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Gerontius
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Lasting Impressions

It's interesting that people who are ready to accept stuff that is essentially impossible/magic - devices to create any variety of food, or any environment yoy wish, complete with the people to fit it, hyper light speed travel around the galaxy etc - jib at plot details that are quite possble, just very improbable. We can suspend our disbelief for the impossible, we draw the line at the implausible.
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Gerontius
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Lasting Impressions

One thing this episodes showed is that they don't need to pay for space spectaculars like the one in Identity 2 to produce a good episode. The economics of production must be crucial in decisions about whether a show is viable.

But of course if big space spectaculars are needed to get viewers...
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Gerontius
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Lasting Impressions

Probably the episode I've enjoyed most so far. Probably precisely for the same reasons many people would put it down for. No space battles or alien threats, fun though these can both be.

It was good to see Malloy being given a chance to deepen his character. He started The Orville as an irritating clown, anf now were seeing what makes him tick. As for the B plot with Bortus and Klyden, that was pretty funny, and balanced Malloy's doomed love affair well. (Though it would be good to have a scene or two showing them together when they aren't fighting.)

I do hope that the programme gets another sesson (and a few more too.). It deserves saving - but then, so did the Original Series. I can't imagine why anyone with the basic managerial competence would give any particular weight to same day audience figures. I watch news programmes that way, and sport too, but pretty well anything else I tend to watch on catch-up of one sort or another.

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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 7:58am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

Flaws which are specific to alien or future society would not really be relevant to us. What is interesting is where they have analogies with features or tendencies in today and can present these in a more detached and critical way. That can indeed be "disturbing", and that's not a bad thing for a story to do.
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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 7:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

The Xelayans are of course members of the Union, and Xelaya might in many ways be viewed as 'utopian' . The flaws in their society are recognised in the episodes - including a Xelayan, Alara.

Again, taking it that Maclus is also a member of the Union, it has a society identified in various episodes as deeply flawed - including Bortus to some extent.

In both cases not "the other".

There are no reasons to assume that these societies are unique in having flaws, or that there are no critics of these flaws.

We've seen very little of Earth human society, apart from to a limited extent in the Orville, where though most crew are Earth humans, it is a very multi-species ship, and a very specialised environment. The flaws that can be recognised on the part of Union higher command are in fact recognised by characters.

But the point of these kind of things in the series is largely to address issues within today's society, especially in the United States. The series is not setting out to reform societies in the 24th century of flaws that we would probably not recognise as flaws.

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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

@ Alan Roi
Alara's father was of course targeted, but not for his hostility to "anti-vaxxers". There was no suggestion that he should be criticised for this. The targeting was by the fanatical parents of a discredited "anti-vaxxer" Where he is identified as being at fault is for what you could call his "academicist" prejudices - and the society he lives in is implicitly criticised for the same failing.

Which is actually an example of the kind of possible future flaw I referred to in my last post. It's a prejudice which at present is largely ignored but which could well be more prominent in a future society.

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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

Well The Orville does show a society which is more or less free of a number of the plagues of our current world, but then that's largely true of us. I mean we don’t generally go round burning witches. There are some real changes for the better.

The trouble is, we always seem to come up with pretty unpleasant changes for the worse to set against those changes for the better. I don't think that it's unreasonable to imagine (and aim for) a future society in which racism and anything we would recognise as poverty will be no more. However past experience suggests that to be "realistic" there should be more evidence of it having acquired other failings, and in particular, and especially of the loss of good qualities of our society.

However there seems no reason to assume that these failings, whatever they might be, would show up in the untypical situation of a starship. I'm not sure that dreaming them up, and artificially set up episodes to bring them to our attention would be worthwhile, just to avoid the label "utopian". Being "realistic" is not what the Orville is about, and I don't think it would be improved by aiming at it.
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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

It's a mistake to treat dates as too significant in classifying genres of science fiction. I think the use of terms like "Radium Age" and "Golden Age" can encourage people to do so.

A writer like James White, born in the 20s, was producing his Sector General novels up until his death in 1999. And I would see this series as very much examples of "Golden Age" fiction - allowing for the fact that their essentially pacifist emphasis, and the value placed on inter-species cooperatio, was poles apart from John Cammbell's ideology, which effectively excluded him from publishing in Astounding/Analog.
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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 6:46am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

Correction - I accidentally mistyped, and made that comment nonsensical.

