Politics · Rewatch · Star Trek · Television shows · tv reviews

The Rewatch 220: Progress

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 1:15 Progress (0215/1993)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/2

Notable Guest Stars:

Brian Keith (Mullibok) – Brian Keith is a classic film actor most known for being the father in The Parent Trap (1961) and Family Affair. He has a long list of credits and there is probably a film for all tastes. He died in 1997.

Terrence Evans (Baltrim) – This is Evans first time on Star Trek, but far from his last. He also worked on Gunsmoke, one of the longest running TV series from the 60s. He died in 2015.

Annie O’Donnell (Keena) – More recently she’s been seen in Fresh off The Boat and The Big Bang Theory, but I know her best for a small role she had on Nightcourt along side Brent Spiner as the Wheelers.

Daniel Riordan (Guard) – Riordan is a Star Trek Alum, having played the character Rondon in an early episode of TNG,and will eventually play Duras (Another member of the Trouble House). He also has provided voices for many animated features.

Michael Bofshever (Toran) – Recently he has been seen on The Young and the Restless. He has also been on The Shield, Breaking Bed, The West Wing, CSI (the original), 24, and a future episode of TNG. His first role on Star Trek was in The Undiscovered Country.


This has Brian Freaking Keith, guys. Not only is this a Kira heavy episode, but we have an actual classic film star on set.

This episode has the traditional 2 story plot, with plot A being Kira’s adventures with the most stubborn Bajoran on the planet. Plot B is another adventure of Jake & Nog take on DS9: Profit edition.

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When I was in my early years of college a meme came out with the premise X +X = Profit featuring Trollface. This episode made me think of that so much. In this episode, we see Nog take after his uncle Quark and spot a chance for profit and taking Jake for the ride. Its a hilarious backdrop to the more serious Plot A.

In the more serious plot, The Bajorans are attempting to reclaim their planet and need to use the geothermic energy in their moon to create energy to fuel the planet. The problem is that there have been people leaving on the moon. Most evacuate and move back to Bajor Proper, but there is one hold out: Mullibok and his two companions. He has been living on the moon for decades and refuses to move just to make people on the main planet happy.

Over the course of the episode Kira is forced to deal with quite a few issues that never really get resolved. She feels sympathy for the older man, and tries her best to get the man to leave willingly. In fact she stays with him long after she’s been told to return home. She risks her career. Mullibok plays with her emotions, comparing forcing him from his home to be akin to being a Cardassian. He tries to use her sympathy to get his way. And at first, it seems like it is working till Kira, quite unhappily, torches his home to force his removal from the moon.

It does bring up alot of complicated issues in political sphere in our own time. The force removal of people for “progress” has long held troubling racial issues. While this situation more resembles the removal of those living in the valley around the Hoover Dam in the 30s (towns which are now visable again due to the severe drought drying up Lake Mead, an artificial lake created by the dam), that is not the only situation this episode might bring to mind.

This episode is also the second in a short period of time forcing Kira to face her inner demons that were installed because of the war. Mullibok manipulates these issues to get his way, but it makes us wonder – do we have the right to force people to move from their homes?

As an example (and a less complicated situation then others), we have Centralia, Pennsylvania. Centralia sits on top of a continuously burning coal fire and has since the 1960s. The government tried various ways to get people to move away from the area as it was dangerous, but there are still hold outs. At the last article I read there was still a handful of people living there. No one can move into the area, but those who lived there at the time are allowed to live out their lives there. Obviously that ended differently then the episode – but it has some similarities. There is also the aforementioned Hoover Dam towns, and on a more sensitive topic – the continual moving of native people so their lands could be used by the government.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Peter Allan Fields
  • Directed by Les Landau
  • Peter Allan Fields meant for Mullibok to come off more manipulative but felt that it ended up coming off more sympathetic.
  • Wikipedia mentions that this episode resembles the film Wild River but I could not find any basis for that inspiring this particular episode. Its also been mentioned that this episode resembles in a way The Ensigns of Command where Data has to destroy the aqueduct to save the people.


