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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 November 2017 at 9:19pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I look at Memory Alpha's trivia after I watch each episode.Remember, though, I've already seen most-if-not-all of these episodes. That being said, it's been a very long time since I've seen some of them, to the point where I've forgotten how some episodes end. Which makes the rewatching process more exciting!

Edited by Greg Kirkman on 20 November 2017 at 9:19pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 21 November 2017 at 1:31am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

"The High Ground".


A so-so episode that doesn't really have a strong message, aside from terrorism being bad. Maybe not even that, since it's said that the 2024 reunification of Ireland was--will be?--achieved via terrorism. Reading up on the trivia, it seems that none of the writing staff were happy with this one, and Melinda Snodgrass was particularly upset that her Revolutionary War parallel was forcible rewritten to reflect the terrorism of the IRA.

On the plus side, the sequence with the terrorists attacking the Enterprise-D is quite good, and we get one of those "If we're not going to make it, then there's something I need to tell y--" moments with Crusher and Picard.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 November 2017 at 12:35am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

"Deja Q".



This is a heck of a fun episode. The jokes start flying as soon as Q appears, and the humor really works. Juxtaposing Q (immortal-turned-human) and Data (android-wanting-to-be-human) was an inspired story idea, and it also works really well. 

Not much else to say about this one, except that it is the source of the oft-used "Picard facepalm" meme.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 22 November 2017 at 6:51pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

"The High Ground"

Probably the most remarkable thing about this episode is the discussion between Picard and Data about the effectiveness of terrorism   From what I remember, Data comes to the conclusion that terrorism actually does work!   It's a very odd stance for STAR TREK which generally preaches peaceful diplomacy and non-violent solutions -- or at least keeps the application of force a last resort.   It's an interesting contrast to the DIE HARD approach (starring Picard!) of "Enemy Mine" a few season later.

With most of the TNG writing and production being USA it's quite understandable those involved may not have been completely familiar with the sensitive politics of Ireland, and thus cause offence or actually encourage more violance.  It's easy to take a nonchalant viewpoint when this type of violent activity isn't happening in your back yard or on a daily basis close to you.  Just think if the "The High Ground" had been written a decade later...


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 23 November 2017 at 5:23pm
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 22 November 2017 at 9:10pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

This was the beginning of an infuriatingly asinine period in the history of Trek's writer's room. Aside from the unforgivable insensitivity of the 2024 Ireland crack, they would soon be bubbling over with enthusiasm over conflict-inducing Ensign Ro who had terrorism in her past & future and would begin giggling themselves silly over the Maquis, who, after all, were just like US, simple farming folk, so we could all see how they'd take up arms and start murdering people, right? For political reasons, of course.Tom Riker would join the good fight on the side of the Maquis. Kira Nerys was a former (?) terrorist. Odo was kind of in on it. Why, half the crew of Voyager would just as soon have blown the ship to hell and back if it weren't their only ride home. Well, for an episode or two they were like that, anyway. Then, y'know, Janeway's inherent splendidness just kind of won them all over. 'Cause she's so spiffy. The parallels to Palestine and Israel were flying fast and furious on DS9...

It was a little like Stephen Moffat's whole trip with "Have you hugged a murdering, emotionally-troubled psychopath today? Psychopaths are soooooo interesting!! Much better than actual people."

Except on a much larger scale. This was the start of the period where I flat-out hated the Trek franchise and all the happy, giggling little terrorist-huggers who wanted us to really stop and think for a minute about how, really, terrorism could be a beautiful, super-productive thing...


Edited by Brian Hague on 22 November 2017 at 9:14pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 November 2017 at 10:34pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I can't help but wonder if that was basically the response to Roddenberry's utopian future and strict edicts regarding no conflict between the characters.

Sort of how the fans-turned-pro took over the comic industry, and things quickly went grim and gritty.


Nowadays, of course, we've shifted to grim and stupid.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 November 2017 at 12:27am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

"A Matter of Perspective".



A clever little courtroom story/murder mystery, with the STAR TREK-ish hook of the characters being able to see "live" performances (via holodeck) of what would ordinarily be depicted as flashbacks. The final reveal of whodunnit is dependent upon technobabble, but I think the holodeck angle makes it work much better than it would have through expository dialogue alone. "Show, don't tell", and all that jazz. All in all, the script is clever and well-conceived, but the actual execution feels lacking.

The great Mark Margolis guest-stars, and he has another TREK connection, in that his role of BREAKING BAD/BETTER CALL SAUL's Hector Salamanca (who is wheelchair-bound, mute, and communicates via ringing a bell for "yes" and "no") was directly inspired by the crippled Captain Pike in "The Menagerie".


...and, this episode is the source of the oft-used "Riker facepalm" meme.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 23 November 2017 at 12:59am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

This was the beginning of an infuriatingly asinine period in the history of Trek's writer's room. Aside from the unforgivable insensitivity of the 2024 Ireland crack, they would soon be bubbling over with enthusiasm over conflict-inducing Ensign Ro who had terrorism in her past & future and would begin giggling themselves silly over the Maquis, who, after all, were just like US, simple farming folk, so we could all see how they'd take up arms and start murdering people, right? For political reasons, of course.Tom Riker would join the good fight on the side of the Maquis. Kira Nerys was a former (?) terrorist. Odo was kind of in on it. Why, half the crew of Voyager would just as soon have blown the ship to hell and back if it weren't their only ride home. Well, for an episode or two they were like that, anyway. Then, y'know, Janeway's inherent splendidness just kind of won them all over. 'Cause she's so spiffy. The parallels to Palestine and Israel were flying fast and furious on DS9...

----

The Maquis never really bothered me. Yeah, they had some parallels to the PLO, but the Cardassians were clearly Nazis, which made the Bajorans post-WWII Jews. Which is to say there was never any clear analog for the Maquis, so I didn't feel they were saying one thing or another about real-world terrorism. But the Cardassians were definitely Nazis.

It's clear that starting with DS9, the writers and producers kept wanting to find ways to break out of Roddenberry's "No conflict among Starfleet crew" rule:

DS9: Not everyone is Starfleet, so there'll be conflict.
Voyager: The Maquis aren't really Starfleet officers, so there'll be conflict.
Enterprise: T'Pol/The MACOs aren't part of Starfleet, so there'll be conflict.

And with the exception of a few story arcs, the promise of a conflicted crew were not kept.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 23 November 2017 at 11:14am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I love those memes so much. 

Edited by Brian Miller on 23 November 2017 at 11:15am
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 23 November 2017 at 5:27pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

The great Mark Margolis guest-stars, and he has another TREK connection, in that his role of BREAKING BAD/BETTER CALL SAUL's Hector Salamanca (who is wheelchair-bound, mute, and communicates via ringing a bell for "yes" and "no") was directly inspired by the crippled Captain Pike in "The Menagerie".

Now that I wasn't aware of at all.  That's awesome!
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