TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by TheGodBen, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    ohmigod, ohmigod , ohmigod

    :guffaw::guffaw::guffaw::guffaw::guffaw:

    Yes. It would be awesome. I can't actually breath anymore, because I'm laughing so much. Best post ever. No, seriously. It's so... my god... it's brilliant.
     
  2. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I love this thread so much. :D

    I won't go into detail on TATV as I've done it before so many times. I'll just say I agree with your review and be done with it. I do feel that the episode could have been better by not being the series finale, by not linking up with The Pegasus poorly, and by not having Trip die in that stupid way.
     
  3. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Careful now, my ego is already inflated to breaking point. :shifty:


    DEAR INTERNET,

    Season 4 Review

    The final season of Enterprise, the year when the show finally found the direction it should have been pointing in from the beginning. So, it's my favourite season of the show, right? No.

    [​IMG]

    Let's get the important bit out of the way first, the average score I gave to this season was 5.273, which is a bit more than season 1 but substantially lower than season 3. I felt there was two dry spells during the season; Awakening/Kir'Shara/Daedalus and Divergence/Bound/IAMD Part 1. Luckily both of these dry spells were short, but they were enough to hold the season back. The trend-line for this season does trend down slightly, but if you discount TATV it trends slightly up, so the real message of that line is that the season was fairly consistent. This is the third highest season of Trek I have reviewed so far coming just ahead of VOY season 4.

    [​IMG]

    I don't like the look of this graph. Seriously, look at the top of those blue bars, they're covering the thin white line rather than stopping before them. It's because I'm using the beta of Office 2010, and if they don't fix this in the final release there's no way I'm paying money for it! :klingon:

    This graph seems fairly easy to understand, there's two bell curves, one is centred around 3 and the other somewhere around 7. Much like the better seasons of Voyager, this season doesn't have many middling episodes, just episodes I thought were bad or which I thought were good. Unfortunately there was no 10s this season and one 0, but the overall score was still positive due to all the 7s and 8s I awarded.

    Nine episodes this season were below average, one was average and twelve were above average.
    Best episode: Affliction
    Worst episode: Bound


    The Writers

    Two new writers this season, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and they not only wrote all their episodes together, they also have an irritatingly long name which even when shortened still manages to stretch the left-hand margin of the graph. :(

    [​IMG]

    The Reeves-Stevens won this season by writing five episodes and scoring an average of 6.6. My good pal Mike Sussman wrote the most episodes this season, a total of seven with an average score of 6.429. Coto is next, and somehow he recovered from Storm Front and Bound to score an average score of 5 from his six episodes. Next is Bormanis who was so distracted by the pleasing feminine form that his average score dipped down to 4.667 out of his three episodes. (I'm a bit upset that I've just started this recurring joke about André Bormanis being a ladies man at the point where I'm about to go review a different show. :() But the losers this season are Berman and Braga with only one episode to their name, and if the majority of people on this forum have any choice in the matter they'll be going to Hell for writing it.

    I'm saving the overall average scores for the series review because it will fit in better there, so I'll leave you to guess how it will turn out. Will B&B have a positive score overall? Will our good friend Mike Sussman make his way to the top of the heap? Will Manny Coto suffer for making me live through Bound? All will be revealed...

    (Spoiler: Yes, no, and not really.)


    What Would TheGodBen Do?

    The year is 2004. Berman and Braga fall back to lick their wounds and Manny Coto takes magic mushrooms and wakes up married to a Hungarian transvestite named Steve (because Steve is a popular Hungarian name). In this power-vacuum only one man is considered good enough to get this show back on track, but unfortunately he's very expensive so the studio hires me instead because I'm very cheap. What would I have done differently?

