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Plain Simple
Fri, Feb 23, 2018, 5:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Peter G.: " My problem as I now define it is that their method of doing so is just to copy-paste the structure of Fringe and redo that show with new characters."

In what way do you think DSC is copying the structure of Fringe? That show seemed quite different. It had quite a few stand alone stories (especially in earlier seasons) and well defined and likable characters which were given . DSC might get there, but I don't think it's there yet. Or do you see the same kind of inward-looking attitude in Fringe as you described for DSC?

I only watched Fringe a few years ago. That is obviously a very different way of viewing a show than on a weekly basis, so that might make me less likely to see the commonalities.
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Wed, Feb 21, 2018, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Henson: "Does that now mean we need to insert a character from Discovery into the pilot for TOS?"

Now that you mention it, the salt eating creature from The Man Trap does look a bit like the tardigrade. ;-)
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Wed, Feb 21, 2018, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Red Letter Media reviewed the season and are having many of the same observations and issues with it that have been brought up here : https://youtu.be/ri7v-utIcvY
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Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Jammer: "If you're looking for Michelle Yeoh movies, perhaps an obvious place to start would be "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," which was a big international mainstream (and Oscar-nominated) endeavor outside her action genre roots. (Watch it with the subtitles, not dubbed.)"

Thanks! I think I did watch that many many years ago, but didn't realize (or remember) it had Yeoh in it. Since I cannot remember much of it anyway, it might be time for a rewatch.

And thanks for your insightful and entertaining reviews throughout yet another season of Trek!
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Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Nievesg: "I recall commander "Trip" Tucker was called "Captain" at ENT in a couple of episodes, when he was in command as "acting captain", although his real rank was still a commander.

I guess the same applies to Saru at the MU episodes. A pity Saru wasn't promoted to real captain rank, he really earned it."


@Peter G. "Whoever is in command of a naval vessel is called Captain, regardless of their rank. This also includes non-military vessels."

This is also mentoned in an early season 6 DS9 episode by O'Brien to Nog when Dax takes command of the Defiant after Sisko gets a desk job as sidekick to the admiral.

But my initial point was that in this episode the crew is supposed to believe that 'Captain Georgiou' is in command of Discovery, yet someone calls Saru captain. Would just the fact that she is on the planet with an away team justify calling Saru captain? When Kirk and Spock would beam down on an away mission, did the remining crew address Scotty as captain?
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Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 2:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

It's the end of the Discovery's first ride. Let's have another look at the good, the bad, and the Discovery. (I have only read a few of the first comments above at this point, so I might be repeating what others have said.)


The good:

-Last week I predicted that this episode would be action packed. I'm quite happy that I was wrong. Not that there is anything wrong with action per se, but I feel this series has not given us enough character work to date, so I'm glad they had some more attempts at that this week.

-The Klingon war has been wrapped up. I don't know if it was ever officially said, but I do seem to remember reading somewhere that the Klingon war would strictly be a season one thing, and I'm glad they stuck with that. I like that the ended it in a somewhat Trekkian way, with 'blowing stuff up' not being the ultimate solution, although 'forcing the Klingons to unite with the threat of blowing stuff up' might not be a whole lot better. I suppose the show is making the argument that this kind of show of force is what Klingons respond to and so it is a solution that fits their culture. I'm not sure if that's troubling or clever.

-I knew I knew that Orion guy Tilly was talking to from somewhere, but I couldn't place him, until I read afterwards that he was Clint Howard. Balok! And while I enjoy seeing him back in Star Trek, I'm not sure I'm too happy with the way that 'opium den' scene was played.

-More Michelle Yeoh! Since we've probably seen the last of her for a while (beyond the obvious between-seasons hiatus we are entering), I need to take every opportunity to say how much I've enjoyed her presence on this show. I've never been really familiar with her work, but I would like to check out some movies now in which she has a main role. Any suggestions?

-Even though I've not really cared for Tyler/Burnham all season long, their scenes this week were okay. Perhaps a bit too long, but it felt like a decent wrap up.




The bad:

-The pacing in this episode was really weird. We spend a large chunk of time having fun in Orion town and then in the last ten minutes or so the Klingon war goes from being hopeless to being over, L'Rell becomes Klingon leader, Tyler decides to join her, Georgiou disappears to who knows where, Burnham is suddenly a hero who is allowed to entertain the whole Federation council (or whoever those people were) with her monologues, the Discovery crew (well, the ones we focussed on this season anyway; what role could the other crewmembers possibly have played?) get medals, the Discovery gets a new (unnamed) captain, and we meet the Enterprise.

