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Richard James
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 6:20am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Judging by the preview, next week's episode will be Picard: Endgame.
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Richard James
Sat, Mar 14, 2020, 5:53am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

@James White

I agree - the small bits of background on this star system and this ancient civilization are really compelling and hark back to the best aspects of TNG and the idea of 'exploration'.

Personally I would have liked to have seen more (or even a flashback) of Rios's time in Starfleet, and the moral dilemma his former captain faced by killing the synth emissaries. (Orders and duty Vs morality and life).

Both of these aspects are small, but give a great texture to the series that's been mostly missing so far.
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Richard James
Fri, Mar 13, 2020, 4:55am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

As much as I mostly enjoy the comments on the blog - it's in need of some series moderation. Some of these comments are downright abusive and, while I'm all for disagreement and differing opinions of this show, we've some aggressive and threatening behaviour that really doesn't need to be tolerated.

I get that Jammer probably doesn't have the time to moderate this thing, but still.
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Richard James
Thu, Mar 12, 2020, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

I think this episode is a lot more 'plotty' than most, with a fair bit of exposition and filling in of the backstory- but my my - it certainly is good backstory!

The slow moments with Soji and Picard were well done, and Rios experience with his previous captain ties in nicely with this wider, ancient plot again synthetic life. While I thought that Raffi suddenly spelling out the plot in one go was a bit far fetched, the pace of the episode and chance to reflect on what mattered really pays off.

Lets hope they keep this up after all that painfully slow build up of the first few episodes
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Richard James
Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 7:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

@Rez It's a little ironic that you complain about the negativity on this site by leaving a negative comment yourself.

The consensus so far on this episode is mostly positive - or that this is the best episode of STD yet.
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Richard James
Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 11:52am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

It's taken a while, but we're really getting somewhere now.

Nostalgia aside, there is some good stuff happening here - Riker and Troi's daughter is excellent and is a perfect way for Soji to reflect on herself. Rizzo is finally moving away from caricature baddie, Narek twiddling his Rubik's cube while stalking Rio on the 'snakes head' is a nice touch.

There is still some silly things - Hugh really didn't need to die, and the whole Agnes sub plot hasn't really been played well.

Riker and Picard are excellent as always, and although their meeting is basically filler - it's pretty damn satisfying filler while also spinning the wheels of the other storylines.

Honourable mention should go to the return of Commodore Oh's sunglasses.
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Richard James
Thu, Feb 27, 2020, 7:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

@Karl Zimmerman

You're absolutely right - I can't point to anything specific, that's why I'm so on the fence about it. Maybe it's the cumulative effect of the previous episodes being so slow or not great, but I didn't really connect with The Impossible Box - but I wanted to.

I guess I'm less of a fan of this JJ Abrams style 'mystery box' storytelling, although the writers of this are making callbacks to old treks in all the right ways, which is nice.
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Richard James
Thu, Feb 27, 2020, 10:29am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

I'm on the fence with this episode - mainly because it had so many elements that should be interesting, but the execution was pretty, well - dull. Picard meeting the Borg, Soji discovering who she is - all of these are decent enough and actually move the story along, but I couldn't help feel empty by it all.

This series really wants us to 'feel' over 'think', that much is obvious. Rather than exploring the philosophical or moral implications of synthetic life, we get Soji's personal, emotional struggle. That's fine, and perfectly valid for a story, but if that's the route they follow then the series stands or falls on how convincing that dramatic arc is and in this Star Trek Picard seems to be failing. Raffi's alcoholism, Picard's stress being back on a cube, Jurati's guilt - all of them are high on the drama but seem hollow, as if the writers never really considered how these arcs might unfold. We get callbacks to the 'ideas' of previous ST series, but they just echo - nothing more.

Even Picard seems like a 2-dimensional version of the character. He says the same lines and talks about federation values and how the borg are evil, but it has none of the intelligence underpinning the previous series. STP wants us to feel, unfortunately the only thing I'm feeling is a sense of apathy.
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Richard James
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 12:15am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I also find this debate about what constitutes 'Classic Trek' interesting. For my money, DS9 and TOS are about as polar opposite as you can get, yet there seems to be widespread consensus that both are pretty good and come from the same broad, 'golden era' of Star Trek.

