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Stefan T.
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 3:26am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Three stars for me. After the last episode, which totally sucked in my opinion, this one was by far better, but not perfect. Needless to say, the idea of putting "The Orville" in the middle of some kind of psychic thriller, is twisting as well as interesting. You wont find out until the end what's really going on.
The only thing I am concerned about when thinking of "The Orville" is that there is indeed a huge gap between some episodes. Some are just bad, while others are outstanding. Anyway, I cant wait for next week to watch the next episode.
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Stefan T.
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 3:04am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

Like the last one, this one here is 4 Stars for me.

"The Orville" is skyrocketing to become one of the best Sci-Fi-shows. After the last two episodes, I couldnt stop thinking about what actually happened in the plot. If they keep up the level like that, it will be far better Star Trek than Discovery. Of course, this comparison isn't that fair since "The Orville" has its very own unique traits like the cast, the sometimes over-the-top humor, but - on the other hand - it tackles the social issues and problems which Star Trek: Discovery should have and failed miserably until now.

This episode is about a direct democracy being based on something like a social network and asks a simple question: What, if everything is determined by up/downvoting? Even if you make a small mistake, it can lead to you being downvoted. If you have too many downvotes, you have to make an apology tour. If you will stay below 10 Million downvotes, you are fine (at least to some extent) . If not, you will be turned into a living zombie by using a "correction", meaning a brain operation.
Every action has serious consequences. The woman at the start, for example, couldnt get a coffee because she has done bad things when she was way younger. There is also no way to delete downvotes, they will literally punish you for the rest of your life. This is a world which Orwell (ironically the name of the ship is the "Orville". Just a coincidence?) couldn't have better described.

This plot is presented pretty blunt. Two scientists went missing and so the Orville sent a rescue team, consisting of Commander Kelly Grayson, Dr. Claire Finn, Lt. Alara Kitan and Lt. John LaMarr. With only small knowledge about the planet and the culture, they went down to watch out for the scientists. Of course, what would happen? LaMarr, often presented as an easy-going, joking man, makes a mistake, shows some sort of sexual behavior towards a statue, is being filmed while doing this, and gets one million downvotes immediately. The more and more the story progresses, the more the crew realizes the grave situation they are in, especially after finding one scientist being "corrected", while the other one was killed when he wanted to run away from that.

To make it worse, LaMarr isnt doing things right and brings himself into more trouble by not knowing what the woman did who that statue was from, or by his stupid behavior.
Of course, you could ask yourself: Why is he that stupid? Doesnt he realize the danger he's in? Certainly not, but this is exactly, why the story works out: You dont have the perfect future guys with a vast knowledge, but everyday people who just happen to work on a spaceship. And this is, what makes the episode even more terrifying, the perfect compilation of this world, being very similar to earth in 21st century and the "Orville", being a 24 century-spaceship.

But LaMarr ends up being rescued by Isaac hacking into the master feed and spreading false information.
This, together with the talk to Lysella, living on that planet, about this kind of voting system is crucial to the outcome of the story. LaMarr gets rescued by only a few votes below 10 millions. This leads to a lot of questions: Is this system really good, if someone can hack it? Couldnt people from the planet hack the master feed too and get what they want?
is it even good at all, having some kind of middle-age-related lynch justice combined with social media?
And lastly, this questions rise also about todays world where we have some similarities with this one. The last scene, where Lysella, instead of voting like before, just turned the TV off, is the final masterpiece, showing a possible outcome to what we have seen before as a dystopian parallel world of todays Earth.

Honestly - it gave me goosebumps only thinking about it. I could even oversee that the logic was not present everywhere or that the acting of LaMarr was more or less stupid. But that's exactly why the episode worked out. Assume, we had a Picard or a Riker here, it wouldnt have worked out because both of them wouldnt be stupid enough to bring themselves into danger like that.
This episode just shows what this series can be capable of. To me, it is a masterpiece in TV, showing that a series can critisize today's life without having a political agenda but just showing the downsides of a system.

Keep up the good work!
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Stefan T.
Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 2:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

To put it in a nutshell - 1.5 stars. After giving the first two 3 stars if you dont know trek and 0 if you know trek, 2 for the second one because it was still amusing even though the story lacked a lot, I'd give this episode 1.5 stars.

Star Trek: Discovery has the major flaw of many successful series after a while: Because there is almost nothing, which hasn't been already there in some episodes, the writers start, to try to make it feel more...powerful. So instead of bringing something new, they try to either expand the old content or exaggerate everything until the point where it doesnt feel real anymore.

