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Pocket University
Sat, Dec 9, 2017, 1:58am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

"Blink of an Eye" was a nearly straight lift of the novel Dragon's Egg. (Not that I'd ever recommend the latter, unless you're looking for a way to do penitence for some truly ghastly sin.)

How could Grayson possibly have had such a dramatic effect? In "Who Watches the Watchers" the native culture had abandonded religion a long time before and was by then structured around rationality and dispassionate observation, so the new "Picard religion" was surging out into a near-total vacuum. The Bronze Age culture here was pretty cleary hinted to be quite backward, so Grayson's appearance to a handful of villagers would have been just one more fabulous local legend among thousands. Why would it in particular become the core of an all-encompassing organized belief system?

Okay, it's a comedy, but it didn't particularly play the story as satire or parody. (And anyway, Red Dwarf's Cat civilization was a much funnier take on this sort of thing.)
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Pocket University
Wed, Dec 6, 2017, 10:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

@Strikelord The Yaphit/Claire gag is very reminiscent of the boys pestering the school nurse in Urusei Yatsura, though in that case the nurse blowing off legitimate complaints was a bit more understandable since it was literally *every male student* behaving this way.
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Pocket University
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 3:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

I always wince at:

"Does [the Borg Queen] have a a crown?"

"We think she's more like the queen of an insect colony--coordinating the activities of the others."

In other words, she's very like the sort of queen who wears a crown, and almost nothing like the queen of an insect colony...
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Pocket University
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 12:27am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@Mertov "It's not like he has never piled on people who liked Discovery either.. "

I was referring to the pile-on against Dougie in the comments to the "Majority Rule" review...
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Pocket University
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 7:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@OmicronBetaDeltaPhi "Speaking of which: There were quite a few people here who routinely accuse others of being a shill for the show they're a fan of. There was even a person who actually made the fantastic claim that every single fan writing on the Orville threads has to be a shill."

I may be one of the people you are referring too, so I'd just like to interject here that I weighed in then because I didn't like what seemed to me a pile-on against Dougie. I think it's important in forums like these to try very hard to avoid letting our natural desire to respond to slights escalate into unnecessary flame wars.

While I understand why you might rub many people here the wrong way for commenting without having viewed the show, I personally lean to Hugh's position that this isn't always strictly necessary if one has done enough other research, and I can understand wanting to comment on something that one dislikes enough that one wouldn't want to subject oneself to it.

Can we all just agree to disagree on this point and move on without trying to further eviscerate each other?
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Pocket University
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 6:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

@SlackerInc "I figured some people would like this one, but: really? Everyone but me?"

Well, I tried to sound non-committal... After some consideration I'd put this one at two stars too, though I did like that we finally got some background on the Xelayans. (So it would seem their distaste for the military is essentially a matter of snobbery, rather than the more obvious explanation of pacifism.)

@Styx "The fear felt real, Claire cackling in the brig about a cosmic horror in the dark made my skin crawl, and evil Isaac was the icing on the cake."

Yeah, but having all that portentious stuff turn out to be a complete red herring was something of a let-down. It truly was frightening in places I have to admit, it's definitely not something you'd want young children to watch.

@Lobster Johnson "I think they should've setup in a previous episode that Alara wasn't feeling totally secure in her position. They touched on this back in episode 2 but after that she seemed completely confident in every episode, especially last week's."

Does anyone else get the feeling that Alara is being written as a riff on fan-fic characters? She's not a Mary Sue, per se, but I'm sensing a certain air of genericness...
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Pocket University
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 11:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

@Pusher Robot "RSVP ensign Payne"

The Seventh Doctor?

Sailor Venus?

Beetlejuice?

Well, whoever you are, it's an honor to welcome your esteemed personage to our humble forum.

