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Peter G.
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 11:34am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Requiem for Methuselah

@ Mal,

I think this was actually a superior *premise* to that of Pygmalion, insofar as we get a sci-fi setting with the potential for life-forms to become superior in a technical sense. In the Shaw play (and My Fair Lady) what we're really dealing with is bourgeois or upper class values and gloating about having them while the masses are 'uneducated', valuing fine diction as some sort of moral virtue, and parading it around like a fancy cloak. To the extent that Pygmalion succeeds, I'm not even certain what to say about it being a material improvement in a timeless sense; certainly within that society she has been moved upwards. But in Requiem we are given the idea that an actually superior person with heightened intelligence and artistic sense tries to create an equal. And this is not even pygheaded like in the Shaw play and the musical, because I can completely understand someone with an IQ of 300 feeling like he has nothing in common with normal people. As an analogy, I remember some depictions of Quicksilver in Marvel material (cartoons/comics, not the films) where he describes how SLOW everyone else is and how aggravating it is to interact with them in any way. When put in a situation like that I could imagine Quicksilver wanting to meet someone as quick as him so they could play tennis at real speed, and likewise for Flint wanting someone he could actually spend time with and not keep thinking about what a moron they are.

So this premise is quite nice, even sad. How could such a man, immortal and brilliant, ever find a way out of feeling totally alone? As you say, the execution is not great, but I don't think it's as bad as you say, either. The ending is really clunky and this harms our feeling of the episode coming out of it. It's like in music - mess up the beginning and the end and people will have a tough time remembering that the middle was good. And I think the middle of this one was good. I especially like the quiet tone and simple conversational scenes where they meet Flint and are being shown around. Sure, there is some 'action' just for the sake of action, with a deadline just for the sake of a deadline. It would have probably worked better if there was no ulterior motive for being here and we got to spend all the time meeting Flint and Rayna. So I'd say I like half of the episode quite a bit, and the other half is Frankenstein's monstered onto it which drags it down.
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William B
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 11:15am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Braga finally gets to direct one of these. What saves the episode from being too generic a "it was all in her mind" story is the idea that Alara sets it up herself, which gives the story a certain punch and makes her actions more admirable. Kid did good. Still because the fears are by nature a little generic I don't know that we did learn much about Alara besides that she has a can do attitude even under great stress, which we could have guessed. 2.5 or so.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 11:14am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Paul M., BSG is still my favorite. It's got the perfect blend of character drama, action, socio-political commentary, and mystery. I adore the quasi-serialized format of late 90s/early 2000s TV.

I've enjoyed Expanse a lot, but it's a tier below BSG. It doesn't feel as relevant to our times in the way that BSG and even DS9 did. It doesn't seem to say anything about the human condition, politics, or philosophy. Also, it's a bit too serialized for my tastes. It's a very high 3.5/4 stars though.

TNG and DS9 are still two of my top 5 favorite shows. Some of that's certainly nostalgia. Some of that's certainly recognition of the fact that the echos of those shows helped shape my worldview as a young man. Like B5, I have no interest in watching many - possibly most in the case of TNG - episodes again in my life. And yet, because of the episodic format of TV back then, it's possible to rewatch some of my favorite Trek episodes and get something meaningful out of them. I doubt I'd ever just watch a single episode of Game of Thrones or The Expanse out of context.

I mostly agree about not comparing B5 and the Expanse, but there are some ways in which Expanse gets into that operatic territory. The subplot with the protomolecule hasn't been the focus this season, but surely hints at ancient empires and things beyond the human imagining. I haven't finished the Expanse books, but I could see it turning more into a grand drama. Also, don't forget, B5 was praised at the time for its realistic science, such as a rotating space station, non-aerodynamic star fighters, etc.

I second calls for Jammer to open forums for Babylon 5 (and I'd add Farscape too). It would be great to have a place to share our love for shows we like, as opposed to just bemoaning the fate of Trek.
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William B
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 11:13am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

Yeah not too bad given the parameters of the story, especially once the triangle starts up, but not really funny enough and doesn't adequately address what Darulio thought was going on. Say what you will about Fascination but Lwaxana was unaware of the impact she was having. 1.5 or so.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 10:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Hell, I'll give it another shot. Thanks for the info!
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 10:42am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Peter- any of the tech manuals provide a better explanation than any “sub space” turbolift.

