, 2021, 11:36:48 PM
S01E25 - The Neutral Zone

When the Enterprise defrosts a group of people cryogenically frozen in the late 20th century, Picard seizes the opportunity to be a massive hectoring twat.

- Riker's been left in command. Strap in, bumpy ride ahead, no doubt.

- An incredible find! A centuries-old vessel of Earth origin is floating out here in deep space! Worf suggests grabbing it with the tractor beam for a closer look. "I think not, Mr Worf," acting captain William T. Riker responds. "It's just a piece of space debris." He suggests leaving to drift off to a nearby system where it will disintegrate. Thick. Utterly thick. Thankfully, Data insists on checking it out, and Riker, whose modus operandi is always to agree with the last thing that was said to him, authorises an away mission.

- Oh look, it turns out this incredibly rare find was actually worth checking out, who'd have thought it. There are three people aboard, frozen in the late 20th century, and nearly left to drift off to their doom by Riker.

- Picard returns and briefs everyone on a new situation that has arisen with the Romulans. Through this whole scene, I was thinking "when the fuck is Riker going to tell Picard about the cryo-pods that he just beamed over?" I assumed it must have been done off-screen, but then:

BEV: "It's the people from the capsule..."
PICARD: "The people? Capsule? What people?"
BEV: "The people Data beamed over."
PICARD: "I wasn't aware that he had."

Literally one thing of note happened while Riker was acting captain, and he completely failed to inform Picard of it. Christ.

- The people in the cryo-pods were frozen in the late 20th century. Each had a terminal condition, which they hoped would be curable in the future - and they were correct, Bev cures them all easily. She has a good laugh at the idea that stupid primitive people in the past were scared of death. We don't fear death in the 24th century! Unless you're William "SOMETHING'S GOT MEEEEEE!" Riker.

- Data reads out the biographical information of the three people, while Picard and Bev roast them. They have an absolute field day when they get to the guy who died of a drug overdose.

- The little country music twang when the musician guy makes a terrible joke. Excellent.

- Television died out in the year 2040, when everyone became too advanced and cultured to do things like watch TV. Which is odd, considering there was a futuristic TV in the background of the bar in We'll Always Have Paris.

- Riker says of the three defrosted people: "From what I've seen of our guests, there's not much to redeem them. Makes one wonder how our species survived the 21st century". Their crimes include: asking what's going to happen to them, ordering a martini, wanting to watch TV, and wanting to check the stock market.

- Offenhouse, one of the defrosted people, contacts Picard over the intercom. Picard gets whiny and says the intercom is only for official business. "Why don't they have an executive key," Offenhouse asks. Picard scoffs. "On board a starship, that is not necessary. We all exercise self-discipline". Fuck off, hahaha, unreal. No wonder ship's security is such a huge sad sobbing joke. Remember this every time intruders just walk around the ship in later episodes. We've evolved beyond the need for things like security locks and restricted access!

- "We've evolved past the need for the accumulation of things", Picard says. Rich talk from Mr. Look-at-my-massive-fuckoff-private-vineyard.

- Romulans arrive, represented by Marc Alaimo. Riker and Worf have an unstoppable hard-on for firing at the Romulans unprovoked, which Picard luckily ignores.

- Picard warms up to Offenhouse a little bit. Geordi suggests a route that will shorten the amount of time they spend on the ship, but Picard vetoes it as he believes having the guests on board longer will allow them to acclimate better. Riker, who called them irredeemable earlier and yelled at Offenhouse mere minutes ago, immediately pulls a total 180 on his attitude in order to agree with Picard. "IT'S A PITY WE CAN'T TAKE THEM (to earth) OURSELVES," he butts in. "HAVING THEM ON BOARD IS LIKE A VISIT FROM THE PAST!" Absolute weasel of a person.

The Romulan plot is window dressing, so we're left with the cryo plot, which is very unusually written - the cryo-people mostly come off as being quite likeable, including Offenhouse. The crew, meanwhile - bar Troi and Data - come across as a pack of knobheads. I'd give the writers the credit of assuming it's meant to be written this way, and the goal was to make the people of the 24th century seem more alienesque with different morals and social codes, and it works, because they come across as very unsympathetic here, up until the mini-reconciliation they have with the cryo-people right at the end.

While it's very heavy-handed and a lot of it doesn't fit in with what we've already seen - TV (or an equivalent) visibly still exists, and people clearly are scared of death - I do like the attempt to make the crew seem strange and unrelatable due to the 300+ year gap between the viewer and the characters.

Don't feel like the rating can be higher than 4/10, but it's an interesting episode.

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on June 12, 2021, 07:08:52 AM
Depending on which version of that episode you watch, you can see the names of the actors who play Doctor Who on a screen! I've read that it's been replaced probably in the Bly-Ray versions.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 12, 2021, 07:26:46 AM
Didn't know that, Malcy, Good fact!

(https://i.imgur.com/sNdU79c.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/mnXy5Vl.jpg)

QuoteIn the standard definition version of TNG: "The Neutral Zone", an on-screen graphic of Clare Raymond's family listed William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davidson and Colin Baker among her descendants. These are, in order, the actors who played the first six Doctors. (Davidson is a misspelling of the name of Fifth Doctor actor Peter Davison.) At the time that "The Neutral Zone" was filmed, Sylvester McCoy had been cast as the Seventh Doctor, but few of his stories had been aired in the United States. This on-screen graphic was removed from the Blu-Ray release of this story, and the actors' names (as well as those of Kermit T. Frog, Miss Piggy, Lou Grant, and Mary Richards) were replaced with a more credible family tree.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 12, 2021, 08:32:49 AM
Although it's all the TNG actors in the left hand column, including the departed Denise C!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: elliszeroed on June 12, 2021, 09:00:03 AM
Quote from: Lemming on June 11, 2021, 11:36:48 PM
S01E25 - The Neutral Zone

Literally one thing of note happened while Riker was acting captain, and he completely failed to inform Picard of it. Christ.


I wonder if any viewers at the time thought this was part of an ongoing plot that would lead somewhere (Riker's incompetence), such as him being replaced or revealed as a spy.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on June 12, 2021, 09:14:07 AM
Quote from: daf on June 12, 2021, 07:26:46 AM
Didn't know that, Malcy, Good fact!

(https://i.imgur.com/mnXy5Vl.jpg)


LevarDIS Burton? Rhymes with TARDIS! There's at least one episode later on that has a TARDIS console looking thing in it. Possibly the episode with the Exocomps.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 12, 2021, 10:39:52 AM
Watching the fractal of incompetence that is 'Riker In Command' unfold was a real treat. Every single decision he makes is wrong. There's a line where Picard goes something like 'Number One, take charge of our guests and keep them out of our way'. You had ONE FUCKING JOB, MATE.

I think Riker being slimy little shit who bought his commission is my favourite revelation in this rewatch.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 12, 2021, 12:00:57 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 12, 2021, 10:39:52 AM
I think Riker being slimy little shit who bought his commission is my favourite revelation in this rewatch.

I'm thinking he was a jobbing Red Shirt who, through sheer dumb luck, managed to avoid getting killed, instead getting promoted in place of the higher ranks who did die.

We see him here, in season 1, taking the second in command role after a career of near-misses with a mixture of incomprehension, at how he's managed to survive so far, and terror/imposter syndrome.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 12, 2021, 03:03:00 PM
025 | "The Neutral Zone"

(https://i.imgur.com/F9dtRK5.jpg)

Frozen Peace

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Crusher's anti-death neck-spray
• Low-milage Pitwoofie
• Hogwash . .  Malarkey . . Jive
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Lady Snoozer
• Southern Boozer
• Bossy Loser
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 12, 2021, 04:22:30 PM
I didn't know Levar was short for Levardis. But Wiki and Memory Alpha concur. Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 12, 2021, 10:05:14 PM
Quote from: elliszeroed on June 12, 2021, 09:00:03 AM
I wonder if any viewers at the time thought this was part of an ongoing plot that would lead somewhere (Riker's incompetence), such as him being replaced or revealed as a spy.

That's fascinating, never occurred to me before. It comes right after Conspiracy, too, where three things were suggested:
a) There will be some kind of continuing plot with the neural parasites
b) A beacon was somehow sent out after the queen's death
c) Riker has a parasite tail in his neck, which I'm not 100% sure they ever explain on-screen - I suppose we're meant to assume it's a prosthetic/inert one placed there by Bev

With all that in mind, given that The Neutral Zone has his incompetence as a plot point twice (first by fucking up everything in command and failing to inform Picard, second in failing to supervise the guests), people on a first ever watch-through might seriously start to wonder if Riker is the host of another parasite queen, who leapt at the chance to wipe out the previous queen and then sent the beacon out to alert her own brood to set off for Earth.

Perhaps this really is the case, but since the parasites feed off brain energy, the one attached to Riker died of malnutrition after a while and everything went on as normal.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 12, 2021, 10:08:56 PM
For anyone who's interested in the scores so far (which are very subjective and very hard to figure out how to do):

The Naked Now - me, 5/10[nb]rated this one before the 10-point system was in place, I think I'd give it 5/10[/nb], daf, 2/10
Code of Honor - me, 3/10, daf, 2/10
The Last Outpost - me, 2/10, daf, 2/10
Where No One Has Gone Before - me, 3/10, daf, 3/10
Lonely Among Us - me, 4/10, daf, 3/10
Justice - me, 2/10, daf, 2/10
The Battle - me, 3/10, daf, 3/10
Hide and Q - me, 5/10, daf, 4/10
Haven - me, 6/10, daf, 6/10
The Big Goodbye - me, 4/10, daf, 7/10
Datalore - me, 4/10, daf, 5/10
Angel One - me, 1/10, daf, 3/10
11001001 - me, 6/10, daf, 4/10
Too Short A Season - me, 5/10, daf, 1/10
When The Bough Breaks - me, 5/10, daf, 2/10
Home Soil - me, 2/10, daf, 2/10
Coming of Age - me, 1/10, daf, 2/10
Heart of Glory - me, 5/10, daf, 5/10
Arsenal of Freedom - me, 4/10, daf, 3/10
Symbiosis - me, 4/10, daf, 2/10
Skin of Evil - me, 3/10, daf, 3/10
We'll Always Have Paris - me, 3/10, daf, 5/10
Conspiracy, me, 1/10, daf, 4/10
The Neutral Zone - me, 4/10, daf, 5/10

Probably some kind of statistics to be drawn from that. According to the ratings, my favourite episodes were Haven and 11001001, which sounds about right. If anyone wants to jump in for season two (or just wait until season three when it gets properly good) and give episode-by-episode ratings, please do, and we'll get some kind of MEGA-SCORECARD going.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 12, 2021, 11:22:07 PM
Hm . . Interesting to see we agreed on the scores more times than I thought!

Fave episodes so far : 1. The Big Goodbye | 2. Haven
Worsties : Too Short A Season

So that's the first season done then - Lets see what else is out there . . .

Engage!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on June 13, 2021, 01:17:15 AM
Quote from: Lemming on June 12, 2021, 10:05:14 PM
c) Riker has a parasite tail in his neck, which I'm not 100% sure they ever explain on-screen - I suppose we're meant to assume it's a prosthetic/inert one placed there by Bev

It's explicitly said at the end of the episode isn't it? "It was Dr Crusher's idea to simulate the blue gill", after they'd examined Quinn's body.

Riker though is very much American Idiot in this season, to a level I hadn't picked up on before (deliberate by Roddenberry?) - cheers Lemming for highlighting it.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 13, 2021, 04:27:41 AM
Quote from: the hum on June 13, 2021, 01:17:15 AM
It's explicitly said at the end of the episode isn't it? "It was Dr Crusher's idea to simulate the blue gill", after they'd examined Quinn's body.

Riker though is very much American Idiot in this season, to a level I hadn't picked up on before (deliberate by Roddenberry?) - cheers Lemming for highlighting it.

Ah, you're right about the gill line.

It's fascinating to try and figure out if the writers hate Riker and write him as an idiot, or if several totally different writers somehow all managed to do it by accident. It's surely too consistent to be a coincidence.

I always wondered if Frakes hated the character, too. The way he delivers otherwise innocuous lines in the most confrontational way possible. I've just watched "The Child" and, during the scene where Riker grills Troi on how she got pregnant, Frakes seems to go for depicting Riker in the worst possible light, raising his voice and scowling at Troi. If he is playing the character that way intentionally, it's an absolutely exquisite performance.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 13, 2021, 09:48:53 AM
Frakes is famously a nice, easy-going guy IRL, and the cast got along like a house on fire. So it's got to be an actorly choice right?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 13, 2021, 10:34:21 AM
It could be they were still figuring out the dynamics. They were trying to recreate that TOS lightning in a bottle, but that was based on a three-person cast with an interchangeable second tier of about four to six others. And the main three had specific parts to contribute to that whole: one logical, one emotional, and the central persona integrating both. Instead now you have an ensemble cast of NINE characters, of less clearly set out archetypes. Data as the obvious Spock analogue was the only clear equivalent. Picard wasn't Kirk, but then they weren't trying to make him be. Trying to have someone - Riker - be the passionate dynamic one (the action man XO who gets to go on all the away missions) makes a kind of sense, but if he becomes TOO Kirky, then Picard risks becoming an irrelevance.

I'm probably trying to spin an explanation out of nothing there. Or just doing it really badly. Certainly over time the Picard-Riker dynamic evolves. Riker's passion and ambition is tempered with wisdom and patience, I guess; Picard learns to relax and take risks, effectively rediscovering the driven younger self that got him where he is. We only ever really saw Riker in command in the context of Picard (temporarily) not being around; it'll be interesting to see how he really leads in
Spoiler alert
LDS s2
[close]
.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on June 13, 2021, 10:48:24 AM
Quote from: mothman on June 13, 2021, 10:34:21 AM
It could be they were still figuring out the dynamics. They were trying to recreate that TOS lightning in a bottle, but that was based on a three-person cast with an interchangeable second tier of about four to six others. And the main three had specific parts to contribute to that whole: one logical, one emotional, and the central persona integrating both. Instead now you have an ensemble cast of NINE characters, of less clearly set out archetypes. Data as the obvious Spock analogue was the only clear equivalent. Picard wasn't Kirk, but then they weren't trying to make him be. Trying to have someone - Riker - be the passionate dynamic one (the action man XO who gets to go on all the away missions) makes a kind of sense, but if he becomes TOO Kirky, then Picard risks becoming an irrelevance.

I'm probably trying to spin an explanation out of nothing there. Or just doing it really badly. Certainly over time the Picard-Riker dynamic evolves. Riker's passion and ambition is tempered with wisdom and patience, I guess; Picard learns to relax and take risks, effectively rediscovering the driven younger self that got him where he is. We only ever really saw Riker in command in the context of Picard (temporarily) not being around; it'll be interesting to see how he really leads in
Spoiler alert
LDS s2
[close]
.

I'm guessing a lot of the issue was different people probably viewed it different fashions, I can imagine the execs were sold the idea Riker would be the sexy dymatic Kirk character just this time as first officer who might end up being the main focus were as there was actually more of a sense he'd be the McCoy and show up the more gunho aspect of Kirk as something that had been moved beyond.

Really I'd say as the series advanced Worf ends up taking a lot of the McCoy role, at least in terms of potential confrontations.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 13, 2021, 01:00:30 PM
Yeah. The first couple of seasons were all over the shop, TNG has become almost the classic example of the rocky start to a show. There's even a movie about it, after all. Documentary, granted, but I could easily see the whole saga becoming a film or a streaming service limited series. None of the cast have done autobiogs yet (Wheaton aside) so there'll be still more to come out about those times, I'll wager.

Though I do wonder if you're overegging the pudding a bit? Worf wasn't the dissenting voice all the time. Troi was the one who'd be more likely to go to Picard and say, here is what you really need to be doing.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on June 13, 2021, 03:06:32 PM
Talking of TOS, and more to the point, since we don't have a TOS thread, this is where I'm going to dump this piece of hilarity:

https://twitter.com/mrs__peel/status/1403549358855966722

QuoteSTAR TREK: WIG THEFT

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E3pos5tXoAEj2Kz?format=jpg&name=large)

(Click to enlarge)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 13, 2021, 04:24:07 PM
Apparently Marina Sirtis stole the Troi wig used in Star Trek Nemesis, too!

Can't blame Shatner for snapping up the Kirk hairpieces, the ones he wears in the first two seasons look fantastic on him. Never understood his decision to DOWNGRADE to the weird curly ones he wore in the 80s.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 13, 2021, 10:22:44 PM
S02E01 - The Child

An encounter with an alien creature causes Troi to become pregnant, with the baby growing at a startling rate. Meanwhile, Geordi's cool new plague containment system turns out to be a total flop.

- The episode is very eager to show off all the big changes - shuttle bay, Worf and Geordi in gold uniform, Riker with beard, Wes with a Starfleet badge. Plus, Pulaski! Also, miniskirt uniform sighted in the backgorund! It's still going!

- A weird light thing flies into the ship and absorbs itself into Troi... who's gone to bed with her hair styled up, and has eyeshadow, mascara and lipstick on. Uhhh, maybe 24th century makeup is really good and stays on for ages, and doesn't irritate the shit out of your eyes if you sleep with it on.

- Pulaski! I think she's a far better character than Bev and it's a shame Muldaur wanted to fuck off after just one season. She's introduced by going to hang out at the bar, rather than introduce herself to Picard, which right off the bat establishes her as being extremely cool, and not just another generic Starfleet yes-man. Picard goes to give her what-for, but is diverted by an agonisingly awkward turbolift ride with Wesley.

- Guinan's first appearance too! I really like the character for the most part, even though there'll be a lot to say later about how her presence starts detracting from Troi's role.

- Troi is pregnant. Picard tries to announce this in a respectful way to the senior staff, but Riker immediately puts on his angry face and starts interrogating her. "Who's the father?", he sneers, as if it's any of his FUCKING business.

- The baby is growing super-fast, and will be fully grown and ready to be born in 36 hours. There's a really good scene (unusually directed, too) where everyone else in the room starts debating what should be done with the fetus, and then Troi finally speaks up and says that she's decided to have the baby. Picard: "Then it seems that the discussion is over."

- To add to the alien weirdness, Troi doesn't experience any pain during the pregnancy, and the baby just flops out. Riker shows up to glare at her while she's in labour.

- Picard goes to visit the baby, but it's already physically 4 years old, and has learned English. It tells him not to worry, and that everything is ok. Picard begins to worry that everything is not ok.

- People tend to shit on Pulaski for being mean to Data. There might be stuff I'm forgetting later on, but here, she's fine - she doesn't treat him particularly badly, she's just bemused by the idea of an android (ie the Data-Dah-ta scene). It's nothing compared to McCoy, who was straight-up racist towards Spock every 5 minutes. With McCoy, every other interaction devolved into "YOU GREEN-BLOODED POINTY-EARED CUNT". With Pulaski and Data, it's just Pulaski fucking with him a little bit. She even corrects herself to use "Day-ta" after the first time he asks her to. And as long as we're on the topic, I think people tend to overstate the similarities between Pulaski and McCoy a little bit, though the inspiration is obviously there.

- The nursery. What a stupid thing to have aboard a starship. Wonder what was happening in this place during The Naked Now when everyone got polywater'd, or in Home Soil when the brain started messing with all the ship's systems, or in The Arsenal of Freedom when they did the saucer-sep. Just children screaming, pissing and shitting everywhere, I assume.

- Troi's child - Ian - is like 12 or something now, so Picard finally gets round to trying to figure out what the fuck's going on. He asks Ian who he is and why he's here, but Ian tells him to go fuck himself. Troi reckons if they just leave it a while, he'll eventually tell them, which everyone agrees will probably be fine.

- Wesley goes to Ten-Forward to mope at the window, because he misses Mom. Guinan senses an opportunity to stick her FUCKING nose in as usual and goes to batter him over the head with her standard self-help speech stuff.

- There's a sideplot where some plague specimens are going to leak out and kill everyone on the whole ship, and Geordi's patented Plague Containarium 3000 immediately fails. Ian tells Troi that his presence is what's causing the plague to go crazy apeshit, and induces his own death to save the ship, after which he turns back into light and flies off. Luckily, Troi's figured it out - the alien was a "life force entity" who wanted to learn about the people of the Enterprise, and decided the best way would be to freakily turn into an embryo, forcefully inhabit someone's body while they slept, and live on board for a few days. This is portrayed as wonderous, rather than totally unacceptable.

- Wesley wants to stay on the Enterprise. Picard assigns Riker to supervise him. I can only imagine that this is a cunning ploy by Picard to do the exact inverse of what he claims, and actually pair them up so that Wesley will hopefully impart some skill and wisdom onto Riker.

The show already feels a lot more confident in itself, and the addition of Guinan and Pulaski provides a seriously-needed dose of personality to proceedings. Like Lwaxana (and Worf when he really gets going later on), their presence forces the writers to try and give a bit more characterisation to everyone else they interact with, which is a massive boost to the show. The plot itself isn't great - the child story is basically a damp squib that ends with Troi just quickly summarising what happened, though it does at least include the great scene where she shuts up everyone in the briefing room by voicing her own decision. The plague plot is similarly thin, and exists as a transparent excuse to force the alien to leave, since its presence is inexplicably the cause of the plague samples becoming unstable.

But the show's new features and pacier style help to keep it from being boring, even though the material on the face of it is pretty weak. 5/10

(https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 13, 2021, 10:58:12 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/hkMvEro.jpg)

Special congratulations to This Guy for his role as Hester Death. He nails the performance of a Q-like alien trickster god who somehow convinces the crew to not tow the box of very-deadly plague behind the ship. His stilted, barely credible line delivery really highlights the character's inhuman nature.

Quote from: Lemming on June 13, 2021, 10:22:44 PM
- Pulaski! I think she's a far better character than Bev and it's a shame Muldaur wanted to fuck off after just one season. She's introduced by going to hang out at the bar, rather than introduce herself to Picard, which right off the bat establishes her as being extremely cool, and not just another generic Starfleet yes-man.

I love Pulaski so much and the episode is quick to show off her twin passions for 'getting shit done' and 'being off her lid on peach schnapps'.

All in all it's not as bad as I remember, although creepy, possessive Riker can fuck right off; as can Ghost Baby who I can only assume feeds on grief.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 14, 2021, 12:05:17 AM
(https://i.imgur.com/hkMvEro.jpg)

DEALT: Aw jeez, I'm like a hundred years old and I'm just a lieutenant commander in the Science division. I'm a complete failure.
Q: Hmm, this gives me an idea how I can fuck with Picard's head, will have to wait for the right opportunity though...
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 14, 2021, 02:21:32 PM
026 | " The Child"

(https://i.imgur.com/9umBhJ2.jpg)

Ian in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Worf : Kill it!!
• Pulaski : Daah-Tah vs. Day-Tah
• Beard-o Riker
• O'Brien!!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Riker's Leg-over Chair-vault #2 + Reverse Leg-over #1
• Gold jumpers for Worf & Geordi
• Whoopi's Space Boozer
• Mystery Blue-shirt moustache codger
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Fun fact : On the season 2 promo trailer, the "Next time on Staaaaaaaaar Trek" voice-over guy pronounces Data as 'Daaah-Taaah' - Useless plum!!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Spoon of Ploff on June 14, 2021, 06:58:21 PM
*edit glitch*

(https://i.imgur.com/gRppw24.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 14, 2021, 07:55:10 PM
Quote from: daf on June 14, 2021, 02:21:32 PM
Fun fact : On the season 2 promo trailer, the "Next time on Staaaaaaaaar Trek" voice-over guy pronounces Data as 'Daaah-Taaah' - Useless plum!!

Good to see - er, hear - Freddy Quimby in gainful employment. And to think they say failing upwards is a recent thing.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on June 14, 2021, 08:06:19 PM
Quote from: mothman on June 14, 2021, 12:05:17 AM
(https://i.imgur.com/hkMvEro.jpg)

DEALT: Aw jeez, I'm like a hundred years old and I'm just a lieutenant commander in the Science division. I'm a complete failure.
Q: Hmm, this gives me an idea how I can fuck with Picard's head, will have to wait for the right opportunity though...

he looks like he was meant to play a red-tunic Starfleet guy from the films
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ron Maels Moustache on June 14, 2021, 08:17:40 PM
Quote from: daf on June 14, 2021, 02:21:32 PM
026 | " The Child"

(https://i.imgur.com/9umBhJ2.jpg)

Ian in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Worf : Kill it!!
• Pulaski : Daah-Tah vs. Day-Tah
• Beard-o Riker
• O'Brien!!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Riker's Leg-over Chair-vault #2 + Reverse Leg-over #1
• Gold jumpers for Worf & Geordi
• Whoopi's Space Boozer
• Mystery Blue-shirt moustache codger
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Fun fact : On the season 2 promo trailer, the "Next time on Staaaaaaaaar Trek" voice-over guy pronounces Data as 'Daaah-Taaah' - Useless plum!!

That VO was the late, great Ernie Anderson, father of Paul Thomas Anderson, fact fans!

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 14, 2021, 11:25:22 PM
I liked how you'd sometimes see older junior officers shuffling around in TNG. Didn't happen so much in the later shows.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 14, 2021, 11:30:44 PM
S02E02 - Where Silence Has Lease

The Enterprise is seized by a powerful sentient lifeform, who plans to use the crew for experiments.

- Worf invites Riker to play a holodeck game of his own design, the WORF CALISTHETICS SIMULATOR, where you run around beating up skeletons and bug-people. Worf enters some kind of unstoppable frenzy and tries to kill Riker (understandable). Everything else aside, it's nice to get these little character-based scenes at the start of episodes which have nothing to do with the main plot - I know they'll introduce the poker games soon for this purpose.

- There's a couple of brilliant Riker moments here which are hard to get across in text. Data has found a weird space thing, an area of blackness which disappears and reappears. Picard calls it up on the viewscreen. "There it is," says Riker, pointing indiscriminately. Picard says that he can't see anything - because there's nothing there - and there's an awkward silence where Riker doesn't say anything at all, just looks around. Eventually, Picard, without any guidance from Riker, magnifies an area of the screen and locates the anomaly. Was Riker just pretending to see it earlier or something? The whole scene is really strangely done. He tries to win back credibility by questioning Data's sensor readings a couple times.

- Picard: "Mr Worf, this starship operates best when my officers share with me what is on their minds." Must have had a re-think of his command style after the "shut up Wesley" fiasco.

- The Enterprise gets enveloped by the blackness. Picard asks Data to alert all decks, but NOBODY IS RESPONDING!! Dramatic music, ad break. Immediately after the ad break, Picard's captain's log says that all communications are now back online and all decks are reporting in. Well, that was about eight seconds of excitement.

- Weird shit starts to happen - first a Romulan warbird appears (and the crew rejoice in blowing it up, which is a bit unnerving), then a Galaxy-class starship (called the Yamato, one of about a billion anime references that pop up in the second season of TNG). Riker and Worf go aboard and it's all scary with no lights and weird noises and shit. I think the writer of this episode hates Worf, because he quickly shits his pants and enters a frantic blind panic, to the point where Riker, of all people, has to calm him down. Brutally embarrassing.

- By the way, despite the fact that all the other bridge staff are still on duty, Wesley has inexplicably gone away and been replaced by a guy we've never seen before. Wonder what that's all about.

- Weird face shows up on the viewscreen. The weird space void is alive, and is called Nagilum. Nagilum notes several things about the crew - their names, and the fact that Data is constructed differently from the others. Then he refers to Pulaski - "what are you? Your construction also differs." Turns out he's referring to her being female. Troi's sat right there, but Nagilum only noticed Pulaski! Weird Betazoid atonomy? Troi protected by psychic cloaking? Troi actually male (with all kinds of implications for the birthing scene in the previous episode)? Pulaski drawing all Nagilum's attention with her raw alpha female energy? Who knows.

- Nagilum wants to know about death, so he kills one of the crew at random. Oh, look, it's the guy (Haskell) who was sat in Wesley's seat. This guy's acting is absolutely next level by the way, I've never seen a more viscerally upsetting depiction of an aneurysm depicted on a TV screen. It's pretty horrific actually, made all the worse by the fact that he seemed pretty interesting for the 30 seconds we knew him before this happened. Definitely more interesting than Wesley.

- Nagilum offers to let half the crew go if the other half is left behind to be tortured and killed. Picard suggests self-destructing the Enterprise instead. Yet another opportunity to regret having a nursery on board.

- The Enterprise escapes and cancels the self-destruct. Nagilum shows up on Picard's laptop and calls him a cunt. Picard calls Nagilum a cunt in response. Roll credits.

- Little joke and joyous upbeat music to end on. Rest in peace, Haskell, violently killed by space cloud thing.

I remember liking this one more than I actually do. It's got quite an effective mood and there's some good little bits of dialogue, but the pacing is agonisingly slow in parts, taking ten minutes at a time to establish things that anyone who's ever seen an episode of Star Trek - or anything else at all, ever - will already know. Yes, the blackness has trapped the ship, we don't need to try increasingly high warp settings and then gawk at how we're not moving.

There's a few effective moments but it's so padded out, and Nagilum is the latest in a long line of Star Trek antagonists who show up, torture and kill the crew without any reason, and then just tell them to fuck off at the end without much of a proper climax. 4/10

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)

RUNNING TOTAL:
Crew Deaths: 3 (Haskell killed by Nagilum)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 15, 2021, 01:09:46 AM
Quote from: Lemming on June 14, 2021, 11:30:44 PM
S02E02 - Where Silence Has Lease

...

then a Galaxy-class starship (called the Yamato, one of about a billion anime references that pop up in the second season of TNG).

Pretty sure that's just a direct ref to the actual Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Yamato, as opposed to via the anime, seeing as a load of Federation (human) starships are named after old navy vessel (not least of which being the Enterprise herself)

QuoteThen he refers to Pulaski - "what are you? Your construction also differs." Turns out he's referring to her being female. Troi's sat right there, but Nagilum only noticed Pulaski! Weird Betazoid atonomy? Troi protected by psychic cloaking?

Several inches of makeup. Troi's probably a full fledged psychic if she'd just scrap off the slap. Maybe it helps keep the 'noise' down, with a thousand other minds yammering on around her.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 15, 2021, 02:07:58 AM
Quote from: Blumf on June 15, 2021, 01:09:46 AM
Pretty sure that's just a direct ref to the actual Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Yamato, as opposed to via the anime, seeing as a load of Federation (human) starships are named after old navy vessel (not least of which being the Enterprise herself)

Looked it up and you're right - Rick Sternbach, anime reference extraordinaire, confirmed it himself:

QuoteAccording to technical illustrator and modeler Rick Sternbach, the name was not a reference to the Japanese anime series Space Battleship Yamato (or Star Blazers in North America), even though he and several other members of the production staff are fans of Japanese animation. Sternbach stated at AnimeCon 1991 that the TNG writers had independently coined the ship's name without his input and he doubts that the writers were aware of the anime connection.

Jumped the gun on calling the anime references since I'm so excited for the ludicrous amount of Dirty Pair allusions scattered through this season.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on June 15, 2021, 08:45:46 AM
Quote from: Blumf on June 15, 2021, 01:09:46 AM
Pretty sure that's just a direct ref to the actual Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Yamato, as opposed to via the anime, seeing as a load of Federation (human) starships are named after old navy vessel (not least of which being the Enterprise herself)

Several inches of makeup. Troi's probably a full fledged psychic if she'd just scrap off the slap. Maybe it helps keep the 'noise' down, with a thousand other minds yammering on around her.

either that or just the years of experience of telepathy give you practice at deflecting stuff. like going to defensive, short and safe answers in unwanted conversations until they move on.

can see that being a thing on the 'Zed. teenagers just bullying each other by invading each others' privacy. just harmless banter, Martin. Betazoid Grange Hill had different silent credits episodes
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 15, 2021, 09:40:48 AM
Quote from: petrilTanaka on June 15, 2021, 08:45:46 AM
Betazoid Grange Hill

The concept of a sausage forcefully flies across your mind.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 15, 2021, 03:00:00 PM
027 | "Where Silence Has Lease"

(https://i.imgur.com/Z6kniCo.jpg)

Lab Rats in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Worf's Holo-Fight Club
• Stop probing the bugger, you dummies!! . . . oh, too late!
• Worf's two-bridge mind-fudge
• Pulaski Shag demo request
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Damn ugly nothing Space-Face
• Picard's "What is Death?" Waffle
• Hi, Ensign Haskell! > ZAPP! < Bye, Ensign Haskell!
• Riker's Auto-destruct Bum-trembler
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 15, 2021, 03:29:32 PM
Quote from: daf on June 15, 2021, 03:00:00 PM
• Riker's Auto-destruct Bum-trembler

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ubHuWbPEJw
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 15, 2021, 03:36:17 PM
Haha - proper belly laugh from that! :D
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 15, 2021, 03:56:47 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 14, 2021, 11:30:44 PM
I remember liking this one more than I actually do. It's got quite an effective mood and there's some good little bits of dialogue, but the pacing is agonisingly slow in parts, taking ten minutes at a time to establish things that anyone who's ever seen an episode of Star Trek - or anything else at all, ever - will already know. Yes, the blackness has trapped the ship, we don't need to try increasingly high warp settings and then gawk at how we're not moving.

That's about the size of it. I wish they'd laid out the story differently, seems a bit odd to open with the Romulan attack then do the haunted house stuff. It'd be nice to get a sense of the crew being deliberately exposed to specific tests before they work out they're rats in a maze. In a rare, incredible, example I think Voyager's The Void does the whole 'creepy hole zone' idea better.

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on June 16, 2021, 01:59:46 PM
I've been inspired to actually watch one!

Quote from: Lemming on June 14, 2021, 11:30:44 PM
S02E02 - Where Silence Has Lease
...
- By the way, despite the fact that all the other bridge staff are still on duty, Wesley has inexplicably gone away and been replaced by a guy we've never seen before. Wonder what that's all about.
...
- Nagilum wants to know about death, so he kills one of the crew at random. Oh, look, it's the guy (Haskell) who was sat in Wesley's seat. This guy's acting is absolutely next level by the way, I've never seen a more viscerally upsetting depiction of an aneurysm depicted on a TV screen. It's pretty horrific actually, made all the worse by the fact that he seemed pretty interesting for the 30 seconds we knew him before this happened. Definitely more interesting than Wesley.

What you don't mention here is the guy is black and it definitely feels dodgy. I checked and it actually gets mentioned on the tvtropes page for Black dude dies first - https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlackDudeDiesFirst . While TNG was obviously progressive in some ways a black guy sitting at the front sticks out a bit at this stage and the fact he then dies isn't great. Definite Roddenberry "progressive for the 1960s" vibe.

Quote
I remember liking this one more than I actually do. It's got quite an effective mood and there's some good little bits of dialogue, but the pacing is agonisingly slow in parts, taking ten minutes at a time to establish things that anyone who's ever seen an episode of Star Trek - or anything else at all, ever - will already know. Yes, the blackness has trapped the ship, we don't need to try increasingly high warp settings and then gawk at how we're not moving.

There's a few effective moments but it's so padded out, and Nagilum is the latest in a long line of Star Trek antagonists who show up, torture and kill the crew without any reason, and then just tell them to fuck off at the end without much of a proper climax. 4/10

Yeah, it's weirdly directed and paced. I suspect this was a bottle episode in disguise, written around minimising the budget. I assume the bird of prey fight is  reused footage from a different episode, dropped in to pad out the run time - it doesn't actually make any sense in terms of the "science lab" setup. Also the Yamato being the "sister ship" means they don't need any more model shots.

Even with that there are weird bits - Geordi wanders onto the bridge and transfers engineering to a console. He then says a few lines of dialogue before asking permission to leave the bridge and go to engineering. I can't work out if the writers had some weird idea about trying to make it feel a bit more military or if they were contractually obliged to give Burton some amount of screen time but couldn't come up with anything for him to do.

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 16, 2021, 11:45:51 PM
S02E03 - Elementary, Dear Data

A game on the holodeck goes horribly wrong yet again when the Enterprise computer generates an apparently sentient hologram.

- Not to go on about it, since it's obviously subjective and plenty of people love these episodes, but I never got the holodeck. We're in space! We can go down to a planet and have anything beyond our wildest dreams happen for real, but instead we're walking around in videogames pretending to be Sherlock Holmes.

- Geordi leaves in a strop because Data's too good at Sherlock Holmes games. After an extended whine by Geordi, Pulaski jumps in to try and explain why mystery fiction is meant to be fun, and says that Data would be shit at solving an all-new mystery because AI can only repeat material its been trained on. She bets that Data can't solve a newly-created original Sherlock Holmes mystery, and everyone rushes back to the holodeck to play their new Sherlock Holmes fanfiction. Slow day on the ship, I guess.

- Pulaski's holodeck outfit is my favourite part of the episode.

- Data wins the bet so Pulaski gets pissy and says that the mystery was shit. Her reasoning is interesting, though - the way that Data solves the mystery by just combining existing elements of things he's been trained on is more or less the way existing machine learning programs work (try AI Dungeon if you want to see this kind of clusterfuck happening before your eyes).

- The Enterprise computer glitches out because of Geordi's inferior programming technique, and creates an apparently-sentient hologram in the form of Professor Moriarty, which immediately kidnaps Pulaski.

- Geordi's awful attempt at impersonating Watson's accent is my second favourite thing in the episode.

- Geordi and Data finally realise that the holodeck has GONE WRONG, keeping up its 100% track record.

- Riker-esque stuff from Geordi: Data goes outside the holodeck and tells it to shut down. Computer responds "Access denied. Override protocol has been initiated." They walk back in. "It's still running, the program didn't shut down!" Geordi exclaims in shock while looking down a holographic 19th century London street.

- Not to be outdone, Riker has this gem. "Captain, I recommend we attempt to destroy the the holographic generations themselves." (pause, looks nervous) "...is that possible, Geordi?" Great stuff, but Geordi's repsonse is equally dumb - he comes up with an idea for a device that will destroy all the holograms, but only after being prompted by Picard does he mention that the device would also rip Pulaski to pieces, so actually no, Riker idea is not possible after all.

- They determine that Moriarty must be alive, and is now fucking about with the ship. Surely if the Enterprise computer can create consciousness - and a consciousness significantly more convincing than Data, at that - there are pretty big implications.

- Pulaski has dinner with Moriarty and starts mainlining holo-crumpets.

- Picard decides to dress like an arsehole before haeding into the holodeck. The MORTALITY FAIL-SAFE has been circumvented (again), and now if you DIE IN THE GAME, YOU DIE IN REAL LIFE.

- Moriarty has built a holo-machine that lets him control the Enterprise, so he starts making it shake violently. As Riker empties his bowels into his underwear on the bridge, Moriarty tells Picard that he's alive and wants to leave the holodeck. Picard tells Moriarty he's not alive, Moriarty responds that if Data is alive, then so is he. Picard's been snookered. Everyone decides that they might as well save the Moriarty program somewhere. He promises to fill Pulaski with crumpets again in the future, phwoaaar.

Never a fan of holodeck episodes and never a fan of is-Data-sentient episodes (including the beloved Measure of a Man, so that should be a fun review). Not a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, either, so the episode is a perfect storm of things that just don't grab me. It also feels kind of anti-climactic - Picard and Moriarty argue with each other for about a minute, and then Moriarty just surrenders and everyone agrees to just have him saved somewhere so we don't have to think about the whole thing anymore for a good while.

On the other hand, it's one of those episodes that's more or less just an excuse to fuck about, and Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton and Diana Muldaur all have fun with it, which makes it inoffensive enough to watch. The guy playing Moriarty is good too. 4/10, which I think is what I also gave The Big Goodbye - they're on a similar level, though I think I enjoyed The Big Goodbye a little more as it had a stronger second half and finale, and the holodeck felt a bit more wondrous and expansive rather than just being a dodgy set of a London street.

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 17, 2021, 08:24:29 AM
Fun Fact: the bod who plays Moriarty later got a role as the skipper of the Enterprise, albeit the aircraft carrier version, in 'The Hunt for Red October'.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 17, 2021, 09:07:13 AM
I've been listening to Gates McFadden's podcast where she interviews fellow Trek actors, and LeVar Burton claims to have spent a year or so pretending to be British after a misunderstanding with his landlady. It's hard to fathom how he got away with it, but this was in LA.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on June 17, 2021, 09:47:03 AM
It feels like they fucked up the holo suite idea. It's a great way to piss about and let the actors have some fun, but for some reason they have to come up with convoluted reasons to make it actually matter outside the holosuite.

Accidentally making sentient life breaks the concept - it gives the holosuite god like power, and means any holosuite story is arbitrarily whatever the writers want.

Also, you'd think that Picard would want some sort of safety measures put in place.

Overall, an OK episode. Still some weird pacing issues. And another one where the baddie just sort of goes meh and disappears at the end.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on June 17, 2021, 10:13:01 AM
Quote from: MojoJojo on June 17, 2021, 09:47:03 AM
It feels like they fucked up the holo suite idea. It's a great way to piss about and let the actors have some fun, but for some reason they have to come up with convoluted reasons to make it actually matter outside the holosuite.

Let's face it, in real life we'd probably just spend all our time in the holosuite shagging.

It matters in the Barclay episode though, it's integral to the story I think.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 17, 2021, 11:05:46 AM
Quote from: Lemming on June 16, 2021, 11:45:51 PM
S02E03 - Elementary, Dear Data

...

- They determine that Moriarty must be alive, and is now fucking about with the ship. Surely if the Enterprise computer can create consciousness - and a consciousness significantly more convincing than Data, at that - there are pretty big implications.

This has always bugged me too, and it's not like it's a throwaway monster of the week thing either, Moriarty comes back. It's only really dealt with in Voyager, and even then, the wider repercussions are mostly skimmed over. Star Fleet have a device, used all over the place, that can create sentient life. Even ignoring the problems with that life being based on a super-villain, your have massive ethical issues. How sure are they that some random background character hasn't developed consciousness? "Delete program" could be an inadvertent killing!

There's a whole story arc you could do about it, with some really interesting and fun philosophical noodling, but instead, we got ST:Picard.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MoreauVasz on June 17, 2021, 11:53:00 AM
The big difference between the computer and Data is that Data has agency. Computers can do everything in star trek but they need to be told to do so. I think that's the issue with the Doctor in Voyager, he moves from being a set if hands who fixes people on command to a person with his own emotional needs and sense of agency.

Picard was a Mis-step as they talked about how the Romulans loathe AI but completely ignore the multiple attempts to enslave Data, the successful enslavement of the EMH mark 1 programmes, and the weird way that the Federation have been building incredibly complex computers but preventing them from attaining self-awareness.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 17, 2021, 02:04:53 PM
028 | "Elementary, Dear Data"

(https://i.imgur.com/Ks8UB12.jpg)

Basil Rathfaux in a Study in Starfleet

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Pulaski Crammed with Crumpets
• Moriarty's Mortality Morality
• Picards Topper Popper
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Geordi model-boat nerd
• Data's Cockney thumb-screw
• Pointless bubbling test tubes of coloured water
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/elTuXCo.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: kalowski on June 17, 2021, 05:09:04 PM
Quote from: bgmnts on June 17, 2021, 10:13:01 AM
Let's face it, in real life we'd probably just spend all our time in the holosuite shagging.

It matters in the Barclay episode though, it's integral to the story I think.
Barclay basically does spend his time shagging in the holodeck.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 17, 2021, 06:10:07 PM
Whoaaa, the first WORF RATING has been given! Feel the honour coursing through the thread.

Looking ahead in season two, I don't think I'm going to break out the WORF RATING until season three, but there's a few potential Guinan or even O'Brien ratings coming up in season two.

Quote from: MoreauVasz on June 17, 2021, 11:53:00 AM
The big difference between the computer and Data is that Data has agency. Computers can do everything in star trek but they need to be told to do so. I think that's the issue with the Doctor in Voyager, he moves from being a set if hands who fixes people on command to a person with his own emotional needs and sense of agency.

As I understand it, the holodeck is run through the Enterprise computer, which means Moriarty was, at all times, an aspect of the Enterprise computer. If we consider him to be sentient, then the Enterprise computer created and operated a sentient element of itself for a brief time.

Of course, there could be an argument to be made over whether or not Moriarty did possess sentience, given that he was at all times following a program the Enterprise computer created. But the episode tries to remove all doubt by having Troi sense him (can she even sense Data?).

I've never managed to see any real difference between Data, Moriarty, and, for example, the gangsters in The Big Goodbye, who are also the Enterprise computer. The gangsters have a starting program that gives them a pre-set identity and characterisation, but they learn independently from there, and act on their knew knowledge, to the point of discovering the existence of the holodeck and making the decision to try and leave. Data's starting program presumably tells him to emulate humans[nb]which, for some reason, he's worse at than holodeck characters[/nb], and he spends his whole life carrying that out, learning independently and adding new experiences to his knowledge, and then acts on that knowledge, just as the holodeck characters do. Then add in the fact that the Enterprise computer is running mulitple agency-possessing AIs at once, in a constantly-changing fictional scenario of its own design, while also running the entire ship including the Majel-Barrett-voiced AI that can have multiple simultaneous conversations with personnel across the ship...

Putting any real-life debates about AI sentience aside, TNG (bar one episode that I can think of) wants us to take it as fact that, within the universe of Star Trek, Data is sentient - which is fine, but the show never really offers up an explanation as to why we're meant to accept this as true for Data but not for more convincing, equally capable AI in the form of the Enterprise computer and such.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Zetetic on June 17, 2021, 06:20:01 PM
All holodeck characters are obviously sentient. Enemies in Doom (1993) are sentient. Woodlice are sentient. Sentience clearly isn't any sort of test for personhood, here-and-now or in Star Trek.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 17, 2021, 06:37:08 PM
Quote from: Zetetic on June 17, 2021, 06:20:01 PM
All holodeck characters are obviously sentient. Enemies in Doom (1993) are sentient. Woodlice are sentient. Sentience clearly isn't any sort of test for personhood, here-and-now or in Star Trek.

It's usually portrayed as such in Star Trek, though, right? As far as I remember Measure of a Man and the EMH-rights-based Voyager episodes, anyway, as well as shit like the Exocomps.

But I do like the idea of Picard defending the rights of Imps from Doom. Potential story for Season 28 of TNG when they're completely out of scripts and ideas. Picard turning into a pixellated sprite to enter the game and give a "forgive us for this tragedy, we did not know we were dealing with sentient life, humanity was violent once" speech while dodging fireballs.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 17, 2021, 07:05:20 PM
Quote from: Zetetic on June 17, 2021, 06:20:01 PM
All holodeck characters are obviously sentient. Enemies in Doom (1993) are sentient. Woodlice are sentient. Sentience clearly isn't any sort of test for personhood, here-and-now or in Star Trek.

Would 'sophont' or 'sapient' be preferable?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 17, 2021, 07:12:14 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 17, 2021, 06:37:08 PM
But I do like the idea of Picard defending the rights of Imps from Doom. Potential story for Season 28 of TNG when they're completely out of scripts and ideas. Picard turning into a pixellated sprite to enter the game and give a "forgive us for this tragedy, we did not know we were dealing with sentient life, humanity was violent once" speech while dodging fireballs.

Careful mate, pre-warp Earth, Prime Directive there mate.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 17, 2021, 07:20:03 PM
Quote from: Mr Trumpet on June 17, 2021, 09:07:13 AM
I've been listening to Gates McFadden's podcast where she interviews fellow Trek actors, and LeVar Burton claims to have spent a year or so pretending to be British after a misunderstanding with his landlady. It's hard to fathom how he got away with it, but this was in LA.

Bit of a missed opportunity, I thought: she should have chivvied him into demonstrating the accent. Whether his "trying really hard to sound genuinely English" accent is better or worse than his "deliberately doing a bad English accent because the plot demands it."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 17, 2021, 08:08:41 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 17, 2021, 06:10:07 PM
Whoaaa, the first WORF RATING has been given! Feel the honour coursing through the thread.

Looking ahead in season two, I don't think I'm going to break out the WORF RATING until season three, but there's a few potential Guinan or even O'Brien ratings coming up in season two.

I did flip-flop a bit with this rating - I cut it down to 9 Ro Larens for a bit . . . but, in the end, I had to go with my heart and give it a ten! *

I watched it with pretty much a constant grin on my face - Moriarty was superb, and the mental image of Pulaski being stuffed with crumpets was a touch of comic genius.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
* (If anything does beat this for me, I still have the 11/10 Mr Homn wildcard up my sleeve - "for episodes that boldly go where no episodes have gone before")
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 17, 2021, 08:11:56 PM
Quote from: mothman on June 17, 2021, 07:20:03 PM
Bit of a missed opportunity, I thought: she should have chivvied him into demonstrating the accent. Whether his "trying really hard to sound genuinely English" accent is better or worse than his "deliberately doing a bad English accent because the plot demands it."
I've been to America and had people refuse to accept I was from England based on my (Cumbrian) accent, so I'm thinking LeVar just did a "cor blimey, guvnor!" type voice and was accepted for being one of us.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 17, 2021, 08:48:32 PM
I love this episode, but then I'm a shameless Sherlock Holmes nerd. It's one of the few holodeck episodes which I think earns its titting around because it adds a lot of dimension to these characters. Sherlock Holmes feels like a good fit for Data, i's not like say... Dr. Bashir's inexplicable interest in 1950s Las Vegas.

No problem with the holodeck bringing someone to life, the Enterprise is an experimental computer the size of a city. The ship's computer has had a baby by the end of the series, whatever.

Oh also I love the fucking Bond villain entrance that Pulaski gets into the story, wheeling round from her pint of Jameson to shit talk Data.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 17, 2021, 09:20:09 PM
It's also worth mentioning in case nobody has already that this episode was a bit of an error on the part of the producers and writers. They assumed Holmes was out of copyright in the US - it wasn't. Meant they never revisited this plotline until years later, almost one of the last eps in season 7 I think.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on June 17, 2021, 10:28:43 PM
I thought it was a lot earlier than that, around S4, but turns out we're both wrong: S06E12.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 17, 2021, 11:25:31 PM
Huh. Could have sworn it was one of the later winding-down eps. Oh well!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 18, 2021, 02:57:42 AM
S02E04 - The Outrageous Okona

The Enterprise meets an absolute cunt.

- "Is that a... woman's voice I hear? ;)" Awful!

- "And thank you, for beaming me here, and enabling me to see a truly beautiful woman..." Terrible!

- "Mr Okona appears to have excellent vision, as well as a healthy libido!" Abysmal!

- The transporter chief from earlier (who is played by Teri Hatcher, by the way!) invites Okona into her quarters. The music that plays here is bizarre, sounds like the soundtrack to hitting your head on something.

