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Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 5:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

One thing not mentioned that is not Star Trek was the belittling and condescending way officers spoke to each other at the start of the episode - a lazy way to create tension and urgency in the story. Sarcastic comments like ‘Are you trying to kill her?’ Have no place in ST, and typified just some of the poor universe creation in this show.

There’s a long list of what else is wrong with this ST world which is a huge shame really. I don’t think I’ll be watching season 3. However the first two seasons of both TNG and Voyager were truly awful, so maybe we could see an improvement.
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Luis Dantas
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 5:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Talk about different strokes and all that. Jamahl's review makes me wonder if I was watching some other season finale.
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Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 2:47am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Real Life

Re-watching this episode in April 2019 (22 years into the future from its original release).

This is a very touching episode. In about the half-dozen times I've watched this in the last 10, maybe 15 years or so, every time I still end up with a lump in my throat. The Doctor's unrealistic family in the beginning turns out to have somewhat relatable "problems" any family could face these days by the end of the episode. Yes, it is tragic when a family member dies, and the Doctor and his "new" holographic family handle this like any family would.

We share our grief about Belle with the characters. She is the Doc's holographic daughter who gets a bump on the head from playing Pirisi Squares with older kids and suffers a trauma that she will never recover from, and Jeffrey decides he wants to become Klingon and starts hanging around Klingon teens in preparation for receiving his Kut'luch dagger and becoming a warrior. The Doc's wife, Charlene, turns from a fuzzy-warm 50's mom to a 2000s-style mom who's blood pressure is about to hit the roof, yet all of these come together when Belle unexpectedly passes away because of her accident. In the hospital, Jeffrey is seen hugging his father so we know that possibly the idea of becoming a Klingon is now a passing thought. Charlene and the Doc become closer for having shared the loss of a child.

I give this episode a 4/5 mainly for the Doc's family story line and the wonderful acting by Linsey Haun (Belle) and Robert Picardo (and partly because Wendy Schaal plays Francine on American Dad!).

Oh yeah, and Tom gets caught in an astral-eddy, and blah, blah, blah. I couldn't help but think when Tom was telling the Doc about facing his family's troubles how much he looks like Nick Locarno. LOL
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Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 2:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Hahahaha. Now that you mention it...

I want to say though if you want to compare this new kind of Trek to something than I would compare it to the DC Universe which is mostly gloomy and depressing (wonder woman excluded). Marvel is also smarter and more positive than Discovery. Yesterday I watched infinity war because today I will watch Endgame. In infinity war there is an interesting set up that is smarter than anything I have seen so far in Discovery.

---- Spoilers for Infinity war (and probably Endgame) ----
There is a scene where Dr. Strange goes through alternate timelines to find a way to defeat Thanos. He says after 14 something million tries he has found one where they could win. Thanos shows up an they fight and it looks like they almost win but then Starlord gets emotional and everything goes to hell and they lose... or do they because almost at the end Dr. Strange says something like: "It had to happen." or maybe even something more subtle which indicates that they are still in this one reality where they could beat Thanos and that losing this fight against Thanos was part of it. That's not genius or great storytelling but it is a nice little nod to people who pay attention.

Also Marvel movies are always a little tongue in cheek and fun to watch. While I laughed quite a bit during the last few Discovery episodes it was mostly about how crazy it was and probably not intended by the writers.

PS: To the people who think that the Federation is now like "Hitler". The Federation is not totalitarian like Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia but it definitely shows some worryingly autocratic tendencies (gag orders, shadowy tribunals, pretty massive secret police). Which makes me question how the somewhat autocratic Federation of that time became the enlightened paradise it is in in TNG.

PPS: Totalitarian means that the state tries to control every aspect of life from birth to death. Star Trek examples are the Borg and the maybe the Cardassians. And about the Federation killing huge amounts of civilians. Democracies can be capable of mass murder of civilians(Hiroshima, Bengal famine) and dropping the bomb and annihilating two major cities was not even because the US was facing destruction if they didn't do it. It was a demonstration of power to force a enemy to surrender and in addition threaten a potential future enemy. Compared to that the Federation was in far more dire straits.
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Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

"Sometimes I think Jammer is Control and that he is reading my thoughts"

Remember April 1st? We all thought it was a prank, but...
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Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Jason R.
"In evaulating relative 'success' one also needs to consider the value of the intellectual property on which the show is based. A $500,000,000 net profit could be considered a roaring success for an unknown independent film or a cataclysmic failure for an established franchise.

