Star Trek: Discovery

"Into the Forest I Go"

3.5 stars

Air date: 11/12/2017
Written by Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt
Directed by Chris Byrne

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul." — John Muir

At last, here's the Discovery episode I've been waiting for all fall — something that feels exciting and compelling and goes a long way toward addressing many of my bigger questions about this series. ("Answering" might be too strong a word, as certain aspects remain open-ended and new questions are raised.) This is easily Discovery's best episode so far. It moves the plot forward significantly and resolves some notable points, and then presents a twist that hints at all kinds of possibilities (depending on how far they pursue the idea) — even though where we actually go from here remains to be seen.

But beyond all that, this episode just flat-out works. There's a certain intangible quality that a good show has that eludes the mediocre ones. I sum that quality up as "conviction" — the sense that the story really knows what it's doing while it's doing it and everything is clicking. That's what has been missing with Discovery so far. But "Into the Forest I Go" features that spark of conviction almost everywhere. There's emotion, camaraderie, tension, and danger here that feels palpable and immediate, at times with an epic scope — starting with Lorca's rousing shipwide announcement about the mission and the sense that this is a singular crew working together to carry it out, rather than a bunch of characters trapped in their own subplots.

All the disparate pieces feel like they come together and finally make sense. While that doesn't forgive the clunkiness of the plot's execution in earlier episodes, this does give me a great deal of hope and relief that this series' makers have an idea of what they're doing; it just might be a matter of working out growing pains. Time will tell on that front, but for now this is very encouraging.

With the Klingon Ship of the Dead en route to Pahvos, the Discovery crew must devise a plan to protect the planet from certain annihilation while also disobeying Starfleet's direct order to return to safety. I was glad to see Lorca take a stand for doing the right thing; I wouldn't have necessarily expected him to be the one to disobey orders in the name of stopping the Klingons from threatening a non-Federation planet, but there he is, rallying the crew to fight the good fight.

Even more interesting is what grows out of Lorca's interactions with Stamets, who is suffering from all the spore-drive jumps — but is going to suffer a lot more before the day is out given what's going to be needed to execute the clever plan. Lorca reveals to Stamets, with unexpected scientific kinship, that he has been paying closer attention to how the spore drive works — by mapping all the jump data — than anyone would have imagined. His analysis indicates the spore drive can open doors to alternate universes/timelines, which opens intriguing potential avenues of future stories. But more to the point, it shows a captain with bigger interests than simply killing Klingons. He displays intellectual curiosity after all.

"I didn't know you cared," Stamets says, astonished. Indeed. Lorca is full of surprises this week. What we see here supports a mentality first hinted at in his speech to Burnham in "Context Is For Kings" but not much seen since; he's someone who knows Starfleet must win the war, and how that must be top priority, but also realizes that at some point the true mission of exploration will resume.

A lot of this, frankly, comes across like a meta-commentary acknowledgement that this series itself has (temporarily, it would seem) stepped away from (or at least de-prioritized) the core tenets of Trek — particularly for a show that is named, well, Discovery. But Lorca, seemingly speaking for the writers, reveals a forthright self-awareness of that fact, as if to say this might all very well be a detour before normal business can begin. It's a refreshing reveal and the first on-screen evidence that leadership is very aware of the disconnect.

Back to the tactical plan: Burnham and Tyler secretly beam over to the Klingon ship where they have devices that will collect data that will allow Discovery to overcome the cloaking technology. The technical details of this plan, which tie into 133 jumps Stamets must make in the middle of the battle zone, are intricate — but they are clear and well-sold by the writing, which makes all the difference. It feels like old-school Trek, where the tech is taken seriously enough that we can follow what's going on. That's at times been a point of sloppiness with this series; here they prove they can play it old-school.

All of these pieces come together with skillful execution of action and suspense, and pretty much everything pays off with some sort of satisfying character beat. Burnham gets to come full circle to revisit the ghosts of the beginning of the war by being the one with key information about the Klingon ship (although given how briefly she was aboard it in "Battle of the Binary Stars" her knowledge seems a little overstated) and she eventually finds herself in hand-to-hand combat with Kol, who holds Georgiou's insignia pin as a prize.

Tyler must confront severe PTSD when he comes face to face with L'Rell and has flashbacks to memories of torture, sexual slavery — and perhaps something else he has still not realized. The flashbacks are suitably disturbing, and Shazad Latif does a terrific job selling the horror (and even guilt, for having reached the "arrangement" with L'Rell to be spared more torture) throughout his scenes.

Admiral Cornwell, as expected, turns out not to be dead, which also makes this a rescue operation. And the ultimately successful destruction of the sarcophagus ship once the cloaking device is disabled is presumably a major turning point in the war. That's a lot of ground covered in one episode. The action is effective and efficient and still has room to breathe; credit goes to Chris Byrne's direction over the most ambitious and cohesive effort yet.

In the aftermath, back aboard the Discovery, the episode is able to sell something new and useful in the Tyler/Burnham relationship: comfort and solace. Previous Burnham/Tyler scenes have been pretty bland, but this is an angle that works, showing two people helping each other cope through difficult experiences. But there's still another shoe yet to drop here. L'Rell is taken prisoner, and Tyler goes to see her, and she tells him, "I won't let them hurt you." The show still hasn't quite shown us its hand, but the Voq/Tyler theory continues to be very probable. One thing is certain — Tyler, even if he is somehow Voq, has been so deeply programmed or brainwashed that he's not aware of it at all. (And, yes, this would be exactly like season-one Boomer on Battlestar Galactica, a pitiable role of existential dread.) More to come on this for sure. I am sufficiently intrigued even if I have no idea what L'Rell's endgame could possibly have been.

Stamets and Culber must face the fact the spore drive is a danger risking Stamets' well-being, as well as building secrets that aren't great for their relationship. Stamets tells Lorca he's done with the spore drive (an experience that has changed his very view of reality), except for One Last Jump to get the crew safely home to the starbase. But the final jump Stamets makes goes horribly wrong for reasons uncertain, and Discovery ends up somewhere no one expects or recognizes. Stamets himself is affected in an alarming and transformative way. The episode doesn't tell us where we've gone, but an alternate/mirror universe seems the most obvious explanation.

And this of course puts all kinds of new possibilities on the table regarding Discovery's role vis-a-vis the Trek timeline. The possibilities are many (assuming this concept spans more than an episode or two), but also perilous. But then this is a series that probably needs peril to thrive.

Some other brief thoughts:

  • Why was Lorca so initially insistent that Burnham not go on the away mission? It didn't seem like "It's too dangerous" was a good reason. When did Burnham become irreplaceable, especially given the importance of completing this particular mission successfully?
  • They really milked Stamets' moments before his final jump for a serious sense of ominous dread. The long looks, the seemingly final exchanges of "I love you" between him and Culber — it all told you something was about to go terribly wrong.
  • The final "where are we?" pullback through the debris field reminded me of the end of the first season of Fringe, where Olivia found herself meeting William Bell (played, of course, by Leonard Nimoy) in a high floor of the still-standing World Trade Center in a parallel timeline/universe. Since Discovery shares some producers who worked on Fringe, will they be bringing along some of those tricks?
  • Vulcan Admiral Terral (Conrad Coates) always comes across as such a company-man tool. He manages to make everything come across as simultaneously robotic and dickish. This seems to be a common thing with supporting Vulcan players. (Soval on Enterprise was always kind of jerky too, granted a much more interesting and complete character.)
  • It would be nice to see the supporting bit players on the bridge like Keyla Detmer (Emily Coutts), Joann Owosekun (Oyin Oladejo), and Airiam (Sara Mitich) get some actual substance in future episodes beyond being generic placeholders. They have the same actors in these parts every week and they are getting paid for every episode they speak in, so why not see what else they can do and make them part of the team? Let's do some world-building here! (Lorca refers to them by name now, so that's a start.)
  • CBSAA (Android edition) rating for Sunday: 2 stars — Pervasive video stutters throughout the hour, a couple of times where the HD dropped down to poor quality for at least a couple minutes, and one point where the video paused and buffered for about 30 seconds. Not good at all. I'd be interested in hearing what others' experiences with this premium-cost but hardly-premium-quality platform continue to be.
  • The last couple months have felt like a revival for this website, and I'm glad I've been able to offer up more than I'd initially predicted in terms of review length. Hopefully things can continue at this pace in the new year, but as always there are no guarantees, and a scale-back is always a possibility. (This is my longest review since the two-part premiere; don't get used to it.) I think the pre-review discussion threads have worked out well. Thank you for the consistently civil participation and high-quality discussion. I continue to be amazed by the quality of the comments here and I'm honored to be your host. See you in January.

Previous episode: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
Next episode: Despite Yourself

◄ Season Index

271 comments on this review

Chrome
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Very intense episode, it played out like a thriller! I quite enjoyed it, many ups like Burnham taking down the Klingon ship and saving Cornwell, as well as many downs like Tyler experiencing PTSD and Stamets finally breaking down after spinning the roulette wheel one too many times.

Many questions were left unanswered, including where the heck is the Discovery now? But I loved Lorca in this one, no doubt. A high 3.5 stars from this Trekker.

P.S. First gay kiss in a Trek show. Will people complain...?
Rahul
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 8:37pm (UTC -5)
Pretty good finale for the 1st part of Season 1 and, for me, the best episode of the 9: Fast-paced, giving a lot to chew on and more questions to be dealt with later. Not really any more new questionable stuff -- the episode made use of all the stuff we've gotten to know and reluctantly accept (for me). And kudos for Burnham bringing the Universal Translator to her fight with Kol so we don't have to deal with subtitles and Klingon-speak.

Burnham is heroic on the Klingon ship but also displays plenty of her own will. She is not a good officer, technically, but this is her character (like it or hate it). She just does whatever she wants. This time it works out. In insisting she be part of the away mission she tells Lorca, "There is no logic to your thinking!" Why did Lorca not want to send her on the away mission in the 1st place? She's obviously right in attempting to save Admiral Cornwell on the Klingon ship, but then she decides to fight Kol? That was never part of the plan.

The ethical issue is Lorca forcing Stamets to do all those jumps -- not exactly sure what he had mapped out with all of Stamets' prior jumps that is so fascinating, but apparently it helped in the convincing. Stamets is in rough shape at the end of the episode but I guess the writers can do whatever they want with his condition to start the 2nd half of the season.

Not a fan of the Tyler/L'Rell sex slave subplot. And to all the Tyler/Voq talk, I'm not sure how this could even work given Tyler is tall and Voq is short? (Am
I being too naive?) Something to be dealt with in the 2nd half of Season 1 is that L'Rell got her wish to leave Kol's ship and become Federation property.

So we've got a new problem for the 2nd half of Season 1 as the Discovery doesn't know where it has jumped to. Maybe the 2nd half of the season is going to play out like Voyager? Might give a chance for some new ideas etc.

A solid 3 stars for "Into the Forest I Go". Good episode for Burnham really cementing what her character is all about (if we didn't already know and needed more proof) and also advancing the romance with Tyler but the best part, for me, was the action on the Klingon ship. Entertaining episode albeit built on prior episodes laying an iffy foundation.
Karl Zimmerman
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 8:46pm (UTC -5)
Almost perfect - the first Discovery episode I would rate as not just good, but great. There's finally a resolution to some of the trailing spider webs of the general plot arc, with Kol dead, the sarcophagus ship destroyed, and Burham getting her captain's badge back.

There was one niggling thing which made the episode flawed however - how Burnham acted onboard the Klingon ship. I don't know if it was explicitly said or just fanon, but the general consensus regarding Burnham's actions in the first and second episodes regarding the Klingons is that she suffered from PTSD due to her biological parents being killed in a Klingon attack, leading to her having an emotional outburst and disobeying Captain Georgiou. But here she is cool, calm, and collected while Ash Tyler is the one who freaks out.

Otherwise, I loved it. I'm also very happy that the second arc will seemingly focus on Discovery getting back to its home universe rather than more of the boring Klingon war stuff. See you guys in January!
Troy
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
This episode makes me eager for the next--that's a good thing.

So where is Discovery?

Did they jump into the starbase and thus blow it up? Is that starbase debris?

Something the Borg destoyed?

An alien junkyard?

The Prime Universe? I'm not yet convinced this series takes place in the Prime Universe. I can't imagine that the JJ Abrams movie got pre-TOS right (USS Kelvin)
and this series gets the uniforms and tech wrong and it still be in the Prime Universe. A reveal that this takes place in an alternate universe will alleviate much of my concerns about the show and its spore drive.
Frederick Lang
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 9:08pm (UTC -5)
Lorca and Stammets discussed the network spanning across multiple universes and they did a botched jump to an unknown location.

We goin' to the Mirror Universe bois. 3.5/4 stars.
MiaBN
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
Klingon nipply boobs! Clutching my pearls.
Anthimos112
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
Alternate Parallel Universes. APU. I like it. I like it alot. It answers annoying questions about continuity while at the same time freeing Discovery from the shackles of rigid minded trek geeks. If done properly this could be a great vehicle for some real interesting stories. Discovery could be the first Trek ship dedicated not to eploration of space but to exploration of alternate realities. The ethical and moral questions they would face along the way could dwarf any first contact with an alien species. Imagine the possiblities of what both Discovery the ship and the show could accomplish if not bound by continuity Nazis. An APU where Captain Georgiou is still alive. An APU where the klingons are closer to ours and not theirs and the discovery crew has to deal interact with them. . An APU where the federation doesn't exist. An APU where Burnham was never spocks sister. An APU where overrun by the borg. Maybe each episode they return back to there reality to report to Starfleet like true explorers or maybe due to some trauma to stamets they are lost.Like voyager they are struggling to return home only not across space but through realities. The possibilities are endless. I just hope this show has the chutzpah to go through with it.
Reign1701A
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 9:50pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman: Burnham reveals herself to the Klingons and fights Kol because she heard Kol order the ship to go to warp, which would've ended the mission to get the sensor data. She was stalling for time for Disco to complete the jumps.

Almost perfect score for me. I feel like the Sarcaphagous ship went down a little too easily (well, if you're not Stammets). Having the sensors announce the uplink to Disco and flash bright lights was silly, but that's a nitpick. Great action, space shots were the best we've seen yet, great performances by the cast, compelling/thrilling drama. We got some resolution but at least 3 plotlines that are still dangling. I'm satisfied but still want more. Well done.
Lord Garth
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 9:50pm (UTC -5)
"P.S. First gay kiss in a Trek show. Will people complain...?"

I hate to be *that* person but DS9 actually beat this episode to the punch with "Rejoined" in its fourth season. Though "Into the Forest" is the first with two men.

As far as people who'll complain, I really don't care about what they think. They'll have to get used to gays, and anyone who isn't heterosexual, being represented.
Karl Zimmerman
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 10:00pm (UTC -5)
@ Reign1701A

I understood why Burham did what she did. It just wasn't keeping in character with what was established earlier - that she cracks under pressure when around Klingons due to PTSD dating back to childhood.

As I said though, I can't remember if this was fanon to explain how poorly written the whole "mutiny" plot arc was or made explicit by the show. Maybe I'll go back and rewatch those episodes before I put my CBSAA subscription on hiatus.
MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
Nipply boobs indeed. Send the kiddies to bed next season.

And danged if that didn't satisfy a lot of the building up questions of what this show is going to be about and deal with, and at the same time raise the most questions of any Star Trek cliffhanger to date. Where are they? Are they even in the same universe anymore?

Did this just turn into Sliders with a Starship?
HawgWyld
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
Well, lookie here! The cast and writers jumped off the suck train long enough to deliver a good episode. Will wonders never cease? I'm actually looking forward to what comes next.
Galadriel
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
I join the chorus: This was a great episode, a good harvest of all the seeds that had been planted before. For me easily the best of the nine.

Now with both L’Rell and Tyler on board, the Voq issue will hopefully proceed to a solution. L’Rell’s words “I will not let them hurt you” and “Soon” point into hat direction.

Tyler’s memory has obviously tampered with — he claims that he has been tortured for 227 days by L’Rell, yet this cannot be true as she has an alibi for most of that time (she was first with Kol, then with Voq). Clearly, more payoff is waiting.

Did I get that right? Discovery is still around Pahvo, while Admiral Cornwell has already arrived in Starbase 88? And the cloak-breaking algorithm gets refined on Discovery, while no one in Starfleet has a backup? Strange writing choices.

With respect to the end — hmm, no one knows where the Magic Mushroom Drive has kicked the ship to. It could be the Mirror Universe (rumour says that Disco will play an MU episode), or the strange “Time Trap“ from the eponymous animated episode, or something completely different.
Kinematic
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 12:45am (UTC -5)
The best episode so far. Did an excellent job of building up tension with Stamets's jumps and Ash's PTSD attack. Burnham's duel with Kol was cathartic and well justified as a means to stall for time, much better than the Vulcan-fu mind meld fight. Even the post-battle scene with Ash and Burnham worked well, much better than the previous attempts to develop their relationship.

Not much marring it, aside from a couple clunky lines like Saru's reference to Pahvo early on as a "peace-loving planet." The biggest plot hole, though, is that the writers seem to have forgotten that the spore drive doesn't need a living navigator for short jumps.

The tardigrade saved the day when they needed to jump 3 or 4 times their normal range IIRC. Since that ep it seems like they've lost the ability to jump with no navigator, even though the strain on Stamets has been a recurring theme. Maybe a navigator is also needed for many jumps in rapid succession, however small? But they also needed Stamets in the last episode to escape from the Klingons after the initial battle, even though a shorter-range jump would have been sufficient to lose them.
Thomas
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 1:06am (UTC -5)
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.



Cosmic
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 1:59am (UTC -5)
I will agree with what is being said by quite a few of you: this is easily the best episode that Discovery has delivered so far.

It was a tense and satisfying wrap-up to a lot of what Discovery has set up and a promise of something much more. Is this their easy way out when it comes to the continuity issues...? Or is it Starfleet's first look into the Mirror Universe? Maybe both??

It was a shame to see Kol go out with his ship - he's easily been the most effective Klingon character on this show. The universal translator was a welcome addition - get those subtitles out of here! And tying Kol and Burnham's fight to Captain Georgiou provided a rather convenient full circle for Burnham's character. Good stuff.

"I won't let them hurt you." - Yeahhh. Ash is Voq, make no bones about it. Hopefully they'll put that out in the open next episode instead of continuing to string us along. That would be my preference.

I'm happy that the (mostly) lackluster Klingon War is being wrapped up and I'm really interested to see where the show goes next with it's second half. Kudos to the Discovery team for sending the show off on a satisfying note.

3.5 stars on the Jammer scale.
Bob
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 2:59am (UTC -5)
Loved it. Lorca is such a fascinating character and the cliff hanger is certainly interesting. I'm thinking Mirror Universe.
MadManMUC
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 3:27am (UTC -5)
Considering Jonathan Frakes — who is the director for the next episode — has already said that the Mirror Universe is going to feature in this season STD, it should be flagrantly obvious to anyone that this is where the ship ended up.

I'm also going to call it: the Lorca we've been seeing is MU Lorca, and the Prime Universe Lorca is either dead, or strung up in an agony booth somewhere. This would at least go some way to absolving the producers of giving us this horrible, immoral excuse for a Starfleet captain/human being.

However, all things being equal, he's still the captain (for the time being), and I'm really getting fucking sick and tired of Burnham and her penchant for questioning her superior officers in front of the rest of the crew. Don't like what the Captain or FO are ordering? Ask them for a few moments in private to voice your concerns, but don't do it in public on the bridge. Ugh. I hate this character.

Going back to the idea of absolution for the producers, they're also in a unique position to make up for some of the canon gang-raping they've been doing since this series began:

• For one, they can finally get rid of the Magic Mushroom Drive on the reasonable explanation that it's harmful to human health (which is to say: the unfortunate sucker they have hooked up to it). Thus, the concept not appearing in later Trek iterations more or less has an explanation.

• Given we know that Starfleet wasn't actually able to defeat Klingon cloaking devices until STVI, we can also make the reasonable assumption that a) Discovery jumped before the 11 hours was over (the 11 hours Lorca said it would take to comlete the data analysis and transmit to Starfleet), and b) the Klingons will likely shelve their current cloaking technology in favour of researching new ones, thus (sort of) correcting the fact they even have cloaking devices at this point in Trek history in the first place.

I still hate this show.
MadManMUC
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 4:01am (UTC -5)
Also, we've been told we've not seen the last of Michelle Yeoh, so I guess there's a MU version of her alive and kicking out there, causing Burnham to go all sorts of mental with her guilt issues.

Oh, boy. I can hardly wait.
Dobber
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 4:23am (UTC -5)
I agree this episode was very entertaining. Only the second episode I can say that about. Ash is for sure Voq. It was obvious before and it’s super obvious now. And yeah, mirror universe alert! Though them getting lost at the end was extremely predictable.
Galadriel
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 4:31am (UTC -5)
@Kinematic

I noticed that, too. In “Context is for Kings“, Lorca said that unlike the Glenn, the Disco made only jumps in the range of hundreds of kilometers (before getting an organic pilot). Nevertheless, I can interpolate that these jumps were somewhat unprecise, or that a quick succession wouln’t work, or something else that requires the jumps in this episode to be done with a pilot.

There is another thing which I noticed only on second viewing: Immediately before the last, ill-fated jump, Lorca types coordinates into a touchpad, and for half a second you can read the line “Override-Lorca“ on the screen (ca. 43:40). Immediately afterwards, he says “Let’s go home”.

So, I am no longer sure whether the jump to the debris field was an accident. Maybe we are coming close to what Lorca’s agenda really is. He now has both the anti-cloak-gimmick and the spore drive at his hand, and he might now see the time to use them for his own purposes.

BTW, some fans actually guess Lorca is from the Mirror Universe (I don’t, because according to Spock barbarians cannot successfully mask as cultivated people). OTOH, I cannt believe that he abducted the Discovery just out of fear of Cornwell — after his breakthroughs, he won’t be bothered with a psycho test.

Stamets looks really bad. Maybe he becomes the Traveler in TNG? It is strange that disaster seems to affect mostly the two couples. I have a bad feeling about that.
MadManMUC
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 5:01am (UTC -5)
@Galadriel

'BTW, some fans actually guess Lorca is from the Mirror Universe'

I subscribe to this, if only because it puts context into what we've seen of him so far. And since we're now in the MU starting in January, this particular spaghetti sticks to the wall better.

Another less-floated fan theory has it that Lorca is actually Garth of Izar (TOS: 'Whom the Gods Destroy'), but it would require so much canon-altering stupidty to make it happen, that I'm not even sure these producers would go there.

Of course, with this show, the notion of respecting canon isn't even a consideration, so who knows. Maybe he is Garth.
Trent
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 8:24am (UTC -5)
The first nipples on Star Trek. All this series needs now is full on rape subplots, edgy sodomy, child murder, naked hookers and a couple trendy massacres. Then tack on a "murder is bad" subplot at the end to retroactively Trek-it-up and justify it all.
Shannon
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 8:51am (UTC -5)
Best episode of the season, hands down! And what a great mid-season cliffhanger, while at the same time tying up some loose ends from the first 8 episodes.

Lorca continues to fascinate me, as I just can't read him. It's not like he's going from one extreme to the other, as the writers are doing a nice job of keeping him shrouded just enough in a cloak of mystery. Stamets is such a great character, and you can't help but get drawn into his plight. Btw, great scene towards the end between Lorca and Stamets! As for Burnham, I noticed some on here have criticized her actions on the Klingon ship, but I thought she handled herself quite well. She needed to by Discovery time to analyze the data from the 2 sensors, so she quite logically used Klingon honor against Kol to achieve her objective.

I would give this episode 3.5 stars! The L'Rell stuff is still confusing, but hopefully they will start clearing up that storyline this winter.
Galadriel
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 8:52am (UTC -5)
@MadManMUC

I find it difficult to believe that someone socialized in the Terran Empire (with agony booths, routine assassination of COs and comfort women) could pose as a Starfleet Officer. By the MU’s standard, Lorca would probably be the most empathetic and humanistic captain in the whole Terran fleet. Makes still marginally more sense than Garth of Izar, though.

A mirror version of Georgiou would be great — I expect her to be as nasty as Empress Hoshi, but with Michelle Yeoh’s acting capabilities.

I don’t think we can at this point rationally judge on canon violations, because we don’t know how it all will sort out. ENT Season 3 attracted much criticism during its run (“This is not my Federation!”), yet at the end, continuity issues were ±neatly solved.
Trent
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 8:56am (UTC -5)
So I guess that's it until January. I found Discovery to be, thus far, such a cruel and joyless show. Personally I only liked the two-part pilot, primarily for the wonderful space-walk and "first recontact" scenes. I also thought Captain Phillipa and the Shenzhou were more interesting than anything that occurred to or on Discovery.

I guess I'll check out Orville. People seem to be talking highly of it, and some of Jammer's reviews were positive.
Chrome
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:04am (UTC -5)
@Galadriel

'There is another thing which I noticed only on second viewing: Immediately before the last, ill-fated jump, Lorca types coordinates into a touchpad, and for half a second you can read the line “Override-Lorca“ on the screen (ca. 43:40). Immediately afterwards, he says “Let’s go home”.'

Seriously? Okay, scratch what I said about Lorca earlier. I suppose the writers were trying to portray him as a good guy this episode to hide his true nature? But I wouldn't think Lorca actually plotted this course, maybe he just sabotaged the jump in hopes he'd end up in another quadrant. Extremely risky, though, what if they ended up near a star again? Are the chances of that so infinitesimal that it's worth risking?


"All this series needs now is full on rape subplots, edgy sodomy, child murder"

TNG already did this. Tasha came from a horrible place...
artymiss
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Loved it!!! My only irritation is that I have to wait until January to find out what happens next... No that's not quite true, this irritates me: why is the Discovery Doc so bland? Does he actually even have a personality? I can't even remember his name.

So Tyler is Voq somehow but doesn't realise it (except in his worse nightmares)??? L'Rell you are a very bad girl.

And these Klingons look like this because this is some kind of mirror universe I suppose. Oh and well done Burnham for having that universal translator with you, no more subtitles yah! That was quite a nifty way of dropping the wretched things.
MadManMUC
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:17am (UTC -5)
@Trent

'such a cruel and joyless show'
MadManMUC
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:21am (UTC -5)
To finish my comment ... just wait. We just got to the Mirror Universe: a great big cruelty playground for these seemingly sociopathic producers and writers.
Lobster Johnson
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:22am (UTC -5)
I choose to take Lorca at more face value than a lot of people, I love the twist that he really is interested in exploration and has been doing interdimensional research the entire war.

People see the worst in Lorca but he keeps coming through for people on a moral and emotional level. Lorca seems to me to be a good guy with rough edges, his goals are noble but his methods cross the line in some ways.
Anthimos112
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:25am (UTC -5)
@Thomas
How I read what you wrote...
I despair that the Discovery writers will do something original for a Star Trek show and not give me the "Trek by numbers" I and other continuity geeks long for. Why does anything ever have to be different??? I like formulaic Star Trek. Something that fits like a comfortable old shoe. Heroic yet flawed enough to be human captain. Wise and steady first officer. Bridge crew that we can love but alos at least one to pick apart as awful or wasted as a character. Villains that we hate but also like to quote and have as our wallpaper on our PC's. And stories that make us think but rarely ever question our beloved crew our the general rightness of starfleet and Saint Rodenberry's Utopian visions of our future.

