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SJU
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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Jackson
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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Caz
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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuCn8ux2gbs&t=2s

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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John Harmon
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I gotta agree. Paying attention does not make this show more enjoyable. You have to pay as little attention as possible to get any kind of surface level enjoyment from it.
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Skeptical
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

Of course, if Starfleet isn't military, that opens up a whole new can of worms. It means the Federation has authorized a non-military group to carry around weapons of mass destruction and use them as it sees fit. It means the Federation has authorized a non-military group to kill people in territories beyond the Federation's control whenever they deem it necessary with no clear Rules of Engagement. It means the Federation has authorized a non-military group to engage in military endeavors, including attacking the military of other sovereign peoples during times of war. It means the Federation has authorized non-military personnel such as Jean-Luc Picard to risk the lives of up to 1000 people at a time to take actions with virtually no oversight. It means the Federation has authorized non-military people to incarcerate other non-military people if the other non-military people refuse to listen to some of the non-military people.

Really, is that a better outcome than a world where Starfleet is also a military organization but performs other duties as well? I mean, seriously, do people really think the US military does nothing but kill people? They have other duties, including humanitarian missions. So why the downright aversion to the use of that term? And would you really want a non-military organization to have as much power and control as Starfleet?
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Peter G.
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

That fact that there is a "Starfleet Academy" that has "cadets" should alone be enough to show what kind of organization this is. It's up to the utopian ideal to show *how it functions*, but what it is seems to me to have always been clear. So clear, in fact, that the argument that Starfleet isn't a military group initially just elicited as "huh?" from me. Like, as in, it's just a given circumstance. I can see Elliott's POV in terms of what it might mean *to us* to call them military, but in my opinion loading it with all of that baggage is our fault, not Trek's. I see no reason to attach a negative association, or even a warlike one, with the term "military" just because today's and history's militaries have been used to divide and conquer rather than to unite in common cause.

I'll throw in one more thing, which to be fair depends on how much one considers ENT to be canon: the founding of the Federation was undertaken with a pretty clear proviso that Earth was not subverting the Andorian and Tellarite ability to have warships, nor was the combined alliance going to overwhelm individual worlds like the USSR. But rather, each world would be represented, combine their technologies, their fleets, and have a mutual defense treaty. It also seems that each power also has the right to its own private ships, but this point isn't clarified within the canon. The Vulcans in particular seem to prefer to use their own ships precisely because they don't want to serve aboard ships they see as being warships like the Enterprise. But the Andorians and others would never have agreed to join a Federation that had no military; they would have thought it absurd. And the fact that they were founding members should only go to show that it's not Human utopian optimism that governs what the Federation does, but a combination of all member races, which includes warlike races.
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Gil
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Hot Take #5 on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Part II: Cry Harder”

Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it.
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MadManMUC
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@ Yanks

'Especially since in 'Calypso' we see a crewless Discovery "awaiting orders" 1000 years in the future.'

Yup. And — if I recall correctly (I don't have Alan Roi's apparently flawless, god-like, photography memory) — the ship's computer states it was abandonned. For what reason(s), I suppose we'll eventually find out. So maybe the crew find their way home, but the ship doesn't.

Who knows. It probably won't make any sense when we find out.
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Yanks
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@ MadManMUC

"Ironically: Season 3 will probably be a Voyager-like affair, with the crew of the USS Discovery looking for a way to get home to their own time. My opinion."

Especially since in 'Calypso' we see a crewless Discovery "awaiting orders" 1000 years in the future.
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Jackson
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

The writing is...noncommiittal, to say the least, on the nature of money in the Federation.

In one of the TOS films, Scotty had just "bought a boat".

The TNG crew was often playing poker, gambling with chips in a manner that seemed to indicate that there was some real financial meaning behind them. If it's just for kicks, why not bet huge all the time?

It's clear that daily life on DS9 (or at least life at Quark's) required some form of currency that Starfleet officers have access to. In the Worf/Dax wedding episode, Quark shouted "No Refunds" to O'Brien and Bashir when they were about to pig out, and again, DS9 was a den of gambling as well.

Warp drive is easy to dismiss...it's a sci-fi means to an end to ensure that technology doesn't date itself, like how they used iso- as a prefix for computer capability so as not to end up making 2370 look more low tech than 2015.

My only issue with holodecks was the ridiculous spatial liberties they took, like how two dozen real people could play a baseball game by cramming into a room ten meters square.
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MadManMUC
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@ Hank

'I could go on and on about how paying attention does NOT lead to higher enjoyment of Discovery in the slightest.'

