Whedonverse and Star Trek Verse

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RocketScientist
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Whedonverse and Star Trek Verse

Post by RocketScientist » Sun May 11, 2014 10:17 am

Ogrek wrote:I gave up on Buffy and Angel after 3 seasons each, Babylon 5 after 4 years and DS9 after 6; but for what it's worth I have still read every Goblins strip and am looking forward to the ones to come. If I need a little more patience then that is ok because the sum total so far has been worth the years it has taken to unfold. Thank-you for sharing with us in this Blog post and it is a relief to know that we may yet hope for a new kind of business as usual to emerge.
OT: I thought Buffy was awesome, but if you were bored by season 3, then quitting it was probably a good call. Season 3 is an excellent place to stop watching Angel. Because 4 was awful. I only made it as far as you did with B5 and DS9. (Bored with B5, Mad at and bit bored with DS9.) I don't know if those got any better, but since they were both near their end, probably not.

Anyway, welcome to the forum. :)
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Post by Hjerne » Sun May 11, 2014 3:13 pm

RocketScientist wrote:Good points, Changes.
Ogrek wrote:I gave up on Buffy and Angel after 3 seasons each, Babylon 5 after 4 years and DS9 after 6; but for what it's worth I have still read every Goblins strip and am looking forward to the ones to come. If I need a little more patience then that is ok because the sum total so far has been worth the years it has taken to unfold. Thank-you for sharing with us in this Blog post and it is a relief to know that we may yet hope for a new kind of business as usual to emerge.
OT: I thought Buffy was awesome, but if you were bored by season 3, then quitting it was probably a good call. Season 3 is an excellent place to stop watching Angel. Because 4 was awful. I only made it as far as you did with B5 and DS9. (Bored with B5, Mad at and bit bored with DS9.) I don't know if those got any better, but since they were both near their end, probably not.

Anyway, welcome to the forum. :)
However the final episode of Angel was one of the best hours of television ever. Better than all the other episodes put together. Better than any Buffy episode with the exception of Hush, The Body, and Once More With Feeling. And I have still watched it more than all three of those.

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Post by Gkom » Sun May 11, 2014 9:14 pm

RocketScientist wrote:Good points, Changes.
Ogrek wrote:I gave up on Buffy and Angel after 3 seasons each, Babylon 5 after 4 years and DS9 after 6; but for what it's worth I have still read every Goblins strip and am looking forward to the ones to come. If I need a little more patience then that is ok because the sum total so far has been worth the years it has taken to unfold. Thank-you for sharing with us in this Blog post and it is a relief to know that we may yet hope for a new kind of business as usual to emerge.
OT: I thought Buffy was awesome, but if you were bored by season 3, then quitting it was probably a good call. Season 3 is an excellent place to stop watching Angel. Because 4 was awful. I only made it as far as you did with B5 and DS9. (Bored with B5, Mad at and bit bored with DS9.) I don't know if those got any better, but since they were both near their end, probably not.

Anyway, welcome to the forum. :)
I just had a discussion with a friend of mine about Buffy. He watched the whole show. Twice. I watched season 4 and some other episodes here and there. I asked him if in today's world there is still any point in watching Buffy, if it still hold any of it's charm or will watching it be like watching episodes of ST the original series (which absolutly suck, as I recall).

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Post by shp5 » Mon May 12, 2014 1:03 am

Oh I always loved Spike, so for me it's always worth watching the episodes where he features. It'S really about liking the characters, the rest is not that special today.

Once more with feeling (the musical episode) is really really incredible, and the mute one is very good too. those still hold up, no doubt about that.

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Post by RocketScientist » Mon May 12, 2014 8:08 pm

Spike is pretty much the only reason I made it through season 5 of Angel.

I actually watched Buffy for the first time after it was already off the air. I never watched it when it was on, because of that stupid movie. I don't think there's a lot that's terribly dated other than the music at The Bronze. The earliest episodes are the kind you would expect for a show that hasn't gotten its footing yet. But after that, it's mostly good.