If you want all that go watch reruns. Plenty there for you. Let some of us have a different Trek without all your bellyaching.
Dobber
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:32am (UTC -5)
Different is fine as long as it's good. Whether it's good is subjective and up for debate. Just because some people don't like what Discovery is doing doesn't mean it's because they just want rehashes of what we had before. There are legitimate criticisms of this show (and in my opinion one of those criticisms is the lack of good characters).
MadManMUC
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:41am (UTC -5)
'Just because some people don't like what Discovery is doing doesn't mean it's because they just want rehashes of what we had before. '

It also doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't voice our opinion, either. Whether the STD fanbois like it or not.
Thomas
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:44am (UTC -5)
@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.
James Alexander
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 10:08am (UTC -5)
I found myself cringing when Stamets took that last jump.
Discovery finally got an emotional reaction out of me other than laughter!

I'm not kidding, this episode is the most emotionally invested I've been all through and I think I've started to care about Stamets.
wolfstar
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 10:12am (UTC -5)
This episode was amazing, especially given what came before - it's almost a 4, but I have to settle for 3.5 due to a couple of minor quibbles (which largely weren't this episode's fault). What a confident, good hour, the show's most cohesive storytelling to date, and the first episode I can wholeheartedly recommend - the writers of this installment deserve a lot of praise for crafting a strong script that made excellent use of the characters, especially Lorca, who really worked well in this episode, quite Sisko-esque. Michael got to close out her Georgiou arc in a meaningful way that felt earned (though I had my doubts over the credibility of the fight scene - in The Way Of The Warrior, Sisko and Jadzia were the only ones left standing after the hand-to-hand combat, and they had a background in wrestling and Klingon martial arts respectively). Good understated but effective use of Tilly as capable support. Stamets got meaningful work and it was the show's best handling of the gay relationship to date - I can understand why people had issues with it in the tooth-brushing ep (it did almost feel like an awkward "look, they're gay!" reveal) but I can't see how anyone could have a legitimate problem with how their relationship was portrayed in this episode. On the contrary, hearing two mature, professional gay guys in a stable relationship say "I love you" to each other in a moment that matters is kinda revolutionary. (Just occurred to me: is this Star Trek's first male-male kiss?)

Was reaching this point in the arc worth all the crappy episodes building up to it? No. Could the journey here have been better? Yep. But this episode deserves its praise, it proves that with the right writers, the show can do confident, coherent storytelling with a strong character core, that's also internally logical and not flagrantly anti-scientific (my issues with the spore drive etc remain, but this ep didn't create those issues - this ep merely obeys and exists within the established rules of the Discovery universe... the fact that the Discovery universe isn't exactly the Trek universe isn't this episode's fault).

The few questions I have relate more to the poor coherence of episode 8 than any problems with episode 9. First and foremost, why was L'Rell just sitting in the room? How and why is Admiral Cornwell OK again? I'm glad she is because she's a good character who was used well in this episode and who adds to the show, it's just unclear due to last week's narrative/editing problems.

We're not at DS9 level, we're not at Azati Prime/Damage/The Forgotten level (not as emotional), but this hour was on the level of an ep like Anomaly - a really strong hour of arc storytelling with a refreshingly original feel. It was well directed, edited and performed (the strong direction and editing a particular surprise given the issues with episodes 6 and 8), but the strong script was what enabled everything to come together.

My feelings on the half-season as a whole:
E1-2: OK, I like it - confident start.
E3-5: Hmm :/. Not as good. This isn't Trek, but it's an OK sci-fi show on its own terms.
E6-8: I'm not sure it's even a OK sci-fi show - it's bad storytelling and it's flailing.
E9: Fantastic - if the show had been written and executed this well all season, people wouldn't have had so many issues with it. Shows the Discovery premise can absolutely succeed on its own terms, and better character work than ever.

6 episodes to go. And it seems the next one is the mirror universe ep. Here's hoping they tackle it with the incisive sophistication of this episode, and not the glib hi-jinks and uneven execution of the Harry Mudd ep. Mirror universe episodes can be a pitfall and have a real danger of being hopelessly goofy and corny - DS9's repeat visits to the mirror universe delivered diminishing returns, while Enterprise's mirror two-parter was so much fun that a lot of people preferred it to the actual show. Discovery needs to avoid the latter pitfall in particular. (The plan to do a 5-episode arc in the mirror universe in season 5, had Enterprise been renewed, demonstrates how dramatically adrift the show was at that point - giving up the characters and setting to spend a quarter of the season in a goofy alternate reality would have been an abdication of the show's premise.)
Anthimos112
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 10:20am (UTC -5)
@Thomas

Don't cherry pick my words. I said "original for a Star Trek show". There has never been a Star Trek show that has made exploration of alternate universes a major part of the show. And no, based on your words, I don't think you want a "bold adventurous new star trek series". I think what you want is a rehash of past series you loved with new characters and slightly different plot points but with the general themes and structure of storytelling you have received from every Trek for over 50 years. I don't think you want something genuinely new based upon what you have communicated here. Because this IS GENUINELY NEW. This is what new looks like and I don't think you like it very much at all. Which is fine. I'm just saying maybe this isn't for you. Maybe this is for people who actually want a NEW Trek. A new viewpoint in an old setting. The ability to view alternate universes would give us a chance to view Trek through multiple different lenses that dogmatic adherence to continuity and "Gene Rodenberry's vision" never would have allowed us. I am anxious to see if the writers actually use the opportunity they have here. You obviously are not. Fine. Move on.
Lobster Johnson
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 10:22am (UTC -5)
@Wolfstar

I was also very impressed with the direction in this episode, there were so many cool compositions! I hope they bring back Chris Byrne for another episode.
yunepic
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 10:45am (UTC -5)
Can the person who said all Trek needs now is "edgy sodomy" please define what that means? Can anyone?

On Earth circa now, sodomy has a number of meanings. It can mean oral sex or anal sex either between heterosexual couples or homosexual couples. Certain kinds of "deviant sex" are also considered "criminal sodomy." In Alabama, "deviant sex" consists of (among other things) sex with a minor, which may constitute the criminal offense of sodomy in the second degree.

There have been some outre criticisms of Star Trek, and of Discovery in general, on this board and in other places, but I believe the criticism that the show has either too little or too much "edgy sodomy" (and thus the "sodomy status quo" must be changed) is a new one. I hope it is, anyway.

I wonder what GR would have thought about showing "sodomy" scenes on Star Trek. From what I've read, the man was a sexual libertine. Maybe it would not have bothered him as much as it seems to bother the self-anointed morals police here.
Peter G.
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 10:47am (UTC -5)
I'd say this is the best episode to date, and I don't mean that in a backhanded way. They took more time than previous episodes to address things that had been hanging in the air, such as Tyler's torture, Stamet's care about science and discovery, the Tyler/Burnham relationship, and the Stamets/Culber relationship. Culber seems to unfortunately still have little purpose other than to be 'the boyfriend' which is unfortunate, as I wish he could be a person of his own with wants other than "I hope my lover is ok."

Some of the action in the episode was finally ok, and although the fight with Kol was no more interesting than some of the combat against Klingons/Jem'hadar in DS9 it was at least decent and didn't bother me. Still when he had Burnham disarmed and in his grip it should have been over so a slight misstep in direction there. I also found it hard to believe that the Klingon targeting was so poor that the Discovery (not a military vessel) could outmaneuver them so severely that they couldn't shoot them. We've never before in Trek seen a ship totally unable to do anything about another; even the Defiant, a small and quick battleship had trouble evading a Klingon battlecruiser without taking some fire. They even used a tractor beam to throw them off, so the engines alone weren't enough to dodge everything. I guess we didn't really need repeated shots of the Discovery taking heavy fire to fix it so maybe this nitpick isn't that important. I guess there is one TOS episode where a Klingon ship was so fast the Enterprise couldn't shoot it, but it was more of a suicide ship than a regular vessel and its sole purpose was to be hard to catch. I think it was Journey to Babel, or possibly Elaan of Troyius, can't remember which.

I thought a couple of the conversations between the crew were actually good here, and we finally got a real acting scene out of Tyler, so some good things. But the writers still exude the irritating quality of being overly self-congratulatory and ham-handed. Having Culber find out about the side effects because Tilly blurts out an "oops" moment is too contrived for words, and L'Rell ending up on Discovery purely by happenstance is quite far-fetched. If the phaser stun had knocked her out for longer it wouldn't have happened, so the fact that she was quick enough to jump into a transporter beam (a la Gillian in ST IV) is another contrivance in order to get her near Tyler on the Discovery. I physically cringed when on 2-3 different occasions the crew nodded approvingly at each other so that the director could show us how awesome everyone on the show is. That had no business being in there; we don't need a love-in to show the merits of characters. And I agree with a previous poster that Burnham contradicting the Captain *again* in front of everyone really shows that nothing has changed with her. She'll just say or do anything she wants, and you know she'd mutiny again too if she felt she was right (which she always thinks she is). She isn't even the XO, whose job it actually is to give the Captain alternatives. Best of Both Worlds gave us a serious look at what happens when someone below the XO tries to go right to the Captain rather than pass up suggestions through the chain of command. It sometimes feels like a crew of privateers more than a Federation vessel.

Which leads me to my suspicion about the ending of the episode. If Lorca did indeed rig the jump drive to go somewhere other than the starbase, I suspect it's due to that dodgy communique the Vulcan admiral gave him. As an aside I think that admiral is really boring and has no inflection, but never mind that. Coincidentally, right after Cornwall returns to the starbase they're recalling Lorca to 'honor him'. Uh-huh. It sounded to me (and to Lorca) like they were going to arrest him once he arrived and take his ship away from him. You could see it on Lorca's face that he didn't believe that crap for a second, and then he lied straight-up to Stamets when he said he wanted Stamets to get the medal instead. He had no intention of going back to the Starbase. Whether their actual destination was someplace specific or he just rigged it to go somewhere unknown, I don't know. If it's the MU then I suppose it may have been on purpose. I still believe that Lorca is Section 31, in which case I assume they had been wanting to get a foothold in the MU for some time. We don't need to suppose that Lorca is from the MU to explain his actions thus far; it's enough to say that he's 31. In fact, sometimes when he speaks I almost feel like he's channeling Sloan, even in the cadence of his wording. Based on Lorca saying he'd been studied the telemetry from all the jumps, I doubt that he personally (not a scientist) was the one doing the analysis. It was probably people at 31, who then gave him back the coordinates for how to get to a specific alternative universe.

Aside from that, the Tyler/Voq situation is becoming tedious and I hope it isn't drawn out for much longer. I would also like to know what the heck happened to Stamets after making 130 jumps, because while the writers keep *telling* us that the jumping has given him visions of things no man has dreamt of, all I can see from him is that his mood changes. I see no evidence that he's totally altered or has some kind of new, profound knowledge. How can he not - isn't he consciously doing this navigation? Or is it all passive and DNA magic where he sits there and it just happens through the machinery? We were never even told whether his mind has anything to do with it. Is he a navigator, or just a battery? We keep getting these little hints that he's been exposed to crazy realities but either he's keeping it to himself or else they just haven't figured out what he knows yet. I figure I already know which of those two it is. I also like the theory mentioned above that he'll go on the become The Traveler. I would be entirely satisfied if that were to happen, and maybe that means the spore tech becomes unusable because Stamets himself blocks everyone else out of being able to access it once he ascends to the next plane or whatever. But it might be the means by which the actual Traveler can teleport around through use of his mind alone. It would still be a continuity break as Picard and the Enterprise clearly never knew this kind of thing was possible, but anyhow it would be *good enough* continuity that I'd be ok with it.

Overall an entertaining episode and I was only aggravated a few times, so I will definitely not quit watching when they air the next season. It left me asking questions which is a good thing.
Data344
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 10:51am (UTC -5)
Loved it, it's the first time on this show I've really felt the stakes, and been genuinely scared for the characters. I don't know if I could call it great right now, but it's definitely the best episode so far in the show's run, and it's made me more optimistic for the coming episodes. I know all the action might not be everyone's cup of tea when it comes to Trek, but I feel they earned it with some good characterisation, and not losing sight of it no matter how big and bombastic the action got. In a show that's been a bit pedestrian in a lot of its opening episodes, feeling this engaged was such a nice sensation. More like this, please!

I predict the Mirror Universe next time like everyone else seemingly does, I feel like in a show that's already darker than usual it might seem a bit redundant, but it's an element they were always going to bring back, because it's a thing even non-fans know about. Hopefully it'll at least be handled well, I honestly don't like the majority of Mirror Universe episodes in the canon outside of Mirror Mirror, I feel like DS9 gradually cheapened the concept, and the Enterprise two parter, while fun, is a bit overrated.
Chrome
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
I actually agree with Thomas, I don't want to see this going into multiple parallel universes, MU notwithstanding. At that point, this will become more science fantasy like Thor than Sci-Fi. (Though, I've heard there's schools of thought in string theory that mention parallel universes). But, it sounds so under-researched that it might make a weak foundation for a show.

It could also suffer from the Sliders-syndrome, where every week we get a "wacky new universe that's just like ours but with a twist"TM. Those kinds of shows are good occasionally, but I think they've done so much world building in the Prime universe at this point it would be a shame just to cast everything to the wind. Why even set the show in the Prime universe at that point?

Luckily, Frakes' comment reads more like they'll do a single MU show, but not make it a new premise for the entire series.
Anthimos112
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome

While I agree with you it is important to avoid a "Star Trek: Sliders" I think if done right it can be an exciting prospect. The secret would be balance. Not just a new AU every epsiode but multi episode arcs exploring the differences in the realities and raising interesting moral questions along the way. For instance how would Discovery react to finding a Ship of alien refugees who were our realities versions of Klingons fleeing a Milliteristic Federation? How would they react at that discovery? How would it affect their future behaviour? There is soooo much ripe material to be covered using this AU premise the question is how will they handle it. I admit it CAN be done cliched. But I alos see the pontential for great stories and in the end isn't that why we all love Star Trek of the fantasy of Star Wars? My argument with Thomas and many others posting here is all they seem to want is what is familiar to them about Trek. After 50 years I say lets go boldly into the unknown!
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
@Dobby
"Different is fine as long as it's good. Whether it's good is subjective and up for debate. Just because some people don't like what Discovery is doing doesn't mean it's because they just want rehashes of what we had before. There are legitimate criticisms of this show (and in my opinion one of those criticisms is the lack of good characters)."

Exactly.

Change can be good. Doing new things can be good.

The problem is the nature of these changes. The funny thing is, the main problem with Discovery is that it isn't groundbreaking *enough*.

The truth is that DSC isn't trying to be "original" or "boldly going" at all. It just tries to be trendy: From the weak logic of the plots to the dark tone to the insubordinate crew to the horribly generic design of the Discovery's bridge.. this is a series that basically screams at your face "look! we're the cool boys and we are doing all the cool things!".

And while this is, indeed, very different from what Star Trek has done in its first 40 years, this does not mean that this kind of change is good. Trek had lots of good things going for it, and dropping most of them just for the sake of "the rules of cool" is definitely a problem.

Oh, and you know what's the funniest thing here is? That the Orville, which is basically a Trek clone, feels a million times fresher and braver and more original than Discovery.
Cosmic
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 2:54pm (UTC -5)
I think people who are thinking Discovery will now transition into an alternate universe exploration show are getting ahead of themselves. We are likely in for a Mirror Universe arc that will be resolved within an episode or two (or perhaps the entire second part of the season).

If the writers use the MU as some sort of opportunity to explain the inconsistencies with Disco, then wow, that would be... bold.

I also don't buy the theory that Lorca is a Captain from the Terran Empire. As others pointed out, he seems too stable to fit in with those guys. Nor do I think for a second that he's Garth of Izar (LORD Garth). Section 31, though? Sure.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
"Oh, and you know what's the funniest thing here is? That the Orville, which is basically a Trek clone, feels a million times fresher and braver and more original than Discovery."

Omicron, I'm not sure why you feel the need to turn this discussion into yet another Orville vs Discovery debate. Does it help validate your own opinion/viewing habits? Better question: Have you even watched Discovery yet?
Obstro
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 3:34pm (UTC -5)

To dismiss something out of hand as "trendy" is to state that trendiness is per se bad. It CAN BE (and in the case of Discovery, I think it is, at times), but it isn't necessarily.

For example, successive acting generations (Olivier, Branagh, Ethan Hawke) have put in their own screen adaptations of Hamlet. Should these be dismissed as bad (ignoring whatever individual faults or merits they may have) because the fact of their existence is evidence of the latest Shakespearean "trendiness"? I'd say no. I'd say the strength of these adaptations depends upon what the writers, directors and actors bring to the material. Sometimes nothing more than a skilled replica with solid acting and directing that manages to get at the "guts" of the play can be satisfying. Sometimes setting a Shakespeare play in our time can serve to demonstrate that certain Shakepearean themes are timeless, and enjoyment can be had that way. Even a Shakespeare adaptation that means nothing more that cashing in on a current fad (say, by having the characters speak in superhero language, or having them meet The Avengers) may be entertaining. It depends on the technical, sytlistic and other skills brought to bear on the project.

Someone evidently recognizes the concept: The Orville can be entertaining even though it is a mere copy of Star Trek. Is it entertaining because it is a copy and for no other reason? No.

There are people out there who find movies that, by merely meticulously re-creating Civil War battles (I'm thinking of movies like Gods and Generals, and Gettysburg), for example, are "good." Never mind these movies might bore one to tears; they feature subject matter "I" like. And there are people who say "all horror movies are terrible," when really what they mean is "I just don't like the genre, so I don't watch horror movies."

So, I guess, DIS can't be a copy of older Treks, it can't be "cool," it can't be "sufficiently unenlightened" and it can't be a million other things "because I said so." What it can be, is interesting (or NOT) without considering whether it meets any other of these criteria. If the acting on the show is bad, it's bad. One needn't (and shouldn't have to) say "it's bad compared to TNG's acting) to make the simple observation that it's bad. Unless what you're trying to say is that, because it fails in comparison, it is INHERENTLY bad no matter how good it actually is. Making these kinds of pronouncements relieves you of the obligation to think (and makes it easier to criticize a show without having seen it; or with having seen only a small piece of it; you've artificially cramped the terms of the debate. Your further criticisms are like the proverbial cheating during a fixed fight).

I'm glad that (some) people do MORE than offer the sole opinion of how good Y is, in comparison to X, and are not bullied into thinking the only "legitimate" ways to evaluate something are to say "It's terrible COMPARED TO X, because of reasons a,b, and c" or "It's great compared to X, for reasons a, b, or c. This two-dimensional reasoning takes what are opinions (i.e., past Trek show C had good character development) and turns them into facts - to talismans to be invoked whenever someone else tries to engage in more nuanced criticisms.

When do we stop comparing to the past as the sole criterion for when is something is good? Or bad? if a tv show or movie isn't good "for its kind," why not go back and dig for whether it comported with the rules of good drama for "that kind of show" as set forth by Aeschylus, who lived 2500 years ago? If my "research" discovers that the ancient Greeks might have liked a story that is "familiar" by today's standards, whose side do I pick? The Greeks' or today's? Doing nothing but saying "compared to this" or "compared to that" is the equivalent of looking over a crowd, and then picking out your friends.

Multi-dimensional reasoning is consistent with the (accurate) observation that everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, but not entitled to his or her own facts.
And people who think they're entitled to their own facts usually do not hold the most persuasive opinions
HawgWyld
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 3:42pm (UTC -5)
@Trent -- "cruel and joyless" does sum up this series fairly well. Had this mid-season finale not been so solid, I'm not sure I'd be back for more of this.

I remain hopeful in that I really do want to see a new Star Trek series that is a great one. This particular episode hinted that "Discovery" may become that one day, and perhaps that's good enough for now.
karatasiospa
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"Change can be good. Doing new things can be good."

Exactly. but DISC doesn't do that. Doing a science fiction war drama is nothing new. From DS9 to Babylon 5 to BSG it has been done many times. Has DISC added something new to this concept ? I can't see anything .
You want to do someting new with the "going boldly where no one has gone before" ? There are plenty of good novels and sort stories in contemporary science fiction litterature where you can find inspiration. Even when they try to do something more classic trek what the did? Mudd, a new version of errand of Mercy (combined with this side of paradise) or the mirror universe. Not exactly new ideas.
MadManMUC
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
@karatasiospa:

'There are plenty of good novels and sort stories in contemporary science fiction litterature where you can find inspiration.'

Agreed. The novels that The Expanse are based on, for example. Now there's some fresh sci-fi, what a great show. There's even some pretty good science in it!
Hank
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
I have to agree with wolfstar. The first episode that was actually good and interesting, but at the same time, it shines a light on how bad the episodes before this were, and those previous episodes seem unnecessary now. Lets see where they take this next.
Akkal
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
Loved the episode, it had me on my toes most of the time, such suspense! Four stars.

Why does it have to be the mirror universe they travel to, as so many of you suggest? I got the general impression on Lorca / Stamets that there is an infinite amount of parallel universes within their grasp with the spore drive. I'm expecting a parallel universe, but a mirror universe done cleverly, should be interesting to watch. "After Trek" usually provides a sneak peek of the next episode, and after tonight's episode run, I HAVE to see that sneak peek. That one isn't available on Netflix in Norway yet. :/

Too bad it's way too long until January.
The Labyrinth Mind
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
Since this is my first time commenting on the site, I'm going to give my thoughts on the season as a whole, with a focus on the final episode.

When I started this show, I immediately formulated an opinion that it was going to be a sub-par Battlestar Galactica knockoff. While I still think the show runners tried a little to hard to push the "new, edgy" Star Trek premise without enough dramatic depth to back it up, I believe the show has finally found a decent groove with its own identity.

Just to get it out of the way, here's a Jammer-esque capsule review of each episode this season:

"The Vulcan Hello" (*1/2)- From the get go, I was skeptical of this series. This was the episode that most resembled that pseudo-BSG feel. And, newsflash, BSG did it better. I'll stop making the comparison, but I will say it's only there because it really felt like the writers were trying to recreate BSG, so a comparison is inevitable. Aside from that, I wasn't impressed with the Klingons as a culture or as an antagonist. I didn't mind the change in style (they got a revamp for the original series movies, so why not again?) but I just didn't find any of the characters all that interesting. I get that the Klingons are supposed to be a metaphor for contemporary xenophobia and hyper-nationalism, but I never felt as though the Klingons has sufficient reason to distrust the Federation outside of sheer paranoia.

"Battle at the Binary Stars" (**)- So everyone who complained about the first episode not offering much payoff, the second one does deliver, but I still wasn't all that impressed. The Klingons are still ignorant to the point that all the dialogue was painful to sit through. If you want to go Tarantino or Mel Gibson and have everyone speak their own language, you have to have the dramatic depth and fully-fleshed out characters to back it up.

"Context is for Kings" (**1/2)- This was the first episode that contained enough character development to justify the new premise. It was also the first episode in which I felt Discover had the potential to be not just a good series, but one of the best Trek series. Here's why: the fault of all past Trek's has been that they are too restrained, be it in pacing or content. Incidentally, that restraint is also one of Trek's biggest strengths, but only when it is done right. DS9 made the best effort to combat this and explore darker, edgier stories. Still, one always felt there were some things the writers might be holding back on. While this did give the show a quintessential level of reservation and subtlety, it would occasionally feel like the writers were trying to squeeze an adult theme into a family-friendly episode. Discovery, especially this episode, has given "family friendly" the finger and has let us know that it is content to tackle adult content head on. Though this alleviates one problem, it puts the show at risk of the opposite: excessive gratuity. So far, however, it hasn't crossed that line. The most obvious comparison to a previous Trek episode is Enterprise's "Impulse" in both plot and quality.

"The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry" (**1/2)- With each successive episode, I trust Star Trek Discovery more and more. As a die hard Trekkie, all I want from a Trek show is intriguing, complex character development, intelligent conversations about morality and ethics, and sci-fi concepts that ultimately reflect some aspect of the human condition. Aside from that, I'm pretty lax about the direction a particular movie or series chooses to take. "Butcher's Knife" (because who wants to write that title every time?) actually explores the ethics of using a sentient creature for what is essentially slave labor.
Unfortunately that's about all that's good in this episode. Landry gets killed, but who cares? All we knew about her is that she was a hyper-aggressive idiot. Maybe if we'd had some additional development about her being raised in a military family or something and having a reckless dedication to completing the mission, it would have had some dramatic punch. But as it is, meh. The rest of the plot was fine, pretty by-the-numbers, but it worked well enough.

"Choose Your Pain" (**1/2)- Jammer has pointed out on several occasions that it's difficult to tell whether the grey area in Lorca's motivations are due to carefully-constructed character development that will reveal itself over time, or just sloppy writing. While I've been skeptical about many aspects of the series, Lorca's character is actually not one of them. I believe the writers have a plan for this man's character arc that will be both satisfying and coherent. The backstory about his previous ship and it's destruction is an example of this. Lorca is sort of like a demented Sisko in that he will do what is necessary for the greater good, but gets a lot more creative about "what is necessary" might constitute. And we get further Saru development. He is clearly the Spock/Data/Odo/Tuvok/T'Pol of the show, but is unique enough in his own way.

"Lethe" (**)- We have here probably the most frustrating episode of the series thus far (until we get to Si vis portabello or whatever). It's the best use of the aforementioned sci-fi concept that explores the human condition but is also quite clunky in its execution. On the one hand, giving Sarek some legitimate character development that resonates through not just this series, but the original and TNG is a ballsy and wise choice. For a series that is bent on creating a new image of Star Trek while maintaining the core values, giving a new perspective on a familiar character through sincere development is probably the best way to do it. I'm talking, of course, about the reveal that Sarek had to choose one of his children to send to the academy and choosing Spock over Burnham.
That's the good. The downside of this episode is the awkward love story between Lorca and Admiral Cornwell. I'm fine with the fact that Cornwell was just "investigating" Lorca and his eventual breakdown, they just have ZERO chemistry. It kind of throws off the whole idea that they were once super close and Cornwell was willing to give Lorca all this freedom and authority. Also, yeah, the matrix fighting is pretty silly. It could have been worse and does ultimately pay off, but it's pretty silly.

"Magic to Make the Sanest Man go Mad" (**1/2)- While "Lethe" had a clunky setup that ultimately led to a very satisfying payoff, "Magic" has an excellent setup that sort of falls flat at the end. As far as time loop episodes go, this one was well done and unique enough to carry the fact that it's a pretty common Trek plot. I liked the way the Burnham/Tyler romance was explored here. Their chemistry was kind of awkward, but unlike Lorca and Cornwell, there's a legitimate reason for Burnham to have an inability to properly flirt and converse. In a way, it almost seems like she's not necessarily crazy about Tyler, but more overwhelmed with the fact that this is the first time in her life she's been in a situation where she could explore romance. And Tyler just happens to be available. It works because it shows how romance is not always built on chemistry but rather convenience. Somehow I doubt that this is what the writers were going for, but the finished product still worked. Side note: the scene with Burnham and Stamets dancing was easily the best in this episode and probably my favorite of the series so far.
This all played nicely into the characters (i.e. Stamets) trying to overcome Mudd and escape the time loop and their inevitable destruction. I also liked the scene where Burnham tried to question Stamets and he mimicked her every word verbatim. It reminded me of the scene from Supernatural's "Mystery Spot" with Sam and Dean in the diner. Not as brilliant or hilarious, but it worked. Unfortunately, however, this was about where the episode took a nosedive for me. Stamets cracking and telling Mudd that he couldn't see anymore people die was not only stupid, it actually seemed out of character. Why only now, when he actually had Burnham and Tyler on board with figuring out a solution, would he spill the beans? I understand it eventually led to the crew outsmarting Mudd, but there didn't seem to be a plan in place at that time. Everyone was just winging it. And the ending. Grr. For a series that has swung so far into the "dark, adult, unforgiving" side of things, this was a frustratingly lighthearted fate for Mudd. He was ready to sell out the Federation's (and all humanity's) one advantage over the Klingons and everyone just sort of said "oh you" at the end and left him in the custody of the Star Trek Godfather. Now let me say that I have no problem with the show doing something lighthearted as long as it makes sense, this ending was just absurdly tame, especially for this show.

