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BZ
Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 9:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The City on the Edge of Forever

So I finally watched this after somehow missing it during my original TOS watching years ago. While watching I had to keep reminding myself that this is the prototype time-travel episode before they came up with plausible ways to avoid ridiculous contrivances (currents in time? Calculating the time to enter the portal to within a week's precision?). Of course it's not unique to this episode. The whole theory of convergent evolution used to explain identical human aliens comes to mind.

Then the premise. One woman's pacifist movement delays (not prevents) US entering the war and saving the day. There is so much wrong here. Pearl Harbor was already mentioned, but no one said anything about the little detail that the war was basically already won when the US opened the second front. Any delay would mean the war was over. At least the war between Germany/Italy and the allies. Any action Japan might have undertaken unilaterally is a wildcard, but it certainly wouldn't be Hitler's nuclear bombs attacking the US. And Japan alone would not under any circumstances outright win a war with the US. I mean Enterprise's horrible Nazi episode provided a more plausible reason for Germans to win, doing something in Russia (assassinating Lenin in Enterprise's case).

But I guess none of it matters if the drama made up for it and... I wasn't impressed. It just didn't move me for whatever reason.
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BZ
Thu, Mar 22, 2018, 1:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

I'd say another reason to make a prequel is to explore how events lead up to what you already know about your favorite characters / races / etc. We got a bit of that in the JJ reboots (early in the first film mostly) and a bit more in Enterprise. We did get a tiny bit of this in Discovery (Sarek's relationship with Spock and more of his life pre-TNG), but not enough to justify it.

But it's not true that DSC being serialized means it can't recover from a bad first season. There is nothing from Season 1 that needs to ever be brought up again aside from the spore drive, which needs to be wrapped up, and Michael's basic character growth outline (which isn't bad as far as backstories go).
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BZ
Thu, Mar 15, 2018, 4:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

@Paul M,
The score sets the mood for the scene. A great score enhances your viewing without you being consciously aware why it's being enhanced.
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BZ
Thu, Mar 15, 2018, 10:29am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

While I still think this is a great episode (despite how primitive TNG Borg appear now), I have to disagree about the score. The fact I'm even noticing that it's there is the first indicator that there is a problem. The problem is, the entire episode, from beginning to end, has the "something ominous is happening" music, even when nothing ominous is happening. Take the opening captain's log:
"Captain's log, Stardate 43989.1. The Enterprise has arrived at Jouret IV in response to a distress signal from one of the Federation's outermost colonies."
Ok, yes, there was a distress call, but the music sounds more like "Captaibn's log. The Enterprise is about to be ripped to pieces and there's no time to abandon ship". In other words, over the top. Had it been subtle foreboding building up to a climax when Picard is taken or something, that's one thing. But really? The whole episode?
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BZ
Thu, Mar 8, 2018, 12:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

I find it odd that Picard figures out what's going on, but doesn't tell anyone. It's not necessary for the show to work as a mystery, and there's no in-universe reason to keep the crew in the dark. The other oddness is the music box and its connection to Troy. In that there isn't one, except the music Troy hears is the same as that of the music box and that it starts when Crusher picks it up. It makes me think the plot was somewhat reworked at the last minute. Perhaps Troy and Picard were meant to be the ones on the first away mission instead of Riker and Crusher, but the writers felt it would make the mystery too easy to solve.
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BZ
Tue, Feb 27, 2018, 12:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

My favorite TNG episode of all time. One thing I only realized with the latest viewing is that almost the entire episode is from Crusher's point of view. I believe the only scenes where she's not present occur during the final timeline with Geordi and Data getting some screen time alone, and a bit of Picard reading in his quarters.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 26, 2018, 8:08am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Dom,
I think BSG was consistently good until about the last season when it became apparent that the creators had no idea how to end the show. That is simply inexcusable on a serialized show. Of course Trek is known for this type of thing in individual two-parters, where part 2 is often written by a different writer after part 1 is already done. I can't speak for the other shows you listed since I've never watched them.
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BZ
Sun, Feb 18, 2018, 9:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Peter G.,
To be fair, Sarek only said it worked for the Vulcans, and explicitly cautioned that the Shenzou's situation may be different.
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BZ
Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 2:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

What I want to know is when did this disunity happen? During Enterprise era, it's pretty evident that the Klingons as united as they are in TNG. It's harder to tell during TOS, but I'd still say they are united there as well.
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BZ
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 12:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Adonis,
I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm not any sort of gatekeeper. I was a casual watcher of TNG, but became a hardcore fan during Season 3 of Voyager. Despite this, I consider TNG and DS9 my favorite. I enjoyed just about every series and movie to some extent, Including the J.J. Abrams reboot.

