Comment Stream

Search and bookmark options Close
Search for:
Search by:
Clear bookmark | How bookmarks work
Note: Bookmarks are ignored for all search results

Total Found: 80 (Showing 1-25)

Next ►Page 1 of 4
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Tue, Mar 19, 2019, 6:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

Well you're not alone, Booming. A lot of people didn't like Lorca. Personally, many of my favourite Trek captain stories have been the ones where they either went off the rails or came dangerously close to it. I wouldn't want it all the time, but it always made them seem more real to me when we saw that yep, they were just human themselves and could get their buttons pushed too. (Janeway in "Equinox" is my favourite story of this type. Mulgrew could bring on such a cold fury when she was given the opportunity. The cargo bay scene with Lessing and Chakotay makes me shiver just thinking about it.)

Similarly, I think that's what I found appealing about Lorca's character, and why I found it so frustrating when he got vaporised. As always with this show, YMMV.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Tue, Mar 19, 2019, 4:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

I'll be very, very sad to see Anson Mount go. He's been perhaps the brightest highlight of season two, and I think he's put a very definitive stamp on Pike. Much like I'll never really accept anybody but Shatner playing Kirk, I think Mount has a good claim to ownership of Pike now.

That said, I'm not feeling his loss as keenly as I did that of Jason Isaacs in the first season. Contrary to a lot of the opinion I see online, I actually didn't mind his reveal as a Mirror Universe villain. What I *did* mind was the lost storytelling opportunity of showing us how the influences of each world could impact a man like that. The show dropped the ball by not showing us how the lack of ethical constraints granted by a MU Captain could help or harm a Starfleet ship in a time of war, and then it dropped the ball *again* when it posited that his undercover time as a Starfleet captain hadn't changed his character at all.

(They may try again at exploring that ground with Emperor Georgiou, but I don't think Michelle Yeoh's performance is as nuanced as Isaacs'.)

Lorca (and Isaacs' portrayal of him) had layers, and could have remained a great fountain of character work for years to come. Pike has been great, but he's very very much a traditional hero, and such a character is more easily replaced.

Personally, I'm hoping they promote Saru. Doug Jones has earned it. His work this year has been great and I would absolutely tune in to see him in the big chair.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

I liked this episode, but something felt... off... with the dialogue. Did anyone else get that feeling? Maybe it was just this terrible hangover I'm nursing this morning.

Aside from that, it was nice to have Airiam finally explained, even if it was the same episode in which she was killed off. (Did I miss something about the transporters not working, btw? 'cause the obvious solution would have seemed to be to beam her into the brig, rather than just give her the Alien Queen treatment.)

As others have mentioned, though, the show sold itself short here with its failure to develop Airiam earlier than this. This could have been a really devestating gut punch if they'd done so. As it stands, I felt the drama of the moment, but mainly out of sympathy for Burnham having to press the button, rather than really caring about Airiam's fate.

I have some issues with the idea that Starfleet admirals are all taking strategic advice from an AI. This has never, ever been mentioned before and as far as additions to the canon go, it's a pretty fucking weird one and I don't think I like it.

Effective episode in a lot of other ways. Anson Mount continues to impress the hell out of me, I really enjoyed the minefield sequence, and the frozen graveyard of the space station was appropriately creepy.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Wed, Mar 13, 2019, 6:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

It's true that DS9's series-long arc took a couple of sharp turns over the course of the show, Booming, but I think the writers did a bang-up job of integrating them into the show and retaining what worked from the prior seasons.

Like, even though the original Bajoran storyline got pushed waaaay into the background after season 2 and was eventually reduced to the somewhat trite pagh-wraith stuff, it was never entirely forgotten and still informed Kira's character throughout all seven seasons. It also was the basis for a lot of other good stuff, like season six's occupation arc. And even though the Klingon stuff in season 4 was mostly a ratings ploy, the writers were still able to successfully tie it into their just-introduced changeling paranoia story.

If I was on the writing staff for Disco season 3, I'd be advocating for a smaller-scale arc for season 3. Rather than fighting a war or trying to save all sentient life or anything else so repetitively over-the-top, I'd rather see something a bit more political. Maybe season 3 can be a whistle-stop tour of the Federation, trying to root out rogue S31 agents from rustling up dissent.