-I mentioned it in the previous point, but why do only the main cast of the show, instead of the main crew of the Discovery, get medals? Why Culber and not Detmer or any other of the bridge crew whose names I don't even remember? Things like this only serve to keep reminding us that this is a TV show, so only the people whom the show says are important, are important, not the people who in a real situation like that would be important.

-Some of the pay-offs in this episode suffer from what has come before. For example, the L'rell stuff and the Klingon war, which are woven back together again here. I usually try to view a show within the expectations it sets for itself, instead of the expectations created by external factors, but in this case I cannot resist the urge to bring up this 'promise' we were sold before the start of the show that DSC would show us the Klingon war from both sides and we would get an in-depth look at Klingon culture. Of course nothing of the sort happened. Unless I'm forgetting anyone, we had four main Klingon characters this year: T'Kuvma, who died pretty quickly; Voq, who didn't do a whole lot pre-Tyler and whose only real attribute after his change was his senseless aggression towards MU Voq and Burnham a few weeks ago; that super eeeevil Klingon commander whose name I forgot and who was blown up before the mid-season break; and L'Rell who is easily the most interesting of the four. Unfortunately, she is still not very interesting. I think the highlight for her character was her interaction with Cornwell on the Klingon ship. Besides that, she has not done much more than hang around Voq early on, and be in the Discovery brig in the latter part of the season. So on the one hand the war has felt pretty empty, because we don't really know anyone involved in it outside of the Discovery crew, Sarek, and Cornewell, and on the other hand L'rell has at best been a character with a lot of unrealized potential. And now we're putting the two together in the grand climax of the season... it just feels flat to me.

-What was the point of making Georgiou captain, execpt for the shocking twist^{tm} at the end of last week's episode? Nothing as far as I can see. All she did this week was fly the Discovery to Qo'noS and lead an away team. The former could've been done by Saru and for the latter you don't need to be captain.



The Discovery:

Where is all of this going?

-I like that the writers attempted to wrap up this season's storyline and that we are not left with a big cliffhanger which continues the season 1 storyline. The war is over; the spore drive is out of commission for now (with the weakest of excuses; I hope they find a better way to write that out of the show for good); Tyler/Voq, L'rell, and Georgiou are all off and away doing their own things; Burnham is reinstated (this is getting close to reset button territory).

-Whichever form season 2 is going to take, it looks like it will be the Discovery crew (Saru, Burnham, Stamets, Tilly, and some of the up-until-now secondary characters like Detmer) with a new captain going out doing Star Trekkie things. That could be nice. Hopefully they will broaden the viewpoint a bit and not make it a Burnham-focussed show anymore. Her story has been told now, for better or worse, it'd be good to see more of the other characters.

-So, the Enterprise cliffhanger. I was actually somewhat relieved. When Sarek said that they were going to Vulcan to pick up the new captain, all I was thinking was "please, don't do something stupid like making Spock the new captain", so running into the Enterprise with (presumably) Spock on board was somewhat of a relieve. What are they going to do with the Enterprise in season 2? Who knows. If the show's recent cliffhanger follow-up record is any indication the answer is 'probably not much, as far as long term storytelling is concerned'. The 'Murca is really from the MU' cliffhanger was quickly resolved by killing him. The 'Emperor Georgiou is now captain' cliffhanger was quickly resolved by stripping her of that rank again, without having her do much captaining. Even the 'Burnham goes to prison' cliffhanger from the pilot episode(s) was resolved immediately. Only the mid-season 'we are in another universe' cliffhanger played out over a few episodes. So my suspicion would be that whatever the plans with the Enterprise are, they will play out in (part of) the first episode of season 2.

Oh, and I'll try to stay out of any debates about the redesign of the Enterprise, which I suspect might have been brought up a few times in the comments so far (but I haven't read them yet, so I don't know for sure).




Random confusion:

-I'm very confused about Saru's rank. At some point in the episode he ws called 'captain', even though at that point officially Georgiou was still acting captain of the Discovery. So is Saru's rank actually captain now? And if so, why are they about to pick up a new captain on Vulcan?
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Plain Simple
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 6:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Mertov: "And yeah, I am sure Cornwell and Sarek and Starfleet who are probably in a state of urgency due to their imminent disappearance from the face of the universe, are not going to be suspicious at all, and are simply going to "ask" them to tell their story and accept it like a kid accepts a fairy tale."

So the urgency was so extremely high that we couldn't have had the following two lines?

Sarek: "Commander Saru, since time is of the essence I would want to perform a mindmeld to learn whether you really are who you seem to be and find out where you have been if you are."

