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J.B.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 1:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

This episode almost put me to sleep, between the snooze-inducing Vulcan plot and the endless expository dialogue. I don't know. I'm just not very invested in this show because I don't care about anyone in it.
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Jammer
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 12:39am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

I am using the CBSAA app for Android, streamed through Google Chromecast to my HDTV. I have zero issues using this exact setup with the Netflix app. I emailed CBSAA support and got a reply immediately that indicated this was a known issue, so it sounds pretty widespread. Not a good way to build a reputation for a service you are trying to roll out.
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Jammer
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 12:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Review pending, but I have to vent now about CBS All Access. The presentation tonight was just atrocious. This is a sorry excuse for a streaming service if this is considered acceptable in 2017. Did everyone else have those video stuttering and quality issues? Terrible. CBS should be embarrassed, and I am embarrassed for paying them money.
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John Harmon
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Star Trek Discovery writers have no appreciation for how big space is. I miss when Star Trek actually made space feel eerie with how vast it really was.
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John Harmon
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

And CBS All Access is literally the worst. It barely plays anything. Constant stopping and starting all throughout the episode.
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John Harmon
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

So I guess we can add holodecks to the list of technologies in this show that shouldn't exist yet.

And now we're to believe there's Vulcans who think humans are inferior and hate the Federation? The people who believe in IDIC? Why do writers past TOS hate Vulcans so much? What a terrible idea.
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Jeanne
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

A mixed bag. I think there is a good story about sarek's crappy parenting in here for sure, picking up threads from all the way back to "Journey to Babel" and revealing something interesting about Burnham (and Spock) through them. But I really hate the contrived, bizarre way that story gets presented to us. Not only is there Magic Spore Power, but now the Federation is building katra-driven psi tech? Sarek and Burnham have Matrix duels for mental supremacy? It's just kind of dopey, and the good character work this week (except for Ash Tyler, the "Poochy" of DSC???) and the reasonable last scene btw Burnham and Sarek doesn't totally redeem it. Not even going to comment on the stupidity of "logic extremists."

No points for dishonorable Klingons. Major points for making it crystal clear that Lorca in no way has Starfleet's blessing, and for letting him make a pretty unforgivable choice that I think will lead to good narrative payoffs. Hoping last show will end with Burnham murdering Captain Jerkface. Idk: 2.5 stars, all earned from the last 15 minutes or so.
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Jason R.
Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 11:55am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Basics, Part II

Shouldn't Janeway have immediately ordered her crew to commit mass suicide when they realized there was an indigenous alien race on the planet? They all should have jumped into lava rather than violating the prime directive by being seen by primitives on the planet.
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Jasper
Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Equilibrium

Jammer can't use 'character.moments' in anymore reviews..Boring episode, plot is way too transparent and stop with the stupid toy piano variations in Trek. 2 stars. At most.
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Jammer
Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

I hereby coin the phrase "volcanic ash" to refer to the Voq/Ash theorizing and the plot eruption that awaits, if true.

I can do that, right? :)
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Jammer
Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 11:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

There are interesting possibilities here. And there's this Akiva Goldsman quote: "We are wildly aware of everything that appears to be a deviation from canon and we will close out all of those issues before they arrive at the 10-year period and hit The Original Series."

Now, there's no reason for me to believe he is lying and that there's not a plan for all this (otherwise, why do the prequel at all?), although the fact that they will clear this up within "the 10-year period before TOS" gives them wide-open license to clear it up this season ... or not for years or even until the end of the series. (The latter would probably drive us all insane.)

Regarding Stamets in the mirror, you could read that as a literal reference to an alternate/mirror universe, but you could also read it as a more subjective POV reflecting (as it were) the character's mental state -- that he steps away from the mirror while simply feeling as if he can exist in multiple places at once because he has been changed by this experience. This is ambiguous enough that they could go many directions with it, including less extreme directions than things like the mirror universe.
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Jammer
Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 9:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

The danger with the more elaborate of these Ash/Voq theories and/or alternate/mirror universes is that you may be setting yourself up for an Occam's Razor disappointment.

I'm reminded of the end of "The Matrix Reloaded" when Neo suddenly realized he had the power to destroy machines with his mind in the real world. That seemed to suggest a theory that everything outside the Matrix -- Zion, everything -- was actually another Matrix, and the Matrix was a Matrix-within-a-Matrix, all for the purposes of the machines carrying out the cyclical conflict between Smith and The One.

