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Nolan
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 2:17am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

I'm really happy to be Canadian right now (always) as Discovery airs on actual TV here. Even though I still have to PVR it cause university life.
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Nolan
Tue, Jul 4, 2017, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Melora

At this point in time, pre-Discovery and including the Animated Series, with the reboot movies tacked on at the end, going chronologically this episode is halfway through all Star Trek on film. So at least it has that going for it. For now.
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Nolan
Wed, Feb 1, 2017, 2:09am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

I should confess though to a certain level of hypocrisy in my last comment, as some months ago I did rip into someone on this very site for having a different read of an episode, and different opinions in general, and made some insinuations about the commenter personally. And then I never participated in the following debate. I was going through some other frusterating things at the time, and a button got pushed, and I believe some of that frusteration got vented towards that commenter.

As such, if that person is still around and reading comments, I would like to say that, despite disagreeing on some fundamental issues, I was still out of line and am offering my apologies to you. Even if it is months later and we've all moved on.
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Nolan
Wed, Feb 1, 2017, 1:56am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

@dave johnson

You know, I'm a communications student, and am in a class examining audience and reception, and one thing that came up was the idea of "hate watching" something.

Essentially, it's watching something you hate, and getting enjoyment from poking holes in it. Now, to regular fans of something, such as Star Trek, to see this is confusing, and can maybe sometimes feel like you may be personally attacked for liking this thing that someone enjoys ripping to shreds. But to better understand this, one need not look further than the Phantom Menace. Yes, there are those who enjoy the movie, but I would hazard to guess that many more watch it to point out just how and where in it's narrative, characterization and runtime that movie failed, if for nothing else to make jokes at it's expense. And not to get political, but to merely give a recent example, it's no doubt a factor in the interest in American politics, talk shows tapping into that "hate watch" mentality that anti-Trump fans have in regards to his Presidency.

Regardless of that political example and my hypothisizing about it (seriously, I've seen how heated that stuff can get and want to avoid interjecting into it) though and instead focusing soley on pop culture, hate watching something is just another way to consume mass media, and strange as it may seem to those that like the thing being torn apart, it is just as legitamate way to consume pop culture as any other, as it is very much so an individual thing, unique to each viewer.

That said, I totally get the initial defensiveness to it though, like, "hey, stop ragging on this thing I like." I just try to view that stuff instead as what it is, a differing perspective and read growing out of different experiences, circumstances, and dispositions, which in turn, helps me to expand my understanding of the world and the people on it, so I can be more understanding of others.
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Nolan
Fri, Jan 6, 2017, 8:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

@Ross Carlson

That's really fascinating, and definatly something I wouldn't have thought about.

There is one point I think I can argue, though. It might be just as ridiculous as the episode's problems are for you though. Namely, I think at this point it's been established that Picard suffered from some future!disease that gave him a very sensitive ear. In Innsurrection for example, he hears a misalignment in the engines from the bridge, amazing Geordie. Couse that was partly due to what was happening in rhe movie, but the way Picard reacts, it's not an uncommon occurance.
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Nolan
Fri, Jan 6, 2017, 12:36am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Timescape

@David

There's really nothing special, the actors are just standimg still. It's called a tableau. It's taught fairly early in acting class, though it can be difficult in some aspects, such as not looking like you're breathing.

There's actually a game called moving statues where a group of people can't move while another roams through the crowd. If they see you move, you're out. It's really fun to sneak up on the guy while their back is turned only for them to freak out when they turn back around. Basically Weeping Angels, minus the time displacement, if you get that reference.
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Nolan
Thu, Jan 5, 2017, 1:26am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Broken Link

@Trek fan

It should be mentioned that the Klingon arc of Season 4 was the result of some executive meddling, who felt the show, while adequate in the ratings , could do better. So they went with the popular aliens, the Klingons to buoy the ratings, as well as bring bace a TNG character.