  • Jake/Nog Friendship
  • Kira features
  • Brain Keith
  • See the one con.


  • Could bring up a lot of sensitive topics – but perhaps that is a good thing. Its a topic that needs discussed.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

Rewatch · Star Trek · Television shows · tv reviews

Rewatch 219: Storyteller

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 1:14 Storyteller (05/03/1993)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/2

Notable Guest Stars:

Gina Phillips (Varis Sul) – Phillips is a child actress who grow up on screen. She later became known for her roles in Jeepers Creepers and Ally McBeal. She also appeared on ER (I feel a theme today).

Jordan Lund (Woban) – Lund has appeared on Star Trek: TNG before as Kluge in 1991 and he shall appear on Enterprise in 2003. He appeared on both Chicago 90s Medical dramas Chicago Hope and ER.

Kay E. Kuter (Sirah)- When I was a kid, I watched alot of old programs because that was what my dad liked to watch. Its how I got into Star Trek for one thing. I also watched shows like Petticoat Junction and Green Acres both which had Kuter in them. He was also in the 1954 version of Sabrina (I much prefer the 90s version, but its still a good movie) He also appeared in ER (I told you, there is a theme today) Kuter died in 2003.

Jim Janson (Faren) – He appeared familiar to me but I couldn’t tell just where I saw him till I looked up his filmography. One of my favorite shows was Gilmore Girls and he appeared occasionally as Reverend Skinner. He also guest starred on Veronica Mars, The Mentalist, West Wing, and yes, ER.

Lawrence Monoson (Hovath) – He appeared in a 1994 Television series And the Band Played On, which was a docudrama based on the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It starred Alan Alada, Matthew Modine, Ian McKellen, Lily Tomlin and Richard Gere. You know he was among good company. I do recall watching this during school but I’m sure if it was a history class or a health class.


In this episode we have the first episode of “The Continuing Adventures of Julian & Miles” as well as Nog & Jake being children. Its not really the best of episodes, but its also not a bad episode.

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I feel that the part of the episode with Julian and Miles is the stronger part of the episode, although seeing characters just being themselves is always a nice thing to see. One of the ongoing things with DS9 is the friendship between Julian and Miles. Despite this episode, they do end up best friends and are often seen together. This episode starts that transition from strangers to best friends, although the episode that cements their friendship won’t happen till later.

They are called to Bajor because the Sirah, the leader of a small village on the planet, has become deathly ill. Julian arrives to basically inform that that the Sirah is actively dying, which makes everyone freak out because of a long held tradition of the Dal’rok, a cloud monster who attacks the town every year and only the Sirah’s storytelling of the history can hold it at bay.

Do I call the monster a Balrok? Yes, yes I do. Because I have watched Lord of the Rings too many times and it sounds really similar.

The Sirah dies after naming Miles his successor. Which Julian finds hilarious and Miles just thinks is a horrible, no good, terrible idea. Especially after the “real” successor tries to kill him. This is when we find out that the Dal’rok is a made up monster powered by the towns fears to get them to unite. The town defeats the Dal’rok by their own power as well but they don’t know that. Ancient town leaders had designed the program to unite the villagers – and only the Sirah and his apprentice know the truth.

Miles of course shows us that he is a horrible story-teller and Horvath, the apprentice eventually takes over and shows he knows what he is doing.

On the other plot, Nog gets a crush on the young leader of a faction of Bajor. Her name is Varis, and she’s the same age as Nog and Jake. They help her relax, and give her advice even though they don’t know the particulars. Its actually kind of sweet in a way.

The awkward moment of this is when Nog decides to play a prank on Jake by convincing him they are playing a prank on Odo and stealing his regeneration bucket. Which is kind of mean in general – I imagine that’s like hiding someone’s meds that they need as a joke. The prank turns out a bit more harmless as Nog simply grabs the bucket and fills it with oatmeal and “accidentally” trips and spills it over Jake who thinks its Odo.

