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Dom
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Rahul, with all due respect, but isn't "But this is Star Trek, after all so I'll stick with it" part of the problem? If CBS is putting out bad content yet people subscribe because it has "Star Trek" in the name, then what incentive does the company have to hire better writers and fulfill Star Trek's potential.
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Dom
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

and for the record I actually enjoy Rick & Morty's bizarre humor. It's hilarious. But it's also not Star Trek. R&M isn't asking questions about the nature of humanity. It's not trying to to be socially relevant or challenging.
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Dom
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 9:37am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Jason R., that's the problem I've been calling out for years. There are some folks in these forums who claim that Star Trek is anything with the label "Star Trek" slapped on it. But for that "Star Trek" label to be meaningful, it has to actually mean something. Right now, what does Star Trek mean? Aside from people drawn to anything Trek solely for the label, how much overlap is there between people who liked TNG's Lower Decks and people who liked the trailer this show?

This line in Jammer's review captures my very ambiguous feelings about Star Trek during these past few years:

"But the overall arc of the Trek universe is appearing more and more mercenary and expansive, and less relevant and thoughtful."

CBS might succeed in the short term by getting subscribers to its streaming service. But how many people will still care about this franchise in 2030?
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Dom
Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

The Lower Decks trailer makes Into Darkness look like a masterpiece. I'm just done with Trek.
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RandomThoughts
Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 12:02am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sine Qua Non

@Luke @Nolan

Yeah, after watching him on "Firefly" and "Supernatural", I'm pretty certain that this is his default voice, or at least close to it...

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Fri, May 29, 2020, 6:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

@Robin

Hello and congratulations on finally seeing them all. :D

Regards...RT
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RandomThoughts
Fri, May 29, 2020, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: A Matter of Honor

@Weasel

Nice comments and welcome to the party. :)

Regards... RT
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Dom
Sat, May 23, 2020, 7:34am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Eamon, I agree, and what's so odd is that the writers seem to know what would make a good story, but didn't deliver it. If you listened to the writers talk about the show before it aired, they were raising some of the same questions you do. But, as you pointed out, the actual show has nothing to do with those questions or themes. It really makes me wonder... are the writers just so bad that they don't understand the implications of their story? Or was there a bunch of studio meddling that water down whatever messages were intended?
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Dom
Wed, May 20, 2020, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Glom, I haven't seen the RLM review, but that list is spot on.

@Eamon, I do think there's a bit of a disconnect between Jammer's star rating and the text of the review. Jammer always recommends focusing on the text, which is a bit more nuanced. Also, for serialized shows, it would probably be helpful to have some sort of rating for the season. There are individual episodes of Picard that I thought were fine or even good, but taken as a whole, knowing the end, I can't really recommend the show.
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Dom
Sat, May 16, 2020, 7:50am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@wolfstar, I agree, but unfortunately the viewer ratings for these new shows are strong enough that I doubt we're going to get a shakeup of the writers room. I guess nostalgia's a powerful drug.
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Dom
Tue, Apr 28, 2020, 8:12am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I don't even get why this has become an argument. Like Booming said, "I don't like big space battles. I like smaller battles where I understand the personal motivations of everybody involved" is a valid opinion, but DS9 is dumb because it has CGI fleets is a bit perplexing as a criticism. As far as ship battles go, TWOK and Undiscovered Country were more compelling than the massive fleet battles in DS9. But DS9 certainly had those types of battles as well. It's not an either or situation. Sometimes the story calls for a small-scale engagement with a limited number of ships, and sometimes it calls for a fleet. They're complementary types of battles.