I look forward to reading your posts as you continue your journey through the rest of this series.
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Nolan
Fri, Dec 30, 2016, 1:52am (UTC -6)
Re: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

@Peremensoe

Great, now I'm imagining a burnt to a crisp Anakin laying on that slab whilst Palpatine parades a number of models past him, showing off all the colour options of his suit.

-Palpatine: "Perhaps you'd like a crimson red, great power colour, plus it'll hid a bloodstains you may get on it while carrying out the work of the Empire."
-Anakin: "Augh, I'm in agony here! Everything burns!"
-P: "And here for that summer chic, we have a yellow and orange colour option, great for those beach parties!"
-A: "I hate the sand."
-P: "Fine. Well just go for black. Sheesh, you try to bring some colour back into a guy's life. Nope, guess we'll just go with black for the dark lord. How original. At least Maul had some sick red tattoos. And he didn't whine nearly so much when HE go robot limbs.
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Nolan
Thu, Dec 22, 2016, 4:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

This is not a Star Wars movie.

Nor was it really trying to be.

It's a war film set in the Star Wars universe. Look at the sheer scope of WWII films, all have different tones, because every story and aspect that came out of that war were tonally different. Dog fighting over the British Isles, POW camps, sneak attacks and covert operations, last ditch stands against the enemy, scorched earth retreats, how the people at home felt sending family members off to war while making munitions. The labour camps. Trying to apply a universal tone to all those events does a disservice to the stories and experiences people went through. And that was just a World War.

Now yes, WWII happened and was horrendous for many people, and Star Wars is a media franchise focused on making money, but in terms of story, I think it's the right call for Star Wars to tap into the different tones and stories that are concievably available for a GALACTIC war. The Star Wars episodes, are still the Star Wars fans have known for decades, and messing with what was established by those movies IN those movies I feel is much riskier. But as far as the "A Star Wars Story" banner, I feel they have a license to experiment and explore different aspects and tones of this universe as they're not tied as much into the Skywalker legacy and destiny.
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Nolan
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 1:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

@Peter G.

In this edition of "If I had an edit button" I would have used it to make my comment in response to. David Pirtle , I'd fix the spelling mistakes caused no doubt by writing this at 3 AM on my phone and I'd definitely throw the word "potentially" between "it's" and "rife" in the passage you quoted.

Thing is, I actually enjoy this episode, yet I've seen enough people put off by the depictions of the genetically enhanced individuals and their relation to mental illness that I cannot deny the existance of the offence for some. As you say, that viewpoint is just as valid.

Furthermore, I'm not sure one can deny that the genetically enhanced characters are meant to stand in for or at leadt draw parallels to those with mental illness, nor that this is what the episode was trying to, in part, discuss. Yes there is the genetic enhancement angle, but it's not entirely dissimilar to the sci-fi dressings of TNG's 'The Outcast'. Or of TOS's 'Let That be Your Last Battlefield'. Given Trek's penchant for dressing up contrmporary issues in sci-fi trappings in order to tslk about taboo issues and the like, it's hard for me not to imagine that's not something they were attempting to do here, at least, again, in part.

As for my last paragraph, I only said that because I don't want others who might've had their viewpoint shaped by discrimination and so might have a viseral reaction to episodes like these that affect their feelings, to think that I thought my own viewpoint carried more weight than their personal experiences just because I THOUGHT about it for a few hours, oppesed to a potential life time of being put down upon. I bring it up to foster discussion, not to devalue anyone's personal feelings is all I wanted to make clear.
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Nolan
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 1:37am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

@ David

It's interesting. I've been reading another review site that calls out Star Trek's offensive analogies, and it's just got me thinking how the views toward this franchise has changed in the new contexts provided by the passage of time.

Take this episode for example, today, it's rife with offensive portrayals of mental illness. As if presenting what an outsider thinjs mental illness looks like, then discussing it. Problem is, in the 90's this is what the 'common' idea of mental illness was. Of course, if this episode were about mental illnesses perception, then maybe it wouldn't use offensive stock depictions. Instead thus episode seems to be focused on how the mentally ill have a place in society and should have a role in it.