Star Trek is a major established franchise with a built-in audience. That has a massive dollar value to it which sets the bar at a far higher level for 'success' relative to a show like The Orville."

The real question is if and how these shows are going to be remembered in the moderately far future. What impact will they have on the next generations (pun not intended).

This new kind of Star Trek may be making CBS tons of money, but will it be remembered in 30/50 years the way that TNG and TOS are remembered now? Will it inspire young people to create a better world or to pursue careers in science? Is there anything unique to this version of Star Trek, when we compare it to a dozen other money-making flashy pieces of entertainment?

I don't see it. And given the fact that the show runners obviously don't care about anything but $$$ , there's little hope of turning back the clock on this front.

The Orville, on the other hand, is a pioneering show that will be remembered for a very long time. Even if it gets canceled shortly as an individual show, it will - at least - be remembered as a proof of concept. It was the first show that dared to question the assumption that the days of optimistic thoughtful sci fi are long over.

And where the Orville went, other shows will surely follow. I'm pretty sure that in a few decades, the Orville will be remembered as the show that started this new wave of sci fi shows.

I will end with the following food for thought:

When people ask me which TV shows I'm a fan of, I no longer say Star Trek. Not out of spite, but simply because trying to explain what I mean by "Star Trek" is getting increasingly confusing. You just can't start explaining, in casual conversation, that you aren't refering to the show that's currently airing or the movies that came out in the past 10 years. Nobody is going to sit and listen to the end of such convoluted explanation.

So I say "The Orville". That's the easiest, most concise way for me to define the thing that I love in terms that non-fans would understand. It's also quickly becoming the first phrase that comes to mind, whenever I think of a hopeful future.

That, my friends, is the power of branding. And that's what CBS has lost when it insisted on Marvelizing the Star Trek franchise.
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Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

The problem I’ve always had with Kurtzman and Abrams storytelling is they are so totally hung up on structure and cons that everything else becomes tertiary. They fixate on setting up WTF twists and reveals and intriguing mysteries early on then when it’s crunch time they always come up with something so very anti-climatic. And because everything is so interconnected the writers don’t want to show too much of their hand in service of the “a-ha” moments. That’s why so much stuff I think happens offscreen. It’s very unsatisfying

That is what I miss most about 90s Trek was that it wasn’t about the VFX or the spectacle or games. It was really about telling entertaining one-off stories that effectively utilized the 24th century and space setting TNG wisely used battles so rarely it was always a treat when they gave the audience some. And on FS9 you could easily follow the fights unlike the blur these epic battle sequences tend to be anymore these days
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Peter G.
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:11am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Thanks for the review, Jammer. I didn't watch this season at all, but have been entertained anyhow reading the comments and your review. What I've read has made it pretty clear to me that there are certain positive and certain negative things about this season, and perhaps this show, and that the positive things are ones I don't really care about. Spectacle and grand imagery is a marvelous thing, but at this point in my life feels more often than not as just throwing money and FX at a problem. I always did enjoy Trek special effects, mind you, and so I can't claim to have no love for visual spectacle, but at the same time it's the meaning behind it that makes it exciting to me, rather than the FX in a vacuum (if you'll pardon the pun).

Crafting an entire sci-fi series around spectacle and grand ideas could sound cool on paper, and indeed on TNG there were many one-offs, especially by Braga, which were high concept and low-logic. But as a single episode we let the logic failures pass (like in TNG's Phantams, cause, you know, "mint frosting") since the novel concept is cute for 45 minutes. I don't think such things pass muster for much longer than 45 min, though, as to establish a continuity in a long-form story the literal plotting and details become more and more important in order to justify subsequent plot developments. I can imagine a 4 minute song, for instance, that sounds a little off but maybe has good lyrics and you can kind of dig it for what it is. But to base a 45 minute symphony off of a questionable musical excerpt is just digging the hole deeper out of its shortcomings.

