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3,583 reviews

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hide and Q
Jack Anderson June 2, 2020, 12:06 ET

Q Part II
This episode marks the return of the Q character, which I must say I dislike very much. While I actually welcome this type of science-fiction, I did not like the result.

Another I particularly disliked was the scenes on the planet, with a set that looked exactly like from the 1960's. This is really a shame and should not happen in a series produced in the 80's. This is not good and will never look good.

VERDICT
I give it 4 out of 10. Average.


 
 
Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Battle
Jack Anderson June 2, 2020, 12:06 ET

Backstory
While I liked the backstory added to Picard, I didn't like the enemy. I find them way too bad to be true, in the similar vein as the Klingons. I don't know how they are called and I don't care.

VERDICT
I give the episode 4 out of 10. Average.


 
 
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Justice
Jack Anderson June 2, 2020, 12:06 ET

The Fuck Planet
Yes, you read it right, this episode could have been titled The Fuck Planet. The crew of the starship Enterprise beam down to a planet where everyone is basically spending their time engaging in physical contact. The episode is beyond suggestive to the point where we even question if the kids are doing it.

The episode is clearly ridiculous, with men wearing absurd costumes and the local police (aka mediators) wanting to kill Wesley because he messed up a couple of... flowers. But while the episode could have been really bad, I must admit I felt engaged in the story, perhaps because the story is extremely focused. Maybe the fact that we finally had some outside scenes for the very first time felt like a breath of fresh air too.

VERDICT
I give it 4 out of 10. Average.


 
 
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Lonely Among Us
Jack Anderson June 1, 2020, 12:06 ET

Sherlock holes
Most of the episode is quite bad. Not interesting, boring, at times ridiculous. It goes into too many directions, none of which was interesting.

But then (spoiler alert), everything changes when everyone finally discover that Captain Picard is actually the bad guy. I liked the ending a lot

VERDICT
I would have given the episode a classic 3 (bad), but the ending made me change my mind. I therefore give it 4 out of 10. Average.


 
 
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Where No One Has Gone Before
Jack Anderson June 1, 2020, 12:06 ET

Intelligent SciFi
I really liked this episode, which is, to me, without any single doubt the best episode of the series so far. And it wasn't really difficult, as we are only six episodes into the show and that most of the episodes were plain bad.
The science fiction in this episode was metaphorical and intelligent. That's the type of SciFi I love the most.
The first awesome thing was where the crew of the starship Enterprise travelled so fast that they ended up in another galaxy, more than 300 years of traveling away from their starting point.
Then, the strange thoughts from the crew were equally as interesting. Picard seeing his dead mother was quite a mesmerizing scene. "Maman?"

Also, the eerie music of this episode was interesting and supported the episode in a relatively good way, even though we only get synthesizers.

And for the first time since he appeared on screen, young Will Wheaton played in a good way – or at least not in a bad and too forced way.

The episode was directed by Rob Bowman, and I am not surprised to see his name, as he is a very talented director.

VERDICT
I give it 6 out of 10. Very good.


 
 
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint, Part 2
Jack Anderson June 1, 2020, 12:06 ET

Good
See review of episode 1.


 
 
Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Last Outpost
Jack Anderson June 1, 2020, 12:06 ET

Sun Tzu
The episode started off with an interesting Space face-off between two ships, and ended up with ridiculous scenes on a planet with sets as ridiculous as in the 1960's. How is it even possible to produce such awful sets 20 years after the original series?

Also, the first quote of Sun Tzu's The Art of War was pretty cool. But then the climax of the episode was built on Riker quoting Sun Tzu to the bad guy. What an awful ending.

Finally, why didn't they go to the battle bridge when confronted with an enemy ship?

I really do not like the beginning of this new series. But something is telling me the best is yet to come.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Code of Honor
Jack Anderson May 28, 2020, 12:05 ET

Boring
This episode feels like a bad episode from the original Star Trek series. I don't have much to say. Cheap sets, cheap story, cheap result. I really do not know if I'll have the courage to sit through close to 200 episodes of the series...

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Naked Now
Jack Anderson May 28, 2020, 12:05 ET

The drunk episode
Second episode and already, we can sense the immaturity of the writing. The series premiere was a messy and complex story, here, this is the exact opposite. The characters are infected with a strange disease and become erratic. One character becomes horny, another gets aggressive, etc.

This makes for pretty bad television and I don't have much to say except that Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory was right, Will Wheaton was quite a bad actor, at least as a child. And Patrick Stewart had a couple of awful acting moments in this episode. He seems not to know how to play comedy, at least in this episode.

And overall, the episode is just a pale copy of The Naked Time, an episode with the exact same story from The Original Series – the one where Sulu can be seen half naked holding a sword.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint, Part 1
Jack Anderson May 28, 2020, 12:05 ET

Engage!
"The compulsion to act was introduced to me by an English teacher when I was 12," actor Patrick Stewart said in an interview once. "I found it primarily a means of escape, of detaching myself from a difficult and at times unsafe life and going into a world of make-believe where the world was predictable."

