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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 22, 2018, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

@ Chrome,

"That fact that Data can even shut off his emotions still separates him from being human (and also gives us some nice insight into Picard's turmoil when he says he's envious of Data). It was also great that FC teased us by making us think Data was still vulnerable to his emotions like he was in "Generations"."

It seems to go even further than merely envying Data; the plot actually hinged on Picard's inability to turn off his emotions. The whole "the line must be drawn here!" scene was exactly the difference between him and Data, where he was unable to proceed on pure logic, whereas Data's arc with the Queen seems to convey that Data was in fact able to contend with his emotions even though he had a split second of indecision. I wonder how much of Picard's arrival at the end influenced Data's resolve, mind you.

That's about all I'll say positively about the emotion chip arc in FC because overall it still seemed like a gimmick to me. The script didn't even make full use of the Picard/Data parallel in how each was handling emotions and that sort of fell by the wayside in favor of some action sequences near the end as well as a bit of speechifying,

Overall NONE of what we got in Generations or FC held a candle to the simple scene in Descent pt 1 where Data gets angry at the Borg, and then the subsequent creepy holodeck experiments where he can't get angry again. The emotionless question about whether he can only feel negative things was more interesting than Data's one-liners and angst around the Queen.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@ Chrome,

I don't doubt it. What was beautiful about TNG was they seemed to learn a lot from each other. There seems almost to have been an arc between Stewart and the cast that mirrors what was written into the show between Picard and the crew. At first private and hesitant, but slowly warming to them in an interpersonal way.

I also never stopped to think that Picard's lessons to Data were a reflection of what was literally happening behind the scenes.

"Good, Brent, good!"
"Patrick that's not the line."
"Err...Good, Data, good!"
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 3:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

In line with what Chrome suggested, instead of a thread for a series that may never exist maybe there should be a meta discussion thread about Trek in general. That would probably be the best place for series comparisons, commentary about the direction Trek is headed, potential future franchise projects, and things like that. I've felt a little guilty posting all sorts of things in a thread that's supposed to be about one episode in one series, even though it seemed like the best place for it at the time.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 3:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@ Chrome,

"At least Stewart knows how to teach other actors and could help shape the cast for the new show like he did with TNG."

Although Stewart has since been told that his acting elevating TNG to another level, we can also draw a conclusion in the opposite direction from hearing interviews from his cast mates. According to them he was a stick in the mud when the series began and it took them a while to 'train him' and bring him around to having fun with the rest of them. The fun can definitely be seen on screen starting maybe sometime in S2 or perhaps in S3. All in all I think that the credit for the show's environment can be spread all around despite having a strong lead.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Looks like Kutzman intends to go full nuclear with the reigns to Trek:

http://nationalpost.com/entertainment/television/patrick-stewart-will-boldly-go-where-no-one-else-has-gone-before-and-reprise-his-captain-jean-luc-picard-role?

From the article:

"It looks like Patrick Stewart could be returning to television as the character his fans would most like to see make a comeback: Star Trek‘s Jean-Luc Picard.
[...]
Stewart would lead a potential series reboot of Next Generation.[/quote]

Just what I needed...a reboot of TNG written by the crack team behind Discovery and ST: Beyond. I never thought I'd see the day when I'm cringing at the thought of all the cashing in on the franchise that's about to happen. Who said there was no money in the Federation?

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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 10:50am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

I have to admit I have no idea what you guys are talking about. After a quick Google I find that (a) Jill Abbott is a fictional person, played by an actress who did not appear on Frasier, and that Ardra was played by Marta Dubois, who also never appeared on Frasier.

So...?
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Peter G.
Mon, Jun 18, 2018, 10:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols

@ Ellliot Wilson,

"Are you blind? Sisko flat-out deduces right in front of the Prophet that they used her to get him created, then left once she had control back. The Prophet doesn't contradict this."

