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Wiper
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I dunno, I think Voyager and Enterprise seem more dated than TNG. At least TNG has a consistent "made 20 years ago" feel about it. Voyager and, especially, Enterprise just feel like cheap sci-fi shows being churned out at a time when TV elsewhere was going through a renaissance.

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DS9 season 1-3 are very patchy, but some of the episodes lay down some very important ground work for later character arcs and story themes. You could jump on a S4 though.

Voyager was very patchy (and at times quiet shoddy/cheap!). It does get some bad press, which it deserved in it's later seasons, especially with it's neutering of the borg and magic reset button, but the early stuff isn't terrible.

It's biggest flaw is that as it generally ignored the setting of "one ship alone in the far retches of space", is that it basically just became TNG v2.0. And TV (and Trek via DS9) had evolved since then.

Voyager still has some marvelous standalone episodes though (most of the Doctor or Seven of Nine focused ones are generally a safe bet).

The most dating thing for me with Voy/Ent is there's some really obvious/ropey CGI effects later on. Almost "cartoonish" shots of voyager etc. DS9 never seemed to catch as much bad ship-based CGI (although the Changlings often looked rubbish!). Am I recalling correctly and Way of the Warrior was still model based? (Hell the Dominion fleet in a Call to Arms is still models isn't it?)

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It's biggest flaw is that as it generally ignored the setting of "one ship alone in the far retches of space", is that it basically just became TNG v2.0. And TV (and Trek via DS9) had evolved since then.

One of the original concepts for TOS was that the Enterprise (well, Yorktown) would be a ship stranded far away from 'civilised' space, trying to get back to what the writers later called the Federation. I can see why they rejected that idea early on.

Voyager might have been better if the 'stranded alone' concept had been junked towards the end, probably most ideally after DS9 had finished its run. Yes, it would've become TNG Lite more explicitly, but that would have been more honest, at least. Might've gotten the series out of its rut too; there's only so many 'failed return-home attempt of the week' episodes the average viewer can stand.

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Am I recalling correctly and Way of the Warrior was still model based? (Hell the Dominion fleet in a Call to Arms is still models isn't it?)

You are recalling correctly about Way of the Warrior. Call To Arms? The Dominion fleet is model shots with some CG compositing, while Starfleet's armada at the end is almost all CG. If you can get hold of the Deep Space Nine Companion, do so. It's one of the best books about the making of a television series I've ever read. Covers all eps in all seven seasons. Ridiculously comprehensive stuff.

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Coincidentally I watched A Call To Arms last night and it looked like nearly all model work. The Federation armada is very distant (and is about 100 ships) so it'd make sense that it was CG. Though there was a slightly earlier episode set aboard a Klingon Bird of Prey that looked more CGI (but quite good with it). It was probably models, actually.

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So, after a couple of morning's catching up with ST:TNG I today watched the "Message In A Bottle" episode of Voyager.

Overall I enjoyed it but I can't help but feel they wasted the premise somewhat. After discovering an ancient alien sensor array - one that stretches all the way to the Alpha Quadrant - Voyager catches sight of a Federation ship. Attempts to contact it fail until, with only seconds to spare they send the EMH to the other ship, in order that he make Starfleet aware of Voyager's survival in the Delta Quadrant.

Once there however the Dr finds himself on a new, experimental starship that has been hijacked by Romulans. What could have been "Die Hard Voyager : Yippe Kay Ay Robert Picardo" instead becomes something much, much worse as first, Andy Dick is introduced as the EMH Mark II and then second as large parts of the episode are concerned with B'Elanna teaching Seven of Nine not to be rude.

Nothing of real consequence happens apart from "comedy" bickering between the two holograms and then "comedy" panic as they try and pilot the new ship.

The episode only comes together in the last few moments when the Dr is returned to Voyager and reveals that he completed his mission - Starfleet is aware of them now and they are no longer alone. A surprisngly emotional end to a fairly boring episode.

Overall, 5 Talaxians out of 10.

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So, after a couple of morning's catching up with ST:TNG I today watched the "Message In A Bottle" episode of Voyager.

Overall I enjoyed it but I can't help but feel they wasted the premise somewhat. After discovering an ancient alien sensor array - one that stretches all the way to the Alpha Quadrant - Voyager catches sight of a Federation ship. Attempts to contact it fail until, with only seconds to spare they send the EMH to the other ship, in order that he make Starfleet aware of Voyager's survival in the Delta Quadrant.

Once there however the Dr finds himself on a new, experimental starship that has been hijacked by Romulans. What could have been "Die Hard Voyager : Yippe Kay Ay Robert Picardo" instead becomes something much, much worse as first, Andy Dick is introduced as the EMH Mark II and then second as large parts of the episode are concerned with B'Elanna teaching Seven of Nine not to be rude.

Nothing of real consequence happens apart from "comedy" bickering between the two holograms and then "comedy" panic as they try and pilot the new ship.

The episode only comes together in the last few moments when the Dr is returned to Voyager and reveals that he completed his mission - Starfleet is aware of them now and they are no longer alone.

Overall, 5 Talaxians out of 10.