A NEW CHAPTER
It is with this quote that I open a new chapter in my lengthy immature project of watching every Star Trek series and movies. After watching The Original Series, The Animated Series and the first four films, I now move forward to Star Trek: The Next Generation. The year is 1987 and Star Trek is back on the small screen, 18 years after the series finale from The Original Series aired on national TV after only three seasons. As you probably know by now if you read my reviews, is that the series only became a success when it moved to syndication, which led to a series of motion pictures with the original cast.

THE WRATH OF GENE
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was heavily involved in the first film, but some of his choices did not please Paramount, which slowly but surely put him on the side. Frustrated by this situation, Gene came back on the small screen with TNG. And yes, the man definitely has things to say!

JEAN-LUC PICARD
The opening of the series is fantastic. Truly fantastic. Jean-Luc Picard is an instant love. You cannot dislike the man. In many ways, he has similar traits with his predecessor, Captain James T. Kirk. He may not have the same sense of humor and may not wink as much, but he definitely has the ego and the sense of being the one in command. Patrick Stewart, a man with a passion for acting and for the theater, is showing his self. He is Picard. He talks loudly and care for the words and emotions. His gaze is straight and one can only be impressed by his intensity.

A NEW CHARACTER...
And one new character is actually exacerbating the feeling of intensity. The camera. After so many classic episodes from Star Trek, the camera is now a character and the director is not afraid to play with it. For instance, characters are filmed with close-ups that encompass the drama. I really liked this aspect.

SERIOUS
Back to the humor, we don't laugh in The Next Generation, or at least not in this series premiere. 18 years have passed and television series are not the same as they once were. 18 years have passed, but it could have been a century. The opening scene shows us that clearly. In only a few minutes, the new Captain is ordering his crew to go to the battle bridge. My jaw dropped, as the members moved onto another deck, that resembled the beloved and original deck from the first series. Soon after, the audience witnesses the starship dismantling into two separate ships, one for combat and one for the rest of the crew and their family. Epic is clearly the word. Technology has move forward tremendously and the technics of special effects along with it. We can now do things that were previously not possible. And it shows. Star Trek was ahead of its time, and time is now more inclined to provide the necessary tools to support the stories.

A MESSY STORY
Which brings me to the story. I did not like it. It started off great, with the ship being encircled with an energy field, but soon after, the story goes into so many directions that I could not even summarize it. Many new characters are introduced (I'll describe them in my next reviews), new places, elaborate metaphors, possible backstories, this is almost endless and, to me, felt overwhelming. I couldn't concentrate and the problem too is that the series finale lasts for an hour and a half. It makes for quite a messy series premiere, but one that shows that things will be possible.

So, let's see what's out there. Engage!

VERDICT
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.


 
 
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Jack Anderson May 27, 2020, 12:05 ET

Joyful!
MAGIC
Motion pictures is magic. A deeply fragile tiny universe of only two hours where it usually works or it doesn’t. The first Star Trek movie was trying very hard to be. The next installments felt better. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home feels right and from the very beginning.

CONTINUITY
First, one of the best elements from the beginning of the film is that the continuity is top notch. Every film starts where the previous left off and there is a strong sense of a big screen series. This is particularly relevant when watching it in 2020, an era filled with constant reboots or even reboots of reboots of reboots.

SAN FRANCISCO, 1986
The film cleverly takes us back in time, which actually is for us the present... well now it’s actually the past. Anyway, I just simply loved this simple idea. Many times before, episodes from Star Trek took the Enterprise crew back on Earth, but often at a different era. Here, we are in the present and it feels great. Watching the characters walk in the middle of San Francisco is just pure joy. Not only this, but it could easily have been a very, very bad film. They say that movies are created three times: once during the writing, once during the filming and once during the editing. This script, while great on the screen, could have been really horrible. Spock swimming with whales while wearing a headband?

HILARIOUS
Which brings me to how hilarious this movie is. This was pure gold. Kirk and Spock kicked out of a bus, Spock swimming with a whale, the movie is wildly fun and just a joy to watch. This shows the spectre of Star Trek, that can produce highly elaborated stories such as Star Trek: The Motion Picture (meta story), a classic revenge story (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn), a rescue mission (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) and now a time travel story. The franchise compared often to Star Wars may not have the same level of drama, but it can go in areas that Star Wars could not even engage. I just highly appreciate how the franchise was able to move onto the big screen with a serialized precision.

VERDICT
I give it 7 out of 10. Excellent!


 
 
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Jack Anderson May 26, 2020, 12:05 ET

Recapturing the magic
Our favorite crew from the United Federation of Planets is back in the aftermath of their previous adventure, which ended with what we thought was the death of Spock.
But Spock had been sent to the planet created by the Genisis project and came back to life, in the most extraordinary of ways.

