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Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 12:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm


Wow, surprised to hear you say that about BSG. That show was all about character development. I didn't watch it until it came out on Hulu, and after watching the mini-series, I ended up binge watching the entire 4-year series over the next two months. It was like an 80 chapter book that I just couldn't put down.

Anyway, I just got caught up on The Orville after a fellow Trekker at work told me I should watch it. I like the series so far, but some of the shows have been duds, which is typical for a first season. I like this one though, as it had me guessing up until the very end as to what the heck was going on. Best episode of the season so far, and Halston Sage is starting to get a good feel for her character. I'd give it 3.5 stars.
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Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 11:54am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Another fun episode. 3 stars. I like Alara so I appreciated another episode that developed her character further. Picardo was underutilized, but I'll assume a suppose a cameo is all he was available for/wanted to do, so fine.

Though I'm in the middle of TOS Season 2 parallel to this show (Chekov's wig...WOOF!) I felt compelled to watch one of my favorite TNG episodes: "Remember Me."

While there's definitely a palpably creepy nature to the crew disappearing bit by bit, at the same time I enjoyed seeing and hearing the Enterprise without any crew. It's the same thrill one gets from "Starship Mine" or the beginning of "Brothers" when it's just Data on the bridge.

You really get a feel for how big the Enterprise is once it starts emptying out (even though the universe around it is shrinking).
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Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 10:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go


"To paraphrase Q and put it bluntly: This place isn't that important. "

Nobody's forcing you to come here- everyday- and ruin everybody's good time. And to poop on the Grand Puba's site no less! By all means man, the door's that way.
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Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 10:03am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@Skorch, @Cosmic

The left/right debate started with someone (I can't even remember who) comparing the Klingons to Trump supporters, and implying that all of them were anti-immigration racists. But I agree, let's keep the discussion to Star Trek and leave politics out of it. I will fully admit that I allowed myself to get drawn into the debate, but probably should have refrained. It's not worth it. When someone starts throwing so-called statistics at you that are published by a very biased fringe organization, then one needs to realize it's time to stop arguing with the wall.
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Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 7:55am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

No, this was not the worst episode yet (that was “The Butcher’s Knife”), but it was definitely the most schizophrenic.

The scene between Tilly and Stamets is exactly the kind of scene we need to see to stay invested in his story and character, but I find it sad that after all the pre-release hype regarding the first long-term homosexual relationship depicted in Star Trek, Stamets and Culber have only gotten one scene together.

The planet-mission story was something we've seen countless times before, but the execution was fine. Strangely, the weakest aspects of the series are the ones that directly relate to the war.
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Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 7:18am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

I've just watched this episode for the third time. I have to say I like it. It's camp and ridiculous, but please keep in mind that some people think that describes all of Star Trek!

I think it makes most sense as a dream of Paris. I know that's normally a cheap and stupid explanation/ending, but here it does make sense. The entire thing is so totally focused on him. Even the subtle parts, like B'Elanna, the best engineer, not being the one to help with the final idea - just Tom and his best friend Harry, with the help of Neelix, who only a few episodes ago he came to a better understanding with.

You could also say it moves from father issues, which are a long term thing with him, to issues with his (and almost everyone on Voyager's) mother figure, Janeway. She wants to protect him. Does she believe in him? She does! But, is Harry her favourite son? And then he has teenage tantrums at her when his body is going through scary changes. And after, when his scary transformation is complete, he has sex with her and they have children, but the children don't matter because they aren't real... it really seems like a bad dream. But like a dream, you can see the themes and the ideas. (And I have had recurring bad dreams about spitting out my teeth - maybe his version is spitting out his tongue!)

I think the real idea is what he briefly discusses at the end, what's the worth and cost of proving himself. Janeway says people respect him and that's the end, because that was the answer to the real beginning question, not the matter of crossing the threshold. It was always about his self worth.

Also, I will always love the doctor waking him in sickbay. That's a classic.
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Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 6:40am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Of BSG and Lost, I will say this: For the first season of Lost, possibly two, it was among the best-written television series we have EVER seen. Be grumpy all you want about the last couple of seasons - it's certainly justified - but that should in no way diminish our pleasure at that first season of the show. To this day, it's miraculously good, in character work, in structure, in theme, in tone, everything -
it's incredible, all around. Fans get greedy about these things. YOU try having a show last 5 or 6 years and keep the standard set by that first season; it would be practically impossible. Many believe it's the showrunners' fault for not having a plan; okay, fair enough. But there is no reason to believe the show would have maintained that impossibly high standard even if they DID have a plan. Yes, the show fell apart, but that's largely because it lasted too long, and because answers are never as satisfying as questions. BSG also maintained a very high standard throughout, and while there were certainly significant dips in quality in the mid-seasons (Balter's arc, for example, plummeted in interest), the mutiny stuff in the end was gripping as hell. In the end, both of these shows, despite their lows, had such high highs that they should still be regarded as the standard for high-quality science fiction television. AND, later shows can even try to learn from their mistakes, which is even better.