This results in stupid characters, a stupid storyline, and a lot of total illogical nonsense where you as the viewer asks yourself as to what you are actually watching there. For example: Why does the federation have an important mine with many civilians, but nothing close by to protect it? Not to forget that its all for almost half of the fleet.
Why does an officer, of whose name I had to read the commentary section, because I simply forgot her insignificant name, release a monster, then shoots at it, even though she knows, phasers wont work, and basically commits suicide through this?
Why did Saru become the first officer in the first place, when he is so morally conflicted about his superior? Who would even promote such a coward?
And who had the idea to let a monster be a super computer for a jump drive like that?

Honestly - I couldnt care less about most characters. It just feels ridiculous because it feels so unreal watching it. The plot up to now is absurd. What even happened in half a year of the war? Why this timeskip at all? Why three episodes trying to build up tension when there is in fact none?
I bet if Michael'd meed Chuck Norris in real life, Chuck Norris would lick her feet because she's so awesome - at least that's what the show seems to promote.

I still have no idea which direction this show is going to take or should take. I just know that the more I watch of it, the more I am seriously doubting it.
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Stefan T.
Tue, Oct 3, 2017, 2:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

From the start until the end I felt more and more reminded of "Star Trek meets Doom" with captain Lorca being Dr. Betruger and the monster on the other ship being some kind of "pinky". The other characters? What other characters? The security chief prison warden talking of "we have to feed the animals as well"? The unsure red-headed engineer with no social skills? The scientist from the first two episodes now being first in command to someone like Lorca, not having anything to say about his methods at all?
Then we have some super-secret experiments, black alerts, black badges, excessive showing of violence never seen like that in Star Trek (even the most brutal episodes during DS9 didnt have that!), and in the end a pseudo-moral talk which "should" proof us that this is still Star Trek.
Sorry, I am not buying it. It feels ridiculous. Way over the top, too much around it to hide the fact that there is no substancial story at all.
I'd give it 2 out of 4 stars but only because it was indeed entertaining to some extent. If the next episode isnt really better than what we have seen up to now then I guess it will be the first time of me quitting a "Star Trek" series before the end of the first season.
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Stefan T.
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

@Hank
Yeah and the more I think about it, the more I am having massive doubts about the series.
I just read a German article a while ago, called "Star Trek wird erwachsen" (Star Trek becomes adult).
Then, I asked myself a few questions which I will post here:

Is it adult
- Saying to avoid contact with Aliens but walking through their hatchery?
- building wells with laser weapons?
- Running a circle in the desert which can impossible be seen through the storm, not to mention the clouds, until the ship comes through only to pick them up??
- That curiosity only leads to one woman almost being killed in action?
- having totally irrealistic ideas and description of a radiation disease? (Ok, its fiction, but still!)
- to attempt Mutiny only to shoot first?
- To Mine corpses for blowing up an enemy ship?...Not even Sisko would have dared to do that without questioning himself for hours. Morals, anywhere?
- To do a two-Women-Invasion of a Klingon mothership where NO ONE has seen Klingons for a hundred years?
- To give command after leaving on a suicide trial to the only shown person on the ship where it's most likely he will run away?

Yeah, the Star Trek of the 90s had something. It's called decency. Morals. Something which this series totally lacks if you start thinking about it more deeply.
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Stefan T.
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 3:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

@Paul M.
CSI spinoffs is the PERFECT example to what may happen to a Franchise sooner or later. In this case, the last spinoff "CSI: Cyber" got cancelled just after 2 seasons. Why? Because it was CSI in name only and maybe had the same place, but not what the show really made successful. And that is the combination of very powerful storytelling, deep character development, often very interesting procedural plot and personal involvement.
The plot was ridiculous and obvious, the spectators didn't buy it and it got often bad reviews.
We had something similar with Star Trek ENT.

@SlackerInc
I more think your interpretation of my post is ridiculous. I am asking for clear consequences which you as a spectator would draw from that plot. What would you think? It's ridiculous? It's this plot which leads to ideas like that. Even the producers admitted it. Just read the interview on Rolling Stone.
By the way, I do enjoy watching a deeply philosophical series about different ethical aspects or problems which happens to be in the same time a series like that was produced. BUT! Even if you see older episodes where it may be clear that there is some certain motivation from our history, there is one thing.
Star Trek was indeed a political subject, but it got never politicized like that.
Just watch, in comparison, "The Orville". This is Star Trek like it should be.
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Stefan T.
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 2:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

There are two viewpoints which you may have to consider when watching those two episodes:
If I am watching it without taking in account the cultural/political background in the US, and the earlier series, I'd just enjoy it. Mostly quite a good cast, gorgeous graphics/CGI and an intriguing story as well which happens to end in a cliffhanger with Michaels being sentenced to a life term in prison. Honestly - this was something which I didn't expect at all when I started watching the episode. Some things are overdramatic, some thing really bad, but overall a stable performance and 3 out of 4 stars feel perfectly fine for me.

