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Brian L
Sun, Feb 16, 2020, 6:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@ Dougie
"If I were a studio exec, and stumbled upon this place, I’d formally send Epsicokhan an email requesting a shutdown. Anyone aged 6-16 who came by here and read this nonsense about a new series might be convinced not to view it."

So you literally advocate censorship? And I think you underestimate 6-16 year olds. By the way, you're welcome to express your opinion about the show, but you are not welcome to advocate censorship or personally attack the opinions of others. People are allowed to actively dislike the show. If that bothers you, there's always r/startrek.
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Brian
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 10:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Also, the ship is just blaa. I mean not every ship in the Star Trek universe has to be the Enterprise but they're making the same mistake here they made with the Defiant. It was just not a very pleasant thing to look at. If it's going to be a main character (and the ship is a character) it should be easy on the eyes. And it isn't.
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Brian
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 10:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@A A Roi

It says that fiction needs to be done really well in order for people to buy into it hook line and sinker. Episodes like the one I cited do that.

Anyway, we'll see. If they keep going the way they're going, this show will fizzle out. Picard is a strong character (and they have a couple of others who have potential) but I just don't see the audience caring that much about any of the others except for Picard and other well established characters from the past. Unless they do it better than they've been doing it.

I don't know why any of this would be any kind of mystery, since you can go through all of the highest rated episodes and compare them to this and see what they're doing wrong.
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Brian
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 6:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@A A Roi

Said -

"You don't think that Picard, a bastion of the highest morals of the Federation wouldn't want to take this opportunity to demonstrate to the galaxy that his civilization is willing to put all past differences with an enemy behind them, act with all due compassion to save hundreds of millions of people? That he wouldn't think this was a good idea for everyone concerned and that it would be a step forward for everyone. Have you not watched his argument with Q in Q Who over his interpretation of Hamlets description of mankind? I can easily see Picard seeing the rescue of the Romulans as a demonstration that his faith in the Federation as everything he'd been preaching for decades. You honestly disagree?"

I respond - It's not really so much about whether or not this approximates Picard's supposed values. It's about the fact that I don't really care about these people he's trying to help because I'm not emotionally invested in them any more than the time it takes to read a brief backstory on them and a cartoon outline of why I'm supposed to care.

Like I said - We cared in Measure of a Man because we knew, liked, even loved the character of Data. His character was lovingly constructed to make us care. It wasn't just some vague ethics puzzle. It was personal. Why did the audience hate Maddox? Because he came out of nowhere and wanted to take Data apart. It was a visceral reaction to a threat to a character we were invested in.

Why does the audience care about Picard's attachment to these people he left behind? Do we really care if every single one of these people is never mentioned again? We're watching this show because it's Picard. Why are we still willing to watch something just because it has Picard in it some 20 years after the last time he did anything? Because we are emotionally invested in him and the attachments and relationships he had with his crew. And it took 7 seasons for that to happen. This is something that was built a piece at a time and could have easily failed (but didn't). Because they took the time to slowly bring us into the world of TNG and explain to us why we should care about each character. There's been almost none of that here. For a show that's trying it's damnedest to be in a serialized format, it feels very disjointed.

And this episode was better than the last one. They did have some meaningful dialogue and character development (finally).

And again, Picard's passionate advocacy for worthy causes is well documented. However, it usually gave us someone to identify with and relate to and get at least somewhat emotionally invested in. Even with Hugh, they took an entire episode and did it right so we felt the same way by the time they got to it. That's the difference between good, tight writing and clunky writing.

It's fine. It's OK. Will we still be talking about any of this in 30 years? Are we still talking about Insurrection? Well, yeah. But not in a good way.
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Brian
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 3:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@A A Roi

I don't have a problem (really) with the way Picard is being portrayed. Obviously, Picard would be treated much differently as a retired old man wandering around in places that Captain Picard probably would not have really been interested in.

