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Dom
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 12:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@Peter G, I'd go even further and say that Discovery came late to the "dark, gritty space opera" genre on TV. If you were to ask me how it differs in tone and style from the Expanse, Killjoys, or Dark Matter, I'd say maybe the presence of classic Trek aliens. All those shows have a similar color palette (blues and golds) and have more morally ambiguous characters. I personally think Expanse is the best written of those shows, but it feels like Expanse and Discovery occupy the same space on TV. Going back a few years, Battlestar Galactica occupies a similar space. Even when I talk to my Trek friends about Discovery, I can't help but bring it up and ask if they've tried out Expanse or BSG, because it seems like both do a better job at what Discovery is trying to do.

By contrast, The Orville clearly has a very different mission statement. I haven't seen a single episode, but I could tell you quite clearly how it differs from those other shows. It's not like anything else currently on TV (live-action TV at least).

So what I'd love to see more from the Picard show and other Star Treks that come is something - other than the brand name of Star Trek or Picard - that convinces me the show is unlike anything else on TV. Granted, TNG and even DS9 had a much easier time because there was much less sci-fi on TV (aside from Babylon 5).
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Dom
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 11:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@Chrome, I think that's fair, for the average audience member. I hope you're right about the Stewart show, but my fear is that, contra Kurtzman, it will be too much like the others and go the dark and edgy route. What we've heard of it suggests Picard will be in a depressed state. Which could be interesting if done well.
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Dom
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 11:20am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

Chrome, fair point about whether or not the average person understood the differences. As I said above, there's a valid question as to whether or not the shows were marketed well.

However, in terms of substance, DS9 and Voyager couldn't be more different. DS9 was a serialized show (well, as serialized as TV got in the 90s). It was a darker show about war and moral ambiguity. Voyager was episodic and generally heir to TNG's moral clarity. Voyager was about exploration and high-concept science fiction, whereas DS9 was about society and politics. Sure there was some overlap, especially during the first two seasons of DS9.

That to me is a far starker divide than whether or not a superhero uses their fists or technological gadgets to defeat a villain. In fact, I feel like Marvel's really only gotten the hang of differentiating their movies within the past few years (outside of the fact that they star different characters).

In fairness, I'm definitely coming at Kurtzman's statements as a cynic and someone not impressed with his work on Trek. That said, if they do a better job marketing each show as distinct, I'm all for it. I'm a Trek fan, but I'd actually be relieved if the marketing just told me up front that one particular Trek show isn't my thing, but another one might be. However, I don't feel like I'm getting that clarity at all. Season 1 of Discovery seemed like it was really going for the grimdark action vibe, very different from TOS Season 2 seems like it's going to lean heavily into the TOS nostalgia. So what is Discovery - a sharp departure from the past or fan service?
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Dom
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 10:54am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

I agree. I've never heard them talk about the meaning of their work or larger themes like philosophy, war and peace, etc the way that Lucas or Spielberg or Ron Moore or even Matt Reeves does when talking about their projects. They are very skilled at what they do, but what they do is largely pump out fun if bland work for corporations. I've never gotten the sense that JJ has something he's dying to say through his work.

But I don't mean to het sidetracked into bashing them. I really am curious if oversaturation is going to be a problem. Or was it just that the marketing in the 90s didn't really do a good enough job convincing people to watch?
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Dom
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 10:15am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

Not to hate on modern Trek again, but have you all seen this interview with Alex Kurtzman? He claims the problem with Star Trek during the 90s was people couldn't tell Voyager and DS9 apart from each other. [insert Picard facepalm gif here]

https://comicbook.com/startrek/2019/01/14/star-trek-discovery-alex-kurtzman-deep-space-nine-voyager-mistakes/
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Dom
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 9:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

Favorite Trek shows:

DS9
TNG
ENT
TOS
VOY
TAS
...
...
...
DISCO

Favorite seasons:
DS9 4 - some great world-building and setup for plot threads that pay off
TNG 5 - some of the best episodes of Trek ever
DS9 6 - Star Trek does a war arc and does it really well
TNG 3 - Star Trek figures out how to combine high-concept sci-fi with character stories
DS9 5 - manages to find the right balance between impending war and fun stories
DS9 3 - this is where DS9 starts to get really good

Overall, I think DS9 managed to find the best balance between telling standalone, episodic stories than worked on their own right, but also having season-long arcs that tied everything together. After Season 2 at least, I feel like I have a decent sense of what each season does for the show. TNG's seasons are a far less coherent. I could point to some excellent episodes in TNG Season 5, but as a whole it really doesn't mean anything except for signifying the year in which the episode was broadcast.
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RandomThoughts
Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 11:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Black Market

@Dave

Boy, it has been a while, but I thought there was a minor note in an episode that the Battlestars were meant to be self-sustaining, because of long deployments and whatnot. I seem to recall they had.the ability to make more fighters, but have no idea when I heard it.

