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Talon87 08-18-2010 10:00 PM

Discovering Star Trek
It seems like Zora has successfully sparked a new generation's interest in Star Trek. I didn't want to keep the OT going on in the What Movies Have You Seen Recently thread, so I figured I should post a different thread for those of us who wanted to keep talking Star Trek.

Jeri seemed very moved by "The Inner Light," one of TNG's most famously touching episodes. As a stalwart fan of DS9, I thought it'd be only proper to show him what DS9 has to offer him:

"The Visitor" (click here) is a tearjerker story of a father and son. Much like "The Inner Light," this is an episode which doesn't really require any prior familiarity with the main characters of the TV show, so give it a look, Jeri & Others. Probably the best way to sum up this episode is this exchange between two of the characters:

"I'm not sure I could ever get over losing somebody like that ... right in front of my eyes."
"People do. Time passes, and they realize that the person they lost is really gone. And they heal."
"Is that what happened to you?"
"No. I suppose not."

Jerichi 08-18-2010 10:07 PM

I've been raised a Trekkie but being born after the cancellation of Next Gen, I haven't seen all of the series. I also only saw DS9 in passing (I was too young to remember plot points but did see a good bit of the series). However, I was quite familiar with Voyager and watched Enterprise during its original run.

I do love Star Trek though and think it's one of the best series ever created. Gene Roddenberry is an absolute genius and a pioneer.

Talon87 08-18-2010 10:12 PM

Sounds like Zora and I have some more episodes to recommend to you, then. Do me a favor and watch "The Visitor" first. I'd be interested to think how you feel it compares with "The Inner Light." Someone writes on Youtube of it:

"my fav episode - the first time I watched it I cried every single time Ben appeared"

He appears, like, five times in this episode. I hope that tells you how moving a lot of people found this episode to be.

PiccoloNamek 08-18-2010 10:27 PM

My next favorite episode after the inner light has to be "Sarek" from TNG. Patrick Stewart's performance during the mind meld scene is nothing short of a masterpiece. One of the best dramatic scenes in all of television history, IMO.


It absolutely brings me to tears every time I see it. ;_;

Talon87 08-27-2010 04:56 PM

DS9 - "Statistical Probabilities" - see this link for more info

I just watched this episode the other night for the first time in years. While its plot quality ranks squarely in the middle ground, neither great nor awful, the acting performances of the Institute patients -- especially Jack and Patrick -- are just phenomenally spot-on. Jack is especially interesting as he's a hybrid of many different psychiatric disorders, and yet the actor brings the character to life perfectly -- his performance brings out the quirks I'd expect to see in such a hybrid and omits the quirks I'd expect hybridization to quiet down or eliminate altogether.

ZoraJolteon 08-27-2010 05:01 PM

That's a stupid question.

Talon87 08-31-2010 09:25 PM

I didn't remember your reference, Zora, when first I read it. So I just bit my tongue, wondering "What the hell is he talking about?" lol :) Your Star Trek memory is far sharper than mine. That, or you've seen "Chrysalis" more recently than I had: the last time I'd seen it before last night would have been circa 2002. (Has it really been eight years!?)

Well, I saw "Chrysalis" the other night and was obviously blown away by the powerful sentimentality of the singing scene. I figured I'd share it here:

DS9 - "Chrysalis" - Do Re Mi

But while I'm at it, I figured I'd share some other classic scenes as well. The DS9 ones are from episodes I've seen very recently. The TNG ones and the one VOY one are just things Youtube recommended and which I thought would be totally worth it to share with the next generation of Star Trek fans reading this thread:

=Worf really does have the best lines=
DS9 - "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" - Death to the opposition!
DS9 - "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" - Find him and kill him!
TNG - "Qpid" - I am NOT a Merry Man!
TNG - "Qpid" - Worf dislikes Geordi's music
TNG - "Phantasms" - Data asks Worf to look after Spot

=Data's Poem=
TNG - Ode to Spot

=Voyager may have sucked, but Robert Picardo is amazing=
VOY - the EMH and Seven of Nine sing "You Are My Sunshine"

Amras.MG 08-31-2010 11:56 PM

Saw First Contact today. The only other Star Trek I've seen was the new JJ Abrams movie.