If the Dominion War in DS9 was *just* CGI battles, then absolutely the show wouldn't be compelling and the criticism would be justified. But the show also had scenes point of view characters on the Defiant (and sometimes other ships), as well as episodes that depicted the war without any fleet battles. Most of the fleet battles in DS9 last mere seconds. DS9 is the fleet battles plus episodes like "Siege of AR-558," plus the banter between Weyoun and Dukat, plus the character arcs arc, etc.
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Dom
Mon, Apr 27, 2020, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tim, yes the point Jammer was making - and I agree - is that the ships in Picard don't have any weight. They're too cluttered and it looks like the ships are right on top of each other. The zip in and out too fast. There are too many for what seems to be an engagement in some backwater planet. See for example this picture here:

https://screenrant.com/star-trek-picard-riker-new-ship-zheng-he/

Now DS9 did sometimes have fleets that were a bit cluttered, but they usually weren't packed like sardines. There was some space in between ships. The ships moved relatively slowly, giving the feeling that they had some weight and somebody had to actually pilot them. (except for the Defiant, which was much faster). Also, you had a greater variety of ships (note not that many Galaxy-class ships in this frame). This is an image of ships in DS9:

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/What_You_Leave_Behind_(episode)

Which to my mind looks very different from the image in Discovery.

It sounds like you're more keen on the TOS/TNG era stories that focused on a single ship exploring or moving majestically through the stars. That's fine, but that's not the story DS9 is telling. DS9 is about a war, and for a war you do need fleets. If you want to convey the stakes, you can't tell a multi-season war arc and keep the fleets entirely off-screen as happened in Best of Both Worlds. That would be like having a TV show about D-Day and never seeing images like this:

https://fortune.com/2019/06/06/the-eyes-of-the-world-are-upon-some-of-them-raceahead/
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Dom
Mon, Apr 27, 2020, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tim, I think you're letting the minutiae of real-world shipbuilding processes to get in the way of enjoying the TV show. First of all, DS9 is a future with tech far beyond ours, where money doesn't seem to be an issue, and in which energy can be pretty easily be converted to matter. It doesn't seem implausible to me that the engineers of the 24th century would have solved some of the bottlenecks that plagued 20th and 21st century production processes. It also strikes me as a bit unrealistic to assume that the number of carriers the US has in 2020 is going to determine how many Galaxy class ships Starfleet would have in 300 years.

More to the point, I agree that the best episodes are character episodes, but that doesn't mean you can't also have episodes with fleet battles. They're not mutually exclusive. In fact, I'd argue they're complementary. The fleets helped sell the notion that the Dominion War is huge in scope. The character episodes helped give the war personal stakes. That balance is key. DS9 felt like a war. Sure, maybe the special effects crew could have settled for 30 ships instead of 50, but that seems like nitpicking.
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Dom
Mon, Apr 27, 2020, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tim, I agree with the criticisms of Picard, but not DS9. DS9 was depicting a galactic war, the likes of which we'd never seen. At the beginning of TNG, the Enterprise-D was almost certainly one of the few Galaxy-class ships, but it seems hard to believe Starfleet wouldn't have made more, especially if it war worried about armed conflict. The number of ships helped sell the idea that the Dominion War was THE war to end all wars of the 24th century. And notice how DS9 built the stakes over the course of several seasons. In the first Jem Hadar episode, you only had one Galaxy-class ship. The fleets grew over the course of the series. So it's less like the 11 supercarriers we have now and more like our fleet during WW2 - but at a much larger scale (we're talking a galaxy, not a single planet).

By contrast, there's nothing in Picard to suggest that the finale episode was going to be some big battle necessitating big fleets. Why would the Romulans think they'd need so many ships? How does the post-supernova Romulan Empire have so many ships? Why would the Federation allocate so many ships just on the word of Picard? The story doesn't support the scale of the fleets.

And DS9 at least added some variety to the fleets.
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Dom
Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Honestly, I'm not sure what people will do in 20 years. I think the writing in Picard and Discovery is bad, if Star Trek is still a big franchise in 20 years I suspect people will watch it. I think most of us would agree that Voyager and Enterprise are mediocre on average, yet they're some of the most watched Trek shows on Netflix. It's unfortunately a sign of the power of IPs and nostalgia in pop culture. I worry shows that (I think) are undoubtedly better, like Farscape, will be forgotten in future decades because there isn't a big studio pumping money into the franchise or rebooting it every few years.
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Dom
Sun, Apr 12, 2020, 10:08am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Chrome, maybe I'm looking for an "Aha!" moment, which certainly has been how Trek handled social commentary in the past. More so I think I'm looking for follow-through. We're really talking about one single scene in the entire movie, when Kirk makes that decision. The social commentary and the themes I think do kind of work within the context of that scene. But they're kind of ancillary to the larger plot of the film. As I said before, a single scene or even a few scenes doesn't make for compelling social commentary. The themes of a story should be interwoven throughout the entire story.