As for this episode, it was giddily entertaining for the first 3/4, with a predictable let-down in terms of the explanation at the end. But that's okay. It's fairly easy to guess what the writers did here - they thought up the premise and the conflict, which were cool and well worth doing, and only afterwards did they try to find some semi-workable sf explanation for it, which they sort-of kind-of did. Everything before the explanation is wacky and scary enough, I would say, to warrant a halfassed resolution - why not? This episode is about the tonal experience, and about the character fearing that she has too much fear - so thematically, it was on-point. And yes, by the midway point, the episode was extremely reminiscent of TNG's Remember Me, and perhaps, like many of even the better Orville episodes so far, it suffers by reminding us of a similar, but better, earlier Trek episode. In this case, it's being compared to a semi-classic, so we shouldn't be too harsh on it. For much of its running time, I think it worked just fine.
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Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 6:33am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Wolf in the Fold

It would have been prudent to have Scotty detained in a cell after the first murder.
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Misha Veen
Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 5:59am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

DISCLAIMER: By lack of an alternative, I will use CAPS-ed text for emphasis-putting purposes. If it seems angry and/or shouty, I hereby apologize; just know that it wasn't meant that way.

I think there is something that needs to be remembered here: Klingons aren't Human. Literally.

I will say that the Klingons and their motivations might not work very well.... IF you've never seen 'Star Trek'. I feel it should work quite splendidly for those who have seen stuff in this franchise before.
To understand the Klingons and see them as more than Cardboard Cut-Out Villains, one needs to ask oneself a question. Now, this is a question the show doesn't explicitly ask, let alone that it provides us with an answer, but expecting the audience to ask itself questions and come up with answers is, I feel, not at all unreasonable.
Here's the thing. The allusions to Real-World parallels are fine and all, but I feel it would actually create a better appreciation of the STORY to actually answer the somewhat obvious question: What would "Staying Klingon" or, perhaps more accurately, "Becoming Klingon AGAIN" actually entail? Because, you see, the Klingons aren't some mysterious, unknowable entity; they are a People with a distinct Culture that we, the audience, should be rather familiar with.
I feel that if one comes up with the answer of what T'Kuvma's motto actually entailed, all the actions of the Klingons in general and T'Kuvma in particular will fall into place in the viewer's mind, and both the Klingons' actions and Burnham's will fall into place.

I'm not going to answer the question for you, but if need be I WILL provide a hint. Which is this: essentially, Burnham was right. #BurnhamWasRight ?
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Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 4:32am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

I agree on Lost and BSG. Of the two, Lost's problems were much more profound. I quit Lost after season 4 (and would argue it stopped being good after the end of season 3) but saw BSG right through to the end. In the case of BSG, while they wrote themselves into a corner by never having had any idea where they were going with all the mythology etc, I think there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the show that a better-written finale couldn't have solved. As it stands, that wasn't the case - so while season 3 and 4 have their fare share of outstanding episodes, I think the criticisms of people who found the series losing credibility and direction from the end of series 2 onward (e.g. have a great deal of merit. Both shows had great characters and production, but when you're selling mythology and mystery as a central point of your show, you have to have some idea where you're going with it or at least what you want to say.
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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 10:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Visionary

I just watched this on the H&I channel. Meh. An out-of-the-blue plot for the Romulans to destroy the station, but fortunately this week we also just happen to have a time-shifting character who can warn the crew. This is DS9's variation on TNG and VOY's beaten-to-death plotline of "the ship is completely disabled or taken over, but fortunately one crew member happened to not be aboard and saves the day."
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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 9:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm


Totally agree LOST was a mess and unnecessarily complex This was the point I would argue where tv writers got lazy. Gone were the days of careful thoughtful approach to writing and instead LOST ushered in an era where the writers believed they could throw mysteries and teases along with the kitchen sink at the audience and fan theorizing. It became more about structure and gimmicks. Everything centered around the weekly cliffhanger or gotcha! Moment. Scenes got shorter so more could be crammed in or certain things strategically kept offscreen to keep up the long con The audience had to fill in the blanks of things that should have been dramatized onscreen and were back in earlier decades. The mythology got so convoluted that audience had to check Wikipedia to keep track. Holes had to be filled in by writers/producers in Q and As or podcasts.