Then again, who knows where season 2 is going. I'm still half-expecting the show to pull another crazy twist out of its ass and send the Disco on a Sliders-style journey through parallel universes.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Wed, Mar 13, 2019, 6:39am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

Just want to say: Jammer, IIRC, when you went to pitch stories for Voyager back in the day you were introduced to the writers as "one of the last Trek reviewers with any integrity left". I think you've maintained that reputation* well. Your Disco reviews are standing in stark contrast to a lot of other outlets in their thoroughness and their well-reasoned analysis. Keep it up. (You really should have a tip jar somewhere on the site.)


*even if you thought Into Darkness was good, which, well, geez...
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Tue, Mar 12, 2019, 4:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

I agree with your sentiments about world building, Paul M. It was the biggest problem with DSC's first season, IMO. I just didn't feel the stakes of the Klingon War in the way that DS9 so successfully built up to the Dominion War, and that undercut the grim attitudes on display from the Disco crew. By focusing so narrowly on the show's titular ship and Burnham's arc (itself a mishandled story), they failed to realise the idea's full potential.

That said, I don't know how much better they could have made it, given it was the show's debut season. DS9's stakes in part came from the fact we'd had five seasons of political twists and turns to get to the point of war, whereas DSC jumped in cold. In that way it reminds me of DC's attempt to ape Marvel's success with the Avengers films and jumping straight into their own superhero teamup, without laying the groundwork necessary to make us care about any of the characters.

TLDR, making the show's debut story a war story was probably a mistake. Personally I feel that the Mirror Universe plot of S1 was far better done than the Klingon material, and would still contend it's been Trek's definitive treatment of that world.

I'm also fine with some of our bridge characters being glorified extras. At least they have names and they talk. VOY and ENT were particularly bad at having nameless, voiceless faces on the ship who might as well have not been there at all. (I feel like that particularly hurt Voyager - the potential for world building on that show was in portraying how a lone starship on a potentially generations-long journey would form its own unique internal community, and it was a terribly wasted opportunity.)
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

OTDP, I'm having a really hard time grokking what you're saying. It seems to be: Netflix paid for season 1, but that's all, and they are not paying for season 2 or the recently announced season 3?

I don't want to sound condescending, but I don't think you know much about how these kind of licensing deals work. There's a good explainer here: https://redef.com/original/5b81f41dcbfd8a70442b3e8b, although there are other sources to be found.

In short, Disco is a "Co-Licensed Original", and Netflix very likely agreed to fund more than one season of the show when they initially signed up. Exactly how many seasons is anybody's guess. My personal guess would be two seasons, because the season three renewal announcement came a little later in the game than the season two announcement did, implying that there may have been some renegotiation going on behind the scenes. But that's just speculation.

TLDR, it's very, very unlikely to be how you describe it. Keep in mind that all the legacy Trek shows are on Netflix, so they already had a good idea of how much the franchise is worth to them.

(And a very good idea of which episodes and shows people are coming back to again & again; would it surprise you to know that VOY's Endgame is the most re-watched episode in the franchise? https://io9.gizmodo.com/this-list-of-the-most-re-watched-star-trek-episodes-is-1803780922)
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 7:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

Two short things, because these fights bore me.

Dave in MN: It's not language policing. You're free to call the show whatever you want. Abbreviate it to XXX if it tickles your fancy. I'm just politely telling you that calling it STD makes you look immature and serves as a deterrent to engaging you in further conversation.

As for "go research it yourself", uh, no? I'm not the one spreading baseless rumours that bear zero actual scrutiny...?

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi: The fact that I'm watching Discovery on Netflix every week, and the great big "A Netflix Original Series" banner that appears before every episode, is all the evidence I need that they are still paying *something* for DSC. Is it on the same terms as the first season? I have no idea, nor do I care.

All I really do care about is that when people start to throw around speculation and rumours, they base it on some kind of reality that we all can share. I mean, sure, you might think that Netflix is desperately lying when they say the show is doing well. But why on Earth would they bother? They have more money than God and if they cared to, they could easily just throw together their own Orville-style Trek clone and call it a day.

As we've seen with the recent cancellations of the Marvel Netflix shows, they are not afraid to cut a popular brand away if they don't think they're getting a favourable deal.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

Citation needed, Dave in MN. If you think about what you've just said logically then it falls apart.

