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Paul M.
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 4:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Totally off-topic, but in response to Tommy D., reaction to the ending of Mass Effect was massively overblown. The trilogy to this day remains a shining example of how to do an action RPG.

Fond memories...
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Paul M.
Sat, Mar 14, 2020, 6:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

Because one is sentient and the other is not?
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Paul M.
Sat, Mar 14, 2020, 8:04am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

I am starting to wonder if the Powers That Be are planning some kind of plot and thematic connection between Discovery and Picard: dangers of AI evolution on a cosmic level being one of them.

Either that or someone on the team really likes Mass Effect... some mysterious ultrapowerful entity lurks out there ready to intervene and lay waste to civilizations if synthetic life appears? And, of course, the hypothetical desolate future we saw glimpses of in Discovery is populated by squidlike AI terrors... Reapers anyone?

For some additional tinfoil theorizing, The Expanse, a phenomenal scifi show you all should go and watch immediately, also has a more than passing resemblance to certain Mass Effect plot elements.

And to go full circle, both Discovery and Expanse did some location shooting at the same sites, namely the abandoned facility where they captured the Red Angel was the same place the crew of Rocinante went to in order to save the little kid and shut down Mao's supersoldier breeding grounds. Also, Saru's village (shots by the lakeside beneath the cliffs) appeared in Expanse Season 3 finale in Holden's vision of the ringgates.

I don't know what I wanted to say with all this but anyway... carry on!
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Paul M.
Thu, Mar 12, 2020, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

Not the same Reliant. Picard was out of the Academy in late 2320s. Khan's Reliant blew up in, what, 2284 or thereabouts? Star Trek has always loved rehashing names. How many Saratogas and Lexingtons and Intrepids are there?
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Paul M.
Tue, Mar 3, 2020, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

Has Omicron continued his tradition of not watching nuTrek or has he relented and given STP a spin?
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Paul M.
Sun, Feb 9, 2020, 10:29am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi:
"ST:Picard is a bit different in this respect, because it supposedly continues the story of our beloved TNG captain. But is it really convincing? Can you really believe that STP's world is a direct continuation of the world of TNG and DS9 and Nemesis? Does STP's Picard seem like a future version of the person we know from previous installments?"

The answer to all your questions is "yes".

Yes, it is convincing. Yes, I do believe that STP's world is a direct continuation of the world of TNG and DS9. Yes, STP's Picard does seem like a future version of the person we knew.

Some 26 years have passed since the show, and 18 since Nemesis. Picard still has that unshakeable moral center, but he's weary and tired by the darker turn of Starfleet (more on that later) and, well, his own advanced age. But it's still unmistakably him!

As for Federation and Starfleet, I find the insistence that STP depicts a dystopian future so overblown that it borders on silly. Have you guys seen some of the shenanigans these organisations were up to back in day? You know, like DS9's Section 31, Sisko's behavior in "In the Pale Moonlight" and while hunting Eddington, and all the crazy/corrupt admirals gracing our screens since 1960s!?

And STP is dystopian now? Pffft. Yeah, I find it very convincing that the Federation might take a more isolationist attitude after hundreds of millions, if not billions, had died in the Dominion War and Starfleet itself had been severely decimated, both in ships and personnel. And even so, nothing we've seen in these three episodes, tells me that the Federation is now EVIL! or that it doesn't give a damn about anything anymore or that it's dangerously close to being irredeemable. Talk about exaggerating.
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Paul M.
Sat, Feb 8, 2020, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

Picard is actually 94 :)

Now that the opening act is over, I can say that I rather enjoyed these three episodes. Not groundbreaking, no, but very solid. I am interested in finding out what happens next, I like the characters presented so far and I find the mystery sufficiently... well, mysterious, I guess. Let's hope they actually do something worthwhile with it and we don't end up with another one of Kurtzan's and Abrams's patented mystery boxes that don't go anywhere.