I think they missed something when they tried to carry Picard over and give him new causes. Like his passion for saving the Romulans just seems far-fetched. Yes. Picard took some passionate stands in TNG but this series starts by harkening back to the Measure of a Man thing. Would he still have been so passionate about it if it wasn't Data? Probably not. It wouldn't have made sense and the audience would not have felt it. It's kinda like with the Hugh thing. It was still OK but it wasn't as relatable as it was when it was Data. Because they had spent enough time building something between these characters that you could understand why it would be an "Oh no you don't!" moment when Maddox wanted to do this. We completely understand because we loved Data too.

Now they're just having Picard be passionate about things we can't really relate to and they haven't spent any time at all making us care about. Data's sacrifice in Nemesis was probably the only thing that happened in that film that most fans even cared about. Yes. We understand why Picard misses Data. Though I'm not sure the Picard we knew would spend the rest of his life moping even over the loss of Data. Yes. Picard and Data were tight but the Picard we knew shook off the deaths of his brother and nephew by the end of Generations. So the idea he'd be so devastated by losing Data that he'd never be the same again is completely implausible. And also the idea he would get so caught up in the Romulan thing also seems fairly out of character.

So really, they completely re-wrote the character of Picard and hired Patrick Stewart to play him because that's the only way they could get people to watch.

Now there are some consistencies between the Picard we knew and the one we see here. Which makes it all the more jarring when he does things we know he'd have never done. Whiplash. It's kinda like if James Kirk would have just inexplicably been captain of the Enterprise D when TNG started and was walking around talking to people in a British accent and loving Earl Grey tea. It would have been implausible because that was not Kirk. We embraced Picard because they took a new character and fleshed him out well enough that we KNEW him. And we knew him well enough to know this isn't him. He'd have to be on drugs or something to be the same character.

I appreciate what they're trying to do but it's obvious that they have no caring or comprehension for the people who are only watching this because it's Picard. So I will not be surprised if they completely leave us high and dry.
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Brian
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 2:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

I really hope they don't try to tie this show in with Discovery in such a way that attempts to force people who aren't interested in it to watch Discovery. That'll kill it for me. I'm just not gonna do it. I suspected all along their plan was to draw old Trek fans in with Picard and then pull a kind of bait and switch. I'm already not liking that they're dragging in a lot of stuff you wouldn't necessarily know unless you're following absolutely everything they've been doing. Trek fans have always been pretty loyal but this is pushing it.
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Brian
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 1:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

John Harmon wrote--
"how is it at all odd the way they spoke in TOS and TNG? They made sure to stay away from contemporary slang that would horribly date the show and had them speak more formally and classically, to keep the dialogue timeless. There’s nothing odd about it."

Exactly. It seems like some people just never figured this out.
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Brian
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 4:32am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@remcospockhelmet
"He was speaking Chilean. I'm just gonna let you process that and then maybe think about your attitude."

He was speaking spanish. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be processing here. He's a spaniard, he speaks spanish. There are tons of dialects all throughout the Americas, whats your point? It's all spanish. MY point was, why does the holo-gunner randomly start speaking spanish for a few lines seemingly out of nowhere? It seemed shoe-horned to me. Maybe you could be a little less obtuse and just say what you mean to say?
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Brian
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 3:17am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

I'll come right out and say it, "absolute candor" and all that

This show sucks so far. Chabon and company's writing is college level, and the repeated references to his favorite book are a clue that they don't take the audience seriously. Every episode so far has had a scene completely devoted to leaving the camera lingering on the back of this book. "It's a book about the existential pain of living with the knowledge of your own impending death" or some such clap trap. How many times will they trot that out. I cannot believe the writers would use the stage they've been handed to do personal shoutouts to obscure writers no one cares about. I'm sure they have some grand idea about the book being this deep analogy to how Picards mortality affects his actions. The whole thing strikes me as incredibly immature on the part of the writers, like a big in-joke that we are barely in on. At best, it feels like product placement for the college philosophy student.

Now to the show, well let's see. I feel like I'm writing all the same things I did about Discovery. The dialogue is clunky, and the entire show comes off like a shakespearean stage production. Lines do not roll off the tongue, there is no flow, no rhythm to the words and ideas being presented. Scenes come and go with little or no context or setup. In some scenes it literally seems like actors are struggling with their lines. And the problem is not the actors, it's the scripts they are reading.

