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Brian Hague
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Posted: 01 December 2016 at 10:56am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

"Dear Doctor" sounds like an episode I would avoid if not attempt to kill outright with fire...

Every element I ever liked about the Berman-era Treks could have been put together onscreen in a half-hour sitcom starring Seven of Nine and T'Pol. They could share an apartment. Have trouble maintaining decent social lives and making ends meet. Dr. Phlox could be one of their neighbors, sharing his apartment with a crabby hologram who insists he's the better doctor. Data could be their best friend. Picard could be Data's Gepetto, always getting mad at our heroines for the trouble they get his boy into. They could work in a bar. A little bit "Laverne & Shirley" meets "Cheers" meets "Quark." We could call the show "Ten-Forward" or maybe "Quark's." One show, keep it on the air for four or five years, let it go when it was done.

Think of all the time and trouble that would have been saved. :-)

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 01 December 2016 at 11:13am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Dear Doctor" sounds like an episode I would avoid if not attempt to kill outright with fire...
++++++++

Doing a little research, I see that the network insisted that the ending had to be changed from what was originally written. Originally, Phlox was to find a cure for the disease, but would deliberately withhold this information from Archer, so as to allow nature to take its course. This was rewritten so that Phlox reluctantly tells Archer about the cure, and then Archer goes against his moral principles and withholds it from the people, because "we're not out here to play God".

The original ending obviously had a lot more work with, in terms of exploring the character of Phlox, the early problems of a multispecies crew--with varying ethics and beliefs--working together aboard a starship, and the moral questions of interfering in the natural development in other cultures. As opposed to the aired version, where the series' lead deliberately chooses to condemn a race to death within the span of a few centuries.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 01 December 2016 at 11:43am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Which isn't anything like playing God. No, really, it isn't. (Sheesh...)

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Steven McCauley
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Posted: 01 December 2016 at 4:13pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I still preferred Enterprise to Voyager.  I really didn't care for 7 of 9 and stopped watching when she showed up.  I've tried to re-watch on Netflix and still get bored to tears with it.
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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 01 December 2016 at 5:09pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Dear Doctor as an episode was just plain stupid.
First of all evolution does not work like it was described in the episode, now if it was genetic damage passed along the entire Valkanian species that is one thing (perhaps at some point the species suffered from a to small gene pool), but that one species has to go extinct in favor of another species that may or may not develop into a fully sapient species on their own?

How is that not playing God?

I always wanted to write a follow up to this episode.
In my story the so called "Vampire Aliens" from Enterprise Episode 2 had kidnapped Phlox to stand trial on the Valakian homeworld.

Apparently after the Enterprise had left the Valakian system the Vampire Aliens came by and were contacted by the Valakians to help them with what was killing their species.
The Vampire Aliens found out what the problem was and sold the Valakians a cure as well as technologies such as Warp drive.

Eventually the aliens managed to acquire Phlox's log and the record in which he mentioning discovering what was killing the Valakians and that he had developed a cure but decided to withhold it in order to favor the Menk.

Save to say the Valakians are pissed and hire their benefactors to bring Phlox to their homeworld to stand trial for condemning their species to possible extinction.

The Enterprise comes to the Valakian system and while Archer and T'Pol try to assist Phlox in the Valakian court, the other members of the crew are contacted by former aid workers who used to assist the Menk until their government shut down all activities in Menk territory.

Together with the aid workers the Enterprise crew decides to check out what is going on in Menk territory and discover that Valakian government officials and soldiers are rounding up the Menk in camps.
They are actually selling the Menk to the Vampire Aliens who then cut up the Menk for parts or substances that they can sell to other species.

Later on this is revealed during Phlox's court case and the government admits that they started selling Menk to the Vampire Aliens at first in order to purchase the cure for their people, the Vampire Aliens were only interested in biological resources and nothing else the Valakians had to offer.

Then the Vampire Aliens offered Warp drive and starship technology in return for more Menk specimens, and the government who already realized that they had basically sold their souls already, started to have less and less of an issue of selling more Menk in return for technology.

Phlox's court case is dismissed and Phlox is allowed to go as the Valakians realizes that they have much bigger issues to resolve in their own society before they can judge an alien for deciding the fate of their species.

Still as the Enterprise leaves the Valakian system Phlox realizes that he has done even more damage to the Valakians by withholding the cure.
Even if he had no hand directly in it, he has made the Valakians sell the Menk to the Vampire Aliens in order to save their own species.
He has violated his own doctor's oath.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 04 December 2016 at 10:58am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

So, "Shuttlepod One" is a fan-favorite episode, and I can see why. A break from the usual monotony, with some character-based humor. I found it rather ho-hum, and the humor forced, but at least it moved along at a good clip.

Most of all, it establishes that people still read comic books and still know about Superman in STAR TREK's time, so there's that!


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 04 December 2016 at 11:18am
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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 04 December 2016 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I found the plot of Shuttlepod One badly thought out, is it actually properly explain why the Enterprise left a small shuttle with limited supplies alone in the middle of space for days?

