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Gerontius
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 4:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Defensive, Boomer? Hardly, that surely implies feeling under attack. I was merely commenting on the tendency we can sometimes have to think that gaps in what we have been told have to indicate something, when at most they leave room for speculation. It's a tendency that reading detective stories can encourage in us, and it's one of the key ways detective story writers set out to mislead us.

I liked Drea's point about how, in some ways, what we see as the fall from grace of the Federation and Starfleet in regard to the Romulan refugees still leaves them far ahead of our societies in ethical terms.

Cynicism about the possibilities of making things better may be a fashion, but in no way is it a necessary response to a recognition that in someways things might be getting worse. I'd like to hope that Picard might help in redeeming the time.
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Yanks
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 4:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Great review Jammer.

As to the Romulan spiting that green burning goo stuff... you see him bite what appears to be like the old cyanide tablets from the cold-war days just before he spits.

So many questions and a whole season of 'Picard' to reveal them!! :-)
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Quincy
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 2:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I'll just leave this here:

"Am I bothering you, captain?"
"No, please Mr. Worf, come in."
"It is over. Admiral Henry has called an end to any more hearings on this matter."
"That's good."
"Admiral Satie has left the Enterprise."
"We think we've come so far. Torture of heretics, burning of witches, it's all ancient history. And then, before you can blink an eye, suddenly, it threatens to start all over again."
"I believed her. I-I HELPED her! I did not see what she was."
"Mr. Worf, villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged."
"I think, after yesterday, people will not be so ready to trust her."
"Maybe. But she or someone like her will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish – spreading fear in the name of righteousness. Vigilance, Mr. Worf. THAT IS THE PRICE WE HAVE TO CONTINUALLY PAY."

- Worf and Picard, The Drumhead
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Peter G.
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 2:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

I was thinking about it just now and realized there may be another parallel connecting the A and B stories. When the Federation crew crashes and sets up camp in the cave, IIRC they're joking about the hotel-like accomodations they've now got. They're doing it to boost morale, but the spirit of the joking is to try to at least pretend their situation is ok to avoid despair. This is not unlike Kira, who on the station is also trying to pretend that her situation is ok and that she needs to bide her time. Her comparatively cushy surroundings make it all too easy to trick herself into thinking she's not also stranded, swimming for life among the rocks and shoals of the Dominion. The difference is that she allowed herself to believe it briefly, but she was no less stuck on a planet with the Dominion than Sisko and the Fed crew were.
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Gary
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 1:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

Regarding "aren't the Vorta an engineered species too". Sure they are, but they are also effectively the "managers". A good (and honourable) manager doesn't hang their employees out to dry, they shield them and take the blame themselves. Which is exactly what Third Remata'klan did as an honourable commander.

Just as in real-life, insanity or following orders or what not does get you off in some circumstances. Some things, however, are too despicable to be forgiven despite the situation -- which is the same type of concern Kira is dealing with and chewing herself up over.
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Booming
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 1:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Elderberry
That is really not the same. Bashir was just unintelligent and the parents wanted a better kid. It's one thing to say we don't want superhumans as to not turn Human existence into a giant race for the ultimate superhuman and quite another to say "Romulans are less valuable than Humans." and "Synthetics aren't allowed to exist".
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Elderberry
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 1:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

The Federation (or at least the Earth end of the Federation) has always been closed-minded about genetic engineering as a not particularly rational reaction to a long-ago war. Julian Bashir's story, of a child so damaged that he couldn't tell the difference between a tree and a house, being forbidden treatment, and his parents being criminalised for seeking it, is an ugly one that goes unchallenged. There's a dark heart there and always has been. I don't have a problem with that limiting mindset extending itself to synths, or to Romulans, after the wars with the Borg and the Dominion.
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Drea
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Dave:

"Are we sure that Dahj's "death" wasn't some elaborate deception? This is my speculation, as I have seen nothing beyond the first episode. The kidnappers/Romulans had a transporter lock on the guy who got thrown over the side of the steps to beam him out before he even hit the ground, so we know that technology was there and functioning. Could the overloading phasor have been a cover to make Picard and everyone else think she was dead?"

Considering that their objective at the start of the show is clearly to abduct her, and not to kill her which they could have easily done, it's very strange that they would then shift plans to killing her so quickly. We don't know if that phaser explosion was as destructive as it looked--it only knocked Picard back, after all. Maybe Dahj has some shielding around her positronic brain, which the abductors now have.

