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Thomas
Thu, Jan 3, 2019, 3:40am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Ja'loja

It's interesting that so many critiques of the show overlook what is often critiqued about TNG - that its crew is too perfect. This episode in particular highlighted the glaring insecurities of the Orville's crew, of being a bad mother, bad at dating, bad at talking to women.
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Thomas
Fri, Dec 28, 2018, 12:26am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Wire

Thank goodness nearly every modern country is a mixed economy these days, eh?
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Thomas
Mon, Dec 24, 2018, 3:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

"I thought Star Trek was supposed to be a post-racial society, where stuff like what Sisko rails against doesn't exist anymore. "

Star Trek is supposed to be "post-" a lot of things. It's meant to depict a humanity where all social struggles have come to an end. That can be problematic for some of the writers who see it as their role to address those conflicts. The advantage of sci-fi is it provides an opportunity for universality of philosophical themes. That's why there is no need to have Sisko "rail against" human racism when there are an abundance of alien species and unique situations to look upon racism with a fresh perspective not tainted by our own prejudices. I am certain that many minds whose tendency might have been towards racist thoughts have been changed by having their perspective challenged in a way that did not directly admonish them or their ancestors for things that happened long ago, and instead changed those minds by a universal message in which the truth is brought to light. That mind-changing potential sci-fi wields is a powerful weapon, but a lot of sci-fi squanders it in the belief that certain social and philosophical issues can only be addressed in the social context in which they occur.
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Thomas
Sat, Dec 22, 2018, 7:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Wire

"This is what I don't get. It isn't immoral to associate with immoral people. Having lunch with even a nazi doesn't make you a nazi especially if you are not aiding their negative enterprises.

Moral condemnatation of such characters is meaningless and futile."

But aren't you morally condemning them by labeling them immoral in the first place? Reform isn't done by having lunch with a fascist, it's by changing the way we see them so that instead of seeing a fascist, we see someone who is crying out for love. That someone could have been you or me or anyone had we grown up under different circumstances and had different beliefs. True unity is brought not by the Star Trek method of making every body the same through technology while still perceiving them as differently, but when we see everyone as the same. Which in truth, we are.
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Thomas
Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 12:20am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Crossover

I would have liked Voyager to develop its characters. They had a great opportunity to show that the real journey in life is internal, and not about going from place A to place B. And yet, by the end of the series, naive ensign Harry Kim was still a naive ensign, angry half-Klingon Torres was still an angry half-Klingon. Barely anything had changed at all.
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Thomas
Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 12:15am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Crossover

Re: Voyager being "all about the journey"

Voyager was only "about the journey" on the surface. It didn't take very long until every episode was groundhog day and it ended up being not about the journey at all. Funnily enough even though DS9 was set in a static location, it was far more about a journey than Voyager ever was. And Babylon 5 even more so. Somehow a static location lends itself far better to developing storylines and a sense of progression than a constantly on-the-move starship trying to get home.
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Thomas
Thu, Oct 18, 2018, 4:29am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

Polly -

Ambition is a negative trait, male or female. Perhaps it isn't seen that way in our neurotic modern age, but TNG is supposed to be an evolved culture and not one centered around materialism.
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Thomas
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 5:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

I don't remember Marina Sirtis putting on an accent. I mean, she always had a slight accent because she's Greek, but apart from that...
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Thomas
Tue, Sep 18, 2018, 6:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

I love Chomsky (he's like a big old teddy bear and I own several of his books) but come on, be reasonable Elliott - this isn't a complicated issue. His world revolves around politics, therefore everything is political. When you're looking to buy a house, you see 'for sale' signs everywhere. You don't need a professor to figure this out for you.
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Thomas
Tue, Sep 18, 2018, 5:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

"All you have to do is reverse the genders to see the problem. If Keiko were the Chief and helped Miles find a botany job on Bajor, how would this scene play out?"

Exactly the same. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Keiko the stay-at-home parent while Miles was out working every day as the Chief? Doesn't it make sense that the parent (whatever gender) who has been caring for the child most of the time would not want to suddenly leave them?
You can read politics into anything but that doesn't mean the thing is political - it just means that you are.
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Thomas
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 8:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

For this limited review project, I would have to agree TAS is a good idea - solely for completionism and given that it (deservedly) had such a short run. In terms of the site as a whole, as far as space sci-fi goes the only remaining "must see" shows left are Farscape and B5 (no, I don't regard Firefly as essential). But they are big projects and would take a lot more effort.
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Thomas
Wed, Jan 31, 2018, 10:47am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Yanks

"I personally think where Discovery fails is, it's trying to be a meaningful serial series that requires us to feel for the characters which until this series started we knew nothing of. They have shoehorned some back-story in as they went, which is why I think the show is better now. Pilot aside, I liked that one.

TNG got "good" after season 3 because we knew the characters, had they come right out of the gate with "interpersonal" stories like that I think I'd have some of the same issues I have with Discovery. "

As some posters have pointed out, we are able to test this in real time by comparison with The Orville - a show which is running in more of less parallel with Discovery, and one which does evoke feelings for its characters despite it being season 1 and us not knowing much about them.
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Thomas
Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 4:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

So given that there are an infinite number of universes with every possibility accounted for, wouldn't that mean that there is a universe where the Charon doesn't get destroyed and the Discovery doesn't heal the mycelial network? How does that work?
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Thomas
Fri, Jan 26, 2018, 11:09am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Vaulting Ambition

@Hank

"Somebody mentioned the Ash/Burnham pun - I think he is on to something. Burnhams love burned Voq to Ashes (after all, his brain was fried this episode) - and like a Phoenix, he rises again to forever be the foil on which her reflection dazzingly sparkles between the stars ... I think even more of the names make sense: Lorca = Orca, the ruthless killer, Tilly = Silly, the comic relief, Stamets = Stammering, as he was stammering incomprehensible for the last episodes while under the influence ... Saru means Monkey in japanese (according to google translator), and "Hugh Culber" ... sounds like a dick joke: "Hey, look at my ... Hug(e) Culber" ... like a mangled pronounciation of "Huge Calliber" or something ... well, this is getting silly, I have watched too much Monty Pythons recently. "

You know, you're probably not that far off with some of those. I know some people were speculating about the the religious connotation of names since the very first episode, and it's pretty clear that's where they got them.