First Contact > Abrams reboot

I'm looking forward to seeing the actual tv show now haha

Talon87 09-01-2010 07:25 AM


Originally Posted by Amras.MG (Post 165568)
Saw First Contact today. The only other Star Trek I've seen was the new JJ Abrams movie.

First Contact > Abrams reboot

I'm looking forward to seeing the actual tv show now haha

Shrug. Each time I re-watch First Contact, I enjoy it less and less.

Spoiler: show
I really dislike the Borg as a plot device. "We're a nigh-on omnipotent, nigh-on omniscient race which could just so much as sneeze at you and you'd become infected by our nanoprobes. You show us a weapon we've never seen before and it's only good for one or two hits (phaser rifles); yet you show us a weapon we've seen countless times and we still succumb to it each and every time (photon torpedoes to the just-the-right "weak spot" of the cube under attack). We're so fearsome we should never lose: and yet, every single time, we do lose thanks to crazy deus ex machina."

I especially dislike First Contact's romantic subplot between the Borg Queen and Data. >_<

On a first or second viewing, the film is rife with cheesy one-liners which appeal to long-time fans of the franchise. But when you're watching the film for your third or tenth time, lines like "Assimilate this" are no longer amusing and are in fact downright aggravating. The film's script begins to read more like a teenager's fanfic and less like the TNG we came to know and love.

Part of the blame for the one-liners, I feel, is that the attitude towards a Star Trek movie is that every main character has to be thrown some bones. You don't see this in the television series. There are entire episodes devoid of characters as important as Will Riker or unimportant as Reginald Barclay and neither the viewers nor the actors suffer for it. After all, they break even in the end: for every episode low on Will Riker screentime, there's another which has an over-abundance of Will Riker. For every 30 episodes completely devoid of the minor character Barclay, there's one which stars the man. But in a film like First Contact, it seems like all of that seasonal balance is scrunched together into one two-hour setting. Every character has to have a memorable line or three. Every character has to be the hero who saves the day. And that actually hurts the magic of the storytelling more than it helps it.

That stated, it is one of the best Star Trek movies out there. (What does that tell you about Star Trek movies in general? -.-;; ) I mean, I own it, and the only other Star Trek movie I own is Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country. It's not like I go out and buy everything with the Star Trek name on it. First Contact was worth buying, as a Star Trek fan, to have in my collection. But a supreme story it is not. At least, not any more. Not in this fan's opinion. The jokes get old fast. As do Jonathan Frakes and emotion chip Data.

Talon87 09-01-2010 07:38 PM

How could I forget this!? Check out Red Letter Media's review of First Contact. He does a far more professional, precise, and entertaining critique of FC than I did. It's a must-see for anyone who's enjoyed this film. :)

empoleon dynamite 09-08-2011 07:46 PM

After watching another two episodes of Star Trek Voyager earlier (Flesh and Blood two-parter), I realise I’ve now watched every single episode of a Star Trek series :D I’m not including “Threshold” on that list though, since the writing was apparently so bad it was written out of continuity in future episodes. What I can say for Voyager though, is despite some of its poor casting I really liked how familial the crew where, and how defenceless they felt at times being the only Federation ship in the Delta Quadrant. There where some really awful characters, I found Chakotay and Harry Kim episodes unwatchable at times – but Seven and the EMH more than made up for that in my opinion. Looking back though I can’t help wondering if Tuvok was purged out of existence in the new timeline ;;

So this brings me onto my main reasoning for reviving this old thread, could anyone recommend a series to fill void? The original series and Enterprise are probably out of the question. I find the poor makeup and special effects pretty unwatchable in the former, and it just feels like they’re holding back in Enterprise. I love the The Next Gen cast, having watched 3 out of 4 of the TNG movies and some of the better episodes like “The Inner Light”. I’ve seen a lot of praise surrounding the Borg two-parter where Picard gets assimilated. I was thinking of shoehorning myself in with some of the better episodes and watching from a certain series onward. I’ve been saving myself from watching any DS9, hearing that’s one of the best series of them all. It’s weird, I always found that one the most uninteresting when I was younger.


Originally Posted by Amras.MG (Post 165568)
Saw First Contact today. The only other Star Trek I've seen was the new JJ Abrams movie.