About 3/4 of the way into the film, STID becomes a movie not about the ethics of drone strikes or even about saving the Federation from its militaristic tendencies, but rather about stopping the evil madman Khan. The resolution to the central conflict turns out to be disconnected from the themes. The movie might have started as being about confronting the Federation's darkness, but there's no real resolution to that. Marcus turns out to be a lone wolf who isn't persuaded to see the light, but rather is killed off by Khan. Spock doesn't stop Khan by using Federation ethics, but rather just punches him.

There's a disconnect between the setup and the payoff, between the questions raised and the "answers" provided. Again, similar to Picard. Picard started off as a show that depicted the Federation as less welcoming to refugees, to the proverbial "other," but it ends up being a story about stopping evil space AI and saying goodbye to Data. The central conflict raised in episode 1 (the Federation's indifference to refugees vs. Picard's championing traditional Federation values) is resolved entirely off-screen when the Federation lifts the ban on synths.
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Dom
Sat, Apr 11, 2020, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Chrome, I don't want to get into yet another discussion about STID, but the problem there is the same as with a lot of this new Trek: there's no follow-through. There's the scene where Kirk decides not to order the launch of the torpedoes, but the rest of the film doesn't build upon that dilemma. I forget when that scene occurs, but it's like the later two-thirds is about Khan and Marcus' conspiracy.

Then, of course, at the end of the film, Spock DOES succumb to vengeance by beating Khan to a bloody pulp. He never apologizes, never admits that his violence was excessive. The only reason he stops is because Khan's blood is magic. So so much for not succumbing to vengeance.

As a writer, if you want to engage with social commentary or a theme, the story has to consistently engage with it and build upon it. Just throwing in a few lines isn't social commentary.
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Dom
Sat, Apr 11, 2020, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Chrome, fair enough, one could make the case for why extrajudicial killings are bad, but my point was that the film doesn't do that. A perfectly valid - though by no means not the only - read of the film is as a quasi-endorsement of drone strikes. There's no moment of catharsis when the characters reflect on how terrible it would have been to kill Khan with the torpedos. The whole point about starting a war with the Klingons is true, but presumably going to the planet in a shuttle and killing a bunch of Klingons as they do would also have risked starting a war. Drone strikes are actually probably less likely to start a war. Yeah, so I've got no idea what STID is trying to say.
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Dom
Sat, Apr 11, 2020, 10:03am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Booming and others commenting on the political themes in the show, I'd just add that this isn't a new problem for nuTrek:

- Into Darkness started off with Spock questioning the wisdom of what was essentially and extrajudicial killing/drone strike against Khan, but by the end Khan commits a terrorist act, probably killing thousands of people, and Spock violently beats Khan up. The moral of the story seems to be all that damage could have been avoided if the Enterprise had just killed Khan earlier in the story.

- Discovery Season 1 ends with the Federation giving a Klingon a WMD to hold the Klingon homeworld hostage as a way to end the war.

I honestly don't know if the writers are secretly reactionary conservatives who believe in violence as a way to solve problems or just don't know how to write good social commentary.
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Dom
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 11:39am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Glom, nice Zelda reference ;)
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Dom
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Chrome, I take your point about spinoffs, but in a lot of ways I came to the opposite conclusion. "Measure of a Man" and "Offspring" are very popular TNG episodes. Also, this past season of Picard couldn't help dip into the Borg, and at least as much a spinoff of "Best of Both Worlds" and "I, Borg." I'd argue despite the fact that the Borg really serve very little function in the overall story. Soji could have been stationed on pretty much any research station.

I'm not complaining that the Borg were involved. Having a giant Borg artifact was kind of a neat bit of "unexplained lore" and makes for a more interesting setting than a generic starbase. But I can't help but see it as fixating on the more popular aspects of TNG for the sake of fan service. You mentioned Disney, but one thing I give Star Wars TV shows credit for is not indulging in too much fan service during their first seasons. Mandalorian didn't have a bunch of cameos from characters from the films, and I respect it for that.

