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James G
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 7:46am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Sarek

Phenomenal episode. No perilious technobollocks or standoff against alien despots, just a clever, original idea brought beautifully to life by some remarkable acting.

A couple of niggles - Riker turns up at 10 Forward where there's a large scale brawl breaking out - surely his first instinct would be to bellow at them to stop? Like when Pike turns up at a bar fight in one of the movies. He'd take charge, instantly. Instead he just wanders through it, until he gets chinned himself.

Also, when Riker and Picard fight (verbally) on the bridge it's notable that Picard apologises, but Riker doesn't.

Finally, the mind meld thing - can't help thinking that Picard's emotional state might have been appropriate during the mind meld, but not for an hour afterwards. They sort of conveniently rewrote the manual for that one.

Nonetheless, inevitable niggles aside - a really good one.
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James White
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 6:06am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

For the record, I thought Peter G's write up was excellent. I don't quibble with people that see things in the show that I may not. That's a large part of why I come to this site. On the other hand, I know when someone is arguing in a disingenuous fashion.
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James White
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 6:00am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Honestly Booming, why are you even trying with this person. He/she is willfully ignoring the shortcomings of this series. Something can be different than TNG and still suck. We all know that, including the person that is partially trolling you.
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James White
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 11:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I'm beginning to think the disconnect has more to do with the curiously malleable mindsets of people today. People are less grounded in their thinking and judgments. Writ large, it helps explain the oddly antagonistic, often cognitively dissonant culture/populace of America. Less TV, social media, and internet meandering. A little more reading and outdoor time.

Also, ST is about the future. Stop talking crazy...:)
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James White
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 11:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

And I'm tired of people proclaiming that different Trek must be good Trek. In fact, at this point in both seasons 1 and 2 of DSC, I would argue that show was more engaging and entertaining than where we are with Picard. It tanked in the last third of each season. The claim that this show is definitely superior to DSC is highly debatable at best and, considering half the season remains outstanding and nu Trek has a penchant for crashing and burning at the end, likely wishful thinking.
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James White
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 11:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Skye-Francis maidstone,

TNG seasons 3-5 and much of 6 are exceptionally well done sci-fi. Yes, there are a few clunkers. But there's a reason TNG spawned movies.

BOBW, Measure of a Man, Conspiracy, Q Who, Yesterday's Entwrprise, The Emissary, Deja Q, The Offspring, Tin Man, Sins of the Father, Family, Sarek, Who Watches the Watchers, The Reunion, The Defector, Drumhead, The Wounded, Darmok, Half a Life, Redemption, Clues, The Outcast, Night Terrors, Remember Me, Cause and Effect, The First Duty, The Perfect Mate, Ensign Ro, I Borg, Chain of Command, Unification, Inner Light, Relics, Tapestry, Frame of Mind, Lessons, Schisms, Parallels, Lower Decks, All Good Things...

And there are dozens more that are solid. I'm sorry the majority of the above Trek episodes are just average to you. Truly.
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James White
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 10:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@A A Roi,

It's possible for someone to criticize this series without simultaneously demanding a little trip down memory lane. Good story telling has existed for millenia. It's not "living in the past" to demand something much better than this. In fact, other series today are succeeding where DSC and PIC are not because they have compelling stories with fleshed out characters, and a logically consistent and coherent world.

Or you can watch eyepatch, Inspector Clouseau Picard and the glorious depredations of James Wan Icheb.
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James White
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Skye-Francis maidstone,

Claiming that TNG wasn't even good 90% of the time is insanity.
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James White
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 4:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Honestly, you people are overthinking this. The show is mediocre in certain instances, flat out poor in others. As for those who believe the herd will mindlessly continue to watch, we'll see. My money is on people wising up and dumping this mess. But feel free to delude yourself into believing this will get a whole lot better.
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James White
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 4:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Mertov

I bet a good number of people on this forum will not watch DSC Season 3. And, if things continue to devolve, quality-wise, for PIC, then many on this forum will not tune in for Season 2.
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James White
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 4:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Maybe 1 star. Honestly, people, do you not know what decent storytelling looks like?
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James White
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 3:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

This is getting embarrassing. This doesn't need to be half as good as the Expanse to hold my attention. But, honestly, this is pathetic. When the showrunners are Kurtzman and the guy that wrote the screenplay for Batman and Robin, I guess this is what you get.