- Speaking of Teri Hatcher's character, this is how she's described in the script, according to Memory Alpha:
QuoteThe script for "The Outrageous Okona" describes the character as "the very feminine and graciously endowed Transporter Commander B.G. Robinson. Everything she has two of are perfectly matched, coordinated, and move with a wonderful grace that is called 'woman.'
I genuinely think this is among the worst combinations of words I've ever read. Thank Christ the basket cases responsible for this script didn't submit any others. By the way, read the "Apocrypha" section on this article. (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/B.G._Robinson) Apparently she's some kind of Ace Rimmer character in the expanded universe.

- Data has decided to try to learn how to understand humour and laugh, so he goes to Guinan. This is actually my favourite scene in the episode:
QuoteDATA: You told a joke.
GUINAN: Yes!
DATA: I am not laughing.
GUINAN: Yes!
DATA: Perhaps the joke was not funny.
GUINAN: No, the joke was funny. It's you, Data.
DATA: Are you sure?
GUINAN: Yes!
DATA: ...I agree.

- Data picks a famous comedian from the holodeck. You can clearly see the names of production staff on the LCARS screen. The comedian he picks, according to the readout, is Ronald B Moore.

- "Access faster. Faster. Move to maximum speed." Funnily enough, that's what I'm tempted to do with the speed setting on Netflix right now.

- Okona is wanted by two different planetary governments. He's "been reported in three different crew quarters", and isn't responding to the intercom, so Worf goes to find him. The ensuing scene is so strange - Okona and a crewmember are kissing, Worf breaks them up, and demands that Okona come to the bridge. Okona walks over to Worf, stands in front of him, and stares into his eyes silently. Worf growls "I'd like that..." - Okona nods, smiling - "but I have my orders". Did he just telepathically ask Worf for a fuck? What's going on?

- Turns out Okona is wanted for getting Yanar, one of the planetary leader's daughters, pregnant. Also stealing a rare jewel from the other planet.

- "Lieutenant Worf. Multiple-image, full conference mode." Whooaaaaa!

- Wesley dumbly psychoanalyses Okona. Okona realises that living as a complete dickhead """charming rogue""" constantly on the move has downsides. He decides not to run. "I have some friends around here. Maybe it's time to make a stand." No, you have no friends here. Please leave immediately.

- Okona very vaguely indicates he has a plan. Picard doesn't bother to investigate this plan in any way whatsoever before going back to MULTIPLE-IMAGE FULL CONFERENCE MODE to invite everyone over.

- Twist is some other guy was the father of Yanar's child, and stole the jewel to use as a proposal gift. A lot of people we don't know much about yell at each other in a room. Feels very early season one. The Data-learns-about-shitty-standup subplot, which has been dormant and unmentioned since the first half of the episode, is inexplicably brought back here, as we cut away to the holodeck right in the middle of the big interplanetary war climax.

- Data's disappointed that he can't make anyone laugh. "It's not the be-all and end-all of being human," Guinan - who is not human, but El-Aurian - says. "No, but there is nothing more... uniquely human," Data replies, to Guinan the El-Aurian.

It's just a weird episode. Okona comes across as totally unpleasant and irritating. Not the actor's fault, the character is just crap. The Data-learns-comedy plot is the high point of the episode, mostly because Goldberg and Spiner do some really good work together. The whole episode is structured strangely - we're introduced to Okona and get absolutely twatted over the head with him, then he vanishes for ages so Data can learn about standup comedy, then that plot vanishes for ages and we get a new subplot about two planets on the brink of war.

You can just watch the scene where Guinan tries to make Data laugh, and the subsequent scene where Data tries to make her laugh, and you've seen everything good in the episode. 3/10

(https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 18, 2021, 08:21:29 AM
Feels like a soft pilot for an awful spinoff series. You lot lot like to moan about Discovery and Picard (perfectly decent shows IMO), but just think how much worse it could have been.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Zetetic on June 18, 2021, 08:23:46 AM
Quote from: Blumf on June 17, 2021, 07:05:20 PM
Would 'sophont' or 'sapient' be preferable?
A bit better maybe, but they're all very handwavy.

Thought MoreaeuVasz's emphasis on agency is pretty accurate, with respect to how Star Trek characters mostly reason about these things. (I know it doesn't actually solve a lot - why exactly is Moriarty's agency different to the ersatz-agency of the usual holodock marionette? Because he really winds you up and you can't sonessily switch him off?)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 18, 2021, 08:30:04 AM
In the subsequent Moriarty story there's a bit where Picard and Data realise the version of Geordi they're talking to is a hologram, and he just stands there nonplussed while they discuss what to do about it, until they tell him to get lost and he casually ambles off. It's an unintentionally hilarious moment but it gets across the non-sapient responses of a hologram better than pretty much any other episode.

Then of course in DS9 they have a fucking lounge singer who's apparently been programmed as intelligent as Moriarty or the EMH just for a laugh. Ridiculous.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: earl_sleek on June 18, 2021, 08:37:08 AM
AI and time travel are two widely used SF tropes that Trek never managed consistent approaches to.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 18, 2021, 09:22:35 AM
AI, certainly - or perhaps they've just always been really vague about it. Like the economy of the Federation. But, time travel? I think that's easier to wave aside, because the nature of time travel varies across the SF genre. Sure Trek tries to and has had its cake and eat it - changes made in the past have resulted in changes to the timeline (STFC), whole new parallel realities (the Abramsverse), and multiple overlapping/intersecting timestreams (the VOY "Relativity" episode, the ENT - & DSC, now, sort of - Time War/Temporal Cold War). Sure it might be nice if they'd picked one method and stuck with it, but I'm not sure that (e.g.) Doctor Who has been that much more consistent really...
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on June 18, 2021, 09:55:50 AM
Quote from: earl_sleek on June 18, 2021, 08:37:08 AM
AI and time travel are two widely used SF tropes that Trek never managed consistent approaches to.

It's often a bit fuzzy about human/alien too -
Quote from: Lemming on June 18, 2021, 02:57:42 AM
- Data's disappointed that he can't make anyone laugh. "It's not the be-all and end-all of being human," Guinan - who is not human, but El-Aurian - says. "No, but there is nothing more... uniquely human," Data replies, to Guinan the El-Aurian.

Or when Odo gets turned into a human instead of a Bajoran. The show tends to implicitly lump all humanoids together, while those races often talk about about humans as "other", which suggests a sort of human imperialism on the part of the writers.

I think I might have stretched that a bit far and disappeared up my own arse.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ron Maels Moustache on June 18, 2021, 12:44:35 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 18, 2021, 02:57:42 AM
- Speaking of Teri Hatcher's character, this is how she's described in the script, according to Memory Alpha:I genuinely think this is among the worst combinations of words I've ever read. Thank Christ the basket cases responsible for this script didn't submit any others.

That has to be one of Roddenberry's script contributions, that leery description has his grubby mitts all over it, the horny old bugger.

Incredibly the part of the hologram comedian was supposed to be a guest role for Jerry fucking Lewis, no less. But he had a scheduling conflict so they got...Joe Piscopo, who was on Saturday Night Live and not a lot else I'm aware of.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 18, 2021, 01:48:42 PM
Joe Piscopo's non-career was a running joke in early Simpson's flashback episodes.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 18, 2021, 02:02:16 PM
Worst episode so far, by a country mile. I was pacing around, gnawing my own arm off at points, it was so cringy bad.

Okana, O'Connor, Okerno... it's only his name for Christ's sake, don't bother agreeing how to say it. It's in the sodding TITLE!

Started vacuuming to avoid watching this shite. Everything takes ages, everyone's a wanker, I hate it. I hate HIM. Fuck off Okona. FUCK OFF. He's not a Han Solo he's an ENORMOUS TWAT.

Memory Alpha claims this was written by three one-hit writers (a record) and yet Joe Pisshole wrote his own gags. Shameful.

0 STARS. It's so bad I'm finally giving out a numerical rating.

(https://i.imgur.com/fOUUfLr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 18, 2021, 02:11:12 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 18, 2021, 02:02:16 PMStarted vacuuming to avoid watching this shite. Everything takes ages, everyone's a wanker, I hate it. I hate HIM. Fuck off Okona. FUCK OFF. He's not a Han Solo he's an ENORMOUS TWAT.
Apparently the lad playing him was in the running for the part of Riker, so could have been worse.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 18, 2021, 02:35:32 PM
Rumour is he'll be returning to the role in Lower Decks soon
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on June 18, 2021, 02:59:37 PM
Apparently Worf played football in high school, went up for a header and snapped a boys neck due to his head ridges.

That's a fucking awesome bit of back story.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 18, 2021, 03:06:00 PM
I'd think directing a header would be tricky enough for a Klingon. The lad who got crocked had probably berated Worf a few minutes earlier for nodding it into his own goal or suchlike.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 18, 2021, 04:20:35 PM
029 | "The Outrageous Okona"

(https://i.imgur.com/zclHoYP.jpg)

Mr Gwimsdaaaaaaale!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Troi : "The word that best describes him is . . . Wanker"
• Obviously shifty jewel thief son
• Klingon Lobfly
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Space-Romeo & Space-Juliet in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!
• Cheesy Pony-Tailed Chat-up Prick
• Cheesy Mulleted Stand-up Prick
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/fOUUfLr.png) (0/10)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on June 18, 2021, 05:38:47 PM
Be interesting to see how they fit Okana into Prodigy later this year. Biggest question is will he still be 'Outrageous '!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on June 18, 2021, 07:34:33 PM
With regard to AI, Data, androids v. holograms, isn't the whole point that it's a grey area? That's kinda what Measure of a Man was about. When Picard revealed that the Federation were using deliberately sub-sentient(?) androids to do shitty dangerous work I was annoyed at first, but it does make sense. Nobody wants to do the shitty dangerous work and some things still need a body doing physical work. It's a logical progression from using holograms as revealed in Voyager, and easier to get away with when all the Soong-type androids had been dismantled or destroyed.

The one thing that's been consistent in the Trek universe is that it's really hard to make an android that's so close to human sentience.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 18, 2021, 07:35:06 PM
Quote from: Malcy on June 18, 2021, 05:38:47 PM
Be interesting to see how they fit Okana into Prodigy later this year. Biggest question is will he still be 'Outrageous '!

The Obsolescent Okona.
The Obese (but still thinks he's got "it" with the ladeeez) Okona.
The Offensive Okona.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 18, 2021, 07:55:53 PM
On the subject of AI, it really is a matter of terms of reference. What does Artificial Intelligence mean?

You can get bogged down straight off on the "artificial" - man-made? Yet more humanocentric thinking there. And is it "made?" We've seen intelligence simulated, replicated, evolve through increasing complexity of existing systems... but let's just take it in the general sense.

And then there's the "intelligence." When really we should be talking about sentience or consciousness. The assorted Soong-type androids were plainly sentient and had consciousness (of self). So too did holograms like the EMH, Prof. Moriarty, and - we think - Vic. And I'm sure there are other examples. But is the main computer of a Starfleet vessel sentient? We just don't know. It appears some do occasionally develop sentience (Discovery's computer, though that's via the Sphere Data - yet another iteration of the "artificial" part). But while, say, the Enterprise-D's main computer can perform trillions of calculations per second and manage and control every aspect of the ship's operation, it doesn't appear to have a personality. It can adapt and learn and extrapolate, it obviously demonstrates what we call "machine learning." Yet would we call it an AI? Some would say not. But it ultimately is.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 18, 2021, 09:32:32 PM
Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on June 18, 2021, 07:34:33 PM
With regard to AI, Data, androids v. holograms, isn't the whole point that it's a grey area? That's kinda what Measure of a Man was about. When Picard revealed that the Federation were using deliberately sub-sentient(?) androids to do shitty dangerous work I was annoyed at first, but it does make sense. Nobody wants to do the shitty dangerous work and some things still need a body doing physical work. It's a logical progression from using holograms as revealed in Voyager, and easier to get away with when all the Soong-type androids had been dismantled or destroyed.

The one thing that's been consistent in the Trek universe is that it's really hard to make an android that's so close to human sentience.

That's part of why Measure of a Man annoys me in parts (though it's been a while since I've seen it, so I'll give it a fair chance on the imminent rewatch) - Data gains legal rights essentially because they can't prove he's not sentient (Picard's big climactic argument is something like "well try and prove that I'm sentient!!!", IIRC). That would be fine, but they don't then take the logical next step of recognising holograms as legal people, nor the immense intelligence seen in every Starship computer. I still honestly can't figure out what the difference between Data and a holodeck character is meant to be, other than that the show usually takes it as fact that Data must be alive, while the holograms must be just videogame characters, and I don't understand why that's the case.

Every argument in favour of Data's sentience seems to apply just as much to holodeck characters. They demonstrate agency, they learn and react to new knowledge, they're capable of forming a coherent sense of self and understanding that they exist within a holodeck, etc. It seems to usually just come down to the fact that the writers want Data to be alive, but don't want other equal (or even "better") AIs to receive the same treatment because it'd make a lot of plots much more awkward.

Quote from: mothman on June 18, 2021, 07:55:53 PM
And then there's the "intelligence." When really we should be talking about sentience or consciousness. The assorted Soong-type androids were plainly sentient and had consciousness (of self). So too did holograms like the EMH, Prof. Moriarty, and - we think - Vic. And I'm sure there are other examples. But is the main computer of a Starfleet vessel sentient? We just don't know. It appears some do occasionally develop sentience (Discovery's computer, though that's via the Sphere Data - yet another iteration of the "artificial" part). But while, say, the Enterprise-D's main computer can perform trillions of calculations per second and manage and control every aspect of the ship's operation, it doesn't appear to have a personality. It can adapt and learn and extrapolate, it obviously demonstrates what we call "machine learning." Yet would we call it an AI? Some would say not. But it ultimately is.

All holodeck characters are the Enterprise computer, though, right? Including Moriarty. The computer is capable of generating and sustaining a seemingly endless number of personalities that have all the same properties that are considered to constitute personhood when seen in Data, and the Enterprise computer is capable of generating far more socially convincing personalities than Data possesses. This tech is apparently commonplace, too, as you mention with Vic, who's running on Quark's naff holosuite thingy which is apparently sold to anyone for recreational use.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 18, 2021, 10:16:29 PM
Well, I think we all agree it's inconsistent. Holodeck characters display sentience... sometimes. Plenty of examples of them being strictly NPCs - the fake Geordi cited above, or the one played by Ethan Phillips in STFC. And the VOY EMH is treated as distinct from the computer and not just an extension of it. If anything, a distinction must be made between simulated sentience and actual - unfortunately it's not a distinction the franchise takes the time to make that often. The gangsters in "The Big Goodbye" for example: they're plainly simulated sentients (given agency and power by a holodeck safety malfunction) and not the same level of threat as Moriarty. Outside the holodeck, the androids in "I, Mudd" feel to me more like simulated sentients than actual.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 18, 2021, 11:33:32 PM
Yeah, I think we agree the show doesn't make it clear.  Even with the logic the show generally uses, though, I still can't see what differentiates The Big Goodbye gangsters from the EMH, or from Moriarty, or Vic, or Data, or holographic Leah Brahms, etc. There's also Minuet, who - like Vic - was programmed right from the start to understand that she was a hologram in the holodeck.

Speaking of "I, Mudd" and TOS, I wonder about the androids in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" too. Androids made from living people's thought patterns - especially interesting given that, in the world of Star Trek, there's a huge number of ways to remove your mind from your body and put it inside a robot or a computer.

I wonder if there were some interesting plots to be had in TNG and Voyager in making the sentience/sapience/whatever of Data and the EMH a bit more ambiguous and questionable. One interesting episode I remember is In Theory, which isn't necessarily a great episode but does portray Data as being an AI with no ability to feel real emotions, only simulate them at appropriate times, which strikes me as being potentially a far more interesting and thought-provoking character than the quasi-Vulcan he's more often written as.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 19, 2021, 01:13:09 AM
S02E05 - Loud as a Whisper

A diplomat is rendered unable to communicate when his interpreters are killed, and in order to end a brutal war, the crew must find a new method of communication.

- Picard's high or something. He gets giddy over a boring holographic readout of a solar system, swaggers onto the bridge, then does a hen impression at Riker in the turbolift.

- Troi loudly announces that Worf is feeling uneasy. He says he's fine, then everyone pressures him into confessing what's bothering him. I guess there's no legal protection or anything like that from having your emotions read by an empath, but maybe she should still know better than to blurt it out to everyone.

- Riva has the hair and beard of Noel Edmonds, and will henceforth be referred to as such.

- Edmonds is deaf and mute, and speaks through three empaths, called a "chorus", who read his thoughts. Each one is assigned to a specific set of emotions. Really cool idea. He's also a complete prat, though, who insists on all kinds of stupid protocols being followed just to talk to him. Hard to believe he's ever negotiated anything, ever - especially with the Klingons. They would have just kicked him in the nuts.

- To be born deaf is considered prestigious on this planet, as it's a genetic trait of the ruling class.

- Edmonds is a major-league weirdo who asks Troi to escort him to his quarters. He leaves behind the "scholar" and "balance" members of the chorus, and brings only the "lust" member with him. He asks her to dinner, in the dumbest fucking way - "perhaps we could dine together and compare experiences". Entire thing is rendered hilarious by the presence of Lust Man, who has to relay everything. Edmonds has been on the ship literally about three minutes by the time he does this, by the way.

- At dinner, Edmonds starts shamelessly using the throb of the ship's engines as a metaphor. "Can't you feel it?... Allow it to fill you." Lust Man leaves after delivering this gem, and Troi tries to learn how to communicate with Edmonds empathically. She tries to connect with his mind directly, which I assume is like listening to drywall creak.

- The alien laser weapons have this weirdly horrific effect:

(https://schnuerchen.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/StarTrek_TNG_S02E05_02_resized.gif)

- Because the entire chorus were killed with one extremely effective laser hit, Edmonds is now unable to communicate. There's an extended scene where Edmonds gesticulates wildly at Picard, who stands there saying "I DON'T UNDERSTAND. SORRY. I DON'T UNDERSTAND. SORRY. IF ONLY THERE WAS SOME WAY TO COMMUNICATE." Nobody suggests writing, though I suppose there could be a written language barrier. After Picard makes a fool of himself for a bit, everyone realises Edmonds can speak sign language, so Data goes and learns it in five seconds.

- Pulaski offers to regenerate Geordi's eyes, and says she's already done it on two previous patients. "Wait a minute, I was told that wasn't possible!" Geordi exclaims. Told by who? Bev, presumably? Looks like this is another big win for SuperDoc Pulaski.

- Edmonds throws a shit-fit and says he won't do the negotiations. Troi decides to go in his place, which makes him whine even more, which then makes Troi start whining. Not looking good for the peace talks!

- Troi and Edmonds come up with a MASTERPLAN: they'll teach the warring factions sign language, the idea being that not only will this let them communicate with Edmonds, it will also force them to communicate with each other, giving them a shared project to overcome their differences with.

According to Memory Alpha, the Edmonds lookalike, Howie Seago, actually is deaf and wanted the TNG producers to write a show about deafness. The chorus is a fantastic idea, and I like basically anything in Star Trek involving communication or linguistics, so the sign language solution is great. Apparently, Seago himself came up with that ending.

It's good to see aliens who actually communicate in unusual ways, and the moral that the episode beats you over the head with - "turn disadvantages into advantages" - is always a good one.

On the other hand, the pacing is slow, we don't learn as much as we probably should about the warring pig-people down on the planet, and the relationship between Troi and Riva just doesn't come off at all, and is totally superfluous to the plot - she could have helped him develop the solution without the agony of the earlier dinner scene. Riva's constantly on the brink of being interesting - he's a cock at first but apologises for the way he's acted after the chorus is assassinated. It feels like there's something to get into there, but, like the romance with Troi, it never materialises into anything. 5/10, being a little charitable to it just because, again, I love episodes where people have to find ways to communicate with each other.

(https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Zetetic on June 19, 2021, 10:49:51 AM
Quote from: Lemming on June 18, 2021, 09:32:32 PM
They demonstrate agency, they learn and react to new knowledge, they're capable of forming a coherent sense of self and understanding that they exist within a holodeck, etc.
With notable exceptions, their agency is generally pretty limited and "understanding that they exist within [a fictional setting]" is something that characters do in all sorts of media.

This is why my head-canon happily supports the idea that they are - in some sense - marionettes, in a way that Data and Moriarty are not.

Regarding Vic, my vague intuition is that he is more marionette than Moriarty, albeit one whose character is designed to be smug and creepy in ways that belie this.

QuoteAll holodeck characters are the Enterprise computer, though, right? Including Moriarty. The computer is capable of generating and sustaining a seemingly endless number of personalities that have all the same properties that are considered to constitute personhood
Much like my computer, presumably, but better. (If I'm honest, I think "but better" is trying to hide a lot of shit in my last sentence and "better" increasingly implies "subjective experience" on the part of the thing that's reacting to its perceived environment... but never mind.) But I don't think it matters that Moriarty is running on the same hardware - I and a woodlouse are both running on Gaia to be extremely wanky about it.





Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Zetetic on June 19, 2021, 10:56:18 AM
Quote from: mothman on June 18, 2021, 07:55:53 PM
And then there's the "intelligence." When really we should be talking about sentience or consciousness.
But all these are handwavy.

It is a combination of things, observable or inferable at a certain standard, that earn Moriarty and Data personhood.

In some ways Spot is a bigger problem than any holodeck character - clearly sentient, hard to deny that it seems - as much as any person seems to - to experience the world in a conscious manner, and somewhat intelligent. But not enough of these things, or in quite the right way, for it to be probably anything other than faux pas in the Federation to take them apart to see how they work.

(Somewhere in here is an actual serious point about how you don't see many stories about according a fairly stupid entity personhood, and that's arguably a serious problem here-and-now.)

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Zetetic on June 19, 2021, 11:21:12 AM
More meandering thoughts - it is surprising that Moriarty does not present as a fucking lunatic, given that he's having to deal with a situation not a million miles away from coming to terms with the existence of your own psychosis (whilst still realising that this doesn't actually get you any closer to knowing when to trust your own perception and beliefs), and I wonder how that would affect appraisals of his personhood etc.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on June 19, 2021, 11:53:25 AM
I dunno, people seem to be treating the issue of why is Data a person and the NPCs in the holodeck aren't as some logical inconsistency on the part of the writers, and I still think that within the actual Star Trek universe, the inconsistency is the point. Like, there really aren't that many examples of androids across the series and films, and apparently until Picard the Federation has no way/desire to mass-produce even sub-sentient robots. It makes sense to me that it's this weird grey area that nobody thought about on a philosophical/legal/ "human" rights level because there just weren't that many robots around and because holograms started out as videogame characters.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 19, 2021, 02:39:56 PM
030 | "Loud as a Whisper"

(https://i.imgur.com/1nLEHpE.jpg)

Silent Knight

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Ugly Lump-Faces vs. Lumpy Ugg-Faces
• Shouty Picard's Head-Grabber
• Meaty Skellington Dead-Zapper
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Troi's Awkward threesome with 'The Anarchy of Lust'
• Geordi's replacement eyeball service
• O'Brien Scene . . . but not heard
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Gulftastic on June 19, 2021, 04:05:32 PM
Quote from: mothman on June 18, 2021, 01:48:42 PM
Joe Piscopo's non-career was a running joke in early Simpson's flashback episodes.

He's in the film that made Goodfellas be called Goodfellas instead of Wiseguys.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on June 19, 2021, 06:42:49 PM
Quote from: Gulftastic on June 19, 2021, 04:05:32 PM
He's in the film that made Goodfellas be called Goodfellas instead of Wiseguys.
I want to watch that movie again now.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 19, 2021, 07:44:43 PM
Quote from: Zetetic on June 19, 2021, 10:49:51 AM
With notable exceptions, their agency is generally pretty limited and "understanding that they exist within [a fictional setting]" is something that characters do in all sorts of media.

This is why my head-canon happily supports the idea that they are - in some sense - marionettes, in a way that Data and Moriarty are not.

What led the crew to conclude that Moriarty had achieved "life" in a way that other holograms hadn't? As far as I can tell, it was Moriarty's knowledge that he was programmed as a fictional character, his comprehension of the holodeck and the existence of the Enterprise outside it, and his request to be kept alive. But the gangsters do virtually the same exact thing, only rather than being saved into the computer they end up accidentally killing themselves by walking off the holodeck. The only other difference I can think of is that Moriarty had access to the computer and was fucking about with the ship's systems outside the holodeck, but given that he's given computer access immediately after being spawned, that's presumably part of his program in the same way that Minuet was programmed to be able to tamper with communications to keep Picard and Riker in the holodeck during the Binar hijacking.

Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on June 19, 2021, 11:53:25 AM
I dunno, people seem to be treating the issue of why is Data a person and the NPCs in the holodeck aren't as some logical inconsistency on the part of the writers, and I still think that within the actual Star Trek universe, the inconsistency is the point. Like, there really aren't that many examples of androids across the series and films, and apparently until Picard the Federation has no way/desire to mass-produce even sub-sentient robots. It makes sense to me that it's this weird grey area that nobody thought about on a philosophical/legal/ "human" rights level because there just weren't that many robots around and because holograms started out as videogame characters.

It's an interesting angle if that is the case, but my (possibly uncharitable) impression of the way TNG handles these questions is that it usually winds up as "Data is alive just because we say he is/we want him to be, other AIs are not just because we say they're not/we don't want them to be". I'll definitely keep an eye out throughout the rewatch for how the writers handle these issues whenever they arise though.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on June 19, 2021, 10:03:41 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 19, 2021, 07:44:43 PM
It's an interesting angle if that is the case, but my (possibly uncharitable) impression of the way TNG handles these questions is that it usually winds up as "Data is alive just because we say he is/we want him to be, other AIs are not just because we say they're not/we don't want them to be". I'll definitely keep an eye out throughout the rewatch for how the writers handle these issues whenever they arise though.
Look, out of universe, I agree. The writers didn't think it through very much, not really even in Voyager. But somebody somewhere did make the following decisions:
1) Robots were not going to be A Thing in Star Trek the way they are in, say, Star Wars
2) Data was unique (sort of) and Very Hard To Make, to the point where he was unable to recreate the process himself without it resulting in catastrophic failure
3) Holograms are basically videogame NPCs
4) Except for the EMH who gradually develops his own personality through being left on all the time

Thus there's room for a fan interpretation that the issue of mechanical/artificial/holographic sentience won't be properly explored and considered till the mid? late? 24th century, owing in part to the fact that there aren't that many robots at all and holograms started out as videogames. Not everything needs to be spelled out and wrapped up neatly with no loose ends, especially in a franchise that spans 9 series, 13 movies and 55 years.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 20, 2021, 12:04:48 AM
There are many occasions when the EMH interacts with the Voyager main computer. And of course he can be downloaded to run in the mobile emitter, or transmitted to the Prometheus (or, later, even the Sol system). And he runs on different hardware - the holodeck and sickbay emitters. Only question is where his processing power comes from, I guess. And, it makes sense for an emergency program to be independent from main systems; think those real-world emergency lights that come on when there's a power cut or a fire alarm.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 21, 2021, 12:05:13 AM
S02E06 - The Schizoid Man

After responding to a distress call from a dying scientist, Data begins to act strangely.

- Star Trek legend Suzie Plakson!

- NEAR-WARP TRANSPORT, which apparently causes you to get stuck in a wall for a few seconds. Why does this even happen? It's presented as high-risk, it apparently causes you to exist inside a fucking wall, and it never comes up again after this. The Enterprise drops out of warp to do it anyway, so they risked the away team's lives to shave like five seconds off the journey.

- Ira Graves starts being unbearable one second after he enters. After hassling Selar, he turns to Troi. "Another lovely specimen of womanhood," he says. "I thought you didn't like people," she responds. "Women aren't people. They're women." Christ. Red flag in human form.

- Graves has a fatal illness and will die soon, thank god.

- Troi detects that Graves is attracted to Kareen, a young woman who Graves has known since she was an orphan marooned on Gravesworld (actual name of the planet) as a small child. Her father died, and, unless I'm misreading the script, Graves was therefore the only adult figure in her life. Oh god. She's also said to be a (planetary) shut-in who receives all her information on the outside world directly from Graves, and has done her whole life. Great!

- Graves tells Data that he's planning to upload his consciousness into a computer to avoid death. Five seconds later, Data comes in to the others and, in a weird voice, announces that Graves is dead. Prepare yourself for The Lore Situation: Round 2.

- Graves is shit at imitating Data. Picard shows Kareen the bridge, and GravesData immediately flips out in a jealous fit that someone is stood within a one meter radius of her. More red flags than the CCP.

- "She does not care for... men of limited intellect." [camera cuts to close-up of Riker]

- What the fuck is going on with the psychiatric test they make GravesData take? Close-ups of Picard, Remmick[nb]speaking of Remmick, I forgot to tally the kills inflicted by the Enterprise crew during "Conspiracy", partly because it's not clear how many people - including the countless parasites - they killed[/nb], Geordi without the visor, stock footage of a baby crying, Tasha's funeral...

- GravesData reveals the truth to Kareen, and says he's going to put her in a robot body too. She refuses, and he grabs her hand and starts crushing it, giving her multiple fractures, just to remove any doubt you might have had that this guy should not be anywhere near this kid.

- Kareen is a Terminator or something because all she does in response to having the bones in her hand crushed and broken is say "Ira, you're hurting me".

- Another Picard speech to end on, but like so many in TNG (and Star Trek in general, I suppose), it's just Picard reciting truisms at a strawman opponent you can't possibly agree with. Picard's argument is that Data is alive and deserves to live (which, from an in-universe perspective, the show has already repeatedly told us is fact), Graves is that he isn't and that he doesn't. There's no way to agree with Graves because he's factually wrong in-universe and his argument just exists so you can nod wisely at Picard repeating back to you what you already know. Graves isn't sympathetic enough in any way that you can feel any kind of empathy for him here either. Feels like they shoved this whole brief sequence in just because the episode would have been completely shallow without some kind of Picard quotes for people to take out of context and stick on a motivational poster.

- (https://i.imgur.com/8eqPYP9.gif)

- Graves decides to leave Data and put himself in the computer instead, after beating up like 50 people. Problem solved.

- Riker makes a good joke for the first and only time in his life, but everyone blanks him. Sad!

Not a fan of this one - I normally rate Spiner highly as a performer but his performances as hijacked-Data never really come off for me. The Lore hijacking was terrible and this isn't much better. To be fair to him, GravesData is a fucking impossible role to play, especially with some of the terrible dialogue he gets given.

Graves is just so utterly unpleasant that there's no joy in watching him hijack Data, which is a shame because the entire episode is just watching him go around in Data's body being a prat. His only character traits are egotism (which is probably his only endearing trait), being a jealous/posessive/ultimately violent shithead towards Kareen, and being a sex pest in a way that keeps veering into outright misogyny. The show focuses on the latter two elements of his character, which makes him tedious as fuck to watch.

In terms of the plot's structure, it's just another "someone's been bodysnatched, the viewer knows immediately, and we're going to spend 30 minutes watching the crew slowly figure out what we already know" plot, the type that always pops up now and then in Star Trek and is almost never fun. 10 minutes to realise Data's acting weird, 10 minutes to argue over what exactly is causing him to act weird, 10 minutes to work out the actual issue. 3/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 21, 2021, 01:54:54 PM
I can't believe how much mileage this show gets out of the 'Here comes this arsehole...' plot. They're still doing it by Discovery. Cultures are for chumps, eccentric loners are where it's at.

Dr. Getin Graves might be the first character that does Bad Sexual Harassment, in contrast with the usual Good Sexual Harassment we get from roguish scamps/alien pests.

Quote from: Lemming on June 21, 2021, 12:05:13 AM
- NEAR-WARP TRANSPORT, which apparently causes you to get stuck in a wall for a few seconds. Why does this even happen? It's presented as high-risk, it apparently causes you to exist inside a fucking wall, and it never comes up again after this. The Enterprise drops out of warp to do it anyway, so they risked the away team's lives to shave like five seconds off the journey.

I'm amazed you managed to resist pointing out that it's Riker who suggests this maneuver, which I can only assume is in the 'POINTLESS GAMBLES' section of the Starfleet field manual. Riker also only informs the away team of this decision right as they're about to beam out, leaving Troi visibly panicking at the suggestion. Great stuff.

(https://i.imgur.com/lUxiz6z.jpg)

Whyyyyyy, why is Graves dressed up like a medieval knight for his funeral? Did his will stipulate he wanted to be dropped into deep space? Did he plan to die on a spaceship? Well there he goes, tumbling into some pre-warp civilisation's atmosphere to wipe out a mountain range and be worshiped as a god. Prick.

This episode suffers for being a rubbish mystery that the crew solves very slowly. It's the worst episode of a Columbo.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 21, 2021, 02:09:52 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 21, 2021, 01:54:54 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/lUxiz6z.jpg)

Whyyyyyy, why is Graves dressed up like a medieval knight Keith Lemon for his funeral?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 21, 2021, 02:31:29 PM
031 | "The Schizoid Man"

(https://i.imgur.com/6ulUKGp.jpg)

Dr Jackass & Mr Died

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Beard-o Data
• Crabby Professor Grandpappy
• Data Funeral Waffle
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Pulaski's lift-door / floor-change - all in one unbroken shot!
• Ludicrous Near-Warp Transporter wall-death risk
• Space-junk coffin-pod hazzard
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 21, 2021, 02:57:58 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 21, 2021, 01:54:54 PM
Dr. Getin Graves might be the first character that does Bad Sexual Harassment, in contrast with the usual Good Sexual Harassment we get from roguish scamps/alien pests.

Although, with this production team/writers, you have to wonder if that's how they saw it?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ron Maels Moustache on June 21, 2021, 05:01:23 PM
The Graves part was written for Patrick McGoohan, hence the title referencing the Prisoner episode of the same name.

Although somehow doubt he could've brought any more dignity to such a shoddy script then William Morgan Sheppard could
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 21, 2021, 05:09:35 PM
Oooh McGoohan in Trek, that could have been awesome, but thank fuck not on that script.

Wonder if he would have been open to some heavy alien makeup. I reckon he'd have been a good Andorian.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 21, 2021, 11:30:11 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 21, 2021, 01:54:54 PM
I'm amazed you managed to resist pointing out that it's Riker who suggests this maneuver, which I can only assume is in the 'POINTLESS GAMBLES' section of the Starfleet field manual. Riker also only informs the away team of this decision right as they're about to beam out, leaving Troi visibly panicking at the suggestion. Great stuff.

Love that part, especially since Riker's normally so eager to lead every away team himself. But when his own idea of NEAR-WARP TRANSPORT comes into play, he's happy to stand well back, lean casually against the transporter, and watch as his pals are whisked off to potential wall-induced death. Bonus points for the transport cutting Troi off mid-sentence.

Troi panicking was an odd moment too, felt very out of character with her season one characterisation. I suppose someone had to start shitting their pants so we'd know the gravity of the NEAR-WARP TRANSPORT situation, and the only other candidates were an emotionless Vulcan, an emotionless android, and Worf, who probably just shat himself internally for honour's sake.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 22, 2021, 01:12:07 AM
S02E07 - Unnatural Selection

The Deadly Years 2: Die Harder

- Ghost ship, the Lantree, where all the crew died of being too old. Sounds familiar.

- Riker-esque stuff:
QuoteDARWIN STATION SCIENTIST: Doctor, we're experiencing the rapid onset of geriatric phenomena. The first symptom is sudden, acute arthritic inflammation. Then the aging process accelerates.
PULASKI (turning to Picard and Riker): The Lantree.
Whoa, no way, get outta town, no way could they be connected. Presumably she's just trying to make sure that Riker's keeping up.

- O'Brien named at last! Graduated from mere "transporter chief" to a full character!

- Genuinely could not tell you what's happening in the next few scenes. A "child" who's like 20 shows up encased in STASIS-PLASTIC. Pulaski says they have to let him out or he'll die, Picard says it's too risky so they'll just have to stand around for a bit, then they get mad at each other. Oh, I also like how Picard is immediately disgusted by genetic experimentation even when he has virtually no idea what it actually is, in this case - it's pretty in keeping with stuff I remember of his character in later seasons.

- Pulaski thinks she's not getting on well with Picard, so goes to Troi for help. Troi says Pulaski and Picard are clashing because they're too similar to each other. After Geordi solves everything, she goes back to Picard and they bristle with each other a bit again, before agreeing on the shuttlecraft solution. I really like this scene and the dynamic between Pulaski and Picard. Picard is forced to be less of a rules-bound dickhead, and Pulaski is forced to shut up and let Picard speak for a minute and acknowledge that he's in command for a reason, and both of them come away from the exchange better than they were before. It's especially good for the Picard character because virtually everyone else on the ship - especially Riker - will trip over themselves to fellate him whenever he exerts the smallest amount of authority, and he occasionally has a tendency to be nasty to people who don't immediately submit to him ("shut up, Wesley"), so having a character who he can't just blindly order around and won't back down to him is potentially very good for the show. I really wish she'd stayed - the writers sometimes try to have Bev stand up to Picard, especially on Prime Directive stuff, but too often she just comes across as a total flop weakling compared to Pulaski, IMO.

- That said, the episode tries to do way too much at once, especially in the latter half where Picard and Pulaski seem to decide they're BFFs after Pulaski gets the virus - this relationship would probably be better developed bit by bit over the season, rather than just all shoved into episode seven.

- Pulaski contracts the SUPER AGING VIRUS. Can the Enterprise crew solve in 20 minutes what the world-class scientists who created the disease haven't been able to solve for days?

- Troi suggests bringing Data and Pulaski back to the ship.
QuoteTROI: Well, I suggest we beam them both back onto the ship. Commander Data is most likely immune and surely the biofilter will-
O'BRIEN: The transporter's biofilter won't protect us. The boy was transported twice already and still infected Doctor Pulaski.
Thanks O'Brien. Jesus, Troi, come on. Oh, and the very next line:
QuoteLAFORGE: Couldn't we adjust the biofilter? We could alter the filter to screen out whatever it is that's causing the disease.
PICARD: But we don't know what's causing the disease.
Christ, Geordi, get with it. Very few people are coming out of this briefing in a good light. Riker is wisely keeping his mouth shut throughout.

- SUBSPACE CAPTAIN'S PRIORITY CHANNEL

- Data and Pulaski visit Darwin Station to watch genetically engineered 12 year olds play chess with their minds. The kids have also been genetically engineered to have immune systems that attack viruses OUTSIDE THE BODY. They spew antibodies out that nuke everything in the air. This episode is great.

- Picard's been sad ever since Pulaski left. While talking to her old captain, he learns that she absolutely insisted on joining the Enterprise crew, and has been an admirer of Picard's for some time.

- Why does old age makeup always look so bad? The Old-Pulaski makeup is better than the old Uhura makeup from 20 years earlier, which made her look like a zombie in an anime wig, (https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/2/21/Uhura%27s_fear_of_being_old.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130511154124&path-prefix=en) but it's still really bad.

- Picard's getting frantic about saving Pulaski, since she's suddenly his new best pal. He pulls something out of his arse about using Pulaski's DNA to make a new transporter filter. O'Brien decides that yeah, that probably makes sense, and starts rewiring half the ship to make it happen. Meanwhile, Riker is put in charge of finding a sample of Pulaski's DNA to work with. This consists of him rushing into her quarters, panicking, and saying "ANYTHING, ANYTHING, HAIR" while knocking on the wall for some reason. Luckily, Data's there too, and suggests checking her hairbrush.

- Picard heroically offers to perform the transport to let O'Brien out of doing it, since the transporter technique he came up with five minutes ago has a high chance of just turning Pulaski into giblets. Heroic intent aside, Picard fucks it sideways and O'Brien has to fix everything anyway.

Even putting aside the fact that TOS already did it, it's a really rote plot with a solution that Picard quite literally just guesses at the last minute. So it's in similar territory to "The Child" - not a strong story, but fun to watch. There's a big focus on the Picard and Pulaski relationship, and she's also teamed up with Data, which is always cool even though not much is made of it here. 5/10, maybe a bit closer to 4/10, but the five Picard heads make me laugh. Plus, it's O'Brien's first full-fledged episode, which has to be worth a point.

(https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 22, 2021, 10:44:22 AM
Ah the episode where they stumble upon the secret of eternal youth, and then never mention it again. A classic.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 22, 2021, 02:56:51 PM
032 | "Unnatural Selection"

(https://i.imgur.com/7UMPEFX.jpg)

Help The Aged

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Creaky Codgers in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!
• Pulaski Pube Hunt
• Legend O'Brien saves the day!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Star station India medical "curry-er" (!)
• "Staah-sis"?
• Ooh - floaty space-chess!
• Wot, no Pualski hug for O'Brien? He saved your frigging life!!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 22, 2021, 05:37:04 PM
Quote from: daf on June 22, 2021, 02:56:51 PM
• Legend O'Brien saves the day!

But of course he does.

(https://www.startrek.com/sites/default/files/images/2020-08/screen_shot_2020-08-20_at_9.49.37_am.png)

O ye of little (i')faith (and begorrah).
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on June 22, 2021, 07:58:40 PM
I don't have much to add, but I really must reiterate just how much I'm loving these write-ups.  They're a highlight of my day, and I'm not looking forward to when I'm going to have to drop out of my daily fix as you overtake my own weekly rewatch. :-)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: kalowski on June 22, 2021, 09:03:32 PM
Quote from: Ambient Sheep on June 22, 2021, 07:58:40 PM
I don't have much to add, but I really must reiterate just how much I'm loving these write-ups.  They're a highlight of my day, and I'm not looking forward to when I'm going to have to drop out of my daily fix as you overtake my own weekly rewatch. :-)
Really accelerating towards me too. The kids and I are paused at the moment due to the Euros (we're near the end of season 4 - The Drumhead) so I think we'll be caught soon.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 23, 2021, 06:05:59 AM
S02E08 - A Matter of Honor

As part of an exchange program, Riker is sent over to a Klingon ship.

- A Benzite transfers to the Enterprise. Riker tells him to attend the "indoctrination session" in 15 minutes. Spooky.

- It's time for some exchange program fun with the Klingons! The Enterprise will be sending... Riker. Oh god.

- Riker bones up with Worf beforehand (phwoar) and learns that he might be expected to assassinate the Klingon captain. He also eats GAGH. Worf gives him an EMERGENCY TRANSPONDER in case of any bullshit.

- The Benzite guy walks around pointing out how much the Enterprise sucks shit, and how to make it better. He also notices some weird shit on the Klingon ship, which is only visible on his console for some reason.

- Dirty Pair reference! Been watching for them all season, finally caught one! Here's Kei and Yuri:
(https://i.imgur.com/a6hrYWk.png)

- Benzite guy tries to bring his white-hot suggestions to Picard, and Prickard fobs him off by telling him to go through the chain of command. I guess only a select honoured few like Wesley are allowed to bypass this procedure.

- Riker meets his new friends. The captain suggests that Riker may have his loyalties tested in battle at some point. Of course, no such thing is likely to happen. That'd be crazy, if like 30 minutes from now, the exact freak hypothetical scenario the captain was talking about actually happened. That'd be a wild, million-to-one chance.

- Worf picks up the Klingon-hull-virus, and Picard has a mini-go at the Benzite for not reporting it, which he didn't do because that's not the way it's done on Benzite ships. How shit was the "indoctrination" he had to attend? They clearly didn't tell him shit!

- Riker has lunch with the Klingon crew. They haze him by making him put GAGH in his mouth and making sexual jokes at his expense. There's a good attempt here to flesh Klingons out a bit more than they have been so far, especially when the guy talks about how much his father sucks.

- The Klingon captain (I never got his name) calls Riker to the bridge to give him hell over the virus on the hull, which he claims is a bioweapon sent by the Enterprise. He orders an intercept course to attack the Enterprise! My god, Riker's loyalties are about to be tested in battle, much like in the earlier completely hypothetical scenario they were discussing!

- Wesley successfully smooths things over with the Benzite officer, since Picard himself left such a bad impression. Meanwhile, Klag, Riker's cool new Klingon buddy, comes to bat for him by saying he believes that Riker knew nothing about the hull virus.

- Riker refuses to turn THE SECRETS OF THE ENTERPRISE over to the Klingon captain. Everyone's well impressed, and Riker is given the honour of getting the chance to die like a Klingon.

- The captain keeps acting like a mega-lunatic and, for some reason, tells Riker that he must be the one to give the order to fire on the Enterprise. Riker gets out Worf's EMERGENCY TRANSPONDER, and the dumbass captain grabs it and gets beamed onto the Enterprise, lol. Riker's in command of the Klingon ship now.

- Picard hails the Klingon ship and Riker's stupid face comes on the viewscreen. "Enterprise, this is Captain William Riker of the Klingon vessel Pagh. I order you to lower your shields and surrender." This would be such a lovely satisfying moment if it was anyone other than fucking Riker. Couldn't they have sent like Geordi or Troi or someone like that. Seriously though, great ending.

So what's going on? Is this an alternate universe featuring Ace Riker? Did Riker just wake up feeling really good today and manage to pull this one off? Here's my fan theory:
We know from "Coming of Age" that Starfleet loves to spring unannounced psychological tests on people by simulating real-life nightmare scenarios. I believe Picard and the Klingon captain got together beforehand and agreed to set up such a test. This is why Picard nudges Riker into volunteering to be the one to go over, and why it's all seemingly arranged so abruptly. The virus situation is also part of this test - the Klingon captain hopes to test his crew's loyalty, and Picard hopes to test the new arrival to the Enterprise. Watch the knowing looks Picard and the Klingon captain give each other when they first meet - they know what's up. They were talking just a couple hours ago, making the final last-minute arrangements.

Klag is kind of a loser, which is why the Klingon captain pairs him up with Riker. Will the virus/Enterprise situation bring out the best in the two weakest links of each respective ship as they team up to save the day, or will everything devolve into a spectacle of incompetence? This is what Picard and the Klingon captain sought to test.

This is why the Klingon captain is such a pantomime character who foreshadows everything that's going to happen before it's happened, to try and prime Riker for the big test, and to try and get Klag, his weakling of a first officer, to stand up to him. It's also why the Enterprise crew somehow fail to detect the virus on the Klingon ship until much later, and only the Benzite, who is being tested, can detect it at first.

Jokes aside, great episode, even if Riker's competence and social skills are laughably out of character. Klingons continue their journey into being space vikings who sit around drinking blood wine, punching each other, and doing the "ahaaaaa" laugh that Tom Baker does in Blackadder, but they're given more detail and depth here than they have been in any previous TNG episode, especially via Klag. Things move forward at a great TOS-like pace, which is a pretty amazing change from most episodes so far. The plot is clever and exciting, even if all the pieces of the virus-misinterpreted-as-attack-during-exchange-program saga line up so absurdly perfectly (and in such a way as to test the prowess of the exchange officers involved), apparently by pure coincidence, that I'm starting to believe my joke fan theory over the actual episode.

I also love how eager Riker is to go to the Klingon ship, just "because nobody's ever done it before". 8/10

(https://i.imgur.com/ixhj4Sw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Camp Tramp on June 23, 2021, 09:24:27 AM
Captain Kargan was portrayed by Christopher Collins, who will reappear as another character later on this season,

He also voiced Starscream and Cobra Commander.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 23, 2021, 10:14:40 AM
Klingons are dumb as shit, they should have been conquered by the Romulans centuries ago. Even the Ferengi have a more credible society in the TNG era.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 23, 2021, 04:02:54 PM
033 | "A Matter of Honor"

(https://i.imgur.com/siSfAEi.jpg)

Red Light at Night, Klingon Big Fight

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Picard & Riker's Zappy game
• Riker's Double-Klingon Shag Peril
• Foul Klingon Nosh-up
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Exchange Students in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!
• Racist Wesley : "All you Benzites look the same!"
• Fungus Hull Hole
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 23, 2021, 05:43:00 PM
Good fun and some desperately needed positive characterisation for Riker. Is this the first time he's actually got an episode to himself? Poor Frakes.

Picard's really struggling to sit still this week. He comes to the bridge to get face time with the Klingon captain, then leaves before the ad break only to come back moments later in order to make a course change and fuck straight off to the Observation Lounge. You want to actually captain the ship you're captain of, maybe?

...

Jesus, he's at it again! He's just ordered Modok to scan the space rust and then bumbled off to the turbolift. Where is he going? COME BACK! It's like they thought having him storm out of every scene would make the story more exciting.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 23, 2021, 05:44:49 PM
Also, I'd love to meet someone who really despises this episode. "Aww this dead fun story's well shit."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 24, 2021, 12:17:52 AM
S02E09 - The Measure of a Man

A roboticist tries to claim Data as property, forcing Picard into a legal battle to determine Data's legal personhood.

- Poker game time! O'Brien's been invited! He's in the inner circle!

- Picard meets Phillipa Louvois, a former love interest, who'll be acting as the judge in the imminent Data case. Her inclusion in the episode is a bit weird, and just makes Picard act whiny a few times. I'm not sure if it was meant to be a callback to the situation with the prosecution lawyer in TOS' "Court Martial" or what. She prosecuted him over the Stargazer in the past, and he's still mad about it, and makes a mini-scene in the cafe they're hanging out in.

- Bruce Maddox arrives, best known for hiding out on gangster-planet Freecloud and being agonisingly killed via organ shutdown to protect the secret of the AI demigods in the beloved fan-favourite smash-hit TV series "Star Trek: Picard".

- Worth bringing up now, since Data gets pissy at Maddox while he's packing his stuff - in the first two seasons, Data seems to be written more akin to a Vulcan than anything else - clearly "alive" and clearly capable of feeling emotion, offence, etc, but stilted in his responses and uncomprehending of social codes. I think season three is where they start to softly retcon a lot of that, and start writing him (at least some of the time) as genuinely emotionless and less obviously "alive", which I think makes for a far better character.

- Patrick Stewart saying the word "gobbeldygook" is my favourite part of the episode.

- Data says he's read every book on poker, which is why he didn't know what bluffing was 10 minutes ago.

- Maddox: "You are endowing Data with human characteristics because it looks human. But it is not. If it were a box on wheels, I would not be facing this opposition." He even brings up the Enterprise computer. Given everything we were talking about on previous pages with regards to holograms and the Enterprise computer, I think this is one of the most interesting lines in the episode. Shame Maddox doesn't bring any of this shit up in the actual court.

- "The Acts of Cumberland", apparently some kind of laws regarding AI rights, were passed in the early 21st century apparently. Clock is ticking.