Heck apparently the Enterprise was only supposed to be away for twenty hours to rendezvous with some aliens.
At no point did Archer think when this took to long to go back to the shuttle and pick it up? (especially when they discovered the danger the micro singularities posed?)

At what point does it makes sense to extend a schedule of twenty hours into several days? Especially when you are unable to directly contact the other party and inform them about it? I am sure that goes against regulations.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 16 December 2016 at 11:45pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

*Aaaaaahhhhhhh!*


Finished the first season. A high level of suck, mixed with frustratingly tantalizing bits of goodness. If nothing else, watching the show has set off the dominos in my head regarding what a proper TOS prequel would be like. Time and again, though, ENTERPRISE has numbed me with its constant missed opportunities, incredible blandness, and sheer boringness. You'd think that with the subject matter--Earth's first real foray into deep-space exploration--that the show would have a lot of forward momentum and excitement to it. 

But, no. Tedium, regurgitated concepts, and weak plots and characters.



Looking forward to the second season!
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Jozef Brandt
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Posted: 20 December 2016 at 3:19am | IP Logged | 9 post reply


I very much liked the *idea* of Enterprise, until two things happened:  As JB and others mentioned, we had a lumpy Klingon in the first episode. Secondly, they immediately introduced the "The Temporal Cold War" which was a completely unnecessary meta plot. 

All I wanted from Enterprise was to learn about how the Federation started.  What motivated all those different species to get together, and furthermore, why did they base themselves on Earth?  They didn't even get within sniffing distance of this plot until the very very very end of the series and I was long past caring.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 20 December 2016 at 3:59am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

That's pretty much it in a nutshell: Not, "Let's create the Federation, and here's it's first starship", but vice versa.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 December 2016 at 1:31am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

...making my way through the second season. Still a lot of boringness and nothingness going on. A few episodes have broken the mold and tried new things (such as "A Night in Sickbay" and "Singularity"), but I can't decide if those few outliers are refreshing or just differently terrible.

And, for f***'s sake, we even get an origin for friggin' RED ALERT--a.k.a. "Reed Alert", and/or "Tactical Alert"? Sigh.
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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 27 December 2016 at 2:31am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

And, for f***'s sake, we even get an origin for friggin' RED ALERT--a.k.a. "Reed Alert", and/or "Tactical Alert"? Sigh.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wait, serious?

That needed an origin story? I thought it was just something the planning people back on Earth had agreed on that would make a good alert status on board a ship.


Oh what did you think of "Regeneration"?
It is the most memorable stuff for me of that season even though in many ways it is a very stupid episode.


Edited by Marten van Wier on 27 December 2016 at 2:32am
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 December 2016 at 3:03am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Oh what did you think of "Regeneration"?
It is the most memorable stuff for me of that season even though in many ways it is a very stupid episode.
+++++++

Haven't gotten to it, yet.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 27 December 2016 at 4:02am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I don't know why, but the "let's all stand around and talking about naming things" scenes in any story or franchise always hurl me bodily out of the story, as all I can see is the writer jumping up and down in front of me, screaming, "Look at me! Look at me!!" 

"Reed Alert" was a particularly egregious example, as if the term "Red Alert" were invented on Star Trek, and therefore must have been concocted by a particular Star Trek character. "Let's see that scene!" Even without the dull thud of a pun they attempted, it is asinine to believe they would have a warning system in place and NOT have already named the various stages or would only just then be realizing they need a tactical alert system.  

For other painful examples of this trope, see also: Lots and lots of Moffet's "Doctor Who," where the Doctor, excuse me I mean, "Eyebrows" will stop in the middle of an imminent life or death crisis to argue over a new name for something with Clara, I mean, "Wide Face" or "The Impossible Girl" or "The Most Beautiful, Intelligent, Sassy, and Amazing Creature In All of Creation And I, Stephen Moffet, Came Up With Her, Don't Forget." 

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paul naring
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Posted: 27 December 2016 at 8:42am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

 It was the interaction between the leads that grated things for me. The Trip/T'pol romance would have been better just hanging in the air, did we learn nothing from Bruce Willis' Moonlighting? Trip himself was an annoying character. I would have preferred an all human team thus making Spocks role a little more significant 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 27 December 2016 at 9:39pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Enterprise was a cookie-cutter production from a writing team that was very, very tired and believed itself incapable of doing wrong. It had to match the other Star Trek franchise shows (while placing itself outside that sphere as well by disdaining the use of the name "Star Trek") with the same mix of boring Starfleet mannequins, smiley-faced aliens, hot chicks, holograms, Ferengi, & numbing, pendantic recitations of Moral Conflict (cue organ sting, or rather don't. The shows never did anything of the slightest interest musically...) 

I agree that one Vulcan alone aboard a ship full of humans would have made sense given the series' place in the timeline in relation to TOS. However, we must never forget that Berman despised Roddenberry's candy-colored shoot-'em-up show for kiddies from the 60's. He would only involve himself in much, MUCH more important stuff than that...

Really, really important boring stuff that lacked simple story-telling ability or any real drama whatsoever. The post-TOS TV Star Trek franchise was like an unending High School production put on by the most undeserving, over-praised amateurs imaginable, onscreen talent notwithstanding. 