And? You're the one suggesting that the scene also directly states that it was a rape and that Sisko wished he never found out, and it doesn't state either of those two things.
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Peter G.
Sun, Jun 17, 2018, 2:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols

@ Elliot Wilson,

I feel like you're cherry-picking the one or two lines in the conversation that support your argument. But follow it through to its conclusion: what is Sisko really concerned with here? He learns that the Prophet used Sarah Sisko to mate with Joseph, and realizes that Sarah leaving must have meant that it was *entirely* the Prophet that chose Joseph rather than Sarah's personal taste. The implication is clear: Sisko is concerned with the fact of the Prophets *choosing Joseph*, not with the fact of the Prophets abusing Sarah. The sequence of his chain of reasoning is clear:

a) You made sure Sarah married Joseph.
b) When you left Sarah she left Joseph, ergo the Prophet was the one who wanted Joseph.
c) What the Prophet is saying isn't easy to accept, because it means Sisko's birth was arranged.
d) Why did it have to be me? As in, why did you arrange my birth?

The point made about possessing Sarah fits into the argument because it demonstrates that it was the Prophets who chose Joseph in order to made Benjamin. It's hard to accept because it means his birth was arranged. At no point does he object to the possession, nor does any statement here imply that Sisko considers the act to have been immoral.

You said: "It is something he "wishes" he'd never found out, but there's not a strong enough emphasis on how he's disgusted that Sarah Sisko was used that way."

But not only isn't there a 'strong enough' emphasis on his disgust - but rather there is *no* emphasis on it. Meaning, he isn't portrayed as being disgusted.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 15, 2018, 7:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

@ Chrome,

Actually I think mephyve has a point on this. If Picard had known about the people but not heard the actual plea for help it seems to me he would have obeyed the PD. I'm not even 100% sure he disobeyed it or made an exception because Federation law might be a bit more tricky when dealing with a pre-warp civilization that nevertheless knows about the Federation. A formal request for assistance made by a less advanced people that have relations with the Federation isn't the same as swooping in and rescuing unsuspecting peoples.

I think what made Picard fold here is that Data's communications with Sarjenka probably qualified in some sense as formal relations and so her plea for help had to be treated as equivalent to a request by that government for assistance. Data certainly breached the PD by communicating with her, but once that was done I think it opened the door for Picard to interpret the PD as no longer applying. The crucial thing here may be not that Picard agreed to save them, but that he didn't court martial Data. The leniency towards Data would be the operative act of compassion here since he didn't exactly intend to break the PD, it just sort of happened.

@ mephyve,

It's true that rules are not made to be blindly followed, and we all know how many times Kirk ignored the PD when it was clearly disastrous. But I think by Picard's time it had evolved somewhat and a lot more trust was placed in the system that it was for the greater good. So while the maxim is valid not to cease thinking for yourself, at the same time if the PD is agreed upon as being universally important and necessary then a good officer could indeed obey it at all times without fear of becoming a stormtrooper or something. Disobeying orders is when the orders would cause you to do something immoral. In principle I think the idea is that obeying the PD is never immoral, given the giant stakes involved.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 15, 2018, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@ Dom,

"Still, I do have to wonder how much Berg and Harberts were responsible for the problems in Season 1. It obviously wasn't the rosy situation the writers portrayed on After Trek."

I have to admit that I'd have been tempted to yell at the writers too. We don't know whether it was the case that the writers were out of line and the showrunners were fuming about it, or the showrunners were out of line and harmed the efficiency of the writing team as a consequence. Or maybe the writing is exactly what Kurtzman wanted and the showrunners were upset about it, and it was finally determined that they weren't a good fit.

This could amount to anything ranging from status quo, to an improvement, to a doubling down on the problems with the show.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 15, 2018, 10:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Wow, that is big news. Here's a quote from the article:

"Showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts are out, and executive producer Alex Kurtzman will step in. Kurtzman will also run the show’s writers’ room."

