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Paul M.
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 2:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

@Mike,
You meant Londo, not Garibaldi, right?

Such a strange, on occasion awful, often brilliant show, B5. Good times.
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Peter G.
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Half a Life

@ Garlaxor,

"That ethical story is about the conflict between the comforts of tradition and their morality."

That's a sort of funny take on it, since the only instance we see of a guy hitting 60 is that it is distinctly *not* comfortable to him to follow this tradition. But I'm not sure tradition is the right word; I think it's better just called a law. The premise of the episode we have to swallow is, I think, a reference to so-called overpopulation. This planet is somewhat like China in that it requires a law to restrict the population level for sustainability purposes. There is a moral component, but the conflict is between the needs of the society versus individual rights. I think we have to accept it as a fact that if this law is stuck down then the planet *will* have problems and many might suffer. If this is not true then the episode really loses all its steam. So under the assumption that it is true, each individual has got to accept a personal sacrifice for the good of all. Far from being a mere tradition, this makes it a supreme moral act to comply with the law from the point of view of the society. Since Lwaxana is an staunch individualist (and an aristocrat) naturally she views her own freedom as the ultimate good.

In fact when pitting these two values against each other I don't at all see a clear-cut line where one is more right than the other. It is surely the case that if each individual did whatever they wanted the society would be in big trouble. In this particular society the restrictions needed on individual license are perhaps stricter than they would be elsewhere, but even so there is no place there freedom vs social good is not a problem. What I think places this particular planet on the questionable side is the sort of calm acceptance of what is essentially the wholesale murder of all old people. It's sort of like fixing the social security problem by ensuring no one ever collects it because they're dead. Even though tonally they are different, the moral dilemma here reminds me most of A Taste of Armageddon, where similarly a 'social good' is pursued through the efficient and cold murder of entire segments of the populace.
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spinalatte
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 9:50am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

I watched 20 episodes during the original run, and watched the entire series from start to finish over 6 months. I didn’t expect much as my die hard ST friends were unrelenting on their hatred of the series. Well, I can say that 20 years later, some episodes were stinkers, but I enjoyed the series. I grew to care about the characters, rooted for them in their struggles, and wanted to see them get home. I do feel like SciFi series have a certain shelf life and I feel like 3 years seems to be the maximum that the writers can be original without getting too goofy. I grew tired of BSG’s religious undertones, hinting at ghosts, and the supernatural. Star Trek likes to throw in weird time travel, Q, holodeck malfunctions, and shuttle crashes. No matter, we are not trying to cure cancer, we are trying to entertain, and it was still much more intelligent than so-called reality TV.

Voyager, I was entertained, and although you frustrated me many times, I will miss the feeling I had when watching the episodes for the first time. Adieu, and welcome home!
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Peter G.
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 1:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

@ SlackerInc,

Maybe this is just a terminology thing. In terms of the plot I might agree that it's a little pat that Picard's entire life would hinge on one single decision in a bar, although still it's not impossible. But I think the plot in this case is just the crowning moment of Q's lesson more so than the specific moment on which Picard's life would turn. True, he got into a fight and was stabbed, but more broadly Picard seems to wish that he had been a different kind of young man; not just in that one incident, but throughout his youth. His current taste for discipline, seriousness, and a stiff upper lip gives him the idea to romanticize about what it would have been like to have been like that from the start. It's not so very different from the "if only I could go back to high school now and do it differently" dream. But Q's point is that the very person wanting this was necessitated by that exact past. Change the past and you eliminate the person doing the wishing into...who knows who. In this case if Picard had his wish and had never been brash and bold *ever* (not just in the bar) then this might have been his future. And I think that's entirely a reasonable hypothesis. Only if you look at the bar fight as being the single thing Picard would change does it become a little hokey to suppose that it would magically transform his life. But I think the plot we're shown is meant to support the bigger picture of Picard's entire life arc and why he needed to go through all of that to get where he got. Sure, if he could keep his life exactly the same, just minus being stabbed, maybe he'd have still made Captain. But that's the point: in order to be the sort of person who'd have never gotten into the fight, he'd also not have been the man to win the Academy marathon or to spoil for command.
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Poul
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

Looks like there was a fan of Tau Zero on the writing staff for this one
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Peter G.
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

@ SlackerInc,

"But I fundamentally do not accept the moral of the story, so that ultimately makes the episode something of a failure."