I have to agree with Jammer that building connection with Dahj only to apparently kill her in the first episode was the only significant narrative misstep. It's like Picard is Dixon Hill, with a mysterious woman who comes to him for help dying at the start of the story, but she has a twin sister. It's a dime-novel plot twist that doesn't serve us well.
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Bucktown
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: The Crossing

So much for "to seek out new life and new civilizations."

I agree with just about everyone here. This episode seems like a perfect encapsulation of the first two seasons of the show in general - a good premise with a lot of promise that is squandered and then turned absolute garbage.

Blowing up the aliens' ship at the end is so antithetical to the Trek ethos. Really embarrassing stuff. I really hate when in more recent interviews Berman & Braga blame Trek fatigue over 17 years for the cancellation of Enterprise. No, I'm sorry. It's episodes like this that turned off and soured the fanbase, who never wanted to bother tuning back in when this was the schlock they were getting.
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James G
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 12:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

Brilliant episode, this one. Very clever. A really terrific performance by Dwight Schultz.

The only complaint for me is that the drama and suspense at the end relies on a tried and tested formula; the 'ship in grave peril with only minutes to find a technical solution' chestnut. Apart from that this episode is a welcome and original diversion from the usual tropes. Some strong humour, as well.

I hadn't seen this one for many years and was watching the scene where Riker, Troi and Geordi turn up on the holodeck through my fingers. I was half expecting them to find the holographc Deanna with her underwear round her ankles, up against a tree.
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10110
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 12:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: About a Girl

Wow, didn't expected that much depth in The Orville.
Its quite faszinating to see how they blend parodic and serious elements together, this worked here very well.

Its a bit funny to read all those people who try to shit on the Orville because it is from MacFarlane, the Family guy author. You're all so prejudiced.

The argumentation in court (and before) is better than in Measure of a Man. There, I said it. Legally and ethically. Don't get me wrong, I love Measure of a Man, but if you rewatching it, you see its flaws. What made Measure of a Man special was not the depth of the argumentation itself, but that human rights issues regarding Data were discussed at all in an earnest way centerstage.
This episode gives quite interesting arguments, shows arguments from both sides without antagonising one side and doesnt give the expected happy ending, they lose the case. the baby gets male and Bortus gives an very adult reaction, in putting emphasis on the wellfare his child, whatever gender it has. Makes the story nearly realistic in its outcome but hits the right tones.

I can't see those plagiarism claims anymore. TNG copied TOS episodes straight in its first season (Naked Time) and I see so many recycled stories between TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager. Nobody cared, but for The Orville people talk several paragraphs about how similar it is to TNG. You cannot plagiarise an idea, everyone is free to create a Star Trek like series as long they create an independent world. And I see no Klingons, Romulans or Borg clones in Orville. I see a lot of new content in the spirit of TNG. And this is completely fine. (Especially after Discovery fails on so many levels to be an proper successor). What Orville gets right is the positive tone and earnest handling of ethical issues. Where does Discovery that? Has the first season any message except that nihilistic "we're at war - we must do what has to be done"
I guess I know which one of both series Roddenberry would have preferred.
The Orville is horribly underrated.
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Booming
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 12:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Yeah there is a difference between DS9 where the Federations goodness was tested and ST:P's Federation where it has succumbed to xenophobia and close-mindedness. This is just not the vision Roddenberry had in mind.

We also have to remember that the Federation is far more than earth or Humans. Did all the other more than 100 species like the Vulcans, Denobulans and so on just agreed that 80000 dead people on Mars and a destroyed shipyard is too much bear? Let's all just ban synthetics and abandon the desperate Romulans?
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Chrome
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 12:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets

I tend to not take sides on the production side of things because, at the end of the day, it's mostly a dispute about money and we aren't really in a position to say who is right or wrong there. I'm definitely not a fan of Berman, but I can imagine Farrell asking for a huge pay increase during her contract negotiation too.

As for the Sisko/Dukat thing, I can see where Fenn is coming from, especially since they've given a lot of nuance to Dukat over these six seasons. He's not always about Sisko, and he's not even always a bad guy. There is a sort of narrative here where loss upon loss and disgrace after disgrace finally gets to Dukat and he basically goes mad, blaming Sisko because he's not even thinking clearly. And sure, since Sisko's closely orbits Dukat's failures he's as good a target as any.
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Dave in MN
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I have to say that I'm agree with the assertion that Starfleet abandoning it's core principles is slightly problematic.

