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Tomalak
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 5:29am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

I certainly enjoy debating too - but I am going to do my best to ignore all the "are you off the meds, psycho" stuff and stick to discussing the episode. You, Mike and Atymiss have all made interesting points on the Tilly arc and it's all far more interesting.
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Tomalak
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 4:37am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

"On Tilly: Has it ever been suggested in any Trek episode that performance of Starfleet duties requires a body with low fat percentage? Or is this just speculation, like Trump's assertion that trans people in the military are a burden. Technology has already rendered many of the body's functions as obsolete in our time, so it's not hard to envisage the body as wholly obsolete in the future."

I think episodes like the Learning Curve in S1 Voyager and the DIS one referenced above make clear that physical fitness as we would understand it today is still an expectation. But obviously they seem to be laxer about it with experienced officers like Scotty - which is realistic when you see a lot of top military brass on TV today. I don't think it's some big plot hole in the show, but it's extremely noticeable that Tilly has quickly gone from this:
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/db/b2/87/dbb2873441ae2843ea16e96ef2e03a48.jpg
to this:
https://www.indiewire.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Ensign-Tilly-In-Saloon.jpg?resize=800,534

It's interesting from a world building perspective what we think about all this. For all we know she has been disciplined off screen. In reality of course, it's probably just that the producers are too woke/scared to tell the actress to lose weight the way they did with the much thinner Sirtis in the 1980s.

Boomer, no one needs your permission or anyone else's. This board discusses all kinds of big and small issues and character arcs, sometimes in episodes filmed more than 50 years ago. The idea that character weight gain is off limits is your weird hang up, not ours. If you can't take it or can't say anything other than "you can't talk about this!", maybe this board isn't for you?
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Tomalak
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 3:36am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

"What are you saying? that overweight people cannot be in Starfleet?! Scotty and Jim, have you heard?!"

This would be a more persuasive criticism if I hadn't compared Tilly's weight gain to Scotty's in my first post above. As I said, it doesn't seem crazy to think characters would have weight problems in the future - although it is striking how fast Tilly has ballooned. Scotty in TOS Season 3 in 1969 v Undiscovered Country in 1991 is a big difference, but a lot of time had passed in reality and in the show. DIS S1 v S3 is a couple of years. They could reference it or they could ignore it. But instead, as Cody notes above, amusingly they reference how much fitter the character is getting even as she balloons in weight.
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Tomalak
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 6:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

For those with short memories, Tilly looked like this just two seasons ago: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/db/b2/87/dbb2873441ae2843ea16e96ef2e03a48.jpg
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Tomalak
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 1:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

Yes, deprived of Burnham it feels more like a Star Trek episode and less like a superhero movie.
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Tomalak
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 10:22am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

I think that's the difference. None of the above had anything like the same focus and screen time as Burnham gets, despite them being the ones in charge unlike her. All the previous Treks were more balanced shows. This would be forgivable if she wasn't such a tedious character, but instead we get a poorly acted scientific genius, sage military strategist, excellent warrior, perfect daughter to Sarek, sister to Spock and friend to Tilly all rolled into one. It's as if Riker had Worf's combat skills, Data's abilities and Troi's empathy and dominated the screen time.
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Tomalak
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 4:16am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

LW, I find Tilly's weight gain very striking so I observed it, yeah. It's not a criticism because some people do get way fatter over time - so I don't think you can call it a plot hole or something. I sense that you think it's off bounds even to talk about this on a message board but you can't quite explain why?
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Mal
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 12:57am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

The Enemy Within
Star Trek season 1 episode 5

"The impostor had some interesting qualities, wouldn't you say, Yeoman?”

- Spock.

3 Stars (out of 4)

Spock’s last line is shocking.

As my namesake Mal might ask, “define interesting.”

As Wash might respond, “Oh God, Oh God, we’re all going to die?”

https://youtu.be/PBEUQSpRvSI

I’m amazed at how clearly TOS was able - in just 5 episodes - to create a very clear arc for the series that actually takes us forward for decades. As I mentioned in my review of The Man Trap, Spock is emotionally stunted and leans heavily on logic. His failure to even react to news of the death of a crew mate in The Man Trap is an absolute shock to Uhura. It might have been logical. But shocking. On the opposite side, Kirk has to berate Bones in sickbay for being equally unmindful about the cause of death of that crewman - so caught up is Bones in his own infatuation with his ex-girlfriend.

