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Matthew Martin
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 10:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

best scenes of the episode were the ones that featured Picard and Seven, sitting next to each other, playing verbal chess. The single best scene this week came at the end, where the two ex-Borg share a moment of solidarity, both acknowledging that, after all these years, they both know a little part of them is still gone. Picard leaves Seven with a hopeful word, in true Picard fashion, telling her that they keep getting that little part of their humanity back, a piece at a time, every day.

Seven then beams back to the planet and murders the villain of the week.

Picard's still searching for his little missing piece of humanity; Seven seems to be chipping away at what's left of hers. That's great, great, great, stuff and I wish the whole show was that good. After episode one, I was left with the impression that this would be a return to Star Trek being a show that loved pondering ideas, debating morality, and resolving conflicts. Halfway through the first season and that feeling has yet to reappear except in little, fleeting, glimpses like we had with Seven/Picard.
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Matthew Martin
Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 10:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

Full Disclosure: I still really like Picard and am looking forward to seeing where this storyline goes.

That being said, I have an issue with something three episodes in...

Jean Luc Picard, as depicted in this version of the future, is sort of the last bastion of Gene Roddenberry's dream of an optimistic, peace-seeking future where everyone works together, where poverty is eradicated, and earth is a paradise of positivity. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine flirted with abandoning that dream but never went all the way; in fact it made a point to say Earth is still a paradise and that "it's easy to be a saint in paradise" but it's hard to live out in the interstellar frontier.

Now Picard is showing us a future where earth is bitter, xenophobic, and isolationist. Where people like Raffi live in the near-25th century equivalent of a single-wide, smoking the near-25th equivalent of mary jane, and resent Picard for living in his chateau in France. Meanwhile he's just trying to right the wrongs caused by someone else and can't get an inch of help from either the Federation or Starfleet because they've completely lost Gene's way and have become what the showrunners think Britain has become with Brexit and all that.

To be clear, I have no problem with Star Trek using the politics of the day as a storytelling motivator. In fact, I would encourage it.

Science-fiction is, by nature, allegorical. It's purpose is to teach us about what we are, what we're becoming, what we could be without making it obvious that we're being preached-to. Not all sci-fi is the same: Some is overt and cynical, creating environments that simply take the problems of today and turn them up to 11, beating us over the head with our own present sins.

Gene Roddenberry dreamed of a sci-fi show that dared to hope for the best.

He created Star Trek as a way to say "look how great things could be if we only just stopped fighting with each other." Yes there were still issues that needed addressing: In the days of the Original Series there was Vietnam, race relations, economic inequality; but how he dealt with those issues was two fold. On the one hand he made a point to remind us over and over in the show that earth had moved beyond those. At the same time he featured OTHER, ALIEN, BAD GUY species that still had those problems, allowing Kirk, Spock, and later Picard, etc, to lovingly (sometimes sternly) lecture on how stupid it is to be racist (Let This Be Your Last Battlefield), or to send people to death fighting a pointless war (A Taste of Armageddon), or to assume the worst in someone simply out of habit (Day of the Dove).

The key is that earth/humanity (a united humanity, mind you) moved past those things and the drama came from other alien species that hadn't.

Picard (and Discovery) has either forgotten that, or has decided it's maybe too much work, or requires too much of a writing-commitment, or is just too subtle for the dumbed-down audience they hope to attract, to tell those stories.

And that makes me sad.

I said after last week's episode that I was okay with Starfleet being a bunch of isolationist jerks, provided, in the end, they admit their fault and revert back to how they should be (how Gene envisioned them to be). We're not talking about changing the color of the uniforms here; we're talking about something that is foundational to Star Trek itself. Without an optimistic, peaceful earth, it's not Star Trek at all.

