Friday, May 22, 2015

Star Trek VGR Episode 6 - The Cloud

"The crew enter a nebula to collect samples before realizing it is a living organism, and not before doing it an injury."

Classic Star Trek plot in which they find some sort of creature floating in space. Not too much going on here. Neelix has taken over as the ships chef (to save power on replicators) and morale officer. Kim and Harry go into the holodeck to a French whore house?? and meet a famous pool player. Chakotay helps Janeway discover her animal guide, a gecko. This is the first that I realized that Chakotay was a Native American. That is cool. It would have also been interesting if they made him a "Native American" from the planet in which Kirk became Kirok. Plus if their so concerned about power, then why are they wasting energy using the holodeck?

So after taking Voyager through the nebula, they discover that it was actually a living being and that they have injured it. So they bring the ship back inside and seal the wound using the ships engines as an energy beam. They fix the creature but use up precious power. Neelix knows of a planet nearby that they may be able to get some energy from, so the episode ends with them heading out.

Also, the guy that owns the junkyard on Breaking Bad is in this episode.

6 down 166 to go

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Star Trek VGR Episode 5 - Phage

"An organ-harvesting species known as the Vidiians steal Neelix's lungs, leaving him to die."

I enjoyed this episode. In fact, so far I sort of liked all of the episodes. It does have that old Star Trek basic feel to it, they fly around and go to a planet. The characters are not great, but some are interesting at least. Mainly Neelix and the Doctor. Janeway is just ok, Kim seems like a nice guy in the vain of LaForge and Kes is friggin adorable ... in fact I think this actress is great. I'm still not big on Torres, Chakotay and Paris ... but that is fine, I never warmed to Kira or Dax on DS9 either.

As mentioned above, Neelix goes to explore a planet with Paris and ends up getting his lungs stolen. The Doctor gives him holographic lungs to keep him alive, but he can never again move. Janeway and crew go to the planet and find a sophisticated structure and medical equipment that trumps what Starfleet has. Voyager suddenly sees a ship fly away and they pursue it. The track the ship to an asteroid belt where it hides. Voyager uses a cool trick to find the ship. They shine lights into the asteroid belt and it reflects off the metal of the ship. Janeway immediately has the aliens taken aboard Voyager.

They are called the Vidiians and they are an intelligent, artistic and sophisticated race ... however a pathogen has been destroying them (called the Phage). It eats away at their flesh and organs. They can only survive by harvesting others organs. Janeway is horrified and she is tempted to kill them in order to retrieve Neelix's lungs from them. However, she refuses to stoop that low. The Vidiians are grateful and offer to use their sophisticated medical equipment to save Neelix. They do a lung transplant from Kes to Neelix. Saving Neelix! ....but how the hell is Kes still alive? I seriously have no idea.

The Doctor is funny in this one. The Vidiians scan him and they remark that it is strange that he is "not really here", to which the Doctor replies "I wish I wasn't". It's the best character, a witty, annoyed and miserable hologram???

5 down 167 to go

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Star Trek VGR Episode 4 - Time and Again

"Investigating a planet just devastated by a polaric explosion, Janeway and Paris are engulfed by a subspace fracture and transported in time to before the accident."

The episode starts with Paris trying to get Harry Kim to go on a double date. It's very "Three's Company". All we need his Harry to bite his fist. He declines anyway because he has a wife and kids. Paris tells him to forget about his wife because she will not wait for him to return anyway. What a dick.

Kes than has a psychic vision of an entire planet burning and everyone dying. They do indeed detect a giant explosion on a nearby planet. An away team of Janeway, Paris and others go to the planet and see that it is devastated. There are energy anomalies everywhere and they get stuck in one, it brings them a few days in the past. They see the civilization as it was, they are pre-warp and use power plants. They discover terrorists that plan to blow up the power plants (which they assume is what causes the explosion).