Saru: "OK".

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Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 6:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@KT: "As an Ambassador, Sarek can give orders to Starfleet officers, in that context Saru and Sarek are nothing like the Mr Y and Mr X of your example. I haven't seen anything in previous treks to suggest mindmelds are on par with punches in the face. Maybe the better analogy would be a polygraph test?"

You seem to be nitpicking my analogy for minor ways in which it is not like a mindmeld, while disregarding the similarities. It's about intruding upon someone's personal space (physically in my example, mentally in the mindmeld example) without prior consent. But I can change the analogy, if you'd like: Mr X is at work and Mr Y, his boss, walks up to him and without asking permission grabs Mr X's phone and starts reading all his personal emails (and Mr X is a prolific emailer, so many details of his personal live are contained in these emails). Afterwards Mr X says "oh, I don't mind; I don't have anything to hide". Oh well, say Mr X's colleagues, in that case we are all very happy to work for a boss who without warning can come up to us and read all our private personal communications.
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Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@MadManUC: "Cinema Blend is putting forth the theory that Burnham might actually get killed off"

I didn't read the article you linked to, so perhaps they make the same observation in there, but I did wonder about that when Burnham said that her goodbye to Sarek felt final. Obviously Sarek is not going to die, unless we are still/again in some alternate reality/universe/magic mushroom trip.


@KT: "Saru seemed startled (and also in some slight discomfort) but ultimately he didn't object or resist. He had nothing to hide and did not mind the meld. So neither should you; 'Rape' is a subjective experience and Saru is the subject, not you."

What does it matter if Saru didn't mind afterwards (if that is even the case)? That doesn't change the fact that Sarek mindmelded with him without his permission. Let's imagine the following situation: Mr X is walking around town minding his own business when suddenly Mr Y walks up to Mr X and punches him in the face. Oh, the luck. It turns out that Mr X loves the kinky stuff and actually enjoyed the punch in the face, even though Mr Y was completely unaware of that fact when he doled out the punch. So everything's fine now and we say to Mr Y "well done, please continue punching people in the face without warning", right?
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Plain Simple
Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 3:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Sorry, "A didn't write" in my post above should of course have been "I didn't write". (But I didn't write "I didn't write" as I wrote "A didn't write".) Always fun, post-proofread error spotting.
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Plain Simple
Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 3:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Peter G.: "I'm stunned that no one mentioned the most significant moment in the episode, besides of course Darth Georgiou being given command. I'm talking, of course, of the moment of mind-rape perpetrated by "Sarek"."

After posting my first comments above (which I did without reading others' earlier comments first), I went back and read through all the earlier posts, expecting this issue to be heavily discussed. I was very surprised when it wasn't and started wondering if I had somehow misinterpreted that scene completely. I don't think I did. Sarek did force himself into Saru's mind without permission. I was glad to read your post and see that someone else was troubled by this.


@LJ: "As I understood it, in that scene Cornwell was still so in shock that she didn't process Saru's words before and thought they were on a defined course, hence her ordering them to "continue on the same course". Her words deliberately didn't make sense, to show how shocked she was."

Perhaps. That's not how it played to me, but it might have been how it was intended. Maybe if the scene had ended with Saru saying "lay in a course for ...", I would've taken it in the way you describe it.


@LJ: "And as I said above, maybe it's just me, but I don't think of Sarek as being "one of the most loved characters of Trek". In my opinion he was always portrayed as a dickish character. But again, maybe it's just me."

A didn't write "one of the most loved characters", but "a beloved character". Either way though, that's besides the point. The point is that the episode didn't make anything of that scene. It was not presented, discussed, and denounced for the violation it was. It just happened, no one protested, and we're done. And there was absolutely no good reason for it. I understand that they want to use the mind meld as a way to bring characters up to speed with the story, without the need for exposition scenes, but Sarek could've just asked Saru if he could mindmeld with him. If Saru had said yes, then there wouldn't have been a problem. If he had said no (and why would the writers have him do that?) perhaps it would've been clearer to the the writers and the people on the bridge why it would be a problem if Sarek went ahead with it anyway.


@Brian: "After first viewing, I was impressed with how the script felt much better than the last few, how they were finally listening to feedback and incorporating more character scenes, and showing more of the crew."

