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Circus Man
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 10:00am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

To build on Yanks point, I think that the term "canon" is used so loosely these days as to lose descriptive usefulness. Canon means officialdom; it's ultimately an institutional term. It means those things legitimized by the Word of God, and this is slightly more than a pure metaphor, since the very term references matters of the sacred. The Catholic Church claims among its powers the ability to degree which books of the Bible are canon, are of divine origins and which are not (Apocrypha, Deutercanon, Pseudepigrapha, etc.). Now obviously every other denomination claims these powers too and sometimes have slightly different versions of the Bible, and any individual reader of the Bible has the ability to declare "I think this part is real and this part isn't"... but in so doing, they are hypothetically going against canon. A book like "Bel and the Dragon" obviously does exist — you can go and read it. The question isn't whether or not it exists, but whether or not it contains that mysterious touch of God that gives it the status of canon. The parts where Star Trek canon is nebulous or unclear are roughly equivalent to those moments when the Bible contradicts itself; points for discussion and debate, certainly, but even engaging in this debate theoretically accepts that there is such a thing as canon and that it's worth talking about. Just as the Catholic Church claims for itself the powers to say "this is real and this is not," the people running Star Trek (or whatever eklse) do the same. We do not have to accept their authority, but as soon as we reject it, we're not talking about canon any more. Fans have a place in this canonization process (I gather that a fan poll helped (re-) canonize TAS), but it's not an all-determining one, it's one of influence and the ability to assert pressure through ones choices of consumption, etc. Saying "I don't like this" is not the same thing as saying "this is not canonical"; saying "I don't want to think about this" is not the same thing as saying "this is not canonical."
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Chrome
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 9:58am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

There’s a difference between a character having flaws and being consistently written. In “Frasier”, the character Roz is constantly chasing sex over commitment. It’s a character flaw, but it’s a consistent one and we learn to respect Roz despite the flaw. Janeway’s flaw is that she’ll follow the Prime Directive only to service the plot. We don’t know from one episode to another which way she’ll lean on the Prime Directive, because it depends on the author that week. That’s a writing flaw.
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Eric
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 9:52am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Concerning the Romulan spitting acid. If you look carefully, you see that he bites on a capsule of something before spitting it out. So Romulans have not started to spit out acid, he simply bit on a capsule of acid and then spit it out a her.
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KL
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 9:13am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

In retrospect, I am glad we had Janeway in the way she was written. Like all of us, she was flawed: she can be inconsistent, she let her emotion get the better of her, at times she displayed incredible pettiness and vengefulness.... sometimes you’ll hate her. Hence I found her character more interesting and realistic than all the Mary Sue types that inundated TV and movies nowadays.
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Yanks
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 8:37am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@ OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"@Yanks
"You don't have a choice, it is canon."

Of-course I have a choice. We all do. As intelligent consumers of entertainment, it is up to us to decide what we accept and we don't."

You have a choice to watch and to like or dislike trek, but you do not determine what is and isn't canon. Neither do I.

"Anyway, since nearly everybody here seems to be thrilled with new direction that Trek has taken, I'm not going to ruin your party. Enjoy."

I certainly will.
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KL
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 8:35am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

Wow. So many SJWs judging this episode with absolutely no context in the time it was made and all
snowflakes over Andy’s Friend comments and observations. The fact that this episode even made it to the screen is a testament of the risk it took. Then again I am not surprised. You Social Justice Warriors routinely rewrite and revise history so you can pretend that you are some sort of social pioneers when it all has been done and accomplished and by better people.
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Trent
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 8:11am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

MidShipManNorris said: "Dahj resembles Lal quite a bit, and has a name from Hindi, I think... (Googles)... Turns out it's closest known relative, "Dahej," in Sanskrit is "dowry." A dowry is a very old practice where the bride's father or guardian makes a payment to the groom for him to marry the daughter (as marrying a man's daughter was seen as doing them a favor at certain times in human history, since the father would no longer have to care for/feed her). Dahj also actually uses the word "OFFSPRING." I caught that."