The fact that there are manuals that can at least provide a half hazard explanation proves my point. Furthermore, the tech has some basic explanations given in actual episodes throughout the use of the holodeck.

The turbo lifts would have been remotely acceptable if they had explained during the refit that discovery or they briefly addressed the insanity of the turbolift shafts. They could have said that discovery now transcends normal limits of space due to retrofitting some sub space bubbles on the ship or some other technobabble. The fact that the turbo lifts were an issue back in the 23rd century (just not as insanely cavernous) does not bode well for that explanation.

Heck we are getting closer and closer to holodeck technology already. Not sure how much VR you do, but the Virtuix Omni is a VERY rudimentary idea of the treadmill in place concept and they are even producing a second version. Combine that with replicated matter and transporter tech and it’s really not hard to
Imagine a holodeck.

The fact that we are having to come up with endless explanations for the lazy writing just further reinforces just how bad the writing for Disco truly is. A truly great show shouldn’t have fans trying to justify every thing for the sake of the writers.

Game of Thrones was amazing....up until the end... as the ending did not feel earned. Not wanting to give spoilers for anyone that hadn’t seen it, but that was controversial because despite some characters showing some tendencies, they did not allow the actions to happen organically at the end. It was rushed. Breaking bad however allowed everything to happen organically and it felt “right.” Hence the complete lack of controversy regarding the ending of breaking bad.

The same thing that happened to GoT is the same thing people are doing for Discovery. Fans trying to endlessly justify the lazy writing, when if fact it is what it is. Lazy writing with unearned moments. I do not believe GoT had the plot of the ending wrong, it was just the execution of it and the rushing of the character arc that was the issue.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 10:15am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Bob, I totally feel you on Babylon 5.

The show was trying something new - something that had never been done before - writing a novel for American TV. It was bound to be hit-or-miss for a bit (and sometimes, downright terrible).

But if you get into it, it is a show unlike any other. And I have to include Star Trek in that too. B5 is incredible.

Fortunately, people have put into a lot of thought into exactly how much of B5 you really should watch in order to get the most out of it. And it turns out, you only need to watch and handful of episodes in all of season 1!!!

Those episodes are:

1 Midnight on the Firing Line
5 The Parliament of Dreams
6 Mind War
8 And The Sky Full Of Stars
9 Deathwalker
13 Signs and Portents
16 Eyes
20 Babylon Squared
22 Chrysalis

How did I get that list? Easy. There is a website called Lurker's Guide, that has a score for each episode. Here's a full spreadsheet with all the scores:

Just watch anything with a score of 8 or higher.

And don't worry about the "landing" for Season 5. Basically the show was supposed to get cancelled at the end of S4, so they wrapped everything up in S4 itself. If you get into B5, you'll be very grateful to have a season 5 - as a bonus. And if you don't get into B5, you can stop at the end of S4.

But you won't stop.

The secret that no one will tell you (but I might as well), is that no one who gets to Season 3 Episode 9 ever turns back. Cause if you made it that far, you're hooked for life!
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Jason R.
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 9:51am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Damage

"@Jammer, please do something about this. I don't care if it's a sad attempt at humor but t doesn't belong here. Doesn't belong anywhere to be frank."

Haha. Someone farted in the wind 7 years ago and you're outraged about it.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 9:43am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I've never been able to get into B5. I've attempted it a few times but I've never made it past the first season.

Everyone says that it gets a lot better, but they also say that the last season is kind of disappointing. Since the show is heavily serialized I think it's essential to "stick the landing" so to speak.
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Paul M.
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 9:39am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"And yet... it remains perhaps the most ambitious, serialized, epic story ever put to TV, perhaps outside Game of Thrones. Even DS9 and Farscape were mostly episodic shows with some continuous plot threads. The Expanse is great, but rarely reaches that operatic level of B5."

I am trying to think of shows in the vein of Babylon 5 and I keep coming short. I think you are right: there isn't anything out there except Game of Thrones that operates on such an epic, serialized, character-driven, and mythic level. Straczynski always said he was writing a novel for television.

As it stands right now -- though I'll have to see how it ends before I pass my final judgment -- The Expanse is next to Battlestar Galactica my favorite sci-fi TV show of all times. Babylon 5 and various Trek incarnations are monumental achievements, no doubt, and they probably rise just as high, if not higher, in certain episodes, but are too inconsistent hour-to-hour to definitively crown them as the best of the best.