"Si VIs Pacem, Para Bellum" (**)- NOW we have the most frustrating episode of the season so far. Frustrating not because it's the worst, but because it had the potential to be one of the best and still fell into the bottom half of the batch in terms of quality. I haven't said much about the Klingons because everything that's happened with them so far has been utterly forgettable. Things are happening, but nothing resonates.
This episode finally tries to do something interesting in terms of character development with L'Rell defecting (sort of out of nowhere) but then drops a brick on the gas pedal in terms of twists and action. In about 10 minutes, we learn that L'Rell wants to defect, Cornwell is possibly killed, and L'Rell gets incarcerated by the Klingon head honcho. None of these developments are bad perse, they just happen in such quick succession there's no time for anything to, you know, develop. Nevertheless, I'm glad we finally have a Klingon that the audience is able to sympathize with.
Back on planet Pahvo, pretty much everything with Saru is entertaining as one would expect. He is an interesting character with an interesting back story and is acted with class and intelligence. I would have liked to see a bit more of the transition from being constantly fearful to totally at peace. It would make Saru's attempts to essentially sabotage the mission more believable, but what we have works well enough.
I guess the other weak aspect of this episode is the Burnham/Tyler relationship. Not that it was bad, and I still stand by my analysis of Burnham falling in love out of convenience, they just didn't do anything new this week so the kiss was pretty underwhelming.

"Into the Forest I Go" (***1/2)- Finally. I am so glad the first half of the season ended with this episode and not the last. Were "Si Vis Pacem" the last thing we got before a two-month hiatus, I might have started to question whether or not renewing that CBSAA subscription was worth it. But with this episode I am convinced it most definitely is.
This episode was an excellent balance of action and character development, but did two things that no episode has done before: have near-perfect pacing and actually make the Klingons interesting. And in addition, the show actually gave us a clear idea of Lorca's true nature. I am firmly in the group of people who believe Lorca keyed in his own coordinates just before the Spore Drive jump. This tells us that Lorca may be an honorable soldier willing to put his himself and crew at risk to save another ship, but will still pull some sketchy strings to serve his own agenda. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The setup from last week did a good job to establish the big conflict. It seemed that the war up until this point had been somewhat of a game of cat and mouse, with the Discovery being a particularly elusive mouse. But with the risk of the Klingons destroying not only an "innocent" species, but also wiping out The Federation's one chance at gaining the upper hand, we know there is going to be a showdown. And this is just one of the fronts in which "Into the Forest" effortlessly succeeds. The 133 successive jumps was a great scene of both sci-fi space battle action, it was also dramatically charged given Stamets' sacrifice and the risk to his life. This sort of battle is unlike anything we've seen in Star Trek thus far and Discovery really made it look delicious.
And we have interesting Klingons! Not just because of Klingon boobs either. I'm glad they really went into...detail about Tyler's torture. I see some people criticizing Tyler's role as L'Rell's sex slave. I disagree with this title and would call it willful prostitution. You could argue that Tyler was forced into sleeping with L'Rell because he would have died otherwise, but I would say that it was an indirect ultimatum. He would have been tortured and killed because he was a human prisoner, not because he refused sexual favors. These scenes were effective in their intensity and the way they actually developed Tyler's character. He's sort of like Lorca in an earlier stage of losing it. He's tormented, but hasn't been permanently altered. The Tyler/Burnham scenes worked this time because you feel Tyler genuinely opening up to Burnham and see that she has the potential to help him.
And speaking of Burnham, I liked that this episode had sort of a retread of "The Vulcan Hello" and "Battle at the Binary Stars" in that is had Burnham questioning orders, improvising and fighting a Klingon hand to hand. Each of these elements were more effective this time around because we've had time to sympathize with her character and her actions actually made more sense.
I'm glad the writers didn't kill off Cornwell. I'm still not sold on her character, but the way she talked Tyler out of his PTSD episode was effective in showing how strong a leader she could be. I think she has the potential to become much more interesting. The fact that she's now stuck with Lorca in a place that they can't just warp home from should provide material for excellent character development.
And a final word on the ending: obviously the most likely scenario is that the Discovery has landed in the mirror universe. This has been teased at and actually makes sense given the potential of the spore drive. I'm honestly kind of nervous about this. There are a million ways the show could handle the mirror universe that range from dark, brooding intensity to silly absurdity. This last episode gives me confidence that whatever they do (and wherever the Discovery actually ended up), that it will be handled at least decently, but they're essentially playing with fire. Let's just hope they light the fuse and the rocket takes off instead of everything just exploding.
Yanks
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
Just saw it, haven't read the comments...

OK, someone tell me how that' not OUTSTANDING trek!!!

Now I'll go read the comments. :-)
Cosmic
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
@karatasiospa
"Exactly. but DISC doesn't do that. Doing a science fiction war drama is nothing new. From DS9 to Babylon 5 to BSG it has been done many times. Has DISC added something new to this concept ? I can't see anything ."

Bold claim. Correct me if I'm wrong, but have we ever seen a main crew member who is a "prey species" have to deal with wartime situations? A character that has to come to terms with their own evolutionary instincts in the face of conflict and war? Pretty sure that has never been done on Trek before.

Have we ever seen a main character struggle with the ramifications of genetic engineering - done for the purpose of turning a device originally meant for exploration into a weapon of war? Again, seems like new territory for this franchise.
Ubik
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
Not to mention depicting a main male character who is suffering PTSD from having been sexually assaulted. Some of these criticisms are purely hyperbolic - this show has done plenty of original things, and many of them well.
The Labyrinth Mind
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 6:07pm (UTC -5)
A word about my comments on the L'Rell/Tyler scenes. I interpreted it as L'Rell taking a liking to Tyler and offering him protection if he sleeps with her. This would make it, as I said, willful prostitution as opposed to rape. But the more I think about it, it does fall into the category of rape, indirect or not. Tyler didn't have a choice. He wasn't raped only in the sense that he wasn't forced physically, but that's not the only form of rape. Having no choice, or having your only other option be torture and death, is the same thing.

I do still think the term "sex slave" is a poor fit here. It implies some kind of silly 50 Shades of Gray type thing and doesn't do justice to the powerful statement the show is trying to make.
Troy
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
I paused it. Just before Lorca says “Let’s go home” he punches in coordinates for the next jump. His screen says
OVERRIDE—LORCA,G
SPORE-JUMP 133–UNKNOWN
Either he input the wrong coordinates by mistake or it was deliberate.
Skorch
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
@Thomas

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

It's 99% certain that they are going to the mirror universe in the next episode, which could be good or bad, we'll see. But I agree, I hope they don't just jump from one AU to another every episode or two. That would ruin the show for me. There is plenty to do in the prime universe, and lots of history to show us there. I don't care what happened in universe #814 or universe #38.

@Galadriel

'There is another thing which I noticed only on second viewing: Immediately before the last, ill-fated jump, Lorca types coordinates into a touchpad, and for half a second you can read the line “Override-Lorca“ on the screen (ca. 43:40). Immediately afterwards, he says “Let’s go home”.'

I noticed that too. More specifically, on the keypad he does this...Hits the 'encrypted' key, then the 'navigation' key, then enters coordinates, then hits 'manual override'. and the display shows all the previous jumps with 'override -Lorca G.' at the bottom. The last jump after that says 'spore-jump 133:--unknown'

What does all that mean? Idk. lol. Does that mean he just entered some random coordinates and went to some random unknown place? Does it mean he purposely went to those coordinates, but the computer doesn't recognize them? Did he go to the mirror universe on purpose or not? Hmmm...

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

'...The funny thing is, the main problem with Discovery is that it isn't groundbreaking *enough*.

The truth is that DSC isn't trying to be "original" or "boldly going" at all. It just tries to be trendy: From the weak logic of the plots to the dark tone to the insubordinate crew to the horribly generic design of the Discovery's bridge..

Oh, and you know what's the funniest thing here is? That the Orville, which is basically a Trek clone, feels a million times fresher and braver and more original than Discovery.'

From these comments it seems as if you had actually seen DIS! (I refuse to call it DSC, btw. I don't know why, so don't ask)

Anyway onto what I thought of the episode.

The Klingons show up at Pahvo because they were called there. And the first thing they are going to do it destroy it and it's antenna. Why? Do they just destroy planets for fun? They had no clue that Starfleet was attempting to use it to detect cloaked ships. And whatever happened to the Pahvans? They called them there to broker peace between the Federation and the Klingons, but they aren't even in the episode. They don't do anything. What was the point of the last episode at all?

The admiral recalls Discovery. Why? Isn't there still a war going on? He's going to take their superweapon out of service, and let a planet be destroyed, so Discovery can work on figuring out how to detect cloaked ships at some starbase? 'The logic is clear' the admiral says. Wut? It isn't to me.

The plan is to transport people over to set up these sensors on the Klingon ship when they decloak. Why not just beam the sensors over if they knew where they were supposed to go? And why not just beam a dozen armed photon torpedoes over whenever a Klingon ship decloaks instead? But that is a failing of all Star Trek shows, not just DIS. Always beaming the wrong things around. :D

Stamets says that even if they do all the spore jumps to collect data, it will still take a long time to compute something that complex, yet Saru and the computer do it in literally five minutes later in the show.

Lorca is pretty adamant that Mike not go along. Why not? He lets her go eventually, but why not let her go in the first place? I don't understand.

Where's the CMO?!?! Why is Culber the only doc they ever show, and why is he doing all the important stuff, while the CMO does what...sits around drinking coffee or something?

How did the Klingon ship not detect two people (even with fake Klingon signatures) beaming aboard, or that the cell was broken into, or the weapons fire? Their sensors finally detect 'sabotage', whatever that means, long after Mike is already on the bridge.

My new Voq/Ash theory. I interpret all the Tyler torture stuff as them (since it shows L'Rell and another Klingon, who I assume is Voq), doing whatever medical stuff they needed to do to put Voq into Tyler's body somehow and brainwash him or whatever, and the sex stuff, as L'Rell having sex with Voq in Tyler's body. If you see what I mean.

And what does Stamets mean when he says 'There's a clearing in the forest. That's how they go.'? The title of the episode references it even. But what's that all about?

I agree though. Best episode so far.

3 stars




Skorch
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
@Troy

'I paused it. Just before Lorca says “Let’s go home” he punches in coordinates for the next jump. His screen says
OVERRIDE—LORCA,G
SPORE-JUMP 133–UNKNOWN
Either he input the wrong coordinates by mistake or it was deliberate.'

You beat me too it. I need to type faster I guess. :D
Hank
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
@The Laybrinth Mind: If the show is even trying to make that statement. So far it is entirely possible that Ash is Voq and Voq slept with L'Rell, but misremembers because he underwent surgery/brain-washing to become a double agent. Then L'Rells "I will not let them hurt you" would make sense, in a way.
Troy
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 7:03pm (UTC -5)
@Skorch

Somebody above mentioned it before me. I was just confirming it :-)
Yanks
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
Some comments, then I'm going to watch it again!

Just frellin OUTSTANDING trek here!!

Lorca makes the right decision to save the planet...

Yes, Michael's reasoning to Lorca was a little contrived, but it WAS true. No one else had been on that ship. Yes, she used the map thingy, but she had to read it using her knowledge of the ship. I thought the most intriguing part of her conversation with Lorca was "unless your decision was personal" (or something to that effect)... wonder if there's more to come here too? I think I had more of an issue with her contradicting Lorca in front of everyone on the bridge.

Damn that sarcophagus ship is HUGE!!

PTSD... front and center in this one. Well done.

I'm glad our ADM wasn't dead... she served a good purpose here.... also, she was put on that emergency medical shuttle pretty damn quick!! ...lol... Lorca ordered that I'm sure!

Nice fight on the Klingon ship between Kol and Burnham... Vulcan Suus Mahna served her well... lots of evading, not all successful. I've seen worse hand to hand combat in trek for sure.... at least we didn't get a two-handed punch.

Glad she got Georgio's emblem back. Nice touch... I thought it would have been nice if she gave it to Saru.

ALT U? Mirror U? .... one of the two I think.

Klingon sex needed to be seen on trek I guess.... Klingons do have nipples... how did I live not knowing that.

I think Tyler is Voq and he doesn't know it. More to come and I can't wait to see if I'm right.

I think Lorca is section 31. He knows how to manipulate everyone to get his desires.

... and he sent them "home" be entering in some command just before the final jump? ... Destination "unknown"!!

I think he knows exactly where they are and it will be very interesting to see how long he can keep his secret .... or .... he truly went to the unknown... we'll see.

I want to see that almost as much as I want to see his tribble go nuts when Tyler walks in his office biggrin.gif

What a great episode/mid-way cliffhanger!!!

4 stars for sure.

Can't wait for 7 January.... it can't get here fast enough!!
Josh
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 7:53pm (UTC -5)
I'm not as thrilled with the episode as everyone else, but it was enjoyable.

I think the main problem was that the resolution felt entirely unearned. We've seen very little of this war - eight episodes following one ship. During that time we never really saw the larger ramifications of the war, except for the episode defending the mining colony and another random ship being destroyed. The rest of the time it was always admirals telling Lorca how badly it was going. We never feel the gravity of the situation, the pain and anguish, the Klingons taking lives we care about or the possibility of the Federation being conquered or destroyed.

And then we have a scene with swelling music over Burnham saying "It's done. It's over." as if we had just witnessed Frodo carrying the ring to Mordor or the Rebels defeating the Empire. Those moments earned their epic triumphs. Here, I did not feel a thing.

This might be okay for a more episodic series like Voyager, but for a series that prides itself on being continuous I expect more.
Other Robert
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
Lots of things point to Lorca being from MU:

1. He kills the prison shuttle pilot to acquire Burnham. What Starfleet captain does that?

2. Landry, his previous right-hand woman was a total psycho--we all noticed how not-Starfleet she was, though her character couldn't be any better-suited to the MU. So maybe she came across with Lorca.

3. He always fills positions from outside the organization to maintain absolute control--especially security chief.

4. What Starfleet captain doesn't go down with his ship? Probably Lorca Prime went down with his ship and Mirror Lorca stole his identity.

5. MU villains are always trying to steal advanced technology to get the upper hand.

6. Cornwell says his personality has totally changed. He gets rid of her as quickly as possible, delivering her into immense peril.

7. Opportunistic sex (with Cornwell) is a hallmark MU behavior. Speaking of that scene,

8. He keeps a phaser under his pillow.

9. He's not super-stoked to find out they rescued Cornwell. He gets rid of her again asap.

10. His menagerie is full of grotesque dissected corpses, something we saw Mirror Phlox doing. The deadliest weapons collection is much more befitting a MU character.

11. He has no interest whatsoever in science or exploration. The Stamets "I didn't know you cared" line reminds us that he doesn't care, unless the info is of direct interest to him--which of course getting back to the MU would be.

12. He manipulates everyone into doing what he wants--something Mirror leaders do constantly--with no regard for their safety.

13. He is always trying to keep Burnham out of harm's way--very illogically as she points out--and went out of his way to pick her up in the first place... guessing they have some MU history?

14. He likes to keep the lighting... really dark.

15. He already has a tribble.

Seems like a lot of stuff to clear up in one episode. Especially since we also have to do the whole Tyler/Voq thing too.
Jammer
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Wow! I was really surprised to see that @OmicronThetaDeltaPhi ponied up the six bucks to buy CBSAA and binge all the episodes. Glad you caught up! Sorry you didn't like the show!
Shannon
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G
"Overall an entertaining episode and I was only aggravated a few times, so I will definitely not quit watching when they air the next season. It left me asking questions which is a good thing."

Great post, and you are absolutely right, when a series has you asking questions and wanting to know where it's heading, then it's working. Has it been a rough road getting to this point? Sure. But let's not forget that Season 1-TNG was mostly bad episodes, so I'm hoping the next group of episodes display some Season 2-TNG traction and actually start telling great stories.
J-P
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 10:18pm (UTC -5)

For the record, 2 episodes ago I said I would stop watching but I figured some Trek is better than no Trek.

In any case here's my theory: Lorca is attempting to go back in time and prevent the destruction of his old ship the USS Buran. He probably wanted to study the tech a little bit more before attempting the jump however when the boarding party rescued Admiral Cornwell he was now faced with the possibility of losing Discovery. That would also explain why Lorca wasn't worried about sending Cornwell to her death, he figured if his plan worked she'd still be alive. Unfortunately the coordinates were either wrong or stamets lacked the energy to do a proper jump and Lorca's plan failed. Discovery is now in a mirror universe (prime verse?) with the Buran floating in a million pieces.
Peter G.
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 11:15pm (UTC -5)
All right, I think I've got it. A theory, I mean. You heard it here first. To reconcile the potentially conflicting theories about whether Lorca is Section 31 or is from the MU as an explanation of his amoral behavior and gun collection, we can make a collage out of both. What if the reason Section 31 is so ruthless is because the entire organization originated in the MU? That way they would be like a little pocket of the Terran Empire operating behind the scenes in the Federation. Ok, this is getting into fanfic territory but the thought came to me and I found it amusing. Hopefully it doesn't do worse than make you wince a little.

@ Jammer,

"Wow! I was really surprised to see that @OmicronThetaDeltaPhi ponied up the six bucks to buy CBSAA and binge all the episodes. Glad you caught up! Sorry you didn't like the show!"

Err, forgive me for nitpicking an odd point, but where did we learn that he did this?
Jammer
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 11:47pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G., I guess my jokey sarcasm didn't come through, even with all the exclamation marks.
Peter G.
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 12:24am (UTC -5)
*hangs head in shame*
Mertov
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 12:28am (UTC -5)
Great episode, I am not sure if I would call it the best. I thought the first three episodes as a trio set the season up very well but I know that can't be called an episode. I also liked "Magic to Make the Sanest.." a lot.

In any case, this episode rocked with its balanced pace and good directing. It helps that two long-time Star Trek lovers wrote the episode, I liked Chris Byrne's directing of the space scenes as well as his take on the camera angles in the Klingon ship. I second whoever said it earlier. Get Byrne to direct more episodes!

I am curious to see what Jammer says, because he usually (and rightfully so) rates second parts lower than first parts, but assuming last week's episode was a set up for this, he may go with a rare higher rating for a second part of a two-parter. This second hour was a lot better layered than "Si Vis Pacem..."

I thought the first 15 minutes really kept my attention, overall dialogues were very well written. Especially the ones between Lorca and Stamets resonated. Jason Isaacs is an excellent actor, and Lorca is a fascinating captain. He is convincing and he obviously has gotten his crew to rally behind him one at a time. It's clear that the crew on the bridge respects him, you could tell they agreed with him on every decision he made. Apparently he trusts them too, because he announced his intentions to not follow through with the Vulcan Admiral's order to the crew without hesitation.
Isaacs is great as Lorca. He adds a certain depth to the character, and manifests many different sides. I would call Rapp a close second in terms of complex characters. Burnham and Saru next two.

All actors Martin-Green, Latif, Jones, Cruz, Wiseman , Brook actually shined in this episode with what they were given.

I enjoyed the fact that the spore drive was a central part of the solution to overcome the Klingon cloaking problem.
Visuals were stunning as usual, that has been the one constant plus throughout the season.

The story moved forward at the right pace and with a clear narrative which was a relief after last week's story B mess with L'Rell and the Admiral in the Klingon ship (not the planet and Saru story line, that one was fine).

Interesting ideas in this episode.

Overall thoughts of the first half of the season:

- I agree with one of the posters (sorry, can't remember who) that Dr. Culber's character development has been largely ignored, we know him as the Doctor and boyfriend of Stamets, and nothing more. 9 episodes in, we should have 'grown closer to him' (or vice versa) so to speak. He is the chief doctor in the ship (at least I think he is), yet hardly anytime has been devoted to him.

- I would say the same with the three or four characters that we see a lot on the bridge and yet there has been virtually no development around them. Wasn't Detmer even in the Shenzhou? I am not saying an episode should be built around one or two of them, but some involvement above and beyond nodding to Captain's or Saru's orders, or responding with one-sentence standard affirmations, would be nice.

- I don't know how or when the word got out that Ash may be Voq, but in any case, the fact that it got out really ruins things. Either they should have kept it a national secret, or forget about it. It's annoying to know what the reveal is when the reveal actually takes place. I am not attacking the idea here, but rather the fact that it got known before hand.I would actually give the producers more praise if that were really their plan, but knowing that the word is out, they'd come up with a new direction for that story line at the last second and somehow pull it off.

- There were only two, what I would consider, so-called "stand-alone" episodes.
I really liked one of them I really liked, the other was average. In any case, I would like to see a better balance of the two, even if it's not 50-50. Out of 15 episodes a season even 6-9 would be fine.

- I am not particularly a fan of mirror-universe episodes. I felt most of them were duds. Having said that, I don't fear that Discovery will go on some extended mirror-universe exploration. I am looking at one episode, maximum two spent there.
J-P
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 1:08am (UTC -5)
Another theory:

Lorca is a temporal agent, it would explain how he has access to all that fancy holographic tech. He's caught in a war with some factions that are rewriting history in the quadrant. The Klingons were genetically enhanced the same way the Suliban were. Lorca may have lost his temporal ship, found refuge in Section 31 and then shared his 31st+ century knowledge with them. Discovery is a temporal ship on a quest to restore the timeline.
Latex Zebra
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 1:52am (UTC -5)
Not sure if this has been said but I think Ash's flashbacks are to his conversion from Klingon to Human and not of actual torture...

Or not.
Peccath
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 2:25am (UTC -5)
@J-P "Discovery is now in a mirror universe (prime verse?)"

My first thought after the last jump was that hopefully they ended up in the prime universe now! I think ST:Disco is an ok series, but it just doesn't make any damn sense that it's supposed to take place in the same universe as TOS, TNG and DS9. Most likely, I'll end up being dissappointed in January, but one can always wish...
Jammer
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 2:49am (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
Skorch
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 2:52am (UTC -5)
I hope that when they get to the mirror universe, that they mention Empress Sato. I know name dropping is sort of lame, but I'd like to hear that. :D

Though the timelines of the MU and the prime universe don't alway's match up. For instance, on ENT the MU was off by over 100 years from the PU.

I don't think that Lorca is going to end up being from the MU, because that would mean he would be off the show basically after that episode, and they would have to get a new captain. Otherwise, it does sort of fit. I'm sticking with the section 31 theory.

FYI, I uploaded some pics of the klingon torture scene to show the klingons involved. I see L'Rell and a couple others, but not Voq.

https://imgur.com/a/Z5awY

^ hopefully it worked :)
MadManMUC
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 4:32am (UTC -5)
@Skorch'I hope that when they get to the mirror universe, that they mention Empress Sato.'

I do not. It would be — yet another — violation of canon and continuity.

Assuming the Discovery arrives in the MU at the equivalent point in time relative to the Prime Universe they just left, the timing of both TOS: 'The Tholian Web' and ENT: 'In a Mirror, Darkly, Parts ! & II' is such that Emperess Sato would not be Empress Sato for another 10 or 11 years.

And arriving in the MU precisely 10 or 11 years later than their original point in time in the PU, would be the cheapest of cheap fan service tricks they could pull off. Even worse than that awful regurgitation of that 'needs of the many' speech, or the 'most decorated captains' name-drop.
MadManMUC
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 4:47am (UTC -5)
Completely off-topic, since I made a mention further up.

@Jammer:

I'm surprised you're not reviewing The Expanse. Have you been watching the show at all?
Strikelord
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 5:39am (UTC -5)
@MadManMUC:

You just gave me something to think about...

In TOS "The Tholian Web", the Defiant was pulled into the interspatial rift in the 23rd century--Kirk & Company's era; the Defiant is clearly a 23rd century Constitution class vessel. However, in ENT "In A Mirror, Darkly I-II", they find the Defiant in Archer & Company's era--the 22nd century. WTF?

ST:D ostensibly takes place in the 23rd Century--so any mention of Empress Hoshi Sato the First should be in the history books in the Mirror Universe. They're too late for Hoshi, and, as you correctly point out, about 10 years too soon for the Tholians.

I wonder why I never noticed that plot canyon before, and I don't remember ENT explaining the time discrepancy. Can anyone help? I'm gonna have to watch them both again...
Skorch
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 5:50am (UTC -5)
@MadManMuc

How would mentioning Sato be a violation of canon and continuity? The mirror ENT episode happened 90 years or so before DIS. In that show they said the Defiant was from the future, which is why it was so awesome and beat the crap out of everyone. The fact that the Defiant was there, was due to the Tholians creating some sort of spatial/temporal rift that brought it there from the future PU timeline. The ENT MU was set in the past, 90 years before DIS.

I was wrong when I said the timelines were off by 100 years in my earlier post. I was getting mixed up about what actually happened. :D

Kirk went there 100 years after that happened in the MU timeline. Just as DS9 went to the MU another 100 or so years after that. So if DIS goes it will be 10 years before Kirk went in TOS and 90 years after the ENT episode. Just like the PU timeline.

Whew! That wasn't confusing or anything.
MadManMUC
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 5:52am (UTC -5)
@Strikelord:

'However, in ENT "In A Mirror, Darkly I-II", they find the Defiant in Archer & Company's era--the 22nd century. WTF?'

If I remember the episodes correctly, it was outright stated that they (MU-Archer & Co) not only ended up in the PU, but also went forward in time to the PU-23rd century. They then brought the Defiant _back_ to both the MU and the MU-22nd century, so they covered their continuity arses there.
Skorch
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 5:55am (UTC -5)
To simplify...

The MU and PU timelines coincide. The Defiant was only there because it was brought to the MU from the future in the ENT episode from the 'Tholian Web' episode. Remember, the Defiant had nothing to do with Kirk going there in 'Mirror, Mirror'.

Hope that clarifies it a bit. Still sort of confusing I guess.

MadManMUC
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 5:55am (UTC -5)
Oh ...

@Skorch

'The mirror ENT episode happened 90 years or so before DIS. In that show they said the Defiant was from the future, which is why it was so awesome and beat the crap out of everyone.'

Actually, you're spot-on correct, and I'm dead wrong. Damn, I'm fake Trek.

@Strikelord, you can totally ignore my response to you, it's utter bollocks.
Skorch
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:05am (UTC -5)
@MadManMUC

'If I remember the episodes correctly, it was outright stated that they (MU-Archer & Co) not only ended up in the PU, but also went forward in time to the PU-23rd century. They then brought the Defiant _back_ to both the MU and the MU-22nd century, so they covered their continuity arses there.'

No, that's not right. The MU ENT never went to the future or into the PU.

Here's how it all went down. :D

First the Tholians, in the MU, captured the Defiant from the future PU timeline, and brought it back into the past to their MU timeline. Ok?

Then the MU Enterprise went to find the Defiant (which came from the future), in their MU timeline. They got it and started taking over the MU with it and Hoshi became Empress.