Yes, we've seen badmirals before who sold out their ethics in the name of expediency, but 99% of the Starfleet officers we have seen since TNG have echoed the Federation's principles in words and deeds. I do find it hard to believe that the Federation (and all those officers we've previously seen) would completely abandon their moral ethos in the span of 18 years.

It feels more like the writers are trying to score a political point than actually embracing realistic storytelling. At least that's the impression I got upon rewatching.
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Peter G.
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 12:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets

Huh, that's the kind of thing I never heard about because I don't like watching interviews. But ugh, terrible. And Berman being like that would certainly explain why Roddenberry loved him so much to take over the show. I guess they were like minds in that regard...


@ Fenn,

"Definitely fertile ground to work with there, and better to start late than never, but I can't recall much Sisko-Dukat interaction before that point (apart from, say, official comms)."

Well, I think part of the problem was that Sisko refused for there to be any interaction. Dukat clearly wanted to be his buddy or something and Sisko shot him down way back in S2. There wasn't much room for Dukat to try to make time with Sisko, especially when Kira was so much more personally interesting to him. That said, they didn't need to have an interpersonal rivalry in order to be rivals; the fact of pursuing equal and opposite goals is enough, I think. That it got personal later is, I think, because of some weird respect Ben got for beating Dukat off of Terok Nor.
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Dave
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 12:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I don't see this speculation above, but I may have missed it above. Apologies if this is a re-tread.

Are we sure that Dahj's "death" wasn't some elaborate deception? This is my speculation, as I have seen nothing beyond the first episode. The kidnappers/Romulans had a transporter lock on the guy who got thrown over the side of the steps to beam him out before he even hit the ground, so we know that technology was there and functioning. Could the overloading phasor have been a cover to make Picard and everyone else think she was dead? Maybe this wasn't their first plan to kidnap Dahj, but it was an outcome that they had planned for if they couldn't capture her again, like they failed to accomplish in Boston.

Absent this, I agree with Jammer that to build her character up and then have her die was a problematic part of this episode. I did enjoy it, but I am hoping something more was going on there.
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Drea
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 11:55am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

If Trek has always been about allegory and social commentary, let's consider the ramifications of this allegory.

Star Trek: Picard posits that a resource-rich nation faced with refugees fleeing danger has a moral responsibility to build whatever ships necessary to rescue them and bring them in. Not simply to allow them in should they somehow come, but to rescue and bring home, en masse and pro-actively. Failure to do so is a betrayal of ideals and responsibility. Even if the refugees belong to a government that has long been an enemy.

Can we imagine this proposition in the United States or Europe right now? Real-life debates center around what proportion of refugees to keep out when despite the odds they make the journey on their own.

Starfleet ceased to be Starfleet because it didn't rebuild its evacuation boats after the first fleet's destruction. That's the fall from grace that ST:P depicts. It's exactly where we saw the Federation heading with the moral compromises of the Dominion war and the enslavement of synthetic people as seen toward the end of Voyager.

And it's still worlds better than anything happening today. If we scrutinize the allegory of ST:P, it raises the moral bar on our political debates. I have previously argued as if removing internal barriers against refugees were adequate, and now I will argue that our wealth (not to mention our hand in creating many contemporary crises) obligates us to send boats to lands with fleeing refugees and bring as many people as want to come.
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Bold Helmsman
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 11:20am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@OmnicronThetaDeltaPhi
The utopian worldview we see in TOS and TNG didn't appear in a vacuum. It's a direct mirror to the mindset that the United States was in during that time period when those shows were made. People believed that the future could be like that because they thought that they themselves were on that same path. The problem is that same worldview was ignoring a lot of the issues present back then.

In the current day and age, it simply feels unearned for Star Trek to act as if humans have evolved beyond the issues we're seeing in Picard when we haven't done it in real life.
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Top Hat
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 10:55am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets

Berman. Who else? You can read about it in The 50 Year Mission, though be prepared for a lot of he said/said (Behr basically verifies Farrell's version, though).
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Fenn
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 10:54am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets

Sorry for the vagueness re: the exec in question -- I thought this was fairly well-known. It was Rick Berman; I've heard the same story in various places, but just searched and found this link has direct quotes from 'The Fifty Year Mission' (Terry Farrell directly telling her side of the story): https://www.reddit.com/r/startrek/comments/525q85/terry_farrells_departure_has_anybody_else_heard/

I also read on Memory Alpha that her reduced presence in 'The Sound of her Voice' was so that she could attend auditions for other shows -- which corroborates her story of not having already got the job of Becker at that point.

