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Brian S.
Tue, Feb 25, 2020, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Heart of Stone

@Iceman: "Contrary to what Sisko protests, he is shown to be a bit prejudiced against Ferengi."

To whatever extent Sisko may have (or had) some prejudices against Ferengi at large, I don't think that prejudice is at play in that specific scene.

Prejudicial treatment is where you treat an individual a certain way because of your opinions about their race at large.

Insofar as this scene goes, Sisko knows Nog. And Rom and Quark. He's known them for years. He has seen their behaviors, listened to their motivations, and is aware of the cultural influences that they espouse.

Sisko, in this cas, isn't suspicious of Nog being up to something because of something other members of his race did. Sisko is suspicious of Nog because of Nog's own personal individual history which includes several petty crimes, a rejection of many human/Starfleet egalitarian values, and numerous lies and dishonest schemes either for his own benefit or in service of his uncle.

The reveal of Nog's genuine interest in joining Starfleet is as much a confusion and surprise to us (the viewer) as it is to Sisko. Because it is a bit out of character, from what we know of Nog to this point in the series. Even within his episode, the viewer suspects there's something hidden behind Nog's efforts. It's not specifically about himself being a Ferengi….it's about Nog himself having a reputation for being not completely trustworthy and not showing much interest or value in anything Starfleet has to offer. A reputation he had more or less earned through the first 2+ seasons.

But when he lets Sisko and us in on the real reason, when the façade is dropped and Nog shows his sincerity and vulnerability, a new reputation is earned for the individual.
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Brian S.
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 3:17pm (UTC -5)
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 S.
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
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 -5)
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 S.
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 2:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

>"Unfortunately, the allegory is too preachy and pretentious and fails to say anything except in the very broadest of terms."<

Sometimes, messages need to be preached, and sometimes the broadest of terms are required for it to be heard.

++++

>"Prejudice has many troubling shades of grey that this story fails to acknowledge."<

True point. But this was broadcast in an era where MLK had recently been assassinated and where only six weeks earlier Star Trek had aired the first interracial kiss on US television, to the dismay of some regional censors.

This episode was written for an audience that was still struggling with (and often against) the concept that "Segregation = Bad"

There are absolutely shades of gray to be explored....1969 was not the time or place for those. Hard to dive too deeply into nuance with an audience that barely understands or accepts the basics.
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Brian S.
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 1:58am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

Watching these episodes through streaming services in rapid succession is jarring....

KIRK: "Hey Bones, this indigenous woman and I just had some stones thrown at us. I'm a little banged up, but apparently none too worse for the wear. Stay with her. Do what you can."

*McCoy scans Miramanee, discovers she's carrying Kirk's child*

(30 Minutes later)

MCCOY: "She had bad internal injuries, Jim. "
KIRK: "Will she live? "
MCCOY: "No."
KIRK: "No? No?!? Wasn't it just 2 episodes ago where you successfully surgically reattached Spock's brain after it had been stolen from his skull?! And now you're telling me you can't heal a woman with a few internal injuries sustained from some rocks."
MCCOY: "Do you want to explain to Starfleet Command how a woman on an alien pre-warp pre-industrial civilization ended up birthing your child?"
KIRK: "I'll love you, Miramanee. Always."










MCCOY: I swear that's honeysuckle I smell.
KIRK: I swear that's a little orange blossom thrown in. It's unbelievable. Growth exactly like that of Earth on a planet half a galaxy away. What are the odds on such duplication?
SPOCK: Astronomical, Captain.
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Brian S.
Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 12:50am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Galileo Seven

The most logical, robotic, non-human of them all....Scotty.

The other officers are bickering about emotions and command and humanity......Mr. Scott just quietly tells them, "We need to lose X amount of weight." No whining about how it needs to be done, or what that might entail as far as leaving personnel behind, just cold logical facts.

All the others are crying for a "decent burial," even though it would take time, and resources, and put people in jeopardy......Mr. Scott has no time for your emotional death rituals. He sees no logic in leaving his floorboard for even an instant, just get the job done, burial or no.

And it is his cool under pressure professional logical approach that even gives them a chance. Bravo, Mr. Scott, you'd make an excellent Vulcan.
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Brian S.
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

"Captain Tony Almeida"

.
C'est magnifique!
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Brian S.
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"I was turned off in the beginning of the movie when a they showed a Star Fleet officer destroy a multi-million dollar building and kill countless lives just to save the life of his daughter."