CHEAP IS GOOD?
Directed by Leonard Nimoy himself, the film is in a similar vein as the previous two. But the magic of the shiny big screen is disappearing in favor of another magic, a better one. We are slowly but surely moving from top notch science fiction to more basic one, with classic villains.
But by lowering the SiFi quality, we actually get back to what Star Trek did best. I liked to see the crew down to a planet and having a good old adventure. This is the first time in three movies and it was about time.
As an example, Sulu and Kirk are having a small fight with security guards, like old time. Obviously this feels cheap, but hey, it feels good.
As usual with these types of movies, the main goal is to recapture the essence and the magic of the original material, while still moving forward and creating new out of the old.
In the end, this is the film that ressembles The Original Series the most, and in that sense, I must admit Leonard Nimoy pulled quite a thing here, knowing as well that it was his very first time behind the camera.

FINE, I’LL KILL YOU LATER
For the first time again since the movies started, we finally had the great chance to see Kirk in action. He kicks and screams and kills and I loved it entirely! Kirk is back being the center of the Universe and it feels like a breath of fresh air. Kirk loses a son and the Enterprise, and that gives him the ultimate purpose and reason to go at the bad guy. It’s more than enough for me, and it gives for great imagery.

SELF-DESTRUCT
After hinting at this possibility during the series, we now finally witnessed the destruction of the starship Enterprise. This was really unexpected and quite a feast to the eyes. This is exactly the type of things that the movies had to do. The shot of the crew on the planet, looking at the Enterprise disintegrating was simply wonderful. I am just concerned on what it means for the next installments of the feature series. But I leave that for my next review.

VERDICT

I found the movie actually good! Leonard Nimoy did a great job to recapture the original magic of the series and while this felt cheaper, it also felt damn good. I give it 5 out of 10. Good.


 
 
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Jack Anderson May 26, 2020, 12:05 ET

KAAAAAHN
(This review contains major spoilers).

HORNER
The movie starts in the stars with the original theme of the series. What a delight. What a relieve.
Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura and Chekov are back for a new adventure!
Composed by the late James Horner (Braveheart, Titanic),

KAHN
This movies does exactly the opposite of the first one. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, there was no clear enemy. The story was much inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey and its meta story. Here, we have our first real enemy made out of flesh. Kahn.
For those who haven’t seen The Original Series, Kahn is by far the most memorable enemy that appeared on the show. In episode S01E22, Space Seed, Kahn was the type of narcissist macho man that has a gigantic ego and just wants to see the world burns, as another villain would say.
Utilizing such a powerful character from The Original Series is both very clever and very basic at the same time. But the character would be an empty shell without a great performance from a great actor. Many actors would actually be quite ridiculous, but not Ricardo Montalban. The Mexican actor is playing the same way and it works very well.
Kahn waited for a very, very long time to get his revenge, best served cold… especially in Space, as he says himself.

KIRK
After three years of playing joyfully the glorious Captain of the Enterprise, William Shatner is now providing such a wonderful performance, in the vein of his work on the first film. The scene in which he confronts Kahn throughout the type of smartwatch (the mainstream Apple Watch would be released more than 30 years later) was terrific and one of the best scenes of the film. It became a known meme which I actually discovered before watching the film.
The only concern is that their confrontation never actually truly materialized. Kirk never got to face Kahn, except through telecommunications.

SPOCK
Spock can be seen evolving and being much more humane than in the first film, where he could be seen totally blocking every emotion.
And that’s the good thing about this film. You can see that they tried to bring back the feeling of camaraderie that vanished in the previous film and was so important in The Original Series. I would not go so far as to say that they succeeded, but this was definitely a move to the good direction.
The ending of the film is actually filled with emotions. Spock gives the ultimate sacrifice and I must admit I did not see it coming, one bit. And yes, I dropped a tear in front of our lost friend, who actually… I’ll leave that for my next review.

GRAVITAS
Once again, the second film is having quite a major budget – the first film was at the time the most expensive ever – which brings us scenes we never truly seen before. When the Enterprise is being hit, we don’t just see the crew jumping around, but we see the actual impacts, not only on the ship but on the crew itself. This added once again a sense of gravitas, which both serves and impairs the film. You’d wish for more jokes and light touch, which was the foundation of The Original Series.
But you cannot criticize the producers for having built a serious film on a serious topic.

MCCOY
I was glad to see that in this film, contrary to the previous one, McCoy actually had a role and a purpose. I liked this very much.

COSTUMES
The costumes from the previous film were really original and while many do not like them, I actually liked their real modern look. In Star Trek II, the costumes are actually more dated. But this is more of a personal preference.

VERDICT
The film can be summarized in one word: KAAAAAAAAHN! Who would have thought that the often cheesy and ridiculous TV series with low ratings from the 1960’s would become such a dramatic and big franchise. I give it 6 out of 10. Very good.