What I should have written was "we were not intended to take it that Ed was meaning that literally..."
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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

I think we were not intended to take it that Ed wasn't actually meaning that literally, of either of them, Dave. Just being a bit too liable to have a drink to shrug off personal issues sometimes.
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Gerontius
Sat, Mar 16, 2019, 3:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

There's no indication that Ed was "an ex-alcoholic". There's a wide difference between drinking too much for a time for a reason and being an alcoholic.

As for the Krill, you make peace with your enemy if you can. It doesn't mean you trust them, or let your guard down.

Isaac saved everyone by his actions and also by his previous inaction which mean"t he was still there to act when it made sense.

The Union high-ups appear to make serious mistakes sometimes. That's actually quite realistic. Think of some of our leaders. I suppose they could have written the series with them as flawless - after all, it's a fantastic narrative anyway, why not add that element...
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Gerontius
Sat, Mar 16, 2019, 10:55am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

I don't actually accept that all the robots should be seen as being completely the same. (I'm not sure what statement of mine led Bert to understand that.) Isaac is presented as being significantly different, affected by his experiences. Nor do I accept that the Kaylon are properly understood as being completely rational, whatever they claim, and whatever the understanding of the Union commanders - their actions are evidence of that.

I pointed out that the Kaylon must have access automatically to all the Isaac information gathered by Isaac. This is evidenced by his sudden deactivation, which would have made it impossible for them to have all the information he would have gathered. That is in principle not significantly different from having a body camera affixed to a police officer, which could perfectly well be made in such a way as to be impossible to turn off, and to transm its pictures directly to a police network. It does not imply anything about being a drone not a sentient being.

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Gerontius
Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 6:42am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

I think it's a mistake to talk about "later' as if it were the same thing as "better". That's as true of science fiction (and indeed any fiction) as it is of Music. Shostakovich isn't "better" than Mozart. There is "golden age sci-fi" which is as well worth reading as any "New Wave", and "New Age" which is at least as bad as any 50s pulp.

There are also very significant differences between print fiction and TV fiction. TV until fairly recently has by definition been predominantly about aiming for a wide audience, which is what the term "broadcasting" implies. Print has meant that much of the time the aim is for a section of that audience. With the rise of streaming that is changing, and this will no doubt be reflected in what is available - but the fact that certain styles of TV are particularly costly ( for example those featuring space battles like Identity 2) has an impact that cannot be ignored.
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Gerontius
Thu, Mar 14, 2019, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

50s pulp SciFi is not by any means always "dumb-ass". It's a sub-genre which can very effectively deal with serious issues in an accessible and enjoyable way. It's simplified, with no pretensions to be realistic. Attacking it for that is a bit like putting down classicism animation for not achieving or even aiming for the pseudo-realism of some current styles of animation.

The Orville fits with that. The great thing is that those who don't enjoy it and who object to dealing with on its own terms have actually no obligation to endure watching it, or to wast time and energy fulminating about it.
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Gerontius
Thu, Mar 14, 2019, 9:40am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

It seems reasonable that the Union might have an official commitment to acting ethically, and that this could reflect a society that is in general more ethical than the ones we largely live in, but In practice fall away at times from that standard in face of various problems. That after all is what is the picture in many ways in the present day.

Obviously these kind of things are sketched in here in a greatly oversimplified way - this series has no pretensions of being realistic. Fiction is not reality, and that is particularly true of this genre of fiction.
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Gerontius
Wed, Mar 13, 2019, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

Having Orrin turn out to be a terrorist, and then kill himself, was a bit of a cop out to get Ed out of his dilemma. If they'd made him a blameless escaped captive it would have been a lot trickier. But maybe a bit too tricky for a basically light-hearted series.
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Gerontius
Wed, Mar 13, 2019, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

The fact that Isaac collaborated with the Kaylon up until the moment he pulled the head off the head Kaylon, shot the others present, and deactivated all Kaylon on the ship, including myself, is completely irrelevant. Any indication of disloyalty would have been irrational, and it would be equally irrational to see his failure to act in that way as a reason to blame him. Especially on the part of someone who owes their life to Isaac's actions.

People are of course irrational sometimes, so maybe we'll see someone playing up regardlesss. These robots aren’t too rational either, we've seen - and the genocidal fanaticism shown in Kaylon society is evidence of that.

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Gerontius
Tue, Mar 12, 2019, 9:10am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

Bert appears to assume that it would have needed an act of will on the part of Isaac to allow the Kaylon to have access to all the information gathered by him. I would think that kind of thing would be completely automatic, as with machines like computers.