That said, I don't think The Expanse should be directly compared to Babylon 5. Both are heavily serialized, character-driven, and directly tackle political and socioeconomic issues. But whereas The Expanse operates more in the sphere of hard-ish (well, to an extent) SF with characters that exhibit correspondingly grounded, easy to relate to motivations and behavior, Babylon 5 is, as you say, operatic, its themes and plots going thousands of years to the past and future, its characters often feeling like players in a grand drama that engage in theatrical monologues and ruminate on their place in the cosmos.

Speaking of re-watches, I am currently engaged in three, and enjoying all of them immensely! I am on DS9's fourth season right now, Babylon 5's third, and Fringe's second. Fringe is also one of my favorite shows, but for whatever inexplicable reason I have never actually seen its fifth and final season, so in the process of remedying that, I opted to start from the beginning. Good times!
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 9:35am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

There's a lot of discussion about whether things are truly Trek or not Trek. Personally I'm fine with the franchise trying something different as long as the quality is there. That's my problem with Discovery, the quality isn't there. Burnham as a character isn't interesting or dynamic enough to lead the series, but the writers seem hellbent on forcing her into that role. The writing is shallow, sloppy, and inconsistent and yet they continue to do serialized season long arcs despite clearly not being up to the task. The character development has gotten better recently but is still below average. You have one showrunner (Kurtzman) who is more of an action guy which I think translates better into movies and another showrunner (Paradise) who previously worked on teen-fantasy soap operas. The result? A teen-fantasy soap opera with a lot of action sequences mixed in.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 8:59am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

very sad to hear we lost Mira Furlan -- just watched "Confessions and Lamentations" last night as well ...
She was so good as Delenn -- really brought the aspect of another culture into the character.
Yes, would be cool to have a B5 section on this site -- a wonderful series indeed.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 8:05am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

OMG @Paul M., I had not heard that we've lost Mira Furlan :(

G'Kar (first to go). Doctor Franklin (who we lost in his 40's!). Commander Sinclair (how tragic!). Mr. Garibaldi (too soon!). Vir (Vir....)

And now Mira?!?!

You are so right, Babylon 5 was truly a gem. And perhaps one of the best follow ups to TOS.

I'm just wrapping up my watch of the original Star Trek series. But I think it is time for another Babylon 5 viewing.

I only wish @Jammer would open a thread for those who wish to comment on B5. That would be a great memorial.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 7:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Paul M., that's a great way to put it. Viewers watching it now need to understand that B5 was a bold new attempt at serialized sci-fi storytelling on a meager budget. There's so much that didn't work, from losing main actors to down-scaled CGI to almost being canceled after four seasons. Some episodes aren't great.

And yet... it remains perhaps the most ambitious, serialized, epic story ever put to TV, perhaps outside Game of Thrones. Even DS9 and Farscape were mostly episodic shows with some continuous plot threads. The Expanse is great, but rarely reaches that operatic level of B5.

I sincerely hope B5 isn't lost to time because its production values aren't up to the standards of the 21st century.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 7:55am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Way to Eden

The Way to Eden

Star Trek season 3 episode 20

"If a man tells another man: out of my way,
he piles up trouble for himself all day.
But all kinds of trouble come to an end,
when a man tells another man: be my friend.”

- Adam

3 1/2 stars (out of 4)
[For the record, the review at the top of the this thread from 2009, is not me]

As we approach the final five episodes of The Original Series, it gladdens my heart to see one true classic Trek ere the end.

Here is a simple tale of a mad man with sane thoughts,

SEVRIN: This is poison to me. This stuff you breathe, this stuff you live in, the shields of artificial atmosphere that we have layered about every planet. The programs in those computers that run your ship and your lives for you, they bred what my body carries. That's what your science have done to me. You've infected me

and his outcast followers of high birth. But first I have to say how much of a pleasure it is to see both Shatner and Nimoy at absolutely peak performance. Scotty and Bones do good work too. And this is really a splendid Chekov outing as well. When things clicked on TOS, they really clicked!

Kirk is an incredible leader. There is a scene when he notices Chekov is uneasy, and he places his hand on Chekov’s arm, and asks just as gently as a Captain can be expected to be,

KIRK: Do you wish to see her? Permission to leave your post.

CHEKOV: Thank you, sir.