So in light of that, my thoughts on Discovery:
- We are explicitly told this is not a reboot. This is meant to be a real prequel to TOS. Now unlike some, I don't mind a technological refresh, like what ENT has done, where the ship sets, aliens, etc were changed enough to look futuristic, but still evoke a prequel aesthetic. What was done in DSC goes beyond that. My biggest complaint is holographic communications and Klingon redesign. These things aren't done because TOS-style communications and ENT-style Klingon makeup look dated - they don't. It was done for no apparent reason whatsoever. Notice that I haven't mentioned the spore drive either. It's a plot device like any other, and can be used for good or ill.
- Even all of the above is on a level of a minor gripe to me if a compelling story is being told. Notice, too, that I'm not complaining about a betrayal of Gene Roddenberry's ideals. If the crew's actions are justified by the story, I'm all on board with it.
- But this episode, being the finale of a serialized season, makes no sense from beginning to end. I'm not talking about canon or tech. I'm talking about on its own terms.
- Why do we need emperor Georgiou to come up with the plan? Nothing she contributes can't be obtained elsewhere. The map of the caves is a dated black market map. The insight that Klingons will never give up can be provided by L'Rell or Voq/Tyler. The bomb is not some MU contraption.
- How can they trust Georgiou for a moment as captain?
- How can they trust L'Rell for a moment? If the threat of genocide (as opposed to actual genocide) will end the war, the feds can deliver it directly
- Michael's supposed character ark is just not there. She is consistent in her inconsistencies if that makes sense. One minute she's a Vulcan. The next she's an emotional basket case. One minute she's onboard with Lorca's actions. The next she's a defender of Starfleet's ideals. It just makes no sense. Tilly has an arc. Voq/Tyler has an arc. Stamets and Saru... well, a little. Michael? No, not at all.

I'll continue to watch, but it's telling that one of my favorite episodes this season is the Mudd time loop one.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 4:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Trent,
Of course it's immoral to release her, though if the ridiculous premise of the show is to be taken at face value (she's the only one that can save the federation from the Klingons) one might argue that Starfleet had to compromise with her to get her to help. Then they can't really renege later because it's not Georgiou's fault Michael talked them out of following through with her plan.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 2:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@artymiss,
Well, it depends on whether the MU and the PU have an extradition treaty. Seriously, it is, of course, a bad idea, but I don't think it's illegal. I mean former dictators go into self-imposed exile abroad here on Earth all the time.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

My biggest problem here is L'rell and I can't really get past that because the whole episode hinges on her plot point.

L'rell was originally a pupped-master behind the scenes. She created the Ash/Voq hybrid to do... something, but certainly not anything sympathetic to Starfleet. She was all on-board with the "Remain Klingon" xenophobia thing. Then she was captured and, during her time aboard Discovery, was basically used to be interrogated as the face of the Klingons. During her time on the ship, the only thing she did that was good for Our Heroes is stabilize Ash/Voq. And she only did that because she "loved him".

So why the hell would she end the war? She's basically the torchbearer now. Of a movement defined by uniting the empire in the face of a common enemy. She herself was saying just last episode that the Klingons will not stop fighting back until they either win or are utterly defeated. L'Rell is not against this course of action at all. So again, why stop?

I can go on, but I think I've made my point.
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BZ
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 4:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

I think we know very little about mind melds. Sure, they've been used as allegory for sex in the past (see Enterprise), but something does not need to always be an allegory for the same thing. TOS Klingons were an allegory for the Soviet Union. But the Soviet Union broke up (which itself was portrayed using Klingons as allegory) and we still have Klingons on Star Trek. They're not Russians in Space anymore.

We've seen very different depictions of mind melds, from sharing thoughts to reading them to occupying some sort of virtual space and conversing with someone who is braindamaged to mind control to part of mating. How do we know there aren't kinds or levels of mind melds?

On the other hand, human (and holographic) doctors have been shown to be distrustful of them, which implies there isn't a Starfleet regulation about them. It's inconsistent to say the least.
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BZ
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 9:27am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Sisko manged to carry DS9 despite his acting being subpar, especially when any sort of anger was involved. I find Jeri Ryan's acting to be quite good. SMG, hard to tell so far, I don't see much of a problem.

The thing is, a great character (as written) can be carried by an ok actor (Brooks). An ok character can be elevated by a great actor. I can't think of a good Trtek example. Maybe Tuvok. It remains to be seen how Burnham turns out.
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BZ
Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 6:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Henson,