Odo catches them of course, and the boys are forced to clean up the security office since there is oatmeal everywhere.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Kurt Michael Bensmiller & Ira Steven Behr
  • Directed by David Livingston
  • This episode reused set pieces from an earlier TNG episode.
  • This episode was inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s story “The Man Who Would Be King”


  • The beginnings of the great bromance of Julian & Miles.
  • A few moments of kids being kids.


  • Odo Oatmeal does not look good in any way. And it seems a little mean spirited to
  • Misuse of Orb fragments. This gives me too many Giver feels, honestly, even though I know it has nothing to do with that story.
  • Dalrok. Seriously you do not know how many times I wrote Balrok instead.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

Rewatch · Star Trek · Television shows · tv reviews

The Rewatch 218: Battle Lines.

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 1:13 Battle Lines (04/26/1993)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 1/2

Notable Guest Stars:

Jonathan Banks (Shel-la) – He is better known for his roles on Breaking Bad and Better call Saul, both of which earned him Emmy nominations. He was also in the 1995 film Flipper, which was one of my first films to see at an actual theater (other than the little mermaid).

Paul Collins (Zlangco) – He is best known as the original voice of John Darling from the 1953 film Peter Pan.  He would later appear on JAG, West Wing, and Guiding Light.

Camille Saviola (Kai Opaka) – Saviola worked in a variety of mediums, including having a record contract to sing Disco. She appeared in the 1993 Adams Family film, Addams Family Values. She appeared in 2004 on ER, another show I like to binge watch, as one of the temporary Desk Clerks.  Sadly, she died in 2021 of heart failure.


This is one of my favorite episodes of season one.  I love Kai Opaka and I really wish they had her come back for scenes later on.  Its also a very good episode for characterization for the three main characters: Kira, Sisko and Bashir.

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In this episode, the Kai is driven to visit DS9 as she has been given prophecies that tell her it is important that she go.  She convinces them to take her through the wormhole, and there she senses she was meant to stay and not return home.  (we find this out later though).  While exploring a star system they end up detected by a grid and have to crash land on a moon.

On the planet are two groups of people stuck in an eternal civil war.  They were sent to this moon thousands of years ago, so far back some of them can’t remember not being there.  Their planet sent them there because they refused to stop fighting.  They are so creatively known as the Ennis, and the Nol-Ennis.

The interesting concept is that the people who sent these people to punish them did a incredibly good job at it.  They are infected with nanos (or their version of nanos) which keep them from dying, so they continuously die again and again and can never end the torment of war.  If they leave the planet they will die, as Bashir finds out, but they don’t have that option either.  The planet is protected to prevent them leaving.

This episode does delve into the personalities of the characters.  Kai Opaka and Kira Nerys are shown to be very devout to their religion. Opaka sees herself as someone who brings peace, someone the prophets have brought to the planet to help these people end their fighting and maybe finally have peace.

Kira on the other hand is having trouble getting out of survival fight mode.  She wants the peace that comes with the wars being over, but she can’t quite comprehend what she has had to do to survive with dealing with peace. Kai Opaka attempts to help her come to terms with that dichotomy with what time she has.

Sisko is a commanding presence in this episode. He shows that he is peace first, but he won’t handle fools.  So, I would put him, leadership style wise, somewhere between Kirk and Picard.  All three want Peace.  Kirk is more likely to do some “cowboy diplomacy”, Sisko only has so patience, and Picard will try to talk much longer but eventually will just leave.  Sisko tries peace talks, but he knows when he’s talking to a brick wall.

Bashir is interesting in this episode.  Its clear that the writers weren’t sure what to do with him this season.  In some episodes he’s a bumbling fool who takes nothing seriously.  Even at the start of this episode he appears to be seen as that by the crew around him. In the episode where he’s stuck in a game he’s shown as bright but socially oblivious and not good at danger. 