Not to give any undue benefit of the doubt to this movie......but in the original TOS episode "Space Seed" which introduced Khan, the Enterprise and its entire crew were put into dire peril because a Starfleet officer under Kirk's own command, Lt. Marla McGivers, provides critical aid to Khan and his soldiers in taking over the ship and nearly allows Khan to execute Kirk and the entire bridge crew and almost the destruction of the ship itself simply because she had become extremely attracted to him in the several days he was on board the ship.

23rd century humanity is better, but they're not all flawless.
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Brian S.
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 4:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

I always enjoyed this episode. It's fun, well acted, and I enjoyed how Wesley was able to evade security.

To me, that last segment always the best "Game" in the episode.....Wesley having to think quickly on his feet, to outwit and elude a vastly superior opponent for as long as he could. His escape required athleticism, intelligence, strategy, read & react situations. Moves and countermoves.

There are some gaping plot holes in this episode (what exactly was the purpose of Elana's efforts?), and I understand the critiques of Wesley in general, but I always liked Wil Wheaton, and this was one of my favorite Wesley episodes.

++++++

That said.....there is arguably no greater Wesley Crusher move than to go back to work on the Enterprise during your vacation from Starfleet Academy, somehow manage to hook up with a young smoking hot Ashley Judd, and on basically your one and only date with Ashley freaking Judd, you.....take her to your mom's medical lab to conduct experiments on the potentially harmful side effects of a portable gaming device.

+++++

Also.....lol @ Luke's Scooby Doo parody. That was perfect!
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Brian S.
Fri, Feb 8, 2019, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

@Paul: "One of the biggest inconsistencies from TNG to DS9 is the size of Starfleet. In BOBW and Redemption, 40 starships appears to represent a good portion of the fleet. "

+++++

40 ships was probably all of the larger high-powered ships of any firepower had within the multi-day vicinity of Earth

I'm sure they didn't bother ordering minimally armed science vessels, cargo transports, long range shuttlecraft to join the fight against the Borg, and any ships on patrol near Klingon territory, or the Romulan Neutral Zone, or anywhere else in the Federation or beyond that were damaged/under repair or simply couldn't make it back to Earth/Wolf 359 within a day or two at high warp.

I think it's plausible that Starfleet could have had maybe, let's say, 4,000 active duty capital ships spread across the entire Federation at the time of BOBW. So a loss of 40 ships means a loss of 1% of the entire fleet--in just one battle, to just one enemy ship. That would be a pretty viscerally devastating blow, particularly in an otherwise peaceful era of exploration and discovery, even if that percentage is technically low.

Imagine if an enemy attacked the US and killed 1% of our population of 320 million people. To lose 3.2 million people in one attack would be mind-bogglingly devastating.....but whether you consider only 1% to represent a "good portion" depends on your frame.

And then the war with the Dominion facilitated the need for building more ships, including entirely new classes of ships, and enlisting more personnel.
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Brian S.
Fri, Feb 8, 2019, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

Episode contains not just one of my favorite Star Trek quotes, but one of my favorite quotes in all of TV/film/literature:

Q: "If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross, but it's not for the timid."

I've used this line or variations of it in a number of instances. Often as self-motivation.

Whenever I get into a rut where things seem harder than usual, or life feels particularly unfair, I like to use this quote as a reminder that life as an adult isn't always fair. It's not easy. It's not safe. And it's not supposed to be.

Q is being brash in his normally abrasive way, but he isn't just being a jerk. He poetically acknowledges the

Life IS, as Q says, "Wondrous!" And there are many great treasures out there in the world to be found and explored and enjoyed in life. But it is not for the timid. There will be setbacks in life. There will be pitfalls. There will be completely unfair times where you are going along happily minding your own business--and then suddenly, out of nowhere, Q/Life will just throw you into a dangerous encounter you weren't ready for, for absolutely no reason. But that is how the world goes sometimes. And if you can't handle a little bloody nose from time to time and you only want to stay where it's safe, you will never be able to experience or enjoy all the great treasures that can only be experienced if you come out from underneath the covers and expose yourself to the potential for being hurt.