- Data - despite being a registered Starfleet officer, who's service record already established him as a sentient lifeform according to "Where Silence Has Lease" - has just been redeclared legal property of Starfleet. Picard's going to challenge this. You're not gonna believe this - legally, he himself has to be the defence, and fucking Riker has to be the prosecution. What??? Conflict of interest? Bonus: if Riker refuses, there's no trial at all, and Data is immediately declared property. Eh?

- Riker prepares for the case by pulling up a diagram of Data. He nods and smiles, having apparently found the silver bullet for his case, then looks sad, realising the implications. MICRO-ACTING

- The hand things from "Court Martial" are back where you touch it and it announces to everyone in the room how wicked-sick you are.

- Here we go: Riker's case is as follows:
Quote- Quoting the dictionary definition of android.
   - Pointing out that Data was built by a human.
   - Pointing out that Data has a good memory and is good at calculating numbers.
   - Making Data bend a steel bar to show that he's strong.
   - Taking off Data's hand.
   - Demonstrating that Data has an off switch.
The fuck did any of that have to do with anything? Picard is on the ropes, because the script says he has to be for drama's sake, and he confesses to Guinan that Riker's case was "devastating". No it wasn't! It was shit! He barely even discussed the fucking sentience issue! Bending steel bars, what the hell?

- Guinan suggests that Maddox's end goal will create a slave race, of sentient creatures who have no rights, are considered property, and who you can manipulate and dispose of at will without wondering about the morals behind it like with the holodeck, or Starship computers.

- Picard finds what Guinan said to be incredibly illuminating, even though she just repeated his own beliefs back to him, to make a point that relied on him already believing Data was sentient. He's ready to rock, and heads off to deliver his shit-kicker of a defence case.

- Picard's case:
Quote- Everything Riker said was true but isn't relevant. Yeah, no shit. The episode wasted like 10 minutes by pretending Riker was ever doing anything other than talking bollocks.
   - Data is capable of expressing sentimental value towards objects.
   - Data stuck his robo-cock up Tasha when they were both out of it on space-virus.
In other words, Picard repeats back to everyone what they already knew. Maddox starts to waver, even though nothing Picard brings up here should change Maddox's views in any way - Maddox believes that Data is simulating sentience, so of course he'd be able to simulate emotions and verbalise them. Just like Riker's non-prosecution, it's more dumb theatrics to avoid engaging with the main issue - Riker goes for "look! he can't be alive because his arm comes off, eurrgh, isn't that weird?" while Picard goes for "look! he's probably alive because he says he is, and he had sex once! aww!" Both cases are a load of CRAP

- Picard asks Maddox to prove that he (Picard) is sentient, and explain why. Data passes two of Maddox's hilariously-easy-to-pass criteria for sentience - he can learn and adapt to new knowledge (like holodeck characters and other AI, including real-world AI today), and he is capable of describing his present situation and referring to himself as "myself" (like holodeck characters and other AI, including real-world AI today). Maddox is on the ropes, because he's never thought about any of these beginner-level questions before, despite it apparently being his life's work.

- The killing blow: Picard says that if Maddox makes loads of Datas, it will become a RACE like holodeck characters and other AI. Despite that fact that Picard has literally just repeated Maddox's original plan back to him, Maddox is suddenly bricking it - Picard's DESTROYING him with facts and logic! He starts gibbering and panicking because he's getting owned so hard!

- Maddox's uselessness is especially annoying given that he brought up the Enterprise computer before - he must have already thought about all these issues, but there's five minutes left and we need Picard to win, so let's just have his opposition be reduced to a flustered stammering wreck so we can wrap this one up. The episode never addresses the elephant in the room of why Data is meant to be considered different from other AI we've seen that display these same properties in far more convincing ways, and Maddox never brings these points up, because the script needs him to lose the argument so the episode can conclude, and it'd be inconvenient to the show's status quo to have him raise any arguments that'd take any amount of actual effort for Picard to respond to.

I hate that I don't like this episode, because everyone else universally seems to celebrate it as a turning point for TNG, and it's Top-10 material for a lot of people. I don't think I've ever seen a review of it that hasn't been full of praise. Every time I watch it, I try to like it, but every time it seems like nonsense - it's got the pace and structure of a courtroom drama, but almost nothing anyone says in the courtroom makes any sense to me. We can all agree, at least, that Riker's entire case is gibberish that doesn't engage with the issue at all, right? Yet the script presents it as "devastating" because this is a courtroom drama and our hero, Picard, needs to be on the back foot at some point so he can have his heroic turnaround, because that's what happens in courtroom dramas, even if the case he's up against is absolute horseshit. Maddox needs to become a nervous wreck as his case falls apart, because that's what happens in courtroom dramas, even if nothing Maddox believes has actually been convincingly challenged.

The episode isn't interested in engaging with the questions that it raises as the core of the whole story, because again, the writers of TNG decided right from the off that Data is definitely alive, and we the audience have already been told to accept that as fact by having it repeatedly said and demonstrated to us as fact over and over again. There's no debate to be had here because there's no way to really take anything Maddox says seriously, because he's wrong in-universe, and we know he's wrong, and the script considers him to be wrong. The episode never seriously entertains the idea that there's even a chance Maddox might be right in saying that Data is simulating sentience in the exact same way holograms do. He's not even allowed to express his argument in such terms, because he's written to be a naff strawman for Picard to knock down by raising his voice at him. The non-sentient argument is reduced to Riker's useless "eww his hand comes off!" crap.

Having Data's sentience be a foregone conclusion wouldn't be a problem, of course, if the big courtroom debate was in any way thought-provoking and Picard and Maddox seriously challenged each other's positions, but Riker's prosecution on behalf of Maddox is absolutely laughable, Maddox himself is apparently stupid, and Picard's own defence isn't much better than Riker's case. So the episode is just a 45-minute exercise in having Picard badly argue in favour of something that's already been established, with no real resistance or counterarguments put against him. Maddox is forbidden by the script from raising any solid points when the trial starts, nor is he allowed to point out the hypocrisy with holograms and other AI, because if he did so, it'd reveal Picard's (and TNG's) position for what it actually is - "i like Data and it benefits me to believe he's alive, but it inconveniences me to apply the same logic to other, equally/more capable AI, so I choose to believe they're not alive, and I'd like this enshrined into law".

Given that it's fact that Data is alive in-universe, they might as well have done the exact same simple, straightforward story with another member of the crew. Visit a planet where Betazoids are considered non-sentient or some mad shit. Is Troi alive? Well, Riker can knock her out with a crowbar to the head. Devastating case.

It just seems like another "Picard uses pithy quotes to vanquish a boring strawman who never gets to defend himself/herself" episode. Same kind of thing as "The Drumhead", although it's much less blunt than that episode, at least. 4/10 since it's at least well-paced and structured, in a way that most of these early episodes aren't, and it tries for some decent character work, especially with Riker.

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)

You can kill me with pitchforks and torches now if you like. In my defence, I think this is the only extremely controversial TNG opinion I have. Other than this, I really like the much-hated "Night Terrors" and I think "The Best of Both Worlds" and "The Inner Light" are decent but not great, but those don't seem ultra-contentious views to hold, so it should be relatively smooth sailing from here onwards. Let's hope we can all reunite over the next episode, a Wesley Crusher classic!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 24, 2021, 01:55:48 AM
Another thing on these AI debates in film/TV is how the supposed AI expert seems to be completely oblivious the the idea that these systems could be 'sentient'.

The mawkfest that was Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence had the boss of that robot company waffling on in a lecture but never seeming to join the dots. If you work in this field, you ARE going to be, at the least, aware of the potential, if not downright excited by it. You would not blithely ignore it.

In Maddox's case, if he doesn't care about Data as a 'person', then why not just stick to the standard computing systems, which as we know, can do pretty much anything you'd need already?

Anyway, here's YouTube lawyer LegalEagle's take on the episode (he likes it, buy a suit):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVjeYW6S8Mo
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 24, 2021, 08:42:52 AM
Reminds me of that line about how actors like courtroom scenes because they get to show their (apparent) acting chops and producers like them because they're cheap (lots of stuff in a single set).

If I took anything from this episode when I first watched it all those years ago, it's that incredibly awkward - at least it seemed to me - bit where the Admiral calls Picard "a damn sexy man".
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 24, 2021, 09:14:00 AM
"Objection! There are many beings possessed of mega strength!" - Patrick Stewart wonders whether it's too late to hop on a plane back to the RSC
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on June 24, 2021, 10:48:58 AM
I think a lot of the stuff about holograms can be forgiven if you remember the Moriarty had only just aired. Other holodeck characters can be seen as having elaborate but essentially pre-written responses and the computer is entirely reactive. It's only later on in Trek that Data's unique "manufactured life" status looks a bit shonky.

Yeah, the case itself doesn't make much sense. But it's still more thoughtful than most TNG episodes have been up to this point (I think).

I wonder if this suffers a bit because the question basically gets revisited a fair few times, so watching it now it looks a bit basic.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 24, 2021, 02:10:01 PM
034 | "The Measure of a Man"

(https://i.imgur.com/Pl4M1uR.jpg)

Judge, Judy and Executioner

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Red Hot Poker #1
• Picard's former Louvois interest
• Evil Maddox : BOO! HISS!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Crown Court in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!
• Tasha 'intimate' Holo-statue : regular robo-knobbing confirmed!
• Guinan's half-time magic-sponge
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/ixhj4Sw.png)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The blu-ray set also featured the original 57 minute cut (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/The_Measure_Of_A_Man_(episode)#Extended_edition) of this story - which I also gave a spin :

The cut bits tend to feature the rest of the cast a bit more. I particularly liked the scene in engineering where Data presents Geordi with the Sherlock pipe, and their 'goodbye' chat later at the leaving party.

The party runs on much longer after the wrapping paper gag - starting off with a Pulaski pep-talk, followed by the Geordi and Data scene, a Riker and Troi chat, and finally Maddox gate-crashing and having his arse escorted out of there after making a few jibes that Data could get a post-Starfleet job at a freak-show.

(https://i.imgur.com/H99qrJf.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/FRVTLdh.jpg)

Two new scenes feature Picard - one where he's doing some fencing practice, and Riker comes in to tell him he intends to win the case*; and another 'off-duty' evening one in their quarters, where he probes Data for personal information. 

(https://i.imgur.com/SWFDFJe.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/nQ7rNih.jpg)

There's also a bit where Picard has a Zoom call with Admiral Nakamura, and a few other scenes run a bit longer (the poker game at the start, Riker and Data at the end), but it's all good stuff - and the extra 13 minutes flesh the episode out, rather than dilute it. This is the version I'll be watching from now on - a solid 9/10

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
* [Riker was originally meant to be his fencing opponent here, but got replaced - probably due to Frakes not wanting to look like a stumbling bumbling potato next to Stewart's expert stage-trained swordsmanship]
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on June 24, 2021, 02:23:28 PM
Riker turning Data off should have ended the trial there and then, really.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 24, 2021, 02:25:25 PM
I like the actual courtroom scenes more than you, Lemming, but I do have problems with the setup.

Maddox contends that Data refusing to co-operate with his experiments is the same as the Enterprise's main computer refusing a re-fit. This is obviously bollocks and should've immediately been dismissed as such. Aside from the blatant difference in sentience between the Enterprise's computer and Data, which would make the computer incapable of refusing to do anything, the computer was built by Starfleet for the express purpose of being the Enterprise's computer. Of course it's Starfleet property. It didn't rock up one day, having made a conscious decision and ask to join the Academy and be accepted into Starfleet. Whereas Data wasn't built by Starfleet and did ask to join the Academy, and was permitted to do so. And we know that this wasn't a simple box checking excercise as Maddox objected to it.

Presumably the "Acts of Cumberland" Louvois refers to didn't legislate for the possible existence of androids of Data's level of advancement, fair enough. But Starfleet have already set a precedent that Data is, at the very least, entitled to make his own decisions 20+ years ago by allowing him to join the Academy like any other sentient being. Any attempt to change their tack now should've collapsed instantly under legal challenge.

Secondly, Louvois says she alone can hear the matter, with Picard and Riker as respective counsel for prosecution and defense. So that's a single JAG officer, with two people who are not professional counsel[nb]Whatever the in-universe merits and abilities of Picard and Riker, they have to be significantly deficient in their legal knowledge and ability to determine and challenge relevant legislation and precedence vs. an actual practicing lawyer. They're not qualified to act as counsel for either prosecution or defence. Not to mention Louvois' threat to Riker saying she'd rule summarily if he doesn't do his job as well as he can. How could she possibly know how good a prosecutor Will Riker is or isn't? What if he had just been incompetent and she'd decided he wasn't trying? What if Picard had been incompetent? A billion things wrong with this.[/nb], determining whether a serving Starfleet officer[nb]I don't think it's ever disputed that Data is a serving Starfleet Officer, whether he's a sentient lifeform or a toaster[/nb] is alive. This is done simply because the Starbase doesn't have enough staff yet. And if they don't play along Louvois will rule summarily. This is absolutely insane. For this to be anything other than a massive and illegal over-reach of Louvois' authority, whatever combination of Federation law and Starfleet procedure applies here must be completely batshit. It'd be like a district court judge dealing with a murder without any lawyers representing either side. Any decision would be tied up in appeals forever because of how defective the process was for something so serious.

I know it's a military organisation, but Spock's court-martial in TOS, where there's a far greater sense of being all alone on the frontier of space than in TNG, required three officers of captain rank or greater. (And it only proceeded there and then with the bare minimum cos Spock insisted it did) But dealing with whether Data is alive 100 years later when ships and communications are all a lot faster, doesn't?

If I were Picard, as soon as Louvois said that, I'd have secured Data aboard the Enterprise and then high-tailed it to the nearest Starfleet facility that has an appropriately staffed JAG office with multiple judges and actual proper counsel available to hear the matter of whether Data is alive. And then watched laughing as Louvois was demoted to Ensign for trying act illegally.

Final sidenote, as I mentioned in the Picard thread: Maddox must be a lot older than he looks in order to have been in a position to object to Data's entrance into the Academy.

I'd give the episode a 6.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on June 24, 2021, 04:53:25 PM
As I said on the last page I think you're all way too hung up on androids vs. holograms and I think you have to take the long view on this one, there are very few androids and holograms began as videogames etc. so I won't repeat myself. The courtroom shenanigans are quite insane and Legal Eagle's got a good video on this. I will say that I think Maddox has a point about people treating Data like he's alive because he looks like a human, and he wouldn't be encountering any opposition if Data was a box on wheels. But then again, if Data was a box on wheels he would probably have been built to carry out a handful of specific tasks and not be the culmination of a cyberneticist's life-long dream to create artificial life.

It's useful to look at this episode, the Moriarty episode, the Exocomps episode, the EMH, the Voyager episode where they find out EMHs are being mass-produced to do shitwork, and S1 of Picard as a continuum of how the Federation deals with emerging forms of artificial life.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on June 24, 2021, 10:06:00 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 24, 2021, 12:17:52 AM
S02E09 - The Measure of a Man

You can kill me with pitchforks and torches now if you like.

Absolutely not, I agree with pretty much everything you and Wonderful Butternut said, and much of it occurred to me on my recent rewatch too.  Just so many holes it's ridiculous.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 25, 2021, 07:20:54 PM
Happy to see I didn't get savaged over Measure of a Man, it seems to be held up as unassailable in a lot of circles.

S02E10 - The Dauphin

Wesley falls in love with an alien who is about to be forced into a lifelong role as a crucial political figure.

- Salia is just Wesley. Like she's literally just Wesley. Now we've got him in stereo. Hellish!

- Wes and Salia fall in love at first sight. Salia's opening pickup line: "that's a superconducting magnet, isn't it?" Absolutely white-hot stuff, you rock, Salia.

- Salia has also brought aboard a governess, Anya, who looks kind of like Auntie Mabel crossed with Jessica Fletcher. She will therefore be referred to as Auntie Fletcher from now on.

- Data points out that we're ferrying Salia to her destination without having a clue why. She's being taken to a planet where one half is constantly in night and the other is constantly in day, and the two sides have been at war for like a trillion years. Salia is, for some reason, going to become the leader, with the hopes of uniting both sides in peace.

- Salia has doubts about her ability to unite the planet. Auntie Fletcher, who has now transformed her physical appearance into a girl Salia's age, tells her to just live with it. Then she transforms into a hideous ape-bear creature, which Salia apparently finds comforting:

(https://www.thegoddessroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Star-Trek-The-Next-Generation-2x10-quotThe-Dauphinquot.jpg)

- Wesley has become functionally useless at everything because he's too in love with Salia. Geordi, who could not be any less qualified for this topic, tries to advise Wesley about romance. Poor fucking Wil Wheaton having to deliver some of this shit. "GEE GEORDI, SHE'S PERFECT!" Cringing inside out.

- (https://i.imgur.com/HXgPRMX.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/cPR6DLG.png)

- Wesley makes the critical error of asking Riker for help. Riker's advice is to talk like the bad guy in an educational sexual harassment film. Him and Guinan end up having what my grandma used to call "a moment", and Wesley wisely bails the fuck out.

- Auntie Fletcher roasts the shit out of Geordi for the absolutely risible state of Engineering, and then demands that Pulaski execute a patient to prevent him from spreading disease to Salia. She transforms into Bear-Ape Plus and beats the shit out of Worf for a laugh. A security man who looks like Grace Jones comes in and does absolutely nothing to help.

- Meanwhile, Wes shows Salia some cool places on the holodeck, which just makes her more upset that she's being forced into a political role against her will. Super high IQ child prodigy Wes is an uncomprehending idiot who just ignores her and keeps enthusing about how we've only charted 19% of the galaxy.

- Worf and Auntie Fletcher enthuse about security together, and get into a "who's better at security" dick-measuring contest. Worf insists that Salia is safe under his watch. Meanwhile, Salia is missing from her quarters, where Worf was ordered to keep her, having gone to Ten Forward with Wesley. She's despondent about her upcoming lifetime of HELL as planetary leader, so Wesley tells her to fuck the whole thing off and stay on board the Enterprise.

- Picard orders Wesley to stay away from Salia because he's shit-scared that Auntie Fletcher will come and beat him up otherwise. Meanwhile, Auntie Fletcher gives a similar order to Salia, saying she'll kick everyone's ass if Salia talks to Wesley again.

- Salia ignores this and goes to see Wesley anyway. They kiss, and Bear-Ape Plus shows up to tear him apart. Salia turns into a Bear-Ape Plus of her own to fight back. Wesley shits his pants.

- It's time for Salia to leave. Auntie Fletcher and Worf bond over how they are WORTHY OPPONENTS of each other. The HONOUR practically explodes out of the screen during this scene.

- Wesley's being a whiny turd because he's in a mood - he thinks Salia tricked him by actually being a shapeshifter. "I loved you!!! :(" he whines. Salia responds that she loves him too. "CAN YOU??!" he replies. He's written out of character here, I think - this isn't how people in Starfleet generally act, and it's definitely not how exploding galaxy brain Wes acts. But he's like 15 so you have to give him a break when it comes to being whingey.

- As Salia is about to beam away, Wesley rushes over to apologise and give her chocolate. Well, it was either gonna be that or the superconducting magnet. She turns into her real form, which is a neon light jelly thing. Wes thinks it's great.

- Later, Wesley is sat being emo at the bar, and Guinan homes in on him like a fucking rocket to stick her oar in and give him one of her Looks.
QuoteWESLEY: I'm never going to feel this way about anyone else.
GUINAN: You're right.
WESLEY: I didn't expect you to say that.
GUINAN: There'll be others, but every time you feel love it'll will be different. Every time, it's different.

Fun episode. The governess character is hilarious, just going around causing shit and laughing it up at how feeble the crew are. The main plot is solid, it's a very rare example of a 45-minute one-off romance just about working, probably because both people involved are teenagers (at least, I assume Salia is a teenage light-jelly creature) so you can overlook the fact that they fall in love in about 30 seconds. 6/10

(https://i.imgur.com/ps92bYU.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 25, 2021, 07:35:58 PM
My main takeaway from this was Guinan - who has been around for centuries and presumably hit on numerous times - is somehow impressed by Riker's attempts at flirting.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on June 25, 2021, 07:48:42 PM
Quote from: MojoJojo on June 24, 2021, 10:48:58 AM
I think a lot of the stuff about holograms can be forgiven if you remember the Moriarty had only just aired. Other holodeck characters can be seen as having elaborate but essentially pre-written responses and the computer is entirely reactive. It's only later on in Trek that Data's unique "manufactured life" status looks a bit shonky.

Yeah, the case itself doesn't make much sense. But it's still more thoughtful than most TNG episodes have been up to this point (I think).

I wonder if this suffers a bit because the question basically gets revisited a fair few times, so watching it now it looks a bit basic.

Yeah I felt that way rewatching it last year, at the time it did definitely represent TNG moving forward but I think there were both better episodes on Data's nature and courtroom episodes latter in the shows run.

I wouldn't say the audience having invested in Data as "alive" already hurts the episode though, I wouldn't say thats really what the drama is built around but rather whether that status can be subverted for material gain.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 25, 2021, 09:49:18 PM
035 | "The Dauphin"

(https://i.imgur.com/hMzqI7r.jpg)

She's Dauphine (doo-lang, doo-lang)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• The Scratchy Joy of Klingon Sex
• Bug-eyed Hairy Beastie
• Fingering the chocolate mousse
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Riker Leg-over Chair-vault #3 : Ten Forward
• Wesley's Erupting Glans
• Riker & Guinan's Cheesy Chat-up Improv
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 26, 2021, 12:37:56 PM
Never liked the story overall, but there's so many nice bits throughout.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 26, 2021, 12:56:54 PM
If it wasn't for this blood pact then I would have skipped it. I think I confused this with The Perfect Mate and kept expecting a story to happen.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 26, 2021, 01:19:58 PM
Love the out of context shot where Worf is about to backhand a little old lady until Picard orders him not to.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 26, 2021, 11:15:12 PM
S02E11 Contagion

While combating a computer virus that can destroy starships, the Enterprise is apprehended by Romulans.

- Another galaxy-class ship, the Yamato (again), has contracted a computer virus which is causing the lights to go funny. Not too bad, right? Oops, it exploded. That's well over a thousand people dead, including civilians and children since these things have nurseries on board. "Sensors indicate... no life readings, sir." (DARK SYNTH TWANG)

- Before he exploded, the captain (Donald Varley) of the Yamato told Picard that he was on the trail of the homeworld of the mythical Iconians, a powerful ancient spacefaring civilization. It's in the neutral zone, and the captain decided - independently - that the Romulans must not be allowed to get there first, because it would "give them an edge". Therefore, he took his ship into the Neutral Zone without permission, caught a computer virus, and exploded. Got to be amongst the Top 10 Starfleet captains in history, right up there with the likes of Ron Tracey.

- I have one positive thing to say about Riker, and it's another weird coincidental thing that can't have been intentional by so many different writers. He's actually good at dealing with Romulans. Here, when everyone except he and Troi are (wrongly) fretting that the Romulan ship destroyed the Yamato, Riker's the extremely uncharacteristic voice of reason in insisting that the scans were inconclusive and we can't jump to conclusions. Watch out for it throughout TNG - he saves the day big-time in this episode by helping the Romulans, he's the most ardent voice trying to convince Worf to save the Romulan in "The Enemy", etc.

- Varley's captains logs reveal him to be even more of a pillock, who went into the neutral zone against the protests of his crew.

- Picard learns his lesson from Varney's log, and decides to do the exact same thing by ordering the Enterprise further into the neutral zone to pick up where Varney left off.

- Wesley goes to Picard for an agonising history lesson about the Iconians. Apparently, they could appear out of thin air! "Sounds like magic!" says Wes, who travels using transporters regularly.

- The Enterprise starts experiencing systems failures in the same way the Yamato did. Clock is ticking to save the nursery!

- Best scene in TNG. A probe gets launched from Iconia which will destroy the Enterprise. Comms are down, so Geordi has to rush to the bridge in person, and gets absolutely fucking bodied by the turbolift. Love this shit. Raising the episode's score by a point just for this. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8dKbEzKuh8)

- Picard's leading the away team down to the planet. Riker's in command. Brace for hell.

- One second (like, literally) into Riker's command, a Romulan ship shows up and prepares to fire. They would be destroyed had the Romulan weapons not shut themselves down. "Fate," Riker says, satisfied. Cut to Troi looking extremely anxious. Riker yells at the tactical officer for things that are outside her control.

- But then, Riker's one redeeming quality - his inexplicably great diplomacy skills when dealing with Romulans - kicks in. "Perhaps their attempt to fire was unintentional," he reasons, suspecting the Rommies are also infected by the computer virus. Riker's true calling in life would be Federation diplomat to Romulus - he'd still find a way to fuck it up, but empathising and negotiating with Romulans is the one thing he's actually, genuinely good at.

- An Iconian probe approaches the Romulans. Riker quickly gives them instructions to destroy it, saving their ship and their lives. He's on a roll!

- Just to drive home that Riker's unusual skill with Romulans is his only area of competency, he orders shields be raised. Wesley points out that this will make it impossible to beam the away team back. Riker, who forgot this first-day-at-the-academy fact, looks around in a dumb panic, reverting to his usual state.

- Picard, Data and Worf enter a room straight out of a point and click adventure game, and start pressing shit at random. Meanwhile, Riker and Troi manage to get their heads together and come up with another properly good idea - get the entire ship ready for evacuation, not to actually evacuate, but just to keep everyone calm and occupied. Between "A Matter of Honor" and this, Riker's on fire!

- The away team opens an oblong that leads to all kinds of places, including never-before seen planets outside known space. Picard starts shitting his nappy that the Romulans could get hold of this. He also throws out all of established history because "standing on this soil, breathing this air" convinces him that the Iconians were not imperialist murderers, but a peaceful race of superhuman dreamers who were destroyed for being too nice.

- Data gets zapped which makes him start talking like a robot from a 50s movie. Picard orders Worf and Data to use the Iconian gateway to flee to the Enterprise while he stays behind to blow it up, because we can't let the dastardly Romulans get hold of it.

- Back on the Enterprise, Data dies, then revives. He has purged the Iconian virus from his system. Geordi realises the same technique can be used to save the Enterprise. The technique is to turn it off, wipe "the infected memory" from the hard drive, and turn it on again. I know this probably wouldn't sound as stupid to the average viewer in the late 1980s as it does today, but COME ON.

- Picard sets the Iconian base to blow up and leaps into the doorway to find himself on the soon-to-explode Romulan ship. He taunts the Romulans before teleporting out, and then, back on the Enterprise, tells the pilot to haul ass because the Romulans are about to blow up and die. What the fuck? What an arsehole! Luckily, Riker's here (there's a never-before-used sequence of words) and has the obvious idea to open communications to the Rommies and tell them how to stop the virus. It works, and the Romulans manage to shut down the virus, and both ships leave in peace.

Riker saved the day, saved countless lives, and averted war. Picard was written as a paranoid, borderline sabre-rattling knob throughout. Unbelievable. Alternate universe?

It's a pretty routine episode, but has quite a bit of early season one type humour ("thanks Data, I noticed"). But the main plot isn't anything to get excited about - the twist that the Iconians were peaceful has no impact because a) we don't know anything about the Iconians anyway and b) Picard pulls it out of his rectum based on nothing, so there's not much fun to be had in yet another "the crew visits the ruins of an advanced ancient people" plot. The Romulans don't really have much impact on anything, either, other than to make Picard look like a proper shithead at the end and to make Riker, astonishingly, look heroic. Outside of that, they're toothless - there will be no repercussions to two galaxy-class ships, including the flagship, entering the neutral zone and blowing up a crucial site on a planet within. Forgive and forget. 4/10

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)

And that does include the additional point I promised for the Geordi turbolift experience.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on June 26, 2021, 11:41:45 PM
First episode that (presumably unintentionally) hints at the Galaxy class being rather fragile white elephants. After the Yamato, there's the Odyssey in DS9, the Enterprise herself, and I'm fairly sure another is seen getting toasted in a later Dominion battle. All that and according to the original production notes suggest only six were built. They're basically the Jensen Interceptor of the fleet.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on June 27, 2021, 12:26:17 AM
Lockheed Starfighter?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 27, 2021, 12:57:08 AM
You never explicitly see another Galaxy being destroyed.

Quote from: Ex Astris ScientiaNumber of Galaxy-class ships
Gene Roddenberry once proposed that there should be no more than six starships of the Galaxy class (because he could not imagine that Starfleet would build more of these huge vessels). The TNG Technical Manual heeds this statement. According to the book only six of them were built at first, plus six additional spaceframes which remained incomplete as of 2368 - corresponding to the fifth season of TNG when the TNGTM was published. So far for the theory. In the very episodes of TNG, DS9 and Voyager, however, so many different ships were mentioned or were even seen at a time that it is difficult to maintain that there are twelve Galaxy-class ships altogether.

Until 2371, three of the six original ships were already lost: the USS Yamato NCC-71807 (registry as visible on Picard's monitor) in TNG: "Contagion", the USS Odyssey NCC-71832 in DS9: "The Jem'Hadar" and the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D in "Star Trek: Generations". With the USS Galaxy NCC-70637 as seen in the battle at Chin'toka in 2374 (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets") and listed in "Star Trek Nemesis" and the USS Challenger NCC-71099 as seen in VOY: "Timeless" two of the three remaining ships are already known. The Challenger most likely belongs to this first batch because the registry is lower than the Yamato's.

Apart from these the names of three more Galaxy-class ships are known. The USS Venture NCC-71854 arrived as a reinforcement in DS9: "The Way of the Warrior". It is interesting to note that the Venture is already a class variant, sporting additional structures, probably phaser strips, on the warp nacelles. The USS Magellan was mentioned as the lead ship of a group that could break through the Dominion lines in DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels", and a Galaxy-class vessel was shown - albeit stock footage from the above arrival of the Venture. The USS Trinculo NCC-71867 was not actually mentioned, but a studio miniature with this name and number was shown on exhibitions. It is absolutely possible that the so-labeled model was used in one or more DS9 episodes. Given the above ship appearances, it is quite obvious that at least most of the six remaining spaceframes must have been activated until 2374.

Several Dominion War episodes featured a large number of unnamed Galaxy-class ships on screen, most notably DS9: "Favor the Bold" and "Sacrifice of Angels" where several times three or four of them could be seen at the same time. In addition, two "Galaxy wings" were mentioned as subdivisions of the Starfleet forces. Finally, at least seven ships of the class were visible in VOY: "Endgame". Given these facts, it is not very likely that only twelve ships were built altogether, even if we go with the implausible assumption that each of the remaining nine ships participated in each of the major battles. Although it may have taken more than a decade to build the first twelve ships, there is no reason to believe that a once established design could not be built faster, such as in a six-year period from 2368 to 2374. Since the according section in the TNGTM describes the construction history of the class, it may be justified to presume that it was decided to eventually build more than twelve ships even prior to 2368. Actually, there seemed to be a Galaxy class under construction at Utopia Planitia and the outer hull largely completed in 2371 (VOY: "Relativity").

Another point favoring a higher number than twelve is that two Galaxy-class ships shown in DS9: "Favor the Bold" seem to have a darker neck than other ships of the class, which may be a sign of still another variant and hence another batch of vessels apart from the original six (including Galaxy, Yamato, Enterprise, Challenger, Odyssey) and the possibly mothballed spaceframes (including Venture and Magellan). Finally, although I firmly believe that much of the starship section in the DS9TM including the "kitbash" theory is wrong, the idea that new ships were commissioned with "only one third of their internal volume" filled makes sense in particular for the large Galaxy class. Omitting most of the science labs and crew quarters might shorten the building time considerably.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 27, 2021, 01:07:52 AM
I really like this one. It's action packed, has a good adventure plot and even has the first "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot"!

The opening doesn't fuck around establishing the stakes with the 'Starfleet's Cheeriest Man 2365', Captain Don Varley, condemning his entire crew to death 77 seconds after insisting a relief effort would be "premature". The Romulans turn up, make everyone shit themselves then go invisible, which is a perfect use of them. The episode even disguises the exposition in log entries and small talk with Wesley, which is cute and shows some uncommon consideration for the audience.

Yeah, I kind of love this one, even the hokey ending! I might even stretch to calling it a romp? Bleugh, maybe not.

Quote from: Lemming on June 26, 2021, 11:15:12 PM
- Best scene in TNG. A probe gets launched from Iconia which will destroy the Enterprise. Comms are down, so Geordi has to rush to the bridge in person, and gets absolutely fucking bodied by the turbolift. Love this shit. Raising the episode's score by a point just for this. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8dKbEzKuh8)

Just a beautiful bit of footage that. Every time the ship gets nudged in the future I want to see a reaction shot of a hapless Ensign getting bounced around a turbolift.

Quote from: Lemming on June 26, 2021, 11:15:12 PM
Between "A Matter of Honor" and this, Riker's on fire!

With his newfound competence/beard we might have to seriously consider the possibility that Riker had an Inner Light at some point and got his shit together in a time bubble or something.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 27, 2021, 01:19:19 AM
Quote from: the hum on June 26, 2021, 11:41:45 PM
First episode that (presumably unintentionally) hints at the Galaxy class being rather fragile white elephants. After the Yamato, there's the Odyssey in DS9, the Enterprise herself, and I'm fairly sure another is seen getting toasted in a later Dominion battle. All that and according to the original production notes suggest only six were built. They're basically the Jensen Interceptor of the fleet.

Definitely unintentional. Pretty much anything in dialogue implies they're very powerful.

The writers deliberately picked a Galaxy for the Odyssey because they wanted to make a big deal about how much they loved DS9 more than TNG and wanted to make their own baby series look better than the one they inherited from Gene how powerful the Jem'Hadar were. But in universe it was destroyed because it got rammed. Hardly suggests too fragile. The same Jem'Hadar cripple the Defiant in short order the following episode. And they don't need to ram it.

The manner in which the Ent - D was destroyed in Generations was indeed stupid[nb]Pay attention to how much ordinance the Enterprise can lay down 'The Survivors' or 'Best of Both Worlds' that come in season 3. Then compare that with the Generations battle. Also no one searched Geordi for surveillance devices, he wasn't given a couple of days of to recuperate from being tortured by Soran and he was back on duty in an hour. Em... hello? Notwithstanding that with the stakes being what they were, Picard should've just crippled the Duras Sister's rust bucket as soon as it decloaked and if they had time to kill Geordi before the Enterprise knocked out their shields and beamed him off, then that's an acceptable loss vs. 300 million people who'll die if you can't intercept Soran's rocket. I better stop now, cos I'm sure we'll discuss this movie later[/nb], but is apparently due to real world issues. The story is everyone hated working with the Enterprise D model by this point - they actually used the older model for Generations afaik, rather than the the one they used for most of the second half of the series - and just wanted to destroy it.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: samadriel on June 27, 2021, 04:57:03 AM
Quote from: Lemming on June 26, 2021, 11:15:12 PM
- Picard learns his lesson from Varney's log, and decides to do the exact same thing by ordering the Enterprise further into the neutral zone to pick up where Varney left off.

That starship was due to explode ten minutes ago!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 27, 2021, 07:27:45 AM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 27, 2021, 01:07:52 AM
I really like this one. It's action packed, has a good adventure plot and even has the first "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot"!

Good spot!

Fun fact : it was "Darjeeling tea, hot" in the original script - Steward presumably adjusted it himself during rehearsals/shooting.

(Should have made it PG Tips, though!)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on June 27, 2021, 12:04:17 PM
Quote from: daf on June 27, 2021, 07:27:45 AM
Good spot!

Fun fact : it was "Darjeeling tea, hot" in the original script - Steward presumably adjusted it himself during rehearsals/shooting.

(Should have made it PG Tips, though!)

Stewart is a Yorkshire Gold man and hates Earl Grey apparently!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on June 27, 2021, 12:25:26 PM
Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on June 27, 2021, 01:19:19 AM
Definitely unintentional. Pretty much anything in dialogue implies they're very powerful.

The writers deliberately picked a Galaxy for the Odyssey because they wanted to make a big deal about how much they loved DS9 more than TNG and wanted to make their own baby series look better than the one they inherited from Gene how powerful the Jem'Hadar were. But in universe it was destroyed because it got rammed. Hardly suggests too fragile. The same Jem'Hadar cripple the Defiant in short order the following episode. And they don't need to ram it.

The manner in which the Ent - D was destroyed in Generations was indeed stupid[nb]Pay attention to how much ordinance the Enterprise can lay down 'The Survivors' or 'Best of Both Worlds' that come in season 3. Then compare that with the Generations battle. Also no one searched Geordi for surveillance devices, he wasn't given a couple of days of to recuperate from being tortured by Soran and he was back on duty in an hour. Em... hello? Notwithstanding that with the stakes being what they were, Picard should've just crippled the Duras Sister's rust bucket as soon as it decloaked and if they had time to kill Geordi before the Enterprise knocked out their shields and beamed him off, then that's an acceptable loss vs. 300 million people who'll die if you can't intercept Soran's rocket. I better stop now, cos I'm sure we'll discuss this movie later[/nb], but is apparently due to real world issues. The story is everyone hated working with the Enterprise D model by this point - they actually used the older model for Generations afaik, rather than the the one they used for most of the second half of the series - and just wanted to destroy it.

I would argue the implication in DS9 onwards if there was one wasnt really that the Galaxy glass ships were espeically weak, arguably only the Defiant, the Enterprise E and maybe the Prometheus were shown to be better battle ships. I think the implication was more that they were more "jack of all trades" ships that could undertake the kind of duties we see the Enterprise D doing in TNG, science missions, diplomacy, moving decent amounts of people around and if needed combat. The designs we see latter on generally tend to seem smaller and more focus on combat, arguably in response to the Borg and the Dominion.

The shift from showing the Federation as a fairly stable utopia in TNG that would consider such multi purpose ambassadorial ship as a big focus to a more unstable one that would be more willing to build battleships, something it was previously suggested Starfleet didnt build.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 27, 2021, 12:50:50 PM
Quote from: Malcy on June 27, 2021, 12:04:17 PM
Stewart is a Yorkshire Gold man and hates Earl Grey apparently!

Ah but he's a Shakespeare man, and he knows what replicator requests have the most pleasing cadence
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on June 27, 2021, 12:51:13 PM
In "Yesterday's Enterprise"
Spoiler alert
the Galaxy is referred to as a battleship. Spoiler alert: as one, it fails to impress. And really it's not the sort of ship you'd expect them to be commissioning after 20 years of war in that timeline
[close]
.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 27, 2021, 02:41:13 PM
036 | "Contagion"

(https://i.imgur.com/6qAQkah.jpg)

Yamato KA-BLATTO!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Tea! Earl Grey! Hot! #1
• Plant! Leaves Orange! Pot!
• Picard Archeology : Smash everything up!
• Iconian Magic Door
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Blue Probe Globe
• Infected Log Dump
• Data zapped . . . TO DEATH!!!
• Try turning it off and on again!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 28, 2021, 01:21:23 AM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 27, 2021, 01:07:52 AM
With his newfound competence/beard we might have to seriously consider the possibility that Riker had an Inner Light at some point and got his shit together in a time bubble or something.

Theories abound. Could be an Inner Light scenario, or S2 may take place in some kind of pocket dimension. Or the entire season takes place during "Shades of Grey" and is Riker misremembering events to put himself in a better light.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 28, 2021, 02:25:41 AM
S02E12 - The Royale

An away team becomes trapped in what appears to be a mid-20th-century casino.

- "Yurium" and "Keium" on the planet's atmosphere composition readout.

- Heroic space adventurer Riker's first response to this unique world is to "get the hell out of here".

- Picard's wasting time in his ready room trying to solve an 800 year old maths mystery. "In our arrogance, we believe we are so advanced", he navel-gazes. Riker looks confused and awkwardly tries to start the mission briefing.

- They beam in some debris to find out it's a fragment of a NASA shuttle! Oddly, for years, I'd vividly remembered this fragment having CCCP written on it with the Soviet flag. I had an equally vivid memory of the skeleton they find later being that of a female lost cosmonaut, rather than a male American astronaut. This memory was so firm in my mind that I honestly thought I'd moved into a new parallel unvierse when I first rewatched this a few years ago and realised my mistake. I must have read something about the lost cosmonaut thing and my mind blended it with the episode or something.

- On the Hell Nightmare Death Planet, there's a building surrounded by breathable air. The Riker-Worf-Data DREAM TEAM just beams right the fuck in there to check it out, wearing nothing more than their space pyjamas. They find themselves in a black void with a revolving door, which takes them to a casino full of people. They can't contact the ship anymore, nor can they be beamed out.

- The receptionist tells Riker that his party has been expected to arrive. He insists that this is Earth, and the location is the Hotel Royale. Data scans the people and finds out they're not real, just illusions. Riker and Worf are inexplicably shocked. Would it have been less shocking if these people were real, and operating a 50s casino in the middle of deep space???

- Picard's fretting on the bridge. "It's unlike Commander Riker not to follow procedure." HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

- Everyone the away team meets in the casino is a ridiculous caricature, with suitably cliche music accompanying them. A cowboy-hat-wearing business man from Texas, who is called Texas, introduces Data to blackjack.

- Riker ruins the fun by deciding it's time to leave. But they're TRAPPED because the door now just leads back into the casino. The away team tries asking some people for help, but soon discovers that most people here are side characters with no dialogue, who don't respond to their presence and are just there to populate the casino. They also find that the casino is largely non-interactive, and the walls can't be destroyed.

- Troi senses that Riker's about to shit himself. She only talks about Riker here, never Worf. Wonder if it's the Imzadi thing, like she can sense Riker across space.

- One of the cliche characters arms himself with a pistol to take on MICKEY D, a notorious gangster who will be visiting the Royale soon. He hopes to get MICKEY D to leave RITA alone. The receptionist warns him that RITA is MICKEY D'S GIRL. Love the intentionally crap music that plays over this scene. Riker yells at the receptionist, but he doesn't understand that the away team is unable to leave.

- Data discovers human DNA in a room upstairs. They go up and find a heavily decayed human corpse, who has been dead for 283 years. In the closet, they find his astronaut jacket - the American flag has 52 stars, which, apparently, places it between 2033 and 2079.

- The corpse is that of astronaut Colonel Richey. With him being the only thing in the whole building that actually exists, they conclude that the entire Royale illusion was created for him. In the drawer, they find a book called Hotel Royale. Data reads it and finds out it's an absolutely crap novel about notorious gangster Mickey D visiting a place called the Hotel Royale to murder the bellboy.

- Richey also left a diary just in case whoever found him was a dumbass who couldn't piece it together (known as Riker Insurance). Richey went off course and flew away into deep space, never to be heard from again. His crewmates were accidentally killed by aliens, who, in an attempt to right their wrong, created the illusory Royale based on the novel they found aboard Richey's shuttle, and trapped him inside it, believing that the book was some kind of bible which related humanity's preferred lifestyle.
QuoteI hold no malice toward my benefactors. They could not possibly know the hell they have put me through, for it was such a badly written book, filled with endless cliché and shallow characters, that I shall welcome death when it comes.

- Picard and Troi download a copy of The Royale. "'It was a dark and stormy night'... (sigh) That's not a promising beginning."

- The plot of Hotel Royale continues to play out regardless of what the away team does. Mickey D arrives. He and the bellboy start spouting cliches at each other, while Picard and Troi realise just how shitty the novel really is:
(https://i.imgur.com/yWdjbg0.png)

- Mickey D murders the bellboy and leaves. Picard's following along in his copy of the novel.
Quote(conversation takes place over comms)
RIKER: A bizarre incident just took place.
PICARD: The shoot-out between the bellboy and Mickey D?
RIKER: Yes, and Mickey D just walked out the door. How did he do that?
PICARD: It's on page 244.
RIKER: In the novel, right.

Yes Riker, in the novel. The novel you're trapped in. The novel you found a copy of minutes earlier. The novel.

- Picard reads ahead to the ending and finds that, after a shoot-out, the Royale is bought by foreign investors, who then leave to return to where they came from. Riker realises that the away team has been placed in the role of the investors, and to leave, they'll have to play out the plot.

- They decide to win the money needed to buy out the casino by playing more games with Texas. Texas, by the way, has a companion with him called Vanessa who - like all the other characters in the novel - embodies a collection of ridiculous stereotypes, this time the usual vaguely sexist ones you can expect from mid-20th century American media. She spends all the time pouting and whining and barely reacting to Texas being all handsy with her (even though she appears to be about half his age), and never leaves his side. Data discovers she can only respond with an empty-headed "...yeah" to most questions. Love this character, such a good pisstake of the kind of tropes the episode is built around highlighting.

- WHEN THE TRAIN COMES IN, EVERYBODY RIDES

- The away team buys the hotel, and is finally able to get the fuck out. I have literally just one complaint about the episode, and that's that the no-doubt ridiculous shootout Picard mentioned never happens!

This is so good. Plenty of humour in it, even some dark humour (something Trek normally can't really handle) in Richey's fate, with a thread of creepy dread running just underneath it all. Being trapped inside a dogshit novel that you have to play along with to escape is an ace idea for a plot. And I love how the limitations of the alien's illusion become clear so quickly - half the objects can't be interacted with, walls don't behave like real walls, most of the characters in the casino are just there for show and can't be interacted with (presumably because they don't have any dialogue in the novel), characters just sort of lock up and start talking nonsense when you try to press them for information their novel counterparts wouldn't have, etc.

The episode isn't totally without issues, mainly just a few minor problems with pacing in the first half, but the concept is so appealing to me that I don't care about the couple of minutes we waste watching Riker look around panicked as the reality sets in. 9/10. Didn't expect to go that high but I enjoyed it more than ever on a rewatch, and I can't really think of any ways the episode could be siginicantly improved. Only real complaint is that the novel doesn't quite come to fruition - we never see Rita, for example, and again, the shootout Picard mentioned never happens. A ridiculous, intentionally badly choreographed, over-the-top mob shootout (presumably in which the protagonists magically can't be hit because Mickey D's men have Stormtrooper aim, of course) strikes me as a gloriously stupid way to cap off the episode, which it seemed to be building towards, but the episode ditches that promise and it just sort of fizzles as Riker buys the casino and everyone walks out. If they'd pushed the concept a little further with a more cliche-ridden ending, I'd have legit given 10/10.

Picard and Troi suffering through the novel is one of my favourite short scenes in TNG.

(https://i.imgur.com/vmjapj9.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 28, 2021, 09:03:50 AM
I was very young when I first saw this episode, and I thought the whole thing was premised on the joke that people in the future couldn't work out how to use revolving doors properly.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 28, 2021, 09:15:54 AM
In 2021 (let alone 2033-79) is it likely an astronaut would take physical books with them into space instead of a Kindle or whatever with loads of stuff to read on for the trip?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on June 28, 2021, 10:10:12 AM
I honestly didn't think you'd give The Royale 9/10. I nearly posted before jokingly saying you can't make fun of it. I always had the impression that it was an episode most are down on.

I love The Royale. One of my favourite episodes. A TOS style story told in a TNG framework. They set out to build the world of a trashy novel and did so perfectly.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 28, 2021, 01:46:36 PM
037 | "The Royale"

(https://i.imgur.com/j4GHbX0.jpg)

Mash-up She Wrote

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Reckless Riker's Revolving Blun-door
• Boss Hogg comedy sex-creep
• Data gettin' down to "Bidness"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Fermat's Last Theowrong [proved by a spod (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiles%27s_proof_of_Fermat%27s_Last_Theorem) in 1995]
• Data Stool Vault #1
• One diary entry in 38 years?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/ps92bYU.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ron Maels Moustache on June 28, 2021, 02:18:21 PM
9/10 for The Royale, are you shitting me Lemming. That's a 1 Wesley episode if ever there was one.

Even by early TNG standards, it's just boring. The meta-conceit of it being based on a bad dime store novel doesn't change the fact that you spend most of the episode watching cliched boilerplate characters acting out a storyline that no-one could care less about while the crew have basically no agency or involvement in what's going on. There's no urgency or drama to the dilemma of how the Away Team will get out of there. I've got the episode on while I'm typing this, it's 6 minutes from the end and it still doesn't feel like the story is heading to any sort of resolution. One of those episodes that I can never remember the ending to, because it's just one big "...oh."

I think if you're doing that kind-of genre pastiche you need to really play up to it, turn the hamminess of the performances up to maximum, make everything super-exaggerated and stylised, but everything in The Royale is just played so straight-faced and flatly it just doesn't work - well, except for the music. I think the composer got what the script was going for if the director didn't.

I'm kind imagining what this episode would be like if it had been made in the post-Twin Peaks era, instead of the Murder She Wrote era. It just desperately needs something more, some element of Lynchian weirdness to give it an edge.

The one thing credit I would give this episode is that it inspired this always amusing edit, so there's that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mURLFTdhs0
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 28, 2021, 03:13:41 PM
It's sort of a holodeck episode in disguise -

"Computer -- select at random a mystery by Jessica Fletcher. Location : Cabot Cove Casino. Time period : Late 20th Century."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 28, 2021, 03:38:36 PM
Quote from: Ron Maels Moustache on June 28, 2021, 02:18:21 PM
9/10 for The Royale, are you shitting me Lemming. That's a 1 Wesley episode if ever there was one.

Even by early TNG standards, it's just boring. The meta-conceit of it being based on a bad dime store novel doesn't change the fact that you spend most of the episode watching cliched boilerplate characters acting out a storyline that no-one could care less about while the crew have basically no agency or involvement in what's going on. There's no urgency or drama to the dilemma of how the Away Team will get out of there. I've got the episode on while I'm typing this, it's 6 minutes from the end and it still doesn't feel like the story is heading to any sort of resolution. One of those episodes that I can never remember the ending to, because it's just one big "...oh."

I think if you're doing that kind-of genre pastiche you need to really play up to it, turn the hamminess of the performances up to maximum, make everything super-exaggerated and stylised, but everything in The Royale is just played so straight-faced and flatly it just doesn't work - well, except for the music. I think the composer got what the script was going for if the director didn't.


I love how cliched and boilerplate the characters and plot are in the casino! It makes it even funnier that Richey was trapped there for - presumably - decades. Not even trapped in a fun Tommy Wiseau style so-bad-its-good shitshow, just trapped in the most mind-numbingly dull, run-of-the-mill book possible. I think they were wise not to play it up too much, to portray the Hotel Royale novel's plot as believably tedious, although they could definitely have played it up a little more than they did (and the ending should have devolved into borderline-ridiculousness in the way Picard's summary indicated it might).

The Vanessa character is a good example - they could have written her as an over-the-top offensive collection of every sexist stereotype found in old fiction, which could have worked. But instead she's a realistically shittily-written character - believable as something written by a crap male author who wanted to put a female character in his novel, but couldn't think of anything for her to do other than literally hang onto a more prominent male character the whole time, and still managed to accidentally let his attitudes seep through into the writing anyway (ie. her love interest being a man possibly twice her age, her underreaction to being repeatedly molested, the way she acts like a 5 year old most of the time, her one-word responses to anyone who isn't Texas).

