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CPUFP
Fri, Nov 24, 2017, 6:46am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@Ed

If he keeps Tyler as his main identity, but is drawn into an identity crisis by learning that he once was Voq, I'd also say there could be potential for interesting stories. What I'd hate though is if he was reprogrammed into Voq, and all the character building and the emotional investment the audience has put into the character would just be thrown away. As of now, I don't really know what to expect from the writers.
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CPUFP
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 8:16am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

At last, a little bit of closure on some of all those unanswered questions the show has presented us with so far. I was disappointed that apparently the rumors of Tyler being Voq are true. I had hoped for a more original resolution to this arc - though to be honest, I would not have minded if the writers had just dropped it unresolved, because Voq's appearances until now have left me completely uninvested in the character. Let's hope the writers start bringing in some other alien cultures, because it seems to me that this version of the Klingons does not really have that much potential for more storylines. They're not relatable as individuals, and as a culture, they're pretty much a one trick pony, far from the complex society established on TNG. I'd like Discovery to give us some more info on that era's Vulcans, maybe some Andorian characters like they had in Enterprise, or elaborate more on the Kelpians.
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CPUFP
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 8:05am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

This was the first episode where the humor felt organic to me, even though I wish they would've toned down the 20th century pop culture references and the slapstick wackiness on the Krill ship. The show is dealing exactly with the kind of issues I want to see on a sci-fi program.

One thing about the episode's resolution bothers me though: Mercer and Malloy killing the Krill seemed forced. Couldn't they have just turned up the lights for a short period in order to incapacitate the Krill, destroy the rocket, smash the ship's controls and escpape in the shuttle? Granted, it would have been riskier, but it would've seemed more in line with what he have thus seen of Mercer's and the Union's moral code than just brutally killing all the adult men on the ship. Of course, then there would not have been an oppurtiny for the "violence begets violence" message the episode finished on.
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CPUFP
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 7:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

As some commenters have pointed out, the behavior of the Klingons on this show really isn't in conflict with what we know about them from established canon.

The Klingon warriors the TOS crew encountered were always shown as ruthless, lying cowards whose approach to maintaining the Empire was basically "the ends justify the means". The Klingons' use of slave laborers is well documented in TOS and the movies, so it's not really a stretch to imagine them keeping sex slaves and using torture.

Klingons only started talking about honor during "The Undiscovered Country" and TNG, and that was around a time when the Empire was in decline and parts of its elite alluded to old traditions in an attempt to regain some of their culture's lost strength.

The Klingons' constant talk about honor, war and their glorious past during TNG, DS9 and VOY could also be interpreted as them simply compensating for a fear of loss of identity, since that was exactly the time when the Klingon Empire went from a period of aggressive expansion to a new era of peaceful cooperation with the Federation. Don't forget that much of what we today view as "how Klingons are" is shaped by the portrayal of Worf, who, being the only Klingon in Starfleet, was more concerned about upholding their cultural tradition than any of his contemporaries in the Empire. And during the TNG arc about Worf's father, we got to see that the Empire's government was still run by corrupt cowards.

Moreover, during ENT (there was this one episode with the Klingon lawyer, I don't remember the title), there were a few hints at groups in Klingon society that had different goals for their world's development, but were pushed to the side.

All in all, when you look at the canon in its entirety, Klingon society and politics are presented as much more diverse and much less focused on the moral conduct of honorable warriors than one might think at first glance, and the T'Kuvma Klingons shown in Discovery are just one specific faction within this society.
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CPUFP
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 6:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: About a Girl

Overall a pretty good episode. I liked how they handled the topic of "correctional" sex assignment at birth, even calling in question earth practices like correcting a cleft pallate or circumcision (btw, I sincerely hope that circumcision as a cultural practice will be long gone by the 25th century).

The ending was solid - cultural customs aren't changed by one sudden revelation, but with the famous author outing herself as a woman, we can at least hope that Moclan society will gradually change, and it was heartwarming to see Bortus und Klyden reconcile and look forward to providing for their child's future.

So far, Bortus' arc has been the most interesting part of the show for me, and I like that, even though their culture is presented as problematic, the Moclans are still shown as people with believable individual motivations. In that regard, The Orville is more Trekkian than Discovery's portrayal of the Klingons as being characterized by nothing but violence and fear.