The problem with any creative project (also true of business in general) usually begins at the top. The show has had the air of a Kurtzman show from the word go, so the fact of losing two showrunners does seem like it was obvious there was a problem, but Kurtzman himself stepping in likely won't fix it if he is the actual problem. Time will tell.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 14, 2018, 11:47am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

@ mephyve,

"Everybody in the room except the doctor and Data are more worried about the prime directive than they are about actually helping the people."

It's called the PRIME directive for a reason. By definition it's meant to take precedence over other considerations.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 13, 2018, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

It's not just a question about being unable to save them all. If that's all the issue was it would be no issue at all: save as many as you can. The lack of being perfect should not require you to do nothing since it would be unfair or something to help who you can.

The real argument is that keeping a primitive people safe means taking over their lives, one way or another. It sounds like a no-brainer when it comes to a planet-crushing catastrophe, since what could they have ever done anyhow to 'develop themselves' in light of being summarily wiped out? But that's only a fringe case in the larger question of what steps the Federation is willing to take to *make* a primitive people stay safe. What about wars that could wipe out the populace? Should the Federation march in, disarm them all, and outlaw war? What about nuclear weapons? Should the Federation ban lesser cultures from developing those altogether? And what about warp drive and the rest of it? That's definitely potentially dangerous tech since an advance like that could give a nation-state and edge over their enemies to destroy them.

So it goes far beyond the question of whether to save helpless primitives from a volcano. If your mandate is to intervene for the sake of keeping everyone safe then you end up running their lives for them, telling them what to do and what not to do, and ensuring through your own might that they don't do anything that could allow them or their environment to wipe them out. It basically amounts to the Federation becoming a benevolent empire that enforces its will on those weaker than it "for their own good". Aside from the moral implications of this approach in and of itself, there is also the matter of the Federation charter and what the founding races agreed to in the first place. I doubt they would have signed on to an alliance with Earth where the ground rules were that the weaker parties were going to be subjugated to the stronger ones. The founding spirit of the Federation has as much to do with it as the abstract moral issue of whether interference is appropriate or not.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 7, 2018, 7:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

"Also have to wonder how Earth would ever accept an alien as UFP president"

?????
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 7, 2018, 10:11am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ensign Ro

Although it doesn't particularly apply to Ro, I do recognize the trope that I think NoPoet is alluding to. One thing I'll say about the 'tough lady' trope is that in media we're often exposed to either military or law enforcement scenarios, so we're not exactly seeing a real cross section of feminine personalities, but rather those types of people who would be attracted to those lines of work. It makes little sense to watch CSI or something and comment on how women you meet IRL aren't like that. They might be if you worked on the police force!
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 6, 2018, 11:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

@ ReaperX,

"This brings me to an important moral dimension which Homeward, and (as far as I can remember) all Star Trek prime directive tales ignore - that primitive societies often inflict incredible suffering on many or most of its members. "Homeward" evades this question by showing an idyllic, idealized primitive village. The story is not interested in the hardship that inherently comes with such a life, or the brutalities that this primitive society may inflict on its members."

Are you saying that suffering at the hands of other humans is worse than being wiped out to a man by a natural disaster? Because the stakes in this episode are that they will all die if nothing is done, and the Prime Directive seems to say that they should meet their natural fate. The 'hardships' you describe are surely a lesser case and are therefore covered by this episode.

"The highest moral law is to prevent the suffering of sentient beings."

How do you know that? Why are you so sure it's more important that determining your own fate and learning to think for yourself?
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Peter G.
Tue, Jun 5, 2018, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Putting aside the plotting the rebels vs Empire, and the casino planet, and focusing strictly on the Jedi story: I would be intrigued if anyone could offer a theory as to what we're supposed to learn about (a) the Jedi, or (b) life, through the story of the Jedi here. That can include Rey's meeting with Luke, Luke's reason for becoming a hermit, or Rey's conversations with Kylo.