First Contact > Abrams reboot

I'm looking forward to seeing the actual tv show now haha

To be honest, after recently watching Nemesis just a day after JJ’s trek I wholeheartedly think the reboot was the best thing that could've happened to Star Trek, and I’ll be really stoked to hear more about the sequel slated for 2012. The old era of Star Trek just wasn’t made for the 21st century, as proven by Nemesis and Enterprise. I did find Shinzon a more interesting villain than Nero though. I never got how his oil mining ship was able to destroy an entire fleet of vessels. Even if it was from over 100 years in the future, it’s still a mining ship. Besides that, I love how action packed it was for a trek film, and Quinto as Spock was awesome.

Lady Kuno 09-08-2011 07:53 PM

You haven't mentioned DS9. If you didn't watch it, go watch it. It's my favorite Star Trek for sure.

empoleon dynamite 09-08-2011 07:57 PM

From the beginning? Are there any particularly decent standalone eps you'd recommend? Looks like I'll have to torrent all of the eps, it's a real shame the only series that still air on UK TV are Voyager and Enterprise >>;

Lady Kuno 09-08-2011 08:01 PM

Unlike TNG, DS9 is something you have to watch all of because it has a huge story arc. That's why I like it more than the other Star Treks. These days I find it hard to get into shows with "every episode is a random thing" like Star Trek or Dr. Who (although I do watch Dr. Who it's just not the most amazing thing ever to me).

DaveTheFishGuy 09-08-2011 08:06 PM

DS9 is probably my favourite series. Watching Abrams' film a few years ago rekindled my interest in the franchise (having spent years watching Voyager/DS9 after school), and I promply came home and downloaded all of DS9. It was great, but like Kuno said you have to watch it all the way through due to the huge storyline nature of it, particularly the later series with the War.

Talon87 09-08-2011 09:50 PM


Originally Posted by empoleon dynamite (Post 267888)
So this brings me onto my main reasoning for reviving this old thread, could anyone recommend a series to fill void?

I think my recommendations / opinions are already clear to you if you've read through this thread. :) But to put it in brief:

1st place: Deep Space Nine
2nd place: The Next Generation
3rd place: The Original Series
4th place: Enterprise?
5th place: Voyager?

As for more details ... Not a spoiler. Just using tag to condense long post. =P

Spoiler: show
I'll agree with what others have said to you about watching the series in order: it's pretty much a must. In all senses. In the season-to-season sense. In the within-a-season sense. Even in the week-to-next-week sense, though this is pretty rare and usually limited to multi-parters. There are important psychological changes in certain major characters (notably Sisko and Dukat, especially Dukat). There are important sociopolitical changes for other characters (Worf, Martok, Damar). I didn't notice it so much when I was a teen because back then I watched DS9 either weekly (when it aired) or else nightly or in the evenings when re-runs ran in syndication on my local Fox station; but when I re-watched DS9 last summer on DVD, I watched many episodes back-to-back and watched the series pretty much daily without fail; and as a result, I noticed that there are a lot of throwbacks in later episodes to earlier episodes, even if these are only little lines like "I hear [character who featured in the episode two episodes ago] is doing alright on [planet that character was headed for] :)" or "It seems that [character we saw sent to jail a season ago] was among [current episode's villain]'s victims. :|" Things like that. Things you wouldn't necessarily catch if you were to watch the show spread out, let alone out of order.

I'll caution you like this: don't think you know the show until season premiere for Season 4. After three full seasons plus that season premiere, you'll be in a pretty good position to assess what the show is like and how you feel about it. But just like with The Next Generation (arguably the most critically-acclaimed and fan-acclaimed Trek of them all, even if it isn't my personal favorite), DS9 has weak opening seasons. They're not terribad. They're a hell of a lot stronger than the new Dr. Who imo (which I dropped halfway into Season 2 >_>; ). They're a hell of a lot better than Voyager as well. But the show Kuno and I and so many others love so dearly doesn't really get going until all the major players have been introduced (Dominion, Jem'hadar, Founders, etc, words I can safely post because you have no idea who or what these mean nor will you until they're pretty much right on your doorstep) and the ball gets rolling.