The show continues to push a narrative that does not square up with what they are showing us. A perfect example came in this episode--the narrative tells us that Picard is despised by the hard-done-by Romulan refugees who live in poverty and squalor. But what we are shown is almost the complete opposite--a thriving little town full of houses, trees, happy children, women living in relatively opulent homes with fine linens, lots of space....men hanging out in a community bar sharing food and drink, etc. Where exactly is the squalor again? SHHHH. THE NARRATIVE. SAYS. THERE IS. SQUALOR.

The show habitually and gratuitously violates the "show don't tell" principle. And in fact, it shows us one thing and then tells us the complete opposite. The entire narrative of Picard being this outcast broken old man because he tried to do good but "failed" and now everyone hates him, just falls completely flat because honestly it makes no sense. It feels like a narrative that is just being pushed on us by the show to generate "emotions" around Picard, and that's it. It goes no deeper than that. Everything is a set piece to build a narrative which they came up with in advance. The world and the narrative do not seem to move in unison.

I continue to not care at all about the Borg cube or anything that happens on it, though I do feel like Isa briones is the best actor in the show. It's a shame she's only on screen for 2% of each episode, and when she is, she is shoe-horned into an extremely hammy sub-plot that feels like its going nowhere fast.

At two points, my wife and I found ourselves literally laughing out loud. The first was when mr. hologram gunner started speaking spanish. You can almost read the email chain from executive to marketing, to producers, to the writing team--"we need to reach out to the latino segment, that market is growing, we can't afford to miss out, put some spanish in the show. I don't care how you do it, just get it done."

The second point, was the 7of9 reveal. TWO GUNS people. Not one. TWO. Tune in next week on CBS all access. My wife and I were literally laughing, like how you laugh when your child does something embarassing, but they have no idea.

Here's my absolute candor. I appreciate some of the attempted world-building, I appreciate some of the performances, particularly Isa Briones. But overall I feel like the show was not conceived well. Unlike other more well executed serialized sci-fi dramas like BSG, who's themes, narratives, and on-screen action moved together with precision (and did so from the very first episode onwards), ST:P feels disjointed and sloppy. They get away with it because of the nostalgia factor, but I don't see this show building into anything significant or lasting. It reads and feels like a forgettable spinoff show that no one is really investing that much time or effort on.
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Brian S.
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 3:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

I have read a lot of the comments in this thread, on both sides of the Janeway/Seven moral divide

I liked how RenC pointed out that Picard faces a similar moral dilemma when he grants Q asylum and puts the entire ship and crew at risk to protect crew from aliens that want to kill him and who are threatening to destroy the Enterprise.

Yanks later brilliantly noted how Sisko once took Worf to task saying: "We don't put civilians at risk or even potentially at risk to save ourselves. Sometimes that means we lose the battle and sometimes our lives. But if you can't make that choice, then you can't wear that uniform."

Janeway's decision has plenty of precedent in Starfleet/Star Trek lore....that you don't just turn wounded aliens over to murderous thugs, just because they are threatening to kill you, too, if you don't comply.

And there are several other episodes, even in Voyager, where this moral dilemma plays out.....where an innocent being, or even a being who has attacked the ship, is afforded protection by Janeway and Voyager, even at great risk to the ship.

The entire reason Voyager is in the Delta Quadrant is because Janeway placed the protection of the Ocampa over the welfare of the crew.....even though it was not their responsibility to do so, and it was the Caretaker who violated their rights and dragged them to the DQ, killing dozens of Voyager's crew in the process. The Caretaker kidnapped Voyager, killed its crew, and Janeway still granted the Caretaker's requests to protect the array from the Kazon, even at mortal risk to Voyager. That was still the moral thing to do. It was the Starfleet thing to do.

Now while there are plenty of fine arguments to be made for either choice in "Prey," and whether one agrees with Janeway's moral choice or not.....on a Starfleet vessel, ultimately it is the Captain's choice to make. Whether the Captain decides to give in to a bully's demands and sacrifice an innocent being to save their own ship, or whether they should sacrifices themselves for the moral principle.....that is the sole decision of the Captain. You cannot have random officers and crew, much less non-Starfleet personnel, substituting their own personal judgments for that of the Captain's.