The problem, well, is the other viewpoint.
Just to add something in advance before I start: Star Trek has always been more or less progressive, and it took in everyday situations and/or questions of their respective real time counterpart. Take, for example, the kiss of Kirk and Uhura in "Plato's Stepchildren", which happened to be the first interracial kiss in the US TV.
Gene Roddenberry's Vision of Star Trek has always been an utopian one. And utopian means, it is not real, but a positive perspective on a possible future.
So therefore, even that kiss didnt have an agenda but it was something which would provoke of course during that time when it aired. The problem is, however, that even a black actress in a main role like Nichelle Nichols would be provoking more than enough in the 60s.
Star Trek presents us possible outcomes of what will happen in the future and how conflicts may be solved. This philosophical background was always typical for the trekkian world.
But let me be clear: There never was any kind of agenda. And this changed a lot with those two episodes.

The cast was never that relevant. It always consisted of different people with different genders and different races. In fact, the race didnt matter in the Trekkian universe.

But what would it be, calling the main character "Michael", (Mary Sue with mental problems) even though she's a woman?
And lets go further: Remember the scene with the science officer Saru being hesitant to press the button? Michael did. Moral of the story? Only women can press a button which man can't do. Women are heroes. Men are whimps and have absolutely no courage at all. Then the Klingons. They used to be brown, now they are black (brown wouldnt be politically correct enough I guess), except for - guess who ?- the only white born klingon who is more playing like he wants to make klingons great again. If he'd have a blonde toupet you could even mistake him for Trump. Of course, he is seen as unworthy, until he shows his determination, which turned all klingons in the room to favour him - like a miracle. Of course, it's also just a simple coincidence that on the Shenzhun, there was also a small topic about "Race doesnt matter".
All klingons are evil and men. That's what the spectator would get after watching the episode. Looks more like Orcs in Space to me.

While the earlier Star Trek series had political aspects, but was not political itself due to the fact that it they also had a plot and it was more about philosophical questions, this series already stands out by far as stated above. It has a political agenda to promote a certain kind of ideology. And as some may realized, i explicitely didnt use the term "SJW". It simply doesnt matter, I'd say the same to every kind of ideology-promoting series.

And that's the core reason here: This isnt Star Trek at all. It is just some random-generic Sci-Fi-series which happens to have Star Trek in name. The name "discovery" is just a mockery to the earlier series which really had "discovery" in their plot. It starts with an open war. Even the darkest of all series, Deep Space nine, needed some seasons to get the dominion war started. This one starts right in the first two episodes. Klingons are reduced to religion/nationalism-driven terrorists against the "good side". Roddenberry would have turned in his grave if he'd have ever seen that.

Up to now, "The Orville" has all, what Star Trek: Discovery should really have become. And on top of my review, which happened to be longer than I wanted it to be, I didnt even talk about some of the massive logical mistakes which they did with the series at all.

All in all, I dont think I will become a friend of this series. Oh, and just for disclosure, I am German and therefore have no relationship to Trump or any inner-US-conflicts though I read a lot.
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Stefan
Wed, Aug 2, 2017, 12:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Alice

Somehow this episode reminds me of the 1983 movie Christine.
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Stefan
Fri, Aug 1, 2014, 7:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

Harry blamed himself for the crew getting killed. He became obsessed about getting the crew home. It never occurred to Harry to simply to keep the crew from crashing Voyager into that ice planet.

The only reason Harry's and Chakotay's mission was successful was because the Doctor told Harry to try to send a message to Seven that would save the crew, even though it would not get the crew home. At that time, Harry was having a nervous breakdown, his attempt to get the crew home having failed.

So basically, Harry tried for the whole hog (crew home), failed, then (on the Doctor's advice) sent a last second message to Seven to cause her to inadvertently shutdown the slipstream drive and thereby save the crew.
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Stefan
Tue, Mar 22, 2011, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Critical Care

This episode can be viewed as a critique of free market health care, especially HMOs, or as a critique of government run health care. The episode never reveals which was intended by the writers and producers, assuming they had a preference. Notice how Chellick never said who hired him (government or business). Also, the reference to paperwork being in triplicate could apply to an HMO (as Jammer inferred) or to a government bureaucracy.

So when watching this episode decide what you DON'T want running this nation's health care (HMO or government) and imagine that the Doctor is fighting that organization. That way, everybody can enjoy this episode.
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Stefan
Wed, Mar 17, 2010, 7:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

Paul, the Enterprise certainly can have a sister ship. In the TNG episode "Contagion", its sister ship (the Yamato) was destroyed. Why can't it later have another sister ship?
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Stefan
Tue, Oct 20, 2009, 10:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

(1) Free will. Presumably, Annorax was free to decide to make the same decision or to make a different choice.