But when "The Matrix Revolutions" revealed that, nope, Neo can just destroy machines in the real world because he's magical and special, it was a distinct letdown.

Maybe we're heading for something like that here, or maybe not. There definitely seems to be *something* going on here. I'm just not sure what, or if it can live up to the crazy theories.
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JoeyLock
Wed, Oct 18, 2017, 11:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

I've seen a fair amount of anger toward the moral commentary of the episode, especially from Trek feminists who believe its just "victim shaming" and obviously a "evil man violating a poor innocent woman" despite the whole evidence pointing to Kovin's innocence.

I think its interesting to explore the other side, the side of false rape/abuse accusations that do happen more often than people realise or are told about. However rather than blaming Seven, the victim, I would blame The Doctor as he does himself.

In my view the Doctors actions in this episode are analogous to a court case with a fervant lawyer or legal adviser of some sort. I've heard of cases before where people who believe they may possibly have been a victim of abuse but can't really be sure or remember will seek advise or help and if a lawyer decides to take the case as they see it as an "easy win" case with a big payout in court they'll try persuade the victim that the crime 100% did take place and that they need to punish the suspect to help the victim feel better. This is essentially what The Doctor did, I feel he let his affection for Seven cloud his judgement as we can see from his dialogue he continually insisted to Seven various possibilities and ardently defended her in front of the crew leading Tuvok to even notice that he had essentially already made up his mind that Kovin was guilty before any evidence had been found.

This "egging on" from the Doctor lead Seven herself to feel more secure that she had "support" for her memories and then when the Doctor realised he'd jumped the gun and admitted he was unsure, Seven felt like a victim again, being told she was wrong and in her words "The Doctor told me I would feel better when Kovin gets what he deserves. I want him to be punished. I won't settle for anything less." to me its analogous to a plaintiff being told by their legal advisers that they were definitely a victim and they'd feel good once they punished their alleged attacker only for the case to turn against them when the other side provides proof of the defendants innocence or at least "evidence to the contrary" that damages the plaintiffs case, which in turn causes the plaintiff to suddenly become more resolute and steadfast in what they were told was the truth despite previously doubting themselves in the beginning, its like a psychological self-defence mechanism of sorts.

Unfortunately Kovin was one of those cases where the accused was essentially hounded, persecuted and harassed into what is analogous to committing suicide. I quite like that they made the Doctor realise his mistake rather than just end the episode where everyone feels bad and nothing comes of it.

It may be outspoken to say but given the wave of Feminism and "social justice" in recent years, I can't imagine anything like this would appear on Star Trek Discovery unless Kovin was 100% guilty and it was more of a cut and dry "man vs woman" rape metaphor rather than a good ambiguous possible false accusation story this episode was.
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Jason R.
Wed, Oct 18, 2017, 10:05am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

William what you describe is paradoxical. You can't have people just like us living in a utopian future free of war, prejudice and hate - because then they wouldn't be just like us. Star Trek's ideal is not just about new technology but new people.

I am not just talking about the anachronism of guys cracking jokes about 20th century car rentals either.

My point is if you accept that the Orville takes place in some bright Star Trek like future then that vision is fraudulent.
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JanielM
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

Why in the world did they think they needed to reset at the end? There was SO much more dramatic material for them to work with if they'd left things as they were: the ship limping it's way toward home, stopping for repairs along the way with friendly worlds, getting clever to figure out how to deal with unfriendly worlds without hurting the ship further. Watching Doc find a way to restore Tuvok's eyesight and Janeway's skin. Figuring out how to deal with so much physical deprivation on board the ship, and loss. A year of that would have had huge psychological repercussions, and there could have been great episodes surrounding that. Heck, just gathering the crew back together again would have allowed for some amazing stories.

Makes me sad. As it is, these two episodes don't matter. Because they never happened. Sigh.
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Jason R.
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 8:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

I stand corrected E2. I still don't think the writers remember what the Tardigrade is capable of (and since it's gone, I guess it hardly matters)

Incidentally, I think I recognize this kind of storytelling from back when the show Heroes was on the air. I think Jammer sort of alludes to this in his review. The narrative sputters around, erratic and half cocked. It isn't so much a smooth arc but a plane trying to get off the ground and faltering, going up only to crash down and go up again.