Then 100 years later Kirk went to the MU. Now if Discovery goes there, it will be between the two, so 90 years after ENT and 10 years before Kirk.

The Defiant is what is causing all the confusion. Just remember that it was brought to the MU from the future.

I can't believe me wanting to hear someone mention Empress Sato caused so much trouble. lol.

Skorch
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:11am (UTC -5)
They better mention her now after all this!!

At least we gave people a primer on the MU. :D
Troy
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:18am (UTC -5)
Jammer,
CBS AA works just fine on my Roku and my web browser. The picture is pristine, with no buffering. Closed captioning in early episodes didn’t always work reliably, but that seems to be resolved now.

Yanks
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 7:15am (UTC -5)
@ J-P
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 10:18pm (UTC -6)

"In any case here's my theory: Lorca is attempting to go back in time and prevent the destruction of his old ship the USS Buran. He probably wanted to study the tech a little bit more before attempting the jump however when the boarding party rescued Admiral Cornwell he was now faced with the possibility of losing Discovery. That would also explain why Lorca wasn't worried about sending Cornwell to her death, he figured if his plan worked she'd still be alive. Unfortunately the coordinates were either wrong or stamets lacked the energy to do a proper jump and Lorca's plan failed. Discovery is now in a mirror universe (prime verse?) with the Buran floating in a million pieces."

Wow, interesting thoughts here!! I hadn't considered that!

@ MadmanMUC

"Damn, I'm fake Trek."

LOL .... that almost made me spit up my coffee!

@ Skorch,

Bring on some crossover Emperoris Hoshi!!!!

The Labyrinth Mind
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 8:16am (UTC -5)
@Hank

That is true, but as Jammer mentioned, Tyler is so deeply brainwashed that the trauma is real to him. And even if Tyler turned out to be Voq, I don't think it would take away from the statement the show is trying to make at this point in time.

I saw another review that said making Tyler Voq could actually throw a "sexual assaults victims might just be lying" on the whole thing. I disagree with this, once again, because this version of Tyler (obviously meant to represent rape survivors) is not lying about anything. I think they're balancing the social commentary and sci Fi quite effectively here, not letting on leave discredit the other.
Yair
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 9:13am (UTC -5)
Can't comment on the episode since couldn't watch it yet, however:

@Strikelord,

It's not necessarily too late to show Empress Sato 'in person' and not just in the history books if we're going to the MU.

120 is not out of line with what is possible in the setting. According to Memory Alpha, the Federation average in the 22th century was 100 - so some people must have exceeded it. Even considering the MU's brutality medical care should be available to the powerful.

Besides, we're talking about the Mirror Universe. We can be sure every non-ethical life extension method has already been extensively tried. I recall that in certain non-canon books Sato kept ruling using a series of clones until Mirror Spock deposed her - which shouldn't happen just yet.
BZ
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 9:15am (UTC -5)
My guess is they went through the Panama Wormhole. Anyway, isn't the MU spatially the same as the prime universe? Shouldn't they know where they are using astronomical observations if they are in the MU? Also, do we know anything about MU Klingons prior to the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance?

My experience with the CBSAA app (on Windows 10) is perfect streaming of the episode, but some stuttering and pauses on the ads. I had to restart the first episode I watched on CBSAA once because the ad completely froze, but it hasn't been that bad since that.
philadlj
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 9:21am (UTC -5)
A final report on the "Season 1, Chapter One" CBS All Access Experience

We watched all nine episodes on a laptop with Chrome through CBSAA's streaming service, plugged into our TV with an HDMI cord.

Every episode played perfectly from start to finish in HD quality with no audio or visual studder/stagger or any other distortions.

Needless to say, the quality of the streaming, even on my antiquated Toshiba laptop, came as a pleasant surprise.

My only criticism is that I hated how every episode would cut to black without any kind of closing credit(s), going from the black straight to the previews.

Since I don't like watching previews, it was annoying to have to suddenly avert my eyes and stop the player/close the browser.

I'd prefer if they went straight to the credits THEN show a preview for the next episode. Ah well.

One more nitpick: While the spacebar pauses video for both Amazon and Netflix, neither CBS nor FOX's browser streams have that feature; you have to use the mouse to press the pause button. Again, not a huge deal, but annoying all the same.
Ed
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 11:40am (UTC -5)
There's a lot that I like about this series. Of course, they are the same things others don't like.

---The setup of the Klingon War. Starfleet showing up to investigate the Death Ship faction's messing with their communications equipment leads to more Klingons who aren't initially interested in war with the Federation. More Fed ships in response to this is perceived as a threat. A war that no one except an extremist faction originally wanted starts.

--Michael is a person who has never fit in, finally finds her place but then circumstances (plus her own mistakes) take it all away. Then she has to adjust to a completely new environment.

--Ethical problems with the experimental jump drive which requires a sentient being to hook up to the machine.

--Mudd as a Hans Gruber-like villain with a sense of wicked humor. "Joyless and cruel?" More like joyfully cruel! Imagine how much fun that scumbag had trying to take over the ship so many times like he was playing Grand Theft Starship with infinite lives. :)

--The idea of a being incapable of feeling comfortable finally experiencing intoxicating peace on a planet of total harmony.

---That the beings on that planet find the whole idea of conflict so alien that their response to the war is "we just need to invite the Klingons over to talk."

My main problems are the Klingons being SO radically different and the over-use of holograms. Now I don't think that the hologram thing technically violates continuity.

They're just images, not solid entities like on the holodeck. It seems like a space-faring civilization could produce nice holographic images. Maybe it was popular for a while but was later seen as distracting and a waste of resources.

I wouldn't want to work in such a visually "busy" environment and an image on screen is just fine for communication. I could see Star Fleet adopting a cool new idea and then getting tired of it.

With the Klingons, let me say that I don't have a problem with the baldness or having them be SOMEWHAT more alien looking. Just get ride of the "cone head" thing (massively accentuated by the baldness), have their skin tones be more like earlier Klingons and make the faces less mask-like.

Have the same emotional effect, without making them seem like a new species. Baldness could be anything from a fashion statement to a way of dealing with a widespread space lice infestation.

That some Klingons treat dead bodies with elaborate ritual and prefer extremely ornate design is culturally interesting. There's no need for a race scattered across the galaxy to be very homogeneous.

Religion and culture could vary a lot in different places. I enjoy the contrast between animalistic ferocity and their aristocratic aesthetics. Witch burnings and brutal wars coexisted with a lot of nice looking buildings and costumes in our world after all.

I'd like to see some of the human-looking Klingons, too, and the Movies/TNG kinds. Then maybe the unusual Klingons we see could be explained as just another breed who happened to be politically dominant for a while.
John Harmon
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Damnit! Stamets was just one spore jump away from retirement!
John Harmon
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
Jammer it makes my heart happy that you're still passionate about the site. Your reviews are a highlight of my week. Always fun and informative to read. Reading your reviews has taught me, in a way, of how to be critical and what to look for in quality writing.

To answer your question about CBS All Access, it works fine for me now. I watch on my PS4 app. My PS4 is connected directly to my modem. I haven't experienced any stuttering or buffering for several weeks now.
Dom
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 2:19pm (UTC -5)
On its own, this was a good episode, perhaps the best of Discovery so far. However, I have to agree with io9''s review in saying that the character moments in this episode don't feel earned. Lorca's interest in science and defense of the planet come out of nowhere. The Burnham-Tyler romance still seems too new to have that kind of depth. We never see this crew grow and learn, go from scientists to warriors, to paraphrase Lorca. Stammets is, as usual, the exception. I felt like the show at least seeded his relationship and his character arc well enough beforehand that I actually felt a pang of sadness when he stepped into the spore chamber one last time.

https://io9.gizmodo.com/what-is-going-on-with-this-major-star-trek-discovery-m-1820398155
Maff
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
I don't mean to nitpick, but when the entire point of the episode is a potentially lethal mission to crack the Klingon cloaking device, and you start the mission with "Captain, sensors detect a cloaked Klingon ship arriving at Phavo", well...
Chrome
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 3:15pm (UTC -5)
"Lorca's interest in science and defense of the planet come out of nowhere."

A more cynical reading of this scene would be that Lorca, who is known for manipulating things to get what he wants done, brushed up on Stamets' work in order to convince him that he actually cared about exploration (and defending a planet) and not just winning.

On the other hand, I don't think we should simply brush aside Lorca's interest in science as a ruse. There was a reason he was assigned to science vessel to begin with. It's also implied he'd been working with the spore drive for a long time. Furthermore, we know he downloaded logs from the Glenn with their maps , so there was ample opportunity for him to study the spore network before the Discovery got into making its jumps.

Treks like TNG and DS9 seldom show their captains putting in research time, but given the franchise's characterization of these captains as Renaissance men (and women), it's pretty safe to conclude they're all interested in science, particularly science related to improving space exploration.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 3:16pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer
"Wow! I was really surprised to see that @OmicronThetaDeltaPhi ponied up the six bucks to buy CBSAA and binge all the episodes. Glad you caught up! Sorry you didn't like the show! "

Not as much as I was surprised to see the actual owner of this site lowering himself to this kind of sarcastic remarks.

Very disappointing.

But you know what? Fine.

I've starting writing on your site because it *seemed* to be a place which supports an actual intelligent discussion. A place where all this "fans vs haters" crap isn't ruining everything. A place where people actually try to raise substantial points and actually care about the integrity and honesty of the discussion, rather then looking for cheap ways to score points at all costs.

Guess I was wrong.

At any rate, you will be very happy to hear, Mr. Epsicokhan, that I will not bother you or your site any longer. If you're going treat me as some kind troublemaker, then there's nothing left for me here.

(and this goes for the Orville threads as well)
Chrome
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
And Jammer's point is it's hard to have the intellectual discussions you claim to desire if you can't bring up facts based on your own observations. Would you like to spend your days listening to me critique movies that come out weekly based solely on what I read in the NY Times and people who agreed with the NY Times' opinion?

Personally, I don't care if you stay or go, but let's not be melodramatic. If you're going to discuss an artwork without perceiving it, you need to expect some backlash.
Cosmic
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Jammer (and others) had already voiced their disapproval for your behavior on the Discovery threads, so don't act surprised. People took issue with what you were doing, but you've insisted on continuing said behavior on multiple threads. No reason to make a scene about it, especially when you are the one refusing to listen to other people's protests.

I don't think you need to "leave" the website over it, but whatever, it's your call.
Alexandrea
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
If each episode must be an action blockbuster, at least we get a good one! Jammer nailed it on most points here.

I've felt uncomfortable with the portrayal of Tyler as a male with PTSD from sexual assault for the simple reason that we the audience know that his story is false, because we know that L'Rell was not in the place he describes for most of the time in question and suspect he is in fact a Klingon sleeper agent. There may be ways of resolving this contradiction that do right by the themes raised, but treating this trauma primarily as an expedient plot point, or ultimately showing the scene between him and Burnham to be based on something unreal, does the issue a disservice. We'll have to wait and see.

I would also very much like to see the bridge crew given character depth. We have a very thin cast on this show, so there's no reason we can't devote more time to *all* of our characters in lieu of all the stuff blowing up.

But at least the stuff blowing up had stakes and felt entertaining. I'm cancelling my CBS All Access until the show comes back, and I don't like how much it costs, but Discovery has managed to keep me on board.
Jammer
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
Oh, come on, @OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, spare me the victimized melodrama. My comment was a jest-y good-natured sarcastic poke aimed at a fully exposed target who has repeatedly admitted that he has not watched a show he continues to criticize on a near-weekly basis -- a position that is annoying to many of us who have actually done the homework.

If my little joke has changed your fundamental view of this place and you now feel the need to leave, that is certainly your right. But let me make clear that it is never my goal to drive anyone from the discussion. Your previous arguing techniques have shown very clearly that you can dish it out. I figured you could take it too.

On a personal note, there is a certain thing that especially bugs me about critics who pan something site unseen because they *think* they know what it is. It is the very definition of prejudice. Perhaps that's why, against my own better judgment, I felt the need to push back against your constant carping within the Discovery threads.

Look, I don't care if you ever watch Discovery. That's not the point. I know you won't, because you've told us this many, many times. So leave it at that, then. I too am a reader of the comment boards here -- dare I say the *only* reader who reads *all* the comments. So sometimes I have to say my piece as a fellow user. And ragging on something you refuse to watch is, well, kind of obnoxious. But maybe that's just my own personal hangup. I could be above the fray and ignore it, but sometimes I don't. I'm a human participant here too.

Lest you think I don't value your contributions here, particularly on the Orville discussion board, let me take this moment to say that I do. So if you feel the need to leave, that's your right and your choice, but let's please not make it out like I'm some bully who ran you off the playground, or who lowered the wonderful debate here with one smart-assed remark. Because that ain't what's happening here.
Yanks
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
Jammer,

Fantastic review! I thought you'd get to 4 stars on this one.

Couple remarks:

This wasn't the first time Lorca was overly concerned about Michael's safety. He told Ash on the shuttle mission where she was trying to save Surak that his number one priority wasn't bringing the shuttle back safely, it was to bring her back alive. I too want to learn why.

While Adm Terral is certainly a "company guy" I love his voice and delivery.

Yanks
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
@ Maff
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 3:06pm (UTC -6)

"I don't mean to nitpick, but when the entire point of the episode is a potentially lethal mission to crack the Klingon cloaking device, and you start the mission with "Captain, sensors detect a cloaked Klingon ship arriving at Phavo", well..."

Caught my attention as well. It seems like too huge an error, I think I'll watch again and see if I missed something.
Yanks
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 8:38pm (UTC -5)
Just went and watched it again.

"Our sensors have just detected the power signature of a cloaked Klingon ship...."
Jammer
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
"I thought you'd get to 4 stars on this one."

It was close.

"Our sensors have just detected the power signature of a cloaked Klingon ship...."

Perhaps they can detect a cloaked ship vaguely as being in the system, but not pinpoint an exact position? It seems there must be some hand-wave explanation, because that line seems too obvious to have been inserted by mistake and not removed.
Chrome
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 9:14pm (UTC -5)
I don’t think cloaking devices became perfected until a decade or two after Discovery. In TOS’s “The Enterprise Incident”, the Romulans finally perfected the cloak and the Enterprise was sent to steal the technology. The Klingons then acquired that cloak some time later. So, it’s probably internally consistent that the Discovery could sense older Klingon cloaking power signatures but not pinpoint their exact location.
Shannon
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer

Excellent review, thank you! I'm jazzed up about the possibilities now that the writers and producers have put together a near perfect episode. Trek is back!

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Seriously, dude, get over yourself already. Jammer is 100% correct that it's ridiculous to so vociferously criticize something you don't watch. And if you're so wound tight that you can't take a joke, then move on already.
Lobster Johnson
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 10:05pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer

They mentioned in the battle of episode 8 that they can detect they're in the area but not exact locations, it's a much more primitive cloak than later eras.

https://youtu.be/bVpGxtuqBaU?t=43
Del_Duio
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
When the Klingons finally spoke English it was 1000% better. Oh man I hope this means they continue the universal translator route should they go back to more of them later.

This was a really great episode. Why couldn't they have been cranking them out like this every week? Hopefully a good sign of things to come.
JosephB
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 1:29am (UTC -5)
Jammer,

Thanks for the Review!
I’ll join the consensus by stating that that was the best episode of Discovery to date!
I was totally riveted for the first two thirds of the epp!

In regards to the CBSAA service: After the pilot episode I went ahead and upgraded my subscription to the “commercial free” service. With the exception of two buffering hiccups during the second Mudd episode, I have had no streaming issues whatsoever. I’m using a ROKU 3 box connected directly to my LG short throw projector. The video quality is consistently outstanding. I *do* wish CBS would upgrade the audio to 5.1 though. My AV receivers’ PL3 circuitry does a good job of converting the stereo to split surrounds, but discrete 5.1 audio (or better) is now the norm on all other premier streaming services. I’m actually enjoying viewing other fine CBS shows, like “Blue Bloods”, in high quality video (better than my cable service) and commercial free, so I’ll be keeping the service during the hiatus.

Thanks again for all of your great reviews!
Hunter
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 4:13am (UTC -5)
During the pullout shot of the Discovery at the end, you can kind of make out a piece of debris at the back that looks like a wrecked D7.
Nievesg
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 5:15am (UTC -5)
I'm going to rewatch "choose your pain", then the groundhog-day episode and then this one. They make a terrific 3-parter, to show how Lorca, Burnham, Tyler and Stamets work as a team. Btw, both adults and my 9&11-year-old kids enjoyed the last two episodes mentioned.

Plus, Lorca's eye drops to get ready to watch and enjoy the dead-ship exposion (we laughed a lot!).
The gay kiss and the "last jump" moment had such a good plot reason-ominous disaster prediction! (the good old narrative tools "my last day and I'll retire" or "he shows the bride's photo", so of course he's going to die).

I just missed an earth&sword logo of the Terran empire on the shipwreck debris of the alternate universe, lol!
Skorch
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 5:44am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Don't go. Not like I think you will, but stick around. You are one of the more interesting posters, even though you are faking it on this particular thread. May I ask why you are so against even watching DIS? Having to pay for it is stupid of course, but since you are such a major ST fan I don't see why you wouldn't pay for it. If you can't afford to watch it for some reason, that's ok, sometimes all of us have to prioritize, but then why comment on it? You are an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a spatial anomaly.

And I still don't understand what Stamets said. 'There's a clearing in the forest. That's how they go.'?

I get the 'Into the forest I go' stuff, but what does the clearing mean? Or 'that's how they go.'? I've been wracking my brain to think of something, but I can't.

Sidenote: Is it 'rack my brain' or 'wrack my brain'? No need to directly comment on this part. :D
Trent
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Hunter said: "During the pullout shot of the Discovery at the end, you can kind of make out a piece of debris at the back that looks like a wrecked D7."

Interesting if true. Does this mean the first eight episodes were set in a mirror universe? And is there only one mirror universe?

Regardless, it seems Brian Fuller's rejected pitch is what Discovery is becoming: Trek meets Sliders, with Lorca looking to fix the wrongs in his "home universe" using the Discovery. It's a bold, gutsy direction to take the franchise, but also kind of needless. You have a universe of species, sights and planets at your disposal; seems needlessly convoluted to resort to alternative universes, mirror universes, and alternate timelines, to cook up tales of "exploration".
karatasiospa
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 8:19am (UTC -5)
btw the idea that klingon cloaking is the result of a gravitational field that bends light is ridiculous, The only gravitational field that can do that is the one from a black hole. So klingon ships were sarrounded by a black hole?!!!! that's not only ridiculous but also brutally anti-scientific.
Lobster Johnson
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 9:04am (UTC -5)
@karatasiospa

Romulan ships have singularity drives in order to pump out enough power to cloak, this concept goes back way before Discovery

also the cloak has always been technobabble.
Skorch
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 9:14am (UTC -5)
@Trent

'Hunter said: "During the pullout shot of the Discovery at the end, you can kind of make out a piece of debris at the back that looks like a wrecked D7."'

Just a troll. I went through it frame by frame after what Hunter said, and it's not true. No wreckage of anything other than chunks of metal with no inisignia or anything.

@karatasiospa

'btw the idea that klingon cloaking is the result of a gravitational field that bends light is ridiculous, The only gravitational field that can do that is the one from a black hole. So klingon ships were sarrounded by a black hole?!!!! that's not only ridiculous but also brutally anti-scientific.'

I put that down in my episode notes (yes, like I said I take notes), but I discounted it as some 'futuristic' thing that we don't understand, so I didn't mention it. Who knows what they can do then? Any gravitational field bends light. To bend it enough around a ship it may need to be as strong as a black hole, but I wouldn't think it needs to be that strong necessarily. But it would certainly have to be strong enough to distort space time around the ship. And who says they can't do that? They can warp around the universe, so who knows?
Marcus
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 10:57am (UTC -5)
Great episode! The Klingons really stepped up their game in this one. They felt quite realistic and, as a matter of fact, I think they've never been quite as believable as they are in this show! They actually look like aliens for a change! (Personally I wouldn't mind if they redesigned all the aliens to look less like humans and more like beings that evolved on a different planet) And they kinda seem like stand-ins for right-wing americans (and really, right -wingers everywhere). They have the whole religious fundamentalism thing going on (along with the anti-liberal, anti-multiculturalism fixation), even though they're actually largely subservient to a select number of corporate overlords (the Great Houses) who are keen on exploiting their beliefs for personal gain, whilst also privately mocking them (ex: Kol calls T'kuvma's followers "torch bearing idiots). I wish they interacted with the humans more, though. It would be nice to see more of the cultural divide reflected in the dialogue!
Yanks
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Since a couple folks including Jammer have mentioned the CBSAA service...

I paid for the commercial free service.

The only time I've had any sort of hiccup is when I pause it (for whatever reason, bathroom etc.) then restart it. For some reason it will play for a few second, pause like it's buffering, then it's good to go.

I have cable internet service to my home (20meg) into a wireless router, into my laptop, HDMI cable plugged into my laptop and run to my Vizio Smart TV. I have a Bose Solo 5 sound system.

The picture is phenomenal. The sound is MUCH better now that I got the sound bar, but I still think it could be better.

Overall, very please with the experience.

I started watching Perry Mason .... lol

I'll be keep the service, at least until the trek season is over.
Criss Cobb
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 11:32am (UTC -5)
@Skorch -- pay for Discovery? One of the primary problems I see with this format is that anyone with just a little tech savvy can download all the Discovery episodes for free. I do wonder how many people are paying to watch it opposed to those who are simply stealing it.
Yanks
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 11:48am (UTC -5)
@ karatasiospa
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 8:19am (UTC -6)
"btw the idea that klingon cloaking is the result of a gravitational field that bends light is ridiculous, The only gravitational field that can do that is the one from a black hole. So klingon ships were sarrounded by a black hole?!!!! that's not only ridiculous but also brutally anti-scientific."

Not true at all. Einstein proved his Theory of Relativity by proving that light from stars bent around the sun. (1914?)
Shannon
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 11:51am (UTC -5)
@Marcus

Do you seriously need to be making political statements on this blog? Over the past decade it hasn't been right-wing Americans driving vans through crowds of people or blowing up bombs at marathons. The Las Vegas mass murderer was a left-wing nutcase that supported Bernie. There are extremists on both sides of the political aisle... I enjoy this blog because we discuss the show itself and for the most part leave partisan politics out of it. There are many conservatives who enjoy Star Trek, so for you to put them in the same box as Klingons is pathetic.
Marcus
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
@Shannon

You know, I'm not american myself and while I'm not intimately familiar with political extremism in the USA , I can safely say that the Klingons' speeches in Discovery could have been pulled right out of the mouth of any european neo-fascist (well, to be fair the Klingons seem to be less violent). To me, as an eastern european, these new Klingons seem to be specifically modeled after modern right wingers and neo-fascists. I personally find it to be blatantly obvious! Why beat around the bush?
As for conservatives liking Star Trek, in my country at least (romania) some conservatives might beat their children for watching a show that features gay people kissing.
Criss Cobb
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
@Shannon -- good points. The sad trend in America these days is to make absolutely everything political.
Yanks
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 12:29pm (UTC -5)
Oh, another whaaaaaaaaa I'm leaving now because someone is mean post?

Drama, drama, ..... snowflake drama...

Give me a break.

And you're not leaving, you will post again.... just like everyone else on the internet that announces their dramatic departure... if not under "OmicronThetaDeltaPhi", then by another name.
JeffD
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
Not much to comment on the final episode other than the cliffhanger has brought the most excitement for me since the initial episode.

I just want to share my experiences with streaming quality....

I primarily watch CBS All Access using a Roku streaming stick. I rarely have buffering issues, and I always get HD. I have subscribed to CBS all access for a while and haven't had the experiences Jammer has experienced.

Just for kicks, I have tried both the iPhone and Android version over my wireless, and it has performed decently.

I do have pretty fast internet, so my streaming experience is usually great for any app I try.
Jabalian Fudge Cake
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
The writers themselves have admitted the Klingons in Discovery are modeled on Trump supporters.
Jammer
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
"One of the primary problems I see with this format is that anyone with just a little tech savvy can download all the Discovery episodes for free. I do wonder how many people are paying to watch it opposed to those who are simply stealing it."

It probably depends on time spent versus convenience mixed in with the whole "stealing" ethical thing. I find it much easier to pay for CBSAA to get the best quality I can (although, I've had issues with that -- more on that in a moment) than to look for an "alternate" method that would be much more trouble (figuring out where to get it, then downloading or streaming with some app that would be acceptable to my quality standards) ... rather than just paying the $6 a month, which is really pretty nominal considering I will cancel when the show isn't on.

To me (and probably a lot of busy people), spending $6 is worth avoiding the hassle of some other method. Plus, I do believe in paying for content I consume rather than pirating it.
Jammer
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 12:58pm (UTC -5)
Regarding my CBSAA issues, I do wonder if it's the Android version that's giving me problems. I've used CBSAA a couple times on my laptop and not experienced the same issues, though it's a very small sample there of only 10 or 15 minutes. Maybe for the next batch of episodes I will try another method and see if my experience improves.

I do think they should make the Android/Chromecast experience better. As mentioned, I've had zero issues with the exact same wireless setup using the Netflix app. Any other Android/Chromecast users having CBSAA issues?
Chrome
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
My video worked fine for the season finale, first watched it using the CBAA app on my iPad then watched it on my apple TV later and it worked fine. The only problems I've had were watching "Lethe". Still waiting for the CBS apology on that one. :-)

'Regardless, it seems Brian Fuller's rejected pitch is what Discovery is becoming: Trek meets Sliders, with Lorca looking to fix the wrongs in his "home universe" using the Discovery.'

Hopefully not. I can see why such a pitch would be rejected though. At least the writers we have now are post-Sliders, and have probably learned not to ape a cancelled show. It might be cool for Discovery to visit other universes occasionally and see entirely new species rather than evil goatee-replicas. Though, I'd think the first priority of the crew would be to attempt to get back to the prime universe (assuming they've left it).
BZ
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
Wasn't the original pitch an anthology show with every season (or even few episodes) following a different crew in a different time period in the Star Trek universe? The Discovery would not have been in all of them.
Yair
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
Finally watched it.

This is definitely Discovery's best. That's to a large part because it's an ensemble chapter. There's some character evolution, done best with Tyler who's no longer a complete cypher. We finally see the crew trying to come up with a plan - a moment which has been cruelly denied to us in "Magic...". We even had a plot which mostly works! Note my standards are strict - I had issues with the _Saru_ path in the previous episode.

On the other hand, this doesn't entirely fix my issues with series. In the previous episode's comments I wanted to see some payoff. This is sometimes done well - Tyler, Stamets.

However other parts are clunky - L'Rell survives in an absurd plot convenience, and Michael never learns any humility. Kol all but confirms Klingons don't care all that much for T'Kumva. Her plan to get him alive? Only got Yeoh killed. Unsurprisingly, Michael is happy with herself.
And how did the Admiral reach Starfleet so easily? I would have expected a confrontation with Lorca on the ship. Michael and L'Rell are probably more important to the DIS than Stamets and Tyler, so the episode fails more than succeeds on the character development front.

Secondly, the plot relies on an annoying ST tic: "the ship's crew comes up with a plan within hours, which even the finest Federation minds somehow couldn't find, despite having basically the same information". Is this the worst example, or the ENT S3 finale (probably this, ENT had slightly more info than others)?

Doesn't the Dead Ship have shields - which would have made the entire idea moot if Kol had employed them outside of cloak? There was always the risk of someone transporting a nuke onboard so he has to. Well, that just means transporters are broken - not just a DIS problem.

