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Occuprice
Tue, May 4, 2021, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Thoughts on finishing my first viewing of Picard:

-In some ways, this show was much better than I expected and there were actually a lot of moments that felt like the show was doing something very special. But the core scaffolding I'd say was a bit more middling--- like a 2.5 star show with enough really special moments to bring it up to 3.

-Most of those really special moments were the ways in which the series re-introduced and worked with established characters--- Seven of Nine, Riker, Data-Picard (see the finale).

-The biggest source issue for the show I think is kind of sloppy writing. This was evident in plenty of plotting, in the execution of some scenes, and in the inconsistencies around a lot of the new characters. A lot of the time the show felt like it was taking shortcuts, changing its mind, or avoiding a techno-babble exposition type scene because those got way overdone on previous trek-- but they are still needed in some form here! Ultimately, there were a lot of leaps of faith required of a viewer based on what was just seen on screen. It got to the point where I became too suspicious of hanging threads and any work not directly shown to us-- you can get away with that if the audience is confident that these things are deliberate and you will address them, but they don't work nearly as well when my first incliniation is that it is just sloppiness.

-It took me a little while to accept the continuation of 90s trek characters and universe in a show that really doesn't feel much like 90s trek in many ways. But once I got on board, I stopped having those issues.

-Seven of Nine was my favorite character this season. And I really liked Stardust City Rag mostly for her value.

-Picard is dead, and now we have a nice little copy of Picard. I'm fine with that, but I don't have confidence that the series will explore copy Picard's situation--- it looks like they are going to just treat him as Picard, and as someone who thinks he IS Picard, with a few jokes thrown in. I'd really like to see him grapple with the nature of his existence for a bit, before perhaps accepting that whatever distance there is between himself as the copy and the original Picard doesn't matter so much because he is a real sentient consciousness with all the memories and experiences of Picard-- that whatever you might say about how this is a distinct new copied consciousness, from his perspective there's no difference.

-The serialized format with season-long story I think worked well to reintroduce Picard and take on all the weight that that involved. As an engaging plot with a satisfying pay off it was decent-- neither a bust nor a ringing success. But I'm hoping the next season will have a more episodic approach with ongoing plot threads, character development, and balancing individual stories with something bigger. Based on how this season ended with essentially Picard and his new crew fully assembled, it seems to me that this might be the direction they are going-- following this crew on some adventures while something lurks in the background.
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Occuprice
Wed, Apr 28, 2021, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I've finally gotten around to watching Picard (haven't been especially attracted by new trek), and I really liked this episode. I'd give it a 3.5/4 and the highest marks so far for the season. I definitely get Jammer's objections about this not being Trek or going too far and heavy handed with some things. But I also had my arms folded the first episode or two and had to work to get beyond "this does not feel like 90s trek at all/a world that the same character of Picard inhabits"-- so in a sense I've already done the work of opening myself up to accepting and enjoying whatever this version of Trek is.

So, I can accept and even value the opening scene because it *isn't* simply gratuitous torture porn, but effectively conveys the horror and outrage that's going to fuel Seven here. The issue about organic replacements for borg eye implants falls under the category of "that's a small enough detail" to retcon/change/forget about--- certainly, I don't hold Picard to a higher standard of respecting Voyager's continuity than Voyager did.

The simplicity of the themes, beats, character moments, etc didn't bother me-- they were just kind of the scaffolding for the stuff with Seven I really loved. Seven is my favorite trek character period, and I loved both Jeri Ryan's performance and this character of Seven-- to me it is quite believable, given circumstances, and an exciting way to realize her humanity. Free Seven from the guiding (perhaps too much) hand of Janeway on Voyager and I do believe this is where she would end up. Definitely fits with her sense of morality and various stances she took throughout Voyager. And she's just such a badass. And I can believe her taking revenge in cold blood this way in a way I couldn't believe it of many (any?) starfleet trek characters.