I think the biggest problems with Original Star Trek are just that it's very 1960s. The episodes are actually pretty good for the most part, but with a large helping of cheese and psychedelia. And then a few of them are just stupid. But I don't think that's entirely because of it being dated. The bad ones probably sucked when they originally aired, too. I just rewatched it a year or so ago with my kids, who are both in their early 20s. They liked it a lot. Maybe not so much the stupid episodes. But enough that we went on to watch TNG together, and we've been slowly making our way through DS9.
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Post by bknabe » Tue May 13, 2014 5:42 am

Gkom wrote:
RocketScientist wrote:Good points, Changes.
Ogrek wrote:I gave up on Buffy and Angel after 3 seasons each, Babylon 5 after 4 years and DS9 after 6; but for what it's worth I have still read every Goblins strip and am looking forward to the ones to come. If I need a little more patience then that is ok because the sum total so far has been worth the years it has taken to unfold. Thank-you for sharing with us in this Blog post and it is a relief to know that we may yet hope for a new kind of business as usual to emerge.
OT: I thought Buffy was awesome, but if you were bored by season 3, then quitting it was probably a good call. Season 3 is an excellent place to stop watching Angel. Because 4 was awful. I only made it as far as you did with B5 and DS9. (Bored with B5, Mad at and bit bored with DS9.) I don't know if those got any better, but since they were both near their end, probably not.

Anyway, welcome to the forum. :)
I just had a discussion with a friend of mine about Buffy. He watched the whole show. Twice. I watched season 4 and some other episodes here and there. I asked him if in today's world there is still any point in watching Buffy, if it still hold any of it's charm or will watching it be like watching episodes of ST the original series (which absolutly suck, as I recall).
I didn't care for Buffy or DS9. I liked what I saw of B5, but I've never had the opportunity to see the whole series. ST:TOS is great - if you take it for what it is. A low budget science fiction series that actually had unusually good writing - most of the time. The special effects are really cheesy by today's standards, but at the time they were groundbreaking. Not always for the flash, but because they had to be creative. They were doing things in a weekly series that were only done in movies because they took more than a week to do - so they had to create new ways to do them. Not only that, for a science fiction show they were very low budget.

People pan Shatner's over-acting, but he was a classically trained Shakespearian stage actor. That's what they do. Not that he couldn't perform without overacting, but it worked for ST. ;^)

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Post by bknabe » Tue May 13, 2014 5:47 am

RocketScientist wrote:Spike is pretty much the only reason I made it through season 5 of Angel.

I actually watched Buffy for the first time after it was already off the air. I never watched it when it was on, because of that stupid movie. I don't think there's a lot that's terribly dated other than the music at The Bronze. The earliest episodes are the kind you would expect for a show that hasn't gotten its footing yet. But after that, it's mostly good.

I think the biggest problems with Original Star Trek are just that it's very 1960s. The episodes are actually pretty good for the most part, but with a large helping of cheese and psychedelia. And then a few of them are just stupid. But I don't think that's entirely because of it being dated. The bad ones probably sucked when they originally aired, too. I just rewatched it a year or so ago with my kids, who are both in their early 20s. They liked it a lot. Maybe not so much the stupid episodes. But enough that we went on to watch TNG together, and we've been slowly making our way through DS9.
I've been slowly watching ST:TNG again, but it will probably always leave a bad taste in my mouth. IMO the only thing it had over TOS was special effects. The writing was generally worse, and the crew was a bad attempt at recreating the original formula without copying it. Rewatching it has actually confirmed my original opinion, which is probably why I'm watching an episode or two every month or so. I feel like I should watch the whole series (I stopped about half way into season 2 originally), but when I'm not being annoyed by it, I just can't get interested. But I liked Voyager and Enterprise.