1) Netflix is reportedly paying for the majority of the show's budget in exchange for distribution rights. https://deadline.com/2016/10/star-trek-discovery-bryan-fuller-steps-down-showrunner-1201843506/

2) According to Netflix, DSC was their #4 "family show" in season 1. https://media.netflix.com/en/press-releases/2017-on-netflix-a-year-in-bingeing

3) The show's first season budget was reportedly around $8 million an episode. https://variety.com/2017/tv/features/star-trek-discovery-preview-cbs-all-access-sonequa-martin-green-1202540540/

So from this you can conclude that: (A) Netflix is paying for the show and it is costing CBS very little, (B) Netflix are pleased with the performance of it, and (C) the budget for the show way exceeds the cost of paying out actor's contracts in the event of cancellation (if that's even a thing, which I don't think it is), so citing those as the only reason for a third season renewal is... well, dumb.

Perhaps you can draw different conclusions from those reports. But "people are saying" is not a very reliable basis on which to further speculate.

BTW: the show's official abbreviation is DSC (or DIS if you'd rather go by Memory Alpha). Continually calling it STD is such fifth-grader humour, it really undercuts any adult point you hope to make.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 4:07am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

(The "10% meh" is the Section 31 stuff. I would like them to either shit or get off the pot here: Leland is not an interesting character and if Georgiou is going to take him down then I would like her to just do it already.)
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 4:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

Hey, nice work, show! Your second great episode of the season. I didn't like it as much as "An Obol For Charon", but I thought *that* episode was spectacular. This one will just have to settle for great.

Coming off a re-watch of "The Cage", the opening "previously on Star Trek" really played on my nostalgia. A cheap trick, but an effective one. Much like some of the better episodes of ENT (an DSC season 1's underrated "Lethe"), this is one of the few episodes of prequel Trek that actually takes advantage of its time period to add to and reinforce, rather than contradict, the existing canon.

I'm talking about the scene between Pike and Vina in the ready room, which cleared up something about "The Menagerie" for me. Namely, why Pike would accept a life of illusion, even in his crippled form? The answer was always Vina, but "If Memory Serves" explicitly spells it out for us: she had a profound impact on him in "The Cage" and it haunts him, viscerally, years later. Anson Mount and Melissa George sold the hell out of it in the short time they had together. Great stuff.

I also liked the reveal of what caused the rift between Spock and Burnham, because it wasn't an over-dramatised melodrama of forbidden romance that I feared it was going to be, nor any silly sci-fi MacGuffin. Instead it was much simpler, and something I and I think much of the audience could relate to: how the cruelty of an older sibling in childhood can resonate deeply even in your adult years. Well-intentioned or not, Spock will never let Burnham off the hook for her words and I don't think anybody could blame him.

Also loved the travails of Culber and Stamets. Culber's storyline here is reminding me a lot of Buffy after her own "miracle" resurrection, and both he and Anthony Rapp are playing this note-perfect.

All in all, it's 90% great stuff, 10% meh. 3.5 stars.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Wed, Mar 6, 2019, 6:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

I re-watched "The Cage" tonight, because we're heading back to Talos IV on Friday and I haven't seen it in many many years. I was curious to see how it held up. I was especially interested to see whether or not I could see shades of Jeffrey Hunter in Anson Mount's performance.

And yes, I could! I don't know if Mount is doing it deliberately or not, but he plays Pike like a man who has had a weight lifted off his shoulders, which is what we see happening in The Cage. Pike's realisation during the "picnic" illusion with Vina also dovetails nicely with DSC season 2's idea that Pike feels guilt over missing the Klingon war:

PIKE: It's funny. It's about twenty four hours ago I was telling the ship's doctor how much I wanted something else not very different from what we have here. An escape from reality. Life with no frustrations. No responsibilities. Now that I have it, I understand the doctor's answer... You either live life, bruises, skinned knees and all, or you turn your back on it and start dying.

DSC's Pike feels guilty because he wasn't there to stand alongside the rest of Starfleet in their own time of need. It's actually a nice complement to the story of The Cage, albeit one that I don't entirely give the DSC writers credit for.

Aside from that, Majel's Number One is still the most obvious missed opportunity for TOS. Overall though NBC were probably right to ask for this to be retooled. Hunter's good, but he doesn't command the screen in the way Shatner does, and the brighter, more colourful sets that followed this were also more appealing. McCoy is also waaaay more interesting in his first appearance than Boyce.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Wed, Mar 6, 2019, 5:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

@Henson

*jaw drops*

...of course!! It's all falling into place!
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Tue, Mar 5, 2019, 5:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

I think Booming is on to something. Now that I think about it, it's more likely that the Angel is actually one of the TOS space hippies (supported by a sinister, all-powerful cabal consisting of the terorrists from "Let He Who Is Without Sin", the Pakleds, and the bad guys from "Precious Cargo") to try and stop the rise of the Janeway/Paris salamanders conquering all of the known universe.