So I agree with Janeway here.....both in her decisions to protect the 8472, and her discipline of Seven for insubordination.

But I think Joey Lock also made a very interesting point with his comment....."Janeway's logic in this episode is the very reason the Federation almost lost the Dominion War back home, it's the Federations peace loving "Do not harm anyone" attitude that allows species like the Borg, Hirogen, Jem'Hadar, Species 8472 etc to walk all over them, because they portray weakness and a vunerability, their morality."

I don't personally agree with the sentiment behind that, but I understand it and I know a lot of people would feel that way. And I think that mindset is precisely what is at the heart of what Starfleet has become in the new Star Trek: Picard series......that kind of morality of openness and welcoming inclusiveness can leave you exposed to those who do not share your morals or value your inclusivity.

The understanding of Starfleet and the Federation through 50 years of Trek is that, yes, there may be short term or individual consequences, but long term we are better off opening our arms to other, welcoming the alien seeking refuge, and protecting them from harm. But after the Borg, the Dominion War, and a series of other attacks and calamities, it is understandable that frightened scarred people have become weary of Starfleet's open arms policy and no longer want to be the sort of people who welcome the injured 8472 at all costs. The people who would now rather turn an alien over to hunters rather than stick their neck out for someone who isn't exactly an ally. Seven's mindset in "Prey" is exactly at the heart of the Federation's behaviors in ST:Picard......though I say this having not watched any of the new episodes with Seven's character yet.
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Brian
Thu, Feb 13, 2020, 6:12am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

The main thing that's bugging me about this show is it's too obsessed with irrelevant details. Like when something is happening in the foreground between our characters and stuff is happening in the background that doesn't matter. Things we don't need to see and hear are just there for no reason. It's very distracting. I mean, I suppose some of those things could turn out to be important but I kinda doubt it.

It's pretty common these days now that I guess it's less expensive to just fill the landscape up with anything you want to throw in there. That's one thing TNG definitely did better. There weren't nearly as many distractions going on everywhere when the characters were what mattered.
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Brian
Wed, Feb 12, 2020, 11:51am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

I guess it goes without saying but I can't help it. The crash of the Enterprise saucer section might have been kinda cool but lets be real. That would have killed everyone onboard almost instantly. As soon as it hit the ground and they were splattered all over the first thing they hit while they were flying.

This movie was OK (better than, say, Insurrection) but it actually had a lot going for it and didn't quite deliver as it could have. I still say that something has been wrong with Star Trek behind the scenes ever since TNG left TV. It has never been the same. Even though DS9 had some really good episodes and Voyager was kind of a nice show at times. It was very obvious that something wasn't right as soon as DS9 started. And then when the TNG movies didn't really turn out quite the way most of us fans thought they would, it was pretty clear something was rotten in Trek.

I don't know. I'm just a casual fan. I have not seen anything obvious except for the death of Roddenberry that comes close to explaining it.

I thought Soran was a pretty good "villain", actually (not as good as Chang but still). The "Time is the fire in which we burn" quote is actually pretty epic. Especially now that ST Picard is being made (I'd love to see Picard have a flashback of that being said). To me, that was almost the best thing in that movie.

Looking back, I guess. This film is a moment when they still had a chance to do TNG justice with a series of films that lived up to the high standards set by the series. That just didn't happen.
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Brian
Tue, Feb 11, 2020, 2:40am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

@Booming

I guess I meant to say I'd gladly live in Raffi's dwelling if I had a replicator. Yeah. That's yet another gaping plot hole. It was odd that the workers were dealing with replicators that didn't work the way we know they're supposed to, since there doesn't seem to be any reason why they shouldn't. Even DS9 had great replicators and they were supposedly roughing it in a commandeered Cardassian station compared to people closer to Earth. Odo's bucket seemed downright luxurious compared to the conditions of those workers in Picard. LOL
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Brian
Tue, Feb 11, 2020, 12:15am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

Actually, Raffi's "hovel" seems pretty luxurious to me, despite it's rugged surroundings. And there doesn't seem to be any explanation as to what she does for money. You obviously could not live at anywhere near that level of comfort in 2020 without a steady income.