Picard's third episode takes the old hero back to the stars. What comes next we'll find out in the weeks that follow. He's searching for a synthetic...I hope he finds the the optimism and hope for the future that everyone around him lost over the years.
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Matthew Burns
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 4:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

"what happens if Sir Patrick Stewart dies? He's getting pretty old. It looks to me like he's really deteriorating"

Really deteriorating is not really an appropriate suggestion to make considering, like you say, he's 79. He's not going to be action Picard from the 90's now, of course not.
He's in fantastic condition compared to the average 79 year old!
Actors die irrespective of age and chances are Stewart will be fine, but there are no certainties for any of us and you cross that bridge, if, god forbid, you have too. The show would go on regardless!
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Matthew Burns
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 3:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

It's great to see Brent Spiner back to help launch the series, and even if it's true that he will not appear again in the series in Season 1 at least, it's a lovely couple of scenes and I for one think they did a fantastic job of de-aging Spiner as best they could without going to far to make it look too jarring.

The Romulan attack scenes were the least interesting to me to be honest, but overall I really enjoyed it.

Hopefully the show goes from strength to strength going forward.
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Matthew
Sun, Oct 6, 2019, 8:33am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Big Goodbye

Two things that make me laugh/eye roll in this episode:

1. Picard and Troi practicing the speech in the beginning. I’m *pretty* sure that insecticide aliens from far beyond the moon don’t write their language in the Roman alphabet, so what’s up with the goofy pronunciation drilling? Picard’s script should just be written out phonetically. But then, oh shoot, there goes the dramatic reason that Picard needs to de-stress in the holodeck.

2. Crusher imitating the dames on the holodeck with the powder compact, acting like she’s never put makeup on before. Meanwhile her own cheekbones are contoured til the spacecows come home.
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Matthew Siegel
Sat, Jun 15, 2019, 1:23am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Muse

I weirdly liked this a lot, even though on its face it doesn't seem that interesting... the way it gradually became about the creative process as a whole was just engaging. Perhaps because I did not expect that to be the theme of the episode, but it's a unique and interesting theme that works here.
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Matthew Martin
Thu, Mar 14, 2019, 11:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

Let me see if I have this right...

So, a few weeks ago Disco comes into contact with a giant space sphere thing, which has been gathering intel on galactic life for a long freaking time. Disco brings that bad boy on board and downloads the history of the world part one into their computers.

Later, Disco sends a shuttle into a crazy timey-wimey space anomaly. While there, a probe from the future latches onto the shuttle. The probe hacks Ariam.

Ariam goes to Section 31's HQ (Disco is there on the orders of Admiral Whatshername) and begins downloading the space sphere's info into the HQ computer (a special AI called "Control").

The conclusion that everyone reached as a result is that: Control sent a probe from the future to get that info, so that it can evolve and destroy all sentient life in the galaxy.

Now I assume the fact that this opens a queen-mother of a temporal paradox is just going to be ignored, as happens with 99% of time travel stories in fiction, but is that basically what we were told this episode? Right? Control came back from the future to take over robolady so she could give control in the past the tools needed to become wicked smaht in the future and destroy everything?

I'd prefer something simpler, like saving the whales or rescuing Data's severed head from Mark Twain, but whatever.
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Matthew D. Wilson
Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 8:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

I really wish the hardcore fans who hate TLJ wouldn't assume all hardcore fans agree with them. We don't.
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Matthew Davisson
Wed, Mar 14, 2018, 10:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

Can someone tell me why Harry didn't receive punishment yet Tom was locked up for 30 days and got demoted? Harry also disobeyed Janeway and stole a shuttle.
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matthew
Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 11:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Basically the evil, sadistic Lorca, while posing as a Starfleet captain, was winning the Klingon war, and the moment he left (first back to the mirror universe and then to death) Starfleet started losing the War. So what is Starfleet's solution? They go out of their way to recruit another mirror universe character; they seek out another evil, sadistic person to help them win the war. Because winning, even if it means throwing away your principles, is all that matters.

If that's seems like Star Trek to you, then you and I have different understandings of Star Trek.
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matthew
Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 11:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

The opening teaser establishes the theme of this episode: Michael vs Philippa...or more precisely Michael vs an immoral and ideal-abandoning Federation willing to not only work with a Terran Empire warlord but give her command of a Starship and send her to nuke a planet.

Does that sound like Starfleet to you? I know the conflict allows Michael to give a big, grandiose speech about "Federation values" and she's right on, but it doesn't change the fact that the mission Michael opposes was ordered by Starfleet. It shouldn't take a commander-ranked, ex-con mutineer to put admirals in their place and remind them that WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO GO AROUND NUKING PLANETS!

