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Fri, Nov 6, 2020, 12:05pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Forget Me Not

This episode was just okay. The stuff with the Trill was the highlight. I didn't mind them being suspicious and unfriendly to Burnham and Adira since we are 800+ years past DS9 and their society has clearly been through a lot of changes. I'm also glad that we didn't meet Dax or some other Trill symbiont from the 24th century.

The dream sequence in the symbiont pool was way too long, though, and there was no reason for Michael to be there. This would have been a stronger episode if it was ten minutes shorter.

My ongoing issue with nuTrek dialogue reared its ugly head in this episode. Simply put, the Discovery crew should be speaking like 23rd century humans, not bantering like 21st century humans in a Joss Whedon script. And 32nd century humans should be even further removed from contemporary slang, idioms, and syntax. This has been a problem ever since Trek '09, and it's not likely to change, but for me it's the most glaring and unpleasant difference between pre-2009 Star Trek and nuTrek.

Saru's dinner scene was an interesting idea in theory, but the execution left me cold. The dialogue and emotionally-charged interactions between the characters felt strange and unnatural. For some reason, I kept thinking back to the dinner scene in TNG's "Haven", which was well-scripted, conveyed the distressed emotional state of the characters, and had some genuinely funny moments to break the tension.

Speaking of the dinner scene, Jett Reno was mysteriously absent and Nhan was present but conspicuously silent (this would have been a perfect time for a callback to "yum yum").

Re: Georgiou, someone above said that she is supposed to be a comic relief character and compared her to Neelix(!?). First of all, we already have a prominent comic relief character on STD. Her name is Tilly. Second, in the logic of the Star Trek universe, Space Hitler should be in the brig, not cracking jokes in the Captain's Mess.

The mirror universe concept is boring and was already out of steam by the 2nd or 3rd time it appeared on DS9. It was a terrible idea to make Discovery's first captain a mirror universe infiltrator and an even worse idea to bring Space Hitler on as a semi-permanent addition to the cast. Just kill off Georgiou already and I'll stop complaining (about the character).
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Thu, Oct 29, 2020, 11:56pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: People of Earth

Against all odds, I sort of liked this one. Much more watchable than the first two eps. I won't get my hopes up too much (after all, S2 seemed to be heading in the right direction with "New Eden" – and then everything fell apart), but I feel like some of the changes made for S3 are beginning to bear fruit.

The twirling, whirling shaky-cam was almost entirely absent this episode. One of the commenters above attributed it to director Jonathan Frakes, but I wasn't impressed with his work on previous STD episodes. It feels like TPTB have made an executive decision to tone down the Abrams-esque camera delirium. The past couple of weeks we've finally gotten some good looks at the interior sets, and we've had more beauty shots of the Discovery so far this season than in the entirety of S1.

I continue to enjoy David Ajala's performance as Book. It's kind of sad that "temporary" cast members Isaacs, Mount, and now Ajala outshine the regular cast every season. Book and Burnham together (or are they?) works so much better than the cringey, passionless "romance" between Burnham and Tyvoq in S1.

Overall, I'm glad that we're a thousand years apart from the world of Classic Trek and don't have to hear about Spock, Sarek, the Enterprise, and other elements from the first 50 years that are noncongruent with nuTrek. Even the goofy spore drive doesn't feel quite as egregious in the 32nd century.

The Tilly/Stamets pairing continues to annoy. I know they're going for an adversarial brother/sister-type relationship, but the banter is so childish and inane that I roll my eyes every time they're on screen together. Adding a 16-year old to the mix probably isn't going to improve this dynamic. Actually, Jett Reno is super annoying, too. What is it with all of the annoying characters congregating in the engineering section?

Finally, I liked the Trek-like resolution of the conflict between Earth and the raider ships. It felt very TNG. But why-oh-why do we have yet another depiction of a xenophobic and insular Earth less than a year after the same plot point showed up in ST:Picard? At least it feels a little more earned here than it did in STP.
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Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 1:26am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

After last week's off-format premiere, this felt like a return to the usual STD fare. Frenetic, over the top action, gratuitous profanity and gore, and a crew full of snarky, unlikeable characters (Saru excepted).