Then we get to this episode, where he takes command and even though he is under threat doesn’t seem all that bothered, he has a patient to get to. He also shows he has side interests – he can repair a broken down shuttle’s computer to do complex medical analysis. This does prove better for the “Julian is advanced” plot arc of season 5/6. There as always been (as with Data) a bit of Autism around Julian’s character with how he is so socially awkward and doesn’t always pick up on cues.   I think when we get to the big plot arc later in the series, I may do a character spotlight on this topic.

 I think overall that this episode is best for Kira’s story.  It shows her more religious side, a sliver of the trauma she received while growing up in the middle of a war, and just how important her religion is to her character.  Its nice to see when most of Star Trek is agnostic if not outright atheist.

As a side note:  When I read Game of Thrones fanfiction I often come across the tag “Ramsey is his own warning” (which, kinda yeah).  I feel like this punishment planet is like a tag saying “You are your own warningto these people stuck there.  They are their own punishment.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Hilary J. Bader, Evan Carols Somers and Richard Danus. There are different listings on who wrote what so I’m just going to put them all as writers for this one.
  • Directed by Paul Lynch (Last episode)
  • This episode marked the end of Paul Lynch’s career on Star Trek.  Apparently, Rick Berman disapproved of him letting the stunt coordinator running the action shots.  He felt that the Director wasn’t doing his job, and thus never hired Lynch again.
  • Yangtze is a river in China.  Most of the roundabouts in DS9 are named after world rivers. Kiang appears to be an Asian animal similar to a donkey.  I’m not sure why the combination of names but that is what the Yangtzee Kiang seems to be referring to.
  • Gul Dukat is referred to in this episode, although not by name.  He would become one of the long term villains to the story along with Vedek Winn, who is coming soon as well.
  • This episode is the first time Bader & Danus worked on DS9.


  • Religion seen in a positive therapeutic light
  • Interesting idea – punishment planet where you are your own punishment


  • Kai Opaka effectively leaves us.  While she’s credited for two more episodes, I don’t remember if she’s in them as a full character or just a dream/flashback character.  EDIT:  Well, I have read several times in the background notes on this episode that this is indeed her last true appearance on the show – the other two are Orb images.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

mythology · Rewatch · Star Trek · Television shows · tv reviews

The Rewatch 217: The Chase

Series: Star Trek: TNG

Episode: 6.? The Chase (04/26/1993)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/19/54
Notable Guest Stars:

Salome Jens (Progenitor) – Salome Jens is probably best known in Star Trek for her role as The Female Changeling who acts as the head of the Changelings and the Dominion.  She’s an essential character to DS9 and Odo’s story arc.

John Cothran, Jr (NuDaq)– Another long term Star Trek Alum, Cothran will continue to play various guest characters in DS9 and Enterprise.

Maurice Roeves (Romulan Commander) – Roeves guest starred in several TV programs, but one of notable credits include Ulysses (1967), The Last of the Mohicans, and Beautiful Creatures (2000)

Linda Thorson (Gul Ocett) – Thorson is a well known Canadian actress, having starred in the 1960s series The Avengers.  She has a bountiful theater career as well.  More recently she played a recurring character on the Hulu series The Hardy Boys.

Norman Lloyd (Professor Galen) – Lloyd was a well known actor, director, and producer over the long span of his career.  He began as a child and continued to work up till he was past 100 years old. A notable credit is He Ran All The Way, which he performed with John Garfield, one of the more visible victims of the Hollywood Blacklist.  One of his more recent credits before his death was a 2017 appearance on Modern Family.


I really enjoyed this episode for several reasons.  The story is strong, it opens up the universe a bit by including more than one alternative species, and it ties in Original Series mythos.

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At the start of the episode, it looks like it’s going to be a Picard-centered episode once again, but it does not stay that way though he holds the acts together.  Picard’s university Mentor, Dr. Richard Galen, has come to gift Picard an artifact from an ancient culture, for which Picard is most grateful.  You all know I enjoy episodes where the crew gets to be geeky.  But Galan had an agenda – he had discovered something and wanted Picard to come with him. Picard is too much of an adult to leave his commitments behind, so he declines much to Galen’s disappointment.  