So the interaction between her and Picard about how she was living and how he was living was just odd. But, in Star Trek world, transporters and replicators and all that other fancy stuff exists so why couldn't she replicate everything she needs for a nice house? For that matter, why couldn't a combination replicator/transporter/whatever generate all the necessary elements for such a dwelling and assemble them all in a microsecond just like it does a cup of earl grey? There's no reason why she shouldn't be able to live like Picard does if she has a replicator and access to free energy to power it. Unless...money is still a thing.

I suppose it was just lazy writing to make a point about our present day inequality. If so, I'd rather they just avoid it in the future and pretend it didn't happen than try to explain it. There have always been little things in Star Trek that didn't fit and they wisely usually just moved on and pretended it didn't happen. The episodic nature of TNG made it more plausible for the 1st Season and the 4th Sseason to exist in the same space. The serialized format is not so great when they're going to do things like this and never explain. Or heaven forbid, keep doing it and not explaining why money wasn't a thing but now it is but not really.
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Brian
Mon, Feb 10, 2020, 10:42am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

You can make all kinds of perfectly valid criticisms and complaints about a show like this and how it is so much worse than TNG but when TNG was being made, there really wasn't anything like the amount of scrutiny that's going on here. And the people who were writing the shows back then were kind of doing their own thing.

Writers these days are able to be distracted and influenced by literally everything. Because of the connectedness of the internet. Public discourse is chaos now to a way bigger degree than it ever was when they were making TNG. Can we really blame writers who are trying to parse everything and make coherrent stories while also having to try to make something that is going to keep them working? They're trying to appeal to people who have the attention span of a flea. The competition for that minuscule attention span is fierce.

TNG unfolded in a way that just happened to end up being amazing. The first two seasons were anything but. I mean look at how horrendous some of those episodes were. If you'd told me then that show would eventually go on to become one of the most celebrated shows in history, I would never have believed it. I was so disgusted with the first two seasons of TNG when they were on that I stopped watching and forgot about the show even being on until I started seeing reruns of some of the better later season episodes. I don't know how they stayed on the air long enough to get to the magic 3rd season, TBH. I sure as hell wasn't watching. When things finally started to work, it was like someone finally flipped the right switch.
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Brian
Fri, Feb 7, 2020, 1:55am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

I love this episode but they missed an opportunity for Data here. Moriarty is everything Data aspires to be and Data doesn't seem to notice or have any interest in learning how to love (for example) from him. Moriarty is superior to Data in that he is basically a disembodied human stuck in a computer.
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Brian S.
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 5:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

A few responses to Asher's comments:

1) "Religion in general and Christianity in particular has been a driving force for good in our society."

-This site isn't big enough to detail all the atrocities great and small perpetuted by religious zealots, or those done supposedly in service of a religious doctrine or in the name of some deity.

A lot of the historical people you cited for the positive reforms and scientific advancements they promoted became facmous because they themselves were suppressed, denigrated by, or driven to overcome the prevailing harsher/ignorant societal beliefs of the era which were often heavily rooted in religious dogma, and Christianity in particular.

Your inclusion of William Wilberforce in your list is an interesting double-edged sword for this discussion. A man whose Christian faith inspired his drive to abolish slavery (and also eliminate the printing of newspapers on Sundays), a peculiar institution for which its proponents cited the same scriptures to justify (often declaring the non-Christian indigenous peoples they encoutered to be heathens). Wilberforce himself supported Church missionary activities in foreign lands and specifically worked for the religious "improvement" of the barbaric Hindus in India, exhibiting the same evangelical religious motivations in support of colonialism that those before him used in support of slavery.


2) "I also note that while there have been plenty noble atheists, there also have been more than enough mass murdering atheistic despots around. Therefore, it would be a stretch to say that the world will be automatically better off when it is run by scientific atheists."