I was done with Evil Georgiou in Season 1, and it's distressing how big of a role she continues to play in this series. I've seen her described as a "fan-favorite", but the character is just awful: a one-dimensional comic book villain who is totally unsuitable as a member of a Starfleet crew.

I continue to be confused by the personal transporter technology featured in Season 3. Saru, Tilly, and Georgiou use it to transport directly from the Western bar to the Discovery. So why didn't Evil Dude just beam directly onto the ailing Discovery with his posse, shoot everyone, and steal the dilithium? Or was that the plan all along and they were just messing with Saru and Tilly?

I am slightly intrigued by Detmer's condition (she is one of the more likable characters). Is it just a concussion or PTSD? I can't believe that they'd rehash the Airiam plotline and have Detmer infected with Control, too. Okay, I can believe it.

I liked the reveal that Michael has been stranded for a year before Discovery arrived through the wormhole. Should be interesting to learn what she's been up to. (Book must have used his nanotech to create some hair extensions for her new do.)

Stray thoughts:

* It's pretty impressive that the Discovery and its crew managed to remain intact when it crashed into the glacier. The last time we saw a starship crash into an icy planet ("Timeless" (VOY)) everyone on board died in the impact!

* Why doesn't Saru immediately place Georgiou in the brig once the Discovery crash lands? There's no reason why this evil and manipulative character should be given free reign of the ship now that Section 31 is no longer around to protect her.

* The Evil Dude in the Western bar (didn't catch his name) claims that The Burn is the best thing that ever happened to him. So is he supposed to be over 100 years old? There's no reason why he couldn't be, but he sure doesn't look it.
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Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 12:55pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S1: In the Hands of the Prophets

This is a fantastic episode and a rejoinder to those who say that DS9's first season was weak. I love how Neela flirts with O'Brien to keep him distracted (poor Miles), and the whole mystery plot unfolds in a satisfying and logical progression.

Two things I would change about this episode:
1) Eliminate Sisko's cheesy slo-mo "Noooooooooo".
2) I wish they had kept Winn's involvement in the plot more ambiguous. That scene where she meets with Neela right before the assassination attempt is a little too on the nose. In light of Winn's arc over the next six seasons, her motives and intrigues should have been more opaque at this point.

Regardless, this episode set the standard for all of DS9's great season finales, which always shook up the status quo.
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Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 3:23pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Like the two STD season finales before it, ST:Picard saved the worst for last. This was the least coherent, least satisfying episode of the series.

Before I complain too much, I have to confess that my favorite part of the episode was Picard's robo-resurrection. Mind-energy transfer is a common Trek trope that we've seen in virtually every Trek series including TOS ("What Are Little Girls Made Of?", "Return to Tomorrow"), TNG ("Lonely Among Us", "The Schizoid Man", "Inheritance"), DS9 ("Our Man Bashir"), and perhaps most famously in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. As far as cheating death goes, Picard's solution is much more palatable than Khan's magic blood in ST(i)D.

As mentioned by others, the magical handgrip that can do literally anything is the laziest plot device we've ever seen on Star Trek. I suppose we should be grateful that they didn't use it to resurrect Picard, too (though why wouldn't they?).

Characters drift in and out of the episode for no good reason other than setting up necessary plot points. After a full season of manipulations and intrigue, Narek gets tackled by synths and then just disappears completely and no one comments on his fate. Similarly, Sutra (by far the most interesting character on the synth planet) is quickly deactivated and vanishes from existence once she is no longer useful to the plot. For a series that is supposed to be "character-driven", character development is consistently sacrificed to high concept plot mechanisms.

Narissa pops up out of nowhere for the sole purpose of giving Jeri Ryan something to do other than sitting on the Borg ship waiting for the episode to end. Her casual vulgarity and incesty innuendo were there to... alienate the audience, I guess? Is this what Michael Chabon meant when he said "Sometimes you’re motivated to have things simply because it’s possibly going to piss off or provoke people"?

I'm curious what the original ending to the season was supposed to be, because the reshoots were more apparent in this episode than it any previous entry. Characters jump back and forth between the La Sirena and the synth settlement with no rhyme or reason. Jonathan Frakes claims that he was originally brought in to direct, not act, which suggests that Riker wasn't added to the show until reshoots. This would explain why Riker and the Starfleet armada comically disappear as soon as the Romulan threat subsides. Wouldn't it have been nice to have a Starfleet doctor beam down to offer palliative care to the terminally ill Picard? Or have someone who actually knew him by his side when he died?