Of course these don't excuse it today, but it does reinforce this growing idea that Star Trek as a whole isn't made for minorities or people experiencing the issues it brings up. The Original series had to use analogy to get around the network, as did TNG, and at the time it was clever, but today, in the more open environment, I'm beginning to think these messages were aimed at straight white men.

The point is to get the dominant power structure to look at all these issues and say "hey, that's not cool, look what this type of behaviour is doing to people. Look were we as a species could be." and because its gotta get past the network and reach that specufic audience, not to mention being largely (though not completely) written by members of that audience, that outside the issues portrayal ends up being used.

For example with this episode; "Here's a bunch of mentally ill people, you recognize this, this is a common depiction of mental illness, you've seen this in the popular media, but look how marginalized they are." if course, since popular opinion of mental illness/race/gender have changed, partly due to the influence of Trek, so many of these depictions become offensive and trite.

So much of Trek has been about opening such topics for discussion, but since those discussions have now happened, and society has (hopefully) grown more open and accepting, Trek now looks outdated in it's messages.

Moving forward, Trek has not only got to talk to the already established white male power structures, but to the recently empowered minorities who are looking for validation of their identities that past Trek could not provide as consistantly due to the culture it was made in.

Course, I'm also a so-called "normal" (I'm really not) straight white man, so I fully acknowledge my percpective is skewed and biased itself, and I have no real standing to discuss these details in any specific detail. And I apologize if this view offends anyone, it's just been percolating a while and I thought I'd share it and see what others thought.
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Nolan
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 2:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S3: The Woman King

@Maniac

This episode IS terrible, but part of the reason I like Helo is that he's really the only one who manages to stay idealistic throughout the series. Even when he killed those Cylons in lock up, he had pure intentions. Now you can argue about whether he was right or not, but it's beside the point. Every other character slips into darkness and makes some morally questionable decisions for the sake of the survival of the greater good, and feels fine and justified for doing so. Helo on the otherhand, makes sure the greater good deserves that survival, and he seems to regret any decisions that draws him away from that ideal.

I'd argue his idealism in the face of such overwhelming moral greyness and cynicism makes him a pretty facinating character. And frankly, one the series needed to maintain some balance.
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Nolan
Tue, Dec 6, 2016, 9:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

Can I still hold a place in my heart for this episode, purely because it has one of my most favorite absurd line readings from Frakes, as Jammer pointed out. It always makes me chuckle. Probably cause it's so out of character for one, how it reveals the overdramatic, sensational, almost soap opera view the of the world of the viewpoint character has, as well as how they view Agbar.

Well, like they say, everyone is the hero of their own story.
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Nolan
Sat, Nov 26, 2016, 7:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

Just thought I'd give a signal boost for a youtube series that a channel I follow is putting out. It's caled "Babylon Deep Space 59". Basically two self-proclaimed geeks sit down and discuss one episode each of these series after watching them. The catch is, both of them have only seen one of those shows, while the other hasn't. So they get to discuss the merits of each episode and compair and contrast with both a first time, and experienced eye view.

Episodes can run a little long, but being mostly talking they can easily be played in the background. They're only on 'The Passenger' and "War Prayer" from Seasons 1, but viewership isn't as high as they like, given all the other series they've got going on.

The channel is called Geekvolution, it's pretty low-key, but with plenty of enthusiasm.
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Nolan
Tue, Nov 22, 2016, 2:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@Peter G.

Hmm good point. The problem you raise is partly my fault and partly the movie's. I framed my arguement in a slightly technological deterministic way, and so to, I think, did the film.

Obviously it's not that Warp Drive that brought about evolved sensibilites, but rather that it made possible the contact with other forms of life. Which then humanity evidentally chose to take as an oppertunity to see past themselves, both individually, or as a species. Humanity could have easily chosen to react with fear at this. Indeed, this is what the ENT two-parter shows, the results of that other choice.