Mickey D works on a similar level - a bad guy who's so thinly written as to have no impact at all. Other characters talk about how scary and intimidating he is, but when he finally arrives he's just some generic man who leaves very quickly. Becomes clear that the author of Hotel Royale falls into the classic trap of trying to define characters by just having other characters tell the reader about them, and then not bothering to actually write those elements into the character in question. Especially love his dramatic entrance, which completely falls flat (with some great intentionally-naff direction and music).

Quote from: Ron Maels Moustache on June 28, 2021, 02:18:21 PM
I'm kind imagining what this episode would be like if it had been made in the post-Twin Peaks era, instead of the Murder She Wrote era. It just desperately needs something more, some element of Lynchian weirdness to give it an edge.

I like the subtle weirdness that the episode does have - walls don't have any coherent physical properties, most people in the casino have no dialogue and don't have the ability to react to the away team, characters just completely break if you try to ask them about things beyond the world of the novel, there's nothing but a black void outside the casino, etc. Thought the scene with Richey's room was very effective too. I like the sense that the entire illusion isn't that well made, and the seams begin to show the instant you start saying or doing things the designers didn't plan for.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 28, 2021, 04:09:10 PM
I only find it interesting from the point of view of what would've happened if Richey had gone kill crazy or spent all his time there getting absolutely shitted on booze - which is likely what I'd have ended up doing. Would the whole scenario just re-set when he staggers out of bed the following afternoon covered in sick?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on June 28, 2021, 04:13:37 PM
Quote from: mothman on June 27, 2021, 12:51:13 PM
In "Yesterday's Enterprise"
Spoiler alert
the Galaxy is referred to as a battleship. Spoiler alert: as one, it fails to impress. And really it's not the sort of ship you'd expect them to be commissioning after 20 years of war in that timeline
[close]
.

They were stuck a bit there weren't they as shifting the design too much would have been disorientating, wasn't there a line about the Enterprise being a troop transporter to try and explain why it had the big accommodation disk section still?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 28, 2021, 04:37:53 PM
I still want to know why he only wrote one entry in his diary!



Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 28, 2021, 04:40:14 PM
Quote from: greenman on June 28, 2021, 04:13:37 PM
They were stuck a bit there weren't they as shifting the design too much would have been disorientating, wasn't there a line about the Enterprise being a troop transporter to try and explain why it had the big accommodation disk section still?

They say it can carry over 6000 troops in that episode. Although that's basically fuck all for something its size. I mentioned somewhere on here before, some guy on youtube worked out that the Ent-D has an internal floor area of nearly 9 million square feet. Even if half of that is taken up by machinery and deuterium and anti-deuterium storage[nb]They probably have to carry a lot of that around, considering they need it to power the ship and stay alive.[/nb] there should be room for 10,000+ people to live and work normally on it easily. Wanna cram troops in bunks into it and that number goes up.

Not to mention if you compare it to something like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mardi_Gras_(2020_ship) which carries 7000+ passengers and crew. The Enterprise is nearly twice the length, has more than twice as many decks and is more than twice as wide at the saucer. (Although because its less uniform in shape, it probably wouldn't have more than 8x the internal volume as being twice as large in length and more than twice in width and height would suggest, but it would still be several times larger)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 28, 2021, 04:54:32 PM
Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on June 28, 2021, 04:09:10 PM
I only find it interesting from the point of view of what would've happened if Richey had gone kill crazy or spent all his time there getting absolutely shitted on booze - which is likely what I'd have ended up doing. Would the whole scenario just re-set when he staggers out of bed the following afternoon covered in sick?

Yeah, I was wondering how the simulation responded to Richey - maybe he could never advance the plot because it was waiting for the three foreign investors, who only ever arrived in the form of Riker's party. So he was just stuck on the pre-Mickey gambling scene for years.

Either that or he was meant to fill the role of a character in the same way the away team did, but apparently not a character of any importance since him being dead for centuries doesn't impede the plot moving forwards.

Could be that the plot resets, like you say, but then why/how does it choose to make Riker the foreign investor? Maybe the aliens set it up as a co-op kind of thing, where if other humans ever arrived, the simulation would automatically assign them roles to let them join in the """fun""".

Quote from: daf on June 28, 2021, 04:37:53 PM
I still want to know why he only wrote one entry in his diary!

Maybe he only had one real sheet of paper available, since all the illusionary paper might reset every time the plot loops! Either that or he could only be bothered to write one entry before spending the next few decades calling room service to get perpetually shitfaced until his death.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 28, 2021, 04:59:45 PM
There's also the question of how a 21st century pre-warp ship ended up out in deep space. I suppose we can assume a wormhole or something.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 28, 2021, 05:07:45 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 28, 2021, 04:54:32 PM
Either that or he could only be bothered to write one entry before spending the next few decades calling room service to get perpetually shitfaced until his death.

That one diary entry is after being there for 38 years *

Anyway, I don't know what he's complaining about - lovely room & free booze - could be much worse off!

- - - - - - - -
* (how does he know? - He's not kept a diary!!)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 28, 2021, 05:17:59 PM
I love that you love this episode, Lemming! This is going to be the next 10 pages now :D

The episode teases something interesting with the NASA debris/hotel and then both never explains it and offers a weak excuse for it, with the one-page diary entry: 'aliens did it'. The B-plot is the same shot of Picard looming over Geordi muttering 'carry on'. The casino is conditionally dangerous, in that you're trapped in it until you realise you're not. Nah, this is well crap.

Quote from: Mr Trumpet on June 28, 2021, 09:03:50 AM
I was very young when I first saw this episode, and I thought the whole thing was premised on the joke that people in the future couldn't work out how to use revolving doors properly.

Could they not have got ILM in to do some split-screen magic? It really does look like they can't use a door!

(https://i.ibb.co/tQWqzP9/royale.gif)

That took me about 10 minutes in modern money... still looks rubbish though, there's no saving it!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on June 28, 2021, 05:51:34 PM
Surprised Lemming rated it so high, but am not complaining. It is a great TOS episode done by TNG.

Quote from: daf on June 28, 2021, 05:07:45 PM
Anyway, I don't know what he's complaining about - lovely room & free booze - could be much worse off!

Could be worse, could have brought some Orwell with him. Would 1984 or Animal Farm be preferable in that case?

That's one of the things I like about that episode, you can play along with imagining what other books would have been like. Like the last book you read.

And in general Trek lore, not the first time books have caused problems. Probably best to think about what you bring with you on a space trip.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: earl_sleek on June 28, 2021, 05:54:29 PM
Quote from: Lemming on June 28, 2021, 03:38:36 PM
I love how cliched and boilerplate the characters and plot are in the casino! It makes it even funnier that Richey was trapped there for - presumably - decades.

Not to Sean, James and Nicky.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 28, 2021, 06:14:19 PM
Surprised to discover this one is as polarising as it is - looking around online and most people seem to think it's one of the worst of the season (come on, The Outrageous Okona is right there!), while others seem to think it's one of the best. Only a minority think it's just alright. Must just be one of those concepts that either really appeals to you or really doesn't.

Like JamesTC and Blumf have said, it feels very TOS-like, though I can't quite identify how. Maybe the way that it embraces such a strange concept and shamelessly runs with it, plus the fact that it feels like it's taking the piss a little bit - the episode is more comedy than anything else, both directly (every Picard and Troi scene, plus Worf rejecting room service and such) and in a meta-y way where the script feels aware of how ridiculous everything that's happening is. It's got a great sense of fun that TNG too often lacks, IMO.

I suppose it also commits to not really saying anything, and instead has a mission statement that's essentially just to ask the viewer "hey, wouldn't it be fucked if there was a casino in space with a corpse in it???", which was also about as deep as most TOS episodes went. That'll turn a lot of people off, but personally I prefer when Star Trek sets a low bar and has fun with it, rather than tries for something loftier and fucks it up or mishandles it, as I feel they did with Measure of a Man and many more to come.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MoreauVasz on June 28, 2021, 07:06:31 PM
Love Love Love the Royale.

The thing that gets me about it is the fucked up pathos of the astronaut who lived out his life trapped not only in the pages of a shitty novel, but in a slightly shit hotel. Same days over and over. Same hollow people. Nothing changes, nothing improves, nothing gets worse. Until you die, and then it just keeps going while your body moulders in a hotel room.

That is as strong an image as anything in Trek.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 28, 2021, 10:41:47 PM
Quote from: MoreauVasz on June 28, 2021, 07:06:31 PM
Love Love Love the Royale.

The thing that gets me about it is the fucked up pathos of the astronaut who lived out his life trapped not only in the pages of a shitty novel, but in a slightly shit hotel. Same days over and over. Same hollow people. Nothing changes, nothing improves, nothing gets worse. Until you die, and then it just keeps going while your body moulders in a hotel room.

That is as strong an image as anything in Trek.
Presumably he just hammered the bar for a few months until he died of acute alcohol poisoning. Seems the obvious thing to do in the situation.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on June 28, 2021, 10:56:18 PM
I like The Royale, it's a decent comedic episode.

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Deanjam on June 28, 2021, 11:38:22 PM
I have no strong opinion on The Royale. I'm amazed anyone does. It's just there. Like Belgium. Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 29, 2021, 03:13:05 AM
S02E13 - Time Squared

A duplicate Enterprise shuttle arrives from six hours in the future, with a comatose Picard inside, who is the sole survivor of the destruction of the Enterprise.

- Riker, being a failed musician and a failed Starfleet commander, is now taking up cooking.

- Interesting exchange:
QuotePULASKI: Your father liked to cook?
RIKER: No, he hated it. That's why he left the chore to me.
WORF: It is my understanding that, in most human families, the woman shares in the cooking.
Do Klingons have a system where men do the cooking, and the 24th-century egalitarian human system seems odd to them? Presumably Klingon women just hurl objects at their husbands while they're cooking, and then both agree it's been an HONOURABLE use of time. Also, we learn that Riker never knew his mother.

- A copy of one of the Enterprise's shuttlecraft appears. Inside is an unconscious and unresponsive Picard, who has just fled the destruction of the Enterprise. This is such a fucking wicked plot hook, I can't get over how good it is. Up there with Lister finding his ex-girlfriend's grave three million years into deep space in Red Dwarf.

- FuturePicard's brain waves are weird as fuck - "out of phase", according to Pulaski. Turns out humans weren't really meant to exist in two time planes at once. Troi's feeling something really weird from him too. Pulaski awakens FuturePicard, but all he can do is look around obliviously in silent agonised terror.

- Geordi's retrieved the shuttle logs. They show Picard leaving in the shuttle just before the Enterprise is pulled into some kind of vortex which causes it to explode. Everyone passive-aggressively gives Picard shit for bailing out like a wuss and leaving his crew to die. Under four hours remain until this becomes a reality.

- Geordi suggests turning around and backtracking to avoid whatever's waiting for them up ahead. Riker refuses based on the fact that "when we brought that shuttle aboard, we committed to a course of events which may be unalterable". Alright makes sense let's fly into the deathtrap then. Just under four hours to go!

- Pulaski says that, as we get closer to the time FuturePicard is from, his brain and body will start to re-align. Troi senses MEGA-TERROR from FuturePicard and gets a psychic headache.

- "We are now less than two hours away from our rendezvous... WITH OURSELVES." Hilarious. As dramatic Captain's Log entries go, though, nobody will ever beat Kirk's "STARDATE: ARMAGEDDON".

- Picard tries to interrogate FuturePicard but he's still too time-fucked to respond. Troi says that all FuturePicard can see is "a nightmare of disjointed images and half-heard voices. He's in another dimension, looking at us across a great chasm". The lesson is to not travel in time if you can avoid it.

- Picard snaps at everyone, insists FuturePicard can't be him, and stomps out of the room. Pulaski suggests that this isn't a great mental state to command a ship in. "I think he's handling it very well," Troi says. He literally just stormed out like a toddler. I love that Pulaski's willing to have her finger ready on the trigger to relieve Picard of command if it becomes necessary. Compare that with Lonely Among Us where the entire senior staff got together and limply talked about doing something, and then instead went and ran psych tests on themselves.

- The brain trust (Riker and Picard) get together to list every space phenomena they can think of, and agree that it can't be any of them. Their conclusion is that they don't know what's going to happen. Also, Picard references the slingshot method of time travel from TOS' "Tomorrow is Yesterday", and Riker says that shuttles don't have warp, which I thought they did. There is a nice bit of continuity here where they reference the Traveler and Manheim as previous examples of people being able to move through time.

- Riker's advice is to do nothing until the ship blows up, and then spring into action. Honestly I'm still with Geordi's "let's turn back" plan.

- Vortex comes out of nowhere and drags the Enterprise into it. Troi reckons the vortex is alive in some way.

- I don't know if this scene is meant to be funny - I'm guessing not, given that the fear synth kicks in - but this properly made me laugh:
QuotePICARD: We'll stay and investigate.
RIKER: Agreed.
PICARD: Unless that was the mistake. Staying too long.
RIKER: Possibly.
PICARD: We should go now.
RIKER: Well...
PICARD: That would be the prudent move. I never thought I'd hear myself saying something like that.
RIKER: Under the circumstances, sir, I think you're right.
Riker's immediate flip-flop in order to agree with the most recent thing Picard says is hilarious, but Picard comes across as an idiot too. Spends the whole episode up until now saying "nah, we can't turn back, whatever happens happens," and then as soon as it happens, "we should run. shit, no, that'll kill us, we should stay. shit, no, that'll kill us, we should run."

- Let's Warp 9 out of here! Oops, that's tearing the ship apart and we're being dragged deeper into the vortex regardless, better call quits on that. Geordi's "let's turn back 4 hours ago" plan gets vindicated more and more by the minute.

- Picard gets shot by lightning and ragdolls across the bridge. At the same time, FuturePicard is also shot. Troi says that the vortex is focusing on Picard intentionally. Picard suggests leaving the Enterprise in a shuttle, hoping that sacrificing himself will make the vortex leave the rest of the ship alone. Neither he nor Riker nor Troi initially realise why this is obviously such a stupid idea. Takes them a minute.

- FuturePicard still can't tell where he is or what's happening. All he can do is rant about how he has to reach the shuttle and leave the ship. Picard follows him to the shuttle bay. FuturePicard mentions that there's only one other option, which "would never work", which is to accelerate into the vortex. Funny that the crew apparently did better the last time around by finding this solution. Why didn't we find it this time around? Riker's fault probably.

- Picard prevents the timeloop from restarting by shooting FuturePicard. I always thought this shot was ridiculously cool, of Picard dead with the vortex looming outside:

(https://i.imgur.com/qO0GBYF.png)

- O'Brien wanders in, gormless, and stands there gawking. Meanwhile, the Enterprise flies into the vortex, and it suddenly dissipates, leaving them back in the safety of normal space. Riker's having nightmares about it later so he goes to Picard. Riker's theory: none of it was real, it was a dream (lmfao). Picard's much better theory: the vortex was benevolent and instigated the timeloop intentionally to try and give the Enterprise crew a chance to save themselves.

Strong episode, it's a bit of a slow build but the mystery is gripping enough for it to work, and the pacing manages to create a really good sense of slowly-growing dread. I respect the writer's bravery in not explaining what the vortex actually is - it could backfire and just make the episode seem like a shallow load of shit, but here I think it works really well, especially coupled with Picard's theory that it was intentionally trying to help them. 7/10

(https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on June 29, 2021, 10:11:02 AM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on June 28, 2021, 05:17:59 PM
I love that you love this episode, Lemming! This is going to be the next 10 pages now :D

The episode teases something interesting with the NASA debris/hotel and then both never explains it and offers a weak excuse for it, with the one-page diary entry: 'aliens did it'.

Nah, right from the offset they acknowledge that it shouldn't be out so far. And it ends with a a plausible theory - aliens transported them but killed most of them in the process, then made the casino to say sorry.

I'm... Ok wit this episode. I think it couldn't quite make up it's mind if it was a creepy mystery or a knockabout farce, which means the pacing is all over the place.

I noticed "Texas" had Special Guest status - should I know who he was?

Quote from: Lemming on June 28, 2021, 06:14:19 PM
Like JamesTC and Blumf have said, it feels very TOS-like, though I can't quite identify how.

The bit of NASA debris and it all being a result of early human space exploration is similar to Star Trek TMP. And corpse in the hotel room reminded me a lot of the end of 2001.

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 29, 2021, 11:05:08 AM
You mentioned wanting a Lynchian influence on the previous episode. Now in Time Squared we have doppelgangers, unresolved mysteries, and a creeping sense of claustrophobic doom. I love this one.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ron Maels Moustache on June 29, 2021, 11:26:15 AM
Quote from: Mr Trumpet on June 29, 2021, 11:05:08 AM
You mentioned wanting a Lynchian influence on the previous episode. Now in Time Squared we have doppelgangers, unresolved mysteries, and a creeping sense of claustrophobic doom. I love this one.

That was me, but yeah I agree about Time Squared - it has all the eerie atmosphere and suspense that the previous episode was lacking(in my opinion).

I remember thinking there was something very haunting about the Picard Doppleganger, trapped in an endless nightmare and not even able to communicate or understand what's happening to him.

Of course this episode also gave us THE THEORY OF THE MOBIUS, all-time classic just for that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB_d_OEQrt4
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on June 29, 2021, 12:27:41 PM
Quote from: Ron Maels Moustache on June 29, 2021, 11:26:15 AM
That was me

Ah my mistake. I loved Picard's contempt for his doppelganger in this story - obviously the audience knows we're heading towards an explanation (of sorts) for his apparently cowardly actions but that anger towards himself was a great character beat.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 29, 2021, 01:59:26 PM
038 | "Time Squared"

(https://i.imgur.com/gJnM3Pe.jpg)

Altered Eggo

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Riker Scrambled Eggspert
• Megga Twist : Seggond Picard!
• Enterprise Eggsplosion
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Eggsternal Force from Energy Vorteggx
• Picard's Self-Eggstermination
• Time-loop : Eggstremely Eggregious Eggsplanation!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on June 29, 2021, 02:22:13 PM
Is that the one where Worf loves Riker's shit scramby eggs?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on June 29, 2021, 03:46:28 PM
This was once a season 2 favourite, just behind Q Who?, but on more recent viewings I'm not convinced it holds up that well. The plot is too...sparse, for want of a better word, although it does the deep sense of foreboding well, especially when the crew are viewing the grainy footage of their doomed future in the conference room, accompanied by what be one of the creepiest scores the series ever produced.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 29, 2021, 04:07:07 PM
Quote from: bgmnts on June 29, 2021, 02:22:13 PM
Is that the one where Worf loves Riker's shit scramby eggs?

Yes - despite using a fancy "space-bowl", he clearly has no idea what he's doing!

(https://i.imgur.com/bwp9qRu.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/OHPs71u.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/Wntr7Uu.jpg)

I'm not sure if the gag is that the space-eggs have gone off (and stink), or that Riker is actually meant to be a shit cook :

(https://i.imgur.com/QX5mziL.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/b1Qb9fA.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/in5siqK.jpg)

Even if they're fresh, he's just serving up some half-cooked scrambled eggs without any herbs or seasoning - Yumm-o!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on June 29, 2021, 04:11:06 PM
Wasn't Worf raised by humans? Shouldn't he have similar taste buds to the rest of the humans? Or do Klingons have different taste buds? Fuck knows.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wentworth Smith on June 29, 2021, 04:50:38 PM
Doesn't Riker claim it's an omelette? Imagine going round to a friends for a meal and getting an unseasoned slop made from untested space eggs.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 29, 2021, 04:53:42 PM
Gordon Ramsay would not approve.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on June 29, 2021, 04:59:53 PM
Quote from: Wentworth Smith on June 29, 2021, 04:50:38 PM
Doesn't Riker claim it's an omelette?

Not from his mouth, but it's implied that's what it's meant to be :

Quote from: the scriptPULASKI : "Ale from Ennan Six. Your omelettes deserve no less."

Which sounds like she's had them before - so presumably these eggs stink - which, I suppose, is why Worf likes them, the weirdo!

#eggchat
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on June 29, 2021, 05:12:34 PM
Lovely and fascinating interview with Marina Sirtis here:

https://www.bigissue.com/interviews/marina-sirtis-wants-a-star-trek-series-based-on-worf/

The topic in the URL is the least of it.  It's mostly about why she came back to the U.K.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on June 29, 2021, 06:14:13 PM
Quote from: daf on June 29, 2021, 04:59:53 PM
Which sounds like she's had them before - so presumably these eggs stink - which, I suppose, is why Worf likes them, the weirdo!

He later eats ravioli or linguini from DS9's replicator which La Forge describes as tasting like liquid polymer.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on June 29, 2021, 07:39:57 PM
Quote from: the hum on June 29, 2021, 03:46:28 PM
This was once a season 2 favourite, just behind Q Who?, but on more recent viewings I'm not convinced it holds up that well. The plot is too...sparse, for want of a better word, although it does the deep sense of foreboding well, especially when the crew are viewing the grainy footage of their doomed future in the conference room, accompanied by what be one of the creepiest scores the series ever produced.

Agreed on the plot being a little light - I'd remembered it as being slightly more effective than it is too, although what is there is still great.

I wonder if the episode might have been improved by having the finale with the two Picards in the shuttlebay happen about 10 minutes earlier (thus making the rest of the episode a bit pacier). "Our" Geordi could be the one to theorise that flying into the vortex might work, but he tells "our" Picard that he thinks it's so unlikely as to not be worth trying. "Our" Picard realises that they're doomed and the only hope is to willingly go out in the shuttle and start the loop over again. Then he becomes FuturePicard for the next loop around, and we spend the last 10 minutes of the episode watching them very quickly go through it again, before "our" Picard (who is now the FuturePicard in this timeline) mentions Geordi's idea and NextPicard is the one to save the ship by killing him and giving the order to fly in.

I just woke up and I hope to god this word jumble of "our Picard" and "FuturePicard" makes any amount of sense.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on June 29, 2021, 09:43:10 PM
It's TNG's first example of an ambitious stab at screwed up time stuff, so I probably shouldn't be too harsh on it, even if I don't think it's held up that well. Come to think of it, it's a kind of prototype for the much better (and a personal favourite) Cause and Effect, the only difference with Time Squared is that we don't see multiple iterations of the loop, and the origin is an unknown alien intervention rather than a purely temporal phenomenon. I do love the timey-wimey TNG episodes though, and this is the first example that does it (reasonably) well (there's an element of it in We'll Always Have Paris but it's forgettable in a forgettable episode). 7/10
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on June 30, 2021, 10:30:39 AM
Quote from: the hum on June 29, 2021, 09:43:10 PM
It's TNG's first example of an ambitious stab at screwed up time stuff, so I probably shouldn't be too harsh on it, even if I don't think it's held up that well. Come to think of it, it's a kind of prototype for the much better (and a personal favourite) Cause and Effect,...

Yes, I think one thing I'm seeing from this run through is that a lot of these season 2 episodes are the prototypes of stories that get repeated later in a more refined form. Also how undercooked everything is, which I guess is down to the writers strike.

The omelette scene is bizarre. It could almost be a weird idea that with replicators and stuff humans have developed a weird relationship with cooking and food. I can only assume that they didn't realise how hard cooking an omelette on camera would be so had to make do with the grey unseasoned scrambled eggs they actually got.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on June 30, 2021, 10:58:48 AM
Another cringe-worthy attempt from Riker at appearing relaxed and approachable. He probably planned this 'casual' dinner party down to the second, specifically drove the ship to Egg Planet to get some famous stink-eggs, he's been practising for weeks and weeks only to fuck it up right at the last second. If he hadn't been passable at poker then the senior staff would be getting together for 'Jazz Trombone Night' every Tuesday.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wentworth Smith on June 30, 2021, 01:09:59 PM
For cool chair leaping ladies man Will Riker every night is Jazz Trombone Night.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on June 30, 2021, 01:14:52 PM
Quote from: Wentworth Smith on June 30, 2021, 01:09:59 PM
For cool chair leaping ladies man Will Riker every night is Jazz Trombone Night.
Is that one of his chat-up lines? "Fancy come back to mine to play some jazz trombone?"

Not sure if we'd had any episodes yet where Riker's space-slag exploits lead to the near destruction of the ship/universe, though I might be overstating how much that happens. Once at least, certainly.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 01, 2021, 01:02:46 AM
S02E14 - The Icarus Factor

Riker's father comes aboard, and tensions quickly reach a (boring) all-time high.

- Picard has great news for Riker - the captain of the starship Ares is retiring, and Riker has been selected as the replacement! Presumably the Ares is some kind of garbage scow and this is the first of many of Picard's attempts to get Riker off the Enterprise at any cost.

- Riker immediately starts panicking that his easy lifestyle of sitting on a comfy chair, agreeing with Picard, and glaring jealously at Troi is coming to an end. To make things worse, Riker's father - who he hates - beams aboard as an advisor to this mission.

- Riker gives his dad the cold shoulder, and reveals he hasn't spoken to him in 15 years. Just a few episodes ago in "A Matter of Honor", he was giving Klag a ton of shit for not speaking to his father!

- Riker's dad - Kyle - walks into Ten Forward and is warmly received by old friends. Pulaski is among them and is especially thrilled to see him as they're old lovers. Has Kyle Riker met everyone in the alpha quadrant? Riker's deductive skills kick in - "they know each other", he concludes as he watches Kyle and Pulaski hug and kiss.

- Wesley tries to talk to Worf but gets yelled at. He goes to Geordi and Data to ask them what's up with Worf. Data says "there is, of course, a genetic predisposition towards hostility for all Klingons". Christ.

- Pulaski got married and divorced three times, but is still good friends with all three of them. Kyle tries to inch his way in to become the fourth.

- Worf goes to visit Riker, and asks to join him on his new command. The reason is that Worf hopes for a glorious death. I'm not even making this up, he asks to be reassigned to Riker's ship because he thinks there's a higher chance of him being killed under Riker's command than under Picard's.

- Wesley finds out what's up with Worf - it's the tenth anniversary of his Age of Ascension, and he's meant to be partying with other Klingons, but obviously there are none. Data, Geordi and Wesley come up with the disastrous plan of hosting a Klingon thingy on the holodeck.

- Apparently, Starfleet fought a war with the Tholians 12 years ago.

- Riker's having doubts about accepting the promotion. Picard, who seems desperate to get him to leave, moves into damage control mode. "Yes, the Ares is an insignificant ship in an obscure corner of the galaxy... but she'll be your ship, Will! Please fucking leave!"

- Geordi's getting pissy that repair crews are checking over Engineering, which, as we've already established in "The Dauphin", Geordi runs as a fucking joke. O'Brien utterly obliterates him with massive-cock energy.
QuoteLAFORGE: How would you like them to give the transporter operation a little once-over?
O'BRIEN: No problem. We're totally ship-shape.
Roasted alive.

- For some reason, Riker decides to go and put Troi through the pain and humiliation of an emotional goodbye, even though he's strongly considering not actually leaving (something which he totally neglects to mention to her). "Our feelings are what make us human," he explains to Troi, who is not human.

- Kyle and Riker get into a who's-got-the-biggest-dick-contest and scuttle off to the gym to put on stupid clothes and beat each other up. Pulaski points out how fucking stupid this is.  Big laugh at the shitty arena and the insanely stupid costumes they have to wear for this. Apparently there's a bunch of references to Urusei Yatsura on the set design here.

- Worf attends his holo-party, where all his friends (Wesley, Geordi, Data, O'Brien) are ready to laugh at him as he gets hit with pain-sticks.

- Troi and Pulaski talk about the Rikers. Troi concludes that Riker is essentially trapped in the mindset of a 12 year old.
QuoteTROI: Human males are unique. Fathers continue to regard their sons as children, even into adulthood. And sons continue to chafe against what they perceive as their fathers' expectations of them.
PULASKI: It's almost as if they never really grow up at all, isn't it?
TROI: Perhaps that's part of their charm, and why we find them so attractive.
PULASKI: Particularly men like Commander Riker?
Jesus. There you have it, Troi's relationship with Riker was based on her wanting to do something about his utter helplessness. Some kind of protective Betazoid thing maybe.

- Long boring scene of Riker getting his ass kicked in this weird future martial arts sport he's playing. They end up yelling at each other about Riker's dead mum, the scene enhanced greatly by the stupid helmet pushing Frakes' cheeks up and making his face look fat while he tries to act deep emotions.

- Riker strides onto the bridge to tell Picard that he won't be accepting the promotion. You can actually see the life drain out of Picard's eyes. Stuck with the moron for god-only-knows how much longer.

That nearly put me to sleep a few times, especially in the last half. There's very little plot - the Worf stuff is thin, and the Riker stuff is somehow even thinner despite being the main plot. Kyle Riker is boring and, for that matter, so is Will Riker. Him agonising over the promotion generates absolutely no drama of any kind, and it's crazy that all his emotional issues with his father are resolved by hitting each other with big sticks. But hey, that's what "human males" do, according to the script.

The Worf stuff is a nice idea, but honestly, I don't think any of the characters in TNG are strong enough yet to carry an episode like this one, especially with such a dull script. The only scene I really liked was Geordi desperately trying to leave while Data was going over to "socialise" with Worf in Ten Forward. 2/10.

One thing I am noticing, though, is that Wesley isn't as bad as I remember. He was really shit in season one when he'd routinely fix everything and make everyone else look like shit, but now he seems to have been softly retconned into being a gifted but inexperienced ensign who's main feature is to have generic teenage experiences and be bad at social situations, which is mostly pretty tolerable.

(https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 01, 2021, 01:41:58 AM
There's a memorabilia auction going on currently, and wouldn't you know it, Picard's flute from the episode The Inner Light went under the hammer. Guess how much:
Spoiler alert
         $190,000         
[close]

https://usm.propstoreauction.com/m/lot-details/index/catalog/287/lot/73232/

(https://usm.propstoreauction.com/images/lot/4900/490073_2.jpg)

Also in the episode Lessons:
(https://i.imgur.com/VcP5j.jpg)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 01, 2021, 02:10:15 PM
039 | "The Icarus Factor"

(https://i.imgur.com/33bTVAq.jpg)

It's a Family Unfair

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Worf : With all due respect, BEGONE . . . sir!
• Pain-sticks keep falling on Worf's head side
• Power Rangers giant cotton-bud fight
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Montgomery Malfunction Maguffin
• Pullaski Pulling Pop
• Flaherty will chat you everywhere
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: kalowski on July 01, 2021, 04:49:21 PM
Quote from: daf on July 01, 2021, 02:10:15 PM

(https://i.imgur.com/33bTVAq.jpg)

Not the Tron reboot I was expecting.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on July 01, 2021, 04:56:33 PM
I always assumed that was inspired by the even more ridiculous combat sport in The Prisoner. The one with the trampolines.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on July 01, 2021, 07:25:34 PM
Dull episode with rotten pacing (another consequence of the writer's strike?) I wonder how much the series was trying regular viewers patience by this point? Not too long before it gets pretty much consistently good though...
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Camp Tramp on July 01, 2021, 07:29:03 PM
So that is what the ultimate martial art looks like?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: kalowski on July 01, 2021, 07:42:19 PM
Quote from: Camp Tramp on July 01, 2021, 07:29:03 PM
So that is what the ultimate martial art looks like?
Yes. Like an episode of Gladiators.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on July 01, 2021, 09:46:09 PM
Does anyone else find the Ferengi a bit out of place in the Star Trek universe?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 02, 2021, 03:22:46 AM
S02E15 - Pen Pals

The Enterprise happens upon a doomed planet, which they have the technology to save. Picard insists on withholding aid and instead allowing the people of the planet to die in order to satisfy the Prime Directive, but faces opposition from some of the crew.

- Troi's getting dragged off to the holodeck to watch Picard talk about horses. Nightmare. Crew morale plummets as Picard walks through the corridors in his stupid horse-riding outfit, complete with Victor Meldrew hat. Worse, he clearly wants to fuck the holo-horse - "hello beautiful," he greets it. "Some creatures have the capacity to... FILL spaces you never knew were empty". Troi says she can't ride a horse because her empathic abilities raise problems when working with animals. Picard enthuses about the horse's "shifting passions". Mercifully, before Picard can do anything obscene, Troi is saved by the bell as Riker calls them both to the bridge.

- Riker's sick of being Wesley's mentor, even though he's done quite literally jack shit in the role. It's time to shrug this responsibility off by putting Wesley in charge of some stupid shit and leaving him to it. The entire command staff gets together to talk shit about Wes.

-  Data's dicking about with a computer when he picks up a signal from space, a young girl calling for help. He learns that the girl is called Sarjenka, and lives on a planet called Drema 4. She says that the planet is experiencing volcanic activity which Data knows will wipe out all life on Drema 4 if the Enterprise can't stop it.

- Wesley says that he's finding it tough to give orders, because he doesn't believe his judgment is superior to that of those under his command. It's no wonder he ended up bailing out of Starfleet at the end, he's way too switched-on for the usual Starfleet "well, the Captain's ordering us to kill ourselves, better go along with it" lark. Riker tells Wesley that being in command will work out fine as long as you relentlessly trust your own judgement. A glimpse into the Riker mindset there. Riker's final advice is to ask yourself what Picard would do in any given situation.
QuoteRIKER: Well it doesn't matter. Once Picard makes his decision, does anyone question it?
WESLEY: No way.
RIKER: And why not?
WESLEY: ...I'm not sure.
Say what you want about Wesley, but I think he's one of the only Starfleet characters in all of Berman-era Star Trek who questions the wisdom in the chain of command.

- Picard calls a meeting on the Prime Directive, to decide whether we should save the planet or sit back and watch them all burn to death. Here we go:
QuotePICARD: In a situation like this, we have to be cautious. What we do today may profoundly affect upon the future. If we could see every possible outcome...
RIKER: We'd be gods, which we're not. If there is a cosmic plan, is it not the height of hubris to think that we can, or should, interfere?
LAFORGE: So what are you saying? That the Dremans are fated to die?
RIKER: I think that's an option we should be considering.
LAFORGE: Consider it considered, and rejected.
The fuck is this? The argument in favour of the Prime Directive is the existence of a "cosmic plan" and "fate"? Why go out into space at all if this is your mindset?
QuoteTROI: If there is a cosmic plan, are we not a part of it? Our presence at this place at this moment in time could be a part of that fate.
LAFORGE: Right, and it could be part of that plan that we interfere.
RIKER: Well that eliminates the possibility of fate.
Riker angrily snaps the above line at Geordi. It's annoying that his response is just to snarkily have a go at them and then change the subject, because nobody else in the room ever responds to Troi and Geordi's good point. I actually think they're all written out of character here, and it's kind of disappointing that they don't focus more on the supposed anti-imperialist benefits of the Prime Directive, rather than this weird spiritual stuff which none of these characters profess a belief in outside this episode, and which virtually no viewers are likely to find compelling. It feels a bit like Measure of a Man again - a big dramatic debate scene which acts as though it's nuanced and complex, but at least one side doesn't get to say anything that makes any sense.
QuoteDATA: But Commander, the Dremans are not a subject for philosophical debate. They are a people.
PICARD: So we make an exception in the deaths of millions.
PULASKI: Yes.
PICARD: And is it the same situation if it's an epidemic, and not a geological calamity?
PULASKI: Absolutely.
PICARD: How about a war? If generations of conflict is killing millions, do we interfere? Ah, well, now we're all a little less secure in our moral certitude. And what if it's not just killings. If an oppressive government is enslaving millions? You see, the Prime Directive has many different functions, not the least of which is to protect us. To prevent us from allowing our emotions to overwhelm our judgement.
This is the key exchange in the episode. You've got to love how Picard responds to Data's point by doing exactly what Data was criticising, and turning the Dremans into a thought experiment, because that's all they actually are to him. Picard's argument is a slippery slope thing that makes virtually no sense - well, if we try to stop a natural disaster from orbit, we might as well be invading the planet and toppling governments!! It's like he's just regurgitating some crap he's remembered from the academy. Meanwhile, Sarjenka and her people are about to die.
QuoteLAFORGE: What if the Dremans asked for our help?
DATA: Yes. Sarjenka's transmission could be viewed as a call for help.
PICARD: Sophistry.
??? Not even going to comment on this one. Picard sucks so much shit it's unreal. It's probably with noting at this point that a big weakness of this episode is that we never find out what the Prime Directive actually is, what it specifically forbids and allows.

- The next part is what seals the deal - Picard thinks it over for a few seconds, and then decides that the Dremans should be allowed to die. I seriously have no idea what the justification is for this, other than that we don't want to upset "fate" or "play god". Making the decision to allow the planet to burn is NOT playing god, you see. It's not even a matter of revealing themselves to the Dremans - that's never even raised as a point in this scene, and the ultimate solution to the volcano problem turns out to be achievable from orbit. There is no mention of any practical or resource-based difficulties that could arise from attempting to save the planet (and indeed, none do). Picard's logic is, as far as I can see, that the Dremans are "meant" to die as part of a "cosmic plan".

So, Picard orders Data to cut all transmissions with Sarjenka. Instead, Data puts her on loudspeaker and allows her calls for help to be heard through the whole briefing room. Picard hesitates for a minute, and then concludes, "we cannot turn our backs". I feel like this is the point of the episode - Picard's gibberish thought experiment comes across as cult-y, like he's just repeating a bunch of cliches that have been drilled into him since his training. The instant that he's confronted with a five second clip of a little girl's voice, the instant he's forced even for a moment to consider them actual people rather than an excuse to flex his debating muscles, it finally dawns on him that of course the Prime Directive as it's portrayed here is a ridiculous idea. Basic empathy cuts through the dogma in five seconds flat. What's especially interesting, though, is that this plot is paired with Wesley's plot, in which he starts to doubt the nature of absolute authority, including Picard's. We see Wesley realise he doesn't actually know why Picard's judgment is meant to be absolute, and then a couple of minutes later, Picard attempts to condemn an entire civilisation to death, and then comes across as a feeble easily-swayed moron after he instantly reverses the decision thanks to Data's emotional manipulation. Hmmmmmmmmm.

- Also, does Picard change his mind just because Sarjenka is a scared-sounding child? If Data's pen pal had been an adult asking for help more calmly, would Picard have just been like "well you know, fate, cosmic plan, let em burn, and so on and so forth"?

- Another thing - I like that Pulaski, Data and Geordi are the ones who end up making the anti-Prime Directive argument most fervently. Given that there's been a bit of rivalry between Pulaski and the other two in previous episodes (the Holmes one), it would have been good to have made more of them all ending up on the same side of this argument while Riker sits there masturbating about "fate".

- It's radio silence from Sarjenka. Data wants to beam down to save her from the volcanic eruptions. Hilarious scene where he asks Picard's permission, and Riker tries to act as a fucking henchman by cutting him off and glaring at him a few times. Picard, who's basically rendered himself a laughing stock with no firm principles at this point in the episode, authorises it after Data pushes him a little.

- On the planet, Data meets Sarjenka in person. She has weird alien fingers. Everyone else has fled to shelters, but Sarjenka became trapped on the surface. Data determines that the only option is to beam her up to the Enterprise.

- Data brings Sarjenka to the bridge. Riker looks confused, until Picard gets angry, at which point Riker immediately makes sure he's siding with Picard by launching into a performative smackdown of Data. Pathetic!

- The volcanic activity is easily fixed from orbit, without any risk of revealing the Enterprise to the people below. Given how easy this was and how simple it was to avoid detection, Picard's original comfort with condemning them all to death and flying off looks more and more like the behaviour of an absolute fucking dingbat by the second.

- The planet is saved and Sarjenka is thrilled to see her world from space. Of course, Picard's still got more bullshit up his sleeve, so he orders Pulaski to perform a non-consensual mind-wipe on Sarjenka to remove all memory of Data and the Enterprise. Can't have everything, I guess. Surprised Pulaski agrees, but there's 6 minutes left in the episode so I guess there's no time to question Picard's order to perform impromptu fucking brain surgery on some kid. In addition to being obviously wrong, this is shit from a narrative standpoint, since it quickly removes any and all repercussions from violating the Prime Directive. Let's avoid "playing god" by making sure Sarjenka's perception of reality is altered to what we think it ought to be, without her consent. Good god.

- Pulaski's logic for agreeing to do this is that Sarjenka "has to be the person she was born to be". So calling out to Data, her visit up to the Enterprise, that was all a mistake, I guess. In order to Not Play God and Respect Fate, let's knock a child out and fuck with her brain so we can remove her memory of real events that really happened to her. Great! This is ridiculous. Especially funny to have a doctor argue that "fate" must be allowed to take its course. Better NEVER HEAL ANYONE OF ANYTHING EVER, THEN

- Picard's back to navel-gazing in his quarters. He thanks Data for "reminding us that there are obligations that go beyond duty". He also hilariously tries to play it like this:
QuoteDATA: I appreciate your seeking other options, sir. Your decision could have been unilateral.
PICARD: One of my officers, one of my friends, was troubled. I had to help.
Ahahaha, fuck right off. Yeah, Data's emotional health was the thing at stake here, not millions of people's lives. Also love the self-satisfied "I had to help" as if he wasn't basically forced into it. WORM. MAGGOT. INSECT.

This is a good episode if you approach it with the mindset that the Federation are meant to be the antagonists, which I'm pretty sure is the intended point. The episode seems very critical of Picard - he's a flip-flopping idiot who tries to hide behind ideas like Prime Directive (which, as we've seen before in the likes of Symbiosis, he can never quite explain his reasons for supporting), up until Data forces him to come face-to-face with a child he almost condemned to death, at which point he gets flustered and backs down. He can't really explain why he believes what he claims to believe (other than by offering a completely batshit hypothetical scenario in which stopping a cataclysm leads to toppling a government), and, as in Symbiosis, he gives the whole idea up as soon as he's forced to confront its consequences.

It's always interesting when the 24th-Century Federation is portrayed in this way. They're on their way to being equivalent to the Metrons or Organians, which is an idea that's equal parts horrifying and fascinating. If it hadn't been for Data's out-of-character ballsy move of putting Sarjenka on loudspeaker, she and everyone she knew would have burned alive in a flood of lava, while Picard was light years away reclining in his ready room, having already forgotten all about Drema 4, with the whole thing being nothing more than a footnote in a log entry. Very Metron-y.

When paired with Wesley's realisation about how he doesn't actually know why he's supposed to trust Picard's judgment, and Riker's idiotic "well, if you're in command, it means you're probably right!" stuff, it's a script which seems to me to be blowing a lot of holes through the 24th-Century Federation, and the characters of Picard and Riker especially. And I think it does a good job. Data took them apart pretty much perfectly with "the Dremans are not a subject for philosophical debate. They are a people." 7/10. The episode only loses points because Picard and Riker's pro-PD position never gets a chance to really make sense - I think it's fair to say that all the best arguments are given to Data/Geordi/Pulaski, because they're the ones the writers wanted to win the debate, and so the opposition had to be reduced to "b-but fate!".

(https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)

It's not quite the focus of this episode, because here the Prime Directive is presented as complying with "fate", but still: the version of the Prime Directive where you can't even talk to people until they reach the relatively arbirtary point of warp travel[nb]especially since apparently only one person on the planet needs to do it, ie Cochrane[/nb] still confuses me. It makes for decent episodes like this one where people like Data, Pulaski and Geordi have to struggle against it when its murderous logical extremes come into play, but it doesn't make sense - why is it considered better to let millions of people die than "contaminate" them by just speaking with them?[nb]another point is that Angel One explicitly stated that the Prime Directive doesn't apply to civilian ships, so absolutely anyone outside Starfleet would be welcome to beam down and talk to anyone, which makes everything even more crazy[/nb] It's as paternalistic and sneering as the Kirk-era imperialism that it's replacing, only with somehow even worse consequences. "Don't worry, we will never harm your culture by interacting with you! We know you're not our equals, but rather pitiful creatures who are too fragile to handle meeting us! Have no fear, we'll let you all die in agony before we ever even dream of ruining your society by helping you out." Baffling. If the idea is to avoid forcing your will on others, then surely the best course of action is to contact the Dremans and ask if they want help, or if they'd rather have the volcanoes go off and kill them all? By making the decision for them, you're still forcing your will on them. Winds me up to no end. Flying around treating the galaxy like a big zoo where you can gawk at the funny pre-warp people and smugly watch them die to satisfy The Cosmic Plan.

It works in this episode because it's presented as an obstacle to get around, but from here on out, this is the Prime Directive, and it just gets worse.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 02, 2021, 11:23:50 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 02, 2021, 03:22:46 AM
It's not quite the focus of this episode, because here the Prime Directive is presented as complying with "fate", but still: the version of the Prime Directive where you can't even talk to people until they reach the relatively arbirtary point of warp travel[nb]especially since apparently only one person on the planet needs to do it, ie Cochrane[/nb] still confuses me.

I think the idea is that just the fact other life exists could potentially have huge impacts on those societies, and it's pretty impossible to guarantee those impacts aren't negative. Cargo cults being an example where the West wasn't deliberately cunty but still fucked up isolated cultures, and that's just humans with different technology. Even if those effects are obviously negative, the federation is likely to still have a huge impact and influence on those societies and in some way stop them being themselves.

I see the warp cut off being a basically pragmatic - it's the point where you can't really avoid them anymore. Although didn't the Bajorans manage to visit other planets pre-warp?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Catalogue Trousers on July 02, 2021, 12:33:34 PM
QuoteDoes anyone else find the Ferengi a bit out of place in the Star Trek universe?

They are, at first. The thing is (as is pretty well-known), they were apparently planned to be the new Big Nasty Aliens of TNG, its equivalent to the Klingons or Romulans. However, their conception as weaselly little swindlers didn't help with that - you can carry all of the electric whips that you like, but it won't make you a credible Terrifying Opponent when you look like that.

Luckily, a waste-not want-not approach meant that they could be kept, and refined: while the likes of the Borg became the Big Nasty Aliens that the show needed for conflict and drama on a grand scale, the true worth of the Ferengi as the Arthur Daleys of the Universe became apparent. They became semi-comical but fearsomely devious characters with identities and personalities, which ultimately benefitted DS9 in particular. They were out of place to start with, but grew into an enjoyable and established role other than that originally planned.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on July 02, 2021, 12:51:17 PM
Yeah I think maybe it's the fact they are so comical and silly they seem like a pisstake. I like them, don't get me wrong, it just feels odd.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 02, 2021, 01:30:11 PM
Ugh Pen Pals. Everyone is so badly OOC even by season 2 standards. One of the few episodes I've only seen twice.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 02, 2021, 01:39:41 PM
Quote from: MojoJojo on July 02, 2021, 11:23:50 AM
I think the idea is that just the fact other life exists could potentially have huge impacts on those societies, and it's pretty impossible to guarantee those impacts aren't negative. Cargo cults being an example where the West wasn't deliberately cunty but still fucked up isolated cultures, and that's just humans with different technology. Even if those effects are obviously negative, the federation is likely to still have a huge impact and influence on those societies and in some way stop them being themselves.

I see the warp cut off being a basically pragmatic - it's the point where you can't really avoid them anymore. Although didn't the Bajorans manage to visit other planets pre-warp?

I can see why extreme caution and years-long planning would be needed before contacting people on pre-modern worlds, where there's definitely a risk of them getting the wrong idea as in Who Watches The Watchers. But it gets increasingly odd the more "advanced" the civilisation in question is, to the point where if the Prime Directive as presented in Pen Pals is to be believed, Picard would be required to let present-day Earth be wiped out by a meteor because we haven't got warp yet, which means we're too fragile to be culturally contaminated by extraterrestrial contact, so we'd be required to die by Fate™ and Will Riker's Cosmic Plan.

On a different note, I wonder if there's a purely practical argument for being the first ones to contact people in certain circumstances - space travel seems to be so common in the TNG era that, if the Federation doesn't establish contact, someone else like the Ferengi or the Cardassians or the Klingons (or even Federation civilians) might, and there's a possibility they'll be less restrained than the Federation. Even with all the issues first contact scenarios present, it might sometimes be the best of a bad situation to be the first ones to go down and give people the framework to prepare themselves for contact with factions less generally-benevolent than the Federation. Sort of like "hi, we're from space, and if some orange people with weird ears show up and claim to be gods who need offerings of all your latinum, you might want to think carefully about it before you agree".

The only Star Trek episode I can think off off the top of my head that deals with this kind of thing, albeit not through the lens of the Prime Directive explicitly, is Errand of Mercy, where the Klingons just show up to Organia, declare themselves the new governance, and start executing dissidents by the hundreds on day one. Kirk doesn't come out of the whole thing looking great, but if a planet is about to be contacted one way or another, there's got to be an argument for shelving the Prime Directive (or at least, the TNG-era "never talk to anyone, they're fated to die" interpretation of it) and taking on the responsibility of first contact just to give the people of the planet a fighting chance at retaining as much of their independence as possible under the circumstances.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 02, 2021, 02:42:42 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 02, 2021, 01:39:41 PM
I can see why extreme caution and years-long planning would be needed before contacting people on pre-modern worlds, where there's definitely a risk of them getting the wrong idea as in Who Watches The Watchers. But it gets increasingly odd the more "advanced" the civilisation in question is, to the point where if the Prime Directive as presented in Pen Pals is to be believed, Picard would be required to let present-day Earth be wiped out by a meteor because we haven't got warp yet, which means we're too fragile to be culturally contaminated by extraterrestrial contact, so we'd be required to die by Fate™ and Will Riker's Cosmic Plan.

I agree the situation in Pen Pals is ridiculous. I suppose you can sort of make an excuse that the situation in Pen Pals - where a federation ship comes along at just the right moment to save a whole planet, is so ridiculously unlikely that it's not something that was considered when the Prime Directive was formulated.

Again I wonder if it was down to the writers strike. The shape of the episode is there, it just needs the dialogue in a few scenes to be rewritten to have non-dogshit arguments. Same with Measure of a Man. Patrick Stewart really does a good job - it's hard to imagine many other actors managing to make such stupid arguments sound profound.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 02, 2021, 02:57:44 PM
040 | "Pen Pals"

(https://i.imgur.com/slZKnuC.jpg)

You know when you've been Tango'd!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Picard's Holo-Horsey Date
• Respect Wesley's Authori-taaahh!
• Spindly carrot fingers
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Tea! Earl Grey! Hot! #2
• Wesley chair-vault #1 (get your own gimmick!)
• Prime Directive Squabble Squad
• Data's Singing Stone memory-wipe sabotage
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Endicott on July 02, 2021, 04:08:30 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 02, 2021, 01:39:41 PM
I can see why extreme caution and years-long planning would be needed before contacting people on pre-modern worlds, where there's definitely a risk of them getting the wrong idea as in Who Watches The Watchers. But it gets increasingly odd the more "advanced" the civilisation in question is, to the point where if the Prime Directive as presented in Pen Pals is to be believed, Picard would be required to let present-day Earth be wiped out by a meteor because we haven't got warp yet, which means we're too fragile to be culturally contaminated by extraterrestrial contact, so we'd be required to die by Fate™ and Will Riker's Cosmic Plan.