I'm not sure which feedback you are referring to, but I seem to remember in one of the early episodes of After Trek (I only watched a couple of those; they really grated on me; too bad, I'd love to see some honest conversations with the people involved with this show) they had some people from the show on as guests and they said they were in the process of filming episode 13 or 15 (if my memory serves) at that time. So when we started watching DSC, they were pretty much done filming all episodes, so there wasn't really any time to incorporate external feedback into the show. Now, they probably had internal test screenings and the like, perhaps that's the feedback you mean?
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Plain Simple
Mon, Feb 5, 2018, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

One more in the "good" column. Tilly's comment about how Tyler will turn out the way they treat him going forward. Nice Trekkian message there.
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Mon, Feb 5, 2018, 2:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Sharing my first thoughts after watching, without having read the posts above. I'll catch up eventually.

This episode started off good. I was enjoying the interactions of Saru with Burnham and Saru with Tyler; one of the first scenes I can remember where I actually started to appreciate Tyler as a character. And then they turned Sarek into a rapist. Great. Thank you very much DSC, that was exactly what we wanted out of a beloved Trek character. Couldn't they have put a line in with Sarek asking Saru if he would be okay with a mind meld? No, just invade his mind without permission and don't even make a thing of it afterwards. I had hoped they would've learned from the backlash to Troi being used this way on TNG.

The rest of the episode I actually quite liked, even though (or perhaps because) it was just a transitory episode between last week's action and what I suspect will be more wall-to-wall action again next week. Perhaps I just like setup episodes. I liked the 3rd MU episode (with Gergiou and Burnham talking a lot) better than the 4th non-stop action one as well.

So, here we go. The good, the bad, and the Discovery again.


The good:

-More crew interactions. The scene with Tyler in the mess hall was nice, if a bit schmaltzy.

-Even L'rell's scenes were decent this week. Not the highlight in any way, but decent.

-We are done with Tyler-Burnham. At least, I hope we are. That relationship never felt real to me.


The bad:

-Well, I mentioned the big one above at the start of my post. That is a rather big one which casts a shadow over the whole episode for me.

-Sarek's "love is wonderful" speech felt a bit strange, coming from a Vulcan. I guess he's always been a strange one, marrying a human and all, but still... I'm not sure what to make of it.

-There was a particular little moment that took me out of the story. The Disco arrives at the destroyed star base. The admiral is in shock. Saru orders the Disco "out of there at maximum warp" (or something to that effect), but, importantly, doesn't give a course where to go. Then the admiral regains her composure a little and when Saru asks what her orders are, she says "maintain course, we're meeting Command". What course? They were just fleeing. How does she know the current course is the right one. I know, a really silly little thing, but it did take me completely out of the story at that point, because it felt written, not real.

-Another odd bit of dialogue was within the span of a few minutes Sarek and Cornwell both saying the exact same line; something like "the resemblance is striking". Perhaps it was just the delivery of the line when the admiral said it. If she had put the emphasis on "is", to stress to Sarek that he was correct, it would've felt less out of place. Now it just sounded to me as if the writers couldn't come up with two different lines for the scene.


The Discovery (long term consequences of this episode):

-DSC is doing its utmost not to take all the opportunities they provide themselves to get the spore drive out of the picture. Now there is suddenly a whole planet of the spores (fun fact: if you look back at last week's episode when the green spore lands on Tilly you can see her mouth the words "take your stinking green light off me you damn dirty spore"; also, not so much fact).

-I hope they end the Klingon war next week. I just don't feel the tension. We know earth is not going to fall to the Klingons. We know the Federation (or the Klingons) won't be wiped out. I hope they'll find a satisfying way to round it all up next week.
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Plain Simple
Mon, Feb 5, 2018, 6:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@KT: "I disagree. Spore drive is clearly science fantasy realm."

Thank you for pointing that out. I see I wrote "agree on all accounts" to the text I quoted from Peter G.'s post, but I realize now I quoted too much text. The sentence you mention ("However it's certainly not out of the realm of science fiction to suppose that life is sustained by some previously totally-unknown connective tissue, whatever that might be.") is indeed one I do not fully agree with. Sure, one can say it's not outside the realm of science fiction, but then surely quite deep into the fiction part, not the science part.

@Chrome: "That book cuts both ways though since it’s basically a bunch of quotes from creators and cast. I mean there’s a line in there from Robert Justman, the Supervising Producer of TOS and TNG calling TNG “the same as the original Star Trek show, only done much better.”"

That is different from whether or not the early TNG team wanted to create explicit links/references to TOS.

@Col. Green: "What matters most is imagery & symbolism…form over substance."

I think there are two different issues at play here. One the one hand there are the scientific questions such as "is climate change happening?", "to what degree are human actions causing it?", and "what will the consequences be?" Unless you are somehow convinced that there is a massive worldwide decades long conspiracy between climate scientists and others related to the field, I cannot see how we can reasonably settle on any other (tentative, as always in science) conclusion that the answers are "yes", "to a very large degree", and "mostly bad". Of course these are complex issues, so none of these very short answers capture the whole picture, but those are the core messages.