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Post by Krulle » Tue May 13, 2014 6:08 am

Well, the whole Star Trek universe(s): It did not change, so I had very little interest in catching all episodes.
While being a fan of the show (c'mon, what else Sci-Fi was there to watch on TV on a semi-regular basis back then?), I never minded missing a show or 20....
That changed with B5. Story moved forward, so missing some episodes might well mean watching 2 or three episodes to gather the information of what critical plot element changed...
DS9 was boring, until they started changing the story (which was directly linked tot he success of B5).
Yet, DS9 failed to capture me.

Voyager? Semi-interesting, but again, it never bothered me to miss a few episodes, as apparently nothing changed (they were still far from home, looking for a way home, and finding weird things).

Enterprise: never watched that, besides 2 early episodes. It did not catch me.

TOS: I watched it for the fun of it. Special effects were already boring at the time I watched them, but it was the first real commercially successful Sci-Fi show.

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Post by CooksACarrot » Tue May 13, 2014 10:05 am

With ST:TOS you have to take the good with the bad. It is true that Shatner did do Shakespeare at Stratford shortly before doing ST (Stratford up here in Canada, not England, but it is still regarded as a pretty big deal), and for an audience used to TV acting and schloky Sci-Fi B movies, his overacting has been blown way out of proportion. A lot of the scripts were kinda sucky, fantastic ideas and concepts poorly executed.

ST:TNG got a lot better after Roddenberry stopped actively working on it, so around Season 3. If you can forget some of the crappier stuff early on, it is worth your time. What is did better than TOS (I say as I lock my door and prepare for assault) was character development over the long term. DS9 basically does require you to watch it in order, and while it had its moments, was never my favourite. That was always Voyager, which had a phenomenal cast and great characters (although Chakotey should have represented ONE North American Aboriginal nation, rather than a hodge-podge of white-washing) but some pretty terrible storylines (Star Trek should never have time travel episodes, they never work out).
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Post by Krulle » Tue May 13, 2014 12:06 pm

I agree that Voyager had the best cast of them all (not counting seven-of-Nine, who had her moments, but playing was not her strongest point...).
And Chakotey? Seeing how few Natives are left who know about the traditions, I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of my own lifespan a few Nations have started to amalgate to at least preserve that, instead of nothing, seeing how few do get individuals learn trhe full set of traditions... It would have been "trueer", but that was as plausible....

My favourite ST character? The "old man" from DS9, but less because of the actress, than the idea behind such a symbiont.

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Post by WearsHats » Tue May 13, 2014 12:18 pm

I could never get into TOS. It seemed like nothing more than thinly veiled morality plays with a low budget sci-fi veneer. I know, I lose 1000 nerd points for that.

The first two seasons of TNG did suck, especially when they were doing little more than trying to copy TOS. (Wil Wheaton's reviews of some of those early episodes, however, are hilarious.) But it got much better when it learned to stand on its own. This actually led to the phrase "growing a beard" taking its place at TV Tropes as meaning the opposite of "jumping the shark." The most obvious visual change which coincided with the show's positive turning point into something worth watching was that Riker grew a beard between the second and third seasons.

DS9 is my favorite. Long term plots, character development, story arcs, the Federation at war, and a look into some things that Trek usually hand waves away, like money and espionage. There was a lot of untapped potential to it (they set up the war, and then proceeded to ignore it unless the current episode specifically addressed some new happening), but overall I find the series to be a lot of fun.

Voyager was... Well, sometimes it was watchable. If there was nothing better on. It's an interesting concept. But I just found the writing very weak. And they spent far too long being chased around by people with foam rubber hair.

Enterprise... We shall speak of it no more!
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Post by Krulle » Tue May 13, 2014 12:22 pm

You know what I always found hilarious?

The synchonity good democracy vs bad communism (Federation vs Klingons/Romulans/Dominion), both representing good vs bad.
And then think about the federation world: no currency, everyone does what he likes and can do best for the good of all and not for personal gain. The federation IS what communism strived to become...