(I really need to stop posting when I'm up this late.)
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Pocket University
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 10:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

It's interesting that surveillance cameras are acknowledged to exist in this universe, a rarity for space opera. (Though it raises obvious questions about how they managed to escape being found out when their disguises malfunctioned in "Krill".)
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Pocket University
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 10:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@Hank "So while Warp may seem improbable, it is possible in theory (there are actual physicists working on the idea)"

And what they found was that the most obvious ways of doing it (in theory) would result in blue sheet formation at the bow of the ship.

Electromagnetic waves trapped in the bow wake by the ship's forward movement would increase in energy geometrically for as long as the ship was moving, with a doubling time comparable to the time it would take for the ship to traverse a distance equal to its own length--microseconds or less for a ship of conventionally imagined size and speed. Coming to a stop would cause this boosted radiation to be released into the ship's surroundings.

In other words, if you used a warp drive, it would blow up the universe. (That's not hyperbole, by the way--if anything, it's understatement.)

Less fantastically, this sort of effect is well known from mathematical models of the interiors of electrically charged or rotating black holes, and is largely the reason black holes are no longer thought to be usable as stargates.
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Pocket University
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 5:24am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

T'Kuvma: When Starfleet says they come in peace, they're lying.
Starfleet people: We come in peace.
T'Kuvma: See?
Councilors: Wow, you're right!

Uh... did I miss something?

(And I'm still trying to figure out how a Klingon empire that was split up into twenty-four seperate warring principalities was able to seal itself off from outside contact. And how they were able to kill Burnham's parents ~30 years ago and still not have been encountered in 100 years... I'm guessing I shouldn't bother.)
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Pocket University
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 5:12am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

"Burnham is more than once referred to as the One Who Started the War, which is not really fair or accurate. The war would've started if Burnham had done nothing. Her mutiny, which failed, had no outcome on the battle or its genesis. Her killing of the Klingon on the artifact was self-defense. The Klingons were going to attack. But everyone seems to lack that context. Maybe they are just looking for a scapegoat for their misery."

I get the feeling that the story is stuck half-way between two script revisions, one where Burnham really did fire on the funeral ship and one where she didn't. It doesn't make any sense at all to scapegoat Burnham since her bizarre mutiny attempt went nowhere and accomplished nothing. Even if we let that slide, why would Burnham never use that fact in her own defense?

And why didn't she consider pleading temporary insanity? She was very obviously addled from severe radiation poisoning at the time, and the physician had yelled at her on the way out of the sick bay that she was in no condition to leave. And what she did made no sense at all even on its own terms--if she was convinced that the Klingons were going to fire first she should have ordered a retreat, as the Captain said the Klingon ship was way out of the Shenzou's league and firing on it without backup would have been pointless suicide.
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Pocket University
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 5:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Okay, having now had the opportunity to watch the show myself, it wasn't quite as bad as I was afraid it would be but it still doesn't make much of an impression on me. There just doesn't seem to be any discernable artistic vision pulling the whole thing together, The Orville at least has that even if its vision is essentially "copy TNG". Even the credits are weirdly generic-- perhaps they thought it would be clever not to do anything too overtly "spacey" this time around, but it really doesn't help.

I don't find myself invested very much in the characters save for post-shroomification Stamets (who seems to be channeling Lieutenant Barclay) and maybe Saru (who seems to be about 1/3rd Odo from DS9 and 2/3rds Kryten from Red Dwarf). I find myself caring more about the Klingons.

And the Klingons--ugh, you can't just completely revamp such a well-established part of the background, imagine if the new Star Wars had decided that Wookies should be covered with green feathers. What a mess.

@Peter G. "But TNG scripted the characters so differently than contemporary speech (again, often to its detriment) that frankly none of them sound like contemporary Americans)."

More like the employees of a Japanese congomerate--cool, formal and restrained on the job, with the tavern (10-Forward) serving as an informal back-channel after hours.

@Steve "Discovery uses its science for effect and gimmicks, rather than attempting to make it coherent on any structural level. When you put that expectation to one side, it's a lot more enjoyable to watch – but as a fan of old Trek, which at least tried to make these things add up, it grates."