On the other hand there is the political question "what, if anything, should we do about it?". Your concern seems to fall into this category.

@Wolfstar: "Before we head into next week, I just want to say what a fantastic thread this has been (at least until it partly derailed into a very American climate change debate) - lots of really great comments. (Including an excellent post by juss100, which I didn't mention specificially before.) Two episodes left - here we go..."

Indeed. Many great discussions which I very much enjoyed reading.
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Plain Simple
Sun, Feb 4, 2018, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Peter G.: "Just to clarify (not that I'm the world's authority), there is no basis whatsoever for (a) suspecting there to be a fungus/spore based network in space - not even a fringe theory. However it's certainly not out of the realm of science fiction to suppose that life is sustained by some previously totally-unknown connective tissue, whatever that might be. But no theory as of now suggests or points towards that, with the exception of Eastern/Yoga type hybrids such as Deepak Chopra famously expounds, which is sometimes referred to as 'quantum mysticism'. Basically it takes buzzwords from quantum and twists them into meaning unscientific things. Not that I can say he's wrong, but he's wrong to say that science as we know it suggests these things."

Agreed on all accounts. As I wrote, the only part of the spore drive that I can see has any basis in science is "big mushrooms exist". Not in space of course, on earth. And while I'm willing to belief that there are fungus species that can survive in space (I don't know if that's true, but that seems to me ---a complete lay person where it comes to fungi biology--- a reasonable thing to posit in a scifi context), it is a completely different issue to say the fungus *thrives* in space (where does it get its nutrients from?), and it's another million steps down the unbelievability ladder to say that it actually is neccessary to sustain all other life *and* it can make you whoosh through the multiverse at ludicrous speed.

And bringing up Deepak Chopra in relation to science is like bringing up a pile of fecies in a discussion about food. (That's not a criticism of what you wrote about him, Peter G., as you clearly pointed out his ideas have no scientific merit.) Both might start out with the same ingredients (observed reality and ---in a very charitable interpretation of Chopra--- a sincere desire to understand it; or, in the food analogy, raw ingredients and a good bit of hunger), but the end results couldn't be more different and you wouldn't want to mistakenly pick the wrong one to still your curiosity (or hunger).


@Dom: "Looking back on it, Discovery would actually have made more sense as a Farscape reboot. Aside from the absence of muppets, it's actually got the Farscape vibe in terms of characters and storytelling."

You think so? Perhaps I'm biased because I have 4 years plus a miniseries of Farscape to look back on and only (almost) 1 season of Discovery, but I cared more about most of the puppet characters (sorry Rygel, I know you're nobody's puppet) on Farscape, than I do about the characters on Discovery. I am not sure why that is. It has been said that in the olden times Star Trek writers often complained about the stifling restrictions on what dialogue characters were allowed to say. They felt the supposed 24rd century dialogue felt artificial. If this is something that the DSC writers have let go off, then perhaps it has made the dialogue too mundane and it doesn't allow any of the characters to stand out in that regard. I'm not sure.

By the way, I must say I'm really enjoying reading the discussion about storytelling that Peter G., Dom, and Ubik are having. Thanks!


@Yanks: "I really don't care if it's real, based on something real, or theory or not. I too am no expert. I've seen all the shows, have some schooling. It honestly seems to me that everytime their "theory" ends up not being supported by "the math", they just make something else up. The Big Bang, String theory etc. Now I'm OK with that because they think on levels I just can't. The point is I just have to accept it and try to make sense of it."

I am not sure I understand your post completely here. By "they", do you mean the DSC/Star Trek writers or scientists? In case you mean the latter, I would strongly advise you to look a bit deeper into the workings of science. It is truly fascinating (in my opinion anyway) and something that many people have fundamental misconceptions about. Scientists don't just "make things up" and then require you to "just have to accept it". Ideas in science have to withstand intense, continuous, never-ending logical scrutiny and comparisons with observations in order to be tentatively accepted as "the best explanation we have so far". The big bang theory has withstood a lot of scrutiny and is still standing as far as I am aware. String `theory' is really a misnomer and should be called the string `hypothesis' since (to the best of my knowledge) it is sorely lacking in the empirical testing department due to the enormous amounts of energy that would be required to set up tests that would allow to distinguish the predictions made by the string hypothesis with those made by competing hypotheses.


@Yanks: "I don't see using the "science" of Discovery to knock the show. If you do that and accept all the rest, I think that is hypocritical."