    I'd kill off Trip and I'd centre the show on Riker's holodeck adventures. Duh! :p

    I enjoyed the direction this season took but I found too many of the episodes underwhelming, so the general idea for most of the episodes would be the same I'd just try to do them better. Take the United trilogy as an example; it had two very good episodes and then a majorly disappointing ending with The Aenar. That was an episode which screamed out to have an epic confrontation involving the allied fleet, but instead we got a very standard battle that wouldn't have been out of place in season 2. That episode should have ended with a small fleet of alliance ships on one side with a small fleet of Romulan ships on the other side. It's a hugely tense moment, this could be the outbreak of the Romulan War, all it would take is one captain on either side to have an itchy trigger-finger. In the end the Romulans back down because it's not in their interests to go to war, but the humiliation they suffered that day strengthens their resolve to break this alliance and take revenge upon Earth.

    There you have it, the set-up for the Earth-Romulan war. I think that would have been much better than Aenars talking telepathically and whatnot.

    I'd have launched Columbia much sooner, probably directly after the Augment arc, because it's about time that Earth actually had a fleet out there if they're about to go tangling with the Romulans. I'd also announce that the next NX class ship, the NX-03 Benterprise, is only a year away due to the experience gained while building the first two. I'd even go so far as to say that the NX-04 DefiBent will be ready to launch 6 months after that due to the United Earth government's realisation that they needed to pump more resources into the fleet in the aftermath of the Xindi attack.

    Bringing in Section 31 is fine by me, I love the concept of a covert ops group turning their backs on the principles they claim to be protecting, but I feel that Enterprise missed the opportunity to show the origins of this organisation. My idea is this: The colony in the Alpha Centuri system is humanity's largest outside the Sol system with a population of 50-100m people, and it is also vital to Earth and Starfleet because dilithium has been discovered there, which will be vital for the construction of the warp 7 ships currently on the drawing-board. For some reason the colony wishes to secede from Earth's control, but Earth, and Starfleet in particular, cannot allow this because they need the dilithium which does not naturally occur in the Sol system. Some Admirals in Starfleet meet in a dark office and hatch some sort of plan to prevent Centauran secession, and they bring it to the UE president in a secret meeting, pointing out that Article 14, Section 31 of the Starfleet charter allows such an action to take place. The President sanctions the action, which I feel is important because it gives Section 31 a certain legitimacy that they don't have if they're only a group of Starfleet Intelligence operatives gone rogue.

    I'd even go further than all that and make sure that future story arcs show that this small but growing group in Starfleet (Reed gets recruited at some point in the show) is instrumental in the formation of the Federation. Without Section 31 there wouldn't even be a Federation (influencing regime change on Andoria, for example) and the galaxy would be in turmoil, which means that the Federation was founded on a lie. But is it better to live in a galaxy which is fractured or a galaxy which is united by such shady dealings? There's potential here for morality questions which go above and beyond what the Dominion War or Xindi arc was capable of because it is redefining our understanding of the entire Star Trek universe.


    Statistics

    Disappearing Aliens: 30 +1
    Archer Abuse: 37 +10
    Captain Redshirt: 39 +9
    Transporter: 26 +14
    Nipples Ahoy!: 21 +5

    That alien one is interesting because it seems the only new aliens this season were the Na'Khul from Storm Front, an alien race introduced by B&B in season 3 but named in season 4. The only other new aliens I can think of are the unnamed ones from TATV, also a B&B creation. If Manny Coto has done one thing this season it is showing that Enterprise didn't need all these new aliens which showed up in the first three seasons, it was possible to tell good stories using elements and races which we already know about.


    In Summation

    The final season of Enterprise is bitter-sweet, not only because it was taking the show in the right direction and then cancelled, but also because it wasn't quite living up to its promise. The arc format was a good idea, especially since the show had just finished a season-long arc, but sometimes that led to padding of episodes because they didn't have enough material to fill three episodes, or the final part of an arc failed to live up the the promise shown in previous episodes. I don't feel that this season was as good as many here do, but overall I did enjoy it, and it is a great pity that the show didn't get a fifth season to work out these issues while continuing to move in the right direction.
     