As they were meant to be cities-in-space, as well as a weapon platform, that would be quite handy.

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Fri, Dec 7, 2018, 3:33am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

Hello Everyone!

@Elliott

I also read her has Mardah, but I think the way they pronounced it during filming just made it sound "Marta", and that is how it was written later. I heard "Marta".
---
For me, I just thought they'd never had sex. Goofy 16-year-old and 20-year-old. Yes, they were dating, and we know that because the show told us. That doesn't mean they were getting frisky when The Sisko was working. They never said they did, and I don't recall they implied it either.

I actually thought the age difference wasn't what made The Sisko the most uncomfortable (although I think he mentions it, it's been around a year since I watched it and am not in a hurry to go back (looked at a transcripts page)), it was that she was a Dabo Girl. I took that as his biggest gripe.

*after looking at a transcript* HIs first mention of the age:

SISKO: Quark may call her a dabo girl but she's twenty years old. She's a woman and Jake's a sixteen year old boy. It has to stop.

But then:

SISKO: She's a dabo girl and she's dating my son. I don't want to like her.

From back to the original watch until now, I thought the emphasis was on her simply being a Dabo Girl.

I still don't get the impression they were having "relations".

As always, these comments on a fictional show may or may not reveal any actual thoughts I had. Your mileage may vary...

Regards... RT

P.S.: O'BRIEN: Sixteen years old and dating a dabo girl. Godspeed, Jake.

P.P.S.: I think sometimes we really, really look at these episodes too closely. I won't touch HoQ with anyones ten-foot-pole, let alone mine...

P.P.P.S.: Many thanks to http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/index.html for the transcript page
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RandomThoughts
Thu, Nov 22, 2018, 3:15am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

Hello Gentle Sentients

@JerJer, perhaps Riker was being shown as more of a randy male because he'd been exposed to the game, which seemed to trigger sexual responses when you "won" the round...

...Nurse Alyssa Ogawa always looked to me like she was having a mini-orgasm when she was in the turbolift...

Now, as far as bringing a STD home, wouldn't the transporter filter that out? And, since we've seen a transporter go back to a earlier version of folks, would that not be the secret of eternal youth? Put a hair into the machine from when you were 24, and have the transporter "fix" you back to then?...

I digress...

Riker was more than his normal "who-hoo" self because of the game. As far as what Troi was describing... even 27 years ago I knew she'd stopped talking about ice cream...

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Thu, Nov 22, 2018, 2:49am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Hello Everyone!

Maybe, just maybe, Thomas never figured this particular episode would get over-over-Over-analyzed. He just wrote it and thought it worked at the time.

Nothing implied or intended. Just a story.

And fade to black...

RT
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RandomThoughts
Tue, Nov 20, 2018, 2:57am (UTC -6)
Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Hello Everyone!

Back in the days of Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine, cable companies were simpler. We had around three packages (at least with mine), and things would come and go as they were added and subtracted. I saw Babylon 5 on the cover of TV Guide, but it was on SciFy, and my package didn't have that. It looked interesting, and they gave it a good writeup, but I had no shot at watching. Then without warning two years later, my package changed for the better and there was SciFy. I'd remembered others talking with me about B5 and how good they thought it was, so I gave it a shot with "The Long, Twilight Struggle"...

It was fun, trying to figure out the series at the end of season two/start of season three, and I was Hooked! (For some reason, they held the last episodes of a season until the beginning of the next one...)

The stories just seemed... deeper. The bad guys were... subtle. The good guys had... shades of gray...

Perhaps if I'd seen B5 from the beginning as many did, I'd think of it differently. But here I was with fleshed out characters, none of whom were exactly as they appeared. And at nearly the same time came the Dominion War. The two just didn't compare. Don't get me wrong, I was a Trek Lifer/Truther (and loved Star Wars, which got me into Trek in '77), and DS9 was great! But eventually DS9, Voy and Bab5 were all showing at the same time, and if there were new episodes of each in turn on that Saturday, I'd save B5 for last. Oh, I'd watch the ST's, and enjoy them. But B5, I'd let it play, and not even fast forward during the commercials (sometimes taking a little break), just to make them last longer.

I've been going through Trek on a slow re-watch, and have been delightfully surprised by some from that time, knowing I rushed through them in the past. But now, B5 has just started showing on the station Comet, free Teevee, and I've been recording it daily... I almost get the same rush I got back then when I see another episode. The nuances... the stories... sigh...

And I've been looking at some of the characters I didn't think were that well-cast back then, seeing them in a different light. I didn't think much of Claudia at the time, but she has some moments that just makes the character shine. I used to think just about any actress could have played her, though now I'm not so certain. And as an aside, it is almost difficult watching the opening credits, seeing all of the actors who have died since it was made. There is no going back, sadly.