Ahh, I always loved Message in a Bottle. Yes it could have been a good action piece but they went for the comedy angle and I think it worked really well.

As a consequence, I watched last night TNG's Starship Mine which is actually Die Hard on a Ship and it holds up well and is quite enjoyable. Couple of points of note were that they go to great pains to have Picard avoid killing anyone directly but he actually kills a lot of people indirectly by either leaving them to die or taking the pin out of their proverbial grenade and waving goodbye to them. They should have just bitten the bullet and had him kill some people, TNG is actually quite tame compared to the blood shed they enjoyed on DS9.

Oh and once again the crew of the Enterprise, military officers are overwhelmed by a couple of people with guns. And yet again Data, this super fast potential killing machine looks gormlessly on for a few minutes whilst they are captured. See also Rascals (an enjoyable episode despite the premise) where the entire entire is taken over by what looks like 6 Ferengis and Worf after proving he can't hit squat with a phaser is taken down by a Ferengi. As for the rest of the security on the Enterprise, well you can only assume that actually the only security is Worf and a few guys and no one else in Star Fleet is trained in any kind of combat or military skills. Data once again proved absolutely useless in that episode. It doesn't help that Ferengi as bad guys are about as scary as some wet paper mache flung at you by a toddler.

Oh and final plot point about Starship Mine, at the end Picard uses his Star Fleet communicator to contact the Starbase but if he had a communicator at the start why didn't he just call for back up when the shit went down originally?

So, in the spirit of your post then, Starship Mine gets....

8 fat Rikers out of 10.

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Ahh, I always loved Message in a Bottle. Yes it could have been a good action piece but they went for the comedy angle and I think it worked really well.

As a consequence, I watched last night TNG's Starship Mine which is actually Die Hard on a Ship and it holds up well and is quite enjoyable. Couple of points of note were that they go to great pains to have Picard avoid killing anyone directly but he actually kills a lot of people indirectly by either leaving them to die or taking the pin out of their proverbial grenade and waving goodbye to them. They should have just bitten the bullet and had him kill some people, TNG is actually quite tame compared to the blood shed they enjoyed on DS9.

Oh and once again the crew of the Enterprise, military officers are overwhelmed by a couple of people with guns. And yet again Data, this super fast potential killing machine looks gormlessly on for a few minutes whilst they are captured. See also Rascals (an enjoyable episode despite the premise) where the entire entire is taken over by what looks like 6 Ferengis and Worf after proving he can't hit squat with a phaser is taken down by a Ferengi. As for the rest of the security on the Enterprise, well you can only assume that actually the only security is Worf and a few guys and no one else in Star Fleet is trained in any kind of combat or military skills. Data once again proved absolutely useless in that episode. It doesn't help that Ferengi as bad guys are about as scary as some wet paper mache flung at you by a toddler.

Oh and final plot point about Starship Mine, at the end Picard uses his Star Fleet communicator to contact the Starbase but if he had a communicator at the start why didn't he just call for back up when the shit went down originally?

So, in the spirit of your post then, Starship Mine gets....

8 fat Rikers out of 10.

Picard does shoot a man with a crossbow bolt in this episode though, which is astonishingly gritty by Star Trek standards.

Also, one of the aliens on the planet is Aaron Pierce the secret service man from 24

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Oh and once again the crew of the Enterprise, military officers are overwhelmed by a couple of people with guns. And yet again Data, this super fast potential killing machine looks gormlessly on for a few minutes whilst they are captured.

Ah, but he can't risk them panicking and shooting people who don't have a shiny metal ass.

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I recently watched TNG from beginning to end, having never really watched it when it first came out, and on the whole enjoyed it.

I did find it amusing though after they had the 'environmental' episode where some scientists gave their lives discovering that warp drive was damaging the universe, that every subsequent episode had to give some explanation or permission to go above warp factor 5.

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Picard does shoot a man with a crossbow bolt in this episode though, which is astonishingly gritty by Star Trek standards.

As I recall he shot the guy in the leg with a tranquilizer type thing and then made sure to mention he was still alive (whilst at the same time not caring that he'd left the guy to be horribly killed in the oncoming beam of death thing anyway). May as well have just shot and killed him if he was content to leave the guy to die anyway. I wanted him to use the blow torch to do some really damage. And at the end of the episode, the captain of the Enterprise gets his arse handed to him by a female thief... :doh:

At least they toughen up Picard in the films slightly (well, perhaps not Generations when he gets his arse handed to him again).

I recently watched TNG from beginning to end, having never really watched it when it first came out, and on the whole enjoyed it.

I did find it amusing though after they had the 'environmental' episode where some scientists gave their lives discovering that warp drive was damaging the universe, that every subsequent episode had to give some explanation or permission to go above warp factor 5.

Yeah, a bit of a daft decision that which is never referenced again is DS9, Voyager or the films.

Ah, but he can't risk them panicking and shooting people who don't have a shiny metal ass.

A perfectly plausible explanation if he hadn't just been standing there watching them shoot Geordie and kill another Star Fleet Officer in the opening gambits. Oh and then Riker takes one down later in the episode by Data makes no attempt to go for the other one at the same time.