This is peak Trek for me....a great episode with a fun and engaging story, thought-provoking characters, and it culminates with a line that provides an immutable rule of thumb for life itself--struggle and sacrifice are necessary parts of the journey of existence, but the rewards are worth it.
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Brian S.
Mon, Jan 21, 2019, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

So the entire 4th season of Enterprise series was just a fever dream by Victoria Principal.
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Brian S.
Sat, Nov 17, 2018, 5:06am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Marauders

> If only Captain had said "I love it when a plan comes together" it would have been a near perfect homage. <

I was a little disappointed that they weren't able to spring Lt. Barclay from the mental hospital, but the shuttlepod did an awful lot like a GMC van, and I could've sworn I heard Ms. T'Pol said, "I pity the fool who tries to attack this mining colony."

Also thought it was a nice touch when they replaced the usual opening credit song with, "Today, still on their mission from Starfleet, these Terrans survive as explorers of space. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire.....the Enterprise."
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Brian S.
Fri, Aug 24, 2018, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Tacking into the Wind

@Rom:
"More generally speaking, how the Dominion endured for two thousand years is difficult to believe based on their Alpha Quadrant behavior. They make some very dumb decisions...For example, had they really had the power to hold on to a large Gamma Quadrant empire for so long, they would have known they had to keep their base happy - i.e. the Cardassians. A real-world Dominion, with so much experience, would have kept the Cardassians on their side emotionally and politically - especially the leadership. "

++++

In the Gamma Quadrant, it seems most of the planets they rule simply through fear and might.

Most of the GQ worlds have either an isolated population, or a small federation of systems. The Cardassian Empire seems like the the largest and most powerful independent group they've "conquered" in some time.

Out in the Gamma Quadrant, they don't need to keep anybody happy. If a conquered world tries to rebel, the Founders simply obliterate that world as a lesson to all the others to stay in line.

I suspect none of the other GQ worlds would still have even the military resources the Cardassians have. The Founders would have disarmed their conquered worlds of most of their military weaponry long ago. Any singular world or small alliance that even drummed up enough resources to fight would have been instantly wiped out.

The Founders don't care about keeping the masses happy because they don't have to care. They live far away on an isolated world. The enforcers of their regime are disposable clones they care nothing for. There's no need to play nice with the subjects because they pose no threat. Anybody rises up, smack them back down with vengeance. That was their game plan and it worked well for centuries.

It was less effective on the Cardassians for two reasons:

1) The Cardassians were very still heavily armed and had nearly the entire Alpha Quadrant working against the Dominion at the same time. When Cardassia finally rebelled, all the AQ superpowers were right on the doorstep. If any other GQ world rebelled, with no other outside support--like the combined might of the Federation-Klingons-Romulans AND the wormhole access cut off--they would've just been easily overwhelmed and dispatched without a second thought. There's no reason to keep any other GQ world populace happy.

2) The Cardassians hadn't been subjected to Dominion rule for more than a few years. The only way the Founders could gain their initial foothold in the Alpha Quadrant was to at least pretend it was more of a military alliance than a pure subjugation. In the GQ, there's no need for alliances or agreements, the Dominion just conquers. Once a generation or two of isolated subjugation passes with no hope in sight, the will to fight back wanes.
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Brian S.
Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

@PeterG

"I took Snoke's word for it that he knew Kylo's every thought...the idea that Snoke would gather only some generality like "Kylo will kill his enemy" and not actually see his *every thought* would mean that Snoke is just an idiot. I automatically negated that as a possibility while watching it but upon reflection..."

++

A lot of the Sith masters we know about are killed by their apprentices.

Sidius kills Plageuis
Vader kills Sidius
Ren kills Snoke

Sith masters aren't idiots.....and yet, none of them foresee the moment of their own betrayal.....even though almost all other past Sith masters are, inevitably, betrayed by their apprentices at some point.

It's not idiocy. Arrogance, overconfidence, willful blindness, perhaps, but not idiocy.

In a way, a Sith apprentice's "true enemy" is always his master. The master is the person holding back the apprentice from his true potential. The master is the person exploiting the apprentice. The apprentice doesn't become the master until he kills his master. And the Sith apprentice doesn't become the Sith master just by letting some neophyte Jedi scout do that work for him in her own flailing self-defense

Personally, I thought it was pretty obvious that Kylo Ren killed him. Snoke set that confrontation up to be Kylo's initiation. A test on Kylo's Dark Side journey. That's why Snoke wanted Kylo to strike Rey down. What Kylo did--in proper Sith fashion--was to take advantage of a rare opportunity when his master's guard was down and strike. In this universe, it's the only explanation that really makes sense.