And I'd assume that Star Fleet would have been aware of the fact that in collecting information - the reason he was there in the first place - he was acting directly as the eyes and ears of the Kaylon. This would be an aspect of Star Trek's remarkable naivety in assuming the goodwill of the Kaylon.

The phrases "member of a genocidal robot race", and "killer robot over his own people" led me to the shorthand expression "the only good Kaylon is a dead Kaylon" as an indication of the mindset Bert would expect from crew members on the Orville towards the robot who had saved their lives.
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

Klyden, and Mallon society generally, are of course prejudiced - but I take it that the Maclons are allied to the Union, but not actually members. They definitely don't share its cultural and societal values in some important ways.

I can't remember Jody as being prejudiced against difference, just biased in favour of her obnoxious son, which I rather assume would be characteristic of many parents in any society (and a fairly unpleasant person herself ). And so far as James is concerned it is reasonable to expect that there would be adolescents in any society that didn't hold to cultural norms about lying and deception. Personal flaws are still there, as Dave notes.
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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

Having a society without money makes things a bit different - though we haven't seen this except on the ship, which is a money free set up anyway for practical purposes even in military vessels in our society. We just get it mentioned rather than shown.

The cultural difference that stands out is that the secrecy and lies that are the driving element in virtually all TV drama, even more than in real life, are virtually absent. Any time a problem arises on The Orville (as in classic Star Trek) It appears to be shared and addressed in a grown up way. And there appears to be a complete acceptance of all the differences that are the occasion for discord in our societies.




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Gerontius
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 8:14am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

The idea of setting up friendly relations with the Kaylon made perfect sense (though it would have been sensible to learn a lot more about them before considering admitting them to the union - though we don't know whether there might be different levels of "membership" of that). The fact of a formidable and hostile Krill made friendship with the Kaylon even more sensible, if only to guard against some rapprochement between the Krill and the Kaylon.

For the time being an alliance for mutual defence with the Krill is something to welcome. Building it to something closer to friendship is something to hope for in the future. One step at a time. It's worth noting that the attitude of the Union towards the Krill religion was to see it as important to get some understanding of it rather than to see it as something inevitably hostile, and to that end to get hold of it,s holy book, as even more important than studying the Krill technology.
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Gerontius
Sun, Mar 10, 2019, 6:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

By being both a drama and to a great extent a comedy The Orville is following in the tradition of Star Trek. The style of humour is different - it's much more about the incongruity being the frequent absurdity of real life and Serious Events. The actual jokes aren't really so much the point, which is that they are somewhat inappropriate to the situation, the very thing some people object to in them. I don't.

The series carries on the classic Star Trek pattern of stand-alone episodes with story arcs. The story arcs so far are mainly about relationships. One again the very thing I like is what evidently gets up the noses of some people.

I have a feeling that it’s only too likely that The Orville may carry on its aspect as a tribute to classic Star Trek to the extent of being cancelled prematurely, just as it's getting into its stride. I hope not.
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Gerontius
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

"The only good Kaylon is a dead one" then Bert?

I would assume that any information that Isaac had about command codes and so forth would have automatically been monitored by the Kaylon, along with any other information he had. Information gathering was his purpose, and as soon as the Kaylon had enough, they deactivated him remotely. The fact that they did that was a clear indication that all the information he had gathered had already been transmitted to his home planet.

If Isaac had failed to cooperate fully and convincingly he would have been immediately deactivated again. He would have been acting up in a way that actually served to enable the genocidal war to succeed. An intelligent human in the same situation would have cooperated in the same way until the opportunity came to act, with Kaylon Prime being vulnerable, and the equipment to deactivate all the Kaylon being available.
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Gerontius
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

Actually none of the people on the Orville died at the hands of Isaac. A fair number of them died at the hands of other Kaylon, whom Isaac "deactivated", after pulling the head of the Kaylon leader at a crucial time when the battle was about to begin.

There is no evidence that Isaac had any responsibility for what occurred after the Orville had travelled to the planet at a time when he was deactivated. Any premature indication of disloyalty on his part would have been completely futile, and would have had disastrous consequences for Earth and for the crew of the Orville.

Very possibly there may be some people on the Orville or on Earth who might feel hostile towards Isaac, on the principle that the only good Kaylon is a dead Kaylon. That might show up in future episodes.
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Gerontius
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

It was a very silly thing to say. As it would be in real life. And it's the kind of thing a bloke like Gordon would be only too likely to say.
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