Fandom is whiny as always, but that comes with the territory, so nothing new there.
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Paul M.
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Let's hope Michelle makes a better showrunner. She doesn't exactly have much experience, but at least she *is* primarily a writer. Kurtzman, on the other hand, has only a couple writing credits in this century and around one million producer credits. At this very moment the guy is producing 5 movies and several TV shows. How anyone can accomplish that in addition to writing, editing, showrunning, and directing is beyond me.
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Paul M.
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:01am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I thought this season was coming along rather nicely, with its own unique voice and approach to storytelling, up until Red Angel stuff hit us full force, sometime around when Momma Burnham showed up. Since then, these last, say, 4-5 episodes were going down the drain, and quickly. The show abandoned the episodic structure of the earlier two thirds of the season and dived headlong into the narrative and character black hole that is the Control/Red Angel plot. Pathos increased exponentially, tears and fake earnestness flowed like blood at the Red Wedding, outrageous plot points started piling atop one another, and it all culminated in a gigantic space battle that was, like any Michael Bay movie, at the same time a marvel of technical expertise and a textbook example of style without substance or character.

Even upon rewatch, I am still not sure which pew-pew beams are supposed to hit Discovery and Enterprise and which ones are actually fired by the two ships. There is no strategy or tactics to the battle, just thousands of light pixels exploding everywhere. Compare this to any of BSG space battles, which were done on a vastly smaller budget. BSG also had a lot of smaller craft flying around, it had that awesome looking flak barrier that seemed to be present around Big-E and Disco as well -- but there is no comparison. BSG battles were masterpieces of pacing, action, storytelling, and character beats. This thing... ugh.

And that ending, sweet Roberta, that ending. For months Kurtzman had been all around the various media outlets, talking about how the ending will explain any and all canon inconsistencies (which -- canon, I mean -- is rather low on my list of priorities, so I never exactly needed an explanation, but fine, whatever). The explanation: they swore never to talk about it. And Starfleet apparently abandoned perfectly workable and reliable technology like, oh I don't know, spore drive and time travel because, hey, why not? There may be some bad guys who could misuse it, so let's pretend it doesn't exist.

Though, why stop there? I vote for the retirement of antimatter energy production and transporters! They could be abused in a million ways. Oh, and a note to the future Federation engineers: DO NOT DESIGN HOLODECKS!!! Those damn things abuse themselves all the time, not to mention that they seem intent on creating self-aware AIs every now and then. It's only a matter of time before a 20th century afficionado embarks on a Terminator-style holo-adventure with a sentient Arnold replica, and the future is screwed. You were warned. Arnold did say he'd be back.

On a side note: after all is said done, what was with all those strange Borg callbacks that amounted to nothing? Sentient fusing of organic and artificial, green nano-technology injected into the body that assimilates the host (kinda), "struggle is pointless"... What the hell was all that? It's way too reminiscent of the established Borg lore to be a mere coincidence... yet that's exactly what it seems to be from an in-universe standpoint.
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Paul M.
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 3:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Trent
"Can someone explain the probe encountered over Kaminar? "

Feels to me like there was some heavy behind-the-scenes rejiggering of the plotlines after the dismissal of the previous showrunners, which happened somewhere early in the season. I don't think all the pieces neatly fall in as we would like.
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Paul M.
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

This was a disaster. One of the worst Star Trek episodes I have ever seen. There wasn't a single element that made sense: the battle, confrontation with Leland, bomb disarming subplot, vow of silence, explanation of the red bursts, medieval priestesses flying space ships, technobabble to end all technobabbles, and on and on it goes. This was a disaster the likes of which I have never in my life seen on Star Trek, unless you count the likes of Spock's Brain or Threshold. This episode seemed like it was made by a murdered corpse of Michael Bay that underwent extensive zombification somewhere along the way. Abysmal is a kind word for the quality of this... thing.
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Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 4:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Daya

"Or it could be Khan."