Though I also agree that the writing and direction were poor if this many people genuinely thought that Rey killed Snoke.
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Brian S.
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 4:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

@Omicron: "I think the moral here is that when you have a mob who judges people based on the shallowest of criteria, that's a huge problem
regardless of whether the rumours they spread are true or not.

And the actual "fake news" that the Orville crew planeted in the feed just demonstrate how silly the whole thing is. Should the life of a person depend on whether he has a dog named Chuckles? Now that's one seriously fucked-up society.

(and I'm not saying that we are that much better. That's precisely why the message of this episode is so powerful)"

++++++

I like this comment of yours very much. Just for that, YOU get an Upvote!

However, I also read a rumor on Twitter that you run a human trafficking ring through your pizza parlor.

I suppose I COULD fact-check that rumor, but it's easier for me to just give you a Downvote and wait for you're apology tour.

:)
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Brian S.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

"If The Orville can balance the scales and execute as well as "Krill" does, it might be a good, fun series. But it may never be a great one."

+++++

And I think that's fine.

Six episodes in, I will repeat my comment ont the pilot episode:

"Watchable and entertaining enough....even if a little groan worthy. The best description of--and hope for--The Orville is not TNG, but rather a serialized Galaxy Quest.

Galaxy Quest wasn't great or earth-shattering, but it was good and watchable (and importantly, re-watchable)."

GQ wasn't "The Godfather" or even "Airplane!" but it was enjoyable, funny, and had some decent dramatic points.

Orville isn't going to be "The Sopranos" or "Seinfeld." I neither need it to be nor expect it to be. But it can be an enjoyable way to spend an hour, with some fairly interesting stories.

Irreverant TV shows can produce really interesting and clever stories. Some of my favorite thought-provoking TV episodes are from comedic shows like Futurama or South Park

Ironically, I think the Orville stories are fine, it's mostly the humor that is poorly written. The Orville can be a gold mine full of workplace humor. Move past the uptight behaviors of past Trek crews and have the Orville crew interact more like real people who are actual co-workers on a transport vessel. And to an extent they do this. Like the crew egging Bortus on to eat everything, which is a funny social interaction that is totally realistic. But 500-year old car rental commercial jokes? If they can clean that part up and figure out how to do better situational/character humor and drop the direct 20th/21st century pop culture references, it can be a really good series. And that's good enough, I think.
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Brian S.
Fri, Sep 29, 2017, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: General Discussion

"Star Trek used to be about imagination, probing human nature, science and fiction, and drama. Now it's about "diversity," elimination of "toxic" masculinity, and promotion of political agenda."

******

Excuse me? Come again? You think NOW it's about *diversity*?!

Seriously, what in the blue hell have you been watching for the last 50 years?

The very first incarnation of Star Trek was all about diversity. Diversity was the central (borderline primary) theme from the start. It's why the Enterprise crew was specifically intentionally shown to be a multi-ethnic, multi-national, even multi-species set of officers. Russian, Scottish, Black, Asian, Female...VULCAN!

The original pilot episode--"The Cage"--had a female first officer because....feminism!

Hell, the character of Spock himself was created specifically to highlight the diversity of the future. This was not an accident, it was intentional and it was a feature of the program which drove its popularity. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

The core of Star Trek is a united egalitarian Federation of diverse peoples, planets, and cultures, and at its center is an Earth where war, hunger, money, and religion are all but gone from humanity.

I truly don't understand people like you, Michael. It's been 50 years. There have been 7 television series, 13 feature-length movies, and countless novels under the Star Trek banner with diversity, social justice, and various progressive political ideals and agendas at their core. If this were still 1968, maybe you could be forgiven for not getting the memo yet. But it's 20-freaking-17.....how is a supposed Star Trek fan, of all people, still offended by the notion of Star Trek captain who has a black-left/white-right face?!


"Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms." - Gene Roddenberry, Social Justice Warrior Admiral
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Brian S.
Wed, Sep 27, 2017, 8:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

"who the f*** cares about canon?"

I've seen this argument pop up a lot throughout this thread, and I honestly do not understand it.

If none of us care about what came before in Trek, then what the **** are any of us doing here on a 20+ year old blog site for fans of old Trek episodes?

As Omicron noted earlier, good writing fits coherently into the whole. A chapter that is noticeably incongruent with the rest of the story is a sign of poor writing that negatively impacts the product.