Both Spock’s lack of emotion, and Bones’ excessive emotion are liabilities. And Kirk relies on both of them to give him some balance.

In my review of Where no One has Gone before, I point out that once again Kirk needs Spock to be a heartless bastard. That doesn’t mean that Kirk will follow Spock’s advice (he does not kill Gary Mitchell when Spock tells him to, only later when he has no choice). But it does mean that Kirk finds Spock’s perspective valuable in coming to his own independent conclusion.

And now here with The Enemy Within, we have the natural progression of that Spock/logic versus Bones/feelings dichotomy, with an actual split in Kirk himself.

Kirk’s two sides, passion and calculation, are split in two, and neither can do its job without the other. Kirk is a great captain, yes. But he is great because he can be sympathetic to Spock’s heartless logic and sympathetic to Bones’ emotional excesses. Kirk contains both sides.

There is line from an old poem by Whitman: I am large. I contain multitudes. A Nobel laureate recently put similar thoughts to music: https://youtu.be/pgEP8teNXwY A key line: I fuss with my hair, and I fight blood feuds. I contain multitudes.

@Linda asks about makeup. Well, the man fusses with his hair, and fights blood feuds. He contains multitudes.

I completely respect @Richard’s reading of Whitney’s book. But I find myself with a very different take-away from her book than @Richard does.

In those pages, Whitney is talking about the dark side and the light side, and bringing balance. She says,

“This is also the the concept behind the ‘good side’ and the ‘dark side’ of The Force in Star Wars. The message of ‘The Enemy Within’ is that by managing our passions, character defects, and emotions with reason and logic, we can be whole and well-balanced as human beings. The flesh always wars against the spirit - and when the spiritual aspect of Kirk is stripped away, the raw pulsating flesh reigns supreme in the evil Kirk’s body.”

That strikes me as completely accurate. Remember, even Star Wars was not about defeating the dark side. It was about bringing balance to The Force. Balance.

That’s what makes this 5 episode arc so incredible. With The Man Trap, Bones was literally at the mercy of flesh. In Where no Man has Gone Before, in advising Kirk to kill Gary before it was absolutely necessary, Spock is at the mercy of logic. Kirk brings a great spiritual balance to these two sides of human nature.

"Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human.” Spock embodied both sides of humanity: logic and passion. Most of the time logic prevailed. Sometimes, like in the incredible scene in The Naked Time, he breaks down crying as passion bursts through. It is only Kirk that is well balanced as between Spock and Bones. That’s why Kirk sits in the Captain’s chair.
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Tomalak
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 9:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

Tilly is almost unrecognisable now given how much weight she has gained since season 1. That's not a criticism - no reason people in the future wouldn't struggle with their weight. But it's almost like the difference between Scotty in the Original Series and Scotty in the later films - and it's not exactly been twenty years.
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Mal
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Naked Time

The Naked Time

Star Trek
Season 1 episode 4

3 stars (out of 4)

"RILEY: Last week it was botany he was trying to get me interested in. I was supposed to be collecting leaves, plant specimens.

SULU: Your attitude is all wrong. Fencing tones the muscle, sharpens the eye, improves the posture.”

- Sulu and Riley, clearly on a date.

There is just so much going on here. We see Nurse Chapel for the first time! And she declares her love for Spock. Oh yeah, and Kirk declares his undying love for the ship. I agree, @Jammer, Spock sitting alone crying just totally messes with your head. Star Trek was definitely not afraid to really dig deep and go dark.

And we get a touch of good old fashioned racism. Spock asks “Where is Mr. Sulu?” And Riley responds:

RILEY: Have no fear, O'Riley's here. One Irishman is worth ten thousand -

And Spock strategically cuts him off before he can use whatever slur he was going for there. Good times.