What a waste
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James
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 2:28am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

"This fragmented style of writing developed on TV soaps, and is today mostly the product of modern television financing and distribution, art now fully dictated by Borg algorithms, conveyor belts and moneymen."

That's the unfortunate truth of it. Blaming Kurtzman or any of the producers or writers or even Patrick Stewart for how the series is turning out is missing the point. Hearing the negative comments about Kurtman, I was interested in who he was so I looked up an interview or two with him. He said this:

"There are certain things you can never change about Star Trek: its essential vision of optimism, its diversity. All of these things are what make Star Trek Star Trek and when you remove those things then it isn’t Star Trek anymore."

These writers and producers have good intentions. I'm sure Patrick Stewart does. But this is simply how subscription based TV works. It's bound to be hijacked by corporate, monetary, board-room forces, much like a Borg assimilation. And the creators, it seems, are mostly oblivious to it.
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James
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 1:36am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I wouldn't assume the Seven story here is self-contained. The dialogue with Picard at the end and giving him her badge(?) indicates to me there might be a redemption story on the way.

But who knows? With the barbarism on display from many of the other characters it wouldn't surprise me if that's the end of it either and our last memories of Seven will be as a murderess.
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Richard James
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 12:15am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I also find this debate about what constitutes 'Classic Trek' interesting. For my money, DS9 and TOS are about as polar opposite as you can get, yet there seems to be widespread consensus that both are pretty good and come from the same broad, 'golden era' of Star Trek.

My main issue with Picard and STD is, aside from the Abramsverse aesthetic, is that they have abandoned ideas for emotion. Science for drama. At its best (lets say DS9 as a high point) the drama was fuelled by ideas, and the conflict came from an examination of a political issue. Here and with STD, the 'emotions' and drama are front and centre, but they don't have the smart writing and intelligence that backed up so-called Classic trek.

I'm still hopeful this will improve though - Star Trek series are notoriously slow to get going and there is room for these smart sci-fi ideas to return.

While I enjoyed this episode more than others, I agree that it is divorced from 'Classic' trek. But it still has its own, limited merit.
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Richard James
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 12:09am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Dick I'm not sure developing Seven's character amounts to 'assassination'. It's actually pretty plausible - in the 20 years or so since Voyager, Seven would likely have regained a lot of her humanity and would act much differently. If she'd just turned up speaking the same as she did the last time we saw her on Voyager that would also be pretty weird.

I agree with you that her inclusion in the series is questionable, and seems more like fan-service or nostalgia than anything else. But I think they did a decent job of pulling it off and to be honest her story was the most compelling part of this episode.
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Richard James
Thu, Feb 20, 2020, 8:57am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

It's moving in the right direction, but still bogged down by slow movements to an end goal, rather than telling individual stories.

The Seven of Nine plot worked the best and that opening scene was pretty horrific. Jeri Ryan's has such screen presence and her character is just a million times more interesting than others, especially with her new viligante background. The poor man's oceans 11 scene on Freecloud a were a little pointless, but fun enough.

But honestly, any reservations I had for this episode melted away when Picard and Seven had that brief exchange on the transporter pad;
"Did you honestly feel you regained your humanity?"
"Yes"
"All of it?"
"No. But we're both working on it, arent we"
"Every damn day of my life"

More like this please!
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James
Mon, Feb 17, 2020, 6:20am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@A A Roi

"You'd say that Star Trek jumped the shark with Red Matter? How about that there's a barrier around the galaxy that if you cross it turns people into regular men and women into beings with godlike power? Honestly, if red matter is your qualification, Star Trek has jumped the shark dozens of times over the decades. "