It was also LOST that for pure ambition sake bean growing the character roster to ridiculous levels. And Lost started the fad of killing off main characters for shock value

And when it came time to provide answers the writers got cute and said “ oh, it was never sboutbthe mysteries—it was about the characters”. Even though they had encouraged fans to chew on the mysteries.

And ever since then shows have adopted wholesale that Lost format or huge parts of it. Even shoes like Desperate Housewives

BSG followed that Lost format with its ongoing series spanning mythology and itbtoo never panned out but unlike LOST, BSG didn’t go as all-in on it. BSG though felt like an academic exercise. It wasn’t entertaining. It felt like a course in pure academic character studies of insufferable human beings—guinea pigs of Ron Moore as a big F U to Star Trek. It was poorly plotted, at times choppy because of poor editing and came across as little more than a stitched together string of isolated scenes

Frankly I keep hoping television will get back to basics and solid storytelling. I’m tired of the flashback gimmick, the long con, holding back on the audience as to generate an aura of mystery surrounding characters or their motives for some distant aha moment. But right now it doesn’t seem like they’re going back to the basics anytime soon

I guess I should applaud Seth MacFarlane for hardening back to that earlier time in television but the horrible comedy and recycled storylines torpedo Orville for me

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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 8:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

"This episode of the Orville reminds me of the episode of ________ except for_______"
We get that a lot on this site.

This episode of the Orville reminds me of the TNG episode "Remember Me". Like Remember Me everything is back to normal in the end, so what we are left with is character development, which is the best I can say for this episode.

The ending didn't work for me, though. "I'm going to test my meddle in the Holodeck with implausible scenarios but, I want to think its real so wipe my memory so I can't remember i'm in a simulation. Thanks doctor. Now computer, execute Order 38 so that nobody can interrupt it."

So in the end, Kitan is stronger for it. But we had to put up with scenario after scenario that we know aren't real, that would have gone on indefinitely had Mercer not stopped it.

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Vladimir Estragon
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 8:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

It occurred to me long ago that these people were probably not called the Children of Tamah or Tamarians at all. That name probably came from a metaphorical statement made during the first contact that the Feds misunderstood.

"Greetings. We are from the United Federation of Planets."
"Tamah, his children in red pajamas. Sukkoth, when the walls fell."
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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 5:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

@Dave I thought maybe that but it was a medical reference so I would assume everything would be aligned to Union time references. Perhaps not something we can come to terms yet with only two data points. I don’t recall a third time reference yet unless we include Isaac’s reference to Claire’s children’s behavior which would then force sequence this episode after Into the Fold.
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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 4:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Prototype

William B, I loved that moment on the viewscreen too. I could just imagine that with all that drama going on he's suddenly like "I am sorry, Lieutenant B'Ellana Torres. I did not realise you were still talking to Captain Kathryn Janeway." If it was supposed to be menacing, it was even more hilarious!

Unlike most of the comments, I don't think it's weird that B'Ellana wanted to fix it. It's a cool robot in space just ripe for fixing. And that it was "dying" gave it more urgency. If it were already "dead" and it was a question of bringing it back, she could have put it in storage for something to do on a rainy afternoon. Isn't it normal to want to fix broken things? In any case, I would have been driven to have done the same as her, if I had her skills
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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 4:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

I thought Halston Sage did very well in this episode.

You'd think Lt. Alara Kitan's superior strength would make her fast as well. :-)

I enjoyed this one, twists and all.

A few trek episodes came to mind while I was watching this. I liked the fact that this wasn't just like any of them.

The "humor" didn't do anything for me, so I'll go 3 stars.
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David Pirtle
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 2:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

This is one of those episodes that I loved as a boy but has somewhat less appeal to me as a middle-aged viewer. Partly it has to do with Shatner's acting as Negative Kirk. The only scene where he really pulls it off is the final confrontation on the bridge, which almost makes up for the rest. The biggest problem of course is how they handle Rand's character, basically having her repeatedly apologize for being attacked and practically raped, starting with almost immediately after it happened, and culminating in one of the most stomach-churning moments in TOS history, when Spock actually implies that she secretly liked it. 30 years ago I probably would have given this full marks. Now, it still deserves 2 1/2 out of four on the strength of its concept and most of its execution. But I can't say I still think it's one of the best.
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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 2:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm


Wikipedia indicates that episode 112 is the one being moved to next season (which makes sense if 113 is more serialized and/or has a cliffhanger).
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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 1:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

Captain: "Oh, and the root cause of [the Iran-Iraq War]? Well! It was a verrrry important dispute, you see. Yes indeed. Apparently, when Mohammed died in the 7th century, there was an argument about whether his successor should be his son-in-law, or his buddy."