@Skeptical, Uhura snapping at Kirk was just so vivid. I sometimes get that from my secretary. It is scary as fuck! Its actually more scary when they, like Uhura here, quickly catch themselves and then just agree with you. You basically have to let them go home early for the rest of the week just to keep out of the dog house. I really like how Kirk just stops and says a simple “Sorry.” He knows he shouldn’t have pushed her. And Uhura smiles, silently forgiving him. Kirk really is an incredible people manager. And I agree with @Peter G., it is shocking how good an actor Shatner was.

The episode ends on a curious note,

SPOCK: Since the formula worked, we can go back in time, to any planet, any era.

KIRK: We may risk it someday, Mister Spock.

Oh if only they knew… .

Back to the main romantic plot line for the hour:

SULU: I'm sweating like a bridegroom.

RILEY: Yeah, me too.

SULU: Hey, why don't you come down to the gym with me, Kevin m’lad?

RILEY: Now?

SULU: Why not? Light workout will take the edge off.

RILEY: Sulu, what about. Hey, Sulu, don't be a fool!

Yeah Sulu, don’t be a fool. @Proud Capitalist Pig, Spock does note, "Hidden personality traits being forced to the surface.”

NAKED Time indeed.
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Mal
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Where no Man has Gone Before

Star Trek Season 1 episode 3

3 stars (out of 4)

"I've been contemplating the death of an old friend.”

- Gary Mitchell.

It is fascinating to see what they were going for with this second pilot. But first I must say it is so good to see Scotty in his first appearance.

I can’t help thinking that Roddenberry must have wanted to see a little of himself in the show. Kirk, Spock, the others, are larger than life. Scotty is a working joe. And of course James Montgomery and Roddenberry both fought in World War II. It made sense to have at least someone on a show about a uniformed service who had actually worn a uniform into battle before. Star Trek used to have a good contingent of veterans in the cast. In later episodes, Roddenberry will add DeForest Kelley (Bones), who also fought in WWII. Nimoy had been in the Army Reserves.

After TOS, the closest Star Trek ever came again to having anyone with any sort of military background was Patrick Stewart - though he himself never served, his father and brothers did. That, and the writer Ronald D. Moore spent a few years in ROTC. But Moore left Star Trek with DS9, and that was really the last time the franchise felt like a true depiction of uniformed service.

But back to this second pilot.

Kirk runs a really chill ship in this one. A few key scenes flesh that out. When Gary Mitchell, Spock and Kirk are riding the turbo lift up to the bridge, Spock moves between them to the door, and is the first out of the lift - before the Captain. Then Gary shoulders Kirk out of the way, and also manages to get out of the lift before Kirk. Kirk is the Captain and he is still the last to make it out. Not very typical. It is subtle, but telling.

A few minutes later, when Kirk is taking readiness updates from all department heads, Scotty says almost sarcastically:

SCOTT: Engineering division ready, as always.

And Kirk smiles again. A really, really chill ship.

You can also see where they are going with Spock. His devil ears are a physical reminder that Spock will be Kirk’s devil’s advocate. Kirk needs him to be an absolute asshole. And Kirk puts up with a lot to get that level of honesty.

Again there is a scene on the bridge where Kirk is addressing the entire ship, and Spock just randomly interrupts to yell,

SPOCK: The tapes are burnt out. Trying the memory banks.

Like what the fuck, dude??? The look that Kirk and this young blond girl, Smith, give Spock out of the corner of their eyes, is hilarious! Spock was clearly intended to be on the spectrum.

At the opposite end of the EQ scale, since the show didn’t have Bones yet, they had Gary Mitchell. Good with the ladies, and "Gary Mitchell has the highest esper rating of all.” Yes, Gary Mitchell was the Dianna Troi of TOS. Oh man, the more you know…

Seems to me that Roddenberry combined Gary, the old crotchety Doc, and also a bit of beautiful-hipped Dehner, into one character, and in later episodes we get the unified combo known as Bones. But that’s a story I already wrote about in The Man Trap.

Finally, @William B, loved reading your review.
@Bill, I see what you mean about reading Gary face. Very true.
@Skeptical, you’re blowing my mind.