DS9 is also pretty epic, particularly in the vicinity of Season 4, because of what it does with the Khitomer Accords. And it only gets more epic from there. The term "epic" is sadly bandied about too readily these days and has lost all meaning, all power it once had to impress. But "epic" is truly the term which best describes seasons 4-7 of DS9, if not the entire seven-season package. (After all, Seasons 1-3 serve as a very important introduction. You can't just jump into a good epic. You've gotta have some backstory first.)

DaveTheFishGuy 09-08-2011 10:00 PM

Agreeing with Talon. DS9 really grows the beard around Season 4. The first three are good, but once the Dominion come in shit gets real.

Dukat is probably one of my favourite antagonists of any form of media. Ever.

Also I like Voyager, but then again I actually need to sit down and watch all of TNG. Never really watched TOS and didn't overly like Enterprise. Voyager's alright, but as I've said several times in TO I can condense the plot of about 75% of its episodes into one paragraph.

Loki 09-08-2011 10:12 PM

Ugh. I don't consider DS9 my least favorite Star Trek series, but I do have an animosity towards it because of how Paramount likely stole ideas from Babylon 5, which is in my opinion an overall better series.

While DS9 does have a big story plot, there's still a ton of "nothing happened" episodes that are merely minor character stories. It only really picks up around season 4, but I do suggest watching season 3 as well.

Talon87 09-11-2011 09:31 AM

Courtesy of a friend on Twitter ...

Slashdot reports, "HD transfer of ST:TNG to arrive this year?"
Slashdot's source here

I don't own an HDTV. When I visit my parents, I don't really see much of a difference between the old TV signals and what I see on HD other than a marginal increase in sharpness of resolution. But I'm a weirdo in the weirdos' minority. For most people, this should be great news. :)

Talon87 10-02-2011 07:55 PM

Bump. Wanted to see how far you were in DS9, emp, and whether you were enjoying it or not. Are you through Season 1 yet?

empoleon dynamite 10-02-2011 09:29 PM


I'm 15 episodes into the first season. At the moment the wormhole plot has really slowed down and my feelings are mixed. I think it's fallen into the same trap as most other Star Trek series I've watched in that every episode seems to be about some forehead of the week alien concluding with a clichéd plot twist (a convicted alien criminal being discovered innocent etc). It's not as bad as Voyager on that front though, in that I feel like all the characters are getting some development. I want to see some of these series-long arcs you've all been talking about though. Frankly, some of these episodes are just fillers and/or suck.

Onto characters, whilst I love Sisko, Dax, Quark and Odo, the rest of the main cast get on my nerves. Chief O'Brien was pretty much an uninteresting extra in TNG, why promote him to a regular in DS9? I cringe every time he rolls up his sleeves (making the 90's starfleet uniform look even more dated) and mentions the "Inertial dampers" or some other technobabble (which I've never seen such a high concentration of in any star trek series). Kira is whiney/annoying and doesn't have the sex appeal of Dax to make up for it. I thought I'd like Bashir, but his accent is kind of grating (coming from a british viewer) and he could never really fill the EMH's shoes - considering I hopped on this from VOY. I don't necessarily dislike Jake Sisko, but I can't help wondering why costume design outfitted a 14 year old boy in what looks like a toddler's onesie.

Looking back at my critisisms, I think most of it could be applied to any Star Trek series in its first season. I guess I'm kind of tired of the 90's space drama, or maybe DS9 isn't for me. I'll carry on with my run though, I have a feeling it'll start to pick up but right now I can't get into it.

Talon87 10-02-2011 10:10 PM

Season 1 is meh. (But DS9's meh makes other Star Trek's Season 1's look like super poopy meh by comparison. :lol: TNG Season 1 would kill to be as good as DS9 Season 1 was. And that's pretty sad. lol) Season 2 gets better but is still fillery / "alien of the week" kind of fare like you complained about. Things sort of kind of pick up in Season 3, but really you can only see this in hindsight, I think, because so much of the "things picking up" are whispers of the things that are yet to come, and to a vet those whispers are as loud as hollers but to you they're probably just going to be whispers that don't catch your attention or strike your fancy.