I know everyone agrees that ST5 was a total flop, but I sometimes wish that the writers in charge of Discovery and Picard would embrace such ambitious subject matter. For all its failures, at least The Final Frontier asked some interesting and relevant questions. And isn't that what sci-fi is about? Putting forward fictional science to address familiar, human problems from a new perspective? I don't see nu-trek or DSC or PIC doing this. The science is mostly used to propel the plot, and not much more. Who cares how 'real' the fictional science is - how it is used is what I'm interested in.
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James White
Sun, Feb 16, 2020, 9:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Lastly, though, I will concede earlier Trek's penchant for encountering omnipotent or super beings was also silly. Not saying there weren't examples before. Just that the present incarnation is much less intellectually rich
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James White
Sun, Feb 16, 2020, 8:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Also, there is a major difference between extrapolating from known physics and particles to generate new particles and theories suitable for a sci fi show in the 24th century vs. barking out RED MATTER as a thing that just creates black holes.

You mentioned chroniton particles. These are probably an extrapolation from chronon particles, which were theorized by physicists who thought quantum of time, discrete instances or events across a measurable spectrum, might exist. So they are grounded in some real thought.

Red matter is just bullshit.
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James White
Sun, Feb 16, 2020, 8:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@A A Roi

The Berman era of Trek grounded Trek in a believable, reasonably intelligent universe with fairly consistent rules. Red matter, galaxy spanning supernovae, transporting across massive distances, Vulcan feeling like it's literally next door, and just an onslaught of utterly one dimensional and hackneyed plots, characters, and mindless banter.

Yes, Trek jumped the shark in 2009. It hasn't found it's way back yet. STP doesn't need to be TNG. But it does need to dispense with all of the half-witted tendencies that have plagued NuTrek and DSC. People sense that the show is treading dangerously to these tendencies. We'll see where everything ends up.
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James White
Sun, Feb 16, 2020, 6:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Fair enough. However, I would argue Trek "jumped the shark" with red matter, Spock, and a supernova that would threaten the galaxy. And, of course, an interstellar Empire that didn't notice a millions-of-years long process it until it was too late. For some point of reference, a supernova explosion more than 50 light years (LY) from Earth will likely not harm our ozone layer. The diameter of the Milky Way is 105,700 LY. So, this whole idea was idiotic from the start. Typical JJ Abrams.

Honestly, if a plot were devised in which enemies of the Romulan Empire had somehow sabotaged their star, I would've much more readily accepted that. Some technology that induces some blah-blah cascading blah-blah - millions of years suddenly becomes 6 months or even less time. Something like that. Even then, it doesn't address the nonsense of a galactic civilization being incapable of evacuating their own. But at least it's a start.
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James White
Sun, Feb 16, 2020, 4:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Stars take literally millions of years to go supernova. The process, even today, is fairly well known. It is utterly implausible that the Romulan Empire, in the late 24th century, was not aware for decades (if not centuries) that the star would go supernova. And they have an interstellar civilization with presumably many worlds and many starships.

You simply have to to suspend logic and reason to accept the premise that they needed some Dunkirk-esque 11th hour rescue from the Federation. It's stupid.
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Richard James
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 9:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

The more I think about it, the more I want to watch a series set around the refugee response of Romulus and the political issues and tensions that come up from that. We keep getting hints of this in flashbacks, but its told quite clumsily (Romulan bar fight with swords anyone?)

It would have been great to have a genuine look at the idea of mass refugees, sovereignty and all these other current problems in the world through the lens of Picard and Star trek. The idea of 'rights' for certain individuals (in the Federation) but not for those outside, is an interesting one and brings up the idea of nationalism, ethnicity etc. All meaty topics. We got something approaching this in Undiscovered Country with the destruction of Praxis - that was good.

Instead we have "Character X is angry at Picard" and the Fellowship of the Ring: In Space.
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Richard James
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 9:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@Jason R. I agree about the new ship designs. The current designs from the STD/STP definitely have a more muted colour scheme and have less defined profiles - so both Federation and Romulan ships all kind of look dark, bland and all the same. In contrast TNG/DS9/VOY vessels had bolder colours and more striking silhouettes so a Romulan warbird, for example, was so distinctive and green.

I'm not a big fan of this new design. BSG did a good job of this more 'low key' colours - but then the overall profile of a basestar was quite bold (and was obviously alien). Rio's ship looks like it could have come from any old sci fi show - thats the problem.
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