The quality of comments for TOS episodes seems ridiculously high. I will do my best to correct that ;)
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Mal
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 7:53am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

Far From Home

Star Trek: Discovery
Season 3 Episode 2

Mal’s review before Jammer’s

“I need you out of there alive. So I can kill you.”

- The sweetest moment this hour, between Hue and his idiot patient.

3 stars (out of 4)

A solid hour of back-to-basics Discovery. Nothing surprising. Just enough plot to reintroduce our characters. And I have to give the episode huge props for not falling for what must have been so, so tempting: Tilly with a Data-like “Oh shit” as the ship crashes into the planet. Bravo!

Each character - and damn it, for the very first time, every actor seems to be playing an actual character - each character had a clear line of action for the hour. Each line of action followed directly from the character herself. I mean, what more can we ask for?

Saru was good as always. He has been one of the rare points of light for this show from day 1, and it is nice to see him completely embody his character as he guides the crew through what is essentially a disaster recovery episode. I particularly enjoyed his interactions with Georgiou when Georgiou tries to divert Lt. Bryce from his repair work. Poor Bryce, he was so confused. It was actually a critical interaction, allowing Saru to assert control over the ship and her crew. There are too many Commanders on this ship (Burnham is too). I honestly can’t believe Captain Pike sent them off without a clear chain of command.

Tilly did her Tilly thing. But Saru is right - she is disarming, and makes for a fine first impression, if the first impression you want to give is that we pose absolutely zero threat ;)

For making a threat, we have Georgiou. She was fun to watch. Here’s a woman who ran an empire in a far more cruel universe. This shit is child’s play for her. It will be fun to see what she does. I know the confines of TV means that she will probably stay with the ship. But in reality, how long to you think it would be before she ditched these losers, took Nhan, and went off to found a second Terran Empire?

Which brings us to Nhan. She’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. I can see why Pike thought she would fit in with this lot.

For once Stamets and Hue made a lot of sense. Their scenes together were very credible and touching. Throw in Jet’s one-liners, and you can see that even in the worst of situations, people can have a gay old time. What??

I get that not everyone will appreciate the wild west saloon setting for the action this week. But I have Mal as my nom-de-plume, so you can guess where I fall on that one.

Even the most peripheral characters have a decent beat. I already mentioned Lt. Bryce. Lt. Rhys gets to take the con (Harry Kim could not be reached for comment). Robot pilot chic (Lt. Detmer) gets the nice PTSD arc which actually reminded me a lot of The Battle of the Binary Stars two years ago, in which Connor sort of wandered around shell shocked. I’m guessing Detmer was released from sick-bay prematurely and we’ll probably see some lingering effects. Even Owo’s 5 seconds this hour were put to good use, hugging Detmer. She needed a hug.

And of course Linus (aka, elevator guy ripped off from Orville) gets a fun beat with Georgiou, in which Georgiou uses Linus to execute an Irish goodbye. Which is like the 10th time I’ve name-checked Georgiou in this review. Yes, I like her. So sue me.

So all in all, I’d say Discovery has managed to land in the 32nd century essentially in one piece. And now that everyone is reunited and it feels to good, they can go on to restore the Systems Commonwealth, the greatest civilization in history.
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Mal
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 5:52am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Charlie X

Charlie X
Star Trek season 1 episode 2

3 stars (out of 4)

"KIRK: We have a large supply of entertainment tapes, gentlemen.
RAMART: No, we've a tight schedule to make, Captain. Just twenty of us, we're making out fine.
KIRK: Not even Sarian brandy?”

- Kirk’s offer of porn and booze is rebuffed by a ship of gay mormons

When The Graduate premiered in 1967, the actress playing Mrs. Robinson was 36 years old, exactly the same age as Janice Rand in “Charlie X” which aired the year prior.

There is something about a woman at that age. Would you believe that Stacey’s Mom was 34 when that video came out? That’s exactly the same age as Uhura was in this episode, when she sang and she shimmied as Mr. Spock played his harp.

Teenagers think they know what sexy is. Charlie thought it was ass-slapping.