 
 
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Jack Anderson May 26, 2020, 12:05 ET

2273: A Space Odyssey
DIFFERENT
After religiously watching every single episode from The Original Series as well as The Animated Series, I finally got to watch Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Released in 1979, a full decade after the end of The Original Series, the film is quite different from the show, and this is the primary concern.

CAMARADERIE
One of the essential part of the series was the friendly camaraderie between the seven characters of the show. Kirk, McCoy and yes, even Spock would constantly play at each others, help each others in dire situations. All the seven main characters (including Scotty, Sulu, Uhura and Chekov) were a friendly family on the colorful home that was the starship Enterprise.

THIN AND SERIOUS KIRK
In this movie, the characters are back together, but they do not act the same way they used to. First, Captain Kirk, now admiral, is having a sense of gravitas that we rarely had seen with him. It seems the entire weight of the Universe lays on his shoulders. Perhaps it is the case, but it feels odds to see him that serious. At the same time, this new Kirk very serious, very thin and very focused is welcomed and I must admit I loved watching him on the big screen.

SPOCK
Spock is back to the roots. After having spent some time alone on Vulcan, he has lost touch with his emotions and I could enjoy that.

MCCOY
My biggest concern is without any doubt with Dr. McCoy. The story has literally no place for him in this film. He is totally useless and is there because he has to be. I was quite saddened by it and I think his character was clearly under-utilized.

A NEW THEME
Jerry Goldsmith is directing the music operations and that was quite a shock too. From the very first second – actually, a musical introduction with no images – the tone is set. We are in a big adventure on the big screen. Enough with the fun musical cues. This is big.
I liked the new theme he composed. Fun anecdote, the new theme almost didn't make the film, as he actually composed it to replace some music when Kirk discovers the refitted Enterprise. This worked very well in my opinion and, again, shows the scope of Star Trek, which brings me to the financial element.

THE MOST EXPENSIVE MOVIE TO DATE
Helped by the recent release of Star Wars, the studio went fully at it, hoping to replicate the surprising success of the the Space movie. Ironically, the movie was the most expensive movie to date, at $46 million, and therefore the first major movie based on a TV series.
And this can been in every frame. This was actually quite a shock to me, because the series was so cheap. By the third season, there were episodes with partial sets (the cowboy town with just random sets) or no sets at all (no more scenes outside). Costumes were often ridiculous and special effects rather poor.
Here, every frame is screaming money. The Enterprise, once a cozy home, has morphed into a gigantic beast that even the characters no longer recognize. The crew has different costumes, there are elevators everywhere, etc.
While this feels like a breath of fresh air, it is also a concern. Because we don't recognize anything. Therefore, the characters feel out of place. And since the story is not helping, this feels even more out of place. It's basically the same characters and the same set, but characters acting a different way (more serious) and in a set that has drastically changed (more serious as well).

NO JOKE
So, we don't laugh in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Oh, sure, there are a few scenes in which Admiral Kirk winks, but that's about it. In my view, there are not enough jokes. When you compare with the tone from Star Wars, this is night and day. But don't think this is unintentional. Which brings me to the story.

2273: A SPACE ODYSSEY
The story is very complex. There is not a simple evil character that wants to destroy the Enterprise. And in a way, this is very good. The story is quite original and has lots of resemblance with Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. And this was very good. This is not about characters fighting with laser swords. This is about exploring new worlds, as Kirk used to say.
So, this is both an upside and a downside. On one level, it's great and fascinating, but on the other, the movie drags itself and for some time you don't even know what you are watching.

LONG
And that is a major problem to me. I find the film to be way too long. Running at 132 minutes, I would have cut at least 20 minutes. For instance, when Kirk is discovering the new Enterprise, this scene lasts for so long I couldn't understand the point of not cutting it. Clearly a mistake if you ask me.

VERDICT
Now, I find myself in a dire situation. I need to rate this film. And this is quite a daunting task. It is so good and so bad at the same time that I cannot figure out which note to pick. Because of its flaws, I think I will go for a 5 out of 10. But this note will not tell the full story. This review, hopefully, does.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Counter-Clock Incident
Jack Anderson May 24, 2020, 12:05 ET

The curious case of the Enterprise crew
After an episode where the crew of the Enterprise was getting smaller (S01E11, The Terratin Incident), the crew is now getting younger. This is somewhat working and enjoyable to watch.

VERDICT
I give it 4 out of 10. Average.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth
Jack Anderson May 24, 2020, 12:05 ET

The giant serpent
The penultimate from the animated series is quite bad. I much preferred the very beginning of the series, where the episodes were not too much into pure science fiction and were more serious. Here, we get wild characters in pretty much each character. This time, a giant serpent. Right.

This shows how complex it is to make a great science fiction series.