In fact, in some cases, the opposite is true. Trying to shut your brain off and paying less attention to the flaws sometimes leads to marginally more enjoyment of Discovery ...

... until your brain switches back on, thinks about what it just saw, and effectively dry-heaves in its mouth (if it had a mouth).
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Hank
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Alan Roi: "Also, the robots showed up last year, when the Discovery was repainted to appear like an ISS ship, but since most detractors of this show don't pay attention, its not suprising that they think they just appeared this ep. I, however, have a good memory."

Wow, aren't you just great? Jeez, man, I am awestruck by your awesomeness. Sure, you are not calling anybody stupid - just suffering from amnesia... And in all your small triumphs of justifying things you completely miss the big picture.

Regarding Verne and Orwell: You missed my point, though. I understood what you tried to convey, no elucidating necessary. Star Trek is mostly Orwellian, in that sense, anyways: It always explores the human condition, the techno-babble is just the lense through which it is viewed. 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.

Which leads me to my main point: You think that we do not understand Discovery because we are 1.) not paying close attention and 2.) pay too much attention to how things work instead of what they mean, which is utterly ridiculous, given that Star Trek always was about "what it all means".

"As I have pointed out many times, if people pay closer attention to the show they will be rewarded."

No they will not be. Just look at Trents observations a few posts above. Explain those, please. Or why Discovery didn't jump far enough away to charge their crystal in peace. You suggested earlier that there must be a hidden meaning behind all that, that there is a reason for Discovery to stay so close. Well, yes, there is, we need Discovery to be there so that the Big Fight can happen. But in Universe there is no reason. Disovery can jump away, charge its crystal, and, if it so pleases, then just jump back to confront control, or lure it in. There is no reason to so drastically endanger your plan that hinges on being able to jump to the future when you have magic tech at your disposal. And they didn't know that the Klingons would show up in the last moment. They didn't call in reinforcements beyond Enterprise, they didn't try to lure Control in to a trap or anything, they just sat there. Have fun trying to explain that with character motivation.

In episode three we have a prison shuttle with one guard, flying alone in deep space, and that guard leaves the shuttle and instantly dies, because there is a space storm outside. Never mind that there are no storms like that in space, that you would never have only one guard on a prisoner transport ever, or that you would not use a shuttlecraft to ferry prisoners between far away points because shuttles are slow, but how did me paying attention in any way reward me with a better experience? That whole sequence was just there so that Discovery can pick up Michael. Thats it. They needed the shuttle to have an emergency, so that they would send a distress call, and they needed the guards to be gone, so that they would not look after the prisoners on board Discovery, so that Lorca can do his shenanigans, because as we later learn, he planned to abduct Michael all along because he is the evil space wizard. So the writers went with the most obvious and most visually spectacular option to achieve that end goal: Have a space storm (because ships sink in storms, space ships sink in space storms), and have only one guard on board that commits suicide. Problem solved.

The problems begin even further back, though, because why would Star Fleet not ask what happend with Michael? She was, after all, the very first mutineer, charged with starting a war. She is, in universe, literally Hitler, as far as Star Fleet is concerned. Even the other prisoners despise her. And then nobody cares that Lorca does not send her to prison but instead makes her his defacto first officer? It's the same problem as before: The writers need Michael to be an outcast, thus, she is made out to be the worst person ever. But the writers also need her to be the main character on board a military vessel, so they ignore their previous story and just put her there. This is all a problem of excess. Everything has to be over the top. It would have been sufficient to have Michael do something that was technically correct but very harmful to many people. She is put in front of a military tribunal, and they find her innocent. But she is still known as "Michael the Killer" or something because her actions caused the death of many people, and everybody despises her. She herself is completely guilt-ridden, because what seemed like the logical choice turned out to be horrible in hindsight. (Heck, it could be something simple like her shooting Georgiou accidentally while they try to capture T'Kuvma, and she then retreats without capturing him and he is later killed when Federation reinforcements show up, completely eliminating the stupid scene where she sets her phaser to kill intentionally despite her previous objections, and yes I know, heat of the moment and all that, but that has been discused to death already) Then Lorca comes along. He already leads a black-ops ship full of shady people, who are ruthless but efficient, and he wants to have Michael Burnham. Star Fleet agrees, and she is send to the Discovery.

Now, the story does make sense and follows the exact same beats as before, but does not require you to not think about it. You do not have a prison guard so incompetent as to get (her?)self killed in the space of five minutes of screen-time. You do not send your most closely guarded prisoner with a completely inadequate shuttle, if only for the reason to save her from retribution by over-zealous Star Fleet personel.