Star Trek these days thinks it is twenty-somethings acting all deep and mysterious. But the sultry mid-thirties are incredible. Gate McFadden (Doctor Beverly) was 38 when TNG premiered. That’s the same age as Stifler’s Mom in American Pie, yes the movie that popularised a crude modern word for Mrs. Robinson. Jeri Ryan was 33 when Seven first kissed Chakotay. Kira was 36 when DS9 started. https://youtu.be/yiXu3PGscDs We see the first sparks between Troi and Worf when Troi is, that’s right, 36.

Soji is 21. Which by the way is the same age as that Yeoman Third Class Tina, who Charlie didn’t give two fucks about. Who can blame him?
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Mal
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

The Man Trap
TOS S1 E1

2 1/2 stars (out of 4)

"Why don't you tell me I'm an attractive young lady, or ask me if I've ever been in love? Tell me how your planet Vulcan looks on a lazy evening when the moon is full.”

- Uhura trying to avoid responsibility for making a mistake in the sub-space log by flirting with Spock. It doesn’t work.

I have been watching Star Trek on and off my whole life. My mom watched reruns of TOS when I was in the womb. But now I am older than Kirk and Spock were (or at least the actors playing them were) when The Man Trap first aired, though not yet as old as Bones. It seems the perfect time in life to go back and give TOS another look-see.

I agree with @Skeptical, this is actually a pretty good place for TOS to have started. The episode introduces us to most of the major characters we’ll know and love for decades and decades and decades to come: Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura, Sulu & Janice Rand. Only Scotty and Chekov are missing. Well, Majel is missing too.

There are two key scenes in the episode that really set up the Bones-Kirk-Spock dynamic for the ages.

The first key scene is Spock with Uhura on the bridge. Spock does not react to Uhura's flirting, which is of course his choice. But then word comes down that a crew member has died on the away mission. And Spock doesn’t even flinch. It sends Uhura into a fit. She turns her back and walks away. If TOS had aired today, Uhura would have yelled something like “What the fuck is wrong with you?” Fortunately TV in the 60’s had different standards, and the turn away allows Uhura to speak volumes without talking. Sometimes less can be more.

The second key scene is Bones with Kirk, in sickbay, with the dead crewman. As @Proud Capitalist Pig says, Bones is wallowing in lost love when Kirk snaps at him:

KIRK: How your lost love affects your vision, Doctor, doesn't interest me. I've lost a man. I want to know what killed him.

Bones feels too much. Spock feels too little. And Kirk is there to maintain a balance. That is the touchstone for TOS.

There is also some really subtle humor. @redshirt28 has the hilarious comment above about his ex-wife. Even more subtle is when the salt monster was in the briefing room disguised as Bones (what @Skeptical calls the conference scene). The hilarious thing about the conference scene: that was not the Real McCoy!!!!

@Vanessa asks why the salt monster killed the professor? Two reasons, one obvious - because he could ID her - and one more subtle - because she had moved on to McCoy. The ex-wife metaphor again.

TOS did a much better job than newer iterations of the show are doing at showing people the way they actually are, not some amped up TV version. I didn’t notice what @Sean points out, but I think it makes sense. Sulu and Janice Rand sitting together talking about the flowers. Later on they are strolling together in the corridor when they find a dead body. They seem like wonderful, yet completely platonic, friends. I suppose you could look at an Asian man and White woman as the least likely of all interracial pairings to explain the complete lack of sexual tension. But you know what has even less sexual potential? NTTAWWT.

By the way, I tried to follow @Viktor and @ Elliot’s conversation via the google Universal Translator. Google translates “interrassischen" as interracial, but somehow I think @Viktor means he enjoyed the multi-racial aspect of the show? Still, with the Rand/Sulu and Uhura/Spock scenes, @Viktor might have meant interracial. I kind of really want to know.

Finally the buffalo. It is fascinating to note that from day 1, Star Trek has been interested in talking about extinction. Its a theme that will take us all the way through a fun time-travel movie exactly 20 years later, and even to this day, with another time-travel story about a girl and her animal-lover boyfriend, this time, a whole millennium later.