Shortly after he leaves however, he is attacked and killed. Picard, while grieving, is also concerned as to why the Yridians, who are information gatherers and sellers, would be interested in Galan’s research.  So despite Will & Deanna’s concern he is doing this out of misassigned guilt over Galan’s death, he takes the Enterprise on a fact finding tour.

This episode includes a Cardassian (female, which honestly seems a little rare at times), a Klingon, and a Romulan, bringing the current big four species (Ferengi were once considered as well) to the table.  Nothing goes smoothly because the Ocett keeps trying to fight everyone, and Klingons rarely give up that challenge.

This episode works at giving a reason why the dominant style of being in the Star Trek Universe is humanoid (for lack of a better term).  This is not the first time Trek has attempted this.  The first time might be in the TOS episode “Return to Tomorrow” where the crew encounters Sargon and his companions who claim to have colonized Earth and other planets throughout the galaxy.  Later in the series, in the episode “Paradise Syndrome” Spock finds ancient technology left behind by a Progenitor race known as the Preservers.  The writers have connected this episode to The Chase in interviews.

Important to note however, is that you may recognize that the Progenitor looks vaguely familiar.  The make-up is that of a changeling, perhaps a different sect of the same species.  The actress who plays her also brings some familiarity.  In future episodes of DS9 where Odo meets his people, he meets the Female Changling who is the same actress.

I wonder if this concept inspired the idea behind Farscape’s, where a  more advanced race manipulated the human DNA when we were just starting. In their case, they took the Neanderthals that disappeared from the historical record and made them into the peacekeeping force.

Interesting Notes:

  • Directed by JOnathan Frakes (who does an awesome job with the camera shots in this episode)
  • Written by Joe Menoksy and Ronald Moore
  • The script had a scene where Mot, the barber, was tested by Dr. Crusher imply that the Bolians were not Federation
  • Ocett is the first female Cardassian seen with the rank of Gul.  She is also one of only a few ranked women in the Cardassian military forces. According to some of the novels written with her as a character, she may have been the one to find Odo.
  • This episode implies that Picard at one point considered not continuing with Starfleet and becoming an archaeologist instead.
  • This episode was inspired by Carl Sagan’s Contact.


  • A strong storyline
  • The crew gets to be nerdy
  • Showcasing more then one outside race.
  • The idea that there are crew members outside the Federation that joined Starfleet. 
  • Deanna Troi in a uniform.  The uniform really suits her, and so does the more relaxed hairstyle she is allowed to wear.  It looks more functional for her duties then previous styles.
  • Foreshadowing the peace between Romulus and the Federation in future times.


  • Nothing really stands out.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net


The Rewatch 216: Vortex

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 1:12 Vortex (04/19/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1

Notable Guest Stars:

Cliff DeYoung (Croden) – He has appeared on West Wing and JAG.  He also appeared in one of my favorite war movies, Glory (1989)

Randy Oglesby (Ah-Kel/Ro-Kel) –Ogleby will be reappearing in many Star Trek episodes, including a recurring role in Enterprise as Degra.

Gordon Clapp (Hadran)– His most well known role is Det. Greg Medavoy on NYPD Blue.

Kathleen Garrett (Vulcan Captain) – Garrett has appeared on several TV shows, including Law and Order SVU.


This is one of those episodes where Its very important to the overall arc of the series, but otherwise is largely forgettable. This episode delves into Odo’s sense of self, and his desire to learn more about the people that he belongs to. 

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The episode starts with Odo being suspicious of Quark, as he does, and Quark trying to dissuade him, poorly, of being suspicious.  Croden, an alien from the Gamma Quadrant also sends Odo’s criminal radar off.

He pretends to be a glass when Quark, as Odo suspected, meets with the Miradorn party to negotiate on a stolen item.  Quark, also suspicious of the Miradorn is not keen, but in the end all hell breaks loose as Croden jumps in to steal the artifact and ends up murdering one of the Miradorns.