For me, this is better than previous episodes because the pace picks up and it's not all introductions and repeating Picard's confrontations with people who no longer respect him so much. It's a 3.5 standout for nailing Seven.

I'm glad seven's ultimate journey didn't have to end with the limitations of Voyager.
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Patrick
Wed, Apr 28, 2021, 11:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

Cheap episode at the end. Colm Meaney does a good job. The episode just has one trick at the end without explaining the how and why and consequences. A convenient loose Blade Runner is present to stop difficult situations from arriving.
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Rick Sanchez
Tue, Mar 30, 2021, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

The Enterprise stops at Blips and Chitz and Picard plays a game of Roy: A Life Well Lived.
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ImageByPatrick
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tattoo

I am a new Star Trek fan. Doing covid I have been powering through TNG and DS9, I started Voyager and made it a few minutes into Season two episode 9 “Tattoo”. I am Native American myself and have sort of had mixed feelings about the Chakotay character. He could have bit more depth but hey it’s early in the series. I made it a few minutes into this episode and shut it off and I am debating if I want to even watch the series any more. In the extremely hokey origin story sequence it suggests that natives traveled to the Americas using an icy “land bridge” to travel from Russia over. Not only is this theory it’s extremely racist and kept alive by white supremacy and the need to justify the genocide of our people. The beauty of Star Trek is the integration of facts and history with theory and sci-fi elements. These “land bridge” theories have been disproved and dismissed. I’m very disappointed at the mishandling and damaging nature of this propaganda. I don’t know if I will be able to enjoy the rest of the series from here out. PS if you are not of the cultures primary descent you do not get to decided if something is racist or not.
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Cetric
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 7:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Honor Among Thieves

Can't believe only one commentator thought it is worth a post scriptum notice that Nick Tate was chief-pilot in Space:1999 (leads Martin Landau + Barbara Bain), in fact one of the main characters in that 1970's sci-fi show, which was in my youth just as important to me as Star Trek TOS.
-
On the other end, I did not know Nick Tate had an episode in TNG, so thanks for that hint.
--
The years gone by ... If I weren't informed before, I probably would not have recognized N.T. here. But he still has his smile.
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Eric in RI
Tue, Feb 9, 2021, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Borderland

Just rewatched this episode moments ago. The entire augment story could have been derailed if Malcolm had just stunned Malik and Archer together.
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Occuprice
Fri, Jan 29, 2021, 5:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

After doing a big rewatch of Voyager (well, the half or so of episodes that are worthwhile), I'm starting some DS9 rewatch here.

What strikes me most in flipping from Voyager to DS9 and this episode in particular is how much richer these characters and their relationships with each other are. Scene after scene of relationships that feel real and particulad and informed by past experiences in a way Voyager could never do-- I love those characters and some of the relationships, but they operate at a much simpler level (in part because there is less continuity and therefore development, but also because characters are put in fewer stories that even seem
to allow them to grow in the first place).

In fact, even in a fairly minor scene like the exchange between Dax and Martok when he arrives to the rescue, and forgetting all the particulars of their past relationship (which I don't think was much apart from Kurzon Klingon stuff)--- there was a richness to their pretty simple exchange that came from actors knowing the nuances of their (I think somewhat) limited history.

And of course all of the wonderful material informing Dukat's personal relationship to the siege and sisko.

Anyway, in my mind DS9 is the best trek because of the storytelling, but I can't say that it's my favorite crew. For whatever reason that is, its certainly the richest one. I guess I just like my Voyager junk food...
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Patrick
Sun, Jan 17, 2021, 7:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Night Terrors

Useless fact:
The other ships name is Brattain, not Brittain. The subtitles are correct because one of the pads shows it too and crew says indeed Brattain. However, in one exterior shot of the ship it is spelled as Brittain. Whatever. Engaging episode and Picard and Riker genuinely looked sleep deprived.
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Patrick
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 7:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

“but they are finishing filming the third season of The Orville right now”

They’re delayed due to corona and haven’t started production which means there’s at least six months of work left on it:

https://amp.cinemablend.com/television/2560892/seth-macfarlanes-the-orville-season-3-just-hit-another-setback

Shows can get canceled at this stage. My point was only that you shouldn’t be bragging about its success. Discovery has been greenlighted for a Fifth season.
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Patrick
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

“I must point out that the Orville has managed to lay the groundwork for an entire scifi universe and juggle several arcs while also telling a bunch of standalone Trekkish stories and they managed to do that in only 26 episodes (2 seasons).”