I mean, if I write the letters of the alphabet as: "A-B-2-D-E-X-4-H-%-J..." it's not the reader who is to blame for being so nitpicky to notice that something is obviously amiss.

If someone wants to write a "Fiddler on the Roof" prequel that tells the story of Tevye's early life and marriage to Golde, it can't include a scene where Tevye has a bad date with a chick he met on JDate.com. It doesn't matter how small a detail it was or how well-written the rest of the story is, putting technology that is noticeably a century out of place for the timeline of the story is going to be jarring to anyone who understands or cares about the story enough to pay money to see a FOTR prequel.

I didn't care much for the JJ Trek movies. But Abrams did make one astute comment in an interview I read to the effect of it's hard to write new stories in the Trek prime universe because you are shackled by 40+ years (or 400+ years) of prior stories. I respect that. I respect the difficulty of that. I understand the desire to break free and do new things.

But that's why you go into the future. A post-Dominion War Federation/AQ was ripe for storytelling that mirrors our time. Detente, new relationships among the superpowers (at times both peaceful and distrustful), battle scars, letting go of old grudges, new villains, perhaps even the potential for small factions of radicals that emerge to threaten the established order and test the bonds of galactic peace and stability. To go with new imagined technologies and exploration. The 25th century has fertile Trek storytelling ground, even with the weight of the past.

ENT, the JJ movies, and now Discovery all decided to shackle themselves even tighter by telling stories we already know the larger outcome to. It can be done and even done well. But re-treading over the same territory just ups the difficulty level. TNG only had 3 seasons, a cartoon, and a couple of movies to deal with, and it flew nearly a century into the future to spread its wings and avoid the shackles
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Brian S.
Fri, Sep 22, 2017, 4:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

I liked the pilot episode enough. Not blow-me-away great, but watchable and entertaining enough....even if a little groan worthy.

I think the best description of --and hope for--The Orville is not TNG, but rather a serialized Galaxy Quest.

Galaxy Quest wasn't great or earth-shattering, but it was good and watchable (and importantly, re-watchable).

GQ was most definitely a copy/homage/parody of Star Trek. It had some good humor, some bland humor, and also some juvenile groan-worthy humor....but it worked.

Despite being an obvious comedic parody, GQ also had its own feel and managed to be interesting in its own light. In between jokes, it had some heart and some enjoyable drama/non-parody moments. The writing, acting, and story were all done quite well.

That, I think, is the path the Orville needs to follow.

For me, the big question here is: How long can you make a parody copy of a copy work for?

Galaxy Quest was entertaining.....for about 100 minutes. I'm still entertained by the Orville after ~120 minutes. How well is The Orville schtick going to hold up after 7 hours? 13 hours? 20 hours?
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Brian S.
Mon, Mar 2, 2015, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

@zzybaloobah: In any case, the bioweapon attack on the Founders isn't "genocide" -- not in the normal sense of the word.
Genocide has strong negative connotations for 2 reasons:
1) It's *mass* murder. Arguably, the Great Link is a single organism. The rules of "mass murder" simply don't apply.
2) It's indiscrimate targeting of all, including non-combatants. But, all Founders are either direct combatants, or members of an entitty that is guilty of massive war crimes, including genocide and the total subjugation of slave races (Vorta, Jem'Hadar). If breeding slave races to fight your battles isn't a massive war crime then I don't know what is.

---------

Interesting points.

It could even be argued that the Founders are the only real combatants since the Jem Hadar and the Vorta are just clones serving the Founders purposes and fighting on their behalf.

Part of the reason the Dominion is so strong and so close to winning the war on multiple occasions is that the Founders don't really care about the lives of anyone. There is no cost to them. If Jem Hadar/Vorta are killed, you just manufacture more of them. They have two slave races of entirely disposable people genetically programmed to fight and die for the Founders. A billion Jem Hadar could be killed and the Founders wouldn't care. Simply ramp up production at the cloning facility and in a few months or years, the loss is nullified.

Without the virus, the war against the Alpha Quadrant was entirely a win-win situation for the Changelings. If the Dominion wins, they win. If the Dominion loses, billions of AQ solids are exterminated. Remember, the Changelings hate ALL solids. Their goal is to control or destroy all of them. So even if the Dominion loses and fails to gain control over the entire AQ, what do the Founders get? Billions of dead Cardassian, Klingon, Breen, Romulan, and Federation peoples. Hardly a loss from their POV. The Founders would just assume kill all Cardassians as rule over them, and they don't really care anything for their disposable slave Jem Hadar or Vorta. All of their "solid" enemies everywhere die brutally while they sit back comfortably out of harm's way.