He ends up piquing Odo’s curiosity as he mentions that he’s different from other Changelings.  One of Odo’s main character arcs is his desire to find out where he comes from, and adjust to being a part of a found family.  His interactions with other Changelings will be a large part of his story for the rest of the series.

 Croden’s story isn’t as important, and he’s pretty uncompelling to me, even if his character should be compelling.

Interesting Notes:

  • Directed by Winrich Kolbe
  • Written by Sam Rolfe. Rolfe also worked on The Man from U.N.C.L.E and the film the Naked Spur. He also wrote the screenplay for “THe Vengeance Factor” from TNG.  He died only a few months after this episode aired.
  • Morn is finally given a name in this episode.  He is a reference to Cheers. This also includes the first mention of the ongoing DS9 joke that he talks too much, though he is never seen talking on screen.
  • This is the first mention of “Changelings”, Odo’s species.  They will become a major part of the DS9 Story arc, and will leak slightly into TNG, as we will see in the next episode.


  • Odo development


  • The plot about Croden is a little flat. 

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

Rewatch · Star Trek · Television shows · tv reviews

The Rewatch 215: Lessons

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.19 Lessons (4/5/1993)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 8/19/54

Notable Guest Stars:

Wendy Hughes (Lt. Commander Nella Daren) – Most of Hughes’ work was in Australia so unfortunately I have not had the chance to see much of her work. She did appear in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries which I saw an episode of. Unfortunately she died in 2014 of cancer.


This episode is a much lighter episode then the one before, and is more about character then it is about action. Picard slowly falls in love with a new member of his crew, Lt. Commander Nella Daren, who runs the Stellar Cartography lab. The two Their romance is paired with them and their music, playing together in the Jefferies tube and generally enjoying their time together.

There is some very nice scoring to this episode, and the scenes where the two play together are enjoyable to listen to. It is also nice to see Picard having an actual relationship that isn’t his consistent longing for Beverly Crusher or someone like Vash. She’s mature, and clearly enjoys her career, just like Picard. The two of them know to be professional, although they choose in the end to separate rather then put their professionalism on trial again.

I know this is a one off but it would have been interesting if they had kept the relationship going, and we occasionally saw her again. Its nice to see Picard happy and it would be nice to stop this whole “Captain is married to his ship” BS that is basically a way of getting out of saying they want him single because romance causes drama. Maybe they mention her on Picard.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Morgan Gendel
  • Directed by Cliff Bole
  • Neither Hughes nor Stewart play the instruments you hear. Musicians off screen play for them.
  • One of the special effects was a practical effect of using liquid nitrogen poured on black velvet with air blowing on it. It was later enhanced with computer effects but it’s still neat to hear of some practical effects still in use.
  • The idea for this episode began during season 5, but wasn’t fully focused on till Season 6
  • First mention of Stellar Cartography
  • They purposely wanted to cast an actress who looked like she was in Picard’s age range.


  • Picard gets to have a little romance in his life.
  • Stellar Cartography sounds like an awesome job


  • Let Picard be happy damn it.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

book vs Movie · film · movie reviews

Review: Persuasion (2022 Film)

Release Date: July 15, 2022 (Netflix
Starring:  Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Henry Golding,  Mia Mckenna-Bruce, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Lydia Rose Bewley, Richard E. Grant, Yolanda Kettle amongst others.
Directed by Carrie Cracknell
Written by Ron Bass & Alice Victoria Winslow (and of course Jane Austen)
Rating:C. Just….no. The cinematography is delightful but the script…

I will start with the positive.  This film has amazing cinematography.  The locations look amazing, I enjoy the costumes, though I’m not always sure its not anachronistic at times.  The actors all appear to be talented, although not always fit for the part they play. I love the fact that this film is not a bunch of white people.