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paul naring
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Posted: 28 December 2016 at 6:53am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Brian I'm not saying i wouldn't have kept Jolene Blalock just not the T'pol character, you need a little eye candy ;)
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Joe Boster
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Posted: 28 December 2016 at 10:14am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

OK putting this on as background noise at the store. Watched the 1st season when it came out and the 4th on DVD. recently tried to watch season 2 of DS9. It didn't take. Wacthing Bob Ross Paint is much more enjoyable. 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 28 December 2016 at 11:32am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

The thing about T'Pol that I really like and that I think came through in the role is that Jolene Blalock really was a Star Trek fan and wanted the show to be so much better than it was. She was notably disappointed in the premise and production of her series' final episode and did not shy away from saying so to the press. 

And watching Bob Ross paint is just plain fun.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 December 2016 at 3:58pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Yeah, you can sort of see her chomping at the bit for better material as she's performing onscreen. As the show is going on, I can see the writers (primarily Berman and Braga, who have either a story or script credit for virtually every episode) trying to give her some things to do and some tortured backstory, so she doesn't just come off as T'Its. 

I give Blalock a lot of credit for trying. It's not her fault. And I still can't believe that godawful haircut she had in the earliest episodes. Like a butch version of the classic Spock bowl-cut. I totally dug her look in the "Mirror, Darkly" two-parter, though--where she got to wear her hair long and down. It gave her a proper, elfish look to match her performance. 


The idea of the character is interesting (a Vulcan "spy" aboard Earth's first long-range ship), and Blalock gave it an honest try, but, in the end, T'Pol still comes off as Seven of Nine Lite--sex-appeal in a catsuit who spouts exposition/technobabble. Sigh.

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 28 December 2016 at 5:18pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Her initial premise, that of a possibly treacherous alien on-ship whose loyalties lay elsewhere, was undone in the pilot, when she declared she supported Archer and his mission, in spite of what the High Council had asked of her. For her to have taken time to come around to this point of view would have meant that Archer didn't instantly command the love of his people, and well, he does, right? Of course he does...

In much the same way, the dramatic tension of having a ship full of unqualified, space-farming terrorists aboard Voyager was undone in the pilot when Janeway ordered that all crew would wear Starfleet standard uniforms and were expected to adhere to Starfleet protocol. No one dared speak out against her because she is Janeway, she who is all that and a bag of isolinear chips. No one said, "We're colonists, not military personnel, and literally yesterday I'd have been happy to blow this ship out from under you. I'd do it today if it weren't my only ride home. Now screw this Starfleet 'heading home at space-normal speed' crap and get us the hell out of the Delta Quadrant! I've got kids back home and I'd like to see them again before they're octogenarians!" Janeway's too badass and spit & polish to have put up with it, see, so no one dared try... Oooo...

Both shows immediately undercut the possibility of insurrection because the Captain is the Captain, a good, strong, beloved leader whom one could never rise up against. The shows were sold to the networks and to the audiences as having these built-in elements of suspense and drama, but wussed out on day one, because allowing for those elements made their pet Captain characters look weak.

As for how T'Pol turned out, that was just awful... I'd have happier if they could have had her remain as aloof, detached, and capable as Seven throughout. Instead, they made her a desperate, emotionally clingy junkie with mental issues after getting space-raped by a pon-farring Vulcan sex predator with a synaptic STD. After that she was nothing but one half of a moronic romance with Trip, the interminable Scotty-wannabe whose line readings were like those of a 78 rpm Howdy Doody record played at 33 1/3... Man, that show was hard to take.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 December 2016 at 5:33pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

...."Vanishing Point". Ye gods--here we had a nice opportunity to explore the problems and phobias surrounding the early usage of transporter technology, or at least to get into Hoshi's character, and instead we get...a tired retread of TNG's "The Next Phase". Oh, wait, nope, it all just turned out to be a dream.

Oh, and Hoshi is the one who first used "beam" as a verb, in-universe, because Let's Explain EVERYTHING.

Sigh.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 28 December 2016 at 5:39pm
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 29 December 2016 at 5:55am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Joe Boster: " Wacthing Bob Ross Paint is much more enjoyable."

Consider the implications... "We'll just put a little Romulan in right here. He's a happy little Romulan..."
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Joe Boster
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Posted: 29 December 2016 at 10:39am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Made it through the first 14 episodes. Stupid, stupid Temporal Cold war. But yes in general I felt  like I was watching TNG where the names had been changed to protect the innocent. The insider jokes and people taking their shirts off for no real reason is High. It reminded me a lot of Arrow in not a good way. 

I can't really comment too much on the plot because I didn't watch enough of any one episode. I remember my son laughing at T'Pol's assets in Archer's face part, but I wasn't quite sure why they were there. Like TNG watch the first 10 minutes and the last 10 and you have the whole story because what happens in the middle didn't really matter. 

Well I have a comic store to rearrange, Episode 15... Engage.... er Warp Factor 4! 

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Joe Boster
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Posted: 29 December 2016 at 10:48am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

"Here we have a nice little shack. It for mister Klingon so we don't need any windows. It's by the lake, look at the happy trees reflected in the lake.
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