Kirk’s tenderness towards Chekov continues to be a highlight of the episode through its very end, when poor Chekov, obviously embarrassed that he let his guard down around an old flame, presents himself for a flogging,

CHEKOV: Captain, I wish first to apologize for my conduct during this time. I did not maintain myself under proper discipline. I endangered the ship and its personnel by my conduct. I respectfully submit myself for disciplinary action.

But Kirk again understands that youth is, after all, inexperienced,

KIRK: Thank you, Mister Chekov. You did what you had to do. As did we all. Even your friends. You may go.

CHEKOV: Thank you, sir.


Next vote of commendation for an exemplary performance goes to Nimoy. His connect with the kids, especially with Adam through music, was such a delight! When Spock tries to convince Adam to check the computer’s files on his mad, mad leader, it damn near broke my heart,

SPOCK: Adam. You know I reach you. I believe in what you seek. But there is a tragic difference between what you want and what he wants.

ADAM: You're making me cry.

Adam tries to blow it off, but these are good kids led astray by an insane adult. Irina is scared the ultrasound will do more than stun the crew ("Sound pitched that high doesn't stun, it destroys. I remember when we read in the text”). Rad, the ambassador’s son fears the same, but blows it off. But kids are stupid. Or not stupid per se, but naive. That’s why we protect them. Because otherwise they’re likely to be led astray and get themselves killed.

The episode piles on a needless biblical narrative, both with the “Eden” episode title, and and fruit, as foreshadowed by the key line from Adam’s song in the control room,

ADAM: Headin' out to Eden. No more trouble in my body or my mind. Gonna live like a king on whatever I find, Eat all the fruit and throw away the rind.

And for sure that’s what they do. And that’s what kills them.

Nimoy’s stunning line at seeing the dead boy rings all the more true given the real-life name Nimoy chose for his son, who at the time this episode aired, would have been almost 13, and probably going through a rebellious phase of his own,

SPOCK: His name was Adam.

There is no doubt Nimoy did Reach.

For the life of me I cannot fathom how @Jammer has scored this one so low. My only guess is that he was a Herbert when he wrote it ;) Maybe now that @Jammer's kids are older, he’ll give this episode another look see.

KIRK: I used to get into a little trouble when I was that age, Scotty. Didn't you?

This is the Star Trek I have loved all my life. One with a rich message (@Chrome) and good music (@Rahul).

Like Voyager’s “Living Witness,” TOS’ “Way to Eden” is an enduring tale that will continue to stand the test of time.
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Paul M.
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 7:46am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Babylon 5 is an unpolished gem. Frequently awesome, sometimes solid, on quite a few occasions dire. But for all its flaws, B5 was a fascinating experience, a show like no other. So sad to hear about Mira Furlan. What is it with actors from Bablyon 5? Why are they all dying so young?
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 7:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@HarryH, "But if you drift too far of what made Trek work, my question is: why bother. Why call it Star Trek when you obviously wanted to make something else?"

I agree 100%. I understand why corporate marketing at CBS might want to try something new to expand Trek's audience - which among major sci-fi fandoms is still pretty niche. But why are so many fans going along with it? If I want a gritty sci-fi drama, I've got other options like BSG and Expanse. Star Trek used to scratch the optimisitic, liberal humanism itch. If it doesn't, then what's the point? Other franchises exist. Star Trek doesn't need to be everything to everyone.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 7:28am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I'm sure many people here are Babylon 5 fans. I just heard that Mira Furlan passed away. It's tragic news for those of us who are fans of B5 and have already lost so many people affiliated with that show when they were so young.

And for those of you who have never watched B5... it's still worth checking out. It will probably scratch the same itch that DS9 scratched all those years ago.
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Colin Lindsly
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 6:54am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

For myself, I remember what it was like to see older Trek. When the season ended, I was excited to see what the next season would bring and frustrated that I had to wait. I haven't felt that way in a long time with Trek.

I have that feeling with other shows now, like The Umbrella Academy, The Boys, The Witcher, The Expanse, The Mandalorian, and Camp Cretaceous. On the last, it's amazing how they kept the pace of the show up throughout 8 20-minute episodes and how the characters evolved individually and as a group.

After watching the last episode of the third season of Discovery, I felt relieved the season had ended and felt no excitement about a new season. In the shows I like, I am noticing that they build layers to their storytelling, plots, and characterization. Discovery seems to like to build the layers only to then tear them down at the end of the season, so it feels like each season is restarting at the beginning. In another show, they would have kept Osyraa as an antagonist and develop her and her organization in a meaningful way. They showed they could do that with the penultimate episode. Sadly, they took a sharp turn, brought her character down quite a few pegs, and disposed of her and her organization quickly.