Both I, and the film placed too much emphasis on the advent of warp drive and it's importance, while not paying enough attention to the other factors that went in to those enlightened sensibilities. That's not to say that there isn't any evidence of those factors in the film; Picard notes WWIII was caused by fighting over depleting resources and land, which travel to new worlds would render moot. Why fight when there are others who may be willing to lend a hand?
Why fight over culture and ideology of a single planet when suddenly there are millions of other differing ones out there?

Warp Drive didn't *cause* any of these changes in humanity, but it made possible the most important momonet in the film, that of Cochrane choosing to reachout in friendship to the Vulcans, rather than shooting them down with a shotgun. However, after 2 hours of hearing about Warp Drive, it's hard for that moment to not be overshadowed.

Unfortunatly for the movie, just due to its structure as a time travel movie we don't get to find out what would've influenced Cochrane in that moment when he didn't have people from the future whispering in his ear.

But regardless, Picard did state that these were just first steps. And surely, by the time "Enterprise" rolled around we can see that Warp Drive hadn't changed humanity's sensibilities all that much. I do think had it not wasted so much time, been written better and understood how important a time in which it was set, "Enterprise" would've show that evolution. Certainly I think by the time it ended it was just beginning to realize it's potential.

In anycase, while I do think it's made very easy by the film to read that technological deterministic cause for the Trekkian ideal, I do think there is enough there to see the importance of our own agency in these events. Cochrane *chooses* to accept the Vulcans, Picard, ultimately *chooses* to blow up his ship and let his vedetta go, and neither of those acts are influenced by warp drive, or technology.

And that's not even getting into the parallels of the Borg's view of technology and humanity's, or how the Borg assimilate cultures versus Humanity reaching out to find it's own place in the many cultures of the universe. I dunno, I think there's a lot of meat to pick off the bone of that 'action flick'.

As far as ST:ID, I haven't seen it since it was in theatres, or since I started working toward my communication degree. But I distinctly recall it rubbing me the wrong way. Something definitly felt off about it to me, but I don't think I can comment on it until I see it again.
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Nolan
Tue, Nov 22, 2016, 12:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@Robert et al.

Regarding First Contact it's message and plots; while you can decide which of the plots you prefer, don't forget how related they are. Picard's whole "better humanity" ideal springs from Cochrane's feat of warp drive. Troi herself pronounces all the advancements our species would make in light of this accomplishment and realizing we aren't alone out there.

Moore and Braga have said that FC was about the threat to the birth of Star Trek, and part of ST's conception was the idea of the betterment of humanity, and we can see this by how the Borg threaten that ideal for Picard.

By contrasting the two plots, one about our first step into that Trekkian ideal in the shadow of a horrific war. and the other a vengeful man struggling to uphold that ideal when pushed to extremes, we can see a commentary the writers are attempting to make. I.e, that the Trekkian ideal of humanity is not easily gained, and just as easily, something that must be fought to personally maintain, yet doing so would ultimatly not benefit just yourself, but others as well.

That and a lot of things going ker-splodie.
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Nolan
Mon, Nov 21, 2016, 6:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

@Steve

...He's been accused of wearing a toupée...
=P
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Nolan
Sun, Nov 20, 2016, 2:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

@SlackerInc

Regarding most of your points, (keep in mind I've only seen Beyond once)

Sulu being gay, he DID run up to a little girl standing with a man, picked her up and walked off arm in arm with the guy, ostensibly his family while Kirk's narration talked about crew meeting up with family, I believe.

Trains and Transporters- several possible reasons, namely that Transporter pads probably have limited capacity and so the trains are to alleviate wait times. They could also be there for those who hate transporters or would be harmed by transporters. And most important, rule of cool, which are these movies modus operandi.