The fact that Data has existed, conscious and alone, in a "quantum simulation" for the past 15 years or so is probably the darkest twist in the entire series. And it's bizarre that this astounding discovery is only revealed in the last ten minutes of the season finale. Wouldn't it have been more interesting if Picard had learned that Data was still alive back in the pilot, and then spent the rest of the season looking for him only to discover the quantum simulation at the very end? That would have been far more interesting that what we got.

At least we didn't get any dune buggy chases, but there's always season 2...
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Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 12:01am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

After a decent episode last week, STP dipped back into the doldrums with "Nepenthe".

First off, it was great to see Riker and Troi again even though their reunion with Picard didn't advance the plot much. There were some especially nice moments between Riker and Picard. Kestra was written a little too fangirlish with all of the gratuitous TNG references, but the actress did a nice job.

Everything off planet was a mess, though. The stuff on the Borg cube was completely pointless and poorly written. It makes absolutely no sense that the Romulan chick would let Hugh live after witnessing a massacre, watch him run about the ship for twenty minutes, and then murder him anyway. Why not just kill him right off the bat and make up a story if the Federation started asking questions?

The scenes on board the La Sirena weren't much better. At the beginning of the series, Agnes reminded me of Tilly with her goofy, awkward mannerisms. Now she feels more like Michael Burnham, with an exaggerated emotional affect and perpetually pained look on her face. It's not an improvement.

Speaking of Discovery, doesn't the prophesied Android Apocalypse in Picard sound awfully similar to the AI Apocalypse prophesied in STD Season 2? Can't they come up with something more compelling for a season-long arc than yet another doomsday scenario?

Random items:

*The La Sirena is furnished with 20th century picnic tables for some reason. You can even see the hole in the middle for an umbrella!

*Why would inducing a coma deactivate Agnes's tracking device? It wasn't implanted in her brain. She just bit into in and (presumably) swallowed it.
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Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 12:39am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Richard James

I'm fine with Seven changing and developing over time, and I thought Jeri Ryan did a good job recapturing Seven's voice within the constraints of the script.

I'm not okay with Seven or any other Star Trek protagonist (except Garak) premeditatedly murdering someone for the sake of revenge. That's fine in Firefly or other dystopian genre television. It doesn't belong in Star Trek.


I'm sort of glad they didn't bring back Brian Brophy as Bruce McGuffin. The character was essentially a prop in this episode, and Brophy deserves better.
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Thu, Feb 20, 2020, 11:59pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I'm with those who thought this week's episode was awful, and probably the worst so far from a character standpoint (at least it wasn't boring). The gratuitous violence and reveal of yet another main character with hidden/evil motives felt like a throwback to the worst elements of STD Season 1.

But the most egregious development in this week's episode is the assassination of Seven's character for the sake of a perfunctory revenge fantasy. It's worse than what they did to Kes in "Fury". At least that episode ended on a somewhat upbeat note. "Stardust City Rag" ends with a beloved Star Trek character murdering an unarmed woman in cold blood. Disgraceful.

I'm ready to head back to Chateau Picard and chill with Laris and Zhaban for the rest of the season.
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Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 11:08pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

I agree with all of the criticisms expressed so far. A few other items that stood out to me:

*The opening exposition scene was a completely unnecessary rehash of the interview in Ep 1. So much of the first three episodes has felt like stalling. We should have been in space by Ep 2.

*On the other hand, the subtle digital de-aging of Patrick Stewart was very nicely done. The technology has improved a lot over the past decade.

*Apparently, the Vasquez Rocks are no longer a protected park in the 25th century, and anyone can park their trailer home at this famous natural landmark.

*Isa Briones (Soji/Dahj) continues to be the weak link in the cast. Her acting was especially questionable in the scenes with Narek. Rios and Raffi are fine.

*Why did Rios have a random piece of shrapnel embedded in his shoulder? It was completely unexplained and made no sense considering the immaculate condition of the ship.