It feels like Picard took a similar tack with the Romulan secret society and their desire to eradicate synthetics. The next season will probably have a new villain for our characters to go against.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 6:50am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Damage

Michael wrote (way back on Fri, May 31, 2013)

"A terrible episode! Not one corpse or child to whom I could masturbate. 0 stars!!!"

Strange that I'm commenting on something from over 7 years ago, but are you f*cking kidding me?! This excuse for a comment was allowed to stand?!

@Jammer, please do something about this. I don't care if it's a sad attempt at humor but t doesn't belong here. Doesn't belong anywhere to be frank.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 6:11am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

I agree that the cause of the anomaly in FuturePicard's time frame was screwed up. Not sure how they could have fixed that plot hole when each individual Picard was moving forward through time in that time frame.

Perhaps the Pasteur could have encountered a *tiny* anomaly, probed it -- without helping to cause it, since the Pasteur's inverted tachyon pulse had a different energy signature -- and then the Riker-led Enterprise could return at Picard's insistence to see what had happened ... to find it to be even tinier. They'd then re-probe with the Enterprise's inverted tachyon beam, and cause the anomaly, while thinking (since they're moving forward through time) that they'd closed it.

But then there'd be no point when FuturePicard would need the static warp bubble, so that still doesn't work.

If they stole part of the plot of Time and Again, Picard's traveling could tell him that the FuturePicard's use of an inverted tachyon pulse would cause the problem he was trying to fix, so then he could decide to switch to a static warp bubble around a small, and apparently shrinking anomaly.
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Mark Nolan
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 5:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Life Support

... also Bareil 2.0 would have been unique*. Is he human? What makes someone human? He was born a human, he has a human body, he has his memories and personality, he can even father human children (with his human body).

* In the ST universe, and possibly in science fiction (certainly the popular franchises).
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Peter Swinkels
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 5:08am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@ramon - which of a bazillion manuals official or fan made are you talking about? I have read about optical illusions and segmenting a simulation and treadmills. To me those explanations sound even more half-assed than somehow warping the space inside a holodeck. Warping space and warp bubbles are something known to possible in Star Trek's universe.
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Mark Nolan
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 4:59am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Life Support

"An alive (but robotic) Bareil would have been a decent way of handling his character going forward"

I agree. This would have been fascinating, and different from Data's journey (an android wanting to become more human).

Bareil 2.0 would be a human with his brain replaced with a positronic matrix (is he still human?) . Effectively a robot brain with a human body - as opposed to a human brain with a robot body (e.g. RoboCop). SciFi doesn't have many characters like this - I can't think of any.

Bareil 2.0 would have somehow had Bareil's memories and personality transferred, since that's what Bareil wanted in order to do whatever it takes to continue the peace treaty negotiations. It raises many questions, and it would be interesting to see how Bareil 2.0 navigates being thrown into Bareil 1.0s life. Bareil 2.0 could discover new things about himself, for example if his "software" (memories and personality) is now being run on superior hardware, what would that mean? Let's say he can think quicker, how will that affect the development of his personality, or his interactions with others. I think Bareil 2.0 could have been one of the most interesting characters in all of SciFi.
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Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 4:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Discovery is a mess. Trek, for me, was always about a sense of wonder and interesting social and ethical dilemma's, solved by an engaging cast of characters. Discovery is only obsessed with Burnham.

Discovery keeps pretending there is something special about Burnham and adjusts the plot to fit that pretense. But it's like TNG or TOS would try to tell every story from the perspective of Geordi or Sulu.

The main thing that seems to be wrong with it, is that the writers are trying to be too clever. First season disco wanted to 'play with our expectations' and delivered a depressing dystopian trek. Second season at the very least had Pike, but kept forcing Burnham to the foreground. And this third season? What was the point of it all? What was the actual drive? Why did they want to show us these events? Why do I care about all this?

It's. Just. Not. Star Trek.

You know, it's easy to dismiss this. I can already hear the argument "they are just trying something new, Trek can be something new"

But if you drift too far of what made Trek work, my question is: why bother. Why call it Star Trek when you obviously wanted to make something else?

Discovery is a mess. And if this was its final season, I can't say I will be sad about it.
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