  4. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    I think that this is what was most upsetting. This show had found it's footing in the last two seasons and I believe season 5-7 would have really showcased some great Star Trek stories and of course, the Romulan War. So, I think it was a big mistake to end the show. Also, with three more seasons that were more like 3&4, the franchise would have been much stronger (ENT) than it stands now. I really think people might have given ENT a second chance if it had continued on the course that seasons 3&4 had put it on. Oh, well. Just makes me enjoy the ENT relaunch books even more.
     
  5. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Of course he is. ;)

    I especially loved this bit here ... :lol:

    Great TATV review, by the way.
     
  6. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks for that. :techman: If bumping Jaespol's weird catsuit thread wasn't enough evidence then the "Kira had a fat ass" comment was a dead givaway. :lol:
     
  7. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hmm, probably not in my top 5. :p

    I do agree with the rest of your summation though. For me, season 3 was where ENT peaked, it's just a shame that it did so with a season-long arc that seemed to have no relevance to the original premise of the series.

    Season 4 definately had the show turning in the right direction. It was hit and miss, but I really appreciated the effort. It's a shame that a lot of it wasn't in season 1.
     
  8. You_Guyz

    You_Guyz Commander

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    What on earth is everyone talking about?
    Jaespol seemed like a great guy, hating GodBen's reviews and loving catsuits! I'm sure he's not the only Trek fan in existence to have those things in common.

    Crazy coincidences happen!

    Bye...
     
  9. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Merely giving credit where it's deserved. I could bitch about how you gave a problematic episode like Terra Prime such a good score (with previous superior ones getting low scores), but bitching is a tough job.
     
  10. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    I can't believe that Jaespol is back.

    And a terrific review thread, GB, even if I've been quieter than on the VGR one, mostly because of my lack of fondness for ENT.

    (Also, hi NCC-1701. :) )
     
  11. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "Masks" wasn't Riker-centric. We needed a seventh season Riker and/or Troi-centric episode where they had a problem they could discuss at the holodeck. Also good.

    The more I think about it the more I'm convinced that given those rather specific parameters Pegasus is the most logical choice, which I guess makes one question the logic of the parameters to begin with (especially for those who would rather that the ENT finale focus on the ENT crew. Crazy folks.)

    Not only that, but it's a show where for whole seasons J. Michael Straczynski writes every. Single. Episode.

    The graphs just won't be the same.
     
  12. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Maybe they could have used Eye of the Beholder. Large parts of it were All a Dream...
     
  13. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No no no no no. Worf/Troi. NEVER HAPPENED.

    ...which is actually also a vibe you get from "These Are The Voyages"; some romantic sparks during a period Troi was apparently going to pursue the Klingon guy. Huh. There's a new angle for your 'this doesn't feel right' criticisms, people!
     
  14. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I believe in coincidences, coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidences. ;)

    Tell me about it. :shifty:


    Star Trek Enterprise Review

    On September 5th 2009, history was made; it was my 8,608th day of living. There's no significance to that number, I just believe that every day of my continued existence is historic. :p It was also the day when I watched Broken Bow and started my rewatch of Enterprise, almost five months ago, and I never would have guessed back then that the whole thing would have proved less popular than my rewatch of Voyager. Because of my lower viewing figures the mods tried to send me back to the Voyager forum to review that show again, but instead I have decided to leave the Star Trek section of the board and perform a new review thread in the Sci-fi and Fantasy forum. Sadly, my contract means that I'll have to leave the loveable characters I've created behind, so there'll be no more Mike Sussman or Masturbating Bormanis, but I do get $32m, which I believe is worth roughly €3.47 once I account for the exchange rate, shipping, customs, and all that sort of thing.