Anyone? There seem to be fans of the film here. Anyone have an idea about what this Jedi story is "about"? By contrast, I could name a lot of points of wisdom shown in Empire Strikes back that we learn through Yoda and Luke's interactions on Degobah.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 2:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

"All I can say is that if that's an example of Jammer taking a heavy hand, then Jammer has managed to foster a community that is very respectful of him."

He has :)
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@ Astronut7,

"I'm not kidding about my Uncle. He's actually tried that whilst overseas. However, it can be safely assumed, that when the all-pervasive Wiki mentions a Jewish family without saying "secular", it probably meant that certain customs, traditions, and laws prominently featured. Whether Rick Berman accepted them, or rejected them, or ignored them I don't know. But he PROBABLY experienced them. I already thought I made it clear that this was guesswork."

It's not out of the question that someone who grew up in a Jewish NYC family was raised in a conservative, even religious setting. Sure, it's possible. Does that mean Rick Berman did? Your conclusion that he "probably" has a "background in law" because of his Jewish background is something beyond 'reaching', as Chrome put it. I won't say that it is, but it is actually that thing. Rather than address your other various points (and I applaud your energy and dedication to the argument) you may want to consider seriously the level of care and attention you're giving to each point in the span of your argument. A foundation built on premises such as "If someone is Jewish they probably know about law" needs to be re-examined before putting even a single stone on top of it.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Thank you, Jammer. Sorry that you had to mod with a more heavy hand than usual on this issue.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 6:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@ Astronut7,

"Captain Pike, and Captain Kirk (before Shatner took over the role), and Captain Picard (before the movies)--are clearly representative of Gene Roddenberry himself, if you know about Gene Roddenberry's early life."

Roddenberry had stated that Wesley was the stand-in for him on TNG. And what information do you have about Captain Kirk before Shatner got the role?


"LAW ZERO: Don't Die. Refusal to follow these laws causes decay over time, followed by total destruction.
LAW ONE: Think, and observe, and record, and act, with every fiber of your being, every second of every day, all the days of your life, about how not to EVER die (even though the probability of success in this endeavour is small, there may be some tiny hope, hope of enduring, and hope of being saved by those that endure).
LAW TWO: Find all resources, and all people, within your sphere of influence, in whatever form they may be in, that may be able to assist in this endeavour, and assist THEM also, if they share it, by protecting them AS you would yourself."

If your law zero is "don't die" then you've left Star Trek far behind. Starfleet people go in knowing they might die; you might even say they're signing up to die, but for the right cause. "Risk is our business."
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Peter G.
Thu, May 31, 2018, 8:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Way of the Warrior

@ Rahul,

I'm not sure if you've seen all these series before and this is a rewatch, or if this is your first go-through, but about this:

"Gowron's a bit 1-dimensional here -- yes he's devious as usual but I don't get why he'd throw away the treaty with the Federation over some belief that the Dominion has infiltrated Cardassia. This was a bit weak from the writers, trying to force a conflict between all the familiar powers. "

There's a specific explanation given later for this, so it's not just lazy writing.
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Peter G.
Wed, May 30, 2018, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@ Astronut7,

"I'm familiar with the fact that the words "Concept X" may not mean the same thing to other people, but I'm still trying to relay to you what my concept is,"

I'm understanding about communication difficulty in general, and especially if someone isn't from the same country and doesn't have the same first language (for example). So I can't say how the word "science" is used in Scandinavia, and should specify that when I say that "X is about science" refers to the scientific method, I mean that this is what that means when this phrase is used in North America. I don't claim to know exactly how it's used elsewhere. I could have been more clear about that, sorry.

"Star Trek is missing "Concept X." Stop telling me about your "Concept X", and how it doesn't mean mine."

I already agree with your general principle that Trek needs to have "concept X". I was disputing what that actual concept should be, which is what I think we like to do on boards like this. We don't have to agree.

"Another thing is the "wall of text"."

That ended up more passive-aggressive than I wanted. Sorry about that too.

"Sure, they were explorers. But Star Trek is about law enforcement, and extending the law to those who wish to be protected by it, and figuring out the extent of the law, and when it fails to cover the new circumstances, such as in "The Measure of a Man.""