My main issue with Picard and STD is, aside from the Abramsverse aesthetic, is that they have abandoned ideas for emotion. Science for drama. At its best (lets say DS9 as a high point) the drama was fuelled by ideas, and the conflict came from an examination of a political issue. Here and with STD, the 'emotions' and drama are front and centre, but they don't have the smart writing and intelligence that backed up so-called Classic trek.

I'm still hopeful this will improve though - Star Trek series are notoriously slow to get going and there is room for these smart sci-fi ideas to return.

While I enjoyed this episode more than others, I agree that it is divorced from 'Classic' trek. But it still has its own, limited merit.
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Richard James
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 12:09am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Dick I'm not sure developing Seven's character amounts to 'assassination'. It's actually pretty plausible - in the 20 years or so since Voyager, Seven would likely have regained a lot of her humanity and would act much differently. If she'd just turned up speaking the same as she did the last time we saw her on Voyager that would also be pretty weird.

I agree with you that her inclusion in the series is questionable, and seems more like fan-service or nostalgia than anything else. But I think they did a decent job of pulling it off and to be honest her story was the most compelling part of this episode.
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Richard James
Thu, Feb 20, 2020, 8:57am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

It's moving in the right direction, but still bogged down by slow movements to an end goal, rather than telling individual stories.

The Seven of Nine plot worked the best and that opening scene was pretty horrific. Jeri Ryan's has such screen presence and her character is just a million times more interesting than others, especially with her new viligante background. The poor man's oceans 11 scene on Freecloud a were a little pointless, but fun enough.

But honestly, any reservations I had for this episode melted away when Picard and Seven had that brief exchange on the transporter pad;
"Did you honestly feel you regained your humanity?"
"Yes"
"All of it?"
"No. But we're both working on it, arent we"
"Every damn day of my life"

More like this please!
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Richard James
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 9:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

The more I think about it, the more I want to watch a series set around the refugee response of Romulus and the political issues and tensions that come up from that. We keep getting hints of this in flashbacks, but its told quite clumsily (Romulan bar fight with swords anyone?)

It would have been great to have a genuine look at the idea of mass refugees, sovereignty and all these other current problems in the world through the lens of Picard and Star trek. The idea of 'rights' for certain individuals (in the Federation) but not for those outside, is an interesting one and brings up the idea of nationalism, ethnicity etc. All meaty topics. We got something approaching this in Undiscovered Country with the destruction of Praxis - that was good.

Instead we have "Character X is angry at Picard" and the Fellowship of the Ring: In Space.
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Richard James
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@Jason R. I agree about the new ship designs. The current designs from the STD/STP definitely have a more muted colour scheme and have less defined profiles - so both Federation and Romulan ships all kind of look dark, bland and all the same. In contrast TNG/DS9/VOY vessels had bolder colours and more striking silhouettes so a Romulan warbird, for example, was so distinctive and green.

I'm not a big fan of this new design. BSG did a good job of this more 'low key' colours - but then the overall profile of a basestar was quite bold (and was obviously alien). Rio's ship looks like it could have come from any old sci fi show - thats the problem.
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Richard James
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 7:01am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Episode 4 of......setup.

If there's one criticism of Picard it's that every episode feels like its 'filling in the backstory' for some as-yet-unrevealed reason instead of telling a story in one episode. I think this is a feature of serialised storytelling in itself, but seriously - every episode so far feels like background and exposition.

This episode a prime example of that. Flashbacks of Picard, we have the Roman Leoglas joining the team and then Seven pops up at the end. Why? who knows.

The more I watch these episodes, the more it seems that this series wants you to 'feel' at the expense of the ideas of TNG. The problem is that the feelings are so on the nose and buried in exposition that it doesn't have any of the subtly or metaphor of previous treks.

It's not a bad series by any means, just a very slow one with EXPLAINS EVERYTHING WHICH IS HAPPENING.
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