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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

Good grief. I've just watched it again after many many years. Never again.

Presumably they've got a Logan's Run type law no-one mentioned, and everyone gets put down when they reach 30. A happy release, really.
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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 7:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I think Tim's summary of world war two rather misses out the Russian involvement - without that I'd question whether there would have been any inevitability about Allied victory. (And its been reasonably argued that the moment when eventual German defeat became inevitable was when Hitler invaded Russia.)
.........
"Displaying public affection" writes Glob. What's "public affection" about clasping hands while playing a game in private? I didn't notice it on first viewing either, like Glob - and none of the other characters were in a position even to see it.

That kind of sudden awareness of a link, especially in the wake of a time of great peril, frequently happens, as Tim pointed out, anit doesn't need any particular build up in advance - and as I wrote earlier, they have some powerful things in common.
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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 4:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I don't find the idea of a Pike/Spock show to exciting. The ghost of what for me was the dreadful pilot for TOS hangs over it... Recasting Spock for me is a non-starter (that did for the 2009 + films so far as I was concerned)

No, I'll be looking forward to seing Picard, and The Orville in good time. (Probably not for quite some time I suspect. Not much making new seasons this year I'm afraid...) And making my way through the old series on Netflix in the meantime. Some of the episodes are stinkers alright, but I love them for all that.
.........
The more I think of it the more I find myself disagreeing with the notion that this series represented a departure from the essential Star Trek ethos. Sure enough, the Federation and Star Fleet might have fallen away, with the idea that there was something inevitable about the future bringing progress - but that inevitability wasn't what it was about.

What was essential was the idea that a decent world was indeed achievable. The future could get rid of some of the things that has made it harder to achieve it, but it still costs - and that was what Picard's mission was, to be the single neurone used to restore things.
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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tim - "Really kind of feel like people are reaching for things to be upset about at this point."

I get that feeling too. I tend to scroll past the extended posts like that after a paragraph or two. (Or in some cases there aren't any paragraphs - which makes it very hard to read a post.)
...........
I wonder why it is that so many visual media productions on film and TV do go in for having teams of writers "pulling in their own personal directions", as Trent comments. If I think of the most outstanding creations in those media, as in other fields, these have almost all, in my experience been the work of individuals, or occasionally of a team of two. There must be some reason for doing it the other way, but I can't imagine why. "Too many cooks spoil the broth".
............
One thing that Seven and Raffi have in common is that they have lost their son, or in the case of Seven, their pseudo-son Ichab; and the other related one is that both of them seem to have been adopted by Elnor as sort of mothers. Which considering that Picard seems to be Elnor's adoptive father, sets up an interesting sort of family group that could be explored in the next season.

And I look forward to maybe seeing Rios set up a game of football with his holograms. Maybe against a team of Vulcans, who'd have tactical skills to make them formidable in the beautiful game. Klingons would to better to stick to Rugby - or maybe American Football, though of course without the body armour, which they would despise.
.......
Maybe they will address the question of Agnes in the next series, though if there's a court hearing I'd guess it would be referred to rather than shown. I can't see any fair court finding her guilty.

Aside from the fact that she acted under the influence of an illegal mind meld, involving the Admonition, which has been shown to cause lethal insanity, she is acting under the strict orders of the head of Star Fleet security. The fact that she expresses bitter revulsion at carrying out the post-hypnotic command she has been given, there is no reason to think that she has any power to stop herself carrying it out.
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Gerontius
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I assume that Data's choice to reject android immortality was inspired by the similar choice made by the protagonist of Asimov's story "Bicentennial Man" which was ultimately made into a not entirely successful film with Robin Williams as the would-be human ribot. In both cases the motivation was that having a life destined to end is an essential aspect of being human, which for both characters was their abiding wish.

Of course there could in principle have been the option of giving him the same deal as Picard - a synth body with inbuilt limited lifespan, perhaps set to the same initial age as Picard. But I suspect Brent Spiner might have preferred not to soldier on, and it made for a good scene. It would have been more elegant artistically if Picard had done the same - but I'm glad he didn't.