Do you think present day 2021 Earth would not go bat-shit insane if ETs actually arrived? I don't have much confidence.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on July 02, 2021, 04:49:04 PM
Beep beep, bitches! Here I come with the receipts. Did the crew just invoke Natural Order as an excuse to let someone die? Uh oh, looks like you owe Pervert World a written apology and human sacrifice.

Quote from: Lemming on May 18, 2021, 04:23:02 PM
S01E07 - Justice

...

The cool thing about this episode is that Picard's ready to break the Prime Directive to just teleport Wesley out (the planetary representatives even say this would work as a solution), but there's an alien ship who have set themselves up as gods of the planet, and have the power to destroy the Enterprise. They've also scanned Data, meaning that they have a full understanding of how the Prime Directive is meant to work, and they'll be judging Picard by the Federation's own rules.

Even though Data's argument wins out in the end, this story sadly becomes the temple for all future Prime Directive discussions in Star Trek. It's no longer a moral principle to be considered in concert with other principles (like, I don't know... the right to life?), but rather a steel chair to be smacked across the back of the head of whoever need to lose the episode.

Which is a shame really, because your heroes shouldn't be on the side of genocides.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on July 02, 2021, 04:52:18 PM
Good episode, mind you. Like MojoJojo says, they just needed to not sound like cowardly wankers.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bakabaka on July 02, 2021, 05:27:48 PM
Quote from: daf on June 27, 2021, 02:41:13 PM
036 | "Contagion"
Written by Steve Gerber, creator of Howard the Duck. Also writer of Guardians of the Galaxy, Man-Thing, Daredevil and a bunch of other stuff. Instigator of much of the independent comics movement.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 02, 2021, 05:37:53 PM
EDIT: I mis-remembered the details on Friendship One slightly and had to edit a bit.

The only time they did a Prime Directive-ish episode that worked imo was 'Friendship One' in Voyager. In that one, an early warp-capable United Earth space probe that was sent off a few years after Cochrane's warp flight is happily sailing through the Galaxy telling everyone who encounters how to communicate with earth, along with handing out associated technological advances in terms of computer systems, transceivers etc.. It's ultimately picked up by a race in the Delta Quadrant, who reverse engineer anti-matter technology from it, aren't responsible enough to handle anti-matter, and they ended up poisoning their entire planet. The Prime Directive rightly prohibits sharing technology with pre-warp civilisations by the time of Voyager, and this episode shows why. They weren't even given potentially dangerous technology intentionally, they were just accidentally shown the technology that they then made a fuck of.

Every other time, there has to be a dilemma that makes either the crew or the Federation look dogmatic and sometimes hypocritical. Or else there won't be tension in the episode. No one's going to watch:
Picard: "The Prime Directive says this. We cannot interfere."
Riker: "Agreed. This seems perfectly reasonable."
Data: "No objections, sir."
Picard: "Anyone else?"
Crew: "Nope."
Picard: "Good. That was a quick staff meeting. Tea?"

So there has to be something to argue over, and someone has to be the bad guy.

If you can save a planet from being utterly ravaged by natural disasters, especially if you can do it without anyone on the planet knowing that aliens on a spaceship did it, then 'fate' or 'well maybe a more successful species will replace them' feel pretty weak as justifications for folding your arms and doing nothing.
         
But then there are so many 'ifs and buts' (What if their race is genetically deficient in some way? What if they're destroying the planet's ecosystem because they're a race of Donald Trumps that have brought this on themselves, is it really our job to beam down and wag our finger at them?) that Starfleet clearly decided that 'do nothing' as a general practice was the safest option. But you can't translate what I'm sure were years' worth of ethical debates and consideration of the outcomes of multiple cases where Humans, Vulcans or any other Federation member had interfered in the development of a pre-warp civilisation into an episode easily.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wentworth Smith on July 02, 2021, 05:39:06 PM
It's never mentioned but there must be loads of pre warp worlds surrounded by the Federation. Would be a bit much for one of them to gain warp and then find out that the asteroid that smashed into their planet fifty years ago and killed billions could have been stopped by the newly met Fed but Will Riker prevented any action due it being against the cosmic order of things.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on July 02, 2021, 06:09:42 PM
Do I remember right that it's suggested (probably in DS9) that the Ferengi never developed warp drive tech themselves, but basically bought it off someone else? Presumably some other passing culture that stopped by their planet.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 02, 2021, 06:26:31 PM
Quote from: Endicott on July 02, 2021, 04:08:30 PM
Do you think present day 2021 Earth would not go bat-shit insane if ETs actually arrived? I don't have much confidence.

I think at this stage we might be alright - if the aliens were Federation-esque and showed up peacefully, talked with various world leaders for a bit, and then fucked off again with a "bye, see you when you get warp", I imagine most people would be intrigued and excited, but pretty soon it'd be old news. People always seem to adapt to stuff pretty quickly (I'm always surprised how quickly living through a global pandemic became totally unremarkable), after a year the aliens would be probably be meme material. Best case scenario could be a big surge in optimism and pan-global human identity, so to speak, and a collective mood shift towards internationalism. Not sure what the worst case scenario could be, probably nuclear armageddon.

Depends how the aliens announce themselves and what their goals are, I suppose - which government they choose to speak to first, whether they offer some kind of rough guidelines on how to achieve spaceflight and join the interstellar community, stuff like that.

Quote from: Wentworth Smith on July 02, 2021, 05:39:06 PM
It's never mentioned but there must be loads of pre warp worlds surrounded by the Federation. Would be a bit much for one of them to gain warp and then find out that the asteroid that smashed into their planet fifty years ago and killed billions could have been stopped by the newly met Fed but Will Riker prevented any action due it being against the cosmic order of things.

This is a really fascinating idea for a plot. Thinking about alien contact with Earth, what if when we finally do leave the solar system, we're greeted by a Federation-esque entity who immediately admit that they've been there for many generations. They give us the cure for cancer and the other biggest killers, and the means to stop natural disasters and all that, but confess that they were just hanging out right outside the solar system watching us suffer for centuries because they thought it'd be "contamination" to step in and help until we went out and met them ourselves. We'd just have to be like "alright mate thanks mate" and then fly back to Earth to seethe.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wentworth Smith on July 02, 2021, 06:41:36 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 02, 2021, 06:26:31 PM
This is a really fascinating idea for a plot.

I'll let you write it as fan fiction as long as you include a b story in which Picard gifts Riker a chair with a higher than usual back and every time Riker leaps over it he smacks himself in the jazz trombone. Must happen about 5 or 6 times.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on July 02, 2021, 06:45:22 PM
That's such a good idea for a plot it has surely been done before. If not, get it done.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wentworth Smith on July 02, 2021, 06:50:09 PM
Quote from: bgmnts on July 02, 2021, 06:45:22 PM
That's such a good idea for a plot

I presume you are talking about Riker and the chair.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 02, 2021, 07:05:09 PM
Quote from: Wentworth Smith on July 02, 2021, 06:41:36 PM
he smacks himself in the jazz trombone.

Chortle!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 02, 2021, 07:25:15 PM
Given how xenophobic everyone else has become all of a sudden, I don't think there's any doubt how most people would react - if not initially, once the conspiracy hate machine kicked into high gear. They'd be made out to be the Muslim rape gangs, gypsies/travellers, illegal immigrants, economic migrants and Eastern European builders all rolled into one.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 02, 2021, 11:05:25 PM
If aliens gave us the cure for cancer now, rich bastards would hoard the secret and charge the plebs an arm and a leg for it.

Oh wait I mean WHAT IF IT WAS A PLANET OF HITLERS
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on July 03, 2021, 10:07:23 AM
rich bastards would be insufferable spreading the wealth to project how insecure they are and how they want to desperately be seen as the true representative of us all. for a couple of years.

like primary school bullies in their first week of big school, desperately trying to be pals with the hard teenagers
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 03, 2021, 10:19:11 AM
ST Into Darkness also starts with a similar situation, where a primitive(r) race is facing certain doom from a natural disaster which the Enterprise could easily prevent without the aliens knowing; but they then proceed to do so (bypassing all that tedious discussion of the ethics and spirit of the PD) in a really stupid way (which sets the tone for the rest of the film).
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 03, 2021, 11:25:44 AM
Quote from: mothman on July 03, 2021, 10:19:11 AM
ST Into Darkness also starts with a similar situation, where a primitive(r) race is facing certain doom from a natural disaster which the Enterprise could easily prevent without the aliens knowing; but they then proceed to do so (bypassing all that tedious discussion of the ethics and spirit of the PD) in a really stupid way (which sets the tone for the rest of the film).

BUT THEY FLEW THE ENTERPRISE OUT OF A LAKE! Isn't that so cool!?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 03, 2021, 11:52:16 AM
... the prosecution rests.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 04, 2021, 03:07:03 AM
S02E16 - Q Who?

Q throws the Enterprise to a distant corner of the galaxy, where a dangerous new enemy awaits.

- Ensign Gomez has arrived! She quickly obliterates Picard by throwing hot chocolate all over him. Owned. I like the characterisation of Geordi here, by the way, where he's sort of laconic and extremely chilled out and comes across like he can't really be bothered with socialising (also evident in that great bar scene in The Icarus Factor). Much better than the awful grown-man-who-acts-like-a-13-year-old characterisation they give him later on.

- Q shows up, and it turns out Guinan knows him. Nice battle-ready stance here:
(https://i.imgur.com/il0UeCw.png)

- Q gets moody and says that the Federation isn't ready for what's out there. Picard says that they are, so Q flings them off to the Delta Quadrant. Picard shits himself and asks Guinan for help, since El-Auriens know this area. She tells them to start running now.

- They've been in the Delta Quadrant about two minutes when a Borg Cube shows up. Guinan's staring directly at it through the window of Ten Forward, and then goes to her quarters to activate her personal viewscreen to get a slightly worse, smaller view of it. She tells Picard who the Borg are, and how badly fucked the Enterprise is.

- The Borg start sending drones over to check the Enterprise out. "Interesting, isn't it?", Q says. "Not a he, not a she. Not like anything you've ever encountered." It's just a generic white man with a stupid thing stuck to his eye. Speaking of which, it's a point that's been made many times over, I know, but why are all the Borg drones human? Where's all the weird jellyfish people or huge rodent species they must have assimilated?

- Worf successfully shoots a Borg drone to death. One for the running killcount, there.

- The ship is grabbed by a Borg tractor beam!
WORF: That beam is draining our shields!
RIKER: If they pull down our shields, we're helpless.
Cheers Will.

- A bit of the Enterprise, with 18 people on it, is cut away and dragged up to the Borg ship, never to be seen again. Let's hope it wasn't the nursery!

- Upon learning that 18 of his crew have been taken, Picard glares at the Borg ship on the viewscreen. There's a fire in his eyes you don't normally see. "What is the condition of the alien ship?" he asks. Worf replies that it's 20% damaged. Picard nods, never breaking his glare from the cube. I honestly thought he was about to say something uncharacteristically ballsy and cool like "let's get our people back", but instead he just stares for a moment longer and weakly utters "conference" before scuttling off to the meeting room. Laughed.

- Ultimately, Riker's the one who suggests going over to the Borg ship - not to rescue the people (everyone refers to them as being dead, though I'm not sure that's certain, unless they weren't protected from the vacuum while being taken over to the cube), but just to check it out. Guinan says it's a really bad idea. "I dunno, Guinan," Riker replies, "they paid us a visit. It's only fair we return the courtesy." ACE RIKER

- Riker's away team walks ponderously through a Borg corridor, with everyone agreeing it's scary. They reach the Borg nursery. How many times did Seven say the phrase "Borg maturation chamber" throughout the run of Voyager? Had to be at least 200.

- Data discovers that the cube is regenerating. Picard decides to start running, but the cube chases. Q shows up and demands that Picard beg for mercy. Love the part where Riker and Worf very enthusiastically arm the photon torpedoes, and Data calmly points out that firing them at the current range will destroy the Enterprise in the blast, and Riker responds by just doing his usual "help me" look at Picard.

- Picard begs for help and Q sends them back to the Alpha Quadrant. Picard whines that there was no reason to kill 18 people just to show how scary the Borg are, Q gives him some shit and then fucks off.

- Guinan sucks all the fun out of the high-spirited adventure by saying that the Borg will be coming for Earth now.

Good episode, and we get finally get to the Borg. The Borg have some pretty big ups and downs in the future - personally, I don't think they really become interesting until I, Borg, and most of the best Borg episodes come about in Voyager (I always liked the ones where they meet ex-Borg who are basically cult survivors trying to readjust to normal life) - but they work here as just a bunch of faceless bastards who show up and sit there menacingly. John de Lancie's performance as Q is next level. In fact, he plays Q's antagonist qualities so incredibly effectively that the character becomes absolutely detestable, far beyond what he was in Farpoint or Hide and Q. That's one of the best things about this episode and de Lancie is exceptional in the role, but it makes things awkward later on when the show asks you to join the man who got 18 of the crew killed for a fun romp around Sherwood Forest in tights.

Only criticism is that the pacing starts to drag in the last half, especially Riker's away mission. I see what they were going for - the fact that the away team are unmolested and unacknowledged by the Borg as they slowly walk around checking out the ship adds to the Borg's whole mystique, but watching the actors walk very slowly through a cheap set while Data tells us that the Borg are a hivemind (which Troi already knew) is a bit of a pace-killer. 7/10

(https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)

Also, Pulaski isn't here! Presumably the writers had to take her out because her power is so great that she would have been able to defeat the Borg on sight, turning them from a franchise-spanning presence into yet another 45-minute one-and-done adversary of the week.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on July 04, 2021, 03:56:09 AM
BORG! YES!

I know Q is sort of an antagonist but isn't he mostly just testing humanity? I feel like deep down he's a force for good.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 04, 2021, 09:29:27 AM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on July 02, 2021, 04:52:18 PM
Good episode, mind you. Like MojoJojo says, they just needed to not sound like cowardly wankers.

Sorry to go back, but I watched it (Pen Pals) last night. It's frustrating, if you just change it so that the volcanoes are just going to destroy the girls continent you can make the whole thing make more sense. You can argue that disasters can have long term positive effects on societies, throw in some real example. It becomes about individuals versus societies. Picard's slippery slope arguments start having some validity. You might disagree with it, think it's psychotic, but at least it would make some sense. Then Picard breaking the prime directive would have some weight, and it would just work better overall.

But no, the volcanoes are going to wipe out all life on the planet. The prime directive is effectively protecting the rights of lava to exist.

One thing Lemming didn't really cover is how boring and crap the Wesley storyline was, and how it's a good example of why Wesley became so hated.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 04, 2021, 11:22:12 AM
Quote from: MojoJojo on July 04, 2021, 09:29:27 AM
Sorry to go back, but I watched it (Pen Pals) last night....

One thing Lemming didn't really cover is how boring and crap the Wesley storyline was, and how it's a good example of why Wesley became so hated.

Lemming did cover how the storyline linked to the main plot, making it about trust in authority. Although one has to wonder how intentional it was, seeing as the Prime Directive story was so shoddily filed out (you're spot on with your suggestion there)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 04, 2021, 03:15:11 PM
041 | "Q Who"

(https://i.imgur.com/cbU3sVs.jpg)

Born Borg

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• The Hot Chocolate Sketch
• Flashing 'Red Alert' TV frame
• Borg laser apple-core deck-chunk
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Guinan's Q-detecting 'Spidey-sense'
• Micro-Brain Worf
• No, let's not have a sodding conference - LEG IT!!!!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/ixhj4Sw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on July 04, 2021, 07:52:05 PM
The ridiculous 12 second shot of the Enterprise coming to a stop, complete with a massive 'engines shut off' sound effect is perfect television.

I also love Q's over-the-top YOU! when Guinan pops up, makes absolutely no sense in retrospect.

The original creepy, inscrutable, arsed mate cigs Borg are just the best. Here they are just minding their own business, processing whatever comes their way, only to be confounded by the abrupt disappearance of the Enterprise. You can imagine some switch flicking in the deep recesses of the hive mind, so they decide to send out exactly one cube to check out these daft weirdos.

Quote from: Lemming on July 04, 2021, 03:07:03 AM
- The Borg start sending drones over to check the Enterprise out. "Interesting, isn't it?", Q says. "Not a he, not a she. Not like anything you've ever encountered." It's just a generic white man with a stupid thing stuck to his eye. Speaking of which, it's a point that's been made many times over, I know, but why are all the Borg drones human? Where's all the weird jellyfish people or huge rodent species they must have assimilated?

Until assimilation became their hat, I imagined that the Borg were their own species. They only convert Picard as a one-off because they genuinely thought the rest of the Federation would just sort of go along with it. 'We'll send one cube, take over one guy and that's it right? That's how you work? Hierarchies and individuals and shit?'.

I think I just like the idea of the Borg being kind of thick.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 04, 2021, 08:03:59 PM
That "not a he not a she" bit must have gone a bit astray somewhere in the execution - as, unlike the Binars, the first few Borg we see are just some blokes!


Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on July 04, 2021, 08:48:50 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on July 04, 2021, 07:52:05 PM
The original creepy, inscrutable, arsed mate cigs Borg are just the best. Here they are just minding their own business, processing whatever comes their way, only to be confounded by the abrupt disappearance of the Enterprise. You can imagine some switch flicking in the deep recesses of the hive mind, so they decide to send out exactly one cube to check out these daft weirdos.

The earlier implication from The Neutral Zone is that a cube was already well on its way and was within the periphery of Federation space (which inexplicably takes another two years to dawdle around said periphery before somehow managing to zip across the Federation to Earth in the space of a couple of episodes, as does the Enterprise). Q's intervention here serves as a reveal to the nature of the threat and a warning to be better prepared.

And yup the Borg here and in TBOBW pt.1 were never bettered. An inscrutable, terrifying and unstoppable threat (and coming via Q hints that even the Continuum might be an awe of them). Of course later we discover they're really quite craply fallible, and I, Borg essentially destroyed the remaining mythos, to the extent that the Dominion became the far more interesting foe.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 05, 2021, 04:57:13 AM
S02E17 - Samaritan Snare

- (https://i.imgur.com/8tYzFw6.gif)
Let's hope those flash drive thingies aren't fragile.

- Picard's got a shitty heart, and Pulaski orders him to a starbase for treatment. Picard is mad because he really wanted to see some cool pulsars and Pulaski's ruining it by not allowing him to die of heart failure.

- He's also embarrassed by his naff heart, and refuses to allow anyone other than Pulaski to know about it. So much for the enlightened "we've moved beyond EVERYTHING" 24th Century.

- Ensign Gomez is still here and she's BFFs with Geordi and Wes now. She fucks off never to be mentioned again after this episode - you can read about why here (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Sonya_Gomez#Background_information).

- Picard and Wesley are going off for a hideously awkward shuttle ride. Riker's in command. Brace for impact.

- Riker responds to a distress call from the Pakleds. Data sees that their ship is "basic early design, capable of sub-light travel only". So, they're pre-warp? Does the Prime Directive apply? Should we just turn around, ignore the distress signal, and get out of there to avoid cultural contamination?

- Riker decides to send Geordi over (alone, lol) to the Pakled ship to repair it.
QuoteWORF: Commander? Do we truly need to send our Chief Engineer over to them?
RIKER: Obviously they need our help.
WORF: Why do we not simply give them the information they need to make their own repairs?
RIKER: Do you honestly get the impression they could handle our technical specifications?
WORF: We do not know anything about them.
RIKER: Acknowledged, Mister Worf. We have an obligation to render aid.
Worf tends to get caricatured as a complete idiot a lot in the first two seasons, so this is nice - I think it's the first time he raises an actual security concern rather than just coming out with his usual "why do we not simply KILL EVERYONE NOW" stuff.

- Troi rushes up to the bridge to ask Riker what the fuck he's playing at sending Geordi over alone. Riker says he's gone to render assistance to "some curious throwbacks". Troi says that the Pakleds are dodgy and that Geordi is in danger. Riker brushes her off because the Pakleds look dumb, so Geordi can't possibly be in danger.

- Geordi's in danger! He's been kidnapped by the Pakleds! Within 15 minutes of taking command of the ship, Riker's lost the chief engineer and is helpless to stop a gaggle of five "curious throwbacks" from absolutely steamrolling him. Oh, while this is happening, Picard and Wesley are having an agonising conversation about why Picard never had kids. Some of Wesley's dialogue is fucking dreadful here, Wheaton deserves credit as usual for even trying to sell it.

- Wesley says the Klingons "joined the Federation". ???

- Riker calls a conference where everyone agrees the Pakleds shouldn't have the tech they do, and they should have waited for the "timely evolution of their species' intellectual capacity".

- Picard puts on his special surgery hat. By the way, he's having surgery near the Kei/Yuri Therapy Unit, according to the wall chart. "I anticipate no complications!" the surgeon chirps. One second later, fatal complications begin. Every fucking line the surgeon delivers makes me laugh. "This man is DYING!!!!"

- Half the episode revolves around a pretty stupid gambit to trick the Pakleds into giving Geordi back. It works, but then it's time to haul it at Warp 9 to where Picard is, because Pulaski is the only person in the galaxy qualified to operate on him. Not kidding, that's the actual plot.

- Riker immediately springs out of his chair to give Picard a standing ovation when he walks back onto the bridge. Cringe.

Putting aside any concerns around the idea of a race of "curious throwbacks" who are inherently stupid and therefore deemed undeserving of technology and knowledge (though they still have no trouble outwitting Riker at the start...), the Pakleds just suck anyway. They're annoying and the plot with them goes nowhere, with the final ruse used to defeat them being nonsense - I have no idea why the Pakleds suddenly completely surrender at the "crimson forcefield" trick. I get that there's meant to be a theme here where Riker's smugness backfires on him, but the episode essentially just reinforces his smugness at the end by proving that the Pakleds really are genetically stupid and will fall for any old shit.

The B-plot with Picard and Wesley in the shuttle, and then Picard in surgery, doesn't really do much either other than establish the stabbed-by-Nausicaans lore that becomes important again later on. 3/10

(https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 05, 2021, 09:39:16 AM
Dumb episode in which everyone is completely stupid.

1) The Pakleds are "pre-warp" are they Data? Leaving aside all the shit they've stolen from other species, being pre-warp shouldn't even be an illusion that they can pull off. They're floating around in deep space, so even if they've fooled your sensors into thinking they don't have warp power, you should probably infer that they have some means of faster than light travel in order to have left their own star system.

And despite their ability to deceive people, they're still obviously so fucking thick that it's not really plausible that they'd make it to the point of being a space faring race. La Forge uses less subterfuge to defeat them than is needed to trick a toddler into giving you your car keys back. The only thing I can guess is that their planet had natural resources, which a non Prime Directive warp-capable species (Ferengi, maybe) traded them some old starships for, and then they since added to the technology by pretending to be even more stupid than they are and stealing shit from other people.

2) You have to go to a starbase for this heart replacement thing, so said starbase presumably has a specialised medical facility. But then said medical facility does not have doctors to deal with complications arising from the procedure, which is even stated within the episode to have a 2% mortality rate. Clever. Between this and non legal experts having to at as legal experts cos there aren't enough JAG officers around in 'Measure of a Man', I have to wonder is some Admiral in Starfleet Operations redirecting resources that are meant to go to starbases to build a Death Star or something.

3) The less said about how flummoxed everyone except Geordi (y'know, the guy who's been kidnapped and shot) is by the situation the better.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Camp Tramp on July 05, 2021, 09:55:26 AM
I think we did pretty well. That Riker guy sure is stupid.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on July 05, 2021, 10:02:34 AM
They are smart.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 05, 2021, 10:06:38 AM
Quote from: Camp Tramp on July 05, 2021, 09:55:26 AM
I think we did pretty well. That Riker guy sure is stupid.

True. He's no match for Gowron's ability to deal with Pakleds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H64l5BsFokM&ab_channel=EricHanson
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 05, 2021, 10:37:35 AM
Pretty sure Riker is a Pakled in disguise.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 05, 2021, 10:43:03 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 05, 2021, 04:57:13 AM
- Ensign Gomez is still here and she's BFFs with Geordi and Wes now. She fucks off never to be mentioned again after this episode - you can read about why here (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Sonya_Gomez#Background_information).

Interesting. In Q Who?, some of the dialogue is almost softcore porn level:
Quote
PICARD: Is that so? Well, Ensign Sonya Gomez, I think it will be simpler if I simply change my uniform.
LAFORGE: Captain, I must accept responsibility for this.
PICARD: Yes, Chief Engineer. I think I understand.
SONYA: I just want to say, sir, that I'm very excited about this assignment and I promise to serve you

I'd have to watch Lower Decks again, but is she inspiration for D'Vana Tendi? As much as a character who has two scenes can be an inspiration for anything.

It's remarkable how bad Trek is at portraying relationships. The most believable relationships are the completely chemistry free marriage between Jadzia and Worf, and that kid Neelix was fucking until she got too old for him.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but it's interesting that there is a recurrent theme where either the Enterprise is the completely dominant force (e.g. Pen Pals), or are subject to a completely dominant force (Q Who?). I don't think this ever comes together in a way that I suspect the writers hoped it would - there's no moment where Picard realises that he's pulling the same shit Q did last week. That would probably require more continuity than the show could take.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on July 05, 2021, 11:10:22 AM
The most realistic relationship the show portrayed was Bashir and O'Brien.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 05, 2021, 11:14:03 AM
Nah - it's not plausible that two people could have so much sexual tension and not act on it.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Registering to lurk on July 05, 2021, 11:16:05 AM
Quote from: the hum on July 04, 2021, 08:48:50 PM
The earlier implication from The Neutral Zone is that a cube was already well on its way and was within the periphery of Federation space (which inexplicably takes another two years to dawdle around said periphery before somehow managing to zip across the Federation to Earth in the space of a couple of episodes, as does the Enterprise). Q's intervention here serves as a reveal to the nature of the threat and a warning to be better prepared.

I always read it the other way round. A Borg cube pootled through Federation and Romulan space and left because it found nothing distinctive to add to the collective. Then one day the Enterprise suddenly appears 7000 light years from where it should be and naturally the Borg decide they want to learn how to do this, and the rest of the Federation/Borg history unfolds.

In VHS days, Pen Pals and Q Who were on the same tape and it always annoyed me that I had to fast forward past Pen Pals to watch Q Who.

Weirdly, Q Who shows the wisdom of having a Prime Directive much more effectively than Pen Pals. If Q hadn't interfered and prematurely brought together two species the history of the Galaxy would be different. Although Voyager would have been a much shorter series.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on July 05, 2021, 11:26:14 AM
Of course this episode takes place after Seven of Nine and her family were assimilated by the Borg, having been researching them for some time. This discrepancy is wisely never addressed.

The thing I like most in Samaritan Snare is the weird surgical costumes they wear when operating on Picard. They pop up once or twice more in DS9 as well. I like them because they seem like an alien influence on the Federation, and not just a modern American thing extrapolated into the future like most of the rest of the Federation/Starfleet aesthetic.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 05, 2021, 11:27:23 AM
That reminds me - I have a memory of an episode where Q takes a different alien race (Cardassians?) out to meet the Borg earlier than they would have done otherwise, and it's a bit of a fuck over of the alien race, as they had some natural resistance to assimilation which the Borg learned to over come because of Qs interference.

I can't even remember what series it was supposed to be in, and I suspect I dreamt it - is it a real episode?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on July 05, 2021, 11:39:51 AM
Yeah why is Riker so stupid? I know he's meant to be a Kirk-esque character as a top shagger, but Kirk was quite by the book and shrewd wasn't he?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 05, 2021, 12:25:44 PM
Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on July 05, 2021, 10:06:38 AM
True. He's no match for Gowron's ability to deal with Pakleds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H64l5BsFokM&ab_channel=EricHanson

Coo! Where's that from - some fan-made thing?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on July 05, 2021, 12:29:07 PM
Quote from: MojoJojo on July 05, 2021, 11:27:23 AM
That reminds me - I have a memory of an episode where Q takes a different alien race (Cardassians?) out to meet the Borg earlier than they would have done otherwise, and it's a bit of a fuck over of the alien race, as they had some natural resistance to assimilation which the Borg learned to over come because of Qs interference.

I can't even remember what series it was supposed to be in, and I suspect I dreamt it - is it a real episode?

Sounds vaguely like the Voyager episode with Ray Wise ("Hope and Fear"?). No Q involvement in that story though.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: greenman on July 05, 2021, 12:44:02 PM
Quote from: the hum on July 04, 2021, 08:48:50 PM
The earlier implication from The Neutral Zone is that a cube was already well on its way and was within the periphery of Federation space (which inexplicably takes another two years to dawdle around said periphery before somehow managing to zip across the Federation to Earth in the space of a couple of episodes, as does the Enterprise). Q's intervention here serves as a reveal to the nature of the threat and a warning to be better prepared.

And yup the Borg here and in TBOBW pt.1 were never bettered. An inscrutable, terrifying and unstoppable threat (and coming via Q hints that even the Continuum might be an awe of them). Of course later we discover they're really quite craply fallible, and I, Borg essentially destroyed the remaining mythos, to the extent that the Dominion became the far more interesting foe.

Really it was a series of rectons wasnt it? the "Borg" of the Neutral Zone were sposed to be some kind of unknown threat closer to home and I believe insectoid? then this episode shifts them to Cyborg humans in an insect like society after technology then Best of Both Worlds into assimilation.

Trek gradually losing the spookier atmosphere than TNG sometimes had in the first 3/4 seasons I suspect is part of the issue, trying to add complexity to the Borq took away from a lot of the threat.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Endicott on July 05, 2021, 01:39:00 PM
Quote from: daf on July 05, 2021, 12:25:44 PM
Coo! Where's that from - some fan-made thing?

A video game?

The bit where Gowron breaks the 4th wall near the end, fantastic.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 05, 2021, 02:03:55 PM
It's Star Trek: Klingon, an old FMV game where Gowron yells at you a lot. I think it also had a feature on one of the disks where you could learn the Klingon language. Awesome stuff, there's a lot of surprisingly cool Star Trek games from the 90s/early 2000s.

Quote from: bgmnts on July 05, 2021, 11:39:51 AM
Yeah why is Riker so stupid? I know he's meant to be a Kirk-esque character as a top shagger, but Kirk was quite by the book and shrewd wasn't he?

Definitely, it feels like they took inspiration from Kirk but somehow ended up with a character who barely resembles Kirk at all. Kirk was occasionally written as kind of dimwitted and impulsive (Arena, Errand of Mercy, Space Seed, Amok Time, etc) but it was always at least balanced by his emotional intelligence and empathy, which Riker typically lacks.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 05, 2021, 03:17:00 PM
042 | "Samaritan Snare"

(https://i.imgur.com/lf4D377.jpg)

Piggy and the Stooges

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Picard's Mystery Procedure (hair plugs?)
• Picard's Stab Fight Jackanory
• Reginod
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Riker's Ruse . . . of some sort *
• Scary Scarlet Surgeon Suit (hides the blood?)
• Pulaski's Prompt Picard Patch-up (say thank you, you ungrateful prick!)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

* I still have no idea how the cryptic "24" clue was supposed to tip Geordi off about anything!  
QuoteTed Rogers : "Well, you get 24 hours in a day - and what's the opposite of day? . . . that's right, night - or should I say "knight" . . . and the most famous knight from history was Sir Lancelot . . and who on the Enterprise might 'lance a lot' . . . that's right - Dr Pulaski! . . . Congratulations Geordi, you've just won Dusty Bin!"
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on July 05, 2021, 06:30:46 PM
Quote from: greenman on July 05, 2021, 12:44:02 PM
Really it was a series of rectons wasnt it? the "Borg" of the Neutral Zone were sposed to be some kind of unknown threat closer to home and I believe insectoid? then this episode shifts them to Cyborg humans in an insect like society after technology then Best of Both Worlds into assimilation.

Trek gradually losing the spookier atmosphere than TNG sometimes had in the first 3/4 seasons I suspect is part of the issue, trying to add complexity to the Borq took away from a lot of the threat.

Yeah come to think of it Guinan's conversation with Picard at the end of Q Who? essentially bins the ties to The Neutral Zone, even though they're alluded to earlier in the episode.

As an aside I do like the shonky but fun fan theory kicking around that the events of First Contact created a parallel universe that Enterprise subsequently takes place in (and partly accounts for the temporal cold war shenanigans, or something), and leads to the episode Regeneration.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 05, 2021, 08:36:43 PM
I'm sure someone has worked out the timeline. But it comes down to... who knew what, when?

The Borg

The earliest the Collective can have known about the Federation is when they assimilated the Hansens. Presumably their point of origin was determined from their logs and memories. But it was a long way away and there didn't seem much about them that required urgent attention, so they were left on the to-do list.

We have to assume that the ex-Arctic scientists never got their message to the Collective, or if they did it didn't convey any useful or immediately actionable information. In fact I'd prefer it if they didn't, because those 22C drones had been created by a defrosted time-travelling 24C drone.

Then, a few years later, ping! A huge big fuck-off Starfleet ship pops up out of nowhere in Borg territory, successfully avoids assimilation then vanishes again thanks to some whizz-bang new propulsion method (actually Q). Now, that IS interesting. Let's bump them up the priority list and send a cube for a look-see, says the Collective.

As for the outposts destroyed in "The Neutral Zone," do we know for certain that was the Borg? If it was, it was either random exploratory stuff, or perhaps they even decided the Romulans weren't worth bothering with.

The Federation

Bits and bobs really. The mysterious incident that happened in the Arctic and on the NX-01 in 2153. The drunken ramblings of Zefram Cochrane about the real events behind first contact. And the frontier tales that led the Hansens to take their fateful trip. The Borg don't appearto have been a known unknown, one of those special little secrets that only starship captains get briefed on, like the Omega Molecule. And I presume Section 31 weren't about to stir up memories of supercomputers taking people over!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on July 05, 2021, 09:24:09 PM
From the Gowron v. Pakled video's description, there's a playthrough some of you might be interested in:

QuoteThis is from an FMV game that released in the 90s called 'Star Trek: Klingon'... You can check out my full playthrough livestream through this link: https://youtu.be/ONXpyc7sqKA?t=508
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on July 05, 2021, 09:24:22 PM
Quote from: mothman on July 05, 2021, 08:36:43 PM
As for the outposts destroyed in "The Neutral Zone," do we know for certain that was the Borg? If it was, it was either random exploratory stuff, or perhaps they even decided the Romulans weren't worth bothering with.

Just the lines of dialogue suggesting the "settlement scooping" weaponry used on the neutral zone colonies appears to have the same signature as the planet(s) that are scanned in system J25. As has been pointed out though it's all due to the retconning from the abandoned Conspiracy parasites plotline, with the writers omitting to tidy up some of the strands. Fun to speculate in-universe though.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 05, 2021, 09:29:31 PM
Interesting. And - this has just occurred to me - it could have been whichever species the Borg assimilated the process from...
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on July 05, 2021, 09:34:54 PM
Nice to see some fat lads in Star Trek, finally... shame they're from Fuckwit World.

Quote from: Lemming on July 05, 2021, 04:57:13 AM
- Riker decides to send Geordi over (alone, lol) to the Pakled ship to repair it.Worf tends to get caricatured as a complete idiot a lot in the first two seasons, so this is nice - I think it's the first time he raises an actual security concern rather than just coming out with his usual "why do we not simply KILL EVERYONE NOW" stuff.

He's completely cowed by Riker throwing his weight around. Give Geordi a security escort, or one of them teleporter beepies from A Matter of Honor! Worf comes to work to push buttons and sulk and that's it.

I can't believe it takes Data of all people to remind Riker that Troi isn't just kicking off for a laugh, that she's actually telepathic and maybe you should listen to her? Christ!

Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on July 05, 2021, 10:06:38 AM
True. He's no match for Gowron's ability to deal with Pakleds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H64l5BsFokM&ab_channel=EricHanson

I want a web series called 'The Pakled Variations' which consists of this exact episode unfolding with different species. I guarantee the Federation are the only side who'd get swindled like this. I can imagine a Cardassian version where they storm the ship, murder the crew and leave a bomb on the wreckage as a fuck you.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on July 05, 2021, 10:02:32 PM
I liked that Lower Decks showed a Pakled ship in the finale that compromised of all the different parts of other species ships.

(https://i.imgur.com/e5DAsqI.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/96AmtG4.png)

Reminded me of The Forge from the Voyager game Elite Force with its cut and shut Bird Of Prey, Constitution Class etc sections.

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4mzzuvA-Nhw/UBd7-_PTPXI/AAAAAAAATe0/tpOvLVJ3ko4/s1600/Star_Trek_Voyager_-_Elite_Force_%28PC%29_27.jpg)

It also made them to be quite a dangerous villain. Before the Titan showed up! And the captain was voiced by Rich Fulcher of all people.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on July 05, 2021, 10:22:37 PM
Quote from: mothman on July 05, 2021, 09:29:31 PM
Interesting. And - this has just occurred to me - it could have been whichever species the Borg assimilated the process from...

...or just the Romulans having an oops moment with their quantum singularity tech and trying to shift the blame onto someone else.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 05, 2021, 10:52:35 PM
S02E18 - Up the Long Ladder

Two long-lost Earth colonies, formed on competing ideologies, are rediscovered.

- Picard explicitly states that Earth is a one-world government. Not sure if that's been clearly mentioned before now.

- The SS Urusei Yatsura, yet another anime joke.
(https://i.imgur.com/WOEs4Ms.png)

- Worf faints is honourably struck down by illness. Pulaski protects his HONOUR, and he thanks her by inviting her to the KLINGON TEA CEREMONY. You basically have to drink lethal poison to test your bravery and learn a very important lesson about honour or somesuch.

- A ship left Earth in the 22nd century, carrying both a range of high tech equipment and a range of basic farming goods. This is because after World War 3[nb]think I mentioned this in Farpoint, but does anyone else absolutely hate that TNG added WW3 to the canon? It doesn't make sense, I've never been able to make it work in my mind, and I tend to just ignore it when thinking about the Star Trek timeline[/nb], a philosophical movement arose that encouraged a return to tradition and nature, and so some absolute idiots wanted to go start a farm in space.

- The colonists turn out to be the worst people in the fucking universe, a bunch of people who roleplay at being a stereotype of an olden-times Irish village, despite being a) in space for 300 years and b) initially from the 22nd century. Have to feel bad for Colm Meaney, who gets a slow zoom in on his face as stock Irish-sounding music plays.

- Despite the fact that the colony is a sad, ultra-low-tech, pre-modern village of just over 200 people (after 300 years!), the main female character we see from this place (she's called Brenna) does, of course, have eyeliner and mascara, somehow. Perhaps they made it by melting down pig shit or something. Her father Danilo tries to offer her in marriage to Picard. Brenna also does a shitton of manual and domestic labour while Danilo sits around being a drunk twat. This is pointed out in the episode as being stupid and anachronistic for the time in which the colony ship was launched, so god only knows how everything went so horribly wrong.

- The Enterprise cleans itself. Crazy tech! How does it know what's trash and what's important? Don't worry about it.

- Brenna and Riker experience instant attraction to each other, presumably because they're both noisy dimwits. Meanwhile, there's another problem - another colony was set up at the same time, but there's no trace of it. The Enterprise goes in search.

- Riker ends up taking Brenna to his quarters, where she keeps trying to get him to touch her feet, and implies that he might be a HOMO for not wanting to. We can't have that, so Riker kisses her. Meanwhile, Worf shows Danilo how to get alcohol from the replicators, which causes much rejoicing, because they're Irish you see, and they like getting drunk.

- The other colony is found at last. They're TECH-BASED, unlike the FARM-BASED colony, and also they reproduce via cloning. After 300 years, they find the idea of sexual reproduction repulsive.

- Pulaski and Riker get kidnapped and taken away to be cloned!!! The music that plays here is crazy, what the fuck is going on.

- Geordi's VISOR can detect whenever humans are lying. That would have been useful to know about a hundred times before now.

- Riker and Pulaski go down to see their spooky-looking hairless clones. Riker phasers them to death. What the fuck? Major ethical concerns here, the clones are as alive as anyone else. I guess they're meant to be only halfway formed or something, but still, phasering them to death is so jarring.

- It's meant to be a metaphor for abortion, since Riker defends his actions on the grounds that "we should have a right to control our own bodies". Which would be a fine message if not for the fact that abortion doesn't really successfully map onto the cloning situation - the cloning process, from what we see in the episode, is extremely ambiguous and ill-explained - the abortion metaphor didn't even occur until Riker's unsubtle line about bodily autonomy in the next scene. And of course, the metaphor is further strained by the fact that the clone isn't growing inside Riker's body, as a fetus would, but is already a totally external entity. There's still an argument to be made that Riker has the right to destroy the clone, I suppose, depending on whether or not it's already conscious. If they investigated this idea in depth, this might have actually made a decent episode, but don't worry, it's a 20-second scene so let's get back to the Irish village action.

- The crew get together to figure out what to do. They land upon the idea of introducing the clone colony to the Irish colony so they can reproduce with each other. This will also require every woman from each colony to have three children with three different men, to create a "viable genetic base". Christ. Danilo eagerly rushes off to "stake out my three women. Bring in the clones!" Fucking hell. Brenna correctly points out that this is a nightmare scenario, and that the two male rulers of each colony independently decided on this course of action which has consequences for all women. Picard brushes her off, and because there's 10 seconds left in the episode she instantly does a 180 to decide that nah it'll probably be fine after all.

Just awful, IMO. The only part I enjoyed was the Worf and Pulaski stuff early on. Everything else is a nightmare - the first colony is insufferable and their social values inexplicable (plus any criticisms you'd care to make about the fact they're all inexplicably Irish caricatures), and the second colony with the kidnapped-to-make-clones plot is the kind of idea that'd be considered too boring even for early season one. On top of that, sprinkle in plenty of crap moments - killing the clones without a second thought, Riker and Brenna's romance which literally vanishes from the script after two awkward scenes and is not mentioned again, the grimness of the solution and the total lack of consultation with anyone from either colony (Brenna's point that two male leaders should not be making a decision that has overwhelming implications for women is correct, but gets dropped instantly). We don't learn what anyone else in either colony thinks about this, other than the views of three people: Danilo is eager to "stake out" three women, clone leader is reluctant but willing to go ahead with the plan, and Brenna is angry for four seconds but changes her mind when she sees the clone leader and thinks he might be rich.

Notably, we hear no opinions of women from the clone colony on this solution. In fact, there are no speaking female characters from the clone colony at all, unless I missed one. Given that the entire hastily-assembled "let's just make everyone start fucking" plan relies entirely on their cooperation, you'd think we'd get to hear what some of them think about it, especially since we're told that the clones have ended up in a position where they're repulsed by sex nowadays to the point of essentially being asexual. But nah, don't worry about it, I'm sure they'll get on well with the awful hollering drunken men who Picard's suggested they get together with in groups of three at a time.

1/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/fPGWxFx.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: the hum on July 05, 2021, 11:07:55 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 05, 2021, 10:52:35 PM
The music that plays here is crazy, what the fuck is going on.

Ron Jones attempted to heroically salvage more than one iffy episode. See also Booby Trap.

I've repeatedly confused the second half of this with the Pulaski gets old one, which speaks to how disjointed it is, though that's the least of its issues.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: elliszeroed on July 06, 2021, 04:56:24 AM
Quote from: the hum on July 04, 2021, 08:48:50 PM
And yup the Borg here and in TBOBW pt.1 were never bettered. An inscrutable, terrifying and unstoppable threat (and coming via Q hints that even the Continuum might be an awe of them). Of course later we discover they're really quite craply fallible, and I, Borg essentially destroyed the remaining mythos, to the extent that the Dominion became the far more interesting foe.

For me, the Borg stopped being interesting as soon as they introduced the idea of a Queen who seemed to act as an individual. I could never reconcile the Queen/ collective concept.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: 13 schoolyards on July 06, 2021, 10:01:41 AM
Quote from: greenman on July 05, 2021, 12:44:02 PM
Trek gradually losing the spookier atmosphere than TNG sometimes had in the first 3/4 seasons I suspect is part of the issue, trying to add complexity to the Borq took away from a lot of the threat.

I have no idea where I got this idea from, but I always thought Q showed Picard the Borg as a kind of warning to the Federation - basically, out in really deep space there's all this weird mind-melting Lovecraftian stuff going on, and the Borg were a human-level civilisation who were forced to transform themselves to be able to deal with what they were encountering.

The Borg Queen I thought (almost) worked in the movie, where it made sense that a small group of Borg dealing with humans would have a single spokesperson (and I guess their use of Picard foreshadowed that), but when she became the reoccurring boss baddie the last remaining shreds of my interest in the Borg went in the bin.

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on July 06, 2021, 10:50:15 AM
Quote from: 13 schoolyards on July 06, 2021, 10:01:41 AM
I have no idea where I got this idea from, but I always thought Q showed Picard the Borg as a kind of warning to the Federation - basically, out in really deep space there's all this weird mind-melting Lovecraftian stuff going on, and the Borg were a human-level civilisation who were forced to transform themselves to be able to deal with what they were encountering.

I assume that is the reason. That and Q being a top class wind up merchant. But it's hinted very early on that an unknown threat is disappesring colonies in federation and romulan space, and it's revealed later that the borg were sent back in time to earth and escaped, sending out a signal. So it's likely that Borg cube was responding to the signal.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 06, 2021, 12:50:47 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 05, 2021, 10:52:35 PM
S02E18 - Up the Long Ladder

...

1/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/fPGWxFx.png)

Foot fetish action and John de Lancie not in sight?

Anyway, writer check: Melinda Snodgrass (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Melinda_M._Snodgrass) who also did your favourite The Measure Of A Man. Not looking good for her. We'll see how The Ensigns of Command (s03e02) and The High Ground (s03e12) fare.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Camp Tramp on July 06, 2021, 01:28:57 PM
I'm so glad to see that Riker is getting the drubbing he deserves.

I'd cite Rascals. Chain Of Command and Star Trek: Generations as prime examples for the Prosecution's case.

Not Captain material.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 06, 2021, 02:29:58 PM
043 | "Up the Long Ladder"

(https://i.imgur.com/NQBcNPv.jpg)

Dere's more to Bringloidi den diss

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Worf Measle Faint
• Lethal Klingon Tea Ceremony
• The Replicator Booze Sketch
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Fears of a Clone
• Sterile Sex-phobes vs. Oirish Bumpkins
• Randy Riker Snog-pest
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

There's a few deleted scenes on the blu-ray, including the original end-scene set on the bridge - where we get the pay-off for the romantic Klingon poetry Worf mentioned during the tea ceremony :

Quote- - Riker and Pulaski ENTER from the aft turbolift. - -

PICARD : All squared away?
RIKER : The Bringloidi have reached their new home.
PICARD : Set a course for Starbase 114, warp factor three.
DATA : It is unfortunate that we cannot remain and observe the integration of the two colonies.
PULASKI : They're going to do just fine. They're survivors, both of them.
PICARD : They'll do more than just survive. I believe that they will flourish.
RIKER : We've got the cats in the sack; let's just hope we haven't shaken the bag too much.
DATA : What is occurring on Mariposa is a demonstration of sociobiology, and the concept of the selfish gene.The males and females are each pursuing their respective reproductive strategies in an effort to maximize their contribution to the gene pool of the next generation.
PULASKI : Data, I liked the commander's analogy better.
DATA : Why, Doctor?
PULASKI : It was more romantic.
DATA : How are cats in a sack romantic? They would fight and scratch...
WORF : Mmmm. Very romantic. "I hunt in the darkness. The stars my guide. The memory of you sings in my blood. I seize the gift. Carry it to your bower. And lay at your feet the hearts of my enemies."

- - The silence is deafening; stunned reaction shots of Troi and Data. Picard turns slowly back to face the main viewscreen. - -

PICARD : Engage.
WORF : . . . Perhaps it does not translate well.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 06, 2021, 03:00:31 PM
I've probably over-marked that, but I have a soft spot for US TV's occasional daft dip into Ireland.

'Murder She Wrote' was particularly fond of this sort of thing - I seem to remember practically everyone was either a drunk, a swindler, or a witch :

Quote"The Wind Around the Tower" Season 9 Episode
While being visitors at an estate in Ireland, Jessica and her friend are convinced that their host's demise is not from natural causes. This episode is set in County Galway, which makes it the only Irish Murder, She Wrote episode not sent in County Cork.

"A Killing in Cork" Season 10 Episode 7
While visiting Ireland, Jessica searches for clues when a widowed friend's son is suspected of killing an American relative.

"Another Killing in Cork" Season 11 Episode 20
While Jessica is enjoying her stay at a fishing lodge in Ireland, she finds out the owner is beset by a consortium that wants to buy his land for a strip mine.

"Nan's Ghost" Season 12 Episode 6 & 7 (two-parter)
A haunted spirit and antique smugglers are just a few challenges Jessica faces on her Irish vacation.

The Celtic Riddle (2003 TV Movie)
Jessica Fletcher travels to Ireland, where she becomes involved in a clue-driven hunt for secret treasure.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on July 06, 2021, 03:37:12 PM
The actress lived in Cork for years. Glengarriff I think. Nice place.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 06, 2021, 08:51:47 PM
In - bloody hell - his last appearance to date (on VOY - until next year), Q tells
Spoiler alert
his son
[close]
not to provoke the Borg. Which might suggest his cautionary lesson for Picard all those years ago had had unintended consequences, like causing the Federation to encounter the Collective far sooner than they "should" have done.