Gandhi used salt to beat the British Empire. Is it any wonder that that simple chemical, NaCl, launched this epic Trek.
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Mal
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:31am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

oh shit, forgot to add this to my previous post for @Booming

https://youtu.be/JJEfX7qvGYI
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Mal
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:29am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Startrekwatcher, I agree, Trek writers today are pretty sad shadows of days past.

I'm so glad you called out for special praise Melinda Snodgrass. She's a gem!
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Mal
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 12:20am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@ Jammer, great review, and great to hear from you again!

Doing well here. Have achieved a certain, shall we say, Serenity, with the whole situation.

And it seems we've been going back to some of the same old favorites during these last few months. To quote Pete Campbell, a thing like that!
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Mal
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 8:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Booming said, "Then 2001 a space odyssey is Star Trek, BSG is Star Trek, The Expanse is Star Trek and so on."

The funny thing is, nBSG could have been Star Trek.

Ronald D. Moore, of TNG & DS9, had a huge fight with Brannon Braga on VOY. Moore left VOY and went on to make nBSG everything he thought VOY should have been. If TPTB at Star Trek had been able to keep Moore, VOY could have been amazing!

There is an extended conversation about Moore on VOY ( https://www.lcarscom.net/rdm1000118/ ) in the comments to @ Jammer's Sixth Season Recap of VOY.

Something similar, oddly, enough, is probably true of The Expanse. Star Trek could easily have been of that high Expanse quality. Naren Shankar - like Ronald D. Moore - started out at TNG. He now runs The Expanse.

I mean, just let Seth McFarlane make The Orville as a Star Trek show. A live action Lower Decks. At least Seth understands the soul of Star Trek.

Other franchises have done their best to bring people in who actually live and breathe the sprit of those stories. If we have learned one thing from The Mandalorian, it is that a great show runner can make all the difference in the world.

20 years ago (in 2001!) the name Star Trek was spoken with pride alongside the greats like Space Odyssey 2001. Some day TPTB will bring a person in to run the show who lives up to its past glory. But that day is not this day.

Star Trek is still trying to do everything with cheap writers and shit show runners, and they just cover up that mediocrity with an insane amount of SFX.

A lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

That's why Season 3 Episode 1 gives me hope. No space battles. If they keep it up, who knows, things may be headed in a good direction?

Fingers crossed.
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Mal
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 3:37am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@MidshipmanNorris, they say confession is good for the soul :)

You are by no means alone in believing that Trek died in the 90's with DS9.

I too recently wrote that

"It's been running on auto-pilot for the past 20 years."

https://www.jammersreviews.com/articles/lowerdecks.php

@ Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 12:57am

In that post I credit capitalism for zombie trek and discuss the implications of the end of the Cold War. Do check out the whole thing ;)
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Male
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 1:12am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Turnabout Intruder

I think you might have missed the bit where Maracass said she was a woman.
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Mal
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 6:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@John, lol! Love it!

Have you ever had your friends tells you - oh so proudly - how brilliant their kids are because they are amazing at using the iPad? I do everything I can to not laugh, cause you really should not make fun of your friends for being impressed with their kids' stupid shit.

Star Trek: Discovery strikes me as a future where all these people have super fancy 23rd century versions of iPad-like technology that allows people to do amazing things, even if they are only of average intelligence. That's why they are so fucking impressed with the power of math, people.

And I think that makes sense. Lorca was from the mirror universe. He wasn't looking for the best and the brightest. Quite the opposite. Anyone of decent intelligence might have seen through him. Discovered his secret. Just as Admiral Kat did the first time she visited the ship.

Nope, Lorca wanted cowards (ganglianic Saru), convicts (Michael), moral monsters Lieutenant Landry (I think someone once said that Rekha Sharma had the dubious distinction of playing someone awful in both universes. When you add in nBSG, you start to wonder about the actress herself...), naifs (the whole lot of the rest of the clueless bridge officers), and generally Lorca wanted total non-starfleet types (Stamets, Mr. "I used to do real research before Lorca and the war").

Is it any wonder that this motley crew is so ridiculously ill suited to the job. Lorca chose them. Their mediocrity is by design!