Sybok is probably involved too.

It's the only explanation that makes sense.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Tue, Mar 5, 2019, 4:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

The Red Angel is obviously Beverley's candle fuck ghost. I'm surprised nobody else has made the obvious connections yet.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Mon, Mar 4, 2019, 3:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

Those character breakdowns for the Picard show sound intriguing. It seems like we're going to get a Firefly-esque motley crew of mercenaries and ne'er-do-wells; they could be interesting foils for the straight-arrow Picard in a way that his Enterprise crew rarely were.

Aside from that observation, I'd avoid really trying to read too much into it; TNG's own original bible and character descriptions have elements that were routinely ignored during the series run. http://leethomson.myzen.co.uk/Star_Trek/2_The_Next_Generation/Star_Trek_-_The_Next_Generation_Bible.pdf
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Sat, Mar 2, 2019, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

MadManMUC - as much as I would've preferred the classic Constitution design to have been left alone, I don't think I'd want to see them come up with a hand-wave "refit" to revert the changes we've been given. The differences between the two designs is just too pronounced and I don't there's a realistic in-universe explanation that could be offered for why Starfleet's top ship class would be shrunk down.

EAS has a page on the DSC ship designs: http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/schematics/discovery_federation.htm. As seen in this graphic ( http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/schematics/dis-tos-enterprise.jpg ), the DSC Constiution variant at 442m is signicantly larger than the 289m TOS version.

Personally, I just treat this change as the (extremely annoying) aesthetic choice that it is and ignore it. I'd be much more nerd-ragey if this show was centered around a Constitution-class ship, but thankfully they've mostly left it alone.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Fri, Mar 1, 2019, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

I'm with you, Karl Zimmerman - the TCW's prior status as cheap high-concept plot device (a Brannon Braga trademark) doesn't mean that it couldn't be rehabilitated by some better writing.

That said, even if the Red Angel doesn't wind up tying into that storyline (which seems likely), you would hope the DSC writers would've learned the lesson of ENT's failure with the material. Unless you go into it with a clear idea of where it's going to end, you just wind up with an unsatisfying narrative mess. DSC already screwed the pooch with the conclusion to last season's main arc; I really want this one to get better treatment.
Set Bookmark
TIm C
Fri, Mar 1, 2019, 5:14am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

Mixed emotions. Not as good as part 1.

* Molloy's comedic antics feel wildly out-of-place in this story.

* Why don't the Kalon have wifi? It seems weird they have any need to converse in person.

* The Krill, as usual, come across as b-movie monsters moreso than real people, and it hurts the episode.

* J. Lee continues to be the worst actor on the show, sucking the energy out of every scene he's in. Dr. Finn's kid is a close second.

* Watching the screws get turned on Ed is when his character shines. I think Macfarlane is quite good in the role of "affable nice boss", but the danger is letting Mercer get too bland. I want to see more airlock scenes and more of him being a competent starship commander, like during the battle sequences.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Fri, Mar 1, 2019, 4:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

As far as season 2 episodes go, this one is most comparable to "Point of Light", in that it really feels more like connective tissue than a self-contained story in its own right. Unlike POL, though, it narrows its focus to two plots and is better off for it. It's difficult to subject it to any kind of proper analysis since it's part of a larger sequence, but it was very watchable and didn't suffer from any huge gaps in logic.

Random points:

* Airiam seems like she needs better antivirus software. I hope that when this thread pays off, we can learn a bit more about who she actually is.

* I appreciated the scene between Amanda and Sarek, because I've always found the idea of their marriage fascinating and wondered how it worked in practice. Apparently, not easily.

* Despite the show's attempts at misdirection right at the end, I think that Emperor Georgiou is actually picking up some bad habits from living in the Prime, and is on the path to becoming a better person.

* The "players from the future interfering in the past" angle to season 2 is giving me flashbacks to ENT's Temporal Cold War. That is not a good thing, because the TCW was never properly defined or explored and existed solely as a plot device before the writers gave up and just deleted it without ceremony. Hopefully DSC is not going to go down the same narrative route and wind up at the same ending. They'll earn bonus nerd points if the Angel is somehow actually *related* to the TCW and can give it some more logical background than ENT did. It'd be nice to finally know who Future Guy was...