Ambassador Spock's death. Obviously he's not 33. This Spock is, but because Ambassador Spock travelled back in time 150 years or so, the year simply marks his date of death, not his age at the time. And it's not like they would've put the year he WOULD have died on in there. Spock probably never told anyone his age.

Not entirely remembering this point, so can't discuss it.

As for the lady with the crab legs... It's pretty hard to court martial a dead person. Krull DID vaporize her after she gave him the thing after all.
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Nolan
Sat, Nov 19, 2016, 5:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@Brandon

Funny you should mention Red Dwarf which just recently finished it's eleventh series and has the twelveth already finished and ready to air. Which also has some hidden depths.

Though compairing British media to American is jusr folly. American TV is too afraid to take risks. Have you SEEN the american pilots for Red Dwarf? Can you imagine an american produced Doctor Who.

That said CBS doesn't know what they're talking about. While sure, superhero's are sometimes a sub-genre, look at all the superhero shows on the air right now, most of which have sci-fi elements. Not to mention the number of new space based shows produced in the last few years. Defiance, Dark Matter, Killjoys, the Expanse.

But why're we surprised, this is CBS, the network that was gonna cancel TOS, had their minds changed, then meddled the show into the dirt. If TNG, DS9 and VOY hadn't had syndication and partnerships, would any have them lasted? Maybe they should partner with SyFy, who seem to finally have gitten their act together. Either that or we could always send them Tribbles, ala Jericho and the nuts. Not that I think it'll help. Probable make them kill the show altogether.
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Nolan
Sat, Nov 5, 2016, 6:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Power Play

Surely that'd just be the ship spinning on one of it's axes above or below a planet? No wonder the crew didn't want to do it, sounds like a recipe for nausea to me.
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Nolan
Sun, Oct 30, 2016, 8:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@methane and all

Plus I think in Canada at least, it'll air on "Space" our version of "SyFy", so that's just an example of it's international sales.

So, just like back in '66 when TOS premired a day earlier, Canada's getting Trek before the States. =P

And just be clear, I stated how CBS probably decided on this marketing decision, I did not state it was a good one.

(Hey my 100th post apparently)
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Nolan
Sun, Oct 30, 2016, 1:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

Jammer, would that also include "The Cage"? It seems somewhat absent. Granted parts of the Menagerie could stand in for it. Might be interesting though.
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Nolan
Sat, Oct 29, 2016, 11:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S3: The Passage

@Hourglass

To be fair this IS a Jane Espenson script. She did NOT get the characters in this show. Almost all her episodes were average at best and had some out of character moments. And 'The Hub', her best episode, was heavily rewritten after she wrote it.

I think I read in an interview somewhere that she writes the characters as how they'd react in the scene, disregarding their long form character arcs. She's good for the snark, but her drama generally seems forced.

I dunno about her earlier work, but the stuff I've seen of hers after BSG was not great.

I can see anyone else who lost something when the colonies blew up tearing into Kat the way Starbuck did, but given how it was established that she didn't lose much when the Cylons attacked, it really comes out of ledt field. At best you could try to tie it to her issues from New Caprica, and how it resulted from Kat MAYBE unknowingly smuggling Cylons in. But it's still a stretch.

Lee, Dualla, or even Roslin would've been in character more, but because Kat and Starbuck must clash, an unlikely way for DRAMA happened. A better writer could've come up with something more convincing.
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Nolan
Sat, Oct 29, 2016, 6:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@Patrick D

Sure, except Paramount has nothing to do with this series. They own the movie rights and thats it. CBS owns the rights to the series. Hence the maketting based decision to release it on their own streaming platform.
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Nolan
Mon, Oct 24, 2016, 8:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Peter G.

Yeah, I just assumed that Captian Anderson grew disatisfied with his position on the council. Orthat the Citadel star child absorbed his consciousness into an AI fornefarious purposes.

Regardless, at least we know that the pharmacy is his favorite store on the Citadel.
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