Or what about the scene where that security chief, i forgot her name, lowers the force field and instantly gets mauled by the tardigrade? I mean, sure, over confidence is a thing, but ... thats just outright stupidity. They KNOW that phasers to not hurt that thing and they KNOW what it did to the Klingons because they SAW it earlier... but sure, just go on in... So maybe I didn't pay enough attention when it was established that she is so utterly overconfident and self absorbed that she completely ignores reality around her. But even if you could successfully make that point, you are still missing the forest for the trees. That whole scene is completely stupid. If she is so incompetent, she would not have been security chief in the first place, but if she still gets that position, that means that everybody above her is also completely clueless... It goes on and on.

Or the way that the Klingon war ended. Star Fleet: "Hurr durr, lets just threaten them with genocide, that will make them give up!" Also Star Fleet: "Lets give the detonator to that Klingon Fanatic that brought on the war in the first place and make her the new Dictator!" Also Star Fleet: "Ermagherd, we are the good guys!" Starship Troopers was right: "Violence has solved more problems in history than anything else!" What is stopping L'Rell from just resuming the war with the Federation now that she holds the controls? Nothing, really. Which makes the whole thing not only morally questionable (one could argue that extreme danger justifies extreme means to ensure survival) but also utterly pointless. The only reason that the plan works is because L'Rell does a 180 and completely goes against her character, because ... reasons.

How has it come to this, that Discovery openly advocates for violence and expects us to cheer for it? Same problem as above: Excess. Instead of having the Klingon war being hard fought but fairly even, which results in an eventual cold war because neither side can beat the other, they have the Klingons completely annihilate Star Fleet - so much so that they are literally right above earth when Discovery returns from the Mirror Universe. Once written into that corner, they can only do something crazy to pull themselves out of it - and they don't even manage it, if you pay attention....

Oh, or how Tyler shows up in the finale on the Klingon ship? Remember when he was the Arch Traitor, who killed L'Rells and Voqs Son, at least that's what the Klingons know? And revealing that thats a lie would instantly crumble L'Rells power base and lead to civil war? Yeah, now he just casually stands there and nobody bats an eye. Guess all those Klingons aboard are 100% trustworthy, and will shut up about it, just like not a single person ever mentions Spore Drives or the Red Angel ever again, because the writers need a soft reset because their story goes nowhere...

I will stop now, but I could go on and on about how paying attention does NOT lead to higher enjoyment of Discovery in the slightest.
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William B
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

@Elliott, that's fair, and Picard/Riker comments regarding the difference between Starfleet and the Zackdorn make me tend to agree that Picard would not "reclaim" the word military but let it continue to mean approximately what to does today. I agree that Starfleet is not a modern military at all, and was just saying it's worth figuring out whether like Peter and Chrome arguing Starfleet is military but different from ours are disagreeing with you on what constitutes a military or on what purpose Starfleet has (or both).
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MadManMUC
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@ wolfstar

'The finale also creates the problem that Starfleet had a way to instantly bring Voyager home all along (or at least after contact was established with Voyager in Message In A Bottle) but chose not to because it was classified tech.'

Bingo.

Ironically: Season 3 will probably be a Voyager-like affair, with the crew of the USS Discovery looking for a way to get home to their own time. My opinion.
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Gerontius
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

I hope that, if The Orville is able to continue after this season, it will steer well clear of getting more like The Expanse.

Any greater realism in The Expanse lies in the fact that it's technology and the human environment involved is a lot more plausible than that of The Orville which is a lot closer to magic people are a lot nastier than they generally are in The Orville or classic Star Trek. Too, but I don't accept that that is necessarily more realistic.
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Nolan
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 3:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

Obviously individual interpretations may differ, but I'm not sure I ever saw Eddington's speech as a sensible explanation. Just a typical deflection of the logical fallacy kind. "You're mad I & the Maquis stole? But what about all the stuff you and the Fed have done? You're not perfect, your worse. Nyah, nyah!"

Now, whether the intention was for the speech to actually BE Eddington's reasons, or just a demonstration of his characterization, I can't say. But it's evident that the writers either realized it wasn't as strong as they planned or held off on his true motives as they explored Eddington and his motivations much more in "For the Uniform" where I think his reasons for what he did both here and in that episode are made much more clear. Even if it could technically be labelled a retcon.