VERDICT
I give it 2 out of 10. Very bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: Albatross
Jack Anderson May 24, 2020, 12:05 ET

The plague
Quite an uninteresting episode. Too many pure science-fiction creatures to me.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Practical Joker
Jack Anderson May 24, 2020, 12:05 ET

KIRK IS A JERK
An episode where everyone laughs... except the viewer. The episode is really silly and not funny and therefore quite bad. It simply doesn't work. At some point, Jim can be seen with the words "KIRK IS A JERK" on his back. Really immature.

VERDICT
I give it 2 out of 10. Very ad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: Bem
Jack Anderson May 24, 2020, 12:05 ET

Visually pleasing
For some unknown reason, I actually liked this episode. It actually felt very good to see an episode taking place mostly outside in a nice nature environment. That helped a lot the story. Visually better than usual, even though this is far from being top notch.

VERDICT
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Pirates of Orion
Jack Anderson May 24, 2020, 12:05 ET

Focused
A good episode that is quite focused and interesting.

VERDICT
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Jihad
Jack Anderson May 24, 2020, 12:05 ET

The odd A-Team
An episode with odd secondary characters join forces to... well I don't even know how to summarize it. All goes too fast. For instance, one character almost dies and gets saved and then wants to give up in about 10 seconds.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Eye of the Beholder
Jack Anderson May 24, 2020, 12:05 ET

Zoo
A messy episode with strange creatures from a kind of terraforming zoom. Not very interesting.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Slaver Weapon
Jack Anderson May 24, 2020, 12:05 ET

Space cats and guns
A very bad episode with big Space cats having some special guns. Why am I watching this in the first place?

VERDICT
I give it 2 out of 10. Very bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Ambergris Element
Jack Anderson May 24, 2020, 12:05 ET

Underwater
An episode taking place underwater. This wasn't such a bad idea, especially for the animated series, but the problem is that they transformed both Kirk and Spock into Aquaman-type men. This felt really stupid and over the top to me.

Also, the council scene was as bad as every single council scene I've seen in science fiction movies. The Matrix Reloaded, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, etc.

Oh, and how convenient to have a human sized fish tank in the Enterprise sick bay...

VERDICT
I give it 2 out of 10. Very bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Time Trap
Jack Anderson May 24, 2020, 12:05 ET

Decent
A decent episode with a small but not ridiculous story.

VERDICT
I give it 4 out of 10. Average.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Terratin Incident
Jack Anderson May 23, 2020, 12:05 ET

Honey, I shrunk the Enterprise
An average episode in which the crew of the Enterprise is getting smaller and smaller. Okay. Hence a small review.

VERDICT
I give it... a small 4. Average.


 
 
:
Jack Anderson May 23, 2020, 12:05 ET

Excellent
Uncharted 3 is an excellent game. I quite enjoyed the flashbacks and witnessing the first encounter between Nate and Sully.

The game is at times uneven. I must admit I’m bored quickly by the puzzles to solve. And I’m also quite bored by playing Tarzan and jumping on walls. Well, come to think of it, I only like shooting people. But the AI is not quite good and it’s mostly always the same.

Still, it’s clearly a great game on its own and the moment I liked the most was the scenes with all the boats. That was visually stunning.

VERDICT
I give it 7 out of 10. Excellent.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: Mudd's Passion
Jack Anderson May 23, 2020, 12:05 ET

Mudd Part III
After Uhura, this is now the time for Nurse Chapel to take the lead. Women have a more stronger role in the animated series than in the original one, where they were mostly just objects for Kirk to fall in love with.
I liked the story of this episode, because it was very simple and not too science-fiction.
Also, I liked seeing the return of Mudd, a character that appeared twice in the original series.

Unfortunately, the second part of the episode with the two creatures was really bad and out of context.
VERDICT
I give it 4 out of 10. Average.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: Once Upon a Planet
Jack Anderson May 23, 2020, 12:05 ET

Outsmarting a computer... again
I am not even sure what I have watched. This was a pretty bad episode that ended in the same way multiple Star Trek episodes ended, with Kirk outsmarting a computer who then either surrenders or self-destructs.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Magicks of Megas-tu
Jack Anderson May 23, 2020, 12:05 ET

Bad
I did not like this episode. It goes into too many directions. And the final judgement was really bad.

VERDICT
I give it 2 out of 10. Very bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Infinite Vulcan
Jack Anderson May 23, 2020, 12:05 ET

Plants
Plants. Pure sci-fi. Boring. Uninteresting.

VERDICT
I give it 2 out of 10. Very bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Survivor
Jack Anderson May 22, 2020, 12:05 ET

Great!
I really liked this episode! The story was great, just terrific! An alien takes the form of a man, but not just randomly, actually taking the form of a man when he crashed on a strange planet. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
It was carefully done and while the animation from the 1970's is not great, the story is.