You do not accept that all of your experiences, good and bad, shaped who you are at present?
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 6:19am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Starfleet's "Ideals" and such, were originally just a stand-in for "America" because Studio Suits liked that angle.

I think one thing a lot of people forget is that TV Studios used to have A LOT more power over what got put into a show, than they do now. With the advent of streaming, it is much easier than it would have been back in the 60s (or 80s) for a show to, ahem, "take their business elsewhere."

Look what happened with Cobra Kai. Youtube Red (or whatever the heck they ended up calling it) completely tanked, but the moment it got onto Netflix, it went through the roof (wow that's kind of like what happened with TOS when it went into syndication).

But back to my original point, the comparisons of the UFP to the USA, have gotten thin with time; due to what I think are a combination of factors:

- "Television" writing has been held to higher and higher standards as time has gone on. Even the very best-written episodes of TOS now sound kind of like "products of their time," and TNG is starting to go that route as well. This is inevitable; all works are products of the time in which they were made (as Nick Meyer said in the commentary of TWOK Director's Cut).

- The USA has NEVER had as squeaky-clean a set of hands, as Star Trek portrays the UFP as having. Lo and behold, while Star Trek was in the middle of being made, people were in fact rioting in the streets over the USA's racist shitlord attitudes (and yeah if you can't tell from my name and dialect of English, I am a natural-born citizen of the USA. Da Bears. Da Bulls. Mike Ditka). Honestly, the UFP is a very sanitized and whitewashed portrayal, in any show that has focused on it.

- The shows themselves have covered this semi-allegorical angle so well, that the idea itself has become stale. Sure, we can have a story about time travelers arriving in a Post-UFP galaxy, I'm for it.

But I think it's important to remember that well, the Maquis happened, Jean-Luc Picard once referred to the missions of Kirk/Spock as "Cowboy Diplomacy," Benjamin Sisko once poisoned an entire planet to get one guy and Starfleet fully let it go without repercussions for him, the UFP did kind of sit idly by while Cardassia was basically raping the shit out of Bajor, the Dominion tried to tear the entire quadrant apart to beat them, and just barely managed to fail mostly because they were attacked with a biological weapon created by Section 31, and now (with Picard), the UFP managed to get shitty enough to simply ban all forms of Synthetic Life because a Romulan Death Cult thought space dragons would come destroy the universe if they didn't.

This was what I mean when I say A LOT OF SHIT HAS HAPPENED in the Star Trek Universe. And with all that, the UFP *still* comes off as a much more sanitized and whitewashed version of what the USA has been up to.

Think about it. There is very little mention of the economic infrastructure of the UFP. There is no mention of how people pay for healthcare, or what happens when workers aren't satisfied with the conditions of their employment, or who pays taxes, and who doesn't, and what proportionality between these two groups exists.

All very real issues, but simply not very dramatic.

The UFP was designed to be simple to write about, easily understood, and conducive to filling up the viewer with joy-joy patriotism feels. ...Why can't we address that?

This is a golden opportunity to do it. Gene Roddenberry's "Vision of the Future" is pretty and gives you those nice feels, but it's actually, in a way, a bit of a dodge. It gives the story a stereotypical set of "good guys" who you can sympathize with as they fight the "bad guys."

2001 didn't have that. Heck, 2010 didn't have that, the whole World War III subplot was added into the movie just because the producers thought people wouldn't watch the movie unless it was there.

In all the series that have been produced (it's bordering on Dragonball Z Levels of Ubiquity by this point), has anyone ever said "Wait a minute, is the UFP really that great?"

Has anyone ever said "What if we don't need the UFP, and can take only what we feel is good, righteous and necessary from it, and just start over on our own?"