Eddington's trilogy for me as I (perhaps erroneously) remember it is really: 1) his betrayal and his feelings behind it, 2) why he did it and why with the Maquis and 3) why he came to care about the cause so much.
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borusa
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

Hmm-I still think Babylon 5 did this better.
This is nevertheless better than part one but there were some low points such as Riker showing his inability to manage his new Captain, the rather unlikely saboutaging of the entire Cardassian task force by planting mines , the inexplicable perceived value of Picard's knoweldge of federation tactical plans to defend some planet to the Cardassians ( all the possible tactics would surely be anticipated by a competent military force of equivalent power to the Federation) and the inevitable series re set at the end .

I would think that the silly admiral whose gullibility nearly lost the Federation a valuable officer would at least be chained to a harmless desk job after this near cock up.
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Weiss
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I am going to guess next season will be about them in the future with a tyrannical federation and trying to bring back its nobility.
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Booming
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Kurtzman wrote/said that it would all make sense at the end of season 2 which was obviously a typo. He meant the end of season 3.
About the spore drive. That was banned after the great fungi wars. They were never mentioned because Federation made it treason to talk about it.

It kind of makes you think. Talking about something that is true, is occasionally treason in the Federation... sort of a red flag.
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Thomas
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

- Internet conspiracy theorists have come up with a way to validate my dislike for the show based on speculation and liberal interpretations of real news.
- The showrunners refuse to release potentially damaging information about their show.
- Since the showrunners don’t release news that validates my opinion, the internet conspiracies that do validate it must be correct.

Riker: What a perfectly vicious little circle.
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Elliott
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

The linguistic issue is not pedantic—conceiving of Starfleet as a military in the modern sense completely misses the mark on what it is or means. Like I said, the distinction in 24th century terms is important because other cultures still have modern-style militaries. So you could say that Starfleet “redefined” what a military means, that’s true, but I think Picard makes the distinction specifically because there are other forces which operate as militaries, like the Zakdorn, which must be understood to be quite different.

@Jackson: well you’re free to assert that, just like many claim that the Federation’s abolition of wealth is absurd, or how warp drive as presented is absurd, or holodecks, or the fact that language hasn’t changed. There are some conceits we make to immerse ourselves in the fiction and understand the premise/messages of the writing. I also should have mentioned the MACOs, which clearly are military, distinct from Starfleet, which is not. We’ll get there one day...

@Chrome:

You aren’t wrong, but I object to the idea that these people are comfortable in this position. “Doesn’t everyone?” Dad asks regarding the recording of farewell messages as though this shit is routine. Sisko referring to “his men,” Word behaving like some Saving Private Ryan reject...it’s those anachronisms (nothing new for this series) that frustrate me.
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wolfstar
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

The finale also creates the problem that Starfleet had a way to instantly bring Voyager home all along (or at least after contact was established with Voyager in Message In A Bottle) but chose not to because it was classified tech.

John's right. Once these things are out of the bag, they're out of the bag.

I found out thanks to the Midnight Edge video link that someone posted that (unsurprisingly) the spore drive wasn't part of Bryan Fuller's original plan. Fuller did create the Stamets character and plan to have advanced fungal tech in the series, but it was in the context of terraforming. It was Berg and Harberts who changed it to the "spore drive".
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Jackson
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

I don;t think this violates the Prime Directive, because this race was previously more advanced and was devastated artificially.

So Bashir's actions are more or a restoration, or to co-opt the title of another Trek episode that involved a restoration, a Tuve-fix.
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John Harmon
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Are we actually supposed to believe this is an acceptable way to write out the spore drive? Was there any evidence that Starfleet didn't plan on implementing it in more ships? We saw in season one that Discovery wasn't the only ship working on a spore drive. Stamets got it to work.

Considering how technological progress happens in humans, when we discover a technology that irrevocably changes our society, we don't just mothball it if it seems a little dangerous. We work the problem until it's fixed.

It's entirely unbelievable that Starfleet would discard all information on this fantastic technology and never try to develop anything like it ever again even though it cuts travel time around the universe down to zero. Humans just don't work that way and technology progresses, it never regresses.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Why would the writers and showrunners openly admit this? That shouldn't be the only way you'd believe it. How about just looking at the plain evidence?

I don't think you understand that making this assumption (that they changed course and retconned) is actually a form of giving them the benefit of the doubt, at least to some degree. They could have done a better job with the retconning, but it's at least a better look for them as compared to their having planned for the Red Angel to be Burnham all along, yet being so sloppy in all the ways @Trent outlined (although a nitpick: he's right that the number of points on the map should not be seven--but it should be five, not three).
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