    So, did the rewatch give me a more favourable opinion of Enterprise, or did I see more flaws this time around? Here's the graph for the ratings I gave to each episode of the show:

    [​IMG]

    Out of 97 episodes (I count Broken Bow as 1 episode), the average score I gave Enterprise was 5.206, which is slightly above average and means that I like Enterprise just a little bit more than I dislike Voyager. It's not a great score, but it is still a positive score, and considering how miserly I am when it comes to handing out review scores that's not a bad result at all. The graph above is quite clear: season 1 hovered around the average line, season 2 sank below it for a long time, season 3 climbed far above it and season 4 almost went back to season 1 levels. The trend-line shows a slight increase in my review scores, but that's not surprising considering the fact that the averages of seasons 3 & 4 were higher than seasons 1 & 2.

    (An interesting thing to note: Every season premier saw a drop in score on the previous season finale, although season 3 only saw a small drop. This is similar to what happened in my reviews of Voyager.)

    [​IMG]

    One of the surprising things about this show compared to Voyager is that with Voyager the average score of 5 was the most numerous, whereas in Enterprise the scores spike around 3, 6 & 7 with a noticeable drop in scores at 4 & 5. Enterprise was like the two best seasons of Voyager in this regard, because seasons 1 & 4 of Voyager also had this sort of pattern of good or bad episodes with very few average ones in the middle. I'm very curious as to whether DS9 will follow this pattern as well or if it will be closer to Voyager's, but I guess I'll have to wait a little longer to find that out.

    I rated 38 episodes below average, 9 were average, and 50 were above average.


    Top and Bottom 10 Episodes


    97. Extinction
    96. Precious Cargo
    95. Bound
    94. Acquisition
    93. Marauders
    92. Terra Nova
    91. These Are The Voyages...
    90. Dawn
    89. A Night in Sickbay
    88. North Star
    ...
    10. Cold Station 12
    9. Regeneration
    8. Anomaly
    7. Countdown
    6. Shuttlepod One
    5. Affliction
    4. Azati Prime
    3. Cogenitor
    2. Twilight
    1. Damage


    The Writers

    It started with a joke. Archer and T'Pol were tied up and when they fell down Archer had a soft bosomy landing, an image I found so juvenile that I took the piss out of Mike Sussman for being credited with writing it. The embarrassment of realising that he has an account on this board and there was a small possibility he was reading the thread led me to 5-star all his subsequent episodes with bogus reviews. Back in season 1 I felt he and Phyllis Strong were slightly below average writers so I was masking his poor reviews with the bogus ones, but the joke was on me because in season 2 he got better, and in seasons 3 & 4 he did fantastically, so the guy I used to pick on ended up being the guy I was rooting for. He was the Little Engine that Could. :)

    The tale of Mike Sussman is one of struggling against increasing adversity. He and Strong worked hard and they were the only two good writers during the poor second season, but they still had a lot of work to do to overtake front-runner (and sexy beast) André Bormanis. In season 3 he wrote the excellent Twilight, but he was beaten by his former writing-partner's Damage, and she won the season. But since he wrote more episodes he overtook Strong in the overall leaderboard, and even overtook Bormanis, only to find that the newcomer, Manny Coto, has beaten him to the top spot. In season 4 he fought valiantly again and managed to overtake Coto! Only to find that the new newcomers had beaten him again, and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens take the top spot as Enterprise's best writers.

    [​IMG]

    Mike Sussman: The Little Engine that Couldn't. :(

    Seriously, I feel bad for the guy. His score of 5.952 outdid all the writers on Voyager, but the Reeves-Stevens came in at the last second with a score of 6.6. Maybe he can take some comfort from the fact that he was involved in writing more teleplays on the show than anybody else, that's deserving of an award, surely! Next in line is Phyllis strong with 5.583, then Coto with a score of 5.545, and Fred Dekker from season 1 keeps his score of 5.333. Next is B&B who are above average but below the series average with a score of 5.118, and pimp daddy Bormanis ends the show with an average score of 5. The bottom four are unchanged, Chris Black: 4.923, John Shiban: 4.8, The Jacquemettons: 4.667 and David A Goodman: 4.