Make it to Season 4. Make it to the season opener to Season 4. Do that, and by the time you're there I think you'll be able to judge whether you've had enough or not. If you have, oh well. If you have not ... prepare for the four best Star Trek seasons ever.

Admittedly, though, Trek is a pretty episodic franchise by and large. DS9 is the least so (much to Paramount's chagrin), but even DS9 was made so that people could supposedly tune in and watch any week and not be lost. So a lot of the writing is going to feel like Ray Bradbury-esque sci-fi short stories. You'll find that in TOS, you'll find it in TNG, you'll find it in DS9 and VOY and ENT. All Star Trek has writing like that. But the entire {spoiler} in DS9 is one epic arc, with various subplots throughout.

Some other arcs you may have already reached, though I don't think so ... (spoiler tagged to condense)
Spoiler: show
  • the Grand Nagus / Ferenginar subplot. These episodes are sometimes some of the very best ones because the Ferengi are probably humanity's greatest foil in the squeaky-clean world of Star Trek. Each season, Quark will confront Brunt, a liquidator from the Ferengi Commerce Authority. (Think of him as a combination IRS, FBI kind of guy.)
  • Dax's Klingon escapades subplot. Curzon Dax, as ambassador to Qo'noS, the Klingon homeworld, made some lifelong friends. They show up again I wanna say in Season ... 2? And Dax's Klingon subplot will continue throughout the series from there.
  • Julian and Miles, the Odd Couple.™ Trek's favorite "we know they're actually both quite straight, but L-O-L do they make the best gay couple or what" pairing. Where you are in the series, I don't think Julian and Miles have even become friends yet. First, they'll have to really hate one another. :lol: Then you'll see where things go from there.
  • O'Brien Must Suffer episodes. Do a Google search for it, see how many hits you get. :lol: Try not to read anything just yet though. Part of the fun of each season is seeing the several O'Brien Must Suffer episodes. Poor man is built Ford tough™, he goes through so goddamned much. Quoting Wikipedia (and I don't think this gives too much away):

    The producers would routinely put O'Brien under intense psychological pressure in episodes jokingly dubbed 'O'Brien must suffer'. O'Brien was regularly chosen for such storylines because it was felt people could empathize with him
    So you say you don't care for him now. That's perfectly fine. Give him a chance to grow on you. By the end of the series, I really liked Miles. He may have been a nobody aboard the Enterprise, but on DS9 he was a real somebody. Not because of his occupation, but because of the character development he got.
I could list more stuff, but I think I'd begin to bridge the gap from "plot arcs" to "recurring themes, gags, or characters." The major plot arcs are the two/three things we can't tell you about or else we'd be spoilering you. ^^;

Everyone has their own preferences, but if it helps you any, here's my list of characters. It's as of the series finale, but it's only of characters you've seen (meaning any newcomers are omitted from the list entirely).

Garak >= Odo >= Sisko > O'Brien > Quark > Dukat > Dax = Bashir > Kira > Jake > Kai Winn

Put another way,
A-level: Garak, Odo, Sisko
B-level: O'Brien, Quark, Dukat
C-level: Dax, Bashir
D-level: Kira, Jake
F-level: Kai Winn

But everyone has their own lists. My roommate in college said Riker was his favorite character in TNG but my dad would often joke with me when I was a kid that Riker was the waste-of-space character in TNG :lol:, so it just goes to show how different tastes can be. I'm sure someone here thinks Kira is the greatest and thinks O'Brien is infuriating, but anyway, yeah, this would probably be my list.

Loki 10-02-2011 10:23 PM


Originally Posted by Talon87
Season 1 is meh. (But DS9's meh makes other Star Trek's Season 1's look like super poopy meh by comparison. TNG Season 1 would kill to be as good as DS9 Season 1 was. And that's pretty sad. lol)

lol. I find this hilarious because of this: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Babylon_5

I do agree that Garak is probably the best character on DS9 though.

The Morg 10-02-2011 11:30 PM

Ah, Talon, your pants won't be ready tomorrow. :<

Loki 10-07-2011 11:09 PM

They just added Star Trek Deep Space Nine to streaming on Netflix a few days ago. So if you want to speed through them without buying/renting/borrowing/swapping DVDs, you can stream it legally.

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