Meanwhile on Voyager Kes psychically sees that Janeway and crew are in the past. Torres, Harry and Kes go to the burned-out planet and find an anomaly and try to open it with a warp generator. In the past, Janeway and Paris have been wrapped up in the terrorist plot, they try to prevent it but discover that the explosion is actually caused by Torres opening up the rift! Janeway closes the anomaly rift before Torres opens it and suddenly they are sent back to the beginning of the episode. Paris and Kim are discussing going on the double date. Janet overhears them but misinterprets it as they are going on a date with each other... Kes realizes that the planet is safe. They have avoided the destruction, at least for now ... the terrorists still exist. They can't interfere however because of the Prime Directive. One of the people on the planet is played by Joel Polis, who was the rival bar owner Gary from Cheers!

4 down 168 to go

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Star Trek VGR Episode 3 - Parallax

"Voyager is trapped in a quantum singularity's event horizon, and Captain Janeway must decide between Lt. Carey  and former Maquis B'Elanna Torres to be the new chief engineer."

Janeway has trouble buying into Torres as chief engineer. She is a hothead and Janeway has an order of rank to abide by. The union would have a field day with this one! New first officer Chakotay stands by her abilities however.

The ship has been stuck in this quantum singularity. They try to travel to a nearby planet but end up back at the beginning of the singularity (also they physically went back to the point in time that they first reached the singularity). They must find their original entrance point and exit through it. Finally they find the point but it has shrunk. Janeway and Torres take a shuttlecraft to the point and they succeed in expanding it. Janeway also sees that Torres is the right choice for Chief Engineer. They go to turn the shuttlecraft around and they see TWO Voyager's! One is the "current" one and the other is the "past" one. Janeway makes an educated guess at which one to return to. She guesses right.

Meanwhile the Doctor is shrinking. His program needs some repairs. This plot has nothing to do with anything, but damn the Doctor is a fun character.

3 down 169 to go

Friday, May 15, 2015

Star Trek VGR Episode 2 - Caretaker pt. 2

Tuvok figures out that The Caretaker is dying. They confront The Caretaker about sending them back home. He reveals that his intention was to kidnap people from all over the place in order to run his Array when he was gone. With this plan not going to happen, The Caretaker now intends to destroy the Array so that it doesn't fall into the Kazon's hands. If the Array is destroyed, then Voyager will not get back home. The Kazon now begin trying to take over the Array (this is weird because previously the Kazon seemed to be desert people who barely had water and food, now they have spaceships??). Voyager and the Marquis begin fighting to protect the Array. Chakotay decides to kamikaze his ship into the Kazon ship, which is awesome and insane. They beam him out at the last second.

With the Kazon stopped. Janeway and Tuvok go to see The Caretaker. He slowly dies. Janeway now has to make a decision...use the Array to go home or respect The Caretakers wishes and destroy it, effectively trapping them 70 years from the Alpha Quadrant. She decides to destroy the Array. Flat-out, wrong decision. Even Tuvok said that interfering is a breach of the Prime Directive. Granted it would most likely mean doom for the Ocampa but still, I am not on board with this. Kirk would have figured out a way to do both, get home AND destroy the Array. Also, I remember a TNG episode in which they ended up light years away from home and they were able to get back rather quickly somehow (not sure if Q helped though). At the end Janeway gives a pep talk. She says that sure it will take 70 years to get back, but she is optimistic that they will find technology, a wormhole or a race that can help them speed up the process. After all, they are completely in unknown territory so anything is possible. She also makes the Marquis officially part of Voyager.