As for Dukat and Sisko, @Peter G: good list there, and yeah, they do parallel each other in a lot of ways (that Kira and Dukat don't really match too well). I find it strange though that, as far as direct interaction has gone, there's been far more between Kira and Dukat up to this point; Sisko and Dukat's particular rivalry definitely seems to be an invention of 'Waltz' -- six years in. Definitely fertile ground to work with there, and better to start late than never, but I can't recall much Sisko-Dukat interaction before that point (apart from, say, official comms). Regardless: interested to see what they do with it.
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Peter G.
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 10:31am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets

If that's so, then who is the exec?

To Fenn's post:

I have a suspicion that they didn't want to give Jadzia a glorious send-off, possibly because relations there were not good. They did give Sisko his needed eulogy for her, but I'm not that surprised that they made it fairly suddent and done with. Also I think it works theme-wise to have it be Dukat and the pagh wraiths taking away the last remnant of Benjamin's old life (besides Jake, I guess) and making him doubt his place. Not sure how much they had this in mind, but I do consider (now, in hindsight) that Dax was probably the key person in making Ben originally feel like he could stay on DS9. It was also her helping him find the prophets, scientifically speaking. Yeah, the death isn't great, but the perp is fitting.

Regarding Dukat as anti-emissary, I may be one of the few people here who thinks it is the only logical conclusion to his arc. He always was an opportunistic megalomaniac, and everything else was a puppet show being put on for himself and for others. The beauty is that Alaimo can sell it so well that you almost want to believe it at times (like on the Bird of Prey), but you shouldn't. I do think he is Sisko's equal and opposite as well, and that this was set up during the series:

-The two commanders of Terok Nor/DS9.
-Both in certain ways obsessed with Bajor and for its future (Sisko, for their care, Dukat, for their obedience and respect).
-Both willing to believe they have a higher calling; Sisko reluctantly but he is willing to believe it; and Dukat because he *wants* to believe it.
-Both are willing to bend official rules to do what they think is right; in Ben's case it's to do moral right, and in Dukat's to do what will advantage him.
-Both have a 'special relationship' with Kira (and by proxy, the Bajorans).

I think while they could have continued the charade of Dukat being redeemable, it is completely reasonable for him to at some point cut out the crap and drop the mask.
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Elderberry
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 10:30am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Another vote of thanks to Jammer.

In TNG 'Inheritance' it is explicitly stated that Data has an ageing programme, so a combination of that and Picard's dream-consciousness presenting him with a friend still the same number of years younger than himself seem enough to explain the older look. I have no problem with the dreaming - the comments in TNG 'Night Terrors' were specific to that situation - no-one was dreamng, and everyone was going nuts as a result.

First Contact opened with a Picard dream-sequence - the opening scene of this felt like a reference to that as well as to our memories of TNG.

My theory about the Discovery Klingons is that they are all products of the fashion for intense cosmetic surgery predicted as a response to the Augment virus in Enterprise. TOS Klingons were out-and-proud virus survivors who spurned surgery. Worf at al are natural Klingons.

I'm still curious to see whether this twins thing is in some way influenced by the Bynars.
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Patrick D
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 10:07am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Trek reflects the times. You see a lot more Cold War stories in TOS/TNG than you ever see in Voyager. If the writers want to comment on terrorism and immigration in Trek, they need to set up some conflict in the Trekverse that’s similar. It’s not like Star Wars where it’s all fantasy - Trek by nature is interested in talking about current events through allegory.
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Jason R.
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 9:54am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

"So why do TPTB feel the need to "recalibrate" the 24th century now, all of a sudden? Are Trump and Brexit scarier than a global nuclear war? The lack of perspective that the showrunners are exhibiting here is positively funny. It's like they've completely abandoned all hope for humanity, just because reality has gotten a little rough."

Ha! Because the original timeline merely had global nuclear armageddon, post atomic horror etc... but in retrospect that was naively optimistic?
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Top Hat
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 9:48am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets

According to Farrell, the Becker casting only happened after she was turfed from DS9.
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