And why would Stamets agree to jump at the end? He can jump so easily and readily, it would make more sense to go to wrap and jump only if any Klingons show up.

* Note we're not told who came up with the 133 jumps idea. It's probably Lorca himself. But how does he know that's even possible?

* Would be funny if they actually intended to give Lorca a medal. Possibly using the B5 'give them a medal and then shoot them' idea.
karatasiospa
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks

a sun bends light but it does not become invisible.
Yair
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 2:15pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome,

Nearly every named character has been given at least some motivation to not return to Prime if they're out of it.

* Lorca has his own (unknown) agenda and quite possibly planned this. If he returns he could end up in a psych ward.

* Michael expects jail in Prime (I can't understand why would Starfleet all but encourage defection?).

* Tyler has no family and will stay on Discovery following Michael (possibly also due to being a spy).

* L'Rell would stay on Discovery with Tyler.

* Stamets wants to explore. On the other hand he wanted medical care. Are we sure other places have worse medical care? Either way, Culber would follow him.

That leaves us... Saru? A coward which won't take initiative to return to Prime on his own. One wonders why/how he joined Starfleet at all. Quite possible he also had something to run away from...
Cosmic
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 3:19pm (UTC -5)
There's a theory floating around that the "real" Lorca went down with his ship, the USS Buran, and that the Mirror Lorca replaced him soon after that happened.

People have also been noting that one of the scars on Lorca's back from "Lethe" resembles an agonizer - which was something that I personally didn't notice when I watched that episode.

And then, of course, his override on the jump coordinates ("Let's go home.")...

I have always enjoyed the Mirror Universe, so I'm excited to see where this all goes.
Peter G.
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
I also look forward to finding out. I will be displeased if it turns out Lorca is 'just from the MU' to explain everything, because the producers very blatantly placed a "31" under the window in an external shot of Lorca in his first episode. I hope that wasn't an intentional deception but at the very least applies to Lorca in some way. I guess I'll stick with my fanfic theory for now that Section 31 itself comes from the MU and Lorca is with them.
James Alexander
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
I know I commented earlier but its a 7/10 for me if I have to use a scale.
it was a very pretty episode, and I finally started to give a damn about more characters, as well as not being annoyed with Burnham in the slightest.
rather I was too caught up in the drama to have a chance to get annoyed with anyone really.

the thing is I can't get over all the stuff we've put up with up to this point, I kept rewinding because I somehow didn't understand the Cornwell situation (which was admittedly my fault), and I still don't like Saru in the slightest.
I'll give it a seven, even though I'm getting really fussy with my complaints, but if the writers can improve on this level of quality I will go to an 8 or even a 9. and for another thing, please can we kill Saru?

Trent
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
BZ said: "Wasn't the original pitch an anthology show with every season (or even few episodes) following a different crew in a different time period in the Star Trek universe? The Discovery would not have been in all of them. "

Correct. As I understand it, Fuller pitched a show in which every season had a different arc and was set in a different time period. This was rejected because this would require different casts and sets. Perhaps they solved this problem by having Discovery branch time periods and universes (same sets, same casts, different universes).
Yanks
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 6:37pm (UTC -5)
@ karatasiospa
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 1:59pm (UTC -6)

"a sun bends light but it does not become invisible."

But the stars behind the sun do to the observer.
Boneless chicken
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks

Gravity would be quite noticeable so that would not be much of a cloak...
Brian
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 11:27pm (UTC -5)
Josh wrote:
"I'm not as thrilled with the episode as everyone else, but it was enjoyable.

I think the main problem was that the resolution felt entirely unearned. We've seen very little of this war - eight episodes following one ship. During that time we never really saw the larger ramifications of the war, except for the episode defending the mining colony and another random ship being destroyed. The rest of the time it was always admirals telling Lorca how badly it was going. We never feel the gravity of the situation, the pain and anguish, the Klingons taking lives we care about or the possibility of the Federation being conquered or destroyed.

And then we have a scene with swelling music over Burnham saying "It's done. It's over." as if we had just witnessed Frodo carrying the ring to Mordor or the Rebels defeating the Empire. Those moments earned their epic triumphs. Here, I did not feel a thing."

Thank you, Josh, for saying exactly what needs to be said. You are exactly right.
Kinematic
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 1:13am (UTC -5)
@Marcus

The Klingons seem less like Trump supporters and more like ISIS or Al Qaeda members. They are motivated by opposition to what they see as a foreign encroaching force that wants to subjugate them and erase their culture. Their people's political status quo is a collection of feuding fiefdoms that they hope to unite under the banner of shared faith to strike against the foreign enemy. Among them, greedy leaders cynically use martyred fighters (T'Kuvma) as bait to convince the masses to follow them and grow their fortunes.

The Vulcan 'logic extremists' seem like a more apt parallel to the Western right wing. Their society has formed attachments to other political bodies which they see as corrupting their culture. They especially object to the integration of foreigners into their society (Burnham, Sarek's marriage to a human). Their people have historically been politically united and they believe their culture is being subverted from the top down.

In short, Klingons/ISIS come from political disunity and seek unity to fight an outside threat. Vulcan extremists/Western right come from political unity and want to turn their people against a threat they perceive within their own political establishment.
Marcus
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 1:47am (UTC -5)
@Kinematic

Oh yeah, I had completely forgotten about the Vulcan terrorists! I think you're right about them and the Klingons.
Yanks
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 5:51am (UTC -5)
@ Boneless chicken
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 8:14pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks

"Gravity would be quite noticeable so that would not be much of a cloak..."

But include treknobabble of choice and you're good.

I just liked the clarification Discovery used, identifying gravity as the basis for the cloak.
karatasiospa
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 6:17am (UTC -5)
@Yanks

you don't understand. only the gravitational field of a black hole can make the hole ITSELF (not thestar behind it )invisible (allthough the accretion disk is visible). and if the klingon ships could create such a gravitational field then this field would destroy the ships themselves!!!!! (and everything else in the vicinity! )
Del_Duio
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 8:08am (UTC -5)
"Correct. As I understand it, Fuller pitched a show in which every season had a different arc and was set in a different time period. This was rejected because this would require different casts and sets. Perhaps they solved this problem by having Discovery branch time periods and universes (same sets, same casts, different universes). "

Oh holy shit I hope so!
Maybe they jumped way in the future way after TNG and DS9 or something?
BZ
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 8:33am (UTC -5)
Black holes are not "invisible" anyway. Aside from the accretion disk, they are literally black (as in they block any light sources behind them). Whatever cloaks do, they have to bend light in such a way that they are "transparent", that is, you can see whatever is behind the ship they're cloaking. Since gravity can bend light, it's a reasonable starting point for any technobabble the cloaks use.
Shannon
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 9:42am (UTC -5)
@kinematic

Your comparisons of the Klingons to ISIS and the Vulcan extremists to the Western right-wing are spot on. Nice post! Right-wing doesn't imply conservatives, as there are many of us that have no problem whatsoever with legal immigration in the United States. My fore-bearers came from Italy and Ireland back in the early 1900's. But you are correct, there are extremists on my side of the political aisle that fear multiculturalism. As Picard shrewdly pointed out once, there is a tendency to fear what one does not understand. So it's up to the rest of us to isolate those extremist voices... But as I said earlier, there are extremists in both political parties, and the 80% of us that are in between need to make our more moderate voices heard more often.
karatasiospa
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 9:57am (UTC -5)
BZ
with all due respect go learn some physics. black holes are invisible they can be detected only through heir consequences in the surrounding region. but it seems that if somebody wants to rationalize everything that DISC does he will find a way even if it is an absurd one. have fan with DISC!!!!
BZ
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 10:25am (UTC -5)
@karatasiospa,
From what I can tell from my research, we don't really know what black holes look like, but the current best guess is that there is a crescent-shaped accretion disk. With a totally black area representing the event horizon in the middle (invisible, but not transparent, like I said)
Peter G.
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Wow, what an argument. Surely we can't know how it works any more than we can discuss how the transporter works. I'm reminded of Michael Okuda's famous remark when asked how the transporter works. He said "It works very well."

That being said I guess I have wondered from time to time what a cloaking device would really do. Does it read signals coming in, capture them, and feed signals from behind instead, kind of like a crazy holographic signal generator? Or does it just cause particles and waves to be routed around the ship in a bendy-space manner? If the latter then surely graviton-generation would be the basis for it, maybe something akin to the warp drive but using the warp bubble for a different purpose than propulsion.

It's really moot to fight over it using modern physics of black holes, though! We don't know crap about them, in short. It's all theory right now.
Ubik
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
This is what I've missed about Trek nerd culture - the fans care SO MUCH about this stuff. Until Discovery, I had to settle for Doctor Who nerd culture, which couldn't be more different. They PRIDE themselves on not knowing or caring a damn about how any of the tech stuff or internal rules work. The Doctor's been one-hearted, two-hearted, half-human, full Time Lord, the Earth has been invaded in 300 completely contradictory ways, humanity has ended in 20 contradictory ways, and no one cares. Not caring is a Doctor Who badge of honour. If you say, "Excuse me, but Daleks don't function that way. In Season 14, it was explicitly stated...", you'll get laughed off the message board: "Stop taking it so seriously! Doctor Who is supposed to be fun!!" Here, it's like, "Ahem, but that is NOT how a Klingon cloaking device works." It's a fascinating contrast. :)
Yanks
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
@ BZ
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 8:33am (UTC -6)
"Black holes are not "invisible" anyway. Aside from the accretion disk, they are literally black (as in they block any light sources behind them). Whatever cloaks do, they have to bend light in such a way that they are "transparent", that is, you can see whatever is behind the ship they're cloaking. Since gravity can bend light, it's a reasonable starting point for any technobabble the cloaks use."

I prefer treknobabble :-)

Thank you.
Yanks
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
@ karatasiospa
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 9:57am (UTC -6)

"...but it seems that if somebody wants to rationalize everything that DISC does he will find a way even if it is an absurd one. have fan with DISC!!!!"

Good lord, you have an issue with using gravity in the "science" of cloaking on trek? .... I'm sure you have perfect scientific facts to support warp drive, the anti-matter chamber, transporting, replicators, just about everything medical...

I mean really, how is what Discovery said (and I don't have a transcript) worse than the "it consumes lots of power" and just somehow works that we had for the last 50 years?
James Alexander
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 3:46pm (UTC -5)
@Ubik
I absolutely adore Doctor Who and will get nerdy about it, but the previous show-runner has a record of using the Time War as an excuse to screw around with the lore. which is probably necessary when you have a 54 year old show about a time-travelling alien.

earth was supposed to be wiped out in the 2900s as shown by The Ark in Space? no problem. you can show a rebuilt earth in the 200th century, and then destroy it again in the year 5 billion, you just blame the Time War for the obvious inconsistency.
I can see why the fan-base doesn't care that much about making sense of the lore, when anything and everything can happen which contradicts the established lore so long as the writers have a handy excuse.
Lobster Johnson
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks

I'm with ya, I am continually baffled by people who insist Star Trek has ever remotely had its fictional tech function in a remotely realistic manner.
Hank
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
@Yank and Lobster Johnson: Well, the difference between "It consumes A LOT of power" and "It does not fundamentally work that way" should be obvious. It is true, that most of Star Treks technologies may be impossible in practice, but are possible in principle. Go look for a book called "The Physics of Star Trek", it is an interesting need. The difference in power is a comparatively minor issue. Imagine a Roman Admiral standing on the bridge of his galley, powered by 300 rowers. Then you come along and tell im that you can move a 100.000 ton ship with a speed of 35 knots (about 65km/h). He will tell you that you are crazy, it is just impossible to do with wind and rowers - but you tell him "Well, I got a nuclear reactor, so no big deal".

Using gravity to make a ship invisble is just impossible, for the reasons pointed out (to be fair: Cloaking technology in general does NOT work, at least not by known physics, so if you just leave it in the dark, you are on the safe side, but if you say "Gravity did it" you leave yourself open to criticism). To bend light, you need gravity. Gravitational lensing is a real world phenomenon that works on this principle. But depending on your distance to the source of the gravity, background objects appear duplicated and distorted. When you got an object like a space ship so close to you, it would normally just block the light of stars behind it. So you would need to first bend the light outward to go around the ship, and then back inward to go back to its original path, and then one further time back outward to go in a straight line parallel to its original trajectory. That is a lot of mass you need to generate at either three or six points around your ship. And that only takes into account a single star directly behind your ship from the line of sight of the enemy you want to be invisible to - and it does nothing to block the light emissions from your ship in the first place. So to do that, you would need to increase the mass of your ship so much, that it would establish its own event horizon, or Schwarzschild-radius, like a black hole. And given that starships in Star Trek have gravity sensors capable of detecting micro-singularities, you are definitely visible. To hide a ship the size of the Klingon Sacophagus Ship, you would need something between a quarter and one solar mass to give you a Schwarzschild radius of about 3km - and then you got the problem that the violent forces inside the black hole would rip your ship to shreds anyways, on top of you not really being invisible (and completely unable to affect the outside world, for that matter ...)

So while Warp may seem improbable, it is possible in theory (there are actual physicists working on the idea), but stealth in space is not. Especially not using gravity.
Pocket University
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
@Hank "So while Warp may seem improbable, it is possible in theory (there are actual physicists working on the idea)"

And what they found was that the most obvious ways of doing it (in theory) would result in blue sheet formation at the bow of the ship.

Electromagnetic waves trapped in the bow wake by the ship's forward movement would increase in energy geometrically for as long as the ship was moving, with a doubling time comparable to the time it would take for the ship to traverse a distance equal to its own length--microseconds or less for a ship of conventionally imagined size and speed. Coming to a stop would cause this boosted radiation to be released into the ship's surroundings.

In other words, if you used a warp drive, it would blow up the universe. (That's not hyperbole, by the way--if anything, it's understatement.)

Less fantastically, this sort of effect is well known from mathematical models of the interiors of electrically charged or rotating black holes, and is largely the reason black holes are no longer thought to be usable as stargates.
Skorch
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 12:42am (UTC -5)
Everyone arguing about the cloak that uses gravity keeps assuming that the only way to create gravity is by using mass, and that it would have to be a huge mass, akin to a black hole. But in Star Trek they create gravity all the time without having large masses, using artificial gravity generators and so on. So the Klingons don't necessarily have to fly around with their ship covered in black holes. They just need a powerful artificial gravity generator.
JohnTY
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 1:19am (UTC -5)
This was still a bit clunky for me. Most of the characters/actors/dialogue remain only so-so (with the exception of perhaps Lorca and Stamets) and I'm not overly optimistic about where all this is going. But still, let's join the positive vibe here - I agree that it's the best episode so far.

3/4.
Yanks
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 7:45am (UTC -5)
@ Skorch
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 12:42am (UTC -6)
"Everyone arguing about the cloak that uses gravity keeps assuming that the only way to create gravity is by using mass, and that it would have to be a huge mass, akin to a black hole. But in Star Trek they create gravity all the time without having large masses, using artificial gravity generators and so on. So the Klingons don't necessarily have to fly around with their ship covered in black holes. They just need a powerful artificial gravity generator."

Well played Skorch, well played.

If "gravity plating" can work in the Star Trek universe, then I'm confident that when the appropriate treknobabble is inserted, that concept/treknology can be the basis for a cloak strong enough to mask a star ship.

Of course, I'm not looking to ding Discovery at every turn.

[BURNHAM] We suspect the Klingon cloak generates a massive gravitational field, one that bends light and other electromagnetic waves around the ship.

Scripts here for everyone BTW: (Chrissies Transcripts is still protesting) https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/episode_scripts.php?tv-show=star-trek-discovery-2017

@ Pocket University, yes. thank you. Just like transporting would take so much power isn't possible either. (something like all the mass in the universe converted into energy)

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 8:53am (UTC -5)
@Jammer
"Oh, come on, @OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, spare me the victimized melodrama."

You know that I hate it when people do that?

When people think that their little community is the center of the universe, and that every person who says "this place has gone to the dogs. I'm leaving 'cause I'm not enjoying the discussions here anymore" is doing "victimized melodrama"?

To paraphrase Q and put it bluntly: This place isn't that important.

Sure, it was nice to have a place, for a change, where honesty and fairness are top priority and unorthodox views (like my own) are given a fair hearing. It was a fresh breath of air while it lasted. But that's not the case any more, so it's time for me to move on.


"My comment was a jest-y good-natured sarcastic poke aimed at a fully exposed target who has repeatedly admitted that he has not watched a show he continues to criticize on a near-weekly basis -- a position that is annoying to many of us who have actually done the homework."

See here, this is exactly my problem with what's going on here.

You *know*, that I've done my homework. You know very well that my posts are relevant and are based on actual facts. You also know that me watching the show would not have not changed a single word I've said.

Yet you (and others) still respond to me as if I'm some blabbering idiot who is posting baseless stuff.

And I'm sick of it.

And again, this isn't about "how little poor me is being mistreated, boo hoo". It's about how pointless I feel these 'discussions' are becoming. I'm sorry, but I have better things to do, other than making my views about a f***ing TV show in a hostile environment that doesn't even give them a fair hearing.


"If my little joke has changed your fundamental view of this place..."

Your "little joke" (which, by the way, wasn't your only post pestering me about this) was just the last straw in a worryingly depressing trend that's going on here lately.


"But let me make clear that it is never my goal to drive anyone from the discussion."

I believe you.

But mocking people unfairly (especially when you're the owner of this site who many people, including myself, respect and look up to) is getting the exact same result, regardless of what your actual goals were.


"Perhaps that's why, against my own better judgment..."

Why is it that people always say that after screwing things up?

You're a smart guy. Perhaps you should listen to your "better judgment" more often :)

"Look, I don't care if you ever watch Discovery. That's not the point. I know you won't, because you've told us this many, many times. So leave it at that, then ...ragging on something you refuse to watch is, well, kind of obnoxious.""

You know, I would have been *happy* to leave it at that... if some DSC fans weren't insistant on saying things like "those who dislike discovery, do so because they're afraid of change".

These guys (who are far more vocal and more numerous than me, moi and myself) are doing this ON EVERY F***ING DISCOVERY THREAD. So why does it anger you so much that I'm setting them straight?

Yes, when people say this kind of crap, I *will* tell them that they are wrong. I *will* say "Sorry but no. We dislike discovery because of A and B and C and D, and not because that silly strawman you've setup to make all nonfans look like morons".

Funny how you aren't calling these people on this behavior, yet you're continuingly pestering me for responding. Yeah, what a big obnoxious dick I am for doing so.

Speaking of which: There were quite a few people here who routinely accuse others of being a shill for the show they're a fan of. There was even a person who actually made the fantastic claim that every single fan writing on the Orville threads has to be a shill. Then there was that dude who stated that another poster should be shunned just because "he stated that B5 is better than DS9" (or was it the other way around? Doesn't really matter).

Did you call these people on their behavior? Of course not. Apparently, malicious trollish attacks on other posters annoy you less than "a guy who speaks about a show he doesn't watch".

By the way, may I remind you that I've never ever stooped down to the same level? I *never* say bad things about Discovery fans in general. Even when I talk about the show itself, I always emphasize that my issues with it do not necessarily make it bad TV show. And what do I get for all this trouble? Being singled out as some kind of trouble maker, and getting the incredible distinction of "the only person Jammer personally called on his behavior for a very long time".

In short: You're barking up the wrong tree. If you want to start calling people on their obnoxious confrontational behavior (which might actually be a good idea given the current situation) then I suggest you stop bugging honest and respectful contributors whose sole "sin" is hitting one of your pet peeves, and get to work.

P.S.
If you wonder why I'm even bothering to write this reply: Normally I wouldnt. Normally I would have simply put it all behind me and move on without saying another word. But you, Jammer, deserve better. I've been part of your community for many months now, and I've come to respect you. I think that you deserve an honest and candid reply, and I also think that there's a decent chance that you'll actually take what I've said seriously.

Note that I'm not responding to anybody else. Also note that I haven't said a single world about Star Trek in this post (other then the fact that my reasons for disliking Discovery are bloody A, B, C and D. Boy, do I feel for Scotty right now...).

I'm just trying to end this in a civilized way, rather than abruptly jumping ship and slamming the door behind me. That's all.
Lobster Johnson
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 9:34am (UTC -5)
jesus christ what a drama queen
Chrome
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
So OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, have you seen this episode yet? /s
Mertov
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
Ok... Buh-bye now...

For real this time..... hopefully !
Skorch
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
I smell a bridge burning.
wolfstar
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Omicron, no-one is telling you to leave the site, I've enjoyed plenty of your past comments and found myself both agreeing and disagreeing with you - but if I went to a book group and every week the same guy turned up and loudly trashed that week's book while openly admitting he'd only read the synopsis on the back cover, it'd start to grate and affect the ability of the rest of the group to properly discuss the book (regardless of whether they liked or disliked it). That's all that's going on here. At the same time, I hesitate to suggest you watch the show because it's on a pay platform and it's entirely within your right not to pay for CBSAA/Netflix (depending on whether you're in the US) if you already know you're not going to be interested in the content. I also hesitate to suggest you torrent it or whatever. But there's a huge difference between writing a critical review of something you've seen, even an impassioned and negative one, and writing an ideological screed about a piece of drama you've only heard about second-hand. I don't get what the point is. And I'm not a Discovery lover. Anyone who took this approach would get the same response - it's not about you, it's just not analytically incisive to approach a show with a prejudged ideology and continually either bash it or praise it without having watched it. The thing that makes someone's comments interesting to other readers is their opinion, and how can people find your opinion on Discovery interesting if it isn't based on any viewing of the show at all? Imagine if all your Orville comments (positive and negative) were also based on not having seen any of the episodes - how could anyone find them meaningful or interesting when they have no basis? Do you see what I mean?
wolfstar
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 4:31pm (UTC -5)
And maybe it's because the internet makes everything toxic and polarizes everything, but there's no need for this to be an issue of Orville vs. Discovery. I watch both shows, both have had good and bad episodes, I wouldn't consider myself a "fan" of either... I averaged my ratings for the first 9 episodes of both series and they came out extremely close. So I find it totally silly how the Orville vs Discovery thing has become tribal and apparently been sucked into the broader internet-driven culture wars - people (not so much on this forum, but online generally) are actually picking one show as their team for ideological reasons and attacking the other show for ideological reasons. Criticize or praise the quality of the storytelling; playing good show/bad show doesn't lead anywhere. Discovery is not "SJW Trek", The Orville is not frat-boy Trek, neither show has anything particularly coherent to say, they're both just middling and inconsistent TV shows in their debut season. People should be judging the product on-screen, not what they think being an Orville fan or a Discovery fan says about them.
Hugh
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 4:51pm (UTC -5)
@wolfstar

While your point about needing to have a basis for criticism is apt, it's still possible to have some opinions on something without experiencing that thing. I don't have to go skydiving to know that I probably won't enjoy it if I'm afraid of heights. I can also speculate on the merits of putting yourself in high adrenaline situations for fun, or talk about the history of skydiving and the reasons for its evolution.

What I'm saying here is that it's possible to participate in commentary here without having seen the show. Jammer's reviews usually lays out the basics of the plot and if someone wants to pick aspects of it apart, then why not? I don't need to have seen all 9 episodes of Discovery to know that, say, the Klingons look like Orcs from Middle-Earth. There's plenty to say on that topic which isn't dependent on sitting through entire episodes of the show.

Another example, people were talking about the USS Discovery's ship design long before the show aired. No one said to those people that they can't comment until they'd seen the show in full.
Chrome
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
"I don't have to go skydiving to know that I probably won't enjoy it if I'm afraid of heights."

Sure, but would you go on a skydiving messaging board, and tell people how awful their skydiving videos are every week based on your zero experience? That's basically what's going on with these comments. It's really no wonder some people don't appreciate them.
Shannon
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 6:02pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Your argument is so illogical that it is no longer amusing. You have been consistently lambasting a show that you don't watch, yet feel justified in your arguments. I would hate to have you as a boss, as you would think it's totally appropriate to conduct my annual review without examining any of my actual work or ever having been in the office to observe me.
wolfstar
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
Hugh/Chrome, you're both right - I agree wkth your examples and analogy respectively. It's totally legitimate to critique design choices or a show's science even if you haven't seen full episodes. What isn't possible is assessing something as drama, because performances, characterization and direction are key to this. In our reviews after each ep we're all basically saying what we liked and disliked, and that has to come from a sincere place.
Pocket University
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 7:50pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronBetaDeltaPhi "Speaking of which: There were quite a few people here who routinely accuse others of being a shill for the show they're a fan of. There was even a person who actually made the fantastic claim that every single fan writing on the Orville threads has to be a shill."

I may be one of the people you are referring too, so I'd just like to interject here that I weighed in then because I didn't like what seemed to me a pile-on against Dougie. I think it's important in forums like these to try very hard to avoid letting our natural desire to respond to slights escalate into unnecessary flame wars.

While I understand why you might rub many people here the wrong way for commenting without having viewed the show, I personally lean to Hugh's position that this isn't always strictly necessary if one has done enough other research, and I can understand wanting to comment on something that one dislikes enough that one wouldn't want to subject oneself to it.

Can we all just agree to disagree on this point and move on without trying to further eviscerate each other?
Mertov
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 8:11pm (UTC -5)
Oh please..

It's not like he has never piled on people who liked Discovery either.. Discovery pandering "the lowest common denominator"?? Guess who first said that.

Also, the confrontational tone, the four-letter words spread all over the messages, the constant arguing back and forth with others..

And then accusing Jammer of thinking his "little community is the center of the universe"..

Saying things like "You *know*, that I've done my homework. You know very well that my posts are relevant and are based on actual facts."

Get over yourself..

And then the all gracious "Notice I am not responding to anyone here" and "I am trying to leave in a civilized manner" in a post peppered with four-letter words and accusations..

It's not like the only problem here was his constant bashing of the show without having seen it.. You can still do that in an acceptable way (see Hugh's post above).

If someone's posts constantly have a confrontational tone and bash a show without having seen it, at first, one or two might nicely explain to that person why it's not a good idea (Jammer tried). But if you continue that behavior and the argumentative tone, and then get all upset and say dramatic goodbyes claiming it's your last post (we saw how long that lasted) because of the mention of the word melodrama, then yeah, you are dishing out what you can't seem to take.

Moving on...
Trent
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
Omicron said: "Sure, it was nice to have a place, for a change, where honesty and fairness are top priority and unorthodox views (like my own) are given a fair hearing."

But your views are not "unorthodox" on this site. I would say about half of the comments here responded to DSC negatively, and that Jammer gave low scores to most of the episodes.
Skorch
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
My ratings on the episodes so far.

Vulcan Hello - 2.0
Battle at the Binary Stars - 2.0
Context is for Kings - 2.5
Butcher's Knife... - 2.0
Choose Your Pain - 2.5
Lethe - 2.0
Magic to Make... - 1.5
Si Vis Pacem... - 2.5
Into the Forest I Go - 3

So an average of 2.22, which is not that good, but not terrible. Hopefully they will keep up the quality they set with 'Into the Forest' when it returns.
Trent
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 11:29pm (UTC -5)
Shannon said: "Over the past decade it hasn't been right-wing Americans driving vans through crowds of people or blowing up bombs at marathons."