Nah. Could be K'Ehleyr being delivered to the Enterprise, photon torpedo-style. I mean, she's used to it.
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Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Daya,

I don't think that's a photon torpedo lodged in Enterprise's hull. It's way too big. Some kind of probe? Insidious evil malicious thing trying to take control of the ship? Proto-Borg ship-sized nanite-delivery vehicle intent on assimilating everything in its path? Be sure to tune in next week and find out!
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Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Trent:

"I think it was done for purely commercial reasons. The TOS era is more swashbuckling, edgier in a pulpy way, has readily packaged villains and so forth. It's the perfect epoch for a vast, pulpy, action series."

There's no reason you can't have a swashbuckling action series post-VOY. Just because it's set in the future doesn't mean the show has to adhere to a more TNG-era approach to storytelling. They could have done whatever they wanted in whatever time period they wanted. Doubly so when you consider that the initial idea was NOT to feature Spock or Enterprise. So if you're doing a prequel show and don't really want to "prequelize" stuff all that much, why do it in the first place? While your explanation certainly has merit, I still think that the primary motivation behind placing DIS ahead of TOS was twofold:

(1) to avoid answering (literal and narrative, not to mention copyright) questions about "Prime or Abrams", and
(2) hitch a ride on the movie bandwagon -- stylistically and by drawing on other common elements.

I still think DIS is superior to Abrams Trek, which I found almost unwatchable.
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Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 5:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Rahul:

(...) killing these writers (...) [is] the choice of starting DSC in the Trek canon roughly a decade before TOS. This series needed to start sometime in the future after VOY finished (...)

I speculated years ago that the, frankly unneeded, decision to place DIS pre-TOS is the likely result of not wanting to mess with split timelines that resulted from Abrams' movies and thus confuse the audiences that were first introduced to the franchise courtesy of J.J.

Now, I believe this was weird and unnecessary: old Trekkies know better, and new ones will hardly be bothered -- if they even notice anything -- by some divergent lore, e.g. Vulcan still being there.

But such is the way of Hollywood: I sincerely doubt that the present course of action was the result of creators' and showrunners' decisions, but was more likely mandated by execs from above because they wanted to tie their show more closely to the J.J. Trek.

Of course, once you're under that mandate, it's still the responsibility of the showrunners to deliver the best possible product. That they haven't speaks primarily to their failings.
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Paul M.
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Discovery's hypersonic plotting really deserves a good old Jammer's season recap. I know we're not gonna get it, but I think it'd be a cool read.
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Paul M.
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

There's so much pathos and saying goodbye in this episode that I have a feeling we'll see some real rejiggering (again) of Discovery heading into Season 3. I don't think they'll go the "Burnham writes herself out of history" route, but I wouldn't be surprised at some MAJOR temporal hijinks in order to realign the show with established canon.
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Paul M.
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 8:11am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

@Tim C
"As Jammer says, though, this feels like it's dragged on long enough. I still think a better idea for the third season might be smaller arcs, like Enterprise S4 or Agents of Shield's season 4."

I was never really a fan of the whole multiple mini-arcs thing. It segments the story into these strange independent chunks that have nothing to do with each other. But if that's the case, why not simply revert to the good old episodic thing and tell a bunch of solid stories?

I think the main problem with Disco's overarching narrative is that it's too simple. Yeah, you heard that right! :) The whole thing can be summed up in a couple of sentences about AIs, future, and all that jazz. That's why the writers, in order to prolong the narrative, resort to various soapy bits and plot twists. That wouldn't be nearly as evident, had the season-long storyline been constructed with more relevant moving pieces (not too many though!), better fleshed out motivations of various antagonists and side players, and a stronger focus on the wider world and worldbuilding in general. This way the season could have been structured around several plot-relevant high points along the way, which would in turn help with the feeling that the entire season is just a stalling tactic until the episode count runs out.