VERDICT
I give it 6 out of 10. Very good.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles
Jack Anderson May 21, 2020, 12:05 ET

More troubles indeed
This episode is a sequel to "The Trouble With Tribbles" (S02E15), from the second season of Star Trek. Well, that first episode was extremely bad, so the sequel is unfortunately also very bad.
What is sad about it is that there are two stories in this episode. The one with the Klingons is very interesting and working well. But unfortunately, the infamous tribbles are ruining it.

VERDICT
I give it 2 out of 10. Very bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Lorelei Signal
Jack Anderson May 21, 2020, 12:05 ET

Lorelei, Lorelei
We are only four episodes into the series and already the animated show has learned from the mistakes of the original series. Once again, I have not seen a single ridiculous costume, which was unfortunately so regular in TOS (The Original Series). In a way, it's sad, because the original series could have been much better, but why should I complain when reviewing a series which is quite good?

At first, when I saw the young ladies from that episode, I thought they would fall for the crew and I was already looking elsewhere, but actually that wasn't the case. The young ladies were actually looking to suck the youth out of Kirk, Spock and McCoy, what an original and cool idea! I really loved it.

Also, since this is an animated series, you would really think that the characters became very old, something much more complex to do in the 1970's on TV.

Finally, Uhura taking charge of the Enterprise was just perfect and very well done.

VERDICT
I give it 6 out of 10. Very good. Yes, I persist and sign.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: One of Our Planets Is Missing
Jack Anderson May 21, 2020, 12:05 ET

Actually good
This series is actually not bad! This is the third episode, and there has not been a single character with ridiculous costumes. That's a major difference with the original series, but I'll need more episodes to get that confirmation.

Back to the episode, the story is very calm and equally interesting. Clearly an episode that would have been difficult to produce, budget-wise.

VERDICT
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: Yesteryear
Jack Anderson May 20, 2020, 12:05 ET

Very good and very fast
WHY?
A great episode, that makes me think why we did not get more episodes of Star Trek with personal mythology. When I look back at all the ridiculous episodes, I am surprised that we had to wait for the animated series to know more on Spock.
In a way, it shows what Star Trek could have been with more money and, perhaps, more time to write.

SPOCK'S PAST
Anyway, the episode is very interesting, we get to learn more about Spock by witness his own childhood. It was actually a somehow courageous move to show a pet of a young child dying. I liked this scene a lot an especially what it meant.

TOO FAST
The beginning of the episode was too fast too me, but the episode lasts just 23 minutes, so I can understand.

VERDICT
I give it 6 out of 10. Very good. The best episode of the animated series by far.


 
 
Star Trek: The Animated Series: Beyond the Farthest Star
Jack Anderson May 20, 2020, 12:05 ET

Important but not
Released four years after the end of the original series, Star Trek: The Animated Series is a continuation of the series with the same characters and the same stories. Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Uhura and Sulu are all back. But what's very important is that the original actors are giving their voice to their characters. That alone shows you the level of care that will be provided.

The main concern of Star Trek was that it had quite a low budget. The locations were small and smaller throughout the three years, the costumes often ridiculous. Here, the fact that this is an animated series, suddenly we are able to go one giant step further into science fiction and Space itself.

Indeed, in this first episode, the characters are getting a brand new life-support belts, which lets them travel into Space. Star Trek could never have pulled off something like that. Therefore, making an animated series back in 1973, at a time where there was no computer-generated images, makes perfect sense.

I also liked that Sulu became the temporary Captain of the ship while the others were gone. I also found interesting to see an alien on the bridge, as part of the crew – which, apparently, replaced Chekov for some reasons. It would be an error to think that The Animated Series is not part of the Star Trek universe. Even some of the original writers see this series as the fourth season of Star Trek. So if you are serious, do the work and watch it.

Still, the episode itself doesn't have that magic that the original actors were providing. Their spirit of camaraderie was a big part of the show and not seeing them in live action feels odd.
Not only that, but the story is so far fetched that it is not that compelling and ultimately doesn't really work.

VERDICT
I give it 4 out of 10. Average.


 
 
Star Trek: Turnabout Intruder
Jack Anderson May 19, 2020, 12:05 ET

The end
Saying that the series finale of Star Trek is a bad final episode would be an understatement. A series as imaginative as Star Trek deserved a far better farewell gift than this. But remember, not only we are in 1969 (where series finales weren't events like they are today), but the series was actually cancelled after only three seasons. Therefore, this episode has not a single element of a series finale – except if perhaps you could see the mutiny as the ultimate token of respect and admiration of the crew towards Captain Kirk.

The story of the episode could have been interesting. Kirk's body is being transferred with the one of a woman. In a split second, a woman is suddenly inside the body of Kirk, and William Shatner tries to portray a woman and does not go the subtle way. The result is quite poor and actually equally sexist, as the woman is being portrayed as a complete erratic and hysteric person. Of course, she is the bad guy of the episode. But to the point, she should have been a man. Well... she was in this episode. But what I mean is that the story should have exchanged the bodies of men. That would have removed not only the element of sexism, but the ridiculousness about it. Imagine Kirk and Spock exchanging bodies, that would have been fun to watch.