Although in fairness, Data would break most stories since he is far better and stronger than everyone else. In chain of command the new captain needs the pilot with the best reflexes for a shuttle mission and this is apparently Riker (who hasn't been a pilot for years anyway by this point) instead of either an actual current pilot or a superfast and accurate android!

I only take the piss out of TNG because I love it so.

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I did find it amusing though after they had the 'environmental' episode where some scientists gave their lives discovering that warp drive was damaging the universe, that every subsequent episode had to give some explanation or permission to go above warp factor 5.

Well, it wouldn't have made sense to have that episode clearly put a limit on use of Warp, but then have them break it on a whim after.

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Yeah, a bit of a daft decision that which is never referenced again is DS9, Voyager or the films.

Officially, Voyager's engine was designed to avoid the problem (plus they were in another quadrant so wouldn't have cared). Yes, i'm sure it's a convenient work around the problem but still...

It's debatable if DS9 would ever have had to worry. The Defiant didn't arrive until after TNG finished, and Runabouts couldn't go that fast and had whimpy engines anyway.

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Well, it wouldn't have made sense to have that episode clearly put a limit on use of Warp, but then have them break it on a whim after.

The matter of consistency isn't a problem. It's literally the ham-fisted way Picard would inform everyone that prior to their emergency dash to planet alpha whatever, they had just received permission from starfleet control or that La Forge had fitted some kind of catalytic converter, presumably in an attempt to stop some viewers stroking their chin unnecessarily.

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At least they toughen up Picard in the films slightly (well, perhaps not Generations when he gets his arse handed to him again).

Picard's fighting skills are very rubber-band. He fared well against three Klingons when he was Worf's Jah-Deesh ( probably mangled that spelling ) and he knocked the crap out of three Nausicans when younger, to the extent that one thought it necessary to stab him to bring him down. So that's two of the universe's hardest races given a pasting, but then Soran punches him in the face in Generations and he flails his arms and shrieks like an old woman.

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Were there ever any episodes madee that focused on other members of the crew; like your regular Joe P. Ensign?

I always thought that the show should have featured more of the non-command crew, to properly give you a feel of how big the ships were. As it was the danger of the week only impacted those on the bridge until the abandon ship order was given then you'd get shot after shot of running kids and hundreds of extras.

I'd have liked an episode where we follow one or two guys on their regular day, totally unconnected to the events on the bridge who then end up saving the day somehow through their own actions.

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Were there ever any episodes madee that focused on other members of the crew; like your regular Joe P. Ensign?

There was an episode of TNG in, I think, the last season which featured some junior officers and their interactions with the command crew. It wasn't bad but all very earnest and had you rolling your eyes a bit in places ( "This mission is very dangerous. I cannot order you to do it" "Then I volunteer, sir!" ) and, obviously, was most interesting when focussing on the flaws and mistakes those characters had made and were making.

This was it, called Lower Decks.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708745/

[EDIT] Damn you, JohnC

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Lower Decks is excellent because you're going through their eyes too - the commands they're given seem pointless and even contradictory and they're asked to keep secrets within their social circle, putting a strain on their comradie. It's a very well-observed episode and a great example of Trek doing something that's actually a bit different.

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Yeah Lower Decks is a great episode.

The latest TNG I forced my wife to watch was "Second Chances". Absolutely superb episode about an identical copy of Riker being found on an old science station after he was unwittingly duplicated in a transporter incident. The wife loved it. TNG at its best.

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Yeah Lower Decks is a great episode.

The latest TNG I forced my wife to watch was "Second Chances". Absolutely superb episode about an identical copy of Riker being found on an old science station after he was unwittingly duplicated in a transporter incident. The wife loved it. TNG at its best.

Loved that one. It's also great when Thomas Riker crops up in DS9 as well. :D

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Yeah his DS9 episode is a classic too. I read yesterday that they initially planned to make much use of Tom Riker as the leader of the Maquis, but they faded into the background compared to the Dominion.

It's interesting that both DS9 and TNG spent some time setting up the Maquis to give some background to Voyager's crew, but the Maquis are miles more interesting in TNG and especially DS9. TNG's Pre-emptive Strike is one of my favourite eps.

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This morning's TNG episode is 'Tapestry', in which Picard dies at the start due to his mechanical heart being fused by an energy surge. Upon waking in the afterlife he is met by Q, who advises that he can offer him a chance to fix all his regrets. Picard is transported, Quantum Leap style back into his 21yr old body, back to his Academy days where he is only days away from the bar fight that sees him mortally stabbed in the heart. Can he make right his past mistakes without changing the timeline?

This was a great episode, focusing on Picard's life, revealing that he wasn't always so buttoned up. With each small change Picard makes - or rather each change he attempts to stop - he makes his future a little bit worse. The scene where the 50+ Picard is returned to the Enterprise and realises he's a 2nd Class Lieutenant is tragic. The Astrometric blue uniform really doesn't suit him.

It all comes to a nice resolution with Picard making peace with his past, plus we get to see the 50yr old Picard start the bar fight and get stabbed - and we see the reason why he laughed when looking at his own impalement.

9 Oh Boys out of 10.

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