-If you're referring to the mass-murdering despots I think you are referring to, I would argue they were actually quite religious, they merely sought to replace the worship of some other deity and adherence to a text with worship of themselves and their own teachings. North Korea, for example, isn't an atheistic culture....they have worked very hard to turn the Kim family into divine Gods (and demanded that they and their teachings be followed, religiously) so that the people will accept whatever their leader tells them without challenge (aka "blasphemy").

Rather than go deeper into a "both sides" argument, or get into a pissing match over which one is worse, I will simply offer my agreement that the world will not just be automatically better off when it is run by scientific atheists. Humans are flawed beings with great potential for destruction and misery. We can certainly use religion and claims of God's support to further destructive ends; but greed, selfishness, and a desire to harm/conquer/control others are not the sole province of religion (nor does religious faith act as the sole barrier to such behaviors).


3) "So, how would an atheistic world improve itself if there are no religious influences to drive progress?"

-On a scientific level....either simple curiosity or necessity are fairly strong motivators to drive progress. Human scientific advancement predates any known organized religion, and there are plenty of discoveries or inventions where religion had little to no role.

"What is the air made of?" "How can I get harvest cotton more efficiently?" "Are there any Earth-like planets around other stars?" "I want to record sounds for future use, but how?" The people who tried to answer these questions and/or invent new tools may have held varying beliefs in a deity, but I see little evidence that faith in an unseeable unknowable deity is a necessary requirement for a person in a rainstorm to be motivated to invent a functional umbrella.

Every single one of my children noticed at an early age that objects fall to the floor when dropped. They all seemed extremely curious as to why that is, and on their own...no omnipotent deities need apply. If anything, belief in a god and/or adherence to a religious belief which claims to alreday have the answer ("God did it!") can stunt progress (and many times has).

As for societal progress.....the fact there are so many different societies with differing religious views should make it clear that faith in a god is not required.
How does a religious world influence progress? Obviously, through the stories it tells through its books, myths, legends...stories with a compelling series of fictional characters whose parables are retold in ways befitting our current lives. Given that peoples from ALL socities and religious bents have found their own paths forward, it is clear that there is no one specific set of stories or faith in specific mythological characters to which one must adhere for progress to be inspired.

Stories of spacemen traveling the stars and talking to aliens or jumping through time can be no less influential than stories of men defeating great giants or living in the belly of a whale or talking to a magical bush. Humans grow and build societies and personal values around the stories we hear as children and share and retell as adults. There are many great legends and works of literature that inspire progress, they there is no prescription for what those stories must be, nor a requirement that such inspirational stories MUST contain a deity that every reader puts blind trust in and must actively continue to worship after they close the book.
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Brian S.
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 2:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

@William B: "I agree with what everyone says about Leah Brahms. This should have been a sign to Picard that the future can't be the way things *actually* end up. "

+++++

PICARD: So, you've heard?
LAFORGE: Leah's got a few friends at Starfleet Medical. Word gets around.'
PICARD: (frowns).....Leah?
(pause)
PICARD: Computer, Halt Program! Computer, End Program!
LAFORGE: Captain, you remember Leah, my wife. She's just been made director of the Daystrom Institute.
PICARD: And people say I'M the one losing touch with reality.
LAFORGE: No, sir, it's not like that. We're really married, we have several children together.
PICARD: (considers Geordi's words carefully, then turns angry).....Q! This has gone on long enough! Dammit, Q, show yourself!
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brian
Sun, Feb 2, 2020, 4:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Just wanted to say thank you to the following posters, for very accurately capturing my feelings in the written word:

Boomings post on Feb 2

Mal's post on Feb 2
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brian
Sat, Feb 1, 2020, 2:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

It looks to me like Omicrontheta and only a few others have the big picture. Star Trek IS completely different than what it was before. Whether you like that or not, is not the question.

Star Trek was a huge cultural phenomenon precisely because of its optimistic, idealistic conception of the future. That's WHY millions flocked to it. They wanted a respite from the real world--which, at the time of TOS, was pretty chaotic. TOS smelled like a sweet, clean breath of fresh air. It might have been squeaky clean and sanitized, but compared to the sight of people being burned alive in Vietnam, it must have seemed so desirable.