I'm not suggesting anything in-universe, but now that you mention it, it does make sense, given her "cadet to captain just like that" talk with Tilly. That sounded wrong to me, but I thought it was just a clumsy turn of phrase. Maybe that was *her* experience and Sarek *did* use his connections to fast track her. He did say "we'll find a place for her in Starfleet" implying something other than just sending her to the academy and letting her earn her way.
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BZ
Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 6:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Something I just thought about, and it's related to Yanks's point, is that Michael is supposed to be a (now former) first officer, but she doesn't look or act like one. Sure, we've seen very little of her *as* a first officer, but she acts like an ensign at the start of her career, not a "number one". The only person we see less sure of herself is Tilly, who is a cadet. And even Tilly seems to move ahead of her in some respects by now. Now, certainly Michael has no rank now, but you don't lose your experience when you get stripped of rank. And I can't blame the acting because she's clearly *written* like a junior officer, a Harry Kim, not a T'Pol, and certainly not a Riker.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 5, 2018, 12:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@AR,
We don't know when Terrans conquered the Klingons. And, sure, the Klingons may be similar, but they may not be. Of the most heavily featured mirror species, the humans, Bajorans, and Ferengi are noticeably different. The Vulcans are substantially the same. The DS9-era Klingon-Cardassian alliance seems to portray both species as similar to their PU counterparts, but it's not like anyone would realize this in the era Discovery is set in, especially when the only Klingons they meet in the MU are the rebels.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 5, 2018, 11:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Some thoughts on Georgiou:

Nice to see her back but...

She is treated as a visiting (or exiled?) head of state rather than a prisoner. My gut reaction is that this is wrong, but thinking about it, it actually makes a certain amount of sense.

Doesn't everyone aboard the ship know that Mirror Georgiou is aboard the ship? Was the admiral's declaration about "Captain Georgiou" just a way of saying "this is our cover story if anybody asks"? Or Are we supposed to think some of the crew were not informed?

Why are we trusting Mirror Georgiou any more than we did Mirror Lorca? All it takes is another "Captain's Override" and Georgiou is back in the MU using the most powerful ship to retake the Emperorship. Or does Georgiou not know how to do that since Lorca was intimately familiar with the spore drive? Failing that, she could take command of the weakened Federation and turn it into another empire.

Even forgetting all that, the MU Klingons are not necessarily the same as the PU Klingons. I thought the whole point of the MU resistance planet was that the MU klingons are more reasonable and willing to work with other races to resist the Empire. Michael didn't get anywhere figuring out how to make piece with the Klingons because the MU Klingons are so different. Suddenly Mirror Georgiou is the PU Klingon behavior expert?
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BZ
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 12:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Trent (and others with similar points),
"The Lorca revelation doesn't reconfigure past episodes"

Sure it does. Up until this point we were just speculating. Was it just Lorca? What about the rest of the crew? What are their actual goals?

Now that we know (or think we know?) it's just Lorca, he's just evil with a knack for convincing everyone to join him, and his plan was to return to the MU using Discovery's spore drive and mirror Michael's clout, are there any inconsistencies with this in earlier episodes? Does Lorca do anything that doesn't fit this reading of his character? That everything he does is either acting the part to avoid suspicion or actively furthering his plan? Maybe. For example, why would he put himself between the Klingons and another Starfleet ship when no one would have bllamed him for running when the odds turned against him? What about other characters? Are they consistent with just being "charmed" by Lorca and not "evil" themselves? Maybe the security chief, but she dies way to quickly to be sure. But as I said, it's almost necessary to rewatch from episode 3 on to see if everything fits.
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BZ
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 11:43am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

I disagree that requiring a rewatch to get everything out of a series is a bad thing. When I was a college student, we learned how to listen to a classical music piece. You need to do it three times. Basically, you go into it the first time not knowing where it will go. You are utterly surprised by every thematic change, modulation, etc. The second time you know what's coming, and concentrate on how everything is prepared for and foreshadowed in retrospect. The third time is similar to the first in that you concentrate on a piece in order as it is presented to you, but appreciate it more by keeping your knowledge of where it ends up in the background.

I think this approach can be adopted to any good work. In a good piece all three run-thrus are rewarding, but the third is the most rewarding. This means, basically, that you can rewatch something as many times as you want without losing interest, because all subsequent rewatchings are essentially repetitions of #3.

Of course now that I posted this, I need to follow my own advice and rewatch everything to see how it holds up.
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BZ
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 8:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

crap, I meant seize of course
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BZ
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 8:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Todd,
Maybe the rebels we saw cease control of the empire (and turn out to be just as evil once in power)
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BZ
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 11:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Lobster Johnson,
I think it's valid to say that all of this was in early episodes. Stamets has come around. The others seem to have as well.
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BZ
Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 10:06am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

RE: Destiny, we were talking about how unlikely Lorca's plan was to succeed. Here the show acknowledges it. I read it as Lorca accidentally ending up in the PU with no plan, and then everything coming together to allow Lorca to present himself as the sole survivor from the Buran, getting command of Discovery with its spore drive, getting Michael, etc. As a result, he understandably believes he was destined to come back and take over the Empire.

In fact the entire existence of the MU with mirror counterparts of all of our characters in similar relationships with each other throughout multiple Trek series smacks of destiny. I don't see it as an implausible conclusion at all.
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