But even this is a product of right wing politics. It is right wingers funding, arming and training theocratic regimes, arming terrorist factions, and deliberately destabalizing nations (via coups, proxy armies, "rebels" etc) for profit, and then acting surprised when blowback occurs. And as a European, I include both the Republicans and Democrats under the aforementioned "right wing" banner. Both your parties are Big Business Parties, one side (the Democrats) is simply a little bit gentler, a little bit smarter, though the banks are slowly buying them out as well.

Shannon said: "The Las Vegas mass murderer was a left-wing nutcase that supported Bernie."

No he wasn't. This is common internet fake news.

Shannon said: "I enjoy this blog because we discuss the show itself and for the most part leave partisan politics out of it."

The show is clearly political and the writers have explicitly likened the Klingon's to a certain type of Trump supporter: the Klingon's are a hyperconservative but disparate group who nostalgically fetishize a mythical homogenous past, scapegoat the Other and cling to ideas of national purity.

Shannon said: "Right-wing doesn't imply conservatives, as there are many of us that have no problem whatsoever with legal immigration in the United States. There are extremists on my side of the political aisle that fear multiculturalism."

Doesn't this miss the point? "Multiculturalism" and "immigration" began as a right wing political project implicity geared toward the lowering of wages, bringing in cheap labor, dismantling borders (to "lubricate" the flow of labor) and creating a reserve labor force to pacify workers (and crush unions). Indeed, the US Treasury - with the aid of commercial banks - has long released a report every few months specifiying how many "unskilled" immigrants are necessary for the economy. The economy - essentially a giant debt ponzi scheme - as a whole collapses if countless legal and illegal immigrants arent brought in. In the 1800s, it was radical and far-left economists who advocated resiting immigration on purely economic grounds; ie, to put pressure on capitalists and hasten systemic collapse.

With the civil rights acts, the influx of West Indians and Jews and Irish to the UK and USA, and the crushing (or deradicalizing) of the political left , both the left and right began tacitly supporting "multiculturalism", either for cruel economic reasons or smug humanitarian reasons. But the point is, it is silly to say that "many moderates and conservatives have no problem with multiculturalism". Multiculturalism is itself the product of their market extremism, an extremism designed to serve a specific class and which, historically, has always angered displaced, poor "local" populaces. 80 percent of the planet is in poverty (living on less than 10 dollars a day, with about 40 percent living on less than 1.90) precisely because everyone is comfortably moderate.

But all of this is irrelevent when mapped onto Klingons and the Federation. These are societies which have the technology to create post-scarcity planets; the type of Imperialist bickering and fighting Trek portrays doesn't really make sense in-universe, which is probably why Discovery bailed on its Klingon war.

Skorch said: "So an average of 2.22, which is not that good, but not terrible. Hopefully they will keep up the quality they set with 'Into the Forest' when it returns."

My ratings are similiar to yours, but I liked the pilot more and wasn't that hot on "Into the Forest".

The question is whether Discovery's first season is thus-far stronger than previous Trek debuts? Personally, I think TOS' first season was the most consistent, with over a dozen classics, and with even the average episodes distinct, original and memorable. Indeed, every Klingon and/or Romulan episode in TOS Season 1 is more interesting than the Klingon war arc in Discovery. Balance of Terror, essentially an extended action sequence, also does space combat better than anything in Discovery. And Court Martial is leaps and bounds better than Michael's mutiny arc. Heck, even Devil in the Dark does the "sympathy for alien creature" trope better than Discovery's tardigrade arc. And Conscience of the King is vastly more interesting (and atmospheric) than Context is For Kings.

I feel DS9's first season is also underrated. Its good or great episodes were: Emissary (only the first half), Past Prologue, A Man Alone, Dax, The Nagus, Vortex, Progress, Duet and In The Hands of the Prophets. It's treatment of conflicts (between Bajor/Cardassia/Federation) was also vastly more mature and interesting than that of DSC, though IMO that went away once the Dominion entered the picture.

And Voyager at this stage had: Parallax, The Cloud, Eye of the Needle, Prime Factors, State of Flux, Heroes and Demons, Faces, Learning Curve.

So - depending how highly you rank its bookend episodes, and how much value you place on its consistentcy (its consistently slick and above average, but never reaches the highs we associated with classic SF writing) - Discovery is arguably only better than TNG and ENT's season 1.
Cosmic
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 11:33pm (UTC -5)
@Trent
"Jammer gave low scores to most of the episodes."

2.5-3.5 on most of the episodes isn't low scoring....

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Man, you're blowing this way out of proportion. Jammer's response was both earnest and spot on. It didn't need your lengthy post on how *you think* he's in the wrong (he's not, btw).

And hey, "nice job" slamming his website in the process... talk about ungrateful. You're asking Jammer to "get to work", but you're not even self-aware about how disrespectful you are in these threads. Unreal.

Get over yourself and move on already.
Peter G.
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 11:35pm (UTC -5)
@ Trent,

I don't agree with all of your points, but I like how you think.
Pocket University
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 12:27am (UTC -5)
@Mertov "It's not like he has never piled on people who liked Discovery either.. "

I was referring to the pile-on against Dougie in the comments to the "Majority Rule" review...
Mertov
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 12:35am (UTC -5)
I know. My comment wasn't directed at you P.U. although now that I look again, I understand why you thought that.
Chrome
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 9:44am (UTC -5)
“I feel DS9's first season is also underrated.”

Underrated by who? It certainly gets the highest rated score on this site with only TOS being close.

Incidentally, I’ll rewatch Discovery and reevaluate the shows when the season’s over and Jammer makes a season recap thread. Due to the nature of serialization, it feels like these episodes will watch much differently when the season is done and we see where the writers were going. Hopefully, they’re going somewhere good with all this!
Sven
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 9:52am (UTC -5)
Well, I have to admit that I am not entirely convinced of DIS as a series so far, particularly in regards to it being Star Trek and not just by name. I don't really 'feel' it, but both my 12 year old son and my wife are completely sold.

Regarding your reviews, Jammer, to paraphrase a Hollywood executive during an Academy Award ceremony in the late nineties: 'You keep writing them and we'll keep reading them'.
Ed
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 10:06am (UTC -5)
Trent

You raise an interesting point about the potential contradictions involving societies owning technology capable of producing post-scarcity economies but ALSO engaging in imperialistic expansion.

Imperialism and other expansionist policies are usually the result of some kind of material need or crisis, though they can also be motivated by ego on the part of the rulers, pride on the part of the subjects and sometimes an honest but poorly thought out desire to "help" .

One could argue that post-scarcity in the Star Trek universe is limited by need for exotic materials like dilithium. This necessitates at least some colonies if the trade goods in one's home system aren't sufficient to buy them.

On a pessimistic note, perhaps the answer is that some civilizations would have enough members that still find the cultural and psychological appeal of war and empire building sufficient motivation.

One or two such societies would cause neighbors to need to become highly militarized for defense and they would then establish or re-establish martial traditions which might lead to becoming empires themselves.



Peter G.
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 10:37am (UTC -5)
@ Ed & Trent,

Or what if the Klingons are just genetically predisposed to want to fight? That would make them pitiable in a way, because at such a time that fighting was no longer an option they'd have to chaff permanently at not being able to do the thing they want to. I guess they'd have to develop violent sports to compensate and make a culture out of them.

Consider the Jem'hadar for instance. Given how they were created, it would seem to be a sad existence to think of one of them being forced to be a store clerk or to do data entry for a living. Maybe the Klingons have a problem of this sort.
Chrome
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 10:41am (UTC -5)
@Ed

“One could argue that post-scarcity in the Star Trek universe is limited by need for exotic materials like dilithium. This necessitates at least some colonies if the trade goods in one's home system aren't sufficient to buy them. ”

The need for goods doesn’t *necessitate* colonialism. I would imagine the Federation has its own rare goods and could also barter other things like military protection, safe access to routes via their wormholes, or access to pleasure planets like Risa. Colonization is a primitive concept used when a technologically superior race wishes to exploit relatively weaker peoples for their own gain.

I could imagine the Klingons subscribing to colonization as an answer to their resource problems because they do not have any consideration for races they feel are militarily inferior. This doesn’t really change in modern Trek until Martok comes to power, as he’s really the first politically important Klingon that has no problems working with people over lower status (probably due to his own low-caste birth status).
Ed
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 11:02am (UTC -5)
Good point Peter G.

This seems to be the Klingons' state of affairs later when at peace with the Federation, actually. They're always looking for an outlet like dueling, competition for control of the Empire, fighting on the side of the Federation in its wars, etc.

When they were relatively isolated before the war in Discovery the Empire was apparently fragmenting and thus ready for a call to unity against outsiders.
Shannon
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 11:20am (UTC -5)
@Trent

I completely disagree with all of the points you made, but I do appreciate the civil manner in which you conveyed your arguments. It's refreshing, thank you.

The comparison of the Klingons to Trump supporters has been based on a statement that one of the show runners, Aaron Haberts, said during an interview. But CBS was quick to reach out to media outlets to vehemently deny that he was making that type of allegory. But let's look at what Haberts actually said:

"The allegory is that we really started working on the show in earnest around the time the election was happening. The Klingons are going to help us really look at certain sides of ourselves and our country. Isolationism is a big theme. Racial purity is a big theme. The Klingons are not the enemy, but they do have a different view on things. It raises big questions: Should we let people in? Do we want to change? There’s also the question of just because you reach your hand out to someone, do they have to take it? Sometimes, they don’t want to take it. It’s been interesting to see how the times have become more of a mirror than we even thought they were going to be.”

That being said, Trent, I won't deny that there are some extremist Trump supporters that want to end immigration and have racist attitudes. But like I said, BOTH political parties have their extremist elements. There are some on the far left that want totally open borders, expansion of welfare and other entitlements, 75% tax rates, the banning of private schools, and suppression of conservative thought. Oh yes, that last one is very true, they actively campaign to silence those who don't think like them. Btw, all dictatorships throughout history, especially the most notorious ones like Stalin and Hitler, made sure to silence all dissent.
Ed
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 11:26am (UTC -5)
Chrome

Maybe a poor choice of words on my part. In the case of peaceful cultures, I meant a colony in the sense of a settlement, not a area where the victor rules over a conquered people.

The Federation clearly has no problem with this type of colony.

They discover desirable planets without sapient life, set up communities and harvest resources--presumably with environmental protection for local animal and plant life. These settlements also have the advantage of allowing people who want a certain level of independence to have it while still remaining loyal.

They also use advanced technology to mine asteroids and uninhabitable planets that haven't already been claimed.

You're right that I underestimated the trade goods and services they might already have on the home planets.
Startrekwatcher
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 10:27pm (UTC -5)
DS9 was awful. I just recently rewatched it and most of that season I’d give 2 stars or less with tripe like The Storyteller, Dramatis Personae, move along home, the forsaken, the battle etc

There’s less than a handful of watchable ds9 hours mainly the pilot and season finale

DIS though gets the award for worst season. I bailed after 6 episodes

I think TNG and ENT have the best first seasons.
TNG really did a good job of capturing sense of awe and wonder. The cast gelled right out the gate. And there were a lot of solid entertaining episodes like Encounter at Farpoint, Naked Now, The Last Outpost, Datalore, When the Bough Breaks, Skin of Evil, The Neutral Zone, Where No One has Gone Before, Conspiracy, Hide and Q

ENT was pretty solid in season one with Broken Bow, Fight Or Floght, Strange New World, The Andorran Incident, Breaking the Ice, Civilization, Fusion, Fortunate Son, Fallen Hero, Shockwave wasn’t th some stinkers like Sleeping Dogs, Silent Enemy, two days two nights, oasis, rogue planet and some mediocre like unexpected-which first half pretty good til Trip gets knocked up comedy takes over—, Terra nova, acquisition, vox sola

Voyager little harder to judge. It had fewer episodes but you could definitely see a lot of promise with Caretaker, Phage, Time and Again, Parallax, State of Flux, Cathexisand obviously clunkers like Emanations, Heroes and Demons, jetrel and Learning Curve
Andy
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
Who is the second officer on Discovery? That rank was held by Landry but she was killed by the alien hippo. The doctor holds a similar rank (Lt. Cmdr.) but doctors are usually outside the typical chain of command. And who is the third officer for that matter? Stamets? Or would that be Tyler?
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks
"And you're not leaving, you will post again.... just like everyone else on the internet that announces their dramatic departure..."

The only reason "everyone else" is doing what you said, is because they face this catch-22: They're dying to explain themselves and their reasons for leaving, but how can you explain yourself after you've left?

And of course, smart assy responses like "drama queen!" or "you will post again, just like everyone else" add fuel to the fire. So before they realize what's going on, they are lured back in.... and feeling all embarssed about making a scene and then breaking their word, they soon forget all about it and pertend that nothing happened.

See, I'm very familiar with this sick dynamics, which is why I'm doing things differently. As I've already stated, I *will* remain here for as long as it takes to explain myself clearly (which, given the kind of responses I've gotten so far, will probably take quite a awhile...). But during that time, I'm refraining from participating in the actual Trek-related discussions.

And you know something? Given how common these situations are over the internet, and how hurtful responses like yours are, I find that explaining these dynamics is infinitely more important to me than talking about some TV show.


@Mertov
"And then the all gracious "Notice I am not responding to anyone here" and "I am trying to leave in a civilized manner" in a post peppered with four-letter words and accusations..."

I'm laying all the cards on the table and speaking candidly and frankly. That's how I speak to the people I respect: no games, no pertending, no fake politeness out of fear that the other person wouldn't be able to handle my straightforward statements.

This, to me, is what "a civilized manner" is all about.

Obviously, what I have to say isn't nice nor is it easy to hear. If everything was nice and dandy, I wouldnt be leaving, right?

Now, if Jammer or anyone else decides to judge me as an infantile kook after all this, fine. But to paraphrase Picard from "Encounter at Farpoint": If I'm going to damned, let me be damned for what I really am.

@Trent
"But your views are not 'unorthodox' on this site. I would say about half of the comments here responded to DSC negatively, and that Jammer gave low scores to most of the episodes."

When I said "unorthodox", I wasn't refering to whether DSC is good or bad.

I was refering to my view that a veteran Trekkie may have legitimate issues with Discovery without needing to see a single episode.

'Rediculous!', I hear you say. Well, everybody here seems to agree with you, which is precisely why I've stated that my view is unorthodox. :)
Chrome
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 12:32am (UTC -5)
@Andy

I believe Lt. Commander Airiam (the augmented robot-like officer) is the next highest ranking officer after Saru. Stamets and Tyler are both lieutenants, but if it came down to brass tacks, I wager Stamets is next because of seniority.
Peter G.
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 12:32am (UTC -5)
@ OmicronThetaDeltaPhi,

I say the following under the assumption that you believe you're making these posts in good faith attempts to reach out to others, rather than to intentionally derail discussion. The last comment I made in regard to you was to try to offer something in defense of your posts about DSC, which frankly didn't bother me although I could see why they bothered others. To be sure they were trollish but they were still on the topic of Trek so even though they were irrelevant to the episodes in question they were still relevant to Trek as a whole and so I read them with some level of interest.

But then you said this just now:

"I *will* remain here for as long as it takes to explain myself clearly (which, given the kind of responses I've gotten so far, will probably take quite a awhile...). But during that time, I'm refraining from participating in the actual Trek-related discussions. "

This all but says in plain English that you intend to only discuss off-topic matters from now on and to continue to do so no matter what anyone says. Is this really how you want to contribute to this forum? It really would make you a troll, full stop. I assume as of now this isn't what you want, so I'm bringing to your attention that this is what it would be. I won't be one to try to chase you away or argue with you about this, but do a reality-check for a moment and decide if this is really what you want.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 1:18am (UTC -5)
@Peter G.
"This all but says in plain English that you intend to only discuss off-topic matters from now on and to continue to do so no matter what anyone says."

No. I'm saying that I want to end this properly (and preferably quickly). Does that strike you as unreasonable?

And if you have a suggestion for a better, more productive course of action: I'm all ears.
Marcus
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 1:37am (UTC -5)
@Shannon

To be fair, right wing extremism is far more prevalent than the far left variety.
The Anti Defamation league, for example, reports that "Over the past 10 years (2007-2016), domestic extremists of all kinds have killed at least 372 people in the United States. Of those deaths, approximately 74% were at the hands of right-wing extremists, about 24% of the victims were killed by domestic Islamic extremists, and the remainder were killed by left-wing extremists."
It is true that extremism dwells and thrives on both sides, but your reiteration of this point without any caveats, without acknowledging the statistical reality implies a certain equivalence which is, in fact, a distorted view of reality.
I understand you are a person of conservative persuasion and are (naturally) eager to rebuff any perceived slights against your political philosophies, but the truth is that right wing ideologies are considerably more entrenched and therefore infinitely more likely to attract violent
radicals than any leftist strain of thought.
I see that you are somewhat prickly, so please believe me when I say I mean you no offense!
Peter G.
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 1:47am (UTC -5)
@ Omicron,

When I feel like I have criticisms to make of a piece I usually make it my business to see it - not to enjoy it, which I expect I won't - but so I'll have the authority to make an authoritative statement of my experience. I'm not saying you should do this, but it's what I do. I've disliked most of DSC so far, but still happy I saw it. If you don't want to, fine, but my suggestion? If you're going to keep harping on the show then just ignore people calling you out on it, or else...I dunno, stop harping on the show. Going into meta-discussion about how you're discussing things is tedious. If commenting on shows you haven't seen is your thing then just don't respond when people object to that and stick to your area of interest - discussing Trek, I hope.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 2:36am (UTC -5)
Peter, I fully agree that it is tedious.

That's exactly the problem: This metadiscussion about "how Omicron is discussing things" is going to happen whether or not I participate in it or not.

Ignoring it isn't going to solve anything. It isn't even going to slow it down substantially, because these people discuss this among themselves without my "help". These posts will happen ANYWAY and they will occur in great numbers ANYWAY.

It would have been nice if Jammer himself put his foot down and told these people to cut it out (both derailing the discussion and attacking a fellow forum member) but this will obviously never happen.

So what options do I have left?

Well, I guess you're right about one thing: If the situation is so bad (and it is) then trying to get people to understand why I'm leaving is just as futile as following your own suggestion. Trying harder will only antagonize everyone and accomplish nothing.

So this is as good a point as any to stop.

Live Long and Prosper, and Happy Arbor Day :)
οθδφ



Thomas
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 3:48am (UTC -5)
@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.
Skorch
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 4:16am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

'So what options do I have left?'

I honestly don't think you should leave at all. Especially on the Orville thread. And as far as any of the DIS threads, you have one really good option. Watch the episodes, and tell us what you think. It's very simple. That was the main gripe with everyone, is that you hadn't seen them. So watch them! Very simple.

I didn't want to jump in on this, but I also hate to see an intelligent articulate poster leave. I think you have been rightly criticized, and I did some of that myself, but just watch the show!!

I honestly don't know why you haven't, and keep insisting on commenting anyway. I'm so confused.

And how did this become a discussion of left/right wing politics? I'm confused again.

How about people discuss the show they want to on the appropriate thread, and make sure they have actually watched the show, and stick to discussing the show?

I don't understand what is so difficult to understand about that. I'm confused too much lately, and I don't like it.
Cosmic
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 4:57am (UTC -5)
@Skorch

Oh I agree that Omicron doesn't have to leave, but would it kill him to get off his high horse and not finger wag at Jammer over his own poor behavior? He's never going to actually watch the show, so he should stick to discussion threads for shows that he does watch. Yes, it is that simple.

I also agree with you that this detour into right/left politics is grossly unnecessary, especially in today's climate.
Shannon
Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 10:03am (UTC -5)
@Skorch, @Cosmic

The left/right debate started with someone (I can't even remember who) comparing the Klingons to Trump supporters, and implying that all of them were anti-immigration racists. But I agree, let's keep the discussion to Star Trek and leave politics out of it. I will fully admit that I allowed myself to get drawn into the debate, but probably should have refrained. It's not worth it. When someone starts throwing so-called statistics at you that are published by a very biased fringe organization, then one needs to realize it's time to stop arguing with the wall.
Del_Duio
Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 10:32am (UTC -5)
@OTDP:

"To paraphrase Q and put it bluntly: This place isn't that important. "

Nobody's forcing you to come here- everyday- and ruin everybody's good time. And to poop on the Grand Puba's site no less! By all means man, the door's that way.
Andy
Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome - Thanks. Wish Airiam would get more screen time in command.

I don't know if anyone else has commented on this, but how does British actor Jason Isaacs manage to put on such a perfect American accent? It even has a slight southern twang to it.
Garymartian
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 5:40am (UTC -5)
Long time lurker, and first time poster. I’m really enjoying Discovery so far. I’ve been a Star Trek fan my whole life and I’m glad to have Trek back on TV. I definitely want to see more of Airiam, and I’m sure the rest of the bridge crew will start getting fleshed out now Discovery has jumped somewhere unknown. This last episode had me at the edge of my seat most of its running time. The scene where Discovery was jumping around the Klingon ship of the dead was the highlight for me, it just looked so cool.
Thanks
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
Welcome Garymartian!

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 11:39pm (UTC -6)
"@Yanks
"And you're not leaving, you will post again.... just like everyone else on the internet that announces their dramatic departure..."

The only reason "everyone else" is doing what you said, is because they face this catch-22: They're dying to explain themselves and their reasons for leaving, but how can you explain yourself after you've left?"

Then stating one is leaving really doesn't make much sense, does it?

"And of course, smart assy responses like "drama queen!" or "you will post again, just like everyone else" add fuel to the fire. So before they realize what's going on, they are lured back in.... and feeling all embarssed about making a scene and then breaking their word, they soon forget all about it and pertend that nothing happened."

But if one truly left, one would have no reason to feel embarrassed, would they? Because one would know some comments would ensue after said crybaby post was made.

"See, I'm very familiar with this sick dynamics, which is why I'm doing things differently. As I've already stated, I *will* remain here for as long as it takes to explain myself clearly (which, given the kind of responses I've gotten so far, will probably take quite a awhile...). But during that time, I'm refraining from participating in the actual Trek-related discussions. "

. and that action would require no "announcement", right?

"And you know something? Given how common these situations are over the internet, and how hurtful responses like yours are, I find that explaining these dynamics is infinitely more important to me than talking about some TV show."

If the truth hurts then..

I didn't post this, you did..
"At any rate, you will be very happy to hear, Mr. Epsicokhan, that I will not bother you or your site any longer. If you're going treat me as some kind troublemaker, then there's nothing left for me here.
(and this goes for the Orville threads as well)"

Now here's my opinion. leave, stay, either is fine with me. but don't say you're going to do one thing and do something else. I'd prefer you swallow some pride and stay. I've enjoyed many of your posts throughout the couple years I've been here. I would also propose you watch an episode before "reviewing' it.
Skorch
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
I can't believe that we have been reduced to a discussion of whether someone should leave or not. How petty, and stupid.

That's as ridulous as a Voyager plot.

Of course you should stay OTDP. Who cares what others's think? F%#k them.

No one should ever be asked to leave, and I don't think you were asked to leave except by people who are ignorant to what you actually contributed, and certainly not by Jammer, who is the only one who matters in the end. Though I still think you should watch DIS!!!

It's not the best star trek show, that goes to TNG in my opinion, but it's not the worst either, which I think is VOY,

So yeah, screw those people, and keep posting stuff.

Do it just to show them that they are all bitches, if for no other reason. :D
Peter G.
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 2:04pm (UTC -5)
@ Skorch,

No one asked him to leave, he threatened to leave. No one here has tried to chase anyone away.
Skorch
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
Lots of people asked him to leave, or hinted at it. I even hinted at it myself I guess. But Omicron don't stop commenting on the Orville at least. Stop commenting on the DIS threads mabye, since you haven't seen those, but not the Orville.

But I have to say, I'm reallys sick of talking about one person's contributions, and not the show itself, so everyone grow up. Including myself. I'm sick of it.
MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Sunshine! Lollipops and RAINbows everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together, brighter than a lucky penny, when you're near the rain clouds disappears, dear, and I feel SO FINE, JUST to KNOW that you are mine!

What with plenty other troubles going on in the world, we have to argue right here on the Malaka Malaka Board of Good Faith. Come on people, this is the Enterprise, we set a different standard here!
Simon Humphreys
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 2:07am (UTC -5)
I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I'm now fully convinced that Tyler is Voq. I'm also just as certain that Lorca is responsible for the misjump. Can't wait for the next few episodes.

Some nitpicks, however, which I think expose sloppy writing:

How can the Discovery can detect a cloaked ship entering the system?

What on earth was the Phavan's plan? They made the effort to get the Klingons there, what further intervention were they intending (answer: none, as this was just a plot contrivance to move the action along).

How do the Klingons know that the Phavan's possess the technology (that could possibly be used) to detect cloaked ships? Also, how do the Klingon's know the Phavan's are helping the Federation (answer: all this knowledge is just assumed in order to drive the plot).

It's frustrating that the setup was just completely discarded in order to move the plot along. That said, it was a cracking episode so I guess I can forgive it all!
Ed
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 6:31am (UTC -5)
@ Simon

Most likely, this cloaking device isn't as advanced as the ones we see 100 years later. Discovery can pick up signs that there is a cloaked ship in the general area, but the information is useless for targeting it.

My take on the Phavans is that have been isolated for a very long time and they have have locally achieved the ultimate "win/win" scenario on their planet. Everything cooperates with everything else.

Violence and conflict have been alien to them for so long that they can only understand it as some kind of misunderstanding that can be easily solved.

Whatever they were planning to do (try to get the Feds and Klingons to talk, presumably) became completely irrelevant to what actually happened when the Klingons showed up.
Yanks
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 8:28am (UTC -5)
Simon,

"What on earth was the Phavan's plan? They made the effort to get the Klingons there, what further intervention were they intending (answer: none, as this was just a plot contrivance to move the action along)."

Quoted from 'Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum':

"It is Starfleet's plan to modify the electromagnetic frequency of Pahvo's signal and harness it as a form of sonar that can detect the presence of the cloaked Klingon vessels decimating our fleet, make them visible to our sensors, and turn the tide of war in our favor."

"How can the Discovery can detect a cloaked ship entering the system?"

Quoted from 'Into the Forest I Go':

"Sir, long-range sensors have detected the power signature of a cloaked Klingon vessel entering Pahvo's orbit."




Peter G.
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 10:38am (UTC -5)
@ Yanks,

What he's saying is that there are dropped threads and continuity problems between the episodes. If they aren't continuity errors then at the very least they failed to produce the connective tissue that could explain certain things like how they can detect the cloak at all. All we heard is "something, something, gravity" which is fine as a hand-wave away but doesn't tell us why this supposedly unbeatable tech has a weakness no one has mentioned until conveniently the Discovery just happens to notice it.
MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
...The long-range sensors can detect its power signature...what about the lateral sensor array? Perhaps it's not quite the same type of technology, and modifying the long-range sensors to operate the same way is not possible?

Technology can be full of seemingly nonsensical things that actually are due to really mundane explanations. Running programs from a command prompt, for example, seems totally counter-intuitive to do at this point simply because we have mice and cursors for that. But it actually makes more sense to do and you can access functions of a program that its GUI doesn't let you work with.

So, the sensors may work this way: Long Range Scanners can detect things like that, but they are not specific enough to use with the tactical systems. Those are locked into the lateral sensor array, which is for short range quick "get and go" identification of stellar objects, ships, signals, etc.