Incidentally I was curious why they decided to give Picard the age of 94, when Patrick Stewart is only a pretty sprightly 79. Perhaps it was a nod in the direction of respecting 24th century medicine - in Farpoint Bones was still getting round and slagging off Vulcans at 137.
............
It strikes me there's a need for at any rate one extra member for the crew. There's always been at least one outsider in a Startrek crew - Spock in TOS, Data, in TNG Odo and Worf in DS9, the Doctor and later 7 of 9, in Voyager, Dr Phlox in Enterprise...I don't think having two humanised synths aboard really fills that spot. They need someone who's genuinely alien. Though at a pinch I suppose Elnor might do.
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Gerontius
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@James Taylor

"Let's be honest"

You've fallen into the trap of thinking that your opinion is objectively the right opinion, and that anyone who disagrees with you is not being honest, and is insincere. That is a fallacy, as it would be a fallacy if anyone else were to say the same thing to you.
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Gerontius
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Our judgement of these things is indeed subjective. While I loved the Original Star Treck when it was broadcast i never saw it as in the same. League as the Next Generation. Which doesn't stop me still loving it. When I decided this lock-in was a good time to rewatch the whole thing (700 or so episodes - I'm not expecting things to be back to normal soon...) I instinctively started with the Picard Enterprise. (And while the first series is much shakier than Picard I am finding it very enjoyable.)
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Gerontius
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Flip

"That's just people expressing their opinions strongly and passionately. It's okay to have strong, passionate opinions, it's good for discourse. I think it's unreasonable to expect everyone to put a "for me," or "IMO" in front of every statement. Wouldn't it make more sense to just take that as a given?"

Precisely. The implication of this is that we should always treat such statements as being expressions of opinion, and intended ss such, rather than as personal affronts. And equally important, we need to recognise that of what we say ourselves. It is very easy to slip into the way of taking our own opinion as objective facts, just because that is the way we talk.

I don't mean that there are no objective facts, but our views about TV shows or other works of fiction are not.
.........
I share the hope of many that the next series will be a bit more episodic, rather than in a serial format, where a season demands to be treated as a whole. That way it is easier to explore a range of stories and topics. And if there is to be heavy serialisation I think it is a serious mistake to spread out the creative work of writing and direction widely. You wouldn't write a novel or indeed any work of fiction in that way. With only ten or so episodes in a season there is no justification for doing it that way.

With a more episodic format it is different, and there can be a value in giving different hands a shot at varying the formula.
....
While I don't worry too much about plot holes there was one which does niggle me - why did Maddox make the fatal mistake of turning up at Bajayz's establishment lamenting the destruction of his lab many years ago? Why wasn't he happily back at Copernicus constructing synthetic birds to go with his butterflies, among his little progeny?
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Gerontius
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 11:47am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Trent
"The people complaining about "Picard" never actually complain that "Picard is not Star Trek", and yet those complaining about the people who complain about "Picard", keep imagining that they do" - I think we must have been reading a completely different set of comments. I've seen a great number of posts saying precisely that, sometimes in so many words. I don't complain about them doing so, it's a way of expressing a reasonable point of view, though it's one I don't agree with.

I don't dislike disagreements. I enjoy discussions where disagreements can be examined and analysed, so you sort out the things on which there is commonality, shared values, shared opinions, and the things that where there is disagreement.

Obviously when we say something that is our subjective opinion, but inevitably we tend to find ourselves writing as if we were saying something that is an objective fact.
"This is a terrible show" rather than "for me that was a terrible show" (or the other way. And the implication of that way of putting is that anyone seeing it that way is unreasonable, and the enemy. And it gets taken that way, and the exchanges get nasty.
......
Anyway, while far from perfect, this season was ok for me, and offers reason to anticipate it could get better next time round. I am inclined to disregard the holes in the plot which have been pointed out (along with a number of suggested holes where I disagree).

But plot as such is secondary, though of course it matters. The same goes tor the lazy shortcuts - "with one bound he was free", such as the magic knuckleduster for mending ships, and producing a phantom fleet to fool the enemy.

I put up with that gladly for the chance to see Patricj Stewart back in the driving seat putting the world to rights. And of course I totally disagree with those who see him as diminished in this series. But of course, that's just my opinion.
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Gerontius
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 9:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

As generally seems true, I found that I agree with Jammer's review pretty well.

I'm hoping the final episode of the series is better than this one, but I fear it won't.
But I agree with sky francis-maidstone in judging this season better than the other first seasons. (I've just started watching that with my son, as part of my schedule for getting through The Emergency and self isolation. One episode at a time of course - I deplore bingeing.)