Again, this from someone who actually likes the season quite a bit, but isn't blind to its obvious shortcomings.
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Paul M.
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 3:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

I wonder if this season is falling into the same trap as Season 1. The closer we're getting to the end, the more heavily serialized the season becomes, and the crazy factor starts heating up towards overdrive.
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Paul M.
Tue, Apr 9, 2019, 3:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

Haha, I must commend mixmets7 for his masterful use of Trek quotes.
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Paul M.
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 4:18am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

"Everyone is invited to chime in as to how they manage to be fans of both TOS and DIS without suffering any cognitive dissonance, if they feel like it."

I don't know Alan's position, but if may volunteer my own. My favorite Treks are TNG and DS9. They are the first I watched, but I also think they are by far the most consistent and well-made TV shows out of all the Trek incarnations. I fully accept that my opinion may be influenced by the fact that I grew up on them, but I'd like to think I can intellectually formulate some quality standards that aren't completely dependent upon my early TV viewing experiences.

I like both TOS and DIS. TOS's first season was exemplary, but unfortunately that show progressively worsened as seasons went by. It therefore doesn't have the consistency nor the overall quality to really qualify for the top-tier. Discovery, on the other hand, never tried or wanted to be exceptional in its themes, symbolism, or storytelling. It's a well-executed action-adventure show that is entertaining to watch and has compelling performances. Some may not like it, but to me Discovery seems to be the crowd pleaser that Voyager wanted to be but could never really get there. DIS has the money, the visuals, and the relentlessness that are a solid fit for what they are trying to achieve. Simply put: I like it. It's not TNG, DS9, or TOS, (let's not even mention the masterpiece that is The Expanse), but it gets the job done and keeps my interest in a way VOY or ENT never managed.

As for "cognitive dissonance" that Daya mentioned, well, I was never all that into continuity porn. That's not to say that I don't appreciate canon, but it's not very high on my list of priorities. And this applies not only to canon, but to other continuity parameters as well -- I don't need unified themes or visual language to enjoy a franchise over several different TV shows.

"One of the deeper complaints I have seen is that bringing in new information so close to our beloved previous information just spoils our original memories. Fans of TOS want the original charm / intrigue / mystique of TOS intact, not hyper-explained. To many it feels as if someone is unnecessarily altering our fond childhood memories."

I can sympathize with your view, though I have mocked this sentiment in some of my, let's just say, less charitable posts. For those, I do apologize. Thing is, TOS is still there, all 79 episodes, original or remastered, for your viewing pleasure. That show and all your childhood memories aren't going anywhere. Watch it, cherish it, debate it with all the millions of Trek fans around the world, hopefully myself included. Discovery, for all its sins, real or perceived -- and beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder -- can't destroy that if *you* don't let it.
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Paul M.
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

Has anyone suffered more than O'Brien? ;)
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Paul M.
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 4:50am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

People talk of Terminator when considering influences on the arc of this season. Don't know about that, but these latest revelations coupled with Kurtzman's own words -- https://trekmovie.com/2019/03/29/watch-alex-kurtzman-explains-whats-motivating-section-31s-control-in-star-trek-discovery/

...

This screams Mass Effect to me, honestly.
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Paul M.
Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

I don't intend to add more fuel to the Mary Sue debate because labels are a slippery slope, especially in this day and age. I do think that the writers are dangerously close to writing themselves into a corner due to the Fuller's initial decision not to center the show on the ensemble or the captain. Because of this, they constantly need to come up with ways to personally connect Burnham with almost every plot and side character out there and make everything at least tangentially related to her. So it's not some devious desire to make Mary Sue out of Burnham, but a consequence of making her the only true lead without giving her the needed moral and hierarchical authority in-setting.
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Paul M.
Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 11:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

I love how the usual suspects are getting tilted hard (harder than usual, that is) at the mere notion that a Discovery episode might merit Jammer's 4 stars.
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