*For some reason, I find myself more excited for the return of Bruce Maddox than anything else in the series. I sincerely hope they don't botch it.

6/10 for me
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Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 11:16pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

After a decent (though by no means extraordinary) pilot episode, "Maps and Legends" fell completely flat for me. The ugly opening scene set the tone for a return to the dark, violent world of STD, and the introduction of yet another double secret spy agency with seemingly omnipotent powers reeks of lazy writing.

On the plus side, I still like the music, and the interactions between Picard and his Romulan home health care aides are among the few pleasant moments in the entire hour.

As with Discovery, the dialogue is simply atrocious, littered with childish 21st century quips, dumb technobabble, and gratuitous profanity. Distinctive dialogue has always been a big part of the Star Trek "feel" across the generations, and nuTrek (since 2009) has completely failed to capture this nuance.

I understand the desire the modernize Star Trek, but for much of its runtime, this episode is practically indistinguishable from any contemporary action/drama show being produced today. Star Trek used to look and feel different from anything else on television, and that's what I find most lacking in Picard so far.
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Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 10:23pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

My initial thoughts:

- Everything looked and sounded very nice, especially at Chateau Picard. The camerawork was restrained and the pacing was less frenetic than STD, which is a step in the right direction.

- Sir Patrick Stewart was great, as usual, but I'm not sold on the actress who plays Dahj/Soji. Her over-the-top emoting in some scenes felt very Burnham-esque.

- I won't indulge in too much nitpicking surrounding the increasingly convoluted taxonomy of Soong-type androids (whatever happened to Juliana Tainer?), but the technobabble explaining Dahj's creation was laughably nonsensical. The technical details behind Data's creation were always kept fairly vague on TNG, and they shouldn't have tried anything more ambitious here. Just say that Bruce Maddox created androids using Data's specs and leave it at that.

- As with STD, producing Trek-like dialogue continues to be an issue for the writers of nuTrek. The news interview/exposition dump at the the beginning of the episode was particularly bad in this regard.

- I am intrigued by the teased return of Dr. Bruce Maddox. If he does come back, I hope he gets the same rich characterization as in "The Measure of a Man" and isn't just an evil/insane villain.

Overall, I give Rememberance a tentative 6/10. A lot will depend on how well the plot threads are resolved as the season progresses.
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Capt. Ahab of Moby Dick
Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 3:09pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

Bears & wolves are supposed to be "intelligent" beings. Yet, if one of them strays into a human dwelling & kills people (because of sheer hunger, not malice), it is promptly hunted down. Is there a moral dilemma about the "right of predators to eat people"?

Well, anyway... got to go hunt down that White Whale... ;-p
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Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 11:50pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

Just finished watching Calypso. It was a decent episode of "The Outer Limits".

But seriously, I think Calypso is the least dreary, most optimistic story to come out of STD thus far. Unlike most of the regular characters in the series, Craft is actually likable and isn't concealing some hidden agenda. The setting doesn't really make sense in the context of Star Trek canon, but then STD has been playing fast and loose with canon from day one.

Overall, it felt like a completely different show--a pastiche of 2001, Wall-E, and Her--that just happened to be filmed on the Star Trek sets. The only element of STD that carried over was the clunky and emotionally inert dialogue that has always characterized the series.

Bottom line: Short Treks still aren't Star Trek, but I'll take more lowkey drama like Calypso over most of what we saw in Season 1.
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Sat, Oct 6, 2018, 12:29pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek: Nemesis

IMO, Nemesis is the worst of the first ten Star Trek films. The basic plot is no worse than the other TNG films, but the inaccurate characterization, odd pacing, and cringe-worthy humor drag it down. The final battle scene has some thrilling moments, but cribs too much from superior moments in Star Trek II and VI.

On the plus side, I like the Picard/Data scenes including the deleted scene that Jammer mentions above. The Tom Hardy/Patrick Stewart scenes are also good and hint at some interesting themes that are never properly resolved. The special effects are very nice and a clear step up from the less than convincing CGI of Insurrection.