I suspect this show will go through many failed arcs. Threads will be introduced and then promptly forgotten. It wouldn't shock me if even the spore drive gets jettisoned at some point. It will happen abruptly, unceremoniously and it will be as if it never happened.

It's ADD storytelling.
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Jason
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 8:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Jammer,

Just a note about one thing in your review: you accuse Saru's characterization of being inconsistent because of his ignoring appeals to sympathy for the tardigrade and being all hard-ass in his attempt to rescue Lorca.

But I thought his motivation was clear, and also extremely consistent: he doesn't want to abandon his Captain the way that Michael abandoned hers. All he is thinking about is diffentiating himself from her, saving his Captain, saving his Captain, being more loyal to his Captain than Michael was to hers - this motivation overtakes him, blinds him, and in the process, he loses (which he even admits!) his own moral compass. In the end, he acknowledges that he feels envious of Michael, who is able to adapt to various contexts (she understands that context is for kings), and Saru wishes he were able to do that so effectively.

So, yeah, I think you're misreading the characterization of Saru. They didn't spell that all out, mind you, but I am certain that's what the writers had in mind.
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Jason R.
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 7:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Thinking back through the mists of time, oh say two episodes ago, I could have sworn that the tardigrade was an indestructible killing machine capable of smashing through hull plates, shrugging off phaser fire and murdering the entire crew of a starship. I get it: the creature was only aggressive when threatened; but in light of the fate of the Glenn, was it not clear that this creature was pretty zealous about protecting itself?

So point a phaser in its general direction and it will go Resident Evil on you and wipe out your starship to the last man in a blood soaked rampage. But torture it by sticking needles in it and it's just a saaad cute widdle puppy who needs Saint Michael's help to be free!

What's funny is that I don't even think the writers remember anything about what happened two episodes ago. They can't even make the show consistent episode to episode so it's foolhardy to expect them to honour canon established in a previous show on the air a decade ago. This is television Memento style; each episode is tabula rasa.

Ohhh look!! Harry Mudd! He was in the original series! Because it's STAR TREK! And they mentioned Pike and Archer in passing! I'm having a fangasm. Maybe they should have Picard show up as a guest star. That would be cool!!

Sadly my cable subscription ends in a few days, as I'm cord cutting and moving over to Netflix. So this was likely my last episode. I'll just have to enjoy this show vicariously through this message board. I guess I've chosen my pain.

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Jim Oz
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 5:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

This is not Star Trek. After watching for 25 years with my children I will no longer watch ST. Swearing? Openly gay characters. Pathetic. I'm getting a divorce after 25 years-I'm gutted.
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Jammer
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 12:29am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

@Skivvies:

Crazy idea indeed.

I LOVE IT!
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Jammer
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Review now posted.
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Jack
Mon, Oct 16, 2017, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

"I'm also not sure why they needed to change the character's personality."

Did they? We're not seeing the over-the-top Roger C. Carmel smarm, I suppose, but the TOS Mudd was plenty dark. Even darker, I'd say.

And on to the gay thing -- apply the argument "I shouldn't have to see _________ in my living room" to any other kind of human being, and see how ridiculous it sounds.

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JPaul
Mon, Oct 16, 2017, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

There was a hint at the end that something is not right with Stamets after the jump so I expect it to be the focus of at least one episode. I think he'll go insane or wind up being coopted by some outside force due to the jump experience.

After 5 episodes I am no longer sure why they called this "Discovery" when "Horror" would be a much more appropriate title. Zach Snyder gets a lot of flak for turning the DC hero universe into a dark murderverse, but what he's done is nothing compared to what's going on here. I can't imagine what Roddenberry would think if he were alive to see what his creation has been turned into.
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Jack Strawb
Mon, Oct 16, 2017, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

A truly inane episode. Just the absurdities i noticed and typed up while the episode was in progress.

"We've captured the captain we believe to be the most critical piece of this existential war we're engaged in.... let's randomly torture his cellmates!!" (Because the fool showrunner thought "choose your pain" was a cooler game than having an actual, coherent plot.)

--Oh, and there they are, stuck in Klingon space, and this critical starship doesn't have a backup warp drive because tension!!

--So despite running a war-changing secret weapon, Captain Lorca has no security guard, at all?