Yes, and those who remember the TNG Episode "Offspring" will remember that the episode states that Data chose the name of his daughter, Lal, because it's the Hindi word meaning "beloved".


Booming said: "I will wait for answers but that daughter painting thing feels like retconning."

The painting doesn't appear in TNG, but the TNG episode "Offspring" has Data discussing painting with his daughter, placing her DNA into him, she has hair similar to Dahj, and we know Data paints often.

Booming said: "There is no connection between the contrived "There have to be two" reasons and Lore and Data."

The "robots come as twins" thing probably started in TOS. We had four set of android twins in "I Mudd". And in TNG, of studying androids, Data says "in any meaningful evaluation, you would require another model for a basis of comparison" implying that you'd somehow need two of the same machine when studying their behavioral evolution.

I doubt the writers remember all of this, though.
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Booming
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 7:41am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

That is not a good point. Lore was build before Data and Data was build differently than Lore (with emotions optional) for obvious reasons. There is no connection between the contrived "There have to be two" reasons and Lore and Data.

Plus they both are not that similar to Data because they both had emotions from the start.
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Gerontius
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 7:33am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I can't really see that as an error, John - I know myself that Most of the time my dreams have completely slipped beyond recall by the time I have properly woken up. I'd be likely to say that I don't recall them - and yet every now and then something does come through, and occasionally I'll have quite a clear memory of a vivid dream, or a run of dreams.

I think that pattern is a pretty typical pattern many people have - as Crusher implies there. I believe there are techniques for improving dream memories some people go in for.
...
I think it would be a mistake for them to fake a way of bringing back Dhaj. I think we'll have to make do with her twin sister. The idea of androids having to come as twins seemed a bit phoney and arbitrary at first, just there to provide a way of allowig them to kill off a character for shock effect without actually losing them - but someone made a good point in picking up the established precedent with Data and Lore. I hope sister doesn't turn out to be a nasty... I also hope she'll be able to reveal something of Data's most attractive quality, his naivety and innocence, and also perhaps his tending to take things literally. That last is a characteristic you actually get with real people from time to time on the autistic spectrum - as with one character in Discovery.
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wolfstar
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 6:47am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Dan Davidson - yeah, I'd love to see Kira and Bashir in season 2, as well as obviously Worf, Miles and Keiko. I think there could be room for Quark too. My dream would be if the Picard series would delve into post-DS9 material (in season 2 or 3) and involve Kasidy and Jake in some way too. I would like to see that Jake became a successful writer/journalist and wasn't destroyed by his father's loss the way he was in The Visitor.

I disagree with the idea in the reboot novels that Kira would become a vedek and Ezri would become a captain. I feel very much that both of them would stay in their profession.
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wolfstar
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 6:36am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

nf, I was thrown by that too, especially because the Romulans just seemed like 21st century humans with prosthetic eyebrows. (I wasn't totally sure whether they were supposed to be Romulans or Vulcans at first.) I guess the idea is that Romulans (and other aliens) have been living on Earth for a while and have integrated into local communities, just like there are black and Asian Irish people who have Irish accents.
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Jim Smith
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 5:48am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Watching this for the second time, I genuinely felt a twinge of anger. Because clearly it's possible to write a decent Trek series these days. This opening episode proves it. So how come Discovery's first two seasons were so utterly *wretched* in the main?

I loved nearly everything about this opener. I loved the continuity nods. I loved the supporting cast and their characters. I loved the visuals of space and Earth. And most of all, I loved Patrick Stewart and Picard. Boy have I missed them. His shredding of the news interviewer was pitch-perfect. And speaking not pitch-perfect, Brent Spiner still has that Data voice nailed. Yeah, he's aged some. But we're seeing him in dreams, so it's easy to imagine him looking slightly 'off'.

The episode pacing was good, slow and contemplative when it needed to be before ramping up the speed and the tension when Dahj and Picard are attacked. I thought that it was going to feel a bit rushed, especially with the last couple of minutes being devoted to a teaser for the season ahead. But it felt pretty good to me in the end.