So right there, the setup to Voyager has awesome possibilities. It harkens back to TOS in which everything was a new discovery. The writers could make up an entire new Universe. It can really be like TOS but with far better filming technology. The characters themselves are not great, but there are a few that already standout. The Doctor is a great character, although why they made the hologram have the personality of a 1980s stand-up comic I have no idea. Neelix is already cool. He is quirky like Quark but has already proven to be a thousand times braver. Tuvok is awesome and I love having a Vulcan back on a Starfleet crew. Janeway is just OK, tough but can be annoying...and that voice. Torres and Kim so far do not have any character development. It seemed like they made a big deal about Paris and then he was completely lame in this episode. Chakotay, at least in this episode, was badass. The ship itself looks cool, typical Star Trek looking. The opening sequence was beautiful, especially when it shows Voyager travelling over Saturn. Basically, I would say so far so good with Voyager.

2 down 170 to go

Star Trek VGR Episode 1 - Caretaker pt. 1

So begins Voyager. I was going to watch Insurrection first but it is not on Netflix so I don't have a good way to watch it right now. Therefore I will hold off until after Season 4 of Voyager (which is were it falls in the timeline). This is assuming that I don't have a nervous breakdown by then.

The episode begins with the crew getting together on DS9 and Janeway recruiting the former Starfleet Officer/former Marquis operative Tom Paris to assist in their new mission. The only crossover with DS9 however is a quick scene with Quark, they should have had Sisko show up at least. Voyager is tasked with finding a Marquis ship that went missing in the Badlands. The reason why this ship matters is that Tuvok is undercover on it. The leader of this ship is Marquis Mark ... I can't remember if I already used that joke. Anyway, his name is actually Chakotay and the other crewmember is the human/Klingon B'Elanna Torres. So suddenly Voyager is bombarded by an energy beam and they find themselves 70,000 light years from the Alpha Quadrant. Also, the same thing has happened to the Marquis ship.
Nearly the entire crew is killed, including the whole medical staff. They are now forced to use the Emergency Hologram Doctor. The crew is then brought upon a large structure called the Array by a being named The Caretaker. They are subject to experiments and exams. They also find out that crewmember Harry Kim and Torres have been taken to a nearby desert planet.

The Caretaker is from a race that has been keeping this planet functioning for a long time. He aids the original inhabitants known as the Ocampa (they live underground). There is also a race of top dwellers named the Kazon and they oppress the Ocampa. The crew is released from the Array and Voyager then meets a local space adventurer named Neelix and recruits him to help rescue Kim and Torres. He agrees, if they give him water. They all go the desert planet and Neelix gives the water to the Kazon in exchange for his girlfriend? named Kes, an Ocampa. Now they can use her to get underground to find the lost crewmembers. The Marquis and Voyager crews decide to join forces, because they basically have no other choice. An away team is sent and Kim and Torres are rescued.....

1 down 171 to go

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Star Trek Deep Space 9 - Final Thoughts

Wow, so I managed to finish another Star Trek series. DS9 took me a little over a year to complete, which is pretty quick considering TNG took me two full years. I desperately want to say that I enjoyed DS9 better than TNG, but this may just be me in the afterglow and in my heart I know that this isn't true. But! It is pretty damn close.

I did not consistently watch the show when it was originally on TV. I caught only episodes here and there. So this is the first time I had seen the series in its entirety. I was pleasantly surprised at how well written, well acted and well directed it was. The show always looked great, especially the space scenes ... they really nailed this down. While TOS and TNG had a bunch of great episodes, DS9 had a few phenomenal episodes. Mainly the ones in which Sisko goes to Earth as an alternate self. Now I'm not one for social commentary in my TV shows, I watch TV to get away from real life and not to be preached to, but DS9 did this so well that you can't help but get swept up in it.

The show knew exactly how to mix up the episodes. They would do a Worf plot and then follow it up with a Bashir plot and then follow that up with a comic relief Quark plot. They mixed it up so well that it never dragged (except that episode where Quark dresses like a woman ... get it? dragged?? whatever). I would say that even at it's worst, DS9 was average. That is saying a lot.