Now for the not so positive.  This film was not Persuasion.  Dakota Johnson did a great job with Anne – just not Anne Elliot.  Anne Elliot is one of the more reserved of Austen’s heroines, not unlike Elinor Dashwood.  She keeps to herself, has a sense of decorum, and a loving nature. This Anne is judgmental of her family, blurts things out that original Anne would be mortified by,  and overall is a lot less put together.

Mary is a more aggravating version of herself and mentions things that wouldn’t be terms for about a hundred years.  No one in the 1810s would be calling themselves an empath or talking about their doctor telling them to do gratitude lists.  Psychology wasn’t really a developed science yet.  I always saw Mary as a hypochondriac more then a narcissist, but I will let them go with that. The actress did a fine job with it.

I haven’t seen Cosmo Jarvis in anything, but this was definitely not the part for him.  His Wentworth seemed frankly colorless, as if he could easily be substituted by another character.

Lady Russell was a lot more…liberal I would say then her book counterpart, but by far the most like her book persona then the three above. The other characters more ore less seem to be similar to their book personas with a tweak here or there.  But the weird instances of modern sensibilities and slang still throw me off.  And what happened to Harville’s disability?

Persuasion happens to be my favorite novel of Austen’s, and I’ve watched pretty much any film adaptation I come across.  I even read various adaptations of the novel, some of which are even modern adaptions.  The main point of an adaption is to keep the spirit of the book, to have the characters recognizable even if they are slightly different.  Frankly I feel that despite many of the events of the book happen in this film and its fairly accurate to that, the overall spirit of the film is…not Persuasion.

Mostly I blame the script.  Their attempt to make things seem more relatable has them using terminology and slang that wouldn’t be in vogue for centuries.  How somehow they managed to write a scene involving both “You must retrench” and “If you are a 5 in London, you are a 10 in Bath” boggles my mind. If they had wanted to do a modern adaptation, they could have done so. Many people have and I still would have watched it. But they kept it in the period and then expected us to not cringe when famous lines are butchered by modern slang and sentiment (“We are worse then strangers – we are exes” for example).

Honestly, I can only hope that this film makes people more curious about Austen, and that they will read Persuasion or watch one of the much better adaptations (personally I like the Sally Hawkins one) and find out the real character of Anne, Frederick and the others.

essay · history

History: The Bastille & Bastille Day

On July 15, France celebrated its national holiday. This day is commonly called Bastille Day outside France as it is the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, a 18th century prison in 1789. In honor of that, today I’m going to look at the Bastille, its history and why the French celebrate storming it. And if I’m listening to the band Bastille as I write, who’s going to tell?

Let’s set the scene. Medieval Paris was much smaller than it is today, even as it was still one of the most populous cities in Europe. It was based around the Seine River, and both sides of the river were walled for protection against invasion of France’s enemies. The walls had been built, torn down, and rebuilt several times over the years, but the first wall of importance to this story was the walls built by Phillip Augustus (or King Philippe II) in 1190-1215. The wall was built on both sides of the river encapsulating the city. The roads leading into Paris were greeted by towers and gates that over time went from draw bridges to fixed ones as the city grew and the country’s defensive power grew.

A century later, the city had grown. The old walls were demolished to include the new city blocks on the northern shore. There was also the issue of a possibility of English invasion. The Kingdom had been at war with England for two decades at this point, and King John II was even a prisoner in the Tower of London. Etienne Marcel, the provost of the merchants, took advantage of his King’s absence to put forth his own plans to improve the cities defenses and started rebuilding the wall in 1357. This included two fortresses to protect the eastern gates, including the Bastille. The problem was, however, he got on the bad side of the prince Regent, the future King Charles V (not to be confused with the Holy Roman Emperor who was his great etc nephew). Marcel’s story might be a tale for another day, involving murder, taxes, and treason. He was eventually assassinated, ironically by the guards on duty at the Bastille.