A reedit could considerably improve the film. The first 20 minutes or so are a complete mess and leave a bad first impression that lingers over the rest of movie. I would eliminate the opening scene on Romulus (Shinzon's coup is better left unexplained), most of the wedding sequence (Picard's toast is atrocious), and the risible dune buggy sequence. The Picard/Data deleted scene would be restored. All of the icky Troi/Shinzon stuff needs to go, along with the pointless Reman boarding party and silly fight between Riker and the Viceroy.

The ending of the film is odd, with a less than inspiring shot of the NCC-1701-E undergoing repairs in spacedock. I would replace it with the deleted ending that introduces Picard's new first officer and ends with the Enterprise triumphantly jumping into warp. None of these changes would make Nemesis a great Trek film, but they would improve it somewhat.
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Sat, Sep 29, 2018, 10:48pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S7: Renaissance Man

This was the last episode of Voyager that I had never watched, and it was a disappointment. The first two acts are great as the mystery of Janeway's odd behavior and the Doctor's clandestine mission are slowly revealed. I was hoping that the Doctor was running a long con on the alien kidnappers and was going to cleverly outwit them in the end a la "The Sting".

Instead, we get the Doctor foolishly trusting the aliens, crippling Voyager, and disobeying a direct order from Janeway. In the final act, it's Tuvok and Tom to the rescue as the Doctor suddenly becomes inert, and the "confession" scene at the end is just plain silly. Two stars.
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Sat, Aug 18, 2018, 12:38am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Just watched this episode, and I'm sure the other comments covered most of my gripes already, but here they are anyway:

*Why in the world is Tyler/Voq not sitting in the brig with L'Rell? Sure, he claims to be 100% Klingon-free, but the Starfleet doctors don't understand what's going on in his head so why should they trust him? The entire Tyler/Voq subplot in this episode fell flat for me.

*On a similar note, Empress Georgiou should also be in the brig or at least have a 24-hr security detail. No one should be going into her quarters and talking to her alone. And of course the decision to lie to the crew and put her in command of the ship defies any explanation. Maybe Cornwell is a stereotypically crazy admiral who would endorse such a plan, but a logical, truth-telling Vulcan like Sarek never would.

*Burnham's stupid decision to lie to Saru about the Kelpiens a couple of episodes ago has no payoff in this episode. Saru is mildly annoyed when he learns the truth and then the whole matter is forgotten. It also appears that she is going to lie to the crew about Georgiou's true origins. Are the writers trying to sabotage Burnham's redemption arc by making her as untrustworthy as possible? Are they capable of that level of incompetence?

Anyway, I'm glad that the show appears to be headed in a different direction for Season 2. I can live with the awkward characterizations and blatant visual discontinuities of STD if they just get some decent writers.
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Sun, Aug 5, 2018, 10:14pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Dave in MN: "I'm overjoyed.... finally something other than as prequel!!!!"

Don't be so sure. After all, they brought Leonard Nimoy back as Spock but sent him back in time to appear in a prequel movie. No reason why they wouldn't do the same with Picard given STD's total disregard for continuity.
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Sat, Aug 4, 2018, 12:01am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

After a generally terrible first chapter, I've finally brought myself around to watching the rest of Season One. Bringing the Mirror Universe into Discovery so early reeks of desperation (or more misguided fanservice, which DIS has served up in abundance).

The main problem with using the MU here (aside from the fact that it has been played out on DS9 and ENT) is that capricious and gratuitous violence is already a hallmark of Discovery in the (supposedly) Prime Universe. Think back to the violent conclusion of "Battle at the Binary Stars" or the sudden, bloody death of Cmdr Landry or the shocking murder of Dr. Culber in this very episode. I mean, how much worse could the Mirror Universe really be?

As usual, the visual effects are excellent, but even Jonathan Frakes's steady direction couldn't eliminate the excessive lens flares and dutch angles that we've come to expect from DIS. Is this really what they think people want?

Anyway, I'm finishing up an initial viewing of VOY Season 7 at the same time as I watch the rest of DIS Season 1. For all of its faults, Voyager is the only one I'm looking forward to watching each night.
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Thu, Jul 26, 2018, 11:32pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

I'm finally getting around to watching most of VOY Season 7 for the first time, and this episode was not good. It makes sense that the hapless Ensign Kim would naively trust the Kraylor, but I would expect Janeway to be much more skeptical of their hard luck story and detect Shepherd Book's obvious deception.