The only part that didn't work for me (apart from the terrible humor, which I hope will be dropped as the series continues) was the courtroom scene. If female Moclans are so rare and are usually changed into males at birth, why do the Moclans have such a clear concept of women being physically and intellectually inferior to men? If the Moclans procreate within one sex only, how come they even have a concept of a male-female binary sexuality? And why does no-one call bullshit when Grayson tries to prove the capabilities of Moclan women by referring to other species from different planets? The answer to these questions is, of course, that this is all just an allegory, but if McFarlane intends to do some worldbuilding with this show, then he should at least give this world some consistency.
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CPUFP
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 3:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

Yes, the plot and many of the individual scenes are dead horse tropes, but this episode actually got me invested in the characters. I particarly liked the Bortus subplot, which showed him as honestly caring for his family. There were a lot of ways that story could have been done wrongly, and I'm glad the were all avoided. The scenes in the zoo were not that great story-wise, but had some cool visual designs. All in all the show, though mostly average, has enough going for it to keep me watching.

The only real issue for me is the humor. If McFarlane wants to do a Star Trek parody, then he should do that. But doing what at most of the time feels like an honest TNG hommage, and then having the characters make dick jokes and dropping constant references to 20th/21th century pop culture is just insincere. I especially hope that McFarlane will find use for the character of LaMarr apart from being a provider of cringy one-liners.
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CPUFP
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Thanks to Hank for pointing this out: The Klingons in this show would really fit in nicely in the first season of Lexx. They aesthetic of their ships (both exterior and interior) and their obession with torture and death - even adding their fallen soldiers' caskets to their ships - make them seem more like a branch of The Divine Order than the Klingons we have come to know.
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CPUFP
Fri, Dec 11, 2015, 10:25am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: And the Children Shall Lead

Five episodes into the third season (I'm watching TOS in production order) and so far I'm pleasantly surprised - of course I haven't seen Spock's Brain yet.

This one here didn't have the best plot, acting (Shatner was obviously just phoning in on this one) or guest stars, but it wasn't exactly bad either. I actually found a few elements here quite scary - the children's performance (especially the red-haired boy), the alien's speeches and the fact that those two redshirts were simply beamed into empty space. The resolution, though a tad too simple, was also quite moving to me. So in spite of all its flaws, I'd give this episode at least 2 stars.
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CPUFP
Mon, Nov 30, 2015, 9:29am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

Oh, almost forgot: Didn't you just love Spock's comment on the parallel Earth trope? "Kohms? Communists? The parallel is almost too close, Captain."
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CPUFP
Mon, Nov 30, 2015, 9:19am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

I agree with the few positive remarks Dan A. and William B made. To me, the episode's message was that even a society which prides itself on being built on democracy and personal liberty can devolve into barbarism in the course of war if it treats its own civic symbols and texts as religious artifacts, dehumanizes its enemies and stops seeing them as worthy of the same liberties as its own citizens. So at its core, the episode actually had a few points going for it as a comment on the US's role in the Cold War, and that actually was enough to make me forgive the whole flag-waving, parallel Earth nonsense and plot inconsistencies.

One detail I found funny, in addition to all that has been said above by other commenters, is the return of the "trapped in a cell without guards" trope, which has saved the skin of a lot of Starfleet officers in the 23rd and 24th centuries (though it is not exclusively used in the Star Trek franchise). After being beaten unconscious by the Yangs, Kirk is lying in his cell for seven hours without anybody checking on him. But granted, there was only one Kohm guard in the whole facility, and he had his hands full with stopping McCoy from flirting with the meal delivery lady!
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CPUFP
Sun, Nov 8, 2015, 2:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: A Private Little War

I too found the Mugato ridiculous, but I think it does serve a certain function in the story. The Mugato seems to be the only natural predator of the hill people. In the beginning of the episode, Kirk even says something like "It'd Paradise here, if it were not for the Mugato." But when the villagers are equipped with firearms, they become much bigger threats to the lives of the hill people, even though they are of the same species. So I guess the Mugato's purpose in the story is to remind us of the dangers of nature to man, which are no match to man's own danger to himself when he turns to violence and war.
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CPUFP
Sun, Oct 11, 2015, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

Well, this really was not much, but I liked the scene where Kirk reminisced about one of the killed redshirts, how he had known his family etc. At least a little attempt at making these guys more than plot cannon fodder.
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CPUFP
Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 2:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