--And they were somewhere in Fed space they could be captured? Near wherever it was this meeting was held? (Even though, if you have holograms that cross hundreds of light years, why does your most important captain have to ever get in a shuttle, especially in wartime?) The showrunners literally don't care about space, how big it is, what is involved in getting from one place to the next... Things are randomly placed wherever they need to be to propel the random action.

--Is it a shuttle with warp drive? Ten years before TOS? And if it doesn't have warp drive surely it's deep in Federation space since Lorca is meeting in person with Federation officials, but Klingons just happen to be able to find them despite not only being deep in Fed space, but because they were able to crack Fed codes and find out who and what Lorca is and where he'd be because plot. Jaysus.

You realize none of this makes any sense, right?

--The "Klingons" are simply repulsive monsters with gigantic football shaped heads, and once we get to the prison cell Lorca flinches like a little girl as they beat another prisoner, because that's what battle hardened war lovers do, right?

-- The dialogue between Mudd and Lorca is largely nonsensical, and in the worst possible way. “Starfleet didn’t start this war,” says Lorca, who last week told Burnham “you started a war. Don’t you want to help me stop it?” So does this singularly essential captain even know who started the war? When the writers don't even care enough to keep track of who started the war that is the centerpiece of the show, how can you expect the show to succeed?

-- And now instead of being a source of good, productive, generous order, Starfleet is just a bunch of arrogant bullies?

-- And Mudd was once upon a time an honest businessman? Alex Kurtzman: “If something's canon, we will hold it down and feck it to death.”

--Worst exposition dump ever wrt the tardigrade. Let's have our characters stand stock still and read the badly, hastily written scene off of cue cards. Painful stuff.

-- Discovery as a show depends, really, on a stupid populace unable to discern coherence from idiocy. -- Btw, I can come up with a superior alternative to spore drive in five minutes. A creature more in tune with quantum foam and the properties specific its various locations in the galaxy (since foam is known to exist everywhere). Quantum coherence causes the physical need of particles to reconnect with certain arrangements of the foam, which in turn allows the ship to travel to its matching location. Then you don't need the joke that spores have rightly become. And you actually get to teach some physics instead of some nonsense.

-- No, seriously, this happened... as they escape, Lorca leaves the lieutenant behind in the corridor because the guy is literally too weak to walk even with assistance. Less than a minute later, he’s nonetheless recovered enough to beat almost to death an adult Klingon in battle garb.

-- Oh, and Discovery is in Klingon space so without the tardigrade they can’t find their way out because, magically, space is no longer three dimensional and navigation has magically ceased to otherwise exist. Discovery can no longer simply point in the direction of federation space, and "engage." Fookin fookety fook, this is awful.

-- Yeah, and now Saru likes Burnham, even though as he says she once again disobeys a direct order, and suddenly he no longer thinks she's dangerous because, who the feck knows.

-- No, the ship spinning is effing ludicrous. It’s beyond ludicrous. The ship does a barrel roll. Think about it. A barrel roll. There is no possible physics requiring a barrel roll, and plenty of physics insisting that’s a truly bad, bad idea. Just stop.  

--It appears the Starfleet lieutenant was raped for seven months while being held on the "klingon" ship. This passed without comment.

- A "Klingon" prison ship just warped into federation space without anybody noticing, apparently.

--The massive "klingon" ship has a crew complement of 30 or 40? As we know, Klingons don't take prisoners, but this is a dedicated prison ship, somehow? Two starship officers, one dedicated to war and killing, idly watch as Mudd steals their food?

--Discovery has 134 crew members, but can run 300 science experiments at once?

The problems range from small to overwhelming, and the overall problems are these: This a series that actively disregards its predecessor material, that doesn't care at all about space--the very medium in which it purports to occur, and doesn't even know who started its war, when that war is central both to the plot and to its main character.

This is the worst plotted, worst thought out tv series i've ever seen (not Trek, but all of tv), and i don't think there's a close second. This is horrendous on every level of scripting. It's an abomination that can't get canceled soon enough.
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JohnTY
Mon, Oct 16, 2017, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

@wolfstar Well said.

Although I don't mind Stamets as a character. He's the geek scientist whose experiment has been commandeered by warmongers - kind of reminds me of Merritt Butrick's character in STII/III.
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