    The Characters

    I thought I'd give my final impressions on each of the main characters... since that's the format of this thing.

    Archer: He is the gazelle in his own much-ridiculed speech. In the first two years he is a naive fool that cocks things up and is a general nuisance, and I don't know if that was the plan so that we could see his rise to greatness, or if it was just something that happened and the writers decided to roll with it. He wants to be an action hero like Kirk, but he lacks the charm that allowed me to forgive Kirk for all the stupid things he did. He lacked the presence of a Picard or a Sisko. But I loved his characterisation in season 3, he stepped up to the plate and did the sorts of things that Kirk and Picard would balk at doing, and Janeway would only do because of her split-personality issues. Season 4 found a good balance between these two positions, and I liked that Archer went from being an explorer into being a diplomat. He'll never be my favourite Star Trek captain, but I do respect him.

    T'Pol: She can be very grating in the early episodes, but what I enjoyed about this character in the rewatch is realising that she's not a typical Vulcan like Spock and Tuvok, she seems to be rebelling against her culture and experimenting with emotions up until the reawakening of Vulcan society in season 4. Her drug addiction story in season 3 was very well handled and I loved that it was dealt with in a non-judgemental way. It is upsetting that so much of her character's time was wasted with the romance plot in the later seasons because I would have enjoyed seeing her continue her journey without that distraction.

    Trip: I know some people love him, I just think that he's okay. He never came across to me as a particularly intelligent character, and the brain farts of Brannon Braga in Shuttlepod One and TATV make me wonder how this guy became an engineer with no college education or an understanding or basic maths. The most annoying thing about his character was how he sometimes took over the show and allowed the minor characters to languish, and the romance plot I complained about above didn't help.

    Phlox: I like Phlox, he's probably my favourite character. He's weird, but he also has a serious side, and he always has something interesting to say about family matters, especially considering the complicated family arrangement he has. I wish we had seen more of Phlox's family, a visit to Denobula would have been great, but I guess they probably couldn't afford to hire that many guest actors for one episode. ;)

    Reed: He's my second choice, I like him because I can identify more with him than any of the other cast members. I wasn't always happy with the way that the writers sometimes seemed to judge his cynical nature, the writers didn't seem to understand the cynic's inner happiness; we're always either proven right or pleasantly surprised. So I liked Reed, although I do wish they had the balls to make him gay just so that Star Trek could have finally crossed that barrier and be as relevant as shows from 1992.

    Hoshi: I like Hoshi, she's very nice to look at. :drool: She also has other characteristics but I'm not sure what they are because I'm usually too busy looking at her. Only kidding, I like Hoshi's personality too, but she was so under-utilised that she almost seems like a one-trick pony; the nervous, young, female ensign. She needed further development for me to get a real grasp of the character, as it is I liked what I saw but she was hardly a reason to watch the show.

    Travis: I wont mince words, Travis is a failed character. There's nothing wrong with the show having a failed character, The West Wing had the failed character of Mandy Hampton, and nuBSG had Boxey, the difference is that both of those shows did the noble thing and removed the failed characters (Boxey's scenes kept being left on the cutting room floor so the writers decided to stop writing for him). But for some reason the producers on Enterprise didn't feel they could remove a character they clearly had no interest in writing for, and as such most scenes that involved Travis felt awkward. Sadly, I know from personal experience that if your dog is sick and you are unable to make him better it is in the best interest of the dog, and yourself, to put him down. It is hard, but it is necessary. Killing off Travis in an emotional death scene would have been the best thing to ever happen to his character, we'd all remember him as the guy who died tragically/heroically rather than as the joke he is now.
    It worked for Dualla on BSG; she wasn't any more use to the writers after her marriage to Lee fell apart, so they gave her a dramatic suicide scene and now I remember her for that rather than the half-season where she was a non-entity.