For my part I'm grateful for all the good commentary here, and I'll keep reading the reviews and comments for their entertainment value alone, and because frankly I do sort of want to know what's going on in the Trek world even if the literal show on at present doesn't do it for me.
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Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 12:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Sometimes I think Jammer is Control and that he? is reading my thoughts.
Great review.
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Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 12:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Doomsday Machine

One of my favorite and one of the best, Its a shame windom hated his character.
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Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

"Regarding Verne and Orwell ... But if you introduce some scientific concept, and that concept is based on real world stuff, but gets it all wrong, thats still a problem in an Orwellian type of sci-fi story."

Alan Roi mentioned Wells, rather than Orwell, but this only serves to strengthen your point.

While Wells' sci fi might be a tad softer than Verne's, he still incorporated tons of science into his stories, and did it correctly. He even gave us a vivid explanation of time as a 4th dimension, a full decade before Einstein's relativity. He was also quite a world builder, and he took great care to make his worlds consistent.

So I'm not sure why some people think that bringing up Wells for the defense of Marvel-style sci fi is a good idea...
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Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 12:07am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Meridian


A paycheck? ;-P
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 11:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow


"Let's say time travel did work that way."

Why are you assuming that it's an either/or proposition?

It can work both ways (predestination/parallel timelines), depending on the situation. As I stated on an earlier post (which for some reason was completely ignored) it's an idea that actually makes sense given our current (limited) knowledge of how the world works: A single timeline may be "the path of least resistance" while parallel timelines only get conjured up when there's no other possibility.

Note that unlike Tomalak, I'm not implying that there's a deliberate conscious process going on. It's no different than the principle of least action in optics, where light "chooses" the faster route between two points. Physics is filled with examples like this.

As for this:
"So you have a time machine, and you take it to the same location but one minute before you left. What happens? You certainly didn't notice a duplicate of yourself within that last minute before you left."

Maybe you'll get killed before you could make the trip. Or you end up at a different a location/time than you planned.

Or you *did* notice a duplicate of yourself. You then try to avoid travelling back just to see what happens, but a big bird flys through the window and startles you and you trip on the lever that completes the journey anyway.

Of-course, creating a parallel timeline is another possibility, but it's not the only one.

The answer to the question of what would actually happen, depends on the probabilities of each outcome. In principle, we could list all consistent scenarios and pick the most probable among them. And as I've already stated in my previous post here, there are some solid reasons to believe that "creating a parallel timeline" (translation: forcing decoupled perpendicular quantum states to interact) would be much further down the list than (say) a big bird distracting you in just the right way.
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 11:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Wonderful review Jammer. You covered just about anything there is to cover (with sane outtakes, sorely lacking in the comments' sections for me).

I am also glad to see personally that hat many of my own afterthoughts appear in your review (ex: I am also pleased with how they wrapped up the spore drive issue and Burnham, although I never bought into the "why did Spock never mention her?" question considering Spock was portrayed as a character who did not chit-vhat about his famy to anyone to begin with. Kirk and McCoy did not even know his parents until they visited the Enteprise, and nobody knew of Sybok.

Your suggestions for Season 3 are right on point. Let's expand the POV plotting indeed. Yes Sir !!!

Thanks for another season of insightful reviews.
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 11:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

@ William B,
Although there is some debate about the meaning of the last act of Shane, it is not about an indestructible gunfighter. Indeed, the book makes it pretty clear that the opposite is true. Although the ds9 episode reveals the ending of the movie, I still highly recommend Shane as a great American movie, and the book is also excellent.
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Review now posted.
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Meridian

My favorite part of this episode was the end credits. Total skipper. A shame. How did they drag Frakes into directing this mess?
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

The more you think about it, the worse the headache gets.

With a single timeline sending somebody back would necessary mean that your present timeline would not exist, and never did exist.

With a many worlds model anybody going back would necessarily arrive in a different world, and wouldn't ever have existed in your world. Effectively they'd be gone for good.