But with this topic I walk on thin grounds, as this just became a very political discussion...

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Post by stevedj » Tue May 13, 2014 3:31 pm

Krulle wrote:And then think about the federation world: no currency,
But, there was currency ... in DS9. Or did the Federation get a free ride at Quarks? (Sorry, don't remember all that much - didn't get dive in to it as much as I'd have liked).

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Post by WearsHats » Tue May 13, 2014 3:50 pm

Within the Federation, there is no currency. But the Federation itself has resources which they are able to trade.

Quark's bar is interesting. DS9 was owned by the Bajorans but run by the Federation. Quark wanted to leave, but Sisko persuaded him to stay. I believe Quark rented the space, but I don't remember any details. The series tended to gloss over that (although the pilot episode of the series did include Sisko talking to Quark about some of the terms). The thing is that Quark tended to serve replicated food and drink, which was freely available from the replimat or the replicators built in to the personal quarters. Then again, Quark's real money came from gambling, holosuite rentals, and illegal deals, so it's not clear how much he really cared about the bar tab.

DS9 also introduced the concept of "transporter credits." Students at Starfleet Academy had those. Basically a limit on how much you could use Starfleet's transporters to travel around the world (to visit home, go on vacation, etc). Again, they never really went into detail about how that worked.

Really, they gloss over quite a bit. Like why anyone would do menial labor if they didn't have to. Sisko's father owned a restaurant. He worked there every day. He had staff working for him. Why? What are the consequences of not showing up for work, when work is nothing more than a hobby? And why does he get to own the place? And why don't his underlings get to own their own restaurants?

And what about Kasidy Yeats, the freighter captain? How did she get a ship? And why did she need to work? And why did her crew work for her? Why didn't they get their own ships?

Sure, exploring the galaxy as part of Starfleet seems cool. And it's prestigious. And there's a command structure with rules about how you get promoted and who's in charge and what experience you need and so on. Even if you're not doing it for money, it's clear that there are people who would work for that. But what about all the jobs that people take because it pays the rent? If there's no money and rent is free, why would anyone do those jobs? And how would you decide who gets to have what?

Oh well. Pretty ships and neat planets to explore and ethical quandaries to ponder!

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Post by bknabe » Tue May 13, 2014 4:16 pm

WearsHats wrote:I could never get into TOS. It seemed like nothing more than thinly veiled morality plays with a low budget sci-fi veneer. I know, I lose 1000 nerd points for that.
Nah, no nerd points lost. That's exactly what it was. You should probably gain 1000 points for recognizing it. ;^)
WearsHats wrote:The first two seasons of TNG did suck, especially when they were doing little more than trying to copy TOS. (Wil Wheaton's reviews of some of those early episodes, however, are hilarious.) But it got much better when it learned to stand on its own. This actually led to the phrase "growing a beard" taking its place at TV Tropes as meaning the opposite of "jumping the shark." The most obvious visual change which coincided with the show's positive turning point into something worth watching was that Riker grew a beard between the second and third seasons.
The sad thing is, they were trying to copy it at the same time they were trying to deny it. That and the bad writing - I feel for Wil Wheaton. He didn't ask to be turned into a super character, but he got a lot of grief for it.
WearsHats wrote:DS9 is my favorite. Long term plots, character development, story arcs, the Federation at war, and a look into some things that Trek usually hand waves away, like money and espionage. There was a lot of untapped potential to it (they set up the war, and then proceeded to ignore it unless the current episode specifically addressed some new happening), but overall I find the series to be a lot of fun.
It had moments. I liked Odo. But over all, "Gunsmoke in space" just didn't do it for me.
WearsHats wrote:Voyager was... Well, sometimes it was watchable. If there was nothing better on. It's an interesting concept. But I just found the writing very weak. And they spent far too long being chased around by people with foam rubber hair.
Sacrilege! ;^)

WearsHats wrote:Enterprise... We shall speak of it no more!
But ... Time War!!!