* Talos IV! Well played, DSC. I didn't see that coming, and it didn't make me groan and roll my eyes like the meet-up with the Enterprise at the climax of season one.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Thu, Feb 28, 2019, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

Jammer, I think you hit the nail on the head, WRT the way that Discovery's access to modern VFX and super high budget is actually more of a handicap that it might seem. In the case of an episode like "Brother", I found it to lend an immediacy and an urgency to the space action that we had never really been treated to before in Trek.

But in the case of an episode like this one that is screaming for the writers to pump the brakes and consider the consequences of what they're depicting, it's just too easy a crutch to fall back on to press the action button.

I'm curious to know what the conversations in the writers room were like about this episode, and whether the way this ultimately went was fought over or if everyone was in agreement that a Big Action Climax was the way to go.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Wed, Feb 27, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part I

RE: The Orville figuring itself out. Sure, it's a mix of comedy and drama and the needle on various episodes will point one way or the other. My issues with it go to its core concept, which Jammer outlines succintly in this review: it's too reverent of Star Trek to be a genuine Galaxy Quest-style spoof, and thus defangs its own comic potential. But it also undercuts itself as a serious drama with the constant sitcom shenanigans, which often just play like a wink at the audience that we really shouldn't be investing too much in anything that's happening. ("Look, the new security officer eats smelly lunch at his desk!" etc)

I think it's telling that the best episodes of the show thus far have been the ones with a minimum of said shenanigans, like this one.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Wed, Feb 27, 2019, 2:38am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part I

FWIW, I think we all tend to get a little bit hung up on the star ratings around this joint (and basically everywhere that assigns grades). Jammer's own Ratings Scale just says that four stars is "excellent", which is a valid rank for "Scorpion 1", one of the few VOY entries that used the show's premise to great effect.

Reading the actual review, though, and comparing it with the review for BOBW, the different shades of "excellent" are pretty clearly elucidated.

And the same goes for this review, that has the same reservations about this episode that I did. 3.5 stars is "standout" according the scale, which IMO will be The Orville's ceiling rank until the show can finish working out exactly what it wants to be.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Sat, Feb 23, 2019, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

Didn't mean to upset you, Booming. I reckon I'd be able to give anyone a run for their money in a TOS fan-off, so please don't take me the wrong when I say it's cheesy. It still holds the title for some of the greatest stories in the Trek universe, and I don't think there's ever been a better captain than Kirk.

But by God, it's cheesy sometimes. The slide- whistle sense of humour, the b-movie horror monsters (I.e. Gorn), the fistfights that invariably break out every episode... and yes, Shatner, when he felt the material needed spicing up. Even by the standards of the time, there's a lot of scenery- chewing going on, especially in the bad episodes.

When I say that DS9 is "objectively" the best, I don't mean that it has the superior cast or setting or characters or whatever. I just mean that if you're a long term viewer then DS9 will greatly reward you with consistent character growth throughout the show and a deep bench of recurring talent. DS9 simply does world building better than all the others do. The crew at the end are very different people than when they started, except maybe O'Brien and Quark.

Whereas the only thing that might tell the difference between a TNG season one episode and a season seven episode is Riker's beard (and the season one episode is probably really shitty). Same goes for TOS and VOY.
Set Bookmark
Tim C
Sat, Feb 23, 2019, 3:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

On star ratings, @Mac: I think it's relatively easy to explain. TOS, TNG and VOY are all variations of the same episodic adventure-of-the-week show, hence their similar scores. All of them have some high highs and some low lows with a lot of mediocre dreck (moreso in VOY). TOS probably gets the highest because it had a shorter run and thus less filler episodes dragging down the average.

DS9 gets the highest not because Jammer's biased in favour of it, as some suggest. It's because while it too had a largely episodic structure, it also devoted time to Big Picture arcs that made even the filler eps more satisfying for the long term viewer. Objectively speaking, it's the best Star Trek show and I don't know how anyone can really dispute that (even though my own loyalties ping pong between the uber-cheesy TOS and the eternal underachiever VOY).

It's been awhile since I looked over Jammer's ENT reviews, but as I recall his biggest issue (and mine) with the show wasn't that it was *awful*, it's that it was, in its first two seasons, constantly churning out ho-hum stories that had no real reason to exist. So the very slightly higher average than TOS and TNG doesn't reflect a better show; rather it just shows a greater commitment to safe mediocrity. Plus, like TOS, there's less of it and thus less time for the filler material to drag down the average.

As for DSC vs Orville: never have I seen a more pointless debate. The two shows are trying to accomplish wildly different things in very different ways.
Next ►Page 1 of 4
▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2019 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.