VERDICT
I give it 2 out of 10. Very bad.

At the end of the day, the episode will not be remembered, but the series will. A series filled with great original ideas as well as ridiculous ones. A canvas of both the great imagination and lack of maturity. While I am only at the beginning of my journey – I still have many episodes and movies to watch – I will remember fondly of Jim Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov. There was a great sense of camaraderie in the series and the actors did quite a spectacular job, equal as the one of the casting director.


 
 
Star Trek: All Our Yesterdays
Jack Anderson May 19, 2020, 12:05 ET

Penultimate
The penultimate episode from Star Trek is a solid one. It seems that the episode had a bigger budget than usual. The locations were, for once, really top notch and the story was not ridiculous at all.

Obviously, what I liked the most was the relationship between Spock and McCoy, but especially because Spock suddenly acted in a much different and darker way. He can be seen manipulating his way into staying with the girl, he would be very aggressive towards McCoy. I really liked it, and especially because it was embedded within the story and not just a gimmick. Not only that, but for once, Kirk is not the one to fall for a woman. This makes the love story much more powerful.

While the story itself was not wildly entertaining, it was enough to make for a good episode, produced with care.

VERDICT
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.


 
 
Star Trek: The Savage Curtain
Jack Anderson May 18, 2020, 12:05 ET

Abraham Lincoln
Yes, if you haven't seen this episode, Captain Kirk can be seen along with Abraham Lincoln. The opening scene is quite surprising. Lucky enough, we are learning soon enough that he is merely a representation of the late President. And the story starts on the close planet.

The story is an excuse to show us a metaphor about good versus evil. The problem is that, like in the previous episode – where we had a story on a divided society – the metaphor is really, really not subtle. A big stone transforms into what anyone could refer to a big pile of warm poo, and then the war between good and bad people starts.

I did not like nor the theme, nor the episode, but I must admit it was not as ridiculous as I initially expected when discovering the episode.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Cloud Minders
Jack Anderson May 18, 2020, 12:05 ET

Cloud City & masks
The concept of the cloud city was actually quite clever, as a way to tell us about our own cloud cities – meaning by that our ivory towers in which we feel secure while the less fortunate often are pushed aside further and further away from the city centers.

Not only the concept was interesting, but the execution was rather good. Or at least decent. I liked the orange backgrounds.

But unfortunately, the episode ended up being quite boring and not really satisfying. The story itself was not great. I liked the starting point, but having to put the negative behavior of the surface people on the gas was really dumb if you ask me. "Just give 'em masks!"

And the dialogue on the overall metaphor was quite blunt and not really mature.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10, but I could also almost give it a 4.


 
 
Star Trek: The Way to Eden
Jack Anderson May 18, 2020, 12:05 ET

Manipulating hippies
When I first saw the hippies on screen, I was ready to mark this episode as either 1 or 2. But this would be too simple, in my opinion.
Many would only focus on the laughable costumes, but the story itself is actually quite good. What I really enjoyed about this episode is that, for once, a group of men manipulate their way into the Enterprise, instead of going full frontal like the dumb Klingons.
Think with me for a second, what is more pervasive? An angry face telling he will destroy you? Or a smiley face singing catch tunes and telling how much he adores you? Come to think of it, those hippies were the most terrifying enemies of the Enterprise. I really liked that.

And yes, the songs were awesome! I just digged 'em both.

So, this review is probably different from what most would say, but I persist and sign: I liked it.

VERDICT
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.


 
 
Star Trek: Requiem for Methuselah
Jack Anderson May 17, 2020, 12:05 ET

Android
The episode showed a very interesting story of a secluded man who built a female android. This reminded me of the movie Ex Machina, which basically tells the exact same story but in a more modern fashion.
Here, obviously the budget is cheap and the result as well. But still, the story is compelling. The only concern is that Kirk felt to me like he was pressuring himself onto the young lady android and it felt really weird.

Also, the ending of the episode was extremely rushed. Suddenly, in just a couple of minutes, after an episode that had quite a slow pace, (spoiler alert) the lady android just dies for no reasons. So Spock then tries to explains the reason (and therefore the ending) to the audience. Later on, Kirk is devastated by having lost the woman he loved (you know... for like one hour) and Spock touches him and says "forget." The end.

I will probably forget this episode myself, although I would not refer to this episode as forgettable, as it had a pleasant story that was – and still is – ahead of its time.

VERDICT
I give it 4 out of 10. Average.


 
 
Star Trek: The Lights of Zetar
Jack Anderson May 17, 2020, 12:05 ET

Excellent
Opening sequence: 10/10. Just sublime. The acting, the words, the camera. The look on Scotty's face. The response in Mira's face. The face of actors is the landscape – a famous filmmaker once said. This is so true. Perhaps I'm exaggerating because the series rarely gives us any romance outside of the weekly girl given to Kirk. Suddenly having Scotty falling in love makes the emotions go sky high.