Because aren't we really talking about Earth, as a planet/country in this galaxy? ... I would be most interested for Star Trek to take this deep dive.

TOS was born not only from a desire to have thinking-man's stories about exploring space, but from fans that supported it (like my Mom and Dad). Those fans, were ***vehemently*** dissatisfied with the US Government of the time, you know. They listened to CSNY sing "Ohio," they carried signs that said "War is good for business, invest your son," et al.

If Star Trek ever really wants to "go where no Star Trek Show has gone before," that might be a good place to start.

The very principle of a free, fair, Democratic Election is basically anti-government in the first place; simply put, it gives people the ability to replace the current government with a new one, if they don't like what's being done, because in this way, power can be more equally distributed than it was when the world was run by Aristocrats born into their power, basically hurling massive amounts of Peasants at any problem they had like so much cannon fodder.

Get up, Star Trek. Trek out for your rights.
Get up, Star Trek. Don't give up the fight.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 3:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

The chewy chunks being scraped off the floor in engineering look suspiciously like prosciutto... other than that, I don't have time to talk... and now I want a sandwich, lol
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Peremensoe
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

Trans and NB characters are expected this season.

I don't recall that Tilly was ever stated to be losing weight, let alone having a "weight loss arc" story. I thought she was trying for a "physical-endurance commendation" - apparently successfully, as she was then accepted for the command training program for which that was supposed to be an assist.

"The show's going for ultra diversity, all the main characters black, gay, latino or Asian, with Tilly the plump, body positive token character."

And that would be the most classically Trek thing possible. Right?
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Saphthings
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 4:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

This episode deserves a minimum of 3 stars. It was really good Trek. Finally.

It was in the future. Finally.

But mostly the acting and worldbuilding was amazing. We got technobabble, a space druid, award winning acting for Michael, super acting for Book. We got surprises and advanced tech.

I've really detested Battlestar Discovery for season 1, and was barely ok with Season 2, but God am I glad I stuck around because this was amazing and one of the first times I truly teared up in Star Trek.

I think many of us look back at Star Trek with Nostalgia filled Rose tinted glasses. I'm rewatching TNG for the second time now and am near the end of Season 2.... So far I'm almost 50 episodes in. FIFTY. And it's been mostly garbage. Other than a few highlights like Measure of Man and etc it's so bad. I just keep reminding myself that eventually I apparently love it for some reason.

Now we essentially have 1 seasons worth of Discovery, since they have less episodes, and... It's given me way more than TNG and several of the classics...

Yes it's a bit more of a physical series than we're used to, but watching TNG now the sexism and some racist things aged SO bad... It's been 30 years from then! It wasn't going to stay the "same" and "the same" isn't quite as stellar as we remember it being.

I'd rate this episode a 4/4. And I honestly am surprised at some 3s people have given to prior series and then say this is a 2...

The only reason why it might be a 3/4 is the camerawork. It's like a new graduate just came off of film school and thinks Dutch angles and "edgy" fast shots is cool and innovative. Constant flash flash flash back and forth and tilted angles to be I don't know what. At some point I almost need a stabilized version to actually see some things...
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Wesley's pyjamas
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 3:39am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

Did anyone catch what the purpose of using the phaser during the crash was meant to be? I think Saru said something about cushioning the impact, but how would that work? It couldn't be by applying inverse force to the ship, because that would mean anytime a phaser is fired the person or ship would be propelled backward. The only other thing I can think of is melting the ice.
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Lodged Warpedo
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 1:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

@Tomalak

No, Tilly is not at all unrecognizable. And what a very weird thing to comment on. If you say it’s not a criticism, then what exactly would you call it? Just an observation? You really couldn’t bring anything better to the table? Guess not.
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Peremensoe
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

@Name

It is two separate episodes. This was not "That Hope is You, Part 2," about Burnham's intervening year.
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

... Geez.

I came to read this review, only to suddenly realize I'd already read it yesterday... I guess I was so drunk that I was blacked out while reading it (my birthday is tomorrow but I'm scheduled to work, so I decided to "celebrate" yesterday), but I distinctly remember the review. My comment of 12:09pm Wednesday was mostly legible too.