Does anyone honestly think that Star Trek TOS would have taken off and become a cultural phenomenon, if it "mirrored" reality in the 1960's? Mirrored people getting burned alive by napalm? Mirrored presidents getting shot in parades? If it was a "gritty" real world take on space exploration? Absolutely not. It wouldn't even have been made.

Star Trek, as it was originally realized, was pure escapism, but infused with a legitimacy and optimism that put it a class above other escapist media at the time. It also happened to directly challenge dogma of the day (black women on spaceships, etc). BUT, it was NEVER meant to mirror reality.

The beauty of Star Trek, during its heyday, was that you could be watching coverage of race riots and the Rodney King beating on one channel, then hit a button and instead watch a character drama about Picard living an entire lifetime with an alien civilization in the span of a few minutes.

Today, you can watch 24 hour coverage of a fairly tame but very media-hyped impeachment trial about a public figure involved in a conspiracy, or you can.....watch "Picard" and see another conspiracy type sci-fi show with people talking very cynically and snarkily with each other as said conspiracy unfolds, and oh yea, ninja swords and kung fu.

Look, I work hard for a living. I have a wife and kids. When I come home after a long day, I want to watch something idealistic, hopeful, and completely removed from whatever junk is playing out on the TV news networks. And that is why CBS doesn't get my money.
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BRIAN
Fri, Jan 31, 2020, 11:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Changeling

They were totally going for a Star Trek meets a Dalek episode right? They did a good job. The probe did come across as weirdly creepy.
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BRIAN
Fri, Jan 31, 2020, 10:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

Kind of a boilerplate star trek episode. Its almost like if you had to think of a generic Str Trek adventure this is pretty much it. Buttt... I liked it. I cant help it. I love star trek! Season 2 of TOS they had all of their tropes and relationships between characters down pat. So many red shirt deaths. The set of the snake cave(!?} is done no favors in HD, but its awesome they built that thing life size. I mean.. thats a lot of work I dont care if its paper mache or pink foam or whatever asbestos material they used in the 60s, its impressive and way harder than some cgi.

The central concept of a utopian planet being kept in stasis that the crew of the enterprise needs to end in order to escape the atmosphere is, i think, a really smart and interesting sci fi premise. Its executed with extreme hamfistedness here, but I like that TOS had solid science fiction ideas behind even questionable episodes.

Also the main cave man actor sells the hell out of his role and is fun to watch.

3/5 for me. Exactly average trek. But thats much better htan most crap I watch
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Brian Lear
Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 11:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

90 minutes in to an 8 hour mini-series and I should be hooked, but I'm not. The dialogue is cringe-inducing and overtly expository. The plot is hammy and derivative. All the women are "independent badasses" whether we are meant to side with them or not. The plot is spoon-fed to us one bite at a time, like feeding a baby. Each step is literally narrated by one of the characters on screen. The overall tone is extremely grim--clearly intentional as a way to set us up for a supposedly emotional catharsis at some later point, which I predict will not be nearly as rewarding as you think. It's shaping up to be a very stock "uncover the conspiracy" story, and of course, each layer is carefully removed, once per episode so that once you start, you must finish. The whole thing absolutely reeks of Kurtzman and company. It's generic sci-fi with the Star Trek label slapped on it, by people who don't understand what the Star Trek label means. Average Joe and Jill who fill their evenings with football and CSI:NY will feel really edgy watching this. They'll talk about it at work on Friday morning while real Trek fans snicker from afar. Black costumes, crazy robots, spaceships, earl grey, borg cubes, ninja swords, oh my. The series feels like it was written by a guy wearing skinny jeans with an ironic t-shirt that reads "Earl Grey, Hot".
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Brian
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

19 producers in the opening credits. I am 99% sure the payoff you all are wishing for, will not happen.
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Brian Roelofs
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 9:16am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Just here to comment that the Borg may feature heavily in this series and during the poker game Data laid down five QUEENS.
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