Aww, why can't you just watch and enjoy it?

http://smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=4043
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Pocket University
Mon, Nov 6, 2017, 6:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

I wade in here, not having any access to the show itself at present, however...

Okay, so I gather that the big idea is to detect cloaked ships using SONAR, but since sound can't travel through space, a new kind of SONAR that uses EM waves instead of sound waves.

The usual term of art for "SONAR but with EM waves instead of sound waves" is... RADAR.

So cloaked ships are invisible to everything except... RADAR.

Wasn't The Orville supposed to be the parody series?
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Pocket University
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 9:13am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

@SlackerInc "I’m drawing a blank as to what you mean about the “new pants” scene of “About a Girl”...?"

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3loQ2rGkii8
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Pocket University
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 5:00am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

@SlackerInc "Cool that you thought of “10 Cloverfield Lane” too. Interesting about that anime series. Is it good?"

GE999 is... "unique" is about the closest I can come to a one-word description. The movies are somewhat easier to find online than the series but I'd avoid them like the plague as while they're more slickly produced they're ultimately just a rehash of themes Doctor Who handled better. The TV series OTOH is weird, flawed, infuriating, and very unique. Briefly, it's set in a world where the Singularity happened and *nothing changed*.

(For the record, it was episode 33 "Ulatores" that "Into the Fold" particularly reminded me of, though as I said about a half-dozen episodes had a similar plot. The "new pants" scene in "About a Girl" was very similar to the beginning of episode 25, and sunlight frying people from a dark planet was the plot of episode 63.)
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Pocket University
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 8:19am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

Maybe the stun setting remark was a hint that she felt guilty about the killings? She had a gun so presumably she stabbed him first hoping that would be enough to make a getaway without him coming after her. She clearly saw he cared about her welfare as that was crucial to her plan working.

@Konstantinos: Nothing could have saved "Threshold". Aside from the conceptual problems of the whole instant evolution/de-evolution premise, without some fatuous cop-out or just ignoring the issue entirely discovering a drive system that can instantly go anywhere in the universe ends the series.

@SlackerInc: The parallel with 10 Cloverfield Lane was the first thing that came to my mind. As for the second thing...has anyone here watched the anime series Galaxy Express 999? I keep noticing things here and there that seem to recall bits of it, particularly the landing on Moclis in "About a Girl" and the "frying" scene in "Krill". And "10 Cloverfield"-style morally ambiguous captors were practically a dime a dozen in that show.
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Pocket University
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 5:59am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: About a Girl

@CPUFP: "And Why does no-one call bullshit when Grayson tries to prove the capabilities of Moclan women by reffering to other species from different planets?"

Klyden's lawyer did point out the fallacy, "A male Xelayan could have done thing same thing with half the effort" or words to that effect. How well that particular rebuttal works depends on Xelayan sex differences, but those haven't been explored yet so it's not clear whether he would have done better to make a more general argument. Grayson didn't seem to think that Xelayans are dimorphic in that way but seemed unsure of the matter.
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Pocket University
Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 2:22am (UTC -6)
Re: ANDR S1: To Loose the Fateful Lightning

The Starlost did a far more believable take on the same concept.

(A dozen words that I never in my wildest hallucinatory fantasies imagined that I, or anyone else, would ever write.)
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Pocket University
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 9:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

TBH some of the comments here did seem a bit "boilerplate" to me, though I'm not going to point fingers as a slightly stilted writing style can just mean that a commenter isn't used to writing for a public forum.

Nonetheless, I wouldn't fault Dougie for being a bit wary, as that sort of thing does happen often enough.
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Pocket University
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 7:27am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

I rather liked it up until the final act, then it sort of lost me. I've been trying to put my finger on just why--I think the problem was that the shipboard plot played out like a semi-serious deconstruction of Star Trek, whereas the planet itself was played as OTT absurd.

That wasn't a problem as long as the two strands were running in parallel, but as soon as Lysella came aboard it got very confusing trying to work out which direction the comedy was supposed to be going in. If they'd played off that tension it might still have worked, but it just seem to come out kind of muddled.
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