I must be getting old. I really didn't think I'd had that much to drink.
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Joseph S.
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 6:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Fair enough, I liked Star Trek 2009 better than The Big Lebowski too.
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Joseph S.
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Kurtzman only has writing credit for one episode of Discovery, so this argument is pretttttty dumb. But okay, “Star Trek” (2009) was written by Kurtzman and was critically acclaimed with an aggregate 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Take a look at the critical ratings of other Trek movies:

Star Trek: The Motion Picture - 41% approval.
Star Trek: Generations - 50% approval.

Few Trek movies have aggregate approval close to Kurtzman’s - “The Wrath of Khan” with an 88% and “Star Trek: First Contact” with a 92%.

TLDR: Yeah, well, that’s just, like your opinion, man.
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Harpohara
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

I’ve been over 20 years coming here and reading the reviews.

But more than ever the comments make me think haters are gonna hate. Including the reviewer.

I’m not rating this the same as DS9 because it’s not DS9.

Time to move on.

Bye Jammer.

I now leave the site and stop
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CaptainMercer
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

I like violent films depending on context. Why does Trek have to be so gory? We start a scene with them shoveling brain matter from the floor. People are shot by futuristic shotguns? We see multiple close ups of nasty bloody injuries. It was tasteless nonsense. And none of it mattered. This was not Star Trek. This was B grade science fiction with the depth of Van Dam's Cyborg
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spinalatte
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

I never got into this one, the doctor’s novel seemed over the top, Tom’s response was exaggerated. Definitely inspired by Measure of a Man, if not a rip off. All
In all, watchable and entertaining, but it is a 2.5/4 for me.
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Peter G.
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Tara (and sorry for writing "@ Trent" prefacing my previous comment),

I don't mean to imply that pregnancy incapacitates women outright. I am specifically talking about later in terms, and most specifically 9th month. My wife was working throughout her pregnancy, right until the day she gave birth, but nevertheless long walks and any kind of vigorous energy requirement was really a no-go in the last few weeks. Even a 20 min walk would be difficult with the extreme muscle looseness in certain areas that expand. It's just a physical fact, it would have been literally impossible for her to be doing anything physically exerting at that point. And yeah, there was much more lying down, groaning with soreness, feeling a bit incapacitated. Still working, but not physically very able. It's not a weakness, it's just a reality.
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MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Jammer

"No explanation is given as to why Book and Burnham (B&B?) have to keep making successive transports rather than just one; chalk it up to the action's needs du juor, I guess."

I do understand that Jammer is only human, and may have missed that the most recent transport before the would-be-captors have their final showdown with B&B happens when they transport into a location underwater; Book gives the explanation that they are only able to track transport on solid blocks of land, which buys them some time (a very tried+true plot device).

As for the rest, I'm in agreement with Jammer; this seems like it could translate into good plots in future episodes.

It had better. I'm losing patience, as much as Jammer seems to be.

Will you sit down at a (Dr. McCoy Voice) god-damned typewriter?
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Peter G.
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Trent,

Re: Klingon marriage, while I do think there was some soft retconning I think what you're also seeing is a vestige of the arc we're taken through in TNG (and now DS9) of the demystifying of Klingon beliefs that Worf was totally serious about when he was more ignorant of how real Klingons live. Back in TNG S1-2 he believed that all Klingons value honor above all things, marry any woman they want to have sex with, hit themselves with pain sticks on a regular basis, enjoy fancy tea ceremonies, and generally live the life of a Klingon samurai poet. The reality we've been given, striking the heart of his fantasies about what being Klingon is like, is that modern Klingons are mostly just warriors who are subject to the same kind of corruptions as other races, who aren't particularly poetic, who do sleep around, and who don't care that much about sneak attacks or cheap tactics.