I don't think it's worth getting too bogged down in what ultimately got the Borg so obsessed with - let's not make any bones about it here - humanity. The Arctic, the Hansens, Q - could be any or all, who knows? Or why they sent one cube then waited six years before sending another. Or why they both proceeded through normal space (once in Fed territory anyway) instead of using a transwarp conduit to go all the way
Spoiler alert
and pop out into normal space IN Sector 001, like in "Endgame."
[close]
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: crankshaft on July 06, 2021, 10:25:54 PM
Quote from: mothman on July 06, 2021, 08:51:47 PM
I don't think it's worth getting too bogged down in what ultimately got the Borg so obsessed with - let's not make any bones about it here - humanity. The Arctic, the Hansens, Q - could be any or all, who knows? Or why they sent one cube then waited six years before sending another. Or why they both proceeded through normal space (once in Fed territory anyway) instead of using a transwarp conduit to go all the way
Spoiler alert
and pop out into normal space IN Sector 001, like in "Endgame."
[close]

Star Trek's insistence on putting the Borg in almost every show, regardless of how well it fitted the continuity, comes off as a bit desperate. Their status in Voyager as regular antagonists is not well handled after the (surprisingly decent) "Scorpion"; by the time we get to "Endgame" they've become hackneyed, boring and surprisingly easy to defeat. Voyager
Spoiler alert
emerging back into the Alpha Quadrant inside a Borg sphere, which then explodes
[close]
is especially poor.

As for the transwarp question...maybe they didn't get transwarp capability until assimilating a species with the capability sometime after "Descent"?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on July 06, 2021, 10:57:09 PM
"Do you not like girls?"

The draft script claims this was originally entitled "Send in the Clones" which sounds about right since this is a fucking clown show. It also includes this exchange which was mercifully excised from the episode.

Quote
Picard: I hate a mystery.
Data: But, sir what about Dixon Hill, and your penchant for detective fiction --
Picard: Allow me to correct myself. I hate a mystery I cannot solve.

Aye, right... I mean who does?

There's a fun line in DS9's A Man Alone to the effect of "killing your own clone is still murder". I guess the Prime Directive also doesn't cover forcing women into sexual slavery. This is the only episode of TNG so far to leave me feeling filthy.

Quote from: crankshaft on July 06, 2021, 10:25:54 PM
As for the transwarp question...maybe they didn't get transwarp capability until assimilating a species with the capability sometime after "Descent"?

By the time of Picard they've assimilated a Stargate that they only use "in the event of emergency" so maybe they're just extremely lazy.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 06, 2021, 11:05:42 PM
Quote from: crankshaft on July 06, 2021, 10:25:54 PM
As for the transwarp question...maybe they didn't get transwarp capability until assimilating a species with the capability sometime after "Descent"?

Afraid not - the Hansen's ship (the Raven) was investigating Borg activity in the Beta Quadrant in 2354[nb]Which I guess does link them to the attacks on Romulan outposts, although that was ten years later[/nb] and were pulled into a transwarp conduit by the wake of the cube they were surveilling, and thus ended up in the Delta Quadrant.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Catalogue Trousers on July 06, 2021, 11:09:19 PM
Maybe the Borg have finally assimilated curiosity. With the tech at their disposal, they should be, theoretically, omnipotent. Perhaps they've decided that they're more interested in observation, any encounters that they now directly have with other civilisations having become the exception rather than the norm.

Good grief, they've become Trek's very own Time Lords! Makes as much sense as anything else...
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 06, 2021, 11:39:49 PM
The Borg make no sense. It's like fate vs. free will. You'd think they'd be a gestalt of all their inhabitants. Instead they all get turned into mindless automatons who don't appear to retain any consciousness but their memories are accessible by the OS that gets installed into them. So where is the central guiding intelligence? Is that distributed? If so, wouldn't a part that was isolated from the rest become its own individual mini-Collective?[nb]Like in The Thing - or the Motiles in Peter F. Hamilton's Confederation saga.[/nb] Instead, drones are like mainframe dumb terminals, they get most of what makes them tick from a central point - and then we're back to the central guiding intelligence...

And the Queen is no answer to any of that either!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 07, 2021, 12:31:14 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 05, 2021, 10:52:35 PM
S02E18 - Up the Long Ladder

hisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

I have never watched this one all the way through. I turned it off once the stupid fucking Darby O'Gill music came on. Fuck Americans, fuck them all to death.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on July 07, 2021, 12:34:14 AM
Quote from: mothman on July 06, 2021, 11:39:49 PM
The Borg make no sense. It's like fate vs. free will. You'd think they'd be a gestalt of all their inhabitants. Instead they all get turned into mindless automatons who don't appear to retain any consciousness but their memories are accessible by the OS that gets installed into them. So where is the central guiding intelligence? Is that distributed? If so, wouldn't a part that was isolated from the rest become its own individual mini-Collective?[nb]Like in The Thing - or the Motiles in Peter F. Hamilton's Confederation saga.[/nb] Instead, drones are like mainframe dumb terminals, they get most of what makes them tick from a central point - and then we're back to the central guiding intelligence...

And the Queen is no answer to any of that either!

Presumably every single Borg has access to everything?

I think they nicked this idea in Mass Effect with the Geth and they seemed to make sense to me at the time.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 07, 2021, 07:17:17 AM
Quote from: mothman on July 06, 2021, 11:39:49 PM
The Borg make no sense. It's like fate vs. free will. You'd think they'd be a gestalt of all their inhabitants. Instead they all get turned into mindless automatons who don't appear to retain any consciousness but their memories are accessible by the OS that gets installed into them.

The idea might be like when you're in art class as a kid and you mix all the different vibrant colours of paint, but it just comes out shit-brown. So many personalities and worldviews and desires and fears among the Borg that it ends up getting expressed as a monotone "resistance is futile" and nothing else.

The part that never made sense to me is that the overwhelming majority of Borg are taken against their will - in fact, I can't remember anyone who joins willingly - so you'd assume the collective consciousness would tilt heavily towards resisting assimilation, and so the consensus among drones would be to try and free themselves or, failing that, destroy themselves/their cubes. Instead, they all enthusiastically try to take new prisoners, which seems like the exact opposite of what they ought to be doing.

So yeah, as you say, there must be something or someone controlling them from somewhere, but the Borg Queen is the best answer the franchise can give.

Quote from: mothman on July 06, 2021, 11:39:49 PMIf so, wouldn't a part that was isolated from the rest become its own individual mini-Collective?

Voyager did this twice, I think - there's the colony of ex-Borg encountered by Chakotay who retain their links with each other but not with the wider collective, and that episode where Seven meets three people she forcefully chained together in the past who are now stuck with each other's thoughts. Not sure what the exact mechanics were behind how each of these groups managed to sever from the main Borg collective. I remember in the latter case, Drone-Seven made the decision to chain them together in the first place because they'd received some kind of damage to their implants which had completely cut their link to the Borg.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 07, 2021, 09:12:17 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 07, 2021, 07:17:17 AM
Voyager did this twice, I think - there's the colony of ex-Borg encountered by Chakotay who retain their links with each other but not with the wider collective, and that episode where Seven meets three people she forcefully chained together in the past who are now stuck with each other's thoughts. Not sure what the exact mechanics were behind how each of these groups managed to sever from the main Borg collective. I remember in the latter case, Drone-Seven made the decision to chain them together in the first place because they'd received some kind of damage to their implants which had completely cut their link to the Borg.

Yeah, their individual memories and personalities began to resurface when they were cut off from the Collective after crashing on a planet somewhere. Unfortunately this made Seven shit herself because the first thing that came back to her was trying to hide from the Borg as a terrified child. And rather than face that, she re-assimilated them into their own mini collective until the Borg rescued them. That doesn't stand up to analysis particularly well though, as there were only 4 of them and 3 didn't want to return to the Borg (and Seven wanted to go back only because she was afraid). So it makes no sense that if the collective was just made up of their minds that they'd have just reverted back to being thoughtless drones as soon as Seven re-assimilated them. They still should have wanted to leave the Borg.

The only thing that works is that at some point, a much smaller 'original' Borg species intentionally augmented themselves with cybernetics and linked themselves together. Then their collective consciousness went a bit power crazy and wanted to add other species to themselves to enhance their perfection (as they go on about in Voyager a bit). When they started adding individuals who were against being in the Collective, they compensated by programming their technology to repress the individual in favour of the already established collective consciousness. And it still works effectively even though, presumably, given the implication that they've encountered over 8000 species and likely assimilated members of most, the number of forcefully assimilated drones outnumbers whatever the original Borg species was.

Although that still doesn't explain Seven's mini-collective as they had no link to the rest of the Borg to be fed signals that resisting the Collective is bad. That mini-collective should've still been resistant.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 07, 2021, 10:14:57 AM
The Borg should be like a disease, just one infected individual can cause an outbreak. The idea that a lone Borg reverts back to their personality is just wrong, and takes away their danger[nb]Happy to accept exceptional circumstances that break the Borg control of individuals, it's just that it shouldn't be the default[/nb]. A Borg-ified individual has their personality blocked directly by the implants/nanobots, which instead drives them to assimilate more.

It's a common misconception that queens of insect colonies have some kind of command role, where in fact they're just the source of new insects that go on to work autonomously according to their basic types, the complex behaviour emerges from their basic behaviours. This is why the idea of a Borg Queen sucks[nb]A real Borg Queen would be more akin to the Tleilaxu Axlotl Tanks of the Dune series, a bit more body horror than even Voyager would be up for[/nb], a centralised control structure isn't that scary, you just blow it up and everything's solved (a la VOY:Endgame). Instead, what we should have had, and were somewhat promised initially, was a 'species' that would present a near unending threat, if you left just one Borg active, it could flare up into another large scale collective whose hive intelligence grows with each individual assimilated.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 07, 2021, 11:02:50 AM
S02E19 - Manhunt

A diplomatic mission is complicated when Lwaxana, who is in Betazoid heat, boards the ship looking for a husband.

- Antidians, one of whom is played by LEGENDARY ROCKER MICK FLEETWOOD. Worf thinks he's hot.

- The Antidians are really cool aliens - not only do they look truly alien, but they also enter self-induced comas to space travel. Love this line, though:
QuotePICARD: Doctor, have you prepared a sick bay facility to accomodate our guests?
...Maybe this should have been done days in advance, and not after they've already arrived?

- Lwaxana! Yessss. Great acting from the shuttle pilot:
(https://i.imgur.com/ptox0BJ.png)

- Lwaxana panics that her legs have been deleted by the transporter, then instantly shits herself when she sees Mick Fleetwood. I'll never understand the hate for this character, she's made me laugh more in the last two minutes than any other character on the show has in two seasons. Top performance from Barrett, and makes it all the more annoying that she was relegated to naff Nurse Chapel in TOS - she could have brought a ton of character to that show if she'd been given the right material. Or basically any material.

- It says SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCE - MICK FLEETWOOD just as Mr Homn beams in. That's solved the mystery of why my dad is convinced that Homn is played by Fleetwood.

- "I retained his services despite the outlandishly lustful thoughts he spews in my direction."

- Lwaxana invites Picard to a big diplomatic dinner. It's a TRAP and Picard arrives to discover he's the only attendee. "Helloooo, Jean-Luc. Glad you could come." Proper belly laugh.

- Picard realises he can escape the Dinner of Doom by being extremely boring. He invites Data over to read out a few Wikipedia entries. "Data, this is FASCINATING. Don't you agree, Mrs Troi?"
QuotePICARD: I'm sure Mrs Troi would love to hear the one about the, uhh, anomalous chemical composition of, um, brown dwarf stars.
LWAXANA: Not really.
DATA: Yes, Captain. That is a particularly spellbinding subject.

- The cut to Data now using diagrams to explain his cripplingly boring anecdotes took me out:
(https://i.imgur.com/FTKKQox.png)

- Troi explains Lwaxana's behaviour - she's in "THE PHASE". When Betazoid women reach middle age, they become "fully sexual".
QuoteTROI: My mother is beginning a physiological phase. It's one that all Betazoid women must deal with as they enter mid-life.
RIKER: Yes, it's something Troi warned me about when we first started to see each other. A Betazoid woman, when she goes through this phase, quadruples her sex drive.
TROI: Or more.
RIKER: ...or more? ...you never told me that.
TROI: I didn't want to frighten you.
and
QuoteTROI: She has decided to focus all of her sexual energy on one male, who will, of course, eventually become her husband. It seems, Captain, that you are the early favourite.
RIKER: Congratulations, sir!

- With no other options, Picard flees to the holodeck to play videogames until Lwaxana leaves. He enters the world of DIXON HILL.

- Gowron without Klingon makeup!

- The initial holodeck scene slows the pace of the episode massively, which is a shame, but I like how Picard can't get the computer to cooperate with him, and it just keeps ignoring his input and spawning men with guns to come and kill him. Eerily similar to what real life AI-driven games today (like AI Dungeon) tend to do.

- Worf has come to admire the Antidians. Wesley says he thinks Worf's handsome (for a Klingon). Agonising silence.

- Riker and Data go to get Picard out of the holodeck. Lwaxana gives pursuit and chases them into Rex's Bar. She ends up getting hot for the holodeck bartender, because of his apparent incredible ability to completely conceal his thoughts from her.

- Lwaxana points out that the Antidians are assassins and that the crew are dipshits for not realising it themselves. The day is saved!

The first half is excellent, something about TNG really lends itself to comedy and I'm always surprised they didn't try for more of it. Like most Lwaxana episodes, everything rests on the strength of Majel Barrett's comedic performance, which she delivers on every single time. Patrick Stewart is great too at playing Picard as an awkward, perpetually flustered loser - I love the idea (which was reinforced with his shuttle convo with Wesley a couple episodes ago) that Picard doesn't really have much going on in his life outside his command, and he's terrible at interacting with anyone when he's not got the construct of authority to hide behind.

It's worth mentioning Worf, too, who is again an inherently funny character who works best when the show takes the piss out of him a bit. I rate Michael Dorn highly as a dramatic actor, moreso as the show goes on, but I think his real strength is in playing Worf as an immovably po-faced weirdo who just says stupid shit every now and then. All of his best moments this season have been comedic - the dating advice he gives to Wesley in "The Dauphin", his Klingon tea ceremony with Pulaski where he bluntly explains that they'll be drinking poison, and his weird fixation on the Antidians here. Brent Spiner also does great work by playing Data as an oblivious walking Wikipedia machine, which I think he starts to do more of in the third season as Data's characterisation changes.

Sadly, things slow down a lot when Picard enters the Dixon Hill game. There's some good moments in the holodeck* but they're stretched out, it's like the episode blasted through all its best material in 20 minutes and then stretched the scant remainder out over the remaining 20. I like the ending, though, where what would normally have been the major A-plot of the week is resolved in literally five seconds by Lwaxana.

*The idea that the Dixon Hill novels are actually the lamest cliche-ridden shit imaginable is a good one, and Picard being so boring that he fails to even play the videogame properly (ie dryly explaining World War 2 to the NPCs) is pretty funny. I also like that holodeck games are shown to actually be fairly limited in what you can do, basically the plot runs ahead regardless of what you do while the characters generate responses that acknowledge the player's input, but still keep everything geared towards pre-decided outcomes. That seems a lot more believable than how it was portrayed in previous episodes, where the holograms were essentially alive and capable of going totally off-script.

7/10, with almost all of those points coming from the first half. Just wish that energy had continued throughout the rest of the episode.

(https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 07, 2021, 03:31:45 PM
044 | "Manhunt"

(https://i.imgur.com/Ro0fjVZ.jpg)

Fish heads, Fish heads, Roly-Poly Fish heads,
Fish heads, Fish heads, Blow them up, Boom!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Mr Homn : Blue Boozer
• Chicken Picard's Holodeck Hidey-hole
• The Broad with the "Big Bucks"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Nails & Carlos from South America
• Pulaski "Staaah-sis" #2
• Mister Bender
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 08, 2021, 08:34:48 PM
About Gomez:
Quote from: MojoJojo on July 05, 2021, 10:43:03 AM
I'd have to watch Lower Decks again, but is she inspiration for D'Vana Tendi? As much as a character who has two scenes can be an inspiration for anything.

So I did go back and look. There are some similarities - they both go on about it being an honour to serve on the ship, for example, but really the tones and pace of the shows are so different it doesn't work. At most, maybe Gomez was inspiration for the very first draft, then never looked at again in following iterations.

Oh well.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 08, 2021, 09:16:53 PM
Picard liking to roleplay as Dixon Hill never felt believable to me. Like, playing a vidya game based on a simple story would make sense for a starship captain because he has enough complicated difficult shit to deal with in real life, it's just the American Gangster Noir setting that feels incongruous. He should be fucking around in an Agatha Christie novel rip-off.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 08, 2021, 09:31:31 PM
Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 08, 2021, 09:16:53 PM
it's just the American Gangster Noir setting that feels incongruous.

Yes, you can tell it's the 1980's writers living out their own childhood pulp detective fantasies there - rather than 24th century Picard.

See also Riker's Jazz Club, plus the holodeck baseball stuff on DS9 and Voyager's Captain Proton episodes (which I love - no complaints there!)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: kalowski on July 08, 2021, 10:28:55 PM
Quote from: daf on July 08, 2021, 09:31:31 PM
Yes, you can tell it's the 1980's writers living out their own childhood pulp detective fantasies there - rather than 24th century Picard.

See also Riker's Jazz Club, plus the holodeck baseball stuff on DS9 and Voyager's Captain Proton episodes (which I love - no complaints there!)
Yes. Virtually every fantasy is mid to late 20th century.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 09, 2021, 03:17:41 AM
S02E20 - The Emissary

A specialist arrives to defuse a potentially violent situation with rogue Klingons, but Worf's history with her gets in the way.

- You can tell K'Ehleyr is cool because she's introduced to the show by being shot at the Enterprise at Warp 9, inside a probe!

- K'Ehleyr and Worf know each other, because the galaxy is a pretty small place. Worf gets socially awkward in the briefing. He has been DISHONORED.

- The reason she's here is because a bunch of Klingons have just come out of cryostasis. They went to sleep during the Federation-Klingon war, and they have no idea it's long since ended, so they're likely to start shooting at Federation colonies unless the Enterprise can talk them down.

- Picard sees that K'Ehleyr and Worf have a problematic history, because she announces it to the whole room. Knowing this, Picard orders Worf to work with K'Ehleyr. Worf asks Picard to assign him elsewhere, Picard refuses and forces him to work with her. Why?!

- Troi and K'Ehleyr talk about what it's like to be half-human and half-alien. K'Ehleyr hates having Klingon heritage, and says she has trouble managing her anger. Troi reels off some greeting-card-tier self help messages.

-
QuoteK'EHLEYR: You weren't this aloof six years ago. Or don't you remember?
WORF: There is nothing wrong with my memory.
K'EHLEYR: Well there's something wrong with the rest of you. You're not even looking at me.
WORF: I am familiar with your appearance.

- K'Ehleyr wants to kill the Klingons without looking for any alternatives. How the fuck did she become a Federation specialist?! Maybe a Riker-esque case of overpromotion.

- Worf and K'Ehleyr's collaboration breaks down after about two seconds and devolves into an argument. Almost like Picard's a dolt who should have listened when Worf told him this wouldn't work. K'Ehleyr runs off to smash shit.

- "You're upset."

- "Lieutenant, I order you to relax." Has to be up there as one of the most counter-effective things you could possibly say to someone who's stressed.

- Worf and K'Ehleyr end up on the holodeck, where they go all Klingon-y and fly into battle frenzies. Inevitably, they end up fucking. Afterwards, K'Ehleyr's laughing it up until Worf hits her with the Klingon bullshit - they are MATED, which means they must SOLEMNISE their union with THE OATH (get married). K'Ehleyr freaks out and tells Worf she only wanted to shag him, not marry him. Worf has been DISHONORED again.

- The Klingons show up. K'Ehleyr still wants to shoot them to death, but Worf comes up with a MASTERPLAN in about five seconds. He and K'Ehleyr dress like Klingon soldiers and pretend to be the Captain and First Officer of the Enterprise.

Another one I'd remembered as being a bit better than perhaps it actually is. K'Ehleyr is a fun character elevated by a great performance, but her eagerness to fire upon the Klingons is ridiculous. Honestly, how the fuck did she become a Federation specialist. To make it worse, she's completely irrelevant to the mission's resolution, it's entirely Worf's idea and he does all the talking.

Also don't like the recurrence of the idea that species have genetic traits in Star Trek - here, we're meant to believe that K'Ehleyr possesses inherent violence and anger from her Klingon DNA. Of course, this could just be her attributing normal emotions to being part-Klingon, but the episode doesn't really seem to take that angle.

Despite the main plot with the awakened Klingons being kind of weak, the episode works because of the focus on Worf and K'Ehleyr. It's hard to overstate how much of a boost Michael Dorn is to this show, you can really tell he cares about his character and the setting and this episode gives him a great chance to build on Worf, probably his best performance so far. Also, if you put aside her total incompetence in her job, K'Ehleyr is a character who's very entertaining to watch and adds a lot of texture to the Star Trek setting. 7/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 09, 2021, 08:58:39 AM
Quote from: daf on July 08, 2021, 09:31:31 PM
Yes, you can tell it's the 1980's writers living out their own childhood pulp detective fantasies there - rather than 24th century Picard.

See also Riker's Jazz Club, plus the holodeck baseball stuff on DS9 and Voyager's Captain Proton episodes (which I love - no complaints there!)
Nah, those examples fit the characters. The one that sticks out as "Writer's Favourite Thing" is fucking Rat Pack Jones in DS9 and all the ALIENS in the crew agreeing that sixties big band swing is The Bestest Music Ever.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on July 09, 2021, 09:12:13 AM
Worf's "comfortable chair" line was brilliantly delivered by Dorn. Shame this episode lays the ground for a bit of Worf's character development that I never cared much for.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 09, 2021, 04:43:20 PM
045 | "The Emissary"

(https://i.imgur.com/Ip1FogJ.jpg)

The Joy of Ex

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Red Hot Poker #2
• Captain Worf
• Klingon Sweat-Sniffing Ritual
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• K'Ehleyr table smash
• Defrosted Klingons
• Riker and Picard hiding in a little cupboard
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/ps92bYU.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 11, 2021, 02:16:17 PM
S02E21 - Peak Performance

Picard and Riker test their command abilities against each other with a battle simulation.

- Here comes a ZAKDORN, the "greatest strategic minds in the galaxy". He's here so the Enterprise can play some wargames. Picard's not a happy bunny, because "Starfleet is not a military organisation", despite all evidence to the contrary.

- Riker's going to be commanding the Hathaway, which will battle the Enterprise in the simulation. The Zakdorn skeptically asks Picard if Riker is really his choice. A couple minutes later, while explaining his reasoning for approving the wargames, Picard admits: "With the Borg threat, I decided my officers and I needed to..." (withering look to Riker) "...hone our tactical skills." To be fair to Riker, he actually grows a spine and disagrees with Picard for once here.

- Big swinging dick Riker learns that Kolrami, the Zakdorn, is a STRATEGEM GRANDMASTER, and thus challenges him to a game. Everyone (including Riker) agrees that he's going to play like shit, so Pulaski encourages Data to try instead.

- Riker and his hand-picked DREAM TEAM (Geordi, Worf, Wesley, and some people we've never seen before) head over to the Hathaway to find out it's a shitty joke of a ship, covered in cobwebs (space spiders???). Riker inspires his crew by telling them that it's going to be an exhausting tedious nightmare and to prepare for sleep deprivation.

- Within minutes, Riker gets stressed. He takes it out on Wesley, after the latter makes an innocuous remark that they probably can't win. They re-establish contact with the Enterprise and Riker has a go at Kolrami because it's NOT A FAIR BATTLE, even though he was told beforehand that this was the exact point of the simulation, and that it's to prepare for the Borg.

- Pulaski tries to goad Data and Kolrami into a STRATEGEM CONTEST. Data gets steamrolled and has a breakdown and relieves himself of duty.

- Picard calls Kolrami aside to ask why he's so down on Riker. Kolrami says that he thinks Riker is too "jovial" to be a commander. Picard says that Riker's "joviality" is what inspires people's loyalty in him. What?? What jovialty? When? All he does is fucking yell at people, scowl whenever things don't go his way, snap at Troi, and agree with whatever Picard's just said.

- Data becoming a hermit because he lost the game is a whole subplot. Interestingly, Picard explicitly states that Data is not capable of feeling emotions, which I'm not sure has ever been said in any previous episode. Represents the change in direction that the character is taking.

- Data analyses Riker's battle tactics, and alerts Picard to "prepare for unusual cunning". Hahahahaha

- It's battle time! Picard and Data both start spewing gibberish and their ships start flying around each other.

- Actual dialogue, referring to Riker:
QuoteKOLRAMI: He's quite good!
PICARD: He's the best.
(https://i.imgur.com/j13OFKb.png)
Like, same intonation and everything.

- PREPARE BEAMS... FOR PHOTON MODE.

- Out of nowhere, an actual Ferengi ship shows up and just starts firing at the Enterprise for no reason. Hilarious bit where Picard sits there grinning like a twat as the Enterprise gets shot to pieces because he thinks it's part of the game.

- Rapid-fire scenes where they come up with a plan to fuck about with the Ferengi and trick them into leaving, then that's that.

It's not bad. The bulk of the episode is them running around setting up the simulation, and Data going all shitty becaue he lost the game. The climax is kind of stupid, the Ferengi just showing up out of absolutely fucking nowhere (you'd assume this simulation would be taking place in Federation space) and firing on the Enterprise feels like it's shoved in just in case viewers were finding the simulated battle too boring. Kolrami is a cool character, and I like that Data correctly points out that he hasn't actually beaten him, even while everyone else is cheering at Data's non-victory.

Fun enough to watch but sort of meandering. There's no science fiction plot to get into, which is fine since it's a character piece, but it's a character piece where nothing really happens to the characters. Probably makes a better season finale than the upcoming Shades of Grey. 6/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/ps92bYU.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on July 11, 2021, 04:31:09 PM
This guy right here is my favourite guy in... all of Star Trek?

(https://i.imgur.com/5tClOAZ.jpg)

He's awesome, he knows it and he refuses to be anything but his best self in the face of Starfleet's carpet-walled drudgery. He correctly assesses that Riker is a fuckwit and handily beats Data 2-1 in spite of the fact that he'd be forced to play an eternal stalemate. He's named after a turnip.

WHAT A FUCKING BOSS
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on July 11, 2021, 04:44:04 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 11, 2021, 02:16:17 PM
- Big swinging dick Riker learns that Kolrami, the Zakdorn, is a STRATEGEM GRANDMASTER, and thus challenges him to a game.

An extremely rare 'good character moment' for Riker. He wants the experience of losing against Turnip for the novelty of it. I'm just imagining the league rankings for Stratagema:
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 11, 2021, 05:41:51 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on July 11, 2021, 04:31:09 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/5tClOAZ.jpg)
"Riker fell victim to one of the classic spaces blunders! The most famous of which is 'Never antagonise the Borg,' but only slightly less well-known is this: 'Never go in against a Zakdorn when DEATH is on the line!!!'"
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 11, 2021, 07:03:29 PM
046 | "Peak Performance"

(https://i.imgur.com/b2OAFZd.jpg)

Battleships in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Smugg-o Melty-Face
• Old Trek Whistle Test
• Data Stratagema Bust-him-up
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Shipbuilding : Is it Worf it?
• Conveniently timed Ferengi attack
• Easily distracted Wesley guard (bursting for a piss?)
• Black-balls space-chair #2 *
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
* Peter Opsvik's 'Globe Garden' chair first appeared aboard the Tarellian starship in the episode 'Haven'
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 11, 2021, 07:05:19 PM
Kinda leaving out a bit of detail around Worf using his access to the Enterprise's computer to trick their sensors into showing a Romulan Warbird first, hence why Picard thought the Ferengi ship was another trick. A big plot hole though, is how Worf tricked the Ferengi into thinking more Federation ships were arriving, since unlike the Enterprise, he should have no access to their computers. DaiMon notQuark's[nb]Armin Shimmerman again playing an early TNG Ferengi. Surprised there's no novel in which this Ferengi is said to be related to Quark to explain it, like Macet and Dukat.[/nb] Command Code must've been 'abc123' or 'password' and Worf guessed it.

I'm also not sure about the usefulness of this particular war game scenario, especially if the need for it has been brought about by the Borg encounter. Fighting the Enterprise with a rust bucket is not going to teach Riker & Co. anything other than how to fight the Enterprise with a rust bucket[nb]Ironically, 6 years later, Riker will lose the Enterprise in combat against a Klingon rust bucket[/nb]. Surely the better way to prepare for the Borg is recreate a Borg attack on the Enterprise using the holodeck?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Attila on July 12, 2021, 09:32:49 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 11, 2021, 02:16:17 PM
S02E21 - Peak Performance



♫♪♫♪♪♪ Idiot control now ♫♪♪♫♫♪


(Loving all the recaps here, and some validation for my long-held feeling that Riker is a bully and a creep; I would not have liked him as my boss, at all).
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 12, 2021, 09:49:18 AM
"Peak Performance"

I thought it was fun, although yeah the plot doesn't make much sense. Thought that the Ferengi logic in working out that the ship was valuable could have been explored interestingly in a short story or something, but all they have time for in this episode is for the Ferengi to explain their thinking step by step.

Spoiler for next episode
Spoiler alert
The climax of the series, and it's a CLIPSHOW.
[close]
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 13, 2021, 10:21:35 PM
S02E22 - Shades of Gray

It's a clip show.

- It's a fucking clip show!

- Riker's gotten injured on an away mission. Hilarious stuff. He's got an unknown microorganism in his blood stream.

- Data and Geordi go down to the planet to put themselves directly in harm's way. Data thinks some vines are alive and attacked Riker on purpose, making the vines my favourite character in the episode.

- Poisoned and dying, Riker suddenly becomes vaguely likeable. Troi comes in to shit all over this character growth by reminding Riker that he is, deep down, upset about getting killed by alien vines. Thanks Troi.

- The parasite or whatever it is is in Riker's brain. Pulaski needs to stimulate his brain and oh no

- It's a clip show.

- All your least favourite Riker moments, one after the other. Did you want to rewatch the very long and boring introduction to the holodeck from Encounter at Farpoint? Good news. Did you want to revisit the weird naked people planet from Justice? Awesome. Did you want to watch Riker stupidly trap himself on the holodeck in 11001001? Have I got the episode for you.

- It's a smegging garbage pod clip show!

- Troi sits there sensing all Riker's emotions while he re-lives his boring, uneventful waste of a life. His emotions are becoming "erotic".

- The parasite is growing in response to Riker's positive emotions. Pulaski tries to change Riker's dreams to negative ones to see what happens.

- Close-ups of Jonathan Frakes' sweating face in between dull, out-of-context clips from previous episodes, mostly not even good ones.

- I like how a lot of Riker's memories involve:
   - him standing around while other people do things
   - him being incapacitated
   - him being injured
   - him yelling in confusion

- Pulaski and Troi keep talking about how utterly fucked Riker is. He's at like 7% health or something. Wait no, now he's fine.

Can only assume it's called Shades of Gray because Riker's life is, to quote Bottom, one long relentless collage of grey. The pointless adventures of a complete dullard.

It's such a weird episode because not only is a clip show obviously a batshit choice for a season finale, but most of these clips are just strange when devoid of context. Even more strange is that, towards the end, there's a montage of very short clips which mean nothing to anyone who hasn't already seen the episodes, and will bore anyone who has seen them.

What was the motivation to make this episode? Cost saving, I guess? The framing device is pretty weak, it's the usual "one of the crew is about to die ooooh fuck the life signs are fading wait no now they're going back up again, it's a full recovery" stuff you've seen 500 times before.

And Riker is such an odd choice for the character to revolve the clip show around. When does Riker get any good scenes? Surely someone like Data would have been a better choice?

Another thing that sucks is that the first 20 minutes or so act like it's going to be a normal episode, so anyone who doesn't already know what they're in for will feel totally cheated. Thanks for sitting through this unusually dull introduction, now enjoy these clips from fucking Justice.

1/10, though it's hard to rate - it's not bad or offensive or anything, it's just boring and it's confusing that it exists.

(https://i.imgur.com/fPGWxFx.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 13, 2021, 10:27:47 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 13, 2021, 10:21:35 PM
What was the motivation to make this episode? Cost saving, I guess? The framing device is pretty weak, it's the usual "one of the crew is about to die ooooh fuck the life signs are fading wait no now they're going back up again, it's a full recovery" stuff you've seen 500 times before.

Cost saving and time constraints brought about by a strike from the Writer's Guild of America, I believe. Also note that season 2 only has 22 episodes, whereas the other 6 seasons, as well as every DS9 season (I think), and most of Voyager's have 26.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on July 13, 2021, 10:35:00 PM
The production company forced them to make it after Q Who and Elementary, Dear Data had overspends earlier in the season.

I think it was just the wrong type of episode at the worst possible time. Two years later and I think Michael Pillar would have come up with something vaguely palatable once you get past the clip show conceit.

How hard would it have been to just put a character on trial and use old clips as part of the trial? Unoriginal, but at least it works. But then that would need a script that works with the clips rather than just "insert vague clip featuring Riker here".

The worst thing about it is that they didn't call it Riker's Brain, which was suggested during production.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 13, 2021, 10:59:11 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 13, 2021, 10:21:35 PM
S02E22 - Shades of Gray

It's a clip show.

- It's a fucking clip show!

...

What was the motivation to make this episode? Cost saving, I guess?

They spunked all the money on the Borg episode, so they had to cheap out here. Took 3 days of filming (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Shades_of_Gray_(episode)#Story_and_production) instead of the usual 7, or something like that.

I do like the idea of the active plant thing, but it's (clearly) not enough to build an episode around.

Also, it's a fucking clip show!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 13, 2021, 11:01:23 PM
Quote from: JamesTC on July 13, 2021, 10:35:00 PM
The worst thing about it is that they didn't call it Riker's Brain, which was suggested during production.

Oxymoron?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on July 13, 2021, 11:18:20 PM
EXT. PLANET - DAY

GEORDI stumbles through the tropical section of a garden centre to reveal RIKER already stung by the nettle that will kill him.

GEORDI
Why were we here again, Commander?

RIKER
Fuck knows, mate. Log entry hasn't turned up yet.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 14, 2021, 09:27:00 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 13, 2021, 10:21:35 PM
S02E22 - Shades of Gray
- Troi sits there sensing all Riker's emotions while he re-lives his boring, uneventful waste of a life. His emotions are becoming "erotic".

They really missed a trick - after we have all of Riker's "sexy" memories, it should have cut back to Riker pitching a tent in the medbay. Although I guess that's more Orville than TNG.

Not much to say - it' a fucking clip show! Apparently the guy directing the new scenes didn't choose any of the clips, just let it be sorted out in the edit. Never watched the completed episode either.

I understand they had to pad the series out because of budget overruns, but why make it the climax of the season? Or did they not promote it, so it was just a sort of epilogue after the previous episode?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Camp Tramp on July 14, 2021, 09:47:53 AM
Quote from: MojoJojo on July 14, 2021, 09:27:00 AM
They really missed a trick - after we have all of Riker's "sexy" memories, it should have cut back to Riker pitching a tent in the medbay. Although I guess that's more Orville than TNG.

Not much to say - it' a fucking clip show! Apparently the guy directing the new scenes didn't choose any of the clips, just let it be sorted out in the edit. Never watched the completed episode either.

I understand they had to pad the series out because of budget overruns, but why make it the climax of the season? Or did they not promote it, so it was just a sort of epilogue after the previous episode?

The director was Rob Bowman, who was actually one of their better directors in the first two seasons. Strangely enough he only had one more episode, which was 2 seasons later. Maybe being given a clip show pissed him off?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on July 14, 2021, 10:13:59 AM
There were a few early directors who didn't get along with the cast (because the actors all larked about so much). Maybe he was one of those.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 14, 2021, 10:42:53 AM
Quote from: Camp Tramp on July 14, 2021, 09:47:53 AM
The director was Rob Bowman, who was actually one of their better directors in the first two seasons. Strangely enough he only had one more episode, which was 2 seasons later. Maybe being given a clip show pissed him off?

He was also the director on Elementary, Dear Watson and he was definitely pissed off about that
Quote from: Memory AlphaRob Bowman noted that this episode was "a huge production. They built that whole street from the ground up on stage. Indoors. It's an awesome episode." However, Bowman was angry with a cost-cutting decision to reduce the schedule for filming from eight to seven days. He remarked, "They made the shooting process one of the most unpleasant I've ever been through. I thought it almost killed the episode... Here was a show where we had all this great production value. Brent Spiner was about to do the best work I've ever seen him do. We had all these sets and they said seven days. I think that show is when I started to pull away from Star Trek, because I felt that it was a great opportunity to make a wonderful episode, and there was an arbitrary decision because the sets cost so much – I think $200,000 – where they said, 'We'll save money by taking a day off the schedule.' It's like, 'Wait a minute guys, first you have to take a day out of the script. You don't just take a day off the schedule to save $60,000.' As you can tell, I was pretty angry about it, and still have a little hostility towards what I went through on that show to make it happen."

He seems less bothered about Shades of Grey:
Quote from: Memory Alpha
Director Rob Bowman commented, "It was Paramount saying, 'We gave you more money for "Elementary, Dear Data" and the Borg show. Now do us a favor and give us a three-day show.' So that's what you do. It's an accepted part of the medium." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 182)

I guess it was easy for him to do to, so he had a lot less invested in it.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 14, 2021, 02:16:25 PM
047 | "Shades of Gray"

(https://i.imgur.com/22vovds.jpg)

Spod's Brain

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• The Rattlesnake Sketch
• Riker Bonce Needles
• Comical Transport Chiefs
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Reckless Bog Sploshing (Tut! Those shoes'll be ruined!)
• Spacey Thorn
• Exit Pulaski
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/fOUUfLr.png) (0/10)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wentworth Smith on July 14, 2021, 03:49:07 PM
Intrigued by the bonce needles. Does the one in the forehead go straight through? Is it medical students playing Kerplunk with his head for a laugh?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 14, 2021, 06:29:25 PM
Heh, reminds me of that one room in Cube, the
Spoiler alert
sound-activated
[close]
one.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 14, 2021, 07:39:01 PM
The Child - me, 5/10, daf, 4/10
Where Silence Has Lease - me, 4/10, daf, 4/10
Elementary, Dear Data - me, 4/10, daf, 10/10
The Outrageous Okona - me, 3/10, daf, 0/10
Loud as a Whisper - me, 5/10, daf, 4/10
The Schizoid Man - me, 3/10, daf, 4/10
Unnatural Selection - me, 5/10, daf, 4/10
A Matter of Honor - me, 8/10, daf, 7/10
The Measure of a Man - me, 4/10, daf, 8/10
The Dauphin - me, 6/10, daf, 5/10
Contagion - me, 4/10, daf, 4/10
The Royale-  me, 9/10, daf, 6/10
Time Squared - me, 7/10, daf, 5/10
The Icarus Factor - me, 2/10, daf, 3/10
Pen Pals - me, 7/10, daf, 3/10
Q Who - me, 7/10, daf, 8/10
Samaritan Snare - me, 3/10, daf, 5/10
Up The Long Ladder - me, 1/10, daf, 4/10
Manhunt - me, 7/10, daf, 7/10
The Emissary - me, 7/10, daf, 6/10
Peak Performance - me, 6/10, daf, 4/10
Shades of Gray - me, 1/10, daf, 0/10

Someone who knows about statistics could probably find something interesting here. My main take-away just from looking is that me and daf were broadly in agreement, with just a few outlying episodes. I think we both gave overall higher ratings here than we did in the first season, which makes sense.

My top episodes according to rating were The Royale and A Matter of Honor, and then a bunch of contenders for third place. Actually, I think I overrated A Matter of Honor - in retrospect I'd nudge it down a point into the sea of 7/10s.
To pick a definitive top three of the season:
- The Royale
- A Matter of Honor
- Time Squared

My bottom three, according to ratings, are Up The Long Ladder, The Icarus Factor, and The Outrageous Okona. Sounds about right. I overrated The Outrageous Okona by at least one point just because I like Whoopi Goldberg and Brent Spiner's scenes, the episode really is a trainwreck otherwise.

To give a very brief review of the season as a whole... it was good! It's still not churning out back-to-back (though I stand by my adoration of The Royale) but it's so much pacier and more competent than the first season.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 14, 2021, 09:28:32 PM
My Series 2 | Top 3 :

1. Elementary, Dear Data
2. Q Who
3. The Measure of a Man

The promotions of Worf and O'Brien improved matters, but the main boost to this series was Dr Pulaski - I just frigging love this character (Stuffed with crumpets!!)


Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 15, 2021, 11:18:18 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 14, 2021, 07:39:01 PM
To give a very brief review of the season as a whole... it was good! It's still not churning out back-to-back (though I stand by my adoration of The Royale) but it's so much pacier and more competent than the first season.

I'm a bit ahead now, and season 3 is really another step up.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Camp Tramp on July 15, 2021, 12:51:48 PM
I think the new uniforms are a marker of the increased quality.

Those spandex ones are really horrible.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 15, 2021, 05:52:01 PM
It's a curious coincidence, but on Twitter a obsessive devoted fan has been posting detailed examinations of each TNG episode, looking at onscreen bloopers (crew/equipment visible, as IMDb would put it), reuse or recycling of sets, props, costumes etc. from other eps or even shows, and so on. And he just happened to reach "Shades of Grey" at exactly the same time.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on July 15, 2021, 06:02:36 PM
That's Jorg. He's cool, just has an interest in minutiae and an astonishing eye for detail.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 15, 2021, 06:32:44 PM
Found out TNG is on Netflix, so I started watching with season 3.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: bgmnts on July 15, 2021, 06:36:07 PM
Basically once Denise Crosby and that doctor who isn't Crusher fuck off, it kicks into warp speed classic TNG.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on July 15, 2021, 06:46:06 PM
Which is the start of Season 3. :-)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on July 15, 2021, 07:16:34 PM
Just listening to Gates McFadden's latest podcast interview, this time with Michael Dorn. Apparently Dorn and Rob Bowman (the Shades of Grey director) are good buddies who fly light aircraft together so I guess I was wrong about him being ticked off with the cast's antics.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 15, 2021, 09:30:58 PM
Quote from: Mr Trumpet on July 15, 2021, 06:02:36 PM
That's Jorg. He's cool, just has an interest in minutiae and an astonishing eye for detail.

Yeah, Jörg is a good egg. Won't hear a bad word said about any Star Trek[nb]No, not even "Threshold"[nb]Or "Move Along Home"[nb]Or Star Trek V...[/nb][/nb][/nb], though - he'd hate this thread!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Malcy on July 15, 2021, 09:50:57 PM
Quote from: mothman on July 15, 2021, 09:30:58 PM
Yeah, Jörg is a good egg. Won't hear a bad word said about any Star Trek[nb]No, not even "Threshold"[nb]Or "Move Along Home"[nb]Or Star Trek V...[/nb][/nb][/nb], though - he'd hate this thread!

Along with the episode title pun on the last page you have absolutely solidified yourself as the true Trek fan of the board. I also won't hear shite about those!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 15, 2021, 09:52:37 PM
I've been watching Trek since 1973. It may have warped my mindset somewhat.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 18, 2021, 01:13:10 AM
S03E01 - Evolution

Wesley's school project (seriously) goes awry when it causes nanites to gain collective intelligence.

- Doctor Paul Stubbs is aboard, a guy who dresses like he's from the 50s.

- What the hell is Riker doing when Wesley enters the bridge? The weird point and turn.

- It's time to launch THE EGG. THE EGG is apparently yet another Dirty Pair reference, being modelled after Nanmo, the weird little computer thing that follows Kei and Yuri around.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMTZiZGE1NjctYzFiNC00ZGYyLTgyZTctNjBmNjdiN2JhMzUzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjQ3MjU3NTU@._V1_FMjpg_UX1000_.jpg) (https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/GVMeB8QHjPp9cb4tK1239hnmExzbz75T7L94g65amSeXR0t-eoC-MjWvUROp9Y1gESfraHEH5teL0EKe5c6_cRekQocLNUbR6AumOuJxlgPKFE6m4aKNjo9GxuhL7UzYdtU)

-
QuotePICARD: Our momentum is still carrying us into the path of the stellar matter.
DATA: 12 seconds to impact, sir.
RIKER: Prepare for impact.

Riker earning his (figurative) pay for the week, there.

- Bev is back, and Pulaski is GONE, with no explanation other than "I was at Starfleet Medical for a year." Fair enough then.

-
QuoteWESLEY: Actually, most of my free time is taken up with my studies. I'm trying to get into Starfleet Academy, and I earn credits for the time spent on the Enterprise, but it's just not the same.
...just not the same as what? Isn't the Enterprise the primo assignment for people who've graduated from Starfleet Academy?

- Systems across the ship are breaking down. Bev decides it's a good time to go and talk to Picard about whether or not her presence on the ship is hampering Wesley. They reach the conclusion that Wesley is a strange friendless loser who needs to start acting normal. Stubbs, meanwhile, assures Wesley that it's ok to be a weird idiot.

- The Enterprise sucks so the mission might have to be aborted. Troi tells Stubbs that she can sense he's Feeling Sad. He tells her to stop empathy-gazing into his mind without his consent, something I'm surprised people don't tell her more.

- Wesley realises that his final project for some class at Shitfleet Academy might be the cause of the Enterprise's issues. That's right, Wesley is so good at this class that he's inadvertently created sapient nanites. Guinan unhelpfully compares him to Frankenstein and gives him one of her Looks.

- The nanites have declared war on the Enterprise. Stubbs suggests exterminating them, and fires at them with a phaser. They respond by shutting life support off. Love this Picard-Choking-To-Death camera angle:
(https://i.imgur.com/CysrghX.png)

- Stubbs goes to his quarters to think about baseball, but the nanites shoot him with Bad Electricity from a computer.

- Conveniently, the nanites can speak through Data. Stubbs apologises for shooting at them, and they agree to stop trying to blow up the Enterprise. They also demand to be relocated from the Enterprise to somewhere else, to continue to grow their endless power.

Can't come up with too much to say about this one - there's really not much to it. The A plot with the nanites is so run-of-the-mill, and the two side-plots (Bev being concerned about Wesley's hilariously stunted social development, and Troi trying to know more about Stubbs) don't really go anywhere, especially the Stubbs one. The actor playing him gives a great performance but there doesn't really seem to be much to the character. He's pretty similar to the guy from Where No One Has Gone Before - arrogant socially awkward scientist guy who turns out to be alright in the end.

4/10

(https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 18, 2021, 01:01:50 PM
This episode has some of the greatest TNG fashion on show:

(http://blog.trekcore.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ev_ds2.jpg)

Young laddie in blue there, who grew up to be

(https://media.comicbook.com/2021/05/the-orville-season-3-scott-grimes-western-episode-1266643-1280x0.jpeg)

A load of those kids' scenes were cut, including speaking parts, no wonder Wes is so socially crap.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 18, 2021, 01:15:58 PM
"Those nanites, they hate you, Stubbs..." (https://youtu.be/a-uZnpYRSjA)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 18, 2021, 01:27:02 PM
048 | "Evolution"

(https://i.imgur.com/yIm66s0.jpg)

Nano Domini

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• New High Collars
• Brittle Professor Baseball
• Re-enter Dr Crusher
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Sucked off by a big star
• Wesley's Nano-Botch
• Gamma-Gamma Die!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 19, 2021, 10:34:12 PM
S03E02 - The Ensigns of Command

A human colony must be evacuated when a hostile faction legally claims their land.

- Here come the SHELIAK, weird cushion monsters who are big into rules and contracts.

- Data gets sent down to a lost human colony where people dress like Jedi and talk like fools.

- Riker, as usual, is extremely dismissive of any adventure or exploration. He initially advises Picard not to even bother checking the colony out, because humans can't possibly survive down there. When it turns out they can, Riker estimates (based on nothing) that there'll be "about a dozen" people on the planet. Data learns that there are exactly 15,253. Look at Riker's face as soon as he hears that his baseless estimate was off by about 15,241:

(https://i.imgur.com/sDIhaZK.gif)

- GOSHEVAN, the colony's leader, is hilariously unreasonable right from the off. Data explains that they've got four days to get off the planet before the Sheliak come and wipe them out. Bizarrely, all Goshevan's lines are dubbed, according to Memory Alpha. The voice actor is uncredited and unknown. He sounds extremely familiar though, I'm 90% sure he played someone in the original Fallout game.

- Out of absolutely fucking nowhere comes ARD'RIAN, who's obsessed with androids and AI. She invites Data back to her house to chat robotics.

- Haha, what's going on in this next bit? Riker, Troi and Picard are in the briefing room.
QuoteTROI: Captain, when the treaty was first negotiated, the Federation sent 372 legal experts. What do we have?
PICARD: (looks at Riker, then turns back to Troi) Thee and me.
(both turn slowly look at Riker)
He just explicitly said it was down to him and Troi, right? And that Riker's useless?

- New MST3k robot revealed:
(https://i.imgur.com/FEYhoSt.png)

- Goshevan really really likes this stupid water feature they've built in the middle of the town, because it represents DEAD GRANDPA'S SACRIFICE.

- The Federation can't send an evacuation ship for three weeks. The Sheliak have given Picard three days. It's shit-yourself time.

- Riker shows off his command chops by getting angry with Data for not having already convinced all 15k+ of the colonists to abandon their homes. He snaps at him to "use that fancy positronic brain of yours".

- Data and Goshevan get into a "debate me" contest. Meanwhile, Troi tries to explain to Picard why learning other languages is difficult. They go over to a Sheliak ship because the treaty allows them to do so, but the treaty also allows the Sheliak to just tell them to fuck off five seconds later.

- Goshevan hits Data with some electric wand thing and shuts him down. There's a plot running through this episode - Goshevan argues that Data is a computer, Ard'rian thinks he's a person, and Data himself doesn't agree or disagree with either of them, but just keeps insisting he's an android with no emotions. It's an interesting change in characterisation for Data, which continues going forward.

- Data builds a SMART PHASER by using his own "neural subprocessors" to create a phaser that can function in hyperonic radiation. Presumably, this phaser will be granted lifeform status by Starfleet.

- Data destroys the beloved water feature to illustrate the colony's weakness in the face of the Shelliak's weapons. All 15,000 colonists immediately agree to get the fuck out of there after all.

- About a hundred billion anime jokes in the Sheliak contract that Worf pulls up on screen, if you pause to read it. They really liked Urusei Yatsura and Dirty Pair.

- The treaty allows Picard to call for a third party to resolve the dispute with the Sheliak. He calls for the Grisellas, a species who enter hibernation, which means the talks will have to be stalled for six months. The Sheliak get #owned.

This one is enjoyable. I love the Sheliak and the Grisellas, two genuinely alien species that prove the universe isn't just humans with stupid foreheads (well, you never see what the Grisellas look like, but you get the idea). Both of the episode's main plots - Data on the planet and the crew negotiating with the Sheliak from the ship - work really well, and the solutions to both are great. There's also some effective sideplots - Ard'rian projecting onto Data because of her social awkwardness with the other colonists, and Geordi and O'Brien trying to figure out how the fuck a transporter works. 7/10

(https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 19, 2021, 11:08:02 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 19, 2021, 10:34:12 PM
- Riker shows off his command chops by getting angry with Data for not having already convinced all 15k+ of the colonists to abandon their homes. He snaps at him to "use that fancy positronic brain of yours".

