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Alex (in the UK)
Fri, Jan 27, 2017, 1:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, that's exactly what I mean. I'm trying to use "boldly go" as a shortcut to explain what I feel is really missing.

Boldly going, in my opinion, is not about - for example - having a gay character on the show. It is not about a radical setting: another galaxy, or a different quadrant will not automatically fix the lack of vision. That was what I was trying to say with my earlier post. It isn't about the design of the ship or the costumes and it isn't really even about continuity.

I'm also not suggesting the problem with Trek is the TNG-clone phenomenon of the late Berman-Braga era. That's another symptom, as is JJ Trek.

I feel there was something, some ineffable quality, that defined Trek and with the exception of the odd episode here and there Voyager and Enterprise lacked it while TNG and DS9 (my personal favourite) had it in bucketfuls while TOS had it inconsistently.

I doubt if there's anyone out there - Fuller included - who can make real Star Trek again. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.
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Alex (in the UK)
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 7:33am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

I wasn't suggesting it was a likely scenario, just putting it out there as a thought experiment.
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Alex (in the UK)
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 6:07am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

It does look as though this is in deep development hell. From what's been revealed so far I'm not even sure I want to watch it now.

Seems to me that the problem with Trek is the boldly going part. It has been a long time since it boldly went anywhere.

Voyager was TNG in the Delta Quadrant. Except Species 8472 and perhaps the Hirogen it didn't introduce any really memorable alien species - the Malon were a re-tread of the Ferengi, the Kazon a copy of the Klingons and the Ocampa sort of emotive watered-down Vulcans.

Enterprise was TNG in the 2150s, they tried to do something interesting with the Temporal Cold War but it was transparent as a "have your cake and eat it" way to have continuity breaks with no consequence. I actually thought it was initially promising, it was nice to see the Tholians in one relatively early episode for instance but it degenerated into space Nazis (literally), as though we'd not had enough of that in 'The Killing Game' (VOY).

I think the reason so many of us are feeling unhappy with the TOS-era setting for the new series is not so much it being another prequel as the realisation it will be more of the same ENT and VOY bullshit.

Hypothetically let's assume the producers announce a change of direction for the series tomorrow morning and decide it will be set as a long term mission in the 2500s in the Beta Quadrant. What could that mean for the series? Space to do something really different, a newer ship perhaps with a radically different design to the usual Saucer-and-Nacelle design. So far so good but do we have confidence that there's a creative team there that will actually make use of that space to tell new stories, to boldly go?
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Alex (in the UK)
Sat, Sep 17, 2016, 3:43am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@Chrome, surely one of TOS strengths was that it most assuredly didn't follow all of the norms of its time. It bucked them. It presented a woman first officer (briefly), a black senior officer, interracial kiss, etc. Though I am of the opinion these things were less revolutionary than they are commonly made out to be they are still evidence that TOS didn't observe the social norms of mid-century America particularly closely.
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Alex (in the UK)
Sun, Aug 7, 2016, 6:57am (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Strong negative correlation, the above should say - or to avoid misunderstanding, I mean the quality decreased as the quantity of combat increased. Only DS9 bucks that trend in my opinion.
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Alex (in the UK)
Sun, Aug 7, 2016, 6:53am (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

>> (I wouldn't want to be like Khan and limit myself to two-dimensional thinking ;) )

Apart from a few battles in Trek not much use has been made of the 3D nature of the battle space. We tend to see two capital ships pinging each other's shields (and the dreaded "shields down to n%" line from a bridge officer).

I agree that Trek can't really use direct military or naval analogues in the same way that NuBSG did. Trek ships aren't aircraft carriers like the battlestars of NuBSG, nor are the weaponry conventional. That said if there isn't enough imagination to do combat both realistically and imaginatively (to make use of the setting, the period and the battle space) perhaps it would be better to avoid combat entirely.

Although I am not a "Gene's legacy" purist like some, I do think there is a generally strong correlation between the quality of the series and the quantity of literal combat. TNG used combat more sparingly - limited effects budget or better writing? Both? Did limited budget require the writer to work harder? Did digital effects make the quantity of pew-pew rise unchecked by budget concerns?

I enjoyed Enterprise probably more than a lot of fans did. It was silly much of the time and some unfortunate trends made their way over from Voyager but I have to say I can't remember any Enterprise episode really making me think. Some TNG episodes did, some DS9 episodes did. It'd be nice if we could get a modern science fiction series that has excellent production values but with the soul and spirit of the best examples of Trek e.g. Darmok, Inner Light, Duet, In the Pale Moonlight, The Visitor, Rapture, Blink of an Eye.
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Alex (in the UK)
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

An interesting side topic indeed, NCC-1701-Z (mind if I call you Z?).

I thought NuBSG got it pretty right from the very beginning (the miniseries). Take for instance the battle at Ragnar Anchorage. Visually engaging, dialogue pretty good - Tigh issues realistic sounding commands "stand by suppression barrage".

Partly I think this is because the combat usually has purpose - Galactica making itself a shield for the fleet or vipers engaging bogies during patrol. Trek combat tends (DS9 aside) to be enemy-of-the-week attacking for god-knows what reason, standoffs or stubborn-captain-faces-down-aggressive-enemy type scenarios (could almost do with a mini-tropes website about combat scenarios). DS9 being the only Trek series with a full blown war going on had some very memorable combat sequences, the destruction of the Odyssey and the battle in Sacrifice of Angels come to mind.

I think it would be good if the next Trek series could avoid battles for the sake of battles. The combat is more interesting if there is a strong reason for it to occur, rather than the scenarios that seemed to dominate Voyager.
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Alex (in the UK)
Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 11:31am (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

I was hoping the version of the video I saw was a spoof - Klingon-like Starfleet ship in an asteroid with terrible (as in obvious) CGI. From comments here I guess not. Oh dear.
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Alex (in the UK)
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 5:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I had a feeling the review might have been posted today.

Like others I can understand the mostly positive review given to this film by Jammer, but disagree with it personally. That said, a very interesting review with some points I have not seen made by anyone else. Food for thought.
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Alex (in the UK)
Thu, Jul 21, 2016, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Definitely not alone, Yanks. I really hope Jammer decides to review the new series.
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Alex (in the UK)
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 2:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Afterimage

I also liked Terry Farrell's performances. I don't really understand the frequent dislike I've seen expressed about her. She always seemed to be putting a 100% into her role and rarely was noticeably "acting". Not to mention she is one of the few Star Trek "babes" who wasn't put in ridiculous cleavage showing costumes. She more than earned her place in the cast of DS9, in my opinion.
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Alex (in the UK)
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 1:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

>>The fact that he's getting better at copying other people is not something to be >>proud of. However, he's going to make a billion dollars doing it.

Very concerning, I agree. The fact Abrams and co get critical acclaim for their half baked knockoffs shows that the appetite for challenging material is and has been waning for some time, even amongst critics.

>>Therefore, there is never going to be anything innovative.

Ultimately I think this is what is killing modern Trek and TV sci fi in general. It is difficult - half of the audience WANT "magical" sci fi and obvious callbacks. Directors that don't pander to an audience used to getting what they want will find it harder and harder to succeed. On a wider cultural level new ideas, outside of technical progress, seem to be in short supply. Is it because we are drowning in seas of noise and unable to distinguish signal? Or is there a genuine dearth of new ideas?
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Alex (in the UK)
Sat, Jul 2, 2016, 12:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: Independence Day: Resurgence

Always nice to see new reviews by you Jammer.
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Alex (in the UK)
Mon, May 30, 2016, 1:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

Perhaps O'Brien simply preferred Scotch. :)
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Alex (in the UK)
Mon, May 30, 2016, 1:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Progress

... and I completely forgot to say I find the B-story utterly charming.

@Luke, I think DS9 is generally kindly predisposed to trade and the free market. In "Treachery, Faith and the Great River" Nog's barter and trade goes to a new level!
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Alex (in the UK)
Mon, May 30, 2016, 12:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Progress

Interesting to see that some people disliked this episode. I like it. I find it to be a winner because at the very least it makes you think.

I subscribe to the view that conflict (not necessarily involving violence, but at least opposing points of view) provides the power in good drama.

Here we have the conflict of interests between the settlers and the vague millions that will benefit from the power generated by the project. Yes, the story is somewhat flawed - trashing a habitable moon to produce power does seem insane. That said I seem to recall that most of Bajor's moons are habitable to some degree and there is no shortage of habitable planets in Trek.

Earlier comments have been along the lines of "why can't the Federation provide plant and equipment to produce sufficient power?" Well, there'd be no story if it were that simple. Realistically the replicator is a simplistic idea and scarcity will probably always exist in some form or other. If you want post-scarcity science fiction that is all well and good but it doesn't speak very well to common contemporary issues and Trek has never really been post-scarcity.

As to the idea that post-Occupation Bajor should abhor violence and respect civil liberties, if you pay attention to the way real world societies have coped with occupation, colonialism and oppression many broke down completely when the occupying forces withdrew. Sometimes occupying forces restrain other forces from coming into play. That's not a justification for occupation or colonialism but it does happen. If anything it is unrealistic that Bajor becomes a prosperous and peaceful world so quickly without suffering many setbacks in the form of coups, factional violence, conflicts of ideas, etc. Thankfully the series does provide some realistic expressions of these (e.g. The Circle) though within the arc-based format the series took such conflicts don't last particularly long.

In my opinion "Progress" is a good episode that succeeds in telling the story they wanted to tell and doesn't come across too preachy. There are multiple ways of interpreting the moral dimension and I actually like that both sides have legitimate arguments. I like my drama to have shades of grey.
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