Back in Emissary Worf's position is largely an examination of traditional human values (i.e. conservative Earth values) versus a Roddenberrian view which is more about free love, not taking everything so seriously, and going with your feelings rather than tradition. That this doubled as being about Klingon culture ended up, in hindsight, making Worf an ultra-conservative Klingon given what we now know about them, which is not really inconsistent with the Klingons in general. He's just an outlier, mostly because of his own distance from real Klingons. By the time of DS9 I think it's sort of clear that Worf bubble has been burst and he knows he's not really a normal Klingon. Maybe dating Troi was the straw that broke that camel's back.

In the here and now I think Worf isn't exactly 'modernized' but he's not quite as scandalized as he was 10 years prior at the idea of sex without taking the oath. And I think he still does want the oath, but he's mellowed enough to know he can't realistically ask her for it. If he's going to date an alien, or even a modernized Klingon, he'll have to learn to compromise on that score.

About Kira, I think honestly it never occurred to me for a moment that she was being portrayed as weak just because at this point she is physically much less able. I can tell you that there's nothing cliche or diminishing to women to suggest that toward the end of their pregnancy they are really out of commission. Sure, some can go around and do their thing, but mostly you can't expect anyone to be able to walk more than a short way (back pain, loosening of muscle tissues) or do physically arduous things, and you're not even supported to exert yourself much. Being sleepy all the time is a thing, as well as being sore in random places and needing massages. So to me nothing we see here is diminishing to Kira or un-manning of her toughness. It's just the physical state she's in at this point, and even a softening of her temper can be well understood in terms of her not being quite so feisty at a time like this. I guess I'm not really sure what your objection is, other than I do get the idea that "let's end this baby thing and get our old Kira back." To that extent I basically agree, it had run its course and frankly didn't amount to that much narratively, so it was nice to have her back to normal after.

As for Na-Toth, I never had a problem with either of them.
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

"Only when the writers approach the job with the attitude of an artist, aiming to create something new, and ignoring completely what "fans want" will Star Trek, once again, be great art. "

... "Star Trek Fans"

... Something about that sounds odd to me. Like, it feels like Star Trek has been around for such a long time, and winded its way through so many iterations and permutations of the culture surrounding it, that there may in fact be too many different types of fans, at this point, for the phrase to have any real meaning.

Perhaps, the ones with baked-in ideas about "What Star Trek is" aren't the fans themselves, but the writers who approach it?

I imagine that they have this strange, very limited and singular idea of "Who a Star Trek Fan Is" in their minds, when they write this stuff over the last 20 years.

To be honest, you can't boil that down to an archetype. Many people, of many walks of life, all over the world, for almost 60 years now, are fans of Star Trek, for varying reasons.

It would be better for a writer to say to themselves "What do I want to see on Star Trek, as a fan myself?" rather than trying to say "What do Star Trek Fans want to see?"

You aren't dealing with a homogenous group, anymore, really.
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Patrick D
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 1:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I guess I'm alone in this arena. I've been watching TNG for decades and I still love it. Even seasons 1 and 2 are more watchable *to me* than most of of Voyager and Enterprise. Part of it might be nostalgia. Part of it might be than I know that some of the weaker episodes of those early seasons (like "Hide and Q" and "Datalore") lead to bigger and better things down the road. Even at its worst, TNG strived to be a thoughtful show (with exceptions like "Sub Rosa" and "Genesis").

I don't need Trek to be ultra-jaded like The Sopranos and I don't need it to be paced like a Fast and the Furious movie. Just let it make me think, feel, experience something unique and wonderful and help me see the world in a different way. And would it kill Trek to be cultured, inspiring and humanistic again? Can't they give us one new spin-off in the true spirit of the first two Roddenberry-created Trek shows? Just one?
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Patrick D
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 10:54am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

This is purely anecdotal, but the Trek show--indeed the TV show, in general--that I've had the worst time talking people into watching was Deep Space Nine. All the people I've tried to talk into watching the show are deeply intelligent people with otherwise good taste, but there's never been a person who seemed enthusiastic about watching it and some have voiced disdain. In some ways it's the most critically acclaimed Trek show, but it is also a HARD sell.

On the flip side, Firefly was the easiest show I've ever got many people to watch and love. Go figure.
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