(2) The producers didn't want the episode to end in a temporal causality loop (see TNG episode "Cause and Effect" for details).
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Stefan
Sun, Sep 6, 2009, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek (2009)

I just want to reiterate that I don't consider this movie to be a reset. This movie involves a new timeline created by the actions of the older Spock and Nero. The timeline from TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT has not been replaced.
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Stefan
Wed, Jul 29, 2009, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

Those questions are far-fetched hypotheticals. I asked you about something that is fact. I do believe that as technology improves in this area, all societies will need to decide the status of AIs. I believe androids will either be considered nothing more than human looking machines or will not be widely made. People will not create a large number of androids if those androids are to be considered the legal and/or moral equivalent of humans.
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Stefan
Wed, Jul 29, 2009, 3:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

Scientists have built an android in Asia (this really happened). If they dismantle the android, would they have committed murder?

Based on your preceding comments, I believe you would answer "yes" to that question. Am I mistaken?
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Stefan
Tue, Jul 28, 2009, 8:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

Remco wrote:
"It has been given the ability to 'go beyond the programming', basically rewrite parts of itself as it gains knowledge."

That's makes the EMH an adaptive program, not human. Besides, it isn't going beyond its programming if the programming includes the ability to adapt.
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Stefan
Tue, Jul 7, 2009, 4:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek (2009)

Ian Whitcombe: "Speaking of which, who in the future owns the copyright to Earl Grey tea?"

Me: Captain Jean-Luc Picard, of course. :-)
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Stefan
Wed, Jul 1, 2009, 8:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek (2009)

During the movie, younger Spock explains that the time travel of Nero and older Spock has created an alternate universe. In other words, this movie is not truly a "reboot"; instead, it's simply the Star Trek of an alternate universe. A true "reboot" would have been a retelling of the TOS backstory, instead of showing a version of that story in an alternate universe. The proper way to view this movie is to have the TNG episode "Parallels" and DS9 "mirror universe" episodes in mind.
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Stefan
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 9:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

Damien's comment seems to be more about Robert Picardo than this episode. Picardo did an excellent job in this episode and Voyager in general. However, that only improves this episode from unwatchable to poor.
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Stefan
Wed, Mar 18, 2009, 10:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

I don't consider this to be an ENT episode. Instead, I consider this to be an addendum to the TNG episode Pegasus. The episode was about how Commander Riker used one of the Enterprise-D's holodecks to reach his decision to reveal the truth to Captain Picard in that TNG episode.

This was a tremendous insult to the ENT cast. Why not simply have a series finale which dealt solely with the ENT cast? What the reasoning for bootstrapping this episode to TNG? The best thing to do to honor the ENT cast is to treat Terra Prime as the series finale of ENT and treat this insult as an addendum to Pegasus.
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Stefan
Fri, Mar 6, 2009, 5:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

The claim made by anonymous is debatable. Remember, the matter and energy which is being transported is reassembled so it's the same as it was pre-transport. If I disassemble a car, move the pieces to a different location and then put those pieces together so they connect to one another as they did before I disassembled the car, would I have the car at the end that I did at the beginning? I say I would.

Therefore, I don't believe a standard transport kills the transported person. On the other hand, when Tuvix was transported you didn't get that matter and energy forming Tuvix at the end of that transport and so I believe Tuvix was murdered in that case.
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Stefan
Mon, Feb 2, 2009, 9:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

When I remember "Past Tense" I have trouble believing that. Fortunately, T'Pol's comment was in this terrible episode.
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Stefan
Mon, Feb 2, 2009, 7:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

To expand on Jammer's review, this episode reminded me of DS9's third season "Past Tense" two-parter. In both, the United States is portrayed in a negative light. In "Past Tense", it was the interment of the poor in "Sanctuary Districts." In this episode, it was T'Pol's commentary of humanity based only on one criminal. Why did the writers and producers feel the necessity to negatively portray the United States?
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Stefan
Wed, Jan 28, 2009, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Twilight

I think this episode is closest to DS9's "The Visitor." Both involve a Captain being as close to dead, without being dead, as possible, with the result being catastrophic. Additionally, the solution was simple, but hard to see, and resulted in a reset to the point in time when the problem began with a very different result.

BTW, Travis was killed in the scene where T'Pol crashes Enterprise into a Xindi ship. That's why you don't see him for most of this episode.
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Stefan
Tue, Dec 16, 2008, 8:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Basics, Part I

What bothers me about this episode is that someone like Culluh would have executed the entire crew. How did he benefit by leaving them alive? An explanation should have been given.
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