The problem being, as Jammer said, the hyper-serialised format of the show makes it harder to get away with a sub-standard episode like the Ragtime debacle, the whole season is reasonably enough judged as a whole. Making a while season that hangs together is a challenging business. And I think that having a single team of people throughout, especially the writers (better by far to have one writer, or a pair) seems to me clearly indispensable. An integrated serial has the be constructed as a unity, and tuned up as a unity.

A more episodic show has the possibility of benefitting from different hands for different episodes. For a serial that is liable to be a big mistake.

And of ciurse I also fully agree with skye francis-maidstone in his judgement of Patrick Stewart's updated portrayal of Picard as "More natural and also you'd expect the character to mellow a little with age and take life less seriously". (Even if some people evidently see that as doddering, futile and befuddled...)

On the the conclusion, which is now of course out even in the UK. I hope it's better with some trepidation. And I look forward more optimistically in time to a second season which will fly well. ( Always assuming that The Emergency does change things so we never get to see it...)
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Gerontius
Wed, Mar 25, 2020, 11:31am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

You stand by your opinion, James White. And I stand by my opinion that it is completely mistaken, and is not justified by what we have seen. I could argue with pretty well every point you made in that long post. The exception being that I agree with you that the Ragtime episode was dire. We've always had the occasional stinker. Patrick Stewart did indeed ham it up, as he has on occasion before. (Remember the Robin Hood one...)

In a sense you are right in saying "I think we all agree this is a different Picard", but in stark contrast to you, I see the difference as completely consistent with the way he was, and with the altered circumstances, and I see the difference as, if anything, an improvement.

But it's not worth wasting time on arguing point by point.. "What we as viewers see is all that counts." But while we look at the very same thing, what we see is completely different. And that isn't something that is open to argument.
........................

Booming is correct I suppose. No Picard getting involved, and no problem arises - apart from a small scale genocide. Though I doubt if that would have been the end of it, one the Zhat Vash and Tal Shiar got the taste for it...
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Gerontius
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I would disagree with the judgement that Picard was either confused or out of touch. I would see it as ridiculous. But they aren't in the same category as doddering or befuddled.

I also incline to agree with Tommy D and Peter G in their view that Picard as shown here as having a little more of Patrick Stewart in him, and all the better for that. (That essentially was my point in posting that link to him reading a sonnet.)

I do not see the differences which can be seen between this Picard and the one of old as indicating a decline, but as being appropriate to his different situation. Being captain of a starship or a naval vessel involves adopting a certain professional persona.
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Gerontius
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I was referring to the stuff about how past it Picard (and Patrick Stewart) are past it. Or for that matter about how he's not - which is too obvious to neat arguing about.

But the point was to share the chance to hear him reading that sonnet.
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Gerontius
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Anyway, enough of this nonsense. Let the Covid19 crisis restore a sense of proportion.

Here is Sir Patrick reading a Shakespeare sonnet, as a contribution to those of us lucky enough to be able to self-isolate in relative luxury (think of the refugees in this time...) - https://youtu.be/cMXfrpukaIU
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I can easily imagine Picard from the old days being unsuccessful in that scene. Sutra is clearly not open to persuasion, and the synthetics appear to be under her domination, while Soong is a classic Star Trek baddie. That's got nothing to do with the fact that Picard is of course old, and perfectly correctly referred to as such, any more than the fact that he is bald. And in what sense does that scene show him as being befuddled or doddering? Even aside from being offensive these are totally inaccurate descriptions of what we were shown.

As for his brain disease, that would seem far more analogous to an inoperable brain tumour than to Alzheimers. Inoperable brain tumours are liable to be fatal. (Though some are benign.) Alzheimers as such isn't, you die with it from other things, not from it.

And no, "out of touch with reality" is not in itself any more offensive, where it is accurate, than saying that someone is unable to walk or unable to see.
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I seem to remember the scene in question, which Sen-Sers felt was an example in which Picard was being presented as a befuddled and feeble old man was the one where reaching for the controls of the ship, realised that they were totally different from the ones he had last used, many years ago, and graciously handed over to Rios.

I can't see how that could in any way be said to present him as being befuddled, feeble, or doddering. Hasn't everybody been in that situation on occasion, sitting down at some bit of technology that has been "upgraded" so that its completely unfamiliar? Think of Windows 10 when it came out? And if the last time you had used a computer before being faced with that was back in the stone age at the start of the century?
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 7:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Actually I can't recall a single scene in this series where Picard has looked in any way doddering or befuddled. I'd challenge you to produce one.