I will say this: the attention to TNG lore in the show is amazing. Naming Troi's daughter after her hidden sister, etc. The writers took a lot of TNG lore, even from unpopular episodes, and made it all seem like part of the galaxy. The writers do deserve kudos for that.
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Dom
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 9:03am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Booming, I was thinking something similar. I'm fine with euthanasia, but maybe spend more than 1 minute making that decision. Especially when, with golem tech, there was a way to bring Data back and give him a new body.

Also, @Lyons, yeah Nemesis is a bad movie, but I never felt like I - or Picard - needed closure on Data's death. It was sad, but his death wasn't pointless. Unlike, say Icheb and Hugh's deaths, but that's another story...
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Dom
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tim C, the way you phrased that final question I think might help illuminate some of the differences of opinion here. You ask "was I entertained by the ride?" As critical as I have been of this show, I'd probably answer yes, for the most part I was. However, the question I tend to ask myself is: "was this show worth my time?" Given that there are many, many other TV shows I'd like to watch before I die (I'm middle-aged), do I want to invest another 10 hours in this one? I think the answer to that is most assuredly no. If I have a choice between watching 10 hours of Season 2 of Picard and catching up on The Expanse, rewatching Battlestar Galactica, or even starting a new show, I'd do the latter. I increasingly find myself not looking for entertainment but rather faced with deciding between too many entertainment options. I don't think there's any right or wrong answer to which question you ask or how you answer, but I perhaps this might help illuminate where others are coming from.
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Dom
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 6:57am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I find myself agreeing with most of what Jammer said, yet unable to give the Picard-Data scene the weight he does. As Peter G, Lynos, & Startrekwatcher already said, this show doesn't feel like it's "about" Picard and Data saying goodbye so much as scenes about Picard and Data bookending a whole bunch of other stuff. In addition to the issues they mentioned, here are three more things that limited the impact of the final scene for me:

First, we knew Picard wasn't going to die, so the scene kind of felt emotionally manipulative. CBS had already announced Picard Season 2, so we knew Patrick Stewart's Picard wasn't going to die. The last episode had also prominently mentioned the golem and so anyone familiar with Chekov's gun would have realized it would be used for something. Putting two and two together, it seemed pretty clear they were either going to resurrect Picard or Data. Until Picard died, I thought it would be the latter.

Second, there was no cost to Picard's resurrection. Soong essentially cured death and nobody seems to notice. In most of the great stories about mortality, the hero usually faces some cost for coming back from the dead, either the loss of a loved one or some physical deformity. The point being that resurrection shouldn't be cheap because humans have to learn to accept death. Instead, we get a lovely scene in which we hear Data and Picard talk about the importance of accepting death, and then Picard gets a "get out of jail" free card while he leaves Data to die. Golem!Picard is the exact same as the Picard who just died (Soji even makes a point that they programmed all of his elderly infirmities). Why not instead limit the technology in some way? Perhaps, like Data, the skin color isn't exactly right, so this new Picard looks somewhat less than human. It would have been fascinating if Picard had been resurrected, only for him to resemble his Borg self, Locutus. Is that a tradeoff he would be comfortable with?

Also, as long as we have golems and as long as we have Data's memories, why not create another golem and resurrect Data?

Finally, Data in this scene just looked... different somehow. The contact lenses look very fake and his pupils abnormally small. His face looks puffy (perhaps a result of the "de-aging tech" they surely used). It was distracting. He was clearly wearing a wig and it didn't look like the hairline was properly aligned. I realize Brent Spiner has aged and perhaps there was no alternative, but the overall effect was very distracting.
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Dom
Tue, Mar 31, 2020, 10:14am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Mal, I forgot to mention Man in the High Castle and Caprica. The first season of MitHC was some of the best TV I've ever seen. Unfortunately, I think the show kind of lost itself in getting too convoluted and bombastic. Caprica is an underappreciated gem. Really clever take on the Cylons. The show dragged a bit in the middle, but I'm so disappointed it was canceled.

I haven't seen those other shows so I can't comment on them.
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