The Orville couldn’t maintain its network audience and has no production schedule for a third season with somewhere else yet. I wouldn’t call that a success.
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Cetric
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Patterns of Force

I think it may be interesting to you all that this is the one and only TOS episode which did not get aired back then in Germany.
And not for decades...
Only after the xxth rerun, in early nineties (I think) someone bothered to give this a dubbing as German language version and bring it on TV screen (or rather, publish on a video cassette edition).
So, the memory of WW2 was fresh enough in end 60's German television (probably state-run ZDF) brass thought this would either hurt people or create legal problems with all those svastikas being shown (nazi symbols are forbidden in public, up to this day). This as a historical side note.

About the plot, it ends with a big amazement. Because the problem is simply solved by eliminating the leadership. What about the hate they have sown and exploited for years. How could it be everyone immediately forgets about it and is friends with the other faction? They swallowed the ideology and lived it to the last minute, it should be hard to get this out of their heads, particularly for the side with the upper hand who must have enjoyed their privileges the system brought them. So Gill does a speech about having done a mistake and everyone should stop molesting, suppressing, killing the others? This turn is quite unbelievable and too easy.
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 9:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Booming
Right. My point is, the term "time crystals" exist in the real world and it is not necessarily science fiction.

Time crystals in star trek fiction:
From memory-alpha://A time crystal (or poH qut in Klingonese) was a rare mineral with a non-equilibrium matter state. Time crystals could be identified by their orthogonal indices. To Klingons, at least those outside of Boreth, time crystals were a myth, a symbol of Kahless, and the namesake of Qo'noS. (DIS: "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad", "Through the Valley of Shadows") By the mid-23rd century, the Vulcan Academy taught its students about time crystals. No Federation-aligned species had been able to stabilize them as the decay rate of the lattice was too unpredictable, and it was thought that any technology based on time crystals must have been perfected by a four-dimensional race. (DIS: "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad") Nonetheless, time crystals were encountered a number of times.//

Just like the Orb of Time etc, it is fictional. Just like Warp Drive is fictional, but Alcubierre found a solution that can allow for warping space. And as you mentioned, the mycelial network is fiction but it has real significance on Earth. Obviously this is fiction but it has "borrowed" some terms from real physics.
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 8:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"Ryn, Book, Adira, Grey, Admiral [Vance], have been great additions to the cast."

Basically, we know more about these characters that are NOT the original crew of Discovery! What does that tell you about the writers?
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 8:23am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"Why is the focus always on Burnham?"

There is NO problem with this. But if you are going to put a crew with a main cast, show something about the main cast...
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 8:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

For example, who is Rhys? What does he do in his spare time? What is he good at?
We learn Owosekun can hold her breath... what else do we know about her?
Bryce? What is his history? It is not in my mind, it is not notable or note-worthy.
We know a lot about Stamets, Adira, Saru, Michael... which is fair enough. But where are the characterizations or Rhys, Bryce or Owosekun? We do learn bits about them but it is not enough... I feel anyway. Even a scene about what they do in their spare time. All we see is in the "mess hall".