Biggest problem? Want more! :-)
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P'kard
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 4:12am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Nemesis

Great twist that I did not see coming what so ever. Also great to see Chakotay in a modern warfare setting.
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John
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 3:40am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

GET YOUR CONTINUITY ERRORS HERE:

Greetings! I will be your guide to all of the continuity errors present throughout the entire Star Trek: Picard series. This will be fun. Here in Remembrance, we have one minor error:

Picard is constantly seen as dreaming in this episode. He has very vivid dreams of Data and even says to one of the Romulans, "The dreams are lovely. It's the waking up part I'm beginning to resent."

And yet, in the 4th season episode of Star Trek: TNG, "Night Terrors," it is established that Picard doesn't recall his dreams ever. In that episode, telepathic aliens are killing the crew by suppressing their ability to dream (except for Troi, who has nightmares). Crusher then stumbles on to the problem and asks Picard in his ready room, "Can you recall any of your dreams as of late?" Picard responds, "I don't recall dreams." Then Crusher adds, "Most people don't. But think about it. Have you even had a dream recently?" To which Picard, once again, sternly replies, "I don't recall."

I'm hoping the writers of Star Trek: Picard remedy this continuity error in the future by having Picard say something like, "I used to never recall my dreams. But now, they are the only things that make my waking state seem real." That would be cool.

Anyway, carry on, everyone. I shall address more continuity distortions in the next episode, if any!
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 3:22am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Rapture

Another episode where I sadly disagree with Jammer's score.

As previously mentioned, I'm not a fan of DS9's dealings with religion, given how it simplifies things to produce something which can both fit into a 45-minute episode and won't cause any controversy with the networks who buy the syndication rights.

The answer is usually to push the religious aspects onto an alien race and have the humans of the story as observers who have little or no direct involvement with the religious activities in question; they'll occasionally take part in the Ceremony Of The Week, but won't actually join the religion in question or engage in any significant discussions about it,

The Bajorans are a prime example of this. Every Bajoran hews to the same religious creed to a lesser or greater decree, and at the upper end of the scale can display some worryingly behaviours. Accession is one of the better examples of this, when we see Kira quitting her job because Akoorem Laan believes that the traditional caste-based system should be restored. And in the very same episode, we see a Vedek blithely pushing another Bajoran over a railing and to their death, because the Bajoran in question didn't want to go back to their caste.

It's a highly primitive setup, especially for a society which is allegedly so spiritual - it's a mash-up of the medieval Catholic Church and the rigid, stagnant, and caste-based societies of ancient India and China - a system which is at least as much about maintaining the status quo as it is about spirituality.

Worse, this setup makes little or no sense to me - in a universe where beings of all shapes, sizes and capabilities exist, why do the Bajorans believe the Wormhole aliens to be gods? They've had everything from energy-based aliens to the mighty Q himself (equally if not more capable of manipulating time and space) visit, and the Wormhole aliens didn't even understand the concept of linear time or that the Bajorans were worshipping them until Sisko stuck his head into the wormhole. Hell, it only takes a sentences or two of technobabble to send ordinary linear-time creatures careering into the past.

(And yes: I know it gets wibbly wobbly timey wimey with the fact that the aliens are non-linear and can manipulate the past, present and future. From a 4 dimensional perspective, they essentially ignored Bajor for 10,000 years, other than to occasionally/accidentally drop artefacts out of the undiscovered wormhole...)

Then we come to this episode, in which the writers decided to throw in some more medieval elements. Uncannily accurate visions which slowly kill the person seeing them, even as they find themselves irresistibly drawn by the tantalising possibility of becoming One With The Cosmic All.

Oddly - and presumably deliberately - these visions are never directly tied to the Bajoran religion; instead, they're associated with the effects of Sisko's holodeck accident. Also, they're treated with scepticism, despite the fact that Sisko is able to accurately describe current events which he should have no knowledge of, such as the Admiral's relationship issues with his son.

I'm guessing that this is an artefact of the unwritten rule that ST humans should only observe religion rather than engaging with it, but it does leave things somewhat muddied.

The whole thing with B'hala feels off, too. This is a 20,000 year old painting with partially visible coordinates, and not a single Bajoran has ever attempted to closely study the paintings for further clues? The Cardassian occupation only lasted for around 30 years, which leaves around some 19,970 years for study, and Sisko didn't do anything especially super-scientific in his analysis.