Since William B has already pointed out the most important things about this episode, I'd just like to say that I was amazed by Apollo's lack of nipples. I know that cartoon figures of the era were not allowed to have them (well, not just only this era - even 20 years later, He-Man did not have any), but it was still pretty amazing to me to see that there were no visible nipples at all on the actor. A big thumbs up to the make-up crew!
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CPUFP
Fri, Jul 10, 2015, 6:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Tomorrow Is Yesterday

Interesting that Jammer and most of the commenters gave this one such high ratings. I have to say that I found it to be the weakest episode until now (still haven't reached the end of season 1). As someone above said: Nothing really happened. Plus I thought the crew acted pretty stupid, especially Kirk. He beams past guy aboard, shows him aorund the whole ship (don't you just love how on all incarnations of Star Trek, every random doofus can just enter the command bridge?) and tells him everything about where they came from. I get that certain time travel tropes where not fully formed yet when this was written, but shouldn't the logical course of action be to have Christopher confined to a cell and isolated, or better yet: just stun him? Then they break into an army base, get captured by a generel or whatever (who would have thought that sensitive files in a military base would be guarded?) and end up beaming him aboard the Enterprise too. All remaining problems are solved by beating every soldier they meet senseless. Well, all that would simply make for a stupid episode, but what really made me hate it were the attempts at humor and how they were accentuated by the annoyingly obvious music. A woman on a spaceship? Cue some sexy sax! Spock raises his eyebrows? Time for a whimsical little theme! But of cour├če, the visuals were auite striking, so all in all there are about two minutes worth of watchable material here. :)
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CPUFP
Fri, Apr 3, 2015, 6:13am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

Sure, it's a magnificent piece of drama with fleshed-out characters and very competent guest actors. However I have to side with James' comment above. With all the talk about how evolved Federation culture is, why do these cadets only care about their careers? Are they not interested in science and exploration, or in serving the progress of UFP society? Exactly the same story could have been set in a modern-day military. There really is nothing Star Trek specific about it. Sure, it has a few things to tell us, but nothing about what a future of mankind could look like. Still, a great hour of television in its own right.
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CPUFP
Fri, Apr 3, 2015, 6:04am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Sub Rosa

Oh my. This truly was... something else. Well, at least the establishing shots of the Enterprise beside the planet looked nice. That's all I will be saying about this episode.
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CPUFP
Thu, Apr 2, 2015, 6:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Journey's End

Great solution for the Federation! Get rid of the stupid Space Indians and let the Cardassians deal with them. Now, since there was only one small village on the planet, there should still be room for further colonization. Why not relocate the space Africans ("Code of Honor"), space Irish ("Up the Long Ladder") and space scotsmen ("Sub Rosa") and turn the planet into a big theme park for racial stereotypes?
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CPUFP
Thu, Apr 2, 2015, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Capitalist:

I cannot tell whether you're just trolling (sure seems so), but what exactly do you consider absurd about Roddenberry's vision?

Also, you dd inded miss the point. You might have been misled by the ship's name, but this series is not about a private enterprise. The ship belongs to the Earth government and is on a mission of exploration and diplomacy. Archer and his crew can not simply dispose of their resources as they see fit, because these resources are not theirs to begin with. And I'm pretty sure that providing medicine for a deadly disease to people who have no means to produce this medicine themselves would fall under their mission. If they were not sure about how to proceed, they should have inquired with Starfleet Command, who would probably have passed such an important issue to the government.
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CPUFP
Thu, Apr 2, 2015, 6:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Firstborn

Another thing: Would anyone else from the main crew have believed Future Alexander as easily as Worf did? Some guy comes along and claims to be sent by your brother to protect you from being assassinated, and you don't even request his personal file? Then he claims to be your son from 40 years into the future, and all the proof you want is his recollection of how his mother died? You don't even do a DNA check, or ask what technology he used to travel through time? Did he ever plan on returning to his own time, or just expect to disintegrate after having changed the timeline? I wouldn't feel safe on the Enterprise, knowing that the chief of security is that easy to fool. I actually expected until the last second that Future Alexander would be exposed as a fraud. I mean, he obviously staged the attack on Worf, and placed false evidence to make him suspect the Duras sisters. Well, he obviously learned one central Klingon value right during those 40 years: to cover your own immoral actions with loud talk about honor.
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CPUFP
Thu, Apr 2, 2015, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Firstborn