Actually, I thought the ending of the series was really, really, really weak. But I enjoyed most of it.

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Post by bknabe » Tue May 13, 2014 4:18 pm

Krulle wrote:You know what I always found hilarious?

The synchonity good democracy vs bad communism (Federation vs Klingons/Romulans/Dominion), both representing good vs bad.
And then think about the federation world: no currency, everyone does what he likes and can do best for the good of all and not for personal gain. The federation IS what communism strived to become...

But with this topic I walk on thin grounds, as this just became a very political discussion...
Nope, you're right, too. Sort of. Star Trek was what the triumph of humanism.

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Post by WearsHats » Tue May 13, 2014 4:29 pm

Oh, now that I'm at a real computer:

Here's an index of Wil Wheaton's ST:NG reviews. They were written in 2007 and 2008 (about 20 years after the original airdates), with Wil looking back at how godawful the first half of Season One truly was, while adding some insider/behind the scenes tidbits. It's a lot of fun, especially if you read them while watching the episode or having just finished watching it.
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Post by CooksACarrot » Tue May 13, 2014 4:29 pm

Krulle wrote:You know what I always found hilarious?

The synchonity good democracy vs bad communism (Federation vs Klingons/Romulans/Dominion), both representing good vs bad.
And then think about the federation world: no currency, everyone does what he likes and can do best for the good of all and not for personal gain. The federation IS what communism strived to become...

But with this topic I walk on thin grounds, as this just became a very political discussion...
I always saw the Klingons as being more like the Japanese, while the Romulans and the Borg were more representative of totalitarian or fascist states. I believe Roddenberry fought in WW2, and that seems more likely to be the comparison he would make.
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Post by Knucklekraken » Tue May 13, 2014 9:04 pm

Then, though, the Ferengi were absolutely capitalists, right? They were bad guys pretty much across the board before Quark settled down on top of the line. Of course, they may have been post-Roddenberry, I dunno.
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Post by CooksACarrot » Tue May 13, 2014 9:45 pm

They were originally kind of simpering, naked, stupid trolls until after Roddenberry.
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Post by willpell » Wed May 14, 2014 6:35 am

Somehow I pictured Guilt Vader as being grey rather than black. I don't know how I came up with that.

Personally, B5 > DS9 > TNG > Enterprise > Voyager > TOS. (Buffy and Angel are on an entirely separate continuum.) I care about special FX a lot, and TOS was only three seasons, and never developed its supporting characters. Voyager was awful most of the way through, but their season-premiere episodes were usually good, as were the first season of 15 episodes and about the last 6 or 8 episodes at the end. Enterprise's first two seasons were bland, and the last one was a mismash with various highs and lows (often in the same episode), but Season 3 alone redeems it in my eyes, being essentially a more compressed version of everything good about the Dominion War (which was when DS9 really got good, although it covers almost the entire run of the show, so I figure I can count the show as a whole as if it was all that).

Next Gen is a special case, because all of the others I'm recalling from when they were on TV originally (except for TOS, obviously; that I saw in syndicated reruns at about the same time DS9 and Voyager were new). I'm groping for vague memories which are telling me approximate and possibly inaccurate things, so my opinion of those shows is just a gestalt, and probably not an entirely correct one; I might well change my mind if I saw them again today. But TNG, I have rewatched a few early-season episodes of, which paradoxically made it both better and worse in ways. The writing is really transparently awful, and the SFX haven't aged well, yet there's a vibrancy to the characters which absolutely shines. Picard is as awesome as ever, Troi doesn't seem nearly as much of a new-agey emo cliche as I remembered her, Tasha Yar is pure badass (except in one terrible episode where she stands around crying for no damn reason), Crusher and Geordi and Riker all have depths I didn't remember, and even Wesley shows glimmers of potential underneath the overwhelming Marty Stuness that the writers inflicted on him - the only characters which I maybe have lower opinions of now are Data and Worf, probably just because both were heavily overexposed in later works. Anyway, watching these TNG episodes again, I could sort of rewrite them in my head to be better (which I think I was doing as a kid when they first aired as well, but obviously I'm better at it now), and this enables me to take the good aspects and ignore the bad. Thusly, while I would probably have ordered the series the same way before this rewatching, the numerical "value" of TNG has increased considerably on that scale, because of my more tangible knowledge of it.