Lastly, while all of the B5 humanoid ships had secondary weapons that were pointing in many directions, they all *spoilers*---





---apart from the Vorlons and Shadows, had to actually Point their ships at the enemy to use their Main Guns. No matter the race, you had to Face Them, because they took so much energy they ran the length of that part of the ship (sort of like that BIG PHASER the Enterprise had in their last episode). It was very cool to see two ships maneuver to get an enemy in that crossfire. No 300,000 km battles here that were shown next to each other. Nope. If they fired those babies off, there was a purpose and it was up close.

*spoilers done*---

And to try to figure out the bad guys, because no one had, except they had actually figured them out but no one would listen, and good guys become bad guys, and bad guys become good guys, and one is such a shade of gray he should have been the poster child for Gray...

Yes, the first season was nothing to write home about, but it set the stage. JMS even had a removed actor come back to work later to flesh things out, and how often does that happen? Yes the last season was a bit of an add-on, as they thought they were going to be canceled after season four, but it fit right in with his "bible", so to speak.

Perhaps I just should have said: Babylon 5 season One, get through it, you'll be happy eventually. Seasons Two, Three and Four, you will be very happy. And season Five, you will be happy, just not as much as after season Four. But, it's good.

Thank you for your time and for reading my Random Thoughts (I came up with it before the Voy episode of the same name, by the way).

Heck I could go on with that, just as long as there isn't a weird power outa.....

*blue screen*
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Dom
Tue, Nov 13, 2018, 4:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@Ubik, you're absolutely right to point out that, fundamentally, the Abrams movies and Discovery failed because they failed at storytelling, Trek aside.

I do feel personally there is a real risk in the franchise losing its identity. I don't want Trek to do a Mad Max impersonation. If I want Mad Max, I can see Mad Max. If I want sci-fi with a focus on technology, I can go to Black Mirror.

For me, Trek's liberal humanism should be the through-line. This is different from a heavily serialized approach to storytelling that obsesses with continuity. I don't care much for that. I'm not one of those fans that needs to know where Kirk was every day of the week. But, as you and others pointed out, TNG and TOS were anthology shows, yet both had an overarching vision and philosophy. There was quite a bit of flexibility within that format - action episodes, mystery episodes, etc - but they were tied together by the underlying philosophy and some boundaries on the storytelling (no explicit gore, sex, etc).
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Dom
Tue, Nov 13, 2018, 8:46am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

But Mertov the question is if Star Trek can be anything, is it actually anything at all? If what Star Trek is really just depends on the viewer, then what is it that we're actually fans of? Why call Discovery "Star Trek" instead of "Galaxy Quest" or "Space Voyage"? I think a franchise does need some sort of clear and consistent identity, not just so fans know what they're getting, but also stories within the franchise can build upon each other and feel connected. People can and should discuss - civilly - what properties are intrinsic to Trek and what can change/grow with time. But I think to say that it's just "our opinion" to me is a sign that the franchise has an identity crisis and maybe doesn't stand for anything other than earning $$$ for CBS.
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Dom
Mon, Nov 12, 2018, 8:25am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@Paul M., wolfstar's response has it right. Voyager and Enterprise weren't always good storytelling, but they were recognizably Star Trek. Fans at the time were very critical of those shows, and still are. In fact, I'd argue one of the biggest problems with those shows is that they merely tried to replicate the TNG formula rather than innovate. The best Treks, like TNG and DS9, push the boundaries of Star Trek, but ultimately stay within the boundaries. They question and interrogate the franchise's underlying liberal humanist philosophy, but ultimately reaffirm it. It's a tough balancing act. Not every single episode of Voyager, Enterprise, or even DS9 and TNG, got it right, but those shows as a whole looked and felt like Star Trek.
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Dom
Sun, Nov 11, 2018, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@Yanks, Discovery has killed my enthusiasm for Star Trek as a franchise. Even during the JJ Abrams movies, I managed to keep my enthusiasm alive, thinking that maybe the dumbed down movies would create enough demand for Trek that we'd get the thoughtful Trek TV show we've all wanted. But now that we've gotten that TV show and it's worse than I could have imagined, I really don't know what's left for this franchise. Good on those who like Discovery, but it was the final nail in the coffin for me. Star Trek is a franchise that belongs in my past.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, 100% agree about fans using the term "gatekeeper" to bully others. I was called a "gatekeeper" because I argued that Star Trek should be about something other than generic science fiction and stick true to its liberal humanist roots. Can franchises grow and evolve? Sure! But what's the point of a franchise if it leaves behind everything and anything that made us fall in love with it in the first place?
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RandomThoughts
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 11:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Wounded

Hello Everyone!