Once the deception is revealed, it's appalling that Harry continues to aid the Kraylor in their military endeavors rather than extricate himself and Seven from the situation as gingerly as possibly. It's not like the Annari were especially cruel or unreasonable. I think we were supposed to feel like Harry was just evening the odds a bit, but we really don't know what the real military situation was or whether the Kraylor were at helpless as we were lead to believe.

At any rate, Ensign Kim should have faced some sort of consequences for needlessly involving Voyager in a dangerous conflict and potentially shifting the balance of power between two civilizations. The lack of resolution just illustrates the sort of sloppy, lazy writing we came to expect from Voyager, I suppose.

On the bright side, the CGI shots of Voyager on the planet's surface were unique and looked terrific. . I also liked the Icheb/B'Elanna stuff. It was light and fluffy, but sometimes light and fluffy is fine when you just want to chill with the crew of Voyager at the end of a long day.
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Sat, Mar 31, 2018, 8:38pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S6: Starship Mine

This is an episode that I loved as a kid (long before I ever saw "Die Hard"), but it doesn't quite hold up years later.

It might have worked better with Riker or Worf stuck on the Enterprise fighting terrorists, rather than the peace-loving, tea-drinking, flute-playing Capt. Picard that we all know and love. I also agree with the comments above that this would have been a better story for the more action-oriented DS9 or VOY.

Anyway, "Starship Mine" isn't the worst episode, and it's even kind of fun if you let your brain idle for an hour.
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Tue, Nov 7, 2017, 12:24am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Just finished watching this episode, and it didn't work for me at all. ALL of the Klingon stuff (overdone prosthetics, hideous production design, subtitled dialogue, inscrutable characters) continues to drag the series down. I hope the Klingon War ends soon and our heroes warp off to find better adversaries.

The stuff down on Pahvo was better, but not great. It was nice to see location shooting in a non-Southern California environment, and the non-corporeal lifeform(s?) with an unclear motivation was a Trek-like premise. Watching Saru freak out and use his super-strength to subdue Tyler and Burnham was also kind of cool, but I have to wonder why they didn't just work together to ambush him, incapacitate him with phasers, and then transmit a signal to the Discovery.

Unfortunately, the plot moved too fast (a typical problem for this series), and the whole "living planet" idea didn't develop beyond a warmed-over take on "Avatar". Ideally, they should have ditched the Klingon subplot and given the scenes down on the planet more time to breathe. It takes time to develop dramatic situations, and the complete lack of tension in this series is probably its Achilles' heel (huge problem with the Abrams movies, too).

Random Thoughts:
- At this point, I couldn't care less about the fate of Admiral Cornwell. Any tension regarding her fate was deflated by the confusing crosses and double-crosses on board the Klingon ship. I suppose it could all be resolved in an interesting way next week...

- When Tyler and Saru use a magic crystal to link minds, Saru's threat response is triggered by Tyler's duplicity. Was it really all about the transmitter or is Tyler hiding something else???

In all seriousness, Ash Tyler is the most likable and relatable character on the series thus far. It will be very disappointing (i.e. bad scriptwriting) if he is revealed as a spy.

- Although the scenes between Stamets and Tilly seemed superfluous, I'm glad we're starting to see the negative side effects of the spore drive. I assume this bizarre science experiment gets shut down by the end of the season.
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Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 2:33pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad


I don't doubt that some people in the 23rd century will be listening to 20th century music, but should we really expect a futuristic dance party to look and sound exactly like a 1990s college soirée? Until Star Trek '09, Trek was always judicious with the use of 20th century music ("The Way to Eden" notwithstanding). Maybe late 20th century hip-hop saw a sudden, short-lived revival in the mid 23rd century? Whatever the case, it's a departure from the timelessness we used to expect from Star Trek.


I suspect that we will get a satisfactory explanation for the abandonment of the spore drive at some point. Perhaps Stamets will start to experience negative side effects the more he uses the drive?