Bit of a stretch to call this the root cause of a war between two majority Shia countries in the 20th Century. Note that it was a secular Iraqi government that started the conflict by invading Iran, not the other way around.
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Dave in MN
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 1:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm


You are assuming a Moclan year and a human year are the same time span.

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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 11:50am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

The Orville episodes are serialized but not harshly. There was a 6-month reference in this episode, yet there was a 1-year reference in the last episode with the Bortis/Klyden offspring getting shots.

If they want the series to not be Star Trek then Yellow Alert has to go. There are simply too many Trekkian references. That is why it feels so derivative and the comparisons will continue.

I lost Lost at the polar bear. I am amused at how people watched those earlier serials, and speak of their viewing habits in retrospect. It’s almost Orvillian.
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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 9:36am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: First Season Recap

I think the S1 ratings for DS9 are EXTREMELY generous. Yes, this is a very good series (easily my second-favorite after the "incapable of ever being de-throned TOS), but the first season of DS9 is nearly unwatchable.

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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 6:15am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Just to clarify: As of January 2006, when both shows were in the middle of their second seasons, I would have called “LOST” and BSG my two favorite television programs. I stuck with both all the way through, but with BSG it became fairly quickly apparent that the quality level became much more uneven after “Resurrection Ship, Part II” (the conclusion of the Admiral Cain storyline). I often tell newbies to that show to go through to that point and then stop, and they will have watched a nearly perfect 27 or 29 episodes of television, depending on how you look at it (the miniseries episodes are double-length). There are enjoyable moments after that (in particular, the most painful thing to excise was Apollo’s speech at Baltar’s trial about being a “gang on the run”), but all in all it’s just not worth it given how it sullies the greatness that came before.

With “LOST”, I failed to recognize it at the time (which in retrospect I feel foolish about), but it also jumped the shark in 2006. I didn’t really get disenchanted with the show until 2009, late in Season 5. But when I tried to figure out a similar “curation” of the show as with BSG if I recommended it to someone (so, what episode to exit the show), I kept finding myself having to go earlier and earlier as I reviewed episode summaries. Despite enjoying the time travel stuff, I knew the making-it-up-as-we-go nonsense had started much earlier.

[Spoilers for “LOST” follow. The last two paragraphs return to “The Orville” and are spoiler free.]

At one point I settled on the second season finale: Desmond blithely and inexplicably decides to go along with Locke’s plan to stop entering the numbers, even though--as the flashback in this very episode shows!--he had once come back from outside too late to enter them at the proper moment, and it had caused the hatch to almost destroy itself.

But a major pet peeve about the slapdash writing of the show had long been the “smoke monster”, which before it was shown to be a smoke monster had so obviously been conceived of as a mechanical security system, operated by 1970s style clickety-clack Dharma computers, just like the numbers board in the hatch. So that meant the scene earlier in season 2 when Eko comes face to face with the “smoke monster” had to go.

Anyway, to tie it back into my speculation about those who liked this episode of “The Orville”, I hate it when TV writers go the lazy route of ginning up audiences by throwing all kinds of “mysterious” occurrences at the screen, everything but the kitchen sink, but have no real plan to explain the mysteries, or the one they do have is kind of lame. This wasn’t as bad as was the case on those other two shows, where mystery plot threads were dropped entirely or ultimately explained with gauzy mystical mumbo-jumbo; but this wasn’t too far from “it was all a dream”, and that’s a pretty lame explanation in and of itself.

So as I said in my first comment, the reveal at least makes what we saw plausible. But it still meant that when we in the audience were kept in the dark, our chains were getting dishonestly yanked over something that ultimately didn’t really matter, not in a way that made it worthy of being virtually the entire plot of an episode.
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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 6:12am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Just so everyone knows: (1) The next episode will be on Nov. 30, a *week* from this Thursday, not *this* Thursday (presumably due to the Thanksgiving holiday); and (2) This first season was recently reduced from 13 episodes to 12, with the now "extra" episode going to the second season instead. (Which of the 13 episodes they chose to move--and precisely why-- isn't clear. Though The Orville isn't serialized, I'm still hoping that the reduction and move won't disrupt anything.)
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