It's pretty hard to make an argument that the show is about something when the title sequence says outright their mission is to "explore strange NEW" worlds. Whether those happen to be within Federation borders, or in the Beta Quardrant or Gamma Quadrant or anywhere else, that's their mission statement. As you say they do other things do, but Picard repeatedly states that the ship is a ship of exploration. Not a diplomatic vessel, not a combat vessel, and not an law enforcement vessel. To the extent that Starfleet is a space navy they also need their ships to conduct police actions, negotiations, and anything else with a danger element not suitable to civilian cruisers. Do they ever go on missions to enforce the law? Yes, just as they also go on missions to save people in a medical crisis. That doesn't make them a law enforcement ship any more than it makes them a medical ship. They can do more than one thing and still be fundamentally explorers.
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Peter G.
Wed, May 30, 2018, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@ Astronut7,

I can't address the wall of text, but in short what I thought is the case, which you sort of said outright, which is that you're equivocating on the word "science". As I mentioned there's an old (but not defunct) use of it such as saying "I've got this worked out to a science" or "the science of dating" or other such colloquial uses. We get that. When you say that a show is "about science" it's ridiculous to imply this means that it's a show about "bodies of knowledge in an arbitrary area, which can include anything from knitting to stamp collecting". If you say a show is about science that means it's about the scientific method, or work done in 'the sciences' (physics, biology, etc). You can be as flambuoyant as you want in your language choice but when you communicate with others the syntax will usually dictate what a term means, and that's what it means in that context.

As I said in general I agree with the general spirit of what you're trying to say, that a show needs to know what it's about and to deliver that thing with integrity rather than pandering to slogans and hyperbole. But we may disagree on what that thing actually has been for Trek over the years. I do think 'that thing' changed over time, or perhaps simply began to disappear without being replaced by anything, as the more recent series and films strike me as being about not very much of anything at all.
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Peter G.
Wed, May 30, 2018, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@ Astronut 7,

Although I appreciate a well-intentioned manifesto as much as the next guy, and even agree that Trek needs to be about *something* important, I think you got totally wrong what that something is.

And as a side note, upping the ante to a discussion about suicide was probably not necessary.

Anyhow, I'll summarize my criticism of your position in this way:

"Star Trek was supposed to be a show about science. Now, there's a couple of different types of science, and practically everyone gets confused about which one a person is talking about. In a nutshell, there's the "book smart," "street smart," and "wise fool" types of science."

Sorry, but no. There are not different "kinds" of science, if by science you mean following the scientific method in a controlled setting. A century or more ago the word "science" actually just meant 'body of knowledge' so you instance it could be said that you had a science of cooking, or science of painting, but that's not what the word means any more so I assume you're using it in the currently correct sense. Do you study science, through reading textbooks, taking classes, practicing in the field, or anything other way? If so you'd find that the idea that there are different ways to be scientific is anathema to the community's standards. The whole point of peer review is to verify that you've followed *correct* methodology. I make this comment not to nitpick but rather to point out that you may not be in the best position to critique Trek's 'scientific' content.

And frankly, Trek isn't about science much at all. If it was no one would enjoy it. TNG did a great job making it feel like we were seeing scientific exploration and problem-solving, and that's awesome, but TOS had zero of that, and DS9 only a minimal amount. However the franchise was never about science, it was about a vision of man's future as better people in a more enlightened age. As you say, this happens after nearly wiping ourselves out. But what we learn from that is that we need to *be* better, not have better technology. This can count as a rebuttal to those recent posters who don't care for a straight-laced Federation. TOS is pretty much all about philosophy and humanistic exploration, not at all about science, and of course serves up contemporary allegory as well such as Cold War narratives.

I probably agree that the lack of scientific-type reasoning hurts DISC, but I don't think that's at the core of its problems. I think the main problem is its creators have no personal integrity as storytellers. They want to impress, but have nothing to say.
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