And B5 of course just blows everything else out of the water.
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Post by Master TMO » Wed May 14, 2014 7:06 am

Well, for what it's worth, I own all of B5 and it's spinoffs on DVD. I only have the first couple of TNG seasons, and never bothered buying the rest (although the fact that Star Trek seasons were 2-3 times the cost of other shows when I was buying was a strong reason for that). B5 was the show I made sure to be able to watch on TV when it was airing. I didn't mind missing the Trek episodes. And I think it's got to be down to the storytelling. B5 had weak episodes too, but even the weak episodes would usually have at least one element that was related to the overall storyline. Trek was almost entirely episodic - you could watch almost any of the shows in any order and it wouldn't affect much. It wasn't until B5's story arc format proved to be so popular that they started copying it.

I watched Enterprise when it aired too, although I missed the fourth season. Can't remember why, but it wasn't related to the show itself.

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Post by JumpsonStuff » Wed May 14, 2014 2:57 pm

My husband worked on ST:TNG building ships and props, and even HE agrees season 1 was horrible horrible. Of course, he didn't start work on it until season 2 but I digress...

I didn't like Enterprise until they did the Mirror Mirror episode and even re-did their opening credit sequence. Now THAT show I'd watch.

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Post by RocketScientist » Thu May 15, 2014 1:06 pm

Some of you guys are going to hate me for this, but I thought B5 was extremely mediocre. I'm kind of mad that I watched 4 whole seasons of it. But I'm pretty sure that was only because I marathoned it. It didn't look interesting to me when it was on, and I really only watched it because of the people who kept telling me it was the best thing ever. I've been wrong before when I didn't watch something as it aired (Buffy), so I figured I must be wrong again. Not so much. I couldn't get attached to any of the characters or invested in any of the stories. And by the gods, I never want to see that horrifyingly wooden actor who played the first commander guy ever again.

But anyway, B5 people and I are probably looking for different things in our sci-fi, because DS9 is my least favorite trek, and B5 people seem to like it. Much as I loved TOS growing up and was unimpressed with Encounter at Farpoint back in 87, I would say TNG is my favorite Trek, then TOS, then Enterprise. Then Voyager and DS9. I don't dislike any of them, but the last two are the two I haven't seen all of yet, and we're plodding our way through DS9.

As for why people would do the menial work, maybe they like to feel productive? Why do people volunteer at food banks if they're not getting paid or doing community service? Maybe they don't feel like sitting around at their house. Maybe they don't want the responsibilities of running their own restaurant (I wouldn't, even minus the financial aspect). Is it really that hard to believe there are people who like serving food? It's not like you'd have McDonald's workers. No one would go to McDonald's if they could just use a replicator and make something that actually tastes like food. (Which is why we'll probably never get replicators.) Restaurants like Grandpa Sisko's would be more of a social thing. And really, most unrewarding menial jobs wouldn't exist in the Federation. The industries would be obsolete (retail), changed enough to be rewarding (food service), or automated (cleaning - e.g. the Enterprise was self-cleaning in TNG).

I interpreted Sisko's stories about Academy to mean that transporter credits were a cadet thing. Like cadets needed credits to go somewhere, because it was a privilege. Otherwise they'd be having the experience of a commuter school, rather than building bonds from having gone away to school. If that makes sense.
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Post by Synch » Thu May 15, 2014 1:17 pm

(Should we move all this Star Trek / Buffy talk to the Cinemaniacs section? Must be confusing for newcomers wanting to come and discuss Thunt's tweets.)
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