How is it hypocritical to take a close look at the science in a science fiction show? Especially a science fiction show like Star Trek which has always prided itself on its close relationship to real world science and scientists?


@Yanks: "So many folks have expressed this so let me ask... just what did you expect? I mean really, what was Lorca supposed to be all about?"

I did not expect anything. I'd like to take the series as it presents itself to me, coloured as little as possible by my expectations (although it being Star Trek doesn't make that easy). As for Murca, it is not about what I expected, but the fact that, after his MU reveal, he was just an eeeevil action movie villain. What is his motivation? He just wants to be emperor because he's a super-uber-xenophobe compared to the usual uber-xenophobes that run the Terran Empire. And how does he go about doing this? Piew piew, shoot everyone. Piew piew. Let me put it another way. Would anything substantially have changed in this episode if it hadn't been Murca running the coup but some one-off character who we hadn't seen before?


@Hank: "Spore Drive doesn't work anymore, network is gone. Didn't kill everyone, because Depac Choopra is not a scientist"

Haha. Thanks for the laugh!


@Ed: "I thought Stamets and Culber brushing their teeth and talking about their day was a nice domestic scene showing how their relationship is a haven from the crazy world of mushrooms, Klingons and Lorca outside."

Agreed. I think if we had had more quite scenes like that between other characters, I would've grown more attached to them. Culber was actually one of the characters I did grow a liking to, in part because of scenes like that one.


@Rob Sherrard: "Maybe in the next season the writers will be more secure in the series' uniqueness that they'll begin to connect more with the wider Trek universe...?"

Even more so than bringing in Sarek and the Mirror Universe and references to Spock, Archer, and the Defiant?


@Chrome: "Is there a source for this? TNG was airing alongside the TOS movies, so there might have been licensing issues."

I have heard/read about that as well. I'm pretty sure there are some references to it in the "50 Year Mission" book(s). I think it was also mentioned on the Mission Log podcast. If you go and listen to their early TNG episodes, it might come up. All secondary sources of course, although the 50 Year Mission is basically a collection of first hand sources edited together to make a good narrative.


@Dave in MN: "Despite the fact that any theoreticians (a majority in the 80's) felt String Theory was the best explanation for quantum interactions, the data proved otherwise."

Hmm... since I mentioned the string hypothesis above, I suppose I do have to ask what data this is that proved otherwise. As far as I am aware the predictions the string hypothesis makes that *are* currently testable, work out fine. It's just that those predictions do not set the string hypothesis apart from other hypotheses. So it's neither 'confirmed' or refuted by current data. It's just a hypothesis waiting for something testable to come out of it that will allow it to be falsified (or strenghtened).

And since we are on the topic of falsification, I have a question for all the climate change deniers. Is there any evidence you can think of that could potentially change your mind on the topic if it were to be found, or will you dismiss anything that contradicts your ideas as "part of the conspiracy" which you apparently believe to exist among the vast majority, if not all, climate scientists worldwide? I'm genuinely curious.

If this conspiracy did exist, it would be massive. Not only would it have to include pretty much all current climate scientists worldwide, but also everyone who in the past ever worked in climate science. Are they all being paid massive amounts of money to keep quiet in perpetuity? Who is paying them this money? Is that really more likely than that they might be right?





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Plain Simple
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Yanks: "I agree. I'm not sure if this is based on scientific theory or the writers were just upping the stakes. I wouldn't be surprise if all the "multi-verses" are supposed to be linked in some way."

I know some people have defended the idea that the spore drive is in any way scientific, but I just don't see it. As far as I can tell the only basis in scientific fact (or even wild scientific hypothesizing) this concept has is that "big mushrooms do exist". Beyond that (instantaneous travel, being a necessity to sustain all life in the whatever verse, etc.) I don't think there is any basis in science, no matter how tenuous. So no, I don't think this upping of the ante has a scientific basis, I think we left terra firma long ago with the spore drive, both literally and figuratively. As Jammer and others also have remarked 《start paraphrasing》the spores are the Force 《stop paraphrasing》. And the Force is magic.
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Plain Simple
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 3:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@juss100

Well said. Your comments about the importance of diverse opinions having a place in these discussions mirror some of the things that I've been thinking about reading through some of these threads, but couldn't quite put into the right words.

Given that this week's episode wants us to make the connections to Trump, and by extension the heavily polarized political and media landscape, seeing some comments lash out against perceived intrusions into their 'echo chamber' can almost seen as fitting in well with the theme (however heavy-handedly pasted on top of the story) of this episode.