Data would take one look at these morons and request a transfer. Julian would be out of there faster than you can say preganglionic fibers. Harry Kim's mom would be so disappointed if this was the best posting he could get.

Friends don't let friends serve on Discovery.

That's what made the first episode pretty decent. The crew was nowhere to be seen. More like this, please.
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Mal
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 8:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Hi @Ben, so glad you decided to comment after so long :-)

Like @Tom, your post made me think about whether Discovery’s crew practices what Star Trek preaches. Obviously the entire premise of the Series - the Vulcan Hello - is that Michael Burnham violated Federation policy (Georgiou: “Starfleet doesn’t fire first”), thus precipitating a war with the Klingons that comes very close to wiping out of the Federation.

There is a scene near the end of the war, when Admiral Cornwall (“Kat”) brings the crew to Starbase 1, and the station’s entire population has been slaughtered and the Klingons have painted a crest on its hull. You can feel how close the Federation, just 90-odd years old at that point, is to a demise.

But I want to treat Season 3, Episode 1 on its own terms. Does Burnham here live up to Federation ideals in her actions (not just pretty words)? After all, she’s been through a lot since the show began. Its not like the Federation condoned her “Vulcan Hello”. They put her in jail and threw away the key.

Which brings me to the biggest problem with this set up. Why would Burnham be at all surprised that the Federation does not exist 1,000 years in the future? Here’s the scene:

Book: You believe in ghosts.
Burnham: What does that mean?
Book: That badge on your shirt. Seems anytime you see a guy with one of those badges - getting themselves all worked up about some Federation - the old days. True believers. Can’t handle that its gone now.
Burnham: The Federation is gone???? [SOARING MUSIC] That’s impossible!!! [OMINOUS MUSIC]

WTF?!

It’s a thousand years in the future. As @SlackerInc says, "she cannot conceive of its failing to last over a thousand years? C’mon, she must have studied history.”

At the end of Discovery Season 2, the Federation is only 90-odd years old. It is a very poor writing choice to show Burnham as surprised. TPTB are portraying her as a moron. No rational (logical?!) person would think the Federation would have lasted 1,000 years into the future. Can you think of any Starfleet officer on any of the shows (TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT), who would be surprised to learn that the Federation not longer exists 1,000 years in the future? No. Not even Julian Bashir or Harry Kim were ever that naive.

The SOARING MUSIC only adds to the ridiculousness of the EMOTING. I mean I get it, if some guy from a thousand years ago popped up today and found out that the Ottoman Empire didn’t exist anymore, I can see him being a little disoriented. But it is a freaking thousand years. Why and how could you ever logically expect it to still exist.

As @Ubik says, even someone with a passing knowledge of scifi like Asimov’s Foundation series, or the incredible novel Canticle for Leibowitz ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Canticle_for_Leibowitz ), is deeply familiar with how short lived civilisations are in the history of man.

Or Andromeda.

One thing that made Andromeda so interesting is that humans had nothing to do with the first few thousand years of the Systems Commonwealth. It had been forged several millennia earlier by the Vedrans, and the Vedran Princess still ruled over it at its end.

But it seems that Michael Burnham (and I’m assuming the writers of Discovery) have zero perspective on the big picture or the long term.

But back to the episode.

One thing “good” about the violence in Season 3, @Ben (and I agree with you, that violence is so out of place in Star Trek), is that you will see that Michael tries very had to de-escalate the fight with Book at the beginning of the episode. Throughout that first fight scene, she tells Book that she is not fighting him. She only defends herself. And disarms Book. Burnham is not the aggressor.

That all changes later in the episode when Burnham keeps punching Book in the face. That is ridiculous. And completely uncalled for. I cannot imagine any character on any Star Trek show acting that way.

Even Sisko let Q punch him in the face a few times before he punched back.

Not even Belanna would act so poorly. Torres might have said “I really want to punch you in the face right now.” But even that Academy drop-out, that hot-headed half Klingon would not have kept punching Book in the face.

These people really have no idea what a Starfleet officer is all about.

The only “excuse” could be that Burnham was still under the influence of the Orion truth serum. If Kirk was drunk on Orion fairy dust, would he punch Book in the face? Again. And again. I don’t think so, but maybe? It is possible.