Attacking the Changelings through this virus seems the only way to get them to have any skin (or liquid) in the game.


Though, I must bring up one other point I just considered and hadn't really seen addressed elsewhere.......Odo was apparently infected with the virus back in S4. The Dominion certainly posed a threat at that junction and there had been a few deadly skirmishes, but the Federation was not technically at war with them yet. The Cardassians hadn't even yet joined the Dominion. It wasn't a peace, and the Cardassians/Romulans had tried to destroy the Founders' homeworld with conventional weapons the prior year (a military strike that Starfleet Command seemed tacitly willing to accept even if not wholly endorsing it or willing to carry the attack out themselves), but it is fairly dark to wage this kind of biological warfare as a first strike against an enemy that the Federation wasn't even technically at war with yet.
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Brian S.
Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Tacking into the Wind

RUSOT: You're still a Cardassian, Garak. You're not going to kill one of your own people for a Bajoran woman.
GARAK: How little you understand me.

----

It's scenes like this that further my belief that Garak is and always was sympathetic to the Bajoran people and that his sympathy is probably what led to his exile from Cardassia in the first place.

It's not hard to imagine that Garak was given a brutal assignment against the Bajorans while a member of the Obsidian Order, and then refused to carry it out. In the S2 episode "The Wire," Garak tells a trio of lies about the reason for why he was exiled. You can't trust any of them, but all of them have some variation of him sparing a large group of Bajoran civilians.

Garak has never shown revulsion, condescension, or even restrained antipathy towards any Bajorans. He's lived on the station for years with them. He hated Dukat (the prefect of the Bajoran Occupation). For someone so formerly ruthless and cold-hearted, he has regularly shown empathy towards the Bajoran people, and been unusually candid about the distasteful atrocities committed by Cardassians during the Occupation.

Now, in the midst of the Cardassian rebellion, when he's finally getting a chance to fight for/with his people again, he sides with a Bajoran over a Cardassian.

And I think his words here are very telling. He doesn't say that he's defending Kira because he likes/knows/trusts Kira more than Rusot or because the mission requires it (the way Damar does). Rusot makes it racial. A *Bajoran* is inferior to and worth less than a Cardassian, in his eyes. It's a sentiment Rusot has lived by. It's a sentiment Dukat and Damar have lived by (though Damar is starting to open his eyes to a different perspective). But Garak doesn't hesitate or even have to think about it. "How little you understand me." He's already there. Unlike most Cardassians, Garak already sees Bajorans as equals rather than inferiors. I think he's felt that way for a long, long time, and given the common thread in his "lies" about his exile, I think his feelings towards them played a part in it.
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Brian S.
Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: When it Rains...

Kira arguably loved Ziyal more than Garak did. Garak may have been somewhat interested in her, but Kira loved her like a surrogate parent or a sister. Combined with her general hatred of Cardassians in general and the number of times Damar and Kira were at each other's throats, I think Kira had far more reason to want to kill Damar...and she was willing to set aside her feelings for the mission.

On top of that, Kira is portrayed as being far more of a loose cannon prone to acting on her feelings of anger and hatred whereas Garak is a very cool customer who generally seems to keep a lid on things, focus on the job at hand, and act with cold calculating precision. Heck, he even fought side-by-side with Dukat in the Klingon attack of DS9. I'm sure Garak was tempted to kill Damar (just as he was tempted to kill Dukat). But if an angry hothead like Kira was able to control herself, Garak certainly would have.
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Brian S.
Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Changing Face of Evil

Boy, Worf is having the worst luck....Over the last 4 episodes, he's been on 3 ships that have been destroyed (the Klingon ship, the Runabout, and now the Defiant).

Worf just spends like a week in an escape pod, gets rescued, then captured & tortured, is bailed out at the last moment before his execution, and just as he gets back to the station, the first battle he gets sent out on....right back into an escape pod.

Worf should probably just take an extended shore leave, though at this point he'd probably find a way to get a paddleboat blown up, too.

Still, he's probably enjoyed his time in escape pods more than he did his own honeymoon on Risa
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