The story itself was excellent. The special effects not too far out there and ultimately very believable, even though clearly paranormal.

Not only that, but the directing of the episode was top notch too. The opening sequence says it all. Star Trek shows its potential to be bigger than just on the relatively small TV screen from the late 1960's.

The only downside is that we didn't get to see the conclusion and ultimately separation between Scotty and Mira.

VERDICT
I give it 7 out of 10. Excellent.


 
 
Star Trek: That Which Survives
Jack Anderson May 17, 2020, 12:05 ET

No mistakes
This episode is what should have been the bad episodes of Star Trek, ideally. No bad costumes, a low-key story, a climax. This is the basis we would have expected from a show.
I will give it 4 out of 10 because the story was not really compelling. This episode avoided the usual mistakes. And that is positive.

The two things I noted down were Spock being quite arrogant. Perhaps too much but that was enjoyable. And the second was Scotty trying to fix the ship from inside.

VERDICT
I give it 4 out of 10. Average.


 
 
Star Trek: The Mark of Gideon
Jack Anderson May 16, 2020, 12:05 ET

Almost good
I liked a lot the concept of the episode, Kirk coming back to an empty Enterprise and trying to live on his own. I also liked the idea of a world with over-population. It was very original.

The pace of the episode was extremely slow but worked very well. The episode is extremely focused, which is quite good. But unfortunately that didn’t last for long. The second half of the episode is extremely boring.

What was quite bad as well was the importance of having to put once again a beautiful woman into the episode, which clearly was not required not needed by the story. And having her to kiss Kirk – AGAIN! This is really bad. I can understand having a few catch phrases here and there or some repeating themes. But this is too much.

At least, no horrible costumes and ridiculous characters.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad. Could have easily been average (4).


 
 
Star Trek: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
Jack Anderson May 16, 2020, 12:05 ET

Bad makeup
I couldn't go past the bad makeup of the two guest characters. If Star trek had had a higher budget and more time (meaning less episodes per year), it could have been much better. Here, we face again ridiculous characters, which is difficult to virtually impossible to go through.

Also, the second part of the episode was about Kirk and Spock lecturing the bad guy(s) and telling them how bad they are. Completely anti-climatic and, well, cheesy.

The scene of the (almost) self-destruction of the starship Enterprise was very interesting though. I liked the closeups to the crew members and the effect of suspense.

So, I watched the episode but cannot really tell you what it even was about. It felt like tasting a bad steak, you don't continue to see if the rest of the meat was good. And apologies to the vegetarians for this bad taste comparison.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.


 
 
Star Trek: Whom Gods Destroy
Jack Anderson May 16, 2020, 12:05 ET

Could have been good
The episode started in the perfect way! A strange and dark planet with a prison for psychos. Unfortunately, while the first minutes are great, the rest of the episode is quite bad and losing momentum very quickly. Once again, a missed opportunity.
Spoiler alert, when Spock is actually not Spock, imagine how great this would have be in a great episode. Unfortunate, really.

And the fact that we are not allowed to get scenes outside – because of budget constraints – doesn't help.

Finally, both the green lady and the so-called emperor characters were really uninteresting.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.


 
 
Star Trek: Elaan of Troyius
Jack Anderson May 16, 2020, 12:05 ET

The absence of nuance
This episode's level of maturity is close to zero. There is no nuance. The guest character of this episode (the princess whatever) is completely irrational and goes from being the rudest person ever (translation: a little brat) to a vulnerable one. It's actually quite ridiculous, as at some point, she literally stabs someone in the back. That alone should have made the crew put her into jail or beam into Space. Good Space riddance.

And suddenly, in a split second, she goes from trying to stab Kirk to... "loving" him. Sure. And for the countless time, Jim Kirk is kissing a beautiful lady. I wonder how many women he kissed in the show. Actually, I just checked, 19. Out of 79 episodes overall, that means he kissed a new woman 24.050632911392405% of the time. (I don't know why I've added all those decimals but it looks very precise).

The last part of the episode is a Space battle with Klingons. Too manichean for me and nothing much in the story.

VERDICT
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.


 
 
Star Trek: The Empath
Jack Anderson May 16, 2020, 12:05 ET

Not ridiculous
For once, the costumes and make up SFX were really well done. You couldn't see the strings.
The story was a bit more focused than usual. And I liked the fact that our characters were in an environment with a black background. That made is less worse than the usual lame backgrounds.

The concept could have been very interesting, although quite classic in science-fiction. Aliens making experiments with humans.

Still, the episode was not so great and ultimately very boring. Also, I did not care for the empath.

VERDICT
I give it 4 out of 10 because it wasn't ridiculous for once. Average.


 
 


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