Maybe their society really is just primitive and rigid...
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Rogu Smith
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 1:35am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tattoo

Star Trek Injun episodes have pissed me off since Miramanee and continue to this very day. They are always bad. At least this one wasn't as bad as the Wesley Crusher Injun ep TNG forced upon us. Robert Beltran is a pleasant dude even in stupid episodes.
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Quincy
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 12:47am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Nolan

I originally thought she exploded too, but watching it at 1/4 speed all of the explosion appears to me to be from the disruptor or phaser or whatever it was.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 12:37am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: The 37's

Folks make a lot of good points about the flaws in the story -- especially a truck that remains operational after being in space. That should have been caught in writers' meeting.

And how did they have such nice weather and a blue sky after going through that maelstrom of an atmosphere?

Usually these unforced errors diminish an episode, but I honestly got swept up in the sentiment and emotional impact of the episode.

I think it could have been a good two-parter actually, with Part I being the season ender for season 1.
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Mertov
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 11:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

The wounded Romulan ripped a capsule (or something) with his mouth and spit its contents to Dahj, I don't believe it was not his blood or his own spit. His face starts disintegrating too after he does that.

Jammer, great review as always. Thanks for finding the time to write one.
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Nolan
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 11:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Ian and Quincy

I also got the impression that the acid was disitegrating her and the phaser, the phaser blew up, then whatever was powering her blew up due to the damage resulting from the phaser overload and caused that giant explosion that knocked Picard on his ass.

Big-badda-boom.
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Quincy
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 10:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Ian

Yeah, it was the phaser that caused the explosion. Dahj did look like the compound he spit up was eating her alive. It was dissolving both her clothing and her flesh and she screamed in extreme pain, so she was probably dead either way, unless they could've beamed her straight into a medical bay or stasis chamber.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 10:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Learning Curve

Sometimes I find myself swimming against the "Trek" tide, and this is one of them.

I liked "Learning Curve," and I think Janeway gave Tuvok the assignment because he ALSO had a lot to learn -- and she knew it.

In series placement, I think this would have worked a lot better around episode 5, 6 or 7. I think Maquis integration should have been the first story arc.

It was also not a good episode with which to end a season.

As for the cheese, I actually thought it was an inventive and even plausible explanation for the biopack infection. I'm sure the designers of the ship never anticipated a live galley.

Great outing? Nope. But I think it's better than most folks do.
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Ian
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 10:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

"•A wounded Romulan spits acid/blood/something that disintegrates Dahj and causes a phaser to overload and blow up real good. Explanations, please. (I'm willing to wait, but I want them.)"

I didn't quite catch that. I thought he coughed up some acid (like Alien) and got some of it on Dahj which made her disintegrate. I thought she exploded but it was a phaser overload?

Lot of questions at this point for sure.
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Nolan
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 10:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Of course, if this show is indeed about Picard revitalizing Starfleet, it's a shame that season 3 of Discovery is all set to do what Discovery does best, by wading in and being a poor reflection of things past, as it seems to be that in the future that show jumps to, the Federation and Starfleet are naught but a distant memory, somewhat invalidating the narrative thrust Picard seems to be aiming for.

Can they please just drop that show in it's own universe so Discovery can become Dis-continuity already? Who kmows, maybe if I knew it wasn't just constantly fraking with what's been established I could enjoy it for what it is.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 10:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

I think this was Voyager's "Duet." It even comes in the same place as "Duet" -- next to last episode of the first season.

And just as I'd rate "DS9" higher than "Voyager," I'd rate "Duet" higher than "Jetrel." Still, it was a very good hour of "Trek" and one of the best episodes of season 1.

Among its other attributes, it definitely fleshes out the character of Neelix, who needed it pretty badly.

One nit-pick: I would have liked to haven known the current status of Talax. Is it still conquered and ruled by Jetrel's race or did it break free? Either, I'm surprised Voyager could just assume orbit around the moon of a planet with a space-faring race in control and not have to explain itself.
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