That makes a lot of sense to me, anyway.
Wedspug
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:58pm (UTC -5)
Nothing makes someone who constantly screams "I am a victim!" happier than giving that person more to scream about. ODTP shouldn't be asked to leave. It appears that he means to annoy and anger and then, when called on the behavior, whine to the referee. If someone feels a comment he makes is meritless, consider ignoring the comment. Then he will REALLY whine, but to everyone else it will be like the sound produced by one hand clapping
CPUFP
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 8:16am (UTC -5)
At last, a little bit of closure on some of all those unanswered questions the show has presented us with so far. I was disappointed that apparently the rumors of Tyler being Voq are true. I had hoped for a more original resolution to this arc - though to be honest, I would not have minded if the writers had just dropped it unresolved, because Voq's appearances until now have left me completely uninvested in the character. Let's hope the writers start bringing in some other alien cultures, because it seems to me that this version of the Klingons does not really have that much potential for more storylines. They're not relatable as individuals, and as a culture, they're pretty much a one trick pony, far from the complex society established on TNG. I'd like Discovery to give us some more info on that era's Vulcans, maybe some Andorian characters like they had in Enterprise, or elaborate more on the Kelpians.
Ed
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
@CPUFP

Voq didn't interest me as a person, but the fact that he agreed to go away and make some sort of ultimate sacrifice did.

If he is In fact Tyler, it seems that he's given up even the memories of his former self and become genuinely invested in his new identity. This has a lot of dramatic potential.

My one complaint is that one of the reasons he was first suspected of being a liar is that he said he was from a city (Seattle I think) when the real Tyler was from a nearby town. This is not suspicious at all. People often use the name of a large city for the general area around it--the "greater metropolitan area."

Simon
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
@ Ed

"Most likely, this cloaking device isn't as advanced as the ones we see 100 years later. Discovery can pick up signs that there is a cloaked ship in the general area, but the information is useless for targeting it."

Yes, that seems like a reasonable explanation. I've thought of another one too: a cloaked ship moving at warp is (to a degree) detectable through its warp signature.
CPUFP
Fri, Nov 24, 2017, 6:46am (UTC -5)
@Ed

If he keeps Tyler as his main identity, but is drawn into an identity crisis by learning that he once was Voq, I'd also say there could be potential for interesting stories. What I'd hate though is if he was reprogrammed into Voq, and all the character building and the emotional investment the audience has put into the character would just be thrown away. As of now, I don't really know what to expect from the writers.
Nic
Fri, Nov 24, 2017, 7:38am (UTC -5)
A good, not great, episode. I agree that it had a sense of conviction and cohesiveness that previous episodes lacked. But it doesn't make up for all the shoddy storytelling that came before. And it has its own share of problems.

- I think the advantage of the cloaking device is overstated. They can't fire weapons or raise shields while cloaked, so even if Starfleet finds a way to get through the cloak, the Klingons can just de-cloak and raise shields. Which is what Kol should have done the moment Discovery started firing its weapons. Idiot.

- The sensors they place on the Sarcophagus ship are ridiculously loud, clunky and bright. How is it that no one found one and destroyed it before they finished relaying their data?

- I'm no expert, but I don't think that's how PTSD usually works.

- There should be a drinking game where you take a drink every time Lorca disobeys orders and then receives praise from the Admirals. Granted, this happened on DS9 (most notably in "The Die is Cast" and "For the Uniform"), but it bothered me then and it is much more pervasive here. I have no problem with characters doing illegal or immoral things, but there has to be CONSEQUENCES.

Still, still... This was the first time I actually cared about these characters, and the ending was the first time I felt genuiune interest in what would happen next.
Ed
Fri, Nov 24, 2017, 9:01am (UTC -5)
@Simon

Good point about the warp signature possibility. I've always been curious about how much a cloaked ship can obscure non-visual evidence that it's there. It is after all still a physical entity interacting with its environment. There is probably a constant competition to make better cloaks and better scanning equipment. Cloaking seems more useful in any event for surprise attacks as opposed to hanging around being perfectly invisible.

@CPUFP

There are definitely both good and bad ways they could handle the revelation that Tyler is Voq. I would like genuine inner conflict on his part when he finds out and the possibility of different decisions ranging from loyalty to one side or the other to hating both sides or even going insane.

@Nic

I think Discovery had determined Kol's position before he realized it and was in the process of firing on him before he had the chance to raise his shields. It's like someone who pulls and aims his gun a fraction of a second too late in a Western or Hong Kong action film (or real life for that matter).

And they were hit with several photon torpedoes which are supposed to be extremely destructive, though they haven't been handled consistently (like much Star Trek technology). But I think the idea is supposed to be like a small nuclear weapon while the big phasers on a ship are more like conventional artillery.
Brian1
Sat, Nov 25, 2017, 8:19pm (UTC -5)
I don't usually have trouble suspending disbelief with Star Trek, but I found the whole spore drive being plugged into Stamets thing really hard to get past. I know, there have been implausible things on Trek many times but this is the worst since it's supposed to be grounded in science (unlike the Q or prophets who are more clearly fantasy). Yep, just plug him in and somehow he can guide these also implausible spore things to make the ship jump. It was one thing when it was the creature who was inherently oriented with the spores, but just for some human to do it? I'm glad the drive seems to be done with though.
Skorch
Mon, Nov 27, 2017, 2:36am (UTC -5)
I find it fascinating how much I, and all of the other posters here, care about this show, just because it's called Star Trek. The characters, plot, science, etc. I think we care more about it than the people who made it. Of course they are having to create a show out of whole cloth, and we get to dissect it afterward, so we should forgive them a bit if they make some mistakes. But then again, it is Star Trek, and they should realize what they are dealing with, so we shouldn't forgive them either. LOL. It's a tough call. So far, I think they did a little bit worse than they should have, or could have.

I'm just posting this because it's off for 2 months and have nothing else to say. :D
Yanks
Mon, Nov 27, 2017, 10:20am (UTC -5)
@ Peter G.
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 10:38am (UTC -6)
@ Yanks,

"What he's saying is that there are dropped threads and continuity problems between the episodes. If they aren't continuity errors then at the very least they failed to produce the connective tissue that could explain certain things like how they can detect the cloak at all. All we heard is "something, something, gravity" which is fine as a hand-wave away but doesn't tell us why this supposedly unbeatable tech has a weakness no one has mentioned until conveniently the Discovery just happens to notice it."

I would propose that there are no more "continuity problems" here than in any other trek incarnation. ... probably less. "Convenience" is part of SCI-FI... not just trek. How many times throughout trek does a crew happen upon something for the sole purpose of an episode? ... or a movie?

Also, Michael told us what was going on with Pahvos. Not sure what else you want. The last time the writers included clarity in how the spore drive works, folks wanked because they already heard it in the previous episode.

Your assumption indicates you know the entire Klingon history of cloak development as well as the complete history of Star Fleet's technology of defeating it.

They didn't say they detected a cloaked ship, they said they detected a power signature.

It is what it is.... kind of like accepting that a Star Fleet cloak in the 24th century can allow a ship to pass through a planet's crust.

@ Nic,

"- The sensors they place on the Sarcophagus ship are ridiculously loud, clunky and bright. How is it that no one found one and destroyed it before they finished relaying their data?"

Big ship... relatively short period of time needed to gather data. They WERE being kept busy by Michael.

@Brian1
Sat, Nov 25, 2017, 8:19pm (UTC -6)
"I don't usually have trouble suspending disbelief with Star Trek, but I found the whole spore drive being plugged into Stamets thing really hard to get past. I know, there have been implausible things on Trek many times but this is the worst since it's supposed to be grounded in science (unlike the Q or prophets who are more clearly fantasy). Yep, just plug him in and somehow he can guide these also implausible spore things to make the ship jump. It was one thing when it was the creature who was inherently oriented with the spores, but just for some human to do it? I'm glad the drive seems to be done with though."

True enough. But I'm sure there is some science this all was based on.

@Skorch
Mon, Nov 27, 2017, 2:36am (UTC -6)
"I find it fascinating how much I, and all of the other posters here, care about this show, just because it's called Star Trek. The characters, plot, science, etc. I think we care more about it than the people who made it. Of course they are having to create a show out of whole cloth, and we get to dissect it afterward, so we should forgive them a bit if they make some mistakes. But then again, it is Star Trek, and they should realize what they are dealing with, so we shouldn't forgive them either. LOL. It's a tough call. So far, I think they did a little bit worse than they should have, or could have.

I'm just posting this because it's off for 2 months and have nothing else to say."

Isn't that the truth. I've seen nuBSG 3 times through (for the most part) and I couldn't speak of those episodes like I do trek. Same with Stargate, BAB5 and FarScape. I love them all, but none of them generate the interest from me that trek does.

January 7th seems sooooooo far away.
Peter G.
Mon, Nov 27, 2017, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
@ Yanks,

"I would propose that there are no more "continuity problems" here than in any other trek incarnation. ... probably less. "Convenience" is part of SCI-FI... not just trek. How many times throughout trek does a crew happen upon something for the sole purpose of an episode? ... or a movie?"

Sorry man, but yes, the majority of posters here seem to acknowledge that there is much material either left out or on the cutting room floor. I've never seen a single episode of TNG or DS9 that left me scratching my head going "Wait, what? How did that happen? Did I miss something?" Voyager rarely produced that reaction but it did on occasion, mostly due to technobabble replacing plotting in a clunky fashion. In DSC my jaw was gaping during pretty much every episode, sometimes multiple scenes in a row where what I was seeing made little to no sense. Just watching Into the Forest I Go alone elicited more confusion and failure to understand the story than did the entire series of TNG. There's really no comparison. You can love or hate the show, but it's pretty clear to me that the frequent continuity issues and lack of connecting logic leaves most of the episodes dangling in the air where you're not sure what the meaning of any of it was. Jammer himself seems to have suspended judgement as to what the cause of this may be, whether it's 'waiting to surprise us with an answer', having no clue, or having made blatant errors, or some combination of the three. I don't think we're all crazy here, this show has some messy elements to it.
Mertov
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 12:51am (UTC -5)
I'd definitely agree with the occasional lack of logic and some clunky scenes that leave the viewers confused, like the one in "Si Vis Pacem.." with L'Rell and the Admiral sequence in the Klingon ship. That was poorly done for example.

But I lean on Yanks' side with his proposal that continuity problems exist everywhere and there isn't that much difference in between. That is the negative of a prequel (and a serialized one at that) with only 9 episodes into its life in a highly scrutinized show like ST: Discovery.

But even in some of the most successful Star Trek movies, there are major continuity problems - the Borg that was presented as the collective unit, using "we," (and that is why they were so scary in a way throughout TNG), then all of a sudden in the movie, they have a queen popping up who commands them and begins her sentences with "I" ? Yeah, o-kay.. Now, it does not change the fact that I loved that movie and I was willing to overlook that. And that was just one example.
Hugh
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 1:29am (UTC -5)
@Mertov

The Borg Queen was fully consistent with the logic of the show's narrative. The Borg wanted to capitalize on what it saw as an advantage of species with the capacity for individuals with independent thought. The appointment of the Borg Queen makes total sense considering the goals and ambitions of the Borg and what we had seen of them in the past.

The flaws within the narrative of DIS so far have gone well beyond a few instances of "continuity problems". At the bare minimum they should make clear the intentions of each character so that suspension of disbelief is at least possible. When we cannot explain the actions or motivations of many of the characters, the writers have failed to get us invested in the story because there is no consistent perspective available from which to experience the events we are witnessing.
Bryan
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 3:32am (UTC -5)
“The Borg wanted to capitalize on what it saw as an advantage of species with the capacity for individuals with independent thought.”

That’s pure fanon. In First Contact, Picard said the Borg Queen had existed and wished for a partner back in his days as Locutus. It’s a retcon because the TV series established that the Borg were just a collective intelligence.
Yanks
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 8:52am (UTC -5)
@ Hugh
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 1:29am (UTC -6)
@Mertov

"The Borg Queen was fully consistent with the logic of the show's narrative. The Borg wanted to capitalize on what it saw as an advantage of species with the capacity for individuals with independent thought. The appointment of the Borg Queen makes total sense considering the goals and ambitions of the Borg and what we had seen of them in the past."

I've been doin this trek thing for a long time and you my friend are the first one I've EVER seen take that stance on the Borg Queen in 'First Contact'.

Bryan is 100% correct.

@Mertov
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 12:51am (UTC -6)
"But I lean on Yanks' side with his proposal that continuity problems exist everywhere and there isn't that much difference in between. That is the negative of a prequel (and a serialized one at that) with only 9 episodes into its life in a highly scrutinized show like ST: Discovery."

I've been leaned on! :-)

I honestly can't believe this is even being brought up as a "point" for those criticizing STD. We ALL have been here and on sites for "ever" tearing a part trek for it's inconsistencies, canon violations, plot conveniences, etc. To hold Discovery to a new standard is Trekocracy! :-)

You bring up a very good point; this is the first truly "serial" trek, so one would think folks would error on the side of forgiveness than throwing daggers.

Am I saying STD is better than previous trek and that it doesn't deserve criticism? .... hell no, but lets keep our standards the same, or reasonable.
Dom
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 9:58am (UTC -5)
@Yanks, sure there have been inconsistencies in the past, but usually the type that could be explained with a bit of fudging here or there. Yes, the Klingons in TMP look different from those in TOS, but we all know it was because the film had a larger makeup budget. What I find so frustrating about Discovery is that the inconsistencies are just so large and glaring. If I hadn't read interviews with the show's writers, there's absolutely NOTHING in this show that would make me think it takes place 10 years before TOS. Nothing in Discovery seems consistent with that era of Trek. Without knowledge external to the show, I would have assumed it took place after Voyager. The worst part is all of these problems could have been avoided by making it a sequel to Voyager rather than a prequel.

I'm not sure why the show's being serialized means it should be permitted to defy logic and continuity. In fact, it's far more important for serialized shows to have a firmly established sense of continuity. In an episodic show, if one episode has an odd story that seems to cut against what we already know of the characters or setting, it's pretty easy to overlook. Because episodes in episodic shows tend to stand alone, you can remove individual episodes without much effect on the whole. I think most fans have pretty much written Threshold out of their personal canon. But you can't do that with serialized shows. Each episode has equal weight as an integral part of the story.
Dom
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 10:02am (UTC -5)
In retrospect, I think the writers should have simply admitted that Discovery is a soft reboot of the franchise a la Moore's Battlestar Galactica. It's clear that they're not even trying to stick to canon, which would be fine if this were a reboot. If they want to tell a new story that doesn't fit within the established Trek universe, do it in a new franchise or in an alternate universe (or the JJ Abrams Trek verse).
Tartarus
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 10:06am (UTC -5)
@Bryan

I am not sure why you are attacking retconning in Trek, anyone who has a problem with changing the show's history shouldn't be watching a show where:
-Klingons who no longer have hair and are multiple shades of black/white/purple
-Holodecks in the TOS era
-Mudd as a homicidal murderer
-Phasers now shoot in bursts rather than beams
-Shadowy Federation courtrooms where judges sit in complete darkness
-Starfleet as an morally backward institution

Retconning is the least of Discovery's worries. The shoddy writing is the problem.
Ed
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 11:24am (UTC -5)
On the Borg Queen and Borg in General (@ Hugh, Bryan, etc.)

I've been watching a lot of Borg-related episodes lately and am of the opinion that the popular "fanon" about her makes perfect sense, though obviously it's subjective. I'd take it a few steps further.

The Borg became more and more hierarchical (separate beings who are controlled rather than truly one mind) with potential for individuality as time went on.

Hugh (the Borg, not the guy on this board, LOL) was utterly baffled when he had to learn to act as an individual. He wasn't prepared for individual consciousness for any length of time.

In Voyager, we see a flashback story of 7 of 9 and some of her "friends" who crash land on an alien planet. They come up with a plan to contact the Collective. They get hungry, so they hunt and eat. They disagree about what to do. Yes, it's a disorienting experience, but they're not incapable of dealing with it.

This makes sense in a way. Communication equipment allowing for the group mind experience can be damaged. Isn't it better that they have the ability to try to rejoin the hive instead of standing around being confused? Would they want to lose millions because no one could survive for a few days without constant commands?

The Queen increasingly becomes a being with what seem like personal goals instead of simply the embodiment of the Borg. The original Queen had a personality of sorts but it was more like "if the Borg Collective was incarnated in one person, this is the type of person it would be."

It's like something is making them evolve or devolve away from the original concept. Yes, I know it's the writers, but I think it would make an interesting in-universe story. They assimilated and adapted the concept of individual self and tried to only use it in very limited ways, but it becomes a weakness. They get a vain, selfish Queen and Drones who can learn to function if disconnected. They get rebellions.

We saw the beginnings of a Borg civil war, but I'd like to see this lead to multiple factions as the disintegration of the original Collective continues. There could be everything from post-Borg enhanced beings forming communities based on traditional democratic or dictatorial principles left over from their previous cultures. Maybe there are species-specific collectives in some cases.

Competing Queens with their own collectives fight over Drones and ships. There could be powerful rulers who use Borg tech to control their subjects (like a master vampire) but these subjects still have much more personal identity than classic Drones.

Then let's say the 25th Century Federation now regularly uses transwarp, "folding space" or some other much faster form of travel and borders on this vast, dangerous, confusing remnant of former Borg space. Adventure and political intrigue ensues. A re-established Dominion also borders on it for added complications.
BZ
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
The Borg have definitely been retconned several times. Remember, in "Q Who" the Borg only care about technology, not individuals. In "Best of Both Worlds" it is even commented on how the Borg have changed. By the time we explore Seven of Nine's backstory, the Borg already assimilate individuals when the Raven is hunting for them, when the Borg are just a rumor (probably before "Q Who"). The queen is presumed to exist during that episode too.

The queen is also presented inconsistently. In "First Contact" she scoffs at Data's question about whether she controls drones. By the end of Voyager, she is shown doing exactly that many times.

Of course one can rationalize away most of this stuff, but then most inconsistencies are like this.

@Ed,
I would have preferred that we did *not* see any inner workings of the Borg. I'm mostly fine with "First Contact's" depiction of the queen, but would rather not see what Voyager did with them. The Borg are best as the ominous, unstoppable, not-understandable collective force, capable of destroying or assimilating whole planets with a single cube, which you cannot reason with because they believe assimilation is good for you.

Of course, if you *must* accept Voyager's emasculation of the Borg, your suggestions might be the best way to contain the problem and make it interesting, but if we're retconning so much anyway, I'd rather retcon most of Voyager's changes out somehow. Better yet, let's not use the Borg. They were good in TNG in part because we saw them in small doses.
Ed
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
@BZ

Yea, you're probably right that Star Trek needs to move away from old villains, but my multiple Borg collectives fantasy was part of a broader speculation on the future of the ST universe.

Have you thought about what the 25th Century or even farther into the future might be like if they ever developed it? I'd love to see that instead of constant prequels and alternate timelines. It would be especially nice to see the Federation with technology for travel better than what's possible with the standard warp drive.

The Borg and a few others have mastered transwarp and other superior means of travel, so it seems likely that the Federation would get beyond the now stereotypical "we used this exotic method and it was too dangerous or stopped working after a while" idea. The spore drive is obviously becoming another example of too dangerous, though I appreciate the allusion to the Navigators in Dune.

Opening up the universe outside of the parts of the galaxy accessible by warp as we know it could create all sorts of new possibilities. It would also be fun to bridge the gap between the 22nd-24th Centuries we've seen in detail and the 29th Century we've seen hints of.

Without a radically new era, the Star Trek universe seems likely to loose people's interest.

Brian
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
I was wondering if anyone here, including Jammer, have noticed what I think of as "relativism" (or lack there of) in Star Trek reviews. By this I mean that for me, a three star episode of TNG or DS9 (or BSG, or Babylon 5) is almost always better than a three star episode of Enterprise or Voyager. Sort of like there is a high tier sci fi set that competes amonst themselves and a low tier. There are 2 1/2 or even 2 star episodes in TNG that I enjoy more than 3 star enterprise episodes. Anyone else notice this? I think it would be a hard task to rate episodes that can stand against higher tier shows. I will note that Voyager was unique in that the majority of its episodes were mediocre but when it was good, like 3 1/2 to 4 stars those episodes seemed more like high tier episodes and can hold their own.. Enterprise, while I don't hate it, seems like I would still be watching 3 star TNG or DS9 than Enterprise's top scoring episodes. It's sort of like gold handicaps: Enterprise having an excellent day, while deserving of praise and a high star rating, just can't compete in my opinion with DS9/TNG/BSG/Babylon 5 on one of their excellent days. That's why it seems to me like these reviews are scored relative to their own show, or their own tier, but that Jammer doesn't really try to make the star ratings be consistent for all shows.

Secondly, with that established, I would say Discovery is definitely lower tier Star Trek/sci fi. That doesn't mean it is bad television (I still think Voyager and even Enterprise are more worth watching than the majority of television) or even bad sci fi, but just that it can't compete against the greats.
Brian1
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
* meant to put in my new screen name of "Brian1" there to differentiate myself from the other Brian*
Peter G.
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
@ Brian1,

I think you're absolutely right. I would personally put TOS up there with the greats, though, with only maybe a half-dozen of its episodes being legitimately tedious to watch.
Jason R.
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 5:57am (UTC -5)
@Ed

When I read about what is out there in the real universe, the billions of galaxies filled with god knows what it makes me realize how small and mundane even Star Trek can be at times. I think it's kind of neat that with just two exceptions to my mind, Trek has never even ventured out of our galaxy.

I suppose that's logical insofar as there's no reason why in such a vast galaxy as ours you really need to leave it from a storyrelling perspective. And yes, if it's just going to be another neighborhood with Klingons and Kazon eqivalents (a la Voyager) or whatever why bother?

And yet.... I still remember when the Enterprise left our galaxy in Where No One Has Gone Before (STNG) and you see them floating through that colorful vista and you're like - Damn this is awesome. I wanted to know what was really out there, just like Picard.

Imagine if the next Trek took a turn into something really different? Something less Saturday morning cartoony and more true scifi?

Oh well one can only dream.
Chrome
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 9:54am (UTC -5)
@Brian

I believe TNG reviews score lower than say, Voyager reviews, on this site because they are retrospective reviews. I.e., Jammer's take on a given Voyager episode was right after he saw it, while the show was still fresh to him. The TNG reviews, on the other hand, were written well after DS9, which gave Jammer the hindsight to see what worked and what didn't work for TNG and the franchise overall.

But could you imagine a review from 1987 about TNG? A lot of the production work that looks goofy now was significantly more amazing at the time. Indeed, I've noticed recent comments often pondering how TNG ever survived its first season. The answer: TNG was freaking cool to watch in the 80s!

Anyhow, while I agree that a 3 star Voyager episode generally is nowhere as good as a 3 star TNG episode, I would be careful to say the same about this show. This series could end up being "low tier", but if the showrunners work hard to make future shows click the way "Into the Forest I Go" does, there's a chance we'll have good tier Trek that we can look back on and enjoy.
Peter G.
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 10:44am (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

I agree that TNG S1 is underrated in terms of what it offered at the time. I'm rewatching it now and some of the episodes that are theoretically not so good are still enjoyable to watch. Is Code of Honor a good episode? No. But I watched it and wasn't bored or annoyed. In hindsight that's quite an achievement! A lot of it has to do with the youthful enthusiasm of the show in general, the charisma of some of the cast, and the obvious sense of wonder the S1 was going for that even exceeded what they achieved on the point in other seasons. And the music in S1 is entirely unlike the rest of the series, with episodes often having entirely original scores that set the tone for the episode almost as much as the script.

Other episodes that Jammer has rated rather poorly, such as Angel One and Too Short a Season I actually found rather enjoyable, despite not being that memorable in the grand scheme of Trek. By contrast, if we want to observe what's really dated, The Arsenal of Freedom, which is an action-packed effects hour, seems now to be stilted and not that interesting because the drone's movements look foolish and the drama is based too much on the action. The charms of S1 are timeless, but episodes like Arsenal show that trying to get by on effects and action can only go so far, and this I fear is the danger in how they're running Discovery. How many charms does the show have that will stand the test of time and make you want to watch it again in 30 years? When No One Has Gone Before is awesome, as Jason R. mentioned. No show made now would make that episode's quality fade with obsolescence.
Jason R.
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 11:29am (UTC -5)
One huge advantage modern tv has over the old TNG days is the luxury of having a very narrow focus. Remember that in TNG and other shows like Voyager you needed to fill hours upon hours of air time over vast seasons. A descent into mediocrity was almost inevitable and it is testament to the greatness of those shows that they could maintain momentum for so long.

But today you can have 40 minute episodes, 30 minute episodes, whatever you please. A "season" is whatever you want it to be. Look at shows like Stranger Things and Black Mirror that sustain their great energy and high quality by doing away with the need for endless filler and cut right to the heart.

A Star Trek with balls would fling the Discovery into another galaxy, make them survive in an alien vista filled with wonders and horrors and zero humanoid life. No Klingons, no ridged forheads, no politics. And it would be feasible for the reason I stated - because you don't need to fill up 20 episodes anymore! Hell that to me was the most exciting aspect of the spore drive, the means to go *anywhere*.

I haven't seen the show in a while since I cut my cable subscrition but it sounds like Into the Forest could be going in that direction. Could be, but won't. Who am I kidding? We'll be back to Klimgons before we know it I'm sure...

Ed
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
@Jason R.

My wish list for chronologically post-Voyager Star Trek:

1. Cultural changes:

(a) Less human and earth centered. Less America-centered when it does deal with earth and humans.

(b) Not a lot of Klingon stuff, but the Klingons are now a full Federation member.

(c) Romulans have become heavily influenced by Vulcan philosophy.

2. The Federation is much bigger because...

3. There are multiple forms of space travel beyond warp. Transwarp now commonly used by the Federation and others. A network of artificially made stable wormholes. Some ships can make temporary wormholes and go through before they collapse. This can lead to very quick travel to familiar settings and exploration of far away places.

4. A good balance of exploration and adventure on one hand and development of the Federation and its neighbors on the other.

5. A bit more tolerance of genetic and cybernetic augmentation including life extension as long as it isn't used to create a class of "superior" beings. People have a right to alter their own bodies with certain safety standards in mind and it's available to all.

Ed
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
P.S.

6. 90% of new aliens should be non-humanoid.

7. Wildly imaginative, bizarre science fiction scenarios on newly discovered planets preferably written by successful sci-fi, fantasy and horror authors.
Mertov
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 10:19pm (UTC -5)
Chrome's comment above, and a conversation I had with a long-time Trekkie friend of mine from Switzerland it made me think further about the scrutiny Discover is going through..

My friend also participates in a French podcast on Star Trek, and she said something interesting which led to a long discussion (I even mentioned some of the comments here and around the US about it). Keep in mind, we are around the same age and we have both been Star Trek fans since the 70s, both experienced the first days of each show other than the original one. We talked in French but I will try to relay everything we said pertinent to it here in English hopefully using the equivalent terms.

She said that they, her podcast friends and listeners who call in or write, unanimously agreed on the fact that Star Trek Discovery is scrutinized and nit-picked like crazy by Trekkies and others, way more than any other previous Trek series.