I mean MY GOSH did you HEAR Admiral Lisp Lady's argument?

"We were losing the war, we had to do something."

I'm going to type this very slowly because I want to get it right and because it highlights not only what makes Star Trek so attractive and so unique among other sci-fi show, but also illustrates (by contrast) what has persistently irked me about Discovery...

Ideals cast aside for self preservation is the literal-opposite of Starfleet's mission in the show, and is the literal-opposite of Star Trek's idealism as a show!

Starfleet was Gene Roddenberry's in-show conduit, to show the viewers of the Star Trek TV-show what kind of a future we could have, if we stopped being so selfish. The idea of bombing each other into the stone age under the guise of self-preservation and the (very subjective) "greater good" is EXACTLY THE KIND OF 1960'S COLD WAR STUFF RODDENBERRY WAS ARGUING AGAINST WHEN HE MADE STAR TREK!

And here we see Starfleet using that logic to justify their actions.

For an episode that, plot-wise, was incredibly boring and uneventful, that realization (that Starfleet as Discovery's writers have made it, is the exactly what Gene Roddenberry was writing against in 1967) elicited the biggest emotional reaction of the whole season: And it was a reaction of profound sadness.

Oh but I guess it's all forgiven because the Enterprise showed up.
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matthew
Sun, Jan 21, 2018, 11:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Vaulting Ambition

What is the end-game to this season? Is it Lorca becoming Emperor of the Terran Empire?

If that happens and Disco goes back to its universe, what have we gained? The whole season becomes a big shaggy dog story.
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Matthew James Burns
Thu, Jan 11, 2018, 2:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

I like this film. It is still Star Wars. It was my first Star Wars at the big screen too - so nostalgia plays a part I surpose, too. It has some pretty shoddy acting in places, I completely agree. But it is mostly enjoyable, exciting and has a great story going on within, if you actually pay attention.

It has a dreamlike look to it - A sort of dark fairytale vibe. I liked it.
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matthew
Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 12:07am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

It looks like we're going to be in the mirror universe for the remainder of the season. There are a lot of potential storyline threads to follow for the next several episodes so that's not a problem. Hopefully, like ST:ENT's controversial third season, the show uses its narrow setting to tell a variety of stories, to avoid the audience growing restless.

One mystery I'm curious to see revealed is the identity of the Emperor. Two theories I'm already intrigued by are Philippa Georgiou (the captain of the Shinzou in the original universe) and Saru. Both offer some great potential. With Georgiou you have an easy connection to draw to Sato (the Enterprise character who became Empress of the Mirror Universe in the great two-parter "In a Mirror, Darkly") as well as a great payoff to Burnham's character. With Saru, you have an alien secretly leading an Empire of anti-aliens, not to mention an alien who, in our universe, is by nature meek and timid, but in the Mirror Universe could be ruthless and cruel.

Another idea I hope I'm right about is that Lorca is actually from this Mirror Universe. There's a load of questions that concept would raise but without thinking it through too deeply I think that's the biggest shock they could pull out of this show so far, and it would go a long way to explain why he has been so un-Starfleet in his thinking and actions.
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Matthew Burns
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

This episode is now nearly 20 years old! It holds up well I think. The VFX look good even by todays standards.
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matthew martin
Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 9:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

I think the last two episodes have really redeemed the series, at least in my eyes. I was ready to write the whole thing off but last week was great and this week's A plot was fantastic, I thought.

It was classic Trek, and had a great twist with Saru not actually being mind-controlled, but actually just being a weak-willed person who made a bad choice.

The B and C plots were nothing but overt set-ups for the midseason finale. I get the need to get all your pieces in place, but the B plot failed to do anything for me and the C plot (all two scenes of it) was so slight it isn't even worth mentioning.

The A plot was stellar though and gives me hope that they can pull off a good finale. Their goal to shoot for is Kobol's Last Gleaming.

Good luck Disco
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matthew martin
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 10:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

I've been losing interest over the past month. To me, every episode since the premiere night has been worse than the one before it.