@Trent: "TNG and TOS can also get away with a lot because they're very abstract, Brechtian and unfold like fables, morality plays or like filmed theater. They eschew realism and naturalism."

Good points. It's the Hobbit in 48 fps all over again. (Yes, that's taking your point too literal, but it could be seen as a visual equivalent of the storytelling point you were making.)

@Jammer: "Review now posted."

Nice review! You make some good points. I'm not sure though I agree that Saru's speech was "nothing short of awesome". It started out great and I was enjoying Saru getting the crew together and have 'the team' tackle the problem at hand, but the ending was too abrupt for my tastes. He did the motivational speech and then he just left them, without giving them actual, hands-in, guidance of how to proceed. I felt it left him looking less like a leader and more like a motivational speaker when all was said and done.

I'm also not sure that seeing PU Lorca is the only way to get Isaacs back on the show. First of all there is always 'the flashback', if needed, but more than that, I felt that by pushing Murca into the spore core, they left themselves with more than enough Force magic outs to bring him back if they want to.
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Plain Simple
Wed, Jan 31, 2018, 7:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

I noticed that, in response to some people's confusion or complaints about certain plot elements/holes in the DSC story, others have brought up similar plot concerns in, for example, TNG. While you might be able, on a case by case basis, to point out a similar plot contrivance in TNG for each plot contrivance in DSC, I think there are some significant issues that makes such contrivances more damaging for DSC than they were for TNG.

First, DSC is very heavily serialized. When a plot point in TNG feels contrived, empty, unbelievable, whatever the case might be, that damages the episode, in DSC it damages the whole season (or series) long story arc.

Second, many people feel that the characters in DSC act in service of the plot, instead of the plot growing organically from the characters, to such an extreme that there is no sense of identity for most of the DSC characters when the plot is stripped away (which is ironic given the seeming importance the MU arc put on the notion of identity). TNG was much more a character driven show, especially in the middle/later years (which, not coincidentally, I think, are usually hailed as the best ones of the series). So even when a TNG plot would make no sense, it could still be fun or interesting to see Picard & co work their way through it. DSC is not there yet. Hopefully it will at some point.

Thirdly, the times, they are a-changing. Many modern shows have shown what can be done with a TV show's plot in a serialized setting. If the 'golden age of TV' is the sandbox DSC wants to play in, then those shows are the competitors it will be compared against in terms of plot and characters, not TNG.

Fourthly, and I don't know how true this is for others on this site, but over the years of watching TV I have grown as a viewer as well. I've come to reflect more on the entertainment I watch. If I were watching TNG for the first time now, stripped of the glow of nostalgia, I might also be more troubled by some of its plot holes than I was when I first watched it two decades ago.
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Plain Simple
Wed, Jan 31, 2018, 2:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Skiflicker: "Someone else did mention that earlier, that the spore may be Lorca, and god I hope not."

Yeah, I'm up on reading the older posts in this thread now and noticed that as well. I guess Culber and Murca (or possibly MU Stamets) are the obvious dead characters associated with the spores.

When that green spore landed on Tilly at first I just thought it was an oddly drawn out end to the special effects scene, but knowing this show's interest in twists it's reasonable to suspect there's more to it.
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Plain Simple
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Skiflicker: "I assume Lorca will be back since he fell into the mycelial network (or something). And that spore that went into Tilly means something too, though I sort of don't care at this point."

Now that you mention both those things in the same sentence... I hope Tilly is not going to be possessed by spore!Murca or something...
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Plain Simple
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Plain Simple: "The action scenes were very well done."

A clarification on my own post. I mostly meant well executed by the actors; I found the direction in those scenes quite confusing at times and didn't always manage to keep track of what exactly was going on.

@KT: "That's exactly what they have been getting at since ep3 where Stamets says 'spores are the progenitors to life and energy'."

Being a progenitor of life (which is a silly enough concept in its own right) does not mean being necessary for sustaining life. One's parents are one's progenitors, but that doesn't mean children die when their parents die.

@KT: "Hello Plain, most of the points you mentioned were answer in previous episodes. Please rewatch them all chronologically and then you will have your answers, that is if you stop drooling over Isaacs and pay attention to the dialogue by other cast members E.g. as mentioned by Burnham in the first MU ep; Terrans are power-hungry, treacherous and xenophobic. We also find out Lorca has grand delusions and believes destiny is on his side. What more motivations do you need?"