Compare with Voyager, we know about Tom Paris Maquis history and as a "criminal" - he can play billiards. I remember Faces in Voyager and explored Torres Klingon-ness... Kim - he can play the clarinet. Kes's journey... Chakotay's spiritual journey, though we lost that later on (LOL) Tuvok was more gradual...
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 8:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

LINKS to "time crystals" in this comment

https://physics.aps.org/articles/v5/116
Here is a link about time crystals.
Quote: //Alfred Shapere at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and Frank Wilczek at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge [2], provide the theoretical demonstration that classical time crystals can exist and, in a separate paper, Wilczek [3] extends these ideas to quantum time crystals. Tongcang Li at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues [4] propose an experimental realization of quantum time crystals with cold ions trapped in a cylindrical potential.//

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-crystals-interacting.html

//Time crystals are different from a standard crystal—like metals or rocks—which is composed of atoms arranged in a regularly repeating pattern in space. First theorized in 2012 by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek and identified in 2016, time crystals exhibit the bizarre property of being in constant, repeating motion in time despite no external input. Their atoms are constantly oscillating, spinning, or moving first in one direction, and then the other.//
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I actually like Michael. It's just that there is no exploration of other characters in Discovery. I know basically nothing about many of the "main" cast.
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 7:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"time crystals" actually exist
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Richard Webb
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 3:47am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

It boggles my mind that Jammer is not reviewing The Expanse.
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Richard Webb
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 3:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I'm not really sure how to feel about this - I mean, it wasn't a terrible episode. No episode from this season was truly terrible. It's just than none were particularly good either.

Star Trek series are notorious for slow starts, but I don't think DSC is going change. By this point in TNG or VOY they had already hit their stride, while DSC seems to neither have the shocking, borderline unwatchable first season episodes of TNG nor the absolute gems. It's always just meh.

DSC always touches on interesting concepts, ideas (trans identity discovery, resource scarcity, diplomacy with an enemy) but it's always so superficial with its execution and ramps up the sentimentality and action, which makes every episode feel rather empty. Compare this to the Expanse (which delves much deeper into socio-political issues) or the Mandalorian (which was more honest about just being a Space western - and embraced it). At the end of the day I'm not really sure what DSC is about. It seems like a show run by committee.

The ending? Contrived would be the best word. The fact that Burham is captain defies belief (mutiny after mutiny......) and that the best character Saru is now apparently off the ship doesn't fill me confidence.

I don't think it's the car crash many people think it is - for that it would have to challenge its ideas and push something forward in order to fail. You can't truly be that terrible if you're always middle of the road.
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Eric Jensen
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Oh and spoilers again... of course...
They "showed" us Ni'Var possibly re-joining the Federation again... because of no Osyraa... Surely there will be a power struggle now... It feels like everything was rushed... Yep, so the burn was explained because of Su'Kal. Will they expand on this new stellar propulsion the Ni'Var was working on? Now that they have worked out the cause and Su'Kal is safely on Kaminar. Su'Kal needs to make amends. Of course, it was not his choice, but these have consequences. Will he stay away from dilithium? They really need to expand on other characters. Yeah we know Michael is the main character, but DS9, Voyager, TNG all expanded on other characters...
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Eric Jensen
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 10:50am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Yeah I was confused.
The turbolifts going horizontally and vertically. All good visually. But was that inside discovery? Was that inside the Headquarters of the Federation? Maybe it was clear but I did not find that clear. Only because afterward, when Michael was fighting Osyraa, they ended up somewhere similar to where Vance was...
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Eric Jensen
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 10:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Obviously spoilers ahead...
First thoughts...

It was ok... meh. Not good. Not terrible. Ok.
The new uniforms look good, but I prefer the older one.
Saru had better be on the bridge/captain next season
Did they have to kill Osyraa? I know she was an awful antagonist, but at least make her stick around... Glad it was not deus ex machina ending... of course Michael saves the day and not the DOTs.
They kinda explained the Su'Kal phenomenon but I was not convinced...
What happened to the music? Resonance frequency? They did not explain that! So many unanswered questions. Maybe I missed the explanation...
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Eric Jensen
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 2:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

And that scientist... yeah it feels like there will be an uprising
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