She admitted that they have fallen into the same trap in the podcast too before sitting back for a second and thinking about how they, for example, had the luxury of going back and evaluating episodes of other series in retrospect during their podcasts, after having watched each through their full run and having developed years worth of connection to the characters. She said it was a lot tougher to criticize something that Picard or Data may have done badly or acted weirdly in one of the first season's episodes because it was decades past the series and they all believed that Data and Picard were awesome regardless of those errors or blunders. She added that the amount of scrutiny put by them and the listeners into those reviews were nothing like the ones put on to the ones Discovery. They came to the conclusion - and apparently other Trek podcasters agree with this - that they subconsciously tend to be a lot tougher on Discovery for a few reasons:

1) The long absence of a Trek series prior to its start.
It's a new show, after over a decade of Trek-less series. Trek fans are anxious, hungry, and ready to comment and jump on everything they can see (which was not the case when DS9, Voyager, or Enterprise began). Times have changed, the pedigree of TV series have changed and they agreed that Trek fans of old shows would find Discovery very different. She reminded me (and I can attest to this) of the time when TNG began (we actually watched the first two years together back then), how badly the first season's episodes were received and how people would at every turn compare it to the original (the only one they knew) and call Riker "fake" or "Picard" Mr.Morality because they were concrete fans of Kirk's rash decisions and manners. There were - and this I clearly remember - people who mocked Geordi's visor saying that it was the biggest joke prop in TV history, that someone had to wear a visor centuries into the future for everything that the visor is supposed to do would have surely been solved by medicine and Geordi could have the same vision without it.

I can add to this first point. Back then, I was part of Trek group and we met twice a month. Yes, we actually met. At a bistro or cafe! And discussed the episode or two that just aired. Remember, no internet, no email. The head of the group would literally call the few "sub-leaders" who then would call the five or six people they were charged to call to let them know what time and where. It was a true process, several calls on the phone to inform everyone of the date and time. Usually we would get anywhere from 6 to 14 people together every week and talk. I remember very well how badly TNG was being bashed while only a few (I was one) would have positive things to say). Almost everyone who watched TOS when it was aired could not stand TNG during its first season.

And guess what was the only thing consistently being praised: the production, the space scenes, phaser fires, transporter, etc.. Because to the 80s, that was kick-ass (see Chrome's remark relating to this above, he is right 100%).

2) It's a prequel so loyal fans of previous shows, frustrated by the lack of series would be quick to the trigger to criticize Discovery. She actually believed this was the main reason (I don't, but it's definitely one of the big three). In a series that built decades of millions of fans, making a prequel will undoubtedly lead to everything being scrutinized to its minute detail and she added that Enterprise suffered a bit from this too. For example, I must admit that I even criticized Enterprise at the time of the episode in which subspace communication is used and it was inconsistent with a sentence that Harry Kim said in passing in a Voyager episode. I mean, come on (to myself).

3) It's a weekly show.
Now this I did not think about much until she brought it up, but it's so true. She said that several of the younger Trekkies admitted that they cannot stand waiting for a week to watch a new episode because they are so used to watching them one after another, whenever they want, and now the fact that they can't fulfill that "urgency for immediate satisfaction" that they can fulfill with other shows on Netflix and the net already gives them a negative feeling toward the show. Whereas older Trek lovers like myself and her, we enjoyed the process of meeting and discussing with friends the aired episode, and of anticipating the new one to be aired for 6 days, even checking out the 30-second trailer and talking about it, the no-TV-Netflix generation knows nothing about that process, are used to a no-commercial-interruption, binge-whenever-you-wish type of process which gets damaged by a weekly show like Discovery. So if they happen to like the show, they get irritated, itchy because they can't watch the next episode for days (something totally foreign to them) and they become more likely to spend those days complaining about every single detail or word of the previous show, because they are in a "bad mood" to begin with. She finished this by saying something like "imagine if you made them sit through the first 8 episodes of TNG and make them wait a week between each episode, what they would say then, whereas since they became Trek fans in the 2000s or later, they just went back and binged on the first 10 episodes in a day or three and did not have time to scrutinize each episode and talk about every minute of it for a week and read dozens of reviews and hundreds of comments about each episode.

I also agree with her and her friends and other podcasters, except on the order of the main causes. Personally, I don't listen to podcasts of any kind (although I must admit, talking 45 minutes with her, now my curiosity is piqued so if you have any recommendations, let me know) so I couldn't tell you how it is in the US but she said that within her world (France and French-speaking Switzerland I assume) her and her peers realized only of late that the scrutiny applied to Discovery was out of control in comparison to previous series.

Anyway.... Way longer than I wanted to write, but I thought with the late comments, it was pertinent.
Dom
Thu, Nov 30, 2017, 9:53am (UTC -5)
@Mertov, Those are interesting points, thanks for sharing. I think I'd add two other important points:

1) Discovery is heavily serialized. That means stupid behavior isn't limited to just one episode. If Picard or Data acted stupid or out of character in one episode, we could overlook it because their actions didn't really matter by the time you got to the next episode. Moreover, their actions were largely to drive a story contained within a single episode. It's easier to justify an action that seems out of character when it gets you to a clear endpoint of a story.

But with Discovery, we're supposed to take everything as being part of the larger story. So we can't really write off episode 5 if Burnham did something incredibly stupid because that informs her character development in episode 6 and influenced events in episode 7. It's just much harder to write off a bad episode or even season the way many TNG fans pretend the first two seasons don't exist.

2) We have more and better TV options now. TNG was pretty much the only sci-fi show when it aired. There wasn't really any other TV franchise set on a spaceship at the time. Even between TOS and TNG, the only space opera franchise that made a bit of a dent was the short-lived Battlestar Galactica. So it was either Trek or nothing.

Nowadays, we have options. We've seen dark space opera done in B5, DS9, and the BSG reboot. Our standards for TV are higher. If I want a sci-fi show and don't like what Trek's offering, I can go to the Orville or any countless number of SyFy shows. That might be unfair to Discovery, but that's the market.
Ubik
Thu, Nov 30, 2017, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov

An excellent post. Lots of valid points made.
Other Robert
Sun, Dec 3, 2017, 7:44pm (UTC -5)
Just want to say thanks to all the people who suggested watching The Expanse... it's great! Pretty effortlessly juggles at least half a dozen plots without feeling choppy, spends plenty of time world-building by actually building it into the story, sticks to fairly feasible technology... very immersive, great watch.
Ed
Mon, Dec 4, 2017, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
I see Burnham's less sane decisions not as "stupid" but as the result of confusion and trauma.

Sarek engaged in the crackpot project of attempting to raise a traumatized human orphan as a quasi-Vulcan and then abandoned her because of the prejudices of other establishment Vulcans--prejudices which he probably shares much more than he would like to admit.

His track record with Spock wasn't that much better, but at least he eventually forgave him for the terrible crime of joining the Federation's most prestigious organization and becoming second in command of its flagship. You'd have thought Starfleet was on the level of the Eden space hippies or something. :)
BZ
Thu, Dec 7, 2017, 9:39am (UTC -5)
Sarek has an ... illogical track record when it comes to humans. He marries two humans and adopts a human child, yet seems to hold Vulcan ideals in very high regard. I suppose it's a metaphor for Americans adopting (or marrying?) people from disadvantaged countries to improve their lives. Guess the creators are against this idea.
Ed
Thu, Dec 7, 2017, 11:33am (UTC -5)
@BZ

While I don't know, I doubt the writers have a problem with cross-cultural marriages and adoptions in cases where one culture is wealthier than another. Of course to marry someone simply to improve their lives would be very paternalistic and arrogant, but as long as they aren't pressured into the marriage, it would be both parties' own business as consenting adults.

When it comes to adoption, there are potential complications when the child is old enough to have already been a conscious part of their culture of origin. It is foolish and harmful when adoptive parents don't respect the fact that their child has an earlier important part of their lives that they can't just drop at will.

Even when a child adopted as an infant knows that they come from a different background than the only parents they can remember, it is good to be sensitive to the likelihood of the child's interest in their ancestry. For example, a Chinese-American friend of mine told me approvingly that Chinese holiday celebrations and community events in her area were sometimes attended by white parents with adopted Chinese children.

Compared to many other known species humans are quite genetically homogeneous due to very narrow evolutionary bottlenecks in our past. But when it comes to a fictional situation involving different sapient species, the issue of serious biological differences comes up.

From the way Vulcans are presented in Trek, they have an actual need to suppress their emotions. Without this, they would be uncivilized or have a very warlike civilization like their cousins the Romulans.

Humans are able to process their emotions without that level of suppression, which would be impossible at any rate. A Vulcan would probably see Michael's reaction of fear and hatred of the Klingons because of of surviving a Klingon massacre as something that could disappear with enough discipline.

She would also have emotional problems related to her near murder by the Vulcan extremist group but would probably learn not to express anything "illogical" out loud since no one would do anything for her that would actually help.

Vulcan mediation techniques were shown in Tuvok-related plots of Voyager to be helpful to non-Vulcans in some cases, but Tuvok wasn't going around trying to convert people or pressure them into using these techniques to the extent that a Vulcan would.

BZ
Sat, Dec 9, 2017, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
But Vulcans tend to believe they are superior to humans, and, at least in TOS are actually presented as superior. Spock and Tuvok do not aspire to be more human like Data and (to a lesser extent) The Doctor do. While Vulcan medication techniques may be somewhat useful to humans, it is implied that Vulcan biology is in part responsible for their ability to suppress emotions and embrace logic. So I suppose you could say that they *are* more evolved than humans. I actually have no problem any of these things. It is in fact a breath of fresh air in Trek when humans are not shown as the most superior of species. That was one of the things I actually liked about Enterprise.
Ed
Sun, Dec 10, 2017, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
I agree that the Vulcans have many admirable traits and that it is refreshing to see them being comfortable in their identity and not needing to copy humans.

Even when T'PoI, for example, becomes interested in things like (then taboo) mind melding, emotion-enhancing drugs and a human lover, I didn't get the feeling that she was trying to be something she's not.

I wish both the Vulcans and Romulans had been developed in more detail. It's not that I don't like the Klingons, but their culture got so much screen time compared to any other non-human, thus limiting possible world building and storytelling. AI characters and their desire to be more human did, too.

Romulans and Vulcans are probably both superior to other species in many ways, but I think they're limited by a need for control. Vulcans have their logic and traditions and Romulans have their isolated empire.

Hank
Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 8:18pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov: Interesting points. Let me try some counter arguments or enhancements as to why Discovery is so polarizing.

1.) Yes, you are right, everything thats new is hated at first. And it is also clear, that the only thing praised was production (as it was obviously better). But Discovery is not just new and mildly different (like TNG is to TOS), it is completely different in tone (blood, gore), themes (torture, warcrimes, done by the "good guys") and execution (serialized, not episodic, constant plotting and mystery like Game of Thrones). The production is newer, but also of a very distinct style, that of the Abrams movies, which are equally polarizing. Enterprise got much hatred from many people, but it at least really looked like Star Trek - which leads to point 2.

2.) Yes, being a prequel is VERY bad for the show. Not only does it make the visuals even more jarring, when everybody knows how TOS looks, how ENT looks, how TNG looks, it also can not add anything radically new to the universe - and when it does, people will lose their minds over it. Just remember the shit Enterprise got for the Borg-Episode, or including the Ferengi far too early. And when it adds something radically different (like Spocks adoptive Sister, or the Spore Drive), we know that it can not have any consequences, and if it does, it completely breaks the previous series.

3.) I think that is not a reason at all. People watch weekly shows all the time - or purposely postpone watching them until a season is out completely. Yes, it can be true that negative attitudes toward the show increase negative attitude in viewers, but that is true for every other show out there right now - and shows like The Expanse or Walking Dead still have massive fan followings - not to speak of Game of Thrones, and all those shows have their haters. The problem with this show is that is has "Star Trek" written on it - just like many people didn't like the new Mad Max (even though it was not a bad movie, but it wasn't about Max).

So, while your points play a role, I think it is not entirely the reason people scrutinize the show so much. I think reason four is the reason why I personally scrutinized the show so harshly: Because I watched it.

I saw the first episode when it released, didn't read any comments on it, and was prepared to forgive it many flaws - I actually liked the first fifteen minutes or so. It was all downhill from there, for an two episode opener that had so many flaws that I could scarcely believe it. After that, I looked out extra carefully for any flaw, because the show had to prove to me that it was not as bad as it seemed. Now, in hindsight, I would maybe not as harsh - but everything viewed in hindsight is not as bad as when it happened, and when a show can make up for it in the long run, you can forgive a first season. Yes, the scrutiny of this show is extreme - but the last Star Trek show is not that far in the past that it has an entirely new fanbase (or mostly new) like Dr. Who, and it was always far more consistent than the latter. It also has fifty years of history, droves of scientists who only became scientists because of Star Trek (the extrasolar Asteroid passing through our solar system right now was given a name in Klingon in a scientific paper), and is a global cultural phenomenon. So yeah, if you screw that up, people can and will criticize your product down to the smallest detail.
Dan Bolger
Fri, Dec 15, 2017, 7:36am (UTC -5)
I quite enjoyed the first half of season 1. Not all of it because some episodes were a bit samey and routine in an expositionary sense. But have been some definite highlights and stand out moments throughout, thus far. Excellent but not over the top production values, special effects, and the discovery ship looks fantastically unique. Favourite characters of the crew for the actors strong character acting abilities would be, for me, cadet Tilly, saru, burnham, and sarek. The theme tune was a bout underwhelming due to no real melody hook or a grandiose enough melody of distinction. Not a patch on the late, very great, theme scores of James horner and jerry goldsmith. It'll be good tomwatch the concluding half of season, Jonathan frakes directing the episode himself. Should be hopefully intriguing.
David Kinard
Thu, Dec 21, 2017, 10:15pm (UTC -5)
Lorca is from an alternate universe where starfleet lost the war. If uou look closely, he interrupts the "last jump"-he presses "Lorca override on the arm panel of the chair just before the last jump goes wrong, something Jammer seemed to midd- but he is genuinely surprised by where they wound up. He was trying to get the cloaking knowledge to save his universe. Think about his backstory. He was the supposed only survivor and destroyed his own ship. Nope. The Lorca from this universe died and he inserted himsekf in a place where he could take this lorca's plae. It makes Lorca's behavior make so much sense. Rven the subtle con to make Stamtes think the jump was his idea. He's always known more about the spore drive then he let on, because he got it to work in his own universe, but it was too late. That's the reson he's so protective of Burnham and why he arranged to have her come aboard. We don't know EXACTLY why- but somethings up there. Stanmets, in the preview says "you knew this would happen" to lorca. But notice stamets eyes. Reminescent of "Where no man has gone before" Gary Decler.

Lyrell or whatever found a way to transfer Voq'a "katra" into Tyler. When she was havingt sex with him, it was really with Vog. This is what Lyrell meant by soon- son he will be reunited with his original body. Maybe she forced a vulcan to do a katra transfer. There's nothing we've seen that said that a katra can only come from a Vulcan.

The planet with the living ecosystem is connected to the spore network somehow.

I also would bet the discovery was thrown of course by Stamets who realized what Lorca as trying to do, and it is now in the Mirror Universe, where the Terran Empire is fighting nd beating the Klingons to become the dominat power in the alpha quadrant.

Note: None of these are actual spoilers, just my guesses.
Mertov
Fri, Dec 22, 2017, 7:48am (UTC -5)
Dom,

Both of your points are very accurate. Serialized show does not let you forget a stupid behavior or a bad move by a character. And it's so true about everyone being an expert and getting to say so for the whole world to hear on multiple platforms.

Hank,

Good post, and your additional thoughts to points 1 and 2 are valid.
I cannot agree with you on the third one though.
"I think that is not a reason at all. People watch weekly shows all the time - or purposely postpone watching them until a season is out completely."
Firstly, I am not sure how that last part fits as an "or" because my point (and my podcast friend's point) on that, if you read my previous post, was precisely the attitudes of people waiting 7 days to watch another episode, and the "or purposely postpone watching them" was not included.

Nevertheless, let me precisely get to that point now.... I can assure you that Discovery being a weekly show is a large factor in people's attitudes and the increased amount of scrutiny, in the way that I (or my friend) explained in my previous post. Waiting 7 days to watch the next episode is simply not in the pedigree of today's show-watcher anymore (or the majority) and when forced into it, there is no doubt they will have the attitude that my podcaster Trekkie friend mentioned in my previous post from the get-go.

There is a whole generation of people out there who not only do not watch shows weekly, but do not even consider the option. And, they are in the large majority compared to those that still do (like myself). I know this because for 9 years now, I have been teaching cultural-language oriented courses at three universities, and since media use is a key component of the courses - and by personal choice I must admit - I delve into the habits media and TV consumption with my students.

Needless to say, they know I am a huge trekkie (LOL). Let me give you one example among many: out of 64 students I had in 4 different classes this fall semester, only 7 had a TV. Not one of them watches any show on a weekly basis (even the 7 that has access to cable TV). Furthermore, many of them have NEVER watched a weekly show in their life, never had to deal with the concept of waiting for commercials, some (in the minority) have done so only when they were still kids, living with their parents. The only ones who knew and liked Star Trek were the ones that watched TNG (or DS9 and Voyager) reruns with their parents. They have watched them on Netflix also.

Let me tell you the questions that came my way when I told them about Discovery (yes I had to tell them, none of them knew what it was about, when it was starting, on what channel, etc., including the ones that liked previous Treks):
"Is it on Netflix?"
"How many seasons are out"?
once I had to repeat that it was a new show, just starting, the next question was a variation of "When is the season released?" Once I reaffirmed that it was a weekly show, because saying it once obviously did not register, and the reality dawned on them, from that point on, there was silence, in other words, at that moment, it became a non-issue, i.e. no longer in their radar. How do I know this? Because back when the Expanse began, my students back then watched the pilot episode (because it came out online too and the syfy-lovers in my class watched it). We even talked about it in class. But then, that was it. In other words, for them, even for the ones that liked it, there was zero consideration of watching the rest, until it came out on "Netflix or something" because they are SIMPLY NOT WAITING for 7 days to watch one episode.

And no, even the ones who watch those shows you mentioned (The Expanse, Game of Thrones) don't watch it HBO-subscriber style, in other words week by week. I have not had a student in many semesters who watches any TV show week-to-week when the new episode comes out. That whole notion does not exist for them. They watch a whole season when it's on NetFlix, or binge on them when they go to their parents on holidays and they happen to have cable with on Demand, etc. I don't know of one student who is current on Game of Thrones, most will say things like "Yeah I liked it I have only seen the first 4 seasons though" (or "first three" or "two, etc). One university has the seasons in their library and they will check them out and watch it that way. But watching a show week-to-week, it's out unless you are an old-timer like me who still has cable TV and follows TV shows the old-school way.

None of them has ever watched any quality TV show that they can only get on a weekly basis. The Americans is a great example. None of them watch it, because a weekly show, uh-uh, no way. "I am not waiting a week for an episode," "I'll never remember what happened if I even have to wait two days for the next episode, forget it," or "I am not scheduling a TV show once a week as a thing for a specific evening" (usually followed by a chuckle).

And I have not even mentioned how foreign the idea of waiting through commercials is for all of them. I can't even fathom how bad their attitude would be if I forced any of them to watch Discovery week-by-week and comment on it for the 6 days in-between. I can totally see the scrutiny-level shoot off the roof, and not necessarily in a good way.

Having said all this, now you can see why the fact that you have people who are totally conditioned to binge-watching a show and getting to see the next episode at their own leisure, whenever they can, is a huge reason. Now, they are forced to wait a week, completely outside their routines. This is how, for the most part, the 30-and-under generation now view the idea of watching a show weekly (or, in other words, don't "view" it at all). And don't think for a moment that it's drastically different with the older generation. I even know many people my age who have not watched a show week-to-week in years or decades. I hear many times sentences like "the last time I watched a show weekly was "The Wire" or "Buffy" or "Voyager," and these are people who grew up watching weekly shows, including the Trek series.
Chrome
Fri, Dec 22, 2017, 10:55am (UTC -5)
@Mertov

Excellent post. It really boggles the mind to consider that a new generation of television watchers have a hard time with a weekly tv schedule, although it makes sense. I would suggest that your students only make up a fraction of the demographic that watches this show, yet I don't think your point is incorrect. Even among older fans like myself who have access to things like Netflix, it's a lot easier to forgive TNG and DS9 now because we can just skip over (or fast forward through) the bad episodes and pick and choose the ones we like from a list.

One of the things that killed Voyager for me in its initial season was there were so many bland season 1 episodes that I found the show downright unwatchable. It wasn't until I started reading Jammer's reviews of later seasons that I went back (through the power of Netflix) and found some of the better Voyager shows. Thanks to Trek's new medium, I came to appreciate some great shows I'd been missing for over a decade.
Mertov
Fri, Dec 22, 2017, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
Thanks Chrome. I should also reiterate that my observations have been drawn not from just this semester's students (although I gave concrete examples from this past semester), but rather hundreds and hundreds of them over the years (these media-TV-habit topics are regular ones in my classes). The percentage of TV watchers diminish every semester/year and, like I said above, the last few semesters, I can't remember one that admitted to watching a show on a weekly basis. I believe this is the under-30 generation's general behavior now, and like you also point out, not necessarily theirs alone.

Good point in your second paragraph too. I can go back and watch Voyager and Enterprise episodes that I liked for the second, third, or fourth time (without commercials !!! yeah I know that is now a given for most but it was not necessarily so until about a little over a decade ago.

And I have not even touched on how the minuscule amount of scrutiny previous shows enjoyed compared to DIscovery, simply because there was no internet, social media, or Jammer's board where every episode could be dissected second-by-second for 7 days (or more) over 200 to 300 posts until the next one was broadcast, only to begin all over again.
Skorch
Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov

I found your posts fascinating. Very informative.

But I do want to say, that I don't think that is always the case. I know quite a few under 30's who watch shows weekly. Including DIS, and GOT and others. It's true that younger people don't necessarily want to wait a week to see an episode, and so will wait for the entire season. But it's equally true that many of them don't want to have to wait months to see what happened either.

My own daughters watch The Walking Dead every week, among other various shows, though they certainly don't have to. They could binge watch it later if they wanted to.

So while I believe what you have said about your students, I don't think it's the norm or at least not the majority. Maybe it's because your students are students and have other priorities besides watching a weekly television show. All I'm saying is that maybe your dataset is skewed a bit.

Maybe everyone I know is in the minority. I don't know.

But I do know one thing. Most serious Star Trek fans no matter their age have been watching DIS every week. Ok I don't know that. LOL. But I bet it's true.
Mertov
Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 6:17pm (UTC -5)
No problem Skorch and thanks for the reply. We'll have to agree to disagree, this is a topic that has preoccupied and interested me (personally and professionally) for a long time (evolving trends of tv entertainment consumption in the US culture vs the European ones), I am convinced an overwhelming majority of today's under-30 do not watch weekly shows ( or even have watched any ever). Commercials and the idea of waiting a week vs immediate satisfaction through binging or watching-at-one's-own-schedule being the main reasons.

Other than the trend I have observed through 9 years of students, I also have a daughter (and like yours, she watches DSC weekly with me) in college in another state and she also confirms that nobody (and I mean literally) in her dorm has a TV, nor any of her college or non-college friends, on campus or outside, watch any shows other than what they can watch in NetFlix or DVDs they can check out of the library. My daughter watches The Americans at the same time as me, for example, and she can't talk to anyone about it because says not one person in her college or among her friends even know anything about the show beyond its name.

(I don't disagree with your last point. Yes, I also believe most serious ST fans do watch DSC weekly. In fact, my argument depends on it.)
Skorch
Sun, Dec 24, 2017, 3:50am (UTC -5)
I acquiesce to your far greater sampling of today's youth. I didn't mean to start an argument. I just thought that maybe things weren't quite that bad. And I do think it's not a good sign that younger people don't or won't have the patience to wait a week to see something. Even something as unimportant as a television show.

I hate to think what will happen in the future. I must know everything about this thing in 10 seconds or less!! I'm afraid we are headed for a future of people that know little about anything. (Shudder)

Oh well. Maybe Discovery will save us. It they can build it, that is.
wolfstar
Sun, Dec 24, 2017, 8:33am (UTC -5)
Just a quick comment but my friend (in the UK) shares an apartment with 5 students all aged under 25 and says none of them have a TV or watch any TV content on other devices (tablet/phone/computer) either - they're just on social media all the time or gaming.

I find it shocking too. But a lot of it comes down to the addictive and attention-span destroying qualities of social media and gaming. We're all susceptible to it - if I think back myself, the couple of years I used social media the most were those I watched stuff the least - almost without noticing, I allowed social media to largely displace watching stuff. I'm glad that's not the case anymore.

When it comes to bingeing, I've done it myself in the past, but there are a lot of arguments against it. There's a deep pleasure in pondering over the episode you just watched, allowing its themes to resonate with you, and speculating as to what will happen next. That's lost when you just go straight into the next one, treating a show as content not art. Also, episodes are standalone works that should be appreciated individually. That's why I prefer the DS9 model of partial serialization with lots of strong and varied standalones to the full serialization that's become more commonplace now, in which individual episodes can't stand on their own two feet anywhere near as well and can be retroactively damaged by bad arc writing.
Ed
Sun, Dec 24, 2017, 10:31am (UTC -5)
@wolfstar

I hope those five students aren't typical of that generation because of the importance of storytelling in any culture. Unless they're also avid readers or cinemaphiles (or even more unlikely, they go to plays and operas, LOL), they're replacing something potentially profound and fairly rich and complex even in its simpler forms with nothing but gossip and games.

I admit it's likely that there's more to video games than when I stopped playing them, but it was always my experience that the development of fictional worlds and characters in games was, while interesting, less than it claimed to be. Games are still simple win/lose scenarios in essence and don't replace actual drama.




BZ
Wed, Dec 27, 2017, 11:37am (UTC -5)
You do realize that at one point people read novels in installments in magazines. Isn't it horrible that kids these days can buy a book and read it in a few days? Anyway, I personally haven't watched much TV regularly since forever (I'm currently watching Discovery and Doctor Who weekly when they're on, but that's it). I don't binge seasons in then traditional sense either. The closest I've ever come to that is watching all of DS9 1-2 episodes a day, but that still took months. I just don't have the time. I don't begrudge others their watching habits, though.
Ed
Sat, Jan 6, 2018, 7:53pm (UTC -5)
Finally--less than 24 hours until I get to find out where the hell the Discovery jumped to at the end of the last episode! This has really been bothering me. :)
A2017 U1
Sat, Mar 31, 2018, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
I have to say that I just binged from the Mudd episode to the next one (lucky I didn't have to wait 2month, although I waited until I had a couple of episodes together) - so @Mertov, I guess I am guilty as charged

This episode was by far the best (maybe until the next one) and watching together brings forth some of the comments to light -like the fact Stannis calls Tilly a captain.

I don't think Lorca was called back "to get a medal" and I think he isn't happy the Admiral is saved.

And these loud big sensors, come on! You go on a secret mission and the computer chirply tells "connecting to Discovery"? I was sure this was going to be overheard.

I am really enjoying this series, it really got better. Thank you Jammer for the reviews and the site.
SlackerInc
Wed, Apr 11, 2018, 5:06am (UTC -5)
This episode had some good parts, but every scene involving the two lovebirds was cringe-inducing. The Klingon ship is uncloaking, and they are only just arriving in the transporter room? Then as they make their way around the ship to plant the sensors: they put them in plain sight, calling out in audible English that they are connected to Discovery? :facepalm:

And let's not even speak much of that terribly written and not super well acted scene near the end, in which they were allegedly emoting to each other. Yeesh.

Then there was the incredibly blatant telegraphing that Stamets's "one last jump" was not going to end well for him. Is this show written to be easily understood by grade school children?

Still, almost everything else not involving Burnham and Tyler together was pretty good. I especially liked the fight with the Klingon captain on the bridge.

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