After another “jump” (hard to call them transports), it appears Burnham is sobering up, and she does appologize. Right before Book pulls her over a cliff.

Burhnam: I may have broken your nose earlier. I appologize.
Book: You saying that in case we die?
Burhnam: Yup.

So if Burnham was still drunk off the Orion powder, maybe that at least explains her punching. Chekov & Scotty, Harry & Paris. Yes, even Starfleet officers have been known to throw a punch or two when under the influence.

That’s a very long defence of a punch in the face.

But I think it is worth giving Discovery Season 3 the benefit of the doubt.

TPTB are trying something new. Which of course has all the baggage of what came before. And I fully expect to be deeply disappointed before the season is over. But let’s try to give Season 3 a chance.

Judge it on its own, not based on the abomination that has been DISC S2 and PIC S1. If we are lucky, those two seasons of Star Trek were the absolutely worst it will ever get.

You have to hit rock bottom before you can start climbing your way back up.

The message of this episode is very timely. The Orion happy dust may have loosened Burnham up. It may have felt good in the moment. But it did nothing to help her situation. Rather, it made Burnham betray herself and her ideals.

At the top of the hour, Burnham is broken from her fall. She says “Stand Up.” Visibly in pain, she stands up. She says “Walk.” And she starts moving forward.

At the end of the hour, Aditya Sahil tells Burnham,

Aditya Sahil: I watched this office everyday, as I have, for 40 years. Believing.

Even in the darkest hour, Aditya Sahil went through the motions. Every single day. Because his Flag still stood for everything he believed in.

Doing what you have to even when there seems no point. That is who a Starfleet officer is. I’d say Aditya Sahil earned his commission. And maybe Season 3 has earned a chance to try.
Set Bookmark
Mal
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 6:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Thanks @Booming! Right back at you!

https://youtu.be/yIQN4t5zZ74
Set Bookmark
Mal
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 9:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Tom, I get what you're saying. Maybe not "certain" that by the end of the season we'll get burned, but at least, very scared that we might get burned.

That said, I think there is reason to be hopeful.

TPTB aren't setting up anything ridiculously stupid like Control or a Red Angel, or an evil Captain Lorka from an evil Mirror Universe (yum, yum). It looks like a fairly straight-forward post-apocalyptic scifi adventure. I got a little bit of a nuWho feel from the first episode.

Plus TPTB have finally (finally!!) understood the need for good actors. Both Book and, as @Yanks says, Aditya Sahil, were very enjoyable to watch.

Aditya Sahil gave off a real TOS (TMP) vibe. I know the Flag hoisting scene was super manipulative, but honestly, it almost brought a tear to my eye.

I'm not saying it will be great. But the previews at the end made the story seem quite reasonable. Find remnants of the old Systems Commonwealth, er, I mean, United Federation of Planet, and hope that they will be able to send Discovery back to its time, or at the very least, incorporate Discovery into the current fleet.

Plus, Lurians! I'm holding out for a good bar scene!
Set Bookmark
Mal
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 6:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Trent, I agree with @SlackerInc, very entertaining review ;) A couple more references that you might have included:

- the Orion truth serum reminded me of those pills on The Expanse, but with far more hilarious effect (Let's face it, SMG is not a very good actress. At least when she acts high it is entertaining).

- making Book out to be a PETA activist brought to the episode a touch of the movie Okja.

And honestly, @Trent, if you're going to borrow elements from other scifi, you could do a lot worse than firefly :-D I for one got a huge kick out of a thief named Book who likes to pray. And the arial shot of his ship felt just a little like seeing Serenity again. Maybe a sister, or cousin.

There are good things.

@NCC-1701-Z, hilarious! I wish that guy had used the Andromeda S1 intro instead. The Season 2 intro was too corny, even for DROM! At the time, @Jammer said that it was "not nearly as cool" ( https://www.jammersreviews.com/andr/s2/gyre.php ).

Now where can I find the previews for DISC S3 set to Sandstorm ( https://youtu.be/EH35yv1vPh8 )???
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