I think we got a reasonable explanation for the abandonment of the slingshot effect with the Introduction of the Department of Temporal Investigations in DS9 and the Temporal Prime Directive in VOY. Starfleet must have instituted strict policies against laissez-faire time travel sometime prior to the beginning of TNG.
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Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 11:42pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

I kind of liked this one until the end, when Mudd let his guard down for no reason and allowed himself to be disarmed. It made him look incredibly stupid after outwitting the Discovery crew at every turn for the previous 35 minutes. Ideally, Stella and her father should have gotten the jump on Mudd *first* and then explained the ruse.

The twist ending with Stella and her father felt very TOS-like, but it was tonally inconsistent with Mudd's murder spree and the generally grim atmosphere established in DIS thus far. Even so, it was nice to see something a little more lighthearted and enjoy an episode without long scenes of subtitled dialogue from the monster-movie "Klingons".

Random Thoughts:
-The party scenes were very 21st century and will age poorly (like the bar scene in Star Trek '09 or space hippies in TOS).

-I know that Lorca is an exotic weapons enthusiast, but it's disturbing that he has those dark matter death balls just lying around in his collection.

-No way that Tyler is a Klingon. He could be a brainwashed Qo'noSian Candidate though.
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Tue, Oct 3, 2017, 11:29am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

"Context is for Kings" worked well enough on its own terms, but the premise of the show is antithetical to everything that pre-2009 Star Trek represents. Everyone on the Discovery is stern, secretive, and/or cynical (except Tilly, who's just a goofball). Can't we have at least one normal, well-adjusted Starfleet officer on this ship?

I get that the war with the Klingons has taken an emotional toll on the crew, but even in the darkest days of the Dominion War the DS9 crew maintained their moral center. Episodes like "Paradise Lost", "Inquisition", and "In the Pale Moonlight" worked because they showed characters and institutions that we knew and trusted thrust into impossible circumstances, yet the characters never lost their moral center. They bent but did not break. How does Discovery grapple with Trekkian ethical quandaries when every single character is already compromised?

It's still early in the series run, but we need a reason to like these characters other than the arrowhead insignia on their shirts.

Random thoughts:

-Lens flares galore in the first beauty shots of USS Discovery. Can we retire this cliché already?

-Presumably the Discovery went back and rescued the hapless pilot of the prison shuttle. She should have been just fine in that EVA suit.

-People like the tribbles. Yes, we get it. How many times did tribbles appear on Star Trek during the 40 years from 1966 to 2005? Five times including the animated series. (Memory Alpha says there was a tribble in Generations, but I've never noticed it in a dozen or so viewings so it doesn't count.) Since 2009, tribbles have appeared in 2 out of 3 reboot movies and now in the 3rd episode of DIS. I like the little buggers, too, but they don't have to be in every single iteration of nuTrek! I propose a tribble moratorium.
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Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 10:49pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

I finally got around to watching "Battle at the Binary Stars", and some of my optimism surrounding the first episode has dissipated. Burnham's violent hatred of Klingons, manifested here when she cranks up the phaser and kills T'Kuvma in violation of her own advice minutes earlier, is becoming less understandable and simply reflects poorly on her as a character. Worf hated Romulans and O'Brien and Kira hated Cardies due to prior tragedies in their lives, but they were *never* as unhinged as Burnham.

This episode also jettisons any semblance of wonder and discovery from the first installment in favor of a straightforward fleet battle between the Klingon and Federation forces. I get that they're trying to establish Klingons as the Big Bads for the rest of the season, but can we get a glimpse of optimism or classic Trek philosophy here? Every other Trek series managed to do it in the pilot, even when confronted with a malevolent trickster god, Cardassians, a 70-year journey home, or a Temporal Cold War.

Other random thoughts/nitpicks:

-Burnham is sentenced to *life* in prison for mutiny. Doesn't seem like the Federation has a very enlightened philosophy of penology. Maybe she'll get time off for saving the Earth in a future episode (a la Kirk).

-Captain Georgiou's death is awfully anticlimactic. In theory, it should have been a jolting and emotionally resonant event, but there's something about the pacing of the sequence that just left me cold. Actually, pretty much everything about this episode left me cold.

-Shades of "Star Trek: Nemesis" in Burnham's flight through space, but didn't Ensign Deadmeat mention in the first episode that the temperature outside was -260 °C (just 13° above absolute zero)? Does that seem remotely survivable?
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