Continue reading “History: The Bastille & Bastille Day”
Rewatch · Star Trek · Television shows · tv reviews

The Rewatch 214: Starship Mine

Series: Star Trek: TNG Episode: 6.18 Starship Mine (3/29/1993 Rating: 4/5 Redshirt Status: 8/11/46

Notable Guest Stars:

Tim Russ (Devor) – Tim Russ will become better known to you all when we get to Voyager. He plays one of the main characters, Tuvok. More recently he has appeared on Orville, a Star Trek homage.

Marie Marshall (Kelsey)- Marshall has guest starred in several shows over the years, including The Pretender, Babylon 5 and Silk Stockings. The latter two were ongoing roles in the production. She also worked on As the World Turns, playing Denise Darcy for two years in the mid Eighties.

David Spielberg (Commander Calvin “Hutch” Hutchinson) – To be honest, I haven’t seen much of what he has been in, but he had a big part in this episode, so it felt wrong to exclude him. I have heard of The Practice, so I’ll point that one out.

Glenn Morshower (Orton)- He has been on quite a few of my favorite TV shows over the years. He had a recurring role on CSI Miami, X-men First Class, JAG, X-files, West Wing and Criminal Minds. He also appears on Voyager and Enterprise. However his most known credit is apparently the show 24, which I have never seen.

Tom Nibley (Neil)- Nibley had a short career in acting, mostly in the late 80s and 90s. He has appeared on some shows I have seen, including Days of Our Lives and The Golden Girls. His last credited role (according to IMDB) was in 1998.

Patricia Tallman (Kiros) – She is known for her roles on Babylon 5, Night of the Living Dead (1990), and several Star Trek shows. She has appeared both as an actress and as a stunt performer. She performed Laura Dern’s stunts in Jurassic Park. She also owns her own Adventure corporation called Quest Retreats.

Tim de Zarn (Satler) – He has appeared on several TV series I have watched growing up, including Dr. Quinn, Criminal Minds, Cold Case, and of course a few episodes of Star Trek. He also appears in the 2002 film Spiderman (my first exposure to Spiderman) playing Mary Jane’s father. Recently he guested on Better Call Saul.


Continue reading “The Rewatch 214: Starship Mine”

Art: International Watercolor Month

July is International Watercolor month, so I decided to feature it this month.  One of my hobbies, other then writing, reading, and watching Star Trek is art, of various methods and mediums.  Watercolor is not usually one I do often, though I do have the tools for it.  Usually when I do painting its acrylic.

Watercolor is often the first paint children use, as it is easy to clean up and usually* less likely to have toxic ingredients.  That is not always the case, so please make sure you check what paint you give your children and follow all warnings.


Watercolor is probably not the first paint you think of when you think of fine art.  Oil and Acrylic paint tend to get all the glory in that regard, but Watercolor should not be ignored.  It has a long history, and is often the first paint someone has experience with as many children’s art kits come with watercolor paints.

Painting is not a medium I use often, and I tend to use acrylic but I have done watercolor. It’s a completely different medium then acrylic.  Its usually on paper, and the colors tend to be muted.  It also doesn’t have the texture that acrylic and oil paints can make in a painting. That being said, it can create awesome paintings, particularly landscapes and atmospheric paintings.

Watercolor lends itself to landscapes, invoking emotion and memory.  While looking for some paintings to show, I saw many that could easily inspire a fantasy novel.

Some famous people who have been known to exhibit watercolor paintings include Prince Charles of the UK who has several watercolors out on exhibit (and apparently Ebay).  His father was also a painter, but it seems Prince Phillip was more of an oil painter.   There is also John Singer Sargent, who did both oil and watercolor. Georgia O’Keeffe also produced watercolors earlier in her career, painting abstract images.

If you want to learn more about watercolor artists, you can find a good list here.

If you want to start watercoloring yourself, here are some good youtube videos to help you on your journey.

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Watercolor
Easy Watercolor Painting Ideas for Beginners

Watercolor can be fun and enjoyable, and just as expressive as other forms of painting. I don’t have many watercolors up on my online gallery so I won’t be sharing any of mine, but maybe one day I will make some more and be able to share them with you.