Michael: In the New Testament Michael leads God's armies against Satan's forces in the Book of Revelation, where during the war in heaven he defeats Satan.

Gabriel: Gabriel's main function in Daniel is that of revealer, a role he continues in later literature. In the Book of Ezekiel, Gabriel is understood to be the angel that was sent to destroy Jerusalem.
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Thomas
Sat, Dec 2, 2017, 5:19am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: The Voyager Conspiracy

This is one of the worst episodes, with Seven emphatically babbling nonsense to the camera for half the running time. After the episode I never wanted to hear her voice again. Awful.
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Thomas
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 3:48am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@Marcus

I suppose if someone views things like the expansion of welfare and raised taxes as left wing extremism, then they're going to see a lot of left wing extremists out there.
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Thomas
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:44am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@Anthimos112

You think parallel universes are original? They've been done to death. I want a bold and adventurous new Trek series too, but I want it to be in this universe. I want it to be about our future in space. Writing a fantasy where 20th century Mars is taken over by Roman Nazis might be entertaining escapism, but it offers little more.
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Thomas
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 1:06am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

I swear, if they go down the "infinite parallel universes to explore" route... I despair. Please, PLEASE don't go down that path Discovery.

Oh, what's the point. They're going there. It would give them a chance to ignore all previous Star Trek lore, and you can see the execs sitting round the table foaming at the mouth at that proposition.

I hated the Kelvin universe in the Abrams movies and I'm not going to like it this time round either.



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Thomas
Sat, Nov 11, 2017, 12:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Oh, and of course Walter Koenig, who was not a Russian.
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Thomas
Sat, Nov 11, 2017, 12:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@Mal

"Here is what the actor playing Captain Lorca actually sounds like: https://youtu.be/QFzINkr8ciQ "

Wow... I had no idea. Why would they change his accent? That is truly absurd.

It only makes me think of Babylon 5 and the actor playing Londo - an American but he puts on a kind of Eastern Euro accent for the character. And as hokey as it can sound at times, boy does it add to the colour of the show.

But that was back when sci-fi was sci-fi.
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Thomas
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 5:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

"Nationality is almost beside the point in our much more globalized world."

I agree. But globalization doesn't entail a monoculture - that is the fear of those wishing to prevent it. Even in our much more globalized world - the world of today - I can walk around my city and hear a wide variety of accents, view vastly different ways of expression and huge cultural variations in the way people live.

It definitely feels like Discovery has gone backwards from TOS original vision of Earth as a place where people of all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures can collaborate peacefully. Hell, it's even backwards from the perspective of today's culturally diverse workplace.

An appropriate comparison would be the current crew of NASA's ISS:

Joe Acaba (USA)
Alexander Alexandrovich (Russian Federation)
Mark Vande (USA)
Sergey Nikolaevich (Russian Federation)
Randolph “Komrade” Bresnik (USA)
Paolo Nespoli (Italy)

That's half the crew with non-American backgrounds, on an American station. What has happened between now and the 2250s that 99% of our space agency's personnel we have seen so far (Georgiou being the exception) appear to come from a single location on Earth? And what does it say about the show's vision of the future of developing nations when countries like India, Egypt and Indonesia are already forging ahead with their own space programs?
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Thomas
Mon, Nov 6, 2017, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

I agree with the comments which have said the short episode runtimes are a problem. I get the impression that these episodes were written and filmed to be 50-60 minutes long and then edited and trimmed down afterwards. It feels like there is so much emphasis on moving the plot forward that there is no room to breathe, no moments of beauty or ecstasy, and little chance for the characters to express themselves without the pressures of narrative exposition.

In this episode in particular, there was a real opportunity to show Saru's connection to the blue spirit creatures in an artistic and beautiful way. I am thinking here of moments like when Kirk in Star Trek II walks into the Genesis cave and seeing the planet at the end. Or Picard quietly pondering the fate of the village in his old age The Inner Light. Those moments of wonder are what set Star Trek apart. Instead what we get here is a brief and rushed description by Saru himself of what happened to him.

I can't help but wonder whether this production style is a symptom of attention-deficient nature of television viewers today. Are they worried we will switch off if they slow things down?
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Thomas
Mon, Nov 6, 2017, 3:33am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Drone

Did anyone notice one of the random security guards chewing gum when Janeway confronted the drone about the transmission?
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Thomas
Thu, Nov 2, 2017, 9:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

It is interesting to think about what would have happened if the DIS concept had been tried instead of VOY back in the 90s. The concept of an experimental science vessel with somewhat renegade captain at odds with Starfleet values could have led to a lot of potentially interesting standalone episodes.

At the same time, I would imagine if the VOY was done today it could have had much better results. The demand for continuity, character development and drama that many of us were craving at the time would have greatly improved the show. Imagine a whole season of Year of Hell, for example. Characters could have died and new ones recruited, making the show far more unpredictable.
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Thomas
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 5:36am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

The way the series is heading I'm almost certain that the Klingon design will be explained at some point - and I am even more certain that the explanation will be something absurd. I suspect we will see Klingons as we see them in TOS by the end of the series. And I suspect that Lorca will somehow will be involved in their change in appearance.
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