Time travel forward in principle no problem - we do it all the time anyway, it's just a matter of doing it faster. So bringing someone from the past, or sending someone into the future, fine. But no return tickets in either case.
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

It's the Federation that's Hitlerian now.

In the first Season, the Federation plants a planet destroying bomb in the volcano of Kronos.

In the second Season, the Federation backs and staffs a clandestine organization that creates a weapon that almost destroys all sentient life in the galaxy, and in at least one timeline destroys all sapient life. This is galactic scale genocide.
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 7:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@ Alan Roi “We all know enough about Hitler to know that there's not enough to know about Georgiou to know, but we do know so far she isn't literally Hitler. its not even close.”

We have seen her destroying half a planet (“The Wolf Inside”, 46:20), feasting on a Kelpien (“Vaulting Ambition”, 12:50), executing her advisors (ibid., 18:10), bragging of turning Qo’noS into a blackened mass of dust (“The War Without, the War Within”, 31:42) and of blowing the Talosians and their stupid singing plants off the face of their planet (“If Memory Serves”, 51:37). Maybe I missed some.

While two genocides, a war crime and a few murders perhaps don’t yet fully qualify for the Hitler level, I am pretty sure that she has not told everything about her activities as a Mirror Universe Empress. Most likely, not even 1%.
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 6:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Hank was writing that about Michael, not about Mirror Georgiou. Guess your comprehension and attention to detail might not be all you proclaim...
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Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2


Way to much there to unpack. But still on the Hitler thing with Geogiou? Seriously. We all know enough about Hitler to know that there's not enough to know about Georgiou to know, but we do know so far she isn't literally Hitler. its not even close. And the rest well, TL;dr. Brevity is the essense of wit.
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

I saw this in 2001 and never again. The Chakotay and Seven romance was too out of left field and really turned me off. I couldn’t stomach watching it again.
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

Skeptical is preaching to the choir here.

I'd much prefer a future with an enlightened military rather than a subverted one.
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Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Blink of an Eye

I loved this episode and it's why I watch sci-fi. It's both inspiring and poetic in the tragedy of never getting to really make first contact with a species you have watched since its infancy. You would have had to tear me away from that planet to get me to stop watching and cataloguing everything as it happened. It reminds me of the "history of the entire world i guess" on Youtube, watch:

That said, it's way too much fun to pick holes in it, so I'm joining the club. I don't care about the old man writing in English, but there is no shortage of nits.

The main one is that I think everyone is off on their time conversion. One second = one day comes to a 1440 multiple, so one day on Voyager would be only 3.9 years and change planetside. The Doctor would have had to have been down there almost a full day, Voyager time. Given what they witnessed and assuming that the planet went 3600 years of development over the course of the show, Voyager would have had to have been hanging out for nearly 100 days, not two weeks, as I saw someone else post. Not terrible, but it really becomes distracting when you get into the attack with the antimatter weapons.

Those weapons just mess up everything; I think they should have used a beam weapon instead of missiles, where you would be stepping down the speed of light, which is fast enough that they may not notice things slowing down once they break the 'time barrier' at a certain altitude. I find it impossible to believe that no one on the surface would have tracked their rounds, visually or with radar, and visibly seen their devices slow to a crawl. Also, the timing of the testing is, as mentioned, weird (6 weeks later?), and the strike interval is hokey as well. Of course, the astronaut sequence is weird for the same reason: they get a sped-up radio transmission on their little capsule craft after their first stage ends, but then they stay sped up themselves until they have been on the ship for a while. This doesn't really go with the premise of the planet's time issue as a tachyon field phenomenon with a barrier. It's more like the writers intended on a tachyon field to imbed itself in everything that spent time on the planet. That would make more sense... in fact, I'm just going to pretend like that's exactly what was intended if I watch this again.

As for the rotation of the planet and the seasons: we never hear them talk about how long their seasons are, so maybe they do just go through 900 year seasons, and those seasons are mild. On day being almost 4 years long is a stretch for plants to get sunlight, but not impossible. Plants are hardy and people can deal with the dark for long periods, just ask Alaskans.

All in all, really fun stuff.
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