Nah, Riker's right on this one. Data's all "wah, my Starfleet training hasn't made me into a good cultural contact. Here's a breakdown of what all the ppl think. Fix it for me." He's not a first year ensign, he's the ship's second officer and should pull his fucking socks up.

Quote from: Lemming on July 19, 2021, 10:34:12 PM
- About a hundred billion anime jokes in the Sheliak contract that Worf pulls up on screen, if you pause to read it. They really liked Urusei Yatsura and Dirty Pair.

This is the what the paragraph Picard quotes to the Sheliak says (or at least what's highlighted when he has his eureka moment on tooling the Sheliak), not sure how it helps:

"Section 33406:
We can do search-and-replace. Come to think about it, that's what the Sheliac want to do with the colony on the planet. This section deals with the right of each party to confer with the other in the event something screwy happens with the treaty. This may take the form of normal EM spectrum communication, subspace EM communication, face-to-face meetings, telephone tag, message in bottles or any other water tight form of enclosure, gossip, half-truths, outright lies, or face-to-face meetings. Interpetation of treaty compliance shall not exceed one (1.00 x IOEO) standard UFP solar year (except during the month of July). See technical IA43589.1742A-C(058945) for code inputs. LCARS updates on treaty compliance interruptions shall take place at each starbase layover or when commanded by ranking UFP (or other designated body) officials at Starfleet Headquarters, 24-593 Federation Drive, San Francisco, CA, Earth, Sol Sector. Request for assistance may be placed by transmission to standard Starfleet booster station for channeling to any UFP treaty office (Sol Sector)."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on July 19, 2021, 11:11:16 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 19, 2021, 10:34:12 PM
- Riker, as usual, is extremely dismissive of any adventure or exploration. He initially advises Picard not to even bother checking the colony out, because humans can't possibly survive down there. When it turns out they can, Riker estimates (based on nothing) that there'll be "about a dozen" people on the planet. Data learns that there are exactly 15,253. Look at Riker's face as soon as he hears that his baseless estimate was off by about 15,241:
Give Frakes his dues, that's a pretty good reaction of a man thinking "fuck me, am I thick as fuck or what?"

Really, I think the actor is all that prevents the character from being nothing but an absolute irritant. Yer man actually made me like Riker at times, mainly when he was being all chummy with Worf or out trying to catch Space AIDS.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 19, 2021, 11:18:54 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 19, 2021, 10:34:12 PM
Out of absolutely fucking nowhere comes ARD'RIAN

(https://i.imgur.com/qElxJjK.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 19, 2021, 11:22:15 PM
oh thank fuck, I thought this was going to be one of those rewatch threads where the person doing the rewatching doesn't even like the show.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on July 20, 2021, 01:26:44 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 19, 2021, 10:34:12 PM
- Haha, what's going on in this next bit? Riker, Troi and Picard are in the briefing room.He just explicitly said it was down to him and Troi, right? And that Riker's useless?

This inexplicable Yorkshire outburst goes unaddressed for the rest of the series and we can only assume it's a universal translator artefact like Klingon Biscuits.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 20, 2021, 02:04:47 AM
Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on July 19, 2021, 11:08:02 PM
This is the what the paragraph Picard quotes to the Sheliak says (or at least what's highlighted when he has his eureka moment on tooling the Sheliak), not sure how it helps:

"Section 33406:
We can do search-and-replace. Come to think about it, that's what the Sheliac want to do with the colony on the planet. This section deals with the right of each party to confer with the other in the event something screwy happens with the treaty. This may take the form of normal EM spectrum communication, subspace EM communication, face-to-face meetings, telephone tag, message in bottles or any other water tight form of enclosure, gossip, half-truths, outright lies, or face-to-face meetings. Interpetation of treaty compliance shall not exceed one (1.00 x IOEO) standard UFP solar year (except during the month of July). See technical IA43589.1742A-C(058945) for code inputs. LCARS updates on treaty compliance interruptions shall take place at each starbase layover or when commanded by ranking UFP (or other designated body) officials at Starfleet Headquarters, 24-593 Federation Drive, San Francisco, CA, Earth, Sol Sector. Request for assistance may be placed by transmission to standard Starfleet booster station for channeling to any UFP treaty office (Sol Sector)."


The anime jokes are in Section 87654: "Rick is initially getting a Kei and Yuri reference into the text. You know, the two cute girls with the big guns. We might also mention Akira, Ranma Nibunnoichi, Urusei Yatsura, Rhea Gall Force and a few other animated films. The Federation at this point seems more tangled up in paperwork than the Iran-Contra scandal business." (https://i.imgur.com/jmiFTDP.jpeg)

I like how the treat seems to make gradually more sense as it goes on.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 20, 2021, 10:55:10 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 19, 2021, 10:34:12 PM
and Geordi and O'Brien trying to figure out how the fuck a transporter works. 7/10

This mostly consists of Riker walking into the transporter room, demanding "Any progress?". Geordi and O'Brien would then teleport in a melted lump of metal that had been one of the space tubes they apparently use for transport testing. Riker than barks "Keep working".

The scene is then repeated almost exactly the same, except with Picard instead of Riker.

I wonder if this was supposed to be poking fun at the way the show would often resolve problems by having Geordi come up with some technobabble that magically resolves whatever the problem was without actually addressing any of the issues.

Quote from: Lemming on July 19, 2021, 10:34:12 PM
- Riker, as usual, is extremely dismissive of any adventure or exploration. He initially advises Picard not to even bother checking the colony out, because humans can't possibly survive down there. When it turns out they can, Riker estimates (based on nothing) that there'll be "about a dozen" people on the planet. Data learns that there are exactly 15,253. Look at Riker's face as soon as he hears that his baseless estimate was off by about 15,241:

The issue is that Wilson is being Dr Watson. He's not supposed to be stupid, he's supposed to be drawing normal conclusions. The point of that exchange is that it lets us know it's surprising so many people are there.

The show sort of skips over how the colonists survived, and absolutely no curiosity is shown over how they are thriving in radiation so deadly no one else will even visit the surface in a protective suit. The colonists are more proud of their aqueduct which brings water down from the mountain... which isn't really what aqueducts do but never mind.
Quote from: Lemming on July 19, 2021, 10:34:12 PM
S03E02 - The Ensigns of Command
Any one have any clue what the title is supposed to mean?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 20, 2021, 11:40:16 AM
Quote from: MojoJojo on July 20, 2021, 10:55:10 AM
Quote from: Lemming on Yesterday at 10:34:12 PMS03E02 - The Ensigns of Command

Any one have any clue what the title is supposed to mean?

It's a flag/rank pun based on a poem by the 6th President of the United States of America . . . apparenty!

Quote from: memory-alphaThe title of this episode is from the poem "The Wants of Man" by John Quincy Adams. In the context of this poem, the term "ensign" means a flag or symbol, not the Starfleet rank.

I want the seals of power and place,
The ensigns of command,
Charged by the people's unbought grace,
To rule my native land.
Nor crown nor sceptre would I ask,
But from my country's will,
By day, by night, to ply the task
Her cup of bliss to fill.
https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/The_Ensigns_of_Command_(episode)

That's only one verse, you can read the whole thing > > > here
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 20, 2021, 03:07:29 PM
049 | "The Ensigns of Command"

(https://i.imgur.com/Kb013Z3.jpg)

Sheliak Take a Bow

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Data's lovely girlfriend
• O'Brien : Cello Legend!
• Transporter : Whoops! Melty-Splat
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Data Zapped . . . again
• Fully-functional robo-kiss
• Picard's dusty finger-wipe
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: crankshaft on July 20, 2021, 06:49:12 PM
Quote from: daf on July 20, 2021, 03:07:29 PM
Sheliak Take a Bow

Brilliant.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 22, 2021, 12:53:12 AM
S03E03 - The Survivors

Two people are living on an untouched patch of land on an otherwise devastated planet.

- Troi's wearing a dress to work now, with a big flowy skirt bit. How come she gets to wear whatever she wants while everyone else is stuck in stupid space pyjamas?

- There are two people left unharmed on an obliterated planet. Bev says it must be an illusion but gets SMACKED DOWN. Troi senses that something is not right about them. The logical thing would be to take Troi down to check them out, so she stays behind while virtually every single other member of the senior staff goes instead.

- Riker walks straight into a trap, good stuff. The away team is confronted by Kevin and Rishon, two old people. Kevin immediately tells them to fuck off back into space.

- Mentioned it before but Gates McFadden's performance is so weird. Why is she so sedated? Bev comes across like she's not all there, like she's just woken up or been hit in the head with a brick. Especially weird given how charismatic McFadden is when interviewed. Sort of like how Frakes radiates warmth and humour in interviews, but somehow manages to play Riker as a joyless shouty prick almost the whole time.

- Back on the ship, Troi's decided to go take it really easy in her quarters, since she's got nothing to do during this mission where having an empath would be crucial. Data plays with a music box inside the house on the surface, and the melody appears in Troi's mind, giving her yet another psychic headache.

- Troi starts groaning in pain during a briefing and isn't able to focus because of her growing headache, and ends up walking out to go to her quarters. Picard comes along and asks her what's wrong, and she tells him about the music that won't stop playing in her head. Picard, no joke, says that it's probably nothing and he sometimes gets songs stuck in his head too. Seriously.

-  The ship that apparently destroyed the planet shows up and fires piss-guns at the Enterprise, then flees. Picard orders pursuit until realising he's been totally trolled. He goes back to talk to Rishon and Kevin himself. He and Worf drink tea while Troi's head explodes.

- Kevin makes them fuck off again, but first reveals that he's a pacifist, and so during the attack on the colony, he refused to fight back, which may be why he was spared.

- The warship shows up again and chases the Enterprise away. Picard decides that Troi is getting intentionally PSYCHIC-BLOCKED by Kevin and Rishon. He also notes that everything Kevin has said and done has tried to force the Enterprise to leave, so goes back to get on Kevin's nerves again. After another short visit during which Kevin shoves them out again, the warship shows up once more and blows Kevin and Rishon's shit house into oblivion.

- Picard fucks off and then fucks back on again to see that the house has respawned, with Kevin and Rishon inside it. He carries out a TRANSPORTER KIDNAPPING to bring them both to the bridge, whereupon he reveals the truth while Kevin stands in the corner sulking - Rishon and the house are both illusions, created by Kevin. Bev got it in one, right at the start of the episode.

- Kevin goes and saves Troi from the Pain Music, and reveals that he's a DOUWD, a crazy powerful alien who's thousands of years old, and currently chooses to appear as a human. The colony were attacked by the Husnock, and Kevin refused to fight back, while Rishon was killed in combat. Upon seeing her corpse, Kevin lost control for a moment and erased all Husnock from existence with his mind. That's 50 billion people, making him history's worst mass murderer. Oops!

- Picard stands there gawking and then says that they can't prosecute him because there's no law against what he did (genocide?). He tells Kevin to just go back to the colony and live with the weird creepy Rishon ghost forever. In his closing log, he states that he's not sure "whether [Kevin] should be praised or condemned". Uh, condemned, I think.

- And so, the Enterprise leaves, intending to leave Kevin alone forevermore. You know, which Kevin was trying to make them do all along. What if the Husnock story was another ruse to trick Picard into leaving? I mean, there's no evidence of any Husnock anywhere! If they were ever real, he can't have erased them from time, because the colony is still wrecked, so he must have just removed all living Husnock from the universe, which means people should remember them - but when the illusory Husnock ship arrives, Data says its design is "totally foreign" and that nobody's ever seen anything like it. The Husnock never existed! Picard got absolutely swindled!

It's a great episode, the mood changes so effectively over the course of 45 minutes - it's sort of funny at first with Riker getting caught in the trap and Kevin being all moody, then it slides into "something's definitely not right here" territory, and then basically becomes tragedy by the end. The mystery is great to follow along with, even when you already know what happens.

An entire planet being nuked except for one garden, one house, and two old people is such a strong setup for a mystery. It's one of the best in TNG alongside the arrival of comatose near-future Picard in Time Squared. 9/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/vmjapj9.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 22, 2021, 01:31:33 AM
Are we doing a Troi mind-raped count? Because I've never been sure if this episode counts.

Also, I like this production pic:
(https://i.postimg.cc/W410fxFT/Frakes-fall-The-Survivors.webp)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 22, 2021, 01:59:07 AM
The Feds have obviously not encountered the Husnock before, hence why they can't ID the ship. (Assuming of course that Kevin even produced an accurate recreation of a Husnock ship.) One wonders what sort of massive fuck off war with the Husnock Kevin might've saved the Federation from cos he lost his temper. If first contact is the Husnock blowing up an entire colony, sitting down over tea to discuss mutually beneficial trade agreements is not likely to be the next thing they do.

It also doesn't make sense he wasn't able to drive the Husnock off. The only reason he doesn't drive the Enterprise off is because there's this bizarre mystery of the single house surviving the massacre, and an enemy ship that is only interested in making the Enterprise leave the Ranna system. Said mystery is not there if the Husnock turn up and find a Federation ship that Kevin created in orbit. It'd make sense that a Federation ship would try to drive the Husnock off, because it's defending a Federation colony.
Unless it was a case that the Husnock don't back out once a fight starts no matter what, even if their opponent is basically invincible, and Kevin wasn't willing to allow his illusion ship to actually do real damage. Although he still could've repeatedly knocked out its defensive systems until the Enterprise arrived.

Good episode though. I like how when Picard tells Riker to return fire on the Husnock ship, rather than the usual approach of one shot and then see do they want to talk, Riker orders Worf to try and completely fuck the Husnock ship up.[nb]There will be later chances for Riker to do this, and he sadly does not.[/nb] Almost like they knew it was invincible.

QuotePicard stands there gawking and then says that they can't prosecute him because there's no law against what he did (genocide?).

That's a strange one from Picard alright. Presumably there are laws against Genocide. It's more a case that if Kevin decides he doesn't want to be in prison, the Federation have no means to keep him there.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on July 22, 2021, 10:12:32 AM
It's a great episode but I do wonder how the species Kev belongs to compares to the Q in terms of power. I mean, being able to wipe out an entire people with a single thought (regardless of where they are in the galaxy, presumably) suggests an extremely high level of omnipotence.

I do think Picard's reluctance to prosecute him for genocide should have been shown from a "well, we don't want to fuck with you, frankly" perspective.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 22, 2021, 10:42:26 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 22, 2021, 12:53:12 AM
S03E03 - The Survivors
- And so, the Enterprise leaves, intending to leave Kevin alone forevermore. You know, which Kevin was trying to make them do all along. What if the Husnock story was another ruse to trick Picard into leaving? I mean, there's no evidence of any Husnock anywhere! If they were ever real, he can't have erased them from time, because the colony is still wrecked, so he must have just removed all living Husnock from the universe, which means people should remember them - but when the illusory Husnock ship arrives, Data says its design is "totally foreign" and that nobody's ever seen anything like it. The Husnock never existed! Picard got absolutely swindled!

I'd forgotten that they originally turn up in response to a distress call from a federation colony, and I had the impression that all the events had happened thousands of years ago. That works better I think - then the idea that Kevin is effectively punishing himself by trapping himself alone with his guilt and grief for thousands of years.

But that's not what is shown, so we have this odd situation with the disappearing race. Also no one gives a shit about all the dead colonists.

Kevin's power is a bit weird. He apparently can't force the Enterprise away. He couldn't protect his wife. But he can kill 50 billion aliens in a rage. He must just be very good at killing.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 22, 2021, 01:40:04 PM
050 | "The Survivors"

(https://i.imgur.com/aeGaaEc.jpg)

Get orff moi space-land!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Worf : "Good Tea . . . Nice House!"
• Idiot Riker's foot snaggle-dangle
• Worf : Unmitigated Gall
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Troi Costume Watch : Turquoise hip-curtains
• Grumpy Space-Kevin
• Troi going out of her musical box
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/hLlsoFw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr_Simnock on July 22, 2021, 01:58:32 PM
Quote from: The Culture Bunker on July 22, 2021, 10:12:32 AM
It's a great episode but I do wonder how the species Kev belongs to compares to the Q in terms of power. I mean, being able to wipe out an entire people with a single thought (regardless of where they are in the galaxy, presumably) suggests an extremely high level of omnipotence.

I do think Picard's reluctance to prosecute him for genocide should have been shown from a "well, we don't want to fuck with you, frankly" perspective.

Species like this are my problem with the borg, there are quite a few extremely advanced aliens through out all the treks who could easily defeat a borg CUBE (or groups of them etc) but no they don't. A few of these just tend to obsess about a single planet or something else irrelevant and never seem to influence much at all outside that tiny part of the galaxy. As if the borg could deal with kevin even for 5 minutes let alone try and assimilate him.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Catalogue Trousers on July 22, 2021, 07:00:24 PM
It's all a bit reminiscent of the likes of Tom Bombadil or the Ruler of the Universe from Hitch-Hiker's Guide, although the latter is never overtly shown to have any amazing/terrifying powers (Tom, lest we forget, makes the One Ring vanish when he puts it on almost as a joke). The idea that the real powers of the Cosmos don't want to engage in epic battles or crush planets beneath their heels - they just want to be left alone and have a wank in peace like everybody else.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ron Maels Moustache on July 22, 2021, 07:29:08 PM
Quote from: Catalogue Trousers on July 22, 2021, 07:00:24 PM
It's all a bit reminiscent of the likes of Tom Bombadil or the Ruler of the Universe from Hitch-Hiker's Guide, although the latter is never overtly shown to have any amazing/terrifying powers (Tom, lest we forget, makes the One Ring vanish when he puts it on almost as a joke). The idea that the real powers of the Cosmos don't want to engage in epic battles or crush planets beneath their heels - they just want to be left alone and have a wank in peace like everybody else.

Makes me think of how in Babylon 5, the oldest, most powerful species in the universe prefer to manipulate the younger races into fighting proxy wars on their behalf rather than engage in direct conflict.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 22, 2021, 09:20:47 PM
There's at least one other example I'm trying to remember in SF of somebody wiping out an entire species in an instant, possibly even so they never existed. Possibly in Doctor Who?[nb]And if so, not the Timelords being wiped out by the War Doctor or the latest Master.[/nb]
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Catalogue Trousers on July 22, 2021, 09:36:18 PM
In their first named appearance in The War Games, the Time Lords remove the War Lord and his guards permanently from the timestream ('not only will you cease to exist, you will never have existed!'), and place his entire home world in a permanent time loop. Even there, though, it's super-powered beings who just wanted not to get involved being forced to do so - and being very pissed off about it.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Ambient Sheep on July 22, 2021, 11:57:05 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 22, 2021, 12:53:12 AM
S03E03 - The Survivors

- There are two people left unharmed on an obliterated planet. Bev says it must be an illusion but gets SMACKED DOWN. Troi senses that something is not right about them. The logical thing would be to take Troi down to check them out, so she stays behind while virtually every single other member of the senior staff goes instead.

Hah yes, Troi being left behind when she'd clearly be the most useful person to go along bugged the fuck out of me too!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 23, 2021, 12:07:32 AM
Eh I get Kevin not being able to drive the Enterprise away. He's presumably appalled at what he did to an entire species, he's not going to do anything lethal to anyone else.

As for Douwds vs the Q continuum, we don't know what other Douwds are like, how many there are, or what their general beliefs are. The Q continuum has certain rules (spoiler for later in the season) given that they briefly kick Q out for fucking with everything, but Q 2 is compelled to give him his powers back after he commits a selfless act. It's possible that Douwds and the Q continuum have their own version of the Prime Directive with regard to interfering with less advanced species.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: rack and peanut on July 23, 2021, 06:22:03 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 22, 2021, 12:53:12 AM
Riker walks straight into a trap, good stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHSQ-CP_q6Q

Ragdolled then smeared against the pole, fantastic!

Worf's admiration for Kev gave me a smile;

WORF
         Sir, may I say that your attempt
         to hold our away team at bay with
         a nonfunctioning weapon was an
         act of unmitigated gall.

   Kevin looks at the phaser that he's still holding.

               KEVIN
         Didn't fool you, huh?

               WORF
            (rare smile)
         I admire gall.                                     
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Chairman Yang on July 23, 2021, 09:34:10 AM
I really love this episode, it's just on the cusp between modern post-S3 TNG and early TOS-style weirdness.

I think Picard's sentiment about not being a fit judge lands. There's no punishment the Federation could visit upon Kevin and it's not like he can be rehabilitated for wiping out the Husnock, or prosecuted in point of fact, as it's only by his own account that any of this happened.

"Fun" fact:

(https://i.ibb.co/7QDVBnd/husnock.png)

This episode left such an impression on the team at MicroProse that the Husnock found their way into flop turn-based strategy game Star Trek: Birth of the Federation, flying what appears to be a giant spoon.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 23, 2021, 11:03:39 AM
Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 23, 2021, 12:07:32 AM
Eh I get Kevin not being able to drive the Enterprise away. He's presumably appalled at what he did to an entire species, he's not going to do anything lethal to anyone else.

I get he's not going to kill them, just seems a bit odd that he doesn't have any non-lethal options available. Hell, if he could have just waited 20 minutes before recreating his house Picard would probably just have buggered off.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on July 23, 2021, 03:32:06 PM
Quote from: Chairman Yang on July 23, 2021, 09:34:10 AM

"Fun" fact:

(https://i.ibb.co/7QDVBnd/husnock.png)

This episode left such an impression on the team at MicroProse that the Husnock found their way into flop turn-based strategy game Star Trek: Birth of the Federation, flying what appears to be a giant spoon.

That was a great game. Stellaris now has quite a good Star Trek mod that covers the same ground.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 23, 2021, 04:40:55 PM
Just realised how much good shit is coming up in S3:

The Enemy
The Defector
Deja Q
A Matter of Perspective
Yesterday's Enterprise
The Offspring
Sarek
Sins of the Father
and obviously Best of Both Worlds
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 23, 2021, 04:45:13 PM
I'm halfway through season four, youse are all too slow, and I forgot how early some of these episodes are. I could have sworn The Offspring was a season five episode and that Hollow Pursuits and The Most Toys were season four.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 24, 2021, 03:15:10 AM
S03E04 - Who Watches the Watchers

When a Federation scientific team is revealed to the pre-warp people of a planet, Picard must decide how far to violate the Prime Directive in order to limit the damage.

- The Federation's hot new plan is to build an observation post into the side of a mountain, then hide themselves with holography, because the people they're observing are too dumb to be greeted as equals. What could go wrong?

- Oh no! The holography has broken down and now the mountainside is freaking out like a strobe light! The Mintakans go to check it out. One of them, named Liko, falls down the mountain and hits his head, receiving a mortal wound. Bev decides to ignore the Prime Directive and bring him up to Enterprise for treatment (good). Meanwhile, Geordi patches up the holography. Problem solved, it's not like anyone saw the mountain glitching out for the last half an hour.

- Fucking hell, here comes Picard to act the prat as usual.
QuotePICARD: Doctor Crusher.
CRUSHER: Before you start quoting me the Prime Directive, he'd already seen us. The damage was done. It was either bring him aboard or let him die.
PICARD: Then why didn't you let him die?
Can you imagine any other Star Trek captain saying this (barring, perhaps, season one Janeway)? I'll never understand how Picard wins so many Favourite Captain polls, he's a total flop. It's Patrick Stewart's voice, right? That's why everyone likes the character. I do like that some of these early Prime Directive-focused scripts are willing to show Picard/the crew/the Federation as antagonists, though.

- Super-doc Bev failed to keep Liko unconscious, and he wakes up in sick bay. He's amazed by all the hot tech he sees here, and he also learns Picard's name before Bev KOs him again. Picard decides it's time for another one of his trademark non-consensual mind-wipes.

- Liko is beamed back down, but doc-of-the-century Bev Crusher has apparently completely failed to mind-wipe the guy. You wouldn't get this with Pulaski. He remembers his trip to the Enterprise, and tells his daughter Oji that he believes the people he met on the Enterprise were the gods of a religion previously abandoned by Mintakan society.

- Big problem: there's still a wounded Federation scientist on the planet. We can't just go get him, because we don't want to "contaminate" the Mintakans by saying hi to them. Riker has a proposal: he and Troi will surgically alter themselves to look like Mintakans, and then beam down. Oh god no.

- Riker and Troi, looking like even more of a pair of twats than usual, go to the Mintakan village. Troi's read the first paragraph of the Wikipedia page on Mintakans so they should be good to go.

- Liko is trying to convince everyone that THE GODS have returned, in the form of THE PICARD. People are ambivalent, especially someone called Nuria, who doesn't believe a word of it. Liko gets a mad credibility boost, though, when some scouts bring in the wounded Federation scientist. "THE PICARD WILL BE PLEASED!!!"

- The scientist, Palmer, is seriously wounded. Picard is prepared to let Palmer die rather than beam him out in front of the Mintakans. The Mintakans inspect Palmer and determine that he is indeed an alien, which gets everyone on-side, even Nuria. Luckily for Palmer, Troi manages to lure the entire village away at once, allowing Palmer to be rescued.

- New debate: whether or not to kill Troi to please THE PICARD. Liko says they should, Nuria says not to, even risking THE PICARD's wrath.

- Picard calls a briefing with the lead scientist. The scientist suggests playing into the religion, Picard throws a hissy fit:
QuoteBARRON: You must go down to Mintaka Three.
RIKER: Masquerading as a god?
PICARD: Absolutely out of the question. The Prime Directive-
BARRON: -has already been violated. The damage is done. All we can do now is minimise it.
PICARD: By sanctioning their false beliefs?
BARRON: By giving them guidelines. Letting them know what the Overseer expects of them.
PICARD: Doctor Barron, I cannot, I will not, impose a set of commandments on these people. To do so violates the very essence of the Prime Directive.
BARRON: Like it or not, we have rekindled the Mintakans' belief in the Overseer.
RIKER: And are you saying that this belief will eventually become a religion?
BARRON: It's inevitable. And without guidance, that religion could degenerate into inquisitions, holy wars, chaos.
PICARD: Horrifying. Doctor Barron, your report describes how rational these people are. Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now you are asking me to sabotage that achievement, to send them back into the Dark Ages of superstition and ignorance and fear? No! We will find some way to undo the damage we've caused.
This is interesting, because neither side actually seems to be upholding the Prime Directive. Surely applying the Prime Directive here would mean just leaving immediately, leaving Troi to die if necessary. This is the third major Prime Directive episode I can think of (after Symbiosis and Pen Pals) and, once again, Picard spends the whole episode masturbating over the Prime Directive, only to decide towards the end that he doesn't actually feel like following it after all and that he'll just do whatever he wants instead, before inevitably going back to extolling the wonders of the PD next week.

- The new plan is to just talk to the Mintakans as equals and explain the reality of the situation to them. You know, the thing we would rather let an entire world die than do, as in Pen Pals. They choose Nuria as the one to speak with, because she's more fedora-atheist-y than the rest.

- Nuria gets transported up, and Picard tries to explain to her how a starship works, and what the deal with transporters is. Meanwhile, Liko prepares to sacrifice Troi to please THE PICARD.

- Picard and Nuria head back down to try and tell Liko to stop being such a knobhead. He shoots Picard in the arm and then decides to give the whole religion up as a bad job. Problem solved!

- The Mintakans are now back on the path of LOGIC (good) rather than RELIGION (bad). Picard shows them the cool observation post in the mountain. Oji asks Picard to share his knowledge with them, but whoaaa, let's not get ahead of ourselves. We share knowledge with people we actually respect, like Vulcans and Tellarites and Andorians, not these bronze age freaks. They give him a tapestry to hang over his chair as a keepsake, and then the Enterprise gets right the fuck out of there.

I love this one because it's a relentless takedown of the Prime Directive established in "Pen Pals". Every problem that occurs is caused by the crew's fuckheaded attempts to uphold the PD - the observation post glitches out because the Federation insisted on hiding it from the Mintakans in the first place. Liko is injured as a direct result of this - the PD insists that he must die, but thankfully, Bev decides to save him. However, Liko subsequently believes he's had a religious experience precisely because the crew attempt to uphold the PD by drugging him and trying to wipe his memory, rather than just explaining to him that he's in a sickbay aboard a starship. Oji sees the transporter in use for the same reason. The religion starts to spiral out of control because Picard umms and ahhs about actually doing anything, because he doesn't want to upset he PD. Troi is imperiled because of Riker's stupid PD-compliant plan to get cosmetically altered and go down to the village. Palmer's life is endangered because Picard's obsessed with letting people die to appease the PD.

It's only when the PD is thrown out of the window and Picard is essentially forced to treat the Mintakans as equals that everything is fairly speedily resolved - a resolution that could have been a lot smoother, of course, if they hadn't let Liko go apeshit with the various PD mindfucks they pulled on him earlier. The solution to the whole episode is just to have an honest, on-the-level, five-minute conversation with people. I love it.

Picard should really have pause for thought here - he was prepared to let Liko, Palmer, and possibly Troi die to uphold an ideology that he still can't seem to explain why he believes in. Sadly, he doesn't learn anything from this (see: Homeward), but hey.

It's a pity the ending tries a half-arsed reinforcement of the PD ("sorry, we won't share our knowledge with you, because you're not allowed it because uhhhh you umm need to follow your own path because of Fate and Destiny or something, goodbye forever"), but otherwise the epsiode is just a great fable about why the TNG-era PD makes zero sense and leads to awful conclusions. I don't think there's any other episode of TNG that rips into it as much as this one.

All that aside, it's well-paced and well-acted (albeit very theatrically - THE PICARD IS ANGRY!!!). The scenes where Nuria learns about the Enterprise are ace. One criticism is that the Mintakans fall into full-on PICARDism way too quick, over the course of a few hours, but what do you expect from a 45-minute TV episode? 8/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/ixhj4Sw.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: samadriel on July 24, 2021, 07:00:41 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 24, 2021, 03:15:10 AMOne criticism is that the Mintakans fall into full-on PICARDism way too quick, over the course of a few hours, but what do you expect from a 45-minute TV episode? 8/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/ixhj4Sw.png)

It's reminiscent of Life of Brian. "This is his gourd!"
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 24, 2021, 01:36:40 PM
051 | "Who Watches the Watchers"

(https://i.imgur.com/W17ksOO.jpg)

Prime Destructive

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Duck Blind Secret-Peeper Balls-up *
• Troiker in Disguise with Mintakans
• Picard Facepalm #1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Sundial Monitor Maguffin
• Crusher Cock-up 1 - Botched Memory Wipe
• Crusher Cock-up 2 - Whoops! Another dead 'un!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/ps92bYU.png)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
* (Didn't they re-make this for one of the films?)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: crankshaft on July 24, 2021, 01:43:15 PM
I love this story. One of my all-time TNG favourites, and the scene with Nuria and Picard, as he uses logic to prove to her that he's not a god, might be my favourite scene of the entire show.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: petril on July 24, 2021, 02:04:24 PM
I love how daf's choice of screenshit looks like she's misread the situation and slowly hiking up her skirt to give him a look at her fanny. of course, Picard can't tell her no because that would be against the Prime Directive so here he is, every slow, agonising second of it
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 24, 2021, 05:21:32 PM
Quote from: daf on July 24, 2021, 01:36:40 PM
* (Didn't they re-make this for one of the films?)

Star Trek : Insurrection (1998), the stupidest of the TNG films, with the stupidest name. Really was just a naff episode dragged out to film length.

You would have thought, even before this episode, never mind by the film, the UFP science department would have realised, "Hey, we've got all this high tech sensor equipment, maybe we shouldn't piss about building an over engineered hidden watch posts. Just use satellites and that." Seriously, what they hell would they see that they couldn't pick up from orbit? Maybe with a few ground based sensors that'd be easy to place and hide.

Would have saved everyone time and hassle, and us that fucking awful film.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 24, 2021, 06:22:56 PM
Quote from: Blumf on July 24, 2021, 05:21:32 PM
Star Trek : Insurrection (1998), the stupidest of the TNG films, with the stupidest name. Really was just a naff episode dragged out to film length.

At least it spawned an entertaining fanfic. (http://dolphincry.com/imzadieverlasting/misc/julsstar.htm)

Quote"I think that Data's music chip causes an override in his cognitive
centers."
"What variety of amazing targshit is that stupid theory?"
"Just a convenient plot contrivance, Mr. Worf. Go with the flow."

Quote"Crusher to Picard. If I can't have any screen time, could I at least talk
to you on the communicator?"
"Negative. Sorry, doctor. Picard out."
"ButIneedtotellyouaboutGeordi'seyes..."

QuoteAll hands were at thoughtful stations. Data
stared straight ahead, his face blank, thinking about the human species.
Riker looked down slightly and rubbed his chin. Worf glowered. Troi bent
her head and wept at the sheer emotion soaking the ship. Bev glowed
adoringly at Jean-Luc. Geordi didn't get a close-up.

QuoteRiker knew it was time for the big decision. "Mr. LaForge, prepare for...."
"No, not that!" LaForge gasped. "Anything but...."
"Yes, LaForge. PHALLIC OVERRIDE."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 24, 2021, 07:41:21 PM
That feels about as welcome in my browser history as a machotrouts Wimblewrong entry.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 24, 2021, 11:53:33 PM
S03E05 - The Bonding

A young child is orphaned when his mother is killed on an away mission commanded by Worf. The boy and Worf are both distraught, but everything gets worse when the aliens responsible for the crewmember's death try to help.

- I like that Troi senses Aster's death and tells Picard to beam everyone out immediately. Good use of the character and her abilities.

- Another thing I like is how reluctant TNG is to kill off crewmembers, and how severely any deaths are treated. 500 crew members getting casually killed off per episode never sat well with me in TOS.

- Marla Aster has left behind a son, Jeremy. Another reminder that it's a bad idea to bring kids on board a starship. This finally dawns on Picard.

- The writers remembered that Wesley was once in the exact same position as Jeremy. Wes gets a rare good character moment as a result. Nice!

- Worf has DISHONORED himself, Marla Aster, Jeremy, Picard, the entire Enterprise crew, the House of Mogh, all of Qo'noS, the entirety of his ancestry going back to pre-pre-history, and his pet targ. The only solution is to go light candles for a bit.

- Jeremy really rubs it in by pointing out that his dad died some time ago, so now he's an orphan. Picard uselessly grabs his hand.

- Data, despite having access to all literature ever written, doesn't understand why people are more sad about the deaths of people they know than people they don't. He asks humanity's best representative, Will Riker, for clarification.
QuoteDATA: But should not the feelings run as deep regardless of who has died?
RIKER: Maybe they should, Data. Maybe if we felt the loss of any life as keenly as we felt the death of those close to us, human history would be a lot less bloody.
Gotta give it to Riker, that's a good one!

- Turns out Lt Aster was killed by some wacky landmine thing. There's tons of them down there, but no signs of life on the planet. This makes it worse for Worf, because he CANNOT SEEK REVENGE AGAINST AN ENEMY WHO TURNED TO DUST CENTURIES AGO. Troi tells him to stop being such a dildo. It works, and Worf reveals his plan to perform THE BONDING with Jeremy, a ceremony which will result in Jeremy becoming a member of Worf's clan, thus achieving stratospheric levels of HONOUR.

- Worf struts over to Jeremy's quarters (he has his own quarters now since his mom died, RESULT) and starts badgering him about HONOUR. He tells Jeremy that his mother died IN THE LINE OF DUTY, and that they must BRING MEANING TO HER DEATH. Lead balloon.

- Geordi's shoddy recon work goes straight into the bin, because it turns out there is life on the planet after all. One of the aliens shows up in Jeremy's room, in the form of his mother. Uh oh. Luckily, Troi senses A Presence and goes to snoop aboot the place.

- Not-Mom tells Jeremy that there was a mistake, and she didn't die after all. Jeremy is all "what the fuck" but pretty soon comes around to it, and is elated. Not-Mom tells him that it's time to go down to the planet, where they'll live together forever. O'Brien decides to stay well out of this.

- Troi and Jeremy go back to his quarters to discover that it has been transformed into his childhood home, complete with his pet cat, an illusion generated by Not-Mom. Troi tells Not-Mom to cut it out, but Not-Mom can't understand why the crew are so insistent on preventing Jeremy from being happy.

- Jeremy decides that staying in the illusion forever is preferable to facing reality. Tricky situation - Not-Mom can offer Jeremy a blissful life in which his mother never died, while all the crew can offer in return is the grim reality of Riker's stupid face.

- Not-Mom is warded off via technobabble, but returns to hassle O'Brien. It flies around the ship and hijacks key systems in order to restart the illusion and clear the way to bring Jeremy to the transporter.

- Not-Mom reveals that, down on the planet, there were once two races - one being of energy, the other of matter. The matter-based aliens destroyed themselves in a massive war. Not-Mom is one of the energy-based aliens, and seeks to bring Jeremy into the illusion as compensation for his real mother's death from the mines left over from the war. It still can't understand why the crew want Jeremy to suffer.

- Wesley finally gets his arse in gear and shows up to talk to Jeremy, as does Worf. Everyone hugs it out. Jeremy admits he's pissed off at Worf. Picard reminds Jeremy that Worf also lost his parents at a young age. Everyone in the room simultaneously realises they're all orphans. Jeremy agrees to undergo THE BONDING, to become Worf's BROTHER (honorary). Not-Mom has been watching all this, and decides that the crew do have Jeremy's best interests at heart after all.

- Jeremy gains HONOUR.

Absolutely ace, this is what it's all about - using a science fiction device to explore real emotions and issues. My mother died when I was relatively young (though nowhere near as young as Jeremy is here), so the episode really hits the right notes. Picard's explanation as to why living in the wonderful illusion forever is not an option is incredibly uplifting, some of the best stuff TNG has ever come out with. "What you're offering him is a memory, something to cherish, not to live in."

On top of a great plot with an equally great message, this is written fantastically, IMO. Every character gets used to great effect, especially Worf, Wesley and Troi. This is possibly the only episode in TNG history where the writers actually use Troi in the way she should always have been used. She's an expert therapist, boosted by her empathic abilities, and she can sense the arrival or absence of any conscious entity. There's a great bit where just her word that something's not right is enough to justify an immediate Yellow Alert.

I just think it's a top-tier episode. If the issue being discussed doesn't really click with you, then it probably comes across as quite boring and just watching a weedy kid go around crying for 45 minutes. But I think it's almost perfect. 9/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/vmjapj9.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 25, 2021, 09:13:39 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 24, 2021, 03:15:10 AM
S03E04 - Who Watches the Watchers
- Fucking hell, here comes Picard to act the prat as usual.

To be fair to Picard, Bev has just reintroduced religion to the species.

I think you just have to accept that contact with prewar societies always goes badly in the trek universe. Admittedly the way it's presented here - immediate deification and human sacrifice - is a bit ridiculous, but I think your "just talk to them, it will be fine" attitude is a bit naive. I wonder how that tribe who worship Prince Phillip are coping?

The writers go out of their way to make it clear the talking option is difficult. They have to get the smartest pseudo - vulcan, and even she has to see someone die to stop the worship. Picard has to get shot to convince the others. How much this is because the writers sincerely believe that's how hard it would be, and how much it's so the talk it option isn't available for future episodes, I don't know.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 25, 2021, 01:30:59 PM
Quote from: MojoJojo on July 25, 2021, 09:13:39 AM
To be fair to Picard, Bev has just reintroduced religion to the species.

I think you just have to accept that contact with prewar societies always goes badly in the trek universe. Admittedly the way it's presented here - immediate deification and human sacrifice - is a bit ridiculous, but I think your "just talk to them, it will be fine" attitude is a bit naive. I wonder how that tribe who worship Prince Phillip are coping?

The writers go out of their way to make it clear the talking option is difficult. They have to get the smartest pseudo - vulcan, and even she has to see someone die to stop the worship. Picard has to get shot to convince the others. How much this is because the writers sincerely believe that's how hard it would be, and how much it's so the talk it option isn't available for future episodes, I don't know.

The only reason the deification and sacrifices start is because of the Prime Directive, though, right? The mountain glitches out because the PD insisted it had to be concealed in the first place, Liko and Oji attribute his medical treatment to divine intervention because the crew refuse to explain what's going on to either of them (and also drug Liko, making the entire experience even more surreal and inexplicable to him), the religion is solidified when the aliens find Palmer, who they're shocked by since the PD demanded that he not reveal his presence to them previously, and so on. The Mintakans take all of these as religious phenomena because Starfleet refuse to give them the facts that would (and ultimately do) allow them to understand what's actually going on. The talking option is difficult, but it gets progressively more difficult as the episode goes on because the religion has been allowed to spiral so out of control already. I get the impression it might have been easier if they'd gone down and explained what was going on before it got to the point of Liko sacrificing Troi and believing that Picard had the power to bring his dead wife back, since Liko was pretty reasonable to start with, and most of the Mintakans were skeptical before the arrival of Palmer.

As you say, it's always up to the writers' own beliefs how a pre-warp first contact will pan out, but I can only read this episode as being largely anti-Prime Directive, given that the PD causes problems which can only be solved through total violation of the PD. Then again, the ending tries to quickly reinforce the PD by having Picard refuse to share knowledge with the Mintakans, dismantling the outpost, and leaving forever. I'm not even sure why - they know about Starfleet now, they know about the existence of alien life, so surely the PD is in tatters anyway. If any of the Mintakans are interested in learning more about the universe and the people in it, might as well toss them a few books and Wiki articles.

QuoteI wonder how that tribe who worship Prince Phillip are coping?

This one's interesting - I'm reading about them but I cannot for the life of me figure out what they actually believe or exactly how it started! Wikipedia indicates it's an extension of a pre-existing religious belief that a mountain spirit left the island to one day return in another form. The adherents believe that, of all the forms it could take, the spirit chose the form of decaying zombie man Prince Phil.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 25, 2021, 02:37:26 PM
You do realise that revealing themselves to the Mintakan would destroy the whole point of observing them, right? It's supposed to be a study of a pristine culture.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 25, 2021, 02:45:21 PM
052 | "The Bonding"

(https://i.imgur.com/dwEIT5s.jpg)

Little Dead R'uustai

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Picard : Oi Mate, your mum's dead - get used to it!
• Space-Mum Replacement Service
• Flaming Fat Candle Ceremony
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Angry Wesley's Picard Blame
• Troi : I'm sensing great anger
• Troi : I'm sensing great sadness
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Fun Fact : according to the commentary, that blue wall in Worf's bonding room was originally meant to be replaced with a window filled with stars, but they couldn't get it to work, as there was too much blue 'splashback' on the actors and candles - so they left it as it was.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 25, 2021, 02:53:01 PM
Quote from: Blumf on July 25, 2021, 02:37:26 PM
You do realise that revealing themselves to the Mintakan would destroy the whole point of observing them, right? It's supposed to be a study of a pristine culture.

I'm not really down with the idea of observing them to start with, at least not in the way it's presented in the episode. It seems like that has to be some kind of violation of their privacy rights, especially when you factor in that the observation post must be able to pick up conversations or something, given how much Troi already knows about the Mintakans prior to infiltrating the village.

It also leads to situations like the one mentioned in the episode - Liko's wife, along with five other people, died in in the previous years' floods. Presumably, the observation post saw the floods coming and could have rendered some kind of aid in the aftermath, or even prevented the floods entirely, but they were too busy sat there watching and doing nothing like a much smaller-scale version of Pen Pals.

There's an interesting concept in getting surgically altered and covertly entering the society, as Riker and Troi do here, and is later established as being standard practice prior to making official first contact, IIRC. Still feels wrong, but at least people know you're there and can speak to you directly, even if under false pretenses.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 25, 2021, 02:58:43 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 25, 2021, 02:53:01 PM
There's an interesting concept in getting surgically altered and covertly entering the society, as Riker and Troi do here, and is later established as being standard practice prior to making official first contact, IIRC. Still feels wrong, but at least people know you're there and can speak to you directly, even if under false pretenses.

I've forgotten if this was explained anywhere - I know the Enterprise translates speech in real time (I assume), but how do Troi and Riker communicate with the Mintakans face to face? What's the deal there - is everyone 'humanoid' speaking english?
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 25, 2021, 03:05:01 PM
Quote from: daf on July 25, 2021, 02:58:43 PM
I've forgotten if this was explained anywhere - I know the Enterprise translates speech in real time (I assume), but how do Troi and Riker communicate with the Mintakans? What's the deal there - is everyone 'humanoid' speaking english?

We see in DS9's "Little Green Men" that universal translators are actually implanted in your ear, so you don't need to be onboard a ship or station. But that still doesn't work for people, like the Mintakans, who don't have a translator. Troi & Riker could understand the Mintakans, but the Mintakans shouldn't be able to understand Troi & Riker.

Unless either:

1) Troi & Riker's universal translators somehow hook into the Mintakans' brains and make them hear Riker's English and Troi's Betazoid as Mintakan.

2) They secretly beamed translators into the ear of every Mintakan.

3) There's some way that you can learn a language in about an hour in Star Trek and Troi & Riker are actually speaking Mintakan. This is actually the least unlikely.

These are all problematic and unlikely, but not being able to communicate with the Mintakans would get in the way of the episode's plot.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poobum on July 25, 2021, 03:07:30 PM
The non-intervention stuff is nonsense, definitely would go for a Culture type of intervention, directing species to post-scarcity fucktopias. What I'd love to see addressed is how morally abominable it is colonizing planets that already have life on them, instead it's treated like a given.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 25, 2021, 03:08:41 PM
Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on July 25, 2021, 03:05:01 PM
3) There's some way that you can learn a language in an hour in Star Trek and Troi & Riker are actually speaking Mintakan.

And sounding like Edward Heath* making a speech in Paris!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
* one for the teenagers!
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 25, 2021, 03:10:44 PM
The big Universal Translator question is to do with lipsyncing. Even if we accept that Troi and Riker have implants that auto-translate Mintakan for them, and that there's some method of the Mintakans having English auto-translated into their own language in turn... surely it'd look weird as fuck when Riker and Troi's lips don't match what they're saying, from the Mintakan's perspective?

Holo-lips. They've got holo-lips which play different animations for each observer, depending on what language their speech is being translated into.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 25, 2021, 09:12:22 PM
I'm willing to suspend disbelief with the universal translator. They're in a space ship, I'm not going to quibble about the technicalities of them all speaking English. It would be so shit if they didn't.

It gets weirder when characters speak Klingon - how does that work? Do they turn the UT off for a bit.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 25, 2021, 10:21:36 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 25, 2021, 02:53:01 PM

It also leads to situations like the one mentioned in the episode - Liko's wife, along with five other people, died in in the previous years' floods. Presumably, the observation post saw the floods coming and could have rendered some kind of aid in the aftermath, or even prevented the floods entirely, but they were too busy sat there watching and doing nothing like a much smaller-scale version of Pen Pals.
But that's sort of the point. If the federation reveal themselves, then the primatives are going to be asking for help all the time. The federation can then either agree to help, which quickly leads to the installation of replicators and cable TV and the complete destruction of the culture. Or they can refuse to help, which would make them look like dicks - and probably undermine the concept of progress, as who'd want to progress if it results in becoming cold hearted shits.

The observation side is arguably dodgy, but then it doesn't make sense in a practical way either. Why actually be there, instead of just using a probe or doing it from orbit. Why use a holographic disguise instead of just teleporting out a load of rock to make a real cave that can't just stop working? It's just the setup for the episode that's done with before the opening credits start.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 25, 2021, 10:46:50 PM
Quote from: MojoJojo on July 25, 2021, 10:21:36 PMThe federation can then either agree to help, which quickly leads to the installation of replicators and cable TV and the complete destruction of the culture.

This doesn't strike me as such a bad thing, so long as the people adopt it by choice - which, given the Federation's anti-imperial cred, would presumably be the case. Replicator access really ought to be something like a universal right, given their ability to eliminate hunger and poverty. If people on a planet are given a choice between maintaining their existing culture exactly as it is or adopting Federation technology, and the majority/entirety of people decide of their own free will to adopt the new technology that's been shared with them, I don't see the problem.

I assume many people would meld their own culture with the galactic community they're now part of, too. Mintakan TV shows about tapestry-weaving, hell yeah.

Can't remember if it was discussed earlier in the thread, but on this topic, something I've always thought could make for interesting storytelling is for the Federation to have some kind of universal asylum policy. So they show up to somewhere like Mintaka and say "hey, anyone who's interested can come aboard our ship and check it out and learn who we are and what we believe, and after that, you can choose whether or not to go back home or stay with us". Avoids the lets-kill-everyone aspects of the Prime Directive, but also leaves individual people with the opportunity to refuse all contact with the Federation if they really want to.

Would also lead to all kinds of interesting situations on planets that have things like slavery going on - "we can't ask you to stop slavery, but we'll ask each of the slaves if they'd rather be free". Diplomatic armageddon.

I'm trying to imagine it happening on Earth today - aliens arrive and ask each person on Earth if they'd like a food replicator. It'd put an immediate end to our current culture and our current hierarchies, possibly ending capitalism almost overnight, but we'd be doing it entirely of our own will because we've been given something we know is a better option.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 25, 2021, 10:59:50 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_hegemony
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 25, 2021, 11:43:35 PM
Don't know about that - thinking about real life again, if the Federation arrived and gave us the option to have personal replicators tomorrow, it wouldn't turn all the nations of Earth into replicas of the Federation. Our cultures would change in response to the possibilities we now have access to, the ruling class would probably collapse as people all gain the ability to live on their own terms and without threat of destitution, but we'd still be us with our own languages, dialects, histories, styles of comedy, conventions of fiction, music, ideological and philosophical beliefs, etc. Society would change, but it'd change based on our own actions and choices in response to the technology we've been given.

I mean, I definitely wouldn't be looking for a job right now if I had a replicator (or the opportunity to migrate to a hypothetical world more in line with my values). I suppose if everyone else decides to do the same thing, then our current culture collapses and is replaced by something else, but surely that's as a result of us rejecting our existing culture the first chance we get to sack it off. The Federation didn't destroy our culture of capitalism, we intentionally dismantled it ourselves by ceasing to participate in it after we discovered a better alternative.