So now I have to watch Insurrection and then followed by the dreaded Voyager. I have been told by many people that I will not make it through Voyager. I will make it through, simply because at this point I have to. I barely watched any Voyager episodes when they originally aired and in fact I can't recall ever seeing reruns of this show either. Is it really as bad as everyone says?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Star Trek DS9 Episode 176 - What You Leave Behind pt. 2

So it continues. The visuals in this episode are amazing. The battle scenes between the Federation/Klingon/Romulan and the Jem'Hadar/Dominion/Breen (plus the Cardassians) are so cool looking. Think back to TOS, did you ever think you would see Starfleet forces ever combined with Romulans and Klingons? Excellent stuff.

Now thing begin to wind down. Odo meets up with the Founder and offers to cure her and all of the rest if they agree to end the war. She eventually agrees. Odo must now go back to the great link, forever. Garak heads to Cardassia to help them rebuild, he says goodbye to Bashir and doubts that they will ever meet again. The rest of the crew meet up at Vic's for the peace treaty signing. Suddenly Sisko feels that he must hurry up and leave. He is being drawn to the Bajoran fire caves, he says goodbye to Kassidy (who is pregnant).

At the caves, Dukat has been in a fight with Kai Wynn. She had poisoned "fake Dukat" but the Pah Wraiths brought him back to life and made him even more powerful. Sisko finally shows up but Wynn is dying, she tells Sisko to destroy that book thing. He does and suddenly Sisko is transported to the Celestial Temple where the Prophets tell him that he has finished his task. He must now rest with them. This could take years. Sisko visits Kassidy in a dream and tells her that he will return but doesn't know when.

Everyone says their final goodbyes. Quark makes amends with Odo and Odo shares a sad moment with Kira before he leaves forever. O'Brien goes to teach at Starfleet Academy and Worf joins Martok as a Klingon ambassador.

There is a great montage at the end highlighting the relationships between all of the characters. The final scene is great, it shows Jake and Kira looking out one of the DS9 windows as the camera pans out into space. Beautiful. I didn't always get the Dominion plot, I didn't particularly like the prophet plot but I thought that this final episode as a whole was great.

176 down

Star Trek DS9 Episode 175 - What You Leave Behind pt. 1

The final two episodes! Amazing.

The Federation is about to embark on the big assault. O'Brien is thinking about leaving the station after the war. Bashir and Ezri are now an item. Kira, Damar and Garak are captured and sentenced to die by the Founder. But amazingly all of the Cardassians suddenly turn on the Dominion. Kira, Garak and Damar attack the command base. They kill the last Weyoun and capture the Founder. Sadly, not before she orders the massacre of every Cardassian. Thousands are killed and the Founder refuses to give up.... So far this is an excellent two part final episode. As much as the build up to this entire Jem'Hadar/Dominion thing was painful at times, well this is ending has been very entertaining.

175 down and 1 to go

Star Trek DS9 Episode 174 - The Dogs of War

"Sisko takes command of a new ship; Kira and Garak face a Dominion ambush on Cardassia."

Kira, Garak and Damar walk into a trap and end up having to hide out in Garak's "mothers" house. It is sort of funny because she continues to coddle him. Unfortunetly this is a big blow to the Cardassian rebellion as everyone now thinks that Damar is dead. The Jem'Hadar have taken major hits because of the combines forces of the Federation, it's allies and the Rebellion. The head Changeling calls for one final mass assault. Sisko anticipates this and calls for one final mass assault of his own.

Kira suggest they attack the Jem'Hadar which the three of them do and succeed. After this Damar reveals himself (not in that way) to the public and gets the rebellion going again.

Meanwhile the Grand Nagus is retiring and he offers his position to Quark. After learning that the Nagus has turned the Ferengi into civilized people, Quark becomes disgusted. He wonders how anyone can live in a world where the rich do not get richer and an employer can't demand sex from his employees (he actually does say this, it was pretty funny). Come to find out that it was all a misunderstanding and Rom was actually the one to become the new Grand Nagus.

174 down and 2 to go