Not that those terms would be appropriate even if they had decided to show someone with Alzheimers, for example. There are ways of referring the kind of characteristics which might be observed in such a person which are descriptive, accurate and respectful - confused, unsteady, out of touch with reality...
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

No, the kind of directly lethal extremes which have been seen with Jews, Armenians and members of other ethnic groups are unlikely to occur in the case of old people (though there is a real possibility of a situation where there are pressures on old people to end their lives "voluntarily" - there was in fact a Next Generation episode on such a society).

However most of the time prejudice against such groups does not reach such extremes, and does not mean that we should not have a duty to oppose and resupist it.

I doubt if many people here would disagree. But I think that language matters, and that there have been a number of posts which do appear to imply that Picard's advanced age is a reason for his inability to impose his authority on others, when, as I said, the relative thing in this context is that he hasn't got the Enterprise under his command.
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

As for Booming's " we will never enslave/evil something old people because sooner or later we become old people"...

It would appear that a couple of weeks ago the British government was on the point of a response to the Covid 19 crisis that would involve relaxing efforts to stem the spread of the epidemic, in the expectation that most of the population would develop "herd immunity", and most of those who died would be old people.
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

It's true that any word can be used as a slur - changing the word doesn't eliminate the attitude. But sometimes getting rid of or replacing a word can accompany and encourage a change in attitude. There's no intrinsic reason why Jew should be less offensive than Yid.

But o avoid a word like doddering isn't a matter of euphemism - the contempt that is in my view expressed in it is contained in the word. Itself. It's not like a replacing a word for old person with another word. I'd have no objection to the term "oldie" as such. (In fact it's the title of one of my favourite magazines.)

As for the matter
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 12:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I find the word "doddering" as offensive as equivalent words used in respect of other groups, and for the same reasons. They convey contempt of people because they are, for example, Black or Jewish, or women, or have a disability. People using them may indeed sometimes not consciously have the attitudes expressed by them.

If Picard was indeed mentally confused as a result of his age it would still be highly offensive to use that word of him. In fact there is no reason for suspecting that he is, and it does not appear to be a feature of his terminal medical condition.

Insofar as Picard has been unable to control events this is essentially because he is no longer in command of a massive starship. That has nothing to do with his age, but arises from his breach with Star Fleet on a matter of principle 14 years ago.
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 9:00am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Of course Picard is an old man. There are no grounds for saying that has anything to do with his success or failure in his mission.

I repeat, the term "doddering", and the attitudes it implies are highly offensive.
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 7:46am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

The point I was making is that there is no improbability or contradiction involved in their being a number of powerless and impoverished Romulans and there being a number of Romulans in easy circumstances, and with considerable power. That's very much the world we live in, and it's true on pretty well every corner of it. There has never been any suggestion that the Romulan society had any of the ethical aspirations of the Federation.

@ Lynos

Your expression "doddering old man" would be highly offensive language, even if it bore any relationship to what we have been shown (which it doesn't). In its way ageism is as bad as racism or sexism, and deserves the same treatment.
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 4:38am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@Peter G
"At this time I am firm in my belief that this is a refugee/scorned people narrative, and that the show message is about when you treat refugees and people who look different as non-persons it will (a) come back to bite you in the ass, and (b) prove that you're more of a threat than they are"

I don't think that parallel fully stands up - the Zhat Vash were the ones who deliberately engineered the situation that caused the Romulan rescue mission to be abandoned, rather than arising as a consequence of that. There's no sense that they are a reaction to the failing of the Federation to maintain its ethical status.

But insofar as there is a parallel with current events there is no particular contradiction with the zhat Vash or Tal Shiar having significant military power and some Romulan refugees living in poor circumstances. As I said, look at our world. Syrian refugees live in squalor, but Isis in its day was very pretty powerful, controlling significant territory and effective military force.
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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 22, 2020, 9:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I can't see why androids having telepathic abilities is any more hard to swallow than androids existing in the first place. Or for that matter, than anyone having telepathic abilities.

There's no contradiction between one lot of Romulans, refugees, living in poverty, and another lot , the Tal Shiar, a terrorist organisation, having acquired a fair-sized navy. Look around the planet you live on.

Why was Maddox on the run? My bet is, that's not a plot failing, it's a puzzle to which we should get the answer this week, probably involving Soong and Sutra.
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