@MMM

---Think it made him more understandable, not correct. The whole Secret Cardassian Buildup thing is a lot like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Imagine if some US submarine captain had unilaterally launched torpedoes at a Soviet supply ship and sunk it. Would he have been right to do so? That's Maxwell.---

Wow, that is so close to the truth of what nearly happened. A Soviet submarine almost did that during the Cuban Missle Crisis, with a nuke-tipped torpedo:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2208342/Soviet-submariner-single-handedly-averted-WWIII-height-Cuban-Missile-Crisis.html

If not for Vasili Arkhipov, the world we know now might be very different, or not exist at all...

Regards... RT

P.S.: Good men of good conscience exist in all countries, and hopefully in all worlds...

I now return you to your regularly scheduled Jammers Reviews...
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RandomThoughts
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 10:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

Hello Everyone!

@Bruce

Yes, yes I did. The first time, and every time.

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 9:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Destiny

Hello Everyone!

@CaptainBaggins

Wow. One message you respond that you are calling out fascists "Past Tense, Part II", and later the same day you pull out the "c" word in this thread? In polite company?

Wow. Just wow.

RT
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Dom
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 6:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@Peter Swinkels, I don't think it's about "updating" the show. "Updating" implies an improvement based on new technology or ideas that supplant the old ones. Updating implies that the newer version is superior, more advanced. There are things on Trek that needed updating, like the special effects and acting. However, much of what Discovery did wasn't "updating" so much as different. Some types of stories are more popular in some periods of time than others, but I don't think serialization is inherently superior to episodic TV. You can tell compelling stories in a short story, and tell lousy, meandering stories in long-form storytelling. I think this is a bit of a fallacy common amongst reviewers nowadays. They assume that just because something is heavily serialized or has a lot of plot twists that it's a step forward for storytelling, rather than just a different type of storytelling.
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Dom
Sat, Nov 3, 2018, 11:28am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@Patrick D, unfortunately, Harry Potter is going down that route with the new movies. Still, I find the constant onslaught of content to be less offensive with movies than TV. At most a franchise will pump out 2 movies a year, which I can usually find time to watch. And, books and comics aside, Star Wars is primarily a movie franchise. But TV shows are 10-20 episodes per year. And nowadays they're heavily serialized so you have to remember in detail everything that happened from the last season, which might have aired a year ago. I find myself just dropping so many TV shows because it feels like homework to keep up with them.
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Dom
Sat, Nov 3, 2018, 11:24am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@Jason R. "I think CBS, like Coach, will end up with neither the niche exclusive market, nor the mass market. They'll just be nowhere."

Yep. Here's the thing. There are already far too many TV shows that I want to watch. If something isn't interesting or distinctive enough to catch my attention, I probably won't end up watching it. Star Trek Discovery isn't a better space opera than "The Expanse," it doesn't have better action than Netflix's "Altered Carbon," and it's sci-fi isn't as clever as "Black Mirror." So where does Trek fit in? Aside from its name, what makes it stand out from the crowd?
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RandomThoughts
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 7:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Return to Tomorrow

Hello Everyone!

@Tony

That... is a good question. Make androids, put minds in them, walk around and maybe get off the planet someday. Instead of just hanging around in the globes.

I had never thought of that...

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 7:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

Hello Everyone!

@MarkG

I think some might be giving it a small pass, just because it's new. I'm much more into a "let it slide" mode than I would normally be, since they are just finding their feet. If this was a Star Trek Comedy (I just read about a official ST comedy(ish) cartoon... we'll see), then I might pick it apart because canon had been violated or something.

But this... there have been moments that made me cringe, but I just decided to watch and see where it was headed...

Mostly, I enjoyed it, and that is what counts. Now, 20 years from now, when we have the Orville-D, I might not be so forgiving... :D

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 12:21am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Eye of the Beholder

Hello Everyone!

@Tim Lounibos

Welcome aboard! It is neat you found the site and thank you for your comment. I would enjoy hearing more about your experience, what surprised you the most, what was fun and what wasn't, etc.

I am glad you got to have an experience most of us only dream of.

Enjoy the day... RT

P.S.: Would anyone know if there are there any other actors or writers who have graced these pages? I recall a writer for "Yesterday's Enterprise", and that's about it, but I have not read all of the reviews, as I am doing them slowly, as I do my (seemingly) endless re-watch.
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Dom
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 7:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@John Harmon, I know, it's like CBS is going out of its way to get the dumbest ideas possible and throw them at Star Trek. Sadly, Star Trek is a franchise I feel mostly belongs in my past. Nothing the franchise has done since 2005 has been even remotely worthwhile.

I've been rewatching TNG with my girlfriend and really enjoying it. It's unbearably, loveably corny in some parts, but I'm also reminded at just how Shakespearean the show gets at times. There's some real character drama there.
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