But this was easily my favorite episode thus far. Other than the stupid rave, this felt like pure Trek. High concept, sci-fi gimmick, mixed with a human story under the surface.

Fantastic. Not perfect, a little clunky and maybe a bit rushed but really really great. 9/10 for me.
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matthew
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

motion to change the short-hand name of the show to "Disco"

It's so much nicer than STD...
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matthew
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:08am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

I get wanting to show the future as we see it in 2017 but continuity is a thing too. The show constantly shows off casual technology that was simply not available in the 23rd century as established by the Original Series. It’s one thing to take the tech used in TOS and modernize the way it’s visualized (like the way the show uses food replicators), but to introduce new tech like the Holodeck that was clearly not available ten years in the future (in the show’s timeline) is frustrating.
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Matthew
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Also this was the day I cancelled All Access. There are plenty of alternative means of watching the show. I'm not paying another nickle to a wannabe netflix with ads that can't even play a show with buffering for half an hour.
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Matthew
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

This show would be a lot better if Lorca had been the centerpiece and star instead of Michael. If they had done something like Breaking Bad, where the star is conflicted, dark, unethical, highly driven and occasionally amoral yet still compelling and fascinating (Lorca is all of those things to me), it'd make for some strong drama.

Instead he's a side character while Michael reads her too-long lines exposition-heavy dialogue with the flat, wooden delivery of someone pretending to be a vulcan.

It's frustrating, like the rest of the show.
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Matthew
Tue, Oct 10, 2017, 11:56am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Friday's Child

Interesting how some of the series regulars (Uhura and Sulu, at least) are heard pronouncing Klingons as Klin-gon (sounding almost like Klee-gone). Whenever an extra of the week says it that way, I just assumed they weren’t familiar with the show and had only read the script and never heard the dialog.

It happened enough in this episode that I wondered if someone like the director or some other crew person (maybe Roddenberry’s ever-present and meddlesome lawyer) decided it should be pronounced that way and was giving notes about it.
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Matthew
Thu, Jan 12, 2017, 3:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

Well, only my second post and I really enjoyed this episode, it shows the spirit of cooperation, had some good dialogue and it has been said before aliens not speaking through the translator, but the translator could have done this once the basic understanding of the language had been established, but that would have not been as effective.
And this goes to the whole point for me of watching Sci-Fi, it's about the suspension of disbelief and how far YOU think it can go before it becomes ultimately ridiculous.
I smile at the different t opinions on this, and mostly with the time travel episodes.

Athough I do tend to agree the Voyager failed on some very simple levels, but I'm a sucker for anything S.T.

My other favourite observation is the constant, communism v capitalism. Or right and left wing observations. G.R. was I belive an Athiest, multiculturalist and wanted to portray a society where war, poverty and famine had been eradicated which seems quite a socialist attitude that prevails through all the spin offs from TOST.

It also very amusing when peoples description of what communism is, and quite angrily incorrectly described, and the Soviet perverted version is touted. BTW I'm NOT saying communism in its purest form would ever work but the concept isn't 'bad' and it doesn't crush free enterprise or entrepreneurs.
I assume most of the posters are from the US, where the understanding of government assisted healthcare is berated for being some socialist disease that capitalism holds the cure for.
It seems we are far from the Star Trek future, because I'm not quite sure how Trump would fit in!

Anyway it was nice to see Janway have some relationship with a 'solid' and still a shame the she and her second officer (not risking not being able to spell his bloody name on this site) didn't get together, however cheesy it would or could have been.
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Matthew Lindner
Tue, Oct 18, 2016, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Nemesis

I'm surprised anyone can give this more than 2 stars. It's legendarily bad. Especially compared to the previous episode which was rather good at 3 to 3.5 stars.
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Matthew Lindner
Tue, Oct 18, 2016, 7:37am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Real Life

I have to say that the new family Doc get's is rather as entirely fake as his first "cardboard" family. Real families don't have kids that nutcase rebellious nor parents that at odds with each other. It's a sit-com family made for drama, not a realistic family that actually like each other. Not like any real family I've ever seen nor heard of. It's rather frustrating.
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