I think it's just (yet another) ideological gulf between me and the writers of Star Trek. Oji the Mintakan asks Picard for knowledge, and the episodes suggests that he'd be wrong to agree to her request, indicating that if she learned about replicators and such and decided she couldn't be arsed farming and weaving and would rather live in luxury communism, that'd be a terrible worst-case-scenario, to be avoided at all costs. To me, that scenario just seems like someone taking advantage of new info/tech to take ownership of their life, as any of us would do in the same situation. If everyone on the planet joins her, then Mintakan society as it was is gone, but it's gone because the Mintakans decided to choose something else. The exact wording is that the Mintakans "must progress in their own way", as if evolving your ideas and lifestyle in response to new knowledge and technology isn't a part of progressing culturally.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poobum on July 25, 2021, 11:56:29 PM
Leans a bit into the "noble savage" thing for me, where simpler cultures are seen as pure, and we must protect them from our horrible world, where they would quite like some indoor plumbing, medicine, and access to a wider interesting world of possibility thanks. People always go on about how Korowai culture has been destroyed; I think they seem quite happy not having to live in ridiculously tall trees anymore, trying to keep their firepits from burning their wooden house down, which as I've mentioned, is located in a ridiculously tall tree.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 26, 2021, 12:15:22 AM
If you want real life, the Native American tribes recognised that their culture would be crushed by European expansion, which is one of the main reason they still tend to live apart from general US society.

In universe, the Maquis certainly have a strong reason to doubt the benevolent influence of the UFP. And the already mentioned TNG film Insurrection shows how damaging an oblivious, if not downright corrupt, UFP can be.

Then there's Quark's chat with Garak over a root beer, "It's insidious."
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 26, 2021, 12:53:45 AM
Quote from: Blumf on July 26, 2021, 12:15:22 AM
If you want real life, the Native American tribes recognised that their culture would be crushed by European expansion, which is one of the main reason they still tend to live apart from general US society.

In universe, the Maquis certainly have a strong reason to doubt the benevolent influence of the UFP. And the already mentioned TNG film Insurrection shows how damaging an oblivious, if not downright corrupt, UFP can be.

Not sure if the systematic campaign of mass murder and displacement against Native Americans compares with the Mintakans being given (upon request) access to replicators and books about space! The Federation being potentially untrustworthy is a fair point, and that's why the Prime Directive as it's shown in most of TOS and early TNG makes sense to me, where it's a set of guidelines to prevent Starfleet personnel from throwing their weight around, which demands that people ultimately be left alone with no lingering Federation influence unless they request it.

Like in Code of Honor and Angel One, where the Prime Directive seems to amount to "submit to the regional laws and don't use any advanced tech against the people you're visiting, but feel free to argue with them as long as you make sure to leave them alone again at the end of your trip". In those cases, it's about respecting people's right to self-determination, to have their own beliefs and to reject the Federation's beliefs, but doesn't prevent Starfleet from speaking to people and exchanging ideas with them, even debating them, and learning from each other. And it definitely doesn't force them to allow people to suffer and die in the name of fate/destiny.

One thing that just occurred to me is the internet - if there's an interplanetary equivalent to the internet in the world of Star Trek, would giving people access to it, and the ability to learn from and contribute to it, represent the destruction of their culture? I think the internet as it exists today shows us that people's worldviews and ideologies tend to be robust and adaptable enough to absorb all kinds of new information without really changing much, for better or worse. Access to the internet definitely hasn't turned us all into one monoculture, at the very least.

EDIT: I wonder exactly at which point the Federation considers cultural exchanges to be an interaction between equals. A freshly warp-capable civilisation is definitely not on par with the Federation in terms of influence, knowledge or technology. Earth in the 21st century when Cochrane made his flight is not the same as the UFP in the 24th century. Avoiding imperialism and coercion is still a concern when dealing with "weaker" warp-capable powers, but the Federation still acknowledges the potential to interact with and learn from those people. It doesn't make sense for pre-warp to be the cutoff point at which cultural exchange becomes impossible.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poobum on July 26, 2021, 12:54:47 AM
Quote from: Blumf on July 26, 2021, 12:15:22 AM
If you want real life, the Native American tribes recognised that their culture would be crushed by European expansion, which is one of the main reason they still tend to live apart from general US society.

They've adapted larges amounts of westerns things into their culture quite well though haven't they? Their mistrust and urge to separate has been quite well earned. If treated with mutual respect and dignity from the get go, I think they'd have been quite happy to learn about western technology, art, and philosophy. I can't see how a benevolently intended forced exclusion could be seen as good, better then reality yes, but not an ideal.

Very little time for the Marquis, politically naïve, and unrealistic expectations. Like the American colonists poking at the French, then whining to the British when they got slapped. They don't wanna be part of the Federation but think the Federation should have prolonged the war to maintain sovereignty? No, only dumber thing they could have done was colonized the neutral zone. Again these series need to address the moral repugnancy of colonizing worlds with life on them, like what the Marquis done, the one thing I think a benevolent civ should be devoting its time preventing.

An issue with sharing technology though would be what if a group of people with those replicators devoted themselves to a war like way, or anything that's coercive and limiting to another group. Does the Federation maintain an open ended responsibility to police that species/culture's future actions?

Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 26, 2021, 01:52:12 AM
Can't help but notice you both avoided the ST:Insurrection problem[nb]Quite understandably, as it is fucking stupid over all, but the issue stands[/nb]. You can't trust the UFP to be a benevolent partner. I think the PD has been written with that in mind, as much as protecting culture.

Both the Ba'ku and Maquis have (rightly or wrongly) be dumped on by the UFP. The price of being part of it (or in the Ba'ku's case just being noticed) is that you become a very small pawn in the Fed's galactic power plays, not to mention corruption.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 26, 2021, 09:39:11 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 25, 2021, 11:43:35 PM
I mean, I definitely wouldn't be looking for a job right now if I had a replicator (or the opportunity to migrate to a hypothetical world more in line with my values). I suppose if everyone else decides to do the same thing, then our current culture collapses and is replaced by something else, but surely that's as a result of us rejecting our existing culture the first chance we get to sack it off. The Federation didn't destroy our culture of capitalism, we intentionally dismantled it ourselves by ceasing to participate in it after we discovered a better alternative.

I don't think you can just hold your hand up and say "well, it's their choice" at that point. You could use the same justification to give everyone heroin or guns - hey, *they* chose to shoot each other.

Interesting to note a real problem with charity work in developing countries*. You can't just give a village a load of food or money. If you do that you risk the people of that village taking the year off, and the next village overs harvest fails because they don't have anyone bringing it in. Actual charity work is hard and identifying ways to actually help without causing inadvertent harm is difficult.

The depressing truth is that when a more technologically advanced people have interacted with a less technologically advanced one, it has almost always ended badly for the less technologically advanced one. Even when intentions are good.


(* mentioned in the Armando Iannucci Show commentaries)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 26, 2021, 12:31:17 PM
Quote from: Blumf on July 26, 2021, 01:52:12 AM
Can't help but notice you both avoided the ST:Insurrection problem[nb]Quite understandably, as it is fucking stupid over all, but the issue stands[/nb]. You can't trust the UFP to be a benevolent partner. I think the PD has been written with that in mind, as much as protecting culture.

Both the Ba'ku and Maquis have (rightly or wrongly) be dumped on by the UFP. The price of being part of it (or in the Ba'ku's case just being noticed) is that you become a very small pawn in the Fed's galactic power plays, not to mention corruption.

I can't remember the movies too well, other than Picard in a dune buggy. I do remember the Federation being hilariously corrupt and immovable in Insurrection, while Picard does his standard "WE COULD LEARN SO MUCH FROM THE BA'KU" stuff. We should rewatch the movies at the end of this thread, should be a laugh!

Quote from: MojoJojo on July 26, 2021, 09:39:11 AM
I don't think you can just hold your hand up and say "well, it's their choice" at that point. You could use the same justification to give everyone heroin or guns - hey, *they* chose to shoot each other.

Interesting to note a real problem with charity work in developing countries*. You can't just give a village a load of food or money. If you do that you risk the people of that village taking the year off, and the next village overs harvest fails because they don't have anyone bringing it in. Actual charity work is hard and identifying ways to actually help without causing inadvertent harm is difficult.

The depressing truth is that when a more technologically advanced people have interacted with a less technologically advanced one, it has almost always ended badly for the less technologically advanced one. Even when intentions are good.


(* mentioned in the Armando Iannucci Show commentaries)


These practical concerns are definitely a lot more convincing than the way TNG generally justifies the PD, which - at its worst in the likes of Pen Pals and Homeward - seems to amount to "the galaxy is a big zoo full of interesting people and Cultures™ for us to gawk at, all of whom must die in the name of culture/fate/destiny, until one person does a warp flight in which case we'll suddenly start treating them equally". I think you made a post a while back during the discussion on Pen Pals about how warp flight is simply the point at which the Federation reluctantly admits that they have to talk with people because it's become unavoidable, which is a good point, but the way it's presented in the show combines that with a lot of strange fetishisation of pre-warp cultures, usually at the expense of individual people's rights, wellbeing and even lives - we can't stop the floods from drowning Liko's wife because CULTURE, Sarjenka and her people must burn alive because CULTURE, literally the entire race in "Homeward" must get vaporised because CULTURAL INTEGRITY, etc.

I think the TOS/early TNG version of the PD implies restrictions or even bans on sharing technology, like how leaving the communicator behind in A Piece Of The Action is considered a major-league fuckup. I can definitely see arguments against giving people mass access to replicator technology overnight without any real foresight in place, but I have a much harder time understanding arguments against giving people (especially if they request it, as Oji does) factual information about the existence of alien life, science, space, all kinds of different philosophical ideas, etc. Even medical knowledge, though I suppose that could lead to things like overpopulation if the infant mortality rate hits zero in a very short time span.

Angel One is the only episode to ever bring it up, but it's even more absurd since literally anyone who isn't a member of Starfleet can show up and do whatever they want. You'd think that the Federation would want to make the best of it and oversee first contact themselves to ensure smoothness and help people avoid being misled or coerced, rather than letting some random Harry Mudd-esque chancer show up and do it for them, let alone the Klingons (who might just beat the shit out of everyone, as in Enterprise's "Marauders") or Ferengi (who might proclaim themselves gods, as in Voyager's "False Profits").

Internet access is another interesting one the more I think about it, though it's never quite clear if the internet as it is today exists in Star Trek. Wonder what the effects would be of the Mintakans still having to spend all day farming and weaving, but being given a village computer that lets them read and post on CaB. I guess something absolutely hilarious could happen, like Starfleet visitors give a laptop to a medieval culture and it ends up being confiscated by the priest class who become the only ones allowed to read reddit.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 26, 2021, 02:17:42 PM
It's probably fair to say I'm not really arguing what ST actually presents anymore.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 26, 2021, 11:04:35 PM
S03E06 - Booby Trap

Geordi constructs a hologram of one of the Enterprise's designers to assist him, but it starts to act in unexpected ways.

- The agonising cringe of Geordi's date. I've never, ever understood why they chose to give him this character trait all of a sudden. Why is he a socially inept weirdo now? Up until now, he's always come across as almost comically laconic and chilled out, now he's suddenly riddled with anxiety and romantic strife, and acts like a 13 year old. Why?!

- There's something weird out there in space! Riker suggests not checking it out. It's a PROMELLIAN BATTLE CRUISER, with its LANG CYCLE FUSION ENGINES still intact. This is apparently a good thing.

- Picard is absolutely thrilled by the tragic deaths of the entire crew of the battle cruiser, because it gives him a chance to nose around and do some archaeology.

- Geordi's missing out on all the "fun", because he's sat at the bar being an emo. Guinan closes in on him out of fucking nowhere like a homing pigeon that senses emotional despair.
QuoteLAFORGE: Tell me something, Guinan. You're a woman, right?
GUINAN: Yes, I can tell you I'm a woman.
LAFORGE: What is it that you want in a man?
GUINAN: Me personally?
LAFORGE: As a woman. What's the first thing you look at?
Welcome to high school. I'd like to remind you that Geordi is 31 years old when this episode takes place.

- Picard comes back onto the bridge and tells everyone the abandoned ship was the coolest thing he's ever seen. The smile fades somewhat when the ship starts going apeshit and drains the Enterprise of energy, marooning it in place.

- The Enterprise is doomed as usual, so Geordi goes to figure out what's going on. He learns that a scientist named Leah Brahms is the expert on Galaxy-class warp drives, so he goes off to the holodeck and generates an AI of her to help save the Enterprise. The AI suddenly appears in a hologram based on Brahms' appearance.

- The Brahms hologram robotically recites facts about the warp drive, and gives Geordi the info needed to re-enable the warp drives. Geordi decides the Brahms hologram is boring, and asks the computer to start going through all the real Brahms' writings and personal files to try and imbue the hologram with an accurate recreation of Brahms' personality. Uh oh.

-
QuotePICARD: Aceton assimilators?
DATA: Aceton assimilators are a primitive generator which can drain power from distant sources-
RIKER: Generators.
DATA: -it would not be difficult to modify them to convert energy into radiation.
Generators.

- Geordi falls out with the Brahms hologram in about forty seconds and starts screaming at it about warp theory.

- Geordi gets stressed and the Brahms hologram ends up taking over. Picard walks in and looks vaguely disturbed before moonwalking out.

- Riker goes to Picard's ready room and says he's not comfortable with handing control of the ship over to a hologram. There's all kinds of weirdness with this the more you think about it - the Brahms hologram literally is the Enterprise computer. The Enterprise computer has given itself a physical form through which it will operate itself. Weird. But everyone agrees that the Brahms hologram is better than a human (fuck all non-human crew!!!), so they'll just have to chance it.

- The solution to the tech issue, if anyone cares, is to set the warp engine off and then turn the entire computer off and let the ship drift out on its own. I don't get it either.

- Picard insists on piloting the ship himself during this maneuver, purely because he wants to look cool, there's no other reason.

- Problem solved. Geordi goes back to the holodeck to give a teary goodbye to the Brahms hologram. They kiss.

Let's put the elephant in the room aside for a second and look at the titular booby trap. It's so boring. There's absolutely nothing to it, and the thousand-year-old war that the trap was made for is basically thrown aside with almost no information given to the audience. The ship might as well be getting sucked up a giant arsehole for all it matters. What's weird is that it's not just a vehicle to enable the other plot with Geordi and the hologram - I think most of the screentime is actually dedicated to this tedious non-plot where the lights gradually go out aboard the ship as Riker panics and says the radiation levels are rising. I'll freely admit to not understanding basically anything about physics, so if the solution about using inertia was clever, it went over my head.

So we're left with the Geordi plot, which is just, you know. This turn in his characterisation doesn't feel organic at all to me, I have no idea why the writers did this to him. Him ordering the computer to go through Brahms' stuff to try and generate an AI based on her (he demands that it be as close as possible to the real Brahms) is just really fucking odd, and the episode somehow seems totally unaware of how its coming across. The kiss at the end is enough to make your skin crawl.

It's strange because I don't know how you're meant to view the plot. It's not a story about Geordi overcoming his social anxiety, it's not really a story about falling in love with a computer (he shuts it off at the end and there's never really any indication at all that his attachment to the hologram could become problematic), it's not a story about the ethical awkwardness of falling in love with a computer recreation of a real person, because the episode doesn't even broach that topic at all, so what the hell is it? Is it meant to be a cute quasi-love story? Is it meant to be a comedy? Is it just filler for the real plot, where we watch Riker stomp around saying that they're all gonna die? Is it a story about whether or not to trust the computer's inhuman reflexes over our own human ones?

Also have to note that, before either of these plots kick in, there's the monstrously slow-paced archaeological trip to the derelict ship, which goes on forever. It's almost a relief when the creepy Geordi shit kicks in. 3/10.

The only good thing I can say about the episode is that the Bramhs hologram, before Geordi fucks it up, is actually a really nice idea and a creative use for the holodeck. You can get a nearly-accurate recreation of any person, which means you can call on the top experts in any field to help you solve problems. How cool is that? I also like the weirdness of the Enterprise flying itself via a holographic avatar, but that's barely investigated in the episode.

(https://i.imgur.com/0Ha5eGj.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 27, 2021, 10:15:31 AM
They really missed a trick with this episode, calling it the Booby trap but not giving Brahms massive norks.

Not much to say about it, your description is pretty spot on. It has a couple of early season ideas in it - giving Geordi a love interest, and holographic fantasy women. I think LeVar was always a bit to cuddly to be a convincing love interest. And the holographic fantasy woman thing doesn't really go anywhere.

They rather casually blow up the important historical artifact and war grave at the end.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 27, 2021, 11:59:08 AM
At least later episodes address the creepy elephant in the room (I forget how well), and turn to a more rounded treatment of holo-addiction with Barclay.

Voyager also takes a more interesting look at recreating real people to assist (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Nothing_Human_(episode)) idea.

Overall I think this episode lays some good foundations, however inadvertently, even if, at it's core, it's rather empty.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Zetetic on July 27, 2021, 12:38:15 PM
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musket_Wars are an interesting example of the aftermath of the relatively free adoption of a novel and radical technology.

(The title gives away the punchline a bit, although it's not just guns.)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Zetetic on July 27, 2021, 12:46:27 PM
Japanese history from the 16th century onwards as well might be an interesting comparison as well, not least because of the somewhat successful reaction of closing off and pushing back for a bit. (I'm sure that Japan isn't the only place where this was the case and it's just the one I'm vaguely aware of, assisted by geography etc.)

Interesting question whether some or most of Earth's ruling classes would try to oppose Federation replicator tech being widely available, and what threats they'd have available to them (even in the face of a massively technologically superior power) to do this.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 27, 2021, 02:43:54 PM
053 | "Booby Trap"

(https://i.imgur.com/vyPVp40.jpg)

Well done Miss Brahms, you've all done very well!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Gratuitous Violins
• Guinan's Baldy-Boner
• O'Brien : Ship-in-a-Bottle Backup
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• 3D chess #1 : Data vs. Wesley
• Palm Torch #1
• Geordi's Holo-Snog
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 27, 2021, 05:01:09 PM
After the consensus of the first two seasons, looks like our ratings are starting to diverge! Should make for an interesting season recap.

Quote from: Zetetic on July 27, 2021, 12:46:27 PM
Interesting question whether some or most of Earth's ruling classes would try to oppose Federation replicator tech being widely available, and what threats they'd have available to them (even in the face of a massively technologically superior power) to do this.

It raises the question of who the Federation should/would first speak to, too - the American or Chinese governments seem the obvious choices, but if the only requirement is that you talk to some kind of "leader", there's no reason not to first approach the government of, like, Benin.

The way it's presented in every Star Trek episode I can think of is that the wishes of local governments have to be respected, so in the Earth scenario, if the American government tells the Federation to leave immediately and that nobody on Earth is to be given any kind of medical/material assistance, the visiting captain just has to turn right back around and jet off to their next adventure, never to return[nb]which is pretty much the plot of the episode "First Contact", IIRC[/nb]. If you live under an oppressive government and/or in terrible living conditions, the only way to get help from the Federation is to somehow board the visiting starship and then ask for asylum, but there's no real way to get to that point in the first place because the Federation will only speak to your government, and considers them to be speaking on your behalf.

Gets into what MojoJojo was saying a while back about how the Prime Directive might just be a way for Starfleet to avoid headaches more than anything else.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 27, 2021, 05:52:52 PM
That one of the recurring problems with most of these sci-fi got to a planet of the week shows. These places only seem to have one world government, no plurality of leadership, or even political ideals.

Yeah, I know, it makes things quicker and easier, but it would be nice for a first contact to have to deal with multiple not exactly friendly powers.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 27, 2021, 11:11:51 PM
Quote from: Blumf on July 27, 2021, 05:52:52 PM
That one of the recurring problems with most of these sci-fi got to a planet of the week shows. These places only seem to have one world government, no plurality of leadership, or even political ideals.
Maybe the show is (accidentally) making a point along the lines of "the only way we'll ever get into space is if we all work together".
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 27, 2021, 11:14:45 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 27, 2021, 05:01:09 PM
After the consensus of the first two seasons, looks like our ratings are starting to diverge!

Haha, yes - I'm not doing it deliberately, honest!

Quote from: Lemming on July 26, 2021, 11:04:35 PMit's not a story about the ethical awkwardness of falling in love with a computer recreation of a real person, because the episode doesn't even broach that topic at all,

There's a sequel to this episode coming up in the next season that delves into the ethics of what he does here - so that may tickle your fancy a bit more.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 27, 2021, 11:45:44 PM
There's an episode later on where they say that a world government is an entry requirement to become a Federation member world, I think. Always liked Voyager's really half-arsed attempts at giving planets more cultural diversity - "Captain, the distress signal is coming from THE SOUTHERN CONTINENT!"

Quote from: daf on July 27, 2021, 11:14:45 PM
There's a sequel to this episode coming up in the next season that delves into the ethics of what he does here - so that may tickle your fancy a bit more.

I think I remember that one! Mainly for Patrick Stewart having to give a deadly-serious performance alongside a CGI space-fish stuck to the ship's hull.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Zetetic on July 28, 2021, 12:34:12 AM
Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 27, 2021, 11:11:51 PM
Maybe the show is (accidentally) making a point along the lines of "the only way we'll ever get into space is if we all work together".
Alternatively - genocide.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 28, 2021, 01:25:39 AM
S03E07 - The Enemy

As tensions rise between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire, Worf confronts his own racism towards Romulans while Geordi befriends one.

- Riker in command of an away mission. What could go wrong?

- Very low visibility, extreme weather conditions, already having to scream to hear each other while stood about a meter apart. What's Riker's command? "ALL RIGHT, LET'S SPREAD OUT! 25-METER RADIUS!"

- Following Riker's brainy "let's split up" command, Geordi falls into a pit and is instantly KO'd. They have been on the planet for exactly two minutes and thirty seconds at this point. Riker's lost a third of his team in two minutes thirty seconds.

- Riker's crisis response is to yell "WHERE IS HE? GEORDI! GEORDI! WHERE IS HE? GEORDI!" while walking in a circle. My favourite part is, right after Riker decides it's too dangerous and that they must abandon Geordi and beam back to the ship, it cuts straight to Geordi screaming "WORRRRF!". Worf's not even in command, Geordi just knows that calling for Riker is useless, he'd only slip into the pit himself or something.

- Back on the ship, Riker explains his fuckup to Picard by saying "you couldn't see more than two meters in front of you down there". SPREAD OUT! 25 METER RADIUS!

- Gigafuckups aside, the away team recovered an injured Romulan. TOMALAK shows up and asks what's up. Picard tells him that they've got one of his people wounded in sickbay. Riker and Worf start to get pissy and insist on detaining the wounded Romulan.

- On the surface, Geordi climbs out of the pit he was in and sees a NEUTRINO STREAM, fired from the ship, acting as a beacon. He correctly guesses that this was Wesley's idea, because Wesley makes everyone else aboard look like shit. Geordi gets KO'd for the second time that day, this time by a Romulan.

- Bochra - the Romulan who KO'd Geordi - holds him at gunpoint, but about a minute later they become the best of friends since they're both stuck in a shitty cave.

- It turns out the only way to save the Romulan in sickbay is for Worf, as the only compatible donor, to offer a blood transfusion. Worf refuses, because THE ROMULANS killed his parents. Bev tells him to get a grip, but it's useless, and Worf decides that he'd rather let the Romulan die.

- Mindblowing scene where Riker leans over Wesley's console. "WHAT IS THAT?" he asks, pointing at the screen. You can see Wesley almost roll his eyes. After hassling Wesley, Riker smoothly slides over to Data's console, and does the exact same thing.

- Tomalak arrives at the rendevouz point at the Federation border to pick up the wounded Romulan, but Picard's not there, because he won't leave Galorndon Core without Geordi. Picard gets shitty with Tomalak for asking why he's not made the rendevouz. Tomalak accuses Picard of playing with the wounded Romulan's life, which makes Picard get even shittier with him.

- Geordi and Bochra realise they're both experiencing physical symptoms from the planet's weird EMP shit. Bochra is ill and Geordi's VISOR fails, leaving him blind.

- Riker is, no joke, getting drunk in his quarters while Geordi's still trapped on the planet. He tells Worf to get a grip and stop being racist, and makes an uncharacteristically top-quality speech about bigotry and the future of the Romulans. Seriously, as I said in "Contagion", Riker's really good when it comes to Romulans, and really bad when it comes to absolutely anything else.

- Bev wakes the Romulan up to try and convince Worf. The Romulan refuses the transfusion. Well, there you go, then, Worf's off the hook.

- Picard gives a sad, wishy-washy speech to Worf begging him to give his blood, on the grounds that Tomalak may start an INCIDENT if the Romulan dies.
QuotePICARD: Lieutenant, sometimes the moral obligations of command are less than clear. I have to weigh the good of the many against the needs of the individual, and try to balance them as realistically as possible. God knows, I don't always succeed.
WORF: I have not had cause to complain, Captain.
PICARD: Oh, Lieutenant, you wouldn't complain even if you had cause.
WORF: If you order me to agree to the transfusion, I will obey, of course.
PICARD: I don't want to order you. But I ask you. I beg you to volunteer.
Have I mentioned lately that I think Picard is a shit captain? What the hell is this? "P-please Worf, pleeeeaase volunteer! I d-don't want to order you!" Loser. Compare that with Kirk's "leave your bigotry in your quarters, there's no room for it on the bridge" line from "Balance of Terror". Would anyone else get away with this? Would Picard treat Bev like this if she decided not to operate on, say, a Vulcan, because she didn't like Vulcans? I get that a medical procedure is being asked of Worf, so it's slightly different, but the principle doesn't seem much different to me. Worf can refuse, of course, and there's no way to force him to give blood, but IMO he can choose to be a Starfleet officer or choose to be a committed racist. He can't choose to be both, and Picard's an idiot for letting him.

- Bochra and Geordi, now best friends for life, cooperate to overcome their respective EMP-induced deficiencies. Tomalak shows up and everything goes fuckwards, until Geordi and Bochra are beamed to the bridge. Bochra manages to calm Tomalak down and avert war.

Probably not a surprise that Picard's actions in this episode always annoyed the fuck out of me. Not letting Tomalak in is, as Tomalak (probably disingenously) says, "prioritising territory over a man's life". The death of the Romulan is almost entirely down to Picard - he refuses to order Worf to save him, and refuses to explore an alternative in allowing Tomalak access to him. He basically just sits there and lets the guy die. Tomalak is obviously shady as fuck and looking for any excuse to start trouble, and allowing him into Federation space is a big risk, but at the same time, Picard is holding one of Tomalak's crew captive and essentially denying him life-saving medical treatment. Even after the Romulan incursion to Galorndon Core, Picard seems like the one who's in the wrong here. Especially since Tomalak initially agrees to meet in a neutral area without entering the Federations' borders.

Then we get to Picard's interactions with Worf, good god. He should have ordered Worf, IMO - Worf's a Starfleet officer who isn't meant to let personal bigotry stand in the way of providing aid. Again, Worf would of course be free to refuse the order, and face whatever disciplinary response Starfleet decided was appropriate. But Picard just comes across as spineless for refusing to give the order at all, not least because Worf puts the decision entirely in Picard's hands by saying that he will cooperate if ordered. So, the reason the Romulan dies is because Picard doesn't want to order Worf because... he's more afraid of souring his working relationship with Worf than he is of allowing a person to needlessly die? Or he thinks it'd be immoral and disrespectful to order Worf to not let his personal racism lead to someone's death? Or he's a navel-gazing prat who's concerned with bloviating about "the moral obligations of command" while someone bleeds to death in his sickbay? It's one of those.

And again, it feels like Worf is getting special treatment - imagine how Kirk would react if McCoy refused to give a transfusion to Spock, on the grounds that Spock is a GREEN-BLOODED POINTY-EARED HOBGOBLIN who deserves to die because of his race. Definitely wouldn't be a wimpy "I want you to know I really respect your borderline-homicidal racism" talk.

Basically, Picard mishandles the entire crisis, all aspects of it. I mean, he really, really fucks it sideways, he's an idiot. Riker himself couldn't have done much worse. If Geordi and Bochra hadn't worked together to escape the planet just in time (with help from Wesley and Data aboard the ship), it would have been all-out war.

Michael Dorn was apparently initially concerned by Worf's actions in this episode, to the point of calling the writers to express his doubts over the script. Dorn believed that Worf would agree to help, because honour would demand it of him. I think I'd tend to agree with him - Worf would agree to the transfusion, I reckon, after some umm'ing and ahh'ing - though I suppose it wouldn't be much of a story if Worf just saved the guy and there were basically no issues. Either way, the episode essentially absolves him and guts a good chunk of the moral ambiguity out of the story by having the Romulan refuse the transfusion anyway. Would have been much more complicated and messy if the Romulan had begged for his life.

At the same time, Dorn's ambivalence towards the script results in a very strong performance - Dorn's discomfort with delivering the lines becomes Worf's discomfort with facing his own conflicting views, which is exactly what the script calls for.

It's a pretty good episode, but god, Picard doesn't half piss me off. 7/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/KGwhCJy.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on July 28, 2021, 08:08:23 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 28, 2021, 01:25:39 AM
- Very low visibility, extreme weather conditions, already having to scream to hear each other while stood about a meter apart. What's Riker's command? "ALL RIGHT, LET'S SPREAD OUT! 25-METER RADIUS!"

- Following Riker's brainy "let's split up" command, Geordi falls into a pit and is instantly KO'd. They have been on the planet for exactly two minutes and thirty seconds at this point. Riker's lost a third of his team in two minutes thirty seconds.
Alt reality version - Riker commands "ALL RIGHT, 25cm RADIUS!" and all three of them fall down the hole.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 28, 2021, 08:21:09 AM
I feel a lot of your criticism of Picard is under cut by the fact that he does order Worf to do the procedure*. It's too late - but the way it's presented it's too late by the time they are having the conversation. There's an ambiguity in we don't know how long it takes before Picard has that conversation and orders Worf, and we don't know if he acted sooner it would have made a difference.



(*at least I remember that, I haven't checked)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 28, 2021, 10:24:52 AM
No, Picard doesn't order Worf to agree to the procedure. He tells Doctor Crusher not to bring it up to Worf again, and she responds that she won't have to because the Romulan has died. Personally I think it would be a stronger story if Worf decided to allow his blood to be used but the Romulan refused it because "I would rather die than pollute my body with Klingon filth". Like put Picard's speech appealing to Worf before the scene with the Romulan refusing Worf's help.

I get Picard's stance in this episode - we're running up against the issue of bodily autonomy. Yeah it's only blood, which Worf has lots of and can replenish, but what if it was a kidney? There are later episodes where Picard orders people who don't like each other to work together because he does not give a single fuck about their personal drama, but that's different. Plus, I think Worf wants to be ordered because he doesn't want to have to make a decision. That's how I read that scene.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: earl_sleek on July 28, 2021, 10:32:46 AM
I think Picard believes Worf will eventually do the 'right' thing and wants him to get there himself.

I like that Worf refuses, it's a rare example of an alien actually behaving in an alien way, and it ties into the way his character develops over the course of TNG and DS9.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 28, 2021, 11:02:15 AM
Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 28, 2021, 10:24:52 AM
I get Picard's stance in this episode - we're running up against the issue of bodily autonomy. Yeah it's only blood, which Worf has lots of and can replenish, but what if it was a kidney? There are later episodes where Picard orders people who don't like each other to work together because he does not give a single fuck about their personal drama, but that's different. Plus, I think Worf wants to be ordered because he doesn't want to have to make a decision. That's how I read that scene.

Agreed about Worf's motives - I think Dorn plays it to suggest that Worf does want to help, but isn't strong enough to overcome his hatred, so he tries to outsource the decision to Picard in the hopes that he'll be able to save the Romulan without having to do the difficult mental gymnastics required to make that call himself.

On the bodily autonomy thing, I suppose it depends on exactly what you're signing up for when you sign up with Starfleet, and what's considered to be a legitimate order from a captain. The procedure is stated by Bev to be completely risk-free, so it'd be on a similar level of bodily-autonomy-violation as requiring someone to take a vaccine in order to join/remain in Starfleet. Worf can definitely refuse, at which point there's nothing Picard can do, but I think he's got the right to issue his request as an order. The point at which Picard really winds me up is when Worf explicitly says he'll agree to it if ordered, though, since at that stage the decision is entirely in Picard's hands.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on July 28, 2021, 11:03:58 AM
Andreas Katsulas was so, so brilliant in Babylon 5, but he's utterly wasted as Tomalak despite his efforts to inject some nuance into the character.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 28, 2021, 11:26:11 AM
Such a dilemma. On one had, you want to stay in orbit of Galordon Core to retrieve Geordi. On the other hand, you might want to meet Tomalak at the Neutral Zone border to hand over the wounded Romulan to avoid a possible interstellar incident.

Imagine if you had ship could split in two somehow. Wouldn't that be handy? Starfleet should invent that.

Quote from: Lemming on July 28, 2021, 11:02:15 AM
Agreed about Worf's motives - I think Dorn plays it to suggest that Worf does want to help, but isn't strong enough to overcome his hatred, so he tries to outsource the decision to Picard in the hopes that he'll be able to save the Romulan without having to do the difficult mental gymnastics required to make that call himself.

The writers make a big deal out of "well Worf isn't human, so we show that he doesn't adhere to human moral values" in this episode. But Worf was effectively raised by humans. Now the Rozhenkos did their best to keep him in touch with his Klingon culture, but at the end of the day he was with humans from the age of about 4 until he was a teenager, when he took the Rite of Ascension with his cousins, and then he came back to earth and went into Starfleet. He's a man closing in on 30 who has spent 20 years around humans and in the Federation and very few among his own people - most of them as a child. His moral outlook would surely borrow more from that, than the fact that he's a Klingon.

So how much of "I hate the Romulans so much that I won't help this one" is what Worf really wants deep down, and how much is what he thinks a Klingon should do?

I also feel that the Romulan saying he doesn't want "Klingon filth" in his body was an easy get out for him. Suppose the Romulan had begged for his life instead? Or even just acknowledged Worf's sense of honour on it and said no more?

Lastly, anyone else feel that the Romulans got off lightly for a border violation that's implied to be deliberate? Obviously Picard is right to not go shooting at Tomalak over this, but I still think a stern word or two once Bocchra is returned, or a mention of a diplomatic protest might've been in order.

Quote from: Mr Trumpet on July 28, 2021, 11:03:58 AM
Andreas Katsulas was so, so brilliant in Babylon 5, but he's utterly wasted as Tomalak despite his efforts to inject some nuance into the character.

He did only get four appearances, the last of which was very fleeting. Not a lot of time to flesh the character out.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wentworth Smith on July 28, 2021, 12:09:48 PM
The Romulans are always flying into Federation space and getting away with it but as soon as Star Fleet dip a toe on their side of the border its guns at the ready. The Romulan way makes more sense.

With regards Riker only being competent when it comes to the Romulans I'm now going to imagine that he was a Romulan spy all along and went native when he landed a cushy number on a starship in which he can drink on the job, get himself a hot wife, and nobody cares about his half-arsed incompetence.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: mothman on July 28, 2021, 12:36:16 PM
Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on July 28, 2021, 11:26:11 AM
Imagine if you had ship could split in two somehow. Wouldn't that be handy? Starfleet should invent that.

Well, yesss... but only one section is warp-capable. Which means you leave the saucer section behind. Which is fair enough. But that then means you're turning up to a rendezvous with some antsy Romulans in the heavily-armed[nb]It has all the torpedo launchers, anyway. Was always a bit ambivalent about having the heavy-duty phaser emitters on the saucer section, though. Plenty of small strips on the secondary hull section but the coverage isn't great especially on the front and dorsal angles. This is presumably why the later Galaxy-classes - the Venture variant - have added phaser bulges on the nacelles.[/nb] Battle section. Good luck with that...
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 28, 2021, 01:26:29 PM
I really don't get this insistence that "oh Worf would never let a man die like that". He's in the same position as an American soldier with a rare blood type, who lost family members in 9/11, who's being asked to donate blood to save the life of a wounded Al-Quaeda member. I ain't saying what Worf does is right, but it's understandable.

And it's obvious that Worf's not sure what decision to make, almost asking Picard to just order him to do it. Personally I see Worf dithering until time runs out for the Romulan. It's in character for Picard not to order him to do it. You remember Captain Picard, the guy who insisted Data had sentience and wasn't a machine to be disassembled and studied for the potential greater good? Who in the next episode won't order Data to turn over the new android he built to Starfleet? I kinda get the feeling personal/bodily autonomy is one of his hard lines or something. As I said earlier, later on in the series he'll have no truck with Worf not wanting to greet K'Ehylar on her return to the Enterprise, or Worf not wanting to interact with other Klingons following his discommendation, or Dr whatshername not wanting to work with Data because she's angry with Lore for bringing the Crystalline Entity to Omicron Theta. Almost as if he understands when his crew need to set their petty bullshit aside and when deeply held feelings/beliefs are important.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 28, 2021, 01:57:38 PM
Quote from: Wonderful Butternut on July 28, 2021, 11:26:11 AM
Imagine if you had ship could split in two somehow. Wouldn't that be handy? Starfleet should invent that.

Or a shuttle! Or place the Romulan in medical stasis!

Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 28, 2021, 01:26:29 PMAlmost as if he understands when his crew need to set their petty bullshit aside and when deeply held feelings/beliefs are important.

This strikes me as an instance where putting bullshit aside was of highest priority, given that a life was at stake. It's Picard's call to make whether or not racism should be a protected belief to the point where it's allowed to result in a death, and IMO he makes totally the wrong call here. The bodily autonomy situation gets a little bit shaky since Worf does agree to undergo the procedure if ordered, which he doesn't have to do. He basically presents Picard with an open goal that Picard refuses to use.

The Al-Quaeda comparison works to an extent since the Romulan was a military officer, but the way Worf expresses his reasoning seems to indicate that he'd refuse to save any Romulan's life in theory.

As always though, it's tricky because we're not really sure what Starfleet officers sign in their contracts, and what kind of authority a captain has, or if there's any kind of precedent for being asked to donate blood. Though Worf and Picard's conversation seems to imply that Picard would be acting within the limits of his authority by ordering Worf to undergo the procedure.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 28, 2021, 03:07:13 PM
It is pretty clearly stated that commanding officers can order crewmen to certain death, if the situation requires it (Troi's command track training, in the last(?) season)

I think Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse has probably got it right, Picard is big on bodily autonomy, which would add extra weight to the big season finale.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: daf on July 28, 2021, 03:54:01 PM
054 | "The Enemy"

(https://i.imgur.com/VEi3Mu9.jpg)

Hole Lotta Sludge

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Melty Nugget Picks
• Troi Cheeky Blusher
• Worf Grudge Donor
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Romulan Green Blood
• Geordi's White Eyeballs
• Bloody Preamble [Language, Jean-Luc!]
• Palm Torches #2
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score : (https://i.imgur.com/yB10Opv.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 28, 2021, 07:20:34 PM
Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 28, 2021, 10:24:52 AM
No, Picard doesn't order Worf to agree to the procedure. He tells Doctor Crusher not to bring it up to Worf again, and she responds that she won't have to because the Romulan has died.

Well, that's me looking like a pratt.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 29, 2021, 09:48:14 PM
S03E08 - The Price

As the Federation bids for the rights to a wormhole leading to the Delta Quadrant, Troi becomes romantically involved with one of the negotiators.

- "God forbid I should miss my first look at the wormhole" properly made me laugh.

- It's Matt McCoy! By which I mean DEVINONI RAL, NEGOTIATOR FOR HIRE. He and Troi become instantly spellbound with each other at the world's most boring party, hosted by Picard, of course.

- The Barzans want to sell access to their wormhole, because they don't have the tech to use it themselves. The bidding will take place on board the Enterprise, for some reason.

- The Ferengi arrive. Riker and Picard are annoyed at the Ferengi before the they even show up, because of RACISM. Troi's missing out on all the fun because she's busy stalking Matt McCoy's social media.

-
QuoteRAL: Should I call for an appointment ?
TROI: No, I was just looking over some personnel files.
RAL: Well, that's too bad. I thought you might be thinking about me.
TROI: I thought you'd be deep in negotiations by now.
RAL: In recess. I never play the opening rounds, anyway. Inconsequential. Besides, there are much better things to negotiate on this ship... like dinner tonight?
TROI: What about your travelling companion?
RAL: My travelling companion is travelling. I sent her home.
TROI: Why?
RAL: You know why.
Christ almighty.

- It gets worse when he starts shushing her like a toddler and touching her hair. Instead of headbutting him, she agrees to go to dinner with him.

- Troi's ready for the date in a cool blue dress, while Matt McCoy has arrived dressed like a game show host. He walks up and kisses her literally ten seconds after entering the room. The incidental music lets us know that this is meant to be romantic, rather than a training film about sexual harassment.

-
QuoteRAL: Am I moving too fast for you?
TROI: No, I'm moving too fast for me.
RAL: I like that better.
Jesus!

-
QuoteTROI: I haven't been able to stop thinking about you all day.
RAL: You must have had a nice day.
Eurgh!

- The Ferengi captain says: "First, you conveniently arrange to play host, then you plan to send your own manned probe into the wormhole. The Federation thinks it can do anything it wants to." I mean, he's not wrong.

- With the Federation diplomat poisoned and in sickbay, Picard orders Riker to fill in. In a moment of lucidity, Riker nearly shits himself and begs to be let out of the responsibility on the grounds that he's not capable. Feel the fear:
(https://i.imgur.com/es8oKfU.png)

- Geordi and Data join the Ferengi to fly into the wormhole to check out the Delta Quadrant.

- Matt McCoy and Riker get into a sad dick-measuring contest, where they both talk a load of bollocks but act like they're one-upping each other.

- Matt McCoy rubs Troi's foot. Like all sensual scenes in Star Trek, it's unerotic enough to put you off ever touching another human ever again. Everything gets fucking covered in this horrible slimy-looking oil. "Devinoni Ral," Troi says dreamily, "who are you?" Yeah, for real, who the fuck is he? This entire subplot is a massive disaster so far because these two characters have barely exchanged a word with each other, and yet somehow they're already at this stage.

- In a moment of sheer broscience, Troi decides that the reason her empathic skills aren't giving her much info about Matt McCoy is because she's so horny that it's blocking them out. The two of them then end up talking about Riker while stroking each other with oil, just to kill any last pitiful shreds of eroticism stone dead.

-
QuoteTROI: When I first saw you, I felt as if I'd been waiting for you. I'm trying to understand why or how that's possible.
It's because the writers couldn't think of any other way to get you two together, mate.

- "I tucked my heart away. I didn't need it, I didn't want it. At the negotiating table... it can be fatal to have a heart". Scream-laughed at this bit. Yuppies!

- I cannot believe what I am seeing here. What in the name of bloody hell is this?
(https://i.imgur.com/Yqx0IMH.png)

Why does the exercise room have walls consisting of mirrors pointing at each other? What the hell are they wearing?

Actually, I love this. I think it should have appeared more in TNG. It should have replaced the briefing room entirely. Every briefing room scene should instead start with Picard flexing his ass out in front of an endless corridor of mirrors, while wearing spandex. Then the rest of the team jog in, all in their own colour-coded spandex gear, and start exercising next to him while agonising over the ethical problem of the week. Asses thrust out the whole time. "You want me to turn them back into the dark ages of superstition? No!" Picard yells while doing his spandex-clad squats.

- Geordi and Data learn that the wormhole actually sucks. They bail out, but the Ferengi trap themselves in the Delta Quadrant. They'll be back in Voyager's "False Profits"!

- Last time we saw Troi, she was rolling around on the floor with Bev talking about how much she loves Matt McCoy. Now, she's at dinner telling Matt McCoy what an absolute arse he is and how she thinks he's a weird and shady guy. Feel like we've skipped a few steps here, but then again, we skipped about a hundred steps in intiating their """relationship""", so who gives a shit.

- Matt McCoy and Riker get into another yuppie-off, where they talk about high-energy business shit, which evolves into an argument about Troi.

- Turns out the Ferengi have been working with Matt McCoy behind the scenes to do something or other, and Troi finally stands up to Matt McCoy and terminates the relationship (what there was of it).

- Geordi and Data return to report that the wormhole is a flop anyway. They also inform Picard that the Ferengi scouts are trapped in the Delta Quadrant. Picard's response to this? To order Worf to give the Ferengi captain a message - "advise him to set his coordinates for the Delta Quadrant. He may run into them... in 80 years or so". Yeah, or maybe don't send that, because it's a downright sociopathic response to the loss of two people. Fucking hell.

Terrible, on the whole. There's a few good individual lines - "well, I hope I'm better than you realise", "at least you will have me to talk to", "then who fetches the chairs", etc - but it's an absolute car crash otherwise. Ral and Troi have no chemistry and no connection at all, and nor do McCoy and Sirtis. The "romance" has literally no emotional weight behind it at all, and every scene featuring it is agony.

The side plot in which Riker and Ral must outfox each other fails because they both just talk in stupid cliches. It's less like watching two master manipulators playing 5D chess and more like watching two complete dickheads try to complete a three-piece jigsaw. Ral just sucks, every time he speaks it's like paint drying in audio form.

This is meant to be a Troi episode (a rare thing), and yet she's completely passive. In the first half she barely speaks, just sits there staring blankly while Ral touches her hair and talks about himself. The only scene where she gets anything to do is when she has to defend her own use of empathic skills, and even then, her arguments are shit and the focus is still on Ral, the most boring man in the universe. Troi is ultimately the one who uncovers the conspiracy between Ral and the Ferengi, but it comes after 45 minutes of sitting around doing not very much.

The only real success of the episode is the way it redefines the Ferengi as comic relief antagonists, which works far better than their original sinister characterisation, albeit only in small doses. 2/10.

(https://i.imgur.com/i9FUuVr.png)
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 29, 2021, 09:53:38 PM
Love the spandex suits with what I can only describe as tit windows in the top layer. Y'know, just in case you didn't know that women had boobs.

Quote- Matt McCoy and Riker get into another yuppie-off, where they talk about high-energy business shit, which evolves into an argument about Troi.

I actually like this bit because Ral tries to get under Riker's skin about being second[nb]OMG!!![/nb] in command of the Enterprise and 'losing' Troi and Riker just tells him to eat shit.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on July 29, 2021, 09:59:23 PM
Yeah I quite like how Riker refuses to be baited when it comes to his rank or his ex.* Nice back and forth that reveals the true character of both men.


*they're still shagging right? I always kind of assumed so.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on July 29, 2021, 10:05:41 PM
Not sure I've been able to take this episode at all seriously (even if I did in the first place) after yer boy McCoy appeared in Silicon Valley - I imagine his character here wound up with a similar fate ie locked up due to substance/sex related incident.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Wonderful Butternut on July 29, 2021, 10:08:22 PM
Quote from: Mr Trumpet on July 29, 2021, 09:59:23 PM
*they're still shagging right? I always kind of assumed so.

Not really. They seem to be getting close again in Menage a Troi, which is coming up later in the season, but it's dropped thereafter.

There's another episode that implies they may have had at least one horizontal dance whilst serving on the Enterprise. There's these weird telepathic aliens on board that help people re-live happy memories and one of Troi's is getting playful with Riker after a poker night.
Spoiler alert
But then one of the aliens invades the memory to try and mind rape Troi
[close]
, so it's not 100% clear how original the memory is.

Otherwise I think everything is "they're just friends now",
Spoiler alert
with Troi even dating Worf briefly in season 7
[close]
up until they get back together in Insurrection. Unless I've missed something else, which is possible.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: The Culture Bunker on July 29, 2021, 10:12:51 PM
Yeah, I remember the
Spoiler alert
Worf/Troi thing
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starting on first viewing back in the day and thinking "oh, that's interesting" as it would have shown a different aspect to
Spoiler alert
Worf's character
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, but as I remember, it was dropped pretty sharpish.

Never had much luck with the lasses, poor lad.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: JamesTC on July 29, 2021, 10:13:45 PM
Is this the one with the Anthony Perkins lookalike creeping on Troi.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on July 29, 2021, 10:22:11 PM
I always confuse this episode with the one where the guy dumps all his negative emotions into whatever woman he can fool into serving as his (ugh) receptacle, turning her into a crazy jealous hag and burning her out till she dies. And I'm just realising now that it's basically The Picture of Dorian Gray only more horrifying.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Blumf on July 29, 2021, 10:53:22 PM
Quote from: Lemming on July 29, 2021, 09:48:14 PM
S03E08 - The Price

...

Actually, I love this. I think it should have appeared more in TNG. It should have replaced the briefing room entirely. Every briefing room scene should instead start with Picard flexing his ass out in front of an endless corridor of mirrors, while wearing spandex. Then the rest of the team jog in, all in their own colour-coded spandex gear, and start exercising next to him while agonising over the ethical problem of the week. Asses thrust out the whole time. "You want me to turn them back into the dark ages of superstition? No!" Picard yells while doing his spandex-clad squats.

I know I keep banging on about it, but Mirror Broken (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation_-_Mirror_Broken) is so fucking good, in part for 'Swolecard' flexing it.

(https://trekmovie.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/sttng-mirrorbroken-2-rev-head.jpg)

Kicks Riker's ass at one point.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: MojoJojo on July 30, 2021, 09:52:48 AM
Quote from: Lemming on July 29, 2021, 09:48:14 PM
S03E08 - The Price

I did think the creepy way that guy and troi was interacting was supposed to be because he was applying the psychic whammo on her. Like, Troy's reaction is supposed to be weird. But then trek, and tng in particular is so crap at sexy that it's hard to tell. Those oily feet *shudder*.

So I think Troy was mentally roofed in this episode.

Fridge logic - the way betazeds who travel the galaxy get mind fucked all the time explains why they don't play a bigger role in the federation. They have to stay Betazed to be safe.
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Mr Trumpet on July 30, 2021, 09:54:01 AM
I don't think it's a coincidence that Betazoids and Vulcans are the two aliens we most frequently see with mental illnesses
Title: Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
Post by: Lemming on July 30, 2021, 11:16:59 AM
Quote from: MojoJojo on July 30, 2021, 09:52:48 AM
I did think the creepy way that guy and troi was interacting was supposed to be because he was applying the psychic whammo on her. Like, Troy's reaction is supposed to be weird. But then trek, and tng in particular is so crap at sexy that it's hard to tell. Those oily feet *shudder*.

So I think Troy was mentally roofed in this episode.

Fridge logic - the way betazeds who travel the galaxy get mind fucked all the time explains why they don't play a bigger role in the federation. They have to stay Betazed to be safe.

The guy's quarter-Betazoid, and he admits he was using his empathic abilities to get closer to Troi. But surely given what we know about Betazoids, that shouldn't render her borderline-mute and unable to resist his creepy """charms""". There's also an odd plot point that she can't read him at all until the episode's climax. Troi writes it off by saying her abilities must be clouded by how physically excited she is, but it's very strange in retrospect - the way it's written suggests she's getting almost nothing from him!

There might be an interesting story