Which points do you mean? The details of Murca's excursion into the PU? Because that is what I was talking about. Perhaps "motivations" was the wrong word to use (but not so wrong as "drooling"). What I meant was his plans, actions, scheming, whatever you want to call it, once he arrived in the PU. That is what Murca was referring to when he talked about it being his fate to get back to the MU, isn't it? So does the show want us to believe there was really something else going on which was making sure that everything went Murca's way in the PU, or did the show use Murca's fate monologue as a way of saying "yes, we know none of this stands up to scrutiny, just accept it was all just a whole lot of accidental luck for Murca"?
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Plain Simple
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

By the way (and apologies for the multiple postings; I keep thinking of more things to say, which is a good thing, I suppose), what was up with Murca's "fate brought me here" spiel? Are we supposed to take any story implications from that, or is that the writer's way of saying "yes, we know that Murca didn't have a plan and it took all the pieces to fall just right for him to have the opportunity to return to the MU, so don't think about it anymore, because neither will we, since we want to spend our last episode with Murca fighting, not figuring out his plans and motivations"?
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Plain Simple
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

I'll throw one more mostly-good thing into the mix: some message, be it quite bonk-bonk-on-the-head, regarding the use of scarce resources.
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Plain Simple
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Oh, one more thing (it might have been mentioned above, but I haven't read all the other comments yet): I really disliked that Saru implicitly trusted Burnham when she accused Murca of being eeeevil. Saru was willing to blow up the Charon with Murca and everyone else on board just on the word of mutineer Burnham whom he intensely disliked earlier in the season, whom he tried to kill not that long ago, and whom he now, out of the blue, calls "friend"? That feels lilke very undeserved semblance of character progression. Where does this sudden friendship come from? We haven't seen them spend a lot of time together in this series (apart from the time when Saru tried to kill Burnham), have we?
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Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Here we go, the good, the bad, and the Discovery.

The good:

-More Michelle Yeoh! I prefer her in the quieter scenes last week, but of course she is wonderful in action scenes as well. And it looks like we're hanging on to her a bit longer.

-The group scene on the Discovery with Saru's motivational speech. Finally we see more than two people at a time discussing a problem. It also feels like they're setting up larger roles for the other bridge crew characters.

-No Voq/Tyler nonsense. Hurrah!

-The action scenes were very well done.


The bad:

-The action scenes felt very un-Star Trek. Despite being executed well, for me personally this is not what I watch Star Trek for. But hey, at least it was well done.

-The mycellium network is the Force. People have pointed out similarities before and it just becomes more obvious with every single thing we learn about it. Now suddenly all life in the multiverse will end if the mushroom dies. Why? Two weeks ago we had the discussion on here about the believability of the magic mushroom trip drive and it just becomes less believable every week. So now there is not only a multiverse spanning super mushroom whose spores we can use to hitch a ride on to parallel universes or to convert to super space palace power, but killing the mushroom will kill all life in those supposedly infinitely many universes. If the multiverse works on the principle that everything that has a chance of occurring (no matter how small) does actually occur in some universe(s) or other, wouldn't there necessarily also be universes where life wouldn't die without the super magic mushroom? Or is the show now claiming that this mushroom is a necessary prerequisite for the existence of life in every single universe?

-Murca is a wasted character. Before this week he was mostly a walking mystery, but at least a mystery with potential. But it turns out the people who were worried about the Murca reveal last week were proven right: his character wasturned into a mustache twirling villain bent on Super Evil Conquest^tm. Too bad. So now he's either dead and gone or he's absorbed into the Force or whatever and will return as a Force ghost.

-While on the one hand I'm looking forward to more Yeoh, I'm also done with the mirror universe. I'm glad they left it, but a bit worried about the direction they'll take with MU Georgiou.

-The end of the Saru speech scene was quite underwhelming. He says "you all have your orders", but they hadn't actually come up with any kind of plan, had they? So their orders were just to not give up hoping for a plan to materialise?


The Discovery:

-So what does this all mean for the ongoing story? I hope we're done with the MU, at least for now, but with MU Georgiou and also those plans of the Defiant (and foreknowledge of the accident that is to befall that ship in about a decade's time) still around, I doubt that this has been the last appearance of the MU on DSC.

-Assuming we can trust what was said at the end of the episode, we are back in the same universe where we started, only 9 months into the future where the Klingons have won, presumably because the Discovery didn't deliver the cloaking tech decoder to the Federation in time. Okay. The Klingon war was not the most interesting part of the first half of the season, but perhaps with all the Voq/Tyler/Murca mysteries out of the way, the final few episodes of the season can do something interesting to finish out this arc. Perhaps we will get finally that promised deep look at all the variety that Klingon culture has to offer. That could be interesting, if handled well.
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