    Final Statistics

    Disappearing Aliens: 30
    Archer Abuse: 37
    Captain Redshirt: 39
    Transporter: 26
    Nipples Ahoy!: 21

    Season 1 Average: 5.16
    Season 2 Average: 4.615
    Season 3 Average: 5.833
    Season 4 Average: 5.273

    Overall Average: 5.206

    Voyager Average After 4 Seasons: 4.914
    Voyager Overall Average: 4.875

    Rankings: ENT > VOY


    Final Judgement

    So, has my impression of Enterprise changed over the course of this rewatch? Not really, no. I still think that seasons 1 and 4 are okay, I still feel that season 2 was weak, and I still feel that season 3 was great. I've gleaned new insights into the characters of Archer and T'Pol, and I feel this show is more enjoyable if you've watched TOS beforehand (especially season 4), but my overall judgement is the same. It's not the greatest Star Trek series but it's good enough and certainly not worthy of all the flak it gets. Enterprise is a good show. Just about.

    To all the people reading, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I'll think about it for the rest of the time I spend writing this post. All I ask of you is one thing: please be cynical. I love cynicism, it's my favourite quality because it proves you've been paying attention to life. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, and most of us don't even get close. Those of us that do normally get it yanked away from us again, making the pain all the more bitter. If you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will fail to happen. Just ask Mike Sussman.

    And this bird you cannot chaaaaaaaaaange! :cool:

    The End.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  15. MikeSussman

    MikeSussman Writer-Producer Premium Member

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    Me, I'm inclined to agree with what the former host of 'The Tonight Show' said about cynicism on Friday --

    "All I ask of you, especially young people . . . is one thing. Please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen." - Conan O'Brien
     
  16. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Are you real?

    Love Seeker by the way. Did Denna really die?
     
  17. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Very nice. Are you being replaced by an ego-driven monster that is poorer at reviewing than you, but whom the top brass are certain will bring in the thread views? :eek: Oh well, I'll follow bravely over to Fox- erm, the B5 thread. Will you be guesting on Jammer's Reviews to give your side of things?

    And a Mike Sussman sighting! Well done for some fab episodes of Trek over the years. You did some really nifty stuff on ENT. :)
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :eek: Oh my gods, Mike Sussman?! I'm actually blushing. :alienblush:
    This is as embarrassing as the time in high school when I performed an impression of my English teacher only to find that he was standing behind me. These things actually do happen.

    I would thank you for all the episodes you wrote which I enjoyed, but I'm a bitter and empty person and it's just not in my nature. But I will say that you posting in this thread makes this is the second best day of my life. The best day goes to my sole sexual experience, so I guess you could say that you were screwed out of the top spot again.

    (I'm healing my embarrassment with humour. Sorry. I'll go now. :alienblush:)
     
  19. You_Guyz

    You_Guyz Commander

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    I agree, no one wants to be like GodBen :D
    He was also totally overharsh on most of your scripts, AS USUAL!

    Oh and GodBen, Voyager was still a more enjoyable show if not necessarily better but then I think it has the advantage of being a 90s trek show with all the 90s trek trimmings.

    By the way, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA SPOILER!
    I had already seen that episode thank goodness but you really shouldn't have given away an open spoiler like that.
     
  20. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A fair point. And, honestly, it was obvious to me that Dualla was a wasted character they'd dropped the ball on so I mainly recall her as the weak link in... uh... a certain romantic clusterfuck. There, not spoilery at all. What they did to her made sense, but it was also a bit of a cheap shock value thing.

    Maybe the best solution for Travis would have just to promote him to an offscreen job, like they got rid of Beverly Crusher. It doesn't expect the audience to care and it removes the dead weight.

    The problem with getting rid of Travis was, of course, Enterprise would be without a black character. And that wouldn't do, surely.