I thought that last week's episode was bad, but I liked this even less. The main lesson I took from it was how stupid Klingon culture really is. Here we have a whole civilization built on superstiton, stagnancy, sexism, the glorification of violence and disrespect for science and diplomacy. Its values are incompatible with those held up by the Federation. The conversation between the two Alexanders about the legend of Kahless and his brother shows this clearly: Being Klingon is defined as telling the same stories over and over again without questioning their inconsistencies. It is about feeling, not knowing. The whole episode (along with that one where he rescues the Klingon prison camp inmates by teaching them the value of anti-Romulan racism) really made me question Worf as a character: If he values traditional Klingon culture so much and wants his son to grow up according to it, then what is he still doing in Starfleet? Why doesn't he just move to the Empire and raise Alexander there?
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CPUFP
Thu, Mar 19, 2015, 7:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

I hated the ending to this episode. The whole communication attempt was based on everybody forgetting the events of "Datalore", where it had been established that the CE could be communicated with and that it was hostile towards humanoids. There really was no other option than to kill (why does TNG always use the euphemism "destroy"?) the CE, and it would have been honest of the writers to let Picard give the order to do so. But instead that task was shifted to Marr, who is then presented as mentally deranged by grief. The script could at least have had Picard acknowledge that she probably saved other people from being killed by the CE. Or even better: Worf could have sided with her. But this way, the Enterprise crew gets a desirable outcome without having to take responsibility for it, while looking down on the person who was willing to take that responsibility.
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CPUFP
Thu, Mar 19, 2015, 6:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

What is up with Jonathan Frakes in this episode? His facial expression and posture is slightly off in all his scenes. Had me thinking he might have been drunk on set.
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CPUFP
Sun, Mar 1, 2015, 5:54am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

Which episode was this again? Ah, the one with Troi's cleavage!
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CPUFP
Sun, Feb 15, 2015, 5:43am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

Some nitpicking:

If the reason for the time-"loop" (for lack of a better word) was a "highly localized distortion of the space-time continuum", and time kept on moving normally outside the distortion (which is established when they receive the star date from the nearest UFP outpost), then why does the loop always start with the Enterprise in considerable distance from the "time bubble"?

On a more substantial note, I thought it was a big missed opportunity to have the Sojus class ship appear only briefly in the end for a small Kelsey Grammer cameo. Yes, we had met Starfleet officers from that time period before (in "Yesterday's Enterprise"), and it is established that Picard is not interested in meeting people from the past (see "The Neutral Zone" and "A Matter of Time"), but shouldn't the arrival of a fully manned ship from 80 years ago be a bigger sensation than what we see here?
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CPUFP
Sun, Feb 15, 2015, 5:32am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

Two more things about this episode:

1) A recurring theme in Wesley's arc is his search for a father figure. In "Family", we learned that his father being a Starfleet officer was what made Wesley want to join the organization himself. In "Final Mission", he explicitly told Picard what had been hinted at many times before: That his main motivation for pursuing perfection in Starfleet was to make Picard proud of him. Here, we see that after leaving the Enterprise and joining the Academy, Wesley has found a new father figure in Locarno. When his old father figure Picard comes back at the table, Wesley is faced with a conflict, because these two fathers represent different ethical convictions: Picard's loyalty is to the society (the Federation) as a whole and to its principles, while Locarno is loyal to his friends (to a certain degree), whom he knows and cares for personally. Wesley is conflicted by this because he is not sure yet what his own ethical beliefs are. While on the Enterprise, he had taken Picard's side ("I'm with Starfleet, we don't lie"). But in the light of this episode, it is probable that this had not been because this was his own conviction, but as another attempt to impress Picard and to be accepted by the senior crew. Then at the Academy, he probably leaned towards Locarno's side for the same reasons. At the end of the episode, he has returned to the previous stance, but this time he has come to these beliefs because he sees that it is right. Though part of his decision might still be due to his fear that Picard will not respect him anymore if he keeps on lying...

2) What was the deal with Albert's father? I understand that he probably was supposed to be in pain, but his facial expressions and the